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Monday Morning Memo: October 9, 2017

Pence Walks Out Over Anthem Protests


Vice President Pence arrived at the Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday afternoon, only to depart upon seeing several players kneel during the national anthem. Pence tweeted, “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

Pence then traveled to Los Angeles for a fundraiser, leading some to speculate if he had ever intended to stay at the game at all. Pool reporters did not enter the stadium, and were reportedly warned that the stop at the stadium may be a short one.

Columbus Day Fears

Monday is Columbus Day, and New York City is taking special precautions to protect its famous Columbus statue from would-be vandals. Three local Columbus statues have been vandalized in recent weeks, and now this most famous Columbus statue has round-the-clock bodyguards from the NYPD. AntiFa has called for a “Deface Columbus Day” nationwide, telling its operatives to attack statues.

Hollywood Reels Over Weinstein News

Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of The Weinstein Company following the allegations that he paid settlements to at least 8 women whom he sexually harassed. Weinstein and lawyer Lisa Bloom issued a statement saying, of sexual harassment, “That was the culture then.” Weinstein says he will now turn his attention to opposing the NRA.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have all pledged to return the donations they received from Weinstein. In total, the legendary film producer and sexual harasser donated $1.4 million to Democrats. Several other sitting Democratic Senators received donations from Weinstein. For instance. Sen. Diane Feinstein says she’ll look into the possibility of returning the money.

California Changes HIV Law

Beginning on January 1, 2018, any HIV positive person in California who knowingly exposes a partner to the disease will no longer face felony charges. Currentstate law punishes HIV exposure by up to 8 years in prison. Under new law, HIV positive people who expose others to the disease will face only up to 6 months behind bars.Democratic State Senator and bill sponsor Scott Wiener called the current law “extreme and discriminatory.”

New Immigration Plan

President Trump unveiled his 70-point plan to secure our southern border. Under this plan, state and local law enforcement officers would have explicit legal authority to detain illegal immigrants. Additionally, people who came to the U.S. on visas and stayed when their visas expired could face misdemeanor charges; now, they generally face little to no consequences. The plan would also ask unaccompanied minors to actually prove that they do not have adults with them. Now, anyone under 18 could claim to be unaccompanied and automatically receive access to special treatment. 

Monday Morning Memo

The top news stories for your Monday Morning, brought to you by StandUnited:

Anthony Weiner to Prison

A federal judge sentenced disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner to 21 months in prison. Weiner’s sentence results from his conviction for sexting a 15 year old girl. The charge, “transferring obscene material to a minor,” carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. StandUnited users petitioned the court for two separate parts of Weiner’s sentence: prison time, and registration as a sex offender. Weiner registered as a sex offender months ago. His prison term will begin in the coming days.

After the prison sentence, Weiner will be subject to 3 years of court monitoring. He is currently divorcing Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides on the campaign trail. The FBI discovered classified material on Weiner’s laptop, which aided in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material as Secretary of State. Weiner and Abedin have a five year old son.

NFL Anthem Protests

The NFL’s controversy reached new heights this weekend, when several teams protested the national anthem. Donald Trump tweeted, “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” He also said that players who protest the anthem should be kicked off their teams. Trump mentioned the NFL’s declining ratings, and juxtaposed NFL protests with sports like NASCAR, where everyone stands for the anthem.

The owners and managers of three teams stood on the sidelines and locked arms with their players as they all stood for the national anthm. The Falcons, Vikings, and Jets all stood arm in arm with their team’s leadership. The owners of the Philadelphia Eagles locked arms and stood with servicemembers and law enforcement officers during the anthem.

Three NFL teams stayed off the field during the anthem this weekend: the Pittsburgh Steeelers, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Tennessee Titans. One Steeler, Alejandro Villanueva, left the locker room and stood with his hand over his heart on the sideline during the anthem. Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan. Several of his teammates stood behind him in the tunnel, hands over hearts, showing support.

Kim Jong Un’s War of Words

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un continues to taunt President Trump. He called the President a “dotard,” meaning someone who is unintelligent and behind the times. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho accused President Trump of declaring war. North Korean officials claim that this declaration of war gives North Korea the right to shoot down U.S. missiles. However, declarations of war come from Congress; Congress has not declared war on North Korea.

Monday Morning Memo

The top news of the weekend, brought to you by StandUnited:

Americans Attacked in France

As four American college students prepared to board a train in Marseille, a female suspect threw acid in their faces. The four women are all enrolled at Boston College and studying abroad in Europe this semester. The attacker is thought to have made the acid out of household cleaning products. The victims suffered mild burns and were released from the hospital the same day.

French authorities are not treating this as an act of terror. They believe the attacker to be mentally disturbed.

Kim Jong Un’s New Nickname

President Trump had a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. As usual, Trump took to Twitter to report on the meeting. In the tweet, Trump called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un “rocket man.” This comes just days before Trump addresses the U.N. General Assembly, which meets this week.

Emmys Get Political

The 69th annual Emmy Awards took place on Sunday evening. As the stars presented and accepted awards, they frequently ribbed President Trump. Host Stephen Colbert quipped, “unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.” In the opening number, referencing “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Colbert said “Look on the bright side, handmaids; at least your healthcare’s free.” Colbert also poked fun at Ted Cruz’s unfortunate Twitter gaffe last week.

Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary, made a surprise appearance. He joked with Colbert about the size of the audience, in a nod to Spicer’s defense of the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon each took home an Emmy for their SNL spoofs of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, respectively.

St. Louis Riots

On Friday, a jury acquitted former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first degree murder. Stockley was accused of using excessive force in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Smith, an African American man, was only 24 years old when he was shot and killed.

Protesters took to the streets and soon turned violent. 11 officers sustained injuries on Friday night, and even more suffered injuries on Saturday and Sunday night. Police arrested 32 protesters on the first night alone. Rioters smashed store windows, hurled objects at police, and even damaged the mayor’s home.

Monday Morning Memo

Today, we remember the 2,996 American lives lost in the horrific acts of terror on September 11, 2001. We hope you will join us in taking time to remember the fallen, the survivors, the first responders, and their families.

Here are the weekend’s top news stories, presented by StandUnited:

Irma Reaches Florida

Hurricane Irma arrived in the United States on Saturday. The storm prompted the largest evacuation in American history. Roughly 6.5 million Floridians were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation, and combined with evacuations in Georgia and South Carolina, the total number of evacuees is estimated around 7 million. As of Monday morning, 4 million people remain without power.

Irma packs an economic punch as well: 31 airports and 12 seaports closed for the duration of the storm, and nearly 13,000 flights have been canceled. As Irma continues her path towards Atlanta, she is set to become the most expensive hurricane in American history. She’s already claimed that title for the Carribean, where she caused an estimated $100 billion in damage.

“IT” Is a Box Office Hit

Stephen King’s adaptation of the classic horror flick “IT” smashed box office records. The film raked in $111.72 million on its opening weekend. The box office totals far outpaced expectations for the scary movie, which now holds the record for the largest September debut.

Here She Is, Miss America

Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, is your new Miss America. The 23 year old impressed the judges with her jazz dance talent and her sharp answer to a question about the Paris Agreement. Next, she’ll go on to a busy year of appearances and charity work.

Monday Morning Memo

The top news of the weekend, brought to you by StandUnited:

North Korea Ups the Ante

North Korea’s military tested a nuclear bomb on Sunday. Intelligence estimates say the bomb is at least three times the size of the bomb that hit Hiroshima in 1945. Defense Secretary Mattis maintains that military action is a last resort. As the Trump administration pursues a diplomatic solution, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is thrust into the spotlight.

Haley promised increased sanctions not only on North Korea, but on its trading partners: “The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions,” she said. This could mean increased sanctions on China and India.

Hurricane Irma Takes Shape

As Houston just begins to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, another storm has emerged in the Atlantic. Hurricane Irma is gaining strength and appears to be headed toward the southern tip of Florida. Eastern Carribbean islands are already under a hurricane watch.

Congress Set to Return

On Tuesday, September 5, Congress will return from recess. The House and Senate will re-convene to debate the future of tax policy, health care, and other legislative programs.

Royal Baby News

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, have announced that they are expecting their third child. The Duchess had to cancel her public engagements due to hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of severe morning sickness. The cancellations prompted Kensignton Palace to share the exciting news. Prince George and Princess Charlotte will soon have a younger sibling.

Monday Morning Memo

The top news from this weekend, brought to you by StandUnited:

Hurricane Harvey Hammers Houston

At least 5 people lost their lives to this record-breaking storm, which the National Weather Service called “beyond anything experienced.” Houston and much of east central Texas experienced devastating flooding. When first responders were overwhelmed by 911 calls, Good Samaritans who own boats took to the floodwaters to conduct vigilante rescues. In one moving example, a local pastor boated out to flooded cars to check for people trapped inside. As of Sunday night, 82,000 homes were still without power.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed more than 3,000 state and national guard members to assist with relief efforts. FEMA reports that it has over 5,000 federal agents working in Texas. President Trump has announced that he will visit Houston on Tuesday.

AntiFa Terrorizes Berkeley

A “No To Marxism in Berkeley” rally, started by a Trump supporter, attracted violent counter-protesters on Saturday. Only a handful of anti-Communists showed up at the rally, some carrying pro-Trump signs. AntiFa had issued such grave threats that the anti-Marxist event organizer tried to cancel the rally, and asked people not to come. The few who arrived were greeted by AntiFa members wearing black masks and hoods, some carrying sticks, chanting “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”

Videos of AntiFa members beating up rally attendees emerged on the internet on Saturday afternoon. Hordes of AntiFa chased down a man on a sidewalk simply because they thought he looked like a Nazi. In one instance, AntiFa chased down a journalist yelling, “Take his camera! Take his phone!”

Roughly 400 police officers could not contain the violent mob. 13 people were arrested. AntiFa injured 6 people; 2 were hospitalized.

Mayweather Defeats McGregor

Floyd “Money” Mayweather lived up to his name this weekend, as he won $100 million in a boxing match against Conor McGregor. McGregor, who is not a boxer, but an MMA fighter, lost after 10 rounds. McGregor will still take home $30 million.

North Korea Resumes Missile Tests

North Korea tested an artillery rocket system by firing a projectile into the sea. South Korean officials report that the projectile traveled 155 miles. American intelligence services report that one of the missiles exploded almost immediately; they consider the test a failure.