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Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama To Speak on Gun Violence Today in Connecticut - President Obama is scheduled to make a speech on gun control at 5:45 p.m. ET Monday in Hartford, Conn., according to the White House.
President Obama made a push for stricter gun control measures in a speech last week in Denver.


Senators Manchin, Toomey in Talks on Backgrounds Checks - Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and his GOP colleague Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) are working on language which would expand checks on firearm sales at gun shows and over the Internet.
Their preliminary proposal, still in talks, would exclude gun sales between family members and temporary transfers for those with a hunting license, according to Senate aides close to negotiations, assuaging GOP concerns. has more here.


Illinois Begins Major Pension Reform - Illinois lawmakers begin a two-month push on Monday to enact major pension reform, under pressure from taxpayers, workers, business  groups and bond investors to fix the worst-funded state pension system in the United States.

The key objective: To put together a package of reform measures that are capable of addressing a nearly $100 billion unfunded pension liability, while still standing up to anticipated court challenges.

The state's constitution prohibits reduction in pension benefits to active and retired workers, and reform efforts have been inhibited by warnings made by union groups and others that they intend to file lawsuits to block implementation of many reforms.

The president of the Illinois Senate, John Cullerton, a Democrat, said he is preparing a two-pronged attack. He first will seek to pass a bill similar to the measure the House approved late last month that would impose restrictions on cost-of-living increases to pension payments to retirees. has more here.


U.S. Designs a Korea Response Proportional to the Provocation - American officials described the new “counterprovocation” plan as calling for an immediate but proportional “response in kind” — hitting the source of any North Korean attack with similar weapons. For example, if the North Koreans were to shell a South Korean island that had military installations, as has occurred in the past, the plan calls for the South to retaliate quickly with a barrage of artillery of similar intensity.

South Korea’s national security director said Sunday that the North this week might launch one of its new missiles. If so, Pentagon officials said they would be ready to calculate its trajectory within seconds and try to shoot it down if it appeared headed toward impact in South Korea, Japan or Guam, an American territory. But they planned to do nothing if it were headed toward open water, even if it went over Japan, as one previous North Korean test did.
The officials doubted that the North’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, would risk aiming the missile at the United States or its allies. The NY Times has more here.
Brown Running for Senate in New Hampshire Unlikely - Multiple media outlets are reporting that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, a Republican, hasn’t ruled out a bid for the Senate next year in New Hampshire.
I haven’t ruled out lots of things in my life that I don’t intend to do and am pretty sure I won’t do, and if that’s all that Brown means, fine.

But if Brown is serious about running for the Republican nomination in the Granite State, he needs to splash some cold water on his face, swallow a stiff drink and embrace the obvious: It’s a stupid idea.

Former senators who were defeated for re-election can’t simply go to another state — even if they have property there and have paid taxes there — and get elected to the Senate, especially if the state is politically competitive. has more here.


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