Debates

7 Things to Watch For in Tonight's GOP Presidential Debate

The Trump factor, pot legalization, immigration arguments, Rand Paul's stand-out moment, and more.

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Foter / Gage Skidmore

Tonight, Fox News will host the very first GOP presidential debate, featuring 10 candidates of the 17 candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination. (The remaining candidates will compete in an undercard "happy hour" debate at 5 p.m.)

The 10 prime time candidates were selected according to their standing in recent polls—all of which put Trump in the lead, in most cases by double digits.

With Trump-mania in full force, interest in the show is sky-high, and many expect it to be the highest rated primary debate in history.

The format is designed to keep things moving. There are opening statements, and answers limited to one-minute; any candidate mentioned by another one will have 30 seconds to respond. How it will all play out is anyone's guess, but with a field as big as this one, and a race as complex and unpredictable, it's certain to be one of the more unusual political debates in memory.

Reason's staff will be live-tweeting both the prime time debate and the undercard, providing context, commentary, and, yes, a bit of snark in real-time. In the meantime, to help you get caught up and prepared for tonight's big event, here are seven things to watch for when the show starts:

1. Everything Trump: The Donald is leading the GOP field and thus will literally be center stage tonight. No one, possibly including Donald Trump himself, knows quite what to expect. What will he say? What will he do? Will he bash the other candidates? Make obviously false claims? Propose ludicrous non-policies in response to questions about what he might do as president? Wear that stupid red hat? Anything could happen!

What if he ignores the debate format and rules? (Megyn Kelly, one of three Fox News moderators, told Politico, "We have a plan, but we're not going to share it with you." Maybe it involves using the shot-clock buzzer for the Cleveland Cavs, whose arena is the location for the event?)

Or will Trump somehow defy expectations, perhaps by being calm and civil and coherent, and responding to questions by quoting CBO reports? (Ha, yeah, okay.) Trump, for better or for worse—alright, just for worse—is the star of tonight's show, its central figure and prime attraction.

2. How the rest of the stage reacts to Trump: While Trump will be the focus of the evening, it will also be worth watching how the rest of the candidates—some of whom, unlike Trump, actually have a chance to be the Republican nominee next year—respond to him. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been running the most aggressively anti-Trump campaign so far, but he didn't make the cut for the main stage debate (he'll be in the undercard event during the 5 p.m. hour).

So it's an open question who, if anyone, will emerge as Trump's chief opponent. For some, like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, attacking Trump too strongly is potentially dangerous—they're more likely to respond than go on the offense. Bush, in particular, may want to back off, given that, as the best-funded and best-recognized candidate in the field, he benefits more than any of the other non-Trump candidates from Trump's success. On the other hand, he's also one of the best positioned candidates to respond to Trump's hardline immigration rhetoric (more on that soon). 

For others, like candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who just barely made the cut for the prime time debate, aggressively hitting Trump might be a way to get attention.

3. Does Rand Paul stand out from the crowd? As Brian Doherty reported yesterday, Rand Paul's Super PAC leaders say they're confident that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will perform well in the debate. But his campaign has been beset with reports of struggle and internal dysfunction recently, and yesterday's news that former senior staffer Jesse Benton—who heads one of those super PACs—had been indicted doesn't help.

But even ignoring the Benton troubles and the managerial struggles, Rand Paul's biggest problem may be that he has yet to find a way to break out from the rest of the Republican field. He was supposed to run as a different kind of Republican, but he hasn't really distinguished or define himself as a presidential candidate, especially on the core issues—privacy, drone strikes, foreign policy—that initially helped him gain attention. (He did, however, take a chainsaw to the tax code.)

Some of that, of course, is due to the fact that Donald Trump has sucked up so much of the attention over the last month. The debate stage might help level the playing field somewhat, and thus allow Rand Paul to finally stand out like he and his supporters have hoped.

4. Abortion, Planned Parenthood, and funding for women's health: Congressional Republicans spent the last few weeks teeing up a fight over Planned Parenthood's federal funding. While talking about that issue earlier this week, Jeb Bush said he is "not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women's health issues." The remark instantly made the rounds on social media, and prompted harsh immediate criticism from Hillary Clinton's campaign. Within hours Bush took it back, saying that he "misspoke."

Given the prominence of the Planned Parenthood fight, the swift walkback from Bush, and the history of Republicans wading awkwardly into issues involving women's health, it's likely that some version of will come up during the debate. We know basically how Bush will respond, but it's less clear how other candidates—in particular folks like Scott Walker (whose early strategy is built around playing to Iowa, which is quite socially conservative) and Mike Huckabee, who can be a socially conservative bomb-thrower, especially when he's looking for attention, might react.

