America the Broke
Having officially hit the debt ceiling last week, we cannot collect $200 (nope, not even that much) and we certainly can't pass GO.
What the Health
The latest COVID numbers: 102M total cases & 1M total deaths (+331K & +4K from last week) in the US.
Time flies: The first COVID case in the US was diagnosed 3 years ago.
Japan is considering reclassifying COVID to the same severity level as the seasonal flu. Is the US there yet?
Cases of COVID, the flu & RSV are all down. This winter’s “tripledemic” is nearing its end.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
More classified documents were found in Biden’s Delaware home last week. Here’s what to know and how his situation differs from Donnie’s.
The POTUS gets a new Chief of Staff.
Kamala Harris takes jabs at Florida’s abortion law as state lawmakers consider additional (but still unspecified) restrictions.
Congress, What’s Good?
As expected, we hit the debt ceiling last week. This means we’ve hit our borrowing max and Congress needs to raise the ceiling before we can borrow more. Why would the “greatest country on earth” need to borrow more? It’s because we spend more than we realistically bring in, accruing debt in the process. Never seeing eye to eye, the right wants to resolve the issue with spending cuts. The left’s response to that is GTFOH.
The Treasury will deploy “extraordinary measures” to keep things afloat until Congress can work out a deal. These measures include suspending investments in certain government retirement funds and moving money from other agencies to meet payment deadlines.
If the Dems & GOP are still bickering over the debt limit in June, social security payments, Medicare coverage, veterans’ benefits and salaries for federal employees are among the things that’ll be impacted. The NAACP is warning that this could affect the Black community disproportionately. It’s always something.
Speaking of committees, the agenda is light this week. The January 6 committee meetings will be the focus early on.
Social Justice Round Up
Florida’s idiot governor banned AP African American studies, claiming it was inaccurate, lacked “educational value” and violated state law. The state law is most likely the Stop WOKE law that bans Critical Race Theory. If you recall, conservatives define CRT as any race-based topic that challenges their fragility.
A reparations committee for the City of San Francisco recommends a plan that includes payments of $5M to Black residents.
After 3 deaths in the first 3 days of the year, LAPD’s police chief has banned the “thin blue line” flag that represents the blue lives matter sentiment. While officers can display it on their lockers or personal vehicles, the flag can no longer appear in station lobbies, at public events, on uniforms, or on squad cars.
Around the Diaspora
Ghana, Nigeria? Y’all ok?? It looks like Senegal officially claimed the title as the home of jollof rice.
Following a November ceasefire, Eritrean troops were finally seen leaving Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister says the 2023 Carnival will proceed with no lockdowns or restrictions.
Getting to the Money
Student loan forgiveness is still on hold, but there’s also the REPAYE plan. Learn more about it here.
The Target Accelerators program is helping retail startup founders reach the next level of their businesses while also offering networking and mentorship opportunities. If you have your own company with a retail component or know someone else who does, consider applying or sharing the application for the 2023 program. Applications close on February 3.
Check out these Black-owned wine companies that are perfect for a night in with bae or with your favorite book.
Culture that Pops
A couple Disney princesses will be made Black this February, thanks to CreativeSoul Photography and Disney. A limited-edition collection of dolls will be on sale featuring the likes of Cinderella and Elsa with more melanated skin and Motherland-inspired dresses.
We finally made it to the future y’all. One young man invented a mirror that allows you to virtually try on clothes, accessories, etc. before purchasing.
We all know a white man stealing Black music could never be the true king of Rock ‘n’ Roll. This documentarian is hitting up Sundance this year to show the world why Little Richard is truly the one.