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Norm Ornstein, co-author of Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem comes up with another interesting observation:
What if Boehner doesn’t survive? Go to Article I, Section 2: The Constitution does not say that the speaker of the House has to be a member of the House. In fact, the House can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the post. Every speaker has been a representative from the majority party. But these days, the old pattern clearly is not working.
Added: Charles Pierce:
I have to confess, I didn't know that you didn't have to be an elected member of the House to be its Speaker. While interesting, I think it's rather like the fact that, theoretically, any baptized Catholic male can be elected pope. (IIRC, the last layman to be elected pope was Callixtus III, who became pope in 1455. He was a Borgia, and was a lawyer by trade. Strike two. Anyway, one of the great unfounded rumors in papal history is that Callixtus excommunicated Halley's Comet. He actually did order a new trial for Joan Of Arc, at which she was posthumously acquitted, which seems a shame.) Nobody outside of the House is going to get this job any more than the Holy Spirit is likely to move the next conclave to select Andrew Sullivan or, well, me, even though I already have a name picked out. I'm going to be Lando II.
h/t to Demi Moaned for the link.

Et tu, Frank Luntz?

Pollster Frank Luntz, who has studied attitudes about gun control, said on Wednesday that he doesn’t “think the NRA is listening” to the American public in the wake of the massacre of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

“The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “And they are not asking for a security official or someone else. I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think they understand most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. At gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there without any kind of check whatsoever.”

Jonathan Capehart:
There is something wrong when someone gets his or her point across by flashing a gun. Thankfully, that’s all that happened that day at FreedomWorks. That [professional jerk Dick] Armey would countenance such gross intimidation of his employees is loathsome. But there is justice of a sort. Armey was marched out of his role in the Washington-based group six days after his appalling stunt. Unfortunately, he was paid $8 million to go away.
NEJM:
The United States has become an extreme example of what could well be termed “global gunning.” With less than 5% of the world's population, we own more than 40% of all the firearms that are in civilians' hands: 250 million to 300 million weapons, nearly as many as we have people, and they are not going away anytime soon. We have made social and policy decisions that, with some important exceptions, provide the widest possible array of firearms to the widest possible array of people, for use under the widest possible array of conditions.

The most egregious policies have been enacted at the state level — “Stand Your Ground” laws, for instance, which have been used to legitimize what many people still call murder. Justice Louis Brandeis rightly praised the states as the laboratories of our democracy, but in some of them, experimentation with firearm policy has taken a frightening turn.

We are paying the price of those decisions. Too often, our children and grandchildren are paying it for us. Payments will continue. Can we do anything to reduce them? I believe the answer is yes.

Read on for some common sense suggestions.

Linda Greenhouse:

There has been plenty written about the National Rifle Association in recent days. But nothing that I’ve seen has focused on the gun lobby’s increasingly pernicious role in judicial confirmations. So here’s a little story.
Politico:
Nearly all the major players in the fiscal cliff negotiations are starting to agree on one thing: A deal is virtually impossible before the New Year.
Unlike the bank bailout in 2008, the tax deal in 2010 and the debt ceiling in 2011, the Senate almost certainly won’t swoop in and help sidestep a potential economic calamity, senior officials in both parties predicted on Wednesday.
Not surprising. Republicans will only vote for a tax cut after Jan 3, not the same exact policy in December, when it cannot be called that. This is a direct result of Republicans having no clue how to govern. They exist only to gain power for themselves, not to use it for the common good. And yes, it is a one-sided, one-party problem.

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Comment Preferences

  •  wanting to drown something in the bathtub does not (17+ / 0-)

    show particular respect for that thing, does it?

    Coming Attraction: "Tea Party II - now with more stupid!"

    by memofromturner on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:37:17 AM PST

  •  Frank Luntz said this? (12+ / 0-)

    “The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “And they are not asking for a security official or someone else. I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think they understand most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. At gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there without any kind of check whatsoever.”

    isn't this considered treason in Republican circles?

    America...where we fight over who can be allowed to have a marriage license but don't give a shit about who can have an assault rifle.

    by dear occupant on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:43:01 AM PST

  •  Republicans ARE the problem. I am tired of the (20+ / 0-)

    "both sides" BULLSHIT because it has NEVER been "both sides".

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:43:53 AM PST

  •  Charles Pierce's response to Norm Ornstein (14+ / 0-)

    From yesterday:

    I have to confess, I didn't know that you didn't have to be an elected member of the House to be its Speaker. While interesting, I think it's rather like the fact that, theoretically, any baptized Catholic male can be elected pope. (IIRC, the last layman to be elected pope was Callixtus III, who became pope in 1455. He was a Borgia, and was a lawyer by trade. Strike two. Anyway, one of the great unfounded rumors in papal history is that Callixtus excommunicated Halley's Comet. He actually did order a new trial for Joan Of Arc, at which she was posthumously acquitted, which seems a shame.) Nobody outside of the House is going to get this job any more than the Holy Spirit is likely to move the next conclave to select Andrew Sullivan or, well, me, even though I already have a name picked out. I'm going to be Lando II.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:44:17 AM PST

    •  brilliant! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Demi Moaned, skohayes, Larsstephens

      thanks!!

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:02:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another GREAT Charlie quote re. Mittster (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird, prettygirlxoxoxo

        Good Lord Charlie has a wonderful mastery of words.....here discussing Tagg Romney's recent revelation that his father really didn't WANT to be President:

        If he could have found someone else to take his place... he would have been ecstatic to step aside...(Willard) is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them. He loves his country, but he doesn't love the attention."

        Now, ever since this quote hit the papers, young Tagg has been the subject of much mockery and ridicule, and suggestions that he join that nice Mr. Aesop in the Produce section, over by the grapes. It has been hinted that Tagg has the same largely accidental relationship with the truth that his father so vividly demonstrated over the five years in which he pursued the job he really didn't want anyway. I choose to believe Tagg Romney entirely. Willard Romney didn't want to be president. Willard Romney expected to be president, and that was his real undoing.

        It has been years, probably, since Willard had to go to all the emotional fuss and bother of actually wanting something. If there was something that caught his eye -- a slow-moving company's fat pension fund, a nice house in La Jolla, the governor's office in Massachusetts -- there would be a deal to be struck and whatever it was that should be his would be his.

        This is not a man who tolerates disappointment well, not because he burns with ambition and avarice -- although he profited for years from very effective simulacrums of ambition and avarice --but, rather, because he rarely has experienced disappointment in his life. He does not want. He expects...

        Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

        by dweb8231 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:48:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  True but (0+ / 0-)

      The house doesn't have to pick a republican either.

      They can pick whoever they want, and maybe some of the GOP would rather have pelosi back.

      That would leave a mark.

    •  stolen and posted (3+ / 0-)

      with a hat tip.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:12:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get a lot of vicarious mojo from Charles Pierce (15+ / 0-)

        ... but then he's so consistently madcap that I just want to share the joy.

        For example, here he is on Dick Armey's much-reported escapade from last September:

        Dick Armey walks into the Wingnut Welfare equivalent of NORAD, and he brings along an "aide" who's packing, and he walks out with eight million bucks? You do that at a Gas 'n Sip and walk out with $50 in quarters and you do 10 years. The rich are different from you and me. Many of them are morons.
        And here he is on Tagg Romney:
        Now, ever since this quote hit the papers, young Tagg has been the subject of much mockery and ridicule, and suggestions that he join that nice Mr. Aesop in the Produce section, over by the grapes. It has been hinted that Tagg has the same largely accidental relationship with the truth that his father so vividly demonstrated over the five years in which he pursued the job he really didn't want anyway. I choose to believe Tagg Romney entirely. Willard Romney didn't want to be president. Willard Romney expected to be president, and that was his real undoing.
        He was on a roll yesterday.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:23:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You gotta ask yourself.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snazzzybird, Demi Moaned

          What did Dick Armey know and threaten to reveal that enabled him to walk out the door of Freedom Works with eight million bucks of Mr. Stephenson's ill-gotten gains locked up?  It musta been a real doozy.  

          And I'll betcha dollars to donuts, Mr. Stephenson isn't going to be going to court to try and get his money back.  Testifying under oath is NOT something he ever wants to do.

