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September 26, 2016

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Stock up popcorn and barf bags. You may need both.

I am not going to contribute to this thread again.

You are welcome.

We can cross post with Falcons-Saints.

I don't I've ever been more embarrassed to be American.

So far, the Saints are looking good. Or maybe, from the number of penalties the defense is making, that should be the Falcons are looking bad.

We are all Groucho Marx now.

Good on you to get this up! My post isn't ready yet, I'll put it up later tonight or tomorrow morning. Livetweeting at https://twitter.com/doctorscience

Epic fail for me. I lasted less than 10 minutes before Trump's disconnect from reality exceeded my tolerance.

Guess I'll have to make do with the blogs....

it was sort of reasonable for about 10 minutes.

America: Sort of Reasonable.

I like it! :-)

I confess I can't watch these things because I don't like to be in a defensive crouch for that long.

Saints Falcons is a shootout!

we stumbled into it when our recorded Mr Robot episode finished.

Trump said Clinton had been fighting ISIS her whole life.

that was all i could take.

Perhaps Trump thinks fighting ISIS is a bad thing? Otherwise why "accuse" Clinton of doing so?

Guess I must be missing something.

The frightening thing is not the mendacity, bluster, and idiocy of He, Trump. It's not even the thought that about half the country buys his BS.

The truly frightening thing is that sane people are supposed to pretend that about half the country is not out of its mind.

--TP

I stopped watching a little while ago, but FWIW I think it was a better debate than I expected. Trump is still Trump, Clinton is still Clinton, but nobody is throwing any furniture around.

Clinton is at her most compelling when she lets her passion show. When she was talking about incarceration rates of blacks and the end of private prisons at the federal level, she was fired the hell up. It was freaking great.

She needs to focus like a laser on that stuff. She has, in fact, been a freaking warrior for a number of really good causes for, like, ever.

While Trump was turning his dad's money into big ugly buildings and figuring out how to license his last name on everything from steaks to neckties, Clinton was in the trenches getting shit done. She needs to hammer that home, over and over and over.

Trump raises really good issues, which is why IMO he's done so well. Enormous segments of the economy are freaking hollowed out. It's not always clear who our representatives are actually representing. A lot of folks are getting screwed over.

His boorishness doesn't actually bug me all that much, because I grew up around entitled NY assholes and I just roll my eyes.

But what his pitch comes down to is this:

Get out of the way of the rich guys, let them do their thing, and it'll all turn out well.

Clinton is correct to say it's the return of trickle-down, although I'm not sure how much traction it will give her among the folks who should be most interested.

36 years ago we had a former actor living in some kind of nostalgic fugue state telling us that.

16 years ago we had an 'in over his head' faux-cowboy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth tell us that.

Four years ago we had a nice polite rich guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth tell us that.

This year we have a loudmouth NY asshole rich guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth telling us that.

SSDD.

Best of luck to Clinton, I'm not sure what happens if she loses.

My sister was disappointed that Hillary failed to ask He, Trump whether the black men shot by cops in Tulsa and Charlotte got Law or Order.

--TP

Despite my determination not to watch it I did. Idiocy. I'm not sure if anyone thinks these debates are a productive way to discuss issues, but maybe it is all about who can fake gravitas better. So we saw once again one important thing which we all knew anyway-- Trump can't control himself for more than a few minutes.

This ought to hurt him-- whoever gets more attention in this race loses support ( except for convention bounces) and he kept showing his weaknesses. But I won't predict anything.

Donald,

What would you suggest instead of "these debates"?

I'd go for IQ tests and written exams, myself, but I suspect others would prefer mud wrestling or pistols at dawn. Or maybe debates with a different format. But if so, what format?

--TP

The parallax would have been better and the debate more entertaining if the other two candidates had been included.

#DonaldBump

My format would be an hours long series of questions over several nights by a range of knowledgeable people with varying perspectives on different issues. If we were serious about issues in our campaigns, that is.. I know the theory is that questioners just get in the way and it more interesting to hear the candidates but that's just wrong, unless the idea is to see what their personalities are like in this situation. We did see Trump's tonight. Even if we had two normal candidates instead of one normal and one freak, they always spin and twist their answers and some topics are avoided altogether by both. You need questioners knowledgeable enough to ask follow up questions when this happens. And it should be expected to happen, until politicians learn they can't squirm out of difficult questions.

