Observations On The First Trump-Clinton Debate

first-2016-debate

It was as predictable as it was tragic: on Drudge shortly after the debate, his debate poll showed that over 90% of Matt’s readers—almost as high a percentage as that of black Americans who believe Barack Obama has been a great President—believed that Donald Trump won. At CNN, the percentages weren’t as lopsided, but still reversed: about 70% believed Hillary won. Confirmation bias rules supreme in such settings, and bias makes us stupid. Fortunately, as my analysis of these two awful candidates should have proven by now, I have no biases in this race. I would like to see both candidates lose,and badly. Indeed, as both are the political equivalents of virulent cancers on the culture and potentially the office they seek, I would like to learn that both have mysteriously vanished without a trace, like Judge Crater, Ambrose Bierce, Rick Moranis, or Gilbert O’Sullivan

Observations on last night’s debate:

1. The conservative websites are whining about Lester Holt serving as the “third debater” last night. In a word, baloney. Holt did all right, not great,  in an impossible role, primarily by letting the combatants talk; in fact, a heavier moderator hand would have been preferable.  The birther question to Trump and the “Presidential look” questions were undoubtedly moderator shots at Trump, but shots like that are opportunities too. Trump didn’t handle either well. Character is the issue with Trump, not policy, and those were character questions that he should have been prepared for. Maybe he was; maybe those pathetic answers were Trumps’ idea of good ones. Yes, Holt pressed Trump on the ultimately irrelevant issue of whether he was or was not in favor of the Iraq invasion and when, but that was also an appropriate approach for a moderator, and it gave Trump a chance to clarify his position, if one can ever use “clarify” and “Trump” in the same sentence.

As an aside, I wonder if “Sean Hannity can back me up” is the lamest defense ever uttered in a Presidential debate. It may be.

2. Trump was Trump, that’s all, and perhaps a slightly less offensive and more substantive version than usual. Hillary was smug, with a frozen smile and an expression that said, “Boy, is this guy an idiot!” all debate long. That’s a big mistake, for virtually nobody likes smug. Trump’s expression toward Hillary was usually one of a wary and respectful foe. He was listening, she was sneering. Her repeated call for “fact-checking” was weak, and appeared to be appeals for assistance.

3. The statement that most screamed out for a fact-check was Hillary’s statement that the 2008 crash was caused by “trickle-down” economic theory:

“We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created a perfect storm.”

The collapse was, in fact, in largest part because Democrats Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and others pushed to relax regulations to force banks into giving sub-prime mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, and regulators were asleep at the switch when Wall Street hucksters packaged the bad loans into unstable “products” that poisoned the economy. No serious analyst has blamed the collapse on tax rates, and the vilified “Bush tax cuts” are still in place, eight years into Obama’s administration, surviving a period where Democrats controlled Congress and the White House. Her statement is either a lie or ignorant nonsense. Trump was not quick enough or prepared enough to challenge it. That’s his failure.

4. Trump’s insistence that the New York stop-and-frisk law was not declared unconstitutional was just plain wrong. Fact-checkers will say he was “lying”: no, he’s  a dolt.

5. Trump didn’t propose or explain very much that was specific enough to criticize. Again, that’s his modus operandi. How he gets away with it is a mystery, but he does, which understandably drives the news media and his critics crazy. It’s going to be great, I’ll fix it, I’ll make them pay, I’ll cut a deal, blah blah ibbity poo. That’s good enough for his ignorant and angry fans. What he did best last night was describe what’s gone wrong and going wrong under Obama, despite official Democratic denial: the debt, the infrastructure, the slow recovery, the Middle East, the Iran deal, ISIS. Hillary had no valid answers or defenses for any of those, and she ignored the debt repeatedly, as well she might, for there is no excusing it, and Democrats are culpable.

6. Holt’s worst question of the night, and one of the stupidest questions ever asked in any debate, ever: “How are you going to bring back the industries that have left this country for cheaper labor overseas? How, specifically, are you going to tell American manufacturers that you have to come back?”

