Highest Rated Comments

jisa249 karma

Have you stayed in touch with any of your past patients (or have they stayed in touch with you by sending the occasional thank you note or Christmas letter-sort of update)?

jisa130 karma

Thank you for doing the AMA. I love your work, especially the West Wing (I cannot tell you how happy I am to have another Jed on TV beyond the Beverly Hillbillies), and I am looking forward to seeing you at the Smithsonian's event about leadership in a few weeks. I'm not sure if saying I look forward to seeing your new film is quite appropriate under the circumstances, I'm sure it will be powerful and painful, but I do look forward to seeing your portrayal of Warren Anderson.

I would like to ask you how you came to be an activist, and whether you have found it difficult to balance a movie/TV career with fighting for the causes you believe in? (Both in terms of time, as well as in concerns that doing one might damage the other?)

jisa124 karma

As someone who was born 100% deaf and had surgeries as an infant that restored my hearing to relatively "normal" range, I am baffled, putting it mildly, that there is a segment of the Deaf community that attacks cochlear implants for treating deafness as a disability and not a cultural identity. Have you encountered any hostility for having the implants, and how have you dealt with it?

jisa30 karma

Happy holidays, /u/thedanielstern. You and Joe Pesci gave us kids of the 80s/90s the wonderful gift of an appreciation for slapstick comedy.

I have a quick question for you, if I may. From what I've read, you started acting at the Washington Shakespeare Festival. When you started out, did you see yourself becoming a movie star, or were you interested in becoming a Shakespearian actor, or...? (My girlfriend is a Shakespearian scholar, so I thought she'd be interested to know your answer.)

jisa25 karma

This is a misunderstanding of the definition of essential. In the context of a shutdown, essential and non-essential are terms of art. Essential employees are those who are required to work for reasons of protected life or property. Doctors are essential. Nurses are essential. Administrators, with exceptions, are not. But without administrators, government-run hospitals can't function.

Law enforcement is essential. Military is essential. Cleaning Federal parks/monuments is not, but without that, Federal parks/monuments (as we've seen) have to shutdown.

The people who ensure that grant money goes out are not essential. The people who monitor grants, resolve audits, resolve hotline complaints, etc., are not essential. But without their work, money doesn't go out to grantees for things like food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, education, etc., and nobody is ensuring that the money that is already out there is being spent appropriately and without fraud, waste, or abuse.

Until recently, the government has always said that those who ensure tax refunds go out are not essential.

USDA food inspectors are not essential.

Federal attorneys handling civil cases are not essential.

SEC staff who oversee Initial Public Offerings are not essential.

Essential and important are NOT synonymous.