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Subject: The 4th Republican Debate rss

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Steven Woodcock
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I was very pleasantly surprised at how much more "adult" the whole thing seemed, not just from the moderators but from the candidates as well (for the most part).

In the Undercard debate, I felt Christie came away the clear winner overall -- he made continued strong points, defended his state from some of Jindal's questions/attacks, and generally outlined a clear way forward economically and (to some extent) on foreign policy.

The other three all spoke well and it was clear that any of their economic policies are better than what we're suffering through now. I like Huckabee's flat tax plan very much myself, and Santorum's plan for no more bailouts of private industry was a big hit with the audience. Jindal reiterated that he wanted to shrink government and accurately described the Republican establishment as being "Democrat lite".

I thought they all performed well and their answers were a bit more substantive than in the Uppercard debate (which was twice as long but had twice as many people).

For the prime debate I really didn't think anybody stood out overmuch -- they all had their good and bad moments. Trump was rather rude to Fiorina for interrupting several others, but to be fair she was interrupting -- at some point that passes from interjecting to rude. Both Trump and Carson seemed light on details whereas I thought Bush, Fiorina, Santorum, Rand, and Cruz all fleshed out their basic economic policies very well.

The prime debate wandered more into foreign policy than the other debate did and this was both good and bad. Rand Paul's strongest performance came when he was pressing Rubio on how he could fund a larger military when the nation was in debt. On the other hand, Rubio didn't flinch from answering either.

I thought Cruz was particularly strong on foreign policy issues when they came up, while I thought Bush was a bit murky -- he said the right things but didn't flesh them out as well as I would have liked. I thought he was right that the US didn't always have to lead, but it did have to be there.

I was annoyed at how the debate veered out of control for a bit and the moderators had to get rather abrupt with the candidates in bringing it back into line. Apparently there's a rule that if Candidate A mentions something about Candidate B during his remarks, then Candidate B got 30 seconds to respond. That's fine in theory, but if Candidate B mentioned Candidates C and D in his response then THEY got 30 seconds as well. That in turn led to a cascade of everybody wanting to respond and the debate got bogged down a couple of times as a result. Things got sloppy there.

Still it was a substantive debate and FAR more professional than the CNBC hit job a couple of weeks ago. I am continually impressed by the breadth of the Republican candidates, the varied approaches they want to bring to solving problems, and the depth of their various backgrounds and experiences. ANY of these men and women would be a better President than Hillary or Sanders.

Fair disclosure: I'm a Cruz fan more than anything else at this point, though I rather like both Fiorina and Rand to some extent. Can't see myself voting for Bush or Christie.


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At some point Rubio's going to have to actually say something about immigration, rather than just rely on other candidates talking about it so he doesn't have to, and that's going to be the real test for the early stage of his campaign, because he doesn't have a good answer for anybody: he pissed off the base by initially endorsing a path to citizenship plan and then he pissed off moderates by changing positions.

More generally: these people are jokes, all of them, not a truly serious candidate in the lot with a real strategy beyond "well, maybe the economy will be bad in 2016 and the two-party system will result in an opportunity to win." (Particularly laughable: Fiorina's response to the pretty undeniable truth that Democratic presidents have better job growth records than Republican ones do, which basically boiled down to "I'm gonna lie about that.")

Desperate appeals to anti-intellectualism will get you quite far with the GOP base, who spend their days insisting that you aren't better than them, but they won't play especially well in the general.
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Steven Woodcock
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mightygodking wrote:
At some point Rubio's going to have to actually say something about immigration, rather than just rely on other candidates talking about it so he doesn't have to, and that's going to be the real test for the early stage of his campaign, because he doesn't have a good answer for anybody: he pissed off the base by initially endorsing a path to citizenship plan and then he pissed off moderates by changing positions.

More generally: these people are jokes, all of them, not a truly serious candidate in the lot with a real strategy beyond "well, maybe the economy will be bad in 2016 and the two-party system will result in an opportunity to win." (Particularly laughable: Fiorina's response to the pretty undeniable truth that Democratic presidents have better job growth records than Republican ones do, which basically boiled down to "I'm gonna lie about that.")

Desperate appeals to anti-intellectualism will get you quite far with the GOP base, who spend their days insisting that you aren't better than them, but they won't play especially well in the general.
That's an...interesting...assessment, though as you might expect I basically disagree with everything you wrote.

I would like to see Rubio be more specific about his proposed immigration policies though.

Thanks for your input at least.



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Ron Preisach
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They're all still fuckin' clown-shoes.
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casey r lowe
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if a republican candidate combined pauls foreign policy with rubios domestic policy i might actually vote for that guy
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Scott Russell
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I just saw a couple snippets when walking by the TV's here at work, but the ones I saw really didn't improve my impression of Ben Carson's ability to answer a question coherently. (IIRC, it was a response to a question about putting special forces somewhere. I didn't hear the question and the answer did not make it obvious.)
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Trump is sounding more and more like an old-school, working-class Democrat, which is a funny position to be in when you're a billionaire Republican. Home. Hearth. Healthcare. Jobs. And fuck all those foreigners.

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Ferretman wrote:
That's an...interesting...assessment, though as you might expect I basically disagree with everything you wrote.
Well, yes, of course you do. If you're going to call the CNBC debate a "hit job," you haven't just drunk the Kool-Aid, you've shaved your head and pledged your allegiance to Zuul, metaphorically speaking.

Last night's debate was practically content-free. The only fact-checking provided was courtesy of Rand Paul, who both corrected Trump being flatly wrong about who's actually a signatory to the TPP and generally pointed out that every other candidate on stage was promising tax cuts and military spending increases and balanced budgets, a combination which is simply impossible. Carly Fiorina once again was not challenged once on her remarkable record of failure, which consists of driving HP into the ground and then getting destroyed in a Senatorial election that many considered quite winnable for a Republican. Fiorina and Ted Cruz both spent an ample amount of time complaining about how many words are in pieces of legislation, which is just jaw-droppingly stupid. Marco Rubio suggested that Congress should repeal two pieces of legislation, the "Clean Power Act" and the "Waters of the United States Act," which do not exist. (They're an executive order and a clarification to the Clean Water Act, respectively.) Ben Carson blathered about how the United States in 1776 became "the number-one economic power in the world" in less than a hundred years "because we had an atmosphere that encouraged entrepreneurial risk- taking and capital investment," ignoring the fact that said atmosphere also encouraged the enslavement of people like Ben Carson as well as outright theft from the natives who were there in the first place and there's no actual new land to just take any more. Carson also claimed that the secret to defeating ISIS was capturing "an energy field" in Anbar, and I have no fucking idea what that's supposed to mean and neither does anybody else. Cruz claimed he would eliminate the IRS, the Department of Energy, HUD, and the Department of Commerce twice, and laughing about the gaffe aside, that's all literally insane. John Kasich affirmed that he would not publicly criticize Israel for any reason, and while Netanyahu is probably overjoyed to hear that it's kind of a silly promise to make. Jeb Bush's major contribution was to complain that he wasn't getting enough air time.

These people are bad jokes.
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mightygodking wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
That's an...interesting...assessment, though as you might expect I basically disagree with everything you wrote.
Well, yes, of course you do. If you're going to call the CNBC debate a "hit job," you haven't just drunk the Kool-Aid, you've shaved your head and pledged your allegiance to Zuul, metaphorically speaking.

