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Trump's New Travel Ban, Just as Mean and Useless as the Old One

It covers its legal tracks but is still an exercise in Muslim bashing

As Jacob Sullum noted this morning, President Trump's new 90-day ban on travel from six Muslim countries and his suspension of America's refugee program are in a far stronger position to withstand legal scrutiny than his previous effort. A president has vast discretion in setting immigration enforcement priorities and admitting Refugeebengin ahmad via fotercomforeigners so long as he doesn't run afoul of Constitutional due process protections or injunction against religious discrimination etc.

On its face, Trump's new travel ban – unlike his last one – meets this criterion. The ACLU is protesting that the ban is still fundamentally rooted not in national security concerns but prejudice and is looking it over for legal challenge. It will have a harder time prevailing in court, but that does not mean it is wrong. Indeed, the order is mere security theater whose intention is to stoke anti-Muslim fear not make America safer.

For starters, as with the old ban that, like the proverbial drunk who looked for his lost car keys under the lamppost where he could see rather than where he lost them, the new ban too goes after countries that are easy targets, not ones that actually have sent terrorists to America (not that it would be OK to have a blanket ban against innocent tourists or students or other travelers from them either). The countries covered by the ban this time include Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Iraq, which was in the original ban, has been dropped from the list because, evidently, the Iraqi government has assured the administration that it has adequate vetting procedures in place. With the exception of Iran, what's perverse about this list is that it shuts out the victims trying to flee Islamic terrorism. (And in Iran's case those who want to flee repressive mullahs.)

Indeed, as has been pointed out a gazillion times, these countries may be on America's list of states having a terrorism problem, but it is not one directed at us. On the whole, even among the handful of Muslims in America who've been involved in violent extremism of any kind here or abroad, very few of them have been from these countries and none of these have perpetrated a deadly attack on American soil. According to New America, a think tank compiling information on terrorist activities in the United States since 9/11, 94 people have been killed by jihadists in the past 15 years. But the majority of attackers come from within. The study concluded:

"Far from being foreign infiltrators, the large majority of jihadist terrorists in the United States have been American citizens or legal residents. Moreover, while a range of citizenship statuses are represented, every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident," it says. "In addition about a quarter of the extremists are converts, further confirming that the challenge cannot be reduced to one of immigration." [Emphasis added]

Ironically, the countries that do breed anti-American terrorism such as Saudi Arabia (home of the 9/11 hijackers), Pakistan (San Bernardino shooting duo), Soviet Union (one of the Boston marathon bombers) are conspicuously absent from Trump's list because it would likely upset the foreign policy establishment too much.

But the ban is not merely misdirected it is also overkill. America did not impose anything this extreme even after 9/11. So what exactly is the need now 17 years and trillions of dollars of spending on homeland security later? Attorney General Jeff Sessions muttered something about 300 refugees being under investigation for terrorism by FBI. But it is unclear what that means. The FBI constantly investigates all kinds of activities, not all of them turn out to be actual threats.

In fact, notes Kristie De Pena, Niskanen Center's Immigration Counsel, it is impossible to authenticate Sessions claims because, generally, law enforcement records—including FBI records—are exempted from FOIA requests when untimely disclosure would jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations. Furthermore, in the aftermath of 9/11, that exemption was expanded on a number of grounds to protect national security. So, she notes, there is no way of knowing whether these refugees are from these countries or elsewhere or the nature of the activities they were plotting unless the administration itself offers more details.

If it fails to offer credible evidence of credible threats, it'll be hard to escape the conclusion that the travel ban is simply an exercise in fear mongering. Indeed, not counting Sessions claims, refugees in this country are safer than apple pie.

As I wrote previously, refugees are subjected to such a long, multi-layered and onerous vetting process that it would make more sense for ISIS terrorists to be airdropped by coyotes to gain entry to the country. (I am not saying that this process is fool-proof; nothing can be. I am saying it is involved and fraught enough so as to be useless for prospective terrorists.) Indeed, besides the 2011 indictment of two Iraqi refugees in Bowling Green for providing arms to al-Qaeda, since 1993, only three refugees have turned to terrorism. Trying to reduce these odds to zero before admitting any more refugees would be tantamount to applying the precautionary principle to immigration policy – something that conservatives criticize when liberals use it to justify killing GMOs etc. (Precautionary principle, to put it crudely, means taking no policy action unless it is proven to be 100 percent safe, regardless of the benefits.)

