Coming off the heels of the State of the Union, Congress had one job: avoid another government shutdown. And with more bipartisanship that we saw in any of the 35 days of the last shutdown, they succeeded. The only caveat was that Trump’s $5 billion for a border wall along the Mexican border was nowhere to be found in the legislation. In fact, he received less than was even approved before. So what did he do? He Deebo’d the situation and said “That’s MY money, Congress!” Translation: Trump declared immigration at the southern border was a national emergency in order to secure funding for the wall. Many have pointed out that the numbers Trump used to support his decision do not exist, but what are facts in the age of fake news?? Anyway, the move is already facing a legal hurdle and is expected to face a lot more before it’s all said and done.
Ps. The GEO GROUP, a private prison owner, is celebrating the passage of the new spending bill. With the number of federal prisoners on the decline, private prisons are investing in other streams of income and immigrant detention is one of them. The recently approved spending bill is expected to increase the number of beds needed in detention centers, which will in turn lead to renegotiated contracts.
Pss. The GEO Group is also hoping to profit off the criminal reform bill passed in late 2018. Stay woke.
New Sheriff in Town
One and a half attorney generals later, William Barr is now confirmed as 45’s new US Attorney General. His arrival comes at an interesting time considering we’re in the midst of the border controversy and everyone (except Trump and his allies) is waiting anxiously for the revelation of Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation. Barr apparently has a lot of respect for Mueller and says he’s not one to give in to pressure from high powered figures, but only time will tell. Could another of Trump’s flunkies have finessed his way into this position or will he keep Donnie’s twitter fingers at bay and give the investigation the space it needs to complete?
Kaep and the NFL Reach a Settlement
In other collusion news, you might remember that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid sued the NFL and alleged that owners worked together to keep them off the field due to their police brutality protests. Welp, Kaepernick shut his haters up after the players reached a settlement with the league for an undisclosed amount. Chances of him being back on the field are still slim (Reid signed to the Carolina Panthers in September 2018), but Kaep has already proved himself to be worthy of praise whether he rocks a uniform every Sunday or not.
All Eyes on 2020
Will the real Kamala Harris please stand up? Despite having somewhat addressed the issue, some critics are still looking for thoughtful and authentic responses regarding decisions she made as a California prosecutor.
November 3, 2020 is only 623 days away. Don’t sleep on getting your updates.
Around the Diaspora
2019 makes 400 years since the first Africans were sold and taken from their homeland to work as slaves in the Americas. Read about how Ghana is using this history to bring you back to the Motherland.
A bipartisan effort was introduced in the US Congress to extend a trade deal that would allow Jamaica, Belize and other Caribbean nations to benefit from exporting certain goods into the US until 2030. Guyana is preparing now to make sure they can take full advantage.
Haiti’s president refuses to listen to loud calls for resignation amid deadly protests, claiming that he has a plan to relieve the nation’s pain.
Culture that Pops
Our Forever POTUS is teaming up with the NBA to start a new 12-team league across the continent of Africa.
The owner of Essence magazine and SheaMoisture pledges $100 million to fund businesses founded by women of color.
Netflix has a new podcast titled “Strong Black Lead” in which they’ll be interviewing legendary Black film stars and giving them their flowers while they can still smell them. Literally.