By Nick Baum
THURSDAY – 3/7/19
Former Trump campaign chairman and attorney Paul Manafort will be sentenced today by a federal judge on accounts of defrauding banks and government and not paying taxes on millions of dollars from Ukrainian political consulting. Prosecutors have already suggested 19 to 25 years in federal prison for the 69-year-old.
Some are predicting that the sentence that is being suggested for Manafort in addition to the additional charges could lead to the rest of his life behind bars, as well as millions of dollars in fines. He was indicted by the Mueller investigation into corruption and Russian ties in the Trump Presidential Campaign, which has been going on for almost two years.
Some panelists have pointed out the mood of Manafort, with some noting his depressed and sluggish appearance before and after trials. He was even allegedly sent to the hospital, and his lawyer said he’s changed. Despite these arguments, many believe his actions in the election as well as his corruption should lead to a long sentence.
Sources and Pictures: WTOL, CNN, MSNBC
By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 2/22/19
The North Carolina Board of Elections voted to hold a new special election in the 9th Congressional District of the state after an investigation revealed possible voter fraud in the absentee ballots. The investigation was called for by Republican Congressman Mark Harris, who won the election by 905 votes, which surprised many considering he was the victor of the election under surveillance.
The 9th Congressional District, as of the decision to call a new election, has been the only midterm election result to still not be settled, due to the very small margin of victory. In December, the Board of Elections decided to not certify the results of the election, leaving a final decision on the matter up in the air until this point.
Harris’s decision to call for a new election has also been a reversal on his previous stance of certifying the decision. Before the end of the year, Harris notified a district judge to certify the results of the election, and he called on the Board of Elections to certify the results.
Sources and Pictures: CNN, Google, Google Maps
By Nick Baum
TUESDAY – 2/19/18
Senator and former 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for the Presidency in 2020, joining more than a dozen other Democrats in the race for nomination. Sanders, who identifies as an independent due to his more left-wing beliefs, will still run in the Democratic caucus.
This will be Sanders’s second consecutive presidential campaign, as he was a runner up to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. However, Hillary Clinton hasn’t announced her bid for the presidency, and some measurements are unsure whether she will run or not. However, Sanders is seen as a Democratic front runner who has been gaining momentum.
Sanders has joined a growing list of Democratic hopefuls, including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and many more. Needless to say, the Democratic race in 2020 will be a lot more competitive than the Republican one, and panelists and statisticians are saying that can be both good and bad.
Sources and Pictures: Flickr, CNN, Chicago Tribune, CNN Politics, CBS News
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 – 2/5/19
President Donald Trump is set to give his State of the Union address to Congress today. The address, which was postponed due to the shutdown, was later rescheduled to today when Trump and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed to a three-week deal to temporarily reopen the government.
The speech was scheduled originally scheduled during the shutdown, and Pelosi requested that Trump give his address from the Oval Office, citing security concerns. In response, Trump canceled Pelosi’s trip to visit troops in Afghanistan due to the shutdown, citing the same concerns.
However, just weeks later Trump agreed to the Congressional Democrats’ requests and reopen the government as well as give extra pay to government workers that were furloughed or weren’t paid. As of now, both sides have called for unity amongst the two parties during the ceremony, and no representative or Senator has boycotted it yet.
Sources and Pictures: Flickr, CNN, Google
By Nick Baum
MONDAY – 2/4/19
It is the New England Patriots that emerged victorious in this year’s Super Bowl LIII, 13 -3. It was the lowest scoring Super Bowl since the start of the NFL, but it was the Patriots’ largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl, and Tom Brady’s sixth Super Bowl win.
Not only was it the least scoring Super Bowl, but it was the first Super Bowl to not have a touchdown in the first three quarters. In fact, both the Patriots and Rams punters combined for 14 punts in the game. The Rams punter, Johnny Hekker, made the longest punt in Super Bowl history with a 65 yarder in the third quarter.
The halftime show starred Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi with some cameo appearances including Spongebob Squarepants, whose creator died this year. Despite the notable cast of the show, however, the halftime show received a generally negative reception, with the official video earning 113,000 dislikes compared to the 13,000 likes.
Sources and Pictures: NFL, Bleacher Report, NFL.com, CBS Sports
By Nick Baum
FRIDAY – 2/1/19
Despite the government shutdown, experts are predicting another strong month and a strong start of the year for the US economy. The jobs report, which will officially be released later today, will count the almost 400,000 furloughed government workers as “unemployed”. Economists are predicting that due to that high number, the unemployment rate will temporarily grow before dipping to previous 49-year lows.
Refinitiv, a polling company of economists, estimated that 165,000 jobs have been added this month, and that the unemployment rate, while moving up, will stay at 3.9%. Economists also forecast that wages will grow 3.2% this month, extending to a three-month streak of wage growth above 3%.
Experts, however, predict that the recent boom won’t hold for more longer. The Federal Reserve held off on rising interest rates, helping the stock market and Dow Jones regain its footing at almost exactly 25,000, but at the same time means that economic growth will slow down due to the currency’s value not being raised.
Sources and Pictures: Flickr, CNN Business, Google Trends