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Rand Paul Weighs In on Drug Punishments, LaPierre Blasts ‘Insane’ Bloomberg, and More

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Posted on Mar 24, 2013

NRA Takes Aim: National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre went off on Michael Bloomberg during his latest appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, calling the New York City mayor’s stance on firearms and his rhetoric on gun control “reckless,” “ridiculous” and “insane.” Bloomberg, who says he intends to be a counterweight to the powerful pro-gun lobby, is planning a multimillion dollar ad blitz across 10 states that is meant to pressure senators to vote for strict new gun control reform measures. LaPierre ripped the plan, telling host David Gregory, “He can’t spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public. He can’t buy America.” For his part, Bloomberg, who also appeared on the program, said he thought his side of the issue was “going to win this.” (Read more)

Senate Does Something: For the first time in four years, the Senate has passed a budget. After a nearly all night session, the plan finally went through by a narrow 50-49 vote just before dawn Saturday. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., missed the vote due to illness. A handful of Democrats up for election in 2014, including Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana and Mark Begich of Alaska, joined every Senate Republican in voting “no.” The Senate’s plan will shave roughly $1.85 trillion off the deficit through a mixture of new revenue and spending cuts. (Read more)

Defeat, Yet Again: Perhaps it’s time for lawmakers trying to repeal Obamacare to call it a day. On Friday, the Senate once again rejected the latest Republican effort to repeal President Obama’s signature health care reform law. The budget amendment, proposed by tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, failed by a 45-54 vote. “I am proud that Senate Republicans once again stood united and unanimously voted to undo this devastating legislation,” Cruz said even though the amendment did not pass. This marks the 36th time since the legislation was approved three years ago that Republican senators have tried—and failed—to repeal it. (Read more)

Case Closed: The Supreme Court this week is set to hear a pair of landmark cases that has the potential to dramatically reshape the institution of marriage in the U.S. But ahead of the oral arguments, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza believes the debate over whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to wed is already over. In addition to recent national polling, which shows a majority favor legalizing gay marriage, Cillizza writes: “Evidence of that reality is everywhere. Dozens of prominent Republicans—led by former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman—have signed onto a brief to the court urging repeal of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a finalist to serve as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, announced last week that he was reversing course and would now support the right of gay men and lesbians to marry.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Although he doesn’t promote marijuana use, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., doesn’t think people should be jailed for nonviolent drug crimes either. Discussing the issue on “Fox News Sunday,” Paul used a couple of presidents to demonstrate his point, arguing that Barack Obama and George W. Bush could have seen their lives destroyed if they had been arrested and jailed for marijuana use. “Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use,” Paul told host Chris Wallace. “Look what would have happened. It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys. They go to jail for these things. And I think it’s a big mistake.”

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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