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  • A Briton gets it. Gary Younge:
    In response to the Aurora shootings in July, President Obama was right to suspend the routine campaign rhetoric and play the statesman. Nobody wanted to hear about Mitt Romney's tax records and stimulating the economy on that day. There were other days for electioneering, true, but he was wrong to insist on this:
    "There are going to be other days for politics. This is a day for prayer and reflection."
    Yet that "other day" for debating gun laws never came – not at any point in the three months that remained before the election. Even now, right on cue, the president's spokesman, Jay Carney, has intoned the familiar strain that "now is not the time" to talk about gun control.

    For what are we to reflect on if not how this, and so many other similar calamities, came about. Those who insist that we should not "play politics" with the victim's grief conveniently ignore that politics is what caused that grief. Not party politics. But a blend of opportunism on the right that flagrantly mischaracterises the issue, and spinelessness on the left that refuses to address it.

    Despite Carney's gutless asininity, the president's own statement seemed to hint at something more. Let's hope so.
  • The upcoming IPCC update on climate change was leaked last week, and of course the denier nexus immediately began its usual lies and mischaracterizations. The reality is that that IPCC tends to be cautious and conservative, and we now know that the last revision underestimated the pace and impact of climate change. The real news is this:
    The draft report, which was still undergoing a peer review process, said that “there is consistent evidence from observations of a net energy uptake of the earth system due to an imbalance in the energy budget.”

    “It is virtually certain that this is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.”

    Among those debunking the dishonest deniers has been Graham Readfearn, Peter Sinclair doing double duty, Dana Nuccitelli, and Leo Hickman.
  • Here's hoping for a quick recovery for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • David Dayen:
    Somehow, the tea leaf-reading of what frontiersmen living 230-plus years ago thought about gun ownership takes precedence over the actual consequences of a current situation where guns are so easily obtained and used.  Just to pick at random, here are a couple headlines at the Hartford Courant site just from the past 24 hours: Woman Shot, Man Dead After Standoff In Rocky Hill. Armed Robbery At Hartford Bank, Two In Custody.  It’s not that school shootings like this are abnormal.  They are depressingly normal.  The fact that there were no shootings in one day in New York City recently was seen as a major achievement, which shows you how desensitized we have become to gun violence as a normal occurrence of daily life.

    It’s just completely exhausting, and invites little but despair.  The political leadership of the country long ago turned over gun policy to a trade group called the NRA which is primarily concerned with profits from the sale of guns and ammunition.  And seemingly no crime, no matter how horrific, can change that reality.  Not even on the order of completely sensible, completely modest regulation over things like background checks for those who purchase at gun shows, or anything else.

    It just saddens me.

  • Of course, the American Legislative Exchange Council is involved.
  • There was some good news this week:
    The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will set new limits for the airborne microscopic particles known as soot, one of the most deadly forms of air pollution.

    The widely watched decision, which was expected to signal how the Obama administration will approach environmental issues in its second term, should curtail the amount of soot released from diesel exhaust, coal-fired power plants, refineries and other emitters by requiring costly pollution controls.

    And let's hope that it is, indeed, a signal.
  • Some Constitutional scholars have weighed in (pdf) on the legality of a simple majority of Senators changing the filibuster rule, at the beginning of the next Congress:
    Despite the numerous precedents confirming a new Senate’s authority to change its rules by majority vote, some warn that disregarding the convention of supermajority approval will upend the Senate’s unique role as the more deliberative chamber, particularly sensitive to the rights of the minority. Such an objection misunderstands the appropriate role of the two-thirds rule, and the source of the Senate’s unique status.

    The two-thirds rule is constitutional to the extent that it ensures Senate procedures will not be manipulated during a legislative session to the detriment of the minority. As we have demonstrated, however, it would be unconstitutional to use the two-thirds rule to impose the procedural judgments of a past Senate on a newly-elected body. Moreover, it is the Constitution, not the Standing Rules that distinguishes the structure and representative nature of the Senate from that of the House. The length and staggered nature of Senate terms creates a membership that is more stable than that of the House. An individual must be older to run for the Senate than the House, ensuring a body with more senior and experienced members. And each state, no matter its size or population, has equal representation—two senators—in the upper chamber. These distinctive characteristics, not internal procedures, are the mechanisms that James Madison imagined would insulate democracy from the “fickleness and passion” of a majority that would seek to “oppress the minority.”

    As the 1959 and 1975 precedents confirm, changing a rule by a majority vote on the first day of a new Senate is consistent with the Senate’s tradition of judiciously revising its Rules when necessary for maintaining the path to deliberative and functional lawmaking. While Senates throughout history have invoked this authority sparingly, there is no question of the right to do so. Any determination to the contrary would be unconstitutional.

    The letter was signed by Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Norman Dorsen, Frederick I. and Grace A. Stokes Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Sanford V. Levinson, W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas Law School; Gerard N. Magliocca
    Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
    Law; Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Michael W. McConnell,
    Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, Stanford Law School; Burt Neuborne,
    Inez Milholland Professor of Civil Liberties, New York University School of Law, and Michael J. Perry, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law. Their institutional affiliations were listed for identification purposes only.
  • Charles Blow:

    Even if you believe, as most Americans do, that the Second Amendment grants Americans the right to bear arms, one must also acknowledge the right of other Americans to not bear arms and be safe.

    Where are the voices for those who choose not to — or are not old enough to — own guns? Are the gunless to have no advocate? Will our politicians forever cower before the gun lobby?

  • Brian Angliss has begun a series that already is a must read:
    Industrial climate disruption, aka climate change or global warming, is perhaps the most important issue that humanity has ever faced. Scientists have concluded based on an overwhelming amount of data and over a century of well established and verified science that humanity has probably never faced the kind of disruptions to our world that are coming as a result of our emissions of greenhouse gases. But there is small and vocal minority of people who reject the science and data underlying this conclusion, and in the United States those deniers have successfully convinced the bulk of the Republican party to act as if that science is wrong and doesn’t matter.

    Ever since I encountered my first example of a climate disruption denier I’ve wondered what kind of person could deny the reality that is industrial climate disruption. Over the years of writing on climate, however, it became clear that there were two groups of people who made up the majority of the serious deniers – libertarians and engineers of various stripes. As an electrical engineer myself, however, I didn’t understand how individuals trained in mathematics, science, and logic could fail to see glaring scientific, mathematical, physical, or logical flaws in their own arguments. Eventually, though, something clicked: most of the engineers I work with today and have worked with since earning my MSEE are either libertarians themselves or have some libertarian leanings.

    This is the first part of a series of posts exploring the personality traits and moral values of libertarians, engineers, and the relationship of those traits and values to the denial of industrial climate disruption.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The NRA just took down its FaceBook page (23+ / 0-)

    David Gregory said Meet the Press invited pro-gun members of congress to come on the show for balance, but they all were too chicken.  

    Pro-gun advocates are in full retreat.

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:02:29 PM PST

  •  Re Younge's piece (6+ / 0-)

    he missed the punchline so to speak - those who accuse others of playing politics are always, by definition, playing politics themselves.

    We know the WHs record on gun control - and it is not pretty. See todays Guardian article for details.

  •  re: "There are going to be other days for politics (8+ / 0-)

    This is a day for prayer and reflection."

    Is it possible to address problems in our country without the attempt to address them being viewed as "playing politics"?

  •  Plantary Obesity : (0+ / 0-)
    ... a net energy uptake of the earth system due to an imbalance in the energy budget.
    As with human obesity, due to excessive energy consumption, in this case of carbon-based fuels.  Unlike with human obesity, there are alternative, non-carbon-based fuels available.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:05:29 PM PST

  •  Bill Bennett on Meet the Press today is as much a (6+ / 0-)

    tool as ever. In effect saying can't do anything to stop gun proliferation. Logic seems to be can't totally remove them (and implicitly shouldn't) so pointless to do anything. Amazing restraint by Dyson, forced to sit next to him.

    Bloomberg earlier was most impressive. Of course he'll be ignored. 31 most gun loving senators all refused to be on the show.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:06:45 PM PST

    •  Boilerplate Conserv Response to Every Proposed Reg (5+ / 0-)

      on anything. Since no law will work 100% we must have no law.

      Now for their laws, like outlawing marijuana, it's ok even though the plant's become the nation's leading cash crop or has been at times under prohibition.

      --Just as long as we get to use the law to punish millions of people, doesn't matter that it goes almost completely ignored.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:27:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reminds me of the budget arguments: (0+ / 0-)

        Raising the top tax rate by 4.6% points would support the country's spending only for 8 days.

