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Miss Helen Taft | 1913 by RetroGrafix
Via Flickr:
Miss Helen Taft became the wife of the former American president, William Howard Taft. She served as the First Lady of America from March 4 1909 March 4 1913. During those years, she made a name for herself as a very influential First Lady and an astute politician in her own right. 1905. Source: Retrografix.com, Twitter @retrografixcom

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Friday Favorites: Sweet Caroline
How Do You Not Know This Woman? Not just "Benjamin Harrison's wife," she was accomplished and elegant. She was a deft leader among women at a time when the idea of women's rights was just beginning...

A very fine article on Caroline Harrison detailing her accomplishments, public and private.

From the article:

In her first days as First Lady, Caroline was horrified at the crude condition of the White House. She went immediately to work, cleaning out all the rooms, including the kitchen, which she eventually had modernized. She oversaw installation of electricity throughout the building, and drew up plans to enlarge the structure by adding an east and west wing. The idea was tabled for years due to funding issues. It was Caroline Harrison who brought the art of china painting to Washington D.C., once again, importing [Paul] Putzki to teach classes. The First Lady served as a curator, of sorts, organizing the past administrations’ china collections.

In 1890, the newly formed Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) national civic organization, asked Caroline to become their first President General, which she accepted. Instead of it being an honorary position as she had thought, it became a full-time job–and it suited her well. Her tact, energy and humor, propelled the fledgling civic organization forward. Indiana’s first DAR chapter, located in Indianapolis, is named in her honor.

OH MY FRICKING GOD

So I’m watching The West Wing and it’s the first lady’s birthday and Donna suddenly becomes a Canadian because a border clarification put her birthplace on the other side of the 49th parallel so she’s locked out of the party.

When she’s let in again with some finagling, she’s one of the three women who go off with Abbey (the first lady) to get drunk. While there, in a moment of mindlessness, she says something very rude that Abbey needed to hear.

Back in the party proper, Donna apologizes but Abbey thanks her and says she has a surprise coming. And then Donna finds out she gets to be an American again because of the INS grandfather clause about 10 seconds before the band strikes up O Canada.

And then the President sweeps in, shouting, “What the hell is going on?! I was only gone for 45 minutes, they were all Americans when I left!”

And then I laughed so much I had an accident.

Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator and activist known as “The First Lady of The Struggle” due of her commitment to gain better lives for African Americans. She founded the National Council of Negro Women and served as president of the National Association of Colored Women.

Bethune was born Mary Jane McLeod in 1875 near Mayesville, South Carolina. She was one of 17 children born to Samuel and Patsy McLeod and the only one to be born free. Her older brothers and sisters had been enslaved until the Union won the Civil War and they were emancipated. Bethune’s mother worked for her former master, as well as doing laundry for white people. On one visit to deliver laundry, Bethune was able to go into a white child’s nursery where she picked up a book. The child took it from her, saying that she didn’t know how to read. Bethune was determined to learn, feeling that the only difference between her and the child was the ability to read and write.

Teaching a black person to write had been illegal in South Carolina since 1740, as it was seen as a mark of status and education was thought to lead to discontent and rebellion. By 1836, the public education of all African-Americans was strictly prohibited. Following the end of the Civil War and the legislation brought in through the 1868 state constitution, provisions began to be made for public education for all children, regardless of race. Bethune was able to realise her dream of learning to read and write when a missionary school was opened five miles from her house. She walked to school every day, and on her return would teach her parents and siblings what she had learnt.

In 1888, Bethune received a scholarship to attend Scotia Seminary (now Barber-Scotia College), a school for girls in Concord, North Carolina. Upon her graduation in 1893, she enrolled at Dwight Moody’s Institute for Home and Foreign Missions (also known as Moody Bible Institute) in Chicago. Bethune had intended to become a missionary to Africa, but found that African Americans were not permitted to undertake these assignments. Two years later, after completing her studies she returned to the South where she taught at several Presbyterian schools in Georgia and South Carolina including the Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia. The institute was run by Lucy Craft Laney, and Bethune would adopt many of Laney’s ideas into her own educational philosophy. 

