Be Sure to Join Lambert’s Presidential Debate LiveBlog/Open Thread Tomorrow at 9 PM EDT

Lambert is graciously hosting a live blog tomorrow as he (and those of us with sufficient intestinal fortitude and/or prurient interest) watches the Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump presidential debate tomorrow evening.

Even though Lambert will be live blogging (as in providing commentary in real time), he’s going to do that in the Comments section, so that readers can react and follow the thread more easily. We think this will be far better than the usual approach of having the live blog be a post, and then having reader comments be visually distant from the running observations.

And to get your juices going, a question: What standards do you think will matter for who really “wins” the debate, as in does better with voters? Lambert and I come out of policy debate, which is a highly competitive school sport, and where the judges have norms for determining who wins, by awarding points for quality of arguments, use of evidence, meeting the burden of proof, delivery, etc. One visible frustration shared by Team Clinton and its many allies in the punditocracy is that many voters are ignoring what they think the rules should be, particularly that Trump routinely says things that are false, yet poll responses suggest that respondents don’t care all that much about how often Trump lies or wings it and gets it wrong.

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow night!

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67 comments

  1. Jeremy Harrison

    Who wins? Whoever does the best job of somehow seeming to demonstrate the opposite of their most negative characteristic.

    For Hillary, that means having to seem honest, authentic, trustworthy.

    For Trump, that means having to seem emotionally mature, stable…”Presidential”.

    I predict 2 total failures at such attempts.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        The winner will be the one who does the most not to increase their already horrible unlikeability and provable lying. Also depends if there’s any fact checkers somewhere.

    1. jgordon

      That is an interesting theory, however I will posit an alternative: the winner will be the candidate who makes it through the debate without having a seizure or some other unfortunate medical event.

  2. Skippy

    Whats the best drinking game someone here at NC can come up with…. eh…

    Disheveled Marsupial…. sure to be a 6 pack event at the least….

    1. tony

      Take a drink when one get’s the other to lose composure. Hillary’s plan is to get under Trump’s skin. The Donald seeks to hit her with a zinger like he did with Jeb and the rest.

      Or take a drink when one of them says something you know is a lie. You might risk a coma, though.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Yes, that is a risk. Maybe sticking to no-alcohol beer until 10PM and then going for the hard stuff? Or copying Winston Churchill, and using a really weak mixed drink, like a scotch and soda? He apparently did all his writing with them.

            1. patrick

              I can’t get into hard drugs. Especially the toxic kind. I suggest a puff of cannabis at whatever rate is appropriate- every 10th or 5th or every other gaff/lie/key word etc. Its the 21st century for craps sake. You’ll feel much better in the morning…regardless…plus, your body via your endocannabinoid system will thank you.

              1. polecat

                after the 2nd, or 3rd gaff …. you’ll forget all about the debate, and wonder where that bag of chips went ….. ;’)

              2. jgordon

                If we’re going down this route then I’ll suggest some nice blotter paper previously soaked in a certain acidic compound cut into 10mic doses. It’ll bring a whole new perspective, dimension even, to the debate. Added bonus: unlike booze it’s nontoxic, nonaddictive and hangover free so no need to worry about overdoing it!

        1. tony

          I believe a drinking game should require focus and intellect. It functions as a check on excessive drinking.

    2. Jeremy Harrison

      Maybe a shot of tequila anytime the camera catches Mark Cuban and Gennifer Flowers exchanging blows in the front row?

      1. Massinissa

        Exchanging blows? IMO they would be more likely to exchange kisses. I assume Flowers is just there because Trump is paying her and she needs the money. Trump would have had Monica show up instead, except Monica actually still has her dignity.

        1. polecat

          They’ve got the venue all wrong …..

          …… should’ve chosen a skate park ! ……. What could be more millenially hip ? Oh …ok …. how bout a resstaurant ?

  3. clarky90

    I just watched this Trump speech in Roanoke Virginia.

