Monday, March 05, 2018

Like A Waffle House At 2AM


On Friday, fresh off her humiliating defeat at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego, where her request for an endorsement didn't even get 40% of the delegates' votes, Dianne Feinstein was allowed to give the Democratic Party's weekly address. It was on one of the few issues where she is actually in synch with 21st Century voters: guns. She began by reminding every that she became mayor of San Francisco when a deranged, right-wing politician, ex-policeman Dan White, assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. She said she's "watched with horror as more and more mass shootings have rocked our nation. On December 14th 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut with an AR-15 and murdered 20 children, ages six and seven, beautiful children, and six young staffers. Five years later, a gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with another AR-15 and murdered 14 children and three staff."
Between just these two shootings, Congress did precisely nothing to remove weapons of war from our streets, nothing to tighten background checks, nothing to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. In the wake of Sandy Hook, many of us hoped we’d see change. Instead, things have only gotten worse. In the five years since Newtown, the Gun Violence Archive reports there have been at least -- listen to this, 239 shootings in schools or on school grounds. More than 400 people were shot in these shootings and nearly 150 of them killed. Yet, after every shooting, the NRA and congressional Republicans throw up their hands and say there’s nothing we can do.

Well, they’re wrong. There’s plenty we can do, and we know these proposals will work. The first step should be banning military-style assault weapons, weapons of war, like the AR-15. Research from the University of Massachusetts showed us that the 10-year federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 was effective. Let me quote from the story about the research, ‘Compared with the 10-year period before the ban, the number of gun massacres during the ban period fell by 37%, and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43%. But after the ban lapsed in 2004, the numbers shot up [again]-- an astonishing 183%’-- an ‘increase in massacres and a 239% increase in massacre deaths.’ An assault weapons ban won’t stop all the shootings, I don’t kid myself, but if we can decrease the death count, we’re saving life, and that’s-- that means it’s really worth doing. We also need to fix the gaping loopholes in the background check. Today, anyone can walk into a gun show, or log on to their computers and buy an assault rifle, no questions asked. That’s madness. We need to ban high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, like the 30-round magazines that fit into an AR-15. There’s no reason to fire so many rounds without reloading. We need to ban bump stocks, the devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns, which were outlawed some time ago. We need to help states develop legal procedures so that loved ones and law enforcement can remove guns from dangerous individuals. And we need to raise the age to buy an assault rifle to 21 from-- if you believe this, 18. You can buy that-- one of those at 18. If you can’t buy a beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy an AR-15.

It seems to me that this really is a no-brainer. On Wednesday, President Trump signaled support for many of these proposals. I hope that can be a lesson for the Congress that Republicans need to finally allow Congress to pass these commonsense measures. There’s so much we can do. We just need the willpower and intestinal fortitude to take on the NRA, and get something done for the safety of the men, women, and particularly, the children in our schools of this country.

She was referring to Trump's brief-- very brief-- accidental seemingly announcement on Wednesday that he was looking at sane/non-NRA solutions to the plague of mass shootings. Trumpanzee: "A lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures. Take the guns first, go through due process second... I like taking the guns early." He even called Pat Toomey a coward for not standing up to the gun manufacturers lobbyists: "You’re afraid of the NRA." It only took one day before Trump was back on the reservation, reminded that the NRA had laundered something like 30 million dollars in Kremlin money into his campaign. That shut him up fast.

Business Insider is keeping track of how Putin got lots of rubles into Trump's 2016 campaign through Alexander Torshin and the NRA.
[Torshin assistant Maria] Butina was one of several Putin-allied Russians who attended Trump's inaugural celebrations.

The US's former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, told the Washington Post it was "strange" that so many Russia-linked individuals attended Trump's inauguration.

But Ned Price, a former CIA analyst who served as Senior Director of the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, said he wasn't surprised.

"This team courted and potentially colluded with the Russians since day one without any apparent shame," he said in an email. "I would've been surprised had prominent Russians NOT attended the inauguration. It was Moscow's victory, after all."

In February 2017, Torshin was invited, through his NRA ties, to a national prayer breakfast with the newly-inaugurated President Trump. According to Yahoo News, Torshin was supposed to have a personal meeting with Trump before the event, but his invitation was rescinded after a White House aide spotted his name on the guest list and alerted others to Torshin's alleged illicit activities.

"He's sort of the conservatives' favorite Russian," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who is known for endorsing Russia-friendly positions, told Yahoo News. Rohrabacher and Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie dined with Torshin and other members of Russia's delegation to the prayer breakfast last year.

"He's someone who understands our system," Rohrabacher added. "His approach is, 'I agree with you Americans: People should have a right to own guns. There should be religious freedom. The whole problem is with radical Muslims.' We were able to have a very good exchange."

The GOP's ideological progression toward Putin's Russia is not a new phenomenon. Over the last several years in particular, self-identified conservatives and members of the alt-right have openly embraced Russia's stance on key issues-- such as gun rights, religion, and same-sex marriage-- that make up the bedrock of the Republican platform, and cultivated relationships with prominent Russians whose views align with their own.

This was, perhaps, part of why the gun-rights activist Kline Preston asked Torshin to come to the US and be an international election observer as President Barack Obama faced off against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in November 2012, according to The Washington Post. Preston, a conservative lawyer with a long history of doing business in Russia, also introduced Torshin to NRA president David Keene in 2011.

Torshin later hinted that his NRA credentials had played a role in his participation in the 2012 election.

"I was there at Obama's last election!" Torshin tweeted in 2015, according to NPR. "The NRA card, to me as an observer from Russia, opened access to any [polling] station."

This is as good a time as any to remind people that most Americans do not trust Trump to keep the Russians from meddling in the 2018 elections the way they meddled in the 2016 elections. A new poll by Survey Monkey shows that 81% of Republicans are delusional enough to trust Trumpanzee but that among normal Americans, there is wide acknowledgement that Trump is fine with the Russians deciding the elections this year, the way they did in 2016. 86% of Democrats and 63% of independent voters understand what Trump and Putin are up to.

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At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRT DiFi, more vapid words from an irrelevant democrap.
If DiFi were so dedicated, where was her lege in 2009 when the democraps pretended to have unassailable numbers?

Never forget how shitty a senator and democrap DiFi has been for decades.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Editor said...
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