Philly Debate: Quick Impressions During

  • People a-r-e bitter. The transition from an industrial to a knowledge economy will be painful on its own. Universal health, lifelong education will help. What will also help is the next wave of industrial jobs. A lot of "green" jobs will have to be created. And those can't be exported.
  • Obama saying people are bitter in the small towns is like Bill Clinton saying in 1992: "I feel your pain." He feels your pain. Barack feels your pain.
  • Clinton is talking nice on the VP question by saying she will work hard for the eventual nominee.
  • Last I checked, Clinton's lead in PA was down to three, five or six points, depending on which poll you looked at. We are doing fine. The so-called "bittergate" is no gate. We are fine.
  • About people "clinging to religion" during economically hard times. Health care should be the same way. You should still have it between jobs. That should be another thing people should be able to cling to.
  • Jeremiah Wright is still on people's minds. I have said United f___g States myself a few times, but that Wright dude threw the ball out of the ballpark, he sure did.
  • Black anger is news? It would be news to me if blacks were n-o-t angry. Even recent brown immigrants end up saying the weirdest things about black people.
  • It is time to forge a new, positive, robust black identity. Slavery and segregation can not be identity. The blacks in America need to dig deeper into their African heritage to claim more of art, music, culture, religion, language, cuisine. Take pride. Stop whining.
  • And then there's the concrete data on disparity. Fix schools, provide universal pre-school, provide health, create jobs, cure chronic poverty.
  • The two bees: "bitter" and Bosnia. We will do just fine.
  • Hillary is wrong to suggest Obama should have left his church on Wright. I am sure Hillary has elderly whites in her extended family who can say weird things about minorities. Did Hillary consider leaving her family?
  • A lot of black people say Wright-like comments are rather the norm in many all-black churches. The anger is real. The expression of that anger is real. Some of that anger takes the form of rap music. The church is one place where the black people congregate.
  • Some of the rap on Wright and the "bitter" comment has to be used to garner focus on social and economic issues that are for real.
  • Let Wright ignite that. Let him be an excuse to rise up and above.
  • I am so over Wright. Let that dude go. Let him retire like he wants to.
  • How about talking about our one and only Al Sharpton, pride of New York City, pride of Harlem, heart of black America? The dude got nice hair.
  • And now you want to know if Obama loves this country? Who brought that up? Who?
  • Flag? I say burn the flag. It is free speech. I wouldn't. But someone else can and it would not bother me. Me? I don't even burn firewood. I got gas to burn.
  • Clinton on Bosnia. I was not accurate? Ha. But you know, she was in a war zone. It is possible she might have heard gun shots. It might not even have been enemy fire. It might have been boys on her side practicing, drilling. But what's the big deal? Give her a break. Let's make her talk health care.
  • "There is no other country in which my story is even possible." True. I had to come all the way to America to claim my Indian half. Growing up in Nepal you experience strong anti-India sentiments.
  • Move beyond the flag pin. Enlightened patriotism would be to end the stupid trillion dollar war in Iraq.
  • After 45 minutes looks like things are warming up. So far both have played safe and nice. New kind of politics?
  • How many times before have we thought that after this particular primary, this caucus, this debate, Barack will knock her off? So many times. I think this race will go on. Every state will get to have a say. That is the way it should be. That is how you grow the party in each state. The Democratic party in Texas is a whole new machine now, thanks to these two.
  • Hillary might win PA by two points. And it will be on to next.
  • Weathermen? First time I am hearing of them. Who are the Weathermen?
  • Adding spice to the debate?
  • There's an Obama 2008 debate watch party at the Irish Rogue, and there is a DL21C debate watch party at Connolly's Pub, both near Times Square. Those are the only two I know of in this progressive capital of the world. I am surprised DFNYC and MYD people don't also have debate watch parties. And there is no Hillary 2008 debate watch party either. Me? I am home. Following the debate online. Live commentary is fun. Only I don't publish until it is over. I am following it in text, live blogging by ABC and USA Today. I am sure I will get hold of the transcript somewhere after the debate is over. And the Barack channel on YouTube will have select clips in video. But that is later.
  • After an hour, finally Iraq. Used to be that is what debates started with, most early debates last year.
  • 16 months is enough time. If you are willing to do the political work to fill up the vacuum, 16 months is a good timetable to have. The next 9/11 is being plotted in the no man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Israel. That is dicey. But not for me. I have a Third World perspective to it. I come from a Third World angle. But in my particular case, I say democracy is the answer. Unelected Arabs speaking for their people? Not possible. They use Israel as a scapegoat to their nonperformance, non-delivery to their own people. But Israel has also been unfair on its part. The Israelites, sometimes I think, are historically neither western, nor non-western. They have a rather unique history, a unique heritage, unique grievances.
  • Clinton's middle class are people who make less than $250,000. Okay, that makes me middle class! Kidding. Did someone say this lady made $109 million since she left the White House? No wonder she was in such a hurry to leave. I don't think she really wants to go back.
  • Hillary Clinton is doing what Bob Dole tried in 1996. Go to Bob Dole dot com. Only he said his own website address wrong. Hillary's got it nailed down. Salute.
