What I'm Reading

Sometimes it’s good to know what both sides of the political spectrum are saying. It can be tempting to live in our comfortable little bubbles (I'm so guilty of this) and not venture to the dark side. Recently, I’ve been getting the Wall Street Journal along with my NY Times subscription, and I'm constantly amused when I read their editorial and op-ed pages.

Today, curious to see what they would say about President Trump’s new ban, I read the editorial pages of both newspapers. They highlighted different things, so pick your poison below.


NY Times: “He [Trump] was out of sight on Monday as administration officials unveiled a downscaled, but still pernicious, version of the ban, which targets refugees and travelers from six predominantly Muslim nations. It’s not hard to see why. The Muslim Ban Lite is an implicit acknowledgment that the Trump administration stumbled spectacularly in its first major attempt to deliver on a campaign promise.”

Wall Street Journal: “Somebody at the White House must have recognized that this wasn’t the good kind of shock and awe. The tighter, cleaned-up order reduces the number of countries to six, with an honorable and necessary exception for Iraq, a U.S. ally and the point of the spear in the war on Islamic State.”

NY Times: “The administration has failed to make a reasonable — let alone persuasive — case for barring people from the six nations. Intelligence experts at the Department of Homeland Security found that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity,” according to a memo leaked to The Associated Press.”

Wall Street Journal: “In general, the new order is more reasonable and works through the practical consequences of a temporary 90-day immigration pause while the government reviews the vetting process. It provides for waivers for business travellers, dual citizens, military translators, urgent medical cases, and foreign nationals with a long term history of work or study in the U.S.”

NY Times: “While it may disrupt fewer lives, the new ban, and its justification, conveys the same spurious messages: that Muslims are inherently dangerous and that resettling refugees represents a dire threat. As part of the new order, the government intends to disseminate data on “honor killings” committed by foreigners in the United States. This step, and Mr. Sessions’s unsubstantiated claim about refugees under F.B.I. investigation, can be read only as a cultural smear.”

Wall Street Journal: “In fact, Congress and President Obama singled out Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for heightened scrutiny in the visa-waiver program in 2015. The order has a rational discussion about these six countries as state sponsors of terrorism or how their civil societies have been compromised by terror groups or even active combat zones. It also adds to the factual record about the disrupted terror plots committed by immigrants from these nations.”


P.S. Here are the links to the NY Times and Wall Street Journal editorials (If you want to read them in their entirety).