Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate highlights - Squid pro quo

Outtakes from last night's presidential debate:

OBAMA: "I would be completely supportive of late-term abortion restrictions as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life."

Giant Squid: "Obama is well aware that the whole 'mother's health' caveat renders his lip service meaningless. No squid mother I know would put her own life ahead of her egg brood. We lug our egg pouches around in our tentacled arms for months, even though doing so makes us vulnerable to predators. Any squid mother that would terminate her eggs for her own convenience just so she could be free to wrestle with the nearby sperm whale is no squid mother that I would want to associate with."

MCCAIN: "I agree with the squid. He is a good and decent mollusk. As far as I know, he has never contributed a million dollars to ACORN or ever associated with terrorist buddies. The giant squid has been known to engage in cannabalism. In other words, he takes on those in his own party, making him the ultimate maverick of the high seas."

JOE THE PLUMBER: "Obama wants to tax me and my small business more. Tax, tax, tax. Spend, spend, spend. I've plunged bigger turds than him."

OBAMA: "Say it to my face!"

Or maybe I had just been dozing...
According to the Chattering Teeth poll, McCain won the debate in a landslide! The poll consisted of one vote (mine) and if you disagree, the poll is now closed. If you agree that the wrinkly white-haired dude followed through on his promise to whip That One's you-know-what, please cast your vote and list the accolades in the comment section.

So did you hear what you WANTED to hear, or did you hear what they actually said? Do you Obama supporters care what the consequences of his policies would be, or are you excited because you think That One "appeared presidential"?

Moderator Bob Schieffer did a wonderful low-key job. If he has an "Obama is the messiah" type book coming out in the near future, I haven't heard about it (right,Ifill). Schieffer interrupted the candidates little, and annunciated each word clearly when he did - not wanting to make it all about him (right, Brokaw?). I thought Schieffer also made McCain look young and vivacious in comparison - almost like a schoolboy! Good job Bob.


  1. “McCain was completely incapable of sustaining any momentum, and clumsily returned again and again to his "Joe the Plumber" gimmick. It was clear that John had "jumped the shark" when he began talking directly to the unseen "Joe", and congratulating him for being "rich". I think he realized too that he had blown his "last best chance". His eyes started flittering back and forth like he was lost and scared, and he began to make the faces that have been the source of so much speculation regarding his temperament and stability.”

    Read more at SERENDIPITY.

  2. You answered my question. You didn't really care what Obama said, nor what policies he would actually enact. You seem wrapped up in McCain's eyes and body language. This must just be a beauty contest to you, right? Style points over substance. Can you tell me ONE thing that Obama stands for that you like? Tell me two and I'll call you "on a roll". Of course, you'd be wrong on both counts.

  3. It's clear from your response that you didn't bother following the link provided.

    What's so difficult to understand- the guy has lost the ability to control his emotions. He's erratic and it shows on his face. I wouldn't put him in charge of Alaska, let alone the nation.

    What does Obama stand for that I like?

    1. A true commitment to working toward energy independence, that includes tax credits to companies developing solar and wind technology.

    2. An approach to foreign policy that includes diplomacy and coalition building, rather than threats and aggressive posturing.

    Will your head explode if I keep going?

    3. His support of reproductive rights.

    4. His pledge to end the unfunded mandates of No Child Left Behind.

    5. Progressive taxation.

    6. A broader extension of the estate tax.

    7. His refusal to tax employer-provided health benefits.

    8. His willingness to confront and consider alternative perspectives, as evidenced by his diverse pool of advisers.

    9. His commitment to drawing down the US military presence in Iraq.

    10. His ideas for investment in higher education (i.e. student aid for those who agree to national service).

    11. Tax credits for employers that create jobs and provide health care.

    12. Commitment to green energy.

    13. His support of responsible regulations and oversight in the marketplace.

    14. His commitment to close corporate tax loopholes.

    15. His pledge to remove off-shore corporate tax shelters.

    16. Equal Pay Act for women.

    17. Supports civil unions for gay couples.

    18. Wants to include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws.

    19. Wants to end tax breaks for corporation that send jobs overseas.

    I could double or triple the length of this list, but I suspect it will fall on deaf ears anyway.

