The Senate Joins The House In 1.9T Stimulus Approval

The Senate ended their unholy stimulus war with the House on the Sabbath giving way to $1.9t in covid-19 relief. The bill skimmed by with a 50-49 vote that is expected to be finalized by President Joe Biden on Monday. Biden reacted to the narrowly bipartisan approval via a Twitter retweet.

“When I took office, I promised help was on the way. Thanks to @SenSchumer and Senate Democrats, we’ve taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise. He continued saying “I hope the American Rescue Plan receives a quick passage in the House so it can be sent to my desk to be signed. “

Source: Twitter

Who Qualifies?

Third stimulus checks may not exactly be a charm for hard hit Americans but will provide aid for some of it’s most vulnerable citizens & families.

-Individuals who earned $75,000 or less last year are eligible for the full $1400 payment.

-Married couples with combined incomes that were beneath 150,000 during their most recent tax year also qualify for the full $1400 stipend. While the head of household remains eligible with earnings of $112,000 or less. Adults who earned $80,000 & married couples who’s income tallied beyond $160,000 are exempt from receiving payments.

-Parents will also net an additional $1,400 check per dependent child claimed on their taxes. This round is also more inclusive of older dependents and now include college students and some individuals older than 17 with disabilities.

-Undocumented immigrants are not included in direct payments but may be apart of a household that is eligible for a single payment if a citizen resides within.


Biden’s $1.9T Stimulus Plan Proposes $1B To Aid Disenfranchised Black Farmers

Black farmers are on Biden’s executive radar. The $1.9 trillion covid-19 stimulus package proposes $1 billion to assist racially maligned farmers and includes special commissions, agriculture training and other aid to balance the systemic injustice that is present in farming.

A photo album is captured at the History House museum in Tillery, North Carolina which chronicles the experiences of relocated Black farmers. Tillery was one in a nonet of states where the government offered land for sale to former Black sharecroppers as part of a farming gentrification program.

“By denying or delaying Black farmers the same, loans, subsidies and other payments made to white farmers, USDA engaged in systematic racism that led to a dramatic decline in the number of Black farmers. This is not in dispute” stated the president of the National Black Farmers Association namely John Boyd to Fox News.

“Sadly, this long legacy of discrimination is baked into USDA programs, including how payments to Black farmers like me continue to be calculated” Boyd expounded.

Evangeline Grant is seated in her Tillery, North Carolina home which originally belonged to her parents. Grants family fought the government for 30 years in attempts to keep control of the land after their family farm was foreclosed on in 1978. Source: Madeline Gray

USDA statistics reveal that Black farmers accounted for about one sixth of farmers in the early 1900’s but less than 2% of farms were Black owned leading up to 2017.

The “debt relief bill” was suggested by Sen. Raphael Warnock and assesses “equal to 120 per cent of the outstanding indebtedness of each socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher as of January 1, 2021, to pay off the loan directly or to the socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher.” It’s set to offer “loan assistance” by using “however much otherwise unappropriated FY 2021 funds” that are deemed “necessary” according to Fox News & The Counter.


1st Black US Gymnastics Champion Dianne Durham Dies at 52

Gary, Indiana has produced a variety of prominent public figures. Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and family are some of the most notable mentions but doesn’t limit the city to it. The list of remarkable names range from economist (Joseph E. Stiglitz) and reach to former NBA players including Glenn Robinson then stretched all the way to rappers such as Freddie Gibbs. This small midwestern town has produced some of the greats and also was the birth place of one of the 1st Black gymnast in the country namely Dianne Durham who has died at 52.

Durham was only 14 years old when she performed in front of thousands of people on America’s largest gymnastics platform in 1983. In less than two minutes she would soar through a polished floor routine and fly through the air to land in a double twist with her hands raised as only a champion would. Her performance would earn her a resounding round of applause and four gold medals. It also penned her name in the history books as the first Black gymnast to ever achieve such victories. Her career was short and sweet but inarguably set an exemplar for ethnic athletes.

The Gold medalist’s would later suffer an ankle injury that catapulted her to coaching & gym ownership as a way to still take part in the sport. Her husband spoke to CNN regarding his late wife saying “Her personality was bubbly and she was a very charismatic individual who was respected and admired by a lot of people. Whether highest level or recreation class, all the students admired her because she treated them the same.”

