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The General American Politics Thread

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3 hours ago, -Robin- said:

Anyone who's going after Clinton over her health is a fucking tool.

 

It's precisely the reason why they have running mates. If you're so goddamn concerned over her health that it's the main point of contention for you, then go look up Tim Kaine's record. Meanwhile, I'll be over here looking at historical records fawning praise to the paraplegic FDR.

Reagan would be a better example, since he had a disease that affects the brain (Alzheimer's) and Parkinson's, which can also affect the brain, is usally what people speculate she has. Someone whose paraplegic can make important decisions, someone with dementia can't (not any that involve others anyways). And again, she used her health as an excuse for why she forgot briefings for her job as Secretary of State. Also, I'm just curious, but did you feel the same about people going after McCain's health in 2008, and Bernie's health during the primary? 

 

3 hours ago, Nepenthe said:

Clinton admitted to the e-mail thing in the debate and apologized for it. Not sure what people want her to do at this point.

She apoligized for her "mistake", as I said before, the things she did could not have been done mistakenly, the only mistake, is she was caught.

3 hours ago, Nepenthe said:

Congress and FBI probed her and found nothing wrong. Also, I feel like if people sincerely cared about this as an issue and not just as a way to hop aboard the Hillary hatewagon, they would've been pissed when Bush did it and 5 million e-mails were unaccounted for. But who's counting?

I'd agree, mostly, if we're just talking about those on the right, but those of us on the left were, would've been, and are, pissed, and we don't like Bush or his administration, any more than we don't like Hillary. In fact, I think most of us would want him to be arrested for war crimes, along with Cheney, Rumsfield, and the rest of the Bush administration. I know I would. But also, Bush isn't running for president, And, I ask, is the Bush administration the standard we should be setting for our presidential candidates?

 

Anyways, I would rather criticize her on policy and record, like her foriegn policy, which is one of my biggest issues with her. Like how she helped destabilize Libya, which has left the country worse off than before we intervened, or how she backed a coup in Honduras, which got many activists killed, and then said we should send the Honduran children coming here, back to Honduras to, "send a message". And I can't leave out how she and Bill screwed over the people of Haiti. 

This article, written by Katie Halper, explains her reservations, much better than I can explain mine.

Edited by Blue Swallow

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The e-mails aren't war crimes. If we were to prosecute Bush for that, the e-mail scandal wouldn't be relevant to the trials.

Subsequently, it doesn't matter if Bush is running for President. What matters is that these e-mails have been made out to be an issue of ethics mainly by people who are only applying these ethical concerns to a single individual either through hypocrisy towards the person being charged or out of ignorance for what really goes on in government through the Internet. We have a candidate that was humiliated over something that has been an issue in this country and abroad since computer technology was seriously established within the role of government, to the point where we have almost accidentally released nuclear missiles before, and yet everyone is acting like Hillary doomed the fucking country over it or deliberately chose to release classified information, despite the fact that she was essentially sat down twice by people higher up on the foodchain and was still found to not done anything malicious or out of line with what Bush or Obama or Powell and no doubt innumerable other old people with a computer have done, which is probably why she's sorry she got caught. I would be too if I was the unlucky git to become the poster child for this dumb shit.

You want to reserve judgement over her foreign policy views and actions in the past? Sure, we can have that discussion, because if nothing else I'm worried about her response over Syria (despite the fact that I don't know what we can do anyway considering it's a sheer clusterfuck proxy war we're already involved in). But I don't take seriously anyone who is still hung up over this e-mail crap, which is getting to Benghazi levels of stupidity.

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I didn't mean to imply that his emails were the reason he's a war criminal, I was just trying to point out my, and others, dislike of Bush, bad writing on my part.

Though the emails are an issue for me (for a few reasons), there are plenty of others issues I care much more about, so I definitely agree we should focus on other issues of her's.

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Wuh-oh, that silly old Donald Trump's gone and got himself into another messy scandal! This time, it's over his taxes (specifically: federal income), and the revelation that he probably hasn't paid up for a long time.

Quote

It took less than a day for October to produce an "October surprise."

Donald Trump reported a nearly $1 billion loss on his 1995 tax returns and could therefore have avoided paying federal income taxes for almost two decades, the New York Times reported on Saturday, putting another unexpected exclamation point on what had already been one of the worst weeks for any presidential nominee in recent memory.

