What’s In An American’s Name? Quite A Lot, Actually

There is quite a debate brewing about whether or not religion and faith have been growing or declining in this country in recent years. Regular HillFaith readers will recall this post on Glenn Stanton’s case for optimism.

Photo by Andrew McQuaid on Unsplash

Now along comes Lyman Stone, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) with a deep-dive look at the data, combined with a well-informed and balanced historical perspective. If you work on Capitol Hill, you will benefit from Stone’s work, as it advances the debate in a healthy way. His basic conclusion is:

“By any measure, religiosity in America is declin­ing. As this report will show, since peaking in 1960, the share of American adults attending any religious service in a typical week has fallen from 50 per­cent to about 35 percent, while the share claimed as members by any religious body has fallen from over 75 percent to about 62 percent … Continue reading “What’s In An American’s Name? Quite A Lot, Actually”

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”

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.” 


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”

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?’”

*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”