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From the flames, Notre Dame will rebuild

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From the flames, Notre Dame will rebuild

Terrible things happen to wonderful places.

St. Rule’s Tower looms over what was once the enormous Cathedral of St. Andrew in St. Andrews, Scotland. John Knox stoked a Protestant mob to ransack the cathedral in 1559. The building fell into disrepair. Today, a concrete line delineates an abstract of the cathedral, outlining ruins. The nave and apse still stand, casting a shadow of a church that once was.

VIDEO OF BYSTANDERS SINGING ‘AVE MARIA’ AT NOTRE DAME GOES VIRAL

The Allies hit the cathedral in Cologne, Germany 14 times during World War II. But much of the structure remained, along with its twin, signature spires which pierce the sky. That’s what made the cathedral so easy for pilots to find during the war. The building still stands and remains the tallest Roman Catholic church on the planet.

During The War of 1812’s “Battle of Bladensburg,” the British burned both the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Much like the cathedral in Cologne, the new Capitol was easy to spy, resting atop what was known as Jenkins’ Hill. Lacking enough wood to burn the building to the ground, the British ignited books from the Library of Congress as fuel. In those days, the Library of Congress was located inside the Capitol – the same space now occupied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Wooden ceilings and floors burned quickly amid the heat. But much of the stone and masonry survived, although singed. To this day, tour guides note that the columns festooned with corn-cobs remain near the old Senate entrance to the Capitol, surviving the fire.

Ironically, a massive thunderstorm, spinning off a tornado along what is now Constitution Avenue, may have salvaged the rest of Washington. The storm prevented the British from razing the rest of the city.

They will rebuild Notre Dame, which suffered its own terrible blaze on Monday.

DOLAN SAYS NOTRE DAME WILL RISE AGAIN

Notre Dame withstood war – The French Revolution and Napoleon. What we know today as “Notre Dame” is not the same Notre Dame when it was constructed in the 13th Century; the spire that fell in the fire isn’t the original, for instance.

But when terrible things happen to old, historic places … those places evolve.

The Capitol was divided into the House and Senate wings when the British tore through. The Capitol Dome, as we know it today, was decades away. The contemporary House and Senate wings weren’t even fully conceived.

The U.S. Capitol is in a perpetual state of evolution. The original Senate and House wings the British torched more than two centuries ago were but a sliver of what they are today. Scaffolding encircled the Capitol Dome from 2013 through 2016 for the first major overhaul since the late 1950s. A superstructure covered the Senate wing not long after that. Now it’s the turn for the House wing.

The Cannon House Office Building across the street is now two years into a decade-long renovation. Workers have already refurbished parts of the building. Other corridors remain closed. There is an obvious, startling difference between the revamped sections of Cannon and those still in need of repair. The Cannon Rotunda, home to many a TV news standup and interview, is brighter and warmer. Other halls shine with modern fixtures. Cannon used to suffer from a lack of elevators. Workers have added sleek, new elevators to transport tourists, aides and lawmakers.

Of course, it wasn’t always like this. There wasn’t even a Cannon House Office Building – let alone Longworth and Rayburn House Office Buildings – until 1908. And Cannon was originally the House Office Building – because it was the only one. Congress named the building after House Speaker Joe Cannon, R-Ill., in 1962.

The Capitol complex is an organic, living, breathing place. The same can be said for Notre Dame and dozens of other historic sites around the world. The places we see today often withstand weather, fire, war – to say nothing of political turmoil.

Despite the massive fire, Notre Dame remains. The main belfry towers remain. The interior of the main sanctuary remains relatively intact considering the severity of the blaze.

But like so many historic structures around the globe, they change and evolve. The Notre Dame today was not the Notre Dame of Victor Hugo. It wasn’t even the Notre Dame of World War II or the funeral of Charles de Gaulle of 1970.

The U.S. Capitol isn’t the same as when the British tore through the building during the Battle of Bladensburg. There was no Rotunda. No Statuary Hall. No Ohio Clock Corridor. Trams didn’t whisk people underground between the Capitol and the Senate Office Buildings. The Statue of Freedom didn’t puncture the sky atop the original, wooden, “Bullfinch Dome.” After the 1812 fire, there was even a move by the incipient federal government to ditch Washington and head north to Philadelphia. The House of Representatives voted down a plan 83-54 to decamp from Washington. And in 1815, they decided to permanently maintain the government in Washington. It took until 1819 for the original parts of the half-built Capitol to re-open.

