Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Presidential Debate Live Reactions- Volume Three

Once again, we have commentary on the debate from myself and my buddy Jose. To introduce the participants more thoroughly:

Jose: A Panamanian-immigrant and former U.S. Marine who plans to vote Republican. He opposes gun control and favors strict interpretation of the constitution. Jose is currently pursuing a degree in computer science. He also has an unnatural fondness for sugary beverages.

Drek: Your lovable host, who already voted Democrat, and considers himself a left-leaning moderate. He enjoys computers, sarcasm, and women who are afraid to cry.

As in our previous installments I'll add remarks in brackets to explain what's going on.

This begins shortly after the debate starts.




Drek: You're late.

Jose: Sue me...

Jose: I'm cooking.

Drek: What's for dinner?

Jose: burgers

Drek: Shit, send me some.

Jose: Sorry, doctors orders. [I would say that sounds like the coolest doctor ever, but since that unpleasant time when a doctor ordered me to subsist on popcorn, potato chips, and Gatorade I’ve learned there really is too much of a good thing.]

Drek: A flu question? [Referring to a question to Bush about the current shortage of flu vaccine.]

Drek: What the fuck?

Jose: bioterrorism dude

Jose: and it's a public health issue

Drek: Riiiiiight.

Jose: if we can't even keep up with the flu, what about an actual attack?

Drek: Of the flu? Well, it could be rough. I know what you're saying, but Bush isn't even straying near that logical an answer.

Drek: This is starting out really ugly, man. [i.e. the debate was inelegant from the first question.]

Jose: He's [Bush] answering the simple side...not enough shots, don't get one!

Drek: "Don't like anthrax? Don't get it!"

Drek: Kerry's doing well on healthcare, though.

Jose: pay for???!?!? [Jose is mocking Bush here, suggesting that he hasn’t considered the problem of paying for things yet.]

Drek: Bush: "A plan is not a littany of complaints." Yeah, but Kerry has an actual plan.

Drek: Kerry: "We're not giving this away for nothing." He's needed to say that.

Drek: Let's get back on topic here, John.

Jose: No, the more he drifts the more he can confuse W

Drek: I don't think he needs to try hard to confuse W.

Drek: I'm glad Kerry hit that crucial ceiling fan issue. [Referring to Kerry’s statements about outsourcing jobs, specifically including a Chinese ceiling fan factory.]

Jose: does that count as "stuff"? [Referring to an incident in our high school debate team where a teammate used the phrase “I want my stuff” in a speech.]

Drek: Not quite yet.

Drek: "Pago?" [I’m mocking Bush’s pronunciation of Pay-go, as in, “Pay-as-you-go” or Kerry’s plan for balancing the budget.]

Jose: pay-go

Drek: Man, what the hell was that answer all about?

Jose: you know, 11/10 is a fraction... [Jose is winning the prize for non sequitur of the night here.]

Drek: Your point is...?

Jose: I have this thing with people that a fraction must be smaller [i.e. the numerator must be less than the denominator.]

Drek: Ah.

Jose: For those of us with a "21st century skill" and a degree in such, it doesn't help to know everything if the job doesn't exist. [Referring to Bush’s education=jobs argument.]

Drek: Precisely the issue, my friend. Education does not, by itself, help.

Drek: That's an honest comment about Presidents having limited economic control.

Jose: and then there are the ones that are educated beyond their intelligence

Drek: Kerry's giving a solid answer so far, though.

Jose: how do you close that? [The flood of jobs moving overseas.]

Drek: Good question.

Drek: Although I would argue that tax breaks for companies that stay here would be preferrable to Bush's tax breaks.

Drek: I'm amazed- Bush is answering something WELL.

Jose: The problem is you get around it by making it a separate company...how do you expect to track that?

Drek: Nothing to get around with tax breaks. If we can't find you, we can't give 'em to you.

Jose: But you can't find in someone's accounting book if you actually cut a job or shipped it overseas...

Drek: Ahhhh... that. Little thornier, but no worse than a lot of what we do already. [In terms of regulation.]

Drek: Bush is doing much better here than he has in previous debates.

Jose: He was expecting it today

Drek: What, and the debates were a surprise the last two times?

Drek: So... courts=bad? [Referring to a Bush argument.]

Jose: specifically the gay question...it's not really a foreign policy issue. [What Bush was expecting.]

Jose: remember strict construction=good, liberal construction=bad. [Explaining why courts=bad.]

Drek: I'm a fan of strict construction BUT strict construction does not necessarily mean conservative.

Jose: true

Drek: Nice stand on Catholic doctrine. It'd be more impressive if most of the country weren't protestant.

Jose: I just noticed that...Kerry would be the 2nd catholic president if elected

Drek: Yep.

Drek: And Kerry turns the religion card on Bush quite nicely.

Jose: The right wingers will hit him for believing one thing and doing another...back to the flip-flop thing again

Jose: I happen to agree with what Kerry said there, by the way

Drek: Kerry ain't getting votes from folks that far on the right anyway. The battle is for undecided moderates right now.

Drek: You've gotta be fucking me!!! [This sequence of incredulous remarks was inspired by Bush’s assertion that the problem with healthcare in the U.S. is a result of consumers.]

Jose: The right wing spin doctors...who better or worse will change the undecided's opinion

Drek: Is Bush talking about the U.S. in Bizarro World?!

Jose: Hey, it's Wednesday...opposite day!

Drek: What the fuck is Bush thinking?!

Jose: Was it the house or the prez? [Who blocked Canadian drugs from entering the U.S.]

Drek: Hey, Bush loves the free market. Isn't blocking Canadian drugs restricting free trade?

Drek: House led by the Pres?

Jose: I could buy that

Drek: God, blaming the consumer for healthcare prices is like blaming the victim for her rape.

Jose: He also blocked Mexican trucks from coming in....what about NAFTA now that I think about it.

Drek: Flip-flop?

Jose: not obvious enough. [For most viewers.]

Drek: True.

Drek: This debate is getting exciting, though.

Jose: Low probability of wrong war wrong place wrong time [Jose’s least favorite soundbite]...yesss!

Drek: Heh.

Drek: Bush's healthcare plan is simple: Don't get sick. It's the grad student plan, too.

Jose: amen

Drek: You're mighty pro-Kerry tonight.

Jose: Like I said, I like what he says I just don't believe he's gonna do it

Drek: Do you really feel like you can trust Bush, though?

Jose: No

Jose: It's the people that come along with him that I want

Drek: Bush: "I'm not sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations that... never mind." WHAT?!

Drek: The people? Like who?

Jose: not liberals

Drek: BTW: link.

Drek: We were discussing economists the other day. [Part of a conversation during the second presidential debate. Not posted anywhere.]

Drek: What's your beef with liberals? Considering you're liking what Kerry is saying.

Jose: The way they [the liberals] do it means the government is involved in everything intimately...having been in the government [An enlisted man in the U.S. Marine Corps.], I've decided that's a bad thing

Drek: There's some truth there, but do you prefer Enron?

Jose: Neither extreme is good, you know that. I want balance and I know I'm not gonna get it. So I'll settle for a little left on some issues and a little right on others

Drek: I know, man, I know. But after four years of very-conservative Bush, I think we need four years of a liberal to end up with something moderate. If we elect Bush and give him a mandate...

Drek: Kerry is nailing Bush on social security here.

Jose: Two wrongs don't make a right either...wait a minute, I'm not trusted with my money?...anyway, I just can't bring myself to put Kerry in, not for him which is bad enough. If he does what is most popular even if he doesn't agree with it, isn't that the way it's supposed to be? [I’m not even sure how to disentangle the preceding.]

Drek: When all you have are two wrongs, you gotta play the averages. And yeah, that's the question innit? [i.e. Shouldn’t presidents do what is most popular because they’re servants of the people] That's why we have elections.

Jose: You know, blaming bush for most of the economy's problems is like blaming Hoover for the depression

Drek: Yes and no. A lot of economists are terrified of the tax cuts.

Jose: The same economist that are for a free market?

Drek: Most economists are free market folks.

Jose: Don't taxes muss that up?

Drek: Muss what up?

Jose: Taxes are not a market driven distribution of wealth

Drek: But they are necessary to provide infrastructure that industry requires, as well as to provide the minimal regulation markets need.

Jose: The argument is what level is adequate

Drek: This is true, but economists are not opposed to taxes per se.

Jose: As long as we get what we're paying for that's fine but we rapidly reach the dimishing returns point

Drek: I am not a fan of this "guest worker" business. [i.e. programs allowing people to enter the U.S. as “Guest Workers.”]

Jose: See, I'm with W on this one...illegal [immigration] is illegal and I'm gonna kick you out. Fill out the damn paperwork you louse! [I should mention that Jose immigrated from Panama when he was a child.]

Drek: I'm not saying I love illegal immigration, I just don't like "guest worker" programs.

Jose: Here's the problem...I have a bunch of Mexican roofers in my neighborhood fixing the hurricane damage. They're all probably illegal, but how many "Americans" are willing to do that kind of work for minimum wage?

Drek: Maybe if the minimum wage was a livable wage...

Drek: Kerry: "I'm tired of politicians talking about family values who don't value families." Nice.

Jose: Ok, he's way out there now. [Referring to Bush’s education plan.]

