All posts by Travis Farmer

I am a Criminal Justice major specializing in criminalistics, class of 2019. I really enjoy writing about politics and reviewing media.

“Cuphead” Brings Back Old-School Animation

@StudioMDHR
“Cuphead” features many different kinds of bosses, with many gimmicks and tricks to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Credit: @StudioMDHR

One of the strangest games to be announced at Microsoft’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference in 2014 was “Cuphead.” An Xbox exclusive side-scrolling retro-cartoon inspired indie game released by two brothers as their first game.

“Cuphead” is a retro game in every meaning of the word. Its art style is the single most striking part of the game. The game is a made as a love letter to 80’s and 90’s kids who grew up watching old timey Disney movies while playing side scrolling run and gun games. The developers, StudioMDHR, made up of the two brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, even stated that they themselves grew up watching old cartoons on compilation VHS tapes and late at night reruns.

While the art style is obviously incredibly retro inspired, the gameplay is as well. One of the most popular genre of 90’s gaming was the side scrolling run and gun game. The gameplay is incredibly simple while also being very difficult but enjoyable to play. The player needs to move the titular character, Cuphead, from left to right on the screen with a small gun as their only weapon. This gameplay, while simple and fun, is also deceptively difficult, with many players taking to social media with their frustrations.

The art style of the game, being as beautiful as it is, also runs at 60 frames per second, making it look incredibly fluid and sharp. This graphical choice and fidelity allows players to trace the path of every bullet and projectile coming at their characters. The art style also allows for any single still screenshot of the game to look like it is taken straight out of a 1930’s hand painted cartoon, like the old Disney Mickey Mouse cartoons.

The story of “Cuphead” is fairly simple, as is to be expected by its genre and inspirations. Side scrolling games are not usually known for rich and heavy stories like you would find in a “Grand Theft Auto” or “Life is Strange.” Instead, the motivations of characters in this genre of games is usually as simple as “save the princess!” or “stop Dracula!”.

The story of “Cuphead” simply resolves around the titular Cuphead and his brother, Mugman. Cuphead and Mugman sneak into a casino and eventually make a deal with the devil for their souls. They eventually lose to the Devil, who says that if they are able to collect the contracts other residents of their land owe him then he will let them go. The player then must battle many bosses to receive their soul contracts for the devil. The developers purposefully made the story a bit different than the standard “damsel in distress” trope, making the main problem of the game a problem brought along by Cuphead himself.

“Cuphead” released on Sep. 29, 2017, over three years after it was initially revealed to massive praise and sales from players and critics alike. The game received a 9.5 out of 10 from gaming magazine Destructoid, 5 stars from GamesRadar, and an 87/100 from Metacritic. These scores are very impressive for such a small game, especially being a small studio’s first attempt at developing a video game.

The game has 30 bosses, and also has post-release support coming in the form of expansion packs, each with ten to fifteen more bosses each.

In a gaming environment full of triple-A massive budget video games all with similar playstyles and graphics, Cuphead stands out as an original and beautiful game hidden in the woodwork.

Athletes Bring the Nation to its Knees

@theatlantic
A poll conducted by USA Today found that over two-thirds (68 percent) of responders said that Trump’s call for NFL owners to fire players and for fans to boycott their game was inappropriate. Twenty-seven percent of responders agreed with the President’s response Credit:@theatlantic

In recent months, there has been a growing sentiment among professional athletes to kneel during the national anthem at sporting events. This action has been done for a myriad of reasons and has attained many different opinions from many sides. With attitudes ranging from full-on support to violent condemnation, the anthem and the flag have become another battleground for a nation already viciously divided.

The controversy began in 2016 with Colin Kaepernick, the then-starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, sitting during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner at an NFL game.

Throughout the season, the sitting became kneeling during the anthem after Kaepernick consulted Nate Boyer, another NFL player, and Green Beret military veteran. Kaepernick stated that the kneeling was out of respect for former and acting military members and that it was what Boyer advised Kaepernick to do rather than sitting. Kaepernick also stated that the action was in protest of the recent highly publicized shootings of various African Americans by police officers. The same events that led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement also led to Kaepernick’s kneeling.

During the 2017 season, Kaepernick became a free agent, meaning that he was no longer the starting quarterback for the 49ers. Throughout the season, he remained unemployed, leading many to wonder about the true reason why he was remaining unsigned.

Statistics website FiveThirtyEight concluded that it is “…obvious Kaepernick is being frozen out for his political opinions.” The site used the Total Quarterback Rating, an objective way to rate quarterbacks created by ESPN, to say that Kaepernick is an “above average” quarterback and that no other player with skill similar to him had remained unemployed as long as he had.

This dispelled the belief that Kaepernick was remaining unsigned due to his skill and not his political statements. In March, President Trump took credit for Kaepernick remaining unemployed. Trump stated that no team would sign Kaepernick because they were afraid that he (Trump) would use Twitter and his position to create a “PR crisis.” This led to a very concerning thought that Trump would later expound on: is it right for the President to call for somebody to be unemployed?

Just this past September, after a few months of continued racial tensions and kneeling protests, Trump took to Twitter to say that NFL players who did not stand during the national anthem should be fired or suspended. This led to national outcry and support for the movement, leading to the trending of #TakeAKnee on Twitter. Many players and celebrities from all backgrounds came out of the woodwork to voice their opinions on Trump, the NFL, and the anthem.

Some people cited that the players’ free speech gave them the right to do whatever they like, as it is not illegal to kneel during the anthem. Other people voiced their support for Trump, citing that you do not have a right to free speech when you are at work. However, this is not a matter of the players versus the teams’ coaches and owners. Many coaches and team owners have also recently taken a knee or even stayed in the locker rooms during the playing of the anthem. An example of this is Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who took a knee with his players.

Many people are arguing that Trump is using intimidation and threats in stating that players should be fired for exercising their freedom of speech. There have even been lawsuits filed, with Democratic lawyers citing that Trump is violating 18 U.S. Code § 227, which makes it a federal crime for any government employee to influence or threaten to influence a private company’s employment decisions. If violated, the code has the ability to fine the perpetrator or to sentence them to as many as 15 years in prison.

Even more people on social media and news pundits have pointed out the unfairness of Trump calling athletes who kneel in protest “sons of bitches” while calling the white supremacists who attended the deadly Charlottesville protests “very fine people.”

Athletes from other sports have also expressed their displeasure towards Trump, with Stephan Curry of the Golden State Warriors basketball team denying Trump’s invitation to the White House. After Curry’s denial, Trump tweeted that the invitation was withdrawn, leading to Lebron James noting in a tweet at Trump that there was no invitation to withdraw if Curry had already declined, even calling the President a “bum.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR royalty to many fans of the very conservative-leaning sport, also took the side of the kneeling movement. He tweeted that all Americans are granted rights to peaceful protest, adding a John F. Kennedy quote that reads, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” This tweet came only moments after Trump spoke in support of NASCAR owners stating that any driver who did not stand for the anthem would be fired.

In times of a nation so divided, it is important for people to be able to speak their minds. With athletes, especially major stars like Lebron James and Stephen Curry that have so many children and teenaged fans that look up to them, it would almost be a disservice to the country not to speak their minds and give their fans the bravery to also speak for what they believe in.

If athletes feel so strongly about something that they believe, they should speak about it on their platforms. It would be irresponsible for them not to do so. If free speech and peaceful protest are stifled, then what else is there to do?

“Capcom vs Marvel: Infinite” Releases to Unfortunate Response

@marvelvscapcom
Credit:@marvelvscapcom

The fourth entry in Capcom’s incredibly popular fighting game series, “Marvel Vs. Capcom,” released on Sep. 19, 2017, to rabid fans long awaiting the game’s release, but also to much criticism.

“Marvel vs. Capcom” is a fusion, with characters from Marvel Comic Books along with classic characters from video games produced by Capcom. With superhero characters such as Captain America, Spiderman, and Thor from the Marvel side; and characters like Mega Man, Chris Redfield, and Nemesis from the “Resident Evil” series, Ryu from “Street Fighter,” and Dante from “Devil May Cry” representing Capcom.

The story of “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” is straightforward, as is the course for most fighting game story modes. The story is incredibly short, clocking in at only about two to three hours. The story revolves around Sigma, the primary antagonist of the “Mega Man X” series, fusing with Ultron, an “Avengers” villain. By fusing themselves into a single villain named “Ultron-Sigma,” they also fuse the two universes together.

