Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 7, 2008
By: Hilzoy

Debate: Reaction

I thought Obama won this one -- he was more fluid and fluent and confident, and McCain sounded tired to me. That said, I didn't think it was a blowout. But it didn't need to be. McCain is the one who needs to shake up the race; Obama just needs to solidify is support. And I thought he did a good job at that.

It wasn't nearly as nasty as I had thought it might be. In the first debate, I thought Obama was needling McCain -- nothing remotely over the line, just tiny things that might have brought out McCain's famous temper. I therefore expected him to do it again this time. Moreover, had Brokaw (or anyone else) asked about any of the character stuff that McCain has been saying recently, I imagined that Obama would have responded directly and forcefully, and that some of the things he might have said -- e.g., that things McCain had said were just not true -- might also have gotten McCain angry.

But that didn't happen. McCain didn't get angry -- he was a bit cranky in his usual style, but nothing out of the ordinary. But more interestingly, this time I don't think Obama was needling him. His disagreements were all quite direct; I didn't catch any additional subtle attempts to get under McCain's skin. I found that interesting.

A couple of specific points: first, McCain seemed to announce a big new plan for mortgages:

"As president of the United States, Alan, I would order the secretary of the treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes -- at the diminished value of those homes and let people be able to make those -- be able to make those payments and stay in their homes."

Details from the McCain campaign are here. The McCain campaign claims that it would cost about $300 billion dollars. A lot would depend on the details of such a plan: the document I just linked to suggests that it would involve writing down the value of the loan, but how much? Is this available to everyone, or just to people who are in danger of losing their homes? If the latter, how would one avoid perverse incentives of various kinds? I'm supportive in principle of serious assistance to homeowners, but again, the devil truly is in the details on this one.

Second: "That one"? Huh?

It's the way you talk about an annoying child, if you don't much care for children. It was odd, and, I think, revealing.

Hilzoy 11:49 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

That one, what?

Posted by: Kevin on October 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I disagree, Hilzoy. McCain came off as a full on loser, as the pathetic loser that, under all the "pay no attention to the broken little boy" layers he cloaks himself with, he really is. The lying, cheap shot, shallow, bottom feeding self-centered loser he really is. The weak, impotent, kowtowing houseboy he really is. A scared little boy, lost in the shadow of men like Obama (and McCain’s father, and grandfather). The sleaze merchant who has joined himself at the hip with the same feral cowards who eviscerated him in 2000. The same impotent houseboy who's sending his equally narcissistic and castrating wife out to lie for him, as he has exactly no ethical (or any other) capital left. The empty, wasted shell of bitter mediocrity formerly known as John McCain.

Posted by: Conrad's Ghost on October 8, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

I almost felt as if Senator McCain was getting used to the idea of a President Obama, and was just acting as a sparing partner. Almost.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on October 8, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

The new mortgage bailout is par for the McCourse. A reckless lifeline that McCain hopes his campaign will grab on to.

Keith Olberman is right. Most of America thought they already signed up for that bailout. Now he wants more money, but don't worry...he's not raising taxes!

I'd sure like to know how McCaingry is going to pay for those mortgages after he freezes spending.

What a maroon.

Posted by: doubtful on October 8, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

I'll vote for that one

Posted by: George on October 8, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

That one, what?
This one.

Posted by: buzzp on October 8, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't the mortgage plan a moral hazard nightmare? Even if I could make my payments, if the value of my home had gone down and I had a chance to qualify for a government purchase and revaluation of my loan, I might start considering missing some payments.

Posted by: Wagster on October 8, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't the mortgage plan a moral hazard nightmare? Even if I could make my payments, if the value of my home had gone down and I had a chance to qualify for a government purchase and revaluation of my loan, I might start considering missing some payments.

Posted by: Wagster on October 8, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

There is a black gentleman sitting behind Obama when McCain calls Obama 'that one.'

His visceral reaction says it all.

McCain just lost all his minority support. All six of them.

Posted by: doubtful on October 8, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

From my understanding, the power to renegotiate mortgages is already *in* the bailout bill ... recommended by Obama himself. Unless I'm crazy, McCain stole his idea!

As I saw in a comment on another site, I can't wait to get my new t-shirt: "I'm voting for That One!"

