Debate Night Open Forum

Five weeks from Election Day.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I don’t think I will watch. Lately, I seem to need to keep an aesthetic distance between visual media and my brain. Can’t and don’t watch the news either. Just sticking to the written word.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Georgia health officials have decided to withhold information about coronavirus infections at each school, saying the public has no legal right to information about outbreaks that the state is investigating.

    Because nobody needs to know this stuff, least of all parents.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Crew on first post-lockdown Greek cruise contract coronavirus

    What was meant to be the first in a new post-lockdown era of cruises around the Greek isles has fallen victim to the reality of travel in the coronavirus age after crew members tested positive for the virus.

    Within hours of the Mein Schiff 6 departing from the Cretan port of Heraklion on Sunday night, the perils of holidaying on a cruise ship during a pandemic became apparent.

    “Early on Monday we received positive test results for 12 crew members from an external laboratory,” said the Anglo-German travel company Tui. “As a precautionary measure and in accordance with the strict procedures for resuming cruise operations agreed with authorities in Greece, the persons concerned were immediately isolated on board.”

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

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  4. Bill says:
  5. Jen says:

    @Scott: I am leaning toward not watching. It’s not going to change my mind, and I’m not sure my blood pressure can handle it. Also, these things tend to start pretty close to my bedtime, and I get all wound up and unable to sleep if I watch them.

    I could still change my mind, but it’s unlikely.

    @OzarkHillbilly: That was also floated here in NH, ostensibly under some privacy rights notion. It’d be sort of laughable here, as only a handful of districts are in cities large enough for that to matter. Everywhere else, who was sick, how many of them, etc. would be on the local Facebook forums within hours if not minutes.

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  6. Bill says:
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Here in Misery, we elected a dead guy to the Senate because nobody at all was preferable to John Ashcroft.

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    Ah yup, them taciturn Cow Hampshiriets do love their gossip.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In all my life, I’ve never watched a debate. My streak is safe tonight.

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  10. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ve forced myself to watch bits and pieces of them, but, like @Jen, I try to keep my b.p. under control, so I’ll probably forgo tonight’s jamboree.

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  11. Scott says:

    In the “Things We Already Know (and it won’t make a difference)” category :

    Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters

    One day in 2015, Donald Trump beckoned Michael Cohen, his longtime confidant and personal attorney, into his office. Trump was brandishing a printout of an article about an Atlanta-based megachurch pastor trying to raise $60 million from his flock to buy a private jet. Trump knew the preacher personally—Creflo Dollar had been among a group of evangelical figures who visited him in 2011 while he was first exploring a presidential bid. During the meeting, Trump had reverently bowed his head in prayer while the pastors laid hands on him. Now he was gleefully reciting the impious details of Dollar’s quest for a Gulfstream G650.

    Trump seemed delighted by the “scam,” Cohen recalled to me, and eager to highlight that the pastor was “full of shit.”

    “They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.

    Also:

    But in private, many of Trump’s comments about religion are marked by cynicism and contempt, according to people who have worked for him. Former aides told me they’ve heard Trump ridicule conservative religious leaders, dismiss various faith groups with cartoonish stereotypes, and deride certain rites and doctrines held sacred by many of the Americans who constitute his base.

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  12. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    Trump admires the mega-church pastors and televangelists because they’re unabashed con artists, just as he is.

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  13. Kathy says:

    I think I’ll watch the way I watch Steelers’ games: I’ll pay attention when my team is on the offensive, and tune out and browse the web when they’re playing defense.

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  14. MarkedMan says:

    I think I’m going to watch the debate live, which will be the first time in decades.

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  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: I fail to see the point in this case, too. There’s nothing that Trump is going to say that is likely to persuade me that he’s suddenly grown into the job and nothing that Biden will say that will cause me to exclaim “wow! he really pwn’d Trumpie on that one!” It’s kind of the Platonic ideal of empty non-event.

    I’m sure that there are people for which one or the other will happen; I’m just not one of them.

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  16. CSK says:

    If this is true, I think we have the explanation for Brad Parscale’s suicide attempt:

    According to the Daily Mail (yeah, I know), Parscale is being investigated for stealing 25-40 million dollars from the Trump 2020 campaign and another 10 million from the RNC.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I wait until the next day to pick up on the most entertaining highlights and lowlights.

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  18. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Yeah, me too. A retrospective is easier on my nerves. Yours too, I imagine.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Say it ain’t so!

    ETA: on the debate, I just have better things to do with my time. Tonight will be the perfect opportunity to rearrange and catalogue my belly button lint collection. You know, important stuff.

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  20. Jax says:

    I, for one, cannot wait for this election to be over, for better or worse.

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  21. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    So, now it’s a crime to act presidential?

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  22. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That seems to be the way to bet.