Bethune believed that education was essential for racial advancement, and in 1904 she founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls in Daytona, Florida. She had focused her attention on educating girls as they had few opportunities for education. The school started out with five pupils, but quickly grew to more 250 students over the next years. In 1911, the school began teaching classes in nursing, and Bethune opened a hospital as her students were banned from the local, whites-only, hospital. Her hospital closed in 1931. Bethune secured funding for her school from white trustees like John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and James Gamble of Proctor & Gamble. In 1923, the school began to transition into college education and merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville to Daytona to become the Bethune-Cookman College. The college The college became one of the few places that African-American students could pursue a college degree. Bethune served as president of the college until 1942.

In 1924, Bethune was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), during her term the organisation set up a national headquarters in Washington, DC and became affiliated with the National Council of Women. Bethune had been the Florida chapter president of the NACW from 1917 to 1925, during this time she was threatened by members of the Ku Klux Klan for her work, particularly in registering black voters.

In 1928, Bethune was invited to attend the Child Welfare Conference called by Republican President Calvin Coolidge. Two years later, President Herbert Hoover appointed her to the White House Conference on Child Health. In 1935, she became a special advisor to President Roosevelt on minority affairs. She also founded her own civil rights organisation, the National Council of Negro Women. The organisation was created to represent the many groups working on issues for African-American women. A year later, she became the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. Bethune was tasked with helping young people find job opportunities and securing funds for youths. She was also an informal “race leader at large”, and part of the Black Cabinet, which organised the Federal Council on Negro Affairs. She became a trusted friend and adviser to President and Eleanor Roosevelt and was the first African American woman to be involved in the White House, assisting four different presidents.

In 1938, the NCNW hosted the the White House Conference on Negro Women and Children, demonstrating the importance of black women in democratic roles. During World War II, it fought for approval for black women to be commissioned as officers in the Women’s Army Corps and for the American Red Cross to become integrated. Bethune also served as a political appointee and the Special Assistant to the Secretary of War during the war. In 1945, Bethune was appointed by President Harry Truman as a delegate and advisor on interracial relations at the San Francisco Conference, which led to the organization of the United Nations and writing of the United Nations Charter. She represented all women of colour, as no African nation or any other nation sent a black female delegate. In 1949, she was the first black woman granted an honorary degree by a college for white women from Orlando’s Rollins College.

In her later years, Bethune continued to work for equal opportunities in hiring and education and against segregation in public accommodations. She served as president of the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History; she also served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She retired to Florida, where she lived until her death in 1955. Before her death, she wrote her last will and testament, containing the words ”I leave you a thirst for education. Knowledge is the prime need of the hour" and closing with ‘If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving.“

In 1973, Bethune was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and in 1974, she became the first Black leader and the first woman to have a monument. The Bethune Memorial Statue was erected on public park land in Washington DC in honor of her remarkable contributions. In 1994, she became the only Black woman to be honored with a memorial site in the nation’s capital when National Park Service acquired the NCNW’s former headquarters and Bethune’s last official residence. The site is now known as the Mary Mcleod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. The Council House now offers a variety of educational programs and exhibits. The NCNW now consists of over 39 national affiliates and over 240 sections, connecting more than 4,000,000 women to the organization.

Sources here, here, here, here, here and here.

2

1993: As first lady, Hillary took on one of the toughest fights of her career: working to fix our broken health care system.

She was the driving force behind President Clinton’s initiative to rein in health care costs and provide health care and financial security to American families.

Right off the bat, health insurance companies launched a barrage of attack ads, spending $50 million against the bill. And the health care and pharmaceutical industries together spent a total of $100 million against the bill.

