Help Your Student Win…


Help Your Students to Win a Chance to Get a Patent on an Invention The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation has partnered with ePals Global Community to sponsor the second annual invention challenge!

Get your students’ creativity flowing. Help them become inventors by choosing a problem and inventing something to solve it. You can use the power point template to submit their ideas. Four lucky winners will have the chance to get a patent filed for their invention! This year, there are chances for students to win across multiple categories and age groups. Entries are due January 4th, 2013. Finalists will be announced on Kid Inventor Day (Jan. 17th 2012) and the winners will be announced on February 4th! Visit ePals Invent-It Challenge Contest Page for more details!

In the Library … The Hobbit by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien


Cover has a drawing of a winged dragon with a long tail at the bottom. 1937 cover – drawing done by Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973), whose surname is pronounced /?t?lki?n/ (in General American also /?to?lki?n/), was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After his death, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy. Tolkien’s writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

http://www.readanybook.com/ebook/the-hobbit-17

Got maternity care?


 

National Women's Law Center
 
 
     
  All Women Need Maternity Care  
     
   
     
                  Tell the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that insurance companies provide maternity care for all women.  
     
     
     

Millions of young women get health insurance coverage through their parents’ plans — but even though their parents’ policies include maternity benefits, not all of these daughters have access to maternity coverage. This means many pregnant women are without the care they need, when they need it the most.
Your voice is needed. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is creating rules for insurance companies in the individual and small group markets under the new health care law. As part of this effort, they will take comments from the public about what services insurance companies must cover. Tell HHS to ensure insurance companies provide maternity coverage to women who get their health care coverage through their policy.
Maternity care leads to healthier moms and healthier babies. And health insurance coverage for these services provides financial security and peace of mind to women and their families. On average, a woman without maternity coverage will spend at least $10,000 on maternity care, a huge financial burden at the time when she’s bringing a child into the world.
We’ve made a lot of progress — but there’s still more to be done. Send in your comments and ensure that insurance companies are required to provide maternity coverage for all individuals.
The National Women’s Law Center shined a spotlight on the fact that when women buy health coverage directly from insurance companies, only twelve percent of those health plans cover maternity care. With your help, we’ll continue the important fight to ensure all women have maternity coverage when they need it.
Thank you for all you do to ensure women have access to quality, affordable health care.
Sincerely,

 
Judy Waxman   Judy Waxman Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights National Women’s Law Center

Check your Gift Card …


Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

 Ever get a gift card that lost its value? One day, it promised you $50 or $100, then when you went to use it, the card had been drained.

Maybe there were unexpected fees. Some cards charge you if you don’t use them in a certain period. Others expire.

Maybe the store went belly up. Your cash money went to pay their creditors and you got nothing.

If the card was a “rewards” card purchased with credit card, airline, or other “points” — well then, all bets are off. The card could have been loaded with fees and expire at any time.

Tell us your own gift card story — and we’ll use it to make sure your card is worth what you paid for it.

This holiday season, lawmakers are working on a bill to eliminate fees and expiration dates. Money doesn’t expire. Neither should money stored on a gift card.

The bill would also require companies to treat cards purchased with rewards points the same as cards purchased with cash.

But this bill isn’t a slam dunk. Retailers and banks benefit when you give them cash but then they don’t have to honor that cash amount in goods or services. To pass this bill, in the face of opposition from industry, lawmakers need the stories of real people.

Tell us your story, and we will put it in front of lawmakers and news outlets!

Share your story, or forward this email to a friend, co-worker or family member who may have gotten less than their money’s worth from a gift card.

Sincerely,
Pam Banks, DefendYourDollars.org
A project of Consumers Union

CONGRESS: the Republican led House :::::: the Democratic led Senate


Obama Launches DNC Campaign Tour At Illinois State Capitol

the Senate Convened 10:00amET December 18,2012

  • Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.1, the legislative vehicle for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.
  • The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

The Senate has resumed consideration of H.R.1, the legislative vehicle for the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. Senator Merkley called up the Merkley-Stabenow amendment #3367 (crop insurance).

