Thursday, September 30, 2004

Live blogging 

This will be the entry for live blogging the debate. I'm sitting next to Mitch, and Jo's behind us chatting. I'll mention others as we can.

7:35 -- this is amazing how many people have laptops. David's network is going to struggle with all this traffic!

7:40 -- Tradesports has Bush 66.5, Kerry 36.5 last trades. Nice -- one of those moves tonight.

7:48 -- Hindrocket was on Hewitt from here. Lileks was trying to get on, but I don't think he did. Rocketdaughter and Rocketwife are here as well. Word is Rocketdaughter will blog as well. Must investigate.

7:50 -- Jim Lehrer is on the screen. I feel ill.

7:56 -- Rocket asks about the stupid light and Kerry. How petty Kerry seems. Offer to sell Kerry contracts at 36. Bid 65 on Bush. Paying a premium, but I want a position to trade.

7:59 -- Some sells me the Bush contract. Beetle Barnes on the air with Kondracke. They're the only reason I watch Fox, btw.

8:02 -- Lehrer is pretty damned imperious. That's the reason I don't like this guy. On come the candidates. Kerry lets Bush come on first, Bush crosses to Kerry's podium to shake hands. I like the confident stride.

8:04 -- Stalling Kerry thanking people. Praising alliances. What is "leacing our allies in shatters"?

8:06 -- Bush explains the Bush doctrine. Nice. What's with the inhalation whistle? I know that sound -- I take antihistimines

8:08 -- He's a little slow on his first question but finishes strong. He's timing the end, I think. Kerry still splitting the Iraq and al Qaeda questions. "Colossal misjudgements." Then blames Bush for letting OBL out of Tora Bora. Farging icehole.

8:11 -- First mention of Vietnam. Who knew?

8:14 -- Kerry once said anyone who doesn't take removing Saddam Hussein seriously shouldn't be president, Bush says. "I agree with him." People here cheer. He calls out the UN.

8:16 -- "We have the capability of doing both" Iraq and Afghanistan. Mitch asks how Kerry knows where OBL is. Bush now makes the point that Iraq is part of the GWOT, and he mentions Philipines as well. Good for him.

8:18 -- Someone's trading a huge Kerry block at 35.5. I won't hit my contract there.

8:20 -- Took the short to 35.2 get ahead of the big block.

8:23 -- Kerry promises a boatload and gets a tax shot in on Bush. Who's he appealing to? Bush "The best way to protect the homeland is a good offense." Very good. Kerry's rebuttal was good, but don't his ads say to take the tax cuts to pay for health and education?

8:26 -- Hit the Kerry short at 35.2. I need that contract to go down to make money. I think that's safe.

8:28 -- Tried to buy Bush wins MN at 42. Should I buy at 44?

8:29 -- Kerry wants to organize conferences? Bush shows some disdain at Kerry, and Kerry tries to say "But you made a bigger mistake." A direct Vietnam reference. Feeds to Lehrer asking the Winter Soldier question. Hey, I might start to like Lehrer!

8:30 -- keeps citing Shinseki. "Invading Iraq to catch OBL is like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor." That's over the top.

8:32 -- HALLIBURTON! How did it take half an hour to get that in?

8:34 Bush: "What's he going to say to our allies, 'Join us in a war that's a grand diversion'?" Much laughter.

8:36 -- profits on both contracts. Sweet.

8:37 -- Saint Paul replaces Elder to my right. Gang-blogging. COLEMAN!!!! Kerry has to backtrack to apologize for his questioning the allies. Still says 90% of cost and 90% of casualties are US. What would be the right share?

8:39 -- Hindrocket says Kerry's doing very well. But my contracts still trading well. Bush is still hanging the flip-flops on Kerry. Kerry's playing defense a lot, I think, and I cannot believe this is good for him. Bush is channelling Saint Paul "My opponent'sonly consistent position is that he is inconsistent."

