More Afterglow

Another recap of last night’s debate:


Breaking: Shimon Peres Has Died at Age 93


(Shimon Peres)

The BBC is reporting that Shimon Peres has died (h/t LAO). Here’s the BBC’s obituary for him:

He held almost every public office, including those of prime minister and president, although he never led a party to an election victory.

Born Szymon Perski in Wiszniew, Poland (now Visnieva, Belarus), on 2 August 1923, Shimon Peres was the son of a lumber merchant.

His parents were not Orthodox Jews but the young Shimon was taught the Talmud (compendium of Jewish law and commentaries) by his grandfather and became a strong adherent of the faith.

In 1934 the family moved to the British Mandate of Palestine (Peres’ father had emigrated two years earlier) and settled in Tel Aviv.

After attending agricultural school Peres worked on a kibbutz (agricultural commune) and became involved in politics at the age of 18 when he was elected secretary of a Labour Zionist movement, Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed.

In 1947 Israel’s founding Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, put him in charge of personnel and arms purchases for the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces.

He secured a deal with France to supply the new state with Mirage jet fighters and also set up Israel’s secret nuclear facility at Dimona.

Peres was elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1959, standing for the Mapai party, the forerunner of the modern Labour movement in Israel, and was appointed deputy defence minister.

In 1965 he resigned after being implicated in a reopened inquiry into Operation Susannah, an Israeli plan to bomb British and US targets in Egypt in 1954 to try to influence Britain not to withdraw its troops from the Sinai.

A review of the original inquiry into the operation found inconsistencies in the testimony, and Peres, together with Ben Gurion, left Mapai to form a new party.

When Golda Meir resigned as prime minister in 1974 after the Yom Kippur war, Peres unsuccessfully fought Yitzhak Rabin for the vacant post.

Secret negotiations

Rabin stood down as the Alignment party leader in 1977 after a currency scandal involving his wife but a quirk in the Israeli constitution meant he could not resign as prime minister.

Peres became party leader and unofficial prime minster before leading the coalition into a defeat by the Likud party under Menachem Begin.

He suffered five further election defeats, all of which resulted in him being given ministerial positions as part of a coalition government.

In 1992 Peres failed to win the leadership of the Israeli Labour Party after being defeated in the preliminary stages of the contest by Rabin.

As Rabin’s foreign minister, Peres began secret negotiations with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which led to the historic Oslo peace accords of 1993.

For the first time the Palestinian leadership officially acknowledged Israel’s right to exist.

A year later Peres became a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Rabin and Arafat.

Once an advocate of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Peres became a leading political dove, often speaking of the need for compromise over territorial demands in Palestinian areas .

“The Palestinians are our closest neighbours,” he once said. “I believe they may become our closest friends.”

Peres became prime minister in 1995 after Rabin’s assassination but held office for less than a year before being defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud.


In 2000 he failed in his effort to secure the ceremonial post of president, losing to the relatively obscure Moshe Katsav.

When his successor as Labour leader, Ehud Barak, was defeated by Ariel Sharon in the 2002 elections, Peres led Labour into a coalition with Likud and won the post of foreign minister.

He was able to extend a “safety net” in parliament to Sharon, enabling the latter to pursue a plan to disengage from Gaza and parts of the West Bank in the face of opposition from his own Likud party.

In 2005 Peres announced his resignation from Labour and his support for Sharon, who had formed a new party called Kadima.

When Sharon suffered a major stroke there was speculation that Peres might have become leader of Kadima but he was blocked by former Likud members who were the majority in the party.

In June 2007 he was elected president of Israel, resigning form the Knesset where he had been the longest-serving member of parliament in the country’s history.

His served seven years as president, before stepping down in 2014, the world’s oldest head of state.

Open Thread: Spearing the Old Boar Boor

Trump didn’t have to respond to Clinton baiting him about his treatment of women. A smarter man would’ve remembered it didn’t go over well when Megan Kelley did it the first time. And a more capable campaign team would’ve figured out that Hillary had something up her sleeve, especially after the ‘Mirrors’ ad. But nooooo….

And then he spent the next day trying to re-litigate the question! As though behaving like a pig and a bully after the fact was going to convince anyone that he wasn’t a pig and a bully!

You go, Ms. Machado! Enséñales, chica!