          Anybody who has gotten their cancer "treated" at one of Mr. Stephenson's "clinics" might want to ask themselves how much of THEIR money has gone into his pockets.....so much that he can blithely pay out $12 million to try and save Joe Walsh's fanny and still pay off Mr. Armey with another $8 million.

          Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

          by dweb8231 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:52:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  House Goopers better get back and 'look' like they (6+ / 0-)

    are busy...otherwise...it's pinata time.

  •  How would Huntsman help anything? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, skohayes

    Something about a nonelected person being appointed Speaker bothers me. And there's nothing special about that guy.  Just another Republican.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:45:32 AM PST

  •  Like the Mayan Apocalypse the Fiscal Cliff (7+ / 0-)

    will pass and a week from Friday that silly phrase will be history.  Fortunately, a week from Friday Conrad, Lieberman, Ben Nelson will also be history and the Dems in the Senate will have some new spine.  I'll  take Warren, Murphy, and Baldwin any day for those three.  In this case, no deal in 2012 is a good deal as I see it.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:46:11 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singe, ratcityreprobate, Bob Friend

      that still doesn't help us, as any bill has to pass the House.
      We will definitely be in a better negotiating position after the new year. Plus, I would like to show people that this "fiscal cliff" stuff was nonsense all along, screeching and handwaving from the same people who have been complaining about the threat of "runaway inflation".

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:04:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate

      but am not clever enough to create so hope one of you graphics people can:

      A chart that breaks down the "fiscal cliff" into its component parts, and then it can get updated as each piece is addressed. I get lost easily, and these are actually discreet pieces. It's not likely to get resolved in one big swoop, and some of the pieces are ones we want to keep.

      Here's the beginning of a list:

      1. end of the 2% reduction in FICA/Medicare withholding, which returns to 6.2% of gross pay (up to the wage cap, then just the Medicare portion) instead of 4.2%.  (Is Obama even arguing to extend this? I don't think so.)

      2. end of the Bush tax cuts that Obama/Congress extended once --
           2a. return to Clinton-era rates for everyone @ or below 200,000 (single)/250,000 MFJ (NO WE DON"T WANT) -- the bill the Senate has already passed.
           2b. return to Clinton-era rates for everyone above 200,000/250,000 (LET IT HAPPEN PLEASE)

      3. one-year fix for Alternative Minimum Tax, as they've done every year to avoid the hit from the AMT not being indexed for inflation (Was fix done for 2012 tax year? or are we waiting for that as well as 2013?)

      4. The "sequester" cuts from the debt ceiling extortion
            4a. the domestic program cuts (WE DON"T WANT)
            4b. the "defense" and war-making cuts (I'd like to keep those, others may disagree)

      5. renewal of extended unemployment benefits (how many weeks are we at now?)

      6. something about lower Medicare? Medicaid? reimbursement rates for providers that are supposed to go into effect -- I don't understand these or know if they're a good idea or not.

      7. the new debt ceiling thingy that Geitner just announced (here we go again).

      8. Preventing the GOP from going after the SS COLA or anything else related to SS and Medicare, which actually aren't in crisis and are red herrings (but may be the actual goal of their crisis-mongering).

      •  That is a good start, but I'm sure there are (0+ / 0-)

        more.  You are correct that it is confusing trying to put it all together.

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:33:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Found a coherent explanation (0+ / 0-)

        from the Washington Post, a month ago -- with dollar figures and everything, in easy-to-read FAQ format.

        They do not, suprisingly, include the estate tax reverting to pre-Bush ($1 million exclusion, 55% rate, credit for state taxes which means 30 states start getting revenue again).

        They propose, as I would, that the various pieces can be dealt with separately.

  •  And about the Courts (8+ / 0-)

    Linda Greenhouse's article about the NRA and judicial nominations explains exactly why the filibuster has to be put back to the way it was in 1960.  It's appalling that this is what's been scuttling nominations.  I wonder if the NRA was responsible for Goodwin Liu as well.

    -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:54:19 AM PST

  •  If Obama would just give the GOP every thing it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad

    wants......then we wouldn't be having these silly problems....What is the matter with this guy?

