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“What The Keystone Vote Tells Us About The Democratic Party”: Republicans Succeeding In Defining What It Means To Be A Liberal

The bill to authorize construction of the Keystone pipeline failed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate last night by a single vote. Every Republican voted in favor, since support for the idea of sending Canadian oil to American refineries so it can be processed for sale overseas has become a core value of conservatism. But they were joined by 14 Democrats. And if we look at who those Democrats are, we can learn quite a bit about the state of their party.

Five of those Democrats are red-staters who discovered this year that “distancing” yourself from Barack Obama isn’t enough to win re-election in a year of extremely low turnout. The first is Mary Landrieu, on whose behalf this entire exercise was mounted, on the absurd theory that Louisiana voters will turn out in droves for her runoff in December once they learn how much she loves oil, a fact of which they were supposedly unaware before now. Then we have Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and John Walsh of Montana. The first three lost their seats, and Walsh would have been ousted by voters had he not resigned over a plagiarism scandal.

The next group of Democrats are also from red states: Heidi Heitkamp of South Dakota, John Tester of Montana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Through whatever combination of electoral fear and genuine conviction, these are among the senators who disagree with their colleagues most often. McCaskill is a particularly notable case; lately she has been moving to the right in visible ways, including proclaiming her opposition to Harry Reid remaining leader of the Democrats in the Senate and criticizing President Obama’s proposed actions on immigration. Rumor has it that she’s preparing to run for governor, which could help explain why.

The final group of Democrats who voted in favor of the pipeline may have each had their own reasons, but none could have imagined that voting against the pipeline would be a huge political liability. These were Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Tom Carper of Delaware.

So what does this tell us? To a great degree it suggests that Republicans are still succeeding in defining what it means to be a liberal, striking fear into the hearts of any Democrat who wants to win in a red state. Republicans haven’t actually spent too much time arguing the environmental concerns over Keystone, other than to dismiss them out of hand. Instead, they’ve touted the pipeline as a jobs boon that would boost the entire American economy, a claim no sane person believes.

But red-state Democrats still live their lives in a state of perpetual terror that someone might call them a liberal (the only red-state Democrats who voted No were Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, both of whom are retiring).

If these votes don’t change, when Republicans bring the pipeline up again in the new Congress, it will have enough votes to overcome a filibuster — but still fall short of the 67 that would be needed to override a presidential veto. And the Democrats who supported the pipeline will find that it really didn’t help them.

Their red state colleagues who lost their elections have already found out that high-profile breaks with their party don’t keep you politically safe. And indeed, those red-state losses have made the Democratic caucus in the Senate more liberal, and it’s possible that in 2016 the number of red state Democrats will decline even further (even if Democrats gain seats overall). So even if there is still the possibility of Dem divisions on some issues, the fracturing off of red state Dems could matter less and less over time, making the future of Democrats in Congress one of more, not less, unity.


By: Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor, The American Prospect; The Plum Line, The Washington Post, November 19, 2014

November 22, 2014 Posted by | Democrats, Keystone XL, Republicans | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Pipeline From Hell”: There’s No Good Reason To Build Keystone XL

The Senate will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Republican-led House approved the initiative Friday by a wide margin. The Senate’s still-Democratic majority will bring the bill to the floor for the first time because of newfound support for the initiative within the party, mostly to boost Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bid for reelection in Louisiana as she heads into a runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican. Cassidy leads in every poll of likely voters in that race by an average of 5 percentage points.

Support for the pipeline has surged among Democratic legislators in the wake of the midterm elections, when Democratic senators in red states were swept out of office. Those that remain—among them Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri—are eager to boost their pro-energy, pro-business bona fides.

If Democratic support is new, Republicans’ enthusiasm for the project is not. Friday’s vote was the ninth time the House has approved the pipeline under a Republican majority. As soon as the midterm results had rolled in, the victorious party’s messaging shifted en masse. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus made the TV rounds on Election Night, and by the time he arrived on The Daily Show’s live edition, he had his message down to a T: “I think that what we’re going to see is that the president’s got to come to the table, and both parties are going to have to work together to get things done… It’s going to take the president saying ‘I want to work with you, I want to pass some of these jobs bills, I want to pass the Keystone Pipeline and get things done.”

