Gail and Bret | There Has to Be a Tipping Point on Guns, Right? – The New York Times

“. . . . Bret: Imagine a TV ad from a moderate Democrat like Ohio’s Tim Ryan or Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger that goes something like this:

“I believe in the Second Amendment. But not for this guy” — followed by a picture of the Tucson, Ariz, mass murderer Jared Lee Loughner, “or this guy” — a picture of Aurora, Colo., mass murderer James Holmes, “or this guy” — a picture of Newtown, Conn., mass murderer Adam Lanza.

It would continue: “I also believe in the right to own firearms responsibly for hunting and self-defense. But not for this” — a picture of the scene outside the Uvalde school, “or this” — a picture of the scene from the Buffalo grocery store, “or this” — scenes from the Parkland massacre.

And it could conclude: “Justice Robert Jackson once told us that the Bill of Rights cannot become a suicide pact. That includes the Second Amendment. We can protect your guns while keeping them out of the hands of crazy and dangerous people by using common-sense background checks, 21-years-of-age purchasing requirements, three-day waiting periods, and mental-health exams. It’s not about denying your Constitutional rights. It’s so your children come home from school alive.”

What do you think?

Gail: I’m sold. And I have a feeling we’ll be talking about this much, much more as this election year goes on.

Bret: Let’s hope it’s not after the next school shooting. Though, considering what we saw over the weekend in Philadelphia or Chattanooga, it may not be long.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Commet:
Yes, thank you, And— I recommend that we either show the pictures of the slaughtered children, or pictures or videos of actors pretending to be slaughtered. We film a reenactment of the killing. Or, We line up 21 patty play pal dies in cute outfits, and show them being cut to pieces by an 18 year old with an AR 15. We do the same with life sized posters of either the real victims, or actors pretending to be them. Show the pictures getting cut to pieces by an assault rifle, so you would need a dna sample to id your loved one. We use these for ads to remove the obstacles to gun safety in our halls of government.
David Lindsay Jr is the author of “the Tay Son Rebellion,” historical fiction about war in18th century Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net.

Gail Collins | Sick of Massacres? Get Rid of the Guns. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“How long does it take to get over a mass shooting?

Well, for the families and friends of victims of the Buffalo supermarket disaster, where 10 people were killed by a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle, obviously forever. But when it comes to the rest of the country, one man who ought to know says the public has already started to move on.

“That’s the pattern,” said Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. “Despite gun violence rates going through the roof, the country only pays attention when there’s a mass shooting, and then the country only pays attention for 24 to 48 hours.”

Murphy was formerly the congressman from the district where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children, with a semiautomatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Murphy later moved on to the Senate, where in 2016 he staged an old-school filibuster, speaking for over 14 hours to protest the fact that his colleagues weren’t planning to do anything after the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 in Florida.

The gunman at the Pulse nightclub used a semiautomatic rifle. See a pattern here, anybody? And what do you think we should do about it?”

Opinion | Sometimes,  History Goes Backwards – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are Opinion columnists. They converse every week.

“Bret Stephens: Hi, Gail. I don’t know if you remember the Lloyd Bridges character from the movie “Airplane,” the guy who keeps saying, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking/drinking/amphetamines/sniffing glue.” We were away last week and … stuff happened. Your thoughts on what appears to be the imminent demise of Roe v. Wade?

Gail Collins: Well, Bret, I have multitudinous thoughts, some of them philosophical and derived from my Catholic upbringing. Although I certainly don’t agree with it, I understand the philosophical conviction that life begins at conception.

Bret: As a Jew, I believe that life begins when the kids move out of the house.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment:
Great conversation, and some big laughs. Life really begins when the kids finally leave the house. But both Gail and Bret appear not to know that the Canadian oil slated for the XL pipeline is the dirtiest kind of shale oil there is, while the Saudi oil is mostly some of the cleanest. I now support the XL pipeline, but not for the reasons either of them mention. It is very bad for the environment, but it could in the short term, help the Democrats take more of the house and senate. The invasion by Russia into the Ukraine has created an emergency short term need for oil. There is a political reason for turning the XL pipeline back on, as long as we can turn it off when no longer needed.
David blogs at

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | Which ‘Radioactive Republicans’ Are We Betting On? – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are Opinion columnists. They converse every week.

