Sunday Roast: Democrats do it, too. Neener, neener!!!

*sigh*

As if the GOP “debates” aren’t enough of a clusterfuck, the DNC has decided to put their own brand of screws to the democratic process.  Because Hillary Clinton.  And big money in politics, of course.

*head banging on desk*

This is our daily open thread — Happy Sunday!!

Obama/Romney Presidential Debate — Round 1

And so it begins…

President Obama and Mitt Romney will meet on the stage at the University of Denver tonight at 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. (ET), to “debate” domestic policy.  The moderator will be Jim Lehrer of PBS.

Each campaign has worked over the last week to lower expectations for their candidate, with the notable exception of Chris Christie promising Romney is a great debater and is going to kick some Obama ass.  Oops.

It’s a school night, so a drinking game might not be in order — although a certain amount of alcohol might help us cope with high levels of bullshit — but if you’re up for a drinking game, here goes:

I think we’re going to be in bad shape this evening…

C-Span will be live-streaming the “debate” here, but it’s a safe bet that all major news outlets will be having live coverage as well, and live-blogging/commentary is happening in TheZoo comments section.

Let’s do this thing…

Message to McCain: DOWN SYNDROME, not AUTISM

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AND THEY’RE NOT THE SAME!

I was a bit stunned last night while watching the debate to hear John McCain say not once, but twice, that Sarah Palin ‘understands about Autism’..  

Autism?

I can only assume he was referring to her infant child – her child with ‘special needs’ – you know, the example he now works in to all his stump speeches.. Last night McCain appeared to twice refer to Palin’s youngest son Trig as having Autism, noting that his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, would “understand what it’s like to have an autistic child.”

Up until this point, when talking about his running mate on the campaign trail, McCain has made a point of reaching out to families of special needs children by holding up her young son as a shining example (prop), saying families would have a friend in the White House in Sarah Palin because of her son.

So, it was very strange to hear him last night when he spoke of special needs twice, referring to Sarah Palin, and then use the term Autism.

Except that Palin doesn’t have an autistic child. Her youngest son has Down Syndrome. And yes, they are not the same. Not even close. You would think he would know that..

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CBS Poll: Obama Beats McCain In Debate 53-22

A clear win again for Barack Obama.  CBS Breaking News:

Fifty-three percent of the uncommitted voters surveyed identified Democratic nominee Barack Obama as the winner of tonight’s debate. Twenty-two percent said Republican rival John McCain won. Twenty-four percent saw the debate as a draw.

More uncommitted voters trusted Obama than McCain to make the right decisions about health care. Before the debate, sixty-one percent of uncommitted voters said that they trust Obama on that; after, sixty-nine percent said that. For McCain, twenty-seven percent trusted him to manage health care before the debate; thirty percent said so afterwards.

The Undecided’s Speak Out Candidly – They Like Obama

As in the previous presidential debate, a group of undecided voters are gathered together in a swing state, this time they are from Colorado. To get a true gauge of their reactions and feeling about the candidates-they are polled before and after the town hall debate. This group was comprised of 50 voters, mainly former Bush supporters, but split evenly between party lines.

The voters awarded Obama the “win” (38% to 30%, with the rest choosing no clear winner). But that result was actually the least useful of the evening. Because while the earlier debate did not result in any net change in support for the two candidates, Obama walked away with a clear lead in new voters tonight. After the debate ended, 26% of the audience had become McCain supporters while 42% said they planned to vote for Obama. Only a quarter of the group was still undecided.

Even more dramatic was the shift in the voters’ personal reactions to the two candidates. Before the debate, McCain had a 48/46 favorability rating; that improved to 56/36 by the end. But that’s about where Obama started the evening-54/36. After an hour and a half, Obama’s favorability numbers were 80/14. As Joe Biden would say, let me repeat that: 80% of the undecided voters had favorable views of Obama and only 14% saw him negatively for a net rating of +66. Not even Bill Clinton got such a warm response in town hall formats.

Republicans are good for throwing out the word “liberal” to see if it sticks or elicits the response they are looking for, which is negativity. That didn’t work last night, for one, Obama is hardly the most liberal Senator. He is viewed by most as a moderate.  As McCain would say, look at his voting record.

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Good Morning from Europe – 354 opportunities to impeach!

Good Morning! The GOP Californian Debate has caught the eye of “The Times'” US editor Gerard Baker. And, if an article starts thus:

Another pretty dreadful debate, to be frank. Once again CNN demonstrated how little it really understands the Republican party. Anderson Cooper in particular continues to treat Republicans as some sort of anthropological curiosity, gingerly throwing them silly questions as a zookeeper might throw lumps of rotting meat into a cage full of irritable lions.

it’s made for TheZoo.