    Full Speech: Donald Trump Holds HUGE Rally in Roanoke, VA 9/24/16

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SDAwIbbUJc

    In traditional Chinese culture, qì or ch’i is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi literally translates as “breath”, “air”, or “gas”, and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow”.

    I swear to God, if you watch this speech you may be able to see, feel and experience “Qi”. IMO, the energy (Qi) going around that room, back and forth from Trump to the audience, and back again, is palpable (to me).

    Hillary Clinton, on the other hand (again IMO), has very depleted Qi. You can not buy Qi. Qi is a force that is accumulated over time. (Primarily, by not constantly dissipating it)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Rather than pumping so hard for Trump, your talents at Leader Promotion would probably be better rewarded if you were working with an evangelical church, New Age cult, or multi-level marketing firm. Have you ever considered these higher and better alternatives?

      More seriously, Trump loves crowds. Hillary does not. Obama barely likes people (witness he golfs only with his bodyguard when the main purpose of golfing is supposed to be networking) but that did not prevent him from becoming President. And the debates Monday won’t be before an audience, so Trump won’t be able to feed off that energy.

    2. Massinissa

      Soooo… I kinda feel like youre conflating Qi and Charisma. Unless theyre supposed to be the same thing and noone passed me that memo?

    3. John

      Don’t confuse the grift and working the marks with the well regulated movement of healthy qi. He’s a predatory qi sucker. What you see is the movement that goes on in an industrial meat market kill pen.

    4. jgordon

      Oh qi, that’s good. Actually there is another kind of qi in xianxia, sometimes wuxia, called yin qi, or corpse qi. Like with undead zombies and spirits etc. If you think about it like that, the Trump/Hillary dichotomy suddenly makes a lot of sense!

      I think they both suck by the way. Aside from the unbelievable lies Hillary and her media apparatchiks are constantly making up about him, the worst thing you could say about Trump is that he’s a (somewhat entertaining) blowhard. Hillary in contrast is a dangerous lunatic psychopath. Letting Hillary get elected would be a big step towards an imminent nuclear mass extinction event. That’s why she has to be stopped, even if it means supporting Trump.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    Interesting sideshow—will Gennifer Flowers be seated next to her ex-paramour in the front row? Will the cameras dare interview her?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The latest I saw was a discussion of not having anyone in the front row at all.

      Flowers claimed in a Daily Mail interview many years afterward that Hillary was totally fine with Flowers’ relationship with Bill, which IIRC went on for 13 years, but then she was dumped with no notice after Chelsea was born and Bill was clearly moving up in the Dem party. Having a mistress was too much of a risk. But it still raises too many questions about what the marriage is really about to have Flowers hauled out of mothballs.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @Yves Smith – According to Kelly-Anne Conway on CNN, Trump has not formally invited Gennifer Flowers to the debate:

        “(CNN)Donald Trump’s campaign manager and running mate said Sunday the GOP candidate doesn’t want Gennifer Flowers — who had an affair with Bill Clinton in the 1970s — at Monday night’s presidential debate.
        “We have not invited her formally, and we do not expect her to be there as a guest of the Trump campaign,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

  5. Kokuanani

    This is the ONLY thing that will get me to watch this stupid debate. Now I’ll have to change my plans to spend the time cleaning out my closet.

    Perhaps the Giant Meteor will appear?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Everyone’s gotten over sensitized after that creepy but brief head bobbing incident. If you hadn’t seen that, I doubt you’t take any notice of her nodding here. Looks more like an attempt to channel nervousness or hide the effort to stay faux pleasant.

      I’m more bothered by her claim that she’s “met the standard” for releasing health records. Bullshit. McCain released 10,000 pages and Shrub, 4,000. By contrast, she’s given a page or two of letters from her local Dr. Feelgood.

      1. KurtisMayfield

        It depends on what the meaning of the word “standard” is..

        This is just one of the reasons she isn’t up by 50.. no one trusts her so why bother to care about her policy or her proposals. She will just make up excuses as she goes along for whatever she wants to do.