Gail Collins: Bret, let’s relax and talk about long-term goals that we totally do not share. For instance, how would you feel about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour?

Bret Stephens: Why not raise the standard of living for everyone by making the minimum wage $100? Just kidding. I think the correct figure is $0.

Gail: If your goal is a self-supporting populace that doesn’t depend on government aid, you’ve got to make sure employers are shelling out at least minimal survival salaries. The current bottom line is $7.25 an hour. Nobody can live on that.

Bret: I’m taking my $0 cue from a famous Times editorial from 1987, which made the case that “those at greatest risk from a higher minimum wage would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs.” The editorial may be old but the economic logic is right. Raising the minimum wage is a well-intentioned idea that won’t help its intended beneficiaries. It will hurt them by giving companies like McDonald’s additional incentives to move toward even more automation.

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | It’s Never a Good Time for the Hunter Biden Story – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are opinion columnists. They converse every week.

“Gail Collins: Bret, here’s one question I don’t think I ever asked you before: What do you think of daylight saving time?

Bret Stephens: About the same way I feel about Volodymyr Zelensky. The light of the West.

Gail: Your ability to have everything remind you of foreign affairs is awesome.

I was sorta impressed the other day when the Senate voted unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent, year-round. What’s the last thing they agreed about that easily?

Bret: Invading Afghanistan?

Gail: I think switching back and forth is stupid. But many sleep scientists seem to think standard time — winter time — is healthier. So I’ll go with them, just to be difficult.

Bret: This is a major difference between liberals and conservatives. Modern-day liberals are often quite happy to defer to the wisdom of experts, at least when it comes to subjects like public health or economics. Whereas those of us who are conservative tend to be — skeptical. We prefer the wisdom of crowds, or markets, to the wisdom of the purportedly wise. It goes back to William F. Buckley Jr.’s famous line that he’d rather “be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty.”

Gail: Do you happen to know what William F. Buckley Jr.’s position on daylight saving time was?

Bret: Given that daylight savings was initially signed into law by Woodrow Wilson, I’d have to assume Buckley would have been against it.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
The first half of this conversation was brilliantly light and funny. Hail to Gail and Bret.
Then Bret had to aim is ire at Hunter Biden, and Gail enabled his despicable behavior. Since Hunter hasn’t done anything illegal, and thousands of friends and family of the politically powerful have been profiting from that position for centuries, picking on Hunter Biden is a piddling distraction of the right, particularly, to keep people from talking about the real elephants in the room, income inequality, the climate crisis, and the extinction of species to name my top three. The biggest weakness of these two brilliant and funny opinion writers, is that they appear to not have even a small environmentalist’s bone in their bodies– articulate urban restauranteurs. I prefer to defend Hunter Biden, who has a work ethic and a strong resume. As an American MBA, working for a Ukrainian gas company, was helping support a critical ally of NATO as the cold war against the Russian Federation continued. These two cocktail comics should be more grateful for his service. Chastising Hunter for selling his paintings is also an example of silliness. So much modern, abstract art is sold for so much money, its embarrassing. But Hunter is just one of thousands of painters cashing in, and his work at least isn’t as bogus as virtual currency, that has an enormous carbon footprint, and is the preferred currency of criminals.
If Hunter Biden is found guilty of committing a crime, I will apologize to Gail and Bret.
David blogs at

Opinion | There Are Almost Too Many Things to Worry About – The New York Times

“Bret: Ukraine’s courage under fire ought to be a reminder that Republicans and Democrats should also show the courage to compromise and that there’s a lot to be said for showing good faith toward political opponents, including our beleaguered but well-meaning president.

OK, who am I kidding? I’m sure there are some more post offices Congress can name before the name-calling resumes.”  -30-

David Lindsay:

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Not my cup of tea this week. One of my favorite conversations just got dull. How about bootin Putin for a topic that has relevance, and requires courage. How exactly could we get those Polish Migs to the Ukraine? Should we fly them in ourselves, with a NATO escort? I recommend Maureen Dowd this week. Zelenski Answers Hamlet

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | When the Storming of the Capitol Becomes ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are Opinion columnists. They converse every week.

Gail Collins: Hey Bret, the new jobs report looked pretty good. Would you say Joe Biden is starting off the Winter Olympics season with a triple salchow?

