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The Daily Countable: The NRA's political power, breaking opioids' addictive lock and... how do you deal with The News?

by Countable | Updated on 3.20.18

Big Hellos, Countable friends,

Many of you sent sage & sublime answers to yesterday's question: 'how do you deal with the constant barrage of critically important news?' You've imparted serious wisdom here, highlighted below… but first, The News!

On the Radar

  • On Monday President Trump unveiled his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse. Its focus is on law enforcement, education and treatment.
  • Trump also told the assembled crowd in New Hampshire that his plan to build a wall on the U.S-Mexico border will "keep the damn drugs out." Here's the story
  • Several administration officials now say the Russia Investigation, lead by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, may be politically motivated. At the same time, several Members of Congress say it's time for Congress to pass legislation to protect Mueller. Here are three proposed bills to do that.

Under the Radar

  • Speaking of Russian meddling, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is reportedly investigating whether the National Rifle Association (NRA) funneled millions of dollars from Russia into the 2016 election campaign. Head here for our story.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • The President meets with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The President hosts a law enforcement roundtable on sanctuary cities.
  • The President attends a fundraising dinner hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, at the National Building Museum.
  • *

The House of Representatives: In Session

The Senate: In Session

Committee Watch

  • A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing about "Preventable Violence in America: An Examination of Law Enforcement Information Sharing and MIsguided Public Policy" at 10am ET.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing about the Violence Against Women Act at 10am ET.

Tomorrow's Preview

  • The House is expected to vote on the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year. It's also expected to consider bills to give terminally ill patients the "right to try" experimental treatments, and reform the process of designating financial firms as "systemically important".
  • The Senate will likely continue debate on the bill to make it a federal crime for websites to promote prostitution or sex trafficking, and could vote on its passage.

And, in the End

In yesterday's epistle I posited this somewhat-existential-but-also-entirely-real question:

I mean, if you aren't (like me) one of those (insane) people who've (inexplicably) dedicated their lives to The News (perhaps because you're actually contributing to society), how do you deal (or not) with this constant barrage (to put it lightly) of uncommon (outlandish) developments that could (will?) define us to the generations of humans that are (hopefully) to come?

Your responses have been overwhelming.

  • Countable user Robert speaks my language when he points out that we Americans seem to believe we're 'on different teams,': "That toxic, zealous divide is what created this escalated political gridlock"… and we must "remember how to civilly disagree and compromise."

  • Avery's guidance includes this: "I follow @billgates for a respite—what are the people doing great things doing? :) and I started meditation to remind me stay in the Now as much as possible!"

  • And Stan sent this well-earned advice: "I was once told by a crusty old civil superintendent…that there were only two (2) things that I could NOT do: "if you can't do your job then you can't stay on the payroll"! Let that sink in for a moment and you'll understand why it's necessary to remove people from jobs they can't handle very well."

As a journalist, I honestly can't describe how inspiring -- and how rare -- it is to hear from, and communicate with, such bright & deeply engaged people.

Please keep it coming.

—Andrea Seabrook

​ Talk to Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(39)
  • Christine
    03/20/2018
    ···

    Why are we continuing to call it Russian “meddling”? This was an all out cyber ATTACK. Mr. Mueller and his investigation should be protected. Zuckerberg, Bannon and Mercer should be investigated and charged appropriately whether they were working with Russia or not. These attacks must not be tolerated.

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  • L0u15e.N032L
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The NRA is NOT the definition of American patriotism. They are the definition of money grubbing lobbyists who have found a way to become puppet masters to so many Politicians. We the people are the patriots and we need our Representatives to listen to us and not just those with money. While I support the second amendment, it is being taken out of context and money, not reason, is driving the issues. Enough with this treasonous organization corrupting our country.

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  • mnlauren
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The NRA should go the way of the tobacco companies if they continue to ignore the public health issue that is Gun violence! it’s time that the data and science about gun-related accidents come out into the open so the data can be studied & wise decisions can be made. It’s time to overturn the Dickey Amendment. Other countries like the UK and Australia had mass shootings too but they were serious about protecting their people and regulating gun usage. The writing is on the wall (& not the stupid ineffective Trump waste of money Wall) for the NRA if they continue to ignore a major public health issue!

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  • Tracy
    03/20/2018
    ···

    Let’s make one thing clear. A true patriot is someone willing to give their life in service to their country. You can thank a veteran for that. It isn’t about waving a flag, owning a gun, or a parade. The NRA is not a patriot. It is a gun lobby that unfortunately has been lobbying to continue the business of gun sales. I support the 2nd amendment, but guns that were meant for war are just not necessary in the home. Sensible regulations are long over due. If you think an AR-15 or the like are “fun to shoot” we should only allow them/it at a well regulated gun range where you check it out and return it upon leaving. Stop giving the NRA so much power.

