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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #1306
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    I doubt that.... you don't seemed to be riled by the idea being pushed by the Coastal Liberals that only their votes should count. You don't seem to be riled by the fact that the Left wants to enfranchise as many people with no obligation to pay for the policies they want as possible. The people who have to pay for the liberal schemes have their ability to avoid the theft of their assets diluted by every vote added to the rolls that doesn't have to pay for what they vote themselves. Nor have I seen you support any calls to move the EC system from a generally winner take all system to one that awards the popular vote winner a state's two EC votes for its senators and the rest awarded by who wins the congressional district. Most liberals don't like that idea becuase though they would pick up some votes in more rural states. They would lose far more as rural counties in more urban states like NY and IL suddenly found they had a political voice on the national stage again. I am pretty sure what riles you is that your preferred scheme of voter suppression hasn't been adopted.
    zraver,

    We are never going to agree, but at least we can agree that if one of us says “this, I believe,” the other one shouldn’t say, “I doubt that.” We should also agree not to use phrases that imply deep insider knowledge of the other guy’s head. In other words, stick to what you know.

    Take, for example, your ludicrous notion that (a) Coastal Liberals (whatever that means) or “the Left” (ditto; you really should define your terms better) and (b) I myself think we should “enfranchise as many people with no obligation to pay for the policies they want as possible.”

    First, we all know that coastal states in general pay more to the federal government than they get back in funding. Or, to put it another way, the redder the state, the less it carries its own fiscal weight.

    Second, we all know that the track record for fiscal responsibility over the past, say, post-WWII period, is entirely on the side of the Democratic Party. Ronald Reagan determined that all by himself, and every GOPer president since then has just widened the gap between those who believe in paying for what you get and those who want to pass the costs on to the next administration, or generation. Some would argue that it is congress' fault, but they would both be wrong (the data show that when broken down by congressional leadership party) and ignorant of the notion of a presidential veto.

    Third, if individual states all decided that the electoral college vote would be divided up according to the popular vote, rather than on a (mostly) winner-take-all basis, that would in essence be like making the “Coastal Liberals’” votes the only ones that count. That’s because we’re the largest portion of the population, by far.

    Finally, what riles me is exactly what I said riles me, nothing more and nothing less. Anyone who seeks to disenfranchise legitimate voters, whether by purging electoral polls, closing vote casting avenues or gerrymandering districts deserves to be named, shamed and probably jailed. I'm working on the first two in my posts here.

  2. #1307
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    It's also true that only Democrats breached 100% of the GDP. Twice.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  3. #1308
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    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #1309
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    It's also true that only Democrats breached 100% of the GDP. Twice.
    Is that in reference to something specific, or just an "alternative fact" ?

  5. #1310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Given how little is known about either TrumpyCare or this year’s budget, I would point out that the estimated $337 billion deficit reduction in 2017-26 is an educated guess, and not likely to be the final one.

    And, the CBO agrees: “Uncertainty Surrounding the Estimates
    The ways in which federal agencies, states, insurers, employers, individuals, doctors, hospitals, and other affected parties would respond to the changes made by the legislation are all difficult to predict, so the estimates in this report are uncertain. But CBO and JCT have endeavored to develop estimates that are in the middle of the distribution of potential outcomes.”

    Later in our story,

    “CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law.”

    “Later, following additional changes to subsidies for insurance purchased in the nongroup market and to the Medicaid program, the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026.”

    “In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”

    “The legislation would tend to increase average premiums in the nongroup market prior to 2020 and lower average premiums thereafter, relative to projections under current law. In 2018 and 2019, according to CBO and JCT’s estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher than under current law, mainly because the individual mandate penalties would be eliminated, inducing fewer comparatively healthy people to sign up.”

    “JCT and CBO have determined that the legislation would impose private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA. On the basis of information from JCT, CBO estimates the aggregate cost of the mandates would exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($156 million in 2017, adjusted annually for inflation).”

  6. #1311
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Is that in reference to something specific, or just an "alternative fact" ?
    FDR and Obama. Look at the graph in the past 100 years nobody else brought US above 100%. I mean, since we talk only numbers and not looking around.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #1312
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    GVChamp,



    then you will need to explain why the US healthcare spending greatly exceeds other first world countries, -including- the countries with the most expansive single-payer option. it's certainly not tied to overall health outcome.

    moreover,

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50252
    The US having expensive healthcare doesn't imply that spending MORE health care dollars will somehow REDUCE health care spending. I believe there are two European nations that relatively recently expanded healthcare spending dramatically (the Netherlands and the UK) and neither have seen a voodoo economics drop in their health care spending.

