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Debate Live Blog #2

9:02 PM: CNBC is so weird. That Jim Cramer question was classic. Maybe the GM people should have gone to jail. But like Cramer is still so flipped about people wanting to send Wall Street executives to jail that he's making this "Oh yeah, how about this?" argument about GM. Like he's still upset about this? Only in the CNBC debate.

Debate Live Blogging

So John Kasich wonders why Republicans are so weird and keep saying crazy things; Ted Cruz is going to offer you a ride home when you're kind of tipsy and vulnerable.

8:37 PM: Curious what people think of Rubio's answer here. Does not strike me as a good one ... "You should be showing up for work." ... And yet he keeps drawing big applause lines. But that's still my take. What's yours?

The gist of Rubio's answer was a) I'm missing so many votes because the country needs me that bad and b) a bunch of Democrats missed votes too.

8:46 PM: Cruz seems to be dodging at least on the first take. But I've been waiting for the the new budget deal to get injected into this race. I would have thought Cruz would want into that question big time. But he's ignoring it.

8:49 PM: This is where the intersection of the primary and the Capitol Hill chaos gets interesting. And Paul, unlike Cruz, is not shying away from it.

8:55 PM: I'm endlessly fascinated by Huckabee on Social Security. He manages to have a position that is both freakishly rightwing and also fairly progressive.

Pre-Debate Blogging

CNBC doofus tells us he's not convinced all the students at Boulder are that liberal since they have aspirations and want jobs.

8:08 PM: It's interesting. We think Fox News is the gold standard right-wing news channel. And rightly so. But I'm reminded how, in many ways, CNBC is even more right wing than Fox. With Fox, though the key people are clearly conservative, there's at least some self-awareness that they're parroting one side's lines in the greatest domestic partisan war. But CNBC folks are part of the hyper-laissez part of the Wall Street culture where lots of basic conservative assumptions are considered to be not only right but all but uncontested. It's a bubble that is far more profound.

Slow Speed Chase

The scariest thing about the runaway balloon is that we paid $3 billion for it. (update: it seems like this may be the budget for the program, as opposed to the individual blimp).

Late Update: We're now hearing a lot of reportage that this blimp program is a boondoggle. I have no idea whether that's the case. Every program has its enemies. And it's easy to mock what seems like 100 year old technology when blimps can actually be highly effective for various purposes. But here's the part of this I don't understand. I don't understand why you would have something so valuable, so big and with so much critical spy technology on board and not have an effective way to control it or quickly bring it down in a controlled manner if it broke off its tether. That seems very odd.

All Hail The Newest RINO

The only mystery of any consequence remaining about the budget deal and Paul Ryan's ascension to speaker was whether Ryan would vote for the budget deal, or leave all the dirty work to John Boehner. Now we have an answer. Or as Greg Sargent put it: "Paul Ryan’s transformation from safety-net-obliterating, Ayn Rand-worshipping conservative hero to RINO squish Obummer-enabling sellout is complete."

All There Watch

Stories like this really raise the question of whether Ben Carson understands even the basic rudiments of how the budget process works or even what the federal budget is. Carson says that if he's elected he won't sign any budget that increases the debt ceiling. Not he won't sign it unless there are cuts or whatever else, but no increases to the federal debt ceiling at all. That's ambitious since it means hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate cuts to the federal budget and even then could make it difficult to service the existing national debt.

But there's a bigger problem - one that goes beyond extremist nonsense to a basic breakdown of logical reasoning.

Read More →

Ryan in Charge

Rep. Raul Labrador was just on the TV saying the Paul Ryan seems to be off to a good start pandering to the Freedom Caucus.

I guess the only question is who's playing who.