Friday Open Thread | Native American Week

Liseanne Yazzie and her mother Michelle Bear Robe are relieved that Sapulpa High will now allow traditional moccasins.Sapulpa High School Says “Yes” to Native Moccasins at Graduation

A Sapulpa Oklahoma High School that initially refused to allow Native American graduating senior Liseanne Yazzie to wear traditional moccasins to her graduation ceremony has changed its stance and will allow traditional dress.

Yazzie and her mother Michelle Bear Robe met with Sapulpa Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Burr and Sapulpa High School Principal Johnny Bilby Wednesday morning and after a few hours, school officials sent an email to ICTMN stating the decision had been made to allow for traditional clothing for Native students at graduation.

Yazzie says she was nervous about meeting with the Superintendent and her principal, but says it went well.

“I am so relieved and so glad they are going to let me wear my moccasins. I really can’t explain what it means for me and my family.”

Bear Robe says she was also excited and relieved, especially since she wasn’t certain what to expect that morning when meeting with school officials. “At first I thought all of this was treated with a bit of being dismissive, but after I spoke up and made them aware they made a mistake, they started to listen.”

“During the meeting they asked sincere questions and it felt respectful, like they wanted to understand.”

A few hours after meeting with Bear Robe and her daughter, Burr released the following statement in an email to ICTMN:

Sapulpa Public Schools takes pride in its everyday existence to remain inclusive of all students and respectful of individual beliefs and the customs that come along with a wide variety of cultures which converge in our school buildings each year. Today, Jana Roth (Sapulpa Coordinator for Indian Education), Johnny Bilby (Sapulpa High School Principal) and I were able (for the first time) to meet with Liseanne Yazzie and hear her concerns first hand regarding the decision to not allow her to wear ceremonial moccasins to our school’s graduation. While the courts have consistently held that school districts can legitimately set limits for students within our school settings, it does not appear that such a limit should include this Native American student’s traditional footwear at our high school’s graduation commencement.

After careful consideration and reflection Sapulpa Public Schools has decided to make an exception to previous restrictions regarding footwear. Native American clothing, especially ceremonial attire (as in this case), can and should be considered appropriate for inclusion in our graduation exercises.

Regrettably, this issue has become something far more than one individual’s desire to display her heritage for others to witness. Liseanne’s case has been championed by several individuals from across the United States and has been the subject of much debate. While we appreciate the input we have received as a result – this case has been always about an individual student and what this means to her…and not a movement or cause.

We have all learned a great deal from this experience. As we move forward and look ahead to future experiences, we will be establishing a procedural pathway for individual students to explain any rationale they may have for similar exceptions to be made.

We look forward to seeing Liseanne on Friday along with her fellow graduating classmates at a ceremony celebrating them and their hard work.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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77 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Native American Week

  1. eliihass says:

    Washington, DC – On Friday, May 20th at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, First Lady Michelle Obama, As part of her Let’s Move! initiative and as honorary chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), delivered the keynote address where she unveiled the new, modernized Nutrition Facts Label, at the Building a Healthier Future Summit.
    Each year PHA’s Summit brings together nonprofit, government, private sector, philanthropic, and academic leaders to generate innovative solutions that help kids and families lead healthier lives. This is PHA’s 5th Building a Healthier Future Summit. | ©2016 Photos by Cheriss May,

  2. eliihass says:

    “..Let’s do the shaka…”

    After greeting military personnel and their family waiting to see them on the tarmac, the President and First Lady board Air force One to return to D.C at the end of their annual Christmas break spent in Hawaii…

    Just before they enter the plane at the top of the stairs, they stop to wave to the crowd as is routine..

    FLOTUS whispers to her husband, ‘..let’s do the shaka’ – the Hawaiian aloha hang loose surfer gesture..

    They do, and the pleased crowd erupts ..

    FLOTUS smiles, and POTUS smiles too – although momentarily shocked at how much and how well the crowd loved and responded to their shaka goodbye from atop the stairs of Air Force One…

  3. rikyrah says:

    I found on Groupon, a reflexology session. I have an ankle that I have severely sprained a few times, and it gets aggravated from time to time. I don’t know if the reflexology helped, but it did feel good. 😉

    • eliihass says:

      I’ve found that in the right hands, stuff like reflexology, acupuncture etc., often provide relief…even if sometimes wears off after a while…

      Take care of yourself and watch that ankle…

    • I’m sorry, Rikyrah. I don’t do well with pain. I am miserable when I’m in pain. Whine like baby.

  4. rikyrah says:

    someone at BJ posted the following, and I think that they are right about the crazy from Oklahoma:

    The Oklahoma Rs are in a tight political situation. Because oil and gas revenues are tanking, their economy and tax revenue are in freefall, to the extent that they might not be able to fund little luxuries like schools. Just recently that reality led them to cave on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which will help significantly with their money problems. All this frantic, vicious RW legislation is a swarm of shiny objects thrown in the faces of the rubes to distract them from the fact that the Kenyan Usurper has finally prevailed in OK.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Well, I think I’m gonna have two new tv obsessions.

    OWN’s Greenleaf – it looks good.
    I mean, like, guilty pleasure, follow it in tweets good.

    And then, there’s Shonda’s Still Star-Crossed.
    Costume drama with forbidden romance……sigh……

    I did realize once again, that, once you past a certain age, Romeo and Juliet is whack and stupid….you look at them and go -‘ Children, please.’

  6. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama gets her way on nutrition labels

    The final rule has been in the works for more than a decade, but the East Wing has been instrumental in shaping the policy and moving the process forward.
    05/20/16 08:48 AM EDT

    First lady Michelle Obama will unveil Friday the country’s first update to nutrition labels in more than two decades — a move that helps cement her campaign to encourage Americans to eat healthier.

    The new Nutrition Facts labels, which will take effect in two years and appear on billions of food packages, for the first time require food companies to list how much sugar they add to their products and suggest a limit for how much added sugar people should consume — two changes vehemently opposed by many food companies

  7. rikyrah says:

    Hand-me-down: African women in their grandmothers’ clothes – in pictures

    Joana Choumali’s portraits show modern African women swapping jeans for kente cloth – and diving into the dazzling cultural heritage of their families

  8. rikyrah says:

    North Carolina Bill Could Force Several HBCUs To Close
    20 hours ago

    Sound the alarm — Historically Black Colleges and Universities are under attack in North Carolina.

    The North Carolina State Senate has introduced a bill that could bankrupt five of the state’s universities.

    The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Western Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Winston-Salem State University, and Fayetteville State University could be impacted adversely by Senate Bill 873.

    Three of the named universities, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State and Winston-Salem State, are historically black colleges and universities. The fourth, UNC Pembroke, was founded in the late 1800s to train American Indian teachers and today enrolls a large number of African-American and American Indian students.

    The “Access to Affordable College Education Act” proposes to change the names of those schools and cut the tuition down to $500 per semester. Though that may sound inviting, cutting the tuition that low will cause the state to lose millions in revenue and will most likely force those universities to cut major programs.

    From Insider Higher Ed:
    A pair of measures specifically affect the five universities in question. The first would require them to slash tuition in 2018, down to $500 a semester for in-state students and $2,500 for out-of-state students. The other would call on the UNC board of to consider removing the state’s 18 percent cap on out-of-state students for the five institutions named in the bill. The board would be allowed to change or eliminate that cap if it determines doing so would increase the number, academic strength and diversity of student applications at the universities.

    Other parts of the bill that don’t single out the five schools have drawn criticism as well. Chief among them is one that would have UNC’s administration evaluating the effects of name changes at institutions. The system’s board of governors would then be charged with recommending name changes for institutions if it’s determined new names would improve application numbers, academic strength and student diversity.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia: We want socially responsible businesses. Here’s how to grow them.

    Too many residents of Cook County are living on the outskirts of hope. And the challenges that poverty brings with it are tougher than ever.

    Yet the social sector that helps our poorest residents is under enormous stress. Nonprofits can no longer count on government contracts and grants, and charitable resources are inadequate to fund the deepening problems too many face.

    While public and social-sector programming has improved the lives of countless people, increasingly so have market-based businesses.

    Alone, and in combination with government and philanthropic efforts, disruptive business strategies are effectively addressing the most intractable social problems. For-profit, social-purpose businesses are defining success in terms of both financial and social returns. While some nonprofits are closing or consolidating for lack of funding, others are becoming entrepreneurial, supplementing charitable donations and government grants with revenue earned by businesses they own and run, instrumentalities of mission in their own right.

    The Cara Program’s Cleanslate is one example. Local governments contract with Cleanslate to beautify neighborhoods along high-traffic corridors; Cleanslate, meanwhile, employs people outside the economic mainstream who thereby gain valuable job skills.

    Other progressive nonprofits are partnering with each other and even with traditional businesses, breaking down cultural barriers, leveraging their competencies and gaining economies of scale. And a growing number of so-called impact investors are deploying capital to test and develop market-based solutions to social problems.

    Against this backdrop, the Cook County Board has created a Commission on Social Innovation. This commission will optimize the County Board’s role as an agent of positive social change—as a convener, as a catalyst and as a collaborator. The commission will provide actionable, data-driven social policy recommendations for the County Board’s consideration—some socially impactful in the short term, others over the long term.

  10. rikyrah says:

    ‘A Million Questions’ From Descendants of SlavesSold to Aid Georgetown

    African-Americans have long lived with unanswered questions about their roots, missing branches in their family trees and stubborn silences from elders reluctant to delve into a painful

    past that extends back to slavery. This month, scores of readers wrote to us, saying they had finally found clues in an unexpected place: an article published in The New York Times.

    The story described the sale of 272 slaves in 1838. The men, women and children were owned by the nation’s most prominent Jesuit priests. And they were sold — for about $3.3 million in today’s dollars — to help the college now known as Georgetown University stay afloat. We asked readers to contact us if they suspected that their ancestors were among those slaves, who had labored on Jesuit plantations in Maryland before


    being sold to new owners in Louisiana.

    With the help of Judy Riffel, a genealogist hired by the Georgetown Memory Project, a group dedicated to supporting and identifying the descendants of the slaves, we were able to confirm the ancestry of several respondents. Here are their stories, edited and condensed for clarity.

    Charles Hill, 74

    Great-great-grandson of Bill and Mary Ann Hill

    My father always told me that we came out of Maryland, and that the name of the slave ship was Jackson. But that’s all he would tell us.

    So when my cousin called me about the story, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. I said that was why my father wouldn’t tell us. He didn’t want to disturb our Catholic faith. He didn’t want to lose us.

    That whole part of my family is Catholic. They didn’t cuss. They didn’t drink. They didn’t smoke. I’m the middle kid. I wanted to be a bad boy, and my father wasn’t going to have that.

    I’m still Catholic today, Knights of Columbus, fourth degree.

    You know, that’s pretty much what saved me. I grew up with all those renegades and hoodlums, but I’m 74 years old and haven’t been to prison. I believe in my rosary. I believe in my prayers. I believe in my candles. I’m not angry at the church. I love my church. What happened with slavery, that was back in the day.

    I feel good about knowing more about my family’s history. My uncle Abraham was a carpenter like my great-great-grandfather. He thought he was Noah, he could make boats so smooth. Peter Hill, the grandson of Bill Hill, a slave, was a blacksmith. And you can’t beat me with sheet metal and a hammer. I owned my own body shop in Santa Monica, Calif.

    What should Georgetown do? Put up a monument with our forefathers’ names on there. Give some scholarships to the kids. I’m 74. I’m on my way out of this world. If I could leave something behind to educate my grandkids, that’s what I would like to do.

  11. eliihass says:

    As sad a debacle as this presidential election has been and promises to be, and ironically as corrupt and dishonest as it has been, a few truths that had to be told have been finally told…And by the time this thing is over, many fake heroes and erstwhile dubious figures previously romanticized and sold the public as saviors, will be exposed, dethroned, toppled, brought down from their proverbial and literal high horses..

    Here’s Donald Trump trashing slimy sacred horse and former Defense Secretary and perennial dubious and underhanded back-stabber Robert Gates on Morning Joe today…The nervous panel tried to shut Trump up, but he wouldn’t stop…LOL..

    When told by Mika that Bob Gates is *the* premier well-respected Foreign Policy guy, Trump scoffed and said that it was precisely why the country had been in bad shape because of administration traversing and perpetually present so-called experts like Bob Gates who have misled and misdirected presidents and administrations and the country for too long…

    But the best part was when Trump called out Bob Gates for always bad-mouthing and back-stabbing the Presidents and other people he worked for…LOL..

    The panel left scrambling and promptly placed a few disclaimers…

    You can skip to 13:58 to hear that bit…

  12. Trump: Some of you are gonna call & say please Mr President we can’t take it anymore, we can’t win anymore like this.
    What in the ever living fuck?

  13. @ametia @rikyrah

    Bow Chica Bow Wow!

    If it’s love

  14. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    A Federal Judge Just Ordered A Dox Attack Against 100,000 Innocent People
    MAY 20, 2016 9:00 AM

    A federal judge with a history of anti-immigrant sentiment ordered the federal government to turn over the names, addresses and “all available contact information” of over 100,000 immigrants living within the United States. He does so in a strange order that quotes extensively from movie scripts and that alleges a conspiracy of attorneys “somewhere in the halls of the Justice Department whose identities are unknown to this Court.”

    The judge is Andrew Hanen, who conservative attorneys opposed to President Obama’s immigration policies appear to have sought out specifically because of his belief that America does not treat immigrants with sufficient hostility. Texas v. United States was filed shortly after President Obama announced policy changes that would permit close to 5 million undocumented immigrants to temporarily work and remain in the country. As the name of the case suggests, the lead plaintiff is the State of Texas, yet the Texas Attorney General’s office did not file this case in Austin, the state’s capitol. Instead, they filed it over five hours away in the town of Brownsville.
    At the time, only one active federal judge, Judge Hanen, sat in Brownsville, so the attorneys’ decision to file their case nearly 300 miles away meant that it was highly likely that the case would be assigned to a judge that once accused federal officials of engaging in a “dangerous course of action” because they permitted an undocumented mother to be reunited with her child without facing criminal charges. Hanen later issued a nationwide order halting the Obama administration’s new policies.

    It appears to be, as several immigration advocates noted shortly after the order was handed down, an effort to intimidate immigrants who benefit from certain Obama administration programs from participating in those programs, lest their personal information be turned over to people who wish them harm. As Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director for United We Dream, said in a statement, the judge is “asking for the personal information of young people just to whip up fear” — fear, no doubt, of what could happen if anti-immigrant state officials got their hands on this information. Or if the information became public.

  15. rikyrah says:



    April 27, 2016 10:54 AM
    The Troubling Use of ‘Merit Aid’ at Public Flagships and Research Universities
    Which eight public universities spent 100 percent of institutional aid on non-needy students in 2014-15?
    By Stephen Burd

    This isn’t the first time I have looked at the use of non-need-based aid, which is otherwise known as “merit aid,” at public four-year colleges. In the past, I have focused on the share of students without financial need who receive merit aid at different state universities. While those data showed how pervasive merit aid is at public higher education institutions, the new data—which I gathered from information that colleges disclose as part of an annual survey called the “Common Data Set”—are even more revealing.


    Of the 134 public research and land-grant institutions:

    17 colleges, or 13 percent of the schools I examined, spent 75 percent or more of their institutional aid dollars on non-needy students;
    37 colleges, or 28 percent, spent at least half of their aid dollars on students without financial need;
    67 colleges, or 50 percent, spent at least one-third of their aid on non-needy students;
    84 colleges, or 63 percent, spent at least one-quarter of their institutional aid on students without financial need;
    Only 18 schools, or 13 percent, spent under 10 percent of their aid dollars on non-needy students; and
    3 colleges reported that they didn’t provide any merit aid.

    Some may argue that the fact that public research universities and land-grant institutions are devoting, on average, one-third of their institutional aid to non-needy students isn’t concerning. After all, these schools are still using a majority of their aid to help financially needy students. In addition, public universities in certain parts of the country are spending extremely small shares of their aid on non-needy students. For example, the data show that public universities in New England and on the West Coast don’t make much use of merit aid.

