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Debate Open Thread

And the winner is ?

CBS Debate Poll

Forty-six percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed say Democrat Joe Biden won the debate, compared to 21 percent for Republican Sarah Palin. Thirty-three percent said it was a tie.

Eighteen percent of previously uncommitted percent say they are now committed to the Obama-Biden ticket. Ten percent say they are now committed to McCain-Palin. Seventy-one percent are still uncommitted.

CNN Debate Poll

Story Highlights

  • 51 percent say Democratic Sen. Joe Biden wins vice presidential debate
  • Republican Gov. Sarah Palin exceeds expectations, 84 percent say
  • Palin beats Biden on likability, 54-36
  • 87 percent say Biden is qualified for job, 42 percent say Palin is

Transcript of Debate


 

Comments

I was expecting Palin to exceed "expectations" and she did. She was well prepped, and delivered her prepared points in a much better fashion than we've seen in her perform in her interviews. On a substantive basis, she was full of it – but since "expectations" were so low, McCain's camp will claim victory. Biden was Biden. Both of the candidates did what VP candidates are supposed to do - go after the head of the other ticket.

i think Bruce Tenenbaum on the Huffington post said it best: "Well, we did learn one thing. Sarah Palin is capable of speaking in complete sentences. She did a wonderful job reading her notes and regurgitating the talking points she learned in debate camp."

So good for her, she proved . . . well that she had . . knowledge, at least.

*correction: she proved that she had moderately developed short-term memory.

I've lived for weeks in the CT-ICU of CHLA this year. To the average six-pack joe, I can sound exactly like a Cardio expert. Firemen, Doctors and Nurses have all asked "Are you Medical?"

But tell me, who would you rather have in an emergency?

1) Me, a guy that can parrot technical terms

or

2) a Doctor that has spent decades learning their craft.

Even when she had National Guard Troops in Iraq/Kuwait, she was not interested in the Surge, therefore her 'commander' experience should be questioned.

We should also remember that her 'executive experience' is over a population equal to 6.7% of Los Angeles County.

Summary: Palin looked like a B actor hired to play the part of "Folksy Lady Goes To Washington" and plays the part so over the top that it would bomb at theaters.

Tim, I think you pretty much nail it. My way of putting the point is that Biden demolished her in terms of arguments, and she won politically.

My favorite parts. What I'll call the "Al Gore" sigh, mid-debate, as in, this woman is an idiot reading off cue cards, . And, goddammit I want to attack some of the bullshit she is spouting directly, but Obama's advisors said attack McCain, never her . And sweet christ, jesus, mary, and joseph, I know I grew up in PN, but shit, does this women know anything?

The moment after--on fox news at least--please don't ask, I was at a friend's house, who owns a television--Biden and Palin, chatting, very cordially, and for awhile, so caught up in the conversation they start ignoring their families. Unimaginable with McCain and Obama, given McCain's ignorant contempt for someone intellectually, morally, and politically his superior.

Overall: Biden spoken in intellectually sophisticated senatorial-ese, listing specific arguments and facts, which politically was disastrous, I think. Palin was either stating outright lies (about herself, McCain, or Obama), or in vague platitudes, but she did so directly, and tried to be cute. Politically, though, she completely outflanked him, mention in one impossibly broad and confused remark a policy issue, followed by outlandish smear about about, to which Biden would patiently devote most of his response to the policy portion.

My god you all, Biden was amazing. Amazing.

K: I agree. Tim had a nice way of putting it: Biden was Biden. To me that means: informed, thorough, gentlemanly (and, uncharacteristically, "disciplined"). We nerds love him for that, all that nuance and face--I'm sorry, but ya know, we really are nerds--but politically: was that a good strategy?

I bet McCain gets a 5 point bump in the polls tomorrow.

Agreed. Loved how she completely ignored (or didn't understand) the Achilles heel question.

Biden got some good jabs in: the multi-"George Bush" references and the "He's not a maverick" rant. Palin managed to bring up his vote on the recent war. She also managed to include al quaeda with Malicki and others who love us; undoubtedly a gaff in her stream of words. We'll see what gets re-played/looped on the internets.

I saw some old Palin debate footage and expected her to do about that well. She did almost exactly that.

She failed in that everyone was expecting her to be working off talking points and it was clear that she was. She made some clear and awkward turns to go back to talking points when the topic changed.

Inevitably she accomplished two things. She avoided disaster and stopped the bleeding.

Polls are already showing Biden as a winner and I think that is right. he played it well answered well and looked good.

He also made some great points on McCain and his myth about how much he is a leader on regulation and the truth on Iraq

I think the net result is that obama's slowly growing lead continues to grow at perhaps a slightly slower rate.

Joe Biden in the moment talking about his son, and being scared that his family won't be able to make it.

Sarah's Response? A talking point about how much of a Maverick John McCain is.

It was completely wrong.

All night last night, when things got down in the dirt about policy, she ran back to "Maverick".

The "how would you differ from your presidential candidate if you were pres." I Knew IMMEDIATELY that her answer would be "Maverick".

Republicans will say she was likeable and more "like main street", but I don't think anyone else, independants or democrats can really take her seriously as a vp candidate. Sarah Palin from the Rep. Convention showed up, while everyone was scared that Sarah from the Interviews would show up. Great. We got a convention speech, with joe biden dispursed without, giving the counterpoints. She never addressed anything Joe said or directly asked her.

I thought she was a train wreck, but I am definately a policy wonk.

Also Palin said nuclear, newcular, and nuculer.

She has been practicing to say it "correctly" and hasn't succeeded in learning, so it just become clear she is pandering to the elitists.

I have the same problem with Nevada.

Yeah, and it seems to me that a lot of people can't say "Oregon" right either!

Cause the Nevada in Iowa is "Ne-VAY-da" as opposed to "Ne-Va (shot a)-da" - eeeyah!

Palin did manage to get a 1 or 2 correct pronunciations of nuclear, but is this some kind of genetic problem with Neo-cons? Then again, Carter can't say it either, although he graduated to 'nukear."

Just say "new clear" a bit fast and you have it. Some new wavish/pop group even had an album titled "New Clear Days" in the 80s. HINT!

oops - short "a" not shot a. sigh

Don't get me started on IA.

My god you all, Biden was amazing. Amazing. Why, because the real risk here was that Palin would win the likeablity thing, the guy or gal you would like to hang out in the backyard with. I am pretty sure that small town America would love this guy. That almost crying thing? Fabulous. He did exactly what he was told to do, not attack her, let her babble and he basically had a hour of McCain bashing.

Also most folks must notice eventually that she didn't answer many of not most of the questions asked her. He instead answered most of them. If the press does not help point this out, they are cowards, cowards.

To support my point, the CNN polls question who most understands me and my problems (or something like that): BIDEN.BIDEN.

Biden, I believe convinced folks he was a good, nice and likeable guy who understands the middle class, that is what matters.

ps, all the experts, all of them on abc, even the repubs said, biden won, biden.... sure the base will like her performance, but do you really think it will reassure the folks that saw the Couric interview, i am not sure

Biden won.

I liked him finally shutting her up (and hopefully others) about that Maverick bs. Seriously, how many times did she say that tonight? Biden went Maverick on her ass.

And when he spoke about how dangerous Cheney is and outlined the actual role of the VP. It was government class for Palin tonight, goshdarnit!

My favorite part, though I realize it isn't all that important in this debate:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. ... And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is ... to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit...

Constitution? You mean we'll have to worry what the Constitution says again?

I think what is even more telling is this comment Palin made, when asked about Cheney's view that the VP is a legislative position:

Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.

Telling, and unnerving.

What's her I.Q.?, about 90? 89? 88?...

:)!(:

"Yeah, so I do agree with"

you. I noticed this too, which is why, assuming cancer-prone McCain croaks, and Palin moves up to president, I alluded to Stalin, Putin, the Empress of Russia, et alia. I believe she believes she is on a conveyor belt from/for God. Put your self in her place, she is no Dan Quayle, she is a Forrest Gump. It is sort of a miraculous. An evil miracle. I think McCain thought he was hiring Don Knotts, and he hired Barney Fife.

The video of her flute talent about sums her up, as a person. She's deaf to her deafness, ignorant of her ignorance. Too dumb to fail (so dumb she doesn't know she has failed). If her fans don't recognize her screw ups, that doesn't matter so very much. But when she doesn't have a clue. Advisors? She can over rule 'em. Even W., Bush, knew he was in deep doo doo underneath.

McCain must be apoplectic about this.

Thank your for your service, by the way, Mr. (tan?) Starr.

:)!(:

Sorry, I meant to post here. I'll figure it out...

