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Author Topic: Duh Debates
Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"Yes, spoken English is not as precise as written (this is one of the reasons why I love writing so), because people are imperfect."

Which is why spoken English is so much better to gain understanding than written English is. Put differently, the spoken word is more accurate and the written word is more precise. Hear Biden's words again and see if you think precision is more important.

*scratches her head* Al, what point did you think I was making, overall?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
can you actually disagree with his analysis?
Yes. And I can also point out the deep, deep hypocrisy of his "analysis," to boot! [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
can you actually disagree with his analysis?
Yes. And I can also point out the deep, deep hypocrisy of his "analysis," to boot! [Smile]
It's too bad no one ever taught you the difference between "pointing out" and making a conclusory declaration. [Crying]
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AI Wessex
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Seriously? The kind of person you want in that situation has to have stamina and energy. Do you really want someone with a lifelong history of heart attacks in that position?
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AI Wessex
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"*scratches her head* Al, what point did you think I was making, overall?"

*scratches his head*. I thought you were saying that you love writing because it is so precise and people are imperfect. I was commenting that I love the spoken word because the written word isn't nearly as good at conveying meaning and nuance. FWIW, I'm a writer and my background and biggest hobby is what would classically be called philology, but nowadays that term has lost some of the traditional meaning:
quote:
philology (n.) Look up philology at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "love of learning," from O.Fr. philologie, from L. philologia "love of learning, love of letters," from Gk. philologia "love of discussion, learning, and literature," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + logos "word, speech" (see logos). Meaning "science of language" is first attested 1716; this confusing secondary sense has not been popular in the U.S., where linguistics is preferred.

I'm not trying to be argumentative with you, just offering my personal opinion on a subject that we both find fascinating.

[ October 13, 2012, 11:21 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"*scratches her head* Al, what point did you think I was making, overall?"

*scratches his head*. I thought you were saying that you love writing because it is so precise and people are imperfect. I was commenting that I love the spoken word because the written word isn't nearly as good at conveying meaning and nuance. FWIW, I'm a writer and my background and biggest hobby is what would classically be called philology, but nowadays that term has lost some of the traditional meaning:
quote:
philology (n.) Look up philology at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "love of learning," from O.Fr. philologie, from L. philologia "love of learning, love of letters," from Gk. philologia "love of discussion, learning, and literature," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + logos "word, speech" (see logos). Meaning "science of language" is first attested 1716; this confusing secondary sense has not been popular in the U.S., where linguistics is preferred.

I'm not trying to be argumentative with you, just offering my personal opinion on a subject that we both find fascinating.
*smiles* Lovely.

That makes sense to me, though I'm not sure I entirely agree. I communicated primarily by text for at least five years, probably more like six or seven (it is in fact how I met my husband, and most of my close friends); it served quite well for me, both in terms of clear and meaningful discourse and in terms of forming lasting bonds/emotional meaning/etc. One does have to be reasonably careful and clever to properly transmit emotion, of course! I have found that nuance is in this medium best communicated through careful word choice--which means that it does take a close reading (and perhaps some knowledge of one's conversational partners) to best parse.

On the other hand, I would be quite silly to argue that tone of voice and length of pauses do not communicate volumes--and as Adam rightly noted (assuming I haven't already forgotten who noted what--apologies if I have!), there aren't really in-built mechanisms for the easy transmission of this meaning through text (it being extra-linguistic and all). One must be a wee bit creative. [Smile] As a writer and philologist, I'm sure you have plenty of fun with this!

(Philologist is a lovely word, isn't it?)

[ October 14, 2012, 01:34 AM: Message edited by: Chael ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Setting aside the fact that the source is Darth Vader, can you actually disagree with his analysis?:

quote:


The most important trait for a vice president is “the ability to step in a a moment’s notice and take over,” Cheney said. “And you want somebody calm, cool, and collected, who asks questions and seeks good information and makes life-or-death decisions that we pay a president to take for all of us.”

Biden, Cheney added, does not have “the kind of personality I would like to see in the Oval Office.”


Biden's too hot, Obama's too cold. You want us to think Romney's the porridge Goldilock wants to eat?

If Paul Ryan lets Joe Biden kick his butt you seriously think he stands a chance against Putin?

The one who demonstrated he was unfit for the oval office was Paul Ryan. That's why Biden was smiling. Paul Ryan has been performing to adoring fans at campaign rallies and was unprepared when someone was calling BS on what is obviously BS to anyone familliar with the facts.

What came out in the debate, and this is why Biden was smiling, is that, particularly in foriegn policy, Romney wants to pursue Bush/Obama policies he's claimed have failed, but they've only failed because Obama didn't say all the right things. Being more agressive than that essentially means putting out armed forces into action in Syria and/or Iran. That's not going to thrill the US public even if it impresses G2 and Bill Kristol.

[ October 14, 2012, 03:44 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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AI Wessex
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"(Philologist is a lovely word, isn't it?)"

The son of an old friend recently got his PHD in linguistics. His area of focus could crudely be characterized as "intonation as semantics". He would probably agree that that word philology is pleasing because it is breathy (no plosives) and even has a hushed ululation in it. His actual thesis is a bit too obscure for me as it's about verbal tics, pauses and fillers. They don't write so good, neither. In my mind the biggest statement made by Ryan the other night and the one that will cost Romney the most votes was the 1-2 second pause before he answered the question on abortion. Nothing will come of nothing, and perhaps a lot of it.

[ October 14, 2012, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
They don't write so good, neither. In my mind the biggest statement made by Ryan the other night and the one that will cost Romney the most votes was the 1-2 second pause before he answered the question on abortion. Nothing will come of nothing, and perhaps a lot of it.

Doesn't this contradict your "VP debates do not affect the campaign" theory, Al? Or did the pause activate the Palin exception?
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AI Wessex
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It may have done that, given the attention the Obama campaign has given it over the past few days. If FOX can complain about the Biden smirk, let's see who gets more mileage.
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edgmatt
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Al - would you have preferred he shot off a quick, per-memorized statement? I'd prefer a politician who took a second to gather his thoughts first.
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AI Wessex
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So, you really like Biden then?
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edgmatt
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LOL nice sidestep, you should be a politician.

At what point during the debate did Biden take a second to gather his thoughts?

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
So, you really like Biden then?

Take it easy on edgmatt, Obama's taking his state no matter what edgmatt does in the voting booth.
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edgmatt
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Why did I fall into that trap?

Al - you said that Ryan's pause between the question and the answer was no good. I asked you if you would prefer a politician who just answered without thought, and stated that I prefer a politician who thinks first.

How in the heck did you get that to mean I like Biden?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Seriously? The kind of person you want in that situation has to have stamina and energy. Do you really want someone with a lifelong history of heart attacks in that position?

Sure you do, if you want the Speaker of the House to end up president.

So, you think that Nancy Pelosi is unfit for the job?

[Razz]

(Just doin' to you what you did to edgematt [Big Grin] )

[ October 14, 2012, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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I always have to giggle at the 2-faced argument against Cheney. "His heart condition might not leave him enough time carry out his sinister plot to turn America into an evil empire." And that's a bad thing?
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AI Wessex
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"How in the heck did you get that to mean I like Biden?"

Easy, 1) Biden clearly wasn't reciting scripted answers, and 2) at twice Ryan's age he's still so quick that he doesn't need a pause to collect his thoughts [Wink] . When it would come time to make the split-second decision to bomb or capitulate, Cheney would have a heart attack on the spot, Ryan would take 2 seconds less the split-second he had to make up his mind too long to respond, and Biden would come up with an alternate 3-step solution that would solve the problem for both sides and still have time to give a big smile. My God! the man's a genius.

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edgmatt
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Wow, you are all over the place. Stay focused. We were talking about Ryan's pause to the abortion question.

Let's start over. Do you think the pause was good or bad?

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AI Wessex
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It was a thoughtful pause, but it has been noted and commented on by a number of women's organizations who are characterizing it as signaling his (and Romney's) distance from the importance of their issues. It has also been noted (and didn't help him in the same people's eyes) that he doesn't think that the SC or pregnant women themselves should be allowed to make the decision whether to have an abortion:
quote:
All I'm saying is if you believe that life begins at conception, that therefore doesn't change the definition of life. That's a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Now, I've got to take issue with the Catholic Church and religious liberty.
The key phrase in that that the importance of which is often overlooked by people who agree with him: "if you believe that life begins at conception". What if you don't?

Biden's answer was well-received by those same groups because he did recognize that question:
quote:
With regard to — with regard to abortion, I accept my church's position on abortion as a — what we call de fide (doctrine ?). Life begins at conception. That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

I — I do not believe that — that we have a right to tell other people that women, they — they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court — I'm not going to interfere with that.



[ October 14, 2012, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pete at Home
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SC, Al?

I did not know that the Supreme Court was pregnant.

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edgmatt
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Al - You said "In my mind the biggest statement made by Ryan the other night and the one that will cost Romney the most votes was the 1-2 second pause before he answered the question on abortion."

I take that to mean you think his pause was bad. Yes?

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AI Wessex
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Yes. I know I can't convince you of anything, so I cited the other groups as having the same reaction. Question for you: If you are a person who does *not* believe that life begins at conception, do you believe that person should not have the freedom to choose to have an abortion for themselves? And a history follow-up: What was the accepted norm on abortion rights when the Constitution was written?

"I did not know that the Supreme Court was pregnant."

If you heard me say it rather than read my words, the meaning would have been obvious [Wink] .

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edgmatt
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Hang on, one at a time.

Why do you think his pause is bad? Not why do those other groups who also think it was bad, think it was bad. Why do you, Al, think it was bad?

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AI Wessex
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Edgmatt, for the same reason. He seemed to have to compose an answer instead of responding how he did to all the other issues in the debate with a ready answer. He both came across as delivering a difficult but firm resolution that was his final binding (on women everywhere) decision, and at the same time appeared to condescend by saying that the decision is too important for women throughout the country to make for themselves. That was a pregnant pause if ever there was one.

I'm answering you in all candor and honesty as you seem genuinely interested to know how I think about this. I'd appreciate it if you would also make the effort to answer my questions with similar thoughtfulness.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

Easy, 1) Biden clearly wasn't reciting scripted answers, and 2) at twice Ryan's age he's still so quick that he doesn't need a pause to collect his thoughts [Wink] . When it would come time to make the split-second decision to bomb or capitulate, Cheney would have a heart attack on the spot, Ryan would take 2 seconds less the split-second he had to make up his mind too long to respond, and Biden would come up with an alternate 3-step solution that would solve the problem for both sides and still have time to give a big smile. My God! the man's a genius.

I was gonna join in this discussion, but Al got highhhhh.
I was gonna type some poo up, but Al got highhhh.
Now I'm gonna have to wait until he eats some brownies and sobers up, cause he got high, cause he got high, cause he got hiiiiiiigghhhh.

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AI Wessex
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We are a mixed bag of philologists, punsters, semi-serious philosophers and, uh, you. Do jump in, the water's not too deep for a short comment, and not too shallow.
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edgmatt
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quote:
He seemed to have to compose an answer instead of responding how he did to all the other issues in the debate with a ready answer. He both came across as delivering a difficult but firm resolution that was his final binding (on women everywhere) decision, and at the same time appeared to condescend by saying that the decision is too important for women throughout the country to make for themselves. That was a pregnant pause if ever there was one.
Those certainly are plausible reasons why he paused.

Is it also reasonable to think that he paused to gather his thoughts? Perhaps he feels very strongly on the issue and wanted to take a second to make sure he had his thoughts in the right order so as to answer concisely. Is this not also a plausible reason?

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AI Wessex
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It is, but that's a rhetorical response. Here are the questions again that I think are at the heart of the issue, and why his deliberate pause gives pause:
quote:
Question for you: If you are a person who does *not* believe that life begins at conception, do you believe that person should not have the freedom to choose to have an abortion for themselves? And a history follow-up: What was the accepted norm on abortion rights when the Constitution was written?
I'd really like to hear your answers (or anyone else's; Kid is not allowed to answer the 2nd one! [Wink] ).

[ October 14, 2012, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
We are a mixed bag of philologists, punsters, semi-serious philosophers and, uh, you. Do jump in, the water's not too deep for a short comment, and not too shallow.

I'm afraid I am farrrr too shallow. [Big Grin]
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edgmatt
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Nope, I'm not getting sidetracked.

