Debate Deconstruction Part I: Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China.

In what is quite possibly the most coherent and logical political opinion published today, Honey Boo-Boo is supporting President Obama. I promise I’m not saying that just because it’s Obama she claims to support. It’s because this is, literally, the most straightforward, concise and logical endorsement for either candidate that I’ve seen in a long time.

Even if she does call him “Mo Rock Obama.”

Post-debate, for me, is like New Year’s Day when you hosted the party. In Bangkok. For Billy Idol. Circa 1989. Yeah, you had fun and it felt good at the time, but the next day is all listening to strangers gripe and cry while you shovel shit and remember why there’s some things you’d rather not know about people.

I love the political process and the debates, and had an absolute blast live blogging with Karen. But then the sun came up and the real work began. Step into your galoshes, girl, and put on those rubber gloves, ‘cuz you’re going in.

And that was just the taking-care-of-two-mucousy-sick-kids part.

The real question is, after listening to the two candidates speak for 100 minutes, and reading the opinions of pundits and lackeys for 24 hours, what have I learned? Other than that these two men really, truly, genuinely cannot stand one another, and Mitt Romney has binders full of women?

Pretty much nothing. And, in fact, there are so many damned words swirling around this event that, were I to write down the ones that have stuck in my brain and try to juggle them into something resembling a sentence, it would be, “Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China, deport middle income clean coal Bush job married AK-47.”

This is where the galoshes come in. Because to really understand what’s going on here – to own my knowledge and position as clearly as Honey Boo Boo – I’m going to have to do some wading.

Let it begin.

The first question was about jobs – specifically, the ability of current college students to find jobs after graduation.

Boom, right off the bat, we have a question the epitomizes why I hate “town hall” style debates. The whole concept is such a stupid, transparent sham, I can’t figure out how it ever got off the ground. “Oh, I KNOW. We’ll fill an auditorium with regular people, who will ask questions relevant to their lives!” Right, because taking a personal question from a grand slam total of TEN people is really going to get to the heart of what the other 311 million of us want to know. And, of course, that’s not what these stupid town halls are at all. The questions are really just thinly veiled requests for policy details, but then it’s all couched in greasy, political quasi-concern for some stranger who, for all the candidates know, has a GPA of negative 80 and an affinity for bath salts. Worst of all, the ability of the candidates to twist their response into a personalized therapy session actually gives them more leverage to not answer at all.

If you ask me, the best way to do these debates would be straight up NYPD interrogation style. Just a chair and a bare bulb: “How would you create more jobs? HOW? Stop fucking with me, man, I didn’t ask you about the Bush years, WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM? Don’t look at that glass! Michelle’s not coming to help you!”

But that’s not what we do, and so the debate kicked off with us all suspending our disbelief (from the fucking moon) while the candidates played the part of guidance counselor.

When you strip away all the bullshit and nitpicking and jabs at each other, here’s how they answered:

Romney:

  • Make sure college is affordable; spoke in support of Pell grants (in spite of support for Ryan budget that cuts them).
  • Make sure there’s jobs, especially since students are graduating with debt. “I know what it takes to create good jobs again.”
  • Responding to Candy Crowley’s follow-up question, stated he has a five-point plan “that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay,” although he did not identify the five points or offer any additional detail.

Obama:

  • Build on the five million jobs that were created in the last 30 months in the private sector.
  • Build manufacturing jobs. Change the tax code to give incentives to companies who invest in the US and create jobs here.
  • Strengthen education, keep student loans available, ensure community colleges are “offering slots” to retrain workers.
  • Control our own energy, including oil, natural gas, solar, wind and biofuels.
  • Reduce the deficit “in a balanced way” by “asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more.”
  • Use monies that have been funding wars efforts in order to rebuild domestic infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools.

Romney’s answer seemed incomplete (at best), so I looked up his “five point plan,” and here’s what it says:

  • Energy independence
  • Education and job training
  • Increase free trade
  • Cut the deficit
  • Reduce taxes and regulatory restrictions on small business.

Oh, and get rid of Obamacare. Which, I found in my research, is the “Where’s Waldo” of Romney-Ryan policy.

So, I can’t help but notice that these guys’ plans pretty much have the same general goals. So it really comes down to where you fall in the details, in which they differ the most in two areas: energy independence and cutting the deficit.

When it comes to energy independence, it looks like the key dividing point is that Romney wants to rape the Earth repeatedly while Obama would be satisfied to just fondle it in an alley for a while.

On the deficit, Obama wants the rich to pay more, while Romney wants to (according to his site) cut discretionary spending, cap federal spending, pass expenses on to the states where possible, and streamline government, although I cannot, in spite of genuine efforts, find numbers to explain how any of this will work.

I’m a big fan of the Earth and simple math that works with actual numbers, so I have to say that I think Obama owned this one.

The next question was about Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s remarks that it is not the job of the Energy Department to help lower gas prices, and if Obama agrees.

Obama pulled some political sleight of hand by not actually responding to the question asked, but rather dazzling us with a box full of Tootsie-Fossil-Fuel Pops (how many licks does it take to deplete a natural resource?). He states that his administration has accomplished a bunch of cool sounding stuff that I list below, that he will open up new areas for drilling in an environmentally sound way, and believes in the importance of investing in clean energy as the technology (and job source) of the future.

All of which exposed the jugular for a Romney attack on Obama for humping migratory birds instead of drilling to power big rigs. Romney claims that he can get North America energy independent in eight years, and blasted Obama for cutting “permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half.” Then Obama pulled Romney’s hair, and Romney pulled out Obama’s earring, and they both slapped each other until Chandler and Joey jumped in with a predictable lesbian joke that made everyone laugh and go to Central Perk for coffee.

I fact checked every. single. statement. these men made. If politicians would just tell the damned truth, I wouldn’t have these scary bags under my eyes. Anyway, here’s how the statements stack up:

  • Obama says oil production at highest level in 16 years but Romney argues production on federal land is down. It’s a pretty complex issue but in the end, neither of them is right. Call it a draw. This is a pretty good overview.
  • Obama: Natural gas production at highest level in decades. True.
  • Obama: Coal production has increased. Undetermined. Maybe I’m just tired, but I couldn’t find a definitive answer to this, partially because we don’t know what Obama is claiming it’s been increased over. I mean, I can do two sit ups right now and say I’ve increased my muscle mass, but is that going to land me on the cover of In Shape magazine? Only if we’re the people in WALL-E. I did find this, but that makes it look like like coal production is fairly level, so who knows.
  • Obama: Doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. True.
  • Obama: Doubled clean energy production. Hard to pin this one down, I had trouble finding stats. Most news sources seem to indicate that he’s making good on his promise to double renewable energy production (even if they disagree on the value of that effort), so take that for what it’s worth.
  • Obama: Brought oil imports to the lowest level in 16 years or, on follow up, 20 years, or, in the movie, the green kitchen. False, false, and bad things happen in green kitchens. It appears that the lowest level during the Obama administration was in 2011, with the lowest level before that being in 1998. So that’s… 13 years. Not a bad record, just not 16 or 20. Or a green kitchen.
  • Romney: Obama cut permits and licenses on federal land and in federal waters in half. False. This is a good breakdown.
  • And, the biggie: A Romney-Ryan administration could make North America energy independent in eight years.

Do I really have to fact check this one, guys? For real? I mean, if I stood in front of you and told you that the sky was pink and I have snakes for hair and the sidewalk is really made of buckwheat flour, would you fact check those things or would you just walk away real fast and then tell your hairdresser about the crazy lady wandering around outside in a bedsheet toga and plastic tiara?

Gaaaawwwwwd. Sigh. FINE. I’ll do it. Here. And here. And, Romney actually opposes the new fuel efficiency standards that were enacted by Obama, which seemingly would move us away from our goal of becoming energy independent (unless the math on this works less like a ruler and more like a boomerang, which I still wouldn’t understand but at least I’d know when to duck).

But at least this second example means that we can now safely add the following question to the SAT:

ROMNEY is to EARTH as BASKETBALL PLAYER is to HOTEL EMPLOYEE.

That’s it for tonight, friends. Part II, coming soon!

7 Responses to “Debate Deconstruction Part I: Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China.”

  1. Nancy Major French

    Loved it! I also happened to catch Honey Boo Boo on a clip of the Kimmel show(?), and she is clearly a young lady who knows who to vote for and how to make that important decision. She has her own self interest front and center and isn’t afraid to tell everyone about it.

