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The Globe and Mail

Tonight’s Clinton-Trump debate will be like none the U.S. has seen before

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gesture at different political rallies Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Ms. Clinton spoke at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Mr. Trump in in Greenville, N.C.

Monica Herndon and Evan Vucci/Tampa Bay Times via AP and AP Photo


By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year's election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

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> Into the twilight zone: Konrad Yakabuski, in The Globe, says tonight's presidential debate will almost certainly be like none other ever broadcast. "Likening what should be a substantive debate on the future of the world's most powerful country to a bloody cage match is a sad commentary on just how low political discourse has sunk in the presidential election of 2016."

> Teflon Don: The Globe's John Ibbitson wonders if there is anything Donald Trump could do or say in Monday night's debate that could cause him to lose support. "In the populist rebellion Mr. Trump leads, there are no facts, only Us and Them, and anything They say is just the Establishment and its enablers protecting their privilege. This is exactly what the youthful Left proclaimed 50 years ago. It's what the aging Right proclaims today. History has inverted itself."

> Debate denial: Ross Douthat says it's time for pundits to reset their compasses and recall what "normalcy looks like" in U.S. elections. "There's been so much gaming-out of how Trump might ambush Hillary Clinton, how he might manage expectations well enough to make a poor performance look like victory, that it's easy to lose sight of the core truth: It will be ridiculous if Donald Trump wins these debates. ... This is not a hot take."

> Debating's double standards: Anna Waters understands the pressure Hillary Clinton will face Monday might "in a way that resonates with a group far from the world of national politics: female high school debaters. As a former high school debater who now coaches, I know something about how Clinton will be judged when she takes the debate stage against Trump on Monday night."

> Who will keep Americans safe: The Times' Susan Chira says this election campaign "has seen an eruption of old-fashioned misogyny." Chira writes that "Monday's debate will be the first one-on-one confrontation where we can watch these gender assumptions play out. Polarizing candidates, scrambled ideas of men's and women's roles, and a worried electorate. For once, we won't close our ears as Mommy and Daddy fight."

> Debate quick hits: For more pre-debate reading, Jim Newell at Slate has three tips for Hillary Clinton on how to beat Donald Trump; former Barack Obama senior strategist David Axelrod says Clinton will have to choose wisely when it comes to confronting Trump over his repeated lying; at The Daily Beast, Kenneth Baer and Jeff Nussbaum advise Clinton to hit Trump repeatedly over his most vulnerable topic – his business record.

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> The numbers racket: Also in The Globe, Stephen Metcalfe says the new religion of data and algorithms are utterly useless in the face of a demagogue like Donald Trump. "No historical pattern serves as a precedent for a bewitching and impulse-liberating simpleton preying upon a country's weakened psyche. None, at least, that shows up in the numbers. Could it be that the faddish love for 'moneyballing' every facet of public life is, for all its pat brilliance, a form of blindness?"

> On the road again: The Globe's Patrick Martin has hopped back on his 1974 BMW motorcycle for a tour of battleground states Ohio and Michigan. In the leafy suburbs near Cleveland, Martin sees trouble ahead for Hillary Clinton. "Donald Trump is enjoying a surge in popular support and nowhere is that more evident than in Ohio, one of the handful of battleground U.S. states that will make or break the fortunes of the Republican nominee for president."


> Most provincial drug plans will not cover a medical abortion pill that is available in more than 60 countries around the world.

> The House of Commons foreign-affairs committee is expected to begin an unprecedented study of Canada's arms-exports controls. The look into how Canada's military goods are sold abroad comes after revelations about armoured vehicles shipped to Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, countries with poor human rights records.

> On an extradition treaty, "there is no negotiation," Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion told The Globe on Friday. Mr. Dion is causing some confusion, given the Prime Minister's statements last week that talks on a treaty had started. "I'm not clear what [Mr. Dion] was trying to say," a senior Liberal told The Globe this weekend.

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> The Native Women's Association of Canada has chosen a new interim head as the Liberals work on an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

> The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says there should be a cap on relocation expenses for senior public servants and political aides.

> The former head of Statistics Canada says Shared Services Canada is becoming a "money pit."

> After a cover story in Maclean's about Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch made a splash, Ms. Leitch is using the attention to her advantage. "Do you know what has them so upset? It is because I'm proudly holding a Canadian flag! That's right, the self-hating Canadian elites can't stand the idea of a proud conservative standing up for Canada and Canadian values," she says in a fundraising e-mail, according to iPolitics.

> And the Panama Papers have led the Canada Revenue Agency to investigate 2,671 individuals or firms for potential cheating on taxes. Meanwhile, Statistics Canada has sent out just 347 compliance letters asking people to please fill out the census.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail): "The federal government wants provinces to put a price on carbon, either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. … The premiers want something, too: money. Most provinces have high debt, and fear aging populations will mean rising costs in social programs and health care. They're clamouring for Ottawa to provide bigger-than-planned increases in health transfers. In other words, the premiers can probably be bought off. Put that way, of course, it sounds cynical. But it's been a formula for federal-provincial dealmaking for decades."

Bruce Johnstone (Regina Leader-Post): "The current peeing match between [Saskatchewan] Premier Brad Wall and the Trudeau government (with David Suzuki joining in for good measure) over carbon pricing is entirely predictable, largely political and completely overblown."

Calgary Herald editorial board: "Then there's the way the [Alberta] NDP has structured its carbon tax. British Columbia's version is revenue neutral, meaning the costs associated with the tax have been offset by tax cuts in other areas. This means B.C. residents are still motivated to reduce their carbon footprint, but they aren't shelling out billions of dollars in extra taxes to the government. If the NDP had pursued such an approach, it probably wouldn't face as much criticism from Albertans who rightly question the soundness of its plan."

Sen. André Pratte (The Globe and Mail): "Canada does not need yet another institution fostering regional tensions. Powerful provincial governments already promote local needs. So do, from time to time, individual MPs and senators, and numerous other lobbies. The Senate as a whole should work to reconcile the interest of the different regions, for the good of the country as a whole."

Charles Burton (The Globe and Mail): "Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms remains in force even for Chinese citizens living in Canada with huge unexplained wealth. So when it dawns on the Chinese authorities that none of the people they so desperately want back will be dispatched by us to Beijing in shackles, watch for considerably more illegal Chinese state security agents operating in Canada to get these people back home through coercion and deception. And say goodbye to the 'building friendship and mutual trust' that the Chinese put so much stock in  in their reset relations with Mr. Trudeau and his government."

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