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US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries

Two Coke/Pepsi parties  fool voters again

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary Clinton email scandal Clinton Foundation - Wikipedia Hillary Clinton links to financial industry
Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Channeling donations to Clinton foundation during her tenure as the Secretary of State Hillary as a neocon warmonger Pathological lying Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager?  
Deception as an art form Neoconservatism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Media-Military-Industrial Complex Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism
Neocons Credibility Scam American Exceptionalism  The Deep State Corruption of Regulators New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Color revolutions Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Diplomacy by deception National Security State / Surveillance State
    Leo Strauss and the Neocons Bill Clinton The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The attempt to secure global hegemony
Machiavellism Neo-fascism Torture as an instrument of social control National Socialism and Military Keysianism Predator state Russian Jokes about Neoliberal Fifth Column and Color Revolutions Etc

Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016 - Wikipedia

The 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses were a series of electoral contests taking place within all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, occurring between February 1 and June 14, 2016. Sanctioned by the Democratic Party, these elections were designed to select the 4,051 delegates to send to the Democratic National Convention, which will select the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. An extra 718 unpledged delegates (714 votes), or "superdelegates", are appointed by the party independently of the primaries' electoral process. The convention will also approve the party's platform and vice-presidential nominee. The Democratic nominee will challenge other presidential candidates in national elections to succeed President Barack Obama at noon on January 20, 2017, following his two terms in office.

A total of six major candidates entered the race starting April 12, 2015, when former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton formally announced her second bid for the presidency. She was followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley, former Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig. There was some speculation that incumbent Vice President Joe Biden would also enter the race, but he chose not to run. A draft movement was started to encourage Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to seek the presidency, but Warren declined to run. Prior to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016, Webb and Chafee both withdrew after consistently polling below 2%.[2] Lessig withdrew after the rules of a debate were changed such that he would no longer qualify to participate.[3]

 


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Old News ;-)

[Sep 30, 2016] Neoliberal media are just stenographers for the White House and the Clinton campaign

Notable quotes:
"... This means the "default position" of the Clinton campaign and her friendly media is, "if there's something wrong in the world, criticize George W. Bush." ..."
"... "Why not? It worked for Obama. Maybe it will work for her as well," Bolton said. "And I think the fact that the media are aiding and abetting this approach shouldn't surprise anybody. I think no matter who the Republican nominee was this year, the media were going to be – as the Wall Street Journal has so aptly called them – stenographers for the White House and the Clinton campaign. And that's exactly what they're doing." ..."
"... Most people watching 90 minutes of a debate like that don't score it on this debating point, or that debating point. They look at the entire thing. They want to know about the character of the people. And I think the fact that Trump was there for 90 minutes and held his own, or more than, in a format that Hillary Clinton has been familiar with since she was in law school, accomplished what he needed to accomplish. ..."
Sep 30, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
"I think it's entirely understandable that what Clinton will try to do is avoid criticizing Obama, because she desperately needs to recreate the Obama coalition on November the 8th," said Bolton. "She has gone out of her way, including in her 600-page-long tedious memoir about her days at the State Department, failing to distance herself from Obama."

This means the "default position" of the Clinton campaign and her friendly media is, "if there's something wrong in the world, criticize George W. Bush."

"Why not? It worked for Obama. Maybe it will work for her as well," Bolton said. "And I think the fact that the media are aiding and abetting this approach shouldn't surprise anybody. I think no matter who the Republican nominee was this year, the media were going to be – as the Wall Street Journal has so aptly called them – stenographers for the White House and the Clinton campaign. And that's exactly what they're doing."

Bolton thought Trump "did what he needed to do" at the first presidential debate:

Most people watching 90 minutes of a debate like that don't score it on this debating point, or that debating point. They look at the entire thing. They want to know about the character of the people. And I think the fact that Trump was there for 90 minutes and held his own, or more than, in a format that Hillary Clinton has been familiar with since she was in law school, accomplished what he needed to accomplish.

My critique of his performance would be that he missed opportunities. For example, you mentioned the foreign policy section, when they were asked about cyber warfare, and the dangers to the United States of hacking, and that gave Clinton a chance to give a little college-type lecture on Russia – by the way, omitting China, Iran, North Korea, and others – I thought at that point Trump could have talked about her email homebrew server for his entire time, and just drilled that point home.

But, you know, people at home aren't sitting there grading on that basis. I think the second debate, and the third debate, will be very different, and those – particularly in the media – who now confidently predict the outcome of the election, based on their take of this debate, are smoking something.

...Listen to the full audio of Bolton's interview above.

[Sep 30, 2016] Trump vs. the GOP Elite by Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

Sep 26, 2016 | The American Conservative

... ... ...

2) Trade. With only 4 percent of the world's population, we buy almost one-fourth of the world's goods. Every country is champing at the bit to get into our markets. We have tremendous leverage on trade that we have not used. We do not want or need trade wars. But we should, in a friendly way, tell other countries-especially the Chinese-"We want to trade with you, but we can't sustain our huge trade deficit. You are going to have to find some things to buy from us, too."

3) Immigration. With 58 percent of the world's population-almost 4 billion people-having to get by on $4 or less a day, hundreds of millions would come here over the next few years if we simply opened our borders. Our entire infrastructure-our schools, jails, sewers, hospitals, roads-and our economy as a whole could not handle such a massive, rapid influx of people. The American people are the kindest, most generous people in the world, and we have already allowed many millions more than any other country to immigrate here, legally and illegally. But we must do a much better job enforcing our immigration laws.

4) Wars. I am now the only Republican left in Congress who voted against going to war in Iraq. For the first three of four years, it was the most unpopular vote I ever cast. I even once was disinvited to speak at a Baptist church. Now, it is probably the most popular vote I ever cast. The American people are tired of permanent, forever wars. While everyone wants a friendly relationship with Israel, I do not believe the American people will continue to support wars that primarily benefit Israel but cause thousands of young Americans to be killed or horribly maimed for life.

5) Jobs. Almost any member of Congress, if asked what is the greatest need in their district, would probably say more good jobs. Radical environmentalists have caused many thousands of U.S. businesses to go to other countries or close for good. We have ended up with the best-educated waiters and waitresses in the world. When I was in Vietnam a few years ago, I was told if you wanted to start a business there, you just went out and did it. The place was booming. It is now apparently easier to start a small business in some former communist countries than in the supposedly free-enterprise U.S.

... ... ...

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. represents the 2nd district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.represents the 2nd district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

[Sep 30, 2016] Myth that neoliberal globalization reduces poverty

Notable quotes:
"... "Over the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut from nearly 40 percent of humanity to under 10 percent." This is roughly true, according to World Bank data, but the story of how it happened goes against his whole speech - which argues that this progress is a result of the "globalization" that Washington leads and supports wherever it has influence in the developing world. In fact, the majority of the reduction in extreme poverty during this period (more than 1.1 billion people worldwide) took place in China. But during this period China was really the counterexample to the "principles of open markets" with which Obama insists "we must go forward, not backward." ..."
"... If we go back a bit more and look at 1981–2012, China accounted for even more of the reduction of the world population in extreme poverty, about 70 percent. This would indicate that other parts of the developing world increased their economic and social progress during the 21st century, relative to China, and indeed many developing countries did (as compared to the last two decades of the 20th century). But China played an increasingly large role in reducing poverty in other countries during this period. ..."
"... It was so successful in its economic growth and development - by far the fastest in world history - that it became the largest economy in the world, and pulled up many developing countries through its imports. Chinese imports went from a negligible 0.1 percent of other developing countries' exports to 3 percent, from 1980–2010. China also provided hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, loans, and aid to low- and middle-income countries in the 21st century. (In the last few years, Chinese growth has slowed, along with that of most countries, and that has contributed - although perhaps not as much as Europe has - to the global slowdown since 2011.) ..."
"... the "principles of open markets" that Obama refers to is really code for "policies that Washington supports." ..."
"... In his defense of a world economic order ruled by Washington and its rich country allies, President Obama also asserted that "we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative." But that is a gross exaggeration: the most recent reform of IMF voting shares left the US with an unchanged 16.7 percent share, enough to veto many important decisions (that require an 85 percent majority) by itself; and it left Washington and its traditional rich country allies with a solid majority of more than 60 percent of votes. Of course, it is the developing countries, especially poorer ones, that are most subject to IMF decisions. But the IMF is - by a gentleman's agreement among the rich country governments - headed by a European, and the World Bank by an American. It should not be surprising if these institutions do not look out for the interests of the developing world. ..."
Sep 30, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne : September 30, 2016 at 04:55 AM

http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/president-obama-inadvertently-gives-high-praise-to-china-in-un-speech

September 29, 2016

President Obama Inadvertently Gives High Praise to China in UN Speech
By Mark Weisbrot

President Obama's speech at the UN last week was mostly a defense of the world's economic and political status quo, especially that part of it that is led or held in place by the US government and the global institutions that Washington controls or dominates. In doing so, he said some things that were exaggerated or wrong, or somewhat misleading. It is worth looking at some of the things that media reports on this speech missed.

"Over the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut from nearly 40 percent of humanity to under 10 percent." This is roughly true, according to World Bank data, but the story of how it happened goes against his whole speech - which argues that this progress is a result of the "globalization" that Washington leads and supports wherever it has influence in the developing world. In fact, the majority of the reduction in extreme poverty during this period (more than 1.1 billion people worldwide) took place in China. But during this period China was really the counterexample to the "principles of open markets" with which Obama insists "we must go forward, not backward."

China's historically unprecedented economic growth in the past 25 years (or 35 years, or even more) was accomplished with state-owned enterprises and banks dominating the economy. State control over investment, technology transfer, and foreign exchange was vastly greater than in other developing countries. China rejected the neoliberal policies of an "independent central bank," indiscriminate opening to international trade and investment, and rapid privatization of state companies. Instead, it chose a gradual transition, over 35 years, from an overwhelmingly planned economy to a mixed economy in which the state still plays a leading role. Even today, China expanded the investment of state-owned enterprises by 23.5 percent in the first six months of 2016 (as compared to the same period in 2015), to help boost the economy.

If we go back a bit more and look at 1981–2012, China accounted for even more of the reduction of the world population in extreme poverty, about 70 percent. This would indicate that other parts of the developing world increased their economic and social progress during the 21st century, relative to China, and indeed many developing countries did (as compared to the last two decades of the 20th century). But China played an increasingly large role in reducing poverty in other countries during this period.

It was so successful in its economic growth and development - by far the fastest in world history - that it became the largest economy in the world, and pulled up many developing countries through its imports. Chinese imports went from a negligible 0.1 percent of other developing countries' exports to 3 percent, from 1980–2010. China also provided hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, loans, and aid to low- and middle-income countries in the 21st century. (In the last few years, Chinese growth has slowed, along with that of most countries, and that has contributed - although perhaps not as much as Europe has - to the global slowdown since 2011.)

Of course, the "principles of open markets" that Obama refers to is really code for "policies that Washington supports." Some of them are the exact opposite of "open markets," such as the lengthening and strengthening of patent and copyright protection included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. President Obama also made a plug for the TPP in his speech, asserting that "we've worked to reach trade agreements that raise labor standards and raise environmental standards, as we've done with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so that the benefits [of globalization] are more broadly shared." But the labor and environmental standards in the TPP, as with those in previous US-led commercial agreements, are not enforceable; whereas if a government approves laws or regulations that infringe on the future profit potential of a multinational corporation - even if such laws or regulations are to protect public health or safety - that government can be hit with billions of dollars in fines. And they must pay these fines, or be subject to trade sanctions.

In his defense of a world economic order ruled by Washington and its rich country allies, President Obama also asserted that "we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative." But that is a gross exaggeration: the most recent reform of IMF voting shares left the US with an unchanged 16.7 percent share, enough to veto many important decisions (that require an 85 percent majority) by itself; and it left Washington and its traditional rich country allies with a solid majority of more than 60 percent of votes. Of course, it is the developing countries, especially poorer ones, that are most subject to IMF decisions. But the IMF is - by a gentleman's agreement among the rich country governments - headed by a European, and the World Bank by an American. It should not be surprising if these institutions do not look out for the interests of the developing world.

"We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration," President Obama told the world at the UN General Assembly. "Or we can retreat into a world sharply divided, and ultimately in conflict, along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion."

But the rich country governments led by Washington are not offering the rest of the world any better model of cooperation and integration than the failed model they have been offering for the past 35 years. And that is a big part of the problem....

RGC -> anne... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 06:57 AM

Excellent commentary by Mark Weisbrot.
anne -> RGC... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 07:09 AM
Excellent commentary by Mark Weisbrot.

[ Really so. ]

anne -> anne... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 09:23 AM
http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/president-obama-inadvertently-gives-high-praise-to-china-in-un-speech

September 29, 2016

China's historically unprecedented economic growth in the past 25 years (or 35 years, or even more) was accomplished with state-owned enterprises and banks dominating the economy. State control over investment, technology transfer, and foreign exchange was vastly greater than in other developing countries. China rejected the neoliberal policies of an "independent central bank," indiscriminate opening to international trade and investment, and rapid privatization of state companies. Instead, it chose a gradual transition, over 35 years, from an overwhelmingly planned economy to a mixed economy in which the state still plays a leading role. Even today, China expanded the investment of state-owned enterprises by 23.5 percent in the first six months of 2016 (as compared to the same period in 2015), to help boost the economy....

-- Mark Weisbrot

anne -> anne... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 10:04 AM
http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/president-obama-inadvertently-gives-high-praise-to-china-in-un-speech

September 29, 2016

Even today, China expanded the investment of state-owned enterprises by 23.5 percent in the first six months of 2016 (as compared to the same period in 2015), to help boost the economy....

-- Mark Weisbrot


http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/14/yale-professors-offer-economic-prescriptions/

October 14, 2011

Yale Professors Offer Economic Prescriptions
By Brenda Cronin - Wall Street Journal

Richard C. Levin, president of Yale - and also a professor of economics - moderated the conversation among Professors Judith Chevalier, John Geanakoplos, William D. Nordhaus, Robert J. Shiller and Aleh Tsyvinski....

An early mistake during the recession, Mr. Levin said, was not targeting more stimulus funds to job creation. He contrasted America's meager pace of growth in gross domestic product in the past few years with China's often double-digit pace, noting that after the crisis hit, Washington allocated roughly 2% of GDP to job creation while Beijing directed 15% of GDP to that goal....

anne -> anne... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 10:13 AM
Repeatedly there are warnings from Western economists that the Chinese economy is near collapse, nonetheless economic growth through the first 2 quarters this year is running at 6.7% and the third quarter looks about the same. The point is to ask and describe how after these last 39 remarkable years:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=7uKv

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, 1976-2015

(Percent change)

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=7uKu

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, 1976-2015

(Indexed to 1976)

anne -> anne... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 10:16 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=7uKF

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, 1976-2014

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=7uKE

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)

jonny bakho : , -1
Before the crash, complacent Democrats, ... tended to agree with them that the economy was largely self-correcting.

Who is a complacent Democrat? Obama ran as a fiscal conservative and appointed a GOP as his SecTreas. Geithner was a "banks need to be bailed out" and the economy self corrects. Geithner was not in favor of cram down or mortgage programs that would have bailed out the injured little folks.

Democrats like Romer and Summers were in favor a fiscal stimulus, but not enough of it. I expect to see the Clinton economic team include a lot more women and especially focus on economic policies that help working women and families.

I have always thought that a big reason for the Bush jobless recovery was his lack of true fiscal stimulus. Bush had tax cuts for the wealthy, but the latest from Summers shows why trickle down does not work.

Full employment may have been missing from the 1992 platform, but full employment was pursued aggressively by Bill Clinton. He got AG to agree to allow unemployment to drop to 4% in exchange for raising taxes and dropping the middle class tax cuts. Bill Clinton used fiscal policy to tax the economy and as a break so monetary policy could be accommodating.

He should include raising the MinWage. Maybe that has not changed but it is a lynchpin for putting money in the pockets of the working poor.

[Sep 30, 2016] Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow and natural and that it is the outcome of a "free" market?

Notable quotes:
"... Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow and natural and that it is the outcome of a "free" market? Are longer and stronger patent and copyright monopolies the results of a free market? ..."
"... The NYT should up its game in this respect. It had a good piece on the devastation to millions of working class people and their communities from the flood of imports of manufactured goods in the last decade, but then it turns to hand-wringing nonsense about how it was all a necessary part of globalization. Actually, none of it was a necessary part of a free trade. ..."
"... First, the huge trade deficits were the direct result of the decision of China and other developing countries to buy massive amounts of U.S. dollars to hold as reserves in this period. This raised the value of the dollar and made our goods and services less competitive internationally. This problem of a seriously over-valued dollar stems from the bungling of the East Asian bailout by the Clinton Treasury Department and the I.M.F. ..."
"... The second point is political leaders are constantly working to make patents and copyrights stronger and longer. This raises the price that ordinary workers have to pay for everything from drugs to computer games. The result is lower real wages for ordinary workers and higher incomes for the beneficiaries of these rents. It also slows economic growth since markets are not smart enough to distinguish between a 10,000 percent price increase due to a tariff and a 10,000 percent price increase due to a patent monopoly. (In other words, all the bad things that "free trade" economists say about tariffs also apply to patents and copyrights, except the impact is far larger in the later case.) ..."
Sep 30, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... September 30, 2016 at 05:30 PM

Dean Baker:

Why are none of the "free trade" members of Congress pushing to change the regulations that require doctors go through a U.S. residency program to be able to practice medicine in the United States? Obviously they are all protectionist Neanderthals.

Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow and natural and that it is the outcome of a "free" market? Are longer and stronger patent and copyright monopolies the results of a free market?

The NYT should up its game in this respect. It had a good piece on the devastation to millions of working class people and their communities from the flood of imports of manufactured goods in the last decade, but then it turns to hand-wringing nonsense about how it was all a necessary part of globalization. Actually, none of it was a necessary part of a free trade.

First, the huge trade deficits were the direct result of the decision of China and other developing countries to buy massive amounts of U.S. dollars to hold as reserves in this period. This raised the value of the dollar and made our goods and services less competitive internationally. This problem of a seriously over-valued dollar stems from the bungling of the East Asian bailout by the Clinton Treasury Department and the I.M.F.

If we had a more competent team in place, that didn't botch the workings of the international financial system, then we would have expected the dollar to drop as more imports entered the U.S. market. This would have moved the U.S. trade deficit toward balance and prevented the massive loss of manufacturing jobs we saw in the last decade.

The second point is political leaders are constantly working to make patents and copyrights stronger and longer. This raises the price that ordinary workers have to pay for everything from drugs to computer games. The result is lower real wages for ordinary workers and higher incomes for the beneficiaries of these rents. It also slows economic growth since markets are not smart enough to distinguish between a 10,000 percent price increase due to a tariff and a 10,000 percent price increase due to a patent monopoly. (In other words, all the bad things that "free trade" economists say about tariffs also apply to patents and copyrights, except the impact is far larger in the later case.)

Finally, the fact that trade has exposed manufacturing workers to international competition, but not doctors and lawyers, was a policy choice, not a natural development. There are enormous potential gains from allowing smart and ambitious young people in the developing world to come to the United States to work in the highly paid professions. We have not opened these doors because doctors and lawyers are far more powerful than autoworkers and textile workers. And, we rarely even hear the idea mentioned because doctors and lawyers have brothers and sisters who are reporters and economists.

Addendum:

Since some folks asked about the botched bailout from the East Asian financial crisis, the point is actually quite simple. Prior to 1997 developing countries were largely following the textbook model, borrowing capital from the West to finance development. This meant running large trade deficits. This reversed following the crisis as the conventional view in the developing world was that you needed massive amounts of reserves to avoid being in the situation of the East Asian countries and being forced to beg for help from the I.M.F. This led to the situation where developing countries, especially those in the region, began running very large trade surpluses, exporting capital to the United States. (I am quite sure China noticed how its fellow East Asian countries were being treated in 1997.)

[Sep 30, 2016] By the standards of the Nuremberg trials, then, the aggressive, unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 were unquestionably war crimes

Notable quotes:
"... By the standards of the Nuremberg trials, then, the aggressive, unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 were unquestionably war crimes. A just government would have put Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, and so forth on trial. One might note that the Nuremberg trials, the crime was taken seriously enough to earn condemnation to death by hanging. ..."
Sep 30, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

Anarcissie 09.29.16 at 10:51 pm 158

Howard Frant 09.29.16 at 4:21 am @ 130:
'… She is somewhat interventionist militarily. Of course, people aren't content just to say that, they have to say that she is a "war criminal" (sorry, could I have some specifics on this?)….'

I was giving this a rest, but since you ask, it is my duty to comply with your request.

First, we need to determine what a war criminal is. I go by the standards of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, in whose charter we read (Article 6):

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing….

I think this is a pretty good definition of a war crime, although if you disagree I will be glad to argue in its favor.

By the standards of the Nuremberg trials, then, the aggressive, unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 were unquestionably war crimes. A just government would have put Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, and so forth on trial. One might note that the Nuremberg trials, the crime was taken seriously enough to earn condemnation to death by hanging.

Clinton's connection to this crime was, of course, at least her vote in 2002 to enable it, which made her an accomplice. Her subsequent excuse was 'bad intelligence', but given her position as a US senator, her connections, her powers, her fame, and her undoubted wits, it is almost impossible to believe that she believed Bush's pack of lies. It seems much more likely that her calculus was as follows: 'If the war goes "badly", it'll be on Bush. If it goes "well", we Democrats will have been in on it. Win-win.' However, one must concede that if she were brought to trial, she might be able to plead monumental ignorance and incompetence. Of course there will be no such trial, so everyone confronted by the question must answer it for her- or himself with whatever means may be at hand. To me the evidence seems pretty conclusive.

Anarcissie 09.30.16 at 2:04 pm

Layman 09.30.16 at 1:20 pm @ 197 -
If the war was a criminal act, then voting for the war, by making the voter an accomplice, was also a criminal act. Believable ignorance, incompetence, or other personal defects might mitigate, but would not exonerate.

I asked about 'going on with this' because at least one participant seemed to feel that the cataloguing of Clinton's flaws had become superfluous. Some people might regard war criminality as a flaw, so perhaps we are offending as we persist.

Layman 09.30.16 at 2:54 pm

Anarcissie: "If the war was a criminal act, then voting for the war, by making the voter an accomplice, was also a criminal act."

Look, I personally believe it was wrong to vote for the authorization, and that it was a political calculation, but I wonder if you've actually read the resolution? It is consistent with the claim that some people make, that they assumed that Bush would act in concert with the UN, because the resolution says he would act in concert with themUN. The resolution was passed in October, the Bush admin went to the UN in November, but failed to get a clear authorization from the UN for the war.

You brought up Nuremberg. How many people were prosecuted at Nuremberg for the crime of having voted for the Enabling Law of 1933, which granted dictatorial powers and led directly to everything that followed. None, right? Doesn't that undermine your case?

Anarcissie 09.30.16 at 1:07 pm

Layman 09.30.16 at 2:38 am @ 169:
'"Because a proper trial can't be held, people must make up their minds individually."
Which is another way of saying that it is not a fact, and that you acknowledge it isn't a fact, and that rather undermines your entire response.'

I think you are mistaken. If you believe in any sort of objective universe, then there are facts which are hidden - in fact, given our lack of omniscience, most of them. Nevertheless we must proceed in the world in some way, so we - some of us, anyway - try to establish an idea of the facts through the best evidence available, rational procedures, intuition, and so on. Some people believe that the question of whether Clinton is a war criminal is important. There is a reasonable argument in favor of the proposition, which Howard Frant wanted to know, or pretended to want to know. I have given it.

Do you really want to go on with this? It does not make your favored candidate look good, and in any case, most of the people reading and writing here evidently don't really care that much one way or the other.

[Sep 29, 2016] Ann Coulter How to Avoid Immigration, Terrorism and Health Care for 90 Minutes - Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Ha ha! We prevented Trump from talking about issues that matter to the American people! ..."
www.breitbart.com

Hillary supporters, or "the media," had reason to be happy: She looked healthy! She probably could have kept reciting her snarky little talking points for another hour.

In fact, it was the best I've ever seen Hillary. She avoided that honking thing she does, smiled a lot - a little too much, actually (maybe ease up on the pep pills next time) - and, as the entire media has gleefully reported, she managed to "bait" Trump.

... ... ...

Hillary - with assists from the moderator - "baited" Trump on how rich he is, the loan from his father, a lawsuit in 1972, the birther claims, who he said what to about the Iraq War from 2001 to 2003, and so on.

... ... ...

For the media, their gal was winning whenever precious minutes of a 90-minute debate were spent rehashing allegations about Trump. Ha ha! We prevented Trump from talking about issues that matter to the American people! That was scored as a "win."

[Sep 29, 2016] If you're a geopolitical rival of the United States, Trump is a delight.

Sep 29, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs -> pgl... September 29, 2016 at 06:49 AM Last Night, Donald Trump Showed Why
He's Dangerous http://bit.ly/2czfGEM
Nat'l Review - David French - September 27

... in foreign policy, the modern American president has become a virtual monarch. He or she can launch military actions without congressional approval (just ask Presidents Clinton and Obama), reach agreements with foreign nations, and establish or rescind diplomatic relations. The Constitution is supposed to check the power of the president to declare war or to enter treaties, but presidents have been shedding those restraints for generations. The president holds the power of war and peace in his or her hands, and the entire world - including our enemies - pays attention to the president's every word and deed.

If you're a geopolitical rival of the United States, Trump is a delight. He's America's leading Putin apologist, wasting several agonizing turns in the debate defending Russia from the charge of meddling in U.S. elections and bizarrely wondering if a "400-pound" man "sitting on their bed" hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails. He said he hasn't "given lots of thought to NATO" and then went ahead and proved the truth of that statement by fundamentally misunderstanding the alliance. He treats it as a glorified protection racket whereby NATO countries allegedly pay us to defend Europe and they're not paying what they owe. He even doubled down on his claim - an incredibly bizarre claim given Russia's military resurgence - that NATO "could be obsolete." ... Reply Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 06:49 AM pgl -> Fred C. Dobbs... , Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 07:05 AM

I agree Gary Johnson is not ready to be commander in chief but he is far more ready than Trump. A low bar.
likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , -1
Why you are reproducing neocon garbage in this blog ?

"He's America's leading Putin apologist"

That's pretty idiotic statement, even taking into account the abhorrent level of Russophobia of the US elite for whom Russophobia by-and-large replaced anti-Semitism. .

Anybody who blabber such things (and that includes Ms. Goldman Sachs) should not be allowed to approach closer then 10 miles to Washington, DC, to say nothing about holding any elected government position.

[Sep 28, 2016] The debate was very scripted, organised, funelled, etc. Much much more so than the public realises, by the promoters (network), the PTB, etc. Viperous bitter discussions take place about what can or cannot be mentioned

Notable quotes:
"... HRC, the PTB, deep state, neo-lib-cons, still think they can 'win' by using these kinds of blatant domineering tactics. ..."
"... I was surprised, while watching the debate, at how subdued it all was. The subject matter was clearly circumscribed by previous agreement. The public can never escape the scripted product they receive; and another way of saying this, is that the agreed-upon lies, always make up the bulk of the debate. ..."
"... The narrative is sanitized to an important degree, and just shows the effect of suffocating control. Neither person won the debate after all, for the oppressively scripted event was only meant to impress the public with the idea that the race is still a close one. And who, after all, knows what will happen. ..."
"... To anyone awake and questioning the legitimacy of the 'arrangements' made for the election, especially the 'newborn' skeptics who abound at this point, this whole 'show' is just confirmation of their worst fears. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette

A last point about the debate. They are very scripted, organised, funelled, etc. Much much more so than the public realises, by the promoters (network), the PTB, etc. Viperous bitter discussions take place about what can or cannot be mentioned. (I presume as that is the case in other countries besides the US.) Trump tweeted he 'held back' because he did not want to embarass HRC, but imho he was muzzled in part by the ''deals' as the show itself illustrated, softball to HRC and interrupting DT etc. Imho HRC was given the questions beforehand, DT not (but who knows?) and basically everything was organised beforehand to put him at a disadvantage.

HRC, the PTB, deep state, neo-lib-cons, still think they can 'win' by using these kinds of blatant domineering tactics. The point has been made by many: all these standard coercitive controlling moves can now backfire badly, they only serve to show up that the Establishment creeps use illegit. actions, and in any case Trump supporters won't be moved an inch, he could give out a recipe for Texas BBQ (as one pol I saw did but for rabbit, see previous posts), or flat out ask the moderator, well IDK, what do you think? and that would be peachy..

Trump followed the no. 1 rule (campaign for myself not against the other), as he was surely advised to do. Various excuses, rationalisations are put forward for it: he wanted to appeal to the conventional Repub base, appear as a legit candidate to ppl who had never seen him 'live' before, he is holding back for the next debates, etc. Still, his performance was not tops, in the sense of a maverick breaking the mold, he fell down, was a disapointment. He was shown up to be low man on the pole, constrained by negotiations which he could not dominate, rules which he could not transgress. Of course many DT supporters and possible new ones perceived the manipulations quite clearly, and were thus on his side, so a mixed bag. (It's all optics so i wrote nothing about the real issues.)

Copeland | Sep 28, 2016 4:35:03 PM | 95

I agree with Noirette @ 94

I was surprised, while watching the debate, at how subdued it all was. The subject matter was clearly circumscribed by previous agreement. The public can never escape the scripted product they receive; and another way of saying this, is that the agreed-upon lies, always make up the bulk of the debate.