Does he think this is like asking a spouse who’s moved out to come back? What does Holt think? If a country has moved operations out of the country, it’s not going to move back because a President says “you have to come back.” That’s moderator incompetence. I don’t believe that a smart and informed moderator asks a question like that.

7. I also don’t think an honest or competent Presidential candidate answers a question about “creating prosperity” with this, as Hillary did in her very first statement:

“The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we’ll build together. Today is my granddaughter’s second birthday, so I think about this a lot. First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.

I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.

 I also want to see more companies do profit-sharing. If you help create the profits, you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top.

And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. I’ve heard from so many of you about the difficult choices you face and the stresses that you’re under. So let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days. Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college.

How are we going to do it? We’re going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

This is absolute boilerplate blather, and insultingly so. “How are you going to create more and better paying jobs?” “We’ll do it by creating more and better paying jobs!” The vague or hackneyed talking points Clinton mentioned—what are the “corporate loopholes”?— have nothing to do with creating prosperity or expanding the economy. Raising the minimum wage to levels Democrats have advocated are a good bet to lose jobs and hurt small businesses. More employee benefits like family leave similarly involve trade-offs that don’t lead to “prosperity.” The equal pay trope is a long-standing lie that has been debunked over and over again, but Democrats keep throwing it out and the facts be damned. However, even accepting the misrepresentations about the gender pay-gap, eliminating it has little to do with building the economy, which is what is generally meant by prosperity.

Later on in the debate, Hillary claimed  that her “plan” won’t “add a penny” to the debt despite having the Treasury pay for everyone’s college degree (what else does “debt-free college” mean?) so even the most addled student can get the benefit of safe-spaces, trigger warnings, unenforced drug laws,  leftist indoctrination, subsidized football and basketball, apartheid, speech codes, presumed guilt for rape accusations and no education in Western civilization or U.S.  history whatsoever, free of charge. What a deal!

Stipulated: everything Trump says is blather, and less articulate, rambling blather.

8. Trump missed so many opportunities to zing Clinton that it became frustrating to watch all the fat pitches sailing over the plate without him even offering a swing. For example, it is laughable, after what we have learned about Hillary’s technical competence (that is, she has none) to hear her attempt to talk authoritatively about how to improve cyber-security. Under her, the State Department was unconscionably lax and incompetent in this regard, and either she is more ignorant of technology than the the average 12-year-old, or she should have been indicted. Trump, however, as usual, was winging it, faking it, and flying by the seat of his pants. That’s how he will be President too, of course. Got it.

9. What was Trump’s most damning utterance? There were lots of candidates. I’d rank them..

His absurd and obviously dishonest defense of not releasing his taxes

His offer to release them if Hillary  releases “her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.” Why didn’t he have some real fun, and pledge to release his returns if Hillary promised to sing a karaoke version of “Runaround Sue”?

His description of his father’s multi-million dollar business loan as “a small loan.”

His evasive non-explanation of his five year birther attack on President Obama.

His cynical and ugly “That’s called business, by the way,” retort, essentially confirming that, as Clinton said, he had hoped the real estate market would collapse so he could profit.

10. The one time Trump pointedly agreed with Clinton was when he said that the United States should violate the Fifth Amendment and due process by taking away the Second Amendment rights of citizens who are placed on a no-fly list. He’s an ignorant, badly educated non-lawyer, so he has more of an excuse for this totalitarian position than Clinton does, but he was the only one who mentioned it last night.

We should not elect Presidents who do not understand the Bill of Rights.

11. But we shouldn’t elect either of these two, and we have no other viable options. The debate did nothing to change that assessment, which has been an unavoidable one for a long, long time.

Who won? The question is meaningless in this context. My guess is that Trump’s poll numbers will rise, just as they did after all the Republican debates that he “lost.”Fool me once, shame on you (I’ll always remember how Charles Krauthammer on Fox pronounced Trump’s first GOP candidates debate performance an utter disaster that exposed him as unfit and unqualified, as I nodded in agreement); fool me 2,547 times, shame on me.)

The nation still loses either way.

Here’s a transcript.

