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Sunday Study Guide: Bloomberg, Lapierre, Boies and Roundtable

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NYC-I)

  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been in the news recently for his controversial legislation proposals. Earlier this week, Mayor Bloomberg proposed restrictions on how retailers in the city can display tobacco products.  This follows the decision from a state Supreme Court judge last week to block the mayor’s ban on serving sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg said he is confident that decision will be reversed and, citing the dangers of obesity, he said the city is “reasonable to draw a line - and it's responsible to draw a line right now. … It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives.”
  • Mayor Bloomberg is also the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He appeared with Vice President Joe Biden and family members of Sandy Hook victims to talk about gun control this week. Mayor Bloomberg said that while some states are working on gun legislation, "state action is not enough. There is a national problem."
  • Watch his latest MTP appearance here.

 

Wayne Lapierre

  • National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne Lapierre spoke at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, calling the Second Amendment the “heart of what this country was founded upon.” He said, “Our founding fathers knew that without the Second Amendment and that freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy. Our individual liberty is the very essence of America. It's what makes America unique. If you aren't free to protect yourself when government puts its thumb on that freedom, then you aren't free at all.”
  • Lapierre also testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on gun violence. He said steps to reduce gun violence should include making school as safe as possible, enforcing already existing gun laws, and fixing the mental health system, but a universal background check would not work.  “When it comes to background checks, let's be honest. Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them.”
  • Watch his most recent Meet the Press appearance.

 

Roundtable:  Reed, Rosen, Dionne, Brooks

  • Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, recently weighed in on the same-sex marriage cases coming before the Supreme Court next week. He said, “These issues should really be litigated in the public square” because the court’s decision could create a precedent in which the public’s “judgments about the social value, the cultural good of the family unit is undermined.” Reed is also the author of “The Confirmation.” Watch his latest appearance on the show here.
  • Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen recently wrote Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) “should be studied for a lesson in how the GOP isn’t learning its lessons properly.”  With the Ryan budget, “we are once again reminded of just how miserably unpopular the policies of this budget chairman are with the American people and how soundly they have been rejected. Now Ryan is renewing his push — not with a changed perspective based on six months of criss-crossing the country — but with the same policies that have already been rejected by the voters.” Watch her most recent MTP appearance.
  • Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne wrote this week that while President Obama’s trip to Israel “cannot suddenly spark productive talks between Israelis and Palestinians,” but the trip is important, despite any spin to the contrary. It means he’s putting himself back into the game. Obama can’t save the two-state approach single-handedly. But it almost certainly can’t be saved without his help and engagement.” Dionne is the author of “Our Divided Political Heart.Watch his latest MTP appearance.
  • New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote on Friday about the use of forecasting in politics and how some think better forecasting could help “depolarize politics. If you take Republicans and Democrats and ask them to make a series of narrow predictions, they’ll have to put aside their grand notions and think clearly about the imminently falsifiable.” Additionally, “this sort of work could probably help policy makers better anticipate what’s around the corner.” It might induce them to think more probabilistically.” He also wrote “The Social Animal.” Watch Brooks’ most recent appearance here.       

 

David Boies is chairman of Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP and is on the team challenging the Proposition 8 case before the Supreme Court of the United States next week. He said, “As long as states are in the marriage business, states can’t discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. We proved in our case marriage is a fundamental right; we proved in our case depriving gays and lesbian citizens the right to marry seriously harmed them and harmed their children they’re raising; we proved denying gays and lesbians marriage equality didn’t help anybody … so you have this tremendous harm without any countervailing benefit to society.”

 

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