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US Election's Only VP Debate Tonight: Weigh In With Your Reactions 698

Posted by timothy
from the more-coke-more-pepsi-where's-bloomberg-now? dept.
Tonight's debate between the two largest American political parties' candidates for vice president of the United States takes place at Danville, Kentucky's Centre College, starting at 9 p.m. Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will face each other on stage, and are expected to talk about issues "including the economy, foreign policy and the role of the Vice President," according to C-SPAN, which will feature a live streaming view of the event. (Criteria from the Commission on Presidential Debates means you won't hear tonight from other presidential candidates' running mates (like Cheri Honkala, Jim Clymer, and James Gray, of the Green, Constitution, and Libertarian party tickets, respectively). If you'll be watching the debate tonight, please add your commentary below. It would be helpful if you start your comment's title with a time-stamp (to the minute), too, for context. (Like this: "9:08: $Candidate just intentionally mis-repeated the Q on taxes.") And Yes, we're posting this here in a vain attempt to keep the political discussion out of other story threads tonight. Update: 10/12 01:18 GMT by U L : If you don't have flash, you can use rtmpdump and mplayer to watch (incantation duplicated below, in case the site is slashdotted).

Via Don Armstrong an incantation to watch the debate without flash:
rtmpdump -v -r rtmpt://cp82346.live.edgefcs.net:1935/live?ovpfv=2.1.4 \
--tcUrl rtmp://cp82346.live.edgefcs.net:1935/live?ovpfv=2.1.4 \
--app live?ovpfv=2.1.4 --flashVer LNX.11,2,202,238 \
--playpath CSPAN1@14845 \
--swfVfy http://www.c-span.org/cspanVideoHD.swf \
--pageUrl http://www.c-span.org/ | \
mplayer -xy 3 -;

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US Election's Only VP Debate Tonight: Weigh In With Your Reactions

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  • by Ryanator2209 (1577631) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:39PM (#41625821)
    I'll be playing Logical Fallacy Bingo [lifesnow.com] against my friends. I personally expect it to be a fast bingo game.
    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:31PM (#41626219)

      I'll be playing Logical Fallacy Bingo [lifesnow.com] against my friends. I personally expect it to be a fast bingo game.

      I just feel I should point out that simply because someone is using a fallacy, doesn't make them wrong (the fact they are politicians does that... but I digress). Fallacies are commonly used rhetorical methods to convince... lets say, more emotional audiences... and practically nothing gets people more emotional than politics (religion can be more heated, but not nearly as commonly). Which is not to say it is acceptable to use them, just, well, using them shouldn't be taken as proof against the position espoused by the person who uses them (doing that is, in itself, a fallacy, though I don't care to look up the name... guilt by association? Close enough).

      • by JustOK (667959) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:38PM (#41626553) Journal

        the fallacy fallacy

      • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:12AM (#41627449) Journal

        Actually, some things that are ordinarily fallacies cease to even be fallacies in the context of a political debate. For example, ad hominem attacks are not inherently fallacies in the context of a political debate because the desired outcome of the debate is not to decide whose stated position is right, but rather who would be the better choice for that office.

        A classic example of a non-fallacious fallacy in political debates is the appeal to hypocrisy. Such an appeal is fallacious when used to evaluate the validity of the candidate's position. However, the appeal is not entirely fallacious with regard to the debate as a whole because what actually matters is the way the candidate will likely actually vote, not the way the candidate says he or she will vote.

        In fact, to the degree that a significant number of appeals to hypocrisy can be made against a politician, it usually dooms the candidate in question, and for good reason. If you don't really know where the candidate stands—if he or she says one thing and does another—that person is a really bad choice for any office.

    • by nbauman (624611) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:44AM (#41627257) Homepage Journal

      During the Republican debate, I was with a bunch of Democratic activists.

      Every time one of the debaters mentioned "Ronald Reagan", they had to take a drink. By the end of the debate, they were staggering.

      When I look at our political options, a good choice is getting drunk until I pass out.

  • by mozumder (178398) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:40PM (#41625827)

    Is this one where he talks about when his wife & daughter died: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GwZ6UfXm410 [youtube.com]

    His humanity is the opposite of Robomittens. /stupid onions.

    • He is good speaker, no doubt. Connects with his audience. Debates are different though, thinking and speaking at the same time, does not come naturally for most people.

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:40PM (#41625833)
    $Candidate intentionally lied to the public
  • by MooseTick (895855) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:47PM (#41625889) Homepage

    Does anyone pick the president by the VP they choose? Do they think, "I like the other guy more for president, but I'm voting for this guy because he will be a better VP"?

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      You should expect that if something happens to #1, #2 will take over and if we have a lame idiot, we'll all be in #2.

      But then again, Fox News takes great joy in pointing out the foibles of Biden. [foxnews.com]

      • by MooseTick (895855) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:56PM (#41625961) Homepage

        I understand that, but does that actually drive anyone's choice for #1?

