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TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

First Posted: 10/17/10 09:55 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:05 PM ET

Five Box

Good morning and hello and welcome again to another edition of the teevee-is-on-and-I-type-fast Sunday morning political chat show liveblog. My name is Jason. Today we got battlin' pols galore! Coons and O'Donnell! Bennet and Buck! Cornyn and McCaskill! Plus, Meghan McCain is on a show, for some reason? I woke up for this so you didn't have to! Please, please, stay ensnuggled with your loved ones! Or, if the spirit moves you, write a comment, send an email, and stay abreast with my pointless tweets.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

So, the aforementioned Cornyn and McCaskill are here today, to talk about the Senate. Plus, terrible CEO Carly Fiorina is here, and I think a panel. So exciting! Meanwhile, my cat, Declan, is "live-meowing" the shiny motes of reflected light on the ceiling, which either bother or fascinate him. I think he will end up learning more about American politics than I will. Certainly, he will take longer naps. (I will eat better food, however, so, suck it, animal kingdom.)

Cornyn and McCaskill are here, to talk about how great they are. For Cornyn, the election is about unpopular policies and a Congress that hasn't read any bills (hasn't he read the bills himself by now?) and spending a debt. Will the GOP take back the Senate? "We're going to fight for every seat we get...but it might be a two-cycle process." McCaskill -- oh Lord -- SHE IS GOING TO SAY THE DEMS WILL HOLD THE SENATE, RIGHT? Well...she says that the coming GOPers are extreme freak-o's. She is a moderate herself, she says, and reminds people that she doesn't vote for the White House every time out. O-kay!

Cornyn says BLAH the country is center-right, so Obama should be more center-right, by which he means "really right" or "why didn't he just let us write the bills for the past two years." McCaskill says, I'M SUPER MODERATEY, DON'T FORGET? And, she describes the past two years as a period where "policy" took a backseat to "politics."

BUT WILL THE PRESIDENT BE MORE CENTER-Y, asks Wallace. McCaskill says that the White House has been really accomodating, and yet here are the GOP, wanting to repeal FinReg, which "stops taxpayer bailouts." Heh. We'll see.

Cornyn reminds that he'd also repeal the health care bill, and Obama's "aggressive agenda" to aggressively attempt to prevent more Americans for having to crawl off in the woods to die penniless because they happened to get sick, which is the "center right" thing to do.

Tax cuts! Cornyn is shocked that the Dems put off making a decision, and on that score, I can't blame him. McCaskill says she's open to compromise on allowing the very top brackets to keep their tax cuts -- which means that the rest of the brackets get to enjoy four trillion being added to the deficit. SUCH DEFICIT HAWKS, these people! And right on cue, McCaskill starts talking about the need for entitlement reform, because, TEH DEFICITZ OMG. (We have two wars going on? And a lot of wasteful farm subsidies? And massive Defense Department bloat? But, yes, let's cut the olds a hole, for the glory of center rightness? And maybe we can have the youngs invest their retirement in a market that's still allowed unrestrained synthetic derivative orgies, because when the market goes kerblooey, AGAIN, I'm sure the best possible outcome is for us to have more people from the productive economy lose their livelihoods.

"I'm not sure how serious these guys are about the deficit," says McCaskill, who's also not serious about the deficit.

"Should Democrats be preaching about being serious about the deficits?" asks Wallace, who also should not be pretending that he is serious about deficits.

By the way, I can get serious about the deficit!

McCaskill is asked about Harry Reid, who hasn't polled very well in Nevada, lately. She says that Angle is nuts (which is true) and that a lot of state GOP types are endorsing Reid because of it. "He's a nice guy who has a very tough job." That's fair, I guess. Depending on the way the wind blows, Reid can frustrate me with his lack of balls or surprise me with some sudden sack. He's an old guy with a system beyond my scrutability, for making it work, I guess. One thing I always keep in my mind, as far as "having something nice to say about Harry Reid" goes, is that I remember that Elizabeth Warren wouldn't have come to Washington if it weren't for him.

