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  #51  
Old 04-22-2012, 08:45 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I hope I am now up to speed and will step back and allow our moderator to ask the next question, and let our other esteemed candidates have the podium. Thank you.
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  #52  
Old 04-23-2012, 05:47 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Thank you, DMark.

The questions will now get a bit trickier and, hopefully, more real world.
Quote:
Question #3:

Setting out a policy position is easy. Getting it implemented is hard. How do you plan to achieve buy-in to your proposals amongst members of Congress, particularly those from opposing parties and those representing local influence groups with opposing interests?
This is, by the way, our first reader suggested question. It comes to us from Gyrate. The candidates will have until Wednesday morning to play with this question.

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 04-23-2012 at 05:47 AM..
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  #53  
Old 04-24-2012, 07:13 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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I appreciate the inclusion of my question and would like to add that while I am aware that in a "real" election it would be impractical to openly discuss your negotiating strategy ahead of time, I am hoping that in this forum the candidates will be able to provide responses more constructive than mere variations on "I can't openly discuss my negotiating strategy ahead of time".
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  #54  
Old 04-24-2012, 04:19 PM
snowmaster snowmaster is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Question #3:

Setting out a policy position is easy. Getting it implemented is hard. How do you plan to achieve buy-in to your proposals amongst members of Congress, particularly those from opposing parties and those representing local influence groups with opposing interests?
I'm glad you asked, Gyrate. Wouldn't it be nice if everything a candidate for president promised just came true upon his inauguration? Nice when your guy wins, of course, but then...

My biggest obstacle with congress will certainly be my desire to put discretionary spending in the hands of the cabinet secretaries instead of congress. This is a critical step in taking the money out of politics and ending forever the culture that rewards pork brought back home with donations and votes. Congress would make law and set a total budget by department, but the secretary of each department, not the congress would divvy up how each department's budget is spent. It does not escape me that this will be extraordinarily difficult. I will pursue this goal with a three pronged plan: I would immediately build support in every state to participate in a constitutional convention to adopt an amendment taking away much of the budgetary power of congress. I would campaign heavily for popular support of this and other measures for taking money out of politics. Lastly I would propose a less drastic measure to congress and agree to withdraw my support for a constitutional amendment in exchange for its passage. Success will require that I be elected with a Republican majority in both houses; a majority, frankly, not rich in well-entrenched incumbents. It will require a focused, vocal popular movement in every constituency. I am committed to achieving this goal whether or not it can be done in my term and whether or not it will first benefit the cabinet of the party opposite. Strategy-wise, I must admit that if I were to be elected with an opposition congress I'd start with some more common-ground policies first.

I intend to bring as much of congress on board as is possible with this change to the budget and expenditure process and indeed, all of my agenda by giving them genuine input to the budget and policy of each department and deeply involving them in the discretionary budgeting. The idea is this: an individual congressman or senator will actually have more influence on how his or her state is benefited by the federal government than they have now as one of five hundred thirty-five. The horse-trading pork-for-votes scheme will end, as congress will not have final say on how, say, the department of transportation spends its money. I will set the tone that the budgetary process will be non partisan and will not consider the electoral votes cast of the state nor general political attitude of the state. Each department will have its operating budget and will divide its discretionary budget to the states and territories more or less by population. No state will receive more than 10% more or less than their population would entitle them to except in cases where disaster relief makes this impossible.

I feel co-operation with congress requires the president to have a real two-way relationship with each and every member. To this end I will invite each state's entire congressional delegation, governor and lieutenant governor to meet with me for at least two hours no less than three times a year, one state at a time. I will listen carefully to the concerns of each state's elected officials of both parties and we will together craft solutions. We will work to build consensus for both my agenda and theirs with the delegations of other states. Delegations will have the opportunity to lobby me or the appropriate cabinet secretary for redress of grievances, discretionary spending, or any action the executive branch may lawfully take that will benefit that state or the nation as a whole.

Whether it be legislation, spending, or a change in the way the executive discharges its duties that has an impact in their home state, I will frequently and publicly give credit to senators and congressmen who work with me towards positive outcomes for their state and our nation. By doing this we can give our elected officials the credit they need to seek funds and votes for re-election but remove the expenditure of more and more money from the process. We also give every member an influence in policy and the budget. As president, being better informed about local needs I will be better able to bring policy to our country than benefits all. I will also be able to direct my cabinet officers to spend budget in a way that satisfies national interests with local impacts.
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  #55  
Old 04-24-2012, 09:32 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Question #3:

"Setting out a policy position is easy. Getting it implemented is hard. How do you plan to achieve buy-in to your proposals amongst members of Congress, particularly those from opposing parties and those representing local influence groups with opposing interests?"

This is an excellent question.

You are correct that setting a policy position is relatively easy – but getting it implemented is hard.

This is where courage comes into play. Many things we take for granted now – a woman’s right to vote, equal rights for all races, interracial marriage – these were once considered crazy, radical ideas that would never be accepted by mainstream America.

The American public has proven to be far smarter than that.

Let’s take the example of Gay Marriage.

For instance, I am sure there are groups of people who staunchly oppose the idea of Gay Marriage, but I also firmly believe most Americans have given this some thought and see no reason to deny equal rights to someone based solely on their sexual orientation.

I would submit a non-binding proposal to both the House and the Senate that would simply state, “I am in favor of legislation legalizing Gay Marriage.”
No discussion, no debate – a simple yes/no vote is all that is required.

Once the results of that non-binding vote are in, we can proceed.

Assuming, for instance, that there is a majority in favor in both the House and the Senate, all that is necessary now is to get those elected officials who voted in favor to come together and prepare a comprehensive bill, ensuring that those who originally voted yes will remain in the yes camp.

However, let’s say both the House and Senate vote no to this non-binding resolution. I would go back to square one and seek the aid of grass-roots organizations and mobilize them to either attempt to change minds, or seek new candidates in the next election who would support such a proposal.

Social networking has become an integral part of our society and I would ask Americans to start spreading the word and standing up for what they believe. Speak out to your friends and family and get them to contact their elected officials and let their voices be heard. It only take a few quick key strokes on a computer, or text on a phone, or make a phone call or even go old school and write a letter – there are many ways you can and should make your opinions known. Then, when the time is right, I will re-submit the non-binding resolution.

Trickier would be if, for instance, the House votes in favor, but the Senate votes against this non-binding resolution.

I would put all the names of the people who voted against Gay Marriage in a single one-page ad in some of the larger newspapers, and ensure this news gets posted everywhere on the Internet. I want voters to know exactly how their elected official voted. I am sure for a few elected officials, this would probably work well in their home states – but my guess is there will be far more elected officials who will not be finding as many friendly voices back home. It is one thing to vote in Washington and hope nobody really notices back home, but it is quite another thing to have your name thrust out into public view - showing your vote against a simple, one sentence, non-binding proposal.

There is no wiggle-room. You cannot play games and say you didn’t vote in favor simply because you didn't like some provision on page 147 paragraph six.

You have publically stated flat out that you are against legalizing Gay Marriage – period.

My philosophy is simple, these non-binding resolutions will also be simple and the answers will be a simple yes or no.

I will not waste time on policies that have no chance of success, but will work behind the scenes to ensure there is a better chance of success the next time. If that means campaigning for specific candidates, taking my policies to the talk shows and campuses, enlisting the help of celebrities as well as small hometown organizations, so be it.

There are people who have been fighting ignorance for decades – and yes, sometimes it does take longer than we think – but eventually the good fight will pay off.
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  #56  
Old 04-25-2012, 12:42 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Quote:
Setting out a policy position is easy. Getting it implemented is hard. How do you plan to achieve buy-in to your proposals amongst members of Congress, particularly those from opposing parties and those representing local influence groups with opposing interests?
The average person wants to get into politics because they think the government is bad, corrupt, run by fools, or whatever. Their whole premise is that they can come in, fix things up, and be a hero. Alternately, a person comes into politics with the belief that one party is right and the other one is wrong, has foolish notions, and irrational fears.

