Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Final Presidential Debate

The debate is underway, and let me say, that this format is much, much better. They are really getting to rebut each other and Schieffer is asking some great questions. Less stump speech lines from both candidates. McCain is coming out much more aggressive but at the same time less angry.

The first question regarding the economy, McCain actually discussed a good populist plan by going in and helping out homeowners, and then I think won the battle regarding taxes. I have said it before and said it again, taxes CANNOT be raised in times of recession, even on really rich people. It will cause the economy to completely stall. The job losses will be staggering.

Regarding the deficit and budget, Obama gave no specific answers about what he would cut, only saying he would "use a scalpel". McCain suggests a spending freeze, and names several budget items that he would cut, including the ethanol subsidies (I agree...ethanol subsidies are foolish).

Regarding the comments by Congressman Lewis, McCain puts Obama back on his heels. McCain points out that he has repudiated some despicable comments made by people within his own party. McCain then brings up Ayers, and Obama tries to defend. He said he will not be a part of his cabinet. Then trying to defend ACORN, a brief defense, but McCain hammers back with allegations about Ayers and ACORN. Wow. These are jarring blows. Obama has not done an adequate job at separating himself from these two situations, and I agree that more investigations are necessary.

Energy policy: I will repeat, Bob Schieffer is asking the best questions. Makes Ifill and Brokaw look like puppet clowns. Bob wants to know how much we can reduce dependency on foreign oil. Earlier McCains points out how a full-force movement for energy independence will create millions of domestic jobs (he is right). McCain says we can achieve energy independence in 7-8 years. Obama says in 10 years. Obama reiterates that it is one of the most important issues (which I agree with). Obama even mentions offshore drilling as a possibility, but points out that domestic production will never equal our consumption. McCain wants to start offshore drilling immediately. Obama wants to limit free trade, McCain is strongly for it, and points out how the US has to pay to export goods to Colombia. Obama points out some the need to examine human rights along with the free trade policies. McCain has another nice zinger about Obama not willing to have free trade with Colombia (supporter of the U.S), but is willing to sit down with Hugo Chavez (non-supporter of the U.S).

Health care: Obama mentions people being able to buy in the same type of health plan as congress and mentions negotiating with pharmaceutical companies. McCain mentions a fitness initiative and the $5000 health-care tax credit. McCain asks what the fine is for not getting involved in his health insurance mandate. Obama replies, "Absolutely zero". He attacks McCains health care tax credit, and he is right that McCain will be taxing health care benefits (bad move Charlie), and that most health care policies cost more than $5000 (about $12,000). Insurance companies will cherry pick and exclude patients from coverage (true). McCain defends the status quo of the current health care system with multiple insurance systems. News hasn't worked. Premiums have skyrocketed.

Sorry was busy during the past half hour, but overall, I think I have to give this one to McCain. Obama won the first two debates and McCain won this final one. Probably won't make a difference as Obama has a 14 point lead.


Anonymous said...

i also agree that more investigation is necassary. Obama looked a little nervous on this one

Will said...

agreed format is better. you can't be serious on the ayers bs though. Steve - your summary is he said he won't be in the cabinet? transcript please. anyway, yes, investigate.

McCain is brawlin' no doubt. Using 'pro-abortion' language is pulling out all the stops. won't work.

kath said...

I still feel like McCain is so disrespectful of his opponent. I haven't fallen in love with Obama so am not one of those people who thinks he walks on water but McCain is so unprofessional. Snickering, interrupting, etc. But that's the way to be a Republican, I guess. Force yourself on everyone.

Can you believe what a baby Obama is? McCain complained about being painted as a racist...that' legit. Obama complains about people at McCain rallies chanting to kill him...guess he needs to grow a pair, huh?!

Will said...

Steve - you've said before and you say it again but why can't the really rich have a tax hike in a recession? As I see it, a tax hike on the really rich allows a tax break on the not-so-rich. Tax break = disposable income. And consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP as you so often point out. Perhaps job loss but - c'mon - job loss either way.

julie said...

Steve -

You have got to be kidding about more investigation required about ACORN/Ayers. ACORN, for goodness sake, is a group whose mission includes registering eligible Americans to vote. I don't want to be a part of a country where registering people to vote is considered a subversive activity. Our right to vote is what makes us a democracy and there are far too few registered, active voters per capita in our historically & embarrasingly apathetic population.

