Fifteen long months after a 64-year-old man in Las Vegas opened fire on a concert crowd from a hotel window above, killing 58 people and injuring about 800 others, a three-page summary report has finally been released by a panel of experts from various fields who had access to thousands of pages of evidence and witness testimony.
And we still don’t know why he did it.
You can see their conclusions at the link. He was a manipulative loner who was in physical decline, and he might have wanted to die by suicide and achieve “infamy” in doing it. Also, his father was a diagnosed psychopath and convicted bank robber who was one of the FBI’s 10 Most-Wanted Fugitives, so his father’s mental state and criminal notoriety might have influenced him. But he left no note, video, manifesto or any other clue as to why he committed this horrific act against innocent people, carefully planned in advance and with no intention of escaping alive.
It now appears that we may never know the specific reason why he did it, as if there could ever be a "reason" that would make any logical sense. The only thing we can say for certain from all the evidence presented is this: Evil is real.
As long as we’re doing a multiple-choice version of Fake News Wednesday, here’s a blast from the past: Remember the Russian model and alleged escort who was in jail in Thailand on sex-related charges during the 2016 election? She claimed to have information about a Russian oligarch working with Trump’s campaign to interfere in the US election. That set off a US media frenzy that got her sprung from jail and returned to Russia.
Well, after all this time, she’s finally admitted that she made the whole story up to play the American media for suckers. She figured that to them, claiming to know something about Trump colluding with Russia would be like waving a steak at a pack of hungry dogs, and it worked. She told CNN (ironically), “I think it saved my life, how can I regret it? If journalists had not come at that time and that story had not come to the newspapers, maybe I would die [be dead by] now.”
She has a point. At least, the only thing that’s dead now is the media’s reputation for journalistic integrity, and they’d already snuffed that out anyway without her help.
For those who claim there’s no difference between the two major political parties, an A-B comparison...
This op-ed argues that the first priority for Republicans post-shutdown should be to continue their push to advance religious freedom rights:
And for Democrats, their first priority post-shutdown was to propose removing all “gender-specific” language from the witness oath for the House Committee on Natural Resources and to strike any mention of “God” by removing the phrase, “so help me God.”
So do you really think the two parties' priorities are interchangeable?
With the State of the Union Address back on, Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow offered suggestions for what Trump should say to tout his many economic victories.
Since it seems unfair for Trump to get advice about his speech and not offer any to the Democrats, I asked “Huckabee” writer Pat Reeder to write a script for a suggested “Democratic Response” to the SOTU Address. Here’s what he suggests…
CAMERA UP ON CHUCK SCHUMER AND NANCY PELOSI STANDING RIGIDLY, SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER, IN FRONT OF A PEACOCK-TAIL ARRANGEMENT OF AT LEAST 400 AMERICAN FLAGS. THROUGHOUT THE SPEECH, BOTH STARE BUG-EYED AND UNBLINKING INTO THE CAMERA AS IF FACING A FIRING SQUAD OR ENGAGING IN A STARING CONTEST WITH AN OIL PAINTING.
Pelosi: Good evening…
Schumer: Good evening…
Pelosi: We apologize if that gave you goosebumps. Any resemblance between our on-camera demeanor and that of Alfred Hitchcock is purely unintentional.
Schumer: Tonight, President Trump tried to bamboozle you with a lot of “numbers” and “statistics” and “facts” that, while they might be accurate, are morally wrong.
Pelosi: You might even be inclined to believe his claim that your life started going a lot better the minute we left power.
Schumer: With all due respect, this is because you are dumb and believe “faux news” from partisan sources, such as Fox, Rush Limbaugh and your own eyes.
Pelosi: We have incontrovertible – for those of you in flyover country, that means “true” – proof that the economy actually does better under Democrats. Top university professors, the kind who taught economics to the leaders of tomorrow, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have done studies proving that our policies are better for economic growth and job creation.
Schumer: It’s only due to unlucky timing that the positive effects of policies by Democratic Presidents such as Carter and Obama don’t kick in until after they leave office and Republicans steal the credit.
Pelosi: That’s why we Democrats are here to set the record straight and make the case for why voters should once again entrust us with all three branches of government: the White House, the House and the Senate.
Schumer: Tonight, President Trump boasted about the economy as if he deserves credit rather than blame. He actually bragged that more women are working now that at any time in the past 65 years.
Pelosi: It was shocking indeed to hear a President of the United States admit that he wants to turn back the clock 65 years and make women slaves.
Schumer: President Trump also pointed to the 3.9% unemployment rate, the 4.4% Hispanic jobless rate and the 5.9% black unemployment rate. He ignored the appalling fact that the rates for Hispanics and African-Americans are still higher than the overall rate. There is no excuse for this oversight, as CNN and MSNBC devote much of their economic news coverage to it.
