Let’s be honest with ourselves, Hillary won. She had a total command of the issues. The email scandal was addressed firmly and immediately – and quite effectively I might add. Her admission of a mistake and her taking full responsibility shut down the entire conversation. There was literally nowhere left to go after that, and the entire topic was dropped. Donald left it alone, basically defeated in his attempt to make it a debate issue. One of many missed opportunities for him, handled by a well-prepared Secretary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Clinton was mostly effective at digging into Trump on a range of issues. It wasn’t enough that she speculated about his not paying taxes. She was able to tie not paying taxes to his not having contributed to such things as wounded soldiers, schools and other government funded items that almost everyone can agree on. It was very effective.

When it came to his birther movement leadership, she told a personal story about how it upset the president, at once humanizing him while portraying Trump as a heartless, lying antagonist. Personally I think should could have made more of a point that the movement is inherently racist (see my previous post on the topic). She basically mentioned it was racist and moved on. Meanwhile, Trump’s answer was typical self-promotion – that he did a good job simply because he accomplished his arbitrary goal of getting a birth certificate (even though that wasn’t his goal), never mind whether it was racist or not. I’m not even sure he understood her criticism, as his response didn’t address the racist charge.

I have to admit, while I don’t agree with Donald Trump’s portraying the country as a place of doom and gloom, he was effective during the first few minutes of the debate in his attempt to do so. This was his opportunity to define his reason for running, and he was effective, by and large. It was also Hillary’s missed opportunity to rebut his assessment. The economy is better than it was 7 years ago, less people are out of work, the stock market is doing well, the military is stronger than ever, and on and on. Trump’s vision of America went largely unanswered, and I hope Clinton does a better job in the next debates of answering his rhetoric.

This last point would really be my only critique of her performance, which was, overall extremely refined and well-prepared. She was poised, articulate and knowledgeable. Who can argue with that assessment? She had answers for Trump’s criticisms and didn’t seem phased by his on-stage bullying and his repeated interruptions. She had an answer for everything, well thought-out and defensible.

Meanwhile, his zingers fell flat. His joke about getting onto Pennsylvania Avenue (one way or another) was a dud, and not delivered well. He sounded like an old coot trying to talk about cyber warfare and there were numerous other instances where he seemed to ramble as a result of not understanding the issues at hand.

Overall, it’s fair to say Secretary Clinton’s preparedness paid off. And frankly it’s difficult to imagine that the next debates will be any different. In fact, my prediction is that she’ll do better. She’ll be confident walking in, while Trump, knowing he’s faced criticism for his performance in the first round will be more aggressive and, you’ll see, will be likely to make mistakes as he undoubtedly will step up attacks on Clinton to try and earn points with his base. In the end, I expect him to sink himself, perhaps by attacking Clinton over the Lewinsky scandal, ill advised as it would seem – something he (somehow) managed to avoid in the first round.

 

People accuse Trump of being racist, and I don’t know if that’s true or not. But what I do know is that he manipulates people using racial issues and he does this for personal gain. So whether or not he himself is actually racist is the lesser of evils. When Trump accuses President Obama of not being born in the United States he is willfully manipulating the racist element in society who would believe such a lie. In fact, he’s speaking directly to this group.

This tactic is insidious, one might say evil, even. To the fringe element, it is a call to violence. So, Trump openly, nakedly aspires to use the fear and hatred of others for his own personal gain. If that is not evil, then I do not know what evil is.

People accuse President Obama playing the race card. We have all heard it at one time or another. That President Obama would address racial issues as a black president seems like it would be a foregone conclusion. Some may call that ‘playing the race card’ but we know better. I would defy the detractors to find an example where President Obama has used race in such a blatant way as Trump, who for nearly 5 years perpetuated a known, outrageous and race-based lie.

Trump has used race as a cornerstone of his political rise. He built his foundation on racism and exploiting the racist fears of the under educated who form a large segment of his base. His recent ‘admission’ (if you can call it that) that President Obama was born in the US rings hollow. His followers don’t believe him, and neither do the rest of us. Instead, we all the see the truth of his statement on the subject for exactly what it is, regardless of our political affiliation: It’s just another cynical attempt to win the election. The difference is that the racist elements of his base doesn’t care.

Listen, the idea that somehow Donald Trump would become a palatable candidate over Hillary Clinton simply because she’s not as healthy as a 40 year old is laughable. First of all, isn’t that the purpose of having  a running mate?

Frankly, Hillary Clinton could have 2 broken legs, gout, tuberculosis, lockjaw, be wheelchair-bound, oxygen dependent and aggressive brain cancer and I’d still cast my vote in her direction to keep Donald Trump from winning the election. Is that clear enough? She could be half digested by fungus, gutted and have her head placed on a stick in front of the castle and I’d still vote for her over Trump.

I wonder if I’m making my point clear enough?

Who cares if she coughs? It’s completely irrelevant. We have processes, stand-ins and everything else we need to keep the government running smoothly should something terrible happen. None of it is a reason to consider voting for the conman in chief wanna-be Trump. Somehow this has become an election issue. I say confront it head on: Oh, she’s not feeling good? I could give a rat’s ass. My ballot was cast months ago.

 

Evan McMullin doesn’t have a chance at winning the presidential election. He’s banking on a strategy that no neither Clinton or Trump can get a majority of the electoral college needed to win. Then the race would be decided by the house of representatives. This is why he’s running. He wants to be elected by 435 people who have heard of him, not 300 million who haven’t.

But who is Evan McMullin? No one really knows, and given his near complete obscurity, no one is going to know, probably ever. Personally I think it’s presumptuous to assume you could handle the mantle of the presidency just because you’re an adult and have a clever way to snake yourself into office.

He’s not running for country. He’s just another person on an ego trip. Anyone crazy enough to mount an unwinnable campaign (no, he won’t win) is probably pretty extreme in one way or another. Any rational, main-stream person would know enough not to try. So as a politician suddenly under the scrutiny of the presidential press corp, he’s likely to obliterate himself much like so many others before him who weren’t ready for the limelight. And that’s to say nothing of his actual views. Like about, well, everything.

I’m not saying he wouldn’t make a good president. I’m saying it’s extremely unlikely he’d make even a D level president given his lack of hands-on political experience in front of a microphone held by an adversarial press.

I don’t think I’m doing anything but stating the obvious here, but someone needs to take the time to say it. Go home Evan. You don’t deserve to be president – on so many levels – so if not for ego, then why are you running?

Hey you, Trump supporter. Yeah, you. Trump wants you to trust him. But he won’t release his tax returns, the final arbiter of how much he pays in taxes, account of his investments, his actual net worth, and his charitable contributions. As a business person, EVERYTHING you need to know about him is in there.

But guess what? He doesn’t trust you with the information. You aren’t worthy. You are simply the dust mites he’s manipulating and using with his demagoguery to get elected.

You’re mad about Hillary’s email server? Well, how mad would you be to find out your candidate never donated to charity during times when he pledged he did? Didn’t help veterans when he said he would? Or about what are probably hundreds or thousands of shady business deals? We’re talking everything from inflated concrete prices paid to the mob in NY, and who knows what else?

Trump says he’s not releasing them because he’s being audited. So what? There’s no law against it. It’s just a convenient excuse. If they made some mistake or another, the audit finds it and it’s resolved like any other accounting mistake. Who cares? But it would be naive to assume that’s the real reason. So if you choose to believe it, you probably hit yourself on the rim of hole you’re sticking your head into.

Just remember, you’re not worthy of seeing his tax returns. You should trust Trump, but Trump doesn’t trust you.

Today I read in the news that Donald Trump wants to dismantle Dodd-Frank. He apparently said it was impossible for bankers to function.

That quote caught my attention immediately. It’s obviously campaign rhetoric, not the actual situation. Frankly the banks seem to functioning just fine. There’s scant threat of a recession. The bank closures we saw after the bubble popped in 2008 have all but abated and jobs have been added every month for years. I guess I’m having trouble seeing what the problem is from my layman’s perspective.

If Trump starts monkeying around with Dodd-Frank, doesn’t that mean he’s playing with the status quo, which in this case seems to be working just fine? What ever happened to the ideology of not fixing something that doesn’t seem to be broken?

And why does Trump suddenly love bankers? I thought he always says that Hillary is in the pocket for Wall Street and that he didn’t need them or their money. Suddenly they are deserving souls in dire need and he’s the knight in shining armor riding in with his executive pen to save the day? None of this passes the smell test, but hey – Trump knows best, at least according to the typical Trump voter. Whatever he says is truth, no matter how ridiculous.

And why do Trump voters support giving the keys to the regulatory kingdom to a guy who has been most able to manipulate his own finances using loopholes and courts and every other tool at his disposal? In other words, Trump is a guy who’s made himself filthy rich whilst running many businesses into the ground. And yet the Trump voter is ready to trust the guy with the economy while he disables the very safeguards that were put in place to stop banks from abusing the system? None of the geniuses who want to vote for this guy are taking him seriously. He’s telling them exactly what he’ll probably do and they’re all fine with it. The very same people who stand to be laid off in a Trump economy are ready to vote for him because he’s going to fix things. Whelp, he’s going to fix things for them alright.

First, he’s going to take away their health care. Then he’s going to allow banks to write shady mortgages that endanger the economy and finally, he’s promises to roll back libel laws so he can more easily sue and intimidate anyone who dares to print criticisms of him or his policies. And STILL, the Trump voter is perfectly okay with all of this.

They want the insane running the asylum. They want the fox guarding the hen house. I’m sure there are more analogies I could remember to quote, but you get the idea. Thinking that Trump is out for the country is a joke at best and self-delusion at worst. He’s out for himself just like he’s always been out for himself. Pure and simple. And he’s not even bothering to hide his intentions. Instead, he’s simply going to smile and tell the typical Trump voter that, hey, it’s really a good idea if we abolish Dodd-Frank, because, you know, he said so. And the Trump voter, well, they’ll love him for it.

Oy vey.