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Let’s try this one last time [by Angela]

For the last debate of the election, filmed at Hofstra University (what up Long Islanddd!), me and my fellow Political Comm. students hung out in the Ely Lounge at Westfield State College to watch. It’s important that I mention snacks were provided and that this kid was eating nachos chock full of salsa, fake yellow cheese and sour cream. Ew. Anybody who knows me knows that sour cream is the bane of my existence. *Shudders*

I sat next to my lovely roommate Katie and my fellow blogger Alex Ross of Box-o-Thoughts fame.

Bob Schieffer was the moderator for the evening. I liked the setup of the debate – for those who didn’t watch, the candidates and the moderator shared a small round table. It added an element of intensity and the candidates were forced to interact. And because of the sweet split screen, I was forced to watch McCain blink and grimace endlessly.

The first question asked dealt with Wall Street and the economic crisis.
McCain answers first, and apparently I’m fucking pissed.
“Americans are hurting right now, and they’re angry. They’re hurting, and they’re angry. They’re innocent victims of greed and excess on Wall Street and as well as Washington, D.C. And they’re angry, and they have every reason to be angry.”

“Now, we have allocated $750 billion. Let’s take 300 of that billion and go in and buy those home loan mortgages and negotiate with those people in their homes, 11 million homes or more, so that they can afford to pay the mortgage, stay in their home.”

Obama answers by reminding us for the 100th time that we are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
“Number one, let’s focus on jobs. I want to end the tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and provide a tax credit for every company that’s creating a job right here in America. Number two, let’s help families right away by providing them a tax cut — a middle-class tax cut for people making less than $200,000, and let’s allow them to access their IRA accounts without penalty if they’re experiencing a crisis.”

They start talking about taxes…
Who’s Joe? McCain is stuttering about small business taxes and Joe the Plumber’s American dream. Did I miss something?
Obama – Tax cut for 95% of Americans
McCain – Wants Joe the Plumber to act as a type of Robin Hood? I’m confused…

*McCain is lookin’ smug, the crowd at Ely Lounge is feelin’ the vibe and getting into it. Some clapping, laughter, and hoots. YEA BOI!*

What’s with the phrase, “…countries that don’t like us very much.” I’ve heard it said by McCain at least three times over the course of the debates. Is that a technical term or just a nice way of saying “… countries that want to bomb our asses”?

Quote about hatchet & scalpel

McCain is verbally flopping around in Obama’s old metaphors.

Q. Balance budget in four years?
McCain insists that he is NOT George Bush*. Well, everyone knows that the best way to get people to not think you’re a certain way is to vehemently deny it. Like when you’re at a party and the slutty girl keeps drunkenly saying “Look, I’m not a slut. I’m really not. But I just gave dome to like, three guys…”

*Who’s George Bush?

McCain still insisting Americans are angry. DON’T TELL ME HOW I FEEL! GOD JOHN YOU’RE ALWAYS TRYING TO CONTROL ME!!!
Obama flashing pearly whites whilst defending himself as a person with a history of “reaching across the aisle.”

Obama: “Now, you’ve shown independence — commendable independence, on some key issues like torture, for example, and I give you enormous credit for that. But when it comes to economic policies, essentially what you’re proposing is eight more years of the same thing. And it hasn’t worked. And I think the American people understand it hasn’t worked. We need to move in a new direction.”

McCain: But it’s very clear that I have disagreed with the Bush administration. I have disagreed with leaders of my own party. I’ve got the scars to prove it.” (Take my scars…take my scars…)*
“Whether it be bringing climate change to the floor of the Senate for the first time. Whether it be opposition to spending and earmarks, whether it be the issue of torture, whether it be the conduct of the war in Iraq, which I vigorously opposed. Whether it be on fighting the pharmaceutical companies on Medicare prescription drugs, importation. Whether it be fighting for an HMO patient’s bill of rights. Whether it be the establishment of the 9/11 Commission.”

*It’s a reference to “The Craft,” people.

The debate starts to get feisty when Schieffer brings up the parties’ campaign tactics. Obama and McCain start writing furiously and it’s at this point that I notice Obama is left-handed! (Like me!) McCain brings up some dude named John Lewis. Apparently he was talking shit about McCain and Palin, and Obama never “repudiated” his comments.

