Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

The Bill that Nobody Read: The Economic Stimulus Package (H.R. 1)

February 23, 2009

So, I know it’s been a while since Congress passed H.R. 1, the economic stimulus plan, but C-SPAN finally uploaded and categorized all the videos, so better late than never.  I wanted to show you all just how much the Democratic leadership tried to hide the details of the latest stimulus plan:

Here’s the first clip, courtesy of C-SPAN. In this clip, Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA) asks for additional time for debate, so that more than 90 minutes will available for debate. Lewis was not allowed to ask for the additional time (not sure if that’s in the rules of the House or one of the previous resolutions), so he asked Representative David Obey (D-WI) (Appropriations Committee Chairman) to do so, but Obey refused to allow for more debate time. Representative Tom Price (R-GA) then asked if the bill could be read aloud by the clerk, since no member had had time to read it; however, this request was refused because House resolution 168 made it so that the bill was to be considered read (even though it was physically impossible). This violated a previous promise by the Democrats to keep all bills available for 72 hours before a final vote was brought up.


 

In this clip, Representative Lewis shows how secretive the drafting of this bill was. Even many Democrats were left out of the negotiations.

 

Representative Harold Rogers (R-KY) emphasized that the Democrats refused to allow the House Clerk to read the bill and that debate was limited to 90 minutes. 

 

Representative Obey (D-WI) responds to Jack Kingston (R-GA) talking about appropriations to protect a mouse. He said that there’s nowhere in the bill that mentions a mouse. Well, that’s true – the word “mouse” is never in the bill; however, there is money for that’s given to the EPA for a saltwater marsh protection program where the focus of that is to protect a certain species of mouse (according to an EPA representative). So, while what Mr. Obey said was technically true, it would also be true if I said that the bill never talks about “tax cuts.” The phrase “tax cut” or “tax cuts” is never in the bill, but the legal equivalent is. So, Mr. Obey is really just playing with the words here, and he’s ultimately lying through his teeth. But what really makes him look like a fool is when he tells the Republicans to find the section they’re talking about, as he holds up the 1,000+ page bill that even HE didn’t have time to read through.


In this clip, Representative Zach Wamp (R-TN) has one of my favorite quotes of the debate, “If ever there was a massive bill where the devil is in the details, it is this bill. And there are many devils in the details of this bill.” He also does a good job at placing some of the blame on the Republicans.


Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) explains the mouse in the bill: “They say there is no mouse in this bill. But there is, sir. What they don’t tell you is that in the EPA projects, it cites for sure and for certain they will spend money on the salt marsh habitat for the mouse in San Francisco. Certainly, the Speaker is getting her cheese.”


In this clip, Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) shows where the blame lies in saying that people borrowed and spent too much: “Too many of our fellow citizens borrowed too much. They spent too much, and they couldn’t pay it back. And now the mistakes of individuals, the Democrats want to force upon us collectively.” He also explains how the Congressional Budget Office says this bill was a disaster.


Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) (the youngest House member) talks about how we’re spending trillions at a time and that we can’t afford to get this wrong.


Representative Lewis shows, again, how unprepared Congress was to even debate the bill: “Mr. Speaker, we just received official scoring of the $792 billion bill at 12:04 p.m. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive this critical information until one-third of our very limited debate time was over.” He later goes on to say, “While portions of the bill were scored by CBO earlier, in the case of the appropriations section, 40 percent of this entire package, the Members have not had the benefit of knowing what effects this bill would have. Now that we have this information, let me tell you what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concedes.” Lewis also shows that the Democrats are simply rushing this through in one big bill instead of going through the proper appropriations channels: CBO estimates that only 11 percent of the money will spend out this year. It begs the question why has the majority decided to include this in this bill rather than through the regular appropriations process? Why have they decided to create 33 new programs and permanently expand 73 programs? By growing the Federal Government now in this bill, the majority knows that they have a much better chance of permanently increasing government.”


House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) goes over some great points on why he opposed the bill.


Alright, I hope that opened your eyes to how much the Democratic leadership in Congress tried to keep this bill hidden from the members of Congress before they voted on the bill.  So many of the Democrats in Congress have said that they wish that they would’ve asked more question before supporting the War in Iraq.  I’m guessing that many Democrats will be  saying the same about this bill in a year or 2.

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Saxby Chambliss Wins Georgia Senate Runoff Election

December 2, 2008

A half hour ago (while I was in a meeting), the mainstream media confirmed what I called around 90 minutes ago: Saxby Chambliss has won the runoff election for the Georgia Senate.

As of now, with 86% of the precincts reporting, Chambliss has 1,042,844 votes (59%), while Martin has 726,014 votes (41%).  Additionally, Chambliss has picked up over a dozen counties that he originally lost (I count 13 so far), while Martin has picked up 1 (although the margin there is only about 30 votes out of over 3,000, with 92% reporting, so that could go either way by the time it reaches 100%).

Congratulations to Senator Chambliss, and thank God that the Republicans didn’t lose the ability to filibuster in the Senate!

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Early Results Show Saxby Chambliss Will Win Senate Runoff Election

December 2, 2008

Saxby Chambliss, the Republican incumbent in Georgia is looking like he’s going to win his Senate race against Democrat Jim Martin.

As of now, he’s taken some counties that Martin won the first time (he has a substantial lead in Jenkins county with 57% reporting, while he lost that county the first time, as well as several other counties).

As of now, Chambliss has 332,569 votes (65%), and Martin has 180,225 (35%).  This is with 22% reporting.

I’m ready to call it.  Chambliss has lead in all the polls after the election, and I see no reason that Martin is going to make up this 15% (although he will beging to rebound once more of metro-Atlanta comes in.

So, there you go: Saxby Chambliss, that’s my call.  I’m guessing the media will have a call by 9:30 P.M. EST.

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Georgians: Get Out and Vote Today!

December 2, 2008

Georgians, today is the day for the runoff election for your Senate seat.  Incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) is up against challenger Jim Martin (D).

saxbybanner_160x60Folks, this battle could be the most important Senate race of the year.  This race right here could determine whether or not the Democrats reach the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 Senators (depending on how the recount in Minnesota goes).

That is why I urge you to get out and support Saxby Chambliss.  Chambliss was ahead by 3.0% when all of last election’s votes were counted.  Don’t let this runoff give the Democrats an opportunity to completely take control of the Senate.  Chambliss was 0.2% away from winning the last election, but because he fell short of 50%, according to Georgia law, a runoff election must be held.

Conservatives, I cannot stress how important this race is.  If you have free time today, go down and help out the Chambliss campaign.  I’ve made a contribution to the campaign, and I’m up in Michigan.  This race could impact the entire country, so above all, make sure you get out and vote.

For more information, you can visit Chambliss’s website: http://www.saxby.org/Home.aspx.

I’ll try to cover some of the results as they come in tonight.

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Funny Exchange Between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

November 15, 2008

Jean-David Levitte, Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, reported the following exchange between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, back in August when the situation with Georgia was going on:

Levitte said that on August 12th, Sarkozy told Putin that the world would not react kindly if Russia overthrew the Georgian government, specifically Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, as Russian tanks were only 30 miles from Tbilisi.  He then reported the following exchange:

“I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Putin replied to Sarkozy’s above comments (which there is no exact quote for).

Sarkozy: “Hang him?”

Putin: “Why not?  The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Sarkozy: “Yes but do you want to end up like Bush?”

Putin, after recovery from a loss for words: “Ah, you have scored a point there.”

President Mikhail Saakashvili, after hearing the exchange, told reporters, “I knew about this scene, but not all the details.  It’s funny, all the same.”

Now, although this is somewhat amusing, it is also scary at the same time, because it confirms suspicions that Putin, not President Dmitry Medvedev, is really the one calling the shots in Moscow.

I will say, Sarkozy is one of my favorite foreign leaders, and I hope that he’ll continue to stand up against Russia.

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Live Analysis of the October 7th Presidential Debate

October 7, 2008

Alright, we’re about 3 minutes away from tonight’s Presidential debate.  This one will be held in Belmont University in Nashville, TN.  Tonight, I’ll again be watching CNN and  the focus group will be undecided voters in Ohio (this time it’ll be broken up by men and women).  Tonight’s moderator will be NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

Alright, we’re now starting.

Allen Shaffer: “What’s the fastest solution to bail out” citizens, from economic turmoil?

Obama: We’re in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and many of you are worried.  This is the final burden on the failed economic policies of the last 8 years.  McCain agreed with Bush, and stripped regulations, and now we’re paying for it.  Step 1: Make sure last week’s rescue package succeeds.  Come on Obama, it won’t – the package sucked!  The focus group is liking this.  Step 2: Tax cuts for citizens.  Help people stay in their homes.  Help states create jobs.  Health care.  Have politicians thinking about middle class.  Women really loved him, and men were pretty high up there too.