The McCain amendment #3355 (strike emergency funding for forest restoration program) and the Tester amendment #3350 (additional funds for wildland fire management) are now pending to H.R.1, the legislative vehicle for the emergency supplemental appropriations bill.

Senator Reid made the following unanimous consent request for consideration of S.3276, the FAA Sunsets Extension Act of 2012 .  Senator Chambliss objected to the request.

The text of the request and the unofficial transcript of their remarks are below.

At time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #463, S.3276 and the only first degree amendments in order be the following:

– Judiciary committee reported substitute;

– Leahy (sunset);

– Leahy (oversight);

– Wyden (public reporting);

– Wyden (back-door searches);

– Tester (reverse targeting); and

– Merkley (declassification of FISA Court opinions)

And that there be one hour of debate equally divided between the proponents and opponents on each amendment, and up to two hours of debate on the bill equally divided between the proponents and opponents.  Further, that upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed; and that there be no amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes; and upon disposition of the amendments, the bill be read a third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended.

MR. REID: THE SENATE HAS BEEN CONSIDERING THE SUPPLEMENTAL

APPROPRIATION BILL FOR TWO DAYS NOW. THE REPUBLICANS, I’M TOLD,

ARE IN THE PROCESS OF FIGURING OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. WE

HAVE OTHER CONCERNS, AS YOU KNOW, WE HAD THE TRAGEDY IN

CONNECTICUT, THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF OUR FRIEND, SENATOR INOUYE,

BUT TIME DOESN’T STOP FOR ANYTHING. IT KEEPS MARCHING ON.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING. WE HAVE A FISCAL CLIFF THAT’S IN THE

HORIZON. SO I HOPE WE CAN MAKE PROGRESS ON THIS BILL IN THE

MORNING. IF NOT, I’LL BE FORCED TO FILE CLOTURE TO TRY TO

FIGURE OUT A PATH FORWARD ON THIS BILL. IT’S BEEN OPEN FOR

AMENDMENT, THAT’S WHAT MY FRIENDS SAID THEY WANTED, THAT’S WHAT

THEY HAVE. WE HAVE THE D.O.D. AUTHORIZATION. WE NEED TO

COMPLETE ACTION ON THAT CONFERENCE REPORT THAT’S BEEN COMPLETED

NOW. WE EXPECT THAT THEY WILL FILE TONIGHT OR TOMORROW SO WE

NEED TO COMPLETE THAT BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. CHRISTMAS IS

SEVEN DAYS FROM TODAY. WE HAVE JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS, WE’VE BEEN

MAKING SOME PROGRESS WITH THE DISTRICT COURT NOMINATIONS. WE

HAVE TO DO THREE MORE BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. WE HAVE

EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS WE NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE THE END OF THE

WEEK. FISA, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF

LEGISLATION. IMPERFECT AS IT IS, IT IS WHAT IS NECESSARY TO

HELP US BE PROTECTED FROM THE EVIL THAT’S IN THE WORLD. WE HAVE

TO COMPLETE THIS BEFORE WE LEAVE HERE THIS WEEK. TODAY’S

TUESDAY. SO EVERYONE ELSE CAN DO THE MATH JUST AS WELL AS I CAN

ABOUT HOW MANY DAYS ARE LEFT. SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT

AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY ME AFTER CONSULTATION WITH

SENATOR McCONNELL, THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF

CALENDAR NUMBER 463, S.3276, THAT THE ONLY FIRST-DEGREE

AMENDMENTS IN ORDER TO THE BILL BE THE FOLLOWING, JUDICIARY

COMMITTEE REPORTED SUBSTITUTE, LEAHY SUNSET, LEAHY OVERSIGHT,

WYDEN PUBLIC REPORT,, WIENDZ BACK DOOR SEARCHES, AND MERKLEY

WHICH IS ABOUT DECLASSIFICATION OF FISA COURT OPINIONS. THAT

THERE BE AN HOUR OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED

BETWEEN THE OPPONENTS AND PROPONENTS ON EACH AMENDMENT, THAT

THERE BE UP TWO TWO HOURS OF DEBATE ON THE BILL EQUALLY DIVIDED

BETWEEN THE PROPONENTS AND OPPONENTS, UPON THE USE OR YIELDING

BACK OF THAT TIME, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE IN RELATION TO

THE AMENDMENTS IN THE ORDER LISTED, THAT THERE BE NO AMENDMENTS

IN ORDER TO ANY OF THE AMENDMENTS PRIOR TO THE VOTES, THAT UPON

DISPOSITION OF THE AMENDMENTS THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME AND

THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL IF AMENDED.