The narrative is sanitized to an important degree, and just shows the effect of suffocating control. Neither person won the debate after all, for the oppressively scripted event was only meant to impress the public with the idea that the race is still a close one. And who, after all, knows what will happen.

jfl | Sep 28, 2016 7:01:02 PM | 96
@94 n, @95 c

Bruce Dixon recounts his experience outside the debate itself, Hundreds of Cops Divert and Foil Thousands of Protesters Outside NY Presidential Debate

While inside the debate moderator Lester Holt failed to ask questions about joblessness, medical care, student loans, police murder or mass incarceration, New York police outside the debate showed the world how to suppress free speech with a soft hand, diverting more than two thousand protesters into "free speech zones" long lines and checkpoints and spaces artfully designed to prevent groups from concentrating in one place or finding each other.
And Glen Ford points up its obvious, mobbed-up circumstances The Great Debate That Never Was on the inside
If the Green Party's Jill Stein had been allowed in this week's presidential debate, it would have transformed the discussion and altered the race. That's why Democrats and Republicans kept it a duopoly-only affair. "The only circumstances in which either Trump or Clinton can muster a minimally compelling argument, is against each other."
To anyone awake and questioning the legitimacy of the 'arrangements' made for the election, especially the 'newborn' skeptics who abound at this point, this whole 'show' is just confirmation of their worst fears.

The Powers That Are can't do anything right any longer. Everything they do is wrong, and is immediately apparent as wrong, on the big screen and booming through the big megaphone. They'd do better just to lay off but, like all the extras brought on to push Xmas after Thanksgiving, there are just too many of them wound-up and let loose, stepping and slipping from one pile of dog-doo to another, as they tear down the streets of NYC and Hollywood.

I think there's a very good chance that this is the year the extravaganza implodes.

[Sep 28, 2016] Why Donald Trump is winning

Notable quotes:
"... Both were highly disciplined, one being a billionaire who has made it mostly on his own and the other having survived in public life for at least 45 years with no jail time. ..."
"... Hillary's response was that Donald had used bad language in public, lacked the proper "temperament" to be president, and favored the rich whom she would hit with higher taxes to pay for her giveaways. That last line about the rich is a bit much given the fact that Hillary is the creature of Wall Street, Hollywood, and large donations. Whereas Donald relies on mostly modest donations. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.washingtontimes.com

After Hillary's coughing spells, after her wobbly display at the Sept. 11 ceremony in New York City (she almost fell face forward on the running board of her van), after her admission to pneumonia and all the rumors that admission gave rise to, you had expected something highly dramatic. Perhaps the cough would return. Perhaps she might pass out under Donald Trump 's relentless barbs, possibly to be wheeled out on a gurney. Or perhaps you thought Donald might explode or go into a wild rant. Well, it did not happen. Both debaters pretty much played to form. Both were highly disciplined, one being a billionaire who has made it mostly on his own and the other having survived in public life for at least 45 years with no jail time.

... Donald had things under control. As he has done for weeks he was talking directly to the American public through the awkward stage prop of Hillary. He would start up the economy from its measly growth rate of barely 2 percent. He would get Americans working again. He would tear up trade agreements that favor crony capitalists and foreign governments. He would prevent companies from leaving America unscathed. Hillary had been a part of this system for decades. She was a standpatter and defender of the status quo. She had revealed bad judgment.

Hillary's response was that Donald had used bad language in public, lacked the proper "temperament" to be president, and favored the rich whom she would hit with higher taxes to pay for her giveaways. That last line about the rich is a bit much given the fact that Hillary is the creature of Wall Street, Hollywood, and large donations. Whereas Donald relies on mostly modest donations. Oh, yes, and her needling him on his "temperament" - who was the last presidential candidate to be attacked for his temperament? Does the name Ronald Reagan come to mind?

... ... ...

Perhaps Hillary did not notice it because Donald talks like an ordinary American rather than a standard-issue politician, but he was talking to America and she was talking to official Washington. Official Washington claimed he "missed opportunities." He could have done more with the Wall, Obamacare in free-fall, immigration and immigrant criminals, terrorism and Benghazi. He should have done more with her errant emails, the Clinton Foundation, her mishandling of classified documents. He could have cited her lies to Congress, the FBI and how FBI Director James Comey has contradicted her on her lies.

[Sep 28, 2016] James Comey, FBI director, rejects calls to reopen Clinton email case

Notable quotes:
"... He said he wasn't aware one of Mrs. Clinton 's tech staffers called the deletion of her emails a "coverup operation," but said none of the other information made public about grants of immunity or efforts to delete the messages has changed his mind. ..."
"... Mr. Comey also said he couldn't remember another instance where the subject of an investigation - Mrs. Clinton 's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, sat in on the FBI 's interview with another subject, in this case Mrs. Clinton . ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.washingtontimes.com
He said he wasn't aware one of Mrs. Clinton 's tech staffers called the deletion of her emails a "coverup operation," but said none of the other information made public about grants of immunity or efforts to delete the messages has changed his mind.

Mr. Comey also said he couldn't remember another instance where the subject of an investigation - Mrs. Clinton 's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, sat in on the FBI 's interview with another subject, in this case Mrs. Clinton .

[Sep 28, 2016] fairleft

Notable quotes:
"... The neoliberalist denial that anything was wrong with their economic model before or after 2008 could well create the perfect storm for chaos with either result ..."
"... Trump was Trump, Hillary was Hillary, but the real Trump is a New York blowhard 'type' most Americans are very familiar with, a bit annoyed by, but definitely not 'scared' of. That's a very tough sale Hillary the mainstream media has for itself. On the other hand Hillary was Hillary. Same old same old Washington insider politician yada yada that most people are tired of, especially in these endless hard economic times. 'Cancel that show' is the natural reaction, as Demian says. ..."
"... Who's Scarier: This has to be Clinton. Of course we know both will be obedient to the deep state, the militarist and financial elites, Israel, and so on. But look at the difference between Obama and Clinton. Obama sensibly held back from full on rape of Syria, he's been non-belligerent toward Iran. ..."
"... So there are different grades of Neocon. Clinton would be the full on "we lied, we lied, he died" sort. My guess is that Trump, a know-nothing feeling his way, would be a less confident neocon and therefore more cautious, if not much more cautious, and would continue forward with the 'normal relations with Russia' concept he has made a big deal of. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | twitter.com
| Sep 27, 2016 11:00:06 PM | 81
...The colluding media-commercial-complex getting properly rogered by one of the monsters it gave birth to. Poetic really.

The neoliberalist denial that anything was wrong with their economic model before or after 2008 could well create the perfect storm for chaos with either result .

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 27, 2016 8:26:25 PM | 79

The main emotion of any sane and well-informed leftist is disgust after watching 45 minutes of the debatoid, and that's how I felt.

Horserace Talk:

Demian's point at 49 is excellent: "But Trump did not come across as beyond the pale in this debate. Thus, he took away the narrative that the public needs to believe in order not to do what it would usually do – vote out the incumbent party when it is unhappy with the status quo."

Trump was Trump, Hillary was Hillary, but the real Trump is a New York blowhard 'type' most Americans are very familiar with, a bit annoyed by, but definitely not 'scared' of. That's a very tough sale Hillary the mainstream media has for itself. On the other hand Hillary was Hillary. Same old same old Washington insider politician yada yada that most people are tired of, especially in these endless hard economic times. 'Cancel that show' is the natural reaction, as Demian says.

Who's Scarier: This has to be Clinton. Of course we know both will be obedient to the deep state, the militarist and financial elites, Israel, and so on. But look at the difference between Obama and Clinton. Obama sensibly held back from full on rape of Syria, he's been non-belligerent toward Iran.

So there are different grades of Neocon. Clinton would be the full on "we lied, we lied, he died" sort. My guess is that Trump, a know-nothing feeling his way, would be a less confident neocon and therefore more cautious, if not much more cautious, and would continue forward with the 'normal relations with Russia' concept he has made a big deal of.

But hey, his 'cut the taxes for the rich' insanity is a pretty horrible deform from an already horrible status quo. Anyway, vote for Jill as a protest is my half-hearted advice. It's depressing and disgusting and we are helplessly watching it roll on.

/div>
nothing will change | Sep 28, 2016 1:27:22 AM | 83
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said American support for the entity would remain strong regardless of who is elected president in November.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/netanyahu-us-presidential-vote-candidates-will-support-israel/

Unfortunately he is right, and he knows that Iran will be the next target, "regardless of who is elected president in November"

Eight yaars ago, Obama, "hope and change", the Nobel Prize... but Guantanamo is still open.

/div>
t
t
dahoit | Sep 28, 2016 9:03:20 AM | 89
The Hell Bitch was nothing more than an edition of the Enquirer, bringing up long ago attacks on Trump, that have absolutely nothing to do with policy or Americas future.
And her face was just too made up,with her false eyelashes fluttering behind a wall of pancake makeup,her eyes glittering with some demonic presence,as she lashed out like a furriner extolling all immigrants,weirdos and fat foreign beauty queens and not appealing one iota to US deplorables.
And yeah,both genuflected to Israel,but is there a more powerful influential force in America than the dual citizen traitors?A sad and terrible fact,but they own every media outlet,witnessed by the fact there is not one MSM outlet pro Trump,a never before scenario in our history.
And of course world leaders don't like Trump,as he will cut off the spigots and make them pay for their own defense,instead of US.
But only those prejudiced rufus and America haters fail to note that.

juliania | Sep 28, 2016 9:54:20 AM | 90
Forgive me if this is a repeat, but it wouldn't hurt if so, since so rarely does a third candidate get mentioned. Amy Goodman did the American public a great service by publishing the transcript of the debate, with Jill Stein's answers (had she been permitted to attend) within the transcript - you really, really all should read this:

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/27/expanding_the_debate_jill_stein_debates

ProPeace | Sep 28, 2016 9:54:38 AM | 91
So Hitlary is apparently alive and not in jail contrary to previous rumors.

Lame-scream media announced her win in the debate as 1-0 - does it mean the establishment is not behind Trump, who received some strange endorsements recently from former enemies like Ted Cruz?

What I consider interesting is that being that far in the game still any options seem to be opened:

1) Killary wins (trough rigged votes or claim of Russian hacking in favor of Trump)

2) Trump wins

3) Congress appoints the president because of tie in the electoral votes

4) Obama continues his presidency because of some "emergency": "Russian hackers" attacking the election systems, false flag massacre in the US, ME, Ukraine, "natural" disaster (is the constitution still suspended after 9/11 and COG in play? NDAA?)

5) Bernie Sanders joins the race as an independent because of new grave evidence against Hitlary

6) Hitlary withdraws "because of her sudden health problems" - Demockrats appoint Biden, Pence, Michelle Obama, ...?

7) Military organizes a coup against Obama

8) Security apparatus organizes a coup against Hitlary after her election

9) Deep state organizes a coup against Trump after his election (remember "business plot" against FDR headed by Prescott Bush and defused by general Butler?)

10) Third party wins because Trump and Clinton become unelectable

Anyway many signals indicate that we are to see an "October Surprise" for sure.

It seems that the plan is the keep people guessing until the very end.

The crucial question is - which people?

From The Hague | Sep 28, 2016 10:18:46 AM | 92
The Debate: Trump's Three Points for Peace

Better on nukes, better on entangling alliances, better on Russia

http://russia-insider.com/en/debate-trumps-three-points-peace/ri16701

Demian | Sep 28, 2016 2:15:47 PM | 93
Ted Rall (author of the book Snowden ):
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Trump did great for a guy who has never run for political office before – and didn't cram for the debate. Hillary has debated at the presidential level so many times she could probably do it half of it in her sleep. If I go into the ring with heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and manage to survive a round with all but one of my teeth, it's fair to say that I won. …

Maybe the herd is right. Maybe it's a simple matter of she did better, he did worse. But I keep thinking, debates are graded on a curve. She was supposed to kick his ass. Yet there he is, dead even in the polls with her.

[Sep 28, 2016] Occupy the DNC: A Bernie Delegate's account of the 2016 Democratic National Commercial

Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Kim Kaufman September 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Occupy the DNC: A Bernie Delegate's account of the 2016 Democratic National Commercial

https://medium.com/@5cottBrown/occupy-the-dnc-a-bernie-delegates-account-of-the-2016-democratic-national-commercial-85406db8cac7#.3a53g0q5q

This is a very long read… and I haven't finished it yet but so far lots of good details.

[Sep 28, 2016] THE NEW COMMON GROUND BETWEEN POPULIST LEFT AND RIGHT

Sep 28, 2016 | baselinescenario.com

Annie | August 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm |

Well, "We The People" still have some time before the election to get the psycho-ops weapons we do not have – mental masturbators on behalf of our "populist" issues…

From Robert Reich:

THE NEW COMMON GROUND BETWEEN POPULIST LEFT AND RIGHT

The old debate goes something like this:

'You don't believe women have reproductive rights."

"You don't value human life."

Or this:

"You think everyone should own a gun."

"You think we're safer if only criminals have them."

Or this:

"You don't care about poor people."

"You think they're better off with handouts."

Or this:

"You want to cut taxes on the rich."

"You want to tax everyone to death."

But we're seeing the emergence of a new debate where the populist left and right are on the same side:

Both are against the rich to spend as much as they want corrupting our democracy.

Both are against crony capitalism.

Both are against corporate welfare.
Both are against another Wall Street bailout.
Both want to stop subsidizing Big Agriculture, Big Oil, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Both want to close the tax loophole for hedge fund partners.
Both want to ban inside trading on Wall Street.

Both want to stop CEOs from pumping up share prices with stock buy-backs … and then cashing in their stock options.

Both want to stop tax deductions of CEO pay over $1 million.

Both want to get big money out of politics, reverse Citizens United, and restore our democracy,

If we join together, we can make these things happen.

  1. publiustex | August 28, 2016 at 9:54 am | Hey Ray,

    Lots of words in your response, but I don't see where you identified the model candidate who meets your high standards. You just told us that HRC doesn't, which we already knew. Does no one meet your standards, or is there a reason you won't say who?

    Re "lesser of two evils"–if you don't like Trump or HRC, the election boils down to three choices:

    – you vote for the greater evil
    – you vote for someone who can't win, or you stay home, which is effectively a half vote for the greater evil
    – you vote for the lesser evil

    Not choosing is essentially half-ass choosing the greater evil.

  2. skunk | August 28, 2016 at 10:24 am | Pub, I don't think she has eight years left in her, she's about to croak on stage, limiting her ability to forget what happened yesterday so she or (another democrat) can carry the democratic mantra tomorrow. She has passed out, fallen, tripped like a Ford just not going down hill yet, had her intestines ripped out because of bad behavior, and this is just in public.
    Imagine how many blunders have occurred with her in private. She is a disaster just waiting to happen, a Nixon at a Kennedy debate. She hasn't held a press conference in almost 3/4 of a year, is trying to ride to the rescue of her own created problems under the guise of the Clinton foundation. 8 years, I want to see her survive the next eight weeks.
    Plus there is nothing left to choose from except 100% pure unadulterated, political evil.
  3. publiustex | August 28, 2016 at 11:10 am | Hahaha. You've mistaken her for Bill. He's the one on her left. She'll live to 90.

    Now, who's your ideal politician? We'll loosen the requirements. You can choose from life or literature. :-)

  4. skunk | August 28, 2016 at 11:56 am | I don't think so, I know her and Bill too well. She even got mad when I was going to send somebody over there to have Bill take the drug test. Like we really need politicians who are beholden to their drug dealers.
    As for ideal politician, I can't say we have ever had one beyond the founders, and life so is different today that the comparison is moot.
    Buddy Haley was on the right track, but since the wrong track is the majority it just goes to show how doomed politics really is.

    This country got outsmarted by the Germans and had to retaliate by out gunning them and never recognizing their grievances. Now that the tables have turned and we are the guilty ones, we turn to denial and war as the end of all solutions.
    Their is no political solution, hence the beating of the dead horse as it gets pitch black outside. And it's hard to fight the reaper coming up behind you with his surprise execution when you can no longer see where you are going.

  5. publiustex | August 28, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Which founder? Burr?
  6. skunk | August 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Haven't looked into it that closely. I first thought that the three 2 term succession administrations since the founding of the country was the greater consideration of the end of all, now that i've been proved wrong, I aint so sure what's goin on next.
  7. Ray LaPan-Love | August 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Pub,
    So, if only 25% of the eligible voters participate, as opposed to the usual 40something%, you believe that the additional non-voters are saying little or nothing?
    "Not choosing is essentially half-ass choosing the greater evil".

    But doesn't choosing the lesser of two evils simply perpetuate evil? Saying something like "yea, we know this is not really a democracy, the political parties do of course decide who we vote for, but ah shucks, it is fun to pretend, and yea, the system is obviously corrupt but my candidate promises that he/she will change that. And just because he/she takes money from bad people doesn't mean he/she'll do just like every other politician has done, always, my candidate will be different. To heck with Einstein's theory of insanity."

    So is it not conceivable that the lessor of two evil votes "is essentially half-ass choosing" to be duped over and over again? While a non-vote might say enough is enough?

    Anyway, you seem to represent living proof that the conditioning in regards to what a non-vote truly means is working quite well. The following being a solid example of that conditioning:

    "three choices:

    – you vote for the greater evil
    – you vote for someone who can't win, or you stay home, which is effectively a half vote for the greater evil
    – you vote for the lesser evil"

    But what if nobody voted other than a small number of political zombies, and of course the establishment?

  8. publiustex | August 28, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Ray,

    "Anyway, you seem to represent living proof that the conditioning in regards to what a non-vote truly means is working quite well. The following being a solid example of that conditioning"

    You know how self-righteous and condescending this is, right? And from what I've seen of your logic and the evidence you muster to support you're opinion, I see little reason for such arrogance other than possibly insecurity.

    If you can't name a single political leader from anywhere in time or space that meets your standards of righteousness, that says a lot. And I suspect I know what it says. You don't want to show your true colors, or you feel you can't back up your choice.

    Which is it?

  9. Ray LaPan-Love | August 28, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Wow, pub, you are even more of a zombie than I thought. I write ten times as many words on this board as you do, teeming with contentions that you could challenge, but you ignore nearly all of those opportunities to defend your champion of less evil only to keep coming back with some lame nonsense about who I might support.
    And by "condescending" do you mean like this:"Lots of words in your response, but I don't see where you identified the model candidate who meets your high standards".
    But of course telling me what we 'should' be talking about after suggesting that my "words" are not worthy of any effort on your part, is not just condescending but rudely so and evasive. As if the topic here is what you say it is, not HRC's questionable behavior, but instead this all important quest of yours to discover my "single political leader from anywhere in time or space". As if such folly matters in the actual time and space that we can do something about.
    And questioning my "true colors" as if suggest that I'm trolling or whatever. Should I now expect the name-calling and context tweaking to follow? Or must the moaning and chanting simply go on until election day.

    who is your dreammm can-di-da-te?", lessor of two evils, do you have an ideal can-di-date? you only have 3 choices, ya 'know. lessor of two evils. lessor of two evils. All leaders have flaws. not voting as I do is half-ass. wanna talk about the best candidate taken from all of history. lessor of two evils. don't be half-ass. lessor of two evils. I like standing in line, do you?

    But then too there is the big tell of big tells:
    "And from what I've seen of your logic and the evidence you muster to support you're opinion, I see little reason for such arrogance other than possibly insecurity".
    Do have any notion of how hypocritical and low-integrity it is to not provide 'any' support for such a claim? What logic! What evidence! What reason do you 'actually' see? Where be the 'why'? Did you flunk English all through school?

    I've written enough on this board that even the laziest blogger at the worst site could of found at least some sort of an example, or shred of evidence, to back up at least something. Crap like your comment just says "hey look, I don't know the first rule of sound analysis, or good writing in general, but I've analyzed you using low standards and I don't like you because you don't agree with me and that makes you insecure". Wow again.

  10. publiustex | August 28, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Ray,
    Sorry, man. the ratio of IQ to word count is too low to bear. Over and out.
  11. BRUCE E. WOYCH | August 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Closer to Homebase: "WHO CARES?"
    Department of Homeland Security Has Surprise for Bernie Supporters at DNC Lawsuit Hearing
    By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 29, 2016
    There are political issues not being covered by mainstream media http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/08/department-of-homeland-security-has-surprise-for-bernie-supporters-at-dnc-lawsuit-hearing/ …that have more to do with election questions concerning the DNC and its efforts to evade accountability for its conduct, along with certain too close for comfort insider support to keep things confused:
    (QUOTED)
    The lawsuit against the DNC is Wilding et al v DNC Services Corporation and Deborah 'Debbie' Wasserman Schultz. The case is being heard in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida. (Case Number 16-cv-61511-WJZ.) The Sanders supporters are being represented in the lawsuit by the following law firms: Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers of Miami; Cullin O'Brien Law, P.A. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Antonino G. Hernandez P.A. of Miami.
    (QUOTED):
    "the first hearing on August 23 in the Federal lawsuit that has been filed by Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters against the Democratic National Committee and its former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The lawsuit, which currently has more than 100 plaintiffs and more than a thousand in the wings with retainer agreements, is charging the DNC with fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence."

    MAINSTREAM MEDIA FAILED TO COVER IT.
    Regardless of the voting; the exposure of corrupting political practice must be considered equal to the election voting itself.

  12. skunk | August 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Somebody get the 1984 air controllers on the phone, we're runnin on empty.
  13. thoughtful person | August 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm | "Some progressives seem to prefer purity over progress. This puts a millstone around the necks of pragmatic progressives, like HRC, who are warriors and make the compromises necessary to gain and then exercise power for progressive ends"

    The ends justify the means right? Barf!!!

  14. publiustex | August 29, 2016 at 11:02 pm | Person, yes. Thoughtful, no.
  15. Annie | August 31, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Donations and ideas….

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/video-bill-clinton-rebuild-detroit-with-syrian-refugees.html

  16. Bob Snodgrass | September 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Wow, I found your article OK although too much in the all pure or all evil genre. We can't deal with this kind of problem in isolation from the rest of our culture and government, any more than we can impose a nationally funded Medicare for all without changing our NASCAR, celebrity/millionaire worshipping, racialist- tribalist (not the same as racist which has lost most of its meaning, closer to Barry Goldwater's viewpoint) controlling central core. That's a tall order, not even Bernie has the answer although reducing financialization & imposing a security transaction tax would be a start. If we somehow snuck in Medicare for all or an improved and expanded Obamacare, the controlling central core which includes the Koch brothers, would ensure that it failed because of their stranglehold on Washington and federal + state budgets.

    Turing to the comments, there are many that make me cringe. This is a harmful side of the Internet, reading comments makes me feel that Armageddon is nigh. It is not in reality.

[Sep 28, 2016] Battling Apple and the Giants naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Reuters reports that an investigation conducted by it in 2013 found that around three-fourths of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies use practices that are similar to Apple's to avoid paying tax. So Verstager has taken on not just one giant, but the worlds corporate elite. She should not lose. But even if she does this time, this is a battle well begun. ..."
"... Thus the power of the multinationals comes not just from their own size and reach, and from the support that their own governments afford them, but from their ability to divide desperate countries seeking the presence of global giants to make a small difference to their economic conditions ..."
"... Those who support globalisation support this power disparity. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The case of Apple's Irish operations is an extreme example of such tax avoidance accounting. It relates to two Apple subsidiaries Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. Apple Inc US has given the rights to Apple Sales International (ASI) to use its "intellectual property" to sell and manufacture its products outside of North and South America, in return for which Apple Inc of the US receives payments of more than $2 billion per year. The consequence of this arrangement is that any Apple product sold outside the Americas is implicitly first bought by ASI, Ireland from different manufacturers across the globe and sold along with the intellectual property to buyers everywhere except the Americas. So all such sales are by ASI and all profits from those sales are recorded in Ireland. Stage one is complete: incomes earned from sales in different jurisdictions outside the Americas (including India) accrue in Ireland, where tax laws are investor-friendly. What is important here that this was not a straight forward case of exercising the "transfer pricing" weapon. The profits recorded in Ireland were large because the payment made to Apple Inc in the US for the right to use intellectual property was a fraction of the net earnings of ASI.

Does this imply that Apple would pay taxes on these profits in Ireland, however high or low the rate may be? The Commission found it did not. In two rather curious rulings first made in 1991 and then reiterated in 2007 the Irish tax authority allowed ASI to split it profits into two parts: one accruing to the Irish branch of Apple and another to its "head office". That "head office" existed purely on paper, with no formal location, actual offices, employees or activities. Interestingly, this made-of-nothing head office got a lion's share of the profits that accrued to ASI, with only a small fraction going to the Irish branch office. According to Verstager's Statement: "In 2011, Apple Sales International made profits of 16 billion euros. Less than 50 million euros were allocated to the Irish branch. All the rest was allocated to the 'head office', where they remained untaxed." As a result, across time, Apple paid very little by way of taxes to the Irish government. The effective tax rate on its aggregate profits was short of 1 per cent. The Commissioner saw this as illegal under the European Commission's "state aid rules", and as amounting to aid that harms competition, since it diverts investment away from other members who are unwilling to offer such special deals to companies.

In the books, however, taxes due on the "head office" profits of Apple are reportedly treated as including a component of deferred taxes. The claim is that these profits will finally have to be repatriated to the US parent, where they would be taxed as per US tax law. But it is well known that US transnationals hold large volumes of surplus funds abroad to avoid US taxation and the evidence is they take very little of it back to the home country. In fact, using the plea that it has "permanent establishment" in Ireland and, therefore, is liable to be taxed there, and benefiting from the special deal the Irish government has offered it, Apple has accumulated large surpluses. A study by two non-profit groups published in 2015 has argued that Apple is holding as much as $181 billion of accumulated profits outside the US, a record among US companies. Moreover, The Washington Post reports that Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook told its columnist Jena McGregor, "that the company won't bring its international cash stockpile back to the United States to invest here until there's a 'fair rate' for corporate taxation in America."

This has created a peculiar situation where the US is expressing concern about the EC decision not because it disputes the conclusion about tax avoidance, but because it sees the tax revenues as due to it rather than to Ireland or any other EU country. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew criticised the ruling saying, "I have been concerned that it reflected an attempt to reach into the U.S. tax base to tax income that ought to be taxed in the United States." In Europe on the other hand, the French Finance Minister and the German Economy Minister, among others, have come out in support of Verstager, recognizing the implication this has for their own tax revenues. Governments other than in Ireland are not with Apple, even if not always for reasons advanced by the EC.

... ... ...

Thus the power of the multinationals comes not just from their own size and reach, and from the support that their own governments afford them, but from their ability to divide desperate countries seeking the presence of global giants to make a small difference to their economic conditions. The costs of garnering that difference are, therefore, often missed. Reuters reports that an investigation conducted by it in 2013 found that around three-fourths of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies use practices that are similar to Apple's to avoid paying tax. So Verstager has taken on not just one giant, but the worlds corporate elite. She should not lose. But even if she does this time, this is a battle well begun.

JEHR September 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

Greed has no boundaries!

Ranger Rick September 28, 2016 at 10:43 am

I think the common misconception that multinational corporations exist because "they are big companies that happen to operate in more than one country" is one of the biggest lies ever told.

From the beginning (e.g. Standard Oil, United Fruit) it was clear that multinational status was an exercise in political arbitrage.

tegnost September 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

" Thus the power of the multinationals comes not just from their own size and reach, and from the support that their own governments afford them, but from their ability to divide desperate countries seeking the presence of global giants to make a small difference to their economic conditions "

Those who support globalisation support this power disparity.

[Sep 28, 2016] Goldwater wasn't a liar

Notable quotes:
"... I'd actually say that endorsing Hillary very much reflects conservative ideals and Republican (party) principles. Kudos to them on maintaining their streak. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Alex morfesis September 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

The arizona republic has Never endorsed a democrat…$hillary is just a goldwater girl wearing democratic spanx(tm)….

Reply
Benedict@Large September 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Goldwater wasn't a liar.

Daryl September 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm

> "Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles"

I'd actually say that endorsing Hillary very much reflects conservative ideals and Republican (party) principles. Kudos to them on maintaining their streak.

[Sep 28, 2016] The old neoliberal ideologies are not working, every thing has to change and we hate much of the change we do see creeping up.

Notable quotes:
"... I think one reason Sanders was respected by some of these people, even when his views were radically opposed to theirs, was because this theme of fairness resonated with them, they sensed he was operating on a similar principle, even if disagreeing on the content. ..."
"... I actually find it easier to imagine why someone listening to the debate might place forlorn hope in Trump than to conjure up the people who could listen to Clinton's platitudes and not recall any of the history. Corey Robin is right that Trump is a standard Republican in everything but style, but there was also a break between the Republican electorate and the Republican establishment that put Trump on that stage, and Clinton has embraced the Republican establishment. ..."
"... In Labour Party politics, the insistence of the PLP on Tory-lite policy stances seems, from my great distance, farcical. The Clinton embrace of the Republican establishment drains the last drop of populism from the Democrats even while Late Trump proves how ill-suited the Republicans are to populist appeal despite years of petty demagoguery. ..."
"... I think Trump differs very substantially from the standard Republican politician. Sure he mostly channels the same meme's, but he is willing to consume some sacred ideological cows at the same time. ..."
"... Given that Trump loudly opposes trade deals, it is difficult to say that he on economics is a typical Republican. People vote for Trump because they think the system is rigged against them, and Hilary Clinton is running as the candidate of the status quo. They will see Hilary's resemblance to past candidates as a reminder of what they have gotten from the past 40 years of government policy. ..."
"... Clinton is socially embedded but apparently unaware of the deficiencies of elite performance. This makes her a favorite of the new class, but also makes it very difficult to rally broad popular support or avoid policy disaster. ..."
"... She wants George W Bush's vote. No joke. Why so many on the left are clueless about this and what it implies about policy is left as an exercise. ..."
"... Sure, he supported the Iraq War, but at least he lies about it. And Hillary (with Lester Holt's help) successfully maneuvered around her own vulnerability on that score. She doesn't need to be invoking GW Bush. ..."
"... aside from the Iran agreement, HRC has pretty much carried the neocons water. ..."
"... in the primaries, Trump seriously trashed Bush's most excellent Mesopotamian adventure. Hillary can't do that without creating blowback from her vote for the war. ..."
"... She may well believe that, but if so it's self-deception. She'll get nothing from Republicans in Congress, who will treat her as even more illegitimate than Obama. ..."
"... No way the median Republican member of Congress will open up to a primary challenge just because Clinton is playing nice with the Bushes. ..."
"... Only of the many unhelpful aspects of the HRC presidency will be that since her reachout to Republicans turns off base Dems, she is likely to face a Repub House and Senate, who will be at least as obstructive to her as they have been to Obama. That leaves her room to abandon all the half-hearted dog treats she threw to the Bernie supporters as "now impossible", and plenty of room to get "bipartisan" on passing the TPP and cutting SS. ..."
"... And it won't impede her military desires to enlarge the empire one iota. ..."
"... The comments here strike me as very sensible and sober. Given that the CT community shares little with a great swath of the electorate and in fact share HRC's view that they are both deplorable and irredeemable, its probably sound reasoning to deduce that if people here thought HRC won, a great many 'others' believe the opposite. ..."
"... Hillary succeeded in the first debate because she didn't fall over, cough a lot, and looked alive in that bright, red dress. That isn't enough to convince voters that she's not the candidate of the past. ..."
"... We begin from the assumption that Clinton is standard-bearer of "neoliberalism," and then interpret everything she does as evidence of that. ..."
"... the Democratic Party was once the party of the working class and old-style liberalism, but, starting with Bill Clinton, they abandoned this, and now they have lost the loyalty of the working class. In actuality, the last old-style liberal in the Democratic Party was Mondale, and he lost the popular vote by eighteen percentage points, more than anyone since. ..."
"... In foreign policy, we need a new term that we can drain of all meaning, and so Clinton becomes a "neoconservative," virtually indistinguishable from Charles Krauthammer, and eager to rain down destruction on the rest of the world. ..."
"... A no-fly zone? Those neocons will stop at nothing! ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 09.27.16 at 3:40 pm

Ideologically exhausted? Sure.

Against a background anxiety surrounding a sense that things are not working. The old ideologies are not working, every thing has to change and we hate much of the change we do see creeping up. The conservative party serves up a wrecking ball. The reform party serves up the status quo warmed over. ("Intelligent surge") We fear change. We fear the continuation of the status quo and the degeneration the status quo promises to continue.

Yan 09.27.16 at 5:46 pm

"On the other hand, there's a not so small current in American politics that would hear that, that Trump didn't pay his taxes, and think, with him, that he was indeed smart for having outsmarted the system. …This is a nation of conmen (and women)…"

I think this is right but misleading, since the voters who probably liked that comment don't see themselves as conmen out for a quick buck, but as victims gaming a rigged system. They think taxes are an injustice, and that they're John Dillinger fighting for their rightful earnings against the thieving IRS.

This is generally important for understanding Trump voters: for all their quirks, at bottom they are, like most Americans, very strongly motivated by a skewed notion of fairness: they think others are cutting in line, getting a handout, getting special rights and favors.

I think one reason Sanders was respected by some of these people, even when his views were radically opposed to theirs, was because this theme of fairness resonated with them, they sensed he was operating on a similar principle, even if disagreeing on the content.

bruce wilder 09.27.16 at 6:20 pm

Watching British Labour Party politics from afar is like seeing Democratic Party politics in a fun house mirror. One thing that is writ in primary colors and big block letters in the Labour Party struggle is the tension between the new class and everyone else seeking protection from the globalizing plutocracy and whose only ideological models are anachronisms.

I actually find it easier to imagine why someone listening to the debate might place forlorn hope in Trump than to conjure up the people who could listen to Clinton's platitudes and not recall any of the history. Corey Robin is right that Trump is a standard Republican in everything but style, but there was also a break between the Republican electorate and the Republican establishment that put Trump on that stage, and Clinton has embraced the Republican establishment.

In Labour Party politics, the insistence of the PLP on Tory-lite policy stances seems, from my great distance, farcical. The Clinton embrace of the Republican establishment drains the last drop of populism from the Democrats even while Late Trump proves how ill-suited the Republicans are to populist appeal despite years of petty demagoguery.

Patrick 09.27.16 at 6:25 pm

I think Trumps policies frequently look like a generic Republicans because he didn't enter this election as a serious candidate, and now that he's the actual nominee he's been scrambling to come up with any policies at all. So he's copying from the party that nominated him.

His campaign has always been very ad hoc. Look at his "make Mexico pay for the wall" thing. He clearly just threw that out there as bluster, then when it went viral cobbled together a pseudo plan to make it sound plausible.

His line on taxes was perfect, unfortunately. On taxes, for a lot of people the question is whether he behaved legally. If you can legally not pay taxes but you do anyway, you're a chump. Can anyone who does their own taxes honestly say that they've chosen to NOT take an exemption or deduction for which they were qualified? I can't.

The people who feel this way may wish it wasn't legal for Trump to do this. But as far as condemning him for it assuming it WAS legal… maybe they can drum up some generic resentment of the rich, or tell themselves that he probably broke the law somewhere, somehow, but that's about it. They're not going to adopt a principled belief that he should pay taxes he doesn't have to pay. And if Democrats push on this there's no shortage of "rich democrat does lawful but resentment inducing rich-guy thing" stories that can be used as a smokescreen.

Now… are Trumps taxes actually on the level? Probably not. I suppose the IRS will tell us eventually, after the election. It's not like Trump will release them in the meantime.

Other than that Hillary Clinton won but it won't matter because conservatives live in a creepy little bubble where HRC is a shadowy murderess who assassinates her rivals and must be kept from the throne at all costs.

Omega Centauri 09.27.16 at 6:28 pm

I think Trump differs very substantially from the standard Republican politician. Sure he mostly channels the same meme's, but he is willing to consume some sacred ideological cows at the same time. Just recently he said he'd allow over the counter contraception. He tried to Savage war hero John McCain because he'd been captured. He hasn't just thrown away the dog whistle, he is willing to jetison any part of the ideology he finds inconvenient.
Watson Ladd 09.27.16 at 6:51 pm

Given that Trump loudly opposes trade deals, it is difficult to say that he on economics is a typical Republican. People vote for Trump because they think the system is rigged against them, and Hilary Clinton is running as the candidate of the status quo. They will see Hilary's resemblance to past candidates as a reminder of what they have gotten from the past 40 years of government policy.
bruce wilder 09.27.16 at 7:06 pm

Omega Centauri @ 21

Listening to Trump has a way of casting his audience into the same position as the dogs in a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon, where the dogs only hear a few words they are hungry to hear.

Clinton's patter seems more conventionally structured, but its highlights are righteous self-regard, well past its sell-by date.

There is no coherence (beyond class interest) to Trump. He is a socially isolated Billionaire who is lazy, inattentive, arrogant . . . but put him in front of an audience and he will talk randomly until he finds a laugh or applause.

Clinton is socially embedded but apparently unaware of the deficiencies of elite performance. This makes her a favorite of the new class, but also makes it very difficult to rally broad popular support or avoid policy disaster.

She will win the election, but after that . . . things are unlikely to go well.

People make the observation that both have high negatives. But, beneath those high negatives, each has pursued coalition-building strategies almost guaranteed to narrow their respective bases of support below a majority threshold.

bruce wilder 09.27.16 at 7:12 pm 25

Why isn't Clinton saying "Trump is a more reckless, less coherent George W. Bush"

She wants George W Bush's vote. No joke. Why so many on the left are clueless about this and what it implies about policy is left as an exercise.

politicalfootball 09.27.16 at 7:46 pm

I wouldn't read too much into HRCs apparent decision not to tar Trump with Bush.

That's a charge that simply wouldn't stick. Trump has quite persuasively separated himself from the Bushes - and vice versa.

Sure, he supported the Iraq War, but at least he lies about it. And Hillary (with Lester Holt's help) successfully maneuvered around her own vulnerability on that score. She doesn't need to be invoking GW Bush.

I would be curious for Bruce to explain anything that Hillary has actually done to get Bush's vote. Seems to me she continues to run to the left.

Omega Centauri 09.27.16 at 8:33 pm

I'm not Bruce, but aside from the Iran agreement, HRC has pretty much carried the neocons water.

But, I think its mainly that the Bushes see Trump as crazy beyond the pale, and Clinton as a somewhat steady hand. Also in the primaries, Trump seriously trashed Bush's most excellent Mesopotamian adventure. Hillary can't do that without creating blowback from her vote for the war.

JimV 09.27.16 at 8:56 pm

I agree with Bruce Wilder than HRC doesn't want to offend Republicans unnecessarily. He seems to see it as a character flaw, and maybe it is, but it could be simply that she can get more done in office if she doesn't make a lot of bitter Republican enemies. And I think it is the polite way to behave even with those with whom you disagree, but I won't lobby for that motive here.

If Trump avoided taxes legally and that is a smart, enviable thing to do, why doesn't he release his tax information to show how smart he was? Why is he really hiding the information? Inquiring campaign adds will want to know, if people can't figure that out for themselves.

Ideology: I like the ideology that climate science is not a hoax, that universal health insurance is a good thing with more work needed on it, and some other parts of HRC's agenda that do not seem to be the current ideology (in power).

"Smart surge": that was another palpable hit by Bruce Wilder (along with "no-fly zone in Syria"). Ouch. (I'm not being sarcastic, if it is difficult to tell.) I'm going to write her a letter opposing that. She's sent me a couple letters, so I should have her return address. I think I haven't recycled the last one yet.

Layman 09.27.16 at 9:25 pm

"…it could be simply that she can get more done in office if she doesn't make a lot of bitter Republican enemies."

She may well believe that, but if so it's self-deception. She'll get nothing from Republicans in Congress, who will treat her as even more illegitimate than Obama. There's no obvious incentive for them to do anything else, and the base think she's a murderer and traitor. No way the median Republican member of Congress will open up to a primary challenge just because Clinton is playing nice with the Bushes.

marku52 09.27.16 at 9:46 pm

Only of the many unhelpful aspects of the HRC presidency will be that since her reachout to Republicans turns off base Dems, she is likely to face a Repub House and Senate, who will be at least as obstructive to her as they have been to Obama. That leaves her room to abandon all the half-hearted dog treats she threw to the Bernie supporters as "now impossible", and plenty of room to get "bipartisan" on passing the TPP and cutting SS.

And it won't impede her military desires to enlarge the empire one iota.

A Trump presidency would be hated by all parties to the duo-gopoly, and would be stymied at everything.

Phil 09.27.16 at 9:51 pm

The point about not paying tax is on point, I think. I wrote something yonks ago about Berlusconi and 'patrimonial populism' – the idea being that Berlusconi was seen as both the figurehead of the nihilistic "screw politics" crowd and a national sugar daddy, dishing out favours from the national budget in just the same way that he lobbed sweeteners to business partners. One Italian commentator spotted a graffito that called on Berlusconi to abolish speed limits – "Silvio, let us speed on the autostrada!" Because you knew he would, and if you voted for him, hey, maybe he'd let you do it too.

(Berlusconi hasn't been in government for a while, but he was Prime Minister for ten years in total between 1994 and 2011. He's still involved in three court cases relating to corruption and fraud, and has been found guilty in another; he served a sentence of house arrest and community service. He will be 80 on Thursday.)

kidneystones 09.27.16 at 10:05 pm

The comments here strike me as very sensible and sober. Given that the CT community shares little with a great swath of the electorate and in fact share HRC's view that they are both deplorable and irredeemable, its probably sound reasoning to deduce that if people here thought HRC won, a great many 'others' believe the opposite.
derrida derider 09.27.16 at 11:17 pm

The best way to assess how a national TV debate went is to watch the whole thing with the sound turned off. Swing voters are almost by definition the least interested watchers who will just not care about coherence, patter, policy, ideology, etc because they don't just don't care about politics much. Subconscious impressions, mainly set by body language with perhaps the odd striking expression, are what persuades or dissuades them.

I haven't done this yet, but has anyone else?

Anarcissie 09.28.16 at 12:04 am

ZM 09.27.16 at 11:24 pm @ 45:
'This is a paper by Paul Gilding on a war time mobilisation response, although he isn't connected to the Democrats I don't think: WAR. What Is It Good For? WWII Economic Mobilisation An Analogy For Climate Action http://media.wix.com/ugd/148cb0_1bfd229f6638410f8fcf230e12b1e285.pdf '

I criticized the war metaphor before, mostly on literary or stylistic grounds, but having seen this publication, I feel it is necessary to offer as well a practical consideration, out of character as that may be. War metaphors and models appeal to many people because a good-sized war, especially in our era, appears as an existential crisis, and in properly organized wartime all dissidence and discussion are swept away by the power of necessity, harnessed by great leaders and experts. It is a paradise of authority.

kidneystones 09.28.16 at 12:25 am

@ 52 "My main takeaway from the debate is that it finally refuted any notion that Trump has any idea what he's doing."

What markers did Trump provide that are significantly different from any of the ravings that propelled him past a stable of extremely well-funded and politically-skilled GOP politicians?

The fact that a rodeo clown like Trump is even on the same stage as HRC suggests that whatever his perceived defects here, Trump commands the attention, affection, and respect of almost as many Americans, perhaps more, than the candidate of Goldman-Sachs.

Trump is not going to 'win' any of the debates. Trump is marketing the Trump brand on the biggest stage possible. What actually takes place on stage is negligible in a world where superficiality is much more important than substance.

What will happen is that Trump is going to remind the audience that Hillary does indeed sound very clever and well-grounded. Then, he'll catalogue the questions: 'How can HRC credibly claim not to know what the initial 'C' means on a classified document?' etc.

The most recent good poll I saw on HRC identified the voters' principal concerns with HRC: Syria, Libya, emails – in short, her judgment and her honesty.

Hillary succeeded in the first debate because she didn't fall over, cough a lot, and looked alive in that bright, red dress. That isn't enough to convince voters that she's not the candidate of the past.

As others have noted, the Dukakis title doesn't make any sense to me at all.

She's done.

kidneystones 09.28.16 at 12:30 am

And then there's the health issue (the one that can't be wished away).

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/1fa5d876cd9e4d899b277574f84b9d96/ap-poll-voters-more-confident-trumps-health-office

Lee A. Arnold 09.28.16 at 10:13 am

The Arizona Republic, Arizona's biggest newspaper (Phoenix), just endorsed Clinton for President, the first time it has endorsed a Democrat in its 126-year history.
Glen Tomkins 09.28.16 at 1:56 pm

Rich,

"…that no one is really pushing these propaganda lines on people."

That's the very thing, isn't it? That's what US politics has gotten too. There is a very conventional approach to a national campaign that dictates that you do messaging, which means that you carefully avoid saying anything with any public policy entailments. Having the candidate say anything of this sort is especially to be avoided, because that ties the campaign most concretely to specifics, and specific public policy your side advocates can be fitted into a different, hostile, theoretical frame by the other side. Yet candidates have to say things, it's expected. So they have refined a method that avoids propagandizing for anything in terms more concrete than "Make America Great Again", or "Stronger Together", both of which are brilliant at hinting at whatever good thing you might want them to mean, without pushing any actual policy.

In that silence from the campaigns themselves step all of the sorts of sophisticated people such as those of us in the CT commentariat. The media rise no higher on the intellectual food chain than the attempt to fill the silence with theorizing about campaigns as horse races, who's winning and why. We here at CT are a superior sort, so we tend to weave in theories about the actual supposed subject of politics, public policy. But at all levels of this effort, we theorize because we are of the species Homo theoreticus, and we must have theories. The more sophisticated we are the more we need them. We fill the silence by propagandizing on a DIY, freebie basis.

Not that any of this is new. Swift told us all about it in Tale of a Tub, the oracle of our age. Think of this campaign as a tub bobbing on the waves. Worry it as you will, and it just moves to the next wave.

Rich Puchalsky 09.28.16 at 2:05 pm

Glen Tomkins: "We here at CT are a superior sort, so we tend to weave in theories about the actual supposed subject of politics, public policy."

Does not fit the observables. These theories are not about public policy and are not good on any theoretical level (even if you consider this goodness to be possible if it is decoupled from fact and is purely a matter of internal consistency).

Almost all of these "theories" are based on a simple three-step;

1. HRC is the lesser evil.

2. I can't stand voting for someone purely as the lesser evil: my ego requires that I affirmatively support someone.

3. Therefore the lesser evil is really kind of good and anyone against it is bad.

Howard Frant 09.28.16 at 3:41 pm

As usual, I find a lot of discussion here about worlds totally unlike the one that I live in.

We begin from the assumption that Clinton is standard-bearer of "neoliberalism," and then interpret everything she does as evidence of that. Um… people.. she was Secretary of State. Can we really think of no reason she might favor an agreement that includes the US and east Asia, but not China, other than subservience to international capital? Can we think of no reason a Secretary of State might want to encourage fracking in Bulgaria other than anticipated future contributions from the oil and gas industry? (Hint: Russia is monopoly supplier of natural gas to Europe, and not shy about reminding them of that.)

In this imaginary world, the Democratic Party was once the party of the working class and old-style liberalism, but, starting with Bill Clinton, they abandoned this, and now they have lost the loyalty of the working class. In actuality, the last old-style liberal in the Democratic Party was Mondale, and he lost the popular vote by eighteen percentage points, more than anyone since.

In foreign policy, we need a new term that we can drain of all meaning, and so Clinton becomes a "neoconservative," virtually indistinguishable from Charles Krauthammer, and eager to rain down destruction on the rest of the world. Um.. people… destruction has been raining down on Syria for years now. There have been 400,000 people killed, and, as you may have noticed, a whole lot of refugees. The left doesn't seem to be overly concerned about this, other than bitterly oppose any attempts to use military force to do anything about it. A no-fly zone? Those neocons will stop at nothing! If Obama had carried out his threat over the "red line" by striking at the Syrian air force, it would have saved many, many lives, but that would be imperialism.

Possibly people at CT, even Americans, have gotten used to thinking of politics in parliamentary terms, in which platforms actually have some practical effect, and winning means winning a legislative majority. (That's the only way a Sanders candidacy would have made sense.) As you know, though, the US doesn't work that way, and so the question is what can get done. If Clinton is able to actually carry out the things she is talking about – an increase in the minimum wage, paid family leave, increased infrastructure spending -- it will make a much bigger difference in people's lives than bringing back Glass-Steagall would.

likbez 09.28.16 at 4:45 pm

@80
Rich,

This "HRC is the lesser evil" is a very questionable line of thinking that is not supported by the facts.

How Hillary can be a lesser evil if by any reasonable standard she is a war criminal. War criminal like absolute zero is an absolute evil. You just can't go lower.

Trump might be a crook, but he still did not committed any war crimes. Yet.

[Sep 28, 2016] She's been most aggressive about shepherding into her corner are the neoconservative foreign policy hawks whose coups, death squads, invasions, and so on were allegedly supposed to embody the worst and most immoderate excesses of the Bush and Reagan administrations.

Notable quotes:
"... neoliberalism's constant drive toward depoliticization of issues that might interfere with short-term corporate profits ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

Will G-R 09.28.16 at 9:53 pm 112

Calling the people whose endorsements Clinton has spent her time since the DNC pursuing "moderate Republicans" seems suspect. After all, apart from Wall Street financier types whose rigid party identification tends to dissolve in the bipartisan solvent of the neoliberal financial establishment [I shouldn't say "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" or liberals will throw a tantrum], the Republican public figures she's been most aggressive about shepherding into her corner are the neoconservative foreign policy hawks whose coups, death squads, invasions, and so on were allegedly supposed to embody the worst and most immoderate excesses of the Bush and Reagan administrations.

It seems the idea is to impress so-called moderate voters with a show of establishment unanimity across all prior "extremes" as a show of Clinton's seriousness and Trump's unseriousness, but then we have to reckon with the way "moderate voters" is most often a euphemism for "low-information voters with a vague sense of not wanting to be seen as rocking the boat who otherwise don't give much of a damn about electoral politics at all", which has little to do with what "moderate" means when describing actual public figures.

If we took any real effort to directly hash out "moderate" inclinations of the depoliticized public at large the same way we do those of the institutions through which this public is supposed to funnel its political engagement, we'd probably come up with something very different.

Also, Rich @ 106, you're more or less echoing what Nathan Robinson writes about "objectively pro-Trump" anti-leftist Hillary supporters here .

Will G-R 09.28.16 at 9:57 pm

It also seems the commentariat here is still stuck on utopian fantasies in which the existing political class (including the GOP Congressional majorities Clinton's campaign strategy is all but ensuring will continue for the foreseeable future ) is both willing and able to take the necessary steps to wean global capitalism off of fossil fuels.

ZM's wartime mobilisation, bob's politics of continual catastrophe, or even bruce's Two-To-Three-Year Plan will not happen, in part because of neoliberalism's constant drive toward depoliticization of issues that might interfere with short-term corporate profits , and also in part because First-World politics is well practiced at not giving a shit about the suffering of the Third World

Which of course is where the most immediately catastrophic suffering from climate change will be borne at least at first. Lee's "chink in the rightwing cognitive armor" won't happen either, not in response to any empirical facts about the actual climate: this cognitive armor exists because there are vested interests promoting its existence, interests that aren't themselves stupid enough to completely deny the basic parameters of climate science ( e.g. ).

If anything the least starry-eyed one here is Layman for implying that neoliberalism would tackle climate change by radically reconfiguring market incentives to make prevention and/or mitigation a profitable business, which is close to how people like Charles Koch see the issue too - but in this case I have to agree with everybody else here that this kind of gentle nudging of markets wouldn't be enough, without slamming on the brakes much harder than our current thoroughly marketized mechanisms are capable of doing.

What's needed is impossible under our present institutions, and what's possible is inadequate.

Lee A. Arnold 09.28.16 at 10:53 pm

Will G-R #114: "this cognitive armor exists because there are vested interests promoting its existence"

I don't think so. I think it emerged when the Great Chain of Being was overturned in the public imagination in the middle of the 18th Century (see Lovejoy) and so, at the same moment, the market economy began to be accepted as a way to escape the status positions of traditional society.

The change in emotional expectation about the source of social status immediately formed a left/right politics, generally reflecting the interests of the have-nots and the haves. Promotion by vested interests is not a cause of this, rather it is a predicable symptom of it.

And it won't be overturned by anything less than a reversal in the reign of the status-psychology of money which has characterized the last 250 years.

Which may be closer than we think, because a part of "status" has always been since ancient times a signal of being able to avoid need - but it is unavoidably becoming ever clearer that our basest owners are in the richest things superfluous.

Perhaps we will soon be ready to read the social tragedy of our next romantic Shelleyan horror myth: the Trumpenstein monster!

[Sep 28, 2016] Hillary Clinton's immoral, illegal, stupid enthusiasm for wars to effectuate regime change by Bruce Fein

Notable quotes:
"... As secretary of state in 2011, Mrs. Clinton vocally supported the war against Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi on the heels of his abandonment of weapons of mass destruction. She boasted with the dripping arrogance of Julius Caesar after Gaddafi's death: "We came, we saw, he died." She insisted that regime change in Libya was for humanitarian purposes. She agreed with President Barack Obama that to be faithful to "who we are," we must overthrow governments that are oppressing their citizens by force and violence. ..."
"... Like the French Bourbons who forgot nothing and learned nothing, Mrs. Clinton eagerness to initiate wars for regime change was undiminished by the Iraq and Libya debacles. She urged war against Syria to oust President Bashar al-Assad. She confidently insinuated that we could transform Syria into a flourishing democracy sans James Madisons, George Washingtons or Thomas Jeffersons because of our unique nation-building genius. ..."
"... Wars for regime change are immoral. We have not been tasked by a Supreme Being to appraise foreign nations like a schoolmarm and to invade those to whom we have superciliously assigned a failing grade. ..."
"... Wars for regime change also violate international law. Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter generally prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…." Article 51 creates a narrow exception for wars in self-defense "if an armed attack occurs…." Regime change wars do not fit that narrow exception. ..."
"... Mrs. Clinton underscores in her memoir that she would rather be "caught trying" something kinetic than to try masterly inactivity like Fabius Maximus. She would rather be criticized for fighting too many wars for regime change than too few. She is the war hawks' dream candidate. ..."
Sep 19, 2016 | Washington Times

Democratic nominee is war hawks' dream candidate

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton champions wars to effectuate regime change. Their immorality, illegality and stupidity do not diminish Mrs. Clinton's enthusiasm for treating independent nations as serfs of the United States.

As first aady, she warmly supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which made it the policy of the Unites States to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. As United States Senator, she invoked the 1998 policy in voting for the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force Against Iraq. Saddam's successors proved a cure worse than the disease. Shiite dominated governments allied with Iran, oppressed Sunnis, Kurds, and Turkmen, and created a power vacuum that gave birth to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Our national security has been weakened.

As secretary of state in 2011, Mrs. Clinton vocally supported the war against Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi on the heels of his abandonment of weapons of mass destruction. She boasted with the dripping arrogance of Julius Caesar after Gaddafi's death: "We came, we saw, he died." She insisted that regime change in Libya was for humanitarian purposes. She agreed with President Barack Obama that to be faithful to "who we are," we must overthrow governments that are oppressing their citizens by force and violence.

Libya predictably descended into dystopia after Gaddafi's murder. (It had no democratic cultural, historical, or philosophical credentials.) Tribal militias proliferated. Competing governments emerged. ISIS entered into the power vacuum in Sirte, which has required the return of United States military forces in Libya. Terrorists murdered our Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi. Gaddafi's conventional weapons were looted and spread throughout the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled and are continuing to flee Libyan shores for Europe. North Korea and Iran hardened their nuclear ambitions to avoid Gaddafi's grisly fate. Our national security has been weakened.

Like the French Bourbons who forgot nothing and learned nothing, Mrs. Clinton eagerness to initiate wars for regime change was undiminished by the Iraq and Libya debacles. She urged war against Syria to oust President Bashar al-Assad. She confidently insinuated that we could transform Syria into a flourishing democracy sans James Madisons, George Washingtons or Thomas Jeffersons because of our unique nation-building genius.

She forgot South Sudan. We midwifed its independence in 2011. Despite our hopes and prayers, the new nation descended into a gruesome ongoing civil war including child soldiers between the Dinka led by President Salva Kiir and the Nuer led by former Vice President Riek Machar. More than 50,000 have died, more than 2.2 million have been displaced, and a harrowing number have been murdered, tortured or raped. South Sudan epitomizes our nation-building incompetence.

Wars for regime change are immoral. We have not been tasked by a Supreme Being to appraise foreign nations like a schoolmarm and to invade those to whom we have superciliously assigned a failing grade. As Jesus sermonized in Matthew 7: 1-3:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged.

"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Thus, Thomas Jefferson wrote to President James Monroe in 1823: "The presumption of dictating to an independent nation the form of its government is so arrogant, so atrocious, that indignation as well as moral sentiment enlists all our partialities and prayers in favor of one and our equal execrations against the other."

Wars for regime change also violate international law. Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter generally prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…." Article 51 creates a narrow exception for wars in self-defense "if an armed attack occurs…." Regime change wars do not fit that narrow exception.

They are also stupid, like playing Russian roulette. We lack the wisdom necessary to insure that successor regimes will strengthen rather than weaken our national security taking into account, among other things, the staggering military and financial costs of propping up corrupt, incompetent, and unpopular governments.

Mrs. Clinton underscores in her memoir that she would rather be "caught trying" something kinetic than to try masterly inactivity like Fabius Maximus. She would rather be criticized for fighting too many wars for regime change than too few. She is the war hawks' dream candidate.

[Sep 28, 2016] Hillary Clinton's Platform Lacks a Firm Footing by Russ Wellen

Sep 28, 2016 | fpif.org
July 27, 2016 | FPIF

Domestic-policy successes such as paid family leave count for little if the U.S. is at war with Russia.

Hillary Clinton has some impressive goals for the United States. And it is conceivable that, to whatever extent, she can even achieve them. These include (courtesy of NPR ):

Make public college debt-free. Fund universal pre-K. Create a comprehensive background check system and close loopholes. Give the government a role in setting insurance rates. Waive deportation and give undocumented residents a path to legal status. Enact an infrastructure plan that also serves as a stimulus to the economy. Raise capital gains taxes [We will overlook her coziness with Wall Street for the moment.]

But what does domestic-policy success avail us if the United States is fighting a major war? It is common knowledge that when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton gives many of us on the left the heebie-jeebies. A blurb on the issues page of her official campaign website suggests traditional Democratic overcompensation on defense, but to the nth degree: "Military and defense[:] We should maintain the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known."

The extent to which Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Ms. Clinton a nemesis (and Donald Trump a potential ally) can be seen in a new article by Simon Shuster at Time . But, obviously, no American election should be decided by which candidate the leader of another superpower prefers. The real issue, without going into detail, is her policy toward Russia, summarized by Jeffrey Sachs at Huffington Post .

… she championed a remarkably confrontational approach with Russia based on NATO expansion to Ukraine and Georgia and a new nuclear arms race that will cost American taxpayers more than $355 billion over a decade.

There we have the two weakest links of Hillary Clinton foreign policy bundled into one. She is likely to increase tensions with Russia, thus putting us at risk of war with nuclear weapons, the modernization of which she champions.

To put it another way, an aggressive stance toward Russia and more nuclear weapons would cancel out domestic initiatives and achievements. After all, what good is paid parental leave if the United States is waging a major war and not only is there no money left over from defense for such programs, but, the number of families left standing to benefit from these programs is, shudder, drastically diminished?

Bottom line: Without a visionary policy that works toward alleviating tensions with, not confronting or attacking, other countries, domestic policy successes count for little.

