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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "debates"

Iain Dale: Is Labour’s manifesto the longest suicide note yet?

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and is a commentator for CNN.

Manifesto launch season is well underway. As I type this, I’m listening to the fag end of Labour’s launch in Birmingham. There’s no doubt that the leak of the party’s manifesto in 2017 transformed their campaign. It was leaked three days before the official launch. Whoever leaked it performed a major service for Labour – although it may not have seemed so to its head honchos at the time.

It will be interesting to see if the 2020 manifesto creates the same sense of momentum and interest. Lightning may not strike twice, but there’s no doubt that Labour have announced a lot of eye-catching promises. Jeremy Corbyn calls it the most “radical” manifesto ever.

What he means it’s the most left-wing manifesto ever. It makes Michael Foot’s 1983 offering look moderately sensible by comparison, and that, of course, was described by Gerald Kaufman as “the longest suicide note in history”.

Time will tell whether this manifesto will go down in political history in the same way, or whether it will be seen as an election campaign changing moment which will propel Corbyn into power. I think I know which my money is on.

– – – – – – – – – –

The Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto on Wednesday at the bizarre time of 5pm. It meant that they couldn’t dominate the news agenda for the day, which, had they launched it earlier in the day, they would have. Their luck proved to be really out when, at just after 5pm, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew would be stepping back from royal duties.

In addition, they didn’t have enough spokespeople lined up to do the media rounds. For our Newshour on LBC, we were initially told we couldn’t have anyone to talk about the manifesto. Eventually, I pulled a few strings and we were given Ed Davey – but the point is that they should have had a whole raft of people available.

In addition, launching it at 5pm meant that their main spokespeople had no time to digest the content. Sam Gyimah, in a phone-in with my colleague Eddie Mair, had a “Nightmair” of a time and was exposed time after time – not having a clue about the manifesto promises or how they would be funded. Alistair Carmichael had a similar car crash with Tom Swarbrick a few hours later.

These were not ‘gotcha’ interviews, but if you go into one not having a clue what you’re talking about, you should expect to be exposed. I’ve had similar interviews with LibDems over the last few weeks – Wera Hobhouse and Luisa Porrit spring to mind – in which they hadn’t done their homework, and I exposed them for it. Hopefully, they will learn the lesson.

– – – – – – – – – –

The Conservative manifesto is apparently due to be launched on Sunday, which again seems rather odd. It’s almost as if they want to hide it away.

Can’t think why. There’s no point in trying to ‘outradicalise’ Labour in terms of policy promises. I’d just stick to three or four main ‘retail offerings’ concentrating on delivering Brexit, tax cuts for the lower paid and an ambitious play for housebuilding. Everyone will be looking to see what is said on social care, given the shambles of a social care policy in 2017. I sense the advent of a Royal Commission…

– – – – – – – – – – –

The ITV leaders’ debate suffered from being far too short. Once you take into account its late start, that there was an ad break, and that it finished at 54 to the hour, it wasn’t an hour long – it was 48 minutes.

The host, Julie Etchingham, felt it necessary to thank both participants after each of their answers, which must have wasted at least another minute. Each of those answers was no more than a minute long.

I know we are all supposed to have the attention span of a gnat, but this led to a very sterile hour in which neither candidate for prime minister really sought to engage with the other. I hope the BBC learn from this for their debate, a week before polling day.

My analysis was that Boris Johnson was the clear winner, but that doesn’t seem to be the consensus in the ‘punditerati’ or in the online polls. The fact is that Corbyn had score a zinger to change the course of the election campaign, and he didn’t. I thought he looked bored, uncomfortable and unnatural throughout the whole thing. He sometimes sounded mean, and couldn’t crack a smile during the whole thing.

The best line of the evening came right at the end when they were asked what they’d give each other for Christmas. Johnson eventually offered Corbyn a jar of Damson jam, which apparently was refused. “He doesn’t even want my Damson Jam” was the Prime Minister’s off-screen moan right at the end, which the microphones picked up.

– – – – – – – – – –

We are now three weeks from the morning of the day after. I’m still not confident enough to make a firm prediction, but the polling trends are relatively clear. They show a collapse in the Brexit Party vote and the LibDems on a downward spiral too.

