Archive for mayors

Weiner/Filner -- Sex Addicts or Just Nuts About Their Nuts?

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Sex Addiction

Lately America can't seem to get enough sex. Maybe they can get enough of their own, but they can't shake off the fixation of the publicly made details of the concurrent sex scandals of Anthony Weiner and Bob Filner.

For a long time, people hid behind a label. They were sex addicts. And we all agree something that you are addicted to, opium, pain pills, alcohol are illnesses. Treatable in most cases. So many people have copped out to that excuse for their bad behavior or even crimes, but they were given a pass. They were sick.

Then comes a new study, just within the past two weeks that suggests that there really isn't such a thing as sex addition. Well if there isn't an illness, then maybe there's another excuse. These self-professed abusers are really just acting out and they will continue to do so, even with help.

Weiner-filner

Take Weiner. He claims he receive professional help for his addition, then continued to offend. Now Filner is voluntarily going for two weeks of therapy. (Two weeks?) He expects to be cured of his unseemly demeanor.

But how can you be cured from what doesn't exist? Here's how Linton puts it in her reporting for The Political Beast:

To start with, sex addiction, formerly known as hypersexual disorder, is not labeled as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM. The phrase “sexual addiction” first showed up in the DSM in 1980, but was removed in 1994 due to lack of research.

Last week scientists from UCLA published a study positing that sex addiction may not be similar to alcohol and drug addiction. Using 52 adults (13 women, 39 men), the scientists used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the participants’ brain responses. Addicts have been found to have an increase in their P300 responses, or the brain waves in the first 300 milliseconds, when shown an image of their drug of choice. P300 has generally been used as a marker of addiction in the brain, so the UCLA scientists showed the participants pornographic images and measured their P300 responses—and the response found was related to high how their level of desire was but not the three measures of hypersexuality.

Okay, I agree. Scientific mumbo-jumbo. But what is really the point is that we all seem to hide behind labels. Johnny shouldn't be punished because he's ill, he suffering from "XYZ" and therefore should be shown some latitude. Or Sally's not responsible, it was the booze that took over.

I buy all that. And I also buy this particular study (as small as it is) is more sh*t than horse. I think you can become addicted to anything, chocolate, flowers, games, music -- but they're still addictions. The question to  me isn't whether the particular deficiency is an addiction or an illness. It's whether or not there's really a cure. And if not, then a person's abilities to keep it in check are what we need to look at.

Does Weiner appear to you like he's found a solution? How about Bob Filner who's still living in denial. We have votes and a responsibility goes along with them. Let's consider illness as an illness. And addiction as an addiction. But let's be wise and let time, not someone's convenient stay in a clinic, determine whether they've earned our trust.

Also keep in mind that mental illness comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. Someone doesn't have to be publicly declared sick to be sick. Just look at Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the entire cast of Fox & Friends and Joe Scarborough just to name a few. The AMA says 7 out of 10 people suffer from some sort of mental disorder. Next time you see a group shot of Congress, see if you can pick out the ones who aren't nuts. And don't forget, one of your choices is, "None of the above."

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VIDEO: Fathers' Day message from a Newtown dad. His daughter, a teacher, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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newtown dad father's day

"My first Father's Day without my daughter..."

"For the rest of my life, I will not have a daughter."

"... Do something now."

Gun nuts' idea of doing something: Arm the kids. Arm the teachers. Arm everyone! The more people that die at the point of a gun, the better. To hell with common sense measures that might, you know, prevent deaths.

Via a Mayors Against Illegal Guns email:

Today is Gilles Rousseau's first Father’s Day since his daughter Lauren was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, where she was a substitute teacher.

This Father's Day, share Gilles' story and help make sure fewer fathers ever have to bury their own children.

guns demand action to end gun violence

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Infographic: How the Senate blocked background checks

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how the senate blocked background gun checks

Here's the part at the bottom that you can't read (click to enlarge):

how the senate blocked background gun checks 2

Mayors Against Illegal Guns emailed the above graphic to share with everyone. They're as disgusted as I am:

To wrap up a week when the U.S. Senate blocked background checks, Mayors Against Illegal Guns is today releasing a new infographic  (available here) that includes key facts like how the deciding votes were cast by senators from four states that represent just 1.4% of the U.S. population, how much money the senators who voted against background checks have received from the gun lobby and most importantly: how more than 19,000 Americans will be murdered by guns between now and November 2014, the next time any of these senators are up for re-election.

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VIDEO: #Newtown parent, Obama on failure to pass gun violence law: "Gun lobby & its allies willfully lied about the bill."

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what does it take

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

President Obama, excerpts:

A few minutes ago a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn't worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms, even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery. By now it's well- known that 90 percent of the American people support universal background checks that make it harder for a dangerous person to buy a gun. We're talking about convicted felons, people convicted of domestic violence, people with a severe mental illness.

And a few minutes ago, 90 percent of Democrats in the Senate voted for that idea. But it's not going to happen, because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea.

[A] minority was able to block it from moving forward. ... The American people are trying to figure out, how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen?

We had a Democrat and a Republican -- both gun owners, both fierce defenders of our second amendment with A grades from the NRA come together and work together to write a common-sense compromise on background checks.

