Bush vs Kerry III

In the final bout of Presidential Throwdown '04 tonight in Arizona, the two candidates get into the issues here at home. Discuss.

Also, how were the debates as a forum for learning more about the candidates? Would other formats tell us more about them?

Comments

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    There is one good reason to support equal rights for marriage -- because Dumbo Dubya opposes equal rights.

    Right down the list, people against this moron should be voting exactly the opposite of him on every position he takes, especially against every candidate who wears his Gang Of Psychos -- Republican label.

    There has been no mention anywhere, that I've seen, of 'coattails' in this election. Let's hope the Moron POTUS takes every single man, woman and issue who rides on his coattails right into jail and oblivion.

    @

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    Damn, Dumbo's golfing buddy Schieffer the Shill sure is a tool. Poof, his career's over, in a perfect world.

    Schieffer is the 1930s kind of 'ordinary German' in the community of the familiar who everyone paid no attention to for years and years and simple-mindedly assumes must be an okay government-issue (G.I.) Joe, all the while he stupidly promotes the fascism -- and he's exactly the sort of innocuous cog-tool in the machine who gets 'poofed' into nothing with one easy shot for anyone -- try this at home: BOYCOTT Cable TV.

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    Yankees up 1-0 against the Red Sox going into the top of the 6th.

    What? There's a debate?

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    I've been a Yankees fan for fifty years, (true word). The only World Series game I ever saw in person was at Fenway, and from my years in Beantown I love those Sox. I don't know which one to cheer for, I like them both. 'Let's play two.' (-- Ernie Banks.) It don't matter to me, I play baseball any day before I watch it. Yankees. Sox. Nobody cares but gamblers. I'm more given to living life instead of watching it go by on TV.

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    Three comments about a debate is living life? ;)

  • The Prof (unverified)
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    I thought is was a very weak effort by kerry. I'd have to give the spin-win to Bush. Sadly.

    I am very frustrated at Kerry's unwillingness to take on the distortions of his record. When Kerry is challenged on his record, why doesn't he reply with something like "I was working in Congress to improve the lives of Americans while you were managing a baseball team that you obtained via a sweetheart deal."

    Every time Bush says "I need four more years to ..." doesn't Kerry respond (as Edwards did) "We can't afford four more years of your .... policy!"

    I thought kerry was playing defense and was overly passive. He needed to knock Bush off his perch and I think he failed badly.

    The post spin on NBC is not positive for Kerry. And they repeated Bush's (grossly inaccurate) claim that Kerry is a left wing liberal. I'm trying one more time to land my op ed that disproves that claim (another attempt is here: http://www.apsanet.org/PS -- see the article titled "The Most Liberal Senator").

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    This was the first debate I was able to see live, and I guess I have no ability to judge things neutrally; to my eyes, it was Kerry by a landslide. Bush smirked and stammered his way through the debate, and spent most of the 90 minutes on the defensive. Kerry, meanwhile, looked far more presidential--by which I mean he seemed mature, in command of himself and the facts, and in command of the room. Bush tried to bait him on the liberal thing, but rather than respond defensively, Kerry let his calm debating style refute the claims. After all, in America, no one knows what "liberal" means anyway. They just think it means insane. But Kerry was far from insane. Bush, meanwhile looked like a petulant child. I don't really know how to say it any other way: Bush is a national embarrassment.

    Whether or not Americans recognize this is critically important to the debate. Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me...

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    My gawd, only go here to see the face of evil incarnate: Cheney. It's ugly.

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  • raging red (unverified)
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    I was very disappointed in the questions. Basically, they sucked. Most notably, there wasn't a single question on the environment.

    Schieffer wasted valuable questioning time asking the candidates about their faith, their views on abortion, and the final, completely inane question - the most important thing they've learned from the strong women in their lives. Give me a break.

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    I haven't had a chance to watch the debate yet, but of course I will (I went to see The Forgotten - good movie). But anyway... snap polls are in and it's a mixed bag:

    CNN/Gallup has Kerry way outside the margin for the first time - 52-39.

    ABCNews has them dead even - 42-41 (Kerry).

    Should be an interesting one to watch as soon as I get a chance. Shhhh don't anyone spoil it for me. ;-)

    Oh and did the Yanks win? lol.

