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Hindsight allows us to see an Ass more clearly.

So, I’ve just gotten into the West Wing recently, and I’ve plowed through until Season Seven. I just watched the Debate episode last night, and it inspired me (because apparently I’m a MASOCHIST) to re-watch all of the Democratic primary debates from the 2007/08 primaries. I watched them all the first time through, and through those debates I became a rabid Hillary supporter, and later on a rabid Obama critic. Both of which I remain. I continue to be curious how many of my friends who were vocal about their political allegiances during the primaries actually Watched the debates and stayed up to date on the race beyond the mainstream media’s talking points and their candidate’s website. I did, but I had a lot of time on my hands, and I’m more obsessive than is generally good for me. At any rate, I’m re-watching the debates now, and let me tell you, the shit that comes out of the candidates’ mouths is transformed into comedy gold (well, cynical and dark comedy gold) by hindsight. Also, the softballs lobbed at a certain candidate becomes more obvious in retrospect. I would encourage you all to re-watch (or just watch) the debates, but I warn you, they aren’t for those with weak stomachs or no sense of irony. These aren’t all of the debates, just the ones I could find easily on YouTube. If anyone has links to the missing debates, please comment with them.

New Hampshire, June 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

South Carolina, July 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen
Part Nineteen

Chicago, IL, August 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen

Dartmouth, NH, September 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen

Philadelphia, PA, October 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen

Las Vegas, NV, November 2007
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

Las Vegas, NV, January 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven

Myrtle Beach, SC, January 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

Hollywood CA, January 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven

Austin TX, February 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

Cleveland OH, February 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten

Philadelphia PA, April 2008
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten

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133 Responses

  1. Sandress,
    Thank you for this. I was just thinking about re- watching them the other day and now you have done the work!

  2. OMG, she really kicked his ass in Philadelphia in April. Ohh, baby, she was good. Two days later, he was in NC, acting like a jerk, brushing the dirt off his shoulders. He had to do that in the comfort of his own tribe because the rest of us knew what a weakling he was.
    The Democratic party should be ashamed of the crap they let him get away with. I’m even less inclined than ever of coming back into the fold.

    • You are so correct, RD. His Philadelphia performance was so pathetic that he never did another debate. ABC was pilloried for failing to fluff Obimbo’s pillow. It was the definitive debate. Hillary rocked and The One was rocked big time. He had to run away to NC and scratch his nose with his middle finger when speaking about Hillary. It was the most mindboggling performance imaginable in NC. He displayed his adolescent pique. He was shameful.

      • Don’t forget about the dog-poo scraping movement that he made with his foot. I was so disgusted that someone this lame and immature was actually a candidate for the presidency.

        • If anybody other than Obimbo had made a political speech like he did in NC, their political career would have ended on the spot. It still remains the definitive example of the media giving him a pass on anything and everything he did or said.

    • Me Too….

  3. This is excellent. Thanks for putting this together. I watched each and every debate when they happened. I’m not sure I can take it, but I may look at some again. I think like RD, looking at those again will likely cement my resolve to stay independent until they make good on the damage (which of course they can’t).

    • Dandy — just gotta “ditto” what you said. I don’t know if I can stomach it a second time. Well, maybe if I just turn down the loudness when Obama opens his mouth.

      • I was AT the Las Vegas debate and she kicked ass and took names. I don’t think I can watch them again. I watched them all the first time. She was hands down the best and my former party treated her like shit. Nope. I’ll never go back. Funny you should post this today, because the day after the Las Vegas debate, I had the honor of meeting and introducing Hillary at our rally, and just today, put this photo back up on my computer as wallpaper.

        • Great photo! I’m going to see my local Hillary Diehards group at an event today(non-pol) and will show it to them.

  4. Love the title of this post, and thanks for all the links.

  5. Thanks for the links, sandress! I’m bookmarking this post for future reference.

  6. OMG!!!
    I just watched the first couple of min of the PA October 2007 debate and my blood is already boiling. I think I’m about to go to bed.

    Here are some reviews:

    From Bob Somerby (really at his best, before he became the insufferable bore he is now)

    LET’S PLAY TEE-BALL! Welch’s Lost Boys went after the witch, tee-ing it up for their brothers

    At any rate, the “men” did go after Clinton last night—holding hands like blubbering babies, looking like frightened, wet-legged boys. Brian and Tim and Barack and John learned an inspiring lesson last night—if the four hold hands and help each other, they can work up their courage to dunk the vile witch. Yes, they did the same thing to Candidate Gore, simply pretending that he was a woman. But this will be done to Democratic front-runners as long as we Dems and libs permit it. And uh-oh! If the work of our brilliant web leaders provides clues, this will go on for a very long time. So will Republican control of the White House.

    Welch’s at war!

    Has there ever been a debate like this? A debate where the moderators so plainly intended to spend the evening trashing the character of one of the candidates? The only comparison we could dimly offer was Judy Woodruff’s gruesome performance in the final 2000 Gore-Bradley debate, where she worked so hard to express the outrage The Village felt against Big Liar Gore. (“They hate Gore,” Mickey Kaus wrote that week, surprised, having just arrived in New Hampshire. (…)

    But have you ever seen a presidential debate where one candidate was essentially given two minders—where every word that came out of her mouth was immediately handed to her leading opponents for their inspection and review? In our view, it was embarrassing to see Edwards and Obama display the moral weakness required by such a cheap auto-da-fe. Only Richardson had the decency to say, out loud: “I just won’t go there.”

