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The NRA vs. America (Rolling Stone)

The NRA vs. America
How the country’s biggest gun-rights group thwarts regulation and helps put military-grade weapons in the hands of killers

By Tim Dickinson
Rolling Stone
January 31, 2013 10:00 AM ET


Billing itself as the nation's "oldest civil rights organization," the NRA still claims to represent the interests of marksmen, hunters and responsible gun owners. But over the past decade and a half, the NRA has morphed into a front group for the firearms industry, whose profits are increasingly dependent on the sale of military-bred weapons like the assault rifles used in the massacres at Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. "When I was at the NRA, we said very specifically, 'We do not represent the firearm industry,'" says Richard Feldman, a longtime gun lobbyist who left the NRA in 1991. "We represent gun owners. End of story." But in the association's more recent history, he says, "They have really gone after the gun industry."

Today's NRA stands astride some of the ugliest currents of our politics, combining the "astroturf" activism of the Tea Party, the unlimited and undisclosed "dark money" of groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, and the sham legislating conducted on behalf of the industry through groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council. "This is not your father's NRA," says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a top gun-industry watchdog. Feldman is more succinct, calling his former employer a "cynical, mercenary political cult."

The NRA's alignment with an $11.7 billion industry has fed tens of millions of dollars into the association's coffers, helping it string together victories that would have seemed fantastic just 15 years ago. The NRA has hogtied federal regulators, censored government data about gun crime and blocked renewal of the ban on assault weaponry and high-capacity magazines, which expired in 2004. The NRA secured its "number-one legislative priority" in 2005, a law blocking liability lawsuits that once threatened to bankrupt gunmakers and expose the industry's darkest business practices. Across the country, the NRA has opened new markets for firearms dealers by pushing for state laws granting citizens the right to carry hidden weapons in public and to allow those who kill in the name of self-defense to get off scot-free


… These NRA directors are representative of a firearms sector that knows lethality sells. "The industry has changed," says Tom Diaz, former Democratic counsel to the House subcommittee on crime, a longtime gun-violence policy analyst and author of a forthcoming book on the industry, The Last Gun. "In terms of what sells and what is marketed most successfully, we're now talking about guns that are derived directly from military design…"


the rest:

Every Dollar Of Your Income-Except The Last One-Goes To Wars & Preparation For Wars

The true cost of national security
The Pentagon and the White House focus on the core Defense budget, but that’s not the half of i

By David Cay JohnstonFacebookTwitterEmailPrint One Page

From the perspective of taxpayers who must bear the burden, total national security costs are as much as 2.5 times the base Defense budget. Reporters might want to take a look at the true costs, and not just at the way the White House prepares the budget and Pentagon spins it.


By this broadest measure, the cost of national security consumes every individual income tax dollar except the last one paid by each American.

much more:

Taibbi: Can’t let Wall Street off the hook and jail someone for ‘a joint in his pocket’

The problem with letting the economic foxes run the henhouse, Taibbi told Moyers, is that it led to an overall degradation of the rule of law.

“If you’re going to put somebody in jail for having a joint in his pocket, you can’t let higher ranking HSBC officials off for laundering $800 million for the worst drug dealers in the entire world — people who are suspected, not only of dealing drugs, but of thousands of murders,” Taibbi said. “This is an incredible dichotomy, and eventually it eats away at the very fabric of society when some people go to jail and some people go to jail.”


Secretary Hillary Clinton says goodbye with four years of advocacy

Source: WomenNewsNetwork

Secretary Hillary Clinton says goodbye with four years of advocacy

A last day of term public presentation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlights the past four years of success with the work of the U.S. State Department to form sustainable public/private partnerships worldwide. Image: U.S. Dept of State

(WNN) Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES: When Rand Paul told Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that if he were president he would have relieved her of her duties over the Benghazi attack, he must have just been crawling out of the yolk of a daydream right there on the Senate floor. Because he’s the junior senator from Kentucky that rode into the Capitol on the heels of a Tea Party surge — that died — and she’s the former first lady who’s been in the service of this public since the days of Watergate. Since the 1960′s Hillary Rodham Clinton has dedicated her life, resources and impressive mind to public service, through thick and thin, to finally emerge as the first serious female candidate for the presidency and then the nation’s leading diplomat. She is a behemoth of a person, and in the last four years has navigated U.S. foreign policy through global turmoil during some of the most trying times in recent memory, and all the while fought for women’s rights at every turn.

During her tenure as Secretary of State, the world witnessed a movement of Arab youth that rocked the Middle East, beginning in Tunisia and spreading like wildfire across a region rife with frustration, poverty and lack of opportunity. Coupled with little education, few rights and economies built on corruption, the powder keg that has always been the Middle East erupted on her watch. Caught in the crossfire were U.S. allies and stalwart friends that had long upheld our interests in some of the most complicated corners of the world, where U.S. interests and American ideals usually bump right up against each other.


The woman who quipped as first lady that all she had to do to get headlines was to “change her hairstyle,” has proven that women can be beautiful and smart at the same time. Since her debut on the national stage where all anyone knew of her was the color of her inaugural gown, Hillary Clinton has fought for women’s rights with the force of a superpower. At home, she’s shown us the smart side of a politician who happens to be female, a policy wonk who is also sensitive, and a fashionista who is down to earth.

She has let us accompany her through the transformation of a naïve political wife who thought her ideals would trump the acerbicism of Washington, to the savvy diplomat that guided this nation through the muck and the mud of war and revolution a world away, where our interests are most entrenched. As a mother raising a young daughter, I am grateful to her for this image of the woman she has put forward, to balance against the mindless glam that permeates entertainment. I am grateful to have witnessed the life a real leader, who stood firm in the face of adversity, who faced her critics squarely with grace, and who resolutely pursued her goals as far as they would take her. I will sooner tell my kids to look at her for lessons in life than any bombshell making news for their hairstyle.

Thank you, Madame Secretary.

Read more: http://womennewsnetwork.net/2013/02/01/hillary-clinton-goodbye/

TODAY IS SECRETARY CLINTON’S LAST DAY – FIRST LOOK: The cover of the forthcoming issues of the electronic Newsweek calls her “The MOST POWERFUL WOMAN in AMERICAN HISTORY.” See the cover. http://bit.ly/WGNqEp

"Like if you put a speed limit on highway-pretty soon they're going to take your car away from you"

Like if you put a speed limit on a highway, pretty soon they're going to take your car away from you. -- David Corn of Mother Jones on the NRA's "slippery slope" argument


The continuing expansion of renewable energy technologies, advances in energy efficiency, and the rapid shift from coal to natural gas for generating electricity combined to bring down U.S. carbon dioxide emissions last year to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report said that CO2 emissions fell 13 percent in the last five years alone, which means that the U.S. is now more than halfway toward reaching President Obama’s goal of cutting emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The Bloomberg report said that while the shift from burning coal to natural gas is a significant factor in the U.S.’s continued emissions reductions, the adoption of renewable energy technologies is also playing an important role. The report said the cumulative installed solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass-based energy sources in the U.S. reached 86 gigawatts last year, compared with 43 gigawatts in 2008. Another growing source of emissions cuts is adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles, with 488,000 people in the U.S. purchasing these energy-efficient cars last year.


NO, We Were Right -You Were WRONG In 03 & 06 & Iraq War Was A MURDEROUS COCK-UP From Start To Finish

It was a bizarre, devotional exercise. Hagel was not being asked for his qualifications to lead the Department Of Defense — which, it should be noted, is largely an administrative one when it comes to the country's foreign relations. He was being asked to engage in a vague kind of theological debate. He was not being asked to profess his faith to Israel so much as to recant his heresies against the policies of the United States that were produced by adherents of a certain sect. He wasn't being asked to endorse Bibi Netanyahu so much as he was being asked to recant his unorthodox opinions as regarding the good works of Bill Kristol or John McCain. He was being asked, en ensemble, by Republicans old and young, essentially the same question John McCain spent six minutes hollering into the wind.

Please admit that we were right.

No. You were wrong. You were wrong in 2003 and you were wrong in 2006 and the Iraq war was a murderous cock-up from start to finish and Hagel, at least, figured that out in midstream.


Luckovich's ESPECIALLY Brutal GOP/Evolution Toon


'Known schizophrenic' bought guns(at Walmart) before arrest in mother's shooting death

Source: News OK

'Known schizophrenic' bought guns before arrest in mother's shooting death

Gerald David Hume, who had several mental health-related run-ins with Oklahoma City police before his mother's killing in November, bought the guns at a Walmart in Moore and Gun World in Del City, according to Oklahoma City police.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said the fact that Hume, 52, was able to get the guns — despite being “visibly” mentally ill — is a scary reality in Oklahoma and a majority of the states in the nation.

Gerald Hume was described by a relative as “a known schizophrenic” who hears voices and requires treatment, police Detective David Jacobson reported in an affidavit for a search warrant.


During the standoff, Gerald Hume admitted to a police negotiator that he had shot his mother in the chest, police Detective Ryan Porter reported in a court affidavit filed with the charge.

Read more: http://newsok.com/known-schizophrenic-bought-guns-before-arrest-in-mothers-shooting-death/article/3750821/?page=2

Senate Democrats Achieve 60 Votes For Violence Against Women Act

Source: Talking Points Memo

Senate Democrats Achieve 60 Votes For Violence Against Women Act

Next up in the Senate: The Violence Against Women Act.

Senate Democrats have achieved the 60 votes necessary to bypass a filibuster and reauthorize the domestic violence legislation.

“JUST TOPPED ‘magic number’ of 60 bipartisan cosponsors of my #VAWA legisl.; We’re moving briskly toward Senate vote on the Leahy-Crapo Bill,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter.

The seven Republicans who have joined 53 Democrats in support of the legislation are Sens. Kelly Ayotte (NH), Susan Collins (ME), Mike Crapo (ID), Dean Heller (NV), Mark Kirk (IL), Jerry Moran (KS) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).

Read more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/60-senate-votes-violence-against-women-act.php?ref=fpblg
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