The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a plan proposed by Democrats, that is aiming to curve climate change and address economic inequality. It is named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression, but with Green added on for the environmental part of the plan.

The Green New Deal has been gaining interest over the past few months, and on March 26, it was brought to a vote. The plan was shot down, but proponents of the plan are trying to pass parts of the plan as smaller bills. It has been estimated that we have 10 years left to fix carbon emissions or else there will be a catastrophic event.

Everybody knows what the Green New Deal is, but how does it actually work? The plan is to boost clean energy and infrastructure by offering incentives to those who will build the structures necessary for clean energy. This will hopefully make clean energy the first choice over non-renewable energy sources such as: coal, oil, and natural gas.

The plan also aims to tackle economic inequality by creating jobs for lower income people. These jobs would mostly be in construction, as all the new infrastructure needed for renewable energy will have to be built by someone. All the new building is supposed to stimulate the economy and help the environment.

The idea of a Green New Deal is not a new idea. It was first mentioned in columnist Thomas Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded in 2007. The idea was picked up by Obama in 2008, and by liberal groups in Britain, but in 2010, the Republicans won congress and the Tories (the conservative party in Britain) won Parliament, and the idea was lost.

The idea resurfaced in the 2016 election race when Jill Stein ran with her own idea of the Green New Deal and Bernie Sanders also had his own idea of the plan. Both of these candidates would eventually lose, but then in 2018, the Democrats regained the house and young, progressive, representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reintroduced the plan and gained support from many progressive representatives. The bill was eventually killed, but the fight is not over and many representatives are pushing for other plans like it.

Mueller Investigation

In the years of 2017-2019, Robert Mueller was doing a special counsel investigation against Russia. He was investigating their government to see if they had anything to do with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A source said, on May 17, 2017, the investigation extent included the allegations that were linked to Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential election.

In 2019, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) started to look into the special counsel, eight days before Trump fired James Comey, who was leading the FBI Russia investigation. The FBI had a feeling that Trump and Russia were linked. The FBI were investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.Following the dismissal of Comey, 130 democratic lawmakers, in congress, called for the appointment of a special counsel.

The investigation resulted in the finding of dozens of instances of foul play by Paul Manafort. They found federal crimes, and at least eight guilty pleas led to convictions, possibly leaving him to serve 7 years in jail.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Mueller submitted his report to the FBI. The democrats fear that what they have read has already been made public in Trump’s favor.

The democrats demand that they see the full report made by Mueller. Attorney General William Barr said Mueller’s report cleared Trump of campaign tampering with Russia and criminal obstruction.

For more information, please visit:https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/03/29/politics/mueller-report-secrecy/index.html

Daylight saving time

This year, Daylight Saving Time (DST) fell on March 10, 2019. By moving the clock ahead one hour we are able to make a better use of daylight. During the summer the sunlight is out for a longer amount of time than in the winter. Each country/region has its own time/date to change its time. People who live near the equator don’t have to change their time because in that area there is 12 hours during the day and 12 hours during the night.

According to webexhibits.org there has been a poll made indicating that people in the United States believe that daylight saving is because there is more sunlight in the evenings during the summer. Since there is more sunlight during the evening there is more time to enjoy the long day and to have fun.

Daylight saving may conserve energy, because during daylight saving the energy we use is cut by a very small yet significant amount of energy. About one percent of energy is lost a day, because there is less electricity/lights that are needed during the day. When electricity for light is used, it’s mainly during the night when people are about to sleep, but since evenings have more sunlight, there is a smaller amount of electricity needed to be used.

If you hate daylight saving time, no worries, the end will come on November 3, 2019. After daylight saving time ends, you will be able to move the clock back one hour. Usually, the time changes at 2A.M. whether or not going forward one hour or backwards one hour.

One positive you can get out of daylight saving is having more time to enjoy fun things, and a positive for the end of daylight saving is that you get more sleep.

