DoddThere are from time to time political events that attract attention and controversy, only to fade into well-deserved obscurity. Who today can recall the storm and stress over the '90s-era debates over the presidential line item veto or the proposed Conference of the States, for example? The very latest in a very long line of forgettable Capitol Hill follies, the Dodd Finance Reform Bill, was unveiled this past weekend, a bill that deserves similarly to wind up in the dustbin of failed Grand Ideas.

With great fanfare, the Obama administration celebrated its first policy victory of the year — the $17.6 billion jobs bill. Eleven Republican Senators helped push the bill through the Senate, 68-29.

As the House of Representatives rushes to pass the version of a healthcare bill passed in December by the Senate, particular emphasis is being paid by Americans to key provisions in the measure. One of the most controversial elements, and one of most importance to many voters, is whether the bill under consideration will permit federal dollars to fund abortions.

Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had a strategy even before President Obama was inaugurated, according to the New York Times. Recognizing that Republicans had lost control of the Senate as well as the presidency, that strategy was to use his 30-plus years of political wheeling and dealing to slow down the Democrat juggernaut, and wait for reinforcements.

The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) recently published a report entitled “A Growing Terrorist Threat? Assessing ‘Homegrown’ Extremism in the United States.” The report was co-authored by Rick Nelson and Ben Bodurian. The title effectively summarizes the thesis addressed in the study’s 14 pages. Nelson and Bodurian examine the cases of five incidences of acts of violence perpetrated by Americans since the autumn of 2009. By spotlighting these particular cases, the authors hope to extricate from the fabric of these tales a common thread and then use that thread in the identification of potential targets of extremist evangelism and prevent any future attacks.

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