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Brady: Congress not working for the people

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Kevin BradyFILE PHOTO Congressman Kevin Brady

By Tony Farkas

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Kevin Brady said the federal government is not working in the best interests of the people, especially the people of East Texas.

In a conference call on Wednesday, the Republican from Conroe, who represents the 8th District, also said that the recent ice storm has highlighted a need for better energy plans.

“The toughest issue is for the Legislature to face is if Texas has the right balance of power in emergencies such as this,” he said. “Obviously, the answer is no. For my part, I and the Texas Delegation sent a letter to ERCOT to get answers. We want to make sure the state doesn’t go through similar situations.”

Brady said he introduced a bill recently to expand oil and gas development, designed to unlock state’s energy potential by giving governors power to nominate land for development, and to give states more input into plans for development on the continental shelf.

He said this is the opposite approach that President Biden has taken, since he launched two attacks on Texas energy and jobs by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project and putting a moratorium on permits for drilling on federal land.

“This will cost more than 1 million jobs, many here in Texas,” Brady said. “I’ve invited President Biden to come down to this region and meet face-to-face with the energy workers whose jobs he cut. He can explain to them why their families don’t matter. He can tell them where to apply for all these good-paying jobs, because they need help right now.”

The stimulus package for the country coming to grips with the coronavirus, which passed the Senate last week and is heading to the House for more debate, neither a stimulus nor was not focused on defeating COVID, Brady said.

“Less than a dime of every dollar goes toward COVID vaccines and defeating the virus, and that’s an insult, because that’s our top priority, and it does next to nothing to help Main Street businesses or get America back to work,” he said.

Brady said the Democrats in Congress refuse to work with the GOP, and every amendment offered by Republicans has been voted down in favor of pork. He also said there has been absolutely no discussion about the $20-plus trillion debt and trillion-dollar deficits by the current Congress.

“If (the stimulus bill) becomes law, Congress will have racked up 5 ½ trillion dollars in additional spending in a year, and new reports show that isn’t the full amount, because interest is rising,” he said. “We have created an unbelievable amount of debt, and … we tried to get in a bill a provision to require a balanced budget, but that was crushed pretty quickly. We need to recognize that none of this spending is free, and it will come back to bite us either in inflation, higher interest rates or higher taxes for our children and grandchildren.”

Two other measures that the House is considering also work against the common good, Brady said: one that nationalizes state and local elections, and bans voter ID requirements and mandates ballot harvesting, among other things; and the other is one to defund the police.

“Democrats are seeking to remove the immunity shield protecting officers from civil suits, which will drive good law enforcement officers out,” he said. “They’re seeking to nationalize the police, and I think that’s a dangerous approach.”

Brady said the Democrats feel that no crisis should go to waste, and they see in the current discussions about police the need to expand federal control.

Also, Brady said he was against recent Democratic pushing for a $15 minimum wage, or tying the minimum wage to the cost of living.

“Artificially mandating the minimum wage is incredibly damaging to workers, especially young and non-skilled workers,” Brady said. “The Congressional Budget Office has said that raising it to $15 will cost as many as 2 million jobs, and will kill more jobs than it will lift people out of poverty.”

In Texas, Brady said, a small business with 10 employees will pay an additional $150,000 in payroll a year, without any additional revenue or new customers.

“Business won’t survive, and the ones that do will look to cut personnel or hours,” he said. “That’s not good for anybody.

“I think we’re asking the wrong question here,” Brady said. “It shouldn’t be how high the minimum wage should be, but how do we get more workers off of it and into better paying jobs. Minimum wage is a training wage.”

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Babin slams Equality Act

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BRIAN BABIN Courtesy of Babin.House.Gov Courtesy of Babin.House.Gov Rep. Brian Babin

By Chris Edwards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) took the Equality Act to task in Congress last week, referring to the bill as “an outright lie.”

Babin, who voted no on the bill, said before the House of Representatives, that the Equality Act is more about the political left prioritizing a “radical agenda over religious freedom, the well-being of children and the safety of women and girls.”

The Equality Act, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity with regard to employment, housing, education opportunities, federal funding and the jury system.

Since it was introduced on Feb. 18, the bill picked up 223 co-sponsors and subsequently passed the House in a 224-206 vote on Thursday, Feb. 25. The bill was introduced by Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline, a Democrat from the state’s 1st congressional district. All of the House Democrats voted in favor of the bill, and eight Republicans, including San Antonio-area congressman Will Hurd, voted for it.

