FBI agents have decided to talk.. but will it be too late?
That's actually not the most important thing of all. The most important thing of all is still an open question. The question is, "Will the FBI agents who have decided to talk actually be able to talk before the election?"
I have absolutely no problem with Trump saying he would wait to look at the election results -- and presumably any necessary recounts and investigations of voter fraud -- before deciding whether or not to accept the results. That's what serious people do: they look at the evidence before making promises.
The evidence about our elections so far isn't exactly promising. Voter fraud is rampant with few safeguards in place to prevent it. Democrat political machines run the cities, and the dead walk to the voting booth in California. In New York, multiple Democrats admit on hidden camera to large-scale vote fraud and inciting violence.
Trump would have to be nuts -- or just eager to lose -- if he chose to concede a close election before looking at it closely.
It was obvious, in retrospect, that the third debate was different. Part of that was the moderator, who asked tough questions on both sides and wasn't blatantly pro-Hillary while focusing mostly on policy. (Congratulations, Chris. I didn't think you had it in you.) Part of it was Trump showing determination to stick to the high road and discuss policy. I think most of it was a hard-to-define sense that Trump was finally taking this thing seriously. Hillary was her usual well-polished, factually-challenged self, but Trump was suddenly exuding discipline and demonstrating his command of the issues rather than the insults.
I don't think that Trump's performance is going to change the mind of anyone committed to Hillary, but he's converting people who were reluctant to back him because they doubted his seriousness into supporters. Some within his own party and some independents. Really, anyone who can see through Hillary's lies but was reluctant to back Trump because of his personality got to see a sober, serious, disciplined and knowledgeable Trump tonight.
Maybe it will be enough.
As for me? Well, as the saying goes, you go to war with the Trump you've got rather than the Cruz you wanted... but you still go to war.
First question is about the Supreme Court. Trump says he will appoint justices who uphold the 2nd Amendment. The language is clearly unfamiliar to him, but he's trying. Question to Hillary brings up her opposition to the 2nd Amendment in the form of criticizing the Heller case. She lies and says she supports the 2nd Amendment but immediately comes back with "reasonable regulations", and says that the 2nd Amendment allows people to "kill you". She supports things like closing the "gun show loophole" that doesn't exist. She lies and says she was talking about how the Supreme Court applied the 2nd Amendment in the Heller case, mentioning "toddlers with guns" by which I assume she means safe storage laws. That was a tiny part of the Heller case.
Trump gets a followup, but the moderators interrupt him to ask Hillary to repeat her talking points. She hits the "safe storage" point and lies about supporting the 2nd amendment "except for reasonable regulations" again.
Reminder: The Heller case was about a complete ban on functional firearms within the District of Columbia.
Tag back to Trump who says Chicago has the toughest gun control laws and the worst gun crime. Good point. He says he will appoint justices who are strong on the 2nd Amendment. Good closing. Moderators moving on to abortion, below the fold...
Overall impressions... Actually a substantive debate that focuses on issues. Only occasional digressions into personal attacks. Hillary was more polished, but she can't help making all sorts of checkable lies, and her polished policy positions are generally the wrong ones. Trump mostly avoided being detailed about policies, and occasionally was obviously reciting what he had memorized, but did have the right specifics and facts to back him up. When he did go into detail, mostly on taxes, he hit it well. Hillary was left making absurd claims about how she would grow the economy by raising taxes. It was absurd bullshit, but very polished absurd bullshit. Trump's domestic economic policies, on the other hand, are likely to work. (His trade policies are an open question).
If you measure the winner by who shifted closer to the other's policies, I think Hillary shifted a lot closer to Trump. She wants amnesty, but consistently called for border enforcement along with amnesty and even attacked Trump for using illegal alien construction workers. She also shifted on trade, her "public position" is that TPP is a bad idea now. Her private position is open borders, amnesty, and pro-TPP. So she shifted the most towards Trump, and thus Trump won.
If you care about the Supreme Court, I think Trump won pretty solidly on that. Pro-gun, pro-life. Hillary had to lie about the 2nd Amendment there, and kept coming back with "reasonable regulations" which gun owners know is poll-tested code words for gun control. And she was unashamed about supporting abortion.
Note that this doesn't tie Obama to the full Lois Lerner oppressive regime, but rather focuses on Obama's practice of using lawyers who worked on the IRS cases with the groups he wanted to target (and were thus required to have access to tax information otherwise confidential to do their jobs). Those lawyers don't forget that information when they move on to a new position, and while normally this would be a relatively harmless practice had those lawyers respected their confidentiality obligations, in at least two cases it appears they did not.
What the left wants to do about guns is anything they can actually make stick. Big slice or little slice, so long as they get to take slices and we never do, they win in the end. And Obama has demonstrated that the Republicans in office cannot effectively respond to executive overreach.
More than any other single incident, the massacre at Waco formed my opinions of government. Without a trial, government agents empowered to collect taxes undertook an armed raid on a small collection of buildings inhabited by a peaceful religious sect. When those individuals fired in self-defense, a months-long standoff took place. It ended only when the government chose to burn the compound to the ground while pumping it full of tear gas and shooting anyone who tried to leave. Around 80 people died, murdered by their own government.
And the person responsible may be running for president.
The fundamental problem here is that food stamps and similar government programs are actually harmful. They remove the incentive for people to work and earn money while penalizing those who do work. You can't improve the economy through wealth redistribution, you can only improve the economy through wealth creation.