TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE
- Supreme Court denies Trump’s attempt to expedite future Supreme Court ruling on ‘Dreamers.’
- The Supreme Court will consider a new death penalty case.
- The Supreme Court conducted oral arguments for Janus v. AFSCME Council on Monday.
- The Supreme Court reverses and remands Jennings v. Rodriguez
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Stops Selling Assault-Style Weapons, Raises Age for Gun Buyers
- The Georgia GOP attacked Delta for ending its program of discounting rates for NRA members.
- Trump backs Senate gun regulation proposal
- North Korea shipped chemical weapons factory-building supplies to Syria
- Trump promotes digital director Brad Parscale
- Kushner Security Clearance Downgraded
- Hope Hicks intends to resign
- Justice Department will investigate warrant distribution
- Republicans sue to end the Affordable Care Act
- Pro-business tax cuts are largely absent from the new Canadian tax plan
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NEWS CONCERNING THE FLORIDA MASSACRE
- Trump to support expanded background checks for gun ownership following an increased push for gun control after the Florida school shooting last week.
- Trump spoke to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas) about such legislation, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
- Trump now supports expanded background checks for gun-ownership, a minimum gun-purchase age of 21, and a ban on bump stocks. He opposes a ban on semi-automatic rifles.
- Trump supports arming school teachers.
- Trump defends the NRA as a group of ‘patriots’ who want to ‘do the right thing’
- He held a press conference where he said this (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/22/politics/donald-trump-nra/index.html)
- Also, it has been made very clear that the president of the NRA (Wayne LaPierre) is ultra-conservative. This statement is reaffirmed when he says “You should be anxious and you should be frightened” about the potential of another Democratic takeover of the House, Senate and White House,”
- Republican Governor of a Vermont Phil Scott has reversed his beliefs on gun control. After police thwarted a potential attack by an eighteen year old who said he planned to “shoot up” a school, Scott said “That has a way of rocking your very core, and for that I had to do some reflecting, some soul searching myself to determine what we can do to protect our most precious resource, which is our kids,” Scott said. Scott now support restrictions on high capacity ammunition magazines, expanding background checks for private gun sales, and raising the legal gun ownership age to 21.
- Surviving teens ignite gun-control movement
- Teens that survived the Parkland shooting have created a sophisticated pro-gun-control social media operation.
- The number of the retweets of the hashtag #NeverAgain reached 100,000 retweets on Thursday—a 500% increase compared to a week earlier. The hashtag has been retweeted a total of over 500,000 times according to Twitter.
- They have raised $2.2 million is an internet fundraiser for a rally they plan to have in March.
NEWS ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE STATES OF AMERICA
- Pennsylvania announces new district map.
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court found the district map to unfairly benefit Republican candidates for the House of Representatives.
- Although Democratic and Republican voters are split equally in the state, Republicans have a 13-5 advantage in the House. They have been the leading party in Pennsylvania by proportion of Representatives since 2010, and the gerrymandered maps have been used since 2011.
- Even though this has passed, the issue remains very partisan. Democrats pro, republicans against. “I applaud the court for their decision and I respect their effort to remedy Pennsylvania’s unfair and unequal congressional elections,” said Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
- The Florida GOP backed raising the gun-ownership minimum age to 21.
- French President Emmanuel Macron attempts to boost economy with new legislation.
- The legislation reduces job protections and red tape that force companies to have unnecessary staff, and thus encourage job creation.
- Macron seeks to end decades of tension and volatility between business owners and labor unions.
- In September, Macron gave companies greater power to negotiate worker conditions with employees, among other measures.
- All these measures are apart of Macron’s plan for a labor-system overhaul aimed reinvigorating the economy and preventing mass-layoffs.
- Prime Minister of France Édouard Philippe France announces plan to decelerate Islamic extremism
- Private schools accused of cultivating Islamic extremism will be shut down
- Teachers will be trained to identify radicalized teens
- France will open 1,500 new spots in high security wards for radicals in prisons in a plan to isolate radicals from normal inmates
- France will work with the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May to dampen online Islamic propaganda
WHITE HOUSE NEWS
- The US levied more sanctions than ever this Friday on North Korea.
