Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Debates’

Instead of talking about Trump corporations wheeling and dealing their way through loopholes, jumping over restrictions, and just generally thinking the law doesn’t apply to Mr Trump when he conducts business in Cuba, we are all complaining about how he objectifies women. Miss Universe vs Fidel Castro. In case you missed it, Hillary had this to say about that:

Clinton told reporters aboard her campaign plane that the actions appear “to violate U.S. law, certainly flout American foreign policy, and he has consistently misled people in responding to questions about whether he was attempting to do business in Cuba.” http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-live-updates-trailguide-hillary-clinton-blasts-donald-trump-for-1475184860-htmlstory.html

The media jumped on the Miss Piggy train, instead of skewering his debate performance. In particular near the end,  when he was asked if he would support the outcome of the Presidential election, he smiled and did his usual semantic dance of divert and deploy a lot of other bullshit into the answer…thereby calling into question our democracy as a “rigged” system, in the same way he disavowed our first African American President with his “birther” nonsense for years.

HOLT: One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight, are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters? Secretary Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know Donald’s trying very hard to plant doubts about it, but I hope the people out there understand: This election’s really up to you. It’s not about us so much as it is about you and your families and the kind of country and future you want. So I sure hope you will get out and vote as though your future depended on it, because I think it does.

HOLT: Mr. Trump, very quickly, same question. Will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters? TRUMP: I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs. People are pouring into our country. The other day, we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, they pressed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption, but these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800. And now it turns out it might be 1,800, and they don’t even know.

HOLT: Will you accept the outcome of the election?

TRUMP: Look, here’s the story. I want to make America great again. I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her.

So it’s conditional…IF she wins…and in Trump land that’s a very big IF…that’s a “let’s throw some doubt into our process IF.” That’s somebody may be voting one thousand times in Pennsylvania, felons are voting in Virginia; that’s the button might just get stuck on Clinton in Ohio. And all you second amendment folks know what to do about that right? It’s like we are meeting Faust incarnate, in real time.

You may find this article by a linguist about Trump-speak as enlightening as I did. It’s not just that when unscripted he avoids answering a direct question like most politicians. It’s disordered, full of careening sideways hyperbole, half-thought-out phrases, eruptions of memory and self-aggrandizing. He is a master salesman, using words like, “Some people say,” and “Believe me,” as catchphrases to make the unsavory seem plausible. He is treating us like QVC customers. If this is what we the people want in a leader, well I guess we deserve him. http://www.vox.com/2016/8/18/12423688/donald-trump-speech-style-explained-by-linguists

“His speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills.” 

This morning’s Twitter tirade against Miss Universe is just more of the same old. Sure he’s a misogynistic pig, but that’s something we women of a certain age recognize clearly. This is not news, but we pick it up and feed on his incessant weight-shaming rants. He exhorts us to check out her reality show in Venezuela, she’s no Mother Theresa. Well you Mr Trump, are no John the Baptist. You are the Master of spin, the Ringmaster of election as entertainment, the Oz behind the Twitter curtain. Look how you keep us talking about YOU!

The American people would never bargain our democracy on your vote.



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I live down mountain from the President who first proposed we Americans should be happy. TJ actually penned it right there, in our Declaration of Independence, that we must feel free to pursue happiness. There are just 2 problems – he didn’t define happiness, and we didn’t start measuring it until 1972. And strangely enough, we Americans seem to maintain the same score on this scale no matter what party our President belongs to, only about one third of the nation is “extremely happy.” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/america-the-anxious/

Why so glum? Well last night this word nerd was impressed with how many times Mitt used the word “tumult.” I felt like I had fallen into a time warp, even the President had to remind him that the Cold War was over 20 years ago and this isn’t a game of Battleship! Tumult is a word from the last century. Sure these are tumultuous times, Arab Springs are quickly getting frosty. The Islamic world is more dangerous now than anytime in recent history, and electing a guy who seems to auto-correct his platform on foreign policy would be more like “malarkey” to me.

One thing that will always make me happy is going to the movies. In another instance of art imitating life, we saw Ben Affleck in “Argo” over the weekend. It was brilliant, right down to the set and feel of 1979. The juxtaposition of the actual photos next to the movie stills from the Iranian Revolution at the end only added to the power of the film. The attack on our Embassy in Benghazi is still fresh in our minds, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/timeline-of-events-comments-surrounding-attack-that-killed-4-americans-in-benghazi-libya/2012/10/20/ef5addbe-1a89-11e2-ad4a-e5a958b60a1e_story.html and only added to the terror of watching angry actors in Argo scaling the walls of our Embassy in Tehran.

When we walked out of the movie theatre, Bob turned to me and said, “If our involvement in that rescue mission had been made public, Jimmy Carter would have been re-elected.”  Interested in researching the 444 day occupation of our Embassy? http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/documents/hostages.phtml It was fascinating last night to see Mitt’s newer, softer approach to Libya. Maybe he realized that trying to win political points in the midst of a national crisis is not very Commander in Chief-like.

The Bride was barely eight weeks old when the Iranian hostage Crisis began. We only got one channel on TV late at night in the Berkshires, and there was no internet at the time; the newspaper was our window to the world. My memory was filtered through a new mother’s eyes. I remember being sad when Carter was defeated. Like McGovern, he was a man you could trust, a man of peace. I like to think we are a people who can learn from history. And since the Arab world is in such flux, now more than ever, we need to keep our respected world leader in the White House.

For a little comic relief, to improve your level of happiness for the morning, why not follow-up on Gov Mitt’s auto-correctness? http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com/category/best-of-dyac/

And don’t forget to vote! 

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No, I’m not referring to the Presidential debate last night. In fact, I’d just as soon forget it.

