10:01 First, the news. Apparently Barack Obama is going to send out word of his veep pick via text message. You know because press releases are so easy to read on your phone. Or will it just be “my kewl vp piks JB – TTYL!”
10:03 There’s a 2nd van to clean up Omaha graffiti. Is it like a Hinda Odyssey, or is it one of those with shag carpeting and wizard painted on the side? I need more info.
10:06 Was that a Helen Ready tune? Turns out it was a Guardian Generator ad. Who’s the target market with that music?
10:07 OK, finally! Here’s Scott. Stevie Wonder — “All Right” intro. That’s gotta fire everyone up. Stevie’s the balls.
10:08 Esch wins the toss, and defers. (Terry will receive the kick?) Therefore Esch gets the last word. (Did they use a quarter, or like a Commemorative Debate Coin, like they have at the Super Bowl. Peter Hoagland’s picture on one side and Jon Christensen’s on the other.
10:08 The issues: Energy, Economy, War (which, btw, was never gotten to), 2nd Dist.
10:08 To start things light, Scott asks about how many houses the candidates own. Lee Terry says he owns one house. Esch says he owns no houses. (Wait, doesn’t Jim own a condo above the Slowdown? Or is he renting? And what happened to that house he was going to build after the election? Oh well…)
10:09 Terry’s opening statement: Gives his thoughts and appreciation to injured Officer Paul Latchar. Then says that his goal is for the US to be “energy independent” and that “everything has to be on the table” — hey wait a minute! That’s Esch’s line! Jim has to be scrambling for a new slogan now…
10:11 Esch — Comes out angry. No hello. No acknowledging the host, the wounded cop, the opponent or anything else. Obviously nervous and a little over-prepared.
Jim begins with an attack on Terry saying he’s glad Lee signed-on to some congressional energy plan. Says it’s too bad that everyone (meaning Terry) only thinks about their next election, instead of being bipartisan. Jim then pulls out a 2000 OWH OpEd piece by Terry where Terry said the US needs 1) new drilling, 2) sell US oil in US, 3) Clinton admin should use common sense. I’m not sure why Jim thinks this “nails” Lee with this.
10:13 Jim says that last year he worked to build windmills in Colorado, but there’s no infrastructure to transfer the energy.
So here’s what I don’t get about all that: Esch keeps talking about his work and investments in “wind energy”, but then says if elected he’ll work to help the wind farmers and give them tax credits and all that. So, how is that different than an oil-man saying he wants to go to Congress to give tax breaks to build oil-wells? How is that not just a self-interest? And a little outrageous? Has anyone else asked that?
10:16 As expected, Terry thanks Esch for quoting his 2000 OpEd and then goes into the bipartisan bills he has worked on and passed. Hill-Terry was bipartisan. Worked with Dems, Hill and Dingle. He worked to set the future for hydrogen in the ’05 energy bill. Kind of hits the bipartisan issue out of the park. Or at least a ground-rule double.
10:18 Break #1 – LeafGuard Gutters. Does anyone have these things? Are they worth it? They sure spend a lot on radio ads.
10:23 And we’re back. From Vorhees to Lee: when will results on energy issues start to happen? Lee says that 13 new pilot pads for other cellulosic fuels sources will go into effect next year, which were originally from the ’05 Energy Bill.
And here’s where Terry has a huge advantage over Esch. He can rattle off info on stuff he’s worked on, because that’s been his job and is his main concentration. Esch has lots of statistics memorized, but he hasn’t been living it. That’s one of the real incumbent advantages.
10:26 Esch asks Lee, that if he’s trying to be bipartisan, why is he taunting the Dems with gas receipts and the shadow Congressional session?
I know this is all just rhetoric, but does Jim think that politicians hold hands with the other party member all the time? I don’t think he does. And while the shadow session was a stunt, it was an EFFECTIVE stunt, that got Pelosi to change her mind on drilling. Anywho…
10:27 Our first dustup! Jim says Lee didn’t do anything for eight years and (says with a snide tone in his voice) that the Hill-Terry Bill wasn’t even a bill!
Terry: Yes it was
Esch: No it wasn’t
Terry: I’m sorry you don’t understand the process, but yes it was. It was a standalone bill incorporated into the energy bill.
All I know is that the Demcratic Chairman of the Energy Committee calls it a “bill”.
10:30 Terry says that 70% of Floridians used to not be in favor of drilling offshore, but that now they are in favor of it. $4/gallon will do that.
10:31 Esch says there’s no leadership to stop people from driving and saving gas. And then he says that we didn’t sacrifice anything after 9/11.
I’ve heard this before, but my question is: so what did YOU do after 911, Jim? How did you sacrifice, and what should the government made us do to sacrifice? I’m sure he can come up with an answer to this, but it’s a legitimate question. And just what would he have proposed then, that couldn’t be proposed now?
10:33 And another break. (So the sessions last ten minutes…)
10:37 A parody song, “Traffic Sucks” to “Love Hurts”. Nice ad there KFAB. And we’re back.
10:37 Lee talks about tax credits for home buyers and then says, “That’s what I was harping on during the break.” Hey! Were we gypped out of the discussion? Can Scott give us a summary, or something? Anyway, Lee wants to make the Bush tax breaks permanent, unlike Esch
10:40 Jim says that Congress needs to focus on middle class, but that they haven’t been doing that. He says that people know that when they look at their paycheck. (Uh, how would you know about looking at a paycheck Jim? Just a question.)
10:41 Esch wants more windmill tax credits. (See note above.) Says that we need to have system in place to allow the next Microsoft and Google to rise up. Uh, but didn’t Microsoft and Google do that on their own? Isn’t that why it’s the “private sector”?
10:47 The second dustup. Jim and Lee get into it about what changes to “the AMT” did. Lee talks about the cut and patch and that Jim knows what it did. Esch says that it was all for “big oil”, or somesuch. Frankly, while I think they’re talking about the Alternative Minimum Tax, I really have no idea what the gist was. And I gotta think the average Joe (who probably isn’t listening anyway) doesn’t know either…
10:47 Vorhees to Esch: Does govt need to be involved in health care? Esch: yes.
10:48 Terry says he is opposed to nationalization of health care.
10:49 Last break.
10:52 HEY! The OWH already has a story up about the debate, and it’s not even over yet! Geez Joe, ya have a tee-time ya gotta get to? Tell us who wins.
10:53 In Terry’s close, he rattles of about a dozen items he says he helped get funding for in the district — sewers, Dodge Street, Offutt, the VA. Asks you to vote for him.
10:55 Esch’s close: are you better off than you were 10 years ago?
(That’s sort of a funny question, but, personally, yes Jim, I am better off. I’m not sure I attribute that to anyone in Congress though…)
Finishes off saying that we’re going to have to come together and make sacrifices. Just what sort of “sacrifices” Jim would have in store for us, he doesn’t say. And while I’m not really interested in hearing what Congress is going to GIVE me, I am curious just what Jim plans on TAKING AWAY from me for a “sacrifice”.
But maybe that’s for the next debate.
10:58 Rush Limbaugh is next…