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Game-Changing Moments

A week ago Saturday, I had lunch with two New York friends before our mutual friend's wedding. They were rhetorically chewing their fingernails to nubs over Barack Obama's perilous electoral prospects. He was down in the polls. TV was all-Sarah-Palin-all-the-time. And they were afraid that Obama lacked the momentum and the fight to change his fate. They asked me if there was any way the dynamic could change.

Obama needs a game-changing event, I said. The first debate could be it. The vice presidential debate could be it. The release of the August fundraising numbers could be it. Then there's the unforeseen event, I told my friends, something happening somewhere that is so significant that it hits the reset button on the state of play.

Well, as we now know, Obama raised an eye-popping $66 million in August. But even apart from that confidence-booster, the mind-blowing events of last week most certainly hit the reset button. Sen. John McCain handed Obama an opening when he said that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" as the stock market was hurtling to its worst close since 2001 last Monday. The statement seemed out-of-touch, and Obama has clubbed McCain with it ever since. McCain didn't help himself any by zigzagging from one position to another on how he would handle the Wall Street meltdown. Obama won the week.

But that was last week. The debate this Friday at Ole Miss presents McCain an opportunity to go on offense. While the nation is focused on its financial future, the two candidates will square off on foreign policy. If McCain has a comfort zone, this is it. The bombing at the U.S. embassy in Yemen on Sept. 17 and the massive hotel bombing in Pakistan on Sept. 20 -- both during the worst week in recent U.S. economic history -- are stark reminders of the dangerous world America inhabits. McCain could still retake control of the conversation.

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 22, 2008; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

For all the frustrated citizens in this forum, please contact senators and let them know how you feel about this bailout. This corporate welfare should STOP.

Without Wall Street concessions on executive pay, tax payers’ mortgage relieve, and transparent oversight of these funds, tax payers should NOT bailout for Wall Street. Enough is enough.

Posted by: Enough! | September 22, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't have said it any better. Either we have serious oversight or why should the rest of us who played it safe bail out those who made bad decisions?

Posted by: Angry Taxpayer | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The engineers of the national shame, this financial fiasco, are not accidental victims. If the cabal of banking powerhouses is backing away from the chaos they have created, taking money and power with them, the country and the world face a tangle of devaluating (if that can be a word) private finance infrastructure. Who knows how to operate the system that's being created? Does that mean that the same wolves who led these crimes now somehow merge into the public fold? There had better be some sharp eyes in Congress and independent and unbiased accountancy. The air of impending doom should not hasten us into further imprudent action.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 22, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I must say, I have yet to see any evidence of McCain's supposed expertise in foreign affairs. Although he might claim some form of "credentials" in that area, they come more from having spend 5.5 years in Hanoi Hilton, an experience which has about as much relevance for running the US foreign policy as Sarah Palin's proximity to Russia has to her ability to master the intricacies of policy toward that country. McCain's foreign policy views seems to be little more than bluster, tough talk, and incoherent mumbling that only serves to demonstrate how truly confused he is about how the world really works.

Posted by: Mark Gillis | September 22, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

By choosing to go with foreign policy in the first debate, Obama is taking a page from the Rove playbook: go after your opponent's perceived greatest strength. He also is making use of a well-tested voter response to previous Presidential debates: if the underdog merely holds his own and avoids mistakes, he wins by allaying doubts that he can't play at his opponent's level. Breaking even is a win for Obama; I will not be surprised if he does quite a bit better, given McCain's frequent flubs on just getting the names straight.

Posted by: Howard K | September 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The "fundamentals" are analytical benchmarks - actual data rather than anecdotal stories. Indeed, the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong. The economy continues to grow. Other nations still rely on the U.S. as an engine of growth. A shift to protectionism may drive these fundamentals in ways we do not desire. So might "talking up the negatives."
I guess I would rather be in this country with its recession than in most other countries with their "rosier" economies.

Posted by: Rick | September 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Regarding McCain's suppossed foreign policy expertise....Both the bombings in Yemen and Pakistan relate to Bin Laden's Al Qaeda. If anything they point to the utter waste of blood and treasure we have spent in Iraq. Had we pursued Bin Laden in Afghanistan with vigor and intensity, we likely would not have had these bombings. The blood of our soldiers in Iraq and the victims in Yemen and Pakistan is on McCain's hands.

Posted by: Dee El | September 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I am not going to watch the debates. I have already seen enough of John Mccain to know that even if Obama did not show up for the debate, I would not vote for Mccain. I do not know what standards other voters use to judge a person running for office, but my standard is that when you say something you do not change it 5 minutes later, if you really believe in COUNTRY FIRST, Mr. Mccain cynical choice for vice president has thrown that out the window. Now here is some real straight talk,DO NOT VOTE FOR A PERSON WHO STEALS OTHER PEOPLE SLOGAN, CHANGE IS NOT A WORD THAT CAN BE THROWN AROUND AT WILL. All you indidvals that do not want to vote for a black man, even though in your heart he is overready for the job, do not vote for him, you really will be doing him a favor, because for the life of me I can not understand why he wants this job, because the last 2 elections you put the man you wanted in office didn't you? And look what has happened. But you want some more punishment, because you don't want to vote for a black man, well get ready for so more GOP rule, to finish you off.

Posted by: Belinda Jackson | September 22, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand how someone who thinks that Iran supports Al Qaeda, who can't tell us the difference between Druze, Sunnis and Shi'ites, who thinks that Afghanistan shares a border with Iraq, who gets Sudan and Somalia confused, who can't identify the PRIME MINISTER of Spain (in the statement "clarifying" McCain's remarks, his spokesperson called Zapatero the President of Spain) and who thinks that Czechoslovakia is still a country is considered a foreign policy expert. Especially since he seems impervious to correction - continuing to refer to Czechoslovakia a week after being corrected.
He is no expert - this is a massive media myth. What does he have to do before we call him on it.

Posted by: Jenny | September 22, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

During his interview on "60 Minutes" last night, McCain responded to a question about his past public admissions of not knowing a lot about economics by saying that not only did he understand economics, he was, in fact, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee for several years.

Doesn't that make him at least partially responsible for the Wall Street meltdown? He can't have it both ways - saying he understands economics based on his in depth involvement in the legislative control of it, then claim that he's not one of the Washington insiders that paved the way for this disaster. He has been a strong advocate for market and financial deregulation. The Obama campaign needs to call him on his role in this disaster.

Posted by: emm2 | September 22, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

America wants a strong leader! Have you ever meet an individual that was damn sure about every opinion they expressed. Never a reservation that an opposing view could possibly hold any merrit. After listening to this person for a few minutes, were you not absolutely convinced that all of there strong opinions were based a very thin layer of fact and a very thick layer of ideology. Have we not been here, and where did it lead us before!!!!

Posted by: Rob D | September 22, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McCain is perceived as an expert because folks feel sorry for him being a prisoner of war. I respect the guy and believe he WAS a very noble and patriotic man. I no longer think he is patriotic. A patriot does not work so hard to tear down the working class and their champions. I think anyone that spent so long incarcerated by hostile forces, has to have deep underlying cynicism for mankind. He certianly does not hide his cynicism for opposing views. Not to mention, that sort of imprisonment surely makes a person somewhat LOOPY!

Posted by: 2Funny | September 22, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Umm - what exactly are McCain's foreign experience creds - besides 20 trips to Iraq (or was it the Iraq- Pakistan border), his Georgian friend and did we mention 5.5 years as POW? How are those creds helping the US of A in any way?

Posted by: Sam, PA | September 22, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is not credable as a president in these dangerous times. The man is 72 years old, he ought to be playing golf and taking daily naps.

Does anyone honestly beleive McCain is physically and/or mentally up to this job?

I have never seen such a utter mess in America. I honestly can not for the life of me understand why my fellow American's are not scared to death to put this elderly man who has had four bouts of deadly skin cancer in charge of such a dagerous mess.

