Liveblogging the second debate

Okay, I came to this late.  I was out for the last several hours, and didn't get to see the first half hour.  But now that I've started watching, I have some stuff I want to say. 9:35pm

First of all:  Romney bragged about the fact that he balanced the budget every year he was in office in Massachusetts.  This is from the Massachusetts budget website:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ budget allocates state resources for the operations of state government and for cities and towns.  Under Massachusetts law, the budget - or General Appropriations Act - must be balanced.  The budget must be passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by the Governor.

Emphasis mine.

Maybe I don't understand, but it sounds like what that means is the legislature isn't allowed to give the Massachusetts government a budget to sign that isn't already balanced.

9:40pm

I guess it's a type of progress that Romney's description of pro-women policies is a watered down version of affirmative action as it existed in the 1970's.  I think he's winning unfair points, though, for saying out loud stuff that ought to be "no shit" territory.

9:45pm

"Every woman should have access to contraceptives" isn't the same thing as "Every woman should be allowed to get their contraceptives covered on their insurance."

What the hell does cracking down on China mean?  I want more details on that.  I want to know what he thinks they're doing that counts as "Cheating."  Are we going to force them to institute a minimum wage?  Take away their oil until they start making it cleaner?   Because that stuff isn't strictly in the power of the United States president.

9:50pm

Oh, so that's what cracking down on China means.  Not letting them flood our country with unsafe products, and stuff.  Weird that it was Obama explaining that, and that Romney was against it.

"The toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930's" sounds like a kind of a low bar, since that's the last time we did anything other than loosening the restraints on Wall Street.

9:55pm

Caitlin:

This is like one of those movies where there's a clone, and one of them is a real person and the other one is the clone, and they're both trying to convince you that they're the real one.

The look in [Romney's] eyes when he walked up was like, "I'm the real president."

9:57pm

Reagan?  Really?

10:02pm

There was a big chunk here where they were all (Romney, Obama and the moderator) talking over each other, arguing about who was allowed to talk.  This debate system needs a temporary dictatorship -- the moderator should be allowed to kick people off the ballot after sufficient transgressions.

10:10pm

"These actions, taken by a leader, have symbolic significance."  Damn, Romney, you don't want to make this race about the symbolic resonance of a president.

10:15pm

Oh crap, assault weapons.  "I believe in the 2nd amendment."  I don't like Obama on this topic.  But, I mean, I don't like anyone who panders to the NRA, and that includes all the politicians, everywhere in the US.

10:20pm

Holy crap, Romney went worse than Obama right out the gate.  "Change the culture of violence we have -- how are we going to do that?" I have an idea.  Let's quit canonizing the 2nd amendment as a moral truth of the universe rather than a quirk of a 200+ year old document.

Augh.  The pro-gun and anti-gun people came together. THEREFORE it's not an assault weapon ban?  I wish the auto-subtitles had someone diagramming the logic of the statements to see if they violate the basic constructions of coherent thoughts.

10:25pm

Jobs.  Jobs.  Jobs.  Also: what he just described is not trickle-down government.  Trickle-down government isn't high-taxation, high-regulation.  Trickle-down is giving rich people loads of money and pretend that they'll give it to everyone else.

"The president has a regular opportunity to label China as a currency manipulator."  Hey, something specific! Tariffs. I liked Obama's requiring quality standards thing better.

10:30pm

More jobs. More jobs. More jobs. Income is down because unemployment is high. I have a plan, here's one part.  It sounds like he wants to bring jobs back to America by turning the American people into chum for his shark buddies.  Enh, I'm not sure if that metaphor works.

What the crap?  China steals our patents is irrelevant to American patent holders having their legal goods produced in America.  That had nothing to do with the question.  At all.  What the crap.

YES!  THERE ARE SOME JOBS THAT ARE NOT GOING TO COME BACK.  THANK YOU SANE PRESIDENT.

Government does not create jobs.  Government does not create jobs.  Say it one more times and click your heels together, maybe you'll make it true.

10:35pm

Would you quit saying you spent your life in the private sector not in government?  Oh, hey.  Religion.  Is being a pastor a private sector job?  100% of the people in the nation insured.  All my kids.  98% of the adults.  Those statements are incompatible.

You served as governor in a state where the legislature gave you the opportunity to sign good laws, jackass.

Unrelated-ish but I would vote for a president who created a state-style representation in the House and Senate for every college major group that has more than 100,000 degree holders.