The first item is new ankle socks available in red and blue, in all of the normal sizes. Stay tuned to the website as there will soon be long sleeved Referees shirts available (in red and blue). Both are trial items and will depend on demand. Only limited stock is available! To order the products, visit the TFA Online store:http://www.austouch.com.au/index.php?id=396
TORONTO – Bunz, the Canadian online bartering community known for promoting a cash-free economy, is not abandoning its ethos with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, company CEO Sascha Mojtahedi said Monday in the wake of some user revolt.Founded in Toronto in 2013 by Emily Bitze, Bunz began as a Facebook group that encouraged users to trade their unwanted goods rather than seeking cash. Because users’ wish lists didn’t always align neatly, booze, transit tokens and — somewhat controversially — gift cards became commonly requested in trades.On Monday, Bunz announced it was launching BTZ, a digital currency for the community that can also be used at participating retailers. Mojtahedi said BTZ is not yet an actual cryptocurrency but the plan is to eventually convert it into one. New and existing users of the Bunz app will get 1,000 units of BTZ, which the company says has a current value of about three coffees.“Because it’s a bartering community we’ve had a number of issues around value disparity … the divisibility of goods and all these problems can be solved by a cryptocurrency,” Mojtahedi said.“I think this just gives our community more flexibilty.”The initial reaction to the announcement on social media leaned negative, with Facebook user Melissa Neill writing “So much for subverting capitalism” and Ray Wilkes posting “RIP Bunz spirit & integrity.”“Develop something to help poor people get around the financial constraints of capitalism. Capitalize the hell out of it. Develop your own currency for it (but don’t call it money lol). Stand back and watch something that was once beautiful die a protracted, awkward death,” Wilkes added.Mojtahedi said the launch of BTZ should not be seen as Bunz heading in a new corporate direction, even though the company has secured funding from institutional investors.“I actually see it as doubling down rather than diverging from the ethos Bunz represents,” he said.Khatereh Vesal, a self-professed “crypto nerd and Bunz nerd,” said she has no issues with the use of cryptocurrencies on Bunz, but objected to the fact that the company’s announcement claimed BTZ was an actual cryptocurrency.“It’s like they just kind of decided this was a neat idea — and it might be, as a loyalty points program kind of thing — but we have to be very careful what we’re calling it because it’s not technically on a blockchain yet and it’s not really even an initial coin offering yet,” Vesal said, adding she wished the company had more information for users lined up before making its announcement.Mojtahedi said Bunz wanted “to create something that people could interact with” and “learn from the data and the information and the (user) behaviours” before converting BTZ into a cryptocurrency. He added that it’s not yet determined whether there would be a mining element to the cryptocurrency as is the case with Bitcoin.“I think we’re looking at a number of different solutions around mining that are pretty different than the way the market approaches it currently,” Mojtahedi said.While the local businesses that are now accepting BTZ have essentially set a baseline value for the currency — one Toronto cafe is charging 300 BTZ for a latte while a bar is asking 600 BTZ for a pint of beer or order of fries — Mojtahedi said he doesn’t want to interfere in setting its value. He also wants to avoid speculation in the currency.“We’re not offering any inference of the foreign exchange value because we don’t know, we’re really just starting. We’ve established a value with our shops and we think it’s an opportunity to learn from the community themselves rather than trying to peg some value to this currency,” he said.Jean-Paul Lam, an associate professor of economics at the University of Waterloo, has used Bunz as an example when teaching students about concepts around money as a medium of exchange and bartering.“Any type of barter system creates problems with finding partners and you have to spend a huge amount of time to find the right partner and find an exchange that would be satisfying to both parties. So I can understand why they are trying to introduce that medium of exchange that is standardized,” Lam said.“But at the same time, it completely defeats the purpose of what it was in the first place, which was a cashless society that would exchange goods for goods.”
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service has downgraded the status of three wildfires burning in Northeast B.C.Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says that while the activity of the Tommy Lake Fire remains intense, fire activity on three other large fires has diminished to the point where the Service no longer considers them wildfires of note. According to Reynolds, the wildfire burning southeast of the Muskwa River near Fort Nelson has not experienced much fire activity in the past week. That fire currently sits at 4,793 hectares, and is not currently threatening any properties since it is located roughly 80 kilometres southwest of Fort Nelson. However, Reynolds said that crews may be looking at a modified response to that fire if it starts to see more fire activity. Closer to Fort St. John, both the Milligan Hills and Kahta Creek Fires have also been downgraded from wildfires of note. The Kahta Creek Fire, which has burned roughly 1,700 hectares near Buckinghorse River, has seen dramatically reduced fire activity over the weekend, especially after the fire saw 10 mm of rain fall late last week. There are currently 55 firefighters and 3 helicopters battling that fire, and Reynolds said that firefighters have been patrolling the fire’s perimeter to ensure that it doesn’t scorch a larger area. The fire is currently being held, meaning it does not appear to be spreading.Fire crews have also increased containment on the Milligan Hills Fire, which is 700 hectares in area. The 60 firefighters, 2 helicopters, and 3 pieces of heavy machinery have managed to build a fire guard and contain 35 percent of the fire, which is 10 kilometres from Milligan Hills Provincial Park. Reynolds said that the fire’s status has also been updated to “Being Held” which indicates that sufficient suppression action has been taken that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or predetermined boundaries.Despite this, Reynolds said that crews will continue to monitor these fires to try and ensure they don’t flare up once again.
UPDATE – The RCMP have confirmed there was a head-on collision at around 8:30 involving a semi-truck and passenger vehicle with one person in each.The nature of the injuries to at least one person are considered life-threatening.Emergency services, Dawson Creek RCMP, Traffic Services and the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service are at the scene.The cause of the crash is not known at the moment and the highway will be closed for the foreseeable future. The investigation is in the early stages and motorists are asked to monitor DriveBC.ca for updates to the road closure.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Alaska Highway is closed south of Taylor at the 230 road.Eyewitnesses say a collision between two vehicles has happened between the rest area and the chain up area at the top of the South Taylor Hill DriveBC.ca says there is no estimate on when the Highway will be open.CLOSED – #BCHwy97 south of #TaylorBC at the 230 road due to vehicle incident. Assessment in progress, no estimated time of opening. #DawsonCreek— DriveBC NE (@DriveBC_NE) December 13, 2018For updates, visit www.drivebc.ca or watch this website.If you have any information to share, you can email email@example.com
Electors should contact the Elections Canada office in their electoral district if:the name on their card contains an errorthey receive a voter information card for a deceased person or someone who does not live at their addressIf there are unforeseen circumstances, like a fire or a flood, the location of a poll changes after the voter information cards are mailed, the electors assigned to that poll will receive another voter information card with the words “Replacement Card” printed on the bottom right corner shared Elections Canada.To vote, electors must show proof of identity and address. The voter information card may be used as a proof of address at the polls. Electors must use it with another piece of accepted ID to prove their identity. To view the list of accepted ID; CLICK HERE.Electors do not need to bring their voter information card to the polls in order to vote, but we encourage them to bring it with them for faster service at the polls.Elections Canada is an independent non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament.For election updates, subscribe to the news service at elections.ca GATINEAU, QC – Elections Canada has shared that voter information cards have been mailed out and registered electors should receive their card by October 4.According to Elections Canada, personalized voter information card has been mailed out to each registered elector. The card tells electors when and where to vote and has information about the accessibility of their polling station.Electors who do not receive a card by Friday, October 4, or whose card shows the wrong information, can register or update their address online or by contacting their Elections Canada office.