Backchannel the Town Hall Presidential Debate

Backchannel the Town Hall Presidential Debate

Jason Russell
on Oct 15, 2012

Join us on Tuesday, October 16th during the second presidential debate of the 2012 election season to discuss the issues, candidates, and positions.

Participants (17) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-05-30T07:12:32+00:00
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Recent Activity

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 21, 2012
"Alex - regarding the restraining of McMansions in Pepper Pike, I can't speak for RPI or NEOSCC,..."
Alex Keleman
on Oct 20, 2012
"Energy Dept. answer to high gas prices: "Take the bus."  Good week to be promoting that message..."
Alex Keleman
on Oct 20, 2012
"No, it isn't the Energy Dept.'s job to regulate Energy, but apparently IS their job to tell..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012
"Here's an interactive fact checking transcript.  I have not verified that I agree with all the..."
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 17, 2012
"I woke up and thought about this during my commute.  I think, from a biased perspective, that..."
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 17, 2012
"Right. I knew it was the right space.  I meant the actual debate."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012
"You're almost as naughty as my friend was for saying it in the first place..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 17, 2012
"Sounds like a sobriety game..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012
"Not only that, but his record in Massachussets - and, yes, even the binders full of women - is..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"From the FB status of a friend of mine: "New drinking game: spot the black or Hispanic person..."
Aaron Calafato
on Oct 16, 2012
"I was hoping for more direct and detailed conversation about student debt crisis by either..."

Likely to change your mind?

Aaron Calafato has participated in this Vote

on Oct 16, 2012

Aaron Calafato
on Oct 16, 2012
"Weird, Yeah especially in that county. Relatively uneven.  "
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"By the way, Doug, I was at a conference in Seattle the last few days and two folks from Jefferson..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"And here is a transcript of the debate: ..."
Doug Oplinger
on Oct 16, 2012
"I noticed the lack of African Americans. Backed up the video a few times because I was struck by..."

Likely to change your mind?

Christopher Diehl has participated in this Vote

on Oct 16, 2012

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"Jo Ingles points out on twitter the same as what Taryn did too re: wives' dress"
Doug Oplinger
on Oct 16, 2012
"My daughter, who is an opinionated married mom, posted on Facebook the following. I love my..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"Sure, if it makes you feel better :) Another board I spend time on gets really bent out of shape..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"Could that just make me trite rather than uncivil she asked with a smile?"
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"Good point.  Were the boys wearing pink ties?  (I didn't notice.)"
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"Al Sharpton on MSNBC specifically points out lack of diversity. Also, here is a video of the..."
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012
"It is breast cancer awareness month :-). "
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"Perhaps a bit.  Only in that it focuses on fashion rather than substance, and fashion shouldn't..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012
"Is it uncivil to note that Michele and Ann are wearing the same color dress?"
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"Darn.  Too busy multi-tasking again (actually it is the head spinning thing, but multi-tasking is..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012
"So let's get busy and figure out how to care for those in the depths of poverty, or stricken by..."
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012
"Oh, Obama did rope a dope...saved the big hit on the 43% for last, slick."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012
"Interesting that Obama isn't bothering to mention the huge misperceptions about him that still..."
Aaron Calafato
on Oct 16, 2012 - 11:22 pm

I was hoping for more direct and detailed conversation about student debt crisis by either candidate. No talk of For Profit schools, private lenders, fundamentally reforming how we fund higher education. Romney continued to mention the 53% of graduates unemployed, but never addressed HR4170 the Student Loan Forgiveness Act (Which we helped introduce and is sitting in the education commitee in DC with no movement). If the center of the debate is on Jobs, and Higher Ed is connected with millions of jobs, business, and innovation; then it is imperative that we SERIOUSLY address the 1 trillion dollars student debt crisis.

 

Responses(1)

Ben Schmitt
on Oct 17, 2012

I woke up and thought about this during my commute.  I think, from a biased perspective, that Obama stooped to Romney's level.   I'm sure it was calculated.  In some ways, it is more embarrassing than the first debate becasue they both looked like a couple of idiots, interrupting and arguing with each other.

 
Expand This Thread

Responses(1)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012

Here's an interactive fact checking transcript.  I have not verified that I agree with all the conclusions - but at a minimum it is a reputable source and a good start.

