Editor's Note: Every Friday, Tom Keane offers up assorted observations, conundra and miscellanea about the week that was. Here's his round-up for the week ending June 30, 2017.
It was the week when Donald Trump may have finally started enjoying his job.
A win here, a chance there and a few jabs all around. The Supreme Court resurrected Trump’s travel ban -- albeit with a few adjustments — and it went into effect Thursday. The Senate delayed voting on Obamacare’s repeal but behind-the-scenes dealmaking proceeded apace. CNN forced out three reporters who posted a badly sourced story on the Russian investigation — thereby in effect proving Trump’s “fake news” meme. And former president Barack Obama faced withering criticism that he failed to take meaningful measures to stop Russian interference in the U.S. election — making Trump’s alleged transgressions look far less consequential. In Trumpworld, things are suddenly looking up!
Rude and lewd. Some Republicans denounced crude comments Trump tweeted about TV host Mika Brzezinski, saying they were “beneath the dignity” of the presidency. Really? After all of the sexist comments he’s made about the likes of Carly Fiorina, Princess Diana, Rosie O’Donnell, Cher, Hillary Clinton and Megyn Kelly? Beneath the dignity of the presidency, maybe. Beneath the dignity of this president, certainly not.
Don't be evil. The European Union fined Google $2.72 billion for antitrust violations. Finally! It’s been apparent for years that Google is a monopoly. The search engine giant steers folks to its own preferred vendors who are, of course, the ones that pay it most. Others are left in the lurch. So why wasn’t the United States -- basically the inventor of antitrust law back in the late 1800s — doing anything about it? Apparently, when it comes to home-grown companies, we now let them do whatever they want. Which has to make you think: Maybe having another strong economic power out there is a good thing, meaning that Brexit (and Grexit, Frexit, etc.) are bad ideas after all.
And then there’s evil. Meanwhile, another media giant — Facebook — reports that it’s deleting 66,000 hate-filled posts a week. Is that a lot of people with bad thoughts or just a very prolific few?
Voyeurs at work. The TSA at Logan posted a picture of a 15-pound lobster it found while screening luggage, infuriating the passenger who was shipping his purchase. What was the TSA agent thinking? Enough of us are already creeped out that inspectors paw through our bags. But they pose for pictures with our stuff too? First come lobsters, then come your nighties. Republican plans to privatize the TSA increasingly look like a good idea.
Mayor for life. A new poll from Suffolk University and The Boston Globe shows Boston mayor Marty Walsh with a 31-point lead over challenger Tito Jackson. Still, Jackson has a chance. The fall election will be a sleepy affair with low turnout. If Walsh gets complacent, a good ground game by the challenger could drive more of his supporters to the polls, possibly allowing Jackson to close the gap. The only problem: Walsh is not a complacent man.
Stereotypes. Hooray! Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che may have called Boston the “most racist city” but it turns out he was wrong! About 52 percent in that same Suffolk and Boston Globe poll said Boston was not racist! Well, at least 52 percent of whites. Turns out, 57 percent of blacks said it was.
Having a blast. Independence Day is next week and flashing highway signs are reminding us, once again, that fireworks are prohibited in Massachusetts. Fines, even prison await the transgressor. Can you say, “Nanny State?” Yeah, fireworks injure about 12,000 people annually. But that pales in comparison to injuries from, say, ladders (724,000 annually), cutlery (819,000) or bicycles (1.4 million). Why not ban them too? Or better, why not legalize fireworks and teach folks how to use them safely?
Inequality. Warring studies from Seattle disagreed over whether that city’s $15 minimum wage cost jobs. Frankly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a high minimum wage in one jurisdiction would push jobs into neighboring towns with a lower wage requirement. (And a statewide or national minimum wage would largely fix that.) But in any event, so what? Seattle has a low unemployment rate (it’s just 2.9 percent). Folks are getting jobs anyway — and are getting better compensation to boot. What exactly is the problem with that?
And finally. “Honey, did you see this new article that couples who argue a lot are actually happier?”
“But we hardly ever argue and we’re happy.”
“I wonder. Maybe we’re not as happy as we could be.”
“That’s ridiculous. Let me see it. Oh, come on. This is in the New York Post. And it’s not a report. It’s just some idiot’s opinion.”
“She’s not an idiot. And the Post is a great newspaper.”
“Not true at all.”
“I love you.”