Quick Takes: A Tale of Two Visits With Parkland Students

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* The students of Stoneman Douglas High School were in the spotlight today because two famous people visited their school. Here’s what happened when Sec. of Education Betsy Devos stopped by:

* The reaction was quite a bit different when Dwayne Wade paid them a surprise visit.

* AG Sessions turned up the heat against California.

The Trump administration escalated what had been a war of words over California’s immigration agenda, filing a lawsuit late Tuesday that amounted to a pre-emptive strike against the liberal state’s so-called sanctuary laws.

The Justice Department sued California; Gov. Jerry Brown; and the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, over three state laws passed in recent months, saying they made it impossible for federal immigration officials to do their jobs and deport criminals who were born outside the United States. The Justice Department called the laws unconstitutional and asked a judge to block them…

Mr. Brown called the lawsuit a “political stunt.”

“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

* Trump’s so-called “base” doesn’t seem all that thrilled with their tax cut.

“I have seen a little uptick in my paycheck, about what I expected, about 30 bucks,” said Mr. Kazee, who voted twice for President Barack Obama before backing Mr. Trump in the 2016 election. “It felt to me about like where things were 15 years ago.”

His underwhelmed reaction was not what Republicans had in mind. The white working-class voters in the industrial Midwest who helped put Mr. Trump in the White House are now seeing the extra cash from the tax cut, the president’s signature domestic policy achievement and the foundation for Republican election hopes in November.

But the result has hardly been a windfall, economically or politically. Other workers described their increase as enough for a week’s worth of gas or a couple of gallons of milk, with an additional $40 in a paycheck every two weeks on the high side to $2 a week on the low. Few are complaining, but the working class here is not feeling flush with newfound wealth.

* What’s up with this?

The fake directory is one example of the elaborate schemes that Russian “trolls” have pursued to try to collect personal and business information from Americans, the Journal has found. Leveraging social media, Russians have collected data by peddling niche business directories, convincing activists to sign petitions and bankrolling self-defense training classes in return for student information.

It isn’t clear for what purpose the data were collected, but intelligence and cybersecurity experts say it could be used for identity theft or leveraged as part of a wider political-influence effort that didn’t end with the 2016 election.

* We’ve been hearing a lot about the record number of women who are running for office in the 2018 midterms. But I am aware of the fact that no Native American woman has ever served in Congress. Perhaps this year that will finally change.

There are now three Native American women running for the U.S. House. Deb Haaland in New Mexico, Sharice Davids in Kansas, and [Amanda] Douglas in Oklahoma. All are Democrats.

* Finally, I’m one of those people who thinks that David Simon’s The Wire is the best show that has ever been on television. It’s hard to believe that it all started 10 years ago. Dorian Lynskey has an interesting write-up commemorating the anniversary.

The Wire, 10 years on: ‘We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead.

David Simon’s ‘anti-cop show’ struggled to find an audience before being lauded as a classic and making stars of Idris Elba, Michael B Jordan and others. Here, some of its writers and stars look back at a series that changed TV for ever.

I tried to think of a scene to post from The Wire, but there are just too many great ones to chose from. So here’s a montage from the fourth season (the best) set to a tune by Anthony Hamilton.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.