  •  Re: fiscal cliff (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, JML9999, bigforkgirl, Laconic Lib

    If repubs manage to avoid a vote on taxes until Jan. 3, they'll have come within a hair's breadth of total calamity. An effective vote to affirmatively raise taxes, even if just for millionaires, would have been a death blow to the Reagan coalition. Should they hold out till Jan. 3, they will have survived to fight another day, though their coalition is on its last legs as is plainly obvious to any reasoned observer.

  •  Happy Birthday Joan McCarter (15+ / 0-)

    I saw it was her birthday on facebook this morning.
    I hope your day goes the way you want it to.

  •  Hmm.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    that's all

  •  ? this doesn't seem like a good idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    Re: Politico.

    And then President Barack Obama will need to give far more on cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security in order to get some GOP cooperation on tax rate hikes, Republican officials say.
    Because the President cares about people who are on SS and Medicare and we don't - at some point shouldn't the Republicans quit proving that they heart millionaires & don't give a shit about the middle class? Very weird strategy considering the most recent election.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:01:09 AM PST

    •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, skohayes, Laconic Lib

      He doesn't have to give anything after jan 1. Taxes will already have gone up for everybody.

      At that point, they'll be voting for a tax cut, not an increase. And if they don't pass something, people will notice a decrease in their take home pay, with those making the most seeing the biggest decrease. Remember, the bush tax cuts were tilted in favor of the rich.

      They'll also see cap gains taxes go up.

      But if the congress passes tax cuts for the 98%, and makes it retroactive, when you do your taxes in 2014 you won't notice much of anything - but the rich sure as hell will. Just in time for the 2014 elections.

      All of which will be the fault of the GOP, and will be remembered as such, because Obama and the dems will point it out every chance they get.

      Today's GOP is really horrid at this timing thing.

      •  He still needs the House. (0+ / 0-)

        He has to get unemployment compensation back. He wants the cuts on income below $250K. He needs the debt ceiling lifted. He wants the spending cuts from the sequester reversed or at least limited.
        Don't kid yourself that the Republicans won't have any leverage.

        Even just for the tax cuts, he needs Boehner to bring a bill cutting just Middle Class taxes to the floor. If Boehner just puts forward a bill with all the cuts, the House will pass that claim the ball is back in the Democrat's court.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:00:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Republican officials say" (3+ / 0-)

      They're in LaLa land, those guys.
      They think that despite the fact that every single poll out there says a majority of Americans want taxes to go up on incomes over $250K, they have an obligation to protect the money boys, because that is their donor class.
      Keep protecting those people, Republicans, you're doing a great job (especially when they interiview multi-millionaires on TV complaining about a 3% rise in their taxes- boohoo).

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:30:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ezra's map shows mostly suicides, which is a (0+ / 0-)

    horrible tragic event, and it's a reflection on our society that so many choose that route, especially older middle aged men. I mean it's horrid that anyone would kill themselves but it seems that the demographic that chooses that option most often is men at about the age of 50.

    I saw statistics yesterday that correlated unemployment with suicide. Horrendous.

    Mostly though when people think of gun violence they think of homicide, and that map doesn't reflect homicide.

    Firearm homicide is not a state problem, it's a city problem. Urban. I've no idea why people in urban areas kill each other so often but the numbers are staggering. Well, urban and suburban, and even exurban. More than laws or state of residence.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:03:45 AM PST

    •  where do the guns come from? (6+ / 0-)

      not urban areas. You can't help DC without dealing with VA.

      That's what makes it a national problem.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:09:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes a national problem, but Ezra's map shows state (0+ / 0-)

        by state "deaths due to injury due to firearm" so I'd assume making and posting the map was meant to show some sort of state trend.

        Suicide and homicide occur in different places on a per hundred thousand basis. If I didn't know that I'd think the portions of the map that had high gun deaths were full of homicidal maniacs whereas the opposite is true.

        We can't begin to help our violent cities and suburbs until they admit they have a problem.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:53:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  by the way (0+ / 0-)

      the NEJM is excellent.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:09:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have you been to Warrensburg, MO? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      It's hardly 'city' or 'Urban' as you call places where you imply the problem of firearm homicide exists.  

      Warrensburg isn't suburban or exurban either.  It's just a place, like many others, that lost one of their own to firearm homicide.  

