Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine

Something is happening with the guy and it’s much bigger than Donald Trump

Kanye West is one of those famous people who got that way by being unusually talented at something – in his case, music and entrepreneurship – and being unlike pretty much anybody else in American public life.

Kanye West during his Chicago Sunday Service (Screen shot )

That makes him, depending upon your perspective, either unique and fascinating, or weird and puzzling. Either way, he’s not a take-him-or-leave-him kind of guy.

Love or despise him, though, West is a major influence on contemporary American culture and that makes him relevant in multiple ways for folks working on Capitol Hill.

(For one thing, he may be a canary in the coal mine of American politics, telling us in advance of a coming seismic shift in the way Black Americans see things in Washington, D.C. That, as Sen. Bernie Sanders might say,  would be huuuuge on Capitol Hill.) Continue reading “Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released the results of her July survey of Congressional Compensation and Diversity on September 26, it prompted Casey Burgat, senior fellow for the R Street Institute’s Governance Project, to run a comparison with data on HIll staff he uses in his analyses.

Casey Burgat, R Street Institute Governance Project Senior Fellow (screen shot from C-SPAN)

Pelosi’s results were based on responses from more than 5,000 respondents to a survey that was sent to 10,000 Hill employees. Burgat uses data obtained from Legistorm, the widely used compiler of official congressional information about salaries, staff backgrounds, employment histories and much, much more, as of March 2019.

For the most part, the Pelosi and Legistorm data are close, but Burgat found some significant differences, especially with regard to issues like salary and gender distributions by position. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics”

There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)

Science proves it. I believe it. That settles it. Really?

iApologia logo (Screen shot)

It was not uncommon in years past to hear it stereotypically declared occasionally among some religious folks in America that “The Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it!”

Comedians and college professors still make jokes about such declarations here and there, but the truth is, there are also examples of the same sort of closed mindedness on the other side of the debate about the origins of the universe, the existence of God, and related topics.

Daniel Currier at iApologia explains why he describes this state of mind as “scientism:” Continue reading “There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)”

Just In Case You Were In Siberia This Past Week, With No Internet …

Here’s what you missed on HillFaith:

* Why did a Chicago atheist doing standup comedy become a Christian?
* Ready for the insurmountable odds against you being here by chance?
* Is America a “Christian nation?” Apologist Frank Turek’s answer will surprise you.
* Here’s why agnosticism is self-defeating (And who wants to live that kind of life?).
* Cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains why witnesses with differing accounts can all be right.
* Looking for the right recipe for your office’s culture? Just add salt. And guess who is the salt!

SUNDAY THINK ABOUT THIS: The Insurmountable Odds Against You Being Here By Chance

“The first question smart gamblers ask is, ‘What are the odds?’ There’s good reason for it; playing the odds gives them the best chance at winning.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

“However, the odds for many things we see in our universe coming into existence without any intelligent input or intentionality are so mind-numbingly improbable it requires an irrational dose of blind faith to even consider them.

“How mind-numbing, you ask? I’ll give just one brief example. Take living cells and the biological proteins that compose them. If we consider just one simple living cell consisting of only 250 short proteins, and those 250 proteins each consist of only 150 amino acids (they can consist of up to 30,000 amino acids), the odds that these 37,500 amino acids (250 proteins X 150 amino acids) could all arrange themselves into a sequence where the cell could actually function is only one chance in 10 to the 41,000th (that’s a one followed by 41,000 zeros.

“That’s a lethal problem for atheism. Even if the universe were 14 billion years old (that’s the oldest estimate even the most ardent atheists give it), there hasn’t been nearly enough time for 10 to the 41,000th attempts at anything. Not by a long shot! And that’s only one example out of countless others we could offer.” — Tom Hammond, What Time Is Purple, pps 16-17


 

WORKING ON THE HILL: Look Who’s Being Promoted

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Kate O’Connor is the new chief counsel for the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on communications and technology. Kate has worked on the Hill for five years on the Senate side, but this is her first committee gig. She’s a 2014 public policy BA graduate from the University of Chicago.

Marsha Espinoza is Rep. Linda Sanchez’s new chief of staff, marking a return for Espinoza as she was communications director for the California Democratic representative in 2008-2010. In the years between, Espinoza worked for Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Califo ), was an Obama political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security, and became a partner at Swann Street Partners. Espinoza received her MA in communications from Texas State University at San Marcos in 2007, and her BS in education in 2002 from New Mexico State University. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Look Who’s Being Promoted”

Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt

By Bret Bernhardt

We talk a lot about influencing our culture in the macro, but what about closer to home? What’s the culture like in your office? Is it warm, friendly, selfless, welcoming, and open? Or is it coarse, backstabbing, self-serving, and overly ambitious?

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now, what is your role in that culture? Do you strive to bring it to a higher level or do your actions or inactions contribute to an unhealthy environment? We can look for the answer in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

He said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13) What does this mean? Continue reading “Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt”