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Trump Promises big Surprise as Senate GOP Struggles with Health Care Bill



Political Editor, LeNora Millen

On Wednesday President Trump said the Republican health care effort is “working along very well” and hinted there could be a “big surprise with a great health care package”

Trump told reporters that getting the approval of a Senate health care bill will be “very tough,” despite telling reporters that his meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday was “wonderful.”

In his usual, ‘Reality TV’ style performance, Trump predicted that Republicans will at least “get very close” and may “get it over the line.” He said the GOP plan “has a chance to be great health care at a reasonable cost,” and he called it a “tremendous plan.”


President Trump meets with Republican senators about health care. Seated with him at the White House are, from left, Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

In a last ditch pitch to garner support for the Republican health care bill, President Trump reached out to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Monday with the hopes of urging him to back the measure.

Coined as the “Closer” when it comes to making deals by many within his inner-circle, Trump faced challenges in his unwavering attempts to sway members of the Senate to vote for the bill.

Trump’s urging fell short and was not the ‘art of the persuasive deal’ that he perhaps envisioned.  Case in point: on Tuesday, Senator Lee stood his ground and said he would vote against the bill.

The planned health care vote was later postponed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate GOP leaders after, the harsh realization that too many other Republican senators were opposed, leaving the party votes short of passing the measure.

The delay in votes may give Senators opposed to the bill—sufficient time to access legislation that would deliver on Trump’s campaign promise to scale back the law known as Obamacare.

Trump may have envisioned a health care win greeted with optimism and swiftness in passing the measure.  However; ‘the best-laid plans’ did not factor into a victory sprint, and the delay is a stark reminder of a return to the bargaining table.

The decision by GOP leaders to postpone the vote could also be construed as the latest reminder of the limits of President Trump’s power to shape outcomes within a U.S. institution of a system of checks and balances.  Former DNI James Clapper said the U.S. Institutions were under assault by President Trump following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The good of the country is a distant memory when “Making America Great Again” or “America First” speaks to only a segment of the country while the poor within the ‘land of the free’ can only relate to “America Last.”

As a result, the fate of the GOP health care bill hangs in the balance of political meandering and posturing to include members of the Senate with the best interest of their constituents at hand.

From a historical context, successful leaders are both revered and feared.  However, many within Washington have stated across various media outlets that Trump does not meet either description, contrary to his arrogance, bully tactics, charisma, or over confidence to sway GOP lawmakers.

Trump is the GOP’s leader, the party expects him to keep them united and above the fray when faced with challenges that tend to create rifts within his party.   He has continually struggled with Republican lawmakers coming to a consensus on how to best proceed with repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, [Obamacare].

“This president is the first president in our history who has neither political nor military experience, and thus it has been a challenge to him to learn how to interact with Congress and learn how to push his agenda better,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who opposes the current health-care bill.

The Senate is intent on passing a revised version of the health care bill once lawmakers return from their July 4 recess and pick up deliberations.  Tensions remain high on the issue of health care, and some Republicans are willing to defy Trump’s wishes.  Such a stance by some Republicans is contributed in part to Trump’s disruptive and often unpredictable behavior—leading some Republicans to view him as the disrupter in chief, specifically on the world stage.

“The president remains an entity in and of itself, not a part of the traditional Republican Party,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), a moderate who represents a district Trump lost by 16 percentage points. “I handle the Trump administration the same way I handled the Obama administration. When I agree, I work with them. When I oppose, I don’t.”

In private conversations on Capitol Hill, Trump isn’t always taken seriously. Some Republican lawmakers consider his promises — such as making Mexico pay for a new border wall — fantastical.  Many of the lawmakers say they are exhausted and at times exasperated by Trump’s flip-flopping from one subject to the next, chronicled in his pithy and provocative tweets.

They are quick to point out how little command Trump demonstrates of policy, leading many lawmakers to regard some of Trump’s threats as empty rhetoric, concluding that crossing the president poses little danger.

“The House health-care vote shows he does have juice, particularly with people on the right,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said. “The Senate health-care vote show that people feel that health care is a defining issue and that it’d be pretty hard for any politician to push a senator into taking a vote that’s going to have consequences for the rest of their life.”

Asked if he personally fears Trump, Graham chuckled before saying, “No.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has distanced himself from Trump on various issues, said few members of Congress fear permanent retaliation from the president.

“He comes from the private sector, where your business partner today isn’t always your business partner tomorrow,” Issa said. “Just because you’re one way today doesn’t mean you’re written off. That’s the ‘Art of the Deal’ side.”

