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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Cruising the Web

Donald Trump likes to brag that we should put him in charge of the government because the guys in charge now are so stupid and they're the reason for everything bad happening to our country. All we need is him in there taking advantage of his business experience and he'll fix all the problems. He'll make the best deals. Well, this is a story that maybe puts a dent in his bragging about his businesses and how they're run so much better than the government.
Customer credit and debit card numbers may have been stolen at seven Trump hotels after its payment systems were hacked for over a year.

The Trump Hotel Collection said on its website that hackers gained access to its systems between May 2014 and June 2015 at the front desk of those hotels. Hotel restaurants and gift shops were also hacked.

The hotel operator said an independent forensic investigation has not found any evidence of customer's information being misused. The company is offering affected customers a year of free identity theft protection.

The potential thefts occurred at the Trump SoHo New York, Trump International New York, Trump National Doral in Miami, Trump International Chicago, Trump International Waikiki in Hawaii, Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas and Trump International Toronto.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is chairman and president of Trump Hotel Collection and three of his children have executive roles.
I'm not blaming him for the hacking. But this throws a little dust on his claims that he could take care of the Chinese solely with his magnificence.

Jason Riley speaks with former Republican congressman from Connecticut, Gary Franks, about how Republicans need to approach trying to win more of the black vote.
Republicans don’t need to pander, but they do need to lay bare the president’s poor track record with respect to issues that confront blacks. This requires a level of engagement beyond a speech to the NAACP. It means spending time in black communities introducing yourself and your ideas. It means taking full advantage of black social-media outlets in ways that Mr. Romney did not.

“Yes, you’ve got to show up,” Mr. Franks told me, “but it’s more than that. You’ve got to explain that participating in only one half of a [two-party] system doesn’t work. You’ve got to show contrasts between what Democrats have done and what Republicans have done on issues like school choice and faith-based interventions.”

The liberal track record on black unemployment, poverty and urban violence is especially weak. “These things have worsened under Obama,” he said. “Talk about the kids in Baltimore and Chicago being shot. That’s what blacks want to hear about from Republicans. How would you change the situation? Democrats’ response to gun violence is to do something about guns. That’s ridiculous. When blacks were being lynched in the South, was the response to do something about ropes? Everyone knows this is about gangs and drugs and personal behavior.”
Gee, I'd sure like to see a candidate who could make those arguments. And more than just the presidential candidate needs to be doing this. This is something all Republicans up and down the ballot should be doing.

And the Obama administration is lying to us once again - this time about how it is going to screen Middle Eastern refugees before letting them into the U.S.
As the White House prepares to dump another 10,000 Syrian refugees on U.S. cities, it assures us these mostly Muslim men undergo a "robust screening" process. Not so, admits the agency responsible for such vetting.

Under grilling from GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, head of the Senate subcommittee on immigration, the Homeland Security official in charge of vetting Syrian and other foreign Muslim refugees confessed that no police or intelligence databases exist to check the backgrounds of incoming refugees against criminal and terrorist records.

"Does Syria have any?" Sessions asked. "The government does not, no sir," answered Matthew Emrich, associate director for fraud detection and national security at DHS' U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sessions further inquired: "You don't have their criminal records, you don't have the computer database that you can check?" Confessed Emrich: "In many countries the U.S. accepts refugees from, the country did not have extensive data holdings."

While a startling admission, it confirms previous reporting. Senior FBI officials recently testified that they have no idea who these people are, and they can't find out what type of backgrounds they have — criminal, terrorist or otherwise — because there are no vetting opportunities in those war-torn countries.

Syria and Iraq, along with Somalia and Sudan, are failed states where police records aren't even kept. Agents can't vet somebody if they don't have documentation and don't even have the criminal databases to screen applicants.

So the truth is, we are not vetting these Muslim refugees at all. And as GOP presidential front-runners duly note, it's a huge gamble to let people from hostile nations enter the U.S. without any meaningful background check. It's a safer bet just to limit, if not stop, their immigration.
So the administration is going to admit tens of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis and they have no way of screening those applicants despite their rhetoric about how they plan to do so.

