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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quick Take on the Debate

Watched the GOP debate last night on the execrable CNBC network.

Why do Republicans frequent such dives? Why give loser networks such as CNBC and CNN, the Pan Am and TWA of the media world, the ratings and ad revenues bumps? Why not have Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton host the GOP debates and cut out the middle men?

This was, by far, the worst performance by the "mainstream" media, so far, in the debate cycle.  I was delighted when Sen. Ted Cruz, taking a page from Newt Gingrich's famous response in the South Carolina primary last cycle, tore into the moderators and ridiculed their questions,
The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media. This is not a cage match. You look at the questions — Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?"
 . . . "The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every thought and question from the media was, which of you is more handsome and wise? … The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. And nobody watching at home believes that the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn't be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be, 'What are your substantive solutions?'

I thought it ironic that Cruz took the opportunity to tear up the moderators one of the few times that he actually got asked a substantive question, i.e., his position on the just-concluded budget deal.

Sen. Marco Rubio had the best line about the media, “The Democrats have the ultimate super-PAC. It’s called the mainstream media.” Rubio also got in some good shots against Hillary Clinton, pointing out that despite the media's chorus of "Hillary's best week, yet," this was the week that America found out formally and on TV that she had lied about the causes of the Benghazi attack. The media, of course, have just yawned.

I thought that Gov. Kasich, whom I like, looked desperate, angry, and dying to get attention. In his desperation and anger, he might have done damage to the GOP in the general election. His line about "fantasy tax plans" could come back to haunt the GOP candidate next year. It is somewhat akin to Gingrich's unfortunate line re Romney about "vulture capitalism." That hurt Romney in the run against Obama.

Winners? Losers? Afraid you would ask.

The biggest losers, of course, were the dopey, ill-informed, blatantly biased CNBC moderators. On stage, I think the biggest losers were Kasich, Bush, and Paul--all three need to call it quits. Jeb Bush, whom I like, especially needs to pack it in: it just ain't happening for him. Governors Christie and Huckabee? They had some good stuff on social security but did not make much of an impression. They, also, should consider hanging up their spurs.

The winners: Rubio, Cruz, and perhaps Fiorina, who handled herself well substantively and with a sense of humor. Trump was more subdued, but did OK, just not earth-shaking. Carson needs to pep it up a bit. He is smart and genuine and has some good policy prescriptions but is so subdued that at times he seems half asleep.

What comes across strongly, however, is that any one of these GOP candidates would make a better president than the calamity we now have in the White House or the calamity that the DNC is about to crown as its choice for the 2016 elections.

42 comments:

  1. Christie had a couple of good responses, on the internet gambling thing especially. He needed to lose another 100 pounds. Bush walked into an ambush on the Rubio attendance thing with eyes wide open. How can he be so clueless ? I didn't realize Rubio is so short. That matters in the TV age. Even before as it hurt Dewey in 1948.

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  2. Good point. I should have mentioned Christie zing on fantasy football and Bush's nonsense about Rubio's voting record.

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  3. I only heard the debate 2d hand. I turn in early, and get up early. However, my hat's off to Sen. Cruz for his remarks to the CNBC "moderators' ("Gotcha" crews?).

    I'll admit that my big problem is that probably any one of the candidates, including Trump, would probably be far better for the country that Shrillary Shroooo or Brooklyn Bolshevik Boynie. As for O'Malley, I'm a Marylander and think he's a smarmy mistake.

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  4. Good heavens, why would anyone watch this drivel? I had paint to watch drying, and then it was time for Jeopardy.

    Graham

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    Replies
    1. The questions are better on Jeopardy

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    2. Speaking of Jeopardy. The other day a category was second/middle names of Presidents. The first question/answer was Hussein.

      Davod

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    3. Guess whose middle name is Solomon? (I wonder if it's prophetic?)--------------- Benjamin Solomon Carson.

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  5. I tuned in on the way home from al late day at the office just in time to catch that "when did you stop beating your wife" question for Cruz. Had to scream at the radio.

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  6. Fiorina is not running for POTUS. She is setting herself up as the VP selection who can (and will) attack Hillary without drawing the sexist or "War on Women" issue while allowing the Primary to stay out of the cat-fight and on message.
    Cruz came up big last night. CNBC lost huge and took the MSM down with them.
    Why does the RNC continue to accept these obvious gotcha-traps from networks with such obvious bias against them?

