By Tracy Bloom
NRA Concedes? Did the National Rifle Association inadvertently make a concession on background checks for firearms? The gun lobby unveiled its 225-page plan Tuesday that it claims will make America’s campuses safer in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The report calls for, among other things, placing trained armed guards in every school in the country. According to former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., who headed the NRA’s “School Shield” task force that came up with the gun lobby’s recommendations, to ensure the guards would not use their weapons to harm students, they would have to go through thorough background checks—something that Think Progress notes the group opposes for most gun owners. (Read more)
Right Side: Mark Kirk of Illinois has become just the second GOP senator to publicly announce his support for same-sex marriage. Kirk, who suffered a life-threatening stroke last year and only recently returned to Washington, suggested that the significant health scare may have played a role in shifting his viewpoint on the hot-button issue. “Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most,” he said in a statement. “Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back—government has no place in the middle.” (Read more)
Then There Were Seven: Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware on Tuesday became the latest Democrat to endorse gay marriage, leaving just seven senators from his party who still oppose marriage equality. “Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I’ve been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule,” Carper wrote on Facebook. “It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that’s why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I’m endorsing marriage equality.” Since last week, eight Democrats have flipped on the issue and now say they support allowing same-sex couples to wed. (Read more)
Colbert’s Sister Could Win: Last month, Elizabeth Colbert Busch—sister of “Colbert Report” host Stephen Colbert—won the Democratic primary for South Carolina’s open congressional seat. Could Colbert win? Absolutely, says The Hill, which gave five reasons why she has a shot at defeating former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford in the May 7 special election (provided Sanford wins the runoff against former Charleston City Councilman Curtis Bostic). For starters, The Hill argues, voters still haven’t forgiven Sanford for the 2009 scandal in which he lied to staffers about hiking the Appalachian Trail (he was actually in South America with his mistress, who is now wife). Additionally, they continue, Colbert Busch has run a strong campaign, with polls showing she’s well known and pretty well liked. And thirdly, about those polls—they clearly demonstrate she’s competitive, with some even showing her leading Sanford. Colbert Busch also has one advantage The Hill doesn’t mention: her well-known brother, who has already said he will help her raise money for her campaign. (Read more)
Trump Yanks Suit: Has Donald Trump had a change of heart? The billionaire and reality television host has dropped his lawsuit against comedian Bill Maher for not following through on a $5 million bet about Trump’s, er, heritage. The brouhaha started when Maher said on “The Tonight Show” earlier this year that he would give the Donald $5 million for a charity of his choice if he could prove he was not the spawn of a human and an orangutan. The pledge of course was a nod to Trump’s offer before November’s election that he would give cash to charity President Obama chose if he released his college and passport records. However, Michael Cohen, a top aide and lawyer to Trump, said of the frivolous legal action: “The lawsuit was temporarily withdrawn to be amended and refiled at a later date.” Facepalm. (Read more)
Video of the Day: Sean Hannity was freaking out on his Fox News program on Monday night over the fact that President Obama’s two daughters went on vacation for their spring break. Perhaps Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers phrased it best when she said this was “one of the most mean-spirited things” he’s ever done. Given that this is Sean Hannity we’re talking about, that speaks volumes.