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Exclusive: “Miracles sometimes happen”: The Senate hasn’t given up on gun control — yet



“Miracles sometimes happen”: The Senate hasn’t given up on gun control — yet

#Miracles #happen #Senate #hasnt #gun #control

A bipartisan group of senators hoped to unveil a gun control deal on Friday, in the wake of a string of mass shootings, including those in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. They don’t have one yet, but negotiators are still cautiously optimistic about getting an agreement in the coming days.

“It’ll be a miracle if we get a framework agreement, never mind a final bill,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told reporters on Thursday. “But miracles sometimes happen!”

Initially, lawmakers had hoped to reach an agreement by the end of this week, but as with many things in Congress, that deadline has slipped. Despite this delay, those leading the talks — including Murphy and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — remained bullish on a possible agreement.

“This is a town where it’s fashionable to be pessimistic, so for my colleagues to be optimistic suggests there’s really cause for optimism,” Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), the former head of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Vox.

Any bipartisan deal — even an incremental one — would be significant given how enduring the logjam on gun control has been. While mass shootings have increased in the US in recent years, Congress has been unable to find any meaningful compromise on the issue for more than a decade. A deal would show the public that Congress can actually make progress on gun control, and, more importantly, any compromise could open the door to more ambitious policies down the line.

“Success often begets success,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Vox. “It’s been a long time since we’ve done something meaningful on guns, a very long time, so if we’re able to do something solid, I think that could create conditions like ‘Hmm, Congress can act on guns.’”

What’s on the table

There are four main areas that the talks have focused on so far, according to a congressional aide. As Cornyn has repeatedly explained, whatever policy that emerges is likely to be “incremental” in nature, though it would still be the most progress lawmakers have made on guns in years.

Below are the four issues that lawmakers are currently discussing:

1. Red flag laws: A major component of any agreement is likely to be grants that incentivize states to either pass red flag laws or improve their implementation of them — an effort that builds on past negotiations between Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Currently, 19 states and Washington, DC, already have red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, which enable law enforcement to bar an individual from possessing firearms if they pose a risk to themselves or others.


Whatever bill the Senate passes would be aimed at encouraging more states to pass these laws, and at helping states with existing ones impose them more effectively. As was evident in a recent mass shooting in Buffalo, the efficacy of a red flag law is highly dependent on implementation, as well as on law enforcement and the broader public being aware of how to properly utilize them.

2. Enhancements to background checks: At this point, legislation that would impose universal background checks, much like the bill introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey in 2012, is not in contention due to Republican opposition. Instead, lawmakers are trying to see if more information can be required as part of background checks for 18- to 21-year-olds.

For example, in the case of an 18-year-old attempting to buy a gun, senators are looking at whether additional information from their juvenile records, which are presently left out, could be included as part of a background check.

3. Mental health resources: There’s also talk about increasing funding for mental health programs, which could include measures that help states bolster their efforts. One bipartisan bill previously introduced by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) could be a model — it would fund behavioral health clinics that help provide mental health and addiction services.

4. School safety: And finally, there are discussions about policies to improve school safety and security, though lawmakers declined to share additional details about what this could include. Previously, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has introduced legislation that would allow schools to use grant money for campus design and stronger security measures.

Why it still matters even though it’s incremental

Anything the Senate passes is likely to be far less ambitious than what Democrats had hoped for and what experts say is needed to more significantly curb gun violence.

Earlier this week, the House passed a sweeping package of proposals including a ban on high-capacity magazines, a bill to raise the age limit for buying semiautomatic weapons from 18 to 21, and legislation that would require safer storage of guns in homes with minors. Policies like these could reduce gun violence by making it tougher to fire many rounds of ammunition at one time, and making it harder for younger people to obtain guns.

The House bills are widely expected to get blocked in the Senate, where any deal is poised to be quite limited.

Still, negotiators say it’s important to get something done in order to begin addressing public demands for more gun control, and show that it’s possible for Congress to make inroads on the issue. “We can help to build the muscle that we will use again by starting now,” Blumenthal told Vox.

Murphy has said, too, that this could be an opportunity to demonstrate to Republican lawmakers that any backlash they may face for supporting gun control would actually be far less than what many fear. Because of how vocal a minority of Republican voters have been on the issue, many GOP lawmakers have been reluctant to take any action on gun control due to concerns about the electoral blowback and potential primary challenges they could face.

As of now, there still isn’t a concrete agreement, but lawmakers were broadly hopeful going into the weekend on Thursday. Whatever emerges from these talks, they hope, will be a step forward in the wake of devastating recent tragedies.


“Everybody wants to get this done this work period,” Murphy told reporters, noting that senators aimed to finalize a deal before leaving for their next recess.


Exclusive: Recession Talk Surges in Washington –




Compelling Television

#Recession #Talk #Surges #Washington

“From Wall Street to Washington, whispers about a coming economic slump have risen to nearly a roar as the Federal Reserve ramps up its battle against the highest inflation in four decades,” Politico reports.

“Price spikes and the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes sent the benchmark S&P 500 stock index tumbling to its worst performance in the first half of the year since 1970. Consumer confidence has sunk to record lows. And economists are increasingly worried that a downturn will not only happen but happen soon — a danger underscored by one widely watched Fed growth tracker.”

“Fed Chair Jerome Powell has begun saying the quiet part out loud: The central bank is willing to tolerate a recession if it means getting inflation under control.”

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Exclusive: MUST SEE: Hot Dog Eating Champ Joey Chestnut Takes Down Animal Rights Protester in a Choke Hold With Mouth Full of Weiner Before Winning Contest (VIDEO) –




MUST SEE: Hot Dog Eating Champ Joey Chestnut Takes Down Animal Rights Protester in a Choke Hold With Mouth Full of Weiner Before Winning Contest (VIDEO)

#Hot #Dog #Eating #Champ #Joey #Chestnut #Takes #Animal #Rights #Protester #Choke #Hold #Mouth #Full #Weiner #Winning #Contest #VIDEO

National Hot Dog Eating Champion Joey Chestnut won the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July today but not before he took down a protester.

The annual hot dog swallowing event is held on Coney Island every year on Independence Day.

Joey is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by Major League Eating.

Chestnut won his first Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007 defeating Taer “Tsunami” Kobayashi.

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On Monday, during the middle of the competition, an animal rights protester ran up on stage next to Joey Chestnut carrying a sign reading, “Expose Smithfield Deathstar.”

When the protester jumped on stage next to him Chestnut wrapped his arm around the protester’s neck and took him down to the ground.

This all took place while Joey was chewing on hot dog.

He went on to win the competition.

Here’s the video.

Joey Chestnut obliterated the far left protester with a mouth stuffed full with hot dogs and buns.

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Exclusive: In praise of the great outdoors, wherever that may be for you –




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#praise #great #outdoors

I’m truly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Sometimes I think the only thing keeping me alive in the face of an ongoing pandemic, intensifying climate crisis, and many, many more issues worsening with a swiftness is the outdoors. I’m not saying I’m holding onto this mortal coil for dear life, but instead that I see meaning in the life I’m living thanks to my surroundings. I can think of so many moments when clearing my head meant a walk to the river, a run on the Lafitte Greenway, or getting away even farther and exploring more of the place I love and call home. Once I’ve hit the road and I’m walking through the swamps of the Barataria Preserve, it’s like the chaos of the world cannot reach me. Mosquitos can, which isn’t great since they inexplicably love me, but my worries are just as small as they are when I’m out in nature. Quite literally taking a hike is the only way I can imagine celebrating this 4th of July.

Exploring nature is something I’ve only recently come around to in my adult life, and that may be because often the folks we assume are hitting the trails are their own stereotype. Typically, the most visible people heading outdoors are white, cis, able-bodied, and have enough money to afford the luxury of time and equipment for all sorts of terrain. But a whole host of grassroots and more formal organizations are making it possible for people from a diversity of backgrounds to feel more comfortable when they head out into nature. Field Magazine has a great resource for BIPOC groups blazing a trial—I’m personally obsessed with Latino Outdoors. The publication also offers great resources for LGBTQ+ hikers. And disability advocates can take comfort in the amazing work Disabled Hikers is doing, though certainly more can be done so that all are welcome to this space.

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