A SmartHER Veterans Day
The history of Veterans Day & why it matters with a
Will a longer school day lead to happier families
(and smarter kids)?
“It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families.”
One recent study in 2015 looked at longer days at school with SHORTER weeks. Some districts have tried this in rural areas or as a cost-saving measure.
5th graders attending school 4 days per week instead of 5 showed a “statistically significant” increase in math scores with the shorter weeks, and no detriment to reading scores.
Sen. Harris' plan includes asking the Dept of Education to study the results of schools that receive the grants for extended days to see if the longer school day benefited students and families. What do you think about this idea?
Will a new twist on an old law expand rules to collect the DNA of hundreds of thousands of people?
Proposed rule would require DNA collection by federal agencies for any person who has been either:
“Make no mistake about it: As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”
Secret Talks, Trips & Moves…
at the site of America’s longest war.
The Latest From Afghanistan
“Unbeknownst to the public as part of our optimization . . . we reduced our authorized strength by 2,000 here.”
Number of U.S. forces the American military believes it needs in order to maintain current counter terrorism operations in Afghanistan (and keep the country from harboring terrorists who attack the U.S. and our allies).
Peace talks between the U.S. & Taliban stopped last month after another American soldier was killed in action (reportedly by the Taliban). Talks will reportedly resume in China by the end of the month. This is the deadliest year for American soldiers in Afghanistan since 2014.
Two NASA astronauts take part in the first all-female spacewalk ever.
The Astronauts: Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
MISSION: Replacing a “faulty power unit.”
NASA says unit is not an essential piece of equipment for everyday power to International Space Station but still important (we humbly agree).
“We’re part of the team. It’s really nice to see how far we’ve come.”
NASA wants to send the first woman to the moon in less than 5 years. NASA had scheduled an all-female spacewalk earlier this year but the correct size spacesuit for one female astronaut wasn't available. Read more about the ongoing controversy over spacesuit size:
The President says he’s stopping America’s endless wars. His critics say he’s setting up the next big one.
U.S. partnered with Kurds to combat ISIS in Syria; U.S. provided weapons & support (equipment, $$). Kurds provided reliable boots on the ground.
Kurds: 30M people living in a swath of land that straddles Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran & Armenia. Kurds are diverse, with their own distinct language & culture.
“The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST!”
“We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”
Reminder: Pres. Trump abruptly announced full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria last Dec.; Sec. of Def. James Mattis resigned shortly after. The President ended up leaving some U.S. troops in Syria.
How (and why) America can now command its key air assets in the Middle East remotely from U.S. soil.
Al Udeid Air Base
What: Main point of command for all of U.S. air power in the Middle East. Largest U.S. airbase in the region.
Why: Positions hundreds of planes, drones, fighter jets and as many as 10,000 troops strategically in the Persian Gulf.
Historic First: On the last Sunday of Sept., instead of controlling hundreds of air assets from the Middle East, U.S. command & control operations moved to a South Carolina air base.
The U.S. military plans on shifting control to S.C. base (or elsewhere) periodically; has goal of doing so routinely, even daily, in the future.
Having a “remote” Middle East command center for air assets gives America a “back up” to its regional base.
“…we can’t afford to have a single point of failure.”
Maj. Gen. Chance Saltzman
“Iran has indicated multiple times through multiple sources their intent to attack U.S. forces.”
Al Udeid is pronounced "All You Deed" - Col. Coleman who overseas the base told The Washington Post (granted access to observe the remote command operation): "Eventually I'd like to be able to do this from Starbucks."
The maker of the Barbie has released a new doll that allows children to choose their own design down to the gender: girl…boy…or neither.
“My whole philosophy behind Barbie was that, through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented that a woman has choices.”
“Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.”
Despite overall U.S. toy sales declining last year, doll sales increased. Mattel's Barbie sales have continued to rise as the company offered a greater diversity of dolls. What do you think the future holds for the "Creatables"? Hit or miss?
The basics on the American President’s phone call to Ukraine and why it matters.
“I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of U.S. presidential elections. Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws — at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing.”
“I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair…There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
Did Pres. Trump solicit help from a foreign power to investigate a political opponent (VP Biden)?
Did he withhold aid (money and supplies) in order to force that investigation?
Either/both could be deemed impeachable offenses.
Why This Matters: Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry alleging Pres. Trump abused his presidential power. If he did, it could be considered an impeachable offense. If he didn't, the story effectively ends here.
A peek at a unique position at the White House with high-profile access to the Oval Office
(without the people’s approval).
“The Council’s role is advisory only. It recommends; it does not decide.”
President Trump's fourth national security advisor, Robert O'Brien, will field his own team that not only helps coordinate between different gov't agencies but also helps prioritize foreign policy objectives.
A surprise attack in Saudi Arabia ripples through the global economy and raises questions about all out war.
“It’s almost like an open season for a big attack.”
Global oil prices don’t just impact gas prices. Petroleum by-products are in almost everything we use head to toe: from makeup, plastic packaging, to shoes. The price of oil has a HUGE on the U.S. economy.
“A spike in oil prices has preceded nine out of 10 post-WWII recessions.”
While the U.S. Sec. of State blamed Iran for the attack, Pres. Trump tweeted America is "locked and loaded" awaiting confirmation. Iran has called accusations "maximum lies." World leaders will gather in NYC a week from today for annual diplomatic meetings at the U.N.
Created to keep us safe, is “the list” weaker today than ever before?
The list can stay, but it may change.
The very nature of the secret database ignites questions. Critics say it unfairly targets Muslims & doesn't prevent terror attacks. The gov't says it's updated daily & provides useful information sharing between security agencies. What do you think?