What McCain is referring to is an isolated incident where ACORN gave jobs to low income people to get people registered. So, some of those low income people who were hired filled out voter registration forms unethically because they were being paid on a piecemeal basis. I'm sure that ACORN regrets that they made a tactical error which McCain has used as a weapon in this election. It's not a substantive issue by any means. And, frankly, ACORN shouldn't even be discredited for it, let alone Obama. This incident was investigated and it was found that the people who did it didn't even care about the outcome of the election (thus were not guilty of a voter fraud conspiracy) but basically just wanted to make a buck to live.

And, also Ayers? Really? This is also a NON issue and NOT substantive. It has less merit than the argument that Sarah Palin associates with right wing Alaska separatists, because at least in that case, she's given credit to their viewpoints.

I thought Obama did a great job refuting those issues and it was one of the few times that these possibly racist Ohio undecideds also thought the same.

julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julie said...

If you really want to investigate ACORN, please at least take a look at their website to gain a balanced viewpoint. They have fact sheets available which are well written and informative, about all of the NON issues that McCain has raised in a desperate attempt to swing some votes his way:[showUid]=168&tx_irfaq_pi1[back]=P2lkPTE3ODYw&cHash=892498d077

julie said...

PS ... on Kath's comment, I think one of the things about Obama that has polled very well is the fact that he's remained cool in the face of vicious attacks, and McCain has polled in the opposite direction. I don't think this is a matter of Obama needing to get tough - it's a matter of people wanting a leader who can rise above partisan mudslinging. He knows that, and though he's succumbed in some ways (has spent about 1/3 of his budget on negative campaigning), I think he is genuinely trying to not let petty stuff get his goat.

Cocameister said...

Julie, Will, Kath,

Kudos. All great points, and I concede to all of you.

Julie, I agree, signing up people to vote is a good thing, and it is very unlikely that fradulently registered voters can actually get to vote! Regarding Ayers, I don't know much about the whole situation, I will need to read more about it to even see how big an issue it is.


I did a little research...economists have actually studied the issue, and you are right, tax increases on the wealthy would have less of an impact than decreasing governmental spending on the masses. And, if one thinks about it, as you mention, tax cuts for the wealthy would only increase savings for the wealthy and probably would not increase their spending, whereas monies distributed to the masses would result in more spending, thus improving the economy.

Kath, very funny...your post says it all!

Cocameister said...

Glad to see the juices flowing again after I say some controversial things on the blog...guess that's the secret, right Anonymous?

And, Anonymous, why don't you reveal your identity?

Will said...

Julie - great points. Kath was being ironic, btw.

the mudslinging is a tough issue. is a campaign saying 'your health plan sucks' a negative ad? of course it is. but I think we all know the difference btw an ad that criticizes and an ad that is sensationalist fear mongering. Saying Obama wants to teach comprehensive sex ed to kindergartners is just ridiculous fear-mongering. but also only plays to already-decideds

julie said...

Ok, I fault skimming and tripping over myself to comment for not realizing Kath was being ironic. But, yes, I see it now that I'm not as steamed about John McCain's fury eyes and his relentless attacks on issues that don't matter.

And, yes, I thought he performed much better in this debate than in prior debates where he came off as much more of a buffoon than tonight.

And, for you expert spellers, I'm not sure if I'm spelling buffoon correctly but my spell check isn't catching it, so maybe I shouldn't have said anything.

But still the buffoon ratio in the Republican ticket is pretty high this year.

Jeanette said...

I am sorry Steve, where is the data to suggest that McCain won this debate? That is ridiculous!
Does calling your running mate Senator Governor, blinking incessently, mixing up words like "freth of bresh air," grimacing when your opponent speaks, interrupting your opponent several times etc win you points? In the words of Keith Olberman, "we criticized McCain for not looking at Obama in the first two debates and he stared him down in this one. It is clear that he was better off not looking at his opponent." He skirted issues, lacked substance, and continued with his usual "I know how to [insert anything here...balance the budget, win wars, reach across party lines] and I have the scars to prove it." And it is really sad that he has audicity to attack Obama on running negative ads when that seems to be the McCain specialty. Then to demand Obama repudiate Congressman Lewis when he NEVER repudiated Sarah Palin for stating Obama "pals around with terrorists."
Additionally, McCain seems to have trouble veering from talking points on Ayers despite Obama's clear explanation. McCain comes back and says "we need to understand the nature of these relationships" after it couldn't have been made anymore clear by Obama.
Not to mention McCain's major stumble on the abortion issue and the health of the mother.
In my mind, Obama did an amazing job keeping an even keel and bringing his points across without looking desparate and uncomfortable as his opponent did.
The independent voters in the polls agree with me:
53% say Obama won, 23% tie, 22% say McCain won.

