“We are a proud Nation of immigrants, home to a long line of aspiring citizens who contributed to their communities, founded businesses, or sacrificed their livelihoods so they could pass a brighter future on to their children. Each year on Citizenship Day, we welcome the newest members of the American family as they pledge allegiance to our Constitution and join us in writing the next chapter of our national story.
Throughout our history, immigrants have embraced the spirit of liberty, equality, and justice for all — the same ideals that stirred the patriots of 1776 to rise against an empire, guided the Framers as they built a stronger republic, and moved generations to bridge our founding promise with the realities of our time.
The pursuit of this promise defines our history; with amendments that trace our national journey, the Constitution bears witness to how far we have come. As we celebrate the world’s longest surviving written charter of government, let us remember that upholding our founding principles requires us to challenge modern injustices. Let us accept our responsibilities as citizens, our obligations to one another and to future generations. Let us move forward with the knowledge that in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it. “
How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land for Future Generations
By Russell Begaye, President of the Navajo Nation
I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story — and our stories — are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you.
This beautiful piece of land stretches for over a million acres across the southern edge of the state. Its ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, abundant rock art, countless cultural artifacts, winding creek beds, and expanses of desert land, contain the great history of my nation.
This place served to protect my family then, just as it has protected many Native American people throughout the years.
This action reflects the President’s profound record on conservation: He has done more than any other president in history to set aside more land and water for the future.
But it is also in accordance with his actions to elevate the voices of Native people. Five sovereign tribal nations petitioned to have this irreplaceable land conserved.
Bears Ears National Monument is sacred not only to the Diné people, but also our Hopi, Ute, and Zuni neighbors. These tribes came together in an unprecedented show of unity to conserve these lands for future generations of all Americans. This intertribal coalition also pushed for a new standard for national monuments and tribal involvement.
With this step to protect and conserve these irreplaceable lands, he has set a new precedent for national monument tribal collaborative management. And he has strengthened the relationship between our Navajo and American nations.
As both Navajo and American, I am proud our President listened to a sovereign appeal and acted to preserve our sacred land for future generations.
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit to Hawaii of Prime Minister Abe of Japan
President Obama will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 27, 2016. The meeting will be an opportunity for the two leaders to review our joint efforts over the past four years to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, including our close cooperation on a number of security, economic, and global challenges. The President will also accompany Prime Minister Abe to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor to honor those killed. The two leaders’ visit will showcase the power of reconciliation that has turned former adversaries into the closest of allies, united by common interests and shared values.
Abe to make historic visit — the first by a Japanese leader — to Pearl Harbor this month
DEC 5, 2016 BY JESSE JOHNSON – japantimes
In a surprise announcement Monday night, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would make a historic visit to Pearl Harbor — the first by a sitting Japanese leader — on Dec. 26 and 27 during a trip for his final summit with outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama.
Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette Vyda Simms Moore, also an educator, were the victims of a bombing of their home in Mims, Florida on Christmas night 1951. He died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital in Seminole County while she died January 3, 1952 at the hospital in Sanford, Florida. Forensic work in 2005-6 resulted in the naming of the probable perpetrators as four Ku Klux Klan members, all long dead by the time of the investigation. The Moores were the first NAACP members to be murdered for civil rights activism; Moore has been called the first martyr of the early stage of the Civil Rights Movement.
This nation has survived political crises before, and it will again if progressives refrain from pointing fingers and start organizing.
At a time like this, many liberals and progressive will recall the words of labor activist Joe Hill: “Don’t mourn, organize.”
But let’s be honest. We’re in shock. We need time to mourn. To recover from the trauma of this election.
I feel awful for my 19-year-old twin daughters, who voted for the first time this year and now have to spend their college years with Trump as president. They’re upset. They talked about moving to Canada. They were half serious. We talked and texted all night, trying to console ourselves. It was tough.
I reminded them that we’ve been through periods like this before. The Civil War. The Gilded Age. The Great Depression.
I told them that in 1968, when I was 20, America elected Richard Nixon. At the time, we thought that this was the apocalypse. I had worked for Bobby Kennedy’s campaign. His murder in June of that year was traumatic. He certainly would have beaten Nixon, brought together the civil rights, union, and anti-war movements, and pushed to end the war in Vietnam, escalate and war on poverty, and expand workers rights.
After Nixon won, I considered moving to Canada myself, not just out of fear of Nixon’s agenda but also to avoid the draft and Vietnam. I even submitted an application to the University of Toronto.
But I stayed. I didn’t want to abandon my country. Like many others of my generation, I wanted to change it.
After Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in November 1968, a massive resistance movement emerged to make it harder for Nixon to govern. In 1970, we started electing anti-war candidates to Congress. We started a backyard revolution of community organizing in urban communities. Then activists also built the women’s movement, the consumer movement, and the environmental movement.
