Jeremy Corbyn’s powerful speech at Labour conference

At the Labour Party conference held two days ago, newly–re-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn surprised observers by delivering a powerful speech that resulted in a standing ovation. It was a call for Labour to return to its socialist roots and reject the words of the doomsayers who think that neoliberalism is the way of the future and that Labour is heading to its doom. You can read the full text of his speech and here are some short excerpts.
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The revenge trap

It is becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump is smarting from his performance in the first debate. Initially, just after the debate, he seemed to think he had done pretty well, praising the moderator Lester Holt for doing a great job. This is not unusual for people like Trump who are so wrapped up in themselves that they do not realize how others see them until they are told, and even then dismissing any suggestion that they were less than excellent. But the fact that there was near unanimity that he was handed his hat by Hillary Clinton has sunk in and definitely got under his skin and he has started lashing out, calling the moderator biased, renewing his attacks on Alicia Machado, and even bizarrely suggesting that someone had tampered with his microphone.
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Donald Trump’s weight problem

I do not mean that Donald Trump himself is overweight but that he seems to have an almost visceral dislike of people who are over the conventional norms of weight. For example, he is like an adolescent in the way he rates women’s looks but he reserves his most vicious attacks for people like Rosie O’Donnell whom he has at various times referred to as “a woman out of control,” a “true loser,” a “total train wreck,” “disgusting,” a “slob,” “fat, ugly” “.
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Other reactions to the debate

I have had the luxury of reading what others are saying about the debate. Steven Rosenfeld said that the debate was a condensed form of what has been playing out in the campaign. Amy Davidson said that came off as a bully who failed in his attempt at intimidation. Adele M. Stan said that Clinton managed to expose Trump’s “racism, sexism and venality” and compared it the Billy Jean King-Bobby Riggs encounter.
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Reflections on the first debate: Trump loses badly

I will not go into details on the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There are many detailed analyses online with a transcript here, and Tessa Stuart provides transcripts of the main exchanges. But in my view, Clinton easily got the better of Trump. It was clear that she had resisted the suggestions that she try and show a warm, personal side in order to counter the perception that she is cold and not trustworthy. Instead she went with her strengths, which is policy wonkery presented in a calm and collected way and combined it with deft needling of Trump that got increasingly under his skin as the evening wore on. It was a masterful performance on her part.
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Who is worse: someone who lies or someone who is utterly unconcerned about the truth?

This question came to my mind in the most recent case where Donald Trump, trying to make the case that the media and the debates are rigged against him, said that tonight’s moderator NBC news anchor Lester Holt was a Democrat though in fact he is a registered Republican. When Trump’s manager Kellyanne Conway was asked why Trump lied about this, she replied, that Trump didn’t lie because “a lie would mean that he knew the man’s party registration” when in fact he didn’t know.
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Preach, brother Jonathan!

I have been following the reaction in the British media to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party leader and have been shocked at the way that result has been portrayed across the board. It has been described as the end of the Labour party because, according to these pundits, under Corbyn’s leadership the party will be unelectable. Mind you, this is despite the fact that Corbyn won with a huge majority, larger than before, by a vote from party members. The media pretty much said that these people had acted like idiots for not choosing the milquetoast Blairite Owen Smith.
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