Paul Ryan Missed His Moment Of Truth

I have given Speaker of the House Paul Ryan some wiggle room this year for walking the tightrope of being a leader of his party while also trying to be supportive of a failed presidential nominee.  One can appreciate the almost painful requirements of what he has had to do up to this point.

But then came the first presidential debate where every American voter who paid attention knew deep in their gut that what was presented to the nation was simply appalling.  No one would second guess or condemn any person regardless of their rank in the party to state the obvious.

That being Donald Trump is a most dangerous and messed up presidential nominee.

But Ryan refuses to take the public stand that so many others around the nation did either on Facebook, at the workplace cafeteria, or with the buddy over the backyard fence.

During a CNN interview Ryan stated that “I think this debate, I think people, met their expectations, and I think Hillary gave a very polished, well-rehearsed status quo defense and I think Donald Trump gave a unique Donald Trump response to the status quo.”

There is no way Ryan is describing the same debate that perhaps nearly 80 million citizens viewed.  And therein lies one of the problems that so many Americans have with our political process.

Even when it was as clear as the midday sun that Trump was not prepared even to debate his opponent let alone sit in the Oval Office the third most important person in our system of government pretends that a political whitewash will make people think otherwise.

I want to believe that at the heart of every person there exists a set of principles that play into his or her actions in life.  So with that in mind it unnerves me to consider what Trump would have to do or say to make the third in line for the White House to express something other than meaningless pablum.

Weaseling out of confronting the truth about Trump does not make Ryan more credible when it comes to the weighty issues of budgets and policy.  Instead it makes Ryan resemble just another pitiful political figure who might make for a character in an Allen Drury novel.

I know in sports, from to time, after a most dreadful outcome a coach approaches the media with gut honesty and says something to the effect that ‘we were shellacked’.   How is it that when it really matters with our political process the lack of candor and honesty can be so far removed?

I am not asking Ryan to undermine his party, or throw the election away without a fight.  Lord knows there are some tough races in his own caucus that requires his attention.  But I really would appreciate some candor from a Midwesterner who knows better than to deny the obvious.

Is that too much to ask?

Another Way To Gauge The Debate Winner

As investors chalked up the debate as a win for Hillary Clinton—seen as the more stable candidate—the Mexican peso jumped almost 2% and the S&P 500 was up 0.6% in after-hours trading. The Canadian dollar strengthened from its weakest level since March in a signal that investors think Clinton could win the election. As I post this the Dow Jones is up 137 points.
The markets know what is best for national interests.

Donald Trump Attacks Another Woman–This Time Over Weight Issues

When you are in a hole just stop digging.  Lest Trump forgot the mission now is to attract voters to his campaign……

Donald Trump pushed back against criticism he received from Hillary Clinton during last night’s debate regarding his treatment of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, saying “she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”

Trump made his remarks on “Fox and Friends” this morning in response to Clinton pointing out that Trump called Machado “Miss Piggy” while berating the Republican nominee’s overall treatment of women.

“She was the winner, and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” Trump said of Machado. “We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her.”

Trump spoke about Machado’s appearance today while answering a question about whether or not Clinton had gotten under his skin. He said that she hadn’t done so, and went on to describe Machado as “the worst we ever had,” a reference to Miss Universe winners.

Machado, while representing Venezuela, competed and won Miss Universe in 1996 when she was 19 years old. She gained weight after winning the competition, and accused Trump of humiliating her based upon her appearance shortly thereafter.

After Miss Universe, she acted in international soap operas and had a brief stint promoting a weight loss product. She appeared in a 2006 edition of Mexican Playboy.

She became a U.S. citizen in May of 2016, and has become a supporter of Clinton.

Nation Scorns Donald Trump For Ridiculous Debate Performance

This array of commentary says everything we need to know about what Donald Trump did to himself and the Republican Party last night.  I would be smiling about this if I was not so sad that my country has been so thoroughly embarrassed around the globe by this Republican nominee.

Glenn Thrush: “Trump is supposed to be the big meanie but it was Clinton who hit him where it hurt most. It doesn’t take a Jung (or even Dr. Phil after a couple of Bud Lights) to figure out that the GOP nominee – who boasts like a barfly – just might be over-compensating. Hence, Clinton, who started the debate a little tentatively, quickly launched into a carefully planned program of Freudian mind-games, contrasting her own middle-class businessman dad (who had his own issues) with Trump’s imperious, larger-than-life father Fred who launched his son’s business career but also was said to be extremely tough on him.”

Dan Drezner: “This will be short and sweet. Hillary Clinton wiped the floor with Donald Trump in the first presidential debate Monday night. But it was the way in which she wiped the floor with him that was so interesting.”

Andrew Sullivan: “Clinton was not great at times; her language was occasionally stilted; she missed some obvious moments to go in for the kill; but she was solid and reassuring and composed… I’ve been a nervous wreck these past two weeks; my nerves are calmed now.”

Jonathan Chait: “The contrast between an obviously and eminently qualified public servant and a ranting bully was as stark as any presidential debate in American history.”

Ross Douthat: “More, as ever in this campaign, he showed no ability to evade or duck or simply retreat on issues — his business dealings and his taxes, birtherism and racism — where long Trumpish answers make things only worse.”

Nate Silver: “My editor tells me that readers want my subjective impressions of the debate, knowing full well that they’re subjective. And my impressions are that Clinton became a more plausible president tonight and Trump became a less plausible one.”

Ezra Klein: “The first presidential debate featured a man who didn’t know what he was talking about repeatedly shouting over a woman who was extraordinarily prepared.”

Chris Cillizza: “This was a clear win for her on virtually every front.”

Donald Trump Supporters Have No Reason To Smile Anymore

Totally embarrassing is the best summation for Donald Trump’s performance last night.

John Podhoretz writes one of the best reads this morning.

By the end of the 95 minutes, Trump was reduced to a sputtering mess blathering about Rosie O’Donnell and about how he hasn’t yet said the mean things about Hillary that he is thinking. Most important, he set ticking time bombs for himself over the next six weeks.

As she hammered him on his tax returns, he handed her an inestimable gift by basically saying he pays no federal taxes despite his billions — and moreover, that if he had done so, it would have been ‘squandered’ anyway.

That’s not going to go away, nor is her suggestion that his refusal to release his returns is the result of his either not being as rich as he says or not being as charitable as he claims.