June 5, 1983- Dianne Durham right is pictured giving autographs in Gary, Indiana after winning the women’s title at the Mcdonald’s U.S.A. Gymnastic Championship at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Source: Associated Press

The departed champion previously spoke on her home town stating the city of Gary was behind me 100,000%. She also released a statement following the death of George Floyd that read:

“In my own life and gymnastics career I encountered discrimination and prejudice. It didn’t stop me from reaching all of my goals, but it did play a role in preventing me from reaching some of my biggest goals.

“As an icon and trailblazer in our sport, Dianne opened doors for generations of gymnast who came after her, and her legacy carries on each day in gyms across the country,” said USA Gymnastics CEO Li Li Leung in a statement.

Simone Biles, Dominique Dawes and Gabby Douglas are successors of Durham who was reported to have passed peacefully in a Chicago hospital with her spouse and sister at her side according to US NEWS.

Source: Twitter

Is she receiving late flowers?


South African Covid-19 Variant Surfaces in South Carolina & Maryland

The Covid-19 mutation first identified in South African has now surfaced in South Carolina & Maryland. Maryland announced it’s first case on Saturday and has ensured citizens that thorough contact tracing is underway. While South Carolina acknowledged the variants presence on Thursday. Health officials in both states are concerned due to the variation being more contagious and easier to transmit than the original virus.

The CDC released a statement on the South African variant saying the “CDC is aware that the first US documented cases of the B .351 variant of SARS-CoV2, which was first detected in South Africa, have been identified in South Carolina.

“CDC is early in it’s efforts to understand this variant and will continue to provide updates as we learn more. At this time we have no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease. Like the UK and Brazilian variants, preliminary data suggests this variant may spread more easily and quickly than other variants.”

Source: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Clinical trial results have shown that the mutations are reducing the vaccines potency and fear it will undermine efforts to vastly vaccinate. Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke on the Covid-19 variants stating “Clearly, the mutants have a diminishing effect on the efficacy of the vaccines. We can see that we are going to be challenged.”

A researcher for Harvard’s medical school namely “Dr. Dan Barouch said “it’s a different pandemic now.” Pfizer’s Chief Executive said the variants have a “high possibility” of causing the currently crafted doses to be ineffective but did remain optimistic saying “science will prevail” according to the Business Insider.


White House Is “exploring ways” To Fast Track Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

The Biden administration has renewed efforts to fast track the face of Harriet Tubman on the upcoming $20 bill. This action was laid aside during Trumps time in office.

One of the many designs that have appeared in the effort to give a nod to the civil rights icon and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman.

“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 notes” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing.

She added “It’s important that our notes, our money…reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that. So we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort.”

Source: White House-Instagram

The Treasury Department first initiated Tubman on the $20 bill in 2016, during the Obama administration. In an effort to replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the currency. Shortly after former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the new bills would be unveiled in 2020. That proposal loss traction under former president Donald Trump who cited the change as “pure political correctness.”


Democrats Drafting Bill That Includes a $3k Tax Credit Per Child

House Democrats plan to use child tax credits as a catalyst to aid millions of American families. The lawmakers are currently drafting The American Family Act. That bill would increase the annual tax credit to $3,000 per child and would be sent to families in recurring $300 monthly increments. Those tax credits would be 100% refundable and the IRS would issue $300 checks per month for children under 6 years old and $250 a piece for those ages 6-17.

“Reps. DelBene and DeLauro are planning to reintroduce the American Family Act soon. We are currently working through technical changes to the bill, including discussions with the Biden administration on how this would be implemented to get benefits to families quickly and efficiently” said congressional spokesperson Nick Martin.

Martin went on to say “The president’s support for this policy is a game changer. The one year expansion is important pandemic relief policy but permanently expanding the benefit could give millions of children the opportunity to succeed. The permanent expansion is estimated to lift 4 million children out of poverty and cut deep poverty among children in half.”

The present child tax credit goes up to a maximum of $2,000 per child for ages 16 and under. Only 70% of those credits are currently refundable. The credit diminishes for single parent families who earn over $200,000 per year or couples who have a combined income that exceeds $400,000 according to Fox.


Day 3: Biden’s Set to Sign Duo Orders Which Aid Families Affected by Covid-19

Covid-19 has “hit hard” and the commander in chief is scheduled to strike back on Friday by signing two executive orders that help affected families. Biden is set to pen his John Hancock in support of expanding the federal food program benefits (SNAP) by 15% while increasing federal contract workers pay to $15 per hour. His support of federal workers is multi dimensional & also includes but isn’t limited to revoking Trumps rules that stripped vulnerable civil servants.