        You are so right Goose - if the entire problem can't be solved with one action, no sense in taking that action at all.  That seems to be the argument if any political action is proposed by the opposition to address a particular contentious situation.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:09:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  March on NRA headquarters in DC, tomorrow: (12+ / 0-)

    Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

    by jan4insight on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:06:46 PM PST

  •  When will we ever learn . . . (3+ / 0-)

    is what I call this post in which I examine all the mass shootings since Columbine.  I ask you to take a look.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:08:46 PM PST

  •  Excellent speech by an environmental biologist (4+ / 0-)

    A couple of things mentioned in the speech.

    1992 A Warning to Humanity about human effects on the biosphere. Signed by 1700 scientists including over half of Nobel Prize winners. Little action since then.

    2005 Millennium Eco System Assessment - a multi million dollar, multi year largest assessment ever, published and the next day the Pope died and that was the end of the coverage in the press.

    The speaker is David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist. He was awarded the Inamori Ethics prize at Case Western University and gave his acceptance speech on September 6, 2012. I drove form Columbus to Cleveland to hear the exceptional speech.

    The content of this speech is more important than what we heard during the elections, and yet ......

    Lots of introductory material and best to start at 26 minute mark.

    http://www.youtube.com/....

    Extra bonus link - the 1992 World's Scientists Warning to Humanity

    http://www.ucsusa.org/...

  •  Charles Blow rocks. That is all. /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, Laurence Lewis
  •  Victoria Soto (3+ / 0-)

    BEYOND WORTHY WHITE HOUSE PETITION! Award the Medal Of Freedom to Victoria Soto PLEASE SIGN.

    On Dec 14, 2012, in Newtown, CT, a gunman had taken the life of 27 innocent people, 20 of whom were children. Victoria Soto, 27, had presented the spirit of a warrior by attempting to get all of her students into a closet and shield her students from the shooter himself. With the students in the closet, Victoria Soto was fatally shot by the gunman protecting her children. Miss Victoria Soto not only showed bravery and courage beyond what is called upon by a teacher but displayed warrior spirit that is rarely even seen within our military itself. Her selfless and heroic act saved the lives of 10 students in her class. It is with this knowledge, I am requesting that Miss Soto be granted the highest award granted to a civilian, the Medal of Freedom

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

    155 SIGNED

    24,845 SIGNATURES NEEDED BY JANUARY 14, 2013 TO REACH GOAL OF 25,000

  •  And then you have the second species of denier (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, maryabein, Laurence Lewis, xgy2

    -- those who think that all that's necessary is to admit that climate change is human-caused and that the existing system will take care of it, nothing to see here, move along.

    "On the sidewalk the people are hustling and bustling/ They ain't got no time so they think on the thing/ That will fill in the space in between birth and death" -- Donovan Leitch

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:12:41 PM PST

    •  Specifically That the Economic System Will Do It (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus

      without the economy's government having to step on any important toes.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:30:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's fascinating (0+ / 0-)

      That the article points out the prevalence of people from the physical sciences, which typically take oversimplifying assumptions as a starting point, to feel comfortable launching critiques of science in which they are manifestly not qualified

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:49:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure I understood that (0+ / 0-)

        ??? The entire theory behind climate science comes from the physicals sciences.   Sure, there are a godawful lot of wingnut physicists out there (the Edward Teller  military types), but if you really want to understand the subject you will need to know some serious physics.  

        (I had some involvement in this work in the 80's measuring isotope ratios in CO2 and CH4 - to help trace the sources)

        •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

          but there's a lot more complexity involved in the study of a massive system like the climate than most physicists or engineers seem to understand.  That complexity cannot just be ignored as insignificant.

          It isn't to say that all physical scientists are that way, but the culture does seem to spin off a significant minority who go in for this.

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:15:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't get the point of blaming Carney. (6+ / 0-)

    As the President's spokesperson, any prepared statement - particularly on something major - that comes out of Carney's mouth was approved by the President.

    Now, given the tone that President Obama took in his speech personally, it is very likely that those words were chosen to allow the President room for nuance; but they remain the official words of the spokesperson.

    •  I get Carney being blamed. He foolishly used an (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, Eikyu Saha

      NRA talking point. At least he didn't say "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

      "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

      by TofG on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:26:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree and I don't think the term "asininity" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi

      ever entered the mind of any single parent of any single one of the 20 wee children who were murdered on the day Carney made that statement.

      "pissantery" however, did pop involuntarily into my mind just reading this diary

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:29:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  he has choices (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, Eikyu Saha

      he is responsible for the words he speaks.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:00:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm at a loss (4+ / 0-)

        as to your objections to what Jay Carney had to say in the White House press briefing, which started at 12:41 pm, quite awhile before any of us knew the full scope of the horror. The little cherrypicked remark was in response to a direct question. For your edification, here are excerpts from that presser, the entire transcript of which can be found on this site or here.

