If You Can’t Beat ’em …

You know what they say about the insanity of repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results? Well when it comes to mass shootings, that’s what we do. Every time our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the dead and the injured survivors. And that basically is it. Nothing more. 

My conservative readers like to mock the notion that “we have to do something”. That’s primarily because they suspect the something is gun control. They’re actually right that gun control won’t work because:

  • The NRA is too powerful and legislators will not buck them. 
  • Despite the fact that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be screaming “you idiots!!!” if they saw the current situation, modern day so-called constitutionalists say the 2nd Amendment guarantees everyone a gun who wants one. 
  • There are so many guns already on the street that restriction without confiscation would do little good. 
  • Whenever you restrict a commodity (alcohol, drugs) you get an immediate robust black market. 

This doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. Sometimes you have to admit when you’ve lost the principled fight. This is, in all seriousness, the only option left:

  1. Every high school senior (12th grade) must attend mandatory fire arms instruction. It should be required just like English. 
  2. At the conclusion of the instruction every student should be issued a gun (and a voter registration). 
  3. Students with diagnosed diminished mental capacity would be exempted. 

That done, we now have a society fully armed and ready. If lots of folks at The Pulse were armed, the shooter wouldn’t have killed 49 people. He would have killed a few and those who fought back would have killed him and likely a couple of innocent bystanders. The total dead would not be 49 and the total injured wouldn’t have been over 50. 

Do I prefer this approach? Hell no! But we must face the fact that not long ago 20 innocent souls less than 7 years old were slaughtered and we did NOTHING. 

It’s time to give the legislators what they want. It’s already too late to put the gun-genie back in the bottle. If we don’t take up arms against these radicals and other unstable gun owners, we will continue the current trend of one mass shooting (more than 3 killed at one incident) per day. 

Or we can keep repeating the same response and expect a different outcome. 

What do you think? The bar is open. 

Truth or Cons ver 2

Truth or No Consequences

One of Donald  Trump’s regular talking points is what a lying press we have. Trump may be wrong on many things but this is not one of them. Just in the last seven days I encountered three bald-faced lies that really pissed me off.

Slate’s Trumpcast

I subscribe to a podcast by Slate called the Trumpcast. The entire mission of its host, Jacob Weisberg, is to discredit, mock and basically hate on Donald Trump. With that premise it might be foolish to fact check the show but one guest really irked me because I KNOW MY TV!!

The guest was Virginia Heffernan, a media critic with a good resume and a desire to lie about The Donald. She was on the Trumpcast to educate Weisberg and his listeners about Trump’s hit NBC show The Apprentice. Not only did she fail to accurately describe the show’s modus operandi, she called Trump’s “firing” decisions, more often than not, capricious and arbitrary. Ehhh … LIE, OUTRIGHT LIE! Before he became a birther, I watched Trump’s show religiously. In almost every case Trump eliminated one of the weakest contestants. The exceptions were usually stronger players who self sabotaged in the “board room”.

Of course, Weisberg lapped up the misrepresentation with glee. Ms. Heffernan also neglected to mention the season devoted to those who had been laid off in the bad economy or the fact that every season of Celebrity Apprentice raised gobs of money for charity. That wouldn’t comport with our image of Trump as heartless greedy asshole. (By the way, Weisberg actually hosted an episode dedicated to an “intellectual analysis” of whether Trump is an official asshole.)

The Rachel Maddow Show

In this case MSNBC darling Maddow either didn’t do her homework or simply lied. I suspect the latter.

She showed a video of Trump calling Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Pochahontas. She then claimed Trump was mocking Native Americans. Noooo, he was mocking fake Native Americans. Now, I don’t claim to know the truth of Warren’s heritage but I do know for years, the right has doubted her claim of being part Cherokee. Maddow knows this too but would rather leave the viewer with the impression Trump is just a bigot.

The Nicole Sandler Show

In this case, the host is not the perpetrator of the lie but the exposer. This lie is simple but pervasive. Almost every time the MSM tells us the delegate counts of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, they include the number of superdelegates (folks wiser than mere mortals to keep us from picking the “wrong” candidate). Nicole points out one simple problem with this. The superdelegates haven’t voted yet!

They don’t vote until the convention. So every superdelegate count we see is an estimate. Of course the estimate is designed to propogate the myth of Hillary’s inevitability. This lie is so vile, even the corrupt DNC has asked the networks to stop doing it, to no avail.

Despite all his foolishness, Trump is owed a debt of gratitude for turning up our scrutiny of the “lyin’ press”.

What do you think? The bar is open.


Campaign Malpractice: Devine and Weaver

As a chronically underemployed individual, I’m always fuming at folks who make healthy salaries doing what, quite frankly, I could do better. The latest pair of gents to get my dander up are Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine, campaign manager and senior advisor respectively of the Bernie Sanders campaign. In trying to mount a “positive” campaign they have conceded the race to Hillary Clinton. There are three clear examples of malpractice. 

The Damn Emails

Bernie famously declared in an early debate that America  was tired of hearing about Hillary’s rogue email server. This was in the name of positive, issues-oriented campaigning. I disagreed with pundits that this was a mistake but I was wrong. Sanders could have said “the Secretary  herself has said this was a mistake in judgment. I’m not the FBI. I’ll let the FBI do their job and I’ll do mine.” This would have left Clinton exposed while taking a perfect passive-aggressive approach. In subsequent interviews, Sanders went in this direction but it was too late. 

When Was a Clinton Vote Ever Influenced by Monied Interests?

Sanders blew this question in debate after debate when the answer should have been well known to him. Then when it was way too late in the game, Jeff Weaver and surrogate, Senator Jeff Merkley finally said “bankruptcy bill” but could not articulate the answer convincingly under the partisan cross examination of Chris Matthews. Why did the Sanders campaign not use this video as an ad and example?

The Transcripts Matter

Jeff Weaver has tried to be the tough guy, referring to Hillary’s deals with the devil. Again, when cross examined by the likes of Chris Matthews, Weaver withers. This is not difficult. Transcripts of Hillary’s paid speeches to Goldmam Sachs et al will show her being sympathetic to the folks who brought the country to its knees in 2007. This is the central theme of the Sanders campaign. Why is it so hard for Sanders’ campaign staff to get this right?

The 2015/2016 Democratic primary will go down in history as the nomination where the populist candidate with the best chance of beating an establishment typical pol was undone by his own advisors. 

In the meantime, I sit here blogging for free. Damn! 

What do you think? The bar is open.