Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Live" Blogging the VP Debate

MSNBC is reshowing the VP debate now, so I'll just "Live" blog it now. I saw maybe 25-30 minutes of the debate on Thursday night in between ordering Tylenol, so I'm not totally seeing the debate for the first time. I have been trying to avoid watching the media's reactions to the debate, but I have seen some. So, with that, it's showtime:

3:00 The liberal in me likes MSNBC, but I do hate the intro music they use for their debate/election coverage.

3:01 "Can I call you Joe?"?!? How about "hello"?

3:04 Already a couple "middle class"es from Joe Biden. This obsession with "John McCain didn't say 'middle class' one time!" is silly.

3:04 Is Palin going to address the bailout, which was the first question? She's just talking about the economy in general.

3:05 They're still hanging onto "McCain meant the "fundamentals" are workers" thing. How are people not seeing through this? He never one time stated that's what he meant, and he called the fundamentals strong something like 15 times this year.

3:06 I hope Biden keeps bringing things back to the question Gwen Ifill asks.

3:07 Kind of a showy flag pin on Palin today.

3:08 That was a "maverick"-heavy response. Has she said anything about the bailout yet?

3:08 Oh yeah, there will be commercials during this, since it's not live. weird

3:11 Aw, Gwen, don't make it a multiple choice test for Palin! "You bet it was the predatory lenders." Wow

3:12 "Let's not get ourselves into debt," she says? Good Republican policy there. It really is appalling how we're letting the GOP off the hook here when it comes to deregulation.

3:15 MSNBC's got a neat feature running where they show a "truth squad" graphic, "Pop-up Video" style, where one or the other candidate lies. Palin just told a doozy about Obama voting 94 times to raise taxes.

3:16 Biden is still calling her out for not answering questions. I haven't heard about this being a theme after the debate, so he must stop soon, but I wonder why. It seems like an effective strategy.

3:17 She still didn't answer the question about regulation.

3:18 The Obama campaign need to shout the "no taxes if you're making under $250,000" thing from the top of his $400 million mountaintop.

3:19 I'll just admit it, I have a hatred of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate. And I don't think it's an irrational hatred. Just felt I needed to get that out there

3:20 How is it that Republicans are still talking about raising taxes on rich people back up to the rates they were at under Clinton would result in poor economic growth? Do they remember the 90's?

3:20 Whopper of a lie there by Palin! Obama's health care plan doesn't mandate care for Americans, only children.

3:22 We as a society definitely need to talk about health care a lot more. Both candidates are proposing fairly big changes. Stay tuned!

3:23 Good response by Biden about McCain's plan. Making health care benefits not tax-deductible encourages companies to drop coverage. So we all buy insurance on our own, not through our companies, meaning consumers, acting separately instead of together, have less power to negotiate prices. How is that a good idea?

3:25 Aw, bummer out of Biden, delaying plans to double foreign aid because of the budget deficit.

3:27 "Go back to the energy plan," Palin says? Were we on the energy plan?

3:28 Biden better call her on the windfall profits tax she charged oil companies in Alaska

3:29 Why is she drawing attention to the fact that she's only been around 5 weeks and hasn't promised to do anything?

3:30 Hey, he called her on the windfall profits tax! Hooray! And he did a good job doing it!

3:31 And of course they cut to commercial before she has a chance to respond. I'm assuming they aren't going to edit anything out, but of course, I'm sure she won't bother responding to that, either, just like she doesn't bother responding to Ifill's questions.

3:32 How about this giant hearing aid that looks like a Bluetooth earpiece? What a great idea! As Mrs. Doctor points out, people are embarassed to wear a hearing aid, but Bluetooths (blueteeth?) are cool.

3:33 See, the question was about the bankruptcy bill, and she's talking generally about Wall Street!

3:35 Oh, she thinks the economy is a toxic mess, and she wants to unfreeze the credit markets, but she doesn't bother saying one word about how. Thanks for talking.

3:36 On the other hand, Biden's answering the questions but being a little boring about it

3:36 Why the fuck (sorry for the profanity. I try to keep it clean here, but....) is she talking about energy again?!? The question is about bankruptcy law, and this is twice you've completely dodged just this one question!

3:40 Surfing around during commercials. Apparently Palin didn't pay income taxes on that money she charged the government to live at her own home instead of the governor's mansion. That's, like, illegal and stuff. More on this after the debate.

3:41 Ugh, they're playing the awful MSNBC music coming out of every commercial break

3:41 She doesn't want to argue about the causes of climate change? Then how does she propose to do anything about it? It seems to me to be a fundamental part of the process of fixing something to figure out what caused it in the first place

3:42 Why did Biden feel it necessary to "correct" himself, calling her "Gov. Palin: instead of "Sarah Palin"? Was he coached that saying "Sarah Palin" sounded condescending?

3:43 "Senator Biden, why do you want to give our technology to the Red Chinese?"

3:44 Why did she feel it necessary to correct him on the "drill baby drill" thing?

3:44 "nuke-yoo-lur", she says?! "NUKE-YOO-LUR"........ NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!

3:47 Biden says there will be no differences under the law between gay and straight couples. Except, of course, that they can't get married. That's kind of a biggie, Joe.

3:48 Oh, Biden just came back and said it's up to churches what to call civil unions/marriage/etc. OK, that'll do

3:50 This "funding the troops" line is BS. It's not like the Democrats were going to stop paying for fuel for Humvees and leave troops in the field. The vote would have resulted in troops coming home. How awful

3:51 Obama/Biden need to push the point that the Iraqi government wants Obama's Iraq plan.

3:52 If Iraq really has had 400,000 soldiers stand up, join the Iraqi army and get trained by us, can we stand down now, pretty please?

3:53 "White flag of surrender"?!? Then why does Malaki support it?

3:54 Why is it that Bush/McCain/Palin want to be told by their Generals how to run the military? Isn't that the President's job? More on this in a future post, if I remember to do so.

3:54 Biden seems genuinely amused by her.

4:00 Biden needs to mention the speech he gave on September 10, 2001 where he said that threats to America would come from, among other places, the belly of a plane.

4:04 Way to emphasize the crap out of McCain saying he wouldn't necessarily meet with Spain's Prime Minister, Joe!

4:06 "No one in the US Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden." Uh, how 'bout Obama, Joe?

4:09 Instead of pointing out how McCain is different from Bush, Palin is just saying, basically, "oh Joe, don't keep looking to the past." Translation: "OK, you got us, he's got a lot in common with Bush."

4:11 It just annoys the heck out of me when Palin is giving what she thinks is a clever answer and her voice gets higher and more nasal and she stops moving her teeth. So annoying!

4:13 She's not answering the question about when we should use nukes, just talking about nuclear proliferation. It's like her brain said "ah, she's asking about nuke-yoo-lur stuff, here's an answer I have on that!"

4:14 No, you can't talk about Afghanistan! Answer the question Ifill asked first!

4:15 Biden likes the "let me say that again" method of emphasizing points, doesn't he?

4:20 Oh yeah, Darfur! Remember that? I gotta admit, I pretty much forgot about it

4:22 Do you really think that Palin watched the Democratic debates? I sure don't

4:23 If Alaska has a $40 billion fund invested in, among other things, companies in Sudan, why are we still giving the state federal money? This race is making me really hate Alaska!

4:28 Other than throwing her former buddy and Alaska GOP chair under a bus, what has Sarah Palin ever done to show herself to be a maverick?

4:30 "Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again"?!?

4:37 Why is Joe not just talking about education or whatever else he wants to talk about? Silly things like the moderator's questions aren't stopping Palin from talking about what she wants.

4:38 She agrees with Cheney about the role of the VP. That's gotta scare some undecideds, right?

4:40 Ouch, Biden just said Article 1 defines the Executive Branch, when it's actually Article 2. I wonder if anyone caught that.

4:42 Why is she talking about her and McCain's track record? Isn't that looking to the past, not the future?

4:42 Nice mention of McCain's vote on the Violence Against Women Act. His record on women's issues really is pretty bad.

4:43 Wow, actual emotion from a politician! The cynical part of me says Biden planned it, but it really seemed genuine.

4:43 ...followed immediately by Palin immediately launching into another canned spiel, including at least 2 "maverick"s.

4:45 Fabulous answer by Biden about McCain's "maverick" issues, such as immigration, carbon cap & trade, campaign reform, etc. aren't actually terribly important issues, compared to the issues he's a "typical" Republican on.

4:48 More commercial reading: apparently Palin only found out about the McCain campaign pulling out of Michigan by reading it in a newspaper. Shouldn't she have been in on that conversation? Looks like the campaign doesn't respect her all that much more than I do.

4:50 Did Palin just admit to "caving in" sometimes? Why would a maverick do that?

4:52 Biden's trying to play a little early defense by talking about not questioning people's motives. McCain's campaign, being so far behind 1 month from the election, will be going very negative. Right now their entire advertising budget is being spent on negative attacks.

4:56 Unnecessary jab at Michelle Obama on the "always been proud to be an American" thing.

4:57 Ugh, the "McCain's the only one whose ever really fought for you" line is so offensive.

4:59 Not a strong closing by either candidate. Immediate response, not a terribly strong debate by either. More complete response in a bit.

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