WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee July 7, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing "Oversight of the State Department," focusing on the FBI's recommendation not to prosecute Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for maintaining a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and Dallas Shootings:
On Wednesday, hours after police shot and killed Philando Castile, 32, mass protests erupted in Minnesota. According to the victim’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, identified as Lavish Reynolds on her Facebook page, who was in the car with him at the time of the shooting and began broadcasting the aftermath on Facebook Live, the father of one was pulled over for a “busted taillight.” Before reaching for his license and registration, Castlie informed the officer that he was carrying a licensed firearm. As Castile reached into his pocket to retrieve his information, he was shot “four to five times” by the same officer that asked to see his license and registration.
In less than 24 hours, the nearly 10-minute video was viewed close to 4 million times. In the video, the officer responsible for the young man’s death can be seen pointing a gun into the vehicle, yelling, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand off of it!” A remarkably calm Diamond Reynolds responds: “You told him to get his ID, sir, and his driver’s license.”

The incident was the second officer-related shooting of the week. On Tuesday, outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 37 year-old Alton Sterling was shot by police. The incident, which was captured on cellphone video showed two police officers–Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran,–both white men, struggle with and slam Sterling to the ground. As one man yells “gun,” at least two shots are fired.

Thursday night in Dallas saw five police officers die in the deadliest incident for law enforcement since 9/11. In total, during a protest against the recent police shootings of the aforementioned men, twelve officers were shot ambush-style by as many as six snipers, Police Chief David Brown told reporters.

Hillary Clinton and the never-ending email saga:
What’s the only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and the presidency? FBI Director James Comey, that’s what. Well, that weak joke/truism was accurate up until Tuesday of this week. Before announcing that he was referring the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to the Department of Justice for a “prosecutive decision,” Comey had this to say, “there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” before concluding with seven words which must have been music to Clinton’s ears, “no charges are appropriate in this case.”

Unsurprisingly, the announcement did little to appease Donald Trump, who immediately denounced the FBI’s recommendation on Twitter, using his extensive lexicon to convey his anger: “The system is rigged. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”

From the monotony of politics to patriotism (or lack of):

What do the statements “I really like Bill Cosby” and “I’m extremely proud to be an American” have in common?
Both are being declared less and less frequently.

Strong displays of patriotism were ubiquitous in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, according to a new survey by Gallup, feelings of pride have dropped to new lows. Millions of Americans, many of whom oppose prolonged warfare in the Middle East, are no longer “extremely proud” of their country. In 2003, 70 percent of people surveyed identified with the concept of being a proud American, but that number today has dropped to a lowly 52 percent. According to Gallup, the decline in extreme pride was most notable in 2005 (the year George W Bush began his second term as President of the United States). In the previous year, when patriotic passion was virtually contagious, close to 60 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the direction in which the country was headed. But this quickly changed as people realized that the invasion of Iraq, which was initiated in 2003, was a grave mistake.

Fast forward to 2016, and only 34 percent of Millennials say that they are extremely proud to be American citizens, compared to 51 percent of that same cohort in 2001.

But, amidst the doom and gloom, there is a ray of light, with an element of enthusiasm among Americans for their nation still in existence. Between June 14 and June 23, 30 percent of the public surveyed by Gallup said they were “very proud” to be American, with 13 percent calling themselves “moderately proud” Americans.
The current brutal presidential campaign between the “omniscient”, omnipresent Donald Trump and the beige, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is doing little to reinvigorate the masses. With his attacks on immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, and strong women, Trump is now one of the most loathed presidential candidates in modern history. Again, according to Gallup, forty-two percent of Americans have a “highly unfavorable” view of the billionaire, while Clinton, the former secretary of state, finds herself with a “highly unfavorable” rating of 26 percent.

Trump is right (for once)
It’s not too often an observer of politics can make the following statement: “Donald Trump was 100% right.”
But when Trump decided to make his campaign manager his former campaign manager, he certainly made the right decision. On Sunday, hours after Trump tweeted a blatantly anti-Semitic jab at Mrs. Clinton, Corey Lewandowski insisted that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had done nothing wrong, calling the media reaction an example of political correctness gone mad.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Lewandowski had this to say, “A tweet is a simple tweet. The bottom line is you can read into things that are not there.”

Considering Trump tweeted — and quickly deleted — an image referring to Hillary Clinton as the “most corrupt candidate ever,” featuring the Jewish Star of David and a backdrop of stacked bills, maybe, just maybe, Lewandowski is wrong.

On a lighter note

‘Merica: As Americans around the world commemorated the original Brexit of 1776, we thought you might enjoy the following fact.

In 1958, the current United States flag was created by Robert G. Heft, an artistic high school student from Saginaw, Michigan, as part of a history class project. After receiving a B- on the initial project, the grade was quickly changed to an A after his design was selected by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the part-time art critic, full-time president.

From flags to fetching swimwear:
It would be remiss of us not to mention one of the finest feats of French engineering in history. France has provided the world with many a great thing, namely nonchalance, animalistic romance, and, yes, you guessed it, croissants. And Tuesday of this week marked the seventy year anniversary of the bathing suit. Louis Réard, a French engineer, unveiled his creation on July 5th, 1946, naming it after Bikini Atoll, a tiny group of Pacific islands being used for nuclear tests. Although a designer by the name of Jacques Heim had unveiled the “atome” a few months earlier, it was Réard’s navel-exposing version that captured the global limelight. When Brigitte Bardot wore Réard’s design on the big screen, the Frenchman was destined for a place in the annals of swimwear history.

From swimwear to sheer silliness:
If Torrence Hatch, better known by his stage name Boosie Badazz, continues making outlandish comments, he may very well go down in the annals of history for all the wrong reasons. The rapper and actor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, known for his offbeat, social media commentary, oscillated wildly between insane and incoherent during an interview with DJ Vlad, the vice president of Loud.com.  When asked about the influence of the LGBT on modern culture, the 33-year-old artist replied, “they trying to make everyone all f**king gay. That’s what I think. They’re putting it on our culture, they’re putting it everywhere.”

Clearly uninspired by the influence of TV on today’s youth, Boosie continued, “gay stuff is everywhere, and I think they’re (the media) just trying to do it to make monetary gain. They’re not doing it for the gays.”

Eloquent as always, Boosie would make a perfect running mate for Donald Trump. Vice President Badazzz has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree?

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