Democratic Debate Thread: The Naumachia in Nevada

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It's the first three-way Democratic debate, the first since Barack Obama made Hillary Clinton tear up (even if it took a few days) and the first with genuine drama about the inclusion of Dennis Kucinich.

I doubt I can liveblog in between watching Michigan voters storm the polls for a surprise Duncan Hunter landslide God bless early network projections! You can document the horrors in this thread.

9:05: I'm sorry, Clinton's super-convincing praise for her opponents has floored me. "Senator Obama who has, ah, such a profound, ah, story to tell the world."

9:08: This is unbearable. Will anyone give Edwards the Mitt treatment for saying he "saw young men sit at a lunch counter" to integrate the South?

9:14: An avalanche of Clinton fibbing just now. She's asked about Robert Johnson's comment that Obama was "doing something" (drugs!) while Clinton was personally integrating schools with a crowbar and a pair of nunchucks. "I take him at his word." Russert asks if he was out of bounds: "Yes, and he said so." But he didn't! He said the charge he was talking about drugs was "irresponsible and incorrect."

9:20: Apparently, the biggest issue in Nevada is whether Clinton regrets what Edwards regrets he regretfully said about Obama's regrets.

9:22: This is a high-def root canal: The questions are all about campaign attacks, and the candidates are pathetically trying to shift the conversation to policy. Clinton's asked about her Obama attacks: "What are the consequences of that in the fall against a Republican candidate?" How the hell would she know?

9:29: Richard Cohen e-mailed Brian Williams about Obama's secret Islamofascism, so Obama gets what I think is the first attempt to address e-mail smears about him. As long as we're being superficial, let's analyze this superficially: He sounded sort of weak. There was a thimbleful of outrage and a lot of Dukakisian returning to talking points.

9:35: THESE ARE RACE-BASED COMMERCIALS!

9:44: They're in Nevada and they're talking about energy and no one's talking about nuclear. But Obama talked about the sun! Hey, everybody likes the sun.

UPDATE: I ended up doing some other work, but I was struck by Obama's answer on the Latino vote: "They voted for me in Illinois." That was true when he faced Alan Keyes in the general election, but in the primary he had to face Gery Chico, a lawyer and school board president who eventually came in fifth place. Chico only got 4.4 percent of the vote and almost all of it was from Chicago Latinos. Obama won 90 percent of black voters and a 37 percent plurality of whites, but he only split the Latino vote with Chico and machine (white) Democrat Dan Hynes.

NEXT: Michigan Primary Thread

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  1. Oh Dave Weigel, why did you pick the early death from overwork beat?

  2. Will Mr. Uncommited be allowed in the debate? He seems to be doing well in Michigan.

  3. Whatever Weigel is getting paid to watch this debate, it isn’t enough.

  4. Rudy must support the airing of this debate at Guantanamo, jesus christ.

  5. When do they stop circlejerking and actually debate policy?

  6. This is agonizing.

    Hillary, what do you think about what Edwards said about what Obama said about what you said about what Obama said about what you said, and what does that tell us about you as a person?

  7. These are race based questions!

  8. Live streaming for you deprived middle class americans without TVs mms://msnbc.wm.llnwd.net/msnbc_1_live_8824

  9. Change Vision Leadership blahblah blah

  10. John Edwards says he’s been fighting for 54 years.

    I guess his infancy and childhood were pretty adversarial…

  11. Rudy must support the airing of this debate at Guantanamo, jesus christ.

    I support airing it TWICE as part of my “Double Gitmo” policy.

  12. NBC News and MSNBC are more obsessed than any other news outlet about the ‘horserace’ aspect of the campaign, rather than, you know, stuff that actually matters. This debate has been going on for 30 minutes as of right now, and they haven’t gotten close to a policy or current event question.

  13. A Teddy Ruxpin in a donkey tshirt would have about as much policy to discuss while still appealing to the same emotions.

  14. I only caught a portion of this thing, but did someone in the audience call Russert a douche? It sounded like a ruckus was going on..

