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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   4401. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4281152)
An investor/CNBC personality claims Trump has some divorce papers the Obamas drew up in 2000 but did not execute. link


What will be fun (if true) will be hearing thrice-divorced sex tourist Rush Limbaugh getting all indignant over this.
   4402. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4281157)
Third party debate update:

Gosh, I really, really like Rocky Anderson.... and Larry King.
   4403. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4281161)
Trump has been a featured attraction at multiple fundraisers, including this one last week - link
   4404. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4281162)
Bob Woodward says Obama Administration did initiate the Sequestration, contrary to Obama's denial during the debate. Widely reported by others, too.
   4405. spike Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4281169)
Then he used his Kenyan powers of mind control to force Republicans to vote for it. Quite the Jedi.
   4406. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4281171)
GOP IN-SEN candidate Richard Mourdock doesn't seem to content to let Todd Akin be the only senate candidate to botch a 3 ft. putt -- every Sharon Angle needs Christine O'Donnell I guess...

At tonight's Indiana Senate debate with Joe Donnelly...

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
   4407. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4281173)
Did the Republicans deny voting for it? Was Obama that out of touch with what was going on, or just making up stuff for political advantage?
   4408. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4281175)
Silly Yankee Clapper, don't you know that only Mitt Romney lies for political purposes, while Obama flails about because of his unshakeable fealty to the truth?
   4409. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4281177)
Silly Yankee Clapper, don't you know that only Mitt Romney lies for political purposes, while Obama flails about because of his unshakeable fealty to the truth?
So long as they look presidential doing it, it's all right.
   4410. Tripon Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4281186)
Was the sequestration supposed to be a secret? It was widely reported at the time that it was going to happen unless Congress figured out what else they wanted to cut in lieu to Defense cuts.
   4411. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4281193)
Romney's people absolutely want Trump to shut up. With a month to the election, the last thing they need is for people going off on their own.

It's hard to imagine a better way for the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory than to have Trump start throwing bombs. In particular, the divorce story/rumor seems to have "Yosemite Sam" written all over it, unless, as someone said, there were allegations of domestic violence.
   4412. zonk Posted: October 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4281194)
Romney campaign disavows Murdouck one day after cutting an ad for him...
   4413. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4281214)
It's hard to imagine a better way for the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory than to have Trump start throwing bombs. In particular, the divorce story/rumor seems to have "Yosemite Sam" written all over it, unless, as someone said, there were allegations of domestic violence.

Right--absent abuse allegations, what's the narrative from the Trump/GOP side? "The Obamas almost got divorced 12 years ago--but they didn't, and they apparently have a really strong marriage now....but he KEPT THIS A SECRET!"

Not exactly potent stuff, particularly since, well, if the R's want to accuse Obama of inappropriate secrecy on this point, the segue back to Romney's unreleased tax returns pretty much writes itself...

EDIT: Also, what 4401 said.
   4414. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4281216)
Was the sequestration supposed to be a secret? It was widely reported at the time that it was going to happen unless Congress figured out what else they wanted to cut in lieu to Defense cuts.

Yeah, but now that the deadline looms, it's totally unfair for Obama and the Dems to play hardball with it, or something.
   4415. tshipman Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4281225)
I have no idea what the point is supposed to be re: sequestration.

Obama proposed a number of solutions to the debt ceiling issue. Sequestration was the one that the House Republicans went for. It wasn't his first choice, or his third choice.
   4416. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4281227)
I suspect Trump will merely have some self-promoting announcement tomorrow, such as inviting Obama to join Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton & both Bushes on the Ex-Presidents Edition of Celebrity Apprentice. But I could be wrong.
   4417. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4281230)
It wasn't his first choice, or his third choice.

