Jon Stewart’s White House Link, Trumping Trump On Immigration & Killer Robots: July 28, 2015

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New Study Trumps Trump: Shocking Decline in Mexican Immigration
By Russ Baker
Donald Trump is the leading Republican candidate, largely because of his tough talk over Mexican immigration. There’s just one problem: a new report shows he’s way off base. But almost no one is covering it.

WHO

Jon Stewart’s Secret White House Visits 
With just a week to go before this larger-than-life figure exits the stage, conservative critics will no doubt point to this story in Politico as further proof that Stewart always exits stage “Left.” Expect the “un-shy”–including  FOX News and Rush Limbaugh–to have plenty to say about Stewart’s handling of the Obama Presidency in light of revelations that Stewart was twice summoned to the White House to confer with the President.

A Terrorism Expert’s Secret Relationship with the FBI
The Intercept examines the bona fides of Van Kohlmann, regarded as an expert on terror. The boyish Kohlmann is a preferred witness in government terrorism prosecutions and a now-ubiquitous commentator on all things terrifying for NBC and MSNBC. One problem: he’s not really an expert. His research hasn’t been peer reviewed. He’s a consultant for the FBI. And one agent called him “the Doogie Howser of Terrorism.”

Musk, Hawking, Wozniak Call for Ban on Autonomous Weapons and Military AI
Three of the world’s science and technology heavyweights have thrown a preemptive punch against a future filled with killer robots. In a just-released letter, the trio—plus Noam Chomsky and dozens of scientists and robotics researchers—called for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons” to prevent a “military AI arms race.”

WHAT

Is Fetal Tissue Essential to Science?
The Center for Medical Progress just released their third undercover video showing Planned Parenthood officials talking about the harvesting and alleged sale of fetal tissue. The videos have reignited a long-simmering debate over abortion. Senate Republicans recently sparred over an attempt to block funding for the abortion and contraception provider. Anti-abortion hackers just breached Planned Parenthood’s servers. But, as Newsweek points out, fetal tissue has been used in the US since the 1930s and it represents a small, but potentially ground-breaking portion of biomedical research. It is also strictly regulated to keep the abortion procedure “walled-off” from research applications.

WHY

What Gives Bugs Bunny His Lasting Power?
Yes, this headline technically is a “WHAT,” but it seems appropriate (and perhaps necessary) to punctuate today’s newsletter with a celebration of Bugs Bunny on his 75th birthday. In 1940, the wise-cracking rabbit appeared in a Warner Brothers animated short titled “A Wild Hare.” Since then, Bugs “starred” in over 150 films, secured a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and supplanted Mickey Mouse atop TV Guide’s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters. That’s “what’s up,” Doc!

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