Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Professional Truck Drivers Urge Motorists to Be Nice, Not Naughty on the Highways

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From The American Trucking Association

With more than 99 million motorists expected to use the nation’s highways this holiday season – and only one traveling via flying sleigh – American Trucking Associations and the Share the Road highway safety program want to ensure everyone arrives at their destinations safely by being nice and not naughty on the roads this year.

“Even though reindeer do a great job of navigating the sleigh, drivers should not pretend to be Dasher or Comet when taking to the highways this month,” said professional driver John McKown (UPS Freight). “Safe driving is critical this time of year and there are many steps you can take to prepare for holiday travel. Take a minute to review our list of good highway safety habits before going over the river and through the woods.”

“Winter weather poses many unique challenges to the motoring public and professional truck drivers and we want to remind everyone that the goal should be to arrive safely. That may mean leaving a few minutes early or being extra cautious when facing difficult road conditions,” said professional driver Bill West (ABF Freight). “Truck drivers are delivering many of the products that play important roles in holiday celebrations, such as decorations, wrapping paper and cookies, so we all must work together to share the road safely in order to have happy holidays.

The Share the Road highway safety program compiled this list of tips for drivers hitting the road this holiday season:

· Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road. If traveling with any small elves, make sure they too are properly secured.

· Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion due to holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles and reduce your speed.

· Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to insure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Don't allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.

· Don’t drive impaired: The holidays are often a time for merriment, but if you’ve had too much to drink, please do not get behind the wheel. Many services are available to get you home safely.

· Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.

· Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front so you can avoid snow and ice blowing onto your windshield or maneuver around patches of ice.

· Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

· Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can't see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you.

· Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving. We will only judge you for using emojis if you are using them while driving.

· Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.

· Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods , maps, tire repair kit and flares. Cookies are good, too.

· Be aware of changes in weather: Weather conditions across the U.S. will be changing - especially during early mornings and evenings. Watch for ice, snow and other weather related obstacles and be aware of any temperature changes.

· Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.

· Avoid extreme weather conditions: Ice, hail and snow make roads difficult to travel. Try to avoid driving through extreme weather conditions, and travel during daylight.

“Trucks move many of the things that make our holidays possible, but not everything,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in a video message. “Trucks do not move the family and friends we celebrate with, so on behalf of the millions of professional truck drivers on the road, I urge you to be safe on the highways this holiday season.”

ATA and Share the Road would like to thank you for staying safe this winter and wish happy holidays to all.

*Editors: Share the Road Professional Drivers are available to speak in your local area about Holiday and winter safe driving tips during the holiday season.

Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the roads safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc. and Michelin North America Inc., and supported by TA-Petro, Pre-Pass, Hyundai Translead, OmniTracs, SmartDrive and Mack Leasing and Spireon. www.atastr.org.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Trucking Moves America Forward.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Today, WE are all FRENCH

As Americans, we owe France as much for our Independence as we owe the soldiers and militia who fought in the Revolutionary War. It is not by accident that the Islamists hate her as much as they hate us. I support France in my prayers today as they deal with the aftermath of what happened at the hands of terrorists yesterday.

When 9/11 happened, I remember the news-casters taking comments about it from all over the world. I remember one French woman who said, "Today, we are ALL Americans."

Well, today, WE are all FRENCH.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October is American Cheese Month!

Don't know about you, but cheese is next to chocolate in my book of favorite foods.

Did you know that America is the world’s cheese superpower, producing 26 percent of the world’s supply? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a full third of this figure is accounted for by mozzarella, likely attributable to our appetite for pizza. Big Cheese is formed in America by 561 production establishments. Employing over 43,000 workers, cheese captures a $43 billion a year slice of the economy.

Happy American Cheese Month!

Check out the American Cheese Society by clicking HERE

October is Adopt a Dog Month

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Each year, 3-4 million animals waiting in shelters for someone to give them a safe, loving home never find a hero to adopt them and, tragically, are euthanized.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, be a hero and consider adopting a rescue animal or a dog from your local shelter. You’ll be saving a life and greatly improving yours. Dogs are amazing, supportive, and heroic companions who can make a huge difference in your world as a best friend, an exercise buddy, someone who can be trained to provide animal-assisted therapy and help you with challenges you may face, or simply be a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work.

For more information and resources to help promote Adopt a Dog month, Click HERE

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015, Is Gold Star Mother's Day

This Sunday, September 27, 2015 is Gold Star Mothers Day. So, just what is a Gold Star Mother and why should you take a moment to honor Gold Star Mothers this Sunday even if you have never met one.

When one has a child enter into military service in the United States Armed Forces, one becomes a Blue Star Mother. Each individual mother may decide to join the Blue Star Mothers of America or not, but each mother is a Blue Star Mother. The Blue Star Flag custom began in 1917, during World War I. The Blue Star Flag was hung in the window of each home to show that a family member was serving in the military.

Upon the death of her child on the battlefield, a mother becomes a Gold Star Mother. She is presented with a Gold Star pin. You can identify the Gold Star Mothers at churches or memorial services by the all white outfit and white vest they wear.

Read more about this by clicking HERE

Visit Gold Star Moms by clicking HERE

Today is National Fishing and Hunting Day

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Sprinfield, IL - September 26, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- The Smith and Wesson is continuing its sponsorship of National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day). Smith and Wesson has been a major sponsor of NHF Day and recognize the importance to acknowledge the conservation efforts of sportsmen and women across the country. NHF Day is set to take place on the fourth Saturday in September. This year NHF Day falls on September 26.

“Smith and Wesson goes beyond the call when it comes to recognizing the efforts of individuals that make a difference in conservation,” said Misty Mitchell, director of Conservation Programs for Wonders of Wildlife. “As an outdoorswoman, I can count
on the Smith and Wesson to uphold the values of conservation that make this country great. It is always a pleasure to work closely with them. I look forward to another great year.”

National Hunting and Fishing Day is a day set aside to celebrate all that sportsmen and women do to support those efforts whether it is building habitat for dwindling quail populations or funding conservation projects. Each year, NHF Day selects a representative to act as the voice of sportsmen and women in the role of honorary chair. This year NHF Day selected Jim and Eva Shockey to serve.
Jim and Eva Shockey are arguably the hunting industry’s most dynamic duo. The father/daughter team gives sportsmen and women a unique voice that is as charming as it is lethal. But don’t tag them as bloodthirsty. The Canadian pair are deeply rooted in conservation efforts to better the sport of hunting for future generations.

“By being an outdoorsman or woman, you are indirectly representing wildlife, stewarding those animals,” said Jim Shockey. “The dollars we spend go toward financing the conservation efforts of all the state wildlife agencies. And when that money talks it sends a clear message to the politicians to make decisions that protect wildlife and ensure that wildlife will be around for generations to come. I can’t tell you how important this message is to spread not only around North America, but around the world.”

Continued efforts by the Shockeys and Smith and Wesson will provide those opportunities for future generations.

“Smith & Wesson is proud to be part of National Hunting and Fishing Day,” said Paul Pluff, Smith & Wesson director of marketing Communications. They continue to be a leading voice in promoting conservation across the board. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with NHF Day.”

The list of sponsors for National Hunting and Fishing Day 2015 includes Wonders of Wildlife, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Yamaha, Bass Pro Shops, Realtree, Smith and Wesson, Gunbroker.com, Keep America Fishing, Ducks Unlimited, Scout, Limit Out Productions, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and Izaak Walton League.