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The Clinton campaign is sending a distinct message to Biden by leaking to the New York Magazine that they're getting ready their oppo research on him. Just in case, you know.
According to a source close to the Clinton campaign, a team of opposition researchers working on behalf of Clinton is currently digging through Biden’s long record in office to develop attack lines in case the vice-president runs. The research effort started about a month ago and is being conducted by operatives at Correct the Record, the pro-Hillary superpac founded by David Brock, which is coordinating with the Clinton campaign. According to the source, the research has turned up material on Biden’s ties to Wall Street; his reluctance to support the raid that killed Osma [sic] bin Laden; and his role in the Anita Hill saga as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The oppo-research project reveals how seriously Clintonworld is taking the prospect of a Biden candidacy. So far, Clinton hasn’t taken any direct shots at Biden herself. But behind the scenes, her loyalists are making moves to blunt Biden's campaign should he run. "Even implicitly his campaign’s argument would be ‘I have integrity and you don’t,'" a Clinton ally said. "If that’s the message, this could be messier than Obama-Clinton '08. At least Obama had the Iraq War vote and could make a case about generational change. This guy" — Biden — "is older than she is and just as conventional."
Oh, they're just turning up this stuff? Come on - that's what I could come up with off the top of my head and that's not even getting into his history of plagiarism. I think she needs some better oppo researchers. And she's going to have trouble going after him for ties to Wall Street, considering the ties the Clintons have.

Trump's claim to have opposed the war in Iraq before it began turns out to be phony. Paul Mirengoff writes,
Trump based his 2014 criticism to a considerable extent on the fact that WMD were not found in Iraq. That’s not prescience. There’s no evidence that Trump said before the invasion that, contrary to intelligence reports, Saddam didn’t have WMD.

Moreover, Trump clearly did not consider the Iraq war to be the epic failure he now says he deems it. President Bush’s decision to launch the war did not stop him from voting to reelect Bush. It’s unlikely that Trump would have voted for Bush in 2004 if he thought that the war was the epic failure he now portrays it to be.

Finally, as a general matter, Trump can hardly claim to be prescient given that he voted to reelect a president he claimed (just three years later) is probably the worst in American history. Why would anyone vote for a presidential candidate who confesses to such bad judgment?

I mean a guy like that might even think that Hillary Clinton is “terrific” and wish her to be the nominee of the party he supported.
He he.

I know that those Trump supporters being polled don't give a hoot about his rejection of conservative principles, but his joyful support of eminent domain taking a person's private property away from them just to give it to some private entity like Trump Industries should appall everyone. He thinks eminent domain is "wonderful."
Trump stated, “I think eminent domain is wonderful, if you’re building a highway, and you need to build, as an example, a highway, and you’re going to be blocked by a hold-out, or, in some cases, it’s a hold-out, just so you understand, nobody knows this better than I do, because I built a lot of buildings in Manhattan, and you’ll have 12 sites and you’ll get 11 and you’ll have the one hold-out and you end up building around them and everything else, okay? So, I know it better than anybody. I think eminent domain for massive projects, for instance, you’re going to create thousands of jobs, and you have somebody that’s in the way, and you pay that person far more — don’t forget, eminent domain, they get a lot of money, and you need a house in a certain location, because you’re going to build this massive development that’s going to employ thousands of people, or you’re going to build a factory, that without this little house, you can’t build the factory. I think eminent domain is fine.”

Trump was then asked for his past support for the Supreme Court’s ruling on eminent domain in Kelo v. New London, he stated, “Eminent domain — number one, a person has a house, and they end up getting much more than the house is ever worth. You know, eminent domain is not like you — they take your house.”

He added, “if you have a road or highway, you gotta do it. If you have a factory where you have thousands of jobs, and you need eminent domain, it’s called economic development.”
Note how he inserts a private company like a factory into the mix. He loves the Kelo decision. He has a long history of using eminent domain to get property to benefit his businesses, except for the one elderly woman who was able to stop him from taking her house.
A decade and a half ago, it was fresh on everyone’s mind that Donald Trump is one of the leading users of this form of state-sanctioned thievery. It was all over the news. In perhaps the most-remembered example, John Stossel got the toupĂ©ed one to sputter about how, if he wasn’t allowed to steal an elderly widow’s house to expand an Atlantic City casino, the government would get less tax money, and seniors like her would get less “this and that.” Today, however, it takes a push from the Club for Growth to remind us of Trump’s lack of respect for property rights.

The problem dates back to at least 1994. That year, Trump promised to turn Bridgeport, Conn., into“a national tourist destination by building a $350 million combined amusement park, shipping terminal and seaport village and office complex on the east side of the harbor,” reported the Hartford Courant. “At a press conference during which almost every statement contained the term ‘world class,’ Trump and Mayor Joseph Ganim lavished praise on one another and the development project and spoke of restoring Bridgeport to its glory days.”

The wrinkle? “Five businesses and the city-owned Pleasure Beach now occupy the land,” as the Courant put it. The solution? “The city would become a partner with Trump Connecticut Inc. and obtain the land through its powers of condemnation. Trump would in turn buy the land from the city.”

Here’s how the story concluded: “The entire development would cost the city nothing, Trump said, and no private homeowners would be affected because there are no dwellings on the land. Trump would own everything.”

That brings us to the story of the aforementioned elderly widow in Atlantic City, which starts at about the same time. The woman, Vera Coking, had owned property near the Trump Plaza Hotel for three decades, and didn’t want to move. Trump thought the land was better suited for use as a park, a parking lot, and a waiting area for limousines.

He tried to negotiate, at one point offering Coking $1 million for the land. But she wasn’t budging. So New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority filed a lawsuit, instructing Coking to leave within 90 days and offering compensation of only $251,000.

Perhaps the only upside to this story is that in neither case did Trump succeed. The Bridgeport plan fizzled. Coking fought in court, and — in part because these were the days before Kelo was decided, no doubt — she was lucky enough to win. In 1998, a judge threw out the case.

In 2005, however, Trump was delighted to find that the Supreme Court had okayed the brand of government-abetted theft that he’d twice attempted. “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” he told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto of the Kelo decision.

Can Republicans support someone with so little regard for the property of others? Let’s hope not.

Stuart Rothenberg has an interesting post analyzing that, at this point in an election cycle, polls of Iowa have been more predicative than national polls. If so, the most recent NBC/WSJ poll must strike terror into the heart of the Clinton campaign. Among registered voters her favorable/unfavorable ratings are 35/59. Ouch. Jeb Bush's and Donald Trump's numbers aren't much better. The poll also shows Hillary losing to Bush, Trump, and Fiorina, but Bernie Sanders does a lot better in those match-ups. I don't know why those are the only Republicans they put in their match-up polls.

While we're waiting around for Joe Biden to make his mind up, it's time for liberals to imagine how Bernie Sanders could actually win.

Meanwhile, Sarah Westwood ponders the chances that Hillary Clinton can recover.
Pundits argue that Clinton can lose Iowa and New Hampshire and still win the Democratic nomination handily, highlighting Sanders' weaknesses as a general election candidate and the uphill battle Biden might face with such a late entry into the race.

But the only narratives emerging to replace the email controversy involve a pair of humiliating primary defeats at the hands of a candidate once regarded as a joke and the implications of a white-knight challenge from a sunny and widely liked vice president.
Meanwhile, by federal court order, there will be monthly releases of her emails through January. So there will be more of that steady drip-drip-drip.

And now the question before a judge in a FOIA suit is who, if anyone, approved Hillary's private server.

Michael Tomasky bucks up Democrats by arguing that they should not be freaking out at the idea of running against Marco Rubio. Short answer: more war on women rhetoric.
Clinton and the State Department have repeatedly declined to respond to press questions about whether the email arrangement was approved by management, record-keeping or security personnel at State. Clinton has said the practice was "permitted" under State Department rules, but she has not publicly detailed whether officials there helped set it up or maintain it.

In what amounts to a mixed blessing for Clinton’s presidential bid, Sullivan ordered up legal filings in the case that could extend the dispute into February of next year. If he decides to allow Kennedy's testimony, it could well come in the heart of the Democratic primary season. It’s also possible Kennedy could be asked or required to testify in one or more of the nearly 40 FOIA lawsuits pending in front of 17 different federal judges in Washington.

Kennedy, a 42-year veteran of the State Department known for his mastery of the agency’s bureaucracy, has played a pivotal but also mysterious role in the Clinton email saga. He served as State’s point person for the initial written request that Clinton return copies of her work-related emails and has since exchanged a series of letters with Clinton and former aides about their records.

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American leftists love to praise the Cuban health care system. OF course, they've just seen the Potemkin parts of Cuban health care. One Argentinian journalists looks behind the curtain.
Three out of the hospital’s four stories were closed. Only the ER was operational.

“We have been waiting for an ambulance for four hours,” yelled a man wearing green scrubs, who seemed to be a doctor. I sat on one of the four plastic chairs in the waiting area. My friend kept still and gestured to let me know I should remain silent and listen to the patients and their relatives.