    Welch’s at war! (Part 2)

    At MSNBC, they’re happy to accept the idea that the other candidates ganged up on Clinton. But of course, it all started with the two hosts. Has there ever been a debate where one candidate’s character was hammered this way? In the evening’s opening question, the pattern was clearly established. Obama was invited by Williams to bang away. Please kill the pig, Williams said

    Here’s what Jay Cost saw:

    [T]he debate seemed structured to further the storyline that the media has developed in the last few weeks, a storyline that only political junkies know much about or have any interest in: A Hillary has been spotted off the port bow. Attack!

    Let me quantify my impressions. In the first two segments, I counted thirty-three questions. Twenty-two of them were designed to facilitate either another candidate attacking Hillary Clinton, or Clinton responding to attacks (either from another candidate or from Russert). Indeed, all of the major subjects were structured around attacks on Clinton.

    […]

    I’d add that the non-attack questions did not seem to be crafted with much care. Russert asked whether candidates would “pledge” that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon. How the hell do you pledge a result, Tim? What kind of dumb question is that? And, of course, when it came time to talk about something that regular folks are interested, like education, Bill Richardson had to be shushed because of the time “rule.” He should have figured out how to blast Hillary Clinton in his answer – they would have given him more time.

    PS: Take that WTV!!! I have an archive too, and it’s not too shabby either.

  7. SPAMMYYYYYY!!!!

    LEMME OUT THIS INSTANT!!!

  8. Gee, ya think the fix was in from the time Candidate Obama announced?

    As to the debates, we saw the same type of chicanery during the 2000 presidential election cycle. Al Gore would spank George Bush’s ass but you would know it from reading the print and broadcast media reviews.

  9. Sandress, thank you for putting this together.

  10. I just can’t bear to watch this again. Sorry.

    • I’m in that corner too. The DNC just had to make sure we didn’t have the Clintons back now look at the mess we’re in …

    • I have no desire to watch the debates again. I watched them once and that was enough. I don’t need to be reminded about any of this as it is all fairly fresh in my mind. For me, watching the debates doesn’t help solve any of the problems of today. i personally don’t know what will make a difference with the political system. However, I write my thoughts in the odd hope that I am not alone in my feelings about our government and its priorities. My hope is that someone out there in power reads enough of what people are posting online and decides to break their ties to lobbyists and corporations and starts working for the people!

  11. Thanks but I just can’t do it. Blood pressure and all that…

    Or as my brother would say – Just Don’t Get Her Started.

    • I can’t stand to watch right now either, but I think it’s great to have a record of all these links here in case I ever do want to watch them.

      Thanks for Sandra S. for gathering all of the links together in one place.

      • yes, I like them all in one place, but it would just kill me to watch the early ones, I can remember watching them the first time through and wondering why he was even there… he was obviously clueless on every topic

        • I am still wondering why he is there, why is he the president?

          I can’t bear to watch these right now, but thanks to Sandra for compiling them.

          • He’s there because he’s easy to manipulate. Just like the guy before him.

          • He’s a Nobel prize winner and the only time he had any political competition other than Bobby Rush, he eliminated them on technicalities via paid consultants or their sealed divorce records were revealed. The worst elements in the Dem Party took down the best presidential candidate, and the media sold the least qualified as the Second Coming.

          • ITA. My blood pressure would get to dangerous levels watching them. It was so obvious who had brains and experience compared to who didn’t have a clue.

        • Yeah, all BO could say during the debates was “What she said [….]”

  12. I thought the AARP (Iowa) debate in September of 2007 was the most informative. Probably because Obama wasn’t there so the questions were not designed to skunk Hillary.

    Obama’s reason for not attending – “Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) had previously declined to participate. The senator had said earlier that he wanted to limit his attendance at certain events, including those sponsored by interest groups.”

    What he was really doing was using seniors as a wedge issue by making certain his little Obots clearly understood that he hated the older generation as much as they do. Obama camp trained his baby devotees that baby boomers have ruined the country because by 2007 they had already totally depleted the national treasury. I know this because they told me so.

    • If it had been an oil company interest group that sponsored the debate, Obama would have been there with bells on. But if it’s a group that tries to support old people or even black people, Obama steers clear.

    • They are still use “Baby Boomer Hating” in the comments now.

    • Dee — I never thought that obvious age-bashing would be legitimized as a candidancy-builder.

      In the words of the O-holes .. another unprecedented event brought to you by the Obama brand.

      • I was truly shocked at the age-bashing. I mean really. A so-called Democrat thinks he can get away with this? But he did.

        Only to be followed by calling the Clintons (and us) racist. And he got away with that also – Still does.

        • It was an effort to soften up the voters to support the destruction of social security and medicare.

          It won’t be long before euthanasia for the old will be a campaign vote-getter. So much less messy than hiring people to pick up the corpses of old people off the streets after they starve or freeze to death. We wouldn’t want to expose the rich to such sights.