If We Are to Have a Future Together, This Must Stop


If we dodge a bullet and Clinton defeats Trump, there are a number of things that have to happen and need to be discussed and dealt with so we stop having existential crises like this every four years. First, our media needs to look at themselves and figure out how they allowed the know-nothings to reign supreme. Second, we need to stop fetishizing these fucking idiots:

Kae Roberts and Jay Eardly were leaning toward Hillary Clinton before Monday night’s debate.

By the end, they had both pulled away.

John Kokos and Hank Federal were undecided going in, potential Clinton backers.

By the end, they’d ruled her out.

Indeed, while polls found that Clinton had won the first general-election debate with Donald Trump on Monday, she may not have won actual votes. And she may even have lost some, at least in the battleground state of North Carolina.

In a focus group of 21 voters from around Charlotte conducted by McClatchy and The Charlotte Observer, four who had been up for grabs before the debate had moved away from her by the end.


Roberts, who is unaffiliated with a party, wrote in her notes several times during the debate that Clinton offered “pie in the sky” ideas. By debate’s end, she had moved from leaning toward Clinton to undecided.

“The things she says she’s going to do, there’s no substance behind it,” Roberts said.

One potential winner in the focus group was Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who benefited largely because so many voters were annoyed at both Trump and Clinton.

“I was looking for Hillary to convince me, but I’m not getting the Hillary I’m looking for,” particularly on taxes, said Eardly, an unaffiliated voter. By the end of the debate, he’d moved from Clinton to considering Johnson.

Kokos, who works in Hickory, said before the debate he was undecided. Afterward, he ruled out Clinton and appeared open to either Johnson or Trump. “The things she said were out of an old playbook,” he said.


Yet most said they would tune in to the next round of debates, including the vice presidential candidates next Tuesday and Trump and Clinton again on Oct. 9 and 19. But before they finally make up their minds, they want specifics and civility.

Oh jesus h fucking christ on a crutch. First things first. One person was civil. The other person was the same fucking Donald Trump we’ve been watching for what, a year and a half?

And specifics? These people don’t want specifics. They wouldn’t know what to do with specifics. Hillary has the most specific policy section for an election campaign that I have ever seen. There is something presented for every topic you can think of somewhere on the website. She literally has policy positions from Addiction to Workforce Training. Maybe she could add a section on Zookeeping just for kicks. The only thing missing is actually pre-written bills to hand to Congress, and if she had them, these jackasses would claim she was being presumptuous and acting like she had already won and they are probably also the same idiots who chant the bills are too long and congress needs to read every bill.

Over the years, the media attention has trained these special flowers to say these things and feel empowered to demonstrate how stupid they are because they think it makes them sound smart. These people are a static display of Dunning-Kreuger in action.

This is unique to politics. No one goes to their mechanic and says “I need new breaks,” he mechanic says “Ok, that will be 400 dollars” and the person says “I dunno, I need some specifics” and then has them recite step by step the procedure for how they will do it. N o one goes to their doctor and has them state, in latin, step by step how the procedure will be done. You’re given options, and then the doctor goes to work.

This is insanity. The very fact that you morons can’t make up your mind with the information you have already is demonstration enough that more specifics aren’t going to help you.

And then this:

“I’d like to see each candidate talk about the other side’s issues,” said Marcus Ramos-Pearson, who’s leaning toward Clinton. “I want to see Donald Trump talk more about social justice.”

I’d like to be 21, rich, healthy, and wake up next to a very naked and aroused Lady Sybil Crawley.

Fer fuck’s sake.

Donald J. Trump Rally in Melbourne, FL

Equal time, both sides, etc…

Here’s the live feed:


My feelings about the debate all day.


Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Make America I DID NOT SAY THAT

I’m beginning to think that’s not pancake makeup, it’s tinted spackle covering the dings in Trump’s very, very, very thin skin.

Apart from some well-earned gloating, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

National Voter Registration Day: A Reminder From An American Hero

Register to vote or check your registration here.

Hillary Preparedness Guide


Because Chuck Todd is a tool and Balloon-Juice commenters rock, here is my version of the Hillary Preparedness guide.

H/T to Corner Stone, Punchy and to Wapiti for the list.

