The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Debate reactions

Some beauties, and some that I wasn't expecting, from:

And, not for nothing, the voters.

All in all, just about everyone who weighed in on it said it was a disaster for Trump, for the Republican Party, and for American Democracy. I concur.

Round Two

I was out of town all weekend without much Internet access. Lots of driving, some hiking, and a very fun wedding instead of blogging? Well, duh.

And here we are, a few minutes from the second presidential debate, watching "Frontline" on both of the candidates. It's not changing any opinions at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, nor, do I expect, will the debate itself. Buckle up.

21:02 EDT: "This could be one of the most repulsive debates in American history."—David Brooks. And here we go.

21:05: "I've heard from parents and teachers about their concerns about things being done in this campaign." Yep.

21:08: "I agree with everything she said." I hate to say it, but that's because she didn't say anything controversial. And then...inventing statistics about Obamacare, the Iran deal, etc.

21:10: "You bragged that you committed sexual assault." "No, it's just locker-room talk. ... We're going to defeat ISIS with locker-room talk." Donald Trump did not deny that he assaulted women. I'll have transcripts tomorrow.

21:14: "This is who Donald Trump is." Yes it is. Can't wait for the response...

21:15: Oh. Of course. He's simply not going to address what she just said at all.

21:20: "He never apologized." This is a good refrain, and it lets her get all his crap into the debate. And it gets right to his narcissism.

21:23: The Roman Republic fell, in part, because people kept getting sued and prosecuted the moment they left office—so they stopped leaving office. So basically, what we're seeing is the beginning of that here in the U.S. Trump very likely has committed crimes; he's saying he'll prosecute Clinton if he wins. Great.

21:29: "Oh, he can answer it first. Go ahead, Donald."

21:33: Watch out! The government is going to give you free health care if you vote for Hillary!

21:37: I don't have enough booze in my house to make this pain go away.

21:39: "Islamophobia is bad, and that is why my administration will make all of them wear yellow crescents on their clothes."

21:44: Hillary Clinton plays chess. She just moved her bishop to Russia-4. Watch for the knight...and watch Donald Trump try to jump the queen.

21:50: Clinton's linking of Putin to influencing the election might sound crazy to people. But it's true. Does anyone care?

21:51: "I think it would be great if we could get along with Russia, because maybe they could help us fight ISIS." Trump doesn't understand this, but the President might say exactly the same thing right now.

21:55: "He lives in an alternative reality. ... It's amusing hearing someone who hasn't paid taxes in 20 years tell us what he's going to do. ... Donald always takes care of Donald." And then she used math.

21:58: "Of course I do."—Trump answering the question about whether he used his $915m loss to avoid taxes. But it's OK, because everyone else does.

22:02: "Because you have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington." Zing.

22:06: "We're old and tired in terms of nuclear." Russia has about a third of the submarines and half the bombers we have. And we have an attack boat about a hundred meters behind every one of their submarines, and a satellite looking at every one of their bombers. But you see, in order to understand what that means, you'd have to know what the triad is.

22:08: "Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question."

22:09: "You disagree with your running mate." Not a question; just summarizing what he said.

22:09: Aleppo has already fallen. So fuck 'em.

22:11: Did Patton and MacArthur endorse Trump? Weren't both Patton and MacArthur fired for insubordination?

22:14: "Do you believe you can be president to everyone?" "Yes, I'll grab all their pussies."

22:17: Shorter Trump on inner cities:

22:21: Trump's answer about the 3am Tweet...I mean, I just...What? The? Fuck?

22:28: So, he's "invested" $100m of his own money in becoming president? "Invested?" What an interesting thing to say by a person who views the world transactionally. What will he consider a return on that investment?

22:31: "China is illegally dumping steel in the United States and Donald Trump is buying it." This hurts, if you care about policy. If not, eh?

22:34: "Would you say one thing that you respect about your opponent?" Hardest question of the evening. And I'm cringing in advance of his response...

22:39: What do I think about this debate? Splash of Vermouth, jigger of gin, 30 more days of this...

22:43: Mark Shields on PBS: "He doesn't have an embarrassment gene in his body. ... I was amazed he showed up tonight."

Heading into the weekend

Wow, my blogging velocity has been crap this month. And here I go, doing it crappier:

There will be more later, I'm sure.

A hint of things to come

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C., has received threats of violence since denying Donald Trump's campaign access to the building for a photo-op:

“We made it known to Mr. Trump’s campaign that we were not going to grant a request of suspending our operations so he could somehow try to legitimize his ideological positions,” [Museum CEO John] Swaine told The News & Observer. “The landmark is very important – it’s not just a political backdrop.”

The museum is in the former F.W. Woolworth building, the site of the 1960 lunch counter sit-in protest against segregated eating establishments. The facility seeks to commemorate the historic sit-in and to promote equality today.

