Things That Matter

President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn in as the 46th president and the 49th vice president of the United States of America. The new administration has been sworn in and the inauguration was a beautiful representation of America with people of color and women taking center stage.

Lady Gaga kicked off the 59th inauguration by singing the national anthem.

In 2017, Lady Gaga famously participated in the Women’s March the day after former President Trump’s inauguration. Four years later, the singer proudly took to the Capitol to usher in the beginning of the Biden/Harris administration. Dressed in custom Schiaparelli, Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and left people speechless.

Vice President Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This was a special moment. The first Latina to ever serve on the Supreme Court was the one to swear in the first woman, first Black, and first South Asian vice president. It was a historical moment that will forever change the United States.

Justice Sotomayor has made a name for herself in American pop culture because of her blistering dissents. As the first Latina on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor opened possibilities for Latinas. We basically watched one icon swear in another icon and it is everything.

The most exciting moment of the inauguration might have been Jennifer Lopez and her remix of an American classic.

Lopez sang “This Land Is Your Land” but added a special twist. During the song, Lopez stops and says, “Una nacion, bajo de dios, indivisible con libertad y justicia para todos.” Translated, she said, “One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” That’s right. The Puerto Rican pop superstar used her moment at the nation’s Capitol building to give a shout out to all the Latinos who call the U.S. home.

Of course, the most iconic moment was J.Lo shouting “Let’s get loud.”

We all know that song. We are all singing it now after reading those three words. It was truly one of the most impactful moments of her performance. Only an icon could turn “This Land is Your Land” into a greatest hits medley. We are all better for having witnessed it.

However, it was 22-year-old Amanda Gorman that stole the entire show.

The Youth Poet Laureate was chosen to speak at the inauguration and she youngest inaugural poet of all time. She joins the impressive ranks of Maya Angelou, Richard Blanco, and Elizabeth Alexander. Her poem, written right after the Capitol riot. It was relevant, poignant, and moving.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated.”

And, of course, Joseph Robinette Biden became the 46th president of the United States of America.

“Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country,” President Biden said. “It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

“The cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity.”

Welcome to the White House President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

READ: The TikToker Who Put Fleetwood Mac Back On The Charts Will Perform At The Inauguration’s Virtual Parade

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

Things That Matter

At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Fell Asleep While President Biden Spoke About Immigration

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Sen. Ted Cruz Fell Asleep While President Biden Spoke About Immigration

Screenshot via C-SPAN

On Wednesday night, President Joe Biden gave a speech to the joint session of Congress. Biden’s speech covered everything from gun control, to COVID-19, to immigration reform, to his new $1.8 trillion “families plan”. But one person, in particular, didn’t seem to care about any of it. That person, of course, was Ted Cruz.

When President Joe Biden was in the middle of speaking about the current immigration crisis going on, the camera panned to Ted Cruz who appeared to be nodding off.

Joe Biden, speaking on immigration, was saying, “If you actually want to solve a problem, I’ve sent a bill to take a close look at it,” but Rafael Cruz, apparently, wasn’t awake to hear about the problem that needed to be solved. And it wouldn’t be the first time Cancún Cruz checked out when facing a crisis.

“Look, immigrants have done so much for America during this pandemic and throughout our history,” Biden continued, while Cruz was snoozing. “The country supports immigration reform. We should act. Let’s argue over it. Let’s debate over it. But let’s act.”

Twitter quickly exploded when they saw that Rafael Cruz was falling asleep. The hashtag #TedSnooze started to trend almost immediately.

“Since @tedcruz lives in Texas and Biden is talking about exactly the immigration issue he and his constituents scream about, could Ted stay awake for just a minute or two?” wrote one angry Twitter user.

“Daydreaming about being in Cancún and screwing his constituents over again,” wrote another.

But some weren’t so convinced that Cruz’s sleepiness was authentic. After all, this is a man who isn’t afraid to engage in theatrics to keep the spotlight on him. “My first & persistent thought seeing the pics: ‘That’s someone pretending to sleep to be a jerk [because] he has nothing better to offer. Troll,'” wrote one skeptical Twitter user.

Later, when he appeared on Fox News to recap Biden’s speech, Cruz wanted to make sure that the entire nation knew what he thought of Biden’s speech: boring.

“You could sum up tonight’s speech in three words: boring but radical,” he said to Sean Hannity. “The speech by design was calm and dulcet tones. I challenge you to remember a single line from the speech.”

Since then, Ted Cruz has been retweeting images of him “sleeping” during Biden’s speech like it somehow proves how “boring” Biden’s speech was. Cruz’s behavior lends credence to the theory that he was, in fact, faking his sleepiness.

Based on Sen. Ted Cruz’s past shenanigans, we wouldn’t put it past him to have pretended to fall asleep on Wednesday just to keep the headlines revolving around him. In the end, that’s what’s most important to him.

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