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Marking 9 Months Of COVID-19 in America

VIDEO: The impact of the pandemic on women.

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A closer look at the ripple effects of the pandemic for women - news on the economy, psychology and physical impact of the pandemic....and what we now know. WATCH HERE on our source page.

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SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG

 

 

 

HEF LIFE & LEGACY IN HER OWN WORDS

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“One lives not just for oneself, but for one’s community.”

Justice Ginsburg on how she defines a meaningful life. She graduated top of her class from Columbia Law School in 1959. She began working with the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1960s, and by 1971, she founded their Women’s Rights Project. She was appointed as federal judge in 1980 by Pres. Carter and joined the nation's highest court in 1993 after she was nominated by Pres. Clinton.
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“The attitude is ‘I’m going to surmount this – whatever it is.’”

Justice Ginsburg on how she approached adversity in her career, as a mother, and in her battles with cancer. Her perseverance, even in defeat, evoked change. In 2006, the Court ruled against a woman paid less than her male counterparts that sued for discrimination because she missed a deadline. In her dissent, she wrote that the Court failed to comprehend "the insidious way that women can be victims to discrimination." A 2009 federal law overturned the decision.
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“I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.”

Justice Ginsburg on her late husband and "best friend" Marty, who died in 2010. They met while attending Cornell University and went on to have two children, Jane & James. She credited her supportive husband with helping her reach potential and often cited the following advice given to her by her mother-in-law: "in every good marriage, it pays sometimes to be a little deaf.”
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“The judiciary – unlike the legislature, unlike the president – is a reactive institution. We have no agenda. We respond to the cases that are out there. Courts don’t initiate change. People do.”

Justice Ginsburg when asked how the Court contributed to the push for equal rights for women. She explained it's not the Court's role to *initiate* change but to trail behind society and respond to the people's will for changes by putting its "stamp of approval" on change already underway.
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“I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

Justice Ginsburg on the one decision by the Court she would want to overrule. In 2010, the Court ruled in Citizens United v. FEC that the First Amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing limits on political spending by corporations and unions, allowing unlimited campaign ad spending.
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“Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”

Justice Ginsburg on how she wants to be remembered. She later said she wants to be remembered in 100 years as "a judge who worked as hard as she could to the best of her ability to do the job right.”
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Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, she will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol before her burial in Arlington National Cemetery next week.

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White House COVID-19 Task Force

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY

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“The number of test positives is increasing. That is a dramatically important signature that everybody is doing their job.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House COVID-19 coordinator, explaining that the dramatic jump in positive test results is a good sign because it shows our increased ability to test more people. Dr. Birx noted 50% of the total U.S. cases are in three states and 10 counties.
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“The supply has greatly expanded.”

Vice President Mike Pence on the increased production of supplies, specifically masks. When asked about the discrepancy between reports of limited availability and the White House’s assurance of supply, Pres. Trump said "I cannot explain the gap" but that he's working closely with local governments to provide them with what they need.
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“Yes, there are drugs in the pipeline.”

Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, said the gov't is looking at drugs approved for other diseases to treat COVID-19 - including a clinical trial of chloroquine, a drug already approved for the treatment of malaria and an arthritis condition. Dr. Hahn said a vaccine will take at least a year, but that efforts are moving at record speed. He also stated, "I have great hope for how we're going to come out of this situation."
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“We’ll see what happens.”

Pres. Trump on whether more economic stimulus will be needed. On Wednesday, he signed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package into law which includes increased unemployment and nutrition assistance, free testing for COVID-19, and temporary paid leave for many of those sick or quarantined. Last week, the number of people filing for unemployment hit its highest level in the two years since Hurricane Harvey.
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"...if even 10 or 15 percent of the population decides that what they’re doing today is more important than the health and welfare of the rest of the Americans, they can spread the virus in a very strong way because you know the level of contagion." Dr. Deborah Birx

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COVID-19 UPDATE

The new guidelines and what we learned today

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“We’re announcing new guidelines for every American to follow over the next 15 days as we combat the virus… Work to engage in schooling from home when possible. Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Avoid discretionary travel. And avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, & public food courts.”

Pres. Trump said the newly strengthened 15-day guidelines apply to everyone, including the "young and healthy."
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“… the most important thing was if one person in the household became infected, the whole household self-quarantined for 14 days. Because that stops 100% of the transmission outside of the household.”

Dr. Deborah Birx explaining how the latest data from across the globe helped shape the new recommendation that people limit their social gatherings to no more than 10 people. She added that regardless of age, the sick should stay home.
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“We’re really entering a new phase of testing.”

Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D. on the new COVID-19 testing capabilities now that the government has access to a network of large commercial labs. The Admiral said "tens of thousands" of people will be able to get tested each day this week. He also said the barrier is no longer the amount of tests available but the mechanics of administering the test, noting healthcare providers must dress in full protective gear for each test.
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“So it’s happened; the first injection was today.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci announcing that a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine has officially begun. The Seattle trial will involve 45 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 who will receive two injections 28 days apart. Next, they'll be followed by researchers for a year to determine whether the vaccine induces a protective response. Dr. Fauci previously said a COVID-19 vaccine is at least a year away.
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“…  to be able to address this virus comprehensively that we cannot see, for which we don’t have a vaccine or a therapeutic. The only thing we have right now is the amazing ingenuity & compassion of the American people.”

