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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Patrick J. Toomey
The Senate added stronger protection for religious organizations Wednesday to a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, though religious conservatives called the measure insufficient and its fate in the House remains doubtful.
On the same day that lawmakers acknowledged that any attempt to crack down on firearms stands virtually no chance on Capitol Hill, President Obama made his strongest plea to date on the need to confront gun violence.
When he was in the Senate, Jim DeMint wasn't shy about trying to recruit conservatives he thought would buck the Republican Party establishment and gum up the collegial workings of the legislative process. Now on the outside, running the Heritage Foundation, the former senator from South Carolina may have even more levers to pull.
The news channel goes live in less than three weeks. That would be Al Jazeera America, already peopled with veterans hailing from CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, PBS and ABC. Now add C-SPAN to the list. Libby Casey, morning host and producer for C-SPAN's much esteemed "Washington Journal," has signed on as the incoming network's official Washington correspondent — one of the nine new hires who will lead regional bureaus.
Advocates for tighter gun-purchase background checks are hopeful the Senate will take another shot at a measure before year's end, but seven months after the Connecticut school shootings, it's unclear whether Democratic leaders will make their members take another politically difficult vote ahead of the 2014 midterms.
As farm bill negotiations get underway, the rhetoric surrounding our nation's sugar policy is again approaching a decibel level that likely will be rivaled only by this summer's East Coast cicada bugfest.
Be careful what you wish for, the saying goes, because you might get it. Until recently, gun-fearing Senate Democrats were positively giddy about getting access to the deep pockets of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund.
Polling suggests many voters viewed last week's Senate gun votes through the lens of Second Amendment rights — findings that show why gun control advocates fell short in their bid to expand background checks on firearms sales despite overwhelming public support.
Expanded background-checks legislation may have been stopped in its tracks, but gun control advocates — led by the families of the Newtown, Conn., victims — are vowing to fight on.
One of the main architects of a gun-control bill that failed in the Senate this week said Friday he will continuing selling his plan on and off Capitol Hill and remains optimistic it one day will become law.
Senate Democrats shelved their gun control bill Thursday, saying that despite passionate pleas from families whose children died in December's Connecticut rampage, they cannot muster enough votes to pass any of the major new restrictions they had hoped for.
Senators dealt a devastating blow to gun control efforts Wednesday, defeating the background check compromise that was the centerpiece of President Obama's post-Newtown push for stiffer laws and leaving advocates struggling to figure out what to do now.
As the Senate opens debate on legislation to expand background checks of gun purchases, President Obama said Tuesday he thinks public sentiment will compel lawmakers to approve the measure.
The deal senators have struck to expand firearm background checks to all Internet and gun show sales will drive up prices for consumers, weapons retailers say.
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who helped write the background check plan, said Wednesday that one reason why it failed was because he and co-sponsor Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, devoted too much time to debunking falsehoods and not enough time to making their own pitches.
Mr. Toomey said on MSNBC that his office heard from opponents much more than supporters — "several times from each one of them" — and that the vote was partly a product of the increased polarization of politics in general.