5. How strongly do the candidates disagree over immigration? So far, no issue has roiled the 2016 race more than immigration. To the extent that Donald Trump's candidacy can be said to be anything at all, it's about opposition to immigration, and anger at undocumented immigrants already in the country. Trump has gone so far as to declare that, as president, he would deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. It's a plainly ridiculous idea that would be incredibly expensive to even attempt and would almost certainly fail. Some of the other candidates who will be on stage seem to know this: In 2013, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he supports a path to citizenship for immigrants currently here illegally, although he's recently reversed himself. And as recently as February of this year, Jeb Bush said "there is no plan to deport 11 million people," and argued for a plan to give them legal status. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, has sometimes struggled with questions about deportation, but was once a high-profile backer of a comprehensive immigration reform plan. The big question, then, is whether any of the candidates push back against the hardline immigration rhetoric that has come to dominate the GOP race so far.

6. What about legal pot? This is another issue that divides the GOP field. While none of the Republican contenders has come out swinging in wild favor of legal pot regimes in states like Washington and Colorado, several of tonight's contenders, including Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, have said they believe that states should be allowed to make their own choices about whether to legalize weed. Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, on the other hand, have both said that, if elected president, they would enforce federal pot prohibition aggressively—raiding clinics and attempting to stop states from further pursuing legalization.

7. Spending, entitlements, and size of government: So far, the GOP's 2016 field has only talked about these issues sporadically. Chris Christie, once expected to be a front-runner, briefly attempted to make entitlement reform a central part of his campaign, but neither his campaign nor his entitlement push ever generated much interest. Jeb Bush got whacked for a few days for saying that he'd like to "phase out" Medicare, presumably replacing it with some sort of Paul Ryan-style premium support system, but hasn't followed up or released any details of his entitlement reform ideas (he has indicated that plans are forthcoming). Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who in the number four slot leads the second tier of candidates, has styled himself as a defender of entitlements, Social Security in particular.

For a party that has branded itself as the party of limited government, these issues, and not Donald Trump, should be front and center. But while this year's GOP crop hasn't been totally silent on core domestic issues, they haven't, for the most part, attempted to make them a priority either. Given the presence about Trump and questions about his place in the race, it's doubtful that any of this will be the focus of tonight's face off, but it would be nice if these issues at least came up and received a bit of serious attention.

NEXT: Cellphone Location Tracking: Heading to the Supreme Court?

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  1. There’s a debate? Really? Will Trump be there?

    1. Of course he will. The real question is whether anybody else will be there.

      1. your fired!

        1. my fired what? /pedant

          1. Yore fyrd11!

  2. Will there be a drinking game?

    1. Shot if someone Godwins the debate.

      1. Drink for each mention of St. Reagan is an old Republican debate standby.

        1. Ugh. I’d need to buy an at-home stomach pump.

      2. You know who else Godwinned things?

        1. Hitler?

        2. Mike Godwin?

          Me?

    2. I’ve been thinking about the format, and a great variation would be to line up shot glasses on the podiums. Each candidate would drink when they disagreed with another candidate’s position. The winner would be the guy most able to hold Trump’s hair back and out of his face while he’s throwing-up. That would signify presidential-like statesmanship. Cruz would do well.

      1. Hold the hair back? Just take it off and set it on the podium.

          1. Eww! /teenage girl

          2. +1 The Thing

    3. I’ve been trying to come up with a themed cocktail. For the Dem debate I thought Moscow Mule was an obvious choice, but I’m struggling on this one since Lindsay “human mint julep” Graham didn’t make the cut.

      1. As far as i’m concerned, it doesn’t matter what the drink is. The glass is just gonna get thrown through the tv screen anyway.

        1. Play it safe, use plastic cups like me!

      2. I say an old fashion for the dems and a corn an oil for the republicans.

        1. maybe a monkey gland for the republicans.

          1. Is monkey brains a drink? Cause that would be a good start for the stupid party.

            1. Which one?

        2. I say cyanide for the demecrats and hemlock for the republicans. But probably not the same way you’re thinking.

          1. Subpoena’s in the mail. /S.D.N.Y.

            1. Don’t be ridiculous. I didn’t say a thing about woodchippers!

      3. Well if you’re going to go all checker pants, country club republican to honor the occasion, Johnie Walker Blue Label, neat, with a glass of water on the side.

        1. Either this or this?

          1. Woodchiper IPA?! That’s fantastic! How the hell have I not seen that before?!

        2. Old Fashioned for Paul
          Bailey’s for Christie
          Johnny Walker for Bush
          Unnamed brand of malt liquor to avoid subpoena for Ben Carson (get’s em everytime)
          Sangria for Cruz
          Wild Turkey for Trump
          Bourbon for Huckabee
          Manhattan for Rubio
          Absinth for Kasich
          Martini for Walker

          1. Shouldn’t everybody on stage drink an Aftershock when Christie steps up to his podium?

            1. Maybe, but they should switch to Fat Bastard wine once he start’s talking

            2. No, when Christie takes stage everyone should take a rip of Maui Wowie from Rand’s aqua Buddha bong.

    4. No games for me, just a six pack of Anchor porter and two aspirin for the pain after I repeatedly slam my head against the living room walls.

  3. I don’t usually watch debates, but this is a trainwreck in the making, and I cannot not watch.

    1. It’s going to be nuts entirely because Donald Trump might be literally insane.

      1. Calling it now: Trump whiffs.

        1. …and goes up 10 points. Because some people just want to see the world burn.

      2. OR, or, he might be the sanest of the bunch. Think about it…

      3. I won’t be watching, but I am excited for the possibility that he’ll just talk over the moderator or other participants whenever he wants to say something. It could really be a glorious trainwreck.

        1. If Trump is disrespectful toward Megyn Kelly he is finished. You can insult our war heroes and our President, but you cannot insult our attractive television personalities. My America won’t stand for it.

          1. What if he negged her on national TV…and she liked it?

            1. Trump: “Megyn, your roots are showing.”

              Megyn responds shyly “Oh, Donnie.”

              1. I’d show Megyn Kelly my root….

                YEAH! I SAID IT!

      4. because Donald Trump might be literally insane.

        Donald Trump might be the only sane one out of the wh.le bunch. See, while the others are running for President so they can get power over a nation of people, Trump is running to build his brand and make more money from his media empire.

        So choose between a group of sociopaths that want control over you and a showman that wants to draw attention to himself in order to sell more expensive ad time on his TV shows or get people to pony up a bit more to stay in one of his hotels.

        1. You said pony. Do I get one?

          1. Who knew Poland was packed with ponies?

            1. Giddyup!

        2. “Wanting power over America” vs. “getting richer even if it means Hillary Clinton becomes President”.

          And you think the *first* motive is the sociopathic one? Um…

          1. Yes, because even if she wins, it’s not like Trump looses.

            1. That’s not what “sociopath” means, dude.

              1. a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

                The antisocial ones with no conscience are the ones who want power to rule over you.

                But I get it, Hillary is teh evul so we need to vote for whatever shitweasel the Republicans put up.

        3. Donald could turn into America’s Silvio Berlusconi.

          Bring on the bunga bunga parties!

          Sadly, that prospect actually *encourages* me.

        4. We had a demented* showman for president before, back in the eighties. It didn’t turn out so bad.

          * Comparing Trump’s emissions over the last few years, he’s either developing some sort of dementia or else he’s taking some kind of estupidification drug like prozac or lamotrigine. Based on the rate of degeneration and the fact that it doesn’t seem to be affecting his reasoning so much as his ability to speak coherently, I’d bet on some kind of dementia. A colleague disputes this anaysis, arguing that it can be explained entirely by a change in the way that he is engaged, that the scattershot brainlessness of anybody who questions him about anything has a sort of disruptive effect on his ability to articulate his answers. Of course, even with all this, compared to bozoes like the soi-disant “president” and most the other candidates of the now, he still sounds like a fucking genius. Heck, when the second Bush cam out of the woodwork, taking a break from kupferstiching blue dogs, and spoke publicly briefly a couple years ago, by contrast with how all the politicians sound these days, he sounded like some kind of supragenius, and you’ll recall that when he was president folks all made fun of his stupidity (Even then, his utterances usually took the form of coherent, at least semi-intelligible, sentences; nobody does that anymore.).

          1. yes his “Is our children learning?” speech was particularly coherent.

            1. Yeah he wasn’t much of a public speaker but at least he knew there are 50 States in the United States of America and not 57 like there are in the Islamic Nation.

            2. Everybody misunderestimated him.

    2. I want to watch but no cable and, to the people at Fox, that internet thing with the YouTubes is just a fad.

  4. 7 Things to Watch For in Tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate

    1: The ‘off’ button.

    You keep going with the BuzzFeed headlines, and I’ll cancel my subscription!

    1. #4 your doctor doesn’t want you to know about

      1. ….this one simple solution will change your sex like forever….

            1. I assumed finger in the butt. That’s far worse.

              1. Try this one, weird trick to see how!

    2. I couldn’t believe #6!!!!

      1. This one simple trick that your doctor doesn’t want you to know.

        1. damn I got beat before I even got beat. Shows you what happens after waking up at 1AM and throwing up the chili dogs I had for dinner.

          1. …..throwing up the chili dogs I had for dinner.

            Dude. Sounds like it’s gonna be a long day.

          2. I’m eating lunch right now, and that didn’t even faze me. That’s how good tri-tip ranchera is.

            1. Did you get that at Chipolte?

              1. I said it was delicious, so no.

    3. You forget that the commentariat is not the intended audience for the articles. I mean, c’mon, who here even reads them, anyway?

    4. Donald Trump is in the GOP debate. That’s not okay.

      1. At some point in the evening, Jeb Bush will actually say this. ^

  5. Will he bash the other candidates? Make obviously false claims? Propose ludicrous non-policies in response to questions about what he might do as president?

    Why is he so different from other candidates again?

    1. “Why is he so different from other candidates again?”

      Because we’re not sure he’ll do those things. And he probably won’t have a serious propaganda, errr I mean, Belt Way think tank study, to support his very serious proposal.

  6. I think I’ll be watching the bottom of a mug instead, but let me know how it goes.

  7. Number 6 will blow your mind

      1. i lol’d

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  9. We have a plan, but we’re not going to share it with you.

    Trap door?

    1. Glass case of emotion.

    2. The BSG writers kept telling us the Cylons had a plan too…

      1. They did, it was just really, really stupid.

        1. The plan was to bore humanity to death.

        2. Well they were made to be human so it’s not all too surprising that their plan sucked.

  10. 7 Things to Watch For in Tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate

    1. Don’t watch the Presidential Debate, go out and do something productive/fulfilling for yourself.
    2-7: Copy paste #1.

    1. I plan to go fuck my GF.

      1. Ah the old GFMGF trick is it?

      2. and check yourself prole.

        Just be cause your friend is gay, doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in GOP politics. They aren’t all Dems you know.

      3. Who isn’t

        1. Me. I’m married with kids, and therefore don’t have sex.

          1. Amen, brother,

      4. Make sure to tell her why.

  11. Trump, for better or for worse?alright, just for worse?is the star of tonight’s show, its central figure and prime attraction.

    This is pretty much all that needs to be said about this election.

  12. I for one am not going to watch. I have guns and ammo in my apartment and would probably shoot my TV.

    1. +1 Elvis

  13. Ted Cruz should not be there seeing as how he is not a natural born Citizen.

    US v Wong Kim Ark

    “A person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States can only become a citizen by being naturalized,…, as in the enactments conferring citizenship upon foreign-born children of citizens,…”

    1. Wait a minute. Are you actually thinking about taking this debate seriously?

    2. Are you sure that’s still good law, given that I just googled it and the case occurred in 1898?

      I imagine there have been changes in the definition of ‘natural born citizen’ since then which might include someone like Cruz who was born to an American mother.

      1. According to politifact, a natural citizen is one who was not required to naturalize. Cruz inherited his mother’s citizenship and wasn’t required to go through the naturalization process when his family repatriated, thus he’s a natural citizen.

        1. (although believe you me I would love to see the left go full-birther over the possibility of a Cruz presidency.)

        2. I just gave you a qoute from the SC case which grants birthright citizenship to anyone born in the US which says foreign born children of citizens are naturalized at birth by enactments of Congress. It is also the case Oboma supporters use to justify his eligibility. It defines nbC as a person born in the country. Cruz was not.

          1. Take it up with the Supreme Court, then. Or politifact, for whatever they’re worth.

            1. I lack standing. Apparently everyone does.

              1. That’s not all.

                  1. Did I miss it when we amended the Constitution to allow the CRS to overrule the Supreme Court?

                    1. Did you never learn to read? that’s sad.

                    2. Yes, I’ve read the Constitution. You know the founding document of this country that gives the final word on legal matters to the Supreme Court not the CRS.

          2. No, Obama supporters use that case to justify his eligibility because that case granted citizenship rights to anyone born on US soil, which Obama was.

            Here’s the Harvard Law Review on the subject:

            Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

            1. Yeah, I know Obama was born in the country. That’s why his supporters use Wong. Like I just said.
              Did I miss the part where the Harvard Law Review gets to overrule the Supreme Court? The Act of 1790 hasn’t been in effect since 1795.

              1. Except you Supreme Court case doesn’t even say that someone born to American citizens isn’t a natural born citizen. You took two sentences out of context which are incredibly vague and have nothing to do with the natural born citizen requirement.

                That case had to do with attempts to take away citizenship rights from a Chinese person who was born in the country. It has literally nothing to say about whether or not someone born to an American citizen is ALSO natural born and it doesn’t have anything to do with the presidential requirement. Why don’t you quote the entire paragraph so I can show why you’re wrong:

                A person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States can only become a citizen by being naturalized, either by treaty, as in the case [p703] of the annexation of foreign territory, or by authority of Congress, exercised either by declaring certain classes of persons to be citizens, as in the enactments conferring citizenship upon foreign-born children of citizens, or by enabling foreigners individually to become citizens by proceedings in the judicial tribunals, as in the ordinary provisions of the naturalization acts.

                Since Congress allows people to be citizens as a result of being born to American citizens, Cruz meets this requirement and is natural born.

                1. What are you talking about? Yes, Cruz was NATURALIZED AT BIRTH under the authority of Congress. That’s exactly what the quote says. It’s right there in plain English. The Court used the principle of jus soli to define nbC and Cruz does not qualify.

                  1. Yes, Cruz was NATURALIZED AT BIRTH under the authority of Congress.

                    Yes, he was. And someone who is ‘naturalized at birth’ is DING DING DING a natural born citizen!

                    Natural born citizen means a citizen when you are born. That’s all it means and it includes people born on American soil and people born to American citizens. Anyone who is a citizen at birth is a natural born citizen and literally every legal authority you can find will tell you this.

                    The case you cited has nothing to do with the fucking subject. That case was exclusively about Congress attempting to keep a Chinese citizen from moving to the US and the SC said they couldn’t do that because the person was a citizen by virtue of being born in California. That has nothing to do with the meaning of natural born citizen.

                    The Congressional Research Service has repeatedly concluded this to be true based on the meaning of the term ‘natural born citizen’ when the Constitution was written.

                    1. Lol. Naturalized means “to make AS IF natural”. Naturalized is naturalized whether at birth or through immigration.

                  2. People born to American citizens are considered “nationals and citizens of the United States at birth”. This is in explicit contrast to naturalized citizens. If I ever underwent a naturalization process, I have no documentation of it. My Certificate of Birth Abroad notes that I am a citizen, but does not confer citizenship.

                    1. An Act of Congress confers your citizenship. Because of that you didn’t have to go through the process immigrants do you were naturalized at birth.

        3. Why are you bothering to reply to this guy? Seriously.

          1. Some people care that the President be legally qualified to hold the office. We are either a country ruled by law or we aren’t.

            1. And Cruz is, legally, a natural-born citizen and thus is, legally, qualified to hold the officer.

              I recall the exact same pointless argument about John McCain, who also wasn’t born on US soil.

              You might also be interested in the fact that none of the Founders were born on US soil, as it didn’t exist when they were born. Were none of the first X Presidents of the US legally qualified to hold office, either?

              1. The Founders were grandfathered in. You don’t know that yet you think you know what nbC means. Lol.

                  1. And they were GRANDFATHERED in. I don’t think you understand what grandfathering is.

                    1. ” I don’t think you understand what grandfathering is”

                      Its like Teabagging, right? Only like, with your ass.

                    2. I think that’s a Dirty Sanchez.

                    3. You’re an expert on so many things.

                    4. What can I say? I’m a Renaissance man.

              2. Cruz may be legally qualified to hold the officer but the real question is whether the officer gave consent to be held.

      2. The definition should be the same as it was on Sept. 17, 1787 when the Constitution was signed by the delegates of the Constitutional Convention.

        1. Signed is nice but when was it fully ratified? Isn’t that when it went in effect?

          1. Ratification didn’t change any meanings.

    3. Mick, is that you?

  14. 4) Abortion. Jeb and some others will bite into a live 480VAC powerline. I’ll be watching that on the teevee and be thinkin’ “that ain’t a smart man”.

    1. +1 Florida-Man Move

      1. “Here, hold my beer. Now watch this!”

        1. Stop lighting fireworks on your head!

  15. I want to hear them get all tuffgai on Iran, drugs, and Hillary.

  16. Why was Jesse Benton still involved with the campaign anyway? He was bad news for Ron, and is bad news for Rand.

    1. Loyal to a fault, or incompetent, take your pick. I choose numero two.

      1. Definitely agree with you. I have some extra crust in my crypt for you to juggle.

    2. He’s married to Ron’s granddaughter/Rand’s niece. It’s a little bit of the ol’ nepotizzle.

      1. So if he were related to Obama, that entitles Obama to manage Rands campaign?

        Benton is weak. That skill has definitely shown throughout both campaigns.

        1. Hey, i’m just giving an explanation for why he’s involved, not saying it’s a good one.

  17. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  18. Marco Rubio, on the other hand, have both said that, if elected president, they would enforce federal pot prohibition aggressively?raiding clinics and attempting to stop states from further pursuing legalization.

    I did not know that was his position. Fuck that guy.

    1. Rubio is terrible.

      1. On foreign policy Rubio basically regurgitates Weekly Standard talking points. Fuck that guy.

      2. If I was voting — which I’m not — and if so, voting for a Republican — which I wouldn’t — this alone would take Rubio off my list of people fit to be president.

  19. Rand Paul? Why does that name sound familiar?

    1. I think he was the drummer for Rush until he drowned in a swimming pool and they had to replace him.

      1. At least we still have Lou Reed.

        1. I heard Lou stopped touring.

          1. No, that was Janis Joplin.

      2. You’re thinking of Round Pol, aka the Fat Bastard from NJ

    2. Who? This guy?

      Pretty good designer.

      1. You just reminded me of an old recently republished essay by him I was going to post in one of the links a few weeks ago but forgot. It was surprisingly smart and anti-hipsterish, especially considering I found it on a design website. Basically it would’ve never been posted if he wasn’t a great designer.

        http://tinyurl.com/pro9xjp

        As a matter of fact, design today is reminiscent of the trials of an earlier era in which Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, astutely described the arts in theatre, music, and painting as “freakishness pretending to originality, enthusiasm masquerading as vitality.”

        “It is no secret,” asserts the author of Tenured Radicals, “that the academic study of the humanities in this country is in a state of crisis? Every special interest?women’s studies, black studies, gay studies, and the like?and every modish interpretive gambit?deconstructivism, post structuralism, new historicism, postmodernism? has found a welcome roost in the academy and in many studios, while the traditional curriculum and modes of intellectual inquiry are excoriated as sexist, racist, or just plain reactionary.”

