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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Malarkey, and other 'stuff'

That was quite a debate Thursday, huh??  I thought Joe said what needed to be said.  Sure there were a few times where he could've laid off the interruptions a bit, but I have to wonder what debate people who called it a "tie" were watching.  It was Joe's night for sure.

Charles Pierce (who just got added to my bookmarks) wins the award for most fun re-cap of the evening.  He even finishes with a joke:
For years, Paul Ryan has been the shining champion of some really terrible ideas, and of a dystopian vision of the political commonwealth in which the poor starve and the elderly die ghastly, impoverished deaths, while all the essential elements of a permanent American oligarchy were put in place. This has garnered him loving notices from a lot of people who should have known better. The ideas he could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch. 
You know what's the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan? 

But this one from the Rude Pundit is pretty damn entertaining as well:
In 2008, Joe Biden, who smiled at Sarah Palin the way one does at a particularly precocious toddler, had to hold his fire for fear of seeming sexist or bullying to the then-governor. He got to unload on Ryan. And all those years in the Senate, all those years confronting presidents, all of it came to bear last night as he beat down Ryan viciously and mercilessly. Ryan is the perfect product of Republican America, someone who grew up in the Reagan era in a protected bubble, who learned at the knee of conservatives and worked for people like Sam Brownback, a man whose philosophy is a synthesis of cruel social conservatism and bastardized Ayn Rand. In other words, he is everything Joe Biden has fought against. Of course Biden was gonna cut off this puffed up punk at the knees. That Ryan asshole brought up a fatal car crash in front of the guy who lost his wife and daughter in one. Shit, when it was done, you half-expected the Vice President to brush his shoulder. 
It is probably Biden's last time on the big stage. Give the bright-toothed guy his victory lap.

Matt Taibbi says what Biden got exactly right in the debate was his tone:

Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms. 
But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called "objective" news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, "Come back when you're serious."

Joe vs. the 'Gish Gallop':  how Biden shut down the Romney/Ryan debate strategy.

Sorry to keep flogging the point, but Jonathan Alter also sees a 2004 comparison:

In 2004, the Democratic challenger, John Kerry, was up eight points in several polls after besting President George W. Bush in their first debate. But then Vice President Dick Cheney drove home Bush’s national-security message in his debate with John Edwards and won on points, not likeability, which was never Cheney’s strong suit. Bush’s polling stabilized and he went on to win a close election. 
Unless Obama lays eggs in the two next debates, I suspect the same dynamic will be at work this year. Biden may have irritated some voters Thursday — the instant polls were split — and Paul Ryan’s smooth and intelligent performance makes him a likely Republican nominee for president in the future. But the big takeaway from this contest will be that Biden stopped, or at least slowed, Mitt Romney’s momentum, re-energized panicky Democrats and scored heavily with two key constituencies: senior citizens and women.

Martha Raddatz got a lot of praise for her performance as debate moderator, and indeed she did a much better job than Lehrer, pressing the candidates when they tried to evade her questions (in contrast to Lehrer's "Quantum Leap" approach).  David Roberts at Grist makes a good case, however, that her performance still illustrates what he calls "bankrupt beltway thinking."  Interesting post.

There's no shortage of this stuff:

As usual the Onion gets to the crux of the matter.  (Satire struggles to keep up with reality.)

If you want to know how Romney really thinks this article about his time as an LDS bishop may provide a window into his worldview.  Granted, it all depends on if you think the people being quoted are being truthful, but my hunch is that they are.

In an Op-Ed in today's NYT, titled "The Self-Destruction of the 1%," Chrystia Freeland walks us through some history, recounting how Venice's open economy flourished in the 14th century in large part because it allowed for upward mobility. Those that were most rewarded by the system, however, began to dislike having to constantly compete with new up-and-comers, so began to find ways to 'pull up the ladders,' and entrench their own status.  It became known as La Serrata ("the closure"), and as you might guess caused Venice's flourishing economy to stagnate and shrink.  The relevance of this history to current events should be obvious, but Freeman walks us through it.

Is this propaganda?  Why yes, yes it is.  But having already chosen to support Obama through a rational process based on his record in office, I reserve the right to enjoy watching stuff like this:

Another Presidential debate on Tuesday....

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