I’m not wholly sure that the latter is a good thing for the Conservatives since, in some constituencies, the Tories need the LibDems to perform well by taking away Labour remain votes. Were polling day tomorrow, the Conservatives appear to have a big enough lead to win an overall majority, but a lot could change in three weeks, especially if tactical voting becomes “a thing” in this election.

– – – – – – – – – –

The BBC hasn’t yet announced its election night line-up, although we know what Huw Edwards will be presenting, with Andrew Neil doing the big interviews.

ITV’s coverage will be headed by Tom Bradby, while Sky News has proudly announced that John Bercow will be their main pundit, alongside Dermot Murnaghan.

Channel 4 has gone full tonto with its “Alternative Election Night” which will be fronted by Rylan from the X Factor. In 2017 it was Jeremy Paxman. And who said dumbing down was a thing of the past? Luckily, he will have Krishnan Guru-Murthy to keep him on the straight and narrow. Perhaps on LBC we’ll invite Timmy Mallett to join us… Or maybe not.

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Should Trump bail on the debates next year?

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Our colleague Hugh Hewitt has a particularly hot take at the Washington Post this week having to do with the debates. But he’s not talking about the ongoing Democratic clown car shows like the one last night. Hugh is looking to the future and the general election debates between President Trump and whoever the Democrats wind up selecting.

His suggestion is going to come off as a bit on the radical side. Rather than quibbling over the format or the location or who gets the first question, Hugh is suggesting that Trump simply announce that he won’t be participating. Unless, that is, some major changes are made so the debates will be conducted in a fair fashion.

Last week, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the schedule of 2020 presidential debates. President Trump should quickly dismiss that schedule as unacceptable and announce that if any debates will be held at all in 2020, it will be only after extensive, direct negotiations between him and the eventual nominee of the Democratic Party and their respective designated representatives. And those negotiations should begin from a premise that the Republicans will no longer play by the biased rules of a deeply unbalanced Manhattan-Beltway media elite. Explicitly articulating this declaration of intent now, along with the possibility that, as in 1968 and 1972, there won’t be any debates, would do both the public and the elite media a great service.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 13 percent of Americans “have a great deal of trust” in the mass media and 28 percent “a fair amount,” with “69% of Democrats [saying] they have trust and confidence in it, while 15% of Republicans and 36% of independents agree.” So more than half the country distrusts the media, and that suspicion is overwhelming among those on the center-right.

Hugh goes on from there at length, excoriating the “Manhattan-Beltway media elite” with plenty of doses of largely deserved criticism. The amount of bias on display in the media has just become so ubiquitous that many of us don’t even bother commenting on it anymore. Hewitt cites poll numbers showing the lack of faith most of the country has in the mainstream media these days and this is a problem that predates the Trump presidency by quite a bit.

As to the suggestion that Trump should stonewall the commission unless negotiations with the candidates become part of the formula is neither radical nor legally problematic. Keep in mind that the Commission on Presidential Debates is not a government entity. Its dictates are not the law of the land and it carries no legal authority. There is no law requiring candidates to show up for debates and the schedule issued by the commission is not in any way legally binding.

With all of that said, Trump would need to proceed carefully in my opinion. Calling for a negotiation with the Democratic candidate before any debates are agreed to is perfectly reasonable and the commission should go along with it. But flatly walking away from the debates carries its own risks. Some will doubtless see such a decision as a case of Trump being “too afraid” to face his opponent in a one-on-one verbal rumble. (That’s actually a laughable idea when you consider how much he loves mixing it up, but people will still say it.)

There’s also the question of who will moderate the debates, select the questions and set the tone. Certainly we don’t want another 2012 Candy Crowley debacle, but somebody has to be found to do the job. And we can’t just draw a random name out of the phone book. The goal is to make sure that it’s an individual moderator that the public has a reasonable amount of trust in and the event doesn’t just turn into a two-hour gotcha question ambush of the President by an obviously liberal moderator.

