Sunday, October 30, 2011

Speaking of debates

I wrote about one of our Presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich, back in 2007.  He had engaged Liberal Democrat Mario Cuomo in an "elevated discourse" (a polite term for an in-depth debate) with amazing results. Again, I can't post the video because of copyright restrictions -- apparently C-Span has a tighter hold on information than Google does -- but the two-hour debate is available here.  To quote the C-Span website, they had this debate "in the belief that national and international issues facing presidential candidates deserve full discussion and analysis in the style of Lincoln's time."  

Now THIS was a debate

The dog-and-pony shows trotted out recently and called "Republican Presidential candidate debates" have been shameful.  Shameful to the candidates, shameful to the media for treating it seriously, and shameful to the American public for accepting something so far from an actual debate.

One of the masters of debate was William F. Buckley Jr., who for over three decades engaged his guests in spirited discussions on his television show Firing Line.  Besides weekly conversations, Buckley also occasionally sponsored formal debates. 

In 1978 two giants of the American conservative movement disagreed over whether or not the U.S. should relinquish control of the Panama Canal Zone. Instead of ignoring their differences on this issue, Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley Jr. conducted a live debate to present their arguments to the public. With this, they set the standard of how to handle disagreements over ideas and issues in public policy – in other words, how to debate.
Below are two videos.  One is the introduction of the participants by Senator Sam Ervin.  The other is a video of Buckley's closing argument for his point (that the Senate should ratify the treaties giving the Panama Canal to Panama.)  Copyright issues prevent posting sections of the meat of the debate, but the entire two-hour debate is available on C-Span here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The most eloquent, uh, um, .....

At a recent press conference, Barack Obama used thirteen minutes to answer two questions.  2:47 of that time was in the form of verbal pauses such as uh, um, y'know, etc.  BreitbartTV made a clip of "the greatest orator the office [of President] has ever known." *

* (According to former Democrat Representative Harold Ford.)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The deification continues

A quote from a news story attempting to explain the continuing decline in crime, despite the economic downturn.  It's because of Obama.  "Obama's election has created such collective inspiration that it has changed the thinking and the behavior of would-be criminals."

The logical conclusion of such thinking, of course, is that anyone who isn't inspired by Obama is a potential criminal, Minority Report style.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Didn't Sarah Palin get creamed for this?

From a transcript of Barack Obama's interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News last night:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, since we are on the web here-- live on, everyone wants to know which-- websites do you surf?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I'm pretty eclectic. You know, I'll-- you know, I read a lot of newspapers that I used to read in print, I now read on-- on the web.
GS: Do you have an iPad or just--
OBAMA: I-- I've got an iPad. And-- and-- Steve Jobs actually gave it to me-- a little bit early. And-- (LAUGH)
GS: Oh, that's pretty cool.
OBAMA: Yeah, it was cool. I got it directly from him. And-- you know, I go to, of course, and Yahoo.
GS: And Yahoo, too, thank you.
OBAMA: Of course. But-- you know, typically, my-- I-- I-- I read on the web what I read in hard copy. I mean, there-- there are some exceptions. There are some blogs and some websites that-- that are interesting that-- you don't have--
GS: --make a comment.
OBAMA: I-- you know-- I don't. I-- I figure if I-- if I got started-- I wouldn't stop. And I've got other things to do.
GS: Mr. President, thanks for your time.
Okay. With the exception of ABC News, who was hosting the interview, and Yahoo, which Stephanopoulos fed him, what was Obama's answer to the question "Which websites do you visit?" This is the same type of non-answer that Obama has given before, for which Palin was smeared by everyone in the media.  Obama once again gets a pass. But we do discover that Steve Jobs himself gave Obama his iPad.