Tuesday Night Live Blog: VeepStakes Debate!

pence-kaineGood Evening!  

The Vice Presidential Debate 2016 is at 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM (CT) on

Tuesday, October 4

The 2016 Vice Presidential candidate Debate is live tonight from Longwood University in Virginia. It’s an interesting place for the debate for several reasons. Coincidentally, Virginia is Tim Kaine’s home state.  Also, Farmville–the small town that’s home to Longwood–has a history of racial tensions in a campaign year full of them.

Across the nation, race has flared again as a dominant political issue. From Black Lives Matter and violence between police and people of color to campus demonstrations, neighborhood riots and the rise of white supremacists in mainstream politics, this has been a tense and divisive campaign season.

When America focuses on Farmville this week, it will find a town that has struggled more than most to come to grips with race. It hasn’t always worked. Though the county is 64 percent white, the public schools are only about 37 percent white. Many white students still attend the private school that opened after desegregation.

But some believe there is a lesson in the effort made by town leaders and the university to confront the worst aspects of the past.

Farmville is “the scene of where leadership has been forged in reconciliation,” Longwood President Taylor Reveley IV said. “That is a powerful concept for the country today as we are wrestling with issues that are very familiar from the past, especially from the civil rights movement.”

Both the Kaines and the Clinton have spent a good portion of their public life in support of civil rights.  Trump and Pence, of course, are fairly well known for just the opposite. There clearly could be some questions that pop up that reflect those differences.

Here’s some information on the debate to as we gear up for our watch party!2016_07_27_kaine_pence_twitter-3_22736636421

Both candidates have a mission as they take the stage Tuesday night: to make the case for their running mates, and to avoid any major missteps that could take their campaigns off-course. Pence needs to show stability for a ticket that has been rattled by Trump’s debate performance and an explosive story about Donald Trump’s taxes, while Kaine will look to extend Hillary Clinton’s newfound momentum and make an effective argument on her behalf.

You can watch the debate on CSpan and any of the major news networks.  You can also live stream it.

The first and only vice presidential debate of this election season is tonight at 9pm ET, 6pm PT. And if you don’t have cable there are plenty of different ways to watch Trump’s running mate Mike Pence and Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine square off. Kaine, of course, is perhaps best known as the lead singer of the band Future Islands. And you can’t convince me that it’s not the same guy.

 If you’re watching on a computer, one of the easiest ways to watch is on YouTube. PBS Newshour has a livestream that starts at 8:30pm ET, 5:30pm PT, but seriously have you ever seen Tim Kaine and Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring in the same room together? I didn’t think so.

If you have a cable subscription but want to watch CNN on your devices you can watch CNN Go on your iPhone or iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. You can also use the CNN mobile apps for Kindle Fire and Windows 10. Or you can watch using the CNN app for Apple TV and Roku.

There are a lot of topics that could come up tonight! Here’s some analysis from MoJo’s Hannah Levintova.57968fbbc361885e658b458e

In this case, after Donald Trump lost his first presidential debate—in which hesniffed often, spoke in incomplete sentences, lied, and ranted about his “winning temperament”—many conservatives have expressed concern about his lack of focus and debate preparation. It will be up to Pence to restore their faith in Trump. Kaine will have to match Hillary Clinton’s strong first debate performance while defending her against the Trump campaign’s tried-and-true attack lines, including her shifting stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and her husband’s role in enacting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

 So, hold on here we go!!!

 


Tuesday Reads: VP Debate and Other News

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Good Morning!!

Tonight at 9, Vice Presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence will debate on national TV for the first and only time. We will have a live blog for discussion of the event.

NPR is billing these two as “softening the image” of the Democratic and Republican tickets.

Unlike running mates of the past, Pence and Kaine have not been unleashed as “attack dogs” to chew viciously on their adversaries. This year, the headlines about outrageous charges have come from the top of the ticket — with help from various TV surrogates and the rest of the media chorus.

Kaine and Pence, by contrast, serve to soften the image of the national tickets. They are Tim and Mike, known by the friendlier, shorter versions of their first names. Both have made their way in politics as loyal party men, to be sure, but as warmer and more personable versions of their respective partisan stereotypes. And both have been known for their ability to maneuver and adapt to changing political circumstances.

So far, at least, both have performed admirably in their subordinate roles. It might even be said that both have exceeded expectations in their assistance to the nominees who chose them.

Kaine has been a prolific fundraiser as well as an affable and effective salesman on the stump. Pence has been enormously influential in bringing religious and social conservatives around to accepting and endorsing Trump. Even some who had pleaded for primary voters to pick anyone but Trump have come on board this fall, however reluctantly; and several have done so after meeting with Pence. Former rival and bitter critic Ted Cruz is one example.

How anyone could consider Mike Pence “softer” on anything is beyond me. I can only assume that NPR is ignorant of or choosing to ignore Pence’s record in the House and as Governor of Indiana.

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Here’s one mainstream article that calls attention to Pence’s “baggage.” Roll Call (September 19, 2016):

Pence made national headlines in early 2015 when he signed into law the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which limited the legal actions that could be taken against an individual or business for asserting their religious beliefs.

The law sparked widespread outrage. Opponents contended that it would give license to religious conservatives to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. In response, several major events and corporations — including Salesforce.com, the NCAA, and the gaming convention Gen-Con — threatened to limit business ventures in the state or boycott it altogether.

Pence adamantly defended the RFRA legislation and refused to say whether it allowed for discrimination, which led to extensive questioning of his underlying motives.

What followed was a hemorrhaging of support from moderate Republicans in the state, and intense backlash on social media and in the press. So much so that he quietly signed a subsequent piece of legislation — dubbed the “RFRA Fix” — that clarified that the law did not allow businesses to discriminate based on a customer’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Read about more of Pence’s ugly record at the link. He tried to set up a state “news bureau,” a propaganda organ paid for by taxpayers.

