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October, 9th 2007

More debate

– Liz Mair

I am baffled as to why, in a debate about economic issues, we're talking Iraq. But whatever.

Aw, the McCain-Rudy love club continues with McCain's comment about credit for uniting Americans after 9/11!

McCain is highlighting his early stance in bashing the administration on Iraq. Good. He has a point.

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The problem with talking about Iraq is Ron Paul gets going. He has some fair points, yes, in terms of how much we're spending, but I'm not enthused about this debate shifting away from questions of taxes and spending to foreign policy. Oh, and we're back onto the gold standard again. Whoopee!

Brownback doesn't believe that oil has anything to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq. OK. He's talking about Joe Biden, too.

Glad to hear Fred clarify his comment about Iraq and WMD.

Ooh, a tricky question for Romney about his powers as president to make war on Iran. He dodges it by saying he'd need legal advice, but that you need political consensus in any event.

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Oh, Chris wants to assess basic constitutional views on attacking Iran. This should be interesting.

Hunter is basically saying "yes," but that you want to get congressional approval as long as there's time to do so. I'm guessing Ron Paul is going to say the president needs to go to Congress.

Yes, that's what he's said. "Open up the Constitution." Right, given that the assumption is that Iran wouldn't do anything that would pose an imminent threat to the US itself, directly. Romney seems to have missed this point and walked into the trap. Except that because Paul sounds so out there on foreign policy, my guess is no one is going to notice.

Yet Paul gets a big round of applause. Interesting.

I think McCain's going to get a response form Paul about what the oath of office encompasses. But I think he's giving the most viable and detailed answer yet, and is right on the issue. You have to defend, but you need to liaise with Congress wherever a progressive build-up is contemplated.

Giuliani's giving I think the same answer, but it's sounding seriously lawyerish. And he and Paul are into it again over 9/11. And now he's onto beating up Hillary Clinton again.

And there's a Thompson-McCain love-in going on, a little.

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Rudy's talking alternative energy and has basically just said that our dependency on oil did make us more prone to going to war with Iraq. He's right about working with people to get consensus to move forward wherever possible on new energy sources, and he's right on the need to protect the environment (in my opinion, anyway).

Brownback's talking electric cars, hybrids and flex fuel. I actually am agreeing with him. I don't support ANWR drilling personally, mainly because I just think there are better options, but on the rest, he has a point.

Tancredo just referred to California as a country. They wish.

McCain's getting asked about oil and gas profits and taxes. He's also saying something that sounds a lot like "states' rights" on oil and gas drilling, which I think is generally a sensible position. He's also just uttered the words "climate change." I'm wondering if anyone will beat up on him for believing in the concept.

Huckabee wants to get energy independent NOW. Fantastic. And everyone's on the "Man on the Moon" trip, too. He also just mentioned Goober and Gomer. That's pretty awesome.

Thompson keeps uttering things when he's asked questions that end up being obscured. What's that all about? He also just said there's plenty of oil for the "indefinite" future. Really? I thought we could put a timeline on when we'll run out of oil (even if it's not as soon as some people think).

They're asking Romney about farm subsidies. Romney just basically said he supports them. And that we need to make sure our farmers are treated the same as farmers in Europe. I think I know what he means, but that does sound a lot like "our people should be able to get paid to let plenty of butter rot just like the French," also.

Ron Paul is in these debates so he can say things like what he just did: no farm subsidies.

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