I had to work a bit late tonight so rather than rush home to flip on the Senate debate, I took it easy. I picked up some take out from Juan's, watched a movie with Menckles, stared at the walls a bit. I think Biscuit is getting a little fat. It's not like he's overfed or anything. But he is an inside cat and maybe I should throw his toys around more often so he can get some semblance of exercise...
Oh what the hell let's watch this stupid thing and get it overwith. Here is the video. Not a damn thing on Netflix but you can get all the Barry Erwin you want on demand. And that is how net neutrality works. So thanks, Obama!
Ok here we go.
It's an LPB production but we're watching on C-SPAN which I'm not sure exists or is caused by humans according to Rob Maness's scientific worldview but whatever.
Your inquisitors this evening: Shauna, Alan, Stephanie, and Jeremy
Your candidates (left to right): Frankenberry, Hank Hill, Senator Landrieu of the Gret Stet Of The Flag Of Texaco
Format: There will be a format
"Lightning Round": In accordance with the most sacred and ancient traditions of public speech and debate stretching all the way back to those venerated Greeks, there will be something called a "lightning round." (You remember that one time Socrates had his butt lightning rounded to him by Zeus in that Polis council runoff debate, right? This was back when Plato was still hosting Meet The Press. John McCain was the guest that week.)
Icebreaker question: Who are you why are you here?
Cassidy: Because Katrina. The levees needed leadership. I was a doctor and stuff but that was getting a little old so I'm doing this now. (Cassidy sounds nervous. You can hear him breathing.)
Maness: In 2012 I was sitting on the porch looking out across the lawn you know just sucking up the good life. Anyway after a few pops or a few dozen... who really counts anymore when you get to where I am in life... there was this beautiful moment where the clouds parted, and the sun shone down on my face and a voice rang down from the heavens, "THE PARSIDENT IS A GODDANG MUSLIM TERROR LOVING SOMETHING OR OTHER" And that's why I'm here. Hello.
Mary: I finished college one day and thought to myself, "Holy shit, self, you're a Landrieu!" And so I resolved to go ahead and make that work for me. Also Bill Cassidy said before that he was anti-Katrina but in fact he is actually pro-Katrina, so there.
Question 1 is from Shauna to Maness: Medicare, what is it good for?
Maness: Obama and Mary stole all the money first. And then Cassidy helped Paul Ryan also steal all the money. Also, Mary lives in Washington D.C. Anyway, even though everybody stole all the money, Medicare is solvent for a long time and we can save it by making solutions.
Follow-up from Shauna: What solutions?
Maness: We will find them on the table we come together at.
Mary: Medicare is important. Cassidy voted to end Medicare as we know it. (This is true in that Cassidy voted for the Ryan budget plan which everyone knew would never actually become law.) John McCain and I voted to strengthen it. (This is debatable)
Cassidy: I'm a doctor. I have lain my healing hands upon the Medicare-afflicted. I did not catch ebola from any of them. Anyway, Mary and Obama stole all the money. You can look this up on my website. I didn't vote to end Medicare. I voted for a plan that will allow us to choose to kill Medicare. That will save lots of money.
Question 2 is from Alan but really it's from a viewer: Question is three parts. 1) Is Obama doing enough to blow up ISIS? 2) Has Obama done too much blowing up of ISIS? 3) Would you like to send some troops in to blow up ISIS?
Mary: ISIS is really really gross. I think the President is constitutionally empowered to kill anything he wants to. But maybe let's not send in any troops .. at least let's not be very obvious about it when we do.
Cassidy: The President is so bad at killing people. And now because he is so terrible at it I support him doing it some more but I don't like him. I like killing. Don't like him. Got it?
Maness: I flew in an air campaign. We should have an air campaign like the one I flew in. The President should have authority to do these things but he has overstepped that authority so boo to that. Would I authorize ground troops? Well if the President came in and said he was sorry I might think about it. But yes. Ground forces will be needed. Can a different President ask me for them, though? Because I do not like this one.