BEFORE THE CHAIR RULES ON THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, IT’S PRETTY EASY

TO FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH TIME THIS INCLUDES. THIS IS THE BETTER

PART OF A DAY, THE BETTER PART OF A DAY IF WE GOT THIS CONSENT

DONE. SO I ASK THAT CHAIR APPROVE THE CONSENT AGREEMENT.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION?

MR. CHAMBLISS: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, AND I DO INTEND TO OBJECT.

FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO SAY TO THE LEADER THANKS FOR MOVING

TOWARDS THE FISA BILL.

YOU’RE EXAMINING RIGHT, THIS IS A BILL THAT MUST

BE DONE BY THE END OF THE YEAR SO WE CAN BE SURE THE

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IS ABLE TO GATHER IN A LAWFUL AND LEGAL

WAY THE KIND OF INTELLIGENCE THAT KEEPS AMERICANS SAFE AND

SECURE. THERE ARE TWO DOCUMENTS, ONE A STATEMENT OF

ADMINISTRATION POLICY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THEY HAVE

AGREED TO THE BILL THAT HAS ALREADY PASSED THE HOUSE, AND

SECONDLY, A LETTER FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE INTELLIGENCE

COMMUNITY, NAMELY, THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AS

WELL AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DIRECTED TO THE LEADERSHIP BOTH OF

WHICH LETTERS AND STATEMENTS SUPPORT THE HOUSE BILL. AND IT’S

BECAUSE OF THAT AND BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT IF THE HOUSE BILL

COMES THROUGH HERE AND I UNDERSTAND WE MAY HAVE TO HAVE DEBATE,

MAY HAVE TO HAVE AMENDMENTS DEBATED, WHATEVER THE LEADER

DECIDES, BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WE CAN HOPEFULLY GET

THAT BILL PASSED AND ACCEPTED IT DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT’S

DESK. SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE LETTER FROM THE

D.N.I. AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DATED FEBRUARY 8 AS WELL AS THE

STATEMENT OF MPTION POLICY DATED SEPTEMBER 10 BE INCLUDED IN

THE RECORD AND, MR. PRESIDENT, I DO OBJECT.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. AND WITHOUT

OBJECTION THE LETTERS WILL BE INCLUDED.

MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

MR. REID: I’LL CONTINUE TO WORK ON PATH FORWARD IF ANYONE HAS

ANY IDEAS HOW TO HELP ME WITH THAT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO LISTEN

TO THEM BUT THIS IS SOMETHING WE MUST DO BEFORE WE LEAVE HERE.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS LEGISLATION. I’M

SORRY, I HOPE I’M NOT OFFENDING ANYONE, BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT

IS. WE HAVE TO GET SOMETHING DONE ON THIS BEFORE THE END OF THE

YEAR AND I THINK WE WOULD BE WALKING ON VERY, VERY THIN ICE TO

TRY TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS TO TRY TO DO THIS

LEGISLATION. I DON’T — IT’S HARD FOR ME TO COMPREHEND THE

POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO OUR COUNTRY IF WE DID NOT EXTEND THIS

LEGISLATION.

WRAP UP

No ROLL CALL VOTES

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Adopted S.Res.622, notifying the House of Representatives of the election of a President pro tempore.

Adopted S.Res.623, notifying the President of the United States of the election of a President pro tempore.

Adopted S.Con.Res.63, a concurrent resolution to correct the enrollment of S.2367 the 21st Century Language Act of 2012.

Adopted S.Con.Res.64, a concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the rotunda of the Capitol for the lying in state of the remains of the late Honorable Daniel K. Inouye.

Adopted S.Res.624, a resolution relative to the death of the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, United States Senator from the State of Hawaii.

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

————————————————————-

Watch Live House Floor Proceedings