Should the United States Leave the United Nations?

    The United States joined the United Nations during its first moments of creation in 1945. To this day, the United States is the largest contributor, giving over $650 million every year. Almost since the beginning, The United Nations has been a failed international organization. Violations have occurred time and time again and have gone without any consequences. The Trump administration believes that the United Nations Human Rights Council shows anti-Israel bias and ignores violations for certain countries. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, states that although they aren’t thinking of leaving the UN, they do see room for “significant strengthening.” Haley took to social media to say, “US will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights.” During Haley’s time in Geneva, she addressed the board directly, calling out the world’s “worst human right abusers”, including Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia.

 

    There are various instances in which the United Nations has let actions pass without consequences. For example, the UN previously appointed Saudi Arabia to chair the United Nations Human Rights Council. This is a country that has one of the worst records of women rights. Women can’t drive, leave their house without a male, take part in civic engagement, etc. Atheists, homosexuals, etc. are killed. A more recent issue was the UN’s lack of action on the genocide in Syria. It has been almost 5 years and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has killed civilians nonstop. In addition to, there has been no action taken against ISIS. The UN has failed multiple times to investigate ISIS’ crimes, not gathering evidence from mass grave sites. The UK Security Council set an investigation into ISIS’ crimes in Iraq, clearly needing the help of the UN. The Iraqi government has expressed support and can send a letter to trigger a UN vote on the issue. However, the letter is not needed to vote and the UK’s set deadlines have passed without a response from the UN. Whether or not the United States should leave the UN, the UN does need to fortify its rules and remember its principles and ambitions of world peace.

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Barack Obama’s Letter to President Donald Trump

Barack Obama wrote a letter to America’s President-elect, Donald Trump, during his last moments in the White House. This is the last time the two politicians spoke to each other. The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mr. President –
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
BO
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Missouri Senator Urges for Trump’s Assassination

Missouri Senate leaders have recently announced that Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal has been striped of her committee assignments. This is just two days after her initial intent to calm the extremely controversial situation. She claims to have made a mistake by posting her wishes on Facebook to have President Donald Trump assassinated. In her apology, she claimed that she would not resign and that she was deeply sorry. She wrote, “President Trump, I apologize to you and your family. I also apologize to all the people in Missouri. And I also apologize to my colleagues in the Missouri legislature for the mistake that I made.”

Republican Senate President Pro Tea Ron Richard and Minority Leader Gina Walsh supported the removing of Sen. Chappelle-Nadal. Richard stated, “I support the decision of Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh to remove Sen. Chappelle-Nadal from all of her Senate committees. I am also removing her from all appointments under my authority.” Sen. Chappelle-Nadal has said, “I made a mistake. And I’m owning up to it.” Apology or not, Missouri’s governor and lieutenant governor have decided to remove her from office if she does not resign.

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Trump Attacks Merck CEO

In light of the deadly Charlottesville barbarity, the CEO of Merck, a pharmaceutical firm, announced he is resigning from a White House jobs council. CEO Kenneth Frazier pulled out of the American Manufacturing Council, announcing, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.” President Trump usedTwitter to fire back, stating, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

While Frazier did not specifically mention Trump’s view over the Charlottesville conflicts, he is standing against this violence as a “matter personal conscience.” Along with this statement comes bipartisan criticism of the president for not exactly denouncing white supremacists on Saturday. The White House, along with other administration officers, have released a statement denouncing the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups.

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Cheaper Plans with Fewer Benefits?

     Republican Senators exposed their newest health care bill on Thursday, still awaiting the majority to repeal and replace Obamacare. This new health care bill holds the amendment of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, allowing insurers who provide Obamacare to also issue cheaper policies. While this is meant to appeal to Republicans, moderates may also be unhappy with this, believing that this would cause premiums to spike. There are significant changes regarding funding for opioid treatment and distribution of money to the states  concerning lower premiums for high-cost enrollees. By 2026, it is estimated that 15 million fewer people could be insured.

     Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, still searches for his 50 votes to pass his bill. Already, politicians are showing a steady fight ahead. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has mentioned his opposition to a vote next week. In addition to, Susan Collins, a Maine moderate, has doubts supporting this bill. Many Senators have mentioned that they’re unfamiliar with the revised bill. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was not pleased to find that lobbyists had read summaries while she had yet to see the bill. Murkowski stated, “I think that as a courtesy to those of us who are actually making the decisions that we would actually have an opportunity to see it first.” It is alleged that President Donald Trump will be “angry” if Republicans fail to pass the bill. President Trump encourages Republicans to move swiftly.