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  • RadicalModerate
    03/20/2018
    ···

    I would like my congressman John Katko, to turn himself in to the authorities and plead guilty to political corruption, for taking NRA money to fund his re-election campaign. He has over one million dollars from groups who will want favors in retu...

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  • Ivana
    03/20/2018
    ···

    Another school shooting and the NRA puts ads out on you tube and other platforms saying how great they are. Our children are watching! Stop the NRA!

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  • Dicr
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The nra does not represent me or the thousands who die by senseless gun violence every year. If laws were passed only when people obeyed them why would we ever pass a law in the first place!

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  • Terri
    03/20/2018
    ···

    We are witnessing a constant shit show. What’s the end game, to dismantle the United States all together. Our representatives need to put country first before anything else. I watch several different news shows daily and really wish they would quit showing every single word that comes out of DT mouth. They are part of the reason we are where we are. I’m disgusted by the behavior of DT.

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  • Sosnow
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The opioid solution is punishing the suppliers. For gun violence the solution is doing nothing. Got it.

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  • David
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The NRA is a grassroots human rights organization who’s purpose is to protect law-abiding American citizens’ basic human right to self-defense through the Second Amendment, the law of the land. It has millions of members who are Democrats, Republicans, Independents; from every religion, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. When you impugn the NRA, you impugn neighbors, friends, people you work with, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, police officers, firemen, military and former military, restaurant owners and workers, truck drivers, delivery people, airline pilots, flight attendants and on and on. These are law-abiding Americans who are exercising their basic human right to self-defense. Impugning them with fallacious and ludicrous ad hominem attacks is abjectly stupid and counterproductive.

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  • Nancy
    03/20/2018
    ···

    The NRA is a domestic terrorist organization on par with ISIS and has a warped view of the second amendment. They think it means anyone can own any type of guns. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Opioids are a health problem and although the Press-bashing “President” hates them, being put to death should only be reserved for violent criminals after all evidence obtained using due process isn’t a solution to that problem.

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  • PaxAmericana
    03/20/2018
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    The NRA is the definition of American Patriotism!!!

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  • Vince
    03/20/2018
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    Why is everyone obsessed with saying that the NRA runs Congress or that politicians only vote against gun control because the NRA bought them? Is it, I mean really, is it THAT hard to conceive the idea that maybe there are some people in Congress that have liberty in mind when voting these issues? Some people actually do support the second amendment for the reasons for which it was intended, shocking as that may be.

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  • Judith
    03/20/2018
    ···

    WHAT CONGRESS IS DEBATING NOW TODAY IS THE FACT THAT CONGRESS MUST VOTE TO ASSUME AND ACT ON THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING THE SOLE GOVERNMENT ENTITY TO CHOOSE TO WAGE ANY AND ALL MILITARY ACTIONS !!!

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  • Eric
    03/21/2018
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    Welcome to the United States gun culture. A violent school episode ends with a child being shot and killed, and the NRA celebrates! The best outcome they could imagine in a violent school episode is that a child was shot and killed. They can't even imagine what this episode would have looked like without guns. Can you now see that we glorify gun violence? We have people CELEBRATING the outcome of an episode where a child is shot and killed. Keep repeating that until it hits home. We have people celebrating that a child was shot and killed.

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  • Tooluser1
    03/20/2018
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    It's funny how the NRA is so vilified and treated like they are some outside alien force, when they are literally the ONLY PAC in Washington that actually represents American citizens rather than corporate or partisan groups.

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  • Warren
    03/20/2018
    ···

    When it’s over we will know it was not fake news as Mr Trump and his base want you to believe.

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  • Tooluser1
    03/20/2018
    ···

    It's funny how the NRA is so vilified and treated like they are some outside alien force, when they are literally the ONLY PAC in Washington that actually represents American citizens rather than corporate or partisan groups.

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  • WMR
    03/20/2018
    ···

    President Trump and Ted Cruz are huge contributors————Eighteen different committees made payments to Cambridge Analytica totaling more than $16M from June 2014 to December 2016, according to FEC filings. fec.gov/data/disbursem… fec.gov/data/disbursem…

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  • Newsfollower2018
    03/20/2018
    ···

    Just to be clear, the NRA in NO way represents me, and I am a citizen and very patriotic. I don’t appreciate that statement made in this thread. Please speak only for yourself. I do not pay money to groups that use the money to support political agendas, which the NRA, among many other types of groups, does. The NRA is being vilified for a forceful attitude and a gross misinterpretation of a very old, stale, no longer applicable amendment to the Constitution which needs an overhaul. Clearly, we no longer need a civilian militia. Owning and using a weapon of any kind is an enormous responsibility not to be given to just anyone, and certainly not to children or people who are “at risk” for doing harm to others. If the NRA was serious about responsibility, they would get off their high horse, tighten the requirements, extend the waiting periods, require testing, and raise the age for owning such weapons.

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