“Who’s a good debate moderator? You are!” (Open Thread)

Like me, you’re probably expecting the upcoming primary debates to be a shit-show thanks to crappy moderators angling for click-baity soundbites. Someone in my Twitter timeline (can’t remember who, and Twitter doesn’t make backtracking easy) asked folks to suggest unconventional debate formats.

I think a Puppy Bowl-style forum would be revealing since dogs are generally good judges of character; here’s Elizabeth Warren cavorting with the Obama Bros’ dogs during a podcast appearance:

I’m only half-kidding. Trump claims he doesn’t have a dog because he doesn’t have time for one, but we know that’s a lie because a) Ivana’s dog hated his guts, and b) he has time to tweet nonsense like this every day:

Of course, the rest of us know Sanders entered the race yesterday, but Trump just found out this morning during the Fox & Friends Presidential Daily Briefing. Anyhoo, fuck that motherfucker — back to debate formats.

A while back, someone here suggested allowing the League of Women Voters to run them, which is a fine idea, IMO. But the networks aren’t going to let that cash cow out of the barn.

If I were running the DNC, I’d start working the refs now to demand a substantive debate. Or, failing that, maybe a Puppy Bowl. It would be more entertaining and revelatory than watching Jake Tapper — or, God help us, Hugh Hewitt — ask inane, loaded questions. And with all the women running this time, you know the sexist knobs at the networks will be unable to restrain themselves from attempting to provoke a “cat fight.” Yeah, dogs would be better.

Open thread!






156 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    I thought NBC was hosting the debates.

    Fortunately Matt Lauer is sidelined, but I’m sure there’ll still be mischief from other moderators. We’ll hear every Republican talking point from the moderators.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    First, fuck this cold stuff (by Cali standards, it’s damn cold; I’ve had enough, tyvm).

    Next, come on, Robert Mueller, enough suspense; too much longer and it’s gonna be all ignored as something to influence the campaign. Just a little quicker, again, tyvm (patience isn’t my thing when I’m cold).

    On the flip side, can you imagine the show if Mueller indicts basically everyone except the President, leaving him unindicted because he’s the President, but the authorities are there with handcuffs as he’s leaving on 1/20/21? Maybe they could drag him off the stage after the new Preswient is sworn in .

    ETA: Do we really know Ivana’s dog hated him? Can’t find on limited coffee so far.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    someone here suggested allowing the League of Women Voters to run them, which is a fine idea, IMO. But the networks aren’t going to let that cash cow out of the barn.

    It would be cheaper for them because they wouldn’t have to pay their anchor extra to be the debate moderator. They could still air the debates.

    Various styles that would be way more interesting:

    – Debate while doing something else like building a Habitat for Humanity house, planting a garden, restoring a car. They have to work separately and in teams. Live stream the whole thing. Moderators have to do work too.
    – Normal debate but everyone involved has to wear NASCAR style suits with their sponsors’ logos on them. That includes the moderator(s). Goes back two years for everyone so if they’ve worked for a think tank or whatever in that time the logo has to be on the suit.
    – Line them all up and let a bunch of dogs pick the best candidate. Then do the same thing with kids. Dogs and kids are good judges of character.

  4. 4
    Juice Box says:

    Does Wilmer own a dog?

  5. 5

    @germy:

    Fortunately Matt Lauer is sidelined

    I can’t imagine a more clear display of how much the media hates Hillary Clinton than that ‘debate’, or a more clear display of how deeply misogyny pervades the national press than Lauer not getting into trouble for it.

  6. 6
    ruemara says:

    What should definitely happen is CNN is no longer hosting them. But I approve of the puppy bowl and would also add the kitty bowl. In fact, I volunteer my kitties. it will be a week long debate where they demonstrate they have the patience & kindness to get the boy to show. Double the points if the girl comes out.

    Some fun news. I’ve been working for over a decade to develop a set of african fables as a cartoon. With the ongoing success of the podcast audiodrama I do (plus the other voiceover work I’ve gotten), a lightbulb went off in my head. Proud to report the revised script for the first Shona tale is done, the next one has my story adaptation notes completed and it looks like I will get to finish all 10-12 before deadline, which means my full first season is well under way. I want each season to focus on a different region, so Africa with some Middle Eastern influenced tales is up first. Depending on reception & costs, Chinese & Japanese folktales will be next, Appalachian folklore will be third. Plus I’m adapting a Pinoy folktale to tell as a non-binary love story between two gods. Maybe it will even mean enough that I can get some subscribers to pay hosting fees etc.
    I thought you could use some nice creative news success in the dumpster fire of this country. Plus I’ll be directing some other guy’s horror script in April. Anyone got a house with a kid’s room & an adult’s room for April 20-21? I sorta kid.

  7. 7
    CliosFanBoy says:

    screw Bernie. My wife runs the Facebook page for the local historical society. She put on a story about the local black community’s history and a commentator put on a, well, incoherent remark that read like some racist dialect “darky” joke. My wife banned the commentator and deleted the remark,. We looked at the commentator’s page expecting a MAGAnut. Nope. Hard core young white male Berniebro. Posted both “Socialism Now!” stuff as well as RW nonsense about Ms. Clinton. Ugh. How did Bernie do so poorly amongst people of color. Tis a mystery…

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @The Dangerman:

    “Donald was not a dog fan,” Ivana Trump wrote in her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump, recounted his resistance to her bringing a poodle named Chappy home. “It’s me and Chappy or no one!” she said to him.

    newsweek

  9. 9
    AliceBlue says:

    Actually, the League of Women Voters used to be in charge of the debates.

  10. 10
    R-Jud says:

    Alex Pareene (who used to write the annual Year in Hacks roundup) suggested last night that we should be asking candidates to name their fantasy cabinet. I liked that idea, and would like to see it in a debate. As we are learning to our great pain, who you hire says a lot about you.

  11. 11
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    No matter how low a bar we set on debate expectations, our feckless, corporate media will still manage to slither under it.

    And that’s too bad because many of us are going into this cycle open minded about many of the candidates. I gotta admit that in 2016 I was initially Wilmer Curious. Then I watched the second debate and became a big Clinton supporter. And Wilmer’s lived down to that 2nd-debate reaction ever since.

    That experience highlights what I’d like to see in these debates: a chance for voters, particularly Democratic voters, to gauge the candidates without dealing with the narcissistic layer of courtier/stenographer “moderation” getting in the way.

  12. 12
    kindness says:

    The DNC should fund the Primary debates and run them by themselves with their own people asking questions. If the Networks or Cable News wants to show them, let them. Otherwise see you later Charlie. The point about a debate is to find out what the candidate thinks, not to make them look bad.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @germy: Oh Christ, then we’ll get Hugh Fucking Hewitt for sure. The WaPo allowed that moron to handicap the state of the race recently, with predictable results.

  14. 14
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @AliceBlue: but they lost it because they’re flaming lefties or something…

  15. 15

    I made a debate suggestion for the massive field of Republicans back in 2016 on my blog, but it ended up as a Thunderdome type elimination battle just to make them bleed out so I dunno if putting Democrats into that meat grinder is a good idea.

  16. 16
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: same her. My wife was Hillary from the get-go. I debated until I saw Bernie talk about foreign policy. He was so clueless that I was appalled.

  17. 17
    Betty Cracker says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: The disastrous NYDN interview was my “oh, HELL no” moment.

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: Congrats. That sounds really cool.

  19. 19
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ruemara: That’s fantastic! Congrats!

  20. 20
    Fair Economist says:

    @ruemara:

    Some fun news. I’ve been working for over a decade to develop a set of african fables as a cartoon. With the ongoing success of the podcast audiodrama I do (plus the other voiceover work I’ve gotten), a lightbulb went off in my head. Proud to report the revised script for the first Shona tale is done

    Keep us posted. I would love to see this!

  21. 21
  22. 22

    @CliosFanBoy:

    It remains something I can’t understand about the type of Socialist that Bernie et al attracts. My experience and understanding about Socialism was that it covered diversity of population – race and gender – because the very nature of Socialism – provide for all to create equal access to opportunity – required it. Instead, with the BernieBro types I’m seeing an exclusionary, “we know what’s best”, anti-minority and anti-women, protect-the-elites mentality that harkens more towards Populism than Socialism.

    It’s like all the worst parts of the Intellectual Elite Snobbery that Conservatives routinely paint all Socialists/Communists as, without the genuine interest in, you know, actually fcking helping EVERYBODY survive on more than just minimum wage every other week.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: And, fortunately, that asshat Reikhoff is no longer running IAVA, so if we’re lucky we won’t get a self aggrandizing Commander in Chief town hall this time.

  25. 25
    James E Powell says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    We should have known right then what the press/media intended and we should have stormed their offices. Alas!

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: Don’t forget the Floriduh! folk tales.

  27. 27
    ruemara says:

    @PaulWartenberg: I followed someone haranguing Reign of April for her pointed questions regarding Bernie’s civil rights record. Full of anti-Brie Larson, anti-Captain Marvel, anti-woman incel nonsense plus obligatory condescending racism. For my health, I’ve muted any never Bernie hashtags, his name & the Sanders 2020 tag. It still gets through. Had to unfollow a good person who is DIEHARD for Bernie and has slid past my responses on how he is not what she thinks he is. This is as full a cult as Trump and it attracts such toxic people that I wonder about how my friend can align herself unquestioningly with it. But I don’t want to yell at her so I have to ignore her.

    @Fair Economist: Hear it. But if I get a development deal, I will let you know.

    @Adam L Silverman: This isn’t a horror podcast. That’s in development

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @R-Jud:

    last night that we should be asking candidates to name their fantasy cabinet. I liked that idea, and would like to see it in a debate.

    four copies of Barack and Michelle Obama on the Supreme Court

  29. 29

    @ruemara: Congrats!

    (I posted this once and I don’t know where the comment went.)

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    @ruemara:

    What should definitely happen is CNN is no longer hosting them

    Truth…

    and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    @CliosFanBoy:

    but they lost it because they’re flaming lefties or something…

    The something is that they believe everybody should be informed, and everybody should vote.

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    Well, let’s see. The Oscars won’t have a host this year. Why not some of the debates without hosts or moderators? If it was good enough for Lincoln and Douglas…

    @kindness:

    The DNC should fund the Primary debates and run them by themselves with their own people asking questions. If the Networks or Cable News wants to show them, let them. Otherwise see you later Charlie.