    But there’s always a chance Potemkin Don will end up ridiculed, like he was by his own hype for the sparsely attended COVIDpalooza event a few months ago.

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  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I actually feel the pain of administrators and empathize somewhat. Somewhere yesterday–I suspect at Yahoo–I was reading an article that because of the virus and remote education, parents are pulling their children out of school. The rich pulling them into private tutoring and small scale live instruction co-ops, and those with lesser means in frustration about their kids not having real access to services. Some districts are experiencing reductions in enrollment as high as 20%, IIRC–which would mean that the districts are in danger of not having funding adequate to make the current payroll.

    Even so, “we’re not discussing how many/which children/where are getting sick by coming to school” is not the solution.

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  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wow! A cruise ship named “My Ship 6.” Does this mean that Trump has started losing money operating cruise ship lines now?

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: My son and his ex decided against in person schooling for their daughter precisely because their school district was playing hide and seek with all the whats wheres whens and hows. If you can’t trust people to tell you what is going on, how can you trust them at all?

    ETA: it’s a right wing district that she moved into for the schools, which are highly rated, but have really dropped the ball on this by toeing the trump line.

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  26. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I really need to sort my sock drawer.

    @Kathy:
    Trump’s just mad he didn’t think of it first.

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  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heh, nice catch here:

    Brad Simpson
    @bradleyrsimpson

    Abraham Lincoln paid 3x more in taxes in 1864 than Donald Trump in 2016. Not more as a share of his income. More in taxes. Lincoln paid $1981.67 in federal taxes on a salary of $25,000 in 1864-1865. Trump paid $750 in 2016, about one-third what Lincoln paid, but 151 years later.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I don’t, I keep my socks with all my other clean laundry in the laundry basket. 😉

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  29. CSK says:

    Twitter has a great new name for Trump:
    Brokeahontas

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  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wow, things must really be different where your son is. A district that was politically identified as right wing wouldn’t be the one that had good schools here.

    “They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.

    As much as I hate to admit it, the man does have a point. On the other hand, there are all those adages about taking one to know one and broken clocks and such.

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I don’t normally play this way (I’m usually much meaner and likely to cheat more), but if I were Biden, I’d look for opportunities to use that name for Trump a few times just to see his reaction.

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  32. Jen says:

    @Jax: I have long wished for an election season/system closer to the time frame of the British. Having to suffer through this stuff for over a year (and the fundraising is constant) is dreadful.

    A 20-week election season, from primary to general, seems like it would be plenty.

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  33. CSK says:

    Campaigns have drastically lengthened in the past half century, I think. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy on Jan. 1, 1960, eleven months before the election.

    Donald Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015, seventeen months before the election.

    The only hiatus we really get is between election day and inauguration day, and we’re losing that.

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  34. Jen says:

    @CSK: That’s great–it has everything. Goes to the heart of one of Trump’s (many) insecurities, check. Short and easy to remember, check. Uses something that he’s used against others to a better effect, check.

    Still offensive to Native Americans is a big minus, of course.

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  35. Paine says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’ve also seen suggestions online that Biden have an envelope with $750 to use as a prop, if needed.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The appellation “Fauxcahontas” for Elizabeth Warren goes back to 2012. Years later, Trump picked up on it, but because the word “faux” was unfamiliar to him, he heard it as “Pocahontas,” someone of whom even he, in his vast historical and cultural ignorance, would know. So for him, Warren became Pocahontas.

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  37. dmichael says:

    @CSK: Transcripts of his testimony to a House committee show that Parscale also lied to Dem Rep. Jackie Spiers. See https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/new-revelations-in-leaked-trump-campaign-documents-show-brad-parscale-lied-to-congress. Interesting how the police chief lied to the media about how Parscale was taken down. Maybe because Parscale was white and a Trumper.

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  38. Teve says:

    Jon Favreau says he’s hearing from phone bank volunteers that an increasing number of Republicans who are called say Biden is a pedophile. QAnon is really spreading among those dipshits.

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  39. Paine says:

    I’ve heard that the Trump team is prepping Trump (to the extent possible) to attack Biden by going after his son, Hunter. I think this has the potential to backfire bigly against Trump. A lot of Americans have sons or daughters, brothers or sisters who have made mistakes and bad decisions. I can easily see Biden doing that thing where he gets misty-eyed, admits that Hunter made some mistakes, “but he’s still my son, damnit, and I’ll always love him.” And I think that will resonate with a lot of Americans.

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  40. Joe says:

    Parscale is being investigated for stealing 25-40 million dollars from the Trump 2020 campaign and another 10 million from the RNC.

    This brings to mind an old Harry Chapin song, CSK, in which he tells the story of an itinerant guitar teacher being stiffed by the wealthy husband of the woman to whom he has been giving “private instruction.” The song ends with the guitar teacher walking away from the condescending husband, saying, “what you just did to me I did to your wife.”