Recognizing the threat to the status quo, a group called “Citizens for a Sound Economy”—bankrolled by the Koch brothers—led a smear campaign against the effort. They even sponsored an advertising plane and a tow truck carting around a wrecked bus with a sign that read “This is Clinton Health Care—Beware of the Phony Express.”

But Hillary refused to back down.

SOURCE

Illusions can change like the wind. When I hear a piece of music - take Colin Vearncombe/Black’s It’s a Wonderful Life - I can momentarily soar in mood. Yes, it’s a wonderful life isn’t it? But if I then hear something heavy, or look out at a dark grey sky, or turn to a passage by Ligotti or Benatar, say, I’ll probably plunge into dark convictions. Then we are all doomed. One moment I may be inclined to dismiss the American presidency as so much rubbish, then on seeing Michelle Obama dancing in a YouTube clip I can think, wow what a cool First Lady, how human, as if she or anyone would be anything but human. In this sense we resemble Ligotti’s puppets, being yanked around like yo-yos by fleeting media, impressions, sensory and physiological vicissitudes, with no consistent identity or state.
—  Colin Feltham, Keeping Ourselves in the Dark, P. 101

McLeod-Betune was an #American #educator best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, #Florida. She attracted donations of time and money, and developed the academic school as a college into Bethune-Cookman University. She also was appointed as a national adviser to #President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of what was known as his Black Cabinet. She was known as “The First Lady of The Struggle” because of her commitment to gain better lives for #African Americans. #YESBHM || #BlackHistoryMonth || #BGR8

US election 2016: Guide to the Democrat candidates

Whilst the 2016 US presidential election won’t be held until later this year, the race to be the Democrat candidate on the ballot box is already taking shape.

Heading into the Iowa caucus on 1 February, the first of the 50 states to nominate which candidate they want to represent their respective party, there are three main challengers looking to succeed Barack Obama as president of the US: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Clinton is the best known and favourite of the three. The former First Lady and wife of then president Bill Clinton, the 68-year-old is a veteran politician well known to the American public.

But whilst the former secretary of state has long been seen as the main contender, she is facing a real battle against surprise package Bernie Sanders. The 74-year-old Vermont senator has astonished observers by securing widespread grassroots support on the back of his socialist campaign.

The third candidate on the list is Martin O'Malley. The 53-year-old former governor of Maryland has pulled off surprise victories before in his political career, but at the moment is struggling to get his voice heard.

In this video, IBTimes UK give a guide to each candidate, along with their respective strengths and weaknesses as they look to secure their party’s nomination.

Read our guide to the Republican candidates here

Related Articles

US election 2016: Guide to the Democrat candidates

Whilst the 2016 US presidential election won’t be held until later this year, the race to be the Democrat candidate on the ballot box is already taking shape.

Heading into the Iowa caucus on 1 February, the first of the 50 states to nominate which candidate they want to represent their respective party, there are three main challengers looking to succeed Barack Obama as president of the US: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Clinton is the best known and favourite of the three. The former First Lady and wife of then president Bill Clinton, the 68-year-old is a veteran politician well known to the American public.

But whilst the former secretary of state has long been seen as the main contender, she is facing a real battle against surprise package Bernie Sanders. The 74-year-old Vermont senator has astonished observers by securing widespread grassroots support on the back of his socialist campaign.

The third candidate on the list is Martin O'Malley. The 53-year-old former governor of Maryland has pulled off surprise victories before in his political career, but at the moment is struggling to get his voice heard.

In this video, IBTimes UK give a guide to each candidate, along with their respective strengths and weaknesses as they look to secure their party’s nomination.

Read our guide to the Republican candidates here

Black History Month, Africans in Fashion
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Michelle Obama


Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.  http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

For the month of February we will post all of African decent that are successful in the Fashion Industry or are seen as fashion icons.

 We start off with the United States of America’s First Lady. Michelle Obama has shown us she is a fashion icon from the start of her husband’s campaign, and she has not disappointed us yet.