Personally, if I see one person saying, "I don't want to give people welfare because it's a bad precedent to pay someone for doing nothing." And I see another person saying that we're just talking about a safety net, to catch people in a bad situation and get them back on their feet. Unlike the parties, I don't see things like this as an either-or situation. Both parties are formed of intelligent men and women, who have based their beliefs on their life experiences. They're not just spouting off nonsense because they're delusional or subversive.

As someone's whose job it is to lead the government effectively, being able to understand the issues that both sides raise on an issue and accept those as legitimate would, I hope, let me come up with proposals that factor in everything from every side.

A good example is balancing the budget. The Republican party wants to cut social programs and the Democratic party wants to raise taxes. Okay, well if we accept that dozens of other countries have proved that medical spending can be reduced by half without any impact to the health of the population - it's just not spending money to build hospitals with million dollar fountains outside. Well then, there you go. I haven't reduced our social programs. I haven't raised taxes. I've just cut the US Federal budget by something like 16% and done it in a way that circumvents all objections from either side.

The big thing that I think I bring to the table is clear plans for how to get what both sides want to have happen, done. I will work however many hours it takes, talking with experts and politicians from either side, to come up with whatever outside of the box is needed to come up with solutions that move the country forward and get around the deadlock of two opposing factions with different worldviews.

Many times, I might not be able to convince them that the grand idea is feasible or worthwhile. But of twenty, I should be able to sell five, and that's going to be five things that work towards getting the country solid and keeping it an exceptional player on a global scale.
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  #57  
Old 04-25-2012, 06:00 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Setting out a policy position is easy. Getting it implemented is hard. How do you plan to achieve buy-in to your proposals amongst members of Congress, particularly those from opposing parties and those representing local influence groups with opposing interests?


Interesting question, and it drives right to the heart of politics—influence. And it asks the question of influence personally, logically, and politically.

Having a basic policy position is pretty easy, after all, we’re all products of our environment, with our own tastes and dislikes. What’s difficult is translating policy into end states or goals—and that’s where my whole argument revolves around, but I’ll get there in a minute. Politicians often fail to understand that there’s two kinds of policies—the “proactive policy,” or one that aims to set up a situation or produce a tangible/realizable goal; and there’s an “action policy,” or one that aims to maintain a certain status quo or to handle new events as they come down the pike. For example, a proactive policy would include a bill to purchase or recover foreclosed homes in major cities and suburbs, in order to turn those lots into more open green space. The ends: more parks and open areas for neighborhoods to relieve congestion. The means is by a policy to invoke our ways (financial capital through purchase, or legal means through the courts) through the policy. Another would be an action policy to limit imports of certain products: due to over-poaching of elephants, the US has limited importing and sales of ivory products to pieces that can be documented to be prior to a certain date. The endstate is a reduction on demand for ivory, and realized reduction in the killing of wild elephants. The means involve enforcement of the import policy via inspectors of the Treasury Service and DHS.

What it boils down to, is a reachable, definable goal that a President can sell to those directly and secondarily involved—and at the lowest level. Are the good people of South Carolina really going to give a . . . pardon the pun, a damn about a new, federally funded hydroelectric plant on the Souris River? Nope. But the people in Towner, ND might. And that’s where the transparency of endstates comes into play. Members of Congress sponsoring and constituents providing the federal funding need be engaged from the beginning. Everyone must have a chance to speak, and all participants must realize that in any debate, all opinions—at a minimum—must be heard, and be judged on their merits. To use a quote I’ve used in the past before major endeavors that cost a lot of money and need serious discussion, “Talk is cheap. . . and I’ve got a lot of pocket change.”

I think all of us can agree that there are a set of core values that are openly uniform, and help filter out some of the odder policies; nobody in this economy, in their right mind would vote to fund a study of UFOs. We all realize that’s a waste of money at present. However, there are some unscrupulous politicians ‘on the field’, that have a lot at personal stake on some issues—and those stakes are not always brought out into the open. The ties that politicians make with corporations and lobby groups cloud issues and force votes away from logical discussion and debate. This is why I believe in Congressional term limits and replacing the current Congress (it’ll take a few years to vote out all of the incumbents). Change the entire body to new people, ones that are new to the process and don’t know how to wheel and deal to their personal benefit, and have come directly from the population with a good understanding of what the issues are anymore. There’ve been too many career politicians that have been too far removed for too long, that don’t understand what the issues are. Replace them. All dirty laundry needs to be aired out.

Along with that, I openly call for more open publication and communication of meetings and debates, and would openly pay out of pocket to fund more public access (C-Span, community access channels). I encourage more civil interest in the proceedings of all levels of government. An uninformed, lethargic constituency is more dangerous than a runaway legislature. Open up discussions between forthright folks and publicize debates during deliberation to set clear, measureable goals, and you will have far better policies and a clearer understanding of why the Congress acts the way it does. And I think through that, buy-in to proposals will be met with far less frustration and difficulty if we could break up and replace the current network (especially on a regular basis).

Tripler
Hell, if you don't vote for me--vote for someone else other than the incumbent!
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  #58  
Old 04-26-2012, 04:29 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Thank you all for your thorough and considered responses.
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  #59  
Old 04-26-2012, 02:29 PM
Stelios Stelios is offline
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I'm baaaaaack

Yeah, had a nice little stay in hospital. Everyone was very good with me (especially the nurses, some of whom were absolutely stunning, which helped) and I'm well on the road to recovery now. Looking at how this thread's developed since I've been away, it seems that DMark is very much a man after my own heart, and supports pretty much the same policy positions I do. With that in mind, I think I'll take this opportunity to bow out gracefully and enjoy this thread from the sidelines. All the best in the upcoming straw election everyone!
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  #60  
Old 04-26-2012, 02:52 PM
snowmaster snowmaster is offline
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Originally Posted by Stelios View Post
I'm baaaaaack

Yeah, had a nice little stay in hospital. Everyone was very good with me (especially the nurses, some of whom were absolutely stunning, which helped) and I'm well on the road to recovery now. Looking at how this thread's developed since I've been away, it seems that DMark is very much a man after my own heart, and supports pretty much the same policy positions I do. With that in mind, I think I'll take this opportunity to bow out gracefully and enjoy this thread from the sidelines. All the best in the upcoming straw election everyone!
Excellent. This alleviates the need to have you bumped off later Seriously, though, glad you're ok. I'm sure DMark will be a liberal lion after your own heart.
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  #61  
Old 04-27-2012, 05:52 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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I, too, am glad that you're well, Stelios. Feel free to continue in the thread should you wish.

Next Question! The genesis for this one comes from our own twickster!

Quote:
What level of support do you consider appropriate for federal funding of higher education? Specifically, do you support continued funding of the Pell grant? Also, what steps do you think are necessary at the federal level to control the growth of higher education costs, if any?
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  #62  
Old 04-27-2012, 09:33 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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"What level of support do you consider appropriate for federal funding of higher education? Specifically, do you support continued funding of the Pell grant? Also, what steps do you think are necessary at the federal level to control the growth of higher education costs, if any?"

Having taught in both Europe and the United States, this is a subject near and dear. Although your question is regarding only higher education, I would like to preface my remarks by saying we need to fix our problems with the entire US educational system, starting at the grade school level and progressing up and through the high school level. As I have stated earlier, we should be paying teachers 20% more than they would get in jobs in their chosen field to ensure we get the best of the best, so that future generations will become even better in those fields.

Getting back to the question, I truly believe that a four year college or university is, quite simply, not for everybody. This does not mean I am not an advocate for higher education; to the contrary, I think it is important for everyone, no matter their age, to have affordable, easy access to continuing education.