Dr. Birx imploring the public to adhere to the new guidelines. She also said that millennials are the "core group that will stop this virus" because they often socialize and may spread the virus even without symptoms.
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Vice President Mike Pence referred to the new guidelines as "what our experts say is the best opportunity we have to lower the infection rate over the entire course of the coronavirus."

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ONLINE MATING…
the next “online dating”?

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Online Mating?

  • Websites like PollenTree & Modafamily offer a way for people eager to have a child to “hook up” with someone to have a baby and co-parent with *minus* the dating relationship.
  • The decision on how to make the baby (surrogate, artificial insemination, actual intercourse) is left up to the individuals.
  • The sites also offer a way for men and women looking to donate their sperm and eggs to find matches with parents.
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“They were starting to feel the pressure of the biological clock, still single, and looking for a partner they can have a child with, whether they were married or not.”

Modafamily's CEO Ivan Fatovic on why he created the site. He said he was inspired to do so by friends who put off having kids to focus on their careers.
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BIG PICTURE

  • Fewer Marriages: In 1978, nearly 60% of 18-to-34-year-olds were married. In 2018, just about 30% were married.
  • Fewer Babies: In 2018, the U.S. birthrate fell to a 32-year low, *BUT* birth rates rose for women in late 30s / early 40s.
  • $$$: According to latest gov’t data, it costs approx. $234,000 to raise a child.
  • FYI: America is the only developed country without a mandated paid leave policy for new moms.
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“It’s a controversial approach to creating a family and there are people who balk at it, but the idealized version of a man and woman falling in love is shortsighted.”

Jenica Andersen (38), who met the soon-to-be-father of her baby via PollenTree. They first talked on the phone, then met in person, and after going through medical testing and legal consultations, decided to become parents together. Twist of fate? They fell in love (not a promised result).
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LOVE American Style? Online mating may be new, but online dating is definitely not. 30% of adults have tried it and 12% have been in a committed relationship with someone they met online. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Are co-parenting websites the logical next step?

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Hanukkah

What you might not know about the best known Jewish holiday in America.

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Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew

  • The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.
  • After years of suffering oppression and religious persecution at the hands of Syrian Greeks, the Jews (the Macabees) took back their Temple.
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“Festival of Lights”

  • According to the story, that night they had one pot of oil thought to only last 1 day, but somehow it lasted 8, leaving them enough time to find more oil.
  • In modern times, the miracle is celebrated by lighting the menorah for eight nights and eating foods cooked in oil, like jelly doughnuts & latkes (potato pancakes).
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Hanukkah Today

  • Hanukkah, a relatively minor Jewish holiday compared to others, like Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is widely celebrated by Jewish people of all denominations across the globe.
  • Hanukkah has expanded its empire in recent years beyond menorahs and dreidels to include Hanukkah bushes (x-mas trees), the Mensch on a Bench, and house kits (gingerbread houses).
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ONE MORE THING: How do you spell it? Depends who you ask, but the following are all acceptable English spellings of the holiday beginning Sunday at sundown: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanuka, & Chanukkah.

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Podcast

Welcome To Our New Website! 

Pardon our mess.

The kinks aren’t out of the system yet. We’ve just transferred more than 2,000 posts to this new website. In the coming days, we promise our info will be current, clean and clutter-free (aka: “smarter”)

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Baby News

Every 8 seconds in America, a baby is born. Here’s the first baby of the SmartHER Era!

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SPECIAL REPORT

3 things to know about maternity leave in America.

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SPECIAL REPORT

 

 

3 Things To Know About Deportations in America Today

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VENEZUELA

The latest news from Venezuela: long gas lines, dying crops, and failing infrastructure.

It wasn’t always this way.

3 generations of native Venezuelans tell us what every American should know about one of the worst humanitarian crisises in the world.

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Current Situation

“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war. This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”

Former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and current Harvard professor, Kenneth Rogoff, on the current crisis in Venezuela.
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PERSPECTIVE

“It was a free Venezuela. It was paradise.”

Edilia was born in 1936 and raised her family in Venezuela. Her husband worked for a major oil company during a "boom" time in the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela once had the richest economy in South America. Venezuela now produces nearly 70% less oil than it did from its high in the 1970s.
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“Last time I went to Venezuela in 2015, I wanted to cry, because grocery stores were near empty. Shelves were lined of vinegar and almost nothing else. For basic foods like rice, eggs and milk, people had to stand in long lines…”

Zaira, 57, grew up in Venezuela, where the minimum wage now earns the equivalent *monthly* salary of $6.70. Lines for basic goods can stretch for more than a half a mile.
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“It’s complete misery. Even for those who have the means to buy food and basic necessities like soap and toilet paper, it’s a nightmare, because there’s a shortage of these items. That’s why people are fleeing to nearby countries like Colombia.”

Zaira. The U.N. says more than 4M Venezuelans have left their country, most of them fleeing to Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and beyond. Last year, 5,000 Venezuelans left every day.
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“We are such a wealthy country, and yet there is no food, some days there is no currency in circulation. It’s quite ironic.”

Zuly, 60, on her home country. Although Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves, citizens face 20+ hour lines for fuel. Despite the potential for wealth, recurring power outages disrupt daily life due to collapsing and unmaintained power lines. Power will often go out for days, causing life or death stakes for those receiving medical care.
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Negotiations between current Venezuelan leadership (NicolA!s Maduro's gov't) & the opposition (led by Juan GuaidA3) are currently underway, looking for a political path forward. Read more on how Venezuela got to this current state.

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July 4th

Special Report

Part II: Saving the Star-Spangled Banner

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Listen to both interviews on our source page. Happy July 4th!

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