The Daily Moth 2-6-18

February 7, 2018


Woman Who Won $560 Million Lottery Tries to Conceal Identity; Trump’s Lawyers Don’t Want Him To Do Interview With Mueller; Trump to Decide on Release of Democrats’ Memo; GOP Senators Ask DOJ to Investigate Steele; Fake Tiger Causes Panic; Recap of Marlee Matlin's Presentation at TCEA Convention; Interview with Marlee Matlin

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, February 6. Ready for news? 




In New Hampshire, a woman who recently won a $560 million Powerball lottery (last month) is trying to remain anonymous. 


Lottery rules say if a person signs the back of the ticket and wants to get the money, the person’s identity must be revealed. 


The woman said it was a huge mistake to sign it and is now trying to get a judge to support her. She said she is concerned about her safety and privacy. 


If she had set up a trust and had the ticket signed in the trust’s name, she could have remained anonymous, but she didn’t. If she tried to “white out” her signature, it would invalidate the ticket. 


Her lawyer said the woman is a long-time resident of NH and is an engaged community member, and wants to be able to continue her work and have the freedom to walk in a grocery store and attend events without drawing attention. 


They are asking the judge to allow the lottery ticket be altered. 


But the lottery executives in NH say the woman must follow the rules — she signed it, her name must be revealed. They say revealing who won helps with the security and integrity of the lottery. 


The next court hearing is February 21. The ticket was sold at a small store in Merrimack.




The New York Times reported last night that President Trump’s lawyers have advised him to not sit down for an interview with the Special Counsel Mueller, because they are concerned Trump could make a false statement or contradict himself, and be charged with lying to the FBI. 


Just a few weeks ago President Trump said he was looking forward to sitting down with Mueller for an interview — but he did say this was subject to his lawyers. 


If Trump refuses an interview, Mueller’s team can subpoena him to testify before a grand jury. 


Trump’s team can challenge this in court, saying Trump has constitutional rights as President and did nothing wrong. This can go up to the Supreme Court. 


Mueller also could also decide not to subpoena the president and use whatever information he has to make his final determinations on the investigation. 


The NY Times compared it with former President Nixon, who refused to turn over tapes of his conversations with aides in 1974. The Supreme Court said Nixon had to turn them over because he was not above the law.




The memo controversy in Washington, D.C. continues. 


Yesterday the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the Democrats’ 10-page rebuttal to the Republican memo released on Friday. (I have explained in detail what the memo says on Sunday). 


This Democratic memo rebuttal was written by Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif). It will point out how the Republican memo was distorted and had many inaccuracies. 


Now it is up to President Trump to decide if he will release this to the public, as he did for the Republican memo.


It is possible that Trump will block it, as he has accused Rep. Schiff of being a liar and a leaker of confidential information — that he must be stopped. 


If it is blocked, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif) can ask the full House to override Trump’s decision. But that might not happen, as Nunes has shown strong support for Trump and was the writer of the first memo. Nunes has also said Hillary Clinton colluded with Russians. 


So we’ll see what happens. 


There is yet another memo, written by Republican Senators Grassley and Graham — they have urged the Dept. of Justice to investigate if Christopher Steele (the author of the dossier) lied to the FBI — and — if officials under the Obama administration helped Steele with his dossier. 


So, you see there’s several different battles going on in Capitol Hill and the White House as the Russian investigation drags on.




In Scotland, a farmer saw what seemed to be a tiger laying down in his cow shed — so he called the police. 


Police then contacted a local wildlife park to check if a tiger escaped. 


When the police arrived at the farm, they were also scared, with one officer refusing to get out of the car. 


After 45 minutes with other officers approaching the tiger with guns, they realized it was not a real animal — it was a large stuffed animal. 


A big relief for everybody. The police said the farmer had good intentions to make the call. 


It is not known how the tiger got there. There was a party at the farm. Maybe someone threw it in there.




Alex: I’m here at the Austin Convention Center because there is a TCEA Convention event for teachers/tech/education. Deaf actor Marlee Matlin is here to give a keynote presentation. I’m going to cover her presentation and interview her. 


(Video clips of Marlee’s presentation and audience) 


Marlee: I do motivational speeches — that’s what I do when I’m not in the front of a camera, during my downtime. I visit various organizations to give presentations on different topics depending on what the organization specializes in. It’s fun because it’s always different. 


Here there are a lot of hearing teachers for hearing schools. But I can say that deaf schools and deaf education in mainstream programs, there should be an ability for deaf kids to be educated in the way that they can learn. There are different ways. Interpreters in a classroom is one. A deaf teacher in a deaf classroom is another — that’s what I grew up with, in a deaf program with a deaf teacher in a deaf classroom, and with hearing teachers who could sign, too. There are various options. You have to get Deaf Ed to teach deaf students. 


(Video clips of presentation and audience) 


TCEA Attendee Twyla Loftin: I just saw Marlee Matlin’s presentation about her life. I liked it, to get her perspective on her life, she shared on how her parents approached her education. It was nice to see her perspectives, but I hope the audience will do research to see that there’s not only one perspective, that there are various strategies for education. I hope people will look that up. But she did a wonderful job, people were inspired, they loved her. 


[Recap of Marlee’s Presentation]


Alex: I watched Marlee’s presentation, she delivered it on one podium with her interpreter, Jack Jason standing at another podium. 


Her main topic is that the audience can be successful if they set their minds to it — showing her own successes as a deaf person, even though there were people that said she couldn’t. 


She said she became deaf at 18 months of age. Her parents visited various deaf school programs but preferred to keep her in a local program. She said her parents had a “Deaf Child” sign posted in her home area, that she hated it, but her parents said it meant it alerted others that they were entering Marlee’s “area.” 


She grew up in suburban Chicago. There was an opportunity for her to act in a play — “Wizard of Oz” — and Marlee said she only wanted one role — Dorothy. She got it, and she said she was “on her way.” 


Later Marlee said she met with Henry Winkler, the famous actor best known as “Fonzie” on TV show Happy Days — and said she wanted to be just like him. But Marlee’s mother advised against this, saying it was hard to be in Hollywood, so it’d be even harder because she was Deaf. 


But Henry encouraged Marlee to follow her dreams. Sure enough, Marlee won an Oscar. 


Marlee said the day after, she was criticized by a columnist saying the award was a “pity vote,” that she was not really acting because she was a deaf person in a deaf role. 


After that, Marlee relied on Henry for more support, staying at his home in L.A. for two years as she built her confidence to find new acting jobs. 


Marlee said a year later, at the next Oscars awards, she wanted to “prove” people wrong by speaking out the names for “Best Actor” awards. She said she could speak right because the right person, Michael Douglas, came up. 


But she was criticized sharply the next day, again, but by the Deaf community — who said she was misguiding people that deaf kids should speak. Marlee said Whoopi Goldberg gave her support, saying she went through criticism from the African-American community when she wore blue eye contacts for a magazine cover. 


She then talked about Helen Keller’s quote, “Blindess cuts you off from things, but deafness cuts you off from people.” Marlee said deafness only cuts you off from people if you allow it to. 


She then said ASL is the third most used langauge in the country, and more people can learn it today because of technology. 


She closed her speech with saying “we have a right to dream and achieve success, I’m living proof, if I can do it, so can you.” 


The audience gave her a standing ovation at the end and she took questions and interacted with the audience. 




[Interview with Marlee Matlin] 


The Daily Moth: Can you tell us about your upcoming role on “Quantico”?


Marlee Matlin: I’ve been selected as a cast member, an actual cast member, not a “guest star”, which is what I’ve done for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, guest starring roles have been great to me, I’ve been able to work creatively with the roles given to me – which I love. But being cast on Quantico has led to some really fun times. My character is an FBI agent, who happens to become deaf later in life – like 3-6 years prior to the events in the show. She was an FBI agent for a long time, and was one of the top trainers for FBI agents. Then she became deaf, but you’ll have to watch the show to find out how it happened. 


