2016 Presidential Debate #2, Trump v. Clinton (Washington University): Live Blog

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

The second Presidential debate will be held at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri at 9PM EST — less than a half-hour from now! — and will run 90 minutes with no commercial interruptions. Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN will moderate. Here are some viewing options. The debate is in Town Hall format:

According to the Commission of Presidential Debates, the questions will be split between the moderators and audience participants. The candidates will have two minutes to respond, followed by an additional minute should the moderator want further discussion. The audience participants will be “uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization,” according to the commission.

And here’s a link to the Democracy Now feed, featuring real-time responses by Jill Stein and (possibly) Gary Johnson, erased by the Commission, which really ought to be abolished, and the debates returned to unscummy League of Women Voters, who once ran them.

In case you can’t bear to watch, but want to hang out in the comments section, here’s an excerpt from Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s “The Way Things Go” to entertain you.

“Things catch on fire; the center cannot hold…”

* * *

All I can do is hope that the town hall audience rises to the occasion; they often do. Since the debate is in St Louis, it would be nice if there was at least one question about Ferguson, where both parties have much to answer for.

Assuming the debate continues along the lines of the last few days (and the press is recommending that small children be shielded):

When Clinton is speaking: A useful article about Clinton’s penchant for oppo* (and you have to wonder how a woman so focused on the footnotes of ginormous briefing books could answer “Like with a cloth or something?” when asked whether she wiped her server before handing it over to the FBI); and a promise that the Access Hollywood/Billy Bush hot mike tape was just the beginning:

When Trump is speaking: A useful guide to the Big Dog’s complicated life; the article on Juanita Broaddrick recommended by Nick Confessore of the New York Times; and Buzzfeed on the same topic.

Of course, the possibility exists that Trump, in the best traditions of kayfabe, could turn himself from a heel to a face with a humanizing moment; and likewise Clinton, who has so far stayed silent on Trump’s hot mike tape, could, in her own way, be moving (these stories certainly are).

Please add your comments as the debate proceeds!

* If anybody’s ever read Joe Klein’s roman a clef, Primary Colors, that really rings true.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Liah

    I ran into this amazing expose’ quite by accident this morning. It explains a lot of things; Zero Hedge’s being overtaken by Trumpeters (racist, misogynistic, ruthless Trumpeters, no less). I have no tolerance for arguing these issues anymore, but do not want this to go by unexamined.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, that’s impossible without a link (which you may provide elsewhere) and in any case is seriously off topic for this post. We’re not pleased when the very first comment is a distraction. Don’t do it.

    2. Yves Smith

      We don’t take assignments (see our written comments policy). And we most certainly are not in the business on riding herd on the comment section of other websites, much the less their content. That is a ludicrous demand. We don’t link to ZH as a matter of policy because too high a percentage of its articles are inaccurate and the people who run the site don’t seem to care, which we regard as worse. And its comment section has long been the financial blogosphere’s answer to 4Chan. I don’t see its orientation as at all related to Trump, although it’s not hard to imagine its readers would be keen about him.

      If you don’t like what is happening at ZH, you need to take it up with them or their advertisers. We have no influence over them.

  2. Lambert Strether Post author

    Trump doubles down:

    Trump and Clinton have arrived at the debate hall. But just an hour earlier, Trump made a surprise appearance with women who have in the past accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual activity. Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the women will be in the audience at the debate, which begins at 9 pm and will be co-moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

    Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, retweeted a post from last year in which Clinton said all sexual assault victims deserve to be “heard, believed and supported.”

    Conway tweeted: “We agree @HillaryClinton. Does that go for Juanita, Kathleen, Kathy and Paula? If so, acknowledge them from the stage tonight. #girlpower.”

    Dear me. I suppose we know why Conway disappeared for the last couple of days.

    1. reslez

      Trump denies actually assaulting anyone and says “it’s just words, folks”. He’s now opened himself to major pain if a woman steps forward Monday with allegations of assault/harrassment.

      Want to bet there will be one?

      1. jgordon

        Well what if there really are none? Dang that’d be awful, wouldn’t it?

        Although on the otherhand considering it’s the Clintons we’re talking about I’m sure they could do some more colluding with the media to magic one up.

        Let’s just ignore that the husband of one of the candidates is a known sexual assaulter/rapist while the candidate herself maliciously abuses her husband’s victims after the fact. Uh huh. That ain’t nearly as big a deal as something somebody said. Not at all. Not you in particular, but you people are twisted.

        1. reslez

          There actually are two women I’ve seen reported, one a former employee from several decades ago. Certainly nothing on the scale of Bill. Given how dirty this campaign has become I have little doubt we’re in for a wild ride.

      2. PhilU

        Clinton flinched when Trump Said “no I have not” I don’t know if it was a oh boy! flinch, or a oh crap! flinch though.

    1. fresno dan

      October 9, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      I noticed that…is that a first in modern TV debate history???

      I am not nearly drunk enough to start this….

  3. Kim Kaufman

    I’m watching CBS (muted) and listening to NPR on my local station. The fact that it’s not synced and the visuals don’t quite match the sound seems right.Hillary looks very dowdy tonight and Trump looks grumpy.

  4. justanotherprogressive

    Thank you PBS for making sure all of your watchers know about the locker room tape while completely ignoring the Podesta emails. Is there ANYWHERE I can go to watch this debate and get away from the Clinton owned MSM’s spin tonight?

  5. jaaaaayceeeee

    Is Hillary Clinton running for president of the usa or of middle school, “American is great because it’s good”?

  6. TheCatSaid

    The extent to which Samantha Power is being groomed for high office is more and more pronounced. Currently she’s getting lots of coverage in Korea with military. It’s as if Clinton and Trump are both such damaged goods that a more suitable woman is being brought into the wings. It reminds me of when I heard Obama speak at the Dem convention while a senator, and of a speech I heard Theresa May give several years ago.

    Key people are being moved into position and it has nothing to do with elections.

        1. Matthew G. Saroff

          And Power makes Dick Cheney look like Mahatma Ghandi. (She also hangs out with Kissinger)

    1. jgordon

      That’s an incredibly insightful observation! Now since you are so perspicuous could you also give your opinion on why Bill physically and Hillary psychologically raped their victims? I’m waiting in eager anticipation to the words of wisdom that’ll soon be oozing from your fingers.

        1. sd

          You’ve never personally heard of or experienced being mind f*ed? Happens to both men and women. Consider yourself fortunate.

          1. okanogen

            Oh I’ve heard of being mind-fucked. Pretty much from anybody who is selling Trump and Clinton as “equally evil”.

            An example might be, for instance, that since Hillary was married to Bill, that it’s ok that Trump can laugh about grabbing women by their pussy and they love it.

            So that would be a mind-fuck; if someone were to do that.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I’ve explicitly said that one reason I find the election difficult is that Clinton’s evils and Trump’s evils are incommensurate, that is, precisely not “equally evil.”

              That’s the difficulty with using vacuous formulations like “pretty much from anybody.” They render the person deploying them incapable of responding to actual views taken by actual persons. If, indeed, that is the point?

              1. okanogen

                I was using that as an example that I understand the concept of being mind-fucked. And to be blunt, comparing Bill Clinton’s offenses as a way of excusing or equating Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton is exactly that. It is mind-fucking and it is portraying them as equally evil. So there, I said it very plainly and clearly.

                Your entire second paragraph is a debate tactic. We’ve been friends a long time and you are better than that.

            2. beene

              It something like during a 60 minute interview that Hillary said the ladies were wrong about Bill; and “she was not Tammy Wynette standing by her man”.

              If Trump had anyone who knew what they were doing they would run this with Hillary supporting women and pics of the four women.


        2. jgordon

          Uh?! I thought you were going to explain about Bill raping women, not ask me questions. But alright I’ll give it a shot:

          Look at what Hillary did to Bill’s victims after he raped them–that is psychological rape. Hope that helps ;)

          1. okanogen

            Trump brags about sexually assaulting women, therefore, either ISIS, or Bill Clinton raped women [unproven, btw] and Hillary Clinton said mean things to them [unproven], we will get back to you after focus grouping determines which deflects better.

            Now, when the film comes out showing Trump calling people niggers, what old accusation will you trot out to make the Clintons as racist?

    1. Bev

      Tech glitches at Democracy Now! and Facebook occurred last night when they tried to add the Green Party’s Jill Stein into the debate real time. Democracy Now! had to include most of her answers today instead. Though lengthy, I want to include just one of her answers to questions, Stein’s two minute answer to Trump’s and Clinton’s treatment of women:


      DR. JILL STEIN: This—this debate, so-called, is really a sad commentary on what our political system has become. This debate is indeed a sham debate. The League of Women Voters called this process established by the Commission on Presidential Debates a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter. What we’re hearing, as this debate opens, is the candidates go at it about their personal histories, about Hillary’s emails, about Donald’s despicable, abusive behavior and language towards women. And yes, this is all, you know, fair terrain, but it’s—it’s shameful that this has to be the focus of the discussion here. The American people have very serious issues before us, and we need to get past this debate over whether Hillary or Donald is more corrupt, who has the more offensive history.

      Let me, you know, just say, there are critical issues before us. The American people have really had it economically. This recovery has been a recovery at the top, despite some minor—minor suggestions that income is rising. Indeed, this is only a small amount among lower- and middle-income families, probably due to the living-wage battles that have been led by the working people of America. An entire generation is locked in debt. Black lives are struggling for safety, walking down the street or driving down the street. Millions of immigrants are living in fear of deportation. Donald Trump has shown that the Republicans are the party of hate and fearmongering, but the Democrats are the party of deportation, detentions and night raids.

      We have wars for oil that are massively expanding, have no end. The Obama administration is now bombing seven countries. This is bankrupting our budget. Half of our discretionary budget is being spent on these wars, which are not making us more safe, but rather less safe. Almost half of your income taxes are going to this massive Defense Department, which is not really not a Defense Department, it is an offense department.

      And the climate is in meltdown. We are seeing superstorms now in the Caribbean, a thousand people tragically killed in the country of Haiti, illustrating again how it is people of color and people in undeveloped nations and poor people who are really on the front lines of climate change; extended drought, continuing fires in the—in the West of the country. We have a climate crisis here.

      And these two are bickering about who is more abusive and who has been more derelict in their responsibilities towards the American people. And I—personally, I think they’re both right, that Donald Trump’s behavior is absolutely abusive and inexcusable; Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, though her demeanor is certainly much nicer and her message is easier to hear, it’s important to remember that it’s not the talk, it’s the walk. And while Hillary is talking about, you know, her history defending and promoting women and children and the cause of our families, remember, it was the Clintons who dismantled Aid to Families with Dependent Children—that is, the major social safety net—throwing over a million families and children into poverty. The Clintons actually passed—and I mean Bill signed, but Hillary supported—NAFTA, which sent millions of jobs overseas, and Wall Street deregulation, leading to the economic meltdown and, in fact, the miserable economic conditions that have led to the rise of Donald Trump.

      So, let’s be clear, what Hillary is offering is more of this neoliberal centrism, especially now that Republicans are fleeing into her camp. It’s one big happy Demo-Republican party. And let’s not fool ourselves for a moment that Hillary has the solution. As Bernie Sanders himself said repeatedly, the only real solution to this crisis of right-wing extremism that Donald Trump represents—and he’s certainly not the only one—the real solution is truly radical, progressive policies that are represented by the Green Party. Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump gets into the White House—and let’s hope neither of them do—but there needs to be a strong movement and a strong political voice to that movement to continue fighting against this rule by the economic and political elite that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent.