Like its predecessors, “Marvel Vs. Capcom” is a two-dimension fighting game, most similar in style to general audiences of “Street Fighter” or “Mortal Kombat.” However, to differ from most “standard” fighting games, “Marvel vs. Capcom,” is a tag team game. The players control two characters each, with their choice of an infinity stone. Infinity stones are taken from the Marvel side of the story, with every stone having a different power to be used against your opponent. For example, the “power” stone may knock your opponent away from you, interrupting their combo.

The gameplay of “Marvel vs. Capcom” as a series has always been excellent, with “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” being considered one of the greatest fighting games of all time, with its main stages being devoted to the game’s competitions at most, if not all major fighting game conventions. “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” unfortunately does not quite live up to the hype next to its predecessor. While “Infinite” does have fantastic gameplay and fighting mechanics, along with the infinity stones system addition, it, unfortunately, cannot live up to the craziness of the three-on-three tag team battle craziness in “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.”

One gameplay mechanic the new game does add is the “active switch” character swapping mechanic as opposed to the rigid character swapping of the game’s predecessor. This mechanic allows the player to swap between their two fighters whenever they see fit, even in midair or mid-combo. The player can create their own assist move or defensive maneuver using another character’s abilities.

The game has encountered much criticism before and even after its release. It still receives more criticism than what is typical for a triple-A high budget mainstream fighting game. Much of the criticism around the game revolves around its art style, described as odd and even ugly, as most of the Marvel characters look very muscular, to the point of deformity.

Another shining criticism is that of the very limited and almost uninspired character roster, compared to the other games in the series. All of the Marvel characters are ones that appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, leading many to believe that Marvel only agreed to add characters to the game that could be advertised. For example, there are no X-Men in the game leading to controversy on if they were not included because Fox Studios currently holds “X-Men” film rights and rather than Marvel. Instead, new characters replaced and replicated old character fighting styles. For example, Black Panther in “Infinite” has a very similar fighting style and move set to Wolverine from “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” There are also complaints pointed towards the Capcom side, with Chris Redfield as the main example. Cited specifically as a problem was the overuse of Redfield in this series, especially when Leon Kennedy, another Resident Evil character, is deemed more interesting.

Many of these problems are exacerbated by the announcement of “Dragon Ball Fighters Z,” a new fighting game currently being published in Japan. “Dragon Ball Fighters Z,” also a two-dimensional tag team fighting game, hits the high notes in all the areas that “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” appeared to be lacking. It has a visually appealing sharp art style, incredible looking game mechanics, and a nostalgia factor that just makes Marvel look like it was lazy in game making by comparison in the eyes of the fans.

“Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” may be a poor follow-up to “Marvel 3;” however, it still comes out as an incredibly strong online competitive fighting game. With any luck, with post-release patches and characters will hopefully resolve the biggest problems with the game in time for it to be shown off at major fighting game tournaments.

Marvel’s “The Defenders” Heroically Enters the Netflix Catalog

defenders
Credit:@TheDefenders

Netflix’s newest original series as well as the culmination of two and a half years of television development, “The Defenders,” has finally released to an incredibly positive reception from comic book and television fans alike.

The Defenders is the crossover series of all of Netflix’s Marvel superhero shows. With “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and “Iron Fist” all coming from their titular shows to team up to battle the forces of evil that were behind many of the problems in their own seasons. The easiest way to think of The Defenders is to think of it as a smaller version of The Avengers, with each character getting their own story before they all team up together.

The Defenders are a group devoted to fighting bad guys and stopping the forces of evil, much like other Marvel team ups, the Defenders have a rotating or fluctuating membership, with the most usual members being The Hulk, Doctor Strange, and other more minor superheroes. In the comics, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have both appeared as members of the team.

In the Netflix show, The Defenders is comprised of Jessica Jones, a grungy private investigator with super strength, Luke Cage, a bulletproof ex-convict who was framed for his crimes, Iron Fist, the defender of a mystical group of monks and sworn enemy of The Hand, and Daredevil, the blind fighter who has super powered senses, besides his sight. While these superheroes are quite well known and fan favorites among comic book fans, they are not on the level of The Avengers or the likes of Superman or Batman with the general public. With Daredevil being possibly the most well-known superhero from the group, Netflix took this group of smaller known superhero’s and propelled them into the light of the world with their own well written, usually well-choregraphed television shows.