For more information, visit http://www.nhfday.org.

Today is Family Health and Fitness Day!

Libertyville, IL - September 26, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- Thousands of adults and children are expected to participate in the 19th annual Family Health & Fitness Day USA (FHFD) held on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Families will participate at locations throughout the country. Events will take place at community sites including hospitals, health clubs, YMCAs, state & county health departments, park districts, houses of worship, and schools.

Organized as a public/private partnership by the Health Information Resource Centersm, Family Health & Fitness Day USA was conceived, in part, as a response to the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. This landmark report made it clear that health benefits can be obtained from moderate physical activity on a regular basis. In addition, the Surgeon General's Report stated that the majority of Americans, and especially children from 12 to 21, are not exercising nearly enough.

This year's programs will include exercise demonstrations, health fairs, family walks and more. Most programs involve family activities as well as education and information about health and fitness topics.

"We are now entering our 19th year as a national family health and fitness event," says Pat Henze, FHFD director. "Our goals for Family Health & Fitness Day are to emphasize the importance and fun of regular physical activity and to encourage families of all ages to take advantage of the many health and fitness programs offered in their communities."

For more information about the 2015 Family Health & Fitness Day, please contact Patricia Henze at 1-800-828-8225, weekdays 8-6 Central time. The FHFD 24-hour fax: 847-816-8662. E-mail: info(at)fitnessday(dot)com. Or visit the Family Health & Fitness Day website: fitnessday.com/family.

LIFEPAC Electives: Health Quest Set

LIFEPAC Electives: Health Quest Set

Today is Shamu the Whale Day!

'The Shamu Story' at SeaWorld San Diego

Everyone has a story - even Shamu. At SeaWorld San Diego, the big guy gives guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his world in the educational and entertaining presentation called “The Shamu Story.”

The iconic whale’s story began more than 45 years ago when the first Shamu began to awe and inspire visitors at the San Diego marine-life park. Since then, Shamu has touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people from around the world helping them gain respect and a better appreciation of wildlife and wild places.

The whale’s tale has grown enormously over the past four decades, and Vicki Weber, a senior SeaWorld killer whale trainer, shows you what it’s like to work, train and build a close relationship with these majestic animals. Join her as she and her best friend, 9-year-old Nakai, take you on the Shamu Story.

(Courtesy of Sea World)

Today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

The Story of Johnny Appleseed

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Legend vs. Fact

Hey, Kids. Read the story of Johnny Appleseed and then do the crossword puzzle at the end. All the answers can be found in the story! Good Luck!

One of America’s fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800’s. There really was a Johnny Appleseed and his real name was John Chapman. He was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. His dream was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Although legend paints a picture of Johnny as a dreamy wanderer, planting apple seeds throughout the countryside, research reveal him to be a careful, organized businessman, who over a period of nearly fifty years, bought and sold tracts of land and developed thousands of productive apple trees.

His adventures began in 1792, when John was eighteen years old. He and his eleven-year-old half brother, Nathaniel, headed west, following the steady stream of immigrants. In his early twenties, John began traveling alone, which is how he spent the rest of his life. Nathaniel stayed behind to farm with their father, who had also immigrated west. John continued moving west to Pennsylvania. From there he traveled into the Ohio Valley country and later, Indiana. He kept ahead of the settlements and each year planted apple seeds farther west.

Read the rest of the story by clicking HERE

Today is "Batman Day"

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Back By Popular Demand, BATMAN DAY 2015 Makes the Celebration of The World’s Most Popular Super Hero and Global Pop Culture Icon an Annual Event

DC Entertainment is bringing back the fan-favorite event celebrating The Dark Knight. “Batman Day” is back by popular demand and will take place on Saturday, September 26, 2015, kicking off what has become an annual event honoring one of the most popular and iconic Super Heroes and celebrating all things Batman from comics to video games and more. Fans everywhere are invited to partake in festivities with thousands of comic book shops, bookstores, schools, libraries and other retail partners participating in the bat-centric event.

Those who visit select comic stores, libraries and bookstores on “Batman Day” will also have the opportunity for meet-and-greets with premier DC Entertainment talent including legendary artist and DCE Co-Publisher Jim Lee, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, David Finch, Brian Azzarello, Cameron Stewart, Pat Gleason, Dustin Nguyen, Tim Seeley, Tom King, Dan Jurgens, Jeff Parker, Matthew Manning, and Daniel Wallace with many more to be announced.

In addition to DC Entertainment, “Batman Day” partners include Warner Bros. Consumer Products with licensees Capstone, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and DK Publishing, as well as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, with additional partners to be announced. Partners will provide unique retail and digital promotional tie-ins across multiple media to celebrate the Caped Crusader.

The official “Batman Day” event kit will include activity sheets, trivia, and games and will be available for download on http://www.dccomics.com/batmandaykit.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Deaf Awareness Week (September 20-27, 2015)

The last full week in September is Deaf Awareness Week. It is also known as the International Week of the Deaf (or International Week of Deaf People). Originating in 1958 in Rome, Italy, the purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to gather together and provide a united front to draw attention to deaf people, their accomplishments and to promote their rights.

In 1984, President Reagan declared the last week of June as "Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week" This action was taken as a result of a joint Senate and House resolution.

Proclamation 5214 of June 22, 1984
Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, 1984

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Our eyes and ears provide vital ways of interacting with the world around us. The lilt of laughter, the beat of a brass band, the smile of a friend, and the poetry of a landscape are but a few of the life blessings that our senses of sight and hearing help us to enjoy. But for some 40,000 Americans who can neither see nor hear, the world can be a prison of darkness and silence.

Inadequate education, training and rehabilitation for those who are deaf and blind may prevent these Americans from becoming independent and self-sufficient, thereby greatly limiting their life potential and imposing a high economic and social cost on the Nation.

We must prevent such problems among our deaf-blind citizens by fostering their independence, creating employment opportunities, and encouraging their contributions to our society. Crucial to fulfilling this urgent national need is research on the disorders that cause deafness and blindness. Toward this end, the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the National Eye Institute as well as a number of voluntary health agencies are supporting a wide range of investigative projects that one day may provide the clues to curing and preventing these devastating disorders.

On June 27 we commemorate the 104th anniversary of the birth of Helen Keller, America's most renowned and respected deaf-blind person. Her accomplishments serve as a beacon of courage and hope for our Nation, symbolizing what deaf-blind people can achieve.

In order to encourage public recognition of and compassion for the complex problems caused by deaf-blindness and to emphasize the potential contribution of deaf-blind persons to our Nation, the Congress, by senate Joint Resolution 261, has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the last week in June 1984 as "Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week".

Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning June 24, 1984, as Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. I call upon all government agencies, health organizations, communications media and people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan.

Helen Keller National Center
for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC)

Reye's Syndrome Awareness Week (September 20-27)

National Farm Safety and Health Week

Presidential Proclamation -- National Farm Safety and Health Week, 2015


- - - - - - -



Since the days of our Revolution when farmers across the Colonies took up arms in defense of our country, America's farmers and ranchers have played a critical role in shaping our progress and forging a better future for coming generations. Through centuries of hard work, they have supplied our Nation with products and services essential to the economic and physical well-being of our society. This week, we recognize all those serving on our farms, and we recommit to safeguarding their health and livelihoods.

Farmers and ranchers make tremendous contributions to the way of life our ancestors fought to establish, yet they face considerable hazards in the course of their daily responsibilities. To protect the safety of those working on America's farms, my Administration has taken steps to guarantee they have the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to mitigate and reduce risks to themselves and their families. From handling hazardous chemicals and machinery to working in potentially dangerous areas such as silos or grain elevators, our Nation's farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers should be able to secure the prosperity of their land, their loved ones, and their country without sacrificing their own.

That is why the Federal Government has partnered with farm families, organizations, and businesses to ensure the well-being of those who work on farms. We have strengthened our commitment to those who provide nutrition, clothing, and energy to our people, including by developing nationwide training guidelines that aim to reduce the threats posed to America's next generation of farmers and ranchers. Each year, thousands of people are injured on farms and ranches in America, and I remain committed to pursuing pragmatic, responsible solutions to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

Across our country, those who work on farms bolster our economy and nourish our people by providing what we need at a most human level, helping to uphold America's founding creed: Out of many, we are one. This week, let us recognize the steadfast dedication and commitment of agricultural producers and their families, and let us reaffirm our resolve to promote their health and safety.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 20 through September 26, 2015, as National Farm Safety and Health Week. I call upon the agencies, organizations, businesses, and extension services that serve America's agricultural workers to strengthen their commitment to promoting farm safety and health programs. I also urge Americans to honor our agricultural heritage and express appreciation to our farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers for their contributions to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.


Farming is a very important, yet also very dangerous, job. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, farming accounted for 23.2 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2013. During National Farm Safety and Health Week, September 20-26, 2015, Safe Electricity is sharing electrical safety tips to help promote safe practices on farms and ranches across the U.S.

“Electrical equipment, such as power lines near the end rows or around grain bins, may get overlooked during busy times of year, such as harvest,” says Kyla Kruse, communications director of the Safe Electricity program. “However, failure to notice overhead power lines can be a deadly oversight.”

The simple action of moving a portable grain auger from one bin to another can have tragic results if the individuals involved are not extremely careful. Raising the bed of a grain truck, extending a combine’s auger, or parking large machinery too close to overhead power lines could also result in preventable electrocution incidents.

Safe Electricity encourages farm operators and workers to look out for overhead power lines and maintain a safe distance away from them. Additional safety guidelines to keep in mind include:

  • Always use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines.
  • Use care when raising augers or the bed of grain trucks around power lines.
  • Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines—at all times, in all directions.
  • Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance.
  • Always remember to lower extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads.
  • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
  • If a power line is sagging or low, call the local utility immediately.
  • If your equipment does hit a power line, do not leave the cab. Immediately call 911, warn others to stay away, and wait for the utility crew to cut the power.

  • The only reason to exit equipment that has come into contact with overhead lines is if the equipment is on fire, which is very rare. However, if this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and vehicle at the same time. Then, still keeping your feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.

    If you see someone’s equipment in contact with a power line, the best help is given at a safe distance. During one of these situations, make sure to yell out to, signal, or call the equipment operator to make sure he remains in the vehicle, and notify the local utility.

    To help ensure a safe harvest, stay alert for power lines, exercise caution, and always put safety first. For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.

    Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

    September is National Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month!

    Thyroid Cancer Awareness Charm

    Thyroid cancer is a form of cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the throat, below the thyroid cartilage (also known as the Adam’s apple).

    The thyroid gland produces several important hormones, including the thyroid hormone, which is involved in controlling body temperature, weight, energy level and heart rate. The thyroid gland also produces calcitonin, which helps the body use calcium.

    Thyroid Cancer is a rare form of cancer representing about 1% of all cancers. It is the most common form of cancer affecting the endocrine system. Thyroid cancer is three times more common in females than in males, and the number of new cases has increased over recent years. The outlook for newly diagnosed patients is generally very good with 85% of patients surviving ten years. Initial treatment of thyroid cancer typically includes surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland, followed by treatment with radioiodine and replacement of thyroxin hormone. In patients whose cancer returns, additional surgery, radiation therapy and re-treatment with radioiodine are all commonly used strategies. However, there is a small number of patients whose recurrent cancer does not respond to radioiodine, and in these patients, the prognosis for long-term survival is significantly diminished. Unfortunately, there are few treatment options for these patients.

    ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association

    Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide observance, sponsored and initiated by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association. It began in 2000, as a week in September. In 2003, it expanded to the whole month of September.

    Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month listed in directories and references, including the American Hospital Association’s Calendar of Health Observances & Recognition Days.

    Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month promotes thyroid cancer awareness for early detection, as well as care based on expert standards, and increased research to achieve cures for all thyroid cancer.

    Today is the International Day of Peace

    "I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace."

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67PDF document of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.

    Visit the International Day of Peace web site by clicking HERE

    News about the International Day of Peace:

    UN observes International Day of Peace with call for global ceasefire

    The UN chief made the call at the Peace Bell ceremony, which kicked off the series of events at UN Headquarters in New York for the Day, which is observed annually on 21 September and whose theme this year is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.”

    “Just as surely as striking this Bell makes a sound, we will continue to hammer this point and demand peace,” Mr. Ban said.

    “We live at a moment of peril,” he said in his message for the day, but also drew attention to the fact that “this is also an era of great promise.”

    “In a matter of days, leaders from across the globe will gather at the United Nations to adopt the 2030 Agenda, our 15-year plan to achieve sustainable development,” the UN chief said. “This is fundamental to ushering in a life of dignity for all, where poverty is history and peace is paramount.”


    Facebook's "Peace Day" Page

    Truth for the World: Prophecy of Peace

    Bible Prophecy: A "Peace" Plan Will Be Enforced Upon Israel Which Will Change the World . . . Forever!

    Courtesy of Freaking News

    ATSDR study examines possible link between Marines’ male breast cancer and exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune

    Atlanta, Georgia - September 21, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- Results from a study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) suggest that male breast cancer might be associated with being stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina and military housing exposure to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) perchloroethylene (PCE), t-1, 2 dichloroethylene (DCE), and vinyl chloride in drinking water at the base. However, the findings of this study were based on small numbers of cases, and modeled levels of exposure, so should be interpreted with caution.

    According to the study which appears in the journal Environmental Health, the risk of male breast cancer increased slightly with being stationed at Camp Lejeune and higher levels of exposure to PCE. The findings also suggested that exposures to trichloroethylene (TCE), PCE, DCE, and vinyl chloride while stationed at the base might have accelerated the onset of male breast cancer.

    The study included 444 male Marines who were born before Jan. 1, 1969, and diagnosed with or treated for certain forms of cancer at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility between Jan. 1, 1995, and May 5, 2013. The study identified 71 men with breast cancer; 30 of the men were stationed at Camp Lejeune at some point during their service.

    The results of this study add to the scientific literature on the health effects of exposures to these chemicals in drinking water. To gather more information, ATSDR intends to evaluate male breast cancer in a planned cancer incidence study that will involve state cancer registries nationwide as well as federal cancer registries. ATSDR will begin working with state and federal cancer registries in 2016.

    You can read the full report by clicking HERE.

    ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

    Saturday, September 19, 2015

    More Stuff in the News: Iran, Flood Protection, Cadillac Tax, Veterans, Environmental Protection Agency

    Senate Democrats blocked an amendment cosponsored by Enzi that would prohibit the president from waiving or limiting Iran sanctions unless Iran releases Americans currently held in Iran. The amendment would require formal recognition of Israel as a sovereign and independent state.

    U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp reinforced the need for strong federal investments in permanent flood protection for North Dakota’s communities during a conversation with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan. During the discussion, Heitkamp who has been a vocal proponent of securing comprehensive flood mitigation efforts in both the Fargo-Moorhead region as well as the city of Minot and the Souris River Basin, stressed to Donovan the need for budgetary support for efforts to advance permanent flood protections in these regions. OMB has to sign off on any federal funding for these projects. Heitkamp worked to secure a meeting with Fargo city officials for later this month with OMB and the White House’s National Economic Council to further discuss the use of a public-private partnership to advance the diversion. Donovan also committed to working with Heitkamp to set up a meeting for Minot city officials with OMB about a new study start for flood protection.

    U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced bipartisan legislation to fully repeal a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the “Cadillac Tax” which taxes high-cost health insurance plans. The two Senators introduced a Senate companion to U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney’s (D-CT02) House legislation. Beginning in 2018, the “Cadillac Tax” would tax employers whose health insurance plans cost more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,450 a year for families at 40 percent of the cost above those limits.

    Senators Mazie K. Hirono and John Boozman (R-AR), members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced legislation Thursday to authorize federal homeless veteran programs for the next fiscal year. The Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Veteran Homelessness Act would reauthorize seven Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor programs for the next fiscal year. Without Senators Hirono and Boozman’s action, authorization for critical programs that provide outreach and services to homeless veterans and their families would expire on September 30, 2015.

    At a Senate committee hearing this week, Senator John Hoeven pressed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to provide greater transparency and accountability in the EPA’s regulatory process. Hoeven called for the EPA to meet with North Dakota industry to explain the EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations and account for the agency’s greatly increased requirements for North Dakota. Under the agency’s proposed rule, North Dakota was set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 11 percent. The reduction level for North Dakota was increased to 45 percent in the final rule, the biggest increase for any state. The change occurred without the agency issuing a new proposed rule, thereby avoiding the required public comment period. Hoeven said the EPA has not been forthcoming in explaining this drastic change, and he pressed Administrator McCarthy to explain the new, more costly rules.

    Stuff in the News: Housing Finance, Crude Oil, Iran, Federal Land, Export/Import Bank

    In an effort to spur substantive and structural housing finance reform, U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), all members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, reintroduced the “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act.” The legislation would prohibit any increase in the guarantee fee – which is required to be charged by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – from offsetting other government spending while also prohibiting the sale of Treasury-owned senior preferred shares in the GSEs without congressional approval and structural housing finance reform.

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 702, a bill that would lift the 40-year ban on the export of crude oil.

    The Senate failed to pass the resolution to reject the President’s nuclear deal with Iran by a vote of 56-42, failing to invoke cloture on the measure.

    The Fiscal Year 2015 Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed in December of 2014, included a 2-year extension of the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). Current authorization will expire at the end of 2016. The House and Senate Interior Appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2016 include another year extension of FLREA until the end of 2017. The Act permits federal land management agencies to continue charging modest fees at campgrounds, rental cabins, and at day use sites that have certain facilities.

    The Ex-Im Bank serves as the official export credit agency of the United States and helps facilitate the export of American goods and services to international markets. Congress failed to act to reauthorize the Bank’s charter by June 30, 2015, and as a result, the Bank has not been allowed to provide American businesses with any new financing. Since 1992, the Export-Import Bank has returned more than $7 billion in profits to the Treasury Department, with $675 million of that coming in fiscal year 2014. The Export-Import Bank approved $20.5 billion in authorizations in fiscal year 2014 alone, which supported an estimated $27.5 billion of U.S. exports and more than 164,000 U.S. jobs. According to the Export-Import Bank, since 2007, the Bank has directly helped approximately 140 Hoosier companies export more than $4 billion in goods and services overseas. During its 80-plus year existence, the Export-Import Bank has garnered support from every President during that span and previously been repeatedly renewed with bipartisan support by Congress.

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    Stuff in the News: Conservation Fund, Opiate Dependence, Rare Disease Therapy, Obamacare Premiums, USAID

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    More than 50 Senators in writing a letter to Senate leaders calling for the immediate reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is set to expire on September 30. Earlier this year, Senator Kelly Ayotte - (R - NH) helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would permanently reauthorize the fund. Rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF is an account in the U.S. Treasury that collects a small percentage of offshore oil and gas leasing receipts, specifically intended to be used for conservation projects. At the local, state, and federal levels, LWCF provides grants to help conserve our natural resources and protect outdoor recreation opportunities, working forests, and wildlife areas.

    During a meeting of all 50 states and the District of Columbus on preventing opioid overdose and abuse, HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell announced that HHS will revise its regulations related to the prescribing of products containing buprenorphine, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid dependence.

    U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Advancing Targeted Therapies for Rare Diseases Act of 2015. This bipartisan bill will help advance the development of targeted drugs for patients with serious or life-threatening rare genetic diseases. Many rare diseases like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, and certain cancers have genetic origins. Different mutations within a gene can result in the same disease, meaning some diseases are further fractured into various subtypes. Fortunately, advances in medicine have made it possible to customize treatments to target particular genetic mutations. Developing drugs for rare diseases is particularly difficult because of the small patient populations available for clinical trials. Therefore, there would need to be dozens of therapies to treat the full spectrum of certain genetic rare diseases. The Advancing Targeted Therapies for Rare Diseases Act of 2015 affirms the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) authority to allow innovators to use their own data supporting the approval of a targeted therapy to help facilitate additional targeted therapies to treat patients with the same rare disease. This bill does not change the FDA’s current approval standards and has the support of the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Duchenne Alliance, and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

    U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today announced their co-sponsorship of legislation to protect employees of small and medium-sized businesses from insurance premium increases caused by a mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (S.1099), introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), would allow states to maintain their small group insurance market definition at 50 employees, instead of the 100-employee threshold required by Obamacare.

    U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) joined Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and other Senate colleagues in writing a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for an immediate vote on the nomination of Gayle Smith to head the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Smith’s nomination has been held up for over four months with press reports indicating that only one Senator is blocking her nomination. The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Tom Udall (NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    GE says it may move up to 500 US jobs overseas

    General Electric Co. may move about 500 American jobs overseas because Congress did not renew a government program that allows foreign companies to borrow money to buy U.S. products, the industrial conglomerate said Tuesday.

    Authorization for the U.S. Export Import Bank was not approved by Congress, forcing it to stop lending July 1. Foreign companies use the agency to buy expensive U.S. products when bank loans are not possible.

    As a result, GE says 100 jobs from a Houston plant that makes gas turbines will move to Hungary and China in 2016. The Fairfield, Connecticut, company says those countries have lending options in place for customers.


    N. Korea says it has restarted all nuclear bomb fuel plants

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    A day after threatening rocket launches, North Korea declared Tuesday that it has revamped and restarted all its atomic bomb fuel production plants.

    The back-to-back announcements, which many outside analysts consider threats designed to spur talks with the United States that could eventually provide impoverished North Korea with concessions, will push Pyongyang further toward a standoff with Washington and its allies.

