Manchineel AN-54 - History

Manchineel AN-54 - History

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A poisonous tropical American tree of the spurge family of shrubby plants having a blistering milky juice and apple-shaped fruit; from diminutive of 'Spanish manzana meaning "apple."

(AN-54: dp. 1,460 (lim.) ; 1. 194'6"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'6" (lim.) ; s. 12.1 k.; cpl. 56; a. 13", 3 20mm.)

YN-73, originally named Sumac, was renamed Manchinect 3 April 1943; laid down 8 June 1943 by PollockStockton Shipbuilding Co.. Stockton, Calif.; launched 1 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Warren Atherton; redesignated AN-54 20 January 1944; and commissioned 26 April 1944, Lt. William B. Brown, USNR, in command.

Following shakedown off San Pedro, Calif., Manchineel departed 22 June for the South Pacific, arriving Pearl Harbor I July. She operated off Pearl Harbor until 5 September when she sailed for the Marshalls, arriving at Majuro Atoll the 15th. After removing the nets around the atoll, Manchineel continued on to Kwajalein 22 September, arriving 4 days later for net-tending duties until 20 May 1945.

The net-laying ship then steamed for the Gilbert Island.,;, arriving Tarawa 23 May to pick up six pontoon barges for tow to Majuro. The trip took 6 long days of retrieving and dragging the water-filled pontoons. Manchineel returned to Kwajalein 2 June to resume net operations.

Except for a week at Eniwetok in July, Manchineel remained in the Kwajalein area through the announcement of Japan's surrender 15 August. On 10 October the ship departed for the west coast via Pearl Harbor, arriving San Francisco 3 November for mooring duty.

Manchineel decommissioned 11 March 1946, was stripped at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, and was struck from the Navy list 12 April. On 18 June 1947 Manchineel was transferred to the Maritime Commission and delivered to Walter H. Wilms following sale 2 days earlier.

54-40 (band)

54-40 (often stylized 54.40) is a Canadian alternative rock group from Tsawwassen, British Columbia. The band take their name from the slogan "54-40 or Fight!", coined to express the unsuccessful expansionist agenda of James K. Polk's presidency, which was intent upon controlling a contested U.S.-Canada border area in the Oregon boundary dispute. 54-40 has had a successful career, with four of their albums being certified Platinum in Canada. The band has been nominated for eight Juno Awards. [1] Between 1996 and 2016, 54-40 were among the top 150 selling Canadian artists in Canada and among the top 50 selling Canadian bands in Canada. [2]

A History of Studio 54, This Time Told by the Quiet Partner

At one point in the new documentary “Studio 54,” Michael Jackson wanders into a television interview that the club’s co-owner Steve Rubell is doing. Asked what it is that he likes about Studio 54, a shockingly relaxed and smiling Jackson says, “I like the atmosphere — the feeling, the excitement.

“It’s where you come when you want to escape. When you dance here, you’re just free.”

As the film shows, though, that sense of freedom came with a cost. Rather than using Studio 54 to tell a more expansive story about the disco movement, the director Matt Tyrnauer looks closely at the nuts and bolts of what it took to create the most famous nightclub in the world and what brought it crashing down.

“Studio 54 is one of those stories everyone thinks they know, but they don’t,” Mr. Tyrnauer said in a telephone interview. “The phenomenon is very different from perception — which is sex, drugs, disco, mountains of cocaine, Liza Minnelli, period.

“For me, this is really an operatic, tragic story of the years ending the sexual revolution. The timing is haunting — Studio was open for 33 months, from April 1977 to January 1980. That 1980 date was also the beginning of the H.I.V./AIDS era, with the first cases surfacing about that time.”

At the heart of “Studio 54” is the partnership of the founders Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, two strivers from Brooklyn who met at Syracuse University and rode the rocket of success before pleading guilty to tax evasion in 1979 and serving 20 months in jail. The film is able to explore the inner workings of the club, and this friendship, because, for the first time, Mr. Schrager speaks at length about his Studio 54 experiences.