Here are the highlights, according to my borrowed European view:

I actually thought the worst moment of the whole debate was McCain’s stupid little snipe about how Romney had done a good job buying and selling companies resulting in some people being laid off. It was the kind of thing that testified both to McCain’s uncontrollable tendency towards nastiness and to the rather troubling attitude he sometimes displays towards business. No-one likes the idea of workers being laid off but it sounds very odd for a self-described conservative and strong supporter of the free market to be expressing doubt about a company’s feeedom to control its labour costs.

(…)

More than a third of the way through (it seems longer) and I don’t think anyone’s earth has moved yet. Tedious doesn’t begin to capture it.

Public Works: Interesting exposition of classical Keynesian stimulus economics by the ever-entertaining Huckabee.

Climate Change: McCain looks and sounds tired. Maybe he’s hoping that if he talks…really…slowly….everybody will just fall asleep and the debate will change nothing.

Read more here: It sounds like you didn’t miss much, when you decided to do something useful instead of watching the debate.

What if McCain prevails and will be nominated in the end? Hard times for the Republican Party ahead. As said in yesterday’s post, the likes of Malkin and Coulter are livid and the Party establishment will work him hard to change some of his positions. To top this off, Republican outsiders Giuliani and Schwarzenegger have endorsed McCain.

Now, the Democratic Party has another set of problems to solve. Sadly, John Edwards has quit the race. Who is going to get his delegates, asks “The Guardian”. And the Times helps us out with a useful list of endorsements for either candidate. “Der Spiegel” provides us with a calculation, why none of the candidates will finally win the nomination on Super Tuesday. Here’s why: Democrats need 2025 delegates for nomination. Hillary Clinton has 232, Barack Obama 158, (Edwards 62). 1678 Delegates will be determined at Super Tuesday. Given that one cadidate takes all Hillary Clinton can get 1910 (1972 if she gets Edwards’), Obama 1836 (1898 Edwards’ included) that’s still not 2025. And, it explains, why Hillary Clinton is so keen on including the Florida delegates despite her signing a party agreement, that the Floridians are out. The calculation for the Republicans looks similar (McCain max. 1178, Romney max. 1155/ 1191 needed). So, prepare for an ongoing battle. Even if you don’t live in a Super Tuesday State, your vote may still make a difference.

And finally, away from the elections. Which branch of the economy is still reaping record profits? Right – Oil

“Europeanview” wishes you all a happy and healthy day. Take care!

ABC News/Facebook Presidential Debates Tonight

Tonight, live from New Hampshire, at 7 p.m. Pacific, are the live back-to-back Democrat and Republican ABC/Facebook Presidential Debates — though they are incomplete.

Candidates Dennis Kucinich (D), Mike Gravel (D), and Duncan Hunter (R) have been excluded from these debates, even though they are still running for president.

Ron Paul (R) has been excluded from the Fox News GOP Debate in New Hampshire scheduled for tomorrow night. In a turn of events, the New Hampshire Republican Party has now pulled out as co-sponsor.

Bear in mind that Fox News is excluding Paul from the debate, despite the absence of any objective criteria that would shut out Paul and still include some of the other people they’re inviting. For example, Paul got 10% of the vote in Iowa, while invited candidate Rudy Giuliani took only 4% and is at about the same place as Paul in New Hampshire polls.

See an interview with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Bill Moyers here.

TheZoo will be live blogging these beauty pageants debates this evening on this thread.

Democrats Debate Today in Iowa

Well, not all of them. Just Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator John Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson.

Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich have been excluded for piddly-assed reasons.

1. Candidates must have filed an FEC Form F-2 “Statement of Candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission, and

2. Candidates must have publicly announced an intention to run for the nomination of the Republican or the Democratic Party for President of the United States, and

3. Candidates must have had a campaign office inside the State of Iowa as of October 1, 2007, and

4. Candidates must have employed at least one paid campaign staff representative to perform full-time campaign duties in the State of Iowa on behalf of the candidate since at least October 1, 2007, and

5. Candidates must have had at least a 1% support showing in the Des Moines Register’s October, 2007 Iowa Poll.

Neither Gravel nor Kucinich had campaign offices in Iowa by October 1, and they didn’t have paid staff in Iowa. I guess volunteers don’t count.

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront.

“It was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa,” according to a statement from the newspaper’s top officials, including editor Carolyn Washburn. (Des Moines Register)

TheZoo usually does live-blogging of presidential debates, but in protest of the exclusion of Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich — legitimate candidates — we will not do so today.

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Alan Keyes Included in Today’s Republican Debate

The Des Moines Register that has refused to let Dennis Kucinich debate  in tomorrow’s Democratic debate today let Alan Keyes in today’s Republican debate.  Alan Keyes announced he would be debating last month.

The Des Moines Register offers this explanation for keeping Kucinich out. It seems unlikely that Alan Keyes met the criteria for participation.