Actual quote of the night so far: "Maybe the Free Syrian Army whoever they are might step up"
Question 3 is from Stephanie... oh wait. It's from a viewer again. Why do we need four reporters on a panel to deliver questions if none of the questions are actually from these reporters? Anyway.. the question is... Obamacare, I guess:
Cassidy: Bureaucrats have too much power and that makes things more expensive. So my idea is let's give all the power to health insurance companies because there are no bureaucrats there. Also Mary made Obamacare.
Maness: Obamacare is an abomination. (Has anyone coined the term Obamination yet? Maness should try that.) I'm gonna get some solutions from the free market. Men should not be forced to have babies. States should be responsible for health insurance... but the kind that crosses state lines.
Mary: Check this! Cassidy tried to make Obamacare happen in Louisiana before there was even Obamacare in Obamaland. Did I blow your mind? I just blew your mind. Y'all, people should have health insurance. I can make Obamacare better with copper plans and raising subsidies.
Question 4 is from Jeremy.. and HOLY SHIT it might actually be from Jeremy: Superpacs. Hot or Not? Also what campaign finance law would you change if you could?
Maness: Politics is racket! There is too much money in it. BUT I agree with Citizens United. (Actually sounded like he said "Cynicisms United" which is kind of great) So everything is fine and I would leave it like this which, remember, is a racket with too much money in it.
Mary: Kochs! Koch Brothers are in your closet and under your bed and they're ON YOUR TV running ads for Cassidy and that's just crazy! (Sure the Kochs are pretty terrible. And they're backing Cassidy. But, you know they've also spent $31,000 on Mary since 2007 so... )
Cassidy: Harry Reid is the real Koch Brother. Also Mary wants to give your guns to Mike Bloomberg.
Question 5 is from Shauna .. from viewers: Shauna says this is a two part question but then asks it in three parts. Income inequality. 1) Do you care? 2) Should we raise the minimum wage? 3) If not then what do we do?
Mary: I like the middle class and I like to say middle class a lot. It is criminal that my opponents will not raise the minimum wage. I support pay equity for women.
Cassidy: Income inequality happened because Obama stole all of your money and gave it to "people who bought stock with him." Also Obamacare causes inequality. Also we should pay people in oil.
Maness: I have donors. I was in the airforce with women so I am for pay equity for women. The states should "experiment" with the minimum wage.
Follow up from Shauna to Cassidy: Why did you vote against Lilly Ledbetter?
Cassidy: Because trial attorneys.
Question 6 is from the viewers Alan is herding: Student debt?
Cassidy: Student debt happens because tuition is high and deadbeat students are stealing Pell Grants. Also I would like to say Obamacare and Mary caused your student debt.
Maness: (Maness begins most of his answers with a sigh. It's like he's already exhausted with this politics thing he says he is just now learning. Probably because it's a racket with too much money in it or something.) Obamacare ate all the small businesses. Also our energy sector needs to be "unleashed."
Mary: Education is a public good. Bobby Jindal cut $700 million out of education and Maness and Cassidy let him do it. Here is a plan with points: 1) Lower student loans 2) Double Pell Grants.
Follow up from Alan to Cassidy: Look an imaginary student in the face and say what you can do tomorrow to help:
Cassidy: Young people want freedom. They are motivated by freedom. But won't someone think of the taxpayers!
Question 7 is from Stephanie: Federal Gov't in K-12 education?
Maness: Dismantle the Department of Education. Kill Common Core. Do block grants. (Wow! A coherent answer from Maness. A terrible one but coherent.)
Mary: Your zip code shouldn't determine your future. Me and George Bush, we did some stuff to make accountabilites happen. Also Bobby Jindal was for Common Core before he was against it.
Cassidy: My daughter is dyslexic. States can have Common Core if they want it but Obama is a dictator and all so boo to that.
Follow up is same question restated Cassidy just kind of talks some more
Question 8 is from Jeremy: Federal budget priorities? For or against debt ceiling?
Mary: Disaster funding. Cassidy voted against Isaac relief. Oil revenue sharing. (Which is how Mary thinks we're going to save the coast without pissing off her backers in Oil and Gas too much) I voted to raise the debt ceiling and will do it again. (Because that is the only sane response)
Cassidy: I voted for Sandy relief before I voted against it. I am for oil revenue sharing but I'm better at being for it than Mary is. I am in favor of using the debt ceiling to hold Social Security and Medicare hostage again just like we did last time.
