Happy Hour Roundup

January 14, 2013

* Yep: The NRA represents an extreme worldview. A new Post poll finds that 65 percent of Americans support banning high capacity magazine clips; 58 percent support an assault weapons ban; and a whopping 88 percent support closing the gun show loophole.

Also: 89 percent of Republicans support closing that loophole, and 69 percent of Republicans support requiring background checks on those buying gun ammunition.

* Meanwhile, a new Pew poll finds solid to overwhelming majorities support background checks, a federal gun-tracking database, and bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips. And this:

Majorities of gun owners favor a number of the gun policy proposals tested in this survey: Fully 90% favor laws to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns and 85% favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. By 60% to 37%, gun owners also favor the creation of a federal government database to track all gun sales.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how Republicans handle it when they are challenged to oppose individual common sense proposals with such broad support.

* What to expect from Joe Biden’s gun recommendations later this week: An assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban, and:

The vice president’s recommendations are likely to include a variety of ways to bolster prosecutions under existing gun laws, collect more information about gun violence and improve databases for background checks, including more financing for such goals.

Some Republicans are beginning to express openness to such goals, but of course that doesn’t tell us anything about whether they will ultimately support specific proposals designed to accomplish them.

* Charles Pierce: Obama’s presser today focused on the economy only in the context of the deficit, not in the context of unemployment. It’s the latest sign of how removed the Beltway deficit obsession is from public concerns.

* Jed Lewison accurately diagnoses the GOP’s lack of leverage in the debt limit fight, and this caveat could not be more important:

The only hope Republicans have of prevailing is if President Obama caves on his refusal to negotiate with hostage-takers. Otherwise, the only question is whether or not they will send the country into default.

The White House believes nixing the coin increases the pressure on Republicans to cave, but only Obama can make that true, by continuing to stand firm.

* Tim Geithner ratchets up the pressure on the GOP, predicting we could default by mid February. What’s more, he reminds GOP leaders that Treasury is already employing “extraordinary measures” to deal with the crisis — and that those are about to run out.

* Steve Benen rightly notes the importance of Obama’s remarks today explaining that some on the right don’t really care about deficit reduction as much as they care about shrinking government and slashing the safety net.

* Depressing, but hardly surprising:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a Nevada television station Friday that the Senate is unlikely to pass an assault weapons ban or a radical revamp of filibuster rules.

I’ve been telling you for some time now that filibuster reform is in trouble, haven’t I?

* Peter Beinart on how the battle over Chuck Hagel’s nomination is really a battle over the terms of what passes as legitimate Washington discourse about Israel.

* And Clarence Thomas broke his seven year Supreme Court silence today with … a dumb joke.

 

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.
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Jonathan Bernstein | January 14, 2013