    This would be OK by me.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I want to just drop this here, not to go after Sanders and his supporters, but to point out something that needs to seriously be considered. This is what one Republican NeverTrumper with a Twitter account was able to dig up by himself and tweet out. Now imagine what the GOP oppo shops can and will do:

    This is what’s coming.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    And no moderator. Put the Democratic candidates around a table and have them talk to one another. I’d watch that- “I say free college” “well, I don’t like free college and instead I have this..” Like that. No individual time limits. If you won’t shut up or you won’t speak up, people find that out. It will get cross-talky. Just let that happen and see if they fix it themselves. I think they’ll (mostly) take turns because they won’t want it to be a chaotic mess.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: Remember, as Governor Walkin Lawton Chiles liked to say when asked how he was going to get something passed through the legislature: “the he-(ra)coon walks by the full moon light”. There’s gotta be a folk tale in their somewhere!

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @PaulWartenberg: They’re a newer version of Ron Paul fans, just wearing different t-shirts and with slightly different slogans. Drill down and you’ll probably find some of them are hot for the gold standard.

    It’s weird how these guys are so fond of old, white, male Russian assets. Hmmmm….

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: And congratulations. When it’s time to announce when they’re going to release, shoot me an email and we’ll do it up as a front page post for you.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    Anyone wondering how geg6’s John is doing, she posted an update in the previous thread. Link: https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/02/20/wednesday-morning-open-thread-a-new-bladeplay-hope/#comment-7198588

  39. 39
    mad citizen says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m hoping the Mueller team drops something next week when Orangon is most of the way to Vietnam, and he can’t use the twitter machine right away. Didn’t something similar happen on one of his other overseas trips?

    Congrats ruemara!

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    The problem with not having media moderators is that you want the nominee to have gotten some practice dealing with them when the general election debates start.

  41. 41
    Chyron HR says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    [Bernie] traveled to Nicaragua to advise the Ortega regime on how to successfully fight the United States.

    I mean, to be fair, that’s probably just resume padding.

    Bernie Sanders praises their (communist) youth programs and his wife Jane praises their (communist) system of not separating personal life and work.

    Not to be confused with (Christian) youth groups or the (capitalist) system working on your days off.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: That’s excellent news, considering how bad it could have been.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    Why doesn’t Donald Trump have a dog? A dog has nothing to offer him but love, which has no monetary value and is not a material object; such things are beyond Trump’s ken. Also, Trump freaks animals out: they can sense his innate creepiness.

  44. 44
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Thank God this site is back up. I really missed my morning catch up on the threads I slept through today.

    Don’t know if this has already been covered as I’ve only just come back in but 8 Labour MP’s have resigned the Labour whip over Brexit and anti-semitism and they have been joined by 3 Tories who say Teresa May is giving in to bullying from the far right European Research Group.

    News is reporting they will sit together as an Independent group. Interesting to see if others join them.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chyron HR: Major victory lap…

    But more seriously, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve seen video of him from his honeymoon in Russia from the 1970s that’s been posted online. At that point he was a known political figure, albeit not a national or major one. If you don’t think the Soviet’s had the KGB making audio and video tapes of everything he did, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  46. 46
    Juice Box says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sanders was a member of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party and served as a presidential convention delegate. The idea of the GOP flinging mud at the Democratic Party’s candidate for his Russian ties is intriguing though. Lazy narcissistic old man with Russian ties against lazy narcissistic old man with Russian ties.

  47. 47
    Humdog says:

    @ruemara: Have I missed your link to your podcast audiodrama? Please direct me to it, thanks.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    I think some internet news outlets would be worth a try. Couldn’t be worse than the garbage we see from the likes of traditional broadcast networks and cable. So, how about
    Fivethirtyeight blog
    The Young Turks
    Talkingpointsmemo
    Little Green Footballs.

    That is a nice ideological range, with a wonkyshop up at the top. I’d have to have some likker shots handy to get through The Young Turks and Little Green Footballs, but at least those particular goofs aren’t butt ignorant, and will go for a slightly higher level of ‘gotcha’ Probably much less fussing about idiot obsessions like whether Harris is ‘authentically black’, or asking dishonest questions about Pocahontas that are, as far as I can tell, designed for corporate social engineering, 100 percent bad faith garbage, so Todd can put on the ‘victory’ version of his shit eating gape.

    Or maybe newspapers and topic blogs could do something. NYT has Krugman do one on economics, for example. I don’t know if NYT has the will or ability to run an internet video event. And other newspapers, like Washington Post, their lousy editorial board would screw up things as bad as old school TV.

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    @Sloane Ranger: I read a post from someone who’s jewish and a reporter covering it. It’s heartbreaking that Labour is tolerating anti-semitism. As well as the pro-Brexit nonsense. When folks on the left here praise Corbyn, I know they’re not paying a lick of attention to the mess he’s made. I’m so very sorry.

