Thursday Morning Open Thread: Sail On, Sail On, O Mighty Ship of State!

Longfellow published the poem quoted in Cohen’s song in 1849, another bad divided era of American history. We survived the inevitable conflict that was brewing then, and if we have the same courage and dedication, we’ll survive this one as well. (Hopefully with less bloodshed, since we’ve got that earlier example to remind us.)

From the Washington Post, “Sharice Davids, who sees past discrimination as her asset, could become the first gay Native American in Congress”:

If elected in November, she would be the first gay Native American to claim a seat in the Capitol’s chambers. She would also become the first openly gay person to represent Kansas in federal office and possibly one of the first two Native American women to enter Congress. Deb Haaland, a Democratic nominee in New Mexico, is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe; Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.

The history-making potential of Davids’s candidacy is not the focal point of her pitch to voters. After all, this is Kansas, where only a slim majority of people said they supported same-sex marriage in polling conducted last year.

“I definitely think there are quite a few people who are excited about that, but the thing I hear more often is that people are excited about electing someone who just has a shared experience,” Davids, 38, said, still basking in her victory in last week’s six-way primary…

Enumerating the experiences she shares with Kansans, Davids described being raised by a single mother, being first in her family to attend university, starting out at community college and having to work while in school, whether as a carhop at a Sonic Drive-In or as a bartender at a Marriott.

At first, she didn’t even note her sexual orientation — the reason, said Brett Hoedl, chairman of the Kansas City Metro chapter of Equality Kansas, that so many gay voters placed their trust in her.

“It’s one thing to fight for someone else’s rights versus having someone who has experienced discrimination or experienced the issues that the LGBT community has faced,” Hoedl said. This desire, to have someone of your identity representing you, is driving a surge of gay candidates seeking office this year, just as it’s driving a surge of female and Muslim candidates, he said. “When you look at the rhetoric coming out of this administration, and some of the policies getting rolled back,” he said, “there’s a need to actually have these folks in office.”…

At the beginning of the year, when Davids looked at the slate of candidates vying to take on Yoder — a fellow attorney who was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2002, the same year he earned his law degree — she wasn’t satisfied, she said. There was no woman in the race, for one. “I remember looking around and thinking, ‘who is a strong woman who could get into this race?’ I felt like since I was asking the question, I should be part of the solution.”…

Goal Thermometer



Not-Election-Results Open Thread: Go, Robotics Team Naatsis’aan!

ELECTION RESULTS DISCUSSION, GO DOWN ONE POST. This is for all the *other* comments, which are not election-related, because this is a full-service blog &etc.

Thought about saving this for tomorrow dawn, but wottahell, we could all use some positivity right now. From the AP, “Navajo robotics team heads to international competition”:

A team of Navajo high school students from a remote town in southern Utah is building a robot to represent North America in an international robotics competition.

The teenagers have worked all summer on the project, scheduling meetings between long drives to jobs far from the red rock and sage country of Navajo Mountain, where there is little paid work, said teacher Heather Anderson.

The team was specially invited to compete in the First Global Challenge that starts Aug. 14 in Mexico City. Teams from more than 190 countries will create robots for energy generation, especially renewable power. Teams hail from countries ranging from Congo to Ukraine, and also include separate teams representing specifically the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Team Naatsis’aan, a Navajo name that translates to Navajo Mountain, has been competing for two years in Utah and ranks among the best in the state at that level, said Chelsey Short, the regional director for FIRST Robotics. They got started after an Australian team reached out online and supportive coaches kept it going, but sustaining the program at a high school with a total of 30 students has been challenging…

Team member Jason Slender, 16, said he grew up repairing laptops and phones, skills that came in handy when it comes to building robots. “The best part was brainstorming how we should design the robot, and managing to all agree on one,” he said Tuesday. He’s taking his first plane ride for the event.

Each of the teams heading to Mexico City is building a robot capable of feeding power plants to scale and an efficient transmission network. The Navajo team will have to work in alliances with other teams to score points in the challenge organized by the robotics nonprofit First Global. Since they speak different languages, they’ll use a system of hand gestures to communicate, Bitsinnie said…



Readership Capture Open Thread: Chicago Edition



Friday Morning Open Thread

Speaking of Sharice Davids, and with gratitude to DougJ:

Goal Thermometer



Wednesday Morning Open Thread


 
And yet, we go on…



Local Races: Okay, I’m On #TeamSharice!

The Kansan commentors who responded to my post yesterday — all three of them — were uniformly positive, so I happily chipped in for her campaign.

I’ve asked DougJ to set up one of his patented Balloon Juice widgets for her, but until he can find the time in his busy life, here’s her ActBlue page.

One more Kansas native speaks up:



Monday Morning Open Thread: Good Cop / Lousy Cop


 
 
Across the aisle…


To be fair, who else could like James Comey as much as James Comey?