He’s so damn easy to make fun of, with his sparkly smile and foot-in-mouth-disease. But he rolled up his sleeves and hammered the deal — not a great deal by any means, but by the time Biden strolled in, there were no great deals to be had and barely any doable deals at all. Remember that Biden entered the picture after President Barack Obama pissed everybody off by lecturing Republicans and crowing about the deal at a press conference with “midde classers” before the deal was even done. So here are the optics: Having screwed up so that absolutely no one will so much as talk to him, Obama is forced to let Biden lead. And the Affable One does.
Here’s another NRA policy that’s right there with that flash of genius, that's far more intrusive, and one with which the group has had some success: The Firearm Owners Privacy Act -- already passed in 2011 in Florida, the nation’s loony bin -- would seek to ban physicians from asking patients about gun ownership and possession.
The act basically says that doctors can ask about smoking, drinking, drugs, physical abuse, caloric intake and any other health risk factor they can come up with, but not about firearm possession. Never mind that study after study shows that even law-abiding gun owners have a higher risk of death by gunshot if they keep their weapons at home.
Just yesterday I was moaning about how President Barack Obama was about to give away the store -- again -- but thanks to John Boehner’s implosion, he’s been saved from himself.
In the meantime, we’ve been spared a possible Social Security cut and a few other unnecessary giveaways Obama had put on the negotiating table. At least for now.
Perhaps you remember this year’s presidential elections, the one in which the winning candidate had a five million-vote margin of victory and won many of the toughest battlegrounds by nice little cushions: Virginia by four points, Colorado by five, Iowa and New Hampshire by six, Ohio and Florida and even the hometown of the opposing ticket’s VP candidate.
The winner, in fact, scored some historic points beyond race: He’s the first Democrat in more than 75 years to get a majority of the popular vote twice. In all of American history, only five other presidents have done that.
“I think it’s important, on a day like today,” said White House spokesperson Jay Carney, “to view this as I know the president, as a father, does, and others who are parents certainly do, which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event. I’m sure [there] will be rather a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don’t think today is that day. I think that day will come, but today’s not that day.”
But as my friend Mike Siroky said: “Grow a gut. Mr. President ... It was not time to talk gun control while the Democrats had no primaries. It was not time to talk gun control during the election campaign. It was not time to talk gun control in the aura of awesomeness after the decidedly supportive election. It was not time to talk control before the movie theater shootings in Colorado.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will not be the next Secretary of State after asking President Barack Obama to withdraw her name for consideration from the post.
And, frankly, I’m kind of relieved. This means that time and energy won’t be wasted on a fight the GOP was determined to have to once more gridlock everything in Congress so that the president will have as thin a legacy as possible. (Good luck with that, given Obamacare.) It’s absolutely certain Rice would have had the votes for confirmation but it’s also absolutely certain that wouldn’t have stopped Republicans from doing everything possible to drag the matter out.
On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, challenged during a Q&A after a lecture about the loaded language he has sometimes used when discussing gay people, shot back, "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"
The polemic came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear two cases which involve marriage rights: the odious Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8. Never mind Scalia's casual stringing of together of homosexuality and murder and how it might suggest moral equivalency — neither case involves our rights to “feelings” or even to discriminate and hate.
The Senate’s scorched-earth Tea Party godfather — Jim DeMint of South Carolina — has stepped down to head the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.
DeMint is the always concerned-looking, handsome Club for Growth elder statesman who stood by Todd Akin when every Republican walked away, channeled funds to Akin and said, “We support Todd Akin and hope freedom-loving Americans in Missouri and around the country will join us so we can save our country from fiscal collapse.”