One last thing: The administration is billing this as a temporary ban. But there would be no point in it if it didn't lead to more stringent permanent travel restrictions. Trump's first travel ban was a study in chaos and disruption but it served a useful purpose for him in that it softened the country for the horrid stuff that's he's now pushing.

Update: Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin disagrees with my take and insists that the new order might still be unconstitutional. "The weakness of the security rationale for both the original order and the new one makes it more likely that discrimination against Muslims is the true motive behind it," he notes. "Under the standard legal framework for analyzing such cases, once evidence of discriminatory intent is proven, the government has the burden of showing that it would have adopted the same policy even in the absence of improper motivation. That burden will be extremely difficult to meet in this case."

Furthermore, he notes:

The Trump administration will continue to argue that the courts should defer to its policy and not scrutinize it closely because of the so-called "plenary power" over immigration. It is possible that the courts will be more receptive to such arguments now that the new order exempts green card and visa holders. But such deference would be a mistake for reasons I discussed here and here.

It is also possible that courts would reject lawsuits against the new order for procedural reasons. Previously, state governments obtained standing because of their interest in ensuring that state institutions such as universities could facilitate entry of foreign students. The administration may well argue that things are different if the students in question do not yet have visas. In my view, however, the absence of a current visa should not be decisive. State universities and other institutions still have a strong interest in facilitating entry by new students and employees who might get visas in the future. That may be only a relatively small material interest. But it is comparable to ones under which state plaintiffs got standing in past cases, including the state challenge to Obama's executive action on immigration, which was based on speculative evidence that Texas might have to bear the cost of issuing new drivers' licenses as a result.

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  • timbo||

    What is the resolution for immigration on a scale that we practice with non-definitive results?

    We do allow illegals to come here and not pay taxes and make themselves available for entitlements and free education.

    We do have no idea if the people that enter the country are going to be in any way productive or assimilate to our norms. They should not have to but they should have to pay the same punitive, destructive and confiscatory taxes we all have to pay because they do use the resources to which a few tax dollars do actually go.

    I agree that it is stupid to enact some silly ban on a few countries when people can simply lie about travel from third world shitholes.
    No endorsement of trump but it seems that some vetting of people who want to enter is not exactly concentration camps or humiliation.

  • Juice||

    We do allow illegals to come here and not pay taxes

    Despite the fact that they basically pay all taxes except for income taxes, the fewer people paying taxes the better.

  • Agammamon||

    Most of them actually pay income and SS taxes - with no hope of getting that money back.

  • Mark D||

    I think your tax claim is an urban myth. It is an open question in my mind whether most illegal immigrants are employed under fake social security cards or most illegal immigrants do work for cash at farms, home depot or cleaning houses.

  • Mark D||

    You are wrong. Most do not pay. There were 11 million illegal immigrants in US in 2010. 3.1 million illegal immigrants paid Social Security taxes in 2010 (3.1

  • Dan S.||

    How many of those 11 million illegal immigrants are children not of working age? And how many are mothers taking care of them while their husbands work? If half the 11 million are adults of working age, other than caretakers of children living with other adults who do work, then then the 3.1 million paying Social Security taxes would be more than half (or most) of that half. And of course, all pay sales taxes and other consumption-based taxes.

  • SomeGuy||

    additionally immigrants use more social welfare than natives as it has been shown over and over.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Unfortunately, when I dug into this some more, I found that there's an important qualifier left off of the blanket welfare figuring statements ... They use less welfare than Americans *with similar education and socioeconomic identifiers*. That's a lot different from Americans in general.

    The solution is the same, get rid of the welfare programs to begin with for everyone.

  • Brandybuck||

    They pay Social Security taxes, they pay sales taxes, they pay property taxes, they pay all excise taxes. They might not file income tax statements, but if they have a job they're still have payroll withholding. (Meaning they pay income taxes but can't file for refunds).

    The idea that they laugh at the grocer and refuse to pay sales taxes on their groceries is absofucking ridiculous. Whatever nativist came up with that idea needs to be slapped hard. They buy a car they pay taxes on the car, they put gas in that care and they're paying gas taxes. Which pays for the roads they drive on. They rent an apartment party of their rent goes to the owner's property taxes. Which pays for schools they send their children to.