    @Adam L Silverman: I haven’t seen those, but I have seen the video of him half naked at a table in russia singing songs or chanting or something. I’ve managed to wipe my mind of most of the details as a self-care measure. And they haven’t even touched his writings on orgasm and cancer in women. The Bernista faction will not know what hit them.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sloane Ranger: The Conservative Front for Tory Labourers or the Labour Front for Labouring Tories?

  51. 51
    Humdog says:

    @Sloane Ranger: The split looks really ugly. Is Corbyn Labor communist and antiSemitic? Sure looks like it. Not good news for trying to boot the Tories from heading up government.

  52. 52
    JoyceH says:

    I really wish the MSM would stop talking about Trump’s doglessness and how he’s the first prez in over a century to not have a dog. My fear is that some Trumpist would gift him with a dog and that he’d feel obligated to keep it. Obvs have someone else do all the work, but I’d just hate to see a dog brought into that chaotic environment. I recall that the Reagans got gifted a dog and sort of had to take it but eventually sent it out to the ‘ranch’ as too active for the White House. Then I think they got some sort of soft little lap doggy for Nancy.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: That clip of him half naked in Russia is from his honeymoon. I guarantee you the KGB took audio and video of everything he did there.

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @Yarrow:

    They’re a newer version of Ron Paul fans

    I saw recently that Lyndon LaRouche died. He was 96.

  55. 55
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    IIRC when the League ran the debates, many people claimed they were ‘too boring to watch.’ I think the League worked very hard to be unbiased and set up a ‘no drama’ event.

    I think the League refused to run the debates 1 election (2000?) because the candidates (actually the GOP candidate) kept changing the number and formats of the debates.

    The women had a long history of running debates, preparing candidate questionnaires for local, state, and federal elections. They had researched the issues for yrs, had the info ready to counter any b—s–t, and didn’t suffer fools or meddling with the proceeding. The women were simply too smart, too well-prepared, too knowledgeable for the set-up the networks and some in the parties wanted. They simply couldn’t deal with the kind of women the League developed!

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JoyceH:

    Then I think they got some sort of soft little lap doggy for Nancy.

    I’m not sure you’d call Mr. T a soft little lap doggy…

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Thank you for linking to g’s comment and it does sound like good news. phew

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub:

    I saw recently that Lyndon LaRouche died. He was 96.

    That’s just what the World Zionist Conspiracy wants you to think…//

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    The Young Turks

    No.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @Baud: Fine. You got a better idea for a progressive site, let us know.

  61. 61
    opiejeanne says:

    @CliosFanBoy: I saw a report that Wilmer raised $6 million in a single day after his announcement. I can’t imagine that much money in a single day is all $27 donations.

  62. 62
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @PaulWartenberg: it’s like the old Peanuts from the 1960s, Linus “I love humanity, it’s people I can’t stand..”

  63. 63
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep. Ugh, how is a supposedly smart man so foolish? Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical. Ego.

    @jl: Any one other than TYT, which is regressive.

    @opiejeanne: I saw it was 3 mil. He’s the preferred candidate of oligarchs.

  64. 64
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @catclub: but that’s COMMUNISM!!!!! (says the righties who are as unclear as to what Communism is as they are unclear on pretty much everything)

  65. 65
    jl says:

    OK, screw it, Chuck D, Conan O’Brien, and Cardi B moderate all of them. They all know more and would be better than standard TV news celeb frauds.

    Edit: Add Serena Williams.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @jl: LGM. Even dailykos would be better.

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @Sloane Ranger: I’ve been watching with great interesting. Seems like the first real crack in the whole thing. Someone has needed to be brave and it looks like these folks are.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara: Congrats on your fun news! Cool stuff.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jl:
    HELL NO to The Young Turks. It would be a very bad idea to let that crew of Wilmeristas run the Democratic party’s presidential debates.

  70. 70
    gene108 says:

    How do you have an actual debate, which lasts maybe 1 hours, with 6-12 candidates? A debate is usually an opening statement of position on a topic and a rebuttal of an opposing view.

    If someone is going to moderate a debate, I don’t want the media. I want a policy expert of some kind, who actually knows issues and can ask meaningful questions and follow-up questions.

    Otherwise, I like Kay’s suggestion of having them talk topics out between themselves.

  71. 71
    jl says:

    @Baud: Dailykos would be better. Thanks.

  72. 72
    debit says:

    @jl: Your definition of progressive is wrong.

  73. 73
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @opiejeanne: some may have been as high as $35!!! I don’t have my Rubles-Dollars converter handy. :)

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @opiejeanne:

  75. 75
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Baud: LGM, or Raw Story. Daily KOS? Digby??? Even Vox….

    I’d pay good money to see a debate moderated by Digby and Erik L from LGM… Toss in Cole from here and I’d pay like it was front row seats to a Ali/Frasier Fight from the 70s..

  76. 76
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Amen to that. No studio audience should be the rule for all of the debates, including the ones where Trump stalks his opposition around the stage. Maybe get someone with a cattle prod to shoo him back to his own corner.

  77. 77
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How about either The Labourtives or The Conservours?

    Alternatively the Social Democratic Party is not currently being used.