Really,people,I am begging you to think about this from a rational and logical point of view, just put down your ideology for a second and really THINK about what we have been through these last 8 years?

Even when Bush came into office it was a long fight that ended in the high court handing him the presidency and we went full break neck speed from there.

This nation needs a thinker, someone who likes nuance, who can solve complex problems, and do so in a calm pragmatic fashion.

I have been watching Barry Obama the last few weeks and this guy came off very calm cool and collected during this Wall street mess,where as McCain was seriously bumbeling his way through the week.

In addition McCain made some very bizarre statments about the health of our economy that were so far off my jaw droppped.


He was also talking about commisions to look into Wall-street and threatening to fire the head of the SEC(Chris Cox) at the same time he was trying to figure out if a AIG bailout was a good or a bad thing, he changed his mind on so many things I honestly wondered if he remembered taking a position in the first place.


And to top all of this off he picks Mrs. Palin to take his spot should something happen to him, and we now know that Mrs.Palin is being surrounded by Bush advisors to learn how to become a good little Neo-Con.

Enough!!

Think people, Ideolgy should come second this time around, we need smart calm cool and collected , but above all, we need SMART!!!

VOTE Obama-Biden08 I'm begging you!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

It seems the MSM nolonger investigates or fact checks anymore,they merely report the particular campaign's view.How else can one understand this repeated view that McCain's strong point is foreign affairs (if it is, then the country is really in trouble should he becomes the next President).
Forget the fact that McCain does not know the difference btween Sunni or Shia,the MSM pushes Iraq as being a strong point for McCain because of the surge,as if the much bigger stategic error of the war somehow compares with a tactical decision of the surge success this far,which was made possible by factors other than just the troop increase.It is like a man setting a house on fire and managing to put out the fire before the entire house burns down,while it's raining and then calling that man a great firefighter rather than an arsonist.
The situation in Georgia is even more blatant.Close ties between McCain's camp and the Georgian President(one of McCain's campaign advisors is a lobbyist for the Georgian government),made the Georgians feel secure enough to make an obvious underestimation of the Russian response to their aggression,thinking there would be American support.McCain came out bellicose,and the MSM interpretated this as good forein policy showing strenght against Russian expansionism,rather than Russia's fear of being encircled considering the destruction caused to Russia in the prior two world wars.The MSM is buying into this maverick nonsense as if this is a good thing.The world is too dangerous to have people shooting from the hip,reporters and columnist need to get over this very adolescent mentality,the world is not a western movie and the good guy does not always win because he is good,he wins because he is smart.Obama calm,measured and advised reaction is why world events and Bush's now new lauded foreign policy are seen as being more productive.

Posted by: cdbkingjr | September 23, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

McCain foreign policy wonk? Which McCain? You must be joking.Talking tough, and bluster
that`s not foreign policy inteliigence.It`s the same kind of no-think that got the US in the Iraq dilemma, and embolden Iran. He seems to feel triumphant about the surge that he is taking credit for supporting.The surge is like putting plaster on an old sore.
Todays international politics needs creative thinking and imaginative diplomatic manueverings in order to help mantain stability and manage the chaos.
Tough talk and swagger is so yesterday.And the world can do without it and we are better
off.


Posted by: gil tucker | September 23, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

This is a lose-lose election. Two terrible choices.

Posted by: Pat | September 23, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

I can't blame this bailout on the failures of capitalism. True capitalism assigns its own dire penalties on those who fail to run their businesses properly. What happened on Wall Street isn't capitalism. Those who helped perpetrate this calamity are walking away with big golden parachutes, compliments of their fat-cat majority stockholders who were also a part of this Ponzi scheme. In an earlier time, they'd all be called what they are: thieves. Today, they get to stay rich and the taxpayers, as usual, will foot the bill.

Posted by: rmpatera | September 23, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I am skeptical about McCain's foreign affairs knowledge. I'm not sure he doesn't have the expertise everyone claims he does it's just that I haven't seen evidence of it.
I don't know what it's suppose to be.
People talk about this "Maverick" like he's John Wayne rushing in on horseback to save the day.
I don't get that sense from him. His choice of Sarah Palin is scary. I watched her in the Gibson interview an I could have given that interview. I don't understand McCain's campaign strategy.

Posted by: Anna | September 23, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama is going to make McCain look senile this friday. McSame will just use wars, fear & threats to scare voters. I am sure Obama will point that out. Obama needs to rattle McCain, and Palin's debate is already a loser, she is simply just a cheerleader for McBush and on the "ROAD TO NOWHERE"!!

Posted by: Toilet | September 23, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I'd vote for a space alien if he/she should show a real grasp of the serious problems facing our country and a remote idea of international relations.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Yup, McCain thinks the economy is strong. It probably is for him and his seven houses.

Posted by: BC | September 23, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

america needs to wake up and get rid of this adminastration... this mess has been in the works for awhile and the republicains decide on the eve of the debates and elections a month away to throw a wrench into the laps of taxpayers. something is wrong with the picture. if mccain/palin gets in office jan. 21,2009 will be a sad sad day.

Posted by: nana | September 23, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Why would the U.S. bail out these financial giants at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer? Let them fail as part of the economic cyle, it will rebounce. The trillion dollars of bail out capital should be directed to the American people who's hurting as a result of corporate greed. It's pay back time, don't you think?

Posted by: DANEC | September 23, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

McSame is an elitist who own 13 cars and 7 houses. Out of touch with energy needs and the needs of Americans.

Posted by: Toilet | September 23, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

A strong economy pays for a strong national defense. Now our economy is in the toilet or worse... what about national defense and it's foreign policy component?

Can we now afford McCain's victory in Iraq? Obama is in a stronger position on matters of national security than McCain is... he is constitutionally capable of adjusting and making the changes in our national defense that are made necessary by the failed economy... Judgment and temperment trump experience and emotion. McCain is stuck in the 1960s, and has no clue about making smart national defense choices in the face of the desrtoyed economy.

I was in high school in October 1962. Thank God the nation had a leader who had learned from his mistake (The Bay of Pigs), and who could make the unemotional, detached decisions that saved the World at that time (by the way, many had called President Kennedy young and inexperienced). McCain = Curtis Lemay... shoot first and ask question later. The greatest strengths a President can have is knowing who not to listen to, making decisions that are based on good judgment, and holding one's military power back as a last resort.

This is not the John McCain of 2000, whom I worked for and contributed to.

Posted by: obh | September 23, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why the media tends to concede foreign policy expertise to McCain. From my point of view I have developed a great respect for Barack Obama's keen understanding of and recommendations for foreign policy. Quite often McCain's understanding of and recommendations for foreign policy seem to be a lot of bluster.

Posted by: J.D. | September 23, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I really don't like what the government has done by taking over Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, and funding various other major transactions because what they are doing is setting the stage for another similar problem just as the savings and loan bailout set the stage for later problems, but I understand why they intervened. Almost all of our major companies borrow money for day-to-day operations. This is because even if they make tons of money, they don't make it in a steady flow throughout the year to guarantee that they can pay for any specific day's cost of business. What the government saw was a run by investors away from banks which would eliminate enough money from being available for companies to pay for their day-to-day operations which would effectively stop the economy. Our economy runs on the trust of investors in the banks, and when too many investors flee to cash, the banks don't have the money to lend to the companies. What the government saw was another depression occurring. This wasn't because the economy wasn't fundamentally sound from a short term perspective but because the dip in available money for lending was far too low causing too much of a shock for the economy to ride out without significant damage which would take a long time to recoup. However, the root of the current problems causing investors to flee is because the government intervened in previous problems and causing investors to ignore valid risks in the future which eventually build up causing yet another big mess. What the government needs to do is extricate itself from this death cycle by interfering as little as possible even to the point where the economy may go down slightly because removing short term fear by investors shouldn't lead to them ignoring the riskiness of their investments too much as happened when bad mortgages were repackaged as investment vehicles leading to the sub-prime mortgage mess. The shortsightedness of congress is to blame for the mess we are in, and that means Obama, Biden and McCain.

Posted by: sangjmoon | September 23, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait to watch the upcoming debate. I want to hear John Mcsame say one more time the surge is working and bomb, bomb, Iran. That is all the expertises he has, and it is so funny. This man has been given a pass for all these years because he was a prisoner of war. It is evident he knows nothing about the economy, and knows nothing about foreign countries. Heck he doesn't even know where they are located. He wants to start another war so bad he is trying to pick fights with our allies. We all should make it a point to keep John mcsame as far from the white house as possible.

Posted by: tygirl | September 23, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This is all the Bush administration's fault. Look at how good the economy was during Clinton's presidency!

Posted by: greg | September 23, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Using strong language makes you a foreign policy expert in this country. MCCain will clean up in the debate. All he needs to do is go to the Bush playbook: Terrorist terrorist terrorist terrorist, 9-11 9-11 9-11 9-11, we will kill kill kill kill, you will die die die die. Trust me.

Posted by: JK | September 23, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Greg: "This is all the Bush administration's fault. Look at how good the economy was during Clinton's presidency!"

Greg your a simpleton...

Posted by: AmericanJarhead | September 23, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans know Obama is going to win the election, they wanted to handicap him to the tune of 1 billion dollars so he can't possibly get universal health care off the ground. They know once health care is started,'it's success will keep the Dem's in power for decades. The White House said last year that everything is fine, 6 months ago same thing, last month same thing as well, if they say didn't see this coming they should fined, arrested, impeached or all three. If so many people weren't going to suffer from this I would say it's almost comical that we elected a failed oil man as president, twice, in an industry, "oil", that you can't help but be successful and make a profit,

Posted by: Shea | September 23, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I am disillusioned by McCain, even though he is a war hero here's why:
1. He has a vile temper and called his wife a C*nt in public, in front of reporters.
2. He cheated on his first wife,she had just become disabled to fool around with Cindy (16 yrs younger than him, he was 40 she was 24 ? very creepy).
3. He graduated at the bottom of his class in Naval academy.
4. He confesses he is not strong on Economics, that's what we need right now.
5. He cannot use a computer, in this day and age.
6. He was one of the corrupt "Keating 5" senators, was given a slap on the wrist for that. That scandal caused the wall st. huge crash in 1987
7. Does not support Women's right to choose, opposed equal pay for equal work for women.
8. Voted against the MLK holiday. The list is endless

Posted by: Tejaswini | September 23, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a bit confused or misunderstood? Exactly!! Quite often I have discussions with friends regarding liberals who think a certain way and because of their negative thoughts they create the situation or problem. Yet when I posit the thought that the conservatives' belief in Christianity supports an END of the world (now that is a consistent and reoccurring theme in Christianity) thought process....which promotes the creation of world ending tools (nukes, bio-warfare, laser guided blah..blah etc) they become silent. Anybody? Bueller? What is voodoo economics?

Posted by: Duncan | September 23, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This is Obama's time to shine. He is a brilliant man and a "problem solver". McCain is trigger happy on his words and decisions. The "deregulator" philosophy and past is poison for McCain...and what was he thinking with that obvious lobbiest ridden staff of his. He is nuts to try to bring up the thin relationship of Resco with Obama in Chicago or Reines in Fannie May...He opens the door to his deep, deep ties to the guys who put us here.
Did you get the car news last night? The Obama's own 1 car. The McCains own 13. Yeah, he's for the people, right..When asked at the Saddleback forum how much he thought was middle class income, McCain thoughtfully answered 'anyone making under $5 million'. My teenager knows better.
DO NOT VOTE FOR McCAIN. THERE WILL BE PAIN!
and I do not have time to go into the ills of Palin!

Posted by: Kathleen | September 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

We should prepare for another bailout as soon as the credit card use & abuse its.

Posted by: Popeye | September 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

McCain has no new ideas he is all about Drill Baby Drill to help out his pals in the Energy industry. He is trying to exploit every single loophole in his own McCain-Feingold law. He is hasty and exercises poor judgment. He is a LIAR! His campaign is filled with lies, he lies through his teeth in debates.

Posted by: Tejaswini | September 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

First of all I am a supporter of Senator Obama. Seondly, McCain's self-proclaimed foreign policy experience is bull****. People are sympathetic to his POW status decades ago and should move on. In 26 years, the pinnacle of his career is agreeing with Bush 90% of the time. And that foreign policy is obviously failed. People get past the obvious here. Senator Obama is an exceptionally intelligent man with sound judgment and temperment. He surrounds himself by wise counsel (with logic and not extremism), which will make his Administration highly successful.

Posted by: Jay | September 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Golden parachute or golden shower.

Which will you be wearing?

Posted by: theantibush | September 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The Bush Legacy in failure was well known before the "insightful" public, along with his crooked cohorts, got him into office. Will the public ever wake up? When deregulation occurs greed takes over and now we are looking at a bankrupt United States, oh yeah, that fits nicely into Bush's portfolio. Private was not better, nor is deregulation!

Posted by: Dave Gregory | September 23, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

We need Nixon

Posted by: Steve | September 23, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Could those in this discussion who claim that their candidate is not wishy washy go away. You are all reacting like the swine the government knows you are. Maybe better said sheep. Someone is attacking our way of like and our values and causing fear and turmoil so you will think all is lost. Don't you know it is all in how you think?
Start thinking positive thoughts and make the phone calls to your representatives and tell them they are fired and better positive reps are going to be in their place.

Posted by: Nikolai Demosthenese | September 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The neo-con mantra on the economy is 'Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Debts.'
McCain should not be allowed to blame the Wall Street mess on Obama. Who will he blame if he becomes President? Harry Truman said "The buck stops here". McCain asks "What buck? Where?"
I'd like to watch McCain, a man with 8 homes and 13 cars explain how the fundamentals of his economy are still strong while millions of Americans just got 'bucked' by GOP mis-management of the US economy.

Posted by: SeattleSage | September 23, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the Feds are trying to avoid a 'worsening recession' at the cost of enormous debt for decades to come. Bailing out Wall Street and its' experts is a shame. No one bails us out as citizens. Just ask Equifax and Trans Union. They will do anything to save face, which is pathetic. We live WELL beyond our means in this country.

Posted by: Jay | September 23, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Botton line, no Muslims in the White House

Posted by: Steve | September 23, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Do all of these left wing, talking point quoting, Nobama supporters smoke crack?
They all sound like magpies talking at once to the point where it becomes white noise and unintelligble....they think saying the word liar over and over will somehow make it true.
It is comical to see them losing another election as voters realize the message Obama crows is the same crap given by Carter, Mondale, Gore and Kerry.
The only response they have are fact twisting name callers on blogs and crooked journalists who print the trash Soros & Obama dictate.
Sad bunch, these liberal socialists. So hungry for power they start to believe the old tired ideas of the left and that they have some moral right to win this time. Not because of ideas but only because they have lost so many times before. This election will be no different. Here is a list of excuses you may use this time:
1. The voters were racist
2. Obama picked Biden
3. hanging chads (from 2000) still hanging
4. Soros
5. Biden (who decided to let him speak to any voters?)
6. Gore whining
7. Dean whining
8. Pelosi whining
9. Bush (somehow screwed us again)
10. Cheney (somehow was in charge of Obama's losing effort)
11. God ( for having a say in America's life)
12. Carter (for starting the easy path to home ownership)
13. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ( which along with the Acorn folks brought you easy financing without qualification and shakedown schemes milking corporate CEOs for money for nothing)

Posted by: PRH | September 23, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The very people who share the blame for creating this fiasco on wall street are the same people in your government today. And a great deal of them are DEMOCRATS who have benefitted greatly from the campaign contributions of the Freddie Mac and the Fannie Mae people. The bill to derail this house of cards was not even allowed to the floor by the Democratically controlled politicans. Oblama, "yes O-Blame-a" was one of the ones who also voted against legislation that would have curtailed this mess years ago. As for his credentials, he spent three years in his position, the first year just trying to find his seat and the where the bathroom was, and the last two campaigning for something better. Anyone who can't see the irony in all of this is just selectively and politically blind.

