The most surprising thing about the coverage of last night’s debate came when I saw a breaking news alert from CNN saying that “Trump performed better than expected…”
How is that possible? Was someone expecting the orange man-child to develop seizures or pull out a gun and fire at Clinton? The man was completely unhinged. Okay, maybe a bit less unhinged than a heroin addict going through withdrawal, but shouldn’t we have higher standards for presidential candidates?
The overall impression that Trump gave last night was that he knows nothing about any issue that matters, but that he is happy to apply bullshit where knowledge is expected. Hillary blew him away, as usual. Yes, she had that thing that all politicians have, where they try to swing a subject they don’t want to talk about around to something they want to talk about, but that’s part of the game; you go with your strengths. The problem with Trump is, he has no strengths, so he had a tendency to try to swing everything around to right wing radio-based talking points.
It started with the first question, which dealt with the effect of this R-rated campaign on children. Hillary answered it directly by noting that children are afraid of what might happen to them after the election. And she’s right; this has been apparent ever since it looked as if Trump would win the nomination. Immigrant, brown and Muslim children are scared to death of what might happen. (Source) When it was Trump’s turn to speak, he couldn’t actually say, “I’m sorry, I’d better tone it down.” Instead, he turned it into a load of crap about the ACA and health insurance:
This is a great country. This is a great land. I’ve gotten to know the people of the country over the last year and a half that I’ve been doing this as a politician. I cannot believe that I’m saying that about myself, but I guess I have been a politician. And my whole concept was to make America great again. When I watch the deals being made, when I watch what’s happening with some horrible things like Obamacare where your health insurance and health care is going up by numbers that are astronomical 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent, when I look at the Iran deal and how bad a deal it is for us, it’s a one-sided transaction where we’re giving back one hundred fifty billion dollars to a terrorist state, really, the number one terrorist state, we’ve made them a strong country from really a very weak country just three years ago.
Before Obamacare, health insurance inflation averaged more than 12 percent per year over the previous 20 years. That means premiums basically doubled about every 5-6 years. In the five years since the ACA was passed, premiums have risen a TOTAL of 20 percent, making his claims above a load of crap. (Source) According to the Kaiser Family Foundation:
The $18,142 average family premium in 2016 is 20% higher than the average family premium in 2011 and 58% higher than the average family premium in 2006 … . The 20% family premium growth in the last five years is smaller than the 31% growth between 2006 and 2011, or the 63% premium growth between 2001 and 2006.
By the way, he also claimed we had a trade deficit of $800 billion, which is another crock. The trade deficit for FY 2015 was about $500 billion. Hell; even during the depths of the Bush Recession, when our GDP went through the floor and we were importing record amounts of oil at the highest prices in history, we didn’t even get as high as $800 billion. (Source) Therefore, when Trump said,
In other words, trading with other countries we had 800 billion dollars deficit, that’s hard to believe. Inconceivable.
He was right. He pulled that number straight out of his nether regions.
Then Anderson Cooper tried to get him back on track and answer the actual question. He said,
The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behaviors for today’s youth. We received a lot of questions online Mr. Trump about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine. You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent grabbing the genitals. That is sexual assault. You brag that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?
To which Trump replied,
No I didn’t say that at all.
Except that he said exactly that:
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” (Source)
Kissing someone without asking permission meets the definition of assault. Grabbing them without their permission is definitely sexual assault. So, yes, he did say that “at all.” He then went on to dismiss what he said as “locker room talk,” as if it’s no big deal. That just before he tried to explain to us just how disgusting BILL Clinton is and before he accused the ex-president of “attacking” women. This is what CNN calls “better than expected”? What the hell were they expecting? And by the way, there are a lot more accusations against Trump than there ever were against Bill Clinton. (Source) (Source) Although it doesn’t matter, anyway, since BILL Clinton isn’t running for president, Hillary Clinton is. He seems unaware that blaming her for her husband’s indiscretion disproves his contention that,
I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
He also lied about one of the women he displayed for the masses last night, at the same time he lied about Hillary Clinton. Call it a two-fer:
Four of them here tonight. One of the women, who was a wonderful woman, 12 years old, was raped — at twelve. Her client — she represented, got him off. And she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman is here with us tonight.