The Times, which hired tax experts to analyze the records, determined that “tax rules that are especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period” -- more than $50 million a year.

Times reporter Susanne Craig received the documents, which the paper describes as “three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns,” in the mail from an unknown source. The documents were sent last month and postmarked New York City, with a return address of Trump Tower -- the real estate mogul’s headquarters.

A statement from Trump’s campaign neither confirmed nor denied that he filed a $916 million loss in his 1995 tax returns, but charged that the documents were “illegally obtained” in what it said was “a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests.”

“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement, which was not attributed to Trump or any staffer by name, continued. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”

Trump’s refusal to release any tax returns, something every presidential nominee since Richard Nixon in 1972 has done, has been one of the larger clouds hanging over his campaign and one his Democratic opponent has sought to exploit.

It now appears as though the GOP nominee’s failure to come clean has backfired, with the Times drawing one of the same conclusions that Hillary Clinton offered as a possible explanation for Trump’s secrecy in last Monday’s debate — that he has paid little or no federal income tax for some time.

The story, which posted Saturday night just as Trump had taken the stage for a rally in Manheim, Pa., seemed to send the candidate, already reeling from a week that started with a bad debate and continued with a stream of recriminations over his treatment of a former Miss Universe in a 3 a.m. tweetstorm, spiraling at even greater velocity into a political abyss.

After taking the stage 102 minutes after the rally’s scheduled 7 p.m. start time, Trump veered off-script several times, impersonating Clinton’s near fall last month as she was suffering from pneumonia and asserting — after taking credit all week for his restraint in not bringing up Bill Clinton’s sexual improprieties at the debate — that she probably isn’t faithful to her husband anymore because, he said, “Why should she be?”

Trump’s allies, meanwhile, tried to shrug the story off by minimizing the importance of a partial tax return from a single year and characterizing it as just the latest attempt by a liberal media to hurt their candidate.

“The campaign sees this as another contrived story,” said a Republican operative who works with the Trump campaign. “More media carrying the Clintons' water. If people don't like him doing that then they should change the tax laws."

While Trump is unlikely to lose many of his most ardent supporters, polls showed last Monday’s debate cost him dearly. GOP strategists, who had been buoyed by a narrowing of the race in September, have grown increasingly forlorn in the days following the debate, as Trump’s subsequent behavior seemed to underscore Clinton’s charge that he lacks the temperament to be commander in chief. They fear Saturday night’s surprise bombshell might lead voters to question another pillar of his candidacy — his claim to be a successful businessman and an anti-politician who, unlike the insiders he maligns in Washington, tells the truth.

“The confusion over the deductibility of losses over time is more than the average voter cares about. But the continuing debate over his taxes keeps him hoisted up on the petard of transparency,” said Bruce Haynes, a GOP strategist in Washington. “It is not fatal. But the Trump campaign has to find a way to drive a narrative of some substance against Clinton or his long term prospects are grim.

Even that is unlikely, according to former Democratic National Committee official Mo Elleithee, who said the tax story was a “devastating body blow” that would “haunt him for the next five weeks.”

The fundamental argument of his campaign,” Elleithee said, “is the little guy is getting screwed and I’m the guy who’s going to look after you. It is hard to make that argument when there is evidence now in front of everybody about how he has benefited personally, how he has gamed the system.

Democrats have seized on the Times story, with the DNC blasting it out to its email list and officials from coast to coast tripping over themselves to provide comment.

Rick Palacio, the Democratic Party chairman of Colorado, where Clinton’s lead had shrunk in recent weeks, called the story “mind-boggling."

“I don’t think that in itself it’s going to make a huge difference, but compound it with really the terrible week he’s had with Machado and the debate last week, all this is weighing him down to the point where he has nothing left to do but explain his past to the American people,” Palacio said.

For now, Trump is threatening what would likely be a protracted legal battle with the world’s most influential newspaper. A lawyer for Trump sent a letter to the Times describing the publication of the documents as illegal and threatening “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action,” according to the paper.