“Forty years later, it’s a wound that healed, though I still have the scar,” Mr. Schrager (whose eponymous company now runs dozens of boutique hotels around the world) said in a phone conversation. “I wanted to do something for my family that would really give them an idea what it was like.”

Mr. Tyrnauer, a longtime contributor to Vanity Fair magazine whose documentaries include “Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2009) and this year’s “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” met Mr. Schrager in the 1990s they bonded over a mutual interest in design and architecture. While Mr. Schrager was working on a photo book chronicling the Studio 54 years, he approached Mr. Tyrnauer with the idea of a documentary. “I knew Matt a long time, and I trusted him,” he said. “He’s an honest guy, didn’t have an agenda.”

Mr. Tyrnauer knew that Mr. Schrager had very conflicted feelings about that phase of his life. “This was kind of a reckoning for him with something very important in his life and career, but too hot to touch as a traumatic memory,” he said. “For Ian, it was a flameout — the thing that made him famous also landed him in prison.”

“Studio 54” documents the frantic efforts required for Mr. Rubell and Mr. Schrager to create the glamorous, liberating club of their dreams in an abandoned former opera house turned television studio on crime-ridden West 54th Street. They didn’t have a building permit when they started construction, which was completed in six weeks. Studio 54 had no liquor license when it opened — every day, they would get a temporary catering permit, a stopgap that continued for more than a year, and ultimately set their downfall in motion.


Opening night was a mob scene (“We were actually scared,” Mr. Schrager said, “we had to bring all the security inside out onto the street”), and then it was a matter of constantly scrambling to feed the beast of success. But between the extroverted Mr. Rubell’s cultivation of celebrities and the studious Mr. Schrager’s sense of style and theatricality, they set out to create the perfect party every night.

“It was the most magical club that ever existed,” Nile Rodgers of Chic, disco’s greatest band, said in a telephone interview. “Lots of clubs evoke a certain era — the Cotton Club, the Moulin Rouge, the Copacabana — but none of those did what Studio 54 did, where if you got in, you were a star, not just a person.”

Join Times theater reporter Michael Paulson in conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda, catch a performance from Shakespeare in the Park and more as we explore signs of hope in a changed city. For a year, the “Offstage” series has followed theater through a shutdown. Now we’re looking at its rebound.

First, of course, you had to get in, and the crowd that showed up nightly led to Studio 54’s infamous velvet rope and a highly selective door policy. Mr. Tyrnauer quoted Andy Warhol, a regular at the club, who once said that “Studio 54 is a dictatorship at the door and a democracy on the dance floor.” In the film, the journalist Anthony Haden-Guest, author of “The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night,” describes the expectant, desperate faces of the hordes gathered outside the front door as resembling “the damned looking into paradise.”

That kind of power gave the Studio 54 team a sense of invincibility, an arrogance that antagonized those who didn’t make the inner circle. “After a while, everybody had it in for them,” Mr. Rodgers said, “simply because they wouldn’t let everybody in.”

When Mr. Rubell boasted to New York magazine that “only the mafia does better” than Studio 54, the Internal Revenue Service took the bait, raiding the club in December 1978 and alleging that the owners had skimmed more than $2 million from the profits.

“There was a real backlash against Studio, a groundswell of resentment,” Mr. Schrager said. “We were the poster boy for all that was wrong in the economy, in city life — we got so many people aggravated at us, there was a need to bring it down, a lot of bad karma at the end.”

Mr. Rubell and Mr. Schrager were sentenced to three and a half years, but their time was cut in half after they gave information about the finances of other discos. (Mr. Schrager was granted a pardon last year from President Barack Obama.) In the movie, Mr. Schrager seems more ashamed of this action than of his own crimes, indicating how much it would have disappointed his father — who, we find out, was “Max the Jew,” an associate of the crime kingpin Meyer Lansky.

