Face Activities Tweets Trump about Israeli settlements

Face Activities Tweets Trump about Israeli settlements

Gill, of the Face Activities Management Team, tweeted President Trump, thanking him for his recent statements about Israeli settlements. In an interview on Friday, the President stated that he didn’t think settlements helped the peace process.

In previous interviews and statements President Trump has seemed squarely in Israel’s corner, but Friday’s tweet suggests he may be willing to take a harder line on Israeli settlements, viewed by many (including former President Barack Obama) as a stumbling block for the peace process that greatly hampers efforts to create the much coveted, but highly elusive, two state solution (President’s Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all attempted to achieve this diplomatic coups, without success.)

Learn more about President Trump’s statements (The New York Times)

 

Photo: Face Activities Twitter Account (screen capture)

President Trump loses in court: travel ban blocked

Federal Judge temporarily halts President's immigration order

President Trump has just lost a major decision in court. Today the 9th Circuit court in the state of Washington has ruled, in an unanimous 3-0 decision, to maintain the temporary court injunction on the President’s travel ban from 7 muslim-majority nations, effectively shelving his executive order indefinitely. The President defiantly Tweeted, in all-caps, “See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!” And speaking with reporters, he also characterized the decision as political in nature.

This win for Washington State’s attorney general, who challenged the executive order in court, means that the immigration rules and vetting practices established during the Obama administration, and still in effect today, will continue to operate in full effect. The ban would have effected tens of thousands of students at American Universities, and employees of U.S. companies, holding valid visas granting entry into the United States.

This is a big set back for the President. Though the stay in question is temporary, it could be months before the question is further litigated, probably in the Supreme Court. The President has invested a lot in this fight, emotionally, and in terms of political capital, the invisible currency of Washington, D.C. He Tweeted his disdain for the judiciary while the three 9th circuit judges were reviewing the case, which prompted Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to call the President’s statements “demoralizing and disheartening,” in a meeting with a Democratic Senator.

Alan Dershowitz, renowned attorney, and Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus, has suggested, during interviews with CNN, that President Trump could “repeal and replace” his controversial executive order with a new and better one, written in consultation with experts to correct its weaknesses.

But it’s unlikely the President will heed this advice. His signature narcissism, and obsession with “winning” and saving face, will Trump (no pun intended) his interest in national security, and dictates that he’ll meet this challenge head on, in a confrontational, zero-sum manner. Since federal courts don’t overturn Presidential Executive orders lightly, the President faces an uphill battle to prevail at the next stage.

If the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case, there’s a possibility of a 4-4 tie, since the current vacancy, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, won’t be filled in time. If so, the 9th circuit court’s ruling will stand, and the President’s executive order will be ruled unconstitutional. Only a majority 3-1 ruling, or a unanimous 4-0 ruling, would permit the President’s travel ban to become a valid law. There’s one more possibility, which is unlikely. Justice Kennedy, of SCOTUS, could refer the case to the full Washington State supreme court, with 11 federal judges presiding. However, since the case is so important, he’s less likely to go this route.

Learn more about the 9th circuit court’s decision (CNN)

 

Photo: ddd

Legendary coach Claude Julien fired during Patriots victory parade

Legendary coach Claude Julien fired during Patriots victory parade

This editorial just in from Gill of the Face Activities Management Team:

On a day of jubilation, when thousands of Patriots fans celebrated their beloved team’s spectacular Super Bowl LI victory with great abandon, the Boston Bruins apparently pulled a fast one, spoiling the mood. Head Manager Don Sweeney fired head coach Claude Julien, an award-winning leader who, in 2011, brought the team their first Stanley Cup victory since 1972. Assistant Coach Bruce Cassidy will take over as interim head coach.

And in the 2008-2009 season he also won the Jack Adam’s Trophy as coach of the year. He’s in his 10th year with the franchise, and was the longest-tenured head coach in the league. This man has earned a place in history as a Boston Sports legend, but on Tuesday morning his contributions were summarily dismissed. And legions of Boston’s Hockey fans are not amused.

Mr. Sweeney, what were you thinking?

What’s even worse than the inexplicable firing, which followed weeks of rumors regarding his job security, is the way in which is was done. The announcement and press conference occurred at the start of the Patriot’s late morning parade, when absolutely nobody would be watching. Was management attempting to use the euphoria and pandemonium surrounding the big super bowl win as a smoke screen to hide an unpopular decision? If so, this seems cowardly, and wrong.

Currently the Bruins hover just outside the play-off bubble, tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Is switching an award-winning coach at this crucial juncture in the season the way to motivate players to win a slot in the play-offs? It seems unlikely, at best. At worst, it’s a highly disruptive move that will shake team morale, and increase the chances of defeat.

