On Second Thought

President Obama had to apologize this week to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for calling her the best looking attorney general in the country.  Some folks thought he was being sexist, but could it have been that Eric Holder was offended and sulking in his office at the Justice Department?

Former Senator Scott Brown (R) said that after losing his seat to Elizabeth Warren last year he won’t run for the Senate again, at least from Massachusetts.  But lately he’s been hinting that he might go to New Hampshire to challenge Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. I don’t know how serious Brown is, but Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand (D-NY) has already begun sending out fundraising appeals to help her colleague. Don’t worry, Scott, if that doesn’t work for you, there are 48 more states, so start packing your carpetbag.

The National Rifle Association says the answer to protecting our children is putting more guns in our schools.  I’m waiting for them to offer to train and arm student gun clubs in every school so they can begin peer patrols of classrooms and halls.  That should help cut down – or mow down – hall pass violators. What’s next? Maybe they will insist that all airline passengers be armed for protection against hijackers.

If it seems to you that more New York state legislators have gotten the boot for criminal and ethical violations than tossed out by voters, you’re right. The New York Public Interest Research Group found that, since 2007, state senators have been more likely to be arrested than to lose their seats in a general election, Reuters reported. All those bribes and we still aren’t getting the best government money can buy. 

One reason there are fewer Jews in the U.S. Senate this year than last is because Sheldon Adelson poured a ton of money into defeating a staunchly pro-Israel Jewish candidate, seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley.  It goes deeper than her being a Democrat and his being a Republican; the casino mogul had once been her friend and employer until Berkley, as his corporate lawyer, opposed his anti-union plans. Berkley also rejected his advice to run for the House as a Republican. She was a long-time pro-Israel activist before going to Congress; once there she was seen as closer to the hardline viewpoint of folks like Adelson and the far right Zionist Organization of America than to the more mainstream groups. That would have put her in synch with old billionaire but obviously not enough to overcome his personal grudge.

The Kansas legislature passed a bill declaring human life begins at fertilization, and  Gov. Sam Brownback, an outspoken abortion foe, is expected to sign.   This is the same governor who cut more than $200 million from basic elementary and secondary school funding in just his first year in office and more cuts are anticipated, according to the Kansas City Star; he is also expected to turn down participation in expansion of federal Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Reminds me of what Barney Frank once said about Republicans:  They “believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.