The Capitol absorbed these changes and transformed into what it is today. But early inhabitants of Washington, D.C., would barely recognize the congressional edifice now. The new House and Senate Office Buildings, the Capitol Visitor’s Center, even the Dome and Rotunda themselves are grafted onto the complex. Who knows what the Capitol will look like in 50 or 100 years – let alone 800.

The same with Notre Dame. It will change. And Paris will change with it. Today’s manifestation of Notre Dame is not what it will be.

But these buildings are testaments – not to themselves, but of what goes on between the walls and what they inspire. The salvation of spirit through the celebration of faith at Notre Dame. The formation of the most robust, vibrant democracy in the history of the world in the Capitol.

The U.S. Capitol is not just what was. But what it will yet become.

And the same is true for Notre Dame.

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Hundreds of decks of playing cards arrive for Washington state lawmaker who criticized nurses

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Washington state lawmaker riles nurses by saying that some spend 'considerable' time playing cards

The Washington state senator who suggested that some nurses “play cards” during a “considerable” portion of their shifts received more than 600 packages of playing cards Tuesday as backlash over her remarks continued to grow.

The United Parcel Service location in Tumwater, Wash., said that it received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, after an open letter criticizing her remarks circulated on Facebook last week and included Walsh’s P.O. box address, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.

“You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway,” the letter read. “I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?”

WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKER RILES NURSES BY SAYING SOME SPEND ‘CONSIDERABLE’ TIME PLAYING CARDS

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

The letter went on to predict that after the next election cycle Walsh may find herself with “plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with.”

Walsh first drew criticism from nursing professionals while debating a bill last week that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and would also provide mandatory overtime protections for them.

She pushed for an amendment that would exclude hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the provision, arguing that such small facilities struggle to provide 24-hour care as it is.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Despite the bill being passed with Walsh’s amendment, her ill-received comments sparked a flurry of social media posts mocking her.

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Walsh addressed the issue Monday, apologizing to those who were offended and saying she would spend a day shadowing a nurse throughout his or her 12-hour shift.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context – but still they crossed the line.”

In 2012, some comments by Walsh on a different subject also went viral, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported. That year Walsh bucked most other members of the state GOP by speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state’s House subsequently backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

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Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

The first man released from prison under President Trump’s criminal justice reform law reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying that prisoners should be permitted to vote by noting the “logistical” problems of allowing prisoners serving a sentence to vote and backing prisoners who served their time to have their rights restored.

“I do know while you’re incarcerated you do lose some of your liberties. But my thing is, once a person has been completely released and they paid their debt to society and they are back in society actually functioning, paying taxes, then they should have their rights restored to vote,” Matthew Charles, who was released from prison under the First Step Act, said on Fox News’  “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

KAMALA HARRIS BACKTRACKS, NOW SAYS CRIMINALS LIKE BOSTON BOMBER ‘SHOULD BE DEPRIVED’ OF RIGHT TO VOTE

“But during the period they’re incarcerated, it’s going to be like a complex issue because of the logistics. You got people incarcerated in states that they actually are not from.”

Sanders opened himself to scrutiny this week after saying that not only should incarcerated prisoners be permitted to vote but that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should also be permitted to vote.

“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they will be punished. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said Monday on a CNN Town Hall.

Trump’s re-election campaign called out Sanders Wednesday, describing his idea “deeply offensive.”

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“The extremity and radicalism of the 2020 Democrats knows no bounds,” Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News.

“Giving imprisoned terrorists, sex offenders, and murderers the right to vote is an outrageous proposal that is deeply offensive to innocent victims across this country, some of whom lost their lives and are forever disenfranchised by the very killers that 2020 Democrats seek to empower,” she said.

Fox News’ Sally Persons and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

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George Conway praises Hillary Clinton for her op-ed on Mueller probe: ‘I’m with her’

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George Conway calls Trump a cancer that needs to be removed in blistering op-ed

The husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway expressed solidarity with Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post urging Congress to pursue the findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, telling his followers on Twitter, “I’m with her.”

In the piece published Wednesday afternoon, Clinton called for holding President Trump “accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law” but insisted that choosing between “immediate impeachment or nothing” was a “false choice.” She also referred to the Mueller report as “road map” for Congress.

“It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not,” Clinton wrote. “Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”

George Conway, who has made a name for himself as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, praised the 2016 presidential candidate on Twitter and highlighted a portion from her op-ed, where she acknowledged that some may say she’s “not the right messenger.”

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“Perhaps so. Probably so. But if she’s with the Constitution, I’m with her,” Conway tweeted.

Conway regularly slams the president and repeatedly has questioned his mental fitness. The president fired back on Twitter last month.

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