Tuesday Reads


Good Morning!!

Actually I’m fuming this morning. It’s bad enough that–like others here at Sky Dancing blog–I have a nasty cold; but what’s really making me mad as hell is that Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, joined the hateful crew of governors who say they don’t want Syrian refugees in his state.

Curses on all the idiots who voted for this man! Shame on them! We could have had the first woman governor of this state, an intelligent and compassionate person–Martha Coakley. Instead we have Charlie fucking Baker, who doesn’t seem to understand that he can’t control who comes into this state. This is America. We don’t ask people to produce their papers at state borders. Anyway, as Dakinikat noted yesterday, the Constitution gives authority over immigration to the federal government.

I hope the Massachusetts cities that typically help immigrants and refugees–like Lowell and Cambridge, for example–will continue their good work to help desperate people who are trying to escape from terrorism and live normal productive lives and show our stupid governor what true humanity is all about. I hope my town will do the same.


I’m so angry right now that I think it’s actually clearing out my sinuses. Here’s the Boston Globe on Baker: Baker’s stance on refugees draws ire of immigration groups.

Governor Charlie Baker joined more than two dozen other governors Monday who said they did not want Syrian refugees to resettle in their states, citing security concerns after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

“I would say no as of right now,” Baker told reporters at the State House, shortly before he attended a Thanksgiving luncheon honoring immigrants and refugees in Massachusetts. “No, I’m not interested in accepting refugees from Syria.”

What an asshole.

Baker’s remarks — a departure from Septemberwhen he signaled support for the refugees— earned swift rebuke from immigrant advocates. Lawyers said under the Refugee Act of 1980, governors cannot legally block refugees….

Since October 2011, the United States has admitted 2,159 Syrian refugees into the country, according to the State Department, including 72 in Massachusetts. After a year, refugees can obtain a green card after undergoing more background checks, and after five years they can apply for US citizenship.

Under federal law,the president, after consulting with Congress, sets the number of refugees admitted every yearand the government works with the United Nations and nonprofits to resettle refugees around the United States.

“Neither Massachusetts nor any other state can fence Syrian refugees out of the state,” said Laurence Tribe, a Harvard constitutional law scholar. “We are a union and must sink or swim together.”

So there, Baker. Now sit down and shut up.


From Slate, here’s a list of the governors who say they don’t want desperate human beings who are only trying to protect their families from terrorism:

  • Republican Robert Bentley of Alabama
  • Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
  • Republican Rick Scott of Florida
  • Republican Nathan Deal of Georgia
  • Republican Mike Pence of Indiana
  • Republican Bruce Rauner of Illinois
  • Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana (who is the son of parents who emigrated to the U.S. from India’s troubled Punjab state in 1971)
  • Republican Paul LePage of Maine
  • Republican Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
  • Republican Rick Snyder of Michigan
  • Republican Phil Bryant of Mississippi
  • Democrat Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
  • Republican Chris Christie of New Jersey
  • Republican Pat McCrory of North Carolina
  • Republican John Kasich of Ohio
  • Republican Greg Abbott of Texas
  • Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin


More reactions to Baker’s ugly and ignorant statement and the actions of the rest of these hateful governors:


Worcester Telegram: Local Syrians decry Baker’s refugee stance.

Salah Asfoura understands Gov. Charles D Baker Jr.’s reluctance to accept Syrian refugees in Massachusetts aftr terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris. But Mr. Asfoura said it was a difficult and personal issue to judge objectively: Mr. Asfoura’s brother and his family fled Syria and arrived in Worcester just a few weeks ago.

“I understand the worries after what’s happened in France and on the international level, I can understand the worries of having insurgents come in,” said Mr. Asfoura, president of the New England chapter of the American Syrian Forum, an organization to increase awareness of the Syrian crisis. “It depends on how you evaluate them … but then, you can’t say you can’t do it anymore, you can’t not accept any.” [….]

Local Syrian-Americans, a recent refugee and others were disappointed in the news.

