Politics/Government What should have been covered in the debates, but wasn’t? Eric Ringham October 22, 2012, 9:30 PM Oct 22, 2012 31 comments The 2012 presidential debates are now history. Today’s Question: What should have been covered in the debates, but wasn’t? ‹ Older What are you hoping to hear in the final presidential debate? Newer › Should Minnesota voters have a chance to decide whether to legalize marijuana? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Eric Ringham email@example.com Perry The last few years the top internet question, that is regarding: allowing Americans to grow/access Hemp/cannabis, which has been called “the world’s most utilitarian plant”, for every good purpose, that is medicine, food, housing, industry, economy and ecology etc… has been consistently avoided and/or laughed away apparently in denial of the revolutionary consequences, how would you two tonight have responded to the American internet community? Wally Perry. Good grief, you potheads, get off the dope and get a life! To serious matters. Neither said how they are going to keep this country from drowning in a sea of debt, while we try to hire more teachers, make more government jobs, and serve as the world’s policeman. Emery “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” H.L. Mencken Rich Many will only see one extract from the debate, an exchange about military spending. Mr Romney has a (frankly nonsensical) plan to set American defense spending at the arbitrary level of 4% of national wealth, whether military commanders have asked for that funding or not. Steve the Cynic The potheads are right, Wally. Cannabis should be legalized. It won’t solve all of our problems, as they seem to think, but the prohibition is clearly doing more harm than good. The three groups most in favor of keeping it illegal are…. ….organized crime gangs, because the prohibition makes it more lucrative; ….police and prison guard unions, along with the private prison industry, because it’s job security; ….racists who like the idea of slapping felony convictions on as many minorities as possible, to keep them from voting. Katie Climate change. It’s been mentioned in every debate cycle since 1984—until now, that is. Bobo It should have asked of the candidates (and Wally) seriously, how are we going to keep this country from drowning in a sea of debt, while we hire more teachers, service professionals, etc… if we don’t first unshackle the minds duped by the propaganda of the Prohibition of Hemp/cannabis and the War on Drugs? Who’s not been adversely effected due to 75+ planned obsolescence.? Philip This question: Boxers or briefs? Jim G Immigration. We need a common sense policy. Neither party has the intestinal fortitude to even bring up the subject. Income disparity. The United States’ income disparity is greater than most European countries. The richest 1% have captured 97% of the income in the years after the Great Recession leaving our working and middle class in shambles. There is no discussion of why this has happened or how to stop and reverse this gap. The social fabric of our nation is unraveling. We can expect decades of social upheaval if we don’t find a way to run a less predatory style of capitalism. Germany has found a way to make capitalism work, and they’re eating our lunch with their workers and investors benefiting together. Mark Both of your administrations support the use of extra-legal drone strikes to combat terrorism. How would your administration respond to a LA country using drones in the US against illegal drug industry participants, if it was also to combat terrorism? GregX My unmentioned issue … high seas piracy solutions. While Somali-based pireates are being more directly dealt with … the trend is for growth globally. This is compounded by the additional problems of convenient flagging of vessels to avoid regulatory requirements, shipping registry and name changes. Ship tracking ( name, ownership, flagging, registry, activity, ) needs to come into the 21st century. In its current state of management – there is still ample room to allow for its regular use in terrorism as a transport for goods, personnel and information. Tighten it up!. Perry – Yup – we should be growing hemp. It’s produtds are a cost reducer in manufacturing, textile, paper industries. Katie – Climate change wasn’t mentioned because each side now knows the other is set in concrete waiting for the burning bush, tablet on the mountain or Hargid to show up at their door. Mark – Drones ? Good grief … they are endemic in this country already.. the flying ones, however… that does warrant some concern. Wally Well Perry, Steve the C, and Bobo . . . I didn’t say one way or another on whether cannabis ought be legalized or not. But you’re so high on the matter you jumped all over me. I guess I should be more specific. You really think B.O. and Willard are going to discuss this in a national debate? No way. Besides Mitt doesn’t want to look like a dork because he’s probably never touched a joint; Barack doesn’t want to face uncomfortable questions about what he’s used and when. Marijuana/Hemp is like gambling. One day the government says it’s good, the next it’s bad, depending on what the government wants. When fiber was needed for war, farmers were told to grow hemp. When the war was over, it was bad. And now we have prisons full of drug criminals, deadly urban drug wars spreading out into rural areas, and more pot/meth/smack/coke-heads than ever. Something’s not working here, but legalization for “medicinal purposes” is a joke, too. So put your (theoretical) toke pipes away and get serious. A real question on drugs would have been: What are we going to do about prisons so full of drug users, there’s no room for the real baddies? By the way, I never used any of that junk. Got scared straight before I even tried. Just saw too many