Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I've always been a champion of labor unions, but I fear that today's union leaders are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections. I've listened to all their arguments and reviewed the facts on both sides. Quite simply, this proposed law cannot be justified.
Can I vote for him? ... Done it before! [via Insta] 12:58 A.M.
Mark Halperin almost nails Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs on the Ayers issue--"It is the case that Barack Obama at least implicitly seems to be saying 'It's Ok to have professional associations with someone who was a terrorist and by some measures is an unrepentant terrorist'"--but Halperin doesn't know to stop talking. As a result, it sounds like an argument as opposed to a question followed by fumfawing or evasion. ... P.S.: Note Gibbs' pissed-off close. .. 12:31 A.M.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
McCain/ Obama Debate #2: Before I get spun: A dull debate in a dead room. Each stole the other's theme: Obama called for service to country, McCain for a "cool hand on the tiller" even as he seemed like a hyperactive hand himself. A tie helps Obama, and this probably wasn't even a tie. ... 1) Obama's great weakness is that he's an unknown with an unusual (i.e. strange) background. By painting him as a big-spending liberal, McCain oddly made Obama seem less strange, and more acceptable. Voters are used to dealing with big spending liberals--and they also may think that the there's not enough money for that much big spending anymore anyway. 2) Speaking of spending, McCain rails against Obama's "$860 billion" in proposed "new" spending, yet McCain wants the government to buy up all the bad mortgages in the country, give all homeowners new purchase prices and protect them from their ill-advised decisions? Sounds very expensive. Update: I was just on Tavis Smiley's TV show with Rep. Maxine Waters, who said the money to do what McCain wants to do is already in the bailout bill. But it sure sounded to me like McCain was proposing a big new initiative. More: He thought he was. "Aides to McCain told reporters" it will cost $300 billion. Waters' point may be that the existing bailout bill already authorizes such purchases; ... 3) "That one." Heh. Not racist--seemed to me like an attempt by McCain to avoid being too confrontational (by saying Obama's name) that wound up seeming more hostile than saying Obama's name would have been. ... 4) Obama still refers to economically pressured Americans as "you" rather than "we." He says, "Maybe you don't go out to dinner as much. Maybe you put off buying a new car." That's all? Is Obama trying to make the economic hardship he's talking about sound minimal? ... 5) McCain was badly hurt by the camera angle--shooting him from above only made him look short and scuttling. ... 6) Worst format ever? Could be! Can't believe McCain wanted more of these things. ... 7) Was it awful because it was a fake town hall debate, as Maxine Waters and Slate's Jack Shafer contend? It certainly managed to keep the worst aspects of the town hall format--the phony empathy competition between the candidates as they either ignore questions or treat them as prompts for stock answers--while leaving out the worthwhile aspects--spontaneity and risk. In the process it reduced its Real Average Americans to props in the earnest empathon!8) Brokaw didn't help by adding his own little bien pensant suggestions on top of the cherry-picked high-minded audience queries. At least when Brokaw moderated debates in 1988 he would harangue the candidates about "means-testing" Social Security, a substantive proposal. Now he wants only "a date certain to reform Social Security and Medicare within two years"--a bipartisanist gimmick ... 8) McCain has his own gimmick: