WENY/Star-Gazette Debate

I was able to watch most of the WENY/Star-Gazette debate. Most of the questions and answers were similar to the 13-WHAM debate, which is understandable. Random observations:
  • Near the beginning of the debate, Kuhl thanked WENY for having a "free and open debate" in contrast to what WETM and the Leader were willing to do. I guess Kuhl is at war with one of the most influential, and most conservative, newspapers in the Southern Tier. I don't understand it, but there you have it.
  • There were more questions about gas prices than the 13-WHAM debate. I don't know if that indicates more concern about that in the Southern Tier, or it's just moderator choice.
  • At the beginning of the debate, Massa told watchers to get a piece of paper and mark an "X" every time Kuhl said Massa would raise taxes. Kuhl said that people ought to mark an "X" every time Massa linked him to President Bush. I think that cut down on both of those little sayings.
  • Randy Kuhl doesn't understand, or doesn't want to understand, privatizing social security. He supports partial privatization, but denies that's what it is. Also, any return on investment that's better than what the government gets implies risk. Politicians always gloss over the details when private accounts are mentioned. Either we accept that people can invest their social security money, and possibly lose some of it, or we reimburse those who are bad investors.
  • Unlike the 13-WHAM debate, the moderators in this debate were clockwatchers. They cut off a lot of good discussion. The more clockwatching, the lower quality of debate.
  • Randy talked about cellulosic ethanol in the limousine with Bush? No, he didn't. Kuhl's conversion to cellulosic ethanol happened this year.
  • Kuhl is for term limits. I hadn't heard that before.
  • In general, the earmarks conversation really went off the rails. I have no idea why Massa thinks that the bowling alley in Canandaigua is such a powerful example, but I really don't see it. Randy wants to abolish the appropriations committee? It's not the committee that's the problem, its the rules under which it functions.
  • Even worse than clock watching is "sprint rounds". "How and when do you withdraw troops from Iraq, in 30 seconds?" That was just awful.


But Massa hasn't thought about it more than 30 seconds so it was lucky for him.
He should try shouting other small bits of key phrases that he keeps using to try and scare people into voting for him. He should have let that 30 seconds play out like this:
5 seconds "I am for complete troop withdrawal in Iraq"
5 seconds "Republicans cause Global Warming"
10 seconds "Washington DC is so evil, I will move my DC office to Virginia"
10 seconds "Folks, lets start a new drinking game with X's and O's; both to display my childish behavior and to underline my sentiments towards Charlie Rangel"

You seem to have gotten more shrill and less amusing the closer we've gotten to this election.

Less amusing? I'm hurt. I mean, come on, without me, who's blogging here? Wouldn't you be lonely?

I will try and do better to keep you amused.

I'm blogging, you're commenting.

And you have been reduced to arguing semantics.

Oh and is your comment about what transcribed in the limo fully documented for your bloggers? Cause I find that other than actually having proof of any conversation, you knowing what was discussed in the limo must display your omniscience, or were you driving?

The limo picture is from Bush's visit to Rochester in March, 2006.

Kuhl was pushing corn ethanol (only) up until early this year.

Circumstantial evidence, but pretty convincing.

What was Kuhl's line about cutting Medicare and Medicaid? I was distracted and only caught bits and pieces.

Also -- what does cellulosic mean?

The question was what government programs the candidates would cut. Kuhl said Medicare and Medicaid were rife with fraud and abuse, and he'd cut those.

Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol made from the fibrous parts of plants and trees. It requires some chemical, mechanical or biological process to break down the fiber so it can be turned into ethanol.

I agree it was hurt by clockwatching. Overall, I thought the WHAM debate was a little higher quality.