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government started work of laying pipelines across Delhi and work on the construction of 10,000 streets and roads are also in progress, asserted Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal from a rally at Wazirpur of Chandni Chowk constituency. Accusing the Centre ofcreating hurdles for Delhi’s development, the AAP leader said he faced several obstructions at various stages to get clearances from the Centre. He said the people of Delhi pay Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth Income Tax and receive only Rs 325 crore from the Centre. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Why should we pay so much and get so less in return? What have Delhiites done to the central government to deserve this? The situation is similar to the time before India got independence. First Britishers looted us, now the central government is looting us,” the chief minister said. “Just for political enmity, PM Modi stopped the development work for the common man of Delhi. Last time you voted for him, but this time do not vote for him, otherwise he would not let me work for development,” he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsWhile addressing the gathering, CM Arvind Kejriwal said, ”Four years ago, you elected and gave a huge responsibility to a humble man like me. I am forever grateful for this favour. We will never forget it. We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the people of Delhi. For the past 70 years, no party has done as much work as Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi.” He added, “In the past four years we have done so much, but the Modi government has left no stone unturned in creating hurdles in our work. We want to make schools, hospitals, mohalla clinics, install CCTV’s but they are the ones who are stopping us.” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said full statehood for Delhi will ensure that children scoring even 60 per cent marks get admission in colleges in Delhi. Meanwhile, a big number of women participated in the ‘Jhadu Chalao, Gundagardi Bhagao’ March that was launched in Kalkaji Vidhan Sabha in presence of AAP South Delhi Candidate Raghav Chadha and Kalkaji MLA Avtar Singh. Such marches will be held through all legislative assemblies over the coming month. Raghav Chadha said, “South Delhi is plagued with politics of muscle and money power and so we have been ruled by goons and ruffians for a long time. Now you have a chance to weed out the politics of Intimidation and instead send a decent and sensitive person to the Parliament. This is your opportunity to vote for someone who is not abusive, makes women feel comfortable and safe and has the sensibility and sensitivity to serve the people right.”
New Delhi: A lip locking scene of actors Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey from their upcoming film “Chhapaak” has been leaked online. In the videos that have been doing the rounds on the Internet, the actors can be seen romancing each other at a terrace here while shooting for the scene. Also, the residents of the area are spotted watching the shoot and cheering for the actors as they kiss each other. In one of the videos, one of the residents can be heard saying, “Bache ko mat dikha (don’t show it to kids).” Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “Chhapaak” is based on the real life acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal and Deepika is portraying Laxmi in it. The film is being directed by Meghna Gulzar. It is scheduled to release on January 10, 2020. On her role, Deepika had said: “A character that will stay with me forever. It’s a very important story and it’s a true life incident, so hopefully good things will come out of it.”
The Liverpool manager is being tipped to win the Premier League this season, but right now the current team in first place is Manchester CityBefore the start of the 2018-2019 English Premier League season, Liverpool was tipped as the future champion of the competition.But right now Manchester City is currently at the top and the Reds are behind.And for manager Jurgen Klopp, there’s no rush or pressure.“I don’t feel pressure. That’s how it is,” Klopp told Four Four Two.Daniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“I made a decision long ago for myself: I give everything I have. I don’t hold anything back. At this moment, I can’t do better. I am really like I am.”“I expect a lot from myself but there is no pressure. We want to win each game and if we don’t win it then we want to win the next one,” he added.“Any other decisions – how people look at me and what people think about me – I have nothing to do with that because I have no influence on it.”“As long as we win football games, everybody thinks – even if they don’t like me – ‘He’s a good manager’,” he commented.“And when we lose football games, the people who don’t like me and the people who like me say, ‘Maybe he’s not the right manager anymore’. That’s how it is. If you know that before, how can it put pressure on your shoulders? I really don’t understand that.”
AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate believes they should have qualified for the Europa League knockout stages after their 3-1 defeat to OlympiacosGennaro Gattuso’s side headed into Athens on Thursday night needing to not lose by more than two goals to Olympiacos.After a goalless first-half, Pape Abou Cisse’s header handed Olympiacos the lead before a Cristian Zapata own goal doubled their advantage.But the Colombian defender soon redeemed himself to Milan by scoring a critical header just 110 seconds later.However, Abate’s foul enabled Konstantinos Fortounis to score a late penalty for Olympiacos to secure a 3-1 win.Gasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.The result enabled the Greek side to leapfrog Milan into second-place in Group F on goal difference.“We had started strong and were well set out on the field. The regret is that we went behind, as we should not have conceded the opening goal,” Abate told Sky Sport Italia, via Football-Italia.“Once we got it back on track, they got that penalty. Incidents went against us. We could’ve done better and more importantly reached this final game with qualification already secured, because we had the quality to do that.“We need to take another step up. Now we must concentrate on Serie A, as we can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.”Milan will next travel to Bologna on Tuesday in a Serie A match, where they will hope to retain their spot in the top-four in the standings.
The former owner died tragically after a helicopter accident and for Leicester City’s goalkeeper he was the best boss everLeicester City’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died tragically after his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium.And for the Foxes’ goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, he was the best boss one could have.“If you look back at my career, I’ve had to constantly prove myself and be compared to others. Constantly having to prove I am good enough,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports.“Then came a guy who said he believed in me from the first minute. He said he’d seen me play and just gave me the platform.”Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“I’ve been here nearly eight years now and that says a lot about the stability here and the belief he had in me,” he commented.“Having gone from nine clubs to just being at one club, I was searching for someone who believed in me – he and his family did.”“It’s very easy to be caught up in this world of money, fame, and fortune. He is a guy who has done all that and doesn’t care about it. He only cares about helping people,” he added.“It just speaks to the man that he was. He didn’t need to buy a football club. That’s never a good business investment.”
00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy was free on bail Thursday following his arrest by Riverside County authorities on suspicion of lewd acts with a child.Sam Thomas Knight, 40, was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of lewd acts with a child and child molestation, according to Riverside County jail records. He was released the following day on $65,000 bail.Details of the alleged crimes were not immediately available.San Diego County sheriff’s officials said Knight has been placed on leave and relieved of his law-enforcement authority.The Sheriff’s Department was made aware of this investigation from the beginning and cooperated fully with the Riverside sheriff’s detectives,” San Diego sheriff’s officials said. “The sheriff’s department has no comment on Mr. Knights’ current arrest.”In 2014, Sheriff Bill Gore tried to fire Knight for using a banned chokehold on a handcuffed inmate in a county jail facility. Gore ultimately failed in his attempt to fire Knight for using improper force and for not reporting the incident because of a ruling by the County Civil Service Commision.The Commissioners ruled against Gore and allowed Deputy Knight to keep his job and also collect back-pay.It was a decision a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board referred to as a “dereliction of duty” and that the commissioners forced the sheriff’s department to tolerate officer misconduct.As far as the child molestation arrest is concerned, the Sheriff’s Department released a statement that reads in part, “It is clear that Sheriff Gore felt that Mr. Knight should not be a sheriff’s deputy, and the sheriff’s department did everything possible to ensure that was in fact the case.”Knight is the second sheriff’s deputy to be arrested over the last month.On Feb. 22, Deputy Richard Fischer was arraigned in connection with 14 charges of sexual assault and sexual battery for crimes allegedly committed against women while he was on duty. FacebookTwitter Categories: Local San Diego News March 22, 2018 Posted: March 22, 2018 John Soderman Updated: 10:26 PM San Diego County sheriffs deputy arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a child John Soderman,
The AGDC has signed non-binding agreements to explore future deals with potential customers and possible financial partners in China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, with more information about Chinese interest expected later in 2018. According to spending details presented to the Board of Directors, a significant portion of 2017 spending has gone toward project marketing, development, and outreach- making up roughly $5.2 million. While the AGDC fills in data gaps and provides details on project construction plans and operations, the state has been waiting for FERC to decide when it has enough information to issue a timeline for the project’s environmental review. The LNG project proposal is an 807 mile north-to-south pipeline from the North Slope oil and gas field to the liquefaction plant and marine terminal on the Kenai Peninsula, in Nikiski. Governor Bill Walker: “We have things in motion now that we’ve never had before. It’s great that we have the AGDC in existence.” The Environmental Impact Statement is said to the “largest and most complex of any that federal regulators have prepared for a LNG export project.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is continuing to work through the more than 1,000 data requests submitted to the state by federal regulators. The AGDC has stated that they anticipate to have the remaining data requests submitted with detailed answers by January 1, 2018, and February 1, 2018. The AGDC filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC) 8 months ago for the proposed Alaska LNG (liquefied natural gas) Project. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-AGDC-continues-to-answer-questions-.mp3VmJennifer-on-AGDC-continues-to-answer-questions-.mp300:00RPd
According to court documents, Miller previously plead guilty on September 25, 2017, to possession of child pornography – access with intent to view. On May 18, 2016, Miller became the subject of a federalinvestigation after law enforcement officials received images depicting child sexual exploitation, whichwere shared by Miller using the Bittorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Miller was previously adjudicated in 2005 for the sexual abuse of several children. At sentencing in this matter, Judge Burgess noted the seriousness of the images in this case and of his prior conduct. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A Kenai man was sentenced in federal court today, January 29, in Anchorage for possessing images of child pornography. A search warrant was executed on Miller’s Kenai residence, where law enforcement had seized Miller’s computer. Located on Miller’s computer were approximately 36 images depicting the sexual exploitation of children under 12. Phillip Miller, 27, of Kenai, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve six years in prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release.
City staff will continue to check ice conditions to ensure it stays safe for those wanting to get out and partake. The Parks Department has been flooding the skating path at Soldotna Creek Park in order to get it ready for individuals to go out and skate.And according to the Parks Department it’s open for skating as of Monday. Crews will continue to hot-mop the path throughout the season. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Soldotna Parks and Recreation Department has been taking advantage of the recent frozen temperatures and doing what they can to bring some “winter fun” to community members. People are welcome to skate as long as the lights are on. Parks and Recreation reminds people that the paths are available for skating only.
According to Gamble the idea for the fair stemmed from the recent earthquakes and tsunami warnings on the Kenai Peninsula. Jade Gamble with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management: “This is a community-focused event to inform residents on disaster preparedness and resilience after disaster strikes and during recovery.” Gamble: “We came up with the plan to host the fair the Wednesday before November 30, and then we had the big earthquake and that just really highlighted the need to have something like this for our community.” The event will take place from 10-2pm, and is open to the public. For more information call 907-262-2097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Community Resiliency Fair will be held at the Peninsula Center Mall on Saturday March 2. State, federal and local agencies, nonprofits and utilities will be on hand to share useful tips, tools and resources. Booths include: Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Community Emergency Response Team, Homer Electric Association, Peninsula Fire Chiefs Association, Central Emergency Services, Soldotna Public Safety Communication Center, Moose Horn Radio Group, Points on Prevention Coalition, AK Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Independent Living Center, Red Cross of Alaska, Enstar, KSRM Radio Group, Alaska Army National Guard, Central Peninsula General Hospital, Office of Emergency Management, Kenai Peninsula Prevention Coalition Group, CompK9.