But, wow, Nevada has a "none of the above" choice on their ballot. People should ask for that on their own ballots. Anyway, Cornyn thinks Angle is awesome because she raised a lot of campaign money, and Reid is the guy who led to massive foreclosures.

Cornyn picks Connecticut for McMahon and West Virginia for Raese. McCaskill says Carnahan will beat Roy Blunt and Jack Conway will beat Rand Paul. I predict both of them being wrong, how's that!

I think it really says something about the Democrats' woes that Carly Fiorina, the next guest, has a decent shot at the California Senate. This is a woman who has essentially been in mulitple headlong collisions with the Peter Principle from the moment she slipped the womb. But failures in both private and public like really mean nothing in American politics, circa now.

Barbara Boxer was also invited to be part of this segment, but declined, so I'm sort of angry at her for leaving me alone with this crushing dimwit.

Anyway, polls! Boxer is favored in most! Fiorina says yes, but she rarely gets over 50%. California, she says, has a lot of people out of work! Her message, I guess, will be, that there isn't a "God-given right to a job" anymore.

This interview is going like so:

1. Fiorina blandly mouths the talking points she's heard other, more effective GOP politicians make.
2. Chris Wallace gets bored and cuts her off.
3. She makes this facial expression that makes her look like she's getting goosed with morphine.
4. Repeat.

We have to cut spending and grow the economy, she says! And then some magic stuff will happen. Our R&D is only seventeenth in the world, she complains, oblivious to the Reagan-era war on R&D in America.

She also blasted the Deficit Commission -- which I will write up as a display of "accidental competence." Except now she's saying she didn't "blast" the commission, she "believed it was a feint for tax increases." And she seems to think this commission is likely to suggest a value-added tax, which is hilarious to me, unless "value added tax" is now the secret code term for "massive cuts in entitlements." Wallace asks her to name an entitlement cut, and Fiorina says the same old crap you hear every quisling pol say: "We have to put everything on the table." IT'S SO BRAVE, TO SAY YOU BRIEFLY LOOKED AT AN IDEA. "But we can't cut off those nearing retirement." IT'S SO BRAVE, NOT ANGERING THE POWERFUL AARP VOTING BLOC.

And in the next breath, she goes on to slag "career politicians!" Who does she think she sounds like, if not a career politician! The most solid argument for having Fiorina in Washington is that she already fits in so well, here. (And let's face it, NOBODY wants her to have her fingers in anything private sector ever again.)

Wallace tries "one last time" to ask about a single benefit cut she would make. Her response: "engage people" with "bipartisanship" and "put everything on the table" and "engage people in conversation." "We can't continue to just jump over the fact that we have to deal with it," says Fiorina, having landed on the other side of the jump she just described that we can no longer make.

The lady is very comical.

Panel time, with the regular panel, except Elizabeth Bumiller is in for Juan Williams.

According to the pre-mortem post-mortem, the White House is prepping for a course correction. Hume says he deserves time to make the adjustment, but blabbers about how Obama hasn't figured out "what went wrong." Let's not stray into policy here, for a minute, because I can pull stuff I don't like about a lot of the policies enacted. If we're only talking politics, here, I'll tell you that the White House isn't looking forward to having to contend with GOP majorities, but to their mind, they got a lot of the policymaking they wanted to get done, done. The notion of being chastened doesn't even cross their mind -- they got the health care reform they wanted, it's not going anywhere unless the GOP does something that historically redounds to the Democrats' benefit (shutting down the government), 2011 is going to be about a big foreign policy matter in Afghanistan, and the White House doesn't really much need the Congress' approval in that arena.

My feeling is that the "Obama 2.0" that Liasson describes is a gameplan that was drawn up in May or June of 2009 and they're going right to it, right on time (which is why they have this pre-mortem/post-mortem thingy all rolled out). Now, you might say to yourself, "Well, it would seem that the White House was pretty indifferent to the fates of the Democratic members of Congress!" And I'll say, "YEP, SURE SEEMS LIKE IT!"

