Master Debators 2016 – Round Three – FIGHT!

6:04pm MST – Starting a bit late here, but let’s get going! F5 to refresh, as always.


6:05 – First up, a question about SCOTUS, with a question about whether or not the Constitution is a living document. Hillary answers with an intelligent response, including mentioning that the Senate should confirm or deny Garland’s nomination.

6:07 – And now we get Trump, who believes that the Second Amendment is “under siege”. It isn’t, but arguably our citizens are. He’s also an originalist, which is a problematical point of view.

6:13 – Hillary is trying to square the circle when it comes to gun control, and make a broad appeal to the center. A wise course of action.

6:15 – Trump just made it clear that he’ll appoint justices who will overturn Roe v Wade. So again, if you’re on the fence about voting for Hillary, do so. She’s the pro-choice candidate.

6:17 – Hillary’s defense of abortion rights is full-throated and wonderful. Trump’s lies about what late-term abortion is are just what I’d expect.

6:18 – And she promptly slaps him down for that.

6:21 – “Right now, we’re getting the drugs and they’re getting the cash.” Sounds like an argument to legalize, to me.

6:23 – Putting minorities on trains. I’m sure that wasn’t an accidental image.

6:25 – Well, it took him 25 minutes to interrupt this time. Not bad.

6:28 – He keeps saying “bigly”. I don’t think he knows words. I’m also sure that Obama hasn’t deported “millions and millions of people”. We have fewer illegal immigrants in this country because many have left, because their own countries have improved.

6:30 – Here we go. Here’s the start of the meltdown.

6:31 – “He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and intelligence professionals who are bound to protect us.” An excellent quote.

6:34 – Trump is coming off as a lot more controlled this time around. Still not good on facts, but there you are.

6:36 – Now Clinton is pushing improvements to infrastructure and clean jobs, as well as raising the minimum wage. And this is the first time I see Donald actually taking notes. Well, I assume he is. For all I know, he’s writing down the number of his coke dealer.

6:39 – Given a chance to talk about the economy, he pivots right back to our defense treaties. Obviously he doesn’t understand how international politics work, either.

6:42 – Trump’s comments are a word salad about all sorts of nonsense. Hillary’s is much more intelligent and nuanced.

6:43 – Now she’s praising some of W’s actions toward the start of the Recession. It’s not a bad idea, and will, again, help track toward the center when it comes to earning support for disenchanted Republicans.

6:45 – India and China are growing extremely fast. Do you know why? Because they started from a much lower position than we did. Also, in September we added 156,000 jobs, and unemployment remains under 5%.

6:48 – “Excuse me. My turn.” Yes, ladies, a man is talking! Keep to your place! He’s allowed to interrupt you, but you are not allowed to interrupt him.

6:51 – Again, the Status of Forces agreement, which is why we left Iraq when we did, was signed by W.

6:53 – So he’s specifically said that people were hired by the Clinton campaign, and paid $1,500 each, to cause violence at rallies in Chicago. He says there’s tape of this. He says this in the context of a question about the women accusing him of various inappropriate sexual acts. So, yeah, that makes sense.

6:54 – I suspect what Hillary is saying about the way Trump treats women is something that will really resonate with women on both sides of the spectrum. To give you an idea of how important that is, here’s Nate Silver’s map on what would happen if only women voted.


6:56 – Almost an hour before got to the emails. Such restraint!

7:02 – I strongly doubt that 100% of Trump’s charity money goes to charity. Even the best charities need at least some operational cash.

7:05 – Clinton’s one interjection was about his hotel being built with Chinese steel. Excellent.

7:07 – So for the first time, a major party candidate for president is poisoning the well by saying our elections are illegitimate. Let that sink in. And “millions” of people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote, are registered to vote. That’s interesting, if true. But, well, come on.

7:07 – “Let me respond to that, because that’s…horrifying.” Perfect.

7:09 – “He’s a great threat to our democracy and our democratic institutions. 240 years of peaceful transition of power could be in danger if he’s elected.” “Yeah, but email!”

7:12 – A “no fly zone” sounds like a good idea, but it’s a real problem, and I’m really iffy on whether or not that’s a good idea.

7:13 – Ah, the only reason we’re going on the offensive against ISIS is because of  Hillary running for president. We’ve been at it for about three years now. That’s some forward planning.

7:14 – I doubt strongly that Trump knows that Iran is one of our allies against ISIS.

7:17 – “Strong, nuanced take on what’s happening in Syria!” “Yeah, but Wikileaks!”

7:19 – The sniffing is still there, but less pronounced than before. His dealer must be giving him a new blend. Cocaine comes in blends, right?

7:21 – Again the argument that refugees are terrorists in disguise. It does make perfect sense that a terrorist would spend three years in refugee camps, going through the vetting and the like, just to come here and blow up stuff. I mean, just getting a visa and hopping onto a plane would be much more difficult.

7:28 – Boring, but reasonable responses to a question about the GPD vs debt. Even I’m tuning it out a bit, though. I imagine the average voter turned out minutes ago.

7:30 – A question about entitlements turns to him bitching about Obamacare.

7:32 – Hillary’s response is that she’ll at least be down with raising taxes. She also makes it very clear that cutting benefits is a non-starter.

7:34 – Hillary’s answer to the last question was very good and positive and didn’t mention Trump at all. His first words are about her, then he goes on to our “depleted” military, which certainly isn’t a thing. She framed her answer in terms of America and its people. He framed his answer in terms of her and how much he hates her. Also, mentioning that a vote for her is a vote for four more years of Obama is unwise, given that he’s got very good favorable numbers right now.