[Sep 28, 2016] I Was RFK's Speechwriter. Now I'm Voting for Trump. Here's Why by Adam Walinsky

Sep 21, 2016 | POLITICO Magazine
Here it is. John and Robert Kennedy devoted their greatest commitments and energies to the prevention of war and the preservation of peace. To them that was not an abstract formula but the necessary foundation of human life. But today's Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners, lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters of the natural resources of corrupt governments. We have American military bases in 80 countries, and there are now American military personnel on the ground in about 130 countries, a remarkable achievement since there are only 192 recognized countries. Generals and admirals announce our national policies. Theater commanders are our principal ambassadors. Our first answer to trouble or opposition of any kind seems always to be a military movement or action.

Nor has the Democratic Party candidate for president this year, Hillary Clinton, sought peace. Instead she has pushed America into successive invasions, successive efforts at "regime change." She has sought to prevent Americans from seeking friendship or cooperation with President Vladimir Putin of Russia by characterizing him as "another Hitler." She proclaims herself ready to invade Syria immediately after taking the oath of office. Her shadow War Cabinet brims with the architects of war and disaster for the past decades, the neocons who led us to our present pass, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, in Ukraine, unrepentant of all past errors, ready to resume it all with fresh trillions and fresh blood. And the Democrats she leads seem intent on worsening relations with Russia, for example by sending American warships into the Black Sea, or by introducing nuclear weapons ever closer to Russia itself.

In fact, in all the years of the so-called War on Terror, only one potential American president has had the intelligence, the vision, the sheer sanity to see that America cannot fight the entire world at once; who sees that America's natural and necessary allies in this fight must include the advanced and civilized nations that are most exposed and experienced in their own terror wars, and have the requisite military power and willingness to use it. Only one American candidate has pointed out how senseless it is to seek confrontation with Russia and China, at the same time that we are trying to suppress the very jihadist movements that they also are attacking.

That candidate is Donald Trump. Throughout this campaign, he has said that as president, he would quickly sit down with President Putin and seek relaxation of tensions between our nations, and possible collaboration in the fight against terrorists. On this ground alone, he marks himself as greatly superior to all his competitors, earlier in the primaries and now in the general election.

[Sep 28, 2016] It is not that we do not trust the agents, we do not trust the leadership

Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Roger Smith September 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Re: (Pop Goes the) Weasels

"I knew there were going to be all kinds of rocks thrown, but this organization and the people who did this are honest, independent people."

Well Comey, it is not that we do not trust the agents, we do not trust the leadership. If any of the underground reports I have seen are indications, the agents were trying and struggling to do their jobs.

Reply
Jim Haygood September 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Only three references to Comey as a "Treas-Weasel" appear in a Google search.

All three are on naked capitalism in July 2016. And I know who did it.

*peers out window for suspicious unmarked vehicles*

Reply
justanotherprogressive September 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Are there no longer any "deep throats" left at the FBI? Because now would be an excellent opportunity for one of them to start making phone calls – but to who? Greenwald maybe? He seems to be the only investigative journalist left but he doesn't even live in this country…..

Reply
Jen September 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Just do a data dump on Reddit. We already know the FBI won't look there.

Reply
crittermom September 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Roger Smith–

"…it is not that we do not trust the agents, we do not trust the leadership."

Perfectly stated. Nailed it!

Sooo…..I wonder how those low-ranking soldiers in the military are faring using the same defense?

I remain infuriated that nothing happened to her. I now have yet another head (Comey) I want to see in my front yard guillotine. Grrrrrrr…

Reply
cwaltz September 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

http://lunaticoutpost.com/thread-693407.html

Still seeing jail time…..they aren't super special snowflakes like Clinton.

[Sep 28, 2016] Comey on Clinton email probe 'Don't call us weasels'

Notable quotes:
"... GOP lawmakers focused in particular on the Justice Department's decision to give a form of immunity to Clinton lawyers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson to obtain computers containing emails related to the case. ..."
"... Republicans also questioned why Mills and Samuelson were allowed to attend Clinton's July 2 interview at FBI headquarters as her attorneys, given that they had been interviewed as witnesses in the email probe. ..."
"... "I don't think there's any reasonable prosecutor out there who would have allowed two immunized witnesses central to the prosecution and proving the case against her to sit in the room with the FBI interview of the subject of that investigation," said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former U.S. attorney. He said those circumstances signaled that the decision not to prosecute Clinton was already made when she sat down for the interview. ..."
"... Ratcliffe said Clinton and the others should have been called to a grand jury, where no one is allowed to accompany the witness. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | POLITICO

"You can call us wrong, but don't call us weasels. We are not weasels," Comey declared Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. "We are honest people and … whether or not you agree with the result, this was done the way you want it to be done."

... ... ...

"I would be in big trouble, and I should be in big trouble, if I did something like that," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). "There seems to be different strokes for different folks. I think there's a heavy hand coming from someplace else."

Comey insisted there is no double standard, though he said there would be serious consequences - short of criminal prosecution - if FBI personnel handled classified information as Clinton and her aides did.

... ... ...

Republicans suggested there were numerous potential targets of prosecution in the case and repeatedly questioned prosecutors' decisions to grant forms of immunity to at least five people in connection with the probe.

"You cleaned the slate before you even knew. … You gave immunity to people that you were going to need to make a case if a case was to be made," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

GOP lawmakers focused in particular on the Justice Department's decision to give a form of immunity to Clinton lawyers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson to obtain computers containing emails related to the case.

"Laptops don't go to the Bureau of Prisons," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said. "The immunity was not for the laptop, it was for Cheryl Mills."

The FBI director repeated an explanation he gave for the first time at a Senate hearing Tuesday, that the deal to get the laptops was wise because subpoenaing computers from an attorney would be complex and time consuming.

"Anytime you know you're subpoenaing a laptop from a lawyer that involved a lawyer's practice of law, you know you're getting into a big megillah," Comey said.

Republicans also questioned why Mills and Samuelson were allowed to attend Clinton's July 2 interview at FBI headquarters as her attorneys, given that they had been interviewed as witnesses in the email probe.

"I don't think there's any reasonable prosecutor out there who would have allowed two immunized witnesses central to the prosecution and proving the case against her to sit in the room with the FBI interview of the subject of that investigation," said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former U.S. attorney. He said those circumstances signaled that the decision not to prosecute Clinton was already made when she sat down for the interview.

"I don't think there's any reasonable prosecutor out there who would have allowed two immunized witnesses central to the prosecution and proving the case against her to sit in the room with the FBI interview of the subject of that investigation," said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former U.S. attorney. He said those circumstances signaled that the decision not to prosecute Clinton was already made when she sat down for the interview.

"If colleagues of ours believe I am lying about when I made this decision, please urge them to contact me privately so we can have a conversation about this," Comey said. "The decision was made after that because I didn't know what was going to happen during the interview. She would maybe lie in the interview in a way we could prove."

Comey also said it wasn't the FBI's role to dictate who could or couldn't act as Clinton's lawyers. "I would also urge you to tell me what tools we have as prosecutors and investigators to kick out of the interview someone that the subject says is their lawyer," the FBI chief said, while acknowledging he'd never encountered such a situation before.

Ratcliffe said Clinton and the others should have been called to a grand jury, where no one is allowed to accompany the witness.

Comey did say there was no chance of charges against Mills or Samuelson by the time of the Clinton interview.

[Sep 28, 2016] Who Cares About the Clinton Foundation?

Sep 28, 2016 | baselinescenario.com
by James Kwak Posted on August 25, 2016 The Baseline Scenario | 59 comments By James Kwak

Imagine that while George W. Bush was governor of Texas and president of the United States, various people and companies decided to write him checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, just because they thought he was a great guy. Those people and companies, just coincidentally, happened to have interests that were affected by the policies of Texas and the United States. But when he thanked them for their money, Bush never promised to do anything in particular for them. You would be suspicious, right?

Now, that's roughly what has been happening with the Clinton Foundation. Various people and companies have been writing checks for millions of dollars to the Foundation during the same time that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and, following that, the most likely next president of the United States-a title she has held since the day Barack Obama's second term began. (The Clintons finally decided to scale back the Foundation earlier this week.)

... ... ...

So the real question is this: Do you think it would be appropriate for people and companies affected by U.S. policy to be writing $1 million checks directly to the Clintons? If the answer is yes, then you should be against any campaign finance rules whatsoever. If the answer is no, you should be worried about the Clinton Foundation.

  1. Vinny Idol | August 25, 2016 at 8:02 pm | I disagree whole heartedly with this post. The clinton foundation is a big deal, because its proof positive that America was founded on Money laundering, the elite that run this country make and made their money through money laundering; and no one wants that in the White House. Thats ok for the rest of America sociery, but not the government where peoples lives hang on the balance through every speech, law and policy that is conducted on capitol hill.

    The Clintons destroyed Libya, Honduras, Haiti through their money laundering scheme called the clinton foundation. Theres no justification for that.

  1. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 12:40 am | Trump thinks very highly of Reagan, but very lowly of Mexicans, so if Trump were to win I suspect he will secretly sell some of our nukes, this finally giving him the financial boost needed to overtake Carlos Slim on the list of the world's richest men. This 'deal of deals' then also harkens back to another historical 'deal' (Iran/Contra), and of course Reagan, while simultaneously eliminating Trump's deepest regret which is that of being bested by a Mexican. This being the real reason that he decided to run in the first place.

    Probably though, HRC will win. The problem there being that all of the scrutiny that she has been receiving for so long, coupled with Bills' infidelities, and other various setbacks and slights, have left her very angry and bitter. Combining this seething hatred of all humans, especially men, with the fact that there has never been a women president to look up to, HRC's only influence is a secretary who worked for Woodrow Wilson by the name of Mildred Jingowitz, or Ms. Jingo as she was called. Ms. Jingo stands out for HRC because she actually wrote the Espionage Act of 1917 and the the Sedition Act of 1918. Those combining to "cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds."
    "The Sedition Act of 1918 stated that people or countries cannot say negative things about the government or the war."
    "It forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces or that caused others to view the American government or its institutions with contempt." Most importantly though, these acts gave the Government the legal right to prosecute draft dodgers, and …these could bring an end to at least some of the scrutiny that has plagued HRC for so long just so long as we remain at war.
    So, if you are wondering what any of this has to do with the Clinton Foundation, well, HRC used the Foundation to facilitate at least one very large arms deal with at least one Royal Gulfie. But it matters little whether she used the foundation or not, HRC used her tenure at Foggy Bottom to arrange a record number of weapons deals, and of course she is mad as hell and determined to prove just how tough women can be (and there is of course one man who she respects, H. Kissinger).

    Anyway, it doesn't take a historian specializing in the build-up leading to the two World Wars to figure out the rest. BOOM!!!

  2. Philip Diehl | August 26, 2016 at 12:46 am | Dear James,

    I'm a long-time reader. I admire what you and Simon have done educating us about the financial crisis and its aftermath, and I agree with most of your political positions, especially related to the corrupting influence of money in politics. I have seen this first hand over my years in politics and government, and I believe it is the single most important issue we face because progress on all others depends on it.

    But in taking yet another hack at Hillary Clinton in this post, you've contradicted yourself in a way that unravels your argument, while engaging in false equivalencies and blowing a key fact out of proportion. First, the internal contradiction:

    "Bill and Hillary are getting on in years, they only have one child, and she is married to a hedge fund manager. When you have that much money, a dollar in your foundation is as good as a dollar in your bank account. Once you have all your consumption needs covered, what do you need money for?"

    You imply, here, that the Clintons' wealth and Marc Mezvinsky's hedge fund income have made the marginal value of another dollar in income de minimis for the Clintons' personal finances. Then you write, paraphrasing, that a dollar donated to the Foundation is as good as a dollar deposited in their personal bank account; therefore, you imply, money that goes to their foundation is as corrupting as money that goes into their personal accounts.

    You see the problem in claiming that a contribution to the Clinton Foundation is a powerful incentive for HRC to tilt her foreign policy positions, right? You just made the case for why a donation to the Foundation has little personal value to the Clintons:

    MV of $ to bank account = 0.
    MV of $ to Foundation = MV of $ to bank account.
    But you don't proceed to: Therefore, MV of $ to Foundation = 0. So, according to your logic, there can be no corrupting influence.

    You follow this, writing:

    "If you're a Clinton, you want to have an impact in the world, reward your friends, and burnish your legacy. A foundation is an excellent vehicle for all of those purposes, for obvious reasons. It is also an excellent way to transfer money to your daughter free of estate tax, since she can control it after you die."

    Your imply that the Clintons give equal weight to their desires to reward their friends, burnish their legacy, and have an impact on the world. What evidence do you have of this? Also, you implicitly denigrate their charitable motives by describing them as a desire "to have an impact on the world" without a nod to their clear intent to have an impact that is profoundly constructive. You also speculate, without providing any support, that the Foundation is a tax avoidance scheme to enrich their daughter. I think you've crossed a line here.

    Now for the false equivalencies:

    "Imagine that while George W. Bush was governor of Texas and president of the United States, various people and companies decided to write him checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, just because they thought he was a great guy. Those people and companies, just coincidentally, happened to have interests that were affected by the policies of Texas and the United States. But when he thanked them for their money, Bush never promised to do anything in particular for them. You would be suspicious, right?"

    Why imagine? We have the real-world case of the Saudis bailing out George W's Harken Energy while his father was president. Of course, this is only one example of how the lucrative Bush-Saudi relationship generated income that went straight into the Bush "coffers".

    So you implicitly compare HRC's alleged conflict related to the family's charity with the Bush family conflict related to their own personal bank accounts. While HW Bush, as president, made use of his long friendship with the Saudis for the family's personal gain, HRC gave access to the likes of the crown prince of Bahrain and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. Not equivalent. Not even close. I wonder how routine it is for a Secretary of State to meet with the crown prince of an oil-producing nation or a Nobel Prize winner versus how routine is it for foreign oligarchs friendly to a president to bailout his son.

    But at least the Saudis were allies of the US. Today, the GOP nominee has undisclosed but apparently significant business ties to close allies of the president of our greatest strategic adversary, and expresses his admiration for an autocrat who is seizing territory in Europe and terminating his opponents. I've missed your post on this one, though I'm sure there is one.

    One last point: This controversy involved some 85 meetings or telephone calls HRC granted to Foundation donors. The media have morphed this into 85 meetings, dropping the "and telephone calls," and made this out to be a pretty big number. Naive readers and Hillary haters have accepted it as such. If fact, 85 meetings and telephone calls over four years are, well, de minimis.

    Many of these donors had standing sufficient to get them in the door whether they gave to the Foundation or not. But let's say all of them gained access solely as a result of their donations. Over the four years HRC was Secretary of State, 85 meetings and telephone calls work out to 1.8 meetings/calls per month. Let's make a guess that she met or talked on the phone with an average of 15 people a day. So, one of every 250 people HRC met or had a phone call with each month, or 21 out of 3000 each year, would have secured their contact with her by donating to the Foundation. 85 doesn't look so big in context, especially since no one has presented any evidence of any quid pro quos.

  3. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 2:42 am | Philip,
    The 85 meetings occurred during about half of HRC's term and I've not heard anyone else dilute things with "phone calls".

    Plus, the Bahrainis were approved for a major arms deal after donating. The Prince tried to make an appointment with HRC privately, but was made to go through State Dept. channels before being allowed a meeting.

    HRC was also involved in the selling of more weapons in her term than all of those occurring during the Bush 43 terms combined.

  1. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 2:50 am | Philip.
    Also, there is this:
    "You had a situation, that The Wall Street Journal reported, where Hillary Clinton herself intervened in a case dealing with taxes with UBS, a Swiss bank, and then, suddenly, after that, UBS began donating big to the Clinton Foundation. So there are many examples of-I mean, there's oil companies-that's another one I should mention right now, which is that oil companies were giving big to the Clinton Foundation while lobbying the State Department-successfully-for the passage of the Alberta Clipper, the tar sands pipeline."
    David Sarota, interview: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/25/weapons_pipelines_wall_st_did_clinton
  2. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 9:40 am | Other noteworthy donors to the Clinton Foundation:
    $1,000,000-$5,000,000

    Carlos Slim
    Chairman & CEO of Telmex, largest New York Times shareholder

    James Murdoch
    Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Fox

    Newsmax Media
    Florida-based conservative media network

    Thomson Reuters
    Owner of the Reuters news service

    $500,000-$1,000,000

    Google

    News Corporation Foundation
    Philanthropic arm of former Fox News parent company

    $250,000-$500,000

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Publisher

    Richard Mellon Scaife
    Owner of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    $100,000-$250,000

    Abigail Disney
    Documentary filmmaker

    Bloomberg Philanthropies

    Howard Stringer
    Former CBS, CBS News and Sony executive

    Intermountain West Communications Company
    Local television affiliate owner (formerly Sunbelt Communications)

    $50,000-$100,000

    Bloomberg L.P.

    Discovery Communications Inc.

    George Stephanopoulos
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  1. publiustex | August 26, 2016 at 10:11 am | Hello Ray,

    First, I'd appreciate it if you could provide a cite supporting the statement that move arms sales occurred during HRC's four years than during W's eight years. I'd like to look under the cover of that one.

    Also, it's important to note that a lot more people are involved in approving arms sales than the SoS, including Republicans on the Hill.

    Second, the AP touted its original story as being "meetings" but when you read the story itself you found it was "meetings and phone calls." Subsequently, the media and commentariat referred to 85 meetings, dropping reference to phone calls.

    Now for the arms sales to Bahrain. This one is especially juicy because it's an excellent example of how HRC is being tarred.

    The US has massive military assets in Bahrain, which hosts the largest US military outpost in the Gulf. We've been making massive arms sale to Bahrain for many years. So no surprise that we'd make some when HRC was SoS.

    And considering the strategic importance of Bahrain, there's no surprise in HRC meeting with the crown prince. The surprise would be if she declined to do so.

    Now, if memory serves, and I encourage you to check me on this, the US suspended arms sales to Bahrain while HRC was SoS in response to the Bahrain's suppression of dissent among its Shia minority. Later, we partially lifted the suspension to allow sales of arms Related to protecting our huge naval base in Bahrain. I think this decision also came while HRC was SoS.

    So, the arm sales to Bahrain illustrates my objections to the facile claims that contributions to the CF suggest that HRC is corrupt. These claims bring one sliver of information to the discussion: so and so donated money to the CF and then talked to HRC on the phone (or got a meeting). No evidence is produced that there's a causal relationship between the two much less a quid pro quo in which the donation and meeting led HRC to act in an official capacity to benefit the contributor.

    All of the examples I've seen so far, the oil companies, UBS, etc. are like this. No context, no evidence of a quid pro quo, all inuendo.

  2. publiustex | August 26, 2016 at 10:20 am | I consider some of these contributors to be unsavory, and I wish they'd give the Clinton Foundation a lot more money so they'd have less to sink into GOP House and Senate races.
  1. Philip Diehl | August 26, 2016 at 11:05 am | Ray LaPan-Love: You left out this quote from the interview with David Sirota. Context matters.

    'DAVID SIROTA: Well, my reaction to it is that I think that if you look at some of these individual examples, I think Paul is right that it's hard to argue that their donations to the foundation got them access. They are - a lot of these people in the AP story are people who knew her."

  2. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 11:21 am | Pub,
    I can't remember where I saw the comparison between the arms sales of HRC and the shrub. But, if it comes to me I'll add it later. Meanwhile, here is a link to lots of related info:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Arms+sales+under+obama

    And yes, "no context, no evidence of a quid pro quo", and almost as if she knew she might run for the prez job.

  3. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 11:41 am | Sorry Phillip, but gee whiz, am I to assume that nobody else has any 'context' on a story that is difficult to miss. Where does one draw such lines? And the spin you are hoping for is somewhat unwound by David using the phrase "hard to argue". That could be interpreted to simply mean that the CF is good at obfuscating. And as someone who has worked in politics and even for a large NPO, I can atably assure you
  4. Ray LaPan-Love | August 26, 2016 at 11:59 am | ….!!!!!! my cursor got stuck on the previous comment as I tried to use spell-check.
    Anyway, I was trying to comfratably assure you that these organizations are commonly structured to allow for deceptive practices. The Sierra Club for example has affiliates that collect donations and then those funds are used to pay the overhead of the affiliate 'before' any money is donated to the Sierra Club. Thus, the Sierra club's solicitation costs are not reflected in the percentage of funds used toward whatever cause. This is not of course very subtle, and a Foundation such the CF could not likely get away something this obvious, but…schemes such those exposed by the Panama Papers should make us all hesitant to assume anything.
  5. RICK | August 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Dear James -

    I'm a long-time fan of your smart writing and the important work that you (and Simon) do. But what's with this constant Clinton Derangement Syndrome? Why look so hard to find some morsel of "scandal" with the Clintons when there's an entire herd of elephants in the room with the Republican candidate??

    As a wealth manager of many years, I must disagree with your dismissive assessment of the Clintons' personal philanthropy as a personal piggy bank. For sure, in a regular family foundation (many of my clients!) the grants and donations are entirely at the discretion of the controlling family, and very often it's all about shiny brass plaques and photo ops with museum directors or mayors. Fine, that's our system, and at least something gets done. And then the donors die and the plaques fade. A shawl has no pockets.

    But the Clinton operation is unique: they choose specific issues, partner with competent outside groups, and then direct enormous extra outside funds - not just their own meager foundation money - to tackle the problems. This is only possible because of their international status; not a Gates nor a Slim nor a Zuckerberg could engineer the same.

    One can certainly speculate about who got access (a phone call, seriously?) or who was schmoozed in what way in order to secure their donations. But to broad-brush the whole of the Clinton philanthropy as personal corruption is truly unfair. And it sure doesn't make sense when there's so much worse and genuinely scandalous material on the other side just waiting to be uncovered.

    Keep the faith!

  1. Bruce E. Woych | August 27, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Note: (from Global Research critique @ (eg: https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-us/suite ) cited above: "Philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist, Andre Vltchek has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism". Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV.
  2. Ray LaPan-Love | August 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Bruce, (been awhile),
    High grade stuff there. Yet, I'm not as taken by Caros' comment as you seem to be. Near the end, this part: "The Clinton family business is benefiting themselves AND OTHERS by way of their prominence."
    To begin with, the Clinton's influence in arming the royal gulfies may get us all killed, and so his comparison to the Bushs, while apt in a current sense, it may well be…dangerously premature. Then too, Caro is of course taking sides as if the Clintons don't fully realize the P.R. benefits of giving away other peoples money. Which segs the question of how could the Clintons have put so much time and effort into Hillary's run, while creating so many pitfalls for themselves? Did they think the Repubs might get nice? Are they stupid, arrogant maybe? Or just so corrupt that they just can't stop like so many kleptomaniacs? In any case, it isn't only Trump's fitness that we should be questioning.

[Sep 28, 2016] there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.:

Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Vatch September 28, 2016 at 3:45 pm

I'm all for reducing the unmanageably high levels of total immigration into the U.S., and I strongly believe in penalizing illegal employers, but I think you have exaggerated the number of illegal immigrants. According to Numbers USA, there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.:

https://www.numbersusa.org/pages/illegal-aliens-us

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the total immigrant population of the U.S. is about 42 million people:

http://cis.org/Immigrant-Population-Hits-Record-Second-Quarter-2015

[Sep 28, 2016] The root cause of Syria war is Baathists aligned with non Sunnis running a sector of land lusted after by the Saudis and GCC

Notable quotes:
"... Of course the root cause is Baathists aligned with non Sunnis running a sector of land lusted after by the Saudis and GCC. ..."
"... That the US supported the Sunnis (since the Iranians ousted CIA puppets) against the Baathists did not start the civil war, it merely keeps it growing in lust for death and destruction. ..."
"... While that Sep 2012 skirmish in Benghazi included CIA ground troops otherwise there securing the sea lanes supporting Syrian Al Qaeda with Qaddafi's arms, less stingers. ..."
"... "Settle for the crooked, Wall St, war monger because real change is too hard and the other guy is insane, supported by racists and don't think Russia should praise American exceptionalism." ..."
Sep 04, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

ilsm, August 31, 2016 8:21 am

Bev,

"As for Syria, here too I'm not sure why you think this country caused its civil war, but it did not."

Of course the root cause is Baathists aligned with non Sunnis running a sector of land lusted after by the Saudis and GCC.

That the US supported the Sunnis (since the Iranians ousted CIA puppets) against the Baathists did not start the civil war, it merely keeps it growing in lust for death and destruction.

While that Sep 2012 skirmish in Benghazi included CIA ground troops otherwise there securing the sea lanes supporting Syrian Al Qaeda with Qaddafi's arms, less stingers.

ilsm August 31, 2016 9:44 pm

"Settle for the crooked, Wall St, war monger because real change is too hard and the other guy is insane, supported by racists and don't think Russia should praise American exceptionalism."

Obama might as well have voted with Hillary for AUMF forever, he is running it.

[Sep 28, 2016] Heres a semi-CT saying that NBC tipped Clinton off to the debate questions a week in advance

Notable quotes:
"... Here's an interesting analysis someone posted to reddit (in annoying gif screenshot form) about Holt being biased in favor of Clinton: https://i.redd.it/jixd3s8d05ox.png ..."
"... And here's a semi-CT saying that NBC tipped Clinton off to the debate questions a week in advance: http://baltimoregazette.com/clinton-received-debate-questions-week-debate/ ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none September 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Here's an interesting analysis someone posted to reddit (in annoying gif screenshot form) about Holt being biased in favor of Clinton: https://i.redd.it/jixd3s8d05ox.png

And here's a semi-CT saying that NBC tipped Clinton off to the debate questions a week in advance: http://baltimoregazette.com/clinton-received-debate-questions-week-debate/

I have no idea how partisan the Baltimore Gazette is, but it's apparently been around a long time.

[Sep 28, 2016] Why I Switched My Endorsement from Clinton to...

Notable quotes:
"... To my untrained eyes and ears, Hillary Clinton doesn't look sufficiently healthy – mentally or otherwise – to be leading the country. If you disagree, take a look at the now-famous " Why aren't I 50 points ahead " video clip. Likewise, Bill Clinton seems to be in bad shape too, and Hillary wouldn't be much use to the country if she is taking care of a dying husband on the side. ..."
"... So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a "fascist," the answer is that he isn't one. Clinton's team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump's "pacing" system is not obvious to the public. They see his "first offers" as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique. ..."
"... The battle with ISIS is also a persuasion problem. The entire purpose of military action against ISIS is to persuade them to stop, not to kill every single one of them. We need military-grade persuasion to get at the root of the problem. Trump understands persuasion, so he is likely to put more emphasis in that area. ..."
"... Most of the job of president is persuasion. Presidents don't need to understand policy minutia. They need to listen to experts and then help sell the best expert solutions to the public. Trump sells better than anyone you have ever seen, even if you haven't personally bought into him yet. You can't deny his persuasion talents that have gotten him this far. ..."
Sep 25, 2016 | blog.dilbert.com

As most of you know, I had been endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, for my personal safety, because I live in California. It isn't safe to be a Trump supporter where I live. And it's bad for business too. But recently I switched my endorsement to Trump, and I owe you an explanation. So here it goes.

1. Things I Don't Know: There are many things I don't know. For example, I don't know the best way to defeat ISIS. Neither do you. I don't know the best way to negotiate trade policies. Neither do you. I don't know the best tax policy to lift all boats. Neither do you. My opinion on abortion is that men should follow the lead of women on that topic because doing so produces the most credible laws. So on most political topics, I don't know enough to make a decision. Neither do you, but you probably think you do.

Given the uncertainty about each candidate – at least in my own mind – I have been saying I am not smart enough to know who would be the best president. That neutrality changed when Clinton proposed raising estate taxes. I understand that issue and I view it as robbery by government.

I'll say more about that, plus some other issues I do understand, below.

... ... ...

4. Clinton's Health: To my untrained eyes and ears, Hillary Clinton doesn't look sufficiently healthy – mentally or otherwise – to be leading the country. If you disagree, take a look at the now-famous " Why aren't I 50 points ahead " video clip. Likewise, Bill Clinton seems to be in bad shape too, and Hillary wouldn't be much use to the country if she is taking care of a dying husband on the side.

5. Pacing and Leading: Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading . Trump "paces" the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to "lead," which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That's how I see him.

So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a "fascist," the answer is that he isn't one. Clinton's team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump's "pacing" system is not obvious to the public. They see his "first offers" as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique.

And being chummy with Putin is more likely to keep us safe, whether you find that distasteful or not. Clinton wants to insult Putin into doing what we want. That approach seems dangerous as hell to me.

6. Persuasion: Economies are driven by psychology. If you expect things to go well tomorrow, you invest today, which causes things to go well tomorrow, as long as others are doing the same. The best kind of president for managing the psychology of citizens – and therefore the economy – is a trained persuader. You can call that persuader a con man, a snake oil salesman, a carnival barker, or full of shit. It's all persuasion. And Trump simply does it better than I have ever seen anyone do it.

The battle with ISIS is also a persuasion problem. The entire purpose of military action against ISIS is to persuade them to stop, not to kill every single one of them. We need military-grade persuasion to get at the root of the problem. Trump understands persuasion, so he is likely to put more emphasis in that area.

Most of the job of president is persuasion. Presidents don't need to understand policy minutia. They need to listen to experts and then help sell the best expert solutions to the public. Trump sells better than anyone you have ever seen, even if you haven't personally bought into him yet. You can't deny his persuasion talents that have gotten him this far.

In summary, I don't understand the policy details and implications of most of either Trump's or Clinton's proposed ideas. Neither do you. But I do understand persuasion. I also understand when the government is planning to confiscate the majority of my assets. And I can also distinguish between a deeply unhealthy person and a healthy person, even though I have no medical training. (So can you.)

I will be live streaming my viewing of the debate Monday night, with my co-host and neighbor, Kristina Basham . Tune your television to the debate and use your phone or iPad with the Periscope app, and look for me at @ScottAdamsSays.

