President Trump and congressional leaders have reached a tentative deal to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations over border security funding continue, according to congressional aides.
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The country would face an economic hellscape if the government shutdown lasts "months or even years," as the president has suggested it might.
"We'll be in no man's land," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, told NBC News.
If the worst were to happen, experts say the devastating impact would be widespread.
WITHOUT FOOD, HOMES
By the end of February, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, run by the Department of Agriculture, would be out of funding — meaning almost 40 million low-income Americans could find themselves struggling to pay for food, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist for the accounting firm RSM US.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, meanwhile, has already seen 1,150 contracts with private landlords housing low-income tenants lapse. Another 500 will expire by the end of this month, and another 550 by the end of February, the agency says.
Funding for rental assistance for millions of tenants could be at risk as soon as next month.
"The near-term impact is people getting evicted, having their heat turned off and not having enough food," Brusuelas said.
No-shows by airport workers — including TSA agents and air traffic controllers — would mean delays and canceled flights, hurting business dealings and tourism.
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Trump has made history.
To date, this has been the longest government shutdown in U.S. History and even though it is only partial, the damage that it is causing and has the potential to cause will be anything but.
As of January 18th:
-Trump said that he is prepared to have the shutdown last up to a year if necessary.
-Over 800,000 federal employees have missed a pay.
-Food Stamp recipients have received a combination of their January and February benefits with warnings of no more to come.
-President Trump has stated that food boxes will be provided for Food Stamp recipients if needed, beginning in March.
-Low Income Assistance such as Section 8 has been not be renewed, facing many with possible evictions.
-Possible delayed tax returns
-National Parks are being overrun by trash and human waste in facilities due to lack of staff.
-The Food and Administration Department has a decrease in available staff, putting food inspections at risk with the possibility of poisonous outbreaks.
-A flight passenger was able to sneak a firearm pass unpaid TSA workers, showcasing the potential for massive national security threats.
And this is only the third week.
If you are amongst the citizens who have not been effected by the government shutdown, it is highly encouraged to still remain diligent in personal safety.
We have entered into the Panic portion of this shutdown.
Chaos will soon follow.
No one is exempt from that.
Trump is making history.
Not just with the government shutdown but with everything.
Whether you like him or not, the fact cannot be ignored that President Donald J. Trump is making history.
From his win, which a majority of people didn’t believe to be possible to the rapid changes he has made in the government, Trump is the classic underdog story.
If that underdog was incredibly rich, famous and lived a life that most of us can only dream about while budgeting our bills.
But regardless of how you view the man, the reality is that he has made history, is making history and will be remembered forever. Which, if you also believe the narcissistic mantra about him, is the ultimate goal.
Before his presidency, Trump was beloved in all wakes of media and we all got a kick out of watching him fire people on television. It was all fun and games until the same bully business tactics were applied to our daily lives.
Now a lot of people, including the ones who voted for him are mad.
But can we really be mad at Trump? Can we really be mad at him for being him? Nothing the president has done has been out of his normal.
Trump has carried himself the same exact way from his hay days of real estate to running beauty pageants and appearing randomly in popular movies and hip hop videos. Trump hasn’t changed but we have and until we own up to the fact that we put him in office (the voters and the non-voters) there will always be civil discourse.
And that’s exactly what this government shutdown has become, entertaining civil discourse that spilled over into reality.
If you are over the age of 25, you may remember a time when social media wasn't so prevalent in society. Yes, most of us were online but it was mainly through AOL and we relied heavily on our imagination to make things come to life.
If you were fancy, you uploaded a photo of yourself via an external scanner purchased at Best Buy (or Circuit City, depending on who had the best sale from the Sunday paper) through e-mail to faceless personalities you “met” in chatrooms with the hopes of them returning photos of themselves.
Ah, the chatrooms. A sea full of colorful words and endless imaginative possibilities, where emojis were created by keyboard character manipulation and repetition.
Fast forward to now.
