Things That Matter

Here’s How People Lol’d During President Trump’s Presidential Alert

We all got the Presidential Alert test. What you might not know is that the text wasn’t Donald Trump’s idea. However, now that it’s Donald Trump in the White House, Americans are already beginning to sue the government for a violation of free speech rights.

Here’s the backstory and lo mejor reactions the Twitterverse had to the text.

On Oct. 3, you should have gotten a “Presidential Alert.”

CREDIT: @thehill / Twitter

The “Presidential Alert” was just a test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, you know–the one that sends out regional Amber Alerts? The test was meant to be a precursor to any “extreme” circumstances the White House wants to warn us about.

It was not written by President Trump.

CREDIT: @LilBratAn / Twitter

The message was just a test and was not crafted by the president. However, the message was received and was quickly turned into fun memes.

President Obama was the one who decided to take FEMA into the 21st century.

CREDIT: @barrackobama / Twitter

In 2016, cautious President Obama signed a law to protect us all. The system “shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.”

This happened during the 2016 presidential campaign.

FEMA tweeted out that, by law, you cannot opt out of “Presidential Alerts.”

CREDIT: @fema / Twitter

Tbh, opting out was likely the first thought from millions of Americans when we first learned about the upcoming Presidential Alerts test. Like, I can opt out of notifications from Facebook but not this?

Last week, three New Yorkers sued the federal government over the alert’s test.

CREDIT: @charlieINTEL / Twitter

Since the only way to opt out of the message was to turn off your phone, they’re arguing that it’s a free speech violation that, básicamente, is “an unconstitutional seizure of their electronic devices.”

The text sent some of us spiraling with questions like, “What next?”

CREDIT: @dangermarin / Twitter

Here’s the thing: while Obama’s stipulation is a good one, it’s one that’s open to interpretation. You’ll be able to turn off notifications for the Presidential Alerts, but not for the tests. So, then what would constitute a “test”?

The biggest question of all: why is DJT so ego?

CREDIT: @texasinafrica / Twitter

The text is literally crafted by FEMA, so why does DJT have to put his ego in the most pervasive and invasive government experiment to date? Just stop.

It has become a divisive system already and it is mainly just because of the word presidential.

CREDIT: @jesuslomeli16 / Twitter

After some introspection and thought I have determined that it is because I just don’t trust the president. Many Americans don’t so this kind of power that comes with these Presidential Alerts is what is concerning people.

For years, we’ll be asking each other, “where were you when the Trump text went out?”

CREDIT: @desmuri / Twitter

If you were at a taco truck, please @ me. What was that like? Did you buy more tacos? Was it because of grief or solidarity? Were they delicious?

#NotMyPresident started trending again.

CREDIT: @NEArlyiLLEGAL / Twitter

It was literally Wednesday, October 3rd, a once in 7 years “Mean Girls” holiday and we couldn’t even celebrate it truly.

Mexicans gave us all the jajas today.

CREDIT: @Pappiness / Twitter

I mean, it makes sense right? That’s how DJT learned how business deals are made. How do you build an empire? You get your dad to pay for it. Just anyone else.

Instantly, the memes started flowing.

CREDIT: @selfishmarco / Twitter

Some folks got real creative about what our dystopian reality could look like. What kinds of alerts would you expect him to send 300 million people all at once?

Perhaps Trump thinks his day son Twitter are numbered so he needs a backup.

CREDIT: @__Mauryyy / Twitter

Not everything is about you. The worst part of DJT, and his SCOTUS pick Kavanaugh, is the entitlement to power. I know, this is a fake text but I’m still having feelings about it.

An actual response DJT had from the Oval Desk:

CREDIT: @savinthebees / Twitter

Hilarious. That would be the most interesting Presidential Alert anyone can hope to receive.

People are cheering for the New Yorkers and their lawsuit against the Presidential Alert.

CREDIT: @THEMarissaC / Twitter

These are interesting times. The president of the United States is publicly disparaging reporters, threatening the media, and breaking with 40 year old presidential traditions of financial transparency.

This is not normal.

I’m cringing.

CREDIT: @MaxHBruno / Twitter

I know Santería is low on the list, so my direct family wouldn’t be affected, but let’s never forget our Muslim Latino hermanos.

