“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
We try to keep our spin on the news politically neutral. There are enough places that’ll give it to you one sided. At the end of every news commentary, there’s a section that explains the issue in a basic way that can help you chat with your kids about it. We hope you find it helpful!
Inscribed on the fireplace mantel in the dining room of the White House is a prayer from former president John Adams. I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof. We hold our elected officials to a high standard–as we should. But then the dirty business of politics gets in the way. The result? Officials, even our presidents, who mess up. It’s nothing new. In fact, history often repeats itself. So, when a journalist claims something is “unprecedented” or “unheard of” it often only takes a little research to realize that almost nothing is “unprecedented” when it comes to our government. The latest FBI investigation into the Trump administration (well, his campaign staff) has reporters claiming all of those things.
Meet your newest United States Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch. He was nominated to fill the spot of Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February 2016. Name: Neil Gorsuch
A few days ago, I received an email from the White House inviting me to share my “Obamacare disaster” story. So, I did. I explained how Obamacare has affected my husband’s pay. He’s in the medical field and, along with his colleagues, was furious when the bill outlined how certain medical professionals should be paid for their work, as if lawmakers know anything about how medical professionals should be billed. Turns out, no one really feels that bad for those who actually work in the healthcare industry, even though the healthcare law affects everyone, practitioners and patients alike. This debate is about the cost to patients. You and me. All this healthcare business can be incredibly wonky and confusing (I know I’m not the only one), so let me fill you in real quick…
Do you know how much money reporters make straight out of college? Go ahead and take a guess. Journalism is so glamorous, the salary has got to be sustainable, right? Wrong. Most journalists make jack squat. I know all too well. I used to be one. My first reporting gig I made a whopping 18k a year. My salary jumped to 23k when I took my second reporting job and I thought I had hit the jackpot. The environment, the pressure, the demand… I often felt like a walking ulcer. There’s a reason so many call it quits after just a few years on the job. Unless you’re truly passionate and can overlook the pay, the field is merciless and it hardly seems worth it. You may have noticed that reporters are attacked pretty ruthlessly these days, and not only by conservative citizens who are sick of liberal slants. They’ve also become quite the target for the President of the United States.
By: Andrea There is a room in the U.S. Capitol building where only senators can enter. Senator Bob Bennett, a republican, used to tell me stories about that room as we’d walk down the long underground tunnels connecting his office building to the Capitol. He would often sit down for lunch in that room with then-Senator Joe Biden, a democrat. “He’d talk about Catholicism, and I’d talk about being a Mormon,” said Sen. Bennett. “Joe Biden knows all about the Mormon church.” Senators often head to that room to escape their staff, eat lunch, or relax in between votes. But, Sen. Bennett explained, over the years the more states elected senators on extreme sides of the aisle, the less cordial and friendly that room became.
And a Thing or Two about Twitter By: Andrea “Don’t they realize he wasn’t actually the one tweeting? It was his press secretary!” I exclaimed to my coworker as we watched the news pour in after a State of the Union address several years ago. A reporter was slamming a congressman over a disparaging message he had “disrespectfully” tweeted from his front row seat in the Capitol, while the president was delivering his prime time speech. Gone are those days though. Now “live tweeting” the SOTU is apparently the norm these days. But my point, at least at the time, was while just about every politician has a Twitter account, most of the time they aren’t actually the ones tweeting. Of course, we can think of a few instances where this isn’t true. But for most politicians (at least the ones who like to play it safe), it’s their press team doing it for them.
Thoughts on Refugees Coming to America By: Andrea “All Mormons are welcome in Missouri! You’re welcome, too!” I giggled a little bit as I listened to Senator Kit Bond, a Republican senator from Missouri, warmly invite me to his home state. He reeked of tobacco and his thick midwest accent made his invitation sound more like, “All Marmons are welcome in Missour-a!” I was interviewing him for a legacy video I was creating for my boss, Sen. Bob Bennett, whose term was coming to an end that year. Sen. Bond was one of about forty senators and congressman I sat down and chatted with that fall day in 2010. It seemed like an odd thing to say, but there was a lot of history behind his invitation.
The Peaceful Right to Protest: The Women’s March on Washington By: Andrea and Brittany Protests have been happening since the birth of our country. Boston Tea Party, anyone? The First Amendment protects our right to free speech and peaceful assembly. So, whether we take the same stance as protesters, it simply doesn’t matter. It is a basic American right. I don’t always think protests make sense or are always effective, but they are one of the beauties of our democracy.
Reaction to President Obama’s Farewell Address By: Brittany “The most important office in our democracy is citizen. . . . Each of us must accept the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging. It needs you–not just when there’s an election. Not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over a full span of a lifetime” -President Barrack Obama, Farewell Address President Obama just took the words right out of my mouth. Despite what any conservative reporters may say, President Obama’s farewell address was absolutely inspiring. He brilliantly stayed away from recapping his Administration’s last eight years and instead gave Americans a much needed lecture on civics. He powerfully delivered a message on our duties and responsibilities as American citizens, and hope. Actual real, tangible hope and not a bunch of fluffed up political rhetoric. All of the above are something that both parties, in my opinion, have failed miserably at in recent years. This call to action couldn’t have come at a better time.
Reaction to Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe Speech By: Andrea Oh Meryl! You’re such a talented actress. Why’d you have to go and ruin your big moment by talking about politics? You won a big award at the Golden Globes last night, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which means you made outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Entertainment is clearly your thing. But speeches? Not so much. At least not last night. I’m sure you started out with good intentions. You seemed to want to give a speech focused on tolerance and love. Your words were so beautiful. So eloquent. But the second you got politics involved, you lost me. Probably others too. Did you forget this was an awards ceremony to honor the best in television and film? I don’t recall politics being part of its purpose.