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
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:
“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:
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
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).
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.
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.”
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.
Bearing Drift colleague Andrew Hull brought up a sticky subject Sunday in a post where he noted, “My message to my fellow conservatives is simply this: acting as though Trump is infallible does both him and the country a disservice. … It seems, however, that a large portion of the Republican Party and conservatives have devolved into a group of yes men who perpetually have their lips welded to the President’s posterior, come what may.”
Today I am wondering what message is being sent to rank-and-file Republicans as the news spreads that Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) may be targeted by the White House itself for a primary in his 2018 re-election.
The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.
At a time when it would be expected that Flake, 54, would be heralded for standing up for his principles and applauded for refusing to be a yes man, he is instead facing a challenge with the help of Donald Trump who has reportedly threatened to spend $10 million of his own money against Flake:
Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why elected officials continue falling all over themselves to get in line behind Trump. We can expect it to be that way until, and if, a united front emerges of courageous and energetic leaders willing to return the GOP to the party of Lincoln.
From the office of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy….
MONDAY, JULY 17th
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
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 2210 – To designate the community living center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Butler Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the Sergeant Joseph George Kusick VA Community Living Center (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly / Veterans Affairs Committee)
2) H.J.Res. 92 – Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to amend the Washington Area Transit Regulation Compact (Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock / Judiciary Committee)
3) H.J.Res. 76 – Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to a enter into a compact relating to the establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (Sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer / Judiciary Committee)
Special Order Speeches
The U.S. Senate health care vote has been put on hold, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, allowing Senator John McCain to recover from surgery to remove a blood clot:
McCain underwent surgery in Phoenix on Friday to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. “On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week,” said McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo. A statement from the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said the senator is resting at home “in good condition” and that “the surgery went very well.”
The vote is so close that Republicans are depending on McCain’s presence to help pass the bill since Republican senators Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY) have indicated they cannot support it.
After two months in office, Donald Trump appeared to be giving up on his vow to supporters to repeal and replace Obamacare with his Thursday night ultimatum. Congress, he said, was to pass the Republican version of health care aka Trumpcare, or he was going to move on to the next item on his to-do list.
Never mind that many feel that this process is eerily reminiscent of eight years ago when Obamacare was jammed down the throats of unwilling Americans, and Nancy Pelosi infamously said the bill had to be passed before we could know what was in it. Conservatives were livid. They marched on D.C. to protest. They showed up at town halls to express their displeasure.
It did no good. Democrats passed Obamacare because they were in control and outvoted the dissenting Republicans. That was in December 2009, eleven months after Obama took office as president. It was a stunning rebuke of the opposite party and an obviously unhappy electorate. At mid-term Democrats paid a huge price.
Fast forward to today — Friday, March 24, 2017. Perhaps it’s fitting that today is cold with rain and sleet in the nation’s capital because the reality was an ultimatum had been issued from the White House. It was now or never on health care. That could work either way: jump on board, or dig in heels against the bill. With a vote scheduled for this afternoon, the morning hours were spent whipping up additional votes to try and pass the legislation that has been deemed ObamacareLite by those familiar with the bill.
On Monday afternoon and then again on Tuesday, Shepard Smith was right there in his anchor chair at Fox News Channel’s top-rated Shepard Smith Reporting. So much for the rumors of his demise. Over the weekend, some Fox viewers were calling for the chief news anchor’s head over at the fair and balanced network.
Smith, who is also manager of the network’s breaking news division and has been with Fox since its inception in 1996, was frustrated last week at the never-ending news of Russian connections with members of the Trump administration, and the lack of answers forthcoming from the White House.
After it was learned on Thursday that fired national security advisor Michael Flynn had just registered as a foreign agent for Turkey, Smith’s exasperation overflowed when he bluntly blurted out that there was too much smoke, too much Russia, and too much lying going on.
That was apparently more than some Fox News supporters could bear, and now they are beating the drum to see Smith dismissed, spreading fake news that he had already been removed or was about to be removed.
In 2006, after 10 minutes of hilarious self-deprecating humor, President George W. Bush ended his remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner by thanking his side-kick, comedian Steve Bridges, and the dinner attendees with these words: “I want to thank Steve for being part of this fun evening. As most of my predecessors have known, it’s really important to be able to laugh in this job, and I thank you for giving us the chance to laugh with you tonight.”
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.” -President George W. Bush (February 27, 2017)
Former President George W. Bush sat down with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show” on Monday, and answered some tough questions head-on. For a president who stays in the background and refuses to be critical of current or past presidents, this time he was frankly honest as he responded to issues currently plaguing the Donald Trump administration.
Even as Trump’s war on the media continues and even ramps up, the video above reminds of the self-deprecating humor of George W. Bush during his years in the White House. As he noted in the video, “As most of my predecessors have known, it’s really important to be able to laugh in this job, and I thank you for giving us the chance to laugh with you tonight.” This was after he had been excoriated by the press and Democrats for six years; yet, he did not stay away from the correspondents’ annual dinner or stand them up. He played along, and was hilarious while doing so.
Here, in a nut shell, are the subjects touched on with Matt Lauer, as compiled by my journalist sister.
On the questions of RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE in the presidential election last year and Trump team contacts:
“I think we all need answers … I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”
On the TRAVEL BAN:
“I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or to not worship at all. A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.
“I understood right off the bat that this was an ideological conflict and people who murder the innocent are not religious people — they want to advance an ideology and we have faced those kinds of ideologues in the past.
“I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law.”
On Trump attacks on the FREE PRESS:
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account… Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere… It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”
Alan Colmes has passed away at the age of 66.
Anyone else remember “Hannity and Colmes,” the point-counterpoint debate-style talk show that aired in the evenings in the early days of Fox News when they presented pro and con sides of an issue? On the show that was on from 1996-2009, far right conservative Sean Hannity would square off against far left liberal Alan Colmes to discuss any- and everything political.
The show was entertaining and, while I normally did not agree with Colmes’ side of the discussion, he offered the other side of issues. However, it was kind of unsettling to see Hannity talk over Colmes as he responded, drilling into him when he tried to make a point. They finally parted ways, and Colmes went on to host a radio show for the Fox network while Hannity remained as the sole host of the TV show.
A little known fact is that Colmes’ sister-in-law was conservative commentator Monica Crowley who often appeared with Hannity and Colmes. His wife was Crawley’s sister, Dr. Jocelyn Crowley, who is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University.
No cause of death has been shared. RIP, Alan Colmes.
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