Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Little Traveling Music, Please

The partial travel ban that the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect this past week allows people from the Muslim-majority countries of Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Iran to come into the country as long as they have immediate family members, have a job, or are enrolled as students in an U.S. college or a university, as well as people from these countries who have already been approved for a short-term visa (or have already begun applying for visa), and people already approved as refugees. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and first-time tourists from these countries can't come, though fianc├ęs have since been allowed in.  The Supreme Court will look at the entirety of the  travel ban and rule on it accordingly in the fall.  Three justices are on record as saying that would uphold the whole ban.  One of them was Neil Gorsuch.  (The others were Justices Thomas and Alito.)  Yeah, the whole damn thing is going to be upheld.    
As if the ban hasn't made a mockery out of out foreign-office apparatus, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is getting pretty steamed, as are many congressional Republicans,  over the 31 percent spending cut the Trump White House is planning for the State Department.  Several key positions remain unfulfilled, and Tillerson - who's lost arguments on key foreign policy positions to Steve Bannon, the dark overlord of the Trump White House - wants to know how he can do his job.  So do I.  But he seems like he's inclined to tough it out and make the best out of a bad situation.
In the meantime, I got my new passport, much sooner than expected.  Thanks, Uncle Rex.  I have a feeling I'm going to need it very, very soon.  But in the meantime, I have a nice little folder to smooth out my receipts in.           

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