How to Beat Donald Trump – and Hillary

The GOP establishment is getting itself into quite a panic – recently saw that former Senator Sununu is asserting that if Trump is the nominee then not only will the GOP lose the White House, but we’ll also lose the House and Senate. Now, to be sure, the GOP has a treacherous path in the Senate in 2016 because so many GOP Senators are up for re-election, but anyone think that the Democrats, led by Hillary, will have a strong year in the House is just speaking nonsense. But the statement does show the level of fear – and what Sununu and others are trying to do is scare people away from voting for Trump. This is a formula for ensuring Trump is the nominee.

I had initially thought the Trump surge was due to his mere celebrity status. Then I figured it was his vigorous statements on dealing with illegal immigration. But as time has worn on, I’ve come to a different conclusion. What brought it about is that over the past few weeks I’ve just come across a number of people who aren’t GOP voters but who are enthused about Trump. The cap of it all was when a lady I know said she’d vote Trump to keep Hillary out of the White House – this lady is liberal and a two-time Obama voter. All of this got me thinking – what is it about Trump that makes him acceptable to such a wide variety of people? His celebrity status would only go so far – and if that is all he had, he would have fizzled by now. His policies are vague, so its not like there some definitive thing he proposes to do which gets people on board. And then it hit me: he hasn’t lied to us. And this means that when he says something, people take it at face value – he’s believed. Meanwhile, those most vigorously attacking Trump have a bad reputation among the American people and especially the GOP base: they’ve lied before, lots of times. And so when they say, “Trump is bad”, maybe they’re lying, now?

Oh, to be sure, Trump has said some inaccurate things – but there’s a difference between saying something that is inaccurate and saying something that is a bold-faced lie. An inaccuracy would be claiming that people in the United States celebrated the 9/11 attacks – I don’t remember any such here, but I do vividly remember Palestinians getting in a celebratory mood over it. Trump is still holding to his story, but I think its just a mixed-up memory, which any of us can have; and Trump is not the sort to back down on something he’s said. Even if you could prove to Trump directly that he’s flat wrong, he probably still wouldn’t back down. It’s not his way – and people do admire a person who sticks to their guns. At all events, there is a correct perception among the American people that a large number of people in the world wish the United States ill, and some of them live here. That they weren’t popping champagne on the streets on 9/11 is less important than the fact that such people do exist. The GOP base gives Trump a pass on such a statement because they know that whether or not anyone particularly celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey is trivial in the grand scheme of things. To dwell upon it is pettifogging – mean spirited, too. And it is easy to believe that those trying to shred Trump on it are not necessarily doing so in service of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but in service of merely stopping Trump – and just stopping Trump, as Sununu attempts to do with his electoral fear-mongering, is actually something which just reinforces Trump’s “street cred”…it is the Establishment attacking the hero of the hour. It is dumb and counter-productive.

To clarify, a lie is something like saying you’ll campaign on a commitment to repeal ObamaCare and then doing nothing to so much as slow it down. A lie is something like saying your swell new health care program will reduce premiums by $2,500.00 only to have them skyrocket. It is especially a lie when your actions post-lie demonstrate that you knew you were lying from the get-go. I can promise you sincerely that I’ll be over at your house next week to help you move the furniture. If I don’t make it, there are two things it could be: I lied, or something came up. If you know me well, then you’ll swiftly come to a conclusion about which it is. If I’m usually the sort of person who makes a promise and then doesn’t deliver, then you’ll be on firm ground figuring I lied. If, on the other hand, I almost always keep my word then my excuse that my back went out on the day of the move will be credible. Our political class has proven itself over the past few decades that it is just lying – and knowing that it is lying as it states the lies. We listen to their speeches, listen to their promises of this or that definitive action once elected and then we see not only that such promises don’t happen, but very often the exact opposite of the promise occurs, all with an explanation that there never was really a chance of getting that thing done because Reasons. It is those kinds of lies that the American people are sick to death of – and all politicians are smeared with them, even if a particular politician has never stated a specific lie. It is no surprise, given this, that the two top GOPers are non-politicians; ie, people who have not spent the past couple decades lying to us – and the two regular GOPers who are doing the best (Rubio and Cruz) are rather new to national politics, and thus haven’t had time to spread enough bull to fertilize the Sinai. As for Hillary (who has spread enough bull, twice) – sure, she’ll still claw her way to the Democrat nomination, but the astonishing lack of enthusiasm for her candidacy even among Democrats (and her miserable polling numbers) shows that even some Democrats are not willing to put up with liars forever (as noted with my two-time-Obama-voting friend who is willing to do just about anything to keep Hillary out).

As of this point, there are only two GOPers who can possibly stop Donald Trump – Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. As I noted, they are still rather fresh to politics – they are far more trusted than, say, Jeb or Christie, who have long political lives. Even if people don’t attach a particular lie to either Jeb or Christie (or any of the other career politicians running), they have just been around too long – and the GOP base figures that if they get in then no matter what they promise on the campaign trail, it will be Corrupt Business As Usual once they are in the White House: that they’ll sell us out to cut deals with the liberal part of the political class. Both Rubio and Cruz have their weaknesses – especially Rubio over the “Gang of 8” immigration proposal. Do not for a moment think that it is necessarily just amnesty which is causing Rubio his problems – after all, even a President Trump will eventually sign on to some sort of amnesty (it is just in the cards, folks). But by being involved in the “Gang of 8”, Rubio has shown himself willing to work with the open-borders Democrats…and that means, in the minds of many, that once he’s President Rubio, we’ll get the amnesty with no border control, at all. That is what has, so far, prevented such a superlative politician like Rubio from rising to the top – fear among the base that he’ll betray the base. Cruz has less of a problem on that than Rubio, but he’s still an elected politician – he’s still a career politician. Sure, he’s got a lot of great things going for him (goes the GOP-base mind), but he’s still one of Them. How can we be sure that President Cruz won’t cave? And, so, to Trump – who hasn’t lied (in a manner which the people, on the whole, care about) and who isn’t a career politician (or, ditto to Carson).

So, how can Rubio or Cruz take on Trump and win? Simple – out Trump Trump. At the end of the day, Donald Trump is a rich business man who has worked the political system to advance his own wealth. To beat Donald Trump, you’d have to show yourself more on the side of the people than Trump possibly can. Trump is rising high because he proposes to take on our Ruling Class and Make America Great again. But Trump is part of the Ruling Class, too. If Senator Cruz wants to be President Cruz, he has to take on the part of Trump which is vulnerable – the businessman who works the system part of Trump. But that means taking on not just Trump, but the whole Chamber of Commerce part of the GOP. A Republican who wants to beat Trump will have to go to war with a great deal of the GOP Establishment – accepting the fact that, if nominated, a huge amount of normally GOP money will flow into Hillary’s coffers. That a large number of prominent GOPers will endorse Hillary and maybe even campaign for her. It means going after the banks. After the multi-national corporations. After the defense contractors. Of course, there would also be the more fun aspects of it – going after Big Education, the MSM and all the institutions feeding off the American people and leading it to destruction. The key is going after the entire Ruling Class, not just part of it, as Trump is doing…and by going after all of it, you go after Trump, as well. A pledge from Rubio or Cruz to intensely investigate our financial institutions and send sharp operators to jail will go far – as will a pledge to investigate corrupt union bosses, corrupt city governments, etc. From what I can gather just talking to people, everyone is just fed up – and that is left and right (except for those parts of the left – which will nominate Hillary – who live off the corrupt system).

This is not a sure-fire way to win, by the way. Trump has built up an impressive political following. He might be unbeatable in the primary by this point. But if there is a way to beat him, then it the way I’ve stated: going after everything from top to bottom, and making sure that everyone knows that Trump is actually part of the problem. He’ll still be able to fight back on that score and his followers are pretty firm…but I suspect that a real red-meat fight against all that is wrong with America would resonate. Done by a good politician – and Rubio and Cruz are good politicians – it could swing enough voters over to either of them to make sure that Trump starts coming in second place in the early primaries. The hardest part for Rubio and Cruz in this is keeping enough of the GOP Establishment on-side to ensure they don’t all coalesce around someone like Christie, presuming that Trump is political toast by Florida. Politics ain’t easy, folks.

And if you’ve beaten Trump, then you’ve just about automatically beaten Hillary. She’s going to talk a great game about fighting for the poor and middle class, but it’ll be Hillary who is raking in the money from major corporations. It is Hillary who has made untold sums of money off of the major corporations. You want to talk about an insider who has been twisting the system to get herself ahead? That is Hillary in a nutshell. She simply cannot win a race against someone who is attacking the very basis of her existence in politics because she cannot separate herself from herself. She is America’s problem demonstrated – everyone knows she’s only going to be the Democrat nominee because her last name is “Clinton” and the Powers That Be want her to have it…because they know full well she won’t actually rock the boat. She won’t actually help the poor and middle class. She can’t – she won’t be allowed to, even if she was so inclined; all she’ll do is ensure that her particular cronies are rewarded. And everyone knows this other than the most blinded of partisans (which, I suspect, won’t make up more than 40% of the electorate in 2016).

For those who think that Trump getting the nomination means a sure-Hillary win, think again. Hillary is disliked – and not just by GOPers. And even those who aren’t nauseated by her politics are just not all that fired up for her. First Woman President is just not that big a thing – not after we’ve already had our first African American President. Hillary plus a War On Women campaign won’t do it. This is not to say that beating Hillary would be easy. It would be a hard fight and may come down to excruciatingly narrow margins in a bunch of States. On the other hand, it could be a substantial loss for Hillary and the Democrats – it is notoriously hard for a party to win the White House three times in a row and Obama isn’t popular (Bush the Elder really got in back in ’88 because Reagan was so popular…Gore lost because Bill Clinton just wasn’t all that popular in ’00; people tend to forget that the Political Genius which is Bill Clinton never secured a majority of the vote). Trump could well win the nomination and then go on to win the White House. If you don’t want that to happen, then you’ve got to figure out how to beat him…and just insulting him and his followers isn’t the way to beat him. In fact, insulting him and his followers just makes his nomination more likely. Attack what Trump stands for in his real life: Big Business and slick deals. People don’t like either or those things. Once you’ve beaten Trump then just do the same to Hillary because she’s also all about Big Business and slick deals.

At the end of the day I think that a solid majority of Americans want a place where the rules apply to everyone equally. That no one is getting a rake-off. That everything is above-board. No one minds it when someone works hard and gets rich – the weakness of the left is because they don’t differentiate in their policies, and it gets worse for them when people perceive that if you toe the left’s line, you can be rich as you like (and make as many corrupt deals as you like). But people do mind it when they perceive that someone is getting special treatment – and that is whether its a government union, a big bank or a real estate developer who likes the idea of confiscating people’s property so he can build a hotel. No one minds immigration – people do mind people jumping the line, and they also don’t like it at all when the line-jumpers get government benefits; the left tries to make out that such sentiments are anti-immigrant and/or racist but it isn’t that, at all. It is cheating the system. It is something that most people can’t do – and it is something that some get to do because others benefit from it (liberals at election time, big business in low-wage employees). If someone will set themselves at the head of a movement to make sure that a fair deal is had by all, then that person will win big, in my view. Trump’s appeal is that he is saying he’ll do that – fight for a good deal for everyone. But he’s vulnerable on the fact that he’s been deep in the economic-political system all his life. It might not be enough to beat him, but it is the only way to beat him I can see. And it is the way to beat Hillary – and why I see a nominated Trump beating Hillary: whatever sharp practice Trump has ever engaged in is nothing compared to the monumental stench of corruption emanating from Hillary’s doings.

Since Jindal and Walker dropped out, I’ve no longer got a dog in this hunt. None of the candidates for President are my cup of tea. At all events, I’m ever more convinced that neither party as currently constituted can successfully implement the deep reforms needed to restore America. I think that Rubio or Cruz could do some good things – I don’t know what Trump will do. I can’t go on anything he’s done in the past because all he’s done is make business deals and appear on television. Maybe he’ll surprise me and become one of the greats, if elected President. I don’t know. I do know that if he’s up against Hillary, he’ll get my vote – whatever flaws he has are as nothing compared to the disaster which would be a second Clinton Presidency.

While neither of the party’s are vehicles for reform at the moment, the Trump phenomena does demonstrate that the GOP is still my best bet for eventually getting a party of reform. The Democrats had their shot with Sanders – socialist as he is, he’s an honest man. He would actually try to do what he says he wants to do. But the Democrats, after a short fling, are starting to fall in line behind Hillary. But I think that such Democrats are a decided minority of all Americans (just as the GOPers who would turn out for an establishment GOPer are a minority – and if the GOP does go establishment for 2016 then the race is a complete hold-your-nose tossup with a slight advantage to Hillary; it’ll be two minorities battling it out to see who can drag the most number of disappointed people to the polls). I do believe there is a majority which wants real change – real reform. Trump is catching a bit of that lightening in a bottle – will anyone else step up and make a try for it? We’ll see.

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122 thoughts on “How to Beat Donald Trump – and Hillary

  1. Cluster December 3, 2015 / 8:09 am

    I think there is a big opportunity for any GOP candidate to go into the inner cities and the black communities and ask them if they are better off for voting Democrats all these years. I think the answer in places like Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis etc, would be a resounding no, and then that candidate has the opportunity the to lay out the conservative vision of lower regulations, lower taxes, job expansion, self reliance, and personal responsibility. It is very obvious to any thinking person that Democrat policies harm the constituencies they profess to care so much about, and that fact needs to be a big component of the GOP campaign.

    I am also still a Rubio supporter and feel that he can articulate the conservative position better than most, has the potential to engage the millennials and Hispanics, and rally all Americans to our cause.

    • Stuart_F December 3, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      A lot of Obama’s early critics said he hadn’t accomplished anything except have a compelling background story and win elected office. I’m curious what Rubio supporters would point to for things Rubio has accomplished that makes him a desirable candidate?

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 10:55 am

        Actually, Obama’s critics, then and now and not just the “early” ones, never said Obama had a “compelling background story”. The problem was that he had practically NO “background story” at all. Even today we don’t know how he got into prestigious universities after a high school spent using drugs and being scolded by his mother for being a bad student. We don’t know what grades he got, or anything about his college career. We don’t know why he went to Pakistan, how he paid for the trip, or under what nation’s passport. There are huge gaps in his “background story” and what we did hear was hardly “compelling”. A brief stint at a big law firm where he did not practice law, the development of an ongoing relationship with an admitted domestic terrorist who to this day complains that he “didn’t do enough” (perhaps a reference to his failed plot to kill policemen?) and a shady lawbreaker who helped finance an expensive home for him, a close relationship with a rabble-rousing America-hating racist minister, working as a community activist—that was all alarming, not “compelling”. The “background story” of how he “won” elected office is compelling only in its sordidness. Once again, it is as if we live in different countries, with different histories. Certainly with different realities.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 11:41 am

        “We don’t know what grades he got, or anything about his college career.”

        This is a bizarre complaint, in my opinion. What president in the past has agreed to release his academic transcripts (high school or college)? Have any of the current GOP candidates made this information public? Did Romney in 2012? No.

        George W. Bush said his high school grades were lousy (he didn’t release them) and he got into Yale. Are you suspicious of that? Obama, by contrast, has said he was a B student (Not great, but not lousy either). He got into Occidental, which is a far easier school to get into Yale.

        Why don’t you think Obama used a U.S. passport when he visited Pakistan? I know there a birther claim that he couldn’t have used a U.S. passport because the U.S. banned travel to Pakistan during that time, of course that was an easily debunked myth.

        What are your thoughts on the birther issue and the number of Republicans that think he wasn’t born in Hawaii, or think he is a muslim?

  2. Cluster December 3, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Re: San Bernardino. I am watching MSNBC and in typical progressive fashion, they are lamenting the guns and calling for more stricter gun control, in fact Mika is a little over emotional. There isn’t much discussion about the perpetrators however and their ethnicity which is in stark contrast to the Colorado shootings when the progressive focus was laser like on the person (white male) and his perceived political bent (right wing).

    • tiredoflibbs December 3, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      Now the White House is trying desperately to say the events are the result of “workplace violence”.