  4. Merge D, You haven't got me at a loss for words, just a loss of time. I will say I was wrong and had you pegged incorrectly. You obviously are not the blind follower simply infatuated with the idea of 'The One'. You have demonstrated you have an understanding of the issues are appear to be a knowledgeable foot soldier in the culture war that is waging. I was nodding my head in agreement as I read your list that, "yep, those are the issues."

    Of course, I hold the diametrically - 180 degrees polar opposite view from yours in every case. It's one of those "wonders of the universe" kind of things where two people can look at the very same jar of urine with a crucifix in it, and one sees an "obamanation" and the other sees art.

    "po-TA-to, Po-TAH-to".

    "support of reproductive rights, legalized infanticide"

    "Progressive taxation, punitive socialist confiscatory robbery".

    "foreign policy that includes diplomacy, reads: Neville Chamberlain"

    "His commitment to drawing down the US military presence in Iraq, appeasement, surrender, defeat"

    "Commitment to green energy, tree hugger"

    I have to run. But I believe that everything that is wrong with this country has to do with liberalism - starting with the New Deal economically, and hippie 60's radicals now in positions of power in govt, educational system, courts, etc. These folks are tearing down the real traditional American family that has been our back bone...

    anyway, blah blah. I have to get to work now so non-producers may benefit from my tax dollars.

  5. OK... I respect the fact that you acknowledge that I know the issues. And I will agree to disagree with you, but for one crucial point that has REALLY been bothering me lately.

    "The definition of "socialism" is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods".

    How do you read progressive taxation into this? (I guess I am asking you a rhetorical question.)

    Honestly, this is one of my absolutely greatest pet peeves, and if you search my blog, you'll find that I have dedicated an entire post to this bullshit propaganda. It looks like I may have to do another.

    In the US... in what has always been referred to as a "Capitalist" country, the vast majority of economists (81%) support progressive taxation. SOURCE

    If you are dead-set in changing the definition of the word "socialism" to include progressive taxation, then you have to accept that the USA has been socialist since 1862, when the first progressive income tax was passed in this nation SOURCE. It is therefore an AMERICAN VALUE that has carried us through the development of the country as a superpower. Have it your way, and if you are against it, you are ANTI-AMERICAN.


  6. MergeD, Regarding progressive taxation... from your linked source: "During the Civil War, a person earning from $600 to $10,000 per year paid tax at the rate of 3%." Fast forward to the present and the Bush Tax cuts: "The Bush tax cut created a new lowest rate, 10% for the first several thousand dollars earned... cut the top four tax rates (28% to 25%; 31% to 28%; 36% to 33%; and 39.6% to 35%)."

    Hmmm... Seems to be going in one direction - UP. Can we go back to 3%? Socialist incrementalism and the redistribution of wealth from the producers to the non-producers. Government ownership? I don't know how that's NOT socialist, and I agree that we already are to a degree (and have been for some time). So let's just be done with it and have our entire wages sent directly to the government (100%). Then the govt can take care of us by providing for our health care, cheese blocks, and rickshaws.

    How is it "progressive" to punish achievement? How does it help "the poor" by hurting "the rich"? 'Rhetardical' questions, all.

  7. Surely you aren't discounting that the size and costs of our society's infrastructure have grown exponentially since the Civil War?

    No, we can't go back to pre-Civil War levels of infrastructure. That's ridiculous.

    Where have I mentioned "government ownership"? We're not talking about "socialism" here. And we're not talking about "the redistribution of wealth from the producers to the non-producers". The upper classes aren't the "producers". They are the "investors". I have no problem encouraging middle class earners to take on the role of investment by giving them larger tax breaks. By shifting the tax burden on to the wealthy, you free up the middle class to provide new ideas to adapt to a changing society (and to put money behind these ideas)- something that the entrenched wealth of the upper classes have proves themselves incapable of. Entrenched wealth stifles innovation and competition the same way ruling classes have in so-called "socialist" nations.

