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Democratic Debate 1: Let’s Do This Thing

Hey, does anyone remember that Berlin Wall thing? Whatever happened to that anyway?

Tonight’s the night we hear the other side, after months and months of silly twits pissing on double layer fences to keep the Mexicans out and generally trying to out mean each other. By the way, did anyone but me wonder why Republicans are comfortable with a double layer fence that not only keeps the illegal immigrants out but also keeps all the ‘Muricans in? Anyone remember the Berlin Wall? Anyone? Bueller?

Anyway, I got a message today from the Clinton campaign. Oh, heck, let’s be honest, I get about 20 emails a day from Hillary. Look, it’s not that I don’t care. I just don’t care yet.  I get it, Iowa (who the hell cares about Iowa??) is only a couple months away but you know, I’m just not as engaged as I was in 2008. The financial collapse, years of lost income and ongoing income instability can just make a person go “meh”. You know that sound, “meh”. Sounds a bit like a soft quack dosed with ennui. Meh.

So, Hillary wanted to know what question I would like the moderators to ask. And you know, I actually have one. It’s been on my mind for some time now. It has nothing to do with Benghazi or abortion or gun control or illegal immigrants. No, my only question for these two candidates who are so damn determined to save America is:

Where the hell were you in 2012?

That’s it. Because I don’t remember hearing much from either of them. Well, I take that back. There was the Filibernie. But neither of these two challenged Obama or the people who swept him into office and then concretized long term unemployment, poor educational reforms, an ongoing student debt crisis, the attacks on women’s agency, and the disintegration of labor standards.

It was like they weren’t even there. OooooOOOOoooooooo! Cue the scary Halloween music.

So, let’s just say that in my humble opinion, these two have some work cut out for them because I might still think that Friends don’t let friends vote Republican but I have yet to hear why we had to wait four loooonnnggg years for these two to challenge what the nasties have been doing to undermine the middle class.

Go on, let’s hear it. Convince me.

Live blog, if you feel up to it. Here’s the link to CNN’s Debate Central Hub Nexus Headquarters


42 Responses

  1. Oh, lord, the commentators are already sounding like this is some sports event.
    We need some stats. You know, RBIs, pass completion rates.

  2. Love the purple tie on Cooper

  3. Bernie’s got some decent support

  4. Webb is going to go after the Appalachian belt. the ones the party blew off in 2008

  5. This debate is sponsored by the NYSE and wealth management firms.
    Yeah, that ought to throw us off our kibble
    Way to go CNN

  6. IIRC, Chafee is the only Democratic presidential candidate who was also once a Republican.
    Um, and Jim Webb used to work for either Reagan or Bush I.
    So, you know, there’s that…

  7. Oh, man, they don’t have a chance against Hillary and Bernie

  8. Webb definitely going to try to get the Old coalition

  9. Yes, I’m Martin O’malley, wasn’t Obama great? Too bad the economy sucks since 2008.
    Hey, what’s up with that?

  10. Ok, first question: Hillary tell us about your email. And Benghazi.
    Senator Sanders, what do you think about Hillary’s email? And Benghazi?
    Senator Webb, do you think the country can ever forgive Hillary for not letting us read her email about Benghazi?

  11. Bernie, good topics but you need to tighten it up.

  12. Charlotte does not need to worry about opportunities.

  13. Nope, profit sharing does not resonate with me.
    Lead balloon.

  14. Bernie, please, no more percents.

  15. Tighten it up, Bernie

  16. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, Hillary. That’s a Republican dream to turn us all into independent contractors and pay both sides of Social Security

    • And then not get any when the Catfood Commissioners privatise it and flush all the money down the Wall Street.

  17. I dunno, Bernie, R&D works really well in a corporate lab setting. Sad but true. You need that economy of scale
    It really sucks to be an entrepreneur researcher with astronomical overhead and vulture corporate capitalists waiting for you to run out of early discovery money

  18. Yes, Bernie! The mentally ill need better care.

  19. I have studiously been avoiding the Bernie Sanders fever. An hour into the debate I am passionately in favor of Hillary! I’m sorry Bernie, if you can drag some the party to left, yay! BUT, I don’t trust you to govern us.

    Having spent most of the past 3 years unemployed, watching my IRA diminish month after month, I just want to go to work. I want a real grown up governing us. I think Hillary is less centrist than in 2008, and I hope and pray she wins.

    • Hmmm, you’re new. Interesting.
      BTW, what do you think about Hillary’s email? On Benghazi.

  20. I distinctly remember Bush/Cheney deleting millions of email as they left office, and those emails were gone forever. So, I believe the email question is a distraction, not something important.

