Presidential Debate

The Debate I Heard

Decoding the candidates.

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Something's wrong with me.

I watched Monday's presidential debate. But what I heard was different from what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seemed to say.

When Clinton said, "I want us to invest in you," what I heard was, "I will spend your money better than you will." Also, I heard, "I will spend lots of your money!"

When Trump said our economic problems are China's fault, what I heard was, "Blaming China wins me votes."

When Clinton told Trump, "My father… printed drapery fabrics," what I heard was, "Donald, you are a spoiled rich kid."

When Trump replied, "My father gave me a very small loan," I heard Trump saying, "Anything less than $200 million is a pittance." (It's actually not clear what Trump received from his dad. Trump claims it was $1 million; others say $200 million. Anyway, is a million dollars a "small" loan"?)

When Clinton said, "I'm going to have a special prosecutor… to enforce the trade deals we have," I heard, "Kiss my ring and pay my foundation if you want your trade deal approved!"

When Trump said President Obama has "doubled" our debt, I swear I heard Trump promise, "I'll triple it!"

When Clinton said, "I think it's time that the wealthy and corporations paid their fair share," what I heard was, "Good thing Bill and I are 'broke,' because we're going to soak the rich like they've never been soaked before."

When Clinton said Trump's taxes "must be something really important, even terrible, that he's trying to hide," what I heard was, "My emails, on the other hand, were just a minor mistake and nothing I'm trying to hide—next question?"

When Trump said, "I was the one that got (Obama) to produce the birth certificate, and I think I did a good job," what I heard was, "Since Hillary and her staff spread the lie first, I'm blameless."

When Clinton said, "Barack Obama is a man of great dignity," I swear I heard her add quietly, "despite me smearing him in 2008."

When Trump said, "I was just endorsed (by 200) admirals and generals," what I heard was, "I wish members of the military supported me the way they support Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson."

When Clinton said, "Putin is playing a tough long game here," I swear I heard Hillary say, "I guess my 'reset' with Russia was a bad idea."

When Clinton said she'll "do much more with our tech companies" to fight ISIS, what I heard was, "I'll force Facebook and Twitter to shut down parts of the internet."

When Clinton said she'll "take out al-Qaeda leadership," what I heard was, "I don't know exactly who they are, but I'll kill a bunch of military-age males."

When Trump said, "I did not support the war in Iraq," what I heard was, "… except when I did."

When Clinton said, "A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes," I heard, "A man provoked by a tweet should not be near the nuclear codes." (Clinton got some things right.)

When Trump said, "My strongest asset is my temperament," I heard viewers laughing.

When Clinton complained that Trump "said women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men," I wondered, "So Hillary believes that women should get equal pay even when they don't do as good a job?"

If only there were some way both Clinton and Trump could lose. Oh, right—there is! Governor Gary Johnson's in the race. But the most reliable predictor of future events—the betting odds (see ElectionBettingOdds.com)—doesn't give him much of a chance. The bettors don't give Donald Trump a great chance either. As I write, Clinton is favored 68.7 percent to 29.6 percent.

During the debate, Trump's odds dropped 5 percent. I didn't think he performed that badly, but I must be wrong. The bettors are generally right.

We may as well get used to hearing the title "President Hillary Clinton."

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Yes, it was a shitty shitshow of shit. Clinton’s still worse though.

    1. Yes ,Clinton has actually done horrible things in office. Her record speaks for it’s self.

      1. It is known how terrible Clinton is, and boy is she ever; it is not known how terrible Trump would be.

    2. I disagree. Clinton is a known quantity of shittiness. Trump is a proto-fascist. His belief in the state as the arbiter of all things, and the need for a strongman are evident every time he speaks. He represents the absolute worst elements in American politics: Trust in Big Govt solutions, and disrespect for current institutions.

      1. Except none of what you said is real. It’s all made up. Like a progressive fairy tale.

        1. You said it buddy. What we need is the right man in this situation to fix things and show those progressives the what for!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRly-0wwl_g

          1. Aww, aren’t you cute! You need to find someone to put some ointment on that butthurt.

            And change your diaper.

            1. ???

              You yokels aren’t even trying anymore now that you’ve chased off anyone to the left of Bob Barr. Come on man! Step up your game! Are you a RepbuliCAN or a RepubliCANT?!?

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  2. When Trump replied, “My father gave me a very small loan,” I heard Trump saying, “Anything less than $200 million is a pittance.” (It’s actually not clear what Trump received from his dad. Trump claims it was $1 million; others say $200 million.

    I really, really doubt the loan was $200 million. Fred Trump died in 1999 and his estate was worth around $300 million then; there’s no way he had $200 million to loan to anyone, regardless of familiy affiliation, some 20-25 years before that.

