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How Did I Miss That? Bullwinkle Brawl or Moose Insurance

I named the squirrel that robbed the bird feeder in my front yard Rocky.

A CNN report convinced me Rocky was a small problem when a man in Anchorage, Alaska got a visit from Bullwinkle and a competitor for the affections of a cow moose. While they settled their differences, the man retreated across the street and used a smart phone to immortalize the brawl.

Locked in combat, Bullwinkle and his opponent smacked into a parked Subaru, leading me to picture the call to the insurance company.

“Who was driving?”

“Nobody.”

“Was it vandals?”

“No, there was this moose…”

“Your car hit a moose? Happens all the time, but I thought you said nobody was driving?”

Hard to explain, but I think comprehensive coverage includes moose.

Jeanne Leach of Three Rivers, Michigan related that she was having “a really bad night at work.” So she decided to go out on her break.

Sitting in a Mickey D’s drive-through, she decided to check her Powerball numbers. She won $310,500,000.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller was highly amused. “Don’t tell me,” he laughed, “she decided to super size it?”

Ms. Leach returned to her “nasty, dirty job” at a fiberglass plant and had her co-workers double check the numbers.

What would she do with the money?

“Take care of my kids and 11 grandchildren.”

Did she quit her job?

“Automatically!”

As the lucky Michigander was able to quit her “nasty, dirty job,” others were competing for an even nastier and dirtier gig, but it does come with the use of a nice house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Stuart Stevens is a Republican strategist who was a major mover in the Romney campaign. He could be forgiven that, because his consulting firm has the best record in GOP state races, bar none. On Hardball, he made a gutsy prediction that the Republican nominee next year will have held elective office. Gutsy because all the people on top are newbies: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and The Donald Trump.

Chris Matthews responded, “Prior public service is like a rap sheet.”

The nightmarish end of public service by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens (Chinook) might finally be over thanks to House Majority Leader and formerly Speaker heir apparent Kevin McCarthy, who blurted out the truth about the latest investigation into the riot that took the lives of Stevens and three others. Asked on Fox what the Republicans have accomplished since they gained the majority, he replied that they appointed a select committee on Benghazi and tanked Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

In the ensuing uproar, McCarthy withdrew from the race to be third in line for the presidency—a scary thought—and endorsed former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who does not want the office.

My Republican Cousin Ray was in full-on sarcasm mode. “This is the finest moment for my party since that fool in Pennsylvania said the purpose of voter ID laws is to cut Obama’s margins.”

The Benghazi Select Committee is on track to spend $6 million and if it meets its stated goal of publishing a report in time to ding Clinton in 2016 elections it will be the longest investigation in the history of Congress. Iran-Contra? Watergate? No, Benghazi.

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I could not resist piling on, so I asked Ray to remind me how many votes the House had taken to repeal Obamacare and protect 16 and a half million people from having health insurance?

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, still polling in single digits, asked, “How do we rescue the American Dream so it doesn’t become the European nightmare?”

Strange question. I’ve visited Europe and so have most of my kids and I have no reports of a nightmare. Maybe it’s a nightmare for people who are convinced medical care is just another profit center or freedom is tested by how many guns you own.

Jeb Bush opined last week that the Washington football team does not need to change its name, adding “Native American tribes generally don’t find it offensive.”

Politico reported some contributions to a SuperPAC supporting Bush for president by NFL team owners. I will refer to team names, excepting the one that’s a racial slur. The Houston Texans gave Bush $500,000. The New York Jets are owned by Bush’s national finance chairman, so the Jets have contributed over half a million dollars. The owner of the Washington team dropped a paltry $100,000, so he didn’t pay for Bush’s opinion.

“I think he did,” Cousin Ray growled. “When a candidate isn’t polling in double digits, a six figure contribution is persuasive.”

After Cousin Ray made that remark, one of the SuperPACs disgorged $1.9 million for ads in three states to buy Bush’s numbers back up.

Cousin Ray is tired of my razzing about the Republican mullahs waging jihad against women’s access to reproductive health care. This week, he brought me a report from Amnesty International about what happened when the Taliban took over Kunduz, Afghanistan. The Taliban do not approve of women controlling their own reproductive decisions, and so they target providers of birth control and abortions for gang rape and killing.

Point taken. Being raped and killed is much worse than having your clinic closed.

Douglas County, Oregon Sheriff John Hanlin shared a link on his personal Facebook page after the Sandy Hook Massacre to a video claiming that Sandy Hook was faked by the federal government for the purpose of confiscating guns. This week, Sheriff Tinfoil Hat’s department was among the first responders to a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College.

“There is no truth to the rumor,” Cousin Ray sighed, “that black helicopters landed near the Sheriff’s Department the night before the shooting and unloaded bales of money.”

The Washington Post reported that the FBI reports keep track of mass killings, but if you included mass shootings, there had been 294 instances of mass shooting on the day of the Umpqua shooting…and only 274 days in the year. The U.S. has not gone more than eight days this year without a mass shooting.

The U.S. has more guns per capita and more gun homicides per capita than any other developed nation. These statistics are a bit misleading because the former says nothing about how many people own multiple guns, “developed” is slippery, and the newest numbers are from 2007. Remove the superlatives and the correlation is still robust, but everybody knows that correlation does not prove causation.

So, do more guns mean more gun homicides or, as some people have argued, fewer? We don’t know, because the NRA has instructed Congress to ban using federal funds to study the question and Congress always obeys the NRA.

Ben Carson proved once more on CBS This Morning that they don’t teach common sense in medical school. He was asked if he had heard of Chris Mintz. He had not.

Carson had complained that the victims of the Umpqua shooter did not defend themselves with bare hands as he would have.

Chris Minz is a ten-year Army veteran in his first semester of GI Bill studies. He defended himself and his classmates with his bare hands and was shot seven times for his trouble.

The Daily Beast suggested that Mintz should be the name associated with this tragedy and not the shooter, who had written he would be famous. This is why I’ve done my best to un-remember the name of the nobody who shot John Lennon to become somebody. As The Beast suggested, “remember the hero not the zero.”

Another hero, A1C Spencer Stone, one of three young Americans who stopped an armed terrorist with their bare hands before he could shoot up a train from Amsterdam to Paris, was stabbed outside a bar in Sacramento. He is expected to recover after surgery and officials said the stabbing was “not related to terrorism in any way.”

Another of the three heroes from the train, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, was rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars but rushed back to his hometown of Roseburg, Oregon, where there was shooting at the college he used to attend.

The collective response of the Republican candidates for POTUS to the latest mass shooting could be summed up, “Embrace the suck!” Or, as Jeb Bush put it, “Stuff happens.”

Video has surfaced of a speech by Robert F. Kennedy in Roseburg, Oregon, on May 27, 1968, expressing outrage at cheap weapons available to disturbed persons. One irony is that Roseburg, Oregon, is the site of the latest mass killing. Another is that on June 6, 1968—less than a month later—a very disturbed man using a cheap .22 pistol would assassinate RFK.

The federal prison system will soon make the biggest release of prisoners in history, some 6,000. They are all nonviolent offenders, most doing time for drugs. The reason for the release is these people have already served the time they would get under the current sentencing guidelines.

Cousin Ray asked how much time Leonard Peltier would have served if he had gotten a fair trial? Beats me.

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