  • ||

    I petsonally know a dozen who get paid in cash and make $50 k each year.

    You want to start all over ?

  • qjkxbmwvz||

    Good for them!
    #TaxationIsTheft

  • Azathoth!!||

    People hear stuff like that and they say--50k a year?1? why won't Americans do THAT job?

    Because, to hire an American, you'd have to pay 85K, and healthcare, and unemployment, and insurance

    And you'd have to do that even if you had a hundred Americans lined up and willing to do the job for 50K.

    Because there are all sorts of laws that price American labor right out of the market--and it isn't all farmwork.

  • Azathoth!!||

    They get paid under the table.

    Are you so dense as to not know that?

    If they had fake SS cards and worked on the books, they'd cost just as much to employ as citizens. There would be no point in hiring them.

    In fact, they get paid so much less that it's economical to have a work force you can't understand.

    Do you not get that?

  • Diane Merriam||

    Some are and some aren't. The current minimum wage is low enough that people who are willing to work for less are still cheaper than the "average" American is for some jobs. This is *NOT* an argument for higher minimum wages, but it still is an economic reality.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    What if I told you extreme vetting of refugees has been going on for a very long time?

  • granite state destroyer||

    "it seems that some vetting of people who want to enter is not exactly concentration camps or humiliation."

    But they already are vetted, that's what the whole visa process is about. These are not countries that are flooding the US with boatloads of undocumented immigrants. That is why the "90-day ban" is just theater to create fear among the rubes. The administration is arguing that the current vetting process is insufficient given the level of chaos in these countries, which may be a reasonable argument for Somalia, but ridiculous when applied to Iran.

  • josh||

    It should be noted that this new order doesn't go into effect immediately. According to the President, this means we're all going to die. Government has finally killed us all.

  • John||

    I am not saying that this process is fool-roof; nothing can be. I am saying it is involved and fraught enough so as to be useless for prospective terrorists.)

    What possible basis does Dalmia have to make that claim? Moreover, never once has reason ever explained what this vetting process they are so proud of actually involves. A detailed explanation of the vetting process used for refugees would make a pretty good reason article. Yet, I don't believe reason has ever written such an article. Yet, every single member of their staff is convinced the process is a good one, despite exhibiting zero understanding of what the process actually is.

  • Tony||

    Here is a rundown of the current vetting process for refugees, which can take two years.

    Not the most efficient means of getting here to set off a bomb. Why it's almost as if Trump doesn't know what the fuck he's doing and is simply targeting Muslims for scapegoating because he's a dumb bigoted fuckface and his voters are stupid hillbillies.

  • american socialist||

    So why arent you whining it takes two years as wouldnt this be a ban effectively?

  • Tony||

    The screening process is indeed draconian.

  • american socialist||

    Did you complain about it under obama for not doing something about it?

    I am just trying to discern here if you have principle and aren't purely a team guy

  • Tony||

    There are lots of things wrong with this country. They are almost all the fault of Republicans.

  • american socialist||

    Like what and how?

  • Sevo||

    "They are almost all the fault of Republicans."

    FDR = R
    Harry Truman = R
    LBJ = R
    Obo = R
    Yep, all Repubs.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    They are almost all the fault of Republicans.

    Tony, you bring up a good point about the vetting process and then you ruin it with a fucktard comment like that. No doubt Republicans are to blame for many things, but you honestly believe the Democrats don't share the blame about equally. You are either nothing but a troll, or are amazingly stupid. I mean leaning towards both.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I fully agree with your assessment of Tony. Also, fuck off Tony.

  • Jake Stone||

    So, team guy. Got it.

    (Heh heh like there was some sort of question).

    People like Tony truly are pitiful in their ignorance. So blinded by the us vs. them mentality that's been drilled into them since birth, and not smart enough to see through it. Even when you point it out like this, keep an eye on the response, if any.

  • american socialist||

    "his voters are stupid hillbillies."

    Who were you saying is the bigot? you need to enjoy life and stop obsessing over politicians as if they are to be idolized.

