Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Townies Unite!

9:05-First question-economic crisis? Obama starts by reestablishing his stance on new regulations for Wall St. McCain brings up his platform of energy independence and cuts for government spending. He also lays out a plan to reevaluate mortgage values.

9:08-Who will be your Secretary of Treasury? McCain names Meg Whitman and Warren Buffett as “types” of people who are qualified. Obama also names Buffett but then goes into more details of his economic plan.

9:11-Bailout concerns? M points out that he stopped campaigning so that he could investigate the bailout plans. Fannie and Freddie are the biggest culprits. O says deregulation was the biggest culprit.

9:16-Worse before better? O says no. M says it’s possible if certain action doesn’t take place. Not exactly a great answer but a bit more effective than O’s.

9:18-How can we trust the parties? O compares the federal spending budget to the average family budget and the basic principles that don’t seem to apply to the government. Then he goes off on his negative dredging of history, but redeems with some details of his plan. M talks about non-partisan work and its importance. Points out O’s potential spending increases.

9:23-Priorities? Health, energy, SS & Medicare-M wants to tackle all at the same time. Rattles off some details that we’ve heard before. O puts energy at the top and compares his resolve to Kennedy’s goal to put a man on the moon. If Americans decide to go for it, it will happen.

9:28-What sacrifices will Americans have to make? M says some programs may be cut. Defense spending, earmarks, spending freeze. O hints that people need to make small adjustments to energy use. Also, double the Peace Corps.

9:33-Too much personal debt? O says government has set a bad example for Americans. O says CEO’s will get 700k in tax cuts under M’s plan and does not think that’s fair for sharing the burden. M does some attacking on O’s tax plan.

9:37-Score 1 for Mr. Brokaw, no O, we’re moving on.

9:38-SS & Medicare? O says these programs are tied to tax plans and proceeds to give his plan’s details. M says SS is easy to fix-just gotta work across the aisle to get it done. Medicare needs a commission of smart Americans to come up with a plan.

9:43-What would you do in the first 2 years to deal with climate issues? M claims nuclear power is the key to making progress. O wants to invest in new technologies.

9:48-What do we do to develop the technologies? M defends his voting record on rejecting certain alternative energy bills because they were loaded with pork.

9:49-Is healthcare a commodity? O says people will be able to keep their current plans if they want to. Others can buy into the same plan as Senators. Then he takes a few shots at M’s plan. M gives a few ideas on efficiency minded changes. He also takes a few shots at his opponent’s plan. Then he explains the opportunity to open cross-state benefit plans.

9:55-Is healthcare a right? M doesn’t like that wording. O thinks it is a right.

10:00-O no! Time for foreign affairs again. I don’t know how much more I can take of this. M says we are challenged to be peace makers but need to be smart about the choices we make in getting involved. O rants about M’s poor judgment and lays out all the money we spend on war activities and how we need that money here at home.

10:04-Use of Force? O says we have a moral obligation to be involved where things are bad. Need to mobilize the international community better. M rehashes O’s position on Iraq and how wrong he was. Some other details that I’m not going to summarize here.

10:08-Pakistan? A pretty long back and forth about the situation and how to get Bin Laden. I think these guys are going to really polarize their supporters with this debate.

10:19-Pressure Russia? M-Putin is hooking up with KGB and doing bad things but getting away with it. It is unacceptable behavior. No Cold War coming. O declares our need to support threatened countries with economic support. I wonder how that sounds to America considering our economic status. Also, do a better job anticipating the actions of Russia and other threats. Also, energy is key in the same battles.

10:23-Is Russia an Evil Empire? O says their actions are evil. M says maybe.

10:24-Defense of Israel? M would not wait for UN before taking action if Israel was attacked by Iran. O says we cannot allow Iran to build up nuclear weapons. We need to use all the tools at our disposal to avoid conflict. Reduce energy use, increase sanctions, direct conversations with friends & enemies.

10:29-What don’t you know and how will you learn it? O-big, unexpected challenges ahead. Then we hear about how tough his life was and how he overcame it all. M-doesn’t know what’s going to happen at home & abroad. Unexpected times. Then we get his story of tough times and how he wants to continue to serve America.

