Fact: Captured Hamas fighters confirm that their maze of secret tunnels into Israel was to be the entry point for a series of coordinated terror attacks during the Jewish High Holidays — all in order to massacre Israeli citizens at lightly guarded border settlements.
Opinion: Americans should keep this scenario in mind as Secretary of State John Kerry readily adopts Hamas talking points and positions in his attempts to secure a "humanitarian" cease-fire. Hamas views such cessations of hostilities as mere opportunities to re-load in their ongoing campaign to reign terror (and ultimately destroy) the Jewish state.
Second Opinion: Unfortunately, the Obama administration's determined anti-Israel tilt will not cost Jewish Democratic votes in the next presidential election.
Fact: The IRS had a legal duty to retain the allegedly lost emails of former Tax-Exempt Division Chief Lois Lerner. It had a further duty to immediately inform Congress once it learned that potentially relevant emails in its targeting scandal had been "lost."
Opinion: Regardless of one's political persuasion, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require such protection of important documents. We now know the IRS failed to follow the law when it recycled the tapes used to back up its emails and then sat on this information for months. Today, Ms. Lerner takes the 5th. We also know that the "rogue employees in Cincinnati" story has been disproved, as well as the claim that "not even a smidgen" of damaging evidence exists. But the FBI investigation is reportedly going nowhere. This mess gets worse by the hour.
Fact: The shale gas/fracking revolution has made America more energy independent and created tens of thousands of high paying jobs.
Opinion: Predictably, it's been difficult for the environmental community to wrap their arms around a fossil fuel alternative to coal. Most simply do not trust state government to regulate an industry that is producing so much wealth for its coffers. They prefer more "sustainable" solutions such as biofuels, wind and solar. Yet, such alternatives have not proven to be economically viable to date.
Fact: Scoring in Major League Baseball has decreased to an average of 8.25 runs per game, continuing a steady decrease from a high of 10.28 runs per game in 2000.
Opinion: Less scoring is always a danger sign in American sports. Recall how the NFL, NBA and NHL changed their rules to allow for higher scoring when defense became too dominant in their respective sports. I must admit to a certain longing for the days of 10-8 games, yet we know cheating (steroids) drove that offensive era. Here's hoping MLB will either "juice" its ball (along the lines of college baseball) or find another way to generate more run production.
Fact: Bill Ayers was a member of the "Weather Underground" and participated in a series of terrorist bombings as a part of the group's "Days of Rage" protests — including the 1971 bombing of the U.S. Capitol building and the 1972 bombing of the Pentagon. Today, Mr. Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Opinion: If you missed Mr. Ayers' recent interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox, please review it. If you are a mental health professional, please feel free to render a diagnosis. This was one of the creepiest television appearances I've ever witnessed — just a continual series of rationalizations for serial, random acts of terror. This guy now teaches our children. What a travesty.
Fact: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's hyper-liberalism has made him a budding superstar in progressive Democratic Party circles.
Opinion: The mayor's policy agenda is straight out of the European Social Democrat playbook. Initiatives are equal parts major tax increases (the good ol' "income inequality" narrative), a major offensive against charter schools, universal pre-K, welfare expansion and rampant unionism. Mayor De Blasio is the anti-Giuliani, intent on steering NYC into the far left lane of American cities. If you loved NYC's David Dinkins era, welcome back. And good luck — you'll need it.
Fact: The mind altering ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in today's marijuana is far more potent than the 1970s brand.
Opinion: The legalization of marijuana in Washington State and Colorado and the drug's increased potency are raising red flags in the public health community, particularly regarding potential adverse cardiovascular impact. Other areas of concern include lung problems, memory impairment and poor cognitive performance — particularly among young people. But don't expect THC content to decrease any time soon. Market savvy producers know the more concentrated product can be marketed in smaller volumes at higher prices. Just another thought for your consideration as states continue to scramble aboard the legalization (and revenue) bandwagon.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column appears Sundays. The former Maryland governor and member of Congress is a partner at the law firm King & Spalding and the author of "Turn this Car Around" and "America: Hope for Change" — books about national politics. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun