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Monday, September 18, 2006

Fairfax Country CoC Debate, Part I

These are some basic impressions of today's debate. Again, with my crappy stenography (note: Snuffy = Snuffleupagus = Stephanopoulus, that's how my brain works). [My comments in brackets.]

Opening statements:

[Pretty good, positive opening statement by Allen.]

Webb talks about how great America is at allowing people to rise and improve their status. [Which I agree with] 3 America's due to class and economic divisions.

Allen: "We have one America" [If you are rich and prosperous and don't look out the window of your limo as you drive through DC, I'm sure you would think that, "Senator".

Allen: [Still, as yesterday, saying "my opponent" still scared to say Jim Webb.] Allen is pushing for more H1B-Visas. [I agree with this.]

Webb says H1Bs are fine if we can't find Americans first find Americans to fill the jobs. [I agree with this more.]


Q: Voting rights for DC:

Allen touts "retroceding" [He likes this word. It makes him sound smart. Orrather,it makes him sound like he's trying to sound smart.] DC to Maryland as a way of enfranchising them rather than just giving them voting rights. [He wants DC to be part of Maryland not VA. Because that would be a lot of Democratic voters and minorities that would be added to his constituency.] Otherwise he won'’t answer the question.

Webb: "I would support this bill." giving voting right to DC residents.

Q: Macaca (pretty early for this): Great question putting all the obvious elements of the controversy together.

Allen: More bull$#!#. He's getting' noticeably angry. Falls back on football analogy. Falls back on the (my black friend) Benny Lambert shield.

Follow-up question: Are you Jewish? Boos? [This was a cheap and pointless question. Her first question was actually relevant but this is just crap.] He's plenty mad now. Says he won't answer the question based on freedom of religion. Fine. But then he details his ancestry for her. [Again, this question was crap but the one thing it did do was show Allen's temper and showed him bullying the reporter. He should have just stuck with the, "It's none of your damn business" answer. Even though, sadly, the real reason he was upset by the question was that he doesn't want people to think of him as anything other than a red-neck cowboy.]

Webb points out that the M-word incident is another example of the negative/divisive politics of Karl Rove. In response to Allen's statements about Webb never having been to SW VA, "I've been coming to SW Virginia since George Allen was a Californian." [Great line.] Applause. [Well earned.] Points out lie in Reagan attack ad. Webb served 4 years in the Reagan administration not 10 months as the ad suggests.

[Nice job keeping the high ground by Webb, not attacking on M-word but attacking inherent implication in Allen's behavior that day that residents of SW VA are racist.]

Allen: (Flustered)

Q: Wal-Mart boycott: good or bad?:

Webb: Allen wouldn't meet with labor - we need more collective bargaining.

Allen: Wal-Mart is an absolute good. Spouts party line Healthcare talking points.

Q: What is the answer for healthcare in America?:

Webb: Move toward Massachusetts type plan with preventive care and sliding scale which lets the poorest get more aid. Not opposed to "right to work" law. [I agree,that is a good law.] People wanted Wal-Mart jobs because their old jobs are all going overseas.

Allen: Says he has a "concrete verifyable record of performance"? [Is this really something he wants people to know?] Cancer = broken leg? (He's practicing his robotic Presidential hand movements.)

Q: Stem cells. Why are you against funding embryonic stem [ES] cell research, Senator Allen? (applause).

Allen: I am for stem cell research (except that he's not). I am not for human cloning [Bold statement, find someone who is.] Lack of federal funding does not prohibit states or private investment from funding es cell research. [Unfortunately, what Allen doesn't know or doesn't understand is that federal funding is the lifeblood of science in the US and, by extension, the world.] Would not like VA to fund ES cell research. Would support stem cell research that is helping people right now. [But not the kind that will help people in the future. To hell with them!]

Webb: I would have [supported the funding of ES cell research]. Senator Allen voted for it in '01. This has the weight of science behind it. [Yes, but since when does Republican leadership (which tells Allen what to think) listen to science?] These embryos were not going to become human life. Nancy Reagan is for it. [I don't know if bringing up Nancy Reagan is such a good idea any more.] Have to respect the weight of medical science and the need to be able to apply this sort of research to grave illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. [Do I even need to say that this is the correct position?]

Allen: The fact is science shows that you can get all the properties and the potential of ES cells without destroying a human embryo. [That is not true. If that were true, scientists would not bother with research that cannot be funded by the Federal government and ES cells would not be an issue. Simply false.] [I knew he would hit Webb on Nancy Reagan.]

Snuffy: Are you against IVF? [Great follow-up question because there are over 400,000 excess IVF embryos in America that will never get out liquid nitrogen freezers. They will either sit there until the freezer breaks or they are simply thrown away. This is one of my favorite examples of hypocrisy on this issue. Kudos George (Snuffy, not Allen).]

Allen: No.

Snuffy: What's the distinction?

Allen: He can't answer. He simply cannot answer because there is no difference between IVF embryos which are destroyed (and receive no federal protection) and the embryos Allen says he wants to protect. IVF embryos are SOL with Allen.

[More to come.]

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