      The problem with that is the “worker”. The White House expects us to believe the disgruntled “worker” went home and convinced his wife (or girlfriend) and his brother to go along with him and kill his colleagues. Also, they were well prepared. This was not a moment of passion or anger.

      This tragedy does not follow the White House mantra of the poor misunderstood muslim. No gun control law would have prevented this tragedy. The only thing the law(s) would have accomplished is make more sheep among the wolves.

    • Stuart_F December 3, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      I don’t watch cable news (I assume I’m not missing much). But I’ll lay out my beliefs honestly and sincerely – I think the evidence shows that stricter gun laws results in fewer gun deaths.

      This is why Japan has so few gun deaths (guns are extremely regulated there – the mafia is terrified be caught even possessing a gun because that’s how they can get put away for decades). This doesn’t mean every country with stricter gun laws have cured the problem of violence or deranged people who want to kill others. You see this with the knife attacks in China. But the general idea is, you want to make it harder for dangerous people to do damage. Of course, you have to draw a line on this. Banning all chefs knives to prevent stabbings is going too far. On the other end, even the most pro-gun people agree we shouldn’t let people have access to nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

      So my question is, why does America has such a uniquely high rate of mass shootings (more than 1 per day this year) compared to other industrialized nations?

      I’m genuinely curious how conservatives who don’t think gun control is a good idea think about this. I’m not trying to be a troll or patronizing. I could stay in my media bubble and listen to liberal elites agree on gun control, but I’d rather listen to someone with a different point of view. If you don’t want to engage with someone like me, please feel free to ignore my comment!

      • Retired Spook December 3, 2015 / 11:50 pm

        I think the evidence shows that stricter gun laws results in fewer gun deaths.

        Not withstanding homogeneous societies like Japan, could you give us some examples of areas in, say, this country that have strict gun laws AND fewer gun deaths?

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 12:45 am

        Sure.

        One example is Japan. They are roughly 1/3 the size of the U.S. – yet they have only 2 to 23 gun homicides per year. If they had the same gun homicide rate as America, they would see about 3,500 gun murders per year. Why do you think they have 1/1000th the number of gun homicides as America?

        Australia is another example. From 1986-1996, they had 10 mass shootings, roughly one each year until the Port Arthur massacre prompted the conservative Prime Minister to enact stricter gun regulations. Since those regulations have been in place (19 years) – Australia has not had a single mass shooting.

        Those are two examples of countries with strict gun laws and fewer gun deaths. Canada, UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Poland, New Zealand, Germany, and Spain are some others.

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 12:54 am

        226 people were killed by guns in Australia in 2012 (latest year I can find stats for) – essentially, a complete ban on weapons and, still, 226 people killed.

        Now, overall gun deaths are down in Australia – but they were steadily declining before the gun ban, just as all manner of violent crime has been rapidly declining for quite a while in all advanced nations. There’s no real proof that Australia’s ban stopped even one criminal use of a gun…because criminals don’t obey gun laws any more than they obey other kids of laws. Funny, huh?

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 1:23 am

        Re: Australia gun homicides. There were 40 gun homicides in Australia in 2012.

        UNODC. 2014. ‘Homicides and Gun Homicides in Australia.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 10 April.

        Australia. 2014. ‘Underlying Cause of Death, All Causes, Year of Occurrence, Australia, 2003–2012 – Assault.’ Causes of Death, Australia, 2012; 3303.0, Table 1.2 (Chapter XX). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 25 March.

        Using 2009-2010 data, our gun homicide rate per 100,000 people is 3.2. Australia’s is 0.14. That is a small fraction of ours. They’ve reduced gun homicides much more than we have.

        If gun laws don’t matter, why do they have such a small fraction of our gun homicides per capita?

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 1:32 am

        Gun deaths were 226 – no one but the police and army are supposed to have guns. 226 people were killed with guns in Australia in 2012. It isn’t the gun – it is the person. A person determined to get a gun and commit a crime will get a gun and commit a crime. Period. Even complete confiscation won’t stop that…and when you’re dealing with people who are willing to illegally bring guns into a country and massacre people, even more so. The only defense against what we saw in Paris and San Bernardino is a heavily armed population…you’ll note that no one ever tries to shoot up an NRA convention.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 1:40 am

        Can you link to your sources? I think your source include gun suicides, which are a problem, but not the same type of threat to innocent bystanders.

        Again, there were only 40 gun homicides in Australia in 2012. If they had the same rate of gun homicides as America, they would have seen 800 gun homicides. Why have they been so successful at getting gun homicides so much lower than us?

        I’m not arguing they have cured violence, or they have eradicated all gun homicides. They have not. I’ve never said any policy is a panacea. What I am saying is that they have brought their gun homicides down to a rate much, much lower than ours.

        You say more guns will help reduce mass shootings, yet America has more guns than any other developed nation on Earth, and it has the most mass shootings of any country. You can forgive me if I fail to see how your logic hold ups to the evidence.

        Again, I showed you that Australia has a murder homicide rate (as in, per capita) that is a fraction of ours. They haven’t had a single mass shooting since they enacted stricter gun laws over 19 years ago, while we have had 330+ mass shootings in the last year.

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 2:47 am

        Well, first off, it is a different country with a different development from ours. Canada also has a very low homicide rate. Meanwhile, Mexico’s is through the roof…once again, different country. Different development.

        The United States high homicide rate – or, if you like, high rate of gun murders – is, as I noted, mostly a function of a very few areas of the nation. Heavily Democrat cities with massive welfare and very strict gun control. Gun ownership in the United States has skyrocketed over the past couple decades while the overall homicide rate has dropped remarkably. Guns are not the problem – you don’t need a permit to purchase a pistol or rifle in New Hampshire and their gun-murder rate is among the lowest in the nation. Meanwhile, it Detroit it is very hard to obtain a weapon and it has one of the highest gun-murder rates in the nation.

        Now, you say there have been 330 mass shootings – but if you look into that, almost all of it is “regular” criminality. Because a “mass shooting” is whenever more than 1 person gets shot…but if a drug deal goes bad and 5 people are there, this isn’t the same as someone going into a school and shooting up the place. To lump normal criminality into the pot is to confuse the issue.

        But suppose guns are the problem. Ok. What is it that you want? Do you want to ban gun ownership among law-abiding American citizens? Even supposing you could muster the political will for such a thing, how will taking guns away from a hundred million people who never have and never will commit a crime prevent a crime from happening? Vast numbers of guns cross our borders illegally every day – how will you stop that? How will you stop those who wish to do us harm from smuggling weapons into the United States? By closing the so-called “gun show loophole”? The whole debate about gun control is, to me, not based in reality. It wouldn’t prevent what is claims to prevent.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 7:21 pm

        “But suppose guns are the problem. Ok. What is it that you want? Do you want to ban gun ownership among law-abiding American citizens?”

        No, I wouldn’t want to ban gun ownership. I want reasonable regulations enacted. Here are a few, feel free to agree or disagree with whether they are good ideas.*

        *But to be clear, I’m not saying enacting these regulations would eliminate all gun violence. But I think they would make our country safer from gun violence (homicides, suicides, and gun accidents.)

        1) Universal background checks for buying guns. If you are not a law-abiding citizen, or have been adjudicated mentally ill, you don’t pass this background check and get to legally purchase a gun. We have a “no-fly list” to make air travel safer, and even though it’s not 100% effective (no system is), it’s still useful.

        2) If your infant child accidentally fires a weapon and harms and/or kills themselves or others, you permanently lose your 2nd amendment rights. You have proven you are not a responsible gun owner. Thousands of children have died from negligent parents who are not responsible gun owners, and rarely they are rarely held accountable.

        3) A rule that handguns be locked at least in certain circumstances. States with these laws have 40% fewer suicides per capita and 68% fewer firearm suicides per capita than states without these laws.This correlation is unchanged even after controlling for the effects of poverty, population density, age, education, and race/ethnicity.

        4) Require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. These laws help deter gun trafficking and discourage straw purchasing, as well as facilitate the return of lost or stolen guns to their lawful owners. In a 2011 poll, 94% of Americans support this law.

        There are four things that I believe are reasonable, supported by a majority of Americans, and have supporting evidence behind them. It’s not a radical “out law guns and forcibly take them all away” proposition. Do you think any of these are unfair or unreasonable?

        I’d be happy to embrace the gun laws of Switzerland, which has a high gun ownership rate, the most lax gun laws in Europe. They outlaw automatic weapons, which isn’t something I proposed above, but what is the rationale for civilians owning automatic weapons? Why has every other country concluded that private citizens shouldn’t be allowed to own a machine gun but we think it’s okay?

        @Spook – I understand if you dislike the ideological position of those magazines, but do you have any issue with the data they’ve presented? Is it doctored? Flawed? Fabricated? Misleading? If so, I’ll strongly reconsider citing those publications again. But I cited those articles because of the data they presented, not because of their ideological stances.

        @Spook

        We have states with populations much closer to Australia’s, and we have plenty of states that don’t have many black or hispanic residents (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa) yet even these states have far greater rates of gun homicides than Australia. If the reason is what you say it is, why are these states not seeing the levels of gun homicides like Australia?

      • Cluster December 4, 2015 / 9:36 pm

        Stuart, with all due respect, you’re just another progressive pushing an agenda which doesn’t even come close to addressing the problem. All of your feel good proposals do nothing to stop gun violence in our inner cities or preventing suicides, two categories of which comprise the bulk of the problem. Government policies favored by self serving politicians have effectively created plantations in our inner cities and have trapped families into failing school systems, dilapidated housing and communities, single parenthood, and little opportunity where drugs and gang violence thrive. Chicago, as an example, is a progressive cesspool rampant in corruption and awash in crime, and you want to request that gun owners report stolen guns as a solution??? How about if we just put solar panels on the housing projects to lessen climate change? That should work, right?

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 10:29 pm

        I checked out the paper you cited by Suardi and Lee about Australia.

        I believe their thesis, that there wasn’t a structural break due to the gun laws.

        What they don’t address though, is why firearm suicides declined faster in Tasmania (which did the fastest gun buyback) and why they declined slower in the Australian Capital Territory, which didn’t the slowest gun buyback. All the other provinces also support that trend – that suicides decreases correlated with how fast the buybacks were done.

        If they could explain that persuasively, I’d be more inclined to believe them over the many other studies that showed the gun laws did impact suicide rates.

        I’ll gladly talk to you about gun laws that I don’t think work well because I have not been convinced by the evidence that they are effective. Are you open to evidence that some gun laws may be effective?

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 10:30 pm

        And I am also genuinely curious what you think Rubio’s biggest accomplishments are at this point in his life. I don’t meet many Rubio supporters, and I’m wondering how he will address this when he has to go up against governors who have a record as executives.

      • Cluster December 5, 2015 / 8:12 am

        Rubio reminds me of JFK who I think would have been a good President, and in all honesty Rubio is a lot smarter, and much more practical than Obama. Rubio is very well versed in the challenges this country faces both domestically and in foreign policy, and again in my opinion, is the only GOP candidate who can galvanize the millennials and persuade them that conservative positions are far superior to progressive policies. And conservatives definitely need to start reeducating the younger generation who have been so poorly educated by progressives.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 11:12 pm

        Regarding Australia, let’s try to find some middle ground. There are academics who say the gun laws in 1996, including the gun buyback, did nothing and others who say it reduced gun homicides and suicides. I probably won’t convince you it was a great law, and you probably won’t convince me it was meaningless.

        What we can agree on (perhaps) is before Australia passed gun laws in 1996, they had a much lower gun homicide rate than America. That rate has continued to drop since 1996. Meanwhile, America’s gun homicide rate remains over 20x times that of Australia.

        I don’t think a mandatory gun buyback proposal is ideal for America. I would gladly settle for the common sense gun laws that Australia had in 1992, prior to their gun buyback and other heightened restrictions. I would settle for any other nation’s common sense gun laws, including Switzerland, which has the laxest gun laws in America.

        I’m not proposing any kind of radical ‘make gun ownership illegal for everyone’ ideas. Do you think every state’s gun laws right now are 100% ideal? If not, how do you think we could improve them?

        Also, how do you think we could get our homicide rate closer to other industrialized nations?

        I’m genuinely not just trying to push some fixed, rigid agenda. I’m curious about other people’s ideas and what evidence has caused them to believe in those ideas.

      • M. Noonan December 5, 2015 / 12:34 am

        But ours has dropped, too – and while more and more Americans have become armed. Also, I forgot – there have been mass shootings in Australia since the gun ban. In Sydney, in 2014 – with a doubly-illegal weapon.

        As for why we believe that guns aren’t the problem – the gun homicide rate is down by nearly half since it peaked in 1993, meanwhile the number of guns owned by Americans has gone up, at least if we consider that back around the peak there were less than 3 million permits for concealed handguns issued and more than 11 million issued last year.

        What I say to you is given that France has very strict gun control laws, what makes you think that they work? It certainly didn’t stop the terrorist attacks in France this year. Norway’s strict gun control laws didn’t prevent a massacre there. Germany’s strict gun control laws didn’t stop their massacres, either.

        Gun control only works with honest citizens – it does not work with criminals.

      • Cluster December 5, 2015 / 8:07 am

        I don’t think there is one single piece of legislation that will prevent a criminal from getting a gun if they want one. I do think that there are some laws we could consider that may prevent deranged, or mentally unstable people from getting guns, but it still doesn’t address the core problem. Here’s an idea for a law that might help a little: a mandatory 10 year federal sentence for anyone who uses a gun in the commission of a crime on top of the sentence of the crime itself. Would you support that?

        Stuart, you can pass all the laws you want but unless and until we address the core problem, gun violence will continue, and that starts by recognizing that people are the criminals, not the guns.

      • M. Noonan December 5, 2015 / 12:41 am

        But none of those laws would have stopped any of the mass shootings – neither by the crazed, nor by the terrorists, nor by common criminals.

        As for banning gun ownership for the mentally ill – that is too vague a thing. Everyone suffers from stress or depression at some time in their life…and if someone goes and gets some psychiatric help for it, now they’re “crazy” can can’t buy a gun? The crazed shooters tend to be people who never sought out mental health…all you’d be doing is taking away rights from responsible people who go to obtain the help they need with their psychological problems.

        A universal background check would have entirely missed the shooters in San Bernardino – there was nothing in their official background which would indicate any risk of their owning weapons. Once again, all you’d be doing is putting a burden on the law-abiding without getting your desired result.

        The only cure to evil is good – not paperwork. Our society is desperately ill; desperately in need of God’s mercy. Until you get people to seek that out in ever larger numbers, you’re just going to be spinning your wheels.

      • Stuart_F December 5, 2015 / 1:06 am

        “Gun control only works with honest citizens – it does not work with criminals.”

        Let me repeat again, I don’t think gun laws will eradicate violent crime. I just think, based on the evidence we have, it can be successful in reducing gun-related deaths.

        If you think gun control doesn’t work, can you explain to me why Japan has so few gun deaths (between 2 – 23 per year in a country one-third our size)? Is it their culture? Lack of Christianity? Media?

        Yes, France and Germany have had mass shootings, despite strict gun laws. But they have far, far fewer of them (even on a per capita basis) than America. Our gun homicide rate soars above every other developed country, which all happen to have stricter gun laws than us. What is your explanation for this?

        The evidence leads me to believe it is the stricter regulation guns, as well as the reduced number of guns per person, that leads to lower gun-related deaths. But maybe I’m missing something. I’m open to any evidence you have. But if you say, “Well, gun deaths are caused by a lack of Christianity.” I’m probably not going to be persuaded and will need more evidence to back up that claim.

      • M. Noonan December 5, 2015 / 1:27 am

        As I explained yesterday, Japan has never allowed its citizens to be armed – Japan is also an island nation with strict entry controls and Japan is a tightly disciplined society. It is just vastly different from us.

        The only thing which will get a person to not go on a shooting rampage is to reach their heart – their soul. Change the person, change the outcome. Used to be an American citizen could buy a fully automatic Thompson machine gun by mail…and in all the time such was available, no one ever took a Tommy gun to a school or theater and shot the place up. Why? Because the United States was deeply infused back then with Christian morality. Eight decades later after totally breaking down the moral code of the United States and swamping the people with a popular culture which glorifies violence, this is what you get…people going into theaters and shooting up the place.

