Mark Your Calendars: “Gun Appreciation Day” Scheduled Two Days Before Obama’s Inauguration…

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Calling for a “Gun Appreciation Day” two days before President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, gun rights activists are urging gun owners to turn “out en masse at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast” on Jan. 19.

The coalition — including the Second Amendment Foundation, Revolution PAC, Citizens and Country, Conservative Action Alerts, Women Warriors PAC, among others — wants supporters to organize against the president’s “post Sandy Hook assault on gun rights.”

“We have never had a president who so callously disregards the Constitution, Congress, the courts and the will of the American people,” Gun Appreciation Day Chairman Larry Ward said.

Read more via Politico...

H/T Weasel Zippers

NBC News’ Top Science Reporter: Something Fishy About Hillary Clinton Claiming She’s Being Treated For Blood Clots Related To Earlier Concussion…

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The top science reporter for NBC News raised questions Monday about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hospitalization, raising the possibility the blood clot causing isn’t linked to an earlier concussion.

“It’s not exactly clear what is happening with Secretary Clinton’s health,” NBC News chief science and health correspondent Robert Bazell said.

“All we have is a statement from her office. The hospital isn’t saying anything and the statement from her [office] says that she had this blood clot that stemmed from the concussion and she’s being treated with blood-thinning drugs,” Bazell continued. “The problem is that usually when blood clots come from concussions, they can’t be treated with blood [thinners.] So either it’s not really related to the concussion and she’s got a blood clot in her leg or something, or there’s something else going on that we’re not being told. And right now, we’re just sort of seeking that clarification and hoping for the best as she’s being observed.”

Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday night after a follow-up examination detected a blood clot caused by a concussion she suffered earlier this month. Before the fall that caused the concussion, Clinton had been battling a stomach virus.

Read more by Kevin Robillard via Politico...

H/T Weasel Zippers

Sen. Barbara Boxer Proposes Bill To Have Armed Soldiers Protect Schools…

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is proposing allowing governors to use National Guard troops to increase security at schools in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.

Boxer, who said the legislation is modeled after a previous law that had National Guard troops help with border security, would allow governors to decide how troops would be used at schools. While a governor already has the power to send troops to a school, the legislation would allow for the governors to access federal funds for those troops, she said.

While not ruling out the possibility of military-clad National Guard troops at school entrances, Boxer also said those troops could be used to help improve infrastructure at schools or relieve police officers from desk work that would allow the police departments to assign more cops to schools.

Boxer pointed to the $640 billion national defense bill and argued that some of those funds should be used to protect schools.

“Is it not part of the national defense to make sure our children are safe?” Boxer said.

Boxer said she has not spoken with any of her colleagues or with the White House, which today is announcing a task force to look at gun control.

Boxer said her proposed legislation is in response to recent calls that teachers and school officials be allowed to carry weapons in order to protect schools.

Read more via Politico...

White House Confirms Obama To Make Gun Grab...

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President Obama "strongly" supports the renewal of the assault weapons ban and would back new gun legislation, the White House said Tuesday, as the president spoke to a pro-gun senator who has shifted his position since Friday's mass shooting in Connecticut.

(PHOTOS: Pols speak out on gun control)

"He is actively supportive of, for example, Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban," White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his daily briefing. On Monday, Carney would only say that the president supports the return of the ban and did not weigh in on the bill Feinstein said she plans to introduce on the first day of the new Senate.

Carney also offered some other gun laws Obama would back. "He supports and would support legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole, and there are other elements of gun legislation that he could support … high capacity ammunition clips, for example. That is certainly something he would be interested in looking at," he said.

(Also on POLITICO: Obama's options on gun control)

Obama “is heartened ... by what we have all heard from some members of Congress who have been longtime opponents of gun control measures," Carney said, and spoke to Sen. Joe Manchin earlier Tuesday. Carney didn't share more about Obama's call with Manchin, but the West Virginia Democrat is a longtime NRA member who has since Friday come out in support of tougher gun laws.

Read more via Politico...

H/T Weasel Zippers

BREAKING NEWS: Harry Reid opens door to Anti-2nd Amendment legislation...

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With pressure building from Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened the door Monday for legislative action on gun control in the wake of the deadly massacre at a Connecticut elementary school last week.

While he said “no one law” or policy can stop a “determined madman,” Reid argued that Washington is “not doing enough” to protect the public from tragic episodes like the one that unfolded in Newtown, Conn. where 20 children and six adults were murdered by an armed assailant.

“In the coming days and weeks, we’ll engage in a meaningful conversation and thoughtful debate about how to change laws in a culture that allows this violence to continue to grow,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “We have no greater responsibility than keeping our most vulnerable and most precious resource — our children — safe.”

Reid added: “Every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to do just that.”

The Nevada Democrat’s comments are significant because not only does he have the power to schedule legislation from moving on the floor, but he’s also long been allied with the National Rifle Association. In his 2010 race, he went to lengths to project himself as a fierce defender of gun rights and the Second Amendment. The NRA stayed out of his race against Sharron Angle, a courtesy it did not afford other Democrats who were pummeled by attacks from the gun lobby in the heat of the election season.

Reid’s comments come as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is renewing a push to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, and as other Democrats are seeking to tighten background restrictions and the ability for mentally unstable individuals to access guns.

Read more via Politico...

Obama's Intelligence Council: U.S. finished as sole superpower by 2030...

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A new report by the intelligence community projects that the United States will no longer be the world's only superpower by 2030.

"In terms of the indices of overall power – GDP, population size, military spending and technological investment – Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined," the report concludes.

“Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds" — prepared by the office of the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — projects that the "unipolar" world that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union will not continue.

"With the rapid rise of other countries, the 'unipolar moment' is over and no country – whether the U.S., China, or any other country – will be a hegemonic power," the report argues.

(PHOTOS: Obama's overseas trip)

"The United States’ relative economic decline vis-a-vis the rising states is inevitable and already occurring,but its future role in the international system is much harder to assess," it argues.

Read more via Politico...

What's Obama Hiding? Press fear Obama private swearing in...

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The White House Correspondents Association is strongly urging the Obama administration to allow press access to the president’s official swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, following indications from inauguration committee officials that the event could potentially be closed to the press.

“Mindful of the historic nature of this occasion, we expect the White House will continue the long tradition of opening the President’s official swearing-in to full press access, and we as an organization are looking forward to working with the administration to make that happen,” Ed Henry, the Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association, said in a statement.

Because inauguration day falls on a Sunday in 2013, Chief Justice John Roberts will officially administer the official oath of office in a private ceremony that day. The public inauguration on the Capitol Building’s West Front — at which Roberts will administer a second, symbolic oath of office — will take place the next day.

In early meetings with the inaugural committee, officials privately indicated to reporters that the Jan. 20 event could be closed to reporters and cameras, with an official photograph supplied to press by White House photographer Pete Souza, sources familiar with the meeting told POLITICO.

Read more via Politico...

Report: Obama To Break Another Promise, Will Accept Unlimited Corporate Donations In Addition To His $100 Million Taxpayer Funded Inauguration…

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AP

President Barack Obama will accept unlimited corporate donations for his Inauguration in January, reversing his position from his first Inauguration, according to two sources close to the planning.

There are no legal limits for inauguration donations, but four years ago, the president capped all contributions at $50,000 and barred companies from kicking in any money. Obama had also banned corporate money from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

But the sources say the new decision is driven by pragmatism: The president and his team just wrapped up the most expensive campaign in history — with costs topping $1 billion — and they’ve determined that their donors are simply tapped out.

The cost of an Inauguration can run into the tens of millions. Obama spent $47 million in 2009. And raising that in a matter of six weeks is too difficult without throwing open the flood gates, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read more via Politico...

Obama outspent Mitt Romney in last days by more than $71 million...

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AP

In late June, his fundraising machine struggling, President Barack Obama darkly declared to supporters, “I will be outspent.”

So much for that: As the presidential election reached its climax, Obama’s campaign spending dwarfed that of Romney’s campaign, outspending its Republican counterpart by more than $71 million between Oct. 18 and Election Day, according to documents filed Thursday night with the Federal Election Commission.

Such spending, coupled with the late, but heavy support from friendly super PACs and union groups, boosted Obama’s fortunes in key swing states such as Florida, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, all of which he won.

Read more via Politico...

Bob Woodward: ‘Who Is Barack Obama?’... A figure surrounded by “mystery"...

Washington Post reporter and author Bob Woodward said Wednesday morning that the fiscal cliff talks are like the movie “Groundhog Day.”

“It’s Groundhog Day: The question is, who’s playing Bill Murray?” he told POLITICO’s Mike Allen at Playbook Breakfast Wednesday morning. “It’s such a repetition: It’s the same players, at the same seats, at the same table.”

