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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cruising the Web

Well, that was a hideous 90 minutes that I'll never get back. All those who thought that Trump could refuse the bait and pivot away from attacks in order to focus on his message and attacking Hillary must be disappointed. Trump was Trump. He's thin-skinned and can't resist endlessly defending his own record so that the debate spent a lot of time being about him. Hillary came in ready with her attacks and didn't lose the focus on what she needed to do - attack him and deflect away any attacks. But there weren't many attacks because he was too busy meandering around in his own word soup.

Geez, he gets a question on "the cyber" and was too witless to take the attack to her by saying that a woman who had top secret information on her private server kept in her basement shouldn't be the person to protect us from cyber attacks. How could he miss a big softball of an opportunity like that?

And then he bragged about his temperament? That was just laughable. I'm sure the Hillary camp is preparing an ad with all the moments when he displayed that wonderful temperament. I somehow suspect that those people who truly have a great temperament don't brag about it. And if that is what he thinks is his best asset, then his other assets are meager indeed.

He got lost in a rabbit hole defending his `14-year old statements on Iraq and didn't bring up that she actually voted for the war and then later apologized for her bad judgment. She opposed the surge and only years later admitted that it worked. She supported the withdrawal from Iraq and the Iran deal. Yet Trump is so thick that he couldn't bring up any attacks on substance. Instead he tried to call in a lifeline from Sean Hannity. Ugh. We now have had a presidential debate in which Howard Stern and Sean Hannity were cited as witnesses and Rosie O'Donnell rated a mention. These are truly the endtimes.

He looked awful on the questions about his taxes and birther questions. She was spot on pointing out the probably reasons he doesn't want to release his taxes. Just as her problems with her server were totally brought about by her own actions, his problems with his taxes and his birther idiocies are all his own fault. He needed to answer and then pivot to something else just like she did with the one question she got from Lester Holt about her server.

In general I liked that Holt let them go after each other, but he did play tougher with Trump with his questions and follow-ups. There were questions he could have asked her such as about her foundation and money going to her husband while she was at State but all he did was ask one question about her server and then dropped it when she said it was a mistake and changed the subject.

She is vulnerable to attacks, but he clearly didn't prepare. He has such self-confidence that he thinks he can just wing these things. Perhaps someone will sit him down and show him the tape and explain how poor his responses were and the opportunities he missed.

But this shouldn't have surprised anyone. This is the same guy he's always been. His Republican rivals could have gone after him more in those early debates instead of fearing that any attack on him would bounce back and destroy them. All the attacks we heard tonight were available in the primaries. And his weak answers on policy were just as weak then. And remember how people voted for him thinking that he was the guy who could take it to Hillary.

I think he went into the debate with momentum, but I don't see how this helped him at all. She may well have blunted the momentum. Oh, and she did it without coughing which must dismay a certain part of the blogosphere.

Of course, I thought the same about all his debate performances in the primaries and he just went from victory to victory. So, with my track record, he'll probably go up five points in the polls after this even though every poll will show that people thought she won the debate.

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Ben Domenech makes some of these same points.
The real problem for Donald Trump in the presidential debates isn’t his temperament. It’s his narcissism. When tonight’s debate began, Trump was on solid ground, giving a message that essentially painted himself as a change agent and Hillary Clinton as a candidate of the status quo. As the debate went on, he took the bait again and again to defend himself on increasingly obscure subjects. Instead of blasting away at the core message of his campaign, he spent the evening stumbling in the weeds, and that is only his fault.
It wasn't that Hillary had such a great debate; it's that Trump missed his opportunities and totally allowed himself to be baited into incoherent answers.
Trump lost this debate, and it was entirely up to him in the losing of it. Hillary Clinton did not have a good debate. She was not humanized by anything that happened tonight, and her modes of attack were very predictable and clunky. Her comments on foreign and domestic policy were robotic bullet points, and her statements seemed like rote memorized lines. Her points, particularly on economic and crime issues, were bland and seemed disconnected from reality. Her sunny view of the direction of the country, particularly the inner cities, are completely out of touch with the polls regarding the nation’s direction.

Donald Trump is in the spin room at the moment, and it seems unlikely he would be there if his campaign felt he had a clear win. This was a debate about missed chances. Trump had a wealth of opportunities to slam Hillary Clinton on numerous fronts, but instead descended down the rabbit holes in defense of himself to bring up lawsuits, finances, Patty Doyle, Sid Blumenthal, Rosie O’Donnell and more. The moment in the middle of the debate when Trump spun his defense of the birther conspiracy was particularly ugly. She offered up a litany of personal and policy attacks – he made the mistake of rising to take the bait.

Jeet Heer writing in the New Republic agrees that Trump's narcissism makes him totally vulnerable to baiting. He just can't resist.
In her acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, Hillary Clinton called out Donald Trump memorably, saying, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” The insight that Trump is easy to provoke formed the core of Clinton’s successful strategy in the first debate on Monday, as she repeatedly incited the Republican nominee to both adopt an off-putting aggressive tone and to make a series of damaging self-admissions...

Trump’s is a narcissistic defensiveness, as my colleague Laura Reston noted during the debate. If you criticize him, he has to keep counterpunching, even if it makes him look bad. A classic moment occurred early, establishing the pattern. Trump was doing an effective job of hammering Clinton on her quite effectively emails—then suddenly stopped his attack to go back and answer an earlier critique she made of his business practices. At one point, Trump even started making a sales pitch for a hotel he’s building in Washington, D.C., noting, “If I don’t get there one way, I’m going to get to Pennsylvania Avenue another.”

Trump’s driving need to speak up for himself led to self-sabotaging admissions. When Clinton accused Trump of eagerly benefitting from the housing crisis, he responded, “That’s called business, by the way.” When Clinton complained that Trump paid no taxes, he again took pride in the accusation, saying, “I take advantage of the laws of our nation.” Trump also said that it was good he paid little or no taxes because the money would’ve been wasted, “it would have been squandered too.”

The more he talked on taxes, the less coherent Trump became. He said he’d be happy to reveal his taxes quickly as soon as he is no longer audited—but also said he had been audited for 15 years (which suggests the date of the reveal, should there be one, will be far in the future).

When she went into detail about how didn’t pay many small-business owners whose services he’d contracted with, he didn’t deny the charge, but waved it off—they hadn’t done a good job, he claimed, and other people were happy to do business with him.

In all these moments, Clinton got Trump to go against his own self-presentation as the populist friend of the little man and reveal himself to be a selfish, avaricious businessman.

Kyle Smith also felt that Lester Holt, while admirably staying out of the back-and-forth between the candidates in the first part of the debate, did abandon his impartiality. While his questions to Trump about birtherism and his taxes were totally legitimate, he didn't address Hillary with the same attitude.
So Holt’s questions were fair game, but it’s not the case that Clinton has nothing to be embarrassed about either. Holt might have questioned her about, for instance, the role she played in arranging the sale of American uranium assets to Russia after Clinton and her foundation accepted large checks from shady intermediaries. He might have noted that she was chided by the FBI for her reckless mishandling of classified information, or that she put sensitive national security information on a server, less secure than Gmail, that could easily be hacked by the Russians. He could have asked her whether she could be trusted about her health given that she apparently wasn’t going to tell the public she had pneumonia until she collapsed on 9/11 (and even then stonewalled for hours).

True, Hillary Clinton has answered a lot of these kinds of questions before, but the not in front of a huge national audience. For Holt to allow her to get away with saying, “”It was a mistake” on her usage of email doesn’t cut it, not from a guy who was willing to hammer Trump on a remark like “I just don’t think she has a presidential look.”

John Hinderaker thinks that Hillary Clinton didn't really help herself.
5) There will be lots of discussion about who “won” the debate, and it is easy to say that the winner–the better performer–was Mrs. Clinton. But asking who won the debate is the wrong question. The question is, did watching the debate make undecided voters more likely to vote for Clinton or Trump? My guess is that in that sense, the event was pretty much a draw, and we won’t see much movement in the polls over the next few days.

6) This is why I don’t think the evening was a bad one for Trump: most undecided voters will have seen Hillary as the embodiment of the political class. Smug, smirking, always ready with a torrent of words that can’t quite obscure the fact that to the extent she herself has wielded power, she has been a failure. Hillary Clinton is a walking exemplar of the political class that got us where we are now. A viewer who thinks America is doing great, our politicians are terrific, things have been going well in recent years and we need more of the same will be motivated to vote for Hillary.

