Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Live-blogging the GOP debate

Well, this is a tough night a TV choices for me. Duke is playing and I always like watching them even when they're playing a totally uneven match-up and they're up by almost 30. And I wanted to watch the Cavaliers' grudge rematch with the Celtics. But I guess the GOP debate qualifies as the biggest grudge rematch. At least, by listening to the GOP debate, I can also grade some of the midterm exams I have to grade. We'll see which will be more tedious. I need one of those giant man-cave multi-screen TVs.

I could've put money down on Rand Paul being the one to mention that today was the 224th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. I like having Paul in the debates to serve as a foil for the others.

And John Kasich telling us that we shouldn't be so divided. We're divided because people believe different things and think that the other side's arguments are specious.

I don't like Carly Fiorina talking about beating breast cancer and burying a step-daughter as qualifications for the presidency.

Rubio starts off with his grandfather. I think there should be a drinking game for every time Rubio talks about his parents or grandparents.

Ben Carson's asking for a moment of silence for San Bernardino victims just seems like a gimmick.

Trump's opening statement is about his poll numbers. Of course.

Rubio is smart to switch from talking about Trump's proposal to the threat we face and how Obama has made things worse. He's right. Trump's idea of banning all Muslims is not going to happen so let's stop talking about it.

Hewitt asked Cruz to answer specifically about why he disagrees with Trump. Cruz is going to avoid anything negative about Trump as long as he can. I wish I had a screenshot of the look on Trump's face when Cruz was talking about horse thieves. That was a hoot.

I guess John Kasich rethought his tactics of being the most annoying person on any debate stage ever.

Do any but those really plugged in Republicans care when Cruz uses Mark Levin as an endorsement of his position or refers to Alinsky-like methods.

Christie is good making fun of how senators debate bills. But actually, the differences among these bills are important.

Is Ben Carson in the Cone of Silence?

Now he gets a question and spends the first seconds complaining about not getting time. Whining is never a good look in these debates. Then he's asked to weigh in on what was being debated and he gives it a pass. That's not the way to look strong and up to discussing the issues of the day.

Fiorina did well in saying how we need to look to the private sector to do what the government can't do.

Cruz knocked the answer about the Obama administration avoiding checking social media making us less safe. He had lots of specifics. But his differentiation between bombing a city is different from bombing ISIS. Basically, he's saying that he doesn't really mean "carpet bomb" when he says he's going to "carpet bomb." What about when they're stationing themselves among civilians? We can not defeat an enemy solely through air attacks. I guess he wants to use that groundbreaking new tactic - precision carpet bombing.

Jeb Bush is exactly right that Trump has said that Hillary is a good negotiator and he gets his foreign policy ideas "from the shows."

Now Jeb gets alpha with Trump. Trump has been taking Kasich lessons. I hope he's right that Trump "won't be able to insult his way to the presidency." But it's been working for Trump for months.

Carson says he can be a commander-in-chief and go to war because he's operated on children with tumors. I just don't see the connection. Children being bombed don't get Dr. Carson to gently explain to them about how they're going to be bombed and wake up after he's done operating.

Rubio does very well on explaining why Sunni Arabs don't trust Obama. He comes across as someone who understands what is going on. He has a great ability to convey his knowledge without losing the audience.

Oh, please. Fiorina resorts to the Thatcher quote about if you want something done, ask a woman. Isn't that a slogan for Hillary? Stop laying the gender card. I hate it when Hillary does it and don't want it from a Republican.

Good question to ask Rubio about his support of bringing down Qaddafi. I don't think talking about what Qaddafi did 30 years ago is a good reason.

Kasich keeps trumpeting the Saudi announcement about the Arab countries putting together an alliance to fight terror as if that will be of any use.

Fiorina is exactly right that Trump's criticism of the Iraq war is exactly what Obama says. THen she pivots to attack Hillary.

Trump goes back and forth to being a peacenik to saying about how he's going to destroy ISIS.

Oooh. Wolf Blitzer just played alpha dog with Cruz and won the exchange.

John Kasich wants to punch Russia in the nose. Is that like precision carpet bombing?

I liked Chris Christie saying that a no-fly zone means what it says. I'm sick of his "I'm from New Jersey" shtick.

Please, Rand Paul. No one up there wants World War III. Christie is smart to turn it around to slam Obama and Clinton.

Bush says he knows what he doesn't know. Is that like known unknowns?

Trump goes on a screed that CNN asks questions about what Trump says. But that is his whole shtick - to say outrageous things so he gets media attention. Trump is a whiny bully.

Now Fiorina and Kasich break in like Mommy and Daddy to tell the kids to stop bickering in the back seat.