- The new sanctions target dozens of companies and ships and one individual.
- The targeted individual was Tsang Yung Yuan, a Taiwanese citizen who has coordinated coal transfers between Russian brokers and North Korea to evade sanctions.
- The new sanctions are designed to prevent North Korea circumventing an international ban on its exportation of coal and its importation of certain fuel resources.
- Trump said that “If the sanctions don’t work, we’ll have to go to phase two.” He stated that alternative efforts to put pressure on North Korea would be very “rough” and “very, very, unfortunate for the world” during a speech at the Political Action Council in Maryland.
- Trump endorses Mitt Romney to be a Utah senator.
- Mitt Romney will be the likely successor to Orrin Hatch, who announced his retirement in January.
- Despite formerly calling Romney a “stone-cold loser,” Trump tweeted “He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support for endorsement!”
- US officials plan to open a new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14.
- The Financial Action Task Force of the US government has placed Pakistan on its terror-financing watchlist
- The US government is withholding $2 billion in security assistance
- Being on the list makes it more difficult for Pakistan to borrow, facilitate international banking transactions,and export, and it damages Pakistan’s prospects of foreign direct investment.
- Richard Gates plead guilty.
- Richard Gates was a former Trump campaign aide who was indicted by Robert Mueller on October 30.
- Gates pleaded guilty on Friday with providing false information and financial misdeeds.
- Gates and Manafort laundered $75,000,000 through secret offshore accounts in Cyprus, the Seychelles, Saint Vincent, and other locations, generating Gates $30,000,000 for personal expenses.
- Gates was paid millions of dollars to represent a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine from 2008 to 2016.
- Gates will serve up to six years in prison.
- Robert Mueller continues to maintain his innocence of the October 30 indictment, a position that will be difficult to maintain after Gates confessed.
- The indictment does not include meddling of Russia in the election.
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“Today the main issue will be discussing is the Unite the Right white supremacist rally and surrounding events in Charlottesville. Protestors, counter protesters, and those wishing to support the injured and deceased have been active in Charlottesville since lm. Friday. Trump’s comments sparked further fury more recently.
- August 11
- Events began on Friday when white nationalists marched through the campus of the University of Virginia chanting Nazi phrases.
- “White lives matter””
- “You will not replace us”
- “Jews will not replace us”. (Anti-defamation League)
- “While waiting for rides at Nameless Field after the march, several of the ‘alt-right’ protesters hurled anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic slurs at several reporters and community members asking them questions” (Cavalier Daily)
- August 12
- The Unite the Right rally was held in Emancipation Park.
- A state of emergency was declare at 11:00 AM due to violence against counter protestors by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
- Heather Heyer was killed by a deliberate vehicular ramming in the afternoon. She was protesting against racism at the rally.
- The vehicle driver–a man with Nazi sympathies–was arrested for the crime.
- The ramming was declared by H.R. McMaster as an act of “domestic terrorism.”
- Trump made his first statement
- We all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!” He said, “we condem in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.” He added, “What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order.”
- The decision reportedly came from Steve Bannon, founder of alt-right Breitbart News agency. Bannon feared losing alt-right support.
- This statement was heavily condemned
- The Congressional Black Caucus declared Trump’s statement to be due to white supremacy, and added that it was an example of Dog-Whistle Politics and False Equivalency.
- Following the statement, the NAACP implored Trump to remove Steve Bannon from his position.
- August 13
- Vigils and counter protests occurred the day following the rally.
- August 14
- On August 14, from the White House, President Trump said:
“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. […] Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
- Trump was initially reluctant to make this statement, but was persuaded by Chief of Staff John Kelly.
- NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said this statement was a “rhetorical minimum.”
- Many were dissatisfied by how late Trump’s statement arrived.
- August 16
- Trump held a Q&A with the press at Trump Tower saying: “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” Trump also said that there were “very fine people on both sides”.
- Trump suggested that liberals would attempt to remove statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington
- More than 60 Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned Trump’s remarks in the press conference (including among others, Senators Bernie Sanders, John McCain,
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “The president’s continued talk of blame ‘on many sides’ ignores the abhorrent evil of white supremacism…”
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