Nixon did great damage (including the invasion of Cambodia, the killings at Jackson State and Kent State, the government infiltration and surveillance of dissenters), but the country survived.
Yes, Trump is worse than Nixon. He’s a demagogue, a white supremacist, a psychopath. But we’ll resist again.
I reminded my daughters that probably 35 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote this year. Most of them are poor, people of color, and/or young. Had they voted, Clinton would have won a big victory. Don’t judge the whole country by the election returns. The American people, overall, are better than the people who voted.
There will be many post mortems trying to explain how and why Trump won. Among the key factors:
James Comey: No major election analyst tonight (not even Rachel Maddow) mentioned the impact of FBI director Comey’s outrageous intervention on the outcome of this election. That, more than anything else, stopped Clinton’s momentum, diverted attention away from Trump’s sex and other scandals, and refocused public attention on Clinton’s emails. More than 20 million people voted between his letter to Congress 11 days ago, and his statement two days ago that the FBI found nothing damning in the new wave of Clinton emails. Much damage was done. Comey, the rogue FBI director, was more responsible for Trump’s victory than anyone else. A Republican under pressure from GOP lawmakers, Comey intentionally caused the damage.
Voter Suppression: The Republicans’ voter suppression campaign (including voter ID and felon disenfranchisement laws) in key battleground states—particularly in poor and minority areas—gave Trump the margin of victory. This was true in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and other cities. Republicans engaged in such fraudulent election activities as sending phony robocalls to black households with misinformation about voting locations and times. Our arcane election laws also played a role. If Election Day were a national holiday (as it is in most democracies), or if most states had same-day voter registration, turnout among those groups would have been higher, and Clinton would have won in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and other swing states, and won the presidency.
Media Bias: The mainstream media gave Trump a free ride for most of the past year; treating him like a normal candidate rather than a racist demagogue. That allowed him to win the GOP nomination and to gain traction after the Republican convention. The media’s obsession with Clinton’s emails obscured the much-more-serious Trump scandals—his failure to pay taxes, his sexism, his bogus and self-serving foundation, his lies about his fortune, his fraudulent and abusive business practices, his total ignorance about public policy, Only in the past month did the media wake up and begin serious reporting on the real Trump. But it was too little, too late.
Right-Wing Money: The Koch brothers didn’t back Trump, but their political empire—including other right-wing billionaires who joined forces with them—may have spent close to a billion dollars helping Republican candidates for House and Senate. That increased GOP turnout in battleground states, and helped Trump.
Other factors—WikiLeaks, Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s stupid meeting with Bill Clinton on the airport tarmac, and the persistence of racism and sexism among a significant segment of the American population—all also played a role.
How did so many pollsters get it wrong?
How did so many pollsters get it wrong? Trump benefited from what political scientists call the “Bradley effect.” Just before Election Day in November 1982, polls showed that Tom Bradley, the African American mayor of Los Angeles, was going to beat Republican George Deukmejian in the race for California governor. But on Election Day, Deukmejian won. It appeared that many voters had lied to pollsters (or even to themselves). They didn’t want to appear racist, so they told pollsters they favored Bradley, but they voted for Deukmejian. Apparently, a significant number of people this year told pollsters they were voting for Clinton, or were undecided, but wound up voting for Trump. Perhaps they didn’t want to admit to pollsters, or to themselves, that they preferred Trump over Clinton.
The future looks better. Although turnout was low among the under-30 generation, those who went to the polls voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton and liberal Democrats for Congress. Latinos—the fastest-growing part of the electorate—voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. Within a few years, their growing numbers will determine elections in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, even Texas.
There were even some silver linings on Tuesday. Voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, defeated the right-wing immigrant-bashing Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington state approved ballot initiatives on Tuesday to increase their states’ minimum wages. Voters in Arizona and Colorado approved measures to require businesses to provide employees with paid sick days. California voters approved statewide ballot measures to extend current income tax rates for the wealthy to pay for public education, to raise tobacco tax by $2 a pack, to repeal the ban on bilingual education, to strengthen gun control laws, and to legalize marijuana. And some might find solace knowing that even though Trump beat Clinton in the Electoral College, she won the popular vote.
Moreover, all polls show that large majorities of Americans support a progressive policy agenda that links economic prosperity with fairness. They want higher taxes on the super-rich, stronger regulations on Wall Street, and big business to protect consumers, workers, and the environment, a significant increase in the federal minimum wage, some version of universal health insurance, a large-scale job-creating infrastructure program, and more affordable colleges and universities.