AOL is still around but the mystery once created behind an internet persona is long gone. Where it was once normal to keep your “internet life” private from your “real one”, the two are now infused and it’s all about the selfies, check-ins and geo tags.
But it’s all fun and games right? I mean, who cares how you conduct your life via social media? Who cares if you purposefully troll people you don’t like, stalk exes or claim blatant lies about your accomplishments? None of this is hurting anyone… right?
Say hello to social crediting, a newly developed system that rates people based off of their social engagements. If you haven’t seen the episode of Black mirror that shows social crediting, I highly recommend doing so as it breaks down the overview in a nutshell. But in case you haven’t, allow me to briefly explain.
Social crediting, which is already taking place in China will dictate if you are able to rent an apartment, get approved for a loan, take public transportation, shop in certain areas, etc. Basically it’s the way that the regular credit system works but it’s dictated by those around you. Your positive or negative status is calculated by how the people you engage with grade you.
Now, this may or may not be a good thing. For those who struggle with not-so-yummy credit scores, this could be an amazing way to elevate your life. However, for those who struggle with mood swings, chronic ghosting or just overall shitty behavior, things won’t be so great. In fact, it may cause an epidemic of isolation as more people will choose to shy away from the anti-social who may give low scores just for the fuck of it. Plus your own score will be impacted simply by engaging with someone who has a significantly lower score than you.
Family holidays are about to be real dry.
Like it or not, this new way of life is coming. In some sense, it’s already here. Think about the people, so far who have lost their jobs because of things posted online. Regardless of the reason, it’s quite frightening to think that other people will have this much control over your individual life.
So, in response to Drake’s hit song, “Nice for what?...”
These bills, n*gga. These bills!
By now, you’ve been hearing repeated stories about NPC memes and the uproar that they've been causing across the mediasphere.
But what is a NPC and why should you care about the meme?
Well, really, you shouldn’t.
But for sake of conversation….
According to the New York Times, NPC means “nonplayable character” or “nonplayer character.” It’s a term, borrowed from the world of video games, for a character that is controlled by the computer rather than by a player. An NPC often advances the game’s plot by saying scripted lines, or assisting the playable characters in some way.
The term NPC is supposed to refer to liberals who are said to join the anti-Trump crowd not because they are led by independent thought or conscience to oppose President Trump’s policies, but because they’re brainwashed sheep who have been conditioned to parrot left-wing orthodoxy, in the manner of a scripted character.
Reddit user, BasedMedicalDoctor, explains in a thread about the appeal of the meme, NPCs are “completely dependent on their programming, and can’t do or think on their own.” (full story here)
The best example of this would be the characters on Grand Theft Auto 5 that aren’t the main characters and you can’t control them but their presence moves the narrative of the story along.
So, basically NPC memes are like a form of satire. No big deal right?
About 1,500 NPC-related Twitter accounts have been suspended by the tech company for intentionally providing misleading information about the upcoming midterm elections, like saying the elections are Nov. 7, not Nov. 6, and telling people not to vote.
So......sarcasm? Is it sarcasm?
Remember that? Remember sarcasm?
Ah. Either way, the NPC meme is just another notch on the political sh*t-show belt.... just make sure you vote.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, also known as HBCUs, are institutes of higher education in the United States of America tailored specifically to the African-American experience (though non-African-Americans also attend).
Ranging from private to public, HBCUs are best known for providing educational opportunities to Black people when there were few to none. From graduating the highest amount of Black professionals and doctors to having some of the most notable alums such as Martin Luther King Jr., HBCUs have aided in shaping the “land of the free” into the diversity tolerant society that it is today. However, there is still so much about HBCUs that most people, including those who currently attend, have little to no knowledge of and would be shocked by some of the history.
The first HBCUs were created by Caucasian People
Despite the fact that HBCUs are said to have been built on Black pride, Black culture and Black history, the truth of the matter is the first few HBCUs were created by Caucasian People (Quakers to be exact).
