Things That Matter

President Trump Is Pushing Idea That MS-13 Is A Big National Threat

This week, the White House has been dealing with the ongoing Russian investigation, a revised health care bill, a new communications director, the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer and the possible firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. However, in the midst of this government tumult, President Donald Trump cannot stop talking about the Salvadorian gang MS-13.

Trump, who tweeted this statement out earlier today, could be doing it to deflect attention from his embattled administration. It’s a tactic that he appears to employ often. For example, yesterday Trump tweeted that transgender people will no longer be able to serve in the military. He didn’t give any more information about it. The U.S. Joint Chiefs were not given notice about the ban. Trump just sent out a tweet and that was the end of it.

Trump’s statements on MS-13 are being interpreted by some as a tactic to control the narrative about his administration.

Although MS-13 is a violent gang with thousands of members, Trump’s statements appear to imply that they are a significant source of this country’s violence. Painting the gang as a “widely known scourge,” as journalist Adrian Carrasquillo described it, gives the Trump administration a clear “enemy” that they can battle against.

Earlier this week, Trump lumped undocumented immigrants and MS-13 gang members together at a rally in Ohio, saying “illegal gang members” were “animals.”

“And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl—16, 15 and others—and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected anymore, folks.”

We do know that the number of deportations has increased since Trump became president. But out of that increase, it has not been made clear how many of them are actual criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers or MS-13 gang members.

Attorney General Sessions, who may or may not be out of work soon, has been somewhat laying low — at least in regards to his job. But one thing we do know about Sessions is that he’s always been “tough” on crime, especially when the culprits are Latinos. According to NPR, Sessions once claimed MS-13 was smuggling gang members into the U.S. as “unaccompanied minors.” American University research fellow Hector Silva Avalos told NPR there was no proof to back up Sessions’ statement. Sessions is in El Salvador right now, most likely working on Trump’s promise to “make America safe again.” Because if they can’t accomplish this, the Trump administration may continue to get criticism for not passing any major legislation for the last six months.

The Hill is reporting that Sessions is meeting with El Salvador’s Attorney General Douglas Meléndez and other authorities to discuss ways to eliminate MS-13. It should be mention that Sessions will supposedly be in the same room with former MS-13 gang members.

The Trump Administration announced the recent arrest of nearly 600 gang members by El Salvador’s government.

The Trump administration’s rhetoric about a supposed rising threat from MS-13 in the U.S. isn’t backed by statistics. For starters, violence has decreased considerably since the ’90s, despite a recent overall increase.

CREDIT: Major Cities Chiefs Association

Darrel Stephens, executive director of Major Cities Chiefs Association, told Time Magazine that it’s too soon to tell if our current increase in violence will be a trend because it takes criminologists about three to five years of data to get an overall picture.

“We’ve had at least two years running now where there’s been an increase in 35 to 45 major cities,” Stephens tells Time. “It’s a major issue and should be in the cities where it’s taking place. But it’s not anywhere near the kind of violence that we had in the 1990s.”

The chart above shows that violence has increased in major parts of middle America, which aren’t usually areas with very large populations of Latino immigrants.

The American Immigration Council, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, also reports that “immigrants are less likely to be criminals than the native-born.”

“The evidence that immigrants tend not to be criminals is overwhelming,” reports The American Immigration Council. “To begin with, there is an inverse relationship between crime and immigration. Crime rates in the United States have trended downward for many years at the same time that the number of immigrants has grown. Second, immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than the native-born. And, third, immigrants are less likely than the native-born to engage in the criminal behaviors that tend to land one in prison. No matter how you look at the issue, the inescapable conclusion is that immigrants are, on average, less prone to criminality than the U.S. native-born population.”

But it appears that’s not what Trump would have you believe.

READ: Could the U.S. be Blamed for Gang Violence in El Salvador?

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AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

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AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

Just when we thought Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) couldn’t shake up the D.C. scene more than she already has, it turns out the congresswoman has a new trick up her sleeve.

Earlier this year in January, news surfaced that the congresswoman had adopted a French bulldog by the name of Deco. In a post to her Instagram page, the progressive Democrat welcomed the pup into the world with a post writing “Hey boo boo! Hi, welcome to our family.”

Now it turns out, AOC’s new pup is meant for the community, so you might have a chance to hang with him if you’re in his side of the hood

View image on Twitter

Responding to a question on Twitter about whether she intended to bring the dog to work, AOC said Deco is meant to be a dog about town.

“The goal is to train him to be a community pup,” she shared in a post that featured him taking a nap in her lap. “Ideally we want to work to the point where he can enjoy town halls, be an Amtrak pup, come to the office, etc. But first, naps.”

According to People.com, AOC’s new Frenchie had been nameless for a few weeks and the congresswoman eagerly collected name suggestions from her followers on twitter.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!,” Ocasio wrote in an Instagram in January. “We are thinking something Star Trek-related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

Ultimately Ocasio-Cortez did pick a name from suggested from her community.

“As we took [the dog] for a walk…a neighbor suggested we name him after an artist,” AOC explained in an Instagram story. Ultimately the congresswoman and her boyfriend Riley decided to not go for an artist’s name but one inspired by the early 20th-century art deco movement. “We loved the idea, and decided to name him after one of Riley & I’s favorite design styles: Art Deco — which also is inspired by themes of optimism & social and technological progress, and is a fixture in iconic NYC architecture,” she later explained said.

Turns out, AOC’s new French is rocketing to stardom just like his mother.

Earlier this week, Representative Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) shared a photo of herself hanging out with Deco for the very first time and used it as a chance to hype up AOC.

“Making the Capitol better one puppy snuggle at a time: @AOC & Deco,” Pressley tweeted in a post

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

Things That Matter

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

aoc / Instagram / Rush Limbaugh / Facebook

During the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump broke protocol and norms by awarding a “surprise” Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former winners of the award are Ellen DeGeneres, Rosa Parks, Toni Morrison, Isabella Allende, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The newest recipient is conservative and extreme radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh is the latest recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Credit: @Acosta / Twitter

Rush Limbaugh is a Conservative radio host who is known to use racist, sexist, and xenophobic language during his shows. He has used his platform to slut-shame women fighting for affordable access to birth control and once referred to a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton to a dog. During one show, Limbaugh sang a song to perform a racist rant against then-President Barack Obama.

His racist, sexist, and xenophobic rantings are all documented because of his radio show.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” has been nationally syndicated since 1988 and boasts 25 million listeners monthly. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks are among the honorees of the award.

A lot of people don’t agree that Limbaugh deserves the honor.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is supposed to be reserved for civilians who have made major contributions to society. The contributions can be through the arts, philanthropy, science, etc. Many are wondering what Limbaugh has done to further society in a positive way. In a clip from “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Limbaugh is seen making fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease.

Conservatives and Limbaugh fans are most upset with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s take on the medal.

It was recently revealed to the public that Limbaugh was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Many of the AOC critics have held tight to this fact when attacked the Congresswoman.

Some have gone strong against the New York Congresswoman.

Credit: @marklevinshow / Twitter

Conservatives on Twitter are up in arms about AOC calling out a man’s racist, sexist, and xenophobic past. They aren’t mad that the man said and did those things, just that a Latina Congresswoman reminded people of those comments. Think about that.

READ: AOC Said In Any Other Country She And Joe Biden Would Not Even Be In The Same Party