      I love the smell of sulfur in the morning! -- Babs Bush

      by Theden on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:16:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not sure what's up with Warresburg (0+ / 0-)

        if someone you know passed away there I"m sorry for your loss.

        It's true urban areas have statistically much higher homicide and rural have much higher suicide rates (from firearm).

        It's true across the country.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:33:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You obviously don't understand the basic info... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      The map isn't "mostly suicides". The suicides included are not all suicides (there are other methods of suicide than firearms) and the deaths are not all suicides. Age here is entirely irrelevant. So is employment status and whatever unspecified statistics you've seen. What "people think" is irrelevant also.  

      Homicide is a personal problem.  Where you are when shot and who shoots you would seem unimportant to most if not all gunshot victims who die. (just ask any dead victim.)

      The rest of your message makes no sense whatsoever.

      You just don't seem to have any helpful ideas here...

  •  Worth a look for a cautionary tale: (9+ / 0-)

    "The high cost of disengagement" by Walter Pincus. Considering

    Iraq and Afghanistan are the first U.S. wars in which the American public was not asked to pay a cent in additional taxes.
    and the public was stampeded into the Iraq fiasco and fleeced in an ill begotten proxy hunt for the enemy and a massive nation building effort in Afghanistan we have
    The United States has spent nearly $600 billion over the past 10 years putting combat forces into Afghanistan. Now it’s going to cost an additional $5.7 billion over the next year or two just to transfer or return most of the troops and equipment we shipped into that country, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
    and
    Meanwhile, the Defense Department estimates that the military services have more than 750,000 major items worth more than $36 billion in Afghanistan, including about 50,000 vehicles and more than 90,000 shipping containers of materiel, according to the GAO report.
    That does not count the lives lost and the lifelong cost to the individual and nation of the wounded. War is a last resort. Getting into one on a credit card and flag waving drum beating without thought of the real cost always has really, really bad results compounding the expected terrible ones.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:10:24 AM PST

  •  US Deaths 2009 (0+ / 0-)

    Heart disease: 599,413
    Cancer: 567,628
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021
    Alzheimer's disease: 79,003
    Diabetes: 68,705
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935
    Firearm homicides: 9199

    •  Firearm suicides? I'd like to know the stats on (0+ / 0-)

      those

      •  Firearm suicides 15,000 plus, each year (4+ / 0-)

        So since Congress passed the NRA bill to prohibit the CDC from researching gun violence prevention in 1997, 427,000 Americans have died from gunshot wound, including more than 165,000 from homicide.  For perspective, 4586 Americans have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Additionally, about 2500 Americans die per year from gunshot wounds that were "unintentional," for example a brother shoots and kills his baby sister because an adult left a loaded handgun lying around the house.  (figures from CDC Web based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System: Fatal Injury Data.  December 14, 2012),   The Accidents humber cited by Boris49 should include the latter number above.  

    •  yes, and the point of that is what? (4+ / 0-)

      certainly an emphasis on health reform.

      firearms deaths are sudden, take the young and shatter families and communities, not just the victim. The impact is way bigger than the numbers.

      Current ratio is 27,000 to 28 at a minimum.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:19:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The statistics speak for themselves. You don't (0+ / 0-)

        need me to interpret them for you.

        •  they don't, really (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, Loge, Laconic Lib, thomask, snazzzybird

          they are just numbers and say little.

          As a physician, they mean a little more to me than most, but still say nothing about prevention, impact, cost or anything else that has something to do with the human condition, let alone politics and budgeting.

          The heart disease number is most important because of implications for life style. The cancer numbers scream out for evidence based analysis on screening.

          If, otoh, you are trying to say that firearms deaths aren't important because they are a smaller number than the others, well, I'm a Newtown CT resident, and you can frame the response accordingly.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:42:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry to hear of your closeness to that tragedy. (0+ / 0-)

            I guess it is a matter of perspective.  5 children die every day from abuse or neglect.  200 children are sexually molested each day.

            Newtown was a horrific crime.  But, statistically, it is a relatively isolated occurrence.

            If we are to put resources in play as a result of Newtown, I wonder what might take a back seat.

            If I'm 5 times as likely to die from nephrotic conditions (I don't know, I'm not a student of biology), and those conditions persist in the US population year to year, it would seem it should receive a higher priority.