        What happened in San Bernardino, however, wasn’t due to the breakdown in our morality – that was the act of someone believing a different kind of morality. As those two people massacred their fellow men and women, then were convinced that they were doing the right thing. You won’t stop that even with complete confiscation of firearms. You’ll only stop that by fighting the source of such belief…right now running rampant in Syria.

      • Stuart_F December 5, 2015 / 1:54 am

        I think we are talking past each other. At least I feel you are not addressing the issues I’m raising. If you feel the same, please bring them up and I will try to address them directly and fairly.

        1. Japan. You write “Japan has never allowed its citizens to be armed.” If you’re talking about gun ownership, this isn’t true. Gun ownership is not illegal in Japan, it is just very strictly regulated and difficult to get a hold of gun without a lot of effort.

        1A – Is this still not a form of gun control, and has it not been successful?

        1B – Japan has 2 – 23 gun homicides per year. Would you recommend they allow all kinds of firearms to be freely import, bought, and sold as a way of reducing that number?

        2. “Because the United States was deeply infused back then with Christian morality.” Again, America has more Christians than almost every other industrialized nation, yet we have far more violent crime. If Christianity is what dictates crime rates, why do Denmark and Sweden have much less violent crime than America (especially the bible belt)?

        3. Why does every other industrialized nation have far less gun crime than we do?

        Those are my main questions that I’d like to hear you answer for me to better understand your position.

        I’m curious about this time America was deeply infused with Christian morality? What time period was this? Because the deep south was always heavily “Christian” – but slavery, Jim Crow, and terrorism against black people was rampant and pervasive. And that was not the work of a few Americans, but it had the overwhelming support of white Christians. Even in 2012, 60% of Alabama voters (overwhelmingly white and Christian) voted against removing segregation from the state constitution. I don’t find this morality to be Christian in any meaningful sense, nor I do think there was a time when real morality among Christians in America was deeply infused.

      • Cluster December 5, 2015 / 8:26 am

        Stuart, your problem is that you talk past the problem. You speak as if we don’t have gang problems, drug problems, or that there is not a growing threat of lone jihadists wanting to kill infidels. And this is why progressives are such failures in terms of governing. Progressives always put agenda and power in front of actual problem solving.

        And just a thought. Don’t you think that by enacting stricter gun laws now, you allow the terrorists to win? After all, you are reacting to what they are doing. And acting in an irrational manner by wanting to restrict law abiding people’s access to protecting themselves. Do you think that makes sense?

      • M. Noonan December 5, 2015 / 11:35 pm

        Which, de-facto, makes it illegal to own a weapon. If we required a $10,000 fee for owning a firearm in the United States, it would essentially mean that 99% of the people couldn’t afford to own a weapon. Still legal to own, but impossible to obtain for most. Gun control can be successful if your desire is simply to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding people – that works just fine. And the Japanese are law-abiding people – no, giving everyone in Japan would probably not reduce their already astonishingly low crime rate; but giving everyone a gun would probably not increase the rate, either. Japan, as I keep pointing out, is a different society from ours – and entirely different civilization. Heavily influenced by China, Japan yet developed a civilization which is duplicated nowhere else on earth. Isolated in their islands, the Japanese charted their own course for more than a thousand years with only minor input from outside. By one reason or another, they became a very law-abiding people – perhaps part of the reason was back in the past that penalties for violation were draconian but, also, Japan is a very family-orientated society and there is a deeply ingrained fear in the Japanese of disgracing their family. But Japan is also different in other areas from us – their illegitimacy rate is about 1%…ours is pushing 50%. Their divorce rate is vastly lower (in other words, Japanese tend to wait until marriage before producing children and then doggedly stay together after marriage and raise their children in stable, loving homes). Also, Japan has only a tiny immigrant population – and their immigrants, unlike ours, are exclusively highly educated and well-off. Another reason for Japan’s low crime rate is the way Japan’s police perform their duties – bottom line, if American police tried to do it the Japanese way, it would spark an almost instant revolution in this country. The police in Japan have powers of intrusion into private lives which probably violate 90% of our Constitution. You don’t really have a right to remain silent in Japan – and thus 90% of their crimes are solved by the accused confessing. Japan also has some problems – a suicide rate 50% higher than ours (so much for availability of guns making suicide more prevalent) and, of course, they are in terminal demographic decline (Japanese decided voluntarily not to have kids – a triumph for the Zero Population Growth fanatics…trouble is that now Japan is looking at a future which doesn’t have one…unless the Japanese suddenly decide to pump out a pack of kids, their population will drop by more than 50% by 2100). These problems – suicide and unwillingness to have children – could well be cured by a dose of Christianity in Japan.

        And that brings me to the fact of our society once being infused with Christianity. Yep, back in those days there were Klansmen out there…those rotten, red-necked, Southern, white, Christian bastards! Do you know that between 1882 and 1959 they managed to kill…about 30% less African-Americans than are killed every year, most of them by other African-Americans? Christians, like all people, are capable of sin…but a Christian people sins far less than a completely non-Christian people (and if you think the Japanese are just swell, I recommend you look up the Rape of Nanking for an example of just how bad they can get when they take a mind to it).

      • Cluster December 4, 2015 / 8:22 am

        Re: Australia. The Melbourne report:

        http://c8.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/Lee%20and%20Suardi%202008.pdf

        The conclusion:

        University of Melbourne researchers Wang-Sheng Lee and Sandy Suardi concluded their 2008 report on the matter with the statement, “There is little evidence to suggest that [the Australian mandatory gun-buyback program] had any significant effects on firearm homicides.”

        And more analysis:

        Within European countries, the relationship between gun regulation and homicide is by no means straightforward: Gun-loving Switzerland has a lower rate of homicide than do more tightly regulated countries such as the United Kingdom and Sweden. Cuba, being a police state, has very strict gun laws, but it has a higher homicide rate than does the United States.

        Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/347263/dishonest-gun-control-debate-kevin-d-williamson

        The problem IS NOT the gun.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 9:37 am

        I’d agree you can’t necessarily prove the gun buybacks caused the drop in gun homicides, but what about the other parts of having stricter gun laws? Lee and Suardi didn’t address that.

        Explain to me why America has 20x the rate of gun murders of Australia if it has nothing to do with gun laws. Are Americans 20x more evil? Play 20x more violent video games?

      • Cluster December 4, 2015 / 11:47 am

        Yes, the cultures are completely different. The guns are the same. Most of America’s gun violence happens in inner cities where poverty is rampant, single parenthood is the norm, schools are failing, and opportunity is scant. These conditions are not found in other countries on the scale that we see here in America. And I will say that most of these conditions are found in blue states and cities. Gun ownership in Utah is through the roof, yet gun violence in Utah is almost non existent.

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 12:36 am

        I’m with Spook – France has exceptionally strict gun control laws and that didn’t even slow down the terrorists.

        Japan is, you might be surprised to find, a very different society from ours. It always has been a tightly disciplined society. Also, they are on an island – rather easier to control entry and exit. You can’t pick up some machine guns in Korea, hop on a train, and in an hour or two be in Tokyo. It isn’t that they enacted gun control and thus reduced their homicide rate – they never allowed average Japanese to own guns, period. I think the ban on civil ownership of firearms in Japan goes back to the Tokugawa Shogunate…which would be just a couple decades after the Japanese even found out about firearms. What we need is an example of a nation which had a high homicide rate, enacted gun control, and then had a marked decline in homicide. That, I think, you’ll be hard-pressed to find.

        On the other hand, Mexico does have very strict gun control – it is just about impossible for an average Mexican to obtain a firearm. Mexico’s homicide rate is a bit more than 6 times that of the United States. Also, America’s homicide rate isn’t really America’s – it is really the result of a few large, urban areas…most of which have very strict gun control laws and are governed by liberal Democrats. Back those horribly misgoverned areas out of the US stats, and our homicide rate compares favorably with the rest of the developed world.

        The problem isn’t guns – it is in the human heart. And something has gone wrong with quite a few human hearts. If we repealed the 2nd amendment and confiscated every legally owned weapon in the United States, it would not have stopped what happened on Wednesday in San Bernardino.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 1:30 am

        “The problem isn’t guns – it is in the human heart. And something has gone wrong with quite a few human hearts”

        So why has something gone so wrong with American hearts, but not Japanese, Swiss, Polish, British, or Spanish hearts? We have such higher gun homicide rates than other industrialized nations, what is that has gone so wrong with U.S. hearts?

      • Retired Spook December 4, 2015 / 9:10 am

        Not withstanding homogeneous societies like Japan could you give us some examples of areas in, say, this country that have strict gun laws AND fewer gun deaths?

        Sure. One example is Japan

        No, besides Japan.

        Australia is another example

        Off both geographically and demographically. Please try again. Some area in this country where strict gun laws have resulted in fewer gun deaths.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 9:34 am

        Sorry I read too quickly and didn’t see you meant within the U.S.

        Here you go: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/the-geography-of-gun-deaths/69354/

        Since the U.S. has very open borders, gun control done at the state level is limited in its effectiveness when you have states that make it incredibly easy for anyone to acquire an arsenal. We see that now with guns trafficked from the south into states like New York. But we do know clearly that less guns means less gun deaths.

        http://www.vox.com/cards/gun-violence-facts/gun-homicide-effect-increase

        If more guns made placer safer, this data would say the opposite. But the facts don’t support the argument that more guns makes people safer.

        It’s probably why the GOP and the NRA ban firearms from the events they actually run and organize:

        http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/08/25/3694369/conservative-gun-free-zones/

      • Retired Spook December 4, 2015 / 9:50 am

        Explain to me why America has 20x the rate of gun murders of Australia if it has nothing to do with gun laws.

        For starters, Australia’s population is about the same as greater New York City (22 million vs. 21 million), or less than 7% of the total U.S. population. I don’t have the time to do a comprehensive comparison of violent felons in the U.S. vs. Australia, but, assuming the percentage is roughly the same, the U.S. has nearly 14 times more violent felons than Australia. Since Australia doesn’t have nearly the black and Hispanic underclass/gang problem that we do, the number of violent felons in the U.S. is probably disproportionately higher. If you have figures to the contrary, please present them.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 7:20 pm

        @Spook

        We have states with populations much closer to Australia’s, and we have plenty of states that don’t have many black or hispanic residents (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa) yet even these states have far greater rates of gun homicides than Australia. If the reason is what you say it is, why are these states not seeing the levels of gun homicides like Australia?

      • Retired Spook December 4, 2015 / 12:38 pm

        If more guns made placer safer, this data would say the opposite. But the facts don’t support the argument that more guns makes people safer.

        Well, YOUR facts certainly don’t. The Atlantic, Mother Jones, Think Progress? Seriously? What’s the matter — couldn’t you find a link to Pravda?

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 7:19 pm

        @Spook – I understand if you dislike the ideological position of those magazines, but do you have any issue with the data they’ve presented? Is it doctored? Flawed? Fabricated? Misleading? If so, I’ll strongly reconsider citing those publications again. But I cited those articles because of the data they presented, not because of their ideological stances.

      • tiredoflibbs December 5, 2015 / 7:36 am

        “If Godlessness is the cause of our gun homocides, why does the relatively religious US have so many more gun deaths than the rest of the secular world?”

        Crusty, taking a tactic from you, I will dismiss your ASSertion/question as complete bs without any sources or facts to back it up. You always claim to provide links to back up your ASSertions, but as usual you lie.

        Go troll elsewhere.

  3. Retired Spook December 3, 2015 / 10:55 am

    One of the interesting things about the recent rash of mass shootings that runs completely counter to the MSM’s narrative is that all the shootings in which religion played a part (Fort Hood, Charleston, Umpqua Community College and San Bernardino) either targeted Christians and/or were perpetrated by Muslims. And yet that’s seems to be the elephant in the room that the media wants to ignore.

  4. Retired Spook December 3, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    Personally I think the best way to beat Hillary would be to play her saying “what difference, at this point, does it make”, followed by that hideous cackle of a laugh of hers, over and over and over. I think that would have more of an impact on LIVs than anything that could be said about her.

  5. Cluster December 3, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Re: San Bernardino again. When are we going to stop listening to progressive like Obama and the media? They’re prescriptions are proven failures, their actions defy what made this country great, and they never address the core problem. What we need in this country is:

    – men to stay in the home and raise the children they father.
    – people to take responsibility for their decisions
    – more Christian Faith, and more prayer, not less
    – more guns in the hands of law abiding decent people
    – less political correctness
    – better educated kids
    – and a return to American exceptionalism

    And these would be just a start.

  6. Cluster December 3, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Courtesy of National Review. The ten dumbest utterances from progressives just in the last day,

    1. Senator Tim Kaine saying the atrocity proves America is addicted to guns.

    2. Former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes – later joined by CNN’s Harry Houck – speculating an anti-government “right-wing group” is behind the attack.

    3. MSNBC reporting (almost as soon as the shooting began) that the city of San Bernardino houses a Planned Parenthood.

    4. A gun-control activist insisting Congress could stop these tragedies, it simply chooses not to.

    5. George Stephanopoulos portraying President Obama as another victim in the tragedy.

    6. President Obama arguing the feds are powerless to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns. (Which is untrue.)

    7. An MSNBC guest arguing armed self defense, including armed guards, provides no security benefit.

    8. Chris Matthews wondering if the attack can be traced back to the American revolution.

    9. NBC’s Kerry Saunders suggesting the Christmas party that was attacked could have served as a “trigger” for the gunmen.

    10. Senator Tim Kaine arguing that, much like terrorists themselves, critics of increased gun control are the “voice of evil.”

    • dbschmidt December 3, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      Remember, according to our Liberal / Progressive Masters;
      All Muslims must be considered on a case by case basis because condemning all Muslims for the act of one is a racist / bigoted act.
      All guns (inanimate object) are evil therefore *all* gun owners should be fully judged by the acts of one mentally ill individual.

  7. Stuart_F December 3, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    “Hillary is disliked – and not just by GOPers”

    She’s been in the spot light for a long time, plenty of people dislike her. Some really loathe her.

    But here’s something many who don’t like Hillary may not be aware: when Gallup asks Americans each year who the most admired woman in the world is, they have picked Hillary Clinton 17 of the last 18 years. She beat Oprah and Malala last year. She regularly beat Mother Teresa when she was still alive.

    Favorability polls this year had her rated higher among all respondents than any GOP candidate. True, she has higher name recognition, but she’s also faced 25 years of national scrutiny and attacks (from the GOP and her Democratic opponents). No other GOP candidate has gotten anywhere near that level of scrutiny or concerted attacks. With the possible exception of Trump, although he’s never had to reveal his tax returns or had his work subject to FOIAs.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2228

    So yes, plenty of people hate Hillary, but a sizable number think she’s the most admirable women on the planet, and have for 20+ years. Since politics has gotten more about rooting for a team/tribe, and more about identity than policy – it’ll end up that most Dems like her and most GOPers don’t. The opposite will be true for the GOP candidate. I don’t think this is a very profound situation.

    • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 12:44 am

      Most admired polls are, to put it mildly, bull. But, you can do with that, if you like. More important than a May poll is a poll released yesterday, which had it that 60% of voters view her as dishonest – with Independents view her as dishonest by a 3 to 1 margin.

      I’m sure her Democrats still love her – in fact, that poll shows that they do. That is because blinded, partisan Democrats will enthusiastically support anyone the Democrat leadership tells them to support. But everyone who isn’t a blinded partisan knows that she’s corrupt to the bone.

      Now, she can still win – if the GOP nominates a weak, establishment candidate…then the Democrats may be able to drag granny over the finish line because there are simply a larger number of mindless Democrats who will vote for any Democrat than there are mindless Republicans who will vote for any Republican. I noted that in my piece. But if the GOP nominates anyone who can spark any enthusiasm, at all, among the GOP base and Independents, then that person will likely win next year…because in an election where everyone is engaged, mindless Democrats probably don’t make up 40% of the vote.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 1:11 am

        Why do you think the most admired polls are bull but other polls aren’t? What is the flaw or skews the admired polls?

        I am skeptical about the capacity of favorability polls and polls this early to tell us much about the election, if you look at their track record.

        What I trust more are the betting market. Right now, they say Hillary has a 58% chance to win the White House. That could change, but I’ll trust people putting their money where their mouth is over poll respondents.