It’s a well-worn, exceedingly vague message. From his phrasing, it seems that the pipeline is a no-brainer, a job-creation machine that enjoys support from Republicans and Democrats alike. Priebus mentioned it in seemingly every post-election appearance, references made their way into victory speeches from the GOP’s biggest power players, and they’ve since declared the project’s approval a top priority.

It seems America’s two major parties are finally coming together in favor of a significant legislative initiative. But should they be?

Keystone XL would be an addition to the existing Keystone Pipeline System. It would be built by TransCanada Corp. and would run from Alberta’s tar-sands fields through Montana and South Dakota to link up with the system in Steele City, Nebraska. It would transport bitumen and liquefied natural gas drawn from the tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, mainly in Texas.

The XL addition was proposed in 2008, and studies on the project’s potential economic and environmental impact were commissioned in 2010 and 2011. President Obama rejected the project’s application in 2012 amid protests that it would hurt Nebraska’s Sand Hills region. An adjusted route through Nebraska has since been proposed, and a State Department report declared the project’s environmental effect was “not significant,” but the Obama administration announced in April 2014 that the review of the project has been extended indefinitely.

Why, if the project will create a lot of jobs and have little environmental impact, does it continue to be met with opposition? To begin with, it won’t actually create many jobs. According to a George Mason University study, via Bloomberg, the pipeline’s construction could create between 2,500 and 20,000 jobs. More likely (PDF), it’ll be between 2,500 and 4,650, assuming that a huge chunk (as much as 50 percent) of steel production will be outsourced to China, Canada, and India. Moreover, when construction ends, the number of permanent jobs could fall to 20. Yes, 20.

A rosier estimate, from the State Department’s report and Newsweek, puts the number of permanent jobs at 35. A study by Cornell’s Global Labor Institute claims that the project may actually kill more American jobs than it creates due to pipeline spills, additional fuel costs in the Midwest, and other factors. It also claims that 85-90 percent of people hired for the line’s construction will not be from the areas through which the pipeline is running.

So, it won’t create that many jobs. After all, it’s merely taking oil drilled in Canada to pre-existing refineries on the Gulf Coast. But it’s a $7 billion project, and the State Department has said it will have a minimal negative effect on the environment. Plus, it could increase America’s energy independence and strengthen our position in the Middle East and beyond. These are all good reasons to move ahead with the plan, but unfortunately, none of them are actually true.

The pipeline is a $7 billion project, but only $3 billion-$4 billion of that would be headed to the U.S. The rest is going to wherever that steel is getting outsourced. The claim of reduced dependence on foreign oil suppliers is also suspect. China has already invested billions in Canada’s oil sands, and Chinese corporations are upping their stakes all the time. Much of the oil transported by the pipeline will be refined in Port Arthur, Texas, where the main refinery is half-owned by the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia (PDF). The Keystone project is not an American one, but a global one, financed and favored by major multinational oil interests. Besides, real domestic oil production—oil drilled and refined in the U.S. by nominally American companies—has already increased 70 percent under the Obama administration.

All of this means that the pipeline’s approval would essentially be a continuation of the status quo, with a few billion dollars kicked the U.S. economy’s way. Except that the project would, in spite of the State Department’s claims, have drastic effects on the environment on both local and global levels. That study published by the State Department was conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a firm that listed TransCanada, the would-be pipeline builder, as a client in its marketing materials a year before it began the Keystone contract.

Both ERM and TransCanada told the State Department at the time that they had not worked together for at least five years, a term of the contract meant to limit conflict of interest. Of course, any doubts about a conflict of interest evaporated when it emerged that up until the summer of 2013, a division of ERM had been “working alongside TransCanada on the Alaska Pipeline Project.” These are two in a laundry list of troubling connections between the two companies.

Considering, then, that the State Department study was conducted by TransCanada’s business partner, it’s little surprise that it failed to find any environmental consequences for the project. The reality is far different. On a local level, pipeline leaks and spills could have a number of drastic effects. Recent leaks from similar lines have been bad. Really bad. A New York Times article cites a 2010 leak of 840,000 gallons of bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. The cleanup has cost $1 billion so far, and continues today.

It also mentions an Arkansas leak that sent 210,000 gallons of bitumen running through the streets of small-town Mayflower and left local residents with respiratory problems, nausea, and headaches. The proposed Keystone route would see it “pass over the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Great Plains agriculture,” where the water table is close to the surface. A major leak could poison the water supply of large swaths of the Midwest that add up to one quarter of the nation’s farmland.

The pipeline also has environmental consequences on a larger scale. The pipeline would encourage accelerated extraction of Canada’s tar sands, which have greenhouse gas emissions 81 percent greater than those of conventional oil. By most measures, it is the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet. James Hansen, formerly of NASA, claimed in a 2012 op-ed that the tar sands contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If true, its exploitation along with our continued use of fossil fuels at present levels would bring carbon concentration in the atmosphere above the 500 parts per million threshold often discussed by climatologists as the point of no return. That would create an irreversible cycle wherein the climate is beyond our control. Hansen describes it as “game over for the environment.”

Even if that’s an alarmist prediction, and Canada will exploit their tar sands with or without the Keystone XL Pipeline, there is no question that its construction will not help with controlling emissions, boosting energy independence, or creating jobs. The only people it will benefit are TransCanada, the Canadian oil companies (many part-owned by Chinese and Mideast interests) working in the tar sands, the multinational oil companies who will refine what it brings to the Gulf Coast, and a few thousand workers. Temporarily.

So why, you might ask, are many of our leaders so eager to build it? The answer is straightforward: money and political gain. The Democrats, feeling vulnerable after a midterm rout, are eager to move to the pro-business center and push through a “jobs plan.” A Nov. 12 Pew Research poll shows 59 percent of Americans favor building the pipeline, which provides some political cover from the backlash Democrats will likely get from environmentalists and other sections of the party’s base.

It also conveniently caters to the interests of Big Energy, some of the biggest campaign donors to both parties. Republicans, in the House especially, have been pushing Keystone for some time and raking in donations in the process. Now, Blue Dog Democrats like Mary Landrieu are happy to hop on board. After all, some of the world’s biggest energy firms, like Exxon Mobil, have been paying her campaign bills for some time.

An initiative most thought would be pushed by the Republican majorities in the next Congress will come to the floor in the current lame-duck session. In a rather pathetic political maneuver, the Senate Democrats will try to force the president’s hand before the new Republican majority gets the chance, apparently to help in a single Senate runoff election that will not in any way alter the upper chamber’s political landscape. After all, the Democrats have no chance of keeping their majority even if Landrieu wins.

For his part, Obama has said he will veto the measure. Pundits widely expected that he would insist on the need to wait for the results of further studies and the Supreme Court ruling on land use in Nebraska. Instead, he came out Thursday with an unequivocal rejection of the premise on which the argument for the pipeline is built: “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices. If my Republican friends really want to focus on what’s good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what we are doing to produce more homegrown energy.”

The president is right in his criticisms, but wrong to reserve them only for the Republican Party. Many from his side of the aisle are now just as wrong on this issue as his opponents are.


By: Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast, November 15, 2014

November 18, 2014 Posted by | Democrats, Keystone XL, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Fight To The Death”: The Final Indian War In America About To Begin

South Dakota’s Republican leadership of John Thune and Kristi Noem always march lockstep with the other Republican robots. Neither of them care that South Dakota’s largest minority, the people of the Great Sioux Nation, diametrically oppose the Pipeline and they also fail to understand the determination of the Indian people to stop it.