    The North said in its state media that its plutonium and highly enriched uranium facilities at the main Nyongbyon nuclear complex had been "rearranged, changed or readjusted and they started normal operation."


    Hawaii County Discontinues Urinalysis Screenings for Employment

    Hawaii County is settling an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit by agreeing to stop subjecting prospective county workers to urinalysis screenings.

    Under terms of the settlement, the county will pay $115,000 in legal fees and stop requiring pre-employment urinalysis and other medical screenings, except for some employees considered “safety-sensitive” such as police officers.

    The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Rebekah Taylor-Failor, a Kailua-Kona resident who was required to complete a urinalysis before starting work as a county clerk.

    The county said her drug test wasn’t going to screen for drug use, but assess her health.


    Friday, September 11, 2015

    More Stuff in the News: Transportation Innovation, Alternative Transportation, Army Childcare, National Debt, Terror Victims


    Congressman Dan Lipinski’s (IL-3) Future Transportation Research and Innovation for Prosperity (TRIP) Act, which supports innovative technologies that have the potential to fundamentally alter mobility in America and beyond, was approved by the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

    Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today led all the House Democrats on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in requesting funding for a popular program that supports community investments in infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians saying, “Less than 2 percent of federal transportation funding goes to the Transportation Alternatives Program, which funds bike and pedestrian projects. But communities leverage these small funds to get big results. To make sure safety comes first for everyone who uses our roads, whether they bike, bus, drive or walk, local communities need these resources to invest in bike lanes, sidewalks and trails. Better bike and pedestrian infrastructure not only improves safety, it benefits people’s quality of life by cutting down on traffic congestion and pollution.”

    Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles) served as the Ranking Member of an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing regarding significant failure issues with the U.S. Army’s Childcare Services Assistance Program. Gross mismanagement of the Army program, which was created to help military families pay for childcare, has caused unacceptably long backlogs in processing payments and severe hardships to thousands of military families. In addition, the hearing revealed that thousands of emails and voicemails by servicemembers and their spouses were intentionally deleted by the General Services Administration (GSA). It is Congressman Lieu’s view that the Army and the GSA must work together to immediately identify and put in place concrete measures to correct the program.

    The Ways and Means Committee advanced H.R. 3442, the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act, by a vote of 22-14. Authored by U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24), this legislation would establish a more credible framework for debt reduction by bringing greater accountability, transparency, and discipline to the debt limit process.

    Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) has introduced legislation prohibiting sanctions relief for Iran unless it first pays the court-ordered damages it owes to terror victims.

    Introducing The Fair Chance Act

    Washington, D.C. - September 11, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations released the following statement after the introduction of the Fair Chance Act:

    “As Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee, it is my honor to join colleagues from the right and left today as we introduce this critical piece of legislation. To all those who worked tirelessly to make this day possible—I thank you.

    “In particular, I am grateful to those in the business community who have led the way by removing the criminal history box from their applications. On its face, the Fair Chance Act of 2015 reforms the hiring practices of the federal government—practices that have long deserved a critical look. I commend my colleague and longtime friend Elijah Cummings for his leadership on this issue.

    “At its roots, this bill is a response to our broken criminal justice system and the epidemic of mass incarceration. This bill acknowledges that one of the most difficult parts of coming into the criminal justice system is the journey of coming out of it. For an individual who has served their time and paid their debt, the process of re-entering society is paved with tremendous, and often insurmountable, obstacles.

    “Roughly 70 million people in the United States have a criminal record—this is nearly one in every three adults. About 700,000 incarcerated individuals re-enter our communities each year. Research, experience, and common sense tell us that access to employment is to successful re-entry. Studies have shown that employment is the single most important influence on decreasing recidivism.

    “But for formerly incarcerated individuals, the risks associated with unemployment extend beyond recidivism. We know that there is a direct link between unemployment and depression. One survey revealed the rate of depression among unemployed individuals was double that of employed individuals. Upon release, the risk of depression is already higher for formerly incarcerated individuals than that of the general public. That risk is undoubtedly exacerbated when combined with the shame and burden of unemployment.

    “That is why it is especially meaningful that we are introducing this legislation today, on World Suicide Prevention Day. The prevalence of mental illness within our criminal justice system and the population of formerly incarcerated individuals is staggering. Opening up job will have a direct impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of these individuals.

    “The introduction of the Fair Chance Act could not come at a more appropriate time—we are in an unprecedented surge of support for criminal justice reform. In my service as Ranking Member of the Crime Subcommittee, I have been working directly with Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers on legislation to reform all stages of our criminal justice system that we hope to introduce in the coming weeks. The Fair Chance Act of 2015 is one more critical step in this long overdue and urgently needed effort to comprehensively reform our criminal justice system.”

    More Stuff in the News: Retirement, Dredging Intracoastal Waterways, Drug Babies, Planned Parenthood, Immigration

    “The DOL’s proposed rule will harm investors by diminishing their access to financial advice, reducing consumer choice, and increasing costs for folks looking to save for their retirement. This proposal will undoubtedly make it more difficult for hardworking Americans, especially folks who are starting to save or who have lower or more moderate incomes to save for retirement, yet the DOL seems to be ignoring that urgent message expressed by both savers and financial advisors. For this reason, I joined with a bipartisan group to send a letter to the Secretary of Labor suggesting that this rule be re-proposed to protect those saving for retirement. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to eliminate excessive regulation and to promote smart governance so Americans will have the ability and choice to properly plan for their futures.”

    Rep. Jenkins is a cosponsor of H.R. 1462, the Protecting Our Infants Act, sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.). The bill would help advance the research needed to develop the absolute best care available for babies with NAS, building on best practices from doctors and nurses in West Virginia and across the country. The bill passed by voice vote Tuesday. On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) spoke on the House floor in support of legislation to help provide better care for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome, exposure to heroin and opioids during pregnancy.

    Congressman Walter B. Jones and several congressional colleagues joined forces to call on the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers to meet its statutory mandate to perform an assessment of the maintenance dredging needs along the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways. A 2014 law required the Corps to complete the assessment by September of last year, but the Corps failed to do so. In a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, Congressman Jones and his colleagues called on the Corps to follow the law and expedite completion of the assessment. Yesterday’s joint letter comes on the heels of Congressman Jones making a similar demand earlier this year.

    Said the House Freedom Caucus Statement Regarding Planned Parenthood Funding: “Given the appalling revelations surrounding Planned Parenthood, we cannot in good moral conscience vote to send taxpayer money to this organization while still fulfilling our duty to represent our constituents. We must therefore oppose any spending measure that contains funding for Planned Parenthood.”

    U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, 19th) and Mike Honda (D-CA, 17th) applauded new procedures announced yesterday to allow employment and family-based immigrants to start their green card process earlier. The new procedures, issued by the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will allow tens of thousands of would-be immigrants to begin benefitting from important rights and protections that are afforded to Lawful Permanent Residents.

    Stuff in the News: E-Warranty, Iran, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fishery, U.S. Postal Service

    On September 8, 2015, the House voted to pass S. 1359, the E-Warranty Act of 2015 by a vote of 388-2. This bill will bring America’s warranty rules into the 21st century by giving manufacturers the option to post written warranty terms online in an easily accessible electronic format. In doing so, the E-Warranty Act will increase consumer access to warranty information while also allowing companies to leverage new technologies and reduce waste.

    Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) introduced a joint resolution permitting the sitting President or his successors to use the armed forces of the United States, if necessary, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, two days before the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 411, Finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, requiring the State Department to turn over the entire nuclear agreement, including any agreements made between Iran and other parties. The President failed comply with the law and once again is prepared to move forward with a major policy without Congressional approval.

    Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced that she and Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) had introduced the Timely Permitting Accessibility Act to allow private entities to pay for additional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff to help expedite the permitting process for important economic development projects. To maintain the integrity of the process and avoid unnecessary environmental risk, additional staff would be employed by the Army Corps – not the organization funding the position – and permits must meet the exact same standards as projects processed in the traditional way. In addition, the law specifically prohibits this program from interrupting or delaying traditional permitting, improving wait times for all permit applicants.

    Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bill to permanently extend a 19-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery was approved by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. The next step in the legislative process would be a vote by the entire U.S. House of Representatives.

    In a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is calling on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to abandon plans to consolidate mail processing centers, including the facility on William Street in Buffalo, after a preliminary review by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) finds significant delays in mail delivery following plant closings and service standard reductions.

    Thursday, September 10, 2015

    Rep. Gosar to Introduce Articles of Impeachment for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

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    Washington, D.C. - September 10, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after circulating a Dear Colleague letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in which he urged them to cosponsor his legislation which calls for the impeachment of Regina McCarthy, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for high crimes and misdemeanors:

    “Perjury before Congress is perjury to the American people and an affront to the fundamental principles of our Republic and the rule of law. Such behavior cannot be tolerated. My legislation will hold Administrator McCarthy accountable for her blatant deceptions and unlawful conduct.

    “Under Administrator McCarthy’s direction, the EPA continues to enact job-killing regulations that increase food prices and energy costs for hard-working American families. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of these new mandates, which disproportionately impact the poor. This should be concerning enough, but to make matters worse, these regulations are not based on science and are being imposed through lies to Congress and the American people. We must hold D.C. bureaucrats accountable when they commit perjury or make false statements in order to implement President Obama’s misguided agenda.”


    The preliminary text of Congressman Gosar’s legislation can be found HERE.

    Administrator McCarthy committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings, and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors—an impeachable offense.

    On July 9, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology and made false statements in violation of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. When questioned on how a provision in the administration’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was developed which allows previously non-jurisdictional waters to be regulated if they have a “significant nexus” to jurisdictional waters within 4,000 feet, McCarthy falsely claimed, “It is available in the docket…and that’s what we relied on, both the knowledge and expertise of our staff, the information that we received from the public and comments and the science that’s available to us.”

    An April 27th memo to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, from Major General John Peabody, proves that this was a false statement and that the 4,000 foot determination was not based on science stating, “The arbitrary nature of the 4,000-foot cutoff of jurisdiction is demonstrated by the fact that EPA staff engaged in drafting the rule told Corps staff during a conference call in March 2015 that EPA was going to cut off [Clean Water Act] jurisdiction at a distance of 5,000 feet from the [ordinary high water mark] of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, territorial seas, impoundments or tributaries. Then, three days later, EPA staff changed its position” and went with the 4,000-foot cutoff; “EPA staff never provided any scientific support or justification for either a 5,000-foot or 4,000-foot cutoff.” Furthermore, Federal Judge Ralph R. Erickson also found “the 4,000 foot cutoff to establish jurisdiction over ‘similarly situated’ waters has no connection to relevant scientific data” and cited this fact as one of the primary reasons for his injunction issued August 27, 2015.

    On July 29, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and committed perjury in violation of section 1621 of title 18, United States Code. At the hearing, Congressman Gosar entered into the Congressional Record the April 27th and May 15th memorandums from Corps’ Major General Peabody. These memos include remarks that directly contradict statements made under oath by Administrator McCarthy at the hearing including: that Gen. Peabody and other Army Corps employees had “serious concerns about certain aspects of the draft final rule”; that “the Corps’ recommendations related to our most serious concerns have gone unaddressed”; that “the rule’s contradictions with legal principles generate multiple legal and technical consequences that, in the view of the Corps, would be fatal to the rule in its current form”; that “our technical review of both documents indicate that the Corps data provided to EPA has been selectively applied out of context, and mixes terminology and disparate data sets”; and that “In the Corps' judgment, the documents contain numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data provided, misapplied data, analytical deficiencies, and logical inconsistencies. As a result, the Corps' review could not find a justifiable basis in the analysis for many of the documents' conclusions.”

    On June 10, 2015, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy appeared before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. When asked about the Peabody memos she stated, “We took those concerns and talked through them and walked through them with the Environmental Protection Agency.” Congressman Gosar asked Administrator McCarthy about these memos at the July 29th hearing stating, “Are you aware of the legal and scientific deficiencies raised by the Corps in those memos?” Administrator McCarthy replied, “Just from what I’ve read, I have not seen the memo myself.” Later in this exchange, Administrator McCarthy stated, “In moving forward with the final; I individually had conversations with [Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy] about the changes that the Army Corps was interested in making, and as the proposal moved through the interagency process I understood that everything had been fully satisfied.” Administrator McCarthy committed perjury at this hearing by stating under oath that “all of the changes that the Army Corps was interested in making…had been fully satisfied” and by failing to initially disclose that the Corps of Engineers made her aware of the legal and scientific deficiencies expressed in the Peabody memos.

    On February 4, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared at a joint hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and made false statements in violation of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. When answering questions about WOTUS, McCarthy stated, “Again, we are not expanding jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, we are not eliminating any exemptions or exclusions in this proposal, we are in fact narrowing the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.” However, information on the EPA’s website states, “a very small number of additional waters – 3.2 percent - will be found jurisdictional and an EPA video released with the final rule claims that “until now 60% over our streams and millions of acres of wetlands all across the country were not protected.” The Peabody memos—previously mentioned—document very well that the new WOTUS regulation is not based on “sound science.” Further, numerous legal experts, including Federal Judge Erickson, have alleged that WOTUS is not consistent with the law and Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos.

    In the same February 4th hearing, McCarthy made other false and misleading statements. In one instance she stated, “Look at the history of the EPA in terms of how we listen, we listen to comments that have come in, this is a robust dialogue with the states.” States and local governments were not included in drafting the proposed rule. In fact, 28 different states have filed five different lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions to block WOTUS.

    House Standing Secured for Unappropriated Funding by Obama Admistration to be Challenged in Court

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    Washington, D.C. - September 10, 2014 (The Stuff Gazette) -- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, 6th) issued the statement below on today’s ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia finding that the House of Representatives has standing in court to challenge the Obama Administration’s use of unappropriated funds to implement the Affordable Care Act.

    Chairman Goodlatte: “I am pleased that the DC federal court has ruled that the House’s lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive overreach can move forward in court. The Constitution is very clear: it is Congress’ job to write our laws and it is the President’s duty to enforce them. The Constitution is also clear that Congress has the power of the purse, but the Obama Administration has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on the implementation of Obamacare, none of which have been appropriated by Congress by law.

    “President Obama’s pattern of executive overreach threatens to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances that is designed to protect individual liberty. If the President is allowed to change laws by himself and use money that has not been appropriated by Congress, he and future presidents can be expected to change more laws that affect Americans’ rights and tax dollars. Both the legislative and judicial branches must put a stop to the executive branch’s abuse of power so that we preserve individual freedom and our Republic for generations to come.”

