blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
[personal profile] blamebrampton
And here we all are again. For the purposes of completion, and in the same sense of 'How bad can this get?' that saw me sit through the first Sex and the City movie (on video, with friends who could mock it with me, but still ...), I have once again readied the iPad, prepared beverages and cleared my early afternoon schedule to take in the horror that is the US Presidential election.

While we wait, I want to mention how much I love Michelle Obama. She is so wonderful that I have actually had to stop talking to people who badmouth her as I cannot find a rational way of talking with them. It's not just that they are talking abject nonsense, it's that all I can think of to say is 'ARE YOU INSANE? THE WOMAN IS A GODDESS AND BRILLIANT AND KIND AND WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM???!' which is not conducive to good conversation.

I also love Kate McKinnon. She had me in tears of laughter in Ghostbusters, and her SNL Hillary almost makes me wish I watched more TV. But happily there are people on the internet who cut and post snippets. Bless you all.

OK. Another debate. I doubt the moderator will have the steely eyed FFS that Martha Raddatz and, to a lesser extent, Anderson Cooper brought. I will never call you Megan again, Martha. Now that I know you. I will probably grow to love you, too. Yes, I am bringing the Lady Love, I feel we both deserve and need it.

For my part, having spent the first debate mostly reporting and the second almost wholly reporting, I plan to mostly commentate here because in terms of policy, we have already had nearly three hours of Hillary outlining real and practical policy and Donald blathering about God knows what because would it kill you to get to the verb, man?? So there's clearly no point trying to compare them on that ground: one side has policies, one has ... I just don't know anymore. Are you drunk, America? I wouldn't blame you.

I have powered myself up with a banana and mulberry smoothie, there is fizzy water on the table and chocolate in the fridge. It can't go wrong!

BTW, Obama's half-brother, who is apparently there as a guest of Trump, has long said that he thinks the State of Israel should not exist. But hey, since The Donald's thinly veiled Anti-Semitic slurs have been de-veiling of late, maybe he's good with that.

The moderator looks like he is from 1956 and suggests the audience will remain silent. I laugh and laugh.

Hillary is wearing her power pantsuit, Trump's suit fits him somewhat better than the last one. New, or did he just gain more weight for it to fit?

First question starts with the Supreme Court and the Constitution. Hillary believes that SCOTUS should reflect the type of country the US is and stand on the side of the American people rather than corporations and the powerful. She namechecks Citizens United and the need for marriage equality and Roe v Wade. Basically, she wants a SCOTUS that acts in the interests of Americans as a people, which seems an eminently reasonable opinion. Poke to the Senate re their blocking of Obama's SCOTUS candidate.

Donald looks medicated. He has heard of the Supreme Court, and is now badmouthing Notorious RBG, who will doubtless shank him quietly at some point in the next few months. HILLARY IS COMING FOR OUR GUNS, PEOPLE! COMING FOR OUR GUNS! And if she wins, it's rigged. Yep, the entirety of SCOTUS's mission is to protect guns and stop abortions, apparently. And I AM SHOUTING DERISION at the suggestion conservatives interpret the constitution the way it was meant to be. In exactly the same way people who allege they are upholding the Bible have the stupidest positions, so it is with the US Constitution. Half your Founding Fathers would have been Occupying Wall Street, kids.

Moderator goes to Hillary on guns. She supports the second amendment and is OK with gun ownership. But she believes in regulation. HOW IS THIS WEIRD? Jesus, America, you are the strangest country. Let's not have people with mental health issues or on terrorist lists being able to buy guns. Why is that weird?

Donald has done some homework to remember a few nouns for this debate, but he's immediately into the 'she was so angry' and 'second ammendment people are so angry with her'. Hillary now back to reminding people that the lack of regulation on gun storage has led to dozens of toddler deaths. Christ on a bike, you were meant to only have guns as part of a well-organised militia, America. Actually, forget that. I don't want you lot in well-organised militias.

Donald is now telling us that gun laws lead to Chicago. No, they lead to Australia. You know what we don't have? Mass shootings. Not a one since our gun laws came into play 20 years ago. NOT ONE.

And we're onto abortion. Moderator asks if Trump wants Roe v Wade overturned. Trump says it would go back to the states. Moderator says that's not what I asked. Trump says that's what will happen if he puts justices on. Women, as though you needed ANY more reasons not to vote for this man.

Hillary points out that right now so many states are making it incredibly hard for women to make choices about abortion, even defunding Planned Parenthood, which affects cancer and prenatal care, too.

Moderator asks how far a right to an abortion goes, reminding viewers she voted to OK late-term abortion. Hillary reminds us that the life and health of the mother are vitally important. That late-term abortion is a terribly hard decision and is made in response to deep problems about the health of the mother, or the non-viability of the foetus. She thinks the decision should remain with the mother, not with the government.

Trump thinks it's all terrible and that Hillary is a baby killer, who will rip babies from the womb of the mother in the ninth month. ARGGH!!!!!

Hillary points out he's a fuckng moron, and around the world women agree. She says that it's an incredibly hard choice for women and that the government should not be making it. Government has no business in our bodies.

Trump says nobody has business killing babies. I really want to kick him in the nuts, which I acknowledge is a poor position to take, but if he thinks he should be able to make decisions on women's bodies, why can't we bring equal pain to his?

Moderator talks about immigration, says Trump wants a wall, Clinton has no border security plan.

Donald says that Hillary's amnesty plan is a disaster and that we need strong borders becaus immigrants kill people (they don't. Statistically they are the least likely group of people to kill you in America). Donald has brought along four mothers of people killed. ICE endorsed me last week (they didn't. A union that covers ICE workers endorsed him over three weeks ago.) Drugs! Heroin! It's poisoning our youth! Sniff! Sniff! Donald, I feel pretty certain that you would know about the drugs, but FFS.

Hillary tells us about Carla, a young American-born girl who is worried that her immigrant parents might be deported. Hillary doesn't want to rip families apart and send parents away from children. She really knows her stuff and numbers here, and when she talks about Donald's plan it is a terrifying picture of pre-WWII ghettoisation she paints. Her plan is about resourcing law enforcement for deporting problematic immigrants. Reminds us that Donald never talked about the Wall with the Mexican Pres.

Donald says he had a very good meeting with the President of Mexico, a very nice man. NAFTA is the Worst Deal Ever. Hillary Clinton wanted the wall. She fought for it in 2006. She wanted it.

The moderator interrupts to ask Hillary about this.

She says she voted for border security as a Senator. Not a wall. She talks about the benefits of documentation, and Donald's history of using undocumented workers and threatening them with deportation when they ask for decent pay. She makes a few good points that hit.

Donald says that millions have been deported under Obama. ARE THE DEMOCRATS GOOD OR BAD AT THIS, DONALD? I CAN NO LONGER TELL FROM YOUR MADNESS! God, it's like listening to Australian politicians talking about refugees.

The moderator is holding up his hands. Hillary's talking over him now, once Donald has paused. Moderator brings in Hillary's 'open border' comment from Wikileaks. Donald thanks him.

Hillary points out that she was talking about energy, and she says that she wants a free energy trade system throughout the Americas. Reminds people that the Wikileaks leaks have been powered by the Russian government -- and I hate a conspiracy theory, but this actually looks as though it is a true statement. She asks if Donald will finally admit it's the Russians and distance himself from Putin.

Donald says it's a great pivot off the fact she wants open borders. People are going to pour in, from Syria! Over the border! With Syria! We are going to stop radical Islamic Terrorism, she wants it. I dont know Putin. We should be going after ISIS with Russia. Putin doesn't like her. We're in trouble. Russia has nukes and she's playing chicken. Putin has no respect for this person.

'That's because he'd rather has a puppet,' says Hillary.

'You're the puppet!' says Donald, because this is kindergarten in his head.

Hillary is scoring strongly by talking about the links between the leaks and Russia. Donald says Hillary has no idea, our country has no ideas. Hillary says he'd rather believe Putin. He says, she doesn't believe Putin because he has outsmarted her every step of the way.

Moderator fights his way in to say that national security DOES believe it's Russia, does Donald condemn them?

'Of course I do, though if we got along with Putin it wouldn't be so bad. He's outsmarted her and Obama at every step of the way.'

Hillary reminds us how keen Donald is on the spread and use of nuclear weapons. She reminds us that when the President gives the order, it must be followed. It takes four minutes. And that's why people don't trust Donald with the codes.

I HAVE GENERALS! says Donald. And you other countries should all also pay for all our help with NATO and other treaties, because you are cheap fuckers. She's a liar. Her pantsuit is also on fire.

Look, speaking on behalf of the rest of the world, she is a seasoned steady statesperson and he is a maniac. PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM!!

To the economy now.

HIllary sticks to her growth to the middle classes pitch, which is based in real-world policies that have worked in the past and seem to still be working now in comparable economies. Green jobs, equal pay and good education including technical education are all mentioned and she sounds like a rational person who has an actual plan with details. She mentions that her strategy has been analysed and shown to produce jobs and that Donald's tax breaks for the rich plan won't.

Donald says her plan will double your taxes (well, it might double his, but twice zero ...) but now he'd like to talk about Japan and Germany. We protect them, why aren't they paying? All of a sudden they're paying and I've got a lot of credit for it. NO YOU HAVEN'T! ARGH! He is blathering about how awful Obama is and that NAFTA has ruined the whole world. He's going to renegotiate NAFTA or terminate it. We're going to be great. Or do something different. We're going to bring the offshore trillions back into the country.

Hillary points out that his tax cuts are the largest ever, but all to the richest. She won't be raising middle class taxes. She reminds the US that the last Clinton administration took the country back into surplus and that Obama has cut the deficit by two thirds. Her strategy invests in people, cutting taxes on the wealthy doesn't.

The moderator points out the similarties to the Obama stimulus package, which has led to slow growth. 'Correct' intones Donald, sounding like a bad Alec Baldwin impersonator. Hillary reminds people that Obama came in to the worst economic environment since 1930 and that his stimulus package saved the economy, but that now it needs reinvigoration from the middle out, as top-down doesn't work.

The moderator points out that economists don't think Donald's plan is realistic. Donald says he has just been talking to India, growing at 8%, China at 7%, we're at 1%. (OK, let's look at this for a moment. India has large growth off a terrible base. China is at 6.75%, they say, but that is the exact level they predicted for this quarter, and the exact same as last quarter, and seems to bear only a hopeful connection to reality. These are not US analogues or even examples or aspirations.) Trump is still crapping on. Hillary gave us NAFTA, she wants TPP. Factcheck proved it, she does!

Hillary says the final TPP agreement was something she came out against because it didnlt pass her test of providing benefits to the US (where DO the TPP benefits go? I know it screws Australia). She points out that only one of the people on the stage has shipped jobs to China, and it's Donald. That China dumps steel and aluminium in the US, which Donald buys. She talks over him and seriously, this is not a debate, it is a person who knows how to do things versus someone who seems to know nothing except how to bloviate (I love that word nearly as much as I love Kate McKinnon. But not Michelle Obama.)

He's back to 'you've been there for 30 years' and why didn't Hillary make it impossible for him to do anything. (Because one Senator cannot dictate policy end economic policy needs to originate in Congress. I think. I am not an expert on US legislative powers. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.) He declares $6 billion went missing from the state department while she was Secretary of State. (It didn't.)

Hillary says that's not just a lie, it's a famously debunked one. She talks about her 30 years of experience. She says when she was fighting for African American kids, he was discriminating against African Americans in housing. Continues to compare and contrast their experience, showing hers is all public service, while his is all self-promotion.

