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The veep debate

ModeratorWhat I took away from the Biden-Palin debate last night: Gwen Ifill was a really lame moderator.

She never asked THE question regarding Palin's experience and suitability to serve in the White House. And she failed to press the candidates to answer questions, or even challenge them when they flat out lied.

Pathetic.

I guess Ifill was more concerned with not being called a meanie by the McCain-Palin camp than doing her job.

Suggestion to the Commission on Presidential Debates: Make sure the balance of your moderators have some - hmmmm, what word will my boss let me get away with? - backbone.

For those of you who missed the debate, let me boil it down for you.

Question: Pedestrian blah-blah-blah.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: Maverick!

Question: Non-descript blah-blah-blah.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: Hockey Mom!

Question: Obvious blah-blah-blah.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: Greed and corruption!

Question: Yawn-inducing blah-blah-blah.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: You kids earn extra credit!

Question: Blah-blah-blah to avoid asking the real question.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: Joe Six Pack!

Question: More blah-blah-blah to avoid asking the real question.

Biden: Detail, facts, criticism of his good friend John McCain, praise of the infallible Barack Obama, detail, rhetoric, facts.

Palin: Maverick!

You get the picture.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has fact checked the assorted claims made during the debate. It's worth checking out.

I guess all that's left is the inevitable skit on Saturday Night Live. Come to think of it, Seth Meyers would have done a better job of moderating than Ifill, who I think has a future writing children's books.

Paterson, Bloomberg and Wall Street

Random thoughts, while keeping an eye on the Dow:

David Paterson, reformer? After last week, I don't know.

First, the governor foists Richard Kessel on the state Power Authority's governing board. NYPA's new boss is known more for his political maneuvering than expertise as a utility executive.

Then the guv vetoes legislation strongly supported by housing reformers that would have established countywide land banks and expand tax credits for rehabilitation of historic commercial and residential projects.

None of this bodes well for Western New York.

What is it about New York City mayors?

First, Rudolph Giuliani wanted to undo term limits to allow him to, if not run for a third term after 9-11, at least get a short-term extension to deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

Now Mike Bloomberg wants to run for a third term and is pushing the City Council to temporarily set aside the terms limits set by voters in a referendum. He says now is no time to change mayors, what with the fiscal crisis and all.

My, my, aren't we self-important.

To quote Charles de Gaulle: "The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men."

Speaking of the fiscal crisis, I've read a lot and still don't know what ought to be done. Dense, complicated stuff. Can't say I blame Congress for not enacting anything yet.

I do know this much, however -- I'm sick of reading how we need to commit billions upon billions to restore "confidence" to the markets.

A show of hands -- how many of you need government money to be confident enough to do your job? The brokers and bankers need to suck it up and get about their business. I think they could all use a talk from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A second conclusion I've drawn: The press has once again fallen down on the job. This is the run-up to the invasion of Iraq all over again -- echo conventional wisdom and ignore opposing points of view.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who was at the center of negotiations over the bailout, wound up voting against the bill approved Wednesday. Here's his reasoning -- the flip side of the story largely underplayed by the press.

I've come across this site, which seems to be a good clearinghouse of news and information on the crisis.

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