Last night's debate was practically content-free. The only fact-checking provided was courtesy of Rand Paul, who both corrected Trump being flatly wrong about who's actually a signatory to the TPP and generally pointed out that every other candidate on stage was promising tax cuts and military spending increases and balanced budgets, a combination which is simply impossible. Carly Fiorina once again was not challenged once on her remarkable record of failure, which consists of driving HP into the ground and then getting destroyed in a Senatorial election that many considered quite winnable for a Republican. Fiorina and Ted Cruz both spent an ample amount of time complaining about how many words are in pieces of legislation, which is just jaw-droppingly stupid. Marco Rubio suggested that Congress should repeal two pieces of legislation, the "Clean Power Act" and the "Waters of the United States Act," which do not exist. (They're an executive order and a clarification to the Clean Water Act, respectively.) Ben Carson blathered about how the United States in 1776 became "the number-one economic power in the world" in less than a hundred years "because we had an atmosphere that encouraged entrepreneurial risk- taking and capital investment," ignoring the fact that said atmosphere also encouraged the enslavement of people like Ben Carson as well as outright theft from the natives who were there in the first place and there's no actual new land to just take any more. Carson also claimed that the secret to defeating ISIS was capturing "an energy field" in Anbar, and I have no fucking idea what that's supposed to mean and neither does anybody else. Cruz claimed he would eliminate the IRS, the Department of Energy, HUD, and the Department of Commerce twice, and laughing about the gaffe aside, that's all literally insane. John Kasich affirmed that he would not publicly criticize Israel for any reason, and while Netanyahu is probably overjoyed to hear that it's kind of a silly promise to make. Jeb Bush's major contribution was to complain that he wasn't getting enough air time.

These people are bad jokes.
Yeah, I am sure asking a candidate if they are a comic book villain is the lefts definition of good debate content.
 
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mightygodking wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
That's an...interesting...assessment, though as you might expect I basically disagree with everything you wrote.
Well, yes, of course you do. If you're going to call the CNBC debate a "hit job," you haven't just drunk the Kool-Aid, you've shaved your head and pledged your allegiance to Zuul, metaphorically speaking.

Last night's debate was practically content-free. The only fact-checking provided was courtesy of Rand Paul, who both corrected Trump being flatly wrong about who's actually a signatory to the TPP and generally pointed out that every other candidate on stage was promising tax cuts and military spending increases and balanced budgets, a combination which is simply impossible. Carly Fiorina once again was not challenged once on her remarkable record of failure, which consists of driving HP into the ground and then getting destroyed in a Senatorial election that many considered quite winnable for a Republican. Fiorina and Ted Cruz both spent an ample amount of time complaining about how many words are in pieces of legislation, which is just jaw-droppingly stupid. Marco Rubio suggested that Congress should repeal two pieces of legislation, the "Clean Power Act" and the "Waters of the United States Act," which do not exist. (They're an executive order and a clarification to the Clean Water Act, respectively.) Ben Carson blathered about how the United States in 1776 became "the number-one economic power in the world" in less than a hundred years "because we had an atmosphere that encouraged entrepreneurial risk- taking and capital investment," ignoring the fact that said atmosphere also encouraged the enslavement of people like Ben Carson as well as outright theft from the natives who were there in the first place and there's no actual new land to just take any more. Carson also claimed that the secret to defeating ISIS was capturing "an energy field" in Anbar, and I have no fucking idea what that's supposed to mean and neither does anybody else. Cruz claimed he would eliminate the IRS, the Department of Energy, HUD, and the Department of Commerce twice, and laughing about the gaffe aside, that's all literally insane. John Kasich affirmed that he would not publicly criticize Israel for any reason, and while Netanyahu is probably overjoyed to hear that it's kind of a silly promise to make. Jeb Bush's major contribution was to complain that he wasn't getting enough air time.

These people are bad jokes.
i thought this debate was filled with good jokes especially cruz gold standard rant was very entertaining - btw that was bush who suggested the highlighted part
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edgerunner76 wrote:
They're all still fuckin' clown-shoes.
I disagree vehemently. I say it's a fuckin' gong show.
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Trump was the only one brave enough to invoke and advocate for the return of Operation Wetback.
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casey r lowe
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fiorina complaining about laws printed on thousands of pages - im beginning to understand now why she failed as ceo of hp
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During the CNBC Republican debate we learned that the 2016 GOP candidates oppose raising the minimum wage, would cut taxes to practically nothing and abolish the IRS, would repeal Obamacare, destroy ISIS with a stern gaze, spend billions more on the military, and we learned that they really, really hate Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday night facing sympathetic, friendly moderators from the Wall Street Journal and the Fox Business Network, we learned that the 2016 GOP candidates oppose raising the minimum wage, would cut taxes to almost nothing, abolish the IRS, repeal Obamacare, destroy ISIS with their manly manliness, spend billions more on the military, and, of course, we learned that they really, really hate Hillary Clinton.

