Skimm'd while checking all the gifts off our list

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

DECEMBER 03, 2018


Give Smarter

Skimm'd while checking all the gifts off our list


"Made a mistake regarding New Mexico's 106-year history as a state" – A DC clerk wouldn't accept a man's license because she thought New Mexico was a country. Happy Monday, everyone.


The Story

Former President George HW Bush died at age 94.

Take me back.

Before getting to the Oval Office, Bush built up an impressive resume. He was a WWII hero, two-term congressman, ambassador to the UN, RNC chairman, US envoy to China, CIA director, and VP under President Ronald Reagan. He won the 1988 presidential election while he was still VP – something only one other president has accomplished (hint: last name rhymes with 'ban vuren').

What about his fam?

Bush and his wife – former first lady Barbara Bush – were the head of an American political dynasty. They had six kids, including former President George W and former Florida Governor Jeb. A few years ago, it came out that Bush had a form of Parkinson's disease, which left him in a wheelchair. He also suffered from some other health issues in recent years. He was the country's longest-living president, and died less than eight months after his wife passed away.

What was he like in the Oval Office?

Foreign policy was his strong suit. He was most credited for overseeing a smooth transition after the fall of the Soviet Union and liberation of Eastern Europe. And for the success of the Persian Gulf War – a short war with a clear end goal that had relatively few American casualties. The problem: it stopped short of taking then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein out of office – something that many felt Bush's son George W spent too much focus on during his presidency about a decade later.

What about domestic policies?

He got major praise for the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and for leading the charge to fight climate change. But was criticized for being disconnected from voters and ignoring domestic issues. Ultimately though, it was the economy that cost him a second term as president. He broke a famous campaign promise – "Read my lips. No new taxes" – and negotiated a deal to raise taxes as a way to fight the budget deficit. Only for the country's recession to continue.

How are people reacting?

Politicians, celebrities, and world leaders have been paying tribute and calling him a kind, heroic man. President Trump declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. Former President Barack Obama said the country "lost a patriot and humble servant." Bush's old letter to Clinton went viral. And this heartwarming cartoon had everyone grabbing tissues.

What are the funeral plans?

Air Force One is flying Bush's casket to DC, where he'll lie in state in the Capitol and the public can visit until Wednesday. Then his casket will be flown back to Texas, where his funeral will take place later in the week.


The nation is saying goodbye to its 41st president who spent his life serving his country and helped shape modern-day politics. He will be missed.


What to say when you get back from being OOO…

Someone catch me up. Over the weekend, the G20 summit went down – the yearly meet-up between 19 countries and the EU. Here are the highlights: the US and China decided to put the brakes on their tit-for-tat trade dispute until after New Year's. China agreed to label fentanyl – which has played a big role in the US's opioid crisis – as a controlled substance, which is a step towards regulating the drug. The US, Canada, and Mexico signed a brand new trade agreement to replace NAFTA. Next stop: sign off from Congress...but it's TBD if it'll sign off with the new Congress in 2019. There was also this unreasonably excited high-five between Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's as if someone forgot to tell them that they're both facing some international heat and now might not be the time to show off their bromance.

What people are watching…

Paris. Since last month, people have been up in arms over the gov's increased fuel taxes – aka French President Macron's effort to fight climate change. This past weekend was the third straight weekend of protests – making it the worst riot in decades. More than 100 were injured, hundreds were arrested, and one person died. Now, the government might declare a state of emergency. In other news of protests, Georgia (the country, not the state). Yesterday, thousands protested against the result of its presidential election. Last week, Salome Zurabishvili – who's backed by the ruling party – won the election in a runoff. She's the first woman to be elected president there. The opposition candidate described the election as a "criminal farce" and reportedly said opposition parties will take this to court.

Who's making you say 'WTF'…

Neil deGrasse Tyson. Last month, it came out that multiple women accused the famous astrophysicist of sexual misconduct. Over the weekend, Tyson denied the accusations and said men who are accused of misconduct in the #MeToo era are "presumed to be guilty by the court of public opinion." The networks that air his show say they're looking into it. Meanwhile, rising NFL star Kareem Hunt made headlines over the weekend. Back in February, now-former Kansas City Chiefs running back shoved and kicked a woman in a hotel. It was all caught on camera. The NFL knew about the incident, but couldn't get ahold of the video and has been trying to investigate. Then last week, TMZ (of course) posted the video. The Chiefs let Hunt go, and the NFL put him on the commissioner's exempt list. Meaning: he can't practice or play for any team until the NFL finishes its investigation. Over the weekend, Hunt said that he "was in the wrong" and that NFL officials never talked to him about the incident. The situation is bringing back Ray Rice déjà vu. And has some wondering if the NFL will take a stand against violence against women, or if another team will commit to signing Hunt.

What to say when you're caught in a lie…

Time to come clean. Late last week, Marriott revealed that one of its guest reservation systems had been far back as 2014. And that the data of up to 500 million guests has been potentially exposed. But rest easy and let us help you with your bag.

What to say to your friend obsessed with college football…

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma are celebrating.

What to say when you already need a Monday pick-me-up…

At least there's Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra.


For when you failed the holiday bake-off…

Win at the office White Elephant Party. We rounded up our favorite White Elephant gifts. FYI, they're all $25 or under.

Psst...there's more where that came from. Check out our Celebrate Smarter page to pick the perfect presents for everyone on your list.


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