He said that since news of the museum’s decision broke last week, museum staff members have received threats via phone calls and social media.

“The callers were threatening to come over and burn down the building and to shoot up the building,” he said. “They’ve lessened in frequency this week, but they’re still coming in.”

I can't imagine why the museum denied the request. And then there's this observation from one of James Fallows' readers:

[A]fter the campaign is over and the election lost, Trump faces trouble unprecedented in American history. It’s conceivable that Trump could face civil or criminal prosecution on several fronts: federal income tax evasion, mail fraud connected with Trump University, fraud connected to his charitable foundation, espionage associated with Wikileaks, illegal lobbying associated with Russia.

We can easily imagine that some of these matters might arrive in federal or state court in the coming years. Whatever the outcome of those cases, Trump supporters will believe that the charges are Hillary Clinton’s personal retribution. And, next time the Democrats lose the White House, they will call for matching prosecutions of the losing candidate. “Lock Her Up” may have awful echoes.

As you know, this mirrors one of the defects that led to the collapse of the Roman Republic.

His entire comment is worth reading.

Interesting morning news

Just a couple of tasty items today:

  • One of my favorite BBQ places in Chicago, Smoke Daddy, will be opening at Hotel Zachary, which is currently under construction next to Wrigley Field. Next season's chow options will be that much better, not to mention excellent ribs a 20-minute walk from home.
  • Republican US Senator Mark Kirk sparred with his Democratic opponent, US Representative Tammy Duckworth, at the Chicago Tribune's editorial board endorsement session yesterday.

That's it for now. Back to optimizing software.

Beliefs? We don't need no stinkin' beliefs

David Roberts, writing for Vox, says that trying to understand what Donald Trump really believes is a category error:

The question presumes that Trump has beliefs, "views" that reflect his assessment of the facts, "positions" that remain stable over time, woven into some sort of coherent worldview. There is no evidence that Trump has such things. That is not how he uses language.

When he utters words, his primary intent is not to say something, to describe a set of facts in the world; his primary intent is to do something, i.e., to position himself in a social hierarchy. This essential distinction explains why Trump has so flummoxed the media and its fact-checkers; it’s as though they are critiquing the color choices of someone who is colorblind.

What he’s doing is trying to establish dominance — to win, in his words. That’s what he uses words for. That’s how he sees every interaction in which he is involved. He is attuned only to what the words are doing, whether they are winning or losing, not to what they mean.

This point helps explain why Trump cannot ever admit a mistake or an error. He can only process accusations — of dishonesty, of cruelty — as social gambits, not as factual claims. To him, the demand that he apologize or admit error is nothing more than a dominance play. Apologizing is losing.

That the party of Lincoln nominated this person for president will go down in history as the turning point in American civilization, I think.

Starting my day

I took a personal day yesterday to get my teeth cleaned (still no cavities, ever!) and to fork over a ton of cash to Parker's vet (five shots, three routine tests, heartworm pills, one biopsy, $843.49). That and other distractions made it a full personal day.

So as I start another work day with the half-day of stuff I planned to do yesterday right in front of me, I'm queuing up some articles again:

OK, my day is officially begun. To the mines!

Muting the debate

New York Times reporter Jonathan Mahler watched the debate with the sound off. He still had no doubts who won:

It was a little shimmy of her shoulders — cheeky, insouciant — accompanied by a big, toothy grin. Her opponent smirked.

She looked as if she was having fun. He, not so much.

Visually, anyway, there was a discernible arc to the event, with Mr. Trump growing more agitated as the night wore on, and Mrs. Clinton becoming almost giddy with what felt increasingly like genuine pleasure.

Which brings us back to the shimmy. Absent words, it felt like the most telling moment of the evening, a memorable, instinctive reaction to what I imagined must have been a Trump howler.

In that instant, it was clear that the debate had produced a winner, at least to those of us who hadn’t actually heard a word of what the candidates had said: Mrs. Clinton. He had vibrated with anxiety; she had radiated cool confidence. He had seemed to be crawling out of his own skin; she had looked uncharacteristically comfortable in hers.

Meanwhile, attempts to discern from the written transcript what Trump was talking about continue to produce little usable data, NSA and FBI sources tell The Daily Parker.

Manifestly unfit for public office

Not even a full day after the debate and the reactions I'm seeing are across-the-board horrible for Trump. First, the usual suspects:

But the other side of the aisle doesn't seem happy either. Check out:

Of course, it's not Trump's fault he tanked after 15 minutes of inane bluster. It's never his fault when shit goes south.

As Hillary said, "Woo! Okay!"

And finally, looking at Hofstra's photos brings back a lot. My dorm features in a lot of them, having been used as Fox News's backdrop.

Update, 13:49 CDT: I found one guy who thinks Trump did well, Chicago's own John Kass. Kass doesn't think Trump won, mind you; he just thinks Trump didn't get his spine ripped out by Clinton.

