There was yet another LOOOONG debate last night…

oct 15 debate

I’ll share two or three thoughts, and then some Tweets, just to get things started:

  • Most of the night I waited for Syria — or anything having to do with the rest of the world — to be mentioned and discussed. I tried to be patient, knowing these are Democrats and their fave mode is to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Finally, it came up, and I was pleased with most comments, except Tulsi’s ranting about regime change — as though THAT were the problem with abandoning the Kurds. I liked that my man Joe spoke most on the topic, followed by Pete Buttigieg. Joe spoke about it almost, but of course not quite, as much as Elizabeth Warren spoke about income inequality. Of course, Joe happens to understand better than any other what the presidency is mainly about.
  • A lot of people interpreted the fact that so many were jumping on Elizabeth Warren as being entirely due to her emergence as a front-runner, if not the front-runner. And I’m sure that’s a big part of it. But I think another factor contributed, and I think it’s odd that I haven’t heard it mentioned. I think a lot of them see it as less OK to give Joe a hard time, seeing as how he and his son are the targets of Trump’s mulilateral abuses of power. This makes Joe an even more sympathetic character than usual, so they laid off him.
  • Oh, and I came close to a decision last night. I think I’d like to see Amy Klobuchar as Joe’s running mate, assuming everything goes right and Democrats decide they actually want to beat Trump. It would probably be Mayor Pete if he weren’t so young and inexperienced, and if he didn’t keep reminding us of it (But that happened five minutes ago, and as I may have mentioned previously, I wasn’t born yet…). I don’t see Sen. Klobuchar as quite ready to be president yet, but she comes close, and would be a good understudy.

That’s enough points for now. I’ve got work to do. Here are my Tweets from last night and this morning:

As you can see, I dialed back the Tweeting last night. Just wasn’t inspired all that much, and I’ve heard so much of this stuff so many times already. Of those things I Tweeted about, I’d most like to chat further on ones about Facebook (someone on the stage, I forget who, made the point I’d made about lots of little Facebooks right after I posted it), and the thing about Trump’s Twitter. I’m still thinking I may have misunderstood what Kamala wanted…

Oh, and further discussion of Bernie’s fantasy version of Medicare might be in order. Bernie should have read this in the Post the other day… Dang. I can’t find it. Well, maybe later. Anyway, it was a column by a 64-year-old who seems to have just discovered that Medicare isn’t free, and it doesn’t pay for everything. Like, duh. These kids today and their inflated expectations…

31 thoughts on “There was yet another LOOOONG debate last night…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Sorry to post this so late, folks. Some of you, not willing to wait, had already commented on previous posts. Since bud wrote at some length, I reproduce it here:

    Winners and losers from last nights debate:
    Pete Buttigieg – Even more solid than in other debates. I can see myself pulling the lever for Mayor Pete.
    Julian Castro – A kinder, gentler version of the former mayor of San Antonio.
    Bernie Sanders – Same ole Bernie. Importantly he looked pretty robust.
    Amy Klobuchar – Her delivery was a bit shaky but her answers were spot on.
    Joe Biden – Not a great performance by any means but mostly competent which is what he needed.
    Kamala Harris – Pretty decent night overall. No real standout moment though.
    Cory Booker – Not his best but he came across as a uniter which is what we need right now.

    Andrew Yang – Wonky style is endearing. Perhaps not presidential though
    Beto O’Rourke – Lost the exchange with Major Pete. Should not have picked a fight with a war veteran about courage.
    Tom Steyer – A billionaire trying to come across as an ordinary guy just doesn’t work. He looked out of place. Stick with making commercials.
    Elizabeth Warren – Answer the damn question! Will middle class taxes go up under your plan. The more she dodges this the worse she looks. I’m profoundly disappointed with this obfuscation. Also got pummeled on wealth tax idea. Bad night for the senator from Massachusetts.
    Tulsi Gabbard – The new Marianne Williamson! She really looked like a crackpot last night.

    1. Realist

      If endorsements are an indication of things to come, then Sanders has accomplished a coup d’état over the field of viable candidates. AOC and company have endorsed Sanders and committed to working for his campaign. Warren is apparently self-destructing and the Biden camp is running for cover over Biden’s son and his issues with being on the board of foreign companies and without any experience in their respective fields of endeavor.

