Notes on the Debate

[Disclosure: I live in Chicago, and have financially supported Obama already.]

The first note is about the organization that McCain cited at the beginning of his speech, Citizens Against Government Waste. The one he was using as his citation for the 900-million-dollar figure he was hanging around Obama’s neck. They’ve are a lobbying organization, which has the following accusations against it:

  • Astroturfing for Microsoft, against the anti-trust actions in the late 90s.
  • Astroturfing for Phillip-Morris, to label a public health campaign that was showing results in reducing smoking “government waste,” and for a tobacco-industry supported anti-tobacco bill.
  • Labelling the YMCA “government waste” after taking contributions from private health clubs.

And perhaps most damning:

  • Laundering money for Jack Abramoff

That’s who McCain was using as his source when he obliquely accused Obama of corruption.

Also worth noting was Obama’s description of the practice of supporting friendly dictators the product of “a 20th century mindset.” A brilliant statement, in no small part because Obama knows how to get your mind going in the direction he wants it to go. The rest of the debate I had the recurring sensation that McCain sounded like a throwback to the late 1980s—great for ironic, trashy, britpop. For a U.S. President? Not so much.

6 thoughts on “Notes on the Debate

  1. I don’t endorse smoking, but at the same time I don’t see it as the government’s job to get people to stop. Similarly, I don’t see it as the government’s job to provide money to the YMCA. “government waste” doesn’t mean “bad” in general, it just means “not something the taxpayers should pay for”.

  2. you were not only one supporting obama. now it is known that “fanny mae” which is a government agency gave campaign contributions to -chris dodd-barry obama among others in liberal arena. this is a documented fact.

  3. Anonymous:

    You’re missing the point: CAGW takes money from the tobacco industry, and supports government efforts to help people stop smoking when those efforts are backed by the tobacco industry, but opposes efforts (which have been shown to reduce smoking) which are also opposed by the tobacco industry.


    Wrong on multiple counts. Fannie Mae was started as a government agency, but was privatized into a stockholder-controlled corporation in 1968. Secondly, corporations are not allowed to donate to campaigns, so the “Fannie Mae supports X” is spin: Fannie Mae employees (i.e. secretaries to Vice Presidents) have given more money to Obama than McCain. However, if you include the directors of the company and it’s paid lobbyists, then McCain is actually the “choice”.

  4. Can we keep posts about USA politics off the Ubuntu planet please?

  5. So far as I’m aware, my blog is not aggregated on Planet Ubuntu, so you’re asking the wrong fellow.

    If you would like it kept off of Planet GNOME, that debate has been had again and again, and the short answer is no, you cannot. I voluntarily keep my most “vigorous” posts off of PGO, but this is not a vigorous opinion, so I’m not going to self-censor. If you dislike that you are free to ignore my postings.

  6. I’ve recently been watching season four of the West Wing and I couldn’t help compare McCain to Governor Richie in the presidential debate episode. Of course, I have a biased opinion already.

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