  15. Did Hillary say that she has been hearing voices for 35 years?

  16. 9:22: This is a high-def root canal: The questions are all about campaign attacks, and the candidates are pathetically trying to shift the conversation to policy.

    In one of the earlier debates, Clinton and Obama managed to shift from fighting to discussing the difference in their health care plans, but don’t worry! Wold Blitzer was sure to interrupt and ask, “Senator Edwards, what do you think about what Hillary said about what Barack said about what Hillary said?”

    Bastards. Then the analysts had the nerve to tut-tut after the debate about how negative it was.

  17. Edwards says corporate profits are going up

    guess he didn’t read Bloomberg today.

  18. Yes, it was Mr Fake Tan’s (Angelo Mozillo) fault that subprime borrowers can’t afford their mortgage…

  19. So a Democratic debate involves each candidate promising to do everything the other candidates do, only they do it better/faster/for-the-childrener.

  20. Why are the Democrat Party candidates opposed to affordable housing?

  21. Sure, nothing like mortgage providers going belly-up to help poor people get into housing.

  22. Yes, it was all of those CEOs buying condos in Vegas who created the housing bubble!

  23. Prime conventional mortgage rates are as low as they’ve been for 3 years

  24. Why do Democrats want to bail out big business mortgage corporations?

  25. Green collared workers?

  26. Holy fuck, its the New Deal all over again.

  27. joe,

    Supply and demand. More houses for sale=lower price=affordable housing.

  28. Bingo,

    In all fairness, a Romney-McCain-Huckabee debate would be as bad or worse. The larger field of Repub candidates makes it harder to get into these stupid love triangle discussions. Also, it seems to me at least like there’s not nearly as much in the way of policy differences among Hillary Obamwards as there are among the top 6 GOPers.

  29. Prime conventional mortgage rates are as low as they’ve been for 3 years

    Here’s hoping they stay there. C’mon, you learn about the price rising when supply drops on the first day of Ekon 101.

    Why do Democrats want to bail out big business mortgage corporations? Why do people want to bail sewage out of their basements? They don’t, they do it when some idiot is allowed to shove stuff down the toilet, nobody stops him, and the whole system backs up.

  30. SIV,

    There aren’t a whole lotta poor people who can buy even a cheap house in cash. Supply and demand applies to mortgages, too.

  31. Hey joe,

    It sure looks to me like the Dems are bailing out financially retarded people and allowing them to afford homes that they would otherwise not be able to afford. It also looks like they are bailing out corporations that foolishly granted loans to people that couldn’t afford to pay them.

    Both of these groups deserve whats coming to them because they are idiots. If you want to stop people from buying “McMansions” and huge unnecessary SUVs, why would you help them pay it off? Why would you save a financial institution from having to take a MASSIVE loss on a piece of foreclosed property?

    Guess who gets screwed in all of this? People like me that live within our means and otherwise would be able to afford a home if the market took a massive dive. So fuck propping up the housing bubble with bailouts.

  32. Ad during Democrat debate:

    “Always use payday loans responsibly”

  33. Hey everyone:

    It would be much appreciated if you could visit my new blog:
    http://www.slickblog.wordpress.com

    I am trying to lift it off the ground so it would be appreciated if you could comment, thank you.

  34. What is a rotsee program? I thought it was R-O-T-C?

  35. Your blog sucks donkey balls, Slickleb. If you want me to put that comment on your blog, let me know.

  36. I can’t believe someone is actually watching it. You are a brave, selfless man, Dave.

  37. Bingo,

    If you want to stop people from buying “McMansions” and huge unnecessary SUVs, why would you help them pay it off?

    Because a housing and credit collapse would throw the economy into a deep and long recession, accompanied by the wonderful 6+% annual inflation rate that was announced today, and people like us who live within our means would end up fucked anyway.

    And you have an awful lot of nerve judging people you’ve never met because they aren’t as financially savvy as you imagine yourself to be. But then, you can tell when someone’s an idiot just by the fact that something bad is happening to them, can’t you?

