Merzer is posting these updates for friends on his Facebook page, and I'm re-posting here with his permission because I think what he has to say is important.
Historical note: Thirty one years ago today, Merzer was one of dozens of Herald reporters assigned to cover the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
By Marty Merzer
The day is still young, but it's already historic, for all the worst reasons. Much of what distinguishes America - much of what it stood for - died overnight. It is with profound shame that I offer Saturday's I'm-not-making-any-of-this-up midday Minority President update:
- Immigration checkpoints at airports and other border crossings grew chaotic Saturday as refugees and other immigrants were detained in response to the Minority President's unprecedented order suspending entry to all refugees. The order also indefinitely blocks entry by Syrians and bars entry for 90 days by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations. An entirely un-American religious test, however, will grant priority to Christians over Muslims from those nations.
- At Kennedy Airport in New York, two Iraqis previously granted U.S. visas and refuge due to their connections to the U.S. government or U.S. contractors were denied entry and detained. "Who is the person we need to talk to?" asked one of the lawyers, Mark Doss, supervising attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project, according to the New York Times. "Mr. President," said a Customs and Border Protection agent, who declined to identify himself. "Call Mr. Trump."
- Legal objections and other actions have been filed in many jurisdictions.
- The White House moves were applauded by Republican Vice President Mike Pence. On Dec. 8, 2015, Pence said: "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional."
- The White House moves were applauded by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. On July 31, 2016, Ryan said: "A religious test for entering our country is not reflective of America's fundamental values. I reject it."
- Experts said the new policy would dash the hopes of countless refugees, condemning many to death.
- Experts said the new policy would serve only to inflame Islamic extremism and would create more terrorists. Said one: "There's nothing ISIS wants more than be able to say to Muslims around the world — 'look, we're the people who'll protect you.'"My name is Max Hirsch. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Mauthausen pic.twitter.com/7E02Xa5d80— St. Louis Manifest (@Stl_Manifest) January 27, 2017
- Experts said the new policy gave ISIS and our other enemies a second victory: Their efforts caused us to diminish our own values before they got around to doing so.
- On Saturday, Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said: "To my colleagues: Don't ever again lecture me on American moral leadership if you chose to be silent today."
- On another note, the Minority President tweeted this on Saturday. The misspellings are his: "Thr coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.They got me wrong right from the beginning and still have not changed course, and never will. DISHONEST"
Click image to enlarge.
- The assertions are false. Subscriptions to both news operations have increased since the election, and the New York Times issued no such apology. Unlike many other news operations, both the Washington Post and the New York Times have distinguished themselves in their coverage of the Minority President.
- Melania Trump, who is an immigrant, did not file for divorce Saturday.
And so on...
POSTSCRIPT: About those false assertions made by Trump that Merzer mentions....In a New York Times story posted shortly after noon today, and headlined "‘Up Is Down’: Trump’s Unreality Show Echoes His Business Past," Times staffer David Barstow writes:
Yet even jaded connoisseurs of Oval Office dissembling were astonished over the last week by the torrent of bogus claims that gushed from President Trump during his first days in office.
“We’ve never seen anything this bizarre in our lifetimes, where up is down and down is up and everything is in question and nothing is real,” said Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity and the author of “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity,” a book about presidential deception.
Personal note: You can fight Trump and his
Added bonus: By subscribing you get to say that you helped push Trump over the edge. That day is not that far off.
Both the Times and the Post have large staffs assigned exclusively to covering the Trump administration.
Click here to subscribe to the Washington Post.
Click here to subscribe to the New York Times.