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Even Using a 4K HDR TV, Set Your Xbox One to Output 8-bit Color Depth
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Even Using a 4K HDR TV, Set Your Xbox One to Output 8-bit Color Depth
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Achieving the optimal video output settings on the Xbox One has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Controversy has raged across various internet forums regarding which settings should be enabled to ensure the highest image quality. Thanks to the use of signal capturing devices, the debate has finally been settled.

The Xbox One console should be set to output at an 8-bit color depth. This probably seems counterintuitive to those with 4K HDR TVs, whose panels support a 10-bit or higher color depth. However, it has been demonstrated that the Xbox One will still automatically output all HDR content in 10-bit or 12-bit color depth, even when the console’s video output settings are set to 8-bit. The advantage of setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 8-bit is quite simple. The console renders all non-HDR (SDR) content in 8-bit, and setting your console to output in 10-bit or 12-bit will negatively affect the image quality of SDR content due to the introduction of inherently flawed video reprocessing.

HDMI 2.0 is only capable of transmitting data at 18Gbps. This constraint does not allow the Xbox One to output full 10-bit or 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:4:4. As such, the console is only capable of outputting 10-bit and 12-bit 4K 60hz video in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. All SDR games will render on your Xbox One in 8-bit, a signal that can be transmitted in full to an HDMI 2.0 TV at 60hz in 4K. This is one of the reasons why setting the Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit will cause SDR games to lose color accuracy, a result of forcing the video to output in YCC 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.

Another video output option you’ll want to enable on your Xbox One is “allow YCC 4:2:2.” This will force your Xbox One to output 10-bit and 12-bit HDR content at YCC 4:2:2 instead of 4:2:0. Disregard Microsoft’s suggestion that you should only enable this feature if your console is having problems. This is nonsense, and the feature should only be disabled if you are experiencing video issues as a result.

There is one small group of people who should probably leave the “allow YCC 4:2:2” option disabled, besides those experiencing compatibility issues with it enabled. If you are exclusively using your Xbox One to watch Ultra HD Blu-rays, leave this option disabled. Ultra HD Blu-rays are encoded in YCC 4:2:0, and it would be best to transmit them to your television in that format. Gamers will want to keep their Xbox One console set to output YCC 4:2:2, but can choose to disable the option when they watch Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. Even those only using their Xbox One to watch movies should still set their color depth to 8-bit, ensuring the best video quality possible for their collection of SDR DVDs and Blu-rays.

YCC 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 refer to chroma subsampling. Basically, all you need to know about chroma subsampling is that YCC 4:2:2 is superior to 4:2:0. While YCC 4:4:4 would be ideal, the signal cannot be transmitted via HDMI 2.0 due to the limitations of the technology. The Xbox One Console renders SDR games in 8-bit RGB, not YCC, and the RGB signal does not employ chroma subsampling. HDMI 2.0 is capable of transmitting the 8-bit RGB signal in 4k at 60hz, which is exactly why you should set your Xbox One to output in an 8-bit color depth. Setting your Xbox One’s color depth to 10-bit or 12-bit won’t render SDR games in a higher color depth, it will simply force the console to output at a higher color depth by introducing additional video processing that will negatively affect the image.

Realistically, most people would never notice the difference. Then again, if you’ve already purchased a 4K HDR television and an Xbox One, why not get the most out of them? It’s also worth noting that not all games look best with HDR enabled. Some games that “support” HDR do not actually render in HDR. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, does not properly render in HDR.

While playing games like Red Dead Redemption 2, which do not accurately render in HDR, you will need to disable HDR support in the Xbox One’s settings. Even when playing games that allow the option of disabling HDR through the in-game settings, it’s probably best to disable it via the console to prevent any conflicts between the game and the system. It’s fairly common for games to improperly render in HDR, and it’s worth researching information about each of your games to ensure they will render correctly in HDR.

Let’s explore the concept of HDR a little further. The 10 in HDR10 refers to 10-bit color. While it is possible to render SDR content above an 8-bit color depth, the Xbox One does not. The Xbox One will only render above the 8-bit color depth when outputting in HDR10 or Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision outputs in a 12-bit color depth, although few 4K TVs support this feature. Remember, your Xbox One will still automatically output HDR content properly in HDR10 or Dolby Vision when those options are enabled, even though the console’s color depth is set to 8-bit.