  7. justanotherprogressive

    It appears the moderators are more interested in whether Donald will “grope women” rather than the issues. So not even 10 minutes in and I’m done! I’m sure you will all let me know what happens.

    1. Illegal Country

      It’s absolutely disgusting that these two individuals represent our country in any capacity…candidate or elected official.

      I blame the lack of an independent media for this devolution in public service.

  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    Raddatz asks no applause to get to as many questions as possible. Clinton wins coin toss.

    Patrice Brock: “Mature Audience. Do you feel you’re modeling appropriate behavior?”

    CLINTON important to make clear to children our country is great because it is good. Celebrate diveristy. Reach out to every child and adult. Stronger together. Overcome divisiveness. Big goals. There’s nothing America can’t do. Hope we will come together. I want to be the President for all Americans. I want to heal our country and bring it together.

    TRUMP Agree with everything she said. My whole concept was to make American great again. When I watch the deals, norrible things like ObamaCare [sniffs again, for pity’s sake] last year we had $800 billion deficit, we’re gonna make great deals, strong border, respect to law enforcement, we need justice. Fix inner cities better for AAs who are so great, Latinos

    COOPER: Modeling behavior. You bragged you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand it?

    TRUMP Locker room talk. A world with ISIS, wars, horrible sights, carnage, and they look at our country… I’m embarrassed, I hate it, it’s locker room talk. I will take care of ISIS and get on to more important things.

    COOPER Are saying didn’t grope,for the record

    TRUMP I have respect for women….

    COOPER Done those things?

    TRUMP No I have not. I will make our country safe. Great. Other nations taking o

    COOPER Do you want to respond

    CLINTON Spent last 48 hours thinking. Never questioned fitness to serve of past presidents. Said back in June he’s not fit. What we all saw and heard was Donald talking about women, what he thinks and does. It’s clear to anyone, it represents exactly who he is. Seen him insult, rate women on appearance, embarasss, denigrate a former Miss Universe. Not only the video that raises question of his fitness. This is who Donald Trump is. The questioin our country must answer. Not who we are. America is great because we are good. We will celebrate our diveristy. This is the American I will serve.

  9. Jolly Tommo

    I thought for a moment there she was going to say she didn’t want to comment on the tape and just let him stew.

  10. TheCatSaid

    IOW the debate and elections are all show. Distractions.

    It makes it clearer that I need to be more involved on a personal level, especially at the community level.

    1. jrs

      You are right, although community can be many different things, it’s not just city hall, it can be much more radical, although sometime the battle is at city hall. But it also unions (those that aren’t sold old like the AFL/CIO is), and BLM and etc.. I spent the weekend with radicals. I know politics is hopeful (although the human races situation isn’t exactly hopeful), and politics is not this nonsense.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    People are dying.

    Voters (Trump’s) are dying.

    People abroad are dying.

    The new (and better) middle-class morality and etiquette (compared to the 50s, new and better, ) dictate not insulting people.

  12. allan

    Facebook now is the arbiter of what is important.

    And the “uncommitted” voters seem to be not so uncommitted.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It looked more like a brushback pitch to me. If he’d wanted to throw a pitch right at her head, there’s a good deal more he could have done; singling them out from the stage, for example. Were they in the front row?

  13. jaaaaayceeeee

    Hillary’s prepared remarks saying that Trump’s not fit, not only for how he speaks of women, but how he speaks of immigrants, etc. was perfect, and Donald Trump’s “my words aren’t the same as Clinton actions” won’t work.

    1. oh

      She lied about her e-mails, diverted money from a tax free foundation to enrich herself and her husband, took foreign money for favors, rented the white house to visitors and on and on. She’s not fit to be President but fit to wear a striped suit and shackles.

      1. JaaaaayCeeeee

        Trump’s approach during the debate, refusing as long as possible, to respond directly to the implied question, “Were you bragging about sexually assaulting women with impunity because you’re a star” could have worked for some men. But not for Trump.

        If I remember correctly, Trump wanted to talk about other subjects. Only after being confronted several times with the accusation that he brags of sexually assaulting women with impunity, did Trump finally slip in a, “No I did not”.

        The problem is that’s how someone who’s respectable gets to treat a question and questioner like a speck that the respectable despises. Once Trump failed to look competent by choosing do try to do something that requires the appearance of competence, his go-to imperiousness looks like avoidance.

        Too bad, because he’s willing to call Hillary Clinton out, but he’s just too incompetent at it. Trump ends up letting her get away with her cravenness with impunity.

  14. alex morfesis

    he is nervous…the sniffing…it is something I have had in my past…it is a part of tachicardia…at least it was with me…

      1. vidimi

        bingo. this (deviated septum) is what i suffer. am considering getting surgery. it’s very, very detrimental to my quality of life.

  15. Sammy Maudlin

    IMHO bringing up the tape right out of the gate is a huge advantage for Trump. How long is the debate? 90 minutes? The whole issue will be over and done and out of the discussion until closing remarks. Better tactic would have been save it for the kill shot. Maybe they will hammer it as the unatopic all night. If so, I give up on this election altogether.

  16. TheCatSaid

    Clinton’s words are being delivered in such a slow, measured controlled tone and pace–as if she’s trying to run out the clock.

    1. nycTerrierist

      yes, that was my impression. the moderators let her eat up time, esp. toward the end.

  17. RUKidding

    Trump goes for emails. Going for jugular. If Trump wins, he will have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton. Gah. More tax dollars wasted on Clinton investigations.

    1. tony

      I honestly have hard time imagining anything more important for a society than investigating and prosecuting the crimes of the ruling class.

  18. frosty zoom

    “Mr. Trump, is it true that you fully support Mr. Putin’s plot to utilize KREEPY KLOWNS in order to disrupt our sacred, god-given election?”

  19. Lambert Strether Post author

    CLINTON It’s just words, folks, it’s just words. Heard when Hillary was going to bring back jobs to upstate NY. Inner cities. I’m gonna help AAs, Latinos, inner cities, she’s done a terrible job. She wants their votes, does nothing.

    RADDATZ [Back to the tape.] Facebook, social network. Bring in social media question.

    JEFF Trump says it’s changed him. How? When you walked off the bus, did that change you?

    TRUMP Locker room talk, not proud of it. If you look at Bill Clinton, mine are words, his are actions. You can say it any way, Bill was abusive. Hillary attacked them viciously. Kathy Shelton. Don’t tell me about words. Absolutely I apologize for words. Clinton was impeached, lost his licesne to practice law, paid Paula Jones $850 It’s disgraceful and she should be shamed. [applause]

    CLINTON So much not right. He can run his campaign as he wants. I am reminded of what my fried Michelle Obama said “When they go low, you go high [cheers]. If this were just about one video. But everyone can draw their own conclusions about whether the man on the stage is real. He never apologizes to anybody. Not ht Khans. Not the Federal judge. The reporter he mocked, our children were lying. Never apologized for the racist lie on birther. He needs to take

    TRUMP Your campaign manager Sid B needs to apologize for sending the pictures around. And Michelle B. I’ve gotten to see the commercials talking about you Hillary. You talk about friends! You lost fair and square.

    You should apologize for the 33K emails. And two boxes [???]

    If I win, I am going to instruct my AG to get a special prosectutor to look into your situation. Never anything like this! You get a subpoena and then delete 33K and acid watch, bleach. People’s lives have been

    CLINTON Everything he said is absolutely false. Good thing Trump isn’t in charge of the law.

    TRUMP BC you’d be in jail [applause]

      1. Lambert Strether Post author


        The details about the boxes are contained in five pages of the FBI file – with a staggering 111 redactions – that summarize the statements of a State Department witness who worked in the “Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS).” The employee told the FBI that, “Initially, IPS officials were told there were 14 bankers boxes of former Secretary of State Hillary CLINTON’s emails at CLINTON’s Friendship Heights office.” Friendship Heights is a neighborhood that straddles the Northwest neighborhood of the District of Columbia and Maryland.

        The State Department witness further explained to the FBI that “on or about December 5, 2014, IPS personnel picked up only 12 bankers boxes of CLINTON’s emails from Williams & Connolly.”

        The officials were not sure if the boxes “were consolidated or what could have happened to the two other boxes. “

        [throws up hands in despair].

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The audience needs to tone down (when reacting negatively to Hillary), so says the moderator.

  21. Anne

    This “town hall” is more like a cross between TMZ and Jerry Springer.

    Truly a sad and pathetic commentary on the state of our election process.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One on three.

      So true.

      This is what life is like for those in the middle class.

      Ugly, but reality.

      We want politicians to be like us, and politics like our ugly lives.

  22. Lambert Strether Post author

    RADDATZ [email]

    CLINTON Mistake to use personal email account [server!} Misleading investigation. No evidence anyone hacked, no evidence classified material ended up in the wrong hands. As SoS I know from classified. Bin Laden. So I take it seriously.

    [Whoopsie CPSAN just cut out.]

    CLINTON Missed in the cutout. [blather]

  23. jaaaaayceeeee

    Hillary Clinton took the email bait “Everything he’s said is false”. Doing a good job of repeating the deflection that she made a mistake and takes security seriously. If Donald Trump were not so very bad at it, it might matter, but I think Hillary Clinton will get away with it.

  24. RUKidding

    Hammering on emails. Making some good points. But now interrupting. Trump stepping on his foot.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Exactly. Clinton smiling a terrible smile but Trump blew it interrupting


      CLINTON No, you go ahead, Donald.

      TRUMP I’m a gentleman, Hillary.

      CLINTON Cost has to be first priorty. Millions covered. Women must be charged same. Under 26. I want to save what works and is good. We’ve got to get costs down. If we repeal it and start over, all of those benefits are lost to everybody. 90%. Wanted to

      TRUMP ObamaCare is a disaster. Nobody’s seen numbers like this word. in 17 it implodes by itself. ObamaCare will never work. Too expensive for people who have it. Repeal and replace with something much less expensive. Open state borders to competition, She wants single payer, a disaster, Canadians come here. Clinton has been after this for years. Not only are rates going up, deductibles are going up

      COOPER Bill, craziest thing

      CLINTON He clarified. If we were to start over, things might be different. But we have an employer based system. ObamaCare designed to fill the gap. That was the slot that the ObamaCare approach. Donald means insurance companies whatever they want. Preexisting conditions. Fix not throw away.

      TRUMP Everythings broken about it. Sanders said Clinton has bad judgment.

      COOPER Prexisting companies how fast?

      TRUMP Competition!

      COOPER Will there be a mandate?

      TRUMP Cycles off the Gruber, Obama keep your doctor, it’s a fraud. Will have pre-existing, will block grant into the states so we can take care of people.

  25. frosty zoom

    “absolutely false!”

    “you’d be in jail!”

    “no reactions please! you’re wasting democracy’s time”

    “i went after bin laden.”

    “c is for cookie!”

    “we must move on!”

    “it’s just not true.”

    “allow her!!!!!”

    “one on three.”

    1. reslez

      “Hillary has been trying to fix health care for 30 years. So let me ask my fellow Americans. After all the work she put in, is your health care better or worse today?”

      That’s all he had to say… but he didn’t

  26. Bjornasson

    Positioning herself right behind Obama on ACA – another imminent failure that she will have to “oppose” once it blows up, like TPP.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No one can intimidate the person who took down the former Libyan leader, and who is going to take on the Russian strongman.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Obamacare is a disaster.

    My premium is going up over 20% next year. I got the notice recently.