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:50 pm

Al Sharpton on MSNBC specifically points out lack of diversity. Also, here is a video of the debate for those interested 

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nbc-news/49442088#49442088

 

Responses(6)

Doug Oplinger
on Oct 16, 2012

I noticed the lack of African Americans. Backed up the video a few times because I was struck by that and wanted to confirm my first impressions. There was one camera angle that showed all white men probably over 50. There appeared to be good representation of other minorities, though.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

By the way, Doug, I was at a conference in Seattle the last few days and two folks from Jefferson Action made sure to tell me how wonderful you've been with them and their work.

 
Aaron Calafato
on Oct 16, 2012

Weird, Yeah especially in that county. Relatively uneven.

 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

From the FB status of a friend of mine: "New drinking game: spot the black or Hispanic person among the studio audience in the Presidential debate."

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 17, 2012

Sounds like a sobriety game...

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012

You're almost as naughty as my friend was for saying it in the first place...

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:42 pm

Is it uncivil to note that Michele and Ann are wearing the same color dress?

 

Responses(6)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Perhaps a bit.  Only in that it focuses on fashion rather than substance, and fashion shouldn't be what is important.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Could that just make me trite rather than uncivil she asked with a smile?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Sure, if it makes you feel better :)Another board I spend time on gets really bent out of shape that commentary about women tends to focus a lot more on looks than on substance.

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012

It is breast cancer awareness month :-). 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Good point.  Were the boys wearing pink ties?  (I didn't notice.)

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Jo Ingles points out on twitter the same as what Taryn did too re: wives' dress

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:36 pm

I got 98% of my people in Mass insured - but the same thing is evil as part of a national plan.  **sigh**

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

its wierd the way political candidates grow so comfortable with their own hypocrisy and their own contradictions. 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Oh, Obama did rope a dope...saved the big hit on the 43% for last, slick.

 
Expand This Thread
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:35 pm

Romney says Government doesn't make jobs, so how come both candidate run on a platform of creating jobs?

 

Responses(4)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Good point.

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 16, 2012

Lol...Right!!

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Romney sidestepped why he made the 47% comment and what it meant, but he did it very effectively. But his argument, the government doesn't create jobs, I'll create jobs, doesn't make sense.

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Excellent. Observation.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:34 pm

I really like this final question about misperceptions. 

 

Responses(4)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Romney says he cares about 100 percent of America's people and that he believes in God, we're all children of the same God and that we're meant to care for one another.  

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

So let's get busy and figure out how to care for those in the depths of poverty, or stricken by illnesses that no one can afford, or all the others who need a safety net.  I think he is forgetting this part of his Bible:  Matthew 25:40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Interesting that Obama isn't bothering to mention the huge misperceptions about him that still persist. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Darn.  Too busy multi-tasking again (actually it is the head spinning thing, but multi-tasking is a good excuse).  I keep missing things.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:29 pm

Folks, before the debate ends, do us a favor, scroll back to the top and click on "Take Action" where you can participate in a quick vote about the election. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:29 pm

I'm loving this virtual living room!

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

And one more debate to go!

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:28 pm

Its true China manipulates its currency, but we invented that game.  We are the world reserve currency and we set the rules.

 

Responses(1)

Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Canada!  The reason they have lower firm taxes is because they have national health care, not paid for by companies.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:21 pm

Pretty sure Romney just lost the single mom vote. 

 

Responses(10)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

I think he wrote that demo off.

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes, can't believe/acutally I can believe how he just knocked down single family households....

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I'm afraid that these responses of his continue to support notions of him being out of touch with a average Americans.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

But neither of these two are anywhere near as strong as they should be when it comes to guns.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Darn.  I missed whatever it was multi-tasking.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Maybe the solution is to arm single mothers.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

You have my support, good sir.

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Seem on twitter: "Guns are bad because get married, lady."

 
Doug Oplinger
on Oct 16, 2012

My daughter, who is an opinionated married mom, posted on Facebook the following. I love my daughter.

Here is my challenge to all of my Facebook friends: call at least one of your elected officials weekly and ask them about what they are doing to help their constituents. Don't let them give you a party line - really hold each of your elected officials accountable. As long as we only rely on news that caters to our own particular political views and we fail to follow what is actually happening at all levels of government, we will continue to be bombarded with negative campaign ads and politicians who care more about keeping their jobs, instead of doing their jobs. I'm over the arguments on both sides. I'm over the ads. In the real world, we all have to get along to get our jobs done, and in the real world, we have to solve problems when they arise, instead of waiting until we can shift the blame to someone else. Our country has real problems that need real solutions. Regardless of your political beliefs, lets all vow to personally hold our politicians accountable for their decisions. Not just on Election Day - but every single day.

