Can Donald Trump actually pardon himself?

As Trump is entering the final weeks of his presidency, some people fear that he will unleash his presidential power by pardoning family members, closest aides, and perhaps himself.

by Breanna Robinson

It is absolutely no secret that President Donald Trump will do whatever it takes to prove that he is the rightful winner of the election and must remain in the White House for four more years.

As Trump is entering the final weeks of his presidency, he is expected to make the most out of the presidential tradition of granting pardons. Some people fear that Trump will unleash his presidential power by pardoning family members, closest aides, and perhaps himself.KEEP READING…Donald trump

In declaring a ‘win’, Donald Trump is working towards a complete autocracy

Even in his incompetence as a leader, Trump’s authoritarian dreams have succeeded.

November 06, 2020Breanna Robinson

The President of the United States wouldn’t be himself without thinking he was cheated of something or something is fraudulent, hence his accusations against the election.

On Wednesday, he made interesting claims, tweeting, “we have claimed Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and perhaps Michigan – all states that were still counting votes.” Just moments ago, he made more baseless claims, saying, ” if you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal ones, they can try to steal the election from us.”

In understanding what autocracy entails, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump has been doing his best to concentrate all the political power he can into the palms of his hands since he began the presidency.

Someone like Donald Trump was able to take advantage of a political system that was already flawed, riddled with money and power concentrated within the executive branch. In addition, when it seems that autocracy can’t be reversed peacefully, an autocratic breakthrough has occurred, causing the government’s foundation to be unable to protect itself.

This can be seen in the Supreme Court-packing, appointing an Attorney General who will always remain loyal, enforcing the laws that the autocrat wants to enforce, and changing electoral rules ( in instances of gerrymandering).

Even in the incompetence of the Trump Administration, his autocratic efforts align with some of these ideas. For example, the Justice Department under William Barr acts as law enforcement and a personal law firm, Trump declaring the election is rigged, promoting voter intimidation and suppression, and mobilizing far-right groups to monitor polling places (It’s like we stepped into George Orwell’s novel, 1984).

Oh, and we mustn’t forget that he wants to change the election rules, which is absurd.

What will allow an aspiring autocrat —such as Trump —to transform the government would be the monopoly of political power. Many Americans, including myself, aren’t used to the thought of a monopoly on political power as a direct issue. We realize that all the power to confirm presidential appointments was concentrated in the Senate.

Trump didn’t even need the House.

In the four years of his presidency (which felt like an eternity), Trump has created a pipeline that runs from Barr to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the courts. The grapevine also extends to Fox News, which to a certain degree, serves as another branch of government for Trump that complied with his ideals. (Fox News recently ignited Trump’s anger by not complying with his election delusion).

Trump continuously applies pressure to the pipeline in the electoral system. If he does happen to succeed, all his autocratic efforts will be complete. If he gets the short end of the stick, he will leave, rather reluctantly or delayed, but much of his autocratic system would still be in place.

As long as the Senate remains in the hands of Republicans, autocratic changes Ivan at least for a while – will be impossible to reverse. If Joe Biden is elected, he will most likely try to bring a sense of normalcy to the administration because he and the Democratic Party treat Trump as a transgression, easily dealt with by voting him out.

Since Tuesday, we have been shown that Trump is not a transgression, but rather the collective consciousness of half of the voters in the election. This indignant movement is not only capable of carrying Trump into election victory; they can even propel one of his children to candidacy in 2024 or onward.

Biden will need to actively work to dismantle the impact that Trump has had and address what allowed the mayhem to occur in the first place: money in politics, unregulated and profit-driven media, The Electoral College and the way the voting system discourages or prevents participation, and much more.

All in all, although it would be admirable, Biden has to be mindful about encouraging bipartisanship to implement new legislation, rather than confronting the daunting and time-consuming task of the federal judiciary. The autocratic system can return if he doesn’t keep these things in mind, causing people like Trump to make America a place of constant unrest.Donald trump

Savannah Guthrie steals the show from Donald Trump

Trump and Biden replaced their presidential debate with rival election events – but it wasn’t the candidates who shone

October 16, 2020Lucy Gray

Donald Trump and Joe Biden were supposed to have their second presidential debate tonight. As is 2020’s way, this did not go to plan.

Less than three weeks before the election, a churlish game of political chess began. After it was announced the debate would be online, Trump moved his pawn two places forward and cancelled. In response, Biden pushed rook to A5 and announced he would host a town hall instead. Not to be outdone, Trump moved king to F3 and said he too would host a televised debate – the check move? The same time and day, on a competing station.KEEP READING…Donald trump

Why Trump choosing not to concede after Biden’s win is a disgrace to our democracy

Presidential power often passes from one candidate to another seamlessly. However, America has not experienced a president quite like Donald J Trump.

November 05, 2020Sandra Salathe

Presidential power often passes from one candidate to another seamlessly.

Usually.

However, America has not experienced a president quite like Donald J. Trump. From the beginning, Donald Trump proved to be a presidential candidate unlike any other, breaking every rule and dismantling every norm in U.S. history. So it’s no surprise his massive ego is getting in the way of accepting a defeat for his campaign, thus undermining the pillars of the U.S. Constitution in the process.

But Trump choosing not to go peacefully after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected President and Vice President-elect win is just another testament to the man’s character. Throughout his campaign, Trump continuously alluded to not conceding should Joe Biden win the election.

Last week, he held true to his word. With Biden leading the race, with 253 electoral votes, the Trump campaign filed lawsuits with Pennsylvania and Michigan, in an embarrassing attempt to cling onto the White House.

In fact, Trump has repeatedly stated the only way he would accept a defeat would be through a Supreme Court battle. This would explain the expedited process to place Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court shortly after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.

When Biden was projected to win Wisconsin, the Trump campaign challenged the results, demanding a recount. Trump is prepared to take these lawsuits all the way to the Supreme Court. That particular decision would be a heinous move on the Trump campaign considering there’s no basis backing these lawsuits other than Trump’s ego being badly bruised.

“We want all voting to stop.” Trump declared to the public shortly after claiming false victory of the presidency. For the Trump campaign to claim states are “stealing” the election is bogus. Counting every vote isn’t stealing an election.

That is the election.

First things first, Trump doesn’t have authority to stop states from counting votes. That alone would undermine our democracy. Under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, states have the right to administer their own presidential elections.

“Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” it states.

What’s more, every state has what is known as a “safe harbor” period, where states are provided time to complete their vote-counting and certification processes under federal law. This year, every state is granted 35 days, which will put us at a Dec. 8. deadline.

Pennsylvania just so happens to be one of those states.

So Trump would literally be going against the U.S. Constitution should his administration decide to proceed with the lawsuits. Bending the rules in his favor is nothing new for Trump. It’s perfectly on brand.

But to be clear, there is no evidence which proves voting by mail equates to voter fraud. In fact, absentee and mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day often take additional time to account for and tally up. Usually several days after Election Day.

If Trump had his way, he would allow tens of thousands of legitimate ballots to go uncounted just as he mentioned during a press briefing with Axios back in September.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else,” Trump stated”

According to the Transition Integrity Project report, “The potential for violent conflict is high, particularly since Trump encourages his supporters to take up arms.”

So basically, if Trump refuses to accept Biden’s victory, it would ignite a constitutional calamity, resulting in widespread chaos and partisan clashes.

However, The 20th Amendment states the term of each president ends precisely at noon on January 20. If Biden is elected, he will be give an inauguration address and sworn in. Once that happens, Biden will have the power to enact the Secret Service and order them to physically remove Trump from the White House.

One can only hope, right?Donald trump

All the horrible things Trump can do before he bids adieu to the office

As his presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn’t refrained from exercising his power while he still can.

December 01, 2020Breanna Robinson

As Donald Trump’s presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn’t refrained from exercising his power while he still can – and also before he has to say goodbye to the White House. From putting caps on the length of stay for those on student visas to allowing transgender people to be barred from homeless shelters, Trump is really not wasting any time enacting last-minute regulations, clinging to power as much as he can.

These efforts he’s exuding when making these drastic moves are not unnoticed, and it leaves many of us wondering if this will weigh down the Biden Administration adversely. Trump has no issue causing controversy within his presidency, even in his term’s final stretch, which is not surprising in the slightest given his track record.

Below are some of the ways Trump could impact the nation in the final stretch of his presidency.

Modifying food stamp eligibility

This ruling would change household eligibility for the National Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) based on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. If someone is involved in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash program or requires other methods of aid, they will not qualify for SNAP, which I personally feel not only poses challenges, it’s just downright unfair to those that are genuinely struggling to put food on the table.

Does Trump not mind how this would alter the lives of the millions of Americans that depend on this kind of program to feed themselves and their children?

Can Donald Trump actually pardon himself?conversations.indy100.com

Trump will most likely never have to worry about where the next meal will come from or how much it will cost, ever.

Restricted Asylum eligibility

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this allows the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to make changes as they see fit in the backdrop of asylum.

Essentially, the Departments would have the ability to make these changes based on what they believe is a determinant of fear or reasonable fear determinants. This can open the door to profiling on race and religion.

Reduced income for immigrant farmworkers

Already finalized, this rule freezes the scale that farm employers will use to decide how much they want to give to their immigrant workers, encouraging a who are here in the country on an H-2A visa for the next two years. After that, the wages will be tied to a national index of worker pay that has been rising slower than the actual farmworker wages.

Farmworkers, especially those who are immigrants, already don’t make much to begin with, which adds more insult to injury.

Workers can be labeled as “independent contractors” instead of “employees”

As expressed by the Department of Labor website, the rule would decide whether or not a worker would be considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The factors include an “economic reality” test, which determines how dependent a worker is on their employer and how much control the worker would have over their work. It’s basically another way for businesses not to have any obligation to pay for benefits such as health insurance, especially in today’s day and age with the pandemic and health ailments that workers may already have.

Putting limits on student visa lengths

This rule strikes a chord because it reminds me of my cousins who have come to the U.S. for their education.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this rule proposed by ICE would make modifications for the duration of stay for certain categories of non-immigrants traveling to the US. Instead, it gives them a maximum period of approved stay and the options for those extensions. Again, it sounds like another way to make the US a place that isn’t readily accepting of many kinds of people. How awesome.

Barring the Environmental Protection Agency from using certain scientific studies in policy-making

Even though the rule is in consideration, it would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of certain scientific studies when cultivating new policies. The Washington Post, states that it would allow the EPA only consider studies where the underlying data is public, not the other way around. Many public health studies With raw data containing private medical information and epidemiology, air pollution, and much more could be restricted, making it difficult to conduct the research that can be beneficial to the nation collectively.

Allowing the prevention of transgender people from homeless shelters

This, unfortunately, would require transgender people to be assigned to shelters funded by the Housing and Urban Development based on their biological gender, not their gender identity, which is a cause for worry. Adding to the inherent discrimination and increasing the dangers of people who face oppression for owning their truth.

Expansion on the ways death row inmates can be killed

There has already been approval for the alternative ways that death row inmates can be killed other than the customary lethal injection within the Trump Administration. States can be allowed to use firing squads to carry out death sentences, poisonous gas. Within the Federal Register, it allows the change “by any other manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence was imposed or which has been designated by a court…”

I personally don’t understand why all these methods are necessary.

With public objection regarding the inhumanity of lethal injection and overall the death penalty, these ulterior methods seem like easier ways states can kill people faster, which bends ethics and morality in my opinion. Donald trump

What Trump acting like a 6-year-old and refusing to concede will mean for Biden’s transition

The Biden administration is in for a turbulent transition.

by Sandra Salathe

It’s official.

After waiting numerous days to discover who won the presidential election, between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, the news was finally announced. On Saturday, America woke up to news that Joe Biden would be the 46th President of the United States of America.

That alone issued widespread celebration throughout the nation. Although it’s fantastic news to celebrate, it does’t quite put an end to the horrific chapter of American history known as the Trump administration. Thanks to Trump accepting defeat like a 6-year-old child, the Biden administration is in for a turbulent transition.

The U.S. Constitution states that a president’s term ends precisely at noon on January 20th. Until then, Trump retains presidential authority and therefore has the power and motivation to make Biden’s transition into the White House more challenging. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr, infamous for using his position of power to advance Trump’s political goals, mentioned he would examine the allegations of voting fraud before states certify results come Dec. 14th, which is when the Electoral College makes their final decision.

However, Attorney General Barr’s memo didn’t actually provide any substantial evidence of fraud. Sadly, Trump’s pawns can’t – or won’t – see these heinous allegations for what they really are: another slap in the face to democracy, in an attempt to prolong Trump’s time in office.

It’s a blatant abuse of power that Trump’s cronies fail to acknowledge, merely because their moral compass is buried so deep within Trump’s wallet. Either that or they’re too frightened to speak up on account of being fired. I’ve lost track of how many individuals Trump fired from his campaign because they either didn’t agree with or amuse him anymore. It’s definitely far too many to count on all fingers.

This is nothing new for the Trump campaign. Trump has a history with complaining about rigging or fraud, which I think is ironic coming from a president who was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But that’s a part of the Trump narrative. When things don’t go Trump’s way, he acts out and causes disruption.

In fact, Hillary Clinton called him out on it during one of their debates back in 2016.

“Every time Donald thinks things aren’t going in his direction, he claims whatever it is rigged against him,” said Hillary.

For example, after the FBI conducted a year-long investigation into Clinton’s emails and concluded there was no case, Trump claimed the FBI was rigged. When Trump lost the Iowa caucus and Wisconsin primary, he said the Republican primary was rigged. Then, when Trump University was sued for fraud and racketeering, Trump once again claimed the court’s system was rigged.

Trump even tweeted the Emmy was rigged when he didn’t receive an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row.

“This is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling,” Clinton stated. “That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”

But here’s the thing, Trump is no ordinary candidate. Because in Trump’s eyes, not only is he above the law, he is the law. That mindset goes for anyone who doesn’t agree with him either. Just yesterday Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, because he apparently didn’t support his political aspirations.

Shocker.

This move simply proves Trump is going to continue exercising his presidential power to the fullest, therefore making Biden’s transition into the White House more difficult. In doing so he’s sending a clear message to Biden, that the White House is still his and anyone who tries to snatch it from his hands will suffer under his wrath. Honestly, Trump’s behavior has all the trimmings of a cheesy 80s cartoon villain.

But if there’s one thing any cartoon series teaches us, it’s that the villain always gets defeated and harmony is restored. So live it up while you still can, Donald. Your days in the White House are numbered.Donald trump

Say what? A list of every bizarre thing Trump uttered during the final presidential debate

“I’d like to put myself in the basement.”

October 23, 2020Sandra Salathe

If I received a dollar for every laugh that escaped my mouth upon listening to President Trump speak, I’d be a very rich individual. The nonsense often spewing from his mouth is incoherent and politically incorrect. The man should give up politics altogether and try his hand at comedy. It would be even more hilarious if he weren’t President of the United States of America. But because he is, it makes matters slightly less comedic, and just plain embarrassing.

Last night’s final presidential debate was no exception.

Trump was uttering so much nonsense, I was getting whiplash merely trying to keep up. At one point during the debate, Trump accused Biden of “hiding out in his basement,” which is funny coming from someone who actually retreated to his bunker regarding fears of the peaceful protests occurring on his front lawn.

For awhile, Trump even talked about himself in the third person, comparing his accomplishments to that of Abraham Lincoln when asked about race in America.

“Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump,” he said. “With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I’ve done.”

But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, the entire debate was filled with bizarre contradictions from Trump, it often felt like I was tuning into Comedy Central rather than CNN. Here’s a list of every odd thing Trump said during last night’s debate.

On recovering from COVID-19

“I got better. I will tell you, I had something that they gave me. A therapeutic, I guess they would call it. Some people could say it was a cure. Now they say I’m immune. Whether it’s four months or a lifetime, nobody’s been able to say that.”

On COVID-19

“We’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.”

“Transmittal rate to teachers is very small”

“The excess mortality rate is way down and lower than any country.”

“There’s abuse. There’s tremendous abuse.”

“We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. He has this thing about living in a basement.”

On a vaccine

“We have numerous others we’re working on with other countries including Europe”

On relationships with foreign adversaries

“While he (Joe Biden) was selling pillows and sheets, I was selling tank busters to Ukraine.”

“We have a very good relationship with him (Kim Jong-un). Different kind of a guy, but he probably thinks the same thing about me.

“Nobody is tougher on Russian than Donald Trump.”

On his taxes

“It’s worse than paying. I paid in advance. It’s called prepaying your taxes. I paid in advance.”

On healthcare

“I’d like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful healthcare. The democrats will do it because there will be tremendous pressure on them. We might even have the House by that time.”

On immigration

“A lot of these children come over without the parents. They come over through cartels and through coyotes and gangs.

“Catch and Release is a disaster. A murder would come in. A rapist would come in. A very bad person would come in. Less than 1% of the people come back. We have to send I.C.E and Border Control out to find them. When you say they come back, they never come back. Only the really – and I hate to say thisbut those with the lowest I.Q. might come back.”

On race in America

“I think I have great relationships with all people. I’m the least racist person in this room.”

“I can’t even see the audience because it’s so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience.”

On climate change

“They’re all jumping through hoops for AOC plus three”

“They want to make bigger windows into smaller windows. If you had no window it would be a lovely thing.”

“They want to knock down buildings and build new buildings with little, tiny, small windows.”

“I know more about wind than you do. It’s extremely expensive. Kills all the birds. It’s very intermittent. It’s got a lot of problems”Donald trump

Why I think Lil Wayne really met with Donald Trump

We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but let’s make sure that we are all aware of different stances to make the most rational decision for the entire nation

by Breanna Robinson

With the recent news of 50 Cents endorsement (and apparent recanted support) of Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Ice CubeLil Wayne is the newest edition to the roster of rappers that have recently made headlines for corresponding with Trump.

To be quite honest, I’m not entirely surprised anymore.

Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., tweeted a photo of himself and Trump on Thursday—in all smiles— donned in the American flag colors.

Also, in Lil Wayne’s explanation of the meetup, he was heavily enthused with Trump’s proposed “Platinum Plan” ( Ice Cube also spoke to Trump about this) set to create over 3 million jobs in the Black community over the next four years. According to Trump’s official website, it also claims to increase capital by nearly $500 billion and strengthen immigration policies to protect American jobs.

I can understand the sentiment of feeling like you are heard about issues that the community faces. Still, given Trump and his administration’s track record on many things pertaining to systemic racism and overall attitude towards people, it comes off odd, providing an incentive for people to question him with the, “what is he doing?”

This isn’t the first time that people have been confused by something Lil Wayne has said. In an ABC Nightline interview back in 2017, he expressed his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me,” he told ABC News’ Linsey Davis.

I believe that this could be the classic case of detachment. If you grew up in a predicament that you didn’t like, ultimately leaving the situation and changing your life for the better, you sometimes feel anger towards the place, never wanting to go back to that or even connect with the people again, despite issues that arise when racial strife and inequity occurs.

There can be little connection to these types of situations because it doesn’t apply to you anymore. I understand why this happens, but it can trickle over into selfishness because we are only looking out for our personal interests.

Moreover, we are all entitled to our own beliefs and stances, but please, let’s make sure that we are all aware of different stances to make the most rational decision for the entire nation.

Please don’t jump on the bandwagon of something just because it sounds promising.
Lil wayne

Kamala Harris – the 47th president of the United States of America?

What a better figure for young women than Ivanka and cronies.

by Lucy Gray

I’ll never forget hearing Pennsylvania being called for Joe Biden.

As instantly as I saw the results, I heard cheers from outside my Astoria apartment. Hours later and there are still intermittent cries of joy, cars honking.

2020 has finally given us something to celebrate – and not just the fact that come January, Donald Trump will no longer be president.

Kamala Harris is the first female Vice President-elect. Finally, we will have a voice directly in the ear of the Oval Office, a voice shouting that women must be heard.

Children going to school on Monday have a new idol to look up to. Ivanka Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, Melania Trump – these are no longer the women girls will constantly see on their screens, figureheads they think they should be like. Instead, they have a woman of color as Vice President of the United States of America.

A sentence that thrills me to write.

After watching Hillary Clinton come so close in 2016 but ultimately fail, I wondered if I would see a female president in my life-time. Now I have renewed hope.

Harris has broken barriers throughout her career, and in winning this election with Biden, I think she can crash through that final wall. Whether it’s in 2024 or 2028, I see a path for a female president.

Harris has proven that she has what it takes, showing she can secure not only California but her name on the ticket can help win a presidential election.

Of course, this victory is not solely hers – this is a collective effort from a huge variety of groups mobilizing across the states – but seeing her as Vice President-elect gives me that tingly feeling in my stomach I haven’t had in years. If her performance in the VP debate against Mike Pence is anything to go by, we can expect her to be a fierce opponent to a future Republican challenger.

Former Vice President Biden is now the President-elect – and I believe Harris will follow the same trajectory. Kamala harris

Is Trump’s longstanding distrust of TikTok coming to a close?

Can Trump successfully ban TikTok?

by Breanna Robinson

Most of us are aware of the popular social media platform TikTok taking storm with creative and quirky video content from a network of talented content creators. There might also be an understanding that this is a platform Donald Trump’s administration has issues with (the administration tried to ban the app back in the fall).

If you weren’t aware, the brief series of sentences could catch you up to speed.

The administration contended that the app posed national security concerns with personal data collected from over 100 million Americans that use TikTok, leaving them ‘vulnerable’ to China’s government.

The app also came under fire for becoming a source of misinformation in the election with viral videos stating that people were handed markers specifically to Trump voters that would cause their ballots not to be read through the system, further causing those votes to be ineffective. They also had videos stating that the President-elect Joe Biden’s ballots were fraudulent, as well as QAnon-related conspiracies around ballots.

In addition, the app was also responsible for videos showing content creators calling the administration’s voter fraud hotline to report on suspicions around the election. The pranksters on TikTok flooded the hotline with strange messages, while Twitter posted many anti-Trump memes. Since Friday, the administration shut down the hotline, encouraging Americans to voice their concerns virtually (there is still not enough evidence of mass voter fraud to date).

Some of the content stemmed from two pro-Trump pages called Republican Hype House and The Republican Boys, which mirrored the staunch ideology that the election was being stolen.

The app took action, flagging some of the videos that had misinformation, leading The Republican Hype House to issue an apology, explaining the situation and their decision not to post as much, so they won’t have their platform taken away.

As a result, the administration set a divestiture order that was supposed to be in effect on Thursday with the hopes of relinquishing the app from the Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance.

Despite Thursday’s order to restructure ownership of the app in the U.S. for national security concerns, ByteDance filed a petition in a Washington court earlier this week requesting a delay.

According to The Guardianon TuesdayByteDance had asked the government for a 30-day extension because of “continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted.”

In August, Trump signed an executive order to ban the app if its U.S. operations weren’t sold within 45 days. ByteDance was backed into a corner, considering deals with a plethora of American companies, but decided on Oracle and Walmart’s oversight, both having a stake in the company.

With the app and the administration remaining in constant limbo, no deals have been granted yet.

Ultimately, due to the administration’s latest delay of the TikTok ban enforcement, it helped grant the Chinese-owned social media app a temporary reprieve against the battle with Trump. In my opinion, all that can be said is that this is not over yet.

There might be an ongoing battle between the administration and social media platforms about censoring or promoting fraudulent information.

For now, the app will remain an active content creation platform just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as they strive to protect content creators’ freedom of speech while also doing their due-diligence, flagging as much content as possible to prevent added misinformation in a nation that is already divided. Tiktok

10 of the best election memes to make you laugh while you wait for results

Just in case you want to crack a smile.

by Breanna Robinson

Since the beginning of time, people have embraced comedy (whether in films, shows, or books) to relieve themselves of challenging moments in history (like the 2020 election) or navigating life’s obstacles.KEEP READING…Political memes

Too close to call: How the 2020 election is a startled comparison to previous races

Throughout the years, we’ve seen general elections come and go. Some have been close, while others, differentiating drastically.

by Sandra Salathe

Throughout the years, we’ve seen general elections come and go. Some have been close, while others, differentiating drastically. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 65,853,625, while Trump only received 62,985,106 votes. However, Hillary didn’t win the overall election thanks to the Electoral College.

Donald Trump did.

In order to win the overall election, a candidate needs a total of 270 electoral votes. Hilary only received 232, while Trump received 306. It’s a mystery to me how anyone could vote for a xenophobic candidate who condones racism, sexism, misogyny. Then again, I won’t pretend to understand the mind of a MAGA supporter.

