Okay, not really, but it does sort of feel like there have been a lot already. Perhaps because this is the fifth one this season, and the last one of the year. But hey – they Primaries start off on February 1st, 2016, so I reckon it makes some sense.
Donald Trump continues (inexplicably) to be the Frontrunner, helped, no doubt, by a willing media which talks about him more than any other candidates combined by TWENTY-FIVE TIMES. So, how could he NOT be?? No one else can get any air time, and what little they do simply does not compare.
But what continues to get up my ire is the claim that he “talks tough” about his opponents, a montage of which I saw Tuesday morning on Fox. No, he doesn’t “talk tough” about them, he INSULTS them. There is a HUGE difference between the two, and it is astonishing that the media is conflating these two very different modes. It is mind boggling to see the re-definition of language when it comes to Trump (not unlike what the media has done for Obama).
And Trump most definitely starts it first, as he has just done with Sen. Ted Cruz by calling him a “maniac.” About that, William A. Jocabson ofLegal Insurrection made this observation:
I noted the other night that Donald Trump may have opened the “Overton Window” for Ted Cruz, by making Cruz acceptable to both Republican establishment types and general election voters who otherwise would have considered him Cruz conservative.
I noted the fear of a liberal who wrote:
Donald Trump looks like the warm-up act. Whoever follows him from the Republican party looks reasonable (and sane) by comparison.
How will the mainstream media react if Cruz’s current poll surge holds and he looks like a viable challenger to Trump? We know the answer, because there’s a history here, one I documented back in August 2013. And ironically, it’s a theme Trump appears to be taking up in a recent attack on Cruz.
I called it the crazying of Ted Cruz, focusing on a Daily Beast article trying to portray Cruz as “creepy”…
Uh, yeah. Jacobson noted back in 2012 that the media did this to Sen. Marco Rubio, too. In the article quoted above about Trump taking a page from the Liberals’ playbook, though, he goes on at some length with evidence of how the media is working overtime to frame Cruz as a whackadoodle. It is truly astonishing when you look at the examples in one place, and highlights the machinations of both the liberal media and Trump. As I have noted before, I don’t think they are all that different if you consider Trump’s previous, and even some current, positions. But that’s just me.
And it is typical since Cruz is now leading in Iowa. About that, Gretchen Carlson says this:
She makes some good points, and it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.
As for tonight’s debate on CNN, there will be a bunch of candidates up on that state, 9 in total. The main debate begins at 8:30 pm (EST), with the undercard debate beginning at 6:00 pm (EST). In light of the recent terror attack in California, and the STARTLING revelations about how poorly the DHS investigates Muslims entering the nation lest they hurt their feelings (more below), National Security will surely be a big issue in tonight’s debate.
Just to be clear about the DHS policy, it was a secret one, according to this Fox article:
A secret U.S. policy that prohibits immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas was reportedly kept in place over fears of a civil liberties backlash and “bad public relations.”
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end the policy, even though several other officials in the organization pressed for such a policy change, ABC News reported Monday.
John Cohen, a former acting under-secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and currently a national security consultant for ABC News, said he pushed for a change in 2014 that would allow a review of social media messages posted publically (sic) as terror group followers increasingly turned to Twitter and Facebook.
“Immigration, security, law enforcement officials recognized at the time that it was important to more extensively review public social media postings because they offered potential insights into whether somebody was an extremist or potentially connected to a terrorist organization or a supporter of the movement,” Cohen, who left DHS in June 2014, told ABC News.
Cohen’s account comes as members of Congress question why U.S. officials failed to review the social media posts of San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
All of that is to say, this debate should have a heavy emphasis on National Security and Terrorism, topics that fall in some candidates wheelhouses more than others. Two in particular stand out: Sen. Marco Rubio, who is on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Carly Fiorina, who worked on the CIA Advisory Board, worked with the NSA, and the Pentagon.
The other 274 – joking – 7 on the main stage and 4 on the Undercard stage, will have to work to prove they have the chops to protect this nation. I should add, that they will enact or support policies that are realistic and which address the root issues. Just to be clear. Not just any ol’ “pie in the sky” idea that has a snowball’s chance in hell of working or ever getting passed.
It should be an interesting debate, that’s for sure. If you plan on watching it, I would love to know what you think.
One last thing, and this is a doozy: As you likely have heard now, Bowe Bergdahl, the (US Army Sgt.) deserter for whom Obama traded five very top ranking terrorists, will now face a Court Martial. I cannot begin to tel you how big this is, ESPECIALLY in terms of President Obama. We will have to wait a while longer to see how this plays out, but it will be “must see/read,” no doubt about it.
Okay, that’s it for me. What are you hoping to learn about the candidates tonight (if you plan to watch)? Feel free to discuss the Debate or anything else that’s on your minds today. This is an Open Thread.