Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, is resting in a New York City hospital after undergoing a procedure to replace a bile duct stent.
What We Know:
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now resting in a New York City hospital after her procedure to replace a bile duct stent she originally placed last year. In a statement released by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Ginsburg’s treatment was described as “non-surgical” and said it was performed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. But this isn’t the first time Ginsburg went the hospital for the bile duct stent.
- On July 14, Ginsburg was admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was treated for possible infection by undergoing the endoscopic procedure to clean out a bile duct stent she had placed last year in August.
- “According to the doctors, stent revisions are common occurrences and the procedure, performed using endoscopy and medical imaging guidance, was done to minimize the risk of future infection,” the statement read. “The Justice is resting comfortably and expects to be released from the hospital by the end of the week.”
- Ginsburg has been dealing with health issues for a while. In 1999, Ginsburg underwent treatment for colon cancer and then, in 2009, she was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer. In August of 2019, the pancreatic cancer returned and she was treated for that.
- Ginsburg’s health issues and age have been a major concern regarding her work but Ginsburg assures that she will be able to do her job without interruptions, including her health issues. In May, Ginsburg was hospitalized yet still attended phone meetings (because of the pandemic) from her hospital room, where she was recovering from a benign gallbladder condition.
Ginsburg also announced on July 17 that in February, a scan showed that she had lesions on her liver.
Joe Biden Taps Kamala Harris As Running Mate
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election yesterday.
What We Know:
- Former Vice President Biden’s reveal has been highly anticipated since he promised to select a woman as his running mate if he won the nomination. California Senator Kamala Harris is a historic choice as she is only the third woman to be nominated as a vice-presidential candidate. Harris initially announced her own presidential campaign in January of 2019. She was viewed as a strong contender in the large mix of potential Democratic nominees; however, she suspended her campaign in December 2019. In March, she endorsed Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee.
- The Biden campaign conducted a months-long search for a running mate, doing several rounds of interviews and pouring over records before presenting Biden with a list of finalists. Amongst the finalists were six women, many of which being women of color with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) reportedly seen as the favorite among them. California Rep. Karen Bass and former national security adviser Susan Rice were two other Black woman contenders. Before the announcement, the campaign assembled a staff for Harris led by senior advisor Karine Jean-Pierre.
- Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2017. Prior to becoming a senator, she served two terms as California’s attorney general. She was the first Black American and first woman to serve in that position. Harris is a Democratic senator, however, she has been criticized for her record as attorney general and for not being progressive enough. Critics point out how Harris failed to bring large-scale police and drug reform in California and often use the slogan “Kamala is a cop.” Her proponents emphasize how she refused to seek the death penalty and reduced many marijuana-related crimes to misdemeanors. Now, as racial injustice and police behavior is in the national spotlight, Harris is using her platform to amplify progressive voices.
- At age 77, many believe Joe Biden, if elected, would not run for a second term. That makes his Vice Presidential candidate a potential top pick to receive the party’s 2024 nomination. Harris, a national figure and former presidential candidate herself, may pose problems for a Biden administration for that exact reason. “I think some people fear that she won’t necessarily be a team player because she’ll always worry about her own interests,” a source close to Biden suggested.
Many in the Democratic Party view Harris as a solid choice. Her background as a prosecutor and senator provide essential experience for the role of vice president. Biden and Harris will formally accept the Democratic Party’s nominations during the virtual convention next week.
Mnuchin Threatens to Make Taxpayers Pay Back COVID Money Unless Trump is Reelected
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested Sunday that unless President Donald Trump is reelected, all Americans who took advantage of payroll tax reductions must be paid back to the government.
What We Know:
- White House negotiators and democratic congressional leaders met several times to discuss a coronavirus relief package before President Trump took executive action yesterday. This would delay financial assistance to millions of Americans. Trump also defended the drop in unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $400.
- Mnuchin met with Chris Wallace for a brief interview on FOX Sunday, following the actions of Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to steps taken over the weekend. They confirmed that the president’s latest executive action on the matter of pandemic relief was not a tax cut, but rather a payroll tax suspension.
Wallace noted, “Isn’t there a danger that a lot of businesses won’t pass these saving through to workers because they’re going to hold on to the money because at some point, according to this executive action by the end of the year, those payroll taxes are going to be have to be paid anyway?”
- Mnuchin’s rebuttal to Wallace’s remark reiterated the fact the President was heavily inclined towards the idea of a payroll tax cut. He explained that they could go the route of a payroll tax deferral and that Trump would later tell the American people “that when he’s reelected, he will push through legislation to forgive that so, in essence, it will turn into a payroll tax cut”.
- From his country club in New Jersey Saturday, Trump signed the executive orders that were met with considerable resistance from both Democrats and Republicans, as they regarded the move as unconstitutional.
- Wallace also brought up the ongoing issue of whether these executive actions would cause a reduction in Medicare or Social Security benefits.
- In regards to Social Security and Medicare, Mnuchin stated that wasn’t going to be the case, with little to no other evidence. He did say, however, that there “would be an automatic contribution from the general fund to those trusts funds. The president in no way wants to harm those trust funds.”
What minimal argument Mnuchin had over Trump’s proposed payroll tax suspension appears that it will not negatively affect Social Security. It was an issue that many Democrats, including the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, previously had.
Donald Trump Asks to be Added to Mount Rushmore
The White House reached out to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem last year about the process of adding more presidents to Mount Rushmore.
What We Know:
- Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The monument includes the faces of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The man who carved Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, chose the presidents because “they all played important roles in American history”.
- According to the New York Times, last year a White House aide reached out to Governor Noem inquiring “What’s the process to add additional presidents to Mount Rushmore?” Following this conversation, last month Donald Trump visited South Dakota for 4th of July celebrations where he was greeted by Governor Noem with a Mount Rushmore replica that included Trump in hand.
- Donald Trump has been fascinated with having his face added to Mount Rushmore for a long time. In 2017, he made a remark about being added to the monument at an Ohio rally.
- Last night President Trump denied all claims on Twitter saying, “This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN. Never suggested it although, based on all of the many things accomplished during the first 3 1/2 years, perhaps more than any other Presidency, sounds like a good idea to me!”
- However, Maureen McGee-Ballinger, Mount Rushmore National Monument chief of interpretation and education, quickly ended the debate stating “…to maintain both the integrity of the structure and the artist’s concept, there is no procedure for adding another likeness, the sculpture is complete”.
Though President Trump would like to deny his desire to be added to Mount Rushmore, the White House confirmed that the inquiry about adding another president to the monument happened. Although it appears that the monument is closed for business, it is interesting to theorize if Gutzon Borglum would consider Trump a president that played an important role in American history.
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