Posts Tagged ‘gail

15
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Gail Collins (NYT): …. Every country has a sizable contingent of mentally ill citizens. We’re the one that gives them the technological power to play god. This is all about guns – access to guns and the ever-increasing firepower of guns. Over the past few years we’ve seen one shooting after another in which the killer was wielding weapons holding 30, 50, 100 bullets. I’m tired of hearing …. that the founding fathers specifically wanted to make sure Americans retained their right to carry rifles capable of mowing down dozens of people in a couple of minutes.

….. We will undoubtedly have arguments about whether tougher regulation on gun sales or extra bullet capacity would have made a difference in Connecticut. In a way it doesn’t matter. America needs to tackle gun violence because we need to redefine who we are. We have come to regard ourselves – and the world has come to regard us – as a country that’s so gun happy that the right to traffic freely in the most obscene quantities of weapons is regarded as far more precious than an American’s right to health care or a good education.

We have to make ourselves better. Otherwise, the story from Connecticut is too unspeakable to bear…..

Full article here

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Josh Marshall (TPM): …. I generally have no interest in writing things that amount to counsels of despair or suggestions that there’s no possible solution. But I have a hard time not doing that in this case….

… there are some 300 million guns in the US. Just under half the population owns a firearm. Let’s assume some truly radical shift in public opinion in the country and new regulations and laws get that number down to 200 million. What does that accomplish exactly?

…. I’m hearing a lot of people saying we need to talk about guns, restart that conversation. And I agree, at least in the abstract. But what exactly are we talking about? And how we propose to get from here to there? How do we make our country less of a moral embarrassment.

…. I’m not trying to stop the discussion. I want to start it. But I’m looking for some guidance on how it can be about more than words.

Full post here

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Gregory Gibson (NYT): MY wife and I learned about the Connecticut school shootings on our way home from the cemetery, where we had just finished observing the 20th anniversary of our son’s murder. Our son Galen, who was 18, and a teacher were killed on Dec. 14, 1992, by a deranged student who went on a shooting rampage …

In the wake of Galen’s murder, I wrote a book about the shooting. In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. Gun control … inexplicably became a third-rail issue for politicians.

I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be. We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it….

…. Children will continue to pay for a freedom their elders enjoy.

Full article here

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Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): ….. The fetishistic devotion to “gun rights” among the NRA and its supporters lead inexorably to tragedies like [yesterday's]. When it’s easier to legally purchase a gun than to legally acquire a driver’s license, it’s way past time to step back and consider a nation’s priorities.

…. Among gun rights advocates, the 2nd Amendment has become a totem with no meaning, a dead letter. They focus on half of the bill, ignoring that bearing arms was a conditional right, written into the Constitution for a republic that did not plan on having a large standing army, where militia units would make up a large part of its armed strength during any war, and thus citizens had to have the means to participate.

…. The NRA is one of the most influential lobbies in the country, with influence among both Republicans and Democrats. The only hope to counter it and neuter it is a mass movement of people who answer those who bray about their right to own guns with the even more emphatic response that we have a right not to be shot. Until that happens, events like [yesterday's] will be repeated at a sadly regular clip.

Full post here

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Charles Blow (NYT): …. How many more deaths and mass shootings will it take for Washington to begin to lead the country in a deeper conversation about sensible gun controls? What will it take for our politicians to take firm and principled positions on gun policies and stand up to the gun lobby in this country? Surely this is a moment that calls all of us to reckoning.

…. while gun control advocates grow more quiet, the gun lobby grows stronger and louder ….. “For gun rights groups, 2012 was the most active election cycle since 2000. They contributed a total of $3 million to candidates, 96 percent of them Republicans.” ….

…. 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?

Full article here

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From Cagle

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Morning everyone.

31
Aug
12

Even More This & That

DemConvention.com: The first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Obama and Vice President Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for President and Vice President on Thursday, September 6 at Bank of America Stadium. Sign up now for your chance to attend this event. The convention committee will unveil additional convention program details and speakers in the coming days.

