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Day 30: The Government Shutdown Continues

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Having approached the one month mark, the government shutdown of 2019 is the longest in US history. With no resolution in sight, affected Americans are demanding action as they stand on the verge of losing their homes.

This weekend, Trump made a statement offering Democrats a proposal to end the government shutdown. Calling it a “common-sense compromise”, Trump has offered the following:

  • Three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients, giving them protection from deportation, access to work permits, and social security numbers
  • An extension of Temporary Protected Status for three years to immigrants whose protections are approaching expiration
  • $800 million in humanitarian assistance
  • $805 million for drug detection technology
  • 2,750 border agents and law enforcement professionals
  • 75 new immigration judge teams to reduce the backlog of court cases

Imploring both parties to embrace his plan, Trump says its an opportunity for “real bipartisan immigration reform.” However, Democrats are unwilling to accept the deal which uses DACA as a bargaining chip. Speaking out against the proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “unacceptable.” and stated negotiations would take place only when the government reopened.

People Aren’t Bargaining Chips

In her statement, Speaker Pelosi said, “Democrats support smart, effective border security solutions” but, initial reports make it clear Trump’s proposal is an amalgamation of several previously rejected initiatives. Responding further to the President’s address, Pelosi remarked:

Unfortunately, initial reports make it clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-started. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”

While Democrats are averse to negotiations that include DACA as a bargaining chip, in the past they offered a correction in return for border wall funding. Putting $25 billion on the table for border security, Democrats plan included a 10-14 year path to citizenship for the 1.8 million Dreamers. Their plan could have included a wall, as Senator Chuck Schumer privately promised up to $20 billion for a citizenship path for eligible immigrants. Still, both parties are pressured to resolve their differences and come to an agreement to reopen the government by Americans affected by the shutdown.

2500 Stores Unable to Accept EBT/SNAP

While the government is shut down, benefits for the 39 million recipients have been available without lapse. However, that could soon change. Roughly 2,500 retailers nationwide will be unable to accept any form of SNAP EBT benefits despite the funds early dispersion. Awarded through a debit-style card, stores will be unable to accept the payment method because they missed the deadline for license renewal before the shutdown. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Over 99 percent of SNAP retailers are able to accept benefits as usual. There is a small percentage of stores that failed to complete a required re-authorization process that was due on December 21.”

In addition to concern surrounding food benefits, rental assistance programs are also at a standstill. HUD’s official website states the agency is closed until further notice, leaving recipients to panic over whether they can pay their rent. Without HUD assistance, landlords have begun to send notice to tenants that they are responsible for the full financial burden of their housing costs.

Experts speculate the number of Americans impacted by the housing assistance lapse to be nearly 70,000 but that number increases every day. With landlords in a panic, organizations that administer HUD funding are attempting to calm them down so they don’t escalate to eviction proceedings. If politicians cannot come to a resolution, potentially millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children face rent hikes, eviction, and homelessness.

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Steve Bannon Arrested on Border Wall Fundraising Scheme

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Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former political adviser, and three other leaders of the“We Build the Wall” online fundraising campaign have been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges by federal prosecutors. 

Federal agents and officials from the United States Postal Inspection arrested Bannon while he was on a boat located off the eastern coast of Connecticut.


Bannon is expected to make his initial court appearance in New York later today, according to the US attorney’s office. Bannon’s attorney, Bill Burck, declined to comment on the matter. 

Audrey Strauss, acting Manhattan U.S attorney, issued the following statement: 

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.” 

According to the charges, Kolfage—one of the crowdfunding organizers, spent more than $350,000 of the donations on personal expenses. These expenses include a luxury SUV, a golf cart, cosmetic surgery, home renovations, jewelry, personal tax payments,  and credit card debt. 

The four individuals being charged—Bannon, Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea—are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, CNN reports

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Trump Panders to Feminists with Posthumous Pardon of Susan B. Anthony, then Attacks Michelle Obama

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At an event aimed at celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights, a pivotal moment in history for gender equality, President Donald Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony, then attacked one of the most respected women in America, Michelle Obama. 

The attack ensued after the enamored Michelle criticized him in a 19-minute long speech, which was presented at the Democratic National Convention on Monday. 

“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” Obama said. “He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.” She then quoted Trump’s apathetic response when asked about those who died due to complications caused by the novel COVID-19 infection, “It is what it is.” 

Trump retaliated at the event, which housed the suburban housewives he pandered to on Twitter last week—and their husbands. “Well, she’s in over her head,” he said. “And frankly, she should [have] made the speech live, which she didn’t do.” He then took more jabs at her by calling her speech “extremely divisive” before discussing drug pricing. 

Michelle Obama is added to the long list of prominent women that Donald Trump has used his platform to attack.

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Ava DuVernay Defends Kamala Harris; Sparks Backlash

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Ava, girl, what is you on? Our good I’m-not-your-Auntie decided it best to make an Instagram post about the critique surrounding Kamala Harris’ vice-presidential candidacy.

“Oh but, Kamala did this or she didn’t do that. I hear you. I know. And I don’t care.”

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There is no debate anymore. There’s no room for it in my book. We either make this happen. Or literally, more of us perish. People are dying. Someone I love died. This virus is real. If it hasn’t visited your doorstep, it will. Oh but, Kamala did this or she didn’t do that. I hear you. I know. And I don’t care. Because what she DIDN’T DO is abandon citizens in a pandemic, rip babies from their mother’s arms at the border, send federal troops to terrorize protestors, manufacture new ways to suppress Black and Brown votes, actively disrespect Indigenous people and land, traffic in white supremacist rhetoric in an effort to stir racist violence at every turn, attempt to dismantle most American democratic systems of checks and balance, degrade women all day everyday, infect the Supreme Court with another misogynist hack, demolish America’s standing on climate, actively cultivate and further white supremacist structures and systems across all aspects of American daily life. I mean, that’s what she DIDN’T do. So I don’t wanna hear anything bad about her. It doesn’t matter to me. Vote them in and then let’s hold them accountable. Anything other than that is insanity. It’s ego. It’s against our own interests. It’s selfish. It’s disrespectful to our elders. It’s nonsense. It’s talking to hear yourself talk. This is a matter of life or death. We need all our energy focused. This is a fight for more than can be expressed here. There is no debate anymore. Not for me anyway. #voteblue2020

A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava) on

Ava, director of the movie 13th seems to be under the impression that we haven’t also lost family members, spouses, friends. She seems to believe that her pain should take precedent. Twitter didn’t like that:

All that can be said that hasn’t been said here is that Ava’s actions should be critiqued just as much as Kamala Harris. Ava, like many of the Black folk in Hollywood is only outraged for the benefit of the cameras, for the prestige she may garner as a result.

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