Friday, January 20, 2017

Under Fire, House Fails to Pass Vote Gutting Independent Ethics Office; Quietly Passes Similar Rule Instead

Katie Steele
Opinions Editor

On Monday, Dec. 2, Republicans in the House of Representatives secretly voted to markedly restrict the power of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), an independent watchdog which was set up in 2008 after a string of scandals which sent three House members to jail.
 The vote was made in opposition to Republican House leaders Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, who argued against making a maverick ethics change and hoped to push the issue to a later date when a more bipartisan approach would be possible. The move, which would essentially kill the office, was not made public until Monday night. As part of a larger rules package that the House planned to vote on during the next day, the secretive vote and subsequent announcement seemed to leave little room for discussion on the matter.
 But that was not the case. Across the country, offices of Republican representatives who had voted on the measure were flooded with calls from angry constituents, and prominent figures from both parties heavily criticized the move. The OCE has often kept the public aware of alleged wrongdoing by representatives; under the new rule, however, the office would not be allowed to release such information to the media. In fact, it would not even be allowed to directly contact law enforcement if its employees learned of potential criminal activity on the part of representatives.
 As a result of the backlash these House members received—most notably, from President-elect Donald Trump late Tuesday morning—they ultimately scrapped the measure. Trump was credited with much of the responsibility for the reversal, though it’s very likely that the hundreds of thousands of calls placed by constituents and other distinguished officials also played a role. The move was criticized as a display of weakness by Republican officials, who, on their first day back in session and with complete control of Congress, seemed to be in a state of disagreement and disarray.
 However, since then, those same House officials, with the help of the Senate, have been able to quietly pass a new rule which again threatens the power and scope of ethics investigations in Congress. The passage of this rule allows individual representatives to hide “embarrassing” or “incriminating” financial documents from investigators—from ethics committees or even from the U.S. Department of Justice. This vote is unlikely to get the same level of attention as the first one, but poses an arguably even more serious threat to ethical standards and independent oversight. Allowing Congress members to pick and choose what they allow independent investigators to access is dangerous. Under the new rule, regardless of if a document concerns a breach of public welfare (like the commission of a crime or illegal use of taxpayer funds), an elected official can choose not to hand it over to investigators. The House’s recent focus on undercutting congressional criminal and ethics investigations and minimizing the transparency of elected officials is confounding and alarming—and it raises some very obvious questions: why do our U.S. representatives want to be shielded from independent investigations? From where do they derive that privilege? And what are they hoping to hide?

Google's Renewable Energy Act in 2017

Deven Smith
Staff Writer

Google has just announced that by 2017 they will be running entirely on renewable resources, which includes their newest addition, Alphabet. This is a huge accomplishment because of how big of a company it is, and how many other social media companies they own.  
 One reason this is incredible is because of how many buildings Google has. The renewable energy will be used in 13 data centers and 113 offices worldwide. They also have 55,000 employees that will need to work entirely on renewable energy.  Even with the success of Google and other Companies like Apple and Microsoft, many countries are still reliant on the use of oil, like the US, China, and Russia. Not only is it getting easier to obtain renewable energy but Google says that it is financially beneficial as well.  
 Joe Kava, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure says, “It’s good for the economy, good for business and good for our shareholders.” Google does not supply their own energy, instead they do business with about 115 wind farms in the US and Canada. The biggest is a 50,000 acre wind farm in Minco, Oklahoma.   
 Other companies are following Google in their quest to run entirely on renewable resources.  Those companies include Amazon and Microsoft. However, Google also runs other sites like YouTube and Gmail that have over 1 billion customers and require more than 100,000 computers. Now, all of those computers will run on renewable energy.  If Google is able to complete a task like this in a year, then it will be interesting to see what they can do in the future.

How Trump’s Inauguration Will Be Different Than Obama's

Savannah Herring
Staff Writer

The 2017 Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump is expected to one for the books, with about 800,000 to 900,000 people showing up to either commemorate or repudiate. There is a noticeable difference in the dynamic of this event as it approaches. Obama’s inauguration was an event of enthusiasm and hope, but Trump’s is seeming to be quite the opposite. Trump’s inaugurational committee is winning over big donors and big names to attend with promises of exclusive events and luxuries.
 Among the expected attendees, many women mourning the Hillary Clinton’s loss are joining together in a giant women’s march in a defiant protest against their new president. Many celebrities who opposed Trump during the election are also planning on attending the various rallies and marches that day. Hotels are also concerned with their business, since the inauguration is always a money maker for eager citizens waiting to see their newest president. They are noticing that more hotel rooms are being reserved for Saturday, rather than Friday, clearly expressing that many more people have interest in the marches than the inauguration.

 This event will hopefully bring new hope and healing to a torn nation, but could in fact worsen relations. It is expected that these marches will be peaceful and productive and ensure a message of love and equality is clear. Trump faces many groups of people both opposing him and welcoming him with open arms on his inauguration day and shall face the deepest hatred and appreciation all at once.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trump dumped inauguration announcing icon

Jen Abele
Staff Writer/columnist

Charles Brotman has been the announcer at the inauguration since 1957. He has been traditionally selected since President Eisenhower. Brotman has served as inauguration speaker for 11 presidents. The 89 year old Brotman “felt like he was punched in the stomach by Muhammad Ali” after receiving the President Elect’s email. Trump clouded the email with compliments, and ended the email by stating Brotman will not be announcing at inauguration.
 Mr. Charles Brotman is a political icon who has been announcing for the inauguration for 60 years. He enjoys announcing for the American people during every historic inauguration. No one can take the place of Brotman. Donald Trump has made several questionable decisions so far as President elect. Rejecting a political icon should not have been on his agenda.Brotman is an incredible speaker who enjoys the privilege  announcing at the inauguration parade. It’s heartbreaking that Donald Trump would not carry on the tradition.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jelly's Corner: Very Confused

Joseph Giunta
Kelly Hyland
Staff Writer

Dear Jelly’s Corner,

So why wasn't your article in the most recent print issue? Very upset about this!

Annoyed Reader

Dear valued subscriber.
Thank you for your concerns with this ongoing issue. It is kinda funny because we at Jelly's Corner are also VERY confused as well. We have been writers since September and we thought we had something special. Regardless we will fight this issue and get justice for what we believe in! No matter what, we will fight for the rights of  ourselves and our valued readers.  We will discuss with Mr. Giorgi and the editors to find a resolution for this issue.

Ask Jelly: If you have any questions about life, school or anything else, please send them to and we will answer them in the next issue of the Lion’s Tale.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jelly's Corner: Longing for Love

Longing for Love

Dear Jelly's Corner,

I need some advice. Can you guys help?
I have a major crush on someone and don't know how to get them to notice me?!
What should I do?!

Longing for love,
Secret Admirer

That is an excellent question! We at Jelly’s Corner have a lot of experience in this field as we consider ourselves to be relationship experts (we watch The Bachelor). The most important rule in finding love is to be yourself! A person can only love you if you are confident in yourself.
 Also we advise you to start looking for a wingman. Your wingman can be a close friend of yours or you can recruit one of your crush's friends. It’s nice that we go to a small school because everyone has connections with everyone.  A wingman can give you more information about your crush, and may even be able to set you guys up! Good luck looking for love, and remember that everything happens for a reason, so don't get too caught up on a special someone.....Jelly

Ask Jelly: If you have any questions about life, school or anything else, please send them to and we will answer them in the next issue of the Lion’s Tale.