Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper slurred her words and rambled on for long stretches of time in an incoherent fashion during last night’s commission meeting.
Commissioner Michele Lazarow eventually called Cooper out for her actions.
“You’re an embarrassment mayor,” Lazarow said. “You don’t know where to put a period.”
Lazarow later told a Local 10 reporter that she thought Cooper was “on something” and that she may inform Gov Rick Scott of the incident.
Under Florida law, the governor has the power to suspend local government officials.
Cooper told Local 10 that she wasn’t on drugs or intoxicated. She claims that her actions were due to her feeling sick after a trip to Mexico.
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By Max Littman
The 2015 College Bowl Season kicks off on Saturday, December 19th.
Here’s a preview of every bowl game today so you know what to watch and what to expect.
Atlanta, Georgia 12:00 EST December 19th, 2015.
Alcorn State (9-3) vs.
North Carolina A&T (9-2)
This year marks the inaugural year of the Celebration Bowl and pits two premier FCS teams against each other. Alcorn State, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Champions, will face off against North Carolina A&T, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions.
Although both relatively unknown teams, both have performed admirably year and figure to be around the same skill level.
Both lost to ranked FBS teams by large margins at the beginning of the season with North Carolina A&T dropping to then #10 North Carolina 53-14 and Alcorn State dropping to then #16 Georgia Tech 69-6.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 2pm EST December 19th, 2015.
Arizona (6-6) vs.
New Mexico (7-5)
Arizona, coming off a grueling Pac-12 schedule, is favored to take this game against the home-town team, the New Mexico Lobos. Arizona is coming off a season where they lost against 2 top-25 teams, UCLA and Stanford, while also dropping to 4 other Pac-12 teams. The brightest spot for Arizona was their defeat of then #10 Utah at home 37-30.
The Wildcats are led by the return of junior linebacker, and All-American, Scooby Wright III who missed most of this past season with various injuries. He’ll be looking to stop New Mexico’s explosive tandem of running backs Teryion Gipson and Jhurell Pressley and quarterback Lamar Jordan who all very successfully ran New Mexico’s triple option offense.
The trio and the rest of New Mexico’s offense averaged a respectable 29 points a game, albeit against a schedule consisting of only one Power-5 team, Arizona State, which resulted in a 34-10 loss. New Mexico does have home-field advantage, which could help them pull of the upset.
Las Vegas, Nevada 3:30pm EST December 19th, 2015.
BYU (9-3) vs.
The Utes and the Cougars had very similar 2015 seasons, which each finding success through stretches of the season but struggling at times. After losing to then #10 UCLA and Michigan, BYU won 7 of their last 8 games to finish as the second best independent football team in the FBS.
Utah on the other hand started out hot, beating a very good Michigan team, and went on to win 8 of their 9 first games.
The team though seemed to collapse near the end of the season, losing to UCLA and Arizona, before finally finishing off their season with a win against Colorado. Although on paper it’s a very evenly matched game, BYU may be in disarray during the game because it will be their coach, Bronco Mendenhall’s final game with BYU before he leaves to take the head coaching job at Virginia.
Adding intrigue to this game is the in-state rivalry between the two teams.
Montgomery, Alabama 5:30pm EST December 19th, 2015.
Ohio (8-4) vs.
Appalachian State (10-2)
This year’s Camellia bowl pits two relatively under-the-radar, yet potentially explosive teams against each other. Appalachian State is led by their excellent running game, 6th in the nation with 268 yards per game- and will look to match-up very favorably against a weaker Ohio defense. Appalachian State’s only losses came against Clemson and a disappointing loss to Arkansas St.
Without the loss to Arkansas State this team could have been an outside choice for a New Year’s 6 bowl game. Regardless their excellent run game and defense could be too much to handle for Ohio, who after a rough middle of the season looks to be on their way back.
Ohio finished second in the Eastern Division of the Mid-American Conference after a bumpy middle of the season capitalized by a blowout loss 62-24 to eventual MAC champions, Bowling Green St. Despite being heavy underdogs in this game they will rely on their quarterback Derrius Vick and their excellent wide receiver Sebastian Smith to lead them to an upset victory.
Orlando, Florida 7:00pm EST December 19th, 2015.