“I believe that this decision is wrong, because we cannot judge the victims for the crime of the terrorists,” said Bashar, a recent refugee to this country. Bashar, who arrived here with his family about 1½ years ago after his business and property were destroyed in Syria, asked that his last name not be used because family members remain in the country and may be targeted by terrorists. 

His immediate family is applying for political asylum, he said. “Those who killed the people in France killed people in Syria. It was ISIS, and now (governors) are punishing the victims.” [….]

“There are tens and tens of thousands of terrorists who came from all over the world to my country to kill my people, and those terrorists are managed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Bashar said. “I wish the U.S. put the utmost pressure on those governments – Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan – to stop funding, training and facilitating the passage of terrorists through the borders into my country.”


MassLive: Anti-Defamation League ‘deeply disappointed’ with GOP governors, including Charlie Baker, for refusal to accept Syrian refugees after Paris attacks.

The Anti-Defamation League said it is “deeply disappointed” with GOP governors, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, for refusing to accept Syrian refugees after Friday’sISIS attacks that killed 129 people and injured more than 430 others in Paris.

“This country must not give into fear or bias by turning its back on our nation’s fundamental commitment to refugee protection and human rights,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said Monday, urging governors to keep their doors open during the humanitarian crisis.

“Now is precisely the time to stand up for our core values, including that we are a proud nation of immigrants,” Greenblatt said. “To do otherwise signals to the terrorists that they are winning the battle against democracy and freedom.”

Now here’s an assessment from ultimate Villager Chris Cillizza: You might not like Republicans calling for a ban on refugees. But it’s smart politics.

Think what you will, but one thing is clear: The political upside for Republican politicians pushing an immigration ban on Syrians and/or Muslims as a broader response to the threat posed by the Islamic State sure looks like a political winner.

The Pew Research Center did an in-depth poll looking into Americans’ view on Islamic extremism in the the fall of 2014 — and its findings suggest that politicians like Cruz have virtually nothing to lose in this fight over how best to respond to ISIS’s latest act of violence.

More than 7 in 10 Republican voters said they were “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the United States. That’s almost double the amount of Democrats (46 percent) who said the same and 30 percentage points higher than independents who expressed great concern about Islamic extremism in America.

That marked concern with the threat of Islamic extremism is accentuated by a deep lack of confidence among Republicans with the Obama administration’s ability to handle what they perceive to be a growing threat.

For people like Cillizza, there is no right and wrong. There is only political expediency. These people turn my stomach.

What do you think? Please post your thoughts and comments on any topic in the thread below.



28 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I need to take some deep breaths to lower my blood pressure. This situation makes me sooooo angry!

    • dakinikat says:

      I was upset about this all day yesterday. How many dead children does it take to pay for political expediency and to feed right wing paranoia? You’d think Maury Povitch dropped by with a Syrian orphan and DNA tests. Notice Nicky Haley and Marco Rubio joined Jindal. They’d be toast if we has their attitudes. They would certainly not be US citizens.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The stuff that has been coming out of Trump’s and Cruz’s mouths is beyond the pale. They are truly un-American, IMO. Unchristian too….

    • Delphyne49 says:

      I’m horrified by some of the comments that these idiot governors have made and even more horrified by the responses that some people give about the refugees. Perhaps it’s my being a 2nd generation US citizen – my grandparents were from Germany, Austria and an area in the old Austria Hungary, probably near where Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia meet. They came over about 100 years ago – not such a long time ago.

      My grandparents wanted to assimilate immediately and neither one of my parents was fluent in any other language other than English. My grandparents thought that if they were in the US, everyone should speak English…sad for someone like me who loves languages – I could have been trilingual! Both of my parents were very conscious of and proud to be “American.” Sometimes, I got the feeling that they were trying to completely remove any connection from Europe. I think the great wars had a lot to do with that.

      The xenophobia in this country is heartbreaking – and infuriating. What happened to compassion and empathy for people? It’s very disturbing to me to see the fear of other nationalities so widespread here – I’ve always loved being around other nationalities/ethnicities because they were so interesting – I loved many of the differences and commonalities we share just by being human.

