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Libertarians Lose Case to Block Presidential Debate

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the frivolosity dept.

The Courts 153

PMoonlite writes "As a followup to the previous Slashdot story, the judge ruled in favor of the Commission on Presidential Debates, refusing a restraining order on the basis of the doctrine of laches (unfairness due to delay of suit) and public interest, but allowing the Libertarians the possibility of seeking damages. So the debate will go forth at Arizona State University with only two of the three candidates on the state ballot."

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153 comments

Does this shock anyone? (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507473)

While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled? And make no mistake that's exactly what would have happened. There's no way Bush or Kerry's people would let them debate w/Badnarik.

Of course it probably would have been worse off for Bush then Kerry. I doubt that the LP gains many converts from the Democrats. I can see them stealing away Republicans who aren't happy with Bush (deficits, big government, erosion of civil liberties). A three person debate also seems to focus all of the attacks on the incumbent -- look at poor H.W. Bush being attacked from both sides by Perot.

In any case even the court agreed that it was in the public interest to allow the debate to proceed: "No restraining order, because of the doctrine of latches, and that there appears to be sufficient public purpose for this debate".

As far as damages go -- what damages? Can the LP put a dollar figure on the damage? Can they show that if allowed into the debates they would have won (or even gotten 5% for Federal funding)? I doubt it -- then again IANAL.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (5, Interesting)

not_a_witch (813149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507508)

No, I am not shocked; however, I do believe that a disservice has been done to the American people by NOT blocking the debate. The judge provided flimsy rationale for overlooking the unconstitutional use of taxpayer money to support two of the three candidates on the Arizona balance. (That is against the Arizona constitution.) The debate never would have been cancelled. It might have been postponed and moved to a private place, but a precident has been set. It is now ok to use taxpayer dollasr to get the current politicians reelected.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507597)

The debate never would have been cancelled. It might have been postponed and moved to a private place, but a precident has been set. It is now ok to use taxpayer dollasr to get the current politicians reelected.

Do you really think so? I'm not so sure. Why wouldn't Bush Co. take the chance to get out of the last debate that focuses on his weak suit (Domestic Policy) where Kerry will probably clean his clock (again)?

And I refuse to buy the argument that the debates are just Bush and Kerry spewing the stump speeches, party lines and canned answers. While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

Whether you or right-wing, left-wing, centrist, committed voter or not the debates are useful and they are apparently making an impact. If Bush loses this election I would expect history to look at the first debate as the reason why.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

einTier (33752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507767)

Yeah, it's about like listening to a debate about the differences between Windows XP home and Windows XP pro. Sure they're different, but wouldn't you like to hear about Linux as well?

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Insightful)

wayne606 (211893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508402)

This is more like "Linux and Windows have a lot in common - wouldn't you like to hear about the Lisp Machine's OS"?

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Funny)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508686)

And I refuse to buy the argument that the debates are just Bush and Kerry spewing the stump speeches, party lines and canned answers. While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

Reminds of the old line:

If you want get ahead in politics, you've got to have sincerity. Once you can fake that, you can do anything.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

dh003i (203189) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509806)

oh please, these debates are meaningless politic-babble. Bush and Kerry are essentially the same: lots and lots and lots of government telling people how to run their lives. The difference between Bush and Kerry is that Bush think's Bush should run everyone elses' lives, while Kerry thinks Kerry should run everyone elses' lives. Let's look at some of Kerry's idiocies: he's said that Bush was mistaken on the war in Iraq, but that he's going to continue the very same mistaken policy. He's also wrongly supported the war on Afghanistan. What a pathetic cop-out.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509855)

While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

I got a good laugh (as did several friends on both sides of the aisle) at Bush's response to the timber ownership point Kerry brought up. "I own a timber company? That's news to me. ... Need some wood?"

A nice, light-hearted moment in the midst of some otherwise strained (in several ways) responses. (Yes, I know the facts about the trust and technicalities of the law. It was still worth a chuckle.)

