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Democratic Candidate’s Debate: OooooIIIOWA

winter2013editI’ve heard a lot of stupid stuff from bloggers and journalists who are speculating why it is that Trump will not go away as a candidate and why Bernie Sanders appears to be hotter than previously thought.

First, I’d like to say that to blame Trump’s rise or the disgust with Obama on racism is too easy. I’m sure there are some clueless bigots out there that are supporting Trump and hate Obama. But I don’t think that’s why Trump is popular, or why Bernie is popular either.

There are a couple of things I would pay more attention to if I were a left blogger (I still am, by the way. I might be angry woman but I’m not stupid). One of these things was summed up by Steve Carrell’s character in The Big Short in a monologue when he was watching the financial industry melt and contemplated what would happen next. He foresaw homeowners compensated, the government taking measures to put things right, new regulations, and bankers carted off to jail. Of course, none of that happened. The measures were insufficient and delivered without the urgency that the country needed. And there are still people, such as myself, who will pay the price of the country having a high overhead of experienced, talented, over-educated people on the job market for a very, very long period of time.

What Trump voters are reacting to is *someone* is finally not acting like a student body president, trying not to upset the bankers, giving lip service to ideas and then doing a half assed job implementing them. You know what I’m talking about. The country handed Obama his job on a silver platter in a time of crisis and gave him more than enough support in Congress for two years to do something. They wanted real change. He didn’t deliver on that.

Trump may be a narcissistic, malevolent asshole without a congressional cohort but at least he’s not playing nice.

As far as Bernie is concerned, that’s not really a surprise, is it? Even the worst of the worst right wing Fox News lover grew up in an America when labor was strong, retirement was a realistic goal with a full pension, and most people were able to keep a roof over their heads. Some of these people are under the mistaken impression that a party would have to be crazy to touch social security and that single payer health care sounds like a good idea.

That’s the conditioning that Fox hasn’t really been able to touch, in spite of the incessant fear mongering, islamophobia, hyper-religiosity, racism and misogyny.

All Bernie has to do is be himself.

The question is: Who is Hillary Clinton?

Presidential Debate, the Third: Furn Policy- Live blog

Ok, sportsfans, this is the last debate.  Can I get a “Darwin!”?  Tonight’s topic is Foreign Policy.  I hope we don’t get some tedious version of the kerning controversy when it comes to what happened in Benghazi.  That would be death by boredom.  Benghazi was a  terrorist attack brought on by raging maniacal Islamic fundies having a hissy fit over some stupid movie.  Here in the US, we just change the channel or push the back button or leave the theater but apparently that is too much to ask of *some* people in the middle east.  What Muslim nations need to implement is a V-chip that will protect viewers from blasphemy like we can protect kiddies from naughty words and naughtier bits.   It’s a bit regrettable that grown up nations insist on treating their citizens like children who are emotionally incapable of handling a little disrespect but there ya’ go. We’ve got Christian crazies over here too.  Fundamentalist extremists come in all flavors of religion.

On the other hand, if a prophet is dissed somewhere in the world and you don’t hear it, is it still blasphemy?

But anyway, I’m getting a little burned out on debates and foreign policy ranks right up there with Keynesianism vs MMT for me.  I might need some help liveblogging this one.

As I said last time, our “watch with the sound off” patented liveblogging technique has been shamelessly pirated by some cable news channels.  So, it’s your choice, sound off or on.  I’m a cord cutter (by necessity) so I watch the debates on C-Span.  You can catch it here.

Once again for our conservative friends, we don’t have a dog in this fight.  We don’t like either one of these guys.  Obama is no liberal, not even close.  The socialist party wouldn’t have him either.  You’re just going to have to take our word on this because we’re liberals and you’re not.  And Mitt is a Republican.  That just about sums it up for us.  The Republicans are an irrational mob lead by some manipulative conmen who are masquerading as a party.  Many of us are voting third party.  Please don’t comment party propaganda and focus group tested “memes” here.  For one thing, we can spot a meme from a mile away and for another, they just irritate the s^*& out of us.

Other than that, play ball!

Quick recap.

I have to get up early tomorrow morning so this will be quick.

I give Romney the slight edge in this one.  Like I said before, I don’t have a dog in this fight and I don’t like Republicans.  But I think that the Republican strategy for this debate was pretty smart.  It was to force Obama to defend his record over and over and over again.  That’s a problem for Obama because despite what he thinks, things are not looking up for a lot of us.

The Obama cheering section on twitter is trying desperately to make it look like a win for Obama but I don’t think they’re seeing what we’re seeing. We’re seeing a president who doesn’t have any idea what people are going through when it comes to gas prices or unemployment.  That college kid is going to graduate with a degree in something.  He’s not going to want to manufacture iphones.

Also, Obama continues to push himself right.  He continues to agree with Romney on drilling for fossil fuels, leaving the gun laws as they are and he even thinks that government can do nothing to create jobs to pull us out of this little Depression.  That last item tends to invalidate his own party’s history and the economics of depressions in general.  Many of us who are laid off do not want to start our own businesses.  We’re being forced to do it against our better judgments or probability of success.  In my field, it’s not simply a matter of motivation or hard work.  The logistics are simply not favorable to small entrepreneurial start ups.

I could go on but I really need to go to bed.  The callers on C-span gave Romney a slight edge and this has nothing to do with anything Romney said tonight.  In fact, the less he said, the better for him.  All he needed to do was say over and over again, “President Obama promised blah and he failed to deliver on it.”  Those facts are easy to check.  Romney very shrewdly made this debate a Referendum on the Obama Presidency and found it wanting.

Sorry, Obama fans.  He needed to do better than this.

Presidential debate live blog: The Rules

This is the live blog of the second presidential debate.  Will Romney be able to score again while remaining a boorish Republican?  Will Obama actually show up this time? Which party will try to embrace Hillary first?  All good questions.

If you are a cord cutter like me, you can catch the debate on C-Span online here.  I don’t watch cable or network news because I just don’t think the commentary is helpful.  But if that’s what frosts your crockies, knock yourself  out.

It has been a tradition here at The Confluence to watch the debates with the sound off.  We like to watch body language.  But that’s gotten to be a bit trendy and we’re not joiners here, so pick your preferred method tonight but try to note whether Obama looks better prepared.

Now, I see that there are some newbies here.  I suspect you came here through the Fox video of my brother’s homecoming since many of you have a distinctly conservative aroma.  We here at The Confluence do not have a dog in this fight this year.  We don’t think Obama has done a very good job and we objected to the way he ran his campaign in 2008.  We’re also not Republicans.  Most of us here are liberals.  We LIKE to be liberal and we’re not afraid to shove our liberal policy favorites up your grill.  But just because many of us are planning to vote third party this year doesn’t mean we approve of character assassination of either candidate or conspiracy theories.  No racial comments will be tolerated.  Don’t pick on their families.  We don’t care what Michelle is wearing or what expression she has on her face.  Not important.

All that’s important is whether they sound convincing when they say things and whether they say the things we want to hear.

Have at it!

{{cringe}} Jon Stewart tells Obama to “Wake the F^&* Up”

First, Mitt kicks his ass.  And then last night, Jon Stewart kicked his ass.  Stewart was unsparing in his criticism. You need to go watch it.  Here’s the link.

Plus: Bill Clinton is officially backing Warren in Massachusetts.  Clinton’s probably got a lot on his plate this fall.  Busy, busy, busy.

Oh, dear! Mitt was mean to Obama

The left blogosphere is all atwitter today and heading for the fainting couch because Mitt kicked Obama’s ass last night. Did this meme come from the campaign-blogger meeting this morning?   I’m guessing the last thing Obama’s campaign wants is for blue collar women to show up at the polls.  I mean, isn’t what all of those “Romney is a bad dude who doesn’t care about you” exercises have been about all summer and into the fall?  The Obama campaign seems fairly desperate to suppress the blue collar womens’ vote because those women want nothing more than…

… for someone to kick the shit out of Obama.

And last night gave them hope.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?  Those lady voters, and by this, oh best beloveds, he means the former Clintonistas who were royally screwed by Obama last time, they’re too genteel for all the aggressive behavior that Mitt displayed last night?  Oh, my, I think they might have the vapors. They’re delicate, fragile flowers and unfit for such improprieties.  It’s not decent!  We shall whip them into a frenzy of condemnation.  We shall use their more civilized nature to reign Romney in.  He won’t be allowed to do that next time, nosiree.

Fuck that shit.  No one cared about their feelings in 2008 when they were called every nasty thing in the book and Obama trolls stomped on their necks with big hobnailed boots while singing in the rain.  Hell no, back then, the Clintonistas, educated and self-taught, professional and hourly employee, young and old, were tossed into the pile of stupid working class, menopausal, racist idiots.  They were the dirt on Obama’s shoulder.  He had 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.   His speech writers grasped breasts and stuck beer bottles up his opponent’s nose.  They were locked out of caucus sites, harassed and screamed at and called names even I have a problem typing out.  Their votes were trashed and they were told to get in line because they had nowhere else to go.  Remember?  Because WE do.

They wanted nothing more than to work Obama and his assholes over themselves.  But you know, with it being all illegal and stuff, they were more than happy to see Mitt do it by proxy.  Oh sure, some of them may get all dainty and regret that it looked brutal but secretly, they’re delighted.  Maybe Mitt will govern like an asskicker, maybe he won’t.  But as far as the ladies are concerned, he can’t do a whole lot worse than Obama has and if his goal was to motivate these women who Obama has all but written off, then I think it might have gotten their attention. Let’s face it, Obama had permanently alienated these women and was never going to get their votes.  He just needs to prevent Romney from getting them. Suddenly, we’re relevant.

It doesn’t mean they’re all going to run out and vote for Mitt in November.  Some of us haven’t let our anger get the better of our senses.  But if Romney went after Obama last night aggressively, and from his body language, it looked more assertive than aggressive, then indignant moralizing about it today just looks like Obama can’t take it.  Either that or he doesn’t like blue collar women voters any more than Republicans like African Americans in Philadelphia.  One party tries to use the law to keep their undesirables from voting against them at the polls, the other uses social conditioning, psychological manipulation and group dynamics to keep their undesirables from going to the polls to vote against them.