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  41. inhumans99 says:

    So yesterday in one of the Tax posts Harvard brought something up, that Trump/the White House might be looking into an order to prevent the NYT from releasing anymore tax information on President Trump and that has me wondering, what if the NYT did not release Trump’s actual Tax Documents but had a team of forensic accountants painstakingly acquire all of the information they released from multiple sources?

    I guess Trump could try to learn what sources were used and if the sources the NYT used should not have been in a position to disseminate Trump’s tax information to begin with, but I just keep thinking that the NYT thought this out before they decided to commit a considerable amount of time and resources to releasing a series of articles regarding Trump’s taxes.

    Harvard, if you could provide any additional insight into the next steps that Trump might take that would be much appreciated.

    Also, I did not forget that not all that long ago I blew up at you in the comments section but I am hoping that you can let bygones be bygones and are still willing to reply to my comments.

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  42. An Interested Party says:

    Poor VDH…you can tell that the way the polls are going for his guy is really pissing him off, but at least he has the delusion that we’re in a 2016 redux to fall back on…how it must anger these people to know that their guy is losing to an old senile fuddy dudfy…

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  43. Kathy says:

    Biden’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Of course, that’s a fake prize, unlike the Noble Prize Trump’s been nominated for.

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  44. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Obviously, Biden is no pedophile. If he weren’t a public figure, anyone who accused him of molestation could be sued for libel/slander, given that baseless accusations against someone of committing a crime or of being mentally ill are not protected by First Amendment law.

    I don’t know if QAnon is behind this particular rumor–they seem more fixated on Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and Tom Hanks–but I’m sure they’d be happy to help spread it.

    Biden did, however, contribute to the problem by kissing and touching various little girls (as well as grown women). A lot of women, even those who plan to vote for Biden, will tell you they find this kind of behavior creepy. Happily, he seems to have stopped engaging in it.

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  45. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Excuse me, but Trump was nominated for the Noble Prize. His own spokespeople said so.

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  46. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I hear it’s more novel than the Nobel, too 😉

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  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:
    @CSK:

    Whichever candidate loses in Nov, the pundits will begin handicapping who are potential 2024 candidates for that party. That’s where the problem starts.

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  48. Sleeping Dog says:
  49. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Quite so. The 2024 race will probably begin in February 2021.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    It seems like in many areas, namely sports and politics, people are not as interested in who won, but rather who is going to win.

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  51. Teve says:

    I read a story a few months back that told me one of those things that is obvious once you hear it, but never occurred to you: rich people hire accountants to make their finances so opaque and complex that the understaffed IRS doesn’t have the manpower to figure them out, so the IRS audits middle class people instead, because Danny the Payless assistant manager has no business writing off that vacation to Tucson. The article was set at a resort where the cheating accountants and their adversaries in the IRS attend the same conference annually.

    If you want to see some of this shit, search for “romney son of boss”. I’ve read summaries of that shit twice and I still don’t understand it. Prosecutors go after them sometimes, but legally what a lift that must be.

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  52. Kathy says:

    This whole Trump tax evasion and massive losses debacle reminds me of something.

    There are some stories in Larry Niven’s “known space” setting featuring a pilot called Beowulf Shaeffer. A recurring theme in some of them is that he’s gone broke and needs money fast, which enables an alien race to recruit him for risky missions that pay well (like exploring a neutron star, or testing a new hyperdrive).

    In one such story, he mentions that he keeps spending money with all due profligacy, because if he starts scrimping his creditors will assume he’s in financial trouble, and fall on him like a ton of bricks.

    That’s kind of what Donald the Loser keeps doing, isn’t it? He keeps up the image of a successful tycoon raking the cash in, regardless of the real situation. I assume his creditors know the truth, bu he keeps finding new ones. then he runs out and starts a new con.

    Which leads me to this. what’s more emblematic of America’s decay, than the presidency is serving the pecuniary needs of a conman deep in losses, and that the Senate fell in line and dares not speak against him?

    Forget the pardons before Biden’s inauguration (fingers crossed). Look for a bill that includes a full Trump bailout.

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  53. Teve says:

    I have a relative who I got into a very acrimonious fight with in 1999 because he got sucked into alternative alex jones-type radio and he insisted that Bill Clinton was going to use the Y2k situation to declare Martial Law and put Americans into concentration camps. And the funny stickers on the back of road signs were codes to give the UN troops directions. Years after that, I asked him if he’d realized he’d been filled full of bullshit, and Evil Beel Cleenton wasn’t declaring himself Emperor. He grumbled that it ‘just hadn’t happened *yet*.

    This had been a perfectly normal guy. But his health forced him to retire and he started listening to the Art Bell, Alex Jones etc radio stations. After a few years he was a complete loon.

    I’m not kidding when I say I have serious doubts America will survive conservatard media.

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  54. An Interested Party says:

    @CSK: Biden just seems touchy feely in general, a real gregarious type, we’ve seen him be that way with males too…

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  55. Teve says:

    I have a friend named Sarah. Her dad had to retire about 10 years ago, and he started watching Fox News all day. The situation is so bad that his wife is considering leaving him because he is now such an asshole. “Oh, I see you didn’t make any dinner, i guess you’re taking after that bitch Nancy Pelosi

    You want to believe I just made up that last sentence. I did not.

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  56. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    An altered mental state (AMS) as severe as that could be a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Has he been checked by a doctor?

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  57. BugManDan says:

    @Teve: I thought the only thing Art Bell talked about was aliens. I used to work nights and some of the guys in vehicles all night listened to him. I think it was him- Up All Night w/AB?

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  58. Teve says:

    @CSK: @BugManDan: He died about a year ago. Severe diabetes. Didn’t have dementia. He just started getting his information from wackadoodles and wasn’t bright enough to know they were full of shit. 10 hours of Alex Jones, Sinclair, etc, that shit just wrecks your brain.

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  59. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: The true Patriots discovered Bill Clinton’s plans and spread awareness and mailed in money and stopped it.

    Your relative should be proud of himself for being part of that.

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  60. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    That’s kind of what Donald the Loser keeps doing, isn’t it? He keeps up the image of a successful tycoon raking the cash in, regardless of the real situation. I assume his creditors know the truth, bu he keeps finding new ones. then he runs out and starts a new con.

    It’s a bit more suspicious than that. He hasn’t been able to get funding from regular sources for more than a couple of decades. One normal bank that does lend to him is Deutsche Bank – but from the personal wealth division rather than from the commercial side. It’s an odd match made odder still by the fact that Trump defaulted on a loan from the commercial side and sued the bank over it. Yet the personal wealth division has lent him more than $2.5B over 20 years to buy things like money losing golf courses, and this despite internal documents that called into question the legalities of Trump’s dealings. What’s up with that?

    It’s probably useful to know something else about that DB bank division: It paid a $630M fine a few years back because it was laundering money for the Russian Mafia. And another $150M this year for helping Jefferey Epstein launder money. It also helps to know that the idiot Trump sons, prior to the 2016 election, used to brag about how much of their business was with “The Russians”.

    Why would a bank loan $2.5B to such a high risk individual, one with a notorious reputation for stiffing his business partners? Money laundering seems like the most obvious candidate. There is no risk in the loans getting paid back because the whole purpose of the transaction is to clean dirty cash.

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  61. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    You know, if people still believe in a conspiracy that Bill Clinton has failed to carry out, long past the alleged catalyst event, for the last five presidential terms, I wonder how many still believe Obama is going to take all their guns. He’s only been out of office for not quite one term.

    On a side note, I wonder how many people ever understood what the Y2K bug was and what it could do if it went unfixed.

    I recall we were running Win95/98 PCs at work, which handled the 4 cipher date, but had to install a patch on the sales, inventory, payroll, and accounting software that ran on DOS (laugh if you want, but the DOS versions were superior to the Windows versions). that was the extent of my effort to combat a world-ending computer bug.

    What many failed to notice, even to this day IMO, is that effects of the bug began to appear before the year 2000. Saya credit card issued in 1997 that would expire in 2001, was registered in the banks computers as having expired 96 years ago. So, much of that was fixed locally by businesses large and small, long before the year 2000.

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  62. Teve says:
  63. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..In all my life, I’ve never watched a debate. My streak is safe tonight.

    In 1960 when I was 12 years old I watched some of the four first time on television Kennedy-Nixon President USA Candidate debates. My memory is dim however I’m sure I saw the third broadcast as I wanted to see how it would look live with Nixon in the ABC Studios in Los Angeles and Kennedy in ABC Studios in New York City and the moderator in Chicago. For a 7th grade fan of The Twilight Zone this seemed like future technology in my living room. I do recall reading that the can of paint used on the backdrop in California was flown to NYC to use in that studio so the sets would match on live TV.

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  64. Monala says:

    @CSK: He didn’t attempt suicide. He threatened suicide after beating his wife. Some DV advocates have noted that threatening suicide is a means of controlling DV victims, trying to make the victims blame themselves and prevent them from going to the police.

    Oh, and someone noted that the cops tackled him, saying he didn’t get special treatment. But once he was on the ground, they kept reassuring him, “It’ll be okay. We’ll get this all worked out. You’ll be okay.”

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  65. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Not that name – it’s offensive to Native Americans, and would undercut Biden’s points. But “BrokeAssTrump” — also trending on Twitter — would work.

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  66. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve thought about money laundering, either for himself or someone else, and I also thought it’s just bank and tax fraud.

    But the details of high finance refuse to become comprehensible in the long term. past a certain point, it all seems like dark magic to me.