But there aren’t many such voters. By a 70%-30% margin, voters think we are on the wrong track. Those who think America is in decline, our political class is corrupt and incompetent, and we need a change will not be motivated to vote for Mrs. Clinton. On the contrary, however inept he may have been at times, Trump did make it clear that he is the voice for change in the race. That may be a lot more important than “winning.”
I'm not so sure. For those who aren't decided yet, however large that group is, Donald Trump didn't make the argument that he is truly fit for the presidency. Perhaps the real winner of the debate was Gary Johnson.

Peter Augustine Lawler does see some victories for Hillary Clinton but thinks that overall the debate was inconclusive.
Hillary Clinton’s biggest debate victory was in showing she does have stamina and is completely healthy (no sniffling or even a drink of water). She also seemed well prepared, even though her branding innovations fell flat. But she was too smug, didn’t have control over her smile, and failed in her effort to dismiss Trump as crazy. She was needlessly disrespectful by calling him Donald, whereas he was the gentleman by comparison by saying “Secretary Clinton” considerably more often than “Hillary.”

Her second biggest victory was in deflecting attention away from her various scandals.

Her third biggest victory was in branding Trump as both a racist and a misogynist. She was fairly demagogic, but Trump didn’t respond effectively.

I guess she won, maybe easily, on points. We saw almost no Crooked Hillary.

Remember, though: Everyone was saying before the debate that all Trump had to do is not choke. And he didn’t. A significant group of undecided voters is those who just can’t support Trump because he’s completely unfit to serve. It’s possible he helped himself with those voters. He didn’t seem unbalanced or hugely unreasonable. He did seem too angry, sometimes too much so to think clearly on the spot.

Rich Lowry felt that Trump started out doing well, but then blew it.
The first 20 minutes or so Trump seemed to be executing a plan to speak more softly and show the public his more reasonable side, but he pretty quickly reverted to a high-decibel, scattered, interrupting, and hectoring vintage Trump performance. By the end, he was congratulating himself on getting Obama to release his birth certificate, boasting about his superb temperament and veering toward blowing himself up in his threat to say something not very nice about Hillary Clinton’s family in retribution for her attacks on him (he pulled up short and congratulated himself for not saying it).
He made his points in a somewhat oblique fashion.
Overall, the night was a missed opportunity but not disqualifying.

Hillary was sometimes wince-inducingly canned (“Trumped-up trickle down”). She was dull and a less vivid presence than Trump. There wasn’t any over-arching theme or inspiring notes. But it was a very competent performance. She knew her briefing book on Trump very well, and nailed him on a number of things, including not releasing his tax returns. She baited him throughout the night on his business record, and he took the bait every single time. I wondered why she didn’t have some line to use against Trump when he interrupted, which he did constantly. But it became clear that she had a rope-dope approach–establishing a certain command by smiling through it all and staying unflappable.

She surely reinforced one of her key strengths, which is the perception that she is prepared to be president, but didn’t have much to say to voters who desire change. That means she helped herself, but it’s still basically the same race.

Jonah Goldberg is in basic agreement.
So I can score this a bunch of different ways. If the metric was the first 30 minutes — a standard that kind of sprung out of nowhere in the last 24 hours — then I think Trump won. He was relatively coherent, got his big issues and themes across and managed to be very aggressive without seeming too much of a cad (I am grading on the very generous Trump curve). On the substance, I think most of his answers were wrong on the facts or the principle, but I’m used to that not mattering anymore. He was good at getting the message(s) that got him this far across. He also won the body language debate in the beginning. Put the TV on mute, and he clearly dominated.

But by around halftime he started to come apart. I don’t think he had any disastrous gaffes, no truly painful soundbites that will haunt him in the days to come, which in itself is a kind of victory for Trump. He also scored some good points on Hillary’s “30 years” of getting little accomplished and the growth of ISIS. But it was clear that once Trump took the bait about his “small loan” from his father, that Hillary would be able to lead Trump in almost whatever direction she wanted.