But the Times appears ready to do battle: CNN reported on Sept. 12 that Dean Baquet, the paper’s executive editor, told a Harvard University forum that he would risk prison, if necessary, to publish Trump’s tax returns.

Asked why by documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, Baquet said the unauthorized publication of Trump’s tax records is in the public interest because he is "a presidential candidate whose whole campaign is built on his success as a businessman, and his wealth.”

Clinton’s Twitter account — managed by her staff — immediately retweeted the story twice, and many of her aides weighed in on Twitter within minutes.

"BOMBSHELL: Trump's returns show just how lousy a businessman he is AND how long he may have avoided paying any taxes," wrote press secretary Brian Fallon.

Campaign Manager Robby Mook said in a statement that the story “reveals the colossal nature of Donald Trump's past business failures and just how long he may have avoided paying any federal income taxes whatsoever.”

Mook added: “He apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades -- while tens of millions of working families paid theirs. He calls that 'smart.' Now that the gig is up, why doesn't he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how 'smart' he really is?"

POLITICO reported in June that in 1991 and 1993, Trump appeared to have paid “zero, or near-zero” in personal income taxes, citing records from New Jersey’s gambling authorities.

Asked at the time whether he had paid personal income taxes during those years, Trump responded simply, “Welcome to the real estate business.”

During Monday’s presidential debate, Clinton attacked Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, which he said he will not disclose until an IRS audit of them is complete.

Clinton floated several alternate theories as to why Trump was refusing to release the documents, including, she said, because “maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes.”

“The only years that anybody's ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax,” Clinton said.

“That makes me smart,” Trump retorted.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-tax-records-new-york-times-229012

His persistent refusal to release his tax returns probably centers around the likely absence of federal income tax payments, meaning that he remembers what he's been doing and knows that it would be ruinous to reveal it - so he can't just blame it on a rogue accountant. Though really, you just know he will, if pressed.

It's one scandal after another for the vile man, and he hasn't even entered the White House; I can only imagine what scandals would emerge from a Trump presidency. Surely the RNC would not be able to support him without losing both the congress and the senate?

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The RNC, days before the VP debate, released an ad attacking Tim Kaine for defending rapists and murderers during his tenure as a lawyer.

In other words, the RNC attacked Tim Kaine for adhering to a defendant's right to an attorney. You know, the 6th Amendment. Of the Constitution.

 

Holy shit.

 

 

They then had the gall to tie that ad to the infamous Willie Horton attack ad in 1988 against Michael Dukakis that forced Bush Sr. to immediately distance himself from it. It's regarded as one of the most blatantly racist ads in political history, and now the GOP has embraced it.

 

Black voters have no reason to vote for the GOP anymore.

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It seems sites like 270towin.com are increasingly showing various polling agencies predicting a Clinton victory.

Honestly? I kind of want them to project a Trump victory. Projecting a Clinton victory might dissuade people from voting since it's a "sure thing," and I think this is too close to let that happen.

People find it way too easy to weasel out of voting on the basis "one vote won't hurt," ignoring the fact that thousands upon thousands of people doing this is insanely destructive to the process (again, this is why we got Bush, people).

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That wasn't the Battle of the Blands I feel was promised. Boo!

Interesting debate, though. Both candidates were a lot more aggressive than I'd anticipated, with a surprisingly animated Kaine interjecting himself into a lot more of Pence's sections than vice versa. I gather that he was actually trying to get the Democratic base watching at home as excited as he could, as he's a virtual unknown to non-Virginians, and the Millennial generation is probably still upset that Warren or Sanders aren't on the ticket. Anyway, while he was excitedly introducing himself to the base, Kaine was also trying his hardest to get under Pence's skin, but Pence, being a seasoned politician and debater himself, wasn't going to fall for that like Trump does.

Pence, notably, seemed to be trying very hard at points to re-write Trumpian history, openly lying about the things that he has said, positions he's taken, but he wouldn't (or couldn't) defend many of Trump's positions and actually looked more like he was laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential bid of his own. Throughout, Pence came off as being a lot more polished, and I thought Kaine overdid the interjections in his bid to land blows on the opposition, but both candidates were prepared for each other, and I don't think either ceded total control over the debate to the other as Trump did to Clinton last week.