        1. I was passingly familiar with some of his work but had no idea Rand had such interesting ideas.

          From his essay:

          Both in education and in business, graphic design is often a case of the blind leading the blind. To make the classroom a perpetual forum for political and social issues for instance is wrong; and to see aesthetics as sociology is grossly misleading. A student whose mind is cluttered with matters which have nothing directly to do with design; whose goal is to learn doing and making; who is thrown into the fray between learning how to use a computer at the same time that he or she is learning design basics and being overwhelmed with social problems and political issues is a bewildered student. This is not what he or she bargained for, nor, indeed paid for.

          He’s basically right not only for design students but for most students in nearly any specialty, including the humanities.

          1. And this:

            “Schools are not intended to moralize a wicked world,” says Barzun, “but to impart knowledge and develop intelligence with only two social ends in mind: prepare to take on one’s share in the world’s work and, perhaps in addition, lend a hand in improving society after schooling is done. Anything else is the nonsense we have been living with.” Further on he continues, “All that such good samaritan courses amount to is pieties. They present moralizing mixed with anecdotes, examples of good and bad, discussions of that catch-all word ‘values,’ and finally,” he admonishes, “Make the school a place for academic vocational instruction, not social reform.”

            He had me when he quotes Jacques Barzun.

            1. Barzun was an amazing man. I am sure you have read From Dawn to Decadence.

          2. “He’s basically right not only for design students but for most students in nearly any specialty, including the humanities.”

            I have an associate’s in graphic design and one of the reasons (besides expense) was to avoid the moralizing crap that often characterizes a BFA. Plus, the professors were all professionals in the industry, not stuffy academics.

  20. Must Watch. Too bad Slate got it and not Reason.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..k_men.html

    1. Making fun of Reason’s lack of genuine reportage on police misconduct (like they used to do) is Not Okay

    2. “That’s Our Standard in Policing ? Fear”

      American heroes! Thin blue line! Officer safety!

    3. No, it was awful.

      There were sinks ‘literally’ hanging off the wall. Would like your sink to dangle from the tentacles of a space alien? Could you get a wrench and tighten it up?

      1. There were sinks ‘literally’ hanging off the wall.

        If that’s the only thing you got out of the piece, you weren’t paying attention. The guy hit most of the big libertarian complaints about how the police operate (he wasn’t necessarily complaining about every one of them).

      2. It basically confirmed everything we already know, they target poor people for stats and one of the easiest ways to determine socioeconomic standing in baltimore is skin color.

        1. I thought it was good.

        2. High points:

          – The laws being what they are, they can arrest any person any day.

          – They target people for the crime of being black and poor.

          – If they are in fear they can kill anyone legally.

          – They are trained to be in fear all the time.

          – The bad ones were pussies before they became cops. Giving them a gun and a badge didn’t stop them from being pussies.

          etc
          etc
          etc

          1. Oh, and he didn’t fear citizens as much as he feared other cops.

  21. answers limited to one-minute; any candidate mentioned by another one will have 30 seconds to respond.

    “My position on this issue is completely different from those of Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson,Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.”

    1. Why give them screen time?

      My answer would be “My position is completely different than the other guys up here.”

      1. Note to self: Use less-subtle sarcasm.

        I trust “the other guys” and “one of my opponents who shall not be named” do not count as “mentioned”.

        1. Ah yes, the well-known but little used Voldemort rule.

          1. Or the L*cy Gambit?

      2. Also: The format is designed to keep things moving.

        Based on past “debates”, unless the moderator can literally silence microphones, things will *not* keep moving.

        1. “The format is designed to keep things moving.”

          Our bowels maybe.

          1. Yeah, I think I’m getting KFC, too

      3. “These bitches” should be used often.

  22. GOP Presidential Candidates: What do they know? Do they know things?? Let’s find out!

    1. THEY’RE ALL DEAD! I WATCHED THEM DIE!

    2. The small talk round is going to be hilarious.

  23. #8 – The ghost of Jerry Garcia

  24. #9 – Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland police union, demanding an apology because, well, because we all should apologize to cops because, well… just because

    1. 1 hour + 10 blowhards = O substance. Just enough time for everyone to repeat their bumper sticker talking point 2 or 3 times.

      1. Not sure why this showed up here but whatever.

  25. They should release the questions to the Reason commentators beforehand, let us thrash out the answers, then the candidates must use the arguments made here.

    1. BOOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHHHh

    2. TOTALITY OF CIRCS

      *booyah*

  26. I predict…
    inane blather.
    DRINK!

  27. #10 – Megyn Kelly doing the Basic Instinct leg cross

    1. Alright, that might get me to watch.

    2. Don’t do that to me while I’m at work.

      1. It’s embarrassing how people stare when your desk rises a foot in the air, eh?

  28. You watch it for me. I think I’ll play video games instead….

    1. I found a mushroom biome in Minecraft, so I think I’ll build a mushroom castle instead of watching the debate.

  29. “7 Things to Watch For in Tonight’s GOP Presidential Debate”
    I’ll go for one:
    An intelligent comment.

    1. Good luck with that.

  30. What if he ignores the debate format and rules? (Megyn Kelly, one of three Fox News moderators, told Politico, “We have a plan, but we’re not going to share it with you.”

    Please tell me that it involves Penn Jillette. Have him come on and get revenge on Trump for Celebrity Apprentice.