Twenty minutes went by, and still no ambulance. The man in green scrubs remained at his mother’s side on an improvised stretcher, trying not to lose his patience. They looked like characters from the play Waiting for Godot.

The scarce equipment available gave the building the appearance of a makeshift medical camp, rather than a hospital in the nation’s capital.

I stood up and continued my tour. Two nurses stared at us but didn’t say a word as we entered an intensive-care unit, where the facility’s air-conditioned area began.

My guide — a taxi driver for tourists who don’t get to see this part of town — told me that all the doctors working the night shift are still in school. Indeed, none of them appeared to be older than 25.

Without an adequate staff on site, relatives must push hospital stretchers themselves.

The only working bathroom in the entire hospital had only one toilet. The door didn’t close, so you had to go with people outside watching. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found, and the floor was far from clean.

I saw biological waste discarded in a regular trash can. The beds had no linen, and the only equipment around was the bag of IV fluids hanging above them. All doctor’s offices had handwritten signs on the doors, and at least four patients waited outside each room. The average wait time for each was around three hours.
It sounds a lot like the descriptions of Soviet health care system.

Oh, such a shocker: "U.S Probes Alleged U.N. Bribe Scheme."
Federal law-enforcement authorities are investigating an alleged bribery scheme involving payments to officials at the United Nations to gain support for real-estate development in Macau, people familiar with the matter said.

The arrests last month of a Macau real-estate mogul and his assistant are connected to the alleged scheme, said those familiar with the matter. Additional charges are expected to be announced as early as Tuesday against a number of other people, including current or former U.N. officials.

The investigation, led by the office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, centers on alleged bribery by Chinese businesspeople, they said. Some of the alleged bribes flowed to U.N. officials from the Caribbean, they said. How the alleged scheme worked wasn’t immediately clear.
Corruption at the U.N.? Who could imagine such a thing?

John Podhoretz explains how the Hillary campaign is using Kevin McCarthy's stupid words about how the Benghazi committee lowered her poll numbers to rally liberal support.
McCarthy’s remark was not only politically stupid and in some sense shockingly cynical, it was also untrue. In fact, the only role the Benghazi committee has played in Hillary’s poll problems was an inadvertent one.

As a matter of routine, it issued subpoenas for government documents. It was in the course of that routine behavior that the world discovered Hillary Clinton had been maintaining a private e-mail server while she was a government official. And that she destroyed tens of thousands of e-mails she had no right to destroy. (Or . . . did she?)

What has harmed Mrs. Clinton has been her own response to her own behavior — the lies she told about the server, the lies she told after the first lies were revealed and the various efforts to cover her tracks and derail the story when it became clear she had knowingly mishandled classified information.

Charles Krauthammer called the McCarthy comments “the gaffe of the year,” and it’s hard to argue — but it’s the gaffe of 2015, not of 2016. And in October 2015, the foes Hillary has to fear aren’t Republicans but Sanders and Biden — or the voters who might be looking elsewhere after nine months of what is unquestionably the worst major political campaign . . . since the last time she ran for president.
Hillary is using the McCarthy gaffe to remind Democrats just how hated she is by Republicans. She’s taking them on the trip down memory lane back to the 1990s and the days when she rallied Democrats against the “vast right-wing conspiracy” she condemned the week after the story of her husband’s sexual misconduct in the Oval Office appeared on the Drudge Report.

It worked then. Democrats could have abandoned Bill Clinton, which would have ended his presidency, but they did not do so in large measure because they hated the Republicans more.

But that was 17 years ago. It’s likely her campaign has long since banked the value of her standing as Hillary-the-victim-of-evil-Republicans. She already enjoys the support of those who will vote for her because of the 1990s. What she hasn’t done is given Democrats who are not sold on that aspect of her political story much reason to vote for her in 2016.

“The Clinton folks believe DEEPLY that this is a game changer for them,” tweeted Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post. Given how poorly she and her campaign have been reading the national mood, the fact they think they have a “game changer” on their hands likely means it’s nothing of the kind.

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This is how much leftists hate Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister adopted a rescue dog and he gets compared to Hitler.

Every time there is one of these terrible mass murders, we seem to spend all the time afterwards discussing gun control. As Lee Habeeb writes, perhaps we should be discussing the role of media coverage. If it bleeds it leads. But somehow, that causes there to be more blood.
The media are co-conspirators in these mass murders whether they like it or not, delivering attention that these deranged men long for — and bank on.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for the media to examine their own complicity. They prefer to spend endless hours blaming the Second Amendment and the National Rifle Association, running endless segments about responsible gun ownership and gun control. But there is little talk about the First Amendment, responsible media ownership, and media self-control.