Mr. Schrager had never spoken about his father before (“That was the biggest shock,” Mr. Rodgers said, “my face dropped when I saw that”), and he is visibly uncomfortable on film discussing this part of his history. It’s indicative of a culture of secrets that Mr. Tyrnauer said characterized the time. He added that Mr. Schrager didn’t even know that Mr. Rubell — with whom he opened the Palladium nightclub and created the boutique hotel category after they got out of jail — was gay until very near his death from complications of AIDS in 1989.

“By today’s standards, you would consider that to be a shocking omission in a close personal relationship,” Mr. Tyrnauer said. “It reminded me that this time is so near and yet so far away.”

Mr. Schrager believes there were two defining events for his generation — Woodstock and Studio 54 — and he invokes Walt Disney and Steve Jobs as kindred creative spirits. “When I went into the hotel world, I knew that you have to create a visceral experience, and I learned that from Studio,” he says. “What distinguishes the product is the magic, the alchemy that happens when you put it together.”

He said, though, that if he were creating Studio 54 again, he would take a different approach to the door policy. “Instead of letting all the celebrities in, I would let the bankers in.”

Toxic Leaves

Every part of the Manchineel tree is toxic. The Toxins include Hippomanin A and B and others are yet to be identified, some are fast acting, as others take their time. The fruit of the tree is greenish yellow and resembles a little apple, is 1 to 2 inches wide. If the fruit is consumed one can expect “hours of agony,” and potentially death after one bite. People who have eaten the tempting fruit is diagnosed with severe stomach and intestinal issues. Symptoms of eating the fruit is abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding and digestive track damage. Death is a risk, but mortality data is scarce.

Burning the wood or bark of the tree can be dangerous because the smoke it toxic, it will burn the skin, eyes, lungs, and blind anyone standing nearby. The tree poses a danger to shade seekers, as standing to close to the tree may cause asphyxiation as a person’s throat closes breathing in the toxic scent of the tree. If its toxin is inhaled or enters the bloodstream death is likely.

The sap is the deadliest element of the tree, one drop can scorch the skin. The sap is white and milky and causes burn like blisters (similar to acid), if it has contact with the skin. The milky sap is found throughout the tree, including in the bark and leaves. People and car paint have been burned, as rain washes away the sap off the branches. The rain provides a trap as beach goers stand below to find shelter from the rain. Symptoms with contact to the sap range from, rash, headache, acute dermatitis, severe breathing problems, and “Temporary painful blindness.” The Machineel tree is appealing and its fruit although extremely poisonous, is sweet and tasty. Everything about the tree is toxic, and will release a toxin, yet the specific toxins found in the sap and fruit remain partially unknown.

  • In the year 2000 radiologist Nicola Strickland, and a friend, took a bite of the green fruit that was lying on the beach in the Caribbean island of Tobago. She described the fruit as “pleasantly sweet,” and juicy, comparing it to the taste of a plum. The sweet taste was followed by a peppery feeling in the mouth. After a few minutes, the burning sensation in mouth began, and gradually progressed to a burning tearing sensation and tightness of throat. Her throat closed so tight she could barely swallow. Pina Colada provided some relief to them, possible because of the milk it contained. Eight hours later their oral symptoms subsided, but their cervical lymph nodes became very tender.

The Manchineel fruit is juicy and tasty. It resembles a little apple, but Beware! One bite can be fatal.

Habitat of the manchineel tree

The Manchineel trees grow in sandy soil along the coast and in mangroves in brackish water and its deep-set roots are excellent for preventing soil erosion. It also serves as an effective windbreak.

Its habitat extends from the Caribbean to Northern, Central, and Southern America. In Florida, you will find the Manchineel in the mangroves of Flamingo in the Everglades National Park and around the Elliott Key and Key Largo islands. It is an endangered tree in the USA as most people would rather eradicate it than have such a toxic neighbour and also on account of rapid habitat loss.