The Xbox One X will support HDMI 2.1, and Belkin recently released an HDMI cable capable of transmitting at 48Gbps. Unfortunately, these new cables won’t allow HDMI 2.0 televisions to receive 60hz 4K 10-bit or 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 video signals, due to the limitations of HDMI 2.0 technology. New TVs featuring HDMI 2.1 are coming soon, but it’ll likely be at least a year before the Xbox One X receives an update allowing it to transmit 10-bit and 12-bit YCC 4:4:4 4K video at 60hz and above to these new devices. Although, the Belkin 48Gbps HDMI cords are allowing Apple TV users to transmit 4K 10-bit YCC 4:2:2 video at 60hz, as the Apple TV has a strange defect that renders 18Gbps HDMI cables insufficient at transmitting the high bandwidth signal.

The above video is one of the best on YouTube at explaining these concepts. While this article currently provides the best advice for achieving optimal video quality from your Xbox One, we will update this content to reflect any future changes to the console’s settings by Microsoft. If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat Released on Gaming Consoles 25 Years Ago
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Throwback Thursday: Mortal Kombat Released on Gaming Consoles 25 Years Ago
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Mortal Kombat completely changed the gaming world when the arcade game was released in 1992. Mortal Kombat allowed players to challenge one another to a literal death match. The fighting game featured five buttons and an eight-way directional joystick. Two buttons controlled the players kicks, two controlled punches, and one allowed the player to block.

When a player won the fight against his opponent, the winner was allowed a short amount of time to perform a secret combination of buttons that would allow the victor to kill his dazed opponent. This finishing move was referred to in the game as a fatality. Each character had their own finishing moves, and the game even featured a stage fatality that allowed the winner to use the environment to kill his opponent. Needless to say, the game was quite controversial when it was released. It was also incredibly popular in the United States.

Thanks to the popularity of the arcade game, Mortal Kombat was quickly ported to home gaming consoles. The launch of Mortal Kombat on consoles was one of the largest and most highly publicized releases in gaming history. Referred to as Mortal Monday, Mortal Kombat hit store shelves for the Sega Gensisis, Super Nintendo, Game Gear, and Game Boy on September 13th, 1993. The game’s launch was preceded by a huge wave of advertising in the form of print ads and television commercials.

Although the game launched on four separate gaming consoles on the same day, there were enormous differences between the games. The Game Boy and Game Gear versions were significantly less technologically advanced than the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis versions. The Super Nintendo version came the closest to reproducing the visual and audio achievements of the arcade game, due to the console’s technological superiority compared to Sega’s Genesis. However, the Sega Genesis version remained much more faithful to the mood of its arcade predecessor. This was due to Sega’s inclusion of game’s more controversial elements.

Nintendo was not comfortable with releasing Mortal Kombat uncensored for their console. Nintendo chose to leave the blood out of the Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat. The blood was replaced with sweat. Fatalities were also altered for their version of the game.

Sega, on the other hand, decided to go with a different approach. The Sega Genesis version of the game allowed users to enter a code at the beginning of the game, similar to how players  performed fatalities, that unlocked the sight of blood and uncensored the fatalities. This more faithful adaption of the game on Sega’s console was much more well received than Nintendo’s. Mortal Kombat was the deciding factor for many gamers when choosing between purchasing a Genesis or SNES, and Sega likely benefited greatly from their decision.

Gamers may also remember another feature from Sega’s version of Mortal Kombat. The code to unlock blood in the Sega version of the game is “ABACABB.” Abacab is an album from the band Genesis, who shares a name with the Sega console. This Easter egg is one of many found throughout the game.

Mortal Kombat is known in the gaming community for its early adoption of the practice of hiding secret elements in the game. The arcade version allowed users to access a hidden fight against a secret character with its own secret stage. Future Mortal Kombat titles even adopted hidden Easter eggs based on rumors about previous games.

Mortal Kombat 10, the latest title in the series, was released in 2015. Warner Brothers purchased the Mortal Kombat franchise in 2009 when they acquired Midway Games. Ed Boon, co-creator of the original Mortal Kombat, is still currently serving as creative director for the Mortal Kombat games. Although there is no official word yet on Mortal Kombat 11, we look forward to brutally finishing off our opponents in the next Mortal Kombat game.