 

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Mitch McConnell Wants Revised Health Care Bill by Friday

     Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, delayed a vote on the Senate Health care bill on Tuesday. The bill will now be delayed until after the July 4 recess, allowing his caucus more time to broker alterations to the proposal. GOP senators are trying to figure out a path towards the future. The goal is to have a new deal by Friday and then get it scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office next week. This way, they will be able to vote on it when they return from recess. A senior GOP told CNN that while it may be difficult, it could very well happen.

     The public is wondering exactly how much could change in just a matter of days. Donald Trump’s position, as seen from the Hill: “He has his role. We have ours. There probably won’t be much intersection,” according to a GOP aide. The President will publish big promises through social media and television according to GOP aides. Tuesday, the second meeting with GOP senators, was described as a good meeting In which the President mainly listened and talked about promises that needed to be made, as well as money that needed to be put into the bill. Three GOP senators came out strongly opposing the need to draft a bill after McConnell delayed the vote and pledged changes. The reality of the situation is that the dynamics haven’t truly changed.

Trump Denies Rumors of Tapes with Comey

     After weeks of speculation, President Donald Trump ends the rumors that he recorded his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In Trump’s tweet, he stated, “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.” Comey hopes that there are recordings of their conversations. Trump suggested in previous tweets that it is possible that there was some surveillance; however he is not aware of any attempts. Numerous government agencies have agreed with the president, telling news outlets, like CNN, that there are no official recording devices. In a tweet published on May 12, Trump declared that Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

     Trump and his aides have played the situation down over the possibility of White House tapes. A senior administration official believes that Trump has tapes and has to come clean about his involvement. This administration official, a Republican, believes that this is one of the worst things that Trump has done so far in his administration. The Republican associate believes, “If he doesn’t regret this, he should.” Sarah Hucabee Sanders said that she will “try to look under the couches” to check for a recording system when talking to reporters about the issue. For weeks, White House officials have been unable to confirm the existence of such recording devices; however Trump believes that reporters would be dispirited by the answer.

 

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Sally Yates Testifies on Flynn’s Russia Ties

    Former Attorney General Sally Yates testified today, May 8, in front of a Senate subcommittee about what and when she exactly told the White House regarding Flynn’s communication with Russia. This testimony will push headlines back into the news regarding Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. According to Yates, she assures that she told the White House that Flynn could be blackmailed for lying over Russia meetings. She, also, claims to have had numerous meeting with Trump’s White House lawyer regarding the matter. Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff, and Sean Spicer, press secretary, agree that Yates passed along information regarding Flynn and Russia; however they have stated that the White House counsel checked and found nothing. Despite this major controversy, Trump continues to call the Russian investigations on Capitol Hill “fake news.”

    President Trump has commented on the Obama administration and Flynn stating, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama administration- but the Fake New seldom likes talking about that.” He added, “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers after she explained it to the W.H. (counsel).” In Yate’s hearing, she claims to not know how this classified information was leaked to the press. Trump has had problems his whole presidency regarding ties with Russia, and it appears each time that Flynn is at the center of it all. Regardless of Yate’s testimony and new headlines regarding Russia, the Russia story isn’t going away anytime soon.

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Obama’s Warning to President Trump

    Barack Obama, then-president, warned Donald Trump, president-elect, about hiring retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, according to many officials from the former Obama administration. Allegedly, Trump was warned by Obama in their Oval Office meeting on November 2. Obama’s concerns don’t come from the Defense Intelligence Agency, instead they come from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. A senior Obama administration source revealed that Flynn’s name came up numerous times throughout their conversation. The White House has recently confirmed these rumors. Sean Spicer, press secretary, stated, “It’s true President Obama made it known he wasn’t exactly a fan of Gen. Flynn.” Despite this, Spicer believes that Obama disliked Flynn due to him being an “outspoken critic” of the Obama administration. Spicer reassured some by stating that if Obama was “truly concerned” there were steps he could’ve taken during his term, including the suspension of his security clearance. Under the Obama administration, Flynn served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was forced out of his position for internal alterations on management in 2014.

    Regardless of Obama’s advice, Trump took the actions that he wanted. President Trump fired Flynn 24 days after news broke of Flynn’s talks with the Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House on January 26 that Flynn was lying when he refused to have any contact with Kislyak regarding US sanctions on Russia. Weeks passed before Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation, only letting him go after stories leaked about Flynn misleads Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with Kislyak. Attorney General Sally Yates it to testify before Congress on Flynn’s contact with Russian officials.

 

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