By Nick Baum
WEDNESDAY – 2/6/19
President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union speech in front of both the House of Representatives and the Senate proved to be a talking point for both political parties. The majority of viewers of the speech were Republicans and Trump supporters, as almost 60% of the viewers of the speech agreed with Trump’s stances.
A post-speech poll conducted by CBS News found that 92% of self-identified Republicans agreed with the speech, 80% of self-identified independents agreed with the speech, and 30% of self-identified Democrats agreed with the State of the Union address. Multiple news outlets have reported that the State of the Union recorded a sharp, partisan division between Republicans and Democrats.
After the speech, former Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, delivered the post-speech response to it. In the speech, she criticized Trump’s inability to address gun safety and education, but in the end she recognized that both sides shouldn’t be rooting for Trump to fail, and to instead cooperate with one another.
Sources and Pictures: Flickr, CNN, Rasmussen Polls, FiveThirtyEight, CBS News
By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 1/22/19
On Monday a viral encounter at a protest between a Trump supporter and a Native American veteran generated over two and a half million views and around 14,400 retweets. The video, posted by now suspended account @2020fight, showed a Native American chanting with a drum in front of a teenager with a MAGA hat, who was smiling in the face of him.
Political figures and celebrities from both sides were quick to denounce the video of the Trump supporter, now identified as Nick Sandmann, mocking the Native American. However, it was later found out that the clip was edited, and that the video beforehand portrayed a group of visiting teenagers for the March for Life protest being shouted at and called names by four African American Hebrew Israelites.
Seconds prior to the confrontation, the Native American and Vietnam War veteran Nathan Phillips got in the middle of the two groups and started chanting while beating a drum in an effort to stop any potential violence. Other footage shows some of the students dancing to the chant, while Sandmann decided to walk forward and maintain a calm expression, he explained. “By remaining motionless and calm, I thought I was helping to diffuse the situation,” the student released in a statement.
Sources and Pictures: Wikimedia Commons, CNN, Twitter
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 1/7/19
The government shutdown between Senate Republicans and Democrats over a $5 billion border wall has lasted for 16 days now, which is the third longest on record. The shutdown started on December 21, and requires 60 senators to accept it in order for the funding bill to go into effect.
Days before the shutdown, President Trump met with Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer over potential funding options for the government. As of right now, it is only a partial government shutdown, with some national parks and federal departments closing. Of these departments include the Department of Transportation, which controls the pay of TSA workers in airports, who are currently working without pay.
President Trump traveled to Camp David in Maryland to meet with officials over government funding again. Vice President Mike Pence has also met with leaders from both parties over options. Trump has considered declaring it a “national emergency”, where funding can be diverted from the military to the border wall without government funding.
Sources and Pictures: CNN, CBS, Wikimedia Commons
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 12/3/18
Just days ago, 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush was pronounced dead by family sources. Bush was the youngest Navy pilot in World War II, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, CIA director, Vice-President of the US and then President of the United States from 1985 to 1989.
He has died at age 94, and is currently being transported to Washington. Two funerals will be held, a private family included one at his home church of Saint Martin’s, and a national funeral with a larger invitation of guests, that will be at the Washington National Cathedral, a high honor where only past Presidents have had their funerals.
Notable politicians have voiced their condolences and thoughts after Bush’s death, including messages from his sons, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and 43rd President George W. Bush, both of which will be speakers at his national funeral. Current US President Trump canceled his G20 summit meeting, and also had Air Force One transport Bush’s casket to Washington.
Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times
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
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