An American Hero: Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the Senate’s most senior member, died Monday at the age of 88. Inouye was a veteran of World War II and received a Medal of Honor for his bravery. The Democrat, who was first elected in 1962, was the second-longest serving senator ever behind West Virginia’s Robert Byrd. Inouye died from respiratory complications. His last word, according to his deputy chief of staff, was “Aloha.” (Read more)
About-Face West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a pro-gun Democrat who is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, says the time to enact reasonable gun restrictions is now. Manchin, who has an “A” rating from the NRA, said the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has “changed” him. “We’re looking at everything. Not just the guns, but, yes, Dianne Feinstein, [Chuck] Schumer talking about the multiple clips as far as rounds and clips and Joe Lieberman talking about putting together a blue ribbon panel,” Manchin said Monday. “All of this needs to be done.” (Read more)
New Perspective: But Manchin wasn’t the only pro-gun Democrat with an “A” rating from the NRA to change his position on the issue—Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is also calling for tighter gun regulations in the wake of the elementary school massacre. “I‘ve been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights,” said Warner. “But the status quo isn’t acceptable. I’ve got three daughters. They asked me on Friday evening, ‘Dad, what are you gonna do about this?’ There’s got to be a way to put reasonable restrictions, particularly as we look at assault weapons, as we look at these fast clips of ammunition.” (Read more)
Nothing to Say: In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the National Rifle Association appears to have unpublished its own Facebook page. Roughly 10 hours after the killing spree took place, the NRA’s page began redirecting visitors to Facebook’s main page. But Facebook isn’t the only social media site where the pro-gun lobby has been conspicuously absent. The NRA has also been virtually silent on Twitter, with its last tweet coming early Friday morning. (Read more)
Christmas in Washington: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met once again Monday as the two sides worked to negotiate a “fiscal cliff” deal. Both camps are reportedly optimistic that a deal will get done soon. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated that lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill right after Christmas to complete an agreement. (Read more)
Blast From the Past: Who will Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick pick to temporarily fill John Kerry’s Senate seat if the Democrat is chosen, as expected, to be the next secretary of state? That’s one of the major questions surrounding President Obama’s likely choice to succeed Hillary Clinton. Here’s one candidate in the running: 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. Remember him? Now 79, Dukakis has remained politically active and is considered a likely interim replacement until a special election to fill the seat is held in the late spring or early summer. (Read more)
Flashback Video of the Day: You may recall that sports broadcaster Bob Costas recently made headlines when he used the halftime segment on “Sunday Night Football” to advocate for stricter gun control in the wake of the murder-suicide case involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Given the events that transpired Friday, Costas’ impassioned plea is worth a second listen.