Debate notes below the fold.
Q: Economy is down - what's up with that?
McC: Nancy Reagan is in the hospital. Short term fix: Fannie and Freddie are to blame for the whole problem - bad mortgages. So take $300B and buy up those mortgages. (the politics of failure have failed - we must make them work again!) What about the people who didn't get into a dumb mortgage? It will be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to them when the house next door doesn't end up empty. (really? because I want a hundred thousand dollars)
Obama: Jobs! End tax breaks for comps that ship jobs overseas. Tax Cut! (stupid, stupid, stupid) Get homeowners into a position where they can renegotiate but don't give money away to banks by buying too high. Education!
McC: No question for Obama but I would like to tell that story where Obama said that he would raise taxes on that plumber guy in Ohio. "I will not stand for a tax increase on small business income." "Joe the Plumber"
Obama: Joe is wrong. We both want to cut taxes. McCain will cut taxes for some of the wealthiest corps in America. I want to provide a tax cut for 95% of working Americans. Quarter million dollars a year ... Independent studies like my tax plan better. I told Joe the Plumber that he needed his tax cut five years ago when he wasn't in a position to buy his business. (??) 98% of small businesses make less than $250K so I'll give the rest cuts.
McC: Obama wants to spread the wealth around. I want Joe the Plumber to spread the wealth around. Class Warfare!!!! Spread the Wealth Around!! Why would you want to increase anyone's taxes right now? We have such a tough time. Joe the Plumber will create jobs unless you take money away from him and spread the wealth around.
Obama: What about 95% do you not understand?? Warren Buffet will pay more taxes.
McC: We're talking about Joe the Plumber.
Obama: Look, nobody likes taxes. I wish we didn't have taxes.
McCain: Our business tax rate is %35. Jobs will flee the country. Need to cut the business tax rate. Of all times in America, we need to cut taxes, create jobs not spread the wealth around.
Q: THE DEFICIT!!!! OH MY GOD IT'S SO HIGH!!!! YOU ARE IGNORING REALITY!!! STUFF MUST BE CUT!!! WHAT WILL YOU CUT???
Obama: $700B rescue package will earn us money back! (LMAO) I have proposed a net spending cut!
Obama: I'm a pay-go guy. Cuts match spending. i.e. Medicare Advantage would be cut (I would love him forever if he got rid of that boondoggle.) Do more like that. We need to invest in America. (good choice of language) The American people. Education. Energy. Drive economy into the 21st century! Can't go back to our profligate ways. All must tighten our belts.
McC: Homeownership. HOLC worked well during the Great Depression and it made money. Sen. Clinton liked that idea.
Q: ANSWER THE QUESTION!
McC: Nukes! Wind, tide, solar, NUKES!, drilling. Create jobs. What would I cut? Across the board spending freeze with my hatchet and then I'd get out my scalpel. I know how to get rid of Marketing Assistance Programs, Ethanol subsidies, no tarrif on imported sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. I was the one who came down on Boeing. Veto porkbarrel bills!!! Obama loves pork and remember that he wanted that 3 million dollar overhead projector.
Obama: Hatchets are bad. Scalpels are good. Earmarks account for one half of one percent of the federal budget. Not going to solve the problem. What happened to our surplus? Why has our deficit doubled? We need change. McCain voted for 4/5 of Bush's budgets.
Q: Do you think you can balance the budget in four years?
McC: Sure I do! I'M NOT BUSH so stop saying I am! Obama voted to increase taxes on people making $42K/year. Bloomberg is freezing spending in NYC. Happening all over America. I will balance our budget with job creation in energy. Eliminating spending. Obama voted for last two budgets that had more spending than Bush's budgets. He voted for the energy bill. Look at records. Watchdogs hate him and they love me. Tell me one time when you have stood up to your leadership on one issue.
Obama: First bill I voted on was Tort Reform (which sucked) so lawyers hate me. I support charter schools (which suck) and merit pay so teachers hate me. I support Clean Coal (which sucks) so environmentalists hate me. If I mistake your policies for Bush's policies, it's because on issues that matter, you are loyal to Bush. You have shown independence on torture for instance (no he didn't) but you stood with Bush.