    1. 1 million is still tone deaf. It is 20 years income for most people.

      1. Of all the things to give a shit about, why does this matter?

        1. Because voters are less concerned with policy then they are with the personality of a candidate.

      2. True,although Bill and Hill have lived off and been protected by the taxpayers Since the 80’s.

      3. Most people have to work 20+ years to accumulate enough capital to become players in the Manhattan real estate market. Unfair!

      4. I agree, Hipster – but my point had more to do with Stossel repeating a rather unlikely figure. Given his usually reliable bullshit detector, I’m surprised he even mentioned it.

    2. We should abolish inheritance! Everyone should start life at Year Zero with zero dollars! (minus what they owe the government for the national debt).

      1. People should be deprived of the incentive to work hard so their children have more!

      2. Children should be taken away from their birth-parents and raised by the state. It is totally unfair that some kids are given a head start by having good parents while so many have crack-smoking whores raising them. Time to end the Lucky Sperm Club!

  3. i kept hearing a bunch of precocious children….granted it was ‘the nice guys’ and not the debate, so i didn’t want to strangle another random homeless person just so the voices would stop. plus, the popcorn tasted better.

  4. As I write, Clinton is favored 68.7 percent to 29.6 percent.

    I feel sick. Though I would feel the same way if Trump had the majority. Either way we are fucked.

    1. Both reveal some very discouraging things about the electorate.

      That aspect of this election is even more depressing than the terrible candidates.

      1. The fact that we are seeing these two despicable clowns on the national stage says a lot, and it isn’t good. I guess Gruber nailed it.

      2. Although it wasn’t the electorate who chose them–just majorities in each party, which is still sickening. The good thing is both of these people are the most unpopular candidates in history if it’s any consolation.

        1. Hell, Trump won by getting pluralities, not majorities.

    2. I was less pessimistic about a possible Trump victory until I saw the debate. Now I feel like Rowdy Roddy Piper when he first put the sunglasses on.

  5. When I heard Stossel say:

    “We may as well get used to hearing the title “President Hillary Clinton.”

    I heard: “Hide all the sharp objects and strong meds.”

    1. I heard, “You remember that AR you had your eye on? Better go on and buy it sooner than later. Also, might not be a bad idea to buy a large plastic cooler that’s watertight and suitable for burying just in case you need to “lose” some guns for a few years.”

  6. My father… printed drapery fabrics,

    No, Hillary. His employees printed drapery fabrics. Your father was an executive in the textile industry. And he got there as a salesman, not from the factory floor.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t tell me lies that I can refute with two minutes on Google.

    1. No no, he actually silkscreened the drapes personally. Just like Al Gore’s mother, you know, the mining foreperson, used to sing him songs about coal to put him to sleep while he dreamed of inventing the Internet.

  7. The message is fundamentally different for the two candidates.

    Clinton is appealing to the notion of fairness, of making the world a better place. In other words, she is cynically counting on the naive college freshman mentality to grant her more power to enrich herself at our expense. Nothing new to see here, just like every lefty ever. She spouts platitudes and punctuates them with policies that will achieve the exact opposite.

    “More living wage jobs! Living wage! Raise the minimum wage to $15!”

    Despite Trump partially deflecting blame on China he laid plenty of it on our Pols. He is absolutely right about lowering taxes and cutting regulation. With the right amount of it in the right places the economy would take off like a rocket. Also, his message of ‘America first’ is dead on. We don’t hire a president to make the world a better place. We hire him to work for us, to look after the interests of the citizens of the United States. There is a lot to dislike about Trump, but if he does half of what he says he will be the best president since Reagan.

    1. We hire a pres to run the federal govt. This notion that the pres should look out for the interests of citizens is how we got so fucked up. The potus runs the govt. Citizens will take care of themselves.

      1. If the federal government is not there to serve the citizens, then why have it? It is not a separate entity that exists for its own sake.

        (Stop laughing dammit. No, really, quit doing that!)

        1. The notion that the federal government is there to serve the citizens in some general way is a lot of how we got into this mess. The federal government is there to serve the few functions outlined in the constitution. Which is mostly to provide national defense and to provide a structure where the states can cooperate while maintaining a lot of independence.

        2. If the federal government is not there to serve the citizens, then why have it?

          Ideally, to provide for the common defense, provide a basic set of laws aimed at protecting people’s individual negative rights and punishing those who would violate the rights of others, providing courts for the peaceful resolution of disputes and grievances, and that’s about it.

          Stop laughing dammit, I’m being serious.

