Martha Brock's blog

Ezra Klein: 'Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States'

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States, Dec. 2012:

When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk about reforming our gun control laws."

Let's be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It's just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws


Read it all here.

'I would like you to put my trauma center out of business'

There's been no shortage of moving footage and remarks in response to this morning's mass shooting at the Navy Yard, but it's these comments from Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, that seem likely to linger.

See the video at Rachel Maddow's page.

"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," Orlowski said after decrying what she called "senseless trauma."

"There's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries," she continued. "There is something wrong."

"I would like you to put my trauma center out of business," Orlowski added. "I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this."

Far Right attacks Affordable Care Act

From NBC News:

most Americans say they don't have a good grasp of what the law entails. Thirty-four percent say they don’t understand the law very well, and another 35 percent say they understand it only “some.”

Rep. Renee Ellmers is still beating the drum of how "Obamacare" will hurt US' economy and health system. She said on Twitter: "Americans by 45-23% say #Obamacare will have negative rather than positive impact on healthcare system." This is true.

McCrory assesses his job in NC SPIN TV interview

Under the Dome
McCrory assesses his job in NC SPIN TV interview
Submitted by cjarvis on 2013-09-13

Gov. Pat McCrory [was] the guest on NC SPIN, the statewide public affairs TV program, this weekend.

In an interview with host Tom Campbell, McCrory talks about his surprises and challenges in the job.

He also stands up for his cabinet, saying its members comprise the best cabinet in the country. McCrory says they're not getting the attention they deserve.

That might come as a surprise to some of them, who could use a little less attention lately.

Link to the video of the interview with NC SPIN at

Rose Hoban: 'Closing of the lines of communication between DHHS and reporters'

From Rose Hoban's column in the Raleigh News and Observer today:

"...the closing of the lines of communication between DHHS and reporters in the past six months has been troubling. Ricky Diaz, the lead press officer at DHHS, has been quoted in many stories about issues in his department, but many reporters have increasingly voiced concern about the increased time it takes to get responses to requests for information – if they get a response at all. And while Diaz may be quoted, there have been few opportunities for exchanges between Secretary of DHHS Aldona Wos and other leaders in the department.

RNC advocate Jackie Wieland: Then and now

THEN: Quote from Jackie Wieland, of Greensboro from September 2008

“She [Sarah Palin] has more executive experience than Obama and Biden put together. She’s run a state that she’s pretty spread out, and she’s a woman in a rough-and-tough state. She doesn’t look to be any sort of cupcake, either. I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with her.”

NOW: Quote from letter to the editor: "Wos inherited mess at DHHS," by NC SPIN on September 11, 2013 (originally published Raleigh N&O)

Explanation from UNC TV on Card as Trustee


In response to the people who have expressed their objection to the recent appointment of Mr. Orson Scott Card of Greensboro to the UNC-TV Board of Trustees, UNC-TV offers the following points of clarification. It is important to understand that the composition of the UNC-TV Board of Trustees is established by state statute, and the members are appointed by either elected public officials or by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. There are 22 members. These are unpaid volunteer positions, and the board serves in an advisory capacity. The UNC Board of Governors is the actual governing board of UNC-TV.

Mr. Card has been appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina State Senate.

US, Russia call on Syria to put chemical weapons under international control; Syria agrees

from Daily Kos this morning:

Syria welcomes Russia's proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control: Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem
— @Reuters

read more from US and Russia on Syria's chemical weapons here.

UPDATE: more from NBC News and MSNBC now on Syria. H. Clinton to do interview. More at 5pm on MSNBC

ALERT: Hillary Clinton makes first public comments on Syria at 1pET. WATCH LIVE: More on #edshow at 5pET on @msnbc!

Is Berger hinting at U.S. Senate bid?

2014 Republican Primary

By Reid Wilson, Published: September 6 Washington Post

North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger (R) is coming off a legislative session that cemented him as one of the dominant forces in state politics, if not the only one. But he’s hinting he might have a grander stage in mind.

Berger’s campaign will launch a statewide advertisement next week touting an election reform bill that earned conservative praise and liberal outrage after the legislature passed it earlier this year. The ad, which Berger aides said they would spend more than $100,000 to air, will run in the Greensboro media market...


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