Can such a person and format be found in the toxic political stew of the current era? I’d like to think so. But if not, Hugh may be correct. Perhaps the President should just walk away rather than delivering himself to his enemies on a silver platter.

The post Should Trump bail on the debates next year? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Steyer makes the cut for October debates

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We haven’t even made it to the Democratic debates in Houston this week but the candidates are already jockeying for position in the October debates to be held in Ohio. And for reasons that remain a total mystery to me, billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer has somehow qualified for that round. (Steyer won’t be on the stage in Houston this week as he didn’t manage to score well enough in four approved polls.) So where is this support coming from? (Boston Globe)

Tom Steyer, the billionaire and former hedge fund investor turned impeachment activist, became the 11th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the October debates on Sunday after a new poll showed him with 2 percent support in Nevada.

To make the cut, candidates must procure donations from 130,000 people and earn 2 percent support in four qualifying polls. Steyer fell one poll short of qualifying for the third Democratic debate in Houston this week. But the Democratic National Committee’s rules allow polls to carry over and count toward qualification for the fourth set of debates.

When the DNC announced the requirements for the October debates in Ohio, they didn’t change them at all from the Houston rules. Everyone still needs 2% support in four approved polls and 130,000 unique donors, including a minimum number from at least twenty states.

That seems a bit disappointing, doesn’t it? I thought part of the purpose of staging this many shows was to begin winnowing down the field. By the time we get close to Halloween, there will only be a couple of months left before the actual voting begins, so it shouldn’t have been unreasonable to raise the stakes a bit, even if it was only 4% in four polls and perhaps 200,000 donors. I mean, this is a national race, after all.

But still, that seems to be why Steyer was able to squeak over the finish line to qualify for the Ohio stage. He appears to have focused a lot of his effort on Nevada, and a two percent showing there this weekend gave him the fourth poll he needed. Where his “support” is coming from is also unclear. As of this morning, his RCP national polling average was still stuck at 0.5 percent. Yesterday’s ABC News/WaPo survey had him doing a smidgen better at one percent. But he’s had the whole summer to try to build some momentum and it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

While we’re on the subject of voter appeal, what is Steyer running on anyway other than a platform of demanding Trump be impeached? It doesn’t sound as if he’s pushing any bold new plans that the rest of the pack aren’t already hyping. For quite a while now, he’s been pretty much a one-trick pony. And the trick in question is impeachment. But if he wins the presidency, Donald Trump will be gone anyway.

One last point on the upcoming debates that I wanted to hit was the recurring question of the size of the crowd on the stage. Last month I asked why the DNC couldn’t run the Houston debates over two nights even if they only had ten people qualifying. ABC News obviously has both nights open in preparation for the event and it would give each candidate more time to speak. Well, they decided not to do that, so we’ll once again have ten lecterns on a single night this week.

But with Steyer qualifying for next month, there may be a silver lining to this story. He’s the eleventh person to make the cut, so hopefully, they’ll be splitting that event out over two nights.

The post Steyer makes the cut for October debates appeared first on Hot Air.

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Kamala Harris’s Arrest Reports Are Quietly Disappearing From California’s DOC Website

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

As America has erupted over the three mass shootings that happened over the course of the weekend — yeah, there was a third in Chicago, but the media doesn’t want to talk about that one for some reason — the California Department of Corrections has been busy making Sen. Kamala Harris’s arrest reports during her time as California’s Attorney General hard to find.

According to Charles Lehman at the Washington Free Beacon, the California DOC made arrests in California a matter of public record that is easy to access via the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation site. Now, a lot of it is suddenly gone:

The department removed public access to a number of reports on incarceration in the state, including when presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D.) was California’s attorney general. Twice a year, the CDCR releases information about the number of new individuals incarcerated in the California prison system as part of its “Offender Data Points” series. These reports provide important information on demographics, sentence length, offense type, and other figures relevant to criminal justice and incarceration.

Until recently, these reports were publicly available at the CDCR’s websiteA search using archive.org’s Wayback Machine reveals that as of April 25, 2019—the most recent indexed date—ODP reports were available dating back to the spring of 2009. As of August 2019, the same web page now serves only a single ODP report, the one for Spring 2019. The pre-2019 reports have been removed.

