We went to a winetasting a few hours ago (to benefit the Lissaville Animal Shelter where I volunteer on weekends, hooray!), nibbled some food, watched an episode of NCIS and one of Family Guy and now we’re sitting side by side with nice tall glasses of wine, ready to liveblog the debate!
FYI, timestamps by my computer. Since I pause occasionally for clarification, rewinding to talk to Mike, and refilling my wine glass, the time delay will grow throughout the debate.
9:00 Dear my god, that is the stupidest, sappiest intro music I’ve EVER HEARD. Good lord. Oh c’mon, you can’t go one single political night without mentioning JFK? Yes, make sure you mention the POW thing within the first two sentences. Reaching for the wine glass.
9:02: Mike: “None of those people look like they’re happy to be there, you realize.”
9:02: Audience has promised to remain silent. Do y’all want to take a bet on how long that lasts?
9:03: McCain looks old. Obama looks skinny.
9:04: Obama on economics: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I like to talk. About nothing. And wars. And doom and gloom. He’s worried about people struggling on Wall Street? Huh? “We have to move swiftly. And we have to move wisely. And i’ve put forth a series of proposals . . . oversight . . . possibility of getting money back if and when market returns . . . none of that money is going to pad CEO bank accounts of golden paracutes . . . help homeowners, because foreclosures are root problem. Last eight years. George Bush. McCain. All their fault. Shredding regulations, hoping riches will trickle down, they didn’t. Middle class isn’t getting a fair shake, that’s why I’m running for president.”
9:07: McCain: Thank you, thank you, I speak more slowly and that makes me cooler. Oh he has to mention Kennedy too, in this case though it’s Ted, thoughts and prayers to the Lion of the Senate. He doesn’t talk as glibly as Obama does. McCain hasn’t been feeling great . . . wonderful, now everyone thinks he’s dying of cancer. Again. Fabulous. Oh look, Democrats and Republicans working togehter and that’s so hopeful and inspiring. Christ, he’s not saying words that are any better than Obama’s and we all know who is the better orator. More wine.
9:09: McCain: This isn’t the end of the beginning of this crisis, this is the beginning of the end of this crisis. Oh dear god. Oh, and just in case you’re not TOTALLY bored and confused, we must eliminate our dependency on foriegn oil. Christ on a pony.
9:10: Obama: Two years ago I warned you fools about this. A year ago I even wrote a letter about it. So yes, we have to solve this problem, and we have to intervene, but we can’t forget to blame the people who deregulated the market. It’s all their fault.
9:11: McCain: I can’t stop clearning my throat. I’m actually hoping that all the folks who want Palin at the top of the ticket will get inspired by my imminent demise and come out in droves. Oh, now I’ll talk about Eisenhower. ‘Cause he was old and white and he didn’t make too poor a president. He wrote letters! See, he didn’t email either! Vote for me, yay!
Y’all, I’m so not making it through this whole debate on one glass of wine. Politicians SUCK.
9:13: Obama: We shouldn’t just wait till things are bad to screw with the market! We should always screw with the market, even when it’s ticking along merrily without our greedy little thumbs poking for plumbs! Power! Control! Mine!
9:14: Audience laughed. Told ya it wouldn’t last!
9:15: Obama: I hate lobbyists and I love nurses and teachers and police officers. Don’t look at my donor list, just take my word fo rit.
9:15: McCain: We have to fix this system. We have fundamental problems with this system. There’s no doubt we have a long way to go. Are you still with me, my fellow Americans? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I have fundamental belief in the goodness and strength of the American worker . . . I believe you . . . so vote for me. Thank you.
9:16: McCain: Spending is completely out of control. Largest increase in the size of government since the Great Depression. The worst sympton of this disease is earmarking . . . gateway to out of control spending and corruption . . . former members of Congress residing in prison [NOT ENOUGH! - lissa] As president of the united states I want to assure you, I’ve got a pen, this one’s kind of old, I’m going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk, I will make them famous, but you won’t know their names. (approx words) Obama earmarks a lot, which makes him a stinkyhead. Google it. Vote for me.