        Q    Jay, if I could ask about -- in connection with the shootings, yesterday and today, obviously tragic events.  Do these raise limiting handgun violence or other gun violence on the President's list of priorities in any way?

        MR. CARNEY: We're still waiting for more information about the incident in Connecticut. As we do, I think it's important on a day like today to view this as I know the President, as a father, does; and I, as a father, and others who are parents certainly do -- which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that were affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event.

        There is I'm sure -- will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don't think today is that day.

        ...

        Q    Law enforcement authorities are telling multiple media outlets that more than a dozen schoolchildren have been killed in this incident, and more than 20 people I think killed.  You seem shaken.  A lot of us here feel shaken.  Certainly there is something from the President’s response to this news that doesn’t confirm any details specifically, but just news reports that you could share with us that would allow us to understand his personal human reaction.

        MR. CARNEY:  Sure.  I appreciate the question, and I would just say that those news reports have come since I’ve come out here.  So I can’t confirm victims, and therefore, not being able to confirm victims, it’s hard for me to give you a reaction of the President to reports of victims, especially children.  I can just tell you that as a father, incidents like these weigh heavily on him, and I think everyone who has .  But I prefer to provide you more information once I have children can imagine the enormous suffering that accompanies an event like this, if you what you say is trueit and once we have confirmed some of the reports that you mention.

        Q    Should we expect the President to address it?

        MR. CARNEY:  I think it’s certainly possible if not likely that the President will have something to say.  I can’t tell you whether or not it’s -- depending on the reports that we’re hearing, whether it’s a statement, a written statement, or otherwise.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

        I just don't get the objection, in the context of the time and place. In my view, it was exactly the appropriate response.
        •  The objection is this: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis
          There is I'm sure -- will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don't think today is that day.
          When Carney says "today" he seems to mean "any time actual people are killed."  When Carney says "the usual Washington policy debates," he makes a life-and-death issue seem like the sort of thing that only wonks, eggheads and nutcases would involve themselves in.  
        •  for your edification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha, diffrntdrummr

          the moral response would have been:

          the day to have begun this discussion passed long ago.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:15:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, Carney is being blamed a great deal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConfusedSkyes

      all over this site, sometimes rabidly.  That people should expect him to spout policy before 1) the dead are even identified 2) the families have been notified  3) the facts are even slightly clear and 4) the President has had a chance to speak seems very odd to me.  He was clumsy in his wording, but he is not the policy maker.

      “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

      by SottoVoce on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:04:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Secretary of State - TeaParty/GOP idiots (3+ / 0-)

    Unless you really despise the U.S., you should be hoping for an early return to work for Sec. Clinton; Syria, Egypt, Israel, North Korea, are today's wildfires that she's been fighting. I know she's got the State Dept resources behind her but sometimes contact with the "boss" is essential.

    Why do the Republican Party mouth-pieces hate America?

  •  Thanks to everyone who recommended (4+ / 0-)

    that I switch from IE 9.0 to Firefox when I asked about it several days ago. Did it yesterday and things are faster and more reliable now. Not particularly crazy about its font-handling features but perhaps I'm missing something or need to install an add-on. Sorry Steve Ballmer, but some of your products really suck.

    Stuff I can now do with Firefox that I wasn't able to with IE 9.0:

    --Be able to use newly loaded pages within a second or two (used to have to wait 5-10 seconds)

    --See the current cursor position and be able to use arrow buttons in comments I'm writing

    --Get full comment box functionality instead of its stripped down version lacking markup buttons

    --No more script errors

    And this is just for DKos. Anyway, thanks again.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:29:25 PM PST

  •  I think anger at Carney is misplaced (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, sviscusi

    I understand the frustration with hearing "today is not the day" and then never having a conversation. That's a legitimate criticism. But I think you could cut him some slack considering he was giving a press conference, right as the tragedy was occurring.

    •  nope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day

      there was nothing right about what he said and plenty wrong.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:01:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with those who are objecting to (0+ / 0-)

        your (and many others') characterization of Carney.  I'd very much like to know what you believe he should have said in mid-crisis before the bodies were identified, the families notified, and the facts known, that would have satisfied you.

        You may recall there was a great deal of righteous uproar from the Right about Susan Rice's commentary--also mid-crisis--before the facts were completely know about Benghazi.  Do you also think she was "asinine?"

