Thursday, February 28

ByKevin Sheekey

Two Victories for Gun Sense:

TODAY:  House Passes Bill Extending Time for Background Checks (USA Today)

Wednesday:  U.S. House Backs Expanded Background Checks for Guns – First Major Gun Safety Law in Decades (New York Times)

Once divided on the issue, House Democrats returned to the majority promising meaningful action on gun control with aid from advocacy groups backing candidates who made the issue central to their campaigns.

Mike Bloomberg spent around $100 million in the midterms last year to elect gun control supporters, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

The group will continue its push this week with $400,000 in digital ads urging lawmakers to support the legislation as it tries to break through the Senate. One of the new freshman Democrats supported by Mr. Bloomberg, Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, had a 17-year-old son, Jordan, killed by gun violence.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the grass-roots arm of the Mike Bloomberg founded and funded Everytown for Gun Safety, said: “This life-saving and bipartisan legislation passed because the determined leaders in the House listened to local organizers from Oklahoma to Colorado to Virginia who finally proved to lawmakers that voters care about gun safety.”

Mike Bloomberg tweeted: “Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for common sense gun reform like universal background checks. Today the House honored the will of the people, taking action where the Senate and WH have not, and showing us the power of citizens demanding change.”

Don’t Forget: Trump’s Flip-Flop on Background Checks (MSNBC)
A year ago this week, shortly after the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, President Trump tweeted support: “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” The president soon after vowed, “Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House.” Just 12 months later, that commitment has disappeared: Trump issued a veto threat against the bipartisan legislation this week.

Inside the Summit Collapse: How Trump’s Hanoi Talks With Kim Unraveled (Bloomberg)

Key Moment from Michael Cohen Hearing: “We Are Better Than This” – Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings Says in Closing Remarks (Baltimore Sun)

“I mean, come on now, according to The Washington Post, our president has made 8,718 misleading or false statements. That’s stunning. That’s not what we teach our children,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings. “As I sat here and listened to both sides, I just felt as if … we are better than this. We really are. As a country, we are so much better than this.”

Real Estate Section: Bloomberg Eyeing Manhattan Office Space for Possible 2020 Campaign (Politico Playbook)

Brexit Countdown:
-Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Starts to Fall Into Place – Even Hardline Brexiters Want a Deal Now
(Bloomberg Opinion – Therese Raphael)
-U.K. Economic Confidence Slides as Britain Heads for EU Divorce (Bloomberg)

Editorial: How Emmanuel Macron Can Revive His French Revolution (Bloomberg Opinion)
The president’s listening tour has helped his popularity rebound, but growth and jobs will require more reform.

Bloomberg Survey: Investors in Hong Kong and Singapore Plan To Invest More in Onshore Chinese Bonds (Bloomberg press announcement)

Sustainable Finance Today: Madelyn Antoncic, Former Treasurer of the World Bank, Named CEO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (Accounting Today)

Climate Change Today: Dubai Scientists Grow Super Crops That Thrive in Salty Deserts (Bloomberg)
Researchers are successfully breeding plants like quinoa to beat climate change.


Best of late night.

Lady Gaga on social media commentary about her and Bradley Cooper following their Oscars performance of ‘Shallow’:

“Social Media is the toilet bowl of the Internet. Yes, people saw love. It was a love song, that’s what we wanted you to see. We’re artists, and I guess we did a good job – fooled ya!”
–Lady Gaga on Jimmy Kimmel Live

“President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began their summit in Vietnam today, where Trump referred to Kim as his friend, and Kim said to Trump, ‘Quiet! I’m watching the Michael Cohen testimony.’”
— Seth Meyers

“Republican Representative Jim Jordan claimed today that Michael Cohen is only speaking out against President Trump because he is upset he was not given a job in the White House. Because everyone knows that getting a job in the White House can be a solid source of income — for weeks.”
— Seth Meyers

For more Best of Late Night from the New York Times, click here.