Posted by: Franklin on October 8, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

That said, I didn't think it was a blowout.

If the CNN polls are to be believed, McCain got his ass handed to him. It was a blow out, but not so much because Obama was perfect, but because McCain is just so bad and getting worse.

McCain's team will powwow tomorrow, and I predict that they will just get nastier. They've got nothing else.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 8, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Gozinya,

I'm sorry, I'm not listening to someone whose chosen name is the redneck's instruction for the use of a suppository.

You missed a turn at Albuquerque. I suggest you go back and check your map again.

What a maroon.

[The comment that this one refers to was deleted. That is my practice when the trolls refer to Senator Obama by his middle name only, and why do they always shout it in all caps? -Mod]

Posted by: doubtful on October 8, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

RE: That One....I don't even know what to make of it, really. I don't know why McCain is so supremely contemptuous of Obama. It's pathological at this point, very weird, and doesn't instill confidence at all in the viewer.

Posted by: Rhoda on October 8, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

The plan that McCain is talking about is mainstream. But the cost is about $600 Bln to write down the under water mortgages. But this amount can be split between homeowner, mortgage owner and the government. Most likely case will be the mortgage gets reset to the current market value, or even less. If the value increases, everyone benefits. This is the best case: keep current owners in their house, reduce the mortgage and payments to what a new buyer would pay anyway, and hope for an upside.

Posted by: tomj on October 8, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't the mortgage plan a moral hazard nightmare? Even if I could make my payments, if the value of my home had gone down and I had a chance to qualify for a government purchase and revaluation of my loan, I might start considering missing some payments. Posted by: Wagster

No. Then you'd just be in default.

The whole point of this is to rewrite mortgages for people who would qualify for a reasonable fixed-rate loan. And they are going to have to do it the old fashioned way - with documentation. I don't believe there is a blanket proviso to cover people who barely qualify as renters.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 8, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

The strongest time was when McCain walk off the stage it was not soon enough for me.

Don't you all see something here, It is a sad thing, but McCain is out of his league as the poorest example lining up with Bob Dole as an old foggy no vision just saying "i know how to do it"

The clincher McCain said he knows how to fix Social Security. For me why hasn't he made an atempt to do so. Why wait till now to say it is simple and easy to fix.

McCain should retire and go home.

Posted by: Megalomania on October 8, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Did anyone see David Gergen on CNN say that Obama is black and it could affect his numbers on election day by six percentage points? The worst MSM hatchet job I've seen in a while.

Posted by: EinOhio on October 8, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

I've been waiting for McCain to grow so exasperated he blurts out, "For Christ's sake, do I have to spell it out? He's a nigger!" I'm thinking "that one" is about as close as he's going to get. And it's even worse somehow. It wasn't just racist. It was also childish, uncivil, dismissive, degrading and downright unpresidential. (From the Palin and McCain rallies, clearly being racist isn't a problem for their base.)

There was a lady of McCain's generation on the panel of undecideds convened by CBS, and she didn't like it one bit. You could see that it offended her sense of etiquette and just the way her generation goes about things. It's what she's going to talk about to all her friends, who are then going to tell their friends.

It also had the benefit (for us) of being the one soundbite from the debate (although the big news was his plan to buy every mortgage in America). I think McCain just stuck a fork in himself.

Posted by: angry young man on October 8, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

...Bob Dole as an old foggy no vision just saying "i know how to do it" -Megalomania

He said that multiple times, but twice it really pissed me off.

1. He said fixin' Social Security was easy, he knew how to do it, and he'd sit at a table and reach across the aisle. He then went on the Medicare, which he said was hard. I guess he's right. It is harder than sitting.

2. He said he knew how to catch bin Laden. That has to beg the question with undecided voters, "Then why not do it?"

Posted by: doubtful on October 8, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

"How are you gonna spend billions on your program and yet lower everyone's taxes?" Sounds like bovine excrement to me...
************************************
You cool coffee shop types just yap and yap and yap. Say goodnight,HUSSEIN.
Posted by: Gozinya on October 8, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, what an insult, 'You cool coffee shop types'. Dude, you suck at insults. And yes, something does sound like bovine excrement, and it smells like it too. That would be you and your fatuous comments. If you want specifics on Senator Obama's plan Troll-zina, go to http://www.barackobama.com/index.php
and click on 'The Truth about Taxes". But you're not interested in the truth, are you, craven Troll? You're nothing but another repig poseur. Goodnight troll.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 8, 2008 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

I think it wasn't as nasty as it could have been because Obama announced beforehand that he was ready to counter-punch, which I think was an implicit threat to bring up the Keating scandal if McCain started in with the Ayers/Wright nonsense.