However, for many students, this might mean attending two years of community college to get an Associate’s Degree – and then, depending on their course of study, perhaps transferring to a four year college or university. For others, It might mean attending a vocational school to get specific skills that would improve their chances at gainful employment and/or career advancement.

More importantly, I believe we need to fully fund those community colleges and vocational schools so that every student has the opportunity to further their education at an easily affordable rate. This would make many grants almost unnecessary and require students not eligible for grants to take out student loans for a lesser amount that would not take a decade to repay.

This would also make it easier for people who might only realize later in life that a higher education is something they want and need. Sometimes we need real world experience before we realize the value of continuing education in achieving our goals.

By offering affordable higher education to everyone, we are giving people the chance to keep their jobs and provide for their families, but still have the opportunity to make a positive change in their lives.

So, to be specific:

Keep Pell grants and ensure they are going to worthy students who have proven skills to succeed in an educational environment. Also, make student loans interest free for the first five years after graduation, so that it is possible to quickly get out of debt and be able to start families, start businesses, buy homes and perhaps even go on for an advanced degree.

Fund community colleges and vocational schools, allowing people of all ages to be able to afford to continue their education and develop the skills they need to get a better job or career advancement. Creating a more educated and professionally trained workforce will be beneficial in many ways, short term and long term, economically and socially, and is the best investment we can make in our future..

And lastly, of all the budgetary cuts, in all of the sectors of US society, education should be the last on the list to cut or underfund.

There is no price too steep for an educated society.
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  #63  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:44 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Oh snap--I've got another question to answer.

Will do it tonight.

Tripler
Still runnin' for President.
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  #64  
Old 05-02-2012, 06:47 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Soo...

I get the impression the candidates are running out of steam, here.
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  #65  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:07 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Is it time for the "boxers or briefs" question?
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  #66  
Old 05-02-2012, 09:18 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Soo...

I get the impression the candidates are running out of steam, here.
Nope. . . just real-world events and exercises getting in the way. It's not every day Barack calls up and says, "Hey man, wanna go with me to Kabul?"

Tripler
I will neither confirm nor deny the truth to that statement.
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  #67  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:49 PM
snowmaster snowmaster is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Question #4 What level of support do you consider appropriate for federal funding of higher education? Specifically, do you support continued funding of the Pell grant? Also, what steps do you think are necessary at the federal level to control the growth of higher education costs, if any?
Thanks Twickster. You can expect my administration to provide substantial research grants to advance our illudium Q-36 explosive space technology ;-)

My higher education plan begins with favorable tax treatment for college tuition. While I think we need to get rid of income tax and I'm sure we'll be discussing tax policy soon, for as long as we have the current federal income tax system I would make it as favorable to higher education as possible. I would make all tuition for a first bachelor's degree fully tax deductible for whoever pays it: students, parents, or importantly, employers. Any employer providing a tuition reimbursement program would have any such expenditures fully deductible from their business profits and/or business income taxes.

As for federal funding of education, I'm for us a a nation helping citizens with tuition as much as we possibly can while protecting the interests of taxpayers. While I'm on record that the government ought be out of the financial business, I think the DOE should be able to borrow money on publicly available bonds. These funds would them be made available for student loans at an interest rate higher than that paid on the bonds to cover the costs of administration. Such loans should involve an small automatic garnishment so that repayment is automatic and is based on a percentage of earned income for the life of the loan. I'd like to keep need-based Pell grants but would insist they be paid directly to the institution of higher learning for tuition only. For both grants and loans, I'd limit federal tuition assistance to tuition only; going to college far from home, incurring room and board costs, is a choice, not a necessity and ought not be borne by the government and its people. I would make provisions for applicants whose parents were unwilling to help fund their education so long as the applicant was willing to earn a portion of their own tuition. To be eligible for either means of tuition support, I would require applicants to have a realistic financial plan for earning a bachelor's degree. My intent here is to weed out applicants who would complete one or two semesters on their Pell grant funds and then have no means of completing their education. I would make these loans and grants available up to the mean tuition in the region; anyone who would like to attend an expensive school may make up the difference themselves. It should go without saying that I will support funding of the GI Bill education benefit, ROTC scholarships and paying off all tuition debt of qualified officer candidates who earned a bachelor's degree outside of ROTC. I would also incentivize retired enlisted military who use their GI Bill benefits to obtain a bachelor's degree to return as officer candidates.

I believe in the free market and feel strongly that private colleges should be able to charge whatever they like. I think the federal government can best control the cost of higher education by making sure that state and community colleges continue to offer a high quality, low cost and well respected competitive alternative. States have a responsibility here, too. As I've stated before I intend for states to fund and control state obligations (such as university systems) without federal funds. I think state and community colleges ought to be just that: colleges. Many expensive schools pride themselves on being "institutions" with a heavy focus on research and academia. While these universities serve an important purpose, I think states schools should be more narrowly focused on teaching and producing bachelor's degreed graduates well qualified for well-paying careers in their field. To this end, I think professors in all publicly funded colleges should be teaching an average of at least 30 hours out of 40 per week. My philosophy is that states have free choice here, but states would be wise to realize that an affordable accredited state and community college system is critical to a strong economy. I would pressure states, and indeed all institutions of higher learning to keep tuitions low by using the enormous scale of the buying power of the federal government's student loans and grants to negotiate better tuition rates with low-to-mid priced private, state and community colleges. Students would, of course, always have free choice of which school to attend with their federal education benefits. By doing this I think we'd see the cost of even higher priced colleges come back into line with what the average middle class family can afford and keep tuition costs roughly pegged with inflation.

Last edited by snowmaster; 05-02-2012 at 07:52 PM..
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  #68  
Old 05-03-2012, 07:19 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Moving right along and the others will have to play catch up ball...

Our next question comes from, believe it or not, DrumBum...

Quote:
My question for the candidates concerns energy policy in the US. I work in the Oil & Gas industry, I am frequently annoyed at overly broad generalizations that are made by candidates and other political commentators. So my question is what should be the main components of a sensible and equitable US energy policy ?
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  #69  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:26 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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I apologize for the delay. We've had real-world things going on here and in Florida that have monopolized my time and attention. F-16 crash yesterday here, and a troop got put in the hospital in FL . . . all in the same day.

Quote:
Question #4 What level of support do you consider appropriate for federal funding of higher education? Specifically, do you support continued funding of the Pell grant? Also, what steps do you think are necessary at the federal level to control the growth of higher education costs, if any?
Good question, and I think it’s pretty pertinent, especially in today’s workforce where I have noticed a particular ‘brain drain’ of scientific and engineering specialists to overseas. I am behind in my questions, so I’ll keep this one unusually short.

I support continued funding for the Pell Grant, and other federal programs that enable students to borrow low-cost money to attend college.

I have graduated from a school with a BS degree under with assistance from US Dept of Education loans, and a variety of part time (and summer full-time) jobs that kept me in the black. Wasn’t easy, but it worked. I know that experience made me really enjoy the town I went to school at, and kept me from being too distracted from my studies. But the Pell Grant was a cornerstone of the funding, and while not a traditional loan, the grant helped me get my foot into the door. I know of a lot of similar individuals that went through the same process, and did well for themselves, families, and economy.

We have a lot of talent in the United States, and some of it can be stellar if educated well and given the tools to succeed. I mentioned the ‘brain drain’ earlier; well, that goes hand-in-hand with a lot of the manufacturing and electronics-industry jobs that have gone overseas due to cheap labor. With those jobs has gone engineering and management oversight to those foreign countries, and that puts the United States at a strategic disadvantage: we’re dependent on foreign manufacturing and know-how for the production of our economy’s goods and services. That’s no less dangerous than our dependence on foreign sources of energy. By building and training a domestic, established workforce, we can start to break the dependencies, and more export the technology and goods, bringing more economic prosperity to the domestic economy and into the middle-class’ pockets (which will have to be managed to prevent corporations from another end-run at keeping all the money for themselves—but that’s another policy).