Learn more about firing of Boston Bruins head coach (ESPN)

 

 

Photo: By Dan4th Nicholas (Flickr: 080920 Head Coach) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE: DeVos Confirmed! (Senators vote on Betsy Devos nomination today)

Senators vote on Betsy Devos nomination today

UPDATE: Betsy Devos was confirmed by the Senate in a 50-51 vote, with Vice Presdient Pence stepping in to cast the tie-breaking vote. The controversial Philanthropist and multi-billionaire will head the Department of Education in President Trump’s administration, heading a department with 4,400 employees and an annual budget of $68 billion. Face Activities will post more on the implications of Betsy Devos’s confirmation later today.

 

Will Betsy DeVos be the next Secretary of Education in President Trump’s Administration? Today her fate hangs in the balance. The U.S. Senate will vote on her confirmation to the important cabinet post, amidst strong opposition from both Congressional Democrats and concerned citizen’s protesting her nomination.

Opposition is actually so fierce that Democratic Senators launched an all-night protest on the floor of the Senate, during which they took turns throughout the night speaking out against the DeVos nomination. Their efforts were matched by passionate protests on the streets of Washington, D.C., and a vigorous nation-wide call-in effort by concerned citizens across the nation.

In the last week there have been notable republican defections to the anti-DeVos camp, giving the opposition hope. Republican law-makers still predict victory, but expect the margin to be extremely close, probably a 50-50 tie between Senators, that Vice President Mike Pence will step in to break in favor of the Trump nominee.

Devos is one of the most controversial Trump picks, perhaps second only to Bannon, who is a white nationalist extremist, loathed by the left, and many on the right as well. Devos is considered particularly unqualified for the top education administration job by most of her detractors, so the differences aren’t limited to ideological disputes. She has never held a paying job in the field of education, nor has she earned a University degree in the field of education. Many insist America’s top educator should actually be an educator, not merely a political hack.

And to make matters worse, she performed poorly during her confirmation hearings, revealing an inadequate understanding of important issues and controversies in the field of education. During a series of questions on the role of guns in schools, she was widely derided for suggesting that a school might need to keep a gun around to ward off grizzly bears.

In fact, it appears her main qualifications for the high profile cabinet position are loyalty to Donald Trump, a strong record of monetary donations to Trump and other conservative candidates and causes, strong support for extreme right wing views on education (that are pleasing to the alt right crowd,) and membership in the billionaire’s club, from which President Trump prefers to draw his cabinet picks.

It’s likely that her republican supporters recognize she’s not really qualified for the position, but hope to parlay their support for President Trump into concrete political victories, like hisupport for their conservative economic policies and legislative agenda. This is, of course, a sad and pessimistic view of American Politics. It’s always unconscionable to select unqualified candidates for important cabinet positions, especially positions that affect the welfare of children, and the future of the nation. Clearly the Secretary of Education is such a vital position.

For those Face Activities members who are concerned about the DeVos nomination and the direction the Trump Administration has taken, it’s not too late to do something about it. Call your Senator and let your voice be heard. And even if DeVos wins the nomination, the strong opposition she has received to date will be noted in Washington’s corridors of power.

Learn more about the DeVos confirmation vote today in the Senate (CNN)

 

 

Photo: By Keith A. Almli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betsy_Devos.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Victory Parade of New England Patriots – 11 AM Tuesday, February 7th

Watch Victory Parade of New England Patriots - 11 AM Tuesday, February 7th

New England Patriots fans are massing for a gigantic parade and celebration to honor the champions of historic Super Bowl LI. The festivities start at 11 AM, Tuesday, February 7th.

This is the 5th Super Bowl the Patriots have won during quarterback Tom Brady’s career, and the 4th time that Brady has won the coveted Super Bowl most valuable player award, which occurred the day after the game, in Texas.

The festivities today are expected to be a grand show, despite some inclement weather in the Boston area. Many MBTA parking lots are full and extra trains are in service to accommodate the crush of fans expected to travel by public transportation to positions along the parade route.

Sunday’s big game was quite an historic event. It was the first Super Bowl to go into over time, with the Patriots and Falcons tied at 28 points. Also, at half-time the score was 28 – 3 (Falcons) so the amazing come-from-behind finish meant the Patriots had to make up an extraordinary 25 points. The most a Super Bowl victor had made up in the past was 10, making for another historic sports first.

Watch Patriots Victory Parade Live (CBS Boston)

 

Photo: By SAB0TEUR (New England Patriots grand entrance) CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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