    Hillary lost man...get over it

  • Tony||

    Trump's a treasonous sack of shit. I couldn't be happier that you've inexplicably handcuffed yourself to his ship. But you're more common a rightwing boob than even most here, so in all likelihood it will have sunk to the ocean floor before you even realize you're wet.

  • american socialist||

    What did he commit treason on exactly? How did i handcuff to his ship? I am not in the government or working for trump

  • Tony||

    You spend a lot of time licking his loafers.

    Fine, alleged treason. It's just that, unfortunately, treason is the most plausible scenario here. I just don't think it's going to come out that the many many links between the admin. and Russia are going to turn out to be about a mutual appreciation of borscht.

  • american socialist||

    What is the alleged treason exactly? Why is it the most plausible?

  • Tony||

    You tell me what's more likely to come out of this. That Trump and all his Russia-tied cronies didn't ever participate in the known effort of Russia to interfere in the election? Roger Stone just fucking admitted he did so (in the midst of calling a reporter a stupid bitch).

  • american socialist||

    So are you suggesting the obama admin had been spying on him prior to the election? In order to determine this connection. That seems to validate Trumps claims if so

  • Tony||

    If there was a wiretap it means there was evidence of something bad. As you probably don't know, the white house doesn't order wiretaps.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that his supporters seem to want Trump vindicated on his claim that he was being wiretapped. They should really much prefer that he was lying or misinformed.

  • american socialist||

    Having a wiretap is not evidence of something bad. They were looking for something and what if they didn't find anything to support your established conclusions?

    So are you saying Trump is correct when he said Obama had him wire tapped?

  • american socialist||

    If he was wiretapped....since he is potus and nothing definitive has come out it...suggests there isn't anything there.

    Obama wiretapping on a nominee prior to an election does not look good. That is watergate level stuff. Hillary even mentioned it on 10/31/2016 on her twitter.

    I suspect there is nothing there and the dems are going to have an egg on their face for spying on nominees of the other party prior to election >>>>> then wikileaks showing emails

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So you're saying that if it comes out later that Trump has democrats wire tapped that your assumption will be that there was evidence those democrats did something bad?

    I somehow doubt that will be the case. As you have consistently been a disingenuous weasel Tony.

  • XM||

    There's like zero actionable evidence that Russia interfered with the election. You can't hack voting machines without internet access. That's what the left said in response to Trump's allegation that there was massive voter fraud, which was also baseless.

    The FBI has traced malware and other attacks that MIGHT have been from Russian hackers. But even that's not clear.

    Obama spied on the American people for the longest time. He bugged reporters' phone and persecuted (or prosecuted, if you prefer) whistle blowers. He supplied arms to radicals. By your standard of "treason", Obama and 90% of all presidents are in the company of Benedict Arnold.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, as a progressive, your loyalties are already highly questionable. So I would not be pulling on that treason thread too hard. Apparently you consider someone who gives a shit about their country to be a bad person, which is much like Obama. So I suppose that makes sense in what passes for your brain.

  • american socialist||

    Wouldn't i drown?

  • Diane Merriam||

    Treasonous? No. Idiotic? Yes.

  • gclancy51||

    Why turn something negative about Trump into a Hillary thang? Deflect much?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    What was that about deflecting Hillary's thong?

  • Trigger Warning||

    ...into Crusty's open mouth?

  • Ragoftag||

    'which can take two years.'

    And some claim Refugee Status and tear up their papers so they can't be sent back.

    16. Screening for contagious diseases.

    This is false. We have TB cases increasing in 'immigrant settle areas'.

  • XM||

    My family waited for over ten years to get a green card, and then few more years to get citizenship. 2 years (I imagine it would take even longer for refugees to actually step foot inside the country) is NOTHING.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the new ban too goes after countries that are easy targets, not ones that actually have sent terrorists to America (not that it would be OK to have a blanket ban against innocent tourists or students or other travelers from them either).

    This seems like an argument one would make to expand the list, not to do away with the ban.

  • KevinP||

    Agreed. I would like to see Pakistan added to the list.

  • UVaGrad||

    From a legal standpoint, underinclusiveness of a ban can be evidence of improper intent, although this usually arises in the speech context.

  • Rhywun||

    Who. Cares.

    We choose to let people in at *our* discretion. End of story. Where are the endless screens against the myriad unconstitutional power-grabs by the executive branch, hmmm? As opposed to this one which as far as I can tell is perfectly legal.

