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Inside the Beltway: Proud to own a gun

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bullet points: Well, that's one way to get the point across. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is now issuing attractive little "Proud to Be a Firearms Owner" pocket cards to arm the nation's 100 million gun owners with facts and talking points about their identities as law-abiding, safety-minded, conservation-friendly folks who also happen to be passionate about defending the Second Amendment.

"Firearms owners have been misrepresented and even maligned in the ongoing public debate over gun legislation," says Steve Sanetti, the group's CEO. "Our goal is to remind gun owners they have many reasons to be proud. You should stand tall, and if someone takes an unfriendly shot at you for being a firearm owner, respond with the facts listed in our new pocket card."

Among the 13 "bullet points" on the card, just as they're printed:

"I am one of 100 million firearms owners in the U.S.; I am one of 35 million target shooters and hunters; I am part of a great American tradition; I am a conservationist; I store my firearms securely when not in use to keep guns out of the wrong hands; I respect those who have their reasons for not owning firearms, but insist that they respect my reasons for owning them."

See the new outreach here: Nssf.org

MISSION ON A BUS

Though they don't cost quite as much as Air Force One, the wheels on the fancy bus go 'round and 'round. Indeed, "Greyhound One" — one of the many waggish nicknames for the $1.1 million, armor-plated, Canadian-made White House tour bus — will roll into university campuses in four cities in New York and Pennsylvania on Thursday morning, with more to come on Friday.

The campaigner in chief on the road, once again? Well, no. It is a "personal mission," President Obama explains in a public message, noting that he himself did not pay off his own college debts until he ran for the U.S. Senate. He promises he's got a plan to help families confronting tuition costs that have tripled in the past three decades.

Meanwhile, activists opposed to fracking methodically have planned noisy rallies in each city, deeming Mr. Obama's support of the gas extraction practice "reckless." Perhaps a simple video would have been more efficient — and cheaper — to get his message on higher education across.

"Apparently someone thinks that riding around on buses going from one college campus to another equals leadership," points out Bryan Preston, a columnist for Pajamas Media.

CRUZ CONTROL

What is the true and resilient appeal of Sen. Ted Cruz? Dozens of shrill "birther" stories have appeared in the liberal press centered on the Texas Republican's birthplace, which is Canada. The fact that the circumstances won't affect his eligibility to run for the White House does not much come into play. But no matter. Mr. Cruz has the ability to stand fast and stay on message; he has a straightforward style that has won him loyal fans among grass-roots tea partyers, and increasingly, mainstream Republicans who have come to admire the lawmaker's tenacity.

"A significant amount of Republicans assume, with an impasse, that President Obama will never ever, ever give up his principles, so Republicans have to give up theirs," Mr. Cruz told a town hall audience in Dallas on Wednesday.

"If you have an impasse, one side or the other has to blink. How do we win this fight? Don't blink," Mr. Cruz said.

CUCCINELLI GOES TO BATTLE

"Staying silent, condoning harassment: the real war on women."

And so reads the new campaign motto for Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the Republican candidate for Virginia governor. He is questioning why his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, has not spoken up about harassment charges that are piling up against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

"Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called on Bob Filner to resign. And the Democrat National Committee is set to vote on a resolution calling for the same. It's time for Terry McAuliffe to break his silence," points out a spokesman for Mr. Cuccinelli.

"We cannot reassure voters that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for a champion for women unless Democrats walk our talk on equality and take firm action in accordance with our values and stand up for women by condemning his behavior and calling on him to immediately resign," reads the Democrats' resolution on Mr. Filner.

DRAMA WITH THE NEWS

The brand new network was on the air only for a matter of hours before drama intersected with news coverage. Al-Jazeera America, which went live at 3 p.m. Tuesday, announced it had filed a lawsuit against AT&T just six hours later.

The reason? The telecom giant dropped the network from U-Verse, its pay TV cable service that reaches some 5 million customers — a discussion that AT&T indicated had been underway for several weeks. Al-Jazeera America swiftly struck back, however.

"Al-Jazeera America made a decision to seek judicial intervention in its dispute with AT&T. Unfortunately AT&T's decision to unilaterally delete Al-Jazeera America presented us with circumstances that were untenable — an affiliate that has willfully and knowingly breached its contractual obligations. Accordingly, we had no choice but to take this action and to enforce Al-Jazeera America's rights under its agreement with AT&T — and to compel AT&T to do the right thing," the network said in a statement.

"Al-Jazeera America's strong hope is to resolve this matter quickly so that AT&T's customers will have access to our unbiased, fact-based and in-depth coverage of the news that is important to Americans," concluded the network, which is funded by the Qatar government.

Details are still scanty on the dispute, which appears to have been brewing from the days of Current TV, the progressive news network founded by Al Gore in 2005. Al-Jazeera America bought the channel from Mr. Gore in January for $500 million and has since built a news organization that promises credible news and in-depth reporting.

As once was said in TV news, there's more to come. Or not.

"Despite assurances, Al-Jazeera America is still feeling like another liberal network," sighs Mediaite.com columnist Joe Concha, in review of the network's first day on the crowded airwaves.

POLL DU JOUR

• 55 percent of women and 56 percent of men are satisfied with their boss or immediate supervisor.

• 53 percent of women and 49 percent of men are satisfied with the amount of work that is required of them.

• 51 percent of women and 51 percent of men are satisfied with their job security.

• 50 percent of women and 45 percent of men are satisfied for the recognition they receive at work.

• 37 percent of women and 39 percent of men are satisfied with their chances for promotion.

• 29 percent of women and 27 percent are satisfied with the amount of on-the-job stress they have.

• 24 percent of women and 32 percent of men are satisfied with the amount of money they earn.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,039 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 7 to 11.

Vexed observances, buoyant sayings to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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