Prison Profiteering: Companies Making Millions Charging Prisoners to Email
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Prison Profiteering: Companies Making Millions Charging Prisoners to Email
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Wired recently reported on a system of prison profiteering that many people may not be aware of. Several companies are making healthy profits charging prisoners, and their acquaintances, to send emails. While the practice is legal, there are several ethical concerns surrounding it.

JPay, a leader in the industry, provides prisoner communication services to prisons in 20 different states. As some prisons have instituted a ban on greeting cards, JPay is commonly presented as an alternative to those wanting to communicate their well-wishes to friends or family in prison. JPay will charge the prisoner’s friends and family to send their electronic message. They may also charge the prisoner to read the message.

States like Michigan have instituted strict guidelines regarding mailed prisoner communication. These rules restrict the color of paper the letter may be written on, and even restrict the color of ink that can be used to write it. Due to concerns that a letter may go undelivered, many are turning to services like JPay.

Electronic communications aren’t the only services being offered for-profit in our prisons. Often times, these same companies will offer a variety of other options to prisoners. Securus, JPay’s parent company, provides the phone service for Louisiana’s prisons. In Michigan, they sell tablets to prisoners. According to Wired, about 2/3 of Michigan’s prisoners are currently enrolled in that program.

While some may be disgusted by the idea of profiting off prisoners, others defend the behavior of companies like JPay. They say these businesses are simply providing a service to those who want it. While these large companies are clearly benefiting, they argue that the prisoners also benefit from using their service.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

This article contains the personal opinions of the author. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Mess of Media. This disclaimer appears on all articles that feature the personal opinions of the author, as Mess of Media is an unbiased and nonpartisan source of information.

 

Crypto Markets are Down, Time to Panic? Miners Don’t Think So.
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Crypto Markets are Down, Time to Panic? Miners Don’t Think So.
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While the price of Bitcoin may have decreased by around 75% in the last 8 months, the hash rate has increased by around 500%. The hash rate is the processing power contributed to the network. Right now the hash rate is sitting around 50,000,000 tera hashes. That’s the equivalent of 50 million computers each performing 1 trillion calculations per second.

Some would contribute the growth to the increased productivity of ASIC miners. While that is definitely a factor, these increases in hash rate can be found in cryptocurrencies that use GPU mining as well.

Others say the discrepancy between price and hash rate may simply be caused by a lack of understanding. Generally speaking, miners have a strong technical understanding of cryptocurrency. They understand its value and use it regularly. On the other hand, many investors have have absolutely no understanding of the technology at all. This may make them susceptible to emotional decision making, such as panic selling at a loss.

While Peter Schiff and many other prominent figures say this is the beginning of the end for Bitcoin, there are obviously many in the mining industry that disagree. Is Bitcoin a passing fad? Or are the critics simply misinformed? Only time will tell.

Mess of Media’s cryptocurrency reporting is for informational purposes only. Our reporting should not be considered financial advice. Participation in the crypto market is at your own risk.

The Ultimate Spaghetti Showdown: Man vs Man’s Best Friend
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The Ultimate Spaghetti Showdown: Man vs Man’s Best Friend
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After the first two highly publicized spaghetti eating contests, it is now common knowledge that the golden retriever is the fastest pasta eater in the animal kingdom. However, one brave individual is willing to risk it all in an attempt to put man back on top of the food chain. Although this match may be taking place thousands of miles away overseas, this daring human will be facing off against a distant relative of the one and only Ravioli Retriever himself. This title fight has a twist ending you won’t want to miss!

Be sure to watch the first Spaghetti Showdown and the second Spaghetti Showdown in case you missed them!

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Spaghetti Showdown: Juniors vs Seniors
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Spaghetti Showdown: Juniors vs Seniors
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Thanks to the Spaghetti Showdown Part 1, we now know the Golden Retriever is the canine breed best suited for consuming pasta. However, this next showdown seeks to settle a different age old rivalry.

