Daily Archives: August 26, 2008

>McCain Camp Tries To Downplay Top Aide Lobbying In Favor Of Gun Rights For Suspected Terrorists

>Think Progress
by Satyam

In 2007, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation giving the Justice Department the discretion to prohibit gun sales to terror suspects. The legislation was supported by gun-control groups as well as the Bush administration.

Siding with the gun industry in opposing closing this “terror gap” was Randy Scheunemann, now Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top foreign policy adviser. Newsweek reports that Scheunemann lobbied against the bill on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

One group opposed to closing the loophole is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun manufacturers’ trade association. Until this spring, one of its congressional lobbyists was Randy Scheunemann … Registration documents filed by Scheunemann’s company, Orion Strategies, list the terror-gap bill as one of its specific lobbying objectives, and the registrations listed Scheunemann as a lobbyist until he took a leave.

In response, the McCain campaign “declined to say if Scheunemann had ever lobbied McCain on gun-control bills.” McCain spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker said that Scheunemann is a “foreign-policy adviser.” In March, however, Scheunemann told National Journal that “he has weighed in with advice on Second Amendment and firearms issues” in advising McCain:

Officially the top foreign policy and national security adviser to McCain’s campaign, Scheunemann told National Journal in March he has weighed in with advice on Second Amendment and firearms issues. He said he had stopped lobbying for all his clients early this year, and his lobbying registration forms show that the NRA work ended at the end of 2007.

After McCain spoke to the NRA national convention in May, “Scheunemann spent most of his time at the event backstage — where McCain had a brief meeting with NRA leaders.”

Hinting at yet another conflict of interest, the McCain campaign “refused to answer questions about whether the senator supports or opposes the White House plan to close the loophole” giving expanded gun rights to terrorists, reports Newsweek.

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Filed under John McCain, Newsweek, Randy Scheunemann, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, terror gap, the NRA, Think Progress

McCain Camp Tries To Downplay Top Aide Lobbying In Favor Of Gun Rights For Suspected Terrorists

Think Progress
by Satyam

In 2007, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation giving the Justice Department the discretion to prohibit gun sales to terror suspects. The legislation was supported by gun-control groups as well as the Bush administration.

Siding with the gun industry in opposing closing this “terror gap” was Randy Scheunemann, now Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top foreign policy adviser. Newsweek reports that Scheunemann lobbied against the bill on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

One group opposed to closing the loophole is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun manufacturers’ trade association. Until this spring, one of its congressional lobbyists was Randy Scheunemann … Registration documents filed by Scheunemann’s company, Orion Strategies, list the terror-gap bill as one of its specific lobbying objectives, and the registrations listed Scheunemann as a lobbyist until he took a leave.

In response, the McCain campaign “declined to say if Scheunemann had ever lobbied McCain on gun-control bills.” McCain spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker said that Scheunemann is a “foreign-policy adviser.” In March, however, Scheunemann told National Journal that “he has weighed in with advice on Second Amendment and firearms issues” in advising McCain:

Officially the top foreign policy and national security adviser to McCain’s campaign, Scheunemann told National Journal in March he has weighed in with advice on Second Amendment and firearms issues. He said he had stopped lobbying for all his clients early this year, and his lobbying registration forms show that the NRA work ended at the end of 2007.

After McCain spoke to the NRA national convention in May, “Scheunemann spent most of his time at the event backstage — where McCain had a brief meeting with NRA leaders.”

Hinting at yet another conflict of interest, the McCain campaign “refused to answer questions about whether the senator supports or opposes the White House plan to close the loophole” giving expanded gun rights to terrorists, reports Newsweek.

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Filed under John McCain, Newsweek, Randy Scheunemann, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, terror gap, the NRA, Think Progress

>Petraeus Disagrees With McCain, Says Success In Iraq Was Possible Without The Surge»

>Think Progress
By Ben

Gen. David Petraeus, top commander of coalition military forces in Iraq, recently sat down with Newsweek to do a “valedictory” interview before he takes up his new post as CENTCOM commander next month.

Newsweek reported that while Petraeus recognized that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been significantly diminished, he refusesd to say the terror group had been “defeated.” Moreover, Petraeus acknowledged that the recent successes in Iraq may have been possible without the surge:

Petraeus is careful not to credit all the progress to the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. The sea change came last year from a series of movements now known as the Awakening. […] So would the Sunni Awakening have succeeded without the surge? Possibly, he concedes.

Yet, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) disagrees with Petraeus, who McCain recently named as one of “the three wisest people” that he would rely heavily on as president. Last month during an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, McCain dismissed the notion that security in Iraq may have improved without the so-called “surge” of U.S. forces there:

COURIC: Sen. Obama […] says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

McCAIN: I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened.

Also last month, McCain declared outright that “we have succeeded in Iraq. We have succeeded.” Again, Petraeus cautioned against such rhetoric, Newsweek reported:

As the general’s counterinsurgency guidance puts it, under the rubric “Manage Expectations”: “Avoid premature declarations of success.” […] “The champagne bottle remains in the back of the refrigerator,” he says.

However, McCain and his chief campaign surrogates have been declaring success in Iraq for quite some time. It is therefore unlikely they will be taking Petraeus’s advice.

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Filed under Gen. David Petraeus, John McCain, Newsweek, Think Progress

Petraeus Disagrees With McCain, Says Success In Iraq Was Possible Without The Surge»

Think Progress
By Ben

Gen. David Petraeus, top commander of coalition military forces in Iraq, recently sat down with Newsweek to do a “valedictory” interview before he takes up his new post as CENTCOM commander next month.

Newsweek reported that while Petraeus recognized that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been significantly diminished, he refusesd to say the terror group had been “defeated.” Moreover, Petraeus acknowledged that the recent successes in Iraq may have been possible without the surge:

Petraeus is careful not to credit all the progress to the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. The sea change came last year from a series of movements now known as the Awakening. […] So would the Sunni Awakening have succeeded without the surge? Possibly, he concedes.

Yet, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) disagrees with Petraeus, who McCain recently named as one of “the three wisest people” that he would rely heavily on as president. Last month during an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, McCain dismissed the notion that security in Iraq may have improved without the so-called “surge” of U.S. forces there:

COURIC: Sen. Obama […] says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

McCAIN: I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened.

Also last month, McCain declared outright that “we have succeeded in Iraq. We have succeeded.” Again, Petraeus cautioned against such rhetoric, Newsweek reported:

As the general’s counterinsurgency guidance puts it, under the rubric “Manage Expectations”: “Avoid premature declarations of success.” […] “The champagne bottle remains in the back of the refrigerator,” he says.

However, McCain and his chief campaign surrogates have been declaring success in Iraq for quite some time. It is therefore unlikely they will be taking Petraeus’s advice.

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Filed under Gen. David Petraeus, John McCain, Newsweek, Think Progress

TED KENNEDY TRIBUTE VIDEO: Denver Convention

If you haven’t seen this tribute of Ted Kennedy from last nights events at the Democratic Convention in Denver, take a look at it now. It is moving and inspirational.

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Filed under Democratic Convention, Ted Kennedy, tribute video

TED KENNEDY TRIBUTE VIDEO: Denver Convention

If you haven’t seen this tribute of Ted Kennedy from last nights events at the Democratic Convention in Denver, take a look at it now. It is moving and inspirational.

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Filed under Democratic Convention, Ted Kennedy, tribute video