Here she is wearing Tracy Reese at the Democratic National Convention in 2013. 

US election 2016: Guide to the Democrat candidates

Whilst the 2016 US presidential election won’t be held until later this year, the race to be the Democrat candidate on the ballot box is already taking shape.

Heading into the Iowa caucus on 1 February, the first of the 50 states to nominate which candidate they want to represent their respective party, there are three main challengers looking to succeed Barack Obama as president of the US: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Clinton is the best known and favourite of the three. The former First Lady and wife of then president Bill Clinton, the 68-year-old is a veteran politician well known to the American public.

But whilst the former secretary of state has long been seen as the main contender, she is facing a real battle against surprise package Bernie Sanders. The 74-year-old Vermont senator has astonished observers by securing widespread grassroots support on the back of his socialist campaign.

The third candidate on the list is Martin O'Malley. The 53-year-old former governor of Maryland has pulled off surprise victories before in his political career, but at the moment is struggling to get his voice heard.

In this video, IBTimes UK give a guide to each candidate, along with their respective strengths and weaknesses as they look to secure their party’s nomination.

Read our guide to the Republican candidates here

Related Articles

Sundance Film Review: ‘Southside With You’

“We have to let go of judgment,” a young Barack Obama tells a group of frustrated community activists, encouraging them to place themselves in the shoes of those they’re up against. While most of the intended viewers for “Southside With You” are probably already inclined to listen to their president, it’s nice to think at least a few non-supporters in the audience might be moved by the spirit of empathy that suffuses this soulful and disarmingly romantic snapshot of Obama’s fateful first date with Michelle Robinson on a summer day in 1989 Chicago, long before either guessed they’d someday be president and First Lady of the United States. On the surface a mellow and agreeably meandering “Before Sunrise”-style walkabout, Richard Tanne’s writing-directing debut deepens into a pointed, flowing conversation about the many challenges (and varieties) of African-American identity, the need for both idealism and compromise, and the importance of making peace with past disappointments in order to effect meaningful change in the future.

Tanne’s version of a well-known anecdote will likely generate and conceivably benefit from op-ed coverage of every possible slant, and conservative critics inclined to take an interest will surely accuse the movie of being a glorified campaign promo (albeit one arriving rather late for the campaign). Certainly it raises the question of whether a comparable date movie could be made about, say, the 1977 backyard barbecue where George W. Bush met Laura, or Mitt and Ann Romney’s 1965 prom night, and be executed with enough warmth and sensitivity to cut across partisan lines, or receive a fair hearing from left-leaning film critics. In any case, despite its unassuming modesty of scale, budget and commercial potential, “Southside With You” stands as something unique, even audacious in American independent movies: a fact-based presidential “prequel” that seeks to present two iconic world figures as convincing and relatable romantic leads.

And on that particular score, Tanne’s movie — toplined by the very well-cast Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers — is pretty much an unqualified success, building steadily over its 80-minute running time to the sort of cornball climax that, politics be damned, is all but assured to make you melt (whatever the picture’s post-Sundance fortunes, “the ice cream scene” is likely to become a cherished highlight). Mere hours before that moment, of course, Michelle (Sumpter) has already informed Barack (Sawyers) in no uncertain terms that “this is not a date.” A lawyer at the firm of Sidley Austin, she’s serving as his adviser while he’s a summer associate, and she’s merely agreed to accompany him to a Southside church where locals are gathering to discuss a stalled plan for a community center. Under the circumstances, Michelle insists, any implied romantic attachment would be inappropriate and send the wrong message at a firm where it’s hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman, let alone a black woman.