      Tom Steyer is the one candidate who has no business entering the field based on his background and how he made his fortune. He reeks of hypocrisy about some of the issues he now supports. His fortune had a sizeable contribution due to his investments in coal in foreign countries and now he is trying to distance himself from it. If he is truly remorseful, then he can shed the fake image of being an average person on the street and make it real by donating everything he earned from coal to environmental causes that do help clean up our oceans and areas affected by coal mining. Otherwise he is nothing but another wannabee and it shows every time one of his commercials is aired. I don’t agree with the assessment that he should stick to making commercials. Every time one comes on, I mute it or change the channel.

      If I had to predict the two candidates still standing after the debates and entering into the convention, it would be Sanders and Biden with Sanders winning. The baggage Biden is carrying, fair or not, will be a little too much to overcome in the end.

      Democrats have a golden opportunity to flip the White House and Senate but considering the obsession with Trump and not bringing a message of hope and opportunity to the campaign, I am becoming more and more convinced Trump may prevail again. The total negativity promulgated by Democrat candidates about everything American or so it seems is becoming a total turnoff and a message of no hope and that is what I see and so do most people I talk to. When dire predictions of gloom and doom are the message, why would anyone want to go to the polls and vote if they believe the world will end in a few years?

      Without a message of hope mixed in with the campaign promises that by the way are still hollow, voter suppression won’t be because of some far-fetched attempt by Republicans to keep Democrats, etc. away from the polls. The lack of hope will be the dagger that is thrust into the heart of voters and they will look to anyone who offers them something positive to hold on to. All one needs to do is look at the last election and learn a valuable lesson.

      Trump preached “Make America Great Again” and it resonated.

  2. Harry Harris

    Brad, if you paid attention (which you don’t to candidates you write off), you would know that Sanders’s Medicare for all plan expands coverage beyond the present Medicare. I don’t support his plan, but do support a path to likely single payer coverage that includes Medicare as a public option and a gradual lowering of the eligibility age. Bernie’s Medicare for all plan moves too fast to allow monitoring and adjustment and would be an unnecessary shock to the provider system that would likely cause disruptions that could be avoided with a more deliberate path to universal coverage, access to treatment, and cost savings.
    Having insurance coverage doesn’t guarantee timely treatment without development and adjustment of the systems of delivery of care. Too many assumptions can lead to profound problems. The payer side of medical care isn’t nearly the whole picture.

    1. Norm Ivey

      I am confident we will one day have single payer. A simple way to implement it would be to apply it to all children born in the US after a certain date, say January 1, 2020. Everyone else is covered under the current system , but make single-payer an opt-in program. That way it will be a gradual change, and the industry will have plenty of time to adjust.

      1. Harry Harris

        I agree there are likely multiple ways that would work. I do think there must be intentional and even aggressive moves made to prepare the provider side to accommodate the influx of patients and do a more efficient and cost-effective job with those already getting treatment. Some promising elements include more practitioners and physician’s assistants, telemedicine, more triage nurses, small walk-in clinics in malls, etc, and pharmacist consultation in screening and prescribing meds. Cost saving methods could involve banning direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs (a bigger line-item than most people know), negotiated drug pricing, support for independent medical practices, and squeezing and gradual elimination of the overhead of private health insurance plans.
        The well intentioned portion of the ACA aimed at standardizing insurance forms and automating claims for the whole system has been hamstrung and even stalled in some areas by the failure to mandate standard information interchange and too little impetus of subsidization for developing and implementing IT systems. It has been left to the private sector to make and sell their systems with no sense of the communal need, but with the profit motive pushing the development. Start-ups depend on venture capital to help them out-bells and whistles other companies in order to develop money-making applications that don’t interface with their competitors.
        Medicare, itself has gotten harder for providers because of cost-cutting measures that punish everybody instead of directly targeting and efficiently prosecuting the fraudsters. Give me a staff of retired nurses to ferret-out fraud, waste, and overcharging, put them on a commission (bounty) system, and you will see a big change in overcharges and profit-driven duplication. I think a lot of crooks that abuse the system, would be driven elsewhere or jailed also.

        1. Doug Ross

          “direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs ”

          This is the way it used to be. But can you imagine the television networks allowing this cash cow to go away? An estimate from earlier this year put the number at $6 billion for ads.