Project Loon headed to help Puerto Rico Automation software collects wind forecast data, builds maps of where to travel and then processes each balloon’s observation so changes can be made to follow that map. It is this software that directs the balloon’s movements, not the 24/7 team of engineers monitoring them, head of Engineering Salvatore Candido said.According to Candido, the first time he saw a balloon deciding to zig where a human would have chosen to zag, he had to “stare for a while at the strategy the algorithm was trying to execute” before realizing he had been outsmarted by the software.”The first balloon allowed to fully execute this technique set a flight time record from Puerto Rico to Peru,” Candido said. “I had never simultaneously felt smarter and dumber at the same time.”Balloons also choose when to loiter in an area to wait for winds to change, and fly in figure 8 patterns to maintain a constant LTE signal over an area for longer periods. Now playing: Watch this: Tags Project Loon reached a massive milestone. Project Loon Alphabet’s Project Loon has reached the milestone of flying its balloons in the sky for a collective 1 million hours, the company announced Tuesday. This equates to 40 million kilometers travelled.Project Loon delivers mobile connectivity to remote and disaster-ravaged areas, with the balloons operated by a solar-powered pump. They drift on winds at heights of 50,000 feet to 70,000 feet, tacking like a boat to follow air currents. 0 Project Loon Alphabet says its Loon balloons could beam internet to more people than before Alphabet’s Loon recruits high-powered mobile veterans to serve on board This Loon internet balloon just spent seven months in the air Share your voice Post a comment 1:16 Mobile Sci-Tech
Prothom Alo IllustrationA man was killed in what police called gunfight with them in Gobindaganj upazila of Gaibandha early Friday, reports news agency UNB.The deceased was identified as Chinu Mia, 38, who was wanted in 19 cases, police said.AKM Mehedi Hasan, officer-in-charge of Gobindaganj police station said the law enforcement arrested Chinu on Wednesday night. But his associates snatched handcuffed Chinu from police custody and escaped.Tipped off that a group of criminals including Chinu would gather in the area, a team of police conducted a drive there around 3:30am.Sensing presence of the law enforcers, the criminals opened fire on the policemen forcing them to fire back in self-defence, triggering a gunfight, the OC claimed.At one stage, Chinu was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot, he added.Police arrested two people from the spot.According to the human rights body, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with various law enforcement agencies, including police, RAB and BGB, in 2018.In the first six months of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 200, the rights body said on its website.
By BEN TERRIS, The Washington PostWASHINGTON (AP) — When the word of the Lord came to Elijah, it arrived on a slip of paper tucked in a stranger’s bra.In 2017, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings had been laid up in a Johns Hopkins hospital bed for two months, crippled by pain after a difficult recovery from a heart valve replacement, when an interloper came bursting through the door, calling his name.“She reaches into her bosom and pulls out a note,” Cummings said recently. “She says, ‘The Lord has been waking me all night. … It was so important I thought I’d write it down. It says: He don’t mean you no harm, he’s just trying to get your attention. He wants you to know he ain’t finished with you yet.’”In this Nov. 15, 2018 photo, U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., poses in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Cummings endured two painful years. Soon he’ll be more powerful than ever. He is the soon-to-be chairman of the House Committee on Oversight. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via AP)Cummings, 67, recalled this story in an interview from his district office in Baltimore. His head: freshly shaved. His eyes: puffy. His large hands: swollen by gout. He wore big-platformed Velcro sneakers, which he had been shuffling around in all day with the help of a walker.If God was trying to get his attention, he wasn’t being subtle about it.This month, Democrats triumphed in elections across the country, winning back the House of Representatives. In doing so, Cummings returns to Congress hobbled physically but more powerful than ever. Armed with a gavel and subpoenas, he is the soon-to-be chairman of the House Committee on Oversight.For Cummings, this is the culmination of two years riddled with painful moments, some beyond his control and others that he walked into himself. He’d tried to work with President Trump only to have it blow up in his face. He’d been ignored by his Republican colleagues on the committee time and again. And he just couldn’t seem to stay out of the hospital.With a healthy heart, and in control, Cummings has limitless possible targets: hush money paid to a porn star on Trump’s behalf, citizenship questions on the census, security clearances revoked from the president’s critics, and dozens of other oh-yeah-remember-thats that slipped out of the churning news cycle unanswered.The difficulty won’t be finding things to look into. It will be figuring out what’s worth looking into. Cummings knows by now the risks that come with opening wounds voluntarily. After he recovered from heart surgery, he checked back into the hospital for another procedure — this time on his knee. But something went wrong. The knee got infected, and Cummings spent another three months at Hopkins.He emerged more aware than ever that there’s only a finite amount of time in this world.It will be up to him to make the best use of it.