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Funny)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510972)


If Bush loses this election I would expect history to look at the first debate as the reason why.

If Bush loses this election, it's because of his debate performance and not all the past four years of his administration's BS?

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

jwbing (447164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511044)

Whether you or right-wing, left-wing, centrist, committed voter or not the debates are useful and they are apparently making an impact.

The fact that you mention right-wing, left-wing, centrist, just goes to show the problem. I am not right-wing, i am not left-wing, and I am not centrist. I am a libertarian, and am not being allowed to have my party candidate participate in a national debate setting. People treat anyone that is not Republican or Democrat like they are some political radical. That's simply not true. The fact that alternative parties are able to be purposely and knowingly excluded shows just how much America needs an alternative to be in power.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (4, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507663)

This rationale has been used in the SCOTUS decision Bush v. Gore.

7 out of 9 justices believed there was a violation of the equal protection clause in that ballots were counted differently in different counties. 4 out of 9 believed it was aggregious enough to extend the deadline past the mandated day for election results.

In short, there should have been a full recount, but there simply wasn't enough time to get it done.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509797)

It is now ok to use taxpayer dollars to get the current politicians reelected.

Isn't that pretty much the working definition of "annual budget"?

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Insightful)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507512)

It wouldn't necessarily have been worse for bush. IF Badnarik had been successful in the debate, AND in the general election, it is possible he would have gained enough votes to take electors, and putting the election before the House where the Republicans are likely to be in control again this year... Win-win IMO.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507551)

It wouldn't necessarily have been worse for bush. IF Badnarik had been successful in the debate, AND in the general election, it is possible he would have gained enough votes to take electors, and putting the election before the House where the Republicans are likely to be in control again this year... Win-win IMO.

And in what state do you think he could have captured a plurality of the vote? I'm not bashing your point -- I'm just wondering. Even if he absolutely crushed Bush or Kerry -- what state could he get a plurality in?

And I doubt that Bush wants to be reelected by a bitterly divided House of Representatives. It would be even less of a mandate then he has now. Not that he wouldn't take it anyway but I'm sure that isn't his "win-win" scenario.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Interesting)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507641)

I believe that within both parties is at least a plurality and possibly a majority that wants to select other than the evil of two lessers. Given that Most of Badnariks votes will come from undecideds, burnouts and others not interested in kerry and only slightly less disinterested in bush, personally I like bush, but as a small l libertarian, I would like to see MUCH smaller government and IMO we(the US) are due for one of the two parties to die. which dies depends on whether the green, libertarian or reform party is that new party. If he appeared(since he won't be appearing) credible I think we could see turnouts approaching 50% of eligible registered voters. All he needs is ~20% of voters to like him and turn out.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507726)

believe that within both parties is at least a plurality and possibly a majority that wants to select other than the evil of two lessers.

I can't help but disagree with this statement. Perhaps as somebody with libertarian views you are dissatisfied with Bush. I know lots of republicans that are. Especially in the Northeast (we don't have too many religious-right types around here -- Republicans up here usually stand for small-government and fiscal responsibility).

But I can't buy that a majority of Democrats aren't happy with Kerry. We had a field of ten people to choose from. Voters overwhelmingly choose Kerry. They are behind him. I see the "Lesser of two evils" argument from the non-committed voters -- not from a "plurality of the Democratic party".

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Informative)

mec (14700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510697)

But I can't buy that a majority of Democrats aren't happy with Kerry

Here is a New York Times / CBS poll with some interesting data for you.

NYT Article [nytimes.com]

Click on the "Multimedia: Interactive Feature -- Complete Results" for a nice PDF of all the questions and answers. Scroll down to page 5 of the PDF, and look at questions 8 and 9.

(IF ANSWERED "GEORGE W. BUSH" to Q.5, ASK:)
8. Would you describe your support of George W. Bush as strongly favoring him, or do you like him but with reservations, or do you support him because you dislike the other candidates?

strongly favor 70%, like with reservations 22%, dislike others 8%, dk/na 1%

(IF ANSWERED "JOHN KERRY" to Q.5, ASK:)
9. Would you describe your support of John Kerry as strongly favoring him, or do you like him but with reservations, or do you support him because you dislike the other candidates?

strongly favor 48%, like with reservations 26%, dislike others 25%, dk/na 1%

So the people who prefer Bush are pretty solid. This might be consistent with your view that lots of Republicans are unhappy with Bush -- they might be unhappy enough that they didn't answer "George W. Bush" to question 5.

But the people who prefer Kerry are not all that strongly behind. 25% of them still say that they prefer Kerry because they dislike the other candidates, compared to 8% for Bush supporters.

Read the actual questions and answers; there are lots of interesting tid-bits. For instance, in Question 81, 40% of the people polled say that the believe that George Bush did not legitimately win the election -- that's a surprisingly large number of people who don't trust the system.

And again in the 2000 election, 29% of respondents said that they voted for Gore, and 35% said that they voted for Bush. Considering that the actual popular vote was much closer than that, it means (a) some people are lying (some people like to lie and claim they voted for the winner) or (b) the sample of this poll is skewed towards Bush, perhaps by the trendy "cell phone effect".

I used to wonder why political candidates paid their own pollsters, but once you start digging into the polls, you can see it's a lot more useful and interesting than just "X% Bush, Y% Kerry".

Re:Does this shock anyone? (3, Insightful)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507734)

Further for many, it is only the fear of the opposition party (dem/rep) that prevents them from voting with their consience as it stands. If I thought a Bull moose reunion tour likely, I would be even more likely to vote libertarian. As it stands, I tend to vote for integrity vs voting for positions although where someone stands does have influence with me. I would vote dean or lieberman or mcain or bradley over bush or gore or kerry.

although certain stands(Constitution party belief that we ought to be a capital C christian nation) frighten me even though as a Christian I believe those values are important I do not believe they should be backed by the force of law. for example Homosexual Unions, If we were to strike every states "marriage code" and replace it with a civil union code allowing any combination or number of adults as defined by state law to enter into inheritance and child raising covenants binding under state law but not to be refered to as marriage, I would back that 100%. but IMO marriage is a word historically defined as a bisexual bipartner relationship.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (3, Funny)

Dr. Smeegee (41653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508770)

stanman: Your post shows maturity, common sense and an aquaintance with and adherence to Civic Virtues... and as such, does not belong here. Perhaps appending "FP!" to your subject line would help.

Thanks.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10508965)

As a christian (note small 'c') you are an idiot. Therefore no-one cares what you think.
Hope that helps.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10511556)

As a big B Bigot, you are an asshole. Therefore no-one cares what you think (except for like minded bigots).

Hope that helps.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507773)

And in what state do you think he could have captured a plurality of the vote? I'm not bashing your point -- I'm just wondering. Even if he absolutely crushed Bush or Kerry -- what state could he get a plurality in?


It's extremely unlikely that he could get over 50% of the vote in any state. His exposure has been below most people's radar.

Had he been allowed in the debates, his chances would have been much better.

At least that 15% mark might have been possible.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

GimmeFuel (589906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511682)

IIRC, Nebraska and Maine do their Electoral votes proportionately, and Colorado is having that issue on their November ballot. This makes it possible for Badnarik to get a few votes without getting a plurality in any state.

Not shocking but a little scary. (3, Insightful)

subeterranean (821532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507651)

You're absolutely right. Neither Bush nor Kerry's people would allow them to debate Badnarik. Hell, Bush can barely debate one opponent anyway. But shouldn't this fact bother us a little bit?

Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republican (2, Interesting)

jsrjsr (658966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507678)

I doubt that the LP gains many converts from the Democrats.

I've never voted for a Republican for President. I have voted for a Democrat. I'm about to vote for a Democrat for US Senate (Feingold). In fact, I've rarely voted for any Republican. I will most likely be voting for Badnarik for President.

A friend at work just took the SelectSmart test [selectsmart.com] -- Badnarik was the first candidate on his list, the rest were Democrats until Bush showed up in position 17.

The only polling data [edthompson.com] I've seen on the subject of who Libertarian voters would otherwise cast their votes for indicates that Democrats and Republicans fair equally well (at 30%).

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507809)

I've never voted for a Republican for President. I have voted for a Democrat. I'm about to vote for a Democrat for US Senate (Feingold). In fact, I've rarely voted for any Republican. I will most likely be voting for Badnarik for President.

Your voting for a Democrat for the Senate yet you are going to vote for Badnarik? Do you hate Kerry or do you have a really unique set of political views?

Has anybody around here really looked at what the Libertarian party stands for? Some of the more extreme (or committed depending upon your viewpoint) elements of the LP advocate getting rid of all Government institutions and replacing them with private companies or contractors. They purpose private companies to do product labeling (think of the FDA label you have on all food productions w/nutrition information), private companies to regulate our safety issues (replace the FAA), private companies to do airport security (that one worked out real well), etc etc etc.

Usually around here people are appalled by ideas such as those -- and for good reason. When Diebold or Microsoft pay a "third-party" to "verify" their product we rightfully call it biased. Yet the Libertarian platform would have us trusting private companies that are being paid by the very companies whose products they are responsible for verifying as safe.

Not that the entire Libertarian platform is crazy. I for one would welcome their inclusion in the debate about immigration or legalized drugs -- the former issue especially as one both the Democrats (fear of being called racist) and Republicans (fear of pissing off big business) ignore -- while a large majority of the American people desperately want the problem solved.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (3, Insightful)

jsrjsr (658966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507938)

I'm voting for Feingold because of his opposition to the Patriot Act. The Republican (Michels) keeps bashing Feingold for voting against the Patriot Act and promises that he (Michels) will vote to renew it. Feingold has also been in the front lines of legalizing importation of Canadian drugs while Michels keeps claiming that Feingold is against importation. Frankly, Michels scares the cr*p out of me.

When it comes to the Presidential race, I don't like Bush's policies (he doesn't deserve re-election) and I don't like Kerry's policies (he doesn't deserve election).

As for the "third-party" product verification -- what makes you think I'm going to trust a "third-party" that has Microsoft (or Diebold or GM or ??) as their largest (or only) customer? I'm far more likely to either make my own judgement OR trust an expert of my own selection.

For some reason, a lot of people think that the choice is limited to corporations or government. That's a very limited view of the options -- especially since corporations only exist by government decree.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509449)

When it comes to the Presidential race, I don't like Bush's policies (he doesn't deserve re-election) and I don't like Kerry's policies (he doesn't deserve election).

That is exactly how I feel. Unfortunately one of them will get it anyway.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (2, Insightful)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507972)

LP advocate getting rid of all Government institutions and replacing them with private companies or contractors.

well, getting rid of the non-constitutional institutions. The fed, to me, _is_ a company. One that has a monopoly over what it does and can force it's customers to do whatever it wants. I trust private companies which can't force me to do something.

you have no control over the federal government.
slight control over your state government.
a bit more control over your local government.

regulate using your $$$, not the government.

-metric

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508395)

And you have less control over private corporations than you do over the federal government. Sounds like a good reason for regulation.

Besides, if non-regumental companies were actually effective, they'd already exist and be used because there's a significant percentage of the population that wants more accountability. The fact that they don't now makes it laughable to think they'd pop into existance if we got rid of existing regulation.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509568)

And you have less control over private corporations than you do over the federal government. Sounds like a good reason for regulation.