    • It’s obvious now that instead of fixing the economy, they want to steal money from the elderly.

    • Wow, that’s completely disrespectful to elders. I know he’s a smarmy opportunist, but still I’m surprised at that one.

  13. Sandress, you’re a goddess to go through all that to give us an easy place to reference the debates. Thanks!

    Sandr + goddess = Sandress

  14. This is totally off topic but –

    On July 26th I read a couple of comments here at TC about Aspartame. For a couple of years I felt I was drinking too much Diet Coke but had not done anything about it.

    After reading the TC posts I did a little research and found that I was experiencing some of the side effects of too much Aspartame. I became Aspartame free that night. My problems (random joint and muscle pain and tingling feet) immediately went away.

    This is my Thank You to The Confluence community.

    • So weird. Aspartame is just two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. They are found in the regular food you eat. Its hard to believe aspartame could survive digestion as a single unit instead of two separate amino acids I can’t imagine why they would make a person sick. But then, he human body is full of receptors that react badly on the slightest provocation so who knows?

      • Whatever chemicals they use to make the sweetener, it crosses the blood-brain barrier. You obviously know more about it than I do. I just know that the stuff makes me sick. I had no problems with saccharin. As far as I know the main goal of banning saccharine and approving nutrasweet was to make Donald Rumsfeld extremely rich.

        • Hate to say it, BB, but I think it might be all in your head, no pun intended. Like i said, aspartame breaks down into it’s amino acids. It’s just aspartate and phenylalanine hooked together by an amide bond, which should be hydrolyzed in your body. There is a methyl group tacked onto this N terminal end of the molecule. That could possibly degrade into methanol and other metabolites of methanol. Maybe that’s what’s making you sick, but you’d have to eat an awful lot of it.
          I wouldn’t be amazed that it or it’s amino acids pass through the blood brain barrier. They’re not big molecules and the lipophilicity of aspartame itself maybe right for passage.
          Nevertheless, I’d err on the side that says that it’s perfectly safe in moderation, that phenylketonuriacs should avoid it and that whatever it is you’re experiencing may possibly be remotely related to a metabolite of methanol.
          You’d have to be eating or drinking an awful lot to get sick, IMHO.

          • Make that methyl tacked onto the C terminal. I wasn’t paying attention.

          • “Lipophilicity” would be a great name for a rock band. :mrgreen:

          • If a bunch of chemistry majors wanted to form an old-style vocal group, “The Key-Tones” (misspelling intentional) would be a great name for the group. 🙂

          • Snort!
            Their first hit: Flying Propyl People Ether

          • I hate to say this, but now we’re talking about something I’m quite knowledgeable about. That “all in your head” concept went out years ago. There is no mind-body split. Regardless, I don’t drink soft drinks and haven’t for at least 25 years. I don’t plan to start again.

            BTW, natural foods are made up of chemical constituents like amino acids too, and different people respond to foods differently–drugs too. We now know that everyone’s brain (including nervous system) is unique.

          • “Flying Propyl People Ether” 😆

          • Sorry, bb. I defer to you on the mind body split. I’m thinking more along the lines of the placebo effect, except this time in reverse. We also can’t rule out the possibility that there is some other substance in the food you are eating that is causing your symptoms and that you are attributing it to aspartame.
            I guess that’s what blind studies are for.

          • I’m not sure why anything I’m eating in the present would be related to my reaction to aspartame 25 years ago.

          • Well, then what the heck are we talking about?

          • Whatever happened to the diet potato chips that gave ya the hershey squirts?

        • My husband doesn’t drink coffee, so he used to get his morning fix from diet Pepsi. He was drinking around six cans a day. His short-term memory went to hell. It was scary, I thought he had early onset dementia. He would get that million mile stare that looked just like my dad, who had altzheimers. I was telling a friend about it, and she forwarded one of those “scare-mails” via e-mail warning about the effect nutrasweet has on memory. I showed it to my husband, who dismissed it at first, but then thought, WTF, how can it hurt to try not drinking diet soda for a few days? Well, after three days, he was back to normal. It was amazing. His memory was as sharp as ever. I know this is only anecdotal evidence, but he has not put a drop of nutrasweet in his mouth since and has not had anymore problems.

      • RD, if you would be so kind, what do you think of the new weight control food additive called SENSA? What do you think of the ingredients? Are they toxic in any way?

        http://www.dietspotlight.com/sensa-review/

        “Ingredients
        The ingredients in Sensa include Maltodrexin which is derived from corn, Tricalcium Phosphate, Carmine, Soy and Milk.”

        “The official website for the Sensa system tells us that Sensa works by curbing your hunger without affecting the taste of your food. We are told that Sensa makes your brain think that you have eaten and in consequence it makes you eat less. The Sensa system was created by Dr. Alan Hirsh who is a board certified neurologist and has dedicated much of his life to researching the sensory system of the body. He is a leading authority on smell and taste. He has also written six books on the science of sensory response.

        Ingredients
        The ingredients in Sensa include Maltodrexin which is derived from corn, Tricalcium Phosphate, Carmine, Soy and Milk.

    • Wow. That’s great. I can’t tolerate aspertame. It gives me an instant headache.

      • I never eat or drink the stuff. I just don’t crave sweets, real or otherwise. Oh sure, give me a hunk if chocolate and I’m eternally grateful but I think that has more to do with the fat content.
        If i want sweet, I eat sugar.
        Besides, iced tea tastes great with just a squeeze of lemon or a tiny bit of honey and mint.

        • my pharmD friend is convinced, from watching it since it’s development, that it causes neurological damage. And I hear plant workers can’t keep up with it’s corrosive power.
          All hearsay, but i would never touch the stuff.

          • I would assume the plant that makes it uses other chemicals in the process, ones that are not in the final product.
            Look, I don’t want to offend anyone, but there is no evidence that aspartame, a concoction of two naturally occurring amino acids that breaks apart into those amino acids in your body, is dangerous to anyone but phenylketonuriacs. to your body, it’s about as indistinguishable as eating a steak. It just has this peculiar property of tasting sweet.
            I’m calling out the aspartame thing as junk science. Maybe it’s a guilt thing. How could a substance that tastes sweet but has no calories be good for you? Shouldn’t there be a price to pay for eating something sweet? But that doesn’t mean the body of evidence says it’s bad for you. From what I can tell, it has been tested out the wazoo and so far, no harmful effects, which is what I would expect from it, given what it is.
            I rank this right up there with genetically codified foods killed the honeybees, thimerosol causes autism and swine flu is a government plot. Can we just stick to the facts and not indulge in junk science?

          • I steer clear of aspartame, too, even though I liked it when it first came out. I used plain sucrose for years and years, then found that I liked a combination of sucralose, saccharin, and stevia in my iced tea. I’ve read that if you use a mixture of artificial sweeteners, they tend to cancel one another’s off-tastes.

            I take a big mug and add one or two packets of saccharin, one packet of sucralose, and one of stevia. If I want the fourth packet, I use saccharin because it’s easily the cheapest.

            Since I started using the artificial sweeteners, and drinking more tea and less HFCS-laden sodas, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight, maybe as much as 10 kg (22 lbs). I haven’t changed my diet otherwise, or started exercising significantly more, but I’ve lost so much I had to buy new pants. 🙂

            RD may be correct, but I prefer to err on the side of caution. Big Business and its tame pet governments have proven themselves capable of any depravity. I would not put it past them to bribe or threaten scientists to get the “results” they need to maximize their profits and power. It is safest not to trust them.

          • Oh yeah: HFCS = High Fructose Corn Syrup

            (or Highly Fattening Corn Slop) 😉

          • I kind of doubt that there’s some kind of coverup where aspartame is concerned. That sucker would have been pulled years ago if that were true.
            Nope. It doesn’t make any sense. I think it really is harmless.
            Not that I care one way or another. People will think what they want. But I’d prefer they stick to the facts on this blog. And so far, the facts say it’s not dangerous.

        • You can wean yourself off adding sugar. I was fascinated as a kid when some kids who had lived in Japan drank their tea without sugar. Seemed inconceivable. I gagged at first but started reducing the amount and finally got down to nothing. Today I might add a tad to enhance the flavor of certain teas.

          The endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein writes that our bodies evolved to eat sugar, not the chemical substitutes. I do add a drop of agave to this or that because I prefer its taste to that of sugar.

          • Another case study for weaning yourself off sweeteners. I used to use sugar in my tea (family of tea drinkers — loose-leaf tea, not tea bags) then switched to honey. Got a job where it was too inconvenient to use honey so went without. After a while I got used to it. Now the taste of any sweetener spoils the flavor of my Darjeeling or Irish Breakfast tea.

            Of course, that’s an “n” of 1.

    • http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/dangers.htm
      I don’t know if any of this stuff is true but when my son was home a few weeks ago he really got on me about the product. He started telling me a lot of the same things that are in this little piece above. There are several products that I was drinking that I have stopped drinking because he got me thinking. I’m drinking more straight water and probably is better for me except that most or our water is polluted as well!

      • *sigh*
        I give up. I still maintain that there is nothing inherently dangerous about these two amino acids. You eat them all of the time. Your body contains proteins that carry this motif. It’s part of you. Eating it should not be dangerous, has not been shown to be dangerous.
        But once people get this idea in their heads, it’s almost impossible to dislodge.
        You want to know why you shouldn’t eat it? It tastes terrible. There. That’s the only reason that makes any damn sense.

        • there’s a difference between something not being dangerous and your body having an adverse effect from it . When I had chemotherapy I was still throwing up days after the treatment and my doc said that wasn’t supposed to happen. Turns out anti-nausea meds like regulin make me nauseous to the point of throwing up. I got through chemotherapy on Benadryl, pot and a scapolamine patch as a result. Hardly, standard anti nausea treatment. Regulin and any close chemical also make me hyperactive. I was running 5 miles after chemo too because I couldn’t sit still. Also, something you don’t want to do when they’ve just killed all your blood cells and platelets. Course, I was supposed to be so far gone, nothing was going to work on me too and the chemo just whacked the sarcoma because my body really reacted to it.

          • Yes, but we’re not talking about chemotherapy agents. We’re talking about two amino acids. Amino acids you consume every day. The only difference is you are isolating them in aspartame.
            I’m not saying it is impossible to have a reaction. I’m saying that it is very improbable. If you are having a reaction and you were not an isolated case and if there was evidence to back up these claims, the company would be bankrupt. I guarantee it. It’s as certain as gravity and evolution. The lawyers would have taken them to the cleaners.
            It hasn’t happened because there isn’t a link or a case. Believe me, there are lawyers standing by to take your call when and if it happens. They’ve got the late night tv ads all lined up. They’re just waiting for a signal, that study that shows a link. After all these years, they haven’t got one.
            Because in all probability, there isn’t one.

          • Whoa – what incredible luck that you were so sensitive to the drugs!

            🙂

          • I was still throwing up days after the treatment and my doc said that wasn’t supposed to happen.

            I’m not too surprised. I’ve seen patients on mitoxantrone, used as chemotherapy for malignancies, but Rx’d at a lower dosage for MS patients, who are nauseous for a week after their infusion. I’d never tell patients something is not supposed to happen. I might say “rarely happens” instead.

            But people having a difference in their severity of chemo s/e reactions is a different physiologic process than that of aspartame being able to cause problems in the first place.

        • That’s funny but it never tasted terrible to me. lol I’ll tell my son what you said but he won’t believe it.

          • Some myths never die. There are still people running around with their hair on fire who are absolutely convinced that vaccines with thimerosol causes autism. that theory has been thoroughly discredited and some British medical journal recently issued a retraction and a mea culpa for originally printing a very flawed study about it. But it doesn’t matter. Thimerosol is guilty, even if it isn’t, which makes it all the harder to convince people to look for other possibilities.
            Junk science dies hard.

          • If RD is correct about aspartame, thimerosal, etc., then those products are innocent victims of our cutthroat-capitalist culture of corruption.

            Authority figures in field after field, especially business and business-owned government, have proven to be corrupt and dishonest. We laypeople don’t have the skills needed to check things out for ourselves, and so separate the honest from the dishonest authorities, or the correct authorities from the honestly-mistaken authorities. Hence, many of us choose the course that seems safest, namely not trusting any of them. 😦

            Even if the majority of authorities are neither corrupt nor incompetent, enough have proven to be one or both as to make trust difficult, if not impossible.

            I wonder how our society can survive this phenomenon.

          • I think you are getting close to the truth. It’s a matter of trust.

          • Penn & Teller’s Bullshit show covers the autism / vaccine myth next week. Showing it to be, you guessed it, bullshit.

          • I can’t stand any sweet in my drinks anyway, unless there’s alcohol involved, and then I’d rather use natural sweetener.

            I don’t discount people’s individual experience with aspartame, but the internet chain mail type stuff against aspartame that I usually come across all seems to be of pseudoscience variety.

          • Not only is it a matter of trust but also the media’s poor handling of research in the media, imho. Every day they hype that something is bad/good for you, then tomorrow it is reverse, then the next day it is the reverse of that, and on and on. This kind of oversimplified filter of the information fuels a panic mindset in the public that is less inclined to evaluate the information critically when combined with the fact that the experts and gov’t have been proven liars on a lot of important issues. The distrust is justified.

          • Thank you, Wonk. I had overlooked that part of it.

            Take sodium chloride, good old table salt. One set of experts says everyone needs to cut the salt, while another set says only certain people–such as we folks with high blood pressure–need to do that. How can we laypeople know which set of experts to trust?

          • RD- I want you to know that I feel your pain on this one.

            For what it’s worth, I think part of the problem is that basic science literacy and critical thinking are basically extinct in the general populace. I had to teach that stuff to myself as an adult.

          • I have to say, I’m finding this discussion very frustrating. All I said was that years ago–at least 25 years ago–I stopped drinking diet soft drinks because I found that I could not tolerate them after nutra-sweet was introduced. I do not buy into any “myths” or conspiracy theories about aspartame. I just listened to my body.

            Are people aware that there were different taste reactions to saccharin? Some people found it had a bitter, metallic taste while others did not.

            Are you aware that some people have difficulties disgesting such foods as onions and garlic, while other people don’t? People differ in their responses to substances because people are not robots constructed in laboratories to be completely identical to each other.

            Human beings are each unque in terms of brain development because of their individual experiences throughout their lives. That *is* based on science, *not myth.*

            I strongly object to my personal experience with a substance being dismissed as supidity or mental illness. Anyway, have a nice day everyone.

          • BB, I think I acknowledged in my first response to this comment in the threads that weird things can happen at the receptor level. That does not change the fact that to your body, these are still just two simple amino acids. There’s nothing unique about them except for a methyl group tacked on to one end.
            I’m not disputing the fact that you gave up diet drinks for very good reasons: they made you feel bad. But to attribute it to aspartame doesn’t make sense from a biological standpoint. There’s lots of crap in diet drinks. That’s why I don’t drink them, or soda for that matter. When I drink them, I feel yucky. Not headachey or sick. Just full of stuff I don’t need.
            If people want to attribute that to aspartame, I can’t do anything to stop them. It just doesn’t jive with the evidence and your cells would have to be extremely sensitive to know the difference between a regular amino acid and one that is a residue from the breakdown of aspartame in your body.
            Just sayin’.
            I guess we could go on about this for a long time and if people want to do that, go for it. I’m not changing my position on this. I could be wrong but someone is going to have to show me a peer reviewed paper from JBC before I believe it.

