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David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

The mother of a young boy killed in the Newtown, Conn. massacre delivered the White House's weekly address this weekend, sharing her son's story and calling on Congress to take action on guns. 

"I’ve heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded," Francine Wheeler said, sitting next to her husband, David. "But not for us. To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday. And in the four months since we lost our loved ones, thousands of other Americans have died at the end of a gun. Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief."

She added, "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."

Wheeler's personal message comes days after a Senate to send gun control legislation to the floor. "But that's only the start," she said. "They haven’t yet passed any bills that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And a lot of people are fighting to make sure they never do. Now is the time to act. Please join us."

Watch the video: 

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A party that featured heavy drinking and skinny dipping has led to the resignation of two Georgia Department of Agriculture officials, the Associated Press reported Friday

A report from the department said that around 30 to 40 Agriculture Department employees partied on Sept. 17 at a cabin during a government-funded training session, according to the AP. Here's how the report described the scene:

"There was heavy consumption of alcohol, music and dancing, and the environment became similar to that of a college fraternity party."

At some point, seven men and one woman went skinny dipping, according to the AP. Billy Skaggs, the department's chief operating officer, and Oscar Garrison, head of food safety, resigned, according to the report. 

Read more here

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Jon Stewart on Thursday tore into a recent speech by Sen. Rand Paul at Howard University, where the Kentucky Republican stumbled a bit trying to explain black history to a crowd at the historically black college.

Paul explained that Republicans founded the NAACP and reminded the audience that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. But that has very little to do with the modern Republican Party, Stewart said.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday praised the Senate's gun control bill as a good step forward, but conceded it's "not perfect."

“I think this is not perfect but it takes you 90 percent of the way -- maybe 95 percent of the way -- towards more rational gun laws,” Bloomberg said on his radio show, according to the New York Observer. “And the public is overwhelmingly in favor of background checks. A couple of the editorial boards thinks it’s not enough, but the public does and I do.”

In a statement Wednesday, Bloomberg praised the comprise to expand backround checks for gun purchases, reached by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), and said his pro-gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will work to make sure it passes. 

The Senate on Thursday voted to send the legislation to the floor for debate.

Read more from Bloomberg's appearance here.

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The Washington State Republican Party has plans to auction an AR-15 rifle at its fundraising dinner, scheduled for this weekend, the Seattle Times reported Thursday. 

Washington State GOP Chair Kirby Wilbur told the paper that the group has auctioned weapons before. Asked about the recent controversy surrounding the guns, Wilbur reportedly said: “It’s also the best-selling weapon in America, I own two, they have never killed an innocent person.”

Read more at the Seattle Times.

h/t Political Wire.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee on Friday embraced a new social media application called Vine to release an ad going after South Carolina congressional candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Vine, a social media application for short videos, was founded by Twitter in January.

"Colbert Busch and the labor unions mean fewer jobs for South Carolina," a narrator says in the ad, which, like all Vine videos, plays on loop. 

The NRCC said in a written release, "This is the first time a political organization has launched an actual ad on Vine to attack an opponent. Vine ads can easily be shared and are a new frontier of political media."

The NRCC recently adopted new media in another area of its organization. The group took a cue from BuzzFeed in the redesign of its website. NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing told National Journal that the social news site is "eating everyone's lunch" and is "making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way."

Watch the Vine ad below:

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Mark Kelly, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband, has recorded a robocall in which he thanks Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) for coming together to reach a deal on background checks for gun sales. NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reported on the robocall Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I'm calling to thank your senator, Pat Toomey, for working across party lines to sponsor critical legislation to keep guns out of the the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by expanding background checks," Kelly said in one version of the call, broadcast on MSNBC. "If Sen. Toomey's bill becomes law, it will be more difficult for dangerous people to get guns, and our communities will be safer as a result. All while protecting our Second Amendment rights."

O'Donnell reported that the call is set to go out on Friday and will run in the suburbs of Philadelphia and is also supposed to reach veterans and male gun owners in West Virginia. O'Donnell reported that Giffords will be on Capitol Hill next week to lobby lawmakers on gun control. Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group founded by Giffords and Kelly, on Thursday called the Senate's vote to begin debate on gun control legislation "an important first step toward reducing gun violence."

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Vice President Joe Biden at 2 p.m. ET Friday is scheduled to attend a welcome ceremony for CIA Director John Brennan at the agency's headquarters, the White House said. Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech at the event.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Thursday took to Facebook to rail against stricter gun control measures -- and, along the way, compared a national gun registry to the genocide in Rwanda. 

"The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others," Duncan wrote on Facebook. "Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives."

Enter the Rwanda comparison. "Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes," Duncan continued. "Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. (Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis."

Duncan wrote that he used this particular example "to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences."

While the National Rifle Association has long warned that expanding background checks would lead to a national gun registry, no such legislation has been proposed. In a roundtable discussion that aired Thursday on MSNBC, Vice President Joe Biden said the push for gun restrictions will not create a registry. "So this idea that there is a national registry, there is no place in the federal government where you can go, not a single place, and find out everybody who owns a gun."

Duncan's comments come as the Senate voted to begin debate on gun legislation, including a deal on background checks for gun sales proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Read Duncan's full Facebook post here.

h/t The Hill.

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