[Sep 28, 2016] Flawed as he may be, Trump is telling more of the truth than politicians of our day Most important, he offers a path away from constant war, a path of businesslike accommodation with all reasonable people and nations

Notable quotes:
"... Flawed as he may be, Trump is telling more of the truth than politicians of our day. Most important, he offers a path away from constant war, a path of businesslike accommodation with all reasonable people and nations, concentrating our forces and efforts against the true enemies of civilization. Thus, to dwell on his faults and errors is to evade the great questions of war and peace, life and death for our people and our country. You and I will have to compensate for his deficits of civility, in return for peace, we may hope as Lincoln hoped, among ourselves and with all nations. ..."
"... No doubt, clinton supporters will snicker and deride efforts to treat Trump's positions seriously as this essay does. ..."
Sep 25, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Katniss Everdeen

RE: I Was RFK's Speechwriter. Now I'm Voting for Trump. Here's Why. Politico (RR)

Flawed as he may be, Trump is telling more of the truth than politicians of our day. Most important, he offers a path away from constant war, a path of businesslike accommodation with all reasonable people and nations, concentrating our forces and efforts against the true enemies of civilization. Thus, to dwell on his faults and errors is to evade the great questions of war and peace, life and death for our people and our country. You and I will have to compensate for his deficits of civility, in return for peace, we may hope as Lincoln hoped, among ourselves and with all nations.

No doubt, clinton supporters will snicker and deride efforts to treat Trump's positions seriously as this essay does.

But for anyone who is the slightest bit aware of how the maniac imperialists have hijacked the public means of persuasion for a generation to the detriment of countless foreign countries as well as our own, the obsession with turning Trump into a cartoon character with joke "policies" should sound an alarm.

No "politician" was ever going to buck this system. Bernie Sanders, fiery and committed though he was, proved that. It was always going to take an over-sized personality with an over-sized ego to withstand the shit storm that a demand for profound change would create, and some "incivility" seems a small price to pay to break the vice grip of the status quo.

I, for one, have no intention of squandering this opportunity to throw sand in the gears. There has never been a third candidate allowed to plead their case in a presidential "debate" since Ross Perot threw a scare into TPTB in 1992. Should clinton manage to pull this one out, the lesson of Trump will be learned, and we may not be "given" the opportunity to choose an "outsider" again for a very long time. It's worth taking a minute to separate the message from the messenger.

subgenius September 25, 2016 at 11:33 am

No doubt, clinton supporters will snicker and deride efforts to treat Trump's positions seriously as this essay does.

[Sep 28, 2016] TPP implies the increased protectionism, in the form of longer and stronger patent and copyright protections. which are equivalent to tariffs of several thousand percent on the protected items. As they apply to an ever growing share of the economy, the resulting economic losses might be huge.

Notable quotes:
"... It is not clear what the NYT thinks it is telling readers with this comment. The economy grows and creates jobs, sort of like the tree in my backyard grows every year. The issue is the rate of growth and job creation. While the economy has recovered from the lows of the recession, employment rates of prime age workers (ages 25-54) are still down by almost 2.0 percentage points from the pre-recession level and almost 4.0 percentage points from 2000 peaks. There is much research ** *** showing that trade has played a role in this drop in employment. ..."
"... It is not surprising that Ford's CEO would say that shifting production to Mexico would not cost U.S. jobs. It is likely he would make this claim whether or not it is true. Furthermore, his actual statement is that Ford is not cutting U.S. jobs. If the jobs being created in Mexico would otherwise be created in the United States, then the switch is costing U.S. jobs. The fact that Michigan and Ohio added 75,000 jobs last year has as much to do with this issue as the winner of last night's Yankees' game. ..."
"... The piece goes on to say that the North American Free Trade Agreement has "for more than two decades has been widely counted as a main achievement of [Bill Clinton]." It doesn't say who holds this view. The deal did not lead to a rise in the U.S. trade surplus with Mexico, which was a claim by its proponents before its passage. It also has not led to more rapid growth in Mexico which has actually fallen further behind the United States in the two decades since NAFTA. ..."
"... It is worth noting that none of the analyses that provide the basis for this assertion take into the account the impact of the increased protectionism, in the form of longer and stronger patent and copyright protections, which are a major part of the TPP. These forms of protection are equivalent to tariffs of several thousand percent on the protected items. As they apply to an ever growing share of the economy, the resulting economic losses will expand substantially in the next decade, especially if the TPP is approved. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... \ September 28, 2016 at 04:55 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/nyt-editorial-in-news-section-for-tpp-short-on-substance

September 28, 2016

NYT Editorial In News Section for TPP Short on Substance

When the issue is trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the New York Times throws out its usual journalistic standards to push its pro-trade deal agenda. Therefore it is not surprising to see a story * in the news section that was essentially a misleading advertisement for these trade deals.

The headline tells readers that Donald Trump's comments on trade in the Monday night debate lacked accuracy. The second paragraph adds:

"His aggressiveness may have been offset somewhat by demerits on substance."

These comments could well describe this NYT piece.

For example, it ostensibly indicts Trump with the comment:

"His [Trump's] first words of the night were the claim that "our jobs are fleeing the country," though nearly 15 million new jobs have been created since the economic recovery began."

It is not clear what the NYT thinks it is telling readers with this comment. The economy grows and creates jobs, sort of like the tree in my backyard grows every year. The issue is the rate of growth and job creation. While the economy has recovered from the lows of the recession, employment rates of prime age workers (ages 25-54) are still down by almost 2.0 percentage points from the pre-recession level and almost 4.0 percentage points from 2000 peaks. There is much research ** *** showing that trade has played a role in this drop in employment.

The NYT piece continues:

"[Trump] singled out Ford for sending thousands of jobs to Mexico to build small cars and worsening manufacturing job losses in Michigan and Ohio, but the company's chief executive has said 'zero' American workers would be cut. Those states each gained more than 75,000 jobs in just the last year."

It is not surprising that Ford's CEO would say that shifting production to Mexico would not cost U.S. jobs. It is likely he would make this claim whether or not it is true. Furthermore, his actual statement is that Ford is not cutting U.S. jobs. If the jobs being created in Mexico would otherwise be created in the United States, then the switch is costing U.S. jobs. The fact that Michigan and Ohio added 75,000 jobs last year has as much to do with this issue as the winner of last night's Yankees' game.

The next sentence adds:

"Mr. Trump said China was devaluing its currency for unfair price advantages, yet it ended that practice several years ago and is now propping up the value of its currency."

While China has recently been trying to keep up the value of its currency by selling reserves, it still holds more than $4 trillion in foreign reserves, counting its sovereign wealth fund. This is more than four times the holdings that would typically be expected of a country its side. These holdings have the effect of keeping down the value of China's currency.

If this seems difficult to understand, the Federal Reserve now holds more than $3 trillion in assets as a result of its quantitative easing programs of the last seven years. It raised its short-term interest rate by a quarter point last December, nonetheless almost all economists would agree the net effect of the Fed's actions is the keep interest rates lower than they would otherwise be. The same is true of China and its foreign reserve position.

The piece goes on to say that the North American Free Trade Agreement has "for more than two decades has been widely counted as a main achievement of [Bill Clinton]." It doesn't say who holds this view. The deal did not lead to a rise in the U.S. trade surplus with Mexico, which was a claim by its proponents before its passage. It also has not led to more rapid growth in Mexico which has actually fallen further behind the United States in the two decades since NAFTA.

In later discussing the TPP the piece tells readers:

"Economists generally have said the Pacific nations agreement would increase incomes, exports and growth in the United States, but not significantly."

It is worth noting that none of the analyses that provide the basis for this assertion take into the account the impact of the increased protectionism, in the form of longer and stronger patent and copyright protections, which are a major part of the TPP. These forms of protection are equivalent to tariffs of several thousand percent on the protected items. As they apply to an ever growing share of the economy, the resulting economic losses will expand substantially in the next decade, especially if the TPP is approved.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-trade-tpp-nafta.html

** http://www.nber.org/papers/w21906

*** http://economics.mit.edu/files/6613

-- Dean Baker

[Sep 28, 2016] Mook Spooked Clinton Campaign Manager, Other Top Dems Dodge Questions on Whether Hillary Wants Obama to Withdraw T

www.breitbart.com
Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook and other top Democrats refused to answer whether Clinton wants President Barack Obama to withdraw the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) from consideration before Congress during interviews with Breitbart News in the spin room after the first presidential debate here at Hofstra University on Monday night.

The fact that Mook, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, and Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Donna Brazile each refused to answer the simple question that would prove Clinton is actually opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership now after praising it 40 times and calling it the "gold standard" is somewhat shocking.

After initially ignoring the question entirely four separate times, Mook finally replied to Breitbart News. But when he did respond, he didn't answer the question:

BREITBART NEWS: "Robby, does Secretary Clinton believe that the president should withdraw the TPP?"

ROBBY MOOK: "Secretary Clinton, as she said in the debate, evaluated the final TPP language and came to the conclusion that she cannot support it."

BREITBART NEWS: "Does she think the president should withdraw it?"

ROBBY MOOK: "She has said the president should not support it."

Obama is attempting to ram TPP through Congress as his last act as president during a lame duck session of Congress. Clinton previously supported the TPP, and called it the "Gold Standard" of trade deals. That's something Brazile, the new chairwoman of the DNC who took over after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) was forced to resign after email leaks showed she and her staff at the DNC undermined the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and in an untoward way forced the nomination into Clinton's hands, openly confirmed in her own interview with Breitbart News in the spin room post debate. Brazile similarly refused to answer if Clinton should call on Obama to withdraw the TPP from consideration before Congress.

[Sep 28, 2016] Wolf Richter Negative Growth of Real Wages is Normal for Much of the Workforce, and Getting Worse – New York Fed naked cap

Notable quotes:
"... If you're wondering why a large portion of American consumers are strung out and breathless and have trouble spending more and cranking up the economy, here's the New York Fed with an answer. And it's going to get worse. ..."
"... That the real median income of men has declined 4% since 1973 is an ugly tidbit that the Census Bureau hammered home in its Income and Poverty report two weeks ago, which I highlighted in this article – That 5.2% Jump in Household Income? Nope, People Aren't Suddenly Getting Big-Fat Paychecks – and it includes the interactive chart below that shows how the real median wage of women rose 36% from 1973 through 2015, while it fell 4% for men... ..."
"... Nominal wages are sticky downwards but not real wages. That is why the FED, the banks, the corporate sector and the economists support persistent inflation, i.e. it lowers real wages. The "study" correlating wage growth with aging is one of those empirical pieces by economists to obscure the role of inflation in lowering real wages. ..."
"... Real Wage Growth chart very interesting, crossing negative at about 55 for no college, and 43 for a Bachelor's degree. 43!! Not even halfway through a work-life, and none better since 2003 at best. ..."
Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street.

The New York Fed published an eye-opener of an article on its blog, Liberty Street Economics , seemingly about the aging of the US labor force as one of the big economic trends of our times with "implications for the behavior of real wage growth." Then it explained why "negative growth" – the politically correct jargon for "decline" – in real wages is going to be the new normal for an ever larger part of the labor force.

If you're wondering why a large portion of American consumers are strung out and breathless and have trouble spending more and cranking up the economy, here's the New York Fed with an answer. And it's going to get worse.

The authors looked at the wages of all employed people aged 16 and older in the Current Population Survey (CPS), both monthly data from 1982 through May 2016 and annual data from 1969 through 1981. They then restricted the sample to employed individuals with wages, which boiled it down to 7.6 million statistical observations.

Then they adjusted the wages via the Consumer Price Index to 2014 dollars and divide the sample into 140 different "demographic cohorts" by decade of birth, sex, race, and education. As an illustration of the principles at work, they picked the cohort of white males born in the decade of the 1950s.

That the real median income of men has declined 4% since 1973 is an ugly tidbit that the Census Bureau hammered home in its Income and Poverty report two weeks ago, which I highlighted in this article – That 5.2% Jump in Household Income? Nope, People Aren't Suddenly Getting Big-Fat Paychecks – and it includes the interactive chart below that shows how the real median wage of women rose 36% from 1973 through 2015, while it fell 4% for men...

Sally Snyder September 28, 2016 at 7:22 am

Here is an interesting article that looks at which Americans have left the workforce in very high numbers:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/08/exiting-workforce-growing-pastime-for.html

The current real world employment experience of millions of Americans has shown little improvement since the end of the Great Recession.

Damian September 28, 2016 at 7:35 am

The number of public companies have been cut in half in the last 20 years. Just for one metric.

So for those born in the 50's, reaching middle or senior management by the time they were in their mid 40's (1999) was increasingly harder as the probability of getting squeezed out multiplied. In the last ten years, the birth / death rate of startups / small business has reversed as well.

There is probably ten other examples of why age is not the mitigating criteria for the decline in wages. It's not skill sets, not ambition, not flexibility. Pure number of chances for advancement and therefore associated higher wages has declined precipitously.

Anti Trust Enforcement went out the window as Neo-Liberal policies converted to political donations for promoting consolidation.

Now watch even those in their 20-30 age group will experience the same thing as H-1b unlimited takes hold with the Obama / Clinton TTP burning those at younger demographics. Are you going to say they are "too old" as well to write software?

Tell me where you want to go, and I will focus on selective facts and subjective interpretation of those selective facts to yield the desired conclusions.

Barack Peddling Fiction Obama – BS at the B.L.S. – has a multiplicity of these metrics.

Jim A. September 28, 2016 at 7:37 am

Hmm…Because wages are "sticky downwards" it would be helpful to see the inflation rate on that first chart.

Reply
Ignim Brites September 28, 2016 at 8:35 am

Nominal wages are sticky downwards but not real wages. That is why the FED, the banks, the corporate sector and the economists support persistent inflation, i.e. it lowers real wages. The "study" correlating wage growth with aging is one of those empirical pieces by economists to obscure the role of inflation in lowering real wages.

Steve H. September 28, 2016 at 8:05 am

Real Wage Growth chart very interesting, crossing negative at about 55 for no college, and 43 for a Bachelor's degree. 43!! Not even halfway through a work-life, and none better since 2003 at best.

[Sep 28, 2016] Trump was right about VAT subsidizing exports

Sep 28, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

"The VAT export rebate is a huge subsidy to exporters who are exporting to non-VAT countries such as the US."
MacAuley : , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 02:14 PM
The VAT export rebate is a huge subsidy to exporters who are exporting to non-VAT countries such as the US. That's why nearly every large country has VAT. VAT rebates also give foreign producers a competitive advantage over US manufacturers in third-country markets.
It's also a major incentive for US companies to supply the US market via Mexico or other VAT countries, since VAT countries rely on VAT for a huge chunk of their tax base. Since foreign profits of US companies are not taxed unless repatriated, the incentives against US production are compounded.
sanjait -> MacAuley... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 02:42 PM
Or ... VAT is just a sales tax collected on the production side. It's not like importers to the US get to avoid US sales taxes.
MacAuley -> sanjait... , -1
The difference is that VAT countries tend to rely much more heavily on the VAT than the US relies on sales taxes, so sales taxes are much less than VAT. Sales taxes in the US range from Zero in Indiana to 7.5% in California. VAT rates in the EU range between 20% and 25%. The VAT is 16% in Mexico and 17% in China.

There may be some intellectual equivalence in your argument, but the real-world difference is huge.

Dave Maxwell : , -1
The VAT indirectly subsidizes exports. If you have country A that relies 100% on VAT for tax revenue then the exporting corporation in that country incurs and pays zero taxes on exports. If the company exports 100% of its product that company pays zero in taxes.

In the US states generally exclude sales tax on materials purchased for manufacturing and on products sold for resale and for export outside that state (including to other states)so there is similarity with the VAT. The big difference is magnitude of the tax. States sales taxes average around 7% compared to VAT in the 15% to 20% range. VAT is a much bigger subsidy.

Sanjait -> Dave Maxwell... , -1
Well, I should have scrolled down before expressing disbelief.

But if you want to talk facts, then note that no country relies 100% on a VAT. No country is even close:

http://taxfoundation.org/article/sources-government-revenue-oecd-2014

Mexico is actually the highest in reliance on consumption taxes generally (which is how the OECD classifies a VAT), but as the report notes, only part of the consumption tax mix is VAT. It also includes other excise taxes and fees. In Mexico I'd assume this includes oil industry revenues going to the government, which as of recently made up a third of the national government's total revenue mix.

Anyway, what is the point you guys are really trying to make? Is it that the policy mix of taxes has some effect on export incentives? Well, yeah that's true. But consumption taxes aren't even the whole story there. How about the way the US handles international transfer pricing? Lots of things factor in.

reason -> Dave Maxwell... , -1
Actually most countries have VAT and when two countries with VAT trade, then VAT is always raised on all goods where they are sold to an end consumer. Simple. The issue comes when a country has no VAT and relies almost only on income tax. Income tax is then levied on exports but not on imports, so that the exports from such a country are at a relative disadvantage UNLESS the real exchange rate adjusts (as it should). Because the real exchange rate should adjust to equalize such effects, this argument is really just hot air. But of course, if he really wanted to do something about it, he could offer to institute a VAT himself, as most countries have.

[Sep 28, 2016] We No Longer Live in a Democracy Henry Giroux on a United States at War With Itself

Notable quotes:
"... FDR once said, "A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself." This is happening in the United States in the most literal sense, given that our political and economic system are wedded to a market-driven system willing to destroy the planet, while relentlessly undermining those institutions that make a democracy possible. ..."
"... War is no longer an instrument to be used by political powers, but a form of rule, a general condition of the social order itself -- a permanent social relation and organizing principle that affects all aspects of the social order. In fact, the US has moved from a welfare state in the last forty years to a warfare state, and war has now become the foundation for politics, wedded to a misguided war on terror, the militarization of everyday life ..."
"... Politics has become a comprehensive war machine that aggressively assaults anything that does not comply with its underlying economic, religious, educative and political fundamentalisms. ..."
"... The vocabulary of war has become normalized and mobilizes certain desires, not only related to violence and social combat, but also in the creation of agents who act in the service of violence. ..."
"... This retreat into barbarism is amplified by the neoliberal value of celebrating self-interest over attention to the needs of others. It gets worse. As Hannah Arendt once observed, war culture is part of a species of thoughtlessness that legitimates certain desires, values and identities that make people insensitive to the violence they see around them in everyday life. ..."
"... A one-dimensional use of data erases the questions that matter the most: What gives life meaning? What is justice? What constitutes happiness? These things are all immeasurable by a retreat into the discourse of quantification. ..."
"... Reducing everything to quantitative data creates a form of civic illiteracy, undercuts the ethical imagination, kills empathy and mutilates politics. ..."
"... America's obsession with metrics and quantitative data is a symptom of its pedagogy of oppression. Numerical values now drive teaching, reduce culture in the broadest sense to the culture of business and teach children that schools exist largely to produce conformity and kill the imagination. Leon Wieseltier is right in arguing that the unchecked celebration of metrics erases the distinction "between knowledge and information" and substitutes quantification for wisdom. ..."
"... The left appears to have little interest in addressing education as central to how people think and see things. Education can enable people to recognize that the problems they face in everyday life need a new language that speaks to those problems. What is particularly crucial here is the need to develop a politics in which pedagogy becomes central to enabling people to understand and translate how everyday troubles connect to wider structures. ..."
"... We no longer live in a democracy. The myth of democracy has to be dismantled. ..."
"... We have to make clear that decisions made by the state and corporations are not in the general interest. We must connect the war on Black youth to the war on workers and the war on the middle class ..."
"... As Martin Luther King recognized at end of his life, the war at home and the war abroad cannot be separated. Such linkages remain crucial to the democratic project. ..."
www.truth-out.org
Henry Giroux: FDR once said, "A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself." This is happening in the United States in the most literal sense, given that our political and economic system are wedded to a market-driven system willing to destroy the planet, while relentlessly undermining those institutions that make a democracy possible. What this suggests and the book takes up in multiple ways is that the United States is at war with its own idealism, democratic institutions, the working and middle classes, minority youth, Muslims, immigrants and all of those populations considered disposable.

War has taken on an existential quality in that we are not simply at war; rather, as Étienne Balibar insists, "we are in war," inhabiting a war culture that touches every aspect of society. War is no longer an instrument to be used by political powers, but a form of rule, a general condition of the social order itself -- a permanent social relation and organizing principle that affects all aspects of the social order. In fact, the US has moved from a welfare state in the last forty years to a warfare state, and war has now become the foundation for politics, wedded to a misguided war on terror, the militarization of everyday life, and a culture of fear, which have become its most important regulative functions. Politics has become a comprehensive war machine that aggressively assaults anything that does not comply with its underlying economic, religious, educative and political fundamentalisms.

As a comprehensive war machine, the United States operates in the service of a police state, violates civil liberties and has given rise to a military-industrial-surveillance complex that President Eisenhower could never have imagined. For instance, the largest part of the federal budget -- 600 billion dollars -- goes to the military. The US rings the earth with military bases, and the US military budget is larger than those of all other advanced industrial countries combined. And that doesn't count the money spent on the National Surveillance State and intelligence agencies.

... ... ...

What's interesting about the war metaphor is that it produces a language that celebrates what the US should be ashamed of, including the national surveillance state, the military-industrial complex, the war on whistleblowers, the never-ending spectacle of violence in popular culture and endless wars abroad. The vocabulary of war has become normalized and mobilizes certain desires, not only related to violence and social combat, but also in the creation of agents who act in the service of violence.

Violence is not only normalized as the ultimate measure for solving problems, but also as a form of pleasure, especially with regard to the production of violent video games, films and even the saturation of violence in daily mainstream news. Violence saturates American life, as it has become cool to be cruel to people, to bully people and to be indifferent to the suffering of others. The ultimate act of pleasure is now served up in cinematically produced acts of extreme violence, produced both to numb the conscience and to up the pleasure quotient.

This retreat into barbarism is amplified by the neoliberal value of celebrating self-interest over attention to the needs of others. It gets worse. As Hannah Arendt once observed, war culture is part of a species of thoughtlessness that legitimates certain desires, values and identities that make people insensitive to the violence they see around them in everyday life. One can't have a democracy that organizes itself around war because war is the language of injustice -- it admits no compassion and revels in a culture of cruelty.

How does the reduction of life to quantitative data -- testing in schools, mandatory minimums in sentencing, return on investment -- feed into the cultural apparatuses producing a nation at war with itself?

This is the language of instrumental rationality gone berserk, one that strips communication of those issues, values and questions that cannot be resolved empirically. This national obsession with data is symbolic of the retreat from social and moral responsibility. A one-dimensional use of data erases the questions that matter the most: What gives life meaning? What is justice? What constitutes happiness? These things are all immeasurable by a retreat into the discourse of quantification. This type of positivism encourages a form of thoughtlessness, undermines critical agency, makes people more susceptible to violence and emotion rather than reason. Reducing everything to quantitative data creates a form of civic illiteracy, undercuts the ethical imagination, kills empathy and mutilates politics.

The obsession with data becomes a convenient tool for abdicating that which cannot be measured, thus removing from the public sphere those issues that raise serious questions that demand debate, informed judgment and thoughtfulness while taking seriously matters of historical consciousness, memory and context. Empiricism has always been comfortable with authoritarian societies, and has worked to reduce civic courage and agency to an instrumental logic that depoliticizes people by removing matters of social and political responsibility from ethical and political considerations.

America's obsession with metrics and quantitative data is a symptom of its pedagogy of oppression. Numerical values now drive teaching, reduce culture in the broadest sense to the culture of business and teach children that schools exist largely to produce conformity and kill the imagination. Leon Wieseltier is right in arguing that the unchecked celebration of metrics erases the distinction "between knowledge and information" and substitutes quantification for wisdom.

This is not to say that all data is worthless or that data gathering is entirely on the side of repression. However, the dominant celebration of data, metrics and quantification flattens the human experience, outsources judgement and distorts the complexity of the real world. The idolatry of the metric paradigm is politically and ethically enervating and cripples the human spirit.

As you have written and said often, the right takes the pedagogical function of the major cultural apparatuses seriously, while the left not so much. What do progressive forces lose when they abandon the field?

In ignoring the power of the pedagogical function of mainstream cultural apparatuses, many on the left have lost their ability to understand how domination and resistance work at the level of everyday life. The left has relied for too long on defining domination in strictly structural terms, especially with regard to economic structures. Many people on the left assume that the only form of domination is economic. What they ignore is that the crises of economics, history, politics and agency have not been matched by a crisis of ideas. They don't understand how much work is required to change consciousness or how central the issue of identification is to any viable notion of politics. People only respond to a politics that speaks to their condition. What the left has neglected is how matters of identification and the centrality of judgment, belief and persuasion are crucial to politics itself. The left underestimates the dimensions of struggle when it gives up on education as central to the very meaning of politics.

The left appears to have little interest in addressing education as central to how people think and see things. Education can enable people to recognize that the problems they face in everyday life need a new language that speaks to those problems. What is particularly crucial here is the need to develop a politics in which pedagogy becomes central to enabling people to understand and translate how everyday troubles connect to wider structures.

What do you want people to take away from the book?

Certainly, it is crucial to educate people to recognize that American democracy is in crisis and that the forces that threaten it are powerful and must be made visible. In this case, we are talking about the merging of neoliberalism, institutionalized racism, militarization, racism, poverty, inequities in wealth and power and other issues that undermine democracy.

We no longer live in a democracy. The myth of democracy has to be dismantled. To understand that, we need to connect the dots and make often isolated forms of domination visible -- extending from the war on terror and the existence of massive inequalities in wealth and power to the rise of the mass incarceration state and the destruction of public and higher education. We have to make clear that decisions made by the state and corporations are not in the general interest. We must connect the war on Black youth to the war on workers and the war on the middle class, while exposing the workings of a system that extorts money, uses prison as a default welfare program and militarizes the police as a force for repression and domestic terrorism. We must learn how to translate individual problems into larger social issues, create a comprehensive politics and a third party with the aim not of reforming the system, but restructuring it. As Martin Luther King recognized at end of his life, the war at home and the war abroad cannot be separated. Such linkages remain crucial to the democratic project.

[Sep 27, 2016] DeLong on helicopter money

Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. : September 27, 2016 at 06:45 AM DeLong on helicopter money: "The swelling wave of argument and discussion around "helicopter money" has two origins:

First, as Harvard's Robert Barro says: there has been no recovery since 2010.

The unemployment rate here in the U.S. has come down, yes. But the unemployment rate has come down primarily because people who were unemployed have given up and dropped out of the labor force. Shrinkage in the share of people unemployed has been a distinctly secondary factor. Moreover, the small increase in the share of people with jobs has been neutralized, as far as its effects on how prosperous we are, by much slower productivity growth since 2010 than America had previously seen, had good reason to anticipate, and deserves.

The only bright spot is a relative one: things in other rich countries are even worse.
..."

I thought Krugman and Furman were bragging about Obama's tenure.

"Now note that back in 1936 [John Maynard Keynes had disagreed][]:

"The State will have to exercise a guiding influence... partly by fixing the rate of interest, and partly, perhaps, in other ways.... It seems unlikely that the influence of banking policy on the rate of interest will be sufficient by itself.... I conceive, therefore, that a somewhat comprehensive socialisation of investment will prove the only means of securing an approximation to full employment; though this need not exclude all manner of compromises and of devices by which public authority will co-operate with private initiative..."

By the 1980s, however, for Keynes himself the long run had come, and he was dead. The Great Moderation of the business cycle from 1984-2007 was a rich enough pudding to be proof, for the rough consensus of mainstream economists at least, that Keynes had been wrong and Friedman had been right.

But in the aftermath of 2007 it became very clear that they-or, rather, we, for I am certainly one of the mainstream economists in the roughly consensus-were very, tragically, dismally and grossly wrong."

DeLong sounds very much left rather than center-left. His reasons for supporting Hillary over Sanders eludes me.

Hillary's $275 billion over 5 years is substantially too small as center-leftist Krugman put it.

Now we face a choice:

Do we accept economic performance that all of our predecessors would have characterized as grossly subpar-having assigned the Federal Reserve and other independent central banks a mission and then kept from them the policy tools they need to successfully accomplish it?

Do we return the task of managing the business cycle to the political branches of government-so that they don't just occasionally joggle the elbows of the technocratic professionals but actually take on a co-leading or a leading role?

Or do we extend the Federal Reserve's toolkit in a structured way to give it the tools it needs?

Helicopter money is an attempt to choose door number (3). Our intellectual adversaries mostly seek to choose door number (1)-and then to tell us that the "cold douche", as Schumpeter put it, of unemployment will in the long run turn out to be good medicine, for some reason or other. And our intellectual adversaries mostly seek to argue that in reality there is no door number (3)-that attempts to go through it will rob central banks of their independence and wind up with us going through door number (2), which we know ends badly..."

------------

Some commenters believe more fiscal policy via Congress is politically more realistic than helicopter money.

I don't know, maybe they're right. I do know Hillary's proposals are too small. And her aversion to government debt and deficit is wrong given the economic context and market demand for safe assets.

Some pundits like Krugman believe helicopter money won't be that effective "because the models tell him." We should try it and find out. Reply Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 06:45 AM

reason -> Peter K.... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 08:40 AM

"Moreover, the small increase in the share of people with jobs has been neutralized, as far as its effects on how prosperous we are, by much slower productivity growth since 2010 than America had previously seen, had good reason to anticipate, and deserves."

?????? The rate of (measured) productivity growth is not all that important. What has happened to real median income.

And why are quoting from Robert Barro who is basically a freshwater economist. Couldn't you find somebody sensible?

pgl -> reason ... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 09:08 AM
Barro wants us to believe we have been at full employment all along. Of course that would mean any increase in aggregate demand would only cause inflation. Of course many of us think Barro lost it years ago.

These little distinctions are alas lost on PeterK.

Peter K. -> pgl... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 01:05 PM
run a long stupid troll.

Go read some hack Republican analyses.

Peter K. -> reason ... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 01:06 PM
DeLong is quoting Barro.
Paine -> Peter K.... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 09:57 AM
Really it's Delong on the context that has produced a return to HM fantasies

I'm sure u agree

He doesn't endorse HM in this post does he ?

Peter K. -> Paine ... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 01:09 PM
Sounds to me like he does:

"Now we face a choice:

[1] Do we accept economic performance that all of our predecessors would have characterized as grossly subpar-having assigned the Federal Reserve and other independent central banks a mission and then kept from them the policy tools they need to successfully accomplish it?

[2] Do we return the task of managing the business cycle to the political branches of government-so that they don't just occasionally joggle the elbows of the technocratic professionals but actually take on a co-leading or a leading role?

[3] Or do we extend the Federal Reserve's toolkit in a structured way to give it the tools it needs?

Helicopter money is an attempt to choose door number (3). Our intellectual adversaries mostly seek to choose door number (1)-and then to tell us that the "cold douche", as Schumpeter put it, of unemployment will in the long run turn out to be good medicine, for some reason or other. And our intellectual adversaries mostly seek to argue that in reality there is no door number (3)-that attempts to go through it will rob central banks of their independence and wind up with us going through door number (2), which we know ends badly...""

---------------------
Conservatives want 1 and 2 ends badly, so 3 is the only choice.

[Sep 27, 2016] Clinton-Trump debate shows emptiness, vapidity of US political election cycle

Notable quotes:
"... "They have a few pro-Trump voices, but pretty much the CNN as a network is for Clinton – just like Fox is for Trump. They are not really media outlets; they are echo chambers for the respective political campaign," ..."
"... "The debate showed how vapid, how sensationalized, how empty the American political election cycle is – very expensive, but very long, and very empty. Both of them tried to outdo each other to show who had more support from the generals and admirals. It is not a good harbinger of where things are going in terms of American politics," ..."
"... "unwitting agent" ..."
"... "US national security." ..."
"... "The attack on Russia, the attempt to blame Russia for all things, including for the hack of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] files that showed the DNC was violating its own rules and trying to tilt the election for Clinton, which happened on the first day of the Democratic national convention. Russia became a convenient punching bag, so that the Democratic Party could divert attention from its own wrongdoing. But it's manifested itself into something more than just a diversion," ..."
"... "Clinton has the support of all of the neoconservatives: Robert Kagan, husband of Victoria Nuland; a hundred of Republican foreign policy elites. I think they represent the mainstream Washington consensus, which is the consensus of the military industrial complex, which wants to incentivize American public opposition or even hatred toward Russia as a pretext for building up the military armaments business. The expansion or escalation of tension with Russia is very good for the arms business, very good for the military industrial complex. So it is not just electoral politics. I think this is the Hillary Clinton presidency we see in the making. If she is elected, I think this bodes very badly for US- Russian relations," ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.rt.com

RT Op-Edge

The debate has shown how sensationalized, vapid and empty the US election cycle is, said Brian Becker, from the anti-war Answer Coalition, adding that the candidates' attempts to outdo each other on military support is not a good harbinger for US politics.

A CNN/ORC poll shows that majority of voters feel Hillary Clinton won Monday night's debate over Donald Trump.

According to Brian Becker of the anti-war Answer Coalition, one cannot judge who won by CNN polls as it has been actively campaigning for Clinton.

"They have a few pro-Trump voices, but pretty much the CNN as a network is for Clinton – just like Fox is for Trump. They are not really media outlets; they are echo chambers for the respective political campaign," he told RT.

"The debate showed how vapid, how sensationalized, how empty the American political election cycle is – very expensive, but very long, and very empty. Both of them tried to outdo each other to show who had more support from the generals and admirals. It is not a good harbinger of where things are going in terms of American politics," Becker said.

Ahead of the election, Clinton and her supporters have been repeatedly using anti-Russia rhetoric and accusing Trump of being "unwitting agent" of President Putin and posing a threat to "US national security." On Monday, Clinton played her Russian card again to attack her opponent.

In Becker's view, it's an attempt to divert public attention from the party's own wrongdoing and, also, the escalation of tensions with Moscow will only benefit the US military industrial complex who supports Clinton.

"The attack on Russia, the attempt to blame Russia for all things, including for the hack of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] files that showed the DNC was violating its own rules and trying to tilt the election for Clinton, which happened on the first day of the Democratic national convention. Russia became a convenient punching bag, so that the Democratic Party could divert attention from its own wrongdoing. But it's manifested itself into something more than just a diversion," he said.

"Clinton has the support of all of the neoconservatives: Robert Kagan, husband of Victoria Nuland; a hundred of Republican foreign policy elites. I think they represent the mainstream Washington consensus, which is the consensus of the military industrial complex, which wants to incentivize American public opposition or even hatred toward Russia as a pretext for building up the military armaments business. The expansion or escalation of tension with Russia is very good for the arms business, very good for the military industrial complex. So it is not just electoral politics. I think this is the Hillary Clinton presidency we see in the making. If she is elected, I think this bodes very badly for US- Russian relations," Becker added.

.... .... ...

[Sep 27, 2016] Was NAFTA smart? Smart for whom?

Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
jonboinAR September 27, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Lambert: " "Smart" is one of those 10%-er weasel words. Was NAFTA smart? Why or what not? Smart for whom?"
----
Indeed. Whether a deal is smart to make depends on one's real objective. Hows'about clearing that question up, Mrs C?

[Sep 27, 2016] Globalization is gone as a main driving force, pan-European unity is gone, and whether the United States will stay united is far from a done deal

Notable quotes:
"... Global is gone as a main driving force, pan-European is gone, and whether the United States will stay united is far from a done deal. We are moving towards a mass movement of dozens of separate countries and states and societies looking inward. All of which are in some form of -impending- trouble or another. ..."
"... And of course it's confusing that the protests against the 'old regimes' and the growth and centralization -first- manifest in the rise of faces and voices who do not reject all of the above offhand. That is to say, the likes of Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage may be against more centralization, but none of them has a clue about growth being over. They don't get that part anymore than Hillary or Hollande or Merkel do. ..."
"... Dems in the US, Labour in the UK, and Hollande's 'Socialists' in France have all become part of the two-headed monster that is the political center, and that is (held) responsible for the deterioration in people's lives. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
fresno dan September 27, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Why There is Trump ~Ilargi

But nobody seems to really know or understand. Which is odd, because it's not that hard. That is, this all happens because growth is over. And if growth is over, so are expansion and centralization in all the myriad of shapes and forms they come in.

Global is gone as a main driving force, pan-European is gone, and whether the United States will stay united is far from a done deal. We are moving towards a mass movement of dozens of separate countries and states and societies looking inward. All of which are in some form of -impending- trouble or another.

What makes the entire situation so hard to grasp for everyone is that nobody wants to acknowledge any of this. Even though tales of often bitter poverty emanate from all the exact same places that Trump and Brexit and Le Pen come from too.

That the politico-econo-media machine churns out positive growth messages 24/7 goes some way towards explaining the lack of acknowledgement and self-reflection, but only some way. The rest is due to who we ourselves are. We think we deserve eternal growth.

And of course it's confusing that the protests against the 'old regimes' and the growth and centralization -first- manifest in the rise of faces and voices who do not reject all of the above offhand. That is to say, the likes of Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage may be against more centralization, but none of them has a clue about growth being over. They don't get that part anymore than Hillary or Hollande or Merkel do.

So why these people? Look closer and you see that in the US, UK and France, there is nobody left who used to speak for the 'poor and poorer'. While at the same time, the numbers of poor and poorer increase at a rapid clip. They just have nowhere left to turn to. There is literally no left left.

Dems in the US, Labour in the UK, and Hollande's 'Socialists' in France have all become part of the two-headed monster that is the political center, and that is (held) responsible for the deterioration in people's lives. Moreover, at least for now, the actual left wing may try to stand up in the form of Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders, but they are both being stangled by the two-headed monster's fake left in their countries and their own parties.
================================================
This is from today's Links, but I didn't have a chance to post this snippet.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A191RL1A225NBEA

Long time since we had 5% – if the whole system is financial scheme is premised on growth, and there is less and less of it ever year, it doesn't look sustainable. How bad http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/09/200pm-water-cooler-9272016.html#comment-2676054does it have to get for how many before the model is chucked???

In the great depression, even the bankers were having a tough time. If the rich are exempt from suffering, I think history has shown that a small elite can impose suffering on masses for a long time…

'there is nobody left who used to speak for the 'poor and poorer'.

Actually, there are plenty who SPEAK for the poor, there just is NONE who ACT.

Reply
jrs September 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

How would we measure this growth that is supposed to be over? Yes of course there are the conventional measurements like GDP, but it's not zero. Yes of course if inflation is understated it would overstate GDP, and yes GDP measurements may not measure much as many critics have said. But what about other measures?

Is oil use down, are CO2 emissions down, is resource use in general down? If not it's growth (or groath). This growth is at the cost of the planet but that's why GDP is flawed. And the benefit of this groath goes entirely to the 1%ers, but that's distribution.

The left failed, I don't know all the reasons (and it's always hard to oppose the powers that be, the field always tilts toward them, it's never a fair fight) but it failed. That's what we see the results of.

fresno dan September 27, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I agree

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL September 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Someone very smart said "the Fed makes the economy more stable".
He also quoted The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think".
Definition of stable: firm; steady; not wavering or changeable.
As in: US GDP growth of a paltry 1.22% per year.
But hey it only took an additional trillion $ in debt per year to stay "stable".

Softie September 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm

there are plenty who SPEAK for the poor, there just is NONE who ACT.
========
That's why in 1992 Francis Futurama refirmed the end of history that was predicted by Hegel some 150 years earlier.

Lee September 27, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Time to revisit Herman Daly's Steady-State Economy.

[Sep 27, 2016] The Morning After the Debate, Donald Trump Goes on the Attack

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't believe she has the stamina to be the president," he said on Fox. "You know, she's home all the time." ..."
"... Better late then never. This issue should be raised during the debates. Serious neurological disease that Hillary is suffering from should be a campaign issue. It is a fair game. ..."
"... That does not make Trump immune from counter-attacks as he is older then Clinton and might have skeletons in the closet too, but voters have right to know the real state of health of candidates. ..."
"... "Khan Gambit" was the most shameful part of Clinton attacks on Trump. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs : September 27, 2016 at 12:58 PM

The Morning After the Debate, Donald Trump Goes on the Attack
http://nyti.ms/2cSvOlO
NYT - ALEXANDER BURNS - SEPT. 27, 2016

A defensive Donald J. Trump lashed out at the debate moderator, complained about his microphone and threatened to make Bill Clinton's marital infidelity a campaign issue in a television appearance on Tuesday just hours after his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.

And defying conventions of civility and political common sense, Mr. Trump leveled cutting personal criticism at a Miss Universe pageant winner, held up by Mrs. Clinton in Monday night's debate as an example of her opponent's disrespect for women.

Mr. Trump insisted in the Fox News appearance that he had been right to disparage the beauty queen, Alicia Machado, for her physique.

"She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem," said Mr. Trump, who was the pageant's executive producer at the time. "Not only that - her attitude. And we had a real problem with her."

Mrs. Clinton mentioned Ms. Machado by name, quoting insults that Ms. Machado has attributed to Mr. Trump and noting that the pageant winner had become a citizen to vote in the 2016 election. During the debate, he showed disbelief at the charge that he had ridiculed Ms. Machado, asking Mrs. Clinton repeatedly, "Where did you find this?"

But Mr. Trump abruptly shifted course a few hours later, with comments that threatened to escalate and extend an argument that appeared to be one of his weakest moments of the debate.

Mrs. Clinton assailed him late in the debate for deriding women as "pigs, slobs and dogs." Mr. Trump had no ready answer for the charge of sexism, and offered a muddled reply that cited his past feud with the comedian Rosie O'Donnell.

His comments attacking Ms. Machado recalled his frequent practice, during the Republican primaries and much of the general election campaign, of bickering harshly with political bystanders, sometimes savaging them in charged language that ended up alienating voters. In the past, he has made extended personal attacks on the Muslim parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq and on a Hispanic federal judge.

Trump aides considered it a sign of progress in recent weeks that the Republican nominee was more focused on criticizing Mrs. Clinton, and less prone to veering off into such self-destructive public feuds.

Going after Ms. Machado may be especially tone deaf for Mr. Trump, at a moment in the race when he is seeking to reverse voters' ingrained negative views of his personality. Sixty percent of Americans in an ABC News/Washington Post poll this month said they thought Mr. Trump was biased against women and minorities, and Mrs. Clinton has been airing a television commercial highlighting his history of caustic and graphic comments about women.

Mrs. Clinton pressed her advantage on Tuesday, telling reporters on her campaign plane that Mr. Trump had raised "offensive and off-putting" views that called into question his fitness for the presidency.

"The real point," she said, "is about temperament and fitness and qualification to hold the most important, hardest job in the world."

Both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton will strike out on the campaign trail on Tuesday with the goal of framing the debate's outcome to their advantage. While Mr. Trump is in Florida, Mrs. Clinton plans to campaign in North Carolina, a traditionally Republican state where polls show her and Mr. Trump virtually tied.

It will likely take a few days to measure any shift in the race after the candidates' clash at Hofstra University on Long Island. Polls had shown the presidential race narrowing almost to a dead heat on the national level, with Mr. Trump drawing close to Mrs. Clinton in several swing states where she had long held an advantage.

But Mr. Trump appeared thrown on Tuesday by his uneven performance the night before, offering a series of different explanations for the results. On Fox, he cited "unfair questions" posed by the moderator, Lester Holt of NBC News, and insinuated that someone might have tampered with his microphone.

Moving forward in his contest with Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump said he might "hit her harder," perhaps raising the issue of "her husband's women." Should Mr. Trump opt for that risky approach, he could begin to do so during a campaign swing in Florida on Tuesday.

And in another indication that Mr. Trump has little intention of shifting his tone, the Republican nominee repeated the attack on Mrs. Clinton that spurred their Monday exchange about gender in the first place: that she lacks the physical vigor to be president.

"I don't believe she has the stamina to be the president," he said on Fox. "You know, she's home all the time."

Mrs. Clinton was dismissive on Tuesday of Mr. Trump's barbs, shrugging off a question about his threat to go after Mrs. Clinton and her husband personally and his dismay about the microphone. "Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night," she said. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... Shamed and Angry: Alicia Machado, a Miss Universe
Mocked by Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/2cSGwsk
NYT - MICHAEL BARBARO and MEGAN TWOHEY - Sep 27

For 20 years, Alicia Machado has lived with the agony of what Donald J. Trump did to her after she won the Miss Universe title: shame her, over and over, for gaining weight.

Private scolding was apparently insufficient. Mr. Trump, at the time an executive producer of the pageant, insisted on accompanying Ms. Machado, then a teenager, to a gym, where dozens of reporters and cameramen watched as she exercised.

Mr. Trump, in his trademark suit and tie, posed for photographs beside her as she burned calories in front of the news media. "This is somebody who likes to eat," Mr. Trump said from inside the gym. ...

(The Donald is clearly no slouch in that department.)

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/728297587418247168

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... September 27, 2016 at 02:03 PM

Trump, 'the candidate who almost always flies home in his private Boeing 757 to Trump Tower in New York or to his palatial Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.' ...

Donald Trump Means Business in Iowa: Night in Motel, and a Day in Church http://nyti.ms/1UlcJI3

NYT - MAGGIE HABERMAN - JAN. 24, 2016

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Donald J. Trump spent the last seven months saying he wanted to win. Now he is really acting like it. ...

On Friday night, the candidate who almost always flies home in his private Boeing 757 to Trump Tower in New York or to his palatial Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., instead slept in a Holiday Inn Express in Sioux Center, Iowa. ("Good mattress," he said afterward. "Clean.") ...

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 02:57 PM
"I don't believe she has the stamina to be the president," he said on Fox. "You know, she's home all the time."

Better late then never. This issue should be raised during the debates. Serious neurological disease that Hillary is suffering from should be a campaign issue. It is a fair game.

That does not make Trump immune from counter-attacks as he is older then Clinton and might have skeletons in the closet too, but voters have right to know the real state of health of candidates. This is a fair game.

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 03:01 PM
"Khan Gambit" was the most shameful part of Clinton attacks on Trump.

See http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Two_party_system_as_poliarchy/US_presidential_elections/Candidates/Trump/khan_gambit_at_democratic_convention.shtml

[Sep 27, 2016] David Cay Johnston The Making of Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... The manner is which she secured the Democratic nomination is a signature of the Clinton style. The Clinton 'charitable foundation' is a beacon for everything that is wrong with the American economic and political system today. ..."
"... I consider this upcoming national election to be the signal failure of the two party political system as it is today, choked by a self-referential elite, corrupted by a lust for power and big money. ..."
Sep 25, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"The narcissist devours people, consumes their output, and casts the empty, writhing shells aside."

Sam Vaknin


I make it no secret that I find Hillary Clinton to be both morally repugnant and appallingly dishonest.

The manner is which she secured the Democratic nomination is a signature of the Clinton style. The Clinton 'charitable foundation' is a beacon for everything that is wrong with the American economic and political system today.

But that does not mean that I am blind to what is being offered by The Donald.

I consider this upcoming national election to be the signal failure of the two party political system as it is today, choked by a self-referential elite, corrupted by a lust for power and big money.

watch-v=19KI_2X2Sfs

[Sep 27, 2016] What Krugman doesnt get is that trade is resonating as a an issue and its resonating for a reason. Look at Brexit. Preaching to the choir that we should it ignore it - it makes corporations and the donor class happy - doesnt change that fact.

Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. -> anne... September 27, 2016 at 06:11 AM

What Krugman doesn't get is that trade is resonating as a an issue and it's resonating for a reason. Look at Brexit. Preaching to the choir that we should it ignore it - it makes corporations and the donor class happy - doesn't change that fact.

pgl -> Peter K.... September 27, 2016 at 07:01 AM

Maybe you missed the simple point. Having a sales tax is not trade protection. Trump is either an idiot or he is playing people to be idiots. I guess you are OK with this.
Paine -> Peter K.... , September 27, 2016 at 08:01 AM
Yes

The de bots need to jump on this hard if they want the wage class back

Maybe not

After all the MNC class might not donate as much

Note they'll always donate something
It's a hedge if nothing else

But the collateral jobs and deals can be denied to a naughty Dembotic party

Peter K. -> Paine ... , September 27, 2016 at 01:02 PM
"After all the MNC class might not donate as much"

And yes ignore PGL. He's not worth the time or energy.

paine -> Peter K.... , September 27, 2016 at 01:55 PM
I will
reason -> anne... , September 27, 2016 at 06:23 AM
I have repeatedly pointed out that if country A mostly uses VAT (which taxes imports but not exports) and country B mostly uses income tax (which taxes exports but not imports) then that affects the effective exchange rate.

IN PRINCIPLE the exchange rate should adjust for this. The question is whether it does (but note also the incentive to export effects). The problem with all these issues is that it is complicated and for people who can't think in terms of more than 15 words at a time it is difficult.

pgl -> reason ... , September 27, 2016 at 07:02 AM
The US$ and Mexican peso do float with respect to each other so you are correct. Besides, the Republican plan to replace those massive income tax cuts for the rich that Trump wants is to hit the rest of us with sales (aka VAT) taxes.
pgl -> pgl... , September 27, 2016 at 07:33 AM
The peso appreciated after the debate. Wonder why!
Paine -> reason ... , September 27, 2016 at 08:04 AM
Yes. Pk should have attacked trump for blowing the try benefit of a vat in global market wars

The corporate elites road block to a US vat is a great story in narrow class interests

[Sep 27, 2016] The reason to win elections is not just to prevent disastrous conservative policies. Its to enact good policies.

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Clinton's tenure wasn't all good. He said the "era of big government was over." He enacted Republican lite policies which helped lead to the financial crisis. He didn't enact policies that helped globalization's losers. The Clinton years ended in a tech-stock bubble and financial crisis in East Asia. ..."
"... The reason to win elections is not just to prevent disastrous conservative policies. It's to enact good policies. Left policies are better than center-left. Hillary is center-left as Krugman pointed out. Corbyn is left. Yes the next 40 days has a contest between between the center-left and insane right, but that doesn't mean we cant' fact check the center-left pundits like Krugman. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. : September 27, 2016 at 06:31 AM

Trump was proud he evaded taxes and yet he complains about the state of American infrastructure? He babbled incoherently about Yellen and the Fed.

Yes Republicans and Bush squandered the fact that Clinton/Gingrich balanced the budget with tax cuts for the rich.

Krugman has made the distinction between center-left and left in the context of attacking Bernie Sanders. Read Simon Wren-Lewis's blog post on UK Labour.

Hillary rightly lambasted trickle-down economics last night and contrasted Republican economics with Democrats' "middle class" economics. But she mostly went after Trump at a personal level and I thought she was effective. Maybe in the next debates she'll talk more about economics.

Her description of what caused the financial crisis wasn't really accurate but so what, it was close enough.

She did brag about her husband's tenure (and how many times during the primary we were told by supporters that it wasn't fair to equate her with her husband.

Which is where Trump would go off on NAFTA. Bill Clinton's tenure wasn't all good. He said the "era of big government was over." He enacted Republican lite policies which helped lead to the financial crisis. He didn't enact policies that helped globalization's losers. The Clinton years ended in a tech-stock bubble and financial crisis in East Asia.

Simon Wren-Lewis's blog post doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe it's my fault. All he does is link to the Owen Smith piece which says Labour doesn't poll well and SWL complains Corbyn won't win elections.

The reason to win elections is not just to prevent disastrous conservative policies. It's to enact good policies. Left policies are better than center-left. Hillary is center-left as Krugman pointed out. Corbyn is left. Yes the next 40 days has a contest between between the center-left and insane right, but that doesn't mean we cant' fact check the center-left pundits like Krugman.

As even Krugman pointed out, Hillary's "investment" of $275 billion over 5 years is substantially too small. It will lead to a reliance on monetary policy from a shaky Fed which may create more asset bubbles if regulators and regulations aren't up to the task of preventing them.

It was very center-left of Hillary to brag that her plan is revenue neutral. Maybe that's the smart thing to do politically, but not economically and it's not being honest with the voters.

Reply Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 06:31 AM

[Sep 27, 2016] Presidential Debate Part 1 Achieving prosperity in the U.S. economy - YouTube

Sep 27, 2016 | www.youtube.com
Jim Bob 4 hours ago
I hate how shes smiling and at one part almost laughed at something serious like this is a game. she never directly responds to what lester or trump asks, but you see trump directly answering or responding to what she asks. One thing i want to know is, but will never know, does she want to destroy this country or is she so ignorant that she will destroy it by trying to help. Her views are wrong on economy, there may be somethings that i will agree with her but when it comes to economy she will wreck this country.
somuchkooleronline. 30 minutes ago
If Hillary is in the White House then we may as well has the Islamic flag above it instead of the stars & stripes. Craigslist has ads for protesters to be paid to show where there's a Trump rally to harass. In the paper a few months back a man woke to find windows of his car bashed in. The car had a Trump sticker. The anti Trump climate in networks NBC & MSNBC & CNN & Morning CBS. On YouTube Hillary is bringing 65K rufugees to US next year.
dag let 7 hours ago
This debate sealed it. I'm voting trump. Hillary just came across as an emotionless conniving snake. Trump at least looked somewhat human.

[Sep 27, 2016] I don't think Trump was vastly different in the R primary debates (he was unfocused and narcissistic then as well), but I always suspected somehow that he would play softball rather than hardball when it came to the REAL showdown with Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, people kept saying how they wish Trump would win the R primaries because it would be so exciting when he took his attack to Hillary and gave her what she may very well deserve. And I was always "I'll believe it when I see it, not until then". ..."
"... May be… He could easily bury her, but preferred not to. He was definitely unprepared. Also he might be afraid of Clinton clan. ..."
"... He's 70 years old and can be knocked off balance defending !insults! about a beauty queen. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

jrs

Yes, people kept saying how they wish Trump would win the R primaries because it would be so exciting when he took his attack to Hillary and gave her what she may very well deserve. And I was always "I'll believe it when I see it, not until then".

I don't think Trump was vastly different in the R primary debates (he was unfocused and narcissistic then as well), but I always suspected somehow that he would play softball rather than hardball when it came to the REAL showdown with Clinton (no "little Rubio" here). Well I told ya so. Although there are 3 more debates so I guess I could still be proved wrong. But it's looking like I told you so.

What so great or even fun and entertaining about Trump again? These circuses are completely boring!!! Well he's not Clinton I suppose there is always that.

----

I guess the 10% think they got there by doing well on tests and not sheer luck and choosing the right parents. Hmm well screw em.

likbez

"I have seen people say he is saving it….?dry powder?"

May be… He could easily bury her, but preferred not to. He was definitely unprepared. Also he might be afraid of Clinton clan.

"A lot of people check out after the first 30 minutes of one debate and never come back."

True -- It was pretty disgusting performance on both sides.

ChiGal in Carolina

Just had my first in-person encounter with an apparent Trump supporter, 40ish lifeguard at the community pool down here. He was very pleased with last night's debate, thought Trump showed he has self-control and was generally presidential (!).

All my friends and family thought Clinton "won" but it's not gonna matter.

charles leseau

He's 70 years old and can be knocked off balance defending !insults! about a beauty queen.

Amen. It takes very little wit to point out immediately how irrelevant such a thing is to a presidential debate, but instead he walked right into it like a rattled kid who doesn't think half a second before responding.

[Sep 27, 2016] Hillary enters, as the Woman in Red. The stains of Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Syria and Yemen.

Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carolinian September 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Here's St. Clair's liveblog of the big debate. Sampler

+ Lester Holt needs to be extremely cautious tonight. Lots of police and armed security in the debate hall. No sudden movements. Holt must keep his hands firmly on the podium at all times.

+ Bill and Melania shake hands at center stage. Bill whispers something in her ear. I think it was: "Text me."

+ No national anthem. Kaepernick wins!

+ Hillary enters, as the Woman in Red. The stains of Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Syria and Yemen.

Etc.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/27/idiot-winds-at-hofstra/

[Sep 27, 2016] Economist's View Trump On Trade

Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

RueTheDay : , Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 10:07 AM
"Gah. A VAT is basically a sales tax. It is levied on both domestic and imported goods, so that it doesn't protect against imports - which is why it's allowed under international trade rules, and not considered a protectionist trade policy."

I think what Trump was getting at was that exports are typically exempt from VAT. So while Krugman is correct that Mexican VAT applies equally to Mexican goods sold in Mexico and US goods imported into Mexico, it doesn't apply to Mexican goods exported to the US.

But honestly, who cares? Trump is not espousing any sort of realistic solution to the problems facing the middle class. Imposing tariffs, tearing up trade agreements, and kicking out immigrants is baby talk intended to placate the ill-informed.

Paine -> RueTheDay ... , -1
Yes I think trump garbled his point
In the briefing he got from his brain trust
I suspect he heard something like this

The vat advantage is more like an undervalued peso effect on lowering "the cost "
of US exports
But without the protectionist effect of raising the cost of US imports

Perhaps his apparent ADHD
Betrayed him here
He heard the word protectionist and forgot the details and the precise fact
There is no protectionist effect of the vat export rebate

PRD -> pgl... , -1
Correct me if I'm wrong but this is the arithmetic I'm picking up from Krugman which shows Trump's fallacy.

If you have a $10,000 Mexican car that paid a $2,000 VAT, the exporter gets reimbursed for the $2,000 dollar paid in VAT which would normally get passed along to the consumer, thus making the price that it is exported at $8,000. That $8,000 dollar car would subsequently pay sales tax in the USA.

If you have a $10,000 USA car being exported to Mexico, it would get the VAT tax added on to be passed along to the consumer, thus making it $12,500. That same car would pay sales tax in the United States on it being worth $10,000.

So basically, the Mexican car is actually only worth $8,000 because the VAT that would have been passed along to the consumers (and had been paid already) is reimbursed to the exporter. The American car is worth $10,000 and must pay the VAT, because the Mexican car would pay the VAT in Mexico as well. Essentially he's equating an $8,000 Mexican car with a $10,000 American car.

Shah of Bratpuhr : , -1
I highly doubt Trump considers people that understand economics to be his target audience. Trump speaks only to his target audience not about issues, but rather how they feel right now at this exact moment. Perhaps his strategy is to keep people angry and fearful enough by Election Day?

His message to his audience: "you feel badly because you're not rich", audience nods, "it's this scapegoat's fault", audience cheers, "Only I can rid you of this scapegoat and when I do, you'll feel better"

Paine -> Shah of Bratpuhr... , -1
Yes

He has learned the devil can easily hide in the details

JohnH : , -1
"Trump's whole view on trade is that other people are taking advantage of us - that it's all about dominance, and that we're weak."

You have to admit, Trump was right...he just doesn't understand who's taking advantage of whom. He really should understand this (and probably does)...the winners are all around him on Park Ave, Fifth Ave, and Wall Street. Of course, you'd never expect Trump to admit that he's part of the predatory class, would you?

Ben Groves : , -1
Trade agreements hurt a lot of country's that American "businesses" deal with more than America a good deal of the time. NAFTA killed Mexican farming. It was part of the package along with the 2002 subsidy agreement after 9/11 that started nationalizing agri-business. This also allowed drug production to take off and cartels to expand quickly, using the increased volume of business transactions to ship more drugs across the borders into Donald Trump supporters noses and veins.

[Sep 27, 2016] I have seen people say he is saving it for later

www.nakedcapitalism.com

fresno dan September 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

"After a shaky start, Clinton was mostly prepared, disciplined, and methodical in her attacks. By contrast, after landing some early blows on trade, Trump was mostly winging it" [NBC]. That's how it felt to me. Of course, 10%-ers like preparation. Preparation leads to passing your test! But in this case, they are right to do so.

====================================================
Trump could have brought up:

I have seen people say he is saving it….?dry powder? A lot of people check out after the first 30 minutes of one debate and never come back.
And I'm really into it – and I doubt I will waste my time again. Even though I am a big believer in judging people/politicians by what they do and not what they say, Trump's immaturity has frayed my last nerve. He's 70 years old and can be knocked off balance defending !insults! about a beauty queen.

