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debate, post

As I see no easy way how they can both lose, the outcome was bound to be a disappointment either way. With that, I’ll say this debate goes to Clinton.


Utter lack of substance, but at least with all the negativity it was less boring than the primary debates. Watched it on the laptop at the kitchen table, was snacking in the beginning and forgot to get up and move to the couch. Though, I have to say, watching it involved lots of cringong.

Especially on the section about race. Neither Trump nor Clinton had the guts to openly condemn the pattern of police shootings of minorities. Trump went right for the “law and order” thing, and Clinton leaned towards joining him. And then, as if catching herself – Can’t believe Clinton had the guts to say this – she was lamenting unequal treatment for the same crimes, e.g., incarceration for crack vs cocaine in the 1990s- something that was a direct effect of Bill’s policies, which she supported. Trump fumbled that one, mentioned superpredators but didn’t follow through. But of course he gets exactly zero points on race, a topic that completely disqualifies him.

Clinton maintained her composure better for sure, though she spent a lot of time hiding behind a painfully fake looking defensive smile, which was occasionally alternated with the condescending smile. The one flash of unguarded discomfort I saw in Clinton was right in the end, when she got a cheer from the crowd for something, then Trump quipped something about “lets not have 4 more years of her” and the crowd cheered just as much. You could see her kindof swallow down the look of surprise in a split second and get it together.

Trump was visibly on edge – he was eating a lot of his words from the past, and it did not look good. Doesn’t think on his feet as well as Clinton, who is proving to be a surprisingly capable bullshitter when it comes to deflecting criticism.

Clinton said plenty of boneheaded things (e.g., as an example of her stamina, her time testifying in front of Congress… why would she be proud of that??). But what I was really hoping to see was some more focused criticism of Clinton’s pro-war record, in particular Libya, which is what completely disqualifies her from being president. Trump instead mostly went to his wishy-washy extreme simplistic mode without any real focus or details. For example, that her experience is “bad experience”, which is exactly right but…. ugh! Zero detail. There’s so much meat there, Trump barely touched it. Maybe he’s going for the dumb guy pity vote, which actually worked for Bush II vs Gore, but I don’t see Trump in that mold.

debates, pre

It’s definitely fall. Cold in the mornings now. Rediscovered hot tea, like I do every year. More importantly, the wind gods turned on the wind machine while the water is still warm – thanks!

So should I ruin it all by watching the clown show? Its Monday and I don’t feel like drinking….


Election poll update, USC Dornsife, possible sampling issues w/ African Americans

Continuing the look at the USC Dornsife (/ LA Times) daily polling. Remember, we’re looking for trends- this poll has been consistently several points in favor of Trump compared to other national polls.


In the headline, looks like Trump’s bump is fading. Zooming in to the data, it seems a good chunk of that most recent gains this poll showed him with, was possibly due to what appears to be some kind of fluke, possibly sampling issues or reduced response rate, with African American portion of the sample. I seriously doubt Clinton’s troubles really made 15% of African Americans temporarily decide Trump is OK. This is the second time this happened, but it appears they fixed it again, whatever it was.


Additional observations: Both the bump and the fade were mostly among males – Unexpected. Most volatile were age 18-34’s, no surprise. Steady gain for trump among age 65+, this should concern Clinton greatly, since in the US, your percent chance of voting for President is approximately your age. (I didn’t copy the individual images  for these, look at the “Characteristics of Candidate Support” tab in the link above)

Also, yesterday I threw the latest RealClearPolitics swing state poll numbers into the election map calculator, and with those, Trump was squeaking out a narrow edge with 275 electoral votes, but of course in many of the swing states it is definitely too close to call.

Jill Stein 2016!

musical interlude CLXXX

Thematic continuity? nah, just skipping steps. Couldn’t find a recording of the one I heard, but this ain’t bad.

UK Parliament questions Arms sales to SA [Juan Cole]

NY/NJ bomber attack

So this weekend there was another homebrew bomber. Destruction level was relatively benign, as these things go. I wonder when we’ll end up tuning this stuff out completely. Disturbing. Still, just to be thorough, I repeat: It’s quite unnecessary, as in the whole war-on-the-middle-east, in the backwards nonsensical form that it has, was a largely voluntary thing, supported by both Republicans and Democrats — i.e., ignored most of the sources of 9/11 and went off to make new enemies by the millions. The bombers don’t understand this of course, they just blindly lash out at whoever they can get / or at whoever they are ordered to. But the audience (that is us) should becable to figure it out.

musical interoude CLXXIX