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Politics Archive



October 2009



Capitol Briefing – CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

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CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

Updated 5:06 p.m.
By Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray
A health-care reform bill drafted by the Senate Finance Committee would expand health coverage to nearly 30 million Americans who currently lack insurance and would meet President Obama’s goal of reducing the federal budget deficit by 2019, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

The bill would cost $829 billion over the next decade, but would more than offset that cost by slicing hundreds of billions from government health programs such as Medicare and by imposing a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost insurance policies starting in 2013.

All told, the package would slice $81 billion from projected budget deficits over the next 10 years, the CBO said, and continue to reduce deficits well into the future.

It would also expand coverage to 94 percent of Americans by 2019, the CBO said, up from the current 83 percent.

The assessment by Congress’s nonpartisan auditors has been awaited by committee members as they prepare to vote on the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday. And the CBO report lends a huge political boost to the Finance Committee’s work: distinguishing it as the only one of five bills drafted by various congressional committees that meets every important test established by President Obama and key Democratic leaders.

— It would cost less than $900 billion over the next decade;

— It would vastly expand coverage; and

— It would keep Obama’s pledge that health reform will not increase budget deficits by “one dime” now or in the future.

“This is transformative. This is game-changing,” Finance committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said. “For two years now, that’s exactly what we have been doing in the Finance Committee — working to get this result.”

The committee’s vote is expected to be close, and passage could hinge on a handful of senators who have indicated that the CBO’s report may sway them.

In a letter to Baucus and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the committee’s ranking Republican, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf cautioned that the analysis is preliminary in large part because the committee has not yet drawn up the bill in legislative language.

By Lori Montgomery  |  October 7, 2009; 4:33 PM ET




September 2009



From National Journal Magazine – If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

Written by , Posted in Random


If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

Fasten your seat belts — it’s going to be a bumpy flight.

by Jonathan Rauch

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009

“Hello! Thank you for calling Air Health Care, the airline that works like the health care system. My name is Cynthia. How can I give you travel care today?”

“Hi. My name is Jonathan Rauch. I need to fly from Washington, D.C., to Eugene, Oregon, on October 23.”

“Yes, I’d be happy to assist you with that. It does look like we can get you on a flight on January 23 at 1 p.m. or February 8 at 3 p.m. Which would you prefer?”

“Neither. I need to be in Eugene on October 23. As in, the 23rd of October.”

“I’m sorry, we have nothing open on that date. You might try another carrier.”

“I suppose I’d better. Who has availability?”

“I’m afraid I have no way to know that. I have no way to look into their systems.”

“Who would know?”

“You can call them individually and ask. I’m sure you can find one.”

“Look, I don’t have time to call two dozen airlines. It’s important that I get to Eugene on the 23rd. There must be something you can do.”

“Well, it looks like maybe we could squeeze you in on October 26, if you don’t mind departing Washington Dulles at 5:35 a.m.”

“Good grief. All right, I suppose it will do.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t use e-mail to transmit records and other personal or secure documents. We keep our records on paper.”

“Great, thank you, I’ll be happy to make that booking for you. That’s one flight from Washington Dulles to Chicago O’Hare on October 26. Will there be anything else?”

“Wait, hold on. Chicago? I’m going to Eugene. It’s in Oregon.”

“Yes, sir. The Eugene portion of your trip will be handled by a western specialist. We’ll be glad to bring you back from Chicago to Washington, though.”

“You mean I have to call another carrier and go through all this again? Why don’t you just book the whole trip?”

“Sorry, sir, but you do need to make your own travel appointments. We would be happy to refer you to some qualified carriers. May I have your fax number, please? Before I can confirm the booking, we’ll need you to fill out your travel history and send that back to us.”

“Cynthia, I have filled out my travel history half a dozen times already this year. I’ve told six different airlines that I flew to Detroit twice and Houston once. Every time I fly, I answer the same battery of questions. At least a dozen airlines have my travel history. Why don’t you get it from them?”

“We have no way we could do that. We do not have access to other companies’ records, and our personnel have our own system for collecting travel history.”

“But 95 percent of these questions are always the same. Don’t you know that every time I fill out one of these duplicative forms I increase the chance of error? Wouldn’t it make more sense to hold my travel information centrally, so that everyone could see the same thing?”

“Sorry, sir, we have no capability for that, and we do need to have your travel history at least two weeks before you fly.”

“I don’t suppose I could fill out these forms online?”

