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Week In Review

 

 

 

 

June 10 – 14

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Quote of the Day

“Being brave, for me, means not giving up on the things that make me feel alive.”

Quote of the Day

Grunewald, known as Gabe, was a top competitive U.S. runner who, despite a long battle with cancer, continued to compete in her sport and inspire others, including HGTV's Chip Gaines, to do the same, while raising money for cancer research. She died Tuesday at the age of 32.

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On This Day

June 14, 1777

 

 

 

 

The Continental Congress approved the design of the American flag.
The maker remains a mystery.

On This Day

The Final Resolution:

“… the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Red: valor
White: purity
Blue:perseverance

On This Day

Who Made The First Flag?

  • It remains one of the great mysteries of American history.
  • Common lore suggests Betsy Ross, a seamstress in Philadelphia, the city where the Continental Congress met.
  • Surprisingly, no facts support or document this story.
  • Historians generally agree Ross likely knew Gen. Washington & sewed flags in her family’s shop.
On This Day

Pres. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th "Flag Day" in 1916, but it didn't become an official day until 1949 when Pres. Harry Truman signed it into law. Why does the flag get folded 13 times? Each fold has a meaning. Read more:

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Quick Quotes

“I wanted to make history here.”

Pro-Basketball player Kawhi Leonard plays for the Toronto Raptors and helped the team win their first NBA Championship ever, bringing the title of the American-based league to Canada. Leonard was awarded Finals MVP, becoming one of the few players to win this award for multiple teams (he also won it in 2014 when he played for the San Antonio Spurs).
Quick Quotes

“I’m not aware of anything in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran or anything else that suggests you should not get vaccinated.”

NY Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D), the sponsor of a bill signed into law ending the religious exemption for vaccine requirements for schoolchildren. NY is the epicenter of one of the country’s largest measles outbreaks, concentrated in Orthodox Jewish communities. 45 states allow religious exemptions for vaccines; many are debating their exemption policies.
Quick Quotes

“Her actions…erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”

U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog agency, recommending Pres. Trump fire adviser Kellyanne Conway due to repeated violations of a law that prohibits executive branch workers from engaging in political activity, such as disparaging politicians of a competing party while speaking in her official WH role. This is reportedly the first time the office has recommended the removal of a WH officials over these violations.
Quick Quotes

“These people want to work. They want the best outcome.”

Kim Kardashian West at the White House announcing a ride-sharing initiative with Lyft that will provide former inmates transportation to job interviews. Last year, Kardashian West advocated for the release of a woman serving a life sentence on non-violent drug charges, bringing attention to the White House’s criminal justice reform - an issue with bipartisan support. The First Step Act, passed last year, reduced sentences for non-violent offenders.
Quick Quotes

“The most important job I’ll ever have is being a mom to my kids and it’s time for us to go home. Thank you Mr. President!”

WH Press Sec. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave her role at the end of the month, becoming the latest high-level White House departure. Pres. Trump said she’d make a “fantastic” governor of Arkansas (following in her father’s footsteps); Sanders has yet to comment about her political future.
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Current Events

“A CLEAR THREAT”

America accuses Iran of attacking two oil tankers near a crucial waterway in the Middle East and threatening worldwide peace.

Current Events

Location Matters:

  • Two attacks Thurs. happened near a narrow waterway in the Middle East called the Strait of Hormuz:“the world’s most sensitive oil transportation choke point.”
  • Approx. 20% of all the oil in the world moves through this area.
  • Why It Matters: Disruption in oil trade there can impact prices for everyone, everywhere.
Current Events

Backstory:

  • April: U.S. pulls waivers given to countries to buy Iranian oil further enforcing U.S, sanctions, & further pressuring Iran’s economy. Iran promises retaliation.
  • May: 4 oil tankers reportedly attacked near Strait of Hormuz; oil pipelines attacked in Saudi Arabia. Rockets fired at U.S. embassy in Baghdad (later evacuated). U.S. blames Iran.
Current Events

“Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.”

Sec. of State Mike Pompeo says Iran is lashing out because of economic sanctions, enforced in reaction to Iranian terrorist activity and their further pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Current Events

“Iran stands ready to play an active and constructive role in ensuring the security of strategic maritime passages as well as promoting peace, stability and security in the region.”

