English Preferred, Home of the Whopper

English Preferred: President Trump came out yesterday in favor of a new immigration policy that would cut legal immigration by half within 10 years, limiting the ability of US citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.

“This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump said.

It would be a point system. Zero for not speaking English, zero for being over 50.

Presidential adviser Stephen Miller, famous for saying the President’s powers are “not to be questioned,” was asked in a press conference by CNN’s Jim Acosta  whether the proposed policy violates the spirit of the poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Using an objection often cited by white supremacists, Miller brushed off Acosta saying, “The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually part of the Statue of Liberty.”

Sanctions and Sanctimony: President Trump signed the law Congress passed to place sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran but complained about having his hands tied on foreign policy and that the bill includes unconstitutional provisions he might choose not to enforce.

“This bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Trump said in a statement to reporters. “Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking.”

The bill is a rare thing in which Congress is dictating the specifics of foreign policy, but it’s an indicator that the lawmakers don’t trust their president, particularly in matters related to Russia.

Nonetheless, Trump said, “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

Home of the Whopper: Even the press has its leaks to reporters. The transcript of a Wall Street Journal interview with the President has him delivering some stunners, including that the head of the Boy Scouts loved Trump’s speech, foreign leaders love him, and wait until you read what he said about taxes. About the Scout speech he said, “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump said.

The Scouts previously apologized for the President’s politicized speech and say they have no knowledge of a phone call praising him for it.

On foreign relations he said, “I have unbelievable relationships with all of the foreign leaders. They like me. I like them.”

Most interesting was Trump’s answer to a question about tax reform and lower corporate taxes. “I want to achieve growth. We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world, essentially, you know, of the size. But we’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. We have – nobody knows what the number is. I mean, it used to be, when we talked during the debate, 2 ½ trillion (dollars), right, when the most elegant person – right? I call him Mr. Elegant. I mean, that was a great debate. We did such a great job. But at that time I was talking $2 ½ trillion. I guess it’s 5 trillion (dollars) now. Whatever it is, it’s a lot more.”

Say what?

FutureMed: A team of scientists reports that they have successfully “edited” embryonic genes in a procedure to repair disease causing mutations. They remove the flawed portion of the gene which then fixes itself. It’s a development that has both promise and problems for the future of medicine. A report on the project was published in the journal Nature.

Gene editing and genetic engineering have been a Holy Grail but also the subject of ethical debate. Will it be used to create ideal humans while eliminating the unwanted?

Police Beat: Dozens of Baltimore drug cases have been dismissed and many more are under scrutiny after the release of two body camera videos appearing to show police officers planting evidence. The latest shows an officer placing something in a car and moments later a fellow officer finds drugs. The first video, shot in a trash-strewn yard, shows an officer placing drugs in a soda can, then finding it while two other cops looked on.

The Obit Page: Ara Parseghian, who coached Notre Dame football to greatness in the 1960s and 70s, died at age 94 yesterday at his home not far from the college.

He was one of the great college coaches of all time.

Parseghian took over when Notre Dame football was barely capable of winning a game. In 11 seasons from 1964 through 1974, his teams won 95 games, lost 17 and tied four, for a .836 winning percentage. In 1966 and 1973, long before the BCS Championship was established, Notre Dame was voted national champions. Parseghian once said, “The biggest problem was to re-instill the confidence.”

Money, Money: The Dow Jones closed over 22,000 yesterday, a new high, for a lot of reasons we won’t get into now.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, 'So help me, God.'"

-Garrison Keillor on President Trump

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