“So a black guy, a hispanic guy and a woman walk into a union hall…”
AFL-CIO Debate Edition
The Short Version:
1. Gloves came off
2. The Peace Elf rules.
3. And the Hillary Posse seems to have signed up two,
But that's how Big Time politics is played.
Oh, and it’s hot here. Really fucking hot.
You should know, due to the heat, Keith-O was not wearing pants at any time during the entire debate.
Green body-paint and CGI from crotch to toe.
At least I hope it was just because of the heat.
The longer version? (Most quotes have been mercilessly abused by the Management and are for entertainment purposes only.)
Well, although Dennis Kucinich killed, and although I wasn’t born yet, I have to think a big, loud, crowd-whooping, outdoor-stomping-of-the-hustings-followed-by-fireworks throwdown is as close to an Olde Tyme, pre-teevee, sweating, tungsten-throated 19th Century Debate as you’re likely to find in these modern times.
And as such, I could not help but notice that Dodd, more than the others, looked like something out of the 19th Century. Leather lungs. White hair.
Would have looked right at home debating Bimetallism and Free Silver with William Jennings Bryan.
And then it was on, bitches!
Clinton: Are we safer? No.
Clinton: I’m on the 10-yard line of Soldier Field!
Yeah, but does you have 10 to go, or 90?
Clinton: Broadband bitches! Infrastructure will be at the top of my list!
Really? Last I heard (which was Saturday) Health Care was the top of that list.
Obama: Welcome all! Our foreign policy sucks! If we fight on the right battlefield, we'll save money that we can then spend on stuff here.
Biden: I’ve proposed a $20B infrastructure bill since 1992. Put Americans back to work rebuilding infrastructure. Republicans have been irresponsible on security, infrastructure, etc.
But won’t building things be…inconvenient.
Keith, I have no idea what that question was supposed to get at, but it obviously did not stop anyone from jumping on in…
Edwards: Inconvenience? It won’t be hard to convince the American people that we need to change. What we don’t need is to change one group of insiders for another group of insiders.
Kos Debate is Back on Teevee, baby! Referenced vis-a-vis DC lobbyist money!
Edwards: Say no to it forever.
Should State and locals subsidize sports stadium, given that it costs a jillions dollars?
Kucinich: Why not just buy the team? That’s where the Big Cake is.
Gotta love the Peace Elf.
Kucinich: I have introduced an infrastructure funding bill. New American Manufacturing Policy! Dump NAFTA/WTO and do trade based on worker’s rights.
Obama says (almost) “What’s good for Chicago is good for Illinois.”
FYI, as valid as that “prime the giant economic engine of Chicago and all boats will rise and roar” argument might be, it will always piss off the down-staters
Richardson: Many Hands Make Light Rail. (I must admit, I started laughing when that popped into my head.)
Hillary: Need a broad reform. And other stuff. Whatever that means. Slogan+Slogan+Slogan. I will do stuff better!
Richardson: Will not sign another agreement w/o labor protection, environmental. Also I'll kick the Union-busting douchebags out of the Department of Labor.
Obama: Amend it. And those accursed DC lobbyists are part of this and need to go.
Biden: A President’s job is to create jobs not export them. I would lead.
Dodd: Quit outsourcing jobs.
Edwards: You will never see me on the cover of Fortune Magazine, tongue-kissing corporate Titans. Or Tit-kissing corporate Tongues.
Kucinich: I will scrap this fucker. NAFTA and WTO. We need a President who knows what the right thing to do is.
No one else on this will roll you a spliff of the straight shit.
I am Soul Man/ Labor Man. (Breaks into smokin' guitar riff, backed up by soulful ladies in sequins and Chicago sweat)
(Then leads a wildcat applause strike.)
Clinton: I want a united party. And I have taken on the wingnuts for 15 years. If you want a winner, vote for this little lady!
Will people “Buy American” if it's more expensive?
Obama: People don’t want a cheaper tee-shirt if it costs us a job.
Actually, Senator, I know plenty of people who are more than happy to see other Americans get fucked over if it’ll make their lives incrementally more comfortable.
By and large they are the same cowards who are more than happy to march other people off to die for their stupid theories and despicable wars.
They are called Republicans, and so long as they remain the Rush-programmed, Bush-loyal, moral dumpster fires they are now, I am in no way interested in “uniting” with them. I am only interested in centrifuging out the few, remaining reasonable ones and flogging the rest into the political wastelands forever.