The House vote was 252-161 favoring the bill. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) who is trying to take the senate seat from Democrat Mary Landrieu, They are headed for a senate runoff on December 6 and Landrieu has expressed a strong support of the bill in hopes of holding her senate seat.

Two hundred twenty-one Republicans supported the bill which made the Republican support unanimous while 31 Democrats joined the Republicans. One hundred sixty-one Democrats rejected the bill.

Progressive newsman and commentator for MSNBC, Ed Schultz, traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota this year to meet with the Indian opponents of the Pipeline. Firsthand he witnessed the absolute determination of the Indian nations to stop construction of the Pipeline.

He witnessed their determination and reported on it. Except for Schultz the national media shows no interest and apparently has no knowledge of how the Indian people feel about the Pipeline nor do they comprehend that they will go to their deaths stopping it. What is wrong with the national media when it comes to Indians?

As an example of the national media’s apathy, the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota have turned their backs on the $1.5 billion dollars offered to them for settling the Black Hills Claim and although they are among the poorest of all Americans, the national media does not consider this news.

Why do they protest the XL Pipeline? Because the lands the Pipeline will cross are Sacred Treaty Lands and to violate these lands by digging ditches for the pipelines is blasphemes to the beliefs of the Native Americans. Violating the human and religious rights of a people in order to create jobs and low cost fuel is the worst form of capitalism. Will the Pipeline bring down the cost of fuel and create thousands of jobs?

President Barack Obama has blocked the construction of the Pipeline for six years and he said, “I have constantly pushed back against the idea the somehow the Keystone Pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

In the meantime Senator Landrieu conceded that it is unlikely that the Senate and the House will have the two-thirds majority needed to override an Obama veto.

Wizipan Little Elk of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a coalition of tribal leaders from across the Northern Plains and the United States have pulled no punches on how they intend to fight the Pipeline to the death if that is the only way to stop it.

South Dakota’s elected leadership has totally ignored the protests of the largest minority residing in their state. They have also totally underestimated and misunderstood the inherent determination of the Indian people. This is a huge mistake that will have national implications and it is taking place right under their Republican noses.

What is even worse is South Dakota’s media has also buried its collective heads in the sand even though Native Sun News has been reporting on the Keystone XL Pipeline since 2006. Award-winning Health and Environment Editor for Native Sun News, Talli Nauman, has been at the journalistic forefront of this environmental disaster about to happen from day one and she has been rewarded by the South Dakota Newspaper Association with many awards for her yearly series of articles on this most important topic. Until this issue became a political football, the rest of South Dakota’s media had been silent.

The Keystone XL Pipeline that is being pushed by TransCanada may well be the beginning of the final war between the United States government and the Indian Nations. A word of caution to TransCanada and the U.S. Government: please do not disregard the determination of the Indian people when they say they will fight this Pipeline to their deaths if need be. They mean it!

When asked if he truly thought that a handful of Indians could stop the construction of the Pipeline, Little Elk simply said, “Try us!”


By: Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is The Editor and Publisher of Native Sun News; (Note: This column will appear before the Senate votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The House has already approved the construction of the Pipeline): Published in The Huffington Post Blog, November 16, 2014

November 17, 2014 Posted by | Keystone XL, Native Americans, South Dakota | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Mercy Me!”: This Is How Fox Reacts When Democrats Talk About Racism In The South

News Flash: The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.

And now that some Democrats are daring to point that out, in ads and interviews, the media is grabbing its smelling salts.

Mercy me! they’re crying—it’s unseemly for Southern candidates to mention that black people face discrimination, voter suppression and even violence in the Old Confederacy.

In an interview yesterday, Chuck Todd asked Senator Mary Landrieu, now locked in a tight race in Louisiana, “Why does President Obama have a hard time in Louisiana?” Fossil-fuel hawk Landrieu first cited Obama’s moratorium on off-shore drilling after the BP disaster, which she said put a lot of people out of business. Then, she ventured:

I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.