I think McCain judged correctly, that bringing up Ayers and Wright isn't worth it, if it meant Obama responding with Keating, especially given our current financial crisis. It would look desperate and irrelevant, while Obama's Keating counter could land on the money.

So McCain didn't bring it up, and Obama still holds the Keating card in his pocket for the next debate.

Posted by: Joe on October 8, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

The O man hands down. He showed a mastery of the issues and articulated himself in laymen terms. Obama connected, McCain did not.

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

In case you didn't watch on C-SPAN, it is important to notice that Barack and his wife hung around for about a half-hour and essentially met everyone in the room. At the very end, they even took a group picture.

John and Cindy left within a few minutes. The Obamas stuck around so long that C-SPAN started taking phone calls before they left the room.


Posted by: tomj on October 8, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone with the slightest sense of equity has to have serious problems with what McCain was saying.

Financial Bailout + Economic Recovery + More Tax Cuts + Victory in Iraq + Healthcare + Energy Independence = ????

HOW DO YOU PAY FOR ALL THIS, JOHN?!!

Answer: Across the board spending freeze = Huge cuts in Medicare/Medicaid and all programs which benefit the lower/middle classes.

McCain's talk of cutting defense was a sick joke.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 8, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Jeff II, thanks for the clarification.

It still sounds like a lousy idea to me. For one thing, it would be a bureaucratic nightmare to administrate.

Another point: the people most likely to default aren't going to be eligible for 30 year mortgages, even at lower principal.

And finally... the plan addresses loss of value SO FAR, but real estate slumps typically last around 6 years from peak to trough. It won't protect homeowners from prospective loss of value.

Posted by: wagster on October 8, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

I know that in the short term the economic downturn helps Obama's numbers, but looking to the future I really feel badly about the big pile of crap that is going to be handed the next President. Obama seems to always surround himself with the best minds and believe me, he'll need it. It's late in the game and we can't afford any more dumbsh*ts in high office. Go Obama! We need your intelligence and your energy to lead us off of this precipice.

Posted by: Jim on October 8, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'm quite sure a Democrat already suggested a very specific plan like this one...I just can't remember who it was now. Was it Hillary or Pelosi?

Posted by: JWK on October 8, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Is it true that Captain Cranky refused to shake hands afterwards with Obama?

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

for fun i watched debate coverage on fox news
the fox viewers believe by a vote of 87% that mccain won the debate
to listen to the fox news people talk about mccain, one is reminded of tom cruise talking about scientology;
astonishing adulation

Posted by: cwilly3 on October 8, 2008 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy, you get serious credit (and cred) for picking up on McCain's bold new theme:

"VOTE FOR ME AND I WILL BUY YOUR HOUSE!"

I heard it clear as a bell three times, and I was convinced that this was his new big idea. I was also convinced that he was doing a terrible job of rolling it out. (A suspicion confirmed by the fact that you are so far the only blogger I've seen who picked up on this new big idea.)

He also talked about doubling the child tax-credit, so clearly the plan is to simply buy votes -- along the lines of Bush's 'tax rebates'. And who's to say it won't work with those people beset by mortgage woes?

The only downside is that the average American who didn't get greedy and fuck up their life by chasing a dream they couldn't afford is really pissed at all the attention the cry babies are getting, so they may be turned off by McCain's plan.

Boo hoo.

Posted by: The Phantom on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Is it true that Captain Cranky refused to shake hands afterwards with Obama? -- unknown, @12:48

Nope. Here are two video clips, from TPM. The first one, where they don't shake hands but which is, in fact, the later situation. The earlier situation (and the second clip) show the handshake.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/222684.php

Posted by: exlibra on October 8, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Regarding 'that one', a brief historical footnote. Years ago I read a very interesting book called, I believe, Drylongso. In it I read how African-Americans found the word 'niggre' to be worse than 'nigger' because it was an obvious and cowardly attempt to be racist without saying the offical 'n-word'.

I won't ever know what was in McCain's mind when he said 'that one', but the first thing that popped into my mind was 'niggre'. McCain was saying something he could get away with as a replacement for something he really wanted to say. I don't know if his intent was racial or simply condescending, but it was clear: he wanted to say something worse, and couldn't.

Because he's a coward.

Posted by: The Phantom on October 8, 2008 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

A final comment, regarding the handshake stupidity. Josh Marshall made an ass out of himself tonight, but it's only the latest in a long line of self-assing moments. I think he's well on his way to becoming the next Tim Russert when what he needs to aspire to be is the next Walter Cronkite.

If any of you know him, tell him to get his shit together.

Posted by: The Phantom on October 8, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Obama did a fantastic job--yes, he was much more fluid, more cogent and he had some great comebacks after McCain kept attacking him.

"A wheel has come off your straight-talk express" really made me smile and was one of my favorites.

It remains so odd to me and I'm rather disturbed by the insight Howard Fineman shared today-that there are three levels to the McCain campaign: there are the edgy debates which attempt (or pretend to) address issues, then there are the smear attack ads, and then there is this really dark place that Sarah Palin seemingly joyously and eagerly has taken the campaign to in the last several days.

Quite unsettling. Especially because there's been no attempt to stop it. They don't seem to care.

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, Hilzoy-- I really like your analogy of the "That One" snipe.

It came off impatient, curt and crude.

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth: I almost never trust my take on these things, but liveblogging makes it much worse: too busy typing to watch, so I miss most of the visuals.

Posted by: hilzoy on October 8, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

McCain, with his smirking and childish "that one" talk, makes my vomit want to vomit.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on October 8, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Seeing this as just a small edge to Obama means someone was watching a different debate from the one I saw.

You could watch this with the sound OFF and still see that Obama won it.
Here's the context you need to judge this against: a 72 years old candidate, with a completely untested dimwit runningmate, are asking to be handed "the tiller" when the nation is in deep crisis.
That 72 years old man has been all over the place recently, on a variety of issues, and it's obvious that the only thing clear about McCain is that he's in the pocket of a number of powerful Lobbies.

Against that, you have an unconventional, but intelligent and intellectual candidate who has been clear as rain on where he is headed, for years -- and who seems able to not only surround himself with good advisers, but who also has the stamina and the willpower to really tackle the challenges the nation faces.

David Gergen has a point - or six. If a white candidate with Obama's skills was the Dem candidate, then McCain would be down 70-30, with only the base hanging on for dear life to their mad delusions.

The Republican brand is not on a dog food level, anymore, it's what comes out of the dog at the other end.

Posted by: SteinL on October 8, 2008 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

what is so damn tragic about people having to give back a house they overpaid for? many put nothing or next to nothing down on those crazy loans. Why can't they rent like those of us who saw the prices were too high and decided to sit it out. I resent the fuck out of the notion that I have to chip in to pay their stupid mortgage on their stupid overpriced house (at the same time propping up inflated prices ensuring that home prices remain out of reach for normal people)

Posted by: Katie on October 8, 2008 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

...why should I feel they are owed a house? If the lender cheated them, that's a different story and maybe we should have a government plan to go after the fraud and abuse. But no one got tricked into buying a 300K house thinking the price was really only 150K, you know?

Posted by: katie on October 8, 2008 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

...why should I feel they are owed a house? If the lender cheated them, that's a different story and maybe we should have a government plan to go after the fraud and abuse. But no one got tricked into buying a 300K house thinking the price was really only 150K, you know?

Posted by: katie on October 8, 2008 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama was awesome though.

Posted by: Katie on October 8, 2008 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

McCain seemingly refused to shake Obama's hand after the debate too.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/07/blitzer-apparent-mccain-h_n_132830.html

Stay classy John.

Posted by: Dodger on October 8, 2008 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

As is my custom by now, I've analyzed the words used by the speakers in the latest US presidential debate. I provide a bubble graph visualizing length of words, sentences and speech. I also investigated a gut feeling that there was something odd about the distribution of thanks between the different players (bar chart). Finally, improved "word couds" for every speaker (this time including all meaningful words). See and read about it at my Word Face-Off blog.

Posted by: fdeblauwe on October 8, 2008 at 5:16 AM | PERMALINK

The focus of last night's debate was rightly on the economy and on Iraq. But while both candidates try to outdo themselves on who is more patriotic neither one talks about the destruction of American civil liberties, the very underpinning of their patriotism.

As today's Washington Post details, Maryland citizens who engaged in virtually any kind of civil protest over the last several years have been spied upon by police and placed on terrorist watch lists. Such abuse of power and deliberate, administrative misconduct under the former Republican governor Erlich clearly violates the U.S. Constitution.

Yesterday, Maryland's former state police superintendant, Thomas Hutchins, was unapologetic in defending the program to monitor "fringe people." "I don't believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government," he said.

The current Democratic Maryland governor O'Malley is issuing apologies to the protesters. But the same things have happened in Colorado and Florida and probably elsewhere. In combination with the growing socialization of our economy these trends create very troubling linkages.

For example, will people on Maryland's terrorist watch lists qualify for John McCain's proposed mortgage assistance? For that matter will these "fringe people" qualify for federally subsidized assistance of any kind -- health care, housing, school tuition, social security? It will be very easy for government agencies to link a person's listing on terrorist lists to social security numbers and therefore to all government assistance programs. This sends shudders down my spine.

I believe America is approaching an authoritarian state. Why aren't the candidates talking about protecting civil liberties? Firewalls for personal privacy??? We are living in very dangerous and troubling times for America. We have some very important decisions to make about our country's direction.

* * * * *

From Today's Washington Post:


Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists
Surveillance's Reach Revealed

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 8, 2008; A01

The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday.

Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan revealed at a legislative hearing that the surveillance operation, which targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war, was far more extensive than was known when its existence was disclosed in July.

The department started sending letters of notification Saturday to the activists, inviting them to review their files before they are purged from the databases, Sheridan said.

"The names don't belong in there," he told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. "It's as simple as that."

The surveillance took place over 14 months in 2005 and 2006, under the administration of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). The former state police superintendent who authorized the operation, Thomas E. Hutchins, defended the program in testimony yesterday. Hutchins said the program was a bulwark against potential violence and called the activists "fringe people."

-- for the full article see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/07/AR2008100703245_pf.html

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 8, 2008 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

Morning Joe participants are still saying the old line of McCain being "upset" about having to go negative. Yeah, right. Isn't McCain in charge of his own campaign?

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on October 8, 2008 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

Hair Transplants. Didn't anyone else catch that? I thought it was incredibly mean-spirited and petty of John McCai. It also smacked of a snide attack we'll be hearing his idiotic sdie-kick using on the campaign trail. It made him look very small.

Obama definitely won. He was clear. I understood where he was coming from. None of these debate formats allow for real detailed policy statements, but I knew what Obama's general plans were. McCain! "I CAN DO THAT!!" "I DO THAT ALL THE TIME!!" He sound like a very junior level person trying to talk their way through a job interview way above their qualifications. I think his mortgage plan just left people scratching their heads.

I thought this town hall style was to play to McCain's advantage. It sure didn't. Obama looked comfortable and connected with the audience. John McCain looked ill-at-ease, and often confused. He wandered around the stage while Obama spoke and at one point gestured to someone while Obama was talking. He sounded overly rehearsed and came across flat. I also noticed people seemed more to listen to Obama more intently.

I certainly did notice the Obamas working the crowd afterwards while the McCains got out of there quickly. Another thing I noticed: the crowd seemed to be the type of people Obama is said to have a hard time connecting to, but they sure seemed comfortable with him after that debate.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 8, 2008 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

Over at The Weekly Standard Stephen Hayes scored the debate for Obama - I think it was 10 rounds to one. As an explanation for the win Fred Barnes blamed Tom Brokaw, the East Coast moderator.

Posted by: Marc on October 8, 2008 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

Is McCain ever creepy when he goes into his soft-spoken, caring voice. He sounds like an audio concern troll.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 8, 2008 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

As noted by a previous poster about the 'three levels' of the McCain campaign - there's another way of looking at it - Play up the 'civility', while acting indignant when someone catches you being malicious to a person behind their backs.