        I think has an easy pitch to win over Democrats after Obama. She says –

        “Look, Obama was naive about Washington. He thought the GOP would work with him, and they could get along together. He kept reaching out to the GOP, making concessions to the GOP without getting anything in return, and they hate him as much as ever. He thought he could fix Washington dysfunction. By contrast, I have no illusions about working with the GOP. I will get things done by playing hardball. I wait around to use executive power and apologize for it, I’ll do everything it takes.”

        It’s a change that Democrats tired of seeing Obama trying to make the GOP like him will welcome.

        As for the GOP nominating a moderate, I think they’ll do this again because of their rules. They basically value the votes of the tiny number of Republicans in deep blue counties (MA, CA, NY) over the huge numbers in deep red areas. So it’s no wonder they nominated McCain and then Romney. I think it will happen again.

        http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-gops-primary-rules-might-doom-carson-and-cruz/

        If everyone is engaged, the GOP has a problem because of millennials. The 2012 election was the first time more millennials voted than senior citizens, which helped Obama a lot. And more than 50% of millennials have voted for three straight presidential elections, so they are pretty consistent and they’re growing share of the electorate. If they come out to vote again, it’s an uphill battle for the GOP.

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 1:20 am

        And only a Democrat would think that Obama has tried to work with Republicans and now what is needed is someone who will be harsh with them.

      • Stuart_F December 4, 2015 / 1:25 am

        I agree, that’s the whole issue of having separate media echo chambers. 43% of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim, and I think many Democrats would say that’s pretty crazy. Both side’s views are increasingly far apart from one another.

      • M. Noonan December 4, 2015 / 1:38 am

        But, as a Distributist who is not at all opposed to finding a new party to express the need for deep and lasting reforms, I am entirely outside anyone’s echo chamber. I see things as they are – and I live and work among a highly diverse population on all levels…people despise Hillary. The only people I come across who like her are, as I said, blindly partisan Democrats. There aren’t enough of such to grant her victory UNLESS part of the GOP and Independents are so turned off by the election that they stay home. Which is why, by the way, the nastiness of this campaign will eclipse all other campaigns in American history. The Democrats will be flinging the most disgusting mud they can think of – because they want everyone to be horrified and tuned out by October of next year. It is, as I’ve long said, the model first developed in the 2002 California governors race…horribly unpopular Democrat candidate, so just go so massively negative that people stay away, then count on your mindless partisans to carry the day. It worked. Hillary will be the next President if it goes like that.

        On the other hand, if the Republican nominee is willing to go to war with the Establishment, then people just might get excited and, also, then negativity against that Republican will backfire…it’ll just increase the stature of the GOP candidate if he or she being buried under political mud while loudly proclaiming a war against Business As Usual.

      • Amazona December 5, 2015 / 4:59 pm

        “It’s a change that Democrats tired of seeing Obama trying to make the GOP like him will welcome.”

        Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY????? Obama has been trying to make the GOP like him? Now I see the problem in talking with Stuart—we are in alternate realities. On MY planet, Obama has openly disrespected Republicans, insulted Republicans, and basically told Republicans to go pound sand because he is just going to do what he wants to do. I have never seen a president so openly disdainful and contemptuous of the other party.

        “He kept reaching out to the GOP, making concessions to the GOP “ Ditto

        As for “gun violence” I think the key word here is not “gun” but “violence”. The military used to have a problem with getting soldiers to actually shoot at other human beings. They would train them with firearms but when it came to pointing a firearm at another human being and pulling the trigger, innate human reluctance to do so would often come into play. When the military started using human-shaped targets this helped a little, as soldiers were more conditioned subliminally to be able to shoot a human being. The big difference was video games.

        When the military started using Nintendo-commissioned video games to desensitize soldiers, by having them play hours upon hours of “games” in which they could become accustomed to seeing blood and gore, arms and legs blown off, heads exploding, accompanied by instantaneous rewards of points and audio congratulations, the military was able to overcome the natural human disinclination to inflict such harm on people.

        We are now well into our second generation of Americans brought up “playing” the most violent imaginable games, where death and dismemberment are graphically portrayed in garish color, complete with sound effects of screams and moans and grunts, where all of this gore and mayhem and viciousness are recast as just good fun. And now we are just agog with stunned surprise, to see people who grew up with this kind of conditioning thinking that it will be fun to do it for real, using real guns and seeing real blood.

        You know who DOESN’T go on shooting sprees? People who grew up hunting, people who have experienced the reality of death, who have seen the light go out of an eye as an animal dies, who have had blood up to their elbows as they have dressed out their kills. To people like this, who know the REALITY of gun death, it is not a game, and they respect the power of their weapons and the responsibility that goes with using them.

        I’ve been sitting back waiting for someone to identify the fact that we have decades of Americans who have grown up with random and graphic death portrayed as fun. It is not a huge step from virtually mowing down people by the dozen in a video “game” to arming up, putting on the cool clothes such as body armor, and mowing down people by the dozen in a movie theater, or a school, or anywhere else for that matter. The feeling of power and control gained at a game console can only be greater if it’s in real life, right?

        Run through the channels on your TV and see just how much graphic violence, often linked with graphic sex, is on call for anyone at any time. How can anyone expect this kind of constant influence, from early childhood on, to NOT affect the way some people are going to develop mentally, emotionally and spiritually? I think there is probably even a lack of a sense of reality when the shooters plan to be taken out in a hail of bullets—after all, they have already been “killed” so many times, it probably doesn’t seem very real to them.

        We don’t have a problem with admitting that abused children are more likely to grow up to be abusers, but there is wall-kicking hissy fit hysteria when someone suggests that a steady diet of gruesome mayhem, violent death, and instant rewards for the most brutal ways of killing people might just affect the way some people view violence.

      • Stuart_F December 5, 2015 / 5:45 pm

        @Amazona –

        Do you understand though, that I was not stating MY opinion of why Hillary is a good candidate, but why I think other Democrats would think she is?

        You seem to be outraged that I hold the opinion you quoted, but if you read what I wrote, that’s my analysis of why other liberals would be receptive to Hillary after 8 years of Obama. I can similarly speculate why people might like Trump as a nominee without actually wanting Trump to be the nominee myself.

        I understand many Republicans don’t think Obama has done anything bipartisan, centrist, or reached across the aisle at all. In the GOP media world, the idea that he has is outrageous (as you just demonstrated).

        Similarly, the idea that Obama is a Muslim (which polls show around 40% of GOP people believe) is viewed as absurd in the Democratic media world.

        Okay – now about guns. You’ve pointed to the real problem behind violence (and therefore, violent people who happen to use guns) are violent video games and harmful TV.

        So my question to you is, why does Japan have virtually no gun homicides while we have over 10,000/year? Why does every other developed country have enormously less gun-related deaths than we do?

        Are we unique in having violent video games and harmful TV? Someone else here said the reason we have so many gun deaths is because of a lack of Christianity, do you think that’s possibly the culprit?

        I’m open to examine the evidence you have that caused you to arrive at that conclusion.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 11:17 am

        Stuart, I have to smile when I read your posts, as you follow every Lib script I have ever seen. Here you fall back on a typical Lefty tactic, when you say “You seem to be outraged that I hold the opinion you quoted…” “Outraged?” No, sweetie, I am not “outraged” that you hold the opinions you do. I am not even surprised. It’s really more of a yawn than anything else, as you are just the latest in a long line of Lefties eager to lay out what you have been told you believe, and it is the Same Old Same Old.

        Something else came up in your post—–you described my opinion of Hillary as “animosity”. I get it. I understand that to someone whose political identity is based on emotion, on feeling an emotional attraction to or connection with a politician, it is hard if not impossible to believe, or understand, that not everyone is emotion-driven. All I can say to that, as the concept of an objective analysis of whether a person would be a good leader seems pretty foreign, or at least irrelevant, to the fan club approach of most Leftists, is what I said when people were harping that Mitt Romney was not the most wonderful, perfect, ideal, person in the world: “I don’t want to date him, I want to hire him.”

        And that is what an election should be about. A campaign is not American Idol, or at least it shouldn’t be. It should be a job interview. Arguing, especially arguing as passionately as you are, about how many Dems would hire Hillary, just goes to prove my point about the emotional basis of Dem Identity Politics. People who want to hire a proven liar, a liar with a history of nearly half a century of committing misdeeds and then lying to try to avoid responsibility for them, just because they LIKE her, apparently (according to you) constitute more than half of all Dem voters.

        Surely you can understand how that makes Dems look, to rational people who are just trying to find the best person to hire for the job.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 11:54 am

        Well, when you wrote:

        “Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY????? Obama has been trying to make the GOP like him?”

        I got the impression you getting heated about this and less than 100% calm. You even bolded the word seriously, and I’m not even sure how one bolds in the comment section.

        Do many people engaging in calm, objective analysis use five questions (?????) and all caps, or is that more of an emotional response to get your point across? In my opinion, it’s the latter and not the former. I could also write in all caps and use multiple explanation points, but I don’t think it’s necessary to effectively communicate my views. But maybe I’d be more persuasive the other way, I don’t know.

        And you still seem to mistaken on what I wrote. Again, when I made the case for Hillary that caused you to write the above quote, I wasn’t making my case for Hillary, but what I think many Democratic primary voters may think. You still seem to think it’s my personal opinion of Hillary and Obama.

        As for your objective analysis of Hillary – you’re analysis said that you think soon most Democrats will dislike Hillary. I asked you for evidence of this, and you gave me dated polls that didn’t ask respondents whether they like Hillary or not, but who they intend to vote for in the Dem primary.

        I responded by saying a favorability poll would speak me to your claim, and gave evidence showing around 75% of Dems like Hillary, and only 15% of Dems dislike her. There’s no evidence the number of Dems who dislike her is growing, especially anywhere near the level you claim is imminent. And of course, you ignored responding to this. I won’t speculate on why.

        You can say you don’t have any personal bias against Hillary and you have strictly objective analysis, but your “objective analysis” doesn’t have any objective evidence to back it up.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 12:23 pm

        Stuart, and again with all due respect, you are insufferably boring and bring nothing to the table. Here you are asking why people think Obama is Muslim and arguing Hillary’s favorability polls. Your analysis is vapid and is the equivalent of a TMZ approach to politics. In the midst of crippling debt and spending, an anemic economy that has 2 million more people out of work now than in just January of this year, with gang violence tearing apart our inner cities, a healthcare industry in shambles, a porous border, and a world that is in absolute chaos, you’re asking birther questions and citing popularity polls. It is more than obvious that you are simply an indoctrinated fellow traveler of the mindless left. The only quality that currently separates you from your brethren is you have not resorted to personal attacks. Yet.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 1:38 pm

        @Cluster. I’m sorry you find my comments insufferably boring. I will refer to you one of my first comments in this thread ” If you don’t want to engage with someone like me, please feel free to ignore my comment!”

        You remain welcome to ignore my writings. I know I’d hate to read insufferably boring text, so I’d recommend you ignore what I have to say.

        For me, I am still interested in having speaking with people from different views than me. I could stay in a liberal/progressive media echo chamber, but I prefer not to. I learn a lot from people with different views, and I like having respectful dialogue. I have disagreed with people in this thread, but I am appreciative of anyone’s time who wants to engage with me on these issues. I have no desire to insult anyone, only to discuss ideas.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 2:34 pm

        Well then discuss ideas that matter. Birther questions and popularity polls are really not interesting, and your proposed gun law solutions are not serious attempts at resolving any of our current problems.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 2:41 pm

        @Cluster – I think mass shootings are important. I think the 10,000+ gun homicides are important. If you disagree, again, please feel free to ignore my comments.

        I think gun laws impact how many gun-related deaths we have. On this thread, people have alternatively claimed that it’s really lack of Christianity, or violent video games and harmful TV, that are behind our mass shootings. I’m trying to understand why people think this, given other nations have violent video games/TV and even less Christianity than America, but have far fewer mass shooting (per capita) and gun homicides. I think you’ll understand that I don’t just accept claims without evaluating the evidence for them. I wouldn’t expect you to do that either.

        Again, if you have no desire to defend those arguments, or find the whole topic boring, please feel free to ignore.

        As for birther polls – when a huge segment of our country believes in, what I would describe as a ludicrous conspiracy theory about our first black president, I think that is not a trivial issue. You might think it’s trivial. Again, feel free to ignore it.

        As for Hillary’s popularity, this topic is raised by the original post. The article is in part about beating Hillary Clinton, and of course how popular she is matters for that subject. If you think beating Hillary or her popularity is not worth discussing, than you also have a problem with part of the original post. I was addressing the original post, which I didn’t think was an odd thing to do. Again, feel free to ignore my comments you find to be uninteresting.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 2:53 pm

        OK, I will play. How many mass shootings in America this year? Has gun violence been on the increase or decrease in this country over the last two decades? Will any of the laws that you and Democrats propose do anything to stop the violence? What constitutes a “huge segment” of our country that believes in the “ludicrous conspiracy”?

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 3:21 pm

        “OK, I will play. How many mass shootings in America this year? Has gun violence been on the increase or decrease in this country over the last two decades? Will any of the laws that you and Democrats propose do anything to stop the violence? What constitutes a “huge segment” of our country that believes in the “ludicrous conspiracy”?”

        1) It depends what definition of “mass shooting” you use. If you say a mass shooting is any time 4 or more people get shot, we’ve had 353 mass shootings this year. We’ve had much less if you narrow the definition.

        2) I’ll assume you’re talking only about homicides and not accidental gun shootings or suicides. I didn’t find figures from the early 1990s, but according to CDC data, we had 11,798 gun homicides in 1998 and about 11,070 in 2011. But of course we have more people, so the gun homicide rate is even lower now. If this number was down to the level of Japan (6 – 70 gun homicides each year, adjusted for our higher population numbers) – I would think we’ve reduced gun homicides enough to not really worry about it too much compared to other issues. But even with our lower gun homicide rate, I am still concerned because of how much higher it still is than every other industrialized nation. We are not close to catching up to them.

        3) Yes, I believe gun laws will reduce the number of gun-related deaths. I think this is why every other industrialized nations has fewer gun-related deaths than America.

        I’ve shared a few that I think are supported by large majorities of Americans and we have evidence they will help.

        One proposal I have, that I’ve actually never seen proposed by any politician (much less have any polling evidence for) is that any parent whose infant (under 4 years old) gets a hold of a loaded weapon and maims/kills anyone with it (including the infant themselves) should be prosecuted and permanently lose the right to own a gun. They have proven they are not responsible gun owners. We rarely see these negligent gun owners get held accountable for allowing an infant to play with a loaded gun.

        4) Only 30% of Republicans think Obama was born in the U.S, according to one recent poll. 70% of GOP voters is a large number of people. And oddly, more GOP voters believe Ted Cruz was born in America (he was not….)

        Of course, polls show Americans believing a lot of demonstrably untrue things, so in that sense it’s not very surprising or unique. But I do think it’s strange and am curious why Republicans think this is case.

        To give an example on the left – many Democrats in polls say that GMO food is dangerous to eat. That’s not been scientifically proven. Democrats are wrong. To explain why Democrats think that, my guess is it’s just they hear exaggerated fears of GMO foods from liberal groups, and are fooled by the dangerous sounding name (genetic modification sounds scarier than it really is). I don’t think many take the time to listen to other side or independently look up the science.

        Again, if any of this is unimportant to you, feel free to ignore it.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 3:54 pm

        1. Even the far left publication of Mother Jones has contradicted that mass shooting stat.
        At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have compiled an in-depth, open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four “mass shootings” this year

        2. Gun violence has gone down in the last two decades:
        Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010,

        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

        3. I know you say you “care” about gun homicides but none of your prescriptions would have prevented any of the recent shootings. Furthermore, they will do nothing to stop inner city gang violence, nor diminish the suicide rate, two components of which comprise the bulk of gun violence stats. So why bother? Why do you waste your breath on ideas that don’t address the problem? If you really “cared” about violence, you would address the other more sensitive problems.

        4. As Amazona said, Obama was the original birther when he stated in his first bio that he was born in Kenya. Was he lying? Or trying to sell books?

