Quick Quotes

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ((D., N.Y.) on whether or not the Senate should vote on a new Supreme Court Justice before the November election.

"President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KS) on his intentions following the passing of Justice Ginsberg.

"If true, the appalling conditions described in the whistleblower complaint...are a staggering abuse of human rights."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for investigation into the complaint that alleges “high rates of hysterectomies done to immigrant women.”

"Reminder - It is impossible to know how deep the water is just by looking at it."

The National Weather Service warning those in the path of the slow-moving Hurricane Sally of “historic life-threatening flooding.”

“As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning for getting full justice for Breonna."

Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, on the historic decision by Louisville leaders to approve a $12 million dollar wrongful death settlement and enact police reforms.

“Trees that are burned, even in severe fire intensity, about almost 90 percent of the redwoods do survive and I’m expecting that’s what we’re going to see here.”

Ecologist Joanne Kerbavaz, California State Parks, on the effects of a wildfire that burned nearly the entire Big Basin park – home to historic redwoods..

Stories
Quote of the Day

“My mother told me to be a lady, and for her that meant be your own person, be independent.”

Quote of the Day

Called the court's "feminist icon," Justice Ginsberg began her law career fighting for gender equality, and in 1993 became the 2nd woman on the Supreme Court (there's been 4 of 114). Her mother, who passed away before she graduated from high school inspired her education and drive. Justice Ginsberg died at age 87.

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Quote of the Day

“I was given an opportunity and sometimes that’s all you need to prove yourself.”

Quote of the Day

Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne received the nation's highest military honor for helping to rescue approx. 70 hostages from ISIS terrorists. He is the second living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq. He named his son Josh after his teammate, Master Sgt., Joshua Wheeler, who was killed during the operation.

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Now You Know

“CUTIES”

A Netflix film *intended* to spark conversation is doing precisely that. Now some lawmakers want it removed.

Why the controversy?

Now You Know

About “Cuties”

  • Sept 9: Netflix released the film about an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in Paris with her strict Muslim family.
  • In the film, the girl is torn between her traditional upbringing and a dance troupe she joins which engages in highly sensual dance moves (ex: pre-teens twerking in crop tops).
  • Some criticize the film’s “hyper-sexualization” of young girls. Others applaud it for highlighting the issue.
Now You Know

About U.S. & Netflix Parental Ratings

  • “Cuties” is rated TV-MA under the 1996 federal rating system, meaning its intended to be viewed by adults / may be unsuitable for children under 17.
  • TV-MA films contain graphic violence, explicit sex and/or crude language.
  • Films rated TV-MA are given an adult maturity rating on Netflix. Parents may set parental control settings on Netflix to restrict viewing of adult-rated titles.
Now You Know

“Our girls see that the more a woman is sexualized on social media, the more she’s successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. And, yeah, it’s dangerous.”

"Cuties" director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré, who said her own upbringing inspired her to make the film to "sound an alarm and say, 'We need to protect our children.'"
Now You Know

“…this film does immeasurable damage to all of us fighting to keep our children safe.”

The Attorneys General of Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, & Texas want the film removed from Netflix because they say it "shows the creation and publication of child pornography" and is counterproductive to the fight against human trafficking. Netflix has defended the film as "social commentary."
Now You Know

CUTIES CANCELLATIONS? After it premiered, #CancelNetflix went viral on Twitter. Within three days, Netflix's cancellation rate multiplied by 8x compared to August, according to one data analytics firm. What do you think is the right call?

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On This Day

September 17, 1787

U.S. Constitution Signed

Today honors America’s founding document – the world’s longest surviving written government charter.

 

On This Day

“It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved;”

George Washington submitting the final draft of the Constitution to the Continental Congress, Sept. 17, 1787. He highlighted the challenge of bringing states together with different "habits, and particular interests" but credited "concessions", "mutual deference" and the spirit of friendship for the final product.
On This Day

Constitutional Convention

  • Who: 55 delegates attended the Convention, but only 39 signed.
  • When: Written during four-month Convention (May 25 – Sept 17, 1787).
  • Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Why: Created “a new form of government” ~ divided power between the states with a federal government with executive, judicial, & legislative branches.
On This Day

WHAT IS CELEBRATED

  • 1940: Congress designated “I Am An American Day” as the 3rd Sunday in May to honor new citizens.
  • 1952: Congress moved date to Sept. 17th, naming it “Citizenship Day.”
  • 2004: Congress designated Sept. 17th *BOTH* “Constitution Day & Citizenship Day” to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

 

On This Day

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The first ten amendments are known as the the Bill of Rights.
  • The Constitution has been amended 27 times, most recently in 1992, adding one of the original amendments that didn’t make the cut in 1791, regarding federal lawmaker pay.
  • Only one amendment was repealed. In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, and put an end to Prohibition.
On This Day

THE NEXT AMENDMENT? In 2019 Congress held the first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years. The amendment, passed by Congress in 1972 would have made gender equality a fundamental right, but ultimately, it was not added to the Constitution. See our source page for more.

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Current Events

Middle East Peace?

The White House negotiates historic peace deals between key Middle Eastern nations while the U.S. president puts one of the region’s major power brokers on notice for an alleged assassination plot.

Current Events

“Abraham Accords”

  • White House facilitated “pacts” between Middle East countries that previously had no formal diplomatic relations (officials don’t talk/meet).
  • Nations involved: Israel & United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel and Bahrain.
  • First significant peace deal in decades. Republicans and Democrats both support the pacts that Pres. Trump says will lead to the “dawn of a new Middle East.”
Current Events

Why It Matters:

  • Traditionally of opposing politics, the Jewish state of Israel & Muslim nations of UAE, Bahrain have only worked together “unofficially” or not at all.
  • Pacts open opportunity for potential cooperation – economically (trade), politically and beyond.
  • Other Arab nations may join, pulling together a new regional alliance that would be a direct affront to Iran (Muslim nation vehemently anti-Israel).

 

Current Events

“The UAE both betrayed the world of Islam, and [it] betrayed Arab nations and regional countries, and [it] also betrayed Palestine.”

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. An Arab-Israeli alliance brokered by the U.S. threatens Iran, creating a potential bloc that leaves Iran - a country that relied on anti-Israel sentiment to unify with its Arab neighbors - on the sidelines.
Current Events

Something To Consider:

  • How the pacts evolve from this point on remains TBD.
  • Foreign ministers – in contrast to heads of state PM Netanyahu and Pres. Trump – of UAE and Bahrain signed the pacts at the White House.
  • Rockets launched from Gaza (a Palestinian territory) into Israel on the same day of the White House signing ceremony. No damage reported. Gaza receives support from Iran and UAE.

 

Current Events

“Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!”

Pres. Trump, on Twitter, on the eve of the historic peace deal ceremony with UAE, Israel and Bahrain. In a previous tweet, the President cited "press reports... Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani."
Current Events

The pacts are called the "Abraham Accords" for Abraham, a key figure in 3 of the world's major religions: Judaism, Islam, & Christianity. One of the most obvious signs of change due to the deals: Plane flights between the nations, and the possibility for embassies in each other's nations. Who to watch for? Saudi Arabia.

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Now You Know

A newly-amended California sex offender law steps into the national spotlight.

What’s Going On

Why It Matters

Now You Know

BACKGROUND

  • Federal law requires that every state maintain a sex offender registry, but like all criminal laws, sex offender registry requirements vary by state.
  • State laws differ regarding WHO must register, how LONG they must register, & the TYPE of information about sex offenders publicly available.
  • This month California amended its sex offender law with respect to who is *required* to register as a sex offender.
Now You Know

FORMER LAW

In cases when the victim was 14 or older and the offender was not more than 10 years older than the victim:

  • Judges had discretionary authority to decide whether an adult convicted of having vaginal sex with a minor was required to register as a sex offender.
  • Adults convicted of having oral or anal sex with a minor were automatically required to register as a sex offender.
Now You Know

NEW LAW

In cases when the victim is 14 or older and the offender is not more than 10 years older than the victim:

  • Judges have discretion to decide whether an adult convicted of having any sex (vaginal, oral, anal) with a minor is required to register as a sex offender.

The new law does NOT apply to victims under 14 years of age.

 

Now You Know

“I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense.”

CA assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D). Under the newly-amended law, no offender is *automatically* required to register as a sex offender *when* the victim is 14 or older and the offender is not more than 10 years older than the victim; critics say it's legalizing pedophilia.
Now You Know

“It’s appalling that in 2020, California continues to discriminate against LGBTQ people…”

CA State Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who introduced the bill, says the previous law did not treat heterosexuals and homosexuals equally, forcing judges in some scenarios to put LGBTQ young people (for example a 19-year-old male engaging in sex with a 17-year-old male) on the sex offender registry. He argues the amended law gives judges more discretion.
Now You Know

The nation's most populous state can serve as a bellwether for future state laws. CA was the first to legalize medical marijuana (1996), and became the second state to legalize same-sex marriage (2008). In 2016, the state's voters -- along w/Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada -- legalized recreational marijuana.

