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  #1  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:18 AM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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Americans are now required to pass a test to vote. Come up with fair questions.

Everyone's heard at least one person say, "Man, there oughtta be a test people have to pass to prove they're intelligent/informed/human enough to vote!" Well, in my Skald-like hypothetical, Congress has indeed passed a Constitutional amendment requiring all citizen eligible to vote pass a test. They have formed a committee consisting of the smartest, hippest people on the planet (plus a few total dipsticks, to keep it representative ) to come up with the questions.

What questions would you pose that would be fair, not leading, and wouldn't favor any particular demographic or political affiliation?
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:22 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Read Heinlein's Expanded Universe for some very whacko suggestions for tests for the polity. These are made pretty much tongue-in-cheek (I hope), trying out ourrageous ideas in the quest to make people think.


I can't believe that any sort of test is going to lead to a real mess of charges, counter-charges, loopholes, exceptions, and corruption. Better to avoid that path.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:23 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Well, I'd suggest something similar to the ER questions...check to see if the person is oriented as to time and space and such. For instance, ask what year (and day) it is, who is currently POTUS (because if they don't know even that, they have no business voting), who they are, and what they are there for.
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:27 AM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Read Heinlein's Expanded Universe for some very whacko suggestions for tests for the polity. These are made pretty much tongue-in-cheek (I hope), trying out ourrageous ideas in the quest to make people think.


I can't believe that any sort of test is going to lead to a real mess of charges, counter-charges, loopholes, exceptions, and corruption. Better to avoid that path.
Come on Cal, we're just have'n fun here.


1.) Who is the current VP
2.) Who is the current Speaker of the house? (It's scary how many people don't know this)
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:51 AM
Agent Foxtrot Agent Foxtrot is offline
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Also, should the test be fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, short answer, or a combination of all three?
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:52 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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I wouldn't have too many history questions on it, for sure. Also wouldn't have too many 'What's the name of the current <insert position nobody hears about except they're on the news once a month> questions because politicians are like waiters, and if they're doing they're job right, you barely notice them. We are hiring THEM to do this work, and while there's a certain amount of knowledge required to even be able to form an opinion as to who might do the job you want them to in the WAY you want them to, that information isn't going to come from ads or Wikipedia. So unless one spends a serious chunk of time studying who actually has done what, it's hard to make a truly informed call. Hence the prevalence of party votes.

So...Screw what the NAMES are holding the current positions. But what those positions ARE and what they DO and how much influence the public truly has on their performance beyond voting every couple of years...those are questions that might matter.

Last edited by Taomist; 11-09-2012 at 09:54 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:14 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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"Are you registered to vote in this precinct?"

"Do you need any assistance in voting?"

"Would you like an 'I Voted!' sticker?"

That oughta cover it.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:16 AM
southernlady southernlady is offline
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Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
"Are you registered to vote in this precinct?"
We had about 75 out of 425 on election day who could not answer even that basic question. We spent most the day sorting them out so they COULD vote in the precinct they were really registered in.

Liz
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:17 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Come on Cal, we're just have'n fun here.


1.) Who is the current VP
2.) Who is the current Speaker of the house? (It's scary how many people don't know this)
Yeah, but if they ask typical "American" questions, I'm doomed.

"Who won the World Series?"

"Who won the Super Bowl?"

"What kind of car is this?"

"Who won American Idol in ____?"
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:18 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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"What is your name?"

"What is your quest?"

"What is your favorite color?"
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  #11  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:38 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
"What is your name?"

"What is your quest?"

"What is your favorite color?"

what happens if they get their favorite color wrong, though?
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:47 AM
pancakes3 pancakes3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Come on Cal, we're just have'n fun here.


1.) Who is the current VP
2.) Who is the current Speaker of the house? (It's scary how many people don't know this)
My sister scored a 4 (out of 5) on the AP Government exam and did not know who the VP was/is.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:53 AM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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Ask the same sort of questions immigrants are asked when they apply for citizenship.