  78. 78
    Haroldo says:

    @ruemara:

    I’ve been working for over a decade to develop a set of african fables as a cartoon. With the ongoing success of the podcast audiodrama I do (plus the other voiceover work I’ve gotten), a lightbulb went off in my head. Proud to report the revised script for the first Shona tale is done, the next one has my story adaptation notes completed and it looks like I will get to finish all 10-12 before deadline, which means my full first season is well under way. I want each season to focus on a different region, so Africa with some Middle Eastern influenced tales is up first.

    This is brilliant. Please keep us apprised.

  79. 79
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Sloane Ranger: The Liberal Party? Whigs??

  80. 80
    jl says:

    And LGM would be better too.
    Any conservative leaning sites better than Charles Johnsons Little Green Footballs. Or should we have them at all.

    And EXCUSE me,. I’m out of here for a while. I deeply apologize for what came out of the top of my head. I don’t follow internet shit that much. some of your attitude can go to hell.

  81. 81
    Yarrow says:

    @jl:

    The Young Turks

    No. Not having a Russian front moderate our debates.

  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @ruemara: This sounds great. Congratulations.

    Do you need those rooms in the Seattle area?

  83. 83
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @jl: no worries. YT has some, um, problematic history, esp with regards to women. You have really be in the political weeds though to be aware of it…

  84. 84
    Haroldo says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @catclub:

    I saw recently that Lyndon LaRouche died. He was 96.

    That’s just what the World Zionist Conspiracy wants you to think…//

    A World Zionist Conspiracy in league with Roger Stone, no less:

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/12/lyndon-larouche-roger-stone-russia-robert-mueller/

  85. 85
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @ruemara: sounds cool!

    Did you get the KIA Niro?

  86. 86
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @jl: David Packman??

    Roland Martin??

    Could the root or wonkette do it?

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Haroldo: I’m not authorized by the Elders to make a statement at this time…

  88. 88
    dr. luba says:

    @ruemara:

    I saw it was 3 mil. He’s the preferred candidate of oligarchs.

    Russian or American?

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Isn’t that interesting. Those small amount donors sure do seem to pick Russian assets. Hmmm….

  90. 90
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Humdog:

    s Corbyn Labor communist and antiSemitic?

    Most Labour MP’s aren’t but Corbyn and his supporters belong to a strand of left-wing thinking that is pro-Palastinian. This has become anti-zionism which has mestasicised into anti-semitism. Plus, as Adam reminds us often the world is controlled by an international cabal of Jews who run it to make themselves rich at everyone else’s expense. :)

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    They’re smart and you would learn a lot about them in a freer form:

    Lis Smith
    ‏Verified account
    @Lis_Smith
    Follow Follow @Lis_Smith
    More
    .@PeteButtigieg on court packing: “It’s no more a departure from norms than what the Republicans did to get the judiciary to the place it is today….Bold, ambitious ideas need a hearing right now.

    He would say THIS and the rest could jump off it. You could end up at abortion with one and campaign finance with another and you’d get a sense of how they think and what they prioritize. It COULD end up as a discussion of “bold v not so bold” but that’s a real debate in the D Party. That’s a valid thing to debate.

    I’d like to see how people perceived different approaches, too. If someone who dominated, for example, was perceived as bullying or if that’s seen as a strength. It could be either- I don’t know.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Was just reading about that in WaPo and thinking of doing a post on it later. John Oliver’s program is my go-to source on Brexit; he had a great run-down of the end-game recently. Best of luck to y’all. God help all of us, actually — we’re torn apart by the same evil forces.

  93. 93
    debit says:

    @jl: Grow a thicker skin, sweetie.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    I saw recently that Lyndon LaRouche died. He was 96

    Love the Wired headline:

    Before There Was Internet Paranoia, There Was Lyndon LaRouche

    I remember years ago, coming out of the post office and being approached by a spectacularly beautiful woman started talking to me about Larouche stuff. I recall thinking that it was a shame that a woman so beautiful was a nut job.

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    @CliosFanBoy: True. LGF used to be an Islamophobic hate site too, though that seems largely forgotten.

  96. 96
    opiejeanne says:

    @ruemara: Yes, I heard the $3million yesterday, this morning saw the total at $6 mill. The Hill and Fortune are reporting that his campaign is claiming that amount.

  97. 97
    Bouncy Ball says:

    I propose one small rule change: only one live microphone at a time. People interrupting or talking over one another muddies the content and wastes time.

    No, wait — two changes. I also want hard time limits. When your time is up your microphone is turned off. I might actually watch a debate like this. As it stands now I find them anternately boring and infuriating.

    (I’ve been reading BJ for a year or so, now. I may start to comment sometimes. I should try to remember my ’nym.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Humdog: @Sloane Ranger: From what I’ve read, I don’t think Corbyn is anti-Semitic in the sense that we would normally talk about it here in the US. He is clearly anti-Zionist, which is not too surprising, but that isn’t the same thing as anti-Semitic. I think what happens is that he’s sort of casually anti-Semitic. As in he really has no issues with Judaism as a religion or individuals who are Jewish, but he’s so sloppy in his anti-Zionism and issues pertaining to anti-Semitism are largely unimportant to him politically and ideologically, that he comes across as anti-Semitic at times. Basically he’s tone deaf on this and it presents as anti-Semitic.