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  67. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Teve:

    Some history that was pretty much erased but is being recovered is the role of former slaves in the development of the west. Large numbers of working cowboys were former slaves and descendants.

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  68. Monala says:

    Today in amusing Twitter threads:

    Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
    · Sep 27

    FAKE NEWS!

    Æch253@Aech253
    · Sep 27

    If Twitter wasn’t free you couldn’t afford to tweet.

    #BrokeAssTrump

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  69. Jen says:

    @Paine: I’m genuinely mystified by the line of attack against Biden’s son.

    1) Reminds people that Biden has had a rough personal family life, absolutely drenched in tragedy.
    2) If parents are to be held responsible for their kids’ decisions, an awful lot of parents across the country will feel sort of attacked by this. After all, Hunter is an adult.
    3) Hunter isn’t the one running for office.

    I guess when you’ve got nothing, any smear will do. But I don’t see it working.

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  70. Mister Bluster says:

    Since I always vote for Democratic candidates I see no need to watch the question and answer soundbite sessions that pass for debates these days. Not to mention that I just don’t want to puke every time Trump opens his mouth tonight.
    Besides, I cast my ballot today.
    My Carbondale Times newspaper delivery route takes me to the Jackson County (IL) Courthouse every Tuesday so I figured I might as well vote early. There were 3 citizens voting when I got there so it took less than 10 minutes to complete the process. When I left the polling office there were about 4 or 5 masked electors appropriately spaced at 6 feet apart waiting in line.
    As I stated earlier I voted for all the Democrats on the ballot. There were two offices on my ballot that did not list a Democratic Candidate, State Senator and Representative to the Illinois General Assembly. The General Assembly seat did list a Green Party and a Libertarian Party candidate but I just can’t vote for either of these two in good conscience.
    ———————————————–
    (Just for fun see if you can find the present and future federal prisoners among these candidates)

    FEDERAL
    FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
    (Vote for one)

    (DONALD J. TRUMP
    (MICHAEL R. PENCE Republican

    (JOSEPH R. BIDEN
    (KAMALA D. HARRIS Democratic

    (HOWIE HAWKINS
    (ANGELA WALKER Green

    (GLORIA LA RIVA
    (LEONARD PELTIER Party for Socialism and Liberation

    (BRIAN CARROLL
    (AMAR PATEL American Solidarity Party

    (JO JORGENSEN
    (JEREMY “SPIKE” COEHN Libertarian

    I should also note that it looks like Illinois US Senate candidate Willie L. Wilson of The Willie Wilson Party has become the modern day Harold Stassen of Illinois politics.

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  71. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    You’re quite right that he threatened suicide. And correct also that it’s a way to manipulate DV victims.
    The cops apparently tackled him because he wouldn’t obey the order to get down on the ground.

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  72. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    The Hunter Biden attack line has to becoming from Trump himself and everyone is just following orders it is projection with his kids doing far worse. He couldn’t strong arm Ukraine and Ron Johnson came up with nothing. It does nothing to help him and I agree with you it will likely hurt him, but it is a big applause line at the rallies, so…

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  73. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Trump pretty much has nothing. he could go after his legislative record, which contains things like the 90s crime bill, which might turn off Democratic voters (I’d watch out on social media for such ads, BTW), but would be contradictory for someone allegedly running on Nixonian “Law and Order.”

    Well, we think he has nothing. We’ll see what he comes up with tonight.

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  74. I wonder if Biden will ask Trump to tell us who he owes money to and how much. That might be fun.

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  75. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Monala:

    Oh, and someone noted that the cops tackled him, saying he didn’t get special treatment. But once he was on the ground, they kept reassuring him, “It’ll be okay. We’ll get this all worked out. You’ll be okay.”

    Er, I suspect you’re referring to me (at least, I didn’t see anyone else reference it). I’d just note I did not say say he didn’t get special treatment at all. I said (or tried to say) that the cops escalated to a forceful response too fast with, in my opinion, no valid justification.

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  76. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    I’d be willing to watch it for a moment like that.

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  77. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: On February 29, 1996 the major aluminum refiners in Australia and New Zealand all suffered a catastrophic shutdown, with molten aluminum solidifying in vessels or hot aluminum stuck in place for too long, wrecking equipment. It was traced back to a single manufacture of the control system components who didn’t anticipate a leap year, a mistake so bush league it’s hard to believe anyone programming for more than a few months could make it. Compare that to the Y2K problem were code written in the 80’s and then patched and added to but never rewritten and running on hundreds of millions of pieces of equipment touching every sector of our economy. No one even knew whether they had a problem or not. And despite all the effort and testing, I had a batch of Dell computers throw system errors the second time they were rebooted after the Jan 1, 2000 due to a BIOS problem that hadn’t been detected.