McCain: Americans are angry and upset and fearful.  I have a plan to fix this problem: energy independence.  Don’t send money to countries who don’t like us.  “Let’s not raise taxes on anybody–today.”  What was that – what was that “today” – that sounded bad.  “We’re gonna have to do something about home values.”  People can’t afford mortgage payments (well, that’s mainly their fault).  Have government buy up bad mortgages so people can pay them off – come on McCain – that plan sucks.  People had been liking him a lot there (more men than women), but it dropped down a bit toward the end.

Brokaw: Who would you appoint to Treasury Secretary?

McCain: Not you Tom.

Brokaw: With good reason.

McCain: Somebody who people can connect with.  Meg Whitman – CEO of some company – oh – Ebay.

Obama: Warren Buffett would be a good person, but there are others as well.  McCain said, “The fundamentals of the economy are sound.”  That’s because they are.  The principles of our economy, and the American work ethic is sound.

Oliver Clark: How will the bailout bill help people?

McCain: “You described bailout, I believe it’s rescue.”  I left my campaign to go back to Washington to make sure that there were protections for the taxpayer – oversight and a way to pay back taxpayers.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are what lit this thing on fire, and many hadn’t heard of them before this crisis.  Democrats in Congress defended what Fannie and Freddie did while they got money from the two.  Obamagot the second highest amount of money from Fannie and Freddie.  Fannie and Freddie started this forest fire.  And he’s not doing to well with the focus group during that, although it came up toward the end.

Obama: Right now, the credit markets are frozen, so small businesses can’t get loans, and can’t make payroll, so they may have to lay people off.  “That’s why we had to take action.”  The biggest problem in this whole thing was the deregulation of the financial system.  I argued for more regulation, but nothing happened.  I never promotedFannie, but McCain’s somebody on his campaign–was something with Fannie Mae (I didn’t catch the whole statement).  The President has to make sure that the homeowners are protected.  He got pretty good ratings there.

Brokaw: Are you saying it’ll get worse before it gets better?

Obama: No, I am confident in the American economy.  Isn’t that what McCain said when he said the fundamentals are strong?  HYPOCRITE!  He got great ratings there.

McCain: It depends on what we do.  If we stabilize it and buy up bad loans, and get rid of special interests in Washington, we can fix our economy.  Our workers are the best in the world.  They’re the fundamental aspect of our economy.  “We gotta give them a chance to do their best. … They’re the innocent bystanders of” this crisis.

Teresa Finch: “How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got us into this global economic crisis?”

Obama: I understand your crisis and cynicism.  “You’re right, there is a lot of blame to go around. … But remember, when George Bush came into office, we had a surplus … now we have a deficit.”  We’ve almost doubled our deficit.  Nobody is completely innocent.  I’m going to spend money on key issues that we have to work on, health care and energy.  Ratings are really high here.  Invest in college affordability.  “I’m cutting more than I’m spending.”  And men just plummeted in their ratings there.  And what exactly is he planning on cutting?

McCain: “The system in Washington is broken.”  I’ve been a reformer and crossed the aisle, working with Senator Feingold on campaign finance reform.  “The situation today cries out for bipartisanship. … Let’s look at our records as well as our rhetoric.”  Obama is proposing 860 billion dollars of new spending, and voted for every increase of spending that came across the floor.  He voted for nearly a billion dollars in pork barrel spending, including a projector for a planetarium in Illinois.  We need to get Americans working again, and get more jobs for Americans.  We need nuclear power.  We need to stop depending on foreign oil.  Ratings were pretty bad there, but came up at the end.  McCain was right – Obama’s earmarks are just atrocious.

Brokaw: Health care, energy, and entitlement reform – order of priorities?

McCain: Do all 3 at once.  We won’t be able to provide same benefits for future retirees as we are able to today.  I’ve worked across the aisle.  We can work on nuclear power plants, create new jobs.  We need alternative fuels, wind, tide, solar, natural gas, clean coal.  Health care – everyone is struggling to make sure they can afford their premiums.  We can do these all at once, and we have to do them all at once.

Obama: Your list of priorities.  Energy, we have to deal with today.  Gas is expensive, and it may go up.  Some countries like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran are gaining from high oil prices.  In 10 years, we need to be free of foreign oil.  Just like Kennedy said we can go to the moon in 10 years, this can be done.  That was a great analogy!  I missed what he just said.  I want to go line-by-line and eliminate programs in the federal government, and eliminate programs that don’t work, and make others cheaper.  Women are rating him really high now.  Money given to big oil companies, which McCain wants, takes money out of the system.  Don’t mislead, Obama, he wants to give tax cuts to ALL companies, but that doesn’t exclude oil companies.

Brokaw: What are you gonna ask Americans to sacrifice to get out of the depression?

McCain: Talking about defense contracts that were done corruptly.  Get rid of earmarks, and some of those are “good” projects, but they have to be eliminated still.  Except for Defense, Veterans Affairs, and other crucial programs, we will have to have a spending freeze.  Keep everything transparent.  Don’t allow for the government to hide earmarks.

Obama: After September 11, everybody came together, and President Bush did some smart things at the outset.  We need leadership to focus on problems inside and outside of government.  We need to think about how we use energy – we need to tell oil companies to start drilling and invest in clean coal technology.  We need to think of ways that we can conserve energy, and provide incentives to buy American cars that are fuel efficient.  The young people of America want to serve, and we need to increase the Peace Corps.  Ratings were really high there, especially among women.

Brokaw: President Bush last summer said Wall Street got drunk.  Now many think that both Washington and consumers also got drunk.  How do you get people to reduce easy credit and overspending?

Obama: We have to cut spending and increase revenue.  There are $18 billion in earmarks, but McCain wants to give tax cuts to CEOs, and that’s not sharing the burden.  Actually, it IS sharing the burden – it’s sharing it equally.  All of us need to contribute and make sacrifices.  We don’t need an across-the-board freeze.  That way, we only help those who need it.

McCain: Obama wants to raise taxes.  The last President who raised taxes during hard times was Herbert Hoover.  We’ve lost 700,000 jobs in America, but300,000 jobs have been created by small businesses.  Obama’s tax increases will increase taxes on over 50% of small businesses, meaning that jobs will have to be cut.  Obama said he’d fore go his tax increases if the economy was bad.  The economy is bad.  I don’t want to increase tax cuts.  I want to leave tax cuts alone, but give tax credits to people, and give credits for health care.  Let’s get our economy going again.

Obama just tried to keep going and Brokaw shut him up!  YEAH!

Brokaw: Would you tell Congress to do something about Social Security and Medicare within 2 years?

Obama: We won’t solve Social Security and Medicare without solving tax problems.  I want to provide a tax cut for 95% of Americans.  THAT’S A LIE!  ONLY 90% of Americans even make enough money to PAY taxes!  We provide a 50% tax credit to small businesses to buy healthcare.  And the ratings are really high here, again, especially with women.  McCain wants to give tax cuts to large corporations and the rest going to CEOs.  “That is not fair, and it doesn’t work.”  If we reverse the policies of the last 8 years, then we can deal with Social Security and Medicare, because we’ll have a health care plan that works for you.

McCain: “Hey, I’ll answer the question.”  It’s not that tough to fix social security – we have to sit down and fix this together.  Reagan and Tip O’Neill sat down and worked together.  Have a commission come together withrecommendations.  Then have Congress vote up or down, and not fool with it.  Obama has voted to increase taxes and voted against tax cuts.  I have fought to reform government.  “We’ll get our economy going again, and our best days are ahead of us.”

Ingrid Jackson: Congress moved pretty fast with the economic crisis.  How would you make sure they move fast with environmental issues?

McCain: “When we have an issue that we may hand our children a damaged planet–I have disagreed strongly with the Bush Administration.”  We brought this issue to the Senate.  We need nuclear power.  Nuclear power is safe and clean, and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.  My liberal roommate’s getting mad that the focus group doesn’t like this: “These voters suck.”  And the ratings went up a bit at the end there.

Obama: “It is absolutely critical.”  We need to create a new energy economy.  We need to understand that this is a national security issue.  I favor nuclear power as one component.  OK, the focus group does suck.  They’re now rating him high, and he’s saying basically what McCain said.  The focus group seems kinda biased.  McCain’s problem withenergy is that he hasn’t done anything with alternative fuels.  It’s easy to talk about this stuff, but McCain hasn’t done anything.  McCain talks about drilling, and that’s important, but there’s not enough here at home to “drill our way out of the problem.”

Brokaw: Do we need a Manhattan-like project to deal with the energy crisis?

