When Barry Blitt was asked about his image for next week’s issue of The New Yorker, he responded by quoting a Russian: “Tolstoy said that ‘happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Somehow this seems to apply to the Trumps, particularly lately.”
Donald Trump’s travel ban suffered another legal setback as a federal court in Hawaii expanded the approved list exceptions to the travel restrictions from six Muslim-majority countries to include grandparents. The new policy, implemented after last month’s Supreme Court ruling, narrowed the injunction on implementing the executive order to those with “bona fide” connections to the U.S. Grandparents were left off the Trump administration’s policy, prompting the legal challenge.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson ruled that the ban can’t be enforced against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nephews and cousins of people in the United States.
Watson, in a 26-page ruling, stated that the government’s definition of “close familial relationship” contradicts the Supreme Court’s, is “unduly restrictive” and “represents the antithesis of common sense” because grandparents “are the epitome of close family members.”
“Had the Supreme Court intended to protect only immediate family members and parents-in-law, surely it could have said so,” Watson wrote. “It did not.”
James and I were able to see the key to the Bastille gates at Mount Vernon during our trip this spring. Today is Bastille Day, the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. As such, I want to give the background as to how the key was in the possession of George Washington.
With his military experience from serving during the American Revolution, the thirty-two year old Marquis de Lafayette quickly assumed a prominent role in the opening chapter of the French Revolution. After the Bastille fell, Lafayette was placed in command of a local national guard formed to keep order throughout France.
The Bastille main prison key was turned over to Lafayette shortly after the Bastille was stormed on July 14, 1789 by angry citizens rioting in the streets of Paris. The Bastille was a natural target when violence erupted after severe shortages of bread led the people into the streets. Lafayette was optimistic about the fate of the revolution when he prepared to ship the Bastille key to Washington in March of 1790.
Several months passed before the gift finally arrived at its destination. On the first leg of the journey Lafayette entrusted the key to Thomas Paine, well-known for his participation in the American Revolution. The actual presentation to Washington late in the summer of 1790 was an honor that fell to John Rutledge, Jr., a South Carolinian returning to the United States from London.
The principal key to the Bastille is made of wrought iron and weighs one pound, three ounces. Washington’s prominent display of this celebrated souvenir in the presidential household illustrated his appreciation to his French pupil as well as recognition of its symbolic importance in America. Shown first at a presidential levee in New York in August, the key continued to be showcased in Philadelphia when the seat of government moved there in the fall of 1790. Shortly before Washington’s retirement from the presidency in 1797, the key was taken to Mount Vernon and given a place of honor in the first floor passage.
Here is the way I saw it at Mount Vernon this spring as I took this photo.
My blog, Caffeinated Politics, is 11 years old today!
With over 12,000 posts and over 3.7 million hits there is reason to celebrate with a cup of coffee and a spirited conversation about the topics of the day. Thanks to my readers for over a decade of following news and politics along with the odd-and-end postings which proves there are many fascinating issues to be entertained with on a continuous basis. Today my coffee maker is brewing up New England Coffee Roasters Blueberry Cobbler and I am drinking out of my mug from Gettysburg. Wherever you are making your coffee may your mug be brightly colored and your sipping one of the special moments of the day! Thank you you for taking this journey with me on the internet highway.