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08 September 2016

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Hood Canal Gardner

A perfect waste of good time.

Margaret Steinfels

No surpises. Clinton appeared to know what she was talking about. Trump didn't. This morning walking out my building, I said to my neighbor, "Hey, I have a plan." He laughed. He too had watched Trump.

Matt Lauer should not be hired for this post again. The Times got it right: http://nyti.ms/2bUMt6U

LondonBob

I have seen both.

Hillary was her usual mix of unattractive personality selling unattractive policies. Trump did fine but he really had an opportunity here which he missed. How hard is it to come up with some pre-scripted lines to deliver regarding obvious topics that will come up. About Russia that one has to cooperate with them to defeat ISIS, about Putin the importance of personal relationships at the highest level, about incendiary language perhaps Morrell’s comments about killing Iranians and Russians etc., and please drop the take the oil line (although getting commercial contracts does matter). Really needs to prep, and be prepped, better for the debates. Did fine but an opportunity missed.

I guess the left really believe their BS about Trump given their hysteria at his acceptable performance, poor old Matt Lauer, shamefully trying to be balanced.

As for Johnson I thought his answer about Aleppo was great, inadvertently asking the question as to why this should matter so much. As funny as it was the rest of his answer was spot on and it shows what a mess foreign policy debate in the media is that a bigger deal is being made over his what is Aleppo comment than Hillary's nutty and dangerous policy proposals for Syria.

DC

So much for Gary Johnson. His battle was uphill before he gave away his foreign policy credentials this morning. Now it's a cliff.

As for the other candidates, both were ridiculous, but can anyone be surprised at that? I'd say Clinton is lower on the ridiculous gauge than Trump, based on what he actually says in comparison to her knowledgeable but off-base policy prescriptions. So he would occupy a portion of Iraq and take its oil. Great stuff from our carnival-barker candidate. What a predicament.

Jeff Roby

Check out Moon of Alabama's take on it. Hilarious:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/nyt-ridiculing-of-gary-johnson-failed-with-four-major-mistakes.html#more

Bobo

So was she right or was she wrong regarding the (C) in the margin without a declaratory header. Surprised that was not in the news this AM.
She is scary while he is less than charming.

Matthew

Col: In the spirit of the times, "What is Gary Johnson?"

Castellio

My take is this: Hillary says her top priority is defeating ISIS. She says it needs to be fought from the air, on the ground and in cyberspace. But there are to be no US "boots on the ground" in either Syria or Iraq. So.... who is going to defeat ISIS on the ground?

If she had been at all honest, she would have mentioned that the anti-ISIS fighting on the ground is being led by the Syrian Army, Hezbollah, Iran and Palestinian militias. But that honesty wasn't there. So, she has no idea how to accomplish her top anti-terrorist priority other than controlling the web, and will continue to fight those who, in fact, are doing what she says needs to be done. Colossal incoherence for another four years at least.

Trump, who was more relaxed and less strident, did miss opportunities – but he made one important point. The current administration wasn't following genuine intelligence recommendations in foreign affairs. He should have connected that with why he trashed the Generals, but didn't. Nonetheless it is clear he thinks that US foreign policy has been a dogs breakfast, and he's not willing to blame US Intelligence for it. So the fault is elsewhere. In 2016, in Washington, that's a start.

Conclusion: if you want more of the same, vote Hillary. If not, vote Trump.


Lee A. Arnold

Trump is the candidate for people who think the world is a simple place, and for whom simple verbal expressions of "strength" and "greatness" are the most important indicator of leadership. Trump will end up having the identical foreign policy of Hillary Clinton -- because the world is not a simple place -- but only after his unpreparedness and incapacities put the whole country through a meat grinder during his learning curve.