Really, all they've got is Government bad, Obama, Clinton and really any Democrat are evil, and tax cuts.
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Never underestimate the power of tax cuts.

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Hold up. What's wrong with complaining that laws are too long?

Laws should be understandable by an average citizen, and should be written in a succinct fashion.

Making the law inscrutable by average citizens, let alone our "elite" elected leaders (who aren't even necessarily smart, but are simply good at being politicians) -- why is that a good thing?

I mean, none of their platforms actually say anything about cleaning up our legal language to be readable and accessible -- that would be actually doing something, not bloviating -- but isn't their point sound?

Anyway, I haven't finished watching the debate yet. This one did look better from the parts I saw.
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galad2003 wrote:
mightygodking wrote:
At some point Rubio's going to have to actually say something about immigration, rather than just rely on other candidates talking about it so he doesn't have to, and that's going to be the real test for the early stage of his campaign, because he doesn't have a good answer for anybody: he pissed off the base by initially endorsing a path to citizenship plan and then he pissed off moderates by changing positions.

More generally: these people are jokes, all of them, not a truly serious candidate in the lot with a real strategy beyond "well, maybe the economy will be bad in 2016 and the two-party system will result in an opportunity to win." (Particularly laughable: Fiorina's response to the pretty undeniable truth that Democratic presidents have better job growth records than Republican ones do, which basically boiled down to "I'm gonna lie about that.")

Desperate appeals to anti-intellectualism will get you quite far with the GOP base, who spend their days insisting that you aren't better than them, but they won't play especially well in the general.
I would love for you or anyone to explain how the Democrat candidates "strategy" is more sound. That's all fucking politicians do is make vague promises with no plan. The only candidate who ever stood up with a plan was Ross Perot back in the day, with all his diagrams and charts and everyone made fun of him.

Their tax strategy is at least more sound. None of the Democrats that I'm aware of are stating that we should cut taxes or eliminate the IRS while simultaneously increasing our military expenditures. A concept as daft as they come. Hillary and Sanders have advocated taxing the 1 % more. Something most GOP candidates think is anathema. And yet it is feasible. I'm sure there are other ways as well. I'll get back to you when I have more time.
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More or less keeping things the way they are is infinitely more sound than fundamentally changing the entire tax system during a period of weakish growth in a manner that would cause major problems.

Cruz is now talking a return to the gold standard.

The slightly amusing (although quite scary) thing is that its usually conservatives who are resistant to big changes but you seem to have an electorate who have fully bought the idea that the "ship must be righted" before it hits an iceberg.

Not one of the economic plans is anything but ideological masturbation. Thats not the scary thing, it's what politicians do. The scary thing is the lack of political price to be paid for it: if anything, the bigger the change the better the base seems to like it.

Let's say you like Cruz's staunch conservatism. Do you really think going back to the gold standard is something that is going to resonate with / not scare off the wider electorate?
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myopia wrote:
More or less keeping things the way they are is infinitely more sound than fundamentally changing the entire tax system during a period of weakish growth in a manner that would cause major problems.

Cruz is now talking a return to the gold standard.

The slightly amusing (although quite scary) thing is that its usually conservatives who are resistant to big changes but you seem to have an electorate who have fully bought the idea that the "ship must be righted" before it hits an iceberg.

Not one of the economic plans is anything but ideological masturbation. Thats not the scary thing, it's what politicians do. The scary thing is the lack of political price to be paid for it: if anything, the bigger the change the better the base seems to like it.

