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Politics

Here’s What You Missed (12/4/18)

Daniel Chase

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I am of the persuasion that you can eat what you want, so long as it’s in moderation. For example, let’s assume, for the moment, that you want nothing more than to sink your teeth into a juicy, tender Double-Double (animal style) with well-done French fries from In N’ Out, I give you full permission to do so. If this delectable meal becomes your breakfast, lunch, and dinner then we start to have an issue, my friend. Keep in mind that the key to eating healthfully is simply eating well. Make sure you cook everything you eat if you can manage to control that portion of your life. Also, while we’re at it, don’t eat food while watching television. Studies have shown that we tend to overeat when we stuff our face while watching reruns of the Office. Sit down at the table like a normal person and take your time with every bite. 

Well, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

And The Plot Continues To Thicken

As special counsel Robert Mueller continues down the long and lonesome road of his ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, he consistently finds himself to find one roadblock after another. Whether its potential pardons of key witnesses offered by President Donald Trump, or friends of the president recusing themselves, it just seems like this investigation may never come to a head. 

On Tuesday, Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime political ally elected to plead the Fifth Amendment when he was asked to share documents and testimony with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to Politico.

“Mr. Stone’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy.”

Grant Smith, Roger Stone’s Lawyer

Where’s The Beef?

But seriously, everyone wants to know what in the name of Dumbledore’s beard is going on with America’s agricultural framework. Just last week romaine lettuce was placed on red alert, and the United States Department of Agriculture told every restaurant to stop serving romaine lettuce. Luckily for me, I consider myself to be more of an arugula man, myself, but nevertheless, it has been difficult. 

On Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture announced yet another recall, but this time it applied to over twelve million pounds of “non-intact” raw beef products after 250 people across 26 different states have been infected with salmonella. 

As for the culprit behind the distribution of the bad beef, JBS Tolleson, Inc, based out of Arizona, is being held responsible for the recent reports of beef-related salmonella. 

“Traceback has identified JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products. The epidemiological investigation has identified 57 case-patients from 16 states with illness onset  dates ranging from August 5 to September 6, 2018.” 

Official Statement from USDA

Let Them Play

I’m not sure how this even came about but the small town of Severance, Colorado, recently banned all snowball fights indefinitely. What monster would ban such a fan activity? This seems like the type of town that would probably resonate with the town from Footloose. Anyway, Dane Best, a 9-year-old fought the ban in court and successfully overturned the ban on Tuesday.

“Today’s kids need reasons to play outside. Research suggests that a lack of exposure to the outdoors can lead to obesity, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.”

Dane Best 

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Politics

Here’s What You Missed (12/12/18)

Daniel Chase

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Something happened to me yesterday and it was incredibly frustrating, but also very telling of our current generation. So, there I was, minding my own business eating sushi for lunch when all of a sudden, an idea struck me for an incredible tagline for a raisin company. I thought to myself, I should write this down, but a little voice inside me suggested I take my talents to social media and seek gratification there. I unlocked my phone, sought out one of the many social platforms I use, and before an app could open, the idea was gone. I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what the idea was. I tried retracing my mental steps, thinking about raisins and their primordial grape form, but nothing was clicking. The idea was gone, all thanks to my inherent desire to take this idea and, rather than care for it, submit it to my social circles for approval. 

What a shame, it was a really funny tagline. Here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Even Lawyers Sing The Jailbird Blues

I hope that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, looks sexy in black-and-white stripes because he’ll be rocking those threats for thirty-six months in prison following his sentencing on Wednesday. Back in June, about a month before special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation started heating up, President Trump fired Michael Cohen after his residences and homes were raided by the FBI. Lying awake in anguish every night, Cohen couldn’t stomach his relationship with Trump and eventually decided to cooperate with Mueller.

According to several sources present at the trial, Cohen started crying after he received his sentence, in hopes that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would potentially help him post bail, but there’s no award for Worst Supporting Criminal in a Presidential Election. 

“I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen I deeply admired. Today is one of the most meaningful days of my life. The irony is that today I get my freedom back.” 

Michael Cohen 

Cohen is expected to pay $1.4 million in restitution, as well as a $50,000 fine, and forfeiture of $500,000 before his March 6 prison lease begins, according to Fox News. 

Remember That Online Game? You Know, Farm Bill? 

Oh, it was Farmville? Forgive me, I have the game confused with a remarkable piece of legislation that Congress voted to pass on Wednesday. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the farm bill, has within its scriptures many legislative policies that will be enacted once the bill is signed into a law, but perhaps the most interesting is the legalization of hemp. Hemp, derived from the cannabis plant, has countless uses including utilizing its fibers to make food, paper, cardboard, rope, and other products, but most importantly, it doesn’t get you high. 

“In the long run, it’s all going to be managed and controlled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just like corn, soybeans and everything else. It will also become an agricultural commodity, which in turn will allow crop insurance and Wall Street will be able to invest institutional funds into the hemp industry.”

Chris Boucher, Chief Executive Officer, Farmtiva

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Politics

Here’s What You Missed (12/11/18)

Daniel Chase

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Maybe things would be easier if I didn’t pursue a degree in political science during my undergraduate career. I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I declared myself a foreign relations major, I think I hadn’t really slept much the night before. Either way, four years of contentious political debate, hours spent reading on everything from East Asian politics to a step-by-step guide written on how to successfully plan and execute a coup d’état, and “pages” on “pages” typed away on my decade-old laptop in the UC Santa Cruz main library, here I am ranting about all of this to each and every one of you. Isn’t it strange how writers feel connected to their readers, despite never actually communicating with them? It’s this unspoken bond between author and reader that fuels my desire to awaken each day, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to get to work. 

Either way, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday.

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!

The White House was the stage for today’s episode of “The Real House/Senate Members: Washington DC,” during the course of which Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi met with President Trump to negotiate, and hopefully avoid, a government shutdown. President Trump is insisting that Congress fund his original campaign promise of building a massive wall along the US-Mexico border, but seeing as the Democrats will retake the House before the wall’s funding deadline on January 21, it is highly unlikely that this will happen. At the risk of not getting the wall built, Trump told Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi that “if we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government. If it’s not good on border security, I won’t take it. ” 

Though their conversation continued, President Trump did not break on his threat to shut down the government. 

“And I am proud…I tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck (Schumer), because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one  to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn’t work. I will taketh mantle of shutting down and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

President Donald Trump

Oh Hail No!

For those of us who’ve ever had a few too many adult beverages and needed a ride, or had to catch a flight early in the morning, we all know too well how to use one of the many ride-hailing apps to call a car and get out of dodge (no pun intended, I promise.) What most of us don’ know is that the entire on-demand car industry began with a startup called Sidecar Technologies Inc, a defunct company that went down back in 2015. The company made headlines on Tuesday when it announced plans to sue Uber Technologies Inc over allegations related to anticompetitive practices that ultimately led to Sidecar going out of business. 

“Uber intentionally sustained near-term losses that were designed to drive Sidecar out of the market while Uber acquired a dominant market position.”

Official language from Sidecar v. Uber Lawsuit 

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Politics

Brexit, Lunch, and Dinner

Daniel Chase

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There is a fine line between accepting defeat and admitting that you were wrong. On one hand, accepting defeat means recognizing that despite exhausting every option at your disposal, you failed to complete what you set out to do. On the other hand, admittance of error is a mature response that often comes after several informed individuals suggested information that contradicted your beliefs/motives, but nevertheless, you persisted. Then, there are unique snowflake-like situations where a person must accept defeat because they were wrong, and this predicament is where we find our protagonist in today’s episode of “Emergency Brexit” starring British Prime Minister Theresa May. 

For the sake of due diligence as a storyteller, allow me to get you up to speed on the Brexit situation. Back in June 2016, a gaggle of Britains was feeling pretty confident in themselves and the future of their country, so they voted, 52 to 48 percent, to leave the confines of the European Union, arguing that the United Kingdom would regain control over its borders, and perhaps take a second go at colonizing America. Those opposed to the infamous “Brexit” warned everyone that leaving the bloc would result in chaos. Suffice to say,  the “Brexiteers” came out on top and the remaining 27 EU member-states approved the UK’s agreement to leave the union at a summit in Brussels several weeks ago, according to Vox. As daunting as the process was, the captain of the good ship Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May is tasked with convincing her 650-member parliament to approve the deal. 

On Monday, with her tail between her legs, PM Theresa May advocated to postpone the UK Parliament’s vote on the Brexit deal, in a move that many are saying was done because May knows Parliament will shut the whole deal down. May told Parliament “if we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow (Tuesday), the deal would be defeated by a significant margin. We will, therefore, defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time.” You’ve got to admit that Theresa May has got some serious moxie for postponing the vote on Brexit, even after months of contentious debate, and the tooth-pulling process of convincing the EU to approve the deal. The truth is she doesn’t have the votes, but per the example that began today’s lesson, sometimes it takes a while for a person to admit they were wrong and, in this case, accept defeat. 

One of the more contentious components of May’s Brexit deal is referred to as the “Irish backstop,” which requires that the border between Northern Ireland (still part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (EU territory) remain open. Experts view the “Irish backstop” as a legislative insurance policy of sorts, allowing for one country in the UK to remain in adherence of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU: free movement of people, services, capital, and goods. Valiant as this might on Prime Minister Theresa May’s part, this part of Brexit seeks to keep the UK connected to the European Union without being a member of the bloc, in a loophole of sorts. 

“I spoke to a number of EU leaders over the weekend, and in advance of the European council, I will go to see my counterparts in other member states and the leadership of the council and the commission. I will discuss with them the clear concerns that this House [of Commons] has expressed.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May 

At this point, it seems to be that no one has even the foggiest idea of what the future holds for the Brexit deal. PM Theresa May’s postponement of the UK parliament vote baffled many in the geopolitical arena and everyone, including Parliament, is still trying to get their bearings on the situation. Per the recondite Brexit deal, the UK will be leaving the European Union in exactly 108 days. As for Theresa May’s next course of action, perhaps she’s finally recognized her mistake and is ready to accept defeat. 

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