            Perhaps the syllogism is too mundane, but that's how I see it.

            •  doesn't work that way (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Boris49, bear83, Loge, toys, Laconic Lib, thomask

              if nephrotic conditions can be prevented, and it affects the young, put resources there. if it can't and affects only the old, then don't.

              That's the entire point of evidence based medicine. it's necessary for health reform, because it's necessary to understand both the problem and the solution..

              The implication here is that firearms deaths can be reduced if not prevented  (read the NEJM article i posted, it's excellent, and suggests some things that can be done based on CA law).

              it is not just a matter of numbers, even though mass murders are relatively rare. Gun deaths are decreasing, mass murders are increasing. Do something about it And look at gun violence overall, since there are more suicides than homicides.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:01:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Those aren't statistics (4+ / 0-)

          that is a list of numbers(cancer and heart disease accounted for 47% of all deaths in 2009).

          For statistics, you want to compare similar things- like the number of gun deaths per 100,000 people. Then you get a more realistic picture:

          United States – 11,127 (3.601/100,000)
          Germany – 381 (0.466/100,000)
          France – 255 (0.389/100,000)
          Canada – 165 (0.484/100,000)
          United Kingdom – 68 (0.109/100,000)
          Australia – 65 (0.292/100,000)
          Japan – 39 (0.030/100,000)

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:52:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, a number of differences there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Forest Deva, Laconic Lib

      For one, there are large numbers of people actively trying to fix those other problems, while very little is being done to address firearm homicides. In fact, firearm homicides seems to be unique in having a large, well-funded group dedicated to denying it is a problem at all.

      You don't see the American Heart Association, for instance, insisting that the way to address heart disease is to eat more fast food and get less exercise. They acknowledge that the easy availability and prevalence of high-fat foods is as much a problem as humans' propensity to eat those foods.

      It's also generally recognized in medicine that its possible to work one more than one problem at once.  For instance, you don't generally see oncologists posting on blogs insisting that Alzheimer's Disease research is a waste of time, or that those deaths are insignificant. Consequently, they're recognized as serious people working hard to make the world a better place, rather than a bunch of self-absorbed jackasses lacking in empathy and perspective.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:39:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many of the accidents are guns? (0+ / 0-)

      My understanding is that this is actually how many (most?) gun deaths happen, whether it's children playing, hunters who mistake their hunting buddy for a deer, people cleaning the gun with a bullet in the chamber, etc. etc.

  •  cliff and control (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigforkgirl, skohayes, bear83, snazzzybird

    Most often missed by the media--and by kossacks-- is that the cliff (raising taxes) and gun control are not moveable positions for most Rs.  Those are the 2 issues, along with racist immigration rants, that bankrolled them.  Also, most of the R congress members are drawn from extremist groups--and really believe guns protect and taxes must be eliminated unless the proceeds go directly to them.  These are not pragmatists, not true patriots--these "leaders" want to see the "beast" starve--to them, the cliff is the beginning of a new era of prosperity.  They ignore science, economics, sociology, political science, and the words of Christ.  Put another way--they are demons--insane, uncompromising pricks.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:17:59 AM PST

    •  They end up looking like demons, but IMO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      they are simply ignorant and stubborn to a fault..

      Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

      by Desert Rose on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:23:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  doubt it (0+ / 0-)

        Most are smarter than W Bush--not saying much, but they did not get to their present position by having an influential daddy.  They are smart enough to know better--they are closed minded because of selfishness--as are their supporters.  Same motivation as Nazis--watered down Hitler youth.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:28:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're really not (5+ / 0-)

          that smart. My representative is Tim Huelskamp, one of the most stubborn TP congressman- same guy who voted against Paul Ryan's budget because it didn't go far enough.
          He just got kicked off the Agriculture and Budget committees in the House because of it.
          Dumb as a box of rocks because he resides within the right wing echo chamber of Fox News and right wing radio. The rare times when he sticks his head up and shows up on MSNBC (on Scarborough), he gets decapitated.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:00:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They got to their positions through gerrymandering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          and the R after their name.  The voters who put them there are even dumber than they are.  They know Lindsay Lohan, but not the name of their congressman.