    The debaters last night were, more opaque than she was, but at times looked like a spat from about her age level. Only thing good to come out of it all, besides the fact that President Obama relocated his spine (lost on the flight to Denver, evidently), were some fantastic jokes about women in binders.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Romney is a free-floating liar with a, shall we say, “flexible” or “situational” attitude toward facts, and a lamentable lack of empathy toward 99% of the planet.

    I simply enjoy what happens when Romney is faced with someone who does not back down. It makes him crazy.

    By the way…..ever try to sit a few minutes and really Think about living your whole life Never worrying about bills, or housing, or medical care, or schools, or groceries, carpools, and running to the bank to make sure your paycheck gets there in time to cover the daycare check?

    No wonder he doesn’t understand us, he just can’t.

    pity.

    • firstcityline

      GREAT points, Nancy! (And I laughed out loud at Obama’s spine getting lost on the flight to Dever.)

      To have no financial worries… Nope, can’t imagine it.

      On their performances, I agree that they were both less than Presidential at times. I’m openly biased (though I do try to be fair when it comes to understanding the facts!), but I’ll say that we have seen Obama react under intense pressure and we have seen Romney react under intense pressure. And I’d rather have Obama’s cool head representing us to other world leaders, than Romney’s tendency to throw Man Tantrums.

  2. Tracy

    Jaimie – I tried I tried really hard not to watch the debate but really enjoyed Reading all the tweets during the debate from each side. Your commentary during the debate was wonderful to read afterwards. Thanks for he fact checking as you know that most Americans won’t even so that much before heading to the polls.

  3. mfennvt

    Fact-checking and taking care of two sick kids? You deserve a medal. Or a good stiff drink of your choice.

    • firstcityline

      It’s easier when they’re sick – they just want to lay and watch movies most of the time, which really frees up time!

      • mfennvt

        Well, that’s handy. So, keeping them sick is a good… No, never mind that. Poor things! I hope they’re better soon. 😉

Comments are closed.

Debate Deconstruction Part I: Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China.

In what is quite possibly the most coherent and logical political opinion published today, Honey Boo-Boo is supporting President Obama. I promise I’m not saying that just because it’s Obama she claims to support. It’s because this is, literally, the most straightforward, concise and logical endorsement for either candidate that I’ve seen in a long time.

Even if she does call him “Mo Rock Obama.”

Post-debate, for me, is like New Year’s Day when you hosted the party. In Bangkok. For Billy Idol. Circa 1989. Yeah, you had fun and it felt good at the time, but the next day is all listening to strangers gripe and cry while you shovel shit and remember why there’s some things you’d rather not know about people.

I love the political process and the debates, and had an absolute blast live blogging with Karen. But then the sun came up and the real work began. Step into your galoshes, girl, and put on those rubber gloves, ‘cuz you’re going in.

And that was just the taking-care-of-two-mucousy-sick-kids part.

The real question is, after listening to the two candidates speak for 100 minutes, and reading the opinions of pundits and lackeys for 24 hours, what have I learned? Other than that these two men really, truly, genuinely cannot stand one another, and Mitt Romney has binders full of women?

Pretty much nothing. And, in fact, there are so many damned words swirling around this event that, were I to write down the ones that have stuck in my brain and try to juggle them into something resembling a sentence, it would be, “Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China, deport middle income clean coal Bush job married AK-47.”

This is where the galoshes come in. Because to really understand what’s going on here – to own my knowledge and position as clearly as Honey Boo Boo – I’m going to have to do some wading.

Let it begin.

The first question was about jobs – specifically, the ability of current college students to find jobs after graduation.

Boom, right off the bat, we have a question the epitomizes why I hate “town hall” style debates. The whole concept is such a stupid, transparent sham, I can’t figure out how it ever got off the ground. “Oh, I KNOW. We’ll fill an auditorium with regular people, who will ask questions relevant to their lives!” Right, because taking a personal question from a grand slam total of TEN people is really going to get to the heart of what the other 311 million of us want to know. And, of course, that’s not what these stupid town halls are at all. The questions are really just thinly veiled requests for policy details, but then it’s all couched in greasy, political quasi-concern for some stranger who, for all the candidates know, has a GPA of negative 80 and an affinity for bath salts. Worst of all, the ability of the candidates to twist their response into a personalized therapy session actually gives them more leverage to not answer at all.

