Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just A Little Misdirection Play

(Political cartoon by Matt Bors and published at Daily Kos.  Click on image to enlarge.  If you need an even larger image click on link and get the embiggened version there.)

Sometimes reading the newspaper is fun.  Rarely, but sometimes.  This article in the Los Angeles Times made me chuckle.

The White House plans to announce Tuesday that it has improved gun safety in the country by chipping away at 21 of 23 items on an executive to-do list issued in January.
But the progress report will also highlight steps that Congress has not taken, as some of the most significant measures ordered by President Obama will have little effect if lawmakers don’t act to give funding or approval.

Administration officials say there has been progress on several actions taken by Obama under executive authority, including directives to end the freeze on gun violence research and to reduce barriers that keep states from submitting records to the national background system.

They acknowledged, though, that the end to the 17-year ban on research will make little difference until Congress restores funding for the work. In addition, a more thorough database of mental health and criminal history records is valuable only if gun sellers check that database before selling firearms.

“The administration has more work to do,” said one White House official, who talked to reporters Monday on the condition of anonymity, “but Congress must also do its job.”

Getting lawmakers on board for gun proposals has proved to be no easy task. The Senate in April failed to muster the 60 votes needed to pass a measure that, among other things, would have expanded the requirement on sellers to run background checks before selling guns at gun shows and over the Internet.   [Emphasis added]

Getting lawmakers on board is of course difficult:  most of those senators voting no (and I'm talking about both sides of the aisle) are in the pockets of the NRA and the gun manufacturers.  Open Secrets has a handy chart listing them.  And there is no way any such legislation would get past this House, not as it's presently constituted.  The White House has to know that.

So why the decision to release such a report?

Well, gun control of some sort is very popular with most Americans.  The White House has discovered that being spied on by its own government is not so popular, not at all.  So, it was necessary to change the subject, which is exactly what Mr. Obama did.   And it was a pivot that would have done all one-on-one basketball players proud.

Because, of course, we are all morons and can't see what he is doing.

By the way, if you haven't signed this White House petition, please consider doing so.  Let's show the White House that we weren't suckered by the shiny keys.

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Anonymous Rick said...

This is a bit off topic - but if you add target="_blank" to the links to the images, they'll open in a new tab so the user doesn't have to go back.

8:12 AM  

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