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By ThinkProgress War Room

Ten Pro-Gun Legislators Willing to Consider New Gun Regulations

Following last week’s gun massacre in Newton, Connecticut, public support for commonsense gun safety regulations is surging. One poll out today found that support had risen nearly 20 points since this Spring. hitting a ten-year high.

As we know, overwhelming public support (or opposition) doesn’t guarantee that politicians in Washington will actually listen (e.g. why we still have to fight over giveaways to oil companies and the wealthy). Fortunately, it appears that the Sandy Hook shooting was finally one massacre too many and our elected are stepping up to the challenge of protecting everyone in our society from senseless violence.

ThinkProgress’ Josh Israel highlights ten pro-gun politicians that are now willing to consider sensible new regulations on weapons that have no place on our streets:

1. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

The Senate Majority Leader has earned high marks from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has run as a strong gun-rights advocate. In a floor speech Monday, he said, “In the coming days and weeks, we will engage in a meaningful conversation and thoughtful debate about how to change laws and culture that allow violence to grow.” He added that “every idea should be on the table” in the discussion. Politico reported Monday that he told a colleague he was now open to more gun control, observing that “something has to be done.”

2. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Though he has run for office as a “friend to gun owners” and received an “A” rating from the in his 2008 Senate run, Warner said Monday that he believes, “enough is enough.” Citing urging from his own daughters, he noted “I, like I think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control.”

3. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

A lifelong NRA member who has received an “A” rating from the anti-gun control group, Manchin announced Monday that the time has come for assault weapon regulations. “We need to sit down and have a common sense discussion and move in a reasonable way,” he said on MSNBC. In a separate interview, he told CNBC that the tragedy in Connecticut, “changed me and it’s changed most Americans, I think.”

4. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Casey has received consistentlyhigh grades from the NRA and campaigned in his 2012 re-election race on his “record of supporting the Second Amendment and the interests of Pennsylvania sportsmen.” In a statement, Casey said, “These senseless acts of violence are unacceptable. Addressing them will require a comprehensive strategy that acknowledges all of the factors that contributed to this tragedy and takes every appropriate step to protect our citizens, especially our kids. Everything should be on the table.”

5. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)

Johnson has received an “A” rating from the NRA, but said Monday, ” This tragedy will certainly force us as a country to have a discussion about our gun laws, as well as our mental health system. Like always, I will carefully consider any proposed legislation and listen to the voices of South Dakotans.”

6. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Collins has been fairly pro-gun — receiving a “C+” rating from the NRA. On Monday, she said in a statement, “While denying the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens won’t change the behavior of those intent on using firearms for criminal purposes, I wholeheartedly agree that we must examine what can be done to help prevent gun violence.” She suggested that “we should examine, among other issues, whether states are reporting data on mentally ill individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others to the national background check database designed to prevent gun purchases by such individuals.”

7. Sen.-Elect Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

As a U.S. Congressman, Donnelly received an “A” rating and endorsement from the NRA. In a statement Monday, the Senator-elect said, “Now is the time to work together to make sure this never happens again. All parties must come to the table as we determine the appropriate action to address this extremely concerning problem of senseless violence.” He told CNN he was open to gun control measures, noting, “I’m a Dad too. My kids are a little older now, but I think of when they were 6 and 7 years old, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”

8. Sen.-Elect Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

As a U.S. Congressman, Heinrich received an “A” rating and endorsement from the NRA. Monday, he said the tragedy in Connecticut left him “deeply affected” and that he was willing to consider “sensible policy” to address the problem. He vowed to take a “very serious look all legislative proposals aimed at preventing these horrific tragedies,” and noted that as a hunter, “I don’t need a 25-round clip for effective home defense, and I sure don’t need one for hunting. That’s just too much killing power. It defies common sense.”

9. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)

The NRA has endorsed Dent and praised him for being “a staunch defender of the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding gun owners, hunters and sportsmen in Pennsylvania and across America.” After Newtown, he announced he would “push for us to examine all of the possible solutions to this problem,” including ways to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

10. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)

In his 2012 re-election campaign, Rahall noted on his candidate website that he was “NRA Endorsed, A Rated.” Monday, while noting that the “causes of violence in America are bigger and broader than just firearms,” Rahall said, “I want to hear from all sides before the Congress moves forward, so we can move forward together. Let us act deliberately, but, for the sake of too many already lost, let us act.”

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

Michigan’s Republican governor vetoes radical bill that would’ve allowed concealed weapons in schools.

The House GOP’s hypocritical budget math.