The media are not particularly well regarded these days. Public trust of media institutions is at a historic low. Millennials, according to a recent study, rank the media as more untrustworthy than Congress.

And there are lots of reasons why. Take Ferguson. With little in the way of a factual record, and little in the way of evidence, the media descended on the small town in Missouri. A local incident, not yet resolved, had become an international story, and why? Because the media decided it was symptomatic of a larger narrative about police and the lives of African Americans.

RELATED: Does the Media Encourage Mass Shootings?

At some point during the unrest on the streets of Ferguson, journalists on the streets seemed to outnumber the protesters. When the fires erupted and chaos ensued, many in the media seemed excited about it, as if they were rooting for a city to burn. Ironically, the presence of the mass media just might have been the reason a city nearly burned.

One thing is certain: A city aflame is a great story. And gets great ratings.

The protests eventually died down, and the reporters who descended on the St. Louis suburb in the name of helping the people there were off to chase the next sensational story in some other American town. The people of Ferguson were left to clean up the mess the media made — a mess from which it will take years to recover....

This is not some obscure theory, the idea that the media are playing a part in these mass-shooter suicides. Back in 1987, four teenagers in the small town of Bergenfield, N.J., made a suicide pact. They entered a car in a garage, started the engine, and died minutes later of carbon monoxide poisoning. Two more young people in the town attempted suicide the next week. The national media descended on that town in full force.

I remember it because my dad was the superintendent of schools of Bergenfield at the time, and the media’s appetite for gruesome details seemed insatiable. Within weeks, there erupted a rash of suicides nationwide that resembled those suicides in Bergenfield, leading the New York Times to run a front-page headline that put media coverage itself in the crosshairs: “Pattern of Death: Copycat Suicides among Youths.”

’”Hearing about a suicide moves those teen-agers at risk closer to doing it themselves,”’ David Shaffer, then head of the Suicide Research Unit at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told the Times. “The news coverage of teen-age suicides can portray the victims as martyrs of sorts, and the more sentimentalized it is, the more legitimate — even heroic — it may seem to some teen-agers.”

This tendency of disturbed young people to imitate each other’s highly publicized suicides has a name, the “Werther Syndrome,” a reference to the hero of Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. In the novel, Werther kills himself to resolve what he saw as a hopeless love triangle. The book was banned in some European countries because of a rash of suicides by young men who’d read it.

”Teen-agers are highly imitative, influenced by fads and fashions in general,” David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California at San Diego, told the Times. In a series of studies, Phillips found a significant rise in suicides after a well-publicized case. The rise was greatest among teenagers. “Hearing about a suicide seems to make those who are vulnerable feel they have permission to do it,” Phillips said.
Remember that some of these mass murderers are committing "suicide by cop." By giving such wall-to-wall coverage to every one of these shootings, the media might be inspiring some other troubled young men. It's a theory at least worth talking about as much as gun control measures. And that is especially true when they talk about reforms such as closing the "gun show loophole." Hillary claims that she would use executive authority to reclassify anyone who is selling firearms so that they would be subject to federal laws on background checks. Except there is no such thing. Sean Davis explains,
For starters, the federal government already has the statutory authority to define who does and does not qualify as an individual “in the business of selling firearms.” It derives that authority from 18 U.S. Code § 921.

....Contra Hillary Clinton’s campaign, “high-volume private vendors” cannot legally exist under current law. Under the ATF’s existing definition, it is impossible to sell high volumes of firearms without triggering the definition of a dealer in firearms. The “repetitive purchase and resale of firearms” makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Anything other than “occasional sales” makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Unlicensed dealing is against the law. Refusing to conduct background checks as a dealer (licensed or not) is against the law.

Now, if you read through the ATF regulations or the statutes from which they derive their authority, you’ll notice something missing: any mention of gun shows or the Internet. Does that mean gun shows are unregulated, as Clinton and her allies dishonestly imply? Does it mean that Internet sales are unregulated? Not at all. In fact, it shows the exact opposite.

There is zero protection enshrined in law for transactions that happen to occur at a gun show or over the Internet. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The so-called “gun show loophole” simply does not exist. Nor does any sort of Internet gun sale loophole. Federal gun laws are directed at the entities engaging in the manufacture or distribution of firearms, not the mere venues where those activities happen to take place. If you are an FFL who sells guns at a gun show, you are required by law to either process a background check prior to the sale of a gun, or you must confirm, usually by examining a concealed carry permit or a purchase permit (both of which require background checks), that a buyer is not legally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a gun.