“No, sir. The forms are only about 30 pages, though. Did you have that fax number, please?”

“I don’t have a fax machine. No one faxes anymore. Just e-mail me the forms.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t use e-mail to transmit records and other personal or secure documents. We keep our records on paper.”

“What century is this? You think paper is secure?”

“We do keep all your travel records on low-acid paper and in fire-retardant file drawers. When someone needs access to your records, we make a photocopy and put them in the mail. Or fax. How many items of luggage were you wanting to bring?”


“OK, good. We suggest you make luggage arrangements with Rapid Air Transport, though of course you’re free to use any luggage company you like.”

“Luggage company?”

“Yes, sir. You’ll need to arrange baggage transport. Would you like a phone number for Rapid, or would you prefer to find your own baggage company? I’m sure Rapid would be pleased to work with you. All you need to do is sign the Personal Travel Records Release form. Where would you like me to mail that?”

“Release form?”

“Yes, sir. You’ll need to sign and fax or mail that back to our Travel Records Department so that we can release your travel records to Rapid. Under the privacy rules, we’re not authorized to tell them when or where you’re flying without your written permission.”

“I suppose I couldn’t just e-mail you this permission, or grant it online?”

“No. Did you want a list of luggage carriers for your Chicago-Eugene leg?”

“Let me guess. Rapid doesn’t operate out West. I have to find a separate luggage company for the second leg.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And they’ll need more copies of all the same paperwork. And they’ll ask me all the same questions. And I’ll have to arrange to get my travel records to them by mail or fax. And I’ll repeat all this nonsense five or six separate times between here and Eugene, because the providers aren’t equipped to talk to each other and my records aren’t digitized and no two providers use the same system.”

“Yes, sir, that’s right! Did you have a preferred fuelist, or did you want a reference for a company to provide jet fuel for your flight?”

“Fuelist. That would be a fuel specialist, I suppose.”

“We can make a fuel arrangement for you, but please be advised that the fuelist’s charge will be billed separately and you will be responsible for it. We’ll need to know where to have that bill sent.

“May I have your flight-insurance information, please?”

“Millennium Travel Care, group number 068832, ID number RS-3390041B.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we’re not in Millennium Travel Care’s provider network.”

“You’re listed on their website. It says you accept Millennium.”

“We did until last week. If you like, you can pay out of pocket for your ticket.”

“How much would that be?”

“Yes, sir, I’ll be happy to get that price for you. That would be $17,885.70.”

“What? For a flight to Chicago? Does anyone actually pay that?”

“I’m sorry, sir, I wouldn’t know. I can tell you that different clients and insurers pay different rates. For individuals, the rate is $17,885.70.”


“In a sane system, I would call an airline and it would give me a price for the whole trip, not just for one part of it.”

“Plus tax. And fuel.”

“Is anyone else cheaper?”

“Sir, again, I couldn’t tell you that. Carriers don’t have public rate sheets. Prices are privately negotiated, so there’s really no way you could comparison shop.”


“Did you want to go ahead, then?”

“No. I DO NOT WANT TO GO AHEAD. I do not want to go anywhere! I want to jump off a cliff!

“This system is insane. It is fragmented to the point of incoherence. Record-keeping is stuck in the 1960s. Communication is stuck in the 1980s. None of the systems talks to the others. Everyone reinvents the wheel at every stage of the process. There is no pricing transparency.

“In a sane, modern system, I wouldn’t have to arrange each leg of my flight myself. I wouldn’t have to fax documents around, find and juggle multiple providers, fill out again and again what are essentially the same forms every time I use a provider.

“In a sane system, I would call an airline and it would give me a price for the whole trip, not just for one part of it. It would sell me a safe round-trip journey, instead a series of separate procedures. It would have back-office personnel using modern IT systems to coordinate my journey behind the scenes. The systems and personnel would talk to each other automatically. At the press of a button, once I entered a password, they would be able to look up my travel history. We’d do most of this stuff online.

“In fact, Cynthia, I would be able to arrange a whole trip with a single phone call!”

“Sir. Please. Calm down and be realistic. I’m sure the system can be frustrating, but consumers don’t understand flight plans and landing slots. Even if they did, there are thousands of separate providers involved in moving travelers around, and hundreds of airports, and millions of trips. Getting everyone to coordinate services and exchange information just isn’t realistic in a business as complicated as travel.”

“Yes. I suppose I’m dreaming.”

“Was there anything else I could help you with?”


