Why ‘Water Bears’ May Present An Unsolvable Dilemma For Survival Of The Fittest Advocates

No, this post is not about polar bears or Alaskan brown bears, even though they do spend a great deal of time in the water. This post is about the tiny anthropods known as “Tartigrades” that are found in waters around the Earth, including those that are freezing and those that are quite warm.

Yes, this is a bear in the water, but it’s not a tardigrade, AKA “water bear.” (Photo by Brent Jones on Unsplash).

Doesn’t really matter to Tardigrades what kind of environment they are in because they possess an absolutely unique ability to survive in virtually any environment, including, according to scientists at the University of California Sand Diego (UCSD), everything “from dangerously high radiation levels to chillingly low temperatures to exposure to deadly chemicals. They’ve even been launched into space as part of a project to transfer life forms to the moon (and crash-landed there with the Beresheet lander spacecraft earlier this year).” Continue reading “Why ‘Water Bears’ May Present An Unsolvable Dilemma For Survival Of The Fittest Advocates”

One Very Stark Photo Shows Why Politics Matters Whether Or Not You Are A Christian

Believe it or not, there are actually millions of our fellow Americans who think politics is not something they need or want to think or care about. What Congress, the President and the courts do every day is just not very important to them.

These folks include devout fundamentalist Christians, people who go to church maybe once or twice a year on the traditional holidays, and others who think religion is a joke. In other words, a lot of the people served by congressional aides have little or no concept of the relevance of government to their daily lives.

Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek explains why everybody should pay attention to politics, using a satellite photo that shows in vivid black-and-white the most essential difference between North and South Korea. And he makes some points you might find useful over the holidays when family and friends back home ask about your job on Capitol Hill.

Thousands Respond To Altar Call During Kanye West’s Baton Rouge ‘Sunday Service’

Baton Rouge Sunday Service (Screen shot from Instagram).

Something genuinely significant appears to be occurring in connection with Kanye West and his ‘Sunday Service’ evangelism events, with “thousands” reportedly responding to the altar call in Baton Rouge Friday evening.

“’Tonight, worship was lifted, the name of Christ was exalted, the Word of God was preached, a multitude prayed together, the Gospel was clearly proclaimed, and an opportunity to respond was given,’ Faithwire’s Lindsay Elizabeth reports Saturday, quoting an Instagram post by a local pastor who described it in detail while attending the event. Continue reading “Thousands Respond To Altar Call During Kanye West’s Baton Rouge ‘Sunday Service’”

Here’s The Truth About Why U.S. Evangelicals Back Separation Of Church And State

There is a myth being circulated in American politics these days that evangelical Christians want to do away with the separation of church and state so they can impose their “Christian Nationalist” version of a theocracy on the country.

Those who push the myth thereby betray a fundamental ignorance of what evangelical Christians actually believe about God, the Bible, government, American history, and the U.S. Constitution, but that doesn’t keep them from repeating the myth at every opportunity.

The reality, as explained by Capitol Ministries, is the basic notion of separation of church and state that began 2,000 years ago when Jesus said at Matthew 22:21 that we are to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Continue reading “Here’s The Truth About Why U.S. Evangelicals Back Separation Of Church And State”

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Matt McNally now occupies the chief of staff’s office for Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) after two years in Gotham City as director of its federal affairs operation. Previously, McNally was communications director for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). He is a Roger Williams University graduate.

Jacob Stubbs has his first position on a congressional staff, serving as a legislative assistant for Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). For two years prior, Stubbs was a special assistant in the Department of Homeland Security. He has an MA from Yale Divinity School and a BA in government and religion from Berry College.

There’s a new professional staff member for the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Alan McQuinn. He’s a “Hook’em Horns” kind of guy, earning a BS in 2013 in political communications and public relations from that big school in Austin.

Got a scheduling question involving Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa)? Ask the new scheduler, Tony McComiskey. The new gig comes after three years in various capacities with former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.). McComiskey’s BA in political science and government was awarded by Gettysburg College in 2014.


Think You Want To Go Back Home And Run For Congress?

It’s not unusual for congressional staffers to return home at some point and stand for election as their neighbors’ representative in the nation’s capitol.

Rosemary Bechi (Screen shot from Facebook)

Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. Rosemary Becchi, former tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, is making major strides toward being among the former, having raised, according to the New Jersey Globe, more than $387,000 in her bid for the GOP nomination for Congress in the seventh district.

If she wins her primary against two opponents, Becchi will take on Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J., a freshman who will be running for re-election for the first time. Becchi has the endorsement of FreedomWorks America and Maggie’s List.


LOOKING FOR A HILL JOB?

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)


If Clarissa Rojas’s Life-Story Doesn’t Inspire You, Nothing Will

Clarissa Rojas, 23, is one of the youngest communications directors working on Capitol Hill, having begun serving in that position earlier this month for Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.).

Clarissa Rojas, center, is flanked by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, left, and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, right. (Screen shot from Facebook)

But her latest position is not her first on Capitol Hill. Rojas previously served as press secretary for Rep. Nannette Diaz Barragan (D-Calif.) and before that as press assistant in the same office.

It’s not just her age that makes Rojas noteworthy, it’s the tough road she’s had to travel to get from a hard life in California to a congressional staff position. It’s a journey that Roll Call’s Kathryn Lyons describes well in a superb profile today. If you read nothing else today, read this one.

Congress Needs Bigger, Better-Paid Or More Experienced Staffs?

What do you say if a former boss asks you for a few minutes to chat, then closes the door and explains that she wants to pick your brain about reshaping her staff to advance her legislative agenda more effectively?

Do you say “hire more staff” or “let some people go and pay those you keep more?” Perhaps the solution is to start looking for replacements for all of the key slots, but then how do you avoid merely hiring a new version of the same-old-same-old?

Alan Wiseman of Vanderbilt and Craig Volden of UVA are co-directors of the Center for Effective Law-Making and they recently did a thoughtful memo for the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress on what makes productive legislative staffs. Some of their conclusions, posted by legbranch.org, will surprise even Hill veterans.