  38. “An avalanche of Clinton fibbing just now. She’s asked about Robert Johnson’s comment that Obama was ‘doing something’ (drugs!) while Clinton was personally integrating schools with a crowbar and a pair of nunchucks. ‘I take him at his word.’ Russert asks if he was out of bounds: ‘Yes, and he said so.’ But he didn’t! He said the charge he was talking about drugs was ‘irresponsible and incorrect.'”

    Sounds downright Paul-ish. If she supported racial discrimination, the parallels would be complete. But of course she doesn’t support racial discrimination, unless of course you count affirmative action.

  39. John Edwards love French medical care, but hates their nuclear power plants.

  40. Obama: Markets work (for electricity)! Markets don’t work (healthcare)!

  41. John Edwards needs a zipper on his mouth.

  42. Oh, wow. So the problem is so gigantic that no number of nuclear power plants would ever solve it, so instead we are going to attach some sort of mythical carbon sequestering device to every pollution emitting plant in America? Yeah, that sounds easy.

  43. Of course, it would have been better if there had been some fucking STANDARDS in place before these scumbag mortage companies starting giving out doomed loans and passing the risk off to everyone with a 401k, but HEAVEN FUCKING FORBID that anyone interfere with the glorious fucking free market is shit-mortgage-backed derivatives! No, that would have been like the fucking Holocaust if mortgage companies weren’t allowed to fuck every poxy whore on the street with someone else’s dick! Oh, thank fucking GOD that didn’t happen, because then we might have had to live with the horror of the fucking ECONOMY GROWING FOR A FEW MORE YEARS, and the financial geniuses who decided that they didn’t need fucking income verification because they were going to get paid and say C’YA before the shitty loans fell through might have had to get fucking cloth seats in their fucking 700 series! Oh, thank you so very fucking much, Republicans, for not interfering with any of that! Hey, Greenspan, thank you so very fucking much for talking up ARMs during a FUCKING HOUSING BUBBLE!

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wipe my ass with my wife’s Fidelity statement. You fucks.

  44. Were you about to say something, Bingo?

  45. That’s not the real joe, it’s someone posting under his name.

    The real joe is more cultured, and his insults are more creative.

  46. BlackBrown issues?

  47. joe, you been hangin’ with the D O N D E R O ?

  48. Yes, Joe, it’s Republicans’ fault that you bought a crappy mutual fund.

  49. You know what helps poor people get housing, SIV?

    FUCKING JOB GROWTH! Good luck with that while the credit-based housing bubble works its way through the system.

  50. BlackBrown debate?

  51. It was a perfectly good mutual fund before this completely unforeseen debacle.

  52. It takes a village…

  53. The answer to fixing dropout rates is to create more government high schools?

  54. Hillary is against illegal guns

  55. HOLY SHIT!
    Did John Edwards really just say that we “need to go earlier than” 4 years old!?
    Nutrition!?
    WACK!

  56. Hillary believes in States’ Rights!

  57. Police can’t trace guns because of the NRA?

  58. AK-47s have been illegal since the 1930s

  59. what’s up with joe? is he drunking teh vodak? underwater on a house? both?

  60. Past performance is no guaranty of future results
    I believe it is on the flap of the envelope in stuff you get from Fidelity Joe

  61. Either joe has Tourette’s syndrome, or there’s someone else in the world named Joe. I’m undecided between the two.

  62. I wish I could tax John Edwards to death, then use the money to get his hair. John Edwards has really nice hair. Hilarious, Brian Williams just slipped.

  63. You know what’s a pretty good guarantee of future results?

    A FUCKING RECESSION COMBINED WITH A NATION-WIDE CREDIT SHORTAGE!!!

    That will guarantee your future results. Bet on it.

  64. Wait, who invited Rudy to the Dem debate?

  65. I’m sorry, but people who don’t give a shit about poor people, pretending to give a shit about poor people, so they can argue a position that would screw over poor people, really piss me off.

  66. I agree with you Joe, but you have to admit, Edwards has some awesome hair.

  67. They’re in Nevada and they’re talking about energy and no one’s talking about nuclear.

    Nuclear is kind of a sore subject with Nevadans, what with the plan to dump all that nuclear waste there. Plus, you know, they’re surrounded by places that produce coal and hydro and oil, so who needs nuclear?