Cicilline, who served as mayor of Providence, RI prior to being elected to Congress, is, according to his biography, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital. The bill’s passage also comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s ending of former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military.

Babin’s opposition to the bill is shared by many feminists, women’s rights organizations and some religious organizations, which have opposed part of the bill due to verbiage that defines biological sex to include gender identity. Critics claim that factor will harm single-sex spaces, such as prisons, locker rooms and shelter.

“As the father of three daughters and the grandfather of nine granddaughters, I am outraged at the assault this bill launches on women in sports,” Babin said.

Babin also expressed concerns from the perspective of a healthcare provider. Babin, who is a dentist, said the bill, if passed, would prohibit physicians from counseling children with gender dysphoria. Instead, physicians would have to administer “dangerous medical treatment,” which includes puberty blockers and even surgeries, and contradicts science, he said.

“These treatments compound these children’s confusions, rather than solving it,” he said.

The bill is now in the hands of the Senate for consideration and a vote as to adopt it as law or not.

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Congressman diagnosed with COVID

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Kevin BradyFILE PHOTO Congressman Kevin Brady

TCNS staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Conroe, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

According the congressman’s Twitter account, Brady said on Jan. 5 that the Office of House Physician informed him that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is under quarantine.

Brady said that as had been recommended, he received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 18. He said he tested negative for the virus as recently as New Year’s Day.

He began treatment on Jan. 6

According to a statement from his office, Brady had been practicing all guidelines laid out by the Center for Disease Control and House physicians, including social distancing and wearing a mask, and received a test as soon as he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

He also received the second dose of the vaccine last week.

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized by the FDA as a two-dose regimen with a 21-day interval between shots. Per the FDA, the effectiveness of the vaccine after a single dose is inconclusive.

Brady was confident in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and is incredibly proud of the historic success of Operation Warp Speed, according to the statement.

It also said that Brady is receiving outpatient treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.

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Movies were better in 1994

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Pulp Fiction cover 122420Alternating between hard-boiled and hilarious, Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece Pulp Fiction was one of the many classics released in 1994.

By Caleb Fortenberry

Although the movies in today’s era are pulling in billions of dollars, with superhero films leading the front, they are lacking a certain substance that older films seem to fulfill. In short, movies were better in 1994.

My dad would say the most realistic movie was Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), and when he was a kid, it was. Nostalgia can go several ways. For me, the nostalgia of realism in a move was horrific. The movie that stood out in my childhood was Signs (2002). Remember that movie starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix and the cheesy aliens allergic to water? Well, I lived next to a cornfield so don’t judge too harsh.

What’s important to note from that is nostalgia and newness of the effects in the period can blind the young mind with what makes a good movie, or what looks real. I recently watched Signs again, and it’s sad to say it was nothing like I remembered it. The use of computer-generated imagery, or CGI is awful compared to today’s standards. Star Wars – it’s just lots of Claymation or stop-motion filming. Although they did have some ground-breaking film techniques, it’s still not up to par with today’s capabilities. All of that to say, the special effects don’t make a good movie. It’s the story. It’s the acting. It’s the camera movements and editing. There’s something vastly different between today’s modern films and yesterdays. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but movies had a certain authenticity back then.

In the 1950s, films basically led the industry into a multi-genre direction. They had westerns, thrillers, horror, comedies, and most importantly, romance. All with hand painted posters to showcase the entirety of the film in a single image.

This of course persisted into the 1960s. However, the 60s had more of a rebellious art form. The 1970s contained all of the above, but also had science fiction, such as Star Wars, ultimately bringing special effects to a priority in cinema.

After the 1980s were through, with some of the best slasher flicks known to man, there was not many stories that had not been told. Now, the originality of the 1990s kicked in. There were some obvious failures. With well over 3,000 films being released in 1994 alone, most people would recognize about 30 films that came out that year.

Enter CGI. Having special effects that could not otherwise be created was a new frontier. Up until this time period, most everything was drawn by hand. Some of the most captivating CGI was made in this time and little do people know that it was in some of the biggest blockbusters of the 90s. Others were more obvious, The Mask for example, used CGI for Jim Carrey’s character with his cartoonish tendencies. Another example from ’94 is Forrest Gump, and the scene with the feather floating around.

CGI was tool more than necessity for a story back then. Compared to modern film, it’s almost impossible to find a summer blockbuster that doesn’t have it.

There was creativity without CGI; the teams behind the films had to come up with creative ways to get around the aspect of portraying what could be CGI in modern times. For example, explosions, they use to be real.