The very first HBCU was established by a philanthropist on land donated by George Cheyney and the prominent Cheyney family in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The core curriculum of the then African Institute focused on teaching agriculture and trade. Two decades later, Lincoln University, known then as the Ashmun Institute became the first private HBCU created by Reverend John Miller Dickey and his wife Sarah Emlen Cresson.
Built mainly on donated and already owned land, the first HBCUs were supported by ministries and social sciences. Educating Black people had become an act of social reform and many Black people wanted to be a part of the revolution. The institutes attracted prospective students from numerous states who were interested in learning trades and philosophizing about the possibility of colonizing Liberia for African-Americans.1 Eventually the HBCUs were able to pioneer employment opportunities previously unheard of and not available to Black people, such as dentistry, teaching and engineering.
The oldest HBCU is over 180 years old
Cheyney University, originally known as the Institute for Colored Youths, is the oldest and first Historically Black University in the United States. Established in 1837, Cheyney University was founded by Richard Humphreys, three decades before the American Civil War.
Founded as the African Institute, the school was soon renamed the Institute for Colored Youth and designed to educate people of African descent and prepare them as teacher. The school also provided training in trades and agriculture, as those were the predominant skills needed in the general economy. In 1902 the Institute was relocated to George Cheyney's farm, a 275-acre property 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia. The name "Cheyney" became associated with the school in 1913. The school's official name changed several times during the 20th century. In 1983, Cheyney was taken into the State System of Higher Education as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. 2
Wilberforce University is the first black owned HBCU.
Wilberforce University is a private, coed, liberal arts historically black university (HBCU) located in Wilberforce, Ohio. Affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, it was the first college to be owned and operated by African Americans. It participates in the United Negro College Fund.
The founding of the college was unique as a collaboration in 1856 by the Cincinnati, Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). They planned a college to provide classical education and teacher training for black youth. 3
HBCUs are ONLY in the south and southeast
Despite the mention of HBCUs in California and other states along the nation, true Historically Black Colleges and Universities are only found in the south or southeast region of the United States.
There are over 100 HBCUs
The estimated number of HBCUs vary between 107 and 104 depending on which article you are looking at and the date of its creation. Over time, HBCUs have been closing due to lost accreditation and decline in enrollment, bringing the official number down to 104.
Alabama has the most HBCUs
With over 100 plus HBCUs in the nation, a whopping 12 of them reside in the state of Alabama! North Carolina sits closely behind at 11, followed by Georgia and Texas with 9 and South Carolina with 8. Giving the circumstances of the history of these states, it’s shocking to see so many HBCUs located in places where African Americans were once thought to not be “allowed” or tolerated. 5
Howard is the Mecca of Greek Life
The first African-American fraternity was established on the campus of Cornell University in 1906, however the majority of the fraternities and sororities that make up the Divine 9 were birthed on the very soil of Howard University.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated was founded on January 15, 1908, by a group of sixteen students led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. Forming a sorority broke barriers for African-American women in areas where they had little power or authority, due to a lack of opportunities for minorities and women in the early 20th century
Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just, making it the first fraternity to be found on the campus of a HBCU.
Delta Sigma Theta was founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women
Phi Beta Sigma, founded on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students with nine other Howard students as charter members. The fraternity's founders, A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would exemplify the ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service while taking an inclusive perspective to serving the community as opposed to having an exclusive purpose. The fraternity exceeded the prevailing models of Black Greek-Letter fraternal organizations by being the first to establish alumni chapters, to establish youth mentoring clubs, to establish a federal credit union, to establish chapters in Africa, and establish a collegiate chapter outside of the United States, and is the only fraternity to hold a constitutional bond with a predominantly African-American sorority, Zeta Phi Beta
Zeta Phi Beta, founded in 1920 by five women from Howard University who believed that sorority elitism and socializing overshadowed the real mission for progressive organizations. Since its founding Zeta Phi Beta has historically focused on addressing social causes. 6
Morgan State University is a National Treasure
Morgan State University, referred to as MSU, Morgan State or Morgan is currently the largest HBCU in the state of Maryland. Located in the heart of Baltimore, Morgan State University was not initially received with open arms.
In 1915 Andrew Carnegie gave the school a grant of $50,000 for a central academic building. The terms of the grant included the purchase of a new site for the College, payment of all outstanding obligations, and the construction of a building to be named after him. The College met the conditions and moved to its present site in northeast Baltimore in 1917. Then a controversy exploded: in 1918, the white community of Laurelville was incensed that the Ivy Mill property, where Morgan was to be built, had been sold to a "negro" college. It attempted to have the sale revoked by filing suit in the circuit court in Towson, which dismissed the suit. They then appealed the case to the state Court of Appeals. The appellate court upheld the lower court decision, finding no basis that siting the college at this location would constitute a public nuisance. Despite some ugly threats and several demonstrations against the project, Morgan College was allowed to be constructed at the new site and later expanded. Carnegie Hall, the oldest original building on the present MSU campus, was erected a year later. 7
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Morgan State University a National Treasure on Tuesday, a designation given to only one other Historically Black College in the country. (Howard University)
Spelman College is considered the best HBCU
According to various surveys, studies and stats, Spelman College is distinguished as being the best HBCU in the nation (with Howard University coming in second place).
The U.S. News and World & World Report has released its annual Best Colleges Rankings for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The HBCUs on the list are matched against one another and no other universities. To be considered for the ranking, all schools must currently be a part of the 2017 Best Colleges rankings and be a designated as an HBCU on the U.S. Department of Education’s Registry.
There are over 100 HBCUs in total, and 80 of them were eligible for 2017 HBCU rankings. From this list of 80 schools, only 72 HBCUs made the cut.
The ranking criteria include statistical indicators including graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, and alumni giving rates to name a few. 8
There are predominantly white HBCUs.
Yes, you read that correctly. In fact the demographics for White students are shockingly high with West Virginia State University at a staggering 61% and Bluefield State College in the lead with over 85%
Both HBCU’s are located in West Virginia and have ironically held a high white-majority attendance since the mid-1960s! 9
Depending on who you engage with the reaction to the word can be a hit or miss. Most people can’t stand the idea of it while others begin their day quoting statements from the latest political news. Personally, politics was never a “thing” in my household. Sure, growing up I learned about it in social studies, caught glimpses of news reports in passing and participated in social justice activities in college but who hasn’t? It wasn’t until my wife, Destinee and I decided to run for office seats that I was able to come face to face with the mystical concept of democracy and learn a few things about running a political campaign.
There are no rules
Of course there are the typical restrictions from the Board of Elections regarding things such as proper phone hours to call people, the size of signs (which no one follows) and deadlines on financial disclosures but beyond that, there are no rules. There is no official guideline on how to create, handle or run a campaign. Unless you hire a campaign manager, which we did not, everything is a shot from the hip, a pull on imagination and an exhaustion of connections. The moment your name is registered with the BOE you have to “make your name rain”. There are no meetings, follow ups, reminders or alerts. Everything that happens (or doesn’t) with your campaign falls on your shoulders. It’s like starting a small business where you are the product and votes are your currency.
Campaigning is more about educating
The masses have grown apathetic to the political process. It was astonishing to witness candidates in unison, claim to have knocked on thousands of doors beforehand but then have voters tell me that they didn’t know an election was coming up when we ventured into the same neighborhoods afterward. In conjunction with getting your name out there, you also have to tell people when the election is, where they can vote, why they should vote for you (or at all in some cases) and surprisingly, why they should care. Simply handing people a piece of literature, directing them to your website or mailing them brochures is not enough.
However, it is also imperative to be conscious of the time you spend educating and whom. There was a gentleman who had approached me during “pavement work” and asked me a series of questions about my campaign, where I stood and why I deserved to win. After the conversation, he assured me of my delivery but then revealed that he was a non-resident and could not vote even if he wanted. TIME WASTED and that’s a big deal because…
Timing is everything
Had we known what we know now, we would have started our campaign at least a year in advance like others. In fact, one of the candidates that I was running against had unsuccessfully ran in the previous election, so technically he had a four year head start. These are the things to take into consideration including the track record of the incumbents (those who are currently in office and in many cases, have been for years). The incumbents are already known, teams already established and connections already solidified.