          • BB, I believe you/your personal experience. I didn’t think that it was in your head or irrational.

          • Bb, count me as someone else who doesn’t like the taste of aspartame. And I certainly believe you when you say you have a negative reaction to it. I’ve had weird chemical sensitivities all my life, to stuff that I’ve been assured is “PERFECTLY SAFE, Ma’am,” so I can sympathize.

        • I play both sides of this one. I agree that it makes no sense for those two amino acids to be dangerous, but I stay away from anything man-made if at all possible.

        • Is it possible that when you eat them all the time, you’re eating them in their “natural surroundings,” with the other substances and nutrients that help your body deal with them and in their proper ratio but that when you consume them in soft drinks, the balance is out of whack and their “partners in digestion’ don’t exist? Could that cause the symptoms that so many people experience?

          • That occurred to me too. Also that it may have something to do with the methyl group. Or them just being bonded to one another not in the context of a longer, biologically active protein chain with other AAs on it too. Or how biologically available they are for protein synthesis when bonded to each other to start with. Or…or…whatever! I’m just not seeing benzene rings in the fire yet.

          • Oh, OK, they break apart in the body. Good.

          • Or maybe there’s still no proof that there’s anything wrong with aspartame?
            Everything in moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good for you. Even tap water is deadly when inhaled.

      • I wouldn’t take any advice from Mercola.

        http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/mercola.html

    • If your symptoms went away “immediately,” it was likely connected to something else. If aspartame has those effects they’d take a while to dissipate. And if the side effects are “random,” they can be hard to correlate definitely to one cause.

      But as a prescriber, I’ve certainly seen how individual people are in their reactions to meds — and doubtless other substances.

      Frankly, I’ve never understood the lure of sweet carbonated beverages. Just think of the money and/or calories saved by leaving them out of one’s diet! I grew up not being allowed to drink pop, and by the time I could buy it on my own I didn’t like it. Wonder if it was nature or nurture…

      • My mom bought a bottle of pop at the commissary when she went grocery shopping. When it was gone, that was it. No replacements until next trip. We drank water, iced tea and milk. Not even fruit juice, except in the morning, and not too often. Only fresh squozen orange or grapefruit. Never apple or grape.
        I used to drink diet coke when it was fashionable at lunch. Then I realized how much I was spending on it and switched to ice water. Haven’t missed it at all

        • We weren’t allowed soft drinks when I was a kid either. No candy or anything like that. I drank sodas a few times at slumber parties as a kid and that was it. My mom baked cookies though.

  15. As a member of Gen X, I hated the boomer bashing during the campaign as well. Even before that the main complaint of X-ers has always been a whiney “their pop culture is more popular than ours.” The cynical mash up culture that stands for Gen X creativity, i.e. soulless pomo tricks and borrowing other people’s work over real storytelling in film and novels also brings to mind this administration’s love of compromise for the sake of compromise itself. If there was ever a piece of mash up hackery, it was the health care bill.
    Not to stereotype everyone my age, of course, but it often seems that there isn’t a plan behind all of that shiny gimmickry.

    • “Not to stereotype everyone my age, of course, but it often seems that there isn’t a plan behind all of that shiny gimmickry.”

      It’s a directionless generation entranced with make-believe.

      As Lady Gaga puts it: Got no direction, just got my vamp.

    • Insofar as the labels matter, as an XY cusper, I feel trapped between two generations that I don’t really want to be a part of.

    • It’s a battle over resources: The plan is to take from the Boomers, the infirm, and the otherwise helpless in society and send them all off to pasture.

      • As if the Obottian youngsters are never going to get old themselves, or get disabled.

        Who are they trying to fool? {{{Themselves, and they did a good job of it.}}}

      • Pasture, shmasture. The bonus classes, their minions, and their clueless Oborg dupes want to pack us off on ice floes. 😡

  16. Many of my students prefer 60’s – 70’s music & film over today’s syrup. I understand why. Now if they would just get over O’Precious.

    • How about some love for the ’80s? Yeah, the politics sucked, as Ronald ****ing Reagan and his handlers began this country’s decline into right-wing madness,
      😦 but the popular culture was wonderful. 🙂

      • Just for you Ivory Bill….

      • I despise/d the 80s — i.e. Reagan, “moral majority”, the prevalent greed culture, the horrible fashions, etc. — and a bad marriage to boot. It used to be that those years were “the lost decade” for me. But now that ignominious title goes to the Bush/BO years (2000-08 & 2009-pres).

  17. Sandra, excellent idea and fantastic work.

    Just adding the California “Dream Ticket” debate with annotation… so it’s here together with the others in one place

    Part 1

    Barf bag alert…. from Obama’s opening… unity lipservice at the 6:30 mark:

    And I also want to note that I was friends with Hillary Clinton before we started this campaign; I will be friends with Hillary Clinton after this campaign is over.

