NRA Gives an Inch, The Casting Couch

The Gun Beat: In a surprising announcement from the organization that has fought gun control and regulation at every level, the National Rifle Association gave an inch and announced that bump stocks, which allow an  assault rifle to fire in full-automatic mode, should be subject to further regulation.

The NRA statement said the government should, “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.” It added, “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

Note that they didn’t say the devices should be banned.

Stephen Paddock, the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre, had 12 rifles with bump stocks and there’s been a rush to buy them since the shooting.

While an outcry for gun control follows every mass shooting, journalist David Frum writes in The Atlantic that the result is a predictable lack of action on the federal level and usually looser gun control on the state level, rather than tighter.

Frum writes that, “Since Newtown, more than two dozen states have expanded the right to carry into previously unknown places: bars, churches, schools, college campuses, and so on. The most ambitious of these laws was adopted in Georgia in April 2014. Among other provisions, it allowed guns to be carried into airports right up to the federal TSA checkpoint.”

Nucular Man: President Trump is expected to announce next week that he will “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal because it is not in the interests of the United States. The deal was reached under the Obama administration with the understanding that a less-than-perfect deal was better than none to derail Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.

If Trump bails out, it raises the possibility that the US will return to sanctions on Iran.

Casting Couch: Variety reports that, “Harvey Weinstein’s career in Hollywood is likely over” after a scathing NY Times report that details the movie mogul’s  history of sexual harassment of actresses and company employees. Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were named.

Weinstein has taken an immediate leave of absence – he says it’s to get help.

First at Miramax and then The Weinstein Co., Weinstein was behind the hits “Shakespeare in Love,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Django Unchained,” and “The King’s Speech.”

The Times details creepy stories of Weinstein in a bathrobe greeting women at his hotel room door, demanding that they give him a massage or watch him shower. He can’t get a date with his looks. The Times reports that Weinstein’s behavior has stretched over decades and he has reached at least eight financial settlements.

Fly Me: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has racked up $800,000 in military flights, including a $15,000 trip to New York to meet President Trump in his tower, according to Treasury’s Inspector General. The report says Mnuchin broke no laws, but the use of military transportation was thinly justified.

Dreamers: The deadline passed yesterday for so-called “Dreamers” to renew their two-year work permits in the United States. The Trump administration has already stopped issuing new permits for the immigrants illegally brought to the US by their parents. What happens after the permits expire is up to congress.

Litratchuh: British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, 62,  known for his novels “The Remains of the Day,” about a butler serving an English lord in the years leading to World War II, and “Never Let Me Go,” a dystopian love story set in a British boarding school, has been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan and moved with his parents to England in 1960 when he was 5. In a statement, he said, “I just hope that my receiving this huge honor will, even in a small way, encourage the forces for good will and peace at this time.”

Peace: The Nobel Peace Price has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. So far, they have not succeeded.

Orange is the New Green: Former congressman and soon-to-be inmate Anthony Weiner was spotted on a New York park bench yesterday with his young son. Weiner was wearing blue shoes, green shorts, a white t-shirt, and an orange baseball cap. He was convicted of trading sexual messages with a 15-year-old girl. Soon he will be dressed in well-coordinated federal-prison orange.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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