Who’s Your Nathan?

Who’s Your Nathan?
By Nelson Spear

Many of us are familiar with the Bible character David. What is so great about his story is that we can still learn lessons from his life and apply them to our everyday lives.

Background of David:
Yes, the David of “David and Goliath” fame had later life lessons that we can learn from. Many of us are also familiar with the rest of the story of David on how he became king of Israel and had an affair with Bathsheba, who was married to a soldier in King David’s army. During the affair, King David got her pregnant and to hide his sin, he had the husband of Bathsheba murdered. Although many were aware of the sin in King David’s life, no one broached the subject with the king until Nathan the prophet confronted the king with a story that exposed the sin. After being confronted, King David admitted and repented of his sins.

Whether you believe the actual events of the Old Testament is not relevant. What is relevant are the lessons from this 3,000-year-old story that can still be applied to all of us today. Reflecting on the madness that is currently going on around us, I realized if we allow someone to speak constructively into our lives on a regular basis, we can avoid bigger problems for ourselves and our community.

Words and actions matter:
I have previously addressed the circumstances of the comedienne who posted a picture of herself that included a likeness of President Trump. I stated then that “just because you can [say something or do something], does not mean that you should [say something or do something].” The same goes for King David. He believed that he had the power and ability to claim anything he wanted as King; however, he did not. There was no one close enough to him to tell him before his sin with Bathsheba, “No, don’t do that!” It appears to be the same situation in the case of that same comedienne. For years, while she bashed everyone in her stand-up routine, her rhetoric towards the right became more and more hostile culminating with her famous 2007 comments directed to Jesus. Nobody close to her told her to stop. It can be fairly surmised that those around her even told her, “Don’t Stop!” So, are we really surprised when the same comedienne posted a photo of herself depicting a crime of violence towards the President? I know that I am not. Even members of Congress are not immune from the foot-in-mouth disease. For example, Congressman Grayson, claimed that the Republicans health care plan wants you to “die quickly” if you get sick.

The harsh rhetoric from both sides has increased in the last decade. It is readily apparent that violent rhetoric has increased since the 2016 General Election. The rhetoric of violence escalated on June 14, 2017 when a left-wing activist attempted to assassinate Congressman Scalise and other Republican leaders. Even after the shooting of these innocent people, there were those on the left that still fully engaged in the war of hostile rhetoric. One person tweeted (and then deleted) “Too bad he’s not hurt worse. He and GOP trying to hurt, kill, strip health care from millions of us presently. It’s unfortunately deserved.” Still today, even after the assassination attempt, a play is running that intentionally portrays a key figure as President Trump being assassinated. What makes this more remarkable is the fact that the play is being financially funded by MSM (mainstream media). I think that it is interesting to note that on the right, there are positive indications that things are changing. Even rightwing, shock-rocker Ted Nugent, while not compromising his political positions, has agreed to lay down his arms of rhetoric to curb the tone. Interestingly, the Nuge credits his wife, his Nathan, with helping him to make this transition.

Solutions:
Going back to my title and theme of this article, I ask, “Who is your Nathan?” Nathan spoke to King David about his sin after King David had taken Bathsheba and had her husband killed. Had anyone been able to counsel King David before he had set eyes on Bathsheba, he would have been able to avoid a lot of terrible events in his life.

Applying the Nathan intervention method, I ask, “Do you have the guts to listen to someone who will kick you in the shins for doing wrong?” I also ask, “Have you surrounded yourself with people that will tell you like it is, or have you surrounded yourself with people that are a jaknikker (yes man)?” King David’s other son by Bathsheba, Solomon, seemed to learn some good lessons from his father. In Proverbs 27:6, Solomon tells us that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” To me, this means your true friends will give you the hard truth, but others, especially those trying to curry favor with you, will only praise you. Later in that same chapter of Proverbs, Solomon tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friends.” Solomon also wrote, that in the abundance of counselors, there is victory. To me, these verses clearly mean that you need to surround yourself with Nathans.

