The Winners and Losers of the CNN/YouTube Debate-Jama Oliver
November 29, 2007, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A good time was certainly had by those of us who actually care during the CNN/YouTube debate last night. I laughed, I almost cried, I became terribly, terribly confused. At times I thought I was watching the Democrat’s debate and at other times I thought I was watching a “who’s the Veteran?” awards show. So now, the winners and losers of the November 28, 2007 CNN/YouTube Debate!


Winner: Mike Huckabee        

Mike Huckabee was by far the winner of the debate. He was charismatic, eloquent and gave the best answers of anyone on the stage. Unfortunately, his record doesn’t reflect what he said last night. While he might have appeared to be a dreamy, southern, conservative pastor, he is not, in reality, dreamy or conservative. I’ll give him “southern pastor,” but that’s all. Huckabee is a false conservative at best, another George W. Bush at worst.


Loser: Mitt Romney

Romney did nothing but solidify his position as “The Republican Presidential Race’s Most Confusing Candidate.” He claims that although he believed something five or ten years ago (such as favoring abortion), he doesn’t believe it now. He claims that his behavior as governor (instituting universal health care, for example) doesn’t reflect how he would run the country if elected. I tend to think that his talk is just lip service and his record is the more reliable indicator of how he would behave as president. Then again, at least he’s being up front about his past, unlike Huckabee who appears to be in denial.


Loser: Rudy Giuliani

Listening to Giuliani answer questions was one of those times I got confused about whether I was watching a Republican or Democratic debate. He is so far out in left field that I really can’t understand the “R” beside his name. Unless it stands for “really, really not a Republican.” Rudy’s “I believe in the Bible, but I don’t believe in the Bible” is really code for “I don’t believe in the Bible, but I know that you people want me to.” His record on the Second Amendment speaks for itself, as does his position on abortion. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton are really the same person…they can do amazing things with make-up nowadays.


Loser: Fred Thompson

In all honesty, I can’t remember a word Fred Thompson said last night. I do remember my husband saying that Thompson looked like he was about to keel over, but other than that, not a thing. Memorable answers are important in a debate, especially when you’re dealing with as many candidates as we are in the Republican field. Thompson’s forgettable answers in last night’s debate are simply an indicator of his forgettable campaign.


Winner/Loser: Ron Paul

In some respects Ron Paul was a winner last night, and in others, not so much. I don’t believe that the debate format is Ron Paul’s strong suit, despite the fact that he is a strong candidate. Ron Paul is a clear winner on policy issues in my book, but he ends up in these sorts of situations as looking kind of frantic and crotchety. While I adore Ron Paul and his message, I can’t say that he was effective in getting his issues across. He was also given some incredibly biased questions that seem to have been thrown his way just to discredit him. That being said, Ron Paul won when it comes to Republicans and Independents who are anti-war. He was able to speak a bit about his position in Iraq, as were the other candidates, and any of us who are opposed to the war but hang on to our Conservative values got to see our man in action.


Winner/Loser: Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter

Tancredo and Hunter gave some good answers last night, but didn’t seem to get the same amount of face time as the “front-runners.” They ended up kind of looking like the same guy, which is unfortunate for two candidates that have better policy positions that the likes of Romney, Giuliani, McCain, and Huckabee.


Winner/Loser: John McCain

With the pro-war voters, John McCain could conceivably be considered a “winner.” I, however, was ready to hit the mute button if I had to hear him play his “I’m a veteran card” one more time. While I respect and admire McCain’s dedicated years of service, his years in the military does not necessarily qualify him to be the leader of the free world. I would have rather heard him talk more about his policy positions than the fact that he’s a veteran. Then again, his policy positions are beyond questionable, so maybe he was making a conscious effort to avoid them…


Loser: CNN

After the debate had ended, information surfaced about several of the questioners. One is on a steering committee for the Clinton campaign. One questioner was wearing a John Edwards t-shirt in one of her YouTube videos. One is an admitted Barack Obama supporter (as noted on his YouTube account). One questioner is a member of the Steel Workers Union, who endorsed John Edwards. If bloggers sitting around in their pajamas can find this stuff out within minutes after the end of the debate, why, exactly, was CNN not able to weed out these folks with their legions of researchers? While one could argue that questions from Democrats are certainly valid, even in a Republican debate, someone who has already committed to a Democratic candidate should not be given air-time over a Republican or Independent who is either undecided or who legitimately wants to find out more about candidates for whom they may actually vote.


Winner/Loser: The American Public

The debate was fun to watch (for those of us that get excited about these things), but, really, we learned nothing new about the candidates. The best way to find out for whom you should vote is not by watching a debate or anything else airing on a cable news network. Politicians are so polished and ready to perform that the only way we can really find out how they’ll behave if elected is by looking at their records. This idea that a debate can be an effective tool for determining for whom to vote is Hollywood silliness. But it sure is fun…


Jama Oliver


Inhale! Exhale! Burn that Tobacco for TN.
November 1, 2007, 12:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ok, TN Taxpayers, you are just not doing your part. The Governor was depending on all of you TN citizens to smoke your way to a windfall of State Tax Revenue.

But….the figures are in and according to the Dept of Revenue we need a whole lot more puffin because revenues are falling short of projections.

And if SCHIP passes in the US Congress, as it looks like it will, your smokin responsibility will double because Uncle Sam wants a piece of the puffin action for more healthcare for kids (and illegal aliens and adults and “poor” people who make more than most Tennesseans.)

So light up and breath deep…Tennessee needs the money.

Ok, lets get serious. Tennessee revenue will very probably fall significantly short of projections….that means one thing. You better hold on to your wallet when the legislative session starts next Jan.

Every State Department head will be singing the same sad song which will go something like this: “I can’t possibly help the people of Tennessee unless I take more of their money.” They will try very hard to convince you that their budget is more important than your family budget. Get out your crying towels because its going to be a long legislative session.
-Ben Cunningham