NEW YORK, NEW YORK–After a pair of bombshell stories in The New York Times and The New Yorker, which featured multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment and sexual assault, film executive Harvey Weinstein has seen his world quickly crumbling around him.
His wife filed for divorce. The eponymous company he founded severed ties with him. And nearly every famous acquaintance he had in Hollywood or Washington has gone on record denouncing him (though a few took appropriate time to verify that sexual assault committed by a donor still counts as reprehensible). Among Democrats, who once saw him as a valuable political ally, Weinstein may be less popular than Donald Trump at the moment–a distinction political scientists previously thought akin to absolute zero.*
MADRID, SPAIN–Speaking to reporters after an allegedly tumultuous weekend in Catalonia, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was not sure what 2.3 million Catalans were doing out on Sunday since he had not given them permission to exercise self-determination.
Rajoy went on to express sympathy with the late King George III of England, saying that the ungrateful American colonists’ Declaration of Independence was illegal and that the rule of law requires that they continue to respect the legitimate authority of the English Crown.
In recent weeks, the Confederate statue controversy has died down. I have been grateful for this shift, as no good ever comes from questioning the status quo or taking an interest in US history.*
Still, I fear that the divisive episode may not be fully behind us. And if it should reemerge, I have developed a grand compromise that should satisfy everyone: Replace all of the Confederate statues with statues of our noble 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
This solution may not be obvious, but it offers something for everyone.*
WASHINGTON, DC–Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with US President Trump, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that “democracy will never undermine our democracy.”
The prime minister was referring to the planned referendum in Catalonia on so-called “independence”, and the turn of phrase has become something of a rallying cry for Rajoy and his supporters as he works to quell the democratic insurgency in that too-autonomous region. Rajoy later vowed that his government “would use all means necessary to defeat the radical democratic terrorists”.*
WASHINGTON, DC–A new Fox News / Rasmussen poll has found that nearly 65% of registered voters agreed or strongly agreed that “President Trump is focused on the issues that matter.”
The poll came after an energetic weekend for the president, in which he made headlines for repeatedly criticizing NFL players for bad posture during the national anthem. The resulting controversy had fans across the nation choosing sides in the debate, and a majority has sided with the president.*
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Feeling relieved after being called a “son of a b****” by the President of the United States on Twitter, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he expected to sign with a new team within the week.
Kaepernick has been in the crosshairs of the President for his silent protests of the US national anthem during the 2016 season. Kaepernick voluntarily decided to become a free agent from the 49ers at the end of last season, but has failed to find an enduring spot on another roster since.*
WASHINGTON, DC–In a widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve decided on Wednesday to keep short-term interest rates steady, and announced a start date for its plan to burn $10 billion per month in an “epic” bonfire.
The bonfire program represents the other side of the extraordinary monetary policy measures the Fed implemented in the wake of the Great Recession. Those measures included the creation of trillions of dollars in new money, which were then spent primarily on US Treasury Bonds and mortgage-backed securities, with the goal of lowering long-term interest rates and increasing economic activity.
Although economic growth never recovered to historically normal rates, interest rates did plummet as intended and have stayed consistently low. Now the Fed has determined the policies were successful enough, and is starting to unwind the initial money creation. This led to the tricky question of how to dispose of all the money they printed.
WASHINGTON, DC–Saying that the last days are always the hardest to watch, a group of activists and lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week argued that the GOP Obamacare repeal effort should be allowed to die with dignity.*
“There are good days and bad days,” Senator Rand Paul explained, “but deep down, we’ve all known the patient is terminal.”