9:19: Obama: He’s totally right. That’s why I didn’t ask for any earmarks this year. No, don’t look at my records for all the other years I was in the Senate (there were a lot! Swear!), just look at this year. And McCain wants tax breaks to rich corporations, in amounts a lot more than I ever asked for earmarks. So he’s the stinkyhead. We’ve got to grow the economy from the bottom-up. I’ll cut taxes for 95% of working families. (Don’t ask me how on earth that’s possible.) They’ll all buy computers and gasoline. Unlike George Bush (George Bush! George Bush! McCain is George Bush!)
9:21: McCain: Notice that Obama only suspended earmarks once he started running for president. Doesn’t that RING A LITTLE BELL FOR YOU MEDIA IDIOTS?
9:22: Obama: I don’t know where John’s getting his figures, and therefore I shall close my eyes, purse up my lips sorrowfully and wave my finger in reproval until I get to talk. I want to spend money cause it’s important to spend that money, and I’ll pay for all of it. No, actually, you’ll pay for it, but that’s not the point. Earmarks aren’t nearly as important as cutting taxes for those in the middle class. [Please do remember that Obama is gung-ho about cutting our taxes. Anyone counting their chickens? Yeah, I didn't think so. - Lissa]
9:24: McCain: Our business taxes are too high. Ours are 35%, Ireland’s is 11%. I want to cut business taxes so more businesses want to DO business here and bring jobs here. And let’s go back to earmarks, cause I feel really strongly about this. I’m going to call out Obama again, so that he can wave his finger again, ’cause that makes him look really silly and arrogant. Oooooo, now he looks angry!! Will he bite? Vote for me, yay!
9:25: Obama: If you make less than $250K a year you won’t see a dime of tax increase. [HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! - Lissa] That high tax rate? That’s just pretend! There are magic loopholes, so they don’t pay taxes! Magic, I tell you! BLACK MAGIC!!! Oh, and McCain wants to tax health benefits. See, he doesn’t love you. I do. Vote for me!
9:27: McCain: This is a classic example of walking the walk and talking the talk. That huge energy bill? Festooned with TONS of breaks for businesses. I voted against it, he voted for it. You have to look at our records.
9:28: Mike: He may be eating McCain’s lunch, but if he continues acting arrogant and obnoxious, people are not going to like that.
9:28: Obama: We all would love to lower taxes on everybody. [HAHAHAHAHA! OW! MOMMY IT HURTS! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!-Lissa]
9:29: Mike: Notice that Obama says we pay a very low business tax rate because of loopholes. The biggest loophole is that you don’t actually have to pay those taxes until you bring the profits home to America , so companies try to just leave them overseas, paying taxes over there. The thing is, there are only three developed countries that do try and tax overseas profits . . . and we’re one of them.
9:33: Mike: Why doesn’t he ask about foreign policy? Lissa: Oh yeah! Isn’t this supposed to be the foreign policy debate?
9:34: Obama: We’ll have to delay a range of things because the economy’s slowing down. But we have to have energy independence. We have to invest in solar, wind, bio-diesel.
9:34: Mike: What’s that on his lip? Lissa: Spit. Mike: Is he . . . foaming at the mouth??
oh, and Obama’s still talking. About China and blah blah blah blah. Bridges are falling down. Ewww, spit is still there.
9:36: McCain: No matter what, we’ve got to cut spending. We’ve let government get out of control. Obama has the most liberal spending record in the spending. It’s hard to reach that far across the aisle to the left. (Obama chuckled softly) For example, I voted against ethanol. I will proceed to give other examples of bad spending. (Zzzzzzz) I will get spending under control. I saved the taxpayers 6.8 billion dollars by fixing a contract and putting people in prison. I know how to do this, I’ve been doing this for years.
9:38: Obama: As I’ve said before . . . [okay, I didn't listen to any more. Everytime he says "as I've said" or "as I've consistently said" or "as my record shows" I'm going to throw something.] We are going to have to change the culture. Tom — er, John — mentioned that while I may be wildly liberal, that’s mostly just opposing George Bush’s wrongheaded policies. But hey, I worked with Tom Coburn. Listing federal spending. [Yes, Obama. That was SO UNCONTROVERSIAL that no one voted against it. And yes, Obama, we miss Tom Brady too. We understand the Freudian slip.]