Posted by: clearhead2008 | September 23, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

In response to sangjmoon:

From you descriptions of the past and current economic problems I can safely assume that you are in favor of further deregulation, less oversight, and a complete laissez-faire approach.

This has been the approach the government has taken for the past 20 some years (between bailouts), and it hasn't worked well. Even if we don't complete any bailouts, this 'hands-off' approach won't work.

Posted by: AnnapolisMD | September 23, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The market meltdown may have proved to be a game changing event for Obama, but the response from Republicans--and that includes McCain who wears the same suit as his Republican fellows--continues to be "we broke it, you fix it." Iraq? We broke it, you fix it." The economy? The healthcare system? Foreign policy? The Constitution? What the heck. Foul the nest and head for the golf course! I hope Obama has more than a few game changing moments to demonstrate his superiority in this fight with the dismal and disgraceful campaign of the very Republican John McCain.

Posted by: Lorell | September 23, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Guys and Gals

I own a house on Lake "but the fish died silly sewage issue" and I will not question Hank

Now remember JUST don't BLINK and the crisis will be over

DipStick/Lipstick Karl ROVE 08

Posted by: palindeniesdickcheneyisaliar | September 23, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You know, I love a good debate. Even when it is a Democrat talking politics with a Republican. It's enjoyable, as long as both are intelligent and use well thought out arguments. But then you get comments from people like PRH that make you wonder if there are any Republicans left out there with the ability to make such an argument. All I ever see from Repubs is hateful lies and slanderous accusations with nothing to back it up. If you want to tell us why your candidate is the better choice, then go for it. But when you start spouting the same lies that your party has been using (and called out on), then it just makes you look dumb.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm an Independant voter and a practical person who needs to quantify many of my decisions. Below, I have chosen those attributes which I would like to see in the next president and have graded each candidate in each of my Presidential attributes. I have limited these attributes to the top 10.

BO |JM | Attribute
-------------------
5 | 8 | Experience
4 | 9 | Judgement
6 | 8 | Character
2 | 8 | Demonstrated cross-party capabilities
4 |10 | Demonstrated service to our country
3 | 7 | Is for ALL the people
5 | 8 | Trustworthy
4 | 9 | Is a leader
2 | 9 | Has pride in our nation
4 | 9 | Will protect and serve ALL the people of this country
---------
39 |85 | John McCain the winner by a wide margin.

Posted by: btiffan | September 23, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

XANDER wants enjoyable debate with well thought out arguments. His liberal socialist crap is well thought out...since Marx.
McCain is the better choice because he is not a socialist liberal hack controlled by Soros, Gore et.al.
Not much left to debate, pal.

Posted by: prh | September 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

btiffan. I respect that you have broken it down into such a graph. It's nice to know that people are trying to make educated decisions. Although I would like to know your basis for these decisions, because quite a few of your numbers seem to be the opposite of what has been proven in the past 2 months.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This "bailout" is typical Republican/Bush mantra. After Sept. 11th 2001, the airlines were in much of same state that some of the banks/investment firms are now. What did Bush and the Republican ran Congress propose then: Write them a check! It is in our vital interests, he explained, that the air-traffic industry remain stable.

But, when it came to the mortgage crisis, Republicans/Bush made it extremely hard on ordinary citizens by passing laws over the past 8 years which make it hard on most to get out of the over bearing mortgage or declare bankruptcy. They (neo-cons) tried to tell us that people are sucking on the government tit and it was time to end it. Again, this government helped the "industries" by passing laws with little oversight and massive penalties against normal, everyday people -- in this case the vast majority had medical issues which prevented them from paying their bills.

Republicans are for businesses!
Democrats are for The People!

Enough is enough! Demand change -- vote Democrat!

Posted by: Mike / Asheville, NC | September 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

McCane

Experiance Deregulation Banking Scandals

Judgement Go to War Borrow the Money HUGE Tax Breaks for Wealthy teeny breaks MORE DEBT Keating FIVE FredyFNMA Lobbiest run campain

Cross Party - AMNESTY BILL Kennedy even some Dems question this one

Posted by: nerermind | September 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

PRH, and there in lies my argument. Your reply was one of the most idiotic things I have ever read. This is why it's so hard to take Republicans seriously, because they don't know how to debate. They are great at mud slinging, but debating...not so much.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I keep reading how good Obama is yet he associates with Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, his future Michelle LaVaughn Robinson worked with former terrorist Bernardine Dohrn the wife of former terrorist William Ayers both were leaders and founders of the Weathermen (a radical violent organization). Obama has proven he can lie even better than Bush and Rove.
He says that in 23 years he never heard his pastor (mentor) Jeremiah Wright make a racist comment was he asleep for those 23 years?
Emil Jones in talking to one of his friends spoke in reference to Obama saying "I am gonna make me a US Senator", he did this by putting Obama's name on numberous bills so it would show Obama having some experience and accomplishments.
Obama was close friends with Tony Rezko and insider of Chicago politics and a money man. The web of decepit is totally entangeling. If you feel this is all a lie then dont take my word for it the information is on the web its free, go search for it find the truth, dont you owe it to yourself and your children to know and vote for the lesser of two evils. McCain is not a saint but Obama is even worse.

Posted by: Jerry | September 23, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Jerry. Why do you have to copy what other people lie about? Every one of those instances have been proven to be incorrect, several times. Why is it that people keep repeating the same lies over and over even when proven wrong? I mean I've heard of emulating McCain and Palin, but this is rediculous. :P

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

In the primaries I was totally sold, I was for John McCain, what I didn't realize was that at that point he had not been challenged.

The new McCain of today a totally re-invented candidate that most of the times is hard to follow, contradictions are very common on his speeches, he also does not have the Charisma of a leader, he is often flat and monotone.

The thing that turned me off about MCCain was his viciousness attacks and lies and his eagerness to defend it.

I agreed with many here; what expertise in National Security does he have?
How is he better than Obama in National Security?
Is it only because he says so?
As a matter I found McCain to be erratic in most situations and he can actually change position on issues within hours and by the end of the day be back to his original position, all of that presents him in front of me, as someone that would say whatever w want to hear to get elected, in another words...a liar.

Posted by: Jesse | September 23, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

In regard to McCain's "drill here drill now" as part of his plan to be independent of foreign oil on the road to getting alternative clean energy - McCain is well aware that extending offshore drilling will lead to a stable production of an additional 100,000 barrels a day within 10 years - which would be approx 3% of the daily consumption today - and that is how much it would affect the oil prices! However what is not discussed is the major oil players who put in tens of billions to develop offshore fields - would they be willing to write off their investment to permit alternative fuels to take over? or would they hire some lobbyists to maintain the dependency on oil as the primary energy source?

Posted by: BadaGandu | September 23, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama sat on the committee for foreign relations and was chairman of the senate subcommittee on European affairs. Given his powerful talent for speaking, he has nothing to worry about in a debate with McCain.

Posted by: jwald1 | September 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Xander. You don't get it. It is not a debate. It is good vs evil, right vs wrong and the liberal democrats have been wrong and evil for 50+ years. Who said I was a republican? Doesn't matter as much as protecting our country from liberal socialist dogma, republican or democrat.

There is no debate that bailouts are wrong and evil. The bad loans should be sent back to the originators, subtracting the refund of all middleman bonus and profits.

