Cornered and angry, Trump pursued a scorched earth approach to weaken his opponent in the latest presidential debate. He didn't even wait for the debate to begin, kicking off with his pre-debate “press conference” stunt to embarrass Clinton and divert attention from his damaging 2005 sexually explicit hot mic recording.
The tape’s gruesome recordings show the Republican nominee boasting about being able to use his wealth and fame to prey on women using his tiny hands, offering conclusive proof that he is unfit for office.
Sniffing and glowering like a bear released from a cage, Trump prowled menacingly behind Clinton throughout the debate. Devoid of talking points of any substance, he resorted to insults and innuendos, threatening her with jail if elected president.
He struggled to articulate any coherent policies, stumbling into a series of unconnected sentences and resorting to wild accusations which have repeatedly deemed to be false – accusing Clinton of giving birth to the birther lie about President Obama, for instance. In a desperate effort to capitalise on Clinton’s unwise support for the invasions of Iraq and Libya, Trump falsely claimed that he had opposed the invasions.
If we elect this quintessential bully, a man who speaks so disgustingly of sexual assault and who boasts of evading taxes, we will all be reduced to a nation of “deplorables”.
Los Altos, California
When the audio tape from a bus carrying Donald Trump was released last week, I immediately remembered a shipmate from the 1960s. I was a young Merchant Navy navigating officer back then, and there were many soft porn paperback novelettes floating around every ship I sailed on. They were published in US, under sleazy titles such as Sorority Sluts, Honky Tonk Gals, and so on, and became required reading for many sailor men of that era, who would use them as means to speed off to Dreamland after a hectic day’s work at sea.
Hearing The Donald’s braggadocious and boastful brouhaha with television host Billy Bush, I recalled a short, balding, bespectacled, rather grubby and nondescript chief engineer, known throughout the fleet as “Sexy” Brown. When you signed on a ship with Sexy Brown, you knew you were in for some great mealtime entertainment, as he often took over the conversation in the dining saloon regaling others of his sexual exploits. These exploits were ripped directly from the well-worn pages of the aforementioned novelettes, with Brown inserting himself as the protagonist and seducer. Sexy Brown was a happily married man with a bunch of kids back home in Liverpool; he seldom ever went ashore in ports we visited, so the lotharious alter-ego he portrayed himself to be was pure fiction, but we all loved his spontaneous entertainment on those long ocean voyages.
Maybe Senator Marco Rubio was on to something during the recent Republican Party primary debates when he observed that The Donald has very short fingers, which may indicate another part of his anatomy is also diminutive. Should this be the case, just maybe The Donald was presenting himself to Billy Bush as a rakish libertine, in order to overcome his own shortcomings. Just when we all thought the US presidential election campaign couldn’t get any weirder, it has.
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada
I watched part of the Clinton/Trump debate when Trump hovered behind Hillary in a really creepy manner. Then I read in the news today that the police are worried that frightening clowns were lurking about trying to scare people.
Blair knew what Britain wanted
How ironic that Linda Newbury should write denigrating the only Labour leader in 20 years to “rustle up some opposition to the Tories”.
In attacking Tony Blair, who pulled this nation’s politics to the progressive centre and delivered so much for those now so viciously attacked by a Brexit-imprisoned Tory Party, she, along with so many, fails to recognise that opposition supported by a public yearning for an alternative government relies upon two preconditions.
The first being a leader who understands and chimes with where the public are on the economy, health, education and crime – and the second being one who can articulate those concerns in a language and way that they can support at the ballot box.
Who are the people Theresa May talks about?
The “ordinary working people”; the “liberal elite” – who are these people?
The “will of the British people” – whose “will”, and of which British people? The “British people have spoken”? Some British people have spoken.
I am losing count of all these phrases and their meanings as they come out of the mouth of Theresa May, if they mean anything at all. Is it time for a new dictionary of phrase and fable, written by May herself?
Time to get real about airports
In his article about the Heathrow and Gatwick runways, Simon Calder remarks that millions of passengers choose Heathrow. No we don't – most of us do not even live in the South-east; we have no choice but to use Gatwick and Heathrow.
I read with interest the Glasgow City report on reducing the impacts of Brexit on that city (Tuesday).
The report highlights the merits of reducing Air Passenger Duty (APD), and that by halving this it will boost Scotland’s economy by £200m per annum, create nearly 4,000 jobs and pay for itself in terms of lost revenues. It calls on the Scottish Government to implement its commitment to cut APD by half.
The hypocrisy of this is that such a call is coming from a Labour-controlled council, when Labour has consistently opposed a reduction in APD, calling it the “wrong priority”.
Do CEO bonuses even encourage better performance?
When I was a work-study engineer in the 1960's, designing financial incentive schemes for manual work, I was taught two key principles. Firstly, a bonus must be directly linked to the output needed, and secondly, the maximum achievable improvement in performance was about one third, so there was no point making the bonus more than about a third of basic pay.
There was also plenty of evidence to show that when someone already earns sufficient money for their needs, non-financial motivators are more effective than bonuses. Why do these principles not apply to the pay of chief executives?
Bury St Edmunds
Pigeonholed by age
I recently stopped teaching ESOL to refugees. I have heard children read at a local primary school for over 12 years. I walk my dog for at least one hour daily and take him into the local hospital as a Pets As Therapy dog. Last week, a fall necessitated a visit to A&E. I was asked the following questions: do you live alone? Do you manage at home? Do you have memory problems? Do you have help at home? Should you have more? Who provides your care – which borough provides your carer? (I have a cleaner once a week).
Why was I asked these questions? I'm 71. Nowadays you are obviously defined by your decade.
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