Five snowflakes react to President Trump’s executive orders and memoranda

Source: David Harmantas, Flickr

Winter is coming for President Donald Trump. As he signs executive orders and makes presidential memoranda, snowflakes gather closer and closer together, becoming colder and bigger by the second.  Below is a compiled list of all the snowflakes refusing to melt.

  1.  Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Hours after President Trump took office, this snowflake broke out in shingles. Why? The new president began the process of reforming and, eventually, repealing “Obamacare.” The order, small as it may seem, allows the new secretary of health and human services and other federal agencies to “interpret regulations as loosely as possible to minimize the financial ‘burden’ on individuals, insurers, health care providers and others.” The president is urging his policy makers, and stressing out this snowflake, to work relentlessly to draft a piece of legislation to oppose “Obamacare” so that he can repeal the ACA as soon as possible.

Source: Flickr

2. Global Gag Rule

The pattern of undoing and redoing the “Mexico City” abortion policy began with President Ronald Reagan and continued with the 45th president. The policy bans federal funds from being used to support organizations that provide counseling to women on family planning when abortion is a medical option or even just mentioned in consults. After reading this on Twitter, the snowflake below rose up in an uproar, whipped off its purple blanket, and began calling all its elected officials. Wishing it could do more, the snowflake donated to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Source: Flickr

3. Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines.

When Trump informed the public that he plans to personally renegotiate the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipelines, this snowflake, an environmental activist, was livid. It had just spent months with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and had fought against the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015 . . . now the president wants to test this snowflake and its people again? Over its puddle body.

Source: Flickr

4. The Wall

This bristling snowflake below commented an angry face on its friend’s Facebook post about President Trump’s plan to actually construct a 1,900-mile long wall along the border with Mexico. It immediately went and retweeted former President of Mexico Vicente Fox’s tweets against the border wall; all the while questioning why the Trump administration is working relentlessly to find money for a wall but cannot find a proper education secretary.

Source: Flickr

5. The Muslim Ban

President Donald Trump carelessly ordered an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, a 120-day ban on all other refugees and a 90-day ban on visitors from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Snowflakes from all over quickly swarmed together and blew into airports. A few snowflakes representing the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) even sued, resulting in a New York federal court issuing an “emergency stay on President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.” This, however, was not enough for some law enforcement as people were still being detained. Hundreds of snowflakes flew to the rescue, defending those being detained pro bono and protesting within the airports for hours on end.

Sally Yates, a proud snowflake and U.S. attorney general, refused to defend the executive order and joined the blizzard rushing toward the White House instead; eminently resulting in the termination of her position.

Source: Peter Souza, Flickr

If the three million snowflakes who wore pussy hats and marched across the world and the yet-to-be determined number of protesters and attorneys filling airports at this very moment are any idea of what’s to come … well, President Trump better find a way to stay warm.

Bobcat Banter Ep1: Trumped up Charges

Donald Trump has polarized the political world, pitting liberals against conservatives with a newfound intensity that has consumed newsfeeds and disrupted Thanksgivings around the country. In liberal Athens, Ohio, conservatives are about as commonly accepted as Miami fans or teetotalers, but can you really judge a Trump supporter by his cover? I spoke to Cole Neuhart, a member of the OU College Republicans, and Dan Kington, a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), to find out more.

(Music courtesy of Martijn de Boer (NiGiD), ccMixter)

Political events you probably didn’t notice this weekend in Athens

It may have been Parents Weekend at OU, but that didn’t keep Athens from getting as political as ever. Here are the top politically-driven events you may have missed while you were at the bars with Mom and Dad.

Tyre King Memorial

After 13-year-old Tyre King was shot and killed by a police officer in Columbus, a group of students and community members has set up a memorial on the courthouse steps. The memorial includes a variety of handmade signs to commemorate King, who was shot while holding a BB gun.

