Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bring It On Home, Foreign Policy Debate

Monday evening, October 22nd, 2012. The final Presidential debate of the election cycle, and a palpable sigh of relief can be heard over a weary nation.

The two candidates met in Boca Raton, Florida, in another different format - sitting at a big table, talking directly to Bob Schieffer and each other. Foreign Policy was on the agenda, but given enough time and pivot room, either of these candidates could turn "foreign policy" into "Des Moines needs less socialist firefighters."

If you don't know the format for my liveTweets, check out one of the previous posts, which will catch you up on the process and hopefully give you some laughs and insight into my spontaneous thinking while watching these carefully coordinated appeals for our attention. With that out of the way, here were a few of my warm-up Tweets:

The first one Tweet actually contains a reference to my appearance in the early 2000s on the TV show Jeopardy! (Yes, I lost on Jeopardy!, and the only reason I say that with an exclamation point is because the show spells it that way.)

So, without any further ado, here is the video of the full debate, so you can start it up and follow along. It's the political equivalent of starting Dark Side Of The Moon while watching The Wizard Of Oz.

And now, to the Tweetmobile...!

And, just like that, it was over. I give this one to Obama, by a decent margin. But, as I learned watching the debate with a visiting conservative friend, everything is colored by what you believe going in to the debates. She did concede that she thought Obama did win it, but she thought Romney did much better than I felt he did. Especially when you consider blunders like Syria being Iran's route to the sea and the "horses and bayonets" moments.

He's been saying this since March or May of this year. One of those "M" months.

The candidates now have two weeks to hit the road, run their ads, and make their final appeals to the American people, Sheldon Adelson and whichever foreign countries may be contributing to superPACs in order to influence our elections.

Oh, there is one more Presidential debate taking place, among several of the third-party candidates running this year, including the candidate I am endorsing, Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, both of whom have been guests on my show. Larry King is moderating the event, and it will be streaming live on the Internets. I will not be Tweeting this debate, due to the a fore-mentioned friend in town, but I recommend you check it out. You'll probably hear topics that haven't even been mentioned by either of the two party candidates this entire election cycle.


Now, if you are, somehow, one of those undecided voters still out there, I'll stop using multi-syllabic words...

I kid. I kid, because I love.

No, if you are undecided, please use the next two weeks to explore the candidates who are running to lead the "Free World." Get informed about your state and local candidates, and the propositions on your ballots, and then use that knowledge to vote like an informed citizen.

Tuesday, November 6. See you at the polls, or in line at the supermarket with one of those lousy "I voted" stickers on our shirts. Either way, do it. Because, in the words of my parents, Kenny and Marie Gelder, "If you don't vote, you can't bitch."

•   •   •   •   •

"Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" airs on www.NewDissidentRadio.com and GreenEarthRadio.com, weekday mornings at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. 
Follow me on Twitter: @SteveGelder

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Second #Debate

I have taken to live-Tweeting the debates this election cycle (since all the kids are doing it). Still finding it a challenge, but a fun one. As with the previous Presidential debate and the VP debate, sometimes I miss a key phrase or moment because I'm already absorbed in a thought I'm texting. This time around, the most popular catch phrase of the night, Romney's "binder full of women" went right past me.

Sixty-something Tweets during the debate, which ran a little long, or at least felt like it. Some pre-debate warm-ups (test Tweets..?):

Not sure which channel provided the video I will link to below this next brief set of Tweets. The video comes from Lawrence Gaughan's Gov360.com YouTube channel (Lawrence is a showbuddy). I was watching on CBS, which might explain my "opening credits" remark. It really did feel overblown.

Here is the debate video, in its entirety, courtesy of Gov360. Follow along at home and maybe see where I was making smart-ass comments along the way:


And we're off!

 And we reach the end of the debate, and a few afterTweets:

Chris Novembrino did join me for the breakdown show, that episode can be found HERE.

The third and final debate on Foreign Policy will take place Monday night. I'll be there live-Tweeting once again. If you'd like to follow my stream of consciousness while it's in motion, follow me on Twitter @SteveGelder.

Tweet to your Mother...!

* * * * *

Steve Gelder has spent his life living independently; his unusual jobs, his politics, his warped sense of humor and his personal values have all come together to form one interesting individual.

Steve works as an actor on a number of slightly cheesy TV shows and in quality plays involving nakedness around Los Angeles. He made a living as a stand-up comedian for years, worked as an editor on a number of popular television shows and films, is an award-winning columnist, appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy!, and is also a former Kelly Girl.

"Independent Thinking" with Steve Gelder is available on iTunes and Stitcher.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Release The Biden!

The most recent bump in the road in this election cycle was the Vice-Presidential debate this past Thursday night. Vice-President Joe Biden faced off against Representative Paul Ryan in Danville, Virginia. This is at least the second time Danville has hosted a debate, having once welcomed Vice-President Dick Cheney and Senator Joe Lieberman to their University stage.

It's actually fascinating to me that some tradition or arcane system of selection was used in the past and still exists that has two of the men vying to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency meet in a town of fewer than 35,000 people. I wonder if it's decided upon some type of electoral "neutrality", or if somewhere in the past, Danville had a reputation for comely lasses who didn't mind entertaining a weary traveling politician after a difficult debate.