Trump says he built a massive company, a great company. It was a $1 million loan. If we could run our country the way we've run my company you'd be so proud. She and Obama created ISIS. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THIS MAN IS TALKING UTTER BOLLOCKS AND ONCE THE PESHMERGA CLEAN UP ISIS COULD THEY PLEASE COME AND GRAB HIM AND STUFF HIM IN A TUNNEL?? THEY HAVE SPARES!

Moderator brings up nine women with accusations against Donald. Asks Hillary about Bill.

Donald says it was all lies, all actors paid for by the Democratic campaign. And Hillary has sent people to be violent at his campaign launches, too. I think these women just want fame. And the Democrats paid them. It's criminal. They sent people to start fights at the rallies I goaded people into fighting at. It was her. HER!

Hillary looks as though she would like to start a fight right now. She says that the women came forward to talk about his actions of sexual assult because he had denied ever doing it, and that his defence since then has been to say that they weren't attractive enough for him to assault. He talks over her, the moderator shuts him down. I like you little 1950s man. We probably agree on very little, but you seem like a good neighbour. 'Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self worth, and I don't think there is a woman who doesn't know what that feels like.' God, she's on such strong ground here because regardless of whether or not you believe him on assaults, we've HEARD him on the smears and sexism. Her 'America is great becaise America is good' is dignified and resonates.

'Nobody has more respect for women than I do' he says, to laughter from the audience, before saying those women are all liars, and Hillary is the biggest liar, and very sleazy. ALSO THE EMAILS! DRINK! SHE IS A LIAR! DRINK MORE! He's comparig her to a general who could go to jail for lying, who I assume must be Petraeus, but that's a whole other story, so let's leave it.

Hillary says every time Donald is pushed on something uncomfortable, he immediately denies responsibility, blames someone else. It's not just women, he never apologises for anything. He went after a disabled reporter, she says, 'Wrong' he intones. She mentions the Kahns, John McCain, the judge with Mexican parents. She points out that this divisiveness is a pattern, with a concurrent dark and dangerous division of the country and reminds us that he applauded the people punching at his rallies.

'I'd love to talk about getting rid of ISIS,' says Donald, but everything else she just said is lies.

Moderator reminds Hillary that there seemed to be blurring of the lines with the Clinton Foundation and her role as Secretary of State and asks how it wasn't pay to play. She talks about the state department's investigation saying that it was all above board. Reminds people the Cliton Foundation has given HIV/AIDS treatment to 11 million people and helped schools.

They are now just talking over each other. Donald says the Clinton Foundation is a criminal enterprise and says Saudi Arabia gives them money and then pushes gays off buildings and kills women. Asks why she doesn't give the money back. Haitians hate the Clintons, what's happened in Haiti with the Clinton Foundation is a disgrace, he delcares, having spoken with the Haitian people. In Florida. Where they apparently all live now.

She says they spend 90% of donations on programs compared to the Trump Foundation that buys paintings of Donald. Haiti had $30 million from the Clinton Foundation after the earthquake and will keep working there.

Donald says the Trump Foundation money goes 100% to charities. Moderator says that some of it was used to settle Trump law suits in Florida. Trump says 'Nah!' and I genuinely cannot follow what he says next, which is meant to be some sort of explanation but sounds like a string of unconnected words. Hillary reminds us none of that can be checked due to his lack of tax returns, and reminds people of his 1995 tax returns. And that half of undocumented immigrants pay income tax.

Donald says that it's OK for him to take tax deductions and that Buffet does it all the time. (Buffet doesn't. He has released his details showing that he both pays loads of taxes and gives a tonne to charity. This is very easy to find. I know people tweeted it at Trump.)

Moedrtaor asks Trump about his comments that the election is rigged. Pence has said they will accept the results, as has Ivanka. Asks if Donald will.