  68. OK, that confirms it. Tourette’s syndrome it is.

  69. I believe the currect spelling is “nukuler”

  70. Joe

    “It was a perfectly good mutual fund before this completely unforeseen debacle”

    Well…I foresaw it, and I’m a dumbass.

  71. joe, re: your 10:32 post, will you quit being so mealy-mouthed and say how you really feel? 😉

    Drinking a bit?

  72. Yeah, I did, too. That was sarcastic.

    Everybody with a brain in their head could see where this was going.

    Just not the Republicans.

  73. Joe

    “just not the Republicans”

    Hey everybody, only Republicans are losing their homes. Joe shorted Countrywide and made a shitpile of dough. That greedy fucker.

  74. drinky joe

    t would have been better if there had been some fucking STANDARDS in place before these scumbag mortage companies starting giving out doomed loans and passing the risk off to everyone with a 401k

    what regulations were repealed that let this happen? there was about a millenia of successful mortgage and other lending before this 25 year credit boom that, you know, lets you crow that Clinton was the best economic preznit EVAR. And, were these regulations that let the *fucking fuckity fucky* “FREE MARKET” run wild all over poor people simultaneously repealed in the UK, Canada, Spain, Greece, and Australia? I forgot a few sovereign nations there, so go ahead and fill them in for me, sweetie.

    income inequality was at a peak in 1929. funny, there was a dumbshit speculative boom at that time too. it might have been partially fueled by the fed, say a zillion economists. So, you’re about to get greater income parity and a new CCC, if history is any guide. Be glad, valiant pwoggle intarweb warrior! victory is at hand!

  75. “Yeah, I did, too.”

    Why didn’t you sell your mutual fund, then?


  76. A FUCKING RECESSION COMBINED WITH A NATION-WIDE CREDIT SHORTAGE!!!

    Go short if you think the market keeps tanking.
    If you are right you can afford the newly affordable housing.

    I used to work with a guy in the mid 90s who, every payday, would go buy a really ugly %80 gold coin with a picture of some Royal kraut dude in a military uniform and put it in a safe deposit box. The coin dealers sold them for spot price of the gold content plus a couple of per cent.
    His horde must be worth plenty now, but the real kicker is the “tax savings” on that investment.

  77. Ummm, joe, the small percentage of loans going sour was caused by the Fed issuing inflationary interest rates that didn’t reflect market demand, and by individuals buying overpriced houses they couldn’t afford because they weren’t exercising due caution. How exactly do you think Republican congressmembers should have preemptively intervening in the marketplace to stop this, again? Please include the unintended bad consequences of said tinkering in your analysis.

    Unless you’re advocating forcing the Fed to stick to a no-inflation policy, which I would heartily approve of.

    Saying RETHUGLICANS SUX LOLCATZ without explaining the alternative doesn’t really advance the conversation.

  78. von laue wins the thread.

  79. P.S. I’ve got all my stocks invested in low fee index funds that reflect the entire market. Trying to outsmart the market is for suckers, unless you actually work on Wall Street and have access to really timely information (that stops short of insider trading, natch).

    Please don’t whine about getting beat up because you were overexposed to a tiny market segment, trying to chase higher returns. It’s unseemly. Gentlemen don’t do it.

  80. John Edwards says he’s been fighting for 54 years… I guess his infancy and childhood were pretty adversarial…

    C’mon. If you saw John Edwards, even as a five year old, wouldn’t you want to punch him in the face?

  81. I used to work with a guy in the mid 90s who, every payday, would go buy a really ugly %80 gold coin with a picture of some Royal kraut dude in a military uniform and put it in a safe deposit box. The coin dealers sold them for spot price of the gold content plus a couple of per cent.
    His horde must be worth plenty now, but the real kicker is the “tax savings” on that investment.

