Dear Florida Gun Fighters González & Kasky: Prepare For The NRA Hammer!

Dear Emma and Cameron:

I’m so encouraged by your bravery and activism in the face of your tragedy.  Today I heard you and some of your classmates are meeting with Florida’s attorney general, House speaker, and Senate president in Tallahassee.

Emma González

Cameron Kasky at a rally on Saturday.

I have experience with politicians and professional spokespeople so I can tell you what to expect today, and then in the weeks and months to come. I think it will be enlightening for the general public to see how the Florida legislative system responds, so please share your experiences with politicians, the gun lobby and their supporters on social media.

One thing you will find about politicians–and the gun lobby that supports them–is that they are not stupid. They have short and long-term methods and strategies to prevent legislative change they don’t like, while at the same time getting the change they want.

Here are some of the state politicians you are meeting today:

Pam Bondi, Attorney General, Republican @AGPamBondi NRA Grade A

Richard Corcoran, House Speaker, Republican @richardcorcoran NRA grade A

Joe Negron, Senate President, Republican @joenegronfl NRA Grade A+

 

 

 

 

 

. . . → Read More: Dear Florida Gun Fighters González & Kasky: Prepare For The NRA Hammer!

Make the firearms industry pay

My friend Eric Milgram, from the Newtown Action Alliance, was on MSNBC today to talk about the Parkland school shooting.

The administration is trying to make this shooting about mental health. Eric brought the focus back to the gun lobby and the politicians who enable more guns everywhere. When asked about what to do next he said the usual: universal background checks and more funding for mental health, but he the took a turn that I encourage. Make the firearms industry pay.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/EricMSNBC3-17-2018.mp4

This is a line of activism that needs to be developed.

Here is the whole segment.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/ScreenCaptureProject247.mp4 Recommend on Facebook Tweet about it Email this!

Why The NRA Wins: Mass Shootings Trigger Pro-Gun Men To Fight Gun Control Harder

Twenty four hours after every mass shooting the media asks, “What can we do?”  Now they also ask, “Why has nothing been done to fix the problem yet?”

The coverage timeline will include calls to the NRA, who will decline to comment.  Experts will discuss legislative efforts for change that are widely supported by the public, such as universal background checks. The media will wonder why, with so much support, gun control legislation failed. The media might also point out that at the state level legislation has expanded the availability of  guns in more places.  This is what The Trace editors call the paradox of the gun debate.

“While widespread public support exists for many gun regulations and policies — including bump stocks— pro-gun advocates are significantly more active than their counterparts when it comes to engaging politicians and government agencies.”

For people who want to limit the proliferation of guns, the failure of legislation following mass shootings is discouraging.  But for the men who want more people with guns in more places, a mass shooting triggers renewed vigor to fight gun-control legislation and pass laws making it easier to bring guns into more places.

On The Majority Report today, producer Brendan Finn mentioned working on the Fusion program Breaking Bread, that brought gun control advocates together with gun rights supporters over a meal. I’ve pulled part of that episode out here and . . . → Read More: Why The NRA Wins: Mass Shootings Trigger Pro-Gun Men To Fight Gun Control Harder

Making A Bang with Gun Activism

Today’s quote about activism.

“It is ignored ‘til it makes a bang” – Zeynep Tufekci on protest movements.

I’ve determined that cities in states with super gun preemption laws may need to rewrite their insurance requirements for special events on city property. If they don’t, the cities will be on the hook financially for gun accidents on city property. Insurance vendors for municipalities need to review city policies to ensure the city is correctly insured.

City risk managers need to understand that it is their fiduciary duty to protect the city from expensive liability lawsuits on their property.

If the city decides to pass this burden to others, such as vendors holding events in their parks and convention centers, they need to inform the vendors, and the vendors’ insurance agents. If vendors find out that insurance costs go up 1000% they will look for other venues.

But all of this is just background noise ’til it makes a bang.

The stories about the financial impact of guns take a back seat to the physical impact of guns.

It’s hard to make news when you prevent an accident. Passive methods that prevent gun injuries aren’t newsy.

So what CAN make . . . → Read More: Making A Bang with Gun Activism

Video Tutorial: How to Remove The President With The 25th Amendment

Sunday night Madam Secretary produced an 42 minute long dramatic tutorial on how to remove the President using the 25th Amendment.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Madam.Secretary.S04E12.Sound_.and_.Fury_.mp4

The episode started with an unexpected ‘sonic’ attack on an American embassy from an unspecified source. President Dalton used aggressive language on TV to threaten Russia. He then secretly ordered an attack on Russian satellites.  Dalton’s staff questioned his decision and the Secretary of Defense refused to launch an attack. The President fired him and replaced him with an underling.

The Secretary of State and Chief of Staff knew something wasn’t right with the President’s aggressive behavior. They worried it could lead to war. They started looking for the reasons he was acting strangely, then they looked at their options to prevent him from acting.  In a meeting of cabinet members to discuss the options, the replacement for the Secretary of Defense reminded the Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State that the President is their Commander-in-Chief and refusing an order isn’t something you do lightly, even if the President’s order could lead to a global war.

