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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Senate’

Background checks on potential purchasers of firearms went down in flames today.   The bill that was defeated by a 54-46 vote in the U.S. Senate was already badly hobbled when both an assault weapons ban and a ban on high capacity magazines were removed.  Polls have indicated that 90% of Americans agree with legislation that would keep military-style weapons and the accoutrements out of the hands of individuals who might use them to unleash more  Newtown, Columbine,  Tucson, Aurora, and Virginia Tech mass shootings and serial murders like the D.C. area sniper attacks.

Gun control loses: No expanded background checks

By ALAN FRAM

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

Senate Republicans backed by a small band of rural-state Democrats scuttled the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades Wednesday, rejecting tighter background checks for buyers and a ban on assault weapons as they spurned pleas from families of victims of last winter’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

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Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has let forth with a stinging op-ed in today’s New York Times.

Op-Ed Contributor

A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip

SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.

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What these senators faced was not fear.  Those killed in these massacres knew fear.  Parents who send their children off to inner city schools know fear.  Those cheering at the finish line at the Boston marathon faced fear, and before you think I am confounding things,  Lawrence O’Donnell reported tonight that the defeat of this legislation effectively blocked the FBI from obtaining evidence related to “taggants” in the gunpowder in the home-made  bombs used there.

Senators Manchin and Toomey, who co-authored the legislation,  are both gun owners and NRA members with A ratings from the organization.  Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, are also gun owners and members of the NRA.  Yet these 46 senators voted against this legislation for “fear” of the gun lobby. These senators are cowards.

So, what is it going to take?  What do these senators need in order to hear 90% of the American public?  Do they have the woodman’s tin ear – and no heart?

Or would giving them a medal help?

Maybe they just need this.  Ba-Bye!

These are the reasons.

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Elizabeth Warren Out: Report

IT’S OVER

Harry Hamburg, File / AP Photo

Elizabeth Warren Out: Report

There’s no better way to ruin a weekend than having somebody replace you at work. President Obama has reportedly chosen his nominee for chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it’s not early favorite Elizabeth Warren, a source told Bloomberg News Friday.

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Why do I have a nagging thought at the back of my head that this announcement, coming at this particular time, is inextricably tied to conversations going on behind closed doors at the White House between the Republicans and the erstwhile POTUS?

Did I require yet ANOTHER reason not to support Barack Obama for any additional time leading from behind?  No!  Leading from behind whom?  My guess, from behind the GOP!

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So it is a snow day,  and I was using the time for pointless leisure activities rather than doing anything that really NEEDS to be done simply because I am tired,  and I really needed this break.  Idly checking on my news feeds I happened upon several linking to this Fox News story:

Gridlock in Congress Hurts Obama’s Global Image, Clinton Says

Since it is a snow day, I am able to surf over to CSPAN and watch as the Republicans vote in a solid NAY on an intelligence programs resolution.  That is a fact, not an opinion, and Secretary Clinton’s testimony regarding the overseas perception of such party-line intransigence is very probably accurate since she spends so much of her time either overseas or dealing with foreign governments from here.  It seems reasonable that her statements are accurate.  But that is not why we are here.  We are here because of this picture, which I saved and filed yesterday from her Senate testimony.

When I filed it, I did so as “02-24-10-5” under the file rubric “HRC/Secretary_of_State/2010.” (I have resolved to be far more organized and assiduous this year than I was last year.)  Running across the picture in the Fox News story, I right-clicked to “save as” and saw that I already had the picture, so did not need to save it again.  But then something caught my eye – Fox’s file name for the picture.  Get a load of this!

foxnews.com/static/managed/img/Politics/clinton_hillary_022410_monster_397x224.jpg

(Don’t just take my word for this.  Click on my picture and look at the URL in your navigation bar, then click on the fox news picture and look at that URL,  please do this before I ever hear or read another word about how harmless and OK they are – including their new,  female acquisition.)

WHAT?  What is that word after the date?   Ooooohhhhhh!!!!!!!  I get it!  With their all-American-girl mouthpiece now esconced over there along with Huckabee, Fox is the official channel of the GOP mid-term election (with a running start toward 2012), and we are back to empty name-calling.  Excuse me, “monster?”   What?

If you had a chance to watch the Secretary of State before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee and the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, you saw the prototypical HRC performance.  Flawless, speedy, thorough, delivery of facts and rationales/arguments for budgetary revisions for 2011, broad and deep knowledge of the issues, and, as usual, consistency with NO hemming and hawing.  Does THIS a “monster” make?

Performances like that on the Senate floor and on the campaign trail, those facts, so well organized in a steel-trap mind spitting out like machine-gun fire almost before the question was complete were what caused me to label HRC “scary-smart.”  But I did not mean “scary” in a negative way.  I meant that her mind accessed information faster than my computer can.  And,  God knows, after eight years of George W. Bush, I was (still am) very hungry for scary-smart that knows the answer without hesitation or prompting.  Let me say here, before I am called on it, it was not simply the delivery that won me, of course.  It was also the content of the answers.

I said all of the above in order to frame the purpose of this post: Fox News, the Homegirls are putting you on notice.  Mind your p’s and q’s.  We are watching.  Even if you bury your name-calling, we will find it! When we do, we will expose it.  We will not respond in kind, but as for the candidates you promote and your own personnel, we will not hesitate to label them truthfully, not with silly, indefinable names, but with accurate descriptors.

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