But nobody’s fooled.  Well, after this post, no one will be fooled.

Addendum:  It just occurred to me that until this year, no one had ever really gone for Obama’s jugular in a debate.  In 2008, moderators tiptoed around Obama and everyone went out of their way to self-censor everything they said lest they be accused of being racist.  So, Obama might have gone into that debate expecting the same deference and Mitt blindsided him.

Oh well.  He should have seen that coming.

Presidential Debate Live blog 1: Pete and Repete

Good evening, Conflucians.  It’s that time of the year again when our quadrennial election cluster%^& shifts into high gear.  The operatives have scoured the blogs for all the right buzz words and have carefully crafted sound bites for tonight’s entertainment.

Ah, but we at the Confluence do things differently.  We like to watch the debates without the sound so we can pay close attention to body language.  However, if there are readers out there who want to keep us up to date on what each person said in the timeline, that’s cool too.  Very helpful, in fact, so we can roughly coordinate our impressions with the speaker.

This year’s debate features Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Party affiliation is not helpful this time since Mitt Romney is a relatively moderate Republican posing as a right wing nutcase and Barack Obama is a moderate Republican posing as a Democrat.  Since I don’t really have a dog in this fight (I don’t like either of them), that might be good for my objectivity.  If you feel likewise, join in!  Grab your beer, tune in to your favorite debate channel, set your DVR, or watch it online on C-Span, like I intend to do, and turn the sound off.  I guarantee you won’t miss a thing.  The media will be rerunning the highlights for days and C-Span usually runs the whole thing in its entirety.

Ready.  Set.  Go!

GOP candidate’s debate: live blog

Alright, do we want to live blog this thing?  What is more fascinating?  The stupid things the candidates say or the audience reaction to the stupid things the candidates say?

GoodHair Perry is supposed to be the frontrunner.  Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me either but then, their side of the aisle exists in a parallel universe.  Let’s listen in, shall we?

Have at it.

Ladies, Are You Sure You Can Pull That Lever All By Yourself?

Debate Thoughts

Debate Thoughts

Yes, I forced myself to watch the debate last night. These things are painful to me, since I realize that no matter what happens, ONE of these two is going to be President. Crap! We deserved so much better this year, and we almost had it.

In any case, I thought this was the best debate. Bob Schieffer asked some idiotic questions, of course, and was blatantly favoring Obama in terms of time and slant, but for the first time, I felt we got a look at who these two men really were. The format was more intimate and allowed them to interact with each other more closely. This was inarguably John McCain’s strongest performance, and he had the best line of the night: “If you wanted to run against George Bush, you should have run for President four years ago.”

Indeed. But what really stood out for me was when the candidates started talking about Supreme Court judges and, by extension, Roe v. Wade and abortion. Take a deep breath, feminists. You’re not going to like this.

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Annnnnnd, Worst Debate Ever, My Friends

One Bored PUMA

One Bored PUMA

Ooof! Was last night awful, or what? Terrible, banal questions. Terrible moderation, with Tom Brokaw sounding like the lockjawed girlfriend of the nephew in “Auntie Mame” (Top drawer!). Talking points and verbal tics galore from our two candidates (Obama’s “Annnnnnnnnnnnd” matched equally with McCain’s constant repetition of “my friends”), with very few standout moments for either. As in the first debate, the shadow of Hillary loomed large – her energy, her humanity, her solid commitment to Democratic principles, her delicious wonky command of each and every issue – and neither man even came close to matching her, although I was happy to hear McCain espousing her plan to renegotiate mortgages so that homeowners could stay in their homes (a pleasant surprise indeed!). In all honesty, I could barely stay awake through the whole thing.

There were a few things to remark upon, however. So let us begin the obligatory post-debate analysis, shall we? (For those who managed to avoid the snoozefest, a full transcript can be found here.)

Social Security?

What was going on here?

Brokaw: There are lots of issues that we are going to be dealing with here tonight. And we have a question from Langdon (ph) in Ballston Spa, New York, and that’s about huge unfunded obligations for Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs that will soon eat up all of the revenue that’s in place and then go into a deficit position.

Since the rules are pretty loose here, I’m going to add my own to this one. Instead of having a discussion, let me ask you as a coda to that. Would you give Congress a date certain to reform Social Security and Medicare within two years after you take office? Because in a bipartisan way, everyone agrees, that’s a big ticking time bomb that will eat us up maybe even more than the mortgage crisis.

Giant. Red. Flag. Alert!!!!!

Calling Social Security and Medicare “entitlement programs” is neither accurate nor conducive to constructive reforms. Social Security and Medicare are part of a social safety net that prevents millions of our citizens from falling into desperate poverty. Moreover, these programs are being paid for through taxes, and every working person pays into them. There is nothing “entitled” about people who receive the benefits they have earned.

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