    Progressive taxation doesn't "punish" achievement. That's a ridiculous notion. It fosters enhanced economic class mobility, which is crucially necessary to encouraging that adaptation occurs over the long run.

  8. Well, you caught me waxing nostalgic for the good ol' days before "society's infrastructure" included government nationalization of the mortgage industry. Next up, nationalized health care. And I'm sure the founding fathers envisioned Uncle Sam one day selling insurance. Surely you aren't suggesting that this exponential post-Civil War growth in government has been a natural and proportional occurence? If so, may I interest you in a bridge to nowhere? THAT would be ridiculous.

    This isn't going anywhere because we evidently do not speak the same language. Take, for example, your generosity in not having a problem with "encouraging middle class earners to take on the role of investment by giving them larger tax breaks." When you say "tax breaks", are you talking about them in the sense that Obama talks about them? You know, more than half of those 95% that get a "tax break" under Obama's plan never paid a nickel in taxes. They just get a flat out welfare check. Even if you mean a marginal rate cut - you talk about "giving them larger tax breaks" like it's a gift. It's THEIR money in the first place. And as for "shifting the tax burden on to the wealthy", only the rich pay taxes now! 86% of all federal income taxes are paid by 25% of income earners. The top 50% pay 97% of the taxes. How much MORE do you want to shift? How much more "spreading the wealth around" do you think us taxpayers can tolerate?

    You try to make a case that the rich are just this slothful bunch of non-producers who were simply lucky in life's lottery. They're just a bunch of entrenched slugs on the arse of society.

    Hey, there is only ONE Paris Hilton, and even she should get to keep her inheritance.

    That said, even if you confiscated ALL of the money currently in the possession of the rich, every dime of it (you could only do this once), how much money would you have? Would it make a dent in this mythical "war on poverty"? What incentive would these middle class buffoons you describe have in bettering themselves and becoming rich after this confiscation? How many bright ideas would your innovation machine generate then? Do tell.

    Clearly, you espouse the Obama plan.

  9. "Well, you caught me waxing nostalgic for the good ol' days before "society's infrastructure" included government nationalization of the mortgage industry."

    Here is one thing we agree in our opposition to.

    I'm not worried about "nationalized healthcare". It's not one of Obama's supported positions, and even if it was, we don't have the funds to get it done. By the way, I am not in favor of Socialized Medicine. I prefer Obama's current plan.

    "And as for "shifting the tax burden on to the wealthy", only the rich pay taxes now!"

    I'm not rich and I pay PLENTY of taxes as it is. I don't want to hear this talking point again. It is personally offensive.

    "You try to make a case that the rich are just this slothful bunch of non-producers who were simply lucky in life's lottery."

    Why do you insist on falsifying what I say? I never said that. Deal with what I actually write, not what you project on to it.

    "What incentive would these middle class buffoons you describe have in bettering themselves and becoming rich after this confiscation?"

    "Middle class buffoons"? This is the type of sentiment that encourages actual class warfare... the kind with lynch mobs, arson, and looting. That's irresponsible talk.

    The best ideas rarely (if ever) originate from the second-generation born into wealth. If you want to dispute that, please provide examples with objective sources.

    And yes... I already said I espouse the Obama tax plan. I thought that was completely obvious.

  10. ME: "only the rich pay taxes now..."
    YOU: "I don't want to hear this talking point again."
    ME: You pay taxes? Congratulations Merge, you're rich! I stand by my interpretation of your "talking points". You see a ball field while I'm reading the stitches on the fast ball.

    Also, you took "middle class buffoons" out of context. I happen to be a middle class working stiff myself. I was talking about folks from your alternative universe (pssst. they don't really exist so they can't be offended). You know, folks that see the total confiscation of wealth at the top and want this for themselves.

    YOU: "The best ideas rarely (if ever) originate from the second-generation born into wealth. If you want to dispute that, please provide examples with objective sources."

    ME: Oh yah? How about Tony Stark? He was second generation, and you have to love the suit, right? See, there is always common ground.

  11. dablade,

    Is your argument really so weak that you feel a need to resort to meaningless rhetorical analogies and complete representations of my points?

    When did I ever "the total confiscation of wealth at the top"?