Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There is no way Bud Selig should've waiting until the middle of the 6th inning to call last night's World Series game. No way. Cole Hamels couldn't even grip the baseball, resulting in a BJ Upton score that tied the game. And all the stupid announcers could talk about was the Ray's running game. You don't take away the best pitches a guy has and argue that the game was tied fairly. No way. Terrible.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I'm soooooo tired tonight. My beloved Phils are beating the Dodgers. Trainer in the morning (torture) and possibly going for TODAY show taping tomorrow as undecided voter. And no booze tonight to influence this live blog. I'm really looking for some fireworks from this one...
Why isn't Bob looking into the camera?
Don't really like them seated.
Q: bad day on Wall St. New plans from both. Why is it better?
McCain: Americans hurting and angry. Innocent victims? Short-term fix. He's blaming Fannie and Freddie again. Didn't like this before. Put in floor. Buy home loan mortgages.
Obama: worst since Great Depression. Taxpayers get money back, no benefits for CEOs. No rescue for middle class. Fundamentals weak before. Focus on jobs. Tax cut for families. Access to IRAs without penalty (interesting). Get homeowners in position to renegotiate mortgages. Don't buy mortgages from banks. Obama is coming out really strong here on the economy. Fix energy, healthcare, and education.
McCain: no question. Talking about Obama's interaction with plumber. Interesting use of this tactic. Higher taxes for plumber. McCain help plumber start business. Strong tactic, super weak in details. How? Dropped the ball on this one.
Obama: responding with stump speach. Tired of it. Can't blame Obama though. Can't respond to McCain's complete lack of details on this.
McCain: spreading wealth around point. Wants Joe to spend wealth on his own. I'm into this conceptually, always have been. Don't raise taxes on anyone. McCain is on the attack. Like his energy, but he's off point for now.
Obama: Warren Buffet can pay more to give tax cuts on Joe. Good point on Exxon Mobile. That's familiar to people.
DID McCAIN just wink?
McCain: businesses in U.S. paying 2nd highest in the world.
Question: big deficit? both proposals will add to deficit.
Obama: $750 billion rescue package will mean taxpayers get money back. Been living beyond means. Net spending cut. Pay as you go. Propose cut for every new dollar spent. Back to line by line argument. More of the same. Invest now to save for the future. Like this point.
McCain: home ownership. Home Ownership Loan Corp. Government made money. Clinton made the proposal not too long ago. Energy. (Won't answer Bob.) Create millions of jobs. Spending freeze. Hatchett then scaple. All the same. More generics... Know how to save millions in defense. Cut subsidies for ethanol. Saved taxpayer $6.8 billion. Veto every pork barrell bill. Back to projector. Get over it. I'm for the projector. More of the same.
Obama: more hatchett and scaple. Earmarks are 1/2 of 1 percent of budget. Not going to solve the problem. McCain and Bush are the same...
Question: balance the budget?
McCain: he'll do it. Not President Bush. That was strong. Back to voting record. Doesn't work for me. Legislation is sooooo complicated. Blomberg proposed spending freeze. Obama should ask how McCain will do it specifically. That's the whole point of this debate. How did he stand up to leaders of party?
Obama: first major bill. Tort reform. Support charter schools. Performance for teachers. Clean coal. Good list. Fox News disputes McCain claim about Obama voting for tax increase on people making $42 billion. Back to tying McCain to Bush. Stronger than in the past. Show independence on torture, but not economic policies. Clearest I've heard so far.
McCain: disagreed with party and Bush. Climate change, blah, blah, blah. He's too focused on this little stuff.
Question: leadership in the campaign. High road? (Yay - so glad he asked!) OH YEAH! Highlight of all the debates!
McCain: town hall meetings would prevent this. Tone would be different. Regrets negativity. Many unacceptible turns. John Lewis allegations. Playing the blame game... McCain has refutiated claims by Republicans. Run truthful campaign. Obama spent more money on negative ads. Didn't keep word on public financing. Calling him out on it.
Obama: expect campaigns to be tough. CBS poll said more people think McCain is running negative campaign. 100% of McCain ads are negative. People don't want to hear about it; want to hear about issues. Called him out on town hall meetings assertion. Called out 527s. Doesn't mind being attacked. People can't afford failed economic policies. McCain campaign said if McCain keeps talking about economy, he loses. This is real debating.
McCain: watched Arizona beat Cowboys (yes!). McCain doesn't oppose stem cell research. Spending unprecedented money on negative ads. Positive plan of action is what campaign is all about (lie). Back to Lewis.
Obama: Lewis is American hero. Said he was troubled without Obama campaign knowing. Mentioned "Kill Him" screams at Palin rallys. Wow. Very emotional. Lewis said he'd probably gone over line. Americans want focus on big issues. McCain keeps trying to interrupt Obama.
McCain: proud of people at rallies. Not appropriate. What about Veterans? Military Moms? Confused.... McCain t-shirts at Obama rallies are not cool. This is very tense.
Obama: to solve problems, need to work together. Was hoping for better punchline. Can't categorize people as bad people.
McCain: need to know full extent of Obama's relationship with ACORN and terrorists. Like Clinton said.