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:19 pm

Obama on guns sounds like NRA.

 

Responses(3)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I wrote a whole series about Sunday in the Park with Guns when the Natonal park guns rider passed. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Unfortunately, yes.  Another Quaker friend of mine continuously challenges any pacifist who supports Obama, because of statements like this - and the near glee with which he touts the death of Osama bin Laden.  I can't really argue with my friend.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Loving that candy just asked Romney why he changed his mind on assault weapons. I think he just said he would push for a sensible bipartisan assault weapons ban. But would he, really?

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:10 pm

Libya!  But why is the debate about tacitcal issues, protection, and so on.  and not about the decision to intervene in the first place?  there's not much difference on the big decisions.

 

Responses(10)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

we should note that Pres. Obama didn't answer the question at all. ThinkProgress quotes an interesting piece from the NYTimes debunking the basis of the question. So, he could have answered the question. 

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

how is an attack on US government official and military people a "terrorist" attack?  when we do that, its a surgical operation.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Doesn;t the al qaeda connection make it "terrorism?"   

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

My you're provocativce tonight!  I like it!

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Very true, Pete. The State and Defense departments have an institutional point-of-view that is often stronger than any particular administration, right?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

and on your other point, though, Romney is bringing these issues up, tho I have no idea what he means by an "apology tour." It seemed like that moment was more about building bridges. 

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

I think that is the expected sort of disingenuous argument that most candidates engage in during the election season. I don't think Romney believes it himself, but it plays to a certain segment.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

He has sad before that Obama has presented the US as weak by apologizes for what we have done in the past.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

We should also note that Paul Ryan voted to cut expenditures for overseas security.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

determining what happens in an overseas tragedy is not a Beat the Clock proposition regarding how long it takes to figure it out - I reject the discussions that try to make people think that it is

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:07 pm

Romney is turning a question about immigration into Chinese investments?

 

Responses(4)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

I know, that was weird, wasn't it? I'm not even sure how he did that. And he never really explained his self-deportation stance.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Why not - it is a way to bring in the Illinois Public Retirement System which is, by the way, entirely different from the investments made on behalf of a single individual via a blind trust.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Ok - that is a comment I really wish we were in the same room and could see you say that. :)

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

They're all foreigners. Why distinguish? [irony alert]

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:06 pm

Romney:  Wants to rely on E-verify - an incredibly inaccurate.  (Quick cite grab, I have not verified the details)

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:02 pm

We are a nation of immigrants.  And we imprison more people per capita than any other country and most of those people are minorities and immigrants.  Welcome to America!

 

Responses(2)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Prisons are big business and they must be filled.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Not only minorities and immigrants, but the original residents of this country before we "discovered" it.

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 10:01 pm

Is Romney unaware that employment verification is already in place?  (I-9 - my father and his employer were part of a case challenging it (because of the possibility for discriminatory implementation) by refusing to complete the form perhaps a decade ago.)

 

Responses(2)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Oops...time flies...it was two decades ago.

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:58 pm

Regarding Romney saying that every woman should have access to contraception, he actually supported the Blunt Amendment which would have expanded conscience exemptions that corporations and others could make to prevent access.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/birth-control-exemption-bill-the-blunt-amendment-killed-in-senate/2012/03/01/gIQA4tXjkR_story.html

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:53 pm

So I have heard this a couple times. Is using the savings from the ending of the wars to rebuild America a smart tactic when we have increasing deficits?

 

Responses(2)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

One of the points that Republicans used to make is that growth is the way to overcome debt.  They were right then and it's still right.  Growth requires that we don't starve the engine while the train is regaining speed.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Agreed, growth is needed.  But what generates growth?  That's the debate. 

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:53 pm

Obama - Doing now what he failed to do in the first debate - list what he has accomplished in his first term.

 

Responses(2)

Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

yeah, this seems well practised obama hits.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

At least he is reciting them...

 
Expand This Thread
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:50 pm

China..spying on its own folk.  is that not what this administration does? 

 

Responses(1)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes - one of the things I am most disappointed about.

I'm mostly a one issue voter - health care.  Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in either candidate with respect to dealing responsibly in a diplomatic way with unrest around the world.

 
Expand This Thread
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:50 pm

Is Romney being disrespectful with his demanding interuptions? Or is that just considered "passionate" when it comes from him?

 

 

Responses(7)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Personally - I think it is rude when anyone does it.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

And now I'm yelling at my speaker for President Obama to shut up.  I guess that is probably rude, too.  At least he can't hear me.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

As contrasted with Joe Biden and interrupting?

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes, in contrast with VP Joe Biden.

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012

I agree Nancy

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Interrupting is always tough and doesn't look good. Is it ok for a moderator to interrupt? Do they get different rules?

 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes - they are charged with keeping time, and there is not much alternative but to interrupt.  It should be done politely, but firmly - likely with a reminder that the parties agreed to the timing.  (I think)

 
Expand This Thread
Christopher Diehl
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:49 pm

Wonderful!  Let's talk about Bush...let's discuss what drove the deficit spending in the first place

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:48 pm

Romney has now asserted at least four times, "I know how to create jobs" Doth he protest too much?

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Presidents don't create jobs. The levers of the executive branch are extremely limited. The bully pulpit can only go so far.

 

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:46 pm

GREAT QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE! How is Romney different than Bush?

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:45 pm

Fear of return to Bush policies. This should be very interesting. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:45 pm

Quick check in: how do we think Candy Crowley's doing?

 

Responses(7)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

I think she's doing well, but she didn't establish her authority and toughness early, in the way that Martha smartly did.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Getting run over a bit.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I confess to sighing when I saw that there is still almost 45 mins left

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

sigh of relief or sadness or regret?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I thought that more time had gone by so I think I think it feels slow - I don't think that is probably good

 
Mike Shafarenko
on Oct 16, 2012

I think she's doing the best she can in light of the pressure being put on her. And, these interruptions are mild compared to Uncle Joe's. 

 
Chaundra Monday
on Oct 16, 2012

I think she's ok. But not amazing. The best moderator by far over the course of these debates was Martha Raddatz.

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Obama - nice tie in to women's health issues.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:40 pm

Romney needs to answer pay equity not job discrimination. Please tell me that he understands the difference.

 

Responses(10)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

He is justifying pay inequity on women's desire to be more flexible. This is a falsehood.

http://www.ellenbravo.com/myths_realities.htm

 
Christopher Diehl
on Oct 16, 2012

If you listen to the debate as if it's music, both have an identical cadence.  Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and even Mike Huckebee have a voice that has a different cadence that demands attention because its more enjoyable to listen to.

Speaking about women and his daughters, I feel that Obama is now finding his true voice...finally!

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

very interesting observation / thank you!

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Christopher, spoken like a true public radio fan.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

And it is disturbingly like George Bush's.

It always drove me nuts that it seemed he was reading cue cards and paused at the end of the line, whether there should logically be a pause there - so I cringe when I hear similar pauses when President Obama speaks.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

good point

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Hear hear, Jill and Pete.

 
Chaundra Monday
on Oct 16, 2012

Romney's answer on women was beyond abysmal. He did not offer a SINGLE point on actual POLICY.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 17, 2012

Not only that, but his record in Massachussets - and, yes, even the binders full of women - is apparently more fiction than fact.

 
Expand This Thread
Mike Shafarenko
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:38 pm

A question about women, hurrah! 

 

Responses(7)

Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

probably the most impactful thing any pres can do in gender equity is supreme court appointments.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

that would be novel. 

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012

Of course Massachusetts has great women and many in leadership positions! 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

I was thinking the same thing, T. Just call the Wellesley alumni office...

 
Mike Shafarenko
on Oct 16, 2012

Taryn, you don't happen to be from MA ... :)

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

It would be really interesting if Romney actually acknowledged that the Ledbetter bill was worthwhile and good thing. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Wasn't that question to Romney about women...and didn't he get lost along the way somwhere?

 
Expand This Thread
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:36 pm

Running a balanced state budget is a constitutional requirement. How is that something to boast about? Does the average voter know that?

 

Responses(6)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Almost certainly not.

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012

Unfortunately I'm not sure they do. Run a state, especially one like Massachusetts, is very different from running an entire country. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I'd also say that having seen local budgets up close, all kinds of transfers go on all year long to make things balance - submitting/approving a balanced budget? That is not the challenge. Paying for what you need to do with the revenues you receive - that is the challenge.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Another unspoken point is that running a government, particularly a large country, is nothing like running a business. A business does not have a congress or a senate or have to answer to customers who are actually the employers.

 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

And a business is not chareged with the welfare of its employees - it is charged with making a profit for its owners (which includes eliminating employees if that serves the shareholder's needs).

You can't just eliminate citizens when they are inconvenient.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

right. the reason a nation can run a deficit is to be able to get out of a recession. 

 
Expand This Thread
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:34 pm

Obama says: "We haven't heard any specifics from Gov. Romney, other than Big Bird."  Calls his plan a "sketchy deal."  Adds: "The math doesn't add up."

 

Responses(1)

Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012

What an amazing phrase, our President just said sketchy. I'd like to hear how the math adds up. 

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:34 pm

Big bird.  'Nuf said.

 
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Romney says: "This has been a disappointment.  We can do better than this." Talking about last four years.  "We don't have to live like this."  Again, mentions a 5-point plan. 

 
Taryn Gress
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Governor Romney is not interested in cutting taxes for people at the top of the tax bracket? If he is interested in middle class taxes, what does he consider middle class? 

 

Responses(4)

Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

The big issue neither man wants to talk about is that inequality in the US is the highest in our history and a poor man's chance of moving up the income bracket is worse in this country than any other developed democracy. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I was never a John Edwards person but the two Americas thing was accurate.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Poor john edwards...ok, he was a jerk but right about some things

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

If you simplify the tax code, somebody pays more and somebody pays less, or there is no change and it is therefore without purpose. All it does is put a few accountants out of work.

 
Expand This Thread
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:26 pm

How many lower & middle income individuals have the cash to spend in order to be able to use $25,000 worth of deductions/credits?

 

Responses(10)

Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

Right, you can only get deductions if you expend the money.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Exactly,  we only tax income not wealth. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Thank you - I thought the exact same thing.

 
Lisa Canter
on Oct 16, 2012

Cutting capital gains is a tax cut for the wealthy.  Im not thinkinga shareholders need a tax cut - am I missing something?

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

You picked up on that too? The middle class does not care about capiltal gains. It doesn't affect us. He didn't address some of the tax credits/deductions such as child, mortgage, and charity that directly affect the middle class.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

did someone mention poverty?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

This line of response from Romney I believe shows him out of touch with average American financial stats. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

We need an economist in this conversation. I wonder if we generally agree about simplifying the tax system. It would be nice, right? But practically speaking, does either Obama or Romney have the ability to reform the tax code to the extent that Romney is implying? How many lobbyists and the small businesses and big businesses, special interests all, that they represent would be sidelined in that? Would they just allow that? I find that hard to believe.  

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Agreed. This is part of why the failure to implement Simpson Bowles is such a missed opportunity.

 
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Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:25 pm

In the 1950s the top marginal tax rate was 90%.  the good ol days...

 

Responses(7)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Did he just say $25,000 in deductions?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

I think I heard that, but he said it was a number out of thin air. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes - but the number he pulls out of the air is indicative of how out of touch he is with the 47%.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Deductions or credits - both of which require that you have that much money to spend.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

My 12 year olds have now lost interest in the debate...

 
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012

My 9-year-old is hanging in.  My 12-year-old checked out.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

My daughter asked me to tell her in the morning which things people "were like, what the...?!"

 
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Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:23 pm

Romney is slick but he is coming off as a bit of a bully.  Not sure how that plays with voters.  Obama says: "Candy, I'm used to being interrupted."

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:23 pm

Romney trying to tell Obama "you will have your chance" and then trying to tell Candy what she will do / does anyone else have trouble with that?

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Yes, Jill.  Sadly, I think Obama should have met that aggression with aggression. That's how TV works, for better or worse.

 
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Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:21 pm

North American energy independence = Keystone pipeline.  Right across this relatively unblemished part of our country.  One spill and this beautiful country will never be the same.  And the portion alreeady built is leaking like a sieve.

Full disclosure - that's my backyard.

 

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Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

so both support coal, gas, and oil.  how about a different perspective...like tax the heck out of these industries or nationalize them? 