China: “Ally or Adversary?” (Although I thing phrasing it as “Country or Western” would’ve been vastly cleverer.
Woulda gone: Laugh…pause…ahhh!…more laugh.)
Richardson: A strategic competitor. We have to have a realistic policy.
Obama: A competitor, but they don’t have to be an enemy. And stop using them as our bankers.
Biden: They are our mortgage-holders. To fund the GOP's stupid tax-cuts and stupider war, Dubya has hocked the farm and maxed out our credit cards to pay for his insanity.
Hillary: Amen to Biden.
Dodd: Amen to Biden, but if we’re not careful they’ll become an adversary.
Edwards: Amen. Also we need to stay strong on trade policy and human rights violations.
Kucinich: When I was a kid there was a myth that if you dig a hole deep enough you’d get to China. Well…we’re there.
Thank you Chicago!
I’m here all night!
Tip your wait-staff generously!
If you get us out of Iraq and al Qaeda does take over in Iraq, then what?
The Correct Answer: I flatly reject the premise of the question.
Richardson: I will protect the United States..
Obama: We have no good options left. We have bad and worse options. Re-deploy, get out smart
Shock and awe them with diplomacy (yes, you can use that one Barack, but you fucking owe me.)
Biden: Bush has lied to us for 7 years. It matters how we get out of Iraq if we have to go right back in if we fuck it up.
Hillary: I have a 3-point plan!
Dodd: How about a hand for the men and women in uniform. We’ll take out 2.5 divisions a month (I got distracted and could have my maths wrong here.) The GOP has treated statecraft and diplomacy as a gift to our enemies. And we should no way be doing arms deals with the Saudis while they bankroll people in Iraq who are killing Americans.
Edwards: I’d draw 40-50,000 out today. I’d do the local and regional diplomatic thing. And we have to prepare for what happens if the bad (escalating civil war) or worst (ethnic cleansing) cases come true, for which the Dubya Administration has never planned.
Kucinich: Get out now. Tell Dubya that the 97 billion he has now is the last he’ll see and he needs to use that to get out.
Obama: We all believe that our troops need to be funded, and that we need to leave in a smart and orderly way. We had hoped that we could change the minds of enough Republicans to start acting responsibly and take the car keys out of the hands of Spurious George. If we can’t, we stuck there until the beginning of the Obama Administration.
Hillary: This is George Bush’s war, but our sons and daughters are doing the fighting and dying.
About Obama and Pakistan:
Dodd: Language matters. And who we bomb and who we don’t is important.
Obama: Chris, read my fucking speech. I said first, support Pakistan, aid them contingent on good performance and behavior, but if, in the end, we know where the Bag Guys are and they will not do shit about it, I will.
Hillary -- Stupid Response Part 1: People who are running for President should not engage in answering hypotheticals.
Hillary -- Stupid Response Part 2: Well, (arching-eyebrow pause) we’ve had some real difficult problems with “actionable intelligence” before…
What a smarmy, trifling answer. Yes, intel is imperfect. Always will be. Hell, your husband was having juicy-juicy cloture votes with an intern right down the hall and you didn’t know. But the argument the Junior Senator from New York just made was really this:1) No answers to inconvenient questions about possible future actions should be given by Herself to the Little People, because they’re all, y’know, hypothetical. And.
2) No action is ever possible in anything, because all knowledge is always imperfect.
And that is as dishonest a piece of self-rationalizing persiflage as I have seen among the Democratic Candidates to far.
Dodd: I stood up and admitted my mistakes. And so should you.
Obama: Read my speech, Old Man!
Then a break, during which my note-taking was spotted by some goons.
I fear for my safety.
I’d flee to a more defensible position, but the Secret Service has set their phasers to “Flatulent” and I have seen several older citizens phasered into a gassy fetal position when they got up to pee…
The Audience Question Section:
Question the First was asked by widow who lost her husband in the Sago Mine disaster.
Biden: Barely brushes up against the question. Instead….
And he is rightly booed for blowing off the questioner.
Rights of Workers who want to form a union.
Kucinich: I am an AFL-CIO member. Workers labor rights are basic rights.
(From an Iraq War Vet: I came home to a closed Maytag plant. What will you do to keep manufacturing jobs?
Richardson: I would protect your pension. And I would protect your veteran’s rights. And I would let vets get health care anywhere you want.
My 21 y/o daughter joined the Army. Why was my daughter forced to buy much of her own stuff, and then be deployed so much longer than normal?
