We're having a rare moment with the t.v. on here in Casa TD to watch "The Almost Diss to Ole Miss!"
First point (21:28 EDT): Lehrer has, as promised, has pretty much dispensed with the "foreign policy" thing and gone all bailout all the time. McCain has seized on [the irrelevance of... oh wait, that's me] $18 billion in earmarks... why hasn't Obama pointed out that in a federal budget of nearly $3 trillion (or $3,000 billion)... these earmarks-- not all of which "are waste"... are less than one per cent of federal spending? I mean... BIG FREAKING DEAL. THE. WAR. SPENDS THAT IN LESS THAN A MONTH. They seem cordial... expectations are going to matter... hard to say. McCain looks so darned reasonable, and Barack seems wedded to his stump speech. Just saying.
Point 2 (21:37): Again, McCain seems to be seizing the initiative on "cutting spending"... of course, he means "discretionary" spending... which, boys and girls, is only 20% of federal spending!!! The other iron quartet of 20% each (around $600 billion) are defense (how about Iraq?), debt interest (how about tax cuts for the reach and deficits?), social security (how about you, McCain who wants to privatize social security... what will that cost?) and Medicare/Medicaid (we pay for both socialized and private medicine and get the worst of both... with costs rising...)
Point 3 (21:40): McCain is finally throwing around the victory/defeat canard with Iraq and Petraeus, et al. Oy. Point: it is hopelessly complicated-- the surge has been tremendously costly, and the "gains" are illusory. THANK YOU BARACK-- mentioning OBL still out there and A.Q.'s greater strength and our weakness thanks to Iraq... THANK YOU!
Point 4 (21:45): McCain keeps playing the honor/victory canard. Obama looks a bit flustered (for him!) insofar as this is McC improvising (i.e. lying). Obama comes back with the timetables, and notes of course, that OBL is still out there. But O seems to be phoning it in... well...
Point 5 (21:50): McC notes "snatch defeat from jaws of victory?" Wow! Does anyone believe Iraq is not a complete Charlie Foxtrot? I guess McC wants to hold his base!!! And now... on to Afghanistan!!! Right... PETRAEUS! (21:55).
Note: both men look and sound reasonably presidential, though I don't get that light colored striped tie... maybe it's my t.v. set.
Point 6 (21:57): McCain noting the Hillary slander about Barack threatening to attack Pakistan (pronounce it Pack-i-stan, Barack...PLEASE!) But Barack sure sounds knowledgeable on the subject (he is correct, btw.) McCain JUST LIED TO EVERYONE ABOUT A VERIFIABLE FACT... failed state in Pakistan? PM Sharif wasn't popular or all that effective... but he was democratically elected and removed in a military coup... a FAILED STATE IN PAKISTAN? Military coups are good? Amazing.
Point 7 (21:59) McC finally brought up 'Nam! And the domestic sell-out (Jane Fonda everyone?) Amazing!!! Both are bringing up dead soldiers... Barack is handling it well, in my view.
[I love-- LOVE_- the format-- it's almost like Lehrer isn't even there! They are sniping at each other... some may not like it as much... but for these two guys anyway who are pretty civil superficially, this works well.]
Point 8 (22:02) McC again with the "O didn't go to Afgh?" WTF? Back to "defeat" in Iraq... Petraeus said we can't ever have anything "we understand as victory".
Point 9: (22:04) Iran is noted by McC as an existential threat to Israel. The issue, of course, is where it stands vis a vis us, rather than a cheap emotional appeal about "second holocaust" etc. Let's see what O does with this... but the Bush Admin. has utterly screwed up our relationship by dissing Iran time and time again for no reason... McC promises to "reduce the threat." O notes that the Iraq war has been great for Iranian strength and influence! O notes its support... that Bush policy fails. Notes we can't tolerate "a nuclear Iran"...not just threaten Israel, but could set off Mid-East arms race. "Tougher sanctions"... but with help from other countries. And O proposes "tough direct diplomacy." Not talking doesn't work. Back to McC-- Ahmadidjad will exterrrrrminate Isssssrael. Of course. Can't sit down "w/o preconditions". In short... as I predicted... McC is making this s*** up. Kissinger of course, favors "no preconditions."
Point 10: (22:13) Again from Mc the "Sen. O doesn't understand" that Ahmadidjad is eeeeevilllll and wants to wiiiiipe Israel off the maaaaappp... and the North Koreans are eeeeeevilllllll.... and Kissinger didn't say what he said!!!
It looks like both guys are preaching to their respective choirs... I just don't see much crossover appeal to either one. Back to Kissinger... Honestly... I like them sniping at each other! Maybe that's just me!!! But I LOVE Lehrer's non-presence!
Point 11: (22:16) O talks about Russia... resurgent aggressive Russia is a threat (from O). Pretty standard stuff from him... "we have to". We'll be supportive. Can't return to Cold War posture. McC... "Russian aggression toward George". Oh... naiivite... the young whippersnapper doesn't understand... it's a KGB apparatchik government. Excellent. How about the Bushmen greenlighting Georgia starting that conflict? Again... preaching to the choir here. Regain old Russian empire! Nyet!!! We support Georgia and Ukraine! Da! Walk loudly and swing your big dick!!! Charming! O basically agrees... we have to see this coming... and now... energy independence.
Not sure where McC's condescension is getting him... to me, it makes him look even smaller than the 5'6" he is against Obama's 6'2".
Point 12 (22:16): Odds of another 9-11... McC: lower than on 9-12. Mentioning his good buddy Lieberman! Working bipartisan... we must do better... and we're safer than we were on 9-11 (God I HOPE SO!!!) Largest reorganization of government... great job... O: Safer in some ways-- airports, securing targets-- but along way to go. We haven't done much re: ports, transit, chem plants. Cooperation from our allies... how we're perceived in world is important. Restore America's standing in the world.
Point 13 (22:31): McC: O doesn't get Iraq... AQ will establish a base there... he's naiiiiiiive.!!! Can't risk our "fragile success." (Hey, I thought the surge was a super-success!!!) O: Over last 8 years-- yup-- sole focus on Iraq, and OBL is still out there and A!Q is resurgent! Meanwhile... China is a challenge!!! We're spending money in Iraq that should be spent better... "broader strategic vision."
Point 14 (22:33) McC: I'm the experienced genius... O has no knowledge and experience... well, McC, you would say that. Back to The SurgeTM! SURGE! SURGE! Drill baby Drill!!!! Vets know I love and will take care of them!!! I need no on the job training!
Point 15 (22:36) McC: When I came home AND JANE FONDA AND BARACK OBAMA ABUSED VETERANS... Oh freaking MAN!
And so it ends!
Mostly a draw... I think on net, McC loses (but only barely) because of the condescension. Really, snide and unnecessary... on the whole, so much better than that piece of s*** Dubya conducted himself. The ABC spin calls it pretty even as well. Given the insane machinations McC went through to try to avoid this... one wonders why? He looked relaxed... he only had to lie through his teeth maybe 6, 7 times.
Given campaign momentum favoring O big-time going in-- no major gaffes either way, this was a pretty good night for Obama, as no basic momentum changed.
I just hope they let Biden and Palin slug it out!!!