Game over, man. Game over.

I know, I'm Posty McPostsALot tonight, apparently. But since a friend requested my post-debate reaction, how could I say no?

Well, this was probably McCain's strongest debate of the three. Which is probably the best thing I can say for his performance tonight. He started out weird with the "voters are hurting and angry and they're angry and I understand that and they're hurting and they're angry and hurting" thing that had me telling my television "someone please bump the record player, the needle's stuck". What the hell was that?

He was hateful and negative, which he clearly can't control because he has to know it's hurting his candidacy and yet he's still doing it. That fake smile he has plastered on is so obvious it makes the skin crawl. And he continues to lie, lie, lie, and oh yeah, lie. In fact, he'd told so many lies in the first two minutes -- THE FINANCIAL CRISIS HAS NOT BEEN CAUSED BY FANNIE AND FREDDIE YOU LYING SACK OF SHIT -- that I actually had to switch the channel for a second to keep from hyperventilating.

And his contempt and arrogance and condescension were on full display tonight. He is pissed off that he even has to campaign for a job that he feels is his rightful due, and having to be on the same stage with that black guy that everyone likes better is an insult. What a jerk.

But really, the hands-down best moment was the when Barak smacked down McCain's lie that Obama would fine businesses for not providing healthcare plans. I couldn't believe the look on McCain's face, and it just kept going and going and I thought maybe it'd finally happened, that maybe Obama had finally vaporlocked him. I've never seen anything like it in a presidential debate, and I've seen every presidential debate since Reagan vs. Carter (when I was 7...my dorkitude began at a very early age).

And what the hell with the blinking??? Christ, hook his eyelids up to a generator and you could probably light Las Vegas.

Barak was, as ever, the definition of cool and self-possessed. He's smart and his rhetoric is a thing of beauty. His command of facts and policy is practically savant-like. (And btw -- wtf with McCain continually equating Down's Syndrom with autism??) He doesn't get rattled, doesn't get thrown off track, doesn't lose his temper. The contrast is devastating and I think that under all the analysis, it's been the contrast in demeanor that's hurt McCain in the debates more than anything else. Obama exudes Presidential, and he's calmly and patiently made his case.

I think it's safe to say that the election is now over and all that's left is the counting. (Which doesn't mean we should rest. We should, in fact, press even harder...we want this election to be a landslide, to blow it out of the water and leave the GOP completely broken.)

Fun with teh internets

To balance the reading assignment I gave you earlier today, here are two fun activities:

First a hilarious timewaster called Palin As President -- I love stuff like this where you just click random stuff to see what it does. I think I've found everything...see if you can, too! And be sure to click on things multiple times -- many of them do several things.

Second, an ad that had my husband rolling from across the table within the first few seconds, even though he couldn't even see the screen. It's that good.

ETA: Oh, and Heroes may be sucking right now, but Claire still has her priorities straight.

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

One the perks of being a liberal is that we have all the awesome creative people on our side. :)

Reading assignment

Your assignment for today: a must-read essay by Tim Wallis (reproduced on Dark Christianity) that nails a concept to the door that I think we all recognize, but struggle to articulate. What he has to say is challenging, and draws on some generalizations to make his point (in other words, it's not meant to be precise, nor to say that all people that belong to a group or category are as he describes them), and it's the kind of thing that when you finish reading it, you say to yourself, "If only I could make everyone read this!"

Well, I can't make everyone read it, but I can ask you guys to read it. :)

His essay is called This is How Fascism Comes: Reflections on the Cost of Silence, and it's a take on Sinclair Lewis' famous quote: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."


Correcting the record

Watching the debate last night redlined my Rant-O-Meter yet again, and there were so many half-truths and outright lies spewing from McCain's rubbery lips that it would be akin to Factology Whack-A-Mole trying to correct them all.


I just wanted to be sure that we're all clear on one big lie McCain tried to push, and he said it in passing so that it wasn't even the main point of the larger lie he was telling. Which was that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were the cause of the current crisis. No, no, and oh hay-ell no.

Daniel Gross says it so I don't have to:

These arguments are generally made by people who read the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and ignore the rest of the paper—economic know-nothings whose opinions are informed mostly by ideology and, occasionally, by prejudice. Let's be honest. Fannie and Freddie, which didn't make subprime loans but did buy subprime loans made by others, were part of the problem. Poor Congressional oversight was part of the problem. Banks that sought to meet CRA requirements by indiscriminately doling out loans to minorities may have been part of the problem. But none of these issues is the cause of the problem. Not by a long shot. From the beginning, subprime has been a symptom, not a cause. And the notion that the Community Reinvestment Act is somehow responsible for poor lending decisions is absurd.[...]

The Community Reinvestment Act applies to depository banks. But many of the institutions that spurred the massive growth of the subprime market weren't regulated banks. They were outfits such as Argent and American Home Mortgage, which were generally not regulated by the Federal Reserve or other entities that monitored compliance with CRA. These institutions worked hand in glove with Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, entities to which the CRA likewise didn't apply. There's much more. As Barry Ritholtz notes in this fine rant, the CRA didn't force mortgage companies to offer loans for no money down, or to throw underwriting standards out the window, or to encourage mortgage brokers to aggressively seek out new markets. Nor did the CRA force the credit-rating agencies to slap high-grade ratings on packages of subprime debt.[...]

Lending money to poor people and minorities isn't inherently risky. There's plenty of evidence that in fact it's not that risky at all. That's what we've learned from several decades of microlending programs, at home and abroad, with their very high repayment rates. And as the New York Times recently reported, Nehemiah Homes, a long-running initiative to build homes and sell them to the working poor in subprime areas of New York's outer boroughs, has a repayment rate that lenders in Greenwich, Conn., would envy. In 27 years, there have been fewer than 10 defaults on the project's 3,900 homes. That's a rate of 0.25 percent.

On the other hand, lending money recklessly to obscenely rich white guys, such as Richard Fuld of Lehman Bros. or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, can be really risky. In fact, it's even more risky, since they have a lot more borrowing capacity. And here, again, it's difficult to imagine how Jimmy Carter could be responsible for the supremely poor decision-making seen in the financial system. I await the Krauthammer column in which he points out the specific provision of the Community Reinvestment Act that forced Bear Stearns to run with an absurd leverage ratio of 33 to 1, which instructed Bear Stearns hedge-fund managers to blow up hundreds of millions of their clients' money, and that required its septuagenarian CEO to play bridge while his company ran into trouble. Perhaps Neil Cavuto knows which CRA clause required Lehman Bros. to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars in short-term debt in the capital markets and then buy tens of billions of dollars of commercial real estate at the top of the market. I can't find it.[...]

Lending money to poor people doesn't make you poor. Lending money poorly to rich people does.

This wasn't the worst or biggest lie McCain told during that debate. But it's exactly the kind of thing that because it was of just middling error in comparison, infiltrates the public conversation as fact and the next thing you know, it becomes accepted as common knowledge, like the myth that Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet. Once it becomes entrenched like that, it's impossible to budge.

[Also? The fucking "That one" comment?? Holy hopping fuck on a goldfish fucking cracker does that make me want to kick some shriveled old man ass every time I see it replayed. I am still boggled that he actually said it. DIAF you racist patronizing asshole.]