Congress Awards Itself Congressional Medal Of Honor

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Vol 41 Issue 14

1998 Powerball Winner Returns To Food-Service Job

RAPID CITY, SD—In spite of winning an $18-million Powerball jackpot in 1998, William Berringer, 39, insisted on returning to his line-cook job at Nelson's Steak House Tuesday. "Winning all that money didn't change me," Berringer said. "I'm still the same Bill Berringer that I was before I hit the jackpot, then proceeded to spend it all on partying, bad stocks, and a Jamaican condominium." Berringer added that he hopes everyone at work will treat him the same way they always did, or at least the ones who were there when he quit his job the day after he won the jackpot.

'He's A Stockbroker,' Says Woman Who Finds That Exciting

NEW YORK—During a 12:30 luncheon with friends at Niko Niko Tuesday, Pamela Gordon, 27, described her recent date with 30-year-old stockbroker Ken Rosen. "Well, he's a stockbroker," Gordon said. "His name is Ken... He's really cute... And he was just promoted at Piper Jaffray!" Gordon's friends told reporters that she has not been this excited since she dated a producer in 2002.

Colombian Teen Going Through Anti-Government Guerilla Phase

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—Like many Colombian teens, Juan Ardila, 15, is experiencing typical growing pains, characterized by mood swings, raging hormones, and a fervent allegiance to a squadron of leftist anti-government rebels, his 48-year-old father Rafael reported Monday. "I have told him that no good can come out of running with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia," the elder Ardila said. "But he'll snap out of it. When I was his age, I was kidnapping state officials and car-bombing nightclubs in the name of Communism myself." Ardila said he expects Juan to grow bored of drug trafficking and extortion when and if he reaches adulthood.

Nation's Tall Asked To Stand In Back

WASHINGTON, DC—In a wide-reaching relocation of U.S. citizenry, all Americans above six feet tall were asked to please move to the back Monday. "Those fortunate enough to be blessed with stature, please step to the rear so that others may be able to see and be seen," said Nolan Mills, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Height. "Anyone willing to crouch or sit cross-legged on the ground is welcome to move to the front." This is the largest measure of its kind since 1993, when U.S. citizens were asked to not block the nation's doorways.

Terri Schiavo Dies Of Embarrassment

PINELLAS PARK, FL—Terri Schiavo, the shy woman whose self-image issues put her in a 15-year coma, died of embarrassment Thursday, the eyes of the entire world fixed upon her. "Terri, who had been extremely reserved before her debilitation, found herself trapped at the center of an epic legal battle that became the focus of the nation," said Dr. Kyle Williamson, who treated Schiavo several years ago. "The involvement of President Bush, Congress, and numerous church officials further complicated what might have been a simple right-to-die case, and made Terri's weight issues and family difficulties public knowledge. She finally succumbed to the embarrassment last week, at age 41." Specifics of Schiavo's dying breath and photos of the woman in her self-conscious 20s have been appearing in newspapers worldwide since her death.

Many Cancer Deaths Preventable

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 60 percent of all cancer deaths could be prevented if Americans lived healthier lives. What do you think?

Rising Oil Prices

Oil prices have reached an all-time high. How are increasing costs affecting daily live in America?

Horoscope for the week of April 6, 2005

Your stance on the health-care crisis tends to be rather conservative, but for the next few months, it will be heavily influenced by the steel bar protruding from your ribs.
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Congress Awards Itself Congressional Medal Of Honor

WASHINGTON, DC—In recognition of its "service above and beyond the call of duty in the legislative field," Congress awarded itself the Congressional Medal of Honor Monday.

Members of Congress applaud their decision to award themselves the Congressional Medals of Honor.

"We've done a very good job this past year," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) said. "After passing H.R. 682 through the Senate, we realized the 109th U.S. Congress had done something that would benefit the entire country. We felt it was time we officially recognize our accomplishments."

Added DeLay: "I will treasure this medal as long I live."

The Congressional Medal of Honor, created in 1861 to recognize soldiers who distinguish themselves in battle, is the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government.

Although the medal is traditionally reserved for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, a bill signed into law last month allows Congress to award the medal to "national legislative bodies charged with the responsibility of making the laws that govern the nation," as well.

Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) was among the congressmen who approved the bill in an overwhelming majority.

"The Medal of Honor is a reward for extraordinary bravery and dedicated service on behalf of our great country," said Allard, his medal gleaming on his chest. "It is an honor reserved for that rarest of men: the hero."

Before Monday's ceremony, only 3,459 individuals had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Some Americans—including the family of Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, who received a Congressional Medal of Honor last week—have suggested that awarding the medal to 535 people at once diminishes its prestige.

"How does honoring more people cheapen the medal?" DeLay asked. "I'm honored to be counted among so many other brave and patriotic Americans, past and present."

While officially awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for "exemplary service in the drafting of H.R. 682," Congress also recognized itself for "general excellence in the field of legislation in America," as well.

"Congress members may not put themselves into physical danger to take a crucial enemy outpost," Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said. "But Congress works very long hours every week to improve the lives of all Americans, and that's heroic in its own right. I'm proud to be a U.S. senator, and I'm honored that Congress has chosen to recognize my achievements on the congressional floor."

Many members of Congress reported it was difficult to choose between the Army, Navy, and Air Force medals of honor.

"It was a time of solemn reflection and careful choosing," DeLay said. "Personally, I would've loved to have a Marine medal of honor, because my favorite uncle was a Marine, but there's no such thing. Oh well."

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