In the past they have tried something like this, but the questions were IMO not that great. You could have a night given to foreign policy with a panel of experts with differing views. Other nights about economics, or civil rights or the environment. They have done these separate night devoted to cluster of issues format, but the ones I have seen were not done well. They would be able to respond to each other too, but without third parties willing to challenge them both you will get a lot of BS even with normal non Trump politicians.

With Trump of course the answers would be a mess, but debate formats should be put together with the idea in mind that someone who wants to be President should be able to talk intelligently on a wide range of topics.

Obviously this won't happen, or not easily, but I think it ought to be demanded. But Americans might prefer the current format.

... a range of knowledgeable people with varying perspectives on different issues ...

Some would call people like that "elite", Donald. And you know it would not be a compliment.

Being unabashedly elitist without being remotely elite myself, I would of course pay good money to see presidential debates along the lines you advocate.

--TP

I know they would, but people usually don't resent elitists who have views similar to theirs, so that's one reason why you'd need a range of viewpoints. I suppose I would draw the line at scientific crackpots, so the charge of elitism might stick there. Perhaps on second thought a few cranks should be allowed too. ( Thinking of global warming deniers on environment night. Let one denier ask a question). And normal people could be invited to submit some questions.

So, Donald, what happens when some candidate simply declines to participate? Which someone as ignorant as Trump would.

We don't learn anything about his views on the issues you care about -- which is where we are now. And we don't learn anything about their temperament and how they deal with pressure either. In short, we end up with a net loss of information.

I actually forgot the debate was on tonight. (For some reason I thought it was scheduled for Tuesday.)

I believe I win.

[...]
Instead, let's simply focus on the brutal reality that after 90 minutes of back and forth, nobody knows anything more about either candidate than he or she knew going in. The format, essentially the same as the one that angered McLuhan so much back during the Bicentennial Year, precludes any sort of meaningful, candidate-driven questioning. The moderator, NBC's Lester Holt, is a good guy and a decent journalist, but what do we really gain by letting a single journalist write the questions and try to direct traffic? Trump and Clinton talked over each other and ran up and down the alleys of topics like bored kids running up and down the aisles during a Wagner opera.
[...]

Next Time, Make Trump and Clinton - And Johnson and Stein! - Answer Each Other's Questions: Why do we insist on using the "most stupid arrangement of any debate in the history of debating" for presidential candidates?

So I didn't see the debate but the coverage on the BBC is starkly different to here and on reddit, without even a follow-up who win who lost article. Whereas reddit at least points out that 18 out of 20 of CNN's floating voters gave it to Clinton - alongside a good helping of mockery for the ridiculous things Trump apparently said.

Yet again it seems the BBC goes for "even handed" instead of "impartial", to everyone's detriment.

Here I will say, for the record: I bet Trump doesn't do another debate. He'll say it's "rigged", and refuse. Who's willing to bet against me?

Someone should tell Trump that just because temperment has temper in it, it doesn't mean it is the same word...

Put the candidates in separate boxes and have a non-partisan jury at hand. Every time a candidate tries to weasel out of properly answering a question the jury can decide to have an angry weasel dropped onto the candidate's head. In cases where the jury is hung, the weasel gets replaced by a chihuahua. Every tenth time a capybara will be added.

A little late in the day to try rewriting the debate rules, I think.

No real surprises (for which I'm grateful) from last night. Clinton appeared relaxed and healthy; Trump was sniffing enough for Howard Dean to suggest he might have a coke habit.

The only thing of real significance for me was Trump's use of "those people". There is (clearly) room for racist demagoguery in US politics at the moment, but when you alienate a third of the population, you're probably (thank god) not going to win.

A more sophisticated demagogue would have targeted Muslims alone.

Wj--

If someone refuses, then they are mocked or the format is changed back to the stupid version or whatever, I already acknowledged it was unlikely. We have the debates and candidates and liars we have because this is what we want, but if we cared about airing issues people would demand something better.

A reasonable way could be found to combine my proposal with hartmut's. Either would be an improvement over the current system.

Ok, I have one thing to say. I randomly skimmed the write-ups and didn't watch a minute of the debate. Here is where coverage goes south in my mind. In two coverage pieces they spent 25% of the words saying that Trump lied about Clinton starting/encouraging the birther crap. Is that really the most important thing discussed last night? Does any non partisan believe she thinks Obama is not American? And then they did such a bad job of even defending her:

The Blumenthal case is more complicated, but it doesn’t provide clear evidence that the Clinton campaign was “pressing it very hard.” Blumenthal was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and he remained in close contact with Hillary Clinton after she became secretary of state, as Vanity Fair detailed in an article in July. So, Trump is right, when he says that Blumenthal is “a very close friend” of Hillary Clinton. In fact, Blumenthal left his position at Salon in 2007 to become a senior adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Trump said “Blumenthal sent McClatchy, highly respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out” if Obama was born in Keyna. Blumenthal didn’t send a reporter to Kenya. However, McClatchy’s respected former bureau chief James Asher said he had a meeting with Blumenthal during the 2008 campaign, and at that meeting Blumenthal encouraged McClatchy to chase the story of Obama’s birth.

Shashank Bengali, who now works at the Los Angeles Times, said Asher told him to “look into everything about Obama’s family in Kenya,” according to Politico. Asher gave Politico an email that he received from Bengali that said, “I can’t recall if we specifically discussed the birther claim, but I’m sure that was part of what I researched.”

That was a defense? The Falcons smoked the Saints in a shootout, New Orleans just cant seem to put a defense on the field either.

a bad job of even defending her

Clinton is not Blumenthal and didn't run with Blumenthal's idea. what's to defend?

is "aide had a wild idea that didn't get implemented!" really a damning situation for the boss?

No, but "boss pushes deplorable idea and aides still work to make him president" says something about the aides.

--TP

that's just silly cleek. Blumenthal was one of her closest senior advisors and had people off working on it. he wasn't some junior staffer that immediately got fired. but that's not the point, the point is they spent 7 or 8 paragraphs on saying Trump lied about it and the best they came up with was

"but it doesn’t provide clear evidence that the Clinton campaign was “pressing it very hard.”

I'll see your Birthergate, and raise you Snifflegate....

Trump on Fox:
'there were no sniffles'
'the mic was faulty on purpose'

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/09/27/donald_trump_sniffing_sniff.html

I think the American people have a right to know.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2016/09/i-weep-for-the-future-your-debate-open-thread.html?cid=6a00d834515c2369e201bb093aeef1970d#comment-6a00d834515c2369e201bb093aeef1970d

Reminds me of one side of the debate...

everybody's got a narrative to push, i guess.

oh that's right... i forgot that Sydney Blumenthal was a "conservative" bete noir.

http://www.breitbart.com/tag/sidney-blumenthal/

yes lj, I lied. cleek, I don't know Blumenthal from Adam. I'm not sure I knew who he was until THAT ARTICLE told me all about him. Focus. My point was the coverage sucked, it focused on the wrong thing. I'm sure they talked about a lot of things, that shouldn't have been an important one.

"So, Donald, what happens when some candidate simply declines to participate? "

Vermin Supreme stands in for them.

Note to Trump - "settled with no admission of guilt" is not a strong comeback.

where have you gone, joe dimaggio?

Marty,

You have your standards of what's important to focus on, and I have mine.

He, Trump was Birther in Chief for years, both before and after the Kenyan Usurper released his "long-form" birth certificate. That alone makes He, Trump unfit to be POTUS. I say fitness for office is a biggish deal.

Oh, and: no 1040, no 1600.

--TP

And returning to important political issues...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37483869

i actually wish they could have kept the tone of the first 10 or 15 minutes going - the responses to holt's first question, about domestic economic conditions.

they were each (in their own ways) articulating a coherent understanding of what needs to happen to improve things.

IMO the issues Trump raises on the economic front, specifically, really do need to be raised and addressed, and because of how corrupt US politics has become it's hard for anybody who has spent their career in politics to address them.

All of that resonates with a lot of people. There is definitely an ignorant, bigoted, no-nothing constituency among Trump's supporters, and he knowingly encourages them, which IMO ought to disqualify him from office.

But there are also a hell of a lot of people who hear him talk (with varying degrees of accuracy) about stuff like job flight, and who recognize their own circumstances in what he says.

Unfortunately for them, the person who has stepped up to speak for them is Trump, who is plainly kind of an ass.

I really hope Trump flames out, I really hope Clinton wins, and I really hope that after November people don't just forget all about the folks who have basically been screwed over by 35 years of Chicago school dogma.

My point was the coverage sucked, it focused on the wrong thing.

as always.

fwiw, my 7:53 was in sympathy with your 7:40.