Personally, I'd call it a very narrow win for Kaine, since Pence was brazenly lying about so much and failed utterly to defend his running mate, but I could see why people might see it the other way around.

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http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/syria-peace-talks/united-states-suspends-contact-russia-syria-n658741

In the international arena... the US has suspended diplomatic ties with Russia over Syria. Russia has likewise pulled out of a joint program to destroy weapons grade plutonium.

There's still communication on counter-terrorism efforts in Syria, but it seems other than that...

I may not miss Reagan but I do miss the ability of American and Russian leaders to talk to each other as friends.

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For all the flaws of the Obama administration, it cannot be said that it hasn't tried its hardest to reach out to Putin. The trouble with Putin is that when all's said and done, he's just not interested in the kind of relationship with the west that the west would like to have with him - especially given his clear preference for the wannabe-strongman Trump, a man Putin knows he can easily manipulate.

So now we're in a semi-lame ducky period of American politics, and the Russians are trying to get away with whatever they can (e.g. cyber attacking the DNC) to get the upper hand versus America before Trump or Clinton get into office, and if that (to them) also means undoing the hard work of the Obama administration, then so be it.

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Trump is mad that Pence didn't try to defend him in any of instances Kaine called Pence out on Trump's talking points, last night.

With that in mind, it's becoming clearer that Kaine's goal was to cast a light on how shaky the Trump/Pence ticket really is, even between the two running mates, so that Clinton can knock the entire tower down Sunday in the second debate. To that end, Pence failed to reinforce.

 

 

Pence won short-term. Kaine focused on long-term. Now it's up to Trump to save the win, and up to Clinton to win it period Sunday.

 

 

That was actually quite clever.

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This actually isn't too new.

A lot of the Presidential ticket is more about building coalitions than the two candidates actually liking each other. Presidents like to pick running mates from different regions of a slightly different political persuasion to build more support for them. Notice how FDR, the champion of progressivism, picked an anti-Keynesian, racist Southerner as his running mate. They got along well enough during the first term, but quickly turned against each other in the second one as FDR tried to radically ramp up spending and expand the Supreme Court to remove it as an obstacle.

Given Trump's from a very different wing of the Party than the one that normally crowns the nominee (indeed, let's note the role of open primaries in his rise), it's only natural he and the establishment running mate won't be too friendly.

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Love how whenever people bring up Mike Pences extreme homophobia, trump supporters go "well Hilary isn't perfect regarding this either" or point to her past. Never mind people can have changes of heart. And even if she still has homophobic ideals, she at least knows that they aren't viable or smart to enforce on the country, and is still pushing for policies that help us minorities, even if it's "just to get the gay vote". Better than what Trump has offered the community. And may I say, it's hilarious how I'm being deemed selfish or uncaring of others for focusing on wanting to see life made better for minorities. Lol I don't think about how it will effect the straight white men.

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I don't expect this debate to have much of an impact on the polls to be honest. To me, much of it was a wash, and it doesn't help that both of these VP candidates are given a backseat compared to their respective tickets main candidates. I will say that I'm very disappointed that Kaine didn't bring up Pence's record on LGBT issues. It would have made a great attack opportunity.

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1 hour ago, Kevin said:

I don't expect this debate to have much of an impact on the polls to be honest. To me, much of it was a wash, and it doesn't help that both of these VP candidates are given a backseat compared to their respective tickets main candidates. I will say that I'm very disappointed that Kaine didn't bring up Pence's record on LGBT issues. It would have made a great attack opportunity.

Attacking Pence was never the goal. VP nominees rarely, if ever, affect the final results on Election Day. Kaine's goal was to make Hillary look good and make Trump and his campaign look bad, which he largely succeeded at doing (even if he was kind of obnoxious in the process). He tried to bring up the foul points of the campaign because he knew that Pence couldn't defend them, as:

1. Pence is an experienced politician who would never take the bait

2. Even if he did defend Trump, it would make him look worse, which could potentially be bad for him in the future

I imagine the plan was to soften things up for Hillary to capitalize on during the Sunday debate, which should work out for her if Trump's previous performance is of any indication.

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Speaking of polls and identity politics. Let's look over the oft-overlooked identity of age:

main-qimg-d60844282bb6f5cdea22438287a1cc

Time is on the side of every liberal cause except pro-choice legislation (I assume better technology has made younger people more pro-life).

Now, let's run some numbers. The average American life expectancy is 78 years.

Right now, Baby Boomers account for 75 million Americans and are some of the most active voters (hence why their views tend to prevail despite having a minority status). They range from 51 to 70 years old. Starting from the 2024 election (where most of the currently-70-year old voters won't be able to vote), we're going to start seeing dramatic shifts.

As a whole, Baby Boomers lean Democratic, but I think the statistic above shows they're old school, conservative Democrats: they're favorable to social programs, but want to take a dump on minority groups. Since racial ideology frequently trumps economic ideology, they will vote GOP.

The GOP loses about 450,000 votes between every Presidential election as a result of age. That's just old voters dying. It doesn't factor in younger voters swinging in support of the Democrats, or the rapid increase in the Latino vote of about 4 million votes per Presidential election. As the Latino vote leans Democrat by a majority of around 50%... you're seeing an increase of well over 2 million votes for the Democrats every Presidential race.

Barring some insane voter suppression tactics, the GOP isn't going to last many more elections without internal reform. The fact the religious right failed to include a provision for a federal gay marriage ban amendment indicates that moderate elements are slowly taking root. Trump is the last gasp of a dying movement.

 

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Latino voters swing Democratic because the core of the GOP up to now has been a gang of racist old shitlords - but, just like African Americans, they seem to be (in a general sense) a fairly socially conservative group. When the old guard of the Republican party dies off, the racism that has plagued it for so long will probably still be there in the members of the party who succeed them - but these new folks will probably be far wiser to the existential crisis facing the party than their incumbent elders, and will be keen to avoid their mistakes. Paul Ryan types, I suppose - willing to change, put on an inclusive face, but still irredeemable assholes at heart.

Once the party finally starts modernizing, reverting to a much more Reagan-esque tone on immigration and such, I can see it gunning hard for Latino votes, even tearing into the African American vote. This could actually be a great thing for the country, because it should mean that real solutions to the problems facing these groups will be much more readily forthcoming (from both parties) than they'll ever be if they continue to remain blindly loyal to the Democrats, even after a Republican Enlightenment.

Hopefully, a more liberal GOP will also mean the chances of real healthcare reform and the like will also improve.

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In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and f--- her. She was married,” Trump says.

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

At that point in the audio, Trump and [Billy] Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as s---, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

“I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says.“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

“Grab them by the p---y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html?postshare=2491475870527101&tid=ss_tw

 

 

 

Aaaaaaand good-bye, women vote.

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Those recordings should be disqualifying for him, but that's not gonna happen in 'great' America. I don't think he'll lose many of the women that already support him, but it'll be tough to get support from the many that don't. I imagine Hillary and her campaign are going to be bringing this up daily, probably all the way up to November 8th, pointing out trump's sexism and misogyny has been one of their primary strategies, so this is like an early Christmas present for them.

 

And speaking of Hillary, wiki leaks released the emails they'd been hinting at this week. They're from John Podesta, and some of the emails pertain to Hillary's paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks. The Intercept has some excerpts from those speeches, and you can read all of the Podesta emails here. I've only read The Intercept's article and seen a few things on Twitter, but so far, what I find the most interesting, is her saying you need to have a public, and a private position on policy, and her praising cutting corporate tax and raising the social security age.

 

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Trump's response to the tape is "locker room banter".

There's no way Trump will be able to get out of this one and this is going to make for plenty of ad opportunities for the Clinton campaign. It's going to be very interesting if this comes up in the debate on Sunday.

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4 minutes ago, Kevin said:

It's going to be very interesting if this comes up in the debate on Sunday.

I'd be very shocked if it didn't.  

 

This is going to haunt him all the way to November 8th.  Even with the Podesta emails, the media won't be focusing on them much, except to fear monger about Russia, and they'll be talking about his 'locker room banter' (your not even trying Don) for days, so I think this might effect him in the polls. At least I hope it does.

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Welp. Even the most ardent Republicans and Trump supporters are utterly disgusted-- and very few are willing to defend his flimsy apologies.