It was Obama's proposal - contrary to what he said in the debate. Getting something like that wrong is pretty unusual, no? Not that easy to spin either, although I see folks are trying.
   4418. McCoy Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4281231)
So the spin is that the White House proposed it and the Republicans voted for it and despite knowing it was a suicide pill still decided to swallow it? Yeah, clearly all the blame should rest on Obama's shoulders and people like Ryan should blame Obama for this.
   4419. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4281234)
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers must be salivating at the thought that Trump is coming out of his cave for one more political appearance.
He's the gift that never stops giving for that show.

   4420. tshipman Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4281236)
It was Obama's proposal - contrary to what he said in the debate. Getting something like that wrong is pretty unusual, no? Not that easy to spin either, although I see folks are trying.


This is kinda crazy. The sequester was no one's plan. The plan was that the super committee would meet, come up with a pretty standard "grand bargain", that was loosely based on Bowles-Simpson, with something between 10 and 25% of the deficit reduction coming from new revenues. The sequester was designed so that people would want to make a deal.

The military spending cuts, which were the matter of discussion, were the House Republicans' idea. Obama wanted revenue as a trigger. Republicans insisted on defense cuts instead.

The sequester was the administration's idea. House Republicans chose defense spending as their poison pill over revenue increasers. The idea for the defense cuts came from the hill. The administration wanted revenue.
   4421. Lassus Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4281241)
Speculation about the Trump announcement - along with reports that it's about an Obama divorce - is the #1 trending topic on Yahoo. Romney's people must be shitting their pants.
   4422. BDC Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4281243)
So the news is that the Obamas didn't get divorced in 2000? Not to mention that it wouldn't matter to me if they'd divorced and gotten remarried every other year since 2000. I can't imagine it would matter to any living American other than a couple of bishops, a Promise Keeper or two, and true believers in the Purity Bear.
   4423. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4281245)
Speaking of Yahoo

U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer.
Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The United States will still need to import lots of oil in the years ahead. Americans use 18.7 million barrels per day. But thanks to the growth in domestic production and the improving fuel efficiency of the nation's cars and trucks, imports could fall by half by the end of the decade.



Oh that evil Obama.
   4424. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4281246)
And people say BBTF has a tough crowd:

MSNBC Audience Boos 9-Year-Old Girl For Supporting Romney

(Sorry if posted already; haven't read about ~250 preceding comments.)
   4425. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4281254)
And people say BBTF has a tough crowd:

MSNBC Audience Boos 9-Year-Old Girl For Supporting Romney


Probably brought it on herself by disagreeing with Chris Mathews' rant.
   4426. Morty Causa Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4281255)
Did they shout, let her die in the street?
   4427. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4281256)
MSNBC Audience Boos 9-Year-Old Girl For Supporting Romney


She needs to learn some time. Why not now?
   4428. JE (Jason) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4281257)
Oh that evil Obama.

No thanks to Obama, McCoy. The increase comes despite his anti-oil policies.

EDIT: Remember when?

   4429. zonk Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4281258)
No, the real question is whether they found out her name and posted personal information about her and her parents online, then went in Sean Hannity to defend stalking a child who dared say something supportive of Obama, as Michelle Malkin did to not just one, but two children... But they were 11 and 12, so maybe if they were 9 Malkin would have just anonymously booed them off camera.

   4430. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4281259)
MSNBC Audience Boos 9-Year-Old Girl For Supporting Romney
I wish this bothered me more, but it's not the first time....

EDIT: Coke to Zonk.
   4431. Morty Causa Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4281263)
Booing may be seen by some as something less than the death penalty.

As this stalwart Republican recommends
   4432. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4281264)
GOP IN-SEN candidate Richard Mourdock doesn't seem to content to let Todd Akin be the only senate candidate to botch a 3 ft. putt

It would be nice if Mourdock completely imploded over the next two weeks, so I don't have to spend two hours standing in line to vote. Geez, the GOP screwed this up.
   4433. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4281273)
MSNBC Audience Boos 9-Year-Old Girl For Supporting Romney

What a weird clip. The booing seems good-natured, but 2-3 different guys feel the need to lean into the mic & emphasize it... and the mom keeps grabbing onto her daughter (when the camera turns toward them), although the daughter seems totally fine. You'd almost think someone was trying to make something out of nothing, here.
   4434. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4281275)
What? Really?! Why would someone do something like that!
   4435. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4281277)
Just for the record, I thought it was a funny clip and posted #4424 mostly as a joke about BBTF. I wasn't trying to spike anyone's blood pressure or start any debates about which side hates 9-year-old political pundits the most.
   4436. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 24, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4281278)
That's fair. For the record, I hate all 9-year-old pundits.
Or younger: every time somebody on my FB feed tries to "prove" the President's awesomeness via pictures with kids - "The babies know!" - it just makes me sad.
   4437. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4281280)

When I read you guys complaining about your Facebook feeds, I realize (and am thankful for) the fact that I have relatively smart friends.
   4438. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 24, 2012 at 03:22 AM (#4281282)
Link

The army and marines report on how many bayonets and horses they currently own.
   4439. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4281297)
So the spin is that the White House proposed it and the Republicans voted for it and despite knowing it was a suicide pill still decided to swallow it? Yeah, clearly all the blame should rest on Obama's shoulders and people like Ryan should blame Obama for this.

Yes. Just as it was all Obama's fault when the sequestration deal became necessary, because he couldn't get Congress to agree on a deal to avert a debt ceiling crisis before then. Heads, R's win; tails, Obama loses.
   4440. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4281302)
The army and marines report on how many bayonets and horses they currently own.


"The Army said today it has 419,155 bayonets in its inventory. The Marine Corps has another 195,334 bayonets that it bought in 2004 and it plans on buying 175,061 more bayonets this year. A Marine official says it’s not accurate to add the two totals together as the new ones will include replacements for ones already in service as well as additional stocks.


The Army also reported today that it has 176 horses. The horses kept at Fort Myer, Va., are used mainly for ceremonial duties at Arlington Cemetery and the Capital region. There are also some horses located at Fort Hood, Texas."

So, Obama was absolutely right. I'll bet the Army had several million bayonets in 1917. Certainly by 1918. And probably > 100,000 horses.
   4441. just plain joe Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4281309)
It would be nice if Mourdock completely imploded over the next two weeks, so I don't have to spend two hours standing in line to vote. Geez, the GOP screwed this up.


No early voting in your county? I voted the other day and didn't have to wait in line at all, just walked up, signed in, and voted. It probably didn't take 15 minutes at the most; much better than standing in line for two hours on election day.

So, Obama was absolutely right. I'll bet the Army had several million bayonets in 1917. Certainly by 1918. And probably > 100,000 horses.


The bayonet numbers sound right to me. The normal distribution is one bayonet per rifle, plus some spares. My National Guard company had 60-70 of the things that were only taken out of their storage box once a year to clean off any surface rust and to make sure they were sharp. I assume that troops in combat zones would be issued their bayonets and then most people would just use them to open ration packets and cut whatever needed cutting. It's doubtful they would ever get used for their intended purpose, as my first sergeant used to tell us, "if you are close enough to someone to stab him with a knife, you're too damn close".
   4442. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4281312)
It would be nice if Mourdock completely imploded over the next two weeks, so I don't have to spend two hours standing in line to vote. Geez, the GOP screwed this up.

I'm thinking the Akin/Mourdock brouhahas will be echoed in the ND senate race over the next couple weeks. The Dem Heitkamp's surprisingly competitive, Rick Berg has the same reactionary abortion position Akin and Mourdock have, the seat would be an important hold for the Dems, and ND's a cheap state to advertise in.
   4443. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4281318)
much better than standing in line for two hours on election day.


What? Sure I live in inner ring suburbia, but I never wait more than 10 minutes to vote. In and out. Of course this is MN always one of the top states in voter participation. I am sure the whole stupid Voter ID initiative will slow things down for me inthe future though. Good thing it will disenfranchise voters AND cost taxpayer money inorder to make it a bigger pain in the neck to vote. What is not to love?
   4444. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4281320)
I am sure the whole stupid Voter ID initiative will slow things down for me inthe future though. Good thing it will disenfranchise voters AND cost taxpayer money inorder to make it a bigger pain in the neck to vote. What is not to love?

The GOP's selectively pro-big government. Film at 11.
   4445. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4281322)
Could we perhaps, for once, pretend like this conversation is reasonably intelligent and _not_ debate the 'number of bayonets' as if that is some sort of valid response to the substantative point Obama was making?
   4446. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4281325)
Could we perhaps, for once, pretend like this conversation is reasonably intelligent and _not_ debate the 'number of bayonets' as if that is some sort of valid response to the substantative point Obama was making?


I loved the bayonet and horses response. I don't think that was rehearsed. There's no way Obama could anticipate Romney saying something as stupid as "We have fewer ships now than in WWI.", and it showed quick wit. On the other hand, he totally blew it when he overplayed his hand. The "We have these things called aircraft carries..." went way too far, and came off as childish. I would have given him an A+ on the response if he had stopped at horses. As it is, I give him a C-.
   4447. BDC Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4281326)
Bayonets are interesting. I assume the original purpose of a bayonet was not so much to stab your opposite-number infantrymen as to transform your weapon into a pike so that you could fend off cavalry attacks. We're talking 18th century here. Discuss.
   4448. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4281327)
There's no way Obama could anticipate Romney saying something as stupid as "We have fewer ships now than in WWI.", and it showed quick wit.


Other than the fact that the line is in Romney's stump speech. But facts are for sissies, amirite?
   4449. The District Attorney Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4281328)
I loved the bayonet and horses response. I don't think that was rehearsed.
I think it very well might have been. I believe Romney had repeatedly made the same point publicly (bet he doesn't anymore ;-), and it'd be standard debate prep to identify the various points one's opponent tends to fall back on and try to come up with snappy rejoinders to them. Lloyd Bentsen knew that Dan Quayle kept comparing himself to JFK...

EDIT: Coke to 'zop
   4450. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4281330)
So long as the BBTF snark stays.


I'm sort of invested by now.
   4451. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4281331)
Romney's people absolutely want Trump to shut up.


Not so sure about this. Having The Hairpiece contribute to keeping the nut-jobs in a froth (and thus ready to get out the vote) while Romney pivots to the center to convince the "undecided" "independents" that he really isn't bugshit crazy isn't necessarily a bad thing.
   4452. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4281333)
Bayonets are interesting. I assume the original purpose of a bayonet was not so much to stab your opposite-number infantrymen as to transform your weapon into a pike so that you could fend off cavalry attacks. We're talking 18th century here. Discuss.


Absolutely

Other than the fact that the line is in Romney's stump speech. But facts are for sissies, amirite?


OK, if true, then I take it back. I don't follow as closely as others. I still think it was a great response at first, until he went too far.
   4453. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4281334)
I still think it was a great response at first, until he went too far.

Godwin?
   4454. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4281336)
I still think it was a great response at first, until he went too far.


And thus, Obama is Hitler.
   4455. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4281337)
Bayonets are interesting. I assume the original purpose of a bayonet was not so much to stab your opposite-number infantrymen as to transform your weapon into a pike so that you could fend off cavalry attacks. We're talking 18th century here. Discuss.


Probably, although then, like today, if you ever get to the point where you're using the bayonet, you're already ######.
   4456. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4281338)
And thus, Obama is Hitler.

I prefer Diet Dr. Pepper to Coke, Sam.
   4457. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4281348)
Muskets were much longer back in the day so putting a pointing thing at the tip of one would give you a mini spear of sorts. Muskets take much longer to reload and thus a unit could cross the field and get in close with bayonets while receiving only one or two volleys from highly inaccurate weapons.