    Also, the US is wealthier than Europe. It's wealthier than even the GDP stats imply, because GDP is not actual consumption. We still spend more, but the old adage of "twice the rate of other nations" is exaggerated. I would say that we are not getting good value of our dollar, but that doesn't mean Uncle Sam should therefore spend more dollars. Especially since these health care dollars crowd out other spending.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  8. #1313
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    zraver,

    We are never going to agree, but at least we can agree that if one of us says “this, I believe,” the other one shouldn’t say, “I doubt that.” We should also agree not to use phrases that imply deep insider knowledge of the other guy’s head. In other words, stick to what you know.

    Take, for example, your ludicrous notion that (a) Coastal Liberals (whatever that means) or “the Left” (ditto; you really should define your terms better) and (b) I myself think we should “enfranchise as many people with no obligation to pay for the policies they want as possible.”
    Am I wrong in thinking you want to enfranchise people who have no obligation?

    First, we all know that coastal states in general pay more to the federal government than they get back in funding. Or, to put it another way, the redder the state, the less it carries its own fiscal weight.
    We do not know that. Much of the federal spending in the interior is infrastructure like interstates. Interstates benefit trade on the coast at least as much as they benefit the state they pass through. A significant portion also goes to military spending. Then there is mineral extraction and other resource use in the interior where the federal government sells at well below market cost. Given that poverty ie welfare spending is split about evenly. More poor states in the interior but more poor people in California its really not fair to say red states don't pay.

    Second, we all know that the track record for fiscal responsibility over the past, say, post-WWII period, is entirely on the side of the Democratic Party.
    Obama doubled the national debt and took it too levels that were unfathomable when he took office.


    Ronald Reagan determined that all by himself, and every GOPer president since then has just widened the gap between those who believe in paying for what you get and those who want to pass the costs on to the next administration, or generation. Some would argue that it is congress' fault, but they would both be wrong (the data show that when broken down by congressional leadership party) and ignorant of the notion of a presidential veto.
    With the exception of W's medicare expansion its the Dems who have massively expanded entitlements and told people the government has a duty to give the other peoples' money. That is not fiscally responsible.

    Third, if individual states all decided that the electoral college vote would be divided up according to the popular vote, rather than on a (mostly) winner-take-all basis, that would in essence be like making the “Coastal Liberals’” votes the only ones that count. That’s because we’re the largest portion of the population, by far.
    No, the liberal coastal states along with Illinois are dominated by left leaning urban centers that quash the vote of the more conservative rural areas. Breaking up EC votes by congressional districts would break these strangleholds and cost them EC votes. They oppose it to protect their power. They are perfectly OK with effectively disenfranchising millions of rural voters who live in urban dominated states.

    Finally, what riles me is exactly what I said riles me, nothing more and nothing less. Anyone who seeks to disenfranchise legitimate voters, whether by purging electoral polls, closing vote casting avenues or gerrymandering districts deserves to be named, shamed and probably jailed. I'm working on the first two in my posts here.
    So like I said, what upsets you is not disenfranchised voters, but the fact that your preferred disenfranchisement scheme isn't dominant. We would get far more responsible voting if every voter had to have skin in the game. Seeking to expand the rolls of voters who have no obligation to pay for the services they vote themselves disenfranchises those who do have to foot the bill.

    I'd love to meet you halfway... Put a polling station on every corner, but make everyone take classic civics, give everyone an easy to get photo ID and make them all pay federal taxes.

  9. #1314
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    FDR and Obama. Look at the graph in the past 100 years nobody else brought US above 100%. I mean, since we talk only numbers and not looking around.
    You lost me.

    "brought US above 100%" ... of what?
    Literacy?

  10. #1315
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post

    Also, the US is wealthier than Europe. It's wealthier than even the GDP stats imply, because GDP is not actual consumption. We still spend more, but the old adage of "twice the rate of other nations" is exaggerated. I would say that we are not getting good value of our dollar, but that doesn't mean Uncle Sam should therefore spend more dollars. Especially since these health care dollars crowd out other spending.

    The US ranks 6th or 8th in nominal GDP per capita, depending on who’s data one uses (IMF, World Bank or UN). Setting aside oilers and micro-states, Switzerland, Norway and Ireland have higher numbers in all three measures, and in the OECD measure of average annual wages.

  11. #1316
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Am I wrong in thinking you want to enfranchise people who have no obligation?
    Of course. I never said anything of the sort, and don't even think I fully understand the concept.



    We do not know that. Much of the federal spending in the interior is infrastructure like interstates. Interstates benefit trade on the coast at least as much as they benefit the state they pass through. A significant portion also goes to military spending. Then there is mineral extraction and other resource use in the interior where the federal government sells at well below market cost. Given that poverty ie welfare spending is split about evenly. More poor states in the interior but more poor people in California its really not fair to say red states don't pay.
    Yes, actually we do.
    The highest federal aid recipients are: Mississippi (45.3%), Louisiana (44%), Tennessee (41%), South Dakota (40.8%), Missouri (39.4%), Montana (39%), and Georgia (37.9%).

    Which States Are Givers and Which Are Takers? https://www.theatlantic.com/business...takers/361668/

    Which US State Is the Biggest Federal Mooch? http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/da...-federal-mooch

    2016’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States https://wallethub.com/edu/states-mos...vernment/2700/

    The states most dependent on the federal government are who you'd least expect http://uk.businessinsider.com/red-st...15-7?r=US&IR=T

    This map shows the states the most and least dependent on the federal government http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-st...15-7?r=US&IR=T

    'Red State Socialism' graphic says GOP-leaning states get lion's share of federal dollars http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...leaning-state/

    There’s a lot more if that doesn’t make the point…


    Obama doubled the national debt and took it too levels that were unfathomable when he took office.

    With the exception of W's medicare expansion its the Dems who have massively expanded entitlements and told people the government has a duty to give the other peoples' money. That is not fiscally responsible.
    In Ronald Reagan’s first term, the federal debt held by the public increased by 82.9%.
    In Barack Obama’s first term, it increased by 74.4%. The next highest increases are Nixon’s second term (54.3%), Reagan’s second term (50.7%), GWBush’s second term (49.5%) and GHWBush, at 49.4%.


    No, the liberal coastal states along with Illinois are dominated by left leaning urban centers that quash the vote of the more conservative rural areas. Breaking up EC votes by congressional districts would break these strangleholds and cost them EC votes. They oppose it to protect their power. They are perfectly OK with effectively disenfranchising millions of rural voters who live in urban dominated states.
    OK, enjoy your alternative reality.


    So like I said, what upsets you is not disenfranchised voters, but the fact that your preferred disenfranchisement scheme isn't dominant. We would get far more responsible voting if every voter had to have skin in the game. Seeking to expand the rolls of voters who have no obligation to pay for the services they vote themselves disenfranchises those who do have to foot the bill.

    I'd love to meet you halfway... Put a polling station on every corner, but make everyone take classic civics, give everyone an easy to get photo ID and make them all pay federal taxes.
    Maybe we could have laws that only allow land owners to vote, or taxpayers, or slave owners ... Nah, we tried that and then we moved on. Maybe you will, too, someday.

  12. #1317
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    GVChamp,

    The US having expensive healthcare doesn't imply that spending MORE health care dollars will somehow REDUCE health care spending. I believe there are two European nations that relatively recently expanded healthcare spending dramatically (the Netherlands and the UK) and neither have seen a voodoo economics drop in their health care spending.
    it is how that spending is done which matters. for instance, having the government doing drug price negotiation and bulk buys results in lower drug costs vs individually trying to negotiate it out with a drug consortium, or second-hand against a hospital.

    there's reasons why we both spend more on healthcare as a % of GDP and get crappier results than other First World countries. if enacting singlepayer/whatever system gets us in the general ballpark of other countries' healthcare spending/results-- and i don't see why it shouldn't, that's the most obvious variable-- then the issue of spending MORE healthcare dollars is only true in the short-term with the disruptive costs of a transition, and a massive money-saver in the long-term.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #1318
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    You lost me.

