07 October 2008

If a Blogger Liveblogs a Debate, and Nobody Follows it Live, Was It Really a Liveblog?

Bears, wood, shit, I'll be liveblogging the debate, even if nobody notices.

5:55PM PDT

Why is a Panda sneezing in my semi-liveblog? Cause I expect this Townhall to be PANDERFEST 2008™

6:00PM PDT
80 uncommitted voters selected by Gallup, vetted by NBC, that makes me feel good about this being fair to the GOP candidate (or not).

6:01PM PDT
Tom Brokaw's the final arbiter of what's asked and unasked, Brokaw begins with woooooeeeeeeeee, the economy, we're doooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmm. Allen Shaffer asks the first question, Obama begins the littany of woe, depression is here, etc, and I guess that means a new New Deal is in order. But, that FDR crap screwed us over and delayed the recovery from that trough until WWII. Of course, this is an excuse for class warfare, boooooo!!! CEOs, yeaahhhhh!!! middle class. That's Obama's solution.

McCain's solution is socializing home ownership. Uggghhh.

Neither candidate is really offering anything interesting or sensible.

Brokaw asks who would you appoint to replace Paulson, McCain's answer, maybe Warren Buffett, maybe Meg Whitman, someone folksy folks can trust. Candidate Obama unanswers the question, instead he wants to hit the wooooooeeeeee is the middle class crap again. Meh.

6:11PM PDT
Oliver Clark asks what's up with this bailout? McCain hits the Fannie/Freddie link to the current mess, and links Obama to it, and touts his own calls for reform. Will anyone hear him (Obama can be seen smirking as he listens). McCain pushes the home loan thing again, along with reform of Fannie/Freddie presumably.

Obama gets up to answer, says it's about the credit market (so why didn't the money go straight to the credit market?). Obama blames deregulation, Fannie/Freddie had nothing to do with it, I suppose.

James Brown sums up both responses.

Brokaw asks, 'will things get worse before they get better'? McCain's answer, American workers are great, Obama doesn't get that question.

On to Teresa Finch, 'both your parties suck, why should we trust either of you?'
Obama's answer, GWB, GWB, GWB, McCain=GWB, GWB=Satan, therefore McCain=Satan. Obama claims he's a deficit hawk who will shrink government (seems hardly believable).

McCain's answer, DC is broken, he's Mr. Reform! Oh, no he didn't he mentioned his crappy ass McCain-Feingold, the same bill both candidates have run circles around and raised huge wads of cash. McCain hits Obama on being a big fat liberal, and big spender, Obama's smirking again, I guess he's going for bemused disdain. Somehow McCain brought in Energy Independence, I guess he figures that's a winning issue for him.

Brokaw asks Health Care, Energy, Entitlement, which is highest priority?
McCain answers first, McCain says you can go after all three, and 'my friends' Social Security is a joke, it won't be there for you if you were born after 1960. Nuclear power, all the above, domestic production of energy, and health care, whatever, all three can be done, no priorities.

Obama's answer, energy is first (I guess), specifics, naaahhhhh. $15B over 10 years to create magic fairy dust that will power our cars using the bottled farts of unicorns and dragons. Obama still seems to think the President has a line item veto, guess he hasn't read the U.S. Constitution lately. Hits McCain on that $4B to BIG OIL (Booo!) bit.

6:29PM Internet Question from 78 year old Fiorra (or 12 year old Candi, it's the internet, who knows?)
What sacrifices will we ask from our citizens, McCain pushes for earmark reform again. Reduce the size of the federal government with spending freezes to non-essential programs (why not eliminate the non-essential? I hate half measures, Federalism would be nice for a change). McCain goes back to the importance of not prioritizing.

Obama gets up to bat, brings up 9/11 and how GWB (booo!!!) squandered all that good will and not asking for sacrifices (derides, 'go out and shop' back in 2001). In the great ObamaNation that will follow his inaugural, we will all happily reduce our own energy use by buying smaller cars, weather stripping, and serving in the Peace Corps, and starting up a Volunteer Corps so that everyone gets drafted into non-military service (he didn't say that, but he did say that as far as I'm concerned).

Brokaw asks how Government will restrain itself. Obama answers, we must punish the rich (not what he said, but what he means). Derides freeze proposal, cause government is wonderful. McCain calls Obama changeable with regards to his various tax proposals, compares him to Herbert Hoover, and even invokes Smoot-Hawley (but not by name). McCain wants to leave taxes alone, and game the system with tax credits rather than actually fixing the system and reducing the complexity of the system.

