Daily Briefing: June 13, 2017

Posted by    |    June 13th, 2017 at 6:29 am

T O P   N E W S


Trump Loses Travel Ban Ruling in Appeals Court (NY Times)

“A second federal appeals court has ruled against President Trump’s revised travel ban, delivering on Monday the latest in a string of defeats for the administration’s efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.
“The two courts employed different reasoning to arrive at the same basic conclusion. The Fourth Circuit said the revised executive order violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion. The Ninth Circuit, by contrast, rested its conclusions on statutory grounds. It said Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority Congress granted him in making national security judgments in the realm of immigration without adequate justification.”

Nick Note: Did President Trump exceed authority or did the court exceed their power? The statute in question is 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”So has the court inserted itself into the process and exceeded authority? National Review believes so, with the editors going so far as to write that the Ninth Circuit “blocked the executive order because the president didn’t meet its subjective, entirely made-up standard.” In other court news, Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming that the president’s failure to shed his businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing. Here are four things you need to know concerning the lawsuit. And A.G. Jeff Sessions will testify in an open hearing Senate Intelligence committee hearing today. In other news, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) introduced the COVFEFE Act, which aims to preserve tweets from the president’s personal Twitter account, ensuring that Trump’s social-media posts are archived as presidential records. Congress wants to preserve his tweets and the Secret Service said yesterday that they have no audio copies or transcripts of any tapes recorded within President Donald Trump’s White House. There may be no secret recordings but yesterday we were privy to the first full cabinet meeting. You may have heard Hail to the Chief, but have you seen praise of the chief? Watch cabinet officials praise Mr. Trump for the chance to serve him and their country. As you know, there are a variety of factors that make it difficult to serve in this cabinet. Every one of these officials are sacrificing in order to serve their country.  As Christians, we are keenly aware of sacrifice. Our God has called us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). This may seem ominous, but it is in the sacrifice that we find blessing and can respond in praise (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Luke 24, Psalm 105). Because, after all, it is better to give than receive (Acts 20:35).

Woman in texting suicide case ‘intoxicated’ by antidepressants, doctor says (CNN)

“A woman on trial for urging her boyfriend to kill himself was delusional after becoming “involuntarily intoxicated” by antidepressants, a psychiatrist said Monday.
“Michelle Carter “was unable to form intent” after switching to a new prescription drug only weeks before her boyfriend committed suicide in July 2014, Dr. Peter Breggin testified. She even texted his phone for weeks after he died, Breggin said. Carter, 20, is on trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III, who was 18 when he poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck.”

Nick Note: This is an absolutely tragic story that is becoming all too prevalent. The suicide rate has risen by a quarter, to 13 per 100,000 people in 2014 from 10.5 in 1999. The rate is at the highest level in nearly 30 years. Suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups. But the implications for this court case are far-reaching. With the uptick in cyber bullying, will this place a measure of responsibility upon bullies? Every day, there are an average of 5,400 suicide attempts by students in grades 7-12. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Last year alone 4,400 youth took their lives. We have far too many Ahabs and Jezebels in our culture today (1 Kings 21)…

‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Cast Sent Home Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations (NY Times)

“Cast members and producers of the ABC reality show “Bachelor in Paradise” were sent home last week after accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior on the set.
“Warner Bros., the studio that makes the show, said in a statement on Monday that it became “aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ in Mexico.” It added: “We have suspended production and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.”

Nick Note: Was this not anticipated considering the very title of the show? In the biblical narrative, we are warned not to awaken love until the time is right (Song of Solomon 8:4). We are warned to keep watch for the little foxes of desire that can spoil the vineyard of love (Song of Solomon 2:15).

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

It’s totally normal—and maybe even useful—to cut off all your hair to deal with loss (QZ)

“The study points out sometimes these patterns of drastic change—especially if they seem extremely out of character—can indirectly alert others that a person is suffering in a major way. When pop star Britney Spears shaved her head 10 years ago, it turned out to be part of a mental breakdown that ultimately led to an involuntary commitment to a stay in a psychiatric ward….That said, noting these changes can trigger a more meaningful recovery because they actually acknowledge that a person has undergone an extremely difficult event.”

Nick Note: Can you imagine 80s hair band Guns n’ Roses Welcoming You To The Jungle without hair? Or an all-bald Poison telling you Every Rose Has It’s Thorn? In the biblical narrative, we often read of individuals putting on sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes when something significant happens in their lives (Esther 4, 2 Samuel 3, Genesis 37). This was a symbol of debasement and/or repentance. If you wanted to show your repentant heart, you would often wear sackcloth, sit in ashes, and put ashes on top of your head. Sackcloth was a coarse material usually made of black goat’s hair, very uncomfortable to wear. The ashes signified ruin. But this was always for a time (2 Corinthians 4:16). After that season, you could take heart in the truth that 80s legend Warrant noted: Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away.

Clergy Are More Partisan Than Their Parishioners (The Atlantic)

“A new paper by two political scientists adds that clergy tend to be even more partisan than their parishioners. While it’s not clear whether this translates into politicized sermons or social activism, it’s evidence that religious life may be yet another area where many Americans are pulled into exclusive partisan spheres by their community leaders.
“They discovered that religious leaders generally tend to be more partisan than their congregants, including those on either end of the ideological spectrum. Not only that: Religious leaders’ denominational affiliations seem to shape their political leanings in a way that’s not the case for their congregants. Once factors like age, race, gender, and geography are considered, denomination isn’t a very strong predictor of regular people’s political affiliation, they write. Among pastors, however, the partisan split by denomination is “dramatic.”

Nick Note: “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).”

Staying out late two days a week is worse for your health than you think (QZ)

“Even if you get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep on the weekends, you may ruin your week if you pass out at 3am and wake up at 11. Researchers call this social jet lag: even if you get the same number of hours of sleep you’d get on a weeknight, your inconsistent bedtimes may still reduce the quality of your sleep.
“To measure social jet lag, the research team compared what time people went to sleep and woke up on weekdays and weekends. They found that—assuming people got the same total amount of sleep seven nights a week—every hour later people were going to bed on the weekends correlated with a roughly 11% increase in risk of heart disease. Each hour of social jet lag was also related to how healthy people thought of themselves overall: for every hour participants said they were up later, they were 22% more likely to say that they were in “good” or “fair” instead of “excellent” health.”

Nick Note: The Lion May Sleep Tonight but not the party animal. As the mediocre rock band Yellowcard noted in their hit Ocean Avenue, we can “sleep all day and stay up all night.” But a new study published Monday says college students who did not go to bed or wake up at consistent times every day were more likely to have lower grades. In the Scriptures, we read of a particular rhythm of day and night, six and one. Rest is a part of that rhythm. Rest is not optional but highly encouraged (Mark 2:27). And after a good rest, I highly encourage you to turn on some Jack Johnson and make/listen to some Banana Pancakes while you read the rest of the Daily Briefing.

Kevin Durant named Finals MVP after Warriors claim title (ESPN)

“Durant, 28, received the honor Monday after the Warriors’ 129-120 Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena, garnering every vote on a media panel of 11.
“Durant finished with 39 points, seven rebounds and five assists on 14-for-20 shooting in 40 minutes. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the Finals, with a 55.6 field-goal percentage.”

Nick Note: An unknown person paid $133,000, including buyer’s fees, for two courtside tickets to Monday night’s game. And the Warriors did not disappoint. Congrats, Oakland (Romans 13:7).

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

50-year-old is brought to tears after seeing color for the first time

Nick Note: Watch it here. “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ… For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).”

Kid owns Icee-chugging contest, is owned by brain freeze

Nick Note: Watch it here. Despite the repercussions, this little guy is giving it his all for the chance of victory. Love it (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Must Watch: Coach Deggs Inspirational Response at Post-Game Press Conference

Nick Note: Watch here.  This is one of the most inspirational, kingdom-saturated responses I have ever heard from a coach. His response epitomizes1 Peter 3:15.

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