Sunday, November 11, 2012

Virginia Cider Week




HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 105
Offered January 11, 2012
Prefiled January 11, 2012
Designating the full week before Thanksgiving, in 2012 and in each succeeding year, as Virginia Cider Week in Virginia.
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Patrons-- Englin and Scott, E.T.
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Referred to Committee on Rules
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Monday, July 30, 2012

The cost of green tape, yellow tape, and red tape

[Time: 12:20]
   Mr. KELLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this motion.
   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman opposed to the motion?
   Mr. KELLY. Yes.
   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized for 5 minutes.



   Mr. KELLY. Mr. Speaker, in 2011, we came to this House for one reason, and it was a motion to recommit. We recommitted to the people of the United States that we were going to change the way business was done in this town. This motion to recommit is a joke. This is ridiculous.
   Let me tell you about what it's like to be in the real world and not inside the Beltway. I operate a business that my father started back in 1953, after being a parts picker in a General Motors warehouse, going to fight the war, and coming back home. I called our body shop manager today, Jason Sholes. He's been with me for 26 years. I said to Jason, ``I need to know the cost of tape, Jason.'' He goes, ``What are you talking about, Mike?'' I said, ``In our body shop, when people wreck their car and bring their car in, I know we have to use a lot of tape.'' He said, ``Oh, my goodness. Has the cost of tape gone crazy. We use two types of tape, Mike. We use green tape. Green tape is the tape we use when we have to use water on a job, and we have to make sure that the tape sticks, and that's up to $4 a roll.''
   I said, ``Tell me about the other tape.'' He said, ``The other tape is yellow tape.'' I said, ``Tell me about the yellow tape.'' He said, ``That's when we're going to paint a car, and we don't have to use the green tape. The yellow tape is a little less expensive. It's only $2 a roll. But, Mike, I've got to tell you that we're spending $160 a month on tape, and it's really making me wonder about whether I'm doing the right thing.''
   I said, ``Jason, we're spending about $2,000 a year on green and yellow tape?'' He said, ``Yes, we are.'' I said, ``Jason, do you know what the cost of red tape is?'' He goes, ``I have no idea. We don't use red tape.'' I said, ``Yes, we do. It's $1.75 trillion.'' That's the cost of red tape.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Foreign Threat to Our Democracy

Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

The following are quotes from the comments following his prayer. The video is included at the end.
We know that these social issues of today are being under attack, but at their core is this Biblical understanding of marriage.

This is an issue between democracy and socialism.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Will breaking the law be necessary to stand for election to the United States Senate?

At the recent debate for U.S. Senate candidate nominees in Virginia, Tim Kaine said he "had to give up a job and a salary and healthcare benefits to run for U.S. Senate."

Just to make sure we're clear, he said he had to "give up" his "healthcare benefits" to stand for election to the United States Senate, correct?

This is the same Tim Kaine that was chairman of the Democratic National Committee when that Democractic party passed the completely partisan Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, correct?

And that Affordable Care Act is the same law that considers "giving up" one's "health benefits" as a penalty/tax-worthy event, yes?

In other words, two years from now, under this law no one should be "giving up" their health benefits because if you don't have health benefits as prescribed by that law and the Administration from your employer, then you are still on the hook to provide yourself with your own health benefits.

And yet, while the technicality remains, Tim Kaine uses his few months of remaining freedom for "giving up" his health benefits as an excuse to draw sympathy for his run for Senate? Seriously?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tributes to Jessica Ghawi Redfield

About one of the victims from the Aurora shooting yesterday:

From her last 65 days

Jessica Redfield, 24, also known as Jessica Ghawi, died at the hands of someone her age in the Aurora shooting yesterday.  She was also a recent survivor of the Toronto shooting in June.  She had posted her thoughts about that experience on her blog.

On seeing that her post was on my birthday this year, I decided to take a slow and long look back through her Twitter feed.  Below are some that stood out from the last 65 days of her life.


