Not much to say about last night's continuation of the first debate 4 weeks ago. Each didn't really say anything, both slammed each other, each misrepresented the other's policies, plans, and stances on the issues.
The transcript is even more tortuous to read than watching the actual debate, which this time did not include a podium and had Tom Brokaw moderating. Those were the two key differences between both Presidential debates. Like I said, voters will not be able to glean anything the candidates actually say because there is just too much rhetoric; it is like being in a House of Mirrors at the carnival.
There is one thing that is becoming increasingly more apparent to me as the weeks drone on and that is the position of the Vice President. We can name a dozen VP's who were not very inspiring, articulate or even well known. The same can be said of Biden and Palin but there is something these two VP hopefuls have the other ones didn't really have a shot at- actually taking over as President.
McCain is less than a year away from hitting 70- normally not that big of a deal but McCain has had a tough life. I don't know anything about his medical history but those years in a POW camp probably caused some long term health issues.
Obama is a different story. He is young and in visibly good health but, at the risk of sounding racist, he is black. There are a lot of backwards ass rednecks that wouldn't take too kindly of a black man in charge. I'm just throwing that out there as a possibility- you can be sure that the Secret Service will have their jobs cut out for them if Obama is elected.
So who does that leave us as the next President of the U.S. during a time in our history where we are surrounded by our enemies, both inside and outside our homeland, we are in the worst financial crisis of our lifetime (and probably our parent's lifetime), and we continue to fall farther behind the rest of the world in education and social programs. Hell, even immigration has declined slightly since the financial crisis hit the news.
Americans are losing their jobs, their retirements, their homes, and their sanity. Which one of these candidates can pull it all together? Can any of them? Can any of them pull the reigns on the Wall Street jackoffs who got us into this mess and punish them?
Yahoo News had a pretty good round up of some of the issues that were (kind of) touched on last night. It helps when trying to weed through the actual debate. Their information came from factcheck.org
OBAMA: Said McCain's proposal to give people a tax credit in exchange for treating employers' health insurance contributions as taxable wages amounts to "what one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away."
THE FACTS: Obama's suggestion that McCain's health care plan is a wash for families is misleading. McCain offers families a $5,000 tax credit to help them buy health insurance. The corresponding increase in taxable wages would result in a much smaller cost than the value of the tax credit, at least at first. Over time, the value of the tax credit may diminish as premiums rise. However, the Tax Policy Center estimates that McCain's plan would increase the federal deficit by $1.3 trillion over 10 years — mainly because it would lead to less tax revenue coming in, meaning it is a true tax break overall.
McCAIN: Said he would provide a $5,000 refundable tax credit for families to buy health insurance "rather than mandates or fines for small businesses as Sen. Obama's plan calls for."
THE FACTS: Obama's health care plan does not impose mandates or fines on small business. He would provide small businesses with a refundable tax credit of up to 50 percent on health premiums paid on behalf of their employees. Also, large employers that do not offer meaningful coverage or contribute to the cost of coverage would be required to pay a percentage of payroll toward the costs of a public insurance plan. But small businesses would be exempt from that requirement.
OBAMA: "Actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut."
THE FACTS: The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama would increase spending by $425 billion over four years and reduce spending by $144 billion for a net increase in the deficit of $281 billion. Obama has said he'll cut pork-barrel programs and the costs of the war in Iraq to pay for his programs — as well as raise taxes on the wealthy — but the specifics of his new spending plans outweigh the few spending cuts he's identified.
McCAIN: Said one way out of the financial crisis is to "stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us."
THE FACTS: Although he didn't spell it out, he was referring — as he has in the past — to purchases of oil from countries hostile to the U.S. The figure is inflated and misleading. The U.S. is not spending nearly that much on oil imports and roughly one-third of what it does spend goes to friendly countries such as Canada, Mexico and Britain.
OBAMA: Blamed some of the problem of terrorism in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region on Bush administration policy in Pakistan, saying "We can't coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants."
THE FACTS: Obama oversimplifies ex-President Pervez Musharraf's approach to making peace deals. In fact, the U.S.-backed Musharraf focused more heavily on military action, launching blistering attacks on the militants at times and negotiating peace deals with them at others. Obama also ignores the fact that Pakistan's newly elected civilian government, also U.S.-supported, is seeking the same kind of peace deals and has stepped back from heavy-handed tactics that were pursued by the Musharraf government.
McCAIN: Said Obama had voted for tax increases "94 times."
THE FACTS: This inflated count, heard before, includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by factcheck.org found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.
OBAMA: "I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us."
THE FACTS: McCain has indeed favored less regulation over the years but supported tighter rules and accountability on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years before the start of a financial crisis prompted in part by those giant mortgage underwriters. Obama was not a leader in that unsuccessful effort. Some of the current problems can be traced to legislation passed in 1999 that lifted many regulations over the financial industry. That deregulation was championed by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, a McCain supporter, but also by President Clinton, who signed the legislation, and by former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, now a top Obama economic adviser.
MCAIN: "Oil drilling offshore now is vital so we can bridge the gap between imported oil ... and it will reduce the price of a barrel of oil. ... We've got to drill offshore and do it now."
THE FACTS: The government estimates that opening the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling "will not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030." Even then, it would only increase domestic oil production by 3 percent.