Kabuki theatre at its best, stylized and predictable; one character claims the other’s ideas as his own, while the other looks down and then lectures the audience. The problem is, running a country isn’t like performing in a play. Leadership depends on character and commitment. We Dems know who to believe, we know who we can trust. The GOP also thinks they have the man for the job. The guy who thinks of healthcare as an entitlement program, and 47% of American citizens as freeloaders.

“What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.”

The point that rattled me in the debate was when the topic turned to healthcare. Listening to Mitt, one might think he did a splendid job in MA, crossing the aisle and actually “working” with Dems to get his version of affordable care passed. You know that version, the almost identical one to Obamacare, which thanks very much for not meaning any disrespect by using the term…which was the point at which I really started wondering who was in Mitt’s body. Shapeshifters beware, this guy is a natural, he even takes on Big Bird.

Mitt said Obamacare has, “…killed jobs,” and what he would do is “…craft a plan at the state level that fits the needs of the state.” Sirens started going off in my head, state’s rights and all. OK, so introducing all those little ultrasound bills, and TRAP regulations are just fine with him. What’s really fine with Mitt is taking us back to a clear, third-party payer system – getting government out of the doctor’s office and back into the hands of the health insurance industry with everybody making lots of money. Never mind that every other G8 country has a form of universal health care in place for its citizens, Mitt knows that we Americans take care of our poor.

Remember when Mitt said on “60 Minutes” that we Americans don’t let people die in their apartments – we call the ambulance? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-watson/in-ultimate-display-of-ig_b_1910259.html Emergency Rooms (or Departments, as Bob calls them) are his plan of last resort for fixing the problem of the uninsured. Under EMTALA law http://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=25936 anyone who presents to an ER must be seen, whether they can pay or not. This was one of those smack yourself in the head moments. Mitt thinks it’s perfectly OK to pass those costs on to taxpayers, who presumably can afford medical insurance, but just barely because those costs are skyrocketing…because we have so many uninsured people who cost hospitals and ERs 4-5 digits worth of care per visit, that gets passed onto taxpayers…and the Catch 22 continues.

Listen carefully over the next few weeks. Listen to their debates in the context of what they have said before, so you can see beyond the Kabuki make-up. And while I was going to talk about the weather, and how one day you’re wearing flip flops, and the next you’re wearing a fleece jacket, I seem to have gotten off track. “It’s not good being poor.”

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Who knew that naming the moderators for Fall’s upcoming Presidential debates would be historic? No woman has sat in that seat, asking the hard questions and keeping the candidates on point and on time since 1992. And now more than ever, we need you Candy Crowley. “A trio of high school girls from New Jersey had mounted an online petition campaign to get a woman back on the debate stand. Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel and Elena Tsemberis were cheering the Commission on Presidential Debates for its choice…” In addition, ABCs Martha Raddatz will moderate one vice-presidential debate. Go Girl Power! http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-candy-crowley-presidential-debate-20120813,0,5837308.story

Crowley has said that her first instinct was to think, “Great!” As a journalist, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, who hosts the Sunday morning TV show State of the Union http://sotu.blogs.cnn.com and specializes in our House and Presidential elections, Crowley was honored to be asked and jumped at the chance; and not surprisingly, being a woman wasn’t her first thought. She is a professional, and her goal, she said this morning on CNN, is to think outside of the beltway. Her goal will be to ask questions that people want to know. So Ms Crowley, if you’re listening, here are my top 3 questions for your October 16th debut, at Hofstra University in New York, from one inquiring mind.

1) Where do you think our “Rights” come from? Mitt, your running mate, Paul Ryan, has said he believes our Rights come from “God and nature, not from government.” Do you agree? Hopefully this question, in a town hall format, will open up all sorts of other questions about religion and human rights (which are also women’s rights…and LGBT rights). I’d like to know if Mitt is really planning to close Planned Parenthood and I’d like to know if Barrack is planning to close Gitmo.

2) How does your economic philosophy differ from your opponent? What is your plan to create jobs and at the same time, close the deficit? A seemingly incompatible duo – increase AND decrease. A sort of Houdini-like concept, but OK, try and give us an answer. I’d like to hear the top 3 priorities of each candidate, in a nutshell. Vouchers for Medicare? Push Social Security benefits to age 68? We want details, facts, not party talking points. Come out from behind the curtain and explain this economy to us.

“Unfortunately the key factual question regarding the effect of the Obama Administration’s stimulus appears – at first glance – to be out of easy reach. It is essentially a question of what would have happened if what did happen didn’t. Did the Administration’s policy matter? What would have been the result without it?” http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=00645

3) What have you learned from a recent mistake? In introducing your running mate this August Mitt, you made a bit of a gaffe calling Ryan “The next President of the United States.” You laughed about it, and immediately corrected it. How about health care policy – was your health insurance/universal health care plan good for MA? You agreed with a mandate then. And Barrack, do you regret spending so much political leverage on the Affordable Care Act?

I covered a few Town Hall meetings in my day. One stands out in my mind, one in which my friend arrived with bags of toy guns we had accepted at a Peace Fair’s “exchange your water pistol for a care bear” booth. The House Republican candidate for the 12th District in NJ, Dick Zimmer was a wunderkind. He had passed Meghan’s Law, and been a part of that GOP landscape for years. What bothered me was his position on assault weapons, he liked them. In 1994, President Clinton and Congress passed a 10 year ban on assault weapons, and good ole Dick wanted to just let that ban expire. Spotting the bags of toy guns, his operatives were doing their best NOT to call on us, but eventually we asked him to explain his position.

Good luck Candy! Whatever you do, with your gang of “undecided” Town Hall voters, take that ear bud out of your ear and look for the bags of toy guns.

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