Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trevor Noah Covers the GOP Debate

Why was Ted Cruz's performance like a Greek tragedy? Trevor Noah has it here (scroll to the bottom and sit through the ads; it's worth it).

Welcome to Sempringham, Trevor.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Is There a Difference Between Republicans and Democrats?

[W]hile Democrats were participating in a candidates forum, Republicans Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz were guests at "religious freedom" event led by a pastor who preaches that homosexuality should be punished with death.

Rachel Maddow has the story here.

P.S. Whatever you do, don't start making comparisons with Nazis, as that is a sign that you are not a serious person.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Don't Worry, Carson Will Never Get the Nomination

And it's not just because of his peculiar approach to history.

From Laura:

Immigration Reform II

Well, I never thought I'd ever say anything remotely like this, but if you want to see the best argument I've ever seen for deporting illegal aliens, it's right here. [Warning: This will be rough on the ears and eyes of most Sempringham readers, who don't talk like this.]

Note that this professionally prepared video was created by a political PAC. I doubt many minds were changed favorably to immigration reform by it.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Jeb Bush is Now the Rodney Dangerfield Candidate

Jeb! Bush decided that exclamation points weren't helping him get traction, so he revamped his campaign with a new slogan: "Jeb Can Fix It!"

How's that working? Well, Politico reports that at one of those famous New Hampshire town hall meetings this week, three separate people stood up and asked him for help fixing their septic systems.

[Oops! This post was originally called Jeb the Henny Youngman candidate. Youngman was "Take My Wife, Please!" Rodney Dangerfield was "I get no respect around here!" It's always a good idea to fact-check BEFORE you click that "Publish" button.]

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Wisdom of Napoleon

Oh, Vlad!!!

As we wait to find out if the terrible crash of a civilian Russian airliner in the Sinai was the result of an ISIS missle, let us remember the famous maxim attributed to Napoleon: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

That was essentially the advice of Tom Friedman in late September, when Vlad Putin sent his troops into Syria:
[T]oday’s reigning cliché is that the wily fox, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, has once again outmaneuvered the flat-footed Americans, by deploying some troops, planes and tanks to Syria to buttress the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and to fight the Islamic State forces threatening him. If only we had a president who was so daring, so tough, so smart.
Really? Well think about this: Let’s say the U.S. did nothing right now, and just let Putin start bombing ISIS and bolstering Assad. How long before every Sunni Muslim in the Middle East, not to mention every jihadist, has Putin’s picture in a bull’s eye on his cellphone?
The Sunni Muslims are the vast majority in Syria. They are the dominant sect in the Arab world. Putin and Russia would be seen as going all-in to protect Assad, a pro-Iranian, Alawite/Shiite genocidal war criminal. Putin would alienate the entire Sunni Muslim world, including Russian Muslims.


Putin stupidly went into Syria looking for a cheap sugar high to show his people that Russia is still a world power. Well, now he’s up a tree. Obama and John Kerry should just leave him up there for a month — him and Assad, fighting ISIS alone — and watch him become public enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world. “Yo, Vladimir, how’s that working for you?”
Oh, how the GOP (and face it: the mainstream press) drooled over the manly Vlad!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Immigration Reform

Paul Ryan says there will be no immigration reform during the Obama Presidency:
Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he’s willing to work across the aisle with Democrats but won’t do immigration reform with President Obama in his final 14 months in office.
“The president has proven himself untrustworthy on this issue, because he tried to unilaterally rewrite the law himself. Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does,” the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” referring to Obama’s executive actions this year to ease immigration policies. “The president’s proven himself to be untrustworthy on this issue.”
Oh, yes, it's all Obama's fault. This is, of course, pablum for the party faithful.

And David Atkins at Political Animal will have nothing to do with it:
It’s perfectly obvious that of all the battles in the GOP civil war between the establishment and the base, immigration is by far the most toxic. Immigration is the main reason Donald Trump is where he is in the polls, Jeb Bush seems to have one foot in the campaign grave, and media/establishment darling “winner of every debate” Marco Rubio can’t seem to climb higher than 10% in the national numbers.
Any attempt to even consider bring a legislative proposal on immigration in the House would destroy what little is left of Republican Party unity, and make the presidential race an even bigger clown show than it is now. That downside risk is far scarier to most Republicans than whatever upside gains might be made with Hispanics come November as a result of actually trying to be responsible legislators.
Quite right. The only immigration reform package this GOP Congress could put on Obama's desk is one that deports 11 million people in boxcars. And yet, that appeals to a large section of the Republican Party.

That Damn Feral Gummint

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the last Republican Debate:
I mean, let me be honest with the people who are watching at home. The government has lied to you and they have stolen from you. They told you that your Social Security money is in a trust fund. All that’s in that trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money they spent on something else a long time ago.And they’ve stolen from you because now they know they cannot pay these benefits and Social Security is going to be insolvent in seven to eight years.


If somebody’s already stolen money from you, are you going to give them more? Or, are you going to deal with the problem by saying, I’m going to give people who’ve done well in this country less benefit on the backend.
 Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee responds:
First of all, yes, we’ve stolen. Yes, we’ve lied to the American people about Social Security, and Medicare. ...
Christie again:
They stole it. It got stolen from them. It’s not theirs anymore. The government stole it, and spent it a long time ago.
Compare and contrast.

For some background, check out The Looting of Social Security.

Postscript: I hope I'm not being cryptic about this. In a democracy, the government is not they, it is we. Everything that was done with Social Security trust funds was done the knowledge and consent of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Job Creation Under Bush and Obama

Paul Krugman shared this graph on his blog.

Like Moynihan said, you're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.