People in the media, still divining the "seeds of a plan to adapt?" As usual, they are the furthest behind the curve!

Bill Kristol thinks that Obama now regretting "looking like a tax-and-spend liberal Democrat" is the very first White House concession that should dispirit lawmakers. That is pretty funny to me, because it just goes to show that Kristol is maybe eighteen months behind the rest of the political universe.

Bumiller thinks people should read the New York Times in print. PLEASE? PLEEEEAAASE?! Read the Weekender, maybe?

Brit Hume remembers covering Bill Clinton, and recalls that he was a governor of a Southern State! Fascinating! He thinks that it was easy for Clinton to make a shift to accommodate the GOP -- AGAIN, HE HAS NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION. (Meanwhile, as the editor of his law review and a state lawmaker, Obama did a lot of deal-making with all sides, and successful at that. So, he does actually have it in him to make deals, it's just that he's been way more successful reaching compromise with people who weren't, at the time pursuing the strategy of "pointlessly obstructing everything in the world."

Bill Kristol says the GOP will pick-up sixty seats, which may be the best news for Dems in a long time, but I would not get too invested!

Elizabeth Bumiller reminds everyone about the thing she wrote in the New York Times. Please subscribe! Buy an online subscription! Or check out the Kindle edition! PLEASE SOMEBODY.

Hume says that the polls and prognosticators are right, and at best, the Dems might be able to win at the margins with a massive Get Out The Vote effort, which all Dem activists now believe wholeheartedly is something that Jon Stewart is going to destroy, because it's much easier to blame someone else for massive losses that would have happened anyway, than to face up to the fact that their own candidates aren't that compelling as people, that all your GOTV volunteers would just schlep off to DC to watch comedy, finding it to be more sustaining to their lives. (HINT: Got feckless campaign volunteers? Well, then, you probably have a feckless candidate. Do better next time!)

Kristol says that Reid lost the "one debate" he agreed to, but that's not true! (Not the losing part, I mean. Angle made the most of hysterically low expectations.) But it's Angle who notably chickened out of a debate with Jon Ralston!

And I think that's it? Anyway, go to Starbucks and buy a copy of Sunday Styles, for Elizabeth Bumiller.

THIS WEEK, WITH CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR

Okay, more coffee and then on to the next one.

Hey, Chris Coons is going to win his race going away, but whatever! Let's engage this matter as if it's a real going concern.

This is Democratic Party firewall. A literal wall of fire, for witches. "Democrats aren't taking any chances," Amanpour says, because Obama and Biden have travelled to Delaware to campaign, but I think that's more a product of the White House teeing up at least one slam-dunk for an election season that's going to very unfavorable.

Coons says that Mike Castle would have obviously been a better GOP candidate. Is he happy? Coons says that it's an obvious boon for his campaign, but not necessarily a good outcome for Delaware. I have to give props to a guy who at least acknowledges that having a quality opponent is a good thing for the constituents involved.

"We take Christine O'Donnell very seriously," says Biden, in this way distinguishing himself from the rest of the country.

As detailed by the Daily Show, O'Donnell draws most of her support in the south of Delaware. In the North, Amanpour is successful in even finding a self-described Tea Partier who is voting for Coons, and that thinks O'Donnell is a "front" for "something." Other Delawarians (sorry if I have that wrong, Delaware) attest to being uncertain, but hopeful about a turn in their economic fortunes.

And we go right to the roundtable, for some reason, with George Will and Meghan McCain and Matthew Dowd and Terry Moran.

Will says that the Tea party "probably" went too far with O'Donnell, but correctly notes that it's going to be largely irrelevant to the way the Senate will shake out. Dowd says that while "it's not helpful that she got nominated," she is an exemplar of the anger in the country. Does that mean that "anger in the country" is, by definition, "not helpful?" He goes on to describe O'Donnell and Palin as "passionate," and that after a "crime of passion" you wonder if it was a good idea. (Dowd has been wary about his party's future, for about a year and a half, for what it's worth).

