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Jefferson23

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Hometown: Connecticut
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Member since: Thu May 15, 2008, 04:37 PM
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As NRA Hides from Public After Newtown, ALEC Ties Reveal Extensive Lobbying Behind U.S. Gun Laws

From Democracy Now

Since Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 27 dead — 20 children and seven adults — the National Rifle Association has been silent. The powerful lobbying organization has long pressured lawmakers to maintain easy access to firearms in the United States, prompting many to say the NRA is standing in the way of reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent more than $2.2 million lobbying Congress this year alone. By comparison, the gun control lobby spent just $180,000. We’re joined by Lisa Graves, who has extensively tracked how the NRA’s power and wealth has long thwarted gun control proposals. Graves documents how one of the key avenues used to exert its influence is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive group that helps corporate America propose and draft legislation for states across the country. Graves formerly served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration’s Justice Department, where she handled national gun policy.


Guest:

Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. She formerly served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration’s Justice Department, where she handled national gun policy, and was the managing editor of the National Integrated Firearms Violence Reduction Strategy. Her most recent article for PR Watch is called "Backgrounder: The History of the NRA/ALEC Gun Agenda."


Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: Since Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 27 dead—20 children, six women who tried to protect them, the principal, the psychologist, the teachers, as well as the shooter’s mother, and seven adults—the National Rifle Association has been silent. Its Facebook page has gone dark. The NRA has refused to give interviews. On Monday, more than 150 gun control advocates marched to the NRA’s Capitol Hill headquarters to call on the group to support enacting laws they say could save lives. Among them were people directly impacted by gun violence.

SNIP* AMY GOODMAN: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA spent more than $2.2 million lobbying Congress this year alone. By comparison, the gun control lobby spent just $180,000.

in full: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/12/18/as_nra_hides_from_public_after

Gun Control Legislation ( Congressional Research Service )

** Posted as a source of information. This was presented to our Congress
and gives specific information which too often seems to be misrepresented by
those who do not support efforts to address regulation of guns.



Contents
Developments in the 112th Congress ................................................................................................ 1
Background and Analysis ................................................................................................................ 6
Pro/Con Debate ......................................................................................................................... 6
Gun-Related Statistics ............................................................................................................... 7
How Many Guns Are in the United States?......................................................................... 8
How Often Are Guns Used in Homicides? ......................................................................... 9
How Prevalent Are Gun-Related Fatalities? ..................................................................... 11
How Often Are Guns Used in Non-Lethal Crimes? .......................................................... 13
How Often Are Firearms Used in Self-Defense? .............................................................. 13
What About the Recreational Use of Guns? ...................................................................... 14
Federal Regulation of Firearms ..................................................................................................... 14
The National Firearms Act (NFA) ........................................................................................... 14
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) ...................................................................................... 14



http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32842.pdf

Mr President, tear down this wall

A newly re-elected Obama must rethink his strategy with Iran if he ever hopes to break down the wall of mistrust.

In Election 2012's theatre-of-the-absurd "foreign policy" debate, Iran came up no less than 47 times. Despite all the fear, loathing, threats and lies in that billionaire's circus of a campaign season, Americans were nonetheless offered virtually nothing substantial about Iran, although its (non-existent) WMDs were relentlessly hawked as the top US national security issue (the world was, however, astonished to learn from candidate Romney that Syria, not the Persian Gulf, was that country's "route to the sea").

Now, with the campaign Sturm und Drang behind us but the threats still around, the question is: Can Obama 2.0 bridge the gap between current US policy (we don't want war, but there will be war if you try to build a bomb) and Persian optics (we don't want a bomb - the Supreme Leader said so - and we want a deal, but only if you grant us some measure of respect)? Don't forget that a soon-to-be-re-elected President Obama signalled in October the tiniest of possible openings toward reconciliation while talking about the "pressure" he was applying to that country, when he spoke of "our policy of... potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear programme".

Tehran won't, of course, "end" its (legal) nuclear programme. As for that "potentially", it should be a graphic reminder of how the establishment in Washington loathes even the possibility of bilateral negotiations.

Mr President, tear down this wall

Let's start with the obvious but important: On entering the Oval Office in January 2009, President Obama inherited a seemingly impregnable three-decade-long "Wall of Mistrust" in Iran-US relations. To his credit, that March he directly addressed all Iranians in a message for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, calling for an "engagement that is honed and grounded in mutual respect". He even quoted the 13th century Persian poet Sa'adi: "The children of Adam are limbs of one body, which God created from one essence".

remainder: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/12/2012127112548497972.html

'This Time, Israel Has Defied the Whole World'

December 4, 2012

Europe is furious with Israel for its plan to build 3,000 new settler units to punish the Palestinians, following their elevation to "non-member observer status" in the UN last week. While sanctions appear not to be on the table, German commentators say it is time to get tough with Israeli premier Netanyahu.

One might think that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Wednesday visit to Berlin could provide for some fireworks. He has come under significant criticism from the European Union for Israel's announcement last Friday that it would build 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Britain and France denied reports on Monday that they were considering recalling their ambassadors from Israel, though both nations, in addition to Sweden, did vent their anger by summoning the Israeli ambassadors to voice their concerns.


On Tuesday, cooler heads seem to be prevailing. British Foreign Secretary William Hague ruled out the possibility of European sanctions on Israel. "I don't think there is enthusiasm around the European Union … about economic sanctions in Europe on Israel," he said. "I don't believe there would be anywhere near a consensus nor is that our approach." France too has indicated that it would not pursue sanctions.

Furthermore, despite Merkel's own warning on the settlement construction plan -- her spokesman said on Monday that the chancellor was "extremely concerned" -- it seems more likely that the experienced stateswoman would chide Netanyahu in private rather than openly.

remainder: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-commentators-blast-israel-for-settlement-building-plan-a-870924.html

Study: Wealthy Nations’ Fossil Fuel Subsidies 5 Times Greater Than Climate Aid to Countries in Need

From Democracy Now:

A new report by Oil Change International has found wealthy nations are spending five times more money on fossil fuel subsidies than climate aid. In 2011, rich nations spent $58 billion on subsidies and just $11 billion for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. According to the study, the United States spent $13 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 and just $2.5 billion in climate aid. We’re joined by David Turnbull, campaigns director of Oil Change International.

snip* Today we’re joined by David Turnbull, campaigns director of Oil Change International, the former director at Climate Action Network.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about this report. And what exactly does "climate aid" mean?

DAVID TURNBULL: Well, so, you know, in the halls here in Doha, where the negotiators are talking about how they can help to support developing countries adapt and act on climate change—and what we found is that that support is really lacking. Developing countries are in need of at least $100 billion per year in 2020. And what we’re seeing is that fossil fuel subsidies from the rich countries that could help support that need for adaptation and mitigation efforts, the developed countries are supporting fossil fuel subsidies at five times the rate of the climate finance.

in full: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/12/4/study_wealthy_nations_fossil_fuel_subsidies
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