 

41 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Race, Rights, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society

41 responses to “Observations On The First Trump-Clinton Debate

  1. “I would like to see both candidates lose,and badly.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I’ll vote for Donald Trump before I vote for Hillary Clinton.

    And I will never, EVER, vote for Donald Trump.

    • Paul said, “I’ll vote for Donald Trump before I vote for Hillary Clinton. And I will never, EVER, vote for Donald Trump.”

      I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton before I vote for Donald Trump, and I will never, EVER, vote for Hillary Clinton.

      No matter how we phrase it; in the eyes of true Democratic Party political hacks, that makes us both sexists. Ain’t it sad.

  2. Wayne

    I think far too much time in the debate was spent talking about the birther issue. Certainly Trump was trying to find a reason to force Obama out of office although Hillary apparently gave the nod to investigate the matter to one of her subordinates. There sadly wasn’t much substance in the debate and too much nasty finger pointing. I do think that Holt was biased against Trump as revealed by his “gotcha” questions. Hillary was totally left off the hook, Maybe that’s why we got so much of the smug smile.

    • Chris

      “Certainly Trump was trying to find a reason to force Obama out of office although Hillary apparently gave the nod to investigate the matter to one of her subordinates.”

      Please provide evidence of this claim.

      • 1. Trump was trolling, that’s all. Nothing, including voluntary sworn statements from Kenyan nurses, would “force Obama” out of office. I doubt Trump believed his own charges.

        2. Whether Hillary approved the efforts by Sid Vicious and other staffers to seed birther rumors or not, if they came from her staff, she’s responsible. That’s how it works. I doubt that she “gave a nod,” just like Obama didn’t give a nod to the IRS. A nod isn’t necessary. A corrupt culture is.

  3. Can we get Gary Johnson in the next debate?

  4. Jack, you summed last night’s fiasco very well. I found it to be a “nonevent.” Nothing new was brought to the table as we keep hashing the same old issues/news. In my opinion, Trump seemed more in control and he fakes it well. Hillary looked nervous. It seems as though “closing the government loopholes” has been on the presidential agenda for about 20 yrs.

    I expected some answers. How would jobs be created? We know Trump’s “Secret” plan for eradicating ISIS is to call a meeting of the generals once he is in office and make them develop a plan. (from Trump’s mouth) So his plan is not a plan. I wanted to hear about policy and what each candidate actually plans on doing and HOW, not just sugar coating a general speech. As for Holt’s question, I wasn’t bothered by that Jack because Trump has said, many times, that he’d get those jobs to come back. The I first heard Mr. T. say that, I immediately thought, how is he going to do that?

  5. How do we create jobs?

    “We also have to make the economy fairer.”

    I’m listening.

    “That starts with raising the national minimum wage”

    How does that get people working? I mean, I understand the idea behind a higher minimum wage making current jobs better, I disagree with it, but I understand it…. But never in the history of ever have people been convinced to buy more of something by jacking the price up. The minimum wage and job numbers are at odds, rising the minimum wage does not create jobs. Jobs might be created in spite of a minimum wage hike, but that just means more jobs would have been created without it.

    “and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.”

    It’s the lie that won’t die. “Muh Wage Gap!”

    “I also want to see more companies do profit-sharing. If you help create the profits, you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top.”

    Again… This doesn’t really work out well for people that don’t currently have a job. And I’m not sure how the government would go about addressing this. It’s a weird answer. Not inherently wrong or offensive though.

    “And I want us to do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work. I’ve heard from so many of you about the difficult choices you face and the stresses that you’re under.”

    Meh.

    “So let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days. Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college.”

    One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Maternity, Paternity, Sick Days and Child Care would not create jobs, but they would make life easier for a lot of people. Depending on who it is you plan on paying for it, it’s either expensive to the tax payer or to the employer, if it’s on the taxpayer, how do you expect to pay for the programs, if it’s the employer this is like the minimum wage and will by it’s nature kill jobs.

