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US Election's Only VP Debate Tonight: Weigh In With Your Reactions 698

Posted by timothy
from the more-coke-more-pepsi-where's-bloomberg-now? dept.
Tonight's debate between the two largest American political parties' candidates for vice president of the United States takes place at Danville, Kentucky's Centre College, starting at 9 p.m. Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will face each other on stage, and are expected to talk about issues "including the economy, foreign policy and the role of the Vice President," according to C-SPAN, which will feature a live streaming view of the event. (Criteria from the Commission on Presidential Debates means you won't hear tonight from other presidential candidates' running mates (like Cheri Honkala, Jim Clymer, and James Gray, of the Green, Constitution, and Libertarian party tickets, respectively). If you'll be watching the debate tonight, please add your commentary below. It would be helpful if you start your comment's title with a time-stamp (to the minute), too, for context. (Like this: "9:08: $Candidate just intentionally mis-repeated the Q on taxes.") And Yes, we're posting this here in a vain attempt to keep the political discussion out of other story threads tonight. Update: 10/12 01:18 GMT by U L : If you don't have flash, you can use rtmpdump and mplayer to watch (incantation duplicated below, in case the site is slashdotted).

Via Don Armstrong an incantation to watch the debate without flash:
rtmpdump -v -r rtmpt:// \
--tcUrl rtmp:// \
--app live?ovpfv=2.1.4 --flashVer LNX.11,2,202,238 \
--playpath CSPAN1@14845 \
--swfVfy \
--pageUrl | \
mplayer -xy 3 -;

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US Election's Only VP Debate Tonight: Weigh In With Your Reactions

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  • Re:Waste of time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:50PM (#41625905)

    Just ask Lyndon Johnson? Harry Truman? Andrew Johnson? Chester Arthur? Gerald Ford? Teddy Roosevelt?

    There's been 14 VPs who became president but not all became president when the incumbent died in office. That's why I believe the country was holding its breath that Dan Quayle didn't get the job and that GB Sr. Had excellent health care.

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <{slashdot} {at} {}> on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:51PM (#41625911) Homepage Journal

    Commission on Presidential Debates

    a.k.a. the Republican and Democratic parties []. They will never allow a third party to debate; if they happen to meet the criteria, they'll simply increase the threshold(s).

    This is one of the major issues preventing any real change from happening in the US federal government, simply because new ideas are being suppressed by the incumbents.

  • My reaction? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:59PM (#41625985)

    No matter who wins this debate, or the election, Americans have lost.

  • by lexman098 (1983842) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:26PM (#41626175)
    If the 2008 election is any indication I'd say people at the very least will *avoid* a candidate based on the VP they choose.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:38PM (#41626253) Homepage

    You won't read anything about Biden not being engaged tomorrow. So far he's making Ryan look like an amateur and he's not letting Ryan get away with lying.

    Biden is crushing it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:42PM (#41626271)

    It is always humorous to watch the political fanbois go at it from the sidelines. Seeing people become so impassioned about which set of crooks are going stuff the shirts this time around is a devil's belly laugh. As has been said so many times, when the boot of government is on your throat, it makes no difference if it is a left boot or a right boot.

    Both sides may be "crooks", depending on the criteria, but I don't think you can say that it makes no difference who is elected. ie. The Affordable Care Act is an event on the scale of the imposition of an federal income based tax, or the start of the Social Security system. Regardless of your feeling of the act itself, its is highly significant, and its a certainty that it wouldn't have passed if McCain had been elected. So its petulant and intellectually dishonest to say that its "makes no difference"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:50PM (#41626327)
    Too much eye rolling from Biden and big "Are you freakin' kidding me" grins. He's still doing better than Obama did, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:50PM (#41626329)

    By interrupting, and cutting Ryan off, facial antics, etc... Moderator is not doing her job at all. Surprise surprise....

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @09:57PM (#41626369)

    Now 4 years later I'll be voting for Obama based on his performance

    What performance? He took credit for a preexisting withdrawal timeline in Iraq. Gitmo is still open. He sent a surge into Afghanistan. He had a friendly Congress for half his term and got nothing done. You must have a really low bar when it comes to performance.

  • by Alien Being (18488) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:00PM (#41626379)

    In the colonial Commonwealth of Massachusetts, my vote does not count. I'm not far from Plymouth Rock, the place where pissed-off subjects of King George landed after betting their lives that there was a better way to civilize.

