Writing Live About The Second Presidential Debate

A Lush In Rio Election Night Intern/Work Scholar Gnomes

PARTING THOUGHTS: The commentariat get into it, immediately ascribing meaning where none was there. No clear declaration of winner or loser here. I think my way works better: express outrage as it happens, mention boobies and pee holes whenever possible.

I don't know if I enjoyed this format, but I'm willing to try it again if schedule allows. We'll leave declarations of winner or loser for more T&PH (tit and pee hole) jokes that will surely come later in the week.

WHAT DON'T YOU KNOW AND HOW WILL YOU LEARN IT?: I officially hate the internet. Dumb fucking questions.

BO and JM take the opportunity to fold in their closing comments into the questions. They both "don't know" what will happen in the future, which is shocking because I thought they shared custody of Doc Brown's DeLorean.

BO grew up on food stamps; JM was a WAR HERO!!! John McCain was A WAR HERO!!! He also steps in front of TB's teleprompter, and in jumping away moves faster than he has since a Viet Cong jammed a hot poker up his pee hole.

One thing's for certain: they both know this country runs on money. Which is depressing, because I have it in theory, but in practice, who can say?

DO WE FIGHT WITH ISRAEL WITHOUT WAITING ON THE UN?: Israel does not need our help. They're both pandering because Florida is a toss-up state and Rugelach Central, and it's astounding that those two are not mutually exclusive. JM must seem more unhinged than their shuffleboard partners.

Debate's winding down. BO's in the weeds, talking about cost-benefit analyses, before coming back to camp on meeting with dictators and cat-rapists. Boogedy boogedy.

ANOTHER QUESTION FROM THE INTERNET: This one about the threat of another Cold War. JM just got a Tom Clancy-style hard-on.

(Again, note: I wish I wasn't hitting JM almost exclusively, but as I've stated, he's spouting retreads and doing so while all over the map. It's easier to make fun of a guy who sounds canned or otherwise like he doesn't know what he's talking about.)

BO does stumble a bit on talking about Russia. Disjointed thoughts, revealing a man who spent at least part of the Cold War smoking joints and responding to naked chicks who call him "Barry."

JM'S HERO IS TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WHO FAMOUSLY SAID: "Fuck those 'Ricans! Spic bastards! I'll ride my horse up and down their fuckin' backs!" Ah, Spanish-American War humor.

JM talks about going into Waziristan. "Dangerous place." No Jell-O. No nails. No walls. No money raining from the ceiling. These are the jokes, folks.

JM wants a follow-up if BO gets a follow-up, and gets it, and bluffs off the "Bomb, Iran" thing as a joke. Here's a joke in similar taste: "Hey, John! I just fucked your wife!"

THE OBAMA DOCTRINE, THE MCCAIN DOCTRINE: BO: we can't be everywhere all the time. Use our allies. Eat Twinkies. Provide support to an international community of actors. Which line doesn't belong?

JM: Obama would've brought troops back in defeat. That's not a doctrine. That's a specious, flawed, and retread bitch. ...Hey, a doc... nope, not a doctrine. An analysis of his... ugh. He's all over the map. Closest to a doctrine: keep a cool hand at the tiller. Sure. You're a cool hand. I'm going to suspend my search for a McCain Doctrine so I can return to Brooklyn, New York and concentrate on maintaining my sanity.

Katie asks if America should violate Pakistani borders from Afghanistan. Pakistan has a border with Afghanistan? No shit!

ECONOMIC CONSTRAINTS ON MILITARY ACTION: I don't mean to give JM the short shrift here (okay, I do, a little), but I could sit with a Final Cut-loaded Mac, my DVR, and some cables, and piece together his debate performance. BO, by the nature of his campaign, is brand-new here. I can't remember the last time I saw him speak at length in a town hall debate.

Boobies. There, have a laugh in a pretty dry comment.

SHOULD MEDICAL INSURANCE BE SOLD AS A COMMODITY?: BO says no, and takes JM to task for the $5K tax credit for medical insurance.

Here comes the Jell-O-Matic, and he brings up the $5K plan. I'm screaming at my TV.

John McCain: life is not a static thing. Shit happens. There's such a thing as cause and effect. If New Yorkers take the money they don't have to buy insurance in Arizona, Arizona's premiums WILL GO UP. And higher premiums do not mean higher WAGES. If you're in a state with an average take home salary lower than those who are coming into your state to buy cheaper insurance, higher premiums WILL KILL YOU. Just because you enact the plan and it works in Year One does not mean it won't DESTROY everyone in Year Two. That's Bush 43 thinking.

You're a REPUBLICAN. REPUBLIC is IN the word.

BO hits the nail on the head: this is about regulation versus deregulation. I'm so glad JM is tanking in the polls. I've had it with this broken action figure.