Barack, for his part, makes little secret of his personal interest, and after picking Michelle up in a beat-up car with a hole in the floor, he conveniently reveals they have a few hours to kill before the meeting and takes her to the Art Institute (which is presenting an African exhibition), followed by a picnic lunch of which she insists on paying her share. In its broadest strokes, then, “Southside With You” is a classic hard-to-get romance, in which his flirty charisma and her stubborn resistance supply some modest narrative tension as well as a telling glimpse into their respective histories. There are a few winks to things we already know: Michelle’s not-yet-famous sense of style is already blossoming, on the evidence of her light orange blouse and ivory skirt (the work of costume designer Megan Spatz), while Barack, who’s seen smoking and hiding cigarettes throughout, makes playful reference to “the cloudy haze” of his Hawaii years.

But the push-pull of their personalities turns out to run deeper, and in multiple directions. They swap polite thoughts on religion. Michelle describes how intently her dad pushed her and her older brother, Craig, to put their studies first, leading Barack to voice his anger with the absentee father who died in a car crash in Kenya some seven years earlier. He chastises her for sidelining her passion for pro bono work to make her name on higher-profile cases, while she calls out his own hypocrisy for giving up community organizing for Harvard Law. At any given moment, the concerns of racial progress and the struggle of representing black America in the best possible light are never far from their minds, whether they’re driving past black kids walking around the neighborhood or strolling past the Altgeld Gardens public-housing development (where Obama did his early organizing).

Later the two will go to see Spike Lee’s just-released “Do the Right Thing,” followed by a sidewalk conversation that lays bare some of the profound differences in how whites and blacks perceive issues of race and justice in America. But it’s the earlier community meeting that becomes the movie’s extended centerpiece, striking very amusing notes early on as various women introduce an increasingly annoyed Michelle as “Barack’s woman” (“Finally, a sister!”). But when Barack takes the pulpit and alternately calms and rouses those assembled with his plea for consideration and empathy, the sequence deepens into an earnest but riveting demonstration of how effortlessly the young Obama commanded his audience, already displaying the natural eloquence and political savvy that would serve him well in the presidency.

Sawyers, who bears a strong if not uncanny physical resemblance to Obama (the actor has a notably higher-pitched voice), pulls out all the stops here, nailing the characteristic pauses and cadences of the president’s diction in an impressive display of oratorical mimicry. Sumpter, making an even more persuasive physical match for her real-life subject, gradually emerges as the film’s emotional center, giving the sort of breakthrough turn that, in a just world, would ensure that she never has to appear in another “Ride Along” or “Think Like a Man” sequel again. Facing less pressure than her co-star to deliver a pitch-perfect imitation, Sumpter digs deep into the role of an initially guarded but unfailingly quick-witted woman in whom we immediately catch a glimpse of the formidable figure she will eventually become. Both actors are subtly caressed by the lighting of d.p. Patrick Scola, shooting in moodily muted tones ideally calibrated to capture the heat of a Chicago summer.

That “Southside With You” has meticulously reverse-engineered our knowledge of the Obamas into a sweet, sexy, highly flattering youth portrait is less a criticism than a simple statement of fact. Whether taken as storytelling, propaganda or an artful hybrid of both, it’s a movie that unabashedly wraps its real-life subjects in a humanizing embrace. And to the degree that one can separate aesthetics from politics, it’s hard not to come away from the film without an essential respect for the restraint and quiet daring of Tanne’s approach. Sustaining a low-key vibe (courtesy of Evan Schiff’s graceful editing) and steering clear of trumped-up dramatic conflict throughout, the director seems to instinctively grasp the specific magnetism his subjects have long exuded as figureheads, as culturally engaged leaders, and as real people. You may well be able to resist the sight of a young Obama driving around with Janet Jackson blaring on the radio, but it doesn’t take a Democrat to recognize it as the kind of moment the movies were made for.

Related storiesSundance Film Review: ‘31’Sundance Film Review: 'Joshy’Sundance Film Review: 'Indignation’

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Hillary Clinton: Her Words on the Role of Commander-in-Chief
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Hillary published this article at Medium.   Hillary Clinton Jan 28 6 min read Recommended by Medium Staff Supporting our veterans is a sacred responsibility. Supporting our veterans is our solemn duty as Americans. It’s a lesson I learned from my father, who served as a Chief Petty Officer at Great Lakes Naval Station, and I’ve worked to fulfill that duty throughout my career. As first lady, I…

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If elected, Duterte says daughter Sara will be first lady

Former Davao City mayor Sara Duterte would act as first lady if her father, Rodrigo Duterte, is elected president.

