By Nick Baum
WEDNESDAY – 11/7/18
Dramatic, hard fought, and down to the end. These phrases describe the seven-hour-long midterm election last night, as dozens of house seats, as well as Senate seats, went down to the wire, many of which were too close to call.
The Democrats have flipped the House of Representatives in their majority for the first time in 8 years, as it has been two midterm elections since the Democrats had a majority in the house. They needed to gain 23 seats in order to retain a majority and was able to accomplish that early on in the night with victories in key battleground states like Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As of now, votes are still live but House Democrats have the ability to add even more seats to their gain, as some races were too close to call from last night.
As for the Senate, the GOP will maintain their majority with a two-seat gain. Republicans managed to defeat incumbents in Florida, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri while still taking losses in Nevada and Montana, in order to keep a Senate majority. However, four Senate races are still up, and The New York Times projects that the Republicans can expand their majority to 53 seats.
Sources: The New York Times, CNN, FiveThirtyEight
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 11/5/18
The buildup for the 2018 midterm elections has reached a peak, as tomorrow, millions of Americans will be choosing their representatives in what many are calling “The most important election in years.” At stake in the midterms, is control of both lower and upper houses, with all 435 House of Representative seats up, and 35 Senate seats up, too. According to numerous polls, many American voters are treating the election as a referendum on Trump halfway through his presidency, while others will be voting within party lines or for new candidates.
In the House of Representatives, the Democrats are being projected to win, with FiveThirtyEight giving them a 7 in 8 chance of regaining control of the house as of 6:00 PM. What has caused what many call a “blue wave”, is liberal and sometimes independent backlash of President Trump, while other polls show that issues like gun violence and controversy surrounding Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh has energized voters. In order to win back the house, 23 Republican seats will need to be turned over to Democratic control, while the Republican’s strategy consists of accepting a loss in seats, but still maintaining a majority in the House of Representatives.
As for the Senate, Republicans are poised to hang on to a majority in the upper house, as many tight races are up in the air, some of which favoring the Republicans. Also, not all seats are up for election, protecting some individuals on both parties from facing tough reelection or voting out. Overall, the Senate Republicans are projected to keep the same number of seats, 51, if not gain a few more from close races in Nevada, North Dakota, Tennesee, Missouri, Florida, and even surprising upset watches like Democrat Beto O’Rourke taking on Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas, or Republican challenger Bob Hugin running to replace Democrat incumbent Bob Menendez in New Jersey.
Sources: CNN Politics, FiveThirtyEight, 270toWin, Wikimedia Commons
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 6/25/18
One of the biggest stories over the weekend was the controversial decision for the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, to kick White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders out, simply because she was politically different and that they didn’t like her boss. While others claim that the restaurant was serving some LGBT members that asked for her to leave, even that excuse doesn’t play out. Sanders is the spokesperson for Donald Trump, who isn’t anti-LGBT, he just doesn’t think it’s a current issue anymore because it has been nationally legalized.
Others also claim that the restaurant has the right to kick her out, and in fact, yes, the restaurant has the freedom to do so. The baker case in the Supreme Court proved that you can be kicked out or refused service based on any aspect of yourself. However, kicking Sanders out is different than the baker refusing to serve the gay couple. Serving the gay couple went against the baker’s moral and religious values, and that serving them would be a violation or what he held so dear. However, the entire reason they didn’t serve Sanders was because she was part of an administration that she didn’t like.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a crazy idiotic congresswoman that even I think I can do better than, encouraged more people to harass and threaten Trump administration officials. Encouraging violence based on your political beliefs? That sounds like opposition Venezuelans being placed under house arrest, or people speaking out in North Korea, Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union would’ve been treated. Is rep. Waters the true dictator? Besides her, it is all around wrong but legal to refuse service to someone just because they disagree with you, politically different than you, and/or because they work for someone you don’t like. Can she just enjoy a meal?
Sources: CNN, Fox News, Wikimedia Commons
By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 6/22/18
ABC has announced that they will be created a brand new spin off TV series based off of the original Roseanne series, which was unexpectedly cancelled after main actress Roseanne Barr tweeted racist comments on Twitter.