How is my response rhetorical? You think Ryan's 2 second pause before answering was bad, and you have reasonable answers why you thought it was bad. I thought the pause was good, and we agree that my reasons were also reasonable. At what point was I rhetorical?

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AI Wessex
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Of course it could be plausible. That question needed no response. Care to tackle my questions?
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Pete at Home
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"If you are a person who does *not* believe that life begins at conception"

What if you're a person who thinks that any one who uses the phrase "life begins at conception" needs rehabilitative English?

Live began billions of years ago. A sperm is alive. An egg is alive. Conception has nothing to do with life. Period.

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AI Wessex
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"Live began billions of years ago. A sperm is alive. An egg is alive. Conception has nothing to do with life."

I share that view, so distinguishing in law at an arbitrary point in time corresponding to your religious belief is a personal decision. It's not political, so Republicans should stop trying to create a law that encapsulates when religious people in their party say it does.

Edgmatt doesn't seem keen to answer my questions, so I'll answer the second one for him. The Founders didn't say one way or another if abortion was illegal, and they sure didn't try to define when life begins. In the late 18th C abortion wasn't all that common, but it was wasn't illegal anywhere AFAIK until quickening in the 2nd trimester, and even after that it was illegal in some places, but seldom prosecuted when it occurred. In other words, it was the province of the family to make that decision. It would have seemed bizarre if the Founders had tried to put formal restrictions and definitions on such family matters.

[ October 14, 2012, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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edgmatt
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I just wanted to clear up one issue at a time, Al.

Paul Ryan believes, as I do, that abortion has nothing to do with rights or choosing. He believes that abortion is murder. Since we as society do not accept murder, we also should not accept abortion.

I'm sure he understands that there is debate over whether or not abortion IS murder. I do too. But isn't his view (and mine) at least consistent? I know you don't agree with this belief, but do you understand it?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"Live began billions of years ago. A sperm is alive. An egg is alive. Conception has nothing to do with life."

I share that view, so distinguishing in law at an arbitrary point in time corresponding to your religious belief is a personal decision.

Not sure what you think you know about my religious beliefs. I think we should treat someone as human to the extent that they manifest human brainwave patterns. I call that position pro-brain, and call those that disagree with me "anti-brain." Seems to me I'm perfectly capable of being a monomaniacal ass without deriving or opposing religious authority.
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DonaldD
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I believe Al used "your" to denote "one's" in that sentence, Pete.
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AI Wessex
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[Edgmatt:] "I'm sure he understands that there is debate over whether or not abortion IS murder. I do too. But isn't his view (and mine) at least consistent? I know you don't agree with this belief, but do you understand it?"

Of course I understand it. Do you think that it's appropriate for people who believe as you do to make it murder for people who don't believe as you do?

[DonaldD:] "I believe Al used "your" to denote "one's" in that sentence, Pete."

Right, I wasn't singling out Pete or anyone else.

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edgmatt
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Yes! Certainly! Some people don't believe shooting strangers is wrong. Don't we force our views onto them? Is it wrong to force these people to comply to our line of thinking when they don't want to?

(Let me be clear: I am NOT putting pro-choicers in the same category as psychopaths.)

Do you think it's right for people who thinks it's appropriate to tax others to enforce that belief on others?
I can keep naming examples where beliefs are forced on others in laws, so let's agree that this is not your best argument.

I don't know what the best argument is for abortion, but "you can't force me to comply to your beliefs" isn't it.

Also, let's not try to convince each other on this topic. It's not the right thread. [Smile]

[ October 14, 2012, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: edgmatt ]

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hobsen
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Looking toward the debate tomorrow, I think this is one time G3's skepticism about the impartiality of the news media will be justified. Most newspeople do want Obama to win and Romney to lost this election. Having made a show of impartiality by trumpeting that Romney won the first debate, they have little need to be impartial in the coming one, and an Obama win would be more interesting to readers and viewers. So if the debate is anywhere near even, expect to hear that Obama vastly improved his performance and has the momentum going into the last weeks of this campaign. Such an assessment would in fact help Obama win, and such an outcome would please most commentators. So I shall be surprised if strict objectivity prevails on this occasion.
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