“My goal today was to provide you with outstanding service. Did I accomplish that?”



All that’s missing is a denial to carry him on a flight because he had a car accident once.



July 2009



Health Care

Written by , Posted in Feminism

President Obama, Secretary Sebilius and others are working hard right now to try to solve the nation’s health care problem. I hope they do it soon.

However, I don’t think what they are proposing (as well as I understand it) is the right solution. The main reason is the reliance on employer-provided health care.

Can we stop with that? Having one’s health tied to one’s job seems like, and has been in my experience, a really horrible idea. It keeps people in jobs they don’t like (that others might do better, which could improve the nation’s productivity) and prevents people from leaving for jobs they might do better. It causes stress and crazy debt for people. 

And think about a really bad day. You lose your job. So that sucks. And then, you find out that not only do you not have a job, but if you want to keep health insurance on the chance that you don’t get a job within 63 days, it’ll cost you up to $400 / month. And that’s just for you – if you have a family, it could $1,000 or more. A month. While you are unemployed.

I don’t know if a government-run system makes the most sense. But private competition with no requirement to cover people seems to be doing squat right now. It punishes people for taking care of themselves. For example, one must list all medical issues within the last ten years. So if one is responsible and visits the doctor while the cough is still a cough, instead of waiting for it to turn into pneumonia, it gets listed. And if one gets diagnosed with a non-life-threatening condition that could develop into something worse, one gets denied outright. Nevermind that one could have just forgone doctors appointments for a couple of years and the condition would have gone undiagnosed, thus allowing the person to get health insurance. It’s this system of perverse incentives (don’t go to a doctor and hope you’ll get better on your own) that seems to be contributing to people who, once they do get sick, are really, really sick, and end up costing us all a lot of money.

I have some ideas. One is removing the job-health insurance connection. Another is preventing companies from denying patients coverage. They have loads of data one how likely people are to get certain diseases based on their past history. So let’s say Sue has had condition X for a year (one that requires little to no medical care), and 5% of people like her with condition X develop condition Y, the treatment of which is quite costly. Can’t they instead just charge her 5% extra for her coverage? Or 5% x % increase in cost? There are obviously some not-so-well researched conditions, but I’m guessing there’s a lot of data on obesity and heart disease, or asthma and other respiratory ailments. 

The Economist had an interesting article probably five years ago about requiring all to have health insurance. I love that idea. If all were required to do it, we’d have to fix the system. Hopefully remove it from any sort of tie to employement. Use the tax breaks given to employers to provide tax breaks and subsidies to consumers.

There was also an excellent article in the NY Times Magazine on the topic of restricting health care (posted below).

This is admittedly not the most well-thought-out musing I’ve ever posted, but I couldn’t not comment on it. I’m about to leave my job, and while I’ll have coverage when in London, I won’t have coverage at home, so I’m going through all of the options. COBRA is ridiculously expensive, and the various private options are hit-and-miss. I could go without, but I’d give my mother a year of stress that she doesn’t need, and myself a hefty hospital bill should something happen to me when I’m outside the UK.



June 2009





May 2009



Bigotry 2, California’s Reputation 0

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I haven’t commented on the supreme court ruling in California on Proposition 8 yet for a couple of reasons. When it was announced I was out of town at a conference. And the past couple of days I’ve still gottten really upset when I think about the ruling. I’m still pissed, but I think my thoughts are better formulated now.

First, I can’t speak to the validity of the ruling. I don’t know the law as it relates to propositions. But here is what I do know, or at least what I believe: propositions (or initatives, as they’re known in some other states, like Washington) are bad policy. We do not live in a direct democracy – we live in a representative one. And I firmly believe that mixing the two rarely results in good. In Washington, it led to brilliant laws like the $30 license plate tab (resulting in drastically reduced funds for such luxuries as safe roads and public transportation). The biggest problem I have with allowing the general citizenry to vote on sweeping reforms (and basic civil rights) is that they think only about themselves. Now, politicians in general are, I believe, quite selfish, but they also are interested in achieving some balance. They have to look beyond the excitement of saving $200 a year on car licenses, to the millions needed to accommodate those same cars on safe roads. You and I? We don’t necessarily have to look at those things. Ideally we would, but I think it’s obvious that a lot of people don’t.

Second, the fact that a proposition can be used to take away basic human rights? That scares me. A lot. I’m lucky enough to have my sexuality validated by the mainstream society, but that’s just luck of the draw. What other rights could be taken away? Just because a right wasn’t always properly acknowledged (as I believe same-sex marriage has always been a right, but not properly acknowledged) doesn’t mean it isn’t a right just the same.

