Election 2016, September 25 — October 1

Trump-Clinton debate expected to shatter records

The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump promises to be the most watched ever, with an audience that could exceed 100 million people, according to experts interviewed by The Hill.

A debate with an audience that size would be something never seen before in U.S. politics and would be a figure close to what the Super Bowl gets.

The first debate is tomorrow, September 26.


68 thoughts on “Election 2016, September 25 — October 1

  1. Is it the moderator’s job to correct Trump’s “lies”, as the Clinton campaign wants?

    STEPHANOPOULOS: You guys have been pushing that pretty hard, this idea of a double standard, and saying it’s up to the moderator to point out falsehoods. But the debate commission has been pretty clear that they think it’s the job of the moderator basically to get out of the way and just ask the questions.

    And Gennifer Flowers may attend the debate.  Did the Clinton campaign start that fight?  Did Trump just follow their lead of going down the low road?

    Robby Mook pushes the theory that it would be “unfair” to Hillary Clinton for the debate moderator not to intervene on her behalf and correct Trump.

  2. This complete abandonment of facts this election cycle is so irritating to me. The NRA’s $5 million ad buy saying ng HRC plans to eliminate 2nd amendment rights is a good example. Based on my facebook feed, there are plenty of people who believe that. When I asked one woman for her source for that allegation, she went off in me about how she doesn’t need citations or articles to tell her what’s going on, that she knows how democrats are, and that’s all the “proof@ she needs. But as for Monday, how do you debate someone who makes stuff up and presents them as facts, denies things they are on record as having said, etc. it is just bizarre.

  3. “But as for Monday, how do you debate someone who makes stuff up and presents them as facts”

    That’s a question both candidates have to face.

  4. Clinton brags about sweating the details. She should not need the moderator to intervene on her behalf.

  5. I have never, never, never understood the way debates are run. Of course debaters should be held to the truth! I have watched debates since the 80’s, and have always detested the lies and half truths slung about, because you can’t be an effective debater if spend all your time correcting your opponent. So everyone lets the lies slide. And now it has all come home to roost, with a candidate who destroyed a whole bunch experienced, knowledgable primary opponents by simply lying and insulting others at a rate that no one could keep up with. I think Trump had realized, watching how so many falsehoods go unopposed in debates, that he could go over the top and no one would stop him. And that is exactly what happened.

    I do not get debates.

  6. @Anon,

    I do not want Clinton to be President. I don’t want Trump to be President either, understand, but there isn’t an Option C, and at this point, IMO, Clinton would be worse for the country than Trump.

    And debates have never made sense to me either, but for different reasons than MM mentions. Choosing a president based upon debate performance makes about as much sense as requiring both candidates to take the SAT while we all watch. It doesn’t test the skills that are actually required of a good leader. A polished college debater or a quick-thinking comedian like Stephen Colbert could probably demolish either of our candidates in a debate, but what would that prove? Being able to think on your feet and deliver a scathing response to a stupid question or comment doesn’t demonstrate how well you would negotiate with hostile members of Congress or work with other heads of state to combat Islamic jihad. The lies are irrelevant at this point. We all know that both Trump and Clinton play loose with the facts, and we don’t really need a moderator to point out the lies when Google is on our phones.

  7. “Milo, are they all biased?”

    Generally, yes. Everything is, one way or another. There’s no other explanation for why, of all the lies from both candidates this cycle, they would pick now to make their official declaration about one of them. And they’ve called Hillary a liar, too:


  8. I completely agree that they’ve called Hillary a liar, too. But they also make clear that the sheer volume of lies from Trump means you cannot equate the two. And as for the timing, I assume it is because the debates start tonight.

  9. “but there isn’t an Option C”

    Scarlett, I agree with what you say leading up to that. But there are other options, the most viable of which is the Johnson/Weld Libertarian ticket (and, yes, they have problems, too).

