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Mitch McConnell cancels Senate’s August recess

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters after the weekly Republican policy luncheon.

His move could have major consequences for the midterms.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did what many in his role have long threatened to do: He decided to keep senators and their staff in Washington by canceling the Senate’s August recess.

Well, part of it, anyway.

Citing “historic obstruction” by the Democrats, McConnell announced that the Senate — which was expected to take off from August 3 to Labor Day — would now be in session for much of that time to address a backlog of appropriations bills and presidential nominees. (Lawmakers will still get a break the week of August 6, giving them an opportunity to reconnect with constituents, campaign, or just go on vacation.)

Conservative lawmakers including Sens. David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) have long been among those pushing for McConnell to pull the plug on recess as part of their #MakeCongressWorkAgain initiative.

“It is time to drain the swamp, and we help do that by keeping the pumps running in August,” Daines said in a May statement.

Outstanding bills the Senate needs to approve include the National Defense Authorization Act, the farm bill, and the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, a McConnell spokesperson told the Hill.

McConnell’s decision could also have a consequential impact on the midterms. By keeping incumbent senators tied to Washington, the majority leader forces vulnerable Democrats — and Republicans — to reconfigure their campaign schedules, or weigh the consequences of skipping out on work.

Of course, it’s possible this cancellation, and its ensuing Catch-22, won’t even materialize. This isn’t the first time the majority leader has tried to mess with recess, after all. Last year, McConnell announced a two-week delay of the start of August recess in an effort to give lawmakers more time to chip away at a Senate health care bill.

The bill was ultimately defeated before recess was even scheduled to begin, and the summer break went on as originally planned.

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deezil
14 days ago
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HISTORIC OBSTRUCTION? YOU MOTHERFUCKER. YOU OBSTRUCTED A CHOICE FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE FOR A YEAR. YOU'RE A SLIMY PRICK.
Louisville, Kentucky
skorgu
14 days ago
Remember, getting that reaction is half the point.
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If You Think You Want a Costco Membership, Today's the Day to Get One

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If you have any inkling that you might want a Costco membership, there’s never been a better time to join. For a limited time, Living Social’s offering Gold Star memberships for their standard price of $60, but throwing in all of the following:

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deezil
14 days ago
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I started my love affair with Costco with one of these deals.
Louisville, Kentucky
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UFC Fighter Somehow Accidentally Knocks Himself Out

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Jarrod “The Monkey God” Brooks lost his second UFC fight tonight because, well, he picked his opponent up and then fell on his head. Brooks was giving UFC debutante Jose Torres the business until the bizarre end to the fight. It was scored as a TKO win for Torres, who explained afterwards that he was trying to…

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deezil
18 days ago
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DEEBO, YOU GOT KNOCKED THAFUKOUT.
Louisville, Kentucky
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20180531

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deezil
19 days ago
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Louisville, Kentucky
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'Stop This BLATANT CENSORSHIP': The Poor, Confused Souls Sending Their YouTube Complaints to the FCC

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees telecommunications like radio, TV, and the internet in the U.S., doesn’t regulate content on online platforms like YouTube. But that hasn’t stopped people from sending complaints about the video site to the federal agency—and they’re every bit as unhinged as…

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deezil
27 days ago
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*laughs forever*
Louisville, Kentucky
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A teacher claims he was fired for his sexuality in federal discrimination lawsuit

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A Kentucky middle school chorus teacher came out as bisexual on Instagram in the spring of last year. A month later, he lost his job. Now he’s bringing a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education.

The teacher, Nicholas Breiner, who taught at McNabb Middle School, said he came out on Instagram because he wanted to support students in the LGBTQ community who he knew had been suicidal. On May 3, he filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Kentucky.

“I felt that they needed to know there was someone in the room that understood and supported them, regardless of who they were. As terrifying as it was to admit, I had to value someone else’s well-being over my own privacy,” his Instagram read, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

Breiner told the Lexington Herald Leader that he had “personally intervened on several suicide cases” and that the “vast majority of the attempts were from LGBTQ students.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, LGB high school students consider suicide at almost three times the rate of straight students and are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide.

Three days after his social media post, Breiner was told to meet with Deputy Superintendent Rick Culross, who questioned him about his sexual orientation, according to the complaint. After the meeting, Breiner says he experienced “disparate terms of the condition of his employment, including but not limited to being called into unscheduled meetings, accused of violating policy not associated with the plaintiff, harassing phone calls during class and unfavorable evaluation.”

A month later, Breiner had been “pink slipped.” The middle school principal told Breiner that the reason behind not renewing his contract was budget constraints. In June 2017, he learned that a straight woman was teaching in his previous position.

Last June, Montgomery County Superintendent Matthew Thompson told the Lexington Herald Leader that the decision not to renew his contract was not connected to his coming out as bisexual.

Parents and students who were angry about the decision protested in front of the county courthouse that same month.

“We all really feel that it comes down to his sexuality, and that’s a load of crap. He’s a great educator. There were several parents who showed up with their kids. Several past students,” one parent, Megan Johnson, told the Lexington Herald Leader.

In addition to this lawsuit, Breiner filed a similar suit against the board of education in Montgomery Circuit Court.

The case is similar to the story of a Texas elementary school art teacher’s suspension. The art teacher, Stacy Bailey, who won two Teacher of the Year awards at the school, was placed on leave in September of last year after at least one parent complained that the teacher mentioned her sexual orientation. Bailey’s lawyer said the teacher simply mentioned her wife. The Dallas Morning News reported that parents and teachers were determined to find out more information about why she was no longer in the classroom.

In March, the school district said she refused “to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversations with students.” The district added that “parents have the right to control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual orientation, etc.”

The school district recently voted to renew her contract, but she received notice that she was being reassigned to a local high school rather than the elementary school she taught at for a decade, according to BuzzFeed. This week, she filed a federal lawsuit against the district for discrimination.

And there have been other recent cases of schools reacting similarly to LGBTQ teachers and teachers discussing issues affecting LGBTQ students in class. Last year, Jocelyn Morffi, a Catholic school teacher, was fired after marrying her partner. A New York teacher was suspended after parents complained about handouts on sexuality and gender.

Martha Harvey, president and CEO of the Pride Center of the Capital Region, told the Post Star that transgender students are “coming out younger and younger” and that the education the teacher provided in the handouts is necessary.

“If you love your kids, you want them to have the most information possible,” she told the Post Star. “If a parent has a problem with this presentation, that’s the parent’s problem. This program saves lives.”




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deezil
39 days ago
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I want my state to be better. This will not happen.

For others coming across my comment and needing context, this is in a mostly-rural, extremely conservative part of the state. This is still a place where you not going to church or not going to the "right" church will get you ostracized socially. This teacher probably already had one strike against him because he fell afoul of that, and this is the second, and fatal strike. The rest of it is smoke and mirrors to play a big game of CYA.
Louisville, Kentucky
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