Top 5 in Politics: June 8th- June 22nd
Credit: The Times
1. Congressional Baseball Players Shot
During the practice before an annual charity baseball game on Wednesday, June 14th, James Hodgkinson wounded six in a shooting spree. Most notable was majority whip Steve Scalise, who was shot through the hip and was in critical condition. The president has since visited him and recovery seems likely.
Though the shooter died following the incident, the connections to Bernie Sanders have not. Hodgkinson volunteered on Sanders’ campaign and was an ardent supporter of his, but the congressman has vehemently spoken against using any type of violence to enact change.
2. President Trump's Birthday Present
The FBI investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race has expanded to include the president himself. Shortly after the firing of Director Comey, the search into Russia’s connections with the United States veered toward the Commander-in-Chief, specifically looking into whether he obstructed justice or not.
President Trump appeared to have acknowledged this in a tweet that stated, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” but his lawyers have backtracked on that. Arguing that the president couldn’t show the whole story in a single tweet, they claim that the tweet relates only to the original article accusing him of being investigated.
3. Bernie Sanders v. Russell Vought
Many are having a field day with Bernie Sanders’ questioning of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) then-nominee that occurred during his confirmation hearing Wednesday, June 7th. Russell Vought was nominated by President Trump as the deputy director of the OMB, and mixed reactions surfaced when Sanders questioned the potential appointee.
Some argue that he was bringing to light important questions about Vought’s religious views and how they could impede the office. Others have referenced Article VI of the Constitution, stating that this was an illegal religious test being given to Vought. The video of Sanders’ questioning is in the first link, what are your thoughts on it?
4. Republicans Win Georgia Race
$50 million was spent trying to fill the House of Representatives spot in Georgia, with the winner being Karen Handel. Her opponent was Democratic candidate Jon Ossof, and calls for a change to the Democratic party are growing. Supposed to be one of a series of special-election wins for the left, all five of the elections have swung to the right.
The White House is understandably happy at this turn of events, especially since the forecasted winner was Ossof. President Trump and Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter to celebrate, naturally.
5. Warmbier and the Growing Tensions with North Korea
North Korea held Otto Warmbier, 22, for 17 months before releasing him on Tuesday, June 13th. There are still three Americans imprisoned in North Korea, as well as one Canadian. Warmbier passed away Monday, June 19th.
MRI scans showed severe brain trauma, but doctors can’t figure out exactly what happened. They believe the trauma occurred shortly after his conviction, but they note that there were no broken bones or other trauma that would indicate beatings or other physical torture.
Once home, Warmbier was non-responsive, but his parents say that he seemed at peace after a short while. President Trump let out an official statement condemning the North Koreans for their actions and noting that prevention of these incidents is a necessity. All of this, because Warmbier tried to take a propaganda poster.