  31. OT:

    ObamaCare’s co-op programs aren’t meeting enrollment goals, losing millions of dollars

    The 2014 projected net income vs. 2014 real net income…well it’s not very close

    http://www.freedomworks.org/co…..ns-dollars

    1. The 5 year plan is target though and will always be.

      1. And every five year plan is average; better than the next plan, worse than the last one.

  32. It can’t be any worse than one of those George Stephanopopopolous moderated debates. Like where he only asks questions about the candidate’s attack ads and the next day on the recap makes fun of the Republicans for attacking each other so much.

    1. Tell me Mr. Candidate, how do you plan to overcome the Republican’s historic and persistent hatred of women, minorities, kittens, children and puppies?

      1. “I don’t, I plan to cater to the old, rich white guy crowd. Cause, as we all know, money buys elections.” Brief pause “Unless you’re Hillary Clinton, and then it’s just a happy circumstance that your campaign raised more than all of the people on this stage combined.”

        1. Are Saudi princes’ considered ORWG?

  33. What if he ignores the debate format and rules? (Megyn Kelly, one of three Fox News moderators, told Politico, “We have a plan, but we’re not going to share it with you.”

    Bear spray.
    “I said, ‘STOP TALKING’.”

    1. I was thinking a giant gorilla hand like they used to have on The Gong Show.

      1. A trap door would be awesome.

        *clunk*

        Where’d he go?

        1. That would work too.

        2. From the Gong Show wiki

          Legitimate talent

          The two biggest Gong Show-related show-biz successes were Andrea McArdle and Cheryl Lynn. Twelve-year-old McArdle appeared on an early show in 1976, shortly before winning the lead role in the hit Broadway musical Annie. Lynn was signed to a recording contract as a result of her performance, and recorded the Top 40 disco hit “Got To Be Real.”

          Among the other true talents that appeared on the show were singer Boxcar Willie; comics and actors Paul Reubens and John Paragon (best known as Pee Wee Herman and Jambi the Genie); Joey D’Auria (“Professor Flamo”, later WGN’s second Bozo the Clown); impressionist/comic Michael Winslow; novelty rock band Green Jelly,[2] and a band called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo which evolved into Oingo Boingo, led by future film and television score composer Danny Elfman. Crip founder Stanley Tookie Williams appeared on the show in 1979 as a bodybuilder. In 1976, future Academy Award nominated actress Mare Winningham sang the Beatles song “Here, There, and Everywhere.” Future Super Bowl XXXV winning head coach Brian Billick also made an appearance, performing a routine known as the “spider monkey.” Dancer Danny Lockin, who had played Barnaby in the film Hello Dolly!, was murdered hours after winning the show taped August 21, 1977.[3]

          Wow were the 70s a screwy decade.

        3. “Goddammit, I told the stage crew that we needed an extra-large trap door for Christie! Alright, get an intern and some butter.”

          1. I larfed.

          2. I was thinking more he would break the trap and just fall through without actually being ejected. “Ah Megyn what happened to Governor Christie?”

          3. O.K. Being a bit rotund myself, I’m feeling agressed here. And, it isn’t micro by any stretch.

    2. Bear spray

      Much better.

  34. OT:

    Parents of unarmed teen shot dead by police while on a first date claim he was murdered – as private autopsy finds he was ‘shot him from behind’

    Zachary Hammond, 19, was shot on July 26 in Seneca, South Carolina
    Was on a date with Tori Morton, 23, who was eating ice cream at the time
    Police set up a drugs buy to snare the pair for possession of marijuana
    Officer has claimed he shot him because he feared for his life
    The force have refused to reveal his name despite the response
    Family are now demanding answers and want someone held accountable

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..ehind.html
    Sorry, parents, but your kid was white. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

    1. +1 Black Lives Matter

      1. Actually, idiots, BLM activists have been all over this story and explaining how it is a part of the narrative, which you apparently don’t understand.

        1. Actually, reading the huffington post htye are bitching not that the kid was shot, but that people aren’t complaining about sympathetic coverage of the victim.

          So rather than focusing on what matters, largely unaccountable police forces killing the peasants with relative impunity, they are more interested in shutting down dialogue between opposing political camps.

          If progressive intellectuals spent half the effort they spend telling fellow progressives that non-progressives are evil on considering….

          Ah fuck it. Republicans and Democrats deserve each other. Too bad the rest of us are stuck sharing the planet with them.

          1. You beat me you bastard

          2. The movement is about fixing the police problem. You’re welcome to join it, or are you going to instead bitch about what slogan an opposing political camp is using?

        2. So a single article that mostly just whines about the other side not doing enough counts as being all over it? Sure Tony.

        3. FTA:

          When so much national focus has recently been on the police killings of black Americans, Hammond’s race is one reason — though not the only reason — you may not have heard his story until now.

          Doesn’t fit the narrative. Idiot.

        4. um that probably because the narrative of all lives matter vs black lives matter has reached a level of tediousness I don’t think can be matched. Exhibit A being that article.