  • Rhywun||

    ugh, "screeds"

  • Juice||

    We choose

    Ha ha! You don't choose shit.

  • Jgalt1975||

    Yeah, Reason never criticizes anything else the executive branch does. [/insert eye-roll and jackoff motion GIF here]

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    There is no such GIF.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    We choose to let people in at *our* discretion.

    Define "our". Because my our is sure as hell of a lot different than Trump's.

  • Tak Kak||

    Wouldn't 6 instead of 7 make it less of a meanie?

  • timbo||

    I thought that too. When we are talking about matters of political, economic, or historical significance, can we try to sound like grown ups of yesteryear and not like tweeting sheepish skinny jean wearing stupid a-holes?

    There was a time when intelligent people discussed things of importance without sounding like complete wimps all of the time over everything.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Would you go see a movie called The Magnificent Six? Or a movie called Six Signs? Or a movie called The Sixth Seal?

  • Seamus||

    I saw a movie called Sixth Sense once. Does that count?

  • american socialist||

    How is an order that is much less in scope with some lead time just as mean?

    Thanks to jake this morning for a good article on the topic.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Jake from Allstate? She sounds hideous.

  • american socialist||

    Haha ya.

    Sullum is night and day better than shika. It isnt close

  • Mazakon||

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, she's insane.

  • AlmightyJB||

    We can kill terrorist, just don't impede their travel to the U.S. because that would be racist.

  • Bubba Jones||

    sd;dr

  • Juice||

    lol

  • AlmightyJB||

    "the order is mere security theater whose intention is to stoke anti-Muslim fear not make America safer."

    I keep forgetting that Shikha is telepathic. I appreciate that no matter what anyone says their intentions are regarding any type of border issue, that she is there to peer into their souls and expose that they're lying racist. Obama was great because even when he was wrong, his intentions were honorable. Keep up the good work Shikha.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I do want to add that I'm not endorsing the ban just calling foul on the obligatory racist rants.

  • Curt||

    That's the line that caught my attention. I don't care which side is doing it, inventing intentions to denigrate actions you don't like is simply stupid.

    Who the hell says the intention wasn't to make America safer?!?!?! I believe that probably was the intention. I also believe that it was inept and won't succeed. At worst, maybe if it wasn't about making America safer, it was about making Americans feel safer. We're talking about Trump here. Why would anyone reject incompetence in favor of animus.

    If an idiot jumps off a building and flaps his arms, who is anyone else to say that the person's intention was to fall to their death; not to fly.

  • Curt||

    in fairness, I'm debating whether or not I just did what I described. "inventing intentions to denigrate actions" is basically my assumption of Shikha's motive.

    OTOH, I think the rest of the article supports my assumption of her motive better than it supports her assumption of his motive.

    And plus, I'm just some jackass on the interwebz and not a professional writer.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Trump trolls progs with hand waving to placate the base....progs (Dalmia) respond with furious, outraged hand waving. Suckers keep taking trumpbait. Winning....

  • Tony||

    There's a certain Gob Bluth aura to the Trump bandwagon these days.

    "W-Worse that can happen is can I spill some on my $3,000 suit. Come on! Oh, yeah, yeah. The guy in the... the $4,000 suit is holding the elevator for a guy who doesn't make that in three months. Come on! Oh. Why don't I just take a whiz through this $5,000 suit?!"

  • Jgalt1975||

    Suckers keep taking trumpbait. Winning....

    Hmmm, I seem to recall John and lots of other Trumpsuckers around here bragging about how "obvious" it was that SCOTUS was going to reverse the Ninth Circuit panel. But yeah, Trump getting bent over and made to squeal like a little orange pig was all part of the master plan....

  • Tony||

    It's 4-D chess man.

    Actual quote I read today.

  • american socialist||

    Where? Just for reference

  • Tony||

    The Hill, article liked by Drudge. That always brings out the best and the brightest and the most racist.

  • american socialist||

    Can you link? What was it based on and what was the racial part?

  • Tyler.C||

    Well I guess if you love someone who is OK with using violence to silence others, then you can Fawn over shikha. But please, kindly stop pretending to be libertarian.

  • Eric||

    Why is Iran on the list?