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:21 pm

Here is a better question. Are we entitled to cheap energy? Is that a right the government needs to provide?

 

Responses(1)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Politically, the assumption is that most citizens think the answer is yes. It would take a deliberate and extended effort to change that assumption.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:17 pm

Romney just blamed Obama's administration for enforcing regulations. He implied that the "migratory bird act" isn't worth enforcing. How do you decide which regulations are worth enforcing? Actually, i kind of think once you decide on regulations they should be enforced.  

 

Responses(1)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

And the sandhill cranes are protected by that act - and, as you might imagine, the name has a direct relation to the route of the pipeline.

 
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Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:15 pm

Just saw a tweet that says the crowd is not racially diverse.  

 

Responses(5)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Ben - I believe I heard that the audience is composed of 80 undecideds. I will see if I can find a link to how they were selected.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Nassau county isn't racially diverse. It's about 70 percent white, the rest split b/w Latino and African American. And, given that Nassau County is on Long Island--heavily Democratic-- it would be hard to find undecided voters of color. 

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

I just took note of that. I will be more interested in the people that ask the questions.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Thank you for pointing that out!

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:12 pm

How can we belive in a free market system and then expect the government to step in when prices are too high?

 

Responses(6)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

that's a great question, J. More like a great point. I will say that Obama hasn't answered the question, but in this case he shouldn't, because it's the wrong question. But he should explain that it's not the right question.

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

Hi all!

Jason, there is no such thing as a "free market."  All markets rely on politics and political insitutions to operate.  The question is, who benifits from the policies.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

Good point Pete. Our markets are very much intertwined with the political scene. How will Wall Street react to the presidential results?

 
Pete Moore
on Oct 16, 2012

I think Wall Street plays both sides, and since we only have two...its win, win, win, win...

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Pete--it's great to see you here. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

So in this format, should Romney be answering the original question or no? 

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Is it the job of the energy department to lower gas prices? Question goes to Obama

 

Responses(6)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

Personally, I have never thought price control was part of the energy dept but I recall when that department was created.

 
Alex Keleman
on Oct 20, 2012

No, it isn't the Energy Dept.'s job to regulate Energy, but apparently IS their job to tell Americans how they are expected to live for as Mr. Whitehead so elloquently put it on WKYC this week "the collective good."

A blogger on Streetblog posted the following after the debate. My comments follow.

 

At last night’s presidential debate in Nassau County, the best opening for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to talk about transportation policy came when undecided voter Phillip Tricolla asked the following question of the President:

QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?

Let’s imagine the contours of the straightforward, leveling-with-America response that never came:

OBAMA: Yes, I do agree with Secretary Chu that it is not the job of the Energy Department to lower gas prices, any more than it’s the job of the Commerce Department to lower the price of tin or cotton.

But there’s a lot we can do to become more resilient in the face of oil price shocks. We can give people real transportation choices — invest more in transit, and in making our streets safer – so you aren’t forced to burn a gallon of gas every time you need to pick up some groceries.

My administration has started us down a smarter path with the Sustainable Communities Initiative and the Department of Transportation’s TIGER program. These programs are laying the groundwork for a 21st Century transportation system that makes our communities more productive and efficient while reducing our addiction to oil. If we make these investments, not only will we free ourselves from constantly worrying about prices at the pump, we’ll also stave off the disaster of climate change and prevent the kind of droughts and other extreme weather events that are battering America.

 

 

 

Yes, by all means, please level with America! Prefereable while you are running for office and not AFTER you are elected.

 

I'm waiting for any of the elected officials involved with RPI or NEOSCC to tell us, like Tom Brokaw said this week, that we need to turn away from our McMansions and lower our expectations. See how that plays in Peoria, or Pepper Pike for that matter.

 

 

 
Alex Keleman
on Oct 20, 2012

Energy Dept. answer to high gas prices: "Take the bus."  Good week to be promoting that message in Beachwood  and Greater Cleveland!  New RTA message: "Higer gas prices got down, take RTA. Just watch for that wicked uppercut."

