The Republican-controlled House failed to pass a three week funding extension for the Department of Homeland Security, threatening a partial shutdown that would have forced essential DHS personnel to work without pay. Taking another stab at it, the House passed a one week extension instead.
Here's what our Canadian-raised congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, had to say about it:
Tonight I voted to protect our national security while also holding the President accountable to the American people. I stand opposed to the President’s unilateral executive overreach on immigration – an action that both blatantly disregards the will of Congress and the American people and represents a step backward on real, long-term immigration solutions. That's why I will continue this fight. I will continue to represent the people of Eastern Washington, uphold the Constitution, and listen to the American people.
She voted to protect our national security for one more week! I am so thankful we are safe from the Ebola-ISIS-Mexican-Threat-of-the-day threats for seven more days. And!--she's hold the President accountable.
I think I'll celebrate like a real American and go to the mall!
Our congresswoman is not happy with the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband providers as telecommunication services under the Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Here's what she posted on the Facebook page:
A vibrant, open, Internet economy creates good-paying jobs and more opportunity for all Americans, which is why I’m concerned by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision to regulate the Internet with the same rules used to govern landline telephones. This decision exemplifies why top-down, one-size-fits-all regulations from Washington, DC block the investment and innovation needed to support and grow this critical American resource. Even more troubling is the Chairman’s refusal to testify in front of Congress about his plan, and the questions about the undue influence exerted by the White House on the FCC – an independent agency. The House will continue to fight a government takeover of the Internet to promote a healthy innovation economy.
Our congresswoman either doesn't understand or doesn't care to understand what this really means. It's not a government takeover of the Internet. It requires service providers to be a neutral gateway, which means they are not controlled by corporations or governments.
There's been quite a bit of Internet buzz about a question on a recent poll (PDF) where 57 percent of the respondents said they would support establishing Christianity as the national religion. Here's a snippet from the poll that includes that question.
It's a bit picky of me but I have a problem with questions 15 and 16. Global warming and evolution are not, like a faith, something you believe in, although many people would differ with that, especially those who don't believe in them because of their faith if you get what I mean. It would be more correct to ask if they think the current science that explains global warming or evolution is accurate.
Aside from the constitutional prohibition of establishing Christianity as the national religion, the issue I have with question 17 is that it's too vague. Christianity in itself is an amalgam of related faiths. There is no one Christian faith--unless you're a member of one that claims to be.
I would like to see the answers to this question:
Which Christian faith should be established as the national religion? Catholicism, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Mormonism, Methodist, etc., None.
Ask the question in that form and I bet the members of the various faiths, realizing their particular faith may not come out on top, would select None.
And some of them might remember what the United States Constitution says about the subject, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...", in order to ensure they, should they have a faith, are free to practice it,"...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;".
Have you ever had one of those days where you're putting on your bike shorts and your foot gets caught and you start to lose your balance and you think you can save it and you do but to do so you have to fall into the door and slam your head against the doorknob?
Kathy and I went riding with our friends, Bob and Donna, on the Children of the Sun Trail today. They just had their road bikes tuned up and were ready to go on their first ride of the season. As we approached the south end of the trail we came up on a couple of "Sidewalk Closed" signs.
Well, we don't let things like that stop us now, do we?
The part of the trail that goes into the trailhead on Freya (going to the right in the photo below) is torn up. And it looks like the trail is going to continue south. I followed it until I reached the roundabout.
And then I went across to the other side of the roundabout where a pile of dirt looks like it could be the other end of a bridge that may go over the roundabout. That would be cool. I wonder where the trail will go from here.
I was on my cyclocross singlespeed which has no problem going off road. Unless, one of the tires picks up something that causes air to leak. So guess what unprepared cyclist had to run the last three miles home.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has hopes of becoming a Republican presidential nominee, had this to say in an interview on Fox News.
"I think there's a lot of Americans who have looked at some of the leaders we've had over the last few years who've come out of those Ivy League schools and said, 'Maybe it's time we got people who are in touch with people all across the rest of the America'".
I stopped by a body shop to get an estimate on some repair work for my Camry and a Slingshot was parked outside. I've never seen one of these before. Turns out it's a motorcycle. It must be fun to drive because it was about 30 degrees out when they pulled in and parked.