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    OK, watching the debate now. That SOB that calls himself the President did not even address the question of jobs being shipped overseas. While education is the answer to almost every other problem, it ain't the answer to that one. He doesn't give a sh*t. God it pisses me off to no end. Retraining is the answer to jobs going overseas? When you have 1000 jobs and you subtract 1000 jobs you now have zero jobs. Those jobs have not been replaced. Those jobs no longer exist. Oh, wait, they do and you can talk to these friendly folks when you call technical support for your laptop - they just happen to be folks in India (or, to be fair, Canada) who happen to be making substantially less than those 1000 folks were making right here at home. I know I sleep better at night knowing Bill Gates and Michael Dell are exponentially richer than they were a year ago. And the jobs that actually are being created are low wage jobs, NOT middle- to high-income jobs. Retraining would be great if there were any jobs to which the newly retrained may go.

    Ugh.

    OK, more painful watching ahead. I'd throw something at him but I might compromise my flat-panel display, have to contact technical support, and just get pissed off all over again.

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    OK, OK, OK, this should cover me for the rest of the debate:

    Bush on abortion: AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG Bush on healthcare: AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG Almost anything else that Bush could possibly say for the next hour (yes, sadly, I'm only 39 minutes into this and I'm already livid): AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Please tell me that soon - very soon - he'll just be a very short chapter in our kids' history books.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    Anyone who says "Bush won the debate" has been drinking the 'lowered expectation' koolaid.

    While Bush didn't screw up or misbehave on stage like debate number one, he still failed to answer about half the questions.

    cc, The Gallup poll has been all over the place all summer. Seldom matches or tracks other polls. They had Bush way ahead after the gop convention. Not to be believed.

    Pedro

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    Folks, folks, folks... You're missing the BIG STORY. In the debate, on the very first question, Bush blew it in a huge way.

    Kerry: Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, Where is Osama bin Laden? He said: 'I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned.' We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.

    Bush: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations. Of course we're worried about Osama bin Laden. We're on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We're using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.

    OUCH. Bummer for George. March 13, 2002. "I'm not that concerned about him." Here's the video. (1mb)

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    Folks, folks, folks... You're missing the BIG STORY. In the debate, on the very first question, Bush blew it in a huge way.

    Yeah, I caught that. I was like "Gosh, yeah ya did, ya dumb@$$." lol (can ya tell the man is getting to me?)

    But the real question is whether or not the media will grab that and at least take it for a jog. You remember that, I remember that, I think it was in Farenheit 9/11 and therefore Michael Moore and anyone who was paying attention remembers that, but most people aren't going to remember that unless they're spoon-fed a reminder.

    I checked CNN, ABC, and CBS sites - none of them point it out in their main debate story. CNN picks it up in their Fact Check (I didn't look at other networks fact checks, but it's gotta be in there). CBS even mentions the dialogue but doesn't acknowledge Bush's obvious alteration of the truth. MSNBC, however, does mention it briefly.

    I'm not sure if/how the story was addressed on TV because I didn't get a chance to see any of the news, but unfortunately it doesn't look like they're making it as big enough news for people to actually catch and retain. I think when the President makes a statement that is an obvious lie he should be impeached... oh, wait, I mean, he should at least be called on the carpet about it.

  • Justin (unverified)
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    My money says the Sox win on Saturday.

  • cab (unverified)
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    The media has played the "I don't really care about Osama" tape a little this morning. Its a damning video. Cuts right to the heart of Iraq being a diversion.

    On another note, was Bush juiced up or what early in the debates. The guy was foaming at the mouth.

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    On the "not concerned" comment, here's trenchant analysis by Josh Marshall:

    First, this isn't some insignifcant matter like whether Dick Cheney ever met John Edwards. This cuts to the essence of what the election is about: terrorism and whether the president kept his eye on the ball. Second, the president's honesty is also a central issue. In particular, honesty about terrorism and bin Laden and Saddam. This cuts to the heart of that too: the president not leveling with the public about what's happened in the war on terror. Third, as Kevin Drum rightly notes, this is an excuse to play that video clip again and again and again. And for the president that's not a good clip at all. In that passage, when the president says that bin Laden has become marginalized and that he's moving ahead with the war on terror, what he's talking about -- more or less explicitly -- is shifting from bin Laden to Iraq. He's describing how he took his eye off the ball. And seeing what we're now seeing in Iraq, that really says it all.
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    More polling:

    CBS News poll of uncommitted voters: Kerry wins 39%-25%

    Also, that ABC poll was tilted toward Republicans by 8 points, so probably coheres more closely to other polling than a cursory look would indicate.