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 4:10 pm

        1. Please go back and read my comment. I explicitly stated it depends on how you define mass shootings, and I said as defined as “4 or more people shot” – that means we’ve had 353 mass shootings.

        That statistic is not contradicted by Mother Jones. Mother Jones uses a narrower definition of “mass shootings” and comes up with a much smaller number – which is exactly what I said happens when you use a narrower definition.

        You can go even narrow than Mother Jones and argue there have been no mass shootings this year. That wouldn’t “contradict” the Mother Jones stat, it would just be a different stat using a different definition.

        2. Yes, I said gun homicides have decreased. I agree with your statistic. But as I said before, we still have such a high rate of gun homicides (even though it is 49% lower) compared to other industrialized countries that I am still concerned about gun homicides.

        3. I don’t think we disagree on the above two issues, but here is where we disagree. I think there is evidence that certain gun laws can reduce gun violence. But as I’ve said many times, no law or combination of laws would eliminate gun violence. Mass shootings may still occur. I don’t dispute that, even though people keep seem to think I’m saying with a few gun laws all gun violence will be eradicated.

        I think gun-related deaths will be lower (as they are lower in other countries with more gun regulation) depending on the law. Some gun control laws I agree would have no affect, that’s why I don’t support every single gun law ever proposed. You may think there’s not even one gun law that can prevent any amount of gun violence. I have several questions about that belief, if you’re interested in continuing the discussion:

        1) Do you think gun laws are ideal right now? Are there any you would add or eliminate? Should anyone be allowed to easily buy any type of firearm?

        2) Why does America have so much more gun homicides than every other industrialized nation? What is unique about us, or is that random?

        3) A majority of gun owners support universal background checks. Do you think we should eliminate the current background check system altogether?

        4. Obama did not write that he was born in Kenya. His literary agency wrote that, and they have admitted they made it in error. Even Breitbart, which uncovered the agency’s promotional booklet (again, not authored by Obama) – says Obama was born in Hawaii and the booklet’s error is not evidence he wasn’t.

        If someone accidentally gets your biography wrong one time, I don’t think that makes you an original “birther” of yourself.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 4:38 pm

        1. I think current gun laws should be enforced before we enact any new ones. Most criminals who use guns in the commission of their crime make plea agreements with liberal courts and are back on the street. How about if we enforce the laws already on the books? And that goes for immigration.

        2. This country was founded with the use of guns, the west was won with the use of guns, and guns are essential to individual liberty and protection as evidenced by history. There are more guns in this country than any other. As Obama is fond of saying – it is who we are.

        3. Again, let’s follow the current laws first.

        4. Typical liberal. Blame somebody else. If I had a bio, I would be sure to check it, but maybe that’s just me.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:04 pm

        1. So we should keep the current background check laws? If background checks can’t prevent any violence, and don’t work, why keep them at all?

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 4:40 pm

        And Mother Jones definition of mass shootings is the proper one. Using your logic we could easily say that there is an extreme health epidemic in America since everyone gets a cold.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:11 pm

        It’s humorous to me that you are scolding me for not listening to Mother Jones on this subject, since earlier in this thread Retired Spook saw my citation of that publication as leftist propaganda from a magazine didn’t have trustworthy facts.

        But obviously you hold Mother Jones in higher regard than Retired Spook.

        I disagree with how Mother Jones is using “mass shooting”. Under their definition, 30 people could be shot by a stranger, but if only 3 die, there was no mass shooting. Whereas if someone kills 4 members of his family in his own home, that was a mass shooting. If you asked the average person, which of those situations more accurately defines mass shooting, I think they’d say the one with 30 people shot.

        You equate this to the common cold, but I think being shot is more significant for people than getting a cold.

      • M. Noonan December 6, 2015 / 11:58 pm

        But that number, however arrived at, is rather pointless – except for propaganda purposes. There was a mass shooting in Louisiana the other day…thank God no one was killed, but a large number were injured and the death toll could have been massive as hundreds of people were around. It made the news for about an hour or two – before it was discovered that the shooting could not support any liberal Narrative…it was a couple of gangs made up of African-Americans opening fire on each other…which is far more common than what happened in either Newtown or San Bernardino. No one officially cares about such events, except in this case to lump it together with the more Narrative-building events and thus make out that there’s some sort of crisis of mass shootings…when what we really have is a very few crazies, a few Islamist terrorists…and a whole bag of criminals…none of whom would obey any gun control law enacted.

      • Stuart_F December 7, 2015 / 12:08 am

        Fox News is the #1 cable network news. If there’s an important story that you think the liberal media isn’t covering, why isn’t Fox covering it?

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 12:17 am

        Not sure where this came from – but it isn’t that the MSM doesn’t cover things but that it covers them with a relentless amount of dishonesty. Search back thru this blogs history for my “What Media Bias?” entries. I don’t do as much of them as I used to, but I’m up to 200 entries on that. It mostly has to do with them burying the lede or simply not reporting a story the same way depending on whether its about a Republican or a Democrat. One of the smaller – but still annoying – bits of MSM bias is the way that they report a GOPer caught in unethical behavior…you learn about that in Paragraph One…if its a Democrat, they might mention the party affiliation at the end of the story. Additionally, any GOPer being corrupt is always viewed as a reflection upon the entire GOP, while any Democrat being corrupt is just a one-off aberration.

      • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 2:56 pm

        And now knowing that you are a Bernie Sanders fan, do you think socialism levels the economic playing field? Do you think taxing the rich is a good solution, and if so when was the last tax increase on upper incomes and what were the positive impacts? Do you believe the oil industry should be nationalized? And do you think college should be free?

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 12:02 am

        Amazona was just reacting as anyone on the right would act – because for 7 years now, Obama has been slandering Republicans, as people, every chance he gets. He is the most mean-spirited, divisive President in American history. He never once tried to reach out to our side – and that also shows he’s not too bright, because he could have brought a lot of GOPers on board with his plans in 2009 when the GOP was reeling from the decisive defeat of 2008. He didn’t even try – and not only didn’t try, but insulted us into the bargain.

      • Stuart_F December 7, 2015 / 12:06 am

        What would the GOP has worked with him on? Mitch McConnell stated quite clearly his #1 goal was to make Obama a one-term president. If McConnell had helped him pass laws (even ones the GOP liked) – it would make Obama look bipartisan and helped him win re-election. Gingrich talks about how this was a mistake with Clinton. By working with Clinton, they helped him win re-election, and they realized it was a mistake.

        Why did several GOP senators vote one way in 2007 on legislation, but vote against it in 2009 on the exact same legislation if they weren’t trying to oppose Obama regardless of the issue?

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 12:15 am

        There’s always partisanship – and every opposition party seeks to make a President a one-term President. For crying out loud, that is just normal stuff. If Obama hasn’t got a skin thick enough to take that, then he never had any business in politics (and, he never had any business in politics, by the way). It wasn’t for the GOP to reach out to him, but for him to reach out to the GOP…you know, the way W reached out to Ted Kennedy to work on legislation in 2001. That kind of stuff.

      • Stuart_F December 7, 2015 / 12:28 am

        It’s strange to me, that you accuse him of insults and slander but then say Obama needs to get a thicker skin and just deal with partisanship.

        The levels of filibuster show this wasn’t partisanship as usual. Yes, the Democrats started increasing the use of the filibuster under Bush (although they also worked with him to pass major legislation like No Child Left Behind) – but the GOP took it to a new level.

        And actually, I don’t think this was unfair or bad. I think this was smart politics by Mitch McConnell. He has a keen understanding of politics. He kept his party in line, he told them they’d be much stronger if they didn’t compromise with Obama and let him claim the mantle of bipartisanship. It worked very well in some ways but not in others – the Tea Party actually was the reason we have Obamacare, since they drove Specter away from the GOP. McConnell’s strategy got them in good position to beat an incumbent president, which is very difficult. If the economy had been a little worse, or Romney been a stronger candidate, they could have done it.

        If Obama really had no respect for the GOP, why didn’t he tell Harry Reid to eliminate the filibuster, then they could pass a lot more legislation like the DREAM Act?

        What do you mean Obama never had any business in politics? I’m not sure what you mean by that.

        You also ignored my question about why, if it wasn’t to undermine the new president, did GOP lawmakers vote yes for the same law under Bush but vote against it under Obama?

        It’s funny because Obamacare is basically the same law the GOP advocated for as an alternative to Clinton’s health care plan. The individual mandate was an idea thought up and promoted at aa conservative think tank. Gingrich and many other GOP lawmakers advocated for an individual mandate. Then, all of sudden, they abandoned this policy idea they had been advocating? Why do you think the idea they supported suddenly became an unconstitutional act of tyranny?

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 12:43 am

        Err, well, if you’re really of the opinion that Obama hasn’t been insulting the GOP since 2008 on a regular basis, then there’s not much for us to discuss here. The man has literally taken people to task for not reporting on him the way he likes – he’s highly sensitive to the slightest rough and tumble and gets petulant when anyone disagrees with him. The contrast between him and Bush is remarkable – the left was calling him Chimpy McSmirk BusHitler and accusing him of being a war criminal and yet he continually held out the olive branch to the Democrats. Republicans just want a few slight modifications to Obama programs and he digs in his heels and won’t hear of it…and accuses his opponents not of reasonable disagreement but of bad faith.

      • Stuart_F December 7, 2015 / 12:59 am

        “Err, well, if you’re really of the opinion that Obama hasn’t been insulting the GOP since 2008”

        I’m of the opinion that both parties, and their leaders, have been insulting each other since I was born. This is business as usual.

        We could go back and forth on “your candidate/party said mean things to my candidate/party and isn’t being constructive” – I don’t think it gets us anywhere.

        I’m still curious why GOP members supported the DREAM Act, cap and trade legislation, and the individual mandate – yet when Obama proposed those ideas as legislation, they weren’t considered bipartisan. Why not?

      • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 1:25 am

        I’ve been an amnesty shill since 2007 – but it just isn’t possible for the GOP to go for that right now as the overwhelming majority of the GOP base is against it…but even if that weren’t the case, the DREAM of Obama and the DREAM of the GOP pre-Obama were two different things…not least of which is the absolute certainty that Obama simply would not enforce any border security provisions of a DREAM act but would make certain that the amnesty stuff is over-vigorously implemented. He’s not trustworthy on such things – sorry to bring it up, but President Pen-And-Phone has kinda burned his bridges with the GOP. Cap and Trade did have some GOP support, but it is seen now as what it was all along – just a boondoggle for various political cronies. The GOP base has gotten mighty suspicious of such deals – as is seen in the vigorous opposition to that bit of Corporate Welfare known as the Export-Import Bank. It also wasn’t so much the individual mandate which killed ObamaCare with the GOP (though Libertarian GOPers had always been opposed to it) but the whole screwed up, bankrupting mess that it turned out to be. But if Obama had any sense at all, he could have got his ObamaCare through with GOP buy-in…all he had to do was find a few “wets” to come on board, help write the thing (as he promised he would do) and, presto!, there would have been at least 5-10 GOP votes in the Senate to assist in passing it…a bi-partisan bill hung around the GOP’s neck forever. But by excluding all GOP participation in writing the thing up, he just invited lock-step GOP opposition to it. That was just dumb.

        We Republicans are rather pleased, long term, in how that came out because it was Obama’s determination to ram through the ObamaCare legislation by raw, political power rather than bi-partisan compromise which has led to the melt-down of the Democrat party in the United States. You might not have noticed it, but while Obama has been President the Democrat party has been crushed into irrelevance in most of the nation…still hanging on to California, and thus always having a good shot at the White House, but shut out most elsewhere and even not having too good a chance of winning the Senate next year, even though the Democrats only have 8 seats at risk and need a mere 5 net gain to win a Senate majority (and if Hillary does win the White House in 2016, the blowout at the Congressional and State level against the Democrats in 2018 will make 2014 look like nothing; Hillary in there and we might get a filibuster proof Senate majority and north of 300 House seats).

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 2:29 pm

        Stuart, it’s not that you, yourself, are insufferably boring, as much as the fact that your chosen subject matter IS. We have been subjected to exactly the same tired old arguments, over and over, and you have brought nothing new to the table.

        You are either truly new to the blog and rather giddy about having a place to trot out the things that matter most to you, so you can admire them and hopefully get someone else to think they are pretty cool, too, or you are a recycled troll trying to get blog space by posing as a polite person instead of the rampaging insultmeister persona that gets you kicked off whenever you surface.

        The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. You are really accomplishing nothing here but firming up the perception that the average Lib’s interest in what he thinks of as “politics” is embarrassingly shallow and superficial, focusing on personalities and dependent on Identity Politics. With all the many words you have dumped on this blog, there has not been one that addresses how best to govern the nation, not one that deals with the real problems this nation is facing and what we might be able to do about any of them till we get the Great Pretender out of office, not one about what any of your side might do to make things better.

        It might make you feel better to be able to make your points, but you have to accept the fact that here, where we not only know better but have refuted each of these points so often we find it boring, they come across as exactly what they are—superficial fluff trying to masquerade as serious political discourse. Mommies and Daddies might have to pretend awe and amazement when Junior comes home from school all excited about the decimal point, but grownups on a political blog don’t have to do the same when a different Junior barges in babbling the same old garbage we have dealt with, packaged up and taken out so many times already, just because it is new and exciting to HIM.

        You seem to think you have an inherent right to occupy space on this blog, with your retreads of tired old Leftist babble, when you say that if we find you tiresome we just don’t have to read you. Wrong. You have to earn space here, and you don’t do it by recycling old themes no matter how passionate you may be in defending them.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 3:35 pm

        Cluster, the Left has to include any and all multiple gun death events as “mass shootings”, so they can include the horrific gun violence and high death count in the Democrat-ruled, gun-controlled, minority gang shootings that take placed literally every day in this country. It is interesting to see the machinations of the Leftist mind, as they try to shift black shootings of other blacks as really just examples of “mass shootings”. The problem with this effort is that it then touches on the forbidden subject of Islamic foundations for nearly all of the REAL mass shootings.

        They are just stumbling around, inventing one meme and then tripping over it when it conflicts with another. It’s a case of “Curly, Moe and Larry draft a political narrative”.

        The only value I can see in having Stuart on the blog is his (I am sure inadvertent) display of Leftist silliness. For example, he tries to cast aspersions on the Right with his effort to bring up the dreaded “birther” meme—as if there is not, and never was, any merit in wanting to be sure we were following the Constitution when we held an election for the presidency. At heart, their ridicule is really ridicule of people who take the rules seriously and think the country has to be run according to the rules. They were so shrill, so hysterical, so over-the-top in their objections, all they did was convince a lot of people they really WERE trying to hide something. The whole thing took on the large presence it held only because of the strident efforts to shut down inquiries, and the subsequent lies that surfaced.

        I think a lot of facts have come out in the interim, if not proven then certainly well supported by the evidence—that according to more recent rulings in various courts, including that if Obama’s mother was a citizen and his father had been a resident of the United States, he would have been a citizen at birth even if born abroad. But in addition to that, there is the fact that he was not brought up as an American but in foreign nations by an anti-American mother, and even when he did live in the United States he was brought up by America-hating grandparents who entrusted a great deal of his education and influence to a radically anti-American Communist. That matters. That is important.

        What is and was significant is and was the refusal to submit any college records, linked with the other questions about how he identified himself. It is not the fault of the Right that he repeatedly and often told people he was born in Kenya, and even put this in his bio for his publisher, or that Michelle said the same thing. It is not the fault of the Right that he managed to travel to Pakistan when Americans were not allowed to go there, raising the question of what nation’s passport he traveled under—–it was and is a legitimate question. It is not the fault of the Right that he has used several Social Security numbers.

        No, Stuart and your fellow travelers, it is not that there is a complaint that Obama was not born in Hawaii, it is that there are so many contradictions and mysteries and outright lies about his history that he has refused to address that make him look, at the very best, like a liar who is trying to hide SOMETHING. It’s the fact that you don’t go out of your way to hide something if there is nothing to hide. And, while you people seemed to think that screeching RACISM at the top of your lungs would keep people from asking questions, and did achieve a certain level of success in shutting down honest queries, the end result is that all you did was add to the body of suspicion.