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  7. Amazingly, the GOP race is amongst the areas I'd hoped it would be at this point.
    I'm too resistant to monarchy to support Jeb, and I've worked for Carly, so I know better than to support where she's going. (Hey everybody, let's make the US government like HP... full of even more outlandish promises that never go anywhere!)
    But Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Rubio are all candidates which I "don't intensely dislike"... so I'm not upset about the current state of the race.
    I'm a fan of Mike Huckabee... that's more of a 'gut feeling' from me because, among pretty much all politicians, he stands out as a "good hearted" guy that hasn't bought into the hubris of "government must solve everything".
    He's definitely a little bit in that direction more than I'd like.. but it's very hard to resist the allure of feeling self-important for 'fixing other peoples problem against their wishes'.

    - reader #1482

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  8. Dip!! NOOOOOO! please do not insult my two former employers..Trans World Airlines, and Pan American World Airways.....imho..2 great airlines..and pioneers in their field..and will always have my...heart...also am proud to say I have had my Cruz 2016 bumper sticker on my car for a loooooooooong time..and I stand to win $$$, from my Doubting Thomas friends.. if he is POTUS

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    Replies
    1. Pan Am was one of the great ones. Transcontinental and Western was great but Hughes waited too long to order jets.

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  9. "but is so subdued that at times he seems half asleep": if only America had had more Presidents like that. If it is not necessary to do something, it is necessary not to do something.

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    Replies
    1. YES!!!!

      - reader #1482

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    2. AMEN!!
      (Also like your "fixing other people's problems against their wishes"...so true)

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  10. Those mods were the stink bomb trifecta. Their research was dreadful, their questions were clearly stupid and their attitude, particularly John Harwood's, was atrocious. In a strange way, however, this outlandish bias by the media may serve to unite the GOP. I'm predicting SNL will have a field day with the mods on this weekend.

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  11. First, the NBC group should be compared to Eastern Airlines ... which was known as the largest unscheduled airline in the world to those subjected to its efforts.

    Second, I tried to see Cruz's remarks via Legal Insurrection, only to find that NBC had blocked access. Now why would they do that? I mean, it's like they KNEW the stunk up the joint. Also, the next morning, CNBC had to spend a lot of time congratulating itself on its work in the debate ... more evidence that they know they're worse that awful.

    Green Bear

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    Replies
    1. Oh, no...I can't dump on EAL either..it was founded by a cousin..Eddie Rickenbacker. Ace pilot and owner of the Indianapolis Speedway...

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    2. To be precise Cap'n Eddie just changed the name of Harold Pitcairn's Pitcain Air Transport to Eastern.

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  12. Trump brought up a VERY good point about superpacs. How it corrupts even the honest politician, and sells the nation down the river. I actually hope trump does win. At least he doesn't need to make deals for more money He is already wealthier than all of them put together.
    leaperman

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  13. Three of the GOP candidates aren't Constitutionally eligible, not being natural born citizens. "Born in the USA to TWO US citizens." Allowing Obummer to be installed as POTUS only shows the key reason for this NBC requirement in Article II. The GOP instead looked the other way in 2008 and assumes it can put the country right again IF it wins in 2016.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, no. Either one of those conditions will suffice, under the Constitution.

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    2. Shenanigans...
      One parent needs to be a citizen or the person needs to be born on US soil. Constitution and court precedent are pretty clear on this. This is bunk FUD.

      - reader #1482

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    3. As an old consular officer who had to administer citizenship law, including some pretty arcane provisions, I get tired of this "natural-born means two US citizen parents" business. If being born on US soil of two non-citizen parents couldn't keep Wong Kim Ark out of the USA after going to China to marry back in 1896 and later allowed his Chinese-born son to enter the USA, having only one citizen parent couldn't have kept the disgraceful O out of the White House.

      Read the bloomin' 14th Amendment! It's why some of my students who grew up in Central America (after being born in the USA) re-entered the USA on passports.

      I have nothing against Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio being told in Spanish by their fathers to love the USA. I believe both men are blessed to have had a couple of languages while growing up. Both my father and mother were born and raised in the USA, but both also heard non-English languages spoken at home. My wife and I sometimes converse in either Mandarin or Hakka, while both of us read Chinese--and I regret that our sons did not grow up thoroughly bilingual (one of the languages being English, of course).

      What should have kept the O out of the White House was his being a complete unknown quantity as a man, work experience that consisted of legalized extortion (community organizing), open adherence to a church that hated the USA (rather than loved it and lamented before the Almighty over its backsliding), and adherence to a political ideology that had proven itself disastrous wherever it was tried. It is a fact that a natural-born American, no less than anyone else, can do and think really dumb things.

      Delete
    4. I doubt any number of citations to case law, statutory law, and law dictionaries will persuade the creaking floorboards pushing the 'not-a-natural-born-citizen' humbug inasmuch as the utility of the meme is that the meme-pusher can present himself as in-the-know.

      Delete
    5. Makes ya wonder who votes these days, don't it?

      "Vote for me.. It's not just a lack of experience, it's having nothing in my past you can specifically blame me for!"

      afaict, all the prognostication about liberals regretting the win is bunk... they're happy with the results... but by definition, not by accomplishment.

      - reader #1482

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  14. "I thought that Gov. Kasich, whom I like..." He is nothing but a RINO in my book. He needs to go away along with Jeb.

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    Replies
    1. And he needs a better haircut. Badly !

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  15. I remember watched some of the early Trump speeches, like in Phoenix. Some of the strongest applause lines were when he blasted the media.

    Like on immigration, Trump broke the speech code against media bias and the others are trying to catch up.

    But Cruz, really the smartest guy in the room, any room, picked the moment and made the most of it.

    Obviously I'm torn between Trump and Cruz. The latter is a bit smarter but I always remember the old adage - "The C students rule the world."

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    Replies
    1. Well, Whitehall, it might just be that the C students ruling the world might be why it's so messed up. Then again, C students ruling the world might be better than having it run by the A students from Haaaavaaad and Oxbridge!

      Delete
    2. I was a bit facetious in my posting as both Trump and Cruz were top-of-the-class straight A students. But Trump works in the private sector and Cruz is a government guy. My point being that intellectual pretentions are secondary to real world accomplishments.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. The comparison of the media to a Democratic Super-PAC should have legs. What does that say about "campaign finance legislation"? How do you score the substantial monetary value of the MSM? (I could throw Academia in here as well.)

    THAT is a conversation the Democrats do NOT want to have.

    So....let's have it.

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  17. The Republicans and the MSM debates remind me ever so much of the great Wildebeast migration in Africa when it comes to the river with crocodiles (MSM), they stop and bunch up at the edge until finally one either jumps or is pushed in and then it's an avalanche of the rest going in and across. Maybe this is the moment of avalanche, with Trump first in and Cruz following, that we've been waiting for for so long.
    James the Lesser

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    Replies
    1. James, it also might help that Hillary opened the "Republicans as enemies" door. Time to return the favor and that includes the ranks of Democrat enablers.

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    2. You might be right. The Conservatives are going to have to learn that yes to get the herd across that river some will be lost to the crocs, but the vast majority will cross. They must fight. The dems must be opposed, not compromised or worked with, but opposed.

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  18. Cruz was brilliant, Trump look as though he's getting tired. California now has the motor-voter law which translates into illegals voting for president in 2016. That means none of these Republicans stands a chance. This election will go down as being the biggest voter fraud in history.

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  19. I told you 'no boots on the ground'.. .but what I mean was "no more than 100 boots on the ground"

    - reader #1482

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    Replies
    1. Actually, his usual reply is "I never said that."
      Then the Media quickly deletes all of the video and burns all of the transcripts of him saying exactly that.

      Delete
  20. "I thought it ironic that Cruz took the opportunity to tear up the moderators one of the few times that he actually got asked a substantive question, i.e., his position on the just-concluded budget deal."

    Sorry, sir, it was not a substantive question he was asked and it was not about his position on the just concluded budget deal. It was snarky and it was snotty.

    This is what he responded to:

    QUINTANILLA: Senator Cruz. Congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown and calm financial markets that fear of — another Washington-created crisis is on the way.

    Does your opposition to it show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want? (Real Clear Politics transcript)

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  21. Well yes. I wish he had answered the question because the two year budget is an abomination. However, I think he response was long overdue...
    How long do you expect candidates to allow left wing so called journalists to beat up on Republican hopefuls before they revolt? I am glad he did.

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  22. Good point you shared waiting for 2016 election.

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