This email from TPM Reader JS over-simplifies a lot and doesn't cover a lot of people. There are obviously plenty of female gun aficionados, though it's obviously an overwhelmingly male scene. It's a 'complicated issue' as we all say about pretty much every issue. But when I read it I could not help think, 'Yeah, you're definitely on to something.'
I view gun control from the prism of the gender wars. It's a last-gasp attempt by lower-income men to hold onto some shred of self-respect: at least a capacity for autonomous violence, if they are left with nothing else.
Top Filibuster Reformer (i.e., Curtailer) fears Harry Reid is getting behind a watered down filibuster reform bill.
The 'Archive Team' releases the 'Aaron Swartz Memorial JSTOR Liberator' as a tribute to Aaron Swartz who committed suicide over the weekend. Our Carl Franzen talks to a member of the team.
From the Globe ...
Swartz and his lawyers were not looking for a free pass. They had offered to accept a deferred prosecution or probation, so that if Swartz pulled a stunt like that again, he would end up in prison.
Marty Weinberg, who took the case over from Good, said he nearly negotiated a plea bargain in which Swartz would not serve any time. He said JSTOR signed off on it, but MIT would not.
Another response to TPM Reader JH's letter on gun control as a fool's errand.
My response to JH's very pragmatic and reasonable discussion is this: I keep coming back to this page.
Normally, I'm all in favor of not wasting political capital on unwinnable battles. But for me, this started in Tucson. I had just about hit the point where I had thrown up my hands and said "fine. This is the way America wants to be and so be it. The people who want to have their guns are willing to put up with the occasional massacre and frequent homicides--accidental or deliberate in ones or twos as the cost of whatever psychic benefit they derive from their hobby and I can't stop it, so to hell with it. Let's let it be and move on to the things we can change."
TPM Reader EA asks, is there more to this than we're seeing?
I asked you about the guns at Prime last week and wanted to share my thoughts since then and in light of JH's skepticism.
In wondering about the politics of all this, I was struggling to figure out the WH's logic in making suggestions about executive orders and what-not in a manner that almost has seemed to be intentionally provocative toward the grassroots right.
From TPM Reader JB, in response to JH's caution to Obama on gun control ...
One of your correspondents asked today whether the Obama administration's effort to move gun violence legislation was a politically foolish diversion from its interest in passing immigration legislation. I really don't think it is.
Remember that Mississippi Congressman who voted against Sandy Relief? He's now not only recanted his own vote he's urging other Sandy Relief opponents to do the same.
House Republicans are reportedly preparing a proposal to increase the debt limit four years -- still in exchange for massive cuts but trying to sweeten the deal by taking the issue off the table for the remainder of Obama's presidency.
TPM Reader JH thinks the new gun control push is a fool's errand and a political mistake ...
I think the Dems are making a big mistake with gun control right now. Going into this legislative session, they had a plan to get past the fiscal cliff then move on to immigration. In doing so, they would not only move the focus from fiscal matters (where the GOP's sole desire seems to be disruption of any momentum of recovery), but also nail down the most important voting demographic.
Seems only fitting that when Justice Clarence Thomas finally broke his seven-year silence in Supreme Court oral arguments today reporters in attendance were not sure what he actually said.
As the constitution says, 2nd term Democratic presidents need to be impeached. And not Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) says Congress will need to impeach President Obama if he issues an executive order on guns.
In a reductio ad absurdum of gun and 'patriot' paranoia, a group of right-wing patriots are planning a 'fortress' planned community in Idaho, done up with the full list of defensive walls, turrets and plenty of defensive positions to use when the feds finally come to confiscate your guns.
The best part is the map of the planned gun/fortress community. In addition to the defensive perimeter it also has "Interior Defensive Walls & Towers" so that if the Obama forces make a successful incursion into one part of the town patriots can still defend the parts of the town that remain free. Sort of like bulkheads in a ship.
With Jack Lew's confirmation hearings for Treasury Secretary coming up soon, this afternoon at 4 PM we're holding a Live Chat at TPMPrime with Ken Baer, Lew's former colleague at OMB. Questions about Jack Lew? Questions about the White House budgeting process or working in the Obama White House? Get your questions in now.
The weekend's most important development wasn't that the Treasury Department deep-sixed the platinum coin per se, but that the White House more-or-less declared it won't resort to any debt limit work around if Republicans refuse to increase it before borrowing authority lapses.
Between the official statement, a long conversation with a senior White House official, and President Obama's press conference this morning, I take this to be more than just an attempt to clarify the stakes and dial up the pressure on Republicans to raise the debt limit drama free. There really is no "Plan B" if we breach the debt limit, other than that the government will shirk 40 percent of its obligations and Republicans will feel enormous pressure to raise it before the economic fallout becomes too catastrophic.
But as troubling as it is to take a flier on House Republicans' willingness and ability to raise the debt limit before the deadline, platinum coin advocates and advocates of other debt limit workarounds should recognize that this is how the standoff would have had to unfold even if there were a Plan B.
This video from this morning's Chris Jansing show gives a pretty good sense of where the current debate is on the debt ceiling. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) basically saying the GOP is looking at the most thoughtful, deliberate ways of defaulting on the national debt or shutting down the federal government.
Labor unions are a major advocate for the current immigration reform efforts but, as Benjy Sarlin reports, it was not always that way.
It's increasingly looking like a government shutdown is the GOP's fallback position on the debt ceiling fight. If a government default is too risky politically and economically, then a government shutdown still get Republicans a genuine primal scream moment, with arguably less severe consequences to the economy. As for the political consequences of a shutdown, Republicans seem more focused on the internal party politics involved than the larger body politic. Here's how one adviser put it to Politico:
House Speaker John Boehner "may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system," said a top GOP leadership adviser. "We might need to do that for member-management purposes -- so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they're fighting."