It’s the seniors vs the juniors! In one corner we have Toby, an 11 year old retriever with an appetite for victory. In the other corner we have Ollie, a 10 month old retriever desperate to prove himself in the high stakes world of spaghetti eating. This one comes down to a photo finish you won’t want to miss!

Be sure to watch the first Spaghetti Showdown and the third Spaghetti Showdown in case you missed them!

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Eddie Murphy Joins Cast of Long Awaited Sequel to 1988’s Twins
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Eddie Murphy Joins Cast of Long Awaited Sequel to 1988’s Twins
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While speaking during a panel discussion at South by Southwest, Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed Eddie Murphy has joined the cast of the Twins sequel. The sequel will be titled Triplets, and will feature Murphy as the long-lost twin brother of Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.

Triplets has been in development for years, and many fans are eager to see how the new film will treat the significantly older characters. Schwarzenegger is 71, DeVito is 73, and Murphy is 57. It will be interesting to see how the film addresses Murphy’s age difference, if it even addresses it at all.

While speaking in Austin, Texas, Schwarzenegger also confirmed that the script was finally complete. Hopefully production will begin on the Twins sequel soon. We’ll keep you updated on the latest developments. Let us know what you think about the sequel’s premise in our comment section below.

NASA Launches Probe to Touch the Sun
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NASA Launches Probe to Touch the Sun
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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on its way to the most important form of energy on Earth, the Sun. The Parker Solar Probe is on a seven-year mission that will involve passing by the Sun a total of 24 times. The robotic spacecraft will probe the outer corona of the sun.

The Parker Solar Probe will reach within 3.85 million miles from the surface of the sun. The spacecraft is also expected to reach speeds up to 430,000 miles per hour. It’s also the first NASA spacecraft to be named after a living person, physicist and University of Chicago professor Eugene Parker. The NASA project is expected to cost 1.5 billion dollars.

NASA scientists hope to learn more about several unanswered questions of the universe. For example, what keeps the corona generating so much energy? Another popular topic of curiosity involves the constant stream of supersonic solar wind blowing throughout the galaxy. The space exploration community is eagerly awaiting the results obtained from the mission.

The Sun’s surface is about 2 million degrees Fahrenheit. Below the surface, temperatures reach a scorching 10 million degrees Fahrenheit. Why wont the Parker Solar Probe melt? According to NASA, in short, the heat is less dense. NASA contrasted the differences in heat density by comparing a person putting their hand in a hot oven versus putting their hand in pot of boiling water. Along with the atmosphere being less dense, NASA has equipped the Parker Solar Probe with a Thermal Protection System (TPS) that can withstand temperatures up to 3 thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

The NASA probe was launched into space August 12th, 2018. It is expected to return to Earth sometime in 2025. What mysteries of the universe will the spacecraft unlock once its mission is complete? Only time will tell.

Keep track of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe by following their official Twitter page!

The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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The Spaghetti Showdown: Ravioli Retriever vs Sicilian Shepherd
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This is a main event you won’t want to miss. Two goliaths showdown in this clash of the ages. In one corner we have a Golden Retriever who is hungry for a challenge. In the other corner we have the battle hardened German Shepherd. While only one can win the spaghetti eating contest, both of these good boys won my heart.

Be sure to watch the second Spaghetti Showdown and the third Spaghetti Showdown in case you missed them!

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content like this.  Thank you for watching!

Follow our Twitter page for the latest news about politics, entertainment, technology, cryptocurrency, and everything else you can imagine!

VA Officials Oppose Agent Orange Claims
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VA Officials Oppose Agent Orange Claims
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Veterans Affairs Officials are opposing the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017 Congressional bill. This legislative bill extends payouts to about 90,000 Vietnam Veterans who claim effects from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and is estimated to cost about one billion dollars.

The VA’s Undersecretary of Benefits, Paul Lawrence has stated, “The Science is not there, and what we do depends on the science.” VA officials also believe they cannot get proper “scientific” evidence on whether a veteran has cancer or an illness from being exposed to Agent Orange or simply from old age.

Rick Weidman, Executive Director at the Vietnam Veterans of America, responded stating, “These people were exposed. How much they were exposed doesn’t make a difference. And you can’t put that all together 40 years later.”