That was probably the most impressive thing about her performance. Other than that, she was uninspiring, un-amusing, un-entertaining, but…fine. She controlled much of the tempo. She said some ridiculous things too — on Iran, the need to become a “clean energy superpower,” her email etc — but I don’t think she scared away any swing voters, in part because when Hillary is wrong she doesn’t sound unhinged.
If the most important need for both candidates was to persuade undecided college-educated white women - then they weren't going to see this Donald Trump and decide he was their guy. Trump's performance would appeal to those who already like him, but it's not at all clear how he would win over someone uncertain about voting for him.

John Podhoretz thinks that Trump was undisciplined and incompetent.
Then due to the vanity and laziness that led him to think he could wing the most important 95 minutes of his life, he lost the thread of his argument, he lost control of his temper and he lost the perspective necessary to correct these mistakes as he went.

Methodically and carefully, Hillary Clinton took over. Her purpose was to show she was rational and policy-driven, the kind of person who could be trusted to handle a careful and delicate job with prudence and sobriety — and that he was none of these things.

And she succeeded. By the end of the 95 minutes, Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O’Donnell and about how he hasn’t yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking.

Most important, he set ticking time bombs for himself over the next six weeks.

As she hammered him on his tax returns, he handed her an inestimable gift by basically saying he basically said he pays no federal taxes despite his billions — and moreover, that if he had done so, it would have been “squandered” anyway.

That’s not going to go away, nor is her suggestion that his refusal to release his returns is the result of his either not being as rich as he says or not being as charitable as he claims.

Clinton quoted him saying in 2006 that he hoped for a housing meltdown because it would provide buying opportunities and thereby goaded him into saying “that’s called business, by the way.” To which she quickly replied that 9 million people lost their jobs and 5 million lost their homes in the housing meltdown he was so excited about. Blammo.

His reply to Hillary’s recitation of the fact he’d begun his career settling a Justice Department lawsuit about racial discrimination in Trump housing was that there was “no finding of guilt,” which is the sort of thing the villain said at the end of “LA Law” and sounded no better in real life.

Even when he could have taken her down, he was so incompetent he didn’t go for it. A question about cybersecurity was the perfect opportunity to hammer Clinton on her outrageous mishandling of classified information.

Instead, he went into a bizarre digression in which he alternately wondered whether his son Barron might grow up to become a hacker and defended Vladimir Putin from the accusation Russia had tapped into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mails (which the FBI says almost certainly happened). That has to count as the biggest choke of his political life.

By the time the last 15 minutes rolled around, he was reduced to yammering about Rosie O’Donnell being mean to him and Hillary running mean commercials about him and praising himself because there are some really terrible things he could have said about Hillary but hasn’t. By this point, even his smart closing zinger — “she has experience but it’s bad experience” — was buried inside a weird word salad that reduced its effectiveness to almost nil.

His supporters should be furious with him, and so should the public in general. By performing this incompetently, by refusing to prepare properly for this exchange, by learning enough to put meat on the bones of his populist case against Clinton, he displayed nothing but contempt for the people who have brought him this far — and for the American people who are going to make this momentous decision on Nov. 8.

However, Salena Zito watched the debate in a bar full of undecided Democrats in Youngstown, Pennsylvania who came away from the debate supporting Trump.
Reed, 35, is a registered Democrat and small businessman, “By the end of the debate, Clinton never said a thing to persuade me that she had anything to offer me or my family or my community,” he said sitting at the same bar that had local icons as regulars, such as the late Fred Rogers, and Arnold Palmer who had his own stash of PM Whiskey hidden behind newer bottles of whiskey for his regular visits.

“Have to say Trump had the edge this evening, he came out swinging but also talked about specifics on jobs and the economy,” Reed said.

Reed said Clinton came across as either smug or as though she was reading her resume, adding there was nothing on her resume that reached his life, “I am a small businessman, a farmer, come from a long line of farmers and coal miners, the policies she talked about tonight ultimately either hurt me or ignore me,” he said....

“I’ve been a Democrat all of my life, but when Clinton mentions her husband and the jobs he brought to the country in the nineties it’s not a fair assessment, she is no moderate Democrat the way he was, her policies would not bring back jobs,” said Nathan Nemick.

It burns Nemick when Clinton references her husband, like she did in the debate on trade and jobs, “She is nothing like him,” he said of the Democrat he admired in his youth.

Jim Geraghty thinks that, if this debate doesn't put Clinton over the top, nothing will.
This was a terrible night for Donald Trump, so he’ll probably surge in the polls.

Hillary Clinton began oddly, with a lame knock on “Trumped-up trickle-down,” and claiming Trump’s main focus was to help the rich. (Is the “basket of deplorables” rich?) This is the exact same playbook she would have run against Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush, or any other Republican. Of course, Trump is really different from a traditional Republican.

But after the first 15 minutes or so, she shifted to steadily working her way through the anti-Trump briefing book. She clearly had memorized a whole briefing encyclopedia on Trump’s controversial statements, scandals, lawsuits, and worked in most of them over the course of 90 minutes.

I think if you look at Trump’s face immediately after the debate, he knew he didn’t have a good night. One could argue the topic selection played against him: a whole section on his birther argument against President Obama, extended discussion of his unreleased tax returns, whether he stiffed former contractors. The debate included nothing on immigration (!) border security (!), Benghazi, or the Clinton Foundation. The discussion of Hillary’s e-mails was brief.

One of Clinton’s key strengths of the night was keeping her cool as Trump bulldozed over moderator Lester Holt and brought his traditional relentless, jabbing, unstoppable style. A lot of Trump’s GOP candidates never quite figured out how to deal with this human hurricane who doesn’t care at all about time limits, what question he was asked, interrupting the opponent, and so on. Then again, none of Trump’s primary rivals had the advantage of a one-on-one matchup.

Trump started better than he finished; he may be in better shape if the audience size declined over the course of the night. But on issue after issue, it was one missed opportunity after another.

Ramesh Ponnuru believes that Trump got his message out, but that is not enough. He was the hedgehog and she was the fox.
She made more points tonight, but he may have scored more points. The anti-Trump way to look at the contrast is that he has less to say, because he knows less and has thought less about government; the pro-Trump way to look at it is that he’s a hedgehog. The effect of that contrast, I think, was that viewers had a stronger sense of where he stood. He thinks we’re losing at international trade, that our allies are taking advantage of us, that we aren’t being respectful enough about the police, that she has been part of every problem for a long, long time. I don’t think where she stood came out nearly as clearly. But the thing is, Trump has already been pretty effective at getting that message out. And I don’t think he addressed the concerns Americans in nearly every poll have about his temperament and fitness for the job he’s seeking.

Read more at:

I think analysts, including myself, are hedging our bets on the impact of the debate because we all missed the reaction to Trump's performances in the primary debates. But there is a difference. In those debates he was appealing to the primary electorate. That is a different sort of voter. And he was splitting the vote with several other candidates so he could win a plurality and come out the big winner. He needs to do better than that in the general election.

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Paul Crookston links to a story about an EU proposal to offer free rail trips to young people. The though would be to help young people feel more connected and supportive of the EU.
But according to politicians, "Inter-railing" could be the key to creating a positive perception of the E.U. among younger generations who already benefit from student exchange programs and open borders. Their hope is that participants will feel "European" after coming back from their trips to their home countries, and less "German" or "Italian," for instance.

The idea started to make headlines after a speech by German E.U. politician Manfred Weber last week. "What would happen if every young individual was given a free Inter-Rail ticket for his or her 18th birthday, to experience Europe?" Weber asked.

Since then, the seemingly rhetorical question has gained steam. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called it "a very good idea." Renzi has pursued a similar initiative in his own country that will allow all 18-year-olds to receive 500 euros ($558) each to spend on cultural or social events. And the German government, whose support is considered crucial to pass such a policy, is also believed to be in favor of free train tickets for young Europeans.
There you go. If people don't like your overreaching, intrusive government, just give them more free stuff. Crookston ridicules the idea,
An Italian who fancies himself Italian. This is what led to the rise of Mussolini, right?

For EU politicians facing increasing hostility toward their rule, this is a creative idea. They believe that if young people come to equate the continent of Europe (i.e., all the nations that make it up) with the government of Europe (an unelected body of officials in Brussels), then that would be a victory for the EU. Their optimism, however, is based on the idea that “nationalism” has nothing to do with the EU’s problems and everything to do with citizens’ problems, namely that they are blinded by prejudice, which prevents them from seeing just how great the EU is.