I have two questions. McCain – if you’re pissed that Obama didn’t “repudiate” Lewis’s comments, why didn’t you “repudiate” the comments made by that racist dude at Palin’s rally?

Also, what does repudiate mean?

Obama said that 2/3rds of voters feel McCain is running a negative campaign. He also said that 100% of McCain’s ads are negative. What struck me as funny is that McCain thinks the commercial dissing his economic plan is a “negative” ad, or, personally insulting. How in the hell is providing a different idea or perspective insulting? It’s called informing the public, bitch-ass.

Why is everyone using the word vigorous now? Vigorous this vigorous that. I vigorously reputiated Joe the Plumber’s pork-barrel spending.

The biggest laugh of the evening came after the two candidates began talking about their VP choices.

McCain, “Americans have gotten to know Sarah Palin.” DONE.
(At this point my teacher pointed out that the reaction line of undecided Ohio male voters rose while women remained neutral. Sarah Palin is hott!)

OK, so McCain is left-handed too. Boo.

The two candidates are going back and forth rehashing their policies, their arguments against the other person’s policies, and repeating the same metaphors and one-liners. The only thing making this interesting is the potential anger-induced stroke I’m waiting for McCain to have.

I’m not sure what question was asked or anything, but Obama says “we can’t drill ourselves out of the problem.” He starts talking about his energy plan…

McCain tweaks and freaks out saying we must drill now! What a dumbass. HOW LONG CAN WE DRILL FOR UNTIL WE HAVE NO OIL LEFT? THAT ISN’T GOING TO HELP ANYTHING IN THE LONG-TERM!

McCain- crazily angrily grinning
Obama- post-BJ calmness. Michelle are you hiding under that table?

“Would you favor controlling health care costs over expanding coverage?”
Obama discusses his health care plan and the uncommitted Ohio voters like it!
Both candidates talk about obesity in young children. Alex leans over to me and says, “I had a fitness program. It was called P.O.W. camp!” Hehehe.

The overturning of Roe V. Wade-
Q. “Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue?”

OH SHITTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

McCain: “I will find the best people in the world — in the United States of America who have a history of strict adherence to the Constitution. And not legislating from the bench.” “I would consider anyone in their qualifications. I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications. But I certainly would not impose any litmus test.”

Obama: ” I think it’s true that we shouldn’t apply a strict litmus test and the most important thing in any judge is their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people.” “Now I would not provide a litmus test. But I am somebody who believes that Roe versus Wade was rightly decided. I think that abortion is a very difficult issue and it is a moral issue and one that I think good people on both sides can disagree on.”

McCain is flustered by even the mention of late-term abortions. OK gramma!
I think Obama handled the topic of abortion well. He kept trying to keep shit neutral by saying it’s a tough decision on both sides and that the most important thing is working together to prevent unintended pregnancies. Well played.

OH and did anybody hear McCain say, “Let me talk to you about an important aspect of this issue. We have to change the culture of America. Those of us who are proudly pro-life understand that.” UHHHHH, what kind of bullshit is that?!

Education
Obama wants to hire an “army of new teachers.” Soo, not jaded ones? He does make a good point when saying that in order to improve a child’s education it needs to come from the PARENTS! I bet Mama Rochelle, an ex-middle school teacher, said hallelujah to that. Even the audience in Ely clapped.

McCain is all about the charter schools, something Obama also supports. But aren’t charter schools expensive? What if some families can’t afford to send their kids there?
“And we have to be able to give parents the same choice, frankly, that Sen. Obama and Mrs. Obama had and Cindy and I had to send our kids to the school — their kids to the school of their choice.”

So ridic! First of all, “school choice” only works if you live in an area where there IS a choice.

Final Statements
The two candidates make their final statements, which are basically one-liners and recycled cliches strung together to form a paragraph of lies. Wow, I’m jaded.

McCain: “I have a record!”
Obama: “Fundamental change!”
Me: “*Snores*”

The real winner [by Alicia]

OK, let me tell you who the real winner of Wednesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University was. Yes, yes, clearly Sen. Barack Obama trounced the lagging Sen. John McCain more thouroughly and cooly than he did in the first two debates. And McCain sputtered and stumbled, repeating the same catchphrases over and over. And if we go by the polling numbers released immediately following the face-off, yes, it looks like the public agrees McCain was left babbling in Obama’s wake.

But did B come out on top? I don’t think so, my friends.

