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The Left Column


A Democrat getting outspent 17-1 is now neck and neck in deep-red Pennsylvania

(Vox) For the first time in nearly 15 years, Republicans in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District are starting to get nervous.

On its face, the March 13 special congressional election in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania should be a breeze for the GOP. The Cook Political Report rates the district R+11 (due in part to partisan gerrymandering that the state Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional).


Longtime NYC police chief: Giving teachers guns is 'the height of lunacy'

(Twitter) Proposals to arm American teachers are the height of lunacy. Are we also then going to arm school bus drivers and school crossing guards. The #NRA & gun manufacturers would love that.

Let's not keep trying to apply ill thought out political band aids to avoid addressing the real need—loop hole free regulations and dramatically improved background screening.

The answer to gun violence isn’t more guns. NYC 25yr gun related violence decline, continuing this year, clearly shows that fewer guns has resulted in dramatically less gun related violence of all types, much as the 10yr ban on assault weapons lowered crime involving that weapon


Democrats Could Pick Up 18 Governorships This Year

(Political Wire) FiveThirtyEight: “According to qualitative assessments by nonpartisan handicappers — Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections, — only eight GOP-held governorships are completely safe in 2018. That leaves 18 Republican-held governorships in some degree of danger.”


David Simon, creator of The Wire, puts it in perfect context:

"School teachers carrying firearms and readied for gun battles in grade school classrooms is a level of social pathology that signals the end of any viable, coherent society. Travel such a path, and the barbarism and fearmongering of the American abattoir can only accelerate."

6:04 PM - Feb 21, 2018

Julian Englis

Little Marco Unintentionally Causes A Crowd to Erupt In Cheers for His Gun Control Argument

Rubio scores an own goal when he says the assault weapons ban "would literally ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America" and the crowd erupts in cheers (Click for video)


Melania Trump's parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions about whether...

(WaPo) The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become legal permanent residents of the United States and are close to obtaining their citizenship, according to people familiar with their status, but their attorney declined to say how or when the couple gained their green cards.

Immigration experts said Viktor and Amalija Knavs very likely relied on a family reunification process that President Trump has derided as “chain migration” and proposed ending in such cases.


Conservative Twitter Users Lose Thousands of Followers, Mass Purge of Bots Suspected

(Gizmodo) Twitter suspended thousands of accounts overnight and conservatives on the platform aren’t happy about it. Twitter has yet to make a public statement about the issue, but right-wing users believe that they’re being targeted in a mass purge of suspected Russian bot accounts.

Conservative Twitter has even started a hashtag called #TwitterLockOut to talk about the purge, with some claiming that real people (as opposed to bots) were locked out of their accounts. Gizmodo has so far been unable to confirm that any real people have had their accounts mistakenly suspended.


Democrats just flipped a Kentucky state legislature seat in a district Trump won by 49 points

(Vox) Democrat Linda Belcher was just pronounced the winner of the special election in Kentucky’s House District 49, a seat that Donald Trump carried by a 72-23 margin in 2016 and that went 66-33 for Mitt Romney in 2012.


Florida House votes down motion to take up weapons ban with Douglas students present

On their first full day lobbying Florida lawmakers in Tallahassee to change the state's gun laws, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School quickly learned change does not happen very fast in government, if at all.

With Douglas students in the gallery Tuesday, the Florida House voted down a motion to take up a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 used by Nikolas Cruz when he killed 17 people at the school on Valentine's Day.

The final motion vote was 36-71.


My theory on why the MSDHS students have been so vocal:

Sandy Hook was a little over five years ago.

The students at Stoneman Douglas were only a couple of years older than the student victims at Sandy Hook. They were old enough to have a conscious memory of that horrible day and probably associate in some way with the students killed there. They probably haven't forgotten those feelings of vulnerability.

It's a generational thing, and they are the generation of school massacres.

It's as though the tragedy followed them.

Different schools, different states, different shooters, but the same exact problem.

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