President Obama choked back tears as he addressed the nation about the Newton school shooting, saying:

“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago—these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

During his first term, and throughout the 2012 campaign, Obama has generally avoided the issue of gun control – even after the Aurora cinema shooting and the Arizona shooting in which ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in the head.

After today’s shooting, the National Rifle Association cancelled a planned Twitter promotion with country music rapper Colt Ford.

Potential 2013 NYC mayoral candidate/supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis brought up the Nazis when asked on NY1′s “Inside City Hall” last night whether he supports raising taxes on rich people like himself.

Staten Island’s Bob Scamardella, the only one of the five NYC GOP chairs who has not yet backed a candidate, said Catsimatidis “should be more circumspect and careful” in his public comments.

The preliminary agenda for next Thursday’s Thruway Authority Board meeting does not include the 45 percent toll hike. More here.

GOP Senate candidate George Amedore started out this morning with a 111-vote lead over Democrat Cecilia Tkacyzk in the 46th Senate District race, but that’s now down to 47 votes.

Amedore will likely hang on to that lead unless ballot challenge rulings are reversed by the higher courts.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, parses the president’s comments on legalizing marijuana.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox hasn’t given up hope of a 2013 mayoral run by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

A few days after publicly expressing frustration with the state’s decision-making process on hydrofracking, the chairmen of three Assembly committees have announced they will host a public hearing on the latest proposed regulations.

Log Cabin Republicans of New York State Chairman Gregory T. Angelo: “Neil DiCarlo is the face of the next generation of the Conservative Party of New York State – and it’s disappointing, to be sure.”

As usual, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.’s Christmas Party invite specifically states that children are not welcome.

Sen. Charles Schumer said Monday will be “our D-Day” to determine if Congress will approve $60.4 billion in disaster aid for three states pummeled by superstorm Sandy.