Many of the incumbents that we faced had served more than one term. One in particular had been in office since 1983. (I said 1983!) Others had double digit term services that kept them locked in the mindsets of voters so hard that the incumbent barely had to campaign at all to secure hordes of votes. Unless you are lucky enough to land on a slate with other familiar politicians, you have to put in some serious work to be seen.
Organizations, Media outlets and PACs send SO MANY e-mails requesting responses to surveys, attendance at forums and interviews. In order to meet every single deadline, time management is crucial! A majority of the forums occur during the workday so you have to account for time off and if you miss anything, journalists find pleasure in virtual finger waging at your name or leaving you out of an article altogether as if you aren’t running. #ImStillSalty
Which brings us to the “fun” part of running a campaign…..
Some people become real life trolls
REAL. LIFE. TROLLS.
I’m no stranger to being trolled on the internet but it is an entirely different experience when it comes from people you have physically encountered. The very first day that Destinee’s filing was solidified, articles came out and her social media was screenshot. At that very moment, I knew that it was going to be an uphill battle that would require many days of meditation. My immediate response was to blast back and enter into groups that were attacking her (one of which would not accept my request to join) but after making one post, I had to force myself to change my mindset. Blatant slander rolled in, from her being 39 (she’s just turning 30 in August) to her never living in the district, despite having Morgan State University as an Alma Mata.
While on my side the most I had to deal with was bullying via sign destruction.
Even still, we handled the chaos with grace and look forward to running our next campaign earlier and with unwavering courage. #Parker2022
By now, I am certain that you have seen the controversial ad with the young Black boy wearing the H&M hoodie entitled, "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle".
And if not, here it is….
.Initially the photo invoked a sense of discomfort. But once emotions are removed, you have to wonder why a brand that has been synonymous with diversity and cultural acceptance would do this?
When all else fails, ALWAYS follow the money!
H&M has been dropping in profitability. So much so that there are even discussions about closing some stores and halting the expansion of others. People just don’t care about the Swedish-based company anymore. Not the party people. Not the gays. Not the radicals and now, certainly not the Black market. So what is a multi-chain store to do? Stir up some controversy! And there is nothing more yummy for attention these days than racism or Trump. Since the Trump-attention sector is currently locked down by the scandals of a new book for the next couple of weeks, all that is left is good ol’ marketable racism.
Honestly, before this ad were you thinking about H&M? Probably not. Neither was Diddy, Lebron James or the Weeknd but the attention that comes from race-baiting is too delicious to pass up, especially if your company and/or persona relies on public attention.
Don’t get me wrong, what H&M did was distasteful and insensitive but in the grander schemes of things, the marketing worked. People have taken notice. Will it tank their sales even further? Probably. But the marketing worked and overall, the young boy has received a check and notoriety (he’s become a meme for crying aloud) that has the potential to propel his modeling career. Diddy and ‘em look like pro-black saviors, which helps their brands as well and we all have something to write and rave about, so technically its a win-win.
Well, for everyone except H&M of course. That's bananas.
How are you handling your summer body this year? Hopefully you’ve added tea to your diet this year. Tea can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, and add a daily dose of antioxidants that are sure to give you that natural summer glow.
Not only does tea have natural healing benefits, but it can also serve as a great replacement to coffee and unnatural caffeine (black teas, green teas, etc.). If you find yourself needing a great night’s rest, and want something a little more calming, chamomile tea can be your best.
It’s not as hard as you may think it is to find a delicious, natural, and organic tea brand that will help you figure out your tea fit. Companies like D’s Teas, offer FREE samplers where you can try a variety!
Don’t underestimate the healing power of tea. Your summer body will thank you. Cheers!