Every one of the 535 congressional offices has one of these, and every one of them requires continuous attention from at least one staffer and helps everybody else do their jobs.
They are the Constituent Management Systems (aka CRMs) that, according to legbranch.org’s Samantha McDonald and Melissa Mazmanian, “help offices manage the ever-growing volume of constituent communication.
Victor Yang has worked on Capitol Hill for three years, presently as legislative assistant to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and previously as a staff assistant to Rep. Charlies Crist (D-Fla.) and an intern for Rep. Juan Vargas, another California Democrat.
Even if you’ve never met Victor, he may look familiar to you because he appeared on CNBC last week in the cable outlet’s “Millennial Money” series of profiles.
Among the attributes that most distinguish humans from all other creatures is our ability to perceive alternative courses of action and to make choices among those alternatives. That’s called “free will.” Our laws and system of justice assume we all have this unique ability.
But if we live in a material universe that is a product of and is governed only by the action/reaction processes of atoms and forces in motion, then there can be no such thing as free will. Our decisions to act in a certain way are nothing more than the consequences of those atoms reacting according to the sequence of causes and effects.
“No set of dominoes is held accountable for how they fall,” contends NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace in the following brief video. “Dominoes have no choice in the matter because they fall in a certain way based on prior physical causes.” Think about it, are you just another domino?
Ever Wonder ‘Who Made God?’
That’s a question often posed by those who deny God’s existence, but, as Tom Hammond explains in “What Time Is Purple,” wondering who made God makes about as much sense as pondering where on the clock does the royal color appear.
“What Time Is Purple” is a mere 45 pages, but it’s full of clarity, logic and common sense about the most important questions we all think about it at one time or another. Be careful, though, as it may cause you to revise how you answer those questions.
To get a free copy of this challenging book, just click on its cover in the sidebar to the right and I will get yours in the mail ASAP.
NOTE: IF THE CONTACT BUTTON DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU, SEND ME YOUR SNAIL MAIL AT firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne Gordon returns to the Hill as tax counsel to Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) after a long absence. Gordon was previously an intern in 2002 to Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ). In between, Gordon was most recently with Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP. She received her LLM in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and her JD from Boston College Law School in 2011.
Got a question for Rep. Norman Torres (D-Calif.)? New communications director Dan Lindner is who to call. He was previously in the same slot for Rep. Raúl Manuel Grijalva (D-Az.).Dan’s MA in political science came in 2011 from American University and his BA from San Diego State University in the same major was earned in 2006. And no, that is not a journalist Dan is cuddling in the accompanying photo.Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Getting Promoted On The Hill”
He’s the most famous person who ever lived, so all kinds of people have expressed opinions through the centuries since His death and resurrection about who Jesus Christ was, ranging from “great teacher” and “unique moral leader,” to “deluded fanatic,” “Jewish Messiah,” and “religious ascetic.”
But who did Jesus think and claim He was? When He entered Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion, the crowd spread palm branches before Him, a sign of their expectation that He would liberate them from Roman domination and oppression.
But they were mistaken, as were so many others since then and even today. The far more important question is who did Jesus say and think He was? The following video produced by Reasonable Faith is an impressive, enjoyable presentation of the answers:
If you work on Capitol Hill, you likely heard of Blaise Pascal somewhere along the way, most likely in a college course where he was dismissed as one of those “old white guys” who created the oppressive monster better known as “Western Civilization.”
But, as philosopher Kenneth Samples explains on Reflections, Pascal was not only a philosopher and a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, he was also a technological genius and a “Renaissance Man” of the first order.
Kanye West’s latest video is a little more than two minutes long and it features the hip-hop star, his wife Kim Kardashian, the couple’s four young kids, Kardashian family matriarch Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian and her kids, and Kanye West’s father.
A couple of lines in the lyrics are sure to prompt sharp criticism from those seeking to transform traditional family structures or end them entirely:
When you got daughters, always keep ’em safe Watch out for vipers, don’t let them indoctrinate …
Raise our sons, train them in the faith Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake …
And so will this line:
Follow Jesus, listen and obey No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave.
So before the critical onslaught begins, watch the video here and make up your own mind:
The name of Jesus Christ, before whom someday every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is God. Hillsong’s Brooke Ligertwood puts this in a song that is itself as lovely as an infant’s smile.
Science and logic are wonderful pursuits, they have been the means for countless blessings to all of us, and I cannot imagine what civilization would be like without them.
And, while I don’t even remotely claim to be particularly proficient in any of those three pursuits, there are facts about which I become more convinced with every passing day, thanks to what I do know about science, philosophy and logic, and common sense (in the usual sense of that term, not the Scots’ School of Common Sense Philosophy).
The most basic of these facts is that God exists. Here’s why I say that: I can’t explain why there is something rather than nothing, but I know that there is something, so I seek the most reasonable inference from what I know, learn and see.
There are only three possible answers to the basic question: There is something rather than nothing because: A. God exists and He created it for His purposes; B. God doesn’t exist but something has always been here and always will be, or C. something exists because a chance combination of elements produced it in the inconceivably distant past.
God and creation can’t be put in a lab experiment and then be repeatedly shown to exist, but He can and has given us faculties that enable us to know quite a lot about Him and His creation. The “Big Bang” theory and supporting evidence goes here.
If there is something rather than nothing because the something has always been and will always be, science can’t, by definition, demonstrate eternal existence because it would be the endless experiment. This possibility requires a truly blind leap of faith.
Which leaves us with that chance combination of elements producing the beginnings of life some time in the far distant past. Evolution offers an explanation for how that life developed once begun, but it assumes the chance combination, or ignores the most fundamental question entirely. I don’t have enough faith to rely upon chance or simply not thinking about these issues.
And one more thing: This is no more “God of the Gaps” rationalization than it would be to believe science will ultimately explain everything, even though it can only explain some of it now — i.e. “Science of the Gaps” thinking.
If you are reading this post on HillFaith, odds are excellent that you are alive and breathing, thinking, talking. Even if you are going through rough times, being alive is the one thing we can all be thankful for on Thanksgiving.
But do you know what the odds are against any of us being alive in the universe? They are beyond astronomical, according to author, speaker and talk radio host Eric Metaxas.
Check out this Prager University video in which Metaxas relates some genuinely amazing information about how science has in recent decades added to the evidence that there is a God and we are all miracles.
Massive majorities of Americans across the political spectrum support maximum toleration and accommodation of religious practices in the public and private realms, according to a newly launched annual survey.
The accompanying chart dramatically demonstrates that support for religious freedom is overwhelmingly bipartisan, cutting across the ideological and party spectrums. The yellow areas indicate opposition, while the blue areas represent support for religious freedom.
Congress, as the First Branch, has the power of the purse, but not enough staff to carry it where it needs to go
A report by the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Task Force Project on Congressional Reform finds that Congress desperately needs to enlarge its staff and improve pay and working conditions if it hopes to regain equal footing with the executive branch.
Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, liberal or conservative, the issue of restoring the ability of Congress to go toe-to-toe with the executive branch is a constitutional priority. And the task force makes clear that expanding congressional staff and paying staff better is a key first step in that effort.
“Congress today is overwhelmed. After decades of self-imposed disinvestment in expertise and staffing, Congress lacks the resources and knowledge to stand on an equal footing either with the executive branch, or with the tens of thousands of lobbyists employed in Washington (many of whom are former staffers now earning multiples of their Capitol Hill pay),” the task force wrote. Continue reading “Task Force Says Congress Needs Bigger, Better-Paid Staff”
Two aliens from a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, Earth’s nearest star beyond our Sun, walk into a bar in Amsterdam arguing about Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” which they just saw at the Rijks Museum.
After a few minutes of intense debate, one alien looks at the other and announces “say what you will, but I’m telling you this amazing art could only have been created by a great designer. I want to meet this Rembrandt human.”
At that, the other alien stares in amazement at his interstellar colleague, motions to the bartender to bring the two another round, and replies “nah, no way. This thing looks designed but it’s actually nothing more than the result of a chance encounter of materials.”
Suzanne Lane is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s new digital director, moving over from her previous slot with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Suzanne is a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in political science and government.
Kayla Rillo moves over to the legislative assistant slot in the office of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) from a similar slot with Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.). Kayla is a 2015 political science graduate from Seton Hall University.
“When I was two, my mom left me on the doorstep of a dope man’s house and she never came back. She left us there on promises that she would come back to pay for the drugs, and she never came back.”
Billy Hallowell, writing at FaithWire, tells us about “Brandy,” who shared her tragic, but ultimately amazing, story with Missy Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Robertson’s program on PureFlix is “Restored With Missy Robertson.”
Be forewarned because Brandy’s will make you cry out against the evil that routinely happens in our world, including here in America. But it will also, hopefully, prompt you to rejoice that there is indeed a God who in the fullness of time heals all wounds and makes all things right. Go here.
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