  28. okanogen

    Donald sniffs, flushes, complains about three on one, turns away from the audience. He’s going to blow a gear.

  29. RUKidding

    Trump has no answer on how to fix ACA. Just “fix it.” Now lying about Canadian health care. Geez.

    PS Not a huge fan of ACA. But no one has an answer.

    1. okanogen

      He was hanging around her chair so she had no place to retreat. “I own this stage and your space.”.

  30. Kim Kaufman

    Jeez, I thought Trump was going to say we should have single payer. He could have boxed her in on that.

      1. CraaaaaaaaaaazyChris

        As a former Sanders supporter, this was the cognitive dissonance moment of the night! I wonder how many “fact checkers” flagged this. I noticed she did not respond to the point, which seems like the best move for her. Was the Donald setting a trap? Seems too 11-th dimensional for him.

        1. allan

          My guess is that he really has no idea. A few weeks ago he was asked about cyber warfare, and he clearly didn’t understand the difference between that and online terrorist recruitment.
          He’s Sarah Palin, but with street smarts.

  31. Brad

    Bit of a nervous overreaction when Trump baited Hillary with a direct threat to prosecute her if he is POTUS.

  32. Anne

    So, does anyone think the young Muslim woman is happy with Trump’s response to her question?

    And, OMG, the sniffing…I can’t stand it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      RADDATZ Muslim ban no longer your position

      TRUMP Captain Kahn is a hero. If I were President he would be would be alive today.

      RADDATZ Does the Muslim ban still stand?

      TRUMP It’s called “extreme vetting.” People are coming into our country. She wants 550%. Believe in safe zones, let the Gulf States. 100,000s of Syrians, know nothing about them

      RADDATZ Why take the risk?

      CLINTON Won’t let anyone in who poses a risk. Picture of the 4 year old boy [was that legit?]. People suffer because of Russian aggression and we need to do our part. Less than Europeans. We will have vetting that’s as tough as need be. How do we ban based on religion? Are we going to have religious tests? I thought what he said was unwise and dangerous. What Trump says is used to recruit fighters.

      CLINTON We have Trump on Iraq on tape. Use my site to fact check [!!].

      TRUMP I was against the war. She voted for it.

      TRUMP Sanders said she has bad judgment. Refugees. And drugs pouring in. Border agents endorsed me. She wants amnesty for everybody. So bad she should never be Presidnent.

      1. JaaaaayCeeeee

        “Was that legit?”

        That poor boy and the rest of his family were moved to another house that week in which they were killed a week later by an air strike. But the group that made that poor boy a symbol seems to be funded by a group trying to get the USA to invade.

        Nothing seems to be legit any more?

  33. jonf

    Muslims have to report radicals says Trump. Didn’t sound good to me. Hillary doing better here.

  34. frosty zoom

    oooh, she’s icky! when she starts answering the muslim question asker, she sounds truly bizarre. no, ms. clinton, the muslims were here before george washington.

    they were slaves.

    1. Duncan Hare

      From where? West Africans were mostly animists, not Muslim.

      The Americas Slave trade was mostly based on equatorial W Africa.

      I doubt the Hausa, Muslims from the Sahel were a part of the slave trade. It is a long way to move people in W Africa. More probable if they were captured they were eaten.

      1. frosty zoom

        from qwiki:

        Some of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa were Muslims whose ancestors were converted to Islam by Arab invaders when they conquered most of North Africa.[6][10] Between 1701 and 1800, some 500,000 Africans arrived in what became the United States.[38] Historians estimate that between 15 and 30 percent of all enslaved African men and less than 15 percent of the enslaved African women were Muslims. According to Donna Meigs-Jaques and R. Kevin Jaques, “[t]hese enslaved Muslims stood out from their compatriots because of their resistance, determination and education.”[


      2. Massinissa

        “The Americas Slave trade was mostly based on equatorial W Africa.”

        Have you not heard of Mali? Mali was in west Africa and was Muslim since the early middle ages.

  35. okanogen

    We will set up thought police, where mooslems will be required to report their parents and childrens.

    If you see something, you must say something.

  36. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Open borders???

    Extreme vetting???

    Where is the middle?

    Hillary just agrees we need vetting, but not based on religion.

    On the other hand, the bad guys are rallying around one religion.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Huh! “The bad guys are rallying around one religion.” What religion did McVeigh rally around?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Good point.

        Need to vet its followers as well.

        “Put them under surveillance.”

        “They are already, just like everyone else inside the country, sir.”

        That’s extreme domestic vetting.

  37. RUKidding

    Geez. Trumps solution to Islamic terra is that everyone join hands & shriek “Radical Islamic Terrorists”!! Clinton & Obama won’t shriek the magic werds, so the Islamic terrorists have Won! Gah.

    Trump now lying about ME citizens steaming into our country w no vetting. Whut?

    1. Steve C

      When Trump said to say the words, I said, “Saudi Arabia.”

      Donald just parrots rightwing bigotry about Muslims. He won’t go after Saudi Arabia any more than Hillary Clinton Foundation will.

  38. John

    Did something happen I should know about
    that caused an alternate America
    where these two criminals could seriously
    be running for President?

    1. Titus Pullo

      I guess you missed the sterling history of war criminals elected and re-elected by the American public,

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m like you. I think we should go back to bed and when we wake up after some more sleep the nightmares will be over.

  39. fresno dan

    Hillary: children suffer because of Russian aggression….it was great for Iraqi children… its like a hypocrisy black hole….

    1. HBE

      I watched the first debate, but couldn’t channel my inner masochist for this one. So far it sounds like the right choice.

      Since when has hillary cared about children anywhere, when she was breaking up African American families writ large through her crime bill support, supporting the death of thousands of children in Iraq, cheering on drone strikes in Pakistan that hit schools, pushing to bomb Libyan infrastructure and cities filled with civilians, or selling and taking donations (bribes) from the Saudis for bombs to target wedding parties and hospitals.

      And now bombing civilians in Syria is her next plan to stop the suffering of children in Syria, while directly confronting Russia in the process.

      This woman is the ultimate delusional psychopath. How Bernie could turn around and support her is beyond me.

  40. frosty zoom

    i just know the next question will be about yemen. it just has to be.



  41. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Debunking Trump for the Iraq War…Cavuto found the interview when Trump was against it.

  42. Jolly Tommo

    The problem Mrs. C has is that she offers reasoned arguments. Doesn’t she get how this works?

  43. Bjornasson

    Hillary needs to not grin when Trump promises to take care of poor people who can’t pay for their health care.

  44. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The public is too dumb.

    Thus the need for private position.

    “I’m president Lincoln.”

  45. fresno dan

    Clinton: private and public is Lincoln’s fault.
    OK – but what have you done Hillary with your great strategy and tactics???

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Audience laughed when Trump said that now she was honest Abe.

      “Can someone please discipline the audience?????”

      Fifty lashes each.

  46. John

    Trump is a F**k
    Just watch his facial expressions.
    She is much more skilled at hiding
    what’s going on inside.

    1. Susan C

      I think the stupid whole face smile she has when someone says something true about her is more a mask that she has learned to wear in order to make people think she thinks their comments are silly, when in fact they are dead-on. She tries to manipulate that way – it’s important to see through it.

  47. RUKidding

    Oooh. Wikileaks & speeches. Clinton deflects. Trump will go for jugular.

    It’s all Putin’s fault. Putin is backing Trump.

  48. Bjornasson

    Trump looks like he hates being forced into the “presidential” straitjacket.
    OMG more Russophobia. Hillary will nuke the world to rule over its ashes.

  49. Titus Pullo

    OMG now Wikileaks is a Russian front — this is Clinton’s excuse for her dissembling hypocrisy.

  50. Steve

    My wife and I are saddened. We are both very well educated and this is kabuki theatre. Our state is going red regardless… My wife may go third party as she dislikes them all.

  51. Lambert Strether Post author

    RADDATZ On Wikikeasl, you need both a public and a private position. Is it OK for politicians to be two-faced

    CLINTON As I said, it was about Lincoln getting Congress getting the 13th Amendment approved. It was principled and strategic.

    CLINTON But lets talk about what’s really going on. It’s Russian hacking. We don’t know if its accurate. We have never been in a situation where an adversary is working so hard to infuence the election. They’re not doing it to elect me. We deserve answers. Clinton should release tax returns.

    TRUMP Caught in a lie. She lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on Honest Abe. I think it would be great if we got along with Russians. We could fight ISIS together. I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia, no loans from Russia. Segues into the glories of his balance sheet [!!!]. I have no loans from the Russians, got govt work. Many of our friends took bigger deductions: Soros, Buffet, take massive deductions. I pay 100s of millions. When audit released…

  52. RUKidding

    Trump says he has a great balance sheet? huh?
    Says he has no loans from Russia.
    Picking on George Soros & Warren Buffett.
    Says he’ll release returns when his audit is done.

    Trump will get rid of carried interest to improve things for the little people. Clinton never changed tax code.

    Bringing down taxes bigly for middle class.

    That’s not what Trumps tax plan says. Bullshit.

    1. Yves Smith

      He does have a great balance sheet. He did release that. Over $3 billion in RE and under $1b in debt, IIRC $700 million. That is way underlevered for real estate and better than a lot of S&P balance sheets (operating businesses are typically much levered than RE) these days.

      1. bob

        I’d bet he has to keep that ‘clean’ balance sheet so the mobsters can claim they are well collateralized with the rest.

        No, not russian mobsters, in particular.

      1. Yves Smith

        I need to check but I believe the beef with Trump’s tax plan is that it does lower middle class taxes but does so even more for higher income people.

        1. JohnnyGL

          That’s my understanding, too. I think it’s a lot like the GW Bush cuts, in that respect. They’re YUGE!

          I enjoyed watching him slam her on the carried interest loophole, but he should have taken it further and said how it’s the loophole for all of her private equity and hedge fund buddies and she’ll never close it because donations, etc.

          As usual, Trump failed to follow a train of thought to some kind of logical conclusion!

  53. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    “Donald is always for Donald.”

    That’s why Bill and I have worked hard over 30 years…so hard, the middle class has disappeared.

  54. fresno dan

    OK Donald, this is where you say Goldman Sachs has paid the Clinton 20 millions over the year to raise their taxes????
    this is why the US government secretary of the treasury is ALWAYS a Goldman Sachs executive…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not specifically Goldman yet, Trump won’t mention names (to protect the innocent?)

      On the mark about being accountable for the years Bill and Hillary have been politicians.

      “I couldn’t get it done because Republican president.”

  55. Lambert Strether Post author

    Q Taxes specific changes to make sure wealthiest pay fair sure.

    TRUMP Get rid of carried interest. She could have done this years ago. She complains. Why didn’t she change? All her friends take advantage. I’m lowering taxes on corporations, large and small, getting rid of regulations, bring rate down from 35% to 15% and big league for the middle. Hillary is raising taxes really high. We are going to be thriving again. If China has a GDP of 7%, and we’re at 1%. Because our taxes are one of the highest in the word

    CLINTON Lives in his alternative universe. His plan will give wealthy and corporations biggest cut ever. Donld always takes care of taxes and would actually raise. Nobody < $250K have taxes raise. Yes, when I was a Senator I did vote to close loopholes (including the loophole he used). I'm for the Buffet Rule. A surcharge on over $5 million. It's unfortuante that the gains have done all to the top since the recession.