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Pence is virulently anti-abortion and did everything he could to get rid of Planned Parenthood in the state. He attempted to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana. He has helped keep Indiana a “right-to-work” state. More background on Pence’s views:

Planned Parenthood: This Is Mike Pence’s Indiana, and It’s Terrifying.

Mother Jones: Mike Pence Has Led a Crusade Against Abortion Access and LGBT Rights.

Mother Jones: Pence Tells Evangelicals He’ll Help Trump Restrict Abortion Rights.

Bustle: Mike Pence’s Stance On Gay Marriage Is As Harsh As His “Religious Freedom” Views.

In These Times: Mike Pence May Be a Friend to Trump, But He’s No Friend to Workers.

Here’s the Clinton campaign’s take on Pence and his defenses of Trump:

Other News

Republican Trump supporters have been waiting breathlessly for an “October Surprise” from Julian Assange and Wikileaks. A couple of days ago, long-time Trump adviser and conspiracy theorist Roger Stone tweeted this cryptic warning:

Then yesterday he tweeted this:

But so far, Stone and the Trumpettes have been disappointed.

The Washington Post: Trump backers realize they’ve been played as WikiLeaks fails to deliver October surprise.

For weeks, backers of Republican nominee Donald Trump have hyped the tantalizing possibility that the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks was on the verge of publishing a set of documents that would doom Hillary Clinton’s chances in November….

The group’s founder, Julian Assange, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm, suggesting to Fox News hosts that his scoops could upend the race with documents “associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles, some quite interesting.”

The announcement by WikiLeaks that it would host a major news conference Tuesday only seemed to confirm that the bombshell was ready to burst. The pro-Trump, anti-Clinton media world rippled with fevered speculation.

But the dreamed-of takedown of Clinton was not to be.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.

Assange, whose group released a trove of hacked Democratic National Committee documents on the eve of the party’s convention this summer, breezily dismissed the idea that anyone should have expected any news at his news conference.

“If we are going to make a major publication about the U.S., we wouldn’t do it at 3 a.m.,” Assange said at one point, referring to the Eastern daylight start time for the event.That didn’t go over well with Trump backers who had stayed up through the night, thinking they’d be watching live the unveiling of the death blow to the Clinton campaign.

That didn’t go over well with Trump backers who had stayed up through the night, thinking they’d be watching live the unveiling of the death blow to the Clinton campaign.

LOL! Read more hilarious stuff at the link. The Trump campaign is nothing but a “fever swamp” of conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Just look at the campaign’s leadership and advisers like Alex Jones.

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Mother Jones: How Trump Became Our Conspiracy Theorist in Chief.

Consider Trump’s inner circle: Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon is on leave from Breitbart News, the conservative site he helped turn into a one-stop destination for breathlessly reported stories like “Muslim Prayer Rug Found on Arizona Border” (on closer inspection, the “rug” was probably a track jacket). Trump’s deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, a peddler of many of the wildest Clinton conspiracy theories of the 1990s, once made a documentary alleging that Hillary Clinton had murdered a critic’s cat. Trump adviser Roger Stone, a former Nixon campaign aide and political dirty trickster, wrote a book claiming that Chelsea Clinton got four plastic surgeries to mask the identity of her real father.

Populist movements have long flirted with what political theorist Richard Hofstadter, writing about Barry Goldwater in 1964, called the “paranoid style in American politics”—the penchant for framing opponents as the tools of a powerful but shadowy fifth column. But Trump has embraced and normalized the political fringe in unprecedented ways—and that could have far-reaching effects.

That Trump would devote much of the substance of his campaign to wild claims and ominous innuendo is not surprising: This is what first made him a conservative star. Five years ago, Trump embarked on a national press tour to question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Obama, Trump suggested, was actually a Kenyan-born impostor named “Barry Soweto.” Establishment Republicans may have snickered, but Trump’s strategy was an unmitigated success. A CNN poll showed that his support among likely GOP voters nearly doubled once he started talking about the birth certificate. He became a regular guest on Fox & Friends, a sought-after speaker at conservative dinners, and a campaign prop for Mitt Romney, who flew to Las Vegas to accept Trump’s endorsement. In just a few months, Trump showed how intoxicatingly viral the netherworld of conspiracies could be. (Even when he finally conceded that Obama was born in the United States, he claimed the birther rumors originated with Clinton.)

From the day he kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign, an air of paranoia has infused almost everything Trump has said or done. He demanded a border wall on the grounds that Mexico was sending killers and rapists into the country, boosting his claims with an Infowars video he’d seen on the Drudge Report. He promised to “bomb the shit out of” ISIS, while insinuating that the current commander in chief harbored sympathies for the terrorist group (“There’s something going on”). After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep, Trump fanned theories of an assassination. He trumpeted a National Enquirer story suggesting that Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in the Kennedy assassination (even though Stone had written a best-selling book fingering Lyndon B. Johnson).

Read the rest at Mother Jones.

Links Only

Time Magazine: Why Tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate is Unusual.

The New Yorker: Why the Vice-Presidential Debate Does and Doesn’t Matter.

Media Matters: .What Media Need To Know About Mike Pence’s Economic Record.

WSOC TV: Michelle Obama to campaign for Hillary Clinton in Charlotte.

Melissa McEwan at Share Blue: I published this photo of Hillary Clinton and the response was overwhelming. (Must Read!)

Deadspin: Trump Supporters Spent The Debate Tweeting At Jon Lester Because They Thought He Was Moderator Lester Holt.

What stories are you following today? Let us know in the comment thread and be sure to check back tonight for the VP Debate live blog!