Within the four years Trump has been in office, we’ve witnessed a global pandemic, that has claimed the lives of more than 226,000 Americans; blatant racial disparities, brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and much more.

And yet, the 2020 election race is uncomfortably too close to call. At the moment, Biden is leading the race with 224 electoral votes. That’s 50.2%. However, Trump is following with 213 electoral votes. That’s only 48.2%. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hyperventilating since Monday.

In addition, there are still an immense amount of ballots needing to be accounted for, specifically within key battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia. So let’s look at how the 2020 Election differs from elections past.

Maine (4 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Arizona (11 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Florida (29 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Iowa (6 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Ohio (16 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Texas (38 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Virginia (13 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hilary Clinton

Maryland (10 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

California (55 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Oregon (7 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Washington (12 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Colorado (9 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

New York (29 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Vermont (3 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Massachusetts (11 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hilary Clinton

Connecticut (7 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton2020 election

Who does the Electoral College really benefit and is it still necessary?

“In a theory, a president should be elected based on the amount of votes he/she receives. But our founding fathers decided on a different system that doesn’t necessarily benefit the entirety of the country.”

by Sandra Salathe

I’m a fairly fast learner. I pick things up pretty swiftly and don’t need much explanation in the process. But one process that continues to confuse me, regardless of how much explanation I receive, is the archaic and unfair practice of the Electoral College.

I used to think a president was elected based on the amount of votes he/she received. Which in theory, is the way it should be, right? But our founding fathers decided on a different system that doesn’t necessarily benefit the entirety of the country. Then again, the majority of our country’s history didn’t benefit the nation as a whole.

In fact, politicians have discussed the removal of the Electoral College for years based on its unfair nature. But what exactly is the Electoral College and how does it work?

What is it, really?

If you’re anything like me, you probably assumed a president has to win the most overall votes in order to secure an election victory. That assumption would be inaccurate.

I know, I was just as shocked.

An electoral college is made up of 538 electors. Instead of trying to win the most votes in the country, a presidential candidate must win state victories consisting of more than 270 electoral votes. Whichever party hits that mark first, wins the election.

How does it work?

Every state gets an elector for one senator, which is always two per state, and one elector for each U.S. House of Representative, which differs per state. Thirty-three states choose electors by party convention, seven states (and District of Columbia) select electors by state party committees. The remainder of states appointment electors by party nominees or by presidential nominee appointments.

Because electors are loyal to their parties, they must vote for the candidate their party supports. Once ballots are cast and tallied, the electors reconvene in their states during December to officially vote for president and vice president. But there’s one final step in this dizzying puzzle.

Once January rolls around, members of the House and Senate officially meet tally up those votes. So, just because one candidate won more votes overall doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be inaugurated thanks to the Electoral College.

Who ok’d this?

Once again, we can thank our founding fathers for creating a system that benefits a certain demographic, while disproportionately affecting another. And that demographic would be the one consisting of the rich, white male.

What else is new, America?

The electoral college dates back to 1804, when it was initially ratified. At the time, Black enslaved individuals made up 40 percent of the South’s population. Southern delegates wanted to include them when determining how many representatives their states would receive in Congress. Northerners did not agree with this, arguing slaves didn’t require representation.

(Insert dramatic eye-roll here)

This led to the creation of the disgusting “three-fifths compromise,” where every Black individual counted as only three-fifths of a person when identifying congressional representation for each state by population. Regardless of the progress we’ve made in America, that progress doesn’t necessarily translate into politics.

Can’t we just get rid of it?

Getting rid of the Electoral College would require some serious legislation. An entire Constitutional amendment to be exact. For those that know their way around the U.S. Constitution, or basic U.S. politics, you would know creating a new amendment is an extensively drawn out process.

It would require a Constitutional amendment consisting of two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives, two-thirds of the Senate, and three-fourths of the states to vote on it. And when you have a country tremendously divided, that’s a lot easier said than done.

But hope is not all lost.

Many individuals want the Electoral College abolished. Certain states have already signed a pact promising to give their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote. For example, if Biden were to win the popular vote in a longtime Red state such as Texas, the state would award him all of its electoral votes, despite how he fared on the state ballot.

“Every vote matters,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in Mississippi last year. “And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College.”

Even President Trump supported abolishing the Electoral College at some point, stating it was a “total disaster for democracy.” Of course, Trump has since changed his views on the Electoral College, thanks to his 2016 victory.

But there’s no denying the Electoral College is an incredibly unfair system, over-representing individuals that cater to a specific demographic. A demographic primarily made up of non-white voters. Electoral college

Will young Black people guarantee Trump’s election victory?

With the rise of notable rappers in feigned support for the Trump administration, some may wonder if this has any influence on young Black men and women’s choice in the upcoming election

by Breanna Robinson

Due to recent news and social media reports surrounding the 2020 presidential election, many speculate that the election might be decided by support for President Trump from young members of the Black community.

With less than a week from Election Day, hip-hop artists including 50 Cent and Ice Cube — garnered vast political attention by expressing support for Trump’s administration. Particularly 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) who endorsed Trump’s re-election in a viral Instagram and Twitter post, expressing fears of former Vice President Joe Biden‘s proposal to raise taxes.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be 20cent,” he wrote.”62% is a very, very, bad idea. I don’t like that.”

In some recent interviews, Ice Cube explained he spoke with Trump campaign officials regarding his Contract with Black America. The former N.W.A. rapper further revealed his 13-point contract in July ( Trump’s Platinum Plan), as a response to the senseless murder of George Floyd.

The contract is a blueprint for achieving education, racial, economic, criminal justice, and police reform the community has sought after for decades.

In addition, Ice Cube provided opening for an advisor to Trump’s re-election campaign, to tweet he is for Team Trump, embellishing the intended nature of the situation.@KatrinaPierson @icecube @realDonaldTrump Explaining that he is “not on team blue” and “not on team red,” Ice Cube… https://t.co/YDblJs228A

— justin (@justin) 1603260489.0

Due to popular culture, media, and public policy, 50 Cent and Ice Cube aren’t the overall voice of Black political thought, nor are they a hidden Pocket Pro-Trump activism among Black men and women. There are many outliers present within the Black community regarding voting. The rappers are unlikely to sway Black voters away from a Democratic candidate in the election.

A recent study at American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies found Trump is undoubtedly unpopular amongst Black Americans. Of the over 1,200 Black American respondents surveyed in six key swing states (Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Michigan) in early July, only 7% stated they had intentions of voting for Trump, and 66% said they were voting for Biden.

Also, according to a CBS-BET poll released a couple of days ago, 8% of potential Black voters say they will vote for Trump. Despite this, the CBS News report on the poll states that half of the Black seniors in the country will support Biden because he is likable.

The support ultimately drops to 28% among Black Biden voters under 30-years-old.

This indicates younger Black Americans, particularly millennial-aged Black men, are indifferent to politics, often choosing not to participate in the election.

Why is that?

Many Black Americans new to voting don’t really see much of a reason to choose between the lesser of two evils. I have witnessed some of my peers go back and forth with who they want to vote for, or rather, not vote at all because they feel their vote is insignificant.

Even though their parents and grandparents lived through intense racial strife and segregation, young Black people believe that they don’t have much to reference as examples of progress attributed directly to voting or politics. Especially when you consider the ongoing amount of Black voter oppression that continues in the U.S. today.

Understandably, many Black Americans have received negative consequences for economic inequality and health disparities afflicting the community. There’s also unmanageable student loan debt that makes it hard to build wealth, purchase a home, and save money.

Let’s also not forget to mention the reoccurring waves of racism and police brutality that directly affect them and their loved ones.

Moreover, some Black people, especially young Black men wanting to enter politics, might seek alternatives that go against the grain of the community’s beliefs. This makes it seem young Black people might be falling in line with Trump’s rhetoric.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Or, as the iconic hip-hop group, Public Enemy would say: “don’t believe the hype.”2020 election

My ultimate list of the best election memes to make you laugh

The election saga continues.

by Breanna Robinson

After Saturday’s announcement that President-elect Joe Biden will have his inauguration at the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede in the U.S. presidential election, claiming that he will win the election and that there is voter fraud despite Biden exceeding 270 Electoral College votes.

Election fatigue for many has disappeared due to the promising news of Biden’s nomination. Still, Trump and Trump supporters’ disappointment and anger are also present after the election announcement. With Twitter and Instagram pages dedicated to roasting the election grow by the day, it’s safe to say that there are different perspectives about the course of events on the internet, which can be highly entertaining in our social climate.

I’m here for every bit of it.

My friends and I will continue to share and tag each other in funny memes of the never-ending story of the election, which has not only proved to be some needed comedic relief living in a nation that is as divisive as ever — it’s an ingenious and amusing approach to the harrowing reality of the U.S. and the direction we’re heading in.

With that, check out my ultimate list of the funniest election memes that will have you have you ‘LOL’ all day.

It appears to be a temper tantrum.

BREAKING NEWS: We have obtained an exclusive look at @realDonaldTrump in the oval office shortly after the announce… https://t.co/ASc2ALL5gP

— StrangerDanger (@StrangerDanger)1604795221.0

That’s quite unfortunate.

Have some sympathy #BidenHarris2020 #TrumpIsPathetic #TrumpTantrum https://t.co/6iPAXqfmNT

— fakenews (@fakenews)1604795549.0

The Statue of Liberty has had enough.

Waiting on the inevitable #TrumpTantrum … https://t.co/Css3rZrSPg

— Ciera_32 (@Ciera_32)1604794001.0

Oh wow.

#TrumpTantrum Better start packing.. https://t.co/Dsmh0o6NI3

— Paul Showtime Smith (@Paul Showtime Smith)1604794416.0

When your make-up starts to streak.

Only here for the memes… #TrumpTantrum #TrumpMeltdown #Election2020 https://t.co/E54q5PUV2o

— kirsty ♥ (@kirsty ♥)1604797985.0

Is it mostly symbols or numbers?

The end of the story of making America greater 💔✨ #TrumpTantrum #ترامب https://t.co/XMCQg1FsSi

— Al7ababiQ8 (@Al7ababiQ8)1604828067.0

I just want you to read something for a minute.

Good morning to all!!! What a glorious day to be alive!!! The best is yet to come. 🇺🇸 #TrumpCollapse #TrumpTantrum… https://t.co/u8QDYPw7iH

— Why Isn’t Ex-President tRUmp In Prison? (@Why Isn’t Ex-President tRUmp In Prison?)1604851359.0

The “remember when” jokes about memories.

@realDonaldTrump Listen to your SIL and wife. They’re telling you to accept the loss and move on. You’re looking mo… https://t.co/3iVEyJIrer

— shortnsassy (@shortnsassy)1604861730.0

While out on the golf course…

#TrumpTantrum on the golf course when he got the news #BidenPresident https://t.co/rFwCqOIFwT

— @DeddyBinSalman (@@DeddyBinSalman)1604839720.0

Seems like that’s happening.

Definitely a great ‘Star Wars’ film.

Political memes

My work with Young Democrats of America has proven to me just how vital local politics

“Political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.”

November 09, 2020

This post was written by Jasmine Sheena, Pacific Region Director at Young Democrats of America Women’s Caucus

During the last few days, many of us have gone about our daily lives, while simultaneously living through one of the biggest historical events in American history. The 2020 election, regardless of its winner, will be chronicled in history as an event that will have a lasting impact on the future of America.

Although Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became America’s President and Vice President-elect on Friday, a number of other elections didn’t go as well for Democrats. A number of high-profile races, like those of Sara Gideon (D-ME), Jaime Harrison (D-S.C.), and Amy McGrath (D-KY), were lost to Republican candidates, often corrupt Trump-supporting incumbents.

In Georgia, a QAnon-supporting candidate won a House seat. Thanks to general voter disinformation running rampant in the Trump era, a number of problematic candidates have grabbed powerful positions for themselves across all levels of political bureaucracy.

It is important to realize most corrupt politicians have to start somewhere. They often launch their careers in our very own communities. These candidates win a seat in their city, then go on to take state and perhaps even federal positions. Even in a smaller elected seat, an incumbent wields immense power and can shape the course of that microcosm for decades with the ideologies and legislation they back.

Whether you live in a small town, or a bustling metropolis, the politics of your home city are likely much more intricate and nuanced than most people imagine. I myself am a San Francisco resident heavily involved in local politics. Only after immersing myself in various local political organizations, interning at City Hall, and volunteering on political campaigns have I come to grasp of the city’s political landscape.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my political work, is the extent of corruption present in San Francisco politics. Certain politicians will take large donations from groups like police unions or big developers, compelling them to favor them in their political agenda in order to sustain money flowing from these groups powering their campaigns.

These same candidates will often use their financial firepower to spend extravagant amounts of money against their opponents; leftist candidates, who usually denounce donations from certain groups that require reform or tend to sway elections. These candidates have to campaign harder and up their interactions with voters to counteract the lies that might be spewed about them in mailers and Facebook ads.

If these same monied candidates win, they often go on to promise reform, and cannot deliver because of the donors they are dependent on. Meanwhile, the everyday San Franciscan is inundated with often misleading media and literature filled with lies or misrepresentations about a candidate.

Since local politics is much less interesting to most people than the presidential race, especially this year, is likely to be swayed by these manipulative communications, voting for candidates with the financial leverage to pay for all the ads and mailers that bash other candidates.

After supporting multiple progressive campaigns, I can confirm only through talking to voters at local events, knocking doors, etc. can less monied candidates truly counteract the dollars against them. My point in bringing all this up is, political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.

I know it is significantly easier to understand national politics because one has to focus on one race and learn about only a few candidates given immense media coverage. However, one should also take the time to study key local races on one’s ballot as well. There are other ways to engage with politics on a local level as well: join a local political club.

San Francisco, for example, has countless Democratic clubs, with some representing certain neighborhoods, racial groups, or other markers of identity. These organizations engage in critical work in educating their constituents about local measures, candidates, and issues through events, and through supporting campaigns endorsed by the club as a whole.

They’re also just a valuable way to meet people, often ones who have similar values to you as well. In a similar vein, volunteering for local campaigns that support your political views is another great way to be civically engaged on a local level. In smaller races, candidates can sometimes win by only a handful of votes, and the extra support volunteers can provide is often critical in a campaign’s success.

Take the time to understand that prop measure or rising political figure on your ballot, because local politics shapes our lives in ways that most Americans do not truly recognize.

You can learn more about the work Jasmine and her team implement here.Local elections

Don’t be one-sided: How you can talk politics without it being a battle

Politics has always been a divisive force amongst people. What can we learn when we put our differences aside and hear each other out?

October 29, 2020Breanna Robinson

With Election Day less than a week away, it is one of the most crucial days for the country’s future. Amid the pandemic, racial strife, and natural disasters present in the country, there is no doubt in mind that the 2020 election will be lamented in history, unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed before.

Politics has always been quite the dividing force, supporters on either side marking lines in the sand. This is the catalyst for a prominent societal belief— never discuss politics with anyone.

Ever since I was young, I was taught to refrain from politics with someone from a different political party ( I grew up in an area that was predominantly Republican). I didn’t really understand how this can be taboo, but the belief stayed with me to this day.

In my college years, the belief still stayed me with me, but how I approach politics has changed. Being around people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and life experiences opened my eyes, understanding that we really don’t always think the same, and that’s okay.

Here’s how you can approach situations of differing beliefs with an open mind:

Do your own research

Political beliefs and opinions in politics are often cultivated from childhood. Our families and friends will often influence our views to believe something, or we may choose to reject these beliefs. To be quite honest, it doesn’t matter what political party. What matters is that you do your due diligence to research the candidates’ policies and stances and the party you intend to endorse so that you are well versed and knowledgeable in what you discuss and support.

Political division is nothing new in society

The partisan divide has been embedded in American culture. George Washington’s Farewell Address warned the American people about the dangers of factions and division that will happen and what it will cause. The division between belief systems and political parties has always been there. It will remain present as long as you are willing to take a moment to listen and discuss conflicting opinions.

Voting in the election is about who you think will be best for the country… or not

Expressing the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy in this country. Having the right to vote for who you believe will be the best candidate to address issues is important, but don’t just vote for someone because they only appeal to your beliefs. When considering politics, it’s always encouraged to consider others, especially those marginalized, who may be affected by policies that you may disregard because they don’t apply to your livelihood.

Politically charged conversations should never be the place for hostile emotions

Even though it’s tempting – especially in today’s social climate—to assert your political beliefs in an aggressively charged way, it’s best to not force these opinions on to somebody who has different ideas about politics ( trust me, I learned the hard way by getting mad at a friend that refused to wear a mask during the pandemic we are in).

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to talk about politics with them. It’s actually great to discuss why you’re voting for somebody or why you have certain belief systems because it opens up the door for a conversation that would normally be cast aside. When discussing politics and trying to influence others to change their thoughts, you must come from a place of compassion and understanding of where they are coming from in their beliefs.

Let’s face it, anytime you force your opinion on someone, it creates a significant divide between ideologies, even reinforcing someone’s reasoning on why they won’t vote for a person you prefer because you’re not taking into account where they’re coming from.

In these brief ideas about the political divide and how we can approach the conversation in constructive ways, we have to come together as a nation to start a healthy dialogue, free of ridicule.Politics

My work with Young Democrats of America has proven to me just how vital local politics

“Political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.”

November 09, 2020

This post was written by Jasmine Sheena, Pacific Region Director at Young Democrats of America Women’s Caucus

During the last few days, many of us have gone about our daily lives, while simultaneously living through one of the biggest historical events in American history. The 2020 election, regardless of its winner, will be chronicled in history as an event that will have a lasting impact on the future of America.

Although Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became America’s President and Vice President-elect on Friday, a number of other elections didn’t go as well for Democrats. A number of high-profile races, like those of Sara Gideon (D-ME), Jaime Harrison (D-S.C.), and Amy McGrath (D-KY), were lost to Republican candidates, often corrupt Trump-supporting incumbents.

In Georgia, a QAnon-supporting candidate won a House seat. Thanks to general voter disinformation running rampant in the Trump era, a number of problematic candidates have grabbed powerful positions for themselves across all levels of political bureaucracy.

It is important to realize most corrupt politicians have to start somewhere. They often launch their careers in our very own communities. These candidates win a seat in their city, then go on to take state and perhaps even federal positions. Even in a smaller elected seat, an incumbent wields immense power and can shape the course of that microcosm for decades with the ideologies and legislation they back.

Whether you live in a small town, or a bustling metropolis, the politics of your home city are likely much more intricate and nuanced than most people imagine. I myself am a San Francisco resident heavily involved in local politics. Only after immersing myself in various local political organizations, interning at City Hall, and volunteering on political campaigns have I come to grasp of the city’s political landscape.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my political work, is the extent of corruption present in San Francisco politics. Certain politicians will take large donations from groups like police unions or big developers, compelling them to favor them in their political agenda in order to sustain money flowing from these groups powering their campaigns.

These same candidates will often use their financial firepower to spend extravagant amounts of money against their opponents; leftist candidates, who usually denounce donations from certain groups that require reform or tend to sway elections. These candidates have to campaign harder and up their interactions with voters to counteract the lies that might be spewed about them in mailers and Facebook ads.

If these same monied candidates win, they often go on to promise reform, and cannot deliver because of the donors they are dependent on. Meanwhile, the everyday San Franciscan is inundated with often misleading media and literature filled with lies or misrepresentations about a candidate.

Since local politics is much less interesting to most people than the presidential race, especially this year, is likely to be swayed by these manipulative communications, voting for candidates with the financial leverage to pay for all the ads and mailers that bash other candidates.

After supporting multiple progressive campaigns, I can confirm only through talking to voters at local events, knocking doors, etc. can less monied candidates truly counteract the dollars against them. My point in bringing all this up is, political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.

I know it is significantly easier to understand national politics because one has to focus on one race and learn about only a few candidates given immense media coverage. However, one should also take the time to study key local races on one’s ballot as well. There are other ways to engage with politics on a local level as well: join a local political club.

San Francisco, for example, has countless Democratic clubs, with some representing certain neighborhoods, racial groups, or other markers of identity. These organizations engage in critical work in educating their constituents about local measures, candidates, and issues through events, and through supporting campaigns endorsed by the club as a whole.

They’re also just a valuable way to meet people, often ones who have similar values to you as well. In a similar vein, volunteering for local campaigns that support your political views is another great way to be civically engaged on a local level. In smaller races, candidates can sometimes win by only a handful of votes, and the extra support volunteers can provide is often critical in a campaign’s success.

Take the time to understand that prop measure or rising political figure on your ballot, because local politics shapes our lives in ways that most Americans do not truly recognize.

You can learn more about the work Jasmine and her team implement here.Local elections

As a woman of Caribbean descent, I know exactly what Kamala Harris’ victory means

“Regardless of cultural background, you can break the glass ceiling.”

November 10, 2020Breanna Robinson

I remember it was around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when the voice coming from the TV announced, “Joe Biden is the President-elect.”

Given the anxiety of the prolonged process of tallying ballots to see who will become the next president, everyone was pleasantly surprised by the sudden declaration.

My grandma, mother, and father’s exuberant claps radiated throughout the household and shouted their relief at who the winner was. I among them was equally as cheerful. Not only because of Donald Trump‘s defeat, but the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the epitome of the new direction the nation is embarking on— one of diversity and inclusion.

Harris is not only the first woman to be elected to this position in government, but she is also the first Black and South-Asian woman of Jamaican descent. As someone who is of Jamaican descent, this gave me a lot of hope for the community and the nation.

Even though she appealed to me as a Caribbean-American woman, she is also an example for other underrepresented groups of ambitious women overlooked because of their race. Growing up, when fellow peers in school found out about my Jamaican heritage, they immediately would tell me to “say something in Jamaican” (it’s Patois) or address me with “yeh mons,” which became overwhelming.

I felt like my culture wasn’t celebrated in a productive manner.

For the longest time, people associated Caribbean people – especially Jamaicans – as heavy marijuana smokers or staunch Bob Marley enthusiasts. Bob Marley is a gifted legend, but we are so much more than just a destination to get-away from important matters.

Harris is among the first to pave the way out of this generalization.

All in all, America is a land of many different cultures and faces, all capable of achieving their wildest dreams and amounting to success, just as Harris has shown. Anyone, regardless of their cultural background, race, or gender, has the ability to break the glass ceiling.Kamala harris

Joe Biden elected as 46th president of the U.S. is the beacon of hope we need

For the first time in four years, I feel really proud to be an American.

November 07, 2020Breanna Robinson

After the more than 74 million votes received (which is more than any other presidential candidate), President-elect Joseph R. Biden defeated Donald J. Trump to become the 46th President of the United States.He lined himself into position to lead a country that has been struck with a historic pandemic riddled with economics and social turmoil that has plagued the nation.

His victory —which many of us were anxiously awaiting—came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through an enormous amount of mail-in votes that delayed the process of some ballots. Biden ultimately exceeded 270 Electoral College votes, which was all I needed to see.

While the vote count played out, Biden also helped ease tension, projecting an image of presidential leadership that encompasses unity, calming the waters of a divided nation. This effectively allowed voters, such as myself and my loved ones, to trust the process as he received pivotal victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

In his Delaware speech last night, one line Biden said that really stuck out to me was, “we have to remember the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”

As someone who wasn’t always given a fair shot at many things in life, it made me misty-eyed to hear him say that so earnestly.

Moreover, it’s also worth noting that Kamala Harris has made history as the first Black and South-East Asian woman to become Vice President-elect, a well-respected achievement for U.S. history as the nation faces a reckoning on racial justice. She will also become the highest-ranking woman ever in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

All in all, I have a lot of hope that Biden’s presidency will lead this country into a new era of honesty, integrity, and equality for everyone regardless of the color of your skin or economic standing.

For the first time in four years, I feel really proud to be an American.
Joe biden

Why tonight’s Trump-Biden showdown will be so different from the others

Less than two weeks before Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump will square off in a one, final debate tonight. What can we hope to expect?

October 22, 2020Sandra Salathe

We are less than two weeks from deciding who the next President of the United States will be. A large majority of nation has already mailed in their ballots, but there is still a remainder which have not. For those individuals who are still, shockingly undecided, tonight’s final debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, should provide some enlightenment.

As if the last four years wasn’t illuminating enough.