Spending billions on a program in an attempt to boost their own popularity might only alienate those who are beginning to doubt the value of the international body that has lately been overruling its member states. And diverting resources to a travel program might also seem laughable to the young people who are struggling with sky-high unemployment.
EU bureaucrats just can't stand the idea that some benighted people just can't help retaining a sense of nationalism. Why can't they leave that antiquated idea behind and embrace the grand bureaucracy that is the EU - that's inspirational, right?

John Hood, a Charlotte native, points to one reason why the violence in Charlotte became violent. It had nothing to do with the video.
What’s more certain is that the riots that rocked Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday were not caused by the city’s refusal to release its videos immediately. How do I know that? Because the rioting began on Tuesday night, before people had a clear sense of what videos existed and how accessible they were. And because on Thursday and Friday, before the footage was released on Saturday, Charlotte experienced largely peaceful protests, not riots.

The critical factor was that on Thursday morning, city officials finally accepted the offer Gov. Pat McCrory had made early the previous day: the declaration of a state of emergency and the deployment of state troopers and the National Guard. Overwhelming force is what deterred additional crimes against police, property, and innocent civilians. Charlotte station WBTV reported that Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts initially refused McCrory’s offer because she worried that a state of emergency would look bad. Publicly, she stated that in the aftermath of the initial rioting on Tuesday evening, she still believed the Wednesday protests would be peaceful. At best, this was a disastrous error in judgment.

It wasn’t the only one. Reckless allegations inflamed the situation. A group of clergy led by NAACP state president William Barber stepped forward to help restrain protesters, and may have had that effect in some cases. But they also irresponsibly blamed police for “provoking” the riots. And they trafficked in a range of conspiracy theories — such as claims that Carr was killed by police, or that officers may have planted the gun attributed to Scott — that made themselves look ridiculous and their cause look political. Indeed, Barber even used his moment in the media spotlight to talk about Medicaid expansion and other political disputes far afield from the case — but conveniently linked to Republicans in Raleigh rather than Democrats in Charlotte.

When it comes to freedom of speech, there is a key distinction between expressing an opinion and shouting down someone else expressing an opinion. The latter is called the “heckler’s veto.” In Charlotte, some people angry about the Scott case, or about race and justice issues in general, seemed to believe they enjoyed a “rioter’s veto.” They thought they could interrupt the normal investigative process and insist that unless the city released its videos immediately — even though such a premature release might influence the testimony of witnesses still being interviewed — the unrest would continue. “No tapes, no peace!” they shouted.

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Jim Geraghty has taken the time to read Hillary Clinton's campaign book, Stronger Together, so you won't have to. From his reading, he has detected a theme - she is the campaign of the status quo. And her approach is just a litany of bland cliches.
Clinton envisions the country doing a lot of expanding under her administration. She’ll expand access to capital, access to new markets, “educational pathways,” Social Security, “investments in community health centers,” “access to evidence-based home visiting programs” for parents of small children, insurance coverage for autism services, utilization of HIV-prevention medications, and clean-energy production on public lands.

When she’s not expanding, Clinton is promoting. A Clinton administration would promote college completion, pay transparency so that women can more effectively negotiate, the rights of women and LGBT people around the globe, and “oversight and accountability in the use of controlled equipment” by the police.

When she’s not expanding or promoting, she’s revitalizing. President Hillary is going to “revitalize public schools in every zip code.” And then she’s going to “revitalize manufacturing.” And then she’s going to “revitalize the hardest-hit manufacturing communities with new investment.” Every other page, there is more revitalizing. Her presidency will be like a long weekend at a spa.

Perhaps the most maddeningly vague section covers Clinton’s approach to terror threats on American soil, a topic that is probably on a lot of voters’ minds at the moment. How would a new Clinton administration tackle this? “We know that intelligence gathered and shared by local law enforcement offices is absolutely critical to breaking up plots and preventing attacks,” the book says. “So they need all the resources and support we can give them.” Okay, what resources and support are they not getting that they should be getting? What’s missing?

“And our enemies are constantly adapting, so we have to do the same. We need an intelligence surge — and so do our allies — that includes technical assets, Arabic speakers with deep expertise in the Middle East, and an even closer partnership with regional intelligence services.” So she’s going to hire more people. Has the Obama administration been stingy?