        But…it is water under the bridge. You and your kind got an unvetted, anti-American, radical Leftist into the White House. I don’t blame Obama for what he has done, I blame you and your kind. Every Obama voter has responsibility for the problems this nation is facing right now. You can try all you want to discredit criticism of Obama, but there is nothing you can do to excuse what YOU did, in reelecting him. There was a small bit of understanding for the first election, the fact that so many Americans are gullible and easily led and thought that putting a black man in the White House would prove to the world that this is not a racist nation. But after four years of Obama misery, to reelect him is simply unforgivable.

        Now we want to make sure we know who we are electing. If Obama’s presidency is going to have one lasting positive effect, it is that we now know we can’t put another invetted mystery in the White House, we can’t elect another person who dislikes this country and wants to diminish it, and we can’t elect another proponent of an always-failed political system.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 3:55 pm

        I’m sorry you feel that way. I genuinely want to have a respectful discussion with non-liberals about politics and issues we both believe are important. If I bring up something you don’t find to be important, please ignore it. I’m not insisting we talk about anything that anyone thinks isn’t important.

        I’m curious why other people believe the things they do, and am curious what common ground we can find. If you have no interest in this, feel free to ignore me.

        If you think my comments have shown I’m not here to do what I just described, please tell me how I could write differently. I haven’t attacked or insulted anyone personally, I try to focus on the ideas themselves. I don’t call anyone’s thoughts babble or dumb, even if I disagree with them.

        “You can try all you want to discredit criticism of Obama, but there is nothing you can do to excuse what YOU did, in reelecting him.”

        I don’t think all criticism of Obama are wrong or deserve to be discredited. I’ll give you an area – I think his policy about CMU (Communication Management Units) in federal prisons is very bad. It’s basically a secretive way of penalizing prisoners with excessively harsh restrictions due to their political beliefs rather than their threat of the prison population. You might see this as not important, but it is to me, and I think Obama is doing a terrible job here. I can list some other areas he has done a terrible job.

        I think the bombing of the MSF hospital is a major issue that the DoD has not sufficiently explained. It’s potentially a war crime, and I believe war crimes should be taken seriously and not dismissed.

        I have even more complaints about Hillary, which is why she is not my choice for the Democratic nominee. Most important to me is her vote on Iraq.

        Perhaps we have some common ground in those criticisms, perhaps not. If you tell me a GOP candidate you support, I can probably tell you things I admire about them and would like to see the Democrats embrace.

        I’ll give one example now: I love that Rand Paul returns excess money he’s entitled to for his Senate office budget back to the Treasury each year. Senators get a wasteful, bloated amount of money to make their offices more luxurious, and it’s unnecessary. I wish other Senators, including Democrats, would follow his example.

        Again, if you think I’m simply a troll, or a mindless partisan, please feel free to ignore me. I won’t be offended. If you think my comments are really bad, also feel free to ask to the blog author to ban me. I won’t be offended by that either.

    • Amazona December 5, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Stuart, we know that a lot of people are blindly loyal to their fantasy of what Hlllary Clinton is, whose grasp of information is so shallow that they have a vague idea that she is a great person. But even a lot of Hillary fans are turning their backs on her. I think we are rapidly approaching the point where “most” Dems DON’T like her.

      Because Liberalism is so emotion-based, I think Hillary has gotten a pass on a lot of her antics because the ox she has gored has been an ox the Left likes to see gored. So she gamed the system and scammed $100,000 in the futures market? Buncha capitalist scum deserved it. That kind of excuse-making. But lying to the face of a bereaved parent about why a child has been killed, knowing it is a lie and furthermore that you could have prevented the death—-that’s harder to overlook. Lying about those emails? The ones who don’t know what this is about say it’s no big deal, just a partisan witch hunt, but anyone who pays attention HAS to wonder why it would be a good idea to have a president who engages in such bald-faced lying, and on top of that lying to cover up gross and blatant disregard for national security.

      I think the scope of Hillary misdeeds has become too broad to be ignored by all but the most ignorant and diehard fans. But I didn’t think as many would give Obama a second chance after he was proved to be both a liar and a dismal failure, and look what we got stuck with for another four miserable years.

      • Stuart_F December 5, 2015 / 6:01 pm

        @Amazona

        “I think we are rapidly approaching the point where “most” Dems DON’T like her.”

        Do you have any evidence to support this, or is this just your gut instinct? I tend to trust data and evidence over the instincts of anonymous strangers on the internet.

        I think your personal animosity against Hillary and strong interest in politics is blinding you to what the average person thinks about her. I’m aware of her suspect and profitable history of trading commodities futures several decades ago. But how many non-GOP voters do you think know of that? 1%, maybe 2%?

        And even if they knew, would they really care? Her husband committed perjury and he still remained very popular. George W. Bush did illegal drugs decades ago, but most people just don’t care.

      • Amazona December 5, 2015 / 7:15 pm

        “I tend to trust data and evidence over the instincts of anonymous strangers on the internet.”

        Meow. Let’s take a short break while you have a saucer of milk.

        OK. Ready? Just three quick references, out of many. It’s not hard, Stuart—I just went to Google and entered “Loss of Dem support for Hillary”. I’m sure a more focused search would come up with a lot more—but maybe that is just an “instinct”. Instinctive emphasis mine.

        “COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hillary Rodham Clinton is suffering a rapid erosion of support among Democratic women — the voters long presumed to be the bedrock in her bid to become the nation’s first female president.

        The numbers in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll are an alarm siren: Where 71 percent of Democratic-leaning female voters said in July that they expected to vote for Clinton, only 42 percent do now, a drop of 29 percentage points in eight weeks.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-sharp-erosion-in-clinton-support-among-democratic-women

        “A Reuters/Ipsos poll released today found that only 45 percent of Democrats say they support Hillary, a nearly 15-point drop since last month. And yet, for some reason, Reuters seems to be downplaying the news contained in its own poll.

        When the leading candidate loses 15 percent of her support, that’s significant. So how does Reuters convey the big news? They start by not mentioning it in the headline. Instead of highlighting Hillary’s collapse, Reuters goes with, “Many Democrats want independent Clinton email probe.” That is a result contained in the poll but it’s clearly not the big news here. If anything, it’s likely the cause of the actual news.

        Reuters does know what that big news is here. Despite not using it in the headline, the story itself opens, “Democrats’ support is softening for Hillary Clinton, their party’s presumed 2016 presidential front-runner…” which brings us to the other problem with this story. Softening? If we were looking at a 4-5 points dip in a month, that might be called “softening.” A 15-point drop is bailing out.

        Put another way, Hillary has lost about a quarter of her total support among Democrats since mid-February.”

        http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/03/19/dems-bail-on-hillary-in-droves-reuters-says-her-support-is-softening

        “……..a series of local and national polls show that Clinton’s strength among Democratic women voters has continued to steadily, and in some cases, precipitously erode as her campaign has become bogged down in questions over use of a private email server and Sen. Bernie Sanders has risen on a wave of populist support that the Clinton camp had mostly dismissed or ignored.

        The latest bad news for Clinton came last week from the NBC News/Marist poll Sanders Leads Clinton by 9 in N.H., Gains in Iowa: Poll, which showed Clinton losing to Sanders by nine percentage points in New Hampshire, thanks mostly a huge drop in Clinton’s female support.

        Although Clinton still held onto women by seven points, her lead among women there is down 16 points since July. The same holds true in Iowa, where Clinton’s lead among Democratic women shrank 24 points between July and September. A previous PPP poll showed Clinton losing New Hampshire women to Sanders by three points.”

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/13/why-are-women-ditching-hillary

      • Amazona December 5, 2015 / 7:23 pm

        Stuart, if Hillary’s support depended on a lot of people understanding how she claimed to make $100,000 in cattle futures, you’re right, it would be a non-issue. But as I have commented in other posts, different things resonate with different people, and Hillary’s list of misdeeds is so long and so complete that there is something there for everyone. From Whitewater to finding “missing” papers in the family residence in the White House to having long-time travel office people fired (and falsely accused of misdeeds as a coverup) so friends could get the job all the way through the Bimbo Eruptions and then claiming to be under enemy fire going into Iraq, being named after mountain climber Edmund Hillary, to ignoring pleas for help from her staff and then lying about why they died, to the email server lies and more lies and coverup, she has a trail of lies going back 40 years. The cattle futures are the least of it, and pale in comparison to ongoing campaign funds from China, and Pay to Play as Secretary of State.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 11:20 am

        Will you agree that there’s no evidence that soon most Democrats disliking Hillary as you predicted? Or do you have any recent favorability polls that show even 30% of Democrats disliking her?

        In 2008, she was called “inevitable” to win the nomination and beat out other nominees. I would argue that none of the things you mentioned led to her losing to Obama. Most of the things you mentioned had been well known for many years by 2008. She lost because in large part because of her vote on Iraq and Obama’s argument that she represented politics as usual and he would represent something new.

        Obama opposed the Iraq war, while Clinton supported Bush, and Democrats wanted a break from Bush. Hillary didn’t offer as big of a break from the Bush administration, and she lost. It wasn’t because of Whitewater or cattle futures. Again, only hardcore politicos know about that stuff and care about it.

        There’s no evidence that 2016 is any different. Sure, the very small number of people who are really into politics may learn about commodities traders or about Edmund Hillary and cause them to change their mind. But again, there are plenty of Democrats who don’t think Bill Clinton is an honest, trustworthy person with no scandals – but they still like him and he has high approval ratings in the Democratic party. The same is true for Hillary.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 2:13 pm

        Stuart, please do not try the old Lefty tactic of shifting into semantics instead of arguing the actual point. You are one short step from getting into “what the meaning of LIKES is” territory.

        Suffice it to say that Hillary’s support is bleeding away, and this when she is up against no one more challenging that Bernie SANDERS, of all people. The only significance of the polls is that they show that many Dems are looking for another Dem, instead of Hillary, to carry the flag.

        The next step will be how she stacks up against a named Republican opponent. So far, she is polling behind all four top Republicans—Trump, Carson, Cruz and Rubio.

        So much will have to happen before there can be a true analysis of how the public is viewing Hillary as a presidential contender—more on the email scandal, for example, and what comes out about how she handled, or mishandled, Benghazi, and the Pay to Play thing (which has only been touched upon) and her courting of foreign money and how well she does against a Republican in a debate and how much other Hillary dirt surfaces, and how well she handles the stress of having to explain herself, and on and on and on.

        A skilled presidential opponent will be able to stress what I have said, about the campaign really being a job interview, and her unbroken history of incompetence in every job she has had will have to have an effect, at least on the thinkers if not the emoters.

        I know you think you are being a good debater by nitpicking and demanding more and more evidence, blah blah blah. However, you are really just being tiresome. See Cluster’s analysis of your posts for an explanation of this.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 2:32 pm

        “Suffice it to say that Hillary’s support is bleeding away, and this when she is up against no one more challenging that Bernie SANDERS, of all people.”

        I think you’re under the impression that I’m a Hillary voter. I’m not! I thought Obama was a better choice in 2008, and I think Bernie is a better choice in 2016. I’d actually like to believe your prediction that most Democrats will soon dislike Hillary. But there’s simply no evidence to believe that is imminent. As I showed, 75% of Democrats currently like Hillary, while only 15% dislike her. Do you think I should accept your opinion as true and agree with it without seeing convincing evidence? I’m not “demanding” evidence, I’m simply saying that I would need to see evidence that persuades me of your claim for me to agree with it. You are free to ignore me and stop writing in this thread. I will not be offended.

        If you think Democrats are turning against Hillary, do you think she’ll lose the nomination to Bernie? The betting markets don’t seem to agree. If you’re confident that she won’t win the White House, you can actually make a lot of money by wagering on your beliefs.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 3:07 pm

        Stuart, I don’t care who gets the Dem nomination. I think Sanders is a loon, and would love to have a Republican run against him. No, I am not going to get into a “debate” on why I think he is a loon. Suffice it to say that he is the only member of Congress so committed to the always-failed political model of Socialism that he openly identifies himself as a Socialist. I don’t care if Hillary gets the nomination, as it will do nothing more than further solidify the perception that Dems don’t care about anything but Identity Politics.

        You told us exactly what to think of you, and your political savvy, when you say you preferred Obama and now prefer Sanders. Unless you want to start a new line of posts and explain, in POLITICAL terms, just why Obama’s political model was, and is, the better way to govern the nation, rather than the Constitutional model, just let it lie, as the statement itself says pretty much what there is to say.

        You’ve taken up a lot of blog space, and said pretty much nothing. You have been snarky about my use of all caps and extra exclamation marks, yet I am sure you would have been quite dismissive of any comments I might have made on your errors—not choices of how to express yourself, but outright mistakes (“… you’re analysis said ,,,”) Oh, let me guess, you really intended to say “..you are analysis..” and were not the victim of the dreaded Rogue Apostrophe.

        Basically, the only difference between you and the banned trolls is that you have maintained a level of civility, at least so far, in spite of some mild forays into snottiness.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 3:39 pm

        @Amazona – I’ll readily admit to making typos and errors in grammar. I try not to, but I type pretty fast and don’t edit much. And I don’t know much about proper grammar, either. I find that subject pretty boring, and I would avoid a comment thread about it.

        I didn’t bring up your use of caps and question marks out of nowhere or just to be rude. You accused me of being emotional rather than dispassionate in my analysis, while you were the latter. I only brought up your rhetorical style to say that I disagreed, and thought your caps and question marks were more indicative of emotion than my writing. But that’s just my opinion.

        And I got the impression you think arguing with emotion is inherently bad. I don’t think using only emotion is bad. I don’t know much about the trio of ethos (trust/credibility), logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) – but I do agree they are all important and have their role, even in political debates. So even though I thought your comments had more emotion than mine, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I didn’t intend it to come across as an attack or to denigrate your arguments, just that I disagree that your rhetoric was free of emotion.

        Someone mentioned I feel entitled to be on this blog. I promise I do not. This is someone’s blog – they get to decide who gets to comment and who doesn’t. If there are comment rules or guidelines that I’m violating, I’ll gladly read them and abide by them. And if the author wants to block or ban for any reason, or even no reason, they are free to! I wouldn’t say that’s not fair or allowed. It’s their blog, I have no say in how they run it.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 4:03 pm

        If you like people to speak in monotones,with no emphasis or inflection, then I can see why you want people to write that way. Remember that when Bernie starts hollering, or Hillary’s shrill tones have dogs howling in three counties. Emphasis is not necessarily the same as emotion, by the way. And while I do have emotions, my political philosophy is analytical, and so are most of my arguments.

        I say “most” because there are bound to be some that are more tinged with emotional content, such as preferences rather than analyses. I freely admit, for example, that some of my antipathy toward Donald Trump is just that he creeps me out.

  8. Amazona December 6, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    Japan Japan Japan Japan Japan. blahblahblahblahblah.

    If Japan had developed into the nation it is today after a history of gun ownership by many of its citizens, and now had millions of guns in the country, many of them in the hands of criminals, perhaps a comparison to Japan might be relevant.

    As it is, it is just annoying parroting of an irrelevant statistic.

    Thank you for admitting that your claim of the number of “mass shootings” is inaccurate, based on any shooting of four or more people, a figure easily met by many gang shootings. Take the number of stranger shootings, where someone has planned and then carried out a plan to take guns into a public place to shoot strangers, and that number drops considerably. At that point it also puts the U.S. behind several other countries, including one that has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world.

    So, Stuart, keep on fretting about those big mean scary guns and the people who have them, and ignore the social structure created by the Left which has resulted in fatherless black children easily recruited into gangs, and responsible for most of the gun violence that has your panties in a wad.

    Keep misstating serious conversations about elements that appear to CONTRIBUTE to a culture of violence in this country, as REASONS for it, so you can set up straw men to knock down. Keep on complaining about irrelevant stuff like the use of all caps in a word, or extra punctuation, and using this to lay claim to a more mature and disciplined style of discourse. In other words, keep on being just another typical Lefty, shouting your memorized cant into the wind and pretending this makes you part of serious political discourse.

    OR…..drop the stereotypical Lefty bleating and get serious.

    What about the Socialist political model makes you think it is the best way to govern the United States? What would you do about the fact that this model is antithetical to our Consitution and every aspect of the founding philosophy of this country? Can you name a nation that has been governed under the Socialist model that has increased the personal liberty of its citizens, increased its standard of living, and resulted in economic prosperity?