Studio 54 opens in New York City

The crowd outside 254 West 54th Street in New York City on this day in 1927 would have been waiting for the curtain of a Puccini opera. On this day in 1957 or �, they would have been waiting for a filming of an episode of Password or maybe Captain Kangaroo. On April 26 in 1977, however, the crowd gathered outside that Midtown address was waiting and hoping for a chance to enter what would soon become the global epicenter of the disco craze and the most famous nightclub in the world: Studio 54, which opened its doors for the very first time.

The impresarios behind Studio 54 were Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, college roommates at Syracuse University who got into the nightclub business after their first venture, a chain of steak restaurants, failed to flourish. But before taking Manhattan by storm and becoming famous for openly and shamelessly excluding all but the most chic, famous or beautiful patrons from their establishment, Rubell and Schrager were running a far less pretentious operation called the Enchanted Garden in the far reaches of Queens. 

The woman who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for making 54 into the celebrity playground that it became was Carmen D𠆚lessio, a public-relations entrepreneur in the fashion industry, whose Rolodex included names like Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. Her buzz-building turned the grand opening into a major item in the New York gossip columns, and her later efforts—like having Bianca Jagger pose atop a white horse at her 30th birthday party—stoked the public’s fascination with Studio 54 even further. Not just the usual celebrity suspects�tors, models, musicians and athletes𠅋ut also political figures like Margaret Trudeau, Jackie Onassis and, infamously, White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan came out to be seen during the club’s brief heyday.

From a musical standpoint, Studio 54 did not seek to break new ground, but rather to feed its patrons a familiar diet of dance hits. Artists like Grace Jones, Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor all made live appearances there, but Studio 54 belonged to the DJs and to the free entertainment provided by the club’s flamboyant staff and clientele. While disco reigned supreme on the pop charts, Studio 54 reigned supreme among discotheques, enjoying a golden era that lasted from its opening on this day in 1977 to its closing-night party on February 4, 1980𠅊 party called, appropriately enough, “The End of Modern-day Gomorrah.”

Joe Manchin’s filibuster demands might end up making Republican obstruction even worse

By Igor Derysh
Published March 20, 2021 7:00AM (EDT)

Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, gives opening remarks at the confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland, (D-NM) President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, at the U.S. Capitol on February 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Rep. Haaland's opposition to fracking and early endorsement of the Green New Deal has made her one of President Biden's more controversial cabinet nominees. (Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images)


Senate Democrats are pushing to reform the filibuster in response to years of partisan gridlock — but Republicans don't seem overly concerned about the prospect after centrist Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., ruled out key changes that could help advance President Joe Biden's agenda.

Biden for the first time this week supported bringing back a "talking filibuster," which would require senators to continuously speak on the Senate floor to block a vote on a bill. Under current rules, Democrats face a seemingly insurmountable 60-vote threshold in their efforts to pass voting protections and other measures they've long campaigned on.

"I don't think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days. You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking," Biden told ABC News, adding that Senate obstruction is getting to the point where "democracy is having a hard time functioning."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, scoffed at the idea. Graham, who succeeded segregationist Strom Thurmond — best known for his record 24-hour filibuster of the Civil Rights Act — vowed that a return to the "talking filibuster" would not prevent Republicans from blocking bills like the Senate counterpart to H.R. 1, a sweeping election reform package that includes provisions to expand voting rights and codify voter protections, and the Equality Act, which would extend civil rights protections to the LGBTQ+ community.

"I would talk till I fell over to make sure we don't go to ballot harvesting and voting by mail without ID," Graham declared during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday. "I would talk till I fell over to make sure that the Equality Act doesn't become law, destroying the difference between a man and woman in our law."