This is an interesting turn of events given the fact that, during last week’s 2020 Democrat debate, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard made Sen. Kamala Harris’s arrests a stain on Harris with unreasonable prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders, extending prison sentences to utilize prisoners for cheap labor, and withholding evidence that would have cleared a death row inmate.

Harris often uses her time as California’s AG as a point of pride but kept a lot of what she did under wraps. Gabbard drew back the curtain, but now California appears to be trying to put the curtain back and then put the whole thing behind a brick wall.

It may be too late, as Gabbard opened the flood gates. As the Free Beacon reported, it’s now known that Harris put over 120,000 minorities in prison during her stint as AG. She also put away 1,500 Californians away from marijuana use.

This entire thing raises some questions.

Is the state of California attempting to protect Harris by hiding the truth from the public? Is this being done at the behest of the DNC, or at least under the knowledge of the DNC? Is Harris’s campaign behind this at all?

While I’m not sure if there are any legal violations, it’s still a violation of the public’s trust. Hiding Harris’s mistakes is a shady move, especially at a time when investigations into her past as California’s “top cop” are ongoing thanks to Gabbard’s blistering move during the debates and Harris’s subsequent inability to defend herself.

 

The post Kamala Harris’s Arrest Reports Are Quietly Disappearing From California’s DOC Website appeared first on RedState.

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Tulsi Gabbard Slams Kamala Harris’s Childish Response to Her Debate Night Beatdown

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Tusli Gabbard by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard seems to have California Sen. Kamala Harris’s number, especially since Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.

During the course of the night, Gabbard went after Harris on her record as a prosecutor and landing heavy blows on Harris’s seeming abuse of her power and treatment of minorities going through the justice system. It wasn’t a good look for Harris in the least, and Harris’s response wasn’t much better.

When given the chance to explain herself during an interview with CNN, Harris didn’t defend herself, but instead took a page out of a high schooler’s comeback book and made the case that she’s more popular than Gabbard so these attacks are expected. Harris then said she can’t take Gabbard seriously, claimed Gabbard was an Assad apologist and said she’s ready to move on.

The Hill later interviewed Gabbard to get her take on Harris’s comeback, and Gabbard had a good word to sum it up.

“Honestly, it’s pathetic that when confronted with the facts and the truth about her record that she claims to be proud of as a prosecutor, as attorney general of California, all she can do is lob cheap smears,” Gabbard said.

Gabbard said that Harris predicates her whole campaign on being a “champion for the people,” especially minorities, but that it’s “all a lie.”

“When she was in a position to do something about it, was in a position to make a difference and truly be a champion of the people, she furthered and perpetuated this unfair, unjust system,” she said.

Harris failed to respond to the The Hill on the subject, but Gabbard has apparently been making victory laps around various outlets, including Fox News and TMZ, the latter on which she repeated her stance that she gave to The Hill.

While Gabbard may now be the most Googled Democratic candidate after the strike against Harris, she’d be wise not to spend too much time aiming at Harris specifically. If her campaign becomes focused on one candidate, it will come off narrow and shallow.

It should also be noted that while Gabbard has people’s attention, it’s not equating to a bump in the polls for her. If she’s going to climb the polls at all, she should utilize this attention to come off as more of a presidential candidate than a scrapper.

The post Tulsi Gabbard Slams Kamala Harris’s Childish Response to Her Debate Night Beatdown appeared first on RedState.

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Kamala Harris’s Comeback Against Tulsi Gabbard Was Childish and Elitist

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During Wednesday’s Democrat debate, there was a moment where 2020 candidate, Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, tore into California Senator Kamala Harris like a cat into tissue paper. It was brutal, to say the least, as Gabbard made Harris look like a massive phony when it came to criminal justice and self-aggrandizement.

Gabbard cited the fact that Harris laughed about smoking marijuana after putting away people for doing it for years. Gabbard also attacked Harris over withholding evidence that would have cleared a man on death row of guilt until she was forced to release that evidence.

Gabbard ended by saying that Harris owes the people she terrorized with her office an apology.