    If all of us who say “I do not want Clinton to be President. I don’t want Trump to be President either” voted Libertarian we just might get the election thrown to Congress, where the House has to decide between the 3 highest electoral-vote winners and the Senate chooses between the two highest VP electoral-vote winners.

    But we have to be serious in our convictions that neither Hillary or Donald are fit to serve and then act on it.

  10. I see that both sides parse the lies and conclude the other side’s lies are worse. It comes down to a matter of opinion.

  11. “the sheer volume of lies from Trump means you cannot equate the two.”

    Don’t you suspect everything that either one of them says might be a lie?

  12. 538 has Hillary’s likelihood of winning down to 52%, and Trump at 48%. In other words, a coin toss at this point.

    Just a couple of days ago, Hillary was starting to reverse Trump’s momentum; now, he’s suddenly taken it back with a couple of polls that put him either dead even or slightly ahead nationally (depending on whether you include Johnson/Stein), a poll that puts him leading in Colorado (by just one point), and another that show’s Hillary’s once strong lead in Pennsylvania down to just one point.

  13. I wasn’t able to watch the debate last night, so I came here hoping to read what people thought.

  14. I refused to watch it. I usually watch debates as a kind of intellectual sporting event, but I am too horrified by this election, and you-know-who. I couldn’t have turned off my anger long enough to have gotten through it.

  15. I watched the debate. Everyone behaved about as expected, including the postmortem commentators. Clinton didn’t turn into a person you want to hang out with, Trump didn’t turn into a statesman. It was a poor teaser for the other two debates, though, unless you want to see whether as he indicated he decides to make the next one about Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct and her related actions. Trump “won” on jobs and trade in the beginning, but he flagged quickly – he was the one with little stamina and preparation. Although both candidates said things to each other that were rude or impolite, he was interrupting, blustery and hectoring, she was cool, supercilious and delivered hers with an Eastern elite version of “bless your heart”. He missed many opportunities to hammer away at her weaknesses because he was in full reactive mode. No one who thinks Clinton is a pernicious liar and a danger to the republic had his or her mind changed. No one who thinks Trump is unqualified and a danger to the republic had his or her mind changed. A few on the fence female voters probably decided for her. All those people who have not decided yet whether to stay home, vote for a third party, or hold their nose and vote for one of the two were likely not swayed.

  16. I have never watched Trump in action. He was both better and worse than I imagined. Agree with Meme and don’t think that either of them moved the needle very much. I would like to watch the next debate in a room full of people from the full political spectrum to see the unvarnished reaction.

  17. How much do people react to the candidates as people and how much do they react to the effects of their likely policies? If I could be sure Clinton would be unsuccessful at adding entitlement programs, I would probably vote for her. Trump is a disaster. One of the hardest-to-change legacies of the Affordable Care Act is that the ratio of premiums for old:young people for the cost of private insurance can’t exceed 3:1. (Thus insurance for a 64 year old can’t cost more than 3x that of a 21 year old.)

    The CBO estimated 21 million people would buy insurance and 12 million have. The market for private insurance is largely insufficient. A huge reason for this is the expectation that the young can continue to afford to subsidize the old.

  18. I just feel disappointed all around! I cannot abide Hillary’s stance/foreign policy. I just fail to understand what we have been doing in Middle East/Afghanistan/Pakistan. Let’s stop arming pakistani terrorists. Let’s stop sending our weapons to Afghanistan. This so called competition with Russia in the region is a zero sum game and has not worked in last 30years or so. The almost daily bombings are a result of our actions in the region. Both democrats and republicans are to blame for it.

    Sadly Trump will not be able to change it and he is a disaster on domestic front.

  19. +1 to meme

    I watched the whole thing with my 17yo who said, after 30 mins, if Comedy Central were running this, there would probably be fewer laughs. What he really noticed was Trump not answering. While Hillary often did not directly answer either, it just seemed a bit less obvious.

