Weekly Review — May 14, 2019, 1:20 pm

Weekly Review

Donald Trump criticized Rashida Tlaib, then welcomed Viktor Orbán to the White House; Georgia banned abortions after six weeks; 46 million Australian bills were printed with a typo

During an interview, Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan remarked that the thought of her Palestinian ancestors giving up their homes and livelihoods to help Jews after the Holocaust gave her a “warm feeling,” which was roundly criticized by Donald Trump and other G.O.P. politicians as anti-Semitic.1 “She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?” Trump tweeted; several hours later, the president welcomed Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, who used the slogan “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh!” on a campaign poster, to the White House.2 3 “You’re respected all over Europe. Probably like me a little bit controversial, but that’s okay. You’ve done a good job, and you’ve kept your country safe,” said Trump, whose tax information from 1985 to 1994, which showed losses of $1.17 billion and allowed for no deductions for charitable giving, was made public; in 1991, his loss was 1 percent of all losses declared by individual taxpayers that year.4 5 6  A survey reported that 1 in 15 borrowers considered suicide because of their student loan-debt; for the second month in a row, there were over 100,000 arrests at the U.S.–Mexico border; and the CDC reported that about 420 women die each year from preventable pregnancy complications.7 8 9 “Who am I to hold that against someone when they’ve turned their life around?” said Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, explaining his decision not to fire his chief of staff after it was revealed that, as recently as three years ago, he had sent text messages asking for oral sex from an intern, tried to have sex with a lobbyist, and said he’d try to have sex with another intern; Casada has not yet signed a bill, approved by the Tennessee Senate, that would require drivers to use a hands-free device for cell phones.10 11 Uber had the worst initial public offering in U.S. stock market history.13 Physicists found that gravitational waves leave more observable “memories” when passing through space than was previously thought.14

Outside of Argentina’s National Congress, a legislator and his aide were fatally shot in what local officials described as a “Mafia-style” hit, and Israel and Palestine agreed to a ceasefire so that Israel could host Eurovision.15 16 17 A Chicago judge used eyewitness testimony from a legally blind man to sentence a teenager to 76 years in prison.18 Representative John Becker of Ohio, who sponsored a bill that would ban nearly all forms of nontherapeutic abortion, incorrectly stated that ectopic pregnancies could be implanted into the uterus; Georgia passed a law that would imprison women who obtain an abortion after six weeks; and, following a procedural debate, the Alabama Senate postponed a vote on a proposal that would ban most abortions, including in cases of rape or incest.19 20 21 “As a mother, you know,” said a woman whose son’s death in a Florida Panhandle prison was revealed this week to have been potentially staged by guards to look like a suicide; the same report also detailed starvation, the beating of inmates, and the harassment of black employees, which included the dangling of nooses made from toilet paper in front of them.22 The United States is nearly drought-free for the first time in decades and is experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding.23 The only cemetery in Lares, Puerto Rico, which was damaged during Hurricane Maria, finally reopened.24 In Mongolia, a couple ate raw marmot and died of the plague.25

B-52 bombers traveled from Louisiana to Qatar as a warning to Iran, and the Army introduced new uniforms that closely resemble its World War II–era uniforms.26 27 Kendrick Castillo—a high school senior and a member of his school’s robotics team—was fatally shot while lunging at one of two gunmen who entered the school to kill their fellow students.28 In Milwaukee, a gun owner with a concealed-carry permit threatened to shoot people he was arguing with, tried to pull out his weapon, and, in the ensuing struggle, shot and killed himself.29 In a Bavarian hotel, three guests were shot with a crossbow.30 The Australian $50 note was printed with a typo on 46 million bills.31 In Florida, a judge ruled that a couple hoping to use CBD oil, alkaline water, and fresh food to cure their three-year-old of cancer must send their child to chemotherapy; a man pulled over for having a bumper sticker reading “I Eat Ass” says his rights were violated; and after being chased by a stolen Orange County sheriff’s vehicle, a different thief crashed into two cars and a house, and then fled the scene.32 33 34 An ad agency for the National Rifle Association, according to leaked documents, was billed over half a million dollars by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre for, among other things, a nearly $40,000 shopping spree in Beverly Hills and $13,800 in rent for an intern.35Jacob Rosenberg

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
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I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

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