December 17, 2012

* Brian Beutler reports that Hill Democrats are warming to “chained CPI” as the least bad version of entitlements cuts, which probably means those Dems are just following the White House in embracing them. Dem aides are telling folks there are progressive ways to mitigate the damage; more tomorrow.

* Another “gun rights” Democrat, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, gives ground:

“I’ve got an A rating from the NRA. But the status quo isn’t acceptable. I’ve got three daughters.” [...] “They asked me on Friday evening, ‘Dad, what are you gonna do about this?’ ” Warner added. “There’s got to be a way to put reasonable restrictions, particularly as we look at assault weapons, as we look at these fast clips of ammunition.”

This comes after Joe Manchin of West Virginia also signaled flexibility.

* The Fix crew has a useful chart showing us where each Senator stands with the N.R.A. I count at least eight Democrats with “A” or “A-” ratings, which means a lot of Dems will have to break with the N.R.A. to back reform.

Still, as I noted earlier, there are grounds for cautious optimism that red state Dems won’t demonstrate their usual skittishness about gun control this time around.

* Jamelle Bouie also had a good piece today on the declining importance of rural white guys to the Democratic coalition, and why Dems should not fear gun control as a result.

* Relatedly, a great line from Ron Brownstein on this: “The fact is that Democrats have been paralyzed on this issue for fear of losing voters they have already lost.”

* More movement from Dem Rep. John Yarmuth, a moderate from Kentucky: “I believe it is more rational to fear guns far more than the illusory political power of the N.R.A.” Good to hear a red state Dem deflate the myth of N.R.A. omnipotence.

* But Jonathan Chait prepares Democrats for the long, hard slog that lies ahead when it comes to what’s really achievable in the way of gun law reform, and predicts disillusionment and disappointment.

* Former Lyndon Johnson adviser Joseph Califano on his boss’s quick rush to push for gun control legislation after RFK’s assassination. Johnson, for one, didn’t hesitate from “politicizing” tragedy to try to prevent it from happening again in the future.

* Brad Plumer: Everything you need to know about the assault weapons ban in one post. You’ll hear the right claiming the ban didn’t work; well, it was riddled with loopholes, and even so, it may have reduced mass shootings.

* James Joyner suggests a sensible gun reform:

One intriguing possibility is mandating some technological solution to make it harder for people other than the registered owner to fire the gun. Various “smart gun” technologies exist or are in the works…If effectively implemented, they could conceivably greatly reduce the number of crimes committed with stolen weapons, including cases such as this one where a teenager steals a weapon from a parent.

Unacceptable infringement on individual liberty…creeping liberal fascism…slippery slope to tyranny…

* The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is organizing to get folks to call the White House and Congress once a month until gun reform is enacted, the risk being that the groundswell dies as Newtown fades from the headlines.

* I’m looking forward to this, from Public Policy Polling, on Rick Snyder and the Michigan “right to work” shenanigans:

Our MI poll will come out tomorrow. Snyder trails every Democrat we tested against him

It’ll be particularly interesting if they test the anti-union measures.

 * Gabriel Sherman scoops that a high level Fox producers instructed the on-air talent not to talk about gun control policy over the weekend (though it seems that at least one host got around the directive).

* And RIP, Daniel Inouye:

On an Italian battlefield two years later, he destroyed three enemy machine gun nests even as bullets tore through his stomach and legs. A grenade nearly ripped off his right arm, and it was later amputated in an Army hospital.

Back in the United States, the young lieutenant was wearing his empty right sleeve pinned to his officer’s uniform when he stepped into a San Francisco barbershop for a haircut. “We don’t serve Japs here,” the barber told him.

 What else?

 

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.