Paul Manafort: Multiple sentences overview

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager and consultant, has been officially charged with multiple counts of tax and bank fraud. Manafort worked as a Republican party campaign consultant, and joined Donald Trump’s campaign team in 2016 (he was the campaign chairman from June to August 2016).

Manafort was officially convicted in August 2018, on eight charges (all of which relates to tax and bank fraud) in the Eastern District of Virginia. He was also charged on ten other counts, but the judge declared a mistrial.

Later, in the DC District Court, Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He also pleaded guilty to witness tampering.

On November 26, 2018, Robert Mueller released a statement saying that Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators. In the DC District Court, Judge Amy Berman Jackson officially voided the plea deal, so Mueller advised the Virginia court to charge Manafort and have him serve 19 and a half years to 24 years in prison.

On March 7, 2019, Judge T.S. Ellis called Mueller’s sentencing guideline “excessive,” and sentenced Manafort to only 47 months in prison. Six days later, Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to an additional 43 months in prison.

Only minutes after this sentencing, New York state prosecutors charged Manafort with sixteen state felonies. This will almost double his sentence, making him serve 7 ½ years instead of 47 months.

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett was born on June 21, 1982, and is an American actor and singer. Jussie Smollett grew a big following after appearing on the famous show Empire. He plays Jamal Lyon.

On the night of January 29, 2019, Jussie Smollett tells the police that at around 2 a.m. what he believed were two white males, wearing masks and a MAGA (make America great again) hat, had attacked him. According to Smollett, the two men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him. They then tied a rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him.

Smollett says he went home and one of his close associates had to call and tell the police 40 minutes after the incident had occurred. Sources say that Smollett was hesitant to call the police because of his status.

After the attack was shared to different media outlets, there were a lot of A-list celebrities that offered their support to Jussie Smollett.

After the investigation, police noticed that some things that Jussie was doing after the incident were odd. For example, the night of the attack, Smollett said that he had broken ribs, two days later he was seen at a concert dancing and jumping. It didn’t make sense as to why someone who had broken ribs would hold a concert.

On February 1, Jussie released his first public appearance on Good Morning America, he said, “Let me starts off by saying that I’m O.K. My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

During the interview, people noticed how Smollett was getting defensive when Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts asked why didn’t he give the police his phone. Smollett said he had personal pictures and information that he didn’t want the police to see. People thought that if you are innocent, and have nothing to hide, you’ll just give the police your phone.

A few weeks after the incident, it came out that police think that Smollett hired two brothers to stage the attack, and the reason why he did this was because he wasn’t getting paid enough. For his role on the show Empire, he only gets paid $20,000 an episode and he thought that wasn’t enough, so he thought that by staging this attack, he would get a raise and get donations for the hate crime that happened to him.

A lot of people were hurt that he could have lied about a situation like this, feeling that he’s making it harder for people of color to come out in the future and tell their hate crime stories.

Snow storms on the West Coast!

The U.S. has been going through a rough winter so far this year. With the polar vortex hitting the Midwest in late January, and the heavy snow storms on the Northern Eastern coast, the newest area to be affected with this snow storm is the West Coast. Squaw Valley, in California, had its snowiest month on record, according to The Guardian. Snow was also seen falling near Pasadena and West Hollywood.

More snowfalls have also took their tolls in areas in Oregon.

Going back to California, a state that is mainly familiar to sunshine and low precipitation, it had one of its snowiest Februaries the state has ever seen. Although it saw massive snow storms hitting many parts of the state, it didn’t break the record of the snowiest month of all time for the state of California. Tamarack, California holds the record of the snowiest month in the state, 390 inches of snow fell back in January 1911, and it holds that record according to Theweather.com.

Not only California and Oregon were hit with tremendous amounts of snow. Arizona and Las Vegas, yes, Las Vegas, were hit with an uncommon weather storm. In Flagstaff, Arizona, the region was buried in snow, exactly 35.9 inches according to CNN. The city was under a state of emergency. The snow that fell that day became the snowiest single day in recorded history in Flagstaff, Arizona. Breaking the previous record of 31 inches back in 1915.