So, I do see the growth of an educated, intelligent, articulate workforce as a strategic security concern, and the federal Pell Grant, Perkins Loans, and other state and local based financing. School should be a challenge, but not too difficult on the financing side.

Tripler
Sorry I'm late. . .

Last edited by Tripler; 05-05-2012 at 10:27 AM.. Reason: Bolded the question for easy readability.
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  #70  
Old 05-05-2012, 10:39 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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My question for the candidates concerns energy policy in the US. I work in the Oil & Gas industry, I am frequently annoyed at overly broad generalizations that are made by candidates and other political commentators. So my question is what should be the main components of a sensible and equitable US energy policy ?


Thank you for this question!

One of the first things I would do would be to make it illegal for Wall Street to speculate on oil prices. This has made the price of oil/gas go up dramatically, not because of supply and demand, but because of pure speculation and greed.

That said, once prices stabilized at a far lower rate, I would turn right around and raise the tax on oil/gas – still making it cheaper than it is now, but allowing for a huge financial profit for the federal government. This profit would be used solely for investment in alternative sources of energy, and also provide financial benefits and tax incentives to people who start using these alternative sources of energy. Those who use and waste the most fossil fuels and energy should be taxed more to subsidize those who use and waste the least.

People buying smaller cars, and/or cars using electrical power/alternative energy sources would be given generous tax incentives; not only offering large deductions on the cost of the car on their federal taxes, but removing sales taxes on the purchase of those vehicles. Larger gas guzzlers would see an increase in taxes. Once again, as more and more people buy energy efficient transportation, prices would decrease and hopefully technology would continue to improve, making these modes of transportation even more cost effective and efficient.

Invest in public transportation at the same rate and level as highway construction. At the same time, lower the cost of taking buses, subways and trains to an absolute minimum, so more people would take advantage of these modes of transportation. Wherever feasible, take major city centers and create pedestrian zones and bike paths.

Current versions of solar panels are not perfect – they are costly and do have a limited shelf life. However, by using the same formula of giving tax breaks to defray costs, more businesses and private individuals would be able to install them and become one less customer for power consumption – plus, many even become sources of power. More widespread use of this form of energy would also lower the cost of production and installation, and hopefully increase quality and performance – to the point where more and more homes and businesses could become mostly self-sufficient in terms of electrical energy usage.

Yes, the short term costs would be substantial – but the long term benefits would be priceless. By turning our nation into a self- supplier of energy, we will remove many threats to our nation’s security and no longer be reliant on the whims and political climate of oil producing nations.

More importantly, we will be cleaning up our environment and hopefully lead the world in alternative energy usage and technology.

So, knowing you don’t want to hear broad generalizations:

1. Stop Wall Street speculation on oil/gas.
2. Once prices stabilize, increase taxes on oil/gas.
3. Take that financial windfall and re-invest every penny into alternative energy technology, as well as offer increased tax incentives for the public to begin buying smaller, environmentally sound products (vehicles, household appliances and solar panels).
4. Maintain existing, and build new, public transportation systems, lowering the cost to those who use them to the bare minimum.
5. Achieve the goal of becoming a nation that does not rely on any imports of any form of energy.

There is no downside to curbing our wasteful energy habits. We just need the courage to start and the backbone to stick with the plan.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:00 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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My question for the candidates concerns energy policy in the US. I work in the Oil & Gas industry, I am frequently annoyed at overly broad generalizations that are made by candidates and other political commentators. So my question is what should be the main components of a sensible and equitable US energy policy ?
The question smacks of annoyance at the stereotypes from pundits, and I have to say, I can’t blame either side. The “corporate masters” of the petroleum companies have done their fair share of contributing to the negativity by lack of oversight on major incidents (most often with negative press reaction), and with paltry “smoke and mirror” damage control that barely shades pursuits of profit and greed. On the other hand, the pundits have had low-hanging fruit, and it’s an easy bandwagon to jump on.

So I’ll take a different approach: the American public. The American citizenry loves its cars, loves its mobility, and frankly, has its head in the sand about so many issues around the world. . . up until the TV stops working and the lights go out. Honestly, the masses can be transfixed by “Housewives of Orange County” and the “Kardashians”, but can’t be troubled to take a bicycle to the supermarket a mile away? Priorities need to change, and perceptions must start that process.

I fully understand that at the individual level, we’re a petroleum-dependent nation. We love our cars and to a lesser extent, our trains. I am one of those folks that bought a gas-guzzling pickup truck, which was based on the fact that I tow a lot and haul things across the country every few years—I drive my work vehicle. However, I do take my wife’s car when practical (especially on long trips) and plan on biking to work as the weather warms up. It’s not that friggin’ hard to walk to the supermarket, a half mile away. These facts I think are in dire need of being raised to the American public—the “alternate methods” of transportation aren’t so ‘alternate’. They ought to be more ‘primary’. Yeah, riding a bike to work will take you an extra half hour, but you’re getting in your personal exercise (health benefit) and actually slowing down to see the community you’re going through (physical networking). And it’s cheaper (financial gains). Even taking the train when you can saves your pocketbook.

On the other side of the question, most of American society and industry runs on what comes across the end of a pair of black & white wires: electricity. Whether its 120/208V, or 600V-wye wound, [u]electricity is the industrial lifeblood of this country[/i]. There’s no limit to the ability of how we generate that electricity, only the limit on current generative capacity. To me, it’s a strategic concern that we’ve limited methods of generation—I support broadening our methods, to include more hydroelectric plants (where environmentally feasible and safe), more solar and wind driven plants, developing catalytic fuel cells, tidal-driven generators and geothermal plants. I even support the investment into research of fusion technology for power.

The technologies exist, and I realize it will take time, money, and even real estate to make all of these happen to begin to chip away at petroleum’s influence on our energy streams. But I think it’s worth it—it’s reliable, relatively free (notwithstanding initial investments), environmentally safe and clean, and pretty much failsafe; the sun will rise, the wind will blow. Once we get to the point we can dump “cleaner” power onto the national electric grid, we can shift focus to cleaner employment of that power.

To fund most of this, I would propose that the House draft up a feasible tax plan to help; one that does draw the necessary funds for these projects, but not so much that it cripples, say, transportation companies dependent on petroleum to move goods. The cost of goods (most of which imported) will rise, which in turn will generate a slightly higher sales-tax rate which could be reinvested at the state and local levels to contribute to, or match, federal investments into the plan.

It’s going to take a culture change, and most people are resistant to it. But to continue down this path will only dig a deeper hole for the United States, and leave us in a precarious situation, dependent on others for our survival. We need to limit petroleum’s “corporate masters” both by management, reducing the demand on its services, and changing the mindset of the American public that around the rest of the world, things aren’t so easy as hopping into your Escalade with one baby, and driving a block to go buy Haagen-Dazs and Twinkies. You need to work for some things, and reducing petroleum’s impact and influence on our lives is one of them.

Tripler
Dear America: "Embrace the Suck. You caused it."

Last edited by Tripler; 05-05-2012 at 11:03 AM..
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  #72  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:58 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Do we have another question lined up?

Tripler
Ready to go. . . again.
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  #73  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:58 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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I was sort of hoping for the others to pop up. But if you and DMark are content to go forward I'm ready to go.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:35 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I'm ready for the next question(s).
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:50 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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I was sort of hoping for the others to pop up. But if you and DMark are content to go forward I'm ready to go.
I can wait for our other hopefuls to chime in, but to be honest, with the exception of me and DMark, I don't know who's in the race anymore. I know DMark is in a double-digit trail to me, according the latest Giddy-up polls.