Multiple choice questions ripped from that USCIS link include:
  1. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
  2. What are the two major political parties in the United States?
  3. What is freedom of religion?
  4. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
  5. Where is the Statue of Liberty?
  6. When must all men register for the Selective Service?
  7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
  8. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
  9. What is the name of the President of the United States now?
  10. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
  11. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
  12. What is the economic system in the United States?
  13. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?
  14. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
  15. In what month do we vote for President?
  16. Who was the first President?
  17. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
  18. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  19. Why does the flag have 50 stars?
  20. Who signs bills to become laws?
  21. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  22. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
  23. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
  24. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  25. Who did the United States fight in World War II?

An immigrant can have a green card without knowing this stuff. But to gain the right to vote and citizenship they must take such a test. At least six correct answers out of 10 questions is a passing score.

If it is good enough for the immigrant, it is good enough for the natural born American.
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:08 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Ask the same sort of questions immigrants are asked when they apply for citizenship.
Who did the United States fight in World War II?
An immigrant can have a green card without knowing this stuff. But to gain the right to vote and citizenship they must take such a test. At least six correct answers out of 10 questions is a passing score.

If it is good enough for the immigrant, it is good enough for the natural born American.
Hehe, I think we're going to have to hijack the thread and answer those qustions ourselves


  1. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? -The Bill of Rights
  2. What are the two major political parties in the United States? -Donkeys and Elephants
  3. What is freedom of religion? -Freedom from taxes while skirting laws taxpayers actually have to follow
  4. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? -Louisiana Purchase?
  5. Where is the Statue of Liberty? -New York Habor, I hope. After Sandy, who knows?
  6. When must all men register for the Selective Service? -Before they are considered full-fledged citizens with the right to drink and rent a car. 'cause that's when the trouble really starts!
  7. How many amendments does the Constitution have? Either not enough or too many, depends who you ask.
  8. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? No idea. Bet he's an old, white male, though!
  9. What is the name of the President of the United States now? Well, it depends on who you talk to...
  10. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance? Apparantly the flag, which is weird.
  11. What did Susan B. Anthony do? Whatever it was, it was only worth a dollar
  12. What is the economic system in the United States? Money uber alles.
  13. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did? Saved us from vampires, duh.
  14. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States. Oh hell, someone else insert a wetback joke here, I don't have the energy.
  15. In what month do we vote for President? The one right before everyone flees Washington to cry about the results.
  16. Who was the first President? The guy with the wooden teeth!
  17. What happened at the Constitutional Convention? What happens at the Con, stays at the Con.
  18. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President? Apparantly the guy with the most money / guns. which makes me feel sorry for the Speaker.
  19. Why does the flag have 50 stars? Because we're jerks who won't let PR in.
  20. Who signs bills to become laws? Probably not the guy who wrote them.
  21. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? You mean, whose handwriting it is? Or whose ideas they were?
  22. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms? However long you can stretch out multiple extensions.
  23. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States? Russian Bears, man. They're gonna take over.
  24. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President? Well, unfortunately it's usually the VP. Poor guy.
  25. Who did the United States fight in World War II? Let's see...again, it depends on who you talk to!

Last edited by Taomist; 11-09-2012 at 11:09 AM..
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:13 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Come on Cal, we're just have'n fun here.


1.) Who is the current VP
2.) Who is the current Speaker of the house? (It's scary how many people don't know this)
Two people who have never been in my kitchen.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:23 AM
robardin robardin is offline
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How about something like "name an elective office that is at stake this year?" (Not "who are you voting for" - I mean, do you even understand that you're voting for President this year, but next year it's State Assemblyman or Senator or Congressman, etc.)?

If you don't even know what you're voting for but are just going in to tick some boxes off like you've been told to do - or to do it semi-randomly at the last minute - maybe that's not a good thing.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:37 AM
74westy 74westy is online now
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Define Socialism.
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:13 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Name two of the three colors on the American flag.
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:32 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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Can you stand in line for several hours?
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:41 PM
dimmy derko dimmy derko is offline
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Similarly to the method used by Nigerian Scammers, the questions should be so stupidly ridiculous that anyone responding seriously is either banned from voting, or just humoured and made to feel their vote has been counted.
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  #21  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:52 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Maybe they should use those Groucho Marx You Bet Your Life easy questions


"Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?"

"When did the War of 1812 start?"

"How long do you cook a three-minute egg?"
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  #22  
Old 11-09-2012, 12:53 PM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Do not open cover; no user serviceable parts inside.
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  #23  
Old 11-09-2012, 06:55 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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"Do you like gladiator movies?"

"Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"
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  #24  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:05 PM
R. P. McMurphy R. P. McMurphy is offline
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"What is the difference between Osama and Obama?"

That would disqualify a large percentage of the population that is functionally illiterate, the haters, half of the voters in the red states and a quarter of the voters in the blue states. That would shorten the lines at the poles. Then we could get on with the business of the country.
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  #25  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:09 PM
Rand Rover Rand Rover is offline
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"All else being equal, tax increases tend to ________ economic growth. (A) encourage; (B) discourage; (C) have no effect on."
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  #26  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:16 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Are you an American Citizen?
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  #27  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:18 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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1) What is the difference between deficit and debt?
2) To within 10%, identify the proportion of the major components of the US budget
3) Is more or less than half our debt owned by China?
4) What are the consequences to printing money to pay for debt?
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  #28  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:41 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Describe in 200 words or more the purpose and function of the Secretary of the Interior.
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  #29  
Old 11-09-2012, 07:43 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
1) What is the difference between deficit and debt?
2) To within 10%, identify the proportion of the major components of the US budget
3) Is more or less than half our debt owned by China?
4) What are the consequences to printing money to pay for debt?
Ah, this takes me back to the time when only educated landowning males could vote. Ain't no days like the olden days!

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 11-09-2012 at 07:43 PM..
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  #30  
Old 11-09-2012, 08:11 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
Ah, this takes me back to the time when only educated landowning males could vote. Ain't no days like the olden days!
I don't actually support such a test, of course. But it sure would be nice if the electorate had even a rudimentary understanding of some economic facts.

No one cares who the Speaker of the House is. It's just a name that doesn't tell you anything--utter trivia. But if you're voting on the economy without knowing some of the basic facts and vocabulary, then you're voting randomly.
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  #31  
Old 11-09-2012, 08:29 PM
rsat3acr rsat3acr is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Maybe they should use those Groucho Marx You Bet Your Life easy questions


"Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?"

"When did the War of 1812 start?"

"How long do you cook a three-minute egg?"
but of course no one is buried in Grant's Tomb, Grant and his wife are entombed there but are above ground, not buried.
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  #32  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:40 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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Originally Posted by Taomist View Post
[*]What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? -The Bill of Rights
I thought they were called The First Amendment, The Second Amendment, The Third Amendment, &c....
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  #33  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:59 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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What is the economic system in the United States?
"I think Justice Olive Wendell Holmes was correct, and was later supported by West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish in 1937, in the belief he expressed by his dissent to Lochner v. New York in 1905 that the United States does not have an official economic system."
"Listen, just say capitalism."
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  #34  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:01 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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"All else being equal, tax increases tend to ________ economic growth. (A) encourage; (B) discourage; (C) have no effect on."
(D) be an issue conservatives obsess over in discussions of.
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  #35  
Old 11-10-2012, 07:34 AM
PatriotGrrrl PatriotGrrrl is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
But if you're voting on the economy without knowing some of the basic facts and vocabulary, then you're voting randomly.
You voted on the economy? Funny, my ballot only had a bunch of people's names on it.
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  #36  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:48 AM
southernlady southernlady is offline
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I thought they were called The First Amendment, The Second Amendment, The Third Amendment, &c....
They are but they are also known as The Bill Of Rights.

Liz
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  #37  
Old 11-10-2012, 09:23 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
I don't actually support such a test, of course. But it sure would be nice if the electorate had even a rudimentary understanding of some economic facts.

No one cares who the Speaker of the House is. It's just a name that doesn't tell you anything--utter trivia. But if you're voting on the economy without knowing some of the basic facts and vocabulary, then you're voting randomly.
The economy is not necessarily the primary concern of the majority of Americans, even if it's all YOU care about.
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  #38  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:53 AM
Rand Rover Rand Rover is offline
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
The economy is not necessarily the primary concern of the majority of Americans, even if it's all YOU care about.
Actually, if the exit polls from last Tuesday are to be believed, the economy absolutely is the primary concern of the majority of Americans.

Last edited by Rand Rover; 11-10-2012 at 10:53 AM..
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  #39  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:01 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is online now
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
Yeah, but if they ask typical "American" questions, I'm doomed.

"Who won the World Series?"

