While the issue of gun control remains divisive, there are clear areas of agreement when it comes to a number of gun policy proposals. Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, with broad support across party lines.AP:
But this bipartisan consensus breaks down when it comes to other proposals. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) favor creating a federal database to track gun sales, but there is a wide partisan divide between Democrats (84%) and Republicans (49%). A smaller majority of the public (55%) favors a ban on assault-style weapons; Democrats (69%) also are far more likely than Republicans (44%) to support this. Similar partisan divides exist when it comes to banning high-capacity ammunition clips or the sale of ammunition online.
Jumping out ahead of Washington, New York enacted the nation's toughest gun restrictions Tuesday and the first since the Connecticut school shooting, including an expanded assault-weapon ban and mandatory background checks for buying ammunition.Rest of the country like CT, MD, CO where proposals are on the table? How about those Pew (In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support) and ABC/WaPo (After Newtown Shootings, Most Back Some Gun Controls, Poll Shows) polls? How about ME (Poll finds support for guns – as well as limits – in Maine) and NJ (Gun control finds support in N.J., according to latest poll)?
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law less than an hour after it won final passage in the Legislature, with supporters hailing it as a model for the nation and gun-rights activists condemning it as a knee-jerk piece of legislation that won't make anyone safer and is too extreme to win support in the rest of the country.
My advice for the president as someone who reads polls: go for it, if it's what you want to do. There is much discussion that acting by executive order would be seen as a "totalitarian" action and provoke a backlash. Nonsense, so long as the order is supporting a measure the public favors.NY Times:
A new federal assault weapons ban and background checks of all gun buyers, which President Obama is expected to propose on Wednesday, might have done little to prevent the massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month. The semiautomatic rifle that Adam Lanza used to shoot 20 schoolchildren and 6 adults complied with Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, the police said, and he did not buy the gun himself.It's a package. No one thing matters by itself. But the NY state bill and these proposals are a big loss for the NRA. See the first line in the next post.
But another proposal that Mr. Obama is expected to make could well have slowed Mr. Lanza’s rampage: banning high-capacity magazines, like the 30-round magazines that the police said Mr. Lanza used, which have been factors in several other recent mass shootings.
In a high-stakes negotiation, the most important moves often come not in the end game but at the very start, when one side or the other prevails in defining what is on the table. If you listened closely, you might have heard President Obama try to do just that in his news conference on Monday, when he suggested that Washington will have tamed the government’s debt problems if the two parties can agree on another $1.5 trillion or so in spending cuts and tax increases.WaPo:
Fiscal hawks and small-government conservatives say the White House is setting the bar for fiscal responsibility way too low and just kicking the can down the road again on hard decisions that will only become more painful as time goes by. But Mr. Obama appeared intent on establishing that he was just one more deal away from putting the government back on sound footing, if only Republicans would go along.
Davidson, a retired software developer in South Carolina, has been predicting for four years that hardcore anti-Obama agitation would dissipate, but it keeps going, driven, he believes, by anti-black sentiment. “I’ve seen more openly racist remarks since the election,” he says. “Before November, they were careful to control the racist language because they were trying to persuade people to vote against him. Now they sort of don’t care.”Daily Beast:
From almost the moment Barack Obama named Chuck Hagel to helm the Defense Department, the media announced Hagel faced a tough battle for his Senate confirmation, hinging on the voices and, eventually, votes of New York's delegation. Sen. Chuck Schumer led the way, repeatedly expressing concerns about Hagel's Mideast positions, followed by his junior colleague Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The two Democrats were even targeted today in a full-page ad in the New York Times by Bill Kristol's far-right Emergency Committee for Israel urging a 'no' vote. But the timing of the ad—which can run as much as $150,000—was ill-fated: Today, Schumer came out in support of Hagel. Gillibrand, too, is not poised to buck the president on his defense pick. And with 55 Democrats in the Senate set to fall in line, only a few of Hagel's fellow Republicans will need to be peeled off to block a filibuster—a possibility that sources say is not even being discussed by Republicans on the Hill.Eugene Robinson:
Obama flatly ruled out two scenarios that have been proposed as ways for him to raise the debt limit without approval by Congress — invoking an obscure clause in the 14th Amendment or, more fancifully, minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin. “There are no magic tricks here,” he said. “There are no loopholes. There are no easy outs.”Matthew Herper/Forbes:
But he did appear to leave one door slightly ajar. Raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with future spending; it merely provides the funds for expenditures Congress has already approved. Obama noted that if Congress fails to act, it will have given him two conflicting orders: Spend a specific amount of money on specific programs, but do not obtain the funds to make this spending possible. Some scholars have suggested that Obama just declare the instruction to spend outweighs the instruction not to borrow, and then let the Supreme Court eventually sort things out.
A Vaccine Eliminated A Deadly Killer Of Infants. So Why Do Some People Fear It?Michael Tomasky:
This tweet, which arrived midafternoon yesterday from the redoubtable @LOLGOP, really does say it all: “The GOP is rebranding itself from a party that accidentally blows up the world economy to one that purposely blows up the world economy.” How quaint today seem George W. Bush and his economic minions, with their endearing good intentions! We learn now from Politico that the current crop is ready to take the country, and the world, down to the gates of hell. Many of them have now passed the point of wanting to get their way. On some twisted level, they want not to get their way—to blow up the building just to see what happens.