  56. jaaaaayceeeee

    Hillary repeats her promise to revenue starve and prevent progressive policy by not raising taxes on those who make $250,000. Not a chance that moderators or news media will explain the problem with this.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I’m watching Ethos. I needed to be assured that there actually are moral people in the world…

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Glass is a beautiful and interesting substance. Stop chewing! Instead enjoy the beauty of glass — enjoy the complexity of its behaviors over a wide range of temperature regimes — contemplate its utility and manifold contributions to Science.

  57. jonf

    Hillary’s fault again. I convinced now, she writes the tax code and runs the wars and passes health care.

  58. Skippy

    Yes…. yes…. the bottom[?] can’t be too far away now…. its devolved into a middle school interrogation between two trouble making students in the superintendents office and their parents…..

    1. John

      The next election will be even worse.
      I remember watching a documentary on Argentina.
      It kept going down and down and down and down.
      No matter how hard the people fought against it.
      And we aren’t even fighting here.
      It’s going to get way worse.

  59. Harry

    Loved HRC’S answer to the two faced question.

    “Am I two faced ? As Abraham Lincoln said, yes I am completely two faced, and what could be more American than that? And Putin! Putin putin putin!

    Thank you. “

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “I will continue to tell the American people different stories than the ones I will tell privately.”

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I remember a Black judge pointing out to me that Lincoln too often argued cases for the Railroads when he was an attorney. Lincoln resides on a golden pedestal but the real Lincoln was much much more complex.

  60. allan

    Trump’s word salad, and working the refs, wears thin very quickly.
    Lots of red meat for his base, but hard to think he’s going to make converts tonight.

  61. RUKidding

    Now Trump interrupting.

    Clinton: let me tell you about my accomplishments. Couldn’t change tax code as Senator bc Rep Pres. Trump interrupts again. Can’t stop.

  62. fresno dan

    OK….I admit it. This policy crap is so superficial its worthless. Clinton’s lawyerly experience does make her lies much better sounding.
    Trump: ASK Hillary if she is SO great, why is the country in the shitter????? Make Hillary say everything is wonderful, or own that it is not!!!! Damn, who is advising you????

    Let’s at least have a real CATfight….and by cat, I am not insinuating….p***y

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Q Images out of Aleppo. State Dept calls for war crimes investigation

      FB If you were President, what about Aleppo. Isn’t it like the Holocaust?

      CLINTON We need leverage with the Russians because they won’t come to the table w no leverage. Work more closely with partners and allies on the ground.

      Issue is ambition and aggressiveness of Russia. They’ve decided who they want to be President, and its not me. I did cooperate, which is how we got the nuke treaty. But I do support a war crimes investigation.

      TRUMP The so-called line in the sand.

      CLINTON I was gone

      TRUMP Obama draws the line in the sand, laughed at. She talks tough but our nuclear program is old and tired [!!!]. Bad thing. Every time we take rebels we’re arming people. And they end up being worse! Almost everything she’s done has been a disaster…..

      A treaty with Russia, look at the deal, Iran and Russia are against us. I don’t like Assad at all. But he’s killing ISIS. As is Russian and

      RADDATZ What would you do? Pence: Provocations by Russian need to be met. Should be prepared to use force.

      TRUMP He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree (!!)

      TRUMP I believe we have to get ISIS.

      RADDATZ What happen if Aleppo falls?

      TRUMP Already has. Look at Mosul. We telegraphed our attack and all the leaders left!

      RADDATZ Some times there are reasons military does things [drips contempt]

      TRUMP Why would we tell them? All I say is this: Patton and MacArthur are spinning in their graves

      RADDATZ You want Assad to go, arming rebels, too late for Aleppo, would you introduce force?

      CLINTON Not American ground forces. Our troops should not hold territory. Use special forces. Use enablers and trainers.

      RADDATZ What would you do different?

      CLINTON I hope we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq. A lot of planning going on. To signal Sunnis and Peshmerga they need to be involved. I would target Bagdadi. Let’s arm the Kurds. Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Can we call in Sy Hersh for a “fact check” on Obama’s ”red line”?


        I’ve also seen an interview where Hersh praised Obama for not going through with the planned airstrikes (which were apparently going to be massive as drawn up). But he also criticized Obama for not coming clean with the public and saying “we’re not attacking Assad because the rebels launched the gas attack, not Assad.”

      2. redleg

        Wait a minute… Yes I’m late to the party, but:
        Dear Leader Hillary,
        Since the Russians are not using ground forces to (allegedly) interfere with a legitimate, sovereign government, how is arming rebels to fight in Syria but not using US ground forces different (aside from actually killing people) from what you condemn the Russians for doing?

        Someone please ask Dear Leader Hillary that question…

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Sorry — I still won’t vote for Hillary even if she did kill the terrorist with her personal weapon. Can she disassemble and and reassemble that weapon wearing a blindfold!?

  63. Lambert Strether Post author

    COOPER Did you use the loophole?

    TRUMP Of course. Just like her friends. I understand the tax code better than anyone. Hillary has friends that want all these provisions. Hillary is leaving carried interest. I used it. As did Buffet, Soros…. I love depreciation.

    If she has a problem, for thirty years she hasn’t been doing anything. It’s all talk. Again, Bernie Sanders, bad judgment. Her and Obama, the vacuum they left, that formed ISIS. Congratulations.

    CLINTON Here we go again. In favor of getting rid of 30 years.

    TRUMP If you were an effective Senator you could have gotten it done.

    CLINTON Under our constitution we have a thing called veto power [drips contempt].

    CLINTON CHIP, 10 millino kids. Adoption. First responder help after 9/11. Kids medicine (dosage?). As SoS go around the world advocate. Negotiated Russian nuke treaty. 400 pieces of legislation have my name on ias sponsor or co-sponsor.

  64. jonf

    Hillary’s fault again. I am convinced now, she writes the tax code and runs the wars and passes health care. She is one all powerful woman!

    1. RUKidding

      That’s always the thing w GOP (and now Trump) push back against the Dems – they are omnipotent/all powerful while being completely wrong all the time. Too black & white & dumb.

  65. jaaaaayceeeee

    I can never forgive the Cintons, the Clinton campaign and news media for making sure that she has nothing more competent pushing back against her than Donald Trump.

  66. okanogen

    David Ignatius says that it is the Syrian army that is making life difficult for Russia and Iran. IT ISN’T RUSSIA PUSHING THIS!

  67. rfdawn

    Sound now muted here – nothing new to hear. Debate seems to have become a body language contest anyway – occupy the space, hog the camera. Donald the stand-over artist got a flying start on that, HRC needs a higher soapbox.

      1. Tom

        Ahhhh. That could explain why Hugh Keays-Byrne’s character in the 1979 movie Mad Max was named Toecutter. Thanks.

  68. fresno dan

    It is simply astounding after Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etcetera, a US presidential candidate advocates that we need more involvement in the mideast

  69. frosty zoom


    holy crap, it’s the holocaust.

    it’s time to see which of these two can outamerica the world!

  70. mark o dochartaigh

    I’m feeling so thankful for tRümp. Almost half the electorate would still vote for him. If the republicans had a less easily reviled jerk for a candidate they would probably be ahead, and their actual program would be just as devastating as tRümp/pence. When the current economic bubble bursts under Hillary with interest rates at zero, I worry about the election in 4 years.

    1. Titus Pullo

      Trump just neutralized his tape scandal and has made Hillary’s emails an issue again. His talking about the inner city isn’t about getting the black vote, but keeping it home on election day. The 30 years bit is effective, which even for someone like me, an unrepentant leftist, made me smile and think so true.

      Clinton could have sunk the knife tonight, but instead, she comes out of this more wounded than him, I believe.

        1. relstprof

          This is it, really. And if tapes come out where Trump is using racist language, then the hurt will begin. White suburbanites will have a hard time waving away the racist charge. (They’re already having a hard time as it is.)

        2. okanogen

          Yes. I’m not sure why he bothers, because anyone inclined to vote for him is either going to overlook his racist appeals, or is voting for him precisely because he is appealing to racism.

  71. 3.14e-9

    I watched Obama’s recent town hall with veterans and was shocked when, in response to a question similar to the one just asked, he said that the U.S. can’t be everywhere, that we need to focus on conflicts that are a direct threat to the United States. Syria isn’t a direct threat, he said. As bad as the humanitarian crisis there is, he suggested that we don’t have a dog in that fight and need to let others take care of it.

    Heaven forbid that Trump agree with Obama, but it would have been a good response.

      1. 3.14e-9

        Agreed, and I should have included that caveat. I also listened to his entire speech in Hiroshima, which I thought was one of his best ever, or should I say “best written.” Given that he had been pushing a $1 trillion nuclear upgrade program, it was nuclear-grade hypocrisy.

        Nonetheless, it was remarkable that he went on the record with that position on Syria when his appointed heir to the throne is calling for a no-fly zone and confrontation with Russia.

  72. fresno dan

    O thank God – finally, finally Trump makes an intelligent, irrefutable point – THE REBELS WE SUPPORT ARE WORSE THAN WHAT IS ALREADY THERE!!!!!!!

  73. Pavel

    Just to say I’m glad I’m not watching it… came here to check out the comments. Sounds thoroughly depressing.

    Perhaps it will just drive more voters towards third parties, which would be A Good Thing. I was thinking earlier, at least Trump managed to destroy the Bush Dynasty this year. Imagine how much more depressing a Jeb vs Hillary election would have been?

    I’m assuming Trump has blown it (surprise, surprise) so we’ll have at least 4 more years of Clinton dramarama to keep us occupied. Sigh.

    1. fresno dan

      October 9, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I am actually thinking that Trump being “civilized” is not helping himself.
      Maybe it should be all Trump saying Bill is more perv than me, Hillary is crooked, and Hillary has been there for 30 years and it has gotten worse….

  74. fresno dan

    O thank God – finally, finally Trump makes an intelligent, irrefutable point – THE REBELS WE SUPPORT ARE WORSE THAN WHAT IS ALREADY THERE!!!!!!!
    no, not duplicate!!!!

  75. okanogen

    Radditz is so unfair, bringing up Pence.

    There is only one thing Trump is right about and that is that our policy of supporting “rebels” in Syria is stupid.

    A broke clock is right twice a day.

  76. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The moderator is answering for Hillary.

    “There are many reasons” responding to Trump saying why announcing what we will do.

  77. RUKidding

    Trying to get Trump to state clearly what his strategy is for ISIS.
    Word salad. General Patton spins in his grave according to Trump.

  78. Anne

    Trump hasn’t spoken to his running mate about what to do about Aleppo?

    Raddatz is having a hard time, I think, not just saying out loud, “are you fking kidding me?”

    1. jash

      radditz is a stone war hawk and SHILL for mil in all things and at all times.
      for her to be on the stage is a disgrace.

      Hillary — if you try a nofly you will be sorry and will expose our capabilities for NOTHING.

  79. fresno dan

    Question to Radditz: Do you know there is a humanitarian crisis in Libya????????????
    How do you think that happened?????
    If not,your a disgrace.
    If you do, your biased…..
    Why don’t you ask about libya

    Its not the questions asked, its the ones not asked

  80. JCC

    Since when do moderators get involved with the debate itself? She is awful.

    In said I wasn’t going to watch the next two debates, but there is something about a car wreck that draws everyone’s attention.

    1. Sammy Maudlin

      Cooper consistently tried to cross-examine Trump with follow up questions and “so your saying” statement characterizations. Trump generally wouldn’t let him. I saw nary an example of said behavior with HRC.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Agree. It is sickening to see the thumb on the scale for Hillary at every juncture.