Huh? I have complete control over private corporations. I can choose to not interact with them. I don't have to use Windows, I don't have to eat at McDonald's, I don't have to drink Coke, I don't have to wear Nikes, I don't have to buy clothes from The Gap.

On the other hand, I do have to pay taxes, wear a seatbelt, fill out an application to improve my home, and a million other hassels. I can decide to not do these things, but then men with guns will be happy to show up at my door and lock me up.

I'm not a fan of private corporations (which would be largely eliminated under a Libertarian administration), but clearly I have more control over them that I do the Local, State or Federal Government

Something you missed. (3, Insightful)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508286)

IMO this is something that Libertarians do not communicate well. While many Libs may disagree with me on this, I would like to point it out.
There is nothing in most STATE constitutions which say you cannot make a state social security system, state owned roads, state taxes etc.

If the Libs were ever elected on a federal level, I forsee each state and/or local communities making their own laws reagarding those local issues which the local populace is more concerned and informed about. Thus, you would have some "Green" cities and states, some "Libertarian" cities and states, etc. Big government for the sake of Homogeniety is not IMO a good thing.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508717)

While getting rid of most federal programs they also want to put responsibility on corporations. It should be easy to put someone or a group of someones in charge of a horribly negligent product/process/manufacturing etc... One thing is investors, making investors responsible for what they invest in. I think it would help many many things.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10511436)

Has anybody around here really looked at what the Libertarian party stands for?

I have, and while I think they take just about every issue too far to the extreme, I find myself essentially a moderate Libertarian.

And I've never voted for a Republican, have voted for a number of Democrats (including Hillary Clinton), and voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.

I know the World's Dumbest Political Quiz likes to put the Democrats and Republicans into groups based on bigger/smaller government in Economic and Personal freedom, but there's really very little truth to that particular distinction. Republicans and Democrats both want to spend about as much money, Democrats just want more progressive taxation, and Republicans want a flatter taxation. I'm not in favor of income taxes, but if we're going to have them, they shouldn't kick in until you're making at least $50,000 or so. Maybe Reagan ran on a platform of cutting government spending (and there were a lot of so called "Reagan Democrats"), but I haven't seen a real push toward this since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

I don't care very much about gun laws, at least not to where I think it matters who's President (the vast majority of gun laws are state, not federal). Get rid of that, and why do people vote for Bush? Because he'll kick ass in Iraq? Not exactly a Libertarian value. Because he's in favor of a law banning partial birth abortion? Sure, the Libertarians are neutral on the abortion issue, but they're still against federal laws banning it. Because he wants a flag burning Amendment and the Defense of Marriage Act and a stronger PATRIOT Act and prayer during high school football games and a war on drugs and corporate welfare and tort reform? The Libertarian Party is against him on all these issues.

I'm sorry, if the Republicans stuck to their original principles, maybe I'd be willing to vote for them once in a while. Maybe I'd even join the party. But vote for Bush just so people making more than $200,000 a year pay less in taxes? It's just not worth giving up all those much more important issues.

Re:Libertarian voters don't otherwise vote Republi (2, Funny)

russint (793669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509668)

I just took the selectsmart test. I guess I will be voting for Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /usr/www/users/ssmart/PRESIDENT/president.php on line 33

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

PMoonlite (11151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507728)

no one really wanted the debates cancelled. badnarik would much rather have joined the debate, i'm sure, but failing that, shutting the debate down would have broken the media blackout he's thus far been subjected to.

do you really think bush and kerry would be so petty as to refuse to debate when a third party is introduced? i think that would be a powerfully negative statement on their character.

also, it's funny, but i was just reading a comment in the previous story that claimed that allowing badnarik to debate would deny kerry his best chance to seriously show up bush in an area of kerry's strength, the economy. i'm not sure i buy that, but i think you can argue for an effect in either direction. now we'll never know.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509599)

do you really think bush and kerry would be so petty as to refuse to debate when a third party is introduced?

I know I'm gonna get a TROLL for this, but Yes...