Finally, as I was flipping through my two channels on Friday, I saw a glimpse of Dr. Phil’s show on the ruling (I know, I know, but bear with me). Gavin Newsome (SF Mayor) equated this fight for equality to the fight by blacks in the 60s. Then a black woman started yelling about how insulting that was, because “I’ve never met an ex black person.” The suggestion with that statement is that black is an innate characteristic and thus those possessing that trait should be protected, but gay is a “choice” and thus not deserving of protection.

There are so many problems with this argument. The first is the suggestion that being gay is a choice. I know I can’t judge, but I am highly suspect of anyone who claims to be “formerly” gay. I think the more appropriate characterization would be these “ex gays” are bisexual and choosing to only date the members of the opposite sex to whom one is attracted, probably to make life a little easier as their family is bigoted. And I don’t remember choosing to be straight. I don’t believe sexuality is a choice; I think the fact that one can choose not to act on the feelings makes it foggier, but it doesn’t mean that the feelings aren’t innate and don’t exist legitimately.

But here’s the thing – let’s say that gay is a choice. Again, I don’t believe that, but let’s pretend for a moment. You know what else is a choice? Religion. Sure, there are some children who are essentially forced into their belief system, and there are some entire religions that are equated with race/ethnicity (Judaism comes to mind), but religion is, at some basic level and at some point in life, a choice. And it’s a very loud, proud choice for some of the very people who seem to hate gays – born again Christians (not all obviously hate gay people, but you know what I am saying). They make a choice to believe in Jesus Christ, and then they decide that we all need to accept that choice and afford them certain rights (like tax-free churches). I definitely think that freedom of religion should be protected, and that the government should not award or deny benefits based on religion. But it’s a choice, and it’s protected, so even if sexuality were a choice, that alone certainly is not a logical reason to deny the rights to gay people that are afforded to all other people of consenting age.

I don’t know where this will all go, or what will happen next, but I can only hope that some day soon my dearest friends will be able to stand in front of a judge or a pastor (should that church choose to ordain the marriage), declare their love, sign some papers, and get the same benefits I would get if I got drunk in vegas and found another equally willing drunk male and did the same thing.

Not cool California. Not cool.



May 2009





November 2008



Proposition 8: What’s with the hate, California?

Written by , Posted in Feminism

There are a few things about this proposition that I just don’t get. 

1 – Is it just about gay? If so, why? Despite what some bigoted pastors and priests say, being gay (according to the Bible) is not any more of an abomination than, say, wearing a suit made from mixed cloths. It takes a special, completely ignorant reading of the Bible, stretching the understanding of what’s written in it (and of course putting aside the interests of those who wrote it in the first place), to find support for this hatred. For a much more eloquent take on the Biblical aspect of this, I highly recommend this great film: “For the Bible Tells Me So.” Clearly, using religion to support hatred happens all the time, but regardless, it’s unconstitutional for the state to endorse religion is such a way. So it can’t (legally, at least) be just about this.

2 – Is it about tradition? If so, how is that a reasonable argument? Tradition is what kept black people from being allowed to marry white people in 16 states as recently as 40 years ago. That’s creepy. Tradition is not always right, frankly, and while there may be some skinheads up in Idaho who still think the races shouldn’t mix, for most people it’s a given that it is well within a black person’s rights to marry a white person, and vice versa. So clearly tradition can change.

And, as Jon Stewart pointed out so hilariously on his show last week, ‘traditional’ marriage has been kind of a crock of s–t. It was about securing property and control – why do you think women traditionally changed their last name when they got married? I certainly don’t want to be forced into a marriage and required to provide a dowry. I don’t think the ‘traditional’ concept of marriage was all that good – why do the Mormon and Catholics who supported this measure seem to think that loveless marriages secured based on property decisions are the ones that should remain the model?

3 – Is it about family? I’ve heard some say marriage exists solely for the purpose of family, and by family, they mean at least a kid or two. If that’s the case – why haven’t the supporters of Prop 8 also introduced propositions to prevent women who have gone through menopause from marrying? I mean, they certainly won’t be having any kids. Or what about people who are naturally infertile? Should there be a fertility test? Should all couples, when applying for a marriage license, also sign their pledge to reproduce? No? Okay then. This argument is clearly ridiculous.

