Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Don't Assume Terrorism Will Win The Election For The Lying Demagogue


Convention wisdom predicted the Orlando terrorist attack would be "good" for Trump, who quickly moved into full demagogue mode-- not much of a change from his default button-- to exploit it. A tracking poll by Reuters showed Clinton's national lead over Trump down ever so slightly after he worked so hard to exploit the Orlando gun massacre and blame it on "immigrants" and "Muslims"-- she went from a 13 point lead to an 11.6% lead.

Our friend Sam Husseini asked me to consider how NPR botched their reporting by twisting conventional wisdom into reality when they talked about how a massive terrorist attack in Madrid impacted Spain's national elections. NPR got it all wrong.
Commenting on Orlando, NPR Terrorism Reporter Reverses Political Lesson of Madrid Blast
-By Sam Husseini

Shortly before noon on Sunday (6/12/16), during NPR’s national coverage of the horrific shooting in Orlando, NPR “counter-terrorism correspondent” Dina Temple-Raston made a critical false claim that deserves an on-air correction.

NPR’s hosts were talking about the Orlando shooting, terrorism and the US election. They asked Temple-Raston to chime in on the issue, and she drew a parallel with Spain, claiming that when the 2004 Madrid train attacks happened just before the Spanish election, “the more conservative candidate ended up winning.”

This is exactly backwards.

In fact, the incumbent government, led by the conservative People’s Party, had brought the country into the Iraq War a year before against public opposition, and feared that if the attack were shown to be Mideast-related, voters would be furious. The day of the attack, March 11, 2004, the Spanish government had the United Nations Security Council pass resolution 1530, which condemned in “the strongest terms the bomb attacks in Madrid, Spain, perpetrated by the terrorist group ETA.” Three days later, the day of the election, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.

Before the Madrid bombing, the People’s Party generally lead in the polls by 4 or 5 percentage points, but the Socialist Party ended up winning by 5 points. The victorious Socialists had called for the removal of Spanish troops from Iraq during the campaign.

Crucially, there were substantial protests in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, which included messages like “No to Terrorism-- No to War.”

After winning the election, the Socialist Party  withdrew troops a month earlier than promised. I can’t find a record of any Mideast-related attacks in Spain since.

It’s remarkable that NPR’s self-described “counterterrorism correspondent” would make such a false statement. This case seems to show an example of a country that may have reduced the danger of  terrorism by ending participation in an aggressive war. That’s something that should be regularly highlighted: Can we learn something from this?

Instead, the reporter who should be highlighting this story reversed the historical lesson.

Note: Dina Temple-Raston’s statement does not appear to be on NPR’s website or its transcripts on Nexis. (I tweeted about it twice at the time, using Temple-Raston’s Twitter handle.) The failure to put all of NPR’s broadcasts online lessens accountability for the powerful, publicly funded network.
Conventional wisdom are actual reality aren't identical. Don't assume Trump is going to win because of Orlando. He isn't.

One of the congressmen representing the Orlando area, Alan Grayson, had a very different kind of message than Trump's, a message that more than a few people are gravitating to-- and which is not going to push voters towards fascism.
Early Sunday, one person, firing one weapon, killed almost fifty people, in just a few minutes.

These people were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. The parents of two of them, living outside the United States, contacted my office yesterday and asked if they could have visas to attend the funerals of their own children. How wrong is that-- parents attending the funerals of their slain children. So many; a slaughter of the innocents.

It’s much too easy to kill a lot of people very quickly.

The weapon that the killer used was an AR-15 assault weapon, derived from an M-16 military model. The main difference between the two is that you can pull and hold the M-16 trigger, making it spit out hundreds of rounds each minute, while the AR-15 trigger is one-pull-one-round, or “only” 100+ rounds per minute (subject to reloading). That’s automatic versus semi-automatic. But a legal modification to the AR-15 (a “replacement rifle stock”), costing around $300, essentially takes each recoil and make it a trigger pull. And that makes the AR-15 a machine gun.

Either way, it’s hard to imagine any legitimate use for a weapon like that. Does anyone really want to drill a deer with a few hundred rounds in a minute or two? That doesn’t seem very sporting.

For a decade, you couldn’t buy an assault weapon. The original legislation had a “sunset” provision that ended the ban after ten years. Thanks to the NRA and its GOP puppets, that ban was never extended.

We need to end this lunacy.

Seven states enacted bans (or heavy restrictions) on their own. Three of those seven states enacted their restrictions after 20 children were shot dead at Sandy Hook.

That’s where we are now.

Convicted felons can’t buy these weapons, in Florida and elsewhere. But pretty much anyone else can. In fact, until last August, anyone could buy them in WalMart. (Then WalMart imposed its own ban.)

Let me just ask you, straight up: Do you want virtually anyone to be able to buy weapons whose only practical purpose is to be able to kill hundreds of people in a matter of minutes?


I’ll introduce the bill this week.
Let's elect more people to government like Alan Grayson... and fewer like Donald Trump. You can help by tapping on the thermometer below. All the candidates on the page it leads to are anti-fascist/anti-Trump progressives... yes, every single one of them.
Goal Thermometer

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