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It is the third debate night, and I’m liveblogging again.  And to paraphrase Elwood Blues:  “It’s 15 minutes to the debate. I have a full bottle of Magners’, a half-charged laptop battery, it’s dark, and I’m in a bar.”

8:45:  The bar I’m at is so full that they opened up their “party room” downstairs, with a fullscreen TV and a much better sound system. But there is no bartender, so everyone else is upstairs.  …Except for me.  I am alone in the room with their weird Halloween decorations and I feel like I’ve got the VIP lounge.

A couple ideas if you just Can’t Get Enough:

  • A sent me a link to a place where an NYU professor is going to be factchecking as things go on. I may tap in now and again.
  • There is also a hashtag on Twitter now, which was kicked off by NPR host Brian Lehrer – he suggested that people livetweet their reactions to the debate, but exclusively through the quoting of Bruce Springsteen lyrics.  Bruce himself retweeted that suggestion, and now #brucethedebate is really a thing.

8:52 – Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow discussing the structure now – only 6 questions and the rest is going to be back-and-forth.  Either they want to encourage deep dives into things or they are hoping to bait the candidates for bread and circuses.

8:54 – I’m kind of missing the speeches from the people inside the debate hall that we saw last time, they were actually quite sweet.

8:57 – From #brucethedebate –

8:58 – I’m watching MSNBC this evening. Someone’s talking about the Cleveland Indians making the World Series and someone’s standing outside the window with a big sign saying “You need Jesus.”

9:00 – away we go.

9:01 – the MSNBC hosts doing some kind of weird pissing match thing over whether Chris Wallace really is a FOX news man.  It’s quite weird.

9:04 – the whole “open discussion” notion seems really scary.

9:05 – did either candidate shake each other’s hand at all?…I don’t think so.

9:06 – first topic – SUPREME COURT!

9:07 – “what is the role of the Supreme Court?”
Hillary: big no to Citizens United.

Trump is fidgeting with his microphone already.

9:08 – two people have come down to join me; a couple. They’ve only been down here 45 seconds and the woman has already shouted, “oh, SHUT UP!” to Trump.

9:09 – wait, did Trump just say he was going to name “20 justices”?

9:10 – Chris Wallace calling Clinton on a Supreme Court comment.  Uh-oh.

9:12 – Trump was doing so well, but just slipped – “Hillary was just extremely angry about the Supreme Court ruling.”
Hillary: “Well, I was angry because toddlers were being shot.”

9:14 – Trump is wearing his NRA endorsement like a blue ribbon from the state fair.

9:15 – Trump – I’m not gonna say I want the court to overturn Roe V. Wade, but I’ll be putting pro-life judges on the court, so….

9:16 – Yay, Hillary is bringing up the fact that Planned Parenthood also does cancer screenings and health care. 

9:18 – Hillary is making some very important points about when late-term abortion is being used. And I bet any of you a lunch that very, very few people are going to listen.

9:19 – I just heard the crowd upstairs erupt in cheers at Hillary’s speech, and then openly jeer at Trump’s callback.  Hillary is now dismissing his words as “scare tactics.”

9:20 – And segueing to….immigration!  Wallace is saying “probably no issue divides you more….”

9:21 – Trump: “ICE endorsed me! first time they’ve ever done that!”
One of the people in the bar – “….what the hell is ICE?”

9:22 – THE WALL! Those of you playing a drinking game, DRINK!
(And a sniff – drink again!)

9:23 – Trump: “We have some bad hombres here and we’re gonna get ’em out.”
Woman at bar, to me – “I hope you wrote that down!”

9:24 – from NYU fact check:
Donald Trump: “Chicago probably has the biggest amount of gun violence in the country.”
Fact: Alaska has the highest rate of death by firearm which is 19.8 per 100,000 population.(
_Hashika Dissanayake

9:25 – Trump: “Hillary Clinton wanted the wall!”
Clinton just rolls eyes.

9:26 – Hillary is calling Trump on using undocumented immigrants.

9:27 – Trump is accusing Obama of deporting immigrants.

>9:28 – “BIGLY!” Drink!

9:29 – “Obama deported millions and millions of immigrants.” what?

9:30 – Chris Wallace – “Secretary Clinton, the Wikileaks email said that your dream was to have a hemispheric market and open borders, is that true?”
Clinton: “well, if you read the rest of the sentence…”

9:31 – Clinton is calling Trump on the Putin connection.

9:31 – Trump: “Putin has no respect for Clinton. He gets along with me.”
Clinton: “well, that’s because Putin would rather have a puppet in the White House.”

9:33 – Chris Wallace is actually turning out to be a decent moderator!

9:35 – Trump: “As far as Japan and other countries….”
Everyone in the room with me: “….Japan? Huh?”

9:36 – Trump: “She has been proven to be a liar so many times.”
Clinton: “….I’m just quoting you.”

9:37 – Wallace: “Well, we’re moving on to the next topic – the economy. And I hope we handle that as well as we handled immigration.”

Wallace also asking the candidates HOW their plan will benefit the middle class.

