by baldilocks

I did not watch last night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For the record, I didn’t watch Monday Night Football either; I had a third option.  The specifics of my option do not matter, but that I had more than two options with respect to how I chose to occupy my time is glancing commentary on the election itself.

And here is some commentary that does more than merely glance: “we” managed to pick two candidates—one from each party who are willing to violate the Second Amendment.

I won’t even bother quoting Mrs. Clinton’s stance on the right to bear arms, but here’s an example of Mr. Trump’s position with respect to the topic. From the debate:

The back-and-forth between Trump and debate moderator Lester Holt about the legality of New York City’s now-defunct stop-and-frisk policy is irrelevant. That Trump wants to take guns away from “bad people” is what matters.

Who are the “bad people” and how does a law enforcement agency determine the alleged badness of “bad people?” By how they look? That sounds like the evil, dreaded profiling to me.stopanfrisk_590_356

What about probable cause and the fourth amendment? I know that it’s likely that I’m speaking a language that is foreign to Mr. Trump.

What was that bon mot about liberty versus security? Oh, yes…

They who can give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

There’s some doubt about whether this is an actual Benjamin Franklin quote, but that doesn’t matter. And, in reality, whether a given set of people deserve liberty and safety or not is also irrelevant. (‘Deserve’ is one of my least favorite words.)

What needs to be faced is that we have no major candidate for president who is a true proponent of the freedom of self-defense. Whether we deserve freedom or security or we don’t, both are in grave danger.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-04-05-amFor all of the true debaters out there, let’s face it: this was not an actual debate.

The American Debate Association describes how a debate is supposed to work. The debate focuses on a statement, such as “The United States needs a new tax system to create jobs.”

For example, Donald Trump gets first crack in the affirmative, followed by Hillary Clinton in the negative. Each has nine minutes to discuss the question rather than the two-minute soundbites of last night’s debate. Then each one gets to question the other. Then the two debaters get to rebut the other’s argument.

The argument is between the two parties rather than through a moderator. In fact, in an actual debate, there is no moderator. The judges are supposed to stay out of the way.

Since I was in high school, these rules have been the standard. I have no idea why presidential debates don’t use this approach.

It’s probably because the longstanding rules for debate would probably bring more substance without the useless presence of some media darling who has virtually no expertise in the area of domestic and foreign policies.

Despite my misgivings about the format and substance of last night’s debate, I generally think it was a draw, which probably works in Donald Trump’s favor. The MSM gives the nod to Hillary, but that’s not unexpected.

Trump did a relatively good job of explaining his policies on trade and policing, but he fumbled through his response on the birther issue. He rambled as he often does. But he had the best line: Hillary has a lot of experience, but it’s bad experience.

Clinton failed to move the needle on what to do about the self-proclaimed Islamic State and race relations. At times, she seemed robotic.

On more “substantive” matters that usually decide who won and who lost the debate, Trump’s audio was bad at many times during the discussion; both had terrible makeup jobs; the split screen clearly favored Clinton.

What’s amazes me is that the moderator, Lester Holt, failed to ask any substantive questions about emails, Benghazi or the Clinton Foundation. If anything underlines how unnecessary a star moderator is, Holt’s avoidance of certain issues demonstrates why actual debates don’t have moderators.

Howard Kurtz of Fox News provided a relatively good analysis of the debate at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/26/clinton-scores-by-staying-on-offense-trump-by-sticking-to-serious-issues.html

Kurtz argued that Clinton stayed on the offensive while Trump countered with serious issues.

As CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it: Trump didn’t lose any voters; Clinton didn’t gain any.

That seems about right to me.


Christoper Harper, a recovering journalist from The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price

Gen Nathanael Greene on the British “victory” at Bunker Hill

As predicted yesterday the MSM in cheering Hillary Clinton in unison as the winner of yesterday’s debate, and if this was a college debate scored by instructors you might be able to make that case.

Hillary sounded every bit the policy wonk and experienced pol who had been doing this for years and the media is giving her high marks for doing so.

Unfortunately that isn’t the measure that will win her the election.

The only sense that Hillary managed to help herself was by not coughing and not falling over.  This makes it less likely that she will be replaced by another candidate.

In every other sense, Trump won this debate.

The primary goal of Donald Trump was to convince voters who don’t like Hillary but are afraid of him due to the Hillary/MSM attacks is that he is a credible candidate and is not crazy.

He did that very well, he brought up legit concerns that people can relate to (jobs leaving the country), Issues that are current and on the mind of voters (Law and Order on the streets)  Successfully brought up points that make Hillary look Corrupt (the 5th amendment),  Turned the Tax question into an email question (the one time Holt was forced to confront Hillary) managed to flank her on Black America (what has the party done for you?) and most importantly reminded people over and over again that Hillary has had 30 years to solve problems and hasn’t done so.

Most importantly he did so in a way that spoke not to political junkies like me, or policy wonks in DC or the political media but to the public who normally doesn’t pay attention.  Hillary talked over the general populace, Trump talked TO them.

After seeing that debate if you didn’t like Hillary but was afraid of Donald Trump you were either no longer afraid or less afraid.

In fact even the health result help Trump, a switch on the Ticket can only help Democrats, by looking healthy enough to go on Hillary insures her place on the ticket which will help solidify Trump lead.

As for Lester Holt, he wasn’t Candy Crowley biased but had the standard Bias of omission not bringing up issues that were weak for Hillary Clinton, on the plus side he let the two of them go at it a lot and I think that was a positive as it highlighted the actual differences between the candidate which is what such a debate should do.  Yeah he was biased but I’ve seen so much worse I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

Put simply Hillary Clinton won this debate in the same way that the British won the battle of Bunker Hill and if she doesn’t understand it today next week when she is still down she sure will.

Update: Stacy McCain gets it

Ross Douthat makes some apt criticism of Trump’s debate performance, but it’s not Harvard-educated pundits who are Trump’s core constituency. This is one of the basic problems with political punditry: Highly educated (and highly ideological) commentators have difficulty imagining how things look to the average voter in Ohio or Florida. Remember how the Bernie Sanders boom during the Democrat primaries caught much of the journalistic world by surprise, in much the same way that Trump’s success in the GOP primaries shocked professional pundits on the Right.


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As you may or may not know I have a “day” job (actually an overnight job) that I was forced to pick up when DaTipJar started falling in a bad economy. I’ve been there since last November other than a brief 3 week period that I was laid off.

A large amount of our work comes during the Christmas season and as a rule hours and staffing increases to deal with the additional volume.

Lately we’ve had a huge surge in work that has kept us busy that is much earlier than expected.

While we’ve all been grateful for this there seemed to be no rational explanation for it until I spoke to a co-worker who told me of a relative who despite having tickets to see the Carolina Panthers play this weekend, decided to give it a miss due to fear of the protesters and violence.

That’s when it hit me.

All over the country we are seeing Terror attacks at malls, black lives matter protests, looting and roads blocked and innocent pedestrians and drivers in danger by violent thugs.

Given that fact why bother to go out and put yourself at risk when you can order product online from the safety and security of your home. Not only is there no physical risk but even if a riot means a trailer carrying your product is burned or looted it is the company’s responsibility to replace it.

Granted the actual chance of getting caught up in any of these things is very very low but when you are ordering product online from your home, the chances go from low to zero.

And thus I’m guaranteed a full 40 hour work week or more for the foreseeable future, although for myself I don’t think the price of riots and terrorism is a price worth paying to get it.