McCain: We need government involvement initially, and then once it’s started, release it to the private sector.  Obama (this is where he said “that one”) voted for a bill that Bush/Cheney backed with lots of money for oil companies, and I voted against it.

Lindsey Trella: Health care has become a profitable industry.  Should health care be treated as a commodity?

Obama: Health care is a very important issue.  Premiums have doubled over the last 8 years, and co-pays have increased as well.  We have a moral and economic imperative to do something about this.  Here’s what I would do: you can keep your plan if you like it, and we’ll work with your employer to lower your premiums.  We’ll work on making forms electronic, instead of on paper.  You’ll be able to have the same health care plan that Congress gets.  McCain has a different approach.  He’ll give you a $5,000 tax credit, but then tax your employer health care benefits.  He’ll then take out regulations that states have that make sure that you get certain things covered under your insurance.

McCain: You’ve identified one of the major challenges that America faces (directed to the audience member).  We need to impose efficiencies.  There’s a fundamental difference between me and Obama.  Obama will pose mandates.  If you’re a small business owner or parent, and you can’t afford health care for your employees or children, Obama will fine you.  How does that help the situation?  He’s ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!  How will that help you if you can’t afford health care already?  95% of Americans will have increased funds to get health care under my plan, except the really rich people.

Brokaw: Is health care a privilege, right, or responsibility?

McCain: Responsibility.  The government shouldn’t mandate that health care must be provided to all.  There shouldn’t be fines for these companies or parents, and Obama hasn’t said how much the fine is yet.

Obama: Right, for every American.  Talking about his mother dying at 53, and arguing with insurance companies.  He’s really rating high right now.  If you have a plan that you like, you can keep it, I’ll just help lower the premium.  Small businesses won’t have a mandate, they’ll get a 50% tax credit.  We don’t want kids going to ERs for treatable illnesses like asthma.  McCain voted against (something dealing with children and health care).  Crack down on insurance companies cheating their companies.  The problem with going across state lines is that companies will go to states that have laxed laws and cheat their customers, like banks do in Delaware.  DID HE JUST USE HIS RUNNING MATE’S STATE AS A BAD EXAMPLE!!!

Phil Elliot: How will our economic distress affect our position in the standing of the world militarily?

McCain: Much of the criticism of our foreign policy is justified.  We are peace makers and keepers.  We need to know when to go in and when not.  That question can only be answered by someone who understands these things.  We need to prevent the spread of genocide.  He’s rating really high here.  My opposition to sending Marines to Lebanon, and my stance on Bosnia, Russia, and others show that I understand these things.  Obama has been on the wrong side of some of these issues.

Obama: I don’t understand how we invaded Iraq when bin Laden is still free.  McCain said that Iraq would be quick and easy.  We’re spending money in Iraq when Iraq has a surplus.  We need that money more than them, and they have a surplus.  We are the greatest nation in the world, but we can’t maintain our military superiority if our economy continues to decline.  He is right about that.  We need to fundamentally change our foreign policy.

Brokaw: Let’s establish doctrines for using force when national security isn’t at stake, but in humanitarian issues?

Obama: Would’ve stopped Rwanda and the Holocaust.  When we stand idly by as genocide occurs, that diminishes us.  We should intervene when possible, but we can’t be everywhere all the time.  We need to work in concert with our allies, such as in Darfur.  We need to lead the international community.

McCain: If we had withdrawn from Iraq when Obama wanted to, it would have been a travesty.  Genocide is terrible, and we never want it to happen again.  We need a person who understands the limits of our capabilities.  We went into Somalia being peace makers, but had to withdraw in humiliation.  I stood up against Reagan with Lebanon.  We have to be able to beneficially affect the situation, realizing that we’re sending Americans into harm’s way.  I won’t make these decisions lightly.  We can’t have another Holocaust or Rwanda, but we can’t make the situation worse.

Katie Hamm: Should we respect Pakistani sovereignty and allow terrorists to stay there or invade like we did with Cambodia during Vietnam?

Obama: We got distracted from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, and went to Iraq.  They’re now stronger now than any time since 2001.  They’re plotting to kill Americans right now.  We need to end the war in Iraq, put troops into Afghanistan, eliminate drug trafficking, and change policies with Pakistan.  We need to encourage democracy, and if we have bin Laden in our sights, and Pakistan won’t or can’t take him out, we will take him out.  That’s our number 1 national security priority.

McCain: Obamawants to announce when we’re going to attack Pakistan.  It’ll turn public opinion against us.  We drove Russians out of Afghanistan with Afghani freedom fighters, and that led to bin Laden coming to power.  General Petraeushad a strategy of getting the support of the Pakistani people, and working with them to get Al Qaeda.  Don’t threaten to attack them, but talk with them.

Obama: Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan, but to strike inside of Pakistan if bin Laden is available to be taken out.  And I agree with Obama here on this one.  McCain IS twisting his words, and not taking bin Laden out when Clinton happened is one of the things that led to September 11th.  Pakistan was not promoting democracy, and it undermined our fight on the war on terrorism.

McCain: I have supported efforts that the U.S. had to go in militarily, but opposed it when it wasn’t necessary.  I was joking with a veteran about Iran (Obama used McCains “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” quote).  I will act responsibly as I have through my military career.

Brokaw: In Afghanistan, the senior British Commander has said that we’re failing in Afghanistan.  The Afghans need to take over.  We need an acceptable dictator.  What’s your opinion?

Obama: We need to withdraw from Iraq responsibly, and make the Iraqis take control so that we can put more troops into Afghanistan.

McCain: The same overall strategies between Afghansitan and Iraq are the same.  We need more troops, like Obama is saying.  Obama still won’t admit that the surge worked, and that’s the same strategy that we will need in Afghanistan.  Once they feel secure, they can lead normal lives, the same thing that’s happening in Iraq today.  And he’s absolutely right here.

Brokaw: How can we get Russia to behave better without starting another Cold War?

McCain: We won’t have another Cold War.  I warned about Vladimir Putin a long time ago – I saw a “K,” a “G,” and a “B.”  He was wrong with Georgia.  Ukraine is in Russia’s sights now (it’s in the sights of the Somalians too – that whole pirate thing is just weird).  We need to talk, such as in the G8 summits.  Russia must realize that this is not acceptable, and we need economic and diplomatic means to show that that this is not acceptable.  Really high ratings there, and he’s absolutely right.

Obama: Russia will be an issue that we’ll have to deal within the next 4 years.  I agree with Senator McCain on most of that.  We can’t just have diplomacy.  We need to support, financially, former U.S.S.R. countries, such as Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, etc.  Georgia is suffering, and that’s probably what Putin wanted to happen.  Russia was trying to obtain territories, and this is unacceptable.  We need to be proactive, not reactive.  He is right here - we have to be a step or 2 ahead of Russia.  Energy will be key in dealing with Russia, that’s one of the things that happened in Georgia’s situation.

Brokaw: Is Russia under Putin an evil empire?

Obama: No, but their actions are sometimes.

McCain: If I say yes, it reignites the Cold War.  If I say no, it seems like I’m ignoring it.  Energy is a key issue.  My liberal roommate just said that both want to say yes, but it’d be political suicide to do so.

Terry Shirey: If McCain attacks Israel, would you send troops or wait for UN Security Council approval?

McCain: We wouldn’t wait, because Russia and China would pose obstacles to sending troops.  Iran with nukes is a threat to the stability of the Middle East – other countries would acquire nukes.  Obama would meet with them without preconditions.  I would impose tough sanctions, and we can abridge their behavior, and hopefully they’ll abandon this quest for nukes.  We can never allow a second Holocaust to take place.

Obama: We cannot a nuclear Iran.  “It would be a game changer in the region.”  It would threaten Israel – one of our strongest allies.  As well, it would lead to nukes in the hands of terrorists.  I will never take military action off the table.  If we can work more effectively with more other countries to tighten sanctions, we should.  He’s getting rated higher, but said the same things as McCain – the focus group is biased folks.  Neither of them answered the question about if Iran ATTACKED Israel.  When we stopped talkingwith Iran, their nuclear pursuance increased, as did North Korea’s when we stopped talking.

Brokaw: What don’t you know, and how will you learn it?

Obama: It’s the challenges that we don’t expect that consume most of our time.  I wouldn’t be standing here if my country hadn’t given me great opportunity.  The question in this election is will we pass on this same American dream?  That dream has diminished – people are losing health care and going bankrupt.  Kids can’t afford college.  We can’t keep doing the same for the next 8 years.  We need fundamental change.  Really good ratings there!

McCain: I think what I don’t know is what’s gonna happen both here at home and overseas.  What I don’t know is what the expected will be.  I know what it’s like in dark times.  I know what it’s like to fight and hope through dark times.  “I know what it’s like to have your comrades and neighbors reach out to you and put you back in the fight.  That’s what America’s all about.”  It’s been my privilege to serve this country, and I’m asking for an opportunity to serve you more.  I’ve always put my country first.  Good ratings at the end, but not as good as Obama’s.

