1-21-19 The Left Newsletter Trump’s plan to end the shutdown is dead on arrival.

Trump's plan to end the shutdown is dead on arrival.

Here’s the pitch: in exchange $5.7 billion to fund a border wall, Trump says he would sign off on temporary protection for two groups of immigrants:

  1. 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who were brought to the U.S. as children, and
  2. 300,000 immigrants protected under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a program blocking deportation for immigrants fleeing violent conflict or natural disaster.

Why’s it a no go?

Democrats have already called it a “non-starter,” mostly because DACA and TPS recipients would only be protected for three years. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to point out that the proposal only includes “previously rejected initiatives” and does not “represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.”

What now?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who previously said he wouldn’t hold a funding vote until Trump and Democratic leaders reach an agreement, has decided to hold a vote on the proposal this week. As things stand, it won’t make it through the Senate, let alone the House.



Trump (maybe?) told Michael Cohen to lie under oath.

Over the weekend, Buzzfeed ran a story headlined, “President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project.” It’s reportedly based on talks with “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” If true, it’s a HUGE story and possibly grounds for impeachment.

Why ‘if’?

One day later, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller took the extraordinary step of releasing a statement to call parts of the story “not accurate.” Buuut Buzzfeed is standing behind the story, and the reporters who broke it went on CNN yesterday to say, “Our reporting is going to be borne out to be accurate, and we’re 100% behind it.”

Anything else?

Yesterday Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, said it’s “possible” Trump spoke with Cohen before Cohen lied to Congress. Seems like a pretty key detail, but Giuliani followed that up with, “So what?”



Trump and Kim plan a summit for next month.

Trump and Kim plan a summit for next month.
second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set for “probably the end of February,” most likely in Vietnam. The announcement came shortly after a 90-minute meeting between Trump and one of Kim’s top aides on Friday.

What are they gonna talk about?

Denuclearization (if anything). Talks have stalled since the first summit, and North Korea has continued developing ballistic missiles. Nonetheless, Trump stated on Saturday, “We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and we’re talking about a lot of different things.”



Make your Martin Luther King Jr. Day more meaningful.

Here are some ways “to restore our hope and honor MLK’s work” today:

  • Read (or re-read) MLK’s speeches.
  • Find a march or rally to participate in.
  • If you have kids, bring them to a local MLK Day parade.
  • Watch a documentary (like this one).

For more ideas and info, check out this article from NBC News contributor Nicole Specter.



'Post-Millennials' are set to be the most diverse and best-educated generation in history

Step aside, Millennials. The ‘post-Millennial’ generation, made up of 6 to 21-year-olds, is already the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history. Post-Millennials are also enrolling in college at a higher rate than any other generation.

Can’t someone come up with a catchier name?

You’d really think so. Names like ‘the Homelanders,’ ‘Generation Z,’ and ‘the iGen’ are being tossed around, but until there’s a broader consensus, Pew Research Center has decided to use ‘post-Millennials’ as a placeholder.



Ellen Degeneres pays $20k for a cheesecake.

Well, technically she paid $29.98 for the cheesecake and left a $19,970.02 tip. She bought it from the Furlough Cheesecake Sisters, two federal workers who are selling cakes to make ends meet during the shutdown.



A city in California starts a "Goat Fund Me” to prep for wildfires.

No, that’s not a typo. Nevada City is crowdfunding to pay for goats to eat through wildfire-prone vegetation. Turns out, goats are cheaper than specialized machinery.



Buy this mug, support unpaid workers!

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is selling mugs that say ‘Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my paycheck’ to raise money for World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization providing meals for unpaid workers during the shutdown.



This 11-year-old started a business to help out while her mom is furloughed.

by Reed Redmond 

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are going without a paycheck during the partial government shutdown. Jessica Berrellez, an employee of the Food and Drug Administration, is one of them. After she was furloughed, her 11-year-old daughter, Bella, came up with an idea to help out.

Using a recipe she tested out with her mom, Bella began making handmade sugar body scrubs to sell to friends, family, and neighbors. The young entrepreneur also opened up an Etsy shop —  — Bella’s Sweet Scrubs —  where she sells the scrubs for $7 a piece. Asked about her inspiration on Good Morning America, the fifth grader responded, “I just came up with the idea because when I found out my mom was furloughed I was like, ‘What can I do to help?’”

Since Bella started the business in December, Bella’s Sweet Scrubs has sold more than 1500 jars. In addition to helping her own family weather the shutdown, Bella has been helping others by donating to Nourish Now, a nonprofit that provides meals to families in need. The organization’s founder says they’ve “seen an increase in families who are on furlough calling every day,” and Bella’s donations will cover the cost of around 200 meals for those families.

What can I do?

Order a jar for yourself! The scrubs are available in Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rose, Lavender, Brown Sugar, and Peach Mango. As one reviewer points out, the scrubs are “a nice post-holidays way to relax.”

Anything else?

You can also donate to Nourish Now. According to their site, “Every dollar you donate equals 2 delicious meals for someone in need.”



The Leftovers:

Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to less than 7 years in prison for the murder of Laquan McDonald. Chicago activists call the sentence a “slap in the face.”

Canadian border workers delivered a pizza to their counterparts in the U.S. They also brought cannoli and coffee to “help lift their spirits.”

Thanks to Mitch McConnell, Trump hasn’t issued a single veto since taking office. It’s been nearly 140 years since a U.S. president hasn’t had to veto anything during their time in office.

Facebook potentially faces a “record-setting fine” for not protecting user’s data. The previous record was set by Google in 2012, when the Federal Trade Commission fined the company $22.5 million.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is hiring a Regional Manager in Scranton. Yes, his job post includes a Michael Scott GIF

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