Overnight Open Thread

I’m still drinking whiskey and watching GOT, so don’t expect to see me before lunch time (my time) tomorrow.

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Debate Drunk Blog Open Thread


Are you ready to rumble?

I got a big bottle of Seagram’s Seven and a case of Diet Pepsi, along with half-a-dozen leftover Tramadol from the last time I had a tooth pulled. If I start now I should be unconscious by the time the debate begins.

I recommend watching on CSpan. They give it to you unfiltered. I won’t be watching the pre and postgame commentary because it’s all just jibber-jabber.

The easy-peasy Japanesy way to tell who won is to check out the prog blogs during and after. If they are freaking out then Trump won. If they aren’t talking about the debate at all then Trump won big.

I’ll see you all on the other side. I’m binge-watching GOT season 6 and Daenerys is about to roast the Khals.

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Nope, No Bias Here

why we love trump

Three “unbiased” articles from Politico. The first two are allegedly “fact-checks”.

Donald Trump’s Week of Misrepresentations, Exaggerations and Half-Truths

As s August ended, a new Donald Trump emerged. Coached by his third campaign management team, he stayed on message, read from a teleprompter and focused on policy. It lasted about a month.

After he lied on Sept. 16 that he was not the person responsible for the birtherism campaign to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency, POLITICO chose to spend a week fact-checking Trump. We fact-checked Hillary Clinton over the same time.

We subjected every statement made by both the Republican and Democratic candidates — in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter — to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.

Trump’s “lie” on September 16th wasn’t a lie. Birtherism originated with the Hillary campaign.

Here’s a couple more of Trump’s “lies”:

1. “The reason I do manufacture things overseas — I have to do this, there is no choice, because [other countries] have devalued their currency so much that our companies are out of business for the most part.” (Sept. 20, Fox 8 interview)

Manufacturing is diminishing as a share of the economy, but it’s hardly vanishing. The sector constituted 11.8 percent of GDP in the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2006, it made up 13.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

2. “Excessive regulation costs our economy $2 trillion a year. Can you believe that? Two trillion dollars a year.” (Sept. 21, Toledo, Ohio, rally)

The $2 trillion estimate comes from a report from the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute. It’s widely quoted, but independent fact-checkers have questioned its methodology. Additionally, the figure excludes any benefits derived from the effect of regulations. The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that car seat belts, for example, are included as a cost. But the lives/money saved as a result is not used as an offset, even though the federal government has estimated the benefits of regulations outstripped the costs.

Now here is what they had to say about Hillary:

Hillary Clinton Struggles Most With Truth About Herself

Hiillary Clinton’s relationship to the truth is solid — but her most brazen misrepresentations come when she’s talking about herself.

In the lead-up to the first presidential debate of the general election, POLITICO subjected every statement made by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — in speeches, in interviews and on Twitter — to our magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process. The conclusion: Though Clinton is far more practiced at sticking to defensible policy positions and recollections of history, she’s significantly more lax when addressing her own transgressions — the potential Achilles’ heel of a candidacy marred by questions of her truthfulness.

Compared with Trump’s machine-gun style of spewing falsehoods, Clinton’s detours from the truth were rarer and more targeted. POLITICO’s five-day analysis suggests that in just over 1.5 hours of remarks last week, the former secretary of state averaged one falsehood every 12 minutes.

In raw numbers, Clinton made eight erroneous statements in five days.

Clinton’s most glaring statement was the mischaracterization of her handling of classified information. She’s been rebuked by the director of the FBI for negligence and told the agency she didn’t realize a “(C)” denoted classified material. But last week, she described how “careful” she is with classified information.

Clinton also overstepped when describing her campaign’s transparency on her health, arguing that she’s met the standard of all previous candidates for office. Except there is no standard, and she’s arguably kept private significant details about her physical health.

Even if you believe Politico, Trump tells lots of little lies, but Hillary’s lies are whoppers.

Here’s the third article:

Obama’s team isn’t laughing at Trump anymore

Obamaworld laughed as it watched Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP. After eight years of Republican opposition, inconsistent policy demands and racialized hate against the first black president, President Barack Obama’s aides, past and present, thought Republicans had gotten what they deserved–and more, all but forfeiting the 2016 race to the woman they defeated eight years ago.

They’re not laughing anymore.

Going into Monday night’s debate, Obama’s team is feeling that same anxiety expressed by some top Hillary Clinton aides: maybe the country isn’t what they thought, maybe the resistance to Obamacare and gay marriage and the progress they’re so proud of is broader than the vocal fringe they’ve always dismissed. Maybe, the president’s aides – current and former – now concede, they’re going to have to live with the fact that Trump could end up in the Oval Office in part due to a backlash against Obama.

“I’m trying to think of a series to compare it to, which was a series that started as a comedy and became a high stakes drama,” said Ben LaBolt, a former White House aide and press secretary for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. “I feel like we’re maybe in the fifth season of ‘Breaking Bad’ here. We’re way beyond the laughs, and just sitting on the edge of our seats in terror.”

“There’s not a lot of mirth in the circles I run in about him,” said another former senior Obama campaign staffer.

Privately, Obama has expressed mixed feelings, according to people close to the president. He’s still nursing amusement at Republicans for being hapless enough to get railroaded by Trump, but it’s mixed with frustration that there are so many Americans he failed to reach. People who’ve spoken to him say the president wonders what he might have done differently to break through in a way that would make people who’ve benefited from his policies—like those enjoying added health benefits courtesy of Obamacare—support Democrats.