    I thought the very end of the debate was telling when Lester Holt asked Trump if he would support Hillary should she be elected. His response was an emphatic yes. Hers to the same question a minute before was lukewarm. He got points from me for that.

  20. Trump really needs to think on his feet. The cyber security/Russian hacking issue Hillary brought up was ripe for a turnaround but Trump completely blew it. It’s as if his advisors asked him to keep the issue for a later debate so he wouldn’t even touch it.

  21. Well, he kind of had to be emphatic with his yes, because he had been caught sort of advocating violence against Hillary earlier this month. It was one of his typical coded statements – this time he said that they should take away the guns from Hillary’s bodyguards and see what happens to her. If in this debate, he had to make himself look sane, he needed to do whatever it took to back away from that kind of statement

  22. WCE, the whole point of health insurance is for the healthier to subsidize the sicker. Young people tend to be healthier, so they end up doing a lot of the subsidizing. But not always – my kid will probably be one who is subsidized even in his 20’s simply because he has to be followed closely. Before Obamacare, the only way he would have gotten insurance would have been employment in a corporation that offered it. I used to know a guy who was 30, who had Ewings sarcoma as a teen – he was locked into a job he despised because of the health insurance.

    The big problem with Obamacare, and it was predicted at the time, is that the penalties are not stiff enough. You really have to get everyone in.

  23. I thought that he missed a lot of opportunities to go after her. When she said the thing about equal pay/he thinks women need to perform as well as me. Why didn’t he say, hell yes, I think women need to perform as well as men for equal pay. And furthermore, I think they absolutely can. Benghazi, the emails, taxes, etc. He is very good at the personal attacks but is not nearly as skillful at attacking her policies. I think he lacks the discipline to stay on message and lets her get under his skin with the personal stuff.

  24. There is a Facebook thing going around saying that he was on coke last night. I disagree. I think he has severe, probably untreated, ADHD.

  25. Mooshi, the people they want to do the subsidizing (in their 20’s) often don’t have the money to buy insurance and/or they have children of their own to pay for childcare for, etc.

    I would be more open to a program that explicitly uses tax dollars to subsidize medical cost overruns experienced by private insurers because taxes are usually progressive. Taxing poor people in their 20’s, especially people with kids, is regressive.

    I also dislike the marriage penalty, where if you get married before 26, you lose access to your parents’ policy but if you just live together, you don’t.

  26. “I would be more open to a program that explicitly uses tax dollars to subsidize medical cost overruns experienced by private insurers ”
    That wouldn’t work because then private insurers would have a lot of incentive to produce cost overruns. Sort of like how defense contractors used to operate…

  27. Have to agree with WCe on this one. Subsidizing medical costs for people who have high income jobs, or high income parents etc by the people who barely make enough to make ends meet just rubs everyone wrong.

  28. Ideally there should be patient contributions should be like property tax. The higher your income, the higher your contribution to your own medical costs beyond a certain point. I obviously haven’t thought about the logistics of this.

  29. But in Obamacare, the costs are adjusted by income, at least up to a certain point. There is a subsidy for those who have less income.

  30. Rocky – I’m digging through the first study, and what all their data crunching and fancy graphs boil down to is that a black person is more likely than a white person to be shot by the police.

    Only toward the end of their very detailed analysis do they concede that this may be due to the fact that a black person is more likely than a white person to be a violent criminal, and this may explain the disparity.

    It is important to reiterate that these risk ratios come only from the sample of individuals who were shot by police and census data on race/ethnicity-specific population information. The USPSD does not have information on encounter rates between police and subjects according to ethnicity.

    It’s unfortunate that Vanity Fair ignored this key point.

  31. Was Trump advocating violence against Clinton or simply pointing out the hypocrisy of a person who is protected by 24/7 armed guards making proposals to limit the 2nd Amendment rights of the unprotected masses?

