Saturday October 10, 2015
March 12th, 2015
In 1986, Congress passed, and Ronald Reagan signed into law, the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act. It directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ban certain types of ammunition that could pierce the body armor worn by police officers. The National Rifle Association had originally opposed the legislation - which, in fact, was one of a series of events that caused a split between the NRA and most police associations - but the logic behind it was irrefutable.
That was quite a performance Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives, courtesy of Speaker John Boehner in his continuing campaign to impede and discredit the presidency of Barack Obama.
It's one of the most popular comic strips of all time: "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz. But it wasn't all about Charlie Brown. There were Lucy, Snoopy, Violet, and, my favorite, Pig-Pen -- the little boy who couldn't stay clean. He was always surrounded by a cloud of dust and dirt. He couldn't walk through a snowstorm without getting dirty.
It's great that Hillary Clinton has asked the State Department to release her official emails. Still, belated disclosure isn't going to make the story go away; it doesn't deal with questions about why Clinton decided to proceed in this seemingly secretive direction despite government regulations that at the very least required she take steps to ensure the emails were duly transferred to official logs.
It was disconcerting to watch Congress cheer wildly as a foreign leader, the prime minister of one of America's closest allies, trashed an American president's foreign policy. It was equally strange that the speaker of our House of Representatives interjected the United States Congress into an Israeli political campaign.
If you want to know what a political party really stands for, follow the money. Pundits and the public are often deceived; remember when George W. Bush was a moderate, and Chris Christie a reasonable guy who could reach out to Democrats? Major donors, however, generally have a very good idea of what they are buying, so tracking their spending tells you a lot.
Let's begin with Benjamin Netanyahu's Iran logic. He portrays a rampaging Islamic Republic that "now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa," a nation "gobbling" other countries on a "march of conquest, subjugation and terror." Then, in the same speech, he describes Iran as "a very vulnerable regime" on the brink of folding.
Well, which is it?
The idea of helping low-income people by subsidizing their fares on public transportation sounds noble. It truly does. But as a means of confronting the national problem of meager paychecks, it's rather misdirected.
We take our shoes off at the airport, strip for metal detectors at public buildings and back away from our decreasingly free and open society all in the name of fear.
But sledding? Sledding?! No. Security, terrorism and fear cannot kill sledding in the nation's capital.
And the small, snowy protest on Capitol Hill on Thursday put all that in a little bit of perspective.
After enduring 72 hours of negative press over her exclusive use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton responded via Twitter late Wednesday night.
@HillaryClinton, March 4, 11:35 p.m.: "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."