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    And finally, Big Story part two. Bush laid this whopper on America:

    "Most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans. And now the tax code is more fair. Twenty percent of the upper-income people pay about 80 percent of the taxes in America today because of how we structured the tax cuts."

    This fails on all scores. It's not a slight mischaracterization of actual data; it's not a statistical twisting of data; it doesn't even pass the intuitive BS meter. Truth:

    Since 2001, tax liabilities for the top 10 percent of earners went from 50 percent to 47.6 percent of the tax burden, and tax liabilities for the middle 20 percent of earners went from 10 percent to 10.5 percent of the total tax burden. (Detroit Free Press) "'The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center calculates nearly 53% of the tax cuts went to the top 10% of US households.' And, said [Brooks] Jackson [director of Factcheck.org], low- and middle-income Americans--the bottom 60%--got only 14% of the tax cuts." (NPR)

    The "gotcha" factor is greater on Kari's Big Story, but it may be that this one is a more troubling and calculated lie.

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    The only poll I really watch is the Iowa Electronic Market, where people put their money behind their opinion.

    While it's been trending the right way, Bush futures still cost 54 cents on the dollar, while Kerry futures only cost 46 cents on the dollar.

    But hey, there's good reason to be optomistic for October -- we may very well have four years to be depressed, why ruin this month too?

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    While it's been trending the right way, Bush futures still cost 54 cents on the dollar, while Kerry futures only cost 46 cents on the dollar.

    Well is that really an accurate depiction? Rs tend to have more money to burn on a much wider scale. Additionally a lot of Democratic voters tend to be blue collar, minority, younger people, etc. etc. etc. who may not know anything about this Iowa thingy (I'd never heard of it). Is it possible that it's slanted toward money? Wishful thinking?

    How accurate has it been in the past? And if there are odds, I'll take Kerry by less than 4 (New Hampshire). Oh wait, it's not betting - its stock trading. Sorry, got confused. ;-) Hey I thought it was funny... lol.

    There's no way for us to know what's going to happen - with the number of new voters this year (and new Ds outnumbering new Rs - at least in Oregon - by about 5%), new voters and young people have allllllllll the power. We just gotta get 'em out to vote.

  • iggir (unverified)
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    analysis at this point is moot...voters who have yet to decide over Kerry or Bush are not digging into statistics and are not surfing the web reading blogs about statistics. what they really want is to watch the debates and feel all warm and fuzzy afterwards -- if one candidate touches their love button better than the other, then that's the one that's going to get their vote.

    personally (and not that i'm undecided), neither candidate touches my love button often or insistant enough.

    i can say, though, that Bush's smirk gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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    I have a post at the American Street, should you be longing for yet more analysis about the debate.

  • bill deiz (unverified)
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    Re Osama: If you find Kari's post of the Bush video too difficult to watch...I mean he is so shifty-eyed and evasive it sickens that he is the president...here are his precise words from the 2002 news conference, thanks to factcheck.org:

    Wrong on Osama

    Bush stumbled when he denied making some remarks about Osama bin Laden that Kerry had accurately paraphrased. Bush accused Kerry of "one of those exaggerations."

    In fact, Bush said almost exactly what Kerry quoted him as saying. It was in a news conference at the White House on March 13, 2002, after US forces had overturned the Taliban regime in Afghanistan:

    Q (March 13, 2002): Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? . . .

    Bush: So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him , Kelly, to be honest with you. . . .

    Q: But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

    Bush: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban."

    So Mr. Bush just didn't care any more about public enemy #1. Too preoccupied with Iraq plans to worry about Osama. Probably a result of his shortened attention span. Now we face a reconstituted Al Qaeda in 60 countries and we have no idea where the head of the organization actually is...just some presumptions.

    Oh...and another sidenote: Poppy production is back in full swing in Afghanistan...after nearly being stamped out before our invasion of that nation...and I've heard estimates that the heroin trade now accounts for roughly 1/3 of the economy there and is back to a billion dollar a year industry. Just one more result of the short attention span of our Commander in Chief.

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    It looks like I forgot to close the italics. That's what I get for pre-caffeine posting. Sorry everyone. I'll try to do it now.

    Let's see if that works. If not, sorry again.