The point, for me, is this – it is not okay for the majority to deny civil rights to the minority. It’s not okay to prevent blacks from marrying whites, and it’s not okay to prevent gays from marrying each other. 


I believe marriage is a very precious thing. It’s pretty amazing to think that so many people find someone with whom they want to spend their entire life. That’s beautiful, and something that should be celebrated and supported, not denigrated with hatred and bigotry.

Keith Olbermann put it quite eloquently last night; I encourage you to read his message.



November 2008



Yes We Can

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And we did.

I feel like I can sleep tonight. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. He won. We won. The country won. I cried when it was called, and I cried when he spoke. And frankly, McCain’s graciousness even touched me.

I have hope. A lot of hope.



October 2008



Psst. I’m an American Too

Written by , Posted in Feminism

I’m tired. It’s 11 on a Monday night. I’m still getting over a cold, and I should really be in bed with my book, getting in one last chapter before drifting off. But I can’t sleep until I get this off of my chest. I could probably say this more eloquently, but for now, here it is.

I’m tired of the claim that I am not a real American. I’m tired of turning on the TV to hear someone, in front of a crowd of (white) people in a (small) town that THEY are the true, real Americans.

Because guess what? I am an American, too. I am a ‘real’ American. I am also “pro-America” (so long, of course, as that doesn’t mean I have to be “anti-everyone else”). That’s right. Even if we don’t agree with you, Sarah Palin, John McCain, and Michelle Bachmann, we are still American, and we are still rooting for things in this country to turn around.

Some of us are straight. Some of us are gay. But our sexuality doesn’t make us Pro-America or Anti-America. Me being attracted to members of the opposite sex doesn’t make me more of an American, or a better American, than the fact that one of my best friend’s is attracted to members of the same sex.

Some of us are Catholic. Some are Jewish. Some are Muslim, and some are Quaker. Some are agnostic. Some are Protestant. But our religion doesn’t make us Pro-America or Anti-America, or less of an American than you. You don’t get a larger claim on the right to call yourself American just because you make a big show of sitting in a pew on Sundays. 

Some of us live in small towns. Some of us live in big cities. Some of us live in neighborhoods that feel like small towns in the middle of big cities. But our zip codes don’t make us Pro-America or Anti-America. You don’t get to call yourself more of a citizen because you live in a zip code with fewer than 6,000 residents and I live in a zip code with over 62,000. 

I own a passport. I’d love to spend more time exploring the world. Never wanting to leave America is fine if that’s your choice. But it is ridiculous to suggest that people who want to see the world, or who go and talk to other people in the world, or who care about the other 5.7 BILLION people who share the earth with us are less American than you. What we do in this country has a direct impact on the rest of the world, and it is preposterous to suggest that we should ignore them all.

I like knowing that if I call 911, police, fire and EMS will show up. I like knowing that I can get to my job without having to pay for a car, because I take the subway. I like knowing that if something happens to me and, for awhile, I can’t find another job, I might be able to ask the government for some assistance. So yeah, I do think it is patriotic to pay taxes, because even if I don’t ever need those emergency services, I accept that because you and I pay those taxes, someone else’s life might be saved. It’s not “Pro-America” to suggest that paying taxes is a bad thing, and it’s not “Anti-America” to be able to see the bigger picture on this issue.

I’m tired of hearing about how the real Americans come from the states between the coasts. How, because my path in life involved getting a master’s degree, and not going straight to work in a factory, I’m less of an American. It’s ridiculous to suggest that working hard to educated yourself and move up in life is somehow not American. And it’s bull to suggest that because I have a degree I someone look down upon people who don’t.

I’m tired of the hypocrisy of those who claim to treasure the “American Dream” and with their next breath tear down those who not only fulfilled that dream but want to make it available to others. 

I love small towns and big cities. I love mountains and the ocean and snow and sun and rain. I love that in America in February you can fly from a blizzard in NYC to the beach in Miami and still be in the same country. I love that on the train to work I can hear different languages and see people who don’t look like me all living and working and loving together. 

One reason this is a place so many people want to come to is BECAUSE there are so many different people here. Not everyone is white, works at the local diner and has three or four kids. Not everyone goes to a Baptist church. Not everyone thinks that Beverly Hills Chihuahua is the greatest movie of the year. But if they do? That doesn’t make them less of an American either.