Joe the Plumber won that battle.
Did you guys WATCH that debate? Joe the Plumber’s name got tossed around more than the nerdy kid’s lunchbox.

If you didn’t watch, and rely solely on buntology for your campaign trail news, here’s the recap. And B) Good work, buntology is all the news you need.

At the beginning of the debate, while discussing economic policy, Sen. John McCain made reference to a Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber in Toledo, Ohio, who attended an Obama event. Joe the Plumber told Obama, “Your new [econmic] plan is gonna tax me more” or something like that. Obama, caught on camera, explained something something “I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too. And I think that when we spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

McCain called out B for that, critiquing the “spread the wealth” idea. And then brought up Joe the Plumber 32 more times throughout the evening.

“Joe should be able to buy his own business!”
“So people like Joe the Plumber can own his own … business!”
“My plan HELPS people. People like Joe, Joe the Plumber.”

And so on. You get the idea.

I watched the debate at – surprise! – my day job. I watched with rest of The Eagle copy desk and my .. I don’t want to say my favorite reporter, because I like all of my reporters a lot .. but on both a professional and human level, he’s my secret fave. Uh, so anyway, we watched the debate, and reporter Jack and I noticed McCain’s repeated economic metaphors about hatchets and scalpels. Yes, I know B also used the reference. But McCain mentioned it multiple times, and it kind of freaked us out. Jack was like, “It’s like Saw 5. First, I’ll use my hatchet .. then my scalpel ..” HA! I chimed in, “Then, my chainsaw .. !” HA!

But Joe the Plumber and Jigsaw weren’t the only recurring slogans in McCain’s sorry snubs.

We heard about how we shouldn’t be sending $700 billion a year for oil “to countries who don’t like us very much.” Guess which country we get most of our oil from? Canada. Those fuckers!!

And did you know? McCain’s willing to fight his own party. And he’s got the scars to prove it.
Yawn.

The most exciting thing McCain did was get nervous and stammer. Oh, did I say exciting? I meant predictable.

B, on the other hand, remained cool and collected. And when moderater BIll Schieffer brought up the attack ads the rivals have been lobbing at one another, Obama addressed the issue with a calm directness. He told McCain that he was 8 years old, and Bill Ayers was 40, when Ayers was with the radical political group Weather Underground.

McCain and Palin have recently been calling attention to the fact that Obama was on a committee a few years ago in Chicago with Ayers, who is now a professor. This is the guy Palin’s talking about when she says B “pals around with terrorists. McCain also mentioned that Obama launched his campaign for the presidency from Ayers’ home. Obama calmly told McCain that wasn’t true.

“The fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Sen. McCain,” B said, “says more than your campaign than it does about me.”

By the numbers
Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg worked with a focus group of undecided voters in Colorado. He crunched some favorability numbers, and here’s what he came up with.

Here were the favorability-unfavorability ratings for each candidate at the start:

McCain: 54 favorable / 34 unfavorable
Obama: 42 favorable / 42 unfavorable

And after?

McCain: 50 favorable / 48 unfavorable
Obama: 72 favorable / 22 unfavorable

And, if you really wanna get down with this, here’s the full hour and 30-minute debate.

Party on Pearl Street [by Ivan]

NORTHAMPTON – Man Man, a rock band from Philly, came to Western Mass. last night, and of course it was a groovin’ time.

Ange, Alicia, Jacqueline, Tim “T-Ratt” Rattelle, Matt Minski, his lady, Jess, and his friend Zach and myself all made the trip over to the Pearl Street Ballroom in Noho (That’s Northampton, Mass., for you out-of-staters – Alicia). After listening to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” over and over, Man Man finally came to the stage … in their trademark fashions of white clothes and face paint.

Which reminds me, these kids offered me and Alicia white face paint, which we put on. Critter Crat (I think) came out with a red mask on. Me and Alicia and Ange got an awesome spot all the way up in front of the stage.


The band kicked things off with some songs from Rabbit Habits. They played Easy Eats, which Alicia wanted to hear wicked bad (Uh yeah, it had been my away message on AIM for like a week). They played a long set, mixing it up from songs from all 3 of their albums.