“Why is she talking like this?” Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked incredulously this morning. A guest came on to explain, “She is excusing her poor performance by blaming voters.”

It can’t be because it’s true.

Even the host of an Al Jazeera news show today, while not doubting the veracity of Landrieu’s comment, treated it like a gaffe, a bad one, and had an expert on to decide if Landrieu’s campaign was now doomed. (The verdict: maybe.)

More predictably, Republicans are shocked, shocked at Landrieu’s audacity. Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal called the remarks “remarkably divisive” and “a major insult” to Louisianans. “She appears to be living in a different century,” he said in a statement.

“Louisiana deserves better than a senator who denigrates her own people by questioning and projecting insidious motives on the very people she claims to represent,” State Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere said in a statement. “Senator Landrieu and President Obama are unpopular for no other reason than the fact the policies they advance are wrong for Louisiana and wrong for America.” And of course there’ve been demands that Landrieu apologize. (Do not do this, Mary.)

It’s not that people, left or right, shouldn’t object to Obama’s policies. But the claim that whites in the South, or elsewhere, hate Obama’s policies (many of which are Republican-bred) and are color-blind to his race is ludicrous. But they can get away with it in part because of the persistent myth that this is a post-racial America, the one the Supreme Court decided was so enlightened that it gutted the civil rights voting law and has allowed the voter ID laws in Texas to stand.

Right after making her “inflammatory” remarks about African-Americans, Landrieu went out on another limb and said of the South, “It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place.” But even if Landrieu were pandering to blacks and women to get them to the polls, so what? Her statements are true and obvious. And this is an election.

The media have been similarly timid in accepting what’s true and obvious when it comes to covering the get-out-the-black-vote ad campaigns that cite Trayvon Martin, Ferguson and GOP hopes to impeach Obama. A front-page story in Wednesday’s New York Times described the various flyers and radio ads targeting African-Americans, especially in the South:

The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression….

In North Carolina, the “super PAC” started by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, ran an ad on black radio that accused the Republican candidate, Thom Tillis, of leading an effort to pass the kind of gun law that “caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”

In Georgia, Democrats are circulating a flier warning that voting is the only way “to prevent another Ferguson.” It shows two black children holding cardboard signs that say “Don’t shoot.”….

In Arkansas, voters are opening mailboxes to find leaflets with images of the Ferguson protests and the words: “Enough! Republicans are targeting our kids, silencing our voices and even trying to impeach our president.” The group distributing them is Color of Change, a grass-roots civil rights organization.

In Georgia, the state Democratic Party is mixing themes of racial discrimination with appeals to rally behind the only black man elected president. “It’s up to us to vote to protect the legacy of the first African-American president,” one flier reads.

It’s not that the Times story necessarily agrees with conservatives that these ads are “race-baiting”—it’s the tone of strained, he-said/she-said “balance”:

That has led Republicans to accuse Democrats of turning to race-baiting in a desperate bid to win at the polls next Tuesday.

“They have been playing on this nerve in the black community that if you even so much as look at a Republican, churches will start to burn, your civil rights will be taken away and young black men like Trayvon Martin will die,” said Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican Party….

Democrats say Republicans need to own their record of passing laws hostile to African-American interests on issues like voting rights.

But the story doesn’t cut through the journalistic niceties until the very end.

For many African-Americans, feelings of persecution—from voter ID laws, aggressive police forces and a host of other social problems— are hard to overstate. And they see no hyperbole in the attacks.

“It’s not race-baiting; it’s actually happening,” said Jaymes Powell Jr., an official in the North Carolina Democratic Party’s African-American Caucus. “I can’t catch a fish unless there’s a worm on the hook.”


By: Leslie Savan, The Nation, October 31, 2014

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Fox News, Racism, The South | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Once Again, Guns”: The N.R.A.’s Vision Of The World Is Purposefully Dark And Utterly Irrational

There’s a TV ad that’s been running in Louisiana:

It’s evening and a mom is tucking in her baby. Getting a nice text from dad, who’s away on a trip. Then suddenly — dark shadow on a window. Somebody’s smashing the front door open! Next thing you know, there’s police tape around the house, blinking lights on emergency vehicles.