He said that it’s still too early to tell how the negotiations between President Barack Obama and Congress — specifically, House Speaker John Boehner — will turn out.

“I think anyone who thinks they know is wrong,” he said.

Woodward also spoke about his impressions of Obama, calling the president a figure surrounded by “mystery.”

When asked what he’d most like to know about Obama, Woodward said he knows the president keeps a diary and that he’d like to read it.

“What’s driving him? Who is Barack Obama?” he said. “A description of that inner life will be something if it’s candid.”

Read more via Politico...

WHAT BIAS? Obama meets with 'influential progressive media' (Arianna Huffington, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton) to help him push fiscal cliff plans...

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AP Photos

President Obama met with a litany of liberal media personalities on Tuesday to push his tax cut message.

Spotted filing into the West Wing were Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton.

The meeting was not on the president's public schedule and White House officials initially declined to comment on the meeting. They later issued a statement to POLITICO:

"This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” spokesman Josh Earnest said.

The Obama administration conducts regular briefings of reporters from different media markets, but this did not immediately appear like such a briefing. According to White House visitor records, O'Donnell, for example, has not attended such briefings before.

Read more via Politico...

(Flashback) -- MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: "President Obama has been very helpful, very helpful..."

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, currently under fire at home and abroad for decreeing his actions exempt from judicial review, had high praise on Wednesday for President Obama, whose administration has raised concerns about Morsi's declarations but stopped short of condemning them.

"President Obama has been very helpful, very helpful," Morsi told Time Magazine. "And I can say really that his deeds coincide with his intentions."

Morsi, a critical interlocutor with Hamas, spoke repeatedly with Obama as the parties worked to cement the ceasefire in Gaza.

Read more via Politico...

Liberal Dems Say They Want Country To Go Over Fiscal Cliff, Love The Idea Of Taxes Going Up On Every America, & Devastating Cuts To The Military…

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A growing bloc of emboldened liberals say they’re not afraid to watch defense spending get gouged and taxes go up on every American if a budget deal doesn’t satisfy their priorities.

Here’s what these progressives fear: an agreement that keeps lower tax rates for the wealthy, hits the social safety net with unpalatable cuts and leaves Pentagon spending unscathed. In other words, they’d rather walk the country off the cliff than watch President Barack Obama cave on long-held liberal priorities.

Read more by Politico via Weasel Zippers...

FLASH: Supreme Court Revives ObamaCare Lawsuit...

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AP

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to examine the constitutionality of the health reform law’s employer requirements and mandatory coverage of contraceptives without a co-pay.

The move could open the door for President Barack Obama’s health law to be back in front of the Supreme Court late next year.

Read more via Politico...

Obama's Truce: 'Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm Hamas'...

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Reuters

Israeli intelligence satellites have spied the loading of rockets and other material in Iran believed to be destined for the Gaza Strip, the UK-based Sunday Times reported, citing Israeli officials.

According to the report, Iran began preparing the weapons shipment around the same time Israel and Hamas negotiated a cease-fire late last week.

The shipment is said to include Iranianmade Fajr-5 medium-range rockets, the same model that was fired toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Sunday Times reported.

Read more via The Jerusalem Post...

Report: Eric Holder To Stay On As Attorney General…

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AP

Attorney General Eric Holder will stay for about a year into President Barack Obama’s second term, Fox News reported Monday.

The embattled Holder, the subject of a congressional contempt vote earlier this year, is remaining at the president’s request, Fox reported. The news outlet cited a “senior administration official” who said that “Obama doesn’t want a mass exodus at the start of his second term.”

Read more via POLITICO...

Allen West concedes FL House race...

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AP

Florida Rep. Allen West — the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.

After two weeks of battle with St. Lucie County elections officials — and a recount of early votes that wound up extending Murphy’s lead — West acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit. That difference was just outside the 0.5 percent threshold to automatically trigger a recount of all votes.

Read more via Politico...

STONEWALL: Harry Reid Refuses To Allow Senate Panel To Investigate Benghazi…

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If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t make it clear enough to Republicans that he opposes a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks, he said it again Friday: No way.

In letters to key Republican senators, Reid put his foot down — again — on the idea of a special panel to dig into the Sept. 11 assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three diplomatic aides in Libya. A select committee would need a floor vote to be created, and Reid said he wouldn’t permit it.

Read more at Politico...