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Allergy Woes



Vocal Tips for the Voice during Allergy Season 

Springtime is here! I don’t know about you, but its one of my favorite seasons. Unfortunately, for professional voice users, it’s also the worst season for keeping and maintaining a healthy voice. Some of us refer to spring as,  the dreaded allergy season. From the blooming flowers, the seemingly invisible pollen that floats in the air and, if you have a  pet, the excessive pet dander is more than enough to cause that itchy, scratchy feeling in your throat and cause your sinuses to go bananas! There are several things you can do to relieve both your voice and sinuses during the spring season. I won’t list everything because we would be here ALLDAY and this article will look more like a dissertation and sweet brown says it best, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Don’t worry, I got you, I picked five of my favorite practices that offer me IMMEDIATE relief and it will do the same for you.

1) The first and most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Drinking the proper amount of water offer a plethora of benefits to your mind, body, and soul. However, water is especially important for professional voice users like you and me. Water helps to naturally flush out allergens and thin mucus. Also, things like caffeinated beverages, allergy pills and a host of other things many people consume daily, immensely dry the throat and sinus cavities. Water not only keep the throat moist, it helps prevent you overworking your voice to produce sound.

2) Consuming local honey will help you develop immunity to the local pollen Keep in mind, if you travel a lot for speaking, singing or both, you should find local honey where you are traveling as well.  You can put in your favorite herbal tea or even take a teaspoon full a day will help you SO MUCH! It might sound weird but I will work and will thank me later.  Note: ( You can find local honey at some farm to table restaurants or local grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Adkins).


3) Check the pollen index daily on your local news or weather app. Yes, this is a real thing and is an awesome way to know how to care for your voice and sinuses BEFORE you go outside. How so?!, I’m glad you asked…This helps me decide if I will need to do a sinus rinse, cover my mouth and nose to prevent breathing in so many air born allergens, which cause soreness and vocal fatigue. It also helps me decide what allergy pill I’ll need for the day If any. This is especially important if you have to speak of sing that day.


4) A neti pot or saline rise, used regularly (with distilled water only) will keep your nasal passages clear of things like pollen and other air born allergies. Although seemingly uncomfortable to some, this will give your sinuses instant relief and help significantly minimize post-nasal drip.


5) Last but surely not least a cool mist humidifier next to your bed while you sleep will serve multiple purposes. If you’ve ever experienced waking up with a dry sticky throat, this means you aren’t hydrated enough. The cool mist humidifier will be like you’re drinking water as you sleep. The cool mist you breathe in while you sleep will add much needed moister to vocal cords while you sleep. This will, over a short period of time, eliminate that dry scratchy feeling. A cool mist humidifier will also work against allergens, such as dust while you rest as well. So, you see, its a win, win! I hope these tips we helpful and that you’ll return for more tea, with ya girl Deonna Marie. Remember, If you have a voice to share with the world, you should care for it because it’s your voice that takes care of you. `

That’s all 


-Deonna Marie 


Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice, Professional Classical Singer, Vocal Coach, and Speaker

Facebook: @thegiftofvoice

Instagram: @thegift_ofvoice


Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge

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The “tea” on Vocal Health



Deonna Marie, Vocal Health Editor


How to Care for the Voice as a Professional Voice User

Are you a Professional Voice User? My name is Deonna Marie and I am here to spill the tea on vocal health. A professional voice user can include anything from singers and speakers to religious leaders and vloggers. I too am a professional voice user. I am a classical singer, vocal coach, and speaker. Okay, maybe I might’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being VERY long winded…and maybe I am, but that’s not the topic. Like many of you, I am also a daughter, friend, sibling, and colleague. Some of you might have a significant other or may have children in your life. So you see, we use our voice A LOT!!! On a daily basis professional voice users, use their voices more than two times the average person. This vocal use, if not done correctly, can potentially cause harm to your voice. I aspire to not only help you prevent vocal harm but in addition, I hope to educate you on ways you can maximize your voice while being healthy at the same time.

I’ll be writing about common issues professional voice users have such as preventing hoarseness after rehearsals and speaking engagements, how travel affects the voice, what foods and drinks to avoid, and much more. I will also be sharing vocal health tips such as how to achieve soaring high notes with ease, how to be heard without a microphone, and many other fascinating facts to put in your toolbox as a professional voice user. Think about it, babies can cry for hours without losing their voice, why? Oprah Winfrey’s voice is as youthful today as it was over 25 years ago, why? Professional voice users make their vocal health a priority, treating it as a gift; the gift of voice. My goal is to shed light on a topic commonly overlooked and assist you with improving your vocal health.

Don’t take for granted the gift of voice, you only get one. 

That’s all.