    I have voted for Republican candidates in the past but I'm done with them. GWB/Cheney/Rumsfeld fucked us hard. That bastard Romney came here to my state, where he doesn't fucking belong, and fucked us over. Now he's attempting to take over the Oval Office on the grounds that what he did to Massachusetts should not be done to the USA. He should be swimming with the fish in Boston Harbor.

    If there was a candidate who ran on the platform of tearing off Romney's head and shitting down his neck, he'd get my vote.

    I'm Alien Being and I approve this message.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:02PM (#41626387)

    Now 4 years later I'll be voting for Obama based on his performance

    What performance? He took credit for a preexisting withdrawal timeline in Iraq. Gitmo is still open. He sent a surge into Afghanistan. He had a friendly Congress for half his term and got nothing done. You must have a really low bar when it comes to performance.

    I think the logic is, it's not getting worse as fast as it was under the prior regime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:19PM (#41626459)

    I feel like Obama was put in the drivers seat just when the car we're in has come under attack by drug cartel because some idiot drove us into a warzone, so now when he's trying to get us out of there, the previous driver is in the passenger seat complaining about following the speed limit and all traffic laws and grabbing at the steering wheel and brakes. and the passengers in the car are saying..why aren't we going anywhere?! we're so mad we're going vote the original driver back in..

  • Taxing rich people (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:23PM (#41626483)

    I think the defining issue is ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. If you watch Fox, they've tried all sorts of talking points to try to kill this issue and they keep trying new angles:

    Remember, 'taxing job creators'? As if taxing rich peoples personal income will cause their companies to fire lots of people.
    Remember 'dividing American?' i.e. claiming that singling out rich people for more taxes is dividing American!
    Remember '53% vs 47%', the flip of dividing America, where they claim the majority are against the minority who don't pay direct fed taxes... that one died when it was pointed out a lot of the top 1% don't pay any taxes at all.
    Remember 'the haves and the soon to haves?' i.e. you'll be rich soon, and then you'll get to pay less than 13%!
    What about 'Robin Hood on Steroids'? The latest one, the 'income redistribution is bad', as if taking their tax cuts away from them is some sort of highway robbery!

    You can see just from watching Fox, what the Republicans feel their defining issue is. It's tax cuts for the rich.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:28PM (#41626503)

    Doubtless that someone always pays. The act changes who is going to be directly paying. That's significant.

    And there's other examples, some of them quite easy. Gore likely wouldn't have put troops into Iraq, again supressing your feelings of the event itself. What would Carter have done with the air traffic controllers, and would it have precipitated or acted against the rise of anti-union feeling in the country since? Would Nixon have initiated the Great Society and all its culteral consequences?

  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:41PM (#41626569)
    I used to think that, until the Iraq War. That disaster made me much more partisan. I really think hundreds of thousands of people died because Gore (barely!) lost that election.
  • by CRC'99 (96526) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:46PM (#41626603) Homepage

    Even more concerning is the callers at the end.

    Not being an American, it was rather a shock to hear a member of the military calling up after the debate that America should invade Iran and they they urge people to vote for a certain candidate so nobody touched the military. The justification? "We have to get them before they get us".

    Great work America - fix your shit up by going to war. That worked so well last time.

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:50PM (#41626635) Homepage

    Oh.. I don't know the first passed health care reform in almost 100 years.
    Ended Don't Ask Don't Tell.
    Restarted the hunt for and killed Osama bin Laden. ... []

    As much as I wish he had actually been more "socialist". He has pretty much done the majority of the items he promised to do on election day. Yes, I'd prefer if he created a single payer health care system, reduced mandatory prison sentencing, doubled NASA's budget, seriously cut military spending, and tackled global warming.

    Maybe I'm just young, but most of my adult life has been under Bush, and now Obama. Bush seemed to mostly screw things up. Obama seems to mostly push things in a better direction.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:54PM (#41626671)

    You don't think the difference between the two sets of candidates will reflect on the tech marketplace? I do.

    As for my reaction, As I saw it, Biden had Ryan for lunch. Actually, that's what happened in the first debate too, if you go by the actual substance, because Romney lied his *ass* off to come out on top in perception. Obama was too polite; he knows that, has said so, and I expect Romney to have his butt handed to him in perception as *well* as facts the next time around.

    If the republicans really want that seat, they need someone better than Romney. The man is an ass. Ryan is simply sans clue.

    Too bad they couldn't see their way to run Paul. Aside from the religious dumbfuckery (which they all share so they can get elected), Paul would have been the most interesting candidate. Might have been able to vote for him. But no way can I vote for Romney. Man doesn't even know how to treat his dog.

  • Re:Gangland Style (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredgiblet (1063752) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @10:55PM (#41626677)
    You must be talking only about your own opinion, because the emperical evidence suggests that the amount of lies told by a candidate has no impact on their electability.

    Does choosing a candidate based on whether they can mime to a song, make me a bad person?

    It seems like as good a test as any we've devised so far.

  • Joe, stop! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cplusplus (782679) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:06PM (#41626735) Journal
    I watched most of it, and the entire time I kept thinking that Joe Biden should stop beating up on that poor kid sitting next to him.
  • by Myopic (18616) * on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:15PM (#41626789)

    Hmmm. I don't know.

    * Gitmo is still open - good, it should be, he was wrong to say he'd close it and he was right to reverse himself
    * Afghanistan - he increased the effort there in accordance with his promise to do so, which was good policy, and the most common criticism is that he didn't send more or leave them there longer
    * Friendly Congress - yeah, totally, he got nothing done, except you know the culmination of 90 years of progressive activism []

    I suspect, though, that you were baiting, so I will return your wink. /wink

  • by Myopic (18616) * on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:18PM (#41626803)

    You think? I thought she was more aggressive than I've ever seen a moderator at a Pres/VP debate. She cut off each one of them more than once. She visibly tried to divide the time and her questions were pretty specific. I was not familiar with that (probably very famous) journalist but I thought she was pretty decent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:19PM (#41626807)
    It's a first step to single-payer. It's about time the USA makes a step towards re-joining the First World.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:22PM (#41626823)

    an experienced person who knows how the world works and wants to equalize what has been out of balance for quite a long time.

    ryan comes across as a stupid, spoiled little brat who does not understand how the world works and simply insists his way should be the way for everyone. he has no sympathy or compassion in him, NONE AT ALL. soulless.

    we would be in very bad shape if that child got control of the world.

    biden has heart. I don't like many politicians, but I could tolerate him. ryan, I cannot stomach. just cannot, even a little bit. like nails on a chalkboard.

  • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:26PM (#41626837) Journal

    I think this close to the election, presidential politics is relevant on slashdot. Which administration do you think would be better for the tech sector?

    Now, we should remember that Al Gore "invented the Internet", and that Bush thought it was a "series of tubes". A big plus for Obama: he can describe Bubble Sort!!!

    Seriously, tech was better off before Washington DC got all hot and heavy in their face when they started to make money. And, by the way, Ryan is a total waste of carbon.

  • by VicVegas (990077) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:40PM (#41626911) Homepage

    Huh? trillion dollar deficits EVERY year in office, drone "kill list", assassinated ambassador, muslim extremists taking over EVERYWHERE, extending patriot act, DOMESTIC use of surveillance drones, etc.

    wake up dude...

    And you think the deficits won't get larger with more tax cuts for the rich, the patriot act won't be extended again, drones won't be put into even greater use, and there won't be any more terrorist attacks in the world if Romney gets elected? The issues you pin on Obama won't get resolved with Romney. Methinks they will get worse. There are other issues besides these, which in my mind, trump the issues mentioned above. Obama wins hands down when it comes to women's rights, religious rights, gay rights, and compassion for the elderly and less fortunate, to name a few issues. vV

  • by Vaphell (1489021) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:44PM (#41626925)

    the other team has a pretty high score too. I don't think people at wedding ceremonies blown up by the US drones see any substantial difference.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @11:59PM (#41626991) Homepage Journal

    We'll never know how many would have died at the hands I'd Saddam's son either (he was known for being a complete sociopath with homocidal tendencies, torturing multiple people to death because they displeased him).

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <> on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:03AM (#41627013) Homepage Journal

    Ended Don't Ask Don't Tell.

    Yeah. About that []:

    The Obama administration objected Thursday to immediately ending the military's ban on openly gay service members, saying that an injunction to stop the "don't ask, don't tell" policy might harm military readiness in a time of war.