In my case, I have several Nathans who not only encourage me, but they also are honest with me enough to let me know I am on a path that may cross a line or that I actually crossed the line when I said or did something that is outside the boundaries. My Nathans start first with my wife – I trust her more than any other person to give it to me straight. My Nathans also include my brother. And, I belong to a couple of accountability groups where we act as Nathans for each other. On some matters, I even listen to people on the far left who are morally principled and intellectually honest about themselves and life in general.

Conclusion:
Most agree that the escalation of violent political rhetoric has led to an escalation of actual violence. The violent political rhetoric must stop. No one is perfect. A lot of us have contributed to the rhetoric to one degree or another. Let us adopt a common goal of returning to a time where there was still spirited debate that encouraged strong thoughts yet still respected the views of others. We must be at a place where we can debate and then when the debate is over, we can all shake hands.

Adding a few Nathans to our lives will be a good start to getting to that goal. Who will be your Nathans?

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DSOs And Other Carbs That We Crave

DSOs And Other Carbs That We Crave
By Nelson Spear

I have had a lot of fun lately on social media talking about my favorite simple carbohydrate: Double Stuffed Oreos (DSOs). I am being transparent when I wrote that I love consuming these simple carbs. The highlight of the multiple posts about them (pictures and all) came when a good friend of mine – who happens to be a medical doctor – encouraged me to freely partake of these DSOs. He even wrote me a prescription for them.

I must now confess that I had an ulterior motive in discussing DSOs. I really wanted to talk about something else and had a difficult task of how to broach the subject without putting some of you to sleep. So please bear with me as I unpack the concept of “brain carbs.”

As we all know, over-consuming simple carbs (i.e., those foods that are simple to digest including basic sugars) is generally a bad thing. I then began to reflect on the concept of over-consuming simple carbs in other ways of our lives: If we can consume simple carbs with our mouths, can we also consume them with our eyes and ears? With that said, is there such a thing as a “brain carb?”

To answer the above questions, I started researching simple carbohydrates and the negative effects that they can have on the body. Not surprisingly, I was able to quickly conclude that simple carbs can be toxic to the body. The consequences of eating too many simple carbs include: fatigue, cravings more sugary foods, and depression. As I reflected on the health consequences, I recognized that I could perceive in myself and others similar adverse symptoms when consuming too many simple brain carbs.

Fatigue: My experience with simple food carbs – especially DSOs – is that foods like DSOs will give a quick burst of energy. However, shortly thereafter, there can be a physical energy crash. As with simple food carbs, over-consuming simple brain carbs gives us a quick jolt and then shortly thereafter, we can physically crash. I personally can attest to the fact that I have felt a definite burnout when it comes to consuming too much opinion media (more on that in a minute). From my conversations with friends on the left and the right, they too have felt the physical exhaustion following a long session of receiving opinion media. Energy derived solely on simple brain carbs, like simple food carbs, is simply not sustainable.

Cravings: As a lot of us know far too well, DSOs and other simple carbs are addictive. Who besides me remembers the potato chip media campaign, “No one can eat just one!” But now think about this: How many of us are addicted to certain opinion-based news talk shows and social media websites (often times the ones who project our personal opinions)? How many of us are willing to admit that we “feel” compelled to respond to every “stupid” remark made on Facebook or Twitter? How many of us feel that it is our mission in life to set the world straight by posting our opinion on any matter? Why do we have to respond to every outrageous statement or post?

Depression: How many of you besides myself feel an instant mental high following a large intake of simple food carbs only to be followed by an emotional “low” later? I may get this feeling because I know that I should not be eating this simple carb. It may be because I am condemned by others for not eating correctly. Is it not unlike the feeling that we sometimes get after we listen to certain talk radio hosts, television political commentators, and, at times, certain television preachers? Does anybody else besides myself feel condemned by others because I do not agree with some of these political pundits and TV preachers for not being 100% in agreement with their views?

You are what you eat. If your diet was comprised primarily of simple carbs, you would eventually develop health issues. Just the same, by Americans relying on simple brain carbs and taking the information that they receive as hard facts, it’s created emotional health issues within our society – largely reflected in the lack of respect for those with opposing views.

