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Ana Radelat at Advertising Age magazine revealed that in the year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun-control groups spent $14.1 million on TV advertising, compared to just $1.9 million by gun-rights organizations – a 7-to-1 advantage.

Radelat added that the National Rifle Association spent $6.2 million on lobbying, which “may have been the better tactic – especially in a quiet election year.” Gun-control bills failed to pass Congress.


Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today to provide his New Year political predictions for 2014, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd assured co-host Savannah Guthrie that despite the ObamaCare disaster, Republicans would be "in just as bad of a place, if not worse than they were." He explained: "It just doesn't look like it right now because of health care." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd's wishful thinking was prompted by Guthrie observing: "[Republicans] were widely blamed for the government shutdown. I think they were, in some ways, rescued by the debacle with the ObamaCare rollout because the heat was off them." Todd pushed back: "...they haven't fixed their structural problems....it's a false sense of security....they threw out this whole, 'Okay, we've got to get better with minorities and get better with technology and get better with various issues, not look like we're so anti-woman.' They've made no – they've made no accomplishments on that front. None of it."


Even as he hailed Bill de Blasio's "progressive revolution," The Daily Beast's Michael Daly sought to downplay fears that the newly-sworn-in mayor was a radical leftist intent on soaking the rich. Instead Daly practically painted a picture of the Democratic politician as a drum major leading the "march" to a more "equal" New York.

While noting de Blasio was a "leader speaking much the same language" as the now moribund Occupy Wall Street movement, Daly insisted the left-of-center David Dinkins acolyte "was only asking [wealthy New Yorkers] to pay 'a little more.'" Heck, de Blasio "suggested that the city’s very wealthiest would be paying only $973 more a year," no big whoop:


 

New Years seemed like a good time for ABC to push the marijuana "revolution" taking place in Colorado. World News reporter Clayton Sandell on Wednesday featured an almost entirely positive story, focusing on job growth related to pot and featuring one man (wearing green face paint) who enthused, "This is a historical event." Sandell showcased the grand opening of a new store that legally sells the drug for recreational use. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Another man gushed, "We drove 17 hours to get here."

The journalist touted, "Other states are now watching to see how this new experiment works out as marijuana moves from the underground to the mainstream." Highlighting the economic angle, he continued, "Anyone over 21 can buy it, helping fuel a Colorado green rush." Sandell featured one businessman who enthused, "We want to be the Costco of marijuana."


A group of climate change scientists were rescued by helicopter Jan. 2, after being stranded in the ice since Christmas morning. But the majority of the broadcast networks’ reports about the ice-locked climate researchers never mentioned climate change.

The Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was stranded in the ice while on a climate change research expedition, yet nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all. Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.


This past Tuesday, Daily Kos featured writer Hunter, whose main gig at the lefty blog is to trash the sayings and doings of conservatives, wrapped up a twelve-part series looking back on righty activity in 2013. Highlights from those posts follow.

According to Hunter, last year yielded "general political incompetence, frothing buffoonery and self-made disasters" from the GOP: 


In 2006, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published a book with the inflammatory title "Are Men Necessary?"

Eight years later, feminist author Hanna Rosin wrote a piece for TIME magazine Thursday with the substantially more inflammatory title "Men Are Obsolete: Five Reasons We Are Definitely Witnessing The End of Men":


The inauguration of unreconstructed liberal Bill de Blasio as New York’s newest mayor excited liberals hoping for a return to pre-Clinton times...and yet there were the Clintons, seeming to endorse the whole thing.

In Thursday’s Washington Post, columnist Melinda Henneberger wrote on page A-2 that the event was “not just a progressive jamboree but a 90-minute pummeling of outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg, who looked glum in the front row of the VIP guests who faced the crowd.” The socialist flag was flying, and Harry Belafonte was on the set list:


Apparently, "I will think before I tweet" should be on Irin Carmon's New Year's resolution list. Her failure to do so shortly before the ball dropped in Times Square signaling the beginning of 2014 has caused her considerable embarrassment.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an injunction which "temporarily prevented(the government) from enforcing contraceptive coverage requirements (in Obamacare) against the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged." MSNBC Digital National Reporter Carmon then proceeded to compare the "wise Latina" to the man who betrayed Julius Caesar (HT Twitchy):


Full disclosure: I never heard of Dean Obeidallah before his name came up in connection with the dustup over an MSNBC panel’s ill-chosen reactions to a Mitt Romney family photo. Obeidallah, who self-identifies as a comedian, was on the panel, and if his commentary was any indication of his sense of humor, I haven’t been missing much.

He has a piece at the Daily Beast defending himself against criticism for a “joke” (his term) he made in reaction to the photograph of some two dozen Romneys, all of whom are white except for the black infant on the former GOP presidential hopeful’s right knee.


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New York magazine political writer John Heilemann and his co-author Mark Halperin appeared on the PBS NewsHour on Monday to discuss their book on the 2012 election, “Double Down.” PBS anchor Gwen Ifill asked, “I wonder if Americans aren`t just sick of this and to the degree that elections never end. Do they ever end? Or are they a constant, not just the elective process, but the whole idea of choosing and judging our leaders?”

Heilemann warned against Barack Obama being a lame duck already, when the country shouldn’t “give up a reelected president” with a “huge mandate” (er, a mite less than four percent): 


Schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore made quite a statement on New Year's Day.

In an op-ed published at the New York Times, Moore wrote, "Obamacare is awful."


A recurring theme during the Obama presidency has been that, despite the distinct sense he gives of a man who sees himself as “above it all,” the president is a regular down-to-earth Joe. His efforts to connect with the hoi polloi have not always succeeded. His most recent attempt, enrolling in Obamacare, was sullied by the revelation that he didn’t actually dirty his own hands navigating the exchanges — his “staff” enrolled for him — and the gesture was purely symbolic anyway.

Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen observed at the Washington Post that the cynicism of the move would be matched if the Obamas announced that they were “symbolically” sending their daughters to D.C.’s failing public schools as a show of solidarity, while keeping the girls enrolled at the tony Sidwell Friends.


The late Republican congressman Charles Norwood would probably be sad about what happened at the Charles Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia last week.

Via the Deacon’s Bench blog, Wesley Brown reported the veterans’ hospital is “taking a stricter stance on its policy banning carolers from singing religious Christmas music in public patient areas.” They presented a group of prevented a group of high school students from Augusta’s Alleluia Community School from singing to its veterans a number of traditional holiday tunes that honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ: