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Saturday, September 27, 2008

notes on the first debate

  • McCain wants to counter the financial crisis by lessening dependence on foreign oil
  • McCain wants to be bipartisan (doing a reference to Kennedy being in hospital)
  • Obama's solution sounds super simplistic ('oversight over the whole thing')
  • McCain is going to end American capitalism as we know it, no word on how that is feasible
  • Obama seems to be proud to know the difference between Main and Wall Street considering how often he mentions them
  • McCain: "Main St is paying the price for the greed in Washington and Wall St"; so populistic this campaign business
  • McCain: US is still the biggest exporter in the world (no, Germany is)
  • Mccain attacks the appropriations committee again
  • McCain will change the American political system, increasing presidential power over Congress through vetoeing earmarked bills
  • McCain just admitted Republicans failed to reign in spending
  • Obama apparently earmarked a lot (he didn't even counter attack McCain on that)
  • Obama attacks well on the relative unimportance of earmarks (in absolute financial terms)
  • McCain: pork barrel, earmarks, appropriations...god...nothing else to talk about?
  • good attack on McCain on health care, on his belief in market solutions only, lack of regulation
  • McCain shoots back with tax cuts, simple tax rules and pork barrel spending, weak...I hope people will see this
  • McCain: We let spending get out of hand (Bush adminstration and mainly Republican Congress, how dare you attack Obama on that?)
  • McCain is so exemplary in his issues; I guess that is good politically, but it is so unsatisfactory in the sense that any policy content is missing
  • I do not believe Mccain has a chance in hell to cut down on defense spending; he is perfectly right on the issue of course
  • McCain: response to financial crisis: spending freeze on everything but defense spending and veteran entitlements (I know, reading my note just above I am a little confused as well)
  • we are back to appropriations, gawd, John, come on...
  • McCain: Lesson of Iraq: We cannot have a failed strategy (great in-depth analysis)
  • McCain: We will win with honour, so 19th century.
  • McCain: Iran would have won influence if US had lost Iraq. Iran already has obviously, because of the invasion alone.
  • Obama: Al Qaieda is stronger than anytime since 2001. No, they are not. Not because of Iraq, but they are definitely not as strong. They are just a buzzword nowadays.
  • Good point McCain, the next President will not have to decide whether the US should have gone to Iraq but when and how to leave.
  • Hardball on Iraq by Obama, harsh attacks on the 2003 beginning. Good job.
  • This whole troop support thing is so lame. The upper class discussing who has more solidarity with the working class actually fighting and dying.
  • McCain wants to have Paetrus run Afghanistan with the same strategy as Iraq (keyword: Awakening Councils). That is such a dumb suggestion. Completely different countries, completely different circumstances.
  • Obama wants to reinforce troops in Afghanistan, two bataillons in addition. Bad news for Europe, bad news for Germany. They'll have a hard time saying no to a request for military aid of his.
  • McCain: You don't say out loud you attack Pakistan (like Obama did), you just do it.
  • The Pakistanis don't want to go into Waziristan, McCain trying to convince them to do so won't change much. Their government is not strong enough.
  • McCain doesn't believe in Jesus, he believes in General Paetrus.
  • Why does Obama say John, but McCain Senator Obama? Racial issue of white people having called blacks by their first name only for decades in order to keep them in their place? Afraid of being conceived of doing that?
  • Obama: Good job on describing the mess in Pakistan and the failed US efforts there.
  • McCain: So paternalistic towards Obama (doesn't understand this, that (Pakistan, Musharaff, strategy, tactic)
  • Now we are becoming really corny, McCain is wearing some dead's soldiers name on his wrist. God, guys, please, politics, issues, policy. Anyone trying to pull this off in Germany would be laughed off the stage. So 19th/20th century, come into the 21st century. Pretty, pretty please. Now Obama is wearing a bracelet too. Honour, blood, national pride and so on. So lucky we (Europeans, Germans in particular) got rid of this shit after 1945.
  • Even an Iran with nuclear weapons would not mean a second Holocaust.
  • A league of democracies is bullshit, no China, no Russia? This league would be relevant for another 10 years at most.
  • Funny how Israel is treated like the 51st state or something in these debates.
  • Not having negotiations worked real well against Cuba John. Nixon went to China, Roosevelt met Stalin, Kissinger negotiated with the Vietnamese. To refuse to talk to people is not a policy, it is arrogance that doesn't really serve any use.
  • McCain wouldn't want to meet Zapatero? That is ridicolous. Only one of the best prime ministers in Europe.
  • It is dangerous to meet and talk to Ahmadinejad? Less or more dangerous than bombing the place? Wish McCain would actually expound on that. Don't believe he has a point.
  • How did Kissinger become the wise advisor that people feel proud to reference to? His German accent? His failure in Vietnam?
  • Russia's attack on Georgia. What a failure by the Bush administration to not being capable of responding. Good job by Sarkozy, and good for strengthening the EU's foreign policy, but definitely a sign of things to come (increasingly fading American relevance).
  • McCain attacks well on this foreign policy stuff. Always referencing his lack of understanding.
  • The KGB doesn't exist anymore. It's called the FSB Senator McCain.
  • McCain has spent significative amount of time everywhere in the world apparently, but especially Georgia. My personal estimate would be 3 days.
  • Energy independence is a myth.
  • McCain working with Joe Lieberman is not working across the aisle.
  • Interesting that McCain admits the US used to torture. Not quite sure he is doing that on purpose ('have to make sure we never torture again')
  • Why does everyone want simplistic solutions for complicated problems? So sad how this works. Both just keep hammering away at their strong points.
  • Missile Defense is an expensive failure, mainly supported by ex-generals sitting on advisory boards of the military-industrial complex. I thought McCain wanted to reign in spending.
  • McCain: Obama does not have 'enough experience'. At least he finally came out and said it directly, having referenced to it constantly.
  • McCain loves the veterans. God damn homosexual.
  • McCain just directly tried to distance himself from the Bush administration. Not very believable I think, but he tried.
  • The American dream. You can make it if you try. Social mobility. Just another myth, that is not backed up by numbers.
  • McCain was a POW. He can be President. No really, that is sufficient as a qualification. They always make it sound like Veterans are angels or something. Crazy.
  • McCain was good on this, I agree more with Obama of course based on content alone (policy suggestions, the few that were actually mentioned), but McCain was good. But then this is his specialty (foreign policy that is).
  • I cannot believe they did this in Oxford, Mississippi without ever adressing race.
  • Are they like not allowed to kiss their wives on stage?
  • How creepy is McCain's wife? I mean, how much younger is she? How fake does she look (her hair especially, barbie doll)? Scary stuff.
  • Scary post too, in length especially. If you made it all the way down here I recommend you for it and thanks. Need to do some actual work now.

1 comment:

richard said...

Hi Ben, I did make it all the way to the bottom and despite supreme boredom with the debate I exceeded that level reading your blog--not to sugarcoat it! Unfortunately it was a good reproduction of the drivel which goes for debate in American politics.
Just one thing from the English teacher's son: in your last paragraph, the word "recommend" should be "commend."
Keep up the good work or keep working the turkey, ie, verbal masturbation.