          1. You forgot promote the general welfare, the phrase that negates any limitation on the federal government

      2. Are you expecting Congress to start manning up sometime in the next century?

        1. I asked nicely for y’all to stop laughing.

      3. We hire a pres to run the federal govt.

        Thank you. I get so fucking sick of seeing dumb asses talk about the president like he’s some kind of fucking elected monarch. It’s doubly depressing to see that shit being spouted by someone on a libertarian website. You’d think a self described libertarian would know better, but apparently not.

    2. We could certainly do worse (Clinton) and if he cheeses it in the next debate that’s exactly what we’re going to get. His performance wasn’t catastrophic though. If he sufficiently preps for the next one and performs well he can recapture the momentum. Two bad debates in a row will doom him though.

      1. It wasn’t catastrophic, but it was bad. He could have mopped the floor with her ass. She handed him a hundred gotchas that he missed them. He let her lead him off in the weeds several times when he could have slapped her down hard.

        ” Oh really? You have Ms. Venezuela in the audience? Where is Monica Lewinski? Why didn’t you invite her?How about Paula Jones? Where is she tonight?”

        That would have shut her shit down. In fact, there wasn’t a single thing she brought up that he couldn’t have turned against her.

        (On his tax returns) “Are you implying I did something illegal? I played by the rules. I am not the one currently under investigation by the FBI.”

        etc.

        1. He could have mopped the floor with her ass

          Someone could have, but I’m not so sure Donald Trump could have. Maybe he doesn’t have the skill to grab those gotchas in real-time. Maybe his personality makes him easy to lead into the weeds – I mean, he seems to do it on his own often enough.

          Being a good candidate and/or president is about more than having good ideas – you have to sell those ideas and defeat opposing ones. Even if Trump has good ideas (I don’t think he does), he’s not very good at defending them. His personality may be a strength among some of the electorate but it’s also a huge liability. That’s part of what at least some of the people who comment on his demeanor and temperament are talking about.

          1. Rand Paul

    3. Re: Suthenboy,

      There is a lot to dislike about Trump, but if he does half of what he says he will be the best president since Reagan.

      Hopefully it will be the good half very few know about and not the basket of deplorable policies he is flaunting around to get the bucktoothed vote.

      1. Wealth empowers people. It gives them options. Freedom really is a zero-sum game. The bigger the govt. gets, the smaller we get, and vice versa.

        Reduce taxes, cut regs. That is all he has to do. We get bigger.

        Clintons plan: increase taxes across the board when we already have the highest corp. taxes in the world and companies are climbing over each other to get out of the country. Unemployment goes up, we get smaller and smaller.

    4. We hire him to work for us, to look after the interests of the citizens of the United States.

      I’d much rather we hired him to do the simple job described in the constitution. The only interests the president should be serving are defense of the country when necessary, checking congress through vetoes and basic executive functions.

      1. Different words, same thing.

        1. Yeah. I don’t think we disagree much on the proper role of the president. But stating it as “serve the interests of the citizens” just seems to invite a broad interpretation to me.

          1. I am referring to what motivates the President, not the details of the methods and means they are allowed. I think Trump’s current motivation is appropriate as opposed to Cankles’ whose motivation is purely selfish.

            1. I’m just very opposed to the notion that we need a leader of any kind. I don’t want some kind of elected king. I want a chief executive who will do the necessary parts of the job and then shut the fuck up.

              It’s kid of sad (to me) that a lot of libertarians (not necessarily you) seem to think we need some kind of strong leader in a president. I suppose maybe they need to be able to act as a leader if there is an actual war that threatens the territory of the country, but outside of that, no thanks.

    5. “He is absolutely right about lowering taxes and cutting regulation. With the right amount of it in the right places the economy would take off like a rocket.”

      Trump is also courting the naive college voter, apparently, and you seem willing to swallow this line. Trump has some cuckoo ideas. Using Iran’s power of North Korea to influence their nuclear and space programme, for example. What impressed me was Trump’s disavowal of a nuclear first strike. I doubt any major candidate can match that, either Clinton or anyone who’s run in the past.

    6. For me, the election boils down to two things: individual rights and fiscal conservatism. Both candidates are equally bad on the first, just in different ways. On the second point, there really is no comparison. When it comes to completely fucking things up in terms of the economy and the national debt, Trump will likely be far worse than Clinton, according to respected third party estimates. http://crfb.org/papers/promise…..ary-update

      And the last thing we need is another Ronald Reagan. In terms of annual average increases in federal spending, Bush I, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all increased spending less, according to this report by Cato: http://www.cato.org/blog/presidential-spending-0

  8. Sort of the opposite of hearing the dog whistle, John. Rather than hearing the secret message the candidates want you to hear, you heard the secret message they’re trying to cover up.

