STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s *’Movin’ On Up’ On Capitol Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Sarah Selip is the new Communications Director for Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). Sarah was previously founder of 917 Strategies and before that a public relations strategist for Shirley & Bannister. She earned her BA in public relations, advertising and applied communications from St. Vincent College in 2017.

Oriana Pina, Hispanic Media Director for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)(Screenshot from Facebook).

Taking the reins as Hispanic Media Director for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is Oriana Pina. She comes to the Schumer staff from the SKDKnickerbocker LLC communications strategies firm where she was a Senior Associate. Oriana was awarded an MA in global communications and public diplomacy from George Washington University in 2015 and a BS in international relations in 2012 from the home of the Seminoles, Florida State University.

Now serving as Deputy Counsel for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is John Ehrett, following nearly two years as an Associate in the firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. John earned his JD from Yale University School of Law in 2017 and completed his BA in government as summa cum laude at Patrick Henry College in 2014.

Leaving The Hill:

After more than three years as Chief of Staff for Rep. Antonio Cardenas (D-Calif.), Miguel Franco is moving to NBC Universal as Vice President for Government Affairs. Miguel received his BA in political science from the University of Southern California in 2007.

Sunil Varghese put in almost two years as Counsel to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is now Project Director for the International Refugee Assistance Project, Inc. He received his JD in 2007 from Georgetown University Law Center and both a BA in government and a BBA in management information systems in 2002 from the University of Texas.


Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)


STAFF NEWS/EARLY EDITION: Long-Serving COS Is Praised By Boss After Nine-Year Run

With the average tenure of a congressional aide in a position traditionally being less than two years, it’s not often that we see somebody doing the same key job for the same Member of Congress for nearly a decade.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), left, departing chief of staff Mark Pettitt, right. (Photo courtesy of Brooks).

Such a person is Mark Pettitt, the departing chief of staff for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) ever since the Alabamian was first elected to Congress in the Tea Party Revolution of 2010.

It helps that Brooks and Pettitt have been close friends since their high school days, a fact that perhaps accounts for the heart-felt respect and affection the congressman expressed in announcing the departure: Continue reading “STAFF NEWS/EARLY EDITION: Long-Serving COS Is Praised By Boss After Nine-Year Run”

Far More Historical Evidence For Jesus Than For Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism And Zoroastrianism

Did you know Buddha didn’t believe in God? Or that Hinduism’s chief character likely never existed? How about that a leading Islam apologist agreed Muhammed was 600 years too late to be credible on Jesus’ death? And what do we make of the 1,000 year range in which Zoroaster may have been born?

Photo by Emily KenCairn of Apiary Studio on Unsplash

All good questions, especially when compared with the historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, according to scholars Gary  Habermas and Benjamin C.F. Shaw, writing in the latest edition of Southern Equip:

“It is far from surprising that world religious adherents typically claim that their faith is unique in several regards. Christians are no different here. These are quite natural assertions, as everyone wants to believe that something so crucial to them is both different and well as exceptional.

“But Christians often go further. They claim frequently that they actually have evidence that their faith is different from all the others.” Go here for the rest of an article that may be quite eye-opening.


There Are Eight Kinds Of Digital Churchgoers. Which One Are You?

Bet you didn’t know there are eight distinct kinds of churchgoers during this digital interregnum between the Camelot of President Donald Trump’s “Greatest Economy Ever, That I Can Tell You” and the official end of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Mollie and husband Mark Hemingway, with their two wonderful daughters on the set of “Media Buzz.” (Screen shot from Facebook).

Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of The Federalist and frequent wise counselor on Fox News, breaks out these eight gems and compares them to their analogous attenders from the pre-Pandemic era when we got to see and hug and praise in person.

Can you guess which one of the eight Mollie is describing with this graph?

“Somehow, virtual church has changed none of this dynamic. You’re still running around getting ready and the family isn’t seated until the end of the opening hymn. Several members are fighting as they leap over the sofa to grab a final seat.” Go here for the answer, and the rest of a great way of viewing the present, Lord-please-let-it-be-temporary state of things.


HARD FACTS: There’s More Than One Way To ‘Trust The Science’

If you work in any position on Capitol Hill, here’s a must-read analysis by True Horizon’s Bob Perry of what is likely the most frequently repeated truism of the coronavirus pandemic. Click on the last line below to read the rest of Perry’s post:

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

“I have made the case before that scientism is a dangerous belief system. And the COVID-19 Pandemic has done nothing but prove the point. In their response to the virus, many in power exhort us to ‘trust the science.’

“Listen to the doctors. Their wisdom should guide the trajectory of our collective futures. But accepting that view greatly depends on your understanding of what science is … and whose science you’re trusting.

The truth is that science never provides answers to anything. Scientists do.” 


MYTH BUSTERS: 15 Ways Pagan Myths Resemble Jesus, But That Doesn’t Mean What Skeptics Claim

It’s an oft-heard tale these days that Jesus was just a “copy-cat” god, thanks to multiple characteristics of existing pagan deities of His day that the fabricators of the Christian myth allegedly “borrowed.”

Such claims have a whisk of credibility, thanks to the apparent depth of historical knowledge wielded by those making them. Probe just a little deeper into the historical facts, however, and the claims’ flaws soon become clear.