Not an important point, but did i imagine it, when i heard Biden talk of the "Governor of Spain"? Shoot, Joe's been palinized!!!!

user-pic

wasn't it "government"?

Thanks Billy, my foreign and aging ears play tricks on me! (Now, if Sarah could be bidenized, that would be cool.) And next time she says "nukular", i'll go buy an axe.

What kind of a mother exploits her own baby (prop) out on stage at 11:00 p.m.? One with family values.

interesting, i hadn't thought of that. while there was probably a small motive to it, I could have seen my mom do the same thing if she was up there.

Palin is a lot like Bush. No duh, I know, but hear me out:

When they know the audience is against them, they clam up, and get awkward. This fuels the audience response, and leads to the downward spiral we all know and love.

However, the opposite is also true. As soon as Palin heard the crowd laugh, she opened up. As they kept laughing, her delivery got consistently better. She was on fire for a few minutes around the halfway point.

Then, the laughs stopped, and she stumbled back to the talking points.

As someone who came to this debate with a strong dislike of both participants, my take was this:

  • Palin is awkward, yet adorable. Gosh darn it, I like you, Sarah.

  • Biden is the smartest guy in the room, with all the attached perceived arrogance.

If we are voting for American Idol, or a swimsuit contest, go Palin, go.

If one of these jerks is going to influence policy, or (Xenu forbid) become President, I go with the smart guy.

The almost crying- that was either grade-A acting or genuine. However, when these folks leverage their family issues for "image" when needed, it makes it really hard to respect the "leave family out of it" clause of media ethics.

I don't think he was acting. I think he was keeping his cool (considering) relatively well the whole time... but when she tried to pull out her BS guns on something that hits VERY close to home for him, he was genuinely affected. I'm glad that if he lost his emotion in any direction, it was the more somber direction and not the angry direction. (I know I had me some angry!)

Palin's mugging, the winking, the cutesy wrinkling-up of her nose was over-the-top and showed a complete lack of respect for the very perilous times we are in.

Joe Biden, at times, had an almost....I don't want to say "pleading", but it kinda was...look in his eyes when he looked into the camera and made his case to the American people; a "This is serious, folks" kind of look. I felt a passionate and sincere desire to be understood coming from him.

Palin was acting - and badly. She wasn't "feeling" what she was saying and it came across.

She might just as well have been wearing a sash and a tiara as she regurgitated her responses.

I got more of the nice, pretty kindergarten teacher vibe from her.

It was great to really see Biden, though. I didn't know much about him except his faltering presidential bid. I was very impressed with what he had to say, the positive goals that he makes seem attainable. I'm glad I'm going to be able to vote for him. I think he and Obama are going to be a powerful, smart combination. I hope they get in - and that we get to see Hillary in a very active role (hopefully one that the press isn't interested in). We could really get it together again.

DId you guys see the couric question on church and state separation. I think this is one of Palins worst answer. Certainly her answer suggests either she is really nervous, or really seems to only suggest the wall goes one way. (ie people can express their views without government influence; nothing about religion influencing government)

palin/bidenchurchstate

I did look at that answer and the other ones, too (thanks for the link.) I thought even their movie picks were pretty funny and telling (like all our favorite movies are) with who and what they identify with...

DId you guys see the couric question on church and state separation. I think this is one of Palins worst answer. Certainly her answer suggests either she is really nervous, or really seems to only suggest the wall goes one way. (ie people can express their views without government influence; nothing about religion influencing government)

palin/bidenchurchstate

Tim, I think you pretty much nail it. My way of putting the point is that Biden demolished her in terms of arguments, and she won politically.

My favorite parts. What I'll call the "Al Gore" sigh, mid-debate, as in, this woman is an idiot reading off cue cards, . And, goddammit I want to attack some of the bullshit she is spouting directly, but Obama's advisors said attack McCain, never her . And sweet christ, jesus, mary, and joseph, I know I grew up in PN, but shit, does this women know anything?

The moment after--on fox news at least--please don't ask, I was at a friend's house, who owns a television--Biden and Palin, chatting, very cordially, and for awhile, so caught up in the conversation they start ignoring their families. Unimaginable with McCain and Obama, given McCain's ignorant contempt for someone intellectually, morally, and politically his superior.

