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Here’s What You Missed 2/12/19

Daniel Chase

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Though in good conscience I’ll never admit it in public, I will say that I enjoy watching laugh-track sitcoms made in the 90s. As someone who prides themselves on being an individual who is somewhat culturally informed, it would make sense that I watch television shows which demonstrate my knowledge. Having said that, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I watch quite a bit of television when I have the time, and there are times when all I want to do is turn on Friends and let my mind turn to mush. I’m not saying Friends is a bad show, but the creators of the sitcom included recorded laughter during moments where the audience, or viewer, was intended to laugh. What if I don’t find the moment funny? We’re supposed to have the option to react to content how we choose, not when we feel obligated to do so. 

Watch whatever you please, but here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Will It Shutdown Again?

President Donald Trump promised that if Congress cannot come to an agreement and pass seven different spending bills by the end of this week, the government could go right back into a partial government shutdown. Rather than fear the shutdown, we must embrace the possibility and fully recognize why it is such a distinct possibility. 

President Trump has demonstrated, on several occasions, his unwavering determination to secure funding to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border. He has said, time and time again, that our Southern border is more dangerous than an IHOP on a Sunday, and yet, his words have fallen on the deaf ears of the Democratic leadership. 

For those of you just tuning in, Democrats and Republicans are split on how to handle immigrants attempting to unlawfully enter the United States. The Dems agree that we should protect American citizens from harmful individuals, but from a systemic standpoint, we need to create an easier path to citizenship for those who wish to come to America for a better quality of life. Republicans, many of which share the sentiment of President Trump, want to strengthen our borders, by any means necessary. 

According to several sources, the latest disagreement erupting in Congress stems from how to best operate ICE detainment centers. Democrats insist that we cap the number of detention beds used for interior enforcement to curb ICE’s capacity to capture and detain undocumented immigrants, and Republicans are concerned with this logic. 

Called Out

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim members of Congress, broke the first rule of political fight club; she made anti-Semitic comments. No, this isn’t the first rule that Congress members are taught, but one should assume not to exhibit bigotry in the public eye, or in general. Members of the Democratic leadership condemned Ilham’s recent comments made on Twitter that many consider to be anti-Semitic in nature. 

“We are and always will be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared valued and strategic interests. Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share…but Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tripes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks…”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats


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Politics

Here’s What You Missed 2/21/19

Daniel Chase

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For those select few of you that are vegetarians, I apologize in advance for what you’re about to read. It is truly an art form to cook a perfect steak, and many have perished in the process of learning. No, no one has died broiling a ribeye, or grilling a t-bone, but cooking meat takes patience, ingenuity, and most importantly salt and pepper.

People often ask me how my steaks end up perfectly seasoned, with flavors, unlike anything they’ve tasted before. My answer is simple; I butter the pan and season the meat with kosher salt and black pepper. If you’re curious about what type of meat to choose for your meal, all portions of beef are created equal in my opinion. The cheaper cuts can dazzle and astound guests just as easily as an overpriced piece of wagyu. It all depends on who’s cooking, if there’s love in the kitchen, and if they have salt and pepper. 

Bon appetit, my friends, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

The Mueller Conclusion 

According to CNN, Attorney General Bill Barr is limbering up in preparation to announce as early as next week the completion of Robert Mueller’s investigation, “with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary” of the confidential report is prepared.

Interestingly enough, though the details of  he report concerns both the American people and its presiding government, under special counsel regulations, Mueller must submit his “report” to the attorney general and the law doesn’t require this document to be shared with anyone. Barr  is under no formal obligation to publicly share the report, but I can already assume that members of the Democratic leadership will be banging on his office door until he throws them a bone. 

The question on everyone’s mind is, what Mueller discovered in his lengthy investigation. Mueller was appointed to the case on May 17, 2017, and in years following this date, Mueller has had his hands full. Early last week, Mueller’s office filed its sentencing memorandum against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, who will be sentenced next month in federal district court in the District of Columbia. 

“For a decade, Manafort repeatedly violated the law. Considering only the crimes charged in this district, they make plain that Manafort chose to engage in a sophisticated scheme to hide millions of dollars from United States authorities. The sentence in this case must take into account the gravity of this conduct, and serve to both specifically deter Manafort and those who would commit a similar series of crimes.”

sentencing memo from Robert Mueller

The Actor Who Allegedly Cried Wolf

Jussie Smollett, famously known for his role on “Empire” was charged on Wednesday with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report that two men attacked him in January. According to Illinois code, Smollett’s offense is a class 4 felony and he could face up to three yers in prison. Previously, media reported that Smollett had been assaulted in his own home, and his attackers shouted inflammatory slurs and homophobic taunts. 

In response to the new allegations against Smollett, his attorneys released a statement:

“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”


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Politics

Here’s What You Missed 2/20/19

Daniel Chase

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It stands to reason that by the age of thirty we should have everything figured out. We should be set up for a high paying job, live in a nice place, and drive a nice car. While that’s all well and good, few of us have even the slightest clue as to how to ascertain those things. In a vacuum, all of that should be done relatively fast, but we don’t live in a vacuum, and everything takes time. I’ve recently spent a fair amount of time contemplating how I plan on spending my time, but the key detail that people overlook is that nothing is certain. We can choose the path and decide it’s not the right one, then pivot something else. That, my friends, is the purpose of life and we should all strive to live in the moment.

Thank you for listening, now here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Bern, Baby, Bern

Perhaps the most shocking news surrounding the upcoming election is no longer the sheer amount Democrats gunning for the nomination, but that, as of Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont announced that he’s going to take another crack at then White House, launching a second campaign after losing out to Hillary Clinton in 2016. According to early polling statistics, Sanders is a top contender among the other candidates who’ve announced their candidacy, including Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker. Sanders is getting back on the horse once again, but this time, the odds are arguably in his favor. 

When Sen. Sanders ran for the Democratic nomination back in 2016, the core tenets of his platform, universal healthcare and deceasing the wage gap, were seen as far too radical for the country at the time. In the years after his loss, Sanders has been training, getting stronger, and refining his platform to better cater it to an arguably more progressive nation.

After two years of the Trump administration, some Republican voters have come to regret their vote due to Trump’s alleged besmirching of the Republican Party. To be fair, his style is largely unorthodox. In an interview with MSNBC, Sen. Sanders announced his plans for running for president, saying that President Trump cannot be reelected. He referred to Trump as the “most dangerous president in modern day history.” 

“I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country. I think he is a pathological liar…I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophone, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants…”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Star Wars II: A New Pope

For those of you curious in pursuing a career in leading the Catholic movement, it may surprise you that priests are required to be celibate. However, a recent New York Times article reported that the Vatican has been circulating a document with guidelines as to how priests who’ve fathered children should best go about handling the situation. Per the report, the key tenets of the document suggest best practices to protect these children. 

Pope Francis spoke out earlier this month in acknowledgement that rape and sexual abuse of nuns by priests has occurred inside the Catholic Church. 

“I believe that it may still be being done. It’s not a thing that from the moment in which you realize it, it’s over. The thing goes forward like this. We’ve been working on this for a long time…”

Pope Francis 


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Politics

Here’s What You Missed 2/19/19

Daniel Chase

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There is a dying art which is the enjoyment of going outside. To be completely honest, I blame tech companies for creating devices that are so attention-grabbing that people would rather stare down at a screen than look up and around at the world. National parks, community gardens, public playgrounds, all are incredible and, you guessed it, outside. Not only that, but the maintenance of these places are paid for by taxpayer dollars so, in essence, we all have vested ownership.

Screens have taken over our lives, and it is terribly disconcerting. I’ve seen people walk through beautiful botanical gardens while using their phones to share their journey on Instagram only to realize at the end that they’ve missed out on everything in front of them. I am not perfect, and I’ve used my phone at times when it wasn’t the best idea, but all in all, my recommendation is that we look up just a little bit more. 

Having said all of that, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

The United States Vs. The President 

In an interesting turn of events, California and more than twelve other states will be banding together to file a mass lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his national emergency declaration. To get you up to snuff, President Trump last week agreed to sign a spending bill proposed by bipartisan members of Congress in order to avoid another government shutdown. While that may seem all well and good, the President then informed Congress that he would still declare a national emergency to controversially allocate funding to construct his wall along the US-Mexico border. 

“The only emergency here is Trump’s assault on the Constitution. Separation of powers is at the heart of our democracy and the power of the purse is a critical check on the president. TRump’s authoritarian attempt to build his destructive border wall is a flagrant abuse of that constitutional structure. If he gets his way, it’ll be a disaster for communities and wildlife along the broader, including some of our country’s most endangered species…”

Brian Segee, Senior Attorney, Center For Biological Diversity 

This Country Is Complicated

Sen. Kamala Harris, one of several democratic presidential candidates, caught heat on Monday when a reporter called her out a tweet in reference to the current case surrounding “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. In her tweet, Harris referred to the hate crime committed against Smollett as a modern day lynching. 

“OK, so, I will say this about that case. I think that the facts are still unfolding, and, um, I’m very, um, concerned about obviously, the initial, um, allegation that he made about what might have happened. And it’s something we should all take seriously whenever anyone, um, alleges that kind of behavior, but there should be an investigation. And I think that once the investigation has concluded then we can all comment, but I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation.”

Sen Kamala Harris 

For those unaware of the situation, Smollett, who is black and openly gay, is currently awaiting judgement in a cause where he claims he was assaulted by two men yelling racist and anti-gay slurs — including “This is MAGA country!”


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