Speaker Boehner decides tax hikes on millionaires won’t kill jobs after all.

Defeated Rep. Todd “legitimate rape” Akin is going out with a bang.

Florida lawmaker tried to disenfranchise college students in revenge for them having helped elect an openly gay mayor.

Top gun lobbyist: Americans should be “prepared” to take on lawmakers with their guns.

Non-sexist EZ Bake ovens are on the way.

Republicans need a deal on the fiscal cliff — really badly.

Major businesses are distancing themselves from guns.


from the Official Google Blog

“In the beginning”…bringing the scrolls of Genesis and the Ten Commandments online

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 02:00 AM PST

A little over a year ago, we helped put online five manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls—ancient documents that include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. Written more than 2,000 years ago on pieces of parchment and papyrus, they were preserved by the hot, dry desert climate and the darkness of the caves in which they were hidden. The Scrolls are possibly the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
Today, we’re helping put more of these ancient treasures online. The Israel Antiquities Authority is launching the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of some 5,000 images of scroll fragments, at a quality never seen before. The texts include one of the earliest known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments; part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world; and hundreds more 2,000-year-old texts, shedding light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism.

The Ten Commandments. Photo by Shai Halevi, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority
Part of the Book of Genesis. Photo by Shai Halevi, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority

Millions of users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution. The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There’s a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages. We’re thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, and use of Maps, YouTube and Google image technology.
This partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority is part of our ongoing work to bring important cultural and historical materials online, to make them accessible and help preserve them for future generations. Other examples include the Yad Vashem Holocaust photo collection, Google Art Project, World Wonders and the Google Cultural Institute.
We hope you enjoy visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, or any of these other projects, and interacting with history.
Posted by Eyal Miller, New Business Development, and Yossi Matias, Head of Israel Research and Development Center

Get the whole family together over the holidays, from anywhere

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 01:00 AM PST

‘Tis the season for tree trimming, gift giving, recipe sharing and catching up with loved ones over a cup of eggnog.  For families that are spread out over cities or even countries, it can be a challenge to get everyone together during the holidays. This year, we’ve teamed up with the creators of Wallace and Gromit to add a little extra holiday magic to Google+ Hangouts with a custom invitation builder and a Holiday Effects app.
Click this link to schedule your holiday family hangout and we’ll send all your invitations out with a custom Wallace and Gromit video. Since Hangouts let up to 10 people video chat at once, right from Google+ or Gmail, you can invite the whole family to join—and maybe a few friends too.

Don’t forget to put on a Santa hat, reindeer antlers or even wear Gromit’s ears by adding the Holiday Effects app to your family hangout.

Happy holidays from the Google+ and Gmail teams!
Posted by Kevin Maguire, Product Marketing Manager
(Cross-posted on the Gmail Blog)

Support : NMAAHC

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Help us build the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture by making a donation today!

I want to thank you for making 2012 an exciting year of progress for the Museum.

It has been a busy, productive year.

  • Our critically acclaimed new exhibition, Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, was enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors.
  • Our collections now number more than 19,000 historic objects and artifacts — and still growing!
  • And since the membership program began in August 2009, more than 42,000 people throughout the nation — and around the world! — have joined in support of building the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Of course, the biggest event over the past 12 months was our groundbreaking in February. It was marked by a special ceremony attended by President and Mrs. Obama, and featured speeches by the President and other dignitaries. This event stands as one of our major milestones and accomplishments thus far.

Today, our future site on the National Mall is a hive of activity. The bulldozers, backhoes and other construction equipment are drawing a lot of attention from people visiting the Capitol, the national monuments, and the museums that line the Mall.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are knowing that in 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors and take its place among the great family of Smithsonian institutions — provided we continue to progress on schedule.

Your support is vital to the Museum. Now, before we ring in the New Year, I hope you will consider making a special year-end contribution and help ensure we stay on schedule. Remember, your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law — so, while you are helping the Museum, you are benefiting with a tax deduction, too.

You may want to consider becoming a Charter Member, if you have not done so already — it is a great program with some nice premiums. Regardless, however, we are genuinely grateful for your support and contribution to the Museum!

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the best in the coming year. Thank you for your kind generosity to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture — and for making this dream a reality.

Adrienne Brooks Sincerely,
brooks sig
Adrienne C. Brooks Director of Development
P.S. Please take a moment right now and make a tax-deductible contribution to help build our Museum. If you are not already a Charter Member, you can join right now. Or you can simply support the Museum with a generous contribution. Either way, we truly appreciate your commitment. Thank you once again.

