Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Seth Myers, quoting Rudy Giuliani as he puts down his cellphone:

"That was my wife reminding me to pick up some milk at the nine-eleven."

Yes, he can be that bad. And you know why he's that bad about constantly tossing 9/11 in there? Because he has no f**king idea what he's talking about on most major issues; for a presidential candidate, his knowledge base on economics, health care, and foreign are at times shockingly shallow. See this, for example, during last night's debate:
As the Republicans' latest presidential debate began in Michigan this afternoon, Chris Matthews asked Rudy Giuliani to explain how private equity firms make "billions of dollars" and whether there's "any downside to this amazing bonanza."
Here's the entirety of what Giuliani said as he ran out the clock on Matthews' question:

"Well, I mean the market is a wonderful thing. I mean, the free market is our -- one of our greatest assets. And the leading Democratic candidate once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America. I mean, just get an idea of where the philosophy comes from.

"The free market is the asset that has allowed us to -- the sky's the limit. The reality is that what we have to do is look at the fundamentals. A president can't be an economic forecaster. A president's not going to be any better an economic forecaster than you are a baseball forecaster -- and I'm not a particularly [good] baseball forecaster this afternoon.

"So the reality is, a president has to work on the fundamentals. What are the fundamentals? Keep taxes low. Keep regulations moderate. Keep spending under control. That's an area where we need a lot of help. And make sure you do something about legal reform so that our legal system doesn't -- it's 2.2 percent of our GDP now, is spent on all these frivolous lawsuits. It's double any other industrialized nation. If we don't get control of that, that's another way in which we're going to eat up our future.

"So we got a prospect on the Democratic side of overspending, overtaxing, overregulating, and oversuing, and I think you need a Republican alternative to that, which is an emphasis on the pillars of growth that I mentioned."

What Rudy had nothing to say about, presumably because he knows nothing about them: hedge funds and private equity firms, which was the subject of the question.

And of course, I wonder if anyone ever explained to Rudnine Eleviani that "an unfettered free market" is sort of what you have when you don't "keep regulations moderate."

Seriously, I've watched a fair number of debates in my lifetime, but this answer is one of the silliest, most jingoistic, least informed answers I've ever heard. "The sky's the limit?" What the hell is he even talking about?

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