Let's say you like Cruz's staunch conservatism. Do you really think going back to the gold standard is something that is going to resonate with / not scare off the wider electorate?
these arent conservatives they are reactionaries
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The fact that everyone is vague and doesn't have any idea of how to fix any problem they complain about is not just an issue of the Republican field: It happens any time anyone has to convince people to follow them.

I see it at work: It's easy to come up with an initiative about 'changing the way we do things', and get funding for it. But then, when it comes down to deciding HOW to change things, suddenly all the people that were with you originally, just aren't there anymore, because it's far easier to agree on problems that to agree on solutions. When people are unable to negotiate, and they all want to lead, what you get is infighting, and ultimately very little changes, other than the fact that people like each other less than before.

This happens in large corporations, but it's also exactly what we are seeing in politics. The only way that dynamic changes is when enough people decide that the current situation is so horrible, a change ANYWHERE is more important than choosing a great direction. Countries do that once in a while. In the corporate world, people that think that just change jobs instead.

So my current thesis is that it's far harder to change a corporation that to change a country.
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At least Kasich sounded sane. I may not agree with all his positions but at least he applies reason to his arguments. The rest of them sound like hysterical children.
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SerialPanda wrote:
At least Kasich sounded sane. I may not agree with all his positions but at least he applies reason to his arguments. The rest of them sound like hysterical children.
Yeah, but only republicans act like children; never democrats.

Webb, for example, was very mature and much more presidential than any of these republicans.
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Terwox wrote:
Hold up. What's wrong with complaining that laws are too long?
Modern laws are, by definition, going to be complex. For example, the tax code in any country is insanely long, but for most people doing your taxes is reasonably simple: take your income from last year, subtract two or three income deductions, calculate percentage tax owing, subtract two or three tax credits for which you're eligible, that's the tax you owe, and since you were paying-as-you-go via your job you either owe a small bit more or are due a small refund. For most people, a tax code that's five to ten pages long would satisfy practically all of their tax obligations and needs.

But the tax code is insanely long because it has to deal with the seven billion loopholes that exist that are presented by large taxpaying entities - e.g. rich people and corporations. Corporations can get a tax credit for "qualified research expenses." How do you qualify them, and what are valid research expenses? The answer is that the tax code has to define both the process by which research expenses are qualified, and what types of research expenses are valid. (It's better than the other option, which is "tax law cases before the courts which take years to resolve.") That will take up pages and pages of text. And that's just one deduction. There are hundreds of thousands of them. Even for common deductions like the USA's home mortgage deduction there are rules and regulations (for example, it has to be via a qualified mortgage rather than a loan from your cousin Teddy). They all take up text.

Now, if you want to say "every law should come with a basic, one or two-page summary of What This Law Does," that's a reasonable proposal (it's still harder to enact than most people think it is, because legal interpretation of sentences and even words are actual points of debate quite often). But Fiorina and Cruz aren't saying "we need to make laws easier to understand." They're explicitly saying that laws need to be made simple and brief. That's idiotic.
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myopia wrote:
More or less keeping things the way they are is infinitely more sound than fundamentally changing the entire tax system during a period of weakish growth in a manner that would cause major problems.

Cruz is now talking a return to the gold standard.
Not quite. Notice he says "rules based" which could be something like the Taylor rule or nominal GDP targeting instead of the current practice of guessing interest rates.
 
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mightygodking wrote:
pointed out that every other candidate on stage was promising tax cuts and military spending increases and balanced budgets, a combination which is simply impossible.
Republican candidates will continue to promise this as long as literally no one, including their opponents, holds them accountable for this blatant lie.

This has been the Republican mantra since Reagan, and while they do occasionally cut taxes and almost always increase military spending, they haven't been more fiscally responsible in the least when compared to the Democrats. Yet somehow they get away with calling themselves the party of fiscal responsibility, but it's obvious to anyone paying attention they are just as bad, if not worse, at managing the economy and government spending.
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