Live Blog: Harvard Watches the Debate

Plenty of people will be live-blogging the first presidential debate tonight, but here we have what you really want:  a live account of Harvard’s viewing party.

8:54:  The debate hasn’t even started, and the food is already gone. Also, both Ames and the overflow room are showing the debate on Fox News.

8:57:  Announcement: we are thanked by the Harvard Democrats and Republicans, the Dean of Students’ Office, and possibly the Bull-Moose Party (I wasn’t really paying attention).

8:59:  The rainy weather tonight has given people a lot of seat-saving options. There are coats, umbrellas and ponchos all over the Ames’ upholstery.

9:00:  The room hushes to hear Chris Wallace.

9:01:  Some whooping for Jim Lehrer (seriously).

9:02: I appreciate them flashing Jim’s stats as he explains the rules.

9:03:  Lehrer will not tolerate your shenanigans.

9:03: Obama and Romney appear to be getting equal levels of applause here in Austin.

9:06:  The aspect ratio of the projection here is excellent. Kudos to the technical staff.

9:07: Romney bit plays shockingly well to the Harvard Law audience.

9:07:  “Oh, China, you so crazy” seems to be the reaction here in Austin.

9:08:  You’re welcome, Mittens.

9:09: Someone appears to be playing musical chairs in the back of the hall. Some of us are trying to watch others watch the debate.

9:11:  Whoa, Jim it’s your job to ask the questions.

9:13:  The crowd also likes coal.

9:15: For the record, Cult. Lit. does not have a computer.

9:17:  People telling Jim to shut up is apparently hilarious.

9:18: This is a good crowd; they didn’t even need warmed up.

9:20:  Thank you, Bubba.

9:21:  Some guy with a backpack seems to be confused about where his Fed. Courts lecture is.

9:22:  From a Holmesian standpoint, Jim’s telling-off of Romney was pointless.

9:23:  I have it on good authority that they don’t actually have electricity in St. Louis, so this story is really deceptive.

9:23:  We, meaning Obama and Bill Clinton.

9:29: I’m back; they finally put out some more cheese.

9:33:  Up is down, black is white, taxing more reduces revenue.

9:34: Lotta Spain fans in the room.

9:35:  What is the over/under on mentions of “jobs”?

9:36:  A cop just entered the room. We’re all going in the clink.

9:38: “Probably” on the table. Romney’s really putting himself out there.

9:39:  The longer Romney talks, the more restless the room gets.

9:41:  “So what you’re saying is, your grandmother was a leech?”

9:42:  Some people are so disgusted with these entitlements that they’re walking out.

9:43:  The room perked up drastically at the mention of “young people.”

9:45:  In other words, you law students. Giggles all around.

9:46:  Will Jim follow through?

9:49: But rich old people need the most care! All those rich foods . . .

9:50: Romney and Lehrer are gonna get these harmonies eventually.

9:52:  I can feel the invisible hand of the market shaking its fist (itself?) at Romney right now.

9:52:  How many kisses have you seen in Big Banks, Mitt?

9:54:  No one here rises to answer Obama.

9:56:  A Harvard Law student is literally pumping both fists at the fact that we’re moving on to healthcare.

9:57:  Where my death-panel fans at?

10:01:  A stunning, hilarious admission by Romney:  Massachusetts does not have Medicare.

10:03:  THE AUDIO JUST CUT OUT. I spoke too soon about the aspect ration. Maybe they had different people on audio and video?

10:06:  Skeptical muttering at Romney’s plan, but I think it sounds great!

10:08:  Maybe the invisible hand can forgive Romney.

10:10:  BREAKING:  Obama asks if Romney’s plans are too good.

10:12:  What’s the over/under on “plan”?

10:12:  Things just got Constitutional in here. The crowd is groaning.

10:15:  Is Obama’s cellphone ringing? No, it’s just some guy in Austin.

10:15:  BREAKING:  Romney likes good schools and teachers.

10:19:  I think the question on everyone’s mind in this education discussion is:  will the debate end on time?

10:21:  Romney’s refusal to grant Obama his own facts elicits gasps from the audience. He is the president, after all.

10:23:  The room is sympathetic to Jim.

10:25:  Can Jim cut the mics?

10:32:  Well, this blog certainly took the wrong path coming to this party. Recommendations:  more alcohol and more food for next time.

Cultural Literacy and the Law is a humor column written by an anonymous Harvard Law student. The regular column runs every other Monday.

The views in opinion editorials, columns, and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of The Harvard Law Record.

Live Blog: CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Primary Debate

Lisa Wang, Law ’13, is live blogging the Republican primary debate hosted by CNN in Arizona, Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

8:01 p.m.: Last debate before Super Tuesday. Who else can’t believe Santorum is still in the race?

8:07 p.m.: The Final Four include: Newt “I promise I’m stopping at Callista” Gingrich, Ron “Even vaginas are bigger in Texas” Paul, Mitt “Just For Men” Romney, and Rick “Homeschooling makes it easier for me to molest my kids” Santorum. They’re making their introductions and Ricky got a pretty big applause.

8:08 p.m.: Oh man, Mittens does not look good tonight. I think his makeup girl is sick. And he just quoted George Costanza in an attempt to be normal!

8:10 p.m.: Question from the audience: What are you going to do to bring down the debt? Santorum is talking about his plan to shrink the budget. Apparently he’s had “experience” (read: voting for and receiving) entitlement spending. His plan is more extreme than Ryan’s Roadmap… and he thinks he can get it passed, ever?

8:12 p.m.: Romney brought up borrowing from China again. For someone who ran a private equity group, he sure pretends to not understand how international finance works. Romney wants to link the pay of government workers with those in the private sector… Rejoice future HLS lawyers of DOJ!

8:15 p.m.: I don’t like how they are sitting. This just reminds me of ESPN. So far, this debate has been Romney and Santorum arguing over Santorum’s admittedly fiscally liberal voting record. (But to be fair to Frothy, he wasn’t in the Senate for very long…)

8:18 p.m.: Ah finally, Newt. Where has he been the past few weeks? Fatty just name-dropped George Washington. (He couldn’t find a good Reagan reference.) He also recommended Rick Perry to “head up” something. He must be trolling.

8:19 p.m.: (a.) Ron Paul just called Santorum a fake. To his face. Bad. Ass. (b.) He’s wearing a fuchsia tie. (c.) I know I’ve said this before, but why don’t his eyebrows match his hair? (d.) He thinks that foreign aid is huge and ridiculous and “helps our enemies”. It’s good that there’s fact-checking on the Paul campaign.

8:22 p.m.: Guys, I can’t listen to Santorum anymore. So, let’s consider what the candidates are writing down. Mitt Romney: “Memo to self, call my other two wives.”, Ron Paul: “Memo to self, stock up on Depends.”, Rick Santorum: “Memmoh 2 Ricky, say moar stoopid thingz.”, Newt Gingrich: “Newt + Jackie Marianne Callista 4EVR.”

8:23 p.m.: Oooh, interesting. Romney just brought up abortion! I think he should just give up, he’s not going to get the Evangelist vote no matter how much he supports the Catholic church in preventing Cameron and Mitchell from adopting kids. No one is biting though. Back to taxes.

8:27 p.m.: I just love the phrase “class warfare.” It makes one think of suburban fourth-graders toting Uzis. Newt called the current government a “disaster.” I know that I’ve exhausted the philandering jokes, but one more. Newt obviously thinks that when one’s wife/government is ugly/broken, you just toss it out. He wants to modernize the government, cut taxes and invest in technology. He also needs some unicorn blood.

8:30 p.m.: Earmarks, blah blah. You guys don’t want to hear about this, it’s boring. We want to hear about Santorum’s sex life. Speaking of which, what’s the Catholic rules on fucking your wife when she’s preggers? Because, if that’s not allowed, I think Santorum may have only had sex like 8 times. In his whole life. With women anyway. If this is the case, I think we can all understand why he’s… so Santorum. Anyway, although Santorum is relatively eloquent tonight, he’s been on the defense for the past thirty minutes. Gingrich looks bored. He’s looking snappy in a purple tie.

8:33 p.m.: Oh snap, maybe we should be paying attention this earmark shit. Because it looks like Ricky and Mittens are about to come to fisticuffs. Santorum sounds more and more like a Muppet as the night goes on and as the audience boos him more.

8:38 p.m.: Question from online: Why was Bush wrong in the auto bailout and why was Obama wrong in continuing it? (Keep in mind the Michigan primary is coming up, y’all.) Santorum opposes government bailouts (with government dollars and government manipulation of the bailout). I absolutely love Romney’s face when anyone talks about finance. He’s like Ken Jennings during Double Jeopardy. Romney doesn’t believe in the auto bailout, but did support the Wall Street bailout. As someone who has taken FIVE WHOLE WEEKS of International Finance, I’m gonna have to side with Romney about the possibility of a run  if the Wall Street banks failed.

8:41 p.m.: Newt Gingrich thinks that a lot of the US auto industry was fine (citing BMW, Benz & Honda) and listed a couple of Super Tuesday states. He thinks that we should have denied the bailout because the unions have too much power.

8:50 p.m.: Does anyone else want to watch Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul arm wrestle? Okay, birth control question, which immediately got some boos from the audience. Newt just said that Barack Obama legalized infanticide. Even though the question was about birth control, all the candidates are turning it into a religion issue. Man, I love watching four men and Frothy talk about birth control.

8:53 p.m.: Time for Santorum to defend his claims about contraception. Point One: too many children being raised out of wedlock… Ummm, does he not know how contraception works? Those parents didn’t USE contraception (at least not properly). If he’s worried about single-family households, he should be handing out diaphragms on every street corner on the South Side. Point Two: but he doesn’t want the government to do anything about it (he wants the homeschooling to ensure a nation full of thirty-year-old virgins).

8:54 p.m.: “It’s not the pills that leads to the immorality, it’s the immorality that leads to the pills.” Ron Paul just said that yummy-delicious-sex immoral.

8:57 pm.: The audience really likes Mittens tonight. And Newt just gave him a “Nice job/Come hither” look.