9:38 – for those of you at home, here’s the Clinton jobs plan:

  • * Boost infrastructure
  • * Develop clean energy
  • * Raise minimum wage
  • * Equal pay for women
  • *  Boost technical education in schools
  • * Closing tax loopholes

9:40 – if you were hoping to hear the details of Trump’s plan, you’re out of luck. He’s gone back to NATO and foreign defense again.

9:41 – ….So if I understand Trump directly, He wants to increase our jobs by…making Japan and Germany….pay for their defense?

9:42 – And then after we make Japan and Germany saddle the added expense, he is going to try to….trade with them?  And somehow this will….produce jobs?

9:43 – Donald. Buddy. If the Underpants Gnomes have a more detailed plan than you do, that’s a problem.

9:47 – If Hillary doesn’t call Trump on whining about “Jobs going to China” I am going to be VERY upset.

9:48 – Hillary: “In fact, the Trump hotel here in Las Vegas was made with Chinese Steel.”
Thank you, girl.

9:50 – Trump talked about Clinton’s “30-year history”.  Clinton: “….Well, let’s talk about the past 30 years.”

9:51: “….and when I was in the situation room when we brought down Bin Laden, Trump was hosting Celebrity Apprentice.”

9:52 – NYU Fact Check:

TRUMP: “I don’t know Putin”

THE FACTS: Trump said he “knew Russia well” in May because of a Miss Universe contest held there, according to USA Today.
 Trump actually met Putin on “60 Minutes”. On the GOP debate stage in last November, he said, “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates,”. Then he commented that “We did well that night.”
Source: Time

Trump told Thomas Roberts of MSNBCI do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I am saying today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form.” — interview, November, 2013

–Izzie Ramirez, Kyu Kim, Khaila Moke-Sakamoto and Nofar Hamrany

9:52 – Wallace introducing the Sex scandal.  Trump is claiming that there was violence at his debates – and is now claiming that Obama and Clinton paid off double agents.  Oh, and they paid off the accusers. He is dismissing the accusations as “Lies and fiction.”

9:55 – Clinton is quoting Trump to his face and Trump is taking the Shaggy defense. “It wasn’t me!”

9:56 – “Donald belittles women to feel bigger.”

9:57 – ….Okay, Trump just had an opportunity to attack Bill Clinton, and instead he goes for….the deleted emails.  He can’t even sleaze well.

10:03 – Hillary is kind of whiffing the question about the Clinton Foundation, I’m sorry to say…I work with an NGO so I understand about foundations and what she’s saying, but the average person wouldn’t get it.

10:06 – “And I was sitting in my apartment here in Las Vegas – ”
“Made with Chinese steel?”

10:07 – Chris Wallace calling Trump on the “rigged” claims.  “Sir, your running mate has said he will accept the results.  Your daughter has said it.  Right here, today – will you say whether you accept the results?”
“….I’ll look at it at the time.”

10:07 – I question the wisdom of Trump saying that the media is corrupt, while speaking to a member of that media.

10:10 – “Trump is saying that the FBI is rigged.”
“Yeah, because….they are!”

10:13 – Wallace: “would each of you speak to whether you would commit US Ground troops to Mosul?”
Clinton: [insert exhaustive plan here]
Wallace: “Thank you. Mr. Trump?”
Trump: “….She started ISIS, did you know that?”

10:17 – and Trump just pivoted to Wikileaks and is attacking Clinton directly. “John Podesta says you have bad instincts! And Bernie Sanders said you have bad judgement?”
“You should ask Bernie Sanders who he’s endorsing for president.”

10:19 – Wallace: “Let’s turn to Aleppo…Mr. Trump, you said some things in the debate last time that weren’t true….care to comment?”
Trump: “Aleppo is so sad, have you seen it?”

10:22 – Good God, Wallace’s question for Clinton about the differences of opinion she had about the no-fly zone over Aleppo felt like the first actual grown-up question we should have had all along through all these debates.  I weep for what this election could have been.

10:24 – Some guy in the bar just scoffed at Hillary talking about the Orlando shooter being born in Queens. “What does that have to do with it?”
….I had a few words for him in response.

10:27 –


10:29 – Clinton speaking on debt.
Wallace: “Thank you, Secretary – ”
Trump: “Can I just respond to that?”
Wallace: “No.”
(Trump does anyway)

10:32 – Clinton: [is speaking about her plan to increase Social Security]
Trump (interrupting): …She’s such a nasty woman.
Clinton: [ignores him and goes on]

10:34 – Wallace is springing the option of a one minute “closing statement” on them.  They didn’t prepare one, it wasn’t part of the plan, but “it might be interesting.”

The statements are honestly nothing you haven’t heard before.

  • Clinton – Increase wages, inclusion, wealthy pay fair share.
  • Trump – Make America Great Again, Clinton is crooked, yadda yadda.

10:37 – after the debate – Clinton moves downstage to shake Chris Wallace’s hand. Trump remains behind podium, does not shake her hand.

10:39 – Guy in bar to me – “huh, must be hard for her…him calling her nasty and stuff.”
Me: “Yeah…but eh, it’s nothing that hasn’t happened to any strong woman.”
Guy in bar: (hesitates, then nods thoughtfully)

10:45 – Ugh – Guy in bar turned out to be a Bernie Bro.  We had a few minutes’ tense conversation about whether the DNC was also “rigged” and then he just said “whatever, I’m out.”  I left too.


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