Live Blog of the Republican Presidential Debate

Greetings!

Welcome to this experiment in blogging – an experiment in which someone with no particular expertise or knowledge when it comes to presidential politics offers live commentary during a political debate and does so without knowing if even a single person is following his comments.

7:47 – Actually, make that “my” comments because for this one night, he – I – am abandoning my third-person practice and will comment in the first person.

Whew! What a relief.

7:50: As the evening unfolds, you’ll need to refresh your browser periodically so you can see the most recently posted comments.

7:52:  I also invite you to comment.

Normally, your comments land in the “comments” section at the end of a post, but while we’re live, I’ll copy and paste them directly into the post itself. I won’t identify you unless you specify how you want me to refer to you. Otherwise, you’ll just be “Viewer.”

That, of course, assumes anyone’s both watching and willing to comment.  Since I’ve been known to talk to myself, I won’t let silence deter me.

7:53:  I’ll be “Joe,” which is convenient because that just so happens to be my first name.

7:54 (Joe):  I’m a little worried about two things.  First, typos:  I hate’em, but they seem inevitable when working on the fly.

7:55:  Also, it appears the live feed will be interrupted periodically.  I’m not sure why, but it’s happened two times.  Both times, I was able to regain it with but a brief interruption.

7:59 (viewer): Just got back to my hotel room. Missed the first debate. Hoping to watch the “big” one “!

8:00 (Joe):  I’m not a CNBC watcher so I don’t know any of these on-air people.

8:01 (Joe):  When did a “fact” become a “factoid”?

8:03:  The guy on stage looks like Jeff Bezos with a toupee.

8:05: (Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

8:06:  The guy on stage now looks a little like Beau Bridges.

8:07: (Viewer) Who’s in the red dress?

8:07 (Joe) I have no idea.

8:08 (Viewer):  I can’t believe I’m blowing off the World Series for this!!!

8:09 (Joe):  Multi-task!

8:10 (Joe):  The woman in the blue dress – that’s Reese Witherspoon in 20 years.

8:11 (Joe):  This commentary has a very conservative tone, which I guess is what should be expected from a network that reports business news and is often an apologist for the abuses of the business world.

8:12 (Viewer):  Missing the Sixers game, too!

8:13 (Joe):  Odds are they’ll lose by more than 15 points.

8:16 (Viewer):  Watching Christie and Huckabee made me think…I wonder what the record for “total weight change” among two Presidential candidates? These guys must own the record…

8:17 (Joe):  Did he say MRS. Carly Fiorina?

8:18 (Joe):  Kasich cant’ even answer a simple question.

8:19 (Joe):  He does that head-bobbing thing that his brother did and that Will Ferrell imitated so devastatingly.

8:20 (Joe):  In school, we called people like Rubio a brown-noser.

8:2 (Joe):  Christie’s biggest weakness?  Krispy Kreme?

8:22 (Viewer):  I can’t believe one of these people could actually become President

8:22 (Joe):  Christie’s statement was good.  The poor guy:  who would have imagined that he wouldn’t even be the biggest blowhard in this race?

8:23 (Viewer):  Christie should have left that tie home…

8:24 (Joe):  Any challenging question, in Trump’s mind, is defective.

8:25 (Joe):  Is he going to say “Some of my best friends are Mexican?”

8:26 (Joe):  Shameless self-promotion:  Tomorrow in this space, an “On the Campaign Trail” piece.

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

8:28 (Joe):  Disclosure:  Of all of the Republicans in this race, Kasich is my favorite.  Anyone else have a favorite?

8:29 (Viewer):  Kasich makes too much sense. He’ll be out of the race by next week.

8:30 (Joe):  For too long, Kasich’s remarks have left me thinking “Kumbaya.”  It’s about time he spoke out.

8:31 (Joe):  Wait:  Trump’s criticizing other candidates for speaking out and criticizing others?  “Pot to kettle:  You’re black.”

8:32 (Joe):  Carson does seem like an awfully nice man.  Out of his element, but nice.

8:33 (Joe):  Cruz is talking trickle down.  Didn’t we already learn that doesn’t work?  He also doesn’t address whether his tax plan raises enough money to fund the government.

8:34 (Joe):  Fiorina’s wrong.  There HAVE been major tax code changes over the years.

8:35 (Joe):  That question is unfair.  It’s that suggestion that Rubio should resign from the Senate because he’s running for president.  Jeb Bush made that suggestion the other day. He wasn’t saying that in 2000 when his brother was running for president while still governor of Texas.

8:37 (Joe):  I’m glad Rubio is taking this on – but I don’t think it’s a conservative/liberal thing.

8:38 (Joe):  Cheap shot by Jeb.

8:39 (Joe):  Damn, it’s hard to take your eyes off those ears of Rubio.

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

8:40 (Joe):  I don’t think reporters should base their questions on candidates’ standing in the polls.  They should be asking policy questions, not political/horse race questions.