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Quote of the Day

“When Americans lend a hand to one another, nothing is impossible. We’re not about what happened on 9/11. We’re about what happened on 9/12.”

Quote of the Day

Parness founded New York Says Thank You in the aftermath of September 11 to provide help to communities specifically in the wake of disasters. Since 2003, the nonprofit organization has sent 700,000+ volunteers to help rebuild communities around the world.

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On This Day

September 11, 2001

Why We Never Forget

What to Always Remember

What To Know:
America’s War On Terror

 

On This Day

“Jules, this is Brian—listen, I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked. If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know I absolutely love you, I want you to do good, go have good times, same to my parents and everybody, and I just totally love you, and I’ll see you when you get there. Bye, babe. I hope I call you.”

Brian Sweeney calling his wife Julie from United Flight 175
On This Day

1 Hour & 17 Minutes

8:46 a.m.: American Flight 11 crashes into WTC’s North Tower

9:03 a.m.: United Flight 175 crashes into WTC’s South Tower

9:37 a.m.: American Flight 77 crashes into Pentagon

10:03 a.m.: United Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, PA

On This Day

THE VICTIMS

Nearly 3,000 people died on Sept. 11

  • 2,753 in New York (including 343 firefighters & 23 police)
  • 184 at the Pentagon
  • 40 aboard Flight 93

Approximately 500 police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics have since died from 9/11 related illnesses in NYC alone.

On This Day

THE TERRORISTS

  • 15 of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Others from Egypt, UAE (2), Lebanon (1) and Egypt (1).
  • 9/11 mastermind & al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. in 2011.
  • Trial for five men accused of helping plot the attacks, incl. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is set for January 2021. They were captured in Pakistan & are held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
On This Day

THE AFTERMATH

  • October 7, 2001: Pres. Bush announced attacks on al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan by the U.S. with allies
  • 2003: U.S. & allies invaded Iraq.
  • Since 9/11, more than 2.7M U.S. service members have fought in the “War on Terror.” More than 5,400 killed in action, nearly half in Afghanistan. Tens of thousands injured.
  • The post 9/11 wars estimated to have cost American taxpayers $6.7T.
On This Day

THE LATEST

  • February: US & Taliban signed an “agreement for bringing peace” that *could* lead to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
  • Sept. 10: Pres. Trump: “a lot of progress” in Afghanistan, referencing no U.S. deaths since early Feb. (4 U.S. soldiers killed in action *so far* this year). Pres. Trump spoke about lower troop levels in Afghanistan, and said the U.S. military is “pretty much out” of Iraq & Syria.
On This Day

“The start of these talks marks a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to bring an end to four decades of war and bloodshed… Immense sacrifice and investment by the United States, our partners, and the people of Afghanistan have made this moment of hope possible.”

Sec. of State Pompeo will travel to Qatar this wknd for peace talks btwn Taliban & Afghan gov't. Questions remain about road ahead & if peace is possible.
On This Day

Wreaths Across America is encouraging Americans to wave a flag for one minute at four significant times on the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11 following a tradition started by 3 American women in Maine. It's an incredible story ~ Learn more on our source page.

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Current Events

“Temporary Pause”

One of the world’s largest vaccine trials aiming to combat COVID-19 halts after “an unexplained illness.”

What To Know

Current Events

The Basics

  • Vaccine invented by Oxford University who partnered with a U.K.- based drug company, AstraZeneca.
  • Clinical trials ongoing worldwide: U.K., Brazil, South Africa & America. U.S. Phase III trial (final stage) began on August 31st for 30,000 Americans.
  • Vaccine initially showed promising immune response, “no safety concerns”, some flu-like side effects during first trials.

 

Current Events

What Happened

We don’t know exactly but one participant developed an “unexplained illness.”

AstraZeneca: “In large clinical trials, illnesses will happen by chance and must be independently reviewed.”

New York Times report: participant developed inflammation of the spinal cord, often brought on by viral infections.

Current Events

How Vaccines Work

  • Not all vaccines are the same.
  • AstraZeneca vaccine uses a viral “carrier” (a common cold virus in chimpanzees) to deliver a small amount of SARS-COV-2 genetic material, to produce an immune response.
  • Moderna & Pfizer vaccines use manufactured SARS-COV-2 genetic material to spark an immune response (mRNA vaccine). No mRNA vaccines have been approved for human use.
Current Events

BIG PICTURE

  • Dozens of potential vaccines are in clinical trials *worldwide* ~ 100+ preclinical development. In the U.S., three vaccines are in final stage trials.
  • More than one vaccine *may* eventually combat COVID-19.
  • We are witnessing a historic race for vaccine development, both for the speed of trials and the type of vaccine itself (an approved mRNA vaccine would be the first of its kind).
Current Events

We have no way of knowing *if* the participant is reacting to the vaccine or separately ill. While we wait for more info, this once again puts focus on safety/efficacy in the race to a vaccine. This vaccine was thought to be a front-runner. TBD as to what happens next.