        If she’s so competent and qualified, she wouldn’t need so much muscle from the ‘help’.

  81. John

    Americans don’t care about this.
    Where’s the questions on immigrants and jobs?
    Outsourcing and robots?

    1. TheCatSaid

      Trump made this point effectively. Ever since there was a little less of letting Clinton have as much time as she wanted.

  82. SeanL

    US has a bad track record of creating puppets that turn around & bite – Talban, Al Qaeda, ISIS.. and now for the Democrats – Trump

  83. alex morfesis

    vinny vidivicci…$hillary…expects the kurds to trust america one more time…mosul waits 4 you…

      1. Alex morfesis

        prince erdo arms and trains kurds…the ones who he gets along with in northern iraq…despite the noise from the buggywhip media he is obviously not “against” all kurds…

      2. JohnnyGL

        But we certainly know how Erdogan feels about supplying kitchen-sarin to al qaeda/ISIS (per Sy Hersh) and smuggling oil for ISIS thanks to Russian video footage of the trucks going right over the border.

    1. Sammy Maudlin

      The most telling moment in that regard for me was when he brought up Sidney Blumenthal. She looked, “anticipatory?” When he said he was a “bad guy” her eyes opened wide, got a visible lump in her throat and had to swallow the nervous energy. That relationship is a weak point for her.

      1. JohnnyGL

        You might be right. That makes some sense. I believe the original Guccifer hack was on Sidney Blumenthal’s email address and he found out about Clintonemail by reading Sid’s emails back and forth with her.

        Also, keep in mind Sidney Blumenthal’s son Max is involved in the BDS movement (I think) or at least speaks out against Israeli apartheid (using that term) and does do some interesting reporting.

        With Clinton openly courting Netanyahu, might be a sore point.

  84. okanogen

    Oh, the Lateeenoooes!

    Yes, please tell us what you will do.

    “What do you have to lose?”

    Carpetbaggers throughout history nod in approval at this line of attack.

  85. jonf

    There it is again. Hillary caused all the inner city problems. She has been talking about it for years but she did nothing. Just talk. Hillary why are you like Trump says?

  86. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump stealing from Naked Capitalism.

    Hillary’s Southern Firewall…some just vote for her even when she hasn’t done much for them.

  87. John

    Aw shucks.
    Right after I sat on WalMart’s board for 5 years
    outsourcing manufacturing jobs by the millions in earnest I went to work for
    impoverished Americans I made poor.

  88. Waldenpond

    I just got home and have no idea how the debate is going (unaware there was one) but checked in on twitter and people are using lots of caps and exclamation points.

    Saw a snapshot and laughed at the doom and gloom lighting. Looks like a halloween scare house.

  89. RUKidding

    Trump makes very good points about the deterioration of USA & issues w poverty Etc. But the way he’s run his white supremacist campaign makes his words here ring hollow to me. Trump coulda woulda shoulda done a better job not being such a racist bastard.

    1. John

      Trump hires illegals by the thousands.
      He brings in J-1s
      He makes all his crap in slave wage countries.
      His son in law is financing his buildings with E-B5 visas
      from the Chinese.

      1. RUKidding

        Do not disagree w you. Quite true. My comment stands: in all levels Trump has run a shit campaign.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Both parties built the policy framework, including very much the Democrats, and including very much the first Clinton Dynasty administration. Trump takes advantage of it (like all the members of his class).

        With Trump, you get a gen-u-wine capitalist. Primitive accumulation, “hire one half the working class to kill the other,” “grab” for whatever you can take, and on and on and on. Red in tooth and claw. And with Clinton, you get Trump’s faithful servant (and Soros’s, and Buffet’s) and on and on and on.

        In a way, this election reminds me of the old saw that people will vote for the genuine Republican every time (as opposed to the fake Republicans people like Steve Israel keep running). Why not vote for the genuine capitalist? Why not vote for the master, as opposed to the servant?

        1. BecauseTradition

          Why not vote for the master, as opposed to the servant? Lambert

          Yes, since the master has the latitude to change while the servant doesn’t.

          (Not that I’ll sully my conscience voting for either one.)

  90. Anne

    I think the people I feel worst for are the ones in the hall, whose questions haven’t really been answered.

    At least we can turn off the TV…

  91. RUKidding

    Trump: Clinton has tremendous hatred in her heart. I guess Trump loves everyone.

    Ugh. Both are deplorable.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think a lot of the liberal goodthinking is displaced hate. #BernieBros was hateful*. “Irredeemable” — especially from the perspective of a professed Christian — is hateful. And I didn’t think much of Clinton’s basement dwellers comment, either. We also have the non-stop shaming of non-Clinton voters, by Clintonites. I don’t think that will end on November 8, either. If the shaming isn’t hateful, it’s next door to it, and lays the ground for McCarthyism (especially against the left).

      You could also hear the hate and contempt for Trump both in Clinton’s voice, and in the moderators voices, at times. (Now, you can argue that Trump is a worthy object of hate, but that doesn’t say the hate in their voices wasn’t there.)

      * In addition to being a smear and a lie.

  92. jonf

    Trump says we have a divided country and Hillary is the reason. Has nothing at all to do with congress I am sure.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary has promised to put him charge of the economy, and the Clintons made it about them since 1992. “Co-Presidency” was there idea.

      2. Waldenpond

        Hillary and Bill are a pair and have always been. Bill is desperate to get more power. Hillary declared she will give Bill a position influencing economic policy. We are currently living his economy.

        If you read the leaks, when something needs to be cleared thru H Clinton, it is referred to needing to be cleared by Hillary and Bill.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Since Hillary Clinton said she’d put Bill Clinton in charge of the economy, yes, Bill is running for something. And the Clinton’s have always presented themselves as a two-fer.

        Your comment is also a distraction from the “Hillary scrubs sexual assault pledge after allegations against Bill resurface” point. It’s been quite a struggle to get to the point where disbelieving the woman in “he said/she said” cases of sexual assualt isn’t the automatic response by everyone concerned (except the woman, that is). That’s a good thing. But with the Clintons — and for the Democrat Party generally — that only applies to people on their team, as you can see from their treatment of Bill Clinton’s accusers. So there’s no general principle involved at all, and in particular no feminist principle.* It’s just any stick to beat a dog-style argumentation not made in good faith.

        * Similar to Albright’s thought that there’s a “special place in Hell” for women who don’t support other women, and in this case, Clinton. Of course, if Albright and Clinton really believed that, they’d be endorsing Zephyr Teachout, among other women. Which they don’t, I’m guessing because Teachout’s (authoritative, scholarly, principled) work on corruption shows why and how Clinton is occrupt.

        1. m

          don’t forget filthy rich is coming out, billy boy and his perv pal from florida. someone got him that sweet heart get out of jail free card. if not bill who?

  93. reslez

    Trump is a terrible communicator. GWB was too but he got away with it because he came across as dumb but likable. Trump comes across as angry. Angry’s not likable.

    Just about every time Trump swings he misses. Can you imagine an effective communicator with the exact same ammo?

    1. reslez

      And what’s the deal with the female moderator debating Trump on Syria? That seemed really out of line.

        1. okanogen

          The political class is completely unglued and wrong on Aleppo, but I would bet Raddatz was also on Trump because of the sex tape. She couldn’t attack him directly on it because it is too crass, so she picked surrogate issues.

    2. jonf

      I was thinking the same thing. Trump is one very angry man. Wonder how is blood pressure is tonight.

    3. Titus Pullo

      He’s not communicating to you. His anger is the people’s anger. For what it’s worth, Clinton’s Gish Galloping is pretty ineffective as well.

    4. TheCatSaid

      “Can you imagine an effective communicator with the exact same ammo?” Anyone who would have done this would never have made it into the Rep. primaries. Vetting of candidates happens before that. Trump’s candidacy wasn’t expected to survive this long, and was tolerated only because it was assumed that Clinton could easily overcome him cuz he’s ill-informed, nutty and doesn’t make sense. But Clinton’s own past and present is so bad it strengthened Trump more than was expected. I wonder what Jeb is thinking as he watches this.

    1. crittermom

      Repealing Glass-Steagall sure put me in a ‘recession’ I have yet to climb out of. (complete poverty!)
      Lost everything I’d worked a lifetime for.
      Wish Trump had nailed her husband regarding that since HRC wants to put Bill in power regarding the economy– yet Trump wants to loosen (or eliminate) laws on banks!
      Screwed either way.

      I want different candidates!

  94. maria gostrey

    stopped watching when hrc brought up her time at the childrens defense fund “right out of law school”.

    what has she done for children in the past 20 yrs?

    or is it 30?

      1. crittermom

        Gave them housing, contaminated with formaldehyde. (Same housing as with Katrina, later found to be toxic)

        As a photographer, I wonder if I took photos of small children holding “No nukes” signs and getting them out there would get her attention? After all, she’s ‘all about the children’.

      1. pretzelattack

        or, not have grown up, and yet still be molested by her husband (yeah, no proof that i know of, but what the hell).

        1. TheCatSaid

          Clinton was a named passenger on several perv flights run by that Florida guy, so you could be right.

  95. Lambert Strether Post author

    COOPER Discipline in a good leader?

    TRUMP References 3AM call from 2008, on to Benghazi

    TRUMP Tweeting happens to be a modern-day form of communicating. You can put it down

    ANDERSON Trump have discipline to be a good leader


    TRUMP [expresses surprise]

    CLINTON Those of us who have seen the job up close — turn 300B deficit into 200b surplus [ohhh…..] Clinton we are back on the right track…

    RADDATZ Thanks for both of you

    [audience laughs].

  96. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Supreme Court.

    Now, what is my public position and my private position? Let me see…

      1. Steve C

        Totally drops the ball on the Supreme Court since in private she agrees with Citizens United and other Roberts court decisions.

  97. fresno dan

    One more debate like this, and the drinking I will do to get through it will cause blessed cirrhosis to remove me from this mortal coil ….

    1. 3.14e-9

      You’re not alone. In fact, maybe that should be NC’s motto for these live blogs: Stronger Together.

      I concede that I wimped out at half time. Still, that’s better than the last debate, when NC was down. I lasted two and a half minutes.

  98. PhilU

    outside of hoping russia nukes the debate, Trumps little lines under his breath are the only highlights.
    AC:does DT have the discipline to be a good leader?
    HRC: No
    DT: Shocked to hear that.

  99. John

    This has been deeply depressing. It reaffirms my decision to not cast a vote for president. This is not an act of political courage as I live in New York State.

    1. Massinissa

      Vote for Jill Stein or write in a comedian of your choosing so you can go to the polls and vote for local ballot initiatives or whatever. Voting really is still important, just not at the national level.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Oh those Democrats, always searching for ‘moderates’….moderate republicans, moderate syrian rebels….

  100. jaaaaayceeeee

    Hillary Clinton praises about not raising taxes on those who make $250,000, about cutting deficits, surpluses, the USA getting Russia and Syria prosecuted for war crimes, and I think didn’t mention the public option for ACA.

    Trump is pathetic and Clinton is scary.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “We have to fight climate change.”

      And fight those phony environmental groups on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, on the streets…

        1. okanogen

          I only wish the entire political class wasn’t so adamantly wrong on this. It is about the only thing Trump is right on, and now, because he is so pathetically bad as a candidate, and is going to lose so badly, it is going to work to reinforce the Syria war party and discredit people who are sane.