Former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace, author of “Cold-Case Christianity” and “God’s Crime Scene,” dug into the historical resources to compare Jesus to all of the ancient pagan deities. Check out what he found in this video with the Think Institute’s Joel Settecase:


STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is *’Movin’ On Up’ On Capitol Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Rodney Hall is now the Military Legislative Assistant to Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) after serving in the same position for Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.). Rodney is a Major in the Mississippi Army National Guard and his service included deployments to Afghanistan, Syria and Kuwait. He earned his law degree in 2019 from the University of Mississippi and his BS in business administration and management from the University of Maryland University College in 2012. He is also a proud 2008 graduate of Marion Military Institute. Thank you for your service to this nation, Rodney!

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrande (D-NY) has recruited a new speech writer, Sarah Pierz, who previously worked for current California Attorney General and former Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.). Sarah is a 2011 graduate from Northwestern University with a BA in economics. She was awarded her MS in advertising in 2017 by Boston University.

Lina Francis has moved over to the Sierra Club as Deputy Chief of Communications from the staff of Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) where she was Communications Director. Lina is a Hill veteran, going back to 2006 when she was an intern for then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is *’Movin’ On Up’ On Capitol Hill”

Four Commonsense Reasons God Must Exist

Apologetics Press’ Eric Lyons has a gift for expressing the complex in common sense language that makes the insights accessible to the rest of us. A great illustration of Lyons’ exercising his gift is this video of him discussing four reasons God must exist.

Eric Lyons, Apologetics Press.

“Either God exists or He doesn’t. There is no middle ground. Consider four logical lines of powerful evidence that clearly testify on behalf of the existence of a supernatural Creator,” Lyons explains in his introduction.

Whether you are a believer or an atheist, Lyons offers a crisp, no-nonsense analysis of these issues. Enjoy:


Check Out These Three Undisputed Facts About Jesus And One Quite Irresistible Conclusion

Every now and again, I receive an email that stands out among the hundreds of such messages that hit my inbox just about every day. One such missive came today that I would like to share with you.

Stand to Reason founder Greg Koukl.

The email came from Stand to Reason’s Greg Koukl. Along with Josh and Sean McDowell, Frank Turek, J. Warner Wallace, Gary Habermas, Hugh Ross, and Ravi Zacharias, Koukl has in recent years labored mightily and successfully to put Christian apologetics in a prominent place in America’s public forums, secular and spiritual.

The heart of this particular message was the following three facts that are essentially settled as beyond dispute among Christianity’s defenders and its skeptics: Continue reading “Check Out These Three Undisputed Facts About Jesus And One Quite Irresistible Conclusion”

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Do You Know The Difference Between ‘Science’ And ‘Scientism?’

Mark Twain famously remarked about how “lightning” and “lightning bug” look and sound an awful lot alike, but they are two entirely different things. Philosopher Kenneth Samples sees much the same relationship between “science” and “scientism.”

Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash

That difference is hugely significant for Members of Congress, and even more so for their staffers, who must know the difference if they are to render the most credible and useful advice and analyses for their law-making bosses.

So what is the difference between science and scientism? Samples first quotes the National Academy of Sciences’ definition of the former as “the use of evidence to construct testable explanation and prediction of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.” Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Do You Know The Difference Between ‘Science’ And ‘Scientism?’”

Make Any Decisions Today? You Demonstrated Free Will … And The Existence Of God

I’m guessing you made a decision on what to eat for breakfast this morning. You also made a decision about the clothes you are wearing as you read this post. In fact, you made all kinds of decisions about a hundred different “little” things as you went about your morning. So did I. So do we all.

J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene.

But think about this: If the universe is nothing but matter in motion, atoms bumping into atoms and then away only to bump into others, where does your will enter into the picture? What about the fact you have consciousness?

J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective, explains in the following video how the fact we all have the capacity to make decisions on our own volition makes a compelling argument for the existence of God. Have a Super Sunday!


WORKING ON THE HILL: Learning To Pray For Your Enemies

Being a journalist covering Congress and national politics, I often hear from readers reacting via email to something I’ve reported, usually in positive terms but not always. Once in a while, a message comes soaked with insults and venom.

Photo by Alessandro Bellone on Unsplash.

I got such an email earlier today reacting to my March 20 story in The Epoch Times reporting on criticism sparked by that news photo you probably saw of Vice President Mike Pence leading prayer in the Oval Office for the Coronavirus Task Force he heads and for the nation in its response to the coronavirus Pandemic.

“Bob” (not his real name) is evidently from New York and was extremely agitated by the headline on the story, “Trump’s National Day of Prayer Nettled Critics, but America is Still a Praying Nation.” Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Learning To Pray For Your Enemies”

No, The ‘God Of The Gaps’ Claim Is Not A Logical Argument

Virtually any time somebody who believes the universe was created by God debates another person who denies that claim, odds are good the latter will accuse the former of advocating the “God of the gaps” theory.’s Dr. Frank Turek.

That theory is a rhetorical device lobbed by the speaker using it at the other person to claim they are simply inventing “God” to fill in the gaps of their knowledge created by the present lack of a purely  materialistic or scientific explanation. The often unstated assumption is that given enough time, such an explanation will be found.’s Dr. Frank Turek addresses the “God of the gaps” theory in the following video and, at least in my humble opinion, makes it crystal clear why it is nothing more than a rhetorical device:


*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Alex Swann is the new Scheduler/Executive Assistant for Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV). Alex previously worked as an intern for the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. He is a 2016 graduate in theatre from Reed College.

Joining the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee as a Professional Staff Member is Lucy Koch, moving up from a research assistant position for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on the same panel. Lucy is a 2017 graduate of Haverford College with a BA in Spanish and economics. Continue reading “*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill”