John McCain's Pen Is "Kind of Old" and Other Observations at the First Presidential Debate:
1. Jim Lehrer's constant attempts to get the candidates to look at and speak to each other were just creepy, kind of like a gay porn director working with a couple of first-timers: "No, no, John, you have to look at Barack while you jack each other off."

2. John McCain looked like nothing so much as a plantation owner just after the end of the Civil War forced to have a conversation with one of his freed slaves. There's no way he was gonna look that nigger in the eye and allow him to think they're equals. Used to be you could lynch a darkie for addressing a white man by his first name. Now, they think they can talk to you like they're humans.

3. One surefire way to get that ever-elusive youth vote? Tell the young guy he doesn't understand the shit you're talking about. Seriously, McCain campaign, make sure the pissed-off old man keeps saying that Obama is naive. It makes him look so hip and in touch and ready to consider all ideas. Hey, how about adding this: "Senator Obama's music is too loud and I don't like his friends"? And keep using words like "festoon," as in "It was festooned with Christmas tree ornaments." Try "betokens" next debate.

4. The Rude Pundit has finally figured out what the strongest pro-war lobby is: the bracelet-making industry. More dead soldiers means more bracelets, and they come in pro-war relative and anti-war relative models.

5. When Barack Obama smiles at an attack, McCain's people ought to be shitting themselves. It was after one of those smiles that Obama pronounced his list of "Stuff What Johnny Maverick Was Wrong About As Regards Iraq." It was the law professor seeing an opening in a student's presentation to go in and gut him teach him a lesson.

6. Conversely, McCain should never, never smile. It is a truly chilling sight, akin to seeing a gang of zombie dwarfs with knives coming at you when you are cornered in an alley. McCain attempting charm is like a child molester trying to offer makeup tips at toddler beauty pageants - it's wrong, and it should never be allowed to happen.

7. Conversely, what the fuck was with McCain's Popeye-like under his breath muttering? That was McCain's slight pressure valve release for, surely, Obama twice almost made McCain blow up like a blocked cannon. You could look at McCain and see that he was picturing some NVA guy taunting him after a beating and that McCain recalled all those fantasies of crawling surreptitiously out of his cage to slit his captor's throat and bathing in the arterial spray. When Obama and McCain went to town over what Henry Kissinger said, McCain almost hulked out. Well, actually, it was more like that Looney Tunes short where Elmer Fudd drinks some Jekyll/Hyde formula. (Actually, Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny's not a bad analogy.)

8. Would Obama please point out that John McCain is only mavericky when he agrees with Democrats? And that most of that maverick shit happened over a decade ago? Otherwise, he's just another Republican stooge lining up to happily suckle from Bush's nipples, even longer than most. Motherfucker's been nursing even though those teats went dry a couple of years ago.

9. While Obama didn't beat up an old man, even if few old men have ever deserved to have their hips splintered in public worse than John McCain, he outdid Kerry and Gore by simply refusing to take any shit from McCain. You can complain, and you should, that he said McCain was right too often. And there were so many times Obama could have called McCain a "liar" or have said something like, "You'd follow bin Laden to the gate of Hell, but not Pakistan? Man, Pakistan must be harsh." Still, overall, Obama was Obama, cool, unflappable, and dignified. A motherfucking President, in case you can't remember what that's like. And McCain was McCain, a crazed coot who doesn't know who the fuck he is anymore. The most annoying guy at the nursing home.

10. Oh, yeah. On substance? Whatever. They each said shit that was true, shit that was false, shit that was spin. They each made in-the-moment gaffes (although McCain's history of Pakistan was, to put it mildly, dumb). People don't remember that, though. Remember: America is stupid. We don't actually care what they say. We care how they say it. And, as the Rude Pundit said a long time ago when he said everyone should wait for the debates before they get all worried about Obama, America doesn't wanna listen to a raspy, s-whistling Methuselah in training for the next four to eight years.