Post Debate Reflections *Open Thread*


The last debates before voting begins are done. For me, it was the best night of debates yet. The candidates in both were allowed to really talk, for the most part, and to highlight the differences between not just them, but their likely Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Oh, and for my money, Carly Fiorina HANDILY won the first debate, and Marco Rubio took the second one. That said, Rand Paul had his best showing yet, as did Jeb Bush. But overall, it was Rubio’s night, as many outlets acknowledge:

Though my absolute favorite line from Marco Rubio was when he quipped that Sanders would make a GREAT Presidential candidate – for SWEDEN. Good one!

And this clip highlights the clarity with which Carly Fiorina would address the VA problem and reduce the bloated government:

Great debates by them both, I think.

Though as noted, there were some others who had good nights, too, especially Jeb bush and Rand Paul. Cruz more than held his own, but without the “elephant in the room,” as Megyn Kelly said, other candidates had more of a chance to shine. Or to put it more succinctly, as Robert Tracinski did in this Federalist piece, “A Republican Debate, Finally.” Exactly. It was a real debate. What a concept!

Since I just mentioned the VA, and the “elephant,” Donald Trump, I feel compelled to note that Trump did hold a benefit for veterans, joined by coattail riders, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. The event allegedly raised $6 million dollars, $1 million of which Trump allegedly chipped in.

But while there may have been money raised for veterans, as noted on Thursday, not all veterans are happy about it. This veteran in particular had something to say about it. From The Federalist:

[…] As Trump frequently reminds us all, he has amassed a net worth of $10 BILLION DOLLARS (he likes the caps, according to Forbes) in his business career—a career begun after he received four separate educationdeferments, then a medical deferment, allowing him to sit out the Vietnam War while his fellow countrymen served.

And how much did the Trump Foundation donate between 2009 and 2013 to the veterans’ causes he is apparently so passionate about? $57,000. By comparison, in 2009 alone his foundation gave $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. When compared to Donald’s massive wealth and public willingness to throw money at politicians of all stripes, the value of the Trump Foundation’s donations to vets is equivalent to the cost of an expensive toupee.

Worse, in 1991, Trump lobbied to clear vendors , including those run by disabled veterans (some of whom, no doubt, became disabled while Donald dodged the war), from Fifth Avenue in the vicinity of Trump Tower, lest it become an “outdoor flea market.” Now that disabled veterans are politically convenient for Trump, however, he trots them out in front of the crowd at his campaign events so we can all witness his magnanimous spirit.

We’re Not Stray Puppies You Can Adopt

Donald seems to think “helping veterans” is like walking down to the Humane Society and adopting a stray puppy. We’re not stray puppies, and we definitely don’t appreciate being used as pawns. Frankly, most veterans just want leaders who back up their words with actions, are willing to fix the problems at the Veterans Affairs, and will support our brothers and sisters who are deployed in combat.[…] (Click here to read the rest.)

Uh, yeah – actions speak louder than words, and leadership is what matters. And using veterans for publicity stunts is just wrong, not to mention as far from being Presidential as a potential Commander in Chief can be. They are not “stray puppies,” and should not be treated as political ploys. It is just wrong.

I was glad to be able to watch a real debate, a substantive debate, with the very good field that is available this time around.

How about you? How do you think Iowa is going to go? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to discuss the debates, or whatever other news is hitting you today. This is an Open Thread.


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20 Responses to “Post Debate Reflections *Open Thread*”

  1. piper Says:

    Interesting – another scam which his defenders will praise him and boo anyone who calls the great Trump, a fraud and deceiver.

    “He set up a website early Thursday morning to accept donations from the public. That move drew controversy because, as the website noted, the donations would be routed through Trump’s private foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. That charity has given just $57,000 to veterans groups while giving more than $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. (RELATED: Donations To Trump’s Pro-Vet Website Go To His Personal Charity, Which Gave To The Clinton Foundation)”

    and the last paragraph
    “It is still not clear how Trump plans to disperse the money he raised Thursday. Santorum told CNN after the event that he had received assurances that the money would be given to veterans groups that have been properly vetted.”

    The key words – ‘properly vetted’ by whom.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Trump’s New Pro-Veterans Website Directs All Donations To Trump’s Personal Foundation

    Rather than going directly to veterans groups, 100% of online donations on Trump’s pro-veterans site will go directly to Trump’s personal foundation.

    “The Donald J Trump Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and acknowledges that no goods or services were provided to you in return for your contribution,” the confirmation e-mail states. “This letter is your receipt and should be kept with your tax records.”

    A separate confirmation page that loads after donations are made on the site contains the same language noting that the contribution was made to the Donald J Trump Foundation, not to a distinct veterans organization with a history of directly supporting veterans and their families.

    According to the domain registry information for Trump’s site, the domain was not registered until Thursday morning. The firm that registered the domain, Florida-based Parscale Media, also designed Trump’s official presidential campaign website.

    Trump’s personal non-profit foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, does not have a history of donating much money to veterans or to veterans’ causes. According to a recent analysis of the organization’s spending history by the Weekly Standard, Trump’s non-profit donated more money to the Clinton Foundation than it did to veterans causes.

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Because I do not have much money to contribute I have picked 3 places to send my money. The DAV, Paralyzed Vets, and Wounded Warriors. I don’t need Trump or his damn website to do that.