  9. It’s dog whistles all the way down.

  10. When Clinton said, “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes,” I heard, “A man provoked by a tweet should not be near the nuclear codes.” (Clinton got some things right.)

    ZING!

  11. Anyway, is a million dollars a “small” loan

    Yes. I keep having to tell people that yes, $1 million is a small loan for a business. When I was doing SBA loans for a commercial bank right out of college, $1 million was pretty common for people trying to get a startup off the ground.

    1. Exactly. I had a small business selling construction equipment. There was never a time when we didn’t have well over $1 million in inventory on our lot. During the early spring, it was usually about $10 million.

      For a business (especially something like commercial real estate), a million dollars is small change.

    2. As a retort to people who think that’s excessive, I’d point out that the more regulations you pile on top of business the higher the initial start up loan will need to be as regulations directly or indirectly add costs. Apparently people are too stupid to connect the dots.

  12. The betting odds on Jimmy Carter winning were something similar, I believe. He won.

  13. I really don’t want to believe the conspiracy theory that Trump is a Clinton plant, but dammit, The Donald, that debate performance makes it really hard to believe otherwise.

  14. I really don’t want to believe the conspiracy theory that Trump is a Clinton plant, but dammit, The Donald, that debate performance makes it really hard to believe otherwise.

    1. It’s worth repeating.

    2. What is it with you and the squirrels lately?

    3. I suspect he was coached to not appear mean to the fragile old lady and he took it a bit too far.

  15. Will Stossel himself try to sponsor any debates? Or has he soured on the idea? Or have his bosses soured on the idea?

    1. The chances of Clinton showing up at a debate without a moderator who is a plant for her team is vanishingly small.

  16. I heard pretty much the same things. But when everything is said and done, Clinton’s actual economic, political, and social programs suck a lot more than Trump’s.

    That remains true even if Clinton were the nicer, more informed, more eloquent candidate, instead of the disassembling, corrupt, amoral jerk she actually is.

  17. We may as well get used to hearing the title “President Hillary Clinton.”

    *grabs bottle of scotch, starts chugging*

    1. I too may have alcohol poisoning on election night. I expect Hillary to win, but I worry more about the house flipping if the blue cult turns out in large enough numbers.

  18. I cannot believe people came across thinking Clinton actually did worse at the debate. She actually articulated her ideas (regardless of how much you might think they’re wrong ideas) and had clearly prepared. Trump was an incoherent angry mess, barely able to form a complete sentence after the first 15 minutes and could not stick to what could have been a powerful theme — that Clinton is just part of a political establishment that’s been selling you out for decades.

    Unless you have a deep-seated emotionally-based hatred of Clinton or are somehow invested in Trump (financially or emotionally), I honestly do not see how you think Trump did better.

    1. Hillary sure was rehearsed compared to Trump. Plus, almost everything that came out of her mouth was a lie.

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  20. Let’s all remember that the snap polls–the ones taken right after the debate ended–the ones from before the spin cycle really got under way. trump won. Decisively.

    And what’s with this–

    When Trump said, “I did not support the war in Iraq,” what I heard was, “… except when I did.”

    Who CARES what Trump thought about going into Iraq. trump was a civilian, his ‘position’ didn’t matter. The person accusing him of supporting that war VOTED for it…….and soldiers went. And died.

    1. Hillary’s comments about Trump are usually like that.

      She made bad decisions and caused harm to the USA or got Americans killed and its Trump’s fault.

  21. Sort of OT, but has anyone read GJ’s NYT piece today?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09…..d-way.html

    It’s pretty good, but the comments are infuriating! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that 98% of NYT readers are democrat zombies.

  22. When Clinton said, “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes,” I heard, “A man provoked by a tweet should not be near the nuclear codes.”

    As opposed to “A woman who can be provoked by an independent movie” to the point where she wants to limit the reach of the First Amendment?

  23. When I heard Clinton say ‘blahblahblah’ I heard ‘I’m a teapot short and stout’.

    When I heard Trump say ‘blahblahblah’ I heard ‘I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK’

    1. I laughed out loud at this…

  24. The nicest thing about having Stossel as a sort of libertarian translator is not having to watch teevee and listen to those lying looters in the first place.

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  26. Fucking A he’s right. Ugh this will be unbearable for 4 years (or until she croaks, whichever comes first)….

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  29. The Duopoly CPD is the soul of corruption in the USA system eliminating us from the ranks of the best governed democracies .

    Somehow the mental blinders must be removed from voters eyes and when they proclaim they can’t stand one or the other of the Duopoly detritus , they need to realize the value of their vote against that corrupt closed system in addition to the value of voting for the most qualified ticket which is so definitively the Libertarian governors .

  30. Really Nice Post. Thanks for sharing with us.

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