"The day that I felt the proudest to be an American"

Apollo communications chief Ed Fendell:
The first thing you have to remember, I don't know what you've heard from other people, but most of us didn't believe we would land on Apollo 11. Have people told you that, in their opinion, that they thought we would make it the first time? I didn't believe we would ever land the first time, but we did. Okay. And when it started getting down close, I don't think I was touching my chair. I actually believe I was levitating somewhere over that chair. That's the way I felt. I know I wasn't levitating, because I can't do that, but that's the way I felt. It was so intense that I don't think most people really fully realized what we did. I know I didn't.

I went home and slept for a couple hours, I got cleaned up, and I was going back to work and I stopped to eat some breakfast. And between Monroe and Edgebrook in those days there was a Dutch Kettle, you know, one of these little coffee shops with the round stools.

I walked in there, and I knew we had landed on the Moon, and I was proud and all that and everything, but because I wasn't out there with the public when it all happened, I really wasn't that jived as to what the real effect was going on in the world. You know what I'm saying? You know, there were people going crazy all over the world. You'll see these pictures on the movies and the newsreels, you'll see thousands of peopel standing in Times Square watching this stuff and so on, you know. So you weren't into all that, you were so intense in what was going on and what you were looking at and so on.

I'm sitting there reading the paper and so on, and two guys walk in and sit down on the two stools next to me. They are from the Exxon or Enco or whatever the gas station was down at the corner down there, and they're in their gas station clothes and they've got the grease under their fingernails and so on. They were a little bit older. They sit down and they get their coffee and they're waiting for their breakfast. They start talking.

One of them says to the other one, he said, "You know, I went all through World War II. I landed at Normandy on D-Day." And he said, "It was an incredible day, an incredible life, and I went all the way through Paris and on into Berlin," wherever the heck it was he was talking about. He said, "But yesterday was the day that I felt the proudest to be an American."

Well, when he said that, I lost it. It all of a sudden hit me as to what we had done, you know. And I just threw my money down, grabed my paper, and walked out and got in the car and started to cry.
Rocket Men, p. 261

Friday, July 20, 2012

What no one imagined. What anyone could imagine.

So many science fiction writers have imagined the first human setting foot on another planet, but none imagined that, when it actually happened, the rest of the world would be watching it all, live on television . . . or that the first men on another planet would be like children, stumbling about in their inflated snowsuits, hopping with glee in the reduced gravity, to-do lists sewn into their sleeves.

Because the space suits' tinted visors had the faces of the men inside, making them anonymous, anyone watching, no matter his gender, race or nationality, could imagine himself, a fellow astronaut, exploring the Moon.
Rocket Men, p. 275

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bible Memorization Standards

In May I started teaching the Bible to a group of 3rd and 4th graders on Sunday morning.  We're in the Book of Acts.

We have a Bible memorization program already in place.  Given that we were ending the school year and are closing in on the transition to a new school year, most of the students had either finished the memory program or had not started it at all.  A reset was in order.

Holy Ground

The day before liftoff, a mule-and-wagon carrying the Reverend Ralph Abernathy (head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and successor to Martin Luther King) appeared with a group of protestors before the gates of KSC.

The decade had seen a small but voluble public protest against Project Apollo, and some of the SCLC's chiefs were its most visible opponents, its leaders arguing that federal monies would be better spent on Earth-based needs instead of starry dreams.

Medical operations director Charles Berry:
I went up to [Reverend Abernathy] and I said, "You know, I do not understand why you would come and try and demonstrate and say that we ought not to have this flight to the Moon. Do you have any concept at all about what this can mean to the world and to us as a nation, having the capability to do this?"

He said, "It's really not about the capability to do this, it's this money that's going to the Moon, this money's going to be on the Moon, and it should be being spent on these people down here on Earth."

And I said, "There isn't a single dollar going on the Moon. Not one dollar going to be on the Moon. Every one of those dollars that's gone to this program, and a lot of this nation is involved in that, and every one of those dollars is going to somebody down here on Earth. If some of your people wanted to be working on some of that, they could have done it. I'm sure that jobs are there. You could work on it, and you could be getting some of that so-called moon money, if you want to call it that."

"That's not what I'm saying," he said. "The thing is, that money ought to be spent on these people right down here."

I said, "Well, you obviously don't understand what is happening here, and it's being done for your good and for everyone's good. If a nation is great, it's my view that that nation ought to be able to do both things, and we ought to be able to do the things that are necessary here. We need the science and the technology on the cutting edge if we're going to be a nation that's going to progress. If you don't, you're going to die as a nation and you're not going to solve any of the problems here on Earth or anywhere else."