    I disagree with this assessment. The widespread use of merit aid is harming low-income students, I believe. Low-income students at high merit aid schools pay an average net price—the price after all grants and scholarships are taken into account—of $11,785 annually. In contrast, those attending schools that spend the smallest shares of their aid on non-needy students are left on the hook for only $8,998, or 23 percent less. Over four years, that difference adds up to more than $11,000.

    In addition, it appears that the use of merit aid at public universities is spreading rapidly. Stung by sharp state budget cuts at the same time they are seeking greater prestige, these universities are increasingly pitted against one another, fiercely competing for the students they most desire: the “best and brightest,” and those wealthy enough to pay full freight. And they are using a large share of their institutional aid dollars—money that could instead be going to students who truly need it—to entice these generally well-off students to their schools.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal Blog

    May 20, 2016 8:30 AM
    What the Obama Administration Has Done to Reduce Income Inequality
    By Nancy LeTourneau

    There are those who say that President Obama’s most important speech is the one he gave in Osawatomie, Kansas in December 2011. He went back to the town were Teddy Roosevelt said, “The fundamental rule of our national life – the rule which underlies all others – is that, on the whole, and in the long run, we shall go up or down together.” Here is how Obama described our current situation:

    Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re still home to the world’s most innovative companies. But for most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefited from that success. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments — wealthier than ever before. But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren’t — and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up….
    But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.

    The steps this President has taken to reduce income inequality are not often highlighted as a package, and so they are sometimes unacknowledged or dismissed. Today, Paul Krugman takes a look at a few of them, but he begins by suggesting they can be placed in two categories:

    Step back for a minute and ask, what can policy do to limit inequality? The answer is, it can operate on two fronts. It can engage in redistribution, taxing high incomes and aiding families with lower incomes. It can also engage in what is sometimes called “predistribution,” strengthening the bargaining power of lower-paid workers and limiting the opportunities for a handful of people to make giant sums. In practice, governments that succeed in limiting inequality generally do both.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Oregon voters decisively rejected candidates who expressed support for the armed occupation of a wildlife preserve in their county.

    Candidates packed the ballot Tuesday in Harney County, where armed militants led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy took over the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve earlier this year in attempt to overthrow federal ownership of federal land.

    Voters flocked to the polls — with a state-high 72 percent of eligible voters participating — to reject candidates who expressed support for the occupiers or echoed their anti-government rhetoric, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

  18. rikyrah says:

    GOP Elite Banking on More Gridlock
    by BooMan
    Fri May 20th, 2016 at 10:03:56 AM EST

    Given the ridiculous amount of gridlock we’ve experienced in Congress during the last six years of Obama’s presidency, you’d think that folks would have an appetite for one side or the other to get enough political power to break it. Certainly, that’s Democrats’ ambition, but it’s no longer true for the Republican donor class.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars that Republican groups had been poised to spend in the 2016 presidential election are now increasingly likely to move into Senate and House races, as many big donors look to distance themselves from the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump.

    It’s clear now that Big Money Republicans are ready to concede the presidency, and they’re preparing to deal with a Clinton administration with as much obstruction as possible. Never mind that the country has come to loath Congress just as much as they loath cockroaches, chiggers, and herpes.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Trump’s income tax returns once became public. They showed he didn’t pay a cent.
    By Drew Harwell
    May 20 at 9:45 AM
    The last time Donald Trump’s income-tax returns were made public, the bottom line was striking: He had paid the federal government $0 in income taxes.

    The disclosure, in a 1981 report by New Jersey gambling regulators, revealed that the wealthy Manhattan investor had for at least two years in the late 1970s taken advantage of a tax-code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income.

    Today, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Trump regularly denounces corporate executives for using loopholes and “false deductions to “get away with murder” when it comes to avoiding taxes.

    • rikyrah says:

      Don’t come for SG2, unless she sends for you.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL the STUPID truly BURNS.

      Keep bringing Receipts. Even if they don’t seem to ease the pain of the BURNS.

    • eliihass says:

      Don’t know how you do it SG…they’d have to kick me off Twitter in about 10 minutes…too many hurt feelings and such..