McC: Pharmaceutical importation, patient bill of rights, 911 commission - long record of reform. And your argument about standing up to your party isn't very convincing. (???)
Q: Campaign is nasty. You said it wouldn't be. You've used words like: Lie. Disrespectful. Palled around with terrorists. Why not say it to each other's face??
McC: Been a very tough campaign. But if we had had those town hall meetings, we could have avoided all of this. (has that ever been explained?) Tone could have been different. I regret negativity of BOTH campaigns. Unacceptable. Congressman John Lewis suggested that Palin and I were associated with George Wallace and that was hurtful. (boo hoo) I HAVE REPUDIATED BAD COMMENTS. Obama spends more on negative ads than I do. (well duh, he has like a trillion dollars) Obama is taking public financing - Liar! Said he will negotiate with me about public financing and he didn't - Liar! That's unfortunate.
Obama: 100% of your ads have been negative, John. I don't think the American people are interested in our hurt feelings. (heh - I know I'm not) Town Hall stuff is bullshit. 527s and other organizations have made some "pretty tough accusations." I can take it for the next four weeks but the American people can't take four more years of what we've been doing. College! Politics as usual not solving problems.
McC: Well! I was watching a football game and every other ad was an attack ad on my health care plan and everyone says they aren't true. I don't oppose fed funding for stem cell research. And you misrepresent my immigration policy too. He's spending UNPRECEDENTED money on attack ads. Joe the Plumber! Restore the economy. Restore jobs! Again, I didn't hear a repudiation of Cong. Lewis.
Obama: Cong. Lewis is a hero. He was troubled by comments from your rallies. "Terrorist!" "Kill him!" Your running mate didn't stop those.
McC: Tries to interupt.
Obama: We immediately put out a statement distancing ourselves from Lewis' comments. Americans want to focus on big challenges we face right now. I'm a saint! Our health care policies are different.
McC: I'm proud of the people who come to our rallies. Gonna have a bunch of kooks in a big crowd. Veterans are SAINTS!!! HEROES!! I will not have you say that that people who come to my rally are anything but the most wonderful and patriotic people in the whole word. I have repudiated people EVERY TIME!! T-shirts at your rallies are mean.
Obama: (sounding stunned that we're still talking about this) Most important: to solve two wars and the worst financial crisis since GD, lift wages, create jobs, we'll have to disagree without being disagreeable. Can't characterize each other as bad people. Culture in Washington for too long.
McC: AYRES! ACORN!! Greatest frauds in voter history - destroying the fabric of the country. (He's whistling as he speaks and sounds like a cartoon character of an old man.)
Obama: Let's get the record straight on Ayres: He's a prof of Ed. I have condemned his acts. Ten years ago we both served on a school reform board funded by a pal of Reagan. Lots of other people - Republicans - on that board. Ayres not involved in my campaign and will not advise me in the White House. ACORN: paid people to register people and some of them filled out false reg forms. I worked with ACORN to get a motor voter law in place. My associates are: Warren Buffet, Paul Volcker, Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, Gen. Jim Jones. THEY have shaped my ideas and will surround me in the White House.
McC: You and Ayres sent $230,000 to ACORN and you launched your political campaign in Ayres' living room.
McC: Fact. American people need to know!! They will decide. I'm all about jobs and getting economy on track and I won't raise taxes.
Q: Why would the country be better off with your running mate as president than the other guy's running mate?
Obama: Foreign policy credidential. Entire life has never forgotten where he came from - dad lost job - downward spiral - fights for little guys (like MBNA). Passed the 1994 Crime Bill and the VAWA. Fights for working families. EIGHT YEARS OF FAILURE! Must invest in American people (but not food stamp recipients) Energy! Education! College!
McC: Well. Americans know that Sarah Palin is a rolemodel for women and a reformer. Energy and Natural Resources Board, faced down oil comps, gave money back to taxpayers. Breath of fresh air!!! Sweep out the old boy network and cronyism. Understands reform and special needs families. Autism!!!! Very special needs families. I can't tell you how proud I am of her and her family. Her husband is a pretty tough guy too.
Obama: She's capable. Special needs work is commendable. All the programs that will help special needs programs will need funding. Across the board spending freeze won't do that.