Let the originator collect the loans. Some will go out of business....for being greedy and stupid.

The government can not run what they have now...how are you going to add more to their plate? We should be going to a flat tax, eliminating the IRS, and loopholes for anyone any time.

Streamline the cost of government and encourage development of natural resources. Drill here, drill now plus all the alternative sources beginning with the entire truck fleet in the US converting to natural gas within 2 years.

Debate that.

Posted by: PRH | September 23, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

BadaGandu. Another thing that they seem to be forgetting is that the reason why drilling (offshore or not) at this point is completely pointless is that our refineries are over capacity as it is. We can pump out as much oil as we like, but with our refineries working at maximum capacity it will just sit there. That's why it bothers me that they're even considering offshore drilling, because it won't help us in any way.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Zander show me where those items have been proven wrong show me your proof because i can show you mine.

Posted by: jerry | September 23, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

PRH, my last comment can be used towards your "drill here, drill now" quote. However, once again you are just making a pointless argument. Saying that "Democrats have been evil for 50+ years" isn't saying anything intelligent, it's just slander.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Jerry, I'd love to see your proof.

Posted by: Xander | September 23, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama believes that if we have the oil in our territory its far better to pay $120 per barrel to the muslim nations.

Obama must be right ?? lets not develop our oil resources its bad for our ecology.
Obama is right ?? we dont want a tax holiday.
Obama is right why would we want 17 cents per gallon off our fuel bill ??
Obama is right its bad for the government who taxes us and if Obama is elected he will most definately want even more than that 17 cents per gallon from your pockets

Obama is serious he is hoping you are blind enough to want CHANGE so badly that you will be foolish with your vote.

He is going to change the way business is done in Washington with Biden at his side.

No more insiders what a laugh.
Biden has been and insider longer than McCain.

If you see Obama's mouth move you know one thing he just lied, he is far better than Bush or Rove in that department.

Posted by: Jerry | September 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Zander apparently you didnt read the message I said show me the proof you have proving what I said is false if you cant do that then your are a typical liberal. All mouth no substance.

Posted by: Jerry | September 23, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The economy that was the boon during the Clinton years came as a result of Reagan economic policies. The current crisis in the housing market can be traced back to Clinton-era policies that forced mortgage institutions to grant "affordable housing" loans to people who could not afford them. This lead to the artificial real estate boon that is not deflated because of ARM loans that came to term and the record number of foreclosures as a result.

Posted by: Realitycheck | September 23, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Bush election team has taken over the McCain campaign, voters will never see Palin outside of a carefully stage-managed venue. The Bush people will control the images, the access, the talking points and the message. They're terrified of letting Palin free. Choosing Palin, McCain's first executive decision, was reckless, impulsive and desperate. Not the qualities we need in a President. Even George Will has decided that McCain can't be trusted in the White House.

Bush/McCain?? No More Years!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 23, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I would like to discuss Barack Obama's foreign policy experience.

Sorry, I forgot foreign policy is not in the job description for community organizer.

Posted by: jon | September 23, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA - Err, ummmmmm, uhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhhhhh, errrrrrrrrrr,ummmmmmmmmmm.

MODERATOR - Mr. Obama, do you need another twenty miuntes to fumble your way through your response?

Posted by: Obama - the left wing's puppet | September 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"If we're going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily."
-Barack Obama on Good Morning America

Posted by: cspolj | September 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama missed the game changing moment. Granted, he was very clever to use the caucus system to defeat a more qualified candidate in the primary. With that clever victory, it bacame apparent to everyone who Obama should pick for his running mate. But his ego overwelmed his judgement. He lacked the courage to make a choice for women in America. He lacked the courage to put this election solidly in the hands of democrats.

Posted by: where's hillary | September 23, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

We now know the next President is Barack Obama. If the campaign is a chance for the candidates to show us who they are, McCain has failed miserably.

He lies. That's not someone we want in the White House.

Posted by: Morton Redner | September 23, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Steve, you are obviously racist and ignorant. The raciest I am quoting from your assumption Obama is Islamic or that it would matter if he were. I understand the racism as you probably have a bad genetics yourself and heard the N word a lot from your father. But to want Nixon back, that's just ludicrous. You probably don't realize Nixon set up the HMO scheme with Mr. Permanente, and was responsible for the beginnings of this now completely f'ed up economy and healthcare system. Get your head out of your hind quarters and start paying attention. You know how to use a computer so you're at least slightly smarter than McCain I'd hate to see you waste it...

Posted by: NRARedNeck4Obama | September 23, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

What exactly makes John McCain a better commander-in-chief?

We all know he graduated 884th out of 889. Anyone graduating that low will have a desk job but because of family connections (Admiral's son), he got to fly. McCain never shot down any enemy planes. He was shot down not once but three times. Ironic truth is that had be been a better pilot, he would have avoided the POW experience and that fame which has been milked out of it.

I don't mean disrespect but to me he looks like a person with temper. Do we need a trigger happy hawk at the button? And don't get me ever started about Palin..

Posted by: Top Gun or Bottom Gun? | September 23, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not Zander, but I play one on TV. Jerry, let's look at your list:

BO |JM | Attribute
-------------------
5 | 8 | Experience

No problem here, but I'd give Obama a 6 or 7. I suppose it depends on your definition of "Experience".

4 | 9 | Judgement

You're joking, right? McCain's Judgement warrants a 9????? No, his choice of Palin alone makes this a 0 for him. Then there's his total blundering of his talking points on the economy last week. As for Obama, he makes reasoned, well-thought-out coherent decisions. This should be 9 - 0 Obama.

6 | 8 | Character

A year ago, I'd have agreed with this, but the McCain of today bears no resemblence to the McCain of a year ago. His decision to abandon his own principles and glom onto the Bush/Rove/Cheney school of electioneering drops this down to a 1. Obama, too, has made some missteps, so I can't argue with the 6.


2 | 8 | Demonstrated cross-party capabilities

Again, a year ago, I'd have no problem with the 8 here, but since he's now trying to pander to the theocratic right wingnuts, he's dropped to a 4. As for Obama, maybe you should educate yourself on some of his cross-party legislation. I'd give him a 5.

4 |10 | Demonstrated service to our country

OK, no problem here, but I hardly think this should be a major criterion.

3 | 7 | Is for ALL the people

Is McCain for "ALL the people"? Or is he for the rich? I'd say that his deregulation stance, his grasp of the "fundamentals" of our economy, his theocratic wingnuts' stance on gays and lesbians, and his total unwillingness to understand that the middle and lower classes matter warrant grading him a 2. Obama, for all the "elitist" mudslinging, represents the social and economic mainstream much more clearly, and deserves a 7.

5 | 8 | Trustworthy

Once again, a year ago, I'd agree. But the constant stream of false and misleading mudslinging the Rovians in his campaign have been doing downgrades him to a 1. No problem with Obama's 5.

4 | 9 | Is a leader

As opposed to....what? I'd have an easier time understanding this if he hadn't sided with the Republicans over 90% of the time...sounds like a follower to me. McCain, 5; Obama 5. They're virtually identical on this "issue".

2 | 9 | Has pride in our nation

I'm assuming your 2 for Obama is due solely (or at least primarily) to Rev. Wright. But have you any REAL proof that Obama isn't proud of the US? I'd contend that, despite the fact that this is a non-issue (and totally unproveable), they should both get 9s.

4 | 9 | Will protect and serve ALL the people of this country

Well, this sounds a lot like your sixth point above, so the same score should go here: 7-2 Obama (and I'm not sure why your score for this is different than the one above).

---------
39 |85 | John McCain the winner by a wide margin.

63 | 42 Looks like Obama's the best bet to me.

Posted by: Nacho Bidness | September 23, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

VOTE Obama-Biden08 I'm begging you!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 3:22 AM

Stop begging...it makes people hate you.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could vote for a democrat after reading the article below...you should have your head examined.