You never know.

I am live-Tweeting all of the debates this month, the next being the second Obama-Romney debate, this one town hall style and on both domestic and foreign policy issues. That takes place somewhere in New York state...again, in another town most of America is unfamiliar with. At least, I don't remember the name off the top of my head. So that's gotta mean something, right?

The Vice-Presidential debate was more contentious than the first Presidential face-off, with Biden dominating the conversation after he got warmed up, and throwing Ryan a little off-balance, although he held his composure pretty well. He also held an excessive amount of water by the end of the evening, as he kept going to that glass. However, I am well aware that many people on the Right would view Biden's aggressive approach in unflattering terms, and that was proven out in the aftermath.

My good friend, Dean Evans and I, talked about the debate the day after on the show. He is, admittedly, a big Joe Biden fan, and I kinda like the guy, too. I am also not a fan of either Romney or Ryan or the policies they seem to be proposing for the country. So, take my Tweets with a grain of salt. I have a bias, I am not voting for either candidate, but if I had to choose between the two, my choice would be to re-elect President Barack Obama. Therefore, I am critical of Ryan, and less so of Biden, although I do mention his trouble with numbers, losing his place during his talking points and more. I also credit Ryan when he gets laughs or holds his own.

One thing I also want to note: I don't fact-check a lot of the debate points, because I don't know all of the facts about everyone's voting records, Ryan's or Biden's. Occasionally, if it is a topic I am well-versed on, I will mention a larger point, point out an untruth if I'm really certain of it.

That being said, here were some of my pre-debate warm-up Tweets:

In keeping with long-established tradition (I did this in my last post), here is the complete Vice-Presidential debate, so you can "follow along" and better understand what I was Tweeting when I was Tweeting it. 

It's still an incomplete art form, for me. It takes me away from fully focusing on the debate and sometimes causes me to be left in the dust as I'm Tweeting some smart-ass remark while the two guys on stage break out into Greco-Roman wrestling poses. But, I'm trying.

So, the video:

And the remainder of my Tweets (and a couple of reTweets), for the sake of posterity, such as it is:

And that was pretty much the wrap up. Initial polls showed it an initial Biden win, similar to Romney's aggressive performance the week before.  And, as Dean and I discussed, you got what you wanted going into it. Biden fans liked what he did; Ryan supporters did not. Biden did what he needed to do - he slowed the momentum of the Romney campaign.

The media are lucky enough to get the horse race they've been hoping for over the past months and have been leading us towards for the last year and a half. It all feels carefully orchestrated, if you step back and look at it with just a little cynicism. Or, even a lot.

As I mentioned, I will be live-Tweeting the next Presidential debate Tuesday night, and then Chris Novembrino from "Don't Worry About The Government" and I will breakdown that debate Wednesday morning on the show.

If you'd like to follow the action, you can find me on Twitter: @SteveGelder

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Losing My Live-Tweeting Cherry

I took advantage of huge technological advancements (me signing up for Twitter a year ago) and decided to engage in what the kids like to call "live-Tweeting" the first of three Presidential debates between Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Some of my Tweets (57 or so in an hour and a half) were really well received, and I picked up a few new Twitter followers. Kinda cool.

For those who weren't following along, here's every Tweet I live-Tweeted during the debate, some complete with typos and probably the occasional factual error, or lack of understanding on my part if a candidate wasn't explaining their position or point well. I realize looking at these that the majority of my negative Tweets were directed to Romney, with Jim Lehrer probably coming in second in that pecking order. I think Obama was so low-key and almost checked out that I didn't have as much to say about him one way or the other.

BTW, I reference a drinking game a couple of times during the debates - this is the game and these are the rules:

If you followed this game to the letter, you are probably having your liver replaced this week, so, good luck with that!

Now that you've got that - on to the pre-debate warm up Tweets! These are delivered in order, and as I said, replete with typos, errors and statements that some might find offensive.

At this point, the debate was underway. If you didn't see it, a lot of these comments that follow will not make sense.  If you'd like to follow along at home, here is the debate, in its entirety, provided by Lawrence Gaughan at Gov360.org.

Now this will all make more sense.

And that's where I stopped watching. I added a few more Tweets into the mix after I had a little time to collect my thoughts, but what you're looking at there is how my brain works when forced to think and write in the moment, in 140 characters or less. I'm satisfied with the results, but I think I can do better with practice.

So, I'll be live-tweeting the Vice-Presidential debate on October 11 between contender Congressman Paul Ryan and reigning Veep Joe Biden. It's "The Throwdown About The Economic Slowdown!" BEEEEEEEE THERRRRRRRRREEE!!!!

•   •   •   •   • 
To follow along with my next live-Tweeting experience, follow me on Twitter: @SteveGelder
Please take a second to like the show page on Facebook:  Independent Thinking with Steve Gelder
"Independent Thinking With Steve Gelder" airs on NewDissidentRadio.com and GreenEarthRadio.com, every weekday morning at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. Past episodes are available on iTunes and Stitcher.com