Later, NASA Administrator Tom Paine went out to meet the reverend and offered to let some of the group watch the launch from the Center.

Abernathy would later admit, "I succumbed to the awe-inspiring launch ... I was one of the proudest Americans as I stood on this soil; I think it's really holy ground."
Rocket Men, pp. 74-75

Friday, July 13, 2012

Multiple-legged food tasters

A question for the nutritionists in the audience:
If God's other creatures like a food, is that a sign those foods are healthy?

Conversely, if God's other creatures, insects, etc., avoid a food, is that a sign those foods are unhealthy?

With all the processed foods we eat, if the critters avoid them, should we be avoiding them also?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Susannah Mushatt Jones, 113


  • Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute and to honor Susannah Mushatt Jones on the occasion of her 113th birthday celebration. Lovingly called ``Miss Susie'', she is a symbol of longevity and commitment to family for all New Yorkers and our nation.

Demanding action against Nigerian Islamic terrorist group

  • Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, earlier this week I held a hearing to examine U.S. policy and policy options for managing relations with Nigeria in light of concerns on terrorism and social and political unrest.
  • The stability and commitment to justice and the rule of law of the Nigerian government is critical to regional, continental and global economic interests. Nigeria is hugely important on many fronts. Nigeria, Africa's largest producer of oil and its largest democracy, is one of the U.S. government's key strategic partners on the continent. It is Africa's most populous country, with more than 155 million people, roughly half Muslim and half Christian, and its second-largest economy. Nigeria supplies nearly three times the volume of imports to the United States as Angola, the second leading U.S. import supplier. The United States receives nearly 20% of our petroleum exports from Nigeria.
  • Consequently, Nigeria's stability is of critical interest for the U.S. economy and American policy interests in Africa.
 
  • Attacks by the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram on Christians, including attacks launched this past weekend, are unprovoked and unconscionable. People of all faiths--and all people of goodwill--must demand immediate action against this terrorist organization.

Abortion: a weapon of mass destruction

  • Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, China's one-child policy in effect since 1979 is state sponsored murder and constitutes massive crimes against humanity. The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity--nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China's 33 year assault on women and children.
  • Abortion is a weapon of mass destruction. Millions have been exterminated.
  • Today in China, rather than being given maternal care, pregnant women without birth allowed permits are hunted down and forcibly aborted. They are mocked, belittled, and humiliated.

The Affordable Care Act, by the numbers

   The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fincher). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) for 30 minutes.
   Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
   We have had a number of people ask, Why would we have a vote today to repeal ObamaCare when it has been done before?
   There had not been a vote taken since the United States Supreme Court said that the administration misrepresented what was really in this bill. It was a tax. We know there have been misrepresentations about different things, but this bill creates a massive tax for the people who can least afford it.
   So run the numbers:

Affordable Care Act, an expansion of government

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Reed) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
   Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening and come to the floor to talk about an important issue of the day. A few hours ago in this Chamber on this floor, this House voted to repeal ObamaCare.
   The Affordable Care Act to me is a classic example of what is wrong with Washington, D.C. It is a philosophy that this city has the arrogance and the vision to think that if we take over an area such as health care from Washington, D.C., somehow magically the bureaucrats and the folks here in Washington are going to wave a magic wand and cure the problems in the health care industry.
   What ObamaCare is, it's simple: it's an expansion of government, it's 130 agencies, newly created agencies, to enter into the health care arena, 22 taxes to pay for that expansion of government to take on health care. You got half a trillion dollars of cuts to Medicare.

NFL expands local broadcasting

   (Mr. HIGGINS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, in my home town of Buffalo, New York, nearly half the Bills games were blacked out last season because, despite an average game attendance of 67,000, the games were not sellouts because Ralph Wilson Stadium is one of the largest in the league.
   Last week, we learned that NFL owners passed a resolution allowing teams to decide to broadcast games locally when more than 85 percent of seats are filled. This is a change to current policy, which requires a stadium to be sold out.

Minnesota leading in educational choice

   (Mr. PAULSEN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, my home State of Minnesota has a remarkable legacy when it comes to charter school education. By launching the first charter schools in the country, along with leading the way in public education and reform nationwide, we have been able to serve our students and community for the past 20 years in a better way.

Speaker Boehner: there's a better way

   Mr. CANTOR. Madam Speaker, it is my honor to yield 1 minute to the Speaker of the House, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner).
   Mr. BOEHNER. Let me thank my colleague for yielding, and say to my colleagues, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 6079, a legislation that would repeal the President's health care law.
   When this bill passed, we were promised that the health care law would lower costs and help create jobs. One congressional leader even suggested it would create 400,000 new jobs.

46 million Americans on food stamps; US population: 313 million

Ms. LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ of California: "The SNAP program puts healthy food on the table for 46 million Americans every month."

Put another way, 46 million Americans are on food stamps.  46 million Americans depend on the federal government to eat.  46 million Americans depend on the government just to survive.

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10

Replacements for the Affordable Care Act

   (Mr. BILIRAKIS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, the sad reality in our country today is that Americans are faced with skyrocketing health care costs. Rather than address the situation, Democrats passed a $1 trillion health care takeover that costs too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.
   Americans don't deserve this.
   Americans deserve commonsense ideas, like medical liability reform, encouraging health savings accounts, strengthening association health plans, and allowing people to purchase health insurance across State lines--commonsense ideas. These reforms would make health care more affordable and accessible without passing on crushing debt to future generations.

There are already 12,825 pages of Affordable Care Act-related regulations

(Mr. MARCHANT asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
   Mr. MARCHANT. Madam Speaker, I rise today to support H.R. 6079. It hasn't taken very long for the weight of ObamaCare to become a significant drag on our economy and our family budgets.
   Just 2 years since it was enacted, there are already 12,825 pages of ObamaCare-related regulations and notices published in the Federal Register. Nobody knows what the final number of regulations will be, and let's hope that we never find out.

Affordable Care Act to cost $2 trillion

   (Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Speaker, we've long known that President Obama's takeover of our health care is bad medicine. And now that the Supreme Court has determined that it's one of the largest tax increases in American history, we've confirmed that it's bad policy.

21 separate tax increases in the middle of a recession

(Ms. FOXX asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
   Ms. FOXX. Madam Speaker, in 2009, President Obama rightly said, ``The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession.'' Yet the President's signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, hinges on 21 separate tax increases, 12 of which hit the middle class.

Rep. Dr. Benishek: $675 billion tax increase is making health care problems worse

   (Mr. BENISHEK asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. BENISHEK. Madam Speaker, in upholding the President's health care law, the Supreme Court identified the law as a $675 billion tax increase on America's working families and reminds us that we cannot depend on courts to fix the mistakes that Congress has made.
   I know something about health care. I've been a doctor for 30 years taking care of patients in northern Michigan. I know the President's plan is not solving our health care problems. In fact, it's making them worse.

Democrat: Affordable Care Act 'cuts more than $400 billion from Medicare'

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski) for 3 minutes.
   Mr. LIPINSKI. Mr. Speaker, we have heard hours of impassioned speeches on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, most defending all or nothing, and pitting us against them. But the American people aren't interested in the politics. They want us to focus on what we can do moving forward to make good health care more affordable for them without breaking the bank.
   I believe the ACA is flawed, and I parted ways with the majority of my Democratic colleagues in voting against it in 2010. As I said then, ``The bill does not do enough to lower the skyrocketing costs of health care, cuts more than $400 billion from Medicare, is not fiscally sustainable over the long-term, and breaks with the status quo by allowing Federal funding for abortion and abortion coverage.''

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Doctors Caucus: replace ObamaCare with patient choices

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Ellmers). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Fleming) is recognized for 32 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
   Mr. FLEMING. Madam Speaker, it's a pleasure to be on the floor once again to really talk about my favorite subject in Congress, and that is health care.
   I am a physician and have been a physician for 36 years. I am a family physician. I still have an active practice and practice when I get a chance, which lately has not been very often.
   I want to in the way of introduction just let everyone understand, Madam Speaker, how we got here in the first place. Why are we here this evening talking about this? Why are we talking about the repeal of ObamaCare?

House Republicans stand for freedom 31 times

Mr. YARMUTH. Madam Speaker, today the House will consider a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for the 31st time. We will spend at least 6 hours debating this, but not 1 minute considering a Republican replacement. That's because there isn't one.

Source: GOP REPEAL OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

That means the House Republicans have stood for freedom 31 times!

Why do we need a replacement?  What's wrong with a free market?  What's wrong with patients and doctors working to hold down costs?

Top 10 ways health care law increases costs

Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I have 1 minute, so I'll have to go fast. Here are the top 10 reforms the Republicans want to repeal with their death panels tomorrow:

Former Members of Congress 2012 Annual Report to Congress

Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the proceedings during the former Members program be printed in the Congressional Record and that all Members and former Members who spoke during the proceedings have the privilege of revising and extending their remarks.
   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from South Carolina?
   There was no objection.
   The following proceedings were held before the House convened for morning-hour debate:
   UNITED STATES ASSOCIATION OF FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS 2012 ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS

The largest transfer of productivity in American history

Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about what is nothing less than the largest transfer of the American people's wealth from Main Street to Wall Street. It is likely the largest transfer in American history due to the fallout from the financial crisis of 2008.

Source: WALL STREET V. MAIN STREET

Is it possible we have this backwards?

Wiring the Afghan Internet

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) for 5 minutes.
   Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, there was a very compelling op-ed piece in The Washington Post last week by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker. In it, he paid tribute to the many American civilians who are risking their lives doing important humanitarian work to bring security and stability to Afghanistan.

'President Obama cares. He cares about you. He cares about me.'

One of the more disturbing speeches from yesterday:
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Wilson) for 5 minutes.
   Ms. WILSON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, ``ObamaCare'' was coined by the Republicans to mock the wonderful Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama.
   The recent Supreme Court decision proves that ObamaCare was the perfect nickname because President Obama cares. He cares about you. He cares about me. He cares about my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle and he cares about my friends on the Republican side of the aisle.

Health care law = 50% of small businesses less likely to hire

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stivers) for 5 minutes.
   Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, the House and Congress this week should pass the health care repeal bill because the President's health care bill is making the economy worse.
   I saw a recent poll that said 50 percent of small businesses are less likely to hire new employees because of the health care bill. As an example, in my district, I spoke to a small business owner who is scared to hire his 50th employee because it would subject his company to the mandates under the health care law.

Answers to unemployment: less health care costs, more energy

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Murphy) for 5 minutes.
   Mr. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, last week, we received some unemployment numbers, or employment numbers, of 80,000 new jobs. It was a bleak statistic telling us that now we were in our 41st straight week where unemployment was above 8 percent. Of course, the real unemployment numbers are saying there are 23 million Americans out of work or looking for work, people who are unemployed or underemployed based upon their skill set and taking whatever job they can get.

Too many young African American and Hispanic men cannot read

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Clarke) for 5 minutes.
   Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I am here, along with my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Scott), to address a national crisis that's facing us today.
   Too many of our young African American and Hispanic men cannot read. They're dropping out of school and they're ending up in prison. Without the skills to be able to get a job, many of these young men may lose hope and they resort to crime.

Sentence first--verdict afterwards

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock) for 5 minutes.
   Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the so-called Affordable Care Act, the House will once again take up the imperative of repealing it.
   But the Supreme Court decision has much more dire implications for our Nation and for its cherished freedoms than merely affirming the government takeover of our health care. In reaching its conclusion, the Court obliterated the fundamental distinction between a penalty and a tax. Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes; and, therefore the Court reasons, it can apply a tax for any reason, even those otherwise outside the confines of the Constitution.
   In this case, the Court ruled that Congress could not impose a law requiring citizens to purchase a government-approved health plan under the Commerce Clause, but it can impose exactly the same requirement as a tax. If it can't fine you for disobeying, it can certainly tax you for disobeying. Mr. Speaker, if the government fines you $250 for running a red light or taxes you $250 for running a red light, the effect is the same. What's the difference?

'Why don't you Members of Congress vote to bring our troops home?'

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones) for 5 minutes.
   Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, like all of my colleagues, I went home to my district as the other Members went to their districts. I live in eastern North Carolina. As do a lot of people, I love my district, and I'm getting the same message: Why are you still in Afghanistan? Why don't you Members of Congress vote to bring our troops home? Why are you spending the money we don't have, and young men and women are getting killed?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rep. Frank Wolf: Fire Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear

  • Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I submit a letter I sent to President Obama and Secretary Clinton calling for the firing of the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.
  • Ambassador David Shear should be removed because he has repeatedly failed to advocate for human rights and speak out for the voiceless in Vietnam. I recommend that he be replaced by a Vietnamese-American.
  • I am particularly upset by Ambassador Shear's failure to invite more dissidents and human rights activists to the U.S. Embassy for a July 4 celebration after promising that he would.
  • Further, I have been disappointed in Shear's handling of the case of Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan, a Vietnamese-American democracy activist and U.S. citizen presently being held by the communist government of Vietnam.
  • As I stated in the letter, ``America must be a voice for the voiceless. The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam must be an island of freedom, headed by a bold American ambassador. Ambassador Shear is not that man.''

Letter: Governor Perry to Secretary Sebelius

Office of the Governor,
July 9, 2012.
 
Hon. Kathleen Sebelius,
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.
 
DEAR SECRETARY SEBELIUS: In the ObamaCare plan, the federal government sought to force the states to expand their Medicaid programs by in the words of the Supreme Court putting a gun to their heads. Now that the ``gun to the head'' has been removed, please relay this message to the President: I oppose both the expansion of Medicaid as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the creation of a so-called ``state'' insurance exchange, because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.

I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the PPACA power grab. Thank God and our nation's founders that we have the right to do so.

Diminishing what was once a great profession

  • Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, former CBS producer Greg Kandra recently highlighted the continued existence of the national liberal media's bias.
  • As a result of the national media's use of selectively edited clips to push its liberal agenda, he stated that he has ``grown weary trying to defend'' the national media. Kandra declared that he cannot and will not defend his former colleagues against claims of liberal bias.
  • He writes that the national media has ``successfully eroded any confidence'' the public has in the news. And that the national media has ``done a [great] job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the underpinnings of democracy, a free press.''

Remembering Andy Griffith

  • Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor the memory of one of the most beloved television personalities of all time, Andy Griffith. For over five decades he entertained us with the wholesome and charismatic energy he was known for. Mr. Griffith's career is the very definition of legendary, and he will be sorely missed.

Mastership of the world

   The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

'The biggest freeloader is the Federal Government.'

Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, today The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram carried stories that only 31 percent of Texas doctors are accepting new patients who rely on Medicaid. In 2010, the last time the survey was taken, it was 42 percent. In the year 2000, it was 67 percent.
   The Texas Medical Association conducted the survey and attributes the dropping numbers to a low reimbursement rate for physicians and increasing red tape. Doctors appear to be losing patience with government-funded health plans and government-run health care in general.
   You know, shortly after the Supreme Court decision, all of the cable talk shows talked about it's free riders that are driving up the cost of health care in this country. No, it's not. The biggest freeloader is the Federal Government.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Affordable Care Act Implications

From the administrator for a self-funded insurance program:
One thing is for sure; if the ACA remains in effect, in its present form, our members’ monthly premiums will continue to rise dramatically and health care will become more and more expensive for everyone.

“Free” or “subsidized” health insurance is never free; someone has to pay for it. Members’ medical premiums come out of their donors’ monthly support.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One thing that stood in Thatcher's way

Rick Santorum:

Margaret Thatcher said this: "I was never able to accomplish in England what Reagan accomplished in America, and it was one thing that stood in my way: the British national health care system."


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Like putting a string across a football field

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I have a policy in my office that every time anyone from my district actually comes to the Capitol, they have a right to see me and talk to me, especially young people. And I have, over the years, seen hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of young people from my home district in southern California. And I let them talk to me and ask any questions that they would like to ask.
And I have a question that I always ask them, and I thought it would be interesting for my colleagues and perhaps any of those who are watching C-SPAN or reading this in the Congressional Record to know the answer that I get when I ask a question of the young high school students from my district.
Mr. Speaker, when our kids come in to my office and are talking to me, I note that I was actually in high school in southern California 47 years ago. And I always ask the kids, is the air better quality today, or is it worse today than when I was going to high school in southern California 47 years ago?