  99. 99
    kindness says:

    @jl: Meh. Daily Kos’s poll from yesterday showed Bernie won 44% of the preferred candidates. Second was Kamela with 15%.

    With that in mind I wouldn’t want Daily Kos to host debates either.

  100. 100
    opiejeanne says:

    @CliosFanBoy: LOL!

    USD$27 = RUB1784.73 This morning.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    I think what people really are complaining about is not that debates are “too hard” but that they’re too easy. That the candidates can prepare for them and recite answers and that the whole game is to get them to say something they didn’t prepare- to “reveal” themselves. OOPs! She said something true! That’s REALLY cynical and no way to get to know someone.

    Why not just set it up so they can’t prepare, have a goal of learning something about them rather than trying (and failing) to outwit them with clever questions or hostile moderators? They’re smart. They’ll be fine. And if they’re not fine outside a rigid format then they can’t be president. Free form. Set ’em loose and see what they do with it.

  102. 102
    The Lodger says:

    @JPL: That sounds great, ruemara! Keep us posted.

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Remember, as Governor Walkin Lawton Chiles liked to say when asked how he was going to get something passed through the legislature: “the he-(ra)coon walks by the full moon light”.

    That would be good if you did not see so many raccoons as roadkill. Had a neighbor from Germany who had never seen a live one.

    Would like to know the folk tale etymology of that one. You could pick a worse animal to emulate than a raccoon.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Young Turks

    No. Not having a Russian front moderate our debates.

    Hell muthaphuckin’ no.

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    Oliver Willis
    Adam Sewer
    Anyone from Pragmatic Obots Unite
    Angry Black Lady
    Propane Jane

    I’d like to see them moderate a debate.

  106. 106
    JoyceH says:

    @gene108:

    Otherwise, I like Kay’s suggestion of having them talk topics out between themselves.

    I don’t like the idea of unmoderated debates because what would happen would be that the male candidates would interrupt and talk right over the female candidates and get away with it because it happens in real life and on television all the time and people are so used to it that most of them don’t even notice it. So the men would come across as decisive and in charge with great ideas, and the women would appear to have nothing to say for themselves. Either that or the women would have to really put their foot down and insist on being heard and come across as ‘strident’. Again, as happens in the real world All. The. Time.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: I don’t know it, despite being a native Floridian. BettyC might.

  108. 108
    ThresherK says:

    Is Bernard “What would you do if Kitty Dukakis were raped?” Shaw not available to sandbad the Democrats this year?

  109. 109
    debit says:

    @Kay: I’ll never forget the debate between Hillary, Obama and John Edwards. There was one of those “what’s your worst fault?” questions and Edwards and Hillary gave a “I care too much” or “I work too hard” kind of answer. Obama called them both out and answered honestly, said that if you give him a piece of paper he’ll probably misplace it. I loved that about him and I was still a stupid Edwards supported then.

  110. 110
    Immanentize says:

    @kindness: That poll got freeped. Reddit users were instructed to pounce once Kos put it up. I think it will revert to being a normal GOS straw poll in a round or two.

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    Ruemara — Aren’t breakthroughs great things? Congratulations and good luck with all the projects!

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: Just watched John Oliver’s show on it last night. It was very good. One thing that he didn’t really cover is the Russian involvement in the Brexit vote (and the Scottish independence referendum before that). It’s also not covered or discussed in the UK nearly as much as Russia’s similar involvement in our elections is covered here. Various reasons why that could be the case, including tons of Russian money in London.

    There is a fair amount of intersection between Brexit and our 2016 elections so I keep thinking that some of what Mueller is doing and some of the arrests will affect the Brexit decisions. I still think the truth on that will come out but timing at this point is everything.

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    @JoyceH:

    But that can’t actually happen when she’s president. There won’t be a moderator there to cut the men off. So if she can’t do it in the debate how will she do it as president? It’s not her fault but it is her problem. She’ll have to solve the problem. It’s an extra burden (unfair) but it IS. It exists.

  114. 114
    ruemara says:

    Uhhh, responses as follows:
    Need a house in Cal, preferably NorCal. It’s out of my pocket and the writer’s pocket & although I should be able to staff it with unpaid (inexperienced crew), I’d like to have more help on this one and that requires pay.
    @opiejeanne: Amazing. And yet will it translate into votes? Will Old Town Media make an appearance? Will he spend it on mysterious ad buys that don’t make sense but nothing on ground game, registration drives & definitely not in black outreach? How many times will he complain about being forced – FORCED, I TELL YOU! – to say “black”? Antiestablishment my shiny heiny.

  115. 115
    Doug R says:

    @jl:

    Fine. You got a better idea for a progressive site, let us know.

    Ahem. I know of at least one top 10,000 blog that has plenty of knowledgeable jackals, or at least know-it-alls.

  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I agree with you about the Labour antisemitism generally and Corbin in particular. The critique of “Israel = Antisemitism” or “Opposition to Israeli policies regarding minority populations = Antisemitism” is a creeping problem here as well. I think folks in this country are just way more careful because there is a larger Jewish population throughout the country?

    Meanwhile, Brexit is really tearing both Labour and Conservative Parties apart as each club has members on both sides of the issue. Itt was like the perfect country-destroying wedge issue.