people too messed up. And Steve the C, I’ll grant you your first two points. The third: extreme ghetto conspiracy theory. GregX Wally – back the torque wrench up a couple foot/pounds. But.. to respect your “keepin it real” mode .. … Hemp is booming business in Canada. It grows well on northern soils, doesn’t heaviliy deplete the nutrients, delivers multiple value products from the single crop and is therefore more price stable for the farmer then food crops. So yes … I do expect them to discuss it … in the same manner that discussion of womens rights 100+ years ago made a difference. Let it be dude – you aint the answer police. … Legalizing marijuana would be a huge step forward in eliminating casual criminals from jails and prisons – thus freeing up space for the violent offenders. You kind of teed that one up there. d12 Romney had a great line, citing Admiral Mike Mullen, Obama’s very own Joint Chief of Staff for a time, I believe…saying that the National Debt is the #1 National Security Threat today. I’m struck that this hasn’t gotten more play or media coverage. Youtube it folks, it is quite striking to hear a sitting Joint Chiefs of Staff say this in public. d12 I’m VERY glad that Romney hit Obama on the “more flexibility after the election” moment with regards to Putin and Russia. I’m sure the folks at home remember that great Obama moment when he was caught on a hot mic with President Medvedev, a.k.a. Putin’s meat puppet. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” This didn’t come up last night, but there was also the time he spoke ill of the Israeli P.M. with French President Sarkozy on a hot mic. Why is this guy (Obama) not being painted as a bumbling fool when it comes to foreign policy? Wouldn’t that be the overwhelming media narrative if it were a Republican committing these gaffes on hot mics? Regnar James Mittens should have rattled off who O bowed down to in the past four years. Saudi King Abdullah Queen Elizabeth Emperor of Japan, and his wife Akihito Nancy Pelosi Mayor of Tampa Saudi King Abdullah,,, for round two Mexican President Filipe Calderon I’m not saying… just saying. ∑ DTOM Lawrence in Mankato The liberal, admittedly far left, moderator gave Obama a pass too many times. Our State Dept and CIA admits now that they watched the Benghazi attack and murders in real time, from drone cameras and then Obama’s crew goes on a mis information tactic all to avoid looking bad.. He sends his crew on every cable news show to say ” this was a spontaneous attack caused from a terrible YouTube trailer__ but it took 14 days later, then he admits other wise..That is out right deceit.. And why did they not have an emergency task force flown in within the first hour of the 5 hour long attack? $ dead and this is worse than any Watergate_ Obama covered for Attorney general in Fast and Furious and now this…it is dispicable and grounds to be impeached. Obama’s great weakness in leadership once again when a decision had to be made….. This event of refusing security, refusing to let our Marine relief force come in to take the Ambassador out of Libya…yes, Obama’s true colors of being inept was clear and they should have discussed this more. Steve the Cynic When Romney said America has never “dictated” to foreign governments, I wanted to dope-slap him through the TV. He’s expecting the world to forget about all the brutal dictators we supported during the Cold War just because they weren’t communist. It’s especially ironic, since one of the major topics in the debate was Iran, where the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of their duly elected PM, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953. jockamo “The richest 1% have captured 97% of the income in the years after the Great Recession…” There’s your problem right there, son. We can cure ya of your Leftism simply with math education. The fact is, according to IRS stats, the top 1%, the 1.4 million Americans who earn $343,927 or more, had 16.9% of the income…… And paid 37% of the taxes. Step out into the light of day. Tis good for the soul. Jim G The income growth in the first year of the recovery went to those who’s income is mostly capital gains. My statement stands. The gap is growing wider and at a faster and faster rate. Jim G Sorry, My memory failed me. I was off by 4%. It’s 93% not 97 %, my bad. Here is is introduction of the October 16th article published the Minneapolis Star Tribune. If you want to read the rest. Help yourself, search “Income Disparity.” WASHINGTON – Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression, and the recession has done little to reverse the trend, with the top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery. The yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots — and the political questions that gap has raised about the plight of the middle class — has given rise to anti-Wall Street sentiment and animated the presidential campaign. Now, a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead, as well. jockamo “My statement stands.” Yes, it does….. As a monument to ignorance. Your original statement, that you say still stands, says “…97% of the income in the years after…”, then you quote an article that talks about “…income gains in the first full year of the recovery.” Are you really admitting that you don’t know the difference between the total income of the workers in America and the one year income “gain” of those workers? My statement still stands: You can be cured of your leftism by an education in mathematics. And another in economics. And, perhaps, another in morality. Har Mark 2 things . The environment including the drought and global warming and the appointment of local ,state, federal and supreme court justices and their ideas about how they believe justice should be administered. Steve the Cynic 93% of the income gains going to the top 