Bret Stephens: Gail, I’m having trouble imagining the president in a sparkly ice-skating unitard.

Gail: You’re right, don’t want to go there.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
I had trouble with this column. It has become the practice here for my sweetheart and me to read Bret and Gail out loud, she reading Gail with a flare, and I do a fine Bret. I thought this piece was such a sleeper, it wasn’t worth our time and energy, but then, we did it anyway, and it sprang to life. One item I notice in round two was the following, after Bret roundly criticizes the CDC ang government for a failed fight against the pandemic. Gail appears to let it go, but soon after:
“Gail: I know the social distancing rules are very hard on the theater owners, but as a consumer I do appreciate knowing that if I go to a movie or play or concert there’s going to be some space between people. And the vaccine — not sure Biden can do anything more short of having resisters tackled on the streets. But sane conservative commentators have a special duty to encourage their viewers and readers to do the right thing. And lace into the anti-vax folk.”
Gail is so subtle and diplomatic, that she had just cut Bret down to size so that he was bleeding, and maybe dead, and perhaps needed smoke up his you know what, but it was so late and soft, he might not have even noticed.

Gail and Bret | Nothing’s More Fun Than Picking the Next Supreme Court Justice. Right? – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are Opinion columnists. They converse every week.

Bret Stephens: Gail, President Biden has announced that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. Is this a good idea, politically speaking?

Gail Collins: Bret, let me rise above that and say it’s a good idea, national-welfare speaking. The Supreme Court has so much power — more in some ways than any other body in government. And obviously you want it to reflect the makeup of the country.

Bret: So why not, say, an Asian American jurist?

Gail: We’ve only had two Black justices, and five women, in American history. There’s a lot of territory to make up for.

Obviously this can’t be the end of the inclusion story. Also obviously, you can’t ignore the fact that Biden really did need to rally Black voters. Not much danger of losing them to the Republicans, but the enthusiasm/turnout factor is important.

Opinion | The Democrats’ No Good, Very Bad Day Changes the Landscape – The New York Times

“. . . . Gail: Bridges of America, rejoice!

You wrote a terrific column about the elections last week, Bret. Can’t say I agreed with all your conclusions but it was, as always, very smart. If you were on the phone with Nancy Pelosi today, what would you advise her to do next?

Bret: First, Madam Speaker, please don’t hang up on me.

Second, put the social spending bill in the basement icebox and don’t take it out until Democrats have the kind of majorities that can pass it.

Third, look for a bipartisan win on immigration reform, starting with a trade on citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for more border security and a firm “Remain in Mexico” policy for migrants.

And finally, find ways to separate the Democratic Party brand from Toxic Wokeness.

Gail: I’m with President Biden that the next stop is his social spending program. Admittedly it’ll be carved down, but it has to include support for workers who temporarily need to stay home to take care of newborns or aging family members. And of course that universal preschool education.”

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | Trump Missed the Part About No Do-Overs – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Stephens are Opinion columnists. They converse every week.

“Bret Stephens: Gail, I know we don’t typically talk about office politics, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid — as when our friend and colleague Nick Kristof leaves us to run for governor of his home state of Oregon. Our readers ought to know what an incredible guy he is behind the scenes.

Gail Collins: Bret, I am extremely proud to say that when I was the editor of this section, I lured Nick over from the news side to be a columnist.

One of his early projects was to write about the vile goings-on in a remote African country. I can’t remember all the details. But it involved a short plane ride that cost about $10,000 because he was barred from entry and had to be flown in by a brave pilot who claimed to be transporting a barrel of wheat.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT |NYT Comment:
Thank you Gail and Bret, for another good conversation.
I don’t know much about Jefferson yet, but as I read the gripping history, “Washington,” by Ron Chernow, I’m amazed at what a great man Washington was. I’m a historian of Vietnam and China, so the stories in “Washington” are mostly new to me. I knew about the miracle of escaping the British when they took NY City from the history “1776” by David McCullough, another magnificent read. I describe parts of the Battle of Yorktown, as the Battle of the Chesapeake, in my novel. Spoiler alert, we didn’t defeat the British at Yorktown, the French did.
This idea that all the founders of the 18th century have to pass the politically correct tests of the twenty first century is ridiculous.