Magic Before Easter, Counting Aliens and Nervy Russians

Adding a Citizenship question to the Census

The popular news is that California and New York are suing the  Trump administration to prevent adding a census question about citizenship.  Democrats are calling this a craven attack on our democracy… despite the fact that non-citizens are not allowed to vote.  Perhaps that’s the point?

The main issue is that non-citizens may be less likely to respond, which may result in an undercount and cost heavily non-citizen areas’ government funding.  On the other hand, without the question, it’s not clear who the respondees are.

From 1820 until 1950, the Census did ask this question.  So it’s not new so much as “reinstated.”  However, this hasn’t stopped Democrats from claiming it’s an unConstitutional Question.  (Yes, really.)

Easter’s Blue Moon

This only hit our heuristics because Easter is in the news and this would end up syndicated in many of the sources.  But…

There’s a Blue Moon (second full moon of the month) on Easter Eve.  Blue Moons are uncommon – once every three years or so.  That said, this is actually a “double Blue Moon” meaning that it is the second occurrence of a Blue Moon this year.  Double Blue Moons are even rarer, occurring only two to three times in a century. Other than that, and being on the eve of Easter, it’s just another full moon.

Trump Expels the Russians

And speaking of a blue moon… President Trump ordered 60 Russian “diplomats” (which is diplomat-speak for “suspected spies”) to leave the U.S. and the Seattle Consulate to shut down.  This joining the 7 expelled from Canada, 23 expelled from the U.K. and a bunch from another 17 European countries including Albania, Hungary and the Ukraine.

This was triggered by the Russian assasination attempt of former Russian intelligence official Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on 04-March-2018, using a Soviet nerve agent called NovichokExposing another 130 people to possible poisoning beyond the intended victims.

Why do you care?

This is big news.  The world, including President Trump, has united against Russia on this. The U.S. joining is big news to much of the world because (a) the U.S. matters and (b) Trump is clearly hitting Putin hard on this.  Even the Russian stock exchange plummeted when the U.S. expelled the agents.

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