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Furthermore …


Pandering over gun issues

Attempts to lure companies across state lines usually are a function of gubernatorial administrations and their economic development staffs. That gives credence to the idea that U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s outreach to the gun manufacturer Beretta to move from Maryland to Indiana was more a political effort to pander to the pro-gun crowd and boost support among conservative constituents than a serious offer.

Stutzman apparently believes handguns, shotguns and rifles just aren’t enough firepower for self-defense. In a letter to Beretta, Stutzman said Maryland legislators’ consideration of a law to ban assault rifles is “an all out assault on your right to self-defense.” Indiana lawmakers, he wrote, have no intention to ban assault rifles – something, of course, over which he has no control.

“Many of our newest employers,” Stutzman wrote, “were originally operating in states where political grandstanding trumped common sense governing.”

Political grandstanding apparently is in the eye of the beholder.

Stranglehold slowly eases

The Obama administration took a timid step toward ensuring taxpayers have greater access – eventually – to the scientific research they are paying for.

The public has limited access to a significant portion of the research paid for with public dollars. Legislation to reverse the lack of transparency has been resisted by government agencies and by the select group of companies that control the scientific publishing industry.

A February memo from the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy instructs the federal agencies, which collectively spend more than $100 million annually on scientific research, to develop a plan for increasing public access to some taxpayer-funded research by August. But the policy directive also allows a 12-month delay between the time any research is published in paid-subscription journals and when public access is granted.

China’s sign of reassurance

China’s rare agreement with the U.S. in opposing North Korea’s nuclear program is a welcome move of cooperation.

It could also be a sign that China fears the prospect of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s hand on the button of nuclear missiles as much as other nations.

China is North Korea’s closest ally, so its draft U.N. resolution co-sponsored with the U.S. to set tough sanctions is a strong statement.

The move comes after North Korea held its third nuclear test and threatened to cancel the 1953 cease-fire agreement that ended the Korean War.