One more debate to go next week. I’ll see you then.

Choose Wisely

Thursday, October 2, 2008


9:00-I just made it home from class in time for this showdown. Looks like PBS gal will be leading our discussion tonight. Let’s create some shortcuts for this diary. Palin = P, Biden = B.

9:02-And welcome the candidates. I haven’t had time to mentally prepare for this so let’s just go with reactions to the goings on.

9:03-Worst/Best of Washington? B says Bush did it. It’s bad because of his policies. P is writing notes while he talks and it looks like she is very angry at her notes. P breaks into “and Everybody Hurts….. sometimes”.

9:07-How do you shrink polarization? B attacks McCain for being out of touch and P clarifies cleanly. Team Maverick is ready to take on the world

9:09-PBS brings us back to the topic-P brings up the oversight topic and encourages people to stop buying on credit. That reminds me of this skit from SNL. http://garritson.com/videos/pages/dontbuystuff.htm B goes straight for the throat and blames McCain for deregulation, then makes up a story about chatting with “Joe” at the gas station. Sorry, I don’t buy that one. It looks like there is a lot of voting history coming out tonight. Of course these numbers can be spun very easily. Spend some time here for more info… http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/.

9:15-It’s time for tax plans. Sounds like B is bringing a few more details than Obama did. A little more clearly too. They always mention the business tax cuts that are bad. I just don’t get that. Now P’s turn to give out some health care details. I’m just going to say I’m confused about the details on McCain’s plan.

9:21-False promises due to the bailout? P is being cute about her “newness” to the game. That definitely gave them a boost, but I’m not sure it can last until Election Day.

9:27-B is singing about fairness and P reiterates McCain’s decision to stop campaigning to keep working on current issues.

9:29-B says they will lower mortgage interest rates and lower principal. How do you do that?

9:30-Climate change? All of the above-approach for P & McCain. Not really man-made but she wants to talk about correcting the problem. B says it is man-made and there are opportunities to capitalize on with new technologies.

9:36-Same sex benefits? B says absolutely yes. P would be tolerant of people’s choices, but traditional marriage is not going to change. B and P reach an accord. Hooray, next topic.

9:40-Foreign policy? This is just a rehash of last week’s debate. Same points, same attacks. I’m using this time to eat some soup. It’s a cool, breezy evening in South Jersey. Wait just a minute, P has just unleashed B’s history from when he was running against Obama. That was potent stuff. Lots of polite smiles and chuckles. Uncomfortable….

9:48-P is sounding pretty rehearsed about the pre-condition issue about meeting with other leaders. This issue didn’t get anywhere last week and I think we’re heading down the same road tonight.

9:53-B is impressive on recent history of Middle East policy. Very firm. P ends up just giving a candy-coated side-step on this one.

9:56-Nuclear intervention? P continues to say nucular. That’s all I hear now, so I’m gonna wait for B’s turn before continuing. Wait, we’re building schools in Afghanistan. I didn’t know that. I’m not sure I like that when we have some pretty big issues with school buildings here in the US.

10:01-B just said something that made P bite her lip. She’s gearing up… She’s using her whispering powers to attack B. They are talking about war in Bosnia, Kosovo right now. P struggles to begin a response and then turns on a dime into another rehearsed answer.

10:07-What would you do if your buddy died while in office? B says, mostly the same policies. P says, continue Maverick ways and bring reform.

10:13-What are you going to do as VP? P will take McCain’s agenda to the Senate. B would do the same, plus advise on all decisions.

10:18-Weaknesses? P cites good experience as executive… you know the drill. B tells a good story about his family struggles to combat P’s hockey mom riff. Did you really think they would talk about their weaknesses? B wants to talk about education, let’s hope they get to that question.

10:24-When did you change your mind about a policy? B had trouble with judge appointments. P had some trouble with allowing budgets that she didn’t really like, but other than that, no changes.

10:29-Closing time. P goes first. Fight, average people, proud, Reagan, protect. B next. Most important election, fundamental change, mortgage, college, neighborhood certitude, ready to go. The end.

Anybody want to guess on my pick yet?

Choose Wisely