I really hope that after November people don't just forget all about the folks who have basically been screwed over by 35 years of Chicago school dogma.

This hope involves Congress. To the extent that the Executive branch can make policy to lift the economy, it's done quite well during Obama, and I see no indication that Clinton is working only for the 1%.

"fwiw, my 7:53 was in sympathy with your 7:40."

Cool, didn't process that, just read the blumenthal thing.

"as always."
Yep.

My 2 cents.......

Clinton did not effectively rebut Drumph's opening bit on the loss of jobs. Thankfully, he got distracted....

Note to Trump - "settled with no admission of guilt" is not a strong comeback.

That was a real howler. Clinton didn't take advantage. Too bad.

I'll take Dr. Science's bet. Two more rounds of this derp.

So I didn't watch the debate either but I thought I should probably weigh in and say that it appears that I was wrong in my pre-debate assessment. Perhaps Trump was going after a different demographic than I thought, or perhaps he as a person simply cannot do what it takes to change tone effectively. The latter still surprises me -- when you're in line for the third-biggest job on the planet* then I find it amazing that someone who isn't generally smart and competent can get to the final 2.

(* Top Gear and Bake Off are still lacking lead presenters)

My son is in 8th grade. He was kinda-sorta assigned to watch the debate for civics class. He gets up at 6 AM to catch the bus. Spends the day in school. Comes home and does his homework. Goes to soccer practice at 7. Gets home after an hour and half of running and blocking shots over and over again. Takes a shower and eats something. Sits at the kitchen table from which he can see the TV in the family room. He's asleep with his head on the table after 10 minutes. I'm sure he doesn't remember a word that was said before he fell asleep ... or after, for that matter.

I drank beer.

Debate, schmebate.

I believe in violence across the board against the Republican Party.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/09/26/how-congress-became-a-basket-case/

I just realized this is just a glitch in the matrix. This can be easily seen when you juxtapose Charlie Sheen's 'winning' from his tigerblood speech with Drumph's line on having a 'winning' temperament.

OK, I finally watched it (recorded during the night) and haven't yet heard any of the spin/commentary.

My immediate take is (unsurprisingly) that HRC came across as smart, confident and knowledgeable (all of which she is) and Trump came across as someone who couldn't answer most questions of substance, and kept reverting to the talking points which gain him big points at his rallies (I'll do brilliantly, I'm a winner, America is losing big-time and I'll reverse that and it will be beautiful). His stuff all seemed so very unconvincing to me, but obviously I'm biased. We'll have to wait and see what if any effect it has on the previously undecided.

Apart from HRC's failing to capitalise on "I settled with no admission of liability", I was very disappointed that the moderator didn't push harder on the fact that Trump kept pushing the birther stuff long after the birth certificate was released. He mentioned it, but it seemed to me it got lost in the shuffle; too bad, because it totally demolishes Trump's claim that the question was settled with the release of the birth certificate.

Apart from all of this, my favourite takeaway from the whole debate is Hartmut's inspired, surrealistic weasel suggestion. Somewhere in the multiverse, I hope this is actually happening.

"Hartmut's inspired, surrealistic weasel suggestion"

See, that would TOTALLY get everyone in trouble with PETA. And besides, the weasels shouldn't just be dropped in a cage, they should be stuffed down their pants.

For myself, I'd prefer to have the debaters strapped to chairs with electrodes attached to their bodies, and fact-checkers administering electric shocks with a voltage proportionate to the magnitude of the lie. A "whopper/shocker" debate, if you will.

Ratings gold, people, RATINGS. GOLD.

I really hope that after November people don't just forget all about the folks who have basically been screwed over by 35 years of Chicago school dogma.
........
This hope involves Congress.

Amd there, sapient, is the core of the problem. There is no way that Congress does anything as long as
a) The Republicans continue to refuse to advance anything to a vote which doesn't have majority support of their party
AND
b) the Republicans retain a majority in the House.
Change either one of those**, and maybe we get something done. Not otherwise. (And changing a) basically requires the Democrats to man up and put some serious effort into state legislative races in 2020. Absent that, they aren't going to have a real chance to beat the gerrymander.)


** Or have the GOP make, and implement, an internal decision to cast out the nut cases. Which, sadly, I don't see happening.

