Gail Collins | Politician, Thy Name Is Hypocrite – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“What’s worse — politicians passing a bad law or politicians passing a bad law while attempting to make it look reasonable with meaningless window dressing?

You wind up in the same place, but I’ve gotta go with the jerks who pretend.

Let’s take, oh, I don’t know, abortion. Sure, lawmakers who vote to ban it know they’re imposing some voters’ religious beliefs on the whole nation. But maybe they can make it look kinda fair.

For instance Mark Ronchetti, who’s running for governor in New Mexico, was “strongly pro-life” until the uproar following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe. Now, his campaign website says he’s looking for a “middle ground” that would allow abortions “in cases involving rape, incest and when a mother’s life is at risk.”

That’s a very popular spin. The public’s rejection of the court’s ruling, plus the stunning vote for abortion rights in a recent statewide referendum in Kansas, has left politicians looking for some way to dodge the anti-choice label. Without, um, actually changing. “I am pro-life, and make no apologies for that. But I also understand that this is a representative democracy,” said Tim Michels, a Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor, when he embraced the rape-and-incest dodge.”

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | You Cannot Be Too Cynical About Trump (or His Imitators) – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

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

“Bret Stephens: Hi, Gail. Any plans to hop a flight to Martha’s Vineyard?

Gail Collins: Gee, Bret, I think the Vineyard folks have had enough unexpected guests for a while. But I really was impressed by how gracious they were to the immigrant families that Gov. Ron DeSantis shipped there.

Bret: It’s a shame for the Venezuelan migrants that they weren’t on the Vineyard for long, because the community there is extraordinarily generous.

Gail: As opposed to DeSantis and his slimy attempt to score political points with the right wing.

Bret: It was definitely a stunt, but it was a politically effective one.

Gail: Are you still open to the idea of him as a possible president?

Bret: All depends on the opponent. If you were a Republican primary voter and your choice was between Donald Trump and DeSantis, who would choose? No fair to answer “Canada” or “euthanasia.” “

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment:
Great conversation, thank you Gail and Bret. The one area I completely agree with Bret is immigration. We need to be pro immigration, with firmly closed and controlled borders. Uncontrolled borders just gives the GOP a winning issue, and they are in their current formation, a threat to our democracy.
     We do not want a billion climate refugees coming to this country, so we should abandon the asylum law we have now. It was written a long time ago, when the world population was, I’m guessing, 4 billion. Now we are 8 billion, and that, dear friends, is crazy and unsustainable.
David Lindsay wrote “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at InconvenientNews.net.

Gail Collins | Who Will Control the Senate? The Answer Could Be in an Email. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“We’re getting Senate serious, people. And it’s all about you. The candidates need you, even if your home state doesn’t have a real nail-biter. (Chuck Schumer is going to be re-elected in New York. You heard it here first.)

No matter where you’ve been over the summer, I bet you spent some of your time plowing through emails from Senate hopefuls asking you for money.

It can get a tad … dispiriting. You wake up and take a look at your inbox. When you see there are over 50 new messages waiting, you have to assume that a few are actually from people you know.

Nah. The one titled “Dinner Plans” isn’t about date night. Catherine Cortez Masto, the senator from Nevada, wants you to know that she and her husband just finished eating, and that while he’s doing the dishes, she’s got time to share a quick fund-raising request.”

David Lindsay: Here is one of many good comment to this excellent piece above:

weiowans

Don’t count out Mike Franken in Iowa, he is running to replace Grassley. Grassley may have been a former work “across the aisle” relatively decent senator but he lead the Senate Judiciary committee that refused to fulfill their constitutional duty of taking a vote or even allowing a hearing of pres. Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. This went on ten months before the election of t rump. Somehow they were able to process Gorsuch (one of the six votes against a woman’s right to choose) in a couple of months after trump’s nomination of him. Help us get rid of Grassley, he’s caused enough damage. Franken is the best candidate Grassley has faced in a long long time. Mike Franken is a leader and understands service to a democracy and what it means to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. He will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and faithfully discharge his duties to the office of Senate. Grassley has been in there so long he seems to have forgotten what this means. His actions are as if he has taken an oath to his party.

4 Replies139 Recommended

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens | The Supreme Court’s Fighting Words – The New York Times

Gail Collins and 

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

“Bret Stephens: Hi, Gail. We’ve had two monumental Supreme Court decisions over the last week, on guns and abortion. Maybe it isn’t a fair question, but which of them scares, dismays, enrages or makes you want to bang your head against the wall more?

Gail Collins: I feel totally traumatized by both of them — even though, I admit, I was pretty much expecting everything that happened.

Bret: A line that’s making the rounds: It’s like knowing daylight saving time is coming and setting your clock back 50 years.”

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 InconenientNews.net

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 InconvenientNews.net

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