Speakers:

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin * Congressman Xavier Becerra of California * Newark Mayor Cory Booker * Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina * Former President Jimmy Carter (via video) * San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro * Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee * Congresswoman Judy Chu of California * Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri * Former President Bill Clinton * Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina * Former Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist * Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter Dalton * The Honorable Arne Duncan * Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado * Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth * U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois * Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland * Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel * Georgetown Law School Graduate Sandra Fluke * Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx * Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts * Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt * Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm * Congressman Charlie Gonzalez of Texas * U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina * California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris * Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper * Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland * Former Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt * DCCC Chairman Congressman Steve Israel of New York * Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau * Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine * Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (ret.) * Congressman John Larson of Connecticut * Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California * Congressman John Lewis of Georgia * CarMax co-founder and former CEO Austin Ligon * President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan * Caroline Kennedy * U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts * Women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter * Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria * Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy * Delaware Governor Jack Markell * Boston Mayor Tom Menino * The Honorable Karen Mills * U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington * Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter * U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland * Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley * Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also lead a presentation of the women of the House: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii * California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez * Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado * Congressman David Price of North Carolina * Illinois Governor Pat Quinn * Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada * President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards * Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak * The Honorable Ken Salazar * Journalist Cristina Saralegui * U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York * Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer * The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius * Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal * Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland * Congressman Chris Van Hollen * Los Angeles Mayor, Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa * The Honorable Tom Vilsack * Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren * DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida * Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina

;-)

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Click to read the rest of the post

09
Feb
12

rise and shine

Time: The number of people seeking unemployment aid fell to nearly a four-year low last week, an encouraging sign of continued improvement in the job market.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000. That’s the second-lowest level since April 2008.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 366,250, the lowest since late April 2008.

The figures come a week after the government reported that employers added 243,000 net jobs last month. That pushed the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent, the lowest in nearly three years.

When applications fall consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

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Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks, and most analysts expected this morning’s report to show an uptick in filings.

The good news is, that didn’t happen. The better news is, initial jobless claims have reached one of the lowest levels we’ve seen in four years.

….. here’s the chart, showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007 (see above)

More here

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Ezra Klein

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Nick Baumann (Mother Jones): President Barack Obama’s decision to require most employers to cover birth control and insurers to offer it at no cost has created a firestorm of controversy. But the central mandate — that most employers have to cover preventative care for women — has been law for over a decade. This point has been completely lost in the current controversy, as Republican presidential candidates and social conservatives claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church.

Despite the longstanding precedent, “no one screamed” until now, said Sara Rosenbaum, a health law expert at George Washington University.

More here

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Link – thanks rikyrah

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Gail Collins (NYT): ….. This new rule on contraceptive coverage is part of the health care reform law …. The churches themselves don’t have to provide contraceptive coverage. Neither do organizations that are closely tied to a religion’s doctrinal mission. We are talking about places like hospitals and universities that rely heavily on government money and hire people from outside the faith.

We are arguing about whether women who do not agree with the church position, or who are often not even Catholic, should be denied health care coverage that everyone else gets because their employer has a religious objection to it. If so, what happens if an employer belongs to a religion that forbids certain types of blood transfusions? Or disapproves of any medical intervention to interfere with the working of God on the human body?

Organized religion thrives in this country, so the system we’ve worked out seems to be serving it pretty well. Religions don’t get to force their particular dogma on the larger public. The government, in return, protects the right of every religion to make its case heard.

More here

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Romney’s network of influence could make a real difference in the policies that matter to all of us. Get the word out, and share this infographic with everyone you know – click here

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Steve Benen: …. the Conservative Political Action Conference will get underway in Washington today, and will feature a cavalcade of Republican leaders and prominent far-right voices…. ….. every member of the Republican congressional leadership and each of the leading GOP presidential candidates  will be on hand to shamelessly pander to the right-wing audience.

