Also thank you to Ava for filling in last night with "The VA never solves a problem." I loved it. Judging by the e-mails, so did a large number of you. I am always happy to have Ava come over here and do reporting. I love that C.I. does real reporting on Congressional hearings. The kind that I grew up with but that has largely vanished today.
Like Ava and C.I., Patrick Martin (WSWS) did not rejoice over Bam-Bam's debate last night:
It is clear, however, that in preparing for the first debate, with an estimated television audience of 60 million, the largest of the campaign, Obama and his political handlers viewed any hint of economic populism as too dangerous. It might offend the Wall Street power brokers and encourage a militant response from below.
The month of September has already seen two major strikes erupt in urban centers, with workers rebelling against cuts demanded by Democratic mayors with close ties to the Obama administration. In Chicago, 26,000 teachers walked out for a week, and in Detroit, water and sewage workers went on strike and initially defied a court injunction and their own union officials.
There were considerable efforts in the media before the debate to frame the contest between Romney and Obama as a titanic duel of deeply opposed philosophical standpoints. This carried over into the questions posed by the moderator, Jim Lehrer of the Public Broadcasting System, who began each segment of the debate by asking the candidates to outline their differences on a particular domestic issue: in other words, to focus on the 1 percent on which they disagreed, rather than the 99 percent they had in common.
It proved impossible to conceal the alignment of the two candidates, however. Viewers quickly lost count of how many times Obama or Romney voiced agreement with one another—on stimulating the private sector, on cutting taxes for corporations, on education “reforms” directed at privatizing schools and bashing teachers, on cost-cutting in health care, on promoting US energy companies.
Meatless recipe tomorrow as you're all requesting. I'm trying two that came in to the inbox. One of the two will be the one for tomorrow night.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday: