Congratulations, you’ve survived another week in this dog eat dog world we call life. Seriously, give yourselves a pat on the back. Life can be challenging, there’s no denying this. Sometimes it can be daunting, but so long as we keep our heads held high and keep moving forward, everything will be alright.
If I’ve said it once,
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!”
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…”
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.”
And The Youth Shall Save Crypto
For a time, everyone wanted a piece of the cryptocurrency market, but that has all been reduced to whispers and murmurs. However, according to a recent survey, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may be on the rise once more, namely because millennials and younger generations don’t trust those dastardly traditional banking institutions. According to Forbes, 43% of millennial online traders “have more trust in crypto exchanges than the U.S. stock market, compared to 77% of Gen X respondents who have more trust in stock exchanges.”
“We’re seeing the beginning of a generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges. Younger investors’ experience with he stock market has seen a great deal of loss of trust, with the fall of Lehman Brothers because of irresponsible practices followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression…Trust further eroded when Americans saw how..banks get free money through quantitative easing while their cost living continues to rise…”
–Guy Hirsch, U.S. managing director, eToro
The growing millennial mistrust of banking institutions could rescue bitcoin from its current crypto winter. It is interesting that we place such a large amount of trust in banks, storing thousands of dollars in their systems, and yet we have absolutely no idea what happens to our money when its “protected” in our accounts. The trust-based model of depending on banks to transact and safely store money is outdated and, if there’s anything that can be said about younger generations, it’s the idea that older technologies and systems can and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Nike..What Did You Do?
If you aren’t a fan of organized sports, then I apologize ahead of time. Duke freshman basketball star Zion Williamson went down hard in Wednesday’s game between the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels. His injury occurred within the first 36 seconds of the game as the likely first pick in the 2019 NBA draft fell to his knee after his Nike basketball shoe ripped apart.
Immediately after Williamson’s fall, Nike released a statement:
“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery, The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”
–Nike statement regarding injury of Zion Williamson
According to several sources, next week Democratic members from the House will vote Tuesday on a resolution in an attempt to stop President Donald Trump from moving forward with his declaration of an emergency along the southern border.
“The president of the United States is declaring a national emergency to honor an applause line in a rally. Not only is he disrespecting the legislative branch and the Constitution of the United States, he is dishonoring the office in which he serves.”
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi