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A central question in the debate over guns is whether the public prioritizes protecting gun ownership rights or controlling them. The answer? Americans are pretty evenly split over the question.
Thanks to a handy chart from the Pew Research Center, we can look at the gun-rights vs. gun-control question going back nearly 20 years. According to the most recent Pew polling, 50 percent say gun control is more important, while 48 percent say protecting gun rights is a higher priority.
Even as the White House battles scandals that have empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill, there's some of good news for Democrats in today's Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Asked if they would support the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in their congressional district were the election held today, 48 percent of registered voters chose the Democrat. Forty percent chose the Republican.
Democrats almost always have a generic ballot advantage over Democrats; even in October of 2010 Post polling gave the party a five-point edge. (Among likely voters, it was Republicans who led by four points.) Extrapolating from a national survey to individual House seats that will be competitive in 2014 is impossible.
So this isn't huge news for Democrats or evidence that it will be any easier for them to win the 17 seats needed to win back the House. That's still a long shot. But it is a sign that so far, the administration's troubles are not causing problems for the president's party.
Update: Lois Lerner has been put on administrative leave. It's easier to put a federal worker on leave than to fire him or her outright.
One thing Republicans and Democrats probably agree on: Lois Lerner should lose her job.
The director of exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service was inaccurate, at best, in her explanations of how targeting of conservative groups began and when she found out about it. She went on to plead the Fifth rather than testify before Congress, a decision that is bad for both the Obama administration and the Internal Revenue Service.
From time to time, The Fix will piggyback on Q&A chats with political insiders and commentators. Today, ask questions of Gwen Ifill of PBS NewsHour, host of Washington Week in Review. We're sitting in on her monthly chat.
Congress has so far held three hearings on the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups. And, all of those hours can be summed up in just four words: "I didn't do it."
Those words were, of course, made famous by one Bart Simpson, the mischievous little boy on the greatest show ever.
Everyone wants a piece of the Internal Revenue Service these days, which is why agency officials have been subjected to three congressional hearings over the past week.
So now that the dust has settled, who came out on top? Who didn't?
Below, we look at some of the winners and losers. If we missed any, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert connects the dots.
The Senate's rejection of a popular expansion of background checks for firearms last month marked an abrupt end to the campaign for gun restrictions after the Newtown shootings. But the "no" votes of 46 senators also represented a political gamble: that voters would not punish them for going against public will.