Tripler
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  #76  
Old 05-09-2012, 10:01 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Perhaps the other candidates are busy contacting wealthy donors to provide hush money for those rumored indelicate dalliances?

But I digress.

I look forward to the next questions and will be happy to help Tripler with any big words he might not fully understand.

DMark

Occording to my own Occupy Wall Street Journal polls, I lead Tripler in every state that doesn't ban evolution from science textbooks.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:35 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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All right then. Next question:

From me:

Do you, as candidates, support the concept of the President as a 'Unitary Executive'? What limitations, not enforced currently, would you accept upon your own power as President?
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:23 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Do you, as candidates, support the concept of the President as a 'Unitary Executive'? What limitations, not enforced currently, would you accept upon your own power as President?


It was Harry Truman who popularized the phrase, “The Buck Stops Here”.

I think the American public still expects that buck to stop at the desk of any President. They know that like any good CEO, their President has to make hard decisions every day, and unlike many bad CEO’s of late, the President has to take full responsibility for those decisions. The American public also wants to know that, whatever happens, their President has made an educated, informed choice that is the best for this country.

Far more importantly, in times of an urgent national crisis, the nation needs a President who will not sit back and wait for the House and Senate to reach an agreement before taking action.

The President of the United States needs to be able to make executive decisions, quickly.

Can and could this power be abused?
Certainly.

Perhaps a President could start a war without consulting anyone. Perhaps a President could re-define what torture is or isn’t. Perhaps a President could place woefully unqualified cronies in powerful positions that could cause irreparable damage during times of natural disaster. These are worst-case scenarios that have scared the American public and given pause to the idea that a President has so much power.

But the alternative of running a government solely by committee consensus is not in our nation’s best interest. In a perfect world, the House and Senate would work in harmony to ensure things run smoothly, quickly and with great efficiency. How has that worked out for us of late?

Thus I think it is necessary to allow the President to have strong, executive powers that allow him or her to lead our nation and speak for the nation as a whole.

I would, however, agree that there has to be some control.

As President, I will make certain that any action I undertake in terms national security will also be presented as a seperate, emergency bill to the House and Congress, who will then have 30 days to ratify those actions by a majority vote, or come up with a suitable comprise that is agreed upon by a three quarters majority. This would allow for a quick response from the White House, but also demand accountability and solid support for the President’s actions to remain in effect.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:20 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Do you, as candidates, support the concept of the President as a 'Unitary Executive'? What limitations, not enforced currently, would you accept upon your own power as President?
Thank you for this question Mr Chance. Of all of them, if there’s one in particular, I hope this is the one that defines my platform, and one that I hope I can adequately explain in a scant 750 words.
I do support the concept of a unitary executive, as framed by the writers of the Constitution, however, I feel that the office of the President has become a little too powerful, and is a critical point of failure—one center of gravity for lobbyists and special interest groups, and the power of the office needs to be wielded very carefully.

If elected, I would accept a stricter interpretation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The American Executive has an important mantle as Commander-in-Chief (Art II, Sec 2, Constitution), however, the Congress retains the power to raise, support, and authorize the use of the Armed Forces of the United States (Art 1, Sec 8). The Resolution requires the President in every possible instance to consult the Congress before wielding the Armed Forces as a means to an end. In some self-evident cases, time is of the essence: 9/11 style terrorist attacks, nuclear engagement of the United States, immediate WMD employment, etc. However, the majority of military deployments have been thoughtfully planned out ahead of time, with careful study of political, diplomatic, economic, military, and social ends to the enemy. Rarely has it been studied of the effect on the American constituency, which makes up the Armed Forces, and supports it. The House Armed Services Committee exists, and should be consulted—I would even support the inclusion of ranking members to sit on the National Security Advisory board to the President to ensure Congressional inclusion on non-imminent matters. The Congress supplies & maintains the forces, and in deliberate deployments, should be consulted (albeit the President retains final decisions on the ways and means of employment, and the ramifications thereof). The Congress has not gnashed its teeth at the President in years over this topic, and I believe it needs to rein in this very important power.

Another limitation I support, is the limitation of the President to enter into mutual “executive agreements” with other nations. There are several levels of arrangements that are peculiar to United States law: full-blown treaties (requiring Congressional approval), Congressional-agreements, and executive agreements. The “agreements” are not always privy to the public scrutiny that full treaties are, and may lead to interwoven, competing goals—including within domestic industries and production. At a minimum, I would accept limitations set by Congress on the matters of executive agreement without Congressional approval, and the requirement that all executive agreements be published, as treaties are in the State Dept’s “Treaties in Force 2011”. I believe this limitation would help force the President to employ the State Department more as a diplomatic tool, and reduce his/her visibility (and culpability) as a “negotiator.”

A third limitation I would support, if elected, would be limitations on political appointed positions to several levels of Cabinet-level agencies and Ambassadorships. For reasons of continuity and accountability, I would accept a Congressionally-driven requirement that once appointed (based on their effective date of appointment), a senior agency member would hold tenure in the office for a period of four years. This would ensure a continuity of agency directives, policies, and frankly, good corporate knowledge. It would also ensure that programs enacted by a previous White House administration were either boldly carried over, or efficiently ramped off. I would support this fully, knowing it would come with term limits as well--I understand there are major political ramifications in allowing a previous administration’s appointee to work for a new President, however, I think the example of SECDEF Robert Gates is a stellar one. A government must not go through a mechanical stop every election simply based on the whims of a new Executive. It would focus the President on performing the most necessary appointments as they came due instead of an entire clearing-of-the-house which has a tendency to stagnate the Congress in many approval processes.

Simply put, the President has over time, centralized too much power, which should be returned to the Congress or put under more scrutiny. The President, as the Unitary Executive, should be working alongside the Congress, instead of pursuing his own particular agenda as a ‘free actor.’

Tripler
Totally about the term limits.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:49 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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::tap tap:: Is this thing on?

So, uh. . . got another question?

Tripler
I'll win this race by default, I swear.
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  #81  
Old 05-18-2012, 06:27 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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I for one welcome our default overlords.
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  #82  
Old 05-18-2012, 12:42 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Yes, I too am ready for the next question.





Although if I had known it was going to be such a long break I could have helped build that Home For Humanity, organized a mailing effort to send boxes of supplies to our troops, visited a few hospices, founded an Urban Youth Basketball Team, walked 15 miles in both the AIDS Walk and the Cure Cancer Walk, helped push a whale back into the ocean and then wrote a children's book - proceeds going to children with terminal diseases.

Last edited by DMark; 05-18-2012 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: I don't like to brag about what I do.
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  #83  
Old 05-20-2012, 12:10 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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I count five questions down, with another five to go. Am I off?

Tripler
My ever-changing opponents nothwithstaniding. . . . how're we doing?
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  #84  
Old 05-24-2012, 08:14 PM
snowmaster snowmaster is offline
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Question #5: My question for the candidates concerns energy policy in the US. I work in the Oil & Gas industry, I am frequently annoyed at overly broad generalizations that are made by candidates and other political commentators. So my question is what should be the main components of a sensible and equitable US energy policy?
I'm glad you asked, DrumBum; I share your frustrations. I hope I can rise to a level of specificity that gives you and other voters a fairly clear picture of my view here. Primarily, I don't see why a Republican can't be an environmentalist just as I don't see why and environmentalist can't be pro business and industry... there IS a middle path.

My energy policy fits nicely with what I've often heard called "a little bit of everything", although I'm against tossing federal funds at every energy technology and seeing what sticks. I think government grants need to be a bit more narrowly focused at projects that have near immediate impact: in general, making existing technologies more clean, efficient, cost-effective, accessible to commercial and private users and easier and cheaper to manufacture.