  117. 117
    Haroldo says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Humdog: @Sloane Ranger: From what I’ve read, I don’t think Corbyn is anti-Semitic in the sense that we would normally talk about it here in the US. He is clearly anti-Zionist, which is not too surprising, but that isn’t the same thing as anti-Semitic. I think what happens is that he’s sort of casually anti-Semitic. As in he really has no issues with Judaism as a religion or individuals who are Jewish, but he’s so sloppy in his anti-Zionism and issues pertaining to anti-Semitism are largely unimportant to him politically and ideologically, that he comes across as anti-Semitic at times. Basically he’s tone deaf on this and it presents as anti-Semitic.

    Nicely put. I think one could extend ‘sloppiness’ to cover all of Corbyn’s thinking.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @debit:

    I blame Edwards for starting the stupid thing that goes “because individuals in health care gave you donations, that means you got donations from “health care” rather than, say, A NURSE.

    It’s the worst kind of pedantic lawyer trick – Greenwald likes those too- and it remains popular. “Is it a DONATION? Yes. I rest my case”. If I donate to Obama I’m not the “legal services industry”. I’m a person with a job. Edwards was too clever for me. He cuts corners. It probably works 90% of the time but that 10% could be catastrophic. It’s not QUITE honest but it sounds honest.

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle & @Adam L Silverman: My understanding is “the old he-coon walks at dawn” means he (the OLD he-coon) is smarter than the younger raccoons who are raiding trash bins in the middle of the night when the hunting dogs are still about. Or something like that.

    ETA: Basically, Chiles was calling Jeb a callow fool. I’ll never forget the puzzled look on Bush’s face. “The he-WTF?” LOL!

  120. 120

    I don’t want to foul up David’s good news thread and I’m not sure if this is good news or not

    BREAKING: The Justice Department is preparing to announce as early as next week that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report is complete, according to people familiar with the plans https://t.co/oEHMuRGWN7 pic.twitter.com/N77wig9SBd— CNN (@CNN) February 20, 2019

  121. 121
    Princess says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Honestly, I think Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is deeper than that. At a fundamental level, for him being Jewish is incompatible with being British. If you agree with and support everything he says, he’ll make an exception, but citizenship that is conditional on you holding particular views is not citizenship. He’d never say a Tory is not British, but he will say a Jew is not.

  122. 122
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    HELL NO to The Young Turks. It would be a very bad idea to let that crew of Wilmeristas run the Democratic party’s presidential debates.

    Exactly. They’re basically this decade’s equivalent of Calamity Jane and her Hamshers of the Apocalypse, aka FireDogLake. Like Hamsher, Uygur is out for one thing, Uygur.

  123. 123
    Doug R says:

    @rikyrah:

    Oliver Willis
    Adam Sewer
    Anyone from Pragmatic Obots Unite
    Angry Black Lady
    Propane Jane

    I’d like to see them moderate a debate.

    YES

  124. 124
    Princess says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Interesting phrasing. They’re “prepared to announce” it? Is it actually true that it is complete or are they just going to tell us it is? Also, if it is released to the DOJ, it seems that Mueller just waited to release it until Barr was in place to cover up and conceal the results.

  125. 125
    kindness says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’ll believe that news when Mueller says it. Otherwise it is just chaff.

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve been betting on mid-March, just before Rosenstein leaves. The “as early as” part of their claim doesn’t contradict that. For literary significant I’d go with March 15, the Ides of March. It’s also a Friday.

  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Haroldo: That’s just SCIENCE!

  128. 128
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: That makes sense — I am sure Rosenstein would want to see the report finished under his watch. So Barr’s tenure will be dominated by keeping the whole from leaking?

    I would love to see some “unindicted co-conspirator” charges drop before the report….

  129. 129
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Long overdue. That fuckwit should have been hammered about the head and shoulders with his history of bad choices. And that’s exactly what would have happened had he somehow won the Dem nomination. He’s almost the definition of fringe candidate, but appears to have a means of bamboozling enough people to get and keep him in various offices.

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: That was an even better look on JEB’s! face than when the President insulted his mother.

  131. 131
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Guys like Corbyn always end up giving up people like Blair.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Narrator: Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation was not complete and the investigation was not concluding.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Princess: That is also a plausible explanation.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    From what I’ve read, I don’t think Corbyn is anti-Semitic in the sense that we would normally talk about it here in the US.

    I think you are very right about Corbyn. But part of the problem, I think, is that Corbyn’s tone deafness causes him to miss a degree of anti-Jewish bigotry among others in the Labour Party, and to correct the problem, which is kinda his job as leader.

  135. 135
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: The way Trump has been acting (tweeting) I’m pretty sure we’ll see some more charges and maybe arrests in the very near future.

    When the big ones drop I think they’ll all drop at pretty much the same time. Like a classic mob roll up. Sort of like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEG41O5Y9-k

  136. 136
    catclub says:

    @Immanentize:

    I think folks in this country are just way more careful because there is a larger Jewish population throughout the country?

    I would have guessed the opposite, that the Jewish population of UK is larger and wealthier and more influential than the Jewish population in the US. The difference I see is that Israel is seen as a US project (but NOT as a UK project) that cannot be criticized, and the fundamentalist Christians are happy to take this view – they are a large group.