    In a filing with a federal court in California, the Justice Department said that a judge who struck down the policy as unconstitutional should not enforce that ruling with a military-wide injunction banning the discharge of gay service members.

    Kudos to him for coming around to the side of decency and eventually signing the DADT Repeal Act of 2010, albeit after ordering his Justice Department to fight it tooth and nail.

    Maybe I'm just young, but most of my adult life has been under Bush, and now Obama. Bush seemed to mostly screw things up. Obama seems to mostly push things in a better direction.

    Like Gitmo still being open. Like ordering the assassination of American citizens. Like fighting against the end of indefinite detention of unconvicted, untried suspects. Like the drones circling over the Middle East. This is the "better direction" you see America moving toward?

    Note: I'm explicitly not supporting Romney, either. As Douglas Adams might say [], they're both the wrong lizards. And given that Romney pretty much invented Obamacare, frankly, I can't really tell them apart.

  • by number11 (129686) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:18AM (#41627095)

    Normally no, and not this year, but four years ago there was a special exception. You could say that Palin was too scary to be that close to the Presidency, or you could say that picking her was an indication of McCain's terrible judgement. Either way, 2008 was an outlier. This year Ryan and Biden are both reasonably capable and highly informed individuals. Neither of them are terrible or dangerous.

    What, Mr. "Whichever Way The Wind Blows" Romney isn't dangerous? Not through innate evilness, but through sheer amoral used car salesman "I'll say whatever it takes to become prez, and I'll do whatever benefits me and my friends if I do become prez"?

    Ryan, he's more honest. But way to the right of what the American people want. Most Americans (even Catholics) don't want to throw the advances women had out the window.

  • by microbox (704317) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:25AM (#41627137)

    He had a friendly Congress for half his term and got nothing done.

    How cynical can you get? The GOP plays non-stop obstructionism, and then blames the Dems for not getting anything done. The Dems only had 4 months with a filibuster proof majority. The rest of those two years was perpetual GOP filibustering.

    When you say stuff like this -- just makes me think that the GOP faithful are ideological fools. The conservative party /used/ to have a fine tradition.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:33AM (#41627181)

    Obviously your reaction isn't indicative of a typical American reaction, since all the post-debate polls showed Romney won hands down.

    No surprise with Romney's tactics: Americans like to be lied to so they can keep their precious illusions intact. That is a huge part of the reason your country is in such a mess now. A bit of humility and actually getting to grips with reality could place the US firmly back in the 1st world. (Forget about "world leadership". That is and has always been one of these illusions. The ability to destroy something does not imply you lead anything.)

  • by nbauman (624611) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:39AM (#41627227) Homepage Journal

    The best estimates of the number of people GWB killed in the Iraq war are between 150,000 (New England Journal of Medicine) and 600,000 (The Lancet).

    Even Uday wouldn't have killed that many people. Indeed, we probably tortured more Iraqi prisoners to death than Uday did.

    At least Saddam knew how to run a country. Everybody got a basic food basket. The electricity ran. Iraq had the best health care system in the Moslem middle east. Iraq had one of the best education systems -- they had a higher ratio of women college professors than the US. They sent graduate students to study medicine and engineering in London. Saddam was a secularist who suppressed the Islamist extremists. What did GWB replace it with? A third-world country in which armed gangs kill more people than Saddam did. In which Sunnis and Shiites kill each other like the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:46AM (#41627267)

    The vast majority of actual issues are either binary or on a 2 dimensional spectrum

    You've made an unwarranted assumption that everyone will either choose classical left-wing positions on all those issues, or classical right-wing positions. If that were the case, you'd only need two parties. Since it's not, though, you need 2^N parties to represent everyone, where N is the number of binary issues. For the four issues you identified later in your post, you need 2^4 = 16 parties to ensure that everyone can select a candidate who will represent them.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:50AM (#41627307) Homepage Journal

    "We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in."

  • Biden lost hard (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pseudorand (603231) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:00AM (#41627363)

    Am I the only one who though Biden lost hard? He was obviously angry and emotional, but his arguments were almost completely defensive, arguing why Ryan was lying or wrong, but very little criticism of the Romney/Ryan platform. And much of what he said seemed incoherent. Ryan on the other hand kept his cool, made compelling and reasonable-sounding (though possibly completely wrong) arguments. Biden was a cornered animal fighting for his life. Ryan was the fearless hunter who knew he would win in any case.