Ghostship

From the rest of his reply, it was pretty obvious that Gary Johnson knows about Aleppo but doesn't regard it as solely or even largely as a matter for America to resolve. He certainly knows more about Aleppo than the New York Times does.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/09/08/new_york_times_aleppo_story_inception_but_for_corrections.html

The Beaver

On the Rachel Maddow's show after the forum , Col Bacevich had this to say:
Among the questions Col. Bacevich said he did not hear:

— What have you learned from our unsuccessful wars of the past couple decades, and how would you apply those lessons?

— How do you feel about the Obama administration’s plan to spend a trillion dollars modernizing our nuclear weapons?

— How do you measure military power in a cyber age?

— What is your understanding of the complexities of the Syrian civil war?

“Those are the items that ought to be on a commander-in-chief’s agenda, and they weren’t even asked,” he said.

toto

So much for non-interventionist Trump, I guess. Even among those who somehow managed to overlook his previous support for both the wars in Iraq and Libya, I suspect "just take the oil" will make the cognitive dissonance much harder to maintain.

After this mess, is there any reason to vote for Trump that doesn't sum up to "kicking out Mexicans, even if that means putting Bozo the First in charge"?

Swami

South 23rd in Crystal City? Many many moons ago I lived nearby--used to go to a couple of Italian restaurants right around there. Glad to hear it hasn't all been torn down for office buildings.

AEL

Did you see that the NYT, lambasting Mr. Johnson for his Aleppo failure, first called Aleppo the de facto ISIS capital, then issuing a correction, labeled it the capital of Syria, before getting it right in a second correction.

WASF.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/us/politics/gary-johnson-aleppo.html

turcopolier

Swami

Yes, inexplicably all those little restaurants are still there. This place is across the street from Portofino. pl

Matthew

toto: He won't start a war with the Russians. That is enough for me.

Swami

Ah yes, Portofino! Many a semi-drunken night spent there. There was also a not-upscale Italian place right across the street. Back in the day they had a buffet style lunch on weekends. Fond memories.

I guess the "gentlemen's club" a couple of blocks down, same side as Portofino on 23rd just past Eads going towards the high-rises is gone? Used to run into all kinds of military and Hill types there. LoL

Castellio

Having said that: I don't have the option of voting, but if I did, I would vote Jill Stein. Just saying....

turcopolier

Swami

Yes, the more down-scale Italian place is still there. Past Eads St. would be between the B&H Bank branch and the Chinese Restaurant (Young Chow)? This was a gay place? Name? pl

Kooshy

You wouldn't find that honesty any where in US policy circles/ media. IMO, US and her allies reject and will do all they can not to allow Isis defeat by the axis of resistance.

turcopolier

Swami

Ah, you mean this place... http://www.freddiesbeachbar.com/ A few years ago a male navy lt. was arrested by the Arlington PD after a drunken fight in the place. He was described as wearing a white shantung silk sheath and heels which prevented his successful flight from the police.pl

Kooshy

," Trump is the candidate for people who think the world is a simple place" and Hillary is the candidate for those who think the world is thier own deeded backyard, namely the Borg.

Jack

Sir

It should be clear to even the most casual observer that neither our leading candidates nor most politicians and even the public know enough about history and geography to have any competence in foreign affairs. The partisans will claim their team won. But the reality is that the cluelessness of our leadership should imply that we cease all foreign interventions.

IMO, Trump has the correct instincts although he may not be sufficiently articulate in these debate and interview settings.

"I believe in a foreign policy based on our national interests that focuses on American security and regional stability instead of using our military to create democracies in countries with no democratic history and couldn’t care less about democracy,” -Donald Trump.

Mark Logan


I only watched the snippets. Disappointing but it was almost fun to watch the Borg re-enforce each other's utter conviction that we need to be enemies of Russia and they of us.

My other thought is how awful it is when a buffoon is right about anything, and they all are eventually right about something.

Lee A. Arnold

If Trump is going to "keep a force in place" to "take their oil" -- his words at the forum last night -- how is he NOT treating the world has his own deeded backyard?

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