Brokaw, thank you… “You’re in the way of my script.”  Thank you, and goodnight from Nashville.

Alright, overall, I thnk that both candidates performed pretty poorly.  Overall, I can’t really pick a winner.  I hate doing this again, like I did after the last debate, but I’m going to have to call this one a tie.  McCain wasn’t as strong on foreign policy as he could’ve been (and that’s his strong point).  On economic issues, he had some good plans but he didn’t seem to appeal to the average Joe citizens.  The media has been commenting on McCain calling Obama “That one” when he was talking about Obama voting for money given to oil companies (and I’ve put it in italics in the text above).  Apparently it caught some people as awkward.  The consensus on CNN was that it was intended as “that one” versus “this one” (meaning “me” from McCain’s stand point).  Sure it was maybe bad wording, but I don’t think it was anything to get worked up about (and again, my liberal roommate agrees here).  Look, politicians use poor choices of words all the time.  I’m not saying McCain should’ve said it, but it’s nothing that people need to complain about.

Also, Obama seemed to get a little overconfident at the end, and he was stuttery at times.

Both candidates wanted to violate the rules of the debate, and just keep talking.  I think Brokaw needed to do a better job of moderating.  Instead of just saying, “You didn’t stop when the red light turned on,” he should’ve said, “Your time is up.”

At some points, some of McCain’s humor was just sucky (kinda like my fathers at times – he’ll tell these lame jokes when he’s doing announcements at church that he’s got this reputation, and people just kinda laugh to humor him, and the fact that he’s tried to tell a joke becomes the joke – it’s not always a bad thing, but it was with McCain).

Again, I do think that this was a tie, and this was one that McCain could not afford to lose.  McCain is going to need a couple small miracles to actually come back from where he’s at now.  I’m not giving up hope, but it’s definitely Obama’s race to lose at this point.

CNN just released a poll – Obama gained favoribility and lost unfavorability, but McCain stayed the same on both.  Overall, those polled thought Obama won (56%-30%).

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of the September 26 Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

September 26, 2008

**My apologies for any typos – I tried to catch all of them, but live blogging a debate is hard, and my keyboard acts up from time to time (especially the space bar), so if you see a typo, just leave a comment and I’ll fix it.**

We’re about a minute out, I’ll be live blogging the whole event.  Jim Lehrer (PBS) is the moderator.  I’ll be watching CNN (it would be FOX, but they weren’t ready on time).

The Ku Klux Klan is in the audience, we’ve heard, but not in robes and not protesting.

First question, “Where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?”

Obama: Thank you to everybody – the usual beginning.  “Worst financial crisis since the great depression. … We have to move swiftly and we have to move wisely.”  Talking about oversight, since it’s a lot of money.  Taxpayers need to be able to get the money back.  Shouldn’t be padding CEO bank accounts.  Talking about trickle down economics not working.  That’s not going to help him win over any Republicans.

McCain: Senator Kennedy is in the hospital.  Thank you to the sponsors, etc.  Talking about seeing Democrats and Republicans sitting down and working together, and the magnitude of the crisis.  Emphasizing that we have to work together, something that Obama didn’t mention – that was good from McCain.  Talking about having options for loans for businesses, not the government taking over those loans.  GOOD – not a pure bailout!  CNN has an audience  reaction, and McCain is getting a pretty good response from the Independents (must be some keypad rating system or something).  Talking about a lot of work to do if this will work.  Eliminate dependence on foreign oil – good.

Lehrer: Do you favor this plan?

Obama: I “haven’t seen the language yet.”  “How did we get in this situation in the first place?”  Talking about him warning 2 years ago that mortgage abuse would lead us down a trail we can’t afford to go down.  “Yes, we have to solve this problem short term, … but … look at how we shredded so many regulations … and that has … to do with an economic philosophy that says regulation is bad.”

Lehrer: “Will you vote for the plan?”

McCain: “Sure.”  Talking about warning about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Talking about getting flack for calling for resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission.  And the Independents’ rating has skyrocketed.  Republicans increased too.  It was good – him calling for the resignation, and people like that.

Obama: Talking about people struggling before this crisis.  It’s interesting – the Dems are rating Obama higher than the Indies, but the Indies rated McCain higher than the Reps.  Talking about holding ourselves accountable, all the time, talking about nurses and teachers, and politicians not paying attention to them.  Good – he’s appealing to the average Americans here, and that’s who he needs to win over.

McCain: “We have a long way to go.”  Need consolidation of regulatory agencies who failed and let us slip into this crisis.  Talking about the greatness of the American worker, and the Republicans like it, but it’s not that appealing to Independents, but it will appeal to a lot of average Joe Americans, as long as they believe he’s sincere (and the audience must not have).

Lehrer: How do we get out of the crisis?

McCain: Spending control.  And the Reps and Inds, liked it – and this is one of McCain biggest points, and now he’s talking about Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), a huge anti-earmark politician.  Talking about the DNA testing of bears.  I LOVE McCain saying he’ll veto earmarked bills.  It’s one of his best stances.  He’s talking about Obama asking for earmark spending.  Talking about not being able to rein in spending with a plan like Obama’s.

Obama: The earmark process has been abused.  Lobbyists and special interests introduce these things, often times.  Contrasting the cost of earmarks against tax cuts (by allegedly McCain) for CEOs and big companies.  “Grow the economy for the bottom up.”  Tax cut for 95% of working families.  HOLD IT!  Only 90% of working families even PAY taxes!!!!  Come on Obama, don’t lie.

McCain: Obama suspended those earmarks after he started running for Congress.  YOU TELL ‘EM MCCAIN!  He’s saying that earmarks have tripled in 5 years, even though “it’s only $18 billion” (as pro-earmarkers say).  He was called the Sheriff.  That’s pretty sweet.  As I was saying before, we need to take Coburn’s example and STOP EARMARKS!

Obama: Interrupted McCain (must be kinda less formal).  Talking about priorities, and shipping, and I missed the rest.  Saying he’ll keep us from spending unwisely.  Earmarks alone won’t get us back on track.  The Democrats are loving this, but the Independents, aren’t really liking it.

McCain: Talking about the business tax, that we pay the 2nd highest in the world, 35%.  “I want to cut that business tax.  I want to cut it.”  “It’s a lot more than $18 billion in pork barrel spending.”  And he’s right, it’s SO much more than that, and it’s hidden in so many bills.  The Independents are liking this.  “I want every family to have a $5,000 refundable tax credit” for healthcare.  Double the dependent amount refund for children.

Obama: “Here’s what I can tell America 95% of you will get a tax cut.”  LIAR.  10% don’t even PAY taxes.  And another 5% make over $200,000, and he won’t give them a tax cut.  LIAR!  Saying McCain wants to add an additional tax cut over the loopholes.  Talking about McCain’s health care tax credit.  Saying McCain wants to tax health benefits.  That’s not true.

McCain: Talking about an energy bill with breaks for oil companies, and McCain voted against it, but Obama voted for it.”  Obama tried to interrupt – that just looks tacky when he keeps doing it.  Saying that Obama has shifted on a number of occasions.

Obama: Talking about Obama lying about the oil companies.  “I was opposed to those tax breaks … tried to strip them out.”

Lehrer: “As President … what are you going to have to give up … as a result of having to pay for the financial rescue plan?”

Obama: “Right now, it’s hard to anticipate what the budget is going to look like next year.”  He’s right about that.  “Energy independence.”  Talking about solar, wind, biodiesel here at home.  And the Independents REALLY loved that – highest rating I’ve seen all night.  Fix our healthcare system.  Compete in education – science and technology.  “Make sure our children are keeping pace in math and in science.”  Make college affordable for all.  That’s not even useful.  Not EVERYBODY needs college.  America needs plumbers and other basic labor workers too.

McCain: “No matter what, we have got to cut spending.”  Obama has most liberal rating.  “It’s hard to reach across the aisle from that far to the left.”  Do away with cost-plus contracts.  Talking about defense contracts and needing fixed-cost contracts.  And he’s absolutely right.  One of the big areas we need to save money is in defense contracts.  Talking about fixing a contract with Boeing, and people ending up in prison because of it, but hte Independents didn’t like that too much.

Lehrer: Neither of you are really going to have big changes?

Obama: “I want to make sure that we are investing in energy in order to [break off from] foreign oil.”  Right now, even the Democrats aren’t giving him a good audience reaction.  The Republicans are giving him a higher rating!  Saying that him being wildly liberal is just him opposing George Bush.  And that spiked the Dems’ rating.  Saying that he’s worked with Coburn so that taxpayers can see who’s promoting spending projects.

Lehrer: “How [will] this effect you in the approach you will take to the Presidency.”

McCain: Spending freeze on all but Veterans, defense, and I forget what else.

Obama: You’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.  But heck, that’d have to be a big scalpel.  But he does have a point here.

McCain: We’re sending money overseas, and some of that goes eventually to terrorists (through oil).  We need nuclear, solar, wind, offshore drilling, etc…  Get 70,000 (?) jobs by building nuclear plants throughout the country.  And Obama is against this.  And that’s one thing that really angers me about Obama – WE NEED NUCLEAR!

Obama: “There is not fact that it [economic crisis] will affect our budgets” even if we get the $700 billion back.  “If we’re lucky and do it right, that could potentially happen.”  “We can expect less tax revenue.”  And he’s really not getting a good audience response here.  Talking about not being able to leave out healthcare, and the Independents’ and Republicans’ approval just dropped.

McCain: Families should make decisions between themselves and doctors, not federal government.  “I have fought to cut spending.”  “Obama needs to cancel new spending programs.”  Talking about taking care of veterans.  Healthy economy, lowering, not raising taxes, with spending restraint.  And the independents liked that.  Talking about owing China money, and saying he’s fought against excessive spending.  And the ratings are skyrocketing – and again, I LOVE his stance on spending!

Obama: It’s been your President who presided over this spending.  But Bush and McCain aren’t the same.  Stop pretending they are.  That still got a good reply from the Independents.

McCain: I have opposed the President on spending, torture, Guantanamo, climate change.  Talking about being an Independent and Maverick, and having Sarah Palin as the same.  His ratings stunk right there.  He lost Dems, Reps, and Inds.

Lehrer: On to Iraq.

McCain: “Our initial military success … Baghdad, and everybody celebrated.”  Then the war was mishandled.  Came up with a new strategy.  It’s succeeding.  The Inds and Dems rating has fallen a lot, but hte Reps are rating him high.  Talking about the consequences of defeat being Iranian influence higher, more sectarian violence, and U.S. having to come back (referring to defeat before the surge).  And the Inds just started to rate him a lot better.  I think he did as good as he could back there.

Obama: I would’ve voted against it.  “We hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan … caught bin Laden … and put Al Qaeda to rest.”  Talking about soon to be a trillion dollars spent, plus 4,000 lives lost.  Saying that Al Qaeda is stronger than ever.  “We took our eye off the ball.”  Talking about Iraq having a surplus while we’re losing money.  He’s bringing up a LOT of good points that I thought would appeal to people, but he’s not rating THAT great, although the Dems really like him.  Now it’s peaked a bit more.

McCain: President will have to decide how and when we leave and what we leave behind.  He’s absolutely right.  Obama saying surge worked, but he’d still oppose it.  And he lost a lot of Indy rating points just back there.  But he’s right.  Obama is simply sticking by what he said even though what he said was WRONG!

Obama: Talking about McCain being right about reduced violence.  Saying troops and Petraeus doing a good job.  But that made up for mismanagement before that.  War started in 2003, not 2007.  Saying McCain said it’d be quick and easy, but he was wrong.  Saying we’d be greeted as liberators, but we weren’t.  And he lost a lot of support from Inds, but he’s still doing better than McCain has on Iraq.

McCain: Saying Obama doesn’t have military experience, he’s got some better support form Inds and Reps now.  Saying that this strategy and general are winning, but Obama refuses to acknowledge this.  (Obama: “That’s not true.”)  Talking about elections and peace coming to Iraq, and the strategy will be employed in Afghanistan in a McCain administration, and the Inds went up a bit there.  Talking about Obama voting against troop funding.

Obama: McCain opposed funding for troops in a timetable bill.  Had a difference on timetables, not funding.  And Obama’s right.  It always looks bad on paper when you vote against funding, but if you don’t agree with the overall bill, don’t vote for it.  I have to side with Obama here, and the Inds liked that a lot, and even the Republicans aren’t that negatively rating him.  Reduce combat troops in Iraq.  “Capture and kill bin Laden.”  We don’t have enough troops to deal with Afghanistan.

McCain: Saying that military leaders saying that Obama’s plan would be bad for the troops.  Talking about Petraeus praising the progress we’ve made.  Saying that under Obama’s plan, we’d have been out before the surge could have even succeeded.  Saying that Obama’s plan will “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Lehrer: How many and when (if more troops in Afghanistan)?

Obama: As soon as possible.  Saying that this year has been the year for highest troop fatalities.  Can’t separate Afghanistan from Iraq.  And the Independents are rating him lower than the Repubs now – that’s surprising.  Saying that Al Qaeda is the greatest threat against us, and that we have to deal with them in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq.  Press the Afghan government to make sure that they’re working for their people.  And he’s absolutely right – we need to press the Afghani government.  Talking about needing to reduce the poppy trade over there.  And that’s another area we need to work on.

McCain: Talking about not being ready to threaten Pakistan, because that’d be dangerous.  We need to get support of the people of Pakistan.  And the Independents are rating him pretty high here.  Saying that Obama doesn’t understand that we need a new strategy.  Saying that Pakistani terrorists are married to Al Qaeda and Taliban.  Ratings are very high from Reps and Inds.  Although it’s dropped now.  Saying we need more troops in Afghanistan, but saying that we have put more in already.  Talking about Obama publicly saying he’d attack Pakistan.

Obama: Saying that if we have Al Qaeda in sights, and Pakistan won’t help us take them out, then we need to take them out.  Again, I have to side with Obama here.  Talking about McCain singing “Bomb Iran.”  And that was so stupid of McCain, and really makes him look like a hypocrite a bit here.  Although he lost a lot of ratings there surprisingly.  Talking about not going after Al Qaeda, and they’re more powerful than ever.

McCain: Talking about him being a new Congressman – Reagan wanting to send Marines into Lebanon, and McCain voting against it, because he didn’t think that 300 Marines could make a difference, and saying that he was right – many Marines were killed in the bombing.  Talking about voting for going into Bosnia, when it wasn’t popular.  Saying that we need more than a peace-keeping force in Somalia.  And he’s right.  We need to do what’s RIGHT, not what’s popular!  Saying that our mission NEEDS to succeed.  And he’s absolutely right.  We don’t want defeat, and we cannot afford defeat!  “We won’t come home in defeat and dishonor and probably have to go back if we fail.”

Obama: “No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain. … We honor the service they’ve provided. … Are we making good judgments” for keeping America safe, because sending troops is such a huge issue.  “We are having enormous problems in Afghanistan.”  Saying it’s not true that McCain has consistently cared about Afghanistan.  Saying McCain said we could “muddle through” Afghanistan.

McCain: “I’ve visited Afghanistan … and I know what our needs are.  We will prevail … and we need a new strategy.”  If we adopt Obama’s plan, we’ll fail in Iraq, and that will have a great effect on Afghanistan.  Obama fails to see that the 2 are connected.

Lehrer: “What is your reading from the threat from Iran?”

McCain: If Iran acquires nukes, it’s a threat to Israel and other countries.  Others will feel the need to get nukes.  “We can’t afford a second holocaust.”  Proposing a league of Democracies who would impose sanctions on Iranians, since the Russians won’t do it.  “The Iranians have a lousy government, so their economy is lousy, even though they have significant oil revenues.”  A nuclear Iran is a threat to the world.  They’re putting IEDs in Iraq.  They’re a sponsor of terror.  And he’s getting some pretty good ratings right now, from both Indeps and Repubs.

Obama: Talking about the thing that strengthened Iran was the War in Iraq.  Their involvement has grown.  They’ve tried harder to get nukes.  “We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.”  It would threaten Israel, and “create an environment [that would] set off an arms race in the Middle East.”  We can’t have sanctions without Russia and China.  Well Obama, you’re not going to get Russia OR China to side with you!  You’re dreaming if you think you will.  Saying we need to talk to leaders in Iran and North Korea, and he as President will.

McCain: Senator Obama twice said he’d sit down with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, and Castro.  Ahmadinejad is in New York now talking about extermination of Israel.  Saying that we can’t sit down without preconditions.  And he’s right.  NO President has ever sat down without preconditions (Reagan didn’t, JFK didn’t, and Nixon didn’t).  And now McCain is using examples that I just gave.  “I’ll sit down with anybody, but there’s gotta be preconditions.”  GOOD job McCain!  You’re absolutely right.

Obama: Ahmadinejad isn’t the most powerful person in Iran.  Saying as President, he can sit down with whoever he wants if it keeps America safe.  Saying that we CAN meet without preconditions, but not do with what we’ve been doing where we say you must do X or we won’t meet with you.  “Of course we need preparations.”  “It may not work.  Iran is a rogue regime.”  Obama is getting pretty much the same ratings now as McCain was getting a minute ago (about a third of the way between neutral and as positive as you can go).  “The Bush Administration and McCain’s advisors (Kissinger)” think we should meet without preconditions.  Saying McCain said we can’t meet with Spain, a NATO ally.