    1. Titus Pullo

      That was probably the best attack of the night, and Clinton looked completely flummoxed, almost like she couldn’t believe he went there with her. And then she jumped up so quick to re-direct.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I lost most of that exchange because the damn video cut out.

        > She made millions using the power of her office

        Teachout’s operational definition of corruption. I imagine we’d see plenty of crony capitalism under Trump (thinking back to Halliburton, et al, under Bush II). I don’t know whether that would be more or less corrosive than Clinton’s style of corruption.

  101. RUKidding

    Trump whining about EPA.
    Clinton wants to put miners out of business.
    Nonsense word salad about energy companies.
    Nothing about infrastructure.

    1. crittermom

      I hate the way she always tilts her head back so she can look down her nose at us ‘deplorables’.
      You see it in every photo ad for her, as well.

      1. nony mouse

        she’s probably doing that to prevent a chin-fold from displaying.

        similar to a double chin, but for the not-so-fat among us.


        an unfortunate chin-fold holder

  102. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hillary is going to go after China for dumping steel.

    I thought we already did…last year, I think.

    1. John

      Before that.
      Then we let China build the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington.
      Yep. We are that insane.

  103. Knot Galt

    Overall ignorance of our climate is extremely disturbing. Sadly, voting this year will not address what is the most serious issue our country, and civilization, face

  104. Lambert Strether Post author

    Q Energy

    TRUMP We are killing our energy. I’m for wind and solar but we need more. Hillary wants to put all our miners out of work. There is clean coal.* I will bring our energy companies back [and tax them heavily, apparently]. The EPA is so restrictive. Go to WV or OH or PA to see what they’re doing, it’s a disgrace.

    CLINTON Well, that was interesting. China dumps steel, and Donald buys it. I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure China doesn’t dump. We are now for the first time energy independent but Middle East controls prices. But we are producing natural gas, a bridge to renewables. We have got to be energy indpendent, it gives us power and freedom. My policy includes fighting climate change. The only candidate with a plan to help us revitalize coal country. [She’s actually enthusiastic about this.]

    * Obama supported in 2008, IIRC

  105. PhilU

    I can’t think of anything nice to say about her.

    Trump actually nailed it though. Her response was all phony and he was honest.

    Trumps kids

    Clinton is a fighter

  106. dbk

    HRC respects DT’s children.
    DT respects fact that HRC is a fighter.

    (In response to a ? from audience member whether there was anything at all they respected in their opponent)

    What a conclusion. G’night everyone …

  107. Lambert Strether Post author

    Q regardless of rhetoric, will either of you name one thing you respect in one another?

    CLINTON I respect his children. His children are able to devoted. I don’t agree with anything else he respects or does. I believe that this election has become in part so — conflict oriented because there’s a lot at stake. That’s why I’ve tried to put forth policies and plans, get away from the personal ***cough*** #BernieBros ***cough***

    TRUMP Proud of my children, I consider a compliment. I will say this about Hillary. She doens’t give up and she doesn’t quit. She’s a fighter. I consider that to be a very good trait.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Candidates did not shake hands at the beginning or the end, say the analysts.

      Trump did come to play.

      Neither appealed beyond their base.

      The moderators begin the spin immediately…

      1. crittermom

        Commentators then walked it back and said they did shake hands at the end (which is what I thought I saw).

    2. RUKidding

      He did better than I expected. I still don’t care for him. Essentially dishonest but held himself together.

  108. RUKidding

    Aaaaand we’re done. Thank gawd. Trump kept himself in check. Have to give him that. Shook hands at end.

      1. RUKidding

        I thought so but not a clear view. Watching on CNN (from Vientiane believe it or not). Seemed like they did.

        1. Jerry Denim

          Jealous. If I was in Vientiane I would not be watching the disgusting horror show of our sham Presidential election. I miss the wonderful Buddhist chillness of the Please-Don’t-Rush republic. Laos is a great place for an American to tune out.

      2. Yves Smith

        They sure didn’t at the top. You got the full shot from their entrance on the stage to them moving behind the podiums as a continuous shot on one camera on C-SPAN. I was amazed.

        1. crittermom

          Yes, they did at the end, but it was so brief it was easy to miss. I don’t believe it was even for 5 seconds. Maybe 1 1/2 seconds? VERY quick. Doubt it was even enough to swap sweat.
          One of the commentators reversed them self after first saying they hadn’t at the end.

    1. fresno dan

      Hands or tentacles???? Uh, I guess if it really were tentacles, the suction cups would have kept them together….
      and you know, the spell check turned tentacles into testicl*s…..I mean, your spell checker has a dirty, dirty mind….

  109. John

    Where were the questions about the 30 million illegals?
    About the H-1B sand Greencard foreigners taking our jobs?
    About health care we can’t afford?
    About corporations paying no taxes?
    About people killing themselves with heroin because they have no hope,
    no way out of poverty?

    1. RUKidding

      They talked about health care & corporate taxes but not in any real insightful way. For the rest: bupkiss. Let’s talk about sex, lies & emails instead.

  110. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Now come the experts to tell you how to think.

    (At least on NPR).

    Don’t go away. This is the most important part of the program.

    (Not for this poor student. I’m out. Time for some guqin or guzheng music).

      1. alex morfesis

        after debate…was watching online…first at nbc…females from audience were coming over and having him take photos with them…also think he finished off with photo with the black gentleman who asked the question about all of america…

        at c-span it had been suggested that Donald and maybe even $hillary were going to come backstage to the media pool area and speak…

        but seems something came up and the secret service then left the area and others like Rudy G and Sen McCaskill ended up doing the rounds…

  111. Kurt Sperry

    Trump did better than the first debate, where I thought he was destroyed. I’m not sure who won, both were pretty repulsive. I really, really dislike the both of them, whether on policies or on personality.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      It doesn’t matter who won. The pundits will spend several days telling you who won and that your eyes and ears are lying again….
      Frankly, from the comments above, it is pretty obvious America was embarrased again……glad I didn’t watch it……

  112. EoinW

    Clinton stated “no fly zone” in Syria. Could no one prepare Trump for this so he could make the simple point that a NFZ means shooting down Russian planes? Then he could have asked Americans: “do you want Clinton as President and gamble she won’t start a nuclear war?”

    Trump did well on the supreme court question – someone who will follow the Constitution. Such an old fashion sentiment.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Good point on No Fly Zone. But “follow the Constitution” is a stale conservative talking point Republicans have been using for years (until Scalia got then the majority with Bush v. Gore, after which they did whatever they liked).

      1. Steve C

        The Roberts-Scalia court just phoned it in. Their philosophy was whatever was good for the powerful and the Republican Party, they would do. The law be damned. The reasoning was, “because we can.” Throw in a few legal cites, some Latin, and there your are.

  113. John

    Trump, a billionaire, admitted he paid no Federal income taxes for 20 years.

    I want mine back for the last 20 years.

      1. John

        Look, if Trump “wins”, I want it on record
        I believe he’s a billionaire.

        So I’m not sent to the Make Americans Love Trump camp.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Billionaires manipulate the tax code. Film at 11.

      So far as I can tell, Trump did nothing illegal, and anybody who can afford bespoke accounting (Soros, Buffet) is using the tax code to their advantage too.

      I just don’t buy the argument, again, that Trump is a unique outlier in this. It’s the 1% as a class that’s the issue, not one person, and of course that’s just what Clinton can’t say. We get the “pay their fair share” blather, which is (a) what we always hear anyhow and (b) doesn’t address the 1%’s political power anyhow.

      1. John

        Not the point.
        He isn’t paying when the middle class has to.
        That’s the point.

        Damn right it makes the average people mad.
        That is if they aren’t a Right wing brainwashed nut.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > a Right wing brainwashed nut.

          Ah, the irredeemables. Well played. Look, just because a political campaign has a favorite talking point doesn’t make it true. Can we agree on that?

          1. John

            I’m not sure how a billionaire not paying any taxes goes over with the working man really.

            Do they clap, cheer because they relate to him? Think he is their champion?
            So good for him?
            Or do they burn silently with anger and jealousy at the unfairness of it?

            Guess we will know in November.

            1. alex morfesis

              one does not need to be a billionaire to use the tax code to its well defined edge…there are plenty of small real estate owners who are in the same boat of paying very tiny taxes on their real estate holdings…one does not need a bespoke real estate cpa to use most of the rules and regulations that the donald is accused of…not that I am going to vote for him…but this is a non issue and he certainly has the knowledge to have played the “phony information distributing non profit” game that $hillary and her husband have wrapped themselves around…there are plenty of new york players who have these $hillary type talk much do nothing non profits…

          2. cnchal

            Donald would hit Pirate Equity and the hedgies right where it hurts. Hillary was silent about that. I expect Wall St wallets to be opened further for Hillary.

        2. Starveling

          If we had the coins we’d all do the same thing. The issue is the rules of the game, not the player.

          Shame neither will fix the rules, but I want to see if Trump could actually break some rice bowls.

          1. John

            Thinking logically about that being the tax code doesn’t mean that’s what people feel.
            A BILLIONAIRE doens’t pay a thing yet I have to pay 20%???
            See how that works?

              1. Steve C

                Democrats controlled the White House and Congress for two years and could have fixed this if they were in the least bit interested. They dumped the hot potato of power as soon as they could so they could then whine about the big bad Republicans.

                1. TimmyB

                  Did anyone notice that, while the Democrats voice disgust at the “Bush tax cuts” Obama and the Democratic House and Senate extended that entire package of cuts for two years during the lame duck session after the 2010 election?

                  And two years later, with a GOP House, made over 80% of those cuts permanent?

      2. RUKidding

        Trump is not a unique outlier & the 1% all do this. I just don’t buy it that Trump will fix the tax code. I’ve read his ever changing tax code proposals & they’re all still big fat giveaways to Trump & the rest of the 1%. He can question Clintin legitimately about why she didn’t try to change the tax code when she was in office. Fair enough. But Trump’s tax code won’t be any different. Trump, Geotge Soros & Warren Buffett will continue to make out like bandits they all are.

  114. Lambert Strether Post author

    No contrition from Trump, either, even though that’s what the establishment wants (not that any amount of contrition would work).

    Which makes sense: 1) His base doesn’t care 2) Backing down would be worse than gutting it out, because backing down would make him look weak, destroying his brand.*

    Chekov said something like: “If you show a gun in Act One, make sure it goes off in Act Three.” So, Act One was bringing in Bill Clinton’s accusers. But then nothing. Odd.

    * Interesting comment from the analyst after, something like: “I was talking to Trump voters in Ohio. They say they know exactly who he is” (and from the analyst’s tone, that wasn’t positive with respect to his character. I think a lot of voters, across the spectrum, are appalled by the choices, which is what the trust/likeability numbers are telling us).

      1. relstprof

        Once the crowd reacted positively to his “33K emails” attacks, he calmed down. I got the sense he decided he didn’t have to go low, since there were some in the room still on his side.

        In retrospect, all the media questioning whether or not Trump would be effective in this kind of venue seems silly. Of course Trump can work a room.

        I’d score it a tie, though.

          1. RUKidding

            Trumps campaign has ended up with their businesses going in the tank. They’re watching their fortunes dwindling away. That’s all those spoiled brats care about.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When Trump says he will put Hillary in jail, what do you think his kids and wife see regarding a Clinton presidency?

            Will she go after her enemies?

            Is that kabuki or profile in courage?

      2. johnnygl

        I also think it was to troll the media and get the media to work for him and point out that the clintons are no better than he is on women’s rights. Media can’t NOT talk about it.

