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So much for the well-publicized promises to " set aside partisan politics and festivities planned for the convention opening " and adopt " a more a subdued business-only tone in deference to Gulf Coast residents " due to the hurricane. ABC's Blotter : As NOLA Residents Flee, Republican Party Officials Don Pink Boas and Swig Vodka Shots
If you were to ask most Americans whether or not the United States has the lowest infant mortality, I suspect the large majority would give you a resounding "yes." That's why it's startling to realize that the U.S. actually ranks 46th in the world. The top three countries are Singapore at 2.3 infant deaths per thousand, Sweden at 2.75 and Japan at 2.8. The U.S. infant mortality rate - 6.3 per thousand births - is higher than Cuba, Portugal, Slovenia and Iceland. On life expectancy, we don't do any better; indeed, we rank 45th in the world. With respect to healthcare spending, however, we are absolutely tops!
Walter Russell Mead writes:
This article is copyrighted. It was provided by the author, Don B. Kates, Jr., and is distributed with the permission of the author. It may be cited as long as credit is given.
U.S. Supreme Court Considers ALEC Voting Bill; Could Have Broader Implications for Voting Rights by Brendan Fischer
(We are pleased to post the following guest commentary from Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center . Mr. Sugarmann's essay was originally posted on the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence's "Insights" section on its website).
Some members of the National Rifle Association are outraged that President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking potential government appointees the following questions: “Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.” This was number 59 on a list of a 63 questions on the form, under the heading of “Miscellaneous.” Firearm advocates of the From-My-Cold-Dead-Hands variety view these innocuous questions as an infringement of their God-given right to possess any weapon gun manufacturers can dream up.
By Martha Rosenberg Even though sport hunters account for only four percent of the nation - not much more than vegetarians and considerably less than LGBTs - many candidates, even dove candidates, feel compelled to don Blaze Orange and show the nation their Davy Crockett (or Annie Oakley) side. Who can forget Bill Clinton and John Kerry's campaign-timed duck outings for the benefit of photographers ? And Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton's verbal credentialing during the last election? (Romney ended up ridiculed by the gun press for calling himself a lifelong hunter on the basis of a few hunting trips in which he shot rodents, rabbits and "small varmints" and Clinton was termed "Annie Oakley" by the man who would defeat her.)
Behind the scenes, federal agents in charge of stopping gun trafficking to Mexico have quietly advanced a plan to help stem the smuggling of high-powered AK-47s and AR-15s to the bloody drug war south of the border.
The National Rifle Association has money, motivated members and powerful allies in Congress. But what puts the NRA in a separate class among interest groups is its track record of defeating incumbents. In Washington, that is real power. Thus, calls for new gun control measures after the Virginia Tech shootings are likely to face a difficult path on Capitol Hill -- even with Democrats now in charge. "The NRA has pretty much set the agenda for the Congress, so we'll see," said Rep.
This is the story of two Marys.
National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action <img src="http://s7.addthis.com/static/btn/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" border="0" alt="" /> Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly before the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an eight percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery. 1 Since 1991, when violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low.
The Los Angeles Times has a story about a guy named Bruce Pardo. Pardo had an interesting Christmas Eve. He dressed up as Santa, rang the door bell at his ex-wife's home and shot nine people and himself with five 9-millimeter handguns.
Your Voice Can Stop a Bullet Gun related deaths and injuries Note: figures are derived from the CMI system, which is a 'live' system, hence variations According to a United Nations survey of 69 countries, South Africa has one of the highest firearm related homicide rates in the world per 100 000 people, second only to Columbia.