    Next up: UNIX Y2K

    The Year 2038 problem (also called Y2038, Epochalypse[1][2], Y2k38, or Unix Y2K) relates to representing time in many digital systems as the number of seconds passed since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970 and storing it as a signed 32-bit integer. Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038. Similar to the Y2K problem, the Year 2038 problem is caused by insufficient capacity used to represent time.

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  78. Northerner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If American debates are anything like Canadian ones, very few people will watch more than a few minutes of it (and the majority of potential voters won’t watch any of it). They will then to go to their usual info sources (typically online), and get a summary of the debate there. That source will confirm that their guy won the debate — meaning that in the end, almost no one’s opinion will be changed (or even shifted) by the debate unless one of the candidate royally screws up.

    And I mean royally, simply saying stupid things won’t be enough.

    Actually I’m not sure there anything that they could do to change anyone’s mind at this point. Its Team Blue against Team Red, and I suspect the players and even their policies is irrelevant to most people.

    BTW, I recently learned that the history of Byzantium had something very similar, though it was Blues vs Greens — its amazing how often history repeats itself.

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  79. Kurtz says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ll pay attention when my team is on the offensive, and tune out and browse the web when they’re playing defense

    You’re missing some of the best, tense moments of football.

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  80. JohnSF says:

    @Scott:

    “Creflo Dollar”

    Creflo Dollar?
    Creflo Dollar?
    Creflo f’in’ Dollar!??
    Oh c’mon 2020 scriptwriters, you’re going to lose all credibility if you don’t stop being so lazy!

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  81. Kylopod says:

    @Northerner: I agree that very few people who don’t have their minds made up watch the debates. But the post-debate media narrative can matter quite a bit. I’ve heard people say that the American public doesn’t listen to the media, and to that I say, bull. Virtually all political information is filtered through media narratives, and everyone’s influenced by it, including people who claim to distrust the media. The media typically seize on some moment from the debate they deem dramatic, even though it’s usually superficial. Indeed, it’s striking how often the moment is something completely nonverbal–Bush Sr. looking at his watch, Gore rolling his eyes, Trump stalking the stage. It’s always used in service of some narrative they’re pushing, and the narratives can have a significant impact on voter perceptions. The perception that the 2000 election consisted of an unlikable liar vs. an affable doofus, or that Hillary’s emails were a blemish comparable to Trump’s problems, can be traced to the way the media covered the candidates. I’ve said before, in response to people who say the “American public” doesn’t care about Biden’s gaffes, that they’ll care about them if the media tells them to care. The “winner” of a debate is basically whoever the media declares to be the winner. That doesn’t mean they always win the election–we have Kerry, Romney, and Hillary as counterexamples. But they will reinforce perceptions about the candidates as long as the media narratives support those perceptions.

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  82. Monala says:

    I asked this question on one of the Trump tax threads yesterday. Maybe someone with knowledge of how wealthy people are taxed can help me.

    I know that if you are self-employed and your small business operates at a net loss for five consecutive years, you can no longer deduct expenses. Basically, the IRS declares that if you can’t make a profit in five years, it’s a hobby, not a business.

    I also know that for small investors, you can only deduct up to $3000 in net capital losses in a given year, and the rest must be carried over to subsequent years.

    So I don’t get how Trump was able to declare huge deductions for his losses year after year.

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  83. gVOR08 says:

    I generally avoid debates. This time Trump will be Trump and Biden will be looking to get his own case out and look presidential. He’s running on ending the crazy. Old, slow Joe works just fine for him, but a gaffe would be bad. So he’s going to be very calm and measured and not go attack dog. But in the last few weeks we’ve reached 200,000 dead, Woodward has tape of him saying he lied about it from day one, it’s come out that Trump insulted veterans, polls look bad for Trump, and, finally, $750. Trump is trapped and this could blow up.

    Odds are this debate will be boring and inconsequential, but I think for once I’ll watch, just in case.

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  84. Kathy says:

    @Kurtz:

    I know. but I get angry when the other team advances the ball or, worse, scores. Especially when you see what they’re going to do and the defense on the field doesn’t.

    About debates, I must confess the two instances I can recall, were both from vice presidential debates:

    1) Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy
    2) Who am I? Why am I here?

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  85. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen:..A 20-week election season, from primary to general, seems like it would be plenty.

    So you want the state governments and political parties to hold their primaries and caucuses to select candidates for all federal, state and local offices in mid June or later of an election year. Do you propose somehow stripping the states and the county jurisdictions of their authority to administer these elections and then have the United States Congress pass legislation to enforce a federal polling regime?
    I am also curious what punishment you would mete out for any citizen asking their neighbor for support in their quest to seek a seat on the local county board before the official beginning of your proposed 20 week National Campaign window.