    As far as Benghazi goes, I have not paid attention, because I don’t believe in perfection. I don’t blame Clinton and I think if there were holes in policy or procedures, they’ve been fixed. Because that’s what Hilary does, fixes shit.

    And yes, I’ve been a reader since PUMA was a thing, just hardly ever comment. I’m glad you’re back.

    • Must have another cocktail party soon. We can chat an oogle Rico’s buns

    • BTW, does the profit sharing thing fall dead with you as well? I mean, I don’t really care about profit sharing if I can’t get a regular FT job to begin with but I’m sure profit sharing thrills the silicon valley poohbahs to the core.

    • Lambert Strether and others over at Naked Capitalism keep discussing why Clinton’s use of a private server for all her government service email is a matter of concern to them. Anyone interested can go there and follow the argument at leisure.

  21. The company I spent 22 years working for converted an ESOP to a 401k, and for doing nothing, in my 30’s I ended up with a nice nest egg that grew for 18 years. Without that nest egg, here in my 50’s, unable to get work in my profession, for which I went to school 5 years, I would be living in poverty. BUT, I’m the only person my age that I know that had a decent retirement fund. And it’s almost gone.

  22. We had an Amber Alert when Bernie was answering the #blacklivesmatter question. What did Hilary say?

  23. Hillary certainly has gained stature since 2008. She did look presidential, something almost impossible back then when she was winning all the primaries (with actual voters). Great job IMO! She was cautioned against being too smart on stage. That doesn’t fly in this country, especially when the brains are inside a woman’s head.

    • Really??
      You and I obviously don’t see things the same way at all.
      Also, I wouldn’t vote for a woman who dumbs herself down to pander to people who think women shouldn’t look smart. That’s idiotic and I guarantee that no one *I* know would approve of that strategy.

    • Not being too smart, she is exceedingly smart, but I do think she might have toned down coming across as the smartest person in the room in an over-the-top way that is easy to do when one is so intelligent. Candidates today do have to come across as “likable,” and there has to be some way that the average Joe can identify with her. She came across as brilliantly in control, and expressed herself clearly.

  24. I watched part of it – then fell asleep. It was a long day not lack of interest.

    Bernie does need to sharpen up. He takes too long to get to the meat of his answers. Strangely, I agree with his assessments on the military in hindsight (and I never thought the 9-11 wars were a good idea) but his language reminds me of Jimmy Carter in office. If bad leaders are pretty sure you will talk a long time while they do whatever they want… not sure that is good. Maybe the rest of the world powers would step up more?

    Hillary sounded competent to me. I think the media is NOT in the tank for her. It seemed like every other moderator question was asking the other candidates to go after something to do with her.

    So maybe this was why it was easy to fall asleep. I don’t really care about the non-contender opinions on Hillary’s email or even the vote to authorize force in Iraq.

    I didn’t hear anyone offer a good solution to having a better economy while still making the BIG donors happy. I can’t think of any recent young college grads who have a good or permanent entry level job that will give them skills to become mid-level career person some day. There just don’t seem to be any out there, even for Engineering grads. STEM my ass!

    • I agree with you that Type 2 Underemployment is a huge problem in the US, & it seems to be ignored completely, by the Pres campaign even including Sanders, & by the BigMedia. As an example, search Douglas_Prasher on wiki, a PhD biologist, whose research was so excellent, winners of the Chemistry Nobel prize cited Prasher’s research as fundamental to their research. Prasher was laid off, & was Type 2 Underemployed working as a car dealer taxi driver for $8/hr.

      In particular, it angers me when an airhead No Talent Ass Clown (NTAC) media head or poli-trick-ian will denigrate anyone underemployed or unemployed for being lazy or stupid to have the Madd Job Skillz, when said NTAC is possibly one of the most SkillLess Muricans extant, whose only “Skill” is likely figuratively or literally fellating their boss(es).

      There are countless USians Prashers out there, who are more hard-working & intelligent than 100% of these NTACs, poli-trick-ians like 0bama & Mint RawMoney, & failed No Talent CEOs like bankrupt Donald Trump, HP-destroyer Carly Fiorina, & bailed-out Corporate Welfare Whore Jamie Dimon.

  25. The debate seemed mushy and unfocused to me. I generally want to like Anderson Cooper (ever since his bizarre reality show, The Mole back in y2k) but I don’t think he’s got what it takes to run one of these things. Or maybe I just want more about THE ECONOMY STUPID and not so much about how people voted once back in 2002.

    • I have a suggestion which I know will sound bizarre on first reading. But maybe deserves consideration anyway.