    "brought US above 100%" ... of what?
    Literacy?
    Debt to GDP ratio, oh c'mon, you are way too smart to play this naivete game.

    There was a a context.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  14. #1319
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Debt to GDP ratio, oh c'mon, you are way too smart to play this naivete game.


    There was a a context.

    Sorry, I honestly didn't get the context.



    And, it isn't true: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYPUGDA188S
    Debt topped out at 106% in 1946, and hasn't even seen 75% ever since.

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    hahaha, 0-2.

    and Trump continues to say that "we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way". more grist for the legal fodder.

    malevolence tempered by incompetence, indeed.

    ====

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.6dfec9339a9e

    Federal judge in Hawaii freezes President Trump’s new entry ban

    A federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday issued a sweeping freeze of President Trump’s new executive order hours before it would have temporarily barred the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries and suspended the admission of new refugees.

    In a blistering 43-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson pointed to Trump’s own comments and those of his close advisers as evidence that his order was meant to discriminate against Muslims and declared there was a “strong likelihood of success” that those suing would prove the directive violated the Constitution.

    Watson declared that “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

    He lambasted the government, in particular, for asserting that because the ban did not apply to all Muslims in the world, it could not be construed as discriminating against Muslims.
    What Trump changed in the new travel ban View Graphic

    “The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable,” Watson wrote. “The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”

    Early Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland issued a second, narrower restraining order against the measure — suspending only the portion that stopped the issuance of visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. In that case, U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang also pointed to statements by Trump and his advisers made that, in Chuang’s opinion, indicated the executive order was “the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban.”

    “These statements, which include explicit, direct statements of President Trump’s animus toward Muslims and intention to impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States, present a convincing case that the First Executive Order was issued to accomplish, as nearly as possible. President Trump’s promised Muslim ban,” Chuang wrote.

    At a rally in Nashville on Wednesday, Trump called the Hawaii court ruling “terrible” and asked a cheering crowd whether the ruling was “done by a judge for political reasons.” He said the administration would fight the case “as far as it needs to go,” including up to the Supreme Court, and rued that he had been persuaded to sign a “watered-down version” of his first travel ban.

    “Let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said. “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said in a statement: “The Department of Justice strongly disagrees with the federal district court’s ruling, which is flawed both in reasoning and in scope. The President’s Executive Order falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our Nation’s security, and the Department will continue to defend this Executive Order in the courts.”

    The six nations affected by President Trump's executive action on immigration are not actually countries where terrorists who have carried out fatal attacks the United States came from.

    Watson was one of three federal judges to hear arguments Wednesday about the ban, though he was the first to issue an opinion.

    A ruling was also expected from a federal judge in Washington.

    As the ruling in Hawaii was being handed down, James L. *Robart, the federal judge in Washington state who froze Trump’s first travel ban, was hearing arguments about whether he should freeze the second. He said he did not think his first freeze was still in effect, though he did not immediately rule on whether he should issue a new one.

    Watson’s decision might not be the last word. He was considering only a request for a temporary restraining order, and while that required him to assess whether challengers of the ban would ultimately succeed, his ruling is not final on that question. The Justice Department could appeal the ruling or wage a longer-term court battle before the judge in Hawaii.

    Watson’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by Hawaii. Lawyers for the state alleged that the new entry ban, much like the old, violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment because it was essentially a Muslim ban, hurt the ability of state businesses and universities to recruit top talent, and damaged the state’s robust tourism industry.

    They pointed to the case of *Ismail Elshikh, the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, whose mother-in-law’s application for an immigrant visa was still being processed. Under the new executive order, attorneys for Hawaii said, Elshikh feared that his mother-in-law, a Syrian national, would ultimately be banned from entering the United States.

    “Dr. Elshikh certainly has standing in this case. He, along with all of the Muslim residents in Hawaii, face higher hurdles to see family because of religious faith,” lawyer Colleen Roh Sinzdak said at a hearing Wednesday. “It is not merely a harm to the Muslim residents of the state of Hawaii, but also is a harm to the United States as a whole and is against the First Amendment itself.”

    Elshikh is a U.S. citizen of Egyptian descent who has been a resident of Hawaii for over a decade. His wife is of Syrian descent and is also a resident of Hawaii.