          There is no legitimate reason to advertise a prescription drug. But then you also have to eliminate the incentives drug companies give to doctors to prescribe them.

          1. Harry Harris

            You are likely right on about the incentives. Marketing costs exceed R&D costs for more than a handful of manufacturers. In addition to the ads, the paybacks in various forms to doctors who help promote the high-cost drugs are a factor.
            TV is soaking up a good part of the money as you point out.

            1. Bob Amundson

              The high cost of prescription drugs and the cost of “out-of -network” healthcare SHOULD be easy to fix, but Big Pharma and the Healthcare Insurance Industry are investing incredible amounts of lobbying money to maintain the status quo.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, I DO pay attention to them, although I’ll admit I don’t pore over their position statements on their websites. I don’t do that with Joe Biden, either, for two reasons I’ll come back to.

      But I pay attention. So it is that I’ve heard him say, time and again, that he know what Medicare-for-all would look like because “I wrote the damn’ bill!” This is a great applause line with his supporters.

      But to me, it’s a great illustration of what is wrong with Bernie, and with Elizabeth Warren, too. Her line that illustrates this problem is, “I have a plan for that.” Which, again, her supporters love.

      When they say those things, they show us all just how far out in La-La Land they dwell.

      They both seem to be quite SURE that if they were elected their plans, exactly as they have conceived them, would become law. Which is EXTREMELY unlikely. In fact, I’m tempted to say it’s an absolute certainty that that would not happen (the only reason I don’t is that nothing is certain in politics.)

      It wouldn’t happen even if they were mainstream politicians elected with a huge mandate and with their party controlling both chambers, and their proposals were quite modest. Congress would still put its stamp on the legislation.

      It definitely would not happen with a president from the Democratic Party’s extreme left, dealing with a closely divided Congress.

      They should know this. But they seem to have just as unrealistic an idea of the power of the presidency as Trump does. They seem to imagine that if they were elected to the White House, they would immediately have the magical power to pass all of the extremely ambitious programs they could never get passed as senators.

      Anyway, that’s one reason I don’t study the details of their plans. The only things about their plans that would ever be relevant are the broad outlines. Congress MAY give them something roughly like what they want, but not all the details they want.

      The second reason I don’t study them is that, as I’ve often said, I’m not interested in specific campaign promises. I assume that it’s impossible to foresee what will be the top priorities, the main challenges, when the person is actually in office. So tell me roughly what you’d like to do, assuming circumstances permit, and then persuade me that you’re someone I trust to deal sensibly with the unforeseen, no matter what it looks like…

  3. Doug Ross

    Barack Obama could end the primaries tomorrow by endorsing Biden. Yet he hasn’t. But he does have time to endorse Justin Trudeau in Canada. It’s almost disloyal for Obama to not endorse Joe at this point. B.O. Knows.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’d like to think that’s true. But I don’t know it’s true.

      Anyway, that’s inherent in my idea for Biden to name Obama as his secretary of state. That would BE an endorsement, if Obama went along.

      And it’s better than an endorsement, because it’s the next best thing, for Democrats, to having Obama back in office…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        But all of that said…

        Ex-presidents are generally kind of reluctant to take sides in a primary for successors. You realize that, right? I don’t see it as disloyalty at all.

        But I DO see it as him not being loyal ENOUGH.

        Also, he’s observing a point of etiquette at the expense of the country. This election is too important. It’s far more important than any sense of delicacy about taking sides in a primary.

        Obama has weight, and he should throw it around….

        1. Barry


          Reagan didn’t endorse Bush until May 1988, and even then it was a weak endorsement,

          Par for the course.

          Doug wants OBama to do something most all presidents don’t do and then beat that straw man up for it.


          1. Doug Ross

            “Barry”.. I want Obama to live up to his hype from 2007. He never did. He became what he is now… A typical politician… He will be relegated to the mediocrity of his “too cool” demeanor. Not a leader in any way shape or form. That he is doing what every other president did isn’t a sign of greatness.

            Also, can you please send me an invoice for the space I am apparently renting in your head?

            1. Barry

              “ I want Obama to live up to his hype from 2007”

              Straw man arguments are ineffective. Why do you insist on them?

              “ That he is doing what every other president did isn’t a sign of greatness.”

