Posts from McClatchy reporters and editors covering Washington, Mexico, China and beyond. Go to http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com.
Majorities favor gun control proposals, but issue remains divisive, new poll says
Posted by David Lightman
While a majority of people back a wide range of ideas to reduce gun violence, "the overall question of gun control remains markedly divisive," a University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant poll released Thursday found.
Majorities back a ban on semi-automatic, assault-style weapons, background checks for all gun sales and a ban on ammunition clips capable of holding more than 10 rounds. They also support a federal database to keep an eye on sales as well as efforts to prevent people with mental illness from buying weapons.
But, the poll found, "barely 50 percent said they were in favor of stricter gun laws in general, while 46 percent said gun laws should either remain unchanged or become less strict."
Poll Director Jennifer Necci Dineen noted, "It's striking that while Americans remain divided on the broader question of gun control, these specific proposals all of which are part of President Obama's recent set of executive orders on gun control are finding favor with people."
Mexico's ties to China at a crossroads
Posted by Tim Johnson
A broad group of thinkers and academics issued a lengthy paper recently to President Enrique Peña Nieto that said Mexico-China relations were "extremely tense and distant."
It cited the "absence of a strategic agenda over the short, medium and long term with respect to China."
This comes to mind in part because of my story last week on the opposition to construction of a huge expo center in the Yucatan, called Dragon Mart Cancun. Groundbreaking is to begin soon on the center, which is to have 3,040 showrooms.
I see suggestions in the press that Peña Nieto will travel to China in the first half of April. If the trip comes to pass, the Mexican leader will have his work cut out for him. For one thing, last month Peña Nieto postponed for one year a 25 to 40 percent reduction in tariffs on Chinese apparel and footwear imports, saying Mexican producers weren't yet ready to compete. Chinese President Xi Jinping certainly wouldn't be happy about this. But Mexico also has its peeves.
As a recent story noted, China "turned its back" on Mexico's bid to place its widely respected central bank chief, Agustin Carstens, as head of the International Monetary Fund in 2011.
Then on top of it all is the talk that Mexico is the new China. I wrote last August about how the two countries were near parity on wages, and how this would mean more industries moving to Mexico.
Last weekend a compelling column in the New York Times spelled out how one entrepreneur felt it was far better for him to bring manufacturing across the border to Mexico rather than keep it in China.
"The sense of possibility I felt when I first crossed from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in 1997 is what I now feel when I cross from San Diego to Tijuana," Chris Anderson wrote in the article.
Geraldo Rivera thinking of Senate bid
Posted by David Lightman
Geraldo Rivera for Senate? The Newark Star-Ledger and The Hill reports that he's thinking about it.
According to articles in both publications, Rivera told his radio show, "I mention this only briefly, fasten your seatbelt. I mentioned this only briefly to my wife but I am and I've been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker."
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, faces re-election next year, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker is considering challenging him for the Democratic nomination.
"I'm not going to drill this out, because obviously I've got commitments to Fox and to here at the radio program, and I'm really having a great time," Rivera added. "But I figure at my age, if I'm going to do it I've got to do it. And there doesn't seem to be any Republicans ready to work against or run against Cory Booker, the popular Newark mayor."
Rivera would run as a Republican.