With our pal of the program, Robert, awaiting the arrival of his first child, Sean and I are left to our own devices once again. To cope with our return to duo status this week , we returned to familiar territory: beer.
Creating waves of mild controversy is the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” The bill was passed by the House of Representatives along mostly partisan lines, with a handful of Democrats supporting the bill, and around a dozen Republicans voting against it. Poltico reports on the divisions in opinion on the legislation, which currently sits in the Senate. The most controversial part of the bill would be national recognition of concealed carry permits issued in any state. House Democrats have called this a violation of states’ sovereignty, while Republicans generally consider this a boost for the second amendment. Less controversial, and the sections that pulled six Democrats over, were the expansion of federal background checks and review of “bump-stocks” by the Department of Justice.
From guns to capitals, we tackle Trump’s directive to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The international response has been decidedly against the move, with no nation following the United States’ move. As big a move as this was made to seem, it’s still important to recognize that Israel utilizes Jerusalem as its capital. And, so the saying goes, what’s in a name? If a city functions as a nation’s capital, and that nation claims that city as its capital… it is that nation’s capital. In politics, reality is rarely a functional measurement of perception. So the public statements and tweets and press conferences expressing outrage from around the globe pour into the space taken up by other things of little consequence. What does have significant consequence is the overarching situation between the states of Israel and Palestine. Many have wondered if this unconventional move by President Trump puts the future of any possible peace resolution into the fire pit. But realistic peace hasn’t been seen as imminent for nearly a generation, so perhaps a new approach is worth considering.
In a less controversial move, the president signed the White House Space Policy Directive 1. The directive sets NASA off on a laundry list of things that are both fantastical, and exciting. Returning to the moon, touching Mars, and going beyond – which presumably means the asteroid belt, are all on the agenda. Part of what makes this exciting, besides launching us back into the realm of science fiction, is the potential for resource acquisition and economic prosperity that can come from space exploration.