Liveblogging (OR Heckles in the ether)

8:36 – There it is: P.O.W …  it’s almost amazing that he managed to wait this long.

8:35 – McCain’s “ready to go at it right now” …  and if by “it” he means pugnacious conflict, I’d agree.

8:32 – Obama responds by re-framing the risk that the rest of the world presents if we can’t/won’t pay any attention to anything outside of Iraq.

8:30 – McCain comes back to Iraq, claiming that “everyone” thinks a timeline for withdrawal would be a very risky move.

8:28 – McCain was behind the “largest reorganization in the history of our government” …  wait, this is the same guy who an hour and half ago was talking about trimming the fat of government… like that fat that might be found in the largest section of the government, which apparently McCain was behind.

8:27 – McCain: “don’t ever torture a prisoner ever again”..   AGAIN?!?!! Is that a tacit acknowledgment that that we have tortured?

8:25 – McCain thinks we’re safer now than we were 7 years ago…  even though more of the world looks at us in a more unfavorable light, and Al Qaeda is stronger than ever.

8:22 – McCain seems to think in terms of states, not in ethnicities. He listed a bunch of states as actors in the region, but didn’t seem to acknowledge that each of the countries in that area are made up of very disparate ethnic groups.

8:21 – Apparently, McCain has traveled places.

8:17 – McCain is trying to convince us that Obama doesn’t understand stuff by…  claiming repeatedly that Obama doesn’t understand stuff. I wonder if it’s working.

8:14 – McCain seems to be getting more and more aggravated. He’s talking a less pleasant tone…  I can only imagine that some “undecideds” are picking up on that and aren’t happy.

8:12 – Obama hits McCain on his Spain gaffe. He’s doing a good job of pointing out a lot of missteps that McCain has made that might have slid under the average viewer’s radar.

8:10 – Obama uses McCain’s advisers against him.

8:08 – Ye gods… haven’t we beaten this pre-condition crap to death?

8:05 – Obama actually ties our failures in Iraq to Iran’s elevate stature in the region. McCain only talked about Iran in the context of threat to Israel.

8:02 – McCain keeps making a point of the fact that he’s traveled places, and yet, it does not seem to have made his understanding or judgement any better or clearer. It seems that Obama is getting a clear image of what’s happening without needing to travel. One can only imagine how that might be refine if he were to do the same. I also wonder if McCain will have time to travel to all these place when he has a country in crisis to run.

8:01 – Obama is doing a pretty good job of telling McCain that he knows McCain is, at times, talking out of his ass.

7:57 – McCain brings us down memory lane…  opposing some things, and supporting others… some successful, others not…  and, apparently, he has a record. I’m assuming that’s not a criminal record.

7:55 – Obama references McCain’s “Bomb Iran” song, which I didn’t really think had escaped the blogosphere or village echo chamber.

7:53 – Every time McCain says strategy I feel like he doesn’t understand the difference between tactics and strategy.

7:52 – McCain won’t ignore the lessons of 2 decades ago.

7:50 – Obama lays out the strategic error of abandoning the front in Afganistan. McCain just looks blindly into space.

7:48 – Will Obama point out that the fledgling democracy that McCain is touting want us out as much as Obama does?

7:47 – McCain claims that Obama doesn’t understand that difference between tactics and strategy, and then goes to claim that counter-insurgency tactics are a strategy.

7:43 – McCain called out Obama for being “wrong” about the surge… appropriately, Obama calls out McCain for being wrong about the war itself.

7:41- McCain’s lesson learned is “don’t fuck up” …  Obama’s lesson learned is “don’t put yourself in a situation where you can fuck up”.

7:40 – So, if McCain loses the election will he say that he succeeded in the way that we have succeeded in Iraq?

7:39 – Now McCain is going to tell us that he’s a phenomenal war leader.

7:38 – Are you allowed to call yourself a maverick?

7:37 – I feel like someone should tell McCain that when the government spends money at home (via infrastructure projects, energy research and development, etc) jobs are created.

7:35 – Amazingly, when being asked what their priorities would be, Obama is the first to actually use the word “priorities”.

7:34 – Obama hit Iraq for the first time… McCain responds by building nuclear power plants.

7:32 – McCain proposes a spending freeze …  I get the feeling he just came up with that on the spot.

7:29 – McCain comes back to “cutting spending” …  this “examine every agency” bit is really scary, especially with McCain at the helm. Additionally, how much will that cost?

7:27 – Obama does not mention clean coal in his alternative energy plan…  and he elaborates in a way that indicates he’s been talking to, or listening to, Al Gore.

7:26 – I have a vague recollection of positing that Obama could, in a debate, irritate McCain enough to get him to flash that temper of his. It might happen.

7:24 – McCain: “Who kept spending under control?”  …  Will Obama mention that funding the war in Iraq isn’t keeping spending under control.

7:22 – And Obama calls him out on it…  good for him. He didn’t really respond to the “definition of rich” … even though McCain said something like “4 million”.

7:20 – Corporate tax rate…  McCain’s talking about lowering the rate as though they all pay (which they don’t) and they all pay that rate.

7:20 – They’re starting to get into the face to face aspect of this debate…  this could be fun.

7:18 – McCain says that Obama didn’t see the light on earmarks until he ran for president. I’m waiting for Obama to mention how many earmarks McCain has requested in his tenure, and how long it took him to see the light.

7:17 – I’m going to channel my inner Dean Baker and say that Obama needs to mention what percentage of the budget earmarks account for…

7:14 – McCain just told us how much Sen. Obama has requested in earmarks. Will Obama hit back and mention how many earmarks McCain has requested.

7:13 – McCain:  “We’ve gotta fix the system” …  the fix is apparently stricter interpretation and agency consolidation.

7:12 – Obama missed a chance to point out that Sen. McCain wants accountability without rules, and that you can’t really have it both ways.

7:11 – McCain: “Somehow we’ve lost that accountability” …   uh.. didn’t Sen. Obama just cover the “how” ? ie, a lack of regulation.

7:10 – McCain says he warned about stuff too!!  Don’t forget about him!

7:08 – Lehrer really wants to know where they stand…  looks like he’s going to take advantage of the somewhat loose format.

7:07 – McCain: “My Republicans in the House of Representative” …  really?

7:06 – McCain: “Have no doubt about the magnitude of this crisis” …  wait, weren’t the fundamentals of the economy sound?

7:03 – Using Eisenhower to exemplify monetary security as national security was slick…  and now we get to hear what Sens. Obama and McCain have been saying all week. Obama’s reiterating the talking points he appended to the “joint statement” both campaigns released.

The first debate is almost here…   Sen. McCain has certainly made just about everyone aware of this debate, which might otherwise have been ignored by huge swaths of Americans.

But, now it’s in the headlines, and the country is tuning in. So, as we’re minutes from the start, I’ll be liveblogging the debate in this space.

I really don’t know what to expect (of the candidates, or of what my brain will come up with). Theoretically, this debate will be about Foriegn Policy, which I don’t know a whole lot about. Still, things will be said. Some will make me think, and I’ll share those thoughts here.

I’m also going to be watching it on C-SPAN in an effort to avoid bobbleheads. We’ll see how that goes.

And the countdown says 3 minutes until game time. :)

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