National Press Club

Pratchett depends on muse for good ideas

October 17, 2011 | By Joseph Luchok | Joseph.luchok@verizon.net

Whenever author Sir Terry Prachett needs a good idea, he counts on the "Goddess of Writers."

The imagined deity always helps with some timely coincidence, Pratchett said at an Oct. 14 National Press Club Book Rap.

One example was when he needed a name for the “5th horseman.” He was at a parade and float by Soak Milk passed by. Reflected in a window, he saw Soak backwards, Kaos, and that became the character's name.

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Transportation Secretary LaHood pushes jobs bill to help transportation

October 13, 2011 | By Joan Mooney | jhmooney@verizon.net

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said passage of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill is a “no brainer” in his Oct. 13 luncheon speech at the National Press Club.

The jobs bill would create thousands of new jobs and allocate $50 billion for roads, bridges and transportation and $10 billion for an infrastructure bank, LaHood said.

“There’s no better example of a traditionally bipartisan issue than transportation,” he said. “There’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican bridge.”

The infrastructure challenges are enormous, LaHood said.

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National Press Club Speakeasy successfully evades detection by authorities

October 11, 2011 | By Kim Bender | kimberlybender@gmail.com

Zoot-suit and flapper-costumed National Press Club members and their guests packed into the Truman Lounge and Reliable Source as the Club was turned into a 1920’s-era Speakeasy Oct. 3.

Shades were drawn, lights dimmed, and doors shut tight to prevent the “prohis” from detecting a strong and sultry performance of jazz-era standards by The Maureen Mullaney quintet, or the secret members-only poker game that was played in the Game Room.

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Ron Paul: Golden Rule Could End Terrorist Attacks

October 6, 2011 | By Terry Hill | terry@terryhillcommunications.com

If the United States stopped occupying other nations, terrorist attacks would cease, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Wednesday at the National Press Club.

Paul, a Republican who represents the Texas 14th Congressional District, said America’s decision years ago to build military bases in the Middle East incited terrorist attacks which drew the nation to begin occupying the region, causing further attacks. Citing Lebanon in the early 1980’s as an example, the congressman said when American military personnel withdrew the attacks “just stopped.”

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Panelists Say Zero Tolerance School Discipline Raises Dropout Rates, Shows Racial Bias

October 6, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich | Lorna2@verizon.net

Panelists representing school administrators, researchers, judges, parents and students at an Oct. 5 Newsmaker deplored the effect of “zero tolerance” school discipline that uses frequent suspensions. The panelists said suspensions lead to higher rates of school dropouts and eventual incarcerations.

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Prohibition hurt America, documentarian Ken Burns says

October 4, 2011 | By Richard Lee | RF-Lee@earthlink.net

Prohibition sent American progress reeling backward and led to new social ills, including bootlegging and organized crime, documentary film maker Ken Burns told a National Press Club on Monday.

The last segment of Burns' exhaustive three-part series "Prohibition" airs Tuesday night on PBS.

What he learned from doing "Prohibition," he said, is how little he really knew about it, the social forces that shaped it.

"Drunkenness was a huge social problem," he said. "We were known as a nation of drunkards."

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Bosnia-Herzegovina PM says war-torn country moving toward stabilization, EU membership

September 30, 2011 | By Peter Hickman | PJHickman@hotmail.com

Bosnia and Herzegovina is successfully rebuilding after years of conflict by establishing trust among three factions "only recently at war with one another, Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said at a Sept. 26 Newsmaker event.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, joined the NATO Membership Action Plan and is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

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Space exploration critical for human survival, SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk says

September 29, 2011 | By William Miller | WilliamMiller512@aol.com

Human exploration of space is essential to ensure the survival of the human species, said Elon Musk, chief executive and chief technical officer of Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, at a Sept. 29 National Press Club luncheon.

Calling multi-planetary life an insurance policy “for life as we know it,” the 40-year-old physicist/entrepreneur/inventor warned that catastrophic natural or man-made disasters -- such as the planetoid collision that wiped out the dinosaurs eons ago or nuclear holocaust or climate change -- could someday wipe out humankind.

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Family Research Council director predicts "any Republican with a pulse" will defeat Obama in 2012

September 27, 2011 | By Robert Webb | rewebb@aol.com

The race for the Republican Presidential nomination won't come down to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, but any Republican nominee "with a pulse" will defeat President Obama in 2012, Tony Perkins, executive director of the Washington-based Family Research Council, said at a Sept. 27 Newsmaker.

"We have a good field of candidates now," for the Republican nomination, Perkins said. He rejected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a potential contender.

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Nation must encourage growth, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels tells Club audience

September 27, 2011 | By Frank Kane | fcane@cox.net

Government programs should be limited, but excellent, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said a National Press Club Book and Author event Monday.

Skepticism of big government should not mean contempt for all government, Daniels said during a discussion of his new book, "Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans." The federal government should spend less on non-essential government programs to save money and eliminate the need for new taxes.

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