As for production of fossil fuels, I think drilling an exploration companies need to be given more freedom to drill and mine where it will be most effective. Government should be moderate in their regulation of these industries, letting the free market work while constantly requiring incremental improvements in worker and environmental safety. I favor opening a small fraction of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling; perhaps interested parties could arrange to swap a land parcel poor in fossil fuel deposits but rich in natural beauty to be added to the national park system for drilling rights in Alaska. In the case of spills and accidents I strongly favor energy companies mitigating all financial and environmental damages to the fullest extent that our technology allows us.

Transportation-wise, I think we're already on the right track with CAFE standards bringing forth cleaner, more efficient gasoline and diesel vehicles. Electric cars are also more viable than ever which is a mighty good thing because we have so much flexibility on how to produce the electricity that powers them. I believe we should as a government pilot a project to make electric vehicle "refueling" stations available to motorists for longer distance trips by installing rapid rechargers at existing gas stations. By setting a recharge price at about twice the cost of the electricity we could pay the gas station owner rent for the space it takes up, cover maintenance and expansion of the program. We could, for example make electric car recharging stations available every 100 miles on I-5, I-95, I-10 and I-90 to begin. Once this becomes a profitable venture, the government would sell the charging stations with gas stations getting right of first refusal. I would also pilot a program where land-owning electric car owners could mount a compact recharging station on the curb of their property where traffic patterns make it safe to do so. They would pay for installation but would receive the charging unit for free to be paid off by the small profit make from each user. Owners would get their own use for no charge over the cost of their own electricity.

Now I should make clear I don't expect electric cars to replace gasoline and diesel vehicles. Citizens should have choice here, and I mean genuine choice, not one where fossil fuel vehicles are overtaxed as a means of influencing decisions. I am in general firmly against the government using taxes, fees or market influence to bring about social change. More electric cars will lower demand for gasoline and diesel making them less expensive. I would also seek to remove all alternative fuel vehicle taxes; while electric cars are in their infancy we shouldn't be trying to replace the gas tax they're not paying. One more note on transportation: electrified rail transport instead of diesel has all the same benefits that electric vehicles do. I favor making low interest loans to railroads to electrify all transcon and other major lines. This widespread electrification will allow railroads to enter into long-term, low-price contracts with electricity producers stabilizing what are now very unpredictable fuel costs, lowering the cost of freight and making goods everywhere available cheaper to all consumers.

On the electrical generation side of the industry, I'm a big supporter of combined build-operate licenses for new nuclear plants keeping litigation costs off your electric bill. Few generation technologies can generate power on such a large scale so cheaply, cleanly and safely. I support building small-to-medium sized natural gas plants at key points on the grid. Natural gas is clean burning, easy to throttle for grid stability and tends to come from right here in our country or other parts of the world where our "strategic interests" are unlikely to lead us into war. Coal is also an important and improving major component of our electricity generation. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal and it is in our strategic interest to burn what we have when we can instead of buying oil from unfriendly parts of the world. I believe in an "up or out" strategy for making coal plants as environmentally friendly as possible: similarly to CAFE standards, existing coal plants would have gradually tightening limits on emissions leaving utilities to decide whether it is in their best interests to modernize or retire a plant.

Last edited by tomndebb; 05-24-2012 at 09:22 PM.. Reason: Corrected number of question per author.
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  #85  
Old 05-26-2012, 10:42 PM
snowmaster snowmaster is offline
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Question #6: Do you, as candidates, support the concept of the President as a 'Unitary Executive'? What limitations, not enforced currently, would you accept upon your own power as President?
Thank you, Mr. Moderator; past presidencies have made me think long and hard about the awesome power wielded by our chief executives. In large part I agree with the president's role as head of the executive branch, commander-in-chief, head of party and head of state. I have some reservations about head of party... I think we need a president of all the people and while he has a party platform and umpteen campaign promises behind him, he must be the start of the end of hardcore partisanship in our capitol. Imagine what a different country we might live in if a president resigned from his party on inauguration day leaving the VP as chief of party and his successors followed the tradition. While that may be stretching the boundaries of practicality, meeting often with every states' congressional delegation as I've outlined earlier in this debate is a much more realistic step. It will go a long way toward making the presidency more about leading the federal departments in serving the people instead of strategizing with the president's own party and ignoring the party opposite.

I think the president has a role as moral leader; a role some presidents handle well and others don't. I'm be in favor of a bill outlining a presidential code of conduct that would, for example, proscribe infidelity and Watergate-like thuggery. Violations of this code would be punishable by censure or impeachment. I realize this isn't per se a limit on presidential power, I think it an important step to improve presidential behavior and let our executive truly set an example for our young people to aspire to. I think we might be better off if we could as a nation shout "NEXT" just a little more often and put a person of integrity in the White House. Such a code of conduct would allow us to do just that. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I also think recall elections are long overdue at the federal level. That would be the ultimate check on presidential power.

I share my opponents' concerns about the war powers act and related laws. I think the president should have to notify the gang of eight before authorizing any hostile military action overseas. He should have no more than 30 days to conduct such hostilities until requiring a majority consent in congress. I feel congress should be obligated to declare war when giving such consent. What we have done over the last 60 years with no declaration of war in incredible in scope... we should be honest with ourselves about our military actions.

Last edited by snowmaster; 05-26-2012 at 10:45 PM.. Reason: No Tripler, that's 6 questions, but we all knew you were off from the beginning. Hope your math skills never set tax rates!!
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  #86  
Old 05-27-2012, 06:46 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Well, I thought everyone had lost interest, frankly. New question by tomorrow morning.

Well done, gentlemen.
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  #87  
Old 05-28-2012, 05:38 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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All right, then. Let's try this again:

Quote:
The Presidency has a unique influence on foreign policy with lesser developed countries. Congress notwithstanding, what do you think, as President, your relationship with the leaders of various LDCs be? Does it vary for Africa? Latin America? Southeast Asia?
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:40 AM
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The Presidency has a unique influence on foreign policy with lesser developed countries. Congress notwithstanding, what do you think, as President, your relationship with the leaders of various LDCs be? Does it vary for Africa? Latin America? Southeast Asia?

Foreign policy is a vital part of American history – with a long and varied history. Generations of people around the world have looked to the USA for hope and for help in times of crisis. After World War II there were many people around the world who recall seeing CARE packages delivered, bringing food and medicine and supplies, during times of crisis. Those US Army surplus packages provided enormous goodwill and respect for America, and proved invaluable in later government negotiations. When your own populace is grateful and pro-USA, it makes it a lot easier to become an American ally.

I mention this as a prime example of providing aid to countries based on need and ability, and the long term value in doing so.

When a crisis arises, we cannot ignore human suffering, no matter how much we might despise a dictatorial leader or regime. Humanitarian aid is, and always should be, a priority of American policy. There is no country on earth that does not deserve adequate food, shelter and medicine for their people.

That said, we also need to work with other free nations to do whatever is necessary to help lessen the power of these dictators and regimes. This might mean freezing foreign financial assets and creating embargos for goods that will cripple armies and thwart nuclear research. This might mean causing non-life-threatening hardships for many people in those countries, but as a free country, we cannot condone dictators and regimes that are a danger to their people and perhaps the world at large.

Diplomacy is always the first course of action. To that end, we need to really understand each country’s culture and needs. We cannot force a country to create a democracy if they prefer to live under a monarchy – but we can at least try to ensure that monarchy is benevolent and tends to the needs of their people and culture and not be a danger to ourselves or other countries.

To that end, I think it is important to finally start staffing embassies with people who are totally familiar with their host country’s history and culture. Ambassadors should be selected not because they are a high paying donor to a political campaign but because they speak the language, know the culture and can represent the goals and ideals of American policy. As such, we are showing an interest in these countries, have a representative who can speak for them and know exactly what kind of aid and support those countries really need.

