Get up to speed on the top six stories happening in politics today with these quick news briefs…
1. Two new polls show 76% approval of Trump’s SOTU speech, 72% agree with immigration policy
According to a new poll by CBS News, 76 percent of viewers who watched President Donald Trump State of the Union address approved of what he had to say. Only 24% disapproved.
On the issue of illegal immigration, 72 percent agreed with his ideas for dealing with the issue.
The president received a similar approval rating at an instant poll taken by CNN, with a conglomerate positive rating of 76 percent, derived from 59 percent saying they were very positive about his speech, and 17 percent saying they were somewhat positive. Only 23% gave a negative rating to his speech.
2. Watchdog group say Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips cost taxpayers nearly $14 million
A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that four trips made by President Donald Trump, over four weeks in March and Feb. 2017, to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida cost the government (i.e. American taxpayers) nearly $14 million.
Additionally, the GAO found that the U.S. Secret Service spent $396,000 protecting the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, during three international trips in early 2017.
The GAO is a nonpartisan watchdog that works as an investigative arm of Congress.
3. Why congresswomen were wearing white at the State of the Union address
A group of female lawmakers wore all white to the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday in a show of solidarity with the women’s suffrage movement. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Congress passing the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Currently, there are more female lawmakers in the 116th Congress than ever in history, with 102 female representatives in the house and 25 female senators.
The movement to wear white was led by Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., chair of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group. Frankel tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump will look out at the House Chamber and see a sea of #Suffragette white sending the message loud&clear that @HouseDemWomen are fighting for the economic security of women & families.”
4. Hawaii lawmaker wants to stop sales of cigarettes to anyone under 100 years old
In a move that would effectively ban the sale of cigarettes in the state, Hawaii state Rep. Richard Creagan, an emergency room doctor, has sponsored a new bill that has a novel way of ending cigarette sales in the state. The proposed legislation would gradually phase in what is essentially a cigarette ban by incrementally raising the age limit over time.
Currently, the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products in Hawaii is 21. Under the proposed legislation, next year the minimum age for buying cigarettes would increase to 30, then in 2021 it would rise to 40, in 2022 it would increase to 50 and then in 2024, it would Jump up to 100.
However, the legislation would still allow people to bring their cigarettes into the state. People just could not buy them in the state if they were under the minimum age.
“The legislature finds that the cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in human history,” according to the language of the bill. “The cigarette is an unreasonably dangerous and defective product, killing half of its long-term users.”
5. Even Fox news poll shows large majority of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich
Proposals by both Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and self-proclaimed Democratic-socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) to tax America’s wealthiest at a rate of 70 percent has generated a lot of scorn over the astronomical tax rate (almost double the current), with one poll showing 59% of Americans in favor of it.
However, shockingly, the most recent poll taken by Fox News showed an overwhelming majority of voters were in favor of increasing taxes on the rich. Of all places where one would expect the opposite, it left even the hosts stunned.
The Fox News poll showed that 70 percent of respondents were in favor of increasing taxes on those who make over $10 million per year and 65 percent were in favor of taxing those who earn over $1 million per year. For those earning over $250K per year, 48% opposed increasing their taxes, with 44% in favor.
It should be noted, however, the Fox poll did not propose what tax rate wealthy Americans should be taxed at.
The poll was conducted on registered voters between January 20-22, 2019 with a with an error margin of +/- 3% points.
6. Senator Warren listed race as “American Indian” in Texas state bar card from 1986
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) previously has been called out for falsely claiming Native American ancestry. Warren apologized last week to the Cherokee Nation after a DNA test proved otherwise, and yesterday apologized for identifying herself as Native American “for almost two decades.”
A new document surfaced that Warren indicated her race as “American Indian” on a registration form filed in 1986 with the Texas State Bar, when she was a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
This identification would effectively deem Warren as a minority. Further investigation found that Warren identified herself as “white,” on University of Texas personnel forms in 1981, 1985 in 1988.