Our Nation is in an economic crisis over the mortgage meltdown; and, unless we own up to the historically documented cause factors, we may well be doomed to repeat this debacle with the coming election.
This crisis, purely and simply, was set-in-motion by the cheerleading of the Politically Correct Social Engineering that flourished under the Clinton Administration in the artificially inflated boom years of the 1990s.
In an effort to increase minority home ownership, the Clinton regime threw sound fiscal discipline under-the-bus; and, promulgated policies that forbid mortgage lenders from using common-sense criteria such as : income; ability to afford a reasonable down payment; and, credit history, as metrics in the evaluation of mortgage applications. The same congressional left-wingers who, with their insatiable appetite for social engineering, later vehemently rejected Bush Administration efforts in 2003 to re-implement sound regulatory practices, with the Congressional infamous Dead-On-Arrival mantra.
Charges of racism in mortgage lending practices flourished during this era; and, lending institutions led by the quasi-federal entities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, flamed by Congressional diatribe that had been massaged by enormous contributions and favorable loan rates to select politicians, were appointed to lead the charge to "create" and to "absorb" non-performing assets from such institutions as Country-Wide Financial. Assets which were, by sheer definition, fraudulent loans with no ability to repay; and, via the Quasi's were proliferated throughout our financial sector.
In brief, mortgage lenders were compelled to abandon fiscal discipline and "RISK" as guiding principles in mortgage creation. Policies that were obscured so long as housing values continued to escalate; but, when the bubble burst similar to the dot-com fever; and, housing values began to implode, the crisis was set in motion.
Two of the principal players in the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae calamities, Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines, are now leading the financial advisory cadre for Barack Obama, the second leading Senatorial recipient of lending institution largess. Interesting that it was Obama who recently led the charge to prohibit mortgage lenders from tightening their lending terms for low-income recipients. Think there's any possibility of a correlation here? Even a Democrat Congress couldn't swallow that proposal.
Of commendable note is the fact that John McCain was one of only three (3) co-sponsors of the 2005 Senate legislation (S 190) which if enacted could have short-circuited the current crisis confronting our financial sector.
And now Obama, with his innate Marxist/Socialist concepts, has focused his campaign on extravagant promises to find still other methods of transferring financial benefits to those whom he considers "disadvantaged". Clearly, the election of Obama, who has learned nothing from the these catastrophic events, when coupled with the Democrat's obstinate obstruction of America's efforts to develop our indigenous energy resources, would set in motion still other financial crises of unparalled proportions.
The "Rational Majority" in our electorate only has a brief few weeks to identify the true enemy in our midst; and, to relegate their Socialist diatribe to a barely audible level. Greg Neubeck


Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

My take on the timing of the horrific financial melt-down:
It was held until the week before Congress goes on hiatus. A week before the Jewish Holy Days start when most Jews are in temple or traveling to be with family or making brisket for a big dinner!
The "usual suspects" waited until the last minute and then said that this is a rush, must be done immediately, don't ask us why this happened and why the "gonifs" should not continue to be in charge on the trillion dollar bail out.

My take: see who benefits from this timing.
My conclusion: not the share holders, home owners nor anyone making less than five hundred thousand dollars a year.
This is "highway robbery" inside the beltway!

Posted by: Amcha | September 23, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You can put lipstick on a monkey, but it's still a dumb monkey.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Let the big Wall Street companies fail. It is the only way they will learn their lesson. If that means my standard of living must suffer, so be it. I am neither an irresponsible borrower or an irresponsible lender, and I DO NOT give permission for my tax money to be used to bail out fools.

Once the dust settles, maybe the world will be able to return to sanity.

Posted by: DCX2 | September 23, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

When the Twin Towers came down I will not lie, I wanted to nuke everybody. As history shows only one candidate was cool headed enough to know where our attention should have gone to.
Barack Obama has better judgement than John McCain and he is more reasonable in trying diplomacy first before committing our troops lives to blunderous wars.
I keep on hearing the Surge worked, the Surge was everything admit it! If so what on Earth did we win? Why are we still there? And why are there still suicide car bombs going off killing our troops?
Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the better and wiser choices for bringing our country
back to where it was Pre-Bush!

Posted by: Jim in NYC | September 23, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As with all of our country's service men and women, I have the utmost respect for them for putting their lives on the line to continue to give my country and me the freedoms I (we) have. I respect John McCain for his service and for staying in Hanoi. He was given the chance to be released but chose not to because he wanted to stay with the men he served with and I think that's extremely honorable. And here's the "but"--but I don't think that his honorable service should be used as a get-out-of-jail-free-for-life card from criticisms that are rightfully brought to him and his campaign. The man who once fought against smear campaigns (even for the Democrats--Kerry in '04) is running one right now. Like I said, I respect the service John McCain gave to our country. But I truly believe that not only is he a prisoner of war, he's a prisoner of the Republican party and failed policies. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the right choice for our hurting country.

Posted by: Jessie in Ohio | September 23, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Nobamanistas just don't realize what the real problem is with the financial markets. The "Groupies" are so taken with Nobama they have surrendered their ability to even reason. Here's a history lesson: First, when Bubba left office the US was slipping into a recession. Six years of subsequent Republican politics created 17 million jobs and unprecedented growth. Three years ago, over concern that Clinton's pet projects manned by his hand-picked stoolies (Freddie and Fannie) were going out of control, several Republicans, including McCain tried to introduce legislation to rein these two quasi-government entities in and to better control them. The Dems, Nobama and Dodd leading the way, didn't even allow the measures to hit the floor for a vote. Why, because they were getting huge campaign contributions from them. Other Republican measures were no more successful. So, for the first 6 years of Bush, things are trucking along well. Then, the Dems take over Congress. Two years later look what happens -- chaos. Despite the Dems sqawking, lying, blustering, cheating, prevaricating, fabricating voters registrations and other active forms of malfeasance, the Dems aren't looking too good. Neither is Nobama. OOPS!

Posted by: Richard Sharpe IV | September 23, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

We need a leader who's NOT proud of his country. We need a leader who's ashamed of it.

This country is in such a fantastic mess, and it's been in it for the past 20 or 30 years.

We're not going to get anything done by shouting "USA! USA! #1!!!" over and over again.

When you break stuff, you shouldn't be proud.

When you hurt innocent people (or in this case, kill them), you shouldn't be proud.

When you take charge of an organization and then proceed to run it completely into the ground, you shouldn't be proud.

If America is ever going to be fixed, it WON'T be by someone who's "proud" of his country - it'll be by someone who sees it for what it is, and understands the monumental sh**hole it's dug itself into.

Reality leads to prosperity. Burying your head a pile of red-white-and-blue sand leads to further degeneration.

Take your pick.

Posted by: common sense | September 23, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Even though the 1st debate is about foreign policy, the truth is we are living in an increasing interconnected world. The cost of the Iraq war (350 million+/day and counting) affects our and our children' pocketbooks. Ditto with bombing then rebuilding bridges in Baghdad, but ignoring a bridge in Minneapolis (remember?). Obama got to be holistic, firm, and ignore all the experience crap. Rumsfeld and Cheney have experience, look what kind of mess they leave behind?

Posted by: TaoZen | September 23, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

believe me folks mccain loves obama not for who he is but for his intelligence and you will find this out once this is all over.as far the debates i don't care what the topic is the young intellect will shine.it's a disgrace this race is as close as it is so they say.

Posted by: frank | September 23, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans finally are showing their true identity as socialists. The Republican system is set up to keep the profits for the rich, but to socialize the risk (the bail-out) among the middle-class and the poor.

Hey regular Americans--Bush and his crew will now be sending your taxes to the rich to bail them out of this banking crisis. And Republicans have been doing it for much longer via various "corporate welfare" schemes. Meanwhile, our bridges and levees have been collapsing.

