The battle between President Trump and the federal justice system continued to play out on the West Coast over the weekend. Trump was speaking of the judge responsible for the latest move to unravel the president’s freeze of immigrants from seven countries in “unpresidential” tones. At the same time the efforts to overturn the ruling of a federal judge has failed. Interestingly we saw some numbers on immigrants from those seven countries comparing the number of refugees from each in 2003 and 2016. Libya and South Sudan had zero citizens to immigrate to the US in 2003, while Yemen and Syria each had one. Somalia led the pack with 2,782, followed by Iran with 2,481. Iraq citizens moving to the US totaled 209. Fast-forward to 2017 and Libya was at four, Yemen 27 and South Sudan hit 221. Iran went up to 4,152, a little less than double. Iraq had jumped to 11,332 (from 209). Somalia immigrants totaled 10,786 while Syria topped the list, rising to 15,479 . . . .!!! Now we await the next shoe to drop in this ongoing saga . . . . will Trump ultimately win, change his approach or give up while blaming it all on the federal judiciary?
It is not unusual for us to get a phone call from former Elba United Methodist Minister John Baxter when something newsworthy pops up about someone or something he knows we have strong opinions about. Monday was no exception. Alabama news sources began sending out internet alerts that former Governor Don Siegelman “might” be released from prison Wednesday and text messages were followed by a phone call. He quoted one of his Mobile friends as commenting, “they had to make room (in the prison) for those others”. We assume they are talking about more politicians. We threatened to use that quote but attribute it only to him and see what the fallout would be from his church members, etc. He countered that a better and more accurate quote would be, “John Baxter and Ferrin Cox are each too smart for our own good.” Never get in a debate with a preacher . . . . . they have an answer for everything, especially something that gets them out of a bind!
There has been talk bouncing around that Siegelman would be getting paroled on February 8th and it appears to becoming closer and closer to the truth. All-knowing minds suggest it will be a gradual type release with this first one limiting his activities, access to the news media, etc., for several months and then a traditional parole for some more time. That limiting access to the news media will be a touchy issue as throughout his prison time Don has gotten into trouble a number of times for his telephone chats with some news reporter. Those incidents often got him solitary confinement for a while. Probably the threat of going back to jail will make him a bit more careful about when he opens his mouth and what he says for the next several months.