Supposedly bayonets were first used in hunting where they were used to fend off the animals you were firing at. I don't know if I really believe that though. The first bayonets were plug bayonets and using them meant you couldn't fire your musket. So you have a highly inaccurate weapon that forces you to get in real close to your prey and if you happen to miss or wound the animal and it charges you are you really going to have time to pull out a bayonet and plug it into your musket?
   4458. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4281363)
Other than the fact that the line is in Romney's stump speech.

I loved that the Obama camp never responded to this on the trail, knowing Romney wouldn't be able to resist using it during the debate, and whopped him but good in front of a large live tv audience instead of a press room. Plate discipline works for politicians too.
   4459. The Good Face Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4281374)
Probably, although then, like today, if you ever get to the point where you're using the bayonet, you're already ######.


No. Back in the times of the legends of the days of yore, the bayonet charge was an accepted aspect of infantry doctrine. McCoy essentially has the right of it in #4457. It made some sense in an era of slow loading, inaccurate guns.

In modern warfare, I imagine most infantry would very much prefer to spare themselves the weight and not carry one.
   4460. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4281375)
Plate discipline works for politicians too.


Bill Clinton is in many ways a much better natural politician than Obama, but the discipline difference is night and day between the two and their campaigns. Bush II ran a pretty disciplined campaign too. The Romney campaign has been OK on this I think, not terrible but not great either.
   4461. Spahn Insane Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4281390)
Other than the fact that the line is in Romney's stump speech. But facts are for sissies, amirite?

OK, if true, then I take it back.


Yeah, and Ryan made reference to it in the VP debate as well.
   4462. bunyon Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4281400)
I loved the bayonet and horses response. I don't think that was rehearsed. There's no way Obama could anticipate Romney saying something as stupid as "We have fewer ships now than in WWI.", and it showed quick wit. On the other hand, he totally blew it when he overplayed his hand. The "We have these things called aircraft carries..." went way too far, and came off as childish. I would have given him an A+ on the response if he had stopped at horses. As it is, I give him a C-.

What really doesn't work is if someone is coming back in from the garage, where he went to get a beer, and he hears the president saying "And we have these ships that go under the water, that we call submarines." I thought, for a moment, that he'd suffered some sort of breakdown in front of a live, national audience.

I had to go online to look up what the hell he was talking about. Forgetting, once again, that I have digital tv and could just have gone back to the start.
   4463. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4281414)
Back in the times of the legends of the days of yore, the bayonet charge was an accepted aspect of infantry doctrine. McCoy essentially has the right of it in #4457. It made some sense in an era of slow loading, inaccurate guns.

and as usual, it took 50 plus years for most nations to change doctrine after it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons. Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, et cetera, should have decisively retired the tactic.
   4464. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4281428)
and as usual, it took 50 plus years for most nations to change doctrine after it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons. Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, et cetera, should have decisively retired the tactic.

The reason why it didn't is because most of the world hadn't industrialized nor professionalized their armed forces. Plus even against industrialized nations with professional armies the bayonet was still a useful tool in smaller settings. You don't have 10,000 troops bayonet charge a line of 10,000 riflemen but at the squad level it could still be utilized.

Think of the Zulu Wars when you want to see how useful a bayonet can be. Armies out in the bush not connected well to supply lines facing lightning quick attacks fro Zulus and suddenly the bayonet becomes a useful weapon.

Zulu Wars

After their first attack was repulsed the reinforced Zulus focused their efforts on the front of the hospital. The rocky ledge seems to have been highest here, but despite that obstacle the bush, trees, and tall grass provided excellent cover. Also, the mealie bag barricade in this sector was apparently not quite as tall as in the rest of the perimeter, possibly because it was the farthest from the storehouse and therefore the last portion to be constructed. The Zulus launched repeated assaults against this part of the perimeter. Chard describes the pattern that would continue throughout most of the next twelve hours: "A series of desperate assaults were made (by the Zulus)… but each was most splendidly met and repulsed by our men, with the bayonet." (1) The Zulus were extremely wary of British bayonets, and with good reason. Ceaseless hours of bayonet drill had turned the average British infantryman into a most dangerous opponent in hand-to-hand combat, often making him the equal or better of even a well-trained, athletic adversary. Mehlokazulu kaSihayo, a Zulu veteran of Isandlwana, attested to this: "Some Zulus threw assegais at them (British soldiers); but they did not get close – they avoided the bayonet; for any man who went up to stab a soldier was fixed through the throat or stomach and at once fell." (3) This prowess with the bayonet coupled with the effectiveness of their rifle fire accounts for the fact that very few British casualties were caused by edged weapons. Most were caused by Zulu firearms.

The continuous Zulu attacks on the north wall were also straining the defensive line to the breaking point, even though heroic bayonet charges led by Chard and Bromhead had thus far repulsed each one.

The Zulus continued to assault the north wall, one attack after another being met with a withering fire and repulsed by desperate bayonet charges.



Military commanders weren't as stupid as the stereotypes of WWI suggest.
   4465. The Good Face Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4281430)
and as usual, it took 50 plus years for most nations to change doctrine after it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons. Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, et cetera, should have decisively retired the tactic.


Yeah, a bayonet charge in the face of an opposition using rifles with Minie ball ammunition became nigh suicidal. The Minie ball allowed both faster loading and more accurate fire, and inflicted more devastating wounds than most muskets.
   4466. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4281434)
and as usual, it took 50 plus years for most nations to change doctrine after it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons. Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, et cetera, should have decisively retired the tactic.


Tell that to Joshua Chamberlain.
   4467. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4281441)
Tell that to Joshua Chamberlain.

How about George Pickett the next day?
   4468. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4281444)
and as usual, it took 50 plus years for most nations to change doctrine after it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons. Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, et cetera, should have decisively retired the tactic.


Hell even before then, having infantry charge straight into an entrenched line of rifles/muskets could be a pretty dumb idea
   4469. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4281445)
Pickett's Charge was not a bayonet attack but a full blown infantry assault on a fixed position in the heart of Union lines.
   4470. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4281447)
Look , charging the enemy is never going to go out of style completely - ultimately you have to go get the other guy. But the set piece bayonet charge against a defended position is a far, far different thing than a skirmish line advancing and taking advantage of terrain along the way. And in terms of hand to hand combat, an entrenchment tool and a pistol is a lot better combo than a fixed bayonet, as the everybody found out in Flanders.
   4471. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4281448)
it was exposed as a really bad idea in 1860's when the Civil War ushered in the era of rifled infantry weapons.


until breech-loaders took over, muskets were faster firing than rifles.
anyway, what really made Civil War battle lines so deadly as compared to Napoleonic and earlier formations was not rifles as much as it was the use of percussion caps which sped of rate of reloading and lowered the rate of misfires...


   4472. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4281449)
muskets were faster firing than rifles.

The greatly expanded range of rifled weapons prevented the sort of Napeoleonic levee en masse charge. You couldn't get close enough to concentrate enough troops
   4473. GregD Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4281450)
On the ground game question, this Atlantic piece is interesting. It admits that it's impossible to know, even after the fact, but tries to use what measures it can to assess the Democrats' advantage in that area. Individual voter contacts are a mystery--Republicans release unverifiable numbers and Democrats don't release any. I had not realized that Romney's campaign turned over turnout operations to the RNC which in turn gives leeway to states so many Romney offices are focused on congressional candidates, while Obama keeps his centralized and standardized. I can imagine benefits to either. If I'm scanning the numbers right on absentee ballots and early voting, it's a mixed bag. Atlantic article
   4474. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4281457)
And in terms of hand to hand combat, an entrenchment tool and a pistol is a lot better combo than a fixed bayonet, as the everybody found out in Flanders.


even better were/would have been sawed off shotguns and submachine guns...

