Town Hall Liveblog

7:55 – Watching CNN. Was that a transvestite?

7:59 – Keen anticipation. It’s like JM and BO are coming right to my living room!

8:01 – How fake is the format? Canned questions culled by Brokaw.

8:02 – I do not agree to be polite and attentive!

8:03 – Alan Shafer: How to bail out folks? BO: Market ran wild, but prosperity did not rain. Not a bailout. “Rescue package.” Oversight. No precious metal parachutes. AIG junket beyond pale. I bail you out by cutting your taxes, which we will later have to raise to pay for bailout.

8:08 – McCain: Thanks Alan! We’re all scared, and I’ve got a plan! We’re sending money to countries don’t like us and I guess getting nothing in return. Energy independence! Got to do something about home values. We have to make sure that markets prices don’t adjust. Government should buy tons of houses, because the government didn’t just commit $700 billion.

8:09 -Treasury Sec? McCain: Not Brokaw. Meg Whitman. Crisis of confidence because of greed.

8:10 – Obama: Sure, the Oracle of Omaha’s good. It ain’t gonna trickle down. Wages flat. You can’t save. Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, for working Americans.

8:11 – Oliver Clark: How does bailout help folks out? McCain: Not bailout. Rescue! It’s GREED and EXCESS. I suspended my campaign, sort of, to sort this thing out. Fannie and Freddie catalyst with the help of BO and his cronies pushing loans on poor folks. I wanted to fix it, but lobbyists wouldn’t let me. Gotta buy all the houses so Americans like Alan can keep his house and dream like an American.

8:13 – Obama: Bailout? Credit markets frozen. Ramifying effects must be halted. McCain’s bunk. It’s deregulation! I wrote to Paulson and Bernanke about subprime and nobody did nothing. I said we need to reregulate. I never promoted Fannie. McCain’s guy lobbied for those guys, but never mind about that, since I’m too big to mention it. We’ve got an antique regulatory structure. Need to put back early 20th Century laws!

8:17 – Worse before it gets better? McCain: Not if we give people free houses! Root out corruption! American workers AMAZING. Workers collateral damage to financial crisis.

8:19 – Squeeky women: Aren’t you all to blame. Obama: No, no, no. It’s GWB and his mate McCain, though no one is completely innocent. Biggest increases in spending and debt in history. I’m gonna reform health care, which won’t cost anything. Can’t keep borrowing from slants to spend on the ragheads. Lobbyists, special interests. Blah.

8:21 – McCain: I can see why you’re cynical. I’m a Maverick reformer. Look at records, not just rhetoric. Look at CAGW or NTU websites and you’ll see BO a liberal bigspender. BO wants 860 bills in new spending. They guy will vote for anything as long as it spends your money. Overhead projectors for planetariums. Is that what you want? Led Zep fans? Foreign oil obviously has everything to do with everything.

8:23 – Prioritize! McCain. Let’s do it all. Straight talk! Can’t afford entitlements. I know how to reach across the aisle. Jobs with Nukes! Earth, Wind, Fire! You’re complicit in terrorism by driving your kid to soccer practice. Everything is a national security obective!

8:25 – Obama: 1. Energy. I looked at gas prices here in Nashville. People other than us benefit from higher oil prices, which is outrageous. Completely retarded energy independence objectives like putting a man on the moon, which was pretty retarded when you think about it. Sure, look at our records. I want line item to eliminate spending on the two things I don’t want to spend money on. McCain wants to cut taxes for business, which include evil oil companies.

8:28 – What sacrfices will you ask of Americans? McCain: Cut some programs. It might hurt. But damn it, we have to do it. Freeze spending, except defense, VA, entitlements, and buying every house in America. We aren’t rifle shots. We’re Americans! We’ll work together to do things without prioritizing them.

8:30 – Obama: Perhaps you have heard of something called 9/11? Shopping not enough of a life consuming state-centered sacrifice. Let’s think harder about how we use energy. Holy god there is nothing more important than not trading with foreigners for energy. Double the Peace Corps, so we can renew America, because there is no non-state way to do that.

8:33 – How drunk were we on debt? Obama: Here in Washington, we’ve got to set an example. Which is why I supported the $700 billion bailout plan. Earmarks mean NOTHING. Taxes on CEOs is how we help execs “share the burden.” If people make more than you, its not fair for you to have to tighten your belt. We’ll all make sacrifices, especially CEOs.

8:35 – McCain: Obama’s plans like nailing jello to wall. He’s like Herbert Hoover and practices protectionism! Obama gonna stick it to small businesses. No tax increases. I’m not for the wealthy. I want to double your exemption. Refundable tax credit for health care. Hey, let’s create jobs and NOT raise taxes.

8:37 – Unfunded entitlement liabilities. Would you give a date to reform SS and Medicare? Obama: Hell no. But quickly. Maybe first term. Probably not. We can’t solve entitlements without taxes. Straight talk express lost a wheel! I will cut taxes for everyone other than the despicable wealthy. I won’t ding small biz. Will help with health. McCain wants to improve American business climate, which is totally unfair. If we reverse last 8 years, we’ll be in a position to do absolutely anything.

8:40 – McCain: Fixin’ SS is easy! Saw Gipper and Tip do it. Medicare tougher. It’s complex, unlike SS. We need a commission, then up or down vote, so filthy lobbyists can’t touch it. Rhetoric vs. record. Obama raises taxes on anything that moves. Our best days are ahead of us!

8:43 – What you do to make Congress move fast on climate change and green jobs. McCain: Never forget American struggle in tough times. Can’t hand our kids a broke Earth. Me and Joe tried to vote salvation for Earth, but we lost. If only we had nuclear power Indians would not weep. The French do it! America’s the best! We can do anything!

8:45 – Obama: One of the biggest challenges, and also an opportunity. We can centrally plan green economy into prosperity. Like computer! Which was created by government scientists! This is a national security issue too, like making computers. And I like nukes, too. We’ve got to try hard enough. Need to do more than drilling.

OK. This thing is either vacuous or completely infuriating. I give up-ish. This is inane. I hate politics.

8:47 – Massive Manhattan project or subsidize tons of little projects? McCain: Some subsidies, then turn over to private sector. …

8:50 – Should health care be a commodity? YES. YES IT SHOULD BE, BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT IS TREATED LIKE ONE IS GOOD, AND CHEAP. Obama: Moral imperative that we do something. Here’s my plan. I’ll make it cheaper for you. More free lunches. No insurance? You got it! McCain hates sick people, because his plan makes sense.

8:53 – McCain: Online records, improve efficiencies. Obama is all like “government this government that.” Obama will fine you if you don’t get insurance. I’ll give you tax credit you can take anywhere. Arizona might be better than Tennessee, Tennesseans. I need a hair transplant. We need choice, not mandates. Of course, of course.

8:55 – Health: Privelege right or responsibility? McCain: Responsibility. No gov’t mandates. We all understand that. Obama wants to ram his plan down your throat.

8:56 – Obama: Right! When we’re this wealthy, the idea that sick people should have to not spend other people’s money is an outrage. Mandate won’t hurt that much. It’s for your own good. McCain doesn’t give a crap for kids because giving a crap for anything means voting to give them things. It’s true that I think its important that … It’s a problem to shop around because there might be a competitive environment. So we need to make sure there’s no competition so that there is mediocre homogeneity.

8:59 – How does all the economic stress affect our ability to wage war? McCain: America is greatest force for good in history of universe forever. We shed our blood everywhere. The question of when to kill people needs to be left soldiers like me. Our wars are awesome because we’re a nation of good. Obama wrong about surge. Wrong about Russia and Georgia. He doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.

9:01 – Obama: I don’t understand? I don’t understand why we attacked Iraq. Troops are AMAZING but the stupid war is immensely expensive. You a budget hawk McCain? Really? Please.

9:03 – McCain doctrine and Obama doctrine for use of force in humanitarian situations: Obama: There might be moral issues at stake. Surely we should stop Holocaust. Rwanda. Standing idly by diminishes us. Basically, I have no principle. I leave it at the discretion of my evolved moral intuition.

9:04 – McCain: Obama got Iraq ALL WRONG. I will not LOSE, like Obama. We should do whatever we can to help whenever we can. I have no principle for intervention either. Needs a cool hand at the tiller. Needs expert judgment like mine. We’re sending our kids to get killed after all! We better make it good.

9:08 – Should we respect Pakistani sovereignty? Obama: Basically, no. I will tear bin Laden’s throat out with my own teeth.

9:11 – McCain: I love Teddy Ruxpin. Talk softly, walk softly, big stick. Obama is saber rattling. This guy is a TOTAL amateur desperate to look tough. Relations with Pakistan crucial, we need their support, and here’s Obama acting like a crazed warmonger. I’ve been to Waziristan. Get folks on our side, not threaten to kill them. Need to talk softly, and then kill people if we need to.

9:13 – Obama: I don’t want to invade Pakistan. If they won’t draw and quarter bin Laden, I sure as hell will. With my bare freaking hands. McCain acting “somber and responsible” is a joke.

9:14 – McCain: BS! I was joking with an old vet about Iran. Like soldiers like me do. I’ll git bin Laden. I’m just cagier than this bigmouth tenderfoot.

I fell asleep.

9:19: How can we do something about Russia without new cold war? McCain: Russia behaving badly. Putin a nasty dude. Ukraine is in his sights. Need to get them into NATO so we’re bound to attack if they are.

9:21 – Obama: Resurgence of Russia one of the central issues word words. We’ve got to see around corners. I have a crystal ball. We shouldn’t give them petrdollars. Evil empire? Acting evil!

9:24 – McCain: Evil? Maybe. US of A firm and determined.

Winston urinated on the floor, articulately capturing my feelings for our presidential candidates.

9:25 – Terry Sherry: I was in Navy. If Iran attacked Israel, would you wait on UN to attack. McCain: No. If Iran gets nukes, everybody will want them. How would you feel if somebody called you a stinking corpse? would you talk to them without preconditions? We need a League of Democracies to freeze budget and buy mortgages and stop a new holocaust.

9:27 – Obama: Iran can’t get nukes. But let’s talk about it.

9:29 – What don’t you know and how will you learn it? Obama: Michelle could give you a long list. I ask Michelle! This country gave me opportunity. Grandma scrimpin and food stamps, put me through best schools and allowed me to succeed. We gonna pass on the dream or not. I’m in my big finish wind up and am going to ignore the “zenlike” question. Fundamental change. I’m hopeful. I totally owned this debate. See you all in January.

9:31 – McCain: What I don’t know is what’s going to happen. Americans hurting. New and different challenges. Some Americans are idiots about geography. I know what it’s like in dark times and keep hope. I know what it’s like to not be able to talk. I believe in America. I believe, believe, believe. Please people, give me a chance. I EARNED it.

Don’t stand in front of Brokaw’s teleprompter!

Gut read. Obama owned it. This election’s over unless he murders and eats the flesh of a child on live television.