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Another day, another mass shooting… in Aurora, CO! When will the madness end?  Never, if the GOP gets its way.

The chart above shows some common sense regulations that could be put in place immediately – and I think even the majority of NRA members would agree that these are practical ideas.

Ten bills pertaining to guns were introducedin the House on the first day of the 113th Congressional session, eight of them by from Democrats seeking new restrictions on gun ownership. Dianne Feinstein is expected to introduce legislation in the Senate this week.   And Joe Biden’s White House working group is continuing their outreach and, according to the Washington Post, considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors – all this in addition to banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition

Cliff Schecter, PR maven, columnist, pundit, consultant to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and all around smart, good guy joined me to talk about the issue.  This is one I will not let up on.. it’s too important!

As Cliff writes a column for Al Jazeera English, he also weighed in on their purchase of Current TV.

And as we begin a New Year, we welcome back Nicole Belle of Crooks & Liars for our Monday morning “Fools on the Hill” segment.  She watches those Sunday talking head shows so we don’t have to, and brings us the highlights and the lowlights…  Here’s what she brought us today:

It’s a new year, and yet we still inhabit the Republican Bizarro World.

In Bizarro World, it’s the Democrats who are threatening to default on the debt, not the Republicans who are licking their wounds, according to freshman tea party Senator Ted Cruz.

Nor does Senator Cruz think that Washington needs more “compromise”. That’s Republican-speak for “We’re going to be as big an obstructionist party as we were in the historically do-nothing Congress of the 112th Congress”.

Where’s that kind of leadership coming from? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who revised history (with Dancing Dave Gregory enabling him) to claim that Obama will be dragged “kicking and screaming” to get to spending cuts.

And in Bizarro World, Greta Van Susteren could claim with a straight face that Fox News only aired conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s concussion before she was hospitalized. Riiiigghht.

But lest you think that only Republicans are guilty of Bizarro thinking, freshman Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of ND said in her first Sunday show appearance that the Obama administration’s tentative trial balloon of enacting some sensible gun safety regulations was way, way extreme. I only hope that Heitkamp, who has a 100% rating from the NRA, doesn’t endorse their idea of armed guards at every school.

And Mitch McConnell has the latest Republican talking point: Americans chose divided government. In a word, that’s crap. Politicians have gerrymandered congressional districts within an inch, insuring that there are only a handful of true swing districts and that the Republicans will likely hold the majority in Congress for the foreseeable future. If you look at the voting results, more than half a million voters voted for Democrats nationally than Republicans, even with all the voting suppression efforts. But even with that majority, the Republicans still have a 233-192 advantage in the House, because those districts are so minutely drawn that few upsets could happen.

Since we hadn’t spoken in a while, and the subject of the GOP’s unbridled desire to cut Social Security benefits to seniors and raise the retirement age, I played a few of the quotes that made me craziest this year…

Tom Brokaw saying we need to raise the retirement age to 70, using some convoluted reasoning that he and his working class brother get the same benefits which doesn’t make sense, so apparently his brother shouldn’t be able to get them?

Pat Robertson saying we should raise it to 72 “no one would be hurt by it”

And Pat Robertson saying you shouldn’t adopt children because they might be “damaged”

And that’s why Pat Robertson is my Most Heinous Person of 2012!

Back tomorrow with @Gottalaff and Congressman Alan Grayson too!

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