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Madam.Secretary.S04E12.Sound_.and_.Fury_.part2_.mp4

As I watched President Dalton’s cabinet debate enacting the 25th Amendment, I mentally put the names and . . . → Read More: Video Tutorial: How to Remove The President With The 25th Amendment

No Laws Stopped Trump From Launching A Nuke Today

Did you know that Trump could have launched a nuke today? It would have been in response to a false alarm in Hawaii.

No law could have stopped him. Only “norms” — and as we know, he’s not good at following those.

On December 1, 2016  Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.  wrote a piece for the Washington Post explaining how and why the whole system was set up so the president — and only the president — could decide when to launch.  No one can stop President Trump from using nuclear weapons. That’s by design. 

[Trump] will have sole authority over more than 7,000 warheads. There is no failsafe. The whole point of U.S. nuclear weapons control is to make sure that the president — and only the president — can use them if and whenever he decides to do so. The one sure way to keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack, under the system we’ve had in place since the early Cold War, would have been to elect someone else.

I’ve been listening to the book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and . . . → Read More: No Laws Stopped Trump From Launching A Nuke Today

Trump Is Like, TV Smart

I read a great article  5 Things TV Writers Apparently Believe About Smart People  by @cs_coville from Cracked in 2011. My favorite section was “It’s Okay To Be A Dick, As Long As You’re Smart” There are many examples of smart dicks, but at the time she used Dr. House.

“A further staple of the supergenius genre is the guy who treats other people like crap, and gets away with it because of his amazing talents. It’s actually hard to find a TV genius who isn’t a shithead. These people are unfriendly, antisocial, or generally messed up when it comes to communicating with other humans, but avoid getting sued or shot in the face only because it turns out they’re always, always right.”

 

“When Trump says he is “like, really smart.” he might mean a TV version of a smart person. Specifically someone who uses his “smarts” to win. The type of smarts Trump used to win isn’t your standard IQ smart.  Trump can look at the big picture and say, “The Apprentice ratings didn’t lie. I was a hit. The Electoral College numbers didn’t lie. I’m the President.” Both of those statements are true. Trump can ask “Would a . . . → Read More: Trump Is Like, TV Smart

I’m stressed out waiting for the nuclear tweet

Are you stressed out? I know I am. I’m sitting here, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tomorrow might bring news of indictments from Mueller. That should be good news, but will it be the announcement that leads to horrible news–Trump’s nuclear tweet?

We know now how Trump responds to bad news. It reminds me of stories from people with rageaholic parents. They needed to walk on tiptoes so they won’t set off dad. They changed their behavior, because they have no control over the parent’s.

What should you do if you know something is coming that will trigger a dangerous, irrational act in someone? If you are a child there isn’t much you can do, you’re usually powerless. But what if you are part of a group of adults whose duty is to check the misuse of power?

Psychiatrists often need to make determinations about a patient’s mental state. They ask “Is this person a danger to themselves or others? ” If the answer is yes, the doctors are supposed to act in a way that protects both the patient and the people who might be harmed. It’s their duty.

If you know someone is going to lash out with a . . . → Read More: I’m stressed out waiting for the nuclear tweet

Bundling Student Loans Like Mortgages. What could go wrong?

GOLDMAN SACHS: There’s an attractive way to profit from the $1.3 trillion student-loan bubble

Goldman Sachs has a plan to bundle student loans into securities and sell them, just like they did home mortgages. What could possibly go wrong!?

We won’t know until my friend David Dayen​ writes a book on how it all fell apart in 2021 under a Democratic president.

This sounds like a great plan — for the financial industry. I’m no expert, but I can’t see the downside for the industry.

Students have to pay. They can’t get out of the loans via bankruptcy like with mortgages. Just like housing prices, tuitions always go up! Bigger loans are needed. The pipeline of students in debt will continue because free college isn’t coming anytime soon. Investors are looking for a new debt instrument to speculate with. They can’t use home mortgages like before, Millennials aren’t buying houses–because of their student debt–so it’s a winner for banks. The people who give out loans set the standards for worthiness or and credit. They have an incentive to give loans to people who may or may not be able to pay them back. The banks will be able to bundle . . . → Read More: Bundling Student Loans Like Mortgages. What could go wrong?

How the Right Weaponizes Accusations to Destroy People and Institutions

I was listening to Sam Seder and Digby on the Majority Report talking about the various political sexual harassment cases in the news last week.  Sam talked about the fear the GOP will weaponize them.  Of course they will, they have in the past.

I expect more allegations of misconduct on the left to pop up. Not because there are numerically more, but because the right will actively seek out cases on the left to balance the elephant grabbing the women in the room.

When I started this piece on Thanksgiving weekend 2017, I anticipated cases of false allegations coming from the right.

On Monday I read the story of woman who manufactured an allegation against Roy Moore, and tried to get the Washington Post to run with it. The woman worked for James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas.  (I was right again, but since I didn’t publish Sunday I don’t expect a cookie this time.)

An allegation that is reported on by the liberal media, then revealed to be false, would be great for the right. It lets them defend their own while demonizing women and the media.  “See?” they will crow, “Women LIE! You shouldn’t believe them! The liberal media . . . → Read More: How the Right Weaponizes Accusations to Destroy People and Institutions