Obama: Ayers has become centerpiece of McCain campaign. Obama needs to explain this clearly. School reform board, Reagan's friend. Ayers not involved in campaign, won't advise in White House. ACORN paid people to register voters. Had nothing to do with Obama. Not looking at camera right now. Looking down. Really shady! Starting to look up now as he talks about his associates. Says more about McCain campaign than it does about Obama.
McCain: launched campaign in Ayers living room; sent money to ACORN. Ayers said he wished he bombed more. McCain's campaign is about campaign. Terrible transition! So see-through.
Question: who will you bring to government? Running mates? Why would country be better off if your running mate became president?
Obama: Biden has great foreign policy experience. Never forgot where he came from. Fighting for working families; little guy. Crime bill. Violence against women act. Shares values. Energy, blah, blah, blah.
McCain: Palin is roll model for women. Reformer. Cut size of government. Faced off with oil companies. Breath of fresh air. Get rid of cronism. Understnads special needs families. This is a very strong point for women, who McCain needs.
Question: Palin qualified?
Obama: she's capable. Work she's done with special needs families. Needs additional funding. Soooooooooo glad he's talking about this. Spending freeze means it won't happen.
Question: Biden qualified?
McCain: yes; but has been wrong in many cases. Have transparency and reform. HE'S FINALLY GETTING TO THE POINT I'VE BEEN MAKING. It's not about more or less spending; just different. Just right. I wish he made it stronger and clearer.
Question: reduce dependence on foreign oil? Number of how much we can reduce foreign oil imports?
McCain: don't tell countries unilaterally renegotiate. Good point. Need to be safe. Navy ships sailed for 60 years with nuclear power. 7-10 years, eliminate dependence on oil from places that are national security threats.
Obama: said same thing. Obama looks very presidential now. Don't borrow from China to feed Saudia Arabia. Expand domestic drilling. Tell oil companies to drill (maybe even off-shore). Can't drill our way out of the crisis. Build hybrid cars. Fell too far behind. Trade: believe in free trade. Doesn't agree that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement. Enforce rules in trade agreements. Include environmental standards. Like this line of argument.
McCain: pay attention to words. Obama said look at off-shore drilling. Must do it now. McCain is free trader. Need education at community college for workers. Tried to make argument about Columbia. Very confusing. Obama was never south of US border. Something about drugs and free Americans. Trade with Columbia doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Obama: trade leaders are being killed in Columbia. Need to stand for human rights. Supported Peruvian free trade agreement. President need to understand benefits of free trade agreement and enforce the rules. Auto makers are getting hammered right now. Need loan guarantees to auto makers. Could create 5 million new jobs.
McCain: doesn't want free trade with best ally in region, but will sit down with Chavez. Ok, starting to get his point... Hoover raised taxes and reduced trade - turned into Depression.
Obama: this is the issue that will break your heart over and over again. Two women laid off, no insurance. Need coverage. If you have it, don't do anything. Lower costs so that they are passed onto families by $2500 per year. If you don't have it, you can buy into federal pool. At lower cost because so many people are part of it. This is the best I've heard him explain it. More efficient system. More preventive care. (This is HUGE for me - I totally believe in it.)
McCain: terrible painful. Need to put healthcare records online to save money. Reduce obesity. Physical fitness and nutrition. Reward employees who practice fitness. $5k tax credit for anything you want to do. Joe the plumber - Obama will fine employers who don't provide healthcare. (They should be.)
Obama: no fine for Joe. McCain is surprised. Small businesses are exempt. Large businesses will have to pay. Very strong. 20 million will no longer have employer-based healthcare because unhealthy people won't be able to go elsewhere. McCain will tax healthcare benefits. Average policy costs $12k. Loss for you. Insurers are regulated by states. He's being less clear.
McCain: told Joe he's rich. Confused by this. Sarcasm is failing. Not sure what his message is. McCain's plan gives existing plans plus $5k. So what do you spend the $5k on? Out of pocket expenses? Is this like an HSA? I'm confused. Called Obama Senator Government. That's funny. McCain is losing this point... Can't grow government like past 8 years.
Obama: McCain's plan would make people lose their employer-based healthcare. Chamber agreed with Obama.
Question: FINALLY! An abortion question!
McCain: no litmus test. WHAT? That's going to upset the base. This is very upsetting. Gives abortion rights to states. This is a HUGE, HUGE issue for me. One that's kept with McCain. Obama voted against Roberts because he didn't meet ideological standards. Totally disagree with McCain. Someone should start spinning this now.
Obama: no litmus test. Judges should provide fairness and justice. Believes in Roe v. Wade. Have such a tough time with this. Women should make decision in privacy. What about popular vote? McCain and Obama disagreed when Supreme Court made it harder for women to get equal pay. Glad he's talking about this. About time. Both of them need women.
McCain: change culture of America. McCain is backtracking. Proud to be pro-life. Obama voted against law to provide medical care to child born from failed abortion. Voted against ban on partial borth abortion. Don't know how you vote present on that. TOTALLY AGREE. Real struggle for me.