    Post secondary education is still the best indicator of success later in life. That said, “Free College” is just plain a bad idea. As a population we’re already over educated and under intelligent. You need a BA to stack cans in a grocery store, and that’s all a BA is good for (sorry if you have a BA). The answer isn’t to push kids to get skills they’ll never use for a workplace that doesn’t exist, it’s to identify honestly what not only they have aptitude for, but what the market needs and guide them there. “Follow Your Dream” is toxic. Not everyone can get a degree in marine biology and swim with dolphins for a living, but that’s exactly what an entire generation will try to do if we don’t have the tempering effect of SOME kind of expense.

    “How are we going to do it? We’re going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

    When did the American dream become “Pay taxes and collect services.”? How are jobs created by increasing the tax burden anywhere? Why is paying taxes a good thing? Why is it a goal? I can’t bring myself to care overmuch what someone else earns, so long as I have the opportunity to succeed… And my ability to do so is hampered every time someone takes another half percentage point of my paycheque. “Tax the rich! Tax the rich!” How does that work!? If you taxed the rich at 100% and for some reason they still maintained current levels of production, it would barely put a dent in the deficit. You couldn’t tax the rich into prosperity, even if they played along! You’re being lied to!

    No, tax increases most commonly happen at the lowest tax rates because the government can get the most money out of that population because it’s spread among so many people we barely notice it, we’ve been nickle and dimed for generations! Wages adjusted for inflation haven’t increased in 20 years? Great! That means that the average person should have just much spending power as they ever did! They don’t? Why not? They’re taxed more!

  6. I mis-spoke, lied, fibbed, fabricated, etc. I meant Corporate Loopholes….sorry

  7. As far as I’m concerned the only thing both sides did was to produce one sound bite after another that can be used in propaganda filled TV ads.

  8. Spartan

    Clinton did look smug. That bothered me. What bothered me more though is that many of Trump’s answers were incoherent. He missed a great zinger later in the debate — I would have said, “Anyone who thinks wiping a server involves a cloth should not pretend to be an authority on cyber issues.”

    • Spartan said, “He missed a great zinger later in the debate — I would have said, ‘Anyone who thinks wiping a server involves a cloth should not pretend to be an authority on cyber issues.’ “

      Yes that would have been a great zinger!, but something like that would have meant that Trump would have to have some forethought and/or intelligently thinking on the fly; it appears that Trump is not capable of forethought and certainly not capable of intelligently thinking on the fly, he’s just a narcissist that reacts and that’s one of the reasons I think he would be a dangerous President.

    • I was shouting that to the TV.
      He’s an idiot.

    • An even better missed opportunity, which would have wiped that sanctimonious smirk off her face, and probably set her on tilt from there on in?

      Right after she said “Remember Alicia Machado…and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

      The Donald: “I hope she does Madam Secretary, guess who else will be voting in November?

      “Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, Eileen Wellstone, Sandra Allen James, Christy Zercher, Paula Jones, Connie Hamzy, Juanita Broaddrick, Elizabeth (Ward) Gracen, Dolly Kyle Browning, Sally Perdue, Lencola Sullivan, Susie Whitacre, Bobbie Ann William, and numerous others.

      “If those names don’t ring a bell, let’s ask your husband, he’s sitting right down there in the front row; Bill, a little help on this?”

      Now THAT would have ZUNG!!

      Box Office!

  9. Greg

    Actually, I think Trump was exactly right about the New York stop and frisk policy being declared unconstitutional. The trial judge did in fact declare stop and frisk unconstitutional, but the appeals court stayed the judgment and removed her from the case on the grounds that she had publicly stated her position on the case before it was filed and then had connived to have it assigned to herself after it was filed. But after Mayor de Blasio took office, the city settled the case, dropping an appeal that it probably would have won because of the blatant partiality of the judge. That’s exactly what Trump described in his answer, although his explanation was incomprehensible to anybody who wasn’t already familiar with the details.

  10. Greg

    Trump said, according to the transcript, “It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her. And our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

    That’s accurate.

    • Greg quoted Trump, “They would have won an appeal.” and then said “That’s accurate.”

      Well, that’s not accurate, it’s a prediction and woulda, coulda, shoulda is not an intelligent argument. They may or may not have won an appeal; the ruling stands, no one even tried to get it overturned, that’s fact.

      Jack is correct.

      • Greg

        You’re quibbling. To the extent that Trump described facts, he was accurate. To the extent that he made a prediction, it was a reasonable one. In any case, he was not “wrong,” which is what Jack said.

        For what it’s worth, I think that stop and frisk, as practiced in NYC, was in fact unconstitutional. The judge’s conduct in the case was improper, however. If de Blasio had not been elected and dropped the appeal, there is a substantial likelihood that her judgment would have been reversed and the entire matter would have had to be relitigated.

        Trump was also correct when he pointed out that stop and frisk has been upheld elsewhere in the country. There’s no question that cops are allowed to stop and frisk people under certain circumstances. Assuming that the trial judge’s findings of fact had been upheld on appeal, there would have been still a significant issue about whether her proposed draconian remedies would have been upheld, or whether the city could have modified its stop and frisk practices to pass constitutional muster. That issue was foreclosed when the city under de Blasio decided to settle the case on the plaintiffs’ terms.

        Before last night’s debate, Trump had started to show surprising support in some polls among black voters. After he chose to answer a question about racism by calling for law and order and stop and frisk, I think we can expect that support to have vanished in the next round of polls.

        • Greg

          By the way, it’s not as if I’m making a strong defense of Trump. When he gave that answer, I was surprised to find out that he actually knew what had happened in the case, but he clearly did. It’s one of the few statements that he made during the night where he actually seemed to have command of the facts.

        • Greg said, “You’re quibbling.”

          Actually I thought you were the one that was quibbling. 😉

          Greg said, “To the extent that Trump described facts, he was accurate.”

          How so? This is from the transcript…

          “HOLT: …Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.

          TRUMP: No, you’re wrong. It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her. And our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal. If you look at it, throughout the country, there are many places where it’s allowed.”

          If Trump was accurately describing the facts please explain why Trump said “No, you’re wrong” to Holt’s statement about being “ruled unconstitutional”? It appears that Holt’s statement was factual and Trump said he was wrong. This is where Jack was identifying that Trump was wrong when Jack said, “Trump’s insistence that the New York stop-and-frisk law was not declared unconstitutional was just plain wrong”.

          Can you please explain how you think “To the extent that Trump described facts, he was accurate” when you completely left out the part where Trump said “you’re wrong” about the unconstitutional ruling statement? I think that is a significant point and not quibbling.

          • Greg

            Trump is speaking, not writing, and he is speaking in a typically imprecise, conversational Trump way. Trump is responding to two points:

            (1) Holt’s real point, the more important one, which is that stop and frisk is unconstitutional; and

            (2) Holt’s subsidiary point, which is that stop and frisk was declared unconstitutional in NY.

            If you listen to Trump’s answer with that in mind, it’s clear what he means:

            (1) Holt is wrong when he suggests that stop and frisk is unconstitutional. “No, you’re wrong. If you look at it, throughout the country, there are many places where it’s allowed.”

            (2) The NY case was wrongly decided by a biased judge and would have been overturned on appeal if not for the intervention of the new Democratic mayor: “It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her. And our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

            He’s clearly not denying that stop and frisk was declared unconstitutional by a NY court. His statement that the city “would have won an appeal” implicitly acknowledges that the city lost in the lower court, but he asserts that the lower court was wrong and its judgment would have been reversed.

            • Geeeeeeeeeeze Greg!

              What part of this statement is wrong; “…stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

              If you cannot prove that statement is factually wrong using facts then just shut the hell up, you’re looking a bit foolish trying to argue points that are in between the damn lines – in other words Greg you’re arguing points that were not there but you are assuming that Trump assumed the points were in the statement. Making those kind of assumptions and basing your argument on such is just plain foolish.

              • Greg

                “Shut the hell up”? That’s the best you can do?

                • Greg said, ““Shut the hell up”? That’s the best you can do?”

                  Well G..R..E..G, since that was not the only thing in my comment and you failed to address any other relevant point in my comment I’ll take that as an ad hominem. I suppose I should have expected this from you, my bad.

