Blaise Pascal, PenseĆ© 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Biden's Laughing Game

There was a lot of commentary last night after the debate on Joe Biden's demeanor and there should have been. I was a high school debater in the "Thumb B" league in Michigan, and had any of the kids used the tactics Biden was using, they'd have been smacked around by the judge and their coach: laughing, sometimes audibly, rearing back in his chair, smirking. It was an astounding low point in the history of televised presidential debates--something out of culture that's had too much Jerry Springer and Dr. Phil. 

There was nothing spontaneous about it. This was clearly a planned tactic that went on from start to finish. I don't expect civility from pundits. Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh--I've given up there. As Jon Stewart said when he was on "Cross Fire," stop, you're hurting the country. But from a candidate for the second highest office in America? That was the example he wants to set? This really does hurt the country, and even if Ryan is wrong on everything, it still hurts the country.

See this link for Tom Brokaw's take:

Link to ABC:

For what the polls are worth, Ryan and Biden split between CBS and CNN, who polled different demographics. Who Won the Debate

What sticks with me about this debate, aside from Biden's laughter, and also from the first Romney / Obama debate, is that there are no Democratic proposals on the table to turn around the economy or deal with the coming bankruptcy of Medicare. You can't even find them on-line. Everyone in both parties knows these are dire issues. The Republicans at least put up proposals, all of which include cuts because cuts have to be made. The Democrats then attack, hoping the public will believe that higher taxes on people and businesses earning over $250,000, will do the job. As Ryan pointed out in one of his best segments of the night, these taxes will not come close, and cuts will have to come:

"Look, if you taxed every person and successful business making over $250,000 at 100 percent, it would only run the government for 98 days. If everybody who paid income taxes last year, including successful small businesses, doubled their income taxes this year, we'd still have a $300 billion deficit. You see? There aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending."

 The Democrat playbook on budget issues--propose nothing, sit back, and attack--is irresponsible politics. If they get another four years, the debt approaches $20 trillion, and we approach debt default, it will be a real Greek-style belly slapper.

An Oldie but Goodie; Jon Stewart on Crossfire:

My favorite line by Stewart: "To do a debate would be great." Yeah.

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