Though only a few weeks ago, current and former Obama aides would joke about how the president’s great political legacy might be the Republican Party destroying itself in front of him. Now, on the record, they push back on the very suggestion that Obama’s legacy should be viewed in any frame that Trump also occupies.

“I don’t think he thinks it’s his legacy, I don’t think any of us think it’s his legacy,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to the president. “Trumpism is a lot of things in this country. President Obama is the face of that for some Republicans, but the Republican Party got themselves into this mess.”

But they worry about what even a Trump loss says about Obama’s America.

“I think he will lose badly in this election, but I think the impact he’s had on our political process is incredibly damaging, and will be lasting,” said Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman who noted that his own amusement at Trump ended a year ago. “He’s made us look stupid. I think he is stupid.”

For any efforts Obama made in urging people to disagree without being disagreeable, as the president likes to say, “Trump has shattered that,” Vietor said. “He has brought back a brand of politics that is you punch your opponent as hard as you can, it doesn’t matter if it’s a low blow, it doesn’t matter if it’s not of substance. That’s a bad lesson for people to learn.”

According to Earnest, Obama is serious about wanting a functional opposition and wishes that he’d had one to negotiate with on immigration reform, trade, infrastructure and other priorities. The sense of lost opportunity eats at them, as does the sense that it’s not going away, despite their confidence in Clinton’s chances.

Shorter: Obama good, Trump bad.

How soon they forget:

President Barack Obama said Friday that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling with Republicans, whom Obama accused of wanting to negotiate “under the threat of blowing up the whole economy.”

Nope, no bias here.


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Overnight: Sinatra Edition


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Slip Slidin’ Away

It was supposed to be MY turn!

It was supposed to be MY turn!

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

This must seem like deja vu all over again for Hillary.

In 2007 she was supposed to be the front-runner. She had money, endorsements, and name recognition. Her approval rating had never been higher. She had just been reelected to the Senate. Voters had Bush fatigue and had turned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All she had to do was win the nomination and she would finally realize her life’s ambition to become the historic First Woman President™.

Then newcomer Barack Obama came along and rudely shoved her out of the way and stole the nomination.

That had to sting. But she swallowed her pride (but not her ambition) and made a deal with the devil. She would end her campaign and support Obama in exchange for being his designated heir. She turned down the vice presidency and chose to be Secretary of State so she could burnish her credentials.

Fast forward eight years and she is just one step from returning to the White House. But once again she can see it slipping away.

It’s like a Greek tragedy, except instead of hubris she is guilty of overweening ambition.

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The Upcoming Dog and Pony Show


I guess that makes Trump the pony.

New Yolk Times:

Hillary Clinton is determined to get under Donald J. Trump’s skin at Monday’s debate, and is testing attack lines to try to rattle him.

Mr. Trump is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of Mrs. Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.

The two candidates are taking vastly different approaches to what is expected to be one of the most widely watched presidential debates since Carter vs. Reagan in 1980. And their divergent strategies reveal how the candidates and their campaigns see the race, their strengths and their opponents’ weaknesses.

Mrs. Clinton has a thick dossier on Mr. Trump after months of research and meetings with her debate team, including analysis and assumptions about his psychological makeup that Clinton advisers described as critical to understanding how to knock Mr. Trump off balance. Mrs. Clinton has concluded that catching Mr. Trump in a lie during the debate is not enough to beat him: She needs the huge television audience to see him as temperamentally unfit for the presidency, and that she has the power to unhinge him.

Mr. Trump, in turn, is approaching the debate like a Big Man on Campus who thinks his last-minute term paper will be dazzling simply because he wrote it.

He has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.

There is a bunch more but it doesn’t get any better. (For some strange reason Democrats think the NYT is pro-Trump.)

Trump has already won the expectations game. Yesterday Chris Hayes tweeted:

Off-the-record Trump advisor: “Frankly we’re almost 100% sure he’s gonna just drop trow and moon Hillary. We’re terrified.”

Hayes later deleted the tweet and now claims it was a joke, but it really does capture the situation – all Trump has to do to win is show up and not show his ass. Hillary, on the other hand, can’t win without Trump’s help. Somehow she has to get Donald to show his ass.

If this were an academic debate Hillary would win easily. She is a policy wonk who has spent years mastering the minutia of government and polishing her presentation. But none of that will matter. Presidential debates are performances, and Donald Trump is a master showman.

I expect Hillary to attack Trump early and often. Her goal will be to piss him off so that he loses his temper on stage. I’m sure she has memorized some quotable lines she can use in both direct attacks and as comebacks to things he might say. She needs to knock him out.

All Trump needs to do is survive. He doesn’t need to land any punches. He doesn’t need to dazzle people with his command of policy. If I was him I would make the argument that the president is the CEO of the federal government, and he will hire experts and delegate the details to them. He could point out that he built a construction empire but he’s not an architect.

Trump’s goal is to look presidential. According to Hillary and the media Trump is a hot-tempered idiot with a yuge ego. I expect Trump to be warm and funny and relatively low-key. Remember when Reagan said “There you go again” in response to Carter’s strident attacks? That’s what I’m expecting to see Monday night.

This will be the first of three debates. I expect to see three different Trumps. I expect to see the same Hillary at every debate.

Game changer: If Hillary has an extended coughing fit or some kind of health “episode” during one of the debates then Melania can start shopping for a gown to wear to the inaugural ball.

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Overnight: Kennedy/Nixon Edition

Weekend preview? I think so🙂


Counting down😀

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