          Regardless of what motivates their behavior, ignorance or evil, they are a huge problem.

          The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

          When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

          http://articles.washingtonpost.com/...

          Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

          by Desert Rose on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:22:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Off topic, but I'm going to keep posting this (0+ / 0-)

    until I get an answer.  Why is a pro-Republican election diary on the Community Spotlight?

    •  you have to understand a bit about DKE (6+ / 0-)

      it's what happened when Swing State blog was absorbed. That blog had a few Rs and indies who were there for the election analysis and not the policy. There was and is nothing like it on the right.

      When it was absorbed and became Daily Kos Elections (DKE), some posters came over with it.

      What's rewarded there is analysis, and policy is politely ignored.

      That's your answer. You don't have to like it, but that's your answer.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:30:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Norm Ornstein (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    has lost his mind if he thinks the Republicans are going to think outside the box.
    For the last 30 years, it's been a trudge up the ladder of political success into more visible positions within the party, until the dream of the old white man is achieved (running for president).
    They might replace Boehner (and I almost wish they'd get someone like Louie Goehmer to take his place), but next in line is Cantor.
    As it has been, so it shall ever be.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:25:31 AM PST

    •  still, you can't read ornstein or listen to KagroX (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Laconic Lib

      and not learn something. Ornstein's observation is worth its weight in gold just for Pierce's response.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen to that (0+ / 0-)

        I love reading the opinions of sensible Republicans. They're so few and far between, it's like a refreshing breath of fresh air.
        I hardly ever agree with them, but at least we can have a sensible discussion.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:03:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I see AZ is dark red. No surprise. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Laconic Lib

    Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

    by Desert Rose on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:26:41 AM PST

  •  OMG then Gomert was right!?! (0+ / 0-)

    when he nominated Newt for Speaker?

    ... like tears in rain

    by bladerunner on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:33:08 AM PST

  •  Best News Bloopers 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Laconic Lib

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:33:12 AM PST

  •  This House GOP - elect a non-member as Speaker? (4+ / 0-)

    No sentient person -- not the wildest and craziest uber-Progressive zealot (assuming there are any of us) thinks this GOP-controlled House ... the one that brought the nation NO votes - not a "No" vote; NO votes whatever! - as the clock winds down on the Fiscal Cliff or tax relief for almost all of us ... would choose a non-member of the House.

    The House's crazy, anti-governmental, gun-studded Tea Party zealots can certainly block others, if not prevail on their own. If Boehner goes, they will not approve anyone reasonable much less a non-member or worse, a Democrat.

    These people simply are not reasonable. They get elected from increasingly safe districts with loads of super-Pac and lobbyist money, and they don't care about anything more complicated than smaller government and lower taxes. Oh, yeah, and guns, guns, guns.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:55:26 AM PST

  •  Guns out of the schools? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    Guns ARE out of the schools.

    OK, here in Chicagoland, that ain't necessarily the case, but they're as out of the schools as the law, the cops, and a big array of metal detectors can make them.

    I realize that the NRA Big Yap wants to put cops in every school -- again, have you been to Chicago? -- but all this talk seems to be confusing things.  Newtown was not about guns in schools.  Newtown was about somebody who had guns and some twisted motivation choosing a school as the target of his evil mechanations.

    Yeah, it was a school.
    Could have been a shopping mall.
    Could have been a football game.

    The issue is some head case running out and shooting up a bunch of people.  The fact that they were mostly young children makes the case especially poignant, but doesn't change the fundamentals of the problem.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:24:22 AM PST

    •  read the NEJM for some common sense approaches (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Laconic Lib

      that's a great link, CA is, as is often the case leading the way, and their application seems to do some good.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:37:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Simultaneously good and disappointing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin

        Some good suggestions on controlling firearms sales.

        And -- come on -- if I sell a car privately I've got to transfer the title, the thing has to registered, etc,etc.  I have to leave a paper trail.

        That can't be done with guns?
        Of course it can.

        Here's the disappointing part:

        Reasonable laws will help.
        They will save lives.
        The number of shootings and shooting victims will go down.
        And Americans will still kill each other at rates far above other developed nations.