Donald says he will look at it when the time comes. 'What Ive seen is so bad. The media is so dishonest and so corrupt ...' OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE! THE MEDIA IS THE ONLY REASON YOU ARE THERE AT ALL BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL SO AMUSED DURING THE PRIMARIES THEY GAVE YOU ALL THE PUBLICITY SPACE WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TALKING TO REPUBLICANS WITH POLICIES! And there are NOT millions of illegally registered voters in the US. We know this thanks to facts, and years and years of stringent investigations. In fact there are many, maybe even millions of, Americans who should be voting that have been kept from voting thanks to arses like you, Donald. He tells us Hillary should be in jail again, not running for President.

Moderator reminds him of the nation's long tradition of peaceful transition of power.

Donald says he will keep us in suspense. Hillary tells us that's horrifying. She reminds us that Donald thinks a lot of things are rigged, even the Emmy's -- whenever anything goes against him, it's rigged. 'It's funny, but it's also really troubling. That is not the way our demcracy works.' Sing it, sister!

She is appalled that he is talking down American democracy. He thinks she is a disgrace. The moderator is wishing he had a cattle prod. I told you you would want a cattle prod, moderator man. He asks about whether US ground troops in Iraq after ISIS is pushed out of Mosul is a plan.

Hillary is encouraged by the success of the Iraqis and Peshmerga and reminds us that Iraq is a sovereign state and that the US intruding there was a main cause of the current crisis. Sees an advising, training and supporting role as being the key. Focuses on Syria as the next centre of action. Knows the name of more than once Syria city.

Donald says Mosul is so sad. It's all Hillary's fault. They told everyone they were going to attack Mosul. It was a disaster. A DISASTER! The ISIS leaders have all left. Dead generals are spinning in their graves at this. You know who the big winner is going to be? We'll take Mosul eventually. ('We' is the Iraqis and Kurds, you moron.) Iran is going to take Mosul. They are the winners. They are taking over Iraq. They are outsmarting us everywhere. It's all Hillary's fault.

Hillary reminds us that Donald supported the invasion of Iraq. (He did.) She explains the complexity of the geography and politics and reminds us she helped get Bin Laden while he was doing Celebrity Apprentice. She is amazed he thinks the Iraqi government would literally launch an attack in order to fight for her in this election.

Donald says John Podesta hates her on Wikileaks. ARGH! Donald also launches into some personal attacks from other people against Hillary. Hillary reminds us Bernie thinks that Donald is the most dangerous person to run for president in the history of America.

Moderator fact checks Donald's statements on Aleppo from the last debate. Donald interrupts him. Moderator looks as though he would prefer to be in Aleppo. Donald says that it's a disaster and he was right and everyone else is wrong and it was all Hillary. Assad is tougher and smarter than her and Obama. Donald really likes dictators. The only politicians he has praised are Assad and Putin. Suggests again that the Syrian rebels are unknown and probably horrible. And they're all coming here. They're terrrorists! They're already here! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Moderator asks if Hillary's no-fly zone is a good plan or if it will just lead the US into a war (good question).

Hillary says that there are legitimate concerns and that it would be a negotiated position that was focused on providing safe zones on the ground, to help the millions of dislocated citizens. The negotiation would take time and involve Russia, Iran and Syria. She then reminds people that refugees are vetted and that there are women and children desperate for safety. Says it's important to focus on problems radicalisation more than scary refugees. Reminds people that the Orlando killer was born in Queens, just like Donald.

Trump reminds us that ISIS is all HIllary's fault. They had a cease fire three weeks ago, and Russia outplayed us. Putin and Assad are heaps better than us. And Iran, but he can't seem to remember that guy's name.

The moderator moves onto national debt, which is now the highest since just after WWII. Says Hillary's plan would lift it, but Donald's would lift it much more.

Donald uses the words tremendous, taking back, yuge, very sad, I, I, I, NAFTA sucks, and then says that business people should be sent out to negotiate trade deals. My head is sore from listening to this bilge.