Maness: (Sighs again) I will not vote for the debt ceiling. There should be a standing automatic disaster relief fund. The coast is very important. Obama and Mary are killing your energy jobs.
Question 9 (Interruption from Maness: "How am I doing so far?" Everyone agrees he is doing ok) Question is from Shauna: Social Security?
Cassidy: My mother is really old. Tip and Ronnie saved Social Security once. I want to.. something something something.. Mary voted to raise the retirement age and you can look it up on my website.
Maness: Cassidy wants to raise the retirement age to 70. I disagree with that. We give too much Social Security to the disabled. I think they're fakin'.
Mary: No to raising the retirement age. (Cassidy interrupts. Mary hits him with a classic "Let me finish") People in Louisiana are not "living longer"
Follow up to Cassidy about raising the retirement age.
Cassidy: Tip and Ronnie did it and "it didn't hurt anybody!" (This reminds me of the old joke. Patient goes in to see the doctor and says, "It hurts when I work until I'm 70." The doctor is Bill Cassidy and says, "No it doesn't.)
Question 10 from Alan: Are y'all gonna close our military bases?
Question 11 from Stephanie: Is climate change real?
Mary: Yes it's real and yes humans cause it. BUT I am a big supporter of fossil fuels and believe that we should have more American fossil fuel exploration because American oil is probably not so bad for the climate. I have done all sorts of stuff to make more oil happen all over the Gulf. Also Obama is stupid and yum yum oil is very delicious. Would you like some oil? I brought some with me here in this can.
Cassidy: There might be some climate change somewhere but the weather is pretty nice outside today. The coast is sinking but the ocean is not rising so that's probably a glass half full thing right there. Meanwhile Mary loves Harry Reid more than she loves oil.
Maness: Global warming probably stopped sixteen years ago. Or maybe 19 years ago. Or possibly 26 years ago! So WTF do we know, really?
Lighting Round! It's a yes/no thing. God this is stupid. Ok go!
Mary: No (even though her name is one half of Mary Jane which is a funny thing I just thought)
Is Health Care a "fundamental right"?
Do you favor a balanced budget amendment?
Maness: "Of course"
Mary: "Not an amendment but a budget balanced"
Because none of the candidates answered this question with a simple "Yes" or "No" they are all three disqualified and Louisiana will have to play the next six years down a Senator. Election over. The remaining questions are for fun.
Okay now it's just utter chaos because Beth Courtney just said this exact thing:
"This is the final question. Yes or No. I want you to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, two people."
Everyone's head has exploded and university staff are cleaning brains (or whatever was in Rob Maness's head) off of the floor.
Anyway the people to rate were Obama and Jindal so let's do that.
Cassidy: No (This is the correct answer, actually) But seriously, folks. Obama is a 0 and Jindal is a 7
Maness: Obama is a 0 Jindal is a 5
Mary: Jindal is "barely a 3" while Obama is "a 6 to a 7"
Mary loses this very important round since she appears to have actually thought seriously about her meaningless numerical ratings.
Mary: I'd like to thank the academy, my family, my agent, my
producer... soo many people to thank. OK look. Forget about Obama. I
like to do many oil things. I have clout. I think disasters are bad.
Medicare good. Retiring at 70 bad. Coastal restoration good. And that is
all the time I have.
Cassidy: Somewhere a woman is very worried and can't sleep. It's Obama's fault. Mary made Obama happen. I'm a doctor. I've been a doctor for a long time. I like families. Obama. Mary likes Obama. Obmacare. I don't like Washington D.C. Please send me there.
Maness: Thanks for putting me on TV! I'm just a guy who went to the airforce while he was in night school. I went to some countries I cannot name and got a Bronze Star for that. Our country is in trouble because it's off track. I don't like decline. Best days ahead. Rise up, people. I love you. God bless.
And with those statements, we can consider this exercise closed. I hope this debate was helpful to you. They're probably going to do another one so be warned. The good news is if you sit and watch the second debate Bill Cassidy won't make you work until you're 70 because by then you'll already feel like you did anyway.