One of the very last significant massed infantry assaults (5000+ men charging all at once) was late in the Iran Iraq War, the Iranians thought it was a good idea to have 10,000 "Basij" armed with Kalashnikovs straight into Iraqi lines outside Basra...
the result was some 10,000 casualties....

of course the Iranians won that battle, because while the Iraqi's were slaughtering the Basij they were outflanked by two regular Iranian Army divisions...


   4475. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4281461)
I had not realized that Romney's campaign turned over turnout operations to the RNC which in turn gives leeway to states so many Romney offices are focused on congressional candidates, while Obama keeps his centralized and standardized. I can imagine benefits to either.


I suspect this is a tactical decision driven by candidates. The swamps of south GA aren't going to turn out a big GOTV effort for Mitt Romney. They will turn out for their local guys. Obama still inspires Democrats to get out the vote far more than local pols do.
   4476. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4281471)
I was working as a defense contractor at the time - we all thought both sides were going to run out of ammo before they could finish the war. I bet the 10k kalashnikovs had maybe 10 rounds each.
   4477. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4281474)
The most wonderous thing about war is that it seems no one ever does run out of ammunition.
   4478. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4281478)
Hey, it's time for that Trump announcement! THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING.
   4479. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4281483)
So, Trump doesn't have news, just a pledge to donate $5 million to charity if Obama releases his college transcripts and passport?

Clownshoes.
   4480. spike Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4281484)
Oh jesus christ that was awful.

The Big Reveal!
   4481. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4281486)
Does Trump even have 5 million dollars laying around? The guy is a paper millionaire.
   4482. BDC Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4281490)
if Obama releases his college transcripts and passport

When he does that, he will become transparent, like other Presidents.
   4483. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4281491)
Obama should acquiesce to Trump's demand, but only if Romney releases all his tax returns.
   4484. GregD Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4281492)
I suspect this is a tactical decision driven by candidates. The swamps of south GA aren't going to turn out a big GOTV effort for Mitt Romney. They will turn out for their local guys. Obama still inspires Democrats to get out the vote far more than local pols do.
Some of it comes down to timing. The Republicans wanted to set up operations in the spring before there was an official nominee. Obama has been running his GOTV for 4+ years. An incumbent has a big advantage in that regard. And there's a real question, long-term, about whether the Democratic Party will be able to take over the Obama operation after 2012, or whether it will stay with him, as some of the Clinton operation did.

But it also sounds like a question of resources; the Obama group seems to have hired young pros for these offices, and to demand standardization, while the Republicans leave some to volunteer coordinators and so on. It did sound like the Republicans have good targeted lists of voters. And the Republican challenge is different since they tend to have high rates of registration and turnout, so they have less to gain by investing there. And more to gain by trying to persuade committed but undecided voters.

Democrats start with a bigger pool of voters but many of them are hard to turn out. Republicans start with a high commitment to turnout but a smaller pool of voters. So they face different challenges, and I'm open to the idea that Romney made the rational decision to deemphasive GOTV, but the contrast is interesting.
   4485. DA Baracus Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4281493)
What a let down.
   4486. GregD Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4281497)
What a bizarre request by Trump. But he is the master of getting attention. Amazing that a total lack of credibility affects him not at all. The strangest thing to me is that he's a vegetarian (and teetotaler, too, right?)
   4487. zonk Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4281498)
I know it's unseemly to say it and I'm neither advocating for violence or wishing anyone death...

But really -- can anyone argue that the world wouldn't be a slightly better place tomorrow if whatever it is that is curled around Trump's dome crawled off it tonight and strangled him in his sleep?

I think I could even make it through the inevitable "love him or hate him" retrospectives that I'm sure all manner of cable nets would produce in the wake of it.
   4488. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4281499)
No early voting in your county? I voted the other day and didn't have to wait in line at all, just walked up, signed in, and voted.

Apparently I can mail it in, which I think I'll do, but the courthouse is about a half-hour drive each way.