Later on, Pow Pow jumped up playing the drums and the noisemakers with Honus Honus, and I immediately knew… it was Black Mission Goggles!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I then freaked out. (That’s Ivan’s jam.) They played sooo many good songs. At the end they finished off playing Young Einstein on the Beach, Engrish Bwudd, and Poor Jackie (I was off with my SISTER Jackie when the song came on, and I lovingly crooned every verse to her. She really seemed to enjoy it!). I was also pumped to hear Gold Teeth, which was pretty siqqq!!! They did not play one of my faves though, Push the Eagle’s Stomach, but whatevs.


Anyways Honus Honus, while playing Engrish Bwudd, decided to use Ange’s head as a percussion instrument, which was sweet! Haha no … but he did touch her head


I kinda wish I hadn’t been so fucked up on Jim Beam, because I know they played shit from The Man In A Blue Turban With A Face, but I can’t remember which songs exactly they played. There was so much wilin’ out and raging for such an amazing show. It was one of the greatest shows, if not The Greatest, that I’ve ever been to.


When you’re listening to Man Man, you just go wild. If you get a chance to see Man Man, definitely do it. If they do come around near you, let me know so I can also go. If they play near you and you don’t go, then also let me know so I can throw a baseball bat at you.

Man Man…Oh man…

On Saturday night the girls and I went to a Man Man concert. Man Man? Huh? What the heck is that? I bet that is what a lot of you are thinking. (They are the sickest band ever. – Angela) I was thinking the same thing only two weeks ago. I only agreed to go because the girls peer pressured me, and a bunch of the Westy crew was going. After I bought the ticket I listened to a few of their songs. I really got to learn what they were all about on a long car ride home the other week. Ivan was driving and Angela sat shotgun and for over an hour and a half I was immersed in the sounds of Man Man along with the screaming/singing and dancing coming from the front seats. I wanted to kill myself. I kinda enjoyed it. The band was definitely talented and learning the songs got me pretty excited for the concert.

THE CONCERT:

We headed to Pearl Street in Northampton at around 9:00 pm. There was a good amount of people there. I don’t know if like there was a dress code that I didn’t know about but almost everyone was wearing stripes and hoodies. (It’s called the cool hipster casual look.) Stripes or not, everyone seemed really nice and pumped up for the show. When the concert started everyone made their way up through the crowds and mashed themselves into the front moshing area. I however knew right away this was not where I wanted to be. I would rather be on the sidelines takin it allll in. (I was raging in the front with Alicia and Ivan.) (And at one point i had white war paint on, like the band members, but in the hot sweaty clusterfuck it rubbed off. Probably for the best. – Alicia) Plus who else would get vids and pics for buntology? Buntology always comes first in my book!

An hour into the show Alicia’s drunken self came stumbling out of the mosh. She was a sight to

be seen! Drenched in sweat, covered in bruises, barely standing… Wow I was so glad I wasn’t stuck in that clusterfuck of a moshpit. I didn’t get to see much more of the concert after that because my job then consisted of holding Alicia up, finding and feeding her water, and dressing her wounds. (Hahahaha.) (Listen, it was fine, I was fine. I got a little beaten up, but like for me, that was very hardcore. Ange and Ivan said it wasn’t even a real mosh!)

After she got herself together…well somewhat together, we hung around the merchandise area. We made a new friend. Mark. Mark the tall boy from Amish land Virgina. I think? He was a nice guy, we plugged Buntology for a little while with him. (You scarred him for life.) (We did NOT scar him for life; as Jackie was hauling me outside, he called for me by NAME. Like, “Alicia, where are you going?” I think he may have been enticed by my fresh good looks. See picture at right.) The concert ended and Angela came running outside screaming about meeting the main singer or something. (Uhh, he touched my cheek during a song and he hugged me and thanked me for singing along!) (So jealous. Honus Honus stroked Angela’s cheek! The only thing of mine that got stroked was my head, with Jackie’s palm. And by stroked I mean smacked.) I was like texting and ready to leave at that point so who knows.

Looking back on the concert now I give the “Man Man” a thumbs up and maybe a 3.7 out of 5. (Dude, why did we have Jackie write this review? She doesn’t even like the band!) ( Judge for yourself, readers: For your enjoyment … MAN MAN!! (Honus Honus is the dark-haired gentleman bobbin his head in the front. He’s the one who caressed Ange.) I don’t know what that scale represents really but I just wanna throw some numbers out at ya. If you are looking to rage it out and dance around like a sweaty mongrel go see Man Man! (Well, I guess that’s true.)

