Good morning and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today, we celebrate his lifetime of achievement – check out 10 intriguing facts about the civil rights legend.
“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
This Week at a Glance
Monday: Guns rights activists head to Virginia for a rally
Tuesday: World Economic Forum kicks off in Switzerland, Impeachment trial begins, Netflix earnings
Thursday: Proctor & Gamble earnings
Friday: World Economic Forum ends, AmEx earnings
The Eroding Public Trust
In 1958, the National Election Study found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans said they trusted the federal government to do the right thing “almost always” or “most of the time.” In 2019, that number is just 17 percent according to the Pew Research Center.
Congress: In 2019, 11 percent of Americans had “a great deal/quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. That number was 17 percent in 2009, 26 percent in 1999, and 32 percent in 1989.
Supreme Court: In 2019, 38 percent of Americans had “a great deal/quite a lot” of confidence in the Supreme Court. That number was 39 percent in 2009, 49 percent in 1999, and 46 percent in 1989.
Television News: In 2019, 18 percent of Americans had “a great deal/quite a lot” of confidence in television news. That number was 23 percent in 2009, 34 percent in 1999, and 46 percent in 1993 (the earliest year available).
Newspapers: In 2019, 23 percent of Americans had “a great deal/quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers. That number was 25 percent in 2009, 33 percent in 1999, and 36 percent in 1988 (1989 data not available).
In ____ We Trust Distrust is a bipartisan phenomenon – both Democrats (76%) and Republicans (70%) overwhelmingly say trust in government is lower now than it was 20 years ago. So, what can we do?
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
On Friday, President Trump hired famed lawyers Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz for his legal defense team. On Saturday, the president’s team of lawyers submitted a six-page letter as their first formal response to the summons notifying the president of the Senate impeachment trial.
On Sunday, the British royal family announced that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, would no longer be using their “His/Her Royal Highness” (HRH) titles, and will not receive public funds for royal duties. The couple will retain the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but will no longer formally represent the Queen and her interests.
Former U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) was sentenced to 26 months in prison and fined $200,000 on Friday after pleading guilty to taking part in an insider trading scheme. Collins was convicted of passing illicit stock tips to his son after learning the results of a failed drug trial.
SpaceX successfully completed a crucial safety test of its Crew Dragon spacecraft yesterday. The test launch occurred without a crew on board and was intentionally cut short by triggering the In-Flight-Abort system, which performed as intended. The first SpaceX launch – crewed by NASA astronauts – will likely take place in the second quarter of this year.
Lend a Hand
According to the WSJ ($), Amazon is creating checkout terminals that allow consumers to connect their credit card information to their own unique handprint. The company previously filed a patent for a biometric identification system that features a hand scanner.
The Fox and the Mouse
Disney is reportedly phasing out the name “Fox” from newly-purchased 20th Century Fox – the film studio will be rebranded to simply “20th Century Studio.” In other box office news, Sony’s Bad Boys For Life grossed $59.1 million in its domestic debut over the weekend, setting the record for the highest opening of any new release in January.
Off the Weight List
Any parent will tell you that they’d give an arm and a leg just to help their child. But when New Yorker Sean Kelley’s baby son Sawyer was diagnosed with Alagille syndrome, he needed a liver, not a limb. Sean’s wife was ruled out as a donor since she also has Alagille syndrome, and at first, Sean too was automatically disqualified due to his weight.
Determined, Sean hit the gym, corrected his diet, and lost 30 lbs in just a few short months – quickly reaching a healthy weight to be able to donate to his son. The transplant surgery was performed on Dec. 19, giving Sawyer the much-needed strength to fight off infections. On the back of his father’s incredible will power and love, Sawyer received the wonderful gift of life.
Great ideas can strike a person at any age – just ask CEO and entrepreneur Alina Morse. Alina was running errands with her father when a bank teller offered the precocious 9-year-old a lollipop, which she politely declined due to the unhealthy consequences of sugar. In that instant, Alina was struck by an idea – what if she could create candy that was actually good for teeth?
Researching ingredients, speaking with her dentist, and trying out different recipes led Alina to discover the sweet taste of Zylitol, a sugar substitute that actually cleans teeth. Alina created Zollipops a short time later, and at 13 years old became the youngest person to ever grace the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Alina’s success was born not only of her innovation, but of her desire to help other kids feel happy and healthy, making this story a very sweet reason to smile.
The Roll to the ‘Bowl… the NFL Conference Championships took place over the weekend – check out a recap of the action here. The 49ers and Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl LIV (54) on Feb. 2.
Fashion police… the all-new U.S. Space Force released an image of their new utility uniform name patches to be worn on existing military apparel.
Funny money… an independent international investigation into Africa’s richest woman – Isabel dos Santos – found that she amassed her fortune at the expense of the Angolan state, which her father ruled for four decades.
Hard-headed… a team of researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder has created living concrete that uses microscopic bacteria to heal cracks in the material.
What was the first item ever sold on eBay? (Hint: It sold for $14.83)
A) Superman lunchbox B) Bruce Springsteen CD C) Plain white T-shirt D) Laser pointer
In 1995, Pierre Omidyar wrote the original computer code for the person-to-person auction site that would come to be known as eBay. He decided to test the system by listing a broken laser pointer for sale, which was eagerly purchased by an electrical engineer looking to build a replacement out of parts.