    And I'm almost always a reliable Democratic voter.

    That said, I don't believe the Romney/Ryan position. Cutting taxes may help the economy, but will disproportionately benefit the rich. Big stock portfolio? It grows with the economy. As the money trickles down, the rich keep their share before the rest of us ever see it. I also don't believe there's enough loopholes to pay for it, so it will increase the deficit in order to hand cash directly to high income earners. I do like the idea of economic growth to inflate our way out of the Social Security/Medicare/Medicade problem, but will congress really not increase payments under those programs as the economy grows? And the slash and burn attitude Romney had towards federal discretionary spending will /hurt/ the economy, possibly more than the tax cuts will help.

    In the end, I think Obama is right. We're in a pickle and we'll have to endure both tax cuts and spending cuts to get out off it. If we focus those on the rich, the poor and middle class will continue to spend and at the very least they won't slow growth too much.

    I still think Biden lost hard though. The only question is whether he did worse or just almost as bad as Obama. I had to do a lot of thinking to decide why I wasn't considering voting republican. I wish I'd voted for Hillary 4.5 years ago now though.

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:00AM (#41627367)

    Can anyone explain how the Romney tax plan works. We've all heard it doesn't add up, so I'll just summarize that below. What I'm looking for are explanations of how it makes sense. I heard Ryan not explain it. He talks about "broadening a base" via eliminating deductions. What does that mean?

    Summary of the tax plan (taken from Romney website):
    1) No AMT, no estate tax
    2) No tax on Dividends, INterest or Cap gains.
    3) cut maximum tax bracket by 20% from bush maximum: that is to say 15% on ordinary income.
    4) Eliminate "most" deductions but keep home mortgage deduction.

    Other bullet points (taken from Romney web page).

    1) wont lower revenues
    2) upper income earners wont pay a smaller "share". (unclear)
    3) won't raise taxes on taxes on middle class. (presumably in aggregate).

    Clear areas lacking explanation:

    Consider that top teir earners pay most of the tax in the US right now and that they earn most of their income from Cap gains not Ordinary income like wages. If you remove the tax on cap gains, then they pay only a few percent on their combined income. This will drastically reduce not just their "share" but strongly imapct total revenue.

    Note that lowering deductions barely affects this analysis. Even if you set the ordinary income tax rate at 110% on the wealthy, the fact that nearly all their income is cap gains means they still pay almost no tax. Furthermore since there is no estate tax, this situation does not correct itself at death.

    SO how can this meet the claims about revenue neutral, not lowering the share of the upper income earners, or not push more taxes on the middleclass.

    I'm looking for explanations not anti romney propganda. And what does "broadening the base" mean if there's no cap gains tax?


  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:10AM (#41627435) Journal

    Strange as it seems, not everyone on /. is a sociopathic Libertarian.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:12AM (#41627449) Homepage Journal

    Actually, some things that are ordinarily fallacies cease to even be fallacies in the context of a political debate. For example, ad hominem attacks are not inherently fallacies in the context of a political debate because the desired outcome of the debate is not to decide whose stated position is right, but rather who would be the better choice for that office.

    A classic example of a non-fallacious fallacy in political debates is the appeal to hypocrisy. Such an appeal is fallacious when used to evaluate the validity of the candidate's position. However, the appeal is not entirely fallacious with regard to the debate as a whole because what actually matters is the way the candidate will likely actually vote, not the way the candidate says he or she will vote.

    In fact, to the degree that a significant number of appeals to hypocrisy can be made against a politician, it usually dooms the candidate in question, and for good reason. If you don't really know where the candidate stands—if he or she says one thing and does another—that person is a really bad choice for any office.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:28AM (#41627533)

    Wait, you're complaining about Romney's dog? What about Obama literally eating a dog???

    What about it? It wasn't his dog, he had no more attachment to it than one might to a hamburger, porkchop, or whatever other meat product is served in a restaurant.

    And yet there are people who keep all sorts of animals as pets. Including pigs and cows.