"Who won the Super Bowl?"

"What kind of car is this?"

"Who won American Idol in ____?"
"What's the Capital of Texas?"

"It's Austin!"

"WRONG! IT'S HOUSTON!"
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  #40  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Taomist View Post
Hehe, I think we're going to have to hijack the thread and answer those qustions ourselves
Let me re-hijack to correct some of your answers.
  1. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? -Guns, guns, guns, and guns, etc.
  2. What is freedom of religion? -Freedom to join any denomination that worships Jesus Christ.
  3. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? "Mister Speaker."
  4. Why does the flag have 50 stars? Because we're jerks who won't let PR in.
    Jerks? No, we just don't want to change the national anthem to "Playing solitaire till dawn .. with a deck of fifty-one."
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  #41  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:16 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Who is number one?

SPOILER:
If anyone answers correctly, it's off to Gitmo!!

Last edited by John Mace; 11-10-2012 at 11:18 AM..
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  #42  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:45 AM
astorian astorian is online now
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I don't know the questions that should be on the test- I only know that the right answers are:

1) Fruit of the Loom

2) 34-36

3) White with a brown stripe down the middle
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  #43  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:14 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
I don't know the questions that should be on the test- I only know that the right answers are:

1) Fruit of the Loom

2) 34-36

3) White with a brown stripe down the middle
Yellow part in the front, brown in the back.
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  #44  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:27 PM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
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Same test they give to become a US citizen
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  #45  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:29 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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I would have a problem with some of these questions? There are many possible answers:

[*]What did Susan B. Anthony do?
--took a healthy dump 4-7 times per week
--ate, slept
--attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848
---was a suffragette
---appeared on a dollar coin that nobody used
[*]What is the economic system in the United States?
---capitalism
---a mix of government and free market
---no system (Holmes)
[*]In what month do we vote for President?
--November
---We don't vote for President, we vote for electors who vote for President
[*]What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
--white men gathered
---George Washington cleared his throat
---a new constitution was written
--quill pens were dipped in ink
[*]If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
---The Speaker of the House
---Nobody, after the VP, officers only "act" as President. They do not "become" President.
[*]Why does the flag have 50 stars?
--Because there are 50 states
--Because it's the law that the flag is to have the same # of stars as states.

[*]Who signs bills to become laws?
---The President
---Nobody, if it is passed by 2/3 of each house over a Presidential veto.

[*]Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
---Jefferson
---Jefferson's clerk

[*]When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
--April 15
---April 16, 17, or 18 if the IRS says so
---Anytime later if you file an extension

[*]During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
--Nuclear War
--Russia
--Soviet Union
---Communism
---Food
---Cheap Gasoline
---Getting laid


Like any test, it seems to be tailored to the answer the writer wants and not necessary the correct one.
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  #46  
Old 11-10-2012, 01:55 PM
Hershele Ostropoler Hershele Ostropoler is offline
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In states with fusion endorsements:
"If a candidate's name appears on more than one line, on how many do you have to vote for them for it to count?"
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  #47  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:16 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Originally Posted by PatriotGrrrl View Post
You voted on the economy? Funny, my ballot only had a bunch of people's names on it.
Voting on the economy, not voting for the economy.
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  #48  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:34 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
The economy is not necessarily the primary concern of the majority of Americans, even if it's all YOU care about.
Who ever said it was all I care about? But it's a major issue that any informed voter should take into consideration (see Rand Rover's post). And it's one of the few issues that actually has some objective truths to it, unlike most of the other issues. Of course, there are a few we could ask:

1) Do the gays plan on banning heterosexual marriage?
2) Rounded to the nearest 10,000, how many people died from marijuana use last year?
3) Rounded to the nearest 100, how many Americans died in terrorist attacks last year?
4) Rank these three countries in terms of per-capita government spending on healthcare (pre-Obamacare): United States, Denmark, Canada.
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  #49  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:50 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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Originally Posted by R. P. McMurphy View Post
"What is the difference between Osama and Obama?"
Hey, no trick questions!

Regards,
Shodan
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  #50  
Old 11-10-2012, 03:53 PM
74westy 74westy is online now
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Who is number one?
You are number 6.

Last edited by 74westy; 11-10-2012 at 03:54 PM.. Reason: broke quote tags
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