      2. johnnygl

        It’s worth pointing out she said she’s had memory problems since the concussion when she had her interview with the fbi. So she’s reaping what she’s sowed as far as doubts about her health. It’s not like she’s been consistent about how good her health is….much like she’s not consistent about…well…

      3. polecat

        “By contrast, she’s given a page or two of letters from her local Dr. Feelgood” ……

        Blame it on those Common Cored Maths …….

  6. pretzelattack

    fortunately, you don’t have to actually watch the debate to participate in the comment thread. i haven’t reached the “acceptance stage” yet. baby steps.

  7. fresno dan

    “One visible frustration shared by Team Clinton and its many allies in the punditocracy is that many voters are ignoring what they think the rules should be, particularly that Trump routinely says things that are false, yet poll responses suggest that respondents don’t care all that much about how often Trump lies or wings it and gets it wrong.”

    First, I would certainly agree that Trump lies. Which is not to be confused with his inchoate policy prescriptions and vast ignorance. But as I have noted, Trump lies are – to use an overused phrase – “transparent”.

    Compare to Hillary’s lies – which are well crafted, well designed, and are lawyerly dissertations on misdirection and obfuscation. As well as being made to advance policy goals that are for the benefit of the 1%. Is Hillary against TPP in ANY sense of the meaning of the word “against” ?

    And with regard to media “fact checkers” – their “fact” checks take political statements at face value, and strike me as hopelessly unsophisticated and naive, and additionally hopelessly uninformed. As well as the “frame” of the question. Do a search regarding whether Clinton started birtherism. And than do a search whether Clinton used racist dog whistles to advance her 2008 campaign. Quite a difference. Which is effectively worse (hmmm – thats a twofer: is Clinton using dog whistles or is the media not asking relevant questions worse)???

    Now, for me, its hard to believe that media people, whose ONLY job is to write about politics, are so uninformed as to not understand the term “dog whistle” or to not understand that an awful lot of politics is trying to smear your opposition without leaving fingerprints. How many stories have you read in the MSM about the Clinton foundation that gave a detailed analysis of what they spend money on by someone that you trust really understands and can explain how a charity should operate???

    Now, this link to “Brangelina” I think actually is pertinent to why media “fact checkers” are so scorned – the second half of the article offers insight how the modern press relations business runs circles around the media and how people who want to portray a “message” can easily do so.
    http://theweek.com/articles/650080/brangelina-matters
    People understand that it is all hype, all spin, and usually worse all the time.
    Is that too cynical? Well, when money and power are involved, it probably isn’t….

    1. RabidGandhi

      An interesting take in that article, essentially arguing that the public has been gaslighted for so long by PR and image scrubbing that they crave Trump because his egotism is at least real:

      You know who does seem authentic? Someone who does everything out of nothing but naked self-interest, and admits it frankly. Someone who makes no pretense that he’s trying to live up to some notion of decency. Someone whose only metric — whose admitted basis of action on any topic — is how it will affect him. Donald Trump loves Vladimir Putin. Why? Because Putin called him a genius. What else could possibly matter? To pretend one cares about anything else would be just that: a pretense. His rationale may not be good, but it is at least pure, uncontaminated by considerations of how things will look.

      So classic! The example Loofbourow gives to show how people are sick of gaslighting is… a classic case of gaslighting itself, as Trump never said he “loves” Putin, and Putin never called him a “genius”. Rather these are the memes that our Acela Bubble gaslighters have been flooding into our brains.

      Embrace the meta.

      1. John Rose

        And another quote that ends the brangelina article.
        There is no perfect explanation that will account for Trump supporters’ anger. They seem to share with Bernie Sanders supporters a deep sense of betrayal, of fundamental and unsolvable mistrust. And of course a great deal of that sense of grievance has to do with class, and race, and gender — and the economy and our justice system and racism and education and income inequality and foreign wars and xenophobia.