[Sep 27, 2016] No chief executive at the nation's 100 largest companies had donated to Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign through August,

Notable quotes:
"... Should Trump succeed in renegotiating US trade deals, corporations - currently at their most indebted level in history - will be deprived of revenues to service their debts. Some will default. ..."
"... Meanwhile, realizing whatever benefits accrue from more domestic production takes time and capital to construct plants. That's a problem, when corporate leverage already is too high. ..."
"... Most likely, the Business Roundtable will sit down for The Talk with Trump, and his wacky promises to restructure the global trade system will quickly be forgotten. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Jim Haygood September 27, 2016 at 3:47 pm

It's unanimous:

No chief executive at the nation's 100 largest companies had donated to Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign through August, a sharp reversal from 2012, when nearly a third of Fortune 100 CEOs supported Mitt Romney.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/no-fortune-100-ceos-back-republican-donald-trump-1474671842

One executive is quoted taking offense at Trump's ethnic slurs. But that doesn't explain the complete unanimity. What does explain it: overseas sales account for a third of large companies' revenues. Chart:

http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/559eac5969bedd0d06679458-1200-900/cotd-sp500-foreign-revenue.png

Should Trump succeed in renegotiating US trade deals, corporations - currently at their most indebted level in history - will be deprived of revenues to service their debts. Some will default.

Meanwhile, realizing whatever benefits accrue from more domestic production takes time and capital to construct plants. That's a problem, when corporate leverage already is too high.

Most likely, the Business Roundtable will sit down for The Talk with Trump, and his wacky promises to restructure the global trade system will quickly be forgotten.

If Donnie's serious, then he's Herbert Hoover II, and the long-suffering Dr Hussman becomes a billionaire after the Crash Heard Round the World.

[Sep 27, 2016] Trump supporters will not be converted

Notable quotes:
"... This is an impossible task. She is a war criminal, a stanch neoliberal (like her husband, who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street) and unrepentant neocon. ..."
"... My feel is that Democrats lost the support of rank and file union members in this election cycle. Serial betrays starting from Bill Clinton "triangulation" and "third way" scams finally got under the skin of workers and they do not any longer consider Democratic Party as a political entity representing their interests. And financial oligarchy and professional classes voters are not numerous enough to secure the victory. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Chris G : September 27, 2016 at 07:59 AM

Trump supporters will not be converted. What we need to do is 1) get people who lean Clinton to show up and vote for her and 2) convince fence-sitters that she's the better choice and to show up and vote for her. Towards that end, we need to establish what's important to them: policy positions, nice clothes, likes dogs? Find out what appeals to THEM, not necessarily you, and if Clinton has those traits even a little bit then make the pitch for her based on those traits. Engage those voters. Don't just speculate on what might or should appeal to them. Ask them what is important to them and ASK FOR THEIR VOTE!
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Chris G ... , September 27, 2016 at 12:52 PM
I have come across a few Trump supporters in my travels and what they all have in common is what they have to say about Hillary, while about Trump they are mostly mute.
Chris G -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , September 27, 2016 at 01:55 PM
Hillary hate is strong.* It's not as widespread in eastern MA as it is in other parts of the country but where it exists it looks like it's just as intense.

*There's no intellectual consistency to it. It's visceral.

likbez -> Chris G ... , -1
"convince fence-sitters that she's the better choice and to show up and vote for her"

This is an impossible task. She is a war criminal, a stanch neoliberal (like her husband, who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street) and unrepentant neocon.

Trump might be a crook and as bad as she is, but in a larger scale of things he did not committed the crimes she committed. Yet. And at least on the surface he is against neoliberal globalization.

My feel is that Democrats lost the support of rank and file union members in this election cycle. Serial betrays starting from Bill Clinton "triangulation" and "third way" scams finally got under the skin of workers and they do not any longer consider Democratic Party as a political entity representing their interests. And financial oligarchy and professional classes voters are not numerous enough to secure the victory.

And that might well spells doom for Demorats.

On the other hand Trump could bury Clinton but choose do not even touch her most vulnerable points (Iraq war vote, emailgate, Libya, Clinton Foundation scam. health issues, Bill Clinton "legacy"). Is he afraid of something or just saving the shots ? Also he looked completely unprepared. Clinton relied on notes and pre-defined gambits, while Trump relied on intuition. It did not play well for him.

[Sep 27, 2016] Personally, I came out of this feeling more sympathetic to Trump as a person, believe it or not.

Notable quotes:
"... Personally, I came out of this feeling more sympathetic to Trump as a person, believe it or not. I think he genuinely sees the infrastructural decay and it frosts him. ..."
"... Same with "you had 30 years to solve it." Undeniably true; Clinton's whole "let's build on our success" schtick is such a steaming lot of 10%-er-ness. But if Trump wants to make this election a referendum on the political class, he's going to have to do a lot better than this ..."
"... Hillary gave no indication she is going to change the course we are on now; in fact, reading between the lines, she thinks things are going great and there is no reason to change anything. ..."
"... I think there is a better chance that Trump will actually try to fix things, but tax policy and several other things did not give me great hope that he has any idea how to fix things, or will learn & adapt quickly enough. On the plus side, some people talk better than they deliver; some people deliver better than they talk. At least there's a chance he's one of the latter. ..."
"... I can't find where he would refuse "trade deals", only ones "These Morons running things" have negotiated. I'm betting he would push them with minor changes, as will HRC. ISDS is a foregone conclusion, with either. Jesus, one of his advisors is Larry f'n Kudlow. If the regulars here are not appalled by the guys he has surrounded himself with, I sure am. I can see it coming… ..."
"... I think Trump's probably serious about trade. But if I understand the structural issues correctly, it doesn't really matter whether he is serious or not. Apparently the Republican base is now strongly opposed to free trade. ..."
"... If my assessment is correct, TPP dies with a Trump win. There isn't an option to reopen negotiations, is there? A brand new "Trump style" treaty would take years to negotiate, and he has "one term" written all over him. This also would kill TISA, right? Is it technically contingent on TPP passing first? ..."
"... The Democrats in opposition will be just as feckless as the Republicans have been effective. ..."
"... One particular provision of TISA is as bad as anything in TPP (bar ISDS) and that is the prohibition on remunicipalization of privatized public resources. Governments would not be allowed to take back things such as British Rail that have been sold off to the private sector, and would be prohibited from nationalizing any other public good now in private hands. It's another hit to national sovereignty. ..."
"... HRC, you knew from the beginning, who she was tied to/advised by/paid for by. She is a "known known". We are all seeking to know what or who DT represents, as he is harder to pin down. ..."
"... I don't think Clinton won every category just most. I think Trump won on "there is no evidence Russia hacked the DNC". ..."
"... How are we gonna survive 4 years with either of them at the helm? ..."
"... That was my take exactly. Since I don't honestly think Stein is going to win, and I think Johnson might be worse than either of these, I was hoping one of them would give me a reason to feel optimistic that they would do a decent job. They … both failed horribly. ..."
"... What universe are they living in? Half of these people used to be Bernie supporters. Are people that easily manipulated? Did I used to be that easily manipulated? Or have I gone completely insane now. This was some kind of masterful performance? She mouthed a lot of decent sounding platitudes with no specifics re: policy (while everyone praises her for specifics, and I think she championed the ideas of specifics themselves) while doing a decent but not great job of hitting Trump on some areas where he's very vulnerable. ..."
"... He did a great job finding areas where she's vulnerable, but a terrible job of hitting her on them. ..."
"... "Are people that easily manipulated?" Yes. Was I that easily manipulated? Probably. Don't feel bad though most of us were naïve enough to believe the BS for at least some period of time. ..."
"... Uh it's scripted reality TV. The "debates" are vetted and agreed upon by the two parties who sponsored the darn thing via their little pretend front group. Anyone, at this point, who thinks these things matter is fooling themselves. It's a 90 minute infomercial, so if you find infomercials masterful then I guess. ..."
"... Thank you for pointing out that as usual, the unconstitutional and illegitimate two-party duopoly has excluded other candidates who will be on the ballot. Who exactly gave them this privilege of exclusion? ..."
"... Private enterprise, Jim. You can always put up the money for third party candidates to debate on prime time. Thought that was how the market "works". ..."
"... I disagree strongly that Trump is incoherent; I saw him in Bangor. What he is, is discursive and improvisational. He has his main points that he always ..."
"... However, that style doesn't work for him in this debate. He doesn't get to determine the structure, there's no time in a two minute answer to do the kind of excursions he likes to do, and the crowd was told not to react. ..."
"... The format works very much against Trump, and very much for Clinton. Delivering bullet points successfully is a marker that a candidate is president-y. Considering what PowerPoint has done to the Pentagon, that might not be such a great idea, but it is what it is and we are where we are. ..."
"... I'm surprised that no one mentioned the one best line to the non political junkie. They HATE political commercials. He nailed her on spending Millions attacking him and he came across gentlemanly saying he wouldn't / hasn't done that to her. ..."
"... Honestly, I've seen 5 years olds who could resist the bait better than Trump… ..."
"... I don't know why this is surprising, Trump is the narcissist he is regardless of what people want to project on him. Of course none of that makes Clinton any better. Whether it's effective, eh who knows, if it's authoritarians voting for him maybe that is what they like, but I don't think there are enough of them for him to win on that alone. If people are just casting random angry votes for anything but the status quo then maybe. ..."
"... I disagree. I think both candidates are isolated within elite bubbles, leading to behaviors we consider narcissistic (armchair diagnosis, when you think about it. I mean, "I'm with her….") ..."
"... So which one is the Grandiose and the other an Insecure type ..."
"... ….Did anyone else notice how consistently Hillary looked down at the podium? I believe she was being fed "Cliff Notes" ON AN IPAD by her staff re every topic that was bought up….she was ALWAYS looking down and, I assume she was being fed CUES AND WORDS OR PHRASES that she should use….she not only looked down a lot before the time she was supposed to speak but also looked down a lot during her responses…… ..."
"... OTOH, Trump was "winging it" and "shooting from the hip"…..Hillary won because the notes kept her on track….If trump had done any serious prep and could take advice, he could have destroyed her…But, he doesn't do prep, so he can't effectively respond……. ..."
"... Hillary's closing comments were stronger, but by then I don't think their were many left watching who were "Persuadables"….those of us left were "political junkies" hoping for a last lap NASCAR worthy Candidate Crash….. ..."
"... I think Trump had the opportunity to win the debate handed to him on a silver platter by Hillary, but his failure to Prepare and Do the Little Things that would have helped him be ready for her totally expected responses/statements/stalking points cost him dearly….. ..."
"... He remains the Rich Guy, who does what he wants….. She remains the Robotic Gal, who will probably get what she wants…. ..."
"... Yes she was looking down a lot. Were they allowed to have iPads to look at? ..."
"... I think one of the CBS commentators said that Hillary appeared to be using notes. She did look down a lot, and I also thought she seemed unusually subdued. At times she appeared to look sleepy and bored. I don't think this "debate" changed anyone's mind. I think Trump was trying to "dial it back", and he did miss several opportunities to zing Clinton. It did confirm one thing for me – we're all screwed. ..."
"... I don't think in the great scheme of things this matters much. If there was an iPad and it worked for Clinton, then why the heck didn't the Trump team give their guy an equivalent advantage? ..."
"... Two impressions, on the bus where I could just hear them, it was pretty equal. Both spouted nonsense and both had decent points regarding the other. Home where I had visuals, before I switched, she looked relaxed and yes healthy. She even appeared amused by him.He was flustered and floundering. There were at least two opportunities where he could have landed blows on her policies which he lost by being defensive. His judgment is better than her's, but that is an incredibly low bar. Based on 2, she won. ..."
"... Ironic that in this post-democratic world I watched my first political debate ever. Give the credit to the great entertainer: Donald Trump. Problem was: he wasn't the least bit entertaining tonight. I thought Clinton did well, however she is playing a losing hand. Trump is on the right side of all the issues that matter. Unfortunately(for everyone) the only reality Clinton and the entire western political establishment cares about is how many of the 1% will pay $500 a plate for a dinner and a speech. ..."
"... Bottom line is, all Murica could do was cough up these two turds. Yeah, deliberately mixed metaphor. Main difference is, if Trump gets elected it will certify Murica before the whole world as a country full of arseholes who've finally got to elect their very own Arsehole in Chief. ..."
"... One point made by a friend of the blog: Neither candidate appealed to anyone other than their base. And it's hard to see why anyone undecided would be moved. It's even harder to see why a voter committed to Johnson or Stein would move. ..."
"... Watched the whole thing. Trump missed a good opportunity to respond to Hillary's comment that trickle down was the reason for the financial crisis. Trump could have spoken up and said it was Goldman Sachs and big banks that played the key role in bringing on the financial crisis – which would have lead many to think again about her speeches at GS. Outside of the fact that Hillary's comment made me super confused – and maybe Trump as well – it would have been great if he could have mentioned the banks and what did she promise the big banks during her speeches. ..."
"... I was wondering if he's holding the GS speech transcripts in reserve? I was hoping for more of a pounding. I wonder if his team will do polling to determine how hard-hitting he can go before it gets too negative? The history of Glass-Steagall repeal is pretty damning. I'm also hoping to hear her defence of her cattle futures trading, but perhaps that is too ancient of history? ..."
"... Also, was interesting wrt his usage of the word "secretary" - a la Scott Adams, I suspect he's hoping the average viewer will subconsciously associate Hillary with the office secretary, rather than Secretary of State. ..."
"... Before I forget, Trump was very strong on trade, early. Nailed Clinton on NAFTA, nailed her on TPP. Fits right in with "you've had 30 years," but (B team, not top tier school) he didn't keep hammering that point. An early win (on the theory that debates are won early) but for me overshadowed by the rest of it). ..."
"... Absolutely. If it had been a 35 minute debate, Trump would have won hands down. Of course, the minute they moved to taxes, the incoherence of Trump's economic policy becomes apparent. ..."
"... Among others, 3 mistakes by Trump that a seasoned politician wouldn't have made. First, Clinton accuses him of not paying maids, contractors, architects, etc. and Trump basically agrees. He doesn't dispute this, instead says "maybe they didn't do the work." In a time of economic stagnation, this was a miss. (A seasoned politician would have just lied and said "not true.") Second, the tax stuff where Clinton outlines possible reasons he isn't releasing and he didn't do the simple thing and say "none of those are true." Instead, maybe not paying taxes is a "smart thing." Third, Trump can't even do the short work to memorize a story tying the creation of ISIS to Clinton's interventionism (and thus refugee crisis). Instead he bloviates about the Iran deal that very few Americans know enough about to judge good or bad. ..."
"... Not having watched one second of this "debate," I think it's important to note that there are many different kinds of communication. As far as I can tell, Trump's a decent salesman. That's a very specific type of communication, that specifically is NOT about delivering information or or enhancing understanding. It's about establishing control of your target and leading them to do/buy what you want them to do/buy. It doesn't sound like he figured out a way to make this very different situation work for him, the way he apparently did the very different Republican debates. Note that I'm not claiming he IS a master communicator. I don't think either of them are. ..."
"... Trump is giving mixed messages - that's his communication failure. We're supposed to be disgusted by Obama/Clinton foreign policy, but it's never clear why. Because the policy is failed at the start - intervening in Middle Eastern affairs is foolish? Or, we should be intervening for the sake of American power? Trump never articulates a policy goal either way. This is the empty rhetoric of "America first." He never argues a long term strategy of foreign policy for America or the world at large ..."
"... I don't consider Hillary Clinton very smart. Her complete lack of morals and empathy are a far more significant factor in her success than her intelligence. Trump seems fairly bright in some ways, and he's certainly good at understanding certain kinds of non-verbal communication. (For example, all that gold that seems so vulgar to one audience is very appealing to another.) Beyond that, I have no strong opinion about him in this regard. Do I think he's a sizzling intellect? No. ..."
"... I'm basically with Lambert: the best we can hope for is gridlock. But since Clinton is running as an efficient, bloodthirsty Republican, and what she really wants to do is wage war, which requires no Congressional action, Trump's the better bet for gridlock, even with a Republican majority. We'll get Democrats forced to playact the role of "Democrat;" it's something. ..."
"... Clinton doesn't have her thumbs on the button yet she's just threatened Russia with a cyber-war in retaliation for purported Russian attacks on the DNC etc., 'hacks' for which there is less proof than there is an interest on Clinton's part in changing the channel away from what the 'hacks' revealed about her own nefarious doings. So, in retaliation for something that may not have happened at all Clinton's instinct is to hit what could well be the wrong guy because it suits her personal interest – more egregious still, in this instance the wrong guy happens to be engaged in an existential struggle for independent, sovereign survival on the same planet as the US Empire and quite desperately needs an American leader of calibre. ..."
"... If he'd wanted to win he could've sat down with any high school coach to map out a strategy and a set of talking points that would not just defeat Clinton, but quite possibly send a bunch of people to jail. That's why it's Trump (or could've been Cruz). You could not draw a more perfect stereo-typically encumbered character beside which to contrast Clinton, whose entire public career persona has been premised on 'breaking down' same – even if her husband did send a million poor, mostly young black Americans away to rot in fantastically lucrative private prisons working for slave wages. ..."
"... Trump doesn't have to play that "arrest the banker" card to win, and there are plenty of reasons why he would not, including he wants to stay alive. Plus, there's selling and then there's giving away. ..."
"... Senior Romney strategist: Trump brought 20 minutes of material to a 90 minute show. ..."
"... Personally, I'm not sure laziness is a disqualifying characteristic in a Presidential candidate. If a machine is so broken that all its outputs are bad, then it behooves one to turn the crank more slowly than faster. ..."
"... This was a pathetic performance all around. Hillary looked like a polished turd in the debate, compared to Trump who came off as an unpolished turd. My feeling is that Hillary was the "winner" though that word doesn't seem suitable. ..."
"... Yes she jabbed him to death, while Trump held his punches. The question is: why? Having already done the Foreman trick of KOing five guys in one night, was he guarding against punching himself out? Seeing he's already won debates with aggression, was he trying to win by playing defense? Am I simply reading into it what I want to – spinning for Trump to excuse a mediocre performance? ..."
"... Did Trump suffer a mini-stroke on stage? After slurring a word, he began to answer questions for a while with incoherent, freely associated chains of slogans and phrases. This, about the time he blurted out about Hillary's stamina–, psychological projection perhaps? Then he began to list to his left and lean pronouncedly on his podium. After the debate, he left the hall rather too promptly. Was the elderly Trump physically fit enough to withstand a one-on-one 90 minute debate? ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
September 27, 2016 at 12:11 am

I think he genuinely sees the infrastructural decay and it frosts him.

Yes, and connects the $6 trillion invested in blowing up the Middle East to what it could have been used for instead, and repeatedly called out big bureaucracy for big mistakes.

MojaveWolf September 27, 2016 at 12:15 am

Personally, I came out of this feeling more sympathetic to Trump as a person, believe it or not. I think he genuinely sees the infrastructural decay and it frosts him.

Same with "you had 30 years to solve it." Undeniably true; Clinton's whole "let's build on our success" schtick is such a steaming lot of 10%-er-ness. But if Trump wants to make this election a referendum on the political class, he's going to have to do a lot better than this

Agreed here. My SO put it better than me: Hillary gave no indication she is going to change the course we are on now; in fact, reading between the lines, she thinks things are going great and there is no reason to change anything. " And Trump did do a good job of identifying a number of things that are wrong, even if he wasn't particularly articulate in discussing them.

I think there is a better chance that Trump will actually try to fix things, but tax policy and several other things did not give me great hope that he has any idea how to fix things, or will learn & adapt quickly enough. On the plus side, some people talk better than they deliver; some people deliver better than they talk. At least there's a chance he's one of the latter.

Hillary… we know what we are getting. She won't deliver better than she talks. I have nothing kind to say here, other than she did a good job of finishing her sentences, and her tax policy is better than Trump's. And that she used to be much, much better in debates. I remain flummoxed that people are giving her credit for doing well in this one.

ilporcupine September 27, 2016 at 12:49 am

Trump makes an occasional noise in that direction, IF there has been a related segment on the talk shows or one of the conservative sites. Where in his stated policy (ie on his website or in positions in writing) is anything to suggest he will fix any of that misery? Tax cuts and deregulation? Letting him negotiate trade deals, instead of Obama people?

I can't find where he would refuse "trade deals", only ones "These Morons running things" have negotiated. I'm betting he would push them with minor changes, as will HRC. ISDS is a foregone conclusion, with either. Jesus, one of his advisors is Larry f'n Kudlow. If the regulars here are not appalled by the guys he has surrounded himself with, I sure am. I can see it coming…

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:35 am

> if the regulars here are not appalled

Henry Kissinger and George W. Bush set a pretty high bar not being appalled, amiright?

aab September 27, 2016 at 1:53 am

At least Trump has the good taste not to have Kudlow sit on his lap. Or vice versa.

Reading liberals explain how George W. Bush is just a misunderstood patriot has been…educational. Not in the way they intend.

I think Trump's probably serious about trade. But if I understand the structural issues correctly, it doesn't really matter whether he is serious or not. Apparently the Republican base is now strongly opposed to free trade. (I think most already were, but now they have permission to affirmatively say so, and pick up stragglers.)

I know Obama is counting on getting votes from people thrown out of office and looking for lobbying work. But I don't think there will be enough of them, will there? The Dems aren't going to flip either house, it looks like - certainly not by large numbers. That means there won't be tons of "loose" Republican votes, Republicans returning won't be incentivized to betray their incoming President for Obama, and Democrats on their way out may see shrinking lobbying opportunities, as the Democratic Party - IF Clinton doesn't take power - will be very weak at both the federal and state level.

If my assessment is correct, TPP dies with a Trump win. There isn't an option to reopen negotiations, is there? A brand new "Trump style" treaty would take years to negotiate, and he has "one term" written all over him. This also would kill TISA, right? Is it technically contingent on TPP passing first?

I am looking forward to Democratic Senators using secret holds and such to stop Republican tax plans that benefit corporations and the wealthy.

Okay, now that I've stopped laughing, I'll correct this. I'm assuming BERNIE will use holds and such to stop this stuff. But it will be entertaining to watch the Democrats explain why the Republican can top from the bottom, but they never can.

Steve C September 27, 2016 at 6:53 am

The Democrats in opposition will be just as feckless as the Republicans have been effective.

John Zelnicker September 27, 2016 at 9:21 am

@aab – "This also would kill TISA, right? Is it technically contingent on TPP passing first?"

I don't think TISA depends on TPP being passed. As I understand it, they are being negotiated separately.

One particular provision of TISA is as bad as anything in TPP (bar ISDS) and that is the prohibition on remunicipalization of privatized public resources. Governments would not be allowed to take back things such as British Rail that have been sold off to the private sector, and would be prohibited from nationalizing any other public good now in private hands. It's another hit to national sovereignty.

ilporcupine September 27, 2016 at 3:07 am

You are right, indeed. I just think DT is getting more "benefit of the doubt" than is warranted, given what I know of his past, and the sources he apparently uses, and the advisors he surrounds with.

HRC, you knew from the beginning, who she was tied to/advised by/paid for by. She is a "known known". We are all seeking to know what or who DT represents, as he is harder to pin down.

HRC and Bill are the most successful organized crime outfit since Wall St., and that is enough to categorize them, even without the obvious foreign policy horrors .

jrs September 27, 2016 at 1:00 am

I don't think Clinton won every category just most. I think Trump won on "there is no evidence Russia hacked the DNC".

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:36 am

And trade.

OIFVet September 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm

Time to relax and forget the debate's ugliness: Pachelbel's Canon In D Major

fresno dan September 26, 2016 at 11:40 pm

OIFVet
September 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm

thanks for that – very soothing – and in the scheme of eternity, it doesn't much matter. And the pictures are great!

MojaveWolf September 26, 2016 at 11:27 pm

How are we gonna survive 4 years with either of them at the helm?

That was my take exactly. Since I don't honestly think Stein is going to win, and I think Johnson might be worse than either of these, I was hoping one of them would give me a reason to feel optimistic that they would do a decent job. They … both failed horribly.

And what is up with all the people on NBC and now in my twitter feed repeating this mantra that "We had high expectations for Hillary, and she exceeded them!"

What universe are they living in? Half of these people used to be Bernie supporters. Are people that easily manipulated? Did I used to be that easily manipulated? Or have I gone completely insane now. This was some kind of masterful performance? She mouthed a lot of decent sounding platitudes with no specifics re: policy (while everyone praises her for specifics, and I think she championed the ideas of specifics themselves) while doing a decent but not great job of hitting Trump on some areas where he's very vulnerable.

He did a great job finding areas where she's vulnerable, but a terrible job of hitting her on them.

She did a better job of finishing her sentences, but … wow. That was the bar for coherence and specificity here.

Meanwhile, my twitter feed is full of people who think one or the other landed telling blows. The pundits all think she was terrif. His partisans seem to think he did well.

He looked like he was posing half the time. I don't even know what to say about her expressions. I hate when people talk about stuff like that but what else is there to say here?

My SO and I were constantly covering our eyes and putting our heads down and occasionally laughing at each others expressions and occasionally laughing so hard we had tears running down our eyes at what (both) the candidates were saying. Now it's over I just want to cry.

I know a lot of people here are not fans of the Green Party, but hate on Jill all you want, she would have almost certainly been better up there tonight than either of these people. It would have been hard to be worse.

cwaltz September 26, 2016 at 11:43 pm

"Are people that easily manipulated?" Yes. Was I that easily manipulated? Probably. Don't feel bad though most of us were naïve enough to believe the BS for at least some period of time.

This was some kind of masterful performance?

Uh it's scripted reality TV. The "debates" are vetted and agreed upon by the two parties who sponsored the darn thing via their little pretend front group. Anyone, at this point, who thinks these things matter is fooling themselves. It's a 90 minute infomercial, so if you find infomercials masterful then I guess.

Personally, I'm boycotting these things until they actually allow ALL the candidates that qualify for the ballot on stage.

Jim Haygood September 27, 2016 at 12:04 am

Thank you for pointing out that as usual, the unconstitutional and illegitimate two-party duopoly has excluded other candidates who will be on the ballot. Who exactly gave them this privilege of exclusion?

ilporcupine September 27, 2016 at 12:22 am

Private enterprise, Jim. You can always put up the money for third party candidates to debate on prime time. Thought that was how the market "works".

ilporcupine September 26, 2016 at 11:29 pm

Trump can go off on 5 tangents in each sentence. I keep waiting for him to make his damn point, already. It all comes off as gibberish. I cannot wait for a verbatim transcript of this cluster****. It will be largely incomprehensible. As for "HER", I aint with her either. We are screwwwed.

jrs September 27, 2016 at 12:44 am

It was like that in the Republican debates for anyone who bothered to read the transcripts. Trump was incoherent, the other candidates were basically coherent (wrong, liars and horrible many of them, but able to form a coherent sentence. Trump stood out).

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:59 am

I disagree strongly that Trump is incoherent; I saw him in Bangor. What he is, is discursive and improvisational. He has his main points that he always circles back to, but he riffs and reacts to the crowd.

However, that style doesn't work for him in this debate. He doesn't get to determine the structure, there's no time in a two minute answer to do the kind of excursions he likes to do, and the crowd was told not to react.

The format works very much against Trump, and very much for Clinton. Delivering bullet points successfully is a marker that a candidate is president-y. Considering what PowerPoint has done to the Pentagon, that might not be such a great idea, but it is what it is and we are where we are.

Meteor2016 September 26, 2016 at 11:30 pm

hmmm, time online poll says trump won 56-44.

http://time.com/4506217/presidential-debate-clinton-trump-survey/

Yves Smith September 26, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Prediction markets are saying she killed him. I would look to see the results of multiple online polls. Both Hillary and Trump fans will be trying to game them but it will be hard to skew results across the entire web.

Nelson Lowhim September 27, 2016 at 12:19 am

how accurate were these during the primary?

Yves Smith September 27, 2016 at 5:29 am

Dunno with Rs, but the online polls showed Sanders to be a winner in debates where the MSM called him a loser, and Sanders continued gains in later, conventional polls v. Clinton seemed way more in line with the online polls than MSM takes.

PhilU September 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

I'm surprised that no one mentioned the one best line to the non political junkie. They HATE political commercials. He nailed her on spending Millions attacking him and he came across gentlemanly saying he wouldn't / hasn't done that to her.

Frenchguy September 27, 2016 at 1:24 am

Since the Brexit fiasco, I'm extremely skeptical when it comes to prediction markets (at least on political subjects…).

fresno dan September 26, 2016 at 11:37 pm

All I can think after I watched this is that I could have dismembered, dissected, discombobulated, and reduced Hillary not only to cells, not just to molecules, but to quarks.
looking at it, I just can't see how anybody could think Trump is actually very smart, or smart, or much above ANY New York cabbie…or any or those horses in central park….or the south end of any of those horses….

Honestly, I've seen 5 years olds who could resist the bait better than Trump…

ilporcupine September 27, 2016 at 12:04 am

The Donald can't even shut up for the HRC time allotment. "Debate?" Schoolyard tiff!

EGrise September 27, 2016 at 12:13 am

This.

jrs September 27, 2016 at 12:17 am

I don't know why this is surprising, Trump is the narcissist he is regardless of what people want to project on him. Of course none of that makes Clinton any better.

Whether it's effective, eh who knows, if it's authoritarians voting for him maybe that is what they like, but I don't think there are enough of them for him to win on that alone. If people are just casting random angry votes for anything but the status quo then maybe.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:38 am

> narcissist

I disagree. I think both candidates are isolated within elite bubbles, leading to behaviors we consider narcissistic (armchair diagnosis, when you think about it. I mean, "I'm with her….")

Skippy September 27, 2016 at 4:48 am

So which one is the Grandiose and the other an Insecure type – ??????