8:41 (Joe):  I wouldn’t vote for Fiorina, but this, too, is a bullshit question.  She’s running and people are interested in her candidacy.  They should ask her what her ideas are, not about her work running a computer manufacturer.  But this is the perspective of a television network that, more than anything else, is all about the price of stocks.

8:42 (Viewer):  Cheap shot by Joe!

8:43 (Joe):  Good comeback, Carly.

8:44 (Joe):  I dont’ care for her ideas but she’s really good on her feet.

8:45 (Joe):  Good for Cruz, calling that panel on its lousy questions.  And, I’d like to add, a point I made earlier.

8:46 (Joe):  Really?  Cruz is talking about Bolsheviks?

8:46 (Viewer):  Carly is good.

Friday at The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon:  The monthly news quiz.  It’s not finished yet.  Yikes.

8:48 (Joe):  One of the things they never address about raising the retirement age is that retirements create openings in the work force.  Keep people in the work force longer and there are fewer jobs.

8:49 (Joe):  The idea that Social Security will be out of money in 8 or 9 years is just plain false.  I’m pretty sure Christie’s wrong.

8:50 (Viewer):  Fists could be flying by 9 pm

8:52 (Joe):  Christie wants to tell the people the truth but the truth is that Social Security is NOT a saving plan.   Our payments today go for our parents and our children’s payments will be for us.  It’s not an IRA or a 401k.

8:54 (Joe):  How does Cruz propose increasing the rate of growth of social security money without increasing taxes – unless he’s talking about investing the money in risky ventures.

8:55 (Joe): For someone who wants honesty, Huckabee’s analogy to Bernie Madoff was very dishonest.

Bathroom break?

8:58 (Joe):  Notice that once they start talking specific policy things, Trump and Carson have nothing to say?  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

8:59 (Joe):  Amazing that Trump continues to brag about how he benefits from screwing the people to whom he owes money.

9:00 (Joe):  The idea that Cramer is on this debate is offensive.  After what Jon Stewart did to him, I’m continually astonished that he’s not ashamed to show his face in public.

9:02 (Joe):  Carson doesn’t think government should be involved in the pharmaceutical industry?

9:03 (Joe):  There were no spending cuts?  Jeb is wrong:  the sequestration law of a few years ago cut federal spending almost across the board by 2% for five years in many operational areas.

9:06 (Joe):  There are too many candidates in this debate.  We’re not hearing enough from any of these candidates.  I refer to you my plan of how to restructure the debates, a week ago this past Monday, I think.  I want to hear more from all of these folks, even the ones I think have nothing to offer.

9:07 (Viewer)  Signing off for the night, Good commentary, Thanks for hosting.

9:07 (Joe)  Thanks for joining.

9:08 (Joe):  Is there a rule that candidates can’t answer the questions asked of them?

9:09 (Joe):  Good for Rubio.  A cheap, gotcha question that wastes valuable time in an important event.

9:10 (Joe):  But the joke about Sallie Mae taking money out of his paycheck is foolish.  Sallie takes the money because he borrowed the money.

9:10 (Joe):  Although…while he was struggling financially, Rubio bought a $3000 refrigerator.

Tomorrow in this space:  a new “On the Campaign Trail” feature.

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

9:15 (Joe):  Every single policy?  Wasn’t there that Lilly Ledbetter law?  I think that was pretty good for women.

9:16 (Joe):  Carson’s answer on Costco was gibberish.  Utter nonsense.

9:18 (Joe):  Again, I’m not hearing enough from any of them.  Too many people, too little time.  But again, notice how the more substantive the discussion gets, the less Trump has to say.  Carson only speaks when spoken to.  Huckabee, bless his nutcase heart, is too polite to interrupt others.  So is Rand Paul.

9:19 (Joe):  I understand that Lindsay Graham was impressive during the first debate.  If Kasich is my first choice among these folks, Graham is the second.  I also saw Rick Santorum on CNBC shortly before this debate began and he seemed downright rational.  I had to do a double-take to see if it was really him.

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

9:22 (Joe):  Great question.  This is a real problem.  I’ve written about in the past and am planning another piece on the same subject in the near future.

9:23 (Joe):  We still have vocational education.  He’s just wrong about that.

9:24 (Joe):  Trump’s point about self-funding bothers me.  Is he saying that the only candidates we can trust are those who are incredibly wealthy.

On the other hand, he’s right about super-PACs.

9:25 (Joe):  Rubio’s “mainstream media” is bogus.  You’d be amazed at how conservative the mainstream media is.  I have some facts and figures on that which I’ll present in the near future.  Is Fox News the mainstream media?  Its viewership is enormous.

9:28 (Joe):  at 6 p.m., for example, Fox News has twice as many viewers as CNN and MSNBC combined.  It’s that way at 5:0o, too.

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

9:30 (Joe):  He’s not doing it so much tonight – of course, he’s not had much to say – but I often wonder whether Huckabee wants to be our president or our minister.