Re:Does this shock anyone? (2, Insightful)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507753)

does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled?

From the libertarian point of view, these debates don't matter in the slightest.
The public will get screwed either way.

At least the lp.org would get some attention from the corporate media for a change... would they?

-metric

Re:Does this shock anyone? (4, Informative)

Anil (7001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507904)

While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled?

The issue here wasn't the 15% clause. The injunction was based upon the Arizona State Constitution. The argument centered on the fact that the LP is on the ballot and an officially recognized political entity in Arizona. Therefor, the state was unlawfully providing contributions to only the Democratic and Repulican parties. From the summary on the blog:

... argued the case based on the violation of Arizonas Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7, which prohibit gifts to private entities. He presented additional arguments based on the 1st Amendment, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and case law which was on point.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (4, Insightful)

worldtechguy (656198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508595)

Yes, I believe that the public WOULD be served by having Bushie and Kerrie back out. It would show, in no uncertain terms, that these are not really debates, but publicly funded infomercials for the Ds and the Rs. Picture the CNN/Fox/PMSNBC news stories if B and K dropped out in protest over Badnarik showing up. They would have an impossible time keeping the Libertarian party secret anymore.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508653)

While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled? And make no mistake that's exactly what would have happened. There's no way Bush or Kerry's people would let them debate w/Badnarik.

Let's see what the choices are:
  1. No Debate
  2. Fake Debate


I'll take #1, Alex.

Re:Does this shock anyone? (1)

froschmann (765104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510570)

"(or even gotten 5% for Federal funding)" It wouldn't matter. We don't accept public funds anyway.

ummm..... (1)

dan_sdot (721837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507482)

Wow. That took a long time. I'm shocked at the result.

Re:ummm..... (1)

h8macs (301553) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508332)

Shocking is right! It's too bad that our judicial branch is not as suited to puting our executive branch in check as they should be. Equally disconcerting is the fact that our legislative branch willingly handed over the military to our sabre rattling "commander in chief".

Found recently was a site dedicated to debunking the MYTH [commission...debates.us] that the CPD is a non-partisan service for the people.

Sucky (1, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507501)

This is sucky. There's really very little else to say about this subject. Some will try, writing a lot of words about the topic, explaining the reasoning, balancing the opinions. But, it all boils down to one point. "This is sucky."

Still a recourse (2, Informative)

not_a_witch (813149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507542)

I just thought I would add that while the judge in this case did rule that the debate could go on, they did leave room for the libertarian party to seek punitive damages in the future.

Re:Still a recourse (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507655)

Which "only?" means more money in 08 and possibly a seat at the 08 debates... something perot would have earned 12 years ago if he hadn't taken a 3 month vacation from the race.

Re:Still a recourse (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510458)

I just thought I would add that while the judge in this case did rule that the debate could go on, they did leave room for the libertarian party to seek punitive damages in the future.

That's the part that chills me the most. The judge has basically said that the activity he's allowing might just be illegal. But instead of evaluating the plans before they become history, he's putting the question off until later (and given the effort pursuing such a suit requires, it's possible the suit will die here and now).

As a general case, such a deferment of justice is bad enough, but in this specific case, the effects are chilling to the core. I personally think the LP would be far worse for America than "four more years" (and *that's* saying a lot). Even so, we need fresh views and true "spoilers" in the debates. What the judge has, essentially, done is sold-out our democratic process.

He's taken away our responsibility to provide, and right to demand, that our democratic process serve to inform and mobilize our electorate. In exchange, we get "the possibility" of a few bucks down the road.

Even if the LP were to win $10million in damages, we'll have all gotten the shaft. Doesn't the judge realize that if both parties had to fork over $50million each to keep the debates closed, they would? Isn't it abundantly clear that even if there were no other reason submitted before him, that *that's* reason enough to force reform in the debate system?

Like the sign said, "Now, we're all wearing the blue dress."

shocked (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10507601)

I'm just shocked. I really thought there was going to be a 3-party debate. Wow.

