Current Event Questions 3/26 and 3/31
- Three votes recently in Congress demonstrated a newfound willingness among some of Trump’s Republican allies to stand up to him. #1) The Senate rebuked Trump both for his defense of Saudi Arabia after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and to end military assistance to the kingdom’s war in Yemen. #2) 12 “righteous” Republicans (and 41 cowards) joined Senate Democrats to overturn Trumps national emergency declaration at the border, calling it “executive overreach”, leading to president’s first veto. #3) the most consequential vote happened when House Republicans joined the Democrats 420-0 to demand the full Mueller report be publicly released. Why would some Republicans now be developing a spine, choosing transparency and standing up, albeit quietly, like this?
- Trump’s budget proposal totalling $4.75 trillion, cutting education and environmental protection, increasing military spending. Presidential budgets are traditionally declared dead on arrival, w/ Dems controlling the House, Trump’s budget will hit a huge wall.
- Manafort will serve 7.5 years in prison, and now with 16 indictments from SDNY, any Trump pardon would not protect him from being locked up.
- Intelligence has long been telling the WH during previous 8 months of diplomacy, North Korea was steadily adding to its nuclear infrastructure. Trump forced to acknowledge this.
- Mnuchin blocks congressional request to get Trump’s tax returnson privacy grounds.
- Venezuela: US Embassy shuts down. Maduro clings to leadership. Country collapses into chaos and complete dysfunction. Do you sense an impending military intervention?
- Somalia: American airstrikes have recently soared. Last year, airstrikes killed a record 326 people. In January and February alone, they have killed 225.
- New Zealand: Terrorist attack on 2 mosques killed 50. Blends live streaming video that goes viral with racism, motivated by white extremist hatred. Trump says white nationalism not a growing threat, “a small group of people.” NZ bans all assault rifles!
- Mueller, or SDNY, or 1 of other 18-plus investigationstargeting Trump, could dramatically alter impeachment narrative in 3 ways: #1 Outlining clearevidence of specific presidential crime; #2 Demonstrating smoking-gun pattern of obstruction; #3 Demonstrating action taken to compromise American interests at the expense of advancing foreign power.
- Brexit: May asked EU to push Brexit back to June 30. EU agreed but only if Parliament approves her withdrawal plan, which it has rejected twice by huge margins. The E.U.’s move seemed calculated to pressure lawmakers at the last moment into supporting May’s painstakingly negotiated plan. If May’s Brexit plan is not approved on a third try, there would be 2 options: no-deal Brexit, endangering the country, or a longer delay that could lead to Brexit never happening.
- College Admissions Scandal including 30+ wealthy parents and counsellors and SAT testers and college coaches.
- Children, young adults around the world skipped school March 15 to demand action on climate change. Then emerged the unprecedent devastation from Cyclone Idai across Mozambique, southern Africa. A shift is clear: Climate change is top national issue again.
- Russia: #1 Passes new anti-dissent laws. #2 Reduces internet freedom. #3 Stops monthly reporting on population’s incomes, hiding years of standard of living declines.
Democratic Candidates for President 2020:
15 have announced Presidential runs for 2020. In order to secure a spot in the Democratic primary debates, candidates must either reach at least 1% support in three or more national or early primary state polls or collect campaign donations from at least 65,000 individuals. Start making your donations!
Entrepreneur Andy Yang (CA)
- Policy issues around the Democratic primary are coming into focus. Leading candidates have embraced progressive ideas on health care, taxes, the environment and Middle East policy. This has unnerved moderates, who fear the party could blow its chance to beat Trump by careening over a liberal cliff. Many moderates say cautious strategy in 2018 that helped the party pick up 21 House seats that Trump carried two years earlier, should be the playbook for next year. Do Americans long for pre-Trump equilibrium, less chaos, more consensus, more normalcy, or do these times call for more transformational administration?
- Funding stats: Harris raised $1.5 millionover first 24 hours; Bernie $5.9 million; Beto $6.1 million; Warren $300,000. How important?
III. Elizabeth Warren: “The kind of unconventional, ideas-first approach liberal Democrats dream about.” First candidate to call for annual wealth tax on fortunes greater than $50 million; proposes universal child care and pre-K program.
- Given an “unconventional, ideas-first approach that liberal Democrats dream about”, do you think the 2020 Democratic candidates should support:
- a) a constitutional amendment to do away with the electoral college?
- b) Universal child care and pre-K program?
- c) Voter rights including repealing Citizen’s United and reforming Campaign Finance laws?
- d) Clarification on what the standard will be for the commitment of U.S. troops to act overseas?
- e) Comprehensive immigration reform, including a balance of
#1 border security,
#2 tune-ups to the lawful immigration framework, and
#3 a path to citizenship for the undocumented?
- f) Medicare for all?
- g) Reducing college debt and creating tuition-free college?
- h) Federal government intervention to address the opioid crisis?
- i) Tax reform? Annual wealth tax on fortunes greater than $ ? million
- j) Green New Deal
- k) Comprehensive Gun Reform including universal banning of assault rifles, universal back ground checks, 30-day license probationary period, etc.
- l) Justice reform and laws addressing mass incarceration crisis
- m) Decriminalization or legalization of marijuana
- n) what else do you think should be included on this list?
Things You Might Like to Read or Listen To
Some good news – 50 inspirational people working to fix biggest challenges that face our globe