You know what? I think it is patriotic to have the courage and the strength and the honesty to recognize that there are some areas at which America ISN’T the greatest. The fact that we even have to discuss the possibility that there could be a ‘Bradley Effect’ on the election disgusts me. There are still plenty of racists and bigots in this country, and that does not make me proud. The fact that the one thing that the candidates seem to agree on is their dislike of gay marriage – that does not make me proud. 

If, as a parent, you point out that your child could improve in an area, maybe work a little harder, does that mean you don’t love your child? OF COURSE NOT. It means you care enough about your child to try to correct him or her so that he or she can grow and be even better than he or she already is. Criticizing the government, asking for change, and pointing out the problems we have in this country doesn’t mean we love it any less than you do – it just means that we care enough to be honest so that maybe, just maybe, it will become a better place.

Protesting the government and seeking change? THAT is  American, damn it.

And so am I.



October 2008



Live Musings – Presidential Debate #3 (30 minutes anyway)

Written by , Posted in Reviews

I tried to resist. I failed. Bob, please bring it home.

9:02 PM – Obama – red tie. McCain – Blue tie. Way to mix it up boys! Rachel Maddow thinks McCain won the tie contest.

9:03 PM – McCain, for the second time, starts his debate with bad news about an elderly person being ill. Seriously, he fulfills old man stereotypes. I don’t know about you, but one of my grandmother’s favorite things was telling us about her friends who were sick. I associate that need to share bad tiding with old and cranky. Point? Obama.

9:06 PM – Obama has a bit of a chill tone. AND – first reference to the middle class. Side note – he’s looking right at me. Hi Obama! Sorry I’m not wearing your shirt – but it’s going to walk away on it’s own accord if I don’t wash it soon.

9:07 PM – McCain got a posture lecture, methinks. He looks like he has a stick up his rear, quite literally.

9:08 PM – Wait, is McCain telling a story from Obama’s campaign rally? Smooth! Very smooth. Point? McCain. He’s finally attempting to connect with people. (arg . . . )

9:09 PM – First chuckle goes to Obama. Hee.

9:10 PM – God, I love the fact that if you make less than $250,000, under Obama’s plan, your capital gains taxes don’t go up. My mother did not like the idea of capital gains increases.

9:11 PM – Oooh, Obama is not going to stand for this. He looks kind of annoyed – like “Really, McCain? Really?”

Rachel Maddow cracks my stuff up. Comment from her live blog – Obama “wants to personally take Joe the plumber’s money away?! Like in an alley or something?” Ha. Ha Ha.

9:14 PM – I like that Obama explained that $750 billion could theoretically come back to us taxpayers if it’s managed well. Under him.

Side note – can you hear McCain sighing over to the side there? Is this going to be like the Gore sighing from 2000?

9:15 PM – Obama is making sense to the rational person . . . but in reality, let’s think about it. It is REALLY hard to make the kind of cuts he’s suggesting. Hmm.

9:17 PM – Oh, McCain got a bit of a slap from Bob also. Obama is looking at McCain. Love it. AND McCain brings up  the spending freeze. Yeesh. A hatchet FOLLOWED by a scalpel? Hmm. And he said “We’ve presided.” I hope Obama jumps on that and point out that “we” indeed – we=McCain and Bush.

9:18 PM – Obama, please talk about how an overhead projector is actually a GOOD thing. I like education. I think it’s a good thing. Also, isn’t this like the EXACT SAME discuss we had last time? I may need to switch to project runway now.

9:20 PM – McCain – nice one. “I am not President Bush.” Although, frankly, you have to act that way, not just say it.

9:21 PM – I’ve switched to CNN. Interesting – women are usually more positive overall. But when McCain talks, women actually drop BELOW the neutral line. They don’t so much seem to agree with McCain, but McCain is definitely doing better on some things.

9:23 PM – Ha. Obama mentions that Fox news even agrees with him. Obama keeps things so calm. He did, I think, a great job in pointing out how McCain has differed AND how he is the same. 

9:24 PM – I love this part of the debate, where Obama says that he’s kind of conservative! And McCain says he’s kind of liberal.

9:25 PM – OOH! Bob went there. Sweet!

9:26 PM – Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME! McCain is blaming OBAMA for the tone because Obama did not want to do town hall meetings? Oh that is so ABSURD.

9:27 PM – OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FREAKING KIDDING ME. I’m waiting for Obama’s response and then I am turning the channel. McCain is acting in such an evil way. It’s ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.

9:29 PM – Go Obama! Interesting – CNN – men are neutral, women are positive on what Obama is saying. 

9:30 PM – And I’m out. I tried folks. I tried.