I think this quote says it all (3, Insightful)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507656)

"Al animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

George Orwell - Animal Farm

Re:I think this quote says it all (4, Interesting)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508034)

DOH missed an L there :

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

George Orwell - Animal Farm

BTW look at the media blackout,

cnn1 [cnn.com] cnn2 [cnn.com]

nader [cnn.com]

alexabadnarik [alexa.com] alexanader [alexa.com]

I could see maybe 5 or 10 mentions on CNN but ZERO? zilch, nada. Yet 523 seperate items on nader. Then compare the alexa links, put in votenader.org on the compare sites.(Wouldn't let me do it via a link)

Re:I think this quote says it all (4, Insightful)

Selecter (677480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508305)

Considering Badnarik is polling *higher* in some states than Nader and is one the ballot in MANY more states than Nader, I think Isotope's example is a STERLING example of total media bias in action. My mad props to you.

Notice also a search on BADNARIK also returns zero hits on CNN.

How come /. is full of R's and D's who are always complaining of media bias against each other. How come they cant see it here?

Re:I think this quote says it all (1)

zzyzx (15139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509553)

The only reason Nader gets coverage is because of how well he did in 2000. If the Libs could be perceived as a difference maker, they'd be covered too.

Yeah I know, chicken, egg.

Cobb does not fare too well either (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509823)

Because Cobb was involved in the previous protest I tried searching for him on CNN after seeing these claims for Badnarik. Cobb is a common word so I got some agricultural stuff and movie reviews, but the actual political articles were 2 about Nader and 1 that did not actually seem to mention Cobb.

Re:I think this quote says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10511018)

It's because Nader (like Perot) is a celebrity candidate. At least a few people knew who he was before he ran for president.

In Nader's case, it was because of Unsafe at Any Speed. For Perot, it was On Wings of Eagles.

Sucks (1)

cato kaze (770158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507692)

This is really terrible for democracy as a whole. Once a real third party got that much media attention, it would be the beginning of the end for the big 2 (Atleast on a local level). I was hoping this was going to be the day that decided the future of america in a positive way, but I fear that the battle for that will come another day.

Re:Sucks (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508048)

Once a real third party got that much media attention, it would be the beginning of the end for the big 2 (Atleast on a local level).

Two words: "Reform Party."

Re:Sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10510412)

You know, everyone I know is aware of the Libertarian Party and their platform, and the reason nobody votes for them is nobody wants to.

Doctrine of Laches (4, Informative)

slithytove (73811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507718)

Stephen Gordon had this to say:

I clearly disagree with the ruling with respect to the doctrine of latches is incorrect for several reasons. To begin, we filed initially on October 1, and not the October 7 date the judge mentioned. The Washington Post reported that Bush did not even agree to debate until September 20. The CPD did not announce who would be excluded until October 6. It takes time for a pattern of illegal spending to occur, and for Libertarians to be able to document the pattern and respond. We did this in the most timely manner possible. Additionally, we filed in enough time that the hearing could have occurred earlier than the day before the debate.

Apparently the American public disagrees with the judge in regard to sufficient public purpose. Depending upon the poll cited, between 57% and 68% believe that the debates should be open, at least to those having a mathematical possibility of obtaining enough electoral votes to win an election.

Re:Doctrine of Laches (0)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508285)

Depending upon the poll cited, between 57% and 68% believe that the debates should be open, at least to those having a mathematical possibility of obtaining enough electoral votes to win an election.

Which Badnarik *didn't* because with his polling numbers at -Brent

Re:Doctrine of Laches (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509135)

Mathmatical possibility is not the same thing as probability.

Badnarik could possibly gain sufficient electoral votes to win. In converse, Amondson could not win, even if he took every state in which he is on the ballot.

from the Badnarik website (3, Informative)

Inebrius (715009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507737)

http://badnarik.org

2:54PM
Michael Kielsky of the Arizona LP explains in detail:

The Arizona Libertarian Party and co-plaintiff Warren Severin were represented by attorney David Euchner.