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  86. Joe says:

    @Monala:
    I am not a tax expert, but I would expect the reason Trump can carry NOLs for so long has to do with being a C corporation and not an S corporation. It may also have to do with the exact ownership of the corporation holding the NOLs.

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  87. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: Of course, part of the whole dynamic of the situation is that Deutsche Bank/the banking industry at large has so much capital that normal banking functions can’t use it efficiently, so the industry turns to various types of boutique financial enterprises, dedicated to putting capital to whatever uses are available. Money laundering is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

    Think 1980s, when cocaine and other drugs became so big that traffickers had to start opening banks because the usual banks couldn’t take the influx without attracting attention.

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  88. flat earth luddite says:

    @Paine:

    I can easily see Biden doing that thing where he gets misty-eyed, admits that Hunter made some mistakes, “but he’s still my son, damnit, and I’ll always love him.”

    Of course, being the really cheap-shot dip shirt I am, I’d look at Orangeade and say “but of course, not in the same way you ‘love’ Ivanka, you know?” But then again, I’d enjoy watching my opponent stroking out at the podium (it’s why I’m not allowed to play with the nice kids, dontchaknow). Biden plays too nice, and Drump’s a fecking amateur.

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  89. flat earth luddite says:

    @JohnSF:
    Sorry, it’s true. Freaking rock-star televangelist. Top-end tent maker suits, big booming voice, has the audience and attendees mesmerized. One of the reasons I watch Midsomer series on Sunday mornings.

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  90. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kurtz:..You’re missing some of the best, tense moments of football.
    Can you say Malcolm Butler?

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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: I defer to those with greater wisdom on what name calling to engage in.

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  92. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Looks like the Turnberry trail is attracting the attention of people a lot better at forensic accounting than I am; Adam Davidson :

    “This is why I think Trump is doing more than tax avoidance. “

    “Every year, Trump lends millions to himself, spends all that money on something, and claims the asset is worth all the money he spent.”

    I had a quick look at the Companies House returns, but didn’t pick up on the year-on-year pattern.
    Something there stinks like a month old kipper.
    And as Davidson points out, the thing is he’s NOT using it as a capital loss, but marking it UP in value.

    I would be very interested to see a full analysis of who was getting paid for contracts at Turnberry, and what they actually did for their money.
    And exactly who owned the best paid contractors.

    (Plus the real estate dealings details)

    What’s needed is something like an undisclosed Wealth Order investigation by the Scottish courts; but the political pressure against any such thing will be huge; and I’m unsure of the the legal pre-requisites for such.
    But this is a thread to keep pulling on.

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  93. Cameron Whitright says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Thank you for not raising the spectre of James White. That Butler play was exciting. White setting records was not, for me.

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  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: Trump Enterprises is not a small business, it is a corporation. Different rules, but I don’t follow this stuff anymore to pay attention to how or why. Knowing the system is rigged is as far as I carry my concern these days. I’m too old to care about the coming collapse.

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  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    So you want the state governments and political parties to hold their primaries and caucuses to select candidates for all federal, state and local offices in mid June or later of an election year. Do you propose somehow stripping the states and the county jurisdictions of their authority to administer these elections and then have the United States Congress pass legislation to enforce a federal polling regime?

    Can’t speak for Jen, but I’m fine with all of the above. (But this is why people like me shouldn’t run for office–we’d get the putsch done.) As for the second, you can decide to run for office and start forming your committee anytime you want to as long as hush up about it publicly until the campaign season starts. Just because I like bologna doesn’t mean that I want to be forced to tour the factory every day for a year and a half.

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  96. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..As for the second, you can decide to run for office and start forming your committee anytime you want to as long as hush up about it publicly until the campaign season starts.

    So you can form an election committee of five cats and three goldfish and hope that they don’t tell the neighborhood parrots.

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  97. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    No one even knew whether they had a problem or not. And despite all the effort and testing, I had a batch of Dell computers throw system errors the second time they were rebooted after the Jan 1, 2000 due to a BIOS problem that hadn’t been detected.

    I oversaw three computers, so I won’t claim anything.

    I did try to change their dates to beyond 01/01/2000 long before then, and all kept on working as well as usual.

    I do recall a bug in the Win95 or Win98 time/date. When Daylight Savings Time kicked in, the system set the clock back one hour at 2 am on the appointed day to 1 am. If the computer was on during the switch, it would set the time back again at 2 am, and again, and again, etc.

    I discovered it one day playing either the Sims or Roller Coaster Tycoon obsessively (how else), well past any decent hour. The system di ask first. So it interrupted the game to set the clock back. then an hour later it did the same. I let it, advanced the clock 59 minutes, and waited. Sure enough, it asked a third time to set the clock back.

