Example Reference Page for 460 Mid-term Presentations

Here is what one “Reference Page” should look like :-)

This first group on March 29th can have more time to get me the references, of course, since I’m just giving you the format today.

This is just the page that you use to launch media for your presentation from, and then it has a comprehensive list at the end of everything you used. That’s all it is! (With some introductory text :-)

I. Introduction:

Jeff Sessions is President Trump’s Attorney General. Sessions was controversial for different reasons (https://www.aclu.org/other/jeff-sessions-facts).

II. Some think that Attorney General Sessions may himself be involved in the Russian election tampering scandal. Others disagree…

This is where you explain your News Item:

re: X and Y did A, B and C (people places or things)

Now you give a little rundown — and show the articles you’re quoting from and/or show video clips if relevant.

Jeff Sessions was in the hot seat yesterday, Thursday, March 1, after it came out Wednesday evening that he remembered a visit with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. that he’d failed to mention during his congressional approval hearing.

Of note is the succinct wording of both Sessions and Paul Ryan on this issue. Attempting to pinpoint whether or not *Sessions himself is under investigation* or not. Pretty smart, in my opinion. If Sessions were to actually be indicted, certainly he’d have to recuse himself. But no one is saying that yet for sure.

What’s also interesting is that Sessions didn’t think that he would be caught saying he didn’t speak with the Ambassador. This was not a phone call that was “intercepted” or anything like the current surveillance controversy, but rather, over a face to face meeting in Sessions’ office. It seems odd to me that he would think no one would see him during an person meeting with the Russian Ambassador. (If I understand correctly, this meeting was *in Sessions’ office*.) This might suggest that Sessions didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, since he was doing it “in plain sight.” (But at this point, it remains unclear how the FBI even knows about the meeting.)

(Note re: above:  A little speculation OK – but make it clear you are speculating — note my language “This might suggest.” What I’m not saying is that it might just as easily NOT suggest that. :)

News source 1 said…

News source 2 said…

IV: Social Media Take

At the end of the day on March 2, 2017, amidst public pressure, Sessions recused himself from the FBI probe.

Video explaining this: (Note: You can show video, or a part of a video.)

V. More recently:

Meanwhile – more recently, 23 people asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal inquiry into its chief, Jeff Sessions


Social Media was also concerned about Sessions threats against “Sanctuary Cities”


1. Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose, By Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller for the Washington Post, March 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html

2. California’s Kevin McCarthy, a top House Republican, says Sessions should step aside from Russia investigation, By David Lauter for the Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-top-house-republican-sessions-should-1488462000-htmlstory.html

3. Sessions spoke with Russian ambassador twice during Trump’s campaign
By Brooke Seipel and Olivia Beavers, for The Hill, March 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/321930-sessions-spoke-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-campaign

4. Sessions was more than Trump surrogate in meetings with Russian envoy, by
Kevin Johnson for USA Today, March 2, 2017, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/02/sessions-more-than-trump-surrogate-meetings-russian-envoy/98630456/

5. Attorney General Jeff Sessions : ‘I Will Recuse Myself’ If Necessary, by Tony Capra and Erik Ortiz for NBC News, March 2, 2017, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-i-will-recuse-myself-if-necessary-n728046

6. Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged to step aside from Russia probe, BBC (no author given), March 2, 2017 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39144015

7. Jeff Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Inquiry, by Mark Landler and Eric Lichtblau for the New York Times, March 2, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/us/politics/jeff-sessions-russia-trump-investigation-democrats.html?_r=0

Time to Repeal and Replace FISA

FISA petition

Ask Congress To Repeal and Replace FISA

I could appreciate our new President’s sudden interest our country’s surveillance state, when he learned from Republicans in congress that his own communications had been swept up during “incidental collection.”

The point being that it’s not a stretch to say that most U.S. citizens could potentially be caught up in such collections.

A petition to Repeal and Replace FISA is at Whitehouse.gov, demanding that Congress take action to repeal these secret FISA courts:



President Obama’s Comments on Immigration From His Final Speech

Today’s statement from Former President Obama supporting this weekend’s protests against President Trump’s recent immigration policy made me look up his final speech. (Since it was referenced in the statement today.)

Here’s what Obama said regarding immigration in his final speech:

But as I said before, I’m still a citizen. And I think it is important for Democrats or progressive who feel that they came out on the wrong side of this election to be able to distinguish between the normal back-and-forth, ebb-and-blow of policy. Now, are we going to raise taxes or are we going to lower taxes? Are we going to, you know, expand this program or eliminate this program? You know, how — how concerned are we about air pollution or climate change?

Those are all normal parts of the debate. And as I’ve said before, in a democracy sometimes you’re going to win on those issues and sometimes you’re going to lose. I’m confident about the rightness of my positions on a lot of these points, but we’ve got a new president and a Congress that are going to make their same determinations.