1% illustrates the point of the growing wealth gap nicely, jockamo/georges, even if Jim G was a little unclear about the exact details. Jim G As those who follow this page closely know, I’m a straight shooter, both literally and figuratively. As a wing shooter also knows, close is often good enough when you are using the correct ammo. My ammo is the truth of the growing income disparity to levels not seen since 1929. It is inescapable. Yes, the correct terminology is ” income gains.” It’s still an enormous amount of money that is going to the lucky few. The left is right on this issue. You can’t have unlimited wealth accumulation and Democracy. You can have one, but not the other. Which one would you prefer? jockamo The left is wrong on this issue, as usual. But then, if Leftists weren’t wrong, they wouldn’t be anything at all. Here comes a math lesson…… A small business is going along fine, until the Recession arrives. Then, for 2 years, the business loses money. The owner decides to keep all 8 of his employees on the payroll, suffering a personal loss of $900,000 over the 2 year period. Then the economy turns around. The business becomes profitable again. In the first year, the business makes $400,000. All of this rebound dead-cat bounce income “gain” goes to the owner, as he hasn’t yet given a raise to his employees. Therefore, seeing he made over $343,297 he is in the 1%. Which statistically assures that 100% of the first year “income gain” went to the 1%ers. 0% of the $400,000 “income gain” went to the 99%. But, those 8 employees do not complain. They are happy they were able to collect their $50,000 per year during the Recession. The owner could have shut down the business during the Recession years, putting the 8 workers out on the street. But he didn’t. Everyone, even the Leftists, should be saying how great it is that the “income gain” went to the 1%ers, as it indicates some health returning to the economic system. But, of course, if Leftists had the cranial capacity to understand that, they wouldn’t be Leftists anymore. Har Now, the 1%ers, those making over $343,297 a year, make 16.9% of the total income. And they pay 37% of the taxes. The next group, making between $154,643 and $343,297 get 15% of the income and pay 22% of the taxes. As you can see, both of these groups are getting cheated by the system. They both pay a good deal more in taxes than would be fair (equal) according to their incomes. Remember, these are IRS stats. Now, the next group is the only one that pays what is equal, or fair. They are in the middle, the balance point, and therefore pay just what they should. They earn between $112,124 & $154,643 and they make 11% of the income and pay 11% of the taxes. The next group makes $66,193 to $112,124 and gets 23% of the income, but only pays 17% of the taxes. Then the group that makes between $32,396 and $66,193 gets 21% of the income and pays only 11% of the taxes. The group that makes under $32,396 gets 13% of the income and pays tiny taxes……2% Therefore, it is easy to see that we already have a system in place that favors the low income folks and unfairly taxes those with high incomes. I don’t mind the system. It has evolved over the decades and doesn’t have any major flaws, despite the embedded unfairness to the higher income folks. But you see, the problem is not in taxes….who pays how much of what. No, the problem is not the taxes. The problem is the spending. Government spending. As long as we allow “them” to spend our money in the extravagant, wasteful manner to which they have become accoustomed, we will eventually sink forever below the waterline, no matter how “good” the economy is. A good economy only means it will take longer for our society to die dead away from spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave. This math lesson is free to all, particularly the lefty libs, as they need it the most. A gift, from me to you. Use it well…….. Come out into the light of day……tis good for the soul. Joe Everything that was covered in the third party debates tonight. Those were great, hope you heard them. Leonard Ovbouten Marijuana is NOT a gateway “drug” and this theory has officially been De-Bunked a number of times. if that’s your argument, go read more. “White House Admits Marijuana Is Not A Gateway Drug” – http://www.theweedblog.com/white-house-admits-marijuana-is-not-a-gateway-drug/ “A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.” – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/05/study-the-gateway-drug-is-alcohol-not-marijuana/ AND AGAIN: “Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die” – http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/29/marijuna-as-a-gateway-drug-the-myth-that-will-not-die/#ixzz2AEtLl4vp Mike @wally Excuse Me but who are you to decide what’s a serious matter? I’d say marijuana legalization is a huge priority. Set aside that massive medical breakthroughs ( cannabis oil) other reasons include stop wasting money on drug enforcement agencies since they arnt working, and legalize the drug and make billions and create jobs. And you can’t call me a pothead because I don’t smoke pot. Emery To the extent that the American myth creates Americans who are optimistic in outlook and independent in their thinking and problem solving, this is clearly a good thing. That it leads them to do self-destructive things like buy guns, not wear motorcycle helmets, and invade countries to spread democracy, it is a bad thing. But it is American. Only a profound and extended defeat, economically or militarily, is likely to change the American zeitgeist. And I think many would miss the positive aspects of America exceptionalism as much as the departure of the negative aspects would be welcomed. R RS Read “American Theocracy” by Kevin Phillips and you will see that this exceptionalism will decline as happened with all empires.