The shows plot comes from “Iron Fist” and “Daredevil” season 2, mostly. The plot revolves around The Hand, an order of ancient ninjas who thirst for immortality. In “Iron Fist,” we learn that The Hand has five “fingers” or sub groups, and the leaders of these five groups compose the antagonists in the show. The show revolves around the four main characters, where they were left off after their individual shows, and how they end up coming together and all end up discovering The Hand and their motivations for defeating them.

The shows strengths come mainly from its actors, characters, and the fight scenes. All four of the main cast as well as amazing performances from veteran Sigourney Weaver and Elodie Yung. A noteworthy performance comes from Finn Jones as Iron Fist/Danny Rand. In his own show, Danny Rand was not that great of a character, with a rather boring performance and blatantly bad choreography. However, in “The Defenders,” Finn Jones shows that his poor performance was a symptom of the writing on the show, and that he can give a good performance when aided by better writing and fight direction. Many people were confused as to his bad performance, as Jones comes from a several season run on “Game of Thrones,” known for its almost universally fantastic acting from nearly every character.

One important thing to have in your superhero show is excellent fight scenes and choreography. “The Defenders” had very excellent fight direction throughout the series. However, there are simply so many fight scenes that they begin to lose their impact. There comes a point later in the show where the viewer can almost want less fights and more character developments and interactions, as this is truly where the show shines.

As most of the shows prior to “The Defenders” drag on with 12 episodes and quite a bit of filler in episodes 8-11, it only clocks in at eight episodes. The characters do not all meet face to face until half way through the season, and then the final four episodes fly by in a flurry of action scenes. This is a drawback for anyone who came into the show thirsting for character development, as there is simply not enough time for every character to get their moment in the light.

In conclusion, “The Defenders” is fantastic while standing on its own, and also when compared to the shows that come before it. However, the real strength comes not from its own merits as a well-made show, but rather from the fan service of finally seeing these four characters come together after more than two years of waiting to see them in action. It is easy to recommend the show, as well the entire Netflix Marvel catalog; however, the show will be next to incomprehensible if you have not watched the previous Netflix shows.

Mass Shooter Opens Fire on Concert in Las Vegas

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Credit: @NBCNews

At approximately 10:08 PM in Las Vegas, Nevada, a shooter began firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino at the Route 91 Harvest Festival while Jason Aldean was performing. The suspect, who has now been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, is a resident local to the area. The shooting came from an automatic weapon firing down upon the concert. While it is far too early to estimate the death totals accurately, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo stated that they are looking at excess of 50 dead and over 400 injured and sent to the hospital.

Police officers were able to locate the room Paddock was in based on the muzzle flash coming from the hotel. Using this, officers were able to breach the room that Paddock was in and neutralize the threat. Once the room was breached, it became clear that the room was filled with several different firearms. With Paddock neutralized, officers and Lombardo were confident in saying that there was no longer a threat or any danger. After the shooting, officers swept the various floors of the hotel, going door-to-door confirming the names of all the residents.

Lombardo said during a press briefing several hours after the shooting that while they do not yet know the background of Stephen Paddock, they are currently issuing a warrant on his personal residence. Earlier in the evening, police forces were also looking for two vehicles and a person of interest that was travelling with Paddock, Marilou Danley. However, in an updated press conference, Lombardo said that they did have the two vehicles and had gotten in touch with Danley.

Lombardo also dispelled misinformation regarding the event, especially the rumors of there being multiple shooters and explosives being detonated at other casinos. The only explosive that was set off in the area of the Mandalay Bay was the charge that LVMPD personnel used to breach the door to Paddock’s room.

Among the victims, Lombardo also noted that some off-duty police officers were also victims. At least one has passed away form injuries and another is in critical, but stable condition. Lombardo also called for anybody with cell phone video footage of the incident to bring it to the police to use as evidence.