      Hope you feel better, BB – same for other SkyDancers who suffering from colds!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks, Luna. I’m so heartsick over what is happening to our country. After reading Dakinikat’s wonderful post yesterday, it hit me so hard learning that the ugly xenophobia has even hit Massachusetts–and a Democratic governor in New Hampshire going along with it too! I can’t take much more of this.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    NBC News:

    John Kerry: Don’t Rush to Judgment on Syria Refugees Resettling in the U.S.

    If there are any bad seeds among the Syrian refugees coming into the United States, we will weed them out, Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC’s Lester Holt on Tuesday.

    ‘”We have a very capable ability” to vet any migrants coming into the U.S.” Kerry told Holt in an exclusive interview. “I just think people shouldn’t be hysterical here.”

    Kerry should get on the phone to Charlie Baker and tell him to STFU.

    • List of X says:

      If Kerry is referring to interviews and background checks, Tsarnaev brothers passed them – and they had these background checks done based on at least some period in the U.S.. These refugees are just going to go through interviews and maybe will be cross-checked with the list of few known terrorists. But there would be no real background check, because it would be based on what, the files of Assad’s regime? Calling this interview vetting a “very capable ability” is a huge overstatement.
      That said, I doubt that 10,000 Syrian refugees would pose a bigger security risk than 10,000 randomly picked American citizens.

  3. janicen says:

    I despise Cillizza but somewhere in his blather is buried what I think and that is that these Republicans know full well that they don’t have a Constitutional leg to stand on. They are simply pandering to their racist base and adding a little fear mongering to spice things up. Every time I think I’ve seen the lowest of the Republican party, some of them reach a little lower. They are deplorable.

    I filled my antibiotic prescription from my doc over the weekend and I’m finally on the mend but recovery is coming slowly. Still coughing and tired a lot. I hope you get over this thing soon, bb.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m glad you’re getting better, Janice. I just a have a little cold as far as I can tell, nothing more serious.

  4. Fannie says:

    I hope you all get to feeling better. I have been worried about all this as well, and came down hard on my families in south. I’m not going to listen to their third grade level bullshit about this situation. The media has joined in on the fun. They say the refugees aren’t vetted and screened (Dak proved them wrong with the document on USRAP). If they are so concerned about violence and death, why the hell don’t they pass background checks for guns. But NO, they don’t give a shit about nothing but the vote. Get those so called Christians to vote.

    The vision they have for America creeps the hell out of me.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Me too. The only difference between people like Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, and the rest of the crazies and ISIS is that they aren’t calling for violent attacks on muslims–yet.

    • janicen says:

      Excellent point about the background checks. Maybe we should line all of the refugees up at a gun shop and then the wing nuts will be jumping up to protect them from being screened and vetted before buying a gun.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Good article on ISIS at the Chicago Tribune.

    For the Islamic State, expanding the conflict is part of its apocalyptic mission

    According to the group’s extremist ideology, the caliphate will eventually triumph in a great war against infidel forces, culminating in a final end-of-days battle in Dabiq, an obscure Syrian town near the northern city of Aleppo.

    The group’s online propaganda magazine is titled “Dabiq.” Each edition features the same prophetic quote about how the conflict will unfold: “The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify – by Allah’s permission – until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.”

    They have to be loving the way the right wing “Christians” are helping them along.

    • bostonboomer says:

      George W. Bush loosed the fires of hell on the world.

      • janicen says:

        Had dinner last night with my Muslim friend who was born and raised in France. It was interesting to get his perspective. Even though he’s politically somewhat conservative he maintains that G.W.Bush destabilizing the Middle East was the most profound mistake anyone could make and has resulted in the world being dragged into a never ending war. But then, as my friend says, that’s what they wanted all along is it not? They can continue to make and sell all of their weapons. ISIS is simply using everything the Americans left behind and when more countries attack ISIS they will need more and more weapons.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Wow. Kevin Drum thinks Cillizza is right.

    Liberals Should Knock Off the Mockery Over Calls to Limit Syrian Refugees


  7. GAgal says:

    You just cannot make this shit up. Texas rep says we can’t bring in refugees because they may use their “federal cash payments” to buy guns.


  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Jindahl out of race!! Watch dak do her “happy dance”.