By Kasie Hunt, Political Reporter, NBC News
A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on a bill that would make it a federal crime to buy a gun for someone who isn’t legally allowed to own one.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced the agreement on the Senate floor Monday evening.
Illegal gun “straw” purchases, made by a buyer on behalf of someone who cannot pass a background check, are often not prosecuted under current law, usually because conducting such a sale yields such a weak penalty.
The new compromise legislation would make the consequences for both straw buyers and sellers far more serious – to the tune of decades in jail.
“Instead of a slap on the wrist or treating this like a paperwork violation, these crimes under our bill would be punishable by up to 25 years in prison,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said. FULL ARTICLE
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2012
Invoking the somber aftermath of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today appealed to congressional Republicans to embrace a standing “fair deal” on taxes and spending that would avert the fiscal cliff in 13 days.
“If there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important,” Obama said at a midday news conference.
“I would like to think that members of that [Republican] caucus would say to themselves, ‘You know what? We disagree with the president on a whole bunch of things,’” he said. “‘But right now what the country needs is for us to compromise.’”
House Speaker John Boehner’s response: “Get serious.”
By Michelangelo Signorile
New Jersey openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has always been the last person to advocate bringing civil rights to a vote. The Democratic lawmakerspearheaded a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey legislature earlier this year that passed but which GOP Gov. Chris Christie vetoed while urging activists to have it voted on by the people of New Jersey. When Gusciora criticized that approach, and lambasted Christie for controversially suggesting the issue of civil rights should have been put up for a vote in the South in the 1960s, Christie famously called him a “numbnuts.”
But now, frustrated that the Democratic leadership in the state legislature has not
Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
scheduled a veto override vote, as promised, and emboldened by polls that show a majority of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, Gusciora believes New Jersey voters should vote on the issue. And, confident after wins in Maine, Maryland and Washington state on marriage equality at the ballot, he has introduced a bill to put it on the ballot.
“I was actually one of the advocates who thought that should be [a tactic ] of last resort,” he said. “I am the last person to advocate that, but nonetheless we’re at a standstill.
Frank Bruni in an Earl Wilson photo
If you live for 80 years, Chuck Bennett told me, you see things you never imagined. Crazy, fantastical stuff.
¶A man on the moon. “Amazing,” he said.
¶The Soviet Union’s disintegration. “Also amazing.”
¶And on Nov. 6, if the polls are right and his hope is fulfilled, the people of Maine may pass a referendum for same-sex marriage, which no state has adopted by popular vote before.
¶“That’s equally amazing to me,” he said. Ten minutes later, he circled back to say it again. “I would like to reiterate how amazing it is.”
¶Bennett was born in 1932 and grew up in Brooklyn without anything but slurs and clinical terms to describe his attraction to other men. In the late 1950s, he was forced out of the Navy for being gay.
¶He never found a long-term romantic partner, thwarted in part by a disapproving society with no obvious role models for him, and he bought his dream house on the ocean here 15 years ago with two close friends, because he didn’t want to grow old alone and didn’t expect to meet anyone special, not so late in the game. MORE
Former Gov. Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney wins the Maine GOP caucuses, with 39% of the vote, beating Ron Paul into second place with 36%.
The former Massachusetts governor comes off an embarrassing trio of losses Tuesday, but he was already ahead in the delegate race. Before the Maine results CNN estimated he had 115 out of 1,144 needed to win the nomination to challenge President Barack Obama.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not actively compete in the state’s caucuses.
The caucuses were mostly held between February 4 and 11; at stake were 21 delegates, to be committed proportionally. The results were compiled by the Maine Republican Party and kept secret until tonight. [CNN]
Ron Paul (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Ron Paul spoke and said that his campaign is about “freedom and liberty.” By that he means every individual is free to live himself and maintain the fruits of their labor and makes an emphasis on property rights, as in deciding who can and cannot enter your Woolworths and sit at the counter and be served. How can Ron and Rand deny that those newsletters under Ron Paul’s name, MUST HAVE BEEN RACIST AS CHARGED! I wonder if supporters of Ron Paul know what he REALLY stands for. Do they really want to reverse time and take the country back to the 1700s or 1800s? Personally, I’ll die before I’ll be a slave…and then you can bury me in my grave!