Further reflection on the comparisons between simple food carbs and simple brain carbs helped me realize that both are easily and quickly digestible. Let me explain. Simple brain carbs are ingested by merely watching and listening to opinion-based media. I hesitate to get into personalities, but I will point out that you can identify the dispensers of brain carbs by their fruits by asking one question, “[i]s the person or program that you are listening to or watching primarily an issuer of hard opinions or are they an issuer of hard facts?”

It seems that more and more, major news organizations implement their own “spin” on stories by editorializing, whether it’s in the headline, the featured picture, or the body of the article. The result of this seems to be a loss of the middle ground. Specifically, there seems to be less and less people in the middle. Because of the loss of the middle, there is an even more divided electorate which in and of itself creates a situation where there is a constant game of one-ups-man-ship between those on the left and those on the right.

So, is this how we got to the point where we, as a society, have a celebrity of Kathy Griffin’s status think that it okay to publish a shocking photo of our current President being decapitated? In my humble opinion, I believe that we, as a society, are to blame because we have tolerated the mixture of fact and opinion to the point that we cannot differentiate between the two. The major news sources that we once depended on for facts are no longer reliable. At its’ worst there are only opinion news outlets and programs. At its’ best, there are news outlets and programs that mix news facts and opinions. In doing so, America is losing or has lost the ability to think for ourselves.

It is also my humble opinion that we are also to blame because we have not learned the lesson that, “Just because you can, does not mean that you should.” The recent controversy which was created when Ms. Griffin mimicked the beheading of President Trump is a prime example of this point. Five years ago, no one would have entertained the thought that holding a severed head would be perceived as a joke. On May 30, 2017, Ms. Griffin “sincerely apologized” for the over the top photo shoot when she admitted to crossing the line of decency after having moved that line. She also admitted to having gone too far as a comic. Importantly, she asked for our forgiveness. However, on June 2, Ms. Griffin issued a new statement justifying the original photo shoot.

If her goal had been to avoid this mess, she should have had someone within her sphere of influence – professional or otherwise – to tell her that she was going too far with her earlier comments. However, her statement on June 2 shows to me that she is not receiving good counsel.

In all fairness, people on the right are not immune from going over the top either. While President Obama was in office, he received well-deserved criticism for multiple decisions he made, but he also received a fair amount of undue criticism. I wrote four years ago that undeserved criticism caused all of us on the right to lose credibility.

Simple carbs – food and brain – have their places in our lives. We just need to know what we are eating and their effects on us. We must be on guard to be quick to reject what one respected commentator and writer coined “political pornography” to describe the recent issue with Kathy Griffin. My suggestion is that we take a termed fast from most of these simple carbs (food and brain) and detoxify ourselves for a season. Or at the very least, be more aware of what you’re consuming.

We do this by turning away from DSOs (and other simple food carbs) and turning off the sources that spout and promote their opinions with no or few facts. During this fast, we also need to intake some body and brain proteins – the latter by reading some hard facts followed by our own contemplating of those facts and writing down our own conclusions. After our termed season of detox, we can slowly reintroduce the simple carbs – including those beloved DSOs.

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The word of the day is “deflection”

deflection

[dih-flek-shuh n]

Noun:
The act or state of deflecting or the state of being deflected.

Usage:
In politics, the act of pushing an alternative narrative to take the focus off of one’s own failures, mistakes or misdeeds by accusing another of similar failures, mistakes or misdeeds.

Example:
On December 8, 2016, Georgia’s Secretary of state presented credible evidence that President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security attempted to breach the state of Georgia’s voter data base.

The United States government has not yet responded to the state of Georgia’s hacking accusation; however, within 24 hours of the accusation, President Obama’s administration released details of a closed door meeting which contained details of Russia’s hacking of  Democrats emails and releasing them.

Sources
1. http://events.tbo.com/news/politics/elections/georgia-accuses-us-of-trying-to-hack-its-election-systems/2305640

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.fd1ebf987e57

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5 Reasons Why Gary Johnson Does Not Belong On The Presidential Debate Platform

The other day a friend posted a question on social media. The question raised was as to whether or not Gary Johnson should be included in the Presidential debates with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I said absolutely not because Gary Johnson does not bring anything new to the table that Trump and Clinton do not already bring. Someone asked for some examples. So, I came up with these five.

1. Gary Johnson is decidedly pro-choice. When he ran for and was governor of New Mexico Johnson was pro-life. Like Al Gore, Johnson switched from pro-life to pro-choice between runs for office. Johnson is now steadfastly pro-choice. The debate platform does not need Johnson’s voice on this issue because Hillary Clinton is already supports it.

2. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld do not support the 2nd amendment. Recently, Johnson accepted the gift of a flintlock pistol from former primary rival. The gift was given to Johnson by the rival to show party unity. However, Johnson promptly threw the gun in the trash can. As governor, Weld “proposed some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.” In a fairly recent interview, the 71-year old Weld made it clear that his views on the 2nd amendment are anything but Libertarian. Since Hillary Clinton has already supported limiting the second amendment, we do not need another voice on the podium advocating the further limitation of the second amendment.

3. Gary Johnson is in favor of same sex marriage. It used to be a central platform plank of the Libertarian Party that the government should be out of the marriage debate completely. While Hillary Clinton has clearly flipped on this issue, Johnson has at a minimum evolved. It is my recollection as governor that he was against same sex marriage. In June 2011, Johnson was of the opinion that the government should be completely out of the marriage business (which is the standard Libertarian Party platform plank). Yet, in January 2012, Johnson is fully on board with same sex marriage and blasted President Obama for delaying support of it. Since Hillary already supports same sex marriage, it baffles me why Johnson’s voice needs to be added to the debate.

4. Gary Johnson advocates the use of the government to force people to violate their conscious. While related to the point above, it is different enough to warrant its’ own paragraph point. Recently, there have been several reports where certain businesses were sued for refusing to provide a specific service to same sex couples. In one case, a family owned bakery was ordered to make wedding cakes for same sex couples. Another court was ordered to take photographs for same sex couple commitment ceremonies (note: this ruling from the New Mexico Supreme Court was prior to the United States Supreme Court’s recognition of same sex marriage. Like Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson has no problems with the government forcing businesses to do what they don’t want to do. When asked in a forum if Jewish bakers should be forced to bake a Nazi cake, Johnson responded that he would require them make the cake. This is an odd position as a Libertarian because it is a fundamental principle of Libertarianism that the government should not try to solve or resolve these types of social issues. Again, this position is already represented between the two main parties on the platform.

5. Gary Johnson promotes the recreational use of marijuana. This goes beyond the pro legalization position some Libertarian candidates take. The legalization of marijuana is Gary Johnson’s top priority. As a first-hand observer, I have seen Johnson work as governor. As governor, he wanted to decriminalize other drugs besides marijuana; however, marijuana was the only drug that he could get traction with. When he gets a bit in his teeth, he is formidable. He will sacrifice all other legislative priorities to get the one he wants. He made sacrifices in New Mexico that he shouldn’t have to push his drug agenda.

Another important issue is the real conflict of interest Johnson has because he is the CEO of a marijuana company. Johnson is so pro-pot, that he himself violates the principles of our country’s laws to satisfy his personal desires. This point is exemplified when Johnson admitted to using marijuana as recently as May 2016. My problem with Johnson is that he will be a hyper-extension of current Obama policies to lessen the consequences of the use of recreational drugs. It is my guess that he will reach further than Hillary Clinton on this matter.

Conclusion:

As I was self-proofing my article for submission to my editors, I kept getting stuck where I said “Gary Johnson does not bring anything new to the table that Trump and Clinton do not already bring.” Having reflected on Johnson’s positions even further, I am tempted to change the beginning to say that “On at least five major issues, Gary Johnson does not bring anything different to the table than Hillary Clinton does.”

Since Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton share the same stance on so many important issues, I must ask myself, “Why should I agree to let Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton gang up on Donald Trump during any Presidential debate?”

It still does not make sense to me.

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What We Learned From The Democrats This Week

This week, the Democrats held their national convention in Philadelphia. I watched and I commented, mostly on Twitter, along with many of you. I wanted to sort of summarize the week that was the Democrat convention, and so here are a few of my thoughts as they happened throughout the week. At the bottom of this post are a few links that I hope you will look at and consider sharing. If you enjoy this post, I would ask you to share it as well.