8:59 p.m.: Ron Paul doesn’t want to give a dime to Planned Parenthood. Santorum wants to defund Planned Parenthood. Neither of them wants to read up on what PP actually does. Santorum also said he wants to keep children from being sexually active, but he really meant to say everyone.

9:00 p.m.: Santorum wants to avoid the scrutiny and thus is bring up Romneycare. I don’t like Romneycare because frankly, it just doesn’t have the nice ring that Obamacare does. Romney pledges to cut Obamacare if he’s elected (“That black guy stole my idea guys!”).

9:03 p.m.: Now Santorum and Romney are just fighting/making out about Arlen Specter.

9:05 p.m.: Immigration question from the audience. Ron Paul just asked why you can’t stop illegal immigrants from trespassing on private property… … … What? He also just smooshed welfare state, recession, unemployment and everything else but solutions in his rant.

9:07 p.m.: Guys! Rick Perry is here! He’s sitting next to Callista! It’s a menage-a-Newt! Newt just suggested Perry for another leadership position. He is really not going to get elected.

9:12 p.m.: Romney would drop the lawsuits against Arizona, require e-verification of worker documents, and build a fence if he got elected. Why a fence? Why not build a Great Wall of America? I mean, we gotta prove we’re more awesome than China and keep those Mexican Mongols out! Just think of all the jobs we would create!

9:15 p.m.: I knew that Newt couldn’t refrain from bringing up Reagan tonight.

9:20 p.m.: Online question to describe themselves in one word. Paul: Consistent. Santorum: Courage (lulz.) Romney: Resolute. Gingrich: Cheerful (double-lulz).

9:24 p.m.: The next question is about women moving closer to frontline combat. Romney is all for it. But, of course, he gets a pot shot in about Obama’s handling of the military (Arab Winter, North Korean transition, Northern Mexico, Syria, Hezbollah in Latin America). Basically, he wants to increase the military. Gingrich thinks that we live in a world of total warfare. And thus, we should ask the people in charge of the military whether they should allow women on the frontlines. He also just said that we’re all more in danger now than ever in history. (Even though I’m pretty sure Gingrich was alive during the Cuban Missile Crisis).

9:26 p.m.: Santorum has concerns about women (especially in infantry). But he would defer to the generals, and not have “social engineering.” Question from the audience: “How do you plan on dealing with the growing nuclear threat in Iran?”

9:29 p.m.: We’re all afraid of that guy in Iran who looks like Tom Haverford. Romney thinks we should have put “crippling sanctions” against Iran. Gingrich is gonna side with Israel. While I think that Romney is doing a good job of blaming (and legitimately criticizing) the actions of Obama, I think he needs to realize that this is a PRIMARY debate. He needs to focus more on smashing his opponents, so that we don’t have a long drawn-out nomination. Santorum says “Guys, I’m an Iran Hawk! Duh! Elect meeee!”

9:33 p.m.: Ron Paul is being booed because he says that there is no evidence that Iran has nuclear weapons, and our actions are encouraging them to create a nuclear weapon. I think he has a good point, especially if CIA/Mossad/Jesus keeps assassinating their scientists.

9:36 p.m.: Question about Syria. Santorum looks like he’s going to cry. He really cares about the Middle East. (“Most prolific proliferator [sic] of terror in the world…”) I know that I really hate Santorum, and I’m super biased, and he’s super ugly and super dumb and super sexist… but I seriously think that he really hates Iran and Syria because of their religions.

9:39 p.m.: Newt Gingrich just said “As long as you’re American’s enemy you’re safe.” Also he spouted off a bunch of lies facts about America’s ability to drill for oil and be completely self-sufficient when it comes to fuel. Mittens wants us to take advantage of the weakness of Assad in Syria and work with Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

9:40 p.m.: Ron Paul has failed with “the moral argument and the constitutional argument,” so he’s going to try the “economic argument.” WHAT? Is gas really $6/gal in Florida? This is why we shouldn’t let old people drive.

9:43 p.m.: Question from the audience about No Child Left Behind. Santorum supported NCLB (“even though it was against the principles he believed in” but it’s okay because he took one “for the team”). He also said he was a “homeschooling father of seven.” Um… he means he’s a husband of a homeschooling mother of seven.

9:48 p.m.: Sorry guys, I got bored and had to pin some shit for a few minutes there. Does anyone know where I can get a tiny top hat for my cat and a regular-sized top hat for myself?

9:52 p.m.: One last question: What is the biggest misconception about you in the public debate right now? Ron Paul: The perpetuation of the “myth” by the media that I can’t win. (I don’t even need to funny that up). It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t won any primaries… but I’m sure that’s just another media myth. Newt Gingrich: The amount of work it took to get to welfare reform, a balanced budget and getting it done in Washington (describing when he worked for Reagan and before he got kicked out by the rest of the House). Mitt Romney: Romney just said “I get to give the answers I want.” Apparently the misconception of the public is just Romney’s background? I dunno what he’s saying. Rick Santorum: I can do a lot with a little (penis).

Lisa Wang is a 2L. Her column runs every other Wednesday, and she also be provides commentary on the Republican primary debates.