TB GETS SARCASTIC: "You may not have noticed, but there are these lights..." Shut the fuck up.

JM refers to BO as "that one." Why don't you just call him "boy"?

OMG, NUCLEAR POWER?!: JM believes nuclear power is safe and clean. CLEAN???!!! ::Sputtering; head exploding.::

BO is down on some nuclear power himself, but is a diversification fan. That's a lot like calling your friends while going down on your girlfriend and asking them where her clitoris is.

Actually, it isn't, but I liked that line a lot, so I just cut and pasted.

JM BRINGS UP REAGAN IN REFERENCE TO FIXING MEDICARE: Reagan thought Medicare was the beginning of American Socialism. He proposes a panel to figure out how to fix it (Medicare), which is a lot like calling your friends while going down on your girlfriend and asking them where her clitoris is.

TB is gettin' ornery. Should've brought his lasso. I want him to stop bitching.

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHAT? Old bitty asks question about sacrifices from the American people. JM goes off the rails about something. BO brings up 9/11, and Bush 43 telling people to SHOP. Ballsy.

TB asks BO how he'd go a-teetotalin' as President. "Wall Street got drunk, the federal government got drunk..." I could see BO as being that buzzkill in the dorm, asking JM to turn down the music and sweeping his empty bottles of Jack out of the hall, or even recycling them.

A lot of retread lines in this debate, but a neat one was JM's "like nailin' Jell-O to the wall," which confirms that he's a psychotic old man who nails his Jell-O to his walls. If he brings up his $5,000 tax credit for buying insurance, I'm going to nail Jell-O to his back. People don't have the $5,000 to float on health insurance, or the brain space to file taxes properly to get the credit.

JM BRINGS UP ENERGY AGAIN: And again, I ask where the fucking money's gonna come from. We spend $700 billion on foreign oil, but that's ALL of us. To spend that $700 billion on renewable energy would mean an amazing investment in developing the technologies that people will be able to spend money on. BO proposes $15 billion over ten years to free the U.S. from foreign oil. Fine, but what system built for $15 billion can handle a $700 billion yearly transaction? That's putting in $1 and getting nearly $47 back. Not. Fucking. Happening. In. Ten. Years. But, you know, good on ya for trying.

JM talks about working to get everything done at once, and not telling people to wait. Am I alone in my conniption fit, re: work taking time, thus necessitating a wait?

IF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY ARE AMERICAN WORKERS: why isn't there a rescue plan for the unemployed?

Teresa asks BO a halting question about being able to trust either JM or BO when "both parties are responsible for this global financial crisis." Teresa's ignorance and U.S.-centric attitude makes me want to smack her in the face with a pork shank.

JM brings up his clear record of blah blah snore. He brings up a $3 million projector BO approved for a planetarium in Chicago, IL. Shit, that money could've bought JM a tenth house!

BO TAKES THE FIRST PUNCH: Bringing out the "fundamentals of the economy" line. TB reminds the candidates of the rules, and cuts JM's balls off before responding.

A very nervous guy named Oliver asks about the bailout/rescue/Mexican hat. JM hits BO on being connected to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the "central cause of the crisis." JM has not read what economists have decided across the board: the freezing of credit was the problem, and that occurred because of across the board deregulation, not just Fannie and Freddie. If this was simply a mortgage crisis, we'd be all right.

BO hits the nail on the head, and takes JM to task on his recollection of history. Voices raised. Oliver looks starstruck, or confused. When you're hearing vagaries from politicians, then I guess it's easy to look like that.

JM WALKS RIGHT UP TO ALAN: And talks about energy independence, across the board tax cuts, and spending cuts. Money must rain down on his bed from the ceiling, which allows him to invest in new technologies and buy up bad home loans.

Or maybe it just spouts from the mouth of that Skeletor he sleeps with every night.

TB BREAKS DOWN THE RULES: Who chooses these "uncommitted" voters? Who the hell is uncommitted this late in the game?

JM and BO come out to rock star cheers. TB hits the economy first, and BO won the coin toss. How does JM flip a coin?

Some guy named Alan asks about the quickest way to get us out of the economic abyss. Two thoughts: they snuck Lex Luthor into the hall in the guise of an uncommitted voter, and BO's got a sibilant S that sneaks out sometimes. Silly.

THE JUMP: Watching on MSNBC, which seems as reasonable a place as any. Keith Olbermann and David Gregory in the pregame show. David Gregory looks like a chimp. Keith Olbermann looks like he's retaining water. Here comes Tommy Boy...

THE OPEN: Paul Vargas here for the ALIR Election Gnomes, coming "live" from his couch and the second debate between Senator John McCain (R-AZ and here on referred to as JM) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL and here on referred to as BO... heh, b.o.). The debate is in a town-hall format and moderated by Tom "Mountain Standard Time" Brokaw (here on referred to as TB).

We'll see how this works.