Monthly Archives: September 2016

Watchers on the Wall edition

Don’t you just love election seasons? Friends unfriending friends. Twitter all aglow with vitriol and jingoistic fervor that has nothing to do with sports teams. Each side accusing you–yes, you personally–of enabling Hitler/ Mussolini/ Ebola/ the collapse of Western civilization. I look forward to it after every Olympics.  Welcome to “how to rile up the base into voting early.”
 Debate Watch Guide

And now we arrive at the best part of the Fall Frenzy: debates.

Monday. September 26. 6-7:30 PT (9-10:30 pm ET). Where to see it. 

Oh let’s do this thing. 

At first, I thought to offer some helpful predebate items, pre-factchecked to have at your fingertips, such as:

  1. Russia has already gone into the Ukraine.
  2. A nuclear triad includes bombers, land-based missiles and submarines
  3. Mexico has not agreed to pay for a wall

But honestly, I despair that facts will ever matter when talking about Trump. Check out this long but very thorough piece in the Atlantic   about the psychology of the whole show. 

 If the sound-off image is of a calm, confident Clinton and a fuming Trump, she will have won the debates and moved that much closer to winning the election.

Hillary is prepped of course–mock debates, lots of briefings, binders full of up to the minute information. and the campaign is doing its best to make her look like a policy wonk. Maybe that’s a strategy in itself, underplaying her strength at debating.

And let’s be honest, the person least likely to come out on top is Lester Holt. After the scorn Matt Lauer took for his soft-balling of Trump, let’s hope Holt is planning to step up. I dream of a Joseph Welch-McCarthy “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” moment, but 1) Holt doesn’t have that kind of gravitas and 2) Trump would say, “Nope.”

 On the other hand Trump does have a woman problem. He’s a bully and he can’t resist trying to stomp on women who stand up to him (you think you have a bad job job? Try being Kellyanne Conaway). He’d probably pee on his opponent if he thought he could get away with it.  It translates poorly in every battle he’s gotten into with women but he has no other tactics. I’m fascinated to see what Hillary has waiting for him from her arsenal. 

Here’s a little flashback fun to tide you over til Monday night. Get a glass of wine and have a drink for Hillary.
Also bookmark this handy Politifact guide to whoppers told by Donald Trump. 

All the Debates: When and Where

Sept. 26, 6-7:30 pm (PST) with Lester Holt moderating from Hofstra University, NY. 

Oct. 4, 6-7:30 pm (PST) with Elaine Quijano moderating from Longwood University in Virginia. 

Oct. 9, 6-7:30 pm (PST) with Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper from Washington University, St. Louis. 

Oct. 19, 6-7:30 pm (PST) with Chris Wallace from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

The debates will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, C-SPAN and all cable news channels

Early voting

So turning to other news. We got our voter pamphlet in the mail and ugh, California. I hate ballot measures. Hate them. But we will be slogging through so we can get to early voting, which I like to do in person as soon as possible. October 10 in CA. To figure out your early voting options, check NPR’s handy guide

Register now

Also, even if voter purges aren’t all the rage in Ohio, it’s worth checking if you are registered –still (!!!)– and making sure there are no problems before November 8. Deadlines are as early as October 8 in many states, so do it now!

Polling–let’s not freak out

  Finally, I just want to leave you with a couple of graphs. As longtime readers know, I obsess, probably to an unhealthy degree, over polls. I am hating FiveThirtyEight right now because it had Hillary at an 80% chance of winning a month ago and now it has her at 57.7%. But this is how election years go. It’s the worst reality television ever. 

For some perspective, here are the graphs from, a site I read every day–showing polling aggregates for this year in electoral vote terms, but put those against 2012 (Romney was certainly a steadier candidate than the Donald) and 2008 (cuckoobananas Sarah Palin year.) 



See you at the debate!

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