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The good people at Think Progress have made the President’s gun proposal and all of its common sense components easilty digestible with this handy 13-point explanation.

“The initiatives cover everything from mental heath, to gun safety, to blocking the most deadly firearms from making it to market. Here are some of the most important efforts the President introduced today:

1. Making background checks universal. Obama wants every single gun owner to go through a proper background check, so it can be determined whether they have a criminal history or diagnosed mental illness. He wants Congress to close the gun show loophole that allows people at gun shows, and private buyers of used weapons, to avoid getting checked. He will also, through executive action, urge private sellers to conduct background checks, even if they aren’t mandatory. Read More

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A swelling chorus of advice is emerging in recent days amongst progressive thinkers and commentators about the ongoing fiscal policy negotiations in Washington. The message: “Hang tough Mr. President.”

James Protzman over at Blue NC has posted an example — a nice little video from former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

But other are saying the same thing:

Robert Kuttner says a lot of the same things in this column, entitled “About time: Obama finally gets tough.”

Meanwhile, the experts at the Center on Economic and Policy Research have weighed in on the hysteria surrounding the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Finally, Paul Krugman exposes the true nature of the conservative con game in this NYT column.

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Well, it’s good to see that the folks on Right Wing Avenue — the folks whose “think tanks” and corporate lobby brigade have had our government under their collective thumb for decades — are at least keeping things in perspective when it comes to the re-election of the President.

Here’s the “Director of Regulatory Studies” at the Locke Foundation in a post entitled “They broke it, we bought it“: Read More

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Economist Dean Baker takes confused New York Times columnist David Brooks to the woodshed this morning for his partisan and inaccurate attack on clean energy and global warming.

Brooks tries to attack the Obama administration for its investments in green energy and then, as “evidence” that the investments have “failed,” states that there’s an oversupply of solar panels and that their price has fallen dramatically.

But, as Baker notes, that was one of the main objectives!

“Wow, what a disaster! Prices of solar panels have fallen by three quarters in 4 years. Those people in the Obama administration must feel really stupid. They thought their clean energy program would make alternative energy competitive, but look now, prices of solar panels fell by 75 percent in four years. Read More

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Wow!  It’s good to see that the nonpartisan John Locke Foundation is coming through with some more high quality convention coverage. Last week, as you will recall, the Locke people had a breathless, cheer-leading “liveblog” of the final night of the RNC in Tampa.

Now, this week, they’ve turned “Director of Regulatory Studies” Jon Sanders loose (among others) to claim that Obama is being “deified” by the Democrats because some vendors in Charlotte are selling or promoting various bits of laudatory kitsch. (Has this guy ever been to a Washington, DC tourist site?) This concocted narrative has, in turn, provided Sanders with license to link to all sorts of other articles and claims about the President (some from years ago) of which he disapproves along with some amazingly vicious attacks.

Meanwhile, Read More