On To Des Moines For A Debate, And A Remembrance *Open Thread*


Here we go, the very last Republican debate before the first votes are (finally) cast in the Iowa caucus on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Thank heavens.

Of course, once again, Donald Trump is grabbing all of the headlines by his decision to stay out of the debate because of mean ol’ Megyn Kelly. As I wrote on Wednesday, I am ALL too happy to not have Trump in there so the others can actually talk about their positions.

But there are two other points I want to make. One I mentioned briefly yesterday, and that was the not-so-thinly-veiled threat the Trump campaign made toward Megyn Kelly (sorry – just got distracted as I heard Trump complain how he hasn’t been treated fairly, the man who gets so much time on Fox I can barely stand to watch it any more. WOW.). Actually, I want to let Greg Gutfeld make the point because he did so exceedingly well:

Exactly. And if you think that kind of behavior would change once Trump took the White House, I have a couple of bridges to sell you. (Along those lines, I want to comment to you this very good Federalist piece, “5 Times Trump Told You He Loves Big Government.“)

That said, Gutfeld’s point is an important one about journalists and the kind of intimidation demonstrated by the Trump campaign.

The second point I want to make about Trump’s immature, childish response about the debate is his attempt to parlay that departure into being about our veterans and helping them. As this CNN article highlights (h/t Facebook friend), though, they don’t want his help. Here is why:

[…] Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America founder Paul Rieckhoff tweeted Wednesday that he would decline any contributions that came from the event, which Trump has proposed in place of his attending Fox News’ debate this week.

“If offered, @IAVA will decline donations from Trump’s event. We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts,” he said.

No kidding. Our veterans should NOT be used as political stunts. That has been the frustration of many when other candidates (or Presidents) have used the military as props. Good for IAVA for standing up for veterans.

But they aren’t the only ones, as the article continues:

[…] Two other veterans’ groups also distanced themselves from Trump’s announcement.

The Wounded Warrior Project said it was not aware of the candidate conducting any fundraising efforts on its behalf.

Meanwhile, VoteVets.org, which calls itself the nation’s largest progressive veterans group, issued a statement titled: “Don’t hide from Megyn Kelly behind us.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

So, yeah – it seems at least some big Veterans’ groups are none too thrilled at being used as political ploys by Trump. Good for them for speaking up.

Oh, and CNN also included this little clip of Donald Trump’s reaction back in 2011 of some Republicans who weren’t all that keen to join in a debate he was moderating:

I know – that was then, this is now. Uh, yeah.

And now to the debate itself. The undercard debate begins at 7:00 pm (EST) on Fox News and Google, with Carly Fiorina, Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Jim Gilmore. This debate is being moderated by Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.

The main debate will be at 9:00pm (EST) on Fox News and Google, with Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. John Kasich, and Dr. Ben Carson. It will be moderated by Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace.  If you prefer, you can also stream it live HERE.

Both of the debates should be interesting, though I have to admit, I kinda forgot Gov. Gilmore was even still in the running. Oops. But while I think Fiorina should have been moved up to the main stage, I am sure she will continue to shine in the early debate.

The primetime debate should also be interesting. I trust there will be substantive questions asked of all of the candidates. Bret Baier reported on Wednesday that they comb through all of the transcripts of previous debates to ensure they ask good questions that haven’t been covered in previous debates.

It should make for a riveting evening of debates. Feel free to discuss issues that arise, or answers given in the Comments during the two debates.

Last, but most definitely not least, today marks the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion. There is no better way to remember them than this speech by President Ronald Reagan following this tragic event:

I cannot imagine the courage and bravery of those who chose to become astronauts, explorers of the sky. And this tragedy impacted this nation with the extent and devastation of the explosion. But it did not stop the Space Program, no indeed. It made it better, and allowed for more and more exploration of our universe as a way to honor those whose lives were lost. We remember them again today, those “who touched the face of God…”

This is your Iowa Debates Open Thread.


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30 Responses to “On To Des Moines For A Debate, And A Remembrance *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Chris Matthews Thanks Pro-Trump Coulter For Coming On to Bash Network Rival Fox: ‘We Like It!’

    “Politics makes strange bedfellows” goes the old saying. In that case, Chris Matthews and Ann Coulter snuggled up under the sheets on tonight’s Hardball. After a six-minute roll in the hay – Chris, you stallion! – Matthews thanked Coulter for being on her “best behavior” and gushed that she should come back on air sometime soon.


    I wonder what all the Trumpkins who eviscerated Megyn Kelly for daring to interview Michael Moore will have to say about uber Trumpkin Coulter fraternizing with the enemy as MSNBC. I suspect nothing.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      OHMYGOSH, are you kidding me??? Chris Matthews and Ann Coulter joining forces?? You would THINK that would make the Trumpkins go nuts, but I imagine they will forget PDQ abt the “thrill that ran up (his) leg” now…

      UGH. Eww. Yuck…

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    There are a lot of cartoons, liberal and conservative, in this vein out there.

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Senator Once Aided by Palin Now Campaigning for Anybody But Trump

    The Nebraska senator told MSNBC this morning that he’s campaigning against Trump because “I’m pro-Constitution and I want to make America great again.”

    “And the best way to do that is by uniting around the things that bring us together and that’s not one guy’s ego, that’s a system of laws and limited government,” Sasse said. “So if being pro-Constitution makes me anti-Mr. Trump, I think that’s his problem.”