Dodd: I have offered legislation on four occasions that would have addressed exactly those questions. I was rebuffed by Republicans. It is baloney that they care about the troops, and it is something I would never tolerate as President.
I lost my job due to disability, then lost my pension and my family lost their health care. What is wrong wioth America and what will you do to change it
(Listening to this proud working man who had been brought low by a broken and corrupt system was heartbreaking. And it rightly, gets a HUGE standing-O which should be all over YouTube by tomorrow)
Edwards: Bless you. Treat the pensions of the Chairman and CEO of these companies. We need Universal Health Care. I will be the President who will use the White House to explain to Americans why unions and labor are important.
I have walked picket lines and organized, 200 times. Who was with you in crunch-time.
Hillary: Defined benefit plans. No privatized SS. When I am President I will actually enforce the laws we have.
Rebuild the Manufacturing Sector.
Did not catch the who or what.
Undocumented Workers: Will you create a path to citizenship?
(Asked by a freshly-minted American citizen)
Obama: I want your first vote. We can be a nation of laws and immigrants. We need to have comprehensive reform. Better border security. And we need to make sure employers are held accountable. A pathway to citizenship. And I have a long history of standing with labor.
As a nurse….Health Care?
Biden: If there are any angels in heaven, they’re nurses. We need 100,000 new nurses. Ask these candidates “Did you walk when it cost?”
I have the best labor record up here.
A Temp Worker who need Health Care…
Kucinich: Medicare for all.
Edwards (Who is a helluva speaker): It is important that we have a President who can talk to Americans about the importance of working people.
A union insulator…Many companies don’t invest in energy efficiency. What’s up with that?
Dodd: CO2 bad. There is no better gift to future generations that energy independence.
From a Local 1211 member: What specific changes to NCLB must be made?
Hillary: It has been an unfunded and burdensome mandate. And other stuff!
Then a break, and the goons move closer.
I hide behind a portly man and start yelling “Attica! Attica!” to create a distraction to cover my escape.
Shit! Wrong movie!
Is this the end of Rico?
The debate resumes:
Lightening round – quick questions and 30 second responses.
Richardson: Q -- Your VP will be..?
A -- Not Dick Fucking Cheney. But any VP would have to be ready for the Big Chair. Any one of these people up here would make a spec-tac-u-lar Vice President.
Hillary: Q -- Lobbyists?
A -- We need reform! Especially contracting out government jobs.
Translation: I am not answering your fucking question.
Obama: Q -- Bundling of campaign $$$?
A -- I do not have federally-registered lobbyists bundling for me. So that people know who I will fight for.
Edwards: Q -- Trial lawyers give you lots of money. How is this better? A --Lobbyists are in charge of rigging the system against you and you are being outspent 18-to-1 by Big Corporate Money.
Biden: Q -- Would you appoint a Republican to important jobs?
A -- I want to unite this country. And we need to if we want to get anything done. I will appoint the most competent people I can find.
Dodd: Q – Was Homeland Security a good idea?
A -- Using it as a union-busting stalking horse wasn’t. And the world is less safe.
Kucinich: Q -- What have you accomplished?
A -- My position is to lead the Democrats. I have a bill for Health Care. For Iraq. Others cited but not noted
Obama: Q -- Would you honor Barry Bonds in the White House?
A – Lalalalala. I cannot hear you!
Hillary: Q -- Two years since Katrina. What would you do?
A -- Put someone in charge who actually cares. NOLA is an American problem.
Biden: Q -- Will you atop no-bid contracts?
A -- Yes. (Silence…and the crowd fell out.)
Overall Question: Campaigns start earlier and earlier. Does it bother you that people will
Richardson: Have to unite America in a bi-partisan way.
Obama: Dubya has been a disaster. And we have to mobilize Americans to change this country from the bottom, up.
Biden: The campaign started so early because we are so angry. We know how badly this country has been ruined by Dubya.
Hillary: I don’t care how quickly it starts. I’ll be busy, busy, busy.
Dodd: This campaign started so early because people are so mad and frustrated and demanded something be done about President Clusterfuck.
Edwards: It’s too long. And we have to stop playing nice. We have to beat these people.
Ahhh. Finally someone has the guts to say it.
Kucinich: I am the Seabiscuit of this campaign. I will kick so much hairy ass, no one will dare run against me!
Then hugs and handshakes…
Fireworks and spin doctors…
A desperate flight from the goons who have now zeroed my location…
And where, in this order, can I find a honeybucket, a cold beer and a laptop!