  • AlmightyJB||

    State sponsor of terrorism. Iran is reasonsible for a lot of US soldiers losing life and limb in Iraq. They probably would have taken out AQ and Isis in Irag themselves a long time ago but they prefer to let them keep maiming and killing soldiers. With support from the IRG. I don't know that they have the balls to send terrorist here directly but then their beliefs are not exactly rational so who can predict. Unfortunately it hurts hurts those Iranians who are pro American of which there are many. Of course if you tried to walk down a street there unescorted you would be dead in an hour though so.

  • Juice||

    Iran is reasonsible for a lot of US soldiers losing life and limb in Iraq.

    I hated it when they ordered them to invade. They should have given the inspectors more time.

  • lap83||

    So the travel bans don't work, but it doesn't matter because no terrorists will ever try to come over. The real purpose is to cause fear by stopping all of the adorable Muslim children from escaping their cruel fate of squatting in the dirty street? I'm afraid that logic is lost on me, I blame my evil racist heart.

  • Juice||

    90-day ban

    So the turrists just need to wait a few months?

    I'll leave it to you if I meant terrorists or tourists.

  • american socialist||

    Well per Tony vetting takes 2 years so this is really nothing

  • Juice||

    Well, that's for refugees, not just travelers.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I take that to mean that he or whomever wants an evaluation of the security and vetting process. Otherwise that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. They could save a lot of effort by just asking Shikha. She's evaluated both of those things on a worldwide scale and has determined that port and border security is all racist and should therefore be eliminated. She might have a point but who could tell.

  • american socialist||

    Tony are you a climate scientist?

  • american socialist||

    Tony why do you hate america and it being successful?

    https://tinyurl.com/zcx6u85

    "President Donald J. Trump today congratulated Exxon Mobil Corporation on its ambitious $20 billion investment program that is creating more than 45,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in the United States Gulf Coast region.

    "Investments of this scale require a pro-growth approach and a stable regulatory environment and we appreciate the President's commitment to both," said Woods. "The energy industry has proven it can operate safely and responsibly. Private sector investment is enhanced by this Administration's support for smart regulations that support growth while protecting the environment."

  • Tony||

    Why do you hate having a mind that functions independently of Republican horseshit propaganda?

  • american socialist||

    This was from exxonmobil...their investment. Not the republican party

  • Tony||

    Say it was Hippie Green Tech Corp and its former CEO were Obama's secretary of state.

  • american socialist||

    What?

  • Tony||

    Also the white house released the Exxon press release verbatim.

  • Greg F||

    Why do you hate having a mind that functions independently of Republican horseshit propaganda?

    Tony is projecting. He hates a mind that functions independently of Democrate horseshit propoganda.

  • american socialist||

    this

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony as someone who has the IQ of an earwig, you might not want to pull too hard on that thread. Especially as your thoughts are all the result of progtard groupthink.

  • american socialist||

    Tony if the American economy (if it does) really well under Trump....would you like this or not?

  • Tony||

    Considering the amount of money I have in stocks, I would much prefer that.

  • american socialist||

    How much do you have? Can i have some to help me out since you are a nice person?

  • american socialist||

    How much do you have? Can i have some to help me out since you are a nice person?

  • Sulla||

    Why are you hoarding money instead of helping out those less fortunate than you, Tony? That's pretty goddamned selfish.

  • american socialist||

    Tony does it bother you i am free to do things without your permission? Like burn fossil fuels by idling in my car while typing this?

  • Acosmist||

    Retweet Mary Stack moar.

  • american socialist||

    Tony seeing how it looks like per your own admission above that Obama wiretapped trump (a nominee of a major party) wouldn't this be bad for democracy? Like you and your fellow libs claim about wikkileaks

    Or does that not count?

  • Tony||

    The president can't wiretap anyone.

  • Sulla||

    How did Nixon pull it off?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He was a big meanie republican.

  • John||

    He can order the NSA to do so. God, you are a moron Tony.

  • ant1sthenes||

    This is why, despite being anything but a decent man, decent people find something to like in Trump and despise people like you. When you and yours speak, you revel in your own cleverness by spewing lies cloaked in factual accuracy, like a sleazy lawyer or evil genie. Whereas Trump spews factually fuzzy nonsense that still somehow manages to cut to the heart of the matter -- a sitting administration subjected an opposing party campaign to intense surveillance based on apparently little evidence (given that any smoking gun would have been front page news before the election) and most likely for the express purposes of digging up dirt, not fighting some sort of international conspiracy.

