Skimm'd while buying a wedding gift…

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

JANUARY 24, 2019


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Skimm'd while buying a wedding gift…


"You're hot" – What Alex Trebek says he hears a lot from his 70- and 80-year old fans. We'll take 'things we didn't want to know' for $400, Alex.


The Story

Venezuela has a new self-proclaimed president.

What about the current president?

Nicolas Maduro? Well, he's technically still in office. Here's how we got here: Maduro took over after socialist President Hugo Chavez died in 2013. Since then, Maduro's continued to consolidate power. His authoritarian government has been blamed for the current crisis the country's in. Think: hyperinflation, massive debt, food and medicine shortages, millions fleeing, and anti-gov protests. To top it all off, countries refused to recognize Maduro's 2018 re-election win. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out to put pressure on him to step down – the biggest show of force since a deadly crackdown in 2017.

So who's the new guy?

Opposition leader Juan Guaido. The 35-year-old is also the head of the country's parliament. Even though Maduro took away its power in 2017, the international community reportedly still recognizes it as the country's last democratic institution. Earlier this month, it declared Maduro's rule was illegitimate and approved a plan to let Guaido take over until there are new elections. Yesterday, Guaido officially stepped up to the plate, declaring himself the interim president and saying it's time to rescue the country from "dictatorship."

Is this legit?

President Trump thinks so. He officially recognized Guaido as the country's interim leader. And said that "all options" – including economic, diplomatic, and military ones – are on the table to restore democracy in Venezuela. The State Dept backed him up, saying that the US "does not recognize the Maduro regime."

Can they do that?

Maduro doesn't think so. And is accusing the US of supporting a coup. He's cutting off diplomatic ties with the country, and giving diplomats 72 hours to pack their bags. But Sec of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump admin will ignore that deadline. The US isn't the only one throwing its weight behind Guaido – Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and other countries have done the same.

How will all this play out?

No one knows for sure. Maduro is showing no signs he's ready to step down. Guaido could be arrested (again). The US may try to get involved by imposing sanctions where it hurts: Venezuela's oil industry. And many are watching to see which side the military decides to support. Either way, there's concern this could turn into an even bigger humanitarian crisis for the Venezuelan people.


Yesterday wasn't the first uprising against Maduro. But now that the US has formally backed the opposition, this latest uprising seems to be the biggest threat to Maduro's grip on power since he was first elected six years ago.


What to say to your aunt who knows all the lyrics to "The Sound of Music"…

The hills are alive…with more DC drama. Yesterday, Michael Cohen postponed his appearance in front of Congress. Cohen – President Trump's ex-lawyer who's heading to prison in March for all sorts of crimes – was supposed to answer some questions from Congress next month. It was expected to be one of the first public grillings of someone close to Trump since Democrats took the House this year. Yesterday, Cohen postponed because of "ongoing threats" against his family. ICYMI, Trump's lawyer accused Cohen's father-in-law of having ties to organized crime. Trump says Cohen's "only been threatened by the truth." Democratic lawmakers say this is a textbook case of witness intimidation. Speaking of things Trump and Democrats haven't seen eye-to-eye on...the State of the Union. Trump was planning to go ahead with the speech next week, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked him to wait until the gov re-opens. After a lot of back and forth regarding security concerns and location, Trump announced he would wait until the end of the shutdown to give his address.

What states are talking about…

Abortion. A number of states have been trying to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected – which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Last year, Iowa passed its version of that bill. It would've been the country's most restrictive abortion law. But Roe v Wade protects women's access to abortions, especially in the beginning of their pregnancies. Cue: court challenges. Iowa legislators weren't worried. Some hoped the law would be challenged so it could make its way up to the Supreme Court – the thinking being that the court's solid 5-4 conservative majority might use the case to overturn Roe v Wade. Yesterday, a state judge ruled Iowa's law was unconstitutional because it's up to women to decide if they want abortions, not the state. It's expected to be appealed. Ohio's paying attention – its new governor says he would pass a similar bill that the previous governor vetoed.

What to say when you pause, look up from your coffee, and wonder how we all got here…

There are theories…like this one. A new report says that a planet the size of Mars may have crashed into Earth 4.4 billion years ago, leaving behind most of the carbon and nitrogen that make up our bodies. Oh, and splintering off a little thing called the moon. The researchers ran a bunch of simulations of planets crashing into each other and said 'yup this idea makes sense to us.' Well, okay then.

Who people are talking about…

Bryan Singer. There have been sexual assault accusations against the "Bohemian Rhapsody" director for years now. Yesterday, a report revealed the accusations of four more men – two who say Singer abused them when they were underage. Singer is in the spotlight again now that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is part of the award season rounds. Singer was fired from the production weeks before it wrapped, apparently for unprofessional behavior on set. He denies the assault allegations and claims the reporting doesn't hold up. The reporters are standing by their investigation.

What to say when you hear Hulu is dropping its prices....

BuzzFeed is dropping 15% of its workforce. The co says it's doing it to cut costs and avoid having to raise more funding.

What to say to your friend who hasn't paid you back on Venmo...

Stay far away from me.


Regardless of where you stand politically, the partial gov shutdown has impacted an estimated 800,000 federal employees and their families. If you want to help your community/federal workers in need, here are two good places to start: Capital Area Food Bank and National Diaper Bank. And if you're looking to do even more, here's how to contact your local reps to make your voice heard.


Chilling champagne for…Rebecca D (CO), who was recognized as one of 2019's Most Influential Young Professionals by ColoradoBiz Magazine.

Congrats to…Laura D (CA), who quit her accounting job to become a travel consultant. And to Emily J (CO), who paid off all her student loans. Cha-ching.

(Some) Birthdays…Phil Voss (CA), Carol Schulweis (NY), Joe Cho (MA), Gabriella Daidone (NJ), Kathryn Dodds (SC), Jo-Anne Burleigh (BC), Paige Butterfield (IA), Frankie Grande (NY), Kate Papadimitriou (AUS), Briana Miles (NE), Gabriella Nourafchan (CA), Carolyn Warren (TX), Sarah Weigle (GA), Rachel Williamson (KY), Rhegan Wollerman (LA)

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