    I bet your friend wishes he invested in the stock market:
    According to http://www.usagold.com/reference/prices/1991.html
    Price of Gold Dec. 27, 1991 : $353
    Current Price (approx.): $900
    Profit (with special tax savings) $547

    According to Yahoo Finance:
    Value of S&P 500 in Dec 1991: $417
    Current Price: $1380
    Profit: $963
    Assume Capital gains tax of 15%, profit: $818

  82. from teh wikipedia (yeah, I know)

    As of 2007, real estate bubbles have existed in the recent past or are widely believed to still exist in many parts of the world, especially in the United States, Britain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Poland, South Africa, Israel, Greece, Canada, Norway, Singapore, South Korea , Sweden, Baltic states, India, Romania, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine and China.

    maybe it was a speculative bubble boosted by all of the central banks? sure, republicans suck donkey balls. I’m perfectly happy to pin lots of this shit on Bush and Greenspan and the goddamned “ownership society”.

    However, I’m not sure how Republicans caused a housing bubble in fucking Norway. Of course I went to Minnesota and not GW, so I can’t be an internet supergenius. Maybe the answer is more complicated than ‘Republicans did this’?

    Let me play a certain pwoggle’s tune and say “If I were a partisan, it would save me from all the thinking. Bad, bad, thinking.”

    lots of libertarians and McGovern-type democrats have been telling the truth about the credit bubble for years. People that even the noblest pwogglers like joe would believe, like Krugman, and Tanta from calculated risk. There are also libertarian types who have been harping on this forever like Mike Shedlock and Kevin Depew, but they might vote for Ron Paul, so fuck them, they hate niggers probably. All that carping they do about income equality and fucking over the middle class? Bullshit. They don’t obviously vote democrat, and that’s all the proof I need.

    right joe? huh?

    yeah, it was all the republicans. Up, down, it was them, and TEH FUCKING FREE MARKET!!11!2

    not that I expect a response. joe owns you facking idiots most of the time because he knows rule #15 of internet argumentation: “when in doubt, bail out”. basically, he’s…how you say? Oh yes. Not a man.

  83. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the ECB been easing monetary policy lately to prop up growth in the lagging giants of the Euro zone? We might be up to something here…

  84. Maybe he just doesn’t like you.

  85. But which was the Cosmotarian candidate? Was it Obama because he’s black-but-not-black? Or Clinton because she’s part of the beltway culture?

  86. Mathman,

    I never tried to crunch the numbers because he was “dollar cost averaging ” it every two weeks.Mid 90s was 1996. A lot of that was below $ 300.

  87. Watching the debate on the replay. A question on Obama’s Warren Buffet factoid:

    Dividends are still taxed at normal wage income rates, right? I think this has been proposed a couple of times recently, but never passed.

    And the mortgage deduction is currently capped at 1.1 million, correct?

  88. On Edwards Solomon Amendment response:

    “We must provide job training for returning soldiers”
    Well, yeah. The Army (and the rest) are already doing this, or at least that is one of their key recruiting themes, and has been for twenty years. If your not taking advantage of PACE or anything like that, no additional program is going to help you.

    And they do provide comprehensive health screening for returning soldiers, and exit physicals prior to discharge. The problem has been a (debatable) tendency to downplay problems to save costs on veterans benefits. I am not saying that this is widespread, (or even sure that there is conclusive proof it has occured) but the incentive is clearly there.

  89. On Yucca mountain forgeries:

    A quick Google showed some stories about people who *proposed* manipulating the data, but is there any evidence of any actual false data or reports?

    (BTW, one of ‘forgers’ said, “why don’t we don’t just download raw files [without analysis]” To me, this seems to a rather Martin -Luther approach to science and an improvement, no?)

  90. Obama did not have much as a kid? He went one of the most elite private schools west of the Mississippi.

    Ok, Obama did say “he got a good education,” so I will charitably consider he meant that his family was of more modest means than most of his schoolmates and had to sacrifice much to get him to Punahou

  91. some posters mention the one “who must not be named here” …

    i am curious, who is that?

    thanks.

