Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Notations From the Grid: On the 10-Days In January (On the Firing of the Acting Attorney General & Other Thoughts On @POTUS)

The Trump Administration fired the Acting Attorney General last night after she refused to defend The Immigration Order issued on Friday.    This is as The US Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a confirmation vote on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.     Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is speaking now and the point-by-point rebuke of Senator Sessions' history is quite telling.    (Update:  Senator Chris Coons is now speaking and cited exceprts of the letter from Coretta Scott King which we have included here)   

As this has been going on,  what was also striking was the re-organization of the National Security Council.      The justification was that David Axelord sat it on National Security Council Meetings--which was rebutted by David Axelord as he noted how he becamse an "Alternative Fact" "....In justifying the appointment of Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist, to the National Security Council, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer cited my role in the Obama White House as a precedent. Spicer said press secretary Robert Gibbs and I attended classified National Security Council meetings "all the time." That is simply not true.....As a senior adviser to President Obama in 2009, I had the opportunity to witness the fateful deliberations of his National Security Council Principals committee over the strategy the U.S would pursue in the war with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan..."  

This resistance to The President Actions, though, are taking shape as outlined by the message from the Anti Defamation League: 


Dear Mike,

Events during the last 72 hours reinforce the century-long role ADL has played in working to strengthen our democracy here at home and to protect the Jewish people everywhere. 
In an uncertain time, ADL has been an island of certainty. Our voice was clear, consistent and courageous on three separate but related issues that emerged since Friday. 
I want you to know it’s your encouragement and support that enables ADL to take these important positions on behalf of the Jewish community and all concerned Americans.
First, we gave voice to what’s become widespread outrage over President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration and refugee entry into the U.S. “History will look back on this order as a sad moment in American History,” I said in a Friday statement, “ . . . the time when the president turned his back on people fleeing for their lives.”
Our strong opposition to this order is consistent with our long-held stance on immigration and refugees. As the leading organization fighting terrorism and extremism, we understand the need to keep America safe from terror. But this order will do nothing of the sort. And it stands in total opposition to our Jewish values and the core principles of fairness and pluralism upon which this country was founded. We remember that we were once strangers, too, so we have spoken out strongly and will continue to do so.
Second, we opposed the executive order defunding so-called “sanctuary cities,” those protecting their relationship between police and immigrant communities by refusing to entangle local law enforcement in federal immigration enforcement. “Forcing cities to choose between losing funds or dividing police and immigrant communities is wrong and dangerous,” I wrote in a statement. This, too, has been a consistent theme for the ADL, informed by our close working relationship with law enforcement at all levels of government.
And finally, I called it “puzzling and troubling” that the White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day failed to mention the Jews as the primary victim of that horrific tragedy, as prior statements issued by Republican and Democratic presidents have done for more than 10 years. We were joined by others from inside and outside our community and from all sides of the political spectrum in this criticism. I then wrote a longer piece explaining why the failure to mention the genocide of European Jews inadvertently provides safe harbor for those who attempt to deny the Holocaust. 
It’s this firm, unambiguous voice that supporters like you have expected from ADL over the years. You can count on us to continue to be clear as we head into the future. We will speak truth to power to give voice to the powerless, especially those who have suffered from oppression and persecution.
I think it’s rather obvious how these three issues are linked to our mission—stopping the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment to all. For more than 100 years, ADL has been guided by this simple call to action. And we certainly won't stop now.
Whether it's standing up for refugees, fighting against extremists or defending the memory of the Six Million, ADL is prepared to use all the means at our disposal to make an impact.
But we need your help.
Whether you want to get involved, lend your voice and simply make a gift, everything makes a difference. Now is the time when we need a hand.

With strength and gratitude,
JG signature
Jonathan Greenblatt

Fortune also captured the evolving view by Business in the aftermath of all that has bene going on: 


JANUARY 30, 2017
Good morning.
The honeymoon between Donald Trump and the tech industry came to an end this weekend, as various companies denounced the executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countriesApple CEO Tim Cook wrote a memo to his workforce saying his company “would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.” Apple’s founder Steve Jobs was, famously, the son of an immigrant from Syria, one of the now-blacklisted countries. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the U.S. should focus its security measures on “people who actually pose a threat.”
Some companies went beyond words. Google gave $2 million, to be matched by $2 million from employees, to the ACLU to help people affected by the order. The company says the order affects 187 of its employees. The co-founders of Lyft pledged $1 million (it was a good weekend for ACLU fundraising). Uber came under fire for alleged “strikebreaking” when Muslim taxi drivers in New York went on strike, prompting CEO Travis Kalanick toemail employees. Airbnb offered free housing to refugees and anyone else affected by the ban.
IBM’s senior vice president of human resources sent a memo to workers saying: “As IBMers, we have learned, through era after era, that the path forward – for innovation, for prosperity, for civil society – is the path of engagement and openness to the world. Our company will continue to work and advocate for this.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he would look to hire 10,000 refugees in stores worldwide.
Opposition to the Trump order also came from the billionaire Koch brothers, who fund conservative organizations. “We believe it is possible to keep America safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” said Brian Hooks, co-chairman of the Koch network. “The travel ban is wrong, and will likely be counterproductive.”
In an apparent effort to calm the backlash, President Trump said the U.S. would resume issuing visas to all countries once secure policies are put in place over the next 90 days, and once again blamed the media for the fracas.

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