In lighter news…

CREDIT: @dangermarin / Twitter

People were literally just tweeting at their friends about what a joke they think the Presidential Alert is. That is a ghost if I ever knew one.

There hasn’t been any word of another test but we’ll just have to see what happens.

CREDIT: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

It has been a very stressful couple of years since the election. Some people just aren’t ready to be getting Presidential Alerts sent directly to their phones.

Take some deep breaths. Hug your family. Go buy some tacos.

CREDIT: @Semere_T / Twitter

It is all behind us. Now we can relax and try to move forward.


READ: The Trump Administration Has Been Blocked From Removing Thousands Of Central American Immigrants

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House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

Things That Matter

House Committee Holds Impeachment Hearings And Democrats Are Laying Out All Of Their Evidence

PBS NewsHour / YouTube

This past Wednesday, the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moved into the public spotlight when the House Intelligence Committee opened hearings in the Capitol. The day was marked with back and forths between members of the committee, both Democrats and Republicans, that further displayed the political divide in this country. The issue at hand is whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, by freezing U.S. military aid. 

One of the key figures in leading the proceedings is Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has been a frequent target of President Trump. The congressman is heading the Democrats’ investigation into whether Trump abused his presidential powers for political gain and against national security interests. The proceedings are expected to last at least 10 days and will be a showcase of what many Democrats believe is an opportunity to show the American public why Trump needs to be removed from office. 

“Our job is to shape public opinion, not just follow public opinion,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee told Vox. “It’s to do what we think is right, for our country, for our national security, and to persuade people of that.”

One of the biggest moments on the first day of the impeachment hearings came from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) who made the argument that Trump’s actions were “criminal.” 

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who is the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the chairman of his brother Julián Castro’s presidential bid, had one of the most notable moments on Wednesday. In speaking to Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Castro tried to make the case for President Trump’s actions as criminal. Taylor is a key figure in the  proceedings as he was the top U.S. official in Ukraine as the scandal was unfolding. 

In a tense moment between the two, Castro asked Taylor if he considered President Trump’s actions worthy as being labeled as “criminal.” Castro didn’t back down as he made the comparisons to Trump’s actions to other criminal offenses. 


“So ambassadors, is attempted murder a crime?” Castro asked, repeating his question. “Is attempted murder a crime?”

“Attempted murder is a crime,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted robbery a crime?” he asked.

“Neither of us is a lawyer,” Taylor began before Castro interrupted.

“I think anyone in this room could answer that question,” he said.

“I’ll go out on a limb and say yes it is,” Taylor said.

“Is attempted extortion and bribery a crime?” Castro responded. 

“I don’t know sir,” Taylor said.


The moment resonated with many people on social media who agreed with Castro’s reasoning. 

Credit: @madg_lulu22 / Twitter

Castro’s questioning prompted varied responses from people online that agreed with that Trump had indeed committed a crime by withholding money from Ukraine. One of those people included U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that echoed similar thoughts to that of many Democrats. 

“This is what I have been saying over and over again. Attempting a crime is a CRIME. #ImpeachmentTrumpNow,” Talib tweeted. 

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later Wednesday afternoon, Castro reaffirmed his position on his questioning with Taylor. “Based on the evidence that I’ve seen, the President… either he committed extortion and bribery of a foreign official or he committed attempted extortion and bribery of a foreign official… it’s still a crime.” Castro said.

This moment is huge for Castro outside of just the hearings as he pursues to challenge U.S. Senator John Cornyn, (R-Texas). Many are looking at Castro’s role in the hearings as an opportunity to make his name known in the Democratic party. 

“It’s an opportunity in the national spotlight,” Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, told The Statesman. It’s a chance “to reemerge on the national scene and bolster his overall relevance in the Democratic Party.”

This was one of many big moments on the first day of these impeachment hearings. 

Credit: @alexismhodges / Twitter

If these public hearings are anything like the first day, there will be a lot of action on both sides of the political aisle. Wednesday showed proof that Democrats will pull out all the stops in presenting their case for impeachment to the American people. 

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has been one of the most staunch opponents of the Democrats’ attempts to impeach President Trump. During the hearing, Jordan said that the whistleblower was “the reason we’re all sitting here today” and that they should testify before the impeachment inquiry. The goal in doing so would be to discredit the whistleblower’s credibility. 

But Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) quickly responded to Jordan’s claims by naming the actual person who started the entire Ukraine scandal.

“I’d be glad to have the person who started it all,” Welch said. “President Trump is welcome to come in and sit down right there.”

The quick exchange produced laughter and applause from some in the room. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chimed in on the moment. “Don’t sleep on Peter Welch!” she wrote on Twitter. “He’s great.”

If Wednesday is anything like the rest of these hearings we are all in for a real treat for the next few weeks. 

READ: Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’

After Years Of Fighting It, Trump Has Been Told By Judges That He Has To Turn Over His Tax Returns

Things That Matter

After Years Of Fighting It, Trump Has Been Told By Judges That He Has To Turn Over His Tax Returns

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Donald Trump has been saying for years that he would release his tax returns, but he just kept putting it off. When he first began his presidential campaign, GOP and Democratic candidates insisted he release his tax information in a bid to be completely transparent. Trump always maintained that he was under an audit and would release them when the audit was complete. Well, the audit turned out to be one big lie, and when all was said and done, Trump still didn’t release his tax returns. In August, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office finally said enough is enough and sued to get Trump’s tax returns in order to see his financial dealings in particular concerning Stormy Daniels. You may recall the adult film star said she was paid to be quiet about her affair with Trump, and his former lawyer Michael Cohen confirmed it was true after his arrest. Trump, however, said it was all hoax, but the law is still the law, and we’re a little close to seeing Trump’s tax receipts. 

Today, a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court Appeals all ruled that Trump’s tax return isn’t protected just because he is the president and can still be investigated. So his lawyers have to turn over his taxes to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

After reviewing historical and legal precedent, we conclude only that presidential immunity does not bar the enforcement of a state grand jury subpoena directing a third party to produce non-privileged material, even when the subject matter under investigation pertains to the President,” Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann wrote, in an opinion joined by Judges Denny Chin and Christopher Droney, POLITICO reports. 

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s lawyer, will reportedly appeal this decision, which means it will now go to the Supreme Court. And you may recall, Trump has more friends at the highest court.

Credit: @amyklobuchar / Twitter

“The decision of the Second Circuit will be taken to the Supreme Court,” Sekulow said, according to NBC News. “The issue raised in this case goes to the heart of our Republic. The constitutional issues are significant.”

There are nine judges on the Supreme Court. After Trump’s appointee, Brett Kavanaugh was allowed to join the Supreme Court last year after he publicly testified that he did not partake in any sexual assaults in college. Now Trump has more conservative-leaning judges which could work in his favor when this tax case makes it to their courtroom. 

The matter at hand is that Cyrus Vance, head of the Manhattan D.A., wants to investigate whether Trump committed illegal acts when he allegedly paid off two women using campaign money. 

Credit: @katiephang / Twitter

If Trump is in the clear and did not use campaign money to keep two women quiet about an alleged affair, why is he trying to keep his financial records from being investigated? According to his lawyers, it’s not about that at all, it’s about protecting the president and future president’s from being indicted

The judges ruled that Trump’s taxes were fair game because the Manhattan D.A. wasn’t calling to subpoena the president, but rather his accounting firm.

Credit: @independent / Twitter

“This appeal does not require us to consider whether the president is immune from indictment and prosecution while in office, nor to consider whether the president may lawfully be ordered to produce documents for use in a state criminal proceeding,” the judges said in their ruling opinion. 

One of the many reasons why Trump is trying to keep his financial records secret is not because they may be incriminating but rather because they could show the fraudulent financial dealings of his father, their loss of billions, and perhaps their withholding of taxes. 

Earlier this year, the New York Times released stories that exposed Trump’s father, Fred Trump, paid “remarkably little in taxes to the Treasury Department,” back in the ’80s. The stories also showed how they became so-called giants in real estate. As Vox explained, “[The stories} also indicate some potentially illegal activity as Fred Trump sought to pass wealth tax-free to Donald and his siblings. The statute of limitations has passed, however, and Trump’s sister, a federal judge, abruptly retired in February, ensuring there would be no judicial ethics investigation either.”

Trump has yet to comment on the latest ruling concerning his taxes.

READ: President Trump Would Rather Sue California Than Release His Tax Returns