Mark Stricherz

Jonestown Revisited: Jackie Speier, a 40-Year-Old Audio, Heroism and Difficult Memories
Long-lost audio tape shows Rep. Ryan planned to rescue willing residents

(Editor’s Note: Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of a still-shocking mass-killing that left more than 900 people dead in “Jonestown,” a remote settlement in Guyana founded by cult leader Jim Jones.  Most were poisoned  with a cyanide-laced drink.  Leo J. Ryan, a Democratic lawmaker from San Francisco, had traveled to Jonestown to investigate reports of people being held against their will in Jonestown. Ryan and four others were fatally shot at a nearby airstrip. Rep Jackie Speier, D-Calif., then a Ryan staffer, was among several more who were shot repeatedly and left for dead at the airstrip. The mass killing began soon afterwards.)

Watch: Jackie Speier Hears Newly Uncovered Jonestown Tape For the First Time
 

Forty years ago Sunday, a young Jackie Speier was shot and left for dead on an airstrip in Guyana, after helping her boss — Rep. Leo Ryan — rescue 25 cult members from a deadly cult commune known as Jonestown. Ryan was shot and killed that day, shortly before more than 900 members of the commune died of a mass suicide and murder. 

Speier, who has been a member of Congress from California since 2008, joined Roll Call to listen to recently uncovered audio of an interview her former boss conducted with a cult escapee, just months before Ryan was killed in the so-called Jonestown massacre.

Warren Says SEC’s Clayton Puts Interests of Bankers Over Average Investors
Massachusetts Senator says she doesn’t see the value of more IPOs

Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Wall Street’s top regulator of supporting policies that benefit “a handful of bankers and lawyers” instead of average investors.

The Massachusetts Democrat has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency that oversees the financial sector.

Acting House Majority Whip Sidelined With Pneumonia
McHenry to postpone first round of town hall meetings

Patrick T. McHenry, the acting House Majority Whip, has pneumonia and will be out of public view for an indeterminate time, his office announced Monday afternoon.

The North Carolina Republican made the announcement as an addendum to his weekly newsletter.

Congressional Security Details Remain Murky
‘Over the past two and a half years, I’ve built a special bond with each of them’

The special agents who protect congressional leaders are a constant, anomalous presence in the Capitol, a suit-wearing, grim-visaged, hand gun-carrying force that follows at least the top nine members of the federal legislative branch as they travel to, from and in Washington and their home districts or states. They have the same duties as their counterparts in the executive branch, the Secret Service, and none of the publicity.

But in extraordinary circumstances — such as the Flag Day shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with a current and a former staffer — details about their work flash into public view.

Numerous Inauguration Protests: From Nonviolent Chants to Bricks-in-Windows
Inauguration Day protests throughout D.C. take different tones

On Inaugural Day in Washington, some twenty-something, left-leaning protesters dressed in black threw bricks into the windows of local storefronts. Elsewhere, sixty-something antiwar activists held up colorful signs and coordinated peaceful chants.

And while police used pepper-spray to break up some demonstrators in downtown D.C., on another street a man wearing a cherry-red Make America Great Again baseball cap calmly chatted in the middle of 7th Street NW with a young man wearing a dark hood that enveloped his face.