McCain says that O'Donnell is "making a mockery of running for office," and it "scares" her. Dowd points out that the "good news is that the system is going to work" and that "Delaware is going to send her packing one more time."

Where is the Reid-Angle race going to end up? Will says that Reid's challenge is to hit 45%, and he's going up against a headwind to the tune of $14 million to Angle. Why isn't she further ahead? Will says that she's running against a powerful Democrat and has made mistakes, but she has the advantage of "the Great Republican narrative" that is "don't send the people back to Washington who messed things up." I'll remind you:

[ABOVE: The people who messed things up!]

Will says that the same people who say the Tea Party is extreme said that Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater were extreme. That, I think, is maybe some sour grapes, and not a true measure of reality. If you ask my parents if there is a difference between Barry Goldwater and Sharron Angle, I think they'd have no problem spelling it out for you.

McCain says that the Tea Party is turning off young voters "at a rapid rate." Will counters by saying that a months ago, nobody thought that the GOP had a future, and now look at them! I don't know. I'm going to give this one to Meghan, because, having worked in a radiation oncology ward, one can describe the "future" of a sick body in a lot of sliding scale ways. Dowd is correct to point out that Obama has shed his share of young voters, but I'd be cautious, because midtermitis is a disease that acutely effects Democratic voting coalitions.

Will thinks that the Tea Party has pulled the GOP away from the social issues? Ha! In a few minutes, I'll be liveblogging Meet The Press, and SPOILER ALERT, Tea Party candidate Ken Buck will compare homosexuality to alcoholism! For further correction, see here.

Dowd seems to think that the "Tea Party" is something that the "Chamber of Commerce and big business should fear." You lost me there. The Tea Party is being steered by Dick Armey and they are going to end up being good friends to the Chamber of Commerce. Good God, man! Glenn Beck just asked the Tea Party to make donations to the Chamber, this week! And they did! Come on, Matt, this stuff is really easy.

Campaign finance reform? Will says it's dead and that's wonderful. Amanpour is a little apoplectic. Will says that money is speech, the end. Money is a gigantic soundsystem that blasts a lot louder than my voice and yours. At least let us know who is doing the yelling! Moran takes up that matter, saying "Sunshine is the best disinfectant."

Meghan McCain, is apparently not happy with this conversation -- I mean, who would expect her to have something to say about campaign finance reform, right? You'd have to be the daughter of someone who passed a landmark campaign finance reform bill, or something crazy like that! So, she changes the conversation abruptly and yammers about how Obama and Biden need to take ownership of the fact that their spending is what's made the Tea Party (that she hates, because of the turn-off-young-people-ness of it all) possible.

MEGHAN! I HATE TO INTERRUPT YOU, BUT, UHM...SPENDING, YOU SAY?

[TAKE OWNERSHIP, OH REALLY?]

Meanwhile, Joe Manchin, he will shoot bills with guns and kill them! Why that's here, I've no idea, but he also won't be repealing jack shizz, because, hello? Veto, much?

Now, we're going to smash cut to Maria Shriver's report on women and Alzheimer's. Moran's mother went through the disease, and describes it as "heartbreaking." He shares some of the needlework her mother made her entire life, and says that one of the saddest parts of his family's experience was when his mom couldn't do it anymore. He urges people to not be passive about fighting the disease. My heart goes out to you, Terry.

I CAN HAZ BREAK FROM HORSERACE POLITICS? Yay. If you want to dig down into Maria Shriver's work in the matter of women and Alzheimer's disease, please click here. According to the report, the U.S. will spend $20 trillion over the next four decades treating this disease.

For some reason, Christiane Amanpour does not have a pro-Alzheimer's Disease advocate on the show today! Does she not realize that she is a member of the media?

Shriver and Ann O'Leary point out that, this being a disease that places caretaker demands on family members, more needs to be done to provide workplace accommodations for people who are in the position where they have to care for loved ones. And women often have to be the ones who have to drop out of the workplace. O'Leary also notes that --guess what? -- the health care reform bill! It contains measure that provide for long-term insurance for families who are struggling with the disease. Shriver notes that workplaces are more apt to provide for childcare than for eldercare.

