Democrats for Gorsuch

NRA is running ads in four states in an attempt to pressure Democrat Senators to vote for Neil Gorsuch. That’s good.

In addition, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has indicated he will vote for cloture on the nomination.

This concerns me:

“… Serious question: What leverage does the GOP have, really, over Joe Manchin? I know, I know — West Virginia’s one of the reddest states in the union and voted overwhelmingly for Trump, so in theory Trump could swoop in there next year and demand that Manchin be ousted. Realistically, though, Manchin’s going to end up voting with Trump and the GOP on a bunch of legislation over the next 18 months, which will put him back in the White House’s good graces no matter what he does on Gorsuch … On top of all that, Manchin has a strong electoral history in WV … The guy has never seriously been threatened back home …”

Here is the reason for my concern:

“… According to the NYT Mag, Manchin appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on December 14, 2016, the 4th anniversary of the heinous attack in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza stole guns, killed his mother, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary and killed 26 more innocents. While on air, Manchin again voiced support for his pet gun control item — an expansion of background checks in response to the Sandy Hook attack. Within an hour after his segment ended, Manchin received a phone call from Donald Trump. And while he did not divulge details of the call, he told NYT Mag reporter Robert Draper that he believes he has “a complete opportunity” to secure gun control under Trump …”

This is probably just hot air from Manchin, but I would not put it past the Republicans to offer him something in exchange for his Gorsuch vote.

Trump stumbles

The Donald has made the first big mistake of his presidency by demanding the House vote on his health care bill.  According to Business Insider:

“… “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon reportedly said to members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus …”

This was a really dumb move on his part.  It was a rookie mistake he can recover from.

The problem for 2A is that it comes at a bad time.  Democrats want to block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination and this gaff will embolden them.  To get past the threat of a filibuster, Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans need to step down hard on Chuck Schumer.  There can be no comprise here.  Any weakness on the part of Trump or McConnell and Schumer wins.

The exodus continues

Latest Census figures show that people are continuing to leave New York:

“… New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show nearly 73,000 New Yorkers moved out of state between July 2015 and July 2016. The decline was sharpest upstate … Overall, downstate New York continued to see modest population growth, centered on New York City. But that growth is being overshadowed by declines upstate …”

The next redistricting takes place in 2020 and goes into effect in 2022.  Assuming they don’t collapse beforehand, this will be the end of the Senate Republicans.

Gorsuch nomination

Senate confirmation hearings on SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch began yesterday.

The antis are not happy:

Dianne Feinstein attacked the NRA during her remarks:

“… It is the Supreme Court that will have final word … [on] whether the NRA and other extreme organizations will be able to block common sense gun regulations, including those that keep military-style assault weapons off our streets …”

It’s a safe bet both Heller and McDonald will come up during questioning. The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the nomination April 3 and the full Senate sometime after that.

Ultimately I expect Gorsuch will be confirmed. There isn’t much of a well organized opposition to him, mostly people already angry that Trump won. Chuck Schumer is not doing a very good job at being Minority Leader. I was expecting him to be a much bigger pain than he has been so far.

Gun control and social media

On Monday, March 20, the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City will host a panel discussion on the role social media plays in gun violence with New York University’s Dr. Shabnam Javdani and others, John Jay College, Moot Court Room, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.

Office to Prevent Gun Violence

Int 1470-2017 has been introduced to the City Council by Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.  The bill would authorize the Mayor to create an Office to Prevent Gun Violence.

According to the bill, the function of the office director would be:

  1. advise and assist the mayor in planning, developing and coordinating efforts to reduce gun violence;
  2. engage with members of the community, elected officials, and other interested groups and individuals to develop further strategies to reduce gun violence;
  3. review the budget requests of all agencies for programs related to gun violence, recommend budget priorities among such programs, and assist the mayor in prioritizing such requests

The real function of the office director would be:

  1. to allow the Mayor to put one or more of his otherwise unemployable cronies on the City payroll;
  2. acting as a defacto lobbyist for gun control organizations;
  3. reviewing the budget requests of all agencies and recommending budget priorities which funnel monies to politically connected associates of both the Mayor and City Councilmembers;
  4. self-aggrandizement and positioning the director to run for elected office and repeat the cycle all over again

The bill current sits in the Governmental Operations Committee.

Political Theatre, Act II

Follow-up to last week’s post about the Republican’s making partial SAFE Act repeal a partisan issue.

Rensselaer Co.:

“… During its monthly meeting last week, the legislature approved two resolutions supporting the Second Amendment, advocating for repeal of the SAFE Act and cancellation of the required recertification by pistol owners by votes along party lines. The resolution requesting an appeal of the SAFE Act was approved after a 10-5 vote. The decision was split between Republicans and Democrats on the Legislature with all Republicans present during the meeting voting in favor of the resolution and all Democrats present voted in opposition …”

Onondaga Co.:

“… The Onondaga County Legislature voted Tuesday to support a State Senate bill that would limit application of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act to the five counties of New York City … The county legislature’s resolution passed 13 to four, with support from all the body’s Republicans and opposition from the Democrats …”

Erie Co.:

“… Voted 7-4 in favor of a resolution, sponsored by Legislator Edward Rath III, R-Amherst, in support of state legislation to eliminate some gun control provisions in the state’s SAFE Act. The legislation would apply to areas outside of New York City …”

It is nice having these legislative bodies on record (again) opposing SAFE, but going about it this way is unhelpful.

Remington layoffs

Remington has laid-off 122 people at the Ilion plant.

Despite what Bob Owens says, it is probably not due to the SAFE Act. The gun industry has been slowing down since the election.

It’s Virginia’s fault

Criminals violate numerous local, state and federal laws by bringing firearms into the City.

Obviously it’s Virginia’s fault:

Zeldin continues to set a good example

Lee Zeldin continues to set an example of how downstate Republicans (and Democrats) should handle gun issues when they come up.

From his latest telephone townhall meeting:

“… A caller asked about the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017; Mr. Zeldin is one of its many co-sponsors. That proposed bill would compel states to recognize out-of-state permits allowing the concealed carry of handguns, overriding their own laws. It would also allow concealed handguns in school zones and on federally owned public lands. “I’m just curious how this is possibly something you could support,” the caller said. Mr. Zeldin referred to his opposition to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, known as the NY SAFE Act, which he said improperly labeled certain firearms as assault weapons because a feature, such as a flash suppressor or a thumb grip, had been added to it and consequently “it looked scary.” Existing laws are not enforced, he said, “so it’s not just about creating a new law that might feel good, or might sound good.” …”

Good.  No mealy-mouthed crap, no talk about hunting, no preemptive surrendering.

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