Skimm'd while doing that good good

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JANUARY 23, 2019


Make it Happen Here

Skimm'd while doing that good good


"Tell us what they want, what they really, really want" – An EU spokesman, channeling the Spice Girls over the UK's Brexit plan.


The Story

It was a big day at the Supreme Court yesterday.

What are the headlines?

The transgender military in SCOTUS decided that it can go into effect...for now. Last year, the Trump administration formally announced the policy – which puts restrictions on transgender people joining or staying in the military. People sued. And federal judges blocked it while the cases made their way through the courts. Yesterday, SCOTUS unblocked it while lower courts continue to weigh in, giving the admin the temporary go-ahead to implement the policy. The Pentagon flagged that this is not a complete ban, and says that the Defense Department's policy was based on "professional military judgment." Critics – including some who sued – say this feels like discrimination. But they're still fighting the issue in the courts.

The Second in SCOTUS agreed to take up a gun case for the first time in almost a decade. The case challenges NYC's laws that prevent gun owners from taking their guns outside the city. How SCOTUS rules may not directly affect gun laws around the country, but could set a precedent that encourages gun-rights activists to pursue other gun-related cases. in the Trump admin had asked the court to weigh in on whether President Trump can end DACA – the program that protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. SCOTUS said 'pass for now' – which means the program stays in place, at least for the next few months.


The Supreme Court now has a 5-4 conservative majority. And we're seeing the impact of that majority on everything from its decision on a case to what cases it's willing to take on.


What people have their eyes on…

Venezuela. Yesterday, VP Mike Pence said that the US supports Venezuelans' efforts to oust their President Nicolas Maduro. Quick refresh: Maduro and his authoritarian gov have been blamed for leading his country into an economic crisis that has led to high inflation, food shortages, and millions leaving the country. Last year, the US condemned Maduro's re-election win, saying the election was "fraudulent" and an attack on democracy. It also issued sanctions against the country over it. Now, after Pence called Maduro's inauguration this month a "sham," he's taking it one step further. He told Venezuelans to "raise your voices in a call for freedom." A report last year said the Trump admin was cozying up with the opposition, but yesterday's announcement seems to be the most blatant show of support yet. Maduro responded by saying it's time to re-evaluate his country's relationship with the US. Today, protests are expected to coincide with the anniversary of the fall of a military gov in 1958 – a dictator many have compared to Maduro.

What to say when there's still a disputed House race in North Carolina

There's also still a partially shutdown government. Isn't politics fun? Tomorrow, the Senate is expected to vote on two different plans to reopen it. One would include President Trump's latest offer: protection for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. The other wouldn't. Neither is expected to pass. *Looks at calendar, wonders how long this shutdown will last.* Meanwhile, Trump isn't letting the shutdown rain on his State of the Union parade. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked him to postpone his speech until after the shutdown because of security reasons. But Trump's moving forward with his plan to do the damn thing next week. So he's drafting two versions of his speech depending on whether he gives it in DC or elsewhere.

What your teacher friends have been talking about in the group chat…

The Los Angeles teachers' strike. Since last week, teachers have had their OOOs up while protesting for things like pay bumps and smaller class sizes. Yesterday, teachers and the school district reached a deal – and teachers are heading back to work today.

What to say when your co-worker gives you a shout-out in a company-wide email…

I'd like to thank the Academy. Oscars nominations were announced yesterday. "The Favourite" and "Roma" are frontrunners. Big deal, since Netflix has been persona non grata in the film industry. Speaking of big deals, "Black Panther" became the first superhero movie to win a best picture nom. Spike Lee got his first directing nom after about 30 years in the industry. But the Academy wasn't a fan of "Mary Poppins Returns." Or "Widows." Or Bradley Cooper.

Skimm More: Here's a breakdown of all the best picture noms worth binge-watching.

What to say to your cousin who just finished applying to residency programs…

Listen up. A new study says that a blood test could predict whether people will develop Alzheimer's more than a decade before symptoms show. Even though there's no cure for the disease, scientists say this may help with clinical trials for new treatments.

What to say when your friend brings lasagna to the potluck…

Pink or blue?


Damn it feels good to be a do-gooder.

This year, make doing good part of your daily routine. That could mean committing random acts of kindness or supporting companies that give back. Start here.

And case you need some inspiration...look no further.


Skimm'r of the Week...Michael Cipoletti. He's the executive director at FNE International, an org that works to improve health, housing, and education in Nicaragua. Want to help? Learn more and donate here.

Spotlight on...Leorah M (CO), who just finished a NASA program that focused on mapping the impact of the 2018 Spring Creek Fire in southern Colorado. And to Molly P (MA), who donated part of her liver to her dad. They're both doing well.

(Some) Birthdays...Mariska Hargitay (NY), Marjie Katz (PA), Debbie Forrey (NJ), Cassandra Brewster (MO), Melissa Koski Carney (OH), Gerard Marrone (NJ), Amber Efé (NY), Kristy Griffith (KY), Aadi Kulkarni (NJ), Nami Wada (OR), Prunella Fiddian-Green (MA), Stanley Finkelshteyn (NY)

*Welcome to a new Skimm community section we're testing. Want to take it to the next level with us? Reach out here for a chance to be featured.