Category Archives: National Politics

Dignity and Restraint

Khizr Khan of Charlottesville was responding to the controversy surrounding Donald Trump and America’s Gold Star families and, while he may not speak for all of them, his remarks were: “Dignity and restraint.”

Dignity and restraint … that, he said, was what was missing from Trump’s ongoing back-and-forth with fallen hero La David Johnson’s family.

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The 9/11 Bullhorn Speech from President George W. Bush

A president who had barely taken office was faced with the worst attack ever on American soil, and he rose to the occasion. It can never be said enough … we cannot forget the terrorism attacks of 9/11 and the 3,000 innocent souls who perished that day. I hope those who were too young to be impacted by the events of that day will listen to those who were there.

Spontaneous chants roared from the crowd of rescue workers on September 14, 2001, three days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as President George W. Bush stood at Ground Zero and, with bullhorn in hand, said the words that were heard around the world:

President Bush: Thank you all. I want you all to know — it can’t go any louder (referring to the bullhorn) — I want you all to know that America today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens.

Rescue Worker: I can’t hear you!

President Bush: I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

Rescue Workers: (Roar from the crowd) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

President Bush: The nation sends its love and compassion …

Rescue Worker: God bless America!

President Bush: … to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud, and may God bless America.

Rescue Workers: (Chanting) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

It was a moment that uplifted the nation and brought American solidarity. May we never forget.

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Trump’s Afghanistan Speech, House Majority Leader’s Response

It was a perfect example that governing is different than campaigning, or perhaps that saying one thing to get elected morphs into something else once in office (see Trump’s years of tweets calling for U.S. to leave Afghanistan).

In Monday night’s speech President Donald Trump reversed years of publicly and harshly criticizing previous presidents when he declared that they were wrong in their policy of Afghanistan, and his determination that America should withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Trump’s speech announced to the nation that more American soldiers were going to be sent onto the battlefield.

Following Trump’s speech Monday night regarding Afghanistan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) commented:

“There is no substitute for American leadership. I applaud the Trump Administration for refocusing our military efforts and supporting our brave warfighters by laying out a strategy that will help produce a more secure, stable, and sovereign Afghanistan. I am confident of the path ahead, and will work with my colleagues to ensure our troops have the resources they need to succeed in their mission. This framework for action is the right thing to do for Afghanistan, the United States, and the world.”

Fox News: Transcript of Trump’s announcement.

Background info: The Washington Post – Trump announces new strategy for Afghanistan that calls for a troop increase

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Sen. Susan Collins … Pragmatic, Rational Republican Leader

Senator Susan Collins of Maine is a pragmatic, rational, New England Republican who represents her constituents. To the right wing of the GOP she is a RINO and a moderate, titles that are not derogatory to everyone, but to the Maine residents she is exactly who they want standing up for them.

This Bangor interview from Monday’s MSNBC is a good look at where Sen. Collins stands. Take a listen with an open mind.

 

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Joe Manchin Shows Backbone

In the world of politics, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has always been his own man. In today’s toxic political climate, he continues that path but his latest exchange showed he definitely belongs in the Backbone Club that consists of those not swayed by polls, bullied by fringe groups, or ruled by reelection fears.

Talking with the Charleston Gazette, Manchin was emphatic about standing up for what was important for West Virginians:

“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a s–t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s–t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”

“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”

The Backbone Club is populated with other elected representatives who have taken a principled stand and not backed down: Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Barbara Comstock, and Gov. John Kasich. There may be others who deserve to be added to this list.

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U.S. House Schedule for Friday, July 28, 2017

FRIDAY, JULY 28TH
On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Last votes expected: TBD.

One Minute Speeches

S. 114 – A bill to authorize appropriations for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes, as amended (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Sen. Dean Heller / Veterans Affairs Committee)

H.R. 3180 – Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, as amended (Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes / Permanent Select Intelligence Committee)

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Gillespie, Northam Campaigns Regroup After Homestead Debate

Here we are again in a place we’ve been before as we find ourselves in a bellwether election, this time to test the nation’s temperament for the man in the White House. November’s results could give insight into the 2018 mid-term elections.

There are only two gubernatorial races in the country this year. Republicans are not expected to prevail in New Jersey so all eyes are on Virginia’s Governor race between 55-year-old Republican Ed Gillespie and 57-year-old Democrat Ralph Northam. That includes their respective political parties who are eager for a win.

Email boxes have been filled with the tiresome but obligatory chest-thumping emails as both sides point fingers at their opponent to expose their “big money” campaign contributions when, in reality, the money-dumping is happening on both sides.
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U.S. House Schedule for Thursday, July 27, 2017

From Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office….

THURSDAY, JULY 27TH
On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

One Minute Speeches

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U.S. House Schedule for Wednesday, July 26, 2017

From Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office….

WEDNESDAY, JULY 26TH
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Last votes expected: 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

One Minute Speeches

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

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John McCain’s Emotional Remarks From Senate Floor, ‘Stop Listening to Radio, TV, Internet Loudmouths’

“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.”

“Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the president’s subordinates. We are his equal.” -Senator John McCain, 7-25-2017

Senator John McCain returned to D.C. Tuesday after last week’s diagnosis for brain cancer and, with a healing surgical wound over his left eye, participated in a Senate vote to advance the debate to repeal and replace Obamacare.

After the vote passed, the Arizona Republican took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to address his fellow Senators in spirited remarks that were peppered with applause:

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2005 Boy Scout Jamboree: President George W. Bush Knew How To Address Scouts

When President George W. Bush arrived at Virginia’s Fort A.P. Hill for the 2005 National Boy Scout Jamboree, a couple of incidents had already happened that he mentioned in his remarks.

First, vicious storms had swept through the area earlier in the week after intense triple-digit July heat, forcing a postponement in his visit, and he thanked the gathering for their “rain check.”

<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/27/us/questions-remain-as-scouts-try-to-deal-with-four-deaths.html”>Second, and most tragic, </a>was that four Scout leaders from Alaska had been electrocuted just five days earlier at the beginning of the event. As the men worked to erect a canvas tent, a tall metal pole touched a live electrical wire, killing them instantly in front of Scouts helping set up the tent, an incident the president addressed while expressing condolences at the loss.

But looking back now one day after Donald Trump’s narcissistic, politically-laced, rambling, and discourteous speech at the 2017 Jamboree, something that stands out is that the subject of President Bush’s remarks was scouting. Not politics. Not his campaign. Not bashing his predecessor. His remarks were respectful and appropriate for 30,000 boys ages 11-17, delivered with the dignity of a United States President.

At one point in typical Dubya style he quipped, “When I was a Cub Scout, my mother was our den mother. It’s about the time her hair turned white,” to laughter from the crowd.

Often with chants of “USA! USA! USA!” in the background, the president thanked Scouts for 1.5 million hours of volunteering in their communities, sprinkled in some light-hearted jokes, hailed volunteer Scout leaders, noted former Scouts who were currently serving in his administration, was grateful to Scouts who go on to serve in the military, and expressed his optimism for the years ahead as he stood in front of America’s future leaders.

Three video clips capture President Bush’s entire remarks. This is what a leader sounds like addressing the Boy Scouts of America. I hope we never lose sight of that.

 

Remarks by President George W. Bush
National Boy Scout Jamboree — July 31, 2005
Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia

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McCain Returns To D.C., U.S. Senate Will Tackle Health Care

The U.S. Senate schedule for Tuesday, July 25, 2017, is brief but includes the much-watched and very important health care issue that Republicans will bring to the floor with a procedural vote to begin debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act (background here).

From the Senate website this morning:

The Senate stands adjourned until 12:00 noon on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

Following Leader remarks, we expect Senator McConnell to move to proceed to the consideration of Calendar #175, H.R.2810, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, until moving to proceed to the reconciliation vehicle (Republican health care bill) post-lunch.

That’s it.

Yet Senator John McCain, sidelined in Arizona last week after doctors diagnosed brain cancer, is flying back to D.C. because his vote is needed as Republicans work to repeal the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. There is a razor-thin margin between passage and failure.

On Monday McCain’s office released this press release:

“Senator McCain looks forward to returning to the United States Senate tomorrow to continue working on important legislation, including health care reform, the National Defense Authorization Act, and new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.”

Stay tuned….

 

 

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U.S. House Schedule for Monday, July 24, 2017

From Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office….

MONDAY, JULY 24TH
On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

One Minute Speeches
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‘The Atlantic’ Magazine Celebrates 160 Years

I’ve got to admit that, though I receive the evening update from The Atlantic magazine, I was not aware of their history and background. Therefore, I found this email extremely interesting as it talked about such literary giants as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many others wo came together to found the publication.  All were known as political activists of their day.

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U.S. House Schedule for Thursday, July 20, 2017

From the office of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy….

THURSDAY, JULY 20th
On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

One Minute Speeches
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