Quick Takes

Developing: Yet another mass shooting, this time in San Bernadino, CA at a training center for disabled people (words fail!) According to this local report, more than 14 people were killed and more than 14 were injured by up to three gunmen, who seem to have escaped the scene.

In other news:

* Today’s national Quinniapac poll shows Ben Carson dropping significantly, leaving current trajectories showing a three-way race between Trump, Rubio and Cruz.

* While Trump advocates for war crimes (“We have to take out the families of terrorists“), Ted Cruz tells Steve Peoples that he doesn’t support torture.

“We can defend our nation and be strong and uphold our values,” he says. “There is a reason the bad guys engage in torture. ISIS engages in torture. Iran engages in torture. America does not need to torture to protect ourselves.”

I guess this is what passes for “moderate” in the Republican Party these days when it comes to war crimes.

* At Republic 3.0, Stefan Hankin reports that turning out unregistered voters is not likely to produce the “revolution” Bernie Sanders is hoping for.

In Lincoln Park Strategies’ latest national survey of 1000 Americans, conducted Nov. 17-19, we found that among Americans who aren’t registered to vote, only 11% consider themselves liberal and just 13% consider themselves conservative. A majority of unregistered Americans consider themselves moderate (51%) and a quarter (25%) don’t know.

* Last week Martin Longman reported on Sen. Mitch McConnell’s attempt to attach a rider to the government funding bill that would eliminate caps on the amount of cash that parties can spend in coordination with their candidates. But apparently he’s run into some trouble on that one from the House Freedom Caucus.

“This rider would rig the game for the national parties and diminish the influence of ordinary Americans in the political process,” Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the 40-member group of conservatives, said of the campaign finance rider that would be included in a year-end omnibus spending bill. “It is designed to help elect candidates who will toe the party line in Washington rather than stand up for the people they were elected to represent.”

* Perhaps I’m biased by my Texas roots, but the article I’d suggest is the “must read” of the day comes from Taylor Hill and is titled: The Reddest State Goes Green (Just Don’t Mention Climate Change). Aside from the story of a cattle rancher who has a mounted bear man-part in his office (only in Texas could that happen), it goes like this:

AzTx Cattle and other ranching and farming operations across West Texas are changing a century-old way of life to adapt to the new reality of climate change, even if, in their unwillingness to talk about global warming, they see their actions as a pragmatic response to a new business reality…Texas may be home to some of the nation’s most vociferous climate skeptics—hello, Ted Cruz—but Texans are already fighting climate change, even if they won’t admit it. Survival, it turns out, trumps denial.

* Finally, I’m going to leave you once again with a recording of those amazing kids who are part of the PS22 Chorus. This time they take on a song that has challenged trained vocalists – Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” From the moment it started, the goosebumps were forming.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.