And while it's great to have this discourse here, it is also worthwhile to consider how can folks at our level create a simplistic message for the low information voters that will get them to understand that they can be part of creating a positive solution, rather than eviscerating people who disagree with them.

I do have great concerns about our ability to maintain civility and democracy in the years to come.

Posted by: IncredulousinNJ on October 8, 2008 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

On a more superficial note, I find Senator McCain's frequent use of the endearment, "my friend" annoying. From instance to instance it is either meant sincerely or sarcastically, depending on if he agrees with the person he is addressing.

More evidence Senator McCain is an innate flip-flopper. It comes so naturally to him.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 8, 2008 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

On a more superficial note, I find Senator McCain's frequent use of the endearment, "my friend" annoying.

I've always thought, even before the general election, that when McCain says, "my friends", that it's a signal that he's about to lie to me. Of course, once the general election started up, that's all he's been doing, making the "my friends" superfluous.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 8, 2008 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

And Re: Jonah Goldberg and the Debate?
See: http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=11936
"Jonah brings the night’s HoYay!

'That Was Very Nicely Done [Jonah Goldberg]
I thought McCain’s close was about as good as he gets. Honorable. Decent. Serious. Manly.'
http:// corner.nationalreview.com...WQxNzM5NGE2ZWY=

MMMM. Codpiece. Nom nom nom nom."

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Mortgage resetting, it is a great idea in the mode of allowing bankruptcy laws to have a process to do it. But in practice it will be really difficult because nobody really knows who owns alot of these mortgage instruments, they are derivatively sliced and diced into hedge funds and into portfolios of banks and insurance companies in Japan, Luxembourg and Italy. McCain is right that unless the home value swoon stops the system will not stabilize, but it isnt that easy to just reset everything.

I was struck as was St Zak by the fact McCain just left quickly and the camera in the after coverage focused on the Obamas talking to the crowd , shaking hands, and taking pictures with the participants. Maybe only political junkies who keep the TV on saw this, but if these were undecided voters, he went a long way toward winning them over possibly more so in staying and connecting with them individually.

It will be interesting now to see if the wild attacks continue and if GOP 527's come out with even worse slime. If I were in charge of GOP strategy I would cut my losses on McCain and focus on the Congressional races and spend like hell to just maintain the current expected losses.

I am in Minnesota and have been very pessimistic about Al Franken's chances, however since the bailout vote state polls show the race has become a dead heat with Coleman dropping up to 6-10% due to his vote "for". Obama's lead in MN has surged.

Now is the time to pull out the William T. Sherman playbook... go for total victory.

Posted by: leftymn on October 8, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Now is the time to pull out the William T. Sherman playbook... go for total victory.

And that'd be 60+ Dems in the Senate -- a filibuster-proof majority, with Mitch McConnell given the boot in Kentucky -- and telling Lieberman to go jump in a lake!

Not likely, but one can dream.

Posted by: Gregory on October 8, 2008 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

As for the "my friend" thing, it's a tradition in the Senate to refer to your colleague in that manner, as in "my friend from Arizona wouldn't know the truth if it bit him on the butt."

Posted by: Farmboy on October 8, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see ... I guess I disagree with a lot of the analysis here about the mortgage buy-back plan.

I would call it "Free Candy" basically.

Those of us who didn't buy a house because we (rightly?) thought that housing prices were in a bubble and didn't reflect actual value, would be asked by Senator McCain to pay for the mortgages of people who did.

Wow. That absolutely sucks. I'm not sure moral hazard adequately conveys how perverse this idea is. Talk about "socialism".

The money comes from somewhere folks, it comes from you and I. We're the government bailout, not some special money tree somewhere.

How on Earth is that fair? People who buy goods that later drop in price are not entitled to a "do-over" funded by the rest of us.

Was a "federal house price subsidy" detailed in the mortgages that people signed? Wow, I sure wish the rest of us who either didn't buy or only bought houses we could afford on terms we could afford knew about it.

In that case, we could have screwed our fellow citizens too and bought bigger houses than we could afford in the knowledge that other Americans would have to pay for them.