Agent Orange was a strong herbicide used by the United States military during the Vietnam War to eliminate the harsh terrain, making it easier to navigate the harsh environment. The United States dropped millions of gallons of the herbicide from 1961-1971. The VA’s own website details the deadly side effects of exposure to Agent Orange.

The Blue Water Bill has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote at the Senate. If you or someone you know would like to make a claim with the VA, you can contact them at 1-800-827-1000.

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President Trump Goes After McCabe Following 60 Minutes Interview
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President Trump Goes After McCabe Following 60 Minutes Interview
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On Twitter earlier today, President Trump had some harsh words for former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions following McCabe’s appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes last nights. During the interview, McCabe claimed Rosenstein repeatedly offered to wear a wire to secretly record conversations with President Trump. Rosenstein has denied the accusation, with Justice Department officials reportedly claiming Rosenstein was only joking around about recording the president.

Here is how President Trump responded on Twitter to McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview:

“Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught. There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from office in November at the president’s request. Rosenstein is expected to resign once William Barr is confirmed as Attorney General. Although Rosenstein claims he was joking about wearing a wire to record the president, McCabe insists Rosenstein was “absolutely serious” about recording the president.

In addition to his claims against Rosenstein, McCabe says several high ranking individuals in the Justice Department discussed the possibility of removing the president from office through the 25th Amendment. The 25th Amendment pertains to replacing the president or vice president in the case of death, impeachment, or resignation. It’s unclear how they anticipated to carry out the alleged plan against the president. Many, including President Trump, have criticized the concept of unelected bureaucrats contemplating the removal of the President of the United States.

Congressman Gaetz Condemns FBI’s Andrew McCabe
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Congressman Gaetz Condemns FBI’s Andrew McCabe
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Congressman Matt Gaetz appeared on Fox News with Jesse Watters over the weekend to strongly criticize former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Excerpts from McCabe’s soon to be released memoir began appearing online earlier this week. The excerpts were first published by the Atlantic, and detail how McCabe and others considered attempting to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution details the methods by which the president or vice president may be replaced due to resignation, death, impeachment, or incantation. Nothing in the 25th Amendment would allow for federal law enforcement to attempt to remove the president from office over political disagreements. This revelation has led many in the media, especially at Fox News, to refer to McCabe’s suggested use of the 25th Amendment as an attempted coup.

McCabe is also claiming that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was involved in the discussions to potentially remove the president from office. However, Rosenstein denies the accusations. In another excerpt from McCabe’s upcoming book, the former acting FBI Director accused Rosenstein of drafting a report critical of former FBI Director James Comey under the direction of President Trump. McCabe is not the first person to accuse Rosenstein of being coerced by the president, although, Rosenstein has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Following a highly critical report about McCabe from the Department of Justice Inspector General, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to fire the acting FBI Director. McCabe was fired by Sessions just 26 hours before he was scheduled to retire. Sessions has also accused McCabe of leaking information to the media.

While Congressman Gaetz is a frequent guest on Fox News, he is also one of the few Republicans in Congress to regularly appear on CNN. Gaetz represents Florida’s 1st congressional district in the US House of Representatives. The congressman is noted for his strong support of the Second Amendment, and his libertarian leanings on social issues. Gaetz co-authored an amendment to repeal Florida’s ban on adoption by gay couples, and he has advocated the use of medical cannabis in place of opioids.

President Trump Declares National Emergency, Announces $8 Billion Toward Wall
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President Trump Declares National Emergency, Announces $8 Billion Toward Wall
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On Friday morning, President Trump ended months of speculation when he announced he would be declaring a national emergency to continue construction of a wall along the southern border. The president signed the national emergency declaration shortly after his announcement from the White House Rose Garden. The White House announced Thursday evening that $8 billion has been allocated toward the construction of the border wall.

President Trump originally requested $5.7 billion in border wall funding from congress. However, following a government shutdown and strong backlash from Democratic leadership, congress finally compromised on a total of $1.3 billion toward wall funding. The President ultimately ended up signing the compromise bill Friday morning, avoiding another government shutdown that would have gone into effect on Saturday.

The $1.3 billion toward construction of the wall will come from the compromise in congress is included in the $8 billion spending project announced by the White House. Another $3.6 billion will be allocated from military construction funds. An additional $2.5 billion will be come from the Department of Defense, and $600 million will be coming from the US Treasury Department.