    Hillary’s opening starts at the 8:11 mark:

    Well, on January 20, 2009, the next president of the United States will be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol. I, as a Democrat, fervently hope you are looking at that next president. Either Barack or I will raise our hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States. And then, when the celebrations are over, the next president will walk into the Oval Office, and waiting there will be a stack of problems, problems inherited from a failed administration: a war to end in Iraq and a war to resolve in Afghanistan; an economy that is not working for the vast majority of Americans, but well for the wealthy and the well-connected; tens of millions of people either without health insurance at all or with insurance that doesn’t amount to much, because it won’t pay what your doctor or your hospital need… (applause) … an energy crisis that we fail to act on at our peril; global warming, which the United States must lead in trying to contend with and reverse; and then all of the problems that we know about and the ones we can’t yet predict.It is imperative that we have a president, starting on day one, who can begin to solve our problems, tackle these challenges, and seize the opportunities that I think await. I’m very grateful… (to be cont. in the next part…)

    Part 2

    Hillary’s opening continues:

    … for the extraordinary service of John and Elizabeth Edwards. And among the many contributions that they have made, both by their personal example of courage and leadership, is their reminder that in this land of such plenty and blessings, there are still 37 million Americans who are living below the poverty line and many others barely hanging on above. So what we have to do tonight is to have a discussion about what each of us believes are the priorities and the goals for America. I think it’s imperative we have a problem-solver, that we roll up our sleeves. I’m offering that kind of approach, because I think that Americans are ready once again to know that there isn’t anything we can’t do if we put our minds to it. So let’s have that conversation.

    Part 3

    At the 19-second (0:19) mark in Part 3 Obama says:

    Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don’t end up having health coverage. Massachusetts right now embarked on an experiment where they mandated coverage. And, by the way, I want to congratulate Governor Schwarzenegger and the speaker and others who have been trying to do this in California, but I know that those who have looked at it understand, you can mandate it, but there’s still going to be people who can’t afford it. And if they cannot afford it, then the question is, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to fine them? Are you going to garnish their wages? You know, those are questions that Senator Clinton has not answered with respect to her plan, but I think we can anticipate that there would also be people potentially who are not covered and are actually hurt if they have a mandate imposed on them.

    Part 4

    This clip starts with Hillary, hitting it out of the damn park, and exemplifies why Wall Street had to railroad her after already investing so much money in her… they still didn’t trust her… This is the difference between Hillary and Obama…

    Hillary: And, finally, it is so important that, as Democrats, we carry the banner of universal health care. The health insurance industry is very clever and extremely well-funded. I know this. I had $300 million of incoming advertising and attacks during our efforts back in ’93 and ’94. And one of the reasons why I’ve designed the plan that I have put forward now is because I learned a lot about what people want, what people are willing to accept, and how we get the political process to work. And, certainly, it is important that the president come up with the plan, but we’ll have to persuade Congress to put all of those deliberations on C-SPAN. Now, I think we might be able to do that, but that’s a little heavier lift than what the president is going to propose, because what happens is we have to have a coalition. And I think the plan that I have proposed is if you take business, which pays the costs and wants to get those costs down, take labor that has to negotiate over health care instead of wages, take doctors, nurses, hospitals who want to get back into the business of taking care of people instead of working for insurance companies, I think we will have a coalition that can withstand the health insurance… . and the drug companies. And that’s what I intend to do.

    Obama BS empty rhetoric at the 3:25 mark:

    But one thing that I think we’re going to have to do as Democrats when we go after the Republicans is — the question is not tax cuts, tax hikes. The question is who are the tax cuts for, who are the tax hikes imposed upon. What we have had right now is a situation where we’ve cut taxes for people who don’t need them. Warren Buffett has said, “You know, I made $46 million last year. It was a bad year for me. But I can still afford to pay more than my secretary, who has a higher tax rate than I do.” That is not fair and I want to change that. We’ve got $1 trillion worth of corporate tax loopholes and tax havens and I’ve said I will close those and I will give tax cuts to people making $75,000 or less by offsetting their payroll tax. Senior citizens making less than $50,000 a year, we want to eliminate taxes for them. So the question is can we restore a sense of balance to our economy and make sure that those of us who are blessed and fortunate and have thrived in this economy, in this global economy, that we can afford to pay a little bit more so that that child in east Los Angeles who is in a crumbling school, with teachers that are having to dig into their own pockets for school supplies, that they are having a chance at the American dream, as well. I’m happy to have that argument.

    Yeah right… he’s so itching to have that argument.

    Part 5

    Part 6

    Oh, oh… Part 6 , 5:27 mark… the Experience debate….

    McManus: A lot of Americans agree that she is better prepared than you are to manage the nation’s economy, to be commander-in-chief from day one. Why are they wrong?

    Obama: Well, a lot of Americans disagree. heh heh heh. And think that we need to move forward with new leadership. So that’s why we are having this contest. You know, I have spent my entire adult life trying to bring about change in this country. I started off as a community organizer [… blah blah blah … ] So I respect Senator Clinton’s record. I think it’s a terrific record. But I also believe that the skills that I have are the ones that are needed right now to move the country forward.

    Part 7

    Part 8

    Part 8 starts out with Hillary saying:

    And, you know, it did take a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.

    The crowd cheers, and Obama sips his water from all the heat.

    Part 9

    Part 10

    At the 3 minute mark in Part 10, Obama says:

    Senator Clinton, I think, fairly, has claimed that she’s got the experience on day one. And part of the argument that I’m making in this campaign is that, it is important to be right on day one.

    Has Obama’s Administration been right on day one?

    Part 11

    Bring your barf bag. Part 11 contains the Dream Ticket lovefest.

    • As usual, Wonk, you are amazing. Thanks for the quotes. I tried watching a little bit of a couple of the debates, but I had forgotten how much the mods let Obama ramble on, even though the responses were supposed to be limited. Just couldn’t take it. It’s so much easier when you can read what someone said rather than have to watch them pontificate, exaggerate, explain, whatever.

    • He didn’t even get the oath of office right on Day 1.

      • Personally, I thought demanding to be sworn in by TOTUS was a bit crass, but you can’t blame him

    • WowZA! Wonk The Vote! You ROCK!

    • I meant to include this for a contrast of Hillary’s response to Obama’s….

      This is from Part 7, 0:33 mark

      CUMMINGS: Well, we’ve got a question on this that’s come in on politico.com, and it echoes, I think, a message that you all might be fighting up against if Mitt Romney turns out to be your opponent come the fall. We’ve talked about McCain, now we have Romney’s strengths to address. Now, Howard Meyerson (ph) of Pasadena, California, says he views the country as a very large business, and neither one of you have ever run a business. So, why should either of you be elected to be CEO of the country?

      Hillary: Well, I would, with all due respect, say that the United States government is much more than a business. It is a trust. (applause) It is the most complicated organization. But it is not out to make a profit. It is out to help the American people. It is about to stand up for our values and to do what we should at home and around the world to keep faith with who we are as a country. And with all due respect, we have a president who basically ran as the CEO, MBA president, and look what we got. I am not too happy about the results. (applause)

      Obama: Let me — let me just also point out that, you know, Mitt Romney hasn’t gotten a very good return on his investment during this presidential campaign.(applause) And so, I’m happy to take a look at my management style during the course of this last year and his. I think they compare fairly well.

      Look how solid Hillary’s response is. She gets it. It’s about the public trust. Obama’s answer is all about him and how he’s a “better campaigner” (As many of us already knew, and as has become abundantly clear after Bush and Obama… the media’s so-called “better campaigner” doesn’t translate to “better governance.”)

      • That kind of sums them both up nicely.

      • Obama is so delusional. What management style? What did he manage? Romney is famous for not even recognizing local Repub politicians because he’s another empty suit who takes no interest in governance, so sure, they’re comperable, but Obama’s ability to attract clueless sycophants = management? My god, on American Idol, they inspire people to make actual toll calls, why aren’t they leading the nation?

    • The bold-faced words in Part 6. OMFG.

  18. SEIU Health Care Forum in March 2007 was the public’s first exposure to Obama the candidate (since he skipped out of the February 2007 event in Carson City – too busy raising money).

    I watched the streaming video of these and Obama went to the bottom of my list that day. He came to a forum dedicated to Health Care and had no plan other than to say he would get a bunch of people together to craft a plan. He had No Ideas Of His Own.

    There are three for Obama and three for Hillary. Watch them if you can stomach it.

  19. The ass is starting to remake Central America…EEK!!

    Seriously, why is that big ship down their and troops milling around and what is “power projection'”?? There goes Costa Rica…

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/hope-and-change-change-and-despair-as-costa-rica-gets-crossed-off-my-list-of-possible-escape-routes/

  20. Wow! Flipboard is amazing.

  21. Sigh. . .it was at the California debate WTV posted above that Leonardo diCaprio was later reported that he would be voting for Hillary in the primary because she had a more detailed program, and that he was surprised at Obama’s lack thereof. On the babyboomer bashing, besides whatever political or culturally influenced motivation Obama and his Gen-X’ers had, it also added to the narrative against voting another babyboomer (HRC) as president.

  22. Bookmarking this for a time I CAN stomach watching it. Thank you for putting them all together. My guy and I were Gravel supporters. The debates gradually put us in Hillary’s camp. I remember my guy saying:

    You can see she is thriving on this. She looks better and better, the others/Obama look exhausted and winded.
    Today’s tabloids
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/tabloids-lets-have-weddings-bp-packs-up-with-thoughts-to-come-back/

  23. How not to make friends American VIP humiliated at airport

    This is not how she imagined her visit to Israel. Prof. Donna Shalala, who served as the US Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years under Clinton and is currently the president of the University of Miami, was held for two-and-a-half hours at Ben Gurion Airport during which she underwent a humiliating security debriefing because of her Arab last name – all this despite the fact that her hosts notified the airport ahead of time that she is a VIP.

    The fact that Shalala arrived in Israel as part of an official delegation of the heads of universities fighting against the academic boycott against the Jewish State also seemed not to help her.

    We’re not the only country who treats people like crap at airports.

  24. spammy is hungry today.

  25. Obama: Not the Great Stone Face – Victor Davis Hanson – National Review Online.

    Obama: Not the Great Stone Face

    “Obama could still restore his standing with the American people if he copied the Clinton of 1995 and abandoned his unpopular agenda. But he won’t.”

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