8:44 -- Bush was ready for the # deaths question. Kerry calls up his Vietnam thing. Mitch colors the references red on his blog. OK, Bush, you hung the flip-flops. Get on to something else. You think Kerry's ever been in a Pottery Barn?

8:48 -- Lehrer asks for specifics on when the troops are out of Iraq. Mitch shouts "yes!" Too many conditions -- do as I say, be successful. What's the plan if you're not successful? "Change the dynamics on the ground" - says Bush should have finished them off in Falluja, close Iraqi borders. How many troops would it take? Bush says the troops will train Iraqis to do that. Isn't that what Kerry would want?

8:50 -- Bush calls out Kerry on the criticism of Allawi. Of course, I doubt Kerry wants Allawi to stay in power. Kerry says Allawi said terrorists coming over the border. Bush replies that they're coming because Iraq is a big part of GWOT. There, that defines the debate right there. That one minute does it all for me.

8:52 -- Bush contract now up 2 bucks during the debate, Kerry down two. Nice spread trade. Close this position? Thinking.

8:53 -- Saint, it's Polo. Mrs. Scholar likes it. I'd rather you didn't.

8:57 -- I agree with Rocket -- Kerry will bounce because he doesn't suck as bad as we thought he would. That last answer on other choices to attacking Iraq sounded like a real answer. Wrong answer, IMO, but it may sell. I sell my Bush contracts for a profit.

9:00 -- "global consensus" met with a call for U.S. sovereignty. I think people are getting this. The International Criminal Court is brought up. "Trying to be popular when it's not in our interest makes no sense." Good line.

9:01 -- not much action on the Kerry market. Better close the short in case there's a run. Good. Profited both trades.

9:03 -- Moo-LAAAS? Must be a Crawford thing.

9:04 -- Mitch is arguing with the guys on New Patriot. I thought I was multitasking!

9:06 -- Kerry wants to go it alone! ... with North Korea. Bush calls him on facts uranium v. plutonium. Sanctions already against Iran, what next John?

9:07 -- now Kerry looks petulant calling back on the Iran sanctions with a question asked about Darfur. Rocketdaughter looks like it's bedtime. Kerry's talking about the Guard, not about Darfur. OK, gets back to it in last 20 seconds. Whoops, Bush calls back on Iran to say the sanctions are Clinton's.

9:10 -- Tradesports bouncing back towards Kerry by fractions. I have got to stop reading Saint Paul.

9:11 -- Wow, what a question. Bush handles it very well -- these are policy disagreements, and the mixed messages are sending the wrong signals. He's consistent on this. "In councils of government there must be certainty from the president." Kerry "I share his sentiments about my family." Gets laughter. "But ..." "It's one thing to be certain and be right, but not good to be certain and wrong." Goes after a known weakness. Bush "I won't change my core values." "I've never wilted in my life. I've never wavered in my life." Oh?

9:16 -- nuclear proliferation? Why is he not looking at biochem? I don't know, I think I'm hearing Amy Carter here. I had to stop and be sure I heard Kerry right. Can't disarm nukes that aren't there. Most of the disarming in the 90s was Ukraine and the 'Stans, who were bribed. Bush handles this better than I thought, because I can't believe he was ready for it. Whoops, he agrees with Lehrer saying it's nukes. Wish he hadn't agreed. Gets back on message with NK. Seems they both are making mistakes here. Not good for Kerry.

9:20 -- seems to me Bush has not made any bad mistakes. Playing defense. The breathing sounds better too.

9:22 -- OK, going short again on Kerry. Wish I hadn't closed it before.

9:25 -- Kerry goes to the Vietnam thing again in the closing. Everyone groans. Bringing allies. Fund Homeland Security -- OK, that and health and education, where's the money? Bush -- fight them on the road so we do not face them at home. Bush ends early.

9:30 -- Mitch is getting summations. I say Bush held serve. He knows he has a lead, he had to not screw up, and he did not. I think Kerry was successful in lowering expectations and will get a bounce of a point or two from this. He is good. I'll scan around later for comments from others, but I'll close my post here.