The $8 billion spending program is tasked with the goal of constructing an additional 234 miles of barriers along the southern border. Many Democrats in congress have strongly condemned the president’s decision to declare a national emergency. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have said they will use every available resource to fight the emergency declaration.

The Democratic controlled House of Representatives is expected to pass a disapproval resolution against the president’s decision. The resolution from the House will force the Senate to vote on the president’s emergency declaration. However, even if some Republicans join Democrats in rejecting the national emergency, President Trump would surely override their decision with a veto.

The president’s decision to declare a national emergency is expected to face its most formidable challenge in the court system. Several Democrats have already declared their intention to protest the decision through the courts. President Trump has said he expects the decision to be held up by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but believes the Supreme Court will uphold his decision.

The decision is expected to be wrapped up in the courts for quite some time. It’s unclear how the president’s decision to allocate existing funds toward the wall will factor into the process. Although, it seems likely the White House will attempt to complete as construction as possible before the courts have a chance to suspend the project.

Mitch McConnell Announces President Trump Will Sign Border Deal, Declare National Emergency
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Mitch McConnell Announces President Trump Will Sign Border Deal, Declare National Emergency
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Earlier today on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that President Trump will sign a budget compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The $330 billion spending deal would keep the government open to avoid another shutdown. McConnell also said the president will be declaring a national emergency to fund more construction of a wall along the southern border.

The 1,169-page spending bill passed in the Senate with a vote of 83 to 16. It is now headed to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass. The president must sign the legislation before midnight on Friday to prevent another government shutdown.

President Trump originally requested $5.7 billion from congress in border wall spending, with the goal of building 234 miles of steel barriers. Democratic leadership repeatedly refused to provide any spending toward a border wall but eventually compromised on some funds toward the construction of a wall.  The spending compromise provides $1.3 billion for border wall construction, with the goal of building 55 miles of additional barriers in Texas.

Following months of speculation, it appears the president has decided to declare a national emergency to fund additional border wall construction. President Trump has indicated on numerous occasions that he is willing to declare a national emergency to build the wall. The president has also repeatedly stated that he will obtain funding for the wall with or without congress.

President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency tomorrow morning. It’s almost certain that the Democratic controlled House of Representatives will pass a disapproval resolution. The resolution from the House will force the Senate to approve the declaration. However, even if some Republicans in the Senate reject the president’s declaration of a national emergency, the president will override the decision with a veto.

Once the national emergency is beyond the reach of congress, Democrats are expected to challenge the decision through the courts. Due to the nature of the court system, a final decision isn’t likely to be made anytime soon. The president has already said he expects the decision to be challenged in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, though he believes the Supreme Court will uphold his decision.

President Trump Prepares for Second Summit With Kim Jong-un
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President Trump Prepares for Second Summit With Kim Jong-un
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Preparations are underway for the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. During his State of the Union Address, President Trump announced that the summit will be taking place February 27th and 28th in Vietnam. The first historic meeting between the two leaders was held in Singapore in June of last year.

The upcoming summit has fueled hope in many that a lasting peace can be established between North and South Korea. Some are setting expectations high, with hopes progress will finally be made in the effort to denuclearize the peninsula. It’s unclear what kind of announcements may be made when the two leaders meet later this month.

Not everyone is optimistic about the upcoming summit. Politicians and pundits on both sides of the political aisle have expressed concern about the meeting. Earlier this week, Senator Mitt Romney said, “The North Koreans have proved over the years that their promises can’t be relied upon.” The senator further clarified that he has high hopes for the meeting, but no particular expectations.

Democratic Senator Bob Mendez was also skeptical of the summit, saying, “I don’t see a preparation that is necessary to make for a successful summit. And above all, if you can’t even agree on what is a simple definition of what denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means, it seems to me that definition should be agreed to before we go to a summit.”

President Trump, on the other hand, seems quite optimistic about the upcoming summit. The president and Kim Jong-un have exchanged several letters to each other since their previous meeting. Over the weekend, President Trump had this to say about the upcoming meeting:

“My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un. It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace! North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!”

