My Day at the Cannon

capitola.jpgCannon Office Building, that is. Right next to the Capitol. Patrick McHenry is on the 2nd floor, Heath Shuler on the 5th. My mission: ask McHenry's staff for a list of the questions he didn't answer Monday night.

There was no one at McHenry's office who would speak to me except the intern greeter dude who told me to email the spokesman, so I have. Once on Capitol Hill, however, of course I had to visit Heath. After all that blogging and phone-calling to get him elected, surely I would rate some kind of perk, right?

And I do. A cup of much-needed water, a cheery hello and hug from the actual Congressman. I honestly didn't even think to ask him about the tobacco v. children's health bill. First of all, I was hot and thirsty (see below). And second of all, does anyone think a Congressmen from a contested (i.e. leaning conservative) North Carolina district would ever vote to raise the tobacco tax? I mean, kids could be bleeding in the streets, but this is politics, too. He's got to get reelected to do them any good, right?

peter-painting.jpgAfter I'd left, much rested and refreshed, I realized I never got a photo for y'all. So, I went back. And to the left, enjoy the only picture they allowed.

I'd started framing something in his office . . . perhaps all those cute family photos behind his desk . . . but they came in and stopped me because someone, who shall remain nameless, thought that perhaps his desk was "too messy." It had, like, 10 papers on it! To me, it looked real. But blame me if you wanted to see his digs. They offered to clean it up. But I said, "no, no, no" and settled for the reception area. Anyway, it's a nice oil painting (on loan) and you get to see the intern greeter dude Peter from Hendersonville.

To read about my creepy visit to McHenry's quiet and funereal office, click here:

water.jpgWhy was I so parched after visiting my own (recently former) Congressman, you might ask? It was very sad. His intern/greeter dude could only give me an inch of water; that's all they had. Maybe I should make it into a postcard that says: "I visited my Congressman and all I got was an inch of water in a plastic cup." I really was amazingly hot and thirsty when I got there and you can't drink the water from the bathrooms. Other weird McHenry thing: his intern was from Charlotte and Clemson. I guess he couldn't get anyone from the district.

Then I saw this poster over a door.


To me, he doesn't seem like a person who thinks anything is enchanted.


And I know it's just a poster but somehow, for him to be in any way associated with showing children anything (especially with the word "enchantment") . . . well, it gives me the creeps.


Oops, for got to do the cross post thing

At Scru hoo, and also the Pat part at Pat Go Bye Bye. I told Pat's door-keeper about the blog and also that I'd moved away. I really wish I'd visited before I was no longer a constituent to see how I'd have been treated then . . .
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Show the children

That when Congress critters have to choose between health care for kids and tobacco profits for fat cats, the profits always win.

I tried to put that photo in the teaser

but it wouldn't show up. Isn't it creepy creepy creepy????

As to Heath, I just don't see how he could risk it. It's easy for us who don't have to get reelected to say that he should stand tall for kids. Maybe he's getting bad advice. Maybe they're being smart.

This is what syntax quoted at Scu Hoo from Heath's AC-T blog:

This was a decision I thought and prayed on extensively. In the end, the cuts to Medicare – including billions of dollars of cuts to long-term care hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health care providers, and the providers of oxygen equipment and therapy – were too steep for me to support this bill.

I strongly feel that these cuts are the result of a hurried legislative process that did not allow all members to fully review the bill or to offer amendments to strengthen the legislation. I fully support the underlying objectives of this bill – providing accessible insurance to more American children and protecting Medicare for American seniors – and I hope that the bill that is reported back to the House from the conference committee will achieve both of these goals in a fiscally responsible manner.

News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,


I'll give him a break on this one.

Hadn't read his explanation.

I won't give him a break.

but I will give him points for having a better explanation than his Republican colleague, Howard Coble.

Children's issues are about as close to a litmus test as I have.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Good show about SCHIP

On NPR's (WAMU's) Diane Rehm a couple weeks ago. Here's the link.

One of the sad stories she covered came from underfunding SCHIP here in Maryland where a child died because SCHIP was so cheap the few dentists on the program weren't taking new clients. The boy had an undiagnosed abscessed tooth. The infection spread to his brain. It took begging the University of Maryland Dental School to get his brother some dental care, and that was AFTER one sibling was already dead.

I bet Heath will pay for this when it comes around again. I can't see him resisting the pressure.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

I will gladly submit to a flogging

for saying this, but I'm not sure

This was a decision I thought and prayed on extensively.

is the best method for a Representative to determine vote-casting. I'm not saying people shouldn't pray for guidance (occasionally), but publicly referencing prayer as one of the determining factors in a decision, especially one that impacts the health of children, is (to me) merely a clever way of using God to legitimize your choice.

Just a reminder—it's the 21st Century, not the f**king 12th.

It's probably a lie

News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

thanks for the post

I'm glad Shuler was able to see you.

When I went up to drop in on Burr and Dole 6 months ago (with about 20 other folks), Burr's office blatantly told us, "we don't care that you are from North Carolina, we don't care why you are here, go away, we don't care."

This was a stark contrast to Dole's office (which we visited first) where they were actually rather polite. No hugs from Dole, but our 4 hour drive earned us 15 minutes with a staffer. I guess not being from North Carolina her office feels less entitled to abuse actual citizen residents.

- - - - -
Les Merritt, Toady Extraordinaire
Where is Liddy?
Sanford-Hunt: Aug 25th

When I went to NC with a group from NC-AEYC

we met with Burr, but Dole was too busy to see us. Burr is kind of an ass, didn't listen to our concerns, but used the opportunity to push his new plan to keep kids from dropping out of high school. Howard Coble's aide met with us and had him call us from the house floor. We did make appointments ahead of time; I think that helps. I think visiting Democrats helps, too. The best visit by far was the one to Brad Miller's office. That shouldn't surprise anyone here.

We need more Democrats to visit on Capitol Hill.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Yeah, I should say Shuler's people were incredibly nice

considering I just dropped in right when a controversial vote was brewing. He was about to go vote against the SCHIP funding. They knew it was going to look bad. I assume they were plotting about it because they shut doors when I showed up. But, they can't have those discussions in public. So, I think they were pretty accommodating especially considering the circumstances.

Now, it's day two and McHenry's dude, Aaron Latham, hasn't returned my email. I don't know why. It would only take a few seconds to cut and paste the unanswered questions from Monday night. I guess they're busy writing more bile to spew on the house floor the next time they get any chance at all to whine and foam at the mouth.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,


They're lawyering up.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I imagine they're in a state of constant spin

which at some point might require lawyering up.....

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.