Trump Delivering An Increasingly Muddled Message On School Shootings And Gun Laws
At a White House meeting with Governors, the President makes no mention of his own proposal made in a Tweet last week to raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21.
Instead, he spends most of a rambling hour-long commentary rhapsodizing about two increasingly front-burner ideas of his:
- Arming “adept” teachers
- Reopening “mental institutions” like they had in the “old days”
Here’s a clip from that meeting (click here or on the photo to play):
What’s changed from last week? Perhaps a lunch over the weekend with N.R.A. CEO Wayne LaPierre?
It’s hard to tell. Trump did some cheerleading for the N.R.A., telling the Governors: “Don’t worry about the NRA. They’re on our side“. Yet shortly after, he added: “We have to fight them every once in awhile. That’s OK. They’re doing what they think is right“.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis is reporting the House “Freedom Caucus” leader Mark Meadows wants to give tax breaks to retired vets in exchange for them volunteering to show up at schools as armed guards.
Republicans In Georgia Move To Punish One Of That State’s Biggest Employers For Cutting A Marketing Agreement With The N.R.A.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting the state’s Lieutenant Governor is leading a retaliatory effort to block a tax break to Delta Airlines. He’s demanding Delta reinstate a few benefits it’d been offering to N.R.A. members if it wants to keep its $40-50-million tax break on fuel consumption.
Here’s the Lieutenant Governor’s Tweet on the topic:
Delta on Saturday said it was pulling out of its marketing pact with the N.R.A., one of a bunch of companies to do so. Delta is the 5th largest company headquartered in Georgia, with nearly 90,000 employees.
The Real Reason The N.R.A. Has Clout Is Not Because They Give A Lot Of Money To Politicians, It’s Because Members Get Out And Vote
As we’ve asserted a bunch of times, while the N.R.A. does give a considerable amount of money to political campaigns, that’s not really why it’s so powerful. Pharmaceutical manufacturers give far more. Why then? N.R.A. members can be counted on to vote. 100%. And you don’t have to worry about who they’re going to vote for. Especially if they’re riled up about something, as the New York Times reports. And Republicans (as Trump did in 2016) rely on these votes to build a base.
Democrats don’t have that luxury. Even though there are more of them, they are less reliable and more easily distracted by other issues. That’s just the way it is. Part of the challenge is keeping Democrats focused on gun control come November, because the right wing certainly will be.
In fact, a few days ago Trump asked a bunch of Conservative activists whether they care more about his tax cuts or challenges to the Second Amendment (which when you think about it, is a really weird question for him to be asking). They overwhelmingly went with guns.
Looks Like Congress Might Not Have To Fix DACA This Week After All, Which Is Good Because It Wasn’t Getting Anywhere
The Supreme Court refusing a petition by the Trump Administration to immediately review and overturn injunctions by two lower court judges preventing the government from ending the program that allows undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. since they were children to stay.
That doesn’t mean the Court won’t eventually rule in Trump’s favor, just that the Justices will let the case work its way through the federal appeals process. Very occasionally, in the case of a major strike or national crisis, the High Court has intervened. Apparently the Justices (although they did not comment) did not feel this case is enough of an emergency to bypass normal protocols.
The move potentially takes pressure off Congress to pass a bill to extend DACA protection, which was set to lapse next Monday.
We’ll leave it there for today, to leave you a little extra time to take a look at 3 phenomenal articles we consider “must reads”:
• From The New Yorker, a profile of the N.R.A.’s long-time chief lobbyist in Florida, and her role in the passage of ridiculously non common sense gun laws in that state. Including one that threatens the jobs and livelihoods of any local official who tries to impose gun laws that are stricter than those passed by the state.
• From the New York Times, a profile of China’s President Xi, detailing how he rose to such absolute power. Yesterday we spent most of The Chaos Report discussing his latest power move that will potentially allow him to stay China’s President for life.
And, in our opinion, one the biggest “must reads” so far this year:
• From Wired, a story about how social media is built to reward controversy and tribalism, and thus Trump, far beyond any mayhem wrought by a Russian bot.