    The non-evidence found was then widely disseminated with the aid of the DOJ (suggesting central planning) and illegally leaked to subvert the peaceful transition of power, with an assist from the media. Given the last minute changes to the line of succession from a non-partisan AG to a lackey (which Trump reversed, which suggests someone in the White House is no fool), it may have even been part of a sort of soft coup attempt.

    Anyway, I've got my popcorn, and I'm really, really hoping that a lot of progressive scumbags get a very harsh lesson in "You come at the king, you best not miss".

  • Memory Hole||

    You fool, and I mean that kindly, Trump was never wiretapped! Trump never even said he was wiretapped. But you're confused about it because Trump is a piece of shit. The fact that a President would put out such a vague and misleading statement and then refuse to clarify the wild claim and allow for this wild speculation to swirl is a scandal in itself. Trump has debased that office and guys like Comey know it.

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Drumpf never even said he was wiretapped

    Correct. He said that Obama had his "wires tapped" in Drumpf Tower

    http://bit.ly/2myo4NM

  • John||

    Which is the same thing as saying he was wiretapped. Jesus Christ, do you really think that makes any difference?

  • Brandybuck||

    So none of the countries that have actually sent terrorists to our soil are included. Huh.

    p.s. That includes Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Ireland.

  • american socialist||

    Ok but those happened in past. What about the here and now?

    What is the terror situation in those countries? They except iran appear to be in shambles with significant isis presence

    You also have to look at terrorist acts, arrests, convictions and current investigations of not only the US, but also Europe and in those countries and other countries around world

    It doesnt make sense to lock the barn door after the horse has left

  • american socialist||

    Those situations are irrelevant to here and now

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    "Doctor, Trump supporters have stopped buying products advertised in Reason outlets!"
    "Quick! Divert targeted ads to high disposable income markets! What do we have.... talk to me..."
    "Uhhh.....scanning....looks like yuppies, beatniks, cosmos, Blue Team Middle Class Brocialists....and journos."
    "Damn. Those are volatile markets right now.... let's hit it with more Salt and Adult Diapers...we have to kill this individual agency thread still throbbing on this godforsaken website."

  • steve walsh||

    So "mean" is a criterion against which we evaluate immigration policy? Seems to me you could argue that every discriminatory and exclusionary immigration policy is "mean". Why bother having borders then?

  • Tamfang||

    To define where one state's jurisdiction ends and another's begins. Was that a trick question?

  • Rich||

    So what exactly is the need now 17 years and trillions of dollars of spending on homeland security later?

    Here's another question: Why did TSA fail 95% of security tests?

  • DOOMco||

    this is going as well as one might expect.

  • Sulla||

    ME NO LIEK SHIKHA WORDZ. SHIKHA WORDZ R TEH BAD. WHYCOME SHIKHA NOT CONFIRM MUH BIAS!?!?!

    *Shits in hand and flings it at Shikha*

  • Stephdumas||

    Speaking of the ACLU, they aren't white as snow anymore now they had accepted some funds from the Open Society institute. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....funds-open

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Shhhhhh, don't rock the boat. Let the babies dream.

  • John||

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....SKBN16D1WS

    As if on que, the FBI is investigating 300 refugees for terror ties. No terrorist would ever claim to be a refugee. The FBI must just be bigots.

  • Tamfang||

    In the FBI, "investigating for terror ties" means sizing someone up as a candidate for recruitment into an FBI-sponsored phony conspiracy.

    (btw: on cue)

  • MarconiDarwin||

    We need extreme banning next.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    That was hilarious. You'd think Mika's and Joe's secret love child died in a car accident, based on their sad and disappointed faces. Wait, there's more. It's the Barnacle, and it has opened up to feed. This is gonna have to p-lay out, with an extra plosive "p."

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Russell Brand will comfort you, Mika.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What's so tragic about Trump stating the obvious?