McCain: “Kissinger never said that the President could meet with Ahmadinejad.”  “Obama doesn’t understand that without precondition … you legitimize those comments [against Israel]. … It’s dangerous.”  Talking about North Koreans breaking everything they’ve ever said they’d do.

Obama: McCain keeps saying that I’ll meet with somebody without preparing – this isn’t true.  “We do not expect to solve every problem before we initiate talks.”  The Bush administration realized this doesn’t work.  “The notion that we’d meet with Ahmadinejad as he spews his comments is” wrong.

McCain: Kissinger would not say “that Presidential, top level” communications should be made without preconditions.

The two are going back and forth, and ratings are dropping a lot.

Lehrer: How do you see the relationship with Russia?

Obama: “Our entire Russian approach needs to be reevaluated. … Actions in Georgia were unacceptable and unwarranted.”  They need to get out of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  The Democrats really aren’t liking what he’s saying here.  The Inds are rating him higher than Dems are.  We can’t go back to a Cold War status with Russia.  We need to deal with loose nuclear weapons when it comes to Russia.  “Deal with Russia based on [our] national security interests.”

McCain: Obama doesn’t understand that Russia committed aggression against Georgia when he said that both sides need to back down a bit.  He’s compared Putin to the KGB.  We can’t go back to the Cold War.  The Georgian War “had everything to do with energy.”  McCain’s rating a bit better than Obama, but neither are performing well right now with the audience.  “The Russians ought to understand that we’ll support … the inclusion of Georgia, and Ukraine … into inclusion of NATO.”  The Russians violated their cease fire agreement.  Saying that Russian intentions toward Georgia – just waiting to cease the opportunity.  Expecting Russians to behave as a country who will respect boundaries.  And he’s right – Russia can’t be left to keep doing what it’s been doing.  It HAS to respect the sovereignty of other countries.  McCain rating pretty decent now, compared to an average rating before.

Obama: McCain and I agree for the most part on these issues.  Says he disagrees with McCain a bit on Georgia.  I don’t think the Dems liked that – Obama is doing a decent amount worse than McCain was doing.  Talking about Russian peace keepers in Georgia not making sense and that we needed international peace keepers there, and that might have avoided the situation.  And Obama is right there.  Talking about energy.  We need to increase offshore drilling.  “We can’t drill our way out of the problem.”  Talking about needing wind, solar, and nuclear.  And now he’s rating higher than McCain was at the end of McCain’s last statement.  Saying McCain voted against alternative energy 23 times.

McCain: Saying that Obama is really against nuclear, and that offshore drilling would help more than Obama says it would.  McCain is getting pretty low ratings now, especially from Dems.

Obama: I have never said that I object to nuclear waste, but I’d store it safely.

McCain: I’ve always been for alternative energy.

Lehrer: What do you think the likelihood is of another 9/11 attack?

McCain: Much less than the day after 9/11, but we’re not safe yet.  Talking about working across the aisle to establish the investigation commission.  Saying we need interrogators who won’t use torture.  Saying that we are safer now.

Obama: We need to do more in terms of securing transit and ports.  Biggest issue is not missiles coming over skies, but from a suitcase.  Spending billions on missile defense, which we need because of Iran/Korea, but we need more for other areas as well.  Ratings are pretty high for him here.  We need more cooperation with allies.  “The way we are perceived in the world” will affect the cooperation we get.  He’s right here.  We have slipped in terms of how we’re viewed by the world.  McCain has a good stance on terror.  And the ratings right there are the highest they’ve been at any time during the debate, even Reps rated him decently high.

McCain: If we fail in Iraq, Al Qaeda will establish a base in Iraq.  McCain isn’t rating too good right now, especially with Inds and Dems.  We can’t have specific dates for withdrawal.  We’ve had great success, but it’s fragile.

Obama: Saying that this administration has been solely focused on Iraq, and we haven’t captured bin Laden.  Talking about borrowing from China, and they’ve been active around the world, while we’ve been focused on Iraq.  We’re spending so much money, we can’t invest in health care or science/technology.  “We’ve never seen a nation who has a failing economy but maintains military strength, so this is a national security issue.”  The next President has to have better strategy for all the challenges we face.  Pretty good ratings there

McCain: Saying he’s been around involved in challenges.  Saying Obama doesn’t have  experience, but he does.  Talking about Obama failing to admit the success of the surge.  McCain is right here.  Obama is just being stubborn.  Saying that he’ll take care of veterans, that he has right judgment to keep nation safe and secure.  “I don’t need any on the job training.  I’m ready to go right now.”

Obama: Talking about his father being from Kenya, and that there’s not nation like America, where you can become so successful.  “Part of what we need to do … is to send a message to the world that we’ll invest in issues like education … how ordinary people can live out there dreams.”

McCain: Talking about coming home from prison and seeing veterans treated poorly, and working on bipartisan bills to see our veterans treated better.  I know how to deal with our adversaries and how to deal with our friends.

Lehrer: We’re done.  “Thank you and good night.”

McCain/Obama: “Good job.”

And there you have it – the wives are coming out and kissing each other.  A little more than the 90 minutes scheduled, but that’s ok.

OK, so who won?  Both Obama and McCain had some pretty good moments, but I don’t think there was a clear cut winner here.  I think both performed pretty much on the same level.  I’m not saying that the two were identical in debating, but I don’t think one did better than the other.  I absolutely hate saying this, because I love objectivity and clear cut answers, but I really do think it was a tie.

I’d love to go on more and more, but my hands are just killing me right now (hey – it was a lot of typing), so I think I’ve said most all of what I wanted to say.

By the way – a big thanks to my roommate who helped with correcting quotes and what was said.  It’s hard to keep up with typing and trying to listen, so a huge thanks to him for helping me out with this!

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of John McCain’s Acceptance Speech at the RNC

September 4, 2008

Alright, we’re now waiting for McCain to come out and speak – he’s had his family come out and Cindy spoke, theyr’e playing a video of him now.  And his mom just called him a “mamma’s boy” – that was funny.

Talking about his service in the military, and talking about being held as a Prisoner of War – I gotta say, no matter who you are, you have to respect John and any of our troops.

Talking about his time in the Senate, “committed to protect the American people,” opposed to pork barrel spending and tax increases.

Talking about his family, his children.  “What a life, what a faith, what a family.”  Nice quote.

The video is now over, and we are waiting for McCain to come out.

And Fred Thompson is now narrating, John McCain has now come out.  There’s a huge roar from the crowd.

It’s been about 2 minutes, all he’s been able to get out so far is, “Thank you,” over and over again.

“Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans, a privilege of accepting our party’s nomination for the President of the United States.”  There you go, he is now OFFICIALLY the Republican nominee.

“In my life, no success has come without a fight,” and this campaign wasn’t any different.  He’s saying that that’s a compliment to his former opponents, and he’s thanking them for now supporting him.  I think that’s one of the last few times he’ll need to try to bring bitter people over, people who had supported other Republican candidates, but not him.  Although he probably won’t sway over any more Ron Paul supporters that he hasn’t already won over.

He’s saying he’s grateful for George W. Bush, Laura Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Barbara Bush.  He said he’s “indebted” to Cindy and his 7 kids.  I “can’t imagine a life without the happiness you’ve given me. … [Cindy] is more my inspiration that I am hers.”  And that’s good – showing he’s a down-to-earth family man.  “And I know she will make a great first lady.”

He’s talking about his mother raising him as a kid, while his father was in the Navy, and he’s thanking her now.  96 years old!  Wow – she doesn’t look that old – Congratulations!

“I intend to earn [your trust].”

He’s saying that him and Obama will go at it, “but you have my respect and admiration.”  He’s saying that they’re both Americans, and that means more to him than anything else.  And that’s showing that McCain is going to keep this a civil election, and that ultimately, both want the best for America.

“My friends, we’re going to win this election!”  And that energized the crowd pretty quickly.  He’s showing a lot of optimism going into this.  After we’ve won we’ll “get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.”  And there’s now a war protester, and they’re all drowning her out with chants of “USA.”  He can’t get a word out.  “My friends, please don’t be diverted by the ground noise and the static.”  And the crowd has erupted.  “Americans want us to stop yelling at each other, OK.”  Back to what he was saying, these are tough times, and he got interrupted again.  Anyway, talking about him showing that a McCain administration will turn the country around, and get us back on our feet.

