by Ken Fine
Weary travelers in need of a nicotine fix saw their turf adjacent to Raleigh-Durham International's Terminal 2 swiftly overtaken by more than a thousand fiery demonstrators Sunday. Just after noon, outrage over President Donald Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban,” the executive order Trump signed Friday that banned citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States over the next ninety days, reached its boiling point locally. (The protest at RDU was one of dozens at airports all over the country Sunday.) Though a federal judge blocked deportation of people stranded at airports Saturday evening, anxiety over the executive action, the impending wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the administration’s callous attitude toward immigrants and refugees in general was palpable.The protests seem to have worked, at least to some degree. The White House has already starting scaling back the ban.
John F. Kelly, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, eased a key part of President Trump’s immigration order on Sunday, saying that people from the affected countries who hold green cards will not be prevented from returning to the United States.The moral of this story? KEEP RESISTING.
“In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement. “Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”
But the defining moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers.Before joining Trumpland, Bannon was CEO of Breitbart, a conservative website that Bannon himself once described as a platform for the “alt-right,” which of course is a polite for “white nationalist.” Nothing scary about that at all.
In theory, the move put Mr. Bannon, a former Navy surface warfare officer, admiral’s aide, investment banker, Hollywood producer and Breitbart News firebrand, on the same level as his friend, Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, a former Pentagon intelligence chief who was Mr. Trump’s top adviser on national security issues before a series of missteps reduced his influence.
Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
Duke’s top administrators issued a statement Sunday calling President Donald Trump’s immigration order “both confusing and disturbing,” and vowed that the university won’t give confidential student records to law enforcement without a subpoena.That’s all for today. If World War III hasn’t broken out killed us all by then, we’ll see you tomorrow.
“Duke University is committed to, and is greatly enriched by, the open exchange of students, scholars and ideas from all over the globe,” said the statement by Duke University President Richard Brodhead and Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth. “We are deeply concerned about the well-being of students, faculty and staff who may be impacted by the policies that have now been put in place, and will join with the rest of higher education to bring these concerns to the attention of policymakers and the public.”