And now my wife has returned from her digital scrapbooking weekend in Fredericksburg! Yay, wife is home! The cats can stop panicking! (Also: digital scrapbooking. What a world, right?)

Shriver points out that there are 2 million recent college graduates who are at home caring for parents, as if they needed another burden on entering the workforce on a timely fashion.

"The only people who aren't talking about this epidemic," Shriver says, are the men and women in Congress. But in Congress' defense, pretending to care about deficits is like a full-time job! You have to really care and maintain your peacock feathers, because it's an almost entirely plumage-based brand of politics.

Why not cure Huntington's disease, too, Shriver says. Well, it would really remove a lot of the underlying dramatic tension on HOUSE, for starters!

O'Leary says that it's important to invest in the research to fight the disease. It's too bad that Saddam Hussein didn't create Alzheimer's, because then we'd have an investment of 50,000 "non-combat troops" to fight it.

MEET THE PRESS

We end the break from the horse race by returning to shoving our faces into the horse's ass, as it is galloping around it's looney track. And today, we have the SPECIAL SENATE DEBATE SERIES that started last week and will end two weeks from now, SUCH IS ITS SPECIALNESS!

But first, Robert Gibbs is here! Is Obama running for president? Is Obama running for president? Is Obama running for president?

Actually, why is Joe Manchin having such trouble in West Virginia that he has to shoot bills with guns? Gibbs says that the bad economy is affecting various regions in various ways, and it will take time to get out of the mess. We are in a "tough political environment" because we are in a "tough economic environment," and did you hear, the GOP wants to take us "back to 2008," and "at the end of the day," people will "understand that message."

What about that time that Gibbs said the Democrats were in jeopardy in the House, on Meet The Press, that time? Huh? (Gibbs repeats that it's a "tough political environment" and that there are races that have local issues and that his candidates are good and running great campaigns and on Election Day the Democrats will retain the House and the Senate. Of course, if that happens, it will be a result of successful triage, in which certain incumbents are sacrificed, so, I guess not everyone out there is running a great campaign, locally.

Gregory asks, is Obama being a big fearmonger by raising concerns about the Chamber of Commerce and their foreign money and their lack of disclosure? Isn't it the exact same thing as burning a Qu'ran! Isn't the Chamber of Commerce the literal Qu'ran, that Jesus wrote?

Gregory then shows some Washington Post editorial, I gues because it's important to be reminded how witless the Washington Post is. To wit:

The gusher of secret money pouring into this coming election is alarming. It should be plugged for future campaigns - and could be, with the switch of a Senate vote or two. But the rhetoric about this development, from President Obama on down, is irresponsibly alarmist.

You really have to wonder about a news show that reads that and says, "Wow. Now that's a great point! The Obama administration is being so irresponsibly alarmist! They really need to be alarmed, yes! But they can't take it so far! If we just get a couple of Senate switches, things will be fine, and we'll plug that hole...for future elections. We're not worried about this election, no sirree! And naturally, we're not concerned that our corrective -- a couple of Senate switches where we get one or two more gusher-pluggers in office to make everything nice again -- DOES NOT COMPORT WITH REALITY: the coming of several more Senators who LOVE THEM SOME CHAMBER NON-DISCLOSURE MONEY GOBS FOREVER.

Brain death!

Also, David Gregory: learn to pronounce "xenophobia." This is basic stuff.

Gregory, instead, is crazy appalled that the White House is using a "fear tactic." Against Karl Rove. Let that sink in. "Why are you using these FEAR TACTICS, against the political operative who POOPS FEAR TACTICS AFTER HIS MORNING BRAN MUFFIN? Heavens to murgatroyd! Clutch pearls! HOW DARE YOU, SIR!"