CONGRESS: the House: Republican led ::::::: the Senate: Democrat led

capitol30the Senate Convenes: 9:30amET December 19,2012

  • The Senate will convene at 9:30am on Wednesday, December 19, 2012.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the final half.
  • Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.1, the legislative vehicle for the emergency supplemental appropriations bill.
  • At 11:30am, Senator Hutchison will be recognized for up to 30 minutes and at 2:00pm, Senator Kyl will be recognized for up to 30 minutes, each for the purposes of delivering retirement speech.

The following amendments are pending to H.R.1, the legislative vehicle for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill:

Senator Bingaman has called up amendment #3344 (Approval of 2010 U.S.-Palau Agreement in response to Super Typhoon Bopha).


The Senate stands in recess subject to the call of the chair. We expect to reconvene around 8:30pm.


Prior to the recess, Senator Coburn modified his pending amendment #3371 and then divided his amendment. The divisions are as follows:


Division I (per capita damage indicator)

Division II (seriously delinquent tax debt)

Division III (return of unused emergency funds)

Division IV(competitively awarded contracts use of funds)

Division V (public notification and website posting of grant funds)

Division VI (cost sharing)

Division VII (Stafford Disaster Relief Assistance Act)

Division VIII (strike transfer of unused funds)

Division IX (flood hazards)recess subject to the call–Coburn amendment modified and divided

This evening Senator Leahy withdrew the Leahy substitute amendment #3338 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations), and, as a result, the pending first degree amendments fell along with it. Then Senate Reid offered a new substitute amendment #3395 (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations), filled the amendment tree with date change amendments, and filed cloture on the substitute amendment #3395 and underlying bill, H.R.1. The text of the new substitute can be found at


We hope to reach an agreement to consider amendments and complete action on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill tomorrow. If no agreement can be reached, the cloture vote on the substitute would occur on Friday, December 21.


Before we leave we need to consider the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, FISA reauthorization, and 3 district court nominations






Discharged Veterans’ Affairs and passed H.R.4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012 with a Murray substitute amendment.


Passed H.R.6029, the Foreign and Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act with a Kohl-Lee substitute amendment.


Discharged Homeland Security and Government Affairs and passed the following Postal Naming bills:

H.R.3477, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 133 Hare Road in Crosby, Texas, as the Army First Sergeant David McNerney Post Office Building.

H.R.3870, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6083 Highway 36 West in Rose Bud, Arkansas, as the “Nicky ‘Nick’ Daniel Bacon Post Office”.

H.R.3912, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 110 Mastic Road in Mastic Beach, New York, as the “Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull Post Office Building”.

H.R.5738, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 15285 Samohin Drive in Macomb, Michigan, as the “Lance Cpl. Anthony A. DiLisio Clinton-Macomb Carrier Annex”.

H.R.5837, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 26 East Genesee Street in Baldwinsville, New York, as the “Corporal Kyle Schneider Post Office Building”.

H.R.5954, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 320 7th Street in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, as the “Sergeant Leslie H. Sabo, Jr. Post Office Building”.

S.3630, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 218 North Milwaukee Street in Waterford, Wisconsin, as the “Captain Rhett W. Schiller Post Office”.

S.3662, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6 Nichols Street in Westminster, Massachusetts, as the `Lieutenant Ryan Patrick Jones Post Office Building’.


Passed S.2318, the Department of State Rewards Program Update and Technical Corrections Act of 2012 with a committee-reported substitute amendment by voice vote.


Discharged and passed Veterans’ Affairs and passed S.3202, the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 with a Murray substitute amendment.


Passed S.3698, to amend Title 40, United States Code to improve veterans service organizations access to Federal surplus personal property.


Discharged Judiciary and adopted S.Res.618, observing the 100th birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks and commemorating her legacy.

Adopted S.Res.625, recognizing the January 12, 2013, opening of the United States Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, and supporting the plans for other educational pavilions and initiatives.


House hearings

10:00 am Hearing: CLOSED: Ongoing Intelligence ActivitiesHouse Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Full Committee
10:00 am Markup: H.R. 6654, To provide for the exchange of information related to trade enforcement, and for other purposes.Committee on the Judiciary: Full Committee
10:00 am Hearing: “Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Evaluating PBGC’s Insurance Program and Financial Outlook”Committee on Education and the Workforce: Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
10:00 am Hearing: Update on the Evolving Security Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Implications for U.S. National SecurityCommittee on Armed Services: Full Committee

Watch Most Recent House Floor Activity

The next meeting in the House is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on December 19, 2012.

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