Does a lack of manpower explain why nothing happened when Mohammad Rahami, the father of alleged Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, told the Federal Bureau of Investigation to watch his son because he might be a terrorist?
Her book ignores the terrorist attacks in the US in the past few years.
One of the reasons Donald Trump’s proposals for banning Muslim immigrants and profiling are polling so well is that the status quo stinks. Time and time and time again, the FBI comes in contact with future terrorists, investigates them, and deems them not to be a threat. The Bureau interviewed Omar Mateen three times in 2013 and 2014, and he had been on a terrorism watch list during that time. He was subsequently removed. The FBI interviewed Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. Among the aspiring jihadists who opened fire at a Garland, Texas, “Draw Muhammad” contest was Elton Simpson, whom the FBI questioned for allegedly planning to join a terror group in 2010; he was sentenced to three years of probation for lying to investigators.

You would never know any of this from the Clinton book; the message again and again is that we just have to try harder and commit more resources to stopping terrorists.

“We must find a way to balance legitimate concerns about privacy with the need to combat ISIS and other terrorist groups. There’s no magic fix, but we can’t just throw up our hands.” This is a stinging rebuke to the Congressional “Let’s Just Throw Up Our Hands Because We Can’t Find a Magic Fix” Caucus.

“We should also be vigilant in screening any refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security professionals in close coordination with our allies and partners.”

No shinola, Sherlock. Any reader still awake will be left asking: How? How are you going to do this, Hillary and Tim? What are you going to change about the current approach, beyond throwing more manpower and money at the problem? Stronger Together does not provide an answer. Perhaps the most damning indictment of Clinton is that there’s not a single idea in here that doesn’t sound like one of President Obama’s promises from 2008, or a single one that he would disagree with . . . with one exception.
There is no way that Hillary can sell herself as the candidate of change especially when she's hoping that President Obama can help drag her over the finish line. Unfortunately, it seems that people want change so much that they're willing to support Donald Trump.

It doesn't sound like a sign of veracity and law-abiding behavior to have Hillary Clinton's IT guy managing her server talked about the "Hillary cover-up operation." Larry O'Connor links to this CNN interview of Clinton campaign manager Roby Mook by Jake Tapper. Mook can't answer why they would be using the term "Hillary cover-up operation." All Mook can do is blame Republicans.
TAPPER: So what’s the “Hillary cover-up operation” that the I.T. worker was referring to?

MOOK: This is the perfect example of what’s going on here. The Republicans in the House are selectively leaking documents for the purpose of making Hillary look bad. We asked FBI to release all information they shared with the Republicans so we can get the full picture.

Again I would trust the career professionals at the FBI and Justice Department who looked into this matter, concluded there was no case [more] than I would Republicans who are selectively leaking information.
Is there an answer in there? As if Republicans were to blame for the IT manager using the phrase "Hillary cover-up." Gosh, is there anything Republicans can't do?

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Linda Fox said...

Just a few things I noticed (I did NOT watch the whole thing):

- Trump won the "poll war" after the debate. He was considered, by wide margins, to have "won".
- Expectations for him were relatively low - he is NOT an experienced debater. In fact, there is no real reason that a President HAS to be good at debates - that really has no relation to his ability to govern.
- HRC was VERY practiced - but, for many, that is NOT a plus. She is already considered to be the Robotic Candidate. Of course, she would be prepared to spew prepared answers. That does NOT measure her ability to govern. Her record does that, and NOT to her credit.
She is also considered to be very good (well, she should be, after all this time in the job of politician/politician's wife) at using sound bites, particularly those that blandly, and profusely, dance around the question. She has mastered that OVERLY patient smile, that slow and measured answer style, and that "I'm being nice to explain this SLOWLY so a dullard like you can understand" tone with her opponents. Many, and I am one, are infuriated at her elitist attitude that this emphasizes.
- Some of this comes down to the average person's perceptions of them both. Are the candidates likeable? Trump - maybe, to some people. HRC - definitely NOT, to MOST.

mark said...

And let's not forget that Trump's mic was defective (probably part of a conspiracy):

Despite that, he won the cbs post-debate poll, which wasn't even conducted. Take that, liberals.