It's weird, I live in a wealthy (very) Republican district in a Republican state, but voting in Presidential elections has proven to be a huge PITA.
   4489. Greg K Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4281502)
Bayonets are interesting. I assume the original purpose of a bayonet was not so much to stab your opposite-number infantrymen as to transform your weapon into a pike so that you could fend off cavalry attacks. We're talking 18th century here. Discuss.

Actually 17th!
The first bayonets were "plug bayonets", which was essentially a knife that you shove down the barrel of the gun. As demonstrated by this fearsome warrior.

I'd say the bayonet in all its forms was a useful weapon from roughly a couple decades after the Thirty Years' War to roughly the years before the Crimean War. 160 odd years or so...not a bad run.
   4490. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4281503)
But really -- can anyone argue that the world wouldn't be a slightly better place tomorrow if whatever it is that is curled around Trump's dome crawled off it tonight and strangled him in his sleep?


Trump certainly seems to be proof positive that you can at least be a "paper millionaire" and still add no value to the world, yes.
   4491. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4281506)
As demonstrated by this fearsome warrior.

I think that is a woman.

I'd say the bayonet in all its forms was a useful weapon from roughly a couple decades after the Thirty Years' War to roughly the years before the Crimean War. 160 odd years or so...not a bad run.

Zulu War was fought in 1879 and the bayonet was used effectively in the Crimean War.
   4492. GregD Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4281508)
Is that picture from Fort Tryon Park?
   4493. BDC Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4281509)
To take Trump seriously for a moment, which is slightly more than he deserves, I think that his signature achievement was to reopen Wollman Rink in Central Park back in the 1980s. The city was trying to recover from utterly depressing times, and one palpable symbol of that depression in the 1970s and early 80s was the number of iconic venues that had slipped into disrepair and neglect (the Custom House, Grant's Tomb, etc.) Nothing that anyone did seemed to overcome the inertia and corruption that prevented anything from ever getting better. Reopening the rink was perhaps a stunt, but it galvanized people's attitudes.

The problem with Trump, as with many another public figure, was that he figured that splashy real-estate management translated into statesmanship. The downside of the rink episode was perhaps to make him believe he was a civic leader, and not just a guy who built casinos and such.
   4494. Greg K Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4281510)
Zulu War was fought in 1879.

Well yes, I was hoping it was clear that I was making a very general claim there.

The bayonet didn't all of a sudden become useless in the practice of killing people in 1848, but it's hey-day in the "big leagues", if you will, was pretty much done.
   4495. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4281511)
I know it's unseemly to say it and I'm neither advocating for violence or wishing anyone death...

But really -- can anyone argue that the world wouldn't be a slightly better place tomorrow if whatever it is that is curled around Trump's dome crawled off it tonight and strangled him in his sleep?


Not really, though I'd rather that he got run over by a truck while chasing his toupee across Broadway.
   4496. Greg K Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4281512)
Is that picture from Fort Tryon Park?

It's from a Monmouth Rebellion recreationist society judging by the website google image sent me to. I don't know what or where Fort Tryon Park is, but if it's in Taunton then maybe!
   4497. GregD Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4281517)
Fort Tryon is at the upper tip of Manhattan in Washington Heights. They do a Rev War set up there each year for the battle of Fort Washington, and I thought the hill in the background looked familiar, but obviously not.
   4498. McCoy Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4281520)
The bayonet didn't all of a sudden become useless in the practice of killing people in 1848, but it's hey-day in the "big leagues", if you will, was pretty much done.

The issue is that from Civil War to WWI most of the wars being fought were of the small scale skirmish variety against "natives" and in that environment the bayonet was still very useful. The infantry square of the late 19th century out in the bush was a formidable obstacle to any native army.
   4499. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4281524)
Good to know: As of this moment, RCP has the Indiana senate race as a toss-up.

But RCP also admitted, on Oct. 15, "Indiana regulates polling strictly, so we've been starved for information here. The best guess is that Mourdock is ahead, but that it is still a close race."
   4500. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4281527)
Flip
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