On Friday, the U.S. government was shut down for the second time in three weeks after senators struggled with last-minute objections from Republican Sen. Rand Paul, causing the Senate to miss the February 8 deadline.
Paul was harshly criticized by his fellow Republicans for delaying an inevitable passage vote in the Senate. Despite the backlash, Paul continued to share his thoughts on Twitter.
Tonight, you could feel the frustration and embarrassment growing in Congress as we exposed the hypocrisy of Republicans who are joining in an unholy alliance and spending free-for-all with Democrats at the expense of the American people and our party’s supposed principles.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 9, 2018
Hours after the midnight deadline, the Senate voted 71-28 to approve a two-year budget deal that would end the shutdown.
The current spending limits would be raised by a combined total of $296 billion through 2019 under the new bill. The agreement also includes an additional $160 billion in uncapped funding for overseas military and State Department operations. An additional $90 billion would be spent on disaster aid for victims of recent hurricanes and wildfires, and tax provisions would add another $17 billion.
A provision is also included in the bill that suspends the federal debt limit until March 1, 2019, after November’s midterm elections.
According to Paul, all of this could have been avoided had fifteen minutes been alotted for a single amendment. However, with the vote to pass, the bill has been sent to the House to end the government shutdown.
“This debate could have been shortened and could have been finished by noon today had we been granted 15 minutes to have one amendment.” – Rand Paul
The Paul-driven shutdown was initiated by his insistence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell grant him a vote to amend a budget deal that includes $300 billion in new spending. McConnell refused, believing that this would open up the bill to too many amendments, thus prolonging the process. In turn, Paul refused to allow the vote to go forward.
The first government shutdown occurred after the senators failed to agree on a spending bill that would satisfy both sides in regards to the DACA immigration law. In order to end the first shutdown, senators had voted on a stopgap spending bill that extended the funding of the low-income children’s health insurance program, CHIP, for six years, as well as suspend some taxes under the Affordable Care Act. This temporary solution also came with the promise to address the illegal immigration issue and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
However, the immigration issue is put on hold yet again. The House speaker argued that Congress needed to agree on a budget before shifting their focus to immigration reform.
Viewpoint: There is No Problem with the #MeToo Movement
#MeToo is here to change America: Empowering survivors and giving their voice a platform.
Her first point was that it covered too much as it “descends the ladder from rape to bad dates making it a category big enough to be meaningless.” But there is an obvious difference between rape and a bad date and there is a huge gray area in between and the line is drawn with consent. I know too many men and women who are survivors of sexual violence. But I also know people who have had bad dates (myself included). A bad date is someone who’s rude or narcissistic or just not someone you’re interested in, Rape and assault are crimes. The difference is clear and no one tweets #MeToo over a bad date, they just “girl me too” to a friend.
Flanagan also mentions men who are unfairly caught in the crossfire among accusations of powerful men being brought to justice. She cites Matt Damon who said “groping someone’s butt was different than sexually molesting a child.” While Damon was correct from a legal standpoint, and that these two acts are different, both acts are acts of sexual assault or violence.
There is no excuse for assault or violence on any scale. The fact that Damon doesn’t realize this is a perfect example of how microaggressions find their way into our common media. Any act of unwanted sexual advances made by anyone is unacceptable.
To Flanagan, Damon is misinformed and part of the problem. But most of that comes from the fact that he was misinformed.
She criticizes women for thinking male power structure is part of the problem and suddenly smashing the patriarchy being added to the list of goals for the #MeToo Movement. You can only do so much good targeting individual offenders who have taken advantage of the unfair power structure stacked in their favor. Soon enough you need to address the root of the problem, and it often lies in our history of male centered power structures.
While we can’t undo history, we can work towards equal representation and allowing each individual to be able to thrive under a power structure instead of allowing the people at the top take advantage of everyone below.
Flanagan notes, “It seemed as though almost every woman had some sort of goal she wanted to add to the agenda. No problem was too small or too vague to be included–So long was a man was to blame.”
Have you stopped to think that there actually is a problem? If every woman can identify at least one time in their life where someone has made unwanted passes at them this is clearly a problem that needs to be handled.
Perpetrators needs to face justice and survivors need to heal.
This isn’t just a women’s issue: sexual violence affects everyone: More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The #MeToo movement is about bringing those guilty to justice. Not attacking men.
Student Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Frat Brothers Shown No Leniency
The former Albright College student argued that his sentence should be reduced.
A Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday that a student who committed multiple acts of sexual assault on his fraternity brothers while they slept does not deserve a break on his sentence.
Robert Convery Jr., a former Albright College student, was sentenced to 13-to-30-years behind bars in 2016. He had argued at his trial that the sex was consensual, but a jury disagreed.
PennLive reported that the assaults were committed in 2013 and 2015:
Both of the victims were his friends as well as his Pi Kappa Phi frat brothers… Convery assaulted one of them twice, and apologized afterward.
All three assaults followed the same pattern. The victims fell asleep after drinking and awoke to find Convery performing oral sex on them.
Convery appeared in court seeking a reduction in his sentence. His attorney argued that his harsh sentence was a punishment for taking the case to trial instead of negotiating a plea deal or admitting guilt.
Judge Mary Jane Bowes found there was no evidence that Convery was punished for going to trial.
There’s Another iOS bug Crashing iPhones, iMessage and Other Apps
Looks like we’ve got a few new bad Apples.
A bug discovered earlier this week is capable of crashing iPhones, iMessages and various messaging apps, like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. The news was first reported by Italian blog Mobile World,
The bug is an Indian language (Telugu) character that can be sent through messaging platforms on any Apple product that runs iOS 11 or macOS. Apple users will be unable to open their message app once the bug has been sent.
According to The Verge, the only way for users to recover their message app is to have someone send another message, try to access messages and delete the thread of messages with the special character.
This discovery comes after Apple found multiple software issues before the end of 2017. Apple plans to address the new bug with a new iOS update before the spring release of iOS 11.3. While the bug crashes iMessages with iOS11 or 11.2, those with the beta version of iOS1.3 are immune to the issue.
Apple products encountered similar problems in past experiences thanks to other special characters, links or videos. 2015 brought a small string of text that would shut an iPhone down, in 2016 there was a 5-second video that crashed iPhones and 2017 had a link that would freeze an iPhone completely.
Apple will address these issues soon with an updated version of iOS 11.2.
I forgot to update my iPhone and someone bricked it with the Indian character bug.
— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) February 15, 2018
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High School Student Arrested After Grandmother Finds Journal Detailing Massacre Plans
Plans for a school shooting were thwarted just a day before the massacre in Parkland, Florida.