The Red Cross has set up in the police department to take phone calls from friends and family wanting to check on the status of their loved ones that may have been at the concert. This number is 1-866-535-5654. In addition to calling, Lombardo also called on the public to donate blood to assist the victims. If anybody is interested in donating blood, more information can be found at Red Cross Blood and One Blood

Because the shooting occurred at a country music show, many celebrities tweeted out their thoughts about the event. Jason Aldean, who was preforming when the shooting began, posted on his Instagram account, “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Teller, one half of the famous Las Vegas duo Penn & Teller also tweeted, “A dreadful shooting incident took place tonight in Vegas. All of us with the P&T show are healthy and unharmed.”

After the shooting, the Las Vegas Strip was closed down and the Mandalay Bay was placed on lockdown. The freeways were closed down soon after the shooting as well and didn’t open again until 5:14 AM. Even after the freeways re-opened, several of the off ramps around the area remained closed. McCarren International Airport also temporarily cancelled all flights and delays continue.

For context, Nevada has relatively relaxed gun control laws. Sheriff Lombardo joined the Las Vegas Sun editorial board to call for stricter gun control legislation within his jurisdiction.

Updates on this tragedy will continue to be posted and shared throughout the day. The hearts of Saint Leo University and the Lions’ Pride Newspaper staff go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families.

After the shooting, the Las Vegas Strip was closed down and the Mandalay Bay was placed on lockdown. The freeways were closed down soon after the shooting as well and didn’t open again until 5:14 AM. Even after the freeways re-opened, several of the off ramps around the area remained closed. McCarren International Airport also temporarily cancelled all flights and delays continue.

 

For context, Nevada has relatively relaxed gun control laws. Sheriff Lombardo joined the Las Vegas Sun editorial board to call for stricter gun control legislation within his jurisdiction.

 

Updates on this tragedy will continue to be posted and shared throughout the day. The hearts of Saint Leo University and the Lions’ Pride Newspaper staff go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families.

Hurricane Irma Takes the Water from Tampa Bay Super Bowl

 During the events of Hurricane Irma, an odd thing happened to the waters of Tampa Bay during the chaos of the storm. The waters around places like Tampa, Port Charlotte, and The Bahamas, have retreated from the coast due to Hurricane Irma. One video from Long Island in the Bahamas went viral prior to Irma making landfall in Florida. Twitter user Kaydi_K posted the video of the ocean on the northwest side of her island being completely dried up, with people walking out into the “ocean” and being able to see buoys and even a boat grounded in the distance. The user even finds an old lost anchor that they play with a bit.

This viral video prompted many news outlets to report on it, with the Washington Post’s resident meteorologist and weather editor Angela Fritz stating “As a meteorologist, there are things you learn in textbooks that you may never see in person … This is one of those things — a hurricane strong enough to change the shape of an ocean.”

After this viral video took hold, the Tampa Bay area encountered the same phenomena as Long Island experienced. The waters in Tampa Bay receded, leaving the boat markers and seaweed on dry land where the water should have been. Some adventurous Floridians even went out into the bay to take videos and to treasure hunt, with one user on Reddit even stating “get a metal detector stat!’

While many people know that a receding shoreline is a warning of an imminent tsunami or giant wave, in this case, it is actually a symptom of the Hurricane’s massive pressure differential. The water refilled at a rapid rate, but not with a fifty-foot wave that could threaten the entire area.

But why does this happen? Meteorologists explained, on various websites, that the pressure of the storm could act as a vacuum for the water, creating a “bulge” under the center of the storm where the pressure is exceptionally low and the winds are the strongest. This bulge is where all the water from the bay and other areas went. The water returned once the winds shifted, rushing back into the bay with storm surge waves. Some meteorologists, such as Stephen Shiveley from the National Weather Service, stated that this bay receding actually helped save Tampa Bay, as it kept the storm surge and waves much lower during the brunt of the storm.

This “reverse storm surge” left many people confused and bewildered, but none quite as bewildered as some manatees that were grounded in Sarasota Bay during the low tide. Two manatees were noticed by some passersby. Facebook user Marcelo Clavijo said he and some other people helped move the manatees closer to the water in a video that quickly went viral, attracting eight million views after the hurricane.

