Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Notes from Last Night's Debate....

  • I had thought that Edwards left something on the table a few times, most notably in bringing up John Kerry's vote against the Gulf War. Kevin Phillips' book is indispensible for why any normal person WOULD HAVE voted against that war. To wit:

*Slant drilling actually gave Iraq a reasonable cause for war,
*Bush I's policy itself was against the war, until Marget Thatcher told him that she got 8 years in office out of invading the Falklands,
*There was absolutely NO evidence that there was a
threat to Saudi Arabia. This was manufactured; the
only problems Saudi Arabia actually had
militarily came AFTER "coalition" troops arrived.
*There really was no "exist strategy." The one that
Bush I produced, in fact, was a key fertilizer for al Qaeda.
(That is, stationing troops in Saudi Arabia indefinitely.)

* Did I mention Harken oil and Bahrain and the sweet-heart deal the current Resident received?

Had I been Edwards I would have rubbed Cheney's nose in this..

  • I am surrpised that Edwards also didn't attack the "I never met you " BS that Cheney spewed; media reports are all over this lie by Cheney; it's clear that Cheney is a pathological liar.
  • I would also have rubbed Cheney's nose in the fact that the people involved with Bush have been involved in every major scandal over the past 50 years.
  • Not to mention the weird conflicts of interest with his father...
  • Cheney probably thought that "" was a "non-site," so as to make sure that nobody would find out the facts about him. Too bad it goes to! On going to, BTW, I have to say, Kerry's ad notwithstanding, Cheney is hardly let off the hook. The add says, a Kerry "ad claims Cheney got $2 million from Halliburton 'as vice president,' which is false. Actually, nearly $1.6 million of that was paid before Cheney took office. More importantly, all of it was earned before he was a candidate, when he was the company's chief executive." This is slightly disingenous: the fact is, Halliburton can pay this compensation provided it continues to make money, and therefore Cheney does, indeed, have a conflict of interest: he has a vested interest in seeing that Halliburton continues to stay profitable, so that he may continue to receive his deferred compensation. Now, factcheck mentions some insurance policy that kicks in if Halliburton goes south, but, -but- "to insulate himself from that possible conflict, Cheney purchased an insurance policy (which cost him$14,903) that promises to pay him all the deferred compensation that Halliburton owes him even if the company goes bust and refuses to pay. The policy does contain escape clauses allowing the insurance company to refuse payment in the unlikely events that Cheney files a claim resulting 'directly or indirectly' from a change in law or regulation, or from a 'prepackaged' bankruptcy in which creditors agree on terms prior to filing. But otherwise it ensures Cheney will get what Halliburton owes him should it go under." Now what's interesting here is that much of Halliburton's income now is related to the (regulated) oil industry, and, of course, war profiteering. This means that a) Cheney gets squat if there'sa change in the law (how is that not a conflict of interest???,) OR, b) if creditors (including Cheney?) agree on terms prior to a Halliburton Bankruptcy. Conclusion: this "insurance policy" is a hardly any insulation at all against a conflict of interest! Moreover, we can question, legitmately, the ethics of Cheney getting this compensation- at the time, as everyone knows, Halliburton was being run very poorly by Cheney, and was indeed involved in shady deals with Iran. Bottom line on Halliburton- from itsef: Edwards was mostly right.
  • Cheney looked absolutely flustered about his Lesbian daughter- his blind parroting of policy showed that his family values are in the toilet: even if it is potentially harmful to his family, the "head" Bush-bot will fall in lock step with their policy. This was the moment that revealed Cheney to be what he is: a coward, whose sense of honor and dignity is beneath that of a mouse.
  • The psychodrama of Dick Cheney could use further expoloration: why do some folks, like Cheney, grow from humble circumstances to harm their fellow human beings (Saddam Hussein's another human being like Cheney that comes to mind), while others, such as John Edwards, actually, really, and truly fight for them? I'd bottle whatever is in Edwards that's not in Cheney. Who knows? Maybe we'd have less Saddam Bushes in the world.
  • Which brings me to my next point: Cheney's draft deferments. He's a chickenhawk.

All in all, I'd say the format was slightly harmful to Edwards, but at least we DID, for a while, get to see a Dick Cheney that few of us would want to leave in a room alone with our kids.

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