Why does Hugh Hewitt keep asking Carson if he's ready to be commander-in-chief. Obviously, he thinks he can be because he's running. So ask him substantive questions so we can see if he knows what he's talking about instead of allowing him to give his standard answer about how we don't need an experienced person in the White House.

Finally, Rubio gets a question about the Gang of Eight bill. And of course, Rubio plays the family card. He's got the answer down pat about how Americans don't trust the government to keep the border secure. I don't know how the hard-liners will take his answer. Those on my Twitter feed will never forgive him and Cruz's jabs play well with them.

Rubio is right about Cruz's original position on immigration. Avik Roy just leaked to this NYT story.

Having Paul and Cruz pile on Rubio over immigration could really hurt him. Maybe Paul wants to help Cruz out.

Guy Benson disentangles Cruz's various positions on immigration back in 2013. It's very confusing and I doubt if the audience tonight get this.


Paula said...

Totally agree about Carson. He wanted a question and then refused to answer the one he got.

mark said...

Nobody thought to answer Trump's claim that terrorists care about their families by pointing out the San Bernnadino killers who abandoned their six-month child.

mark said...

"Trump's idea of banning all Muslims is not going to happen so let's stop talking about it."

This was an idea brought up by the leading candidate and supported by 60% of republicans. Along with his "ideas" of intentionally killing innocent children and shutting down "parts" of the internet, it should be discussed.

tfhr said...


How many Tashfeen Maliks should we allow into the United States?

I think one was too many and until we have a system that demonstrates real effectiveness in keeping Jihadists like her out of the country, I'd like to hear - in your opinion - just what is an acceptable number of terrorists to allow?

You can criticize people like Trump and others - Dems included - that object to bringing in unknowable people but what have you got that provides a better alternative to blocking the immigration of terrorists until better measures are available and in place?

Remember mark, you're the one running around claiming that on the eve of 9-11, Bush should have done something. You've never said what and now that we've seen what Tashfeen Malik has done, along with the radicalization of Muslim Americans, the threat is clear, it's here and the left wants to do exactly what? Bring in more people we cannot identify from countries rife with jihadists, Islamists, and prospects for later recruitment! If you think that's a sane idea, don't ever use the term "common sense" again.

mark said...

Oh, Trumpette, but I have said what Bush should have done. When Cofer and Tenet came to his admin. and pleaded for him to put us on a "war-footing", he should have. Perhaps you were busy whining about computer glitches and my refusal to conduct my own independent investigation. It's very clear that if W had been as concerned with terrorism as he was with cutting taxes and brush, the 9/11 attacks might not have occurred.

Here's a refresher:
Tenet vividly recalls the White House meeting with Rice and her team. (George W. Bush was on a trip to Boston.) “Rich [Blee] started by saying, ‘There will be significant terrorist attacks against the United States in the coming weeks or months. The attacks will be spectacular. They may be multiple. Al Qaeda's intention is the destruction of the United States.’" [Condi said:] ‘What do you think we need to do?’ Black responded by slamming his fist on the table, and saying, ‘We need to go on a wartime footing now!’”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/11/cia-directors-documentary-911-bush-213353#ixzz3uS1tlVDt

tfhr said...


No, I don't expect you to do any research - you've admitted that you are intellectually incurious and dishonest but I'll still throw some questions out there for you.

1. Where is the actionable intelligence in any of that?

2. "Wartime footing?" Does Cofer Black or Tenet define that? Did they say what specific measures they recommended in that little scrap of an advert that you keep repeating? Did either mention that four airliners were going to be flown into buildings by Muslim men? Did they happen to mention the names of any of these men? Are you suggesting that maybe Bush should have not allowed any Muslims into the United States as soon as he took office or should he have also started deporting all Muslims, just to be safe?

3. You cannot even get the current President to identify the threat of radical Islam - he won't even say it - much less put this country on a "wartime footing" following new attacks in this country, so I'm not sure what you wanted Bush to do ahead of 9-11.

4. Do you think ISIL/ISIS/IS/Daesh/Obama's JV team is not telling the truth when they say they are infiltrating their operatives into the refugee flow - some from camps they run?

5. How many more terrorists should the Obama Administration allow to migrate to the United States?

mark said...

Yes, trumpette, they did make a specific proposal. I've linked it several times and you've pretended you couldn't read it.
I get that you and others think that sealing the borders, rounding up millions for deportation and killing the children of suspected terrorists would keep us safer. It probably would. It's also immoral, unworkable and cowardly. Hence, you default to implying I want to "allow" terrorists to enter the country.