Continued debate over campus graffiti
In addition to the memorial, King-related graffiti has been popping up across campus, from the Civil War Monument to the graffiti wall. The graffiti wall was later anonymously painted to feature a hanged figure, although this was later painted around by students who wanted to express their disgust for the image.

Ohio mayors for Hillary

Chillicothe mayor Luke Feeney speaks with students. Photo by Ellen Bardash.
Chillicothe mayor Luke Feeney speaks with students. Photo by Ellen Bardash.

On Friday afternoon, the mayors of Chillicothe and Dayton joined Athens Mayor Steve Patterson and OU College Democrats in efforts to increase voter registration. The event, which was held in front of College Gate, was the last stop on an 18-city bus tour in which mayors from around the state met with Ohioans to discuss why they think they should vote for Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump this November.

City Council Meeting

Photo via The Athens Messenger
Photo via The Athens Messenger

Today, Athens City Council will hold its second and final committee meeting of the month in the City Council Chambers. Council members are expected to discuss topics such as the ever-controversial pool. The Council will also hold a special session immediately after the committee meetings.

94th Ohio House District Debate

Looking forward, Ohio Student Senate will host a debate between candidates for Ohio’s 94th district House representative. The debate between Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Sarah Grace (D-Athens) is scheduled for this Tuesday at 7 p.m., although Edwards said he never actually agreed to this date.

At Donkey Coffee, you can add a dash of politics to your fair-trade coffee

“Would you like a side of politics with that?”

Athens, Ohio is abundant in businesses that mix their service to customers with political discourse. From Avalanche Pizza’s caricatures of presidential candidates to Little Fish’s “No Fracking Way” beer brewed with all Ohio ingredients, Southeast Ohioans are accustomed to seeing politics on the menu.

A politically-minded Athens business that stands out to me is Donkey Coffee, who stirs a little social justice into your otherwise average cup of fair-trade joe. Donkey continues to be a leading coffee joint in Athens not only for their comfy couches and cozy ambiance, but because of their devotion to community outreach and promotion of political discourse.

Their website bares a list of organizations who they support that “fundamentally positively influence people.” The list includes groups such as Amnesty International, Fair Trade USA, Pregnancy Resource Center and My Sisters Place.

donkeycoffee.com continues:

“We are committed to promoting social justice and the arts in our community and throughout the world through public awareness, serving, and financial giving. This is the heart of what Donkey is about.”

They took their loyalty to the enrichment of the community one step further this week by having customers rattle off their favorite part of the Constitution in trade for a drink on the house.

Yesterday, Donkey Coffee started the work week by observing an all-American event that took place on September 17, 1787. Baristas celebrated the signing of the Constitution by trading a customer’s favorite constitutional right for a free coffee drink.

This was a part of Donkey’s recent “Free Drink Monday” event.  After I recited Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution (which provides some much-needed accountability to Congress), Michael, one of the baristas, told me the story of the couple that inspired the weekly freebie.

You can thank two Donkey frequenters Steve and Janet for your free power chai latte each Monday. Michael said the couple were such loyal customers that they accrued upwards of 4,000 points on their Donkey Coffee rewards card. Each drink equals one point (and after 10 points, you receive a free drink) so you can definitely say they were regulars.

Haley McKelvey enjoys a mocha latte during a exhausting study session on the second floor of Donkey Coffee.
Haley McKelvey enjoys a mocha latte during a exhausting study session on the second floor of Donkey Coffee.

They never spent their points and eventually moved out of town, so they donated the thousands of points to the customers of Donkey. So each week, Donkey asks their customers to recite a poem about Donkey Coffee, or dance for 10 seconds or like yesterday, share their favorite constitutional right of theirs, to use Steve and Janet’s donation.

Donkey continues to be my go-to spot to sip on an iced latte over statistics homework, not only for their plentitude of power outlets and couches, but because you might get into an interesting discussion over the patriarchy or systemic racism with your barista.