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  98. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I would go with, “Stay away from any insults that would offend your base.” A term that is insulting to Native Americans and would offend anti-racist liberals is therefore a no-no. In contrast, “broke-ass” would only offend pretend-pious Christians, who aren’t Biden’s base.* (Of course, it might also cause the MSM to clutch their pearls, so he might want to be cautious there, too… )

    * Note that there are many Christian Democrats who support Biden. They just don’t tend to be the ones who get into a huff about using words like “ass,” as opposed to actually violating Jesus’s teachings about taking care of the poor, loving your neighbor, etc.

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  99. JohnSF says:

    @Monala:

    “…Christian Democrats who support Biden.”

    Paging Angela Merkel. Angela Merkel, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

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  100. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Trump Enterprises is not a small business, it is a corporation.

    Technically, the Trump Organization is something more than 500 interlocking LLCs. That’s not atypical for an outfit that does real estate. Even locally here, real estate people create a new LLC — C for company, not corporation, and costs about $10 to set up — for every property. In theory, it puts each one in its own liability bin, so if one gets in trouble none of the other assets are at risk. OTOH, at least in my state, my wife’s and my attorney says that there’s not been enough cases to find out if the law was well-written or not. Each LLC can make nearly arbitrary distributions of operating gains and losses to its members.

    Some time back the NYT looked as deep through the public records as they could to see how things were structured. IIRC, one of the things they found was the helicopter that Trump used to fly around the UK was owned by one LLC. Another LLC actually handled the flying, and a third did the maintenance. Each LLC was also responsible for other stuff. I have heard people who know more than I do say that if Trump died today, it would take a decade for the estate and the kids’ accountants to unwind everything.

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  101. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    So you want the state governments and political parties to hold their primaries and caucuses to select candidates for all federal, state and local offices in mid June or later of an election year. Do you propose somehow stripping the states and the county jurisdictions of their authority to administer these elections and then have the United States Congress pass legislation to enforce a federal polling regime?
    I am also curious what punishment you would mete out for any citizen asking their neighbor for support in their quest to seek a seat on the local county board before the official beginning of your proposed 20 week National Campaign window.

    Well, first, New Hampshire *does* hold its primary for state and federal offices within that window already. The presidential primary is held in {insert date earlier than any other state’s primary}, but all other offices are September (we just held our primary on Sept. 8). It works fine.

    That, by the way, is only 8 weeks before election day.

    Regarding all of the other stuff–nah, I don’t propose stripping any powers from any state. I’d just like elections to be on a tighter timetable. The amount of money, time, energy, and effort that goes into something that makes most of us want to either weep or stab someone by the time election day rolls around is astonishing.

    A girl can dream.

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  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: I don’t doubt it for a minute. I’m also convinced that when the kids or whoever unwinds it, they’ll discover that all they have is a house of cards–and not a very good one even so. (But I suspect the kids already know this, at least Ivanka anyway.)

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  103. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Depending on what kind of participation they have and what papers they’ve signed, it’s possible the broke-ass spawn will inherit broke-ass daddy’s debts.

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  104. Teve says:

    Bass Reeves, the black man who was possibly the inspiration for the Lone Ranger

    I wouldn’t have been able to *survive* 1800’s Oklahoma, that guy did it while learning to speak Seminole and Creek, and arrest 3,000 felons, while dealing with the difficulties of being black in 1800’s America? I’m surrendering my Man Card. I will find his tombstone and stick it in the dirt.

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  105. Teve says:

    @AOC

    The nerve of people who ask “how are you going to pay for it?” whenever we propose building advanced public education, healthcare, & climate infrastructure yet defend a system where Trump pays $750 in taxes and Amazon pays none is beyond me.

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  106. Teve says:

    “Reeves worked for 32 years as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, and became one of Judge Parker’s most valued deputies. Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions.”

    Jesus Fuck.

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  107. Jen says:

    @Teve: A good friend of mine stumbled on Reeves’ history and became a huge fan (when does one become a “buff,” as in a Reeves history buff?). He’d talk about him whenever he had an appropriate opening in a conversation. Fascinating stuff.

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  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Considering whose spawn they are, it would be more likely that it would all be obliterated at banko.

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  109. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    Reeves had a serious mustache too.

    @Jen:

    (when does one become a “buff,” as in a Reeves history buff?)

    You’re not the only person who wonders that.

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  110. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump: “I don’t want to pay tax!”

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  111. Dwayne Elliott says:

    The only thing missing from the debate is a carnival barker with an electric cattle prod to get candidates telling an obvious lie, are diverting away from the question asked or are simply speaking gibberish back to reality.

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  112. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..(Just for fun see if you can find the present and future federal prisoners among these candidates)

    Give up?…
    LEONARD PELTIER Vice President candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation has been in prison since 1977 serving two life sentences for the murder of two FBI agent when he was an activist in the American Indian Movement. Peltier ran for President of the United States in 2004, winning the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party, and receiving 27,607 votes, limited to the ballot in California.

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