A Chief Justice Reviewing the Chief Justice

Mr. GOHMERT. I've been going through this decision, and having been an attorney--and I've been a prosecutor and a judge and a chief justice. It was a small, three-judge court, but you learn things--you go to judicial conferences--about how to write opinions and things, never to the level of the United States Supreme Court. But as a certified member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, you follow the holdings of the courts.
So it's been with great interest, after I got my wind back from having found that Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the five-person majority, okay, so we start going through the opinion. Let's see how in the world he came to this conclusion.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sales Effect

JCPenney adds sales, after dropping them
JCPenney had a big sale last Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Nothing out of the norm there. Except that back in January, Penney said was done with sales. The new strategy was going to be low prices all the time with sales "only on certain special occasions."

Note to retailers:

A sale does not really help me spend less and thereby you, the seller, earn less.

A sale helps me, the customer, think my purchase is worth more than I'm paying—and now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Advantages of Quiet

Susan Cain: Individuals, extroverts included, produce better ideas when they're riffing alone than when they're in a group.

By elucidating introversion's benefits, Cain is inspiring a reexamination of corporate structure and processes, spurring change through the classic public-intellectual approach: by encouraging us to think.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Every part has the whole plan

Steve Jobs: If you look at your own body, your cells are specialized, but every single one of them has the master plan for the whole body. We think our company will be the best possible company if every single person working here understands the whole master plan and can use that as a yardstick to make decisions against. We think a lot of little and medium and big decisions will be made better if all our people know that.

One way to drive fear out of a relationship is to realize that your partner's values are the same as yours, that what you care about is exactly what they care about. In my opinion, that drives fear out and makes for a great partnership, whether it's a corporate partnership or a marriage.

Read more from Fast Company

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What I am doing?

Little people learning to speak are fun to watch. It's amazing to watch the development, and once language learning takes hold, it becomes impossible to track where they learn everything.

As they learn to communicate, they think they have learned how to say something correctly within the parameters of their native language. And then they hilariously bump up against the rules of grammar.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hope in Heaven?

Last week in Sunday School we made it to the part of Peter's sermon where he is quoting David.
Moreover, my flesh will also camp out in hope.
I asked them the question, "Will there be hope in heaven?"

One of the third graders nailed the question immediately. He basically said, "No, we won't have hope because we'll already have everything."

That's exactly right. Paul told the Romans, "Hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wait, they're the same!

Sunday mornings, we are studying the book of Acts. It's an elementary school-age Sunday School class.

A couple Sundays ago we made it to Peter's sermon in response to the crowd that was responding to the Holy Spirit arriving at Pentecost.

Peter begins by explaining the prophet Joel told us long ago that what was happening would happen.

I told the students that Peter was quoting Joel, and I had them look at both Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32.

Upon reading the same thing in both places, one of the students exclaimed, "Wait, they're the same!"

Yes, they're the same. That's what I meant when I said Peter was quoting Joel!

The New Testament is built on the Old Testament.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can abortion save the mother's life?

Anthony Levatino, MD, JD: I want to make a comment on the claims that I often hear that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women’s lives, or prevent grave physical health damage, in cases of acute conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy.

Albany Medical Center, where I worked for over seven years, is a tertiary referral center that accepts patients with life-threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy. I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there.

There are several conditions that can arise or worsen, typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy, that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or “terminating” the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life saving, but "terminating a pregnancy" does not necessarily mean "abortion." I maintain that abortion is seldom if ever a useful intervention in these cases.

Bishop Darryl Husband: We must sound the alarm

Dear Friends:

I must admit that I was reluctant to publicly share my perspective on President Obama’s recent statement regarding same sex marriage because too often his presidency has caused separation within the ranks of African American leadership. And yet, what does an African American pastor do when his Africa American president makes a decision that eventually will destroy the foundation of not only the African American community, but the nation as a whole? Does that pastor take a risk that he will be misunderstood and labeled as an “Uncle Tom”, a Republican Party pawn, or someone “the white man has bought out”?

Monday, May 21, 2012

British Education Reform

Education is being made over in Britain.