McC: Biden is qualified in many respects. But wrong on foreign policy stuff: first Gulf War, partition of Iraq - we can see how Iraq is united and doing great; wrong on a number of major issues. Did you see how Obama wanted to spend more? Why can't we have transparency and reform of these agencies? TAXES at a time of heartache for the American family!!!
Q:Can we reduce our imports of foreign oil?
McC: We can get rid of oil from the Middle East. Canadian oil: fine! And remember when Obama said that he'd renegotiate NAFTA? That was so dumb. NUKES!!! Spent fuel - no problem! Wind, tide, solar, natural gas, clean coal is KEY to the heartland.
Obama: In 10 years we can reduce our dependence so that we no longer
have to import oil from Mid East or Venezuela. Most important issue to
our Future Economy (TM).
1. Need to expand domestic production - use or lose the acres you've got, oil companies
2. Invest in solar, wind, biodeisel, geothermal, fuel-efficient American car
NAFTA: I believe in free trade but gotta include and enforce labor and environment agreements. Gotta be tougher with China and South Korea. President must advocate on the behalf of American workers.
McC: Did you get that? He said we'd "look at" offshore drilling. DRILL HERE DRILL NOW!
I'm a free trader. Educate the displaced worker (I am so fucking sick of hearing that). Columbia trade agreement is good and Obama opposes it. AND COLUMBIA IS TRYING TO STOP DRUGS FROM COMING HERE!!!! Columbia will be a miracle - a "no brainer." "Maybe you should travel down there and you'd understand it a lot better."
Obama: I undertand it quite well. Columbia is killing labor leaders. I supported Peruvian agreement (Mick hated that agreement). Gotta understand the benefits of trade and enforce unfair agreements. (I must have heard that wrong.) Gotta give money to the auto industry and then make it produce a highly fuel efficient car. Transportation accounts for about 30% of energy costs. JOBS!! Wind turbines. Solar panels. Driver of economy for next century.
McC: Well. Sen. Obama doesn't want to have a free trade agreement with our best friend in the region but he wants to sit down without precondition with the FARC guy. Sen. Obama wants to restrict trade and increase taxes. HERBERT HOOVER!!!! Not me! (I knew Hoover. I'm no Hoover!)
Q: Something about health care.
Obama: Issue breaks my heart. Story about two laid-off women with no coverage in Ohio. Here's my plan: If you have heatlh insurance, you can keep it and do nothing. We're going to lower costs and pass the savings on to you - about $2500/year. No insurance? Then buy into the same insurance McC and I have! Choice of doctors, will neg. with drug comps for lower prices, no pre-existing conditions, will manage chronic disesases. Will cost money on the front end but will make us healthy and save us from the soaring costs.
McC: Well. It is painful. It is the escalating cost of health care that's inflicting such pain. Put health care records online, have walk-in clinics, need physical fitness programs in schools, employees need to join health clubs (this is so stupid it's painful - we have all that now.) Joe the Plumber, my buddy, if you're out there, my friend - if you don't get Obama's plan, HE'LL FINE YOU.
Obama: I'll talk to Joe too! Here's your fine: ZERO. I exempt small businesses from the requirement. But large businesses have to provide health insurance or somebody has to. Medicaid or the ER - either way we pick that up. If you want to do the right thing and provide insurance for your employees, we'll give you a 50% credit. McCain's $5,000 won't cut it. Young and healthy "folks" can get insurance but the rest of us can't. So where will you be? Your health care benefits will be taxed FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. Under McCain's plan insurance companies will cherry pick.
McC: Hey Joe! You're rich. Congratulations! Joe wants to buy the business. You said that you want to take Joe's money and spread the wealth. You're going to have to PAY A FINE because you don't want the plan that Sen. Obama wants you to have. People will be able to afford health care with my $5,000 - but no Cadillac plans that cover cosmetic surgery and "transplants." Sen. Obama wants government to do the job. Joe, I want YOU to do the job. We've got too much government and too much spending. 40% eight years! Democrats in charge!
Obama: Are you deaf? If you have insurance you like, you do nothing. The Chamber of Commerce hates the McCain plan. All I want to do is lower your cost. That includes you, Joe.