Iran’s U.N. Mission. Iran denies any wrongdoing and accuses America of "intimidation and malign behavior.” This week, Iran accused the U.S. of waging "economic war" and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei rejected the possibility of diplomacy with the U.S.
Current Events

One of the ships attacked Thursday was Japanese owned. Japan's Prime Minister was wrapping up a historic trip to Iran; the first Japanese leader to meet with Iranian leadership in decades, in part of diplomatic efforts with the U.S.

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Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk
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Quick Quotes

“So, kids…Cheers!”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holding up a glass of lemonade while signing a bill into law protecting the right of Texas children to sell lemonade on private property. Local laws had intentionally or unintentionally prevented kids from doing so. Several years ago, police shut down a lemonade stand for violating the state health code. The bill passed through both the Texas house and senate unanimously.
Quick Quotes

“If ever there were a case that should be decided on the basis of a true and complete record, it is this one.”

ACLU lawyer Dale Ho asking the Supreme Court to delay a decision on a case heard in April on whether a citizenship question can appear on the 2020 Census. At stake: millions of dollars of federal money allocated to states based on population data. Critics of the law say the White House wants to deter respondents; supporters say the question will add to accuracy.
Quick Quotes

“This man has been absolutely crushed.”

Lawyer Robert Fisher representing a former sailing coach at Stanford University accused of taking bribes in one of the largest college cheating scandals in U.S. history. John Vandemoer is the first offender sentenced in the scandal. For his role, he received a one-day prison sentence, probation (incl. house arrest) and a fine. He also lost his job, healthcare, and university housing.
Quick Quotes

“We will reach the point soon, most likely this year, when more will have died from 9/11-related illnesses than on 9/11 itself.”

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asking the Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate to consider a bill on additional funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Comedian Jon Stewart joined by first responders testified before Congress on Tuesday. House lawmakers moved the bill forward, though a vote in the House and Senate is TBD.
Quick Quotes

“…they are being interrogated and we will continue deepening the investigation to get to the truth about what happened.”

Dominican Republic Chief Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodriguez on the arrest of 6 people in connection to the shooting of former Red Sox All-Star David Ortiz. Ortiz was shot while at a night club in his native Dominican Republic. The beloved baseball player was transported to Boston, where he remains in intensive care. The motive of the shooting is unknown.
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Health

A Coffee “Cap”? 

 

 

A recent study says drinking six or more cups a day may negatively affect your heart health, BUT drinking too little may also do the same.

Health

The Study

  • Researchers at the University of South Australia examined health data of nearly 350,000 adults ages 37 – 73 and focused on a caffeine-metabolizing gene.
  • RESULTS:  People who drank 6 or more daily cups of (caffeinated) coffee had a 22% increased risk of heart disease vs. those who drank 1 – 2 cups daily.
Health

More or Less Java?

Compared to those who drank 1 – 2 cups of caffeinated coffee daily, researchers found:

  • Non-coffee drinkers had a 11% increased risk of heart disease
  • Decaf coffee drinkers had a 7% increased risk of heart disease

[1 cup = 8 fluid ounces]

Health

“Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous … but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being. We also know that risk of cardiovascular disease increases with high blood pressure, a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption.”

University of South Australia professor Elina Hyppönen
Health

Also Worth Noting …

  • A study released in 2018 of nearly 500,000 British adults found that coffee drinkers were 10 to 15% less likely to die (compared to non-coffee drinkers) during a 10-year follow-up period.
  • A 2017 University of Colorado study found that coffee drinkers are 7% less likely to develop cardiovascular failure compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Health

The average American drinks more than 1 cup each day, according to the most USDA recent information. A venti ice coffee from Starbucks is 24 ounces -- that's three cups.

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On This Day

June 12, 1924

Pres. George H.W. Bush was born.

 

 

 

America’s 41st president died last November & received an honor today seldom given to someone so soon after they have passed.

On This Day

A *Forever* Honor

  • On what would’ve been his 95th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service revealed a Pres. George H.W. Bush *forever* stamp.
  • This is an exception to a USPS rule that no one will be honored earlier than 3 yrs after his/her death.
  • Special twist to this news: Pres. Bush was a prolific letter writer to friends, family & beyond.
On This Day

Did you know YOU can nominate someone for a stamp? You just have to make the request in writing. You cannot nominate a living person and the USPS asks you submit a nomination 3 year prior to a potential issuance date (for research). Who would you nominate for a stamp?

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Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk
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Quick Quotes

“We were part of showing the world that we would never back down from terrorism, and that we could all work together. No races. No colors. No politics.”

Ret. NYPD Detective & 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez testifying in front of Congress Tuesday for more funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) for those injured, sickened or killed during 9/11 or its aftermath at Ground Zero, and their families. Alvarez suffers from cancer related to his work after the terror attacks.
Quick Quotes

“It’s an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution.”

Jon Stewart testifying in front of a House Judiciary subcommittee, criticizing the attendance by lawmakers and their attention to permanently fund the VCF program until 2090 (through the potential lifespan of the first responders and their children). The $7B fund is running out of money, meaning less or no compensation for thousands of claims. The bill, introduced last October, hasn’t advanced.
Quick Quotes

“All these empty chairs, that’s because it’s for the full committee. It’s not because of disrespect or lack of attention to you.”

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) responding to Jon Stewart’s criticism. Only about half of the 14-member subcommittee was reportedly present. The bill will be voted on in committee Wednesday. It’s expected to pass and proceed to a full House vote after its “scored” (an estimate for its cost). A companion bill will also have to pass in the Senate.
Quick Quotes

“The hot and mostly dry weather will increase the risk for wildfires.”

AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rathbun on the heatwave in the western United States – including California, a state that suffered from the most destructive, deadly wildfire in its history last year. Cities like San Francisco are seeing temperatures of 100 degrees – a rarity in the Bay Area and a first in the city for the month of June.
Quick Quotes

“Lives are at risk because we do not have enough supplies.”

President of the Red Cross in the state of Zulia, Venezuela, Carlos Montiel, who says international aid organizations are severely limited because of actions by the Venezuelan gov't itself, including reportedly trying to spread false information about charities feeding the hungry. Gas shortages, power outages, stolen aid, and a failing economy has led a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
Quick Quotes

“Japan wants to do as much as possible towards peace and stability in the region.”

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe before becoming the first Japanese leader to visit Iran in 40 years. He's meeting Wednesday with Iran's leaders amid rising tensions between the U.S. & Iran over a myriad of variables, including Iran's status as a state sponsor of terror and the future of the nuclear deal; the U.S. pulled out of the deal & Iran wants new terms with the remaining countries.
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Current Events

How Far Does Your Liberty Go?

 

 

 

Is Death A Right?
Should It Be?

Current Events

Backstory

We’ve looked at laws impacting the very beginning of life – Here’s a look at laws impacting the end.

  • “Death With Dignity” laws focus on those who are terminally ill and want some control over their final days.
  • Maine is the latest state to decide whether it will legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
Current Events

The Maine Bill

  • The Democrat-controlled legislature passed the bill – now it’s up to the Democrat governor to either veto it or sign it into law.
  • Under the bill, terminally ill & mentally competent adult residents could obtain a fatal dose of prescription drugs from their physician after three requests, two waiting periods, and a second doctor’s opinion.
Current Events

BIGGER PICTURE

  • Oregon was the first state to pass a death with dignity law in 1997.
  • Since 2008, six other states (CA, CO, HI, NJ, WA, VT) & DC have passed similar laws.
  • Requirements, application, and safeguards vary by state.
  • Statistics show not all patients use their prescription.
  • At least 18 states considered similar bills so far this year.
Current Events

“This is a bill that’s about choice. It’s about the end of life because life includes death and when people are close to death they want choices in how they’re doing to end their life.”

The bill's sponsor Rep. Patricia Hymanson (D) on why the bill matters. She says the bill has safeguards to protect those suffering with dementia, mental illness, and to prevent coercion.
Current Events

“I think life is valuable and is precious and should be preserved till the very end.”

Maine state Sen. Lisa Keim (R) on why she can't support the bill. Other opponents say legislators should focus on focus on improving end-of-life care (ex: hospice) and cite fears of unintended consequences, like the elderly feeling pressured to end their lives due to financial restraints on family.
Current Events

A similar bill was vetoed in Maine years ago. Even if the governor vetoes this bill, a voter initiative legalizing the practice could make it onto Maine's 2020 ballot. What do YOU think? Should YOU have the right to end YOUR life?

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