It’s been really fun with the cast and crew, watching them learn sign language. My character isn’t fluent in ASL - I wish she was, but it wouldn’t make sense because she just became deaf. So I learned fast, “I” as my character, not Marlee, my character learned fast. She’s a smart woman, who picked it up easily. So it was an opportunity to experiment mixing English and ASL. I had an ASL Master on set every time I went to work - and we’d work together to determine the best way to approach my character’s lines. It was really cool. The show will be released first on April 26th on ABC. My character also has her own episode during the season, the sixth episode, so I’m really excited about that - it was really challenging and I’m really proud of my work. 


The Daily Moth: You have an Oscar award. But you’ve said it is difficult to find roles.


Marlee Matlin: Even though I won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, four Emmy nominations, and many other awards, that doesn’t mean I’m handed a lot of work - I still have to hustle, I have to network, and interact with the right people, set up lunches, or set up meetings to get together. I have to be assertive and you have to know the right people. I have a great team, my agent, my manager, many people on my team who, without them, I would not be here. Especially Jack Jason, my interpreter and my producer/partner who runs my production company. If not for him, I don’t think I’d be sitting here either. I’m really grateful.


I was cast only because I went to a party. A friend of mine said someone wants to meet you. Michael Seitzman, who created my role for Quantico, he saw me, and he said, “I want to do something with you”. He put me in Code Black as a guest star, and it went well, I enjoyed that - he said, “I want to thing of something more for you”, I said “Okay”, thinking it was just talk, but now here we are, Quantico! Yes, luck.


The Daily Moth: This role seems like a really big deal to you.


Marlee Matlin: Yes, it’s big. Big. My kids are excited. All four are old enough to watch TV – they’re not babies anymore. So it’s exciting for them. 


The Daily Moth: Are you a “full-time soccer mom” with your four children?


Marlee Matlin: Yes, I am still a full-time soccer mom – by other parents, I have four or five other parents who text me with live updates during the game, so I still get a feeling of the emotion of the game. Today was a big game for first place for my son, the second-oldest. My next son is on JV, he’s a freshman - so we’re excited for him. Back to my second-oldest, he’s on Varsity, in his Junior year, he’s really talented and I’m really proud of all four of my kids. My youngest tried out for cheer-leading, so fingers crossed! But soccer is my love, whether it’s a soccer game or if its someone talking about soccer, even if its a stranger, I jump right in. I love soccer.


The Daily Moth: Your husband is a retired police officer. Are you happy to have him home? 


Marlee Matlin: My husband retired last year as a police officer, after serving for thirty years. Think he’ll stay home? No, go find some work. So he works for another company now, and he’s very happy. I’m very relieved. Every time I see a police officer, I think of my husband, and how relieved I am. I tell them, “be safe”. I’m happy that he’s finished his work as a police officer. It was fun at that time, but scary. I’m glad he’s back home in one piece. 


The Daily Moth: You were at the Super Bowl Game on Sunday. Can you share your thoughts?


Marlee Matlin: Recently on Super Bowl Sunday, I really enjoyed it - it was so much fun – but I’m entitled to some fun, I can play sometimes. I was really excited for Alexandra Wailes. It was exciting to stand on the field and watch her. It gave me chills to watch her represent the deaf and hard of hearing community, and represent ASL. She couldn’t have done it any better. It was fantastic. 


When I looked up at the Jumbotron, I saw that a PIP of the performance did appear – and it was fine for the live streaming. I still wish that the network this year, NBC, had shown the performance continuously throughout, perhaps with a PIP airing on television as well. But they decided not to do that. We can’t override that, it’s their decision, but we can ask. We can always ask. Keep asking. I won’t give up. Even when I performed, they wouldn’t do that for me either, cutting away and only showing my performance once or twice. So we’re still fighting for it. 


The Daily Moth: Any final thoughts?


Marlee Matlin: I just want to give a big hello to the deaf and hard of hearing community, and say I’m thrilled to finally have met you, Alex! We haven’t met til today for the first time, we’re finally here face to face!


The Daily Moth: Thanks, Marlee!




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 

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