- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fifteen senators have a message for President Obama: The Defense Department spends $150 million a year on athletic shoes for our armed forces. Please makes sure that footwear is made in America, huh?

Indeed. The bipartisan group — which includes Republican Sens. Susan M. Collins of Maine, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — note in their recent letter to the president: “We can increase American footwear manufacturing jobs at no cost to the federal government simply by your directing the Department of Defense to align its athletic footwear procurement policies to those it has already adopted for other footwear, such as combat boots, service shoes, and other uniform items.”

The group cites the Berry Amendment, a law enacted in 1941 to ensure American soldiers wore American-made materials whenever possible. Policies in recent years, however, relaxed the acquisition process; military personnel now receive a cash allowance to buy the footwear of their choice, regardless of its origin.

Naturally, Maine-based New Balance, a major American athletic footwear manufacturer, is pleased. “We are hopeful that the administration will correct this inequity and support domestic manufacturers,” a spokesman notes.


The idea has friends on the House side, too. In October, Reps. Michael H. Michaud, Maine Democrat, and Duncan Hunter, California Republican, sent a bipartisan letter signed by 50 members of Congress to the Defense Department, also asking that athletic footwear be included under the Berry Amendment.

FLIGHT PLAN

Flight delays have become “political strategy,” proclaims a Wall Street Journal editorial, citing the latest sequester-born inconveniences that include furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees, and yes, delays in major airline hubs. And now, it’s all the fault of the Grand Old Party.

“These delays are a result of the sequester that Republicans insisted take place,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday, adding, “We did everything we could to avert the sequester and, unfortunately, Republicans decided as a political matter that it was a home run for them to inflict this upon the American people.”

The Obama administration likely will follow suit on every sequester tweak that emerges. The blame game continues, with gusto.

“And you thought canceled kiddie tours of the White House was spiteful,” observes Lucianne Goldberg, founder of the news site Lucianne.com.

BIG BLOWUP

“AP Twitter hacked, bogus reports of explosions at White House. I figured it was just Joe Biden after a lunch of Senate Bean Soup.”

Pajamas Media “Instapundit” Glenn Reynolds, reacting to news that hackers had compromised The Associated Press account and sent a false tweet about an attack at the White House, with injuries.

HILLARY’S REVENGE

“Though currently she is — at least temporarily — out of political life, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to enjoy a strong favorability rating, now 64 percent of Americans view Clinton more favorably than the president and vice president, as well as Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry,” reports Gallup analyst Andrew Dugan.

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