Things That Matter

This 27-Year-Old Is Making History In Peru As He Becomes The First Person With Down Syndrome For Congress

With so much chaos going on in our government, whether it’s the shit-talking coming from the president or the shit-talking on the Democratic debate stage, we wish we could have decent politicians that truly want was is best for the citizens. We hope we could have politicians that care more about the people than about their ego. Everyone on Capitol Hill should learn from the following gentleman who wants to make a difference in his community. 

This is 27-year-old Bryan Russell. He is making history by being the first person with Down syndrome to run for Congress. 

“I’m someone clean, honest, transparent,” Russell said in an interview with The Associated Press. That’s the most real talk we’ve ever heard from any candidate ever. 

Russell is running for a seat in the Congress of the Republic of Peru and making history as he is the first person with Down syndrome to seek an office in this capacity. 

“We are thrilled that Bryan Russell is running for Congress in Peru,” Michelle Sie Whitten, president, and CEO of Global Down Syndrome Foundation told the Associated Press. “As far as we know, he is the first professional who has Down syndrome running for a publicly elected office, and he is showing the world that we need diversity in all areas of society, including in our governments.”

But Russell isn’t seeking sympathy votes. He wants Peruvians to vote for him because he is the best person for the job. 

Russell is running under the Peru-Nacion, which is a center-right party. While that party has not fared well in previous elections, Russell could be the person to jump-start the movement with his charming demeanor and his go-get-em’ mentality. Russell was already invited to speak for the left movement, and it was there that he “asked people to fight for people like him, regardless of political leanings,” according to the AP. 

Having Down syndrome comes with so many challenges, but Russell continues to prove that he can do anything if he tries hard enough. 

“I learned how to read and write, walk, run and eat, basically to respect myself,” Russell stated. He went on to say, “I want people with my condition to have a voice.”

If you think for a second that he is not qualified to serve the people and make educated decisions when it comes to policies in Peru, think again. This guy is crazy smart. The AP reports that thanks to the support of his parents, he graduated with a degree in communications at the Peruvian San Ignacio de Loyola University. 

Russell said that with his parent’s encouragement, he was able to find his own way. Gladys Mujica, Russell’s mother, told the AP that her son is a symbol and that by running for Congress, he is making history. Indeed he is. 

We’re not sure what the stigma is like for people with Down syndrome, but in the United States, there are so many negative assumptions about it. 

There are actually assumptions that Down syndrome is caused because of incest, and that is entirely false. 

Here’s how Global Down Syndrome Foundation explains the cause of Down syndrome: “In a process called non-disjunction, the two copies of chromosome 21 fail to separate during the formation of the egg, resulting in an egg with two copies of the chromosome. When this egg is fertilized, the resulting baby ends up with three copies of chromosome 21 in each of its cells. The cause of this non-disjunction remains unknown.”

Furthermore, the cause of Down syndrome is truly unknown because it happens so often. At 38 percent of people known someone with Down syndrome. 

The beautiful thing about Russell is that we see the advancement that people with Down syndrome can achieve. 

People with Down syndrome can accomplish so much and are thriving thanks to organizations educating people about it. Also, it’s imperative that people, in general, show kindness, patience, and understanding when it comes to people with Down syndrome. Voting in Peru will take place on Jan. 26, and we want Russell to know that we are rooting for him!

READ: A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

joebiden / Instagram

Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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