TheDC Morning – 12/2/10

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1.) Will Chris Christie save an innocent man from New Jersey’s retarded gun laws? — “In New Jersey, residents who want to transport firearms legally must request a permit from a local law enforcement office and produce a letter stating why it is necessary for them to carry a gun,” reports The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey. “Twenty-seven-year-old Brian Aitken is learning that the hard way. Arrested in 2009 when police officers found two handguns locked and unloaded in the trunk of his car, Aitken was sentenced in August to seven years in prison.” That’s right: Seven years for safely transporting two guns–which Aitken owned–even after police had determined that he “wasn’t a threat to his or anyone else’s safety.” Now, Aitken’s friends and family are asking Gov. Christie to grant Aitken clemency. Taking on slimy teacher’s unions was a great start. Will Christie make good on his professed love of freedom by saving an innocent man?

2.) Tea Party Caucus FAIL — “The 52 members of the [Tea Party] caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010,” reports National Journal. Rep. Michele Bachmann (who, along with 13 other caucusers, did not request any earmarks) clearly let some porkers into her club. Granted, House Republicans had not yet pledged to stop redistributing wealth when these folks were earmarking all kinds of crazy crap, but this simply makes their 180 that much less convincing. Will Real America eviscerate them for paying lip service to small government?

3.) John Boehner, feminist hero — Did you know that, since forever, House congressladies have had to walk much farther than their male counterparts in order to use the bathroom? Not anymore! Incoming House Speaker John Boehner is making some changes around Washington, and one of them is installing better bathrooms for the ladies. “The nearly six dozen female members of the incoming House of Representatives will have a new restroom just as close to the chamber’s floor as their male colleagues,” writes the LA Times’ Andrew Malcolm, who notes that these rather shoddy conditions persisted even under Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who resembles a lady.

4.) Arne Duncan ‘doesn’t know who his friends are’ — That’s right: Secretary of Re-Education Arne Duncan has friends, many of whom are concerned for his mental well-being. Well, two of them anyway. Former Clintonista and for-profit education lobbyist Lanny Davis and the Rev. Al Sharpton are miffed at Duncan for leaking an email exchange between the two men to the press. Davis had recruited Sharpton to appear in a Washington Post ad encouraging Duncan to dial back his “gainful employment” regulations, many of which would harm low-income and minority students who attend career colleges like Kaplan, University of Phoenix, and DeVry. Sharpton, a good Democrat, was hoping to be the bridge between the two men, and included Duncan’s office in the conversation. In return, Duncan sent the emails to the press. It’s the Chicago Way, don’t you know!

5.) Tom Coburn dominates discussion of deficit commission report — Senators took turns talking about their feelings yesterday, with most people spending only a minute or two highlighting what they liked and didn’t like in the deficit report(s) released by the Bowles and Simpson Commission to Irritate People. That is, until it was Sen. Tom Coburn’s turn to speak. “Coburn’s eight-minute speech made a few nods to data and policy, but was more of a plea for a wholesale change in American culture,” writes TheDC’s Jon Ward. “Nobody is looking at what the real problem is. And the real problem is us,” said Coburn, whose new beard is insanely awesome. “We have way too much government and not enough of the thing that made America great, which is independence, personal responsibility and self-reliance. We have abandoned the principles which made America exceptional, which wasn’t the government. It was the people. It was us relying on ourselves, not saying I can take a pass and depend on the government.” Word.

6.) Congress likely to enact the worst of the deficit commission’s suggestions — Bruce Krasting, writing in Business Insider, is downright offended that the Deficit Commission suggested a tax holiday on Social Security. “These folks spent nine months in a room dreaming up ways to attack a lethal disease. They came up with dozens and dozens of ideas that probably should be kicked around,” writes Krasting. “As far as I’m concerned they lost the battle and the war on this critical issue by coming up with something that is completely outside of their mandate.” That something is this suggestion from the fiscal commission: “Congress should consider a temporary suspension of one side of the Social Security payroll tax, financed by transfers from general revenue…..this would cost $50-100 billion in lost revenue.” An irritable Krasting points out that this is a tax break for employees, but not for employers, and that the $12 a week saved by the average American worker will probably go straight to foreign goods.

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Julia McClatchy (admin)