This is just a sampling of the tweets I tweeted this week. I invite you to visit my entire Twitter feed here and see what I had to say all during the week.


I attended the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland. I posted about my experience at the convention. What the Democrats have to offer this country, is a stark contrast compared to what the Republicans have to offer. The Republican House has presented “Six big ideas from the “Better Way” plan” which is a governing agenda that the Republicans are running on this fall.

Hillary and the Democrats pretend to care, and they talk a lot about compassion. There is no compassion is breaking laws that are in place. There is no compassion is “free” college for anyone who wants to attend. There is no compassion in making the national minimum wage $15 or more, which will subsequently send many with jobs to the unemployment lines. There is no compassion in continuing to put greater trust in a Washington bureaucracy than in the people of this great country. There is no compassion is continuing to put military and police lives in danger by using inflammatory rhetoric that makes people more hostile, rather than looking at root causes in the “village” and addressing those humanely and personally.

I hope you saw the contrast I saw this week. I would love to hear your feedback here, or on Twitter, or on Facebook.

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2016 Republican National Convention Recap

Nelson Spear RNC 2016 Las Vegas Review-Journal

Photo is from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

 

Thanks for the prayers
Let Nancy and I just say that your thoughts and prayers were definitely felt and made evident during our week in Cleveland. The week was powerfully stimulating. In fact, I would say that the week was more action packed than the other two national conventions that Nancy and I had previously attended. In fact, there was much more to do than our time allowed us. The earliest that we went to bed was the “Monday morning” that we arrived in Cleveland. We went to bed about 1:30 am that day.

RNC 2016 Texas Delegation Pins

We were so blessed to further connect with our existing friends and make so many new friends. One thing that aided us in building goodwill with delegates from other delegations was a pin that the Texas delegates could order. We ordered several and we gave these out fairly freely and we also traded different states for their pins. There is something special about giving away a gift unconditionally and explaining to the recipient that they do not have to give anything in return.

Nancy and I believe in divine appointments and there were so many along the way starting with our extended layover in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was really refreshing and invigorating to meet other delegates who felt as we did about some of the things that we would like to see changed in the future. We are already planning on getting together to discuss how we can make some positive changes.

The entire Texas delegation also felt very much protected and at peace while there. Despite the level of threatened violence from protestors, we encountered nothing that threatened us in any way. While there, we met many law enforcement officers from so many different states and thanked them for their service.

Nonappearance by key Republicans
Several notable Republicans chose not to appear at the Republican National Convention. I will talk about two. Governor John Kasich was an early favorite, but not the top pick, of mine. I liked Gov. Kasich for several reasons including the fact that he was a part of the team that helped balance the budget under President Bill Clinton. However, the shine on his gold star dulled when some of his state policy actions as Governor of Ohio were contrary to his earlier positions as congressman. There were rumors that Donald Trump offered Gov. Kasich the position of Vice President but that he turned it down. However, both the Trump campaign and Kasich campaign denied that there was an offer. Still, it is the opinion of many that being a no-show at the Republican National Convention in his home state was in poor taste.

There was some buzz about no one from the Bush family making an appearance. Some speculated that Jeb Bush’s poor outing contributed to that decision. Some speculated that some delegates were still a little sore at former President George W. Bush for some of his policies. Interestingly, the Huffington Post interviewed me about my thoughts and I opined that President George W. Bush probably was just sick of politics and wanted nothing more to do with it. Part of my quote was picked up by other analysts and printed in their publications as well.

I also point out that in the Democrat Party there will be key figures that also will be missing from their convention which starts Monday, July 25th. For example, it has been well documented by many sources of the long-running feud between Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. It was just announced that Al Gore, the former Vice President and the 2000 Presidential nominee of the Democrat Party, would not be attending the Democrat convention in Philadelphia.

The choice of Governor Mike Pence as Vice President
I gave an in-depth analysis of the positive reasons for choosing Governor Mike Pence of Indiana for a running mate on my blog. In summary though, I feel that a current Governor from a mid-western state combined with the prior experience of a United States Congressman who had a reputation as a solid conservative will positively lift the overall ticket’s value to all Americans.