America cannot cure all the ills in the world. Money alone cannot stop a drought nor prevent a natural disaster, as we have seen in our own country. Unless there is an imminent threat to our security, military force is not always the best course of action. Yes, America is a wealthy country, but we can only do so much with the resources we have available.

I think we can all agree that people learn by example. If we show a willingness to help when help is needed, but restraint when not called upon, we become the good neighbor, the friend and the ally.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:32 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Well, I hate to say it, DMark, but you're looking like our winner by default, here.
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  #90  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:55 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Well, I hate to say it, DMark, but you're looking like our winner by default, here.
Well, that's a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.

I don't mind waiting - maybe some of my esteemed colleagues are having troubles understanding the big words.

However, I do have my inauguration speech ready, just in case.
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  #91  
Old 06-03-2012, 11:29 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Well, I hate to say it, DMark, but you're looking like our winner by default, here.
Uh nope. . . I'm still in this thing. I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to hit this last question. Was on a business trip to Chicago the past three days.

Yes, true story.

Tripler
I'll post my response tomorrow.
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  #92  
Old 06-08-2012, 09:30 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Gentlemen Candidates, and Mister Moderator, Distinguished Readers,

My apologies for not responding by my self-established group deadline. Several real-world events have come up, forcing me to travel more often than not, then and keeping me away from my normal keyboard. I am fully in this race, and and beg your forgiveness for another delay.. For those of you in the know, I am on certain assignments that preclude immediate participation.

Tripler
One can only search so many venues a day.
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  #93  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:28 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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As long as we are still waiting, I would like to mention two things I said in my opening statement way-back-when:

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Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Gay marriage will be legalized immediately.

Illegal immigrants will be given a green card if they have lived here and worked here for over five years and do not have a felony criminal record.
Although neither has been enacted into law, nor has my policy been followed exactly as I have suggested, motions are being set in place to make both of those concepts a reality; if nothing else, it does appear that I had my pulse on public opinion long before recent announcements were made in Washington.

So, take your time! At this rate, I have high hopes that more policies from my original opening statement will move forward. Perhaps by the time I am elected, my Presidency will be more of a caretaker of a new, invigorated and strong economic America, leading the way in human rights, educational reform, positive environmental change and a world leader in diplomacy without engaging in wars.

I wouldn't mind living in a world where I would have the luxury to stop and smell the roses in the Rose Garden on my way to the Oval Office.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:17 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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Also from my opening statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Hand guns and automatic rifles will be banned, unless you are in the military or on the police force. You can keep your hunting rifles to shoot game or protect your home from intruders.
In light of recent events, I think public opinion is once again swinging in my direction. I strongly hope that this ban on hand guns and automatic rifles policy takes affect sooner than later.

As this thread has basically died of neglect while waiting for others to respond, and baring some miraculous intervention and resurrection, I would like to invite one and all to my inaugural party.

I intend to throw this party in Las Vegas, so that local casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and others of his ilk, can see that throwing obscene amounts of money to his right-wing PAC's does not guarantee a win. After being sworn into office, I will do everything in my power to ensure campaign donations are regulated to allow only limited donation amounts, and that all of those donors and dollar amounts are publicly named.

So, allow me to invite you all to join me in a wild night of celebration of my impending victory (sadly by default)!

Last edited by DMark; 07-23-2012 at 10:19 AM.. Reason: I was busy congratulating my supporters and made a typo.
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  #95  
Old 08-24-2012, 02:16 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Also from my opening statement:

As this thread has basically died of neglect while waiting for others to respond, and baring some miraculous intervention and resurrection, I would like to invite one and all to my inaugural party.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do apologize for my inability to respond to my original thread. Recent events connected to the upcoming election, military training, and some other business trips have taken me away from the Straight Dope for legitimate purposes--it's not laziness, it's jobby-job stuff.

With that, I will be reading back through the thread this upcoming weekend, and will pick up where I left off. I'm sure my detractors will say, "See! He can't be President, he's inattentive to the job he's got!" But, I'm sure all candidates agree that while stumping, certain other things have to take priority (including defending the free world from the scourge of Red Communism and Al Qaeda), and that on election--whomever may win--would resign any and all other positions to fully delve into the responsibility of the Oval Office.

Again, my apologies for not being active with the thread for some time. . . I will be resuming the campaign this weekend.

Tripler
No, seriously, Communists.
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  #96  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:15 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
The Presidency has a unique influence on foreign policy with lesser developed countries. Congress notwithstanding, what do you think, as President, your relationship with the leaders of various LDCs be? Does it vary for Africa? Latin America? Southeast Asia?
The President, as the Executive of the United States, does have a unique position with which to establish relationships, drive discussion, and influence policy with other parts of the world, both industrialized & developing alike. The short answer is this: I would approach any State leader with open arms to begin dialogue on any topic—nobody has ever been killed as a direct result of discussion. I would happily approach leaders of lesser developed countries to welcome them, discuss their strategic plans and concerns and their plans for growth in an ever-globalizing community of trade and science. I would aim to keep the relationship focused on growth for that LDC, lining it up for mutual benefit to that State and the United States.

Now some detractors will argue that this would be similar to “offshoring jobs,” which simply is not the case. I would approach these relationships as a way to grow potential for the American economy; either by developing markets for American products and services, or by partnering foreign interest, capital, and intellectual capability to our domestic production capability. Relationships like this are an excellent way to promote democracy through economic development, and bring otherwise left-behind nations into the global commons in a positive manner for the United States.

Looking back, I do want to make a few comments on DMark’s positions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark
Gay marriage will be legalized immediately.
Agreed. However, I think my opponent makes promises he can’t keep. Unless he’s willing to stake his career on passing a federal law making marriage legal (which, I predict would be found unconstitutional at the national level), this is something that just won’t happen from Washington. I fully support gay/lesbian marriage as well as other LGBT equality rights, but firmly believe that this is a state’s rights issue, and must be handled at that level. The US Constitution has no structure or allowance for unions between people, but it does strictly uphold individual rights and the right to assemble, and equal protection under the law. Under the 14th Amendment, I would work to ensure that those states that did not validate or recognize same-sex marriages would. And there are mechanics to do that, but it is not by passing some carte blanche law through the US Code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark
Illegal immigrants will be given a green card if they have lived here and worked here for over five years and do not have a felony criminal record.
Because it’s a message board, and I can’t fully get the context of his statement, so I will needle at him thus: “will be given” is a dangerous statement; there are undoubtedly millions of undocumented workers who are here to make an honest day’s wage, provide services, and support their own families. However, there are undocumented personnel that are here with an underlying criminal intent, and would be less than desirable in the general citizenship. I support awarding of a green card, or a work visa, through current means bolstered by a background check, and proof of employment and living arrangements. I think he and I are on the same page, but it needs to be concrete how it’s done—you simply can’t just “give” someone a green card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark
Hand guns and automatic rifles will be banned, unless you are in the military or on the police force. You can keep your hunting rifles to shoot game or protect your home from intruders.
I will break from my normally reserved self, to make a rare, loud, point: the banning of handguns and rifles is simply not going to happen. Politicians all over the place love to bandy this idea about, but they ignore one simple, inescapable fact: Pandora’s box is already open.

American citizens already have access to firearms of all manner of caliber, frames, and styles, to make their own personal choice in owning. They are already out there. To implement a banning, would require some sort of confiscation for an immediate solution, or a ‘weathering out’ of existing firearms (thinning out of the population due to age and mechanical wear and tear) which would take decades and would solve nothing.

My position on firearms is straightforward: Guns are inanimate objects used to project the intent of the shooter. Guns do not kill people, the intent behind the trigger does. For this reason, I support background checks and waiting periods, and again, leave the delicate situation to the States to enact their own laws and policies, under existing reasonable regulation by the United States (e.g. the National Firearms Act of 1934, which did regulate machine guns, and made definitions of firearms specific).