        Of all commentators, NEJM is one that I would expect to ask the additional questions: Why in the hell are Americans so hell-bent on killing eash other?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:59:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wild west culture (0+ / 0-)

          no easy fix there.

          But also this:

          http://psychcentral.com/...

          Although many of the law’s provisions will take years to fully implement, this is Psych Central’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act, as it pertains to mental health care:

          Mental health care will become more accessible to more people.With the passage of the federal mental health parity law a few years ago, many (but not all) insurers were required to treat mental disorders with the same coverage limits as any other disease or health concern. While this has helped many people obtain needed treatment without having to jump through as many insurance company hoops, it hasn’t really mattered much to the poor — who didn’t have insurance coverage in the first place.
          With more people obtaining either private insurance or joining an expanded Medicaid program, the bet is that more people who have inexpensive access to mental health treatment.

          People won’t be denied coverage based upon their pre-existing condition.This is huge for many people with mental health concerns. Changing employers or insurance providers often meant having to pretend that a pre-existing psychiatric diagnosis didn’t exist. The new law says that you can’t discriminate against a person because of a pre-existing condition. This means that more people will get the care they need and have it covered by their insurance plan.
          It also means an insurance plan can’t cancel your coverage for a pre-existing condition, something that was problematic for many in the past.

          People will get better overall care.The law is designed to help increase incentives to physicians and other health and mental health professionals to look after people across the entire continuum of care — holistically, not just Patient X presenting with Z symptoms. It’s also focused on preventative care, which can help keep a person out of the hospital.
          Research suggests that this sort of integrated, coordinated care is ultimately beneficial to the patient. It can help catch health issues before they become more serious concerns. It can also ensure that if a person gets a life-threatening diagnosis, they’re also seen by a professional for their emotional health needs.

          Medication coverage gap in Medicare remains filled.If you’re a senior and enrolled in Medicare, the law has already helped save on your prescriptions. With the high cost of many psychiatric prescriptions, the law helped cut the amount a person pays for their name-brand drugs by half when they were in the “donut hole” (between $2,930 and $4,700 in total prescription costs).

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 05:03:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Former Speaker Dick Armey could be a contender (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83

    for the new Speaker if they oust Boener. Now that would shake things up.

  •  Why couldn't the democrats agree to vote with (0+ / 0-)

    a "semi-sane" GOP moderate contingent to elect a moderate GOP speaker (if there is such a person)?

  •  Speaker of the House of Commons (0+ / 0-)

    While the Constitution doesn't require explicitly that the Speaker be a member, the word is drawn from ancient British practice (13th Century). In the British tradition, the speaker is elected from the ranks. Obviously, there are many differences between our Speaker and theirs, but the starting point for ours is theirs, so any and all differences have to be made explicitly. So, since it nowhere says in so many words that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is not required to be a member, the historical British tradition would prevail: the Speaker must be a member of the House.

  •  Ohio (0+ / 0-)

    Wonder what gives there? It's polluted with guns and the rate is low there?

  •  The problem with "laboratories of democracy".... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, snazzzybird

    ....is that in many red states, they're being run by the likes of Dr. Frankenstein. Though it's questionable whether the likes of Jan Brewer or Rick Perry could ever qualify for the doctor part.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:19:38 AM PST

  •  Most understated thought of the day awarded to (0+ / 0-)

    Charles Pierce:

    He actually did order a new trial for Joan Of Arc, at which she was posthumously acquitted, which seems a shame.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:43:27 AM PST

  •  The upside for the rethugs on the expiration of (0+ / 0-)

    the tax cuts for the rich is that nobody can accuse them of cutting taxes. After Jan 1, if they negotiate a deal clawing back some bucks for the rich then they are continuing to serve their donors and Grover Norquist.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:59:04 AM PST

  •  This House Speaker Conversation is a Red Herring (0+ / 0-)

    The real reason for gridlock is not Boehner. The real reason fo the gridlock is the Koch brothers willingness to primary any Repub who doesn't vote the Koch Party line - no taxes, period.

    It doesn't matter who becomes the House Speaker.

  •  Stop. (0+ / 0-)

    They will nominate Grover Norquist to be speaker.

    Don't go there.

    Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

    by captainlaser on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:27:23 PM PST

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