John S September 26, 2016 at 11:49 pm

I watched the debate on CSPAN, where a split screen was used that showed the candidates at all times…

….Did anyone else notice how consistently Hillary looked down at the podium? I believe she was being fed "Cliff Notes" ON AN IPAD by her staff re every topic that was bought up….she was ALWAYS looking down and, I assume she was being fed CUES AND WORDS OR PHRASES that she should use….she not only looked down a lot before the time she was supposed to speak but also looked down a lot during her responses……

OTOH, Trump was "winging it" and "shooting from the hip"…..Hillary won because the notes kept her on track….If trump had done any serious prep and could take advice, he could have destroyed her…But, he doesn't do prep, so he can't effectively respond…….

She was told to smile when he attacked….she did this……this response aggravated me, but didn't hurt her with the public of "Undecideds"

He was told to refrain from interrupting…he did an excellent job of interjecting comments at the beginning, but lost control as the night wore on…..

Lester was about the worst Moderator I have listened/watched/prayed for during a Debate…..of course, the job is "thankless"

Hillary's closing comments were stronger, but by then I don't think their were many left watching who were "Persuadables"….those of us left were "political junkies" hoping for a last lap NASCAR worthy Candidate Crash…..

I think Trump had the opportunity to win the debate handed to him on a silver platter by Hillary, but his failure to Prepare and Do the Little Things that would have helped him be ready for her totally expected responses/statements/stalking points cost him dearly…..

He remains the Rich Guy, who does what he wants….. She remains the Robotic Gal, who will probably get what she wants….

Sad…….

(and, thanks, Lambert)

TheCatSaid September 27, 2016 at 12:06 am

Yes she was looking down a lot. Were they allowed to have iPads to look at?

I felt she was listening a lot–she had that look some newscasters have when their producers are telling them updated news or giving suggestions through an ear device. Could she have been wired up? Are there rules about this?

Elizabeth September 27, 2016 at 12:31 am

I think one of the CBS commentators said that Hillary appeared to be using notes. She did look down a lot, and I also thought she seemed unusually subdued. At times she appeared to look sleepy and bored. I don't think this "debate" changed anyone's mind. I think Trump was trying to "dial it back", and he did miss several opportunities to zing Clinton. It did confirm one thing for me – we're all screwed.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:47 am

> Trump was trying to "dial it back"

Yes, you could tell that from his tone of voice. I've heard him deliver the same talking points, but with more verve.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:33 am

I don't think in the great scheme of things this matters much. If there was an iPad and it worked for Clinton, then why the heck didn't the Trump team give their guy an equivalent advantage?

(If true, this shows the dangers of an overly lean campaign team.)

Pat September 26, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Two impressions, on the bus where I could just hear them, it was pretty equal. Both spouted nonsense and both had decent points regarding the other. Home where I had visuals, before I switched, she looked relaxed and yes healthy. She even appeared amused by him.He was flustered and floundering. There were at least two opportunities where he could have landed blows on her policies which he lost by being defensive. His judgment is better than her's, but that is an incredibly low bar. Based on 2, she won.

Based on the nonsense they both reeled off the biggest loser tonight, election day and the future are the American people either way.

Jim Haygood September 27, 2016 at 12:18 am

J-Yel must be shocked that Trump ripped her early on. The earnest bureaucrats at the Fed are not used to being fodder for campaign criticism.

Trump went on to call today's economy a "big fat Bubble." (I call it Bubble III.) He implied that one rate hike will be the pin that pops it, and he's probably right.

Knowing this does not mean he can do anything about it. Currently J-Yel plans to hike in December during the interregnum, when the US political system is inert and the MSM is all focused on cabinet picks.

Almost certainly, the next president will have a close-up, personal encounter with a harsh recession. The only advice from pros is "get it behind you early." That's why I have it penciled in for 2017-18.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:38 am

> 2017-2018

That's what the hotel people think (see yesterday's water cooler). Hotel bookings being a fine indicator of the animal spirits of the managing and investing classes. Whether they are a leading indicator remains to be seen….

cm September 27, 2016 at 12:39 am

Fed is political, no doubt about that:

I quote :

And in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, who wanted cheap credit to finance the Vietnam War and his Great Society, summoned Fed chairman William McChesney Martin to his Texas ranch. There, after asking other officials to leave the room, Johnson reportedly shoved Martin against the wall as he demanding that the Fed once again hold down interest rates. Martin caved, the Fed printed money, and inflation kept climbing until the early 1980s.

EoinW September 27, 2016 at 12:19 am

Ironic that in this post-democratic world I watched my first political debate ever. Give the credit to the great entertainer: Donald Trump. Problem was: he wasn't the least bit entertaining tonight. I thought Clinton did well, however she is playing a losing hand. Trump is on the right side of all the issues that matter. Unfortunately(for everyone) the only reality Clinton and the entire western political establishment cares about is how many of the 1% will pay $500 a plate for a dinner and a speech.

Regarding tonight's shenanagans, I thought Lester Holt was the winner. A good moderator should be virtually invisible, let the candidates do their thing. Clinton scored her debating points but I'm not convinced that won her any votes. Was Trump performing in a strait jacket? Seemed like he was more worried about appearing reserved and presidential. And holy repetitive! I was looking forward to Tyson-Spinks, instead I got Tyson-Douglas! Yet I wouldn't be surprised if it all worked and Trump comes out ahead in the polls. He certainly didn't look scary tonight. Boring yes, however doesn't boring deflate these ideas that he's an out of control amateur who can't be trusted?

Brad September 27, 2016 at 12:34 am

Bottom line is, all Murica could do was cough up these two turds. Yeah, deliberately mixed metaphor. Main difference is, if Trump gets elected it will certify Murica before the whole world as a country full of arseholes who've finally got to elect their very own Arsehole in Chief.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:44 am

One point made by a friend of the blog: Neither candidate appealed to anyone other than their base. And it's hard to see why anyone undecided would be moved. It's even harder to see why a voter committed to Johnson or Stein would move.

Therefore, we would not expect the polls to move. And what matters is a tiny population of voters in swing counties in swing states (not national polls), which data is not available to us.

Of course, since the political class is all in for Clinton, they will portray it as an overwhelming win for Clinton (as did I, since I am a 10%-er manqué ). However, exactly as with TV advertising, the pronouncements of the political class have had greatly diminished returns this year….

I'll be interested what old-school people like Nooners have to say….

manymusings September 27, 2016 at 2:54 am

I don't see them as playing only to their respective bases - it seems like they also were trying to affect overarching narratives. Clinton's case against Trump is that he's monstrous. I think he cut against that indictment tonight (and it wasn't a foregone conclusion that he would). Trump's case against Clinton is that she's a corrupt and dishonest version of politics as usual, which already is corrupt and dishonest. I don't know whether she moved the dial on that. Apart from immediate reactions, wonder if there will be any shifts.

Susan C September 27, 2016 at 12:46 am

Watched the whole thing. Trump missed a good opportunity to respond to Hillary's comment that trickle down was the reason for the financial crisis. Trump could have spoken up and said it was Goldman Sachs and big banks that played the key role in bringing on the financial crisis – which would have lead many to think again about her speeches at GS. Outside of the fact that Hillary's comment made me super confused – and maybe Trump as well – it would have been great if he could have mentioned the banks and what did she promise the big banks during her speeches.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:53 am

Very good point on Goldman. In a way, it seems that Clinton threw the kitchen sink on Trump (her assault on his business dealings, using the income tax thing as a hook, was prepared but highly effective). But Trump didn't throw the kitchen sink back at her. Odd.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL September 27, 2016 at 2:56 am

Rope-a-dope? There are still two more debates. America loves an underdog

aab September 27, 2016 at 6:01 am

Voting has already started. I don't see any benefit to going soft on her. He relied on free media in the primary, and he has much less money than she does. If he's serious about winning, this was an important opportunity that he apparently blew. The next one isn't even a pseudo-debate, is it? I read today it's a Town Hall - i.e., completely useless. Actually less than useless; it should be a very poor format for him, and a very protected format for her.

By the time they get to the next direct confrontation, a lot of votes will have been banked.

pretzelattack September 27, 2016 at 6:12 am

i'm starting to try to mentally prepare myself for a clinton win. or steal, or whatever. "i survived reagan, i didn't totally lose it during the time of the chimp, i can do this. happy thoughts".

aab September 27, 2016 at 6:52 am

I can't. I'm too afraid of her. I can picture surviving Trump. But Clinton really scares me. I have a draft age child; that's a not insignificant element. That plus TPP.

Sorry if I'm harshing your buzz.

John Zelnicker September 27, 2016 at 9:39 am

@aab – I feel your pain about your kid and the draft. I was in the first draft lottery in 1969 and came out with #27. Fortunately, I was able to avoid being drafted due to it being suspended for the first 90 days of 1972 because they had enough soldiers and were beginning to draw down the forces in Viet Nam.

cm September 27, 2016 at 1:02 am

I was wondering if he's holding the GS speech transcripts in reserve? I was hoping for more of a pounding. I wonder if his team will do polling to determine how hard-hitting he can go before it gets too negative? The history of Glass-Steagall repeal is pretty damning. I'm also hoping to hear her defence of her cattle futures trading, but perhaps that is too ancient of history?

Also, was interesting wrt his usage of the word "secretary" - a la Scott Adams, I suspect he's hoping the average viewer will subconsciously associate Hillary with the office secretary, rather than Secretary of State.

Old news (from May), but sad to see the "fact checkers" on the birther origins

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 12:50 am

Before I forget, Trump was very strong on trade, early. Nailed Clinton on NAFTA, nailed her on TPP. Fits right in with "you've had 30 years," but (B team, not top tier school) he didn't keep hammering that point. An early win (on the theory that debates are won early) but for me overshadowed by the rest of it).

relstprof September 27, 2016 at 1:07 am

Absolutely. If it had been a 35 minute debate, Trump would have won hands down. Of course, the minute they moved to taxes, the incoherence of Trump's economic policy becomes apparent.

relstprof September 27, 2016 at 1:03 am

Among others, 3 mistakes by Trump that a seasoned politician wouldn't have made. First, Clinton accuses him of not paying maids, contractors, architects, etc. and Trump basically agrees. He doesn't dispute this, instead says "maybe they didn't do the work." In a time of economic stagnation, this was a miss. (A seasoned politician would have just lied and said "not true.") Second, the tax stuff where Clinton outlines possible reasons he isn't releasing and he didn't do the simple thing and say "none of those are true." Instead, maybe not paying taxes is a "smart thing." Third, Trump can't even do the short work to memorize a story tying the creation of ISIS to Clinton's interventionism (and thus refugee crisis). Instead he bloviates about the Iran deal that very few Americans know enough about to judge good or bad.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:11 am

Trump's team needs to slap some sense into him (if that's possible and he can listen). So many winning arguments left on the table (and ripe for Trump's simple language, too).

relstprof September 27, 2016 at 3:33 am

Upon a second watch of the debate (ok, I'm crazy), he actually does make the point about the creation of ISIS. Unfortunately, his rhetoric ends on "we should have taken the oil." So he doesn't distinguish the story as the failure of Obama/Clinton foreign policy as a policy of interventionism . His argument is that interventionism must pay out in some way.

Trump didn't help himself by claiming earlier that Clinton has been fighting ISIS her whole life. That obvious gaffe makes it hard to hear anything he says later in the debate.

I'm in agreement with Corey Robin - Trump is not a master communicator. Pace Scott Adams.

Also, it's not nice that Hillary buys negative ads

aab September 27, 2016 at 3:54 am

Not having watched one second of this "debate," I think it's important to note that there are many different kinds of communication. As far as I can tell, Trump's a decent salesman. That's a very specific type of communication, that specifically is NOT about delivering information or or enhancing understanding. It's about establishing control of your target and leading them to do/buy what you want them to do/buy. It doesn't sound like he figured out a way to make this very different situation work for him, the way he apparently did the very different Republican debates. Note that I'm not claiming he IS a master communicator. I don't think either of them are.

So many people are saying she was obviously looking down a lot and reading from notes or possibly an iPad. If so, why wouldn't he call her out on it?

relstprof September 27, 2016 at 4:32 am

Trump is giving mixed messages - that's his communication failure. We're supposed to be disgusted by Obama/Clinton foreign policy, but it's never clear why. Because the policy is failed at the start - intervening in Middle Eastern affairs is foolish? Or, we should be intervening for the sake of American power? Trump never articulates a policy goal either way. This is the empty rhetoric of "America first." He never argues a long term strategy of foreign policy for America or the world at large .

NATO is just a tool. For what? Not clear.

If you think, well: America shouldn't be articulating a strategy for global politics. Fine. I'm happy to listen, but so far, Trump hasn't even made this idea coherent.

relstprof September 27, 2016 at 4:38 am

But I'm an internationalist socialist, so what do I know?

aab September 27, 2016 at 5:12 am

Bear in mind, I didn't watch tonight. I'm not an expert on Trump. But I'm so sick of all this discourse around "intelligence" and "communication" that defines both concepts in extremely limited and fundamentally false ways that align with the proclivities of those in the position to do the defining. I don't consider Hillary Clinton very smart. Her complete lack of morals and empathy are a far more significant factor in her success than her intelligence. Trump seems fairly bright in some ways, and he's certainly good at understanding certain kinds of non-verbal communication. (For example, all that gold that seems so vulgar to one audience is very appealing to another.) Beyond that, I have no strong opinion about him in this regard. Do I think he's a sizzling intellect? No.

Again, salesmanship has nothing to do with messaging per se. In fact, one sales technique would be to using contradictory messaging at differing points in the sales path, to confuse the target. Salesmanship is about control and manipulation.

Persuasion is a different process, where messaging, as the term is generally used, matters.

I would have liked him to take her out tonight. But beyond the strategic goal of keeping her out of power, I don't know whether I'd prefer a smart and/or disciplined Trump over a less smart, less disciplined one. I'd like him to be smart enough not to be a stooge for the existing "bipartisan" elite, since merely resisting their desires and goals seems like it would good for the rest of us. But it's possible (probable?) he means all or part of that noxious traditional Republican swill he's offering up. In which case, being less smart and less disciplined might be better in terms of him acting as an obstacle to business as usual - as long as he's stubborn.

I'm basically with Lambert: the best we can hope for is gridlock. But since Clinton is running as an efficient, bloodthirsty Republican, and what she really wants to do is wage war, which requires no Congressional action, Trump's the better bet for gridlock, even with a Republican majority. We'll get Democrats forced to playact the role of "Democrat;" it's something.

That's why I focus mostly on the structural stuff. We know what Clinton is and will do, and it's horrendous. That's why throwing the Trump spanner into the works is worth doing. I would love for him to govern way to the left of how he ran, just as Obama governed way to the right of how he ran. But there really aren't a lot of incentives for Trump to do that, unlike for Obama. I'm not naive enough to count on Trump's human decency, although I do get the impression he may have a sliver of it, unlike both Obama and Clinton. But I also think he's sincerely racist. If Clinton wasn't such a profound and effectively violent racist, Trump's racism would really give me pause.

Anyway, my key point is that doing very badly in the format and conditions of tonight's event does not prove he is a bad communicator in some overarching sense.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:12 am

Corey Robin:

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:16 am

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:18 am

Fiver September 27, 2016 at 1:19 am

Now that's what I call talent. But as one of them is going to be President, I just want to point out the one thing worth noting she said all night.

Clinton doesn't have her thumbs on the button yet she's just threatened Russia with a cyber-war in retaliation for purported Russian attacks on the DNC etc., 'hacks' for which there is less proof than there is an interest on Clinton's part in changing the channel away from what the 'hacks' revealed about her own nefarious doings. So, in retaliation for something that may not have happened at all Clinton's instinct is to hit what could well be the wrong guy because it suits her personal interest – more egregious still, in this instance the wrong guy happens to be engaged in an existential struggle for independent, sovereign survival on the same planet as the US Empire and quite desperately needs an American leader of calibre.

I know it's hard to look past the enormous frozen smile, still, close your eyes and try to remember the look in her eyes, the downward cut of her mouth and clamped jaw when Trump briefly brushed past a sore spot – that person in there, that is the person who will be the next Leader of The Free World, that is to say, the woman who will lead the revolution of the globalists over the tyranny of nations. The effort to re-assert US hegemony will prove calamitous.

jrs September 27, 2016 at 1:24 am

It does seem to me that the voice that can proclaim with little evidence that Russia hacked into the DNC can easily become the same voice that can proclaim with little evidence that Iraq has WMDs (that is the modern version of that for the enemy du jour of course).

Skippy September 27, 2016 at 4:55 am

Yet Trump clearly said the – WORLD – owes tribute to America and some trade wars with them including China…

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 1:23 am

TheCatSaid September 27, 2016 at 2:21 am

mtaibbi : "This will go down as one of the signature events in the history of cocaine"

John k September 27, 2016 at 1:40 am

All trump has to do to win handily is say 'I will jail bankers that break the law'.

Fiver September 27, 2016 at 2:54 am

That's actually brilliant, and the fact he didn't/hasn't so far supports my thesis – so don't expect him to try it. Trump doesn't want to win – what he wants is to lose without being a 'loser'. It's been evident for a long time now.

If he'd wanted to win he could've sat down with any high school coach to map out a strategy and a set of talking points that would not just defeat Clinton, but quite possibly send a bunch of people to jail. That's why it's Trump (or could've been Cruz). You could not draw a more perfect stereo-typically encumbered character beside which to contrast Clinton, whose entire public career persona has been premised on 'breaking down' same – even if her husband did send a million poor, mostly young black Americans away to rot in fantastically lucrative private prisons working for slave wages.

jrs September 27, 2016 at 2:59 am

I suspect if he wanted to win he would spend on advertising, just saying. It may or may not pan out, but why not make use of things that might help him win if winning was what he wanted?

Fiver September 27, 2016 at 3:25 am

Not to mention avoiding things clearly marked 'high explosives'.

Cry Shop September 27, 2016 at 3:36 am

http://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trumps-special-1474910731
Trump doesn't have to play that "arrest the banker" card to win, and there are plenty of reasons why he would not, including he wants to stay alive. Plus, there's selling and then there's giving away.

If he wanted to loose and yet come out a winner, then I'd expect him to take the high ground or stake a claim in a way that would allow him to claim the vote was rigged. Not seeing that at all.

Steve C September 27, 2016 at 7:53 am

No way is Cruz interested in jailing banksters.

John k September 27, 2016 at 1:51 am

The critical issue is, we're undecideds moved?
How about this blog? By definition, undecideds don't much like either… Pretty much like NC. So who here is now decided? And which way?

megamike48 September 27, 2016 at 1:53 am

Senior Romney strategist: Trump brought 20 minutes of material to a 90 minute show.

Lambert Strether Post author September 27, 2016 at 2:36 am

Personally, I'm not sure laziness is a disqualifying characteristic in a Presidential candidate. If a machine is so broken that all its outputs are bad, then it behooves one to turn the crank more slowly than faster.

OK, tongue in cheek, but not 100%

eleanor rigby September 27, 2016 at 3:05 am

Just finished watching. She cleaned his clock, and I wanted to see him prevail. The exchange early in the debate about Trump not paying people … that really came back to mind when he started talking about how the countries we support don't pay their fair share. Really hypocritical. Bad night for DT; he will be hopping mad, kind of like after that trip to Mexico. I wonder what his reaction will be in next day or two.

ewmayer September 27, 2016 at 3:21 am

Scott Adams on one particular claim Trump made tonight: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/150979891156/trumps-african-american-reframing

I think Adams is prone to tunnel vision – focusing on one thing he especially likes or dislikes – as exemplified by his recent switch in endorsement from Hillary ("for my safety, as I live in CA") to Trump, based on Hillary's endorsement (hard to tell if genuine or mere triangulation) of the estate tax.

In tonight's case, I suspect any points Trump may have won for the statement Adams focuses on were more than negated by his stop-and-frisk inanity, but being white like Adams, I can't claim to speak for the AA community in any way.

On a separate-but-related note, my sister – who strongly supported Bernie during the primaries – does seem to fit Adam's claim that subjective impressions rule, and we humans busily construct rational-sounding narratives to justify our gut takes. In her case, she appears to have been as off-put by Hillary's Martin-Shkreli-esque smug smirking as Yves was:

I watched almost all of it and thought he did pretty well, in fact i thought he totally trounced her in many areas. I'm shocked to see every single mainstream media outlet say she was the clear winner and he was the total loser and unprepared. She was smug and ingenuous [sic – she clearly meant 'dis'-], can't stand her.

Yves Smith September 27, 2016 at 5:51 am

Sanders supporters are not representative of anything other than Sanders supporters…but they do constitute a decent chuck of Dem voters and bigger chunk of independents. The ones who were paying attention were painfully of the MSM misrepresentations re Sanders, the DNC putting its finger on the scale (confirmed only by Wikileaks), Clinton campaign totally bogus attacks (BernieBros, when he had more female millennial supporters than male AND Clinton supporters were more aggressive in social media than Sanders supporters), and the rampant cheating in NY and even worse in CA. So there is a burning resentment of Clinton in many Sanders voters looking for continued proof of Clinton's dishonesty and bad character.

Having said all that, a contact who is a "pox on both their houses" type said the comments re Clinton's smugness were widespread. The question is then how big a demerit that is to different voters.

jgordon September 27, 2016 at 3:52 am

This was a pathetic performance all around. Hillary looked like a polished turd in the debate, compared to Trump who came off as an unpolished turd. My feeling is that Hillary was the "winner" though that word doesn't seem suitable.

I will preface this by saying that substance and issues are completely irrelevant now. If you are someone who cares about that stuff then you're out of luck this time around.

1) All the people who already like Trump thought he was great, while everyone who hates him will stick with Hillary. Independents, I don't know. I can't imagine that people are going to be motivated to do much of anything either way after that.

2) Trump had multiple opputinites to destroy Hillary and end the race but passed them all up. The consequence is that this will continue dragging out. Hillary did about as well as she could have considering how compromised she is; she is lucky that Trump is was so unprepared.

3) Trump had shown an ability to learn from his mistakes. I want to believe that he will immediately start doing preparation for the next debate rather than blowing this off. If he fails to, whether or not he can win will be in doubt.

4) As someone else mentioned the one thing of actual import said tonight was by Hillary: she reiterated that she wants to get belligerent with Russia over these these cyber attacks, even though there is zero evidence of Russian involvement in them. This is a reaffirmation of of why Hillary scares the crap out of me, and the reason she is unfit to be president.

5) We know something more about Trump's character now: He's a smart, lazy, loudmouthed braggart who relies on his very good intuition and people skills decide things. He wings everything because he can't be bothered to study anything too deeply. Hillary? She is a very well scripted psychopath with bad people skills. And she enjoys war. Lots and lots of war.

6) I'm going to call this debate a wash even if it was slightly in Hillary's favor. Trump is still on a trajectory to win, he's just going to have to put in actual effort accomplish that–which he should realize now.

7) We are screwed no matter who is president in 2017, but simply as a matter of survival we have to support Trump.

8) surprisingly Hillary didn't keel over tonight. This is both good and bad. Good for Trump because Hillary is someone he's likely to win against, bad for us because there is still a slight chance that Hillary could win, meaning that war war and more war, including nuclear war, could be on the agenda from 2017 on. I don't believe we'll survive that.

Lambert Strether September 27, 2016 at 3:53 am

One more:

Trump is talking about problems… Hillary is talking about solutions. Voters always want to hear solutions. #DebateNight - Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 27, 2016

So Clinton stole Trump's clothes on law and order (which she would do; "super-predators," for-profit prisons).

jrs September 27, 2016 at 4:00 am

If voters always want to hear solutions Bernie Sanders would be on that stage tonight.

aab September 27, 2016 at 4:20 am

The reason Bernie is not on the stage is because Clinton stole the primary.

Ian September 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

+ however many votes were stolen and however many voters disenfranchised.

Michael Fiorillo September 27, 2016 at 6:23 am

To use a boxing metaphor, Hillary by decision.

EoinW September 27, 2016 at 9:11 am

Yes she jabbed him to death, while Trump held his punches. The question is: why? Having already done the Foreman trick of KOing five guys in one night, was he guarding against punching himself out? Seeing he's already won debates with aggression, was he trying to win by playing defense? Am I simply reading into it what I want to – spinning for Trump to excuse a mediocre performance?

I guess all politicians and non-politicians have their limitations. Trump's talent is he's a salesman and what he sells is himself. He's not an intellectual. He's likely not even a thoughtful person. What amused me most tonight was his egotism. Compared to Trump, if Narcissus looked at his reflection he'd be filled with self loathing.

Hana M September 27, 2016 at 7:20 am

"Personally, I came out of this feeling more sympathetic to Trump as a person, believe it or not. I think he genuinely sees the infrastructural decay and it frosts him. Same with "you had 30 years to solve it." Undeniably true; Clinton's whole "let's build on our success" schtick is such a steaming lot of 10%-er-ness. But if Trump wants to make this election a referendum on the political class, he's going to have to do a lot better than this. If you regard success in the debate as emitting presidential markers (like NATO Article 5), then Clinton unquestionably won."

Well said and thanks for doing this, Lambert. I went to bed right after the debate so it's great to get a recap with this excellent comment thread. I watched on C-Span and after the debate the candidates went down to the foot of the stage and it seemed that apart from family no one wanted to shake Trump's hand. The whole crowd was around Clinton. Trump and his family just looked at each other and headed for the exit. It was weird and sad.

stefan September 27, 2016 at 9:11 am

Did Trump suffer a mini-stroke on stage? After slurring a word, he began to answer questions for a while with incoherent, freely associated chains of slogans and phrases. This, about the time he blurted out about Hillary's stamina–, psychological projection perhaps? Then he began to list to his left and lean pronouncedly on his podium. After the debate, he left the hall rather too promptly. Was the elderly Trump physically fit enough to withstand a one-on-one 90 minute debate?

[Sep 27, 2016] No, Really, Clinton Will Be Very Hawkish as President

Notable quotes:
"... The first is that Clinton has consistently sided with the conventional wisdom in Washington at the time about what the U.S. should do in response to any conflict or crisis. She has reliably backed more aggressive measures abroad in part because that is what pundits and analysts in Washington are usually demanding on any given issue. She isn't one to resist demands to "do something," because she typically sees no reason to resist them, and often enough she is making the same demands. ..."
"... Clinton will have few opportunities to advance a domestic agenda in the face of determined resistance in Congress. Even if Clinton has a Senate majority, she won't have one in the House, so it is doubtful that she will be able to get any "domestic reforms" passed. ..."
"... It is quite possible that governing as an liberal hawk will "derail her presidency," as Walt says, but we have at least one example that tell us that isn't necessarily true. Obama has presided over eight continuous years of war, including at least two interventions that he started and continued illegally without Congressional approval, and yet he is poised to leave office with a reasonably good approval rating ..."
"... That isn't going to discourage Clinton from her usual interventionism. The Obama years have reminded us of the unfortunate truth that the public will tolerate quite a few foreign wars as long as the direct costs to the U.S. in American lives are low. ..."
"... Remember, Clinton doesn't think that the Libyan war was a failure or a mistake, but rather considers it "smart power at its best." ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The American Conservative

Stephen Walt isn't persuaded that Hillary Clinton will be as hawkish a president as her record suggests:

If Clinton goes overboard with more globalization, expanded U.S. security guarantees, open-ended nation-building in distant lands, or even expensive acts of international philanthropy, all those skeptical people beguiled by Trump or Sanders will be even angrier. By contrast, if she can win over some of the people during her first term, her popularity will soar and re-election would be easy. The lesson? Clinton should focus on domestic reforms and not on international crusades. And as former State Department officials Jeremy Shapiro and Richard Sokolsky suggest, that's been her basic inclination all along.

Clinton would be unwise to pursue an even more activist and militarized foreign policy agenda as president, but Walt and I agree about this because we generally view that sort of foreign policy as dangerous and contrary to American interests anyway. It does seem foolish for any president to want to do the things that Clinton thinks the U.S. should do, but that is not a reason to think it won't happen. I have made my objections to Shapiro and Sokolsky's piece before , so I won't repeat all of them here, but there are at least four major reasons why we should assume that Clinton's foreign policy will be even more hawkish and interventionist than Obama's .

The first is that Clinton has consistently sided with the conventional wisdom in Washington at the time about what the U.S. should do in response to any conflict or crisis. She has reliably backed more aggressive measures abroad in part because that is what pundits and analysts in Washington are usually demanding on any given issue. She isn't one to resist demands to "do something," because she typically sees no reason to resist them, and often enough she is making the same demands.

The second is that Clinton won't be able to "focus on domestic reforms" alone because foreign events and her public enthusiasm for U.S. "leadership" won't allow her to do that. There will probably be a new civil war or international crisis at some point over the next four years, and she will feel compelled to be seen doing something about it, and given her record that will almost certainly mean deeper U.S. involvement than most Americans would prefer.

The third is that Clinton will have few opportunities to advance a domestic agenda in the face of determined resistance in Congress. Even if Clinton has a Senate majority, she won't have one in the House, so it is doubtful that she will be able to get any "domestic reforms" passed. The one area where Congress is totally submissive to the executive is foreign policy, and that is what Clinton will spend a disproportionate amount of her time on because she will mostly be stymied at home. Clinton won't be hemmed in by budgetary concerns. The other party has been insisting for years that we must throw more money at the Pentagon, and there is no reason to think that Clinton worries about paying for this through borrowing. Finally, Clinton will be inheriting at least two ongoing wars, one of which she will be under significant pressure to escalate, and she will also inherit the Obama administration's horrible enabling of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. In that sense, it won't be entirely up to Clinton how much time these matters take up in her first term, because she is already committed to continuing these missions for the foreseeable future.

It is quite possible that governing as an liberal hawk will "derail her presidency," as Walt says, but we have at least one example that tell us that isn't necessarily true. Obama has presided over eight continuous years of war, including at least two interventions that he started and continued illegally without Congressional approval, and yet he is poised to leave office with a reasonably good appro