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 21, 2012

Alex - regarding the restraining of McMansions in Pepper Pike, I can't speak for RPI or NEOSCC, and I'm not sure how many elected officials are actually engaged in either effort at the present time, but we have a charter amendment on the ballot this November that will allow the city council to initiate zoning code changes via ordinances rather than ballot initiatives and the mayor has specifically cited the desire to curb McMansion proliferation. So you might want to speak with him about your query here. I'm not sure why you think that Pepper Pike property owners prefer McMansions but again, speaking for myself, almost every time I've heard the residents mention overly large homes on too small plots, it's been overwhelmingly negative. Perhaps you are thinking of Solon or Sagamore Hills or Orange Village style developments?

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012

Its not the government's job to control prices. We are at the whim of the free market.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I more or less agree with you re: not controlling but I think the entire system related to energy is an easily manipulated system because it is so far-flung across its production and consumption.

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:10 pm

Candy follows up asking what about jobs for those looking now. Romney uses time to say that jobs haven't been created and that he will create 12 million jobs. Now he is addressing charges of letting Detroit go bankrupt - frankly I didn't understand what he was saying. Now Obama is challenging Romney's comments. Hmmm - does this defeat purpose of a townhall? What do people think?

 

Responses(1)

Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012

Candy moving it along.  Romney tried to jump in.  She did not let it happen.

 
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Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:10 pm

Romney striking back with the Detroit comment: Pretty slick.  However, Obama is strong, so far.  No "ums"... so far.

 
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:07 pm

Obama immediately on the attack, referencing Detroit and Romney's wish to let it go bankrupt.

 

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Lisa Canter
on Oct 16, 2012

I am so tired of the talk about the past 4 years no jobs being on Obamas head. 

 
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Jim Dixon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:07 pm

So far, I am encouraged that the level of the sophistication of the debate will exceed that of the commentary on the Yankees/Tigers game.  I may switch channels if that changes!

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:07 pm

I would like to hear a list of what Gov Romney knows when he says he knows what it takes to be sure there are jobs for the college graduate. I hope that Obama gives specifics and if Romney gets more time on this question, I would like specifics.

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:05 pm

Addressing the young generation first. Can young people support themselves after accumulating so much college debt?Do we address college funding and finance first?Or a combination of job growth and college finance reform?

 

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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

It's got to be a "both and" approach. Fix college funding and work on new jobs. Neither candidate has talked about entrepreneurial support. Chances are there won't be jobs in the way we've known them. Increasingly, we're being asked to make our own jobs. So, the question then becomes how do we support workers in an economy based on 1099 labor?

 
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Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:04 pm

My daughter, Chloe, pointed out the time clock

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

they're clever those little guys. What are you listening for tonight, Ben?

 
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Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Anyone have a reliable site for streaming?  Every place I've tried so far is breaking up badly.  :(

 

Responses(5)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

PBS? C-Span?

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Thanks - I've now found ABC out of Omaha, Nebraska.  PBS kept stopping to catch up with itself.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Darn it.  That station tanked to.  Guess I'll just listen - but I'll miss the funny faces.

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

try youtube, nancy. It's working fine. My TV is breaking up, so I sympathize.

 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 16, 2012

Now watching it via the Washington Post on a smaller "screen."

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 8:59 pm

What questions do YOU hope are a part of the debate tonight?

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

I'm hoping for some deep conversation about education and climate change. We haven't yet heard anything about global climate change. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012

Gotta say, I've got a good feeling about this format.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 16, 2012 - 8:58 pm

Quick Reminders: REFRESH often. Got something in need of a fact check? tag it FACT CHECK

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012 - 6:48 pm

I'd love to hear people's hopes for how Candy Crowley will deliver on her role. For background, read Candy Crowley's Role Settled.

 

Responses(2)

Daryl Rowland
on Oct 16, 2012

Viewer reaction to the moderator seems to hinge on how well one's preferred candidate fares, right?

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 16, 2012

I hope not! Not here on the Commons. I am going to be a model of Commons behavior tonight. Or die trying.

 
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Ben Schmitt
on Oct 15, 2012 - 2:03 pm

I'm looking forward to some FACTS and CIVILITY.  I guess I've come to the wrong place if I'm expecting that in the debate and/or the campaigns.

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 15, 2012

no, you're in the right place--that's what you get here, brother!

 
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 17, 2012

Right. I knew it was the right space.  I meant the actual debate.

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 15, 2012 - 12:13 pm

With just three weeks until Election Day, what are you looking forward to each of candidates speaking about?What are the issues that haven't been discussed that you would like to know more about?