Huckabee’s blimp analogy was lame.

Huckabee’s plain wrong about the role of government.  Republicans have been fixing the game in favor of the rich for many years.

9:33:  Bush is not answering the question.

9:35:  Are there really dry cleaning chains?  What’s Rubio talking about?

9:37:  What does Paul mean by “the payroll tax”?  There are several payroll taxes.  Which one – or ones – does he mean?

9:39:  “Block grants” is a Republican euphemism for “We’ll give you less than you used to get and then stop increasing it based on rises in the cost of living.”  Kasich’s idea is a prescription for disaster.

Another shameless plug:  tomorrow in this space, a new installment in the “On the Campaign Trail” series.  On Friday, it’s the news quiz.

9:44:  Trump’s evading the question.

Also, the idea that he’s created job is irrelevant.  He never sets out to create jobs; he sets out to make money.  If he needs workers to make money, he hires them.  If he finds a way to make money with fewer workers, he fires some.  No one in the corporate world sets out to create jobs.  It’s just a by-product of their effort to make money.

Trump likes to be unpredictable.  A wonderful quality in a candidate for higher office.

9:46:  Gun-free zones are a catastrophe?  Is Trump serious?

9:48:  Once again, Trump criticizes a question – and this one wasn’t even asked of him.

9:50:  Good answer by Fiorina on the federal government playing a bigger role in getting businesses to have 401k plans.  Falling back on the constitution, though, is disingenuous.

9:52:  Good answer by Kasich on the costs of higher education.  His public service idea is pretty un-Republican, too – and a good one.

9:54:  Really? We’re using a Republican debate to talk about fantasy sports and gambling?

9:55:  Good for Christie, calling the questioner on fantasy football.

9:57:  Good for Christie again, calling out the questioner for not letting him answer the question.  Christie’s answer isn’t ‘very good, but we need to hear from him, not someone who’s trying to capitalize on being on prime time tv with a larger-than-usual audience.

9:58:  Are we really questioning whether there should be Medicare?  Medicare is a tremendous program.  So’s Medicaid, too:  Did you know that Medicaid’s overhead is only about 2 percent?  Do you think your private insurer comes anywhere near that?

(Remember that you need to refresh your browser periodically/frequently to see the latest comments.)

10:02:  Good point by Huckabee about the limited number of medical problems that consume so much of the money we spend on Medicare.

10:03:  Why do they feel they need to mention Hillary Clinton all the time?

10:04:  Trump is going to bring jobs back from…Japan?

10:05:  Trump never says how he’s going to do any of the things he says he’s going to do.

10:06:  Oy:  Bush wants to “incent.”  A verbification!

10:06:  Kasich makes the very point I just made about Medicaid’s efficiency.

10:06:  I don’t care for a lot of Rand Paul’s ideas but he’s a really smart guy.

10:07:  This is Carson’s third version of what he’d do with Medicare in the past week.  This is what happens when someone tries to run for president on a lark.  The professional candidates, for all their shortcomings, give all of these issues constant thought.  they prepare to run for president.  People who haven’t been interested in doing this for a long time aren’t prepared for a forum like this and it shows, it’s why Trump and Carson are so without the ability to articulate what they’d do if elected – because they don’t know what they’d do because they haven’t thought about it.

10:09:  Hillary Clinton isn’t talking about more money for Medicare.

10:10:  Rubio uses a verbification, too:  “they’re gonna demagogue this.”

10:12:  Fiorina is talking about zero-based budgeting.  That’s a late 1970s/early 1980s concept that’s a favorite of mine.

10:12:  Closing remarks.

10:13: I wouldn’t vote for Christie for dog catcher but he’s very good when he looks into the camera and speaks clearly and emphatically.

10:14;  Cruz is one of the least compromising members of Congress.  He would be a disaster as president.  He’s even an impediment in the Senate.  It’s his way or the highway.  What does he say he’s going to do?  Filibuster – a tactic without value.

10:15:  Trump is so completely and utterly full of s–t.

Now he’s telling a television network how to do its job.  Is there anything he doesn’t know?

10:18:  Why is Huckabee using his time to talk about the media?  The rest of his remarks are good:  why does he have to grind his axe?

Thanks for joining me tonight. This was fun.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Just got back to my hotel room. Missed the first debate. Hopping top watch the “big” one “!

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Who’s in the red dress?

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I can’t believe I’m blowing off the World Series for this!!!

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Missing the Sixers game, too!

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Watching Christie and Huckabee made me think…I wonder what the record for “total weight change” among two Presidential candidates? These guys must own the record…

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I can’t believe one of these people could actually become President

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Christie should have left that tie home…

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Kasich makes too much sense. He’ll be out of the race by next week.

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Cheap shot by Joe!

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Carly is good.

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Fists could be flying by 9 pm

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Siging off for the night. Enjoyed the running commentary. Thanks!

  • Scott Share  On October 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Signing off for the night, Good commentary, Thanks for hosting.

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