Is there any conflict in the world too remote or too irrelevant to U.S. national security for Washington not to interfere in it somehow? Has Congress ever passed a bill ostensibly targeted at one problem that was not laden with paybacks to various special interests that were entirely irrelevant to the problem at hand? The answer to both appears to be no.
This year’s National Conference for State Legislatures (NSCL), held in Louisville, Kentucky, opened on Monday with state legislators from all 50 states, federal congressional members, and representatives of foreign countries, including five members of the Russian delegation who sat in the fourth row of the center aisle in the packed Cascade Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel. The featured guest speakers on Monday morning were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On March 27, 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod addressed the NAACP’s 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. Months later, a small excerpt from Sherrod’s speech was posted by Tea Partier Andrew Breitbart on the Internet. The excerpt went viral, stirring up controversy over Sherrod's racially biased statements. As a result, Sherrod was forced to resign by Secretary of Argriculture Tom Vilsack. Later, however, further footage of the speech showed Sherrod’s comments to be taken out of context, prompting the USDA to offer Sherrod a new position.