The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have greatly increased the work of small units in the military services with very challenging duties _ notifying the next of kin about the death of a soldier.
At a House Armed Services subcommitee hearing this week, military officials who oversee the notification process told lawmakers that they strive to give as much information as possible as soon as possible about a soldier’s death and help family members through the painful next steps.
For the U.S.…
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I just got back from a trip to Britain; my first overseas. While I was there, I was lucky enough to be able to go see the British Parliament, the equivalent to the U.S. Congress in many ways and the Scottish Parliament, or something more similar to a state legislature. The differences between the debates I saw there and what goes on here seemed stark to me.
First, the House of Commons (think U.S. House) and the House of Lords (U.S.…
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The U.S. Capitol has a lot of great artwork _ huge paintings depicting some of the most famous events in U.S. history, busts and statues of famous Americans and some of the flourishes in the House and Senate chambers _ some of it done by famous artists.
Down in the tunnel connecting the Capitol to House office buildings _ an essential passageway on hot, humid days like we’ve been experiencing here _ there is also some eyecatching artwork, this done by amateurs.…
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The House bill introduced last week to sever relations with the Cherokee Nation over the freedman controversy has been assigned to two committees: the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over Indian issues; and the Judiciary Committee, which deals generally with judicial and constitutional matters.
Members typically don’t want their bills double-assigned since it slows them down and makes them more vulnerable to major changes.
But in this case, getting the bill, HR 2824, assigned to the Judiciary Committee was actually part of Rep.…
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Sen. Tom Coburn is expected to return to Washington today after a week of rest and recovery from surgery to remove a benign tumor in his pituitary gland.
Coburn, R-Muskogee, had the surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on June 13th, then went back to Muskogee to recover.
Aaron Cooper, a Coburn spokesman, said the 59-year-old senator is doing “great.”
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Workers at the Capitol won’t have to bring their lunch or go elsewhere for lunch Monday, thanks to a state employees group.
The Oklahoma Public Employees Association will provide free sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday on the 4th-floor rotunda to the approximately 250 workers at the Capitol.
A snack bar at the Capitol has been closed since May 25. It’s expected a new vendor could be in place by the end of this month, state officials have said.…
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Are you paying more attention to the presidential candidates this year compared with four years ago?
A national campaign manager for one of the candidates says polls indicate you are.
The many big-name candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties may be a factor why more people report watching this year’s presidential races compared with the 2004 campaigns, said David Bonior, campaign manager for Democratic presidential contender John Edwards.
Republicans didn’t have a presidential primary race in 2004, and several states have moved up their primaries or caucuses to early 2008, which also may be a factor, Bonior said during a speech Friday in Oklahoma City to Oklahoma County Democrats.…
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Sen. Barbara Boxer gave her good friend Sen. Jim Inhofe a gift on Thursday before commencing a hearing on global warming _ an issue that has divided the two lawmakers for years.
Boxer, a California Democrat, presented Inhofe, R-Tulsa, with a little stuffed polar bear (it looked like a Beanie Baby from the press seats).
The polar bear, of course, is considered to be in some danger of extinction this century because of global warming and the melting ice of its habitat.…
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If they’re going to eat lunch, state workers at the Capitol are getting in the habit of either going out or bringing their own.
A snack bar in the Capitol remains closed. But a new operator could be serving food and drinks in less than two weeks, a state spokeswoman said today.
The previous operator quit suddenly on May 24, the day before legislators adjourned this year’s session.
Typically, snack bars in the basement and on the fourth-floor are open during the legislative session; the 4th-floor operation usually shuts down when legislators are not in session.…
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Paul Vincent is returning to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Thursday to see his son, Shane, of Sapulpa, who was severely wounded by an IED explosion outside Baghdad last month.
Shane’s back is broken and he suffered numerous other injuries after the 1,000-pound bomb exploded under the rear of the Humvee he was driving. The explosion killed another man in the vehicle, while a third was relatively unharmed.
Shane, 22, has been at Walter Reed since the Memorial Day weekend, undergoing a series of surgeries.…
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