Drek: No joke.

Drek: Theresa, [A friend of ours from high school] the teacher in Atlanta, just beat her television to death.

Drek: I guarantee it.

Jose: *laugh*

Jose: Never mind the 2nd [Amendment] though

Drek: Heh. He [Kerry] ain't getting NRA votes, anyway.

Jose: Yeah but I can't let that wannabe strict construction line of his go

Drek: What is this litmus test bullshit?

Jose: abortion

Drek: I hate to say it, but I think Bush is playing to the audience better.

Jose: After the fiasco the first time...

Drek: Yeah, I know, he was due. Karma or something.

Jose: You know, that line I hate is coming...I can feel it [i.e. “Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.”]

Drek: Yep.

Drek: You gotta love a Democrat arguing to expand the military, though.

Jose: Yeah, it's raining frogs here too

Drek: Bush blinks like a motherfucker.

Jose: maybe he needs eyedrops too...part of that healthcare program of his

Drek: He already broke the first rule: don't get sick.

Jose: Hey, if I can buy into the same program as congress, can I go to Bethesda too?

Drek: Heh.

Jose: He's [Kerry] got the thumb going again

Jose: uh oh

Drek: That was an unexpectedly good retort from Bush.

Jose: bagdam checks?

Jose: somebody kill me

Drek: Really? Kerry is a gun owner?

Jose: Actually yeah, some questions about how legal that is though

Drek: What, that Kerry owns guns?

Jose: One of them is a "Chinese assault rifle" he brought back from vietnam...originally it was an AK47 machine gun, now it's a copy of a russian mosin-nagant bolt rifle...no one can affirm seeing either.

Drek: Ah.

Jose: Shall I give you my assault weapon tirade or is it over now? [Jose is a rather vocal opponent of the assault weapons ban, on the basis that (a) assault weapons aren’t used much in crimes, (b) the ban itself was an extremely leaky law and, (c) he really likes guns. I am in agreement with him on the first two points, though I’m not so obsessed with firearms as he.]

Drek: Anything new in the tirade? I took notes last time.

Jose: Well, the police thing...most police CHIEFS like the ban, most police OFFICERS don't care. If it's an AK or a bolt gun they both get you just as dead

Drek: Well, I've never said the ban was more than symbolic.

Jose: I'm going to go hunting someday with an AK47 just to piss someone off.

Drek: Yeah, Bush doesn't want to force his religion on others, suuuuure. I'm feeling that.

Jose: Yeah neither does Jeb. [Jeb Bush, governor of Florida.]

Drek: Riiiiiiight.

Drek: C'mon, John, pull it together buddy.

Jose: Not so well

Drek: Although I believe it when Kerry says he doesn't hate Atheists.

Drek: I nominate Bob Schiefer as worst moderator. Ever.

Jose: But he [Bush] wants to "love" his neighbor

Jose: Ever?

Drek: Well.... okay, not ever. I was channeling the Simpsons.

Jose: ay caramba

Jose: How bad on the badger scale?

Drek: The moderator? Considering he picked the questions? 12.

Jose: ouch

Drek: Bush: "My opponent has a plan of retreat and defeat in Iraq." Wow, Bush's handlers really musta drilled that one.

Jose: Maybe he's got the earpeice working again

Drek: I'm going to vomit. [Referring to Kerry’s closing remarks]

Jose: Nice try by kerry there

Drek: Kerry imploded tonight.

Jose: I said at the outset that the last one would decide it...so what do you think?

Drek: I sense a great disturbance in the force. As though a thousand voices cried out at once... and were suddenly silenced.

Jose: Wonderful there Ben, now give that to me in percentages

Drek: Even split, maybe a slight advantage to Bush, which is all he needed.

Jose: Given the expectations, I'm gonna have to go with a more than slight advantage for bush

Jose: 49/46 or so

Jose: Did he [Bush] memorize that last one? [Closing remarks]

Drek: Lets see if CBS does a poll.

Jose: ABC promises poll results after the break

Drek: Still waiting on CBS...

Jose: ABC fact checkers say Kerry lied more this time

Drek: On what? Because Bush didn't say much.

Jose: job losses 1.6 million versus about 600 thousand, Bush meeting civil rights leaders, did three times we know...Bush counted repeated votes as for raising taxes so 43 not 98.

Drek: Interesting.

Jose: ABC 566 called 42% Kerry, 41% Bush, 14% Tie... 38% Republican 30% Democrat 28% Independent

Drek: Called? Phone or internet?

Jose: ABC call them...or whoever does their research.

Drek: Here comes CBS...

Drek: 39% Kerry 25% Bush 26% Tie

Jose: And I'm still waiting for [Dan] Rather to quit

Drek: We all are...

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