  115. johnnygl

    Media going blatantly in the tank prob boosts turnout for trump.

    Cnn concedes trump did pretty well. Fox seems contented with him.

    Glad to see him break with pence on russia. Glad to see him say get isis, not assad. Aleo enjoyed him zinging clinton.

    He’s still an idiot and has terrible policy ideas.

    1. RUKidding

      His policies suck. Nothing in them that will make improvements for the proles, despite his rhetoric to the contrary.
      Not that Clinton offers anything great either.

      Oy vey.

      CNN seems like they are not loving Trump.

      1. relstprof

        Yeah, when he talks tax policies without his trade stuff, he sounds like a standard Republican.

        1. RUKidding

          Because his tax policies ARE std GOP tax policies. Trump says some decent stuff, but his life’s actions belie what he says. I just don’t believe him. And he has no clearly defined strategies to accomplish his lofty goals. Not gonna happen IMO.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What is clear is that if Trump gets into the White House, neither Bill nor Hillary will be invited to sleep over in the Lincoln bedroom

              1. integer

                Probably the best reason to vote in this election if you ask me. A no holds barred investigation into the Clintons (perhaps led by Trey Gowdy) during a Republican presidency would make a lot of supposedly respectable people very nervous imo.

  116. RUKidding

    Neither one is clear on what exactly they will do to improve the lives of middle & working class citizens. Lotta bombast & hot air from both.

    I’m tired of extreme heat & humidity in Asia, so needed an air con break today. Otherwise this was pretty pointless. Same old, different day.

    Neither offering much in the way of solutions. Sigh.

    1. crittermom

      “Neither one is clear on what exactly they will do to improve the lives of middle & working class citizens.”

      That’s because neither has the slightest clue what it’s like to be middle class (or below)!
      Not a clue. Way too far removed from anyone who isn’t an oligarch.
      Neither can see ‘down’ that far from their pedestals.

    2. m

      in his speeches to his people trump is going do an old fashioned public works to get people employed. I am sure his construction company will get some of our tax dollars, better that than tpp. also tax companies that outsource & give incentives to those that stay.
      here at hospital going from room to room, people love trump-hate Clinton-hate media. they wished he went after her harder.
      either way we are doomed, but don’t worry cause the dhs is going to protect the election process from russia

  117. frosty zoom

    that was the greatest presentation of eugène ionesco’s “the chairs” i have ever seen!

    and who says there isn’t culture on t.v. anymore?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think Trump did a great job to realistically bring the ugliness of living for many desperate and dying Americans to politics.

      Absurd, yet realistic. A new art movement, perhaps.

      1. RUKidding

        Absurd bc Trump will do bupkiss to make any improvements should he win. I wish it weren’t so, but he’s not gonna help the small fry.

  118. Lee

    Amy Goodman: the [progressive] people that backed off when Obama won, not wanting to contribute to the right wing racist backlash, won’t back off if HRC elected. I hope she’s right.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      Oh, please. Amy was in the tank for Hillary this time and Obama last time. She only mentioned Bernie when she had to. She’s given Jill Stein a big platform this time so, imo, she could ignore Bernie with some perceived faux neutrality for the Dems in the primary. She barely acknowledged Jill Stein in 2012.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Former Mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer. He was once a rising star in the Democratic Party. He had Governor written all over him.

      I doubt the NPR commentator was being so astute.

  119. alex morfesis

    poor juanita broaddrick…on c-span…she is being ripped at by buggy whip media…but at 73 years old….she is holding and dishing it back…

  120. juliania

    Thank you to Lambert and commenters, and Yves for this site. I had chosen to watch an old series on an alternate NBC site instead of the debate. No such luck – even that site got channelled in. Well, I simply had the video, turned the sound completely off. The only thing I would have liked to hear would have been the audience reactions. I can’t do live stream, so also thanks to Bev for mentioning the DemocracyNow presentation. I will do as I did before, and wait until Amy has up the transcript with the sanity of Jill Stein to sustain me as I read that.

    To those who are disaffected enough not to vote now, I put in a plea that you do this as well. You need to know what the Green Party platform is. Amy Goodman has a similar presentation for the first debate also. I am one with strong doubts in the integrity of the voting system, but it is all we have at present. We have to do our part in the hope that others will do theirs and see our votes are properly recorded.

    Again, Lambert, thank you.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      With all the Russian efforts to undermine our democracy I can only hope we return to paper ballots hand counted in front of skeptical witnesses to the process.

      1. crittermom

        With all the talk about ‘the Russians did it”, I’m tempted to write in Putin just to p*ss off the Dems!
        (but I won’t)
        Both candidates suck worse than a tornado.

      2. TheCatSaid

        Yes, and we have to start asking for this (and organizing) at the most local level. There are localities that have done this for years, so it’s possible.

      3. TimmyB

        That “Russians are undermining our democracy” bullshit is just Clinton fear mongering for a few votes. Vile.

  121. johnnygl

    Cnn people very much on edge. Dana bash breathless at trump saying he’d put her in jail. Said that’s what makes us different than african dictators, stalin and hitler. I’m not kidding.
    No mention of any laws broken by any previous presidents. No concerns about droning us citizens, no sweating any wars of opportunity.

  122. Roger Smith

    Trump absolutely dominated this debate. Hillary was on the ropes all night. The moderation was pretty good too.

    1. Anne

      Unfortunately, he dominated in an ugly, angry, looming way that put the lie to his no-one-has-more-respect-for-women-than-I-do line.

      Right up there with “no one understands the tax code better than I do,” and “I know more about ISIS than the generals.”

      I fully expect he will soon announce that he is, in case you didn’t know, King of the World. Everyone says he should be, he has such good ideas, better ideas than anyone else, you should see the tweets, 25 million followers!!!

      Ugh. Just shoot me now.

      1. Roger Smith

        I thought his pivot on the twitter question was great. He tied it in to his preparedness or whatever, but more importantly he tied it into his understanding of modern communications… you know, when Clinton cannot even manage emails (or at least that is the ignorant excuse we were fed).

    2. Yves Smith

      A political scientist I know scored it as Trump didn’t do well in the first 30 mins but came back after that.

      But I bet a lot of people tuned out after the first 30 mins.

      Also, dunno if you noticed, but the first question was the EXACT theme of one of the ads that the Clinton campaign thinks is their best, depicts Trump as bad role model for kids. So the moderators pick that as the version they use to get at the tape scandal.

      1. The Cleaner

        Hm… that’s an interesting take. I personally thought his performance was better in the first 30 minutes where he successfully painted Clinton as quite untrustworthy. Judging by the audience reaction, they agreed. In the later half, he was quite incoherent and Clinton had the patter down smooth.

      2. Roger Smith

        Thinking back, perhaps I was too passive on the moderation. I had forgotten about it, partially I expected such things and just let fly by as a whatever, but both Clinton and then the moderators brought up specifically the highly suspect photo of the Syrian boy in the ambulance. Someone payed good money for that shoot and damn it all should that money go wasted!

      3. okanogen

        I thought Trump had better answers in the middle. In the beginning he was incoherent and sputtering. Later he was roaming around and muttering like a drunk grampa.

        Regarding his sex assault tape, I’m not sure what question they could have possibly asked that would have been less pointed.

  123. RUKidding

    CNN directs us dweebs that this was a “contentious, nasty debate”.

    It was contentious but aren’t most debates like that?

    Nasty? Not that much. Sometimes but not as much as I thought it could be.

    1. Steve C

      If they had described it as “a total waste of time,” that would have been accurate. We learned nothing new. But that’s the way the candidates and the media want it.

  124. davinatti

    let me relate to the dumb american voters through a bad speilberg movie. he blew that lob. liar, liar, pants suit on fire. he did clean up his obama birther screw up from the last debate. he has a lot of bad policies but the whole clinton camp “lets go to war with russia insanity” is driving me to be a irremediable deplorable.

  125. Anne

    So, here’s what didn’t get discussed in 90 minutes:

    Right around the corner from Ferguson and not one question about race relations, civil rights, police actions.

    Major hurricane this week, but no discussion about climate change.

    No questions about immigration, other than will we or won’t we keep the bad brown foreign people out.

    All that salacious talk about whether Trump did or didn’t actually grope anyone, but no discussion about issues that matter to women – no discussion about reproductive rights, gender equity, income inequality.

    No questions about education, at any level – pre-school through college.

    I get that the news of the last 48 hours was the elephant in the room, and moderators wanted to get it out of the way, but I don’t think the moderators should have allowed so much of the “debate” to be about the dumpster fire of the Access Hollywood tape (btw, I see Billy Bush has been suspended from his gig on the Today Show – rightly so, in my opinion; I may have been more offended by his gushing, giggling reaction to Donald’s locker room braggadocio and his effort to encourage it – “look, there she is, better get ready!”).

    Our long national nightmare is just getting started.

    1. TheCatSaid

      The question from the black gentleman opened the door to this but Trump did not go through (he mentioned a few big cities but didn’t go to the race place). Clinton went there in a mild way, danced around it to pretend she was addressing it while avoiding anything that any group might object to. Word waffle IOW.

  126. Kim Kaufman

    HuffPo headline: “Don in Flames” I think, all things considered, he did fine. Neither one is offering any serious or meaningful solutions to anything we need. It was, unfortunately, just some lame entertainment and both remain equally unlikable and untrustworthy and unhelpful.

    1. TheCatSaid

      “lame entertainment” –plus, it distracts us from looking personally at what’s in the latest email releases. It distracts us from organizing locally about anything that would make our communities better and our local leadership better.

  127. Buttinsky

    I admit I was very much in Barbara Bush mode — “Why would I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” But I do truly appreciate all of you — Lambert, Yves, the incomparable Naked Capitalism commentariat — for lending your beautiful minds to such a daunting, grotesque event and giving those of us who couldn’t watch (for purely psychological reasons, not logistical) some flavor of the evening. Far from being a waste, it was an invaluable service. THANK YOU!!

  128. Jeremy Grimm

    I pray Bacchus/Dionysus will forgive me for drinking my homemade mead — all my fermented grape is gone. I suppose I must pour many libations to atone — must buy more grape wine — it’s on my list.

    I cannot watch or listen to either candidate in debate or otherwise. I truly appreciate Lambert and his yellow waders — though in truth I suspect he is in the process of obtaining a waterproof head-to-toe haze-mat suit with air tank. Thank you for your bravery!

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Your bravery suggests the bravery required to descend into a swimming pool to comment on the tumult between two warring offspring of the Blob.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Mead is simple and cheap to make. The only thing cheaper is hard cider. Honey — water — yeast — yeast nutrient and flavorings as desired — I like a couple of inches of finely chopped fresh ginger — and a little time. Many many recipes for mead and all are simple, cheap, and tasty.

        Banana wine is also cheap and easy to make and very tasty!

        Methods and recipes to follow when I’m more sober — and expect many many amplifications and improvements on my own beginners attempts by others in the commentariat more experienced and more skilled.

  129. davinatti

    had it on the cbs this time. loved the bob schieffer meltdown about how all these people asking him have you ever seen anything like this? and that it was all trumps fault. nice to see the media one percenters starting to lose there minds. he thinks hillary is a solution for some reason.

  130. Lambert Strether Post author

    What do readers think of the questions from the “civilians” and social media? (Granted, they were culled). My impression was that the ones from social media were a lot more tendentious.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I could not bring myself to watch or listen to this debate. I’m already committed to vote Green and there isn’t anything the Hill or the Trump might say to divert me. The whole idea of a national “town hall” seems so phony to me. The “town hall” format has been so abused it has lost all credibility. Within that context your question of “civilians” vs “social media” questions seems a distinction beyond my feeble old powers of contemplation.