Will Gibbs rebuff the Democrats running with Chamber support? Gibbs says that's not the point. He just wants to Chamber to disclose who funds their ads. He's perfectly fine with the Chamber being involved in politics, so long as they're transparent.

What about ending DADT? Why did the White House fight the DADT appeal? Gibbs is going to say that the White House supports a fix through legislation. "We have a process in place to work with the Pentagon that will be an orderly transition." "How does it end if you keep fighting it in the courts?" Gibbs says legislatively, in a way that's "durable." And he says that the votes are there to end it, if the GOP would not filibuster it.

Is Gibbs going to continue being press secretary? He says that he's happy to serve in the White House, and has spent "no time" thinking about or talking about running the DNC.

So, debate between Ken Buck and Michael Bennet. My wife says, "Congress! The only job where you'd brag about how little experience you have!" In their defense, of course, they are angling to accrue a lot of experience, and by "experience" I mean "money from powerful interests in amounts large enough that they never have to worry about paying for food and shelter ever again, suck it, the rest of America."

Anyway, let's get this AMAZING MEET THE PRESS SERIES underway.

We start with a question to Buck. Is the Tea Party extreme, or legitimate. Surprisingly, Buck says the Tea Party is not extreme. Surprise! But, Gregory points out that a study by some academics and the NAACP disagrees. GEE I WONDER WHAT BUCK IS GOING TO SAY. "Oh, hey, the NAACP says that? Well, I guess I should reflect more on this idea!"

Actually, he says that he "has not seen" the extremity that this study refers to, and the study offends him, for being all studyish.

Bennet says he's had perfectly nice conversations with Tea Party people, too, carefully suggesting that they might all just vote for him, too.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post hates Buck, and has coined "Buckpedaling" as a term for the way he slingshot from crazy-right stuff to more moderate stuff. Buck says that it's not fair of people to, say, hold him responsible for those few times he said he's be in favor of repealing the 17th amendment, because there have also been a lot of times where he said something else! Bennet says that this is "political opportunism." Buck apparently, wouldn't support abolishing the Department of Education, he just wouldn't act to stop it's abolishment.

"The flip-flops in this race are unbelievable," says Bennet. Buck says that Bennet's ads are "sleazy" and "deceitful," and goes on to paint him as a flip-flopper who is "duplicitous."

To wit! Bennet supported the stimulus before he was against it, sort of? Bennet disputes that, saying that in every townhall meeting, he says that we've nothing to show for the great deficits. "That stimulus package," he says, "saved us from a second Great Depression." I think that maybe Bennet is referring to this:

Gregory: "What seems to be the issue that's hanging out there is that most Americans don't believe the stimulus has helped." That issue would not be "hanging out there" is someone at NBC News had a Sunday Morning teevee show and decided he was going to lay out precisely how the the stimulus has helped, no more and no less, but instead we get stuff like, "The stimulus: Mr. John Doe credits his employment to a job that was saved by it. But was his job really saved?"

Bennet says that he voted for the health care bill, despite the horrible process, because reform nevertheless improves conditions. Which seems sort of sensible. He says he's reached across the aisle, while Buck wants to be a filibusterer. Buck says that Bennet has been a big spender, to the tune of three trillion. Buck says that Republicans are also to blame for the deficits, and that he will be different, somehow. He'll be abstaining from a lot of votes, then, if he's a man of his word!

To wit, Gregory wants to know how he'll pay for the tax cuts. "Cut spending." Four trillion dollars worth of spending? You won't get there by earmark reform.

This is pretty emblematic exchange:

DAVID GREGORY: Right. But it's not fair to compare him to all Republicans. The Republican leaders don't agree with what he just said. Which is that you have to pay for tax cuts. So, isn't he-- aren't you guys more in line than you think?


SENATOR BENNET: Well, I didn't-- I actually didn't hear him say that. I heard him say that you pay for it, and also by growing government you pay for it. I'm not quite sure what that means. But-- but--

KEN BUCK: Well let me explain it to you--

SENATOR BENNET: My point is--

KEN BUCK: --the point is that you grow government because as people have more money, they spend the money, and government grows. When we put people back to work, government grows. We increase revenue, and we decrease unemployment benefits.