        But we’re in danger of missing a huge chunk of what drives the American psyche if we forget just how frivolous we are, if we forget to look at what Americans actually think about and watch in their spare time. And that isn’t politics. It’s The Bachelorette. It’s Instagram. It’s the Kardashians. This week, it’s Brangelina and the peculiar wave of nostalgia their breakup inspired as we remember a time when we weren’t quite this jaded. The Jolie-Pitt divorce has been hailed as the end of an era. So it is: The end of their union marks the end of a style of celebrity fluent in rewriting the narrative, of spinning scandal into decency and a happy ending so convincing that people threw away their #TeamJen shirts. Sure, sure, this is a “real family.” Yes, these are “real people.” This story is no doubt “complicated.” But secretly, we believe complexity is a con. Really, the end of Brangelina just confirms our suspicions: It’s lies all the way down, just as we always feared.

      2. John Rose

        A second try at adding the end of the Brangelina article.
        There is no perfect explanation that will account for Trump supporters’ anger. They seem to share with Bernie Sanders supporters a deep sense of betrayal, of fundamental and unsolvable mistrust. And of course a great deal of that sense of grievance has to do with class, and race, and gender — and the economy and our justice system and racism and education and income inequality and foreign wars and xenophobia.

        But we’re in danger of missing a huge chunk of what drives the American psyche if we forget just how frivolous we are, if we forget to look at what Americans actually think about and watch in their spare time. And that isn’t politics. It’s The Bachelorette. It’s Instagram. It’s the Kardashians. This week, it’s Brangelina and the peculiar wave of nostalgia their breakup inspired as we remember a time when we weren’t quite this jaded. The Jolie-Pitt divorce has been hailed as the end of an era. So it is: The end of their union marks the end of a style of celebrity fluent in rewriting the narrative, of spinning scandal into decency and a happy ending so convincing that people threw away their #TeamJen shirts. Sure, sure, this is a “real family.” Yes, these are “real people.” This story is no doubt “complicated.” But secretly, we believe complexity is a con. Really, the end of Brangelina just confirms our suspicions: It’s lies all the way down, just as we always feared.

      3. clarky90

        Beautiful post RG.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelling_of_Mainila

        The Shelling of Mainila was a military incident on November 26, 1939, where the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila (located near Beloostrov), declared that the fire originated from Finland across the nearby border and claimed to have had losses in personnel. Through that false flag operation, the Soviet Union gained a great propaganda boost and a casus belli for launching the Winter War four days later”.

    2. John Zelnicker

      @fresno dan – I have been trying to post a reply, but it keeps disappearing. I’ll leave out the link in case that’s the problem. I wanted to refer you to the work of Charles Ortel about the Clinton Foundation. He seems to know what he is talking about. As a tax accountant, I can tell you he is right about IRS regulations. He has his own website so it should be easy to find. I probably found it here on Links a week or so ago.

      Hallelujah, it worked. :)

      1. fresno dan

        John Zelnicker
        September 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

        Thanks for that! There have been some good articles here at NC. My point was that it is difficult in the MSM to find anything. And the thing of it it, there probably are a few good articles in the MSM, but it it only amounts to 0.01% of what is written about the Clinton foundation, than the fact that the standard meme, “everybody agrees the Clinton foundation does good work” – it almost strikes me that it is by design to overwhelm the accurate insightful articles that are critical with bullsh*t, but the MSM can still have the defense, “Oh, we we have so published articles critical of the Clinton foundation!”

        And as so many are posting from the article, here is my favorite snippet from The Week article:
        “We also experience both delight and disillusionment in the relationship’s sudden demise after years of meticulous image management. Angelina Jolie — as Anne Helen Petersen has argued — is a true master of the fine art of publicity. As two of three players in America’s greatest celebrity scandal, Pitt and Jolie were strategically unavailable, but fluent in public displays of virtue that shamed the gossip-mongers: “The lack of public comment,” Petersen writes, “could have mired both Jolie and Pitt in the quagmire of bad press and bombing movies. But Pitt and Jolie were speaking constantly. They were just doing so semiotically.” Petersen tracks their initial spree of charitable globetrotting and calls it a triumph of spin: Pitt flew to Ethiopia to tour AIDS orphanages, Jolie to Sierra Leone and Darfur. They kept on the move, and they aggressively redirected the publicity hounding them toward the needy. It would have been a redemption tour if there’d been an admission of guilt. There wasn’t: This was just the new reality. This is who we are, Brangelina said, and this is what we do.”

