It’s good to know that when shocking violence takes its toll our representatives in Washington will quickly step up to the plate. Within days of the Arizona shooting, our own Rep. Pete King of Long Island proposed a bill that would ban guns within 1,000 feet of federal officials. Next up was Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert with his bill allowing members of Congress to pack their own guns. Either bill could be called Gabby’s Law since the congresswoman, fortunately recovering, is not only a victim of violence but a gun enthusiast herself. Neither is of any use to folks like the 18 non-federal officials gunned down with equal abandon last week, or the estimated 30,000 people per year who get shot to death in America. It’s as if someone opened fire in Yankee Stadium and officials rushed to pass a law to protect athletes and team owners.
"Can the rest of us get one of them thousand-foot gun-free perimeters?" Jon Stewart asked in response to King’s bill. Fortunately, doctors say Giffords is increasingly responsive, which is more than you can say about the rest of Congress.
Congress isn’t the only legislative body posturing in response to recent events. The City Council had such a good time calling the Bloomberg administration’s carpetbagger-heavy inner circle out on the carpet over what passed for a blizzard cleanup last month that it produced a sequel today, calling top MTA officials into the woodshed. According to one report, top officials acknowleged "gross failures" in how it weathered the weather, sending out bus after bus that kept getting stuck because they were ill-equipped. As most New Yorkers know MTA and gross failure are kind of interchangeable, just like MTA and gross floors on subway cars. Too bad the LIRR is outside the City Council’s purview; I would have liked to hear why their acronym seems to stand for Last Institution To Restore Regularity.
Now that the Council is showing more backbone during a lame duck administration, there are plenty of other questionable phenomena they could investigate, like why the Yankees are paying Derek Jeter $51 million, or roughly $2 million per time he’ll get on base next season; why it took Apple three years to put the iPhone on a network that can handle phone calls, and what kind of idiot writes Sarah Palin’s speeches.
In other news, Israel has taken a long awaited, bold step forward in response to popular demand, releasing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pay stub. It did so, according to Ha’aretz, "due to Web surfers’ requests," which goes to show the incredible and increasingly scary influence of Facebook, where they released the data. Bibi earns the equivalent of $120,000 a year, about the same as four yeshiva teachers or about what Mark Zuckerberg earned while you were reading this. Presumably we’ll soon get some more information from Israel demanded by Internet users, such as the deal behind that spy bird, beauty tips from El Al flight attendants and romantic details about Leo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli.
Enjoy the weekend.