The show was reported to feature all of the feature stars from the original Roseanne show, just without Roseanne herself. Other than the plans on the show, there is not much known about what will be occurring in the new show, or what the premise is, but many speculate it will not involve the original Roseanne.
In the original show, Roseanne was a Trump supporter, and every episode featured a different premise and different stance that she would argue about with other people. The show brought mixed reactions, with some applauding explaining how Trump supporters aren’t included in talks of diversity, while others called it out saying “it isn’t right” and should be about something else. However, the new spinoff series will be temporary, with only ten episodes being included, one per week and with the possibility of a second season.
Sources: CNN, ABC
By Nick Baum
WEDNESDAY – 6/20/18
The 2018 World Cup has only been around for six days so far, but we have already seen plenty of action, many of which unexpected, across the tournament. The first game of the tournament was in Thursday, with Russia taking the biggest win of the tournament so far, 5-0 against Saudi Arabia.
Soon after, Saudi Arabia flew to its next game, only for the plane’s engine to take fire, (An accurate representation of them playing Russia), but fortunately, the plane safely landed, and everyone was safe. Meanwhile, 2014 World Cup champions Germany lost 1-0 to the underdogs Mexico, and fans there cheered so loudly that it created a registered earthquake.
Switzerland managed to tie with Brazil, a World Cup favorite, by locking down on defense. Before then, Portugal and Spain tied 3-3, with Portugal’s Ronaldo scoring a hat trick (three goals) that game. Russia recently played its second match against Egypt, winning yet again with a score of 3-1, with Egypt’s Mo Salah scoring a penalty.
What has been seen by many as weird and embarrassing are the amount of own goals in the tournament so far. In 17 matches, 5 own goals have been scored, making Own Goal the leading goal scorer of the tournament so far. Now, it is time for the second match day for the teams. Every country has already played once with an exception of Russia and Egypt whom kicked off the next series in the World Cup.
Sources: Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, ESPN, Wikimedia Commons
By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 6/19/18
Recent reports and news has shown that pressure and opposition to separating families at the US – Mexico border continues, as the separating of families also continues. Recent outcry has come after the policy that was around since the Bush Administration had finally taken effect under Trump, and many have since urged Trump to stop the activity.
A photo taken for the New York Daily News shows a small immigrant infant crying, supposedly because of her family being separated, but it is yet to be confirmed. The photo also had a caption targeting Trump, and it landed the front page of the paper. Politicians like Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Former First Lady Laura Bush have all taken to social media to share their dislikes in the acts. Pelosi also held an announcement relating to it.
The White House also hosted a press conference with Sarah Sanders relating to Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. While many have tried to urge Trump to back down, many predict he won’t due to his support amongst bordering states and citizens along the border. As of now however, CNN reported that the the families are receiving donations of more than $4,000 per minute.
Sources: Flickr, CNN, White House, New York Daily News
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 6/18/18
Just hours ago, Audi CEO and Chairman Rupert Sadler was arrested in Germany in an investigation into diesel and emissions of the cars made by Audi. In a press release, a spokesman for Volkswagen (Audi’s parent company) Nicolai Laude confirmed that Sadler was arrested, but declined to comment on the current investigation.
Sadler had been CEO of Audi since the start of 2010, and had been promoted to CEO in the midst of Volkswagen’s alleged cheating in different emissions tests. From 2008 to 2015, Volkswagen allegedly installed software in their cars to cheat during emissions testing, when in reality the cars were said to pollute up “10 to 40 times more” than other cars, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whom made the allegations Sept. 18, 2015.
The arrest had also come just a week after prosecutors searched Sadler’s home for any evidence, and also just days after Germany placed a $1.2 Billion dollar penalty on Volkswagen for their alleged cheating and software used during emissions testing. All ready, Volkswagen’s stock in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange had fallen by more than 2%.
Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, Flickr, CNBC, CNBC Explains, CNN Money, Wikipedia