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Chad’s Morning Brief: Obama Had the Worst Year in Washington, Gun-Free Zones Don’t Protect Anyone, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of December 17, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Worst Year in Washington

It hasn’t been a good year for President Obama. How bad has it been? The Washington Post awarded him the person who had the Worst Year in Washington. He even beat out Congress.

All year long, I pick the winners of the Worst Week in Washington prize — those politicians, bureaucrats, sports stars, business leaders and other inhabitants of Planet Beltway who stand out for all the wrong reasons. During 2013, the honorees have ranged from the president to the president’s dog, from meteorologists to comedians, from Supreme Court justices to NFL head coaches (well, mainly one NFL head coach).

Winning the Worst Week in Washington is one thing. To win the Worst Year in Washington, you need to be very good at being very bad, or have really bad luck. Previous Worst Year winners have included then-Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele (remember him?), the tea party movement (always a contender) and Congress (yes, all of it).

This past year offered plenty of candidates, but who is most deserving of this least desirable recognition? (Hint: He’s still in power but has little of it these days.) I also decide who had a really bad year, merely a bad year, a not-so-good year, a good year and, yes, who had the best year in Washington. Let me know, in the comments section or on Twitter (#worstyear), if you agree.

When historians write the story of Barack Obama’s presidency, 2013 will be his lost year. It opened with great promise and closed with equally great disappointment. In a year that could have been about building his legacy, the president was instead reduced to salvaging the signature accomplishment of his first term.

The chasm between what was expected and what was delivered was evident in the precipitous drop in Obama’s approval ratings throughout 2013, all the way down to George-W.-Bush-second-term territory. Dashed expectations sent Democrats up for reelection in 2014 fleeing for cover and comforted Republicans still smarting from their party’s 2012 defeat.

Who had the worst year in Washington?

Every week, The Fix’s Chris Cillizza picks who had the Worst Week in Washington. As 2013 draws to a close, who had the Worst Year in Washington?

Second-term presidencies are tricky. The pace of modern politics and the desire of journalists (scourges!) to always look ahead to the next campaign put a reelected incumbent in a race against irrelevancy from the second he is sworn in again. Scandals tend to creep in or escalate — Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky — and investigations follow, often drifting far afield. Momentum toward any meaningful achievement fades.

Usually, a president has until the midterm elections of his second term to get big things done; after that, attention moves on to deciding who will next occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But Obama may not have the luxury of even that truncated timeline. The split control in Congress — Democrats in charge in the Senate, a Republican majority in the House — combined with the tea party’s continued demand for conservative purity from its elected officials and the politicization of just about everything makes it hard to imagine that 2014 will afford Obama any chance to move his agenda through Congress. And his addition of John Podesta, a vocal advocate of taking executive action to end-run lawmakers, to the White House staff suggests that the president has effectively given up trying to work with the Hill.

All of which makes what happened — or more accurately, what didn’t happen — in 2013 that much more dire for Obama’s chances of leaving a lasting legacy on his party, Washington and politics more broadly.

Let’s start from the beginning, or a bit earlier. Despite a tenuous economic recovery and an unpopular health-care law, Obama surged to a convincing win in November 2012. The victory gave him a mandate to continue in the vein of his first four years, as well as providing a damning assessment of the GOP’s ability to attract any voters other than white men.

Obama used that momentum to cut a favorable deal with Republicans to avert the “fiscal cliff,” and he was able to unite the country after the horrific murder of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

On Jan. 1, then, it wasn’t difficult to imagine the passage of a broad gun-control measure, an immigration reform package, and a series of bills addressing the country’s debt and spending issues. The reasons none of these things came to be all lead back to Obama.

Let’s be honest, the failure of Obamacare and Healthcare.gov is reason enough to say that this President has had the worst year out of everyone else.

Gun-Free Zones

Over the weekend numerous articles appeared that discussed the need for stricter gun laws in the United States. The left in this country believe that gun-free zones and strict gun laws will somehow stop criminals from shooting innocent people. It’s another area in which the left in this country lives in some other universe. The universe where criminals obey laws and care what a sign says about weapons. Many school districts, including Lubbock ISD and probably yours, live in this world. They live in a world where a professional with a gun is a bad thing if they are in a school. These people believe that schools aren’t targets. As IJReview points out, armed guards aren’t bad.

Why did the tragic school shooting at Arapahoe High in Colorado only last 80 seconds?  An armed guard was on the premises – and the only fatality from this horrific event was the gunman.

As the Christian Science Monitorreported on December 14:

As they investigate the latest school shooting in the United States – Friday at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. – one thing is clear to law enforcement officials there: The presence of an armed deputy sheriff on regular duty at the school was the key factor in preventing more deaths and injuries.

As soon as he heard the first of five gunshots, that officer and the two school administrators he was talking to raced toward the commotion shouting their presence and ordering students and staff to follow the school’s lock-down protocol.

As a result, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said at a briefing Saturday afternoon, the heavily-armed shooter [Karl Pierson] realized he was about to be confronted by an armed officer, and he took his own life.

Although it may seem like our society is becoming more violent, gun violence in America has dropped almost 40% since 1993, according to the Department of Justice. Sadly, school shootings will happen regardless of public policy. And the fact that schools are “gun-free” zones makes them easy targets for criminals seeking to inflict harm on innocent Americans. So, are armed guards the answer?

It prevented further loss of life at Arapahoe High.  Newtown adopted armed guards in their school district after Sandy Hook. Last January, a majority of Americans were comfortable with the idea – and that sentiment hasn’t changed.

It’s time we protect our schools and kids. It’s time schools wake up and either allow teachers to carry or have guards. School officials love to say that children matter the most. Yet they complain about the costs of guards at schools. Or they worry that teachers aren’t responsible enough to protect students. What does that really say about our school system?

Other Top Stories:

Texas Not as Red as You Think?

Civil Rights Group Takes on Voter Registration

NSA Phone Program Likely Unconstitutional

Second Judge Skeptical About NSA Program

A Gap in Obamacare

Obama Hasn’t Enrolled Yet

No Health Benefits to Multivitamins

Poll: Obama Struggles With Millennials 

Congress Turns to Tax Reform 

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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