He’s just talked about Sarah Palin being his running mate, and that she’ll make a great Vice President.  He thanked everyone for their warm welcome last night.  He’s talking about her executive experience, energy, corruption, balancing budgets, taking on special interests, reaching across the aisle – he’s emphasizing things that Obama, who is a rookie as well, hasn’t accomplished.  And that’s the difference of experience.  Both Palin and Obama are rookies, but Palin has actually DONE things!

“I can’t wait to introduce her to Washington. … Change is coming!”  And Palin and McCain will bring change to Washington (sure, not all of it will be good,  but most of it will).

“I’m not in the habit of breaking my promises to my country, and neither is Governor Palin,” so you can count on us saying that we will turn this country around.  They have the strength, judgment, and experience to carry this out, he said.

“I don’t work for special interests.  I don’t work for myself.  I work for you.”  And that was an awesome quote.  It both brings him down to earth, but also appeals to moderates.  He’s talking about fighting corruption, no matter what party, and fighting big spenders in both parties.  And this is one of the things that I love about McCain - he’s saying he’ll veto any pork bills that come to his desk, and I love that policy.  It’s time that we stop wasting money, and McCain will do that for us.

“I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war” – using the quote he used during the primary, but that is such a GREAT quote, and it’s so true of John McCain and his “country first” slogan and policy.  Fortunately, the surge worked, and now McCain can go on to both win an election and help us win this war!

“I don’t mind a good fight [and] I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. … What you fight for is the real test.  I fight for Americans.  I fight for you.”  Again, a great quote, and McCain will fight for Americans.  Obama has spent most of his time in the Senate campaigning, and before that, he was in the Illinois legislature, where he voted “Present” most of the time.

He’s talking about making sure that the country where we have lost troops “will remain safe from its enemies.”  And he’s showing that he cares about these soldiers who have died overseas.

“We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption … when we made government bigger … when we valued our power over our principles.  We’re going to change that.”  And he’s again, showing that he will reform government, even if it makes Republicans angry.  “The party of Reagan and Roosevelt and Lincoln is going to get back to basics.”  GREAT quote – as I was saying, Republicans have lost their small government principles, and McCain will bring us back to that.  He’ll end big spending, and give the money back to the people where it belongs.

He’s talking about “letting the people keep the fruits of their labor,” cutting taxes, etc.

“We believe in the values of  families, neighborhoods. … We believe in a government who doesn’t make choices for you, but makes sure that you have choices to make for yourselves.”  McCain will reduce spending and Obama will increase them (McCain said that).  He’s saying that he’ll cut spending, but Obama will raise it.  McCain will encourage jobs, but Obama’s policies won’t.  McCain says he’ll cut the 2nd highest business tax in the world.  He said he’ll double the child tax exemption to $7,000, and that’s something that’ll appeal to the middle class, as it should.

“Government assistance for the unemployed was design for the 1950s.  That’s gonna change under my watch.”  Thank you – the welfare system is so out of date.  We need to completely reform the system (I’d say get rid of it, but that won’t happen, because the American church, who used to do what the government does now, can never take back the responsibility of caring for the poor).

Talking about finding employment at a decent wage.

“Track and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.”  Or you could just fire them!  That was harsh, I know.  “Parents deserve a choice in the education of their children, and I intend to give it to them.”  That’s good, as long as it’s not vouchers.  We don’t let people get out of Medicare taxes if they won’t use Medicare, so I don’t see why we should do it for schools.  “I want schools to answer to parents and students” not unions and bureaucrats “and when I’m President, they will.”  Great quote.  The school system (especially in Michigan, and ESPECIALLY in Wayne County needs reform!).  We need to cut spending where we can, where it’s just being wasted and put it into areas that NEED money.

He’s talking about more offshore drilling, and the crowd loved that – more “Drill baby drill” chants, using nuclear, power, wind, hydroelectric, and tide power plants.  “We must use all resources … to rescue our economy from rising oil prices and restore the health of our planet. … It’s an ambitious plan … but we’ve faced tougher challenges.  It’s time to show the world how Americans lead.”  That’s good.  He emphasized that Obama doesn’t like nuclear, and I LOVE nuclear power, as do a lot of Democrats I know.  We can’t keep making excuses for every type of power plant we find.  There’s downsides to all of them, but we can’t just sit around waiting for the perfect energy solution.

Talking about Iran, and their terrorist-supporting administration.  Talking about Russia invading Georgia, in order to gain more control over oil.

“I know how military works. … I know how the world works.”  He’s talking about knowing what is good in the military, and he said he knows the bad things that have happened in the military.  He will strengthen our military.  Talking about his grandfather, and World War II, and then dying the day after the peace agreement was signed – that shows you what he was living for.  He wanted to see America through the war safely – that is an American patriot for you!

“In America, we change things that need to be changed. … The work that is ours is plainly before us.  We don’t need to search for it.”  From transportation fuel, to disaster response, to the way we train workers.  “We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.”  Emphasizing change is good.  He’s showing that Obama won’t change Washington, he hasn’t.  McCain has been a champion of change, and when he’s President, he will CONTINUE to change Washington.

“I will fix problems that need to be fixed.  I will reach out my hand to anyone to get this country moving again.  I have that record and the scars to prove it.  Senator Obama does not.”  Great quote there – and showing that Obama has been a DO NOTHING Senator, but McCain has done stuff, even when it wasn’t popular.

“We can do anything we put our minds to.  I’ll ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me.  My administration will” be transparent.  And he’s shown he’ll have Independents – I think he’ll have Lieberman in his cabinet.

“I’ve never lived through days, good or bad, that I haven’t thank God for the privilege.”  Good quote there.  Now he’s saying that he “was blessed by misfortune … [in] serving with heroes.”  He’s talking about being captured by the Vietnamese, talking about getting ready to go out for his 23rd mission.  He’s saying that he was doing stuff for his own pleasure and pride.  Now he’s talking about being put into the cell.  Once they found out who his father was, they took him to a hospital, putting him simply in a cast, not setting the bones properly.  Saying that he couldn’t even feed himself, that he was no longer living for selfish independence.  Talking about being with 2 men.  “Those men saved my life.”  Talking about him being offered to leave early, but he refused, because there had been men shot down before him.  And that got a huge response from the crowd, as it should – he’s an American hero, and now they’re shouting “hero” – but he is a hero.  He’s an American patriot and hero.

He’s saying that after he turned down their offer, they abused him more than ever, and they eventually broke him.  He said he was ashamed, but a friend told him that he had fought as hard as he could, and no man can fight alone, but to get up and fight.  “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. … I loved it because it was not just a place, an idea, a cause worth fighting for.  I was never the same again.  I was never my own again anymore.  I was my country’s.”  That was a GREAT quote.  It shows how much dedication he has to his country.  He doesn’t care about himself, but about all of us.

“If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. … become a teacher, enter the ministry, run for public office … teach an illiterate adult to read. … Our country will be better and you will be happier, because nothing is better than to serve a cause other than yourself.  I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. … With hard work, strong faith, and a little courage, great things are always within our reach.  Fight with me, fight for what’s good for our country, fight for opportunity for all.  Stand up and defend our country from it’s enemies.  Stand up for each other.  Stand up and fight.  We’re Americans, we never give up, we never quit, we never hide from history, we make history.”  And you couldn’t even hear him anymore, the crowd was just overwhelmingly loud.  They were just cheering and cheering him on.  “Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.”

There you go – McCain emphasized his moderate views, his reformer views.  He also emphasized his conservative views, but showed that he’s not dedicated to the party, but the American people.  He is dedicated to the American people, and will fight for them if that means opposing Republicans, Democrats, terrorists, or anybody else.

Overall, I’d give it an 9/10.  It was REALLY good at the end, but at other parts, it just didn’t click with me.

Now, the balloons are falling as McCain and Palin’s families are on the stage now.  The crowd is still going wild.  Sarah Palin just said, “They’re beautiful” (at least I think that’s what she said – there’s no mic, I’m trying to read lips).

The balloons are continuing to fall, and the crowd is still cheering, it’s just a fun atmosphere.  McCain and Palin are going out and waving to the crowd, smiling together.  The McCains and Sarah Palin are now walking the crowd, and that is going to wrap up my coverage of the Republican National Convention.  Thank you for reading, and come back here for updates all through until November!

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Analysis of Rudy Giuliani’s Speech at the RNC

September 4, 2008

Here’s my next speech analysis.  This one is for Wednesday’s keynote speaker, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

He’s talking about him supporting John McCain, just like he said he would.  “This year, with what’s at stake, 2008 IS the most important election in our lifetime, and we’d better get it right.”  A great quote from Giuliani.  It’s emphasizing the fact that, sure we say that every year, but this year its actually true.  This is a major cornerstone for American and whoever wins will have a huge impact on the future of this nation.