A marine biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that they had received several reports of tidally stranded manatees, but were not going to assist the manatees, as they are used to being tidally stranded sometimes. Nadia Gordon with the Florida FWC told the Bradenton Herald “We’re not actually intervening at this point … Unfortunately, with manatees, they are accustomed to being tidally stranded at times.”

The manatees inaptly named Manatee County are only one example of how a hurricane can affect animals and the ecosystem at large. Hurricanes can destroy habitats, defoliate trees, and reduce food availability. Hurricanescience.org cites one example being the Puerto Rican Parrot; this species is the only the only native parrot in Puerto Rico, and the critically endangered population went from 47 to 23 parrots after Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

It is no doubt that hurricanes are terrifying and powerful, but also, they can be seen as a way to better understand science and our environment. While they destroy ecosystems and drain our water, they leave ways for scientists to better discover how future hurricanes can affect our area and world enlarge.

Trump Pardons Arizona Sheriff to Much Controversy

On Aug. 25th, President Donald Trump officially pardoned Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to much controversy, with words such as “racism”, “white supremacy”, and “human’s rights violations” being thrown around by the public.

Joe Arpaio had been the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona from 1993 to Jan. 1st, 2017. Arpaio has for years been accused of several unethical sheriff activities, such as running a “tent city” jail for those awaiting trails with no air conditioning where temperatures could reach as high as 147 degrees in the desert, sending a deputy to Hawaii to search for President Obama’s birth certificate in the height of the questions about Obama’s legitimacy, and also has been accused of and found guilty of racial profiling in 2011, the controversy that lead to his contempt conviction. One prominent Arpaio controversy was that he faked an assassination attempt and sent a teenager to jail for it. A local news site, the Phoenix New Times has even taken to keeping a list of his various escapades. Arpaio allegedly ordered his officers target Latinos for traffic stops, and if they were not citizens, to arrest them and ship them off to federal immigration officials. This racial profiling is illegal in the United States, and Arpaio was eventually brought to trial in Melendres v. Arpaio in and a district judge put an official injunction, or official warning, against Arpaio and his use of racial profiling in 2011. However, Arpaio in several televised interviews after this decision states that he would not cease the practices stating that he would “never give in to control by the federal government”. In 2016, Arpaio lost his bid for reelection, and in 2017 Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court for disobeying the 2011 injunction, set to be sentenced in Oct.

All presidents have the power to absolve many people of crimes, or pardon them during their presidential term. Trump previously voiced his intent to pardon Arpaio, with many people on both sides of the political spectrum voicing their displeasure at this possibility. Many presidents have previously used their power to pardon, with examples such as President Carter pardoning all who dodged the draft in Vietnam. Arpaio has stated on Twitter that his punishment was the result of an Obama administration “witch hunt”. Arpaio was also one of the first voices to support Trump when he first annouced his bid for the presidency, and with Arpaio’s hard stance on immigration matching Trump’s, many people see this pardon as a political favor and appealing to his base.

Many people on social media have voiced their displeasure against this controversial pardon, with many people saying that it shows Trump is truly a racist and a white supremacist. Some people have argued that to pardon Arpaio, Trump must agree with the things Arpaio has done, such as racial profiling, tent cities, ignoring sex crimes, and even calling his own tent cities “concentration camps”. Some people have also cited Trump’s timing of the pardon as an area of concern. Trump pardoned Arpaio as Hurricane Harvey was rolling into Texas, with many people saying that he did this to “hide” or “sweep it under the rug”. Trump defended this in a joint press conference with the president of Finland on August 28th, citing that he did it during this to “achieve higher ratings”. People cited Trump’s timing on the decision as well as him only saying “good luck” to Texas in a tweet as proof that he will not assist the state during the emergency, fears which were quenched when Trump arrived in Texas in support.

Trump has received much criticism from both sides of the aisle. In fact, Speaker of the House and Trump ally Paul Ryan had his spokesman tell the Wall Street Journal, “Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”

Many political pundits citing this breakaway from the president could put more towards the chasm forming between Ryan and Trump.

In conclusion, many people found this pardon to be a bad move, with politicians and experts on both sides splitting from the president to speak against the act, and with only the most loyal of the Trump allies speaking in support of the act. Only time will tell if the decision was correct in the long run.