Yesterday, I quoted Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) who tried to justify his vote to cut $40 billion from food stamps for the poor, hungry and needy by saying, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."
Around the same time that Mr. Cramer was perhaps bringing the wrath of God upon himself, along came Nike co-founder Phil Knight who on Friday night pledged a gift of $500 million to Oregon Health & Science University for cancer research.
There were no details about whether there were conditions on Mr. Knight's gift that only people willing to work would be allowed to benefit from the results of the research. It is therefore presumed that that won't be the case, and the benefits will be available to anyone in need.
There was no official word from Rep. Cramer, who aides said was busy preparing in advance for his expected trip to Hell. A spokesman for God released a press released that said simply, "Just Do It!"
God's spokesman added that the Almighty's record on the issue is pretty clear. "As He said in Matthew 25:35, 'I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.' You don't get a whole lot more specific than that. I know that sometimes God speaks in metaphor and 'Mysterious Ways,' but this is pretty obvious. And besides, as far as metaphor goes, if it was, even the most heartless should be able to figure that out. And the only thing 'mysterious' is how anyone could misinterpret Him. And be so cold and cruel."
In fairness, there were people surprised by Phil Knight's $500 million gift. That would be administrators of Oregon Health & Science University. "This was probably the biggest surprise of my professional life,"said Joseph Robertson, president of the university, who had no idea the gift was coming at the gala.
To be clear, the gift from Phil and Penny Knight did come with one major caveat: the school has to find funding to match it. But should they accomplish that, it would give them a billion dollars.
The focus of Oregon Health & Science University cancer research has been on targeted therapy. That's where treatment is directed at cells most susceptible to cancer, while healthy cells around them are left alone.
Previously, the Knights had donated $100 million to cancer research at the school.
Later, an anonymous aide from Rep. Cramer's office called with a quote, but asked not to be identified. "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not get cancer treatment." He then added, off the record, "We're really screwed by this, aren't we?"
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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