“Elijah Cummings was in my office,” Donald Trump told the New York Times in April of 2017.“And he said, ‘You will go down as one of the great presidents in the history of our country.’”It’s a prophecy that Cummings said he never actually offered, and one that, if he does his job well as Oversight Committee chairman, will almost certainly not come true.But early in Trump’s presidency, while many Democrats were angst-ridden, Cummings believed there was an opportunity for some good to come of it. He attended the inauguration and chatted with the president at the luncheon afterward about the need to lower prescription drug prices, an issue he’d long championed.“These drug companies are getting away with murder,” Cummings said the president told him.“We’ve got to do something about this.”Later, Cummings accepted an invitation to the Oval Office to discuss a bill he co-authored that would do just that, and he was heartened by Trump’s continued enthusiasm.As Cummings recalls, he offered the president advice: If you stop working to divide the country and work on issues that can unite them, then you could go down in history as a great president.He honestly believed it.The president had his base locked up no matter what, if Trump really believed shooting someone on Fifth Avenue wouldn’t make them stray, so then what would the risk be to work with Democrats? He used to be a Democrat, a little voice kept reminding Cummings.“Perhaps if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have had a lot of hope,” Cummings said.“He is a man who quite often calls the truth a lie and calls a lie the truth.”A week after their meeting, Trump called Cummings to let him know he hadn’t forgotten about the issue and still planned to take action on it. Cummings never heard from Trump again.Does Cummings’s belief that he could work with Trump make him unbelievably naive or a man of unshakable faith?Cummings grew up in Baltimore the son of two former sharecroppers from South Carolina who moved to Baltimore and became preachers. He didn’t learn to dance until prom because his parents thought it was a sin. He still doesn’t know how to play cards.And it was his parents who drove him into public service, his own form of ministry. He rarely gives a speech without mentioning his mother and how she used to soak her feet in epsom salts, singing her prayers, each night after cleaning houses. When his father died of a heart attack, shortly after giving a sermon at a women’s detention center, Cummings arrived at the morgue to sort through his belongings. He found in his father’s wallet a note that Cummings had written him years earlier, folded and refolded so many times over the years that it had holes in the paper.“Did you know that you’re my hero, and everything I’d like to be,” the note said, quoting the song made popular by Bette Midler. “I can fly higher than an eagle because you are the wind beneath my wings.”Cummings’s spirituality can border on hokey like that, certainly earnest in a way that most politicians are not.At an election night watch party this year, he quoted a Garth Brooks song (“This ain’t comin’ from no prophet, just an ordinary man”). His eyes well up when he talks about his favorite musical, “The Lion King.” He meditates before each committee hearing, he said, picturing himself running down a long road, people in need of his help alongside him.There have been stumbles. Early in Cummings’s political career, he faced financial strains. According to a 1999 Baltimore Sun article, he owed more than $30,000 to the IRS (which he paid), and five times creditors took him to court to get him to pay $24,000 in overdue debts.Cummings told the paper he lacked money partially because of a major surgery that drained his bank account and because he helped support three children: a daughter he had with his then-estranged wife and two children he had with other women.“I have a moral conscience that is real central,” Cummings told the Sun then. “I didn’t ask the federal government or anyone else to do me any favors.”He remarried in 2008 (his second wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant, withdrew a bid for Maryland governor while Elijah was in the hospital). He has lived in the same inner-city house for three decades and, before serving 22 years in Congress, spent 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.He learned his moral code in the pews and, perhaps equally important for someone going into politics, he learned the art of public speaking there, too. The first testimony he remembers giving in front of the congregation was thanking God for the integration of a local pool, which came after numerous marches where he was beaten by segregationists. He couldn’t have been more than 9.He used to run home from Sunday church service to lie on the floor and listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches on his transistor radio. He’s been thinking a lot about one of them.It was on the “interruptions of life.”