Friday, March 14, 2008

ABC's Pennsylvania 2008 Primary Debate - Open Letter to ABC

Well, it looks as if ABC's offering to host a debate prior to the Pa. primary has been accepted. This will probably be the last chance primary voters will have to choose between the two, so....

1. race
2. gender
3. electability
4. things surrogates have said
5. religion
6. favorite food, dress, movie, music, etc.

1. What will you do about Guantanamo? Habeas Corpus? Federal wiretapping? Requiring passports to go to Canada?
2. Will you use signing statements? If either or both says "yes", point out that the Constitution gives a President only 3 options none of which is a signing statement. Ask them to explain the legal justification for such statements.
3. Iraq - in general, how will they remove troops. What about the "permanent" bases? How will they protect all the Iraqis who have allied themselves with the U.S. Why is the U.S. accepting so few refugees from Iraq in comparison with our European allies.
4. The Taliban are gaining strength again in Afghanistan. What will they do to turn this around?
5. Health care: ask Hillary exactly how the mandates would work. How will the govt. decide that a particular family simply cannot afford to pay for health insurance, at any cost?
6. Would either candidate consider redefining what constitutes poverty in this country, given that housing and energy rather than food are now the biggest family expenses and there are widely divergent costs-of-living in the country.
7. Tax policy: do you think it is right to tax dividends and capital gains less than interest or wages? If so, why? If they say that capital gains get reinvested into businesses, ask them what proof they have of that and what % of capital gains is so invested rather than, say, just spent likely any other income.
8. Some credit cards carry interest rates of 20% or more. Payday lenders often charge interest rates of 400%. Do you agree that the markets should be able to charge whatever rates they want? (When credit card interest rates first hit double digits, it was justified by the high rate of inflation. Inflation dropped but the credit card interest rates have continued to go up.)
9. Will you review the current bankruptcy law in light of the fact that so many bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses?

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