Skimm'd on The Couch with Martha...Stewart

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

DECEMBER 06, 2018


On Air with Martha Stewart

Skimm'd on The Couch with Martha...Stewart


"I just want to keep doing it and having fun" – A 91-year-old grandpa who does backflips off the high diving board. Legen...wait for it...dary.



The Story

Today, the Supreme Court is taking up a double jeopardy case.


In America, people can't be prosecuted for the same offense twice. Thanks, Fifth Amendment. But since the 1850s, SCOTUS has made an exception to the double jeopardy rule. That is, if you're prosecuted on both the state and federal level, you could be looking at two separate punishments. Its reasoning is that the two are "separate sovereigns." Enter: Gamble v United States. A case about an Alabama man, Terance Gamble, who was charged for carrying a gun as a convicted felon. The state of Alabama gave him a year. Then the federal gov said 'nah, let's make it close to four years instead,' meaning he'd stay in prison until 2020. He says this violates his constitutional protections. Now, the Supremes are hearing his case.

What are people saying?

The 'don't change anything' people (the DOJ along with 36 states) want SCOTUS to keep the exemption in place. There's also reportedly worry that getting rid of it would make it harder to prosecute domestic and sexual violence crimes. The 'maybe change it a little bit' people (including some civil rights scholars) say there should be a happy-medium – like letting the federal gov pursue civil rights prosecutions against people that may have been acquitted at the state level. The 'change it, change it now' people (including the ACLU) say that states and the federal gov are not really independent and the exception shouldn't be a thing.


This case has gotten a lot of attention because it could have implications in the Russia investigation, particularly for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Special counsel Robert Mueller charged Manafort with tax fraud but states could prosecute him as well. If President Trump were to pardon him, it would only affect federal charges, not state charges. Unless the Supremes change the game. Stay tuned.


The Story

Yesterday, Republicans in the Badger State passed a set of lame-duck bills to limit incoming Dems' power.


Last month, Republicans had some big losses in the state, including the governor and attorney general jobs. But the state legislature stayed red – making some say 'hmm smells like gerrymandering.' Now Republicans there are trying to pull a 2016 North Carolina and limit the new Dems' power. Including: limiting early voting, taking away the governor's power to make some appointments, and making it so that the AG can't just withdraw the state from a lawsuit to repeal Obamacare. Protesters showed up at the state Capitol and yelled "respect our vote." Yesterday, the bills passed in the legislature. Now, it heads to outgoing Gov. Scott Walker (R) to be signed into law, which he's expected to do.

Anything else?

Speaking of North Carolina, it's still trying to figure out who's repping one of its House seats. The state's board of elections has refused to certify the results in the 9th congressional district because there's been election fraud allegations concerning absentee ballots. So officials could potentially call for a new election.


Republicans in Wisconsin said this was a much-needed update to balance out power. Democrats said this is a power grab that's going to bring gridlock to the state government. Prepare yourself for lawsuits.


Who people are remembering…

Former President George HW Bush. Yesterday was the 41st president's state funeral in DC. President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and all the living former presidents and first ladies showed up. Former President George W Bush gave an emotional eulogy that got people a little teary. And apparently went for another round of handing out cough drops to former first lady Michelle Obama. Today, HW Bush will be buried at his presidential library in Texas.

What to say when you hear Waymo launched a self-driving taxi service

Huawei's CFO could use a (self-driving) getaway car. She was arrested in Canada – and could be extradited to the US. Since 2016, the US has been investigating whether the Chinese telecom co has violated trade sanctions against Iran. Last week, the co's CFO was reportedly arrested because of – surprise – allegations that she violated those sanctions. She has a bail hearing set for tomorrow. Speaking of tech companies in the headlines, Facebook. Can you believe? Yesterday, UK lawmakers dropped internal docs that show the Book gave certain companies (like Netflix and Airbnb) VIP access to users' data. Facebook says the released docs are part of a "baseless" lawsuit and are misleading without more context.

What people are talking about…

USA Gymnastics. Yesterday, the org filed for bankruptcy. It's been dealing with 100 lawsuits because of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. This filing means that USA Gymnastics can put depositions on hold and use its insurance to pay victims' claims. The chair of the org's board of directors says that they "owe it to the survivors" to resolve things sooner rather than later. But the lawyer for many of the victims says this is a way to block the truth from coming out about who knew what when. Meanwhile, there's Columbia University. Earlier this week, 17 women sued the school and affiliated hospitals over an alleged sex abuse cover-up. A number of women have accused gynecologist Robert Hadden of sexual abuse in the past, but he only faced charges against two victims and pleaded guilty in exchange for giving up his medical license. So, no jail time. Now, the 17 women say Columbia and co knew about Hadden's behavior since the '90s and didn't stop him. There's reportedly no word from the school on all this. Speaking of cover-ups, there's this: a former Australian archbishop won his appeal over his conviction of covering up sex abuse within the Catholic Church. He was the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of this.

What to say when you get an assist hanging a new shelf…

A little lower please. Carbon dioxide emissions around the world have reached their highest level ever. And reportedly the biggest increase in seven years. This comes after multiple climate change reports have come out in the last few months...which have also hinted that countries need to get their sh*t together (see: this and this). The worst offenders: the US, China, and India. All this is making it harder for countries to see the light at the end of the 2015 Paris climate deal tunnel.

PS: If you had our app, you'd be able to text us. And this week, we're answering all your Qs about climate change. Don't miss out.

What to say when you hear Cardi B and Offset are over

I can already see The Cut's headline…


Bowl Game

Not how good you are at making guac. It's a series of 40+ college football games that teams play in when the regular season ends. Not all bowls are created equal. Some are more important than others, like the ones going down in the College Football Playoff. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl are semifinal bowl games happening on Saturday, December 29th. Want to know who's going head-to-head? Read our guide.


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