        Were there people who were actually going to vote for McCain, but once Palin was selected they decided Obama/Biden was a better ticket?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:09PM (#41626073)

          Yep. I'm one of them.

          I was turned off by an empty platform of "hope and change" when I could select a candidate with more experience both as a representative and a reformer. I wasn't happy that he was starting to kowtow to the extremists a little too much but it was the early days of the Tea Partiers.

          But he's an old man and not in perfect health. I'm not putting that woman one heart attack away from a presidency. Now 4 years later I'll be voting for Obama based on his performance and strong loathing of Mittens.

    • by lexman098 (1983842) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:26PM (#41626175)
      If the 2008 election is any indication I'd say people at the very least will *avoid* a candidate based on the VP they choose.
    • by religious freak (1005821) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:27PM (#41626181)
      The role of Vice President has changed quite a bit over only the past couple decades. Vice Presidents take an active roll in policy implementation and even decision making. They also do quite a bit diplomatically and even a bit of PR.
  • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:51PM (#41625911) Homepage Journal

    Commission on Presidential Debates

    a.k.a. the Republican and Democratic parties [wikipedia.org]. They will never allow a third party to debate; if they happen to meet the criteria, they'll simply increase the threshold(s).

    This is one of the major issues preventing any real change from happening in the US federal government, simply because new ideas are being suppressed by the incumbents.

    • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:17PM (#41626125)

      The problem is, while the spotlight is on the national stage, real change happens from the bottom up. That means running for, and voting 3rd party at the city, county, or even state level.

      For example, if you're interested in digital freedom, and curtailing "IP" laws, participate in and/or donate to your local Pirate Party (and many states do have such an organization). That's just one of the many numerous smaller political parties out there that might better represent your views.

      If you're wondering what the immediate effects of doing such a thing are, since "IP" is a federal thing, the answer is that there are no immediate effects. But the extra help and/or money increases exposure. And like small businesses with an interesting product, getting the word out is the most important part. Only once people start hearing about it is the brand image important.

      Sound too much like a business? It's because parties really are run like businesses, except as they don't make a profit, they're non-profit. But if you think non-profits aren't run like businesses internally, you've got another thing coming.

      • by wgoodman (1109297) on Friday October 12, 2012 @02:37AM (#41627839)

        I live in CA. It will go to Obama. I will once again vote for the leading 3rd party since that is the best way to make my vote count. Sadly, when people call me to ask me who I want to vote for, "neither" or any 3rd party answer is taken as "undecided".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:53PM (#41626351)

      a.k.a. the Republican and Democratic parties [wikipedia.org]. They will never allow a third party to debate; if they happen to meet the criteria, they'll simply increase the threshold(s).

      Except in 1992, when Ross Perot was running for president, and there was a 3-way debate vs Bush and Clinton? http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/5532

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:33PM (#41626529)

        They didn't add the 15% support threshold until 2000. Presumably they added it because of Ross Perot.

      • by Rich0 (548339) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:53AM (#41630469) Homepage

        Even then, Perot certainly wasn't the only other guy on the ballot.

        The insane ballot requirements for 3rd parties already filters out complete cranks. Why not just make the debates open to anybody who is on the ballot in a sufficient number of states to obtain an electoral college victory? Of course the reality is that with any significant 3rd-party vote Congress will simply end up selecting the president, as happens in any parliamentary system of government. If we simply allowed proportional election of representatives then we'd basically be a parliamentary system as a result. I'd consider that a change for the better.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:22PM (#41626477)

      This is one of the major issues preventing any real change from happening in the US federal government

      I genuinely do not understand why americans, particularly the ones who frequent tech boards, think a third party would actually be helpful. Well I understand why it's on tech boards, there are the automated shills and a particular ideological attraction to a point of view, but in practical political terms it's silly. I live in canada, we've had at one point 5 parties holding federal seats, and now have 4. 60% of the population *doesn't* like the current government, but he has essentially absolute power (within the confines of parliamentary power) because he has a majority of seats. The 'extra' parties just divide the vote up, and whether you do that as a proportional representation and require pork project trading by MP's across party lines or do it at a smaller level of pouring resources into contested districts the net effect of bad federal policy (or at least inefficient policy) is the same.

      Third parties, or more, simply lead to horse trading and pandering to try and bribe or coerce the smaller parties into a mainstream voting block, and in exchange they end up with something that's usually crazy or generally bad policy, but that's the price to be paid to govern at all.

      Government only really can do 3 things, tax, spend and make laws. The vast majority of actual issues are either binary or on a 2 dimensional spectrum (you support the death penalty, oppose it, or you narrowly support it for certain things. You support a defence department somewhere on the spectrum of 500 billion dollars to 1 trillion dollars and no one serious is talking about anything outside that range, etc. I realize the tech community in general have latched onto some ideas about 'liberatrianism' but that is, in the US, on the slant of smaller government republicans.

