Bibi and the DHS Shutdown: Congress at Work!

February 27, 2015

Regular readers know that I avoid certain topics, including the Middle East. Nothing is absolute, however, and Tuesday’s speech to a joint session of Congress by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu provides a more than adequate basis for commentary.

You’ve probably heard about this fiasco for awhile. The nuts and bolts are simple. Speaker of the House John Boehner invited the Prime Minister to address Congress while he was in Washington for the AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) annual do! The invite was not cleared with the State Department or the White House. It was arranged, instead, through Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, former Miami Beach resident and Republican Party operative Ron Dermer.

So what’s this all

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Keystone XL: What’s the Real Story?

January 10, 2015

The Keystone XL Pipeline will deliver shale oil from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Texas, and to a storage facility in Oklahoma. Will deliver is a misnomer, however, for a working pipeline from Alberta to Illinois and Port Arthur in Texas exists. Now.

So what’s all the fuss about, if the thing is already built? A bigger, more direct pipeline from Alberta to Steele City in Nebraska, apparently. (If you knew there was a working pipeline now, say so in the comments section. You’ll find no comment from me, by the way.)

I intended to focus on the January 9 decision by the Nebraska Supreme Court—and I’ll get to it—but learning about the existing pipeline makes it hard not

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Our Shrunken Congress!

November 20, 2014

We’re here to talk shrinkage, “the act or process of shrinking.” Now, nothing explains shrinkage better than this exchange from a well-loved sitcom. (Laughing yet? If not, you didn’t click on the link.)

I read The Extraordinary Smallness of Washington—the subtitle is Institutional Shrinkage Marks the Politics and Governing of the Bush-Obama Era—in The National Journal on Tuesday. (The subtitle sent me to shrinkage.) Ron Fournier, the author of the short piece, sums up his premise in his fourth sentence:  This is an era of titanic challenges and tiny politics.

I wonder—and worry—often about our having what it takes to solve our problems. So does Mr. Fournier, who singles out immigration, energy/global warming, taxes and spending, the economy,

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