By Matt Vespa
As the Left and some Republicans lose their minds over President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration, let’s not forget that the list of concerned countries that the Trump administration outlined in the order is based on the one signed into law by the former Obama administration. So, it looks like the Obama White House set the groundwork (via Mic News):
According to the draft copy of Trump's executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015.
Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus spending bill. The legislation restricted access to the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from 38 countries who are visiting the United States for less than 90 days to enter without a visa.
Though outside groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and NIAC Action — the sister organization of the National Iranian American Council — opposed the act, the bipartisan bill passed through Congress with little pushback.
At the initial signing of the restrictions, foreigners who would normally be deemed eligible for a visa waiver were denied if they had visited Iran, Syria, Sudan or Iraq in the past five years or held dual citizenship from one of those countries.
In February 2016, the Obama administration added Libya, Somali and Yemen to the list of countries one could not have visited — but allowed dual citizens of those countries who had not traveled there access to the Visa Waiver Program. Dual citizens of Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Iran are still ineligible, however.
So, in a nutshell, Obama restricted visa waivers for those seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — and now, Trump is looking to bar immigration and visitors from the same list of countries.
Yet, I don’t remember the Left freaking out over this. I certainly don’t remember them going indiscriminately insane when the Obama White House stopped processing Iraqi visas for six months when—surprise! —Al-Qaeda operatives feigned refugee status to get relocated to Bowling Green, Kentucky. And yes, some of the applicants worked as intelligence assets and interpreters for the U.S. military, according to ABC News. But remember, that was when a Democrat was in the Oval Office, so it was okay back then.
Here’s the text of the order.
Via The Atlantic this is what it will and will not do. Most importantly, the publication adds that this technically isn’t a Muslim ban, as people from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, can still visit the country:
Who is affected?
For 120 days, the order bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting resettlement in the U.S. It also prohibits all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. until further notice. Additionally, it bans the citizens of seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category. This appears to include those individuals who are permanent residents of the U.S. (green-card holders) who may have been traveling overseas to visit family or for work—though their applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, a senior administration official said Saturday.
Is this a Muslim ban?
Technically no. The ban includes seven majority Muslim countries, but by no means are these states the most populous Muslim countries, nor are they among the top sources of Muslim immigration to the U.S., nor have they produced terrorists in the same numbers as other Muslim countries not on the list.
So, it’s not really a Muslim ban and the nations that Trump listed are the ones that were drafted by Obama.
The fall of the house of Obama
By William Haupt III
“If you are a success, your performance will always exceed you expectations.” (Aaron Armon)
Barack Obama’s farewell address to the nation was both familiar and discordant. It was familiar because the rhetoric was reminiscent of his two campaigns and it was discordant because of his disconnection from the reality of the country he was leaving behind. He sounded as if he never stopped whistle-stopping and was still vote harvesting. He spoke of America’s founding axioms and today’s continual challenges.
Mr. Obama was determined to leave office planting the seeds for future progressives. He said America’s founders set forth a path for all Americans to achieve a common and greater good. He cited our founders as men who made sacrifices and compromises when they wrote our Constitution. He insisted that is how he governed.
Yet at a debate over raising the debt ceiling he told Republicans:
“I won this last election and you lost. Deal with it.” (Barack Obama)
He spoke about his desire to bring equality to all Americans. He called for “a new social compact” to guarantee all people receive what they need. He admonished right to work states and said we need to give workers the power to unionize for better wages across America.
He claimed we need to increase taxes on business and individuals who earn the most. They should be sharing this with those who are in need. He reiterated government’s role was evolving and US citizens had become more dependent on their assistance.
How soon we forget President Ronald Reagan told us:
“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” (Ronald Reagan)
His artful speech lacked disconnect with reality. His idea about giving government more control over our lives by increasing the taxes on our producers and giving more money to those who want handouts sounded like the rhetoric he preached for eight years. This was a repeat performance to set the stage for the next up and coming progressive running for office.
Obama strapped economic growth by over regulating the free market. This discouraged businesses to expand and hire. Many either gave up looking for work or took jobs beneath their pay grade. Although this made Obama’s numbers look good, his “under-employment” numbers were the worst in our nation’s history.
