June 4, 2015 archive

On This Day In History June 4

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 210 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1919, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

The Nineteenth Amendment‘s text was drafted by Susan B. Anthony with the assistance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The proposed amendment was first introduced in the U.S. Senate colloquially as the “Anthony Amendment”, by Senator Aaron A. Sargent of California. Sargent, who had met and befriended Anthony on a train ride in 1872, was a dedicated women’s suffrage advocate. He had frequently attempted to insert women’s suffrage provisions into unrelated bills, but did not formally introduce a constitutional amendment until January 1878. Stanton and other women testified before the Senate in support of the amendment. The proposal sat in a committee until it was considered by the full Senate and rejected in a 16 to 34 vote in 1887.

A three-decade period known as “the doldrums” followed, during which the amendment was not considered by Congress and the women’s suffrage movement achieved few victories. During this period, the suffragists pressed for the right to vote in the laws of individual states and territories while retaining the goal of federal recognition. A flurry of activity began in 1910 and 1911 with surprise successes in Washington and California. Over the next few years, most western states passed legislation or voter referenda enacting full or partial suffrage for women. These successes were linked to the 1912 election, which saw the rise of the Progressive and Socialist parties, as well as the election of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. Not until 1914 was the constitutional amendment again considered by the Senate, where it was again rejected.

On January 12, 1915, a proposal to amend the Constitution to provide for women’s suffrage was brought before the House of Representatives, but was defeated by a vote of 204 to 174. Another proposal was brought before the House on January 10, 1918. During the previous evening, President Wilson made a strong and widely published appeal to the House to pass the amendment. It was passed by the required two-thirds of the House, with only one vote to spare. The vote was then carried into the Senate. Wilson again made an appeal, but on September 30, 1918, the proposal fell two votes short of passage. On February 10, 1919, it was again voted upon and failed by only one vote.

There was considerable desire among politicians of both parties to have the proposal made part of the Constitution before the 1920 general elections, so the President called a special session of the Congress so the proposal would be brought before the House again. On May 21, 1919, it passed the House, 42 votes more than necessary being obtained. On June 4, 1919, it was brought before the Senate and, after a long discussion, it was passed with 56 ayes and 25 nays. Within a few days, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan ratified the amendment, their legislatures being in session. Other states followed suit at a regular pace, until the amendment had been ratified by 35 of the necessary 36 state legislatures. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee narrowly approved the Nineteenth Amendment, with 50 of 99 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voting yes. This provided the final ratification necessary to enact the amendment.


Bounty Hunters

WikiLeaks Launches Campaign to Offer $100,000 “Bounty” for Leaked Drafts of Secret TPP Chapters

Wanted Dead or Alive: $100,000 for Full Text of Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Jon Queally, Common Dreams

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

“The transparency clock has run out on the TPP,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “No more secrecy. No more excuses. Let’s open the TPP once and for all.”

Despite unprecedented efforts by negotiating governments to keep it under wraps, WikiLeaks has been able to obtain and publish three leaked chapters of this super-secret global deal over the last two years. However, there are believed to be 26 other chapters of the deal to which only appointed negotiators, trade officials, and chosen representatives from big corporations have been given access.

“Today, WikiLeaks is taking steps to bring about the public’s rightful access to the missing chapters of this monster trade pact,” the group said in a statement. “The TPP is the largest agreement of its kind in history: a multi-trillion dollar international treaty being negotiated in secret by the US, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia and 7 other countries. The treaty aims to create a new international legal regime that will allow transnational corporations to bypass domestic courts, evade environmental protections, police the internet on behalf of the content industry, limit the availability of affordable generic medicines, and drastically curtail each country’s legislative sovereignty.”

All Hands On Deck: House Fast Track Vote Expected This Week

by Dave Johnson, Common Dreams

Monday, June 01, 2015

The vote in the House of Representatives on fast track trade authority, preapproving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before the public finds out what is in it, is coming up very soon. It is even possible it could happen later this week. The Senate has already passed fast track; if the House passes this it goes to President Obama and he will sign it. That will make TPP a done deal.

We don’t know much about the contents of TPP – a secret investor/corporate rights agreement negotiated by corporate representatives with labor, environment and other “stakeholders” kept away from the negotiations – but we do know Nike wants it because it will lower tariffs on the shoes they import from Vietnam. We also know that the lowered tariff will mean New Balance may stop making shoes inside the U.S. We know that it opens up Vietnam, which pays workers less than a dollar an hour, for even more “outsourcing” of American jobs. We know that it lets corporations sue governments in “corporate courts” if they think laws and regulations might hurt their profits. (It even lets tobacco companies sue governments for trying to help citizens quit smoking, because that lowers tobacco company profits.)

Starting this week people should call and show up at the local offices of their member of Congress. Bring a sign if you show up. Get others to come with you. (Use our click-to-call tool to contact your member of Congress. Or you can click here to find the office of your representative.)

Ask your representative if she or he has read TPP. Get them on record whether they have read it.

Then ask them why you can’t see the text of TPP, especially if they are about to vote to preapprove it with fast track? Why is it being kept secret? (Why are the already-completed parts secret?)

The Breakfast Club (On The Road Pt. 1)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI will be busy this weekend visiting relatives and TMC will be out of town also.  Normally (and I’m not bragging or wanting anyone to feel bad about their contribution) these take me from 3 to 4 hours to do, exclusive of the time spent reading to find the material.

What takes the time is writing the front part (sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on the depth of treatment) and expanding the news stories with quotes (always a slog and terrifically time consuming).

Anyway, while I’m on the road I’m dispensing with the tricky and time consuming (and amusing and informative I hope) bits and formating everything as blog posts (title, author, publication) which will save a ton of time better spent on napping or socializing with people who already think I’m a driven eccentric (which is of course, true).

I apologize to you dear reader for this blatant disregard of your needs and feelings and can only promise that I shall return from this exhausted and cranky (I shall be dealing with children and I like them just fine if properly prepared), and resume my normal sub-standard output as soon as I can decently get away with it.

Science Oriented Video

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

The Daily/Nightly Show (Sookie St. James)


You stop being racist and I’ll stop talking about it.

Tonightly’s panel is Dan St. Germain, Jo Koy, and Kristina Wong.  Topics?  We don’t need no stinking topics, but it might be about The whitewashing of Allison Ng.


The Definition of Insanity

This week’s guests-

Melissa McCarthy is  probably on to talk about her new film Spy, but she recently had an encounter with a critic who was hung up on her appearance-

“Would you do this to a man?”: Melissa McCarthy destroys sexist reporter who called her “hideous”

by Colin Gorenstein, Salon

Thursday, May 21, 2015 05:02 PM EST

Turning the tables on the reporter, McCarthy asked him, “Would you do that to a man?”

McCarthy then dug into the reporter’s personal life, asking if he had children or, God-forbid, a daughter. How would you feel if your daughter came home one day saying that she didn’t get a job because she was considered unattractive, the actress urged the reporter to consider. That’s when McCarthy said she saw a look of recognition flash across his face.

“I said, ‘Just know every time you write stuff, every young girl in this country reads that and they just get a little bit chipped away,'” she said. “I just think we tear down women in this country for all of these superficial reasons and women are so great and strong. And I really think he heard that. The writer was really loving and you could tell he was a loving father. I think that it’s a bad habit that we’ve gotten into, and it’s not that people are malicious. I just think it’s so easy to take a swipe. Just go the other way; build it up.”

Bill de Blasio’s 2 part web exclusive extended interview and the real news below.