Chris Wallace Says ‘Green New Deal’ Would Bankrupt the Country
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Chris Wallace Says ‘Green New Deal’ Would Bankrupt the Country
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Fox’s typically apolitical Chris Wallace recently had some strong words for Democrats about the Green New Deal. During an interview with Bill Hemmer, Wallace said the plan has no chance of being adopted. If it were to be adopted, Wallace said, it would bankrupt the country.

Wallace accused Democratic leadership of paying lip service to the plan’s proponents. He further suggested that the program’s unveiling seemed more like political theater than a serious policy. Wallace predicted Republicans would exploit the situation as much as possible, which he called “understandable.”

Wallace also predicted that President Trump will use the Green New Deal to his advantage in 2020. The distinguished Fox News Sunday anchor said the proposed plan offers the president another opportunity to reinforce his image as a defender of capitalism. It also allows President Trump to paint the Democrats as promoters of socialism.

When Wallace was asked by Hemmer about how much damage the proposed program might inflict on Democrats, Wallace called the political fallout a “mixed bag.” While the plan may be extremely unpopular among some, Wallace noted that much of the Democratic base supports it. He went on to say there are many Democrats concerned about aspects of capitalism, and that not every Democrat considers such social programs to be socialism.

The Green New Deal was originally touted by many as a mandate to force the US to adopt 100% “renewable energy” in the next ten years. However, it now appears that the plan is more of a goal than a mandate. The proposal’s unveiling was a rocky one, with media outlets focusing on a detail published about the Green New Deal on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s website.

Ocasio-Cortez’s website claimed the plan would use government funds to pay individuals unwilling to work. The claim was later deleted from her site, and her staff admitted it was a mistake. The actual bill itself does not contain language concerning those unwilling to work.

Chris Wallace is the son of iconic news anchor Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace was one of the original correspondents for CBS’ 60 Minutes when it first aired in 1968. He remained with the show for forty years. Chris Wallace began his career in journalism with NBC and ABC before leaving for Fox News in 2003.

Venezuelan Military Blocks Humanitarian Aid
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Venezuelan Military Blocks Humanitarian Aid
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Venezuela’s Maduro regime has ordered the country’s military to block incoming humanitarian aid. A makeshift barricade has been constructed by the Venezuelan military across a bridge into Columbia. The food, medicine, and other supplies are desperately needed in Venezuela, and it’s unclear how much longer Maduro can maintain the support of his military.

While Nicolas Maduro continues to declare himself President of Venezuela, Juan Guaido has been recognized as Venezuela’s interim president by the United States and more than 30 other countries. These nations recognize Guaido as the acting Venezuelan president until another presidential election is held. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Venezuela over the weekend in support of Guaido.

Venezuela, an oil-rich nation, once boasted a vibrant economy. However, following years of large-scale government spending programs, the nation collapsed. In 2018, Venezuela experienced an inflation rate over 1 million percent.

The past ten years in Venezuela have been a nightmare. Nearly 90% of the country lives in poverty. Due to the poverty and political instability, Venezuela now has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

In regards to his refusal to allow humanitarian aid into the country, Maduro said Venezuela is not a nation of “beggars.” The United States has been very direct in their communications to the Maduro regime. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to the move by saying the humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach the country’s starving people.

President Trump has not ruled out military action against the Maduro regime, and has repeatedly stated that all options are on the table to bring an end to the crisis in Venezuela. During a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, US National Security Advisor John Bolton suggested that Maduro may spend the rest of his life in a Guantamo Bay prison if he does not peacefully step aside. Bolton was seen late last month carrying a notepad displaying information about sending 5,000 US troops to Columbia, a neighbor of Venezuela.

President Trump tweeted this following a recent phone call with Juan Guaido:

“Spoke today with Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido to congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency and reinforced strong United States support for Venezuela’s fight to regain its democracy. Large protests all across Venezuela today against Maduro. The fight for freedom has begun!”

Senator Cory Booker Latest Democrat to Announce 2020 Presidential Run
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Senator Cory Booker Latest Democrat to Announce 2020 Presidential Run
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Senator Cory Booker announced his campaign for the presidency on Friday. His announcement came in the form of a tweet and a video emailed to supporters. The 49-year-old senator is the most recent Democrat to declare their 2020 presidential campaign.

