Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Honeymooners

I'm headed off to my honeymoon!

Technically, I'm leaving tomorrow for my friends' wedding in Durham, North Carolina (at 7 AM, since our original flight was grounded). We get back Sunday, and then Tuesday we fly out to Maui for the actual honeymoon!

But brief stop back home aside, it makes sense to view it as one continuous period where I'm out of commission. And while I don't plan to wholly detach myself from the world, I am going to try to make a conscious effort to unplug a little bit. It's a rare thing for me, but it'll probably be healthy.

I get back home -- for good -- Sunday, March 24. See you all then!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Nah, You're Not Worth It"

The DOJ just announced 50 indictments in a massive bribery ring where wealthy parents paid to give their children an illicit boost in the college admissions process. The unlawful assistance included everything from falsely being "placed" on college sports teams (in sports they did not play), to falsification of test scores (or simply getting a smarter student to take the test instead). None of the students themselves are being charged, as the complaint alleges the parents were the primary actors.

Among those charged is Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, and that led to this interesting little part of the story:
Huffman is accused of paying $15,000 — disguised as a charitable donation — to the Key Worldwide Foundation so her oldest daughter could participate in the scam. A confidential informant told investigators that he advised Huffman he could arrange for a third party to correct her daughter’s answers on the SAT after she took it. She ended up scoring a 1420 — 400 points higher than she had gotten on a PSAT taken a year earlier, according to court documents.
Huffman also contemplated running a similar scam to help her younger daughter but ultimately did not pursue it, the complaint alleges.
So I have to ask -- who comes out feel worse here? The older daughter, who now everyone knows had her college admission purchased by mommy and daddy? Or the younger daughter, who mom and dad considered "helping" in the same way but ultimately decided she wasn't worth the effort (hopefully -- hopefully -- because she was smart and talented enough on her own to not need it)?

Anyway, this is a massive abuse of the educational system by people already incredibly advantaged by their wealth and privilege, and I look forward to the results of the criminal process here.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Greetings, Fellow Jewish Youth!

A new organization has emerged, Jexodus, for Jewish millennials who want to "liberate" themselves from the Democratic Party. How exciting! To paraphrase one wag, now the "the grift of 'we speak for Millennial Jews'" has officially gone bipartisan. Watch, as they bask in the adulation of predominantly old conservatives (Jewish and non-) desperate to believe that the authentic wave of the Jewish future is exactly what they already believe, and delighted to find Jewish voices who will validate their decision to ignore the perspective of the Jewish community writ large.

But if you're going to start a conservative millennial Jewish liberation front, you have to start it right. So let me present the most on-brand fact about Jexodus you'll ever see:
Jexodus is the brainchild of Jeff Ballabon — a longstanding fixture in Republican Jewish circles — and an assortment of like-minded activists like Bruce Abramson, Ballabon's frequent op-ed coauthor. 
Yes, this voice of millennial Jewry was founded by Jeff Ballabon, age 57, and Bruce Abramson, age 55. Greetings, fellow youth indeed.

In the tradition of "Blexit", I'm sure this will gain a ton of media attention and maybe even some support from Russian bots, along side approximately zero support from young Jews who weren't already Republicans.

I can't wait.