Overall: Biden spoken in intellectually sophisticated senatorial-ese, listing specific arguments and facts, which politically was disastrous, I think. Palin was either stating outright lies (about herself, McCain, or Obama), or in vague platitudes, but she did so directly, and tried to be cute. Politically, though, she completely outflanked him, mention in one impossibly broad and confused remark a policy issue, followed by outlandish smear about about, to which Biden would patiently devote most of his response to the policy portion.

My god you all, Biden was amazing. Amazing.

K: I agree. Tim had a nice way of putting it: Biden was Biden. To me that means: informed, thorough, gentlemanly (and, uncharacteristically, "disciplined"). We nerds love him for that, all that nuance and face--I'm sorry, but ya know, we really are nerds--but politically: was that a good strategy?

I bet McCain gets a 5 point bump in the polls tomorrow.

PS: Best remark I've read so far, which states the obvious:

To practiced ears, Palin memorized and repeated talking points and Biden responded to the questions and argued.

Biden and Palin, chatting, very cordially, and for awhile, so caught up in the conversation they start ignoring their families. Unimaginable with McCain and Obama, given McCain's ignorant contempt for someone intellectually, morally, and politically his superior.

I thought it looked a little like Biden was lecturing her. That would all depend on what he was actually saying, but it looked like a one-sided conversation.

Have a look at the analysis I performed of the words used by Palin and Biden in tonight's debate. Just as for the 1st debate, I produced "bubble graphs" showing length and number of words and sentences and "word clouds" displaying which words were used more by each debater. You can find it all at my Word Face-Off blog.

and she won politically.

I disagree, I think she held her ground politically but polls are showing that Biden who was more or less unknown also came off very well. And if anything this debate continued to defuse the notion that somehow the democrats were not ready to lead, while the republicans are.

I bet McCain gets a 5 point bump in the polls tomorrow. #Pres '08 Oct 3 Rasmussen Obama (D) 51%, McCain (R) 44%

Now admittedly we really won't see a shift until Monday even if it did happen, but this tracker and the others posted today don't show any movement and thy likely had some surveys done during the debate.

I think the race will just enter a stall until the next debate or big news story.

Red, the figures are appreciated, and you and k are both right--although, yeah, we won't really know 'til Monday. I hope you're right about that too, but I'm still a little skeptical. I think most Obama leaning people or partisans are rightly delighted by Biden and his performance--it is intelligent, articulate, and persuasive. But those are qualities we look for in a leader, while other tend to emphasize them less, and pick up on allusions to the Holocaust, like "Never again."

I will say this: time and again I have quibbled with the Obama campaign on strategy. And time and again, they've been right, they've had the long run in view. I just got so sick of Palin's bullshit I wanted Joe to just (politely) smash her and put her in her place. But wiser heads than mine on this stuff have decided: the Obama strategy long-term is to marginalize Palin and go directly after McCain. A direct attack on her is too politically fraught, so they just treat her with courtesy, as a kind of completely irrelevant curiosity.

I seem to disagree with you all a abit. One Palin did not do well, she just wasn't as bad as lots of people hoped.

Biden is the one who won here, the polls suggest it. Finally, what most of us forget, is that most people don't know Biden at all. Sure democrats who vote in primaries do, ( i mean he was in the debates), but I didn't know who Biden was till he was on Jon Stewart sometimes before the primaries, and I said, who's that guy?

So to the folks that decide in the month before the election, i suspect they don't know Biden, and have heard tons and tons on Palin. Those folks watching might like Palin, and certainly the right will be happy, but I think Biden was charming and knowlegable and made the best attack against John McCain yet and the current evidence supports it.

My bet is NO CHANGE in polls, or continued consolidation of lead. It is going to be down to a few states here.

She used a technique I was taught when coached to give business presentations, necessary because I'm not exactly a "Type A." Basically "When stumped, answer the question you want to answer, not the one that was asked." She previously used the alternative "I'll get back to you on that" and was (deservedly) derided for it, so at least she's learning.

Anyway, all she had to do for her image to improve is not implode, and she accomplished that.

Does anybody else think these "undecided voters" are just attention whores? Really, who goes down to the wire not sure who they're going to vote for, then flips a coin at the election center?

It reminds me of the "I'm not going to vote" people who just can't wait to tell you how corrupt and shoddy the system is, how a vote doesn't matter, et cetera.

Anyway: disregarding the fact that snap polls are almost 100% unreliable, what strikes me as odd is that so many people have commended Biden for having a "grasp of the facts" when he was either wrong or deliberately deceptive on so many issues. A short list:

  1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

  2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

  3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.”