Naming his daughter first lady would make things less complicated, Duterte said in an interview over radio dzBB’s “Ikaw Na Ba?”

“There would be no trouble if Inday Sara is picked,” he said in Filipino.

Duterte was once married to Elizabeth Zimmerman, a flight attendant from Davao City.

Of German-American descent, she is the mother of Sara, Paolo and Sebastian.

In 1998, Zimmerman filed a petition with the Pasig Regional Trial Court to nullify their marriage.

Duterte never appeared in court and did not contest Zimmerman’s petition.

Two years later, the court decided in her favor, annulling the 27-year marriage.

Duterte is currently living with his partner Honeylet, a nurse, with whom he has one daughter named Veronica.

If Elizabeth and Honeylet would agree, they could both live in Malacañang, he said.

“I have a wife, and I’m separated from the first,” he said in Filipino.

“My second wife is good. If they would agree, they could have one room each there (Malacañang). I pity my  first wife.”

Duterte said he would not participate in a Commission on Elections-sponsored debate if  disqualification cases against him are not resolved.

“Am I or am I not a candidate?” he asked in Filipino.

“I want to see the resolution. What happens if I join the debate and the following day I would be disqualified? I would look like a fool.”  

The Comelec’s First Division has not yet decided on the four disqualification cases against Duterte.

Petitioners have asked the Comelec to cancel Duterte’s certificate of candidacy (COC) on grounds that his substitution for Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban standard-bearer Martin Diño was not valid.

As such, he could not be considered a legitimate substitute candidate, they added.

Baggage of Binay

Duterte told dzBB that Vice President Jejomar Binay is carrying heavy baggage in the May 9 elections.

“Binay can talk about drugs and criminality, but he cannot talk corruption,” Duterte said.

But only he and Binay qualify for the presidency as they both have the passion to confront  criminality and illegal drugs, he added. 

Duterte said he is not friends with Binay, although he had met him on several occasions of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

We do not share politics. If I am Binay’s man then I would have accepted his offer  to be his vice presidential running mate,” Duterte said. 

During the interview, Duterte did not stop   criticizing Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel Roxas II’s actions during Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City in 2013. – With Robertzon Ramirez

Hillary Clinton won at least 6 Iowa precincts by coin flip

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REUTERS/Adrees Latif

It was 2008. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) were locked in what would prove to be a historic battle for the Democratic presidential nomination — one that pitted the man destined to be the first African American president against a former first lady who longed for a much more powerful role in the White House.

In Iowa during that state’s primary, voters debated the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. Was Obama electable? Was the nation suffering from Clinton fatigue?

“In the end, you need someone that can cross the party lines and, quite honestly, I don’t think Hillary can do that,” local Obama precinct captain Gary Adweek noted. But, when the two candidates tied in his precinct, logic and reasoning were put to the side. To decide who would be awarded the precinct’s odd delegate, it was time to trust in fate — and in a coin flip.

Though what denomination was used is lost to history, the outcome is not in doubt. Obama — and Adweek — triumphed in the end. Why? "Because I called tails,“ Adweek said.

Letting chance decide, even in a small way, who becomes president sounds bizarre, but it didn’t just happen eight years ago. It happened Monday night in at least two Iowa precincts where Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), now locked in what Sanders called a "virtual tie” in the state, fought to a deadlock. And, at least in those two precincts, Clinton won.

In another race, those heads-or-tails contests may not have mattered. But, early Tuesday, Clinton was ahead of Sanders in Iowa by just five “state delegate equivalents,” by that state’s particular jargon. Given that slim margin and the unknown intentions of Martin O'Malley’s eight state delegate equivalents now that the former Maryland governor has has suspended his presidential campaign, those coin flips are looking mighty significant.

Or not.

RAW Embed

It’s best to let the Iowa Democratic Party explain: “On caucus night, Iowans in each precinct elect delegates to their county conventions, but the winner of the caucuses will be the candidate who accrues the most state delegate equivalents. State delegate equivalents are calculated using a ratio of state to county convention delegates. In other words, the ratio determines how many delegates the candidate would receive for the state convention based on the number of county convention delegates a candidate receives.”

Whew.

Either way, people were flipping coins in Iowa, and it was weird.

One vocal Sanders supporter filmed a coin toss in Des Moines. At first, he seemed excited — perhaps in disbelief that a candidate many had written off months ago had given Clinton a run for her money.

“It’s an an actual tie," Benjamin O'Keefe said. "You can’t even write this.”

Then, the caucus got down to business. It had split, 61-61; Clinton was awarded two delegates, and Sanders was awarded two. What would become of the fifth delegate?

Enter coin. Tails — Clinton won.

“What?” O'Keefe said. “… Can you explain this to us?” Someone did, adding insult to injury by saying “Touchdown Seahawks!” — a reference to a 2012 NFL controversy over what many consider to be a terribly random call.

“So by coin flip, Hillary Clinton has won this precinct,” O'Keefe said. He shrugged and smiled — the smile of a man consigned to his fate by powers beyond his understanding or control . “I don’t even know,” he said, gesturing confusedly at unfazed caucus-goers as the result was announced and Clinton supporters cheered.

“That’s the official rule,” a woman who announced the result added.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/694393322371153920
No lie: Coin flip broke tie, gave @HillaryClinton a delegate at #IowaCaucus http://pic.twitter.com/PAoKslCJiV via @FernandoPeinado

In Davenport, another precinct tied 84-84. It was time for someone to stretch out that thumb.

“Bernie’s side has called heads,” the coin-tosser said, as documented in Davenport in a video posted by Robert Schule. As if to lend the proceedings an official air, she further explained the procedure: “I’m going to let the coin hit the floor.”

Gravity, of course, wins every caucus — the coin fell to Earth as expected. "No one touch it!“ someone shouted. Tails again! Cheers erupted from the Clinton camp — and heads proved a loser for Sanders once more.

The Des Moines Register, meanwhile, reported six such coin tosses , including one in Ames after an apparent miscount of the total number of caucus attendees . Clinton won all six, the Register reported. (One of those six is the same coin toss captured on video by Twitter user Fernando Peinado and portrayed in the tweet embedded above from David Beard.)

Anyone who might want to tsk-tsk Iowa should note: It isn’t the only state to invoke chance procedures to decide close elections. In fact, 35 states do, by one Washington Post tally conducted in 2014.

And it’s not just coins that can push candidates over the finish line.

"Last month, two candidates each received 246 votes for the 1st District commissioner in Cook County, Minnesota,” Stephen Pettigrew of FiveThirtyEight explained in 2014. “It was originally suggested that the candidates draw from a bag with two Scrabble tiles, and the person who picked the ‘Z’ would become commissioner. Ultimately, the race was instead decided by drawing wooden blocks from a cloth bag. Frank Moe drew the red block; Kristin DeArruda Wharton drew the blue one. Moe won the seat.”

NOW WATCH: What to do with your hands during a job interview

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from Feedburner http://ift.tt/23GtQub via production studio
US election 2016: Guide to the Democrat candidates

Whilst the 2016 US presidential election won’t be held until later this year, the race to be the Democrat candidate on the ballot box is already taking shape.

Heading into the Iowa caucus on 1 February, the first of the 50 states to nominate which candidate they want to represent their respective party, there are three main challengers looking to succeed Barack Obama as president of the US: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Clinton is the best known and favourite of the three. The former First Lady and wife of then president Bill Clinton, the 68-year-old is a veteran politician well known to the American public.

