In the News: Week of February 9th

What happened in the world from February 9th - 15th

Happy Sunday morning everyone! Some of you might be wondering why you didn’t hear from me on Friday. I didn’t forget to publish or have any technical problems; I’m in the process of making some changes to my newsletter. I’m really excited about the new content I have planned, but I’m not ready to publish articles on Friday again just yet. You’ll still hear from me every Sunday, and when you hear from me on Fridays again my newsletter will look a little different. I can’t wait for you to read some of the stuff I’ve got planned.

In the news this week

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, narrowly edging out runner-up Pete Buttigieg. Amy Klobuchar also had a surprisingly strong finish, garnering nearly 20% of the vote and easily surpassing the 15% threshold to come away with delegates. Joe Biden probably had the most disappointing night; he left the state for South Carolina before voting concluded, which was a sign that he knew things would get ugly. They did get ugly, as he finished in 5th place with only 8.4% of the vote. 

Next up on the calendar is Nevada. A recent poll in the state has Sanders up 7% on Joe Biden. If the former Vice President doesn’t win Nevada or South Carolina, he could drop out of the race. Early frontrunners Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are expected to do much worse in the next two (more diverse) states, Nevada and South Carolina, as they currently have little to no black or Hispanic support.

The U.S. will evacuate Americans from the coronavirus-riddled Diamond Princess cruise ship, and the first death due to coronavirus outside of Asia has occurred in France. With all the uncertainty surrounding the new virus, it’s easy to feel overcome with concern or even panic. Concern is warranted, as we aren’t sure yet how deadly the virus is or how fast it spreads. Quarantine measures put in place by China and other countries will slow the spread, but it’s too early to tell whether or not it will stop the spread of the virus completely. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that “this virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”

Since there’s so much we don’t yet know about the virus, the best thing you can do is to stay focused on what you can do: practice good hygiene, and if you are sick, stay home from work and away from people. Scientists are working hard to create a vaccine in record time, medical workers are often sacrificing their own health to care for patients, and government agencies are doing everything they can to contain the virus. Make their jobs easier by not panicking or putting unnecessary strain on the system.

Headline of the Week: Pipeline protesters need to ‘check their privilege,’ Conservative leader says

As Michael Scott would say, oh how the turn tables. Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is upset that protestors, some of them indigenous, have the nerve to skip out on work for something as minor as a new natural gas pipeline. Having the luxury of missing a few days of work without consequence is a privilege, he says, and I guess he’s right. I’m not sure what his solution is, though. Does he want everyone in Canada to work seven days a week? Should Canadians, especially Indigenous Canadians, not have the right to protest the pipeline?

Indigenous rights activist Pam Palmater clapped back at Scheer, saying in a statement he “needs to check his own white privilege and his blatant racism and disdain towards First Nations.”

Recommended Reading: One of Klobuchar’s Biggest Backers Is ‘the Worst Company in the World’

If you’ve been watching the Democratic debates like I’ve been, you might think Amy Klobuchar is just a good ol’ down-to-earth girl from the Midwest. She likes talking about how poor her family was growing up (to be fair, this seems to be a theme amongst all the Democratic candidates), and says that she “can’t stand the big money in politics.”

You’d think someone who wants to get big money out of politics would be a little cautious about taking money from big corporations, but not Amy. She’s a favorite of Cargill, the agriculture giant, and has been gladly taking money from them for most of her political career. But like Mayor Pete says, should we be excluding billionaires and corporations from the political process? I mean, as long as their money doesn’t influence the decision making or voting record of our representatives, what’s the problem?

In Klobuchar’s case, the money she gets from Cargill seemingly has influenced her voting record. Remember when Obama tried to make school lunches healthier, and wanted to stop counting pizza as a vegetable? Amy Klobuchar urged the Obama administration to reconsider, as she thinks pizza is a vegetable. (According to Amy Klobuchar, I might just be the healthiest American alive.) She’s really not a fan of healthy school lunches for some reason, and strangely enough Cargill isn’t either. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars that year lobbying against healthier school lunches.

Amy also voted for an amendment that would have suspended the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for two years, and would have exempted the agricultural industry from emissions rules. Hardly any other Democrats were for the measure, probably because they believe in climate change, but our good ol’ Amy wasn’t afraid to stand up to Big Science. Coincidentally, Cargill spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress on greenhouse gas regulations that same year.

Cargill is a “continuing environmental and human rights disaster,” one Democratic representative from California wrote. He also named them the worst company in the world, which is pretty impressive considering all of the terrible companies out there. Amy Klobuchar doesn’t let facts stand in her way of supporting Cargill. She’s shown her admiration for the company in speeches on the Senate floor, calling Cargill a model corporate citizen on carbon emissions and environmental sustainability.

Amy has supported Cargill and Big Ag more times than I can list in this blurb, and Cargill has done some terrible things. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend reading the full article and checking out the Wikipedia page for Cargill, which includes entries for human rights abuses, land grabbing, food contamination, deforestation, air pollution, and tax evasion.

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