        “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

        by SottoVoce on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:10:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  he should have said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          diffrntdrummr

          that we have far too many of these horrors and we need to do something about it. he already knew that a maniac was shooting up a school. there weren't any more details necessary for the basic concept that we have a gun problem in this country. and i don't give a shit about right wing asshattery about benghazi. right wing assholes will be what they are, regardless of time, place and circumstance.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:18:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, but I'm giving (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi

    Jay Carney a break on this one.

    The dust hadn't settle.  We didn't know how many children were dead.  Parents were still waiting for news.  Confusion about the shooter.  

    And the media wants to know about gun laws.

    Yes.  YES, we need to talk about gun control.  NOW.

    Now.

    But not when the blood is still flowing at a chaotic scene.  He said something REALLY stupid, echoing the political "now is not the time".  It looked and sounded horrible.

    But I don't believe he was speaking for the White House, and I don't believe he was talking about continuing the cowardly rhetoric - I really think that he was talking about that moment, those first hours, not the general "now".  

    The President has totally whiffed on this one.  His policies (or lack thereof) when it comes to gun control are ridiculous, timid, anachronistic, extraordinarily lacking.

    But I'm giving Jay Carney a pass on this one.  Should the FIRST question be "what about gun laws", or should it be "how many children?  is the maniac on the loose?  Who is he?  Are the other children safe?"

    Is it "let's start a firestorm of rhetoric while parents still haven't identified their children's bodies"?  Frankly the assholes who want to talk about god in schools have said enough already.  

    I hope the President gets the fucking message though.  How many people have to die before anything is done?

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:30:32 PM PST

    •  we can do both (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, 714day, AaronInSanDiego, poco

      it would have been easy to say- right now our focus is on the victims, the families and friends, the first responders, but yes we need to discuss why these horrors keep happening here, and why we are so tragically unique among the developed nations.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:04:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suggest any meaningful action should start (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cat

        with respect, and a desire to gather as many allies as possible for gun control measures. You don't gain allies for your cause by criticism, blaming, insulting, and name-calling.
        Especially potential allies for the taking: many Democrats who don't identify with "activist," or "progressive."  

        Right now, today, there are people of all stripes who want to do something about gun control, including those who maybe "said the wrong thing on day one," including Jay Carney.

        Those of us who know anything about the mechanics of grief and grieving, those who have been in grief groups who have worked on loss of those close to us, know that grief comes first, then a kind of rational determination. The best discussions today came not from blaming, but a respectful discussion on how to proceed. I don't Dianne Feinstein was good this morning, by simply proposing a straightforward bill, while not assigning blame for any of this.

        In a very real sense, start by looking at ourselves. Is there a "strange and nerdy" kid we could reach out to? How are the mental health facilities in your community? Do you care about others enough to perhaps listen to a troubled youth? Do we just live in our own worlds?

        "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

        by Wildthumb on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:10:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  an adult conversation about guns will not happen (0+ / 0-)

    anytime soon.  

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:32:28 PM PST

  •  By the way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkbDIA, Laurence Lewis

    the EPA is kicking butt and taking names.  The soot thing is not a sign, it's one in a huge number of actions being taken to make our air and water safer.

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:33:01 PM PST

  •  As I predicted.... (7+ / 0-)

    Piece of worthless pig excrement Huckabee denies what he said the day before.

    Then doubles down on what he said the day  before.

    Huckabee's garbage here.

    This utter scum was a viable Presidential candidate.

    The GOP and False Noise must die.

    I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!

    by liberalagogo on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:36:04 PM PST

    •  The "tax funded abortion pill" is particularly (0+ / 0-)

      heinous, not to mention completely false.
      While he blathers on about how people ask where god is in such tragedies as Newtowns', they can at least rest assured that it would not be on Huckabee's lying tongue.

  •  Wish 99 other Senators had the guts to say this: (7+ / 0-)

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:58:20 PM PST

    •  My Senator i a very straightforward, committed and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge

      valuable Senator and will make a great VP and then POTUS.

      “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

      by SottoVoce on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Possible Million Kids March (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    being organized, perhaps by kids?

    Facebook page HERE

    Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." >www.okiciyap.yolasite.com<"

    by betson08 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:58:57 PM PST

  •  Good idea to talk gun control prior to election? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty

    Now is the best time to put on a full court press on gun control. It's tragic that it takes something like Newtown to galvanize the public to pressure politicians to do the right thing. But I part company with those who say that Obama should have made gun control an issue during his reelection campaign. At the time, a pro gun control Barack Hussain Obama probably would have lost Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia and the election to an NRA supported Mitt Romney. As sad as it is, now is the time for change. Not then.....