Internet Langdon asks, unfunded entitlements will eat the whole budget within a few decades, what are you gonna do about it? Obama won't give up on his 95% OF YOU WILL GET A TAX CUT, PROMISE, PINKIE SWEAR, CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE. Let's ignore the entitlement question. Hit's McCain on tax cuts for the rich thing again. Whatever, soaking the rich will have a 'trickle down' effect, things that trickle only trickle down, wanting the economy to work from the bottom up instead of top down defies history, experience, and physics.

McCain's answer, 'I'm a Maverick!' He'll attack Social Security (no specifics), he'll attack Medicare with a Commission! (similar to the base-closing commission of the 90s). McCain hits back on Obama's tax record.

Ingrid Jackson asks 'Climate change, green jobs, why can't Congress always act so fast as on the bailout'? McCain answers, me and my buddy Leiberman are green, we're so green we green glow with Nuclear Power! (woohoo!!) Go Nuclear! Pushes his 'all the above' approach, cause American workers are great.

Obama describes this as both an opportunity as a challenge, and we'll have 5,000,000 new green jobs if the government gets involved. He implies that the computer was a government project, but that's bunk, computers were big room filling pieces of hardware before the PC revolution, and computers as they are used in our daily lives and have changed the shape of the world were decidedly NOT a government aided phenomenon. Green Tech will be similar, I suspect, the more government stays out of the way, the better, but Obama wants the government to pick which companies and solutions win, and which lose, which is why we end up with porkbarrel crap like E85. Grrrr, Arrggggghhhhhh.

Brokaw's getting sniffy, do we want incubators, or Manhattan project?
McCain wants both, start off with government project, and once it gets going, hand it over to the private sector. McCain hits the pork thing again, which is relevant given that much of our energy policy is pork based in one way or another and that's why it has failed so miserably and Obama's suggested solution will most likely fail miserably (hey, I'm not impartial, I can through in a partisan screed from time to time).

Lindsey Trella asks, 'should Health Care be a commodity'?
Obama answers, 'waahhh, waaahhh, waahhh, boohoo, boohoo, boohoo, health care is broken, and the government must step in and save everyone and everything'. Somehow socializing health care won't lead to socialized medicine. If the government steps in and offers a gold-plated health care system of first resort like what Congress gets, then health care will be effectively socialized, private providers will not be able to compete. Either he's lying about his intentions, or he's an idiot.

McCain answers, expand effeciency, and the market can work and folks can afford it with a bit of a bump from the government with his tax credit. Let folks shop, they'll make the better decisions. Choice will work, markets will work, that's his mantra.

Brokaw asks, health care, privilege, right or responsibility?
McCain answers, it's a responsibility, we ain't Canada biyaaaatccchhhhh!!!! (I may have maed up the part about Canada). Ohhh, 'nother smirk.
Obama, health care is a RIGHT, cause his mother died of cancer fighting with insurance companies (Earth to Obama, socialized medicine paradises don't do half of the stuff we do for cancer patients, they would have stuck your mama in hospice care and morphined her up and she probably would have died months earlier than she did here, but why let facts get in the way of a good personal anecdote?)
That sums up the difference between the two, doesn't it, and it shows that if health care is a RIGHT, then how can you leave it up to the private sector? Someone isn't telling the whole truth about what he wants to do about health care, and it ain't McCain.

I missed Obama's rant against deregulation while I was doing my own rant. Phil Eliott asks, 'will our economy effect our military?' (obviously I've been paraphrasing the questions, that's why the single quotes).
McCain answers by singing the little ditty below:

(I know the above video is meant to be anti-American, but screw that, we kick too much ass for some little snot on the internet to make us look bad).
OK, I lied, he didn't start singing that song, but he should have.

Obama's answer, we are in decline, Iraq was a mistake, everyone hates us, woooooeeeee, wooooeeeeee, woooooeeeee is us, Unless we elect The One.

Brokaw, what's the 'Obama Doctrine' and what's the 'McCain Doctrine'?
Obama answers, Rwanda should have been considered, genocide is very, very bad, and we should intervene where possible, but defining what's possible is entirely up to The One. Darfur, we could do some stuff, but only if everyone loves us.

McCain answers, goes back to Obama being wrong about withdrawal, would have screwed Iraq and the whole region. The USA (F Yeah!) is a force for good in the world, McCain won't repeat the mistakes of Somalia, or Lebanon in the early 80s.

Both said about the same, but Obama emphasized international cooperation.

Katie Hamm asks about hitting Pakistan with or without their approval to hit Al Qaeda and Taleban.
Obama blames Bush, Iraq is why Bin Laden is dead somewhere (hey, you can't prove he's alive, so I'm assuming he's dead) in Pakistan. We need to talk tough with Pakistan, so far hasn't answered the question, he'll waive his wand and get them to do what we want, I guess.