Tonight’s televised event, which will air from Belmont University in Nashville and moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, will hopefully differ from the first. Thanks to The Commission on Presidential Debates’ decision to mute microphones during segments of the debate to prevent frequent interruptions (we’re looking at you, Donald), tonight’s debate will hopefully look a little different.

For me, my expectations for tonight’s debate are somewhat low thanks to the first. However, there’s always room for surprise and if we’ve learned anything from the last four years, it’s to never assume. You know the good ole’ saying when one assumes, so I won’t waste my time in writing it out.

But what I do hope for tonight’s debate is a little more detail into both parties plan for the next four years, primarily starting with fighting COVID-19. Thankfully, that’s on the itinerary for topics discussed during tonight’s debate. Among other topics discussed will be: “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.”

All of which were chosen by Welker.

Apart from new guidelines regarding mics, tonight’s debate should be the same as the last… minus continuous interruptions. Each segment will last about 15 minutes, with candidates having two minutes to answer the moderator’s questions. Once each candidate has answered Welker’s questions, she will use the remaining time in the segment to facilitate further discussion on the topic.

It should be interesting to see how both candidates interact with one another using the muted microphones. My hope is that Biden will simply mute Trump whenever he’s speaking, similar to the SNL skit where Jim Carrey (as Biden) uses a remote to pause Trump (played by Alec Baldwin) from interrupting him.

One can only dream, right?

You can watch the debate live on CNN and online starting at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for more information.Presidential debate

Where does Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stand on abortion rights?

Breaking down her stance on abortion.

November 12, 2020Breanna Robinson

In the backdrop of President-elect Joe Biden’s hopeful win in the 2020 presidential election, attention is on both him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

As former District Attorney of San Francisco, as well as the first woman and person of color to serve as California’s Attorney General, it’s safe to say Harris has a clear understanding for making difficult decisions. What’s more, Harris is only the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator.

She spent the majority of her career fighting notoriously for injustice and served on the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

Still, Harris will always remain under watchful, questioning eyes regarding certain policies. Primarily those pertaining to abortion.

Below, we delved into Harris’ stance on reproductive rights and abortion access since Donald Trump’s appointing of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

She proposed her own abortion rights plan

In May 2019, Harris proposed an abortion rights plan modeled after the Voting Rights Act, according to Politico. In the plan, Harris noted that certain states restricting and limiting the number of abortions in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri would have to get permission from the Department of Justice before enforcing laws affecting the procedure.

The proposed plan would require states to demonstrate repeated instances of abridging abortion-rights to get preclearance. The plan stated the preclearance would only be granted to laws not violating either Roe vs. Wade or the Women’s Health Protection Act.

Harris’ new proposal is similar to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the sense it makes states receive a preclearance from the Justice Department before the laws could go into effect.

Even though the Supreme Court struck down Harris’ initial proposition in the Voting Rights Act of 2013, she remained optimistic, and her plan was upheld based on state abortion rights over the past 25 years.

She co-sponsored abortion bills

Harris helped co-sponsor the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2019. The act strives to “protect a woman’s ability to determine whether and when to bear a child by “prohibiting local or state governments from imposing certain restrictions on access to abortion services”.

Another bill Harris co-sponsored is the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act set to “ensure affordable abortion coverage and care for every woman and other purposes.”As President, I will stop dangerous state laws restricting reproductive rights before they go into effect. https://t.co/w0cDxdH51T

— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1559096180.0

She tackled Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with abortion questions

“Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?” Harris asked Brett Kavanaugh during the Supreme Court hearing in 2018. Due to some confusion, Harris modified but asked a similar question in which Kavanaugh answered, “I’m not thinking of any right now, Senator.”

Harris was among the few senators who questioned Kavanaugh about abortion access. She did something similar during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, stating:

“Let’s not make any mistake about it. Allowing President Trump to determine who fills the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for women’s rights and a critical vote in so many decisions that have sustained the right to choose, poses a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country,” Harris said..@SenKamalaHarris correctly explains the Ginsburg standard to Judge Kavanaugh—answering fair questions about women’… https://t.co/QSnqMj8Uxp

— Senate Democrats (@Senate Democrats)1536200143.0

She challenged Joe Biden’s stance on the Hyde Amendment

In July 2019, Harris grilled the former Vice President on the stage during the primaries about his support for the amendment.

Biden supported T he Hyde Amendment, which prevents public funding of abortion under Medicaid, until last summer when he received a nudge to change his stance from other Democratic candidates.

“On the Hyde Amendment, vice president, where you made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive health care, including women who were the victims of rape and incest, do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that?” Harris asked.

She wants to codify Roe v.Wade

Even though the 1973 ruling a Roe v. Wade made it illegal for any state to ban abortions, it is still subject to ridicule and attack from State legislation regulating the procedures. According to The Cut, if the ruling is codified, women having the right to an abortion would become a federal law protected by the Supreme Court, which is highly important and commendable in a society that expresses “freedom”.

She has Planned Parenthood’s support

While endorsing Biden for president, Planned Parenthood has also dedicated a section on its website supporting Harris’ contributions to the matter stating:

Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a defender of reproductive rights and health care. She has stood up for the principle that when it comes to our health, our bodies, and our futures, WE decide, not politicians. And she has stood up for communities — especially people of color and those with low-incomes — hit hard by the Trump-Pence agenda of less access to abortion, birth control, and health care.

Biden’s selection of Harris makes it clear that in the White House, their administration would not only protect reproductive rights — but also advance and expand them.

It’s also worth noting that Harris got the 100 percent “choice rating” by NARAL: Pro-Choice America.Kamala harris

Kristen Welker is the rational friend we all need

Why Kristen Welker is the epitome of poise and grace that we all need in our lives when dealing with conflict

October 23, 2020Breanna Robinson

Within our friend groups (and other acquaintanceships), we’ve all experienced at least one situation where we’ve bumped heads because of deferring and downright uncouth, biased opinions, right?

If you answered yes to that question, you might also agree that there’s always another friend on neutral ground that can act as a mediator in times of strife as Kristen Welker did at the la presidential debate last night between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

As Donald Trump and Joe Biden clashed over the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism in the country, many would go on to agree that Welker was the epitome of grace and attentiveness in the situation at hand ( this debate was much calmer than the first presidential debate in Cleveland).

When Welker would ask questions, she would rarely let Trump change the trajectory of the course of the debate ( she would brush off his phony “excuse me’s” with the “you have 10 seconds to speak”) or drown out Biden’s answers, while standing her ground and enforcing the rules which were well-received by spectators.@mitchellreports @kwelkernbc I like @kwelkernbc a lot, and she did well. Trump’s not easy to contain. But his lies… https://t.co/OG12AdXxUR

— Jim Brooks 🥁🚴♟🦮 (@Jim Brooks 🥁🚴♟🦮)1603421948.0@OmarJimenez @kwelkernbc It was highly noticeable who would be the best presidential candidate, Kristen. She made i… https://t.co/PYdMiEqNP6

— Cal (@Cal)1603459161.0

See the photo evidence below that encapsulates this moderation all too well:

US-VOTE-DEBATEPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

It is also known that this neutral and rational type of person can also be criticized for not “necessarily having a position” just like Trump spewing baseless claims about her literally days before the debate calling her “terrible and unfair, just like the rest of the fake news” and then turning around to say, “so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this,”( this screams ‘fake friend’ to me!) when she gave him time to respond to Biden at one point.

Also, just like the friend in the middle listening to both sides of a story, she presented the opportunity to Trump and Biden to talk directly in this case about Black Americans and the racial inequality and systemic racism that they face daily and how they would assist those issues. Both men said that they understood the challenges Black people face in the country, but like typical ‘friends’ in menacing disagreement, they ended up blasting each other.

Trump put all the blame on Biden as the singular force behind mass incarceration of “young Black men”, further declaring himself as the least racist person in the room, reiterating “nobody has done what I’ve done for Black Americans with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, a possible exception”. In complete and utter disbelief, Biden called Trump a “racist” pouring fuel on every single racist fire”.

How Welker was able to keep her composure with some of the most bogus statements ( I won’t say who the comments are from, but his last name starts with a “T”) is indicative of someone who will let you say what you need to say then tells you what’s right, wrong, or needs clarification, just like an emotionally evolved friend.

Who wouldn’t want a calm, cool, and collected person in their lives to encourage the air of maturity?Kristen welker

How many VPs have gone on to become president?

Which VPs went on to become the President of the United States?

October 07, 2020Breanna Robinson

As one of the most overlooked and often misunderstood positions in government, the vice president is an important role to have (they have the opportunity to become president in certain instances). The vice president is the President of the Senate, although they can only vote in legislation or other motions when the Senators are deadlocked 50-50.

The other formally recognized role of the vice president is to ensure the accuracy of the tallied electoral college votes after a Presidential election occurs. There are also informal roles dependent upon the relationship between the vice president and president, such as representing the president in public appearances, an advisor, and meeting with the heads of state or foreign governments.KEEP READING…Politics

As a Black woman in America, I need you to know something about this election

No matter what happens, the fight for equality will always remain consistent

by Breanna Robinson

As U.S. citizens, we’ve witnessed a lot and come a long way in expressing our morals and ideologies with our government’s underpinnings. With today being Election Day, (kudos if you voted early!) it’s critically important we express our constitutional right to vote.

Even though we’ll likely wait awhile to know the official outcome, this election will determine whether or not this nation moves forward towards the ideals of a more perfect union. Like myself, many of you share some semblance of fear when analyzing the two paths our nation can embark on.

When I was in an Advanced Placement U.S. history high school class in 2012, the election of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was a defining moment for me. As I learned more about our country’s history and figured out what ideals resonated with me more, I decided to vote Democrat.

So, it isn’t entirely a surprise I would be voting for Joe Biden. If he is elected, he has promised to promote racial justice. This would include better homeownership, pandemic relief and holding financial institutions accountable for discriminatory practices when dealing with BIPOC Americans.

To be quite honest, I don’t believe his plans will achieve complete racial equality within our lifetime… even though it’s a great start. Regardless, Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, has a signature policy that piques my interest. In her LIFT Act ( also known as the Middle Class Act) legislation was provided to middle class and working families with a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year or $500 a month to address the cost of living expenses.

Although the act has its flaws, it’s an excellent example of one of the closest policies mapped out to guarantee income on a national level. For the Black community, economic security truly unlocks a potential that wouldn’t normally be present. My parents – being in the medical and accounting industries – were able to move from an area where they were able to get degrees, receive better jobs, and ultimately bring my sister and me to a safer neighborhood.

A neighborhood where we could both have a similar, and even better shot at succeeding.

More importantly, I’ve seen my parents’ faces, as well as my peers, when financial anxiety is reduced: happiness and the understanding that the sky is the limit.

I really want all people – especially Black people – across the country to realize this won’t be the reality under Trump’s Administration. There’s no need to continuously address why tax cuts for the rich and other corporations won’t get us closer equity. Trump’s family clearly states what they think about us.

We also deserve respect and things with our names on it. As long as we desire to be successful, which is rude to assume when many of us aren’t provided opportunities amounting to ‘success’ due to systemic inequality.

Realistically speaking, neither the Republican or Democratic Party has a strong enough plan to decrease the disparities carried throughout decades of weak policies and racism.

That is nothing new.

Regardless of what happens on Nov. 3, the equality the Black community consistently fights for – and deserves – won’t fully be achieved until we focus on an economy reflecting and respecting our contributions.

Not to worry. We, as a community, need to have each other’s backs.

Trump’s election was not the first time the Black community was confronted with embedded racism our country was built on. However, another four years won’t deter us from speaking up. While exploring this yearning to voice our minds, it reminded me of a quote from James Baldwin:

“I love America more than anything in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

At the end of the day, I find solace in knowing the Black community will continue to do our due diligence in standing up for what we believe in.

We are continuously on a journey of elevation, and for that, we will always have each other. 2020 election

Joe Biden did exactly what he needed to in that utterly chaotic debate

I don’t know quite what I expected from the first presidential debate, but it wasn’t that

September 30, 2020Lucy Gray

At this point in the Trump presidency, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything, but the childish, erratic display in Ohio still shocked me. Donald Trump rowed with debate moderator Chris Wallace, shouted over Joe Biden, hurled insults, and made personal attacks. It was similar to what we saw in 2016 when the now-president steam-rolled Hillary Clinton at every turn, stalking her around the stage. With coronavirus restrictions in place, Trump couldn’t hunt Biden down as physically as he did Clinton, but that didn’t stop him from dealing a barrage of blows. It is the angry president we have become all too familiar with, yet, I was still stunned by the embarrassing performance.

The debate began with two subdued candidates being questioned on the Supreme Court – but that mood didn’t last long. A sedated Trump soon turned into a combative one. He spoke over Wallace, even at one point saying to the moderator,”I guess I’m debating you now!” As expected, he repeatedly clashed with his rival, pushing Biden to say the line of the night – “Will you shut up, man?”

Biden’s performance was far from perfect. He was pushed and pulled around the entire time, falling into several easy traps laid by Trump on climate and past cringe-worthy comments – but I still feel that he responded exactly how he needed to. If he had risen to the bait, shouting and being as churlish as Trump, would anyone really have respected him? Would that really have convinced anyone to change their vote from red to blue? In times as hard as this, America does not need politicians shouting at each other and not listening. Yes, Biden hit back when he was pushed – particularly during a tense exchange about his sons Hunter and Beau – but he did not bulldoze.

The Democratic party should be targeting non-voters, but that seems pretty much out of the question in their already bland campaign. So the best I could expect from Biden tonight was to not embarrass himself, and I feel he just about managed that. Trump made a mockery of the debate. All Biden could do was show us what a “clown” the president is.Joe biden

The shocking list of celebrities that voted for the first time in the 2020 election

The list took me by surprise for the most part

November 04, 2020Breanna Robinson

It’s not entirely unheard of that many people don’t vote in U.S. elections, including well-known celebrities. Some have no interest in politics, undecided in what policies resonate with them, or have criminal records preventing them from participating.

Of the many celebrities who encouraged people to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, also voted for the first time in the 2020 general election.

Both Mike Tyson and Snoop Dogg said that they couldn’t legally vote for many years, while another celebrity, such as John Oliver, recently received American citizenship.

From Kanye West to Selena Gomez, keep scrolling to see the celebrities who’ve expressed their right to vote in one of the most critically important elections in American history.

Snoop Dogg

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston CelticsPhoto by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For the longest time, Snoop Dogg believed he couldn’t vote due to prior felonies. On real 92.3’s radio show, “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” he mentioned his record had been expunged. Now, Snoop Dog has the ability to vote.

In addition, Snoop Dogg also partnered with Shepard Fairey, the founder of the streetwear brand, Obey, to launch a voting initiative called vote with Snoop, encouraging others to register to vote.

Mike Tyson

2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One – BackstagePhoto by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Like Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson also believed that he couldn’t vote in the election due to his record. In a post shared on Twitter in September, he said, “I never thought I could [vote] because of my felony record. I’m proud to finally vote.”

John Oliver

HBO’s Post Emmy Awards Reception – ArrivalsGetty Images

The Last Week Tonight Host officially received American citizenship last December ( I honestly thought he already had it). When speaking to Stephen Colbert of The Late Show, he expressed how real it felt casting his ballot for the first time, understanding that his voice matters.

Selena Gomez

2020 Hollywood Beauty Awards – Getty Images

In a virtual “Voting Power Hour” event, Selena Gomez (who voted by mail) admitted that this was her first time voting because she never really thought her voice mattered in past elections.

In an Instagram Story post on Election Day, Gomez asked fans to vote, further reiterating that we can and do have the right to voice our opinions.

Shaquille O’Neal

Los Angeles Lakers Unveil Shaquille O’Neal StatueGetty Images

During The Big Podcast with Shaq in October, the basketball legend said he hasn’t voted because he doesn’t want to be hypocritical when involving himself in campaigns, nor did he understand what the electoral system was about.

Offset

2019 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards – ArrivalsGetty Images

“I felt like I accomplished something by that,” the 28-year-old rapper told Essence after performing at a Biden and Harris rally. Offset has actively been convincing the youth in Atlanta to go to the polls and make a difference in their community.

Kanye West

“The Cher Show” Broadway Opening Night Getty Images

How Biden’s all-female communications staff will alter US politics forever

Witnessing the immense feminine power Biden is bringing to his administration is enough to curb the anxiety I’ve encountered during the last four years.

by Sandra Salathe

Joe Biden has broken numerous barriers since securing the U.S. presidency. With permission to finally move forward with the transitional phase of his presidency (an evident sign of Trump admitting defeat), Biden has kept his word on restoring America to a more unified and diverse nation. On Sunday, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced they would be electing an all-women staff to their White House senior communications team.

This is a first in U.S. history.

Among the elected women are Janet Yellen as treasury secretary (the first woman to hold the role), Jen Psaki as White House press secretary, Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director, Karine Jean-Pierre as principle deputy press secretary and Pili Tobar as deputy White House communications director. In addition, Ashley Etienne will become communications director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris once she is sworn in.

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better,” Biden said in a statement.

Witnessing the immense feminine power Biden is bringing to his administration is enough to curb the anxiety I’ve encountered during the last four years. From electing the first female Vice President, to bidding farewell to a xenophobic president, 2021 is shaping up to be a good year. However, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I said the exact same thing about 2020 and look how that turned out.

Although 2021 may or may not be the year the nation bounces back to normalcy, we’re definitely on track with the new administration. Since winning the election, Biden appears to be working harder during his transitional period than Trump did within his entire four years as president.

But it’s more than that.

Male politicians have expressed the importance of electing more women to positions of power, but seldom do anything significant about it. It’s refreshing to see a candidate serious about elevating women within politics. Biden has always emphasized his stance on promoting more women to leadership roles. Witnessing him actually do so is not only important for this country, but the overall future of U.S. politics.

The more we normalize the notion of female leaders within our country, the more it becomes a possibility. Young girls are watching history being made with our first female Vice President, and thinking to themselves, “that could be me someday.” But it doesn’t just end with politics.

It’s not as if we’re not striving for leadership roles. In fact, women have demanded a seat a the table for generations. Whether you work in publishing or technology, the roles catered to women are scare. However, that’s quickly changing thanks to the numerous opportunities beginning to blossom.

As much as I wish these changes came sooner, it’s nice to see headway being made in regards to female inclusion within the workplace. Better late than never, right?

Joe biden

How Trump and Biden’s muted mics will shape the final presidential debate

With less than two weeks until the election, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off for the final time on Thursday.

by Sandra Salathe

If I could choose one word to sum up the first presidential debate, between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, it would be chaos.

Complete and absolute chaos.

What was supposed to be a civilized conversation among two nominees, quickly transpired into disruption, due to Trump frequently interrupting the former Vice President.

I was left with an immense amount of anxiety within the first ten minutes of watching. The overall Sep. 29 debate felt like a mindless cockfight, with both parties losing. Not that I’ve ever witnessed a cockfight, but I have a feeling it would resemble something very similar to what we witnessed during the first round of presidential debates.

Thankfully on Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced both former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will have their microphones muted during portions of the final presidential debate. The final debate is expected to air Thursday night from Belmont University in Nashville, and moderated by NBC News White House correspondent, Kristen Welker.

Under the new rules, Biden and Trump will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of each 15-minute segment. After that, Biden and Trump will be able to discuss issues with each other with both microphones open.

According to a statement, released by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, Trump is still “committed to debating Joe Biden” regardless of the change.

“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the statement read. “One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”

Trump was set to debate Biden in a town hall-style debate last Thursday, but dropped out last minute due to the event being made virtual, given his recent COVID-19 diagnosis. With that being said, the debate was eventually canceled. Instead, Trump and Biden participated in separate town halls, where Trump was grilled by NBC News correspondent Savannah Gutherie.

Thursday’s final debate will offer Trump an opportunity to pick up momentum as he trails behind Biden in polls. Hopefully, this time around, Biden will not allow Trump to goad him into a state of name-calling fueled by frustration. Biden needs to appear presidential and not allow Trump to get the better of him. Although I will admit, with the current president in office, that statement is a lot easier said than done.

The debate will air live from television and livestream online starting at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for more information. 2020 election

50 Cent ‘doesn’t care Trump doesn’t like Black people’ – so why is he endorsing him?

Are celebrities’ personal finances more important than the integrity of the nation?

by Breanna Robinson

Curtis “50 cent” Jackson is one of the few rappers I can say branched out rather skillfully into other avenues such as becoming an executive producer of the STARZ series Power and Power Book II: Ghost and many other entrepreneurial ventures.

Despite the success of these endeavors, what became a shock to rap and TV show enthusiasts ( as well as myself, to be quite honest) is his endorsement of Trump in the upcoming presidential campaign. Especially considering Biden’s proposed tax plan for people making more than $400,000 a year, which would no doubt affect the rapper.

50 urged his supporters to vote for Trump in November, claiming to not care whether Trump hates Black people.

“WHAT THE F**K! (VOTE ForTRUMP),” wrote 50 cent on Instagram. IM OUT F**K NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway. I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people 62% are you out of ya f*****g mind.”

Many have criticized him for this endorsement, dragging him for thinking of his personal finances over the health and social justice disparities our nation is facing.

It doesn’t stop there.

Earlier this year, conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren said she went through a “phase” where she listened to a lot of the rapper’s music, interestingly enough. Now Lahren can openly praise the Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ rapper due to his public support for Trump and his administration.

Expectedly, several Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon, using 50’s endorsement as a weapon of tokenization, including Candace Owens and Tomi Lahren, making commentary on the importance of 50’s voice.

Screenshot of Candace Owens tweet by Breanna RobinsonScreenshot of Candace Owens tweet by Breanna Robinson

Even though Tomi Lahren has said many things about him in the past, she extended the olive branch, inviting him to the chaotic Trump Train.

Screenshot of Tomi Lahren tweet by Breanna RobinsonScreenshot of Tomi Lahren tweet by Breanna Robinson

“Welcome to the Trump Train,” she exuberantly wrote on 50’s post. She also felt compelled to celebrate on Twitter, praising the rapper’s endorsement and adding,”Let’s go!!!”

If this is not the year of exposing one’s true intentions, I don’t know what is.
50 cent

Why tonight’s vice presidential debate will be so influential in American history

The Pence-Harris face-off will be unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed in the history of vice presidential debates

by Breanna Robinson

With just a couple of hours left before showtime, tonight’s debate will be like no other.

The debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will be one of the most prominent fixtures of American history since vice-presidential debates began around 40 years ago.

Although vice presidential debates aren’t as popular as the duals that the world is subjected to from presidential debates, the 2020 race in itself and the highly unique moments from the administration make this debate worthy of coverage and our undivided attention.

By coping with a virus that has claimed the lives of over 211,000 Americans, we must not forget that the vice president directly correlates to the presidency. With many documented experiences of the long-term effects of Covid-19 from patients referred to as “long-haulers,” incapacitation within the presidency is being brought to light.

Moreover, even though vice-presidential debates can be boring in the sense that most of the focus is on how each vice presidential candidate would help the president make America a better place if elected and their stances on policies if they move forward. The candidates must also keep in the back of their minds that they could become president at any moment.

However, within the 2020 race, we are presented with two of the oldest presidential nominees within American history. One is dealing with the diagnosis of Covid-19 even though he cavalierly still downplays the severity— President Donald Trump— and former Vice President Joe Biden‘s health complications in the 1980s.

Regardless of Trump being re-elected or Biden winning the overall vote next month, they will be sworn in amid a particularly dangerous pandemic for older demographics.

Understanding this, the vice presidential debate will occur in a large hall in the University of Utah, and the candidates will now have a 12-foot distance between them, which is more than normal. There will also be no tangible means of communication, such as a side by side photo and handshake before and after the debate.

Susan Page, debate moderator and Washington Bureau Chief at USA Today, will most likely get the debate going with health questions, the 25th Amendment, and succession, to name a few. Mentioning a dead president or incapacitated one is a morbid one, but Mr Trump and Mr Biden’s age and health history make it necessary to address.

During the election year, vice-presidential candidates often serve as presidential nominees’ protectors, so there will be criticism amongst the candidates such as Mr Pence’s initial objection to the use of a plexiglass barrier as well as his stance on the virus as the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

It’s critically important for both candidates to avoid direct political strife and focus on the state of the nation during a pandemic with a president that is ill.

The vice president’s personality, especially in Covid-19 conferences, is calm and collected, which is ideal in a debate. Despite this, his rhetoric and presence at times are that of a minion, someone who obliges and defends someone even if they have a menacing attitude like the president.