I am sick of this one. This lie is straight out of right wing talk radio. First of all, she did not get the rapist off scot-free. She was a public defender in 1975, at the age of 27, and she had no say as to which cases a judge assigned to her. The prosecutor blew it with the evidence and was forced to craft a plea bargain, where the rapist only had to serve about a year. In other words, she didn’t win or lose the case. Also, in the 2008 Newsday article that first brought up this case, the rape victim, who was Trump’s guest last night, told Newsday that she thought that “Hillary was just doing her job.” It wasn’t until The Daily Beast rehashed this story in 2014 that she suddenly claimed that “Hillary Clinton took me through hell.”
The bottom line is, though, that Donald Trump respects women so much that he feels a duty to “exploit them in their pain” to get what they want.
Trump also tried to blame Hillary Clinton for starting the “birther” mess that he happily flogged for at least five years:
Well, you owe the president an apology because, as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal, he’s another real winner that you have. And he’s the one that got this started along with your campaign manager and they were on television just two weeks ago he was saying exactly that.
There’s nothing to say about this except. Bullshit. (Source) (Source) The birth certificate issue was actually settled in 2007. It was flogged by the Tea Party and Donald Trump. Trump even bragged about what a great thing he did in getting Obama to produce his birth certificate, years into Hillary Clinton’s stint as Secretary of State. Think about that a minute.
Soon, Trump accused Clinton of crimes regarding her emails:
There has never been anything like this where e-mails and you get a subpoena — you get a subpoena and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 e-mails. And then you acid wash them or bleach them, as you would say— a very expensive process. So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it. Because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
First of all, FBI Director James Comey (a Republican) said during his idiotic press conference that her staff was ” “extremely careless,” in their use of a private email server, but he also said he recommended against criminal charges because “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” And that is because the statute sets a high bar of “gross negligence.” See, we live in a system that at least tries to be just, although it fails quite often, and throwing people in jail for making mistakes that ultimately cause no harm is not justice. This fantasy that many right wingers have, that there are thousands of government workers sitting in jail for “doing what Hillary did” is just that, a fantasy. When Comey was asked repeatedly by Republicans in Congress if she lied and committed a crime, he said no to both questions. And the FBI report completely exonerates her. (Source)
The debate circled back around to Obamacare, where Trump repeated the same lies, but added a “new” one. It’s actually a right wing perennial, but it goes like this:
We have to repeal it, and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive. And something that works. Where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines. Where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing because they wanted President Obama and whoever was working on it. They want to leave those lines because that gives the insurance companies, essentially, monopolies.
It’s funny. Republicans have controlled Congress for most of the last two decades and they had every opportunity to propose such a thing and pass it. And yet, nothing. Essentially, Trump wants “his” federal government to dictate to states who can sell insurance in their state. But more than that, it would seem that Trump wants to lower health insurance standards, which means less coverage at a higher cost. What happens when someone with strong insurance protections, like California, buys a policy in a state like Alabama, with almost no insurance protection? Which state’s laws and regulations would apply?
Of course, the reason there is less competition is because Republican states are trying to screw their residents by not allowing Medicaid money to be used. yet, he doesn’t talk about that. There needs to be a public insurance option, to spread the risk and increase competition.
When the “debate” got around to Trump’s “extreme vetting,” which is his new name for his Muslim ban, Trump said,
It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria, where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550% increase over Obama. People are coming into our country, like we have no idea who they are, where they’re from, what their feelings about our country is, and she wants 550% more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time.
Yes, Trump is right about one thing. Hillary Clinton is asking for admittance of 550% more Syrian refugees. But what he fails to mention is that the number she’s asking for is 65,000, up from 10,000, which should worry no one. It is absolutely untrue that we have no idea where refugees are from and who they are. In reality, refugees actually receive extreme vetting while they are in camps overseas. They are thoroughly investigated and screened. And they are not typical immigrants. They are hand chosen and can only come here with our permission. Most of the refugees we take in are women and children. Whether the children grow up to hate the United States would seem to depend on how they are treated.
I’m going to end this exercise with the follow load of crap:
Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs. A lot of my write-off was depreciation and other things that Hillary, as a Senator, allowed. And she’ll always allow it because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That’s why. See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president.
Unless he is the dumbest businessman ever, Trump has teams of accountants and tax experts do his taxes for him. According to most accounts, Melania seems more engaged and asks more questions when it comes time to sign the returns. Claiming he knows so much about the tax code is like me hiring a plumber and claiming I know more about fixing toilets than anyone in the world.
Okay, that’s enough. You get the idea. When it comes to lies, Trump is the champ. Meanwhile, it was hard to catch a lie coming from Hillary Clinton. Probably because she doesn’t need to.