    I’m glad that money was raised. I also wonder what those who are singing his praises would say if this was another candidate. I suspect words like “opportunistic and exploitive” would be used. A lot.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You ain’t only kidding, Marge. Can you IMAGINE??? Oh, that is ALL we would be hearing right now was how exploitative whoever else it was who had done that. That VETERANS are saying it and it isn’t getting more play is astonishing. Great money was raised, but really – the only reason Trump is Teflon is they ALLOW him to be…

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

  5. piper Says:

    When I donate directly to various vet’s groups like Fisher House or Wounded Warriors, I receive a receipt which I use on my taxes. I see his foundation (which is probably funded with other people’s money like the Clinton Foundation) gathering donaters’ info which they will use to harass people to voting for him.

    Sad that so many people are falling for another phony like Obama. SMH.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Exactly, Marge and Piper. Why in the WORLD would I want to funnel money to veterans’ organizations through the Trump Foundation? What possible assurances could they give as to how that money was going to be directed?

      And thanks for mentioning Fisher House – that is an outstanding organization. It definitely ranks in with the others mentioned here.

      I, too, am glad money was raised, but yeah – this is all sounding just a TAD suspicious here…

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    I thought Rubio won too. I thought Cruz had his worst showing so far. Part of that was because of the way Megan Kelly really ripped into him about his flip flop on immigration. Anyone think Cruz will whine about her? Or go to Twitter to call her a bimbo? Or say she was bleeding out of her “whatever”? No, I don’t either.

    • piper Says:

      Where are all the feminists – they should be screaming about all of his denigrating and disgusting remarks about women. Or do they only come out at night when people are disparaging Lena or Michelle, Planned Parenthood………..
      Calling Gloria S., Bella, Beyonce, Nancy P., NOW, Emily’s List …………

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I always said that if liberals didn’t have double standards they wouldn’t have any standards at all. (Can’t remember who I stole it from.)

        Now I realize that line applies to a lot of people. I never realized how seldom average people, not just the media or politicians, bend their character to support their choice of candidate.

        If something is wrong – it’s wrong. I see no wiggle room there.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Excellent points, y’all, especially abt the name-calling. I swear, women who used to get upset at sexist comments are more than willing to give Trump a pass on the way he talks abt women, and even pile on, a la the 2008 Democrats. It is astonishing to see.

          I agree completely – if something is wrong, it’s wrong, regardless of party or anything else…

  7. GinaR Says:

    I’m sick of hearing about Trump from everyone in the media. He’s getting so much press for not attending that of course he’s winning in all the polls! Disgusting human being, I hope he loses Iowa, New Hampshire, and S. Carolina. I hope he loses big.

    With regard to the debate, I thought the moderators were terrible. Martha McCallum in particular in the first debate, asking questions that were irrelevant to the issues we face today. Carly Fiorina won that debate hands down. She was outstanding, as usual – clear, concise, no holds barred, pushing back against the biases of the moderators, standing up for one of her opponents, and always doing it with class.

    The main debate moderators were as bad. I thought the video montage that Megyn Kelly aired of Cruz and Rubio speaking in the past about illegal immigration was absolutely unacceptable. You do that in an interview, not during a debate. Taking comments out of context and airing them is, as I read in an article on Breitbart, prejudicial and misleading, and it just added to the confrontational posture of the moderators.

    Chris Wallace was overly argumentative and condescending, especially to Ted Cruz. I saw Wallace and McCallum briefly on McCallum’s show on Fox this morning, and they were both patting themselves on the back for the great jobs they did, and criticizing Ted Cruz for his comments. Very unprofessional, if you ask me.

    While it certainly was a much better debate than it would have been if the circus clown had been there, the moderators deliberately tried to stir things up to the extent that I think valuable debate time was lost. I’m very disappointed in Fox, and in all the Fox moderators.

    As for who won? Marco Rubio, by a long shot. Ted Cruz was blindsided by the attacks from the moderators, deliberately pitting his opponents against him (although he probably should have been prepared for that). I’m still a Cruz fan, though! All the others did well, except for Ben Carson, who really does need to give it up. Not that he did poorly, he just was fairly irrelevant. Rand Paul did well, but he annoys the hell out of me. He always seems to be lecturing in a patronizing and condescending way. Chris Christie often seems like the adult in the room, stepping in between the junior senators and talking about how no one understands their “senate language” and the White House needs a Governor. Jeb Bush seemed much more relaxed and coherent, although he still doesn’t look comfortable on stage talking. And John Kasich? He always seems like the angry uncle to me. I dunno, he irritates me too.

    And thus ends my commentary. LOL

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I agree with you about darn near everything. You did a better job of analyzing that any of the talking heads did.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Hear, hear – excellent commentary, Gina! I concur with Marge’s assessment!

      Chris Wallace’s comment abt, “this is a debate,” ignoring that they were TARGETING Cruz, the point Cruz was making, was condescending. They sure as hell have NEVER gone after Trump like that. Heck, he hasn’t been asked more than maybe one hard question a debate IF that (Kelly’s in the first, and one abt his bankruptcies, then allowed him to lie through his teeth like always in his response).

      Anyway, I am so, so sick of the pandering to Trump and his “misinformed” supporters, as this great article a Facebook friend had today highlights:

      • GinaR Says:

        Very interesting article, Amy, and it does give clarity on Trump’s supporters. They are misinformed, not uninformed. And the problem is, they choose to remain misinformed, because to know the truth would be to shatter their fragile little Trumpkinbot world.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Thanks, Gina. And I agree – they choose to believe all of the lies he spews, choose to jump right on board when he makes low attacks on people (Cruz an “anchor baby”? REALLY??), and are gleeful as he brags about how great he is, as if that makes THEM great. Wow…

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Hey, if Rubio can break through the fog of Trump-obsession, more poewr to him:

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Excellent factchecking by Sharyl Attkisson of the Liberal BS around the release of “13 Hours”:

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