Skimm'd while learning how to get better sleep

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

JANUARY 09, 2019


New Year Smarter You

Skimm'd while learning how to get better sleep


"He is survived by none" – George, the last living tree snail of its kind, died. He'll be missed…by the people reading this.


The Story

Last night, President Trump took over your small screens for a little chat. And to make the case for his border wall.

What did he say?

That there is a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" on the US-Mexico border. That tens of thousands of undocumented children were smuggled into the country last month. That this is putting a strain on public resources and hurting jobs and wages – especially for black and Hispanic Americans. That women and kids making the trek are the biggest victims here. That he's determined to end this "cycle of human suffering" and protect the country. That Democrats have supported a physical barrier in the past. And that it's now their fault the government is shut down over this.

Fact-check the main claims for me.

What's true…that a large number of women are estimated to have been sexually assaulted on their trek to the border. Also, that some Dems supported a physical barrier in the past. But heads up: that was for several hundred miles of fencing along the border, not a wall.

What isn't true…that even though Trump's asking for Congress to set aside funding for the wall, Mexico would basically be paying for it with the new US-Mexico-Canada trade deal. If the deal is passed and it brings the US more money, Congress would still need to set aside the cash for the wall.

What needs more context...Trump said that 90% of heroin comes through the US-Mexico border. It's true that a majority of heroin comes through the southern border. But it mostly comes from legal points of entry, so it's unclear how it would be affected by a border wall.

So, what did the Dems have to say?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Trump is "holding the American people hostage" with this shutdown and "manufacturing a crisis." She and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Dems and the prez both want border security. But they called a wall "ineffective," "expensive," and "unnecessary." As Schumer put it, the "symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."

What happens next?

Trump says that he invited the Dems to the White House to talk through this today and come to an agreement. TBD what happens.

And in the meantime?

About 420,000 federal employees are working without pay. And 380,000 are on unpaid leave. If the shutdown keeps going like this, the admin and Congress are trying to make sure there's no impact on food stamps and tax refunds.


Yesterday was Trump's first formal address from the Oval Office. Neither he nor Dems said anything particularly new or seemed willing to compromise. But now that they've made their cases directly to the American public, eyes are on whether it helps move shutdown talks along.


What to say when you're putting up a new frame…

Higher. Higher. Higher. Yesterday, a report came out that says that the US's carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 had the biggest increase in eight years. You probably already know that countries aren't doing enough to slow down climate change. And that the US has gotten heat (literally) for exiting the Paris climate agreement as one of the world's biggest carbon polluters. This new report says that carbon emissions in the US are on the rise again after three years of declining. And that the drastic increase in 2018 was thanks to things like higher oil and gas use during a cold winter, and the country's lack of strategy for not reducing emissions. It's not all bad news though. We also learned yesterday that the cancer death rate in the US is on the decline, and has been dropping for at least the last 25 years. Oh and here's a fun fact for your next group dinner: apparently millions of Americans think they have food allergies...but they really don't.

What to say when you hear Paul Manafort allegedly shared polling data with an accused Russian operative…

Speaking of things in trouble: Iran. Yesterday, the EU sanctioned the Iranian intelligence ministry. The reason? Its alleged involvement in a series of attacks in Europe since 2015. That includes a failed bomb plot in Paris last year, and the killings of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin in the Netherlands. It's the first time the EU's sanctioning the Iranian gov since the 2015 nuclear deal. Speaking of things on the EU's mind, it came out yesterday that the Trump admin downgraded its delegation in DC without giving the EU a heads up. Meet, the diplomatic version of changing your relationship status without telling your SO. The admin has been known for being critical of international groups (see: this, this, this, this). The move was made last year and means the EU rep gets a title change: from 'ambassador' to 'head of delegation.'

What to say when you hear NASA found a cool new planet

Sears may have found a way to stay in business. Emphasis on the 'may.' In other cart-related news, the grocery giant Kroger is partnering with Microsoft to pilot two high-tech grocery stores. They will apparently have things like image recognition and digital displays to take your grocery game up a notch. Take that, Amazon and Walmart.

What to say to your friend with a baby…

Ready to be a hair model?



The amount of married women who contribute to at least half of a couple's total earnings, according to PEW research. FYI, that's over 2x more than the average in 1980. Want to make sure those earnings go the distance? Northwestern Mutual can set you up with a financial advisor to help you do what's important to you (like saving for a big trip or paying off your student loans). Go for it.


For when you're so busy you skipped lunch every day this week…

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For when you're not sure whether your skincare's expired…

Upgrade time. We Skimm'd all things natural beauty for you here. Read up on the difference between organic, natural, and non-toxic. Plus, how going organic may help you face the new year. New year, new dew.

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Cheers to…Jennie T (NV) on having her last radiation treatment for invasive lombar breast cancer. And to Ashleigh H (MO) for getting into law school with a full-ride scholarship. What, like it's hard?

Spotlight on…Cristen I (WI). She was selected as a 2019 Woman to Watch for Brava Magazine because of her work to expand Girl Scouting access in her community. That includes creating inclusive and equal spaces.

Birthdays…Alan Alpert (CA), Clint Boone (IL), Gina Fleck (WA), Ali Fortier (MA), Amanda Sue Piltz (AZ), Alex Puzzolo (IL), Maddie Rohr (MI), Trena Goble Roudebush (IN), Theresa Charli Rusniaczek (UT), Bill Watermeier (OR), Christine Wold (NC), Rebecca Saenz (TX), Allison Palombo (RI), Katy Pape (DC)

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