Will said...

Steve ! don't concede my point.

Trickle-down works and has a legitimate theoretical underpinning but, as with everything in economics, the question is , for whom (does it work) ? The trickling tends to follow the same entrenched patterns so that capital flows to dead end commodities. Government-private sector cooperation is required to stimulate growth into innovative sectors.


Jeanette said...

Your comments are hilarious and came across loud and clear. Really, McCain, really? Is that seriously how you are going to act? Not only were people at McCain rallys threatening Obama's life but also referring to him as an Arab...and McCain is crying because of Lewis's statement...which may have been over the top but the underlying message was legitimate.

Cocameister said...


You are too funny. McCain is floundering, but I think, at least in relative terms, he performed better tonight than his previous performances. Is he the best person for the job? No. Is Obama more Presidential? Definitely. Is Obama smoother? Definitely. Who will be better for the country. Probably Obama/Biden.

This was McCain's last gasp, but he did have some better zingers and points tonight that will go off better with his conservative base.

julie said...

Investigate Ayers all you like here...

Cocameister said...


Trickle-down economics doesn't really work. Perhaps I should say that corporate taxes should not be raised at this time of recession, because, right now many corporations are struggling and they are the ones who have to provide the jobs to Americans. (I do think they should punish corporations for going offshore to avoid taxes).

Taxing rich people on the other hand, will have little effect on the overall economy (i.e, they will still spend the same and their individual take-home pay will not determine new job hirings or firings).

Cocameister said...


Thanks for the link to Wash Post and the Ayers connection. Agree that this seems to be a fabricated issue by the Republican lie machine. Obama has no culpability here and nothing to worry about.

Bob said...

How can McCain question Obama's relationship with Ayers when he worked with and shared a seat on a board with a known domestic terrorist named Mike Hancoff? Bombing abortion clinics is domestic terrorism.

McCain quoted Ayers as saying that he wished he had done more bombing. Hancoff said he wished he had done more in the 80's and that the bombings were justified.

"I strongly denounce acts of violence like those Mr. Handcoff committed, but he has done great work in the community since those days.", McCain said when questioned by reporters about this recent development at a rally in Selma Alabama.

What's the difference between the two?

julie said...

You are welcome!

Will said...

there's one joint government-private sector activity that trickle-downers tend to support: WAR.

Defense contractors and every phase of gas/oil supply make out like bandits during war. And Congress writes the checks (backed by loans from China -- OOPS). So NO - don't end the war! .... how about tax breaks for corporations during recession instead? Especially Boeing and Halliburton. Or just take it right out of my paycheck - direct deposit to Halliburton.

Jeanette said...

Yes, but the "at least he wasn't as bad as he was last time" argument is essentially the same argument as "at least Palin didn't make EVEN more of a fool out of herself" during the VP debate. That still doesn't mean either of them WON. Yes, McCain had more zingers but the American people (who are running in droves AWAY from the conservative base) are more interested in actual substance and not anger and frustration and that continues to show in the polls. And the only zinger that really held any water whatsoever was the "if you wanted to run against should have run 4 years ago" one. The rest were just jibberish. And you could see he was so proud of himself after he actually got that one out without tripping over his own tongue which he seemed to do the rest of the night!
And, to come out of the gates saying you are going to have an across the board spending freeze and then say at least two times during the debate that we need to spend more on Autism research (because Palin knows about Autism. Last time I checked, her baby had Down's Syndrome...which I don't know if McCain knows are two different things...) is just another example of how contradictory he is in his own mind.

Anonymous said...

you liberals must be board. this is a mutual admiration society. sad.

Anonymous said...

McCain/Palin are done and done.