“What he was saying was, don’t let yourself get distracted because you may never get back to what you were doing,” Cummings said. After two years of Twitter tantrums from the president, wild news conferences, attacks on the media, and other smokescreens, the lesson, Cummings said, is clear.“Trump, apparently was listening to Martin Luther King,” he said.The president, he said, certainly knows the power of a good distraction.Another excerpt from the Book of Elijah:“We’re in a storm,” he said from his office atop Capitol Hill. “And it’s a rough one. It’s not a question of whether the storm will end but when it will end. How much of our democracy will be saved?”Cummings had just finished his first Oversight Committee hearing since election night, one of his last as ranking member. For six years, he has sat beside the chairman, just out of reach of real power. He’s had his microphone cut off by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). He was told he could not put a woman on a panel about contraceptives. In the past two years, he has had 64 subpoena requests ignored by Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.The storm has been raging. But now Cummings can do something about it,“I’m going to try and make people realize that in order to live the life they are living,” he said, “they need to have democracy, and it’s being threatened.”He’s no longer asking for answers; he’s demanding. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Trump administration will comply. Its officials have been known to be difficult, sometimes even with fellow Republicans.“I sent letters and subpoenas to the Trump administration and got no response,” Jason Chaffetz, the Oversight Committee’s Republican former chairman told The Post this month. “I was stymied every step of the way. What makes you think Elijah Cummings will get a response?”Cummings admits this is a concern.He also knows that his best bet to get anything done is to be focused, not to, as he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” hand out subpoenas “like somebody’s handing out candy on Halloween.”Cummings has been on the other side of high-profile hearings that felt to him like a sham.There was Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms andExplosives program that tried to track illegal weapons sales. He was the ranking member of the Select Committee on Benghazi, a Republican-led effort to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.Those investigations were derided by Democrats as politically motivated and, of course,Republicans will say the same about anything Cummings decides to investigateCummings says he wants to be judicious, but is that possible? How do you not try to peek at Trump’s tax returns, or figure out who exactly has been staying at Trump International Hotel in Washington, or determine how former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt was able to get away with buying so many first-class airline tickets on taxpayers’ dime?“I can’t imagine anyone better qualified and more passionate about oversight than Elijah,” Gowdy said in an interview.But, even if Cummings is open and transparent and does everything by the book, there’s at least one Republican who won’t see it that way.“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified information, and much else, at the Senate level,” Trump tweeted recently. “Two can play that game!”Is it possible that Democrats are getting carried away? Can Cummings really be the hero they need to stand up to Trump? After all, Cummings may want to maintain the moral high ground, but is that even possible in a fight with the president? Is it the best way to win — to bring a Bible to a knife fight?Leana Wen, the new president of Planned Parenthood, said it’s not for her to say, necessarily, but she knows a fighter when she sees one. She worked with Cummings during her time as the Baltimore health commissioner. She loved him so much she named her first child after him.“When he was in the hospital, I tried not to think … about what could happen,” she said. “As a physician, I know a lot about the worst-case scenarios because I’ve seen it.”The day she saw him for the first time out of the hospital, he looked and tired. She told him it was good to see him.“He said, ‘It’s good to be seen and not viewed, if you know what I mean,’” she recalled. “To me, that meant he was back.”Cummings tends to downplay his time in the hospital. It was just a little shortness of breath. Then a simple heart procedure that should have him home within three days. Then a gout flare-up and rehabilitation to gain back muscles lost from weeks unable to move.Yes, it was excruciatingly painful, he’ll say. But, no, he never really thought his life was in danger. He was always itching to get back.“If he were to slow down too much,” his younger brother James Cummings said, “it would probably kill him.”In that case, the next two years may be the healthiest of Elijah Cummings’s life.___Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com
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