If this is actually already in there, then you've all convinced me that the bail-out plan is a disaster. Thanks.

Posted by: JR1 on October 8, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Now Yahoo news has connected McCain,s involement with the Iran-Contra affair you all must surely remember this where Old George was VP under Regan trading weapons for drugs, and you remember Bush,s old ali named Oliver North, Now you have to ask yourself do you want people like that running this country have you not learned anything these last 8 years, McCain is a war hawk he Will start a war with Iran if elected but I surely hope this election is a fair one not having to go back and recount republicans are as dirty as they come.

Posted by: Al P on October 8, 2008 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK
We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so it's unacceptable. And I will do everything that's required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we don't provide veto power to the United Nations or anyone else in acting in our interests. -- Barack Obama 7-Oct-2008
The quote destroys the leftist myth that President Bush is a warmonger. Posted by: Neo on October 8, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

How on Earth is that fair?

It isn't. But we aren't in this mess because people didn't cover their mortgages and re-fi's; it's because people in the financial services industry bet that they would.

And they were able to do so because of the virtually nonexistent regulatory system (thanks to congressional republicans like Gramm and McCain in the late 90's) and because of virtually nonexistent oversight by the responsible agencies like the SEC, FTC, and others (thanks to the Bush white house).

Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to avoid blame. Period.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

No it doesn't. It destroys the myth that Democrats are all hippie-dippie pacifists.

Posted by: Blue Girl on October 8, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The quote destroys the leftist myth that President Bush is a warmonger.

Um, what in the world does that quote have to do with Bush?

Posted by: DH Walker on October 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Bush is a warmonger. Anyone who engages in pre-emptive wars is a warmonger. The fact that Iran can't be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon doesn't automatically assume that we will go to war. I trust that Obama will TRY to negotiate. Not like Bush's fake negotiations with Iraq and his pretend to wait until the inspections failed, when they actually hadn't concluded before HE pushed the inspectors out with his threats to begin bombing any moment. Bush was chomping at the bit and eberyone knew it at the time.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on October 8, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

How on Earth is that fair?

It isn't. But we aren't in this mess because people didn't cover their mortgages and re-fi's; it's because people in the financial services industry bet that they would.

And they were able to do so because of the virtually nonexistent regulatory system (thanks to congressional republicans like Gramm and McCain in the late 90's) and because of virtually nonexistent oversight by the responsible agencies like the SEC, FTC, and others (thanks to the Bush white house).


Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to avoid blame. Period.
Posted by: DH Walker

Takes two (or three) to tango. Some are in this mess because 1. Gamblers bet they could pay their variable rate mortgages and historically low interest rates wouldn't rise,LOL, 2.Gamblers bet sub-prime mortgagees would not default, and last but not least, we have too much regulation, like the Community Reinvestment Act that forces banks to make risky loans to minorities and low income folks.

Posted by: Luther on October 8, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Luther: Sorry, but blaming the credit crisis on the CRA is a bunch of horseshit. More than 60% of the defaults which led to the crisis were refinances, not minority first-time loans.

No doubt, some people are in a mess because they got in over their heads (some due to stupidity, some due to unregulated predatory practices). The economy, however, is in crisis because of the reckless behavior of the financial services market.

Here's a hint for you: Michelle Malkin has no expertise in virtually any of the areas that she offers her vacuous, racist opinions about.

Posted by: DH Walker on October 8, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's mortgage plan is also broadly similar to a private plan BofA announced earlier this week.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 8, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

McCain kept complaining that Obama never opposed his leadership and Obama didn't seem to address this.

It was a gimme...

Proper reply:
"John, WHAT was I expected to oppose the leadership on? You had it easy. When YOU balked against YOUR leadership, you used sensible proposals offered by the Democratic party. Any time you would have ME oppose my leadership, I would need to choose a Republican idea instead.

We've SEEN what Republicans wanted to do over the past 8 years. What was it I was expected to agree with? Disastrous trickle-down economic policies? Irresponsible deregulation of the banking system? Privatizing social security? I don't agree with your party about much of anything. Once upon a time when you weren't agreeing with George Bush 90% of the time, you had a VERY GOOD REASON to be a maverick. The ideas you support now have never been good ones and you used to know that."

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 8, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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