“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.
How Liberals Can Use the Tea Party Playbook to Stop Trump
An interview with one of the authors of “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.”
DEC. 19, 2016 6:00 AM DAVE GILSON – MotherJones
Since the election, progressives have been huddling on social media to plan ways to stymie, if not stop, President-elect Donald Trump. Last week, new inspiration came in the form of a link leading to a 23-page Google document titled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” In clear, confident prose, it lays out a well-reasoned, step-by-step strategy for building a grassroots movement to challenge Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. And it openly acknowledges that its playbook is cribbed from a surprising source: the tea party.
The guide was put together as a side project of a largely anonymous group of former Democratic congressional staffers who sought to help fellow progressives do something more constructive than signing online petitions. “Hill staffers don’t have a lot of skills—that’s why so many become lobbyists,” explains 31-year-old Ezra Levin, the collaboration’s unofficial spokesman, whose day job is at an anti-poverty think tank. “The one thing that we have is knowledge of how Congress works.”
Some of that knowledge was earned the hard way. “We know what worked when we were in Congress. We saw the tea party adopt a very effective strategy that effectively slowed down Congress and defeated many progressive priorities,” says Levin, who previously worked as deputy policy director for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). “Indivisible” explains how the tea party did it, and how progressives can do the same—without the vitriol. (“The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong and their behavior was often horrible,” it states. “We are better than this.”) The guide explains how to effectively pressure lawmakers—exploiting their political self-interest to get them to do the right thing—or at least not do the wrong thing.
Since it was published, the guide has been read thousands of times. (Exactly how many isn’t clear; Google doesn’t track how many people view public documents. You can now download it here.) It’s been shared by liberal celebrities such as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Star Trek‘s George Takei. “There have been some high-profile folks—it’s nice to see that,” Levin says. “But I think that’s less important and heartwarming than the people in rural districts in California or Georgia or Florida saying, ‘Oh my gosh this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.'”
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.