Stop screaming about socialism, Republicans--you've been wallowing in it like pigs for a generation.

Go worship your rich people some more, if you must--but for God's sake, learn how to vote as patriotic Americans and stop giving all our prospects away to your false idols.

Posted by: WOBG | September 23, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

if john mc really love his country i mean really love his country he should walk away from this right now.i know he's thinking about this it's just he's getting bad advice.

Posted by: frank | September 23, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What is McCain foreign policy experience? I am trying to understand

Posted by: Met | September 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five

The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate

By Tom Fitzpatrick
Published on November 29, 1989

You're John McCain, a fallen hero who wanted to become president so desperately that you sold yourself to Charlie Keating, the wealthy con man who bears such an incredible resemblance to The Joker. Obviously, Keating thought you could make it to the White House, too.

He poured $112,000 into your political campaigns. He became your friend. He threw fund raisers in your honor. He even made a sweet shopping-center investment deal for your wife, Cindy. Your father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was cut in on the deal, too.

Nothing was too good for you. Why not? Keating saw you as a prime investment that would pay off in the future.

So he flew you and your family around the country in his private jets. Time after time, he put you up for serene, private vacations at his vast, palatial spa in the Bahamas. All of this was so grand. You were protected from what Thomas Hardy refers to as "the madding crowd." It was almost as though you were already staying at a presidential retreat.

Like the old song, that now seems "Long ago and far away."

Since Keating's collapse, you find yourself doing obscene things to save yourself from the Senate Ethics Committee's investigation. As a matter of course, you engage in backbiting behavior that will turn you into an outcast in the Senate if you do survive.

They say that if you put five lobsters into a pot and give them a chance to escape, none will be able to do so before you light the fire. Each time a lobster tries to climb over the top, his fellow lobsters will pull him back down. It is the way of lobsters and threatened United States senators.

And, of course, that's the way it is with the Keating Five. You are all battling to save your own hides. So you, McCain, leak to reporters about who did Keating's bidding in pressuring federal regulators to change the rules for Lincoln Savings and Loan.

When the reporters fail to print your tips quickly enough--as in the case of your tip on Michigan Senator Donald Riegle--you call them back and remind them how important it is to get that information in the newspapers.

The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate. The outcome will be decided, not in a courtroom, but probably on national television.

Those who survive will be the sociopaths who can tell a lie with the most sincere, straight face. You are especially adept at this.

Last Friday night, on The John McLaughlin Show, which features well-known Washington journalists, the subject of the Keating Five was discussed. Panelist Jack Germond suggested that three of the Keating Five were probably already through in politics.

So you spend your days desperately trying to make sure you will be one of the survivors. You keep volunteering to go on radio and television stations to protest your innocence. Last week you made ABC's Nightline.

Not long before that you somehow managed to get James Kilpatrick, the national columnist, to write a favorable paragraph about you. Last Sunday morning, you made it to national television again; this time on ABC's This Week With David Brinkley. You smiled at the panel with your usual studied insouciance. Sitting next to you was Senator John Glenn of Ohio.

Brinkley, Sam Donaldson, and George Will were the interrogators.
It was a sobering scene. There you sat with Glenn, both sweating before the cameras, waiting to answer questions: two badly tarnished American icons.

No one forgets that Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. You won't let anyone forget that you were a prisoner of war. But you have played that tune too long. By now your constant reminders about your war record make you seem like a modern version of Arthur Miller's tragic failure Willy Loman.

Clearly, both you and Glenn sold your fame for Charles Keating's money.

It was a Faustian bargain. It was also a bad joke on the rest of us and a disaster for many old people who lost their life's savings to Keating.

The money was never really Keating's to give. But he never would have got his hands on it if you and the rest of the Keating Five didn't halt the government takeover for two long years while Keating's people continued their looting.

And now, the tab for the Savings and Loan heist must be paid from taxpayer pockets.

On Sunday, Senators Dennis DeConcini, Alan Cranston, and Riegle refused offers to appear on the Brinkley show. What must we make of that?

You, the closest of them to Keating and the deepest in his debt, have chosen the path of the hard sell. You may even make it out of the pot, but to many, your protestations of innocence taste like gall.

You are determined to bluff your way. You will stick to your story that you were acting to help a constituent and intended to do nothing improper. The very fact you attended the meeting makes you guilty, just as every man who entered the Brinks vault went to prison.

Posted by: KEATING FIVE -- GET TO KNOW ABOUT IT NOW | September 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The financial meltdown is a result of the flawed American ideology of 'everybody is equal". Everthing is considered to be a a 'right' in this country, including home ownership. Lending money to poor people with bad credit is utter stupidity only the liberals are capable of doing in the name of fairness. They live in dreams, not reality because they don't understand human nature, which hasn't changed for two thousand years. Can't imagine what America will become if they have their way with everything to run this country.

Posted by: KC | September 23, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Over the years I haven't seen anything McCain has said or done that exhibits foreign policy expertise. Sure, his push for the surge lucked out, but he was one of the strongest advocates for this misguided war in the first place. His reaction to the Georgia/Russia conflict was rash and impulsive. I have NEVER seen any example of diplomacy from the man. He is a war monger that needs to be kept out of foreign affairs for the sake and safety of this country.

Posted by: Andrew | September 23, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

i personally would not give them or anyone a dime.they would have suffer from their stupidity.this would be my example for anyone to look at for whats next in line.i feel sorry for no one.read it and weep my words to all of them is i love you but,pack your bags.

Posted by: frank | September 23, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are full of vindictive attacks because they cannot truly defend their candidate, Barack Hussein Obama. Obama has NO LEADERSHIP experience, no executive experience inside or outside of government, and no accomplishments as a Senator.

Barack Hussein Obama will lose, because independent voters do not trust him... nor should they!

Posted by: Independent Voter | September 23, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

A sea change as citizens see their savings disappear.

nader paul kucinich gravel
Open the damn debates!
mckinney ventura
perot charts
RATM

Posted by: Ron Ralph | September 23, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I love John McCain on Letterman and Leno. He's self-deprecating, warm, and funny. We'll all be better off the sooner he can return to those venues without the pressure of running for office, which has clearly distorted him. And while his fairly quick wit might help him in the upcoming debates, I join those many people who have to say that McCain hasn't demonstrated any great insight in foreign affairs at all. And the economy? If he has to talk about ideas, not make quick quips, he's justifiably going to be on the losing side.

Caldwell Young

Posted by: Caldwell Young | September 23, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

To anonymous, who posted an article and claimed that anyone who read the article and still voted Democrat should have their heads examined.

Anyone with a smidgen of awareness who has lived through the last eight years of Bush (and six of eight with Bush and a Republican controlled congress) and still voted Republican doesn't need their head examined. They are either insane, irretrievably stupid, or rich. Being none of the above, I'd vote for Barney the Dinosaur before subjecting the American people to another 4 years of the last 8 years.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey... John McCain has an advantage in the Foreign Policy debate -- his VP has been in New York ALL DAY today making up for 30 years' diplomatic experience! Check out this hilarious video if you feel like taking a break from the head banging you must be doing if you're trying to make sense of this week:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nb8Y9ojenM

Posted by: Did I mention I'm a LIAR??? | September 23, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This just in:

McCain did not at all intend to insult the leader of Spain and fire the head of the FEC.

Not at all. Instead he meant to *insult* the head of the SEC and fire the leader of Spain.

Posted by: SonOfHistoryProf | September 23, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of McCain having a substantive debate on foreign policy? All he wants to talk about is the surge!!

Posted by: Jennifer | September 23, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Check out his rise to glory below:

Obama 1996 - 2000
Senator Obama: promoted to Senior Lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. Elected to the Illinois Senate. Sponsored more than 800 bills. In 2000, lost a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.