  • Trigger Warning||

    He'd add SA if he had the cojones, but I suspect he'll be holding hands with Prince Bandar pretty soon.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Trump's New Travel Ban, Just as Mean and Useless as the Old One"

    Actually, when the President does something in harmony with the Constitution, it isn't just as bad as when he violates people's right to due process.

    It's really irksome to see an ostensibly libertarian journalist treat violating the Constitution so cavalierly.

    Reasonable and honest libertarians can disagree about policy, but so long as the separation of powers and the Bill of Rights remain part of the Constitution, disregarding it and violating it should never be just as bad as not violating it--not to a libertarian.

  • Cyto||

    This whole idea of "Discriminatory Intent" is stupid, and here's why.

    We are in a declared state of war with Islamic Terrorism. Yeah, that sounds weird, but that is what the last two administrations have interpreted the "authorization of military force" to mean. Obama used it as a justification to wage war in most of these countries. Like real, kill people type war. For 8 years. And Bush for several years before him in at least a couple of these places.

    So to now claim that having restrictions on people travelling here from these places is some kind of unconstitutional religious discrimination is just plain stupid. There's just no other term for it. The fact that the terrorist organizations that we are at war with happen to have a religion as their organizing principle doesn't really change the fact that we are in a state of war with them.

    And somehow pretending that you can't treat people from countries that you are at war with differently than people from countries that you are not at war with is.... stupid. I mean this is stupid at a metaphysical level. Any idiot who would sit there and try to argue with a straight face that you can declare war, load up a bunch of drones with bombs and missiles, blow a bunch of people up, all based on these same criteria, but somehow putting a 90 day hold on visa applications is unconstitutional? Come one. You cannot be serious. I get disagreeing with the policy. But these arguments on constitutionality are a joke.

  • UCrawford||

    Trump's New Travel Ban, Just as Mean and Useless as the Old One

    Well maybe if you huff and puff and cry like a fucking teenager, it'll make Donald Trump no longer President, Shikha.

    Serves me right for popping back in to see if Reason had grown the hell up since the election. No, no they haven't.

  • Rufus T. Firefly.||

    I'm sorry, is this Mother Jones or Reason? I forget.

  • Africanis||

    You say it's a libertarian site, but sometimes I am not so sure. It's just mean makes Shika sound like a 13 year old girl talking about the boy that pulled her hair during class.

  • Africanis||

    You say it's a libertarian site, but sometimes I am not so sure. It's just mean makes Shika sound like a 13 year old girl talking about the boy that pulled her hair during class.

  • Seamus||

    "Ironically, the countries that do breed anti-American terrorism such as Saudi Arabia (home of the 9/11 hijackers), Pakistan (San Bernardino shooting duo), Soviet Union (one of the Boston marathon bombers) are conspicuously absent from Trump's list because it would likely upset the foreign policy establishment too much."

    I'm just speculating here, but I think another reason the Soviet Union isn't on Trump's list might be that it doesn't exist any more.

  • Draco||

    Psst. I'll let you in on a little secret. The notion of freedom of religion really only included various sects of Colonial era Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism. No one in his right mind (and the Founders were in their right minds) would form a nation in which people would be free to practice *anything* that they decided was a religion. Mohamedenism was right out.

  • Steve Bumgardner||

    It would appear that Ms. Dalmia hasn't read Al Qur'an and the Hadith. Unfortunately for her argument, I have. Ok, not all the Hadith, there's so much of it.

    Any peaceful Muslims are not following the teachings of Muhammad.

    Jihadis are following the teachings of Muhammad to the letter.

    If Islam were wiped from the earth with not a trace remaining we would all be better off. Sorry about the people, but they choose to follow evil each and every day of their lives.

    Keep 'em out. Remove the ones who are here.

    You can download a free copy of the Koran from the Gutenberg project. I recommend the copy with three translations side by side - it gives a more clear idea of the intent. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16955

  • Delius||

    Any peaceful Muslims are not following the teachings of Muhammad.

    You could say the exact same thing about Christians.

  • Tamfang||

    Well, isn't it true that Christians are not following the teachings of Muhammad?

  • Tamfang||

    Precautionary principle, to put it crudely, means taking no policy action unless it is proven to be 100 percent safe, regardless of the benefits.

    (Emphasis added.) That is putting it crudely indeed. I'd say it means allowing no action not proven safe. Such a ban is a policy action.

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