GrtNC, I think the best analysis I've seen was the guy who suggested that what really threw Trump was the fact that he is accustomed, whenever there is a crowd in sight, to playing off their reactions. And this time, the crowd wasn't reacting to his usual applause lines. So he started flailing around, and getting more and more over the top, trying to get the reaction that he needs.

It's the difference between playing to a crowd who already believes, and trying to convince a crowd which doesn't.

I thought Kellyanne Conway this morning looked a bit bloated, especially around the jowls and the love handles, like she's taking on major carbo ballast, quite broad in the beam it looks to me, and at the same frayed and crinkled around the edges, like she's been ridden hard and put away wet, don't you guys think?

If I were this guy ...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/steve-stockman-gop-rep-tweets-release-your-emails-hillary-clinton

... or Scott Baio, I'd wonder out loud about KellyAnne's bitchhood and cunthood, in that original vermin, subhuman manner of political discourse cultivated lo these many years by the Republican Party and obviously learned from the still unshot-in-the-head Newt Gingrich and his Rasputin, Frank Luntz.

Kellyanne's pride in Trump not bringing up Bill Clinton's sexual peccadilloes during this first "debate" was evident. The way she flicked at her lip gloss with her darting little minx tongue as she was being interviewed seem to suggest a certain type of hunger whenever the subject of Bill Clinton comes up, and up.

She probably had to rush to the little girl's room after the interview to refurbish herself for the bullshit ahead.

One doesn't have to use real weasels. I like animals myself. Stuffed animals would get the point across and if physical pain is part of the requirement, there are endless possibilities, but I don't think we want our politics to get uncivilized. Pelting them with cream pies, dunking them in water tanks, and dropping stuffed weasel toys on them would raise the tone of the debate to the proper level.

There were actual moments of substance in this one, but even with two serious candidates it wouldn't have gotten very far. Clinton was really miffed at how Trump was pointing to her flipflop on TPP, but he's not the "master persuader" of Scott Adam's demented manipulative imagination, but a narcisstic child who can't stay disciplined for more than ten minutes at most.

Trump even pledged no first use on nuclear weapons, though he's probably forgotten about it by now. He seems to remember his pledge to go back to 19th century Western civilizing ways and outright steal the oil of the places he says he opposes invading. So he's consistent on some things anyway.

How many weasels would fit into the pants? Also the viewers would want to see something and not have to ask a Mae West question.
It would also spoil the booming announcemnt of "Release The Weasel!" followed by the sound of a rattling cage door opening. And in case of Trump the hair must be the first target. Feel free to imagine more variations like different drop heights or the chihuahuas being catapulted into the candidates' faces.
Btw, I think the seed for the idea for me was a mixture of Orwell's Room 101 and the anecdote about the Spartan boy and the stolen fox viewed through a Monty Python lense (and the threat of the Falderal guard about angry weasels with crossbows from Kings Quest VII).

Trump repeated that we should have taken the Iraqi oil. And he doesn't want more foreign entanglements. So how to reconcile those two -- assuming, for the sake of discussion, that non-conflicting policies is important.

It occurs to me that Trump may simply not have a clue that the Iraqi oil is still in the ground and has to be pumped. If he thought it was just sitting there (in barrels?) somewhere, well then we could have simply loaded it up and brought it home. You know, like an invading army could grab gold or art works or something. Then it would kind of make sense.

Just got this from maddowblog:

Rudy Giuliani, a leading Trump campaign surrogate, told reporters last night, "If I were Donald Trump I wouldn't participate in another debate unless I was promised that a journalist would act like a journalist and not an incorrect, ignorant fact checker."

Tells one a lot about what journalism has come to, when this can be uttered without getting laughed out of the room.

"Trump even pledged no first use on nuclear weapons, though he's probably forgotten about it by now."

I don't know, from the bits of the debate I didn't see, he looked to me as if he had the Presidential "nuclear football' stowed underneath his podium, he would have called in a thermonuclear strike on Lester Holt's children.

Then, before the next debate, the Clinton campaign could run ads of live footage of Holt's kids being incinerated and Trump could get a bump in the polls from the deplorable murderers he appeals to.

"Trump even pledged no first use on nuclear weapons, though he's probably forgotten about it by now."

I don't know, from the bits of the debate I didn't see, he looked to me as if he had the Presidential "nuclear football' stowed underneath his podium, he would have called in a thermonuclear strike on Lester Holt's children.