He never recognized that:
“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” (Plato)
Obama’s farewell address was discordant in its notable detachment from America’s current political expectations and their growing distaste for progressives. The working man’s choice and underdog Donald Trump, won the presidency during an era when liberals have suffered troubling losses in state legislatures, our governors’ mansions and in Congress.
Across the country, Americans are rejecting the progressive agenda as more ideological than equitable. Americans want to know their leaders care more about their upward mobility than inequality. They want their elected officials to be more concerned about jobs than green energy, climate change or rehashing racism.
“A good leader will establish the people’s priorities and make it his goal to achieve them.” (Allan Smith)
The next day as Air Force One jetted the Obama’s off to vacation, people waved goodbye to the eloquent, slick speaking novelty president who articulated words such as “change you can believe in.”
The change they got from the Obama administration was doubling the national debt, scandals, disastrous foreign policy, failed stimulus programs, and total fragmentation of our nation. The litany of these abortions perpetrated on both the American people and the world by him will take years to correct.
Others waving goodbye had exploited his stimulus money on failed green energy projects.
The seniors and savers who watched him leave had seen their income fly away like his jet; due to the fed keeping the interest rates at sub zero during his time in office.
Teachers waved goodbye to the father of common core, and the bankers were delighted hoping President Trump would dump Dodd-Frank.
The only ones who mourned were those who had been on a free ride for eight years with food stamps, free cells phones, and section eight housing.
Of course there were the greens who felt short changed he didn’t outlaw all fossil fuels.
But those who had watched him destroy the greatest healthcare system in the world, cheered as they watched the US presidential Boeing 747 aircraft disappear over the horizon. This final flight marked the end of their eight year nightmare.
“One man’s daydream can easily be another man’s nightmare if it is coerced on him.” (Al Gordon)
Many who did not vote for Obama were optimistic about a few things and wanted to give him a chance. They felt the 1st black president would help put the ugly history of racially divisiveness behind us. But from his earliest stumbling effort, the “Beer Summit,” Obama proved he had no interest in dealing with this signature issue.
He actually magnified it, pre-judging racially charged cases, like the shooting of Trayvon Martin or the questionable police shooting in Ferguson, before the defendants got their day in court. Does this sound like a man who was elected on the premise to unite all American’s under one cloak? This sounds more like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson.
“The 1964 Civil Rights Act made every American an equal part of the human race.” (Joe Collins)
What totally turned the tide of support for Obama was the disastrous launch of ObamaCare. This was a reminder to America everything that’s wrong with big government. When we were told health care would run as well as the Department of Motor Vehicles, nobody was optimistic. Have you ever tried to get anything done at the DMV in downtown LA?
When ObamaCare was passed, we were assured it would provide insurance for 32 million newl people. Yet today ObamaCare is covering fewer people than ever before. Insurance premiums have doubled for most Americans, and many have been canceled.
A year after this Frankenstein was incarnated by the resurrecting of Dr. Hyde insurance companies started fleeing from the exchanges faster than a Tennessee hound dog can dig up his favorite bone. And the expansion of Medicaid is about to bankrupt many of our states.
“You will all love the bill but you have to let us pass it before you read it.” (Nancy Pelosi)
Since there is always a list of comprehensive presidential failures every time we replace our commander in chief, we must remember there is much more testimonial than turmoil during the changing of the guard. Therefore it is only befitting to try and find accolades to remember him by even though he might have been an epic failure.
He promised to fundamentally change America, and he certainly did live up to that promise. Unfortunately for most Americans, this was not the change they wanted. His changes might have benefited a few in the minority but they did nothing to benefit the majority. It taught America that big government is worse than none at all.
“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one” (Thomas Paine)
We have the longest lasting Constitution in world history, so it must be a good one. There is no need to fundamentally change America now or in the future. From the errors of our past, let us all hope we have learned something from our mistakes.
There is no free ride for anyone. Our founders only guaranteed us the opportunity to seek happiness and riches and to put in place a government that we controlled not the politicians.
They never told us America owed us anything. We must be committed to live by the principles of our Constitution and America will always be a great nation. We must elect leaders who believe our Constitution is as sacred as a bible.
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” (JFK)
William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, citizen legislator in California for 40 plus years, and author. He got his start working to approve prop 13. This article was written by a contributor from Franklin Center’s independent network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.