“This election represents a turning point.  It’s a decision to follow one path or the other. … The citizens of  the United States get to decide the next President [then he lists liberals].  Not anyone else but the people of America.”  And the crowd begins to chant “USA.”  And that’s just basically him saying, “Don’t pay attention to Hollywood and the media bias.  Go out and vote for a good candidate, John McCain.”

“To those Americans who still feel torn in this election. … Think about it this way: you’re hiring someone to do a job, an important job, a job that relates to the safety of yourself and your family. … You have 2 job applications in your hand with the name and the party affiliations blocked out.  They’re both good and patriotic men … You have to decide, “Who am I gonna hire?”  He’s talking about McCaain having “passed every test. … Even his adversaries acknowledge … that John McCain is a true American hero.”  And he’s talking about McCain’s sacrifice, and that really appeals to the undecided voters, and it especially appeals to military families.  He’s talking about McCain knowing that “America comes first,” and that McCain has shown that he knows this.

He’s talking about McCain running for House and Senate as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution.  Then he switches over to Obama, a man who’s gifted with a great education, who “worked as a community organizer.  What?”  And the crowd really liked that.  “He worked!  I said–I said–Okay, okay, maybe this is the first problem on the resumé.   He worked as a community organizer.  He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.”  Talking about him being elected to the State Legislature, “and nearly 130 times, he couldn’t make a decision, he couldn’t figure out whether to vote yes, or no.  It was too tough.  He voted, ‘Present.’”  And these were some great quotes here.  He first went and took Obama’s “experience” as a community organizer and showed that it’s basically useless.  Then he went and showed that Obama basically did NOTHING when he was a state legislator.

“‘Present’ doesn’t work in an executive job.  For President of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present.  You have to make a decision.”  And that was a great line there – it really shows just how inexperienced Obama is.

Now he’s talking about Obama being a “celebrity Senator.”  He’s saying that Obama has never run a city, state, business, military unit, and he’s never had to lead people in crisis.

“He is the least experienced candidate for President of the United States in at least the last 100 years.  Not a personal attack, a statement of fact.  Barack Obama has never lead anything, nothing, nada.  Nada.  Nothing.”  People are really liking Giuliani.  This is so far a much better speech than I expected.  He’s really emphasizing that Obama doesn’t know how to run anything when it comes to executive power, and Giuliani is an expert when it comes to this.

“The choice in this election comes down to substance over style. … This is no time for on the job training.”  Another great quote!

“We agree with Joe Biden.  One time.  One time, when he said that, until he flip flopped and changed his position.  And yes, being President means being able to answer that call at 3 in the morning.  And that’s the one time we agree with Hillary.  I bet you never thought Hillary would get an applause at this convention. … Well no one can look at John McCain and say that he’s not ready to be Commander in Chief.  He is and he’s ready and we can trust him to deal with anything, anything that nature throws our way, anything that terrorists do to us.  This man has been tested over and over again, and we will be safe in his hands, and our children will be safe in his hands, and our country will be safe in the hands of John McCain.  No doubts!”  Those are some great quotes.  He’s really firing up the crowd, and really pushing the fact that McCain is ready to lead, and he’s shown before that he CAN lead.

He’s talking about Obama saying that this election is about change vs. more of the same, but it’s actually good change vs. bad change.  “Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.”  GREAT quote showing that Obamahas no knowledge on what to do with Iraq, let alone most key issues.

Talking about McCain will lower taxes and reduce govnerment to strengthen the dollar, lead us to energy independence, and get us to drill off shore.  The crowd chants, “Drill baby drill.”  And Giuliani is just laughing and so happy.  He’s really enjoying and feeding off of the energy of the crowd, and then putting his own energy back into the crowd.  They are loving him and this speech.  He can’t even get a sentence out.

He’s saying that McCain will promote growth, jobs, and prosperity.  “We need John McCain to save our economy and make sure it grows.  But we need him for a more important purpose … John McCain will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad.”  And this is where McCain’s strong points are – national security.

“For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the words, ‘Islamic terrorism.’”  He’s saying that they’re afraid they’re insulting someone if they use that phrase.  “Who are they insulting when they say, ‘Islamic terrorism’?  They’re insulting terrorists!”  He’s saying that they hardly mentioned September 11th.  He’s saying that they’re in denial “about the biggest threat that faces this country.”  “John McCain can win and bring victory for this country.”  He’s talking about McCain supporting the troop surge.  Now he’s just rapidly emphasizing McCain’s strong points when it comes to national security, and he’s really showing how great McCain is when it comes to these issues.

“In the single biggest policy decision in this election, John McCain got it right, and Barack Obama got it wrong!”  Showing just how bad Obama is when it comes to national security, a huge contrast to McCain.  He’s saying that McCain took a political hit for the good of the country.

Now he’s talking about Obama flip flopping on public financing, an undivided Jerusalem, and wire-tapping.

“I tell you.  If I were Joe Biden, I’d wanna get that VP thing in writing!”  That was a GREAT line.

Now, he’s quoting McCain, “I’d rather lose an election than a war.  Why, because that’s John McCain.”  Again, a great quote – showing that that’s McCain’s personality, showing that McCain has America’s best interest at hand.

Now he’s talking about McCain’s stance on the Georgia/Russia issue and that Russia has to respect the integrity of other nations.  Quoting McCain, “We are all Georgians.”  Obamafirst said that both sides were equally responsible, just like he described the relationship between Palestine and Israel.  He later changed his position and said that the UN Security Council could find a solution.  He’s saying that apparently nobody told him that Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council.  So he changed again, and put out a statement basically the same as McCain’s.  “I have some advice for Senator Obama: next time, call John McCain.”  And hat was such a GREAT example.  He showing that Obama flip flops on so many foreign policy issues.  He’s changed his timetable for Iraq so many times that I don’t even remember how long he’ll keep us there anymore.

He’s saying that like Ronald Reagan, McCain will enlarge our party.  He’s saying picking Palin was a choice for the future, that she represents a new generation.  And that she has more executive experience than the Democratic ticket combined.

He’s talking about her being a mayor, and that he likes that about her.  He’s saying that Obama said it’s not flashy and cosmopolitan enough for him where she was mayor.  He’s talking about her reducing taxes and government spending and her stances on energy.  He’s said that she’s one of the best governors in the country.  “She has an 80% approval rating.  You’d never get that in New York City.”  “This is a woman who stands up for what is right,” talking about her stopping corruption and standing up to corruption INSIDE the Republican party.

“Can you imagine how they’re gonna shake up Washington!  Look out!”  Talking about them being Mavericks.  “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice President.  How dare they do that.  When did they ever ask a man that question?”  And they’re flashing over to Cindy McCain and the Palin family, and they’re all agreeing, including Bristol Palin, by nodding their heads.

He’s talking about giving people the right to work, giving parents choice for where kids go to school, and believing in America’s success, “a shining city on a hill” – a Reagan quote!  “So my fellow Americans, we get a chance to elect one of our great heroes and a great American.  He will be an exceptional President.  He will have with him an exceptional woman who has already proven that she can reform and that she can govern.  And now the job is up to us.  Let’s get John McCain an Sarah Palin elected, and let’s shake up Washington and  move this country forward!  God bless America.  Thank you.”

Wow - wow – that was the BEST speech I’ve heard from both conventions.  That right there my friends is a 10/10.

He hit everything he needed to hit.  He shored up the moderates, the conservatives, the economic conservatives, the national security conservatives.

That was a great speech, a very energetic speech, and one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Breaking News: FAA’s Flight Plan System Has Failed

August 26, 2008

Breaking news that just came in.  The Federal Aviation Administration’s flight plan system for the Eastern part of the country, based in Atlanta Georgia has faled.  The FAA is saying that control towers can still see all airplanes and that there is no reason for immediate concern – there is no risk in planes crossing paths or anything like that; however, delays are popping up all along the airports in the Eastern part of the country.

As of now, there’s no clue what has caused this.

I’ll keep you updated.

Update as of 3:57 P.M.: there are no airplanes taking off at all anywhere on the east coast.  The wwest coast is still having flights leave and come in.  The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that this is NOT a result of terrorism.

People are being allowed to deboard planes if they want.

The FAA is encouraging people to check with their airline to see if their flights are taking off before heading  to the airport.

The FAA has delays posted on their website, but I’m not sure how updated it is.  Chicago is having major delays, but some airports on the east coast aren’t listed as having delays at all.  The map is available here: http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp.

Update as of 7:16 P.M. EDT: The computer glitch has been repaired, according to the FAA.  As of now, the system in Utah is processing ALL flight plans.  They will start using the Atlanta computer tomorrow, because they believe switching back now would overload the system and crash it.

Again, check with your airline for specific information on delays before you head to the airport.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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