  • LC (unverified)
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    You can focus on that statement all you want, but mainstream voters probably won't buy the F-9/11 spin that you attach to it (that Bush was willing to let OSB escape because he was jumping at any opportunity to fulfill his father's legacy of deposing Saddam).

    The context of the original statement was left out by Kerry during the speech. Bush said that OSB was on the run, without a power structure, while answering the question of whether OSB still posed the same terrorist threat to the US as he did before Afghan invasion.

    Reading it in that context, I think I understand what he was trying to convey. As usual, Bush made a poor choice of words.

    All voters know that he is often innarticulate, most are willing to question his judgement, but very few think Bush is not "working hard" to protect us from terrorism.

    My take is that the undecided voters will question W's judgement, but not his heart (otherwise they would have made up their minds by now).

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    My take is that the undecided voters will question W's judgement, but not his heart (otherwise they would have made up their minds by now).

    I expect my leader to have excellent judgement. He's the one with the nuclear (nucular?) launch codes afterall. Judgement is taking a combination of information, logic, moral foundation, and heart, and then deciding what's best for the entire country and the world when dealing with foreign policy based on all of those things. Heart is only part of it and if you look at this country today, I'm not really sure his is in the right place anyway.

    I expect my leader to mean what he says. I stick my foot in my mouth constantly, but I'm not the President of the United States. lol. If he says he's not worried about a marginalized Osama bin Laden, then I'm guessing he's really not. You can marginalize a crazy bastard all you want but if he's still got access to money and he's still got allies (which we've no reason to believe that either of those things have changed) the guy's still a real threat - one who would use our own resources against us. All it took for 9/11 was poor airport security and getting a few people through flight school. Sad, but true. OBL is still a real threat - marginalized or not.

    And as for why undecideds haven't made up their minds - it's because they hate/dislike/don't trust/whatever W but have just been looking for a good enough reason to vote for Kerry. Hopefully they found what they needed in the debates.

  • Jesse (unverified)
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    that Bush was willing to let OSB escape because he was jumping at any opportunity to fulfill his father's legacy of deposing Saddam

    I don't really receive The Atlantic monthly, but I happened upon a copy of 10/2004 issue with an in-depth examination of the Bush Administration's refocus of the war on terror from Afghanistan to Iraq. It seems, against the advice of pretty much everyone, the Administration was gearing for the Iraq war on, well, September 12.

    It's here, if you want to pay. Or, contact me and I can get you a copy in the mail.

    A good, long, frustrating, well-researched article with interviews from military advisors and some pretty revealing quotes from Rumsfeld himself.

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    It seems, against the advice of pretty much everyone, the Administration was gearing for the Iraq war on, well, September 12.

    I remember distinctly sitting watching the press conferences the night of 9/11 while I was still glued to the TV and Rumsfeld saying "We're going to get Saddam Hussein for this." And I remember thinking "We don't know it's him that did it!"

    I guess I could have dreamed it as I was recovering from surgery at that point and still on some really awesome medication, but I don't think so. It's stuck pretty firmly in my mind.

  • The Prof (unverified)
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    The Iowa Political Stockmarkets have a better record of predicting the outcome than pre-election polls.

    The fact that Republicans have more money that Democrats makes no difference, unless you think people don't invest based on who they think is going to win but based on who they want to win. If they do, they are bad investors and will lose money in the market.

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    Yeah, they've been pretty good at it. Of course, they missed it in 2000 - when they predicted Bush would win the popular vote. (Which is, btw, what counts. Not electoral.)

    I do think there's a bit of a bias built in - because so many students at the University of Iowa are bought in. They see things from the Iowa perspective. (Good thing Iowa is a pretty good bellwether.)

    Of course, it meant that the IEM predicted the Howard Dean meltdown long before anyone else did. See my post at PoliticsAndTechnology.com.

  • Randy (unverified)
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    "The context of the original statement was left out by Kerry during the speech. Bush said that OSB was on the run, without a power structure, while answering the question of whether OSB still posed the same terrorist threat to the US as he did before Afghan invasion."

    And your "context" source is????

    [Please don't point me to Bill O'Reilly right now]

  • LC (unverified)
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    Context source?

    Read Bill Diez's post of the Bush statement nine comments up.

    (I assumed it was verbatim, but I didn't double check because it was more or less what I remembered Bush saying when this flap first occurred).

    Randy are you suggesting that Bill's post was quoted Bush inaccurately?

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    <h2>Ignore this, it's a test post.</h2>
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