        Now re-read it and substitute “Clinton foundation” and/or “The Clintons” for “Brangelina.”

  8. petal

    Oh, good man Lambert. Reckon you’ll be leaving the yellow waders in the closet and breaking out the full-on hazmat suit with face shield?

    Reckon Trump will “win” if he nails her effectively on her scandals-if he can stay on message with that. She wins if she seems more mature/grown-up/he acts out.

  9. johnnygl

    One major problem with clinton’s campaign message of portraying trump as nuts and ‘unfit’ is that 1) trump has no history of mental illness or known medical issues. I’ve read he doesn’t drink and hasn’t had any incidents where he’s lost his temper and done something crazy that she can point to. 2) the whole ‘unfit’ thing presumes that people have confidence in the current political class and will reject someone who isn’t up to that standard.

    Trump just needs to seems reasonable and not like the whacko seen in the constant barrage of clinton ads.

    1. johnnygl

      Just saw kelly-ann conway on abc with stephanopolous. She’s pretty sharp on camera. Smart hire by trump. She gives a better impression than manafort.

  10. pretzelattack

    i just saw a good comment at the guardian comparing trump to chemo, the “poison that we take to cure us of the dnc/rnc cancer in hope they don’t kill us first”.

    1. fresno dan

      pretzelattack
      September 25, 2016 at 9:45 am

      That is a very interesting observation and certainly strikes me as hitting the mark

  11. John Zelnicker

    This is a test. I’m having trouble getting a comment to appear in response to another comment.

    Ok, this one seems to work.

  12. Jim

    “What standards do you think will matter for who really wins the debate, as in does better with voters.”

    The real standard will be, as it was for Obama in 2008, the capacity to touch people on an emotional level.

    Policy does not matter.

    Obama touched our desire for positive human solidarity (black and white together)

    The foundation of Trump’s appeal is also on a emotional level. Trump, at his best, exudes a powerful resentment–a type of negative solidarity based on anger and contempt.

    1. Pat

      Policy does matter. Including or maybe especially to those angry voters that Trump appeals to. It is the policy of contempt towards workers, and entitlement of the financial class. They have watched their good jobs be systemically stripped away and then got to be called lazy when they were left were few options by the very people who benefited most by the theft of their opportunities. And the officials that helped this happen think it is hunky dory and anyone doesn’t is stupid. That’s right you actually missed that Clinton is also exuding on an emotional level, she exudes contempt and superiority and most important of all entitlement.And as she lies to people she clearly doesn’t respect at all, they know it. Trump may be tapping into their anger but Clinton is the one who really feeds their resentment and rightfully so.

      1. Jim

        Of course many Trump supporters are rightfully angry and contemptuous of Clinton’s condescension/entitlement and of having their “good jobs stripped away and then left to be called lazy when they were left with few options…”

        I believe this psychological reaction is based, finally, on deep structural impediments to appropriate status and dignity.

        Trump has touched, articulated and successfully mobilized that emotional resentment into a powerful voting bloc as Obama did in 2008–when he used a more positive sense of emotional solidarity.

        The origins of such psychological resentment is profound issue which is rarely discussed in-depth because of its potential embarassment to both political parties.

        I would argue that there is a potential creative power to resentment which may, in certain politcal/cultural situations lead to, at least, a partial transvaluation of values.

        Under such circumstances the normal hierarchy of values in society is modified.

        If Trump wins this election it may be because such resentment has become so broad and so psychologically unbearable
        that the potential beginning of a new system of values (for good or ill) is upon us.

        He was the man who was capable of taping into this reservoir of desire–a capability that far transcends an ability to articulate policy.