      The US government only spends money on a handful of things of any significance:
      Defence related spending ~ 900 billion.
      Healthcare/social security/social safety net stuff (broadly social programmes) ~1.7 trillion (not counting the healthcare spending done under defence)

      That gets you to 2.6 trillion dollars. there's some interest payments on debt. that gets you to 2.8 trillion. And then there is

      Coordination and support of things that effect multiple (or all) states or that are too big or variable to be left to individual states, insurance on education healthcare etc. (most of discretionary spending in the US, though I would count veterans affairs and homeland security as really defence related, the term 'discretionary' is a legal budget term, not a practical 'what is this spending supposed to be for' term).
      Which takes another 400 or 500 billion. Over a lot of different programmes none of which are individually very big.

      And lastly, what I would call 'other'. Stuff the government has agreed to pay for that isn't under the umbrella of any specific category, but people decided they want, and a lot of stuff here would be needed to be done somehow, it's matter of how you count it. Think agriculture, NASA, Energy, EPA etc. Again, lots of little pieces of things that have some national significance.

      So you've only really got 4 things. No one sane (or who can do math) is going to toss ~230 billion dollars in interest payments off a 3.6 trillion dollar budget. So what do you want?

      More or less defence? Republicans vs Democrats.
      Social safety net stuff:
      More: Democrats. Less: Republicans.
      Pet projects or 'national significance' stuff?
      Everyone wants more of whatever they stand for.

      Except that neither of them really do much of that when they actually get into office, and no other political party in the world is much different. Democrats don't want to be seen as soft on terrorism so they waste some money on defence for theatre, republicans don't want to alienate the crazy old man with medicare vote so they won't actually cut medicare much, and well, that's pr

  • Biden (Score:3, Funny)

    by kiriath (2670145) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:24PM (#41626169)

    Looks a bit like the Jack Nicholson Joker...

  • Mod article (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:31PM (#41626221)

    Can I mod this article "-1 Flamebait"?

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:38PM (#41626253) Homepage

    You won't read anything about Biden not being engaged tomorrow. So far he's making Ryan look like an amateur and he's not letting Ryan get away with lying.

    Biden is crushing it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Too much eye rolling from Biden and big "Are you freakin' kidding me" grins. He's still doing better than Obama did, though.
    • by fearofcarpet (654438) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:13AM (#41628299)

      You won't read anything about Biden not being engaged tomorrow. So far he's making Ryan look like an amateur and he's not letting Ryan get away with lying.

      Biden is crushing it.

      Don't worry, in a few hours the punditocracy will be lampooning Biden for smiling too much, or the wrong way, or having the wrong facial expression; anything to avoid addressing the actual content of the debate. The press is either at your feet or your throat and as the polls shift towards Romney, so will the press. They hate fact-checking politicians because it can cost them access, but they also hate transcribing lies, so instead they'll talk about Paul Ryan's hair or the performance of the moderator.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:53PM (#41626349)
    Where the answers are made up and the points don't matter!
  • by Alien Being (18488) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:00PM (#41626379)

    In the colonial Commonwealth of Massachusetts, my vote does not count. I'm not far from Plymouth Rock, the place where pissed-off subjects of King George landed after betting their lives that there was a better way to civilize.

    I have voted for Republican candidates in the past but I'm done with them. GWB/Cheney/Rumsfeld fucked us hard. That bastard Romney came here to my state, where he doesn't fucking belong, and fucked us over. Now he's attempting to take over the Oval Office on the grounds that what he did to Massachusetts should not be done to the USA. He should be swimming with the fish in Boston Harbor.

    If there was a candidate who ran on the platform of tearing off Romney's head and shitting down his neck, he'd get my vote.

    I'm Alien Being and I approve this message.

  • Except for #1, the debate participant rules (http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=candidate-selection-process) do look biased in favor of the ruling parties:

    2) Mathematical chance of securing a majority of the Electoral College votes. This doesn't take into account the possibility of say a three-corner fight where nobody gets the desired number of votes.

    3) 15% popular support. Why is this set so high when a majority or significant plurality of Americans don't vote?

  • Joe, stop! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cplusplus (782679) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:06PM (#41626735) Journal
    I watched most of it, and the entire time I kept thinking that Joe Biden should stop beating up on that poor kid sitting next to him.
  • I caught ~20 minutes of it while driving home from work tonight. It did seem like Biden was more aggressive than the usual M.O. for this administration and Ryan was surprisingly calm. Considering how far outside the mainstream Ryan's ideas fall, I figured he would be more passionate about it. It seemed like the moderator didn't do much to stop them from addressing each other directly, yet it didn't seem to phase Ryan much.

    That said, what I heard was towards the end. Attitudes of the candidates may well have changed along the way.

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