Obama: life-saving treatment would undermine Roe v. Wade. Law already on the books. Voted against it. Illinois medical society voted against it. Supports ban on late-term abortions. As long as exception for mother's health. Ugh. Issue divides us. Common ground. We should try to prevent un-intended pregnancies. Options for adoption. Helping single mothers. In Democratic platform for first time.
McCain: health of mother can mean anything. Good call. Adoptive parents. Improve adoption options. Protect life of unborn. This is very emotional for me.
Question: education. US is behind and spends most? Soooooo glad he asked this.
Obama: never been nation on earth that saw economy decline and retained position as military power. Need more money and reform. Early childhood education. Recruit new teachers, especially in math and science. Accountability. College must be affordable. Students take on too much debt. Tuition credit for community service. LOVE THIS. Can't do it without parents.
McCain: civil rights issue of the 21st century. Choice and competition is key. Charter schools. HUGE for me. Send kids to school of choice. Seems like they're saying the same thing. Reward good teachers. Teach for America. Make student loans available.
Question: large federal government involvement?
Obama: federal government should help local school districts. Money needs to go with requirements. Same thing with special education. Charter schools. Doubled number in Illinois. Bad teachers need to go someplace else. Disagree on vouchers. I think vouchers can work. McCain advisor said can't give money to every special interest group that comes along. Ouch!
McCain: in DC, vouchers work. Parents want it. Want to choose school. No Child Left Behind is a good first step. Need to re-authorize it. But spending more money isn't answer. Head Start kinds aren't any better. Need to reform it. How? Will so reaserch on autism. Won't throw money at a problem. Vouchers work. Agree.
Obama: DC school system is in terrible shape. Vouchers data doesn't show they work. McCain plan is shallow.
McCain smug sarcastic laugh was bad.
McCain: difficult times. Need new direction. Reform and taking on parties and special interests. Careful steward of tax dollars. Healthcare. Stop spending. Can you trust us? Examine record and proposals. Served country. Closed the same way as last time. Poor.
Obama: tough times. Worst economic crisis. Stop accepting failed policies and politics. Need fundamental change. Invited in homes. Decency and generocity of American people. College. Businesses. Energy. Raise wages. Middle class. Bring policies to White House. Not easy, not quick. Must come together. Service, sacrifice. Work every day to work for people and future of children.
Analysis: Obama took that one. McCain just didn't do enough.
Loved Bob's closing statement.
McCain just told Obama good job.
Michelle in blue and Cindy in red is funny.
So I saw David Sedaris read at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia last night. He was brilliant, as always. The highlight was an essay he has written for The New Yorker which should be published in two weeks.
The focus of the essay is the undecided voter, ahem. In it, he describes this election as a choice of airplane food - you can either have the chicken or the human shit with the shards of glass.
Of course! How could I have been so mislead that this was an election between two reasonable and respected members of the Senate? Crazy Cass!
At least it was entertaining... Just like the election.
Monday, October 13, 2008
John Oliver's Daily Show report on the undecided voter got a lot of attention this weekend, most notably for his analysis of the "stupid vote." (v. funny - watch it when you get a chance.)
And he wasn't the only one going after those of us who haven't made up our minds. All over the news media, people were asking how others are still undecided. Here's the answer: it's stupid to decided which candidate you support before the race is over. Shit happens. Keep an open mind until it's decision time. Or until you've read all the position papers and all the news coverage. Or until you've had heated debates with your friends and family - or at the very least until the candidates have finished debating.
So I was watching the Phils beat LA on Friday evening when I got a call from the Obama campaign in Delaware (I could tell from the caller ID). You might remember from the TODAY show that the Obama people also rang my buzzer during the Eagles game. (Meredith told Matt the story later on in the show.) When will these people learn?
Friday, October 10, 2008
They're coming fast and furious now. I've been getting 3-5 emails per campaign per day lately. Everything from David Plouffe asking me, "Who is Barak Obama?" to Bill Bloomfield imploring me to "Help Make History." Frankly, SPAM is not the way to win Millenial voters. Maybe candidates in 4 years will begin to get it...
(SPAMing is not funny)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
677,401. Indianapolis Marion County ( Indianapolis), had an estimated 2007 voting age population of 644,197 yet it now reports 677,401 persons registered to vote. Indiana may have set a record with 105% of its eligible citizens registered to vote. (Thanks, John.)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Ok - so here we are at the 3rd debate. And I actually haven't been drinking for this one. I promise this won't happen again.
I like Tom Brokaw. And I like this format, but not as much as the YouTube debate.
Obama looks so cool and collected.
Question: bail out regular people?
Obama: worst financial crisis. People worried, final verdict on past 8 years - ties Bush and McCain. Comes out strong. Rescue package must work properly; tax payers treated as investors, CEOs not getting golden parachutes. Should not have used the word "junket." Tax cuts for middle class, local and state governments help people stay in job. Seemed like a long answer.
McCain: dig on the town hall meeting. Talking right to question asker. Kinda freaky. Point on alternative energy; no taxes on anybody; reduce national debt; home values. Back to Allen. Renegotiate mortgages. Trust to America. Uses "my friends" a lot.
Question: who for Treasury.
