Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate liveblogging

I think I've counted at least one factual error in nearly all times each person spoke. Tora Bora "outsourcing," number of jobs lost due to 9/11, number of jobs lost during Bush's watch.

I'm starting on immigration. This is the first time, I believe, this has not been addressed before in the debates. To bad the extra border patrol, unmanned vehicles, and so forth didn't catch 35 Chechen terrorists crossing the border.

Kerry plays the class warfare card with minimum wage.

Bush uses jobs to pump up "No Child Left Behind." Great. Jobs and education are of course related, and I do think that training is a good solution to wage issues, but "No Child Left Behind" is based on a system from Texas that encourages cooking the books.

Will someone tell our candidates that there is more to the Supreme Court than Roe v. Wade? Bush seems to understand this better.

Kerry uses local statistics for Arizona. (And hammered stats for the battleground states earlier.)

Kerry says measure by results. Well good. Do it!

Oh. good question on the "backdoor draft." However, it seems set up to make Kerry look good. I'm not clear on how Kerry's "plan" for the military is useful. More foreign policy discussion.

Another factual error by Bush - 125,000 Iraqis might undergo minimal security training, but will not be fully trained.

Kerry explains the "global test." Still not sure what he's saying. Bush's rebuttal was equally weak.

Futile assault weapon ban was discussed. Mr. Kerry, the second amendment was not for hunters. AK-47s were not covered under the assault weapon ban of 1994 (the automatic version was banned long ago, and the semiautomatic version in 1989).

Bush: from racism to Pell Grants in no steps! Are the minority business and home ownership claims true?

Oh, sheesh, the "armies of compassion." Oh goody. Freedom is a gift from the Almighty. Yes, and no thanks to Bush. Or Kerry.

Kerry pledges transparency. Nice job.

Oh great, more campaign finance reform. Tell us you're involving us while you slam the door in our faces.

More waffling on how divided our nation is. Bush is right, though. We were pretty divided in the 1990s.

Bush is self-effacing about his English. Nice touch.

Kerry is self-effacing about his marriage into a fortune.

Kerry's close: let's colonize Pluto, too! Good, reassure that you won't give another country a veto over our foreign policy. A lot you promise, my friend.

Bush's close: the painting start was weak. More armies of compassion. Sheesh.

Bush and Kerry: B+B-. Update 10/14: I decided that there were way too many factual errors to warrant a high B. I give a low B because both kept their composures and argued against the others' positions fairly well. But there was just too much freedom with the facts.

Other observations:

Not sure about the difference on gay marriage, except for the Constitutional amendment (yuck). The line about Ted Kennedy being the conservative senator from Massachussetts was classic. The whole line about Kerry being on the "left bank" made Bush look bad.

Kerry's take on Social Security: more of the same. Bush's take: talk nice and then give us more of the same.

Bush almost screwed up big time on the whole trusting major news sources's characterizations of his stances on health care. You must have seen the neon Rathergate sign above his head, but then thought better of it.

Bush and Kerry still have some hard questions to answer. Bush: how to get the troops back home and why the hell are you such a spendthrift. Kerry: how to get the troops home and how are you going to pay for all of it.

Now we wait for the spin.

Update 10/14: John Kerry's exploitation of Mary(?) Cheney was a disaster. Leave the VP's daughter alone. It came up and I think Edwards and Cheney handled it gracefully during the VP debate, but here it was out of place and in poor taste. Both of Bush and Kerry need to admit that, aside from the Constitutional Amendment, both of you differ very little on the issue.

Oh yeah, Kerry, BTW, as Neal Boortz says, the purpose of the Constitution is not to grant us rights. As set forth in the Declaration of Independence, I believe that our rights and freedom are here by our very existence. Some governments (almost all, really) choose to violate those rights. Our Constitution protects those rights by defining the powers and limits of government. God grants those rights; they are part of the package. You do not. Of course, by speaking you managed to open yourself up to this criticism. Bush opens himself to an equivalent criticism by supporting stupid amendments.