Friday, December 14, 2012

You won already

The battle over gun control ended many years ago, I would say in 1994 when Democrats lost control of Congress for 12 years for what some blamed on the adult rifle ban in 1993. The NRA has been an incredibly successful interest group both in legislative bodies across the country and with DC v. Heller in the federal courts as well, overturning lost standing precedent.

In the past few years we have a Congresswoman shot in the head at a grocery store, people massacred at a movie theater, at a Seikh temple, at a shopping mall and now an elementary school. And yet the words "gun control" does not pass the re-elected President's lips. Oh and I almost forgot the NFL player who gunned down his baby daughter's mother, the drove to the practice facility, thanked the coaches for letting him have the chance to make it in the pros, and then shot himself in the head. That was only a week or two ago.

News alert: No one is going to take your guns away, hunters and gun rights activists, so stop trying to scare people into believing otherwise. The NRA and its allies need to sit back and pat themselves on the back. Instead, they work themselves into a frenzy because you cannot bring guns into college campuses or bars or courts or to work or people cannot get concealed gun permits at the drop of a hat. Even Scalia, Dick Cheney's hunting buddy who authored Heller, thinks there should be some reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms. With rights comes responsibility. You should have to prove you know how to handle a gun safely and lock it up safely before you can take it home with you. So your kid doesn't accidentally kill himself or you don't set it off and kill him (it is always a boy by the way). People with mental health issues shouldn't get a weapon. Even passing mental health issues should count Like if you just got fired, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun.

And yet the conversation turns to enforcing existing laws and criminals and crazy people cannot be stopped. Don't we want to at least make it hard for the crazy, the criminal, and the jihadist to kill lots of people?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scalp hunting

Susan Rice apparently decided that she was sick of being subject to silly conspiracy theories because someone at the CIA gave her misleading talking points about what had happened in Libya. Of course, it never had anything to do with Rice or Libya or Terrorism, it had to do with weakening Obama.

So the Kabuki dance went on and on, Obama defending her but pretending he had not decided who he wanted for the Secretary of State position since Hilary Clinton said no thanks to another 4 years. Of course he wanted Rice.

This is the reason no one wants to go into public service. There lives get put on hold while some fools in Congress, their staffers and idiots on cable TV nitpick everything the person ever did as well as what they didn't do.

The whole art of scalp hunting, as the racist term is know as, has become a sport in Washington. Democrats did it to George W. Bush because Republicans did it to Clinton, so Republicans did it to Obama (see Tom Daschle and Bill Richardson).

If the nominee were unqualified (see Harriet Myers) unethical (see Tom Daschle and Bill Richardson) or antithetical to the position the president nominates the person to (see John Bolton) or just plain way too radical (see Bork, John Ashcroft, John Yoo) that is one thing, but if there is really do good reason to make someone's life miserable (see Peter Diamond, Goodwin Lieu, and Susan Rice) then scalp hunting serves no other purpose other than partisanship and actually does a disservice to the job a Senator is supposed to do in hearings and deciding how to vote on a nominee. Not to mention the country, which deprived of that person's service.

In the case of judges, justice delayed is often times justice denied. People accused of crimes will sit in Jail longer waiting for their case to be heard, civil litigants will have to wait even longer to get their hearing, in the meantime their lives can be ruined. There must be an end to this quest to weaken a president through sullying a nominee's reputation forever. It is doubtful most Americans even knew who our UN Ambassador was until Fox News accused her of a cover up. A few nominees, like Alberto Gonzales, deserve this treatment, most do not.