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Daily Reads: New Travel Ban as Repugnant as Old Ban; Standing Rock Protests Come to Washington

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Daily Reads: New Travel Ban as Repugnant as Old Ban

Protesters chant during a rally against the Trump travel ban at the San Diego International Airport on Monday, March 6, 2017. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images)

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Here comes the new travel ban –> Trump signed it yesterday, and it will go into effect March 16. It will affect six, not seven countries after Defense Secretary James Mattis argued for Iraq not to be included this time. Sabrina Siddiqui, Lauren Gambino and Oliver Laughland report for The Guardian.

Despite that exception, this ban is no different in the harm it will inflict. Rafia Zakaria writes at The Baffler, “Newly coiffed in the language of compromise and concession, the torment of a few less people was now recast as no torment at all. Iraqis were expiated, legal permanent residents deemed still legal, existing visa holders deemed provisionally acceptable; all of it covering up the continued exclusion of many millions, the cloud of collective blame over an entire faith.”

At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser writes that this travel ban shares the same legal problems as the last one.

Nonetheless, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who sued the federal government and successfully helped knock down the original travel ban, noted, “By rescinding his earlier executive order, President Trump makes one thing perfectly clear: His original travel ban was indefensible — legally, constitutionally and morally.” The state hasn’t decided yet whether it will lead the charge against the new rewritten order. Sydney Brownstone reports for The Stranger.

Here comes the new, GOP health care plan –> “Trumpcare” is what some people are calling the repeal-and-replace plan revealed by congressional Republicans yesterday. Others are dubbing it “Obamacare Lite.” Sarah Kliff writes for Vox that the new plan might reduce prices for young and healthy people, but it also would freeze the Medicaid expansion in 2020, blocking states from allowing new poor people onto the program. Her colleague Ezra Klein notes, “… After literally years of complaining Obamacare was jammed down the American people’s throats with insufficient information or consideration, the GOP intends to hold committee votes on their bill two days after releasing it, and without a Congressional Budget Office report estimating either coverage or fiscal effects. It’s breathtaking.”

But the plan also relies on many aspects of Obamacare that the same politicians have been denouncing for years. “The Obamacare repeal crusade was premised on a lot of nonsense and deception, but it was also premised on widespread ignorance of how the ACA worked,” Brian Beutler observes at The New Republic. “As the GOP comes to terms with the reality of the law, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether their initial objections were rooted in the former or the latter.”

Quote of the Day –> House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz on GOP health plan: “We’re getting rid of those things that people said that they don’t want. And you know what? Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”

Dakota Access Pipeline protests come to DC –> The pipeline opposition may have left their camp near the banks of the Missouri river, but Alison Durkee reports for Mic that “on Friday, Native American groups and their allies will converge in Washington, DC to march for tribal rights at the Rise with Standing Rock Native Nations March.” Organizers will set up a camp near the Washington Monument today. “Though the protest is born out of the Standing Rock movement and fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Durkee writes “Friday’s protest is a broader call for… tribal rights.”

“Economic terrorists” –> That’s what a new North Carolina bill aims to label some protesters, according to the state’s IndyWeek. “The measure would add to the state’s definition of violent terrorism a separate category of ‘economic terrorism,’ which would be considered a Class H felony — which doesn’t sound Orwellian at all,” a sardonic Sarah Willets writes.

“A person would be guilty of economic terrorism if he or she ‘willfully and maliciously or with reckless disregard commits a criminal offense that impedes or disrupts the regular course of business, the disruption results in damages of more than one thousand dollars,’ and does so with the intent of intimidating the general public, a specific group, or any unit of government.”

Now you know.

Wacky revisionist history –> Matt Shuham at Talking Points Memo: “Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Monday that some slaves brought to America against their will were ‘immigrants’ who ‘had a dream’ that their families would be able to pursue ‘prosperity and happiness in this land.'” As a stunned and baffled world responded, Carson later reworked his remarks, writing on Facebook, “Slaves were ripped from their families and their homes and forced against their will after being sold into slavery by slave traders. The immigrants made the choice to come to America.”

Where have I heard that before? –> Rex Tillerson had lunch yesterday with Trump. Hours later, the White House issued a press release praising the awesomeness of ExxonMobil, the oil behemoth Tillerson used to run, because the company says it will spend $20 billion in expanded investments on the Gulf Coast, allegedly creating 45,000 jobs. Rebecca Leber writes for Mother Jones, “As if the close ties between the White House and Exxon weren’t clear enough, one part of the White House statement contains language that is nearly identical to language in Exxon’s press release.” Compare the two statements, side by side.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship.



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.