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On This Day

September 7, 1813



 

Congress officially recognized the namesake of “Uncle Sam.”

On This Day

Was Uncle Sam Real?

  • Although best known from the U.S. Army’s “I Want You” posters of World War I, the origins of Uncle Sam date back to the War of 1812.
  • New York meat packer Samuel Wilson fed hungry troops. His meat barrels of beef & pork were stamped with a “U.S.” but soldiers called it “Uncle Sam’s.”
  • Sep 7, 1961: Congress recognized Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.”
On This Day

How You See Him:

  • Over the years, many artists shaped Uncle Sam’s look, which began as a “congenial, folksy, older man.”
  • Cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized him with white beard and stars & stripes suit.
  • Artist James Montgomery Flagg’s 1917 “I Want You For The U.S. Army” depiction showed him stern and muscular. The famous poster was used during both World War I and World War II.
On This Day

Thomas Nast

  • German-born American raised in New York City during mid-19th century.
  • Known as one of the first political cartoonists.
  • Popularized the donkey as the symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as the symbol for the Republican Party.
  • Also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus.
On This Day

Why does Uncle Sam remain popular? Here's one theory: "Uncle Sam is rolling up his sleeves. He's going to go pound on somebody." Does that fit your image of America? Read more on why Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty both compete for the leading role for American symbolism.

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Current Events

New Jobs Report

August Unemployment: 8.4%

Out of double digits, but not out of the woods.

Current Events

3 Quick Facts: Jobs Report

  • Better Than Expected Unemployment: Economists thought the unemployment rate would be closer to 10% but hiring was better than predicted.
  • Job Growth: 238,000 temporary jobs added by the government for the U.S. Census. Retailers added 249,000 jobs.
  • Hiring Slowed: Economy added 1.4 M jobs – that was down from July when it added 1.7M.
Current Events

“We’re in a very deep hole, and we’re working our way out of it. We continue to see very good improvement in the labor market, but I think the improvement is going to be slower going forward.”

Economist Gus Faucher PNC Financial Services Group. The Labor Dept. credited "resumption of economic activity" for the job growth in August, suggesting the driver is rehiring rather than new job creation.
Current Events

Something To Consider

HISTORIC: Previous to the pandemic, America had never recorded more than 700,000 people filing for unemployment benefits in one week. The 4-week moving average hovers under 1M.

LAYOFFS: United Airlines, Bed Bath & Beyond, & MGM Resorts recently announced major layoffs, sparking concern this reflects a permanent, rather than temporary, adjustment.

Current Events

The unemployment rate in January 2020 was 3.6% - the lowest in more than 50 years. The economy has shed more than 22M jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic - about half have been recovered. Story to watch? Lawmakers return to D.C. after Labor Day at odds over additional economic stimulus, incl. additional benefits for the unemployed. 

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On This Day

Why (and how) Labor Day became a federal holiday.

On This Day

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

The U.S. Department of Labor on the significance of Labor Day.
On This Day

ORIGINS

  • Holiday’s founder debated, but labor unions advocated for it for many years before the movement gained steam.
  • 1880s: Celebrated first as a local or state holiday. First Labor Day parade took place in NYC. 23 states celebrated it before it became a federal holiday.
  • 1894: Pres. Cleveland made it a holiday to celebrate the “nobility” of work and givie the working man “a reasonable amount of rest and recreation.”
On This Day

“Lager beer kegs … mounted in every conceivable place.”

One description of the first Labor Day Parade in New York City, which took place in 1882. Some ten thousand labor union workers were present. to celebrate their trades. The parade ended with speeches, cigars, and (ahem) beverages.
On This Day

“Of course you can wear white after Labor Day, and it makes perfect sense to do so in climates where September’s temperatures are hardly fall-like… The true interpretation is ‘wear what’s appropriate—for the weather, the season, or the occasion.'”

The Emily Post Institute's take on the "no white after Labor Day rule". The rule's origins aren't entirely clear, but it likely originated among wealthy urban dwellers in the early 1900s.
On This Day

This year is the 126th year Labor Day will be celebrated as a federal holiday. It's one of only ten and the last one of the 19th century. Veterans Day, Columbus Day, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday became federal holiday during the 20th century. Some believe the federal gov't should make Election Day a federal holiday

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