McCain: not Tom. Makes him look unprepared. Warren Buffett supports Obama (why would he say that?). Meg Whitman. What about Carly Fiorina? She's a huge McCain supporter. Bet she's pissed.
Obama: Warren Buffett. Not enough to help those at the top. No trickle down. I fundamentally disagree with him on that. Harder to save and retire. Middle class tax cut.
Question: what's going to help regular people (repetitive question).
McCain: suspended campaign. Protect tax payer. Economy will recover. Match that lit fire is Fannie and Freddie (disagree). Used "cronies" - risky. Tried to fix it two years ago. Democrats defended Fannie and Freddie. Obama second highest recipient of Fannie and Freddie money. Need to buy bad loans and stabilize housing market.
Obama: rescue markets for you. Small and large businesses can't get loans, can't make payroll. Simple and clear explanation. Deregulation was problem. McCain bragged about it in March. Wrote to Paulson and Bernake. No one did anything. Went to Wall St. - nothing happened. (McCain is wandering around.) Fannie and Freddie bill wasn't McCain's. McCain campaign leader is lobbyist for Freddie. Next Treasury Secretary has to strengthen middle class.
Question: worse before better?
Obama: no; need leadership. Need new regulatory system; coordinate with other countries (like that).
McCain: depends on what we do. Need to buy mortgages, get rid of cronism. Obama's name was not on the letter warning of crisis. Back to American worker point on the economy. Hate that point.
Question: trust either with money when both parties got us into this crisis?
Obama: people in Washington don't need to make cuts like regular people do. Has surplus before Bush. Double deficit. No one is innocent, but biggest increases in deficit spending. McCain voted for 4 of 5 budgets. Reform healthcare to reduce budget; new energy plan; investment in college affordability. Cutting more than spending. Need to work for middle class.
McCain: understands mistrust. Consistent reformer. Work across aisle; bipartisanship. Needed today. Obama doesn't take on party leaders. Look at record. Go to watch dogs. McCain tried to eliminate pork barrel spending. Obama voted for all increases in spending; $1 billion in pork. $3 million projector in Chicago. Good use of specifics, but I'm not opposed to projectors. Especially if it's educational. Back to alternative energy.
Question: health, energy, entitlement (social security).
McCain: all three at once. (Poor answer.) Entitlement. Reagan and O'Neil. Mention of Leiberman again. Not sure that counts as against the aisle anymore. Energy. Then healthcare. He didn't prioritize them like that, but it was clear.
Obama: like a family needs to prioritize. Energy is first. (Knows price of gas in TN.) Important to national security. 10 years - free of Middle Eastern oil. Referenced "going to the moon." Like it. Healthcare #2. Hurts businesses. #3 - education. Need to look at records. Line-by-line on the federal budget. Like the pragmatism.
Tom - stop talking about time! They're not listening!
Question: what sacrafices?
McCain: may need to eliminate programs. Examine every one. Saved tax payers money. Eliminate ear marks. Really good projects will need to be eliminated. Cut spending. Spending freeze on everything but defense, veterans care, and some other things. HATE this idea. Freeze energy investment? No way, Jose. But then solve energy and healthcare at once? This is contradictory.
Obama: 9/11 - what? Bush said "go shop" - not call to service Americans want. Think about how we use energy. Possible off-shore drilling. Clean coal. How can we save energy? Give incentives. Young people want to serve - double Peace Corps, grow volunteer corp across the country. Care for military families.
Questions: Bush said Wall St. got drunk; break bad habits?
Obama: need to show good habits in Washington on debt spending. Look at revenue side. McCain would give money to Fortune 500 CEOs. People watching don't feel like they're sharing the burden with others. All contribute, all make sacrifices. Scaple argument is a strong one.
McCain: Obama tax proposals like nailing Jello to wall. Lost 700k jobs. Over 300k jobs created by small business. Obama will increase taxes on 50 percent of small businesses. HATE this more than anything. Don't raise taxes if economy is bad - got aggressive with Obama. Give tax credits on health insurance (talk about a secret - this is not what it seems).
Question: would you give Congress two years to reform social security and medicare?
Obama: not in 2 years, but in 4. Need to understand rest of tax policies. Straight Talk Express lost wheel (funny). Tax cut for 95 percent of Americans. Small businesses - only a few percent make more than $250k per year. WHAT???? I don't buy this at all. He's confusing personal income tax and business taxes. This is frustrating. Small business owners can't afford own healthcare. McCain to give tax cuts to wealthiest.
McCain: not that hard to fix social security. WHAT???? Ronald Reagan and Tip did it. Obama didn't take on party leadership. (No answer here.) Create Medicare Commission. Like Base Closing Commission (not sure this is a good thing). Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes or again tax cuts. Obama never proposed tax cuts.
Question: Congress moved fast for economy; move fast on environmental issues?
McCain: disagree with Bush; back to Leiberman. Lost the vote on the legislation. Nuclear power is best way. Obama "something like that." (I'd really prefer solar or wind - something really safe.) Battery-powered cars. Americans are best innovators.
