The “SOTU Eve” News, 29 January 2018

Watch: President Trump announces new Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary,  Alex Azar.

See also: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Alex Azar (US News and World Report)



“Say that again, but slowly.” responding to The Flat Earth Society’s Facebook post which reads “The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.” (Facebook)

“This kind of ‘connecting with the base’ rationalization is a new thing, and bad. Every civilization has ugly elements, which leaders are supposed to help their society rise above rather than egg on.” James Fallows (Twitter)

“There is a cooling and there is a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming, right? That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now but now they’re setting records. Now they’re at a record level. There are so many things happening. I tell you what I believe in— clean air, I believe in crystal-clear, beautiful water, I believe in just having good cleanliness and all.” Donald Trump, responding to Piers Morgan’s question asking him if he believes in climate change. Full transcript here. (ABC News)

“Caution: Trump will read from a TelePrompTer at the SOTU. It will be passable, though extreme. Yet, members of the mainstream media will once again say he’s turned the corner, he’s met the minimum threshold, etc & normalize his behavior. Don’t fall for it. Not for 1 second.” Republican John Weaver (Twitter)

“I sometimes see people say immigrants ‘refuse’ to learn English as if it’s never occurred to them that learning foreign languages is difficult.” Matt Yglesias (Twitter)

“This is just like the time @BarackObama got so mad about people calling him a double-secret Kenyan terrorist that he went and ate a whole bag of almonds and read another book on Niebuhr.” Former speechwriter for President Obama, Cody Keenan, riffing on President Trump’s Twitter tantrum about the “phony book,” The Fire and the Fury. (Twitter)



15- “Salaries and wages — that is, money paid for work — only make up about 15 percent of the income of Americans making $10 million per year or more.” (Washington Post)

>20- More than 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have an income that puts them below the poverty line.” (Wall Street Journal)

54- “Rocky Mountains snowpack that feeds the Colorado River water supplies was 20 percent below average…prompting a prediction that the key water source for seven U.S. states could flow at 54 percent of its average volume during the April-July snowpack runoff.” (Durango Herald)

95- 95 percent of plastic polluting the world’s oceans comes from only ten rivers. (BBC)

13,600- British surgeon Simon Bramhall was fined 10,000 pounds ($13,600) after pleading guilty to burning his initials into patients’ livers during transplant procedures. He has also resigned from medical practice. (Time)

~20,000- An estimated 20,000 teachers in American schools are participants in the DACA program. (PBS NewsHour)


Point and Counterpoint:

“Tonya Harding Would Like Her Apology Now” (New York Times) and “I, Nauseated” (OregonLive)


Short Intro to Election 2018: Democratic Primary for Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District:

Candidates: Dan Canon, Rob Chatlos, Jason Leineweber, Tom Pappas, Liz Watson. (Names are linked to their campaign websites, except for Tom Pappas, whose site seems no longer to be active.) Canon, Chatlos, and Watson are active on Twitter.

Watch: Dan Canon “Ready.”


Watch: Liz Watson, “Run With Liz.”


Primary elections in Indiana are on May 8, 2018. (Make sure your identification is current.)


Reading List: Idaho Told Insurers They Could Ignore Obamacare. What Happens Next? (Vox), Attacks Reveal What U.S. Won’t: Victory Remains Elusive in Afghanistan (New York Times), Floods Peak in Paris (Chicago Tribune), Huge Dinosaur Found in Egypt is First of Its Kind (National Geographic)


This is Real, Part One:


Part of their mission? “Pray for divine intervention, to hold back and to protect the protestors from the spirit of destruction and murder. To bring an end to tyranny and end the demonic stranglehold of Islamic government over the nation. To open door for a season for the gospel to overcome the nation. ” Also? Right now, on their prayer list is Prayer Point number 3, “Seeds of unrest cut down.” It should be noted that Vice President Mike Pence hosted POTUS Shield Frank Amedia for dinner at their residence at the Naval Observatory on January 4, 2018.


This is Real, Part Two:


The use of quotations and citations does not imply endorsement.

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