              Doing something different to be different isn’t either. Is there a straw man you won’t kick?

              1. Doug Ross

                You must have watched Wizard of Oz lately. Straw man has become your go to attempt to go after me lately. But as an anonymous troll, it’s more Cowardly Lion…

            2. Harry Harris

              Obama accomplished a lot in his first year despite unprecedented, declared Republican obstructionism. After January 2010 when the Republicans took over Congress, he got nothing from his agenda done legislatively – only help from the Fed to keep the economy growing. He did manage to oversee a reduction in the budget deficit from 1.2 trillion to about 600B despite getting almost nothing from Congress on tax policy – and those came with a price. He showed more grace under pressure than I ever imagined would be exhibited or even needed.

        1. Mark Stewart

          Obama’s major weakness was on the foreign policy side. He didn’t mess up the easy gimmes as Trump and his merry band do, but he typically had trouble with the hard calls where forceful action was required. Obama did much better with the defensive stuff like maintaining collaboration and demanding dictators adhere to global “norms.” He would not make a good Secretary of State – in my estimation.

          I agree with Barry, however, that Obama would make a great Supreme Court Justice. I think that is also why he isn’t keen to endorse, I think Obama would find that unseemly. I don’t think we should ever expect an ex President to be a naked political hack. That’s just another example of the corsening of our society since the Tea Party rage began.

          1. Doug Ross

            Obama: “Based on the eight years Joe Biden spent as my Vice President,, I believe he is the best choice to defeat Donald Trump.”

            That would be considered a naked political hack? Seriously?

            The actual naked political hack move is to sit on the sidelines to see how things play out in the spring and then jump in once you know you can support the person who will win the nomination. Obama doesn’t want to back a loser for his own personal reputation sake… it’s the easy way out. But I’ve given up on expecting Obama to do anything bold or outside traditional partisan political gamesmanship.

      2. David T

        “Anyway, that’s inherent in my idea for Biden to name Obama as his secretary of state. That would BE an endorsement, if Obama went along.”

        Never happen, there’s too much money to be made as an ex-President. Just ask the Clintons.

        1. Barry

          Michelle is more popular than her husband. She can continue to rake in tens of millions while her husband serves on the court.

          Obama could make many millions on the court writing books. He is only 58. He could serve 10-12 years on the court, retire and get a bigger book advance than he can now.

          1. David T

            How many Supreme Court Justices never served on a bench prior to being nominated?

            His law experience is of a law student and an as an adjunct instructor, he never was a full time college law professor. Adjuncts are the equivalent of substitute teachers but at the college level. And how long did he teach, one semester???

  4. Realist

    Mulvaney strikes again. I realize this has nothing to do with the debate but the press conference Mulvaney held was a complete disaster if one is a Trump supporter. He basically countered everything Trump has been denying concerning quid pro quo during the conversation with the Ukrainian president. Schiff and the Democrats must be dancing in the streets by now after the amateur hour press conference Mulvaney held.

    Mulvaney could be standing in a parking lot puddle after a rain and still be in water over his head.

    And to think this leech replaced one of the best House members to ever represent South Carolina. How he ended up being an advisor to Trump is beyond me but then again, Trump is just as incompetent as the people he chooses to surround him and give him advice that of course he ignores and proceeds with his own unique version of self-delusion and grandeur.

    Between Mulvaney and Guiliani, they will sink Trump quicker than anyone on the Democrat side ever could.

    I don’t like Trump but if I am Trump, Mulvaney would be fired before the sun sets today and out on the street.

    1. Barry

      Mick Mulvamey is an unethical hack.

      Always has been.

      It’s going to be fun when Trump turns on him.

    2. Mark Stewart

      Didn’t happen. But then again Trump found someone as unethical as himself; so not likely he can dump Mulvaney, even if he wanted to do so.

      The entire administration is just a dumpster fire.

      1. Realist

        If only the Trump administration was an actual dumpster fire. At least the trash and rotting garbage would be burned and the ashes buried in an unmarked container in a secret location so it could never be resurrected again.

  5. Bob Amundson

    The high cost of prescription drugs and the cost of “out-of -network” healthcare SHOULD be easy to fix, but Big Pharma and the Healthcare Insurance Industry are investing incredible amounts of lobbying money to maintain the status quo.

Comments are closed.