    Justice Department lawyers argued that Trump was well within his authority to impose the ban, which was necessary for national security, and that those challenging it had raised only speculative harms. “They bear the burden of showing irreparable harm … and there is no harm at all,” said the acting U.S. solicitor general, Jeffrey Wall, who argued on behalf of the government in Greenbelt, Md., in the morning and by phone in Hawaii in the afternoon.

    Watson agreed with the state on virtually all the points. He ruled that the state had preliminarily demonstrated its universities and tourism industry would be hurt, and that harm could be traced to the executive order. He wrote that Elshikh had alleged “direct, concrete injuries to both himself and his immediate family.”

    And Watson declared that the government’s assertion of the national security need for the order was “at the very least, ‘secondary to a religious objective’ of temporarily suspending the entry of Muslims.” He pointed to Trump’s own campaign trail comments and public statements by advisers as evidence.

    “For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,’ ” Watson wrote. “Nor is there anything ‘secret’ about the Executive’s motive specific to the issuance of the Executive Order. Rudolph Giuliani explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: ‘When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ ”

    Watson also pointed to a recent Fox News appearance by Stephen Miller, in which the president’s senior policy adviser said the new ban would have “mostly minor technical differences” from the previous iteration frozen by the courts, and Americans would see “the same basic policy outcome for the country.”

    “These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” Watson wrote.

    Opponents of the ban across the country — including those who had argued against it in different cases on Wednesday — hailed Watson’s ruling.

    Bob Ferguson, the Washington state attorney general who asked Robart to block the measure, called the Hawaii ruling “fantastic news.” Justin Cox, a staff attorney for the National Immigration Law Center who argued for a restraining order in the case in Maryland, said, “This is absolutely a victory and should be celebrated as such, especially because the court held that the plaintiffs, that Hawaii was likely to succeed on its establishment clause claim which essentially is that the primary purpose of the executive order is to discriminate against Muslims.”

    Cox said while the judge did not halt the order entirely, he blocked the crucial sections — those halting the issuance of new visas and suspending the refu*gee program. Left intact, Cox said, were lesser-known provisions, including one that orders Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney general to publicize information about foreign nationals charged with *terrorism-related offenses and other crimes. He said the provision seems designed to whip up fear of Muslims.

    “It’s a shaming device that it’s really a dehumanizing device,” he said. “It perpetuates this myth, this damaging stereotype of Muslims as terrorists.”

    Trump’s new entry ban had suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and halted for 90 days the issuance of new visas to people from six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria. It was different from the first entry ban in that it omitted Iraq from the list of affected countries, did not affect current visa or green-card holders and spelled out a robust list of people who might be able to apply for exceptions.

    The administration could have defended the first ban in court — though it chose instead to rewrite the president’s executive order in such a way that it might be more defensible. The next step might have been to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, after a three-judge panel with the court upheld the freeze on Trump’s ban.

    Hawaii is a part of the 9th Circuit, so the legal road could pass through the appeals court there again. Perhaps previewing the contentious fight ahead, five of the circuit’s judges on Wednesday signed a dissenting opinion in the case over the original travel ban, declaring Trump’s decision to issue the executive order was “well within the powers of the presidency.” The judges wanted to wipe out a ruling by a three-judge panel declaring otherwise.

    “Above all, in a democracy, we have the duty to preserve the liberty of the people by keeping the enormous powers of the national government separated,” Judge Jay S. Bybee wrote for the dissenters. “We are judges, not Platonic Guardians. It is our duty to say what the law is, and the meta-source of our law, the U.S. Constitution, commits the power to make foreign policy, including the decisions to permit or forbid entry into the United States, to the President and Congress.”

    The dissent was signed by Judges Bybee, Sandra S. Ikuta, Consuelo M. Callahan and Carlos T. Bea, who all were appointed by President George W. Bush; and Judge Alex Kozinski, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. It seemed to represent a minority view. The circuit has 25 active judges, and the court said a majority had not voted in favor of reconsidering the three-judge panel’s published opinion to keep Trump’s first ban frozen.

    That opinion was signed by Judges Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Obama; Richard R. Clifton, who was appointed by President George W. Bush; and Judge William C. Canby Jr., who was appointed by President Carter.

    Judge Stephen Reinhardt formally joined their opinion Wednesday and remarked that only a “small number” of 9th Circuit judges wanted to overturn it.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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