  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @Princess: I did read that lately more prosecutors were working so they might be ready to hand off material. If Jr. isn’t indicted this Friday, I’m going to assume it’s bad news. Maybe Barr told him it was time to finish up.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: The biggest calamity to befall Britain prior to Brexit was the untimely death of John Smith.

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: Yep.

  140. 140

    Tengrain posted a thing recently about how “SOCIALISM!” isn’t the insult the Far Right thinks it is anymore.

    https://mockpaperscissors.com/2019/02/19/2020-messaging-has-already-started-backfire-expected/

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    So, Trump is alienating more key staff:

    Another day, another Trump administration cabinet member who’s gotten on the president’s bad side.

    This time it’s Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, whom the Washington Post reports is in danger of being removed from the White House following a number of disagreements with the president’s foreign policy—particularly around the ongoing nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea.

    Citing people “familiar with the matter,” the Post claimed Trump has decided that Coats is “not loyal” and “not on the team” after Coats testified before Congress that ISIS had not, as the president has repeatedly insisted, been defeated, and that North Korea was “unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.”

    Coats also raised eyebrows this past summer by turning into a blubbering mess after being informed—before a live audience—that Trump had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House.

    Stuff like this should kill any nonsense about Trump being moderated by “adults in the room” deader than dead. He wants Yes men and women, and the Republican leadership is happy to let him have his way.

    Pretty soon, Trump will be down to Young Jared as Chief of Staff and Ivanka as National Security Advisor and Spokes Model.

  142. 142
    Spanky says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’m guessing this is news to the Mueller team. Probably someone at Justice who is looking to ease up the heat coming from the WH.

  143. 143
    laura says:

    @ruemara: You’ve done yourself good and proud!
    All the best in getting your tales up and out to the world.

  144. 144
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: Yes. This investigation has played out like any organized crime or drug cartel grand jury investigation — but at warp friggin’ speed. What we have already seen would in many cases take three or four years and would be much more under the radar. I understand why Mueller can’t do that, but man I hope he has what he needs to truly finish this completely (or as completely as possible) so we are not re-arguing this for the next President’s entire term.

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tru dat. It is like there are no leaders with the vision to do anything but stir the pot in the UK anymore. Are we heading there too?

  146. 146
    Gravenstone says:

    @Immanentize: I’d prefer hearing that a few hundred sealed indictments lie in waiting for certain individuals to leave government service.

  147. 147
    Captain C says:

    @opiejeanne: A large number could very well be from Dmitri Konechno-YaAmerikanetz one through whatever.

  148. 148
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: It’s going to wrap up and Trump will not have a second term.

    People don’t like hearing anything good about Comey but the reason Mueller has been able to move this fast is that Comey had started this investigation and had a lot of pieces in place. Mueller wasn’t starting from scratch.

  149. 149
    Immanentize says:

    @catclub:
    UK — less than .5% of the population is Jewish. (4.5/1000)
    US — Almost 1.8% Jewish population (17.75/1000)

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: I don’t think so. The problem we face is that we have one party, the GOP, and the conservative movement that supported it, that hollowed itself out. The party and movement elites were pushing, regardless of whether they believed it, one thing, while the people they were pushing it to, and radicalizing and propagandizing, wanted something else. This allowed the President to walk right in and basically take the actual party membership because, whether through instinct, animal cunning, or actual analysis, he understood that the GOP was hollow and could be taken away and set to his purpose.

    The Democrats, however, and even some of the NeverTrumpers, including some of the NeverTrumper politicians, have a vision. Bill Weld certainly does. Kasich does, even as I find most of his domestic agenda unacceptable. MD’s governor, Larry Hogan does, but he’s going to keep his head down for the time being. So there are some even on the NeverTrump GOP side of things that have vision. The problem is that since Gingrich schemed his way to the speakership in 1994, one of the GOP’s major goals was breaking Congress. First the House and then the Senate. That has now happened. And that makes things very different for anyone, Democrat or NeverTrump Republican, that would actually like to govern.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: The British, in general, are also very sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. And I’ve seen this, when I lived in Scotland from 1992-1995, often cross the line from being anti-Zionist or anti-Israel to being anti-Semitic. Or, perhaps, more accurately simply elide the difference. I noticed that a lot of folks in Scotland, which historically never expelled its Jews (England did in the 12th century), because of Scotland’s own history saw a natural connection with the Palestinians.

  152. 152
    debit says:

    @Kay: Oh, I blame Edwards for a lot. I am never going to get over being stupid enough to fall for his bullshit.

  153. 153
    opiejeanne says:

    @ruemara: Amen to all of what you say. I don’t see how that money isn’t coming from bad actors/bad places in order to ratfuck the election. Small donors my shiny white ass.

  154. 154
    opiejeanne says:

    @Captain C: No idea who or what that is.

  155. 155
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Betty Cracker: late but didn’t want to leave this hanging. LGF was, like this site used to be right-wing. Tines there changed several years ago, a year or three after our host had his conversion.

    I actually tend to think of it as liberal these days.

  156. 156
    tam1MI says:

    @kindness: Interestingly enough, the post that announced the results also said that it was ten points below where Bernie polled in 2016.

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