    That is just for starters, you understand. A lot more demanding than just rehashing old Lefty complaints about “birthers” and whingeing about the use of capital letters, but hey, that’s what happens if you want to get out of Playpen Politics and fanboy swooning, and do some serious thinking.

    • Cluster December 6, 2015 / 4:08 pm

      ….and ignore the social structure created by the Left which has resulted in fatherless black children easily recruited into gangs, and responsible for most of the gun violence

      Game. Set. Match.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:02 pm

        You’ve stated that black people are responsible for most of our gun violence. So I’m curious why states with very, very low black populations (Montana, Idaho, the Dakotas) have rates of gun violence that are far higher than the rest of the industrialized world? Why do you think that is?

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 6:23 pm

        Not just “black PEOPLE” but black gang members and criminals.

        What is your source of information about the alleged high rate of gun violence in, as you say, Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas?

        Regarding eastern Montana and the Dakotas, the explosion of oil exploration in those areas resulted in boom towns reminiscent of the old Wild West, until things settled down a little and it was possible to weed out a lot of the bad element. Aside from that, I have no idea what you are talking about.

        And what is this obsession with “the rest of the industrialized world”? This preoccupation with other nations seems to be an identifying feature of the Left.

        A note in passing: I used to spend a lot of time in the U.K. and constantly ran into people horrified by what they thought of as the out of control gun violence in the U.S. Yet long before we had any terrorist attacks in this country, in every museum, every public place, I had to have my bag searched for weapons and bombs. Everywhere I went there were posters about watching for unattended bags and packages. One day I strolled down the street following the Horse Guard on its way to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and the next day a bomb went off in a parked car right where I had been walking, killing people and horses. I used to walk a lot, and liked to walk down Oxford Street to Hyde Park and walk around the park, and on one visit had to pick a different route because a bomb had gone off in the doorway of an Oxford Street shop the night before. I went to a pub in the country that had been bombed a couple of weeks earlier.

        In France, I had the same experiences with having bags searched and seeing posters warning of unattended bags. My hotel had an armed guard standing by the front door.

        The thing is, Europe is pretty complacent about its history of terrorist bombings, and has reserved its hand wringing for guns because they are not familiar with guns. Personally, I would rather deal with gunmen than bombs. Maybe that’s just me.

        In Peru, my hotel had just been rebuilt after a bombing, and businesses and private homes I visited were guarded by men armed with fully automatic machine guns. In El Salvador, my hosts and friends had to travel in armored vehicles, and we were always accompanied by armed guards.

        In other words, I have been closer to violence in every country I have visited than I have in a lifetime in the United States. I have lived in big cities and in ranch country in Wyoming and traveled pretty extensively all over the country, often by myself or with a couple of employees when I showed horses around the country. It was in Vancouver, BC, where I was stopped at a roadblock by police looking for gunmen who had just committed an armed robbery.

        So I am not swayed by your constant parroting of things you have never experienced, and which have nothing to do with any personal experience of my own or anyone I know.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:39 pm

        I think we value different kinds of evidence, and we’ll just agree to disagree. Based on what you said, you seem to value anecdotal evidence. I tend to put more emphasis on statistical evidence.

        “Not just “black PEOPLE” but black gang members and criminals.”

        I don’t want to be annoying, but I don’t know if you mean “black gang members and black criminals” or “black gang members and (all races) criminals”.

        I would have to agree that “criminals” are responsible for gun violence. But if you’re limiting it to criminals in the black population, I’d again disagree because of the example of states with very low black populations.

        I get my statistics from the FBI on gun homicide rate by state, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls

        I get my stats on gun homicides by other countries from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, although you can find it from other country law enforcement sites as well.

        The overwhelmingly white states have gun homicide rates much higher than other countries. To me, this contradicts your assertion about why we have a lot of gun crime, but I’m open to hear your explanation of this.

      • Amazona December 7, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Stuart

        I don’t care about other countries. For one thing, I just pointed out in some detail the fact that in many countries people are killed by bombs.

        For another, there are many ways to kill people. According to your chart, for example, nearly half of all the reported homicides in Texas, which has a high homicide rate, were due to weapons other than guns—541 were due to the use of knives, other weapons, or simply being beaten to death. Several of the high-homicide states are border states with big crime problems due to illegals coming in with guns, establishing gangs, and in general creating havoc that can’t be blamed on American citizens. Many of the states are homes to gangs, such as Illinois and Maryland, and we have addressed the gang issue many times. Your link serves to illustrate the well-known maxim that raw data are not really very helpful without further analysis.

        I understand that you are completely convinced that if we could only stop more people from buying more guns, legally, from this point forward, we would be able to cut down on the number of killings in this country every year—-and maybe be able to get on a countries-comparison chart that would make you happier. I get it.

        I only point out that (1) we are already reducing the number of homicides in this country, as shown by MY link, and (2) it is gross oversimplification to blame only guns for the rates we do see. The propensity of any country, state or city to have large numbers of homicides is dependent on many causes, not just access to firearms, as your own chart proves.

        We have to be careful of assuming causes. While you choose to assume that it is access to firearms that is the cause of so many deaths, others coming at the problem from different directions might find different contributing factors. There is the dehumanization of being part of a Dependent Class, its stripping away of a lot of human dignity due to the realization that most other people earn what they have and you just hold out your hand for someone else to fill it. There is the breakdown of the family unit, with its attendant lack of role models, discipline and supervision. There is the culture that glamorizes violence and uses gruesome death as entertainment, whether in movies, on TV, or in video games, and the fact that this desensitizes people to the horror of inflicting death on others. There is the lack of belief in a Higher Power and its attendant belief of punishment for wrongdoing. And so on.

        It may be tempting to believe that if people did not have guns they would not have killed anyone, therefore reducing the number of deaths, but that would be a false conclusion. People who want to kill people kill people. The focus on the weapon overlooks the most obvious and important factor in any homicide. It is not “how”, it is “why”. Deal with the “why” and the “how” will be less important.

        The thing is, superficial thinking leads to focusing on one, and only one, aspect of the “how” to the exclusion of everything else, without taking into account really significant factors. That, and constant fretting about “the rest of the world” lead to a lot of mental confusion and emotional turmoil over a perceived problem, and to a desire for what seems like a quick fix.

    • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      “Thank you for admitting that your claim of the number of “mass shootings” is inaccurate”

      I never admitted that because I never made an inaccurate claim. In fact, I expressly prefaced my statistic by saying the statistic will depend on the definition you use, then I provided the definition of “mass shooting” along with the correct data point that fits the definition I provided. I even said if you use a narrower definition, you’ll get a lower number.

      “so you can set up straw men to knock down”

      What straw man am I knocking down? I honestly try to engage with the arguments put forward to me, and not misrepresent anyone’s views.

      “Keep on complaining about irrelevant stuff like the use of all caps in a word, or extra punctuation”

      Again, I wasn’t complaining about it. I was responding to an assertion that my arguments were emotional, and I was pointing out that I thought the asserter’s rhetorical style was more emotional than mine. If you want to call my disagreement “complaining” – then that’s fine. You are welcome to describe all of my opinions and ideas as “complaints.” But it was not intended to be a complaint.

      “What about the Socialist political model makes you think it is the best way to govern the United States?”

      Well, I don’t think there is any one Socialist political model, just like there isn’t just one Capitalist political model. The socialists running Jacobin mag will eagerly tell you that Bernie doesn’t represent real socialism, and I imagine many on this blog would disagree and say he does.

      So to give some concrete examples – I think the USSR and Cuba are bad models to follow. Lack of democracy and human rights, economic freedom, those are some flaws just to name a few. But what about the models of Norway, Sweden, Denmark? Well libertarian researchers have rated their economy as being more free and capitalist than the USA. They are home to enormous corporations that have done very well in the global capitalist economy. Those countries have low poverty rates, lower crime, etc.

      Now, you are free to dismiss those examples either by saying they are too small and different to compare to the USA, or maybe you think they are socialist hell holes. I don’t know. But in my opinion, given their economic and other successes, I’d say they are good models to learn from.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 6:32 pm

        Setting aside the quibbling about details—please explain the “different socialist models” you refer to. How are they different from, say, those of Cuba and the USSR?

        You mention Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as socialist nations that unnamed “libertarians” have found to be “more free and capitalist than the USA.” In what way? Which freedoms are limited in the U.S. by its restrictive regulations and other intrusions into the personal lives and business of the citizens by the government, for example?

        One thing I notice about all Libs who try to argue politics is their ignorance of the structure of the Constitution—that is, the fact that the limitations on government interference in the lives of citizens is limited to the federal government, while states can do whatever they want to. I think it is a better comparison to compare these tiny countries with individual states in the U.S. than to the nation as a whole.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 6:38 pm

        Rather than abstract comparisons to tiny nations with little in common with the United States in terms of area, population, etc., how about just looking at this country for a change?

        What would you change about the government of this country to make it, in your opinion, work better? Instead of all this general speechifying about other countries, and unnamed sources of questionable information, why not just get to what we should really be talking about?

        For example, do you think the country is best governed by a federal government which is severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most of the authority left to the states or the people, or do think the federal government should have no restrictions on the expansion of its scope, size and power, with relatively little power left to the states? That is the basic question that has to be answered because it is at the heart of actual politics IN THIS COUNTRY.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 6:39 pm

        And no, emphasis is not the same thing as emotion. Your definitions and impressions are yours alone, and not necessarily related to reality.

  9. Amazona December 6, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    The appropriate post group is getting too long to manage so I am moving my responses down here.

    Stuart, if you want to talk about politics, then talk about politics, not about people. If you want to talk about issues you are probably wasting time and blog space, as most issue positions are emotion based and it is not likely any minds will be changed.

    But….if you want to talk about issues then let’s get into some that are avoided by most. How about the one I mentioned, the social structure created by our policies that has impacted black families more than any other, and resulted in a broken culture that has resulted in fatherless black children easily recruited into gangs, and responsible for most of the gun violence? How about drug testing for welfare recipients?

    As there is no reason for anyone to be hungry in this country, given the number of social programs, why are any children hungry? What would you do to or with parents who have access to food for their families, who choose to use money for things like drugs, alcohol, tattoos, piercings, new cell phones, etc?

    Do you think handing our money will cure poverty? Do you think supporting people who are capable of supporting themselves is a positive thing, with positive benefits?

    Try addressing the War On Poverty, its costs, its failure to end poverty, the effect of creating a Dependent Class rather than advancing an economic policy that will not create jobs, because that is not the business of government, but will create an environment conducive to people creating jobs?

    What is your position on the low interest rate set by the Fed, and how raising it would have either a positive or negative impact on the economy, on our national debt, etc.

    That’s it for now—–Broncos are on

  10. Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    In case anyone is wondering, I actually have two political ideas that I’m passionate about that you may just agree with me about. (But you may disagree or think they are terribly unimportant and uninteresting)

    1) Getting rid of obsolete laws and regulations. The GOP legislature in Michigan recently passed a bill that would repeal a lot of outdated laws. Gov. Snyder is weighing whether to sign it. We have so many laws and regulations on the books that both GOP and Dems can agree are silly and should be repealed.

    A good example is a regulation that government contractors must certify they are Y2K compliant in order to win a government contract. Some agencies have not repealed this law, others like NASA, only eliminated this regulation a few years ago. These silly regulations might not sound like much, but they do eat away at people’s time, money, and resources.

    Obviously people care about bigger issues like Social Security and Medicare reform, but I like getting involved at the state and local level where things are more likely to happen and get done.

    2) I want blue cities to liberalize zoning regulations and stop blocking new development. NIMBYism is a huge problem and driving up housing costs. It’s a simple problem of supply and demand, and we are blocking housing from being built. It’s a liberty issue too, since we are telling people what they cannot build on their own land. This is why housing prices in DC and San Francisco are through the roof and hurting middle class families.

    Since Democrats control most city legislatures in the biggest cities – this is something they are responsible for and need to fix.

    I think local and state governments have a lot of power, and I think it’s important to speak up for liberty and good governance at that level and not just the national level.

    • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      Stuart, I happen to agree with both of your ideas. Interestingly, they correlate to reducing the intervention of government into the lives and businesses of citizens.

      Going back to your reference to Scandinavian countries as good models of government (presumably good models for OUR government): If we were a tiny nation, with a population smaller than that of most New England states, with an overwhelmingly homogeneous population that is nearly all white, nearly all Christian, speaking the same language, and nearly all well educated, something kind of similar to the governmental models of those Scandinavian countries might be feasible. But we need to take some other things into consideration, such as historical culture. These are nations with histories of feudalism and monarchies: That is, these are people born to the concept of government being all powerful and the source of food, housing and employment. These are nations of people with similar values: The family, education, productivity, order.

      I don’t know how a nation like this can be compared to a massive, sprawling, newish nation comprised of so many different cultures, histories, value sets, languages, backgrounds, educational goals and achievements, work ethics and overall characters.

      This particular nation, which is after all the one we should be discussing, was based upon the observations, reflections and ideas of an unusually talented group of men. It was based upon a shared abhorrence of tyranny, and a shared determination to avoid this at all costs. Therefore, they wrote a daring and radical new blueprint designed to accommodate the vagaries of the population of this new nation, and the heart and soul of this blueprint is one device after another specifically crafted to head off efforts to establish a powerful Central Authority. It left a wide range of opportunities for the individual states, as determined by their own local governments, but it left no room at all for the establishment of a monarchy, no matter what it might be called.

      That is, it specifically forbade the making of any law by anyone other that the formal legislative body, spreading authority among three individual branches of government designed to act as checks and balances on each other. And it quite clearly and explicitly kept the federal government out of any aspect of charity, limiting it to administration and protection. It established a large umbrella of protection and administration, in the form of the federal government, and then gave states the ability to enact laws that could involve the government in areas that might be considered areas of virtue—compassion, charity, generosity, whatever you might want to call it.

      When I argue politics on this blog, I argue federal politics. I also may argue with some emotion, but what you don’t seem to grasp is the difference between holding a position based on emotion and arriving at a position after analysis and thought and then supporting it with passion. It is my observation that most Libs, if not all, have established their political identities and positions based on how they FEEL, rather than on objective analysis of all the data available. There is a difference, and your posts indicate that you don’t know that difference.

      A reasonable discussion would start with the agreement that both sides want the same things, and that the differences are based on how to achieve them. This doesn’t happen when we talk to Libs, because we run into the brick wall that if we don’t agree with the Lib approach to how to address childhood hunger that means we don’t care if children starve. Conservatives want to help those who need help, but want to do it within the boundaries of our Constitution, because we believe that any erosion of its principles and stated delegations and restrictions will lead to more and more such weakening of the structure of law that made this nation great.

      If this is not understood by a Lib, then there is no reason to even try to talk with him, because it will just be spinning our wheels. I think of it as a tree—-it has its roots, and it has the main trunk, and without those being intact and strong and functional the big branches, the little branches, the twigs and the leaves are not very important. So I have no interest in discussing little branches, twigs or leaves, and for damned sure not leaves that fell to the ground years ago, such as Iraq and “birthers”. Or Hillary vs Sanders. Or any of the other issues that dominate what Libs call political discourse.

      • Stuart_F December 6, 2015 / 8:11 pm

        Before I respond in more depth, I wanted to note what you said about Scandinavians being “nearly all Christian.”

        This is not true. Scandinavians are some of the most non-religious and least Christian in Europe.

        When asked in 2010 if they believe in God, here’s how many in each country said yes:

        Sweden – 18%
        Norway – 22%
        Finland – 33%
        Denmark – 28%

        (Iceland is also in that range if you want to include them. The EU average is about 50%)

        Even the most religious, Finland, with 33% believing in God, are nowhere close to being “nearly all Christian.” I’m happy to provide the link to the poll, or share other polls showing the same.

        I agree with other parts of your post, but definitely not that one. Many people on the right claim a society cannot be peaceful or prosperous without believing in God – and the example of the Scandinavian countries tell me otherwise. I will not lump you into that group (unless you want to be) because I know I dislike being lumped in what a political group that I don’t always agree with or share their views.

        If you have polls that show nearly all Scandinavians are Christians, I will of course be glad to check those out.

      • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 9:30 pm

        OK, culturally and historically Christian, though creeping secularism has eroded that historical affiliation. However, not believing in God at all is still something of a neutral, as opposed to the conflicts among wildly different religions such as Christianity and Islam.

    • Amazona December 6, 2015 / 7:51 pm

      What I hope is the last reference to Scandinavia—I pulled this up so I might as well post it. I offer it not to expand the argument about which nation is better run, just to show that there are plenty of arguments that are not in the “This Is The Best Model” vein. My own emphasis.

      “….. there is more that sets Scandinavia apart. So far we have looked at fairly clear-cut correlations of quantifiable numbers between zero and one. But might policy and politics be downstream from culture? Well, that certainly appears to be the case once we look at Scandinavian culture. Scandinavians trust their fellow citizens. They think poor people have typically been unlucky instead of lazy. They vote actively and participate in civil society. They respect the rule of law, and they donate to charity. Professor Kleven recognizes all of these things, and ultimately chooses not to guess what causes what.Yet for the ambitions of American progressives, that distinction matters very much. If all of these things are so precisely because the Scandinavian countries are small and homogeneous and have been that way for quite some time, then there is not much to be learned from this Scandinavian business. The Scandinavians themselves seem quite confident that they know the answer: culture matters and that their countries are small and homogeneous matters.”

      http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/12/18/why-sweden-denmark-and-norway-have-high-taxes-and-still-show-up-to-work

      According to Diamond and Saez, Sweden’s tax revenues should have grown faster than the rest of Europe as it raised its tax rates to unprecedented heights. In fact, Sweden’s growth of government revenues was one quarter less than the OECD average. We have plenty of anecdotes to explain why. More than half of Sweden’s billionaires live abroad according to Forbes. ABBA joined tennis star Bjorn Borg, film maker Ingmar Bergman, and many other Swedish notables abroad when the Swedish government took 85 percent of their earnings. The Swedes voted with their feet. We do not know how many, but each departure lowered tax revenues.

      Diamond and Saez should note that Sweden’s high marginal tax rates (and the associated Swedish welfare system) had a disastrous effect on economic growth. From 1850 to 1950, Swedish productivity growth was the fastest in the world. Sweden’s stellar economic performance made it the fourth richest OECD economy in 1970. By 1995, Sweden had fallen to sixteenth place – the most dramatic relative decline of any affluent country in history. Notably, Swedish firms operating outside of Sweden remained competitive. They were not the problem. The Swedish model was.

      The Swedish experiment also shows the importance of what the government does with its money. Universal benefits destroyed the work ethic. Instead of “high return public investments,” Sweden raised public employment and expanded cradle-to-grave entitlements. The solidarity wage destroyed incentives to acquire skills or enroll in higher education. Regional subsidies slowed the movement of people from stagnating to growing regions.

      Sweden began to reverse course in the early 1980s, and its per capita income ranking has since risen to eighth in the OECD. Sweden’s relative recovery was aided by the fact that a number of its European neighbors moved towards the Swedish model as Sweden abandoned it. Sweden’s reversal has been constrained by the fact that the vast majority of its people depend on the state for employment and benefits rather than on the private sector. The situation must have been dire to convince such an electorate to reverse course.

      The Swedish model also reveals one of the closest-held secrets of the Obama administration: Taxing the 1% will not pay for the welfare state. Swedish workers were saddled with marginal tax rates in the fifty percent range. They responded by working less, having more subsidized spells of unemployment, taking subsidized parental , permanent disability, or early retirement, or otherwise gaming the system. Swedish employees averaged a month of fully-paid sick days per year in addition to a month or more of paid vacation.

      The parallels between the Swedish Social Democrats and their labor allies of the 1970s and the Obama administration are striking. Both share a “strong suspicion of markets, economic incentives, and private entrepreneurship.” A century of growth based on free enterprise made both countries rich. This hard-won affluence gives a cushion to survive the negative effects of exorbitant tax rates and entitlements.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/05/13/look-to-sweden-obamas-high-tax-gurus/

  11. Amazona December 7, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Back to the actual theme of the thread post:

    Mark, you say of Trump’s statement about people in the United States celebrating the 9/11 atttacks: ” An inaccuracy would be claiming that people in the United States celebrated the 9/11 attacks – I don’t remember any such here.”

    Well, I do. Many were televised. I remember seeing Muslim students in a dorm room literally jumping up and down with joy, cheering the falling of the towers, and saying to my husband “Anyone allowed to study here who celebrates an attack on this country should be sent home”. I remember discussing this with other people, who agreed. There were many examples, on many TV stations, of wild celebrations of absolute joy at seeing the attack replayed over and over again.

    I looked for other witnesses, and found this:

    “Those who witnessed the 9-11 celebrations, their friends and loved ones see much effort being exerted to smear and silence them, and to negate the historically important truth they speak. This silencing will only increase resentment against Muslims. An open and free public conversation will serve everyone’s best interests.

    People whom I trust told me that they witnessed the celebrations. None agreed to be named here. They know that speaking this truth in public sets them up for attack. One witness is my former student. He is an Italian-American, an A student who attended class regularly and handed in assignments on time. He is a responsible adult who worked during the day and took courses at night. Almost a decade ago, during a long conversation that touched on many topics, he told me of the celebration he witnessed. He named the location, the public library on Main Avenue.

    Another witness was a prominent figure in Democratic politics, in which I used to participate. His account was similar to my student’s account. The two men don’t know each other. A third witness permits me to quote her here. “I stopped for gas in Belleville immediately after the second fall and there were two men in the station cheering at the TV coverage as if they were watching the Super Bowl and their team was winning.” I have known this woman for years. I have to rely on her in financial and other matters. She has never lied to me.

    There are tried-and-true methods to assess truth. These include Occam’s Razor, multiple accounts, cui bono, and consistency with otherwise verified data. All of these can be applied in the accounts of Muslims celebrating 9-11.

    Occam’s Razor says that the simplest explanation is best. Numerous New York and New Jersey residents insist that they or those close to them saw New Jersey Muslims celebrate 9-11. New Jersey radio station 101.5 quotes some of these accounts here. A sampling:

    Tom Penicaro: “I worked for PSEG in Clifton on the Paterson boarder and I witnessed it firsthand. They were celebrating in the streets cheering and stomping on the flag. I am a Marine and I remember very very clearly because I was so pissed I wanted to engage them with a bat I had in my van.”

    William Hugelmeyer: “I was working in the jail when the attacks occurred. Once it was clear it was a terrorist attack, we had inmates celebrating. This instantly caused a lockdown. As you could imagine, many other inmates and officers didn’t share their jubilation.”

    John Pezzino: “They were in the streets banging on the cars trying to drive through the crowd in the street. The Muslims were shouting death to Americans and Allah is great other crap I didn’t understand. We were amused until a car with 3 young women mistakenly turned on to main st. The muslims were banging on their windows and screaming, thats when we came out of our car and pushed the muslims off their car helped them back out and get back to the Parkway.”

    Walter Emiliantsev: “I lived in NJ at the time on Demott Ave., Clifton! When I tried to go to Paterson to my brother in laws shop, I usually took Main Ave. There were so many people dancing on Main, I couldn’t get through! I KNOW what I saw!”

    Occam’s Razor suggests that when numerous people, using their first and last names in a public forum, and providing concrete details that can be checked, all provide similar accounts of public behavior, chances are they are telling the truth.”

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260952/did-new-jersey-muslims-celebrate-911-danusha-v-goska

    I am absolutely amazed at the efforts to rewrite history and claim that this simply did not happen, when there were so many recorded accounts and it was so well known, so well publicized, on 9/11 and in the immediate aftermath. In my little mountain community this ugly celebration of the deaths of thousands was a main topic of discussion, and I ran into people for months afterward who were appalled by it. We all had the same reaction: “If you hate this country so much, go home.”

    • rustybrown2014 December 7, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      Ama,

      Wow, like Stuart said, you really do value anecdotes over verifiable data, don’t you? A handful of of statements about fourteen year old events is good enough for you, even if they contradict ALL of the data from that time–police reports, written accounts, video footage, etc. The claims of widespread celebrations of the 911 attacks are completely fabricated. Adjust your tinfoil hat accordingly.

      Rusty’s posts are usually deleted as soon as a Moderator sees them but this is too funny to delete. We also want newcomers like Stuart to see why some people are automatically deleted when they try to post. As we can see from this post it’s not because they make points that make us uncomfortable it’s because they are not nice people and they don’t make sense. //Moderator

      • Amazona December 7, 2015 / 2:34 pm

        Perhaps you can cite such alleged “…–police reports, written accounts, video footage, etc…” I am not aware of police reports on things that did not happen, video footage of things that did not happen, written accounts of things that did not happen, etc.

        It would certainly be interesting to read reports that say, for example, “no one in the United States expressed glee at hearing of the attacks”. I wonder where such a report would be filed. Do police departments have a file for Things That Did Not Happen?

        Video footage of something not occurring doesn’t seem like something anyone would want to archive, but feel free to link to any you can find.

        I do note your inclusion of the qualifier “widespread” celebrations. Par for the course. It allows future quibbling about how the accounts of such celebrations don’t qualify as “widespread”, just as you dismissed the accounts I did provide is supposed to discredit them, as if they were presented as all of the accounts of such celebrations. I didn’t say these were the only people with such memories. I also included my personal memories, and those of conversations I had with others on the subject.

        I also note the personal attack, one of the main reasons you are usually banned from this site. You clearly lurk here waiting for something to snipe at.

      • rustybrown2014 December 7, 2015 / 3:19 pm

        Don’t bother to keep coming back here. You are not allowed to post here. Period. Even if one post is not full of insults we have learned the next one will be and you have had all the chances you are going to get. The post you say is polite attacks the blog and makes excuses for attacking Amazona. You are not welcome here. Get it through your head. //Moderator

      • Amazona December 7, 2015 / 3:25 pm

        Some of the conversations about seeing the videos (plural) of celebrations in the United States was about the fact that one celebration was taking place in a dorm room of what I remember as either an Ivy League university or at least a very well-known university. I remember that because the celebrants were identified as foreign students from Egypt, and as many of us had seen this we talked about why these people were allowed to continue studying at one of our universities. Not just casual conversations, but getting into 1st Amendment issues (apply to non-citizens? difference between free speech and advocating destroying America?) and wondering if these foreign students were getting financial aid from the U.S. while openly hating us and wanting us to be destroyed.

        I also remember talking about whether we should stop sending money to countries like Egypt, that country in particular because the students in the video were identifies as being from Egypt.

        The public discussion of what Trump said seems to be degenerating into quibbling over how many people publicly celebrated, with Leftists dismissing each proved event because that particular event only had a few people involved.

        As for memories 14 years later, some who reported large celebrations at the time, when their memories were fresh, are now backing off and saying things like “it wasn’t any different that any group of teenagers acting out” (an admitted paraphrase but I am tired of this and don’t feel like going back to quote the precise wording)

        What we have here is a fabricated hysteria, designed to discredit the Republican front-runner, based on clear memories by many many people and no memories by others. I place more faith in the “I saw it with my own eyes” than I do in “I would remember it if it had happened”.

      • Cluster December 7, 2015 / 5:30 pm

        The irony in this whole dust up is that at the time, there were quite a few media reports on the celebrations in NJ and now the media is the one crucifying Trump for bringing up what they themselves reported back in the day.

        Love it.

      • Cluster December 7, 2015 / 7:01 pm

        In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/09/18/northern-new-jersey-draws-probers-eyes/40f82ea4-e015-4d6e-a87e-93aa433fafdc/?postshare=7281448290025183&tid=ss_fb

        That’s one. You can pull your head out of your ass and find the others, or not, I don’t give a damn. Now sit down and STFU.

      • tiredoflibbs December 7, 2015 / 9:26 pm

        Ama,
        One of Crusty’s favored tactic is to call a post complete BS if there are no links or sources. Of course, when that tactic is used against him, he finds a way (in his mind) to weasel out of that requirement. He claims he backs up his ASSertions with sources, but in reality, that may apply to 30% of his posts. If you can call his links “factual sources”. He will always find a way to dismiss facts (again in his mind) that are not his. Using his sources and tactics against him is a sure way to get a vitriolic response.

        Crusty’s logic is akin to (as with his latest posts):
        Ice cream consumption increases in the summer months.
        Drownings increase in the summer months.
        Therefore, consuming ice cream raises the risk of drowning.

        What else can we expect from a pathetic little troll?

      • tiredoflibbs December 7, 2015 / 9:52 pm

        Crusty is living up to his party’s standards.

      • rustybrown2014 December 8, 2015 / 5:43 pm

        Thank you again Rusty for your comment. Always refreshing to hear from you. – Moderator

        Readers of the blog need to know that Rusty has been flooding the blog with the same cut and paste post over and over even when it is always removed. The post contains nothing but an attack on another poster and is typical of what we have learned to expect from him. // Another Moderator

      • tiredoflibbs December 8, 2015 / 8:14 pm

        Crusty doesn’t realize he’s projecting again.

    • M. Noonan December 7, 2015 / 11:46 pm

      All I can say is that I don’t remember any – but, of course, we went full PC on the matter within a day or two of the event, and so that is not definitive proof they didn’t happen. We do know, for certain, that plenty of people in the Muslim world celebrated the attacks – it is very much in the realm of possibility that some people here in the United States did, as well. But if we did an exhaustive study of the matter and discovered that not a single Muslim in the United States celebrated the attacks, then Trump’s statement would work out to an inaccuracy…and a trivial one, at that.

      • Amazona December 8, 2015 / 12:12 am

        In a couple of sources I found, there were statements that the media were asked by President Bush to downplay reporting of these celebrations because of fears of retaliation against Muslims in the United States. Clearly this can’t be proved, but it does seem that after the first day or two reporting of these events seems to have stopped, and it does seem like something that could have happened. Emotions were running very high in the aftermath of 9/11 and I can see concerns that a lot of publicity about Muslims in this country celebrating what happened might prompt some vigilante “justice”.

        Here is something else that is completely anecdotal. When I lived in Wyoming I was interested in finding different ways to generate revenue, and I had read a lot about goats eating noxious weeds, so one year during the National Western Stock Show I made a point of attending during the days goats were being shown. I talked to a lot of exhibitors about the economics of raising meat goats, and when one exhibitor told me goat sales went up sharply at the beginning of September a couple of other exhibitors chimed in and said yes, that is when they would sell the most goats. The reason was the large number of Muslims getting ready to celebrate 9/11. Whether this is true or not, some of the top goat breeders in the Western United States (not a lot of people haul livestock to the Mile High City in January) believe it to be true, based on their own experiences.

        As for the allegedly small numbers of people celebrating 9/11, some witnesses said they saw large crowds, and most documented reports are about smaller groups. If many small groups were documented, that does not mean that the total number can’t be a thousand or more, and it would not take many large groups, such as reported by the witness saying a whole street was blocked by celebrants, to arrive at a large total. It is typical Leftist strategy to claim that well, even if there ARE proofs of some such celebration, well gee it was just a few isolated jerks and not representative of a general attitude.

        Remember, that’s the way it works—an isolated mental case who snaps and kills a lot of people is claimed to represent a whole political movement, but many sightings of people celebrating the murder of thousands can’t be considered to represent anyone outside that particular group. It’s classic Doublethink.

        Another point—-is it hard to believe that some media, particularly those of television and print, would balk at providing proof from archives that something Trump (or probably any other Republican) said was true, if the agenda is to discredit a top opposition contender? We see lying and distortions all the time in all of the media, with the goal of advancing Liberal agendas, and this would be an easy one—just play dumb. “Videos? What videos?” I’m not claiming it happened, just pointing out that it is not more outrageous than other media antics.

      • M. Noonan December 8, 2015 / 1:19 am

        Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be surprised to find there were such celebrations – after all, our chickens were coming home to roost, right?

  12. Amazona December 7, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    You say “Cruz has less of a problem on that than Rubio, but he’s still an elected politician – he’s still a career politician.”

    Hmm. He was Solicitor General for the State of Texas, which is a job, not being a politician, and he was in private practice. His first foray into politics was his election to the Senate in 2013.

    Not my definition of a “career politician”.

Comments are closed.