Parting Shot: Vice President Joe Biden says the White House’s proposal to curb gun violence, which it released Wednesday, is in no way infringing upon the Second Amendment as some—especially those on the right—have vocally claimed. Biden discussed Obama’s executive actions during the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington on Thursday, telling the group that he and the president support the Second Amendment. And then, just to prove his appreciation for firearms, Biden held an imaginary gun, fake firing it with a loud “boom!” That’s so Biden. (Read more)
Raise the Roof: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says that Republicans are mulling over a plan that would increase the debt ceiling temporarily to buy more time to negotiate a broader deficit reduction plan. “We’re discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March,” he told reporters Thursday. The government is trying to avoid its first-ever default, something Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says will happen between mid-February and early-March if nothing is done. (Read more)
Out the Door: Another member of President Obama’s Cabinet is reportedly leaving the administration as it heads into its second term. The latest departure: Energy Secretary Steven Chu. According to Bloomberg News, Chu is expected to step down next week. His departure follows those of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and EPA head Lisa Jackson, meaning the Obama administration will have to fill vacancies at the top three departments that oversee energy and environmental policy. (Read more)
Rove Renewal: The relationship between Fox News and Karl Rove, which temporarily soured when the talking head was taken off the air after his election night meltdown, appears to be fine again. The conservative cable news channel has reportedly signed Rove to another multiyear deal ensuring the former top adviser to George W. Bush will stay on through the 2016 election. That raises the possibility that we could see a repeat of Rove’s 2012 election night performance if the Democrats retain the White House in four years. (Read more)
FLOTUS Atwitter: In celebration of her 49th birthday, Michelle Obama has joined the social media platform Twitter. The first lady’s office sent out its first tweet at 8:35 a.m. Thursday. It read: “The @FLOTUS Office is now on @twitter & will post updates & pics. When it’s her, she’ll sign -mo. PS: RT to wish Mrs. Obama a #HappyBirthday.” Since joining Twitter on Thursday morning, the first lady has already amassed nearly 40,000 followers. (Read more)
Video of the Day: What do Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have in common? Both are right-wing trolls, according to Rachel Maddow. The MSNBC host ripped the NRA on her program Wednesday for an ad it created that used President Obama’s daughters to attack his “elite hypocrisy.” Maddow says the NRA’s spot is just the latest of many examples of conservative trolling.