  4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of its passage.

  5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

  6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to FactCheck.org, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

  7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people's health insurance coverage - they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false

  8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska -- she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it's not a windfall profits tax.

  9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

  10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation - he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

  11. IRAQ: Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

  12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

  13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”

  14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won't pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.

  15. THE CONSTITUTION / VP ROLE: Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the legislative branch, not the VP.

  16. IRAQ-AFGHANISTAN SPENDING: Joe Biden claimed the US spends more in Iraq in one month than it has in Afghanistan in six or seven years. This figure is so far removed from reality as to be nonsensical.

  17. KICKED HEZBOLLAH OUT OF LEBANON: Even if he meant Syria, as Reuters claims, what is the relevance?

  18. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: The act was ruled unconstitutional.

  19. ARMS CONTROL TREATY: This was voted along party lines, not supported by "everyone except McCain", as Biden claims.

  20. WEST BANK ELECTIONS: Obama had only been in the Senate for a few days when this occurred, and even if he made such a comment there is no record of it.

  21. PAKISTAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Pakistan does not have missiles that can reach Israel.

Isn't that pretty much all he said?

That said, I don't think Palin did anywhere near as good as she could have. I cringed when she gave her "shout out", but I also cringed when Biden cranked out the crocodile tears and out-of-date references to his coal-minin' home town.

And if I hear Palin or McCain again robotically recite that this financial crisis is the result of "greed on Wall Street", I may kick a puppy. They need to tell people the truth. Obama keeps running the lie of "this crisis was caused by 8 years of Republican financial policy!" when it was caused by a much longer period of irresponsible Democratic financial policy and refusal to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And if I hear Palin or McCain again robotically recite that this financial crisis is the result of "greed on Wall Street", I may kick a puppy. They need to tell people the truth. Obama keeps running the lie of "this crisis was caused by 8 years of Republican financial policy!" when it was caused by a much longer period of irresponsible Democratic financial policy and refusal to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Our present economic problems stem from Republican ideology of privitization and deregulation; recall Enron, today's high oil prices, today's mortgage crisis, and the US's trillion dollar debt. And what did McCain say on the worst stock drop since 9/11? He said, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Phil Gramm (McCain's economic advisor) was the co-sponsor of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which allowed Enron to get away with unregulated energy prices. Even though Enron got caught and no longer exists the act is still law (it's now called the Enron loophole). It allows oil, energy trading to be unregulated and is the prime reason why oil prices are so high today. Gramm also spearheaded the banking reform laws including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that deregulates mortgage corps and banks. Guess what Phil Gramm's nickname is -- Foreclosure Phil (I kid you not). McCain's also said he knows little about the economy and relies on Gramm for his economic and energy policies. McCain's campaign is run by corporate lobbyists. Most of the money for his campaign comes from oil and gas corporations.

To vote for McCain is to continue to allow corporations to steal from the poor and middle class. It amazes me how Republicans always vote against their own self-interests.

TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

In fact, you are wrong. That's why evidence is so nice:

Mr. Obama voted twice this year in favor of a budget resolution that would have allowed the tax cuts that President Bush pushed through Congress in 2001 and 2003 to expire at the end of 2010, as the original law mandated. But that, by the definition of the Congressional Budget Office and other tax experts, does not constitute a tax increase.

The resolution, if not accompanied by other tax changes, envisages an increase in taxes for an individual earning $42,000 a year who has no dependents and owns no real estate. But it would not apply to a family. Indeed, estimates are that a family of four making as much as $90,000 would not see a tax increase.

But hey, just about every word that comes out of that woman's mouth is a lie, so don't feel bad.

And Fanny and Freddie:

Gov. Sarah Palin boasted that Mr. McCain “sounded that warning bell” about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, echoing some of Mr. McCain’s recent comments in which he portrayed himself as being on the vanguard in warning about the impending financial crisis.

Ms. Palin was referring to Mr. McCain’s decision in 2006 to sign on as a co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would have overhauled regulations governing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But the legislation was introduced more than 16 months earlier and the debate over the issue had been going on for some time. He also only added his name after an oversight agency issued a lengthy report condemning practices at Fannie Mae.

TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of its passage.

By that standard, wouldn't be wrong to vote against a bill that didn't have a time-table? If you acknowledge that the absence or presence of time-tables provisions excuses the one, why would not the same be equally available to justify a vote against funding that did not contain such provisions. What you are in effect claiming is that it's OK to vote against funding the troops when it conflicts with one's own ideology, but that others who disagree with you about time tables are not entitled to the same standard. And that is incoherent.