Harris was later given the chance to come back and explain herself in a post-interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. I’d like to tell you that Harris was able to explain herself and shed light on the events that Gabbard highlighted.

She didn’t. Instead, she pulled a move straight out of high school and took the position that she was more popular than Gabbard and suggested that Gabbard polling at “zero or 1 percent or whatever” is the reason she went straight for Harris’s throat during the bebate.

“This is going to sound immodest, but I’m obviously a top-tier candidate, and so I did expect that I would be on the stage and take hits tonight because there are a lot of people that are trying to make the stage for the next debate,” Harris said during interview with CNN Wednesday night after the last Democratic presidential debate in Detroit. “Especially when people are at zero or 1 percent or whatever she might be at, and so I did expect that I might take hits tonight.”

“Listen, this coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches,” Harris told CNN. “I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously, and so I’m prepared to move on.”

In summary, Harris has no comeback and instead resorting to being catty. This is the equivalent of resorting to mentioning someone having few Twitter followers in response to a legitimate argument. It’s not really a counterpoint, it’s just thinking you’re above someone for being more famous.

This is the height of elitism. Harris comes off more like Hillary Clinton here, thinking that her popularity and backing will just carry her through any roadblock she might come across.

It didn’t work for Clinton, and it definitely won’t work for Harris. This didn’t at all make Harris look better, only worse, but it did make Gabbard look pretty stellar.

The post Kamala Harris’s Comeback Against Tulsi Gabbard Was Childish and Elitist appeared first on RedState.

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Cory Booker Scolds Democrats for Pitting Democrats Against Each Other…At a Debate

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Cory Booker by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

The whole point of a presidential debate is to see who has the most gumption, best record, and sharpest mind. While it can be tedious, it does expose us to certain things that American people may find important. It’s an actual chance for candidates to expose each other’s records in a live setting where without the safety of a controlled narrative.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, however, seemed taken aback that CNN would do something so heinous as making Democrats battle it out to see who is best qualified to lead the free world.

“The person that’s enjoying this debate most right now is Donald Trump, as we pit Democrats against each other while he is working right now to take away Americans’ health care,” Booker said.

Booker seems to be trying to go for the image of being the sensible one in the room, but it didn’t stop him from tearing into Biden with the rest of the 2020 pack, specifically on immigration. In the end, Booker is just as guilty of creating division amongst the Democrats as everyone else.

Trump’s Communications Director Tim Murtaugh couldn’t help but notice that too.

Booker has struggled to make a name for himself among the Democrats. While he’s highly recognizable, he’s not said or done anything memorable enough to bump is standing in any significant way. He’s constantly pronounced among the winners from debates but continues to put forth lackluster performances and forgettable quotes.

This line about debates making Democrats look like a house divided seem pretty whiney, however. The whole point of the debates is to stand out by being better than your opponent. If Booker is suggesting debates don’t happen and a different forum is crafted where Democrat candidates don’t argue with each other over how to lead the nation, then I’m curious as to how he suggests that happen.

The alternative is just narrative crafting with each Democrat giving a speech about a subject in turn on stage. If that’s the case, then we’re not going to learn much.

More importantly, if Booker is aiming for this kind of thing, then it doesn’t speak well to his willingness to be asked hard questions or come up against opposition. If he wants a kinder, gentler session then he’s not ready for the responsibility of leading the nation against other world powers who won’t be inclined to be gentle and fair.

He definitely won’t get kindness and gentleness from Trump.

In his efforts to look like the level-headed guy in the room, Booker just exposed his hand as a weak candidate.

The post Cory Booker Scolds Democrats for Pitting Democrats Against Each Other…At a Debate appeared first on RedState.

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The Democrat Debate Was All About Removing The Right To Choose

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I thought they were the party about defending choice? When did that change?

On night one of the Democratic Party Presidential candidate political forums (dubbed “The Donkey Debates”) we were presented with few surprises and many head-scratching moments of sheer aversion to the facts. Promises were made and bromides were delivered as if by firehose. Amid all the pledges of free everything while demonizing anything approaching a functional corporate foundation something unremarked but completely remarkable took place — The Democrats defied their biggest core belief.

