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AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File - Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said he would have sacrificed his life to help stop the recent deadly attack in Oregon, but he's joined the rest of the GOP's 2016 class in refusing to support new measures to stop mass shootings.

Hillary moves left

The big Democratic debate is just a day away, and last week Hillary Clinton was moving left of the moderate spot she once courted.

She moved outside the Obama administration think box first in April when she said she'd do more to move immigration reform ahead than the president has done.

But last week, she stepped left again with a blanket rejection of the Keystone Pipeline, edging away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill (on which Vice President Joe Biden served as point man), and she has presented a plan for cracking down on Wall Street.

She's taking a strong stand — finally — on sensible gun control. She announced her support for repealing the "Cadillac Tax" on health care plans (another labor union issue, along with the opposition of the trade bill) and she has gone to the left of the White House by opposing the administration's acceptance of drilling in the Arctic.

Most of those pronouncements, especially the ones on environmental issues and sensible gun checks, are long overdue, yet welcome. Repeat: Long overdue.

Yep. It is the season of politics. And perhaps the season of the people, too.

Ben Carson's persona vs. talk

But then comes Ben Carson, second in the GOP polls.

He's easy to like: soft spoken, easy-going, seemingly humble (dubbed the anti-Trump) and apparently brilliant. He is after all a neurosurgeon.

But if you actually listen beyond the softness of his voice to his words, he is in his own way inflammatory.

Recently he played footsie with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's atrocious trumpeting tweet about him: "Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else." (Murdoch apologized the next morning: "No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.")

Carson defended Murdoch. "I believe what he was making reference to was the fact that here was a man who was a black president that the black community was very excited about who came in and whose policies have not really elevated the black community. He has not been beneficial. There's more unemployment, more poverty, and I believe that's what he was really referring to."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Carson: "You believe the president is a real black president, right?"

Carson: Well, he's the president and he's black.

Blitzer: So he's a real black president?

Carson: Again, we're dealing with semantics, as you know. "

So Carson thinks the president is just not "real?"

Then there are his views on guns and the holocaust. In an interview Thursday on CNN, Carson said, "the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

And of the Oregon college massacre, he expressed disbelief that students didn't attack the shooter, saying that he would.

In reality, he once told a man who held a gun on him in a store that the gunmen didn't want him. Carson said he told the gunman" "I believe you want the guy behind the counter."

Gosh, not only did Carson not fight back, he sicced the gunman on the other guy.

Don't be fooled by Carson's easy-going demeanor.

Christie wishes 'nobody cares'

Chris Christie's campaign circulated an email Friday morning with the subject "Nobody cares who is going to be the next Speaker of the House."

He was hoping to portray himself as a populist who simply wants congressional leaders to do something instead of focusing on political jockeying.

"It may not be the most popular thing within my party to be criticizing the Republican Congress, but it needs to be done. I mean, it's a joke down there," he later said.

"And now, they're having this 'Game of Thrones' thing and are putting off an election for another couple of weeks "I mean nobody cares. What they need to realize is in the country, nobody cares who the speaker of the House is going to be."

He may be right that most Americans don't care. But they should. After all, the speaker is the next person in line to lead the country should the president and vice president be incapacitated.

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