    “The guy talks constantly about how he’ll get everything done alone. He said recently that if he’s elected president he’ll be able to do whatever he wants. That’s pretty much what the American Revolution was about. We already have one party in this country that’s gone post-constitutional. We don’t need another one.”


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Love this. He is so right, too. As The Federalist article I have above in the post highlights, there are so many things abt Trump that he is TELLING us people just do not want to believe. So good for this Senator for standing up for the Constitution and for standing up against Trump. Good on him!

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    FOX has Trump’s place ready for him should he change his mind and decide to show up after all. He’s about milked the media for about as much as possible at this point.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I can’t remember which pundit it was this morning, but one of them said that if CNN airs the Trump thing live as the same time as the debate,t he RNC needs to do something abt it. They negotiated these debates and times, along with the CANDIDATES who agreed to show up, and if Trump does something competing, it should have an impact.

      But yeah – I am sick to death of all the Trump sucking the air out of the room. Ugh. Enough already. He is such a child he can’t show up? Fine. Stop talking abt him already. He made his bed.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Forgot to include the cartoon that went with this remark – Senior Moment. 😉

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    Donald Trump retweet of ‘obviously Photoshopped’ Fox News meme gets fact checked

    According to Trump:

    Most people don’t know that the co-owner of Fox News is Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia here with his sister and with host Megyn Kelly. In case you only watch FOX and missed it everywhere else.

    Snopes points out that “A Saudi prince owns a minority share of Twenty-First Century Fox, the parent corporation of Fox News, via an investment firm,” but is not a “co-owner” of Fox News, and Kelly never posed for a photo with him.


    Since the Trumpkins don’t care if he shoot someone on 5th Avenue I’m sure that fact that he’s a bald-faced liar won’t matter either. I thought it was only about liberals that you could say without double standards they’d have no standards at all. Guess that’s not true any more.

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    Have you heard? Huckabee attending “Trump Event” tonight instead of debate. Nothing like sucking up for a chance at the VP spot. I actually thought better of him than this. Another man showing us what he is.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I just saw that via a Facebook friend, but I think he is going tot he debate first according to this: http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/28/politics/donald-trump-veterans-event-mike-huckabee-rick-santorum/index.html

      And yeah, what a suck up, especially considering the organizations who are not happy with this.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Meanwhile, this is the stuff of which Cruz and Fiorina are made: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fiorina-trump-cruz-debate

        They are not afraid to take him on…

        Btw, since when did the media start spinning that Trump has done so well in the debates??? His last one was his better one, mainly because he made an emotional appeal abt 9/11, but completely got away with the whole NYC Values because Maria Bartiromo basically pulled a Candy Crowley by failing to make clear that it was TRUMP who said it in the first place and then acted with righteous indignation abt NYC values since she is from NYC. But other than that, people basically said he didn’t hurt himself, but didn’t win either. So, WTH???

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Just read that Santorum is going to the “event” too. Fox should send Fiorina up to the top tier and let the two suck-ups down below.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          I could not agree more. That sounds like a perfect remedy.

          And not for nothing, but I would be more than happy to not have to listen to either Mike or Rick, so yeah, go hang out with Trump. I sure as hell won’t be watching him.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          You know what? The more I think abt this, I am shocked at Huckabee. Not Santorum so much since he has not gotten much air time, well, at all.

          But HUCKABEE has been treated very well by Fox, including giving him his own SHOW, for pete’s sake, and this is how he repays them?? I have lost a LOT of respect for him over this, ESPECIALLY since these organizations have said they don’t want the money and see it as a ploy.

          Oh, and again, for Trump to say he has been treated poorly by Fox is just LAUGHABLE. I hope that Fox cuts back on their coverage of him to normal levels. Wouldn’t THAT be something?!

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Without any irony, apparently, Obama made this statement at the Israeli Embassy (he also lamented the rise of anti-Semitism): http://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-obama-says-we-are-all-jews-in-holocaust-remembrance-day-speech-at-israeli-embassy

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    For my money, Carly Fiorina won HANDILY in the first debate. That said, I liked Gov. Gilmore. He is the only Veteran running, has a lot of experience in Intelligence, and seems like a decent man. But yeah, Fiorina won, I thought.

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    I liked Rand Paul saying that if we continue to go after Assad ISIS will win and that’s worse.

    I am finding the debate lively and interesting with the exception of Kasich. He just annoys me.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      It is much better tonight – not all that fond of Rand Paul in general. He annoys me, as does Kasich (in a big way). But I appreciate that Paul can make good points. It is his speaking affect, I think, that is my problem with him.

      But yes – much better debate tonight. 🙂

  11. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Rubio is killing it tonight. His comments abt Bernie Sanders and Clinton were hilarious!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I thought Rubio won it. I think Cruz was prepared for a confrontation with Trump and took on the moderators when Trump wasn’t there. That said, in the one confrontation with Megyn Kelly, Kelly won. Not Cruz’s best night but don’t think he’ll take to Twitter to call her a bimbo.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Cruz was targeted a good bit buy the moderators but yeah, I think you are right that he was prepared for a fight regardless.

        And no, he is not going to be calling Kelly a “bimbo,” that’s for sure!

        For sure, Rubio won, though Bush had a strong night. The reminder that this is JUST beginning is an important one, I think. No voe has been cast yet, after all…

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    Although Chris Christie didn’t’ do what I think he needed to do to advance I did like his line about Obama and Hillary making Law Enforcement the enemy.

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