And there will be a back-and-forth in Congress around those issues. And you guys will report on all that.

But there’s a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake. I put in that category if I saw systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion. I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise.

I’d put in that category institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press. And for me at least, I would put in that category efforts to roundup kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country.

They are our kids’ friends and their classmates, and are now entering into community colleges or in some cases serving in our military, that the notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out.

President Obama’s Statement on refugee/travel ban via Kevin Lewis – January 30, 2017

Here’s the statement typed out so you can cut and paste from it. (I needed this to be easily accessible to my class, so I retyped it here :)

President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy – not just during an election, but every day.

Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.



Update 12:34 pm PST: I found the tweet by President Obama’s Spokesperson Kevin Lewis. I still don’t understand why this isn’t up on a web page somewhere :-/

I couldn’t find this thing anywhere except in a Tweet from Hill reporter Jordan Fabian. I don’t know why it isn’t available anywhere else yet. But I took the liberty of typing it out below.

Today’s The Day – The Electors Can Vote With Their Conscience

New Medium Post on today’s nail biting events…

Today’s the Day

Today the Electors will cast their ballots for the next President of the United States. For better or worse, that is our current system in action.

Since Donald Trump is a rather constitutionally compromised President, specifically with regard to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. (Stephen Colbert also explains the subject quite well.)

The electors could choose to vote their conscience, and choose Hillary, or send the decision to the Republican-controlled House to choose, or merely make a statement by abstaining from voting for Trump.

Here’s a song I’ve written about this historical time.



The Emoluments Clause – More Clarification About Why The Trump Presidency Violates The U.S. Constitution

Download the whole paper from Brookings.

The Emoluments Clause: Its text, meaning, and application to Donald J. Trump

Norman Eisen, Richard Painter, and Laurence H. Tribe

Never in American history has a president-elect presented more conflict of interest questions and foreign entanglements than Donald Trump. Given the vast and global scope of Trump’s business interests, many of which remain shrouded in secrecy, we cannot predict the full gamut of legal and constitutional challenges that lie ahead.  But one violation, of constitutional magnitude, will run from the instant that Mr. Trump swears he will “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” While holding office, Mr. Trump will receive—by virtue of his continued interest in the Trump Organization and his stake in hundreds of other entities—a steady stream of monetary and other benefits from foreign powers and their agents.


My Song To The Electors: Who Do You Stand For?

I_Voted_StickerHere is my song to the Electors. (References below that explain everything! :-)

Who Do You Stand For? (MP3)  (Lyrics below)

Not only did Hillary get more votes than Trump, Trump is disqualified in at least one very important way.

The electoral college was created just for this reason: as a safeguard against an unqualified or disqualified president-elect. (In this case, we have both a disqualified president and millions of votes proving the electoral college is broken. Time for the electors to do their job, and stop the madness.

And yeah, next we get rid of the electoral college!

Who Do You Stand For? (MP3)  (CC-BY-SA)

Music and Lyrics by Lisa Rein.

Here we go on the roller coaster of our lives
The smoke is still clearing slowly
as we’re all scrambling
I can’t help wondering

Who do you stand for?
I’m asking you
asking you
Give me your answer
I’m asking you
asking you

We went to vote
We cast our ballots on that day
The people have clearly spoken
We told you what to do
Now it’s all up to you

Hey are you listening?
I’m asking you asking you
give me your answer
I’m asking you
asking you

Cause we’re running out of time
And there’s too much on the line
So start showing me a sign

I think you know how much it matters

Give me your answer
I’m asking you asking you
Who do you stand for?
I’m asking you asking you

I can’t ask anymore


And So They Will Decide – Lawrence Lessig
The Electors Can Do It Monday: We Can Demand They Recognize the Popular Vote, On Lisa Rein’s Radar
Will Electors Vote Their Conscience and Prevent a Trump Presidency?, Rolling Stone
The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton., Lawrence Lessig
Stephen Colbert Asks: Is Trump Only Violating Norms or Laws? (Video)
Lawrence Lessig: Electors Are Constitutionally Permitted To Vote Their Conscience, And Should Do So – Video and Video Transcript


The Electors Can Do It Monday: We Can Demand They Recognize the Popular Vote

I’m keeping this simple:

The Electors can decide to exercise the Constitutional right to choose Clinton, based on the popular vote.

This is explained in a great new Rolling Stone article, but here’s more links for those who desire them:

The Constitution lets the electoral college choose the winner. They should choose Clinton.(Lawrence Lessig)

Stephen Colbert Asks: Is Trump Only Violating Norms or Laws?

Lawrence Lessig: Electors Are Constitutionally Permitted To Vote Their Conscience, And Should Do So – Video Transcript