More Veterans Will Be Filling Congressional Seats on Capitol Hill Next Year as Trump Takes the Helm

Former Navy Seal, Eric Greitens, with the machine gun, grins his way through the campaign. (Photo: Public Domain)

Former Navy Seal, Eric Greitens, with the machine gun, grins his way through the campaign.
(Photo: Public Domain)

November 9, 2016

Written by Lorra B.

Last night, in an epic upset, Donald Trump took out his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and will become the next president of the United States.

On Jan. 20, Trump will take the helm of this country and our military. Joining Trump on this new page in history are at least 27 veterans who won their congressional races last night and more presumably to come as the votes continue to be counted.

The majority are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according toMilitaryTimes. There are 26 veterans from those same wars currently with seats in Congress.

Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who served in the Army, was successful in bid for a Senate seat as well as decorated former Navy SEAL, Eric Grietens “who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, [who] won his election for governor of Missouri as a Republican against Democrat Chris Koster, the former State attorney general,” reports

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, a reservist in Afghanistan, was the only incumbent veteran to lose his Senate seat. Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in 2004, won the seat over Kirk. Duckworth’s helicopter was shot down over Iraq.

A Florida Republican, Brian Mast, who also lost both of his legs to war, will be seated in Congress come January. In 2010 Mast unsuccessfully tried to defuse a bomb.

Republican Scott Taylor is another veteran heading to Congress to fill the Virginia Beach seat. Taylor is also a former Navy SEAL.

“Some 14 veteran incumbents kept their seats, including defense leaders Duncan Hunter, a Republican of California, Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, and Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona,” reports

These are just a handful of last nights winners. Here is a full list of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who ran for Congress this cycle.

Congratulations to all the veterans who won their seats in Congress. Since 2006 the number of veterans in Congress has increased each election. However, for the first time since the 1950’s “the total veterans count in the House and Senate appeared poised to drop under 100,” according to MilitaryTimes.

Photo: Public Domain

Photo: Public Domain

Written by Lorra B.


Capitol Hill Buzz: Who Has Time To Read These Bills We Pass?

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

March 14, 2015

Associated Press: H/T Rare:

WASHINGTON — Congress can get so busy that senators and their staffs don’t always have time to scrutinize bills they pass and letters they sign — or so it seemed this week, anyway.

Two episodes left Democrats blushing, some Republicans muttering under their breath, and taxpayers perhaps wondering what those well-educated people do on Capitol Hill.

First, Republicans ridiculed Democrats for claiming they somehow missed a key provision in a bill filed two months ago. The bill, unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would combat human sex trafficking.

Democrats suddenly blocked it this week because it would bar the use of fines, paid by convicted traffickers, to pay for abortions in most cases.

Congress has attached similar language to spending bills for years. But Senate Democrats say this provision goes further, and they didn’t realize it was in the trafficking bill.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said some think it got there by “sleight of hand.” He blamed Republicans for not flagging it.

“Democratic senators who had been working in good faith on this critical legislation for years assumed that their Republican partners were being forthright when they provided a list of changes” that didn’t include the abortion language, Reid said. “Republicans are now saying that trusting them was a mistake.”

Republicans could hardly suppress their laughter.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it was astonishing to see Democrats balk at a provision “they claim somehow they missed, after it being in there for two months.”

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas suggested Democrats knew about the abortion language long ago, but decided only this week to oppose it.

To buy the Democrats’ argument, Cornyn said, “you’d have to suppose that all of the professional staff for all the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t read the bill” and “didn’t advise their senators” of its contents.

“I don’t believe that Senate Democrats didn’t read the legislation,” Cornyn said. The abortion provision, he said, “was as plain as the nose on your face.”

Democrats preferred to change the subject Thursday. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota discussed the trafficking bill with reporters, but when asked if she knew about the abortion language, she said, “I’ve got to get going.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said top Democratic staffers read the bill, but the abortion language was “obscure,” and “we missed it.”

“I asked my staff, the ones I was about to fire, and they said, ‘No, it didn’t say that explicitly,’” Durbin said.

While Republicans snickered at the Democrats’ trafficking jam, Democrats howled at the 47 GOP senators who warned Iran’s leaders in a letter that any nuclear agreement made with President Barack Obama might be short-lived.

Editorial writers, think tanks and some conservative pundits have denounced the letter, calling it a dangerous undermining of any president’s ability to set foreign policy.

Prominent GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona initially laughed off the criticism, calling it “a tempest in a teapot.” But he and others were more somber Thursday, suggesting they may have acted a tad hastily.

McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, said many of the 47 senators signed the letter in a hurried gathering this month, as a major snowstorm approached Washington.

“They were in a hurry to get out,” McCain told reporters. But Obama “said that he would veto any legislation that went through Congress that required ratification, and that’s what triggered the letter, and I totally agree with it,” he said.

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who faces re-election next year, said Friday: “If there was any regret, tactically, it probably would have been better just to have it be an open letter addressed to no one.”

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas defended the letter, but said he also might do things a little differently if given the chance.

“It could have been addressed to other folks and gotten the message out,” Roberts said. “But I think the message is more important than who we send it to.”

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a bill to allow more time to scrutinize amendments and bills. “It is imperative we pay close attention to the legislation we pass,” he said.

Now that’s a goal the 114th Congress can aspire to.


Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Erica Werner and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

Copyright The Associated Press

Disclaimer: Not written by Lorra B.

Poll finds Americans think the government, not terrorism, is the biggest problem facing the country

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

March 13, 2015

Rare: by Matt Purple

Apparently—and try not to pass out from shock on this one—there’s a disconnect between what Washington is talking about and the rest of the country is worried about. Gallup reports on their latest survey:

Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.