    2. Sammy Maudlin

      My general impression was that the ones from social media were cherry-picked to serve as follow-up questions for the moderators. Also, agreed about tendentiousness. The in-person questions seemed to be more reasonable from reasonable-type folks. However, that’s also part of the nature of social media. People say nasty things they wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

    3. crittermom

      The last question, regarding what they admired about each other, was very telling to me.
      I thought Trump came off much better in that one, while HRC said she admired his children—and then went on to blow her own horn! wow. Typical HRC. It’s all about her. (Did she mention her website again then, as well? Not sure)
      Trump came off much better, thanking her for her compliment regarding his children, and saying he admired the fact she doesn’t give up (a backhanded compliment?)—and then he shut up without talking about himself.

      My brain is so scrambled from watching it, I can hardly remember the other (carefully culled) questions.

      1. 3.14e-9

        I forgot most of the questions, too (the ones I heard before hitting the “mute” button halfway through), because the answers kept morphing into messaging:

        Q: Secretary Clinton, what do you think about what Donald Trump said in the leaked tape?
        A: Blah-blah-blah, he is unfit to be president.

        Q: Mr. Trump, your response?
        A: Blah-hbla-albh. Bill Clinton raped women.

        Q: Mr. Trump, how would you fix Obamacare?
        A: It’s a mess, because of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

        Q: Secretary Clinton, your response?
        A: I would fix it, unlike Donald Trump, who is unfit to be president.

        Q: Mr. Trump, what would you do about Islamaphobia?
        A: Terrorists, ISIS [unintelligible], because Obama and Hillary made a mess. Bernie Sanders.

        Q: Secretary Clinton, how would you handle Putin?
        A: Blah-blah-blah, Putin is supporting Donald Trump, who is unfit to be president.

        Q: Mr. Trump, what would you do about Syria?
        A: It’s a mess, because of Obama and Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders.

        Q: Secretary Clinton, your response?
        A: Russians! Putin! Putin! Putin! Donald Trump is unfit to be president.

  131. Sammy Maudlin

    Watching this I kept thinking that Trump has been working with trial lawyers to prepare.

    He used a lot of tricks trial lawyers use to influence juries. One, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story (i.e. Why didn’t you as one of 100 senators change the tax code? Answer: “if she was an effective senator she could have”). Another is make the jury think the judge is biased against you. The main one is put the black hat on your opponent and keep it there. Jury trials are pretty simple affairs that way, the big thing is to make the other side the bad guy.

    On the other had, HRC kept treating the debate like the white-shoe lawyer she is. “Refer to my website” = “I filed a brief on this.” No one reads either. Too much relying on subtle distinctions. Worst of all, most of the time she speaks with no passion or genuineness. This is death to a lawyer speaking to a jury.

    She wants the debate to be like a federal class action case with multiple motions and lengthy affidavits and briefs that the Judge’s top-of-their-law-school-class clerks will dissect and recommend a decision upon.

    But it’s not. It’s an afternoon trial in front of a bunch of bored people sitting in a jury box in a hot county courthouse. “Smart” lawyers get creamed by savvy ones in that situation all the time. That’s what I saw tonight.

  132. Fiver

    Some low-watt bulb writing tomorrow is going to say ‘This is how America does politics, does democracy. We let it all hang out. A big old barn burner. A national catharsis, a venting of pent-up emotion and frustration at some things in America and the world that just haven’t worked out for everybody, no matter how hard we try. This is good for America, even necessary, in fact it’s what makes us Americans. We deal with things and move on. Let all that poison out. And we move on. I’m inclined to think the third debate will be a much more civil affair.’

    The genius of this is that Trump is the device through which all of the real arguments against Clinton, the ones relating to criminal conduct and atrocious policy, are symbolically cleansed, ritually bled out. Trump as the public’s cry for contrition and oh, how she has suffered for her vanity! Yet she is redeemed through him. She has crossed the pit of burning hard drives and she is sorry for her sins, but after all, America is nothing if not a forgiving nation.

    Raise your right hand, Mrs. Clinton, and repeat after me….no, your right hand, please…

  133. crittermom

    This is the first debate I’ve watched between HRC and Trump. I ate dinner hours before to give me a better chance of keeping it down.

    I now realize how truly enjoyable it could have been if held on the east coast while it was getting slammed by hurricane Matthew, and we could watch both of ’em being swept out to sea…

    Mother Nature’s revenge! For both of their (lack of) climate policies.
    One can only dream…

  134. crittermom

    I stepped outside with my dog after the debate and heard two bull elk bugling at each other across a small ravine behind the house. (rut apparently not quite over)

    Horrors! Their vocalization of ‘who has the bigger ones’ reminded me of the debate! Lots of noise, little substance.

    Egads. I hope in the future I’m not reminded once again of this ‘debate’ or these ‘candidates’ each time I hear them. That may have scarred me for life.

  135. jash

    hurricanes have been around longer than humans.

    It is part of the unicorn’s utopia wet dreams to believe we can forecast much of anything when we can’t even forecast the path of a hurricane when we are tracking it with sats.

    1. TheCatSaid

      Except for that hurricane off NYC on that fine September morning in 2001. That was well-controlled. So it can be done. Manufactured etc.

  136. Lambert Strether Post author

    IIRC, Trump called Clinton “Secretary Clinton” throughout the first debate, and she called him “Donald.”

    But he called her “Hillary,” throughout this debate.

  137. Lambert Strether Post author

    Since I’m trying to reduce Trump’s discursive remarks to bullet points, I may be overly charitable, but on foreign policy I heard this:

    1) Trump slapped down Pence* on the use of “military force” in Syria; and with some “skin in the game,” since there’s some cost to throwing your VP under the bus;

    2) Trump also says ISIS is more dangerous than Assad

    3) Trump also says that it makes sense to cooperate with Russia to put down ISIS

    All this strikes me as far more sane than Clinton’s nutty plan to double down on #FAIL by arming yet more rebels**, arming the Kurds***, and using Special Forces****. Talk about more of the same!

    Also, disagree with what Trump is saying or not, at least it’s a coherent view, if ill-expressed.

    Finally, in terms of Grand Strategy, it looks to me like Clinton, as does The Blob generally, wants adversarial relations both with the Russia (the neocons) and with China (Clinton’s pivot to Asia (that being one more reason she’ll try to pass TPP)). How does that work? In a tripolar world (US, Russia, China) why does it make sense to fight both other poles? Get Russia on your side against China (and assure Europe’s gas supply into the bargain).

    I came out of this debate a lot more convinced that Trump was saner on foreign policy than Clinton. Although the blog persists across administrations…. And its not clear Trump will ever have enough establishment types (“Blob traitors”) to help him get a handle on it.

    * Who also made his desire to be on the top of the ticket after Trump was forced out glaringly obvious.

    ** Always blows back, as Trump points out

    *** How’s Erdogan going to feel about that?

    **** Which we’re probably doing already, since Obama loves them almost as much as he loves drones. And when one of them is captured and put on TV, we’ll put ground troops in anyhow.

    1. Skippy

      Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to boost military spending by tens of billions of US dollars on Wednesday, outlining plans for major increases in the number of active troops, Navy ships and submarines, and fighter planes.


      In a prepared speech at a conservative club in Philadelphia, Mr Trump unveiled plans to grow the army by 50,000 to 540,000 soldiers, increase the size of the US Marine Corps, establish a new missile defence system, and build new ships and warplanes.

      Echoing late president Ronald Reagan, he said he would adopt a policy of “peace through strength”.

      “We’ll be one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” he said.

      The pledge came ahead of a televised defence policy forum when Mr Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton will compete to show who would be more competent at leading the armed forces as commander-in-chief.


      Disheveled Marsupial……… Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      1. TheCatSaid

        Where will he put all those extra troops & military hardware? Earlier in his candidacy he criticized the number of foreign military bases. Maybe he’s crossed that item off his list so as to appeal to the war hawks.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s not about polar world’s but dominance and weapon contracts. The imperialists can’t let go of our hyper power status.

      A Moscow-Berlin-Paris axis is more damaging to U.S. dominance as a Beijing-Moscow-Tehran given the connection Europe has to existing international structures.

      A “Yankee go home” movement in Europe would significantly undermine our ability to project force.

      Soldier morale is important too. Would you rather be stationed in Germany or Eritrea. If NATO soldiers in Afghanistan were forced to go without TGI Fridays or face a quality of life experience similar to Vietnam, there wouldn’t be an army.

    3. Tom_Doak

      In a tripolar world (US, Russia, China) why does it make sense to fight both other poles?

      You would think with everyone throwing around Hitler’s name this campaign, we could manage to avoid the mistake that ultimately cost him WW II.

  138. Skippy

    I’m waiting for the “Vote for Putin” yard schlock and bummer stickers…

    Disheveled Marsupial…. Trump can run as VP…

    1. BecauseTradition

      This bit of comfort for those who can be so comforted:

      Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

      Hopefully, the above applies to queens too. :)

  139. funemployed

    Lambert, your fortitude knows no bounds. Am I the only person who finds this past week’s scandals non-scandals. I’m not defending Trumps misogyny or Clinton’s sycophancy in the least – both deplorable IMO. Just entirely unsurprising. Honestly, I assume both say and have said many worse things in private all the time, no? Truthfully, I actually avoid talking to rich people and frat boys precisely because those exact conversations are practically guaranteed by drink two.

    Can we really not think of a better reason not to vote for Trump than that he talks about women like a 12 y/o who’s never seen a real one before? Or for Clinton than that she recognizes that she is one of the rich people and thinks they’re better than the non-rich? I mean, haven’t we known those things since at least 2000?

  140. KPL

    “Am I the only person who finds this past week’s scandals non-scandals… Honestly, I assume both say and have said many worse things in private all the time, no?”

    Just my thought. Non-issue to begin with. More so when you think JFK and Bill Clinton have been Presidents. So I was wondering how talking like this (cheap though it is) disqualified him. I was asking myself another question: how and why was it taped in the first place and who did it… after all imagine your locker room converstions being taped all the time, because in 2005 I think even Trump would not have known he will be running for President in 2016.

    Makes me think that the only goal for Dems and Republicans seems to be to get Trump out of the way so as to not upset the status quo and cozy relationship. Trump as of now represents Essentially anything but establishment (includes media so obviously on HRC’s side that you got to be blind as a bat not to see it) and I like to think this is the reason no amount of mud slinging on Trump works. If he wins it will light a real fire underneath all the “anything but establishment” movements everywhere. Interesting times indeed.

  141. John Beech

    I watched on generator-power from FL – a crew from PA came and repaired the lines yesterday, good on them!

    Trump v. Clinton? Both are despicable, but I’ve decided to vote for Trump . . . . simply put, I’m tired of the status quo ante. No, he’s not as altar boy, but I do think there are tremendous opportunities in our future and because he’s got a developer’s background he’ll see the possibilities and move to improve America. Her? Not so much.

    Seriously, folks, it’s true that some of our airports are a joke. Major roads like I-95 should be 10 lanes wide down the length of the East Coast – 10 lanes in both directions – versus 2-lanes each way and adding a 3rd in some places. Crappy bridges should be replaced – and to be frank – bridges to nowhere become bridges to somewhere once they’re built.

    Want jobs? Between a developer with big ideas and questionable morals vs. a policy wonk with questionable morals, it’s an easy decision.

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