Why be surprised at Ben Carson’s shooting plans?

They are, Paul Waldman says, exactly what the NRA and the Republican Party have been saying for years now:

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” says the NRA, and Republicans believe it, too. So they push for laws to allow guns to be brought into as many places as possible — schools, government buildings, churches, anywhere and everywhere. They advocate “stand your ground” laws that encourage people to use guns to settle arguments. They seek both open-carry and concealed-carry laws on a “shall issue” basis (meaning the government presumes that you should get the license unless it can prove you fall into certain categories of offenders) to put guns in as many hands as possible.

All of this is driven by the fantasy of the gun owner as action hero.

In 2013, the CDC says, there were 32,888 gun deaths (murder, accident, suicide). Apparently 33,000 lives per year is insufficient to get the Republican Party to agree to require American gun owners or buyers to submit to background checks when they want another weapon. We could and did reorganize our entire society as a response to the murder of 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, but we can’t seem to do the same when we have ten times that many killed every year.

I don’t know how you persuade the American people that this is insane. I guess you just keep trying, using facts and logic.

Mayo? Really?

Went out for fast food this evening: KFC for Mom and Mickey D’s for me. Instead of a Big Mac, I thought I’d try the Quarter Pounder Deluxe.

Won’t do that again. It had a whacking big dollop of mayonnaise on it. I like mustard and ketchup on burgers. Mayo should be reserved for baloney and turkey sandwiches.

Deadbeat Carly?

We know Carly Fiorina lied when she claimed she’d seen a video of an aborted child whose brain was “about to be harvested.” There was no such video, said people who’d watched all of the edited ones Republicans are using to attack Planned Parenthood.

We know Carly Fiorina lied about her “secretary to CEO” career path, when in fact she was upper middle class from birth. Her father was a lawyer and later judge who was a member of the three-judge panel which appointed Ken Starr to investigate the Clintons. She went to Stanford and later to U of Maryland for an MBA. After the MBA she joined AT&T in its management training program. The secretarial job she talks about is one she had for about a year for a commercial broker before going to grad school. That may not be quite Bush-level “born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple” scale, but it’s not far off.

Now we learn that she couldn’t be bothered to pay off her campaign debts to the tune of roughly $500K until she decided to run for President five years after she lost that Senate race to Barbara Boxer.

Those who waited the longest to be paid were small businesses with a few dozen employees who did the grunt work of the campaign: building stages, sending out mailers, selling polling data. And at least one is still waiting.

She’s obviously a true 1-percenter.

Let the playoffs begin!

Full schedule here.

The two Wild Card games determine the rest of the schedule. The American League one is on Tuesday and the National League one on Wednesday.


Tuesday, Oct. 6: Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel 20-8) at New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka 12-7), 8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta 22-6) at Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole 19-8), 8:08 p.m. ET (TBS)

What was that?

Okay, everybody’s already jumped on Jeb! for his oh-so-empathetic “stuff happens” response when asked about the campus shooting in Oregon. Everybody’s sort-of forgiven the Pope for meeting with that job-denying Kim Davis, since the circumstances were not what we thought; it wasn’t one-on-one and full of approbation for her “brave stand for religious liberty,” despite what her slimy ambulance-chaser lawyer said. No, she was apparently one of a group and he may not even have know why her presence was significant to anybody.

So what can I express outrage about?

I know! I got a renewal notice from Sports Illustrated today! My current subscription doesn’t run out till March of next year. It’s still good for roughly five months, and the discount now is no different than it will be in January. Stop it, Sports Illustrated!

Phew! I’m glad I got that off my chest!

Too clever by half

Isn’t it fun to outsmart yourself?

I asked Chase for a replacement credit card with the new Chip and Signature format rather than the outdated and vulnerable magnetic stripe card I have. This opened a can of worms, because they discovered they’d sent me just such a card back in April. Well, if I got it I didn’t realize it and tossed it. Either I did that or somebody else got it. Now, there have been no unusual charges on that card in all the time since, but they didn’t ask me that. Nope. In an abundance of caution they canceled my card and (they tell me) they’ve opened a new account for me with a new card number.

They told me that through their own secure message center, but who looks at that every day/week/month? I didn’t get a notification through regular email that there was a message waiting for me.

Meanwhile I go to Tracfone’s website to add some minutes to my cellphone and try to check out, only to be told the card has been denied by my bank and would I care to use a different card?

WTF, over?

It’s at this point that I go to Chase’s website and discover the message waiting for me.

This is the principal card I use for all internet services (hey, I get points from Amazon when I use it). Now I’m going to have to remember to update the info at every place I make a recurring purchase (Hosting Matters, I’m talking to you). And the new card hasn’t arrived yet.


No thank you

I would rather be poked in the eye with a sharp stick than be called to “testify” in front of a Congressional hearing, particularly one chaired by Republicans who can’t be bothered to get their facts straight before browbeating me for five hours.

As the accompanying video shows, the Utah Republican put a chart on display, purporting to show that over the last decade, the number of prevention services provided by the health care group has steadily declined, while the number of abortions has steadily increased.


When Richards said she’d never seen it before, (Representative Jason) Chaffetz replied: “It comes straight from your annual reports.”

Moments later, Richards shot back: “My lawyers just informed me that the source of this information is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. I would check your source.”

If you were Chaffetz, what would you do?

  • Give the staffer who prepared that chart a raise
  • Fire that staffer the moment the hearing ended
  • Insist that Ms. Richards and her lawyers were mistaken, or
  • go right ahead with no sign of embarrassment?

If you picked the last choice, class, you are correct!

They’re not only shameless, they’re stupid. They had weeks to prepare for this hearing and still fumbled it. Under the Republicans Congressional hearings have become a place to offer soundbites each member can use in fundraising. Hearings are certainly not for getting facts and reasons for actions from principals, not any more.


NASA confirmed today that it had found evidence that water once flowed freely on Mars.

Naturally, Rush Limbaugh immediately declared

this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda.

Limbaugh said that although he wasn’t entirely sure what the agenda was, he was going to “assume it would be something to do with global warming.”

You go right ahead, Rush. Assume all you like. You’re free to do so. I’m free to believe you’ve got the brains of a kumquat.