McCain Wins But Not By Enough

Who won? I'd say scoring the debates on points, McCain came out somewhat ahead. But neither guy really distinguished himself, which is a victory for Obama: going into the debate more people wanted to vote for Obama, foreign policy is supposed to be John McCain's best chance to get people to vote for him instead, and many of those people just needed Obama to hold his own and show himself a credible commander-in-chief, which he certainly did.

Neither man seemed really comfortable in his own skin, and each smothered some attack lines and one-liners by delivering them in a half-apologetic sounding way. But McCain, as we knew before, is a somewhat better debater. He sounded crisper, and he drove his lines of attack more directly and consistently. Obama went too far out of his way to emphasize where he agrees with McCain, and he didn't draw on some of the more powerful lines of attack he's leveraged against McCain in other fora (now that Iraq's Prime Minister and George Bush have both come out for timetables, John McCain is standing all alone on this issue).

Mostly, Obama seemed eager to correct the record on particular points but once the debate moved from the economy to foreign policy, he offered a lot of good arguments against John McCain but not a unified theory of why he'd be a scary president.

Like George Bush in 2000 responding to Gore's attack on his actual opposition to the actually-existing Patients' Bill of Rights Legislation by spewing bipartisan happy-talk, John McCain did a good job of parrying criticism of his actual record with empty words about how he loves the veterans so much and they already know he'll take care of them (even if he votes against improving the GI Bill) and "no one from Arizona is against solar power" (even though he keeps voting against solar power - maybe because he's not from Arizona, he just moved there to run for Congress). If the media keeps letting them get away with that stuff, why wouldn't they keep doing it?

As for the format, the much-hyped interactive format, to Jim Lehrer's great consternation, mostly just made it clear that neither senator wanted to interact too much with the other. They didn't respond to too many of each other's attacks either.

Haven't waded into the talking heads' spin yet, but this seemed to me like a debate unlikely to distract attention for too long from the $700 billion bail-out that seems to be coming down the pike or the Bush-McCain record that got us into the mess. Not to worry: John McCain will cut down on our $18 billion in earmarks! (Does that include aid to Israel)

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A few questions

Do you remember, it wasn't long ago, all those accusations about Barack Obama being a Muslim?  Do you recall all the rants from republicans and their supporters that Barack Obama's birth certificate is a forgery?

Do you recall how the republicans tarred and feathered John Kerry for mentioning that Mary Cheney was gay? They called him a "bad man" even though Mary Cheney was admittedly gay.

Do you recall how John Kerry, a true American hero, was swiftboated to death in that campaign? The republicans even went so far as to state that Kerry shot himself to get a purple heart? Do you remember the humiliating purple bandaids at the 2004 RNC convention?

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Fly Me To The Moon

Crossposted at MLW

    There has been a lot of talk recently about the "energy crisis". I wonder if this is the same energy crisis we heard about in the 70's? If it is then that means for over 30 years instead of solving our domestic energy needs, we have ignored them and allowed them to grow. In 1970 we were importing about 24% of the oil we used and the embargo back then threw our economy into a tail-spin, imagine what would happen today when we import about 70%. Rather than using the past 30 plus years to develop new or existing technologies to reduce or break our dependence on oil, we have elected to do something worse than nothing. Instead of our vehicles getting smaller and more fuel efficient during this time they have actually gotten larger.

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Breaking! Teamsters Go Green: Leave Pro-Drilling Group and Now Oppose ANWR Drilling

This is big.

Great news for all of us who seek a Blue/Green Alliance!  The Teamsters today left the ANWR coalition, a group in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Jim Hoffa has just announced that the Teamsters are pulling out of the coalition supporting drilling in ANWR and are shifting their support to efforts to build coalitions with green groups to create a sustainable energy economy around sources like solar, wind and geothermal.

"We are not going to drill our way out of the energy problems we are facing--not here and not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Hoffa told labor and environmental activists at an Oakland, Calif., summit on good jobs and clean air. "We must find a long-term approach that breaks our dependence on foreign oil by investing in the development of alternate energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal power."

Hoffa Rejects 'Drilling Our Way Out' of Energy Crisis, Demands Long-Term Policy Solutions

More, after the fold.

(also on dkos)

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CA-Gov 2010: Gavin Newsom sides with PG&E Against Clean Energy Act

I have little doubt that Senator Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Nominee had it not been for her caving to right wing talking points and voting for the Iraq War. Being on the wrong side the the biggest foreign policy disaster in a generation is what advanced her career from inevitable nominee to junior senator. At the time, many of us in the netroots were flabbergasted, we knew it was a disastrous course of action and came to the conclusion that those who sided with George Bush and the neocons either had no grasp of the situation or were doing it for as a purely political calculation (and a poor one at that as Clinton discovered).

Iraq was the single biggest foreign policy decision, but when it comes to the global climate crisis, I'm getting a sense of déjà vu from the positioning and language used by San Francisco Mayor and 2010 California Gubernatorial hopeful Gavin Newsom as to why he's siding with PG&E against the Sierra Club on clean, renewable energy.

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