San Jose State (5-7) vs.
Georgia State (6-6)
The Cure Bowl this year features two lower caliber teams.
San Jose State is even lucky to be even going bowling after they only won 5 games in the 2015 campaign. Due to a massive amount of bowls and too few 6 win bowl-eligible teams this year, San Jose State was awarded a bowl bid due to their academic performance rating.
With their wins coming against New Hampshire, Fresno State, UNLV, New Mexico, and Hawaii they look to be one of the weakest teams in a bowl game this year. One of their few bright spots though is their running back, Tyler Ervin, who has 1,469 yards and and 13 td’s this year in an excellent showing.
San Jose State will be going up against a Georgia State team who became bowl eligible after winning their last four games behind their fantastic passing game. Their quarterback, Nick Arbuckle, is ranked 6th in the country for passing yards, amassing a very formidable 4,160 through the air this season.
Arbuckle’s favorite target is wide receiver Penny Hart. Hart has also excelled this year and is currently 22nd in the country with 1,095 yards on 71 receptions. This high-powered offense will be looking to blow away San Jose State’s defense in what could be a blowout game.
New Orleans, LA 9:00pm EST December 19th, 2015.
Louisiana Tech (8-4) vs.
Arkansas State (9-3)
The home-state favorites Louisiana Tech look to prove themselves in this year’s New Orleans bowl against Sunbelt Conference Champions Arkansas State.
Louisiana Tech is led by former Florida quarterback, senior Jeff Driskel.
Driskel and his best receiver, Trent Taylor, have had a terrific year and lead the 15th best passing game in the nation. The Bulldogs’ defense though will almost assuredly have their hands full with a high powered Arkansas State squad who averages a very high 41 points per game.
Much of Arkansas State’s offensive production comes behind a very formidable rushing attack led by, Michael Gordon.
Arkansas State captured their conference with a big win over Appalachian State, and all three of their losses have come against teams who have been ranked at some point this season in USC, Mizzou, and Toledo. Since their loss to Toledo, they have won 8 games straight and finished undefeated in Sunbelt Conference play.
Louisiana Tech on the other hand has played a much lighter schedule and lost their season finale 58-24 to Southern Mississippi. The home-state team will have a lot to prove in what should be an offensive shootout in the swamp.
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Congresswoman Corrine Brown, a long serving Democratic member of the US House didn’t vote to extend federal benefits to the spouses of LGBT couples last Thursday.
In a shocking move first reported by Politico, Brown reversed course on her previous support of an amendment that according to the Human Rights Campaign would “correct outdated language” in statutes that define spouses as a member of the “opposite sex”.
The proposed amendment- the Veteran Spouses Equal Treatment Act was proposed by Dina Titus (D-NV) and was designed to allow same-sex spouses of military veterans to receive benefits entitled to them under federal law.
“This amendment would take a critical step in ensuring in statute that the voices of LGBT veterans are consistently heard and ensure the LGBT community is represented when addressing the issues that affect minority veterans,” a statement from the Human Rights Campaign said.
Brown, the ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee voted present when the amendment came to a vote.
“I never question someone’s motives for how they vote, but what upset us is, one, she changed her vote and second, she didn’t let us know and she is our leader,” Titus was quoted by Politico as saying about Brown. “We’re talking about a number of options….We’re going to do something. We want to hear her explanation and we want her to hear why we are upset. It was really disappointing.”
While Brown’s vote didn’t impact the outcome of the failure of the amendment to pass (12 of the 14 Republicans on the committee voted against it), it has sparked questions about her motivations and whether it is due to her positioning for the 2016 election- when she is expected to compete in a more conservative district.
Twitter was not pleased with the Congresswoman after the vote.
Shame on Corrine Brown. Democrats fume at fellow Democrat over same-sex benefits vote http://t.co/6kLlhLeoKh
— John B. Dorris, Esq. (@SciFi_TriGuy) September 20, 2015
@RepCorrineBrown a disgraceful Democrat who proves her self-interest is bigger than her constituents. Shame on you! Time for a new Dem!
— thebwein (@thebwein) September 20, 2015
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By Jack Cahn
Noticeably missing from ballot lists, however, are the millennials.
This isn’t due to lack of interest. Daniel Hernandez, 24, a Tuscon school board member who President Obama called a “hero”, attempted to run for the Arizona State Senate in 2014, but was denied because of his age.
Likewise, on the federal level, the constitution restricts those under 35, 30, and 25 from running for the presidency, Senate, and House, respectively.
In 2016 more than ever, these restrictions seem arbitrary and unfair. At a time in which young people have taken up roles as leading surgeons, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, the notion that they lack the maturity to run for political office is unreasonable.
And in an election in which the inflammatory Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President and a convicted felon appeared on the Texas Democratic primary ballot, it is hard to argue that young people are uniquely immature compared to older candidates as to be banned from running for office.
Disqualifying candidates from public office without just basis threatens the foundations of our democracy and our value of free and fair elections.
For this reason alone, our government ought to amend the constitution to allow younger legislators to run for office, as a recent White House petition, which has garnered a few thousand signatures, advocates.
Doing so would be beneficial to our democracy for three additional reasons:
Better Representation: As of the 2010 census, 10 percent of Americans were 18 to 24, and almost a third were 18 to 34.
These young Americans deserve representation and are arguably better represented by those who share their backgrounds and perspectives.
Certainly, if younger politicians were allowed to run for office, millennial issues such as college debt reform, gun reform, and the war on drugs would be considered less fringe and more mainstream.
Less Political Opportunism: In recent years, opportunistic politicians have supported policies that help older generations, their primary voter base, at the expense of young voters, who tend to vote less frequentely.
These policies have included budget deficits that invariably saddle future generations with debt, irresponsible environmental policies that will leave millennials and their children with polluted air, water, and cities, and lack of investment in education or dedication to affordable college.
Allowing younger Americans to run for office will guarantee a group of legislators committed to the welfare of America’s future, not just its present.
Diversity of Perspectives: The latest research in management shows unequivocally that a diversity of perspectives improves decision-making.
Yet Congress is one of the least diverse governmental bodies with far less female representation than peer countries, and only a few millennial leaders.
Allowing those over the age of 18 to run for higher office would contribute to a more diverse set of elected officials and promote better policy-making in Washington.
Internationally, the practice of allowing young people to run for political office is widespread.
In Canada, Pierre-Luc Dusseault was elected as a Member of Parliament at the age of 19. Likewise, Wyatt Roy would have been ineligible to run for Congress had he been an American, but ran successfully to be an MP in Australia when he was 20.
In Sweden and Uganda, Anton Amade Abele and Proscovia Alengot Oromait became MPs at 18 and 19, respectively.
Likewise, 18-year-olds are eligible to run for mayor of New York City and other US cities including Holyoke, Massachusetts, where 22-year-old Alex Morse became mayor in 2013.
None of these cities have fallen apart as millennial detractors would have predicted.
Nor have these politicians seen any major controversy over poor decision-making.
On the contrary, young, local politicians like Syosset, New York’s Josh Lafanzan have been commended for their hard work and entrepreneurial approaches to policy-making.
The disenfranchisement of young people, then, is rooted more in fear than reality.
Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein is the perfect example of this fear.
In his book The Dumbest Generation, Bauerlein joins academics and pundits in painting a picture of young, self-centered egotists who will be this country’s demise.
This fear and pessimism couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Millennials are on their way to becoming the most educated generation in American history, and have proven themselves as leaders in academia and industry.
In Silicon Valley, they have disrupted businesses on Wall Street and Main Street, improving communication, healthcare, and technology.
Washington would be next up for reform if only young people could run for office; our country already has a backbench of young leaders from Arizona’s Daniel Hernandez to West Virginia’s Saira Blair who are brave, radical, and realistic enough to contribute to solving America’s toughest challenges in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
But they are being blocked from disrupting Washington by the same stagnancy and resistance to change that has incited anger and fueled political outsiders.
In this time of great global uncertainty, voters ought to rally against this government stagnancy and fight to allow younger politicians to run for office so that the group of those who will shape our future includes those who will live it.
Jack Cahn is the co-author of When Millennials Rule, and has served as a national leader of the Junior State of America, a civic activism organization with 10,000 members and 500k alumni. He was awarded the Scholastic National Gold Medal for Persuasive Writing in 2014.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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