The “Blatherskite” News

Inclusion does not equal endorsement.

Quotes

“I would say we have term limits now. They're called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) (New York Times; Vox)

“We recycle cans and newspapers. We need to be thinking about how we recycle our buildings as well.” Stephanie Meeks, CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (APM Marketplace)

“'Well, yeah, I voted for Trump because he's lookin' out for the workin' man who needs more gas taxes.'” Rick Wilson (Twitter, @TheRickWilson)

“[W]hen you vote to remake 18% of our economy w/o hearings, experts, or READING THE BILL you lose the right to call yourself moderate/sensible.” Catherine Rampell (Twitter, @crampell, Washington Post)

“Living with chronic illness has been a struggle but if my death can help provide a tax break to the wealthy it will all have been worth it.” Alicia Hawkes (Twitter, @AliciaHawkes)

“It bends because we bend it. Because we put our hand on that arc and we move it in the direction of justice.” Barack Obama, discussing Martin Luther King Jr's “moral arc of the universe” while accepting the Profile in Courage Award (JFK Library; MSNBC, Twitter)

 

Numbers

4.9— In the Netherlands, 4.9 percent of children live in poverty. In Germany that number is 10.3 percent. This compares to 20 percent of American children who are impoverished. (Vox)

62— Since 2012, spending on pharmaceutical ads is up 62 percent. Only the US and New Zealand permit advertising for prescription drugs. (PBS NewsHour)

91— There were at least one false or misleading claim made by the Trump administration on 91 of their first 99 days in office. (New York Times)

184— In order to save money during their financial crisis, the government of Puerto Rico will be closing 184 schools after the school year ends. This will affect approximately 27,000 students. There are concerns that the education of special needs students has not been adequately addressed in these school closures. (NPR)

96,000 — The median annual income for an intern at Facebook is 96,000 dollars. (APM Marketplace)

 

Notes

Reading Suggestions/Links: (1) Full list of 2017's Tony Award Nominations (New York Times), (2) “For the Cost of Republican Tax Cuts, We Can Give Every Working American Up to $18,000 a Year” by Gregory Ferenstein (Motherboard, Vice), (3) “Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy” by Farhad Manjoo (New York Times). Incidentally, keep an eye on net neutrality issues this year. That's a story that's still developing and will affect everyone who uses the Internet. (4) “The Trump Administration is Making Obamacare More Expensive” by Sarah Kliff (Vox)

Worthy Excerpt on the Ethos of the Trump Era:

“Which is not to say that Women Who Work does not have an ideology. It does, and it’s a very recognizable one to readers familiar with the favorite rhetorical tropes of President Trump. Ivanka even quotes him:

“My father has always said, if you love what you do, and work really, really hard, you will succeed. This is a fundamental principle of creating and perpetuating a culture of success, and also a guiding light for me personally.

“The idea that you can choose success, and that if you don’t, you are choosing failure, is the guiding philosophy of Women Who Work; the not-so-hidden subtext is that everyone really should choose to be Ivanka Trump, who is the epitome of success. Trump’s built-in advantages — her inherited wealth, her expensive education, the networking she’s done since childhood that landed her a job offer at Vogue right out of college (she turned it down to work in real estate instead), her ability to hire staff to take on household chores while she devotes herself to work — are waved aside as irrelevant. The general sense is that you could have all those things too, if you really chose to.

“This ideology is also, with more aggressive phrasing, the guiding philosophy of Donald Trump, who famously loves winning and hates losers. After all, if you can choose to win and succeed, anyone who loses must have chosen to lose…

“To the extent that Trump’s ideology translates to policy, it appears to be a policy designed to help those who don’t need all that much help. It’s for those who have already succeeded, because, after all, they chose to win.”

—— From “Ivanka Trump's New Book, Women Who Work, is a Pink-Tinted Sea of Innocuousness” by Constance Grady, Vox

 

Worthy Excerpt on the Media: “If the headline asks a question, try answering 'no.' Is This the True Face of Britain's Young? (Sensible reader: No.) Have We Found the Cure for AIDS? (No; or you wouldn't have put the question mark in.) Does This Map provide the Key for Peace? (Probably not.) A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic. To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means 'don't bother reading this bit.' “— Andrew Marr, My Trade

 

Indiana Self-Sufficiency by County; Raise the Minimum Wage:

Indiana Self-Sufficiency Map

Via Indiana Institute for Working Families and Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard (DOT org)

 

Datebook

May 14: Mother's Day (U.S.)

May 19: Iranian Presidential Election (Iran)

May 26: Arrested Development leaves Netflix

May 26: Ramadan begins (evening) (World)

June 11: The Tony Awards (U.S.)

July 16: HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 Premieres (World)

 

Today's title: a “blatherskite” is a person who talks at great length without making much sense.

 

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