I don’t know about the rest of the audience of modern films, but it seems to me that CGI is really easy to pick out. I don’t know the reasoning behind it, but it just seems faker than the old school methods. Even older CGI seems more realistic. For example, the character Proximo (Oliver Reed), in the 2000 hit Gladiator, Proximo’s final scene was CGI. Sadly, the actor died before all of production was complete, so they changed some things around in the script and gave him a short appearance in the end. All of that to say, it’s completely undetectable!

In summary, these stories from the '90s never seemed to be out to make a billion dollars as quickly as possible, although I’m sure it was dreamed of, it was to tell a story in a creative way.

Below is a list of some of the top movies from 1994:

#1 - Miracle on 34th Street

#2 - Shawshank Redemption 

#3 - The Santa Clause

#4 - Pulp Fiction 

#5 - Clerks 

#6 - Forrest Gump 

#7 - The Mask 

#8 - The Lion King 

#9 - Legends of the Fall 

#10 - Speed 

#11 - The Crow 

#12 - Interview with the Vampire: the vampire chronicles 

#13 - Black Beauty 

#14 - Dumb and Dumber 

#15 - The Little Rascals

#16 - Stargate 

#17 - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 

#18 - Maverick 

#19 - Baby’s Day Out

#20 - The Pagemaster 

#21 - Angels in the Outfield

#22 - Thumbelina 

#23 - Wagons East 

#24 - Wyatt Earp 

#25 - In the Army Now 

#26 - A Troll in Central park 

#27 - The Air Up There 

#28 - Lassie 

#29 - Ernest goes to School 

#30 - Junior 

#31 - Blank Check 

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Babin requests voter fraud investigation

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Babin for WebU.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-Woodville) Courtesy of https://babin.house.gov/

By Chris Edwards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) announced on Monday, Dec. 21 that he will object to the Jan. 6, 2021 vote in the House of Representatives on certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Babin, along with 18 congressional colleagues spearheaded by GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, sent a letter to request a hearing with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and several other congressional committee chairs from both chambers. The aim of Babin and the others who signed on to the letter is to urge the congressional leadership to investigate and conduct hearings regarding voter fraud and election theft. “Confidence in our election process must be restored,” Babin said.

According to a news release that accompanied the letter, if Congress refuses to act before the Jan. 6 date, Babin said he will object to the Electoral College vote as submitted on the House floor “on behalf of the millions of Americans, myself included, who do not trust the validity of this election.” The date of Jan. 6, 2021 is when Congress will count all of the Electoral College votes in a joint session.

The Presidential race between President Donald Trump and Biden was met with controversy and allegations of voter fraud even before the election was called in Biden’s favor by the Associated Press and most major media outlets on Nov. 6.

Trump had warned of the potential for fraud prior to the election with the use of mail-in, or absentee, ballots, and has alleged fraud in several states in which Biden carried the majority of electoral votes.

In total, this year’s general election was a historic one for the Presidential race with a record turn-out, and record-breaking popular vote totals for both candidates. Biden won about 81.2 million votes, according to the AP, while Trump won about 74.2 million. Those tallies place both men at first and second place, respectively, in American history for vote earners in the Presidential race.

The Electoral College certified the election win for Biden on Dec. 12 with the projected number of winning votes (306) to Trump’s 232.

State Rep. James White (R-Hillister) voiced support for Babin’s move on social media. “Congressional objections to electors is constitutional and statutorily consistent. I fully support Congressman Babin in this constitutional function,” White said.

In an interview on Newsmax show Greg Kelly Reports, conducted last week, Babin spoke to the issue. He referred the voter fraud as “an enormous risk to our democratic, constitutionally based republic.”

“We haven’t had our day in court…we’re going to get our day in Congress on January 6,” Babin said.

Babin also said in the interview that he had spent time on Monday with the President, some of the other legislators who signed onto the letter, Vice President Mike Pence and the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuiani.

The President has continued to allege that widespread voter fraud was responsible for Biden’s win, and has made many claims on Twitter articulating such. On Christmas Eve, Trump tweeted that voter fraud is not “a conspiracy theory, it is a fact.”

Many allegations of voter fraud have concerned the use of Dominion Voting Systems hardware and software, while some have claimed that deceased voters were not removed from the rolls. Earlier in the month, Babin penned the “You Must be Alive to Vote” act.

Election officials uncovered one such case of a dead person voting in Pennsylvania. A man named Bruce Bartman is accused of unlawful voting and perjury over allegations that he pretended to be his dead mother in order to cast a ballot for Trump in November’s election.


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