A growing number of Democrats have called for the outright elimination of the filibuster, with former President Barack Obama calling it a "Jim Crow relic." Progressives have long argued that the 60-vote threshold to invoke cloture and end debate will prevent Congress from passing key legislative priorities, including a federal minimum wage increase. But the issue has taken on additional importance as Democrats attempt to pass two major voting rights bills.

Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., vowed earlier this year that they would oppose any efforts to eliminate the filibuster. But Manchin softened his stance earlier this month, telling NBC News that he would be open to making the filibuster "a little bit more painful" by making senators "stand there and talk."

Manchin's comments sparked optimism among reformers, but political reporters questioned whether a "talking filibuster" would actually help Democrats push through their agenda.

"How does a 'talking filibuster' help anything?" tweeted longtime Capitol Hill reporter John Bresnahan, the co-founder of Punchbowl News. "Depending on how it's structured — the critical question, as with anything Senate-related — a small group of senators could talk for days or even weeks. How does that get reformers any closer? It doesn't."

Politico White House reporter Alex Thompson noted that this is exactly why some Senate Republicans "aren't sweating a potential 'talking filibuster' reform."

There are a number of ways a "talking filibuster" could work in practice and it's unclear which path Senate Democrats will choose. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who has led the fight to reform the filibuster for over a decade, introduced legislation in 2011 that would require senators to actually hold the floor by talking, as in Frank Capra's famous film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," rather than simply threatening to do so. More recently, he has proposed requiring 41 opposing senators to remain on the floor to sustain a filibuster rather than putting the onus on the majority party to break the filibuster. Others have proposed lowering the threshold to break a filibuster, the same way the Senate lowered it from 67 to the current 60.

But Manchin shot down any lower thresholds or 41-senator requirements on Wednesday, telling CNN that he still supports requiring 60 votes to end debate.

Without additional measures in place, filibuster reform could actually result in even more delays and obstruction, at least in the short term, said Molly Reynolds, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

"When you are the majority party, you have lots of things that you want to try to do in the Senate," Reynolds, the author of "Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate," said in an interview with Salon. If Democrats allow a committed minority to hold the floor, "that means that there's other things that you're not doing. You're sucking up Senate floor time at the expense of things that you have to set aside."

This gives Republicans even more reason to stage filibusters, since that could derail not just the bill they are opposing but subsequent legislation as well.

"If you're the Republicans, and the Democrats try to do this, you have a really big incentive as the minority party to try and push that first use of the talking filibuster as far as you can," Reynolds said. "Whatever that first issue is, Republicans have a huge incentive to really dig in and demonstrate that it's not feasible."

Even if Democrats agree to Merkley's proposal to require 41 senators on the floor to sustain a filibuster, it's not clear that would "actually prevent [Republicans] from successful obstruction," Reynolds added. "If the majority party has enough things that it wants to do, or enough competing priorities, it's not willing to give over the Senate forever to the minority to hold the floor and talk and talk and talk."

Adam Jentleson, executive director of the progressive strategy firm Battle Born Collective and former chief of staff to longtime Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, agreed that restoring the talking filibuster "could definitely lead to more grandstanding" but said he was not sure whether grandstanding is "better or worse than no debate at all."

The system in place today allowing senators to derail legislation with just the threat of a filibuster was created in the 1970s in order to stop filibuster delays and allow the Senate to get on with its workload.

"You might have a return to a system where a single filibuster backs up every other piece of business," Jentleson said in an interview with Salon. "That could have a flip effect — to increase the amount of pressure on the people filibustering to stop. If they're going to filibuster until the government shuts down, if they're going to filibuster until funding for critical programs runs out … that's going to increase the amount of pressure on the filibuster to yield."

Graham may be happy to filibuster voting rights until he falls over, Jentleson continued, "but is he going to be happy to filibuster voting rights if that also prevents military appropriations from being renewed?"

Jentleson, the author of "Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy," said there are an "infinite number" of ways to restore the talking filibuster, but that the "important thing to keep in mind is the question of: Is there any mechanism to bring the talking to an end after it's reached a certain point? And how often will it be used?"