But public opinion, on its own, doesn’t bring about change. That’s what movements do. Americans need to join forces to resist where Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, the Koch brothers, and Wall Street want to take the country. We need to build on the momentum of the Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15 campaigns, and the movements to protect immigrants, block the Keystone and Standing Rock pipelines, divest from fossil fuels, and defend Planned Parenthood and women’s right to choose.
We need new Democratic Party leadership. We need a progressive like Senators Elizabeth Warren or Dick Durbin, or Congressman John Lewis as the next head of the Democratic National Committee.
Protests against executive order 13769, banning travelers and refugees from certain countries continue at airports and public spaces, continue in the United States and internationally.
Monday, Jan 30
A protest occurred at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada in the wake of Trump’s executive order on immigration. A demonstration by Democrats was held outside of the Supreme Court to protest the executive order. Across major cities in the United Kingdom, large crowds varying from over 200 people, protested against the Trump Administration’s order on banning travellers and refugees from certain countries, as well supporting the petition to ban the Trump state visit to the U.K, which gathered over one million signatures in two days.
The Twelfth Amendment requires each elector to cast one vote for president and another vote for vice president. In each state and the District of Columbia, electors are chosen every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and then meet to cast ballots on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states are elected President and Vice President of the United States when the Electoral College vote is certified by Congress in January.
There are currently a total of 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 Representatives, the 100 Senators, plus three electors for the District of Columbia as provided for in the Twenty-third Amendment. Each state chooses electors amounting to the combined total of its Senators and Representatives. The Constitution bars any federal official, elected or appointed, from being an elector. The Office of the Federal Register is charged with administering the Electoral College. In most elections, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections, 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.
Registered voters cast their votes for President and Vice President. By doing so, they also help choose the electors who will represent their state in the Electoral College.
Mid-November through December 19, 2016
After the presidential election, the governor of your state prepares seven Certificates of Ascertainment. “As soon as practicable,” after the election results in your state are certified, the governor sends one of the Certificates of Ascertainment to the Archivist.
Certificates of Ascertainment should be sent to the Archivist no later than the meeting of the electors in December. However, federal law sets no penalty for missing the deadline.
The remaining six Certificates of Ascertainment are held for use at the meeting of the Electors in December.
December 13, 2016
States must make final decisions in any controversies over the appointment of their electors at least six days before the meeting of the Electors. This is so their electoral votes will be presumed valid when presented to Congress.
Decisions by states’ courts are conclusive, if decided under laws enacted before Election Day.
December 19, 2016
The Electors meet in their state and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots. The electors record their votes on six “Certificates of Vote,” which are paired with the six remaining Certificates of Ascertainment.
The electors sign, seal, and certify six sets of electoral votes. A set of electoral votes consists of one Certificate of Ascertainment and one Certificate of Vote. These are distributed immediately as follows:
one set to the President of the Senate (the Vice President) for the official count of the electoral votes in January;
two packages to the Secretary of State in the state where the electors met—one is an archival set that becomes part of the public record of the Secretary of State’s office and the other is a reserve set that is subject to the call of the President of the Senate to replace missing or incomplete electoral votes;
two packages to the Archivist—one is an archival set that becomes part of the permanent collection at the National Archives and Records Administration and the other is a reserve set that is subject to the call of the President of the Senate to replace missing or incomplete electoral votes; and
one set to the presiding judge in the district where the Electors met—this is also a reserve set that is subject to the call of the President of the Senate to replace missing or incomplete electoral votes.
December 28, 2016
Electoral votes (the Certificates of Vote) must be received by the President of the Senate and the Archivist no later than nine days after the meeting of the electors. States face no legal penalty for failure to comply.
If votes are lost or delayed, the Archivist may take extraordinary measures to retrieve duplicate originals.
On or Before January 3, 2017
The Archivist and/or representatives from the Office of the Federal Register meet with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House in late December or early January. This is, in part, a ceremonial occasion. Informal meetings may take place earlier.
January 6, 2017
The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. Congress may pass a law to change this date.
The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.
If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.
If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.
If no Vice Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment provides for the Senate to elect the Vice President. If necessary, the Senate would elect the Vice President by majority vote, choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each Senator having one vote.
If any objections to the Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator. If objections are presented, the House and Senate withdraw to their respective chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law.
January 20, 2017 at Noon—Inauguration Day
The President-elect takes the Oath of Office and becomes the President of the United States.
Larry Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor who made a brief run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, claimed Tuesday that 20 Republican members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Donald Trump, a figure that would put anti-Trump activists more than halfway toward stalling Trump’s election.
Lessig’s anti-Trump group, “Electors Trust,” has been offering pro bono legal counsel to Republican presidential electors considering ditching Trump and has been acting as a clearinghouse for electors to privately communicate their intentions.
“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same. We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote,” Lessig said.