  13. steelhead

    I look forward to Lambert’s effort tomorrow night. I’ll be drinking tea because any sort of “drinking game” will make me unable to function on Tuesday…(LOL).

  14. Zack Macdonald

    Trump will win if he presents it as treating hillary as he would a man, he calls her a liar to her face and denies he’s sexist because sexists would pander to her. He rakes her over the coals and if she responds calls her shrill.and if she doesn’t reply strongly, he says shes coddled by pc elites and can’t take it. This is his twisted approach to try to be not sexist

    Hillary succeeds if she calls him a liar and drops being presidential. Plays the hard working not taking it working tiger mom, calls him a bully and a failure and shames him. Now, he can’t be shamed, but she can still put him in the position of being described how he really is. The language must be simple and direct.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, the person who is the most aggressive tomorrow night loses. Hillary lost when she got shrill in her last debate against Sanders. Trump’s aggressive tweets backfire on him. The trick will be whether one of the candidates can successfully bait the other into getting pissy or openly angry. If both get angry, it will be an entertaining slugfest but will further diminish the stature of the office.

  15. Kim Kaufman

    I checked Twitter to see if Matt Taibbi was going to do one of his (hilarious) drinking games and he had posted this to an inquiry:

    “I don’t think so. My sense of humor about this election is gone. Also, I have to drive back from Hofstra.”

  16. DJG

    I won’t watch. The “debates” are so highly controlled. What new information can come out that will make a difference? Sure, both sides will be looking for gaffes. Trump will oblige somehow, most likely about Muslims, what with the Turkish immigrant killing people today at the mall in Washington–although less likely about women, because he is being coached not to offend her as a woman. Clinton will be in full school-marm mode, a gaffe in itself, and an evocation of all of the semi-competent female bosses that each of us has had to endure. (I’ve worked for several great women managers, but then there’s the Clintonian: The head of an editorial group I worked for who once maintained that black people don’t like to go into publishing.)

    The only topics that are truly incendiary are ones well known to the commentariat here: the e-mail server-ganza, the 38 billion simoleons for Israel, the disaster that is Syria, the “toughness” toward Russia, Trump’s nutcase economic plans, the continuing catastrophe of NAFTA, Trump and pals’ soft sport for torture, and Hillary and pals’ love of privatization of Social Security. In a debate, these would be sound bites.

    And if one of these geezers drops dead during the sparring, it will be in the morning papers, anyway. (I’m too old to stay up late, waiting for their apoplexy.)

    Unfortunately for me, my game if I were to watch would be to see how much further I can get into that bottle of Templeton rye. And rye whiskey truly can have an effect on brain cells, sometimes delightful, sometimes not worth the next morning’s regret at having damaged some synapses gaping at melodrama.

  17. Anne

    I can’t decide if I am dreading the debate, or looking forward to finally seeing these two on the same stage…but I will watch, in spite of my having a very low tolerance for either of these people.

    The real question for me is how the debate will be moderated: how much control will Lester Holt exert over the participants? Will he make any attempt to pin either of them down when they are misstating the facts? Will we get substantive discussion of actual policy, or will we languish in the quicksand of scandal?

    Will Holt challenge Clinton and Trump to drop and give him 20 pushups? You know, so we can put this whole health thing to rest.

    As to the standard for declaring a winner, you’ve got me there…both sides have to claim victory, don’t they? I really do believe that social media will be the final arbiter of which candidate “wins;” as much as I dislike Clinton, I do think it would be great if, at some point, she would look over at Trump and say, “how badly do you want to be tweeting right now?”

    Glad to be able to come here tonight and join in the discussion – thanks, Lambert, for doing this!

  18. Skippy

    I got it – !!!!!!!!!

    Drink when you can identify with a meme or trope similar to anything used in the movie “The Purge Election Year 2016”

    Half price on all masks

    Murder tourists – a booming new business

    Whats happened to our country Joe

    You get the idea

    Disheveled Marsupial…. I suggest an IV bag or two ready to cannulate post debate…. make sure to follow all OSCE Guidelines….

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