Oh, and John McCain appears not to have given a shit about the GI bill, claiming that it would decrease re-enlistment, even after the GAO study showed that this claim was false.

PAKISTAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Pakistan does not have missiles that can reach Israel.

I'm not sure you understand what is involved in deploying a nuclear weapon, but yeah, they can.

And at least Obama and Biden know the difference between a McClellan and a McKiernan.

HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people's health insurance coverage - they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false

Calli, this is patently absurd. The tax credit is directed at people who purchase insurance in the private market. How do you think McCain is going to pay for this health insurance tax credit? By taxing employer-based health benefits as income. So yes, it IS a tax increase on families that have employer based coverage. Meanwhile, the $5000 tax credit/family is only useful if your family actually pays that much in taxes and covers less than half of the average premium for private health insurance. That's if your kids don't have pre-existing conditions, making it nearly impossible to find affordable health insurance in the private market.

What's her I.Q.?, about 90? 89? 88?...

:)!(:

"Yeah, so I do agree with"

you. I noticed this too, which is why, assuming cancer-prone McCain croaks, and Palin moves up to president, I alluded to Stalin, Putin, the Empress of Russia, et alia. I believe she believes she is on a conveyor belt from/for God. Put your self in her place, she is no Dan Quayle, she is a Forrest Gump. It is sort of a miraculous. An evil miracle. I think McCain thought he was hiring Don Knotts, and he hired Barney Fife.

The video of her flute talent about sums her up, as a person. She's deaf to her deafness, ignorant of her ignorance. Too dumb to fail (so dumb she doesn't know she has failed). If her fans don't recognize her screw ups, that doesn't matter so very much. But when she doesn't have a clue. Advisors? She can over rule 'em. Even W., Bush, knew he was in deep doo doo underneath.

McCain must be apoplectic about this.

Thank your for your service, by the way, Mr. (tan?) Starr.

:)!(:

Calligraph, aren't you a little old to be proud of your ability to cut & paste? Someday maybe you will learn to write your own fiction, not merely copy somebody else's.

Adam & SQ, if you're interested in doing some actual good with your rebuttals of calligraph's cookie-cutter arguments, you might consider posting them to some of the high-traffic webpages this same silly list is circulating on, in order to reach a much wider audience. It would do limited good, but that's better than the zero good preaching to one childish lackwit does here.

I guess it just depends how you value your time, though.

Here's how I look at it:

Calligraph drops in with a made-to-order "argument" that he probably hasn't even read himself, spends a maximum of 2 minutes writing a few simple words to accompany it, posts, and retreats to the sidelines.

Then, amongst all the people who browse the comments, a few people predictably, even reflexively, feel compelled to address his post point-by-point, taking considerably more time than his original "effort".

For calligraph, this is the end of the story. By their very act, he has already gotten the reaction he wanted: a lot of fuss & bother in exchange for a minimum of effort. The end.

He's the undersupervised adolescent boy who superglues a quarter to the sidewalk, or leaves poop in a paper bag on the park bench. He knows somebody's gonna investigate, and he giggles with glee when somebody gets suckered by it - or, as is oft the case, laughs till his sides ache at the fact that the very same people are falling for the same trick, day after day after day.

It doesn't seem to matter to these people that calligraph will probably never read their responses, much less take seriously any information that contradicts his own addled notions. It doesn't matter that in the long run they spend a great deal of time for what amounts to no return at all, in terms of practical results, any more than it matters to calligraph himself that his notions and wits are addled. They are driven to behave as they do, as if they were lancet-fluke-infected zombie ants. (I think Norm recently posted Dan Dennett's TEDTalk on dangerous memes that referenced this phenomenon.)

In effect, a juvenile delinquent is repeatedly and successfully making a mockery of people much more intelligent than he is, because he has found an exploitable flaw in their mainframes - one they seem loath to recognize or correct.

The bottom line, which I've personally taken to heart, is this:

To change your results, change your behavior. Don't wait around for someone else to change theirs. If you can't teach others, teach yourself. Try different approaches until something works.

That is, unless, like calligraph, you're already happy with the results you're getting.

You're right, of course. The first 14 are a direct cut and paste job of crap going around Google groups. Our chickenhawk pal is a plagiarist and an asshole.

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