When the talking filibuster was used by Southern senators during the Jim Crow era, "it was very effective because Southerners used it as a bloc," he explained. While there are famous examples of individual senators staging marathon talking sessions, these at best delayed legislation by about a day. "What makes it really effective is when a group of senators coordinate with each other to keep it going in perpetuity," he said.

But Southern senators primarily deployed the filibuster against civil rights bills, meaning it wasn't used often, Jentleson added. Things could be quite different in the hyper-partisan atmosphere of Washington in the 2020s.

"Presumably Republicans would be using this against everything, or at least all of Democrats' major priorities. You could see them using it against infrastructure or the Equality Act, voting rights, the Dream Act, any number of things," he said. "So it is a big unknown whether you can sustain a talking filibuster indefinitely, all the time. It's one thing to do it against one single bill, one time per session or once every few years. It will be quite another to have to sustain this basically all the time."

Jentleson argued that Manchin's opposition to certain measures should be taken with a "grain of salt," given that he's already shifted on the issue.

"My boss, Sen. Reid, swore up and down that he was never going to go nuclear and then he did," he said.

Reid has since called for the outright elimination of the filibuster, which was created by accident in 1806 and wasn't widely used until the Civil War era. Jentleson was referring to Reid's 2013 decision to use the "nuclear option" to eliminate the 60-vote threshold on executive branch and non-Supreme Court judicial nominees. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did the same thing in 2017 to speed up Donald Trump's Supreme Court appointments, and in 2019 limited debate time from 30 hours to two hours to further speed up Trump's lower court nominees. An analysis by Reynolds found that Senate rules have been changed to limit the use of the filibuster more than 150 times.

"What we've generally seen is a slow chipping away at the filibuster," Reynolds said. That suggests that whatever Democrats do next is not likely to be the final step.

"If Democrats implement this reform and it doesn't work well enough, they can always do more," Jentleson said. "There's no expiration date on your ability to pass further reforms." In fact, once "you've made that initial reform, you're heavily invested in actually getting to a place where it works."

There are several other reforms that can help Democrats advance important legislation. Newly-elected Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., has proposed exempting voting rights bills from the filibuster, though Manchin quickly shot down that idea. Another potential reform, not directly related to the filibuster is the elimination of the Byrd Rule, which bans certain non-budgetary measures from being included in the reconciliation process and effectively killed the federal minimum wage increase in Biden's initial pandemic relief proposal.

Manchin and Sinema have rejected the idea of scrapping the Byrd rule, and they are not the only centrist Democrats standing in the way of more effective reform. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Angus King, I-Maine, have also opposed or expressed reluctance toward scrapping the 60-vote threshold.

McConnell further tried to stoke concerns about the filibuster last Tuesday, threatening a "scorched earth Senate" if Democrats move forward with filibuster reform and warning that "even the most basic aspects of our colleagues' agenda, the most mundane task of the Biden presidency, would actually be harder not easier." He has previously threatened to ram through numerous Republican priorities with a simple majority if his party regains control of the Senate.

"That's something that we have to take very seriously, but you can't let the threat of possible future bad stuff prevent you from doing good stuff when you have the power to do it," Jentleson said. "By any measure, Democrats will come out well ahead, because we are the party that wants to enact progressive change and Republicans are the party that wants to stop stuff. We simply have more things that we can get passed in the next two years that will move the ball down the field and provide us a lot of insurance against the bad things Republicans might possibly do in the future."

Reynolds agreed that there is "increasing asymmetry between the share of the Democratic agenda that can get done with the filibuster, versus the share of the Republican agenda that can get done with the filibuster in place.

"One of the things we saw during the Trump administration is that Republicans in the Senate had two top priorities: confirming federal judges and passing tax cuts," she said. "They could do both of those things without the threat of a filibuster."

Democrats were able to include many of their priorities in the budget reconciliation used to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, but ran into limitations on the process when it came to the minimum wage and other matters.

"You can do a lot of things through reconciliation but you can't do everything," Reynolds said. "There are things that are really important to Democrats that they can't get done with the filibuster in place."

That imbalance could build support among Democrats to eliminate the filibuster entirely, if Republican obstruction on a particular issue gets to a "where the votes are there" but the majority party faces "a more sustained period of frustration," she added. "If there's something that Democrats are really committed to trying to get done, and are unified around getting that thing done and have felt sufficiently frustrated by Republicans, those are the stars that need to align in order to get a majority to change the way the Senate works."

That issue could well turn out to be voting rights, as Democrats push to pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which among other things would reinstate the provision of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of racial discrimination to pre-clear any electoral changes with the Justice Department.

It was the urgency of that issue that apparently prompted Obama's change of heart on the filibuster. "If all this takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do," he said while paying tribute to late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

Reynolds said the issue makes the elimination of the filibuster "more likely now than I thought it was two years ago." The issue has only grown in importance against the backdrop of hundreds of proposed voting restrictions introduced by Republicans in more than 40 states in response unfounded fears of voter fraud stoked by Trump's lies about the 2020 election.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., vowed that opposition from centrist Democrats would not prevent Congress from passing critical voting rights protections amid a wave of Republican restrictions that disproportionately target Black voters.

"There's no way under the sun that in 2021 that we are going to allow the filibuster to be used to deny voting rights. That just ain't gonna happen. That would be catastrophic," he told The Guardian. "If Manchin and Sinema enjoy being in the majority, they had better figure out a way to get around the filibuster when it comes to voting and civil rights."

Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

U.S. Senate


Manchin was assigned to the following committees: [Source]


At the beginning of the 115th Congress, Manchin was assigned to the following committees: Β]


Manchin served on the following committees: Γ]


Manchin served on the following Senate committees: Δ]

    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
    • Subcommittee on Airland
    • Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development
    • Subcommittee on Economic Policy
    • Subcommittee on Water and Power
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on Energy


    Manchin served on the following Senate committees: Ε]

      • Subcommittee on Energy
      • Subcommittee on National Parks
      • Subcommittee on Water and Power
      • Subcommittee on Air and Land
      • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support

      Flashback Friday: Omaha’s Bus Boycott of 1952-54

      Years before the famous Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955-56, a group of Omahans led a bus boycott of their own. In this case, the target was the Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway Company (O&CB), which refused to hire black bus drivers. The story is part of “Mildred Brown and the De Porres Club: Collective Activism in Omaha, Nebraska’s, Near North Side, 1947-1960” by Amy Helene Forss.

      Mildred Brown (1905-1989) was the co-founder and publisher of the Omaha Star newspaper, which serves Omaha’s black community. In the 1940s and ’50s, Brown used her newspaper to challenge discrimination. She was also involved with a local group called the De Porres Club, organized by the Rev. John Markoe, S.J., a Catholic priest with a passion for civil rights. The bus boycott was but one of many initiatives led by the De Porres Club in those years.

      When challenged, O&CB used stereotypical rhetoric, saying “No white woman would be safe on a street car if there was a black [man] driving.”

      "The club printed and distributed pamphlets, and the Star provided irate readers with the home addresses and phone numbers of the company’s officials,” Forss writes, describing the strategy that Brown devised nearly four years before the famous Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott:

      As a De Porres Club Street Railway committee member, Brown instructed her readers, “Don’t ride Omaha’s buses or streetcars. If you must ride, protest by using 18 pennies.” De Porres Club leaflets repeated her words the club’s FBI file still contains a copy of the flyer. The club advised local merchants to stockpile pennies to aid the protestors.

      As the boycott — or what ministerial activists in Philadelphia later dubbed “selective patronage”— stretched into its second year, Brown asked her subscribers to donate money to the cause. “It is obvious that we are gauged for a long campaign. A campaign of which can be won only through much hard work, planning, and finance of which must come from the Near North Side Citizenry.” In a grassroots tactic used later in Montgomery, De Porres Club participants organized carpools to keep black Omahans off the buses. Realizing the importance of communication during the boycott, Brown kept readers updated by printing the club’s daily activities.

      While the Omaha protesters didn't face the level of violence experienced by their Southern counterparts, challenging the system had its costs. Brown risked bankruptcy by angering white-owned businesses whose advertising dollars she needed, Fr. Markoe was ostracized by many of his fellow priests, and De Porres Club members found themselves labeled communists by local officials and investigated by the FBI. But the boycott was a success. After more than two years, O&CB dropped its discriminatory policy and began hiring black drivers. Many other Omaha businesses still refused to hire African Americans, but the victory was another step on a long journey.

      Manchineel AN-54 - History

      The Calusa (kah LOOS ah) lived on the sandy shores of the southwest coast of Florida. These Indians controlled most of south Florida. The population of this tribe may have reached as many as 50,000 people. The Calusa men were tall and well built with long hair. Calusa means "fierce people," and they were described as a fierce, war-like people. Many smaller tribes were constantly watching for these marauding warriors. The first Spanish explorers found that these Indians were not very friendly. The explorers soon became the targets of the Calusa attacks. This tribe was the first one that the Spanish explorers wrote home about in 1513.

      How the Calusa Lived

      The Calusa lived on the coast and along the inner waterways. They built their homes on stilts and wove Palmetto leaves to fashion roofs, but they didn't construct any walls.

      The Calusa Indians did not farm like the other Indian tribes in Florida. Instead, they fished for food on the coast, bays, rivers, and waterways. The men and boys of the tribe made nets from palm tree webbing to catch mullet, pinfish, pigfish, and catfish. They used spears to catch eels and turtles. They made fish bone arrowheads to hunt for animals such as deer. The women and children learned to catch shellfish like conchs, crabs, clams, lobsters, and oysters.

      The Calusa as Shell Indians

      The Calusa are considered to be the first "shell collectors." Shells were discarded into huge heaps. Unlike other Indian tribes, the Calusa did not make many pottery items. They used the shells for tools, utensils, jewelry, and ornaments for their shrines. Shell spears were made for fishing and hunting.

      Shell mounds can still be found today in many parts of southern Florida. Environmentalists and conservation groups protect many of these remaining shell mounds. One shell mound site is Mound Key at Estero Bay in Lee County. Its construction is made entirely of shells and clay. This site is believed to be the chief town of the Calusa, where the leader of the tribe, Chief Carlos lived.

      Archaeologists have excavated many of these mounds to learn more about these extinct people. Artifacts such as shell tools, weapons, and ornaments are on display in many Florida history museums.

      The Calusa as Sailors

      Living and surviving on the coast caused the tribesmen to become great sailors. They defended their land against other smaller tribes and European explorers that were traveling by water. The Calooshahatchee River, which means "River of the Calusa," was their main waterway.

      They traveled by dugout canoes, which were made from hollowed-out cypress logs approximately 15 feet long. They used these canoes to travel as far as Cuba. Explorers reported that the Calusa attacked their ships that were anchored close to shore. The Calusa were also known to sail up and down the west coast salvaging the wealth from shipwrecks.

      What Happened to the Calusa?

      What happened to these fierce sailing Indians? The Calusa tribe died out in the late 1700s. Enemy Indian tribes from Georgia and South Carolina began raiding the Calusa territory. Many Calusa were captured and sold as slaves.

      In addition, diseases such as smallpox and measles were brought into the area from the Spanish and French explorers and these diseases wiped out entire villages. It is believed that the few remaining Calusa Indians left for Cuba when the Spanish turned Florida over to the British in 1763.

      Watch the video: Worlds Most Dangerous Tree - The Manchineel