Obama: not just challenge, opportunity. Create 5 million new jobs. Same as computer in terms of economic growth. Need to make investment. National security issue. Favor nuclear power as one component. Look at record. For past 30 years, Congress didn't do anything. McCain was there for 26 of those years. U.S. only has 3 percent of world's oil reserve, use 25 percent of world's oil. Government partners with industry. Give China energy.
Tom - stop talking about the time!
Question: fund Manhattan-like project for energy or hundreds of garages like Silicon Valley? (GREAT QUESTION)
McCain: start with government and then to private sector. Babbling... I think McCain was a really good looking man when he was younger.
Obama: damn - Tom didn't let him answer this!!!! I really wanted to compare their answers on this.
Question: treat healthcare as a commodity?
Obama: rambling; moral commitment and economic imperative to do something. If you have healthcare, keep it if you like it. If you don't like it, get healthcare like Senators have. McCain to give tax credit; tax employee healthcare plan for the first time ever. (HATE this.) McCain takes away states' right. Chamber of Commerce thinks it would unravel healthcare system.
McCain: put health records online (duh). Walk-in clinics, other efficiencies. Difference. Obama is for government. Obama will fine small business owners if don't offer healthcare. (I'm ok with that, though it's tough for me.) Do the math - 95 percent of American people will be able shop around and have more to spend on healthcare. It's all about choice. (Like this sentiment.)
Question: priviledge, right, or responsibility?
McCain: responsibility. Americans and employers understand it. Nervous about fines from Obama. How much will it be?
Obama: right. His mother died of cancer, argue with insurance companies. Totally feel the same way. If you like healthcare, keep it. Tax credit for small businesses. Need to make sure child has healthcare. Don't want them going to ER for asthma. McCain voted against children's healthcare coverage. Government should crack down on insurance companies cheating customers. Don't shop state by state because insurance companies will set up shop where there are lose laws. No consumer protections in those states.
Question: how will recent economic stress effect nation's ability to act as peacemaker?
McCain: nations that are strong militarily need strong economy. America is greatest force for good in the history of the world. (Not sure I believe that these days.) Rambling... No answer. Obama doesn't understand national security.
Obama: McCain says Obama doesn't understand. Doesn't understand invading country that has nothing to do with 9/11. Wrong judgement on being treated as liberators. Huge strain on budget. Going to do over $1 trillion. Iraqis have $79 billion surplus. McCain doesn't say how he will pay for things. Never been nation that saw economy decline and remained militarily strong. Can't spend to stop genocide in Darfur.
Question: doctrine on use of force?
Obama: moral issues as stake (this contradicts his point on Iraq where people were being massacred). Wish McCain would take him to task on this one. Classic debate opportunity. Darfur - could be providing logistical support, only with help of international community.
McCain: if we had set up date for withdrawl like Obama said, there would be many problems. Troops home in defeat under Obama. Must fo whatever we can to precent genocide. Must be able to beneficially impact the situation. Admitted Somalia was mistake, but touted it earlier. Confused... Want Obama to call him on it.
Question: should the U.S. respect Pakistan or pursue terrorists there?
Obama: made bad judgement in going into Iraq. Bin Laden escaped. Must reverse course and focus on border, hills of bin Laden. Put more pressure on Afghanistan, change policies with Pakistan. Encourage democrasy in Pakistan, increase non-military funding so they have a reason to work with us.
McCain: hero is TR (he said it was Reagan). Obama likes to talk loudly; wants to announce going to attack Pakistan. Afghan freedom fighters pushed Russians out; U.S. made a mistake. Need support of Pakistan. Petreus had strategy similar to what worked in Iraq - get support of people.
Obama wants follow-up. McCain seems petty.
Obama: didn't announce that U.S. will attack Pakistan. McCain says bomb Iran and destroy North Korea. McCain tried to make a joke - laughed. Bad response. Over confidence. Musharaff didn't promote democrasy.
McCain: not true. Supported efforts when U.S. had to go in to war. What about Iran? Obama is staring at McCain. Weird. Creepy smile from Obama. Over confidence on his part too. It would be awesome if a fist fight broke out.
Question: developments in Afghanistan?
Obama: Iraqi government take more responsibility; withdrawl troops. Put troops in Afghanistan. More aggressive Taliban attacks. Need responsive government in Afghanistan.
McCain: Petreus - same overall strategy. ust work more closely with Pakistanis. Need same strategy as in Iraq.
Question: how can we apply pressure to Russia on humanitarian issues?
McCain: Russia's behavior is outside the norms. Warned about Putin. Repressed liberties. Ukraine is in the sights of Putin. Need to show moral support for Georgia and Ukraine - make them members of NATO. G8 is one way to make Russians understand.
Obama: resurgence of Russia is one of the central issues. Need to provide moral support to Poland and others. Also give them assistance to rebuild economies. Anticipate problems. Put out statement in April saying situation in Georgia was unsustainable. See 21st century challenges before they happen. Too reactive now. Energy is key.
Question: Russia is evil empire?
Obama: engage in evil empire.
McCain: maybe; depends on how we respond to Russia. Energy is big factor. Georgia and Ukraine are gateways for energy to Europe.
Question: if Iran attacks Israel?