And has anyone else thought about the fact that the name of their coffee shop just so happens to be the symbol of a major political party? Maybe it’s just me.

Regardless of political preference, Athenians will continue to get their coffee fix from Donkey for years to come.

 

 

The history of U.S. presidents visiting Ohio University

The great state of Ohio is known for many things, one of which is its reputation for being a swing state. Being a swing state makes Ohio very important during election seasons, making its cities crucial destinations for politicians of all kinds to visit. Ohio University itself has a long history of politicians visiting its campus and speaking to students, faculty and community members. Most notably, many U.S. presidents have taken a trip to Athens to engage with the politically active campus.

Each presidential visit has not been forgotten. Along the West Portico wall, which faces College Green, of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium there are plaques to commemorate each special visit. According to a story in a Compass newsletter from 2010, the addition of the plaques on the honor wall began in 1965 under then-university president Vernon Alden with the goal of the wall being an inspiration for all who see it.

Hoover

On his visit in 1989, President Jimmy Carter made an inspiring sentiment and said, “Ohio University has a special place in international affairs. Its students should be world citizens.”

Johnson

In his speech along the West Portico of Templeton-Blackburn in May 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson brought along several Ohio Congressmen and members of his Cabinet. President Johnson and his Cabinet members initially came to Athens for a poverty inspection. In his address, he said with the help of Dr. Alden, “a contract has been signed by the Area Redevelopment Administration to establish a regional development institution here. This will make Ohio University the focal point of economic development for the southeastern Ohio area.” Athens County has long been one of the poorest counties in Ohio, so action plans to grow the economic development of the area had a significant effect on its citizens. His speech was a call to action for students to do what they could to support those around them and raised awareness of the issue.

Other presidents who have visited OU include John F. Kennedy, William Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Warren G. Harding, William McKinley and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Harding

The most recent president to visit OU was Barack Obama during his campaign for reelection on October 17, 2012. The trip was a last-minute stint to attract and rally supporters in the final sprint going into the campaign season. Massive government and military planes descended onto the back greens of South Green in preparation for the president’s arrival and Secret Service agents lined the permitter around College Green, where his speech took place. It was a unique experience for students to have a sitting president make an appearance on campus.

Obama

(Here is my super grainy picture of him.)

With another presidential election coming up within the next year, there is a good chance presidential hopefuls will see themselves visiting OU in an effort to appeal to the desired segment of young adult voters. Perhaps one day they too will have their name added to the West Portico Honor Wall.

News recap: How you voted in Tuesday’s election in Athens

This week saw the election of three Athens City Council members — including one independent — and the rejection of marijuana legalization in the state of Ohio. Voters also approved a measure that aims to reduce partisan gerrymandering in the state.

Below is our recap of the results of the election in Athens and what it will mean for Athens residents and Ohioans.

Democrats retained their majority on Athens City Council

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Dennis E. Powell | The Athens NEWS
  • Incumbent Jennifer Cochran and local business owner Peter Kotses, both Democrats, will claim two at-large seats on council, meaning the party will still have a 6-1 majority in Athens. [The Post]
  • The unofficial vote tallies released Tuesday showed that 35 percent of registered voters in Athens County casted their ballots, compared with an about 34 percent voter turnout last November. [The Athens NEWS]
  • While Kotses won about 27 percent of the vote and Cochran won 25 percent, the council race was the only contested race in this year’s elections. The chair of the Athens County Democratic Party said the two are “fantastic public servants and will represent Athens well.” [The Post]

  • Democrat Joan Kraynanski and Aaron Dauterman, an Ohio University senior who ran as a Republican, came in fourth and fifth place respectively in the council at-large race. [The New Political]
  • Kotses, a lifelong resident of Athens and owner of Athens Bicycle, received 1,763 votes, the most votes any candidate received. [The Athens Messenger]