Debate live-blogging

The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is about to begin. I'll be sipping on one or more martinis and making snarky comments. For real live-blogging check out Josh Marshall and Andrew Sullivan. Oh, and the Times.

I was going to watch PBS, but apparently Bloomberg will be fact-checking in real time.

Let the games begin...

21:04 EDT: Oh, can't do Bloomberg. Moved back to PBS with Gwen Ifill, Mark Shields, David Gergen, and a few other sane people.

21:06: Bad timing! My big New York-style pizza (in honor of my alma mater, Hofstra) just arrived.

21:10: First big lie on his first sentence. Routine opening from Clinton. Trump is pitching directly to people who have been left behind by change.

21:12: "We just have a different view." And "he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we'll be."

21:15: "I want you to be happy, it's very important to me." WTF?

21:17: "That's called business, by the way." She's already getting to him.

21:20: The Times already has one of his tweets up (about China and climate change).

21:23: "I know you're living in your own reality."

21:30: The Times' Nick Confessore: "This is a moment when Trump’s ideas are conflicted. He is now defending companies that offshore their profits and stick them in places like Ireland, and blaming Clinton and other politicians for not letting them bring the money back tax free."

21:32: Ah, tax returns. Coming right after a pile of nonsense on how the Federal Reserve works. And a lie about the audit.

21:36: "Maybe he doesn't want you to know...he hasn't paid any taxes. ... There's something he's hiding. Who does he owe money to?" Well, yeah.

21:39: Well, maybe if you paid your taxes we could have better roads, Donald?

21:42: "Maybe he didn't do a good job." "Maybe you should apologize?" Because, it turns out, he stiffs people all the time. "You call yourself the king of debt."

21:43: One of my Facebook friends just now: "I'll release my tax returns when you release the Kraken." Same friend a moment later: "I can't tell who's winning, rubber or glue."

21:48: "Law and order." Welcome back, 1968.

21:50: Andrew Sullivan: "It’s clear that Trump has no idea what a debate is and has never actually debated an equal. He rants and then shouts over and interrupts his debate partner. This is the performance of a tyrant – someone utterly unsuited to the give and take and reasoned debate that’s integral – essential– to a liberal democracy."

Meanwhile, he's talking about bad people and an against-police judge. Is he six?

21:52: A friend whose opinion I trust just sent me a message that Clinton calling Trump "Donald" seems disrespectful against him calling her "Secretary." Leaving out that she's no longer entitled to that title (so to speak), I'm not sure whether this is a net gain or loss for her. I will ponder this.

21:57: Another friend on Facebook: "You don't learn that much from tax returns?! Um, if that's the case, bro, just turn them over."

21:58: Sullivan again (on the race question): "What he has just said in a presidential debate is indistinguishable from what a drunk at a bar might say before he is thrown out. It’s incredible to me that this ranting, incoherent bigot is actually a nominee of a major party in the U.S."

22:06: Confessore again: "Let’s not skip over this moment, colleagues. Has a presidential candidate ever accused the other of being racist on a debate stage?"

22:07: "I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt." My god, talk about being lawyerly.

22:09: And now we come around to Russia. She's almost...almost...linking him to Putin.

22:13: "We need to do cyber better." This from the guy who wants to date his daughter. Urban Dictionary much, Mr. Trump?

22:14: Martini #1 was with a London dry gin from the UK, in honor of the country I hope takes me in if this guy gets elected. Martini #2 is with Death's Door gin, for reasons I trust the reader will infer.

22:16: Not wrong, Donald. Do you not understand how the Internet works? You supported the Iraq war.

22:18: Andrew Borowitz: "The most coherent moments for Trump at this debate were the sniffs."

22:20: So, other than throwing themselves in front of Russian tanks, what has NATO ever done for us?

22:23: "I have a winning temperament." "Woo! Okay!" Snorts and literal rolling on the floor over at IDTWHQ.

22:26: "A man who can be provoked with a tweet should not have his finger anywhere near the button...."

22:28: Sullivan again: "He’s actually doubling down on the war crime of “taking the oil”. Again: no American presidential candidate has ever advocated plunder as a goal in foreign policy. No Western leader has supported such a thing in modern times. The fact that he is still repeating the need for such a war crime is all by itself disqualifying for a Western leader."

22:30: I think Sioux Nation might disagree that the Iran treaty is "the worst deal ever made." Also Poland (1938), Germany (1919), and Lando Calrissian (a long time ago).

22:35: Sometimes a stamina is just a stamina. This time, however, I think he means "penis."

22:38: Awww...it's not nice. Poor Donald.

22:39: Jeffrey Goldberg earlier: "Trump is admitting here that he would open fire on Iranian ships and then see what happens."

22:40: So...any answer other than "yes, I will absolutely respect the results of this election" is just bizarre.

OK. Time to finish my second martini. And then sleep, fitfully...