(And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brilliant, talented, always challenging, Trump-hating lawyer little sister, Edith Sophia Marshall!)
1 Quiz results: about 90% of responders found the drag Python sketch about a ladies club re-enactment of Pearl Harbor funny. Whew. As for the one voter who said that it was unfunny because it made light of human tragedy and violence, I’m glad you never attended any of the stage comedies I directed.
2. Ending birthright citizenship for illegal immigrant offspring? President Trump told Axios in an interview that he was preparing to issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship for children of immigrants here illegally. “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t…You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
I have found no authorities who agree with Trump’s lawyers, if indeed they are telling him that. If they are, I don’t blame him for listening to them: if there was ever a President who was legally clueless, it’s this one. Some conservatives are livid about the suggestion (obviously all illegal immigration-boosting liberals are as well), noting that this proposal is exactly as unconstitutional as Obama’s immigration-related EOs. I tend to agree with them. Ethically, the birthright rule is an incentive to break the law and anachronistic, since it originated when there were no legal restrictions on immigration nor reasons to have any. if the question gets to the Supreme Court, however, it will pose an integrity test for the conservative justices. Their philosophy is that you can’t just re-write or ignore the Constitution when it gets in the way of desirable policy, and this is a perfect example.
It is also very possible—likely?— that the President was using this trial balloon to energize the anti-illegal immigration base as the “caravan” continued its march.
3. Medical and research fraud. The scary question is whether this is the tip of a proverbial iceberg, and I suspect it is. Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, his former employers,have accused Dr. Piero Anversa and his laboratory of extensive scientific fraud and malpractice. More than 30 research studies produced over more than a decade contain falsified or fabricated data and must be retracted, they say. Last year the hospital paid a $10 million settlement to the federal government after the Department of Justice alleged that Dr. Anversa and two members of his team were responsible for fraudulently obtaining research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
For his part, Dr. Anversa, 80, swears that his research proving that new heart cells could be grown to replace those lost in heart attacks and heart failure is valid and accurate, and that he was betrayed by a “rogue colleague” who altered data in dozens of papers. Ah, yes, the ol’ “rogue colleague” defense!
But I’m sure—aren’t you?— that all the research data showing that we have just 12 years to take drastic action reverse climate change or the Earth is doomed is unbiased, accurate and reliable.
4. You want to be scared? Read this. New York Magazine asked 12 “young people” why they probably weren’t going to vote next month. The answers were generally articulate, thoughtful, and revealed minds crippled by rationalizations, false assumptions, peer pressure, poor education and indoctrination. Some samples:
- Samantha, 22, is now disillusioned about democracy because Hillary Clinton lost. “I was so proud to be in this country at this moment, so proud to be voting for Hillary Clinton,” she says.
Anyone who was “proud” to be voting for a cynical, ruthless, dishonest pol like Hillary is the problem with the system, and rejecting the system because your candidate loses shows a less than informed understanding of democracy.
- Reece, 23, says that she isn’t voting because she can’t be sure that she is fully informed on all of the issues or that she won’t realize later that her views are wrong.
Using that standard, nobody should vote.
- Tim, 27, says that the registration process and voting itself is just too much of a bother:
“I have ADHD, and it makes it hard for me to do certain tasks where the payoff is far off in the future or abstract. I don’t find it intrinsically motivational. The amount of work logically isn’t that much: Fill out a form, mail it, go to a specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it.”
- Megyn, 29, also feels that voting is just too much of a hassle because she “moves around a lot.”
An unstated theme of the stories is that the non-voters just don’t view participating in their own governance as especially important.
- Drew, 21, feels that the parties don’t do enough for people like her, and care too much about old people—you know, the ones who mostly pay for the government and what it does:
“We deserve politicians that are willing to do stuff for our future instead of catering to people who will not be here for our future”
- Aaron, 25:
“…I look at it this way: That report just came out the other day about global warming, talking about how we have 12 years, until 2030, for this radical change unlike the world has ever seen. And The Hill newspaper just put out that article about how the DNC does not plan on making climate change a big part of their platform, even still. I just do not understand why I would vote for a party that doesn’t care about me in any way. They can say, “Sure, we’ll lower student interest rates.” Well, I don’t give a shit about student interest rates if I’m not going to live past 13 more years on this planet….There are people that are exciting. Bernie was exciting, Cynthia [Nixon] was exciting, and Alexandria [Ocasio-Cortez] is exciting. So would I vote in the future? I don’t know. If somebody came along that was exciting like that? Yeah. Probably.”
Ugh. If he really believes that he’ll be dead in 13 years because of climate change and the the blathering of socialists like Ocasio-Cortez is “exciting.” Thanks for not voting, kid.
5. This is “Big Bang Theory’s final season anyway, but I won’t be watching it again. Chuck Lorre, who has long used “vanity cards” in the credits of his mostly vulgar sitcoms (BBT is easily the best of them) to issue juvenile political rants, featured this one in the credits of a recent episode:
This is unethical. The partisan political ad dressed up as a joke has nothing to do with the show, and Lorre is abusing the forum and his position to issue personal political attacks that are as much hate as humor. CBS should have stopped this the first time he tried it.