9:41: McCain wants a spending freeze. Obama says that’s taking a hatchet to a problem that needs a scalpel. There are several very important areas that are underfunded, like early school education. [Oh, for Chrissake.] And we’re spending too much money in Iraq.
9:42: McCain: We’re sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don’t like us very much. Some of that ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations. We need all the other stuff, solar wind etc., but we need offshore drilling as well. Obama opposes nuclear stuff too. We can make jobs that way too.
9:44: Lissa: I don’t think that’s going to go over very well. A lot of people are anti-nuclear power. Mike: Yes, but most of the people that are knee-jerk anti-nuclear, are already in the tank for Obama anyway. Lissa: Good point.
9:45: I notice that’s at least the second time that Obama has referred to himself as the future president in certain terms. I think McCain did that at least once though.
9:46: Every time McCain jabs at Obama, Obama makes a face. They aren’t showing split-screen as much when Obama talks. I’d like to be able to compare his reaction to McCain’s.
9:47: Obama: GEORGE BUSH IS MCCAIN. MCCAIN IS GEORGE BUSH.
9:48: McCain: I was not elected Miss Congeniality in the Senate nor for the Administration. I’ve oposed their spending on lots of things. I’m Maverick! FEAR THE MAVERICK!
[We paused here for a litter box break. I have to wonder how different this appears to non-policy wonks/bloggers. When all the information is new to you, do you notice more or less McCain's fumbling? Obama's rolling eyes and sighs?]
9:50: Wow, the first foreign policy question! Lessons of Vietnam . . . what are the lessons of Iraq?
9:50: McCain: You can’t have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict. Our intial military success — everyone celebrated the initial military success and then things went very badly. In 2003 I went to Iraq and came back and said, we need a new strategy. We got a new general, new straegy. We will come home with victory and honor.
9:52: Obama: McCain and I have a fundamental difference. The first question is whether we should have gone into Iraq in the first place. Six years ago I stood up and said we shouldn’t. It was extremely politically risky for me to do so. [Mike: Yes, it was extremely risky for a state senator from Illinois. Extremely.] I wish that I had been wrong and they had been right. [Good line.] Al-Qaeda is stronger now than it has been since 2001. [Huh? Are you kidding me? Really?] We’re borrowing money and stuff. The lesson to be drawn is that we should never hesitate to use military force, but we must use military force WISELY.
9:54: McCain: The next president is not going to have to decide whether we should have gone into Iraq. The next president is going to have to decide when we leave Iraq, and how. That is the question. Obama got the surge wrong! Wrong, I tell you!!!!! [Dude, Obama looks PISSED.] Obama’s never had a Senate hearing although his committee oversights [ouch] NATO.
9:55: Obama: I have Biden. Biden understands this stuff. I like Petreus. But it was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the first couple years. John, you like to pretend that the war started in 2007! You like to pretend that the war started in 2003. You said it was going to be easy. You were wrong. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. Wrrroooooooonnngggg!!!
9:57: McCain: I’m afraid Senator obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy. [Obama still looks down, still looks pissed.] I was in Iraq to watch troops whose enlistments were up and who were re-englisting. You know what they said? They said, Let us win. Let us come home victorious. Senator Obama refuses to recognize that we are winning in Iraq. (Obama: It’s not true. It’s not true.)
9:59: Obama consistently refers to McCain as “John.” I do not recall hearing McCain say “Barrack” once. Maybe I misremember?
Okay dude I’m bored. Almost finished with the first glass of wine, maybe I need a second?
Meh. Still bored. I’m done y’all, go read Ace :) EDIT: I should have put a STRONG langugage warning on that link!
10:18: Dude, I’ve already gotten five hits off this sucker. Who’s the person out there reading and refreshing? Show thyself!
10:34: Awww, thanks Wisconsin Jen and Chad! Dude, I gave up after the first glass of wine — after all, I started the evening with a wine tasting! — and moved to Freecell. I have said before and I shall say it again — I think all politicians are somewhat related to microbes. With fangs. Kind of like that pic I posted yesterday