"Anybody seen my hat?" Elijah "Bloody Hands" Cummings wants you to believe he left his political hat at the door.
Best NYTwit understated headline ever: "Firearms Bureau Finds Itself in a Rough Patch."
Rough patch? Smack in the middle of the worst federal government scandal ever that has killed hundreds, if not thousands, and the New York Times calls it a "rough patch"? That's like saying Little Big Horn was Custer having a disappointing day.
25 June 1876: General Custer's disappointing day.
Then there's the old "give it to the FBI" mantra.
With 2,500 agents and a budget of roughly $1 billion, the A.T.F. has long been a stepchild to the bigger and more prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation, and some say the two agencies should merge. Among them is Jim Kessler, a founder of Third Way, a centrist policy organization here, who said a merger would insulate the bureau.
“It needs to be within the cocoon of a much stronger, unassailable law enforcement agency,” Mr. Kessler said, adding that the N.R.A.’s aim is to “keep it weak, but keep it alive.”
The FBI has long resisted that idea because they don't want the scrutiny that comes with the mission. And believe me, as long as the current firearms laws remain on the books, American firearm owners down want the secretive FBI to have that mission either.
Indeed, the idea of putting the A.T.F. out of business draws opposition from various quarters for different reasons.
Mr. LaPierre said Congress must give the bureau “a complete scrub from top to bottom” before deciding its future. Mr. Grassley wants to find out if Justice Department higher-ups were “pulling the strings in Fast and Furious.”
Representative Cummings, who concedes that the bureau made mistakes, wants to strengthen the agency, though his bill is unlikely to pass. And he would like to see it have a leader.
“All this is about life and death,” he said. “This is serious stuff. At some point we have to leave our political hats at the door.”
Oh, right. Like Cummings himself is. What? Is he looking for a new moniker, like "Hatless Lige" to replace "Old Bloody Hands"?