The Master Debate

It certainly was a more lively debate this time. I was originally turned off by word that “undecided voters” would be asking the questions; I mean, what, have they been in deep comas, brain damaged, totally clueless, what could they bring to the table? I ended up pleasantly surprised. I still can’t understand how you can be undecided at this late date, but there were some good questions.

As for the moderator, Candice Crowley did a good job of keeping it moving, cueing both candidates to “pinch it off” when their time was up. She was no push-over like another moderator had been, and only inserted herself into the debate when candidates hadn’t been responsive or to shut down petty bickering over split hairs (the Rose Garden “terrorist attack” issue). I personally found it amusing to have anyone named Crowley slapping presidential candidates around.

Both candidates backed as far away as possible from the 2nd Amendment question. Ain’t nobody going to hand any ammunition to the gun-nuts! They haven’t needed any evidence for their “Obama gonna steal our guns” conspiracy theories so far, but a nod was made to assault weapons restrictions, to Obama’s credit.

As in the previous debate, M’Lord Willard of Rmoney started pulling things out of his ass… but this time he got his ass handed back to him. His reaction when Obama called bullshit on him was telling: you could see the difference when he was called on something he apparently believed versus the stuff he knew wasn’t really true. That deer in the headlights/hand in the cookie jar/”Oh, shit! He’s on to me!” look was priceless.

Presidential dissembling all aside (and there were instances of that as well), the ill-formed, bumper-sticker depth of the GOP “policies” was made plain for all to see:

  • On his nebulous tax “plan” and the elimination of deductions, Mittens just answered “I’ll pick a number”. Some number, any number? This is a serious campaign, isn’t it? And he still hasn’t run the numbers on his tax proposal yet? Tax policy isn’t something you just wing it on… if you have a tax policy, that is.
  • The idea of Romney “getting tough with China” was rightly mocked. His years at Bain resulted in thousands of jobs being sent to China and his not-so-blind trust holdings are still shipping jobs overseas. What, he didn’t think anyone would notice?
  • The ridiculous assertion that Romney wanted to save the auto-makers just like the President did was shot down immediately. The Mittster’s “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed will be included in political science courses for years to come as a classic example of how not to win votes. It was a foolish thing to say, much less put in print, when eying a run for national office.
  • The repeated lame attempts to blame Obama for high gas prices, which are set by markets and speculation rather than by presidents. With more domestic drilling going on now than under either Bush presidency, that came off as a desperate play to the least informed of potential voters, a segment that the GOP already has sewed up.

For me, the real money-quote of the evening came during the President’s answer to the very first question, a summation and rejection of Romney’s resumé:

“Governor Romney doesn’t have a five point plan. He has a one point plan, and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than someone who makes less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money. That’s exactly the philosophy that we have seen in place for the last decade. That’s what’s been squeezing middle class families, and we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there”.

The Romney/Ryan ticket remains just a pair of GOP grifters trying to palm off a warmed-over serving of the failed trickle-down economics that gutted our country’s economy, garnished with Randian clap-trap that neither actually believes. Their ersatz sound-bites just don’t add up to feasible policies.

Predictably, 32 seconds after the debate Fox News was blaming the questions.

My God… the binders… they’re full of women…

XKCD offers up a historical review of  political prognostications, truisms, and correlations. Indeed, which streak will break this year?

“Romney has been playing in the muck of white racism for the purpose of electoral gains with little if any consequence”: racist T-shirts are “reprehensible” but a concerted campaign of race-baiting and the Southern Strategy 2.0 is okay?

The lab at the center of the fungal meningitis outbreak has FINALLY been raided by the FDA. Government regulations only work when you enforce them.

Here’s a pretty good mouse trick: genetically modifying them to detect land mines. Send in the HeroRats!

Shameless exploitation department: psychic claims to be in contact with Steve Jobs. Unless he’s got a fix for Apple Maps I don’t want to hear about it.

So could you really build an underground city in a cave? Not if you want a very big city seems to be the answer.

Korean pop singer Psy goes Gangnam Style with Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine). That is all.

Blue Origin completes testing of their new BE-3 rocket engine. Rocket engines are our friends.

Well, what do you know? It’s not all Curiosity’s litter. Mars has some sparkly bits of it’s own!

At last! Real class warfare: are you up for a “bum hunt” in the wilds of urban Arizona? Well, we know just the guide for you! According to Military Times:  “Military investigators were told that [Sgt. First Class Michael] Amerson wore his National Guard uniform and drove a government vehicle marked with recruiting insignia as he and other soldiers — some still minors — shot transients with paintballs or got them to perform humiliating song-and-dance routines in return for money. During some of these so-called “bum hunts,” female recruits said, they were ordered to flash their breasts at transients. Homeless women, conversely, were offered food, money or drinks for showing their breasts”.

Tucker Carlson… eh, just “Tucker Carlson“. What a useless dick.


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