Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, October 21, 2007

  My top ten presidental debate questions

I've noted elsewhere how much I like the msnbc poll, as it both educates and polls, and is at the same time, fair, and easy to understand. The candidates and issues are listed in alphabetical order; the results are shown in shades of green (good) to red (bad). I'd like the poll to also have a tab that showed the number of votes, and various other statistics (repeat votes, vote locations, etc), and for msnbc to publish its source code for this poll so it can be reused and re purposed– but I can't have everything.

The one thing I'd really like to have in that poll – and most others – is the ability to frame the questions myself in categories that I cared about, and for me to be able reach statistically significant numbers of people with those questions.

I'm tickled that 10 questions is trying to pull together a democratically created poll – but IMHO it's too little, too late. The questions need to be sent in via video, and uploading video from where I'm at is an exercise in tedium, even if I looked halfway good on camera. Still, I'd like to participate so I'll use this blog for my questions. Perhaps others will film questions like these.

My top 10 issues for 2008 at the federal level:

My top 10 election 2008 questions

If I had control of a polling system, or of a presidential debate of democrats or republicans, these are the questions I would ask. To keep the question short and fair, with a maximum amount of screen time for candidate answers, I might skip the first background sentences entirely, and just ask the questions. I don't want to be as guilty of framing the debate as others are, and I'm doing enough merely by framing the questions thusly:
I note that there are three places above where I do directly challenge the conventional wisdom while framing the question.

I can't contain my outrage at the size of the federal debt. I tried.

The Iraq war ceased being a war shortly after Baghdad fell, and became an occupation. I can't bring myself to call it a war anymore, and don't know how anyone can.

The depth of my space question represents my deep interest in science and space and my utter despair at finding a candidate that had ever talked about the issues there.

And perhaps it's a little unfair of me to hyperlink to the facts containing my assertions. (I haven't finished revising this posting to add all the hyperlinks I'd like to add, so please check back later)

I couldn't help myself but frame things that way, but I did limit showing my biases as best as I could. Hopefully that's good enough. I do have my own opinions on all these questions, and I will publish them in my blog over the next week. I look forward to any comments on the above, and hope that others will ignore the current framing of the national debates, ignore me, too - and formulate their own top 10 questions and publish them, in some format, somewhere.

Perhaps some answers - or better questions - will arise.

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Comments:
Interesting, you've got a plethora of comments about the economy! So do we. When you have the time to breathe, please check out Facing Up to the Nation’s Finances, a nonpartisan project that addresses the long-term challenges of the federal budget. Read our blog (http://facingup.org/blog), check out valuable resources and information and contribute. Feel free to contact me for more info.
 
Quote:

" In 1999, the budget of the federal government was in surplus, "

This lie has been repeated so many times I guess folks actually believe it.

Note to everyone watching. As long as you have debt, you have
no surplus.

Sure, the lie is that you have a budget, and if your revenues
exceed your budget, then you have a surplus in the budget. But this isn't reality. In reality, if you exceed your budget, you pay against the principal. Because, , IT ISN'T YOUR MONEY. It is your creditors money.

In the case of the US federal debt, I don't think the creditors care any more than MC/Visa cares. They don't want the debt to be paid, they want endless revolving debt. Seems the entire world has bought into this model. It's completely insane.
 
I have comments regarding your first and last questions.

1) On the deficit, Keynesian economic thinking persists. Politicians love excuses to spend more than have - just what Keynesian does (was intended to) do. I'd be interested to know "what role does (or could) deficit spending have in your fiscal plans?"

10) Your question implies that we should continue to occupy the territories. I would be more interested in asking "do you intend to continue occupying the territories? If you intend to occupying them, for what purpose and by what right?" You could then go on to ask the question that you posed if applicable.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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