What If After 9/11 a Bush Shrugged and Said 'Stuff Happens'?



By Mark Green

Gun Safety After Oregon. We listen to a frustrated President urging the country to pressure Congress to strengthen gun safety laws "to save lives and let these people grow up."

Question to Rich: Any suggestions about what to do? He urges better detection and treatment of deranged people while acknowledging that often "authorities don't know about them until they start shooting." What about the "well-regulated" language of even the Second Amendment and the reality that while cars took 50,000 lives a year a few decades ago and guns 30,000, this year gun deaths will exceed car deaths due to auto safety regulation? He cites the Second Amendment and concludes that no laws will work and, as the President did, to suggest otherwise is misleading. Anyway, the rate of gun violence is down.

Reagan counters that "guns don't kill people, rather people with guns kill people," and if other countries can figure out solutions, so can we. He urges universal background checks, delays between purchase and possession and better training of owners.

Can we at least agree that the NRA is wrong to say the answer is more guns to deter psychotic people from such attacks? No, says Rich, concluding that more guns in schools would stop such attacks earlier and asks this rhetorical question: "Wouldn't you want a teacher having a gun to stop this shooter?" Ron jumps: That's a crazy hypothetical "showing you don't understand guns or people," because in the real world more guns equals more deaths and, "My father said that there was no reason for anyone to carry around a loaded weapon."

Host: While all crime is down and along with it gun deaths, over the past 13 years the number of mass shootings in the U.S. has more than doubled. Since gun-related deaths costs $229 billion annually and has taken more lives in past dozen years than AIDS, war and drugs combined, it's hard to understand why America can't learn from other western democracies. What will that take? A presidential candidate advocating stronger policies, then winning, then shaming the NRA as a pro-death lobby and outing cowardly members who are pro-life only pre-birth.

House I: Boehner Quits. Why his resignation and will it change the House? There's no disagreement that an exhausted Speaker could no longer keep corralling his Caucus and was personally content to exit after getting his Pope to come to town. But Ron is unsparing in his critique: "The Hard Right was never happy unless it could shut down the government whenever it wanted. But if they keep that up, it'll be bad for the country and for their party. These Members have simply jumped the shark."

Does Rich agree with Senator Cruz that while Democratic donors largely agree on policy with their part's base, GOP donors loathe their party's base? Rich concurs, citing the example of Jeb who's adored in corporate boardrooms though it's hard to find many Republican voters excited by him.

As for his likely successor, Rep. McCarthy, Rich is dismayed by his clumsy answer on Hannity that the current and eighth Benghazi probe was a partisan effort to get Hillary. "That came out wrong," Lowry adds, "but it's a huge blow to that Committee."

House II: Planned Parenthood Pushes Back. Who won the show-down between House Republicans and Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards over that video? "I hate to admit it but she got the better of it", acknowledges Rich, "because the Republicans were underprepared and overmatched by a professional witness. They should have interrupted her with better questions about the video but didn't."

Ron agues not only that the video was doctored but also that abortion is legal and so is testing of fetal tissue from discarded fetuses voluntarily donated by women. "And there's no evidence that Planned Parenthood sells body parts." There's then a lot of argument/cross-talk when Rich says that Planned Parenthood "kills babies" and shouldn't get any federal funding. The Host breaks in: morally, Rich and Ron disagree over abortion and when life begins but legally, of course, no one's murdering babies since the criminal law doesn't consider abortions to be murder.

Syria's Quagmire. True, Russia's movement of arms and planes into SyrIa to prop up the Assad regime took the Obama Administration by surprise. Rich calls it a "humiliation" giving Putin the upper hand now. Ron downgrades it to a short-term embarrassment but that Putin should be careful what he wishes for since Syria is likely to be a long-term quagmire.

What can or should the U. S. now do? Ron says we should coordinate with the Russians so nobody shoots down the other's planes, adding that Putin has a point by saying that the U. S. throws its weight around so now Russia is. Rich mocks that view since motives matter - "Hitler threw his weight around but that doesn't mean that every country which does so is like Hitler." He urges a safe haven in Syria for humanitarian purposes and urges the U. S. to better arm the Ukrainian government in that simmering conflict.

Trump vs. Lowry. Two questions: what was it like when Trump went after Lowry as a "loooser" for saying that Fiorina "cut off his balls" in the last debate and how can the press deal with a candidate who is a serial liar?

Lowry laughs off Trump's attack, noting that he does have many intense followers and that the National Review lost no subscribers since, "Our readers are real conservatives."

Reagan says that the media must, no matter how contemptuous of Trump, keep exposing his lies. For one example: The way this week that he initially that his tax proposal would really sock it to the rich and people like him when, in fact, it both would significantly cut their taxes and add a cool $10 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

The Host then puts Reagan on the spot: "Do you agree with President Clinton that Trump could be the nominee or the Host who says he can't be "because he's a vain businessman who will cut his losses when his polls go South." Ron sighs. In this case, "my Host".