Today I returned home from a 6-mile run and decided to wash my commuter bike while I was cooling off. I opened the garage and walked my commuter around to the back yard. While I was washing it down a young lady who lives next door to me ran up and breathlessly yelled, "Some asshole just stole a bike out of your garage." I looked and saw my Cannondale 29er was gone. Given her sense of urgency and excitement I thought it had just happened. I asked which way he went, jumped into the car, and went looking.
I went back home and asked her what she saw. She was driving home and saw this guy run into my garage and then come out on my bike. She almost hit him when he rode out into the street. She watched him go down the road and was freaked out by everything and wondered what to do. (She's a young person and has no experience with matters such as these.) She parked in her garage, went in the house, and told her dad what she had seen. He told her to tell me. She came to my front door and rang the bell. I didn't answer since I was in the back yard. As she crossed back to her house she saw the open gate and came to get me. So the guy had a good head start on me.
My now stolen bike.
She gave me a description and I drove around the surrounding neighborhoods for a couple of hours hoping I'd get lucky. I talked to quite a few people. Nobody had seen the bike. And I learned about more bikes stolen from garages. Still no luck.
It's only a bike. It can be replaced.
But I was just around the corner. It's all I can do to keep the "if only's" out of my mind. As far as I know I gave this guy a perfect opportunity, which he probably would have had somewhere anyway but this time it was me.
It's about a 911 operator who tells girl to stop whining while she's calling in that her dad had just been hit by a car. This took place in Maryland City, Maryland, which is no where near Spokane, Washington.
The comments on Facebook are mostly like these:
My response would be something along the lines of, "Who gives a shit?"
What can you or I do about this? How does this affect our lives or the lives of those close to us? Is this a problem our society needs to address?
Are we being provided this story of a person who screwed up so we can feel outraged? Morally superior? Is our Facebook feed being clogged with this tripe just to keep it fresh?
There's more important stuff to work on than being the first person to ask, "Hey, did you hear about...?"
Today Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted to return to the good old days by repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety and replacing it with--nothing.
From the text of the bill:
Effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148), such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted. Effective as of the enactment of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–152), title I and subtitle B of title II of such Act are repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle, respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had not been enacted.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not concerned about the millions of people who would lose their health care coverage if this bill were signed into law. Returning back to the days when insurance companies could terminate your coverage for any reason, refuse to cover you for pre-existing conditions, refuse medical treatment, and increase your rates at will does not concern her. Bringing back the rampant increases in health care costs does not concern her.
She's concerned about jobs, but not about those who don't have one. She's concerned about the disabled as long as they are not collecting disability insurance. She's concerned about freedom when it's useful as red meet to stir up the masses. She's concerned about the environment as long as government regulation doesn't inhibit abusing or poisoning it. She's concerned about energy as long as it's the Keystone XL pipeline.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is very concerned. Just not about the right things.
I was recently pondering the lyrics to Hozier's Take Me To Church, said actions necessitated by the song becoming an earworm for me, when my reverie was interrupted by an email from Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Friend, I need your feedback. For the last few years, our hands have been tied by a do-nothing, liberal Senate that stood in the way of allowing us to tackle the challenges facing our country. This last November, America rejected this continuing logjam and elected a record number of Republicans to the Senate. Now we have an incredible opportunity to get our ideas passed into law. We're hard at work crafting our legislative priorities for 2015, to build a better future for ourselves and our children -- but before we finalize anything we need your input. Please, can you take a minute to fill out our survey and share your ideas with us? Thanks for your help, Cathy McMorris Rodgers
She's asking me, her friend, for feedback.
She says the rejection of the logjam created by the liberal Senate is an incredible opportunity to get Republican party ideas passed into laws. We all know how many ideas Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her party have offered up over the years. You'll find the list on any blank sheet of paper.
Well, she's not going to let all that political capital, brought on by the lowest voter turnout since 1942, go to waste. But before she can finalize the crafting of her legislative priorities, she wants some input. And what better way to do that than to use technology and craft an online survey that offers up a wide variety of topics and choices to find out exactly what I and her other friends think should be her priorities.
The survey consists of five questions.
She helpfully provides education, health care, Islamic terrorists, jobs, and taxes as high priority topics. And then there is the ominous Other. And concerning Obamacare, there's Other and the even more ominous other Other. And she thoughtfully provides a space in which you can share your thoughts, presumably addressing Other and the other Other, about any topic you like.
You know, specific topics. Topics you can research, discuss, and really do something about if you were serious about serving your constituents. If politics were your craft instead of robotic talking point performances and surveys thrown together with the skill of a fifth grader creating her first Powerpoint presentation.