If you ask me, the best way to do these debates would be straight up NYPD interrogation style. Just a chair and a bare bulb: “How would you create more jobs? HOW? Stop fucking with me, man, I didn’t ask you about the Bush years, WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM? Don’t look at that glass! Michelle’s not coming to help you!”

But that’s not what we do, and so the debate kicked off with us all suspending our disbelief (from the fucking moon) while the candidates played the part of guidance counselor.

When you strip away all the bullshit and nitpicking and jabs at each other, here’s how they answered:

Romney:

  • Make sure college is affordable; spoke in support of Pell grants (in spite of support for Ryan budget that cuts them).
  • Make sure there’s jobs, especially since students are graduating with debt. “I know what it takes to create good jobs again.”
  • Responding to Candy Crowley’s follow-up question, stated he has a five-point plan “that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay,” although he did not identify the five points or offer any additional detail.

Obama:

  • Build on the five million jobs that were created in the last 30 months in the private sector.
  • Build manufacturing jobs. Change the tax code to give incentives to companies who invest in the US and create jobs here.
  • Strengthen education, keep student loans available, ensure community colleges are “offering slots” to retrain workers.
  • Control our own energy, including oil, natural gas, solar, wind and biofuels.
  • Reduce the deficit “in a balanced way” by “asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more.”
  • Use monies that have been funding wars efforts in order to rebuild domestic infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools.

Romney’s answer seemed incomplete (at best), so I looked up his “five point plan,” and here’s what it says:

  • Energy independence
  • Education and job training
  • Increase free trade
  • Cut the deficit
  • Reduce taxes and regulatory restrictions on small business.

Oh, and get rid of Obamacare. Which, I found in my research, is the “Where’s Waldo” of Romney-Ryan policy.

So, I can’t help but notice that these guys’ plans pretty much have the same general goals. So it really comes down to where you fall in the details, in which they differ the most in two areas: energy independence and cutting the deficit.

When it comes to energy independence, it looks like the key dividing point is that Romney wants to rape the Earth repeatedly while Obama would be satisfied to just fondle it in an alley for a while.

On the deficit, Obama wants the rich to pay more, while Romney wants to (according to his site) cut discretionary spending, cap federal spending, pass expenses on to the states where possible, and streamline government, although I cannot, in spite of genuine efforts, find numbers to explain how any of this will work.

I’m a big fan of the Earth and simple math that works with actual numbers, so I have to say that I think Obama owned this one.

The next question was about Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s remarks that it is not the job of the Energy Department to help lower gas prices, and if Obama agrees.

Obama pulled some political sleight of hand by not actually responding to the question asked, but rather dazzling us with a box full of Tootsie-Fossil-Fuel Pops (how many licks does it take to deplete a natural resource?). He states that his administration has accomplished a bunch of cool sounding stuff that I list below, that he will open up new areas for drilling in an environmentally sound way, and believes in the importance of investing in clean energy as the technology (and job source) of the future.

All of which exposed the jugular for a Romney attack on Obama for humping migratory birds instead of drilling to power big rigs. Romney claims that he can get North America energy independent in eight years, and blasted Obama for cutting “permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half.” Then Obama pulled Romney’s hair, and Romney pulled out Obama’s earring, and they both slapped each other until Chandler and Joey jumped in with a predictable lesbian joke that made everyone laugh and go to Central Perk for coffee.

