Startup Visa Shutdown – The Trump administration put the brakes on the launch of an Obama era program that would allow immigrant startup founders to stay in the U.S. while their company grew. This is a direct affront to Silicon Valley -- the place and the TV show.
Voter Self-Suppression – Last week, I mentioned that states were pushing back against Trump’s bogus voter fraud commission. However, it looks like the commission is already having its desired effect. In Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina, voters have been calling to take their names off of the voter rolls. Trump’s threat to investigate all voters has caused thousands to voluntarily give up their fundamental right to vote.
Imagine What Gon’ Happen When You Try to Tax Our Whiskey – Apparently learning nothing from the Vice President’s visit to Hamilton, the Trump administration is threatening American whiskey. Conventional wisdom is if Trump puts a blanket tariff on imported steel, the EU will respond by putting a tax on bourbon.
And Trump’s Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day – A (good!) update on the sad story from two weeks ago of the all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan who had their visas denied to come to a competition in the U.S. Apparently, Trump intervened and now they have their visas! Trump is getting a lot of kudos for doing this. Although, since his policies likely caused the girls’ denials in the first place, I’m going to hold off on the canonization.
A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste – This week’s latest reminder that we’re living in different realities is a Pew Research Center survey in which 58% of Republicans said that colleges negatively impact the United States. Just two years ago, 37% of Republicans thought colleges were detrimental to the U.S. For comparison, only 18% of Democrats thought colleges had a negative effect on the country. The Republicans are now anti-college, except, I imagine, for SEC football.
French (Dis)connection - Trump traveled to France this week, and managed to embarrass himself and the United States upon both his arrival and his departure. Upon his arrival, he met French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife. Apparently, unable to do anything but objectify women, Trump said to Brigitte Macron, “You’re in such good shape. She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.” On his way out of Paris, he had one last tango with Emmanuel Macron. In a prior meeting, Macron had, for a lack of a better term, out-handshaked Trump. Trump was so upset about this that some believe it was the reason that he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, thus threatening the existence of humanity. Anyways . . .Trump wasn’t going to lose this time! Trump and Macron had a 29-second handshake! Neither would relent and held on like two bald eagles mating mid-flight.
She Who Has the Last Laugh – A judge threw out the jury verdict against the woman who had the unmitigated temerity to laugh during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. The judge has ordered a new trial. Sessions may decide that this is too big of a distraction from his work to deport immigrants and threaten voters, so he may not push to try the case again. On the other hand he's a really terrible person, so he may find the time to squeeze it in.
Dumb as a Bag of Crack Rocks – On Air Force One, en route to Paris, Trump doubled down on his idea of putting solar panels on his wall between the U.S. and Mexico and he also let everyone know that the wall needed to be transparent because . . . “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them -- they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.”