    Yes, a lot of Americans freak out over the idea of eating dogmeat, but it's part of Indonesian cuisine, and given that Obama was a young child, I don't think we can ascribe to him any responsibility for any cruelty that might have happened to the dog which was eaten by him, if indeed there was any of substance. Which has never been alleged anyway.

    The same cannot be said of Mitt Romney. That was his dog. He was an adult. He transported it on the roof of his car. What kind of person needs to be told not to do that? It's quite different from eating the meat you're served as a child, to which you have no attachment at all.

    Of course, if you're a vegetarian and oppose the eating of meat at all, you're free to do so, however I doubt Mitt Romney is a better choice in that regard. I haven't noticed him favoring Vegetarian ideals, and since he's claimed some association with a certain Pizza company, well, he's actually profited over their work selling meat to the public.

    You may wish to look elsewhere if that's the case with you.

    But don't expect me to not be able to tell the difference between eating meat and how you treat your pet.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:38AM (#41627573)

    The sad truth, if you look at literally every democratic country in the world, is that they all more or less evolve into the same basic sort of scumbag. The details are local, but they're not much different.

  • RUN PAUL!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThorGod (456163) on Friday October 12, 2012 @01:44AM (#41627611) Journal

    Paul is a flaming idiot. He's taken bits and pieces of economic theory and moulded them to comport with his own agenda. Economic theory has the benefit of peer review and scientific method. Paul eschews all of that. His routine is to take the first two or three concepts from some economic theory and veer sharply in the direction of whatever point he wants to make (logical connectives be damned). When he's most honest, he's just 150 years out of date; when he's most dishonest he's just completely out of touch with reality.

    He's actually worse than Romney in that respect. Romney's just flat out lying and no one knows his agenda. Presumably, Romney might be amendable to rational thought if he were to ever be in power. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is genuinely far out in right field. He's so far gone the stadium lights can't even locate him. Only Paul knows where he is at any given moment, and you can bet that's where he intends to stay.

  • by ukemike (956477) on Friday October 12, 2012 @02:54AM (#41627907) Homepage

    The Dems only had 4 months with a filibuster proof majority. The rest of those two years was perpetual GOP filibustering.

    This I don't get. When I was a kid I remember hearing the news using this weird word filibuster. They were showing this wrinkly white haired guy droning on about whatever. He looked a bit rumpled because he'd been at it for hours. It used to be if you wanted to filibuster you needed to hold the floor and have enough votes to prevent a vote to end debate. Filibusters were pretty rare and even a bit of a shocking tactic. It was not frequently done, because you had to both keep talking and keep enough senators supporting the filibuster in the room constantly. Now days it has morphed into something completely different. The senate republicans have used the filibuster for every single vote in the last 4 years. This is a level of obstructionism that literally has no precedence in our history. Effectively the senate rules have been changed to require a 60% majority to pass anything. There are hundreds of appointed positions that have gone unfilled for the entire Obama administration. The republicans used this power to hold our nation's economy and credit rating hostage on multiple occasions to force their minority positions through.

    The senate rules need to change. Filibusters should actually be required to fillibuster.

  • by drkim (1559875) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:02AM (#41627961)

    Obama seems to mostly push things in a better direction.

    Huh? trillion dollar deficits EVERY year in office...

    Yeah. I don't think he got that deficit from Clinton (who left us with a surplus.)

    As I recall, that huge deficit came from Republican, former governor, big businessman Bush.

    You remember Bush? The Republican president that wasn't even invited to the Republican National Convention?

    Of course times have been tough for Obama. He's still cleaning up after Republican, former governor, big businessman Bush.

    Don't worry though... you can vote for Republican, former governor, big businessman Romney. That ought to make things better!

  • by turkeyfish (950384) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:14AM (#41628311)

    "I can't really tell them apart".

    Then, obviously you are not too discriminating.

    Personally, I just couldn't look myself in the mirror if I voted for someone who literally stole people's pensions to make a fortune and who then stashed the loot in the Cayman Islands to shelter it from US taxes then have the kuzpah to run for president as the Mr. "Businessman" and savior of the poor 47%. There simply is no possibility that such a guy could possibly be honest enough to do anything other than turn the US into a banana republic. His recent quid pro quos to sell National Parks and US Forest land in exchange for campaign contributions only proves it.

    The other guy may bumble from time to time, but at least he's far more honest and working on behalf of a larger share of the public.