“It happens like that,” says a somber narrator. “The police can’t get there in time. How you defend yourself is up to you. It’s your choice. But Mary Landrieu voted to take away your gun rights. Vote like your safety depends on it. Defend your freedom. Defeat Mary Landrieu.”

Guns are a big issue in some of the hottest elections around the country this year, but there hasn’t been much national discussion about it. Perhaps we’ve been too busy worrying whether terrorists are infecting themselves with Ebola and sneaking across the Mexican border.

But now, as usual, we’re returning to the issue because of a terrible school shooting.

The latest — a high school freshman boy with a gun in the school’s cafeteria — occurred in the state of Washington, which also happens to be ground zero for the election-year gun debate. At least that’s the way the movement against gun violence sees it. There’s a voter initiative on the ballot that would require background checks for gun sales at gun shows or online. “We need to be laser focused on getting this policy passed,” said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign.

Think about this. It’s really remarkable. Two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, the top gun-control priority in the United States is still background checks. There is nothing controversial about the idea that people who buy guns should be screened to make sure they don’t have a criminal record or serious mental illness. Americans favor it by huge majorities. Even gun owners support it. Yet we’re still struggling with it.

The problem, of course, is the National Rifle Association, which does not actually represent gun owners nearly as ferociously as it represents gun sellers. The background check bill is on the ballot under voter initiative because the Washington State Legislature was too frightened of the N.R.A. to take it up. This in a state that managed to pass a right-to-die law, approve gay marriage and legalize the sale of marijuana.

The N.R.A. has worked hard to cultivate its reputation for terrifying implacability. Let’s return for a minute to Senator Mary Landrieu, who’s in a very tough re-election race. Last year, in the wake of Sandy Hook, she voted for a watered-down background check bill. It failed to get the requisite 60 votes in the Senate, but the N.R.A. is not forgetting.

Nor is it a fan of compromise. Landrieu has tried to straddle the middle on gun issues; she voted last year for the N.R.A.’s own top priority, a bill to create an enormous loophole in concealed weapons laws. As a reward, she got a “D” rating and the murdered-mom ad. In Colorado, the embattled Senator Mark Udall, who has a similar voting record, is getting the same treatment.

The N.R.A.’s vision of the world is purposefully dark and utterly irrational. It’s been running a series of what it regards as positive ads, which are so grim they do suggest that it’s time to grab a rifle and head for the bunker. In one, a mournful-looking woman asks whether there’s still anything worth fighting for in “a world that demands we submit, succumb, and believe in nothing.” It is, she continues, a world full of “cowards who pretend they don’t notice the elderly man fall …”

Now when was the last time you saw people ignore an elderly man who falls down? I live in what is supposed to be a hard-hearted city, but when an old person trips and hits the ground, there is a veritable stampede to get him upright.

The ad running against people like Landrieu makes no sense whatsoever. If that background-check bill had become law, the doomed mother would still have been able to buy a gun for protection unless she happened to be a convicted felon. And while we have many, many, many things to worry about these days, the prospect of an armed stranger breaking through the front door and murdering the family is not high on the list. Unless the intruder was actually a former abusive spouse or boyfriend, in which case a background check would have been extremely helpful in keeping him unarmed.

A shooting like the one in Washington State is so shocking that it seems almost improper to suggest that people respond by passing an extremely mild gun control measure. But there is a kind of moral balance. While we may not be able to stop these tragedies from happening, we can stop thinking of ourselves as a country that lets them happen and then does nothing.

Unless your worldview is as bleak as the N.R.A.’s, you have to believe we’re better than that.


By: Gail Collins, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, October 24, 2014

October 26, 2014 Posted by | Gun Violence, Mass Shootings, National Rifle Association | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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