McCain: thanks for serving. Not wait for U.N. Russia and China would be big obstacles. Iran is still trying to get nuclear weapons. Threat to stability of Middle East. Can't happen. Obama wants to negotiate without preconditions. McCain is too stuck on this single word for me. Get over it. Never allow second Holocaust.
Obam: don't let Iran get nuclear weapon. Threaten Israel and nukes could get in hards of terrorists. No veto power for U.N.; never take military options off the table. Use all diplomatic tools available. Reduce energy so Iran has less money; impose sanctions. Need to put squeeze on Iran. Should have direct talks with enemies. This really works for me. Don't say it might not work... Better chance at better outcomes. When we don't talk, enemies build up nuke programs.
Question: what don't you know and how will you learn it?
Obama: challenges are immense. Never the challenges you expect - the ones that you don't. Knows that country gave him opportunity. Good move back to personal story. Will we pass on American dream? And we're back to hope, thankfully. Move in new direction.
McCain: don't know what's going to happen (stole Obama's answer). Spent whole life serving country. Tried to go back to his personal story. Need to rely on others for support and love in tough times. I don't get where he's going now.... Ask Americans for another opportunity to put country first - talk about a hard sell.
Analysis: both lost; Obama lost less.
Monday, October 6, 2008
So get this - my mom is in Sedona with her best friend (they're also visiting the Grand Canyon - it's a 50th birthday trip). Last night, they showed up at a Tex Mex restaurant and there were four guys standing outside with metal detectors. They told her Cindy McCain was there - but actually John McCain was inside eating dinner! My mom saw him. Crazy!
Ok - so the other thing is more relevant. I don't like these bullshit old dirt attacks that came up this weekend. That includes Sarah Palin trying to tie Obama to Bill Ayers from the Weather Underground. And it includes Barak Obama trying to blame the economic crisis on McCain and the Keating 5 scandal. I really hope both efforts fail miserably.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So everyone I know is excited about seeing this. Here it goes...
Like Palin asked to call Biden, Joe.
First question: best or worst of the Congress?
Biden: went after existing president. Points on oversight, investors, and CEO punishment. Change focus to middle class.
Palin: kids soccer game good point. Fear about investments. Good socialist points. Small business focus good. Like it. Economy is hurting. McCain for reform; maybe 8 years ago. Politics aside is good.
Biden: shrinking gap? Violence, cops, and genocide good record. Biparitan good. Point on "fundamentals of economy" and change in McCain's talking points.
Palin: "American workforce" point good, but shallow. Back to reform. "Team of mavericks" doesn't work for me lately. "96 percent along party line" good point. McCain should've said it. "Something new and different" is strong statement.
Question: sub-prime lending.
Palin: blame on lender is ok, but not the whole story. Corruption resonates with regular people. "Never again" shows foresight. Like it. Savings is good. Love personal responsibility. Heard it from Obama; good to hear from GOP.
Biden: letting Wall St. run wild is also big for regular Americans. What's up with Biden's lips? Deregulations aren't terrible. Local gas station is again strong. Sounds like saying the same thing.
Palin: need tax relief and jobs created locally. Like the pace of the debate. Obama not on "people's side" 94 times. Good research. Efficiency in government is cool. Increase in taxes on those making $42k? Tough.
Biden: not true. Good research by Biden. McCain raise 477 times to raise taxes? Called her on not answering questions. Classic debate.
Palin: talk straight to American people is strong. Eliminated taxes for people and businesses. Tabacco and campaign finance.
Question: raise taxes on people who make more than $250k; taxes on healthcare.
Binden: fairness. Middle class is struggling. True. No change under McCain. No tax raises for middle class. 95 percent making less than $100k gets tax break. $300 billion in cuts for corporate America under McCain. What about trickle down?
Palin: redistribution of wealth. Millions of small businesses. I really care about that. Paying higher taxes is patriotic? Government is too often problem. Get out of the way. My traditional values here. Healthcare details - tax credit for families to purchase own healthcare is ok, but not great. "Federal government running anything" statement is funny. Like any argument for competition.
Biden: stuttered on this one. Back to fairness. Small business owners wouldn't get taxt increase. What about businesses themselves? Pays for tax credit by taxing healthcare plan through taxing healthcare benefit from employer. Starting to get confusing on healthcare. Not simple enough to be memorable. "Bridge to nowhere" is funny.
Question: what promises have you made that you can't keep?
Biden: slow down doubly foreign assistance. Can't do tax cuts from McCain or current administration. Not going to slow up affordable healthcare. Tripped up again. Eliminate wasteful spending - $100 billion tax dodge for offshore bank accounts.
Palin: doesn't tell one thing to one group... Like the strength there. Energy plan - Obama voted for big tax breaks for big oil. Not going to happen in Alaska. People come first. Value for people, not big oil. Good citations on history again. Area of expertise is a good one. Take off table? Hasn't promised a whole lot. Why did she remind people she's only been at it for 5 weeks? bad...
Biden: energy bill was real support for alternative energy. Why is McCain adding tax cuts for big oil? Want to do same that Palin did in Alaska, but McCain doesn't. Not strong to agree with Palin's tax cuts.
Question: Congress passed bill to make it harder to declare bankruptcy.