      And she knows well that Bernie wasn’t ‘laughing at gun violence’…he was laughing at the absurdity of Hillary’s assertions and outright lies…and was trying not to be called a ‘misogynist’ for calling her lies and crap out…

      And sadly, the truth is that being a gentleman, taking the high road and ignoring her many lies and personal attacks on him earlier on in the primaries, did cost Bernie a lot of votes, support and momentum…

  20. rikyrah says:

    Why it matters that Donald Trump never vetted himself
    05/20/16 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s Campaign Management 101: It’s not enough to research your rivals; you have to research yourself. Taking a close look at your opponents’ backgrounds will help uncover their strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will help shape your strategy, but digging through your own background will help you anticipate and prepare for upcoming lines of attack.

    None of this is controversial. There are professional researchers who, for a handsome fee, do nothing but this and I’ve never heard of a modern national candidate who chose not to take advantage of these services.

    That is, until now. Mother Jones’ David Corn reported yesterday on a detail that should make Republicans nervous.

    For most major presidential campaigns, it is a routine act: You conduct opposition research on your own candidate. The reason is obvious; campaign officials and candidates want to know what they might have to contend with once the you-know-what starts flying. But not Donald Trump.

    At least not at the start of the campaign that would lead to him becoming the presumptive GOP nominee. According to a source with direct knowledge, when Trump was considering entering the presidential race early last year, his political advisers, including Corey Lewandowski, who would become his campaign manager, suggested that he hire a professional to investigate his past. But the celebrity mogul said no and refused to pay for it.

    It would be a mistake for any national candidate to skip this part of the process, but for a guy like Trump – who’s record includes a long list of personal and professional controversies – it’s incredibly reckless.

    Corn’s report added, “The candidate, who now refuses to release his income taxes, did not want his own campaign scrutinizing his past. He was not willing to be transparent – not even for his own team.”

  21. WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can’t believe what I just saw. What in the living hell?

    • eliihass says:

      Even as a joke or scripted for television, this offends and infuriates…

      A real life, modern day version of the movie Imitation of life…

      Sadly there’s so much of this fetid sort of stuff playing out right now with so many black folks..

      Self-hating young black boys on social media bashing black women as unattractive and other negative stereotypes…black girls self-hating and putting each other and other black women down as ‘ugly’ – and worse, based on their so-called ‘ugliness’, automatically undeserving of respect…

      And all of them clinging to the mainstreamed concept of light skin as better …and all automatically declaring and bestowing ‘class’ and ‘worthiness’ upon those lighter…

      • She needed an ass whipping for treating her mother like that and then bringing her to court calling her “this woman”. Oh Lord!!!!!!!!

        • eliihass says:

          She needed more than ass-whooping…she needed an exorcism…she’s possessed by some serious demons…

          Anyone so callous and soulless that they would treat their mother who sacrificed so much for her, in that horrid manner, is evil…

          These are the sort of kids that make those mothers threats about flushing a bad child down the toilet…incredibly tempting…

  22. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    After Capitol Hill ‘chaos,’ Democrats name names
    05/20/16 08:40 AM—UPDATED 05/20/16 08:42 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In recent years, not much gets done in Congress, so there aren’t a lot of opportunities for drama. And yet, yesterday, multiple headlines highlighted the “chaos” that erupted on the floor of the House of Representatives. So, what happened?

    It was a chaotic scene on the House floor Thursday morning after an amendment to help protect LGBT people from discrimination failed by just one vote as Republicans succeeded in convincing a few members of their own party to switch their votes to help ensure the measure would not pass.

    House Democrats could be heard chanting “shame, shame, shame” on the floor as the measure went from garnering up to 217 votes at one point down to just 212 when the vote was gaveled. Boos erupted from the House floor as the measure failed.

    There are a couple of relevant angles to this. The first is the substance: two years ago, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting government contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and applicants. Congressional Republicans won’t consider the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, so the White House did what it could under the law.

    Two years later, House Republicans want to undo that policy. When putting together this year’s big defense spending bill, the GOP quietly added a provision to restore contractors’ ability to discriminate. Pushing back, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) sponsored an amendment yesterday to nullify the anti-LGBT provision and protect the White House’s anti-discrimination policy.

