Somewhat lost in the most recent conversation surrounding gun safety is how the discussion is framed to favor the rights of gun owners over the rights of people who would prefer not to live around guns. On TPM, Josh Marshall expounds on this pretty personally and is hoping to change the framing to make the conversation more equitable.
In the current rhetorical climate people seem not to want to say: I think guns are kind of scary and don’t want to be around them. Yes, plenty of people have them and use them safely. And I have no problem with that. But remember, handguns especially are designed to kill people. You may want to use it to threaten or deter. You may use it to kill people who should be killed (i.e., in self-defense). But handguns are designed to kill people. They’re not designed to hunt. You may use it to shoot at the range. But they’re designed to kill people quickly and efficiently.
That frightens me. I don’t want to have those in my home. I don’t particularly want to be around people who are carrying. Cops, I don’t mind. They’re trained, under an organized system and supposed to use them for a specific purpose. But do I want to have people carrying firearms out and about where I live my life — at the store, the restaurant, at my kid’s playground? No, the whole idea is alien and frankly scary. Because remember, guns are extremely efficient tools for killing people and people get weird and do stupid things.
I read this Newsweek Tumblr excerpt of Fareed Zakaria’s column Obama’s CEO Problem. To save you the trouble, Obama’s CEO problem is too much regulation. If only there was less regulation, the top 500 American nonfinancial companies, who have $1.8 trillion in cash, would be stimulating the economy more themselves. $1.8 trillion is a lot of money and would go a long way. “The Business Roundtable, which had supported the Obama administration, has begun to complain about the myriad new laws and regulations being cooked up in Washington.”
And then, about 25 seconds later, I read this Reuters’ piece via TPM, which made the point that the regulations governing offshore drilling call for use of oil skimming material already being used in the BP oils spill, which means there really shouldn’t be any more drilling or exploration until skimming capacity is increased.
So, I would argue that there really isn’t too much regulation at all, and what there is isn’t working.
Via a reader email to Talking Points Memo: Regardless of which side of the political fence you’re on, you have to admire this type of personal animosity:
My next-door neighbor is a life-long Democrat who has spent the last 20 years as a registered Republican. He switched his registration just so he could vote against Arlen in the GOP primaries. When Arlen switched to the Democrats, so did my neighbor. I have disliked many a politician but have never been tempted to switch parties to get another opportunity to vote against him an extra time.
In the court of public opinion, Toyota is circling the drain. There’s reason for them to have hope, though, because BP just plummeted below them. And rightfully so.
Two links from two weeks ago that you may or may not have seen, but I had saved to share and not gotten around to it yet.
The Yes Men sent out a hoax press release from the US Chamber of Commerce saying they had changed their position on climate change. Obviously the media was interested in this so the Yes Men rented a room at the DC Press Club and gave a fake press conference. Then it gets really awesome when a representative of the Chamber shows up and shuts down the presser. And now, they’re getting sued for it
If you saw the profits made by the big banks last quarter and wondered how they were doing it, Philip Greenspun has an answer:
Because of the Collapse of 2008 financial reforms, the big investment banks are able to borrow money from the U.S. government at 0 percent interest. Then they can turn around and buy short-term bonds that pay 2 or 3 percent annual interest. Now theyâ€™re making 2 percent on whatever they borrowed. They can use leverage to increase this number, by pledging some of the bonds that theyâ€™ve already bought as collateral on additional bonds.
It’s all so awesome, isn’t it?
Via Talking Points Memo, a poll from Public Policy Polling drilling down into the nonsense regarding whether President Obama is a naturalized citizen of the US.
According to the poll, 24% of the population do not believe Obama was born in the US. That’s not a huge surprise, because that’s about the % of the country that supported Bush until the end of his presidency (though, it’s obviously not certain these are the same people). More of these people (10% to 7%) believe he was born in Indonesia, rather than Kenya, which is weird because as TPM notes, everyone knows that Obama was born in Kenya, or at least that’s what they say.
Most telling, tough is the 10% of people who acknowledge Obama WAS born in Hawaii. 6% of them don’t think Hawaii is part of the US and 4% aren’t sure.
Reasonable people can disagree, sure, but these people aren’t reasonable.
Talking Poings Memo rounds up the 10 most viral Sarah Palin videos of the last year. Lots to giggle about here.