Mr Pence must not only be persuasive in portraying the ability to take over for the president if needed, but he also must show strength and courage by making sound decisions despite the president’s complex that team members shouldn’t outshine him.

Ms Harris has not only made American history as the first woman of color to be nominated for office by a major political party, but she has proven that she is a quick-witted and effective debater during the primaries. Her prosecutorial background as she addresses candidates( including Biden) illuminates her strength within politics.

Even though this is great, she needs to focus on what she deeply cares about concerning the country to appeal to human interests.

Of course, a part of the debate will highlight how she would help Mr. Biden if he becomes president. However, the debate must also show that she can stand on her own in the absence of Mr. Biden. America loves a good fight, as it’s what the country has been built on, so it’s critically important for a female in politics to showcase strength and compassion for people in a world full of gender biases.

In more ways than not, Mr. Pence and Mrs. Harris are both able to do what the president could not do in last week’s debate – be an adult that shows some respect for others. They also can both appeal to the importance of family and what it means to be the ‘rock’ that their respective families and nation need. Mr. Pence shows excitement when talking about his daughter, and Mrs. Harris embraces being called ‘Mamala’ by her step-kids.

Overall, the opportunity for Mr. Pence and Mrs. Harris to shed light on things that the president and former vice president didn’t do in their quite disastrous presentation of a debate last week is imperative: be the voice of optimism that the United States is longing for.2020 election

Didn’t watch the presidential debate? Here’s what you missed

The eight key moments from the Trump vs Biden debate

by Lucy Gray

It’s hard to believe, but the presidential debates are finally here. Whereas the Democratic showdowns dragged on for an eternity, the last six months hazily zipped by with the 2020 election now just five weeks away.

Presidential debates can make or break a campaign. It’s the first time Donald Trump and Joe Biden have faced each other, millions of people tuning in around the world; these clashes are unarguably important…but that doesn’t mean everyone has the stomach to watch them. Never has it been more tempting to shut politics out than in 2020, to allow your disenchantment to take over and watch ‘Schitt’s Creek’ instead. You’re already anxious enough on your Tuesday night because of that stupid thing you said a decade ago. Why add to it by reminding yourself just how horrific the president of the United States is?

If this sounds like you, but you still want to appear like you know what you’re talking about at work today, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the biggest moments of the night:

“I guess I’m debating you now”
Trump wasn’t just debating his election rival. The president hounded moderator Chris Wallace, speaking (sometimes shouting) over him, bickering, and ignoring time limits.

“Will you shut up, man?”

Of course, it wasn’t just Wallace; Trump completely bulldozed Biden. The president continuously cut his Democratic rival off, leading to several snaps back from Biden throughout the night, including this memorable response.

Biden questions Trump over coronavirus plan

The president tried to brag about his administration’s decision to restrict travel from China, but the gloating didn’t last long. Biden called out America’s high Covid-19 death toll – which is now over 200,000 – and accused the president of panicking over the pandemic and having “no plan.”

Trump says he doesn’t want to pay taxes

After a bombshell New York Times report said Trump paid only $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017, it was inevitable the president would be asked about it. I’m just going to leave his quote here… “It was the tax laws. I don’t want to pay tax. Before I came here, I was a private developer. I was a private business person. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws.”

Biden distances himself from the Green New Deal

When climate came up towards the end of the debate, Biden distanced himself from the Green New Deal, instead of promoting his own strategy.

Trump refuses to denounce white supremacy

When asked if he would disown far-right and white supremacist groups, Trump danced around the point, then told the infamous Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

“You’re the worst president America has ever had, c’mon”

A comment from Joe Biden.

“That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck”

Although not actually part of the debate, one of the most viral moments of the night was Jake Tapper’s analysis: “That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.”2020 election

Highlights from the Women’s March in D.C.

Carrying creative signs and donning an array of interesting costumes, thousands gathered in D.C. Saturday for the 2nd Women’s March of 2020 to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Sandra Salathe

Saturday marked the 2nd Women’s March of 2020, where thousands gathered in D.C. to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Almost four years after the initial march, where marchers unified to protest the inauguration of President Trump, thousands took to the D.C. streets once again.KEEP READING…Womens march

Why the recent Women’s March in D.C. was the most significant

Thousands flocked to the Nation’s Capitol over the weekend to attend the 2nd Women’s March of the year. Why this one holds more significance than the ones before

by Sandra Salathe

Over the weekend, I traveled back to my home city of Washington, D.C. to attend the 2nd Women’s March of the year. The march was organized to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Although I’ve attended every Women’s March since it’s inception in 2017, this one felt different.

For one, it arrived amidst a global pandemic which claimed the lives of 200,000 plus Americans. Another being the crucial, upcoming presidential election. For me, all of these were justifiable reasons to march.

Despite the first march occurring after Trump’s inauguration, there was a sense of urgency and desperation eminent within the air this time around. Perhaps the primary reason being because there’s so much on the line. We are residing in a country where the threat of a Christian theocracy looms near, reminiscent of a Margaret Atwood novel.

In fact, numerous women dressed as handmaidens during the march, donning red dresses and white bonnets, with “Trump-Pence OUT NOW!” signs hanging from their necks.

Another handmaid costume caught my eye, but the sign attached was slightly more ominous.

“I thought this was just a costume…” it read.

Handmaids march in unison at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

The handmaid costumes are an apparent nod to Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the small Christian group, People of Praise, which received criticism over its similarities to Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Barrett – as well as her parents -have had active roles in the organization, according to documents and interviews obtained by the Washington Post.

According to a 2010 People of Praise directory excerpt also obtained by The Washington Post, Barrett supposedly held the title of “handmaid” which is believed to be a leadership position for women in the community. The organization has denied Barrett’s involvement within their community and has since removed her name and photographs from all its archives.

Barrett’s sketchy past with the religious organization is enough cause for concern considering her likely confirmation to the Supreme Court. The idea that someone with immense conservative beliefs and religious agenda will have the ability to craft the laws governing our country sends chills throughout my body.

It’s as if we’re living within the realm of a real-life horror film, where the climax has yet to hit.

Protestors clash at Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

These are dangerous times we’re living in. Whether you’re a woman or not. The impact of Trump being re-elected, along with Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court will gravely impact several Americans for decades. It has never been a more terrifying time to be a woman in this country.

Abortion access is at stake. Reproductive freedom is at stake. Affordable healthcare is at stake. LGBTQ rights are at stake. Basic, moral principle is at stake.

That’s why these marches and calls to action matter more than ever. As a nation, we are divided, but seeing these acts of unity gives me hope. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter protests or the Women’s March, there is strength in numbers and I believe we’re stronger when we rise together for the common good of the nation.Women’s march

We deserve to know where Trump and Biden stand on factory farming

A critical issue Americans care about is factory farming. Where do the presidential nominees stand?

World Animal_Protection USWorld Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization’s activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations. World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animal welfare on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals’ lives for the better. More information on World Animal Protection can be found at: http://www.worldanimalprotection.us/

By: Joe Loria, Meat Reduction Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection,US

The presidential debates are quickly approaching as we draw nearer to election day. And with a pandemic taking the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans, record unemployment, wildfires raging across the western part of our country, and an unprecedented hurricane season, there are many questions voters likely have for President Trump and former Vice President Biden.

In the past, nominees have addressed healthcare and climate change to trade issues and the economy. Still, one subject always seems to be left out of the public discourse yet impacts so many of the critical issues Americans care about: factory farming. While we can look at what both nominees have done in the past related to factory farming, Americans must learn how the two frontrunners plan to tackle it in the future, especially given all that has happened this year.

From being a leading cause of environmental destruction and climate change to a likely next pandemic source to horrifying animal cruelty and a host of labor issues, factory farming might seem like the cheapest and most efficient way to produce America’s food. But in reality, it comes at a high cost to society.

Our next president must take on the large multinational meat corporations that prop up factory farms, something no other president has yet to do. Countless studies have shown factory farming’s contribution to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gases than all the transportation in the world combined. In fact, it will be nearly impossible to achieve the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement if we don’t significantly reduce livestock farming and switch to more sustainable protein sources.

As for the pandemic, while we’re nowhere near out of the woods when it comes to Covid-19, we should be working to prevent another one from occurring.Many scientists believe this starts with eliminating factory farming. Nearly 99% of US meat comes from factory farms, where animals are packed together in cruel confinement to maximize profits.

Factory farms create an ideal breeding ground for virus and bacteria mutations that human immune systems have never seen before. In other words, factory farming is a likely source for the next pandemic, and our next president needs to be prepared. According to reports, more than 200 meatpacking workers in the US have died of Covid-19, and at least 42,534 workers have tested positive for the virus. From the onset of the pandemic, large multinational meat corporations prioritized profits over worker safety by speeding up slaughter lines, forcing workers to stand closer together, and not distributing PPE immediately.

Even before Covid-19, the industrialized meat industry exploited workers with whistleblowers reporting that meatpackers were denied bathroom breaks, being forced to wear diapers so as not to risk getting fired. To make matters worse, these companies preyed upon vulnerable communities for labor, such as immigrants who would be threatened with deportation if they spoke out against the reported abuses. When the candidates say they support workers, we must hold them accountable and ask if they will take on the factory farming industry to protect those producing America’s food.

Our next president must empower small-scale independent farmers and growers who use more humane and sustainable practices to transform and secure our food system. It is also essential, for the wellbeing of our country, the planet, and animals, that our next president takes steps to reduce meat consumption in America – one of the countries that eats the most meat – so that we can support this shift away from factory farming as demand for meat drops. I hope that at some point during the upcoming presidential debates, America gets to learn how exactly President Trump and former vice president Biden plan on uplifting rural communities and independent farmers, protecting meatpacking workers and farmhands, improving animal welfare, and safeguarding our planet by banning factory farming once and for all.2020 election

If you don’t know, now you know: What the term “lame duck” actually means

You may have overheard the term thrown around but have little to no idea what it represents. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

December 01, 2020 by Sandra Salathe

After the election, there was a brief moment when I believed Donald Trump would not concede. Upon discovering Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris were the projected winners of the 2020 election, joy should’ve been my initial reaction. And it was, but it was also followed by a sense of uncertainty.

However, when Trump eventually gave up his baseless accusations of voter fraud, allowing the Biden Administration to move forward with the transition phase, my anxiety subsided. Now that Trump is considered a “lame duck” president, the term has many scratching their heads. Primarily because they have no idea what it means.

You may have overheard the term thrown around but have little to no idea what it represents. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

The term “lame duck” refers to a politician whose term is about to end and be replaced by a newly elected official. Although the politician still remains in office, this transitional period is often viewed as less notable because power begins to shift towards the newly-elected official.

Regardless, politicians still use this time to make final, hasty decisions before leaving office. For example, last week Trump pardoned longtime friend and former national security advisor Michael Flynn from foreign lobbying crimes he admitted to in 2017. Trump’s pardon would absolve Flynn from “any possible future perjury or contempt charge in connection with General Flynn’s sworn statements and any other possible future charge that this Court or the court-appointed amicus has suggested might somehow keep this criminal case alive over the government’s objection,” the Justice Department wrote.

There have even been talks of Trump pardoning himself. However, legal experts have continuously explained presidents cannot pardon themselves. We’ll just have to see what Trump comes up with during his final moments in office. Should make for entertaining television if it weren’t utterly scary.Lame duck

Trump’s legacy isn’t going anywhere if Biden wins the election

Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult for the next administration to wash out

by Sandra Salathe

We are moments away from determining the outcome of the most crucial presidential elections our country has experienced. The outcome, regardless of which candidate wins, has the potential to echo for generations. Throughout the years, presidential power has transitioned from one candidate to the other seamlessly. This year proves to be different, if not challenging.

Within the months leading up to the election, President Trump continuously stated he will not accept the outcome if he is not the victor. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering our president’s narcissistic character. If we learned one thing throughout Trump’s presidency, it’s his ability to get away with being unapologetically egotistical and outlandish.

More than 80 million Americans have already casted their vote, patiently awaiting for the results to be announced. But Trump’s inability to go peacefully could mean setbacks for the election in a desperate ploy to remain in the White House. He has already triggered doubt within the electoral process, relentlessly attacking the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, suggesting the outcome will be rigged.

And here thought I was a sore loser.

But if things go my way, and Trump does lose the election, it’s not going to easy for Biden. Even if Biden is officially elected, inaugurated and comfortably seated in the White House, he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult to wash out.

And thanks to the strategic confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the flame that burns eerily bright for the Trump administration will cease to extinguish any time soon. We’ve seen setbacks to immigration; police brutality like never before; brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed changed for the worse and Biden winning the election won’t automatically change that. But if Biden does win (one can only hope) he will deal with more than just an extensive economic renovation. He’ll be dealing with a nation divided.

According to a FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker, Trump holds a 42.2 percent approval and 54.3 percent disapproval. Despite an impeachment, a nationwide movement protesting racial justice, and a global pandemic claiming the lives of more than 226,000 Americans, it would seem Trump can do no wrong among his supporters.

I often hear many individuals blame Trump for the amount of xenophobia and racism present within our country. But here’s the thing, Trump wasn’t the inventor of xenophobia or racism. They already dwelled deep within American society. Trump simply normalized it.

So it’s likely if he loses, we can anticipate retaliation from Trump supporters on a large scale.

It’s likely the U.S. will experience widespread protests regardless of whomever wins. Because the truth is, right now our country is not united and for that we can blame Donald Trump.President trump

Trump’s legacy isn’t going anywhere if Biden wins the election

Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult for the next administration to wash out

by Sandra Salathe

We are moments away from determining the outcome of the most crucial presidential elections our country has experienced. The outcome, regardless of which candidate wins, has the potential to echo for generations. Throughout the years, presidential power has transitioned from one candidate to the other seamlessly. This year proves to be different, if not challenging.

Within the months leading up to the election, President Trump continuously stated he will not accept the outcome if he is not the victor. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering our president’s narcissistic character. If we learned one thing throughout Trump’s presidency, it’s his ability to get away with being unapologetically egotistical and outlandish.

More than 80 million Americans have already casted their vote, patiently awaiting for the results to be announced. But Trump’s inability to go peacefully could mean setbacks for the election in a desperate ploy to remain in the White House. He has already triggered doubt within the electoral process, relentlessly attacking the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, suggesting the outcome will be rigged.

And here thought I was a sore loser.

But if things go my way, and Trump does lose the election, it’s not going to easy for Biden. Even if Biden is officially elected, inaugurated and comfortably seated in the White House, he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult to wash out.

And thanks to the strategic confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the flame that burns eerily bright for the Trump administration will cease to extinguish any time soon. We’ve seen setbacks to immigration; police brutality like never before; brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed changed for the worse and Biden winning the election won’t automatically change that. But if Biden does win (one can only hope) he will deal with more than just an extensive economic renovation. He’ll be dealing with a nation divided.

According to a FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker, Trump holds a 42.2 percent approval and 54.3 percent disapproval. Despite an impeachment, a nationwide movement protesting racial justice, and a global pandemic claiming the lives of more than 226,000 Americans, it would seem Trump can do no wrong among his supporters.

I often hear many individuals blame Trump for the amount of xenophobia and racism present within our country. But here’s the thing, Trump wasn’t the inventor of xenophobia or racism. They already dwelled deep within American society. Trump simply normalized it.

So it’s likely if he loses, we can anticipate retaliation from Trump supporters on a large scale.

It’s likely the U.S. will experience widespread protests regardless of whomever wins. Because the truth is, right now our country is not united and for that we can blame Donald Trump.President trump

My looming fear of being in an interracial relationship in 2020

Being in an interracial relationship was never an issue for my boyfriend and me. Then Trump became president, and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, our world drastically changed.

by Sandra Salathe

I met my boyfriend in 2016, a few months before Trump was elected president. For the importance of context, I will inform you that my boyfriend is Haitian-American – and although I have Hispanic roots – I classify as white. I never gave much thought to our differing races. It was never an issue for my boyfriend and me. But then Trump became president, and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, our world drastically changed.

But to be frankly honest, the world didn’t necessarily change overnight. Racism has always been a common factor within our society. Peel back the saccharine veneer of “equality” and “justice” and you will likely find racism sleeping somberly. Trump being elected merely awoke it.

Perhaps it was ignorance on my part, but my boyfriend being Black and me being white just wasn’t an issue. At least, not for us. When Trump was finally situated in office, the concept of racial harmony became nothing more than an afterthought. All you had to do was witness a Trump rally to understand that racial equality was nonexistent throughout his campaign and presidency.

Within the months leading up to Trump’s inauguration, there was a sense of unease that settled throughout our country. My boyfriend and I predominately felt this within our gut on a daily basis. We were unsure about what was going to happen, but we knew it wasn’t good.

Flash forward four years, and the premonition of unease has become a daunting reality for America. Over the course of four years, we’ve witnessed our country undergo a harrowing transformation. We’ve witnessed police brutality like never before, transparent systematic racism, brutal attacks on reproductive rights, unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed drastically changed for the worse.

As Trump fights for a second term, navigating racial and political divides will be even more difficult.

I often think about how different our lives would’ve been had my boyfriend and me met during the height of the Jim Crow era. For one, interracial relationships didn’t become legal until 1967, so dating one another would be out of the question. We wouldn’t even be allowed to converse with one another in public without receiving criticism for it.

The thought of not being allowed to hold my boyfriend’s hand in public, or attend a restaurant together, merely on the basis of our differing races sends chills throughout my body.

I’m very much aware of my boyfriend’s cultural background, but when we’re together, our differences evaporate. I love my boyfriend’s race and understand it is a huge part of who he is. I’m enraged when I hear people say “well, I don’t see race.” or “race is inconsequential to me.”

Therein lies the problem.

Race shouldn’t be inconsequential to anyone. Where someone comes from is very important and should be celebrated. However, when you undermine or overlook someone because of their race is when it turns into an issue. Apart from ccasional stares, my boyfriend and me never encountered threatening racism as a couple. But we have friends who have and their accounts are heartbreaking.

Growing up, my mom made an effort to convey the importance of treating everyone with respect and equality. She made sure it was deeply rooted in my consciousness and unable to forget. In her mind, it was just as crucial as brushing your teeth every morning and night.

Maybe the reason for my mother’s relentless advocating originated from personal experience. As a Hispanic girl growing up in the South throughout the 1950s, my mom understood a thing or two about being discriminated against because of your race. The fact that this kind of discrimination continues today is unfathomable. Then again, what do you expect from a president who evokes racism and bigotry at every turn of his presidency?

I’m very frightened for the future of our country. Even if Biden does get elected, Donald Trump has left a stain on this country that won’t be easy to wash out. His nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is testament of that. There’s a sense of urgency during this election that’s more predominant than its predecessor.

But to say we have to vote isn’t enough.

The truth is, until we learn to overcome our differences and treat people with respect and dignity, we will never be able to evolve as a nation. Interracial relationship

It’s safe to assume Biden’s administration will vastly differ from Trump’s

President-elect Joe Biden proved to be a candidate for the American people, while Trump… not so much. The likelihood of both administrations being similar is slim to none.

November 13, 2020

It's safe to assume Biden's administration will vastly differ from Trump's

by Sandra Salathe

It’s no secret President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are vastly different.

They’re like night and day. Hot and cold. Sweet and sour.

I could go on. The analogies are endless.

Since the beginning of his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden proved to be a candidate for the American people, while Trump… ehhhh, not so much. If anything, our country is extremely divided thanks to the current president in office. So the likelihood of both administrations being similar is slim to none.

In fact, a Biden administration will vastly differ from Trump’s in every way possible. Let’s examine some of the ways Biden’s administration will exceed Trump’s, shall we?

Beating COVID-19

Unless you’ve been residing under a rock for the past eight months, you’ve witnessed a front row seat to the current president’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since day one, President Trump has not been the leader this country needs in order to tackle a global health crisis. In early February, Trump already knew how dangerous the Coronavirus pandemic was, but continued downplaying it.

He continued to host large rallies and events, belittled the significance of wearing masks, neglected social distance precautionary measures and urged states to reopen businesses despite an ongoing spike in cases.

Under a Biden administration, things would look extremely different. Throughout all his debates and town hall gatherings, Joe Biden continuously explained his plan to get the virus under control and restore our nation back to some semblance of normalcy. On the Biden and Harris campaign website, the administration lays out a seven plan proposal to tackle COVID-19.

Some key points in the proposal are:

  • Ensuring all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing
  • Provide more PPE for medical workers
  • Evidence-based national guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic, including reopening plans for schools and businesses
  • Effective, equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines
  • Implement mask mandates

Healthcare

Considering Biden was apart of the Obama administration and worked closely with former President Barack Obama to create the Affordable Care Act, it’s no surprise the President-elect supports the ACA 100%. Thanks to Obama and Biden, more than 20 million Americans have affordable health insurance under the ACA.

Many Americans no longer have to worry about being denied coverage by an insurance company, or paying higher premiums simply because they have a pre-existing condition – such as cancer or diabetes or mental health problem. Also under the ACA, insurance companies can no longer set annual or lifetime limits on coverage.

However, the ACA has experienced multiple attacks over the past ten years, with Republicans relentlessly trying to chip away at it. And having Trump as president hasn’t made the issue better. In fact, Trump continuously tried to sabotage the ACA ever since he arrogantly waltzed through the double doors of the White House.

Under a Biden administration, the President-elect will work hard to protect the ACA and the numerous Americans currently insured under it. In addition to protecting the ACA, Biden plans to expand it as well.

Once in office, Biden plans to provide Americans with an alternative public health insurance option similar to Medicare. Similar to Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers, according to the Biden-Harris campaign website.

Biden also plans to provide coverage to low-income families, by offering premium-free access to the public option for the 4.9 million individuals who would be eligible for Medicaid. States that have already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.

According to the Biden-Harris campaign website, “states that have already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.”

For individuals making 138% of the federal poverty level, Biden will ensure all those individuals get covered.

Rebuilding the economy

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the unemployment rate is higher than ever. However, our country’s economy was already in trouble. It’s no secret the Trump Administration prided itself on rewarding wealth over work and corporations over working families.

Although Trump alludes to providing Americans with more job opportunities than ever, the numbers speak for themselves. Under a Biden-Harris administration, the President and Vice President-elect plan to rebuild the economy stronger than ever. They plan to create millions of good-paying jobs and provide the necessary tools and resources to build America back better.

Biden also plans to implement these tactics on Day One, by providing further immediate relief to working families, small businesses, and communities.

Climate change

For four years, the Trump Administration has continuously referred to climate change as an “expensive hoax.”

According to Trump: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Well, there you have it, folks. Once again, it’s China’s fault.

President-elect Joe Biden understands the severity of global warming and is dedicated to addressing it throughout his term in office. Unlike Trump, Biden supports the New Green Deal and understands it’s importance for meeting the climate challenges we face. Under a Biden Administration, Biden’s goal is to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

Biden will also recommit the United States to The Paris Agreement, from which the Trump administration formally withdrew from early last week. In addition, “Biden will make smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change,” according to Biden and Harris’ campaign website.

Immigration

What has become Trump’s most controversial political stance will be the polar opposite for Biden. Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has enacted inhumane family separation policies on migrant families who desperately seek safety and a better life. When children are snatched from the embrace of their parents and placed in detention centers resembling cages, that is not only immoral, but an embarrassment to the fabric of our nation.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the majority of U.S detention centers are located in correctional facilities, which are either operated by the federal government, the state, or a third-party private company. Envision whatever a county jail or prison looks like, and that’s essentially what an immigration detention center looks like.

Now imagine placing a helpless child there.

The detention centers are not synonymous to the fantastical “summer camp” environment the Trump Administration would have you believe they are. For the most part, the care an immigrant detainee receives in a U.S detention center is very similar to what a non-immigrant detainee in that same jail would receive. Then again, the standard of care depends on the standard of the detention center.

Under a Biden Administration, that all stops.

Beginning on Day One, Biden plans to reverse Trump’s immigration policies by reasserting America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and modernize America’s immigration system. He also plans to implement effective border screening as well as tackle the root causes of irregular migration.

Joe biden

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As Trump is entering the final weeks of his presidency, some people fear that he will unleash his presidential power by pardoning family members, closest aides, and perhaps himself.

by Breanna Robinson

It is absolutely no secret that President Donald Trump will do whatever it takes to prove that he is the rightful winner of the election and must remain in the White House for four more years.