Pelosi: Democrats reject this racist inequality. Elect us back to power, and we will bring the unemployment rates of all peoples up to the same level. Equality! That’s the American way!
Schumer: The President also mentioned that for the first time ever, there are more job openings than job applicants. This is a real crisis. Who is going to do all those jobs? This is why we need open borders: so that we can once again return to the days when there were hundreds of applicants for every job, so no job, no matter how unappealing, went undone.
Pelosi: Under Democratic leadership, you knew every job holder was more than qualified. Under the Republicans, you no longer have a Ph.D. to take your order at Burger King.
Schumer: As for the return of manufacturing jobs that the President spoke of, does he not realize how hard his predecessors worked to send those environmentally toxic jobs to other parts of the world, so that Americans could enjoy their time on unemployment, and when that ran out, disability, in a safe, clean, pollution-free environment?
Pelosi: If given another chance, Democrats can get that toxic GDP growth number down to the point that America becomes a virtual Garden of Eden -- although you will not be allowed to refer to it that way in public schools or any government building.
Schumer: When President Trump complains about how many American jobs and dollars are flowing to China, remember: they’re inhaling smoke while we’re taxing cigarettes.
Pelosi: Who’s looking out for your health? The Democrats are!
Schumer: So when he talks of having a GDP growth rate twice that of President Obama’s, think of that as doubling the amount of arsenic in your water supply. I’m sure you see our point.
Pelosi: We Democrats believe in the American Dream – so much so that we think everyone on Earth has a legal right to come here and try to achieve it.
Schumer: We want to build bridges, not walls.
Pelosi: Although we also want strict EPA regulations that will prevent any bridges from being built, too.
Schumer: We believe in free health care for all, free college for all, and a free minimum income.
Pelosi: …That someone else will pay for.
Schumer: So in conclusion, whoever the next Democratic nominee for President might be – whether radical socialist or moderate centrist socialist – please give him, her or xir your full support.
Pelosi: Don’t throw away your vote on an unviable third party spoiler like Howard Schultz.
Schumer: You have our personal guarantee that every Democrat running for President is at least as qualified to work for Starbucks as he is.
Pelosi: Thank you.
Schumer: And may whatever deity you do or don’t believe in bless America.
Former Arizona Republican Senator and staunch anti-Trumper Jeff Flake, who had 1% support in the latest GOP presidential preference poll, announced that he will not run for President. Believe it or not, that's actually kind of a surprise. Instead, he will host a show on CBS (not CNN?) called “Common Ground.” But judging from his comments at the link, I’m confused as to whether he knows what that is.
In one breath, he bemoans the scarcity of politicians who seek common ground in the Washington, and in the next, he attacks the RNC for fully supporting Trump and Trump for concentrating on “a diminishing base” which will make it harder for statewide candidates to win.
This is from someone who acted as an army of one, blocking well-qualified, constructionist judicial nominees just to try to force the Senate to pass an unconstitutional bill protecting Robert Mueller from ever being fired. It was a pointless grandstand move that risked blowing the best shot at reining in an out-of-control liberal activist judiciary that America’s had in years.
Fortunately, the Republicans actually gained seats in the Senate, so all those nominees could be renominated and confirmed after he was gone and could no longer hold up business and hold all his colleagues hostage. And why is he gone? Because polls showed there was no way he could win his own reelection. Yet he’s now lecturing the GOP on how they don’t know how to win statewide offices?
There’s a difference between pandering only to the most extreme members of your base and thumbing your nose at the needs and concerns of your entire base. He seemed unable or unwilling to find common ground with the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump because they were tired of their problems being ignored and their values demeaned by arrogant politicians. I don’t know how Jeff Flake can host a show called “Common Ground,” but I will concede that it’s better than letting him host a show called “Common Sense.”
There’s a new book out by a self-proclaimed “White House insider,” dispensing nasty gossip on President Trump and his staff that I’m sure the media will slurp up with a big wooden spoon. Trump dismissed the author as a low-level “gofer” peddling “made-up stories and fiction.” This would hardly be the first such book to be treated as revelatory by the media. But I wonder if they realize what they are revealing about themselves by retailing one of the stories.
The book claims that during a 2017 tour, Trump pointed to a small room off the Oval Office and said, “I’m told this is where Bill and Monica…” He then stopped himself. It also claims he told guests, “We’ve remodeled it since then.”
I assume this is meant to depict Trump as a crass, disgusting vulgarian for bringing up such a thing. Two points:
1. I’m sure the guests were already thinking it, since the President his critics love made that room world-famous.
2. They want us to be appalled at Trump for lowering the dignity of the Oval Office by talking privately about what the President they revere (and whom they wanted to return there as “First Man” by electing his wife) actually did in the Oval Office.
Sorry, my Outrage Meter isn’t that directional.
What more can I say except, “That’s my kid!”