SENATOR BENNET: Well, I'm definitely not interested in growing government, I can tell you that.

KEN BUCK: I'm sorry, growing the economy. I apologize.

SENATOR BENNET: Growing the economy.

DAVID GREGORY: You're talking about growing the economy?

KEN BUCK: Right.

In either case, Buck is at grade-school level.

Gregory is going to take up the "ladies' issues." The reproductive rights stances, the "buyer's remorse" rape case, the high heels remarks. Does he regret these words? Buck says that women are concerned about the economy, the rape case featured a lot of people who declined to prosecute the case, and he doesn't regret using the term "buyer's remorse." Bennet says that this is the wrong way to talk about "this set of circumstances." I'm guessing though, that Buck is the sort of people who sees a sexual relationship as an economic transaction, with dowries and stuff, and people think of other people as chattel.

LIGHTNING ROUND. Because this is a gameshow, at heart. Here's the exchange that everyone will be jawing about tomorrow:

DAVID GREGORY: Mister Buck, I want to start with you. The issue of-- gays in our country. In a debate last month, you expressed your support for Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which we talked about with Mister Gibbs, and you alluded to lifestyle choices. Do you believe that being gay is a choice?


KEN BUCK: I do.

It doesn't.

DAVID GREGORY: Based on what?

KEN BUCK: Based on what.

DAVID GREGORY: Yeah. Why do you believe that?

KEN BUCK: I guess...you can choose who your partner is.

DAVID GREGORY: You don't think it's something that's determined at birth?

It is. David Gregory, you can simply say, as a matter of fact, "You are wrong. It is determined at birth."

KEN BUCK: I think that birth has an influence over like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically, you have a choice.

DAVID GREGORY: Does that put him outside the mainstream of views on this?

David Gregory, you needn't ask Michael Bennet. You can simply say, "That puts you outside of the mainstream, Ken Buck."

SENATOR BENNET: I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this.

Lay-up.

Afghanistan, to Bennet. Would he support the president if he didn't draw down troops in Afghanistan? Bennet says that we "ought to bring our troops home in July of '11, and that Afghanistan has been a long war, but that ultimately, he'd have to "look at it then," because maybe there's a politically viable way of copping out on opposing the continuation of the war while still being outraged that it's continuing.

Buck says that we shouldn't have "artificial deadlines," but that we also shouldn't be "nation building," so I am forced to conclude that he doesn't really know much about the war in Afghanistan. I mean, he is for AN ENTIRELY OPEN-ENDED TIMEFRAME to do ANYTHING BUT NATION-BUILDING? Golly. That is a headscratcher.

Buck would not have voted to confirm Sotomayor and Kagan. Bennet would not have voted to confirm Roberts or Thomas. Of course all got confirmed anyway, so that was a pretty useless question. I mean, are surprised by the answers? Did you expect different ones? Do you think there's anyone out there saying, "Well, I was totally going to vote for Ken Buck until he said he wouldn't have voted to confirm Elena Kagan!"

Ken Buck says that he's not coming to Washington to make friends. I think we've found the level of the candidate:

Then, Facebook gets a chance to have one question. It is an inane one.

So, that's the great debate between Buck and Bennet! I'll give the win to Bennet on points, but point out that since this was debate that was only witnessed by a bunch of Washington insiders who have no clout in Colorado and no votes to cast for either of these men, it will not amount to a hill of beans, so, somebody should give Bennet is "I PARTICIPATED" ribbon, and send both on their way.

Whoop-dee-doo. Okay, that's your Sunday, America. I have to figure out the best means of getting to FedEx Field to see the Washington Redskins play (and probably lose to) the Indianapolis Colts. I hear it's a baffling ordeal.

We'll end today with congratulations to our own Ryan Grim and his wife, Elizan, on the birth of their new baby, Iris. (You can, and probably should, follow her on Twitter.)

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