Sunday, January 31, 2021


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Syrian Refugees Banned

I'm going to address Syrian Refugees and their ability to enter the United States in this post.   One of The Donald's promises reads:

8. Bar Syrian refugees from entering the country and kick out any who are already living here.

For our purposes, I'm going to separate this promise into two different items. We'll call them 8a - Bar Syrian refugees from entering the country and 8b - Kick out any who are already living here. They really are two entirely different things, after all.

Today we'll be focusing on 8a, only.

Here is a video of a portion of one of Donald's campaign speeches where he makes the promise:

The statement is made around the 2 minute mark, if you don't want to watch the whole thing. (but it isn't long)

Now, then.  Was this promise kept?

Why, yes.  If you've been paying any attention to the news at all for the past several days, you know that he has suspended the refugee program for 120 days.  Click here for an article about it.

Another campaign promise kept.  Seems like Donald is on a roll recently...

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Image By Ggia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Palm Beach Vacation...or Not?

Today, I'd like to take a look at another promise:
10. Never take a vacation while serving as president.
Back in June of 2015, Trump told The Hill, "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”

The quote can be found in this article.  Since then, he has made similar claims though sometimes changing his promise a bit by saying he won't take any "big" vacations.

I'm going to hold him to his first promise. A person should say what he means, after all, and be held to it.

It has been announced that The Donald will take a long weekend off this weekend, leaving DC on Friday and coming back on Monday.  Here is an article announcing the time off.  Those with sharp eyes - or those who bother to read the article - will notice that he will be working over the weekend. So... it's not really a vacation.

I've noticed other sources - clickbait-type articles and such - stating that he is being lazy by taking a long weekend away from the White House after only 10 days in office and some even call it a vacation but... they are clearly ignoring the fact that he will be holding meetings and working. Always check your sources, folks.

For now, I guess we'll place this promise on the back burner. We'll be watching!

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Image of Mar-a-lago by Boucher, Jack E.Related names:Post, Marjorie MerriweatherWyeth, Marion SimsUrban, JosephBarwig, FranzLewis and ValentineLightbrown, Cooper C -, Public Domain, Link

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Promise Kept To Ban Muslims

Today we are going to consider another one of Donald's campaign promises:
7. Temporarily ban most foreign Muslims from entering the United States
On Friday, The Donald signed an executive order restricting immigration from seven different countries, all of which happen to be Muslim countries.  The ban is temporary though I'm confused as to how long different aspects of the order are in place.

On the surface, this order seems to fulfill the campaign promise.  The only thing that I would question is the word "most". According to a pew study done in 2015, there are 50 countries with a Muslim majority in the world. Seven is certainly not "most" of fifty.

Still, I'm not going to quibble too much about the word "most".  I'll call this a promise kept.

I do want to discuss the legality of this particular ban as well as who it actually affects. The language in the order states that citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen are not permitted entry into the US "on any visa category".  There seems to be a disagreement on those who hold green cards and are attempting to reenter the US. The order seems to include them - though exceptions can be made.  All Syrian refugees are barred from entering the country "until further notice".

I've seen opinions that state this order is legal and others questioning whether it is or not.  I'm not sure I should give an opinion, personally, as I'm not a lawyer nor am I familiar with immigration law.  Still, this has never prevented me from forming an opinion in the past and will not stop me this time.

Here are my thoughts: My main concern is that this ban - temporary or not - applies only to certain countries and is obviously targeting people from a particular religion.  I would feel it was more fair if it applied to everyone across the board and was in place only as long as it took for the new administration to take a look at existing procedures and see if they needed to be improved.  As it stands, though, it seems discriminatory to me. I guess we'll have to see what the courts think as I'm sure this order will be questioned.

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Image is in the public domain and can be found here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

U.S. Hostages Remain in Iran

This morning, I was looking over the List of 25 promises that I am tracking and I realized that I lost sight of one of them!
16. Negotiate the release of all U.S. prisoners held in Iran before taking office. 
I looked for a video clip to post showing Donald making the promise but I couldn't find one.

I went back to the original source of my list(s), the Washington Post article, and found this one!  If you go to about 1:55 in the video, there is Donald making his promise:

The video is from a rally that Cruz and Trump held in DC in opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal and was held in September of 2015.

Now, in the video, Trump references 4 Americans held by Iran. I should mention here that it is difficult to find out information on hostages held by Iran online. I had a difficult time finding out if any are currently being held for this post so if he was off in his figure, I certainly am not going to squabble over it.

This article from January 2016 (just days before the Washington Post posted its list) mentions 4 Iranian-Americans who were released including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. Another article says 5 were released.  Regardless, some US hostages held by Iran were released in January 2016.

I've come across several articles mentioning that Trump takes at least partial credit for the release of the hostages though it appears that they were actually released as part of a prisoner swap. Click here for one of them.

Still, I've yet to find any credible evidence that Donald was actually responsible for the release of the hostages a year ago and there are still hostages in Iran. There is Robert Levinson who has been held since 2007 as well as a father and son captured last February who are mentioned in this New Yorker piece.  There may be more.

So, since there were still American hostages in Iran when the inauguration took place, I'm going to call this another broken promise.

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Photo is President Trumps official portrait and is, therefore, in the public domain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What about the Gun-free Zones?

Let's take a look at number 24 on our List of 25.  During his campaign, Donald declared that on his first day in office, he would get rid of gun-free zones in schools and military bases.

In case there is any doubt, here is a video of him saying this:

So, the big question is... did he keep this promise?

The answer appears to be no.  I've scoured the internet to find what Donald signed on his first day and none of them had anything to do with gun-free zones.

CBS news explains what he did sign here in detail, if you are interested.

Now, back to the gun-free zones.  We're really talking about two entirely different issues here: Military bases and schools.

I came across several articles from some very conservative sites claiming that the gun-free zones on military bases was already gone as of a November 18 directive.  This doesn't appear to be an accurate statement, however.

The directive states that base commanders may grant permission to department personnel who ask to be able to carry their personal weapon on base.  It does not mean that everyone or anyone can. It is up to the base commander on a case-by-case basis.

Now, when it comes to schools, there are federal and state laws which prohibit guns on school property. Donald cannot do this one alone.  He would need Congress to repeal their law(s) AND create a law prohibiting states from passing such a law.  I doubt that would go over well with the folks who think states should largely govern themselves without broad interference from the government. (Rick Perry, for example, but plenty of conservatives hold this view)

But! The point here is that we still have gun-free zones in schools and on military bases (for the most part) so this promise was not kept.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Promise to Overturn DAPA and DACA

Let's take a look at Donald's promise number 25 on our list:

25. On the first day in office, terminate President Obama's executive orders related to immigration. (This includes getting rid of "sanctuary cities" that Trump says have become refuges for criminals.)

Now, the inauguration was on Friday, January 20 at noon so I originally stated I'd give Donald until noon on Saturday the 21st to accomplish this task. I felt a bit more generous, so I gave him until the end of the day on Saturday - just to be fair.

I've seen where Donald has stated that he doesn't think his first day should be until Monday - today, actually - but I'm not buying that.  I'm not going to let him redefine words, for Pete's sake.

So! Here we go....

Here's a video where he says he will overturn Obama's executive orders:

Here's a video where he addresses sanctuary cities, specifically, and two of Obama's immigration laws - which I presume are DACA and DAPA:

Donald clearly stated he would repeal laws concerning immigration on his first day in office and he has not done so.

I'm a reasonable person, however, and I understand that he may have underestimated how long it takes to accomplish things in government - since he has never held public office before.  So!  I'll turn this particular promise red on our list now.  If he does fulfill his promise in the future?  I'll turn it orange.

I think I'm being more than fair here.

Stay tuned!  Another post is pending as we are tracking two promises Donald said he'd accomplish his first day in office.

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