Anonymous said...


elsquid said...

definition #1 of "winning": performing better than your opponent, achieiving a goal better than your opponent did.

definition #2 of "winning": you are a little league baseball player, you go the entire season without making contact a single time at bat, you are a defensive liability even though the ball is never hit to the corner of the field where they try to hide you; at the end of the season, you finally make contact with a pitch (slow dribbler back to the pitcher, an easy out); at the end of season banquet, everyone on your team gets a trophy because your team has gone 0-20, your coach says "everyone's a winner," and when you go up to receive your trophy, he talks about how you were a "winner" because you made contact with a pitch in the last game.

mccain in debate:
definition #1: not a winner
definition #2: yes, a winner

Jeanette said...

Do you mean bored as in have nothing to do or board as in light as a feather, stiff as a board? Either way, I think you are wrong.
And, please provide examples of ego stroking. I am sorry, I have looked far and wide and have not found any evidence of stroking going on. On the contrary, I think we are all challenging each other to defend our own positions.
Also, back to one of Coca's earlier comments--instead of standing behind the curtian makng a bunch of false accusations, why don't you reveal yourself? If you are going to sling around words like "so-called intellectuals" why don't you come out and reveal your true identity so we can all be on even ground when we are commenting on each other's characters.
As for being more interested in defeating McCain than electing Obama, why don't you actually take the time to read the dialouge here. Then you may have a true understanding of people's positions from the primaries onward. Some of us were originally Hillary supporters, some Obama, some McCain and so on. However, I think Coca's liberal following can agree on one thing: Obama is the better candidate of the two that remain as highlighted by our united interest to elect Obama and point out some of the atrocities of the Republican party--from the choice of Palin to the anger and disrespect portrayed by McCain.

Anonymous said...

jeanette, YAWN. hahahahaha. there have been no atrocities in the democratic party. i expected your exact response. you are an intellectual snob. you are a whiner!

Jeanette said...

Who the hell do you think you are? I never said there were no atrocities in the democratic party but you have no right to come on here and attack people you don't even know. I am completely appauled by your comments and it is no surprise to me that you are a conservative---attacking people on limited to no information and then hiding behind a facade when asked to reveal what you are really all about.

julie said...

Yo. Here's a couple of good ones. A) "Joe the Plumber" isn't a licensed plumber and B) he isn't a registered voter.

Politics sure is fun.

kath said...

Hello, kettle? This is black!

Just because you identify with the right does not mean you cannot be an intellectual whining snob yourself, anon. (I don't think...but it's hard to know with the passionate embrace of Sarah Palin after the whole Bush debacle). You have a very convenient position doling out your own zingers. Very small of you.

Anonymous said...

really, you folks have double standards. would you give W a free pass if he made the same comment as senator biden? i thought so. you are intellectuals when it suits your agenda. your words are tired and bored. good day.

Don said...

Damn, I am pissed I missed this one. Of course, I could have written these responses for you guys, but I am glad you were able to validate yourselves with a little mutual massage of warm fuzzy redistribution. That being said, I do wish anon would be a little more high-browed when saying that others are not intellectual.

The fact remains that I have never seen the media proclaim a Republican the winner of any debate in my lifetime. You have to wonder how we ever win any elections with how poorly we must perform in debates. Here are my tidbits for the ether.

Barry always calls Senator McCain "John" and often interrupts him. The disrespect is a two-way street. I just don't think you are looking for "your guy" to be the one doing it.

ACORN has been committing vote fraud with your (assuming you pay income taxes) money for decades. There is no such thing as an isolated incident with these jokers. The reason registration matters is that they try to have these "citizens" vote multiple times at different precincts. They do need an investigation, and we need to cut all federal funding for them.

Ayers does matter. While it is unseemly for Obama to befriend a man who despises America so much, but it is even worse that he associates with a guy who still holds those beliefs. They spent millions of dollars together to "help" Chicago schools and accomplished nothing. Why can't Obama have a friend who is neither a socialist nor a self-avowed enemy of American ideals?

Trickle down has worked for 200 years. It's why we have lower unemployment and more innovation than any other country in the world. Obama will ruin that if we let him.

Joe the Plumber may neither be licensed (according to the left's favorite gatekeeper to prsperity -- the union) nor registered -- but he is RIGHT.

I am off to Starbucks now for some dark roast no cream.

Hope someone reads this.