(Originally posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 ) Live Blogging the First Debate of the General Presidential Election at the University of Mississippi on Friday, Sept. 26.
8:55 p.m. CNN pundit Michael Ware, in a pre-debate snipe, wonders when both presidential candidates will just give up the posturing and pastiche and tell the truth in an honest discussion. The viewers accept this whining as part of the political pastiche and heed it not.
8:59 p.m. CNN features its version of the EKG: an audience receptiveness meter divided into Democrats, Republicans and independents whose positive and negative reactions are measured at the bottom of the screen. Over the course of the night, it will reveal that many Republicans react positively to tax cuts and Sarah Palin and also that they need defibrilation, stat!
9:00 p.m. Jim Lehrer jumps right in with a question about the plan to bailout Wall Street investment firms with a $700 billion package. It is amusing that McCain and Obama, for sake of distinguishing themselves from each other, must pretend they have different positions on this matter, as if they had different positions on whether to flee a burning building, shoot Old Yeller or run from Godzilla.
9:03 p.m. Nobody steps up and says the truth: Even your grandmamma knows the bill has to pass. It's a question of binary logic, not value judgment. No bailout = New Great Depression. The only reason it hasn't passed yet is that not all the Congressmen have yet been able to make their Cynthia Plaster Caster phallic impressions on it.
9:05 p.m. Jim Lehrer keeps asking the candidates to look at each other as if this were marriage counseling or the Metallica reality show.
9:05 p.m. "Tell Obama what you're feeling, John." Then come tears. Lashing out. Catharsis. Hugs.
9:10 p.m. McCain says repeatedly he saw the Wall Street mess coming months ago. Actually, a few months ago he said specifically that he wasn't an expert on the economy, so he understands if you don't believe he really understood collateralized debt obligations. After all, not even Standard & Poor's and Moody's understood them. Now that he thinks about it, what McCain meant to say was that he saw it coming that Bruce Willis was dead halfway through "The Sixth Sense."
9:15 p.m. McCain says Obama is going to raise taxes on people who make less than $40,000, on people who make less than $15,000, on people who don't make any money, on the underground Morelocks, on the more gentle above-ground Eloi, and on the people of South Park. Sarah Palin.
9:16 p.m. McCain says he can't believe Obama is going to raise taxes now--when Republican tax cuts and deregulation have turned out so good for everybody.
9:17 p.m. Socialized medicine. Stop evil. Kill the terrorists. Earmarks. Hate our freedom. The Monster at the End of This Book. Oh! It was Grover all along!
9:18 p.m. McCain suggests a spending freeze on everything but $600 billion for the Iraq War, $800 billion for the bailout of bad Wall Street bank assets, a $1 trillion "Bridge to Somewhere" and a $1.25 butter brickle from Baskin Robbins. But after all that, absolutely no more spending! Really! I promise.
9:25 p.m. McCain reveals an ambitious new plan to freeze spending and have you clothe, educate and police your damn selves like they do on "Survivor."
9:35 p.m. In a time of war with the country on the verge of financial turmoil unseen since the Great Depression and a number of people forced out of their homes, McCain raises the issues most on people's minds: earmarks and bad mani-pedis. If you are unimpressed by that, perhaps you would like to look at McCain's big pen.
9:40 p.m. Hillary Clinton's name is invoked like that of a dead saint whom we all forget we spent a lot of time scourging and boiling and defenestrating when she was alive.
9:45 p.m. McCain says he only approves untrue campaign advertisements when he thinks they'll work on the rubes in his own party. And you can take that to the bank.
9:46 p.m. McCain says he only picks unqualified vice presidential candidates when he thinks they'll appeal to the rubes in his own party. And that's straight talk you can count on.
9:47 p.m. McCain vows that we will win in Iraq, Brazil and Mexico.
9:48 p.m. McCain misuses the phrase "existential." Existentialists declare victory.
10:20 p.m. McCain sums up by saying Obama would give us four more years of the Bush presidency, that Obama is a Republican and that he ordered the invasion of Iraq.
10:30 p.m. When called out for distorting Obama's positions and party affiliation this way, McCain apologizes and says, "I'm sorry, I wouldn't be doing that kind of campaigning if it weren't working so utterly utterly utterly well."
I hope this live blog sates Fran's bloodlust.