04 October 2012

Things to miss

I skipped (most of) the debate. I had a lot of reasons. First, I really don't care very much about domestic policy debates between Presidents. Some amount of agenda setting is useful, but I doubt very much that the various positions between these two add up to substantially distinct agendas worth listening to them debate. Since I missed it, I read up on it instead. These were good ones from the live-blogging/tweet world.

"Continue to burn clean coal." I would like America also to continue to use cold fusion."
In general, people who proclaim a desire for "energy independence" are as reliable to do so and just as reliable to fail to realize that desire. While I think coal is going to be around for a while yet, I don't think we should kid ourselves that the technology is very clean and sound environmentally. In any case, while coal is a big issue in Ohio/WVa/PA, it seems like a dead issue with all the natural gas and fracking coming online instead. 

"Romney argues it's immoral to pass the burden of debt to younger generations. He says he'll cut any programme it's not worth borrowing money from China to pay for. I'm afraid unfunding Big Bird and Jim Lehrer is not going to help much."

The pleasant fiction that cutting things can be accomplished without changing entitlements, keeping taxes low, leaving most loopholes intact, and raising military spending, is persistent. But somebody needs to call bullshit on it. Maybe there's an argument for cutting PBS or foreign aid or art, or whatever, but those are small potatoes that don't impress me when someone says they'll cut it. Romney wasn't even willing to cut Education funding. That's a much larger chunk of change. 

"I suppose the deduction for corporate jets ought to depend on whether they have windows that open." - That joke is going to get a lot of mileage it seems. "Not giving subsidies to Exxon: Good. Corporate jet tax: meaningless. Not giving tax breaks to ship jobs overseas: worse than meaningless." - I'm not sure what, if any, substance comes up in these debates usually. I seem to recall they offered something once in a while. I don't think the "borrowing money from China" or "sending jobs to China" lines are true, relate to anything either would do in office, but they persist because the public believes it seems that China bashing is more fun than taking responsibility for their own failings. 

"He has proposed a tax plan that would inevitably add to the deficit, but claimed he would never pass a tax plan that would add to the deficit. He says he wouldn't bring down the deficit by raising revenue, but attacks Obama for not supporting a plan that would bring down the deficit by raising revenue. And it all sounds rather convincing." - This was vintage Romney. The amusing (or perhaps disturbing, depending on your perspective) part of the debates seems to have been that Obama wasn't calling these bluffs on things like Medicare, defence spending, tax cuts, etc. 

"I'm not sure if I'm learning anything from this debate, but I expect to learn a lot from the fact-checks that will inevitably follow." - Pretty much. Some of the fact-checks preceded it even. 

Since I had already decided who I would vote for, and it wasn't either of those jokers. 
I have the following wonders
1) In baseball, someone (Cabrera) won the Triple Crown for the first time in 45 years. This doesn't appear to be a big deal (it also wasn't his best season, so maybe that's the issue). Given that baseball is actually making quite a lot of money still and therefore must have fans somewhere, I'm not sure why this is. Because he was playing in Detroit? Because he's Latino? Because he was a fairly predictable case to win a TC (Pujols being another)? 
2) I'm still undecided on whether Homeland is a pro-war-on-terror show or anti. It's hard to tell. 
3) The movie Looper was incredibly predictable. It did not meet my expectations but was possibly a decent film anyway. 

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