Tag Archives: presidential debates

For Presidential Debate No 2, your reflection on television is dumber than you appear

If Mitt Romney’s candidacy serves one purpose, it’s to highlight what fools Americans have become. Without question, Romney shows his supporters to possess a thinking deficit virtually unfathomable. But more dispiriting, Romney’s opponents run from him like Team Scooby Doo from a masked ghoul, Saturday after Saturday never wiser. Tonight’s second presidential debate was no exception, with Romney contriving ever more spookier hogwash, to an audience and media taking it seriously. As a result tonight, people who otherwise pretend to know better were cheering for a “clean coal” fossil fuel president who’s “all about pipelines” because they’re afraid of a GOP foil who can’t prove he’d be better than Bush. If tonight’s town hall questions were vetted, can we not guess they were also ordered? Two subjects, the so-called Libya debacle and Anyone-but-Bush, seemed pedestrian enough to boost the illusion of reality television, but suited campaign camps rather equitably. Are we to believe Romney was left to improvise deficient answers? Any middle schooler could disprove Romney’s math, but that’s probably more schooling than we can attribute to the corporate media’s pretend audience. The public, polled to believe they’re as dumb as the level to which pundits condescend, think they have to chose a lesser of two color-coded evils. Most people, uncomfortably above the charade, are given to conclude that America’s foolish public could never govern itself, demand a responsive leader, or even crawl unaided from a paper bag. And that’s to confuse reality for television.

Next, illustrious talking heads pronounce the winner. NPR had this handicap prepared to suggest a Romney win: it was a tie, but a tie is a victory for the last person in the lead. Then come the fact-checkers, as if a debate is adjudicated based on facts. Are we really to expect that either candidate does not know the facts? A lie on national television used to mean immemorial disgrace.

Memorable McCain debate moments

obama-tries-to-shake-handsMemorable moments from the 2008 presidential debates? After not making eye contact with Obama for the entirety of the first debate, McCain refused Obama’s outreached hand, directing his opponent to shake hands with his wife Cindy instead.

Out of the blue, McCain made an off-hand complaint about his pen being old. Prompting this graphic.

McCain’s self-parody of a previous debate, when he didn’t know in which direction to walk, yielded a hilarious photograph, which inspired this diagram.

Does this presidential race look close?

NekoTuesday’s presidential debate left me feeling nothing but awkward. Barack Obama sat half leaning in his chair, while his opponent shuffled toward whoever held the microphone like Neko the mouse-chasing screen saver kitten, except McCain flapped his arms like a penguin, and had about that much to say.

Actually, did either candidate say much? McCain repeated his incoherent assurances, and Obama’s tack seemed deliberately to be not to outshine McCain. Spectators would probably delight in watching a best man win, but it seems Obama’s strategy is not to clobber the Bush poster boy, because Americans can’t help themselves from feeling for the underdog. Especially if he’s the Last White Hope.

John McCain could fly a Navy jet through the IQ gap between the two candidates. But McCain’s flight record shows he couldn’t even navigate that without clipping a power line and leaving all of us in the dark. McCain is that unsuited for the job, any job except influence peddling and whoring in Rio. That’s not an exaggeration. He is that vacuous, that soulless, that traitorous, that cowardly, and that lacking in judgment. It does trouble me immensely that cohorts like Biden can’t help but temper their public criticism of McCain with reminders of how much they like him. It reminds me of Bush as drinking buddy.

With his record of failure in his every endeavor, school, flying, captivity, corruption, infidelity, war-mongering, belonging to the GOP, being tainted by Bush, where does John McCain find traction with the American populace?

How the hell is this contest anticipated to be close, except the issue of Americans resisting the idea of a black president?

Here’s an explanation getting passed around the web:


What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said ‘I do’ to?

What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard and Princeton?

What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5?

What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

Who is losing in the debates? We are.

FOX NEWS claims McCain is winning. MSNBC seems to be making an un-characteristic Obama gambit. Who’s losing the presidential debates? We are. And I’m not even talking about the exclusion of third party voices like Nader or McKinney. The Dems are winning, this last by “that one” but so is an escalation in Afghanistan, an attack on Pakistan, backing Israel in war-making against Iran, military intervention in Sudan, and the corporate profit replenishment bailout.

Lost in the concern about the Palin versus Biden match-up was Biden’s straight-up militancy. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Sudan. The Dems plan some kind of deceleration in Iraq, but more troops everywhere else. American voters haven’t become energized because they favor Dems over Repugs. They are against war! The American people prevailed eventually against the Vietnam War and they find themselves three decades later having to rise again to stop their government from waging war against the world in the name of the so-called GWOT.

Meanwhile the Democratic Party has co-opted that energy by posing as antiwar, and as the only social justice voice in Washington. Work within the system they say. But then you come against a hawkish leader like Joe Biden. What now. Are energized Dems cheering Biden’s war cries?

An audience member in last night’s debate advocated killing Bin Laden no matter where he’s hiding. Forget arguing whose borders must be respected. And the candidates seem to jostle for who is more eager to get Osama. I’d like to ask that woman if we should call in an air strike if it turns out Osama’s hiding in HER house? Should the US DoD violate American public’s territorial integrity?

Is this what American justice has become? Air strikes in lieu of day in court, rule of law, innocent until proven guilty? Do Dems and Republicans form just a blood-thirsty mob out to buttress their standard of living at any cost?

I caught some of the call-ins on C-SPAN after the debate. A number of the callers were for neither candidate and wanted to discuss the issues and candidates being cut out of the presidential debates. C-SPAN hung up on those.

Is Bush sending tanks from Ukraine to Kenya to South Sudan to foment civil war there?

somalia-modern-pirates_big.jpg Hijacked tanks ‘for South Sudan’ Who paid for these tanks? The US government?

South Sudan doesn’t have that much cash on hand at all. One should ask these questions especially with Barack Obama just having called in the debate tonight for US military intervention against the Sudanese government. Whoa there! Bush has got the Democrat beat on the punch and we can all rest assured in our nice little American homes that our government is going to once again initiate yet more genocide in Africa! …in the name of preventing it, no doubt. Poor Obama, he just can’t quite seem to outflank Bush’s and McCain’s militarism to the Right no matter how hard he tries. And he does try hard!

The return of the Bush magic flashing tie

crazy magic necktieMcCain showed up to the OLD MISS debate wearing Dubya’s crazy strobe necktie! Diagonal stripes of particular inconvenient width create signal noise on the interlaced television picture producing mesmerizing patterns of juxtaposed RGB. What might have passed for a Technicolor wardrobe malfunction in earlier days is a deliberate fashion faux-pas today.
In the false, phony, Franglais, trompe d’oeil sense of that f-word.

I doubt it’s beyond anyone’s French to call the mischievous upstaging device a trompe tête.

President Bush has worn that tie when Karl Rove might have judged it more prudent to hypnotize the TV audience sooner than let them focus on what Bush wasn’t saying.

But I’m trying to reconcile what I noticed AFTER the debate. I’m curious about why subsequent replay footage of last night’s debate depicts the errant accessory without the noisy interference. If digital equipment can filter the dissonance, why was it not cleaning up the necktie during the live signal?

Was the flashing tie meant to interrupt the audience’s flow of thought during the debate, but not the viewers’ reception of the pundits’ already vetted after-spin? Would there be a reason to mess with one signal, but make sure another was completely clear?

And if the noisy element is manipulable, might it have been actually carefully crafted? Noise, but shaped noise, with not the chaotic effect of an IED, but a directed disruption like that achieved with a shaped charge.

And not a subliminal message in Morse Code I should think, but visual counterpoint to the audio. In the form of an optic buzzer, pressed if what’s being communicated by the speakers threatens to have an effect that contradicts the programmed message?

He should have quit while he was ahead

john-mccain-wins-debateBefore the debate, before John McCain even announced he’d show up after all, his campaign staff released this announcement on the internet. I’m sure it’s like a newspaper writing obits ahead of time. Maybe McCain’s people wish they’d prepared a version for coming in second.
Today’s best question: Should McCain have quit while he was ahead?

Rick Warren, what on the Earth are you here for?

Obama and JesusRick Warren, Southern Baptist guru pastor and author of the book, ‘What on Earth am I here for?’, has got me asking…

Rick Warren, what on the Earth are you here for, Man? I mean it is you who is going to be taking Barack Obama’s Christian loyalty oath this 16th of August at the Saddleback Church (love that name!) , right? Is this a power play on your part against Baby Graham, the Southern Baptist Preacher Man’s son?

Now I know that it is only God that is your thing and what all, but I got to ask aren’t you trying to get the Crazy Religious Right crowd back into play here by sponsoring this ..uh///… ‘debate’ between McCain and Obama? You going to be talking God a lot, right?

I wonder if you and Barack are going to be turning away any women wearing Islamic scarves away from audience participation? You are for tolerance I know and all that…. But Hey! Isn’t that ‘tolerance’ only when it is on Christian terms dictated by the American military? Both McCain and Obama don’t need to take any of that tolerance stuff too seriously, now do they?

Rick Warren, with this debate sponsored by little ol’ you, you will become a serious player big time, right? At least in the shopping mall world of God that is. You will have helped dumb down America yet another notch! Thanks to your friend, Barack. And thanky to God!