GUN SAFETY – BACKGROUND CHECK LEGISLATION
“The Manchin-Toomey background check legislation that died in the Senate on Wednesday had everything going for it. Bipartisan sponsorship by two centrist senators. The support of 90 percent of Americans. President Obama’s full-throated backing. The momentum for reform created by tragedy and sympathetic advocates with gripping stories—ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords, the Newtown families. All the pieces were there.
“Yet it failed. The bill won a 54-vote majority but fell short of the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to pass new laws, a high hurdle that progressives decry as undemocratic. But the main reason it failed—and this is the key point for gun control advocates—is because the NRA has unrivaled political power … ” — Mother Jones 4/18/13
“Across the country, the liberalization of strict marijuana laws is accelerating. The trend reached a new peak in November when voters in Colorado and Washington passed ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana use. Amid polls showing a major upswing in support for legalization, marijuana enthusiasts are hopeful that there might soon be enough momentum in Washington to legalize the drug nationwide.
“For many Americans, it seems that the end of two of the key “culture war” battles that have long divided the American populace is within view. Along with the spread of liberalized marijuana laws, support for same-sex marriage has mushroomed across the country. Both of the movements have soared in recent years, reversing years of low support to become more the norm than the exception across major swaths of the nation. Although the issues center around vastly different concerns, they both appeal to an ingrained American tradition of personal liberty.” — International Business Times 4/28/13
EFFECTS OF SEQUESTRATION
“After thousands of flight delays across the country this week, the United States Senate voted Thursday night to give the Federal Aviation Administration the flexibility to keep the nation’s airports running smoothly. The delays were caused by the furlough of air traffic controllers, who were rotating off the job because of sequestration’s automatic budget cuts that began taking effect on March 1.”
“That means lawmakers will be able to fly home for recess this weekend without any delays … Unfortunately, though, Congress has shown no willingness to provide similar relief for the families that are being hammered by sequestration in other ways. Here are 12 programs that have experienced devastating cuts … ” — Think Progress 4/26/13