            • But they are talking about NYC’s version of stop and frisk, which was, arguably, strongly based on race. Terry v. Ohio does not discuss race. I see the point: no, stop and frisk is legit, but racial profiling is not, and Trump has indeed advocated that in various blobby ways. I took him to say that NYC’s stop and frisk wasn’t declared unconstitutional…and he also said, correctly, that the non-NYC variety was employed elsewhere.

              We wouldn’t have these arguments if Trump could talk coherently.

    • You’re just wrong, Greg. If it were “taken away from her,” then the matter would still be pending. The policy was ended because of her ruling that it was unconstitutional. That is the only ruling there has been, and it stands.

      • Greg

        After she decided the case and it was on appeal, the 2nd Circuit removed her from the case and reassigned it to another judge because of the appearance of bias that she had created. Her judgment was stayed pending appeal. The policy was ended, not because of her ruling, but because de Blasio settled the case on the plaintiffs’ terms before the appeal was decided. If she had ruled for the city and the plaintiffs had been the ones appealing, de Blasio still would have settled the case on the plaintiffs’ terms.

        I don’t remember if you allow links or not, but if you do, here’s a link to the 2nd Circuit’s order:

        https://ccrjustice.org/sites/default/files/assets/2nd%20Cir%20Panel%27s%2011%2013%202013%20Opinion%20Explaining%2010%2031%202013%20Order%20Removing%20Judge%20Scheindlin.pdf

        • I allow links.

          But that’s not how the system works. Unless a higher court has overturned a ruling, the ruling stands. Ordering a judge off the case and staying her order does not alter a fact: the policy was ruled unconstitutional, and no subsequent court ruled otherwise. The fact that the city acted in accordance with a ruling when it was not bound to do so doesn’t change the fact. And if you think Trump understands any of your nuances or mine, you are excessively generous.

          • Chris Marschner

            Jack, This is for my edification only. Does a District Court judge’s opinion on the Constitutionality of a particular practice or method of police work make the practice valid or invalid in other jurisdictions? Would this not be a Circuit Court issue?

  11. I agree with most of your points and the comments here. Clinton seemed to have won the debate, though. She played a pretty clever game by getting under his skin – she criticized his worth as a business man and challenged the value of his company(ies). Her strategy worked, taking him off his game. By the end of the debate, he was frothing at the mouth, which may be the reason for her smug looks.

    Trump was ill prepared and it showed. I found his constant interruptions off-putting and rude, as well as unprofessional. “Wrong” is not a really good answer, Donald. When he crows about not paying taxes, those taxpayers who do find it insulting. Additionally, a presidential candidate should not, under any circumstances I can think of, name someone he or she thinks should be excoriated because of personal animus. The Rosie O’Donnell feud should be put to rest, as loathsome as she is. Continually celebrating his constant insults is singularly disqualifying.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why he let the cyber-security question go without a snappy retort, something along the lines of:

    “Well, in my administration we will encourage all department heads dealing with classified information to use private, off-site servers (hopefully kept in their bathroom closets) to ensure the highest protections. If it is immune from FOIA, then it will be free from hackers. Oh, and they won’t have to learn the codes for security purposes, either. ‘C’ will simply mean ‘Paragraph C’ and not ‘Classified'”.

    I am not sure that Clinton had a smug look on her face, though. That may be the result of the smug look she has all the time so I didn’t see any change.

    On balance, the Trumplodytes still love Trump. the Clintonistas will still swoon over Clinton, and the rest of us will wonder whether we should watch “Big Bang Theory” reruns or “River Monsters” because we don’t have any real options at this point.

    jvb

  12. James Flood

    @jvb: anyone enthusiastic about either candidate is certifiable. It’s become trite of late but it’s true: they are both terrible human beings. I’ve picked my poison and I’m voting for Trump (in Massachusetts, so it’s a textbook futile and stupid gesture) because I believe the country can better withstand his particular strain of virulence. A Trump presidency would effectively be a “Journalism Reinvestment Act”. President Hillary? 4-8 years of journalistic slumber, or if active, it will be to defend her “historic” presidency against misogyny.