Pat McGee will be the first independent to serve on city council in decades

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Oliver Hamlin | The Post
  • The Democrats didn’t win every seat on Athens City Council, however. Independent candidate Pat McGee won one of the three at-large seats, receiving 1,518 votes, or 23 percent of the total vote. [The Post]
  • McGee, a managing attorney with the Center for Student Legal Services, is the first independent to be elected to an at-large seat on council since at least 1982. [The Athens News]
  • McGee spoke to The Athens Messenger about his success as an independent candidate: “It says to me that people can look beyond labels, even when you have a fairly organized party that you’re opposing.” [The Athens Messenger]
  • The councilman-elect ran on a platform of putting Ohio University students first and encouraged them to vote. [The New Political]
  • McGee graduated from OU in 1970 and then travelled the world for a decade, but has lived in Athens for the past 35 years. Along with advocating for students, he supports marijuana legalization, a looser code enforcement and a raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as long as the money stays in Athens. [The Post]
  • In addition, WOUB published a series of photos depicting election night in Athens. McGee can be seen playing celtic music on the concertina at local bar Jackie-O’s celebrating his win. [WOUB]

No surprise here: Steve Patterson elected mayor of Athens

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Steve Patterson | @MayorPatterson on Twitter
  • Steve Patterson was elected mayor after running unopposed. Patterson, a Democrat, holds an at-large seat on Athens City Council and will begin his term as mayor in January. [The Post]
  • Despite running an uncontested race, Patterson campaigned door to door and watched the polling numbers closely Tuesday. He said he’s elated to have the support of citizens. [The Athens News]
  • Patterson suggested several efforts he wants to work on as mayor. He said he wants to start working on organizing the city’s Halloween block party far earlier, possibly in January. He also suggested ideas to turn certain parts of Uptown into “pedestrian corridors.” [The Athens News]
  • The mayor-elect told The New Political: “It’s time to take Athens to the next level. You know, I’m really tired of the brain drain, and I’m really looking forward to the brain gain in the city of Athens, trying to keep people here.” [The New Political]

Ohio chose gerrymandering reform but rejected marijuana legalization; Athens County said “no” to Issue 2 while Ohio voted “yes”

Konopí
Via Wikimedia Commons
  • Ohio voters had three issues to vote on at Tuesday’s election. Issue 3, the ballot measure that would have legalized recreational and medical marijuana in the state, failed to pass. Meanwhile, Ohio voters passed Issues 1 and 2, which aim to reduce partisan gerrymandering and limit the power of monopolies, respectively. [The Post]
  • The Post also reported that Athens County voters overwhelmingly rejected Issue 3, with about 64 percent of residents voting against the issue and about 36 percent voting for it. About 64 percent of Ohio voters voted “no” on the issue. [The Post]
  • The controversial Issue 3 proposed a monopoly for the commercial sale of recreational and medical marijuana in the state. The executive director of ResponsibleOhio, the group behind Issue 3, said the day after the election: “We started the conversation and we’re going to continue the conversation starting tomorrow. The status quo doesn’t work, it’s unacceptable and we’re not going away.” [The New Political]
  • Issue 2 was put on the ballot to specifically target Issue 3 and will still have consequences despite Issue 3’s failure. It states that if any ballot initiative includes a “commercial interest,” or is otherwise deemed a monopoly, voters will have to pass two measures, one to grant an exception and the other on the proposal itself. [The Athens News]
  • Issue 2 passed in the state of Ohio with about 52 percent of the vote to about 48 percent. Of Ohio’s 88 counties, Athens was one of 16 that rejected Issue 2, with a vote of 53.46 percent against the issue. [The Athens News]
  • Ohio and Athens County voters passed Issue 1, which will amend the Ohio Constitution in an effort to prevent gerrymandering, or the partisan drawing legislative districts. It will create a bipartisan redistricting commission with seven members, two of which must be from the minority party in the state. [The Post]
  • Finally, here’s WOUB’s Election Night Special Report that focused on the election’s state issues. [WOUB]