But they’re not the only ones who’ll be part of CPAC 2012: ….. CPAC is hosting the panel “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” with Peter Brimelow, the founder and head of VDARE.com. VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers….

When BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray asked CPAC organizers if they would renounce Brimelow’s participation at the conference, they chose not to.

More here

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Rasmussen?!?!?! :shock:

Rasmussen: Voter confidence in President Obama’s handling of the economy is at its highest level in a year’s time. That’s in line with the recent upticks in overall economic confidence and in Obama’s job approval ratings as measured by the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the president’s performance in the economic area as good or excellent – That’s up from 36% a week ago and is the highest positive finding since the first week in February 2011.

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Nick Anderson

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Morning everyone ;-)

19
Aug
11

perry’s painful popover …. “it’s like george w bush on steroids”

Protesters stand outside Popovers on the Square as Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns inside August 18, 2011 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

ABC: …. What Perry may not have loved, however, is the treatment he received just 24-hours later at a meet-and-greet stop in this picturesque Seacoast town where he encountered about two-dozen protesters who shouted at him, held signs with slogans like “Another Texas idiot for sale,” and followed him into a cafe to yell some more.

The protesters, some of whom were senior citizens and members of the New Hampshire Alliance For Retired American gathered on a sidewalk more than an hour before Perry arrived at the event….

As the presidential candidate from Texas walked into a local restaurant, Popovers on the Square, he was forced to shake hands with voters amid shouts of “Hands off Social Security and Medicare!” and “You’re a threat to America” from the anti-Perry forces who gathered just a few feet away from him….

Inside the café, Gail Mitchell (a small-business owner from Barrington) and a companion grilled him: “You said Social Security was unconstitutional.”

“Social Security’s going to be there for those folks,” Perry answered his inquisitors, making reference to the elderly.

“But you said Social Security is unconstitutional,” Mitchell repeated.

“I don’t think I – I’m sorry, you must have,” Perry said before stopping himself.

Instead of elaborating, Perry stuffed a generous piece of popover in his mouth. (Perry called them “pop ups.”)

“I’ve got a big mouthful,” Perry said and then ordering a glass of water. He later tripped over one of the women standing at his side pressing him on Social Security.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Perry said to her.

In an interview with Newsweek last year, Perry was asked about his opinion on the constitutionality of programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term ‘general welfare’ in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care,” Perry said in the interview. “What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. I stand very clear on that. From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that’s what those states decided to do.”

At a house party in New Hampshire last Saturday, Perry referred to Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.

More here

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Steve Benen: When a candidate would rather stuff food in his mouth than answer an important question, it’s safe to say he considers the issue politically problematic.

Later, Ray Sullivan a Perry campaign spokesperson, told reporters he’s “never heard” the governor question the constitutionality of Social Security.

Sullivan may be the only one.

As for Perry’s reluctance to stand by his own positions, what happened to the swagger, Rick? Folks want to know if you stand by what you said about Social Security. You’re not going to let polls and a bunch of aides tell you what to think, are you?

Full post here

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Washington Post: Newly-minted presidential candidate Rick Perry got a taste Thursday of the rough-and-tumble nature of presidential politics, with protesters dogging him on the campaign trail, demanding to know whether he thinks Social Security is unconstitutional and begging him to follow through on threats of Texas seceding.

Nearly two dozen hecklers greeted the Texas governor with signs saying, “Ricky Go Home” and “Seniors Say NO to Ricky.” As Perry prepared for a meet-and-greet at a cafe downtown, they began chanting, “Hands off Social Security and Medicare.”

“He’s appealing to the tea party,” said Larry Drake, a retired federal worker and Democrat who said he came Thursday to show his opposition to the Republican governor. “It’s like George W. Bush on steroids.”

…A man shouted, “Please secede,” referring to comments Perry has made about Texas leaving the United States because of what he considered encroachment by the federal government. Perry ignored them with a tight smile.




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