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Sunday Study Guide: Graham, North Korea and politics of Washington

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who serves on the Senate Budget, Armed Services, and Judiciary committees, is a member of the “Gang of Eight” senators working on immigration reform, which is supposed to be unveiled next week. The senator said last week, “I think we've got a deal. We've got to write the legislation, but 2013, I hope, will be the year that we pass bipartisan immigration reform, signed into law.” He also said he believes “it will pass the House.”    
  • Sen. Graham introduced a bill last month that would add certain mental incompetency disqualifiers to the current National Instant Criminal Background Check System, including those who plead not guilty by reason of insanity; those who are found to be an imminent danger to themselves or others; and those who are found incompetent to stand trial. He does not support the universal background checks and does not believe it can pass the Senate. However, he did say he would not filibuster a gun bill if the expanded background checks are included.    
  • Watch his most recent appearance on Meet the Press.


 Roundtable: Tensions with North Korea

  • Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), who visited North Korea earlier this year said this week, “If they try anything with the United States, it's suicidal. That's not going to happen,” although the situation is “serious” because “nobody really knows anything about this new young leader.” However, for the U.S. “there has to be an end game to the administration's policy. And the end game, in my view, is diplomacy; some kind of special envoy, some kind of South Korean diplomat.” He also wrote, “Leading by Example.” Watch his most recent Meet the Press appearance.
  • Michèle Flournoy was the undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 until 2012, and co-led President Obama’s transition team at the Department of Defense. She is currently the co-chair of the board of directors at the Center for a New American Security. Flournoy’s name was mentioned as a possible secretary of defense nominee to replace outgoing Secretary Leon Panetta. Speaking about North Korea this week, Flournoy said tensions with the country are different this time because there is a “new, young, inexperienced leader in place who is very worried about consolidating his own internal power” and “he’s also inexperienced in terms of knowing how to manage this. The worry is because of that inexperience he could potentially miscalculate.” She is also the author of “The Inheritance and the Way Forward.”  
  • NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell has been reporting about the situation in North Korea this week and on Friday sat down with the United States’ ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, to talk about it.” She is also the author of “Talking Back.” Watchher most recent appearance on Meet the Press.


Roundtable: The politics of guns, the economy, and 2016

  • GOP strategist Mike Murphyrecently wrote, the White House’s “it-is-always-a-campaign thinking will subvert any chance for a meaningful Obama success in his second term.” While the president, “won re-election fair and square with about 66 million votes, 61 million other Americans voted to fire the president. Many of those anti-Obama voters live and vote in the 232 congressional districts firmly held by Republicans. It is terribly naive to think that stuffing e-mail inboxes and presidential hectoring on the stump will persuade those voters — and their members of Congress — to support the president’s decidedly left-tilting second-term agenda.”  Watch his latest appearance.
  • Maggie Haberman is a senior political reporter for Politico. This week she wrote a “viewer’s guide to Hillary Fever” in anticipation of 2016 announcement. She wrote, Clinton can “afford to take her time deciding. But there are a number of different choices — about her financial future, about her public profile, about whom she surrounds herself with — that will make clear whether Clinton is organizing her life in anticipation of a second presidential run.” She is the author of “Held Captive.” Watch Haberman’s latest MTP appearance here.
  • CNBC’s Jim Cramersaid Friday the jobs report was “just bad,” an effect of policies such as the sequester. “I do think this is on Washington … They really kind of think what they did didn’t hurt and yet they were screaming at us that they were going to lay off people left and right. I mean if the government has to lay off people, there’s a lot of other people who have to get laid off.” He also wrote “Getting Back to Even.” Watchhis most recent appearance.
  • Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) also faced off against potential 2016 candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. Watch his most recent Meet the Press appearance.
  • NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell also reported on potential 2016 presidential primary opponents, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden this week. Watch her most recent appearance on Meet the Press.

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