Early on, of course, we heard of abortion rights, but it was a lightly touched-upon segment. After all, who does not know this is essentially Democrat gospel already?! Turn against the sacrosanct issue and you are effectively excommunicated from the party. So the candidates breezed over that subject and moved on to more heady waters.

Universal healthcare was roundly supported, with a number of hopefuls pledging outright that they will see to it that private health insurance is phased out for single-payer government-run healthcare. (Recall not long ago this was something a candidate would never admit to, for fear of crippling their campaign?) Liz Warren was especially comical in this round, pointing out how insurers sometimes have you filling out dozens of forms. Yea, one thing we all know about the government, it NEVER involves excessive amounts of paperwork!

Gun control was another issue brought up, with most in some form of agreement that Americans had no reason to own a weapon. Sob stories abounded, and all pledged to make those evil guns even more evil. Immigration came up, and the call to simply do away with border protection was a general agreed-upon result. The environment was of course a big issue, and the call went out to go after the vile energy-producing companies and shift our nation over to a green energy platform.

To an extent these grand, sweeping policy proposals are expected from this group. Consider their plight; in a group of 20 names you need to be distinguished, so being as far out as you can go, and promising as much as you possibly can leads to making these outlandish promises. Except in so doing the Democrats are violating their core belief system.

What happened to their pledge to give everyone the right to choose?!?! Every single candidate — hell, almost every Democrat — adheres to the concept that the right to choose is the most important standard they can think of in politics. Defend it to the death.

Except…

They want to remove our right to choose our own health care provider. They not only want to put limits on which guns we choose to buy but to eliminate that choice entirely. Choosing to defend our border from incursions is looked to be phased out entirely. They even want to take away our choice in energy consumption — only approved green energy options will be offered.

When it comes to the issue of abortion, which concerns a segment of the country, “choice” is the preeminent standard. But once you get into broader subjects concerning nearly all of America — healthcare, energy, constitutional rights — then suddenly our right to choose is completely invalid. The smarter minds who know what is best will be more than happy to make those choices for us.

Thank you, but I prefer to choose liberty and freedom over the nannies who cannot even follow the time constraints of a debate set up, let alone the founding documents of our nation.

The post The Democrat Debate Was All About Removing The Right To Choose appeared first on RedState.

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CNN Gets Roundly Mocked After Reporter Talks About the Democrat Debate Stage’s Extravagance

Westlake Legal Group Capture-9-620x316 CNN Gets Roundly Mocked After Reporter Talks About the Democrat Debate Stage’s Extravagance Politics Oliver Darcy Media Front Page Stories elections democrats debates CNN Allow Media Exception 2020

CNN has bought the leftist idea that humans are a plague on the planet hook, line, and sinker. This is mostly because it, itself, is a leftist organization.

It’s the news outlet that believed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s final solution for cows and encouraged us to lessen our beef intake by chewing on cricket burgers. In fact, CNN is so invested in the climate-change narrative that it has a panic page called CNN Climate.

So when CNN’s Oliver Darcy talked about how much went into crafting their debate stage for their 2019 Democratic debates, Twitter couldn’t help but hold their extravagance up to the light of CNN’s own self-righteousness.

To be fair, it is an impressive looking stage with a lot of pomp and circumstance lined up with it.

Twitter didn’t hold back.

The beating CNN got over this is well deserved. It’s hard to take them seriously about their climate panic when they dish out enough carbon in the building of a stage for Democrats who likely won’t win 2020 unless some miracle happens.

Once again, we’re seeing the Democrats unofficial motto at play.

“It’s okay when we do it.”

You could easily make this a tweet about a GOP debate stage and without a doubt, you’d see op-eds and articles focusing on costs, manpower, and carbon-producing vehicles it took to construct it. The extravagance would be a black mark on the GOP and proof that they really are just all a bunch of rich environment destroying blowhards.

Yet the Democrats are more or less mum on it.

The post CNN Gets Roundly Mocked After Reporter Talks About the Democrat Debate Stage’s Extravagance appeared first on RedState.

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