Palin: would've done the same. Corruption and greed, McCain called for reform. John McCain to thank for bringing people to table. Starting to get confused on who represents what.... Lots of the same talk. Need greater differentiation.
Question: difference between Obama and Biden.
Biden: Obama saw half empty - not good point. Really weak. Why did he go there? "McCain is surprised" statement should've gone further.
Palin: record on energy - have to consider need to become energy dependant. "East Cost politicians" statement sharp. And I'm on East Coast. Tap into domestic energy sources. Key to America's future.
Question: climate change?
Palin: Alaska sees impact more than other states. Starting to get confusing... Didn't answer question. How to positively change impacts? Starting to talk in circles. Formed climate change sub-cabinet is good. Proof that she's doing something. Put blame on other countries is responsibile and visionary.
Biden: biggest difference? I hope not. Why talking about self in third person? Cause is man-made. Stop greenhouse problems and create new technology. V. important. Investing in clean coal; McCain voted again clean energy. "Drill we must" and taking 10 years to get energy from domestic drilling is good point.
Palin: "Drill, baby, drill." I'm not with her on this at all. Will only be a crutch and will slow clean energy development and acceptance. Obama is against domestic energy production. Not sure on that. Not sure it's safe either. Called out Biden for saying no such thing as clean coal.
Biden: hard targets on clean coal. Comment out of context. Always questionable. McCain voted 20 times against funding alternative energy.
Question: same sex benefits?
Biden: yes! Glad someone is finally talking about this. Gay rights is a topic very important to me. Good talk on rights.
Palin: don't redefine traditional definition of marriage. Not cool - playing to the right. Very diverse family and friends, don't agree with her. No one would propose anything to prohibit visitation and other rights.
Biden: won't redefine marriage. Sad. Why won't someone enter the 21st century? No difference.
Palin: agreement is poor.
Question: exit strategy:
Palin: surge worked. Petreus talk is again pathetic. Obama opposed funding troops; broke promise. Biden called him out. Way to turn them against each other! More troops for Afghanistan. Closer and closer to victory.
Biden: shift responsibility to Iraqis. Only one out is McCain. Strong. McCain voted the same way (Palin shaking her head). Got to have timeline (think that is failing policy). Point on Iraqi surplus is a good one. Responsibility a good point. No end in sight for McCain.
Palin: paused - no good. White flag of surrender. Surge works; Obama can't admit it. Finished in Iraq when Iraqis can take care of own people. Bumbled a statement. Biden would run with McCain - funny and clear. Said Obama not ready. Biden is laughing, but this is not funny. Starting to bumble again.
Biden: McCain voted to cut off funding for troops. Problem with this line on both sides is that legislation is very complicated. Doesn't tell whole story. "Greeted as liberators" is ok, but really old point. McCain is dead wrong, not true with surge.
Question: which is greater threat?
Biden: both are dangerous. Focused on Pakistan. Has nuclear weapons that can hit Israel. Iran isn't close to nuclear weapons. McCain says front on terror is in Iraq. Attack on homeland comes from terrorists in hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Should help to build schools for hearts and minds. Don't believe that works.
Palin: both are dangerous. Petreus said central war on terror is in Iraq. Not sure I believe him. Iran can't get nuclear weapons. Good understanding of issues in Iran/Israel situation. Can't let Iran get weapons. Not North Korea or Cuba. Back to pre-conditions. McCain made his best point on this issue last week.
Question: Secretaries of State are for engagement with enemies.
Palin: talked to Kissinger. (Nice.) McCain would engage in diplomacy. Not sure I believe it. Thank goodness someone mentioned women's rights. Diplomacy is hard work by serious people is good point.
Biden: theocrasy controls security and nuclear enemies. Friends and allies tell us to sit down and talk. Good third party reference. Bush finally sent diplomat to Europe to talk with Iran. McCain wouldn't sit down with president of Spain - not sure that's true; maybe out of context.
Question: two state solution?
Palin: yes. Israel is strongest and best ally. Will play well with the Jewish people I know. Two state solution will work. Peace-seeking nation (Jordan, Egypt).
Biden: talking in third person again.... Administration's policy is failure; Rice trying to turn it around. Hamas winning is obvious failure by current administration. Hezbollah legitimization is also failure. Biden is in the zone.
Palin: administration is not failure (lie). Don't do blame game. Called out adminstration. Too much finger pointing is good point. McCain will learn from past. No partisanship; Biden respected.
Biden: "Past is prologue" is piss poor. Hasn't heard how McCain policy is going to be different from Bush. Want to be most respected nation in world - I agree.
Question: nuclear weapons?
Palin: use as deterrent. Don't let other countries get it. Economic sanctions. (Don't work - know that from my debate days.) McCain policy on Afghanistan would be different than Bush. Calls Obama reckless. Don't buy that the good stuff we're doing there actually work right now.
Biden: surge will not work in Afghanistan. Need more explanation on this one... Spend more money in combat in Iraq in 3 weeks than in 7 years in Afghanistan. McCain against ammending nuclear arms band treaty. Obama reached against aisle on loose nukes. Really glad he did that. Starting to stumble again...
Palin: McClellan didn't say surge wouldn't work in Afghanistan. Counter insurgency approach could work.
