The DC: Jeffrey Epstein, and... Should the legislative filibuster be eliminated?
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by Countable | 8.12.19
Welcome to Monday, August 12th, Chromes, Firefoxes, and Edges...
On Saturday, Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of sexually abusing and trafficking minors, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
The registered sex offender was arrested on July 6 on allegations that he orchestrated a sex-trafficking ring aimed at bringing him teenage girls. His relationships with President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew have been the epicenter of online rumors and theories.
Epstein's accusers have expressed disappointment that he won't face charges.
“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court," Jennifer Araoz, who accused Epstein of raping her when she was 15, said in a statement. "We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people. Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.”
On Saturday evening, Trump retweeted an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory tying Epstein's apparent suicide to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for anyone in distress, in addition to prevention and crisis resources. Also available for online chat.
On the Radar
Graham Promises Obamacare Repeal
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has vowed that Republicans will repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2021 if President Donald Trump wins re-election and the GOP takes back the House.
"If we can get the House back and keep our majority in the Senate, and President Trump wins reelection, I can promise you not only are we going to repeal Obamacare, we're going to do it in a smart way where South Carolina will be the biggest winner," Graham said in a radio interview. "We've got to remind people that we're not for Obamacare."
“Republicans are STILL trying to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions and kick tens of millions off their health coverage,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted in response to Graham’s comments.
Walmart Pulls Violent Video Game Displays
Walmart is removing displays of violent video games from its stores following two shootings in its locations in Texas and Mississippi. The retailer will continue selling guns.
The action comes days after President Trump said he wants to “stop or substantially reduce” the amount of violence in video games after a pair of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” Walmart spokeswoman Tara House said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who's running for president, has called upon Walmart to stop selling guns.
"Companies that sell guns have a responsibility to the safety of their communities. @Walmart is one of the largest gun retailers in the world. The weapons they sell are killing their own customers and employees. No profit is worth those lives. Do the right thing—stop selling guns."
Under the Radar
Eliminating the Filibuster
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is encouraging Democratic candidates seeking their party’s presidential nomination to push for the elimination of the filibuster in order to bring legislation addressing climate change to the floor in an interview with The Daily Beast:
“It is not a question of if. It is a question of when we get rid of the filibuster. It’s gone. It’s gone.”
As majority leader in 2013, Reid used the “nuclear option” change the rules governing the Senate’s cloture motion to reduce the number of votes needed to end a filibuster on all non-Supreme Court nominations from the traditional three-fifths majority (usually 60 votes) to a simple majority. In 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used the same process to apply that change to Supreme Court nominations in the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in NJ
- The president has no public schedule.
- At 10:00am EDT, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli will hold an on camera press briefing.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Monday, September 9th.
The Senate: Out
- The Senate will return Monday, September 9th.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should Military Programs & Processes for Responding to Sexual Assault be Improved?
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But wait, there's more!
- North Korea: No Talks Unless U.S. Military Exercises With Seoul End
- Should the FDA Develop ‘Reef Safe’ Label Standards for Sunscreens?
- Bernie Sanders Says He’d Legalize Pot Through Executive Order
And, in the End…
On August 12th, 1898, the Spanish-American War ended with the signing of a Protocol of Peace.
The U.S. gained Spain's colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Hawaii was also annexed.
Future 26th President Theodore Roosevelt (without his "Rough Riders")
Keep on Truckin' in honor of Truck Driver Day,
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