    It didn’t go well – the Republican majority defeated Maloney’s amendment. In 2016, the House GOP is still willing to go to the mat to allow businesses to discriminate, even when taxpayers’ money is being used.

    Which brings us to the second angle: how House Republicans waged this fight.

    The House allotted a couple of minutes to vote on Maloney’s measure, and when time was up, the amendment appeared to have passed. Except, in a fairly unusual move, Republican leaders decided to keep the vote open for a while in order to get some GOP members to switch their vote and endorse discrimination rights. What was a two-minute vote turned into an eight-minute vote – the kind of abuse Republicans used to condemn – so GOP leaders could twist arms and get the outcome they wanted.

    And thus, “chaos.”

    Democratic leaders, outraged by the ugliness and underhanded tactics, decided to name names, releasing the list of the seven House Republicans who agreed to switch their vote, after time had expired, to advance the anti-LGBT policy (in alphabetical order): Reps. Jeff Denham (R- Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Mimi Walters (R- Calif.), and David Young (R-Iowa).

    Each of these members initially voted to do the right thing, but each reversed course.

  23. rikyrah says:

    from Matt Taibbi:

    If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word “American” by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

    A century ago, the small-town American was Gary Cooper: tough, silent, upright and confident. The modern Republican Party changed that person into a haranguing neurotic who couldn’t make it through a dinner without quizzing you about your politics. They destroyed the American character. No hell is hot enough for them. And when Trump came along, they rolled over like the weaklings they’ve always been, bowing more or less instantly to his parodic show of strength.

  24. rikyrah says:



    Trump Claims UK Prime Minister David Cameron Invited Him To Visit
    Published MAY 20, 2016, 8:34 AM EDT
    Just days after presumptive nominee Donald Trump sparred with both UK Prime Minister David Cameron and London’s newly-elected mayor, Trump said Friday that Cameron has invited him to visit.

    During a discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about policy in the Mideast, Trump said Cameron attacked him first but has since changed his tune.

    “And by the way, he would like me now to visit 10 Downing Street,” Trump said. “They put out that invitation about two days ago. I’ll do just fine with David Cameron. I think he’s a nice guy. I’ll do just fine. But they have asked me to visit 10 Downing Street. And I might do it.”

    Cameron has called Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration “stupid, divisive, and wrong,” which caused Trump to caution that they might not have a “very good relationship” if he’s elected President.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Sanders Camp: Millions Have ‘Growing Doubts’ About Clinton Campaign
    Published MAY 19, 2016, 5:51 PM EDT
    Hours after Hillary Clinton declared herself the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign fired off a statement warning that she spoke too soon.

    “In the past three weeks voters in Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon respectfully disagreed with Secretary Clinton,” communications director Michael Briggs said in a statement. “We expect voters in the remaining eight contests also will disagree. And with almost every national and state poll showing Sen. Sanders doing much, much better than Secretary Clinton against Donald Trump, it is clear that millions of Americans have growing doubts about the Clinton campaign.”

    Sanders’ team was responding to comments Clinton made in a CNN interview that aired Thursday, in which she said there was “no way” she wouldn’t earn her party’s nomination.

    “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris,” she told host Chris Cuomo. “That is already done in effect. There is no way I won’t be.”

  26. rikyrah says:


    GOP Senator: US Suffers From ‘Under-Incarceration Problem’
    Published MAY 19, 2016, 5:21 PM EDT 7126 Views
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that the United States suffers from an “under-incarceration” problem in a Thursday speech rejecting a bipartisan criminal justice bill.

    “Take a look at the facts,” Cotton told an audience at the conservative Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., according to Politico. “First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed. Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”

    Cotton has spearheaded the effort to derail a bipartisan bill aimed at easing federal sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenders and allowing incarcerated offenders, many of whom were imprisoned on drug charges, to petition for reduced sentences. The bill was crafted by two Republican senators, John Cornyn of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, and one Democratic senator, Dick Durbin of Illinois.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning ☺, Everyone 😀

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