Secretary Clinton Rally in Raleigh, NC

Here’s the live feed:

(they’re replaying the debate as a feed within the feed while waiting for the rally to begin)

Make it rain

Goal Thermometer

Stop your messing around

I don’t think one-on-one debates are a good forum for Trump. His debate strategy is to show up unprepared and make a few “LOOK AT ME” comments that gets attention from the media. That worked great with ten people because preparation matters less when you’re only answering ten minutes of questions instead of 45 and because getting people to look at you with ten others on stage is a challenge whereas with two the whole goddamn world is looking at you anyway. Also too, his fuse is too short to deal with prolonged mano a mano conflict.

So this didn’t surprise me at all. In fact, I predicted last night to friends that Trump would try to skip the other debates:

“If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn’t participate in another debate unless I was promised the journalist would act like a journalist, and not an ignorant fact check,” Giuliani said late Monday night in the post-debate spin room, according to video provided by Bloomberg.

Establishment journalists are such cucks that they might give into this bullying and let Trump do a 2 hour informercial in place of a debate, but they really ought to tell him to fuck himself, that if we wants to bargain, their offer is this: nothing, not even the money that they usually pay Corey Lewandowski, which would they would appreciate if he would put up personally.

Hershey barred

Some interesting news on hospital merger and anti-trust enforcement.

Via Metro.US

A federal appeals court on Tuesday blocked the proposed merger of the two largest hospital systems in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area.

By a 3-0 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ordered a preliminary injunction against the combination of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System.

The court said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the merger would be anti-competitive.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had a string of losses this spring at the district court level when they sued to stop mergers in Central Pennsylvania and Chicago. They lose in both cases at the district court level as the judges used (according to relevant healthcare economists) an obsolete standard of assessing market impact.

The FTC is one of the major administrative levers to break up consolidated provider pricing power and as long as the courts are willing to use the FTC’s preferred methodology of determining anti-competetive action, there is a lot of space for the FTC to act on new mergers.

I never said that

You know the crazy dream where you just did something with potentially catastrophic consequences and you beg the universe for a chance to take it back*? Apparently Donald Trump thinks you really can do that. Probably that is what growing up in a gilded little box does to you. Let’s say that young lord Fontleroy declares that he never called the cook awful names and daddy pointy hat backs him up. Who can say it ever happened? If your character bends that way already (#notallrichpamperedshits) then starting his work life as the rich boss would just make it worse.

How many times has this guy flatly denied he said something that you could easily find on tape or in writing? The debate added three, maybe four more examples to the list (I had a hard time keeping up). There was the one about the interview where he complained about employees getting pregnant. I predict Trump will especially regret the one about never paying income tax. That was the fatal rumor that scared the hell out of the Romney campaign. It really rubs ordinary voters the wrong way, and explaining it just makes the disconnect between you and them even worse. Instead of parrying the question and answering with transparency like Romney eventually did, Trump bragged about it like an eight year old who found a loophole in the literal terms of his curfew (“It makes me smart!”) and then he telegraphed how stupid that was by denying that he said what he clearly just said on live TV. This is such a gift to the opponent that you almost don’t know where to start. Maybe just stitch the exchange and his denial into a thirty second ad and run it without commentary.

Here’s a question that I dropped in the comments last night – does anyone have a comprehensive list of how many times Trump has denied saying something he is clearly on record having said? This is the sort of thing I used to count on from Steve Benen when he wrote the Carpetbagger blog. Any suggestions appreciated.

(*) If this means I should talk to a professional immediately, I never had that dream.


Oh for fuck’s sake.

Trump insists ‘there was no sniffles’ during presidential debate

For the record, yeah, he sniffled a lot during the debate. Maybe he buried his face in coke in the green room, or maybe he’s just sick. Who knows. He should get that checked out.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: YES SHE DID

If you didn’t watch last night, rest assured: Hillary did a fine job, and Donald Trump… repeated all his Greatest Hits from the Rallies bits. He didn’t lose a single member of his devoted “base”, but he sniffled, lied, talked over the woman on the stage, claimed that America is a job-leaking hellhole which every filthy brown terrorist can’t wait to invade, lied some more, contradicted the African-American moderator (while lying), sniffled, called President Obama “your president”, took credit for “settling” the birtherism issue, and by every metric and “optic” looked like a coked-up, aging con artist in a bad suit rambling about “the nuclear” and “the cyber”. Vox has a full transcript up, and I’m guessing one of the other front-pagers will be able to post a video later this morning.

But this is the Big Fat Gaffe that will probably attract the most attention…

Read more