As Trump is entering the final weeks of his presidency, he is expected to make the most out of the presidential tradition of granting pardons. Some people fear that Trump will unleash his presidential power by pardoning family members, closest aides, and perhaps himself.KEEP READING…Donald trump

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In declaring a ‘win’, Donald Trump is working towards a complete autocracy

Even in his incompetence as a leader, Trump’s authoritarian dreams have succeeded.

November 06, 2020Breanna Robinson

The President of the United States wouldn’t be himself without thinking he was cheated of something or something is fraudulent, hence his accusations against the election.

On Wednesday, he made interesting claims, tweeting, “we have claimed Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and perhaps Michigan – all states that were still counting votes.” Just moments ago, he made more baseless claims, saying, ” if you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal ones, they can try to steal the election from us.”

In understanding what autocracy entails, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump has been doing his best to concentrate all the political power he can into the palms of his hands since he began the presidency.

Someone like Donald Trump was able to take advantage of a political system that was already flawed, riddled with money and power concentrated within the executive branch. In addition, when it seems that autocracy can’t be reversed peacefully, an autocratic breakthrough has occurred, causing the government’s foundation to be unable to protect itself.

This can be seen in the Supreme Court-packing, appointing an Attorney General who will always remain loyal, enforcing the laws that the autocrat wants to enforce, and changing electoral rules ( in instances of gerrymandering).

Even in the incompetence of the Trump Administration, his autocratic efforts align with some of these ideas. For example, the Justice Department under William Barr acts as law enforcement and a personal law firm, Trump declaring the election is rigged, promoting voter intimidation and suppression, and mobilizing far-right groups to monitor polling places (It’s like we stepped into George Orwell’s novel, 1984).

Oh, and we mustn’t forget that he wants to change the election rules, which is absurd.

What will allow an aspiring autocrat —such as Trump —to transform the government would be the monopoly of political power. Many Americans, including myself, aren’t used to the thought of a monopoly on political power as a direct issue. We realize that all the power to confirm presidential appointments was concentrated in the Senate.

Trump didn’t even need the House.

In the four years of his presidency (which felt like an eternity), Trump has created a pipeline that runs from Barr to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the courts. The grapevine also extends to Fox News, which to a certain degree, serves as another branch of government for Trump that complied with his ideals. (Fox News recently ignited Trump’s anger by not complying with his election delusion).

Trump continuously applies pressure to the pipeline in the electoral system. If he does happen to succeed, all his autocratic efforts will be complete. If he gets the short end of the stick, he will leave, rather reluctantly or delayed, but much of his autocratic system would still be in place.

As long as the Senate remains in the hands of Republicans, autocratic changes Ivan at least for a while – will be impossible to reverse. If Joe Biden is elected, he will most likely try to bring a sense of normalcy to the administration because he and the Democratic Party treat Trump as a transgression, easily dealt with by voting him out.

Since Tuesday, we have been shown that Trump is not a transgression, but rather the collective consciousness of half of the voters in the election. This indignant movement is not only capable of carrying Trump into election victory; they can even propel one of his children to candidacy in 2024 or onward.

Biden will need to actively work to dismantle the impact that Trump has had and address what allowed the mayhem to occur in the first place: money in politics, unregulated and profit-driven media, The Electoral College and the way the voting system discourages or prevents participation, and much more.

All in all, although it would be admirable, Biden has to be mindful about encouraging bipartisanship to implement new legislation, rather than confronting the daunting and time-consuming task of the federal judiciary. The autocratic system can return if he doesn’t keep these things in mind, causing people like Trump to make America a place of constant unrest.Donald trump

Savannah Guthrie steals the show from Donald Trump

Trump and Biden replaced their presidential debate with rival election events – but it wasn’t the candidates who shone

October 16, 2020Lucy Gray

Donald Trump and Joe Biden were supposed to have their second presidential debate tonight. As is 2020’s way, this did not go to plan.

Less than three weeks before the election, a churlish game of political chess began. After it was announced the debate would be online, Trump moved his pawn two places forward and cancelled. In response, Biden pushed rook to A5 and announced he would host a town hall instead. Not to be outdone, Trump moved king to F3 and said he too would host a televised debate – the check move? The same time and day, on a competing station.KEEP READING…Donald trump

Why Trump choosing not to concede after Biden’s win is a disgrace to our democracy

Presidential power often passes from one candidate to another seamlessly. However, America has not experienced a president quite like Donald J Trump.

November 05, 2020Sandra Salathe

Presidential power often passes from one candidate to another seamlessly.

Usually.

However, America has not experienced a president quite like Donald J. Trump. From the beginning, Donald Trump proved to be a presidential candidate unlike any other, breaking every rule and dismantling every norm in U.S. history. So it’s no surprise his massive ego is getting in the way of accepting a defeat for his campaign, thus undermining the pillars of the U.S. Constitution in the process.

But Trump choosing not to go peacefully after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected President and Vice President-elect win is just another testament to the man’s character. Throughout his campaign, Trump continuously alluded to not conceding should Joe Biden win the election.

Last week, he held true to his word. With Biden leading the race, with 253 electoral votes, the Trump campaign filed lawsuits with Pennsylvania and Michigan, in an embarrassing attempt to cling onto the White House.

In fact, Trump has repeatedly stated the only way he would accept a defeat would be through a Supreme Court battle. This would explain the expedited process to place Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court shortly after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.

When Biden was projected to win Wisconsin, the Trump campaign challenged the results, demanding a recount. Trump is prepared to take these lawsuits all the way to the Supreme Court. That particular decision would be a heinous move on the Trump campaign considering there’s no basis backing these lawsuits other than Trump’s ego being badly bruised.

“We want all voting to stop.” Trump declared to the public shortly after claiming false victory of the presidency. For the Trump campaign to claim states are “stealing” the election is bogus. Counting every vote isn’t stealing an election.

That is the election.

First things first, Trump doesn’t have authority to stop states from counting votes. That alone would undermine our democracy. Under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, states have the right to administer their own presidential elections.

“Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” it states.

What’s more, every state has what is known as a “safe harbor” period, where states are provided time to complete their vote-counting and certification processes under federal law. This year, every state is granted 35 days, which will put us at a Dec. 8. deadline.

Pennsylvania just so happens to be one of those states.

So Trump would literally be going against the U.S. Constitution should his administration decide to proceed with the lawsuits. Bending the rules in his favor is nothing new for Trump. It’s perfectly on brand.

But to be clear, there is no evidence which proves voting by mail equates to voter fraud. In fact, absentee and mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day often take additional time to account for and tally up. Usually several days after Election Day.

If Trump had his way, he would allow tens of thousands of legitimate ballots to go uncounted just as he mentioned during a press briefing with Axios back in September.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else,” Trump stated”

According to the Transition Integrity Project report, “The potential for violent conflict is high, particularly since Trump encourages his supporters to take up arms.”

So basically, if Trump refuses to accept Biden’s victory, it would ignite a constitutional calamity, resulting in widespread chaos and partisan clashes.

However, The 20th Amendment states the term of each president ends precisely at noon on January 20. If Biden is elected, he will be give an inauguration address and sworn in. Once that happens, Biden will have the power to enact the Secret Service and order them to physically remove Trump from the White House.

One can only hope, right?Donald trump

All the horrible things Trump can do before he bids adieu to the office

As his presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn’t refrained from exercising his power while he still can.

December 01, 2020Breanna Robinson

As Donald Trump’s presidency comes to a close, the lame-duck POTUS hasn’t refrained from exercising his power while he still can – and also before he has to say goodbye to the White House. From putting caps on the length of stay for those on student visas to allowing transgender people to be barred from homeless shelters, Trump is really not wasting any time enacting last-minute regulations, clinging to power as much as he can.

These efforts he’s exuding when making these drastic moves are not unnoticed, and it leaves many of us wondering if this will weigh down the Biden Administration adversely. Trump has no issue causing controversy within his presidency, even in his term’s final stretch, which is not surprising in the slightest given his track record.

Below are some of the ways Trump could impact the nation in the final stretch of his presidency.

Modifying food stamp eligibility

This ruling would change household eligibility for the National Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) based on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. If someone is involved in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash program or requires other methods of aid, they will not qualify for SNAP, which I personally feel not only poses challenges, it’s just downright unfair to those that are genuinely struggling to put food on the table.

Does Trump not mind how this would alter the lives of the millions of Americans that depend on this kind of program to feed themselves and their children?

Can Donald Trump actually pardon himself?conversations.indy100.com

Trump will most likely never have to worry about where the next meal will come from or how much it will cost, ever.

Restricted Asylum eligibility

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this allows the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to make changes as they see fit in the backdrop of asylum.

Essentially, the Departments would have the ability to make these changes based on what they believe is a determinant of fear or reasonable fear determinants. This can open the door to profiling on race and religion.

Reduced income for immigrant farmworkers

Already finalized, this rule freezes the scale that farm employers will use to decide how much they want to give to their immigrant workers, encouraging a who are here in the country on an H-2A visa for the next two years. After that, the wages will be tied to a national index of worker pay that has been rising slower than the actual farmworker wages.

Farmworkers, especially those who are immigrants, already don’t make much to begin with, which adds more insult to injury.

Workers can be labeled as “independent contractors” instead of “employees”

As expressed by the Department of Labor website, the rule would decide whether or not a worker would be considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The factors include an “economic reality” test, which determines how dependent a worker is on their employer and how much control the worker would have over their work. It’s basically another way for businesses not to have any obligation to pay for benefits such as health insurance, especially in today’s day and age with the pandemic and health ailments that workers may already have.

Putting limits on student visa lengths

This rule strikes a chord because it reminds me of my cousins who have come to the U.S. for their education.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs states that this rule proposed by ICE would make modifications for the duration of stay for certain categories of non-immigrants traveling to the US. Instead, it gives them a maximum period of approved stay and the options for those extensions. Again, it sounds like another way to make the US a place that isn’t readily accepting of many kinds of people. How awesome.

Barring the Environmental Protection Agency from using certain scientific studies in policy-making

Even though the rule is in consideration, it would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of certain scientific studies when cultivating new policies. The Washington Post, states that it would allow the EPA only consider studies where the underlying data is public, not the other way around. Many public health studies With raw data containing private medical information and epidemiology, air pollution, and much more could be restricted, making it difficult to conduct the research that can be beneficial to the nation collectively.

Allowing the prevention of transgender people from homeless shelters

This, unfortunately, would require transgender people to be assigned to shelters funded by the Housing and Urban Development based on their biological gender, not their gender identity, which is a cause for worry. Adding to the inherent discrimination and increasing the dangers of people who face oppression for owning their truth.

Expansion on the ways death row inmates can be killed

There has already been approval for the alternative ways that death row inmates can be killed other than the customary lethal injection within the Trump Administration. States can be allowed to use firing squads to carry out death sentences, poisonous gas. Within the Federal Register, it allows the change “by any other manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence was imposed or which has been designated by a court…”

I personally don’t understand why all these methods are necessary.

With public objection regarding the inhumanity of lethal injection and overall the death penalty, these ulterior methods seem like easier ways states can kill people faster, which bends ethics and morality in my opinion. Donald trump

What Trump acting like a 6-year-old and refusing to concede will mean for Biden’s transition

The Biden administration is in for a turbulent transition.

by Sandra Salathe

It’s official.

After waiting numerous days to discover who won the presidential election, between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, the news was finally announced. On Saturday, America woke up to news that Joe Biden would be the 46th President of the United States of America.

That alone issued widespread celebration throughout the nation. Although it’s fantastic news to celebrate, it does’t quite put an end to the horrific chapter of American history known as the Trump administration. Thanks to Trump accepting defeat like a 6-year-old child, the Biden administration is in for a turbulent transition.

The U.S. Constitution states that a president’s term ends precisely at noon on January 20th. Until then, Trump retains presidential authority and therefore has the power and motivation to make Biden’s transition into the White House more challenging. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr, infamous for using his position of power to advance Trump’s political goals, mentioned he would examine the allegations of voting fraud before states certify results come Dec. 14th, which is when the Electoral College makes their final decision.

However, Attorney General Barr’s memo didn’t actually provide any substantial evidence of fraud. Sadly, Trump’s pawns can’t – or won’t – see these heinous allegations for what they really are: another slap in the face to democracy, in an attempt to prolong Trump’s time in office.

It’s a blatant abuse of power that Trump’s cronies fail to acknowledge, merely because their moral compass is buried so deep within Trump’s wallet. Either that or they’re too frightened to speak up on account of being fired. I’ve lost track of how many individuals Trump fired from his campaign because they either didn’t agree with or amuse him anymore. It’s definitely far too many to count on all fingers.

This is nothing new for the Trump campaign. Trump has a history with complaining about rigging or fraud, which I think is ironic coming from a president who was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But that’s a part of the Trump narrative. When things don’t go Trump’s way, he acts out and causes disruption.

In fact, Hillary Clinton called him out on it during one of their debates back in 2016.

“Every time Donald thinks things aren’t going in his direction, he claims whatever it is rigged against him,” said Hillary.

For example, after the FBI conducted a year-long investigation into Clinton’s emails and concluded there was no case, Trump claimed the FBI was rigged. When Trump lost the Iowa caucus and Wisconsin primary, he said the Republican primary was rigged. Then, when Trump University was sued for fraud and racketeering, Trump once again claimed the court’s system was rigged.

Trump even tweeted the Emmy was rigged when he didn’t receive an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row.

“This is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling,” Clinton stated. “That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”

But here’s the thing, Trump is no ordinary candidate. Because in Trump’s eyes, not only is he above the law, he is the law. That mindset goes for anyone who doesn’t agree with him either. Just yesterday Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, because he apparently didn’t support his political aspirations.

Shocker.

This move simply proves Trump is going to continue exercising his presidential power to the fullest, therefore making Biden’s transition into the White House more difficult. In doing so he’s sending a clear message to Biden, that the White House is still his and anyone who tries to snatch it from his hands will suffer under his wrath. Honestly, Trump’s behavior has all the trimmings of a cheesy 80s cartoon villain.

But if there’s one thing any cartoon series teaches us, it’s that the villain always gets defeated and harmony is restored. So live it up while you still can, Donald. Your days in the White House are numbered.Donald trump

Say what? A list of every bizarre thing Trump uttered during the final presidential debate

“I’d like to put myself in the basement.”

October 23, 2020Sandra Salathe

If I received a dollar for every laugh that escaped my mouth upon listening to President Trump speak, I’d be a very rich individual. The nonsense often spewing from his mouth is incoherent and politically incorrect. The man should give up politics altogether and try his hand at comedy. It would be even more hilarious if he weren’t President of the United States of America. But because he is, it makes matters slightly less comedic, and just plain embarrassing.

Last night’s final presidential debate was no exception.

Trump was uttering so much nonsense, I was getting whiplash merely trying to keep up. At one point during the debate, Trump accused Biden of “hiding out in his basement,” which is funny coming from someone who actually retreated to his bunker regarding fears of the peaceful protests occurring on his front lawn.

For awhile, Trump even talked about himself in the third person, comparing his accomplishments to that of Abraham Lincoln when asked about race in America.

“Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump,” he said. “With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I’ve done.”

But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, the entire debate was filled with bizarre contradictions from Trump, it often felt like I was tuning into Comedy Central rather than CNN. Here’s a list of every odd thing Trump said during last night’s debate.

On recovering from COVID-19

“I got better. I will tell you, I had something that they gave me. A therapeutic, I guess they would call it. Some people could say it was a cure. Now they say I’m immune. Whether it’s four months or a lifetime, nobody’s been able to say that.”

On COVID-19

“We’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.”

“Transmittal rate to teachers is very small”

“The excess mortality rate is way down and lower than any country.”

“There’s abuse. There’s tremendous abuse.”

“We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. He has this thing about living in a basement.”

On a vaccine

“We have numerous others we’re working on with other countries including Europe”

On relationships with foreign adversaries

“While he (Joe Biden) was selling pillows and sheets, I was selling tank busters to Ukraine.”

“We have a very good relationship with him (Kim Jong-un). Different kind of a guy, but he probably thinks the same thing about me.

“Nobody is tougher on Russian than Donald Trump.”

On his taxes

“It’s worse than paying. I paid in advance. It’s called prepaying your taxes. I paid in advance.”

On healthcare

“I’d like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful healthcare. The democrats will do it because there will be tremendous pressure on them. We might even have the House by that time.”

On immigration

“A lot of these children come over without the parents. They come over through cartels and through coyotes and gangs.

“Catch and Release is a disaster. A murder would come in. A rapist would come in. A very bad person would come in. Less than 1% of the people come back. We have to send I.C.E and Border Control out to find them. When you say they come back, they never come back. Only the really – and I hate to say thisbut those with the lowest I.Q. might come back.”

On race in America

“I think I have great relationships with all people. I’m the least racist person in this room.”

“I can’t even see the audience because it’s so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience.”

On climate change

“They’re all jumping through hoops for AOC plus three”

“They want to make bigger windows into smaller windows. If you had no window it would be a lovely thing.”

“They want to knock down buildings and build new buildings with little, tiny, small windows.”

“I know more about wind than you do. It’s extremely expensive. Kills all the birds. It’s very intermittent. It’s got a lot of problems”Donald trump

Why I think Lil Wayne really met with Donald Trump

We are all entitled to our own beliefs, but let’s make sure that we are all aware of different stances to make the most rational decision for the entire nation

by Breanna Robinson

With the recent news of 50 Cents endorsement (and apparent recanted support) of Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Ice CubeLil Wayne is the newest edition to the roster of rappers that have recently made headlines for corresponding with Trump.

To be quite honest, I’m not entirely surprised anymore.

Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., tweeted a photo of himself and Trump on Thursday—in all smiles— donned in the American flag colors.

Also, in Lil Wayne’s explanation of the meetup, he was heavily enthused with Trump’s proposed “Platinum Plan” ( Ice Cube also spoke to Trump about this) set to create over 3 million jobs in the Black community over the next four years. According to Trump’s official website, it also claims to increase capital by nearly $500 billion and strengthen immigration policies to protect American jobs.

I can understand the sentiment of feeling like you are heard about issues that the community faces. Still, given Trump and his administration’s track record on many things pertaining to systemic racism and overall attitude towards people, it comes off odd, providing an incentive for people to question him with the, “what is he doing?”

This isn’t the first time that people have been confused by something Lil Wayne has said. In an ABC Nightline interview back in 2017, he expressed his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me,” he told ABC News’ Linsey Davis.

I believe that this could be the classic case of detachment. If you grew up in a predicament that you didn’t like, ultimately leaving the situation and changing your life for the better, you sometimes feel anger towards the place, never wanting to go back to that or even connect with the people again, despite issues that arise when racial strife and inequity occurs.

There can be little connection to these types of situations because it doesn’t apply to you anymore. I understand why this happens, but it can trickle over into selfishness because we are only looking out for our personal interests.

Moreover, we are all entitled to our own beliefs and stances, but please, let’s make sure that we are all aware of different stances to make the most rational decision for the entire nation.

Please don’t jump on the bandwagon of something just because it sounds promising.
Lil wayne

Kamala Harris – the 47th president of the United States of America?

What a better figure for young women than Ivanka and cronies.

by Lucy Gray

I’ll never forget hearing Pennsylvania being called for Joe Biden.

As instantly as I saw the results, I heard cheers from outside my Astoria apartment. Hours later and there are still intermittent cries of joy, cars honking.

2020 has finally given us something to celebrate – and not just the fact that come January, Donald Trump will no longer be president.

Kamala Harris is the first female Vice President-elect. Finally, we will have a voice directly in the ear of the Oval Office, a voice shouting that women must be heard.

Children going to school on Monday have a new idol to look up to. Ivanka Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, Melania Trump – these are no longer the women girls will constantly see on their screens, figureheads they think they should be like. Instead, they have a woman of color as Vice President of the United States of America.

A sentence that thrills me to write.

After watching Hillary Clinton come so close in 2016 but ultimately fail, I wondered if I would see a female president in my life-time. Now I have renewed hope.

Harris has broken barriers throughout her career, and in winning this election with Biden, I think she can crash through that final wall. Whether it’s in 2024 or 2028, I see a path for a female president.

Harris has proven that she has what it takes, showing she can secure not only California but her name on the ticket can help win a presidential election.

Of course, this victory is not solely hers – this is a collective effort from a huge variety of groups mobilizing across the states – but seeing her as Vice President-elect gives me that tingly feeling in my stomach I haven’t had in years. If her performance in the VP debate against Mike Pence is anything to go by, we can expect her to be a fierce opponent to a future Republican challenger.

Former Vice President Biden is now the President-elect – and I believe Harris will follow the same trajectory. Kamala harris

Is Trump’s longstanding distrust of TikTok coming to a close?

Can Trump successfully ban TikTok?

by Breanna Robinson

Most of us are aware of the popular social media platform TikTok taking storm with creative and quirky video content from a network of talented content creators. There might also be an understanding that this is a platform Donald Trump’s administration has issues with (the administration tried to ban the app back in the fall).

If you weren’t aware, the brief series of sentences could catch you up to speed.

The administration contended that the app posed national security concerns with personal data collected from over 100 million Americans that use TikTok, leaving them ‘vulnerable’ to China’s government.

The app also came under fire for becoming a source of misinformation in the election with viral videos stating that people were handed markers specifically to Trump voters that would cause their ballots not to be read through the system, further causing those votes to be ineffective. They also had videos stating that the President-elect Joe Biden’s ballots were fraudulent, as well as QAnon-related conspiracies around ballots.

In addition, the app was also responsible for videos showing content creators calling the administration’s voter fraud hotline to report on suspicions around the election. The pranksters on TikTok flooded the hotline with strange messages, while Twitter posted many anti-Trump memes. Since Friday, the administration shut down the hotline, encouraging Americans to voice their concerns virtually (there is still not enough evidence of mass voter fraud to date).

Some of the content stemmed from two pro-Trump pages called Republican Hype House and The Republican Boys, which mirrored the staunch ideology that the election was being stolen.

The app took action, flagging some of the videos that had misinformation, leading The Republican Hype House to issue an apology, explaining the situation and their decision not to post as much, so they won’t have their platform taken away.

As a result, the administration set a divestiture order that was supposed to be in effect on Thursday with the hopes of relinquishing the app from the Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance.

Despite Thursday’s order to restructure ownership of the app in the U.S. for national security concerns, ByteDance filed a petition in a Washington court earlier this week requesting a delay.

According to The Guardianon TuesdayByteDance had asked the government for a 30-day extension because of “continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted.”

In August, Trump signed an executive order to ban the app if its U.S. operations weren’t sold within 45 days. ByteDance was backed into a corner, considering deals with a plethora of American companies, but decided on Oracle and Walmart’s oversight, both having a stake in the company.

With the app and the administration remaining in constant limbo, no deals have been granted yet.

Ultimately, due to the administration’s latest delay of the TikTok ban enforcement, it helped grant the Chinese-owned social media app a temporary reprieve against the battle with Trump. In my opinion, all that can be said is that this is not over yet.

There might be an ongoing battle between the administration and social media platforms about censoring or promoting fraudulent information.

For now, the app will remain an active content creation platform just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as they strive to protect content creators’ freedom of speech while also doing their due-diligence, flagging as much content as possible to prevent added misinformation in a nation that is already divided. Tiktok

10 of the best election memes to make you laugh while you wait for results

Just in case you want to crack a smile.

by Breanna Robinson

Since the beginning of time, people have embraced comedy (whether in films, shows, or books) to relieve themselves of challenging moments in history (like the 2020 election) or navigating life’s obstacles.KEEP READING…Political memes

Too close to call: How the 2020 election is a startled comparison to previous races

Throughout the years, we’ve seen general elections come and go. Some have been close, while others, differentiating drastically.

by Sandra Salathe

Throughout the years, we’ve seen general elections come and go. Some have been close, while others, differentiating drastically. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 65,853,625, while Trump only received 62,985,106 votes. However, Hillary didn’t win the overall election thanks to the Electoral College.

Donald Trump did.

In order to win the overall election, a candidate needs a total of 270 electoral votes. Hilary only received 232, while Trump received 306. It’s a mystery to me how anyone could vote for a xenophobic candidate who condones racism, sexism, misogyny. Then again, I won’t pretend to understand the mind of a MAGA supporter.

