Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) made history in four-inch heels on Feb. 4, starting at 10:04 a.m.

It was then that she began a "one-minute" speech. As the House Minority Leader, however, she was able to take advantage of a little-used loophole that allowed her to grant herself the "courtesy of extended and unfettered debate" per House rules — and extended, it was.

With news that bipartisan Senate leadership had agreed to a funding bill that didn't address undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, Pelosi used her platform to rally her House colleagues against agreeing to it. Her speech was intended to be a demand aimed at House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), urging him to bring up the DREAM Act for a vote.


A January poll found that 70% of Americans support the DREAM Act, meaning that this should be a no-brainer for Ryan, who once told a DACA recipient concerned about being deported, "Don't worry about that." To date, however, Ryan's been dodgy about DACA, refusing to bring it up as a standalone vote. Pelosi wanted to change that, and so she started talking.

On the House floor, Pelosi shared stories of DREAMers, making a powerful case for why we owe it to them to create a pathway to citizenship.

A common misconception is that undocumented immigrants have simply chosen not to use their time in the country to get their paperwork in order. The truth is that there is not currently a path for undocumented immigrants to establish legal permanent residency or citizenship. It's really messed up.

Many, whether they came here when they were 2 or 25, would have to leave the U.S. for 10 years before trying to return. That means some people are essentially exiled to a country they've never known because of a cruel system. Congress has the power to change that, and that's what led Pelosi to embark on what would eventually become an eight-hour speech.

Several of her House colleagues shared stories from the floor.

A little after 5 p.m. Eastern, she set the record for the longest continuous House speech since "at least 1909."

"I wonder what that was," Pelosi laughed to herself about eclipsing some unknown pre-suffrage-era speech.

Just an hour before then, she had tried to give her colleagues an excuse to leave the chamber for the day, pointing out that they were welcome to make their way over to see Joe Biden deliver a speech nearby. "We want to see you," they replied. A visibly proud, happy, emotional Pelosi continued.

A lot of people really wanted to talk about her footwear, which only made the accomplishment that much more impressive.

Standing on your feet for eight hours is hard enough, but standing on them in four-inch heels is borderline superhuman.

Democratic organizer Kaivan Shroff pointed out that there are probably other things a "77-year-old wealthy white woman" would rather be doing, chalking up the effort as a testament to Pelosi's dedication to the issue — even in the face of some intra-party criticism. "She is the best of the Democratic Party, no matter what some might say," Shroff said.

In all, Pelosi's speech was a major shot in the arm for Democrats and DACA advocates, bringing immigration to the forefront of people's minds and getting support from a robust #GoNancyGo hashtag.

Some compared it to Wendy Davis' famous 2013 abortion filibuster in Texas, and others just encouraged their friends and followers to tune in to watch history in the making.

You can't please everyone, though — as shown with the GOP's tweet twisting the hashtag's meaning.

From their position in the minority, there's not a lot Democrats can do besides trying to hold the line and bring attention to issues they care about.

Ryan can bring a bill to a vote whenever he wants, and if he's able to get his entire caucus on board, he can pass whatever he wants. Pelosi and Democrats aren't able to bring bills up for a vote, and they can't stop Ryan from doing what he likes. What they can do is what Pelosi did today: She put a big, bright spotlight on an issue supported by 70% of Americans.

Will Ryan make good on his comment about DREAMers not having to worry, or were those just empty words?

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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