And I’ll close with that reference: despite the heavy restriction of Thompson submachine guns, they are available to anyone with the money—and those are known markets. Those guns exist, along with a cornucopia of other automatic and semiautomatic firearm models, will continue to exist. Banning them, as enforced through confiscation will do nothing but rightly inflame the constituency and force the guns onto the black market; conversely, allowing them to ‘weather out’ is nothing short of apathy, and solves nothing.

To step out of my campaign, I think I'm caught up on questions. I'll allow my opponents or any other debater on the stage forcibly and mockingly point out where I missed one.

Tripler
Thanks for your time, and for your patience as I worked the DNC. (Seriously, I have photos).

Last edited by Tripler; 09-07-2012 at 02:16 PM..
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  #97  
Old 09-08-2012, 12:17 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Welcome back Tripler - sorry you missed my inaugural, but happy to continue now that you have returned. Also, as long as we are waiting for any final questions, I will be happy to respond to your comments about my comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
Looking back, I do want to make a few comments on DMark’s positions:

Agreed. However, I think my opponent makes promises he can’t keep. Unless he’s willing to stake his career on passing a federal law making marriage legal (which, I predict would be found unconstitutional at the national level), this is something that just won’t happen from Washington. I fully support gay/lesbian marriage as well as other LGBT equality rights, but firmly believe that this is a state’s rights issue, and must be handled at that level.
People forget that until 1967, interracial marriage was also illegal in many states. It took the Supreme Court ruling to overturn these laws, making interracial marriage legal in all 50 states. The precedent is certainly there, and I would work to ensure any appointees I were able to make to the Supreme Court would agree that Gay Marriage is a basic human right. I strongly disagree that this basic right is some kind of state's rights issue, to be banned by any bigoted local, regional or state law.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
I support awarding of a green card, or a work visa, through current means bolstered by a background check, and proof of employment and living arrangements. I think he and I are on the same page, but it needs to be concrete how it’s done—you simply can’t just “give” someone a green card.
Yes, I believe we do agree on this point. Perhaps my choice of word "given" was taken out of context - you could substitute that word with "granted", once felony criminal background checks are made.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
I will break from my normally reserved self, to make a rare, loud, point: the banning of handguns and rifles is simply not going to happen. Politicians all over the place love to bandy this idea about, but they ignore one simple, inescapable fact: Pandora’s box is already open.

American citizens already have access to firearms of all manner of caliber, frames, and styles, to make their own personal choice in owning. They are already out there. To implement a banning, would require some sort of confiscation for an immediate solution, or a ‘weathering out’ of existing firearms (thinning out of the population due to age and mechanical wear and tear) which would take decades and would solve nothing.
This is a first. I don't believe I have ever heard of someone allowing a bad law to remain in effect using a "Pandora's box" defense!? Keep hand guns legal because people already own them? That is a ludicrous!
Simply banning the sale of any handguns would at least put a stop to increasing the number of people who own them. A small, but important, step in the right direction.
Immediately banning the sale of bullets for handguns would also quickly reduce the purpose of owning one.
Implementing a fair "buy-back" policy for existing handguns would get many off the street -either by the owners or by family members who would turn them in for cash.
Give a short window of opportunity to sell back these handguns before making ownership of a handgun a felony. The only exception to this rule would be to allow owners of truly historical handguns (from the 1800's and prior) to keep them as historical artifacts - but again, bullets would be illegal, even for those weapons.
Implementing these laws, in short order, would drastically cut back on the number of handgun deaths in the USA.
To say it is too late to change this law is something I strongly disagree with. I think it is high time we started - and the sooner, the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
Thanks for your time, and for your patience as I worked the DNC. (Seriously, I have photos).
I am truly happy to have you back in this forum. I applaud your efforts for this worthy organization and would be interested in seeing those photos - especially any compromising images that I could use in my upcoming television ads.
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  #98  
Old 09-13-2012, 02:08 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Welcome back Tripler - sorry you missed my inaugural, but happy to continue now that you have returned.
[Out of Character]
Inagural? What'd I miss?
[/Out of Character]


Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
I strongly disagree that this basic right is some kind of state's rights issue, to be banned by any bigoted local, regional or state law.
I agree that it is a basic right, however, I think the majority of opposition to gay & lesbian rights is based on religious grounds, and any legislation would fall into the realm of 'legislation of morality' which doesn't often work on a Federal level. That's why I think the first steps--which would start the larger cultural change--would have to happen at the State level first. I would welcome Federal-level legislation, but you and I only differ on the mechanics at this point. We fully agree on the principal topic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
This is a first. I don't believe I have ever heard of someone allowing a bad law to remain in effect using a "Pandora's box" defense!? Keep hand guns legal because people already own them? That is a ludicrous!

Simply banning the sale of any handguns would at least put a stop to increasing the number of people who own them. A small, but important, step in the right direction.
Immediately banning the sale of bullets for handguns would also quickly reduce the purpose of owning one.
Implementing a fair "buy-back" policy for existing handguns would get many off the street -either by the owners or by family members who would turn them in for cash.

Give a short window of opportunity to sell back these handguns before making ownership of a handgun a felony. The only exception to this rule would be to allow owners of truly historical handguns (from the 1800's and prior) to keep them as historical artifacts - but again, bullets would be illegal, even for those weapons.

Implementing these laws, in short order, would drastically cut back on the number of handgun deaths in the USA.

To say it is too late to change this law is something I strongly disagree with. I think it is high time we started - and the sooner, the better.
I won't rebut your statement (already did that), but I will acknowledge that this is where your platform and mine diverge strongly. I trust the American people to make the right decision, despite several dozen jackasses with poor intent and poor judgement using available, antiquated technology. I agree to disagree.

Any more questions, Mr Moderator?

Tripler
Ready for the next one.
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  #99  
Old 09-14-2012, 11:30 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripler View Post
I agree that it is a basic right, however, I think the majority of opposition to gay & lesbian rights is based on religious grounds, and any legislation would fall into the realm of 'legislation of morality' which doesn't often work on a Federal level. That's why I think the first steps--which would start the larger cultural change--would have to happen at the State level first. I would welcome Federal-level legislation, but you and I only differ on the mechanics at this point. We fully agree on the principal topic.

Tripler
Ready for the next one.
And this is where we strongly do disagree. There is a reason for separation of church and state, and this is a prime example.

Certainly no church will ever be required to hold an actual Gay/Lesbian wedding ceremony if they wished not to do so. That is their right. But the actual legality of Gay Marriage, along with all of the exact same Federal legal benefits, cannot be denied.

I don't think Jews are upset they sell bacon in local supermarkets, Catholics did not decry others eating meat on Fridays back when not doing so was part of their religion. While it is true that many religions still actively oppose Federal laws allowing for birth control, abortions, alcohol consumption, pornography, adultery and other things they find morally abhorrent, including homosexuality, we do not impose laws base solely off religious dogma.

Yes, we have religious freedom and that should remain so, but we do not base our laws off religion. As President, I will ensure that Federal Law remains separate from any religious morality and will be in the best interests of society as a whole.


And before this becomes an issue in any future campaign ads, allow me to freely admit I do not belong to any organized religion. As staunchly as I will vigorously support all rights of religious freedom, I will also support the equal rights of those who choose not be a part of any organized religions.


And yes, we can just agree to disagree on our policies regarding gun control.


Assuming our moderator has not yet left the building, I too am ready for the next question, should there be any.
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  #100  
Old 09-21-2012, 08:01 PM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: JSOTF SDMB, OL-ABQ
Posts: 6,806
Paging Mr Jonathan Chance, paging Mr Jonathan Chance. . .

Your debate is ready

::Looking at his opponent, back at the moderator's chair, back at his opponent, and shrugging his shoulders::

Tripler
Maybe it's pledge drive week and he's working the phones?
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