February 02, 2017
Trump Hangs Up The Phone While Johnny Depp Fires A Cannon
To kick off Black History Month, update your bookshelf with these perspectives on American history.
IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ
#Trumpdate: The Donald Finds A Diplomat But Loses A Prime Minister
President Trump seems to really hit his stride on Wednesdays. Here’s how the Donald fought the Hump Day lag this week:
President Trump named former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State. Trump’s pick was cleared for full Senate approval in a 56-43 vote, but not with a Democratic boycott. The vote came after Senate Republicans changed the rules in order to approve Trump’s nominees for health and treasury. Tillerson faced intense scrutiny, not just for his ties to Russia, but because he, too, has never held political office.
However, you could say Tillerson worked in international affairs. After all, he’s worked tirelessly to get rid of section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank reforms, which requires drilling and mining companies to disclose any payments they make to foreign governments. If Exxon Mobil did in fact bribe foreign leaders as alleged, that counts as “foreign policy” experience, right?
Democrats might be upset with the choice but Trump was in need of diplomatic advice. Over the weekend, Trump’s conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on receiving refugees became so heated, Trump abruptly hung up on him. POTUS then shamed the deal the US currently has with Australia in a tweet. Earlier this week, however, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration would honor the agreement, whereby the US receives refugees currently in Australia. Spicer said the refugees would be submitted to “extreme vetting.”
So you could say it was a busy day for President Trump. Perhaps that’s why he totally forgot that Frederick Douglass was dead. Although the abolitionist and American hero has been dead well over a century, Trump told Americans in his speech to kick off Black History Month that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” That usage of the present perfect tense raised a few eyebrows, so a reporter asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer what Trump could have meant. Spicer, indeed, confirmed that neither of them really knew Douglass was dead. Spicer explained Trump’s language by saying,“I think he wants to highlight the contributions that [Douglass] has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he is going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.” This is why we need Black History Month.
KEEPING OUR EYE ON
Ukraine: Another surge in clashes in east Ukraine left up to 19 people dead and thousands without water and heating in freezing winter temperatures. Reporters fear a humanitarian crisis as Ukraine experiences the worst violence it has seen in a year. Since the conflict turned violent roughly three years ago, it has cost more than 10,000 lives.
California: University of California at Berkeley had to cancel a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos, right-wing editor of Breitbart News, due to student protesters clashing with riot police. At least one fire was started while students rallied outside, prompting police to fire tear gas and put the campus on lockdown.
Romania: A crowd of at least 150,000 people came to the capital in Bucharest to participate in one of the country’s largest anti-government protests ever, while rallies took place in other towns across the country. Protesters were against Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu’s recent decree that could free dozens of officials jailed for corruption.
SPONSORED NUTS: CASPER
One of the silent casualties of the 20th century was the siesta, that beautiful day time nap. Did you know that Einstein used to take frequent daytime naps to fuel his genius? So did Churchill, Da Vinci and Kennedy. So, in honor of this long lost tradition we’ve partnered with Casper to help you nap better and maybe you might just discover your own theory of relativity.
LOOSE NUTS: FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
Johnny Depp May Have Blasted Hunter S. Thompson’s Ashes Out Of A Cannon
According to a lawsuit filed against Johnny Depp by his ex-managers, Depp spent $3 million just to honor one of his favorite writers by blasting his ashes from a cannon. The massive piece of artillery was placed atop a 153-foot tower shaped like a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button, as Hunter S. Thompson presumably would have wanted. But perhaps the most bizarre aspect of this ceremony was the audience who participated. The funeral was attended by then-Senator John Kerry, Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Benici del Toro, Sean Penn, Josh Hartnett, Ralph Steadman and others. Sure, the gesture cost millions, but he had to go out with a bang.
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