The week of May 17, 2013 pits IRS scandals with phone hacking, Kanye West, stem cells, and David Beckham, leaving shocking news for every type of person. Though West's ranting on stage is nothing new, the retirement of Manchester United's legendary player beside a partial meltdown of the United States' bureaucracy is perhaps even more chaotic than the already-tumultuous spring. Here are the News Genius Quotes of the Week for May 17.
News Genius: We'll never retire. Or be cloned. Maybe.
1. "They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong..."
The scandal of the week confirmed what many had suspected during the 2012 presidential election campaign: the IRS, particularly the Cincinnati office, pursued political groups outside of normal processes when considering each for 501c(4) tax status. While Lerner refers particularly to groups with "conservative," "Tea Party," or "patriot" in their name, the same extreme questioning was levied against liberal groups. While the issue is likely to lead to a number of resignations, misplaced Congressional hearings, and more gridlock, the defense of the IRS is inexcusable; sources note that the deputy commissioner knew of the issue as early as May 2012. Unfortunately for America, these kinds of struggles will inevitably delay action in Congress even more.
2. "I have a very high confidence that versions of this technique will work very well; it's something that the field has been waiting for."
While stem cells are one of the most promising medical therapy techniques in the modern era, their source is far more bleak: human embryos. This barrier has made the widespread adoption of stem cell research and therapy rather limited, hindering the progress of new information that the field needs. Thus, the recent success in cloning human stem cells is a major breakthrough for the study of future therapies, a controversy-free source that promises, when perfected, to eliminate federal restrictions, claims of "baby killing," and similar obstacles to widespread adoption. Don't expect a Star Wars "Attack of the Clones" type future, though. This research is a far cry from fully cloning a human being.
3. "To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country."
After one of the most prolific football careers in history, one of the legends has finally retired from the sport he helped define. David Beckham (striker, model, and short-term champion of American soccer) has completed his last season with Manchester United. His career placed him in the role of the UK's hero, sending him to every championship, tournament, and college poster imaginable. He even landed a role in the title of a movie, Bend it Like Beckham. While a host of talented players, such as Messi, Villa, and Rooney, will continue to thrill, the game will certainly miss its golden child for years to come. Let's just hope this doesn't turn into another Favre situation; after all, it's better to burn out than to fade away.
4. "I ain't kissin' nobody's motherfucking babies — I drop your baby and you sue me and shit."
Adding to an already prolific group of concert rants, Kanye West at a private May 15 show broke down his issues with "celebrity" and fame. While the topics — paparazzi, Saturday Night Live, and private life — were nothing new, the last line of the rant left everyone confused. Why are there babies? Is Kanye dropping an infant on purpose? The answer is more innocent: West is not a politician that picks babies from the crowd, kisses them, and poses for pictures. He is here to make music, not to show off (cough). He has no time for the camera, dropping the "baby" as soon as it gets passed to him, as he runs off to the studio. Yes, you should sue him for that. And call the police.
5. "I am writing to object in the strongest possible terms to a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of the Associated Press."
News broke this week of a long-term wiretapping case secretly opened by the Department of Justice against the Associated Press. After the AP broke a story about the outing of a CIA agent in Turkey, the DOJ legally, but privately, acquired a warrant to tap 20 AP-associated lines, tracking the discussion of classified information related to the Turkey case and new developments. While the warrant, however corrupt, is completely legal under post-Patriot act lawmaking, the situation is entirely suspect. After revelations that the federal government has a hold on all digital communications surfaced last week, nothing is safe. Kids, here's the new motto: never put it in writing or speech.