ONTD Political

Washington Post: Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed

There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

It is not unusual for Washington’s establishment to launch major studies in the final months of an administration to correct the perceived mistakes of a president or influence his successor. But the bipartisan nature of the recent recommendations, coming at a time when the country has never been more polarized, reflects a remarkable consensus among the foreign policy elite.

This consensus is driven by a broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the need for restraint, especially in the Middle East. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” said Philip Gordon, a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.”

In other instances, the activity reflects alarm over Trump’s calls for the United States to pull back from its traditional role as a global guarantor of security.

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Alfred E Smith Dinner 2016 Live Stream: Watch Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton Roast Each Other With Jokes

The 2016 presidential election cycle has been anything but traditional, but both major party nominees will be expected to embrace the political establishment's roots during the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner Thursday night in New York City. The 71st installment of the charity event has historically invited U.S. presidential candidates to participate in a moment of levity by offering up a variety of self-deprecating jokes.

That means that just 24 hours after a contentious final debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton, the two White House hopefuls will again be in the same room. Only this time, the mood will — at least in theory — be much more lighthearted.

The dinner that benefits "the neediest children of the Archdiocese of New York, regardless of race, creed, or color" is set to begin at 9 p.m. EDT. To watch a live stream of the candidates making their humorous remarks, you can click here or scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch an embedded live feed.

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international business times

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[tldr:Using his own misogyny and ignorance against him Clinton and her Team  "turned in a truly effective and ruthless performance"  sparking meltdowns that he carried on for weeks, and basically succeeding where none of the male GOP candidates failed.]

Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins

Donald Trump didn't just destroy himself. Hillary Clinton destroyed him.

Updated by Ezra Klein Oct 19, 2016, 11:58p

The third and final presidential debate has ended, and it can now be said: Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump in the most effective series of debate performances in modern political history.

[OP note; Mods, I'm trying to embed the video here but can't figure out how,. Feel free to edit this if you like. ]

The polling tells the story. As Nate Silver notes, on the eve of the first presidential debate, Clinton led by 1.5 points. Before the second, she was up by 5.6 points. Before the third, she was winning by 7.1 points. And now, writing after the third debate — a debate in which Trump said he would keep the nation "in suspense" about whether there would be a peaceful transition of power, bragged about not apologizing to his wife, and called Clinton "such a nasty woman" — it’s clear that Trump did himself no favors. Early polls also suggest Clinton won.
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LONDON — Another debate, another Twitterstorm.

And this one has spawned possibly THE best hashtag of the election season — #TrumpBookReport

#TrumpBookReport began trending after local politician and Twitter citizen Antonio French tweeted this:

From Dickens to Rowling, people began to tweet their own ideas of how Donald Trump might interpret classic works of literature:

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I know this isn't our usual kind of post but I thought it was too funny not to share. My favorites are the Les Miserables and the Wuthering Heights ones. Got any others to share?

ETA: As some of you know, I work for a very conservative Christian place and the person who runs it endorsed Trump, to the chagrin of a lot of people here. My supervisor hates Trump (but is very devout in his beliefs), so I sent him a link to this, and this was his reply: "This Mexican, Jesus, coulda been yuge, but was surrounded by 12 losers. I don't like guys that get crucified."

America. Our Republic is at risk.

In a horrifying threat to the American democratic process, Republican nominee Donald Trump refused to commit to accepting the results of the presidential election. "I'll keep you in suspense," he declared at the third and final presidential debate at the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Wednesday night.

This is a staggering and unprecedented development. And it comes from a politician who has repeatedly voiced admiration for dictatorships and undemocratic strongmen, a man who has openly encouraged the violence of his supporters, a man whose cult of personality recalls generations of caudillos and fascists, and a man who insisted of America from the stage of the Republican convention: "I alone can fix it."

Facing an incredulous questioner in debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, Trump said plainly that he will take a "wait and see" approach to allowing a peaceful transfer of power to Hillary Clinton should he lose this election.Read more...Collapse )

Source: Rolling Stone

I don't think Trump has any idea of the massive repercussions of refusing to commit to accepting the outcome of the election, but he's about to find out. Personally, I think he really shot himself in the foot with that one. Bigly.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, likely to be majority leader next year if Democrats take back the Senate, told CNBC Tuesday that one of his top two 2017 priorities would be an enormous corporate tax cut.

Speaking of himself in the third person, Schumer said that “we’ve got to get things done. … The two things that come, that pop to mind — because Schumer, Clinton, and Ryan have all said they support these — are immigration and some kind of international tax reform tied to a large infrastructure program.”

American multinational corporations are now holding a staggering $2.5 trillion in profits overseas, refusing to bring the money back at the current tax rates until they get a special deal.

Revenue-starved Democratic leaders have broadly hinted they are prepared to cave, either for a “holiday” period or permanently.

In an exchange with CNBC’s John Harwood, Schumer confirmed that the latter is in fact in the works. When Harwood asked Schumer if “it would be a permanent lower rate, not a holiday rate,” Schumer replied, “Yes, you can’t do a one-shot deal.”

Schumer said he envisions “international tax reform” as providing funding for an infrastructure bank.

Hillary Clinton has not publicly supported such a plan. However, during a private October 13, 2014, speech to the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Clinton told the audience that “A number of business leaders have been talking to my husband and me about an idea that would allow the repatriation of the couple trillion dollars that are out there. And you would get a lower rate — a really low rate — if you were willing to invest a percentage in an infrastructure bank.”

For his part, Schumer has long been negotiating with Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to lay the groundwork for such a corporate-friendly deal.

While Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called such a scheme “a giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers,” Schumer told CNBC that he’d have no trouble getting her on board. “She’s going to surprise everybody,” Schumer said. “She’s going to be both a progressive and a constructive force.”


Here's hoping Schumer is wrong about Warren
Also streaming on other major news stations' websites and others on Youtube

This is it: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet in Las Vegas Wednesday night for their third and final debate. The debate will be held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Fox News’ Chris Wallace is moderating.

WIth fewer than three weeks until Election Day -- and early voting already underway in many key battleground states -- this is one of the candidates’ last major moments to get in front of millions of viewers and change their minds before they head to the polls.

With that in mind, here are five things to watch from CBS News:Collapse )


I'll be switching over to American Horror Story at 10 (as if the real-life one isn't enough currently) but hopefully this goes well tonight!
The 2016 campaign may have reached dispiriting new lows, but voter registration in America has soared to new heights as 200 million people are now registered to vote for the first time in U.S. history.

The milestone is a sign of the aggressive voter registration efforts ahead of Nov. 8 and a symptom of the fast-growing and demographically shifting electorate that is expected to redound to the benefit of the Democratic Party in the coming years.

There is no current national database of voter registration because each state independently runs its own election. But TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told POLITICO that the country passed the 200 million threshold in recent days as North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and New York reported new voter numbers.

Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, said national registration now stands at 200,081,377 voters.

The figure means more than 50 million new people have registered to vote in the past eight years. Only 146.3 million were registered as recently as 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama first won the White House — a remarkable 33 percent surge in the electorate during a single presidency.

The last time a Clinton was on the presidential ballot 20 years ago, the electorate was 127.6 million people.

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LONDON — Ecuador said Tuesday that it had cut off Julian Assange’s access to the internet in his exile in the country’s London embassy, making clear that it feared being sucked into an effort to “interfere in electoral processes” in the United States by the activities of the WikiLeaks founder.

Ecuador said that it was not evicting Mr. Assange from its embassy, where he sought asylum four years ago. It said that its “temporary restriction” of internet services to Mr. Assange “does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

But it was clearly intended to keep the embassy from being the control center for that leaking operation. “The government of Ecuador respects the principle of nonintervention in the affairs of other countries,” it said in a statement, “and it does not interfere in the electoral processes in support of any candidate in particular.”

The internet cutoff was the latest twist in the odd tale of Mr. Assange’s self-imposed exile, which began in 2012 when he sought refuge from a Swedish rape investigation that he said was a cover for an American effort to extradite him. Since then, his world has shrunk to a single apartment inside the small diplomatic compound in central London. He has communicated through the embassy’s internet connections, visitors and, presumably, cellphones that would give him another form of internet access.

Ecuador’s decision was the first sign that the government in Quito was beginning to wonder if its guest in London was overstaying his welcome.

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OP: I've run across some articles espousing an opinion that the third debate should be canceled, because (basically) what's the point. The piece from the Boston Globe below is just one example.

Enough is enough — scrap the third debate

I'm not quite sure what I think about this. As a Clinton supporter, my feeling up to now has been what's not to like about giving Trump one more chance to make a complete ass of himself in front of God and everybody? But at the same time, I think these articles make some worthwhile points, and after reading this particular piece, I'm starting to dread some of the things Trump might bring up.

It certainly doesn't look like the debate is going to be canceled, so this is really a moot point, but I'm curious about others' opinions on this. Anybody here in favor of canceling the debate? Why or why not?


This take is five days late, but after watching Hillary Clinton at the second presidential debate last Sunday — I am in awe of her.

It’s not necessarily because of the answers she gave or the positions she stated, but rather the self-discipline she showed that allowed her to stand on stage with Donald Trump and not completely lose her mind.

Think about what happened on Sunday. Trump called Clinton a liar. He said she had hate in her heart. He told her that if he were president he’d throw her in jail. He talked about the philandering of her husband Bill Clinton and even brought to the debate hall women who’ve accused him of sexual assault. He lied incessantly, about both his own plans and those of Clinton. He sought to intimidate her by looming over her and standing directly behind her as she answered questions.

The stage business was at pace with Trump’s unprecedented political and personal attacks, never before seen in a presidential debate. While watching this debasement of the political process, it took all my strength not to hurl my television out the window.

It’s all the more reason to scrap next week’s third and final presidential debate. No person should have to be subjected to what Clinton dealt with on Sunday and, more important, no great democratic nation should be subjected to it either.

If Trump’s behavior over the past few days is any indication, he will spend the full 90 minutes of next Wednesday’s debate wading ever more deeply into the fetid political sewer that he now calls home. He will bring up every conspiracy theory — and every false charge — ever floated about the Clintons. I would not be surprised if he were to accuse Hillary, along with her husband, of killing Vince Foster or running drugs from Central America. And when it comes to a serious discussion of the issues, he will offer none — because, as he’s shown in two debates and, in fact, throughout this entire campaign, he has no understanding of the issues confronting the United States today.

Giving Trump a 90-minute platform to spout his increasingly unhinged narrative about this race in front of tens of millions of Americans will further coarsen our already tainted political discourse. Holding the third debate is a pointless exercise that will only serve to legitimize the increasingly fascist demagogue running as the Republican nominee for president.

I offer this proposal with a rather large grain of salt. I don’t expect Clinton to stay home; and the debate commission isn’t going to cancel it. Obviously, I recognize the value of open debate between two presidential candidates. But to be clear, that’s not what we are going to get.

The only salvation I can find in having to watch another presidential debate is the knowledge that no matter how bad things get . . . Hillary Clinton has got this.

Source: The Boston Globe

The Washington Post has also called for canceling the debate, as has Huffington Post.
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