  92. According to the web site above, gold never went below $300 in 1996. However, I should not have been so quick to say anything, because certainly in 1999, when gold hovered in the high $200’s and the S&P 500 was higher than it is now, gold was a good investment. My only point was that gold is an investment like any other, and over different time periods, different investments are better. Looks like your friend was smarter than many people on wall street. That being said, if I hadn’t been 5 in 1990, it would have been great to buy S&P index funds, then sell them and get into gold in 1999.

  93. It was a perfectly good mutual fund before this completely unforeseen debacle.

    Did somebody actually post this? The housing bubble bursting was “completely unforseen”? New Orleans submerging in a hurricane with burst levees was equally unforseen. Sheesh.

  94. “Watching the debate on the replay. A question on Obama’s Warren Buffet factoid:

    Dividends are still taxed at normal wage income rates, right? I think this has been proposed a couple of times recently, but never passed.”

    Dividends are currently taxed at 15% – most of them that is. Dividends from Real Estate Investment Trusts don’t get the 15% rate because they aren’t also taxed at the corporate level unlike most other corporate income.

    And that double taxation, by the way is why Bufffet’s factoid about the tax rate of his secretary is wrong. Buffet conviently forgets about the double taxation of corporate income. The true tax rate to a stockholder is his proportional share of corporate taxes paid plus his individual tax paid on dividends divided by his reportable dividend income.

    Not that any of that has anything to do with “fairness” anyway. Fairness in paying for government provided goods and services is no different than it is in the private sector – on a user fee basis. And no one’s income is a “service” provided to them by the federal government.

    Anyone whose total dollar amount of taxes paid to the federal governments exceeds the dollar value of federal government services they are personally receiving in return in exchange for their money is already paying more than their “fair share” regardless of what percentage of their income it works out to be.

  95. Damn, I should be a troll. I fucking own you people.

    von laue asks what regulations were repealed that let this happen? None, it’s the absense of new regulations in response to novel pyramic scheme strategies that was the failure. There’s supposed to be somebody minding the store, and there wasn’t.

    And nice try pretending that I blamed the housing bubble as a whole, rather than the credit bubble and collapse, on the Republicans. I wouldn’t want to argue agains what I actually write, either. It tends not to end well.

    dumbass, if you were a smartass like me, you would have noticed that I was talking about policymakers, not homebuyers.

    prolefeed, How exactly do you think Republican congressmembers should have preemptively intervening in the marketplace to stop this, again? Setting aside your wishful thinking that the intersection of mortgage-backed securities and irresponsible lending practices didn’t serve to insulate lenders from the risk of their irresponsible practices, the answer is a blindingly obvious “By requiring standards for mortgages, and by preventing shysters from passing off their pumped-up paper as bonds.”

    PS, I’m also in an index fund, and am not overexposed in any one sector. Unfortunately, as you’ve no doubt noticed, the effects of this lousy-credit-produced-debacle are bringing down the market and economy as a whole.

    J sub D,
    The housing bubble bursting was “completely unforseen”? New Orleans submerging in a hurricane with burst levees was equally unforseen. Sheesh.
    I was using the phrase sarcastically, in exactly that manner. It was play on all of the things that the administration has told us “No one could have foreseen…,” like the levees collapsing and there being an insurgency in an occupied Middle Eastern country.

  96. [warm, reassuring, molasses-like TV baritone]

    “Home ownership. An American dream. Because it’s time to build for the future.
    “Don’t be denied the dream of home ownership.
    “Come to Incontinent today, and speak with one of our professional dream-makers, and we will help you realize the dream of home ownership.
    “Picture yourself in a beautiful home in a new development, getting ready to build for your future. Our licensed finders will ensure markets with beautiful, affordable homes in clean new developments – a firm foundation for the future.
    “So, come see us today. Incontinent; because we’re dreamers too.”

    After all, who can blame them for wanting to dream? Isn’t that what made America great?

  97. I’d like to point out that places like Upstate NY (and I would imagine other economically struggling places) are largely shielded from this issue. We didn’t get much of the benefit from the bubble, but we’re not exactly feeling the fall-out from it having burst. I’m sure there are effects, they’re just not nearly as pronounced, and we’re used to economic downturns.

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