In the same vein, there’s no Internet gun sale loophole, either. You can’t legally buy a gun off the Internet from some random guy ten states away and have it show up on your doorstep the next morning. It’s against the law for a private individual to ship a gun across state lines to a non-FFL. Any firearm purchased from another state must be processed through an FFL in the state in which the buyer resides. That FFL is required to process a background check before providing the gun to you.

The only federal background check exemption that exists is for transactions between private, non-FFL individuals who reside in the same state. That’s it. There’s no Internet exemption. There’s no gun show exemption. The only exemption is for transactions with zero federal nexus: no federal firearms license, and no purchase or sale across state lines.

Now, if Hillary thinks Congress should pass a law regulating private transactions between private individuals who reside in the same state, that’s her prerogative. But she should at least be honest about what she’s doing and about what authority the president has to do it. The president cannot by fiat eliminate the existing exemption. It can be done only by Congress. Obama tried to do so in 2013, but failed. Rather than making up gun control fairy tales to comfort her supporters, perhaps Hillary Clinton should explain to them how she’ll get a majority of the U.S. House and 60 U.S. senators to sign on to her gun control plan.


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Jonah Goldberg explains how Obama would rather politicize an issue rather than trying to engage in actual politics.
But ultimately Obama was just paying lip service to an ideal he does not live by. He's not about to try building consensus on gun violence among people of good faith. He'll take the same approach he's taken throughout his presidency: I mean he'll delegitimize opponents of his sweeping agenda as irrational, self-interested, enemies of decency and progress.

As the Washington Examiner's Byron York recently noted, Obama has a long history of trying to shut down disagreement by accusing his critics of politicization. He accused Republicans of trying to politicize abortion, the U.S. relationship with Israel, the Iran deal, Benghazi and the scandals at the IRS and the VA. Just last week he insinuated that Hillary Rodham Clinton's disagreements with his Syria policy (or lack thereof) are influenced by the fact she's running for office.

The common denominator in all of these cases is Obama's unimpeachable certainty that he has a monopoly on all the good arguments and all the best motives. Now he even claims the exclusive right to politicize issues when it suits him.

In his remarks, he repeatedly insisted that all he wants are common-sense reforms that would stop mass shootings, as if the people who disagree with him are in favor of such slaughter....

Obama's comments on Thursday highlighted the problem with his approach to politics. He would rather go for everything he wants and get nothing, but keep the political issue, than make progress on common ground.

Virtually none of the proposals on his gun-control wish list — more comprehensive federal background checks, closing the gun show "loophole," etc. — would help bring down the homicide rate. It's not just a tautology to note that most gun crimes are committed by criminals — with guns bought illegally. Enforcing existing laws or restoring stop-and-frisk policies in big cities would save more lives than shuttering gun shows.

Nor would his proposals have prevented the deaths at Umpqua Community College. Typically, mass killers don't buy guns at gun shows. And a CNN analysis found that a comprehensive background check system wouldn't have prevented any of the "routine" killing sprees Obama referred to, save one: The Virginia Tech shooter should have failed a background test but didn't.

That murderer — like the Tucson, Sandy Hook and, most likely, Umpqua killers — had serious mental health problems.

After the Sandy Hook slaughter, there was a bipartisan consensus that more needed to be done on the mental health side. But Obama, fresh off reelection, rejected a piecemeal approach, largely preferring to go for a "comprehensive" solution. He ended up with nothing at all.
Just the result Obama must want since he rarely tries to work for a compromise. I am covering Andrew Jackson's presidency this week in my AP U.S. History class. We'd talked about the dislike between Henry Clay and Jackson so when it came to talk about how Clay orchestrated a compromise to defuse the Nullification Crisis over the Tariff of Abominations, several of my students asked about why Clay would have done that given how much he disliked Jackson. It was as if they couldn't comprehend a politician acting for the greater good of the country even if he disliked the sitting president. Is it that unfathomable to have leading politicians who would work for the greater good of the country instead of hoping that the president would experience a terrible crisis.


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This is a great parody of the Washington Post's Fact Checker giving Carly Fiorina three Pinocchios for saying that she went from being a secretary to being the CEO even though they acknowledged that her statement is factually true. I guess they would have given Abe Lincoln three Pinocchios also.

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