-Deonna Marie


Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice

Facebook: @thegiftofvoice

Instagram: @thegift_ofvoice


YouTube: Deonna Marie Cattledge



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Question Who You Are and Discover Your Purpose by Rose G. Shelton



From a kid, I was a wondering energy.  Confused about the contradictions in life I saw in the experiences of the beings around me.  The adults, politicians, community leaders, elders and religious heads that graced pulpits, stages and the television waves spoke one thing and lived lives opposing. Friends and neighbors holding onto religious ideologies and at the bottom of the food chain hoping for the truth to one day prove itself to be real and lift them up from the struggles of life.  Never seeing it happen, wishing for it in the bye and bye. And yet, these flawed philosophies were expected to inform me of my own belief system about me. I would find myself questioning humanity, religion, life itself.  The answers to my many questions, I could not find in the divergence of life playing out before my young eyes.  The antagonistic existence and inhumane norms I did not see change much throughout my life. 

So I allowed my mind to give me answers that made more sense than those given to me from the outside. When I say my mind, I mean my spirit.  Also known as God or the Universe.  He nor I care what it is called.  Names are limiting and worthless in context. I will leave the fight of naming to those seeking to be right in the fight of inconsistency. 

I studied this humanity I was a part.  Despite its established hierarchy, I was able to see greatness in the weak and weakness in the great.  I found love in those identified as unlovable and judgment in those considered full of love.  This confusion of this upside-down world led me to study further.  However, the hate and anger toward those that dared be different made me study in silence and not speak of what I assessed.  I did not believe my research findings as a child, would be pleasing to peers or adults alike.  The search outside of my mind for answers and lucidity ceased the older I got and the internal conversation intensified.  This is where I found freedom and my purpose. Inside of me.   No one was able to give it to me. No one was able to discover it for me. No one was able to touch it, no one but me.

I had a hard time accepting my eccentricity in a world that honored compliance and traditionalism.  I held that celebrating originality was not standard.  When discovered, there is always one looking for a way to destroy it in public view and quash all others fire. So, like many of you, I hid it and tried to live a conformed and normal life.  Whatever normal is.   The problem was when you are an idiosyncratic aware of your peculiar individuality; you become as contradictory and complex as everyone else around you.  You become what you are fearful of becoming.  Both you and the world; hiding, conforming, confused. Therefore, not living in authenticity.  Trapped in relationships with illustrious invalidity. 

I realized that I, as others, became defined by experiences, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, tradition and society.  I decided to forsake the game life handed to me and walk in my own identity.  I no longer desired humanities conscious effort to ignore itself and redefine me.  I did not want religion, culture, society, ideology and the like to define, conform or inform me.  I let go.  I instead questioned every part of me and dug through the rubble of my identity to find myself.

There is an intrinsic truth we all hold waiting to be uncovered.  If we allow it to rise to the top, our purpose will become obvious.  Sometimes, your purpose is as simple as I am the one that wipes the eyes of the blind. Maybe you help the lame to walk.  Possibly you are the one that questions man’s intention and action with discerning inquiring.  Despite this likelihood, that unique insatiable vibration that we hold within is killed to be accepted by the blind, the lame and the unquestioned.  While the world remains in constant wanting, waiting for us to arise and shine in the full knowing of who we are.    We fail them because we neglect to ask the question that I ask you to answer today – Man, who are you?

To help you answer this question, I will tell you one of the ways I allowed the answer to come to me.  I close my eyes and stand in the darkness of my mind.  In this secret place of my mind, I have no religion, no family, no country, no ideology.  There is nothing. I am nothing definable.  I am vibration, energy, a movement in the universe that holds an intention that is diminished by words.  Yet, I can detect my place in this vastness.  I examine my intrinsic nature that has remained constant and true despite experiences and life itself.  I apprehend that I am a questioner that questions all things, and yet, I am the holder of answers.  I question because questioning brings me answers that faith cannot clarify or quantify. 

Since I have recognized and accepted this concept of myself, my life has felt freer and has more value.  I am solid in who I am and my purpose.  We all have our place and part to play. Without you playing your part, I and others, cannot fully achieve on our path.  We benefit from your greatness. 

With that said, what are the 8 questions to ask yourself right now to help discover who you are and gain clarity of your purpose.

1.     What informs your definition of who you are? 

2.     Are you defined by life’s stories, traumas, tragedy, money, career, family, religion, race, ethnicity or something intangible? 

3.     Who do you say you are, what is your 15 second elevator pitch of you?

4.     Is your speech about what you do, what you look like or something deeper?

5.     What fear keeps you from being uniquely you? 

6.     What comfort is there in conformity that you believe is not present in arising and shinning as the diamond that you are?

7.     If you could do anything in life for free and money was not an issue, what would it be?

8.     What do you find yourself doing in every area of your life naturally?




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