The government’s signal reform involves freeing schools from local-authority control, letting them set their own budgets, alter their hours and change how they teach. Michael Gove, the education secretary, entered office privately hoping that half of all state secondary schools would shake off their local shackles by 2015. That target will probably be hit this year.

Most of the new schools are “academies”, which are existing schools that have secured these freedoms.

“Free schools”, which have identical powers but are created from scratch, might really take off if the government allows them to be run for profit, bringing a wider range of suppliers into the mix. Mr Gove’s priority, however, is to expand the academy revolution to primary schools.

The Economist

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Economic Calendar, Week of May 21, 2012

Next week's economic data includes April's existing home sales on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Existing home sales are forecast at a 4.60 million-unit annual, up from 4.48 million in March.

New homes sales figures are due on Wednesday at 10 a.m. April's new home sales are also expected to post an increase, gaining about 7,000 units over a 328,000-unit annual rate in March.

Initial jobless claims and durable goods orders will be published on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Consumer sentiment is due at 9:55 a.m. on Friday.

Read more from MSNBC

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A blank check for power

Greetings Drs. Mann and Ornstein,

Thank you for your editorial and concern for our country.  I share some of your concerns.  When I stood for election to the Virginia Senate last year, I did not take Mr. Norquist's pledge, and I agree that it is limited in its usefulness.  Additional debt is no acceptable political escape route from increasing taxes or closing loopholes/deductions/etc.

While you acknowledge that "Democrats are hardly blameless," there is one significant basis in particular by which I cannot agree with your characterization that "the Democrats may have moved from their 40-yard line to their 25" while "the Republicans have gone from their 40 to somewhere behind their goal post."  

The 2010 health care law has far and away been "the force behind" the recent widening of the ideological gap.  This was not the work of "centrist protectors of government, reluctantly willing to revamp programs and trim retirement and health benefits to maintain its central commitments in the face of fiscal pressures."  

It is becoming increasingly clear this was a blank check for power, and we are finding out just how far the current Administration is willing to go in the use of that power.  We need look no further than its disregard for religious liberty in its handling of contraception and the mandating of abortion.  

This Democratic party bears sole responsibility for the 2010 health care law.  There is nothing "status-quo" about this law and this Democratic party.

Tim
12,746 days

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter headlines from around the world

United States

Navy: 'Miracle' nobody died in Virginia jet crash


Africa

Genocide survivor has faith in future of Rwanda
"There is no paradise on Earth. What happened in Rwanda can happen anywhere"


Asia

U.S. sinks Japan tsunami-swept boat

Indian authorities propose prisoner swap with Maoist rebels


Europe

Austerity drives up suicide rate in debt-ridden Greece


Latin America

Why Iran-Brazil friendship has gone cold

Cuba sets Good Friday as holiday after pope's request

Panama teen was adrift at sea for 26 days; mother calls return 'a miracle'

It is God's nature to remove barriers

On Sunday, the third day after Jesus' death, Mary Magdalene went to visit His tomb.

When Mary arrived, the heavy stone that covered the opening of the tomb—a stone that could be moved only with extraordinary strength—had been rolled aside making it possible for everyone to see for themselves that Jesus was no longer inside.

When Jesus came back to life, He certainly could have left His tomb without moving that rock.

But it's God's nature to remove barriers to our understanding and believing.

John 20 describes the miraculous setting in detail so everyone would know that the body had not been stolen.

No Jew or Greek would have unwrapped a dead body just to carry it out. The dead body would have contaminated them.

And the Roman soldiers would not have stolen the body since they were supposed to guard the tomb to prevent that from happening. In fact, Jesus' disappearance meant certain death for them.

And no one would have taken the time and effort to unwrap the linens from the corpse, yet the wrappings were found neatly folded, as if someone had tidied up before leaving the site.

The headcloth had been rolled up in a separate place.

Nothing in the passage indicates that there was anything rushed or chaotic about Jesus' leaving the tomb.

It was not by accident that Jesus rose on the third day.

When the disciples saw the empty tomb and the linens, they realized that Jesus had risen from the dead. They remembered the Scriptures said He would come to life again.

From there, they would eventually change the world!
Inner State 80, pp. 372-373.

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