    In July 2014, the House of Representatives approved H.Res. 676, a resolution authorizing the House to enter into litigation against President Obama for his failure to faithfully execute the laws. The House filed litigation over President Obama’s unilateral changes to Obamacare on November 21, 2014.

    Fleming Reacts to Bergdahl’s Charges

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    Washington, D.C. - September 10, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy:

    “If Sgt. Bergdahl’s charges that he abandoned his fellow soldiers in 2009 prove true in a court of law, then he put the lives of his unit at risk by his decision to flee. The shift in the mission to search and rescue operations for Bergdahl undoubtedly weakened the security environment in which at least six soldiers lost their lives. Even knowing this, the President hailed him as a hero in a Rose Garden ceremony. While I appreciate our nation's efforts to rescue a soldier captured by the Taliban and held for five years, President Obama’s decision to negotiate with terrorists makes American soldiers and civilians abroad more attractive targets. In addition, the world is a more dangerous place following the release of five high-level Taliban terrorists, with reports circulating that some of these individuals have attempted to make contact with their terrorist networks.

    “Bergdahl was no hero. And because of his actions, and the wrong choices of our President, five terrorists are walking free when they should be behind bars.”

    Stuff In the News: Manufacturing, Criminal Aliens, Syrian Refugees, National Debt, Transportation

    In 2010, House Democrats launched the Make It In America plan. Sixteen Make It In America bills have since been signed into law. However, the economic landscape has changed and new sectors have arisen in our economy since the plan was first introduced. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT, 5th) sought input yesterday from those testifying at her Make It In America Field Hearing on new ideas for where we can capitalize on past successes and address future challenges as the Make It In America plan is updated. Click here to view Esty’s remarks on the House floor.

    “Due to Presidential Executive Orders, our law enforcement's hands are tied and border patrol agents can’t do their job,” Congressman Farenthold said. “Now with ICE’s PEP (Priority Enforcement Program), we’re hearing more devastating and horrendous stories about illegal immigrants who were captured and released only to commit crimes in America. Today we heard about a criminal alien who murdered an American women, injured another and attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl after he was caught and released by ICE. I fought in Congress to defund sanctuary cities after the murder of Kate Steinle, but due to these executive overreaches, we have become a sanctuary country." -- Blake Farenthold (R-TX, 27th)

    In the letter, Keith Ellison (D-MN, 5th) calls for the United States to grant emergency asylum saying, “Security protocols account for significant delays in resettlement in the U.S., but we don't have to sacrifice our humanity to ensure our security. The U.S. could grant emergency asylum to thousands seeking refuge while ensuring that proper security screening protocols are met.” To date, the United States government has accepted only 1,500 Syrian refugees.

    Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX, 17th) announced his support for H.R. 692, the Default Prevention Act, which is set to be marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee tomorrow. This bill, introduced by RSC Member Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), is a long-standing RSC Initiative. “The Default Prevent Act ensures that the United States will fulfill our most pressing financial commitments, even in the event of political gridlock,” Chairman Flores said. “This bill protects Social Security recipients, while preserving the strength of our economy and our nation’s credit rating. It also marks an important step toward responsibly reducing America’s staggering national debt. By removing the threat of default, Congress will be able to tackle the problems at the root of Washington’s out-of-control spending more aggressively. I applaud my colleague, Rep. McClintock, for his work on the Default Prevention Act. The Republican Study Committee fully supports this bill and looks forward to its timely consideration by the full House of Representatives,” says Flores.

    Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22) has introduced the Metropolitan Planning Enhancement Act, which would bring critically needed transportation dollars to Broward and Palm Beach counties. The legislation awards additional funding from the federal government to local transportation organizations that work together.

    House Reactions to Nuclear Deal with Iran

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    These are just a few statements from the House Representatives about the Iran Nuclear Deal:

    I would like to begin by echoing the sentiments of Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar in stating that no arms control deal is ever perfect, and that our overriding objective must be to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But after carefully weighing all the options and possible outcomes, I do believe that voting for this deal will make it less likely that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. And voting against this deal, with no better options in sight, makes the potential for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon more likely. My support for this agreement is determined not by trust, but by science. -- Bill Foster (D-IL, 11th)

    Having read the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), engaging in insightful conversations with both opponents and proponents of the agreement, and listening to my constituents, I have concluded that supporting the agreement is in the best interest of the United States, Israel, and our global community. I arrived at this decision after extensive due diligence and receipt of sufficient answers to questions posed to me. I feel confident that I have made the right decision. -- Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH, 11th)

    Nuclear material leaves a radiation signature. We have the capability of reading those signatures and understanding in detail what is going on at any particular site. The verifications in this treaty are built upon the fact that we don’t trust Iran, and therefore, these verification procedures are the most robust, comprehensive, and extensive that have ever been in any proliferation treaty. -- John Garamendi (D-CA, 3rd)
    I’m voting against the deal. We need to work together to block it so that we can negotiate a stronger agreement. -- Gene Green (D-TX, 29th)

    The President’s deeply flawed and misguided deal with Iran is a serious security matter not only for the United States, but also for our allies in the Middle East. I believe we must use all tools possible to stop this deal in its tracks and avoid placing our citizens and allies at greater risk. Accordingly, I implore Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate leadership to use the so-called ‘nuclear option’ to require a simple majority to stop the Iran agreement. To require a super majority on a matter of great importance is improper, is offensive to the majority rule, and is damaging to our great Republic. -- Morgan Griffith (R-VA, 9th)

    The so-called “nuclear option” is a waiver of a rule dating back to the 1970’s. This modern filibuster/cloture rule currently in practice in the Senate requires a super majority in order to take a vote on any issue. A single Senator acting anonymously can place a “hold” on legislation by notifying the Senate Majority Leader of his or her desire to “hold” such a bill.

    Since November 16, 2012 (soon after the election that left Democrats in control of the White House and the Senate), Griffith has consistently called for the Senate to change this policy and return to its workable historical filibuster rule.

    I know many people of good faith have reservations about this agreement. They have concerns about dealing with Iran and ask how we can trust its ruling regime. I don’t trust Iran. Fortunately, as Secretary of State John Kerry has emphasized, there is absolutely nothing in the entire agreement that depends on trusting Iran. Precisely because we have doubts about Iran’s intentions, this deal includes a robust program for verification, monitoring and inspections as well as the ability to reinstate sanctions. Without this agreement, Iran would be free to pursue a nuclear weapon, and the United States and international community would not be able to inspect what is happening in Iran let alone stop it. -- Janice Hahn (D-CA, 44th)

    During my service in Congress, I have always believed that we must pursue diplomacy before confrontation, and that war should always be a last resort. I cannot ask the sons and daughters of the families I represent to fight a war without being able to look them in the eye and tell them we have exhausted all available diplomatic means. Congress should give this agreement a chance to work, and I intend to support it. -- Mike Doyle (D-PA, 14th)

    This week I will vote to support the JCPOA. This is a vote with enormous consequences for U.S. national security interests. I did not make my decision lightly. Over the past few weeks I spent many hours reading and reviewing the agreement and its classified annex. I received briefings from the Administration and national security, intelligence and non-proliferation experts. I had many discussions with stakeholders who hold passionate views on both sides of the argument and heard from hundreds of my constituents. -- Tammy Duckworth (D-IL, 8th)

    The Iran deal 1) does not effectively prohibit nuclear weapons research, enrichment research, miniaturization or delivery work 2) does little to impose actual accountability, and 3) does not dismantle all of Iran’s current nuclear infrastructure.