  • by Vaphell (1489021) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:35AM (#41628377)

    you don't have to be a sociopathic libertarian to know that in the era of aging populations there will never be enough money for hc. The First World simply sweeps the problem under the rug with deficits.
    I live in a country with universal hc (admittedly 2nd world), yet the waiting queues, shortages and quotas make many people that value their time not bother with it, especially when their life is on the line.

  • by dkf (304284) <> on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:54AM (#41628459) Homepage

    you don't have to be a sociopathic libertarian to know that in the era of aging populations there will never be enough money for hc. The First World simply sweeps the problem under the rug with deficits.

    The US's problems with healthcare spending were (and still are) entirely out of proportion with respect to everyone else's. When you're spending approximately double what anyone else is (as a proportion of GDP) and not getting particularly great outcomes for it, something's got to give. (I've also seen comments on slashdot which said that healthcare was being used to create effective indentured servitude; that's Just Plain Wrong if it is true.) Moving towards a universal healthcare system at least starts to align everyone's interests again, and encourage the use of healthcare solutions that reduce costs rather than increasing them.

    The rising costs associated with an aging population are best addressed by requiring people to work longer; if the boomers were to retire at 70, there'd be much less of a problem as they'd be net paying in for much larger proportion of their lives. (OTOH, I can understand why this would be unpopular...)

  • Re:RUN PAUL!? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:01AM (#41628495)

    I tried mentally removing any text of no value from your comment so that I could better comprehend any arguments you may have been making, but no text remained for me to read after I pruned your comment.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:02AM (#41628503)

    You should listen to Romney speak, he kind of gives it away:

    - Eliminate NPR

    I've selected just one of your bullets because it nicely captures overall flavor of your post, and the general level of accuracy.

    Romney doesn't call for NPR, actually PBS, to be eliminated, he thinks there is no reason for the Federal government to supply it with 12% of its budget []. If the Federal government no longer provides PBS with 12% of its budget, what happens? It either finds someone else to replace that money, or it continues to operate at 88% of current funding. So, your post is not only wrong, but grossly misleading. That is pretty much the picture for the rest of your post - false or misleading, at best. I don't know who finds that "informative", but you obviously duped someone.

  • Re:Waste of time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday October 12, 2012 @07:11AM (#41629097) Homepage

    Three other reasons the VP matters:
    1. VP's can end up being the heir apparant after somebody's second term is up e.g. Richard Nixon and Al Gore. (Also off your "died in office" list: Harry Truman)
    2. Vice presidents can and do get involved in the administration of the country, at the direction of the president, and almost always have the presidents' ear if they want it. e.g. Al Gore had a lot to do with Clinton's computing technology initiatives, and Dick Cheney had a lot to do with George W Bush's foreign policy.
    3. For non-incumbents, the VP pick is the first major decision that the candidate makes. Seeing who they pick goes a long way towards seeing how they'd actually govern, rather than how they say they'd govern.

  • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:11AM (#41629831) Journal

    My view is that it can't be health care reform because it makes the problems that it alleges to solve worse. For example, it greatly expands health insurance coverage and subsidizes a bunch of people

    1. If you have a private health service, the vast majority of people will need insurance one way or another. Contrary to the sashdot libertarian group opinion, most people do not earn enough to save sufficient to cover potential costs of even tens, never mind hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    2. Yes, the poor are subsidized by the rich. It is at least a nod towards egalitarianism and fairness.

    3. At some point, you have to choose whether you want a selfish, rightwing, money-obsessed Randian society or a more equal, harmonious one.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:38AM (#41630203)

    Pretty much the same as his predecessor. The 911 attacks were a result of eight years of capitulations by Clinton. The country was in a recession in 2001 and the banks were already running out of control because of changes that were signed into law in 1998.

    And anyone who thinks Romney is the same driver as Bush doesn't have a clue.

  • by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Friday October 12, 2012 @10:38AM (#41631177) Homepage

    By "two years" you actually mean "six months." Senator Al Franken's election was disputed until July 2009, giving the Democrats vote #60 (if you count Joe Lieberman, which I don't). Senator Ted Kennedy died two months later, and when Scott Brown took over in January 2010, it gave the Republicans 41 votes, the number needed to keep a filibuster going.

    Also, there's no filibuster in the House of Representatives.

    Also, senators don't have to vote along party lines, or even be members of a political party. Even a filibuster-proof majority doesn't ensure that the President will always be able to get whatever he wants done. Obama made a concerted effort to get Gitmo closed, and bring the prisoners back to U.S. soil for trial. But cowardly idiots from both sides of the aisle warned that doing so would lead to terror attacks inside the U.S. Too many Democrats chose to demagogue rather than risk being labeled "soft on terror."

    And what was Obama doing instead? Fulfilling other campaign promises. Overhauling health care. Economic stimulus. Supreme Court appointments. Regulating the financial sector (over the mad howlings of Republicans, who even today are promising a "repeal and replace", minus the part where they actually replace). Expand CHIP, ensuring that kids get health care. Clean energy. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Singlehandedly snuck into Pakistan, put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's head, then lit a cigarette and said, "Don't fuck with America." *

    Sorry, but the people who ask why Obama hasn't gotten more done seem to imagine that presidents hold Rasputin-like sway over Congress. I blame the Republicans for filibustering, the Democrats for not pushing harder against the filibuster, Connecticut for electing Joe Lieberman, and Republicans (again) for being utterly amoral and unwilling to compromise with either the Democrats or reality in general.

    * I've heard there's evidence to disprove this account of events, but it's all hidden in Mitt Romney's 2005 tax returns.

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:55PM (#41632941) Homepage Journal

    Romney doesn't call for NPR, actually PBS, to be eliminated,

    He is calling for public subsidies to public broadcasting to be eliminating. This includes both PBS and NPR.

    ...he thinks there is no reason for the Federal government to supply it with 12% of its budget [].

    ...And he's wrong. There is an excellent reason for the Federal government to supply them with money. These stations are non-profits specifically dedicated to public education. I get so sick of this attitude that it's not government's job to promote the general welfare of this country. Go re-read the Constitution sometime, it's in the first sentence.

    Public radio and public television have done more to educate pre-schoolers than any other education program. Here's a list of bullet points that I ran across recently:

    • PBS is the number one source of media content for pre-school teachers.
    • The American public has named PBS the most trusted public institution for nine consecutive years.
    • Children who watched Sesame Street in pre-school spend more time reading for fun in high school and obtain higher grades in English, math, and science.
    • Kids who played the Martha Speaks app for two weeks had a 31% gain in vocabulary tested.
    • Last year, PBS offered more than 500 hours of arts and cultural programming watched by more than 121 million people.
    • While the federal appropriation equals about 15% of the system's revenue, that's an aggregate number. For many PBS stations, including those that serve people who may need it most, this counts for as much as 50%.

    ...And there were a few other bullet points, but you get the idea. Whether you're on the left or the right of center, almost everyone agrees that PBS and NPR are worthwhile.

    But if you cut the federal subsidy, the end result is that a lot of the smaller stations serving poorer areas that can't raise as much money as those in more prosperous areas will go under. Of course, that seems to be the MO of Republicans these days--we want all of our benefits, and to hell with the poor people.

    If the Federal government no longer provides PBS with 12% of its budget, what happens? It either finds someone else to replace that money, or it continues to operate at 88% of current funding.

    As I said above, a lot of stations in poorer areas will go under. You seem to be under the impression that anyone who wants to can just cut their budget by 12%. If you're decently well-off, you probably can, but this is why people like me get so frustrated. You have no idea what it's like when people tell you, "Just cut 12%!" when you're barely scraping by.

    So, your post is not only wrong, but grossly misleading. That is pretty much the picture for the rest of your post - false or misleading, at best. I don't know who finds that "informative", but you obviously duped someone.

    No, the only thing that's misleading is your attempt to justify Romney's brilliant plan to solve our budget problems by eliminating the government subsidy to PBS and NPR. It will most definitely kill its availability in a lot of areas, especially more rural communities and poor communities, the very places where it's needed most.

    You've also effectively proved yet again why people like me get so frustrated at Republicans. Look, I understand we have a large deficit. I'm not oblivious to the fact that we're overspending in this country. But why is Romney picking on public broadcasting? I've heard the rationale that, well, you have to go after everything--everyone has to tighten their belts. But it's just awful convenient that to Republicans, everyone having to tighten their belts means that poor and middle class people, p

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