As the article says, the next 48 hours are going to be key for him, as this is easily amongst the most damaging blows to his campaign yet. I must reiterate-- even a large amount of his supporters are drawing the line here. The people who ate up every word he said no matter how blatantly false he was, the people who were willing to defend his racism, his prior sexist comments, and every last petty, disgusting insult-- all that did nothing to make them flinch in supporting him. But this did-- and no wonder, its indefensible. I'm predicting that this is the first of many cracks in the wall (no reference intended) of ignorance that his supporters have built around themselves, and will trigger people who trusted him before to start questioning him a little bit. If more stuff gets revealed, more questions will get asked and eventually the wall of ignorance will get torn down entirely (hopefully by November). Really, with all the stuff that's coming out about Trump, its high time he pay the piper.

Not a Clinton fan either but I at least have some faith in her to run the country during these sensitive times with reasonable competency considering how cooly rational she's been throughout her campaign. All scandals aside, foreign relations are the ultimate dealbreaker for me with Trump-- they're extremely fragile and while I am a little concerned that she won't be cautious enough in regards to accepting immigrants from Syria, Iran, etc., unlike Trump she's not likely to smash them to bits in an embarrassing fashion that takes the US many years to recover from. I find that a lot of Republicans are really short-sighted with their foreign relations policies-- they're so busy focusing on trying to make a point not to screw with the US and generating quick results from combat that they forget that maintaining alliances (not taking advantage of allied countries and groups for personal gain regardless of if its a detriment to the countries/groups or not), providing opportunities for negotiations that aren't of the "US takes all, everybody else just gives stuff to the US" variety, and performing acts of charity and mercy are also key to good relations. There are indeed times when a country needs to flex its muscles and prove that it isn't a pushover to make an enemy back off, and unfortunately times when no amount of negotiation or charity are effective in stopping a country/terrorist group/etc. from being aggressive, oppressive, or otherwise necessitating combat. But acting like muscle-flexing and combat are the best options in all scenarios, like Trump and a lot of other Republicans, is irrational and a disaster waiting to happen.

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The Clinton e-mail thing could have proven devastating, were it revealed during primary season, when it would have dominated multiple news cycles. However, given the insane Trump revelations of today, along with the impending debate, I think it almost certain to be swept under the rug and forgotten. Although, on the other hand, given the Trump campaign's desperation for any little bit of dirt they can get on their opponent, maybe Trump will bring it up in the debate? She'll need to be prepared to deal with that - and as a last second revelation, she may not have time to come up with a solid parry. I expect that she'll try to formulate some fresh lines of defense during her upcoming mock debate(s) this weekend, though.

The public versus private policy position thing doesn't strike me as a great revelation; given how much so many politicians are willing to pander to anyone, I usually assume that their "real" views are largely hidden away from prying eyes - but their public views can still be illustrative of the themes of their private ones. The latter must be massaged into becoming the former, while the latter might remain quite rough. That's why sincerity matters, because if a politician is genuinely sincere in their beliefs, I believe that that sincerity can usually be communicated, and people appreciate it. Unless you're a terrible communicator, like Hillary Clinton...

Clinton is a bit of a shifting fog of sincerity; sometimes, if we're lucky, she'll let us see the real and authentic her (which happened a lot often when she was younger). Oftentimes nowadays, though, it's not on display at all. She's been burned way too many times by the press and other politicians for being open and a bit vulnerable, which has, to our loss, taught her over the decades that hiding behind multiple walls of artifice and working in secret is much safer than the alternative. All despite the terribad optics and uniquely American predisposition toward conspiracy theories.


RE: Trump The Aggressive Pervert

Trump's excuses are as follows:

Quote

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close,” Trump said in a statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Link here.

That's three excuses for the price of one! "Just a bit of banter," the super weak "I apologize if you were offended" apology and the "but what about..." attempt at diversion.

Time travel time!

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The ironing is delicious!

And then Paul Ryan, who was about to start campaigning with the man, decided to not stump with Trump after all:

Quote

Hours after the footage posted on The Washington Post, Ryan's office said, "I am sickened by what I heard today."

"Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified," Ryan continued in a statement. "I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests. In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/paul-ryan-donald-trump-comments-women-wisconsin-229307

The event's still on, but neither Trump nor Ryan will be in attendance. Pence will be there, though.

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