    At its core, the President’s deal is a gamble: a gamble that Iran will uphold its end of the bargain, and that in 10-15 years we will see a gentler, kinder Iran. It’s a gamble that gets Iran what it wants, and leaves America and our allies with the short end of the stick. That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. -- Randy J. Forbes (R-VA, 4th)

    I would like to begin by echoing the sentiments of Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar in stating that no arms control deal is ever perfect, and that our overriding objective must be to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But after carefully weighing all the options and possible outcomes, I do believe that voting for this deal will make it less likely that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. And voting against this deal, with no better options in sight, makes the potential for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon more likely. My support for this agreement is determined not by trust, but by science. -- Bill Foster (D-IL, 11th)

    Members Introduce Bipartisan House Bill to Combat Gun Trafficking

    Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), Patrick Meehan (R-Pennsylvania), Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), Peter T. King (R- New York), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), Robin Kelly (D-Illinois), Dan Donovan (R- New York), and Tammy Duckworth (D- Illinois) are re-introducing a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to make firearms trafficking a federal crime and impose stronger penalties for “straw purchasers” who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own.

    The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2015 directly addresses concerns by law enforcement officials who testified before Congress that a dedicated firearms trafficking statute would help them combat the flow of thousands of firearms to violent criminals, international drug cartels, and a host of other dangerous people.

    The introduction of this bill comes on the heels of a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing today on violence at the U.S. Mexico border. In March, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reported that more than 100,000 guns were recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing from 2009 to 2014. Of those, 70% originated in the United States.

    Yesturday, the Mexican embassy to the United States sent a letter in support of these efforts, highlighting that “Congress can play a very important role” in combating “the flow of illegal firearms by enacting proper legislation.”

    “We have made it too hard for law enforcement to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals and too easy for criminals to get their hands on guns,” said Rep. Maloney. “There should be no ambiguity: gun trafficking and straw purchases are illegal, and cost lives. If you are caught up in these activities, you will be prosecuted and sent to jail. The bipartisan Gun Trafficking Prevention Act would give law enforcement the tools they need to make sure that happens.”

    “We must give law enforcement and prosecutors better tools to stop gun trafficking and straw purchasing,” said Rep. Meehan, a former federal prosecutor. “This bipartisan bill protects our constitutional rights while taking necessary actions to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and help reduce gun violence.”

    “Today the Oversight Committee will hold a hearing to discuss violence in Mexico border, which has been exacerbated by a steady flow of firearms from the United States,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “Many of these weapons have been trafficked across state lines with the intent of inflicting harm south of the border. If this bill passes, it will make our communities safer while making a huge dent in the flow of illegal guns to Mexico.”

    “I have long supported efforts to crack down on illegal gun trafficking,” said Rep. King. “This legislation will make our citizens safer by giving law enforcement the tools they need to take gun-traffickers off the streets who are funneling firearms to felons, drug cartels and gang members. I am proud to be a part of a bipartisan group of members offering a solution to this problem.”

    “The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act is a common sense proposal to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by Act imposing stronger penalties for ‘straw purchasers’ who buy guns for convicted felons or others who would fail a background check,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “This bipartisan measure gives law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to put those skirting our gun laws behind bars while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

    “Every gun used in a crime was first obtained legally and then found its way into criminals’ hands through unlawful activity such as straw purchases and theft,” said Rep. Kelly. “Improving the background check system is crucial but we must take it a step further by prohibiting gun trafficking. Making gun trafficking a federal crime is a common sense measure that provides law enforcement the tools needed to effectively address our national epidemic of gun violence and gun crime. I’m proud to stand with a bi-partisan group of my fellow lawmakers to take this first positive step to address gun trafficking.”

    “I spent most of my career as a prosecutor,” said Rep. Donovan. “Providing law enforcement with the tools they need to combat illegal gun crime is critical to keeping New York the safest big city in America. We can strike a balance in protecting the Second Amendment while keeping guns away from criminals.”

    “The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act is the rare bipartisan gun safety bill that all Americans can support, “ said Rep. Duckworth. “I am a proud cosponsor of this common sense proposal that empowers law enforcement to crack down on illegal gun trafficking – and a combat Veteran who grew up in a family of marksmen. This bill simply criminalizes activity that the vast majority of Americans already believe is a Federal crime: using middlemen to buy guns for dangerous criminals. Enough is enough. Too many innocent Illinois residents are killed by guns that fall into the hands of criminals who never should have obtained them in the first place. It's time for Congress to act.”

    This legislation was first introduced in 2013 and was cosponsored by 118 Members of the House from both political parties. It also passed as an amendment out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but was not enacted into law. Specifically, the legislation:

    Prohibits Firearms Trafficking: The bill prohibits the purchase or transfer of a firearm if the intent is to deliver it to someone else who is prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing one.

    Strengthens Penalties for Straw Purchasers: The bill strengthens penalties to up to 20 years imprisonment for “straw purchasers” who intentionally provide false or misleading material information when they purchase firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees.

    Enhances Penalties for Kingpins and Multiple Illegal Purchases: The bill provides enhanced penalties for organizers or managers of firearms trafficking networks and recommends that the Sentencing Commission increase penalties for multiple illegal gun purchases.

    Groups supporting the bill include the American Bar Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Baltimore Police Department, CeaseFirePA, Daniel Webster, Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, Everytown for Gun Safety, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc., Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, MD, United States Conference of Mayors, and the Violence Policy Center.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Firearms Purchases Skyrocket During 2015


    Washington, D.C. - September 9, 2015 (The Stuff Gazette) -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has released the 2015 Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update. The report provides comparative data from as far back as 1986 for context, analyses of firearms manufacturing trends over the years, and a broad picture of the state of firearms commerce in the United States today.

    The data in the 2015 report shows an estimated increase in firearms manufacturing in the U.S. of more than 100 percent within a four-year period. In 2010, more than 5.4 million firearms were manufactured. That number climbed to more than 10.8 million in 2013. The most recent available firearm manufacturing statistics are through calendar year 2013.

    Pistols make up the bulk of the firearms manufactured, with 4.4 million produced in 2013. That is an increase of more than one million pistols produced compared to the previous year. The number of rifles manufactured also increased from 3.1 million in 2012 to 3.9 million in 2013.

    Updated firearms import and export data is also included in the report. Import data is updated through calendar year 2014. In calendar year 2014 more than 3.6 million firearms were imported into the United States; 2.1 million of those firearms were handguns. In calendar year 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, the U.S. exported more than 393,000 firearms.

    The commerce report includes a state-by-state breakdown of the federal firearms licensees and a state-by-state breakdown of the National Firearm Act tax revenue information available through 2014. For a closer look, visit the ATF website at commerce report.

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Gaming cannot be regulated on Tribal Lands

    The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a lower court’s opinion that the state cannot regulate gaming on tribal lands.

    A federal appeals court Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Luther Strange aimed at removing electronic bingo machines from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ properties.

    Strange argued in his initial lawsuit that the bingo machines were slot machines, which are illegal under state law. The suit claimed that federal law gave the state an implied right to sue in federal court to enforce its state laws on tribal lands.

    Read more about this by clicking HERE