I fact checked every. single. statement. these men made. If politicians would just tell the damned truth, I wouldn’t have these scary bags under my eyes. Anyway, here’s how the statements stack up:

  • Obama says oil production at highest level in 16 years but Romney argues production on federal land is down. It’s a pretty complex issue but in the end, neither of them is right. Call it a draw. This is a pretty good overview.
  • Obama: Natural gas production at highest level in decades. True.
  • Obama: Coal production has increased. Undetermined. Maybe I’m just tired, but I couldn’t find a definitive answer to this, partially because we don’t know what Obama is claiming it’s been increased over. I mean, I can do two sit ups right now and say I’ve increased my muscle mass, but is that going to land me on the cover of In Shape magazine? Only if we’re the people in WALL-E. I did find this, but that makes it look like like coal production is fairly level, so who knows.
  • Obama: Doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. True.
  • Obama: Doubled clean energy production. Hard to pin this one down, I had trouble finding stats. Most news sources seem to indicate that he’s making good on his promise to double renewable energy production (even if they disagree on the value of that effort), so take that for what it’s worth.
  • Obama: Brought oil imports to the lowest level in 16 years or, on follow up, 20 years, or, in the movie, the green kitchen. False, false, and bad things happen in green kitchens. It appears that the lowest level during the Obama administration was in 2011, with the lowest level before that being in 1998. So that’s… 13 years. Not a bad record, just not 16 or 20. Or a green kitchen.
  • Romney: Obama cut permits and licenses on federal land and in federal waters in half. False. This is a good breakdown.
  • And, the biggie: A Romney-Ryan administration could make North America energy independent in eight years.

Do I really have to fact check this one, guys? For real? I mean, if I stood in front of you and told you that the sky was pink and I have snakes for hair and the sidewalk is really made of buckwheat flour, would you fact check those things or would you just walk away real fast and then tell your hairdresser about the crazy lady wandering around outside in a bedsheet toga and plastic tiara?

Gaaaawwwwwd. Sigh. FINE. I’ll do it. Here. And here. And, Romney actually opposes the new fuel efficiency standards that were enacted by Obama, which seemingly would move us away from our goal of becoming energy independent (unless the math on this works less like a ruler and more like a boomerang, which I still wouldn’t understand but at least I’d know when to duck).

But at least this second example means that we can now safely add the following question to the SAT:

ROMNEY is to EARTH as BASKETBALL PLAYER is to HOTEL EMPLOYEE.

That’s it for tonight, friends. Part II, coming soon!

7 Responses to “Debate Deconstruction Part I: Women crushed flexible gang banger currency manipulator China.”

  1. Nancy Major French

    Loved it! I also happened to catch Honey Boo Boo on a clip of the Kimmel show(?), and she is clearly a young lady who knows who to vote for and how to make that important decision. She has her own self interest front and center and isn’t afraid to tell everyone about it.

    The debaters last night were, more opaque than she was, but at times looked like a spat from about her age level. Only thing good to come out of it all, besides the fact that President Obama relocated his spine (lost on the flight to Denver, evidently), were some fantastic jokes about women in binders.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Romney is a free-floating liar with a, shall we say, “flexible” or “situational” attitude toward facts, and a lamentable lack of empathy toward 99% of the planet.

    I simply enjoy what happens when Romney is faced with someone who does not back down. It makes him crazy.

    By the way…..ever try to sit a few minutes and really Think about living your whole life Never worrying about bills, or housing, or medical care, or schools, or groceries, carpools, and running to the bank to make sure your paycheck gets there in time to cover the daycare check?

    No wonder he doesn’t understand us, he just can’t.

    pity.

    • firstcityline

      GREAT points, Nancy! (And I laughed out loud at Obama’s spine getting lost on the flight to Dever.)

      To have no financial worries… Nope, can’t imagine it.

      On their performances, I agree that they were both less than Presidential at times. I’m openly biased (though I do try to be fair when it comes to understanding the facts!), but I’ll say that we have seen Obama react under intense pressure and we have seen Romney react under intense pressure. And I’d rather have Obama’s cool head representing us to other world leaders, than Romney’s tendency to throw Man Tantrums.

  2. Tracy

    Jaimie – I tried I tried really hard not to watch the debate but really enjoyed Reading all the tweets during the debate from each side. Your commentary during the debate was wonderful to read afterwards. Thanks for he fact checking as you know that most Americans won’t even so that much before heading to the polls.

  3. mfennvt

    Fact-checking and taking care of two sick kids? You deserve a medal. Or a good stiff drink of your choice.

    • firstcityline

      It’s easier when they’re sick – they just want to lay and watch movies most of the time, which really frees up time!

      • mfennvt

        Well, that’s handy. So, keeping them sick is a good… No, never mind that. Poor things! I hope they’re better soon. 😉

Comments are closed.