  • Taxes, now that is a perennial. McCain has also been talking taxes lately. He is for a flat tax. If you do have a flat tax though, then will not the Republicans run out of steam? What will they campaign on after that?
  • By the way, did you get the news on Nepal elections? The Maoists won big time. That is mainstreaming the armed rebels kind of on steroids.
  • Debt, deficit. Bush fucked up big time. Obama gets to clean the mess. Ending the Iraq war will go a long way to ending the deficits.
  • Bush accumulated more debt than all US presidents before him put together. That guy is a genius. What grade do they teach basic Arithmetic in? He skipped that one and went straight to Harvard Business School.
  • This is fun, live commentary is. You get to sound like a pundit, like you really know what you are talking about.
  • Social Security. They are both right in degrees. But tackling the deficit alone will not do like Hillary emphasizes. She thinks, well, that is what Bill did. Bill did not have as many people ready to retire as there will be in about 10 years.
  • A Republican strategist offers this, to ABC's Karen Travers: "I think we’re going to buy 90 minute infomercials in October to replay this..." Oh really?
  • These Republicans, they don't get Obama's new kind of politics. They are like, just you wait, we are going to dig into you, and we are going to destroy you. They are threatening the politics of personal destruction. Will backfire big time. The Clinton people tried that in Iowa. Hillary would have been second, she ended up third in Iowa. Barack has already changed the tone of politics in this country and there is no going back.
  • The Republicans don't know what is about to hit them. An Obama-Clinton will give you a Reagan 1984 like sweep. You will carry 10 states if you are lucky. That is what you are looking at. It is the war, stupid.
  • Right about now I wish I had live streaming video. The local ABC affiliate in Philly promised live streaming, but did not deliver. Do they seriously think that will bring down their TV viewership? Come on.
  • Now we are talking about guns? Guns are insane. Looks like a new rival group to the NRA has been launched. Hunters Association, something like that. That is the way to go. All guns for hunting should be registered. All guns that are too powerful for hunting, the manufacturers should be sued out of existence, except for those that supply exclusively to the military and law enforcement. Guns are just stupid. Can you do anything other than kill with guns? Homicide rates are lower in countries that don't have insane gun laws like the US does. There is a direct correlation.
  • Start with all the big cities. Ban guns in big cities. I mean, it is like you can do hunt deer in big cities. So not even hunting guns should be allowed in the big cities.
  • This debate is not going to be a big win or lose for either. The victory margin in PA will be less than five points, I think, for whoever wins. If Hillary wins, she might get maybe five more delegates, big deal. We are so far ahead.
  • Virginia Tech could not have happened in Japan. And mental health is an issue also in Japan, it is an issue everywhere. People catch cold everywhere.
  • The Second Amendment itself has to be amended out of existence, if you ask me. That was put in place back when people were out on the frontier fending for themselves. But that stand might not be politically viable for now. But sensible gun laws are viable.
  • Zoning laws affect property rights, Obama says. Good point. Similary cities have a right to come up with sensible gun laws. Ban hand guns. They kill. They scare just by being around.
  • Handwriting? Weathermen?
  • I guess this is a two hour debate. 30 more minutes to go. Two hours have been the norm. But the three presidential debates are an hour each, right? Packed hour. Taut hour. Tight wire hour.
  • Video clips from the debate should be up by 10:
  • 15 more minutes to go.
  • Soaring gas prices. Huge debt and deficits have led to a weaker dollar. I think that is why the gas prices are going up, and up, and up some more. People gasped when it hit two, then they gasped when it his three, they thought it was Google hitting the $600 mark, that was tops, but no, the price went further up. But weaker dollar alone does not explain it. Demand and supply don't. Something fishy is going on. The oil companies are gouging.
  • The Republicans have given up on many of their core values. They gave up on fiscal discipline. They have given up on the market mechanism. They gave up on family values. Republican family values these days? Rudy Giuliani taking phone calls from his wife in the middle of speeches.
  • They are so intellectually bankrupt it is not even funny.
  • 10 more minutes. We are almost done. I get to watch some video clips soon.
  • The market is soccer players playing soccer. The government is the referee. You need the referee to have a fiercely competitive, spectacular game. The oil companies and some of the finance people are playing foul because they bribed the referee to look the other way.
  • Why did anyone ever vote for Bush? Beats me. That was no way to start the 21st century. Get me on to a different calendar, one that starts the 21st century early next year.
  • "I believe in America." That is a line from Godfather. I could use that myself as a someone who was 23 when he landed here. America is an idea, I believe in that idea. Racism takes away from that idea in its purity. Sexism is unAmerican. I can't wait for the Obama-Clinton ticket. Give them all summer together.
  • This guy did not blog at all between 9:34 and 9:50. Says "the overwhelming number of comments slowed down our server." Looks like there i-s an audience for text.
  • Obama will build "a new political coalition." He already has. Record turnout for the primaries.
  • Hillary is a strong, smart, attractive woman. I give her all that. She will be great on the ticket.
  • already has video clips.
  • 10:01 PM. Time is up.
Clinton Explains Bosnia Botch
Does Hillary Think Barack Can Win?
Doubting Obama's Patriotism?

In The News

Three More Superdelegates for Obama New York Times
Born to run: Springsteen throws weight behind Obama Guardian
Clinton's Negatives at Record High
ABC News

Visits on previous 'day': 340.

Clinton, Obama face off CNN a new CNN Poll of Polls puts Clinton's lead at just five points over Obama in Pennsylvania, down from a double-digit lead two weeks ago. ..... small-town Pennsylvania residents are "bitter" over their economic circumstances and "cling" to their guns and religion.

China bends on Taiwan, why not Tibet? Christian Science Monitor
Microsoft Versus Salesforce-Google InformationWeek
Clinton faces grim poll data as debate looms
AFP Polls show Clinton has stalled Obama's attempt to catch her in Pennsylvania, but her lead of around six points ..... she trails Obama in nominating contests won, elected delegates and the popular vote. ..... Obama a 10-point lead when Democrats nationwide ..... Some 54 percent of those asked had an unfavorable impression of the former first lady -- up from 40 percent ..... Obama up 40 percent to 35 percent in Indiana .... Obama up 13 points in North Carolina ... "I'm suggesting people are bitter about the state of their economic lives (and) the Washington beltway hall of mirrors has just gone nuts," Obama told reporters. ...... rock megastar Bruce Springsteen ..... "I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest," Springsteen wrote on his website. ..... "He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems." ..... Obama also won backing from the American Hunters and Shooters Association, a newly formed rival to the zealously pro-gun National Rifle Association.
Bruce Springsteen endorses Barack Obama in presdential race
Obama, Clinton to debate as Pennsylvania primary looms large
The Associated Press
Negative views of Clinton on rise San Jose Mercury News
New Poll Says Most Democrats Prefer Obama as Party's Nominee Voice of America
Democrats prepare for TV debate BBC News 21st debate ..... The last televised debate took place 50 days ago, on 26 February.

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