  32. Scarlett the listener can read into his words what he or she desires. Thus was not the first oblique comment he made At a rally a when ago while discussing gun rights he said

    If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

  33. What strikes me about the Tulsa and Charlotte videos is that while the suspects/subjects appeared to be non-compliant and somewhat erratic (not all there), from what I can gather watching the video from the safety of my home is that they’re likewise not presenting a huge threat to anyone. I understand that the Charlotte police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant when they came upon Scott in his car, maybe with drug paraphernalia, apparently with a gun, and presumably not consenting to normal directions, and that prompted them to initially back off, call in backup and put on Kevlar. But then they seem to advance somewhat aggressively and force the situation to a quick conclusion. In hindsight, if you have three or four officers in a semicircle, just back off, stay behind a car, and talk him out. Be patient.

    Same in Tulsa. From what I saw on the helicopter video, he was acting like he was very high on something, but he didn’t appear to be acting aggressively.

    In some of these situations, it seems like there’s this unnecessary sense of urgency on the police to get control of the situation right now.

    To better understand this, we need to try to consider what is likely going on in the minds of the police officers on the scene. They’re usually young, their training is limited, and their jobs are characterized by long periods of boredom occasionally punctuated by extreme stress and danger. I have a couple of rightwing Facebook acquaintances, and in the aftermath of the Tulsa shooting, one of them shared this video that was making its rounds on Facebook. It’s very disturbing and utterly heartbreaking, and it was keeping me awake one night just replaying it in my head (and I’m not normally a very sentimental person). So I did some research on this depressing case, and it seems that this dashcam video is used in police recruit training all over the country. There is a very important parallel to the Tulsa case here that I think sparked the initial sharing of this on FB, and that is when (Crutcher?) after acting erratically for a while and not responding to police directions, appeared to be going back to his SUV. That’s the point where the woman shot him.

    Make sure your audio is on:

    If you want to argue about police profiling, I think this might offer the exceptions that prove the rule. The guy’s older, he’s white, he’s a combat veteran. With different demographic/risk characteristics, it’s possible that the deputy would have done more than just strike him with a baton when he was physically assaulted. On the other hand, until the guy goes back to his truck, he was unarmed. Maybe he also should have shot him immediately after he grabbed the rifle (I’m not entirely sure when he actually started shooting), but there are police training seminars out there that dissect this in nauseating detail. It also shows just how difficult it is to win a gun fight with a pistol against someone with a rifle. A 12-guage shotgun would have been very helpful here.

    From what I’ve discovered online, just about all police recruits are shown this video in training about how not to lose control of the situation. There are follow-up seminar discussion questions. There may be an argument to be made that perhaps they shouldn’t–perhaps it’s such a statistical anomaly that it’s not worth it. It’s highly possible that this murderer (executed by lethal injection a couple years ago by the state of Georgia) and the video he unwittingly created are indirectly responsible for a number of deaths by police shooting in the ensuing years, and possibly for saving a few cops’ lives, too. There’s always going to be a balance somewhere. But, like I said, we should try to understand what they’re going through and what they’re likely thinking.

    I think a common sense, “low hanging fruit” goal that could be pursued would be more training about how police can deescalate situations while minimizing risk to themselves.

  34. That video is crazy. The officer was 22 :(

    I am not sure what to say. This is part of the price we pay for clinging to our second amendment rights. Police officers are never going to be able to accurately judge who really is a threat and who is not. It would be nice if they didn’t escalate things and it would be nice if they could check their bias at the start of their shifts, but I don’t see that happening. Maybe more training would be helpful. Maybe paying police officers more would provide a better, more even-keeled pool of potential police officers. Maybe having officers live in the communities they serve would help. I don’t know. I understand why police officers go in to situations amped up and ready to go. But I still hold them to a higher standard and don’t think that they should be shooting at people just for not following directions. The whole situation is a mess.

  35. There was a time when the murderer was, himself, a 22-year-old, and a clean-cut, college-educated, not half-bad-looking Army artillery officer in Vietnam, who, as a forward observer, had what was apparently one of the most dangerous jobs in the war.

    Some articles wrote that he had a 100% disability for PTSD and was possibly bipolar. If I had been a judge on the Georgia Supreme Court reviewing his death penalty clemency request, I would have needed to bring in some psychiatry experts and given it a lot of thought. He had no prior criminal record.

  36. It would be nice if the media, politicians, and the BLM folks would stand back and let the legal process work instead of insisting on squeezing *every* police shooting of a black male into the one size fits all template of trigger-happy racist cops killing peaceful men who were minding their own business. Each case is different and few of the highly publicized incidents actually fit into that template.

  37. I’m curious to know what the actual burden of proof is (if that’s the appropriate term) in Oklahoma for the specific manslaughter charge that the Tulsa officer is charged with. If there’s any requirement for malice, I don’t think a conviction is very likely.

  38. Generally, the difference between murder and manslaughter is that murder requires malice while manslaughter does not. Not sure about the specific statute in this case. I will go look.

  39. Well, this seems like what they’re going for:

    ◾A homicide committed unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the deceased to commit a crime, or after such an attempt failed

    When it says “punishable by at least four years,” does a judge still have latitude to sentence her to four years and suspend a portion, or is four years actually four years?

  40. I think that I read somewhere that in Oklahoma you have to serve at least 80 or 85% of your time before you can be paroled. But I know nothing about criminal law, particularly Oklahoma criminal law.

  41. It sounds like, according to that article, you still have to serve 85%, but you can start collecting the good behavior credits during that time, so as soon as you hit the 85% threshold, if you’ve filled up your sticker chart, you can check out.

  42. But I’ve never really understood the sentenced for X, with (0.Y*X) suspended. If there’s a minimum sentence by law, can the judge suspend it to less than that?

  43. Milo – hmmm. Not sure. My guess would be that if there is a statutory minimum, a judge can’t change it unless a court has held the mins to be unconstitutional. But I think some jurisdictions just have guidelines. But this is all just a guess.

  44. Milo, I finally watched that video you posted. It was harrowing but I agree that it is vital to put that scenario out there to keep the other videos in perspective. So thanks for posting it even though it was difficult to watch. Honestly would probably NOT have watched it had I known what was coming.

  45. And over in the endearing world of presidential campaign politics, Trump is now in an all-out war against who?…. Hillary Clinton? Gary Johnson? ISIS? High taxes? No! His current tirade is against a former Miss Universe. I would be laughing my head off except that I am too appalled that he could be our next president.

  46. I truly believe that he cannot control himself. He is such a lunatic and this is such an embarrassment.

  47. ADHD. He has ADHD. I am convinced of it. The total lack of focus, the inability to see what is important, the lack of impulse control, the weird jumbled sentence fragments – it is all classic hyperactive style ADHD. My daughter has that diagnosis, and when she doesn’t take her meds, she is just like him. Except she is 10.

  48. Oh dear. The world is ending. Dorothy Rabinowitz, of all people, in the WSJ, is discussing the “Hillary-Hatred Derangement Syndrome” and coming out for Hillary instead of Trump. Not willingly, by any means, but she seems to have been driven there by reality.

    Well, it’s been nice knowing you all; see you in the next dimension.

  49. Mooshi and Rocky – it ain’t happening. You don’t have to worry. She’s back to leading in the swing states.

  50. I cannot understand why no one has cut off his access to Twitter. He continues to reveal himself as the vile, petty, thin-skinned man that he is. How has he gotten to be this age without anyone telling him that normal people don’t put their crazy out in public for the world to see?

  51. I am sure people have told him. But he is such a narcissist that it doesn’t matter. This is why I laugh when people say he will just surround himself with good people. Maybe he will (although I very much doubt that), but no way is he going to listen to them. He really believes he is the smartest and best.

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