7 Things: Trump wants GOP to focus on healthcare, Pence visits Huntsville to commit the U.S. to a moon mission, Doug Jones sheepishly disappoints Chuck Schumer and more …
7. If your parents scammed your way into college, please see your adviser
— Two weeks ago, a college admissions scandal broke, and now Yale University is the first school to rescind a student’s admission. The unnamed student applied with a fraudulent athletic endorsement from women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith and now they are saying she cannot attend. Yale, USC, UCLA and other major universities are all involved in the scandal, so this will likely be a repeated scene. The scheme was carried out to cheat on standardized tests, and/or bribe college coaches, and so far, 50 people have been arrested for participating. The Yale applicant’s parents paid $1.2 million, and $400,000 of that was paid to Meredith after the applicant was admitted to Yale.
— Actor Jussie Smollett claimed that on January 29 he was attacked by two masked men who tried to tie a noose around his neck, beat him, threw a chemical substance on him, made derogatory comments and yelled, ‘This is MAGA country!” However, it came to light not long after Smollett filed the police report that he had staged the whole attack, and even went as far as to hire the two men who he claimed beat him up, and Smollett was arrested. On Tuesday, the prosecution dropped all charges against Smollett. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel denounced prosecutors for dropping the charges and said it was a “whitewash of justice”. Smollett faked a hate crime and now he’s going to walk away from this a free man.
5. Vice President Mike Pence visited Alabama and declared we will back to the moon within five years
— Pence was in Huntsville at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to chair the National Space Council and made the statement that “failure to achieve our goal to return an American astronaut to the moon in the next five years is not an option.” Pence also expressed that this will be a project that is not going to be limited to a single contractor and using commercial rockets is also an option, if necessary. Pence spoke of Alabama’s role in this, saying, “Let me be clear: The first woman and the next man on the Moon will be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil,” Pence stated. “But to accomplish this, we must redouble of efforts here in Huntsville and throughout the program.”
4. A new poll shows that 76 percent of Alabamians support school choice
— Last week, we were told we needed to listen to teachers on Common Core, and the law seeking to repeal it was repealed to placate some folks arguing in bad faith. Tuesday, the Foundation for Excellence in Education released a poll of registered Alabama voters and 76 percent of people who responded to the poll said that they support school choice or allowing parents to choose where their child goes to school instead of assigning a school by zip code. Only 28 percent of people from the poll were against the expansion of charter schools in Alabama, and 69 percent said that they support the Alabama Accountability Act. The poll asked what they thought the major issue with Alabama education is, to which 46 percent said it’s a lack of funding, while 35 percent said it’s a lack of parental involvement. Legislators should see that school choice is a huge winner with voters.
— Proving her talk about impeachment was a scam, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told House Democrats in a private meeting not to trust Attorney General William Barr. She stated, “We have to see the report. We cannot make a judgment on the basis of an interpretation by a man who was hired for his job because he believes the President is ‘above the law‘ and he wrote a 19-page memo to demonstrate that.” She also believes Democrats should still “get the goods” on the Mueller report and views the Mueller report as a glass half full situation because of unrelated indictments. This comes on the heels of six Democratic committee chairmen demanding that Barr provide the full Mueller report by April 2, which seems unlikely. They intend on moving forward with their investigations despite Mueller’s findings.
— With a deferential look and a shrug to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jones cast a “no” vote against the wishes of the Democrat leader. He wasn’t the only one. Jones joined “moderates” Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) by voting “no” with 53 Republicans. The rest of the Democrats, plus Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), voted “present.” With the world about to end in 12 years, according to liberal darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), Democrats in the Senate decided they were going to pass on taking a serious stand on what the Democrat base and their media feels is a major issue. Ocasio-Cortez reacted to this news by attacking the person who put it up for a vote and saying Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “doesn’t want to save our planet.”
— On Tuesday President Trump said, “The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care. You watch.” This comes only a day after the Trump administration said that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down, which was in support of the ruling of a federal judge in Texas who invalidated the Obama-era health care law. Trump told Republican senators that the GOP should embrace healthcare as a leading issue. In 2017, Trump backed a measure to repeal ObamaCare, but seven Republicans voted no. President Trump has now said that Republicans need to take another run at addressing healthcare and with ObamaCare in serious legal peril, they will now have the chance to do so.