      We know the two parties conspired to take the debates and their presentation/moderation away from the League of Women Voters so they could exclude serious thinking from the debates thenceforward and forevermore.

      But there are now separate and parallel narrowcasting media channels by which people can reach an audience which cares to reach back. There are You Tube “channels” which attract a following in the low millions, for example. So . . . what if the League of Women Voters were to create a low-budget League of Women Voters Debate Channel on You Tube to hold the same kinds of debates they used to hold on TV? How many people would watch a good old League of Women Voters debate on You Tube? What if some candidates decided to show up on it as a kind of “exposure gambit”? What if enough millions of people watched the first few such debates that eventually other candidates dared not refuse to show up likewise?

  26. Sanders’ policies would improve the economy significantly, for actual Real Muricans. In particular, the combination of Medicare For All, free tuition at public universities & 2 yr colleges for those admitted, & a $15 minimum wage, would significantly increase the economic “floor” from the Reagan/0bama current barbaric level, to a civilized level.

    Hillary stated in the debate (my paraphrase) “we are not Denmark, we can’t have social democratic policies like Medicare For All”. I would reply “these politicians like Hillary always lecture on how ‘Murica is the Exceptional Nation’. If America is the best nation, why do Americans have lower economic rights than most OECD nations like Denmark, despite Americans having the highest work hours & best productivity in the OECD. If the politicians & business leaders actually care about Americans, they will immediately implement policies, like the Sanders’ policies, to raise Americans’ economic rights to the world-class level of nations like Denmark”

    • The actual comment wasn’t long: “But we are not Denmark,” she said. “I love Denmark. We are the United States of America and it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities we’re seeing.”

      I like Sander’s domestic policy and spending priorities, so not quibbling on that part.

      I think everyone having affordable access to higher education is great but if graduates can’t get jobs, then what? I want to see them talk about opportunities for jobs in this economy, it appears to me that while more people are employed, the quality of that employment for many people is not what they had in 2007.

      • Type 2 Underemployment is a huge problem in the US, and seemingly ignored by BigPolitrickian & BigMedia.

        But even take the extreme case of biologist Dr. Douglas Prasher (read his wiki biographical article if you want more details). If the trio of Sanders policies of Medicare For All, free public univ tuition, & $15 min wage were implemented, an underemployed Prasher working as a car dealer’s taxi driver would get a raise from $8 to $15/hr. Furthermore, Prasher would not have to worry about death or bankruptcy due to a medical catastrophe, examples of which were covered by the Michael Moore “Sicko” documentary, & that ACA does NOT fix, Medicare For All DOES fix. Prasher would also not have to pay extra money monthly for the current ACA disgusting forced choice between paying for crappy quality yet extortionistic expensive ACA policy, or the Individual Mandate Tax Penalty. Finally, the free public univ tuition would enable Prasher to study additional courses in another field, if relevant for a career change or an entrepreneurial venture.

        I think this example shows the benefit of these 3 policies to 99%er USians, even an example like Prasher that is extremely Type 2 Underemployed.

        Sanders supports a WPA-style physical infrastructure program that would create X million quality jobs.

        Type 2 Underemployment, as well as Unemployment, are serious problems that may get even worse given automation. It may require some combination of reduction of the “Fulltime” workweek to 32 or less hours, a Federal Job Guarantee, &/or Social Security For All aka Basic Income Guarantee to solve. In addition, a policy which balances trade (exports finally roughly equal imports) would “bring back” 5M US jobs IIRC from economist Dr. Dean Baker. IIRC not even Sanders is advocating any of these policies, IIRC Dr. Jill Stein supports a Federal Job Guarantee.

    • Deploying Canada-style Single Payer coverage would not make us “Canada”. Or “Denmark”. And Clinton knows that very well. She is talking her major funder-backers book when she makes cynical thought-polluting jingo-phrases like that. It is one of the reasons I tend to share Naked Capitalism’s fear and loathing of a Clinton Presidency for now. That plus her support for the International Free Trade Conspiracy against the economic sovereignty of every nation on earth. Naked Capitalism has gone into some detail on her support for TPP until her pretended and heavily-caveated “opposition” to it just lately.

      I am a New Deal Reactionary and am sympathetic to Sanders’s New Deal Reactionary agenda.

  27. As a visual, Bernie cupping his ear to hear one of Cooper’s questions was a little sad.
    Hillary looked and sounded presidential.
    It’s funny because she’s not that much younger than he-well, six crucial years- but she still looks firmly rooted in middle age and Bernie Sanders looks old.

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