    •  nope, not a good idea (0+ / 0-)

      The prez had to get re-elected for the good of the many. It was his #1 responsibility to the nation.

      ...elst we would not have seen any assault weapons regulation for the next couple of decades, rest assured of that.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:02:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Hundreds of Shots" From Multiple Magazines Fired (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, 714day

    at the school, according to briefing that just finished. They have considerable information on motive but won't be making a definitive call until the investigation is complete.

    Seems like that will be quite a way into the future.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:01:50 PM PST

    •  Perhaps all such firearms (0+ / 0-)

      need to be fitted and retrofitted with GPS devices that would allow them to be tracked and disabled depending on location. If we can do this with cell phones, and in some cases with cars, why not guns?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:17:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  With hundred round clips available, (0+ / 0-)

      it didn't even take him too much time to keep his assault weapon continuously loaded.

  •  gun control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    The NRA is sadly too strong to lose the gun control fight--so let's try an end run--mandatory insurance on all guns.  Make the premiums high--make it that all victims get well compensated--make lack of insurance a felony with a minimum jail sentence--and a minimum fine.  Furthermore, all ammunition will have a sales tax of 200%.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:02:36 PM PST

  •  The Psychology of Libertarianism (3+ / 0-)

    That's what I would call the article by Brian Angliss, and Laurence is right.  If you are interested in political psychology, this is a must-read.  With references, even.  I'm impressed with the developments in this field of political science.  It goes a lot toward explaining political behavior, I think.  I look forward to more studies of this nature.

    •  Bruin Kid told us about the seminal findings (0+ / 0-)

      of the study and, in particular this baffling business about the common thread being "liberty" (i.e. the freedom to do as you wish) as the only moral good. As Libertarians roam the country in droves with such irrational underpinnings I find it difficult not to find it alarming that what I consider to be basic infantilism is considered a political "philosophy" at all. I'd agree that it's good that such business is being analyzed, however.

  •  I want MSNBC "Prison Porn" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    I never thought I'd beg for that.

    Really, it's going beyond the point of ridiculous. I know this is a big story, but MSNBC has gone way overboard. "BREAKING NEWS" is permanently pasted on the screen, whether there's anything breaking to talk about or not.

    The host just now asked his guest "I don't want to encourage you to speculate..." and then when on to encourage the guest to speculate. And the guest willingly did so.

    Then the following report was about the vast amount of misinformation that has been broadcast. Well yeah, you guys have been going on pretty much nonstop with every bit of rumour you can find, verified or not, so some of that misinformation broadcast has been by you.

    Weekend prison porn would be a welcome relief. Meanwhile I am turning the TV off anyway.

    Psst! Meet me at the Electoral College campus. The baggers will never find it!

    by lotac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:08:57 PM PST

    •  BREAKING NEWS: Cliff negotiations ongoing... (0+ / 0-)

      It really is a ridiculous abuse of the term as used these days. Can't wait till our screens are fully "digitized" to allow dynamic updates to different parts and layers of the screen that users have some control over. E.g. you'd be able to decide whether you want to see a ticker and if so which one.

      Of course, this will also mean the end of being able to DVR and FF recordings, since everything will be on demand and under the control of broadcasters. It will also mean on-screen ads that you can't easily block.

      BREAKING NEWS: Future technology to bring mixed benefits

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The inanity of the establishment media (3+ / 0-)

    I want to hurl something at the TV every time some media drone confidently and smugly asserts, as if they were predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow, that Social Security and Medicare need to be cut (meaning, at the benefit, not efficiency level), both because they're "going broke" and to reduce the deficit and debt. The level of idiocy and/or dishonesty in these statements, especially given how pervasive and established they are, is simply surreal.

    Surely most of the people making these assertions must know, on some level, given that they're regularly exposed to people much smarter than they, that this is nonsense, leading one to conclude that the reason they continue to make them anyway is likely out of career self-interest, because people who challenge what the establishment wants you to believe tend to be punished for it, and people who reinforce what the establishment wants you to believe tend to be rewarded for it, regardless of its underlying veracity.

    Still, it pisses me off to no end. I hate it when I get taken for a fool.

    /rant

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:14:33 PM PST

    •  I hate it when I get taken for a fool. (0+ / 0-)

      I hate it when other people assume they can take me for a fool.

