Biden Vs Ryan: A Vice-Presidential Debate

The extraordinary Joe did brilliantly, in my opinion, saying many of the things that Obama never managed to get in during the first debate. The death panel myth, the lies of the Republicans, Palin, how much people in MA hate Romney as a result of that Governorship he likes to bring up so much, Romney’s “I don’t care about the 47%” comment. Biden laughed at Ryan’s silly Kennedy worship and I always enjoy to see Kennedy worship ridiculed.

Ryan was extremely rude but I’m not surprised. He kept using these “recalcitrant teenager in the midst of a fit” intonations that made him sound childish and petulant. He also moves the scalp on his head in a very creepy way. He was repeating a very weird thought that I didn’t manage to decipher about people running away from him. Seeing those scalp movements, I know why they run away. (I counted, he tried to repeat this weird line 5 times during the debate. Is that his favorite – and only – party joke, or something?) Creepy. In general, the endless bad puns Ryan loves make for horrible public speaking. “Tackle the debt before it tackles you!” Did he work as a used car salesman before running for Vice=President?

I expected Ryan to be able to say something on the taxes since his main area of expertise is supposed to be his budget plan. But his responses to Biden were impotent. Biden says “You will tax the middle class to benefit the billionaires,” and Ryan doesn’t even try to deny this assertion. His only response is “Raising taxes on billionaires will not close the deficit.” Which reminds me of bad students in my classes who try to hide their ignorance behind talking about anything but the actual question.

He did recognize, though, that his plan is all about “starting with the wealthy” in terms of tax cuts. He said that, right? At least, that was honest. I hope everybody was listening. Unless you are a billionaire, you have no logical reason to vote for the party that is not promising anything to you personally. Except bad things. In Ryan’s opinion, a small business makes over $250,000 per year. That alone said a lot about where he comes from.

Of course, Ryan’s “We are going to cut 80,000 soldiers and 20 cargo planes” shows a great contempt to soldiers. He is counting people as if they were objects.

The part on Afghanistan was a snooze. I wonder how people manage to make such a tragic topic sound so boring. It’s all I, I, I. I went, I spoke, I sat, I was in awe, my wife is somebody’s best friend. Seriously, dude, you are not the focal point of the war in Afghanistan. And wasting time during a vice-presidential debate on your wife’s best friend sounds like you have nothing of value to say. Who cares about your stupid experiences when there are people who are actually dying there right now?

From what I understood out of Ryan’s convoluted argument on Afghanistan is that the Republicans are planning to cancel the withdrawal of troops in 2014. Biden got Ryan on his willingness to send Americans to die in the most dangerous area in the world instead of letting the Afghanis figure things out on their own. Good job, Joe!

Ryan’s insistence on the “Putin threat” made no sense in the immediate aftermath of the Afghanistan discussion. Is Ryan too young to remember the Cold War and when the endless war in Afghanistan actually started?

Ryan showed himself to be a terrifying religious fanatic. I almost had a panic attack when I heard his completely insane explanation that he wants to deprive ALL women of our reproductive rights because his wife something-something. Like I give a fuck about his wife and the rest of his relatives. It is terrifying that MY rights should depend on how a person I never even met experienced her pregnancy.

Biden demonstrated that one can be a religious person and a good human being. Thank you, Biden for somewhat redeeming us, the religious folks. Biden should have hammered Ryan on the war on women. Women will win the election for Obama if his campaign finally manages to reach out to women. Obama has been stupidly trying to reach out to ultra-religious fanatical men and we all know how many chances he has with them.

The moderator was much better than the weak and mumbly guy from the first debate. She caught Ryan with her “You are anti-humanitarian?” question. What I hated is when she asked the question about how their religion influenced their views on abortion. That was absolutely ridiculous, anti-Constitutional, offensive, and wrong. It was also a little creepy when she asked “What can you do for this country as a man?” The last thing we want is to see politicians do things for this country with their penises. I can only imagine what I would have felt if during my job interview had I been asked, “So, Professor Clarissa, what will you do for this department as a woman?”

My overall impression is that Biden wiped the floor with the cocky, snooty, smirky, interrupting kid who came completely unprepared and who is incapable of engaging in a dialogue with anybody. I meet a lot of teenagers in the course of my work, and Ryan was a typical teenager. Of course, the 15-year-old-boy hairdo did not help. He is a lot more like Palin than what I even thought. Is immaturity a defining characteristic of all Tea Partiers?

Of course, Biden is very attractive where Ryan is not. He is forceful, authoritative, passionate, sensitive, emotional, and as everybody has probably understood, I have a massive crush on him.

What are your impressions?

I Told You They Don’t Care About Fetuses

It’s funny how everybody is so surprised that Scott DesJarlais, an anti-choice politician, has been caught pushing his mistress to get an abortion. Come on, folks, you didn’t honestly think anybody among the anti-choice crowds gives a crap about fetuses, did you? Surely, you can’t be that naive.

Any anti-choice position (especially if it isn’t accompanied by a push for free contraception, good pre-natal care and daycare facilities) is not about fetuses at all. It is about hating women and wanting to control them.

The Gall on Some Folks

I dragged myself out of bed early today and came to the office when I didn’t have to in order to accommodate a student who couldn’t make it to a meeting at any other time. The following bizarre conversation is what I got for my efforts.

Student: I need your course on the culture of Spain to graduate but I forgot to take it this semester.

Me: This course is only offered once a year.

Student: I know. But I’m going on a trip to Ecuador for a week so I thought that maybe this trip will count instead of the course.

Me: How can a week in Ecuador count instead of a semester-long course on Spain?

Student: Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country. And I will probably even get a chance to translate a bit in Ecuador.

It is very heartening to know that a student believes my course can be substituted with helping friends order beer at a bar in Ecuador.

This student is a native speaker of Spanish, by the way.

Now, do I or do I not have the right to feel crabby today?

Bureaucratic Insanity

Bureaucrats at my university are forcing the faculty members (and when I say forcing, I mean they threaten all faculty members with being fired on the spot in spite of our contracts and tenure) to sign a document in which we promise that from now on we will report all acts of child molestation and abuse that come to our attention. To ensure that we do report child abuse, we are given the official title of “Mandatory Reporter.”

I guess the implication is that idiots like us would just sit by and let pedophiles molest children in peace unless the authorities inform us that raping kids is wrong. We are probably supposed to read this document and exclaim, “Ah! Finally I know that something needs to be done about my neighbor brutalizing little Billy! Thank you, dear Big Brother and Sister, for letting me know that child rape is not a cool thing to do!”

The State of Illinois where I live and work is drowning in debt. Essential public services are being cut. Yet there is money enough to keep on the state payroll a bunch of idiot bureaucrats who come up with hugely important initiatives to inform college professors that child abuse is wrong.

I have a feeling we will soon have a bureaucrat placed in every bathroom on campus who well get us to sign paperwork confirming that we did wash our hands every time after using the facilities.

Seriously, people, I understand that the state has to find jobs for this bunch of brainless idiots and bureaucratic positions are the only place where they can practice their extreme idiocy freely, but does this have to be done at the expense of insulting a big group of employees who actually do important and useful work?

Not Scary

Yesterday, I met in person somebody I know through blogging. And he said that in real life I’m not at all scary, unlike on the blog.

I always told you, folks, that I’m actually super sweet and cuddly. I write like a harpy but I live like a tender, sensitive flower. (In case it’s taking people a while to wake up, I’m being somewhat facetious.)