Hillary reminds us that Donald has been criticising the government since 1987 when Reagan was there, saying exactly the same thing. This is Donald's 'I alone can fix it' idea. Hillary says her campaign is fully costed and funded, and that she shows her workings. It's boring, but it sounds like someone who knows thir stuff.

Donald says 'Can I just respond?'

Moderator says 'No', Donald does anyway, but it's daft.

Moderator talks about the high cost of entitlements and the need for funding for Medicare and Social Security, neither of which have been addressed by candidates.

Donald says that he'll cut taxes and grow the economy and repeal and replace Obamacare, which is destroying everything that Hillary has left standing. It's basically Godzilla. Or possily Mothra. But the cool Japanese versions, not the US remakes.

Hillary addresses the question directly talking about the need for more tax money into social security. Says it will be aimed at the highest earners, so she will be paying more, Donald too if he pays taxes. He calls her nasty. She ignores him. She says she will not cut benefts but will instead enhance them for low income people. Reminds us that Donald's tax cuts will not help at all. Again, policy wonkish, but detailed.

Moderator asks them to tell the American people why they should elect them.

Hillary says she is there for all Americans, to grow the economy, to make things fairer. Reminds us of her experience and her commitment to children and families, Says that she will stand up for families against all other interests, delivering good jobs, rising incomes and education. Hopes for the chance to serve the country.

Donald starts with a smear against Hillary. Says he will make America great again. Our military needs more money, and our vets, our police. We need law & order and justice. You get shot in the inner cities and I will do more for the African Americans and Latinos than she ever could. We are going to make America great again, we can't have four more years of Barack Obama and that's what you get with her. (This seems a stupid comment, because Obama is very popular right now and his plans, which the Republicans have tried to disrupt at every turn, are coming together to improve the US's standing in multiple fields.)

Moderator ends on a polite, 1956ish note, and he seems pleasant enough, I am so sorry he had to sit through this experience. Hillary takes command at the end and strides forward to shake the hand of the moderator before waving and smiling at the audience. Trump follows after a pause and points at the moderator in a slightly accusing way and I cannot explain that man. Can someone please tell him that the President of Iran is Hassan Rouhani so he looks as though he knows something? I will grant that there were more complete sentences this time and that is the nicest thing I can say.

Chris Wallace! That is the moderator's name! More power to you, Chris. If I had my way you would be added tothe free lifetime supply of gin and foot massages list that all the moderators have earned.



Seriously, America, if you do not vote for President Clinton, we are through. It's not even because she's a hugely competent, qualified woman, it's because she's not a blathering rage monster. You would not like to have a beer with Trump. He is not Bush. He is a man who would order the most expensive craft beer on the menu, grope you or your female friend, steal your phone and stiff you with the bill.

I know how this has happened. It's because things are a bit horrible and there's no Jimmy Stewart around to remind you what happens when you let bad times erode fundamental human decency and basic common sense. We've been here before, we know how it goes. But the answer is not Trump. The answer is to grab the first Frank Capra film you can find on Netflix, give it a good old watch, then see what you can do to make things a bit better. And maybe that's join a union and encourage them to be decent upholders of workers' rights. Or maybe it's join a really conservative church and introduce people there to your gay and Muslim friends, so they're a bit less weirded out by gays and Muslims. Maybe it's to donate $20 to Planned Parenthood the next time you have it spare, or maybe it's just to smile more at strangers and let people in from the side street on your commute. Whatever it is, it will be to address the difficulties of our times with hard work and generosity, and to say no to sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and that godawful lie that shouting loudly that you hate change will make the change stop.

As the recent Nobel Laureate tells us, the times are changing. They always will. And all we can do is make sure they change in ways that ultimately benefit all of us, not just the privileged few.

Good luck, America. I'm not going to pretend I will ever understand you, but I have faith that you have our back on this one. And on November 9, let's all be as kind as we can be to the shouty people, and offer them a path back to rationality and reality.
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