Shorter Question Everything
• Eventually, any conversation about gun control in America ends with someone, somewhere opposed to new gun regulations comparing the proponents to Adolf Hitler. In the post-Newtown push for new gun laws, that day was Wednesday. Accusing gun control supporters of easing the country one step closer to fascism is a time-honored tradition in American politics and one of the tools the gun rights crowd uses to warn Americans away from talking about gun control in the first place. But with the country still reeling from the shooting deaths of 20 elementary school students, supporters of new gun control laws say the tactic is not going to work this time. On Wednesday, the Drudge Report splashed an image of Hitler and Josef Stalin over a link to Vice President Biden’s contention that the White House may consider using its executive power if Congress proves unable to act. But gun control activists say their opponents have missed the mark with the Hitler stuff, and they’re going to find that post-Newtown, the public has no stomach for it. “I don’t think pro-gun activists get it. I think that when they’re throwing around Hitler and Stalin, people are thinking about the children who were massacred in that classroom and wondering, ‘what the hell are you talking about?’”
• Meet the Sandy Hook truthers: Yes, there really are Newtown truthers. But in the crazy world of Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, this one may be the worst yet. (Maybe you’ve already heard some of the others, like the one about fantasy ties between the gunman’s family and the LIBOR banking scandal and a related theory about the Aurora shooting and the “Dark Knight Rises.”) Most of the theories are really pieces of a larger meta-theory: that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, perhaps by the Obama administration, designed to stir demand for gun control.
• Pentagon fights soldiers who allege they were chemical agent guinea pigs: The U.S. Department of Defense is fighting against medical bills for veterans who allege that they were used as subjects in Cold War-era drug experiments. In 2009, the non-governmental organization Vietnam Veterans of Americas filed a class action suit against the U.S. Army and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The suit claims that nearly 8,000 soldiers were involved in experiments as part of Project Paperclip, according to CourthouseNews.com. The soldiers say there were exposed to at least 250 different kinds of drugs and possibly more, including the chemical warfare agents Sarin, mustard gas and phosgene gas. In addition, they say that mood-altering drugs such as LSD, barbiturates and amphetamines were also administered.
• Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.
• Twelve killer whales could be in imminent danger after getting trapped by ice in the Hudson Bay off the shore of northern Quebec, the Canadian broadcaster reported. Video posted on the CBC website showed the giant sea mammals taking turns to breathe by popping up through a small patch of open water amid fields of white ice. But Tommy Palliser, who traveled from the small Inuit village of Inukjuak, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from where the whales are trapped, said the hole is shrinking, creating a dangerous situation for the creatures who live underwater but need air to survive. The federal government is sending a team of experts Thursday to investigate whether and how the whales can be saved.
• The board of giant insurer AIG decided Wednesday not to join a private shareholder lawsuit against the US government over the $182 billion rescue of the insurer in 2008. The lawsuit filed by Starr International, which is controlled by former AIG chief executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, argued that the massive bailout of AIG did not fairly compensate shareholders. Starr sued the government for about $25 billion in November 2011. “The AIG Board has determined to refuse Starr’s demand in its entirety, and will neither pursue these claims itself nor permit Starr to pursue them in AIG’s name,” the company said in a statement.