      But I guess that's what you meant.... So I no longer listen to those people at all.

      Not having any TV reception anymore (out in the mountains) due to digital switch helps, actually.....

      So we have an arrangement: They can't try and take me for a fool, and I don't feel bad or angry.

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:42:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The NRA ought to be classified (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paddy999

    ..as a terrorist organization. Sick "Homeland Security" on them, since they're not really busy this minute.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:33:14 PM PST

  •  Six Year Terms are what make Senate deliberative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer

    NOT a supermajority - otherwise the framers would have put that supermajority in the Constitution, yes? The House and Senate make their own rules, and their rules are made by each individually-constituted Congress at the beginning of that Congress. January 1st is a new congress. End of story. No constitutional hand-wringing required.

    I don't remember seeing anything in the constitution about the filibuster, about single-Senator anonymous holds, or parliamentiary maneuvers designed to delay legislation.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:34:10 PM PST

  •  This exactly: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paddy999
    Despite Carney's gutless asininity...
    Gutless asininity indeed.

    Carney is seemingly as beholden to the NRA  interests as the most corrupt member of congress who funnels NRA money into their campaigns as fast as humanly possible.

    The time to start this discussion is now.  Fuck the folks who say that it's "politicization" to talk about this from every angle, strict control, licensing, background checks, mental health evaluations...everything.  

    There are 20 little kids whose devastated families will not be having a happy holiday season this year because our politicians are too beholden to the interests of the NRA and their bullshit 2nd Amendment arguments.  I suspect if you could travel back in time and tell the "Founding Fathers" that someone would take a 2nd Amendment-sanctioned weapon into a school and kill 20 children in a matter of minutes, they'd delete that shit so fast it would make your head spin...or at least rewrite it to make sure that gun ownership and well-regulated milita were more closely tied together.  

    We need to make it socially-unacceptable for CongressCritters to be seen with NRA lobbyists, to speak at NRA events or to belong to the NRA.  Their corrupting influence on our culture has gone on long enough, it's time for it to end.  And that applies to all the other organizations like the NRA, like the right-wing "Gun Owners of America".

    So, no Jay Carney, it's not too soon to start this discussion.  For 20 little kids, it's too late.  For America as a country it's almost too late.  

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:46:57 PM PST

  •  Looking for driving tips link (0+ / 0-)

    I think it is usually posted around Thanksgiving but I would like to email it to my son who is making a long road trip for the Holidays.

    I want big change in the gun licensing process.  Why don't we change certain things until something terrible happens?

  •  It is never a good time to talk about gun control. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer, Laurence Lewis

    Someone is always getting shot.

    There never will be a good time to take about gun control.

    We just have to talk about it when it is inconvenient.

    And while we are at it, let's talk about psychological testing for those who say they need a Bushmaster.  Why do you need a Bushmaster?

    Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

    by captainlaser on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:57:52 PM PST

  •  Solution in the short term: HIRE WAR VETS! (0+ / 0-)

    The U.S. can no longer treat these mass killings as isolated incidents. Teachers must be re-trained to identify potential troubled students, and students that fit the profile should have a legitmate and dignified course to rehabiliatation and normalization.

    But in the short term this crisis creates job opportunities for Afghan and Iraqi war vets.  Put a soldier in every public school, and employ them under national security not education.

  •  Let's hope Sec. of State Clinton's recovery (0+ / 0-)

    is quick...but not too quick. The timing of her concussion couldn't have been better. I'm not glad she had the accident, but if it were destined to happen it couldn't have happened at a better time.

  •  The NRA has to loose its tax exemption... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jazzence

    ...if they have one.

    They are an arm (or vice versa) of the GOP.

    This website nails them;

    http://www.meetthenra.org/

     

    ...but today its leaders are defined by unsavory conduct and the advancement of extreme, anti-government ideology.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:08:30 PM PST

  •  Somehow when the shoe is on the other foot… (0+ / 0-)

    and an armed civilian stops a crime (does happen), we never hear that's a bad time to politicize firearms. That's the time we hear how an arsenal of military-grade weapons is our salvation.

    For more, Hullaballoo and Talking Points Memo on the transformation of gun culture from sport to tactical defense against the (colored) hordes of looters who will ravage the upcoming Mad Max America. How ironic that Newton's first victim was afraid of the mob but OK with her long-known-to-be weird son.

    (I will say that besides flat-out racism, I do feel the surge in crime in the 1970s and 80s had a lot to do with "personal defense" as a reason for gun ownership. But the persistence of this belief with crime down everywhere comes from an advertising campaign aimed at the lizard brains of the Romney constituency.)

  •  If not now, when? (0+ / 0-)

    My take regards the national Post Traumatic Stress Response to these tragedies. It will happen again... and again until something in our collective consciousness gathers the courage to do the right thing. Its not just about guns, it is about influence.
    The first thing to do is remove the influence of lobbyists and "Associations" from the congress and senate.
    The second is to make elections fair. Stop the efforts that disenfranchise "the other."
    Gerrymandering to create "safe" districts should be against the law. But that along with term limits will be very difficult to implement.
    anticorruptionact.org is a good place to start.

    The intransigence of the firearm manufacturers and retailers will cause their own demise. What about "well-regulated militia" do they not get?

    anticorruptionact.org

  •  Brian Angliss (0+ / 0-)

    Liberty as the only moral good

    According to Iyer et al, libertarians really have only a single moral good – freedom from restrictions on their actions, or what Iyer et al call “negative” liberty. This differs from the more common “positive” liberty in that positive liberty means having the opportunity to pursue one’s own interests. In terms that many Americans are familiar with, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances described in the First Amendment of the US Constitution is a form of positive liberty, while having the freedom to do anything you want so long as it doesn’t interfere with the right of others to do the same is a form of negative liberty.

    What I have highlighted is what I personally believe. What I don't understand is how anyone that follows this belief could not equate harming the planet with interfering with other's rights. Certainly, living is a right.
    To disreguard the facts of the situation is tantamount to becoming the man who would lie when the truth would save him, and that is what I'm getting here. A convienient rearranging of their so-called belief through denial for personal indulgence.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:35:24 PM PST

  •  DK Quilt Guild Service Projects & Diary (0+ / 0-)

    DK Quilt Guild Diary will be available Sunday approx. 3pm  (Pacific).  

    DK Quilt Guild: A place for quilters to gather, share ideas, projects, and to make the world a better place, one quilt at a time. Join us and share your thoughts, projects, questions, and tips. Quilters here are at many different levels of skill. Beginners and non-quilters are welcome, too.
    Friends: May Our Children Do Better Than We Did~ &nbsp;Dr. Susan Walen

    Friends: May Our Children Do Better Than We Did Quilt by Dr. Susan Walen from PIQF XX Show

    The DK Quilt Guild has several cool quilt service projects that support our Veterans, Okiciyap Food Pantry, and NFTT Community. Each project will be promoted within Daily Kos Quilt Guild Diaries.  If anyone is interested & need more info please contact either SaraR (Veteran Wheelchair Quilts), glorificus or Melanie in IA (Okiciyap Block & NFTT Community Block).

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:36:30 PM PST

  •  The whole thing (0+ / 0-)

    comes to this: If we as a nation want things that are important to us we will have to take the initiative. That is called Grassroots. Equal rights, Vietnam were not solved by politicians. Politicians were pushed by the masses who protested ,pamphleteered and eventually made themselves heard loud and clear. The politicians,even those who are pro gun live in communities that are sick and tired of gun violence. So why is it that these "honorable" lawmakers are deaf to their constituents  plea? Money, and lots of it, that is delivered by the gun lobby for this hard working owned and operated "tools" of the industry to carry water for them. Nothing will happen if we as a country seat and wait for a politician, any politician, to work for the common good.

  •  About this Senate being the more deliberative (0+ / 0-)

    chamber, well, what a load of BS.  Who give a rip.  The simple majority should cut the filibuster down to size so the government can function again.  This is another fine example of extra-constitutional clap trap.

    A little more than 100 years ago the British finally managed to defang the House of Lords which had up until then been blocking every type of social legislation meant to improve the lives of working people.  If we can make the Senate productive again, maybe we can avoid doing something more severe.

    I do think we should amend the Constitution and go to at least a unicameral legislature if not a full parliamentary system.

  •  I can get behind this. (0+ / 0-)

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 03:27:33 PM PST

  •  Charles Blow. (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:34:47 PM PST

  •  Bob Costas Comment (0+ / 0-)

    No one is nay saying Bob Costas now.  He caught hell from a lot of people.  He still makes sense today.

    Pam Bennett -6.95 -7.50

    by Pam Bennett on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:39:48 PM PST

  •  Another shooting in Seattle last night. (0+ / 0-)

    Just another routine drive-by shooting.  Only one dead.  Nothing to get exited about.  Now please move on sir.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:53:26 PM PST

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