Then, before the next debate, the Clinton campaign could run ads of live footage of Holt's kids being incinerated and Trump could get a bump in the polls from the deplorable murderers he appeals to.

i've assumed that Trump means we should just annex the Iraqi wells and pipeline routes - declare them US soil. then we can use our big beautiful military to scare anyone who questions us.

I would upgrade from weasels to starving, terror-stricken wolverines.

Ghouliani is accustomed to thinking of journalists as flatheaded beings on whom he can set his drink as they kneel before him.

Count, again that would go too fast. Another case of instant gratification. They would never even reach the first capybara (those can be lethal btw despite their cute looks).

Some questions that should have been asked--

https://theintercept.com/liveblogs/firstdebate/the-questions-you-wont-hear-tonight-because-theyre-too-good/

he's not the "master persuader" of Scott Adam's demented manipulative imagination

LOL.

"Pace and lead" FTW.

Not that I'm going to click on The Intercept, Donald, but it doesn't really take great policy questions to see pretty quickly what's at stake here. Unless one of the most urgent issues on your agenda is the weight of Miss Universe.

from the Intercept link, Q for HRC:

You’ve said that you have never changed your vote on anything because of money — speaking fees, foundation contributions, campaign donations. Why do you think people gave that money?

speaking fees - because speakers get paid to speak. look it up.

foundation contributions - for the same reason anyone gives to any charity (aside from the Trump Foundation).

campaign donations - what are you, ten?

(where 'you' = whoever asked that question)

cleek, we've formalized and institutionalized our nation's political corruption; putting a fig leaf on top of it doesn't make it a tree. It's deeply naive to assume that all that money changes hands with no expectations on either side - it's naivete on par with and not wholly unrelated to communists or libertarians suggesting their systems of government are well-suited and resilient when implemented by homo sapiens...

--

Does anyone older than this relative young'un have an opinion on whether the debates were better back in the LoWV days, i.e. before my time?

evidence is for people who lack sufficient confidence in their hand-waving. sad.

...and situations which have been specifically designed to avoid creating evidence are inherently incapable of duplicity. Sad.

Sapient, the questions at the link came from all over. Some came from Amy Davidson at the New Yorker, for instance. None of them were about Yemen (though one should be). Some were aimed at Trump. You would applaud. Some were aimed at Clinton. You would be very sad.

And yeah, Trump pretty much disqualifies himself if he talks for more than ten minutes. He actually scored a good point at the beginning with TPP--I was feeling this weird mixture of satisfaction at Clinton looking uncomfortable with a sick feeling that maybe this guy really could pretend to be serious for 90 minutes. But he soon reverted to form. It was a relief. A truly intelligent maverick could have made Clinton squirm for 90 minutes, but Trump is not that person.

The serious questions were for some alternate universe America where the political process wasn't a depressing sour joke.

Does anyone older than this relative young'un have an opinion on whether the debates were better back in the LoWV days, i.e. before my time?

I don't particularly consider myself an old'un, but my memory is that every debate I remember had some little twitch or quirk around which the popular wisdom set.

Reagan-Carter I paid for this mic
Dukakis-Bush the rape question
Quayle-Bentsen- you're no JFK
Bush-clinton- the watch look
Gore-Bush Social Security lockbox
Mondale-Reagan Is he senile?

Those are the ones that come up without googling. The only one that even approaches policy is the SS one.

About TPP, while Trump scored a good zinger, but I don't think it was a good debate point. It presumes that HRC should have 'stayed the course' and not responded to any pressure and the fact that she did is viewed as disqualifying her for office. This seems a bit bizarre. I actually would like a president who is responsive to pressure.

As for my take on the TPP, it seems a lot like healthcare, in that there are so many moving parts and so many stakeholders, and getting one nation to change something like the way they classify something or requiring some standard that is essentially non-standard, so a question like 'are you for or against TPP' is, at its heart, a really stupid one IMO.

Hartmut, you shame me. I had a reasonable classical education (Latin til 18, Ancient Greek til 16) and I didn't remember the Spartan Boy and the Stolen fox. I must just say, though, that the detail I particularly loved, not for any practical effect but because it had a poetic perfection, was "angry" weasels, and that was all your own. Very worthy of Monty Python, and possibly even (as our critic Clive James used to imply, and as liberal japonicus may be able to confirm) the future format of a Japanese game show.

