Schumer, McCain agree that legislation regulating guns will be back.
L.A. Times: Two top senators predicted Thursday that gun legislation will come up again for a Senate vote – possibly before the end of the year – as public attitudes shift toward stricter controls.
Their assessment comes after the defeat last week of a widely popular bipartisan background check measure that was drafted in response to the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., after a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people, mostly children.
“I think we’re going to bring this bill back before the end of the year and I think you may find some changes,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a chief backer of the bill, at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “Lots of senators who thought it was safe to vote against it” he said, “are not so sure any more” because of changing attitudes.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a key Republican backer of the measure who spoke at the same event, concurred. “I do agree with Chuck. I think the issue is going to come back,” he said.
McCain said Congress needs to address specific aspects of gun violence that were not covered in the bill, including “the issue of crazy people who do terrible things,” as he noted the mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado and in Tucson in his home state of Arizona.
OK, so McCain’s comment that “the issue of crazy people who do terrible things” wasn’t covered in the legislation is just straight up horseshit. The bill would’ve expanded background checks, which is how you see to it people who have been ruled unfit to own firearms don’t get their hands on firearms. If McCain — or any gun freak — can come up with another way to keep guns out the hands of these individuals, I’d love to hear it. Because it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to see who can and can’t legally own a firearm without checking.
But the good news is that this isn’t over. And it won’t be over if this next bill fails. It won’t be over if the next bill passes, but is pointlessly weak. This isn’t over until we win.
Four senators may have signed on to a gun background check deal Wednesday, but only two showed up for the news conference — in part because Sen. Patrick J. Toomey’s public support for the bill hinged on not having to stand next to Sen. Charles E. Schumer.
Roll Call, quoted at Political Wire.
Kinda dickish, don’t you think?
In the name of low taxes for the wealthy, they have lionized an inherently unpatriotic person.
GOP called out for economic sabotage.
Are Republican lawmakers deliberately stalling the economic recovery to hurt President Barack Obama’s re-election chances? Some top Democrats say yes, pointing to GOP stances on the debt limit and other issues that they claim are causing unnecessary economic anxiety and retarding growth.
The latest Democratic complaint came after House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that when Congress raises the nation’s borrowing cap in early 2013, he will again insist on big spending cuts to offset the increase. Boehner, R-Ohio, continues to reject higher tax rates, which Democrats demand from the wealthy.
That led Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to say Boehner is virtually assuring another debt-ceiling crisis as bad or worse than the one that shook financial markets nine months ago.
“The last thing the country needs is a rerun of last summer’s debacle that nearly brought down our economy,” Schumer said in a statement. In an interview, Schumer added: “I hope that the speaker is not doing this because he doesn’t want to see the economy improve, because what he said will certainly rattle the markets.”
Looking back at the House since 2010, it’s hard not to believe Schumer’s right. Nearly every economic bill House GOP has passed amounts to an attack on consumer demand — these Republican ideas couldn’t screw the economy up more if they tried. So is it that the GOP are trying — or are they just hopelessly clueless and incompetent?
Either way, the result is the same.
Stories to Watch: 10/12/11
Looks like our autumn heat wave is finally over. I grilled burger in the drizzle last night, but damn it, I grilled burgers. Now here’s the news…
Herman Cain opens up a strong lead over Mitt Romney in a Public Policy Polling poll, with Rick Perry falling behind — yes, it’s true — Newt Gringrich. Bonus fun; the poll also finds that about 40% of GOP voters are still birthers. The crazy never ends with these people.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll contradicts PPP, with Mittens in the lead, while somebody called Evolving Strategies has Cain, Perry, and Romney leading Obama. Don’t get too excited about any of this; recall that a recent Pew poll showed that more than half can’t even name a GOP candidate off the top of their heads.
Matt Taibbi has some good advice for Occupy Wall Street. My favorite, demanding a round of good old-fashioned trust busting. Too big to fail = too big to exist.
The idea that Republicans are deliberately trying to sabotage the economy is beginning to look like the Democratic Party line.
President Obama’s Jobs Bill is extremely popular, complete with raising taxes on the wealthy.
Chuck Schumer’s not-so-awful plan to take on the GOP in ‘12; run against the Tea Party, who are becoming less popular every day.
More trouble in the UK for Rupert.
Warren Buffet puts his money where his mouth is.
Finally, New Hampshire ponders a December primary. How about we keep these things to the same year as the elections, OK? This is just getting stupid.
Can Democrats Blow the Upcoming Payroll Tax Fight?
It’s hard to see how Democrats could lose this one — at least, in a PR sense. As Democrats prepare a push to extend a payroll tax break, Republicans oppose it. All of a sudden, tax breaks add to the deficit. They didn’t used to, but they do now. Republicans are consistent only in their disregard for logical consistency. When the tax cuts benefit the very rich, they don’t add to the deficit. When they don’t… Well, that’s a different story. And, of course, there’s the fact that President Obama is for extending these particular cuts, which — by the reactionary reasoning of the party — means they must be bad.
New York Times:
It is hard to find a tax cut that Congressional Republicans dislike. Unless it is a tax cut pushed by President Obama.
In a turning of the tax policy tables, Democrats are increasingly hammering on Republicans who oppose the president’s proposal to extend for a year a payroll tax cut passed last year with bipartisan support.
That tax cut — which reduces workers’ contributions to Social Security this year to 4.2 percent of wages, from 6.2 percent — expires in December. The White House would like to extend it for another year. But Republicans in Congress are balking, arguing that such a cut adds needlessly to the nation’s budget deficit, and should be replaced with an overhaul of tax policy instead.
“All tax relief is not created equal,” a spokesperson for Eric Cantor said. “If the goal is job creation, Leader Cantor has long believed that there are better ways to grow the economy and create jobs than temporary payroll tax relief.”
And, of course, Cantor is right. There are better ways. The problem is, he doesn’t like those any better. What Eric Cantor likes is continuing an economic policy that has now been failing to create jobs for a decade. the supply-side, trickle-down, fairy tale economics rule the day in today’s GOP. It hasn’t been working, it won’t ever work, and cultic Republican belief in it is what’s keeping congress from getting anything done.
Which brings me to this:
Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.
The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes — anathema to the GOP — just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.
So raising taxes on working people to help fund tax cuts for the rich? That’s really not going to fly. And Democrats are planning to force a vote on the extension in the fall. “One way or another, there will be a vote on extending these tax cuts,” says Chuck Schumer, “if [Republicans] oppose it they are for tax cuts for the rich but not for the middle class.” Greg Sargent describes Democrats as “giddy… about the politics of the payroll tax cut fight.” Even if they lose, it’s fodder for campaign ads in 2012; “Rep. X voted against tax cuts for working families, so he could help pay for the tax cuts his big money donors demanded. Call Rep. X. Ask him why he won’t protect working families like yours.”
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Democrats can screw up even a gimme. Maybe President Obama will continue his brilliant strategy of working to end fights rather than to win them. Maybe Senate Blue Dogs will break ranks and run to the Republicans’ defense. Whatever the route to defeat, it’s extremely possible that Democrats will find it.
Which means it’s up to us. When the battle heats up, the pressure has to come from the bottom. We have to flip the party hierarchy and make it clear to dems that they work for us, not vice versa. We have to bang phones and write letters and do the work that democracy demands.
And, when this issue is behind us, we move on to the next. It doesn’t end. It never ends. Democracy is a work in constant progress. If we want Democrats to fight, we have to fight too.
Stories to Watch: 3/29/11
Made the puff pancake last night. It was really good, but kind of a lot of work. I’ll make one again, but not soon. Now here’s the news…
Sen. Chuck Schumer accidentally let’s the cat out of the bag:Democrats have a messaging strategy, just like Republicans. Needless to say, this is the worst thing ever.
When is Sarah Palin going to go English-only?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is about as popular as a cold sore at a kissing booth.
Richard Lahey, a GE safety expert who worked on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, says that Japan may have “lost the race” to prevent a meltdown. Big surprise, he said it’s not going to be as bad as Chernobyl. This is like dismissing the Hindenburg as “not as bad as the Titanic.”
It’s official: if you’ve mentioned Rachel Maddow in an email, it means you hate America. McCarthyism is alive and well.
If you found Tom Tomorrow’s final This Modern World strip for Salon mystifying, here’s the key to that particular lock.
Finally, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ignored a judge and declared his union-busting bill law, the same judge tells him, “Not so fast there, Sparky.”