Within the four years Trump has been in office, we’ve witnessed a global pandemic, that has claimed the lives of more than 226,000 Americans; blatant racial disparities, brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and much more.

And yet, the 2020 election race is uncomfortably too close to call. At the moment, Biden is leading the race with 224 electoral votes. That’s 50.2%. However, Trump is following with 213 electoral votes. That’s only 48.2%. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been hyperventilating since Monday.

In addition, there are still an immense amount of ballots needing to be accounted for, specifically within key battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia. So let’s look at how the 2020 Election differs from elections past.

Maine (4 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Arizona (11 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Florida (29 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Iowa (6 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Ohio (16 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Texas (38 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Donald Trump

2016 winner: Donald Trump

Virginia (13 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hilary Clinton

Maryland (10 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

California (55 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Oregon (7 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Washington (12 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Colorado (9 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

New York (29 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Vermont (3 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton

Massachusetts (11 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hilary Clinton

Connecticut (7 electoral votes)

2020 winner: Joe Biden

2016 winner: Hillary Clinton2020 election

Who does the Electoral College really benefit and is it still necessary?

“In a theory, a president should be elected based on the amount of votes he/she receives. But our founding fathers decided on a different system that doesn’t necessarily benefit the entirety of the country.”

by Sandra Salathe

I’m a fairly fast learner. I pick things up pretty swiftly and don’t need much explanation in the process. But one process that continues to confuse me, regardless of how much explanation I receive, is the archaic and unfair practice of the Electoral College.

I used to think a president was elected based on the amount of votes he/she received. Which in theory, is the way it should be, right? But our founding fathers decided on a different system that doesn’t necessarily benefit the entirety of the country. Then again, the majority of our country’s history didn’t benefit the nation as a whole.

In fact, politicians have discussed the removal of the Electoral College for years based on its unfair nature. But what exactly is the Electoral College and how does it work?

What is it, really?

If you’re anything like me, you probably assumed a president has to win the most overall votes in order to secure an election victory. That assumption would be inaccurate.

I know, I was just as shocked.

An electoral college is made up of 538 electors. Instead of trying to win the most votes in the country, a presidential candidate must win state victories consisting of more than 270 electoral votes. Whichever party hits that mark first, wins the election.

How does it work?

Every state gets an elector for one senator, which is always two per state, and one elector for each U.S. House of Representative, which differs per state. Thirty-three states choose electors by party convention, seven states (and District of Columbia) select electors by state party committees. The remainder of states appointment electors by party nominees or by presidential nominee appointments.

Because electors are loyal to their parties, they must vote for the candidate their party supports. Once ballots are cast and tallied, the electors reconvene in their states during December to officially vote for president and vice president. But there’s one final step in this dizzying puzzle.

Once January rolls around, members of the House and Senate officially meet tally up those votes. So, just because one candidate won more votes overall doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be inaugurated thanks to the Electoral College.

Who ok’d this?

Once again, we can thank our founding fathers for creating a system that benefits a certain demographic, while disproportionately affecting another. And that demographic would be the one consisting of the rich, white male.

What else is new, America?

The electoral college dates back to 1804, when it was initially ratified. At the time, Black enslaved individuals made up 40 percent of the South’s population. Southern delegates wanted to include them when determining how many representatives their states would receive in Congress. Northerners did not agree with this, arguing slaves didn’t require representation.

(Insert dramatic eye-roll here)

This led to the creation of the disgusting “three-fifths compromise,” where every Black individual counted as only three-fifths of a person when identifying congressional representation for each state by population. Regardless of the progress we’ve made in America, that progress doesn’t necessarily translate into politics.

Can’t we just get rid of it?

Getting rid of the Electoral College would require some serious legislation. An entire Constitutional amendment to be exact. For those that know their way around the U.S. Constitution, or basic U.S. politics, you would know creating a new amendment is an extensively drawn out process.

It would require a Constitutional amendment consisting of two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives, two-thirds of the Senate, and three-fourths of the states to vote on it. And when you have a country tremendously divided, that’s a lot easier said than done.

But hope is not all lost.

Many individuals want the Electoral College abolished. Certain states have already signed a pact promising to give their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote. For example, if Biden were to win the popular vote in a longtime Red state such as Texas, the state would award him all of its electoral votes, despite how he fared on the state ballot.

“Every vote matters,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in Mississippi last year. “And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College.”

Even President Trump supported abolishing the Electoral College at some point, stating it was a “total disaster for democracy.” Of course, Trump has since changed his views on the Electoral College, thanks to his 2016 victory.

But there’s no denying the Electoral College is an incredibly unfair system, over-representing individuals that cater to a specific demographic. A demographic primarily made up of non-white voters. Electoral college

Will young Black people guarantee Trump’s election victory?

With the rise of notable rappers in feigned support for the Trump administration, some may wonder if this has any influence on young Black men and women’s choice in the upcoming election

by Breanna Robinson

Due to recent news and social media reports surrounding the 2020 presidential election, many speculate that the election might be decided by support for President Trump from young members of the Black community.

With less than a week from Election Day, hip-hop artists including 50 Cent and Ice Cube — garnered vast political attention by expressing support for Trump’s administration. Particularly 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) who endorsed Trump’s re-election in a viral Instagram and Twitter post, expressing fears of former Vice President Joe Biden‘s proposal to raise taxes.

“Yeah, I don’t want to be 20cent,” he wrote.”62% is a very, very, bad idea. I don’t like that.”

In some recent interviews, Ice Cube explained he spoke with Trump campaign officials regarding his Contract with Black America. The former N.W.A. rapper further revealed his 13-point contract in July ( Trump’s Platinum Plan), as a response to the senseless murder of George Floyd.

The contract is a blueprint for achieving education, racial, economic, criminal justice, and police reform the community has sought after for decades.

In addition, Ice Cube provided opening for an advisor to Trump’s re-election campaign, to tweet he is for Team Trump, embellishing the intended nature of the situation.@KatrinaPierson @icecube @realDonaldTrump Explaining that he is “not on team blue” and “not on team red,” Ice Cube… https://t.co/YDblJs228A

— justin (@justin) 1603260489.0

Due to popular culture, media, and public policy, 50 Cent and Ice Cube aren’t the overall voice of Black political thought, nor are they a hidden Pocket Pro-Trump activism among Black men and women. There are many outliers present within the Black community regarding voting. The rappers are unlikely to sway Black voters away from a Democratic candidate in the election.

A recent study at American University Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies found Trump is undoubtedly unpopular amongst Black Americans. Of the over 1,200 Black American respondents surveyed in six key swing states (Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Michigan) in early July, only 7% stated they had intentions of voting for Trump, and 66% said they were voting for Biden.

Also, according to a CBS-BET poll released a couple of days ago, 8% of potential Black voters say they will vote for Trump. Despite this, the CBS News report on the poll states that half of the Black seniors in the country will support Biden because he is likable.

The support ultimately drops to 28% among Black Biden voters under 30-years-old.

This indicates younger Black Americans, particularly millennial-aged Black men, are indifferent to politics, often choosing not to participate in the election.

Why is that?

Many Black Americans new to voting don’t really see much of a reason to choose between the lesser of two evils. I have witnessed some of my peers go back and forth with who they want to vote for, or rather, not vote at all because they feel their vote is insignificant.

Even though their parents and grandparents lived through intense racial strife and segregation, young Black people believe that they don’t have much to reference as examples of progress attributed directly to voting or politics. Especially when you consider the ongoing amount of Black voter oppression that continues in the U.S. today.

Understandably, many Black Americans have received negative consequences for economic inequality and health disparities afflicting the community. There’s also unmanageable student loan debt that makes it hard to build wealth, purchase a home, and save money.

Let’s also not forget to mention the reoccurring waves of racism and police brutality that directly affect them and their loved ones.

Moreover, some Black people, especially young Black men wanting to enter politics, might seek alternatives that go against the grain of the community’s beliefs. This makes it seem young Black people might be falling in line with Trump’s rhetoric.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Or, as the iconic hip-hop group, Public Enemy would say: “don’t believe the hype.”2020 election

My ultimate list of the best election memes to make you laugh

The election saga continues.

by Breanna Robinson

After Saturday’s announcement that President-elect Joe Biden will have his inauguration at the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede in the U.S. presidential election, claiming that he will win the election and that there is voter fraud despite Biden exceeding 270 Electoral College votes.

Election fatigue for many has disappeared due to the promising news of Biden’s nomination. Still, Trump and Trump supporters’ disappointment and anger are also present after the election announcement. With Twitter and Instagram pages dedicated to roasting the election grow by the day, it’s safe to say that there are different perspectives about the course of events on the internet, which can be highly entertaining in our social climate.

I’m here for every bit of it.

My friends and I will continue to share and tag each other in funny memes of the never-ending story of the election, which has not only proved to be some needed comedic relief living in a nation that is as divisive as ever — it’s an ingenious and amusing approach to the harrowing reality of the U.S. and the direction we’re heading in.

With that, check out my ultimate list of the funniest election memes that will have you have you ‘LOL’ all day.

It appears to be a temper tantrum.

BREAKING NEWS: We have obtained an exclusive look at @realDonaldTrump in the oval office shortly after the announce… https://t.co/ASc2ALL5gP

— StrangerDanger (@StrangerDanger)1604795221.0

That’s quite unfortunate.

Have some sympathy #BidenHarris2020 #TrumpIsPathetic #TrumpTantrum https://t.co/6iPAXqfmNT

— fakenews (@fakenews)1604795549.0

The Statue of Liberty has had enough.

Waiting on the inevitable #TrumpTantrum … https://t.co/Css3rZrSPg

— Ciera_32 (@Ciera_32)1604794001.0

Oh wow.

#TrumpTantrum Better start packing.. https://t.co/Dsmh0o6NI3

— Paul Showtime Smith (@Paul Showtime Smith)1604794416.0

When your make-up starts to streak.

Only here for the memes… #TrumpTantrum #TrumpMeltdown #Election2020 https://t.co/E54q5PUV2o

— kirsty ♥ (@kirsty ♥)1604797985.0

Is it mostly symbols or numbers?

The end of the story of making America greater 💔✨ #TrumpTantrum #ترامب https://t.co/XMCQg1FsSi

— Al7ababiQ8 (@Al7ababiQ8)1604828067.0

I just want you to read something for a minute.

Good morning to all!!! What a glorious day to be alive!!! The best is yet to come. 🇺🇸 #TrumpCollapse #TrumpTantrum… https://t.co/u8QDYPw7iH

— Why Isn’t Ex-President tRUmp In Prison? (@Why Isn’t Ex-President tRUmp In Prison?)1604851359.0

The “remember when” jokes about memories.

@realDonaldTrump Listen to your SIL and wife. They’re telling you to accept the loss and move on. You’re looking mo… https://t.co/3iVEyJIrer

— shortnsassy (@shortnsassy)1604861730.0

While out on the golf course…

#TrumpTantrum on the golf course when he got the news #BidenPresident https://t.co/rFwCqOIFwT

— @DeddyBinSalman (@@DeddyBinSalman)1604839720.0

Seems like that’s happening.

Definitely a great ‘Star Wars’ film.

Political memes

My work with Young Democrats of America has proven to me just how vital local politics

“Political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.”

November 09, 2020

This post was written by Jasmine Sheena, Pacific Region Director at Young Democrats of America Women’s Caucus

During the last few days, many of us have gone about our daily lives, while simultaneously living through one of the biggest historical events in American history. The 2020 election, regardless of its winner, will be chronicled in history as an event that will have a lasting impact on the future of America.

Although Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became America’s President and Vice President-elect on Friday, a number of other elections didn’t go as well for Democrats. A number of high-profile races, like those of Sara Gideon (D-ME), Jaime Harrison (D-S.C.), and Amy McGrath (D-KY), were lost to Republican candidates, often corrupt Trump-supporting incumbents.

In Georgia, a QAnon-supporting candidate won a House seat. Thanks to general voter disinformation running rampant in the Trump era, a number of problematic candidates have grabbed powerful positions for themselves across all levels of political bureaucracy.

It is important to realize most corrupt politicians have to start somewhere. They often launch their careers in our very own communities. These candidates win a seat in their city, then go on to take state and perhaps even federal positions. Even in a smaller elected seat, an incumbent wields immense power and can shape the course of that microcosm for decades with the ideologies and legislation they back.

Whether you live in a small town, or a bustling metropolis, the politics of your home city are likely much more intricate and nuanced than most people imagine. I myself am a San Francisco resident heavily involved in local politics. Only after immersing myself in various local political organizations, interning at City Hall, and volunteering on political campaigns have I come to grasp of the city’s political landscape.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my political work, is the extent of corruption present in San Francisco politics. Certain politicians will take large donations from groups like police unions or big developers, compelling them to favor them in their political agenda in order to sustain money flowing from these groups powering their campaigns.

These same candidates will often use their financial firepower to spend extravagant amounts of money against their opponents; leftist candidates, who usually denounce donations from certain groups that require reform or tend to sway elections. These candidates have to campaign harder and up their interactions with voters to counteract the lies that might be spewed about them in mailers and Facebook ads.

If these same monied candidates win, they often go on to promise reform, and cannot deliver because of the donors they are dependent on. Meanwhile, the everyday San Franciscan is inundated with often misleading media and literature filled with lies or misrepresentations about a candidate.

Since local politics is much less interesting to most people than the presidential race, especially this year, is likely to be swayed by these manipulative communications, voting for candidates with the financial leverage to pay for all the ads and mailers that bash other candidates.

After supporting multiple progressive campaigns, I can confirm only through talking to voters at local events, knocking doors, etc. can less monied candidates truly counteract the dollars against them. My point in bringing all this up is, political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.

I know it is significantly easier to understand national politics because one has to focus on one race and learn about only a few candidates given immense media coverage. However, one should also take the time to study key local races on one’s ballot as well. There are other ways to engage with politics on a local level as well: join a local political club.

San Francisco, for example, has countless Democratic clubs, with some representing certain neighborhoods, racial groups, or other markers of identity. These organizations engage in critical work in educating their constituents about local measures, candidates, and issues through events, and through supporting campaigns endorsed by the club as a whole.

They’re also just a valuable way to meet people, often ones who have similar values to you as well. In a similar vein, volunteering for local campaigns that support your political views is another great way to be civically engaged on a local level. In smaller races, candidates can sometimes win by only a handful of votes, and the extra support volunteers can provide is often critical in a campaign’s success.

Take the time to understand that prop measure or rising political figure on your ballot, because local politics shapes our lives in ways that most Americans do not truly recognize.

You can learn more about the work Jasmine and her team implement here.Local elections

Don’t be one-sided: How you can talk politics without it being a battle

Politics has always been a divisive force amongst people. What can we learn when we put our differences aside and hear each other out?

October 29, 2020Breanna Robinson

With Election Day less than a week away, it is one of the most crucial days for the country’s future. Amid the pandemic, racial strife, and natural disasters present in the country, there is no doubt in mind that the 2020 election will be lamented in history, unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed before.

Politics has always been quite the dividing force, supporters on either side marking lines in the sand. This is the catalyst for a prominent societal belief— never discuss politics with anyone.

Ever since I was young, I was taught to refrain from politics with someone from a different political party ( I grew up in an area that was predominantly Republican). I didn’t really understand how this can be taboo, but the belief stayed with me to this day.

In my college years, the belief still stayed me with me, but how I approach politics has changed. Being around people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and life experiences opened my eyes, understanding that we really don’t always think the same, and that’s okay.

Here’s how you can approach situations of differing beliefs with an open mind:

Do your own research

Political beliefs and opinions in politics are often cultivated from childhood. Our families and friends will often influence our views to believe something, or we may choose to reject these beliefs. To be quite honest, it doesn’t matter what political party. What matters is that you do your due diligence to research the candidates’ policies and stances and the party you intend to endorse so that you are well versed and knowledgeable in what you discuss and support.

Political division is nothing new in society

The partisan divide has been embedded in American culture. George Washington’s Farewell Address warned the American people about the dangers of factions and division that will happen and what it will cause. The division between belief systems and political parties has always been there. It will remain present as long as you are willing to take a moment to listen and discuss conflicting opinions.

Voting in the election is about who you think will be best for the country… or not

Expressing the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy in this country. Having the right to vote for who you believe will be the best candidate to address issues is important, but don’t just vote for someone because they only appeal to your beliefs. When considering politics, it’s always encouraged to consider others, especially those marginalized, who may be affected by policies that you may disregard because they don’t apply to your livelihood.

Politically charged conversations should never be the place for hostile emotions

Even though it’s tempting – especially in today’s social climate—to assert your political beliefs in an aggressively charged way, it’s best to not force these opinions on to somebody who has different ideas about politics ( trust me, I learned the hard way by getting mad at a friend that refused to wear a mask during the pandemic we are in).

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to talk about politics with them. It’s actually great to discuss why you’re voting for somebody or why you have certain belief systems because it opens up the door for a conversation that would normally be cast aside. When discussing politics and trying to influence others to change their thoughts, you must come from a place of compassion and understanding of where they are coming from in their beliefs.

Let’s face it, anytime you force your opinion on someone, it creates a significant divide between ideologies, even reinforcing someone’s reasoning on why they won’t vote for a person you prefer because you’re not taking into account where they’re coming from.

In these brief ideas about the political divide and how we can approach the conversation in constructive ways, we have to come together as a nation to start a healthy dialogue, free of ridicule.Politics

My work with Young Democrats of America has proven to me just how vital local politics

“Political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.”

November 09, 2020

This post was written by Jasmine Sheena, Pacific Region Director at Young Democrats of America Women’s Caucus

During the last few days, many of us have gone about our daily lives, while simultaneously living through one of the biggest historical events in American history. The 2020 election, regardless of its winner, will be chronicled in history as an event that will have a lasting impact on the future of America.

Although Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became America’s President and Vice President-elect on Friday, a number of other elections didn’t go as well for Democrats. A number of high-profile races, like those of Sara Gideon (D-ME), Jaime Harrison (D-S.C.), and Amy McGrath (D-KY), were lost to Republican candidates, often corrupt Trump-supporting incumbents.

In Georgia, a QAnon-supporting candidate won a House seat. Thanks to general voter disinformation running rampant in the Trump era, a number of problematic candidates have grabbed powerful positions for themselves across all levels of political bureaucracy.

It is important to realize most corrupt politicians have to start somewhere. They often launch their careers in our very own communities. These candidates win a seat in their city, then go on to take state and perhaps even federal positions. Even in a smaller elected seat, an incumbent wields immense power and can shape the course of that microcosm for decades with the ideologies and legislation they back.

Whether you live in a small town, or a bustling metropolis, the politics of your home city are likely much more intricate and nuanced than most people imagine. I myself am a San Francisco resident heavily involved in local politics. Only after immersing myself in various local political organizations, interning at City Hall, and volunteering on political campaigns have I come to grasp of the city’s political landscape.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my political work, is the extent of corruption present in San Francisco politics. Certain politicians will take large donations from groups like police unions or big developers, compelling them to favor them in their political agenda in order to sustain money flowing from these groups powering their campaigns.

These same candidates will often use their financial firepower to spend extravagant amounts of money against their opponents; leftist candidates, who usually denounce donations from certain groups that require reform or tend to sway elections. These candidates have to campaign harder and up their interactions with voters to counteract the lies that might be spewed about them in mailers and Facebook ads.

If these same monied candidates win, they often go on to promise reform, and cannot deliver because of the donors they are dependent on. Meanwhile, the everyday San Franciscan is inundated with often misleading media and literature filled with lies or misrepresentations about a candidate.

Since local politics is much less interesting to most people than the presidential race, especially this year, is likely to be swayed by these manipulative communications, voting for candidates with the financial leverage to pay for all the ads and mailers that bash other candidates.

After supporting multiple progressive campaigns, I can confirm only through talking to voters at local events, knocking doors, etc. can less monied candidates truly counteract the dollars against them. My point in bringing all this up is, political corruption and dishonest politicians often begin at the local level, and it’s critical Americans start paying more attention to the politics in their home cities.

I know it is significantly easier to understand national politics because one has to focus on one race and learn about only a few candidates given immense media coverage. However, one should also take the time to study key local races on one’s ballot as well. There are other ways to engage with politics on a local level as well: join a local political club.

San Francisco, for example, has countless Democratic clubs, with some representing certain neighborhoods, racial groups, or other markers of identity. These organizations engage in critical work in educating their constituents about local measures, candidates, and issues through events, and through supporting campaigns endorsed by the club as a whole.

They’re also just a valuable way to meet people, often ones who have similar values to you as well. In a similar vein, volunteering for local campaigns that support your political views is another great way to be civically engaged on a local level. In smaller races, candidates can sometimes win by only a handful of votes, and the extra support volunteers can provide is often critical in a campaign’s success.

Take the time to understand that prop measure or rising political figure on your ballot, because local politics shapes our lives in ways that most Americans do not truly recognize.

You can learn more about the work Jasmine and her team implement here.Local elections

As a woman of Caribbean descent, I know exactly what Kamala Harris’ victory means

“Regardless of cultural background, you can break the glass ceiling.”

November 10, 2020Breanna Robinson

I remember it was around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when the voice coming from the TV announced, “Joe Biden is the President-elect.”

Given the anxiety of the prolonged process of tallying ballots to see who will become the next president, everyone was pleasantly surprised by the sudden declaration.

My grandma, mother, and father’s exuberant claps radiated throughout the household and shouted their relief at who the winner was. I among them was equally as cheerful. Not only because of Donald Trump‘s defeat, but the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the epitome of the new direction the nation is embarking on— one of diversity and inclusion.

Harris is not only the first woman to be elected to this position in government, but she is also the first Black and South-Asian woman of Jamaican descent. As someone who is of Jamaican descent, this gave me a lot of hope for the community and the nation.

Even though she appealed to me as a Caribbean-American woman, she is also an example for other underrepresented groups of ambitious women overlooked because of their race. Growing up, when fellow peers in school found out about my Jamaican heritage, they immediately would tell me to “say something in Jamaican” (it’s Patois) or address me with “yeh mons,” which became overwhelming.

I felt like my culture wasn’t celebrated in a productive manner.

For the longest time, people associated Caribbean people – especially Jamaicans – as heavy marijuana smokers or staunch Bob Marley enthusiasts. Bob Marley is a gifted legend, but we are so much more than just a destination to get-away from important matters.

Harris is among the first to pave the way out of this generalization.

All in all, America is a land of many different cultures and faces, all capable of achieving their wildest dreams and amounting to success, just as Harris has shown. Anyone, regardless of their cultural background, race, or gender, has the ability to break the glass ceiling.Kamala harris

Joe Biden elected as 46th president of the U.S. is the beacon of hope we need

For the first time in four years, I feel really proud to be an American.

November 07, 2020Breanna Robinson

After the more than 74 million votes received (which is more than any other presidential candidate), President-elect Joseph R. Biden defeated Donald J. Trump to become the 46th President of the United States.He lined himself into position to lead a country that has been struck with a historic pandemic riddled with economics and social turmoil that has plagued the nation.

His victory —which many of us were anxiously awaiting—came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through an enormous amount of mail-in votes that delayed the process of some ballots. Biden ultimately exceeded 270 Electoral College votes, which was all I needed to see.

While the vote count played out, Biden also helped ease tension, projecting an image of presidential leadership that encompasses unity, calming the waters of a divided nation. This effectively allowed voters, such as myself and my loved ones, to trust the process as he received pivotal victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

In his Delaware speech last night, one line Biden said that really stuck out to me was, “we have to remember the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”

As someone who wasn’t always given a fair shot at many things in life, it made me misty-eyed to hear him say that so earnestly.

Moreover, it’s also worth noting that Kamala Harris has made history as the first Black and South-East Asian woman to become Vice President-elect, a well-respected achievement for U.S. history as the nation faces a reckoning on racial justice. She will also become the highest-ranking woman ever in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

All in all, I have a lot of hope that Biden’s presidency will lead this country into a new era of honesty, integrity, and equality for everyone regardless of the color of your skin or economic standing.

For the first time in four years, I feel really proud to be an American.
Joe biden

Why tonight’s Trump-Biden showdown will be so different from the others

Less than two weeks before Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump will square off in a one, final debate tonight. What can we hope to expect?

October 22, 2020Sandra Salathe

We are less than two weeks from deciding who the next President of the United States will be. A large majority of nation has already mailed in their ballots, but there is still a remainder which have not. For those individuals who are still, shockingly undecided, tonight’s final debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, should provide some enlightenment.