What mattered was that, beginning on Jan. 2, 1996, his campaigners began challenging thousands of petition signatures the other candidates in the race had submitted in order to appear on the ballot. Thus Mr. Obama would win his state Senate seat, months before a single vote was cast. Note that when he finished he was the ONLY democrat on the ballot. Republican candidate had to step aside for political reasons.

The 800 bills he ALLEDGEDLY sponsored were actually submitted by other democrats and all OBAMA did was date and stamp. He voted present 130 times on bills that would require him to step out of the box. Gained a reputation that the ‘then’ governor would make him a United States Senator.

2001 - 2004
Obama: reelected in 2002 and became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee.
Initially the committee was looking at Health Care for all residents of Illinois. After accepting funding from insurance lobbyists he insured that universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy, Basically learned how to again use his power to benefit himself at the expense of doing what was right for the residents of Illinois.

Publicly spoke out against the invasion of Iraq BEFORE the congressional authorization in 2002, and then again before the actual invasion in 2003. This was a given speech that sounded great but was actually a speech that was critical of the war BECAUSE it was distracting from the real issue regarding the black community in the United States. (Note he was given ORDERS by one of his Wealthy Supporters in Chicago to SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE WAR. Being a good Chicago Politiocian, he naturally followed the orders and took credit for speaking out.. but not on his own.)

Wrote and delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
The Black Elite in the DNC decided along with the good ole boys… that to put a Democrat President in the White House in 2008 that they needed to attract the black vote… and that a Black Harvard Lawyer named Obama was the one that they needed. He was seen as an upcoming star because he won the Illinois US Senate Seat. (See the real facts of how he won by such a large number.) No one knew the Republican Candidate)

November 2004: elected to the US Senate, receiving over 3.5 million votes, more than 70% of total.

Now this is an interesting election even by Chicago standards. Seems that the front runner (Hull) mysteriously become involved in a domestic abuse trial and withdrew his name from the race. (Sounds like the Chicago Political Machine may have dropped a dime on Blair.) So Obama had a cake walk to get the democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate Seat. (Reminds me of how he won his State Senate seat by having his legal team disqualify his opponent’s signature petitions. At the same time Jack Ryan won the Republican Nomination, but announced his withdrawal from the race — four days after the Chicago Tribune succeeded in persuading a California court to release previously-sealed child custody records containing embarrassing allegations by Ryan's ex-wife. Now how is that for being one LUCKY politician. Obama walked into the US Senate Seat, when the Republicans brought in the little known Keyes to run as a Republican. Now it looks like the Chicago Political Machine along with Ayers, Jackson, Rezko Wright and the rich and wealthy Black community in Chicago loaded the deck in Obama’s favor.

Also note that for a 'white middle-class individual to be considered for entrance into Harvard' they would have to be number one in their High School class. Be the top student at Occidental just to get into COLUMBIA, and the odds of them getting into HARVARD LAW school ARE SO GREAT.. they probably would win the lottery first.

Yet Obama has us believe (on FAITH) that he performed so brilliantly that he (had a 'B' average in High School) performed so brilliantly at Occidental, that he got into Columbia, and that he EARNED a slot into Harvard Law School. Then he and HARVARD expect us to believe that he PERFORMED SO BRILLIANTLY ACADEMICALLY that he EARNED his right to be EDITOR of THE HARVARD LAW REVIEW. (Now I challenge the Obama Campaign and any supporter to valid that he was the BEST CANDIDATE excluding the fact that he was BLACK instead of BI-RACIAL.)

Amazing that there are no thesis papers, no legal briefs, no academic records, no scholarships received, no national test scores, no IQ scores, no legal briefs from his teaching in Chicago, or ANY LEGAL writings that was required of Editors of the Review... UNTIL Obama was selected.
I suspect that he received 'special' grants, scholarships, academic treatment not because he was brilliant... but because of the fact that these institutions... needed to promote black scholars at the expense of better qualified female, and white male candidates. ( I would hope that somewhere, someplace there would be documentation that would prove me wrong. )

And the amazing thing is... the MSM does not question any of this.

Shame on the MSM and shame on the Obama Supporters that BELIEVE in his Lies.

Remember he is spending over 600 million of YOUR dollars to BUY each and every American Vote that he recieves. Amazing to think that you are being BOUGHT and selling out OUR Country to the RICH AND POWERFUL.

Posted by: Bob Miller | September 23, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I love the White race more than any other race on earth. That doesn't make me a racist, it just means I prefer my own race. So I will vote for a white man before I vote black, simply because I believe in the whites capabilities more than I do blacks. Democrats call that racism, oh well. For the most part blacks are more arrogant, and whites republicans tend to be more rational and humble.
When you get a bunch of blacks together listening to their music they start acting like a bunch of uneducated street punks, feeding on each others arrogance and stupidity. It makes most people sick...except the wanna be's. They are just as bad and don't count as white people anyway. Kind of like the democrats.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Look at all the other races that have come to this country with nothing but a desire to learn, work hard, and provide for their families. Indians, Chinese, Japanese, and many others have left the blacks in the dust. The blacks are pissed off that others have been able to come over here with nothing and become successfull. It really does make them look bad. Do you think it's racism? hell no it isn't...but the dems want to make everybody think it is. These other races don't go walking around holding their dicks and speaking what ammounts to be their own version of english. No these people humbled up and quietly found thier place in society...rather than running around shooting off their mouths. If the other races acted like that...I can assure you they would have had a much harder time making it in America. Plus they didn't try to make everybody feel quilty for the past and feel like we owe them something. Bottom line...we don't owe you Sh-t!!
You have to earn it....peroid.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous:
I'm not certain if your last posts are relevent to this thread. Perhaps you are attempting humor or incitement?

Posted by: rmpatera | September 24, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama can win the debate on Friday if he talks about how judgment matters more than experience, since the latter is only valuable if it produces good judgment.

Obama has shown the better foreign policy judgment. He was against the war in Iraq; McCain is for it. Obama is for a timetable to withdraw from Iraq; McCain calls that surrender even though both the Iraqi and the American people want us to withdraw. Obama said we should talk to Iran about its nuclear program; McCain said we shouldn't. Even Bush has come around to Obama's point of view.

Lastly, foreign policy and our economy are linked. Our strength and influence in the world is affected by our need for foreign oil and our dependence on foreign countries to carry our debt. Obama calls for an energy policy based on alternative fuels that will make us independent of foreign oil. McCain has said Palin will lead our energy policy if he is elected. Like Bush, she comes from an oil state. The head of McCain's transition team is an oil lobbyist. What do these two things say about our future dependence on oil?

Obama wants to lower taxes on the middle class while raise taxes on the wealthy to reduce our deficit spending. McCain wants to preseve tax cuts for the wealthy and lower taxes for corporations. It has been estimated that McCain's policies will add $3 trillion to the deficit. This means we'll have to borrow more money abroad and lessens our influence in negotiating trade agreements, etc. After all, when you owe someone a lot of money, that person has a lot of leverage over you because s/he can simply threaten to cut you off and call in the loan.

So Obama should point out how McCain's policies are wrong and will actually weaken us.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

An 'expert' in foreign affairs doesn't confuse Mexico and Spain, Sunnis and Shiites, the President of Germany with the President of Russia, the old state of Czechoslovakia with the new state of Czech Republic, and so on and so on. McCain has years of 'experience' in the senate, and he still can't get it right. How scary is that?

Posted by: Katharine | September 24, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain is pathetic, thats why he won't win. Obama extends an olive branch to issue a joint statement this morning. Instead, McCain this afternoon comes up with this mess about putting his campaign on hold. He meets a week later with his economic advisers this morning and the best they could do is to tell him suspend his compaign and go to washington, dc.

Posted by: McCain is pathetic | September 24, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Hold on a second while I pull this big black dildo out of my rectum. Oh, wait that's just Obama.

McCain/Palin 08

Posted by: McCain is pathetic | September 25, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

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