McCain answers, Teddy Roosevelt is a hero of mine, I knew Teddy (oh, wait, sorry, he wasn't pulling a Lloyd Bentsen). Goes back to driving out the Soviets, should have helped rebuild Afghanistan in the 80s, won't make the same mistake. Petraeus will save Afghanistan, and we'll work with Pakistan, McCain won't talk tough (but he'll act tough, as implied, and also implying that Obama is all bluster with his talk of going after Bin Laden in Pakistan).

Obama demands a rebuttal, rambles, accuses McCain of being unhinged and bloodthirsty.

So far nothing new from this dog and pony show, neither is hurting the other (nor helping themselves, really).

Brokaw, Oh Noes! Afghanistan is a disaster, we need a friendly dictator there.
Obama, answers, Iraq is the problem with Afghanistan. Blah, Blah, Blah, this is going nowhere, refutes friendly dictator suggestion, but thinks Afghan government can be more responsible to their people.

McCain answers, tactics need to change, NATO needs to be better commanded, and the Afghans and Pakistanis most step up, and the surge can work in Afghanistan (and also, Obama won't admit that he was wrong about the surge in Iraq). In Petraeus we trust. Honor, Victory.

Russia, they're bad, how do we get them to be better?
McCain answers, Russia is bad, they're fat with oil money, they're being run by ex-KGB, and they're acting agressively in their backyard. We must support Georgia and Ukraine, and get them in NATO. Get the rest of the world on our side (ahhh, but there's all that oil, and Europe and China are weenies, so that's a non-starter).

Obama answers, Russia is one of the central issues for any future adminstration, and we must help these ex-Soviet Republics, and we must talk alot without actually saying anything (oh wait, that's what he's doing, not what he's saying he'll do, but he's still not saying anything, and brings Bin Laden back into this somehow).

Russia, Evil Empire?
Obama, they have evil impulses.
McCain, maybe, can't answer either way, Russia will play ball, but we must play from strength.

7:26PM Two more questions
Retired Navy Chief Terry Shirey asks will we defend Israel if Iran attacks?
McCain shakes the CPO's hand, can't wait for UN to defend our friends, must prevent Iran from getting nukes, cause Iran having nukes means Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and any one else with the means will want their own. Sanctions will prevent the possibility of an Iranian attack on Israel seems to be his answer, and that we won't allow a 2nd holocaust, so I guess that means we'll defend Israel (and possibly bomb the hell out of Iran with our own nukes, though he doesn't say that).

Obama replies diplomacy will keep us from having to make this decision (but only if we have a president the rest of the world lurrrvvvvvvvs, like The Obama). He's still talking, goes back to the idea of direct talks with Iran, cause there's nothing wrong with a President Obama meeting with President Ahma-dinner-jacket.

7:31PM Last Question!
Peggy asks, What Don't You Know, and How Will You Learn It?
Obama's answer, Michelle has my balls in a jar by her dresser (oh, wait, that's not what he said, but sounds like it to me). He's giving a closing statement, he's not even thinking about answering the question, Brokaw should break in with an, "Obama, Please" (is that racist of me to suggest that?). More Wooooooooeeeeeeeee, woooooooeeeeee is we, but that woe will be relieved if we have the courage and nerve to elect The One.

McCain steps up, McCain doesn't know what everyone doesn't know, nobody knows the trouble we'll see.

But, that trouble will be overcome by the great folks of the US of A, and his steady hand will guide us through these troubled waters.

Nobody did nothing, they told the same half-truths, spun the same spin, neither hurt themselves, or the other, neither of them seemed to really have any solution more than 'more government' to the domestic issues, and as far as foreign policy, Obama believes the consensus fairy will come and build global consensus at the waive of a wand, while McCain seems to believe that more of the same with a slight McCain twist will do the job.

Watching the NBC feed, Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell are immediately spinning it as a big Obama victory (without directly saying so).


reader_iam said...

Well done, X, well done.

XWL said...

Thanks, not sure why I did it, mainly it's just shouting back at the screen in typing form, don't expect an audience.

bill said...

So that's what I missed, thank you. 30 seconds into the first answer I was swearing at the TV, so The Wife made me stop listening. Put the headphones on, listened to some music, and went to sleep. I suppose I'll get around to reading the transcript at some point.

Outis said...

Fortunately for me, I was enjoying St. Augustune (the city, not the philosopher) during the "debate". I'd rather be water-boarded than be forced to watch those two debate.