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Good evening. It's Thursday, September 28.
Tonight: The second Republican presidential debate was held last night in the Reagan Library, sacred, hallowed ground for all of us, and to say that the participants in this debate, moderators and candidates alike, failed to do justice to this glorious setting is to dramatically understate the case. It was close to unwatchable. At times it was literally unwatchable by which I mean that even though I had all sorts of unique incentives to watch the debate beyond what the ordinary voter possesses – I knew I'd have to talk about the debate on tonight's program, I was scheduled to appear in other programs throughout the day to discuss the debate, my work as a journalist kind of requires me to watch it and, in general, I usually like political debates and think they're important to watch – I battled continuously against the growing temptation to just turn it off until I finally couldn't take it anymore. I made it through the first 50 minutes or so with decreasing levels of intense attention until I finally just checked out and only went back this morning to watch the rest of it because I was forced to by the commitments I had made today, otherwise, I most definitely would not have.
I don't think there was a single good or interesting point to the entire debate, except for when Chris Christie said that from now on we're going to call Donald Trump… Donald Duck – and then look at the camera with an intense amount of obvious self-satisfaction after unleashing this pre-prepared insult only to find that the only laughter came from a few uncomfortable audience members who made noises slightly resembling laughter, but mostly out of pity for Christie, who was standing up on the stage with silence enveloping his big joke. It reminded me a great deal of when liberals in 2016 genuinely believed that they had finally found the way they were going to take down Donald Trump after the HBO host, John Oliver, reminded everybody that his family name was actually Drumpf and that from now on we should all call him Drumpf. And Liberals were earnestly certain that this would be so embarrassing for the Republican frontrunner, that young people and working-class people and older voters would all unite in contempt for Trump, now that John Oliver had attached to him a difficult-to-pronounce surname.
Several of the Republican candidates unveiled brand new personalities that were directly contrary to the personality they used for the first debate. The host from Univision asked all of the questions, almost every last one that every Republican voter obviously and viscerally hates or doesn't care about. The candidates spent the entire time talking over one another where you could barely hear them and really didn't want to. We will spend some time talking about a couple of parts of the debate in an attempt to extract meaning from them, mostly because I just feel like… I should, rather than just ignoring the whole thing.
And then: at exactly the point when you didn't think it was possible the war in Ukraine has gotten worse for all of those in the West who are its chief sponsors to say nothing of the Ukrainians who are actually the ones dying in this war. You may have thought that it was impossible to surpass this week's low point, which happened on Friday in the Canadian Parliament when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by the side of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and led a robust, enthusiastic and prolonged standing ovation for an elderly Ukrainian gentleman. They all held this heroic and noble in unison, only for it to turn out that the person they were all flamboyantly honoring was someone who was an actual soldier who, during World War II, fought in a Ukrainian SS unit that answered to German Nazis and Adolf Hitler. The videotape seen of Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy leading one of the West's great parliaments and lavishing a standing ovation upon an actual Nazi SS soldier ended up upsetting quite a bit, it turns out, various Canadian Jewish groups. Trudeau ended up kind of apologizing, though he somehow managed to attach his apology to some babbling warnings about the dangers of Russian disinformation. The speaker of the Canadian House of Commons fell on his sword, and resigned his position, noting correctly, I guess, that it would be difficult to carry out his duties after having invited someone who never really hid his Nazi past to be heralded and celebrated and honored by the Canadian Prime minister and the Ukrainian president while all the world watched.
Notably, President Zelenskyy has yet to apologize for his role in awarding a fighter with the Nazi SS. That is likely because, as the Ukrainian American journalist Lev Golinkin explained on our show on Tuesday night, many, if not most, of the most fanatical fighters in Ukraine whom Zelenskyy is now relying on have various connections too – if not outright embraces – of very similar ideologies, and they would likely be hurt and angered to watch their leader apologize for having applauded one of their brethren. But the worst of the news in Ukraine involves new data reported today from The New York Times, in graphic form, literally in graphic form, that vividly shows the front line in Ukraine – namely, the hundreds of miles of the front line of deeply entrenched Russian troops and defensive positions that allows Moscow to now control roughly 20% of Ukrainian territory – has barely budged at all since the beginning of the year, more than nine months ago. That means that the United States and the European Union have spent hundreds of billions of dollars this year alone and thousands upon thousands of young Ukrainian men have died over the last nine months in huge numbers for no benefit of any kind – including teenagers and other conscripts who are desperately trying to flee that country finally realizing that Western psychopaths and neocons are using them as cannon fodder for their own selfish purposes, having nothing to do with the well-being of Ukrainians. It's the kind of senseless and horrific trench warfare we last saw in World War I: countries send their young citizens to certain death in battle that barely moves the line of fighting for months or even years at a time.
Things are so bad in Ukraine that the American transwoman Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, who was fired two weeks ago by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry after she made comments that were too deranged even for Kiev, was rehired quickly, only to be fired again after she got caught on video by two Russian pranksters who pretended to be a Ukrainian former president, where she admitted everything about this war that the Western press and the Western state leaders who support it have done their best to hide. We'll show you this new data as presented by The New York Times today, as well as the admissions of this Western American, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian military just to get a sense of how absolutely senseless and sociopathic this war and the West feeling of it has really become.
For now, welcome to a new episode of System Update, starting right now.