Tenet and Black pitched a plan, in the spring of 2001, called “the Blue Sky paper” to Bush’s new national security team. It called for a covert CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat—“getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.” “And the word back,” says Tenet, “‘was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking.’” (Translation: they did not want a paper trail to show that they’d been warned.) Black, a charismatic ex-operative

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/11/cia-directors-documentary-911-bush-213353#ixzz3uTxRtcg1

tfhr said...


Perhaps you should have taken the time to find out what "Blue Sky" was and what the paper actually proposed:

• A major effort to support the Northern Alliance through intelligence sharing and increased funding so that it could stave off the Taliban army and tie down al Qaeda fighters. This effort was not intended to remove the Taliban from power, a goal that was judged impractical and too expensive for the CIA alone to attain.
• Increased support to the Uzbeks to strengthen their ability to fight terrorism and assist the United States in doing so.
• Assistance to anti-Taliban groups and proxies who might be encouraged to passively resist the Taliban.

The CIA memo noted that there was “no single ‘silver bullet’ available to deal with the growing problems in Afghanistan.”A multifaceted strategy would be needed to produce change.

It's all on page 197 of the 9-11 Commission Report. You should give it a look. In fact, you can go to pages 198 - 199 and read this about another meeting prior to 9-11:

President Bush told us he asked Tenet whether the CIA could kill Bin Ladin, and Tenet replied that killing Bin Ladin would have an effect but would not end the threat.

That's prescient, wouldn't you say? Do you know why else they wanted "Blue Sky"? Because their intelligence was so poor and they knew it. But there's more about "Blue Sky", if you want to learn about it -right there in the 9-11 report. Here's another sample: "The paper backed covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command-and-control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States."

Would you like the page numbers where you can read that this same proposal was offered to the Clinton Administration?

There's so much in the pages of the 9-11 report but even it cannot fill the breadth and width of your appalling, willful ignorance unless you actually read it, mark. For you it also holds some hope for at a soothing, if only partial remedy, for the painful twitching, profuse sweating, and Tourette's-like gibbering of BDS.

It might even help with that unsightly salivating, now go wipe your chin before you dribble on your keyboard, or worse, the 9-11 Commission Report.


mark said...

Yes, trumpette, and perhaps if you read section "The system was blinking red" pg. 264, you'll see the Bush administration (particularly Wolfowitz) ignored and/or discounted warnings of "impending" and "spectacular" attacks. Far from having "no inkling", there was ample evidence that attacks were imminent.

tfhr said...

Attacks where? Attacks how? What day is "imminent" in relation to the day that you've been presented with one threat warning or another?

So are you advocating that the Bush Administration should have prevented male Arabs from boarding American airliners? What about the women? What did the intelligence say about that? Perhaps your measures, undefined as they are, should have focused only on Muslims...but wait, that's what leftist weenies are complaining about with Trump! I've even heard the old reliable "racist" flag thrown, as if Islam were a race.

There are always warnings about attacks but whether they are credible, specific and accompanied with sufficient intelligence to prevent them is the key. Of course if they are caused by a YouTube video, then all bets are off. Just ask Hillary.

So go back and read the section called "The System was Blinking Red", and tell me what specific recommendation was made and based on what intelligence. I'll wait right here for you.

BTW, you still owe me a number on how many jihadists we can let in amongst the "refugees". Here's a helpful hint: Don't forget to count the jihadists on K1 visas and student visas in your overall total. I'd like at least a number since you cannot explain why it is suddenly necessary to brew up this issue since it didn't matter when Yazhidis were being slaughtered.

mark said...

I realize you think you're being clever by insinuating that I favor allowing any jihadists into our country, just as you thought accusing me of wanting to exploit children was clever:

You should be a conductor on La Bestia - you're perfect for the job - "Right this way kiddies...Uncle marco has some dulces for you."

That you think I "owe" you anything is as silly as your demand that I apologize for sending you a supposedly broken link.

tfhr said...


You're ridiculous. Now you're in denial that you sent a list of links that "proved" your notion that there was intelligence available to Bush that could have prevented 9-11? Really? You sloppily and lazily copied and pasted more than ten links - including one that claimed a Pentagon conspiracy - most of which were broken. You took them all from one source and obviously did not bother to check them - all because you're only capable of regurgitating talking points. Do you want me to direct you to the posts? Maybe you were hammered and do not remember doing it but that's no excuse.

You've failed to prove your case and you know it. The link to the story about CIA directors and the TV documentary that it promoted does not refute the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission. If it did, there be a hell of a lot more about it than the single story or a Huff-po reference to the same story. Don't you think? Do you think at all?

If you cared about keeping terrorists out you'd exercise caution about who it allowed in - it's that simple.