Thursday, February 2, 2017

Correspondence: Trumpery

Edited by Moristotle

After Trump’s executive order , the author of this article visited an icon of welcome for immigrants: “Checking In on Lady Liberty” [Sam Hodgson, NY Times, January 31]. Excerpt:
...I went down to Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, and after a quick security check, I boarded a ferry headed for Liberty Island, where Lady Liberty lives....
    Jon Green, who was wearing a crown he’d bought at the concession stand on the boat, was venturing to Liberty Island along with his family and some friends specifically in response to President Trump’s executive order.
   “America is unique in a lot of ways,” he said. “One of the few ways that actually makes us great is what this symbolizes. It symbolizes being welcoming to all, being a place for sanctuary and refuge. And as those things are under attack, we feel it’s important to honor and recognize and take a little moment to appreciate that. And to teach our kids about what we value.”....
    After we arrived at Liberty Island, I crisscrossed the park there, thinking about what the statue meant to me and trying to make pictures that reflected what she looks and feels like in this time and place.
    I climbed the 200-some steps to the pedestal on which Lady Liberty stands, where I met Rachel Jennings and Shilpa Anturkar, who were visiting from Chicago. They, too, were moved to visit the statue because of the political events of the past few days.
    “Maybe the president can come on back to New York,” Ms. Jennings said. “I mean, he calls New York his home. Maybe he can come back and take a moment and — don’t take it for granted — take a look at the Statue of Liberty.”
    Ms. Anturkar grew teary as she talked about how her perception of Lady Liberty had changed.
    “Before, when I used to come to New York and we’d take the ferry and see the Statue of Liberty it was more of a happy, proud and touristy feeling,” she said. “But it just symbolizes so much more today and over the past couple of weeks. And now it’s a humbling and sad feeling mixed in with the pride of what our country actually should stand for.” [read more]
In Trevor Noah’s first Daily Show of the week on Monday night, he welcomed Hasan Minhaj, a Muslim, to explain what has happened as a result of Trump’s executive order. [The welcome occurs at about 5:40 of the video:]

On Monday, Stephen Colbert opened his first Late Show after Trump’s first week in office in riff after telling riff. Thank you, Stephen, for helping us laugh at what’s going down here.
    Colbert’s opening included a clip of Trump announcing that the next night he would announce his really big decision for the Supreme Court.

Please, let’s have nonesuch: “Trump picks Colo. appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court” [Robert Barnes, Washington Post, January 31]. Excerpt:
...Trump nominated Colorado federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court on Tuesday....
    The bonhomie of the ceremony was in stark contrast to the reaction of Democrats, who are ready for a pitched battle over the future of the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Gorsuch will have to win over some Democratic senators to get the 60 votes needed to clear procedural hurdles....
    Gorsuch’s pick won extravagant praise from Republicans and conservatives...
    ...Democrats and liberals are still furious that the Republican Senate did not allow a vote on former President Barack Obama’s choice for the Scalia seat, Judge Merrick Garland, and vowed to contest Gorsuch....
    A group of legal and civil rights groups blasted the nomination, saying Gorsuch was a tool of conservative activists who would gut protections for consumers, workers, clean air and water, safe food and medicine and roll back the rights of women and LGBT people....
    Like Scalia, Gorsuch is a proponent of originalism — meaning that judges should attempt to interpret the words of the Constitution as they were understood at the time they were written — and a textualist who considers only the words of the law being reviewed, not legislators’ intent or the consequences of the decision.
    Critics say that those neutral considerations inevitably lead Gorsuch to conservative outcomes, a criticism that was also leveled at Scalia.
    Gorsuch would like to curb the deference that courts give to federal agencies and is most noted for a strong defense of religious liberty in cases brought by private companies and religious nonprofit groups objecting to the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. [read more]
Comedian Neal Brennan nailed it on Monday night’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah:
Trump watches a show, Saturday Night Live, a show that is known for mocking the President, and has somehow heard that they mock him too....Week after week he watches SNL, gets made fun of, tweets about how about bad it is, then watches it again and gets butt-hurt all over again. You know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me every week for a year straight, maybe I’m a...sociopath.

Jon Stewart made a surprise visit to The Daily Show with Stephen Colbert Tuesday night to reveal some of Trump’s coming executive orders, or proclamations, including the new official language for the United States:

The world is a complicated place. It’s a dangerous time to have a simpleton in the White House.

Grateful for correspondence, Moristotle


  1. Yes, it does feel better to laugh than to cry, which is why we try not to miss any Daily Shows or Late Shows – by DVR recordings the next night, so we don‘t miss our 9:00 o‘clock bedtime. However, the laughter is not always without tears.