Hello and welcome to The Omitted by Freddy Brewster and T. William Wallin. We are journalism students at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. and decided to start a newsletter to provide our take on what is in and out of the news. The intention of this newsletter is to provide you with some of the headlines that fell through the cracks. We will mention a few big events and give some analysis, however we will mainly focus on what was left behind. We feel that this is important because these “omitted events” tend to influence our lives just as much as the mainstream announcements. Enjoy!
Monday March 18
- Prominent Fox News pundit Jeanine Pirro has had her show removed from Fox’s primetime slot, according to the New York Times. The move comes after Pirro questioned Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s loyalty to the Constitution by asking, “is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Shariah law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” According to the Hollywood Reporter, four of Pirro’s advertisers pulled ads from her show.
- Programs supporting the disabled in San Francisco’s Bay Area are “struggling to keep their doors open,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. High rent and low wages are cited as barriers for some of the companies that depend on funding from both state and federal taxes. The article also points to a study by the California Department of Developmental Services that found between 2012 and 2017, nearly 7,000 organizations providing services for the disabled stopped operating.
Tuesday March 19
- The federal government is currently warehousing unaccompanied minors in “secret shelters… in possible violation of the long-standing rules for the care of immigrant children,” according to Reveal News. Reveal has found that the Office of Refugee Resettlement failed to disclose the existence of the shelters to the public as well as the attorney’s of the minors. Reveal went on to say that there are “at least five [shelters] in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia, holding at least 16 boys and girls for the refugee agency, some as young as 9 years old.”
- In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that it is legal “to arrest and indefinitely jail legal immigrants who committed past crimes,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The SCOTUS decision allows for federal authorities to rearrest individuals for past crimes and subject them to possible deportation. Justice Breyer said that the ruling, “is a power to detain persons who committed a minor crime many years before…. it is a power to hold those persons, perhaps for many months, without any opportunity to obtain bail.”
Wednesday March 20
- The Intercepted reported that three US mercenaries were arrested in Haiti while taking part in a plot to move $80 million for the Haitian president, Jovenel Moïse. The plot consisted of the Americans, along with two Serbian mercenaries, “escorting the presidential aide… to the Haitian central bank, where he’d electronically transfer $80 million from a government oil fund to a second account controlled solely by the president.” This is yet another move by former American soldiers working clandestinely for foreign governments. Two of the mercenaries were former members of the now defunct Blackwater Corp. Somehow the mercenaries escaped Haiti without any formal charges.
- West Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, sued the diocese and former bishop of West Virginia for “knowingly employ[ing] pedofiles,” and not alerting parents about the risks of the predator priests, according to CNN. Morrisey is suing the Catholic Church under consumer protection laws and said the “investigation reveals a serious need for the diocese to enact policy changes that will better protect children.” The significance of using consumer protection laws allows the church to be sued in civil court instead of criminal where they have often been able to avoid charges for alleged conspiracies and cover ups.
Thursday March 21
- The National Guard will help with combating California wildfires starting next month, according to the Associated Press. The troops will be pulled from the US/Mexico border and reassigned to areas throughout California to help with “fuels thinning and forest management.” The article goes on to say that over 23,000 square miles of forests need to be thinned and that over 147 million trees have died since 2010. The implications of this are important because the federal government will have troops working to combat changes in the environment and can be considered a slight nod toward accepting the effects of climate change.
- A federal judge brought a temporary stop to “hundreds of drilling projects for failing to take climate change into account.” This is an essential rebuke of the “energy-first” agenda of the Trump administration for “failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions,” according to The Guardian. US district judge Rudolph Contreras said that the Bureau of Land Management did not take into account “the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing,” and that the BLM must consider past, present and future impacts on all projects.
Friday March 22
- Robert Marrero, chief of staff for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, was arrested by armed intelligence officers working for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, according to the New York Times. Marrero, who is also a lawyer for Guaidó, was taken from his apartment and detained in an unknown area. This is the latest move by President Maduro and one that he using to “gauge how far the international community is prepared to go to defend Mr. Guaidó.”
- Josh Kushner, brother of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, visited Saudi Arabia on a business trip one day before an unannounced visit by Jared. Josh Kushner attended multiple business conferences but “frequently ducked out for more exclusive conversations with Saudi officials,” according to the New York Times. This is yet another move by those in the Trump administration that seems to seek favors from foreign investors. In 2018, Ivanka Trump received 16 trademark deals from China and a Trump-brand hotel and golf course was approved in Indonesia with a Chinese government-owned company agreeing to help build the project.
Saturday March 23
- A former East Pittsburgh police officer is acquitted of killing an unarmed African-American teenager. Antwon Rose II, a 17 year-old, was shot in the back by Michael Rosfeld. Rose was fleeing an unlicensed taxicab at a traffic stop after Rosfeld pulled him and another teen, Zaijuan Hester, over. Rose was sitting in the passenger seat and ran from Rosfeld, who then shot Rose 3 times, hitting him in the arm, face, and back. After a police affidavit shows Rosfeld giving conflicting statements and telling multiple stories to interviewers of what happened, a jury acquitted the officer in less than 4 hours, a decision District Attorney Stephen A Zappala Jr. disagreed with.
The big stuff
This week saw a mass shooting in New Zealand, the start of the NCAA March Madness, and the long-anticipated–and cultishly followed–release of the Mueller report.
The mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand was the country’s deadliest on record and left 50 people dead and 50 wounded. The gunman attacked two mosques and said he drew inspiration from President Trump and previous white supremacist murderers such as Dylann Roof. The New Zealand government moved quickly in banning “all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.” The swift action of the NZ government should be an inspiration to the American government on how to handle mass-shootings. There is little reason why access to such high-powered firearms should be so easy, and why we as country continue to fail time and time again to adequately address this problem. Critics of gun control often cite the mental status of the shooter and how access to healthcare would have prevented such an event from taking place, but routinely vote against allocating funds to make such treatments easily accessible.
March Madness baby!! I don’t follow basketball, nor does T.W Wallin but we thought we should mention it. Pick your favorite and go nuts. Just don’t riot when they win or lose.
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller III finally released his investigation on Friday and did not recommend any new charges. This means that no one was charged with conspiring with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential campaign. The fervor in which this was covered by the mainstream media was absurd in my opinion. Was it shady that person after person lied about what they were doing with the Trump campaign? Yes, it was. However, that does not mean that anything nefarious took place. Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept has routinely pointed out the blood-thirsty coverage of the “RussiaGate” conspiracy and has always said that the MSM was wasting its time by not covering events that are actually affecting the lives of everyday Americans. The MSM used the “RussiaGate” conspiracy to sidestep what really happened in the 2016 election and what the Democratic party is failing to grasp. And that is, working class people matter in elections and you cannot ignore the swing states in the Midwest–like Hillary did.