Chad’s Morning Brief for 02.13.13
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 13, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.
1. State of the Union (link)
Did you watch last night’s State of the Union? If not, you missed a very partisan speech that had so many “are you kidding me” sections that I don’t have the time to write about them all. Here are a few of my low-lights from last night’s speech.
And that’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts — known here in Washington as “the sequester” — are a really bad idea. Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, Medicare and Social Security benefits. That idea is even worse.
We knew it was going to happen. President Obama trying to blame others for the sequester. The problem is, it was his idea! Yet most of the American people don’t know that and will instead blame Congress and most likely, the Republicans.
Let me repeat: Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
This paragraph really doesn’t fit the theme of the speech.
Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty — and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
Oh boy. Anyone want to talk about inflation? What about massive lay-offs? Raising the minimum wage is a terrible idea. Even worse when the economy and high unemployment is still out there. Just a bad, bad idea. Yet, the Obama voters loved it.
Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource, our children. It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence, but this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans — Americans who believe in the Second Amendment — have come together around commonsense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators…
Senators — senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because these police chiefs, they’re tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned. Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress.
If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote, because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. More than a thousand. One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette.
She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house. Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
They deserve a vote.
They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.
They deserve — they deserve a simple vote. Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. In fact, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all of the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect.
We were sent here to make what difference we can — to secure this nation, expand opportunity, uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
Ah there we go. Playing the emotion card. Nothing that the Democrats have offered up would have prevented Sandy Hook. Nothing. But of course the President has to use these examples as props.
Of course one of his examples was about a girl who was shot and killed in Chicago. Not sure how that happened though since Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation. Odd.
2. Guns (link)
Debate over guns on Tuesday came down to constitutional issues. According to reports, much of the argument came down to a Supreme Court decision.
Lawmakers tangled over the 2008 Supreme Court decision that struck down parts of the District of Columbia’s strict gun-control law, particularly the majority opinion that found gun rights “not unlimited.”
The interpretation fell along party lines. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, summed up the position of other Republicans in his opening remarks.
“In my view the divide on this issue is fairly straightforward,” Mr. Cruz said.
“The focus should be on criminals” and enhancing prosecutor’s tools, he said, including possibly adding a new federal statute against straw purchasing, in which people buy firearms for those who are prohibited from doing so; Mr. Cruz called such a statute an idea with “potential bipartisan” support. “At the same time,” he said, “we should continue to respect and protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Timothy J. Heaphy, the United States attorney for the Western District of Virginia, was repeatedly questioned on the efficacy of current gun laws, and when asked to weigh in on an assault weapons ban — which many gun rights advocates believe violates the spirit of the Supreme Court ruling because it bans, rather than limits, a specific category of firearms — said he believed such a ban passed the constitutional test.
While the topics of the hearing varied from proposed legislation on mental health services in schools to the wisdom of carrying a gun in restaurants, much attention focused around the one area upon which there is an increasing bipartisan consensus: enhanced and increased background checks for gun buyers. Patching holes in the existing laws “are our best opportunity to keep firearms out of dangerous hands,” Mr. Heaphy said.
Some Republicans expressed concerns about the wisdom of such enhanced laws. At one point Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seemed deeply miffed that he might have to undergo a background check to buy a gun from Senator John Cornyn of Texas to improve his hunting outcomes.
Others wondered about how effective such laws would be. “Some on our side wonder why raise all this fuss about background checks,” said Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, noting that most criminals buy guns illegally.
But the enduring potential of new background checks was underscored by submitted testimony from Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who emphasized the “need to close existing loopholes that allow criminals to avoid the common-sense requirement that gun sales should be performed with a background check,” and made some vague references to violent video games, but was silent on an assault weapon ban.
3. Support for Dorner Troubling (link)
One of the most disturbing things to come out of the Chris Dorner story is that so many people supported his motives and killings. According to the National Review:
Moreover, the murderer would be labeled exactly what he was, a murderer, and would not be regarded by any conservatives as in any way heroic. Conservative commentators would, rightly, outdo one another in condemnation of the murderer.
This has not been the case with Christopher Dorner. He is widely depicted as a man with legitimate grievances that caused him to “snap.” His “manifesto” is widely read and often praised, a Facebook page has been set up to defend him, and thousands of commentators on left-wing sites concentrate their fury on the Los Angeles Police Department, while portraying Dorner sympathetically.
It is important to remember that Dorner murdered a young woman and her fiancé simply because she was the daughter of a cop — the man who acted as Dorner’s defense advocate in the LAPD proceedings against him. But as one comment on a left-wing site noted, that was a good idea: If the cop had been murdered, he wouldn’t have suffered, but now that his daughter and her fiancé have been murdered, the cop will experience real pain until he dies.
Any public figure, and especially any member of the clergy, who does not unambiguously condemn Dorner as a psychopathic murderer is failing his or her duty. This is not the time to discuss allegations of racism in the Los Angeles Police Department. For one thing, being wrongfully dismissed from a job — if, indeed, that is what happened to Dorner — inhabits a different moral universe than murder. For another, the more the public pays attention to this murderer’s “manifesto,” the more murders-for-attention will take place.
How could any number of self-pitying angry individuals who see themselves as victims not get the idea that murdering people is a great way to get people to take you and your grievances seriously?
Constance Rice, a prominent Los Angeles civil-rights attorney, a black woman called by NPR last year the “Conscience of the City,” wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed column about “the disturbing support for Dorner’s manifesto from the black community on the Internet and on black radio.”
And Rice, who has said that she woke up every day for years wondering how she could sue the Los Angeles Police Department for alleged abuses, went on to write, “Dorner is absolutely wrong when he states in the manifesto that ‘the department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days.’ . . . The good guys are now in charge of LAPD culture.”
But that apparently does not matter to the many black Americans who have so much anger and so define themselves as victims that they will, in too many cases, support black murderers — from O. J. Simpson to Christopher Dorner.
What we have here is another proof that nothing leads to murder and other evils more than a sense of victimization. This is true for nations, just as it is for individuals. The German sense of victimization led to World War II. Dorner believes himself to be a victim and consequently feels entitled to murder.
While watching the events unfold yesterday, I jumped on Twitter and was shocked to see how many younger people were backing Dorner and hoping that he would kill more police officers. It was sickening and makes you wonder what goes on in their minds.
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