Ted Cruz and his convention speech
Frankly, I was surprised that Senator Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump at the convention. Other than that, I feel that no matter what side anyone picks on Cruz’ decision they will be attacked by the other side. For my fellow Trekkies out there, I guess you could say that this is a Kobayashi Maru test that even James T. Kirk would not want to face. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of Senator Cruz, I believe that it is undisputed that Donald Trump knew in advance that Senator Cruz was not going to endorse him. Thus, I would give some high respect remarks to Donald Trump in allowing Senator Cruz to speak.

The issue that a lot of people are talking about is whether or not the boos that were made at Senator Cruz were orchestrated by the Trump camp. All I can say to that is that from where I was sitting in the gallery, while my alternate was on the floor during the speech, I did not receive any texts or other communications that suggested that delegates should boo or otherwise become disruptive while Senator Cruz spoke. Nor did I see anything that made me think that the delegates were being whipped up to boo Senator Cruz. However, others reported that they did see some Trump supporters whipping other delegates to boo Senator Cruz.

Trump family speeches
As most of you know, I officially endorsed Donald Trump on June 7. Nothing that has occurred since that date has caused me to change my mind. With that said, let me add to my thoughts that I made on June 7. Prior to his acceptance speech, his wife and children all gave speeches. I believe that in spite of the overblown reaction to Melania’s speech, that the speeches given by Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric, and Donald Jr. were outstanding. As one observer put it, Donald Trump had to do something right to raise four kids that turned out so well. Trump’s youngest of five children, Barron, who is 10 years old, did not speak at the convention.

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech was the final event of the action-packed week. His overall theme of making “America First” resonated with the delegates in attendance and with the rest of America. In summary, he pledged to “Make America Safe Again,” “Make America Work Again,” “Make America First Again,” and “Make America One Again.” Trump’s speech included some very specific points including building a wall on the Mexican border and doing away with some of the treaties and trade agreements that do not first advance United States’ interests.

In closing, I cannot thank you again for everyone’s support of Nancy and I while we were in Cleveland. Being able to focus completely on the tasks in front of us while things back home were watched and cared for will always be remembered. And to answer your question, “Yes,” I will be watching and commenting on the Democrats convention starting Monday.

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Thursday at RNC 2016

Good morning from Cleveland as the final day of the RNC gets underway.

As we sort out all of our thoughts and feelings after last night’s events, let us remember to not allow anyone, including ourselves, to dictate how we should respond to anything that has been said or done to us personally or others.  Let us be led by His Spirit instead.

Please say an extra prayer this am for the Texas delegation as we meet this am.

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Agree or disagree?


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Wednesday at RNC 2016

If you missed my updates from yesterday, they can be found here.

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I was interviewed at the convention by a Huffington Post writer. I am quoted at length in the article.

At Trump’s Convention, It’s George W. Bush’s Legacy That’s On Trial

When will the 43rd president return to his party’s main stage?

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This morning our delegation heard some really interesting feedback from pollster and communicator Frank Luntz. In talking about political language, he said this: “Don’t say middle class that is a Democrat term, say hard working tax payers.”

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If you have some downtime today, you might enjoy this editorial by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, a fellow Texan (Conroe).

We want to make tax filing so simple that ‘it would fit on a postcard’

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This LA Times editorial says that Paul Ryan’s speech last night was the best of the first two nights of the RNC. Do you agree?

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This is an interesting article about Donald Trump offering Governor John Kasich the VP spot, and Kasich rejecting it.

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I met a fellow Texas this afternoon and got this picture of the hat she was wearing. Over on my Facebook Page, I’m running a poll to see if you think I should get a hat like that. Let me know.

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Wow! What a night! What the heck just happened?

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Tuesday at RNC 2016

Day 2 is here! Read about Day 1 here.

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Monday at RNC 2016

Nancy and I are in Cleveland and RNC 2016 is really about to get underway for us.

Just got my credentials for Day 1:

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I’m quoted in this story:

Trump supporters say terrorist attacks strengthen case for Mexico wall

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Also a little housekeeping in case you were to hear a radio interview I did. In talking about some of the floor action tonight, I said “no one walked out”. First, I had no idea from the floor that the Colorado and Iowa delegations had walked out. Second, no one from the Texas delegation left.

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