As if the last four years wasn’t illuminating enough.

Tonight’s televised event, which will air from Belmont University in Nashville and moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, will hopefully differ from the first. Thanks to The Commission on Presidential Debates’ decision to mute microphones during segments of the debate to prevent frequent interruptions (we’re looking at you, Donald), tonight’s debate will hopefully look a little different.

For me, my expectations for tonight’s debate are somewhat low thanks to the first. However, there’s always room for surprise and if we’ve learned anything from the last four years, it’s to never assume. You know the good ole’ saying when one assumes, so I won’t waste my time in writing it out.

But what I do hope for tonight’s debate is a little more detail into both parties plan for the next four years, primarily starting with fighting COVID-19. Thankfully, that’s on the itinerary for topics discussed during tonight’s debate. Among other topics discussed will be: “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.”

All of which were chosen by Welker.

Apart from new guidelines regarding mics, tonight’s debate should be the same as the last… minus continuous interruptions. Each segment will last about 15 minutes, with candidates having two minutes to answer the moderator’s questions. Once each candidate has answered Welker’s questions, she will use the remaining time in the segment to facilitate further discussion on the topic.

It should be interesting to see how both candidates interact with one another using the muted microphones. My hope is that Biden will simply mute Trump whenever he’s speaking, similar to the SNL skit where Jim Carrey (as Biden) uses a remote to pause Trump (played by Alec Baldwin) from interrupting him.

One can only dream, right?

You can watch the debate live on CNN and online starting at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for more information.Presidential debate

Where does Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stand on abortion rights?

Breaking down her stance on abortion.

November 12, 2020Breanna Robinson

In the backdrop of President-elect Joe Biden’s hopeful win in the 2020 presidential election, attention is on both him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

As former District Attorney of San Francisco, as well as the first woman and person of color to serve as California’s Attorney General, it’s safe to say Harris has a clear understanding for making difficult decisions. What’s more, Harris is only the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator.

She spent the majority of her career fighting notoriously for injustice and served on the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

Still, Harris will always remain under watchful, questioning eyes regarding certain policies. Primarily those pertaining to abortion.

Below, we delved into Harris’ stance on reproductive rights and abortion access since Donald Trump’s appointing of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

She proposed her own abortion rights plan

In May 2019, Harris proposed an abortion rights plan modeled after the Voting Rights Act, according to Politico. In the plan, Harris noted that certain states restricting and limiting the number of abortions in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri would have to get permission from the Department of Justice before enforcing laws affecting the procedure.

The proposed plan would require states to demonstrate repeated instances of abridging abortion-rights to get preclearance. The plan stated the preclearance would only be granted to laws not violating either Roe vs. Wade or the Women’s Health Protection Act.

Harris’ new proposal is similar to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the sense it makes states receive a preclearance from the Justice Department before the laws could go into effect.

Even though the Supreme Court struck down Harris’ initial proposition in the Voting Rights Act of 2013, she remained optimistic, and her plan was upheld based on state abortion rights over the past 25 years.

She co-sponsored abortion bills

Harris helped co-sponsor the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2019. The act strives to “protect a woman’s ability to determine whether and when to bear a child by “prohibiting local or state governments from imposing certain restrictions on access to abortion services”.

Another bill Harris co-sponsored is the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act set to “ensure affordable abortion coverage and care for every woman and other purposes.”As President, I will stop dangerous state laws restricting reproductive rights before they go into effect. https://t.co/w0cDxdH51T

— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1559096180.0

She tackled Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with abortion questions

“Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?” Harris asked Brett Kavanaugh during the Supreme Court hearing in 2018. Due to some confusion, Harris modified but asked a similar question in which Kavanaugh answered, “I’m not thinking of any right now, Senator.”

Harris was among the few senators who questioned Kavanaugh about abortion access. She did something similar during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, stating:

“Let’s not make any mistake about it. Allowing President Trump to determine who fills the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for women’s rights and a critical vote in so many decisions that have sustained the right to choose, poses a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country,” Harris said..@SenKamalaHarris correctly explains the Ginsburg standard to Judge Kavanaugh—answering fair questions about women’… https://t.co/QSnqMj8Uxp

— Senate Democrats (@Senate Democrats)1536200143.0

She challenged Joe Biden’s stance on the Hyde Amendment

In July 2019, Harris grilled the former Vice President on the stage during the primaries about his support for the amendment.

Biden supported T he Hyde Amendment, which prevents public funding of abortion under Medicaid, until last summer when he received a nudge to change his stance from other Democratic candidates.

“On the Hyde Amendment, vice president, where you made a decision for years to withhold resources to poor women to have access to reproductive health care, including women who were the victims of rape and incest, do you now say that you have evolved and you regret that?” Harris asked.

She wants to codify Roe v.Wade

Even though the 1973 ruling a Roe v. Wade made it illegal for any state to ban abortions, it is still subject to ridicule and attack from State legislation regulating the procedures. According to The Cut, if the ruling is codified, women having the right to an abortion would become a federal law protected by the Supreme Court, which is highly important and commendable in a society that expresses “freedom”.

She has Planned Parenthood’s support

While endorsing Biden for president, Planned Parenthood has also dedicated a section on its website supporting Harris’ contributions to the matter stating:

Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a defender of reproductive rights and health care. She has stood up for the principle that when it comes to our health, our bodies, and our futures, WE decide, not politicians. And she has stood up for communities — especially people of color and those with low-incomes — hit hard by the Trump-Pence agenda of less access to abortion, birth control, and health care.

Biden’s selection of Harris makes it clear that in the White House, their administration would not only protect reproductive rights — but also advance and expand them.

It’s also worth noting that Harris got the 100 percent “choice rating” by NARAL: Pro-Choice America.Kamala harris

Kristen Welker is the rational friend we all need

Why Kristen Welker is the epitome of poise and grace that we all need in our lives when dealing with conflict

October 23, 2020Breanna Robinson

Within our friend groups (and other acquaintanceships), we’ve all experienced at least one situation where we’ve bumped heads because of deferring and downright uncouth, biased opinions, right?

If you answered yes to that question, you might also agree that there’s always another friend on neutral ground that can act as a mediator in times of strife as Kristen Welker did at the la presidential debate last night between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

As Donald Trump and Joe Biden clashed over the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism in the country, many would go on to agree that Welker was the epitome of grace and attentiveness in the situation at hand ( this debate was much calmer than the first presidential debate in Cleveland).

When Welker would ask questions, she would rarely let Trump change the trajectory of the course of the debate ( she would brush off his phony “excuse me’s” with the “you have 10 seconds to speak”) or drown out Biden’s answers, while standing her ground and enforcing the rules which were well-received by spectators.@mitchellreports @kwelkernbc I like @kwelkernbc a lot, and she did well. Trump’s not easy to contain. But his lies… https://t.co/OG12AdXxUR

— Jim Brooks 🥁🚴♟🦮 (@Jim Brooks 🥁🚴♟🦮)1603421948.0@OmarJimenez @kwelkernbc It was highly noticeable who would be the best presidential candidate, Kristen. She made i… https://t.co/PYdMiEqNP6

— Cal (@Cal)1603459161.0

See the photo evidence below that encapsulates this moderation all too well:

US-VOTE-DEBATEPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

It is also known that this neutral and rational type of person can also be criticized for not “necessarily having a position” just like Trump spewing baseless claims about her literally days before the debate calling her “terrible and unfair, just like the rest of the fake news” and then turning around to say, “so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this,”( this screams ‘fake friend’ to me!) when she gave him time to respond to Biden at one point.

Also, just like the friend in the middle listening to both sides of a story, she presented the opportunity to Trump and Biden to talk directly in this case about Black Americans and the racial inequality and systemic racism that they face daily and how they would assist those issues. Both men said that they understood the challenges Black people face in the country, but like typical ‘friends’ in menacing disagreement, they ended up blasting each other.

Trump put all the blame on Biden as the singular force behind mass incarceration of “young Black men”, further declaring himself as the least racist person in the room, reiterating “nobody has done what I’ve done for Black Americans with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, a possible exception”. In complete and utter disbelief, Biden called Trump a “racist” pouring fuel on every single racist fire”.

How Welker was able to keep her composure with some of the most bogus statements ( I won’t say who the comments are from, but his last name starts with a “T”) is indicative of someone who will let you say what you need to say then tells you what’s right, wrong, or needs clarification, just like an emotionally evolved friend.

Who wouldn’t want a calm, cool, and collected person in their lives to encourage the air of maturity?Kristen welker

How many VPs have gone on to become president?

Which VPs went on to become the President of the United States?

October 07, 2020Breanna Robinson

As one of the most overlooked and often misunderstood positions in government, the vice president is an important role to have (they have the opportunity to become president in certain instances). The vice president is the President of the Senate, although they can only vote in legislation or other motions when the Senators are deadlocked 50-50.

The other formally recognized role of the vice president is to ensure the accuracy of the tallied electoral college votes after a Presidential election occurs. There are also informal roles dependent upon the relationship between the vice president and president, such as representing the president in public appearances, an advisor, and meeting with the heads of state or foreign governments.KEEP READING…Politics

As a Black woman in America, I need you to know something about this election

No matter what happens, the fight for equality will always remain consistent

by Breanna Robinson

As U.S. citizens, we’ve witnessed a lot and come a long way in expressing our morals and ideologies with our government’s underpinnings. With today being Election Day, (kudos if you voted early!) it’s critically important we express our constitutional right to vote.

Even though we’ll likely wait awhile to know the official outcome, this election will determine whether or not this nation moves forward towards the ideals of a more perfect union. Like myself, many of you share some semblance of fear when analyzing the two paths our nation can embark on.

When I was in an Advanced Placement U.S. history high school class in 2012, the election of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was a defining moment for me. As I learned more about our country’s history and figured out what ideals resonated with me more, I decided to vote Democrat.

So, it isn’t entirely a surprise I would be voting for Joe Biden. If he is elected, he has promised to promote racial justice. This would include better homeownership, pandemic relief and holding financial institutions accountable for discriminatory practices when dealing with BIPOC Americans.

To be quite honest, I don’t believe his plans will achieve complete racial equality within our lifetime… even though it’s a great start. Regardless, Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, has a signature policy that piques my interest. In her LIFT Act ( also known as the Middle Class Act) legislation was provided to middle class and working families with a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year or $500 a month to address the cost of living expenses.

Although the act has its flaws, it’s an excellent example of one of the closest policies mapped out to guarantee income on a national level. For the Black community, economic security truly unlocks a potential that wouldn’t normally be present. My parents – being in the medical and accounting industries – were able to move from an area where they were able to get degrees, receive better jobs, and ultimately bring my sister and me to a safer neighborhood.

A neighborhood where we could both have a similar, and even better shot at succeeding.

More importantly, I’ve seen my parents’ faces, as well as my peers, when financial anxiety is reduced: happiness and the understanding that the sky is the limit.

I really want all people – especially Black people – across the country to realize this won’t be the reality under Trump’s Administration. There’s no need to continuously address why tax cuts for the rich and other corporations won’t get us closer equity. Trump’s family clearly states what they think about us.

We also deserve respect and things with our names on it. As long as we desire to be successful, which is rude to assume when many of us aren’t provided opportunities amounting to ‘success’ due to systemic inequality.

Realistically speaking, neither the Republican or Democratic Party has a strong enough plan to decrease the disparities carried throughout decades of weak policies and racism.

That is nothing new.

Regardless of what happens on Nov. 3, the equality the Black community consistently fights for – and deserves – won’t fully be achieved until we focus on an economy reflecting and respecting our contributions.

Not to worry. We, as a community, need to have each other’s backs.

Trump’s election was not the first time the Black community was confronted with embedded racism our country was built on. However, another four years won’t deter us from speaking up. While exploring this yearning to voice our minds, it reminded me of a quote from James Baldwin:

“I love America more than anything in the world, and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

At the end of the day, I find solace in knowing the Black community will continue to do our due diligence in standing up for what we believe in.

We are continuously on a journey of elevation, and for that, we will always have each other. 2020 election

Joe Biden did exactly what he needed to in that utterly chaotic debate

I don’t know quite what I expected from the first presidential debate, but it wasn’t that

September 30, 2020Lucy Gray

At this point in the Trump presidency, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything, but the childish, erratic display in Ohio still shocked me. Donald Trump rowed with debate moderator Chris Wallace, shouted over Joe Biden, hurled insults, and made personal attacks. It was similar to what we saw in 2016 when the now-president steam-rolled Hillary Clinton at every turn, stalking her around the stage. With coronavirus restrictions in place, Trump couldn’t hunt Biden down as physically as he did Clinton, but that didn’t stop him from dealing a barrage of blows. It is the angry president we have become all too familiar with, yet, I was still stunned by the embarrassing performance.

The debate began with two subdued candidates being questioned on the Supreme Court – but that mood didn’t last long. A sedated Trump soon turned into a combative one. He spoke over Wallace, even at one point saying to the moderator,”I guess I’m debating you now!” As expected, he repeatedly clashed with his rival, pushing Biden to say the line of the night – “Will you shut up, man?”

Biden’s performance was far from perfect. He was pushed and pulled around the entire time, falling into several easy traps laid by Trump on climate and past cringe-worthy comments – but I still feel that he responded exactly how he needed to. If he had risen to the bait, shouting and being as churlish as Trump, would anyone really have respected him? Would that really have convinced anyone to change their vote from red to blue? In times as hard as this, America does not need politicians shouting at each other and not listening. Yes, Biden hit back when he was pushed – particularly during a tense exchange about his sons Hunter and Beau – but he did not bulldoze.

The Democratic party should be targeting non-voters, but that seems pretty much out of the question in their already bland campaign. So the best I could expect from Biden tonight was to not embarrass himself, and I feel he just about managed that. Trump made a mockery of the debate. All Biden could do was show us what a “clown” the president is.Joe biden

The shocking list of celebrities that voted for the first time in the 2020 election

The list took me by surprise for the most part

November 04, 2020Breanna Robinson

It’s not entirely unheard of that many people don’t vote in U.S. elections, including well-known celebrities. Some have no interest in politics, undecided in what policies resonate with them, or have criminal records preventing them from participating.

Of the many celebrities who encouraged people to vote in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, also voted for the first time in the 2020 general election.

Both Mike Tyson and Snoop Dogg said that they couldn’t legally vote for many years, while another celebrity, such as John Oliver, recently received American citizenship.

From Kanye West to Selena Gomez, keep scrolling to see the celebrities who’ve expressed their right to vote in one of the most critically important elections in American history.

Snoop Dogg

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston CelticsPhoto by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For the longest time, Snoop Dogg believed he couldn’t vote due to prior felonies. On real 92.3’s radio show, “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” he mentioned his record had been expunged. Now, Snoop Dog has the ability to vote.

In addition, Snoop Dogg also partnered with Shepard Fairey, the founder of the streetwear brand, Obey, to launch a voting initiative called vote with Snoop, encouraging others to register to vote.

Mike Tyson

2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One – BackstagePhoto by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Like Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson also believed that he couldn’t vote in the election due to his record. In a post shared on Twitter in September, he said, “I never thought I could [vote] because of my felony record. I’m proud to finally vote.”

John Oliver

HBO’s Post Emmy Awards Reception – ArrivalsGetty Images

The Last Week Tonight Host officially received American citizenship last December ( I honestly thought he already had it). When speaking to Stephen Colbert of The Late Show, he expressed how real it felt casting his ballot for the first time, understanding that his voice matters.

Selena Gomez

2020 Hollywood Beauty Awards – Getty Images

In a virtual “Voting Power Hour” event, Selena Gomez (who voted by mail) admitted that this was her first time voting because she never really thought her voice mattered in past elections.

In an Instagram Story post on Election Day, Gomez asked fans to vote, further reiterating that we can and do have the right to voice our opinions.

Shaquille O’Neal

Los Angeles Lakers Unveil Shaquille O’Neal StatueGetty Images

During The Big Podcast with Shaq in October, the basketball legend said he hasn’t voted because he doesn’t want to be hypocritical when involving himself in campaigns, nor did he understand what the electoral system was about.

Offset

2019 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards – ArrivalsGetty Images

“I felt like I accomplished something by that,” the 28-year-old rapper told Essence after performing at a Biden and Harris rally. Offset has actively been convincing the youth in Atlanta to go to the polls and make a difference in their community.

Kanye West

“The Cher Show” Broadway Opening Night Getty Images

How Biden’s all-female communications staff will alter US politics forever

Witnessing the immense feminine power Biden is bringing to his administration is enough to curb the anxiety I’ve encountered during the last four years.

by Sandra Salathe

Joe Biden has broken numerous barriers since securing the U.S. presidency. With permission to finally move forward with the transitional phase of his presidency (an evident sign of Trump admitting defeat), Biden has kept his word on restoring America to a more unified and diverse nation. On Sunday, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced they would be electing an all-women staff to their White House senior communications team.

This is a first in U.S. history.

Among the elected women are Janet Yellen as treasury secretary (the first woman to hold the role), Jen Psaki as White House press secretary, Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director, Karine Jean-Pierre as principle deputy press secretary and Pili Tobar as deputy White House communications director. In addition, Ashley Etienne will become communications director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris once she is sworn in.

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better,” Biden said in a statement.

Witnessing the immense feminine power Biden is bringing to his administration is enough to curb the anxiety I’ve encountered during the last four years. From electing the first female Vice President, to bidding farewell to a xenophobic president, 2021 is shaping up to be a good year. However, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I said the exact same thing about 2020 and look how that turned out.

Although 2021 may or may not be the year the nation bounces back to normalcy, we’re definitely on track with the new administration. Since winning the election, Biden appears to be working harder during his transitional period than Trump did within his entire four years as president.

But it’s more than that.

Male politicians have expressed the importance of electing more women to positions of power, but seldom do anything significant about it. It’s refreshing to see a candidate serious about elevating women within politics. Biden has always emphasized his stance on promoting more women to leadership roles. Witnessing him actually do so is not only important for this country, but the overall future of U.S. politics.

The more we normalize the notion of female leaders within our country, the more it becomes a possibility. Young girls are watching history being made with our first female Vice President, and thinking to themselves, “that could be me someday.” But it doesn’t just end with politics.

It’s not as if we’re not striving for leadership roles. In fact, women have demanded a seat a the table for generations. Whether you work in publishing or technology, the roles catered to women are scare. However, that’s quickly changing thanks to the numerous opportunities beginning to blossom.

As much as I wish these changes came sooner, it’s nice to see headway being made in regards to female inclusion within the workplace. Better late than never, right?

Joe biden

How Trump and Biden’s muted mics will shape the final presidential debate

With less than two weeks until the election, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off for the final time on Thursday.

by Sandra Salathe

If I could choose one word to sum up the first presidential debate, between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, it would be chaos.

Complete and absolute chaos.

What was supposed to be a civilized conversation among two nominees, quickly transpired into disruption, due to Trump frequently interrupting the former Vice President.

I was left with an immense amount of anxiety within the first ten minutes of watching. The overall Sep. 29 debate felt like a mindless cockfight, with both parties losing. Not that I’ve ever witnessed a cockfight, but I have a feeling it would resemble something very similar to what we witnessed during the first round of presidential debates.

Thankfully on Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced both former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will have their microphones muted during portions of the final presidential debate. The final debate is expected to air Thursday night from Belmont University in Nashville, and moderated by NBC News White House correspondent, Kristen Welker.

Under the new rules, Biden and Trump will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of each 15-minute segment. After that, Biden and Trump will be able to discuss issues with each other with both microphones open.

According to a statement, released by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, Trump is still “committed to debating Joe Biden” regardless of the change.

“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the statement read. “One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”

Trump was set to debate Biden in a town hall-style debate last Thursday, but dropped out last minute due to the event being made virtual, given his recent COVID-19 diagnosis. With that being said, the debate was eventually canceled. Instead, Trump and Biden participated in separate town halls, where Trump was grilled by NBC News correspondent Savannah Gutherie.

Thursday’s final debate will offer Trump an opportunity to pick up momentum as he trails behind Biden in polls. Hopefully, this time around, Biden will not allow Trump to goad him into a state of name-calling fueled by frustration. Biden needs to appear presidential and not allow Trump to get the better of him. Although I will admit, with the current president in office, that statement is a lot easier said than done.

The debate will air live from television and livestream online starting at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for more information. 2020 election

50 Cent ‘doesn’t care Trump doesn’t like Black people’ – so why is he endorsing him?

Are celebrities’ personal finances more important than the integrity of the nation?

by Breanna Robinson

Curtis “50 cent” Jackson is one of the few rappers I can say branched out rather skillfully into other avenues such as becoming an executive producer of the STARZ series Power and Power Book II: Ghost and many other entrepreneurial ventures.

Despite the success of these endeavors, what became a shock to rap and TV show enthusiasts ( as well as myself, to be quite honest) is his endorsement of Trump in the upcoming presidential campaign. Especially considering Biden’s proposed tax plan for people making more than $400,000 a year, which would no doubt affect the rapper.

50 urged his supporters to vote for Trump in November, claiming to not care whether Trump hates Black people.

“WHAT THE F**K! (VOTE ForTRUMP),” wrote 50 cent on Instagram. IM OUT F**K NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway. I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people 62% are you out of ya f*****g mind.”

Many have criticized him for this endorsement, dragging him for thinking of his personal finances over the health and social justice disparities our nation is facing.

It doesn’t stop there.

Earlier this year, conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren said she went through a “phase” where she listened to a lot of the rapper’s music, interestingly enough. Now Lahren can openly praise the Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ rapper due to his public support for Trump and his administration.

Expectedly, several Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon, using 50’s endorsement as a weapon of tokenization, including Candace Owens and Tomi Lahren, making commentary on the importance of 50’s voice.

Screenshot of Candace Owens tweet by Breanna RobinsonScreenshot of Candace Owens tweet by Breanna Robinson

Even though Tomi Lahren has said many things about him in the past, she extended the olive branch, inviting him to the chaotic Trump Train.

Screenshot of Tomi Lahren tweet by Breanna RobinsonScreenshot of Tomi Lahren tweet by Breanna Robinson

“Welcome to the Trump Train,” she exuberantly wrote on 50’s post. She also felt compelled to celebrate on Twitter, praising the rapper’s endorsement and adding,”Let’s go!!!”

If this is not the year of exposing one’s true intentions, I don’t know what is.
50 cent

Why tonight’s vice presidential debate will be so influential in American history

The Pence-Harris face-off will be unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed in the history of vice presidential debates

by Breanna Robinson

With just a couple of hours left before showtime, tonight’s debate will be like no other.

The debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris will be one of the most prominent fixtures of American history since vice-presidential debates began around 40 years ago.

Although vice presidential debates aren’t as popular as the duals that the world is subjected to from presidential debates, the 2020 race in itself and the highly unique moments from the administration make this debate worthy of coverage and our undivided attention.

By coping with a virus that has claimed the lives of over 211,000 Americans, we must not forget that the vice president directly correlates to the presidency. With many documented experiences of the long-term effects of Covid-19 from patients referred to as “long-haulers,” incapacitation within the presidency is being brought to light.

Moreover, even though vice-presidential debates can be boring in the sense that most of the focus is on how each vice presidential candidate would help the president make America a better place if elected and their stances on policies if they move forward. The candidates must also keep in the back of their minds that they could become president at any moment.

However, within the 2020 race, we are presented with two of the oldest presidential nominees within American history. One is dealing with the diagnosis of Covid-19 even though he cavalierly still downplays the severity— President Donald Trump— and former Vice President Joe Biden‘s health complications in the 1980s.

Regardless of Trump being re-elected or Biden winning the overall vote next month, they will be sworn in amid a particularly dangerous pandemic for older demographics.

Understanding this, the vice presidential debate will occur in a large hall in the University of Utah, and the candidates will now have a 12-foot distance between them, which is more than normal. There will also be no tangible means of communication, such as a side by side photo and handshake before and after the debate.

Susan Page, debate moderator and Washington Bureau Chief at USA Today, will most likely get the debate going with health questions, the 25th Amendment, and succession, to name a few. Mentioning a dead president or incapacitated one is a morbid one, but Mr Trump and Mr Biden’s age and health history make it necessary to address.

During the election year, vice-presidential candidates often serve as presidential nominees’ protectors, so there will be criticism amongst the candidates such as Mr Pence’s initial objection to the use of a plexiglass barrier as well as his stance on the virus as the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

It’s critically important for both candidates to avoid direct political strife and focus on the state of the nation during a pandemic with a president that is ill.

The vice president’s personality, especially in Covid-19 conferences, is calm and collected, which is ideal in a debate. Despite this, his rhetoric and presence at times are that of a minion, someone who obliges and defends someone even if they have a menacing attitude like the president.

Mr Pence must not only be persuasive in portraying the ability to take over for the president if needed, but he also must show strength and courage by making sound decisions despite the president’s complex that team members shouldn’t outshine him.

Ms Harris has not only made American history as the first woman of color to be nominated for office by a major political party, but she has proven that she is a quick-witted and effective debater during the primaries. Her prosecutorial background as she addresses candidates( including Biden) illuminates her strength within politics.

Even though this is great, she needs to focus on what she deeply cares about concerning the country to appeal to human interests.

Of course, a part of the debate will highlight how she would help Mr. Biden if he becomes president. However, the debate must also show that she can stand on her own in the absence of Mr. Biden. America loves a good fight, as it’s what the country has been built on, so it’s critically important for a female in politics to showcase strength and compassion for people in a world full of gender biases.

In more ways than not, Mr. Pence and Mrs. Harris are both able to do what the president could not do in last week’s debate – be an adult that shows some respect for others. They also can both appeal to the importance of family and what it means to be the ‘rock’ that their respective families and nation need. Mr. Pence shows excitement when talking about his daughter, and Mrs. Harris embraces being called ‘Mamala’ by her step-kids.

Overall, the opportunity for Mr. Pence and Mrs. Harris to shed light on things that the president and former vice president didn’t do in their quite disastrous presentation of a debate last week is imperative: be the voice of optimism that the United States is longing for.2020 election

Didn’t watch the presidential debate? Here’s what you missed

The eight key moments from the Trump vs Biden debate

by Lucy Gray

It’s hard to believe, but the presidential debates are finally here. Whereas the Democratic showdowns dragged on for an eternity, the last six months hazily zipped by with the 2020 election now just five weeks away.

Presidential debates can make or break a campaign. It’s the first time Donald Trump and Joe Biden have faced each other, millions of people tuning in around the world; these clashes are unarguably important…but that doesn’t mean everyone has the stomach to watch them. Never has it been more tempting to shut politics out than in 2020, to allow your disenchantment to take over and watch ‘Schitt’s Creek’ instead. You’re already anxious enough on your Tuesday night because of that stupid thing you said a decade ago. Why add to it by reminding yourself just how horrific the president of the United States is?

If this sounds like you, but you still want to appear like you know what you’re talking about at work today, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the biggest moments of the night:

“I guess I’m debating you now”
Trump wasn’t just debating his election rival. The president hounded moderator Chris Wallace, speaking (sometimes shouting) over him, bickering, and ignoring time limits.

“Will you shut up, man?”

Of course, it wasn’t just Wallace; Trump completely bulldozed Biden. The president continuously cut his Democratic rival off, leading to several snaps back from Biden throughout the night, including this memorable response.

Biden questions Trump over coronavirus plan

The president tried to brag about his administration’s decision to restrict travel from China, but the gloating didn’t last long. Biden called out America’s high Covid-19 death toll – which is now over 200,000 – and accused the president of panicking over the pandemic and having “no plan.”

Trump says he doesn’t want to pay taxes

After a bombshell New York Times report said Trump paid only $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017, it was inevitable the president would be asked about it. I’m just going to leave his quote here… “It was the tax laws. I don’t want to pay tax. Before I came here, I was a private developer. I was a private business person. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws.”

Biden distances himself from the Green New Deal

When climate came up towards the end of the debate, Biden distanced himself from the Green New Deal, instead of promoting his own strategy.

Trump refuses to denounce white supremacy

When asked if he would disown far-right and white supremacist groups, Trump danced around the point, then told the infamous Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

“You’re the worst president America has ever had, c’mon”

A comment from Joe Biden.

“That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck”

Although not actually part of the debate, one of the most viral moments of the night was Jake Tapper’s analysis: “That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.”2020 election

Highlights from the Women’s March in D.C.

Carrying creative signs and donning an array of interesting costumes, thousands gathered in D.C. Saturday for the 2nd Women’s March of 2020 to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

by Sandra Salathe

Saturday marked the 2nd Women’s March of 2020, where thousands gathered in D.C. to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Almost four years after the initial march, where marchers unified to protest the inauguration of President Trump, thousands took to the D.C. streets once again.KEEP READING…Womens march

Why the recent Women’s March in D.C. was the most significant

Thousands flocked to the Nation’s Capitol over the weekend to attend the 2nd Women’s March of the year. Why this one holds more significance than the ones before

by Sandra Salathe

Over the weekend, I traveled back to my home city of Washington, D.C. to attend the 2nd Women’s March of the year. The march was organized to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Although I’ve attended every Women’s March since it’s inception in 2017, this one felt different.

For one, it arrived amidst a global pandemic which claimed the lives of 200,000 plus Americans. Another being the crucial, upcoming presidential election. For me, all of these were justifiable reasons to march.

Despite the first march occurring after Trump’s inauguration, there was a sense of urgency and desperation eminent within the air this time around. Perhaps the primary reason being because there’s so much on the line. We are residing in a country where the threat of a Christian theocracy looms near, reminiscent of a Margaret Atwood novel.

In fact, numerous women dressed as handmaidens during the march, donning red dresses and white bonnets, with “Trump-Pence OUT NOW!” signs hanging from their necks.

Another handmaid costume caught my eye, but the sign attached was slightly more ominous.

“I thought this was just a costume…” it read.

Handmaids march in unison at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

The handmaid costumes are an apparent nod to Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the small Christian group, People of Praise, which received criticism over its similarities to Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Barrett – as well as her parents -have had active roles in the organization, according to documents and interviews obtained by the Washington Post.

According to a 2010 People of Praise directory excerpt also obtained by The Washington Post, Barrett supposedly held the title of “handmaid” which is believed to be a leadership position for women in the community. The organization has denied Barrett’s involvement within their community and has since removed her name and photographs from all its archives.

Barrett’s sketchy past with the religious organization is enough cause for concern considering her likely confirmation to the Supreme Court. The idea that someone with immense conservative beliefs and religious agenda will have the ability to craft the laws governing our country sends chills throughout my body.

It’s as if we’re living within the realm of a real-life horror film, where the climax has yet to hit.

Protestors clash at Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Sandra Salathe

These are dangerous times we’re living in. Whether you’re a woman or not. The impact of Trump being re-elected, along with Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court will gravely impact several Americans for decades. It has never been a more terrifying time to be a woman in this country.

Abortion access is at stake. Reproductive freedom is at stake. Affordable healthcare is at stake. LGBTQ rights are at stake. Basic, moral principle is at stake.

That’s why these marches and calls to action matter more than ever. As a nation, we are divided, but seeing these acts of unity gives me hope. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter protests or the Women’s March, there is strength in numbers and I believe we’re stronger when we rise together for the common good of the nation.Women’s march

We deserve to know where Trump and Biden stand on factory farming

A critical issue Americans care about is factory farming. Where do the presidential nominees stand?

World Animal_Protection USWorld Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization’s activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations. World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animal welfare on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals’ lives for the better. More information on World Animal Protection can be found at: http://www.worldanimalprotection.us/

By: Joe Loria, Meat Reduction Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection,US

The presidential debates are quickly approaching as we draw nearer to election day. And with a pandemic taking the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans, record unemployment, wildfires raging across the western part of our country, and an unprecedented hurricane season, there are many questions voters likely have for President Trump and former Vice President Biden.

In the past, nominees have addressed healthcare and climate change to trade issues and the economy. Still, one subject always seems to be left out of the public discourse yet impacts so many of the critical issues Americans care about: factory farming. While we can look at what both nominees have done in the past related to factory farming, Americans must learn how the two frontrunners plan to tackle it in the future, especially given all that has happened this year.

From being a leading cause of environmental destruction and climate change to a likely next pandemic source to horrifying animal cruelty and a host of labor issues, factory farming might seem like the cheapest and most efficient way to produce America’s food. But in reality, it comes at a high cost to society.

Our next president must take on the large multinational meat corporations that prop up factory farms, something no other president has yet to do. Countless studies have shown factory farming’s contribution to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gases than all the transportation in the world combined. In fact, it will be nearly impossible to achieve the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement if we don’t significantly reduce livestock farming and switch to more sustainable protein sources.

As for the pandemic, while we’re nowhere near out of the woods when it comes to Covid-19, we should be working to prevent another one from occurring.Many scientists believe this starts with eliminating factory farming. Nearly 99% of US meat comes from factory farms, where animals are packed together in cruel confinement to maximize profits.

Factory farms create an ideal breeding ground for virus and bacteria mutations that human immune systems have never seen before. In other words, factory farming is a likely source for the next pandemic, and our next president needs to be prepared. According to reports, more than 200 meatpacking workers in the US have died of Covid-19, and at least 42,534 workers have tested positive for the virus. From the onset of the pandemic, large multinational meat corporations prioritized profits over worker safety by speeding up slaughter lines, forcing workers to stand closer together, and not distributing PPE immediately.

Even before Covid-19, the industrialized meat industry exploited workers with whistleblowers reporting that meatpackers were denied bathroom breaks, being forced to wear diapers so as not to risk getting fired. To make matters worse, these companies preyed upon vulnerable communities for labor, such as immigrants who would be threatened with deportation if they spoke out against the reported abuses. When the candidates say they support workers, we must hold them accountable and ask if they will take on the factory farming industry to protect those producing America’s food.

Our next president must empower small-scale independent farmers and growers who use more humane and sustainable practices to transform and secure our food system. It is also essential, for the wellbeing of our country, the planet, and animals, that our next president takes steps to reduce meat consumption in America – one of the countries that eats the most meat – so that we can support this shift away from factory farming as demand for meat drops. I hope that at some point during the upcoming presidential debates, America gets to learn how exactly President Trump and former vice president Biden plan on uplifting rural communities and independent farmers, protecting meatpacking workers and farmhands, improving animal welfare, and safeguarding our planet by banning factory farming once and for all.2020 election

If you don’t know, now you know: What the term “lame duck” actually means

You may have overheard the term thrown around but have little to no idea what it represents. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

December 01, 2020 by Sandra Salathe

After the election, there was a brief moment when I believed Donald Trump would not concede. Upon discovering Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris were the projected winners of the 2020 election, joy should’ve been my initial reaction. And it was, but it was also followed by a sense of uncertainty.

However, when Trump eventually gave up his baseless accusations of voter fraud, allowing the Biden Administration to move forward with the transition phase, my anxiety subsided. Now that Trump is considered a “lame duck” president, the term has many scratching their heads. Primarily because they have no idea what it means.

You may have overheard the term thrown around but have little to no idea what it represents. Luckily, we’re here to break it down for you.

The term “lame duck” refers to a politician whose term is about to end and be replaced by a newly elected official. Although the politician still remains in office, this transitional period is often viewed as less notable because power begins to shift towards the newly-elected official.

Regardless, politicians still use this time to make final, hasty decisions before leaving office. For example, last week Trump pardoned longtime friend and former national security advisor Michael Flynn from foreign lobbying crimes he admitted to in 2017. Trump’s pardon would absolve Flynn from “any possible future perjury or contempt charge in connection with General Flynn’s sworn statements and any other possible future charge that this Court or the court-appointed amicus has suggested might somehow keep this criminal case alive over the government’s objection,” the Justice Department wrote.

There have even been talks of Trump pardoning himself. However, legal experts have continuously explained presidents cannot pardon themselves. We’ll just have to see what Trump comes up with during his final moments in office. Should make for entertaining television if it weren’t utterly scary.Lame duck

Trump’s legacy isn’t going anywhere if Biden wins the election

Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult for the next administration to wash out

by Sandra Salathe

We are moments away from determining the outcome of the most crucial presidential elections our country has experienced. The outcome, regardless of which candidate wins, has the potential to echo for generations. Throughout the years, presidential power has transitioned from one candidate to the other seamlessly. This year proves to be different, if not challenging.

Within the months leading up to the election, President Trump continuously stated he will not accept the outcome if he is not the victor. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering our president’s narcissistic character. If we learned one thing throughout Trump’s presidency, it’s his ability to get away with being unapologetically egotistical and outlandish.

More than 80 million Americans have already casted their vote, patiently awaiting for the results to be announced. But Trump’s inability to go peacefully could mean setbacks for the election in a desperate ploy to remain in the White House. He has already triggered doubt within the electoral process, relentlessly attacking the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, suggesting the outcome will be rigged.

And here thought I was a sore loser.

But if things go my way, and Trump does lose the election, it’s not going to easy for Biden. Even if Biden is officially elected, inaugurated and comfortably seated in the White House, he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult to wash out.

And thanks to the strategic confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the flame that burns eerily bright for the Trump administration will cease to extinguish any time soon. We’ve seen setbacks to immigration; police brutality like never before; brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed changed for the worse and Biden winning the election won’t automatically change that. But if Biden does win (one can only hope) he will deal with more than just an extensive economic renovation. He’ll be dealing with a nation divided.

According to a FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker, Trump holds a 42.2 percent approval and 54.3 percent disapproval. Despite an impeachment, a nationwide movement protesting racial justice, and a global pandemic claiming the lives of more than 226,000 Americans, it would seem Trump can do no wrong among his supporters.

I often hear many individuals blame Trump for the amount of xenophobia and racism present within our country. But here’s the thing, Trump wasn’t the inventor of xenophobia or racism. They already dwelled deep within American society. Trump simply normalized it.

So it’s likely if he loses, we can anticipate retaliation from Trump supporters on a large scale.

It’s likely the U.S. will experience widespread protests regardless of whomever wins. Because the truth is, right now our country is not united and for that we can blame Donald Trump.President trump

Trump’s legacy isn’t going anywhere if Biden wins the election

Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult for the next administration to wash out

by Sandra Salathe

We are moments away from determining the outcome of the most crucial presidential elections our country has experienced. The outcome, regardless of which candidate wins, has the potential to echo for generations. Throughout the years, presidential power has transitioned from one candidate to the other seamlessly. This year proves to be different, if not challenging.

Within the months leading up to the election, President Trump continuously stated he will not accept the outcome if he is not the victor. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering our president’s narcissistic character. If we learned one thing throughout Trump’s presidency, it’s his ability to get away with being unapologetically egotistical and outlandish.

More than 80 million Americans have already casted their vote, patiently awaiting for the results to be announced. But Trump’s inability to go peacefully could mean setbacks for the election in a desperate ploy to remain in the White House. He has already triggered doubt within the electoral process, relentlessly attacking the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, suggesting the outcome will be rigged.

And here thought I was a sore loser.

But if things go my way, and Trump does lose the election, it’s not going to easy for Biden. Even if Biden is officially elected, inaugurated and comfortably seated in the White House, he’s going to have his work cut out for him. Trump has left a harrowing stain on this country that will be difficult to wash out.

And thanks to the strategic confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the flame that burns eerily bright for the Trump administration will cease to extinguish any time soon. We’ve seen setbacks to immigration; police brutality like never before; brutal attacks on reproductive rights; unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed changed for the worse and Biden winning the election won’t automatically change that. But if Biden does win (one can only hope) he will deal with more than just an extensive economic renovation. He’ll be dealing with a nation divided.

According to a FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker, Trump holds a 42.2 percent approval and 54.3 percent disapproval. Despite an impeachment, a nationwide movement protesting racial justice, and a global pandemic claiming the lives of more than 226,000 Americans, it would seem Trump can do no wrong among his supporters.

I often hear many individuals blame Trump for the amount of xenophobia and racism present within our country. But here’s the thing, Trump wasn’t the inventor of xenophobia or racism. They already dwelled deep within American society. Trump simply normalized it.

So it’s likely if he loses, we can anticipate retaliation from Trump supporters on a large scale.

It’s likely the U.S. will experience widespread protests regardless of whomever wins. Because the truth is, right now our country is not united and for that we can blame Donald Trump.President trump

My looming fear of being in an interracial relationship in 2020

Being in an interracial relationship was never an issue for my boyfriend and me. Then Trump became president, and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, our world drastically changed.

by Sandra Salathe

I met my boyfriend in 2016, a few months before Trump was elected president. For the importance of context, I will inform you that my boyfriend is Haitian-American – and although I have Hispanic roots – I classify as white. I never gave much thought to our differing races. It was never an issue for my boyfriend and me. But then Trump became president, and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, our world drastically changed.

But to be frankly honest, the world didn’t necessarily change overnight. Racism has always been a common factor within our society. Peel back the saccharine veneer of “equality” and “justice” and you will likely find racism sleeping somberly. Trump being elected merely awoke it.

Perhaps it was ignorance on my part, but my boyfriend being Black and me being white just wasn’t an issue. At least, not for us. When Trump was finally situated in office, the concept of racial harmony became nothing more than an afterthought. All you had to do was witness a Trump rally to understand that racial equality was nonexistent throughout his campaign and presidency.

Within the months leading up to Trump’s inauguration, there was a sense of unease that settled throughout our country. My boyfriend and I predominately felt this within our gut on a daily basis. We were unsure about what was going to happen, but we knew it wasn’t good.

Flash forward four years, and the premonition of unease has become a daunting reality for America. Over the course of four years, we’ve witnessed our country undergo a harrowing transformation. We’ve witnessed police brutality like never before, transparent systematic racism, brutal attacks on reproductive rights, unjust immigration enforcement and so much more.

Our country has indeed drastically changed for the worse.

As Trump fights for a second term, navigating racial and political divides will be even more difficult.

I often think about how different our lives would’ve been had my boyfriend and me met during the height of the Jim Crow era. For one, interracial relationships didn’t become legal until 1967, so dating one another would be out of the question. We wouldn’t even be allowed to converse with one another in public without receiving criticism for it.

The thought of not being allowed to hold my boyfriend’s hand in public, or attend a restaurant together, merely on the basis of our differing races sends chills throughout my body.

I’m very much aware of my boyfriend’s cultural background, but when we’re together, our differences evaporate. I love my boyfriend’s race and understand it is a huge part of who he is. I’m enraged when I hear people say “well, I don’t see race.” or “race is inconsequential to me.”

Therein lies the problem.

Race shouldn’t be inconsequential to anyone. Where someone comes from is very important and should be celebrated. However, when you undermine or overlook someone because of their race is when it turns into an issue. Apart from ccasional stares, my boyfriend and me never encountered threatening racism as a couple. But we have friends who have and their accounts are heartbreaking.

Growing up, my mom made an effort to convey the importance of treating everyone with respect and equality. She made sure it was deeply rooted in my consciousness and unable to forget. In her mind, it was just as crucial as brushing your teeth every morning and night.

Maybe the reason for my mother’s relentless advocating originated from personal experience. As a Hispanic girl growing up in the South throughout the 1950s, my mom understood a thing or two about being discriminated against because of your race. The fact that this kind of discrimination continues today is unfathomable. Then again, what do you expect from a president who evokes racism and bigotry at every turn of his presidency?

I’m very frightened for the future of our country. Even if Biden does get elected, Donald Trump has left a stain on this country that won’t be easy to wash out. His nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is testament of that. There’s a sense of urgency during this election that’s more predominant than its predecessor.

But to say we have to vote isn’t enough.

The truth is, until we learn to overcome our differences and treat people with respect and dignity, we will never be able to evolve as a nation. Interracial relationship

It’s safe to assume Biden’s administration will vastly differ from Trump’s

President-elect Joe Biden proved to be a candidate for the American people, while Trump… not so much. The likelihood of both administrations being similar is slim to none.

November 13, 2020

It's safe to assume Biden's administration will vastly differ from Trump's

by Sandra Salathe

It’s no secret President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are vastly different.

They’re like night and day. Hot and cold. Sweet and sour.

I could go on. The analogies are endless.

Since the beginning of his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden proved to be a candidate for the American people, while Trump… ehhhh, not so much. If anything, our country is extremely divided thanks to the current president in office. So the likelihood of both administrations being similar is slim to none.

In fact, a Biden administration will vastly differ from Trump’s in every way possible. Let’s examine some of the ways Biden’s administration will exceed Trump’s, shall we?

Beating COVID-19

Unless you’ve been residing under a rock for the past eight months, you’ve witnessed a front row seat to the current president’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since day one, President Trump has not been the leader this country needs in order to tackle a global health crisis. In early February, Trump already knew how dangerous the Coronavirus pandemic was, but continued downplaying it.

He continued to host large rallies and events, belittled the significance of wearing masks, neglected social distance precautionary measures and urged states to reopen businesses despite an ongoing spike in cases.

Under a Biden administration, things would look extremely different. Throughout all his debates and town hall gatherings, Joe Biden continuously explained his plan to get the virus under control and restore our nation back to some semblance of normalcy. On the Biden and Harris campaign website, the administration lays out a seven plan proposal to tackle COVID-19.

Some key points in the proposal are:

Healthcare

Considering Biden was apart of the Obama administration and worked closely with former President Barack Obama to create the Affordable Care Act, it’s no surprise the President-elect supports the ACA 100%. Thanks to Obama and Biden, more than 20 million Americans have affordable health insurance under the ACA.

Many Americans no longer have to worry about being denied coverage by an insurance company, or paying higher premiums simply because they have a pre-existing condition – such as cancer or diabetes or mental health problem. Also under the ACA, insurance companies can no longer set annual or lifetime limits on coverage.

However, the ACA has experienced multiple attacks over the past ten years, with Republicans relentlessly trying to chip away at it. And having Trump as president hasn’t made the issue better. In fact, Trump continuously tried to sabotage the ACA ever since he arrogantly waltzed through the double doors of the White House.

Under a Biden administration, the President-elect will work hard to protect the ACA and the numerous Americans currently insured under it. In addition to protecting the ACA, Biden plans to expand it as well.

Once in office, Biden plans to provide Americans with an alternative public health insurance option similar to Medicare. Similar to Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers, according to the Biden-Harris campaign website.

Biden also plans to provide coverage to low-income families, by offering premium-free access to the public option for the 4.9 million individuals who would be eligible for Medicaid. States that have already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.

According to the Biden-Harris campaign website, “states that have already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.”

For individuals making 138% of the federal poverty level, Biden will ensure all those individuals get covered.

Rebuilding the economy

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the unemployment rate is higher than ever. However, our country’s economy was already in trouble. It’s no secret the Trump Administration prided itself on rewarding wealth over work and corporations over working families.

Although Trump alludes to providing Americans with more job opportunities than ever, the numbers speak for themselves. Under a Biden-Harris administration, the President and Vice President-elect plan to rebuild the economy stronger than ever. They plan to create millions of good-paying jobs and provide the necessary tools and resources to build America back better.

Biden also plans to implement these tactics on Day One, by providing further immediate relief to working families, small businesses, and communities.

Climate change

For four years, the Trump Administration has continuously referred to climate change as an “expensive hoax.”

According to Trump: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Well, there you have it, folks. Once again, it’s China’s fault.

President-elect Joe Biden understands the severity of global warming and is dedicated to addressing it throughout his term in office. Unlike Trump, Biden supports the New Green Deal and understands it’s importance for meeting the climate challenges we face. Under a Biden Administration, Biden’s goal is to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

Biden will also recommit the United States to The Paris Agreement, from which the Trump administration formally withdrew from early last week. In addition, “Biden will make smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change,” according to Biden and Harris’ campaign website.

Immigration

What has become Trump’s most controversial political stance will be the polar opposite for Biden. Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has enacted inhumane family separation policies on migrant families who desperately seek safety and a better life. When children are snatched from the embrace of their parents and placed in detention centers resembling cages, that is not only immoral, but an embarrassment to the fabric of our nation.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the majority of U.S detention centers are located in correctional facilities, which are either operated by the federal government, the state, or a third-party private company. Envision whatever a county jail or prison looks like, and that’s essentially what an immigration detention center looks like.

Now imagine placing a helpless child there.

The detention centers are not synonymous to the fantastical “summer camp” environment the Trump Administration would have you believe they are. For the most part, the care an immigrant detainee receives in a U.S detention center is very similar to what a non-immigrant detainee in that same jail would receive. Then again, the standard of care depends on the standard of the detention center.

Under a Biden Administration, that all stops.

Beginning on Day One, Biden plans to reverse Trump’s immigration policies by reasserting America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and modernize America’s immigration system. He also plans to implement effective border screening as well as tackle the root causes of irregular migration.

Joe biden