Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Act IV, Scene 3: Live Blog from the 15-rounder

I will try an experiment and post updates through the evening.  I have to warn you that I may interleave my comments on the debate with ones on the Cubs-Dodgers game, in which I have also considerable emotional investment.  As I've said previously, I'm rooting for the Cubs to win it all, on behalf of my father, a lifelong Cubs fan. 

13th Round:  Entitlements
Wallace criticizes both sides' programs.  Social Security and Medicare:  will you consider a grand bargain with tax increases and benefit cuts?
Trump:  Obamacare (not an entitlement program)
Clinton:  raise Social Security tax on wealthy ("assuming Donald can't figure out a way to get out of it" Donald "such a nasty woman!")  No cuts to benefits!   Affordable Care Act - extended Medicare Trust fund.

14th Round Closing Statements"
Wallace:  Why should you be President?  (No closing statements agreed by the campaigns.)
Clinton:   Help all of you.  Jobs, education.

15th Round Trump's Turn
Trump:  She's raising the money from the people she wants to control. (What?)  Immigrants. Policemen and women disrespected, law and order.  I will do more for African-Americans and Latinos.  We can not take four more years of Barack Obama, and that's what you get with her.

Closing! They do not shake hands. 

First reaction on CNN:  Astonishing he would not agree to abide by the results of the election.
Second reaction:  he was well-prepared, except for that.

I apologize for the small-type formats--I've tried to fix them four times and Blogger has not yet cooperaated. 

Result:  the slight edge Clinton had became a technical knockout. 

10th Round:  Free-for-all--What about Aleppo? 
Trump quotes John Podesta (Wikileaks) and Bernie Sanders against her.  Poor choice of Clinton "opponents".   He says Assad is a lot smarter than her and Obama. More about appeasing Iran.  He is opposed to helping the anti-Assad rebels?  Syrian refugees Trojan horse. "Lots of luck, Hillary"--he believes he will lose!

11th Round:  No-fly Zone
A provocative policy, contrary to Obama's--she answers carefully.  Refugees--the 4-year-old boy. She hasn't talked enough about Americans, though.  Trump butts in and insults our military/diplomatic leadership.

12th Round:  Our National Debt
Wallace quotes some group saying debt would increase a lot under Clinton and much more under Trump. Trump:  They're wrong, we are creating an economic machine. Take back our jobs--we don't make anything anymore.  We should use businessmen to negotiate our trade deals, instead of "political hacks". (He ignores the fact that the deals are done to benefit US business, will she?)
Clinton's off topic a bit with her attack on Trump for attacking Reagan (in the same terms as now); she has a natural edge on this.  "Middle-out growth" her new phrase to try.

Ninth round:  Syria
Wallace asks about the attack on Mosul, whether we would put troops in to hold it.  Clinton has the first answer, gets to express her position (but no troops, including no-fly zone, negotiation with all parties)..  Trump:  why didn't we make a sneak attack?  She is helping Iran.  Their leaders (ISIS) are smart. 

Sixth round:  Fitness
Wallace asks Trump a tough one, on the women who accused him.  Trump blames it all on the Clinton campaign. The stories have been "largely debunked".  "I want to talk about something slightly different--the emails."
Clinton hits deeply; Trump accuses Clinton campaign of provoking violence at Trump rallies.

Seventh round:  Conflicts of Interest  
Battle of the foundations--slight edge to Clinton over the laughable Trump foundation.  Clinton successfully turns it to his lack of tax payment. Trump going over the top:  you should have changed the law. Clinton doesn't get to answer:  Trump does not know how a bill becomes law.

Eighth round:  Election rigged
That proposition bet goes to Yes--would "rigged" be mentioned by the moderator.   I bet Yes at 57%, market was at 54%. at the debate's start, but it had dipped to 20%.

 Trump refuses to endorse the outcome of the election.  He's a LOSER, and a bad loser at that.  Wallace lectures him on that failure.  Clinton wins big here.

4th round: Russia
The punches are thrown wildly on this topic, which Wallace does not introduce:  Hillary with very effective body blows against Trump, who brings up nukes--Hillary well-prepared for that one.  10 people who have had the codes have said Donald should never have them.  Donald calls her a liar.

Fifth: Taxes
Hillary:  wealthy will pay their fair share--will she avoid the dig at Donald for not paying his? Yes!
Trump: Does not answer the question about his tax plan.  Instead goes back to other countries:  why aren't they paying us? Trade - NAFTA.  
Hillary does well to defend Obama's program and avoid criticizing its scale (as Wallace suggested). 
Trump: India grows at 8%; CHINA - at 7% and its a terrible problem.  Last jobs report, it was so bad. All because of the bill her husband passed.   Trans-Pacific Partnership:  they actually fact-checked, and I was right. (for once!) When you ran the State Department, $6 billion dollars disappeared (a new one!)
Went on long, not decisive.

First Rounds
The debate begins:  Trump to his corner, Clinton goes to hers as well.  0 for 1 on the bets.  
The next one that may get decided is whether the words "Merrick Garland" will be mentioned by the moderator, with the topic being the Supreme Court.  I bet Yes at 42%; that has now gone down to 10%.  I won't sell at that price; I will hold and probably lose.

Donald Trump on the Supreme Court:  lame attack on Justice Ginsburg (I'm looking for Hillary to appoint Barbara Mikulski to replace her as the "aggressive woman" on the bench), for him it's all about the Second Amendment.

Guns:  Trump Chicago blah-blah, sniff.  Abortion:  Trump overturn Roe v. Wade. Clinton:  Trump said "women should be punished".   Chris Wallace puts out the partial-birth abortion chum for Trump.

Immigration: Trump - Strong borders; no drugs; all the border police, they want the wall. Then we'll decide what to do with the people (no deportation talk today).  Clinton takes on Trump on the deportation force, that Drumpf "choked" with the Mexican President. Trump:  Clinton wanted "the wall". Clinton:  takes on the question about what to do about undocumented workers, throws some shade on Trump's employment of them.

"Open borders" - a proposition bet as to whether the moderator would mention it. Trump thanks Chris Wallace for it.  Hillary uses it to turn on Trump for encouraging Russian espionage.  "Nice pivot"--says Trump--fair enough!

Setting the Scene
This is Las Vegas, and I feel that Trump will feel at home and ready to gamble it all.  The pattern I expect is a reasonably sane exchange for an hour, and a last half-hour when they both let it all loose: Trump will bring out his heaviest opposition research ammunition, and Clinton will probably counter-attack. has set up several proposition bets on the night, which I will go through shortly (time permitting), particularly around whether various words will be uttered, by the moderator, the participants, or by either.  One proposition that I would have liked to see is whether the word "fraud" will come up.  It would need some severe provocation for her to pull it out, but I expect that will be present.  As in:

Your pretense to represent the working families' interest is a fraud.
Your tax plan is a fraud designed to benefit you, your businesses, and a few cronies.
Your attempts to present yourself as a patriot is a fraud:  you are a draft-dodger who doesn't pay his fair share of Federal taxes.
You defrauded your investors and took the losses for yourself; you defrauded thousands of persons who enrolled in your university, performed services for you, or trusted you enough to be employed by you.
You have defrauded the Republican primary voters who chose you thinking you were a Republican, you have defrauded those who thought you were a populist and not a snobby elitist; you have defrauded those who believed you had integrity, morals, ethics.
Your hair is fake, your complexion is fake, your posture as a successful businessman is largely a fake. You have shown amazing audacity in the scale of your frauds, and now you want to take it to a gigantically new level.
My fellow Americans, the Drumpfster is a fraudster!

I have recouped some paper reversals of gains suffered when the polling gap narrowed almost to the vanishing point--I am back to about 50% profit on my account. The response since then has overshot somewhat, which has given me the opportunity of hedging certain bets.  I don't anticipate any major flips from here to the finishing line, but I am edging somewhat toward a narrowing of the gap by Election Day.  I will post later some of my principal positions, and what action is going on with them tonight.
In the meantime, the first proposition bet is whether they will shake hands at the beginning.  I bet yes at 53%; it has moved to 64% Yes,

And now, we start, with Chris Wallace--for Fox News, a very fair moderator.


Chin Shih Tang said...

So, let me repeat my apology for the format problems: I will try to fix this, but hope you can read it in the meantime.

I won 3 out of 5 proposition bets, which were basically just for fun for me. In the aftermath of the debate, not much change in the headline odds, but my position has improved a little, even though the trend toward a more blowout victory was strengthened (and it is not where all my money lies). I think the debate will just harden the partisan divide and will not change many minds.

Chin Shih Tang said...

As for the Cubs' game, I have to admit that it was 0-0 in the 3rd when I turned to the debate that was just starting, and I didn't turn back until the debate was over. By then, the Cubs were ahead 8-2, and went on to win 10-2. I was not too surprised, but pleased.