Sorry to deflate the Obama balloon (no I’m not) [by Will]

It’s obvious that anyone who doesn’t like Barack Obama doesn’t like him because they’re a racist.

Come on. Let me begin by saying by almost no means am I a McCain fan. If I ever diss Obama, everyone’s like “Yeah well thats because you LOVE John McCain… and George Bush!” Wrong. “Will, don’t you know how stupid McCain is?!” OK, I don’t disagree, stop trying to make me. McCain is certainly not a good candidate and he’s not a maverick. All he does is try to play off what will win him votes. Sarah Palin anyone? How about voting for the bailout because that was the popular thing to do at the time? He’s also anything but a conservative. John McCain sucks. But Barack Obama is worse.

You know how a lot of people hate religion solely because of religious people? They don’t hate God, but they hate God’s fanclub. Admittedly that’s a huge part of the reason I hate Barack Obama. Everyone loves him for all the wrong reasons. I’ve said before I’m not too political, and that’s true. But can’t help but feel like I’m well-informed when a typical stance for Obama that his fans give me usually sounds something like this: “He’s for the people man! It’s time for CHANGE. He’s such a great speaker and… dude, you’re racist.” Yes. Little did most of you know my middle name is Adolf. If we’re playing the race card here, let’s try and approach this fairly and look at a few things we KNOW about Obama.

The church Barack Obama attended, baptized his children in, and gave money to was led by Reverend Wright. Reverend Wright. Reverend Wright is a racist. If you don’t think so or aren’t sure, Google his name or type it into YouTube and watch any video and listen to anything he says. I won’t even quote him because I’m overly confident that if anyone does a search for him all you’ll find is hate speech. This is literally the equivalent of John McCain donating money to the KKK every week. It is. But I’ll play fair. Let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt (the same way we’d naturally give McCain the benefit of the doubt if he were donating money to the KKK) and assume Obama ONLY attends that church for the donuts after the service is over. Hey I like Krispy Kreme and I’ll sit through a sermon of “God damn America!” to enjoy a handful. Let’s even give him that much and assume he’s not a racist… Why else should someone dislike him?

Well there’s really no reason to dislike Obama if you like Socialism. Obama and Socialism go together like Tuna, Noodles, and Surprise. Mmmm. I liked Robin Hood when I was a kid, but at some point I remember thinking, “Robin Hood is… kind of a bad guy.” Taking money from the wealthy and giving it directly to the poor, or using it on programs for the poor is actual Socialism. It’s taking money from people who worked for it and earned it, and giving it to people who didn’t. That’s one of the only things that is clear that Obama will be doing if he’s president. The worst part of that is, it actually directly effects the middle class as well. Let’s give an extreme example and say we start taxing the oil companies 300% what we tax them now. They’re greedy bastards anyway, they deserve it! All that happens now is gas prices go up 300% and they make the same money they’re used to and you either start walking to the liquor store OR fill up for nine dollars a gallon to drive yourself there to feed your habit (…Jackie) The oil companies could really care less. If you want to save time and cut out the middle man, you can not elect Barack Obama and instead every week find a homeless person and give them half of your paycheck. I find that it helps to really imagine yourself doing it. You can work 20 hours a week for yourself and your own interest, then proceed to work another 20 for someone you’ve never met and programs you don’t care about. (And don’t roll your eyes at me, I can actually see you doing it!) If you think it sounds extreme, it’s not. When you can finally retire at 85 years old, I won’t say I told you so. I’ll just redirect you to buntology.com to view that article from October 2008. By that time the Bunt girls will inevitably be living large off the buntology profits… but not really because 3/4 of their first million went to a government program authorized by Barack Obama to provide free hairspray to contemporary pet groomers to start styling their poodle’s with some zazzy new dews! But I think we can all agree upon the “end all” question. Is staring at Barack Obama’s handsome face for the next four years worth the cost? Hell. Yes. Where do I sign?

I’m Not Your Friend, Pal

What a surprise: I had to work at the paper for Monday’s presidential debate. But this gave me the opportunity to see lots and lots of McCain / Obama photos. I’m talkin’ dozens. I was also rapidly and clumsily texting my sisters and mother all night. (I’ve got like these small, unwieldy Hobbit fingers. Not hairy or anything, though, just stumbly and uncoordinated.)