And Gabby Giffords, by the way, is both. She's a gun owner and a victim of gun violence. She is a Westerner and a moderate, and she supports these background checks.

In fact, even the NRA used to support expanded background checks. The current leader of the NRA used to support these background checks.

But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of "Big Brother" gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation in fact outlawed any registry... And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.

[M]ost of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn't want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun.

They worried that that vocal minority of gun-owners would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment. And obviously a lot of Republicans had that fear, but Democrats had that fear, too. And so they caved to the pressure, and they started looking for an excuse, any excuse, to vote no.

I've heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? A victory for what?

I've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. A prop, somebody called them. Emotional blackmail, some outlets said. Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their -- their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?

So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.

[W]hoever you are, you need to let your representatives in Congress know that you are disappointed and that if they don't act this time, you will remember come election time.

[T]hose who care deeply about preventing more and more gun violence will have to be as passionate and as organized and as vocal as those who blocked these common-sense steps to help keep our kids safe. Ultimately, you outnumber those who argued the other way. But they're better organized, they're better financed, they've been at it longer and they make sure to stay focused on this one issue during election time. And that's the reason why you can have something that 90 percent of Americans support and you can't get it through the Senate or the House of Representatives.

So to change Washington, you, the American people, are going to have to sustain some passion about this.

And when necessary, you've got to send the right people to Washington.

We're going to have to change.

I'm assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words. I believe we're going to be able to get this one. Sooner or later we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it, and so the American people.

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What I can't believe I'm writing about today

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huh what'd they say

I've recently introduced a new feature, What I Will Not Write About Today of news items that are so frustrating and/or disheartening and/or annoying that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that I can't believe I did write about today:

Via Taegan, here are a couple of today's eye-popping stories. Follow the links for more:

"I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet."

-- North Carolina State Senator Tommy Tucker (R), quoted by the Raleigh News and Observer, to Goldsboro News-Argus publisher Hal Tanner who was opposing legislation to change public notice requirements for local government.

***

Sanford Sons Met His Girlfriend at Victory Party: Jenny Sanford confirmed: "That was indeed Bolton's first intro and both boys were quite upset and visibly so."

***

And this jaw-dropper, via my pal @Crutnacker:

tweet mitch mcconnell guns

When you follow their link, you see this entry from Mitch McConnell's Facebook Page on which his campaign mocks gun safety efforts by Democrats. "Nice!"....

mcconnell campaign FB guns

Here are some of the comments under that post:

Bill Cox: Thank you Mr. McConnell. As always, I am glad to see your continued support of the 2nd Amendment and our gun rights.

Steve Robertson: Wow a politician actually does something right for a change. Thank you.

Thomas Wilson: What is a meme?

Jeff Wheeler: My man Mitch! Don't let the Imam start writing executive orders!!!

Bear Gibson: They can have our guns one bullet at a time.

If you need more right wing talking points, link over to the page and read the rest. There were some anti-Mitch responses, too.

I cannot believe I wrote about that today.

fainting

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LIVE VIDEO FEED: Pres. Obama Speaks on Commonsense Measures to Reduce Gun Violence 5:30 PM EDT

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over

Gun background check plan fails in Senate 54-46. Here are statements from NRA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The president is responding.

 

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Gun background check plan fails in Senate 54-46. Here are statements from NRA, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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nra check cartoon guns

This just popped into my inbox. Hey Harry Reid, you wanna rethink that filibuster “gentleman’s agreement” with Mitch McConnell now?

The Senate has rejected a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on firearms and close the so-called gun show loophole, handing President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders a major defeat on one of the key pieces of the president's second-term agenda. 

The vote was 54-46, with only four Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats in favor of the bipartisan proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Sixty votes were needed.

Watch here: www.politico.com/live

UPDATE, per @IgorVolsky:

Dems who voted for Cornyn amendment to loosen gun laws:

Baucus
Begich
Donnelly
Hagan
Heinrich
Heitkamp
Landrieu
Manchin
Udall
Udall
Tester

Per @TPM, here's the statement from theNRA:

"As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools."

Here is the statement from Mayors Against Illegal guns, via email. Bolding is mine:

Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington. More than 40 U.S. senators would rather turn their backs on the 90 percent of Americans who support comprehensive background checks than buck the increasingly extremist wing of the gun lobby. Democrats – who are so quick to blame Republicans for our broken gun laws – could not stand united. And Republicans – who are so quick to blame Democrats for not being tough enough on crime – handed criminals a huge victory, by preserving their ability to buy guns illegally at gun shows and online and keeping the illegal trafficking market well-fed. Senators Manchin and Toomey – as well as Majority Leader Reid and Senators Schumer, Kirk, Collins, McCain and others – deserve real credit for coming together around a compromise bill that struck a fair balance, and President Obama and Vice-President Biden deserve credit for their leadership since the Sandy Hook massacre. But even with some bi-partisan support, a common-sense public safety reform died in the U.S. Senate at the hands of those who are more interested in attempting to protect their own political careers – or some false sense of ideological purity – than protecting the lives of innocent Americans. The only silver lining is that we now know who refuses to stand with the 90 percent of Americans – and in 2014, our ever-expanding coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don’t forget.

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