Skimm'd while debating whether to get pizza or Chipotle

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FEBRUARY 06, 2019


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Skimm'd while debating whether to get pizza or Chipotle


"We're exploring and testing potential solutions" – Ikea is testing out leasing its furniture. So if you could just put that dresser together and then give it back, that'd be great...


The Story

Last night, President Trump filled us in on how the country's doing.

I watched most of it. Highlights please.

The theme of his second State of the Union address was unity. He called for compromise and bipartisanship. He said that the country should govern "not as two parties, but as one nation." And asked lawmakers to choose "greatness."

Love that. What else?

There's a lot he's happy about. Like...

The hot right now. He says wages are rising, jobs are up, and the new tax plan is doing wonders for working families and businesses.

The First Step Act...the bipartisan legislation that was a major update to criminal justice reform that Trump signed late last year. Trump invited Matthew Charles – who he says is the first person released from jail as a result of the legislation. And Alice Johnson, whose sentence he commuted last year before signing the bill.

New trade deals…he said he's working on a new deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but it has to reduce the deficit and protect US jobs. He's also pretty pleased to have kicked "the catastrophe known as NAFTA" to the curb.

Women…the moment that sparked joy. He said there are more women in the workforce than ever. And gave the new women in Congress a shoutout. They approved. And showed it with a standing ovation, chanting "USA."

What's he not happy about?

Investigations, or as he calls it "ridiculous partisan investigations." (See: Russia. His inaugural committee. His foundation.) Oh and socialism. He hates socialism.

What's on his to-do list?

The border…he's still trying to get that funding. He made his pitch by calling illegal immigration a threat to national security and the economy. He said we need to protect women who get sexually assaulted during the trek to the border. He says ICE isn't going away. And he invited a woman whose parents were killed by an undocumented immigrant to bring his point home.

Health care...he's ready to take on everything from lowering prescription drug prices to ending the HIV epidemic. He's also asking Congress to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, tackle childhood cancer, and ban late-term abortions. His comments on abortion were some of the most polarizing statements he made all night. And were followed by a sharp transition to...military spending.

Infrastructure...he says it needed to be fixed yesterday. And wants lawmakers to put money towards investments in "cutting edge industries of the future." Specifics for a later date. Probably.

North Korea...paging Chris Harrison. Trump and NK leader Kim Jong Un are having their second one-on-one in Vietnam on Feb 27 and 28. He also said that we should all be thanking him because if anyone else was prez, we'd be at war right now.

Cool. Cool. Will send a thank you note. Now, why was everyone wearing white?

To represent the women's suffrage movement.

What were those papers Nancy Pelosi kept looking at?

They seemed to be a copy of Trump's speech. Unclear if it included the introduction she was supposed to give.

Speaking of Nancy, did Dems chime in at all?

Yup. Stacey Abrams – the first black woman to deliver a SOTU rebuttal – said she doesn't always agree with Trump, but she doesn't want him to fail. She brought up a personal story about her dad to highlight the need for lowering health care costs. She challenged Republicans on abortion and LGBTQ rights. And called for a realistic talk about racism in the country.


Last night, the president gave his pitch for unity directly to the American people. The first test will be whether lawmakers in a divided Congress can come to a funding agreement to keep the gov open past Feb 15. The second will be whether Trump takes his own advice.


What is in the spotlight...

The Catholic Church. Yesterday, Pope Francis publicly admitted that priests and bishops in the church have been sexually abusing nuns. Yes, somehow the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal gets worse. The Vatican had gotten reports about this issue at least since the '90s, but has been pretty mum about it. Nuns have accused clergy members of abuse in places like India and Chile. Then this month's issue of the Vatican's women's magazine went into how bad the problem is. One example: some nuns felt forced to have abortions or potentially risk having a child that wouldn't be recognized by priests. Yesterday, Pope Francis addressed the issue, saying more action was needed to fix it. And pointed out that former Pope Benedict XVI had to dissolve a congregation of nuns in France because it got to a point of "sexual slavery." This comes weeks before a worldwide conference about sexual abuse and protecting children.

What to say when you get called for jury duty...

See you in court. Civil rights groups are suing Texas over what they say is an attempt at voter suppression. The state is looking into the voter roll and listed about 95,000 people that were flagged as potentially illegally registered to vote. Those people are supposed to get letters asking them to prove their citizenship and respond within 30 days. Supporters of this list (like President Trump and the state's attorney general) say this is about putting an end to voter fraud. Critics (like civil rights advocates) say this is an attempt to intimidate minority voters. Now, the issue is headed to court. Texas isn't the only state pulling out a legal handbook. A lawmaker in Hawaii wants to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes in the state from 21 to 100. Tobacco use kills more than 1,000 Hawaiians – and hundreds of thousands of Americans overall – a year. Now, this lawmaker is intro'ing a bill to say 'enough is enough.' And would effectively ban cigarettes in the state by 2024.

Who people are talking about…

The officer who killed Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr. Yesterday, Alabama's AG said the officer won't face charges for fatally shooting the legally-armed black man. Late last year, the cop mistakenly thought Bradford was a gunman at a mall, and fatally shot him. Now, the AG says his actions were justified – even if it was a mistake – so he won't be charged. Bradford's family is calling all this a cover-up.

What to say when you hear a new conspiracy theory…

I'm listening. A new CNN report says that people close to the singer James Brown (think: his manager and his son) want an investigation into his death. Brown died in 2006 from congestive heart failure. But the doctor who signed his death certificate said he had some concerns about how quickly Brown's health deteriorated. An autopsy was apparently never done. Some people close to him think he may have been murdered and want investigators to look into it.

What to say when the Oscars won't have a host this year

Guess Billy Eichner's too busy with his new movie.

What to say when you hear Katniss Everdeen is engaged...

She's not the only one living in a fantasy (modeling) world.


People of means

What former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants you to call his financial status. Because he doesn't like being called a billionaire. BRB, pulling out the world's smallest violin.


Spotlight on…Cherisa F (MA). She just came back from being stationed in Antarctica for a whole year, serving as station chief of the NOAA's Atmospheric Research Observatory there. She was part of the first all-female team to run the observatory. So much yes.

Round of applause for…J Adams (TX), who's going to preliminary auditions for "Shark Tank" today. And to Amy A (CA), who just published a book with her husband.

(Some) Birthdays…Rohini Menezes (NY), Johanna Silbersack (NC), Robert Baker (CT), Abby Regan (MA), Amber L. Carter (OR), Andrea Meislin (CA), Billy Wallace (CO), BJ Scanlon (NY), Brittany Donowho (DC), Calvin Blissett (NY), Edie Surratt (NC), Tara Nehme (LBN), Victoria Allen (TN), Noah Blum (LA), Oren Friedman (ISR)

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