Booker was born in Washington DC, and grew up about 20 miles from Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in sociology. While attending Stanford University, Booker played football as a tight end.

After graduating from Stanford, Booker was granted a scholarship to attend the University of Oxford in England. Amusingly, Booker received an honors degree in US history as a student of The Queen’s College. After arriving back in the United States, Booker attended Yale Law School. He graduated from the school with his Juris Doctor in 1997.

In 1998, Booker was elected to the Municipal Council of Newark. Instead of running for re-election as a councilman, Booker announced his campaign for Mayor of Newark. Booker lost the election to his opponent Sharpe James, a five-time incumbent.

Booker ran again for mayor in 2006. This time, incumbent mayor Sharpe James decided not to run for re-election. Deputy Mayor Ronald Rice was outspent 25 to 1 by Booker’s campaign. Booker defeated Rice with 72% of the vote.

Booker remained Mayor of Newark until he was elected to the US Senate. After US Senator Frank Lautenberg passed away in 2013, New Jersey held a special election to fill his seat in the senate. Booker defeated his Democratic opponent in the primaries with about 59% of the vote, and defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in the general election 55% to 44%.

In 2014 Booker was re-elected to the US Senate, defeating his Republican opponent Jeff Bell. With similar results to the 2013 election, Booker earned 55% of the vote to Bell’s 42%. New Jersey law allows Booker to simultaneously run for President of the United States and re-election as a US Senator, which he is expected to do.

Booker is the fourth Democratic US Senator to announce their 2020 campaign for president. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris have already announced their campaigns. Senator Bernie Sanders is expected by many political insiders to announce his campaign for the presidency sometime in February.

Following Booker’s announcement, President Trump stated the senator has “no chance” of becoming president in 2020. President Trump went on to say that he is unimpressed with the group of candidates the Democrats have assembled so far. When previously asked about the Democratic candidates, the president said he believes Senator Kamala Harris has had the strongest campaign rollout so far.

Virginia Governor Refuses to Resign, Backtracks on Apology
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Virginia Governor Refuses to Resign, Backtracks on Apology
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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has been facing calls for his resignation from both sides of the political aisle. A racist photo from Northam’s yearbook recently surfaced, depicting someone in blackface drinking beer with another person in a KKK robe. Northam apologized for the photo yesterday, admitting he was one of the individuals in the picture, but the governor claimed earlier today that he does not believe he is one of the people in the photograph.

The photo appeared on Northam’s page in his 1984 medical school yearbook. In addition to claiming he does not believe he appears in the photo, Northam is now alleging he did not submit the photograph to the yearbook’s staff. The governor has also said that he did not purchase the yearbook, and was unaware of the photograph until it was uncovered by the press.

Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas seemed unimpressed with the governor’s response to the controversy. Earlier today, in response to Northam’s revised statements about the photo, Lucas responded, “He should have said that yesterday.” Lucas went on to call the governor’s amended comments “a day late and a dollar short.”

The Virginia State Senator wasn’t the Democrat to strongly condemn the governor. Each of the high-profile Democratic candidates to have announced their 2020 presidential run have called for Northam’s resignation. Earlier today, DNC Chair Tom Perez called for Northam’s resignation.

Republicans have also responded to the controversy. Rob Whittman, a Republican representing Virginia’s 1st congressional district in the US House of Representatives, has called on Governor Northam to resign. CNN has also been a target of Republicans throughout the controversy, as they incorrectly labeled Northam as a Republican during their coverage of the story yesterday.

During his press conference today, Northam raised even more controversy when he made statements regarding a 1984 dance party. Although Northam is now claiming he was not one of the individuals in the yearbook photo, he did enter a 1984 dance contest dressed in blackface as Michael Jackson. During the press conference, Northam was asked if he could still “moonwalk.” It appeared for a moment the governor might attempt to demonstrate the dance move, before his wife strongly advised against it.

If Governor Northam resigns, Lt Governor Justin Fairfax will take over the position. If Northam refuses to resign, Virginia law potentially allows for the courts to remove him following a petition from the voters. However, it would be the first time in Virginia history that a governor was removed through this process. There is also a hotly contested debate as to whether the law applies to behavior before the governor’s inauguration or only to behavior during the governor’s time in office.

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