The roads in Northern Arizona were so bad that the Arizona Department of Transportation was urging everyone not to travel through that region. Arizona State troopers say they responded to more than 400 calls for stranded vehicles and slide-offs in 24 hours.

Now, in Las Vegas, we don’t see as much snow compared to the nearby cities and states, but the fact it even snowed in Sin City was trending nationwide. Las Vegas had over 4 inches of snow. Due to the residents not being used to snow, or never witnessing snowfall in their lives, travel became slick and hard in Las Vegas. Schools in Las Vegas were closed due to the snow according to Accuweather.

We’re only 3 months into 2019, but this year alone, for weather across the nation, has broken so many records in unusual places, and it still may have more records to break.

Some of the United States presidential candidates running in 2020

The United States is currently in the third year of Donald Trump’s presidency. This means that next year 2020) is the next election for United State’s president. So far, there are a handful of candidates running for office.

Today, I will be listing a couple candidates and their backgrounds from both of the political parties.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the democratic candidates for the next presidency. She was formerly a Harvard law professor in Massachusetts. She is specifically known for advocating for more regulations on Wall Street and other big corporations.

Another candidate for office is democratic, New Jersey, U.S. Senator, Cory Booker. He was a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. He was elected as mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2006, serving until he was elected to the Senate, and assumed office, in 2013.

One of the republican candidates running for office in 2020 is the former governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld. His beliefs are very libertarian based (he was a libertarian nominee for Vice president in 2016). Even though he is running on the republican side of the political spectrum, he believes in LGBTQ rights along with being pro-choice.

Another one of the republican candidates running is the President, Donald Trump, himself. He will try to be re-elected for office in 2020.  According to the Washington Post, he was spending money on 2020 efforts as early as Nov. 24, 2016. Trump is also confident he will be re-elected, depsite his constant low approval ratings.

Muslim woman in Congress

Rashida Tlaib is the mother of two boys, and the oldest among 14 children born to immigrant parents. Tlaib was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She attended and graduated from Southwestern High School. She went to Wayne University in Detroit and earned her bachelor’s degree there. She then earned her law degree from Western Michigan University. After that, she married Fayez Tlaib whom she later had two sons with.

In 2008 Tlaib won her race to be a State Representative. She became the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislation. While being a state representative, Tlaib helped secure millions of dollars, for education, for people as well as seniors. She wrote laws to protect homeowners and stop thieves. After serving three terms in the legislature she couldn’t run for her seat again, because she had reached the term limit.

On January 3, 2019 Rashida Tlaib was sworn into Congress. She is the first Muslim American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. Tlaib chooses not to wear a headscarf, but she doesn’t let that stop her from committing to her religion.

Democrat Rashida said in her campaign biography that: “She is focused on getting more money for better education, free health clinics, after school programs for students and, programs for seniors.” Tlaib is trying to solve how the world views Muslims, and she tries to help her community. While in office, she opposed tax breaks for billionaires, and wealthy corporations, and forced the the state to fund causes such as helping students pay for college instead.

Tlaib has worked against campaigns such as, anti-Arab and anti- Muslim bigotry. She showed people that she isn’t scared to say what the issues in world are. Tlaib has earned respect from many people because she wants to help people and fight for them to get things that they need.

2019 State of the Union Address

By: Daniela Fernandez

Image taken from: lhttps://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-sotu-super-bowl/

On February 5, 2019, President Trump gave his State of the Union Address. The State of the Union Address was originally supposed to be given on January 22, but was canceled because of the government shutdown.

This year’s speech was overshadowed by a series of exchanges between the President and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Their series of exchanges consisted about when he was to give his speech. The President wanted to give his speech on January 29, but Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, made it clear that in order for him to give his speech, he must first be invited by Congress, and then only the Speaker of the House can call for a joint session between the chambers. Finally, they came to an agreement to have his speech after the government reopened according to CNN.

At this year’s State of the Union Address, President Trump discussed immigration, the economy, infrastructure, drug prices, national security, and governance according to CNN.

On the topic of immigration, the President claimed that his petition for the wall is justified because El Paso, Texas used to be a dangerous city with high crime rates, and that now with a wall in place, it has become one of the country’s safest city. According to CNN, who analyzed and reviewed data from the FBI and city law enforcement, while there was high violent crime in El Paso in 1993 it fell long before a wall was built in 2008-2009.

Next, the President discussed the economy. He claimed that there are more people working in the United States than ever before. He also claimed that 157 million are working. Again, according to CNN, who analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this month, 156,694,000 are working. They also stated that compared to the population percentage, the number of people working is still lower than before the recession.

The President also discussed drug prices. He claimed that drug prices are too high for Americans to pay, and wants to work towards lowering them. He also claimed that because of his administration, drug prices where lower than they had been in 46 years in 2018. CNN analyzed the consumer price index for prescription drugs, and they found that while prices did drop 0.6%, which is that largest drop since 1973, the prices rose 3.2% later that year.

Last, the President discussed National Security. He made many claims on international relations such as reducing support for NATO. He also claimed that ISIS was defeated. While most of their territory was recaptured, they still have control over around 20 square miles according to US Central Command, General Joseph Votel. The President also made a call for international support.

This year’s speech brought a lot of scrutiny by the media, and political analysts, and a lot of controversy.

2018-2019 U.S. Government shutdown: Things that are actually affected

A government shutdown happens when nonessential government offices can no longer remain open due to lack of funding. The lack of funding usually happens when there is a delay in the approval of the federal budget. The shutdown continues until parties can reach a compromise and a budget bill passes.

The last government shutdown, that began on December 22, 2018, is due to a disagreement, in the budget, for the President’s wall. Congress had offered President Trump $1.7 billion towards building his border wall, but he had a different amount in mind. He asked for $5.7 billion and when he was denied the money, he declared he’d be “proud to shutdown the government for border security.”

This will be the 21st government shut down since first one, after the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act was passed in 1976.

Even though some people probably didn’t even notice the inconvenience of the partial shut down, around 800,000 people lived without income.

When the shut down was announced, I expected to feel effects directly. Since I still saw police and got my mail everyday, I didn’t really think anything had actually changed because of it. But even though our mail still came, this didn’t mean that everything was just fine. Many things stopped running as usual, such as Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA.

Other things that had been affected by the government shut down were:

Airport security

During the shutdown, the airport workers who are responsible for screening passengers and their luggage, were out of work. The number of sick calls continuously rose, and more and more people quit their jobs all together given their lack of an income.

National parks

Some parks were shutdown, and others were still open. Some of the parks that remained open decided on a partial closure due to the fact that they were under staffed.

Public health and science

Inspections of chemical factories, power plants, water treatment plants and other industrial places stopped because the Environmental Protection Agency had to send home most of its employees in charge of inspecting pollution and making sure laws were followed.

Some government research labs had also been shut down, and its researchers were sent home. Funding for the research had been affected by the shut down as well.

Other services have been shut down, such as the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Food inspection and financial aid

The Food and Drug Administration stopped its normal inspections of foods with a high risk of contamination.

Food assistance programs for women, children and Native Americans were still operating on the state level until the funding provided by the federal government runs out. After funds run out it will shut down too until the shutdown is officially over.

The Internal Revenue Service

Most IRS operations stopped. Only 12% of the employees were still working. In an effort to not interfere with annual tax returns, the White House said it would bring back the other IRS employees, but it was unclear if they had the authority to make that happen.

Law enforcement and immigration courts

Many workers from the F.B.I., Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, the Secret Service and others, were out of work because of the shut down.

Even though immigration court was backlogged before, after the government announced the shutdown, the courts also shut down. No cases were being moved forward and people will have to continue to wait for their hearing.

With all these services and citizens being affected by the shutdown, it’s sad to think our government let it go on as long as it did. It lasted over a month and people were ready for it to be over.