Biden: weak response! Backed down. Repeated old point on spending.
Question: record as interventionist.
Biden: American public has stomach for success? Bosnia worked; McCain opposed it. Relatively stable government? Voted for sanctions on Iraq. Be in Iraq for decades. No genocide in Darfur. Really glad someone is talking about this. About time. Get forces in.
Palin: "Washington outsider" - about time. Pulled Kerry line on "for it before against it." Biden opposed Obama strategy. Agrees on Darfur. $40 billion investment fund - divested from Sudan so that wouldn't condone activities in Darfur. Should end atrocities.
Biden: line should be drawn - capacity to do something. Never supported McCain strategy on Iraq. Not greeted as liberators. True. McCain lock-step with Cheney is strong point.
Palin: struggling here. Debate getting slow and repetitive. McCain can win war. "Knows what evil is" is bad Bush hang-over.
Question: heart beat away.
Biden: national tragedy if Obama dies. Will carry out Obama policies - middle class is priority; energy independence; foreign policy to end war; get Bin Laden; engage allies; reject Bush Doctrine; biggest ticket item (what is it)?
Palin: team of mavericks - don't agree on everything; ANWAR. Continue good work of putting government back on side of people. Need Wasilla common sense. Working class Americans - government, get out of my way. Create jobs, win the war.
Biden: go to Union Street in Wilmington. (Good point.) Hep education and healthcare. People in neighborhood get it. They know they've gotten short end of stick.
Palin: "Say it ain't so, Joe." was great point. Wife's reward is in heaven - very normal. Schools need funding; teachers need better pay. Good shout out to 3rd graders and teachers. Live that! Very strong. "No Child Left Behind" doesn't do the job. Education needs to be top of the line.
Question: wouldn't be VP?
Palin: of course we know what VP does. Rambling.... Support president. Understand strengths. Lead on energy independence, work with special needs children; reform of government.
Biden: McCain didn't support education. VP role will mean getting things done in Senate. In room on every major decision. Speak truth to power. Bring change.
Question: more power for VP? Also member of legislative branch?
Palin: usher in agenda supportive and cooperative with president's agenda. Agree with Cheney - oh no! Experience at executive level.
Biden: thank goodness he called out Cheney! Should be in executive branch. Role to support president. Should only vote when there is a tie. (Hate use of "his" when it comes to VP.)
Question: achilles heel?
Palin: has experience has executive and on energy. Connection to heartland of America. (This is one question that neither should answer!) Good point on not having healthcare. Shares world view of exceptionalism. (Is that even a word? See earlier post on NYT Op Ed.)
Biden: referenced "achilles heel" - why? Shouldn't do it. Spnet rest of time patting self on back; as he should. Wife and daughter died - sad. Better off now (should've mentioned fulfilling American dream like Obama did at DNC). Teared up - shit!!!!!!!!!!!!
Palin: how do you follow Biden on that? Took on own party. Weak and boring response. If you're playing a drinking game to this, I hope "maverick" is one of your words.... Rambling.....
Biden: no "maverick." Debt on budgets. Voted against covering children, education, war - nothing that impacts real Americans.
Question: single issue that forced view change?
Biden: view on judicial temperment. (You've got to be kidding me - so dull and not relevant to many people.)
Palin: passed budgets. Why would she say "caved?" That's terrible. Hasn't changed principled things - worked together. Ok, not great.
Question: how do you change tone in Congress?
Biden: McCain would acknowledge Biden can work across lines and change own party's opinion. Don't question motive - questioned judgement. Not really an answer.
Palin: appoint people regardless of party affiliation. Diverse family mention again. Like it a lot. Policies and proposals speak for selves. Create jobs, reign in spending, energy independence - Obama to increase spending and taxes.
Palin: likes answering tough questions. Attacked media. She needed to do that. Good reference to own family. Americans are blessed - proud. Fight for freedoms. Second mention of Reagan. Fight for freedom (not really a concern).
Biden: dug into deep hole - economy and credibility. Don't cut regulations, give tax breaks to big oil. Measure about affording education and sending kids overseas. Dignity and respect - good point on neighborhood. "Get back up point" not strong and repetitive. Protect troops.
Analysis - draw, which will be called a win for Palin. Not necessarily reality. But draw is good for McCain.
Sorry - things have been INSANE all week. Last night I was invited to be on the TODAY show again to give my reaction to this evening's debate, and this afternoon I was cancelled. So it goes...
But life moves on and I've been looking forward to this debate all week - and still am. So here's my prediction for tonight:
I think Sarah Palin is going to be aggressive coming out of debate camp and will exceed the low expectations of her that have been brewing since the Charlie Gibson interview. She'll be vague here and there and will even completely drop an issue or two - but she'll be back to form we saw at the RNC.
Biden, on the other hand, will spend most of the night biting his tongue. He's prone to verbosity and is plagued with the curese of knowledge. If he can keep himself from intellectually beating up Gov. Palin and not look like a bully, he'll win the debate - which is exactly what everyone expects him to do.
Bottom line: Sarah Palin is going to do well and get in a few hard hits, but Biden will take this one.