Biden is also requesting the Labor Department to clarify job workers rights to deny jobs that threaten their health during the pandemic. Saying “These actions are not a substitute for comprehensive legislative relief…but they will provide a critical lifeline to millions of American families” to reporters.

Vehicles lined up at a food giveaway in Utah during the global pandemic. Source: Rick Bowmer/AP

He has further plans to successfully transition a 1.9 trillion aid package through Congress in the coming months.

As soon as the fireworks stopped exploding on Inauguration day the President got swiftly to work to ensure Americans aren’t. He immediately signed actions that extend the federal eviction moratorium through March, and paused student loan repayments & interest until September according to NBC.


Statistics Show a 100% Increase in Expressway Shootings in Chicago-2020

Driving on the expressway has gotten deadlier for Chicagoans and it’s not for the reason most would think. Travelers previously worried about getting in a vehicular accident or traffic jam but 2020 has added fatal gunfire to that list. Early reports are indicating a 100% surge in expressway shootings in Chicago for 2020. Ending last year with a total of 128 gunshot victims while only 12 of those shootings resulted in an apprehension. The previous year (2019) was less than half of that number (52). One third of those incidents took place on the Dan Ryan according to Illinois state police.

Chanel Crespo holds a memorial for her brother John Ortiz, who was fatally shot while driving on the Eisenhower expressway in Chicago Illinois. Source: Reuters-Jim Young

Community stakeholders are slamming those shootings as unacceptable. A spokesperson (Beth Hundsdorfer) for the state police said “Expressway camera footage has produced evidence that was useful in obtaining criminal charges pursuant to expressway-related investigations.”

While a community member namely Alma Hill is crying foul and insisting more can be done. “I feel we’re being neglected. I feel we’re being put on the back burner because they can use the excuse of COVID.” Hill went on to say “I do believe more people have to stand up and let the public and especially the government know that this is important to us.” I know they’ve got a lot on their hands but that’s no excuse. This is ridiculous people are dying.” As originally reported by The Chicago Tribune.


Melania Trump Breaks White House Tradition Ashley Biden Calls it “Unfortunate”

On Tuesday President-elect Joe Biden’s daughter reacted to Melania Trump not offering her mother Jill Biden a “House” tour. The “tea and tour” is a tradition that allows the outgoing First Lady to show the successor around the White House. Biden’s daughter Ashley said “No, I don’t think they’re doing the traditional protocol, which is unfortunate, but I think we’re all OK with it” according to NBC.

Source: Getty Images
Source: Twitter

This keeps with the Trumps tradition of disregarding protocols and follows her husbands refusal to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. A notion that President-elect Joe Biden welcomed calling it “One of the few things” they ever “agreed” on and a good thing.”

Melania Trump did find the time to post a digital “farewell” where she described her time in the White House as “unforgettable.” While asking American’s to “focus on what unites us.

Despite Trumps impending inaugural absence or Melania’s lack of hospitality power will be transferred on January 20 and former Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton are scheduled to be in attendance.

Source: BG-Robb Carr

Is Colin Kaepernick being called a “son of a b**ch, nonexistent federal mask mandates in the midst of a global pandemic something you’d be thrilled to forget about? Or was it the terms of endearment to Capitol Hill invaders for you?


“Injustice Anywhere is a Threat To Justice Everywhere” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: Jack Thornell/AP Images

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and social justice activist who made vital contributions to the Civil Rights movement from the 1950s until his assassination in 1968. Although his life was cut short his selfless acts are still alive and well today. Dr. King fought for Black Americans to be recognized as humans who deserved equal rights and the impoverished. His peaceful protest included the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington in 1963. Those demonstrations would later manifest into legislation known as the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. He was a man of the cloth and one of the most influential speakers of all times. The Nobel Peace Prize winner laid the very groundwork for the peaceful protest that are seen today.

George Floyd protest in Baltimore 2020. Source: Twitter

The icons legacy is indisputably upheld through his children who haven’t wavered in continuing the fight for social justice. His heirs have stayed ten toes down on behalf of the causes their father championed and ultimately died for. So lets honor them as well today.

“He didn’t have a large quantity of time, but the quality of time was remarkable.”-Coretta Scott King speaking of husband Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…King family 1966/ /Source: MBR/AP
L to R- Martin Luther King III, Dexter King, Yolanda King and Bernice King stand next to a crypt dedicated to their parents in Atlanta on November 20, 2006. Source: Wilfred Harewood-AP

What’s your favorite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote? Ours is “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”