Oh oh, just reread Hartmut's derivation, and saw this "and the threat of the Falderal guard about angry weasels with crossbows from Kings Quest VII", but since this is absolutely incomprehensible to me, even with further internet research, I am insisting on crediting Hartmut.

Sapient, the questions at the link came from all over. Some came from Amy Davidson at the New Yorker, for instance. None of them were about Yemen (though one should be). Some were aimed at Trump. You would applaud. Some were aimed at Clinton. You would be very sad.

Sounds thrilling. Not going to give Greenwald one click if I can help it,

...and situations which have been specifically designed to avoid creating evidence are inherently incapable of duplicity. Sad.

that logic was shitty when Bush used it to push the Iraq invasion. it's shitty now.

If someone were proposing to send people to jail on the assumption that campaign contributions were the equivalent to bribes, with no evidence of quid pro quo, I could accept the Iraq War analogy.

The TPP thing goes to her credibility and whether she means it and what changes would have to be made for her to accept it. But these questions should be asked by journalists or other knowledgable people, like Dean Baker ( knowledgable journalists are a rare commodity, at least on debate panels).

Trump, of course, would be quickly exposed on numerous topics by serious questioning-- even what little he got on Monday was enough to have him unravel, though some in his fan club seems to have convinced themselves he did okay ( I've seen this at another blog). But any Presidential candidate should be raked over the coals. Americans have willingly allowed the two parties to get away with these silly spectacles. It worked out okay Monday in the sense that with someone as ridiculous as Trump any fairminded person should have been able to see his unsuitability for anything besides reality TV, but I suspect a smarter Republican with self discipline could have " won" that debate. Not so much on issues, but just on zingers. Which is how these things are usually won. Trump was incredibly easy to bait.

On NV's question above, IMO the debates have always been second rate at best, which is why zingers and spin after they were over is how people determine who won.

Sapient-- yeah, the Intercept is full of double plus ungood thinking from your pov.

Tell me, cleek: do revolving-door policies in regulatory institutions arise for no reason besides the former bureaucrats having relevant job skills? Also, same question but with former legislators and lobbyists.

Why on earth do we have laws demanding financial conflict-of-interest disclosures? So long as the government agent is not being directly bribed in a quid pro quo arrangement, there can't be corruption, right?

Is regulatory capture even possible absent explicit (illegal) bribes? Or is it possible - and try to stay with me on this, it's a pretty complicated line of thought - that actors (even the ones who aren't Republicans!) are not just self-interested, but are also capable of adapting to circumvent obstacles when direct means of achieving advantageous outcomes are forbidden?

Complaining that rules have huge blind spots allowing de facto quid pro quo to be masked under one fig leaf or another is as much a complaint about the rules as the individuals creating the appearance of corruption despite a lack of evidence of lawbreaking. Raising questions about actors who have benefited greatly from actions within those blind spots is not an accusation of criminal wrongdoing, it's a criticism of an appearance of gaming the rules for one's own benefit and a question of their impartiality in the presence of an apparent financial conflict of interest.

Of course, this all sets aside the utter absurdity of needing to raise all of the above when the question you found so very, very objectionable explicitly allowed your infallible candidate to explain why there was no reason to view these behaviors as conflicts of interest...

It is interesting to seethe argument that money is corrosive in politics except when the money comes to the Clintons. I don't understand some of the details of the argument though.

I'd love to have a discussion about how the Clintons have pushed the boundaries on corruption that isn't against the laws written by politicians who want to be able to take in lots of money, but we can't do that while Trump is her foil

Hmmm. I meant 'see the' but seethe is pretty good for a fat finger mistake.

One thing that ought to be more widely mocked is Trumps' crybaby response to the debate.

"My mike was defective."

"Holt was unfair."

"The sun was in my eyes."

etc.

It is interesting to seethe argument that money is corrosive in politics except when the money comes to the Clintons.

I wouldn't make that particular argument. My basis for voting for Clinton isn't that she's a perfect paragon of virtue. She's certainly within the universe of reasonable options for a presidential candidate, unlike her opponent.

I would even go further to say that, to the extent that I don't like some of the money that's come her way, I'd like to see some sort of prohibition on that sort of thing - for everyone, not just her.

Somehow, that doesn't prevent from voting for her over DONALD F**KING TRUMP!!!

"It is interesting to seethe argument that money is corrosive in politics except when the money comes to the Clintons."

As soon as we see that argument, let the seething begin. If the argument exists, I suspect it's a bookend to the argument that all political bribery is legal free speech, even anonymous donations picked up by couriers at unmarked drop boxes, except when the Clintons are on the receiving end of it.

Regarding regulatory capture, are we equating, say, the Koch Brothers bribery of conservative politicians to hamstring, block, defund, get rid of, threaten, and harass regulatory agencies to cause them to not enforce environmental laws, with, I don't know, the Sierra Club's political donations to politicians who then request that the regulatory agencies please carry out the letter of the laws as written?

Are both of those behaviors corrupt?

IMHO, by the way, the prime reason we see interests pushing to gut federal regulatory measures and claim that those regulatory regimes, if they are even permitted to exist at all, should be pushed down to the state and local levels, is because the monied interests know it is much easier and probably cheaper to bribe and own regulators at the state and local levels.

In fact, I suspect some industries, not all by any means, are irate that some federal regulators are impervious to regulatory capture, (though I know it is a problem) while their more local counterparts are pushovers.

As an old 'un, I can attest as an eye witness that the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1859-60 were substantive, detailed, compelling, and riveting.

Then Americans went out and slaughtered each other en masse, so maybe we should be happy that modern debates are content-free, bullshit sessions that get to the bottom of nothing.

To wit:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/republicans-pretend-they-want-more-powerful-bank-oversight

NV: prove the corruption.

you seem so very very very confident it exists. so, share your proof with the rest of us.

This boggles my unboggable mind:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/fbi-now-pretty-sure-russia-behind-anti-clinton-hacking

The Republican Party and the Kremlin under thug Putin work in concert, illegally, to thwart the Clinton campaign and subvert an American Presidential campaign.

She must be something. What are the common interests of Republicans and Putin's murderous regime? Does Putin hate Obamacare too?

As one who grew up in a country where half the filth here accused all liberals all my life, most notably Martin Luther King, of being Soviet agents, this is REALLY something.

Kill, and kill, and never stop killing.

It is interesting to seethe argument that money is corrosive in politics except when the money comes to the Clintons. I don't understand some of the details of the argument though.

who is making that argument?

people are asserting Clinton is corrupt. when i ask for evidence, i get hand-waving. when i say that's not proof, i get more hand-waving. all i want is for the people making the assertion to back it up with evidence.

or maybe we should go back to that sub-thread about how some people's politics are simply religion while other people's politics are objective and honest.

It's always interesting to see, in the first couple of days after the debate, what bits that seemed to slide right by at the time turn out to be the critical ones. From what I'm seeing, we're getting one non-surprise and one surprise from Monday's debate:

The non-surprise: Trump's taxes are getting a lot of play. Driven by the fact that he seemed to say that he does, indeed, end up paying no Federal income tax. Which only gives resonance to the existing calls for him to release his returns.

He may be avoiding all taxes entirely within the law. But telling folks who do pay that not paying makes him smart doesn't seem like a vote winner -- who likes to be told that they are stupid because they pay taxes? And most of us do.

The surprise: Miss Universe. If Trump were smart, this would be a throw-away line from Clinton which would have been forgotten in 24 hours.

But instead, he has been going out of his way to make statements which assure that Latinos, and especially women, keep getting reminded about just how shallow his view of them is. The Clinton campaign couldn't have gotten a better response from him if they had scripted it themselves.

Democracy Now (Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez) interviewed Arlie Hochschild, the sociologist who wrote the new book on the Louisiana tea party people. Here's the interview--

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/28/what_drives_trump_supporters_sociologist_arlie

On money and stances on issues, I would guess that Clinton's stance on Israel and the BDS movement has some connection with the fact that her biggest donor coincidentally has exactly the same position she has on that subject. It's possible this is a coincidence and nothing like this ever happens except by coincidence.


https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2158218-hillary-clintons-letter-to-haim-saban-against-bds.html

http://forward.com/news/israel/321793/haim-saban-dumps-pro-israel-coalition-over-sheldon-adelsons-far-right-wing/


Seriously, do people really think rich donors in both parties don't have some sort of influence? I know about this particular case because I follow the I-P conflict.

Alternatively, of course, it could be the case that the only politicians who get anywhere are those whose sincerely felt beliefs arrived completely independent from what billionaires might feel happen to line up with the views of billionaires. It would be a sort of Darwinian process--those poor fools who don't agree with the views of some rich prospective donor never get far. But I'm going to hazard a guess and say there's some interplay involved.

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