McC: No litmus test. Roe v. Wade is a bad decision. I'm a federalist! Nominees based on qualifications. Remember when the Dems blocked judges in an unprecedented fashion? (gag) I was in that Gang of Fourteen. You weren't. Obama voted against Bryer and Roberts. Elections have condsequences. I will find the best people in the WORLD - United States of America. I would consider anyone in their qualifications. Strict Constitutionalist.
Obama: No litmus test. Fairness. Justice! Roe v. Wade in the balance!! Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. Difficult moral issue. Good people on both sides. Women in best decision to make decision. Privacy in Constitution. First Amendment - same thing. No state referendum. Will look for judges with sense of "what real world folks are going through." Lilly Ledbetter - Equal Pay for Equal Work. That decision sucked. McCain was on the wrong side.
McC: Statute of limitations! Trial lawyers dream! Must change culture of country. Courage and compassion. Obama voted against law to provide immediate medical attention to a failed abortion. Voted present on other stuff. Voted against a ban on partial birth abortiongs - terrible, bad procedure. Voted present! I don't know how you align yourself with the most extreme element of the pro-abortion movement. He'll defend himself but he'll be LYING!
Obama: Didn't vote against witholding life-saving treatment from an infant. Already a law on books that required that treatment to be given. Illinois Medical Society voted against it. Don't need it. Supportive on ban of partial birth abortions as long as there's an exemption for mother's life. Wasn't in there, I voted present. Surely we must be able to find some common ground. Provide appropriate education to our youth. Sexuality is SACRED!!! Adoption. Help single mothers. Abortion always tragic.
McC: Health for the mother can mean almost anything! Health (scoff!). I adopted a baby but I will not cease to protect the rights of the unborn. Compassion - Courage! We'll help take care of it (the child).
Q: We spend a ton on education but trail the world. National security issue!
Obama: National Security issue! We can't have our economy delcine and still be the top military dog. We need more money and reform. Gonna have to invest in early childhood education. Proven to work. Must recruit an army of new teachers esp. in math in science - higher pay in exchange for more accountability and higher standards. Have to invest in loans for college. $4K tuition credit in exchange for service (military, peace corps, domestic). Parents! Parents have to turn off the tv and put away the video games and instill thirst for knowledge.
McC: Civil rights issue of our time. Choice and competition among our schools. Already proven in New Orleans and NYC. Find bad teachers another line of work. Give parents a choice. Charter schools provide competition. Throwing money at the problem won't do it. Reward good teachers. Troops to teachers! Miltary people don't have to take certification exams. (what??????)
Q: Should feds put more money into schools?
Obama: Local control of schools is good. Fed has to step up and help. NCLB isn't funded. Increased burden! Unfunded mandates! Early childhood ed -- higher teacher salaries in exchange for accountability. I love charter schools. Bad teachers have to move on. Vouchers are not a cure-all. McC's record on college accessibility is bad. America's Youth are not an interest group - they are our future!!
McC: People in D.C. want vouchers! "We all know the state of the D.C. school system. That was vouchers! That was vouchers!" NCLB - good start. But spending more money isn't the answer. Head Start isn't doing what it should do. Let's reform it and fund it. (Is that why it's been starved the last eight years??? They couldn't kill it any other way?) Autism families come to my town halls. Sarah Palin knows more about that than most. (Are they confusing Down Syndrome with Autism or are they saying that all special needs kids are the same?) VOUCHERS!!!!!!
Obama: McC wants to increase D.C. vouchers by 2,000 slots. That leaves everyone else without help.
McC: "Because there aren't enough vouchers, we shouldn't do it even though they're working. Got it." (What a nasty man he is.)
McC: New direction! Last eight years sucked. Reform! Special interests! 9/11 commission! Health Care: affordable and available. STOP THE SPENDING!!! Spent entire life in service. War and Peace. Proud to serve. Opportunity to serve again!!
Obama: Thank you, Sen. McCain. Can't adopt same failed policies and failed POLITICS and expect a different result. Need fundamental change and I'll bring it. I'm sure our brighter days are still ahead. Have to invest in American people again. Middle class tax cuts, college for everyone who wants it, jobs, wages! Not gonna be easy. Not gonna be quick. Come together in renewed spirit of sacrifice and service and responsibility. I will work every single day tirelessly on your behalf and on the behalf of our children.