His performance was better still this time. Up from a D+ to a C. Hillary was, of course, just fine.

I leave you all with this piece from the Oatmeal.


A Guide to Clickbait

You know what’s terrible? Clickbait. We pretty much all hate it once we recognize it, and sites that are built on it, upworthy, for example, are possibly the worst things on the internet.


This is better than what else you might find by Googling “storm front”

I know these clickbait headlines are sometimes very hard to ignore. So I’ve assembled a helpful little decoder for you. You can refer to this any time you’re tempted to click on a clickbait headline, and, lo and behold, you’ll see what the article says without actually having to read it. Let’s begin.

“Why Hollywood Won’t Cast X Anymore”

The real answer for why Hollywood won’t cast any particular actor is because that actor isn’t making them enough money. If they were, then Brendan Frasier, Ashley Greene, Tobey McGuire, and all the other names I’ve seen on that headline would be getting cast in major movies.

“You Won’t Believe What X Looks Like Now That She’s Lost Y Pounds! My Jaw Is On the Floor!”

What does “she” look like? And why is it always a woman?

Well, first off, let’s take the mother from Here Comes Honey Boo-boo. She apparently lost quite a bit of weight, and still looks pretty big, but not nearly so much. Certainly not enough that someone’s jaw would be on the floor. I suspect this is similar with pretty much all people for X. Also, you can just Google Image search them to find out what they look like now.


No, that’s not what happened at all. A stinging rebuke, maybe. Maybe. But realistically, no, not even that.

“X Just Broke the Internet!”

No. X did not “break the internet”. What exactly does that phrase mean, anyhow? A lot of people probably looked at X, which I can just about guarantee is a nude, or nearly nude, photo of some celebrity, but that’s about it. Just do a Google image search if you really want to see famous naughty parts.

“You’ve Been Doing X Wrong All This Time!”

No, you haven’t. You’ve been hanging toilet paper, cracking an egg, and unpeeling a banana correctly as long as it gets you the results you need.

“What Happens Next Will Surprise You!”

No, it won’t. This is usually found at the end of twenty word headlines like the crap ones Upworthy spews out. Don’t bother to click; there’s nothing good here.

“Person X Made Y Dollars From Their Bedroom!”

You can, too, through the good graces of Chaturbate. Otherwise, if you click on this headline, you’ll probably end up somewhere where X person wants Y dollars from you to share their secret.

“X-type of Companies HATE This 1 Weird Trick” (bonus points if said trick is discovered by a mom)

I can just about promise you that the companies in question either don’t know about this “trick” or don’t care about it, because it’s meaningless, pointless, and doesn’t hit their bottom line even slightly. Likely the same will apply to you if you use it, unless, of course, you pay for access to said  “trick”.

“Which Character from X Franchise Are You?”

None of them. You’re the person who loves that franchise, and can probably project your thoughts and desires onto pretty much any character you want to.

“These Pictures of X Can’t Be Unseen!”

Best not to look at them, then.

“X Things You Never Knew About Y”

Probably you did, though. Maybe you’ll come across one or two things, but likely you already knew them all already.

Ultimately, clickbait is a horrible plague on the Internet, and you never do yourself, or anyone else, any favors by clicking on it.

Posted in General. 1 Comment »

“I’m Going to Vote For a Third Party Candidate!”

Oh, you precious little flower, you. You’re sooooooo dissatisfied with your real choices. Donald Trump, blah. Hillary Clinton, just as evil! So you’re going to go for a third party choice!

Well ignore the selfish, silly, anti-mathematics angle to all that, and let John Oliver explain to you just what you’d be voting for.

Only About Three Weeks to Go!

So with three weeks until the election, where are we? What do I think is likely to happen? Who will be the next president?


Damn right.

Yeah, I think she’s pretty much gotten this sewn-up. Hillary will, bar something horrible happening, be our next president.

But what of the other races?

Well, I suspect the House will stay in Republican hands. I just don’t think it’s going to move, at least not this time. Come 2018, or 2020, and we’ll see.

The Senate? I think it’s going to go Democrat, but it’ll be close, and I could easily see a 50/50 split. But if that’s the case, we’ll have Tim Kaine there to cast the tie-breaking vote.

So that’s that for the national stuff. But my home state, Arizona, is getting pretty interesting this year. We could see some great changes in how we vote, but it’s all dependent on, as so many things are, marijuana.

You see, there’s a ballot measure that would legalize it here. I’m all in favor, of course, because freedom matters to me. And the fact that it’s on the ballot could overturn decades of conservative voting in this state.

If the marijuana legalization initiative passes, then I expect Hillary will win Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio will finally be kicked out of office, our state House and Senate might go Democratic (though the Republicans have gerrymandered the shit out of our state, so who knows?), and maybe, just maybe, John McCain might finally be defeated, as he should have been after 2008.

Now if marijuana legalization doesn’t pass here, then I suspect none of those things will happen. But with luck, it will, and this state can begin to wake up from its long, local nightmare.

Perception is Weird

An example? Look at this picture and say, out loud, the name of that store.


And then watch this video.

Quite fascinating!

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Here, Look at This

Just got back from work/bowling. Now I’m tired. So here’s this great thing! Can’t wait to see the movie.

The Protocols of the Elders of Trump

So, he’s an anti-Semite as well. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

“Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”

For “international bankers”, read “evil Jews out to destroy the world!” because that’s been the dog-whistle ever since Hitler made Antisemitism uncool.

Are we really shocked at this point? I mean, could he do anything that would shock us all at this point?