This will be spun into sixteen different contortions, with liberals arguing the public are fed up with Republican congressional dysfunction, conservatives contending people disapprove of big bureaucracy (but not the Pentagon!), centrists claiming a mandate for more tinkering around the edges, and libertarians sighing that the implications are pretty damned clear.

Two major takeaways here. First, while the public still broadly disapprove of the economy, they appear to believe it’s gotten slightly better over the past month—enough to trigger a five-point shift to other issues. It will still be a vulnerability for Democrats in 2016, but dissatisfaction with Obama’s blithering economic stewardship might not be as potent for Republicans as it was in 2010 or could have been in 2012.

Second, despite the fervent wishes of certain foreign policy wonks in Washington, 2016 is not going to be an election about terrorism or ISIS or Iran or Bashar al Assad or the NSA or ground troops. Consequently, while the neoconservatives vs. realists clash within the GOP that many of us were hoping to have out in a presidential year might still happen, it’s not going to matter all that much. Barring a terrorist attack or another string of ISIS beheadings, the public has returned to its traditional, kitchen-table concerns: the economy, taxes, health insurance.

I guess that means we need to start writing depressing Obamacare blog posts again. Le sigh. Washington might believe it’s the center of the universe, but it’s more like that space station from Ascension, deluded into thinking it’s the hope of mankind with no clue what’s actually going on.
Read more at Rare:

Disclaimer: Not written by Lorra B.

Kids Just Gave Obama A HUGE Middle Finger Right On The Capitol Lawn!

(Screenshot Credit, Twitter)

(Screenshot Credit, Twitter)

March 10, 2015

Mad World News:

A movement of civil disobedience was recently initiated, but the best part is that it was carried out by children.

In protest of Washington’s “sledding ban,” kids and adults came out in force yesterday and went sledding down Capitol Hill just to make a point.

As Mad World News previously reported, pencil pushers in Washington decided to put a ban on the American pastime as “more than 20,000 sledding injuries occur in the U.S. each year,” according to The Hill. However, it seems that America is growing tired of big government pushing them around and decided a recent snow storm was the perfect opportunity to make a point.

After schools were cancelled for the day, parents organized a protest, and they all brought their kids to go sledding in Congress’s back yard. After all, what kind of monsters would actually stop children from having some good ol’ fashioned fun?

Parent Tim Krepp, who helped organize the event, boasted, “This is a great day for sledding and democracy.”

Although the kids may have been oblivious to the protest, the parents were more than clear in their intent. “We come here every snow day,” said parent Kat Cummins. “This is our neighborhood, and we want to sled.”

People also took to Twitter to voice how ridiculous they thought Washington was being with regards to sledding.

Fellow parent Jason Petty added, “There are not many other hills in the Capitol Hill area that are that great for sledding.”

More at Mad World News:

If Obama Can’t Get the Guns, He Is Focused On Banning Ammunition For Them


March 6, 2015

By Lorra B.

If President Obama can’t get the guns then he is focused on banning the ammunition for them, at least the popular ammunition used in the AR-15 and other popular rifles.

This latest ban attempt by Obama, “with or without Congress,” has conservative groups who represent gun owners, and Congress, up in arms claiming that this “ploy is a backdoor attempt to do what the administration has failed to do through legislation—ban the AR-15,” according to WND.

Apparently, Obama wants no vote by Congress and he will disregard the will of the people. It will be, should Obama get his way, through executive action that the manufacturing and importation of this ammunition will be outlawed.

As this conflict grows more intense in Congress, on both sides of the battle, a lawsuit is being threatened by the Second Amendment Foundation. The letter sent by the SAF to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) Director, B. Todd Jones, cautioned that legal action will be taken if there are any changes in the law concerning this ammunition which is used in America’s most well-liked and used sporting rifle.

“This proposal is just an attempt to limit firearms rights because the president’s other such attempts have been blocked through constitutional checks and balances on his power…Should the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) lawlessly proceed on this path,” cautions Miko Tempski of the SAF, “SAF intends to call on those checks and balances to stop the administrations executive overreach again.”

To further illustrate there is no need for this type of ammunition ban, top police representatives stated on Tuesday that there is no history of shootings against officers by criminals where AR-15 rifles were used. This in itself should counter any argument the Obama administration has in banning the 5.56 M855 ‘lightgreen tip,’ though the battle continues.

“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” stated James Pasco. Pasco is the executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, which is the world’s largest police organization with over 325,000 associates.

Pasco went on to say that this round of ammo “is not typically used against law enforcement,” but that he is “not finding fault” with it being classified as ‘armor piercing’ or in banning it. He did, however, state that, “While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement.”

The reasons for advising the ban, then, have no merit though White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, insists that because the ammo can pierce armor it is enough reason. “We are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone.”

I would argue that most citizens had no idea of this ammo’s capabilities until it was brought to their attention and an issue made by raising fear in citizens.

This fear raising may backfire as the Obama administration’s efforts to ban the ammunition are being challenged as “55 percent of all House members have signed a letter challenging BATFE‘s proposal,” according to Washington Examiner.

“Led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte and the National Rifle Association, 235 members have signed the letter. The signatures came in at a record pace…just three business days.”

The Obama administration’s attempt at banning guns is no secret but this back-door attempt to ban ammunition, therefore limiting the popularity of the AR-15, not only has the Second Amendment community up in arms, it seemingly has Capital Hill all fired up as well.

By Lorra B.