    • It wouldn’t be Journalism suddenly doing it’s job as an apolitical question everything advocate of the people…

      It’d be journalism just doing what it’s always done…protecting the Left and attacking the non-Left….

      People will merely say “GREAT! TRUSTWORTHY JOURNALISM IS BACK! From now on, believe EVERYTHING they say!!!!”

  13. Raising the minimum wage to levels Democrats have advocated are a good bet to lose jobs and hurt small businesses. More employee benefits like family leave similarly involve trade-offs that don’t lead to “prosperity.”

    Here is what I do not get.

    According to Occupy Democrats ®™, President Obama created over a million new jobs. why would we need to raise the minimum wage? Can not these minimum wage people get one of those new jobs Obama created?

  14. zoebrain

    Jack, you’re still grading the Donald on a curve.

    Maybe it’s impossible not to do that if you’re writing about these two, but Clinton is wrong within normal limits.

    Trump will be able to issue unconstitutional decrees much faster than courts can ovrrturn them, a process that takes years or even decades today.

    A dysfunctional, gridlocked Congress has abdicated its responsibility to legislate, so it has become the custom for the Administration to issue Executive Orders just to keep the country running at a minimal level.

    A Trump administration will be run like Trump’s business empire. The law will be whatever he can get away with. As long as he stays a few jumps ahead of a clogged Federal Court system. Those GOP Congressman who oppose him will have pressure, both political and from Trump’s less savoury business partners to roll over and do a Cruz. Or else.

    Trump/Pence will be a rerun of Long/Coughlin, but without any of Huey Long’s redeeming features.

    • Jack, you’re still grading the Donald on a curve.

      I don’t know how you can possibly claim that. I’ve already endorsed P.J. O’Roarke’s statement that Hillary is horrible within normal political standards, whereas Trump is horrible far outside of any acceptable range.

      There is no way to know what Trump will do, because it’s obvious that he doesn’t know, or have the discipline or intellect to figure it out. The smart bets are on disaster, but anyone who professes to be certain how Trump will perform hasn’t been paying attention, to him, or history. It’s amazing how many Presidents, being elected and finding themselves at the epicenter of destiny, find the strength and character to rise to the challenge.

    • Chris Marschner

      Since we are grading let me take a stab at your arguments.
      “Maybe it’s impossible not to do that if you’re writing about these two, but Clinton is wrong within normal limits.” You have not defined what is normal limits.

      “Trump will be able to issue unconstitutional decrees much faster than courts can ovrrturn them, a process that takes years or even decades today.” Please describe the types of decrees that will be followed by agency heads without question – Could it not be said that every administration issues decrees that prove to be unconstitutional and some remain constitutional until decided in courts?

      “A dysfunctional, gridlocked Congress has abdicated its responsibility to legislate, so it has become the custom for the Administration to issue Executive Orders just to keep the country running at a minimal level.”

      Congress passes an immense number of bills each year. Just because the minority party in the House and Senate do not get their way does not make the process gridlocked – elections have consequences according to President Obama. The current administration’s executive orders have had no bearing on minimum necessary operations.

      “A Trump administration will be run like Trump’s business empire. The law will be whatever he can get away with. As long as he stays a few jumps ahead of a clogged Federal Court system. Those GOP Congressman who oppose him will have pressure, both political and from Trump’s less savoury business partners to roll over and do a Cruz. Or else.”

      This statement describes the current administration’s actual behavior. Elija Cummings runs interference for senior leaders casting all criticism as racially motivated. – Can you name those business partners or are you just employing innuendo. Maybe we should ask Seth Rich, Shawn Lucas, or John Ashe about those sinister folks.

      C,Mon Z I expect better arguments.

  15. Greg: The Washington Post Fact-Checker explained correctly why Trump was wrong about the Stop and Frisk decision. Of course, it also, by the use of the Pinocchio graphics, suggests that he was lying rather than merely confused.

    I know you weren’t lying either.

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