    2. Look, if the kid was shot from behind there’s a possibility he was running. If he was running then the fat bastard cop probably would’ve had a heart attack trying to catch him. So this was the only way to save a life.

  35. “But- enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Why are you so fucking stupid you cannot appreciate how awesome I am?”

  36. Rand better get into everyone’s household.

    I said this for Ron Paul’s campaign that He should have gone on PBS and did something like Milton Friedmans “free to choose” series.

    Dvd’s are cheap, and could have been distributed around districts, to the homes of many. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply show how the state enslaves folks, and how violent it is. From the cops, to taxes. Lay it out plain and simple and spread it around.

    This should have started a while ago, and could still be accomplished.

    Whatever though, screw all these politicians, as each one wants to implement their own form of violence.

    1. Screw PBS, this is the 21st Century, do it for Amazon or his own Youtube channel.

      1. What the fuck! Now John beats me with his nimble fingers too?!?

        Damn you all! Damn you all to hell!

      2. Many poor people just have the basic digital TV setup. YouTube and so on are givens, as he’s already on there.

        Receiving a DVD in person from Rand himself, and folks getting them in the mail would go very far, more so than just doing everything on the Internet.

      1. Ah yes. Asking the ToughQuestions, right?

        1. BASTARDS

        2. No….

          Just do a half hour long infomercial on every topic.

          If I were Rand, this is how I’d do it.

          1) Bring in guests across the political spectrum, but serious ones, and subject matter experts on the topic on hand.

          For example, if it were on how to deal with ISIS, bring in a couple of retired captains who taught at the war college, and a couple of generals, a couple of historians of the mideast, condaleeza rice, madaleine allbright.

          2) Have a sympathetic moderator – like George Will.

          3) Then have a conversation, the purpose of which is for the candidate to discuss the issues with those serious(tm) people.

          Ground rules: No interrupting; no time limits; everyone gets as many bathroom breaks etc.

          Then at the end of the video, the candidate gives a short speech explaining where he stands.

          Do one a month in the 2 years running up to the campaign, and you have a huge library to trot out.

          1. Um, “Firing Line” isn’t on air any more.

          2. Good luck. Stuff like this worked somewhat back when we were a more intelligent and serious country with much longer attention spans.

            We’re ruled by the snarky Twitterverse now. Long, serious discussions on complex issues are the absolute last thing in the world the average American dolt is interested in now. 25% of American adults haven’t read a single book of any kind in the last year.

            In fact, I would argue that giving precise, honest specific answers to questions is probably the worst way to get elected to a major office these days. That mostly results in alienating and angering people in our hyper-polarized age. Vague, ambiguous pleasantries are the way to go.

            1. “when we were a more intelligent and serious country “

              When the buffalo roamed the lands

              1. What do you think made us more intelligent?

  37. I do not plan to watch the debates, but i look forward to people asking the politicians tough question then posting their answers on youtube

  38. You forgot question 8 –

    Will the debates convey any useful, usable information which voters can use to select someone as a candidate for such an important office?

  39. Someone should put their “DVD” on the Youtube

    /”with it”

    1. Kids these days are downloading the porns directly to their brains!

      1. Is there an ap for that? Asking for a friend.

          1. And after they use it they all have this weird accent like they’re retarded from porn overdosing

    2. That’s a good idea

      /retweets it on the facebook

      1. This LITERALLY made me laugh out loud.

        Now look at the slideshow! Number 8 will leave you in stitches!

  40. OT: If this is what happens when video exonerates police, what does that say about all the times police fight to stop video from being released?

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/219861.php

  41. Abortion is one of the few words in the English language that gets funnier each time you say it.

    1. I’d narrow my gaze but I’m already squinting from LAUGHING SO HARD.

      *wipes tears away*

    2. Actually Abortion is French

      1. It means “appetizer” or something. No one knows how it got associated with baby-killing.

        1. Cause French eat babies as appetizers. Duh!

  42. TRUMP!

    That is all.

  43. I was talking to one of the prominent County GOP operatives before a funeral this morning.
    He thinks it will eventually come down to Bush vs. Trump, with Trump consolidating all the Tea Party support, and Bush making a deal with an also-ran, probably Walker, to be his V.P. choice.
    Convention nominates Bush, Hillary gets indicted, Bush wins presidency.

    1. That’s impressively stupid. I knew working in politics was attractive to the stupid, but didn’t realize they could thrive.

  44. Tonights game, have a shot everytime someone references Trump.

  45. Redundant pundit talking head questioning “isn’t trump leading because he’s talking about what Americans are thinking?” So called “expert” talk show panel whore response:”yes! Trump has really struck a chord with the voters…” No you fucking mooks! He’s the only one you fuckers incessantly talk about! Goddamn tail wagging the dog. Different year, same ignorant masses, same bullshit asses. Prepare yourselves for dame Clinton.

  46. The GOP claims to be the party of small limited gubmit but does little to nothing to back this claim.

    1. They have their own form of thievery and rules to impose upon individuals.

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