But whilst the former secretary of state has long been seen as the main contender, she is facing a real battle against surprise package Bernie Sanders. The 74-year-old Vermont senator has astonished observers by securing widespread grassroots support on the back of his socialist campaign.

The third candidate on the list is Martin O'Malley. The 53-year-old former governor of Maryland has pulled off surprise victories before in his political career, but at the moment is struggling to get his voice heard.

In this video, IBTimes UK give a guide to each candidate, along with their respective strengths and weaknesses as they look to secure their party’s nomination.

Read our guide to the Republican candidates here

I’ve been digging and digging on this one and can find no substantiation for this stupid meme. I’m so tired of the rabid racism and false claims against President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Here is the transcript of the speech she supposedly blamed white people for what is wrong in America.

theestablishment.co
Michelle Obama Chief Of Staff Tina Tchen Wants Solutions That Work - The Establishment
The politician discusses a women's summit that aims to be the "biggest and best."
By Kelley Calkins

“What strikes me as different about the next generation is how they’re translating their personal lives into activism; they’re really putting themselves out there in a way I don’t think my generation did.”

Originally posted by mansongifs

                    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is my favorite first lady


Widow of President John F. Kennedy, she was seen, across the world, as a symbol of American style, elegance, and grace. The image of her in her pink Chanel suit and matching pillbox hat in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination is one of the most iconic images in American history. I love how Jackie and I have mutual passion for achievement and need for security. She and Kennedy will always be my favorite couple from the White House even if he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe and other women. John and Jackie easily manage to create a deep harmony. It does not imply that communication between them is particularly intense or special, but it means that for both of them, love requires no effort! Their compatibility index is remarkable and quite exceptional. Their relationship is extremely harmonious, to the extent that superlatives are unable to express its essence. The way she tried to collect his brains and keep them together while having the top of his head held down having at least one hope of a chance that there still might be life in him after he slumped on her lap after being shot, is just something I call true love that I would have done the same in a heartbeat. How she tried to cover what she was holding to keep the world from witnessing a horrific view of the president’s pieces of brain and not leaving the room when there wasn’t anything else the doctors’ couldn’t do, she had his blood and brains were all over her and she kissed his exposed foot through the sheet, she also kissed his leg, thigh, chest and then his lips and it was described as the most moving thing. I think Marilyn Manson’s music video, Coma White from the gif was a perfect “tribute for JFK who have died at the hands of mankind’s unquenchable thirst for violence” ~ Marilyn Manson

Misc. Posts   2/07/15

Pauli Murray, born in 1910 and the granddaughter of a slave, was a black, gay, feminist, socialist, activist – hardly a politically correct resume in that era. Yet, like Forrest Gump, with her boundless activism she seemed to be everywhere in the thick of historic change in America, forming an alliance with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to agitate directly to President Roosevelt. Her life is chronicled in a new book by Patricia Bell-Scott, “The Firebrand and the First Lady.” Sounds like a “Must Read.”

Marco Rubio, in an apparent pitch for political donations from “The Top 1%,” has proposed to eliminate taxes on capital gains. They would love that! The Tax Policy Center reports that the top 1% in income pay 79% if the capital gains and, in fact the top 0.1% pays half of the tax. So Rubio would sacrifice federal revenue to reward the richest Americans, those who need money the least.

It is estimated that from 2005 to 2012, an average of 110 children under the age of 15 were accidently killed by a gun – most by other children or themselves.

In Shiite Iran, Iman Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader, holding power over the elected president and legislature, but this was not always so. Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, custom was that the Iman exercised spiritual guidance for orphans, widows, and others – not the body politic. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini elevated the role of guidance to political leadership to justify his rule over the Islamic Republic after the revolution.

The Costa Rica Electricity Institute reported that 99% of the nation’s electricity came from renewable energy sources in 2015.

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