Arizona State University was represented by Carrie Brennan of the Attorney General's office.

Commission on Presidential Debates was represented by Glen Hallman of the firm of Gallagher & Kennedy, physically in court, as well as Lewis Loss, General Counsel for the CPD by phone.

The judge started by ruling that the service was sufficient for purpose of notice of this hearing. Then, each side was given 30 minutes to argue the issue.

Euchner reserved 15 minutes of his argument for rebuttal, and argued the case based on the violation of Arizona's Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7, which prohibit gifts to private entities. He presented additional arguments based on the 1st Amendment, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and case law which was on point.

Carrie Brennan argued the doctrine of latches (that the delay in bringing this suit worked an unfairness against the defendants). She further argued that the funding was provided by private parties, that there is great value to the University in hosting this, and that case law provides that such expenditures are allowed as long as they are not excessive or unreasonable.

Finally, she stated that there is an adequate remedy for any violations of the constitutional gift clause, therefore injunction is not appropriate.

Glen Hallman argued that Libertarians are not a special protected class, thus only a rational basis test applies to the equal protection argument, and using that test, the Libertarians were not discriminated against.

Lewis Loss argued that the CPD is non-partisan, and that Bush & Kerry would not proceed if Badnarik were admitted to the debate.

Euchner then rebutted, arguing that nobody remembers the location of the debates, and thus there is no value to the University in this expenditure, in other words, it is a gift to these two parties. As an example, Euchner argued that the only way debates are even remembered for any time is if they are parodied, such as on Saturday Night Live, and the rerun repeatedly. Further, even with a rational basis test on the equal protection clause, the judge should find for the Libertarians, because the discrimination is so blatant.

At the conclusion of the arguement, the judge issued his ruling from the bench:

1. No restraining order, because of the doctrine of latches, and that there appears to be sufficient public purpose for this debate.

2. The Plaintiffs may continue to pursue damages for any violations of the constitutional provisions.

In summary, we couldn't stop the debates or get Badnarik in, but we may still be able to hold them accountable through damages.

Post this far and wide.

This isn't the end of the line (2, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507740)

I'm reminded of the time Ralph Nader was kept from watching one of the 2000 presidental debates even though he had a valid ticket to watch it.

He left and then later sued the pants off of the CPD for violating his civil rights and won easily.

Since the judge basically said there wasn't enough time to resolve the case, and the damage to the public interest is irrevocable if they were to go ahead with an injunction, Badnarik still may have a case after the fact. I'd be willing he could get a pretty penny for his troubles.

I hope AZLP (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507757)

continues on to destroy the damned CPD by asking for the equivalent of their 2008 budget for damages.

Re:I hope AZLP (1)

nullportal (811666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509106)

"continues on to destroy the damned CPD by asking for the equivalent of their 2008 budget for damages."

There isn't the vaguest plausible legal theory to support such a damage award, and a lawyer would probably be admonished by a court for asking for such a specious damage award.

Re:I hope AZLP (1)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509123)

More realistically, they should ask for the budget of the debate. With this they can simply run their own debate (possibly through paying off media for airtime).

Re:I hope AZLP (1)

Cryect (603197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510144)

Heh, those are costs are quite impressive. Here's what someone calculated over on Badnarik's site

"Appropriate Damages...

Assuming that the 3rd infomercial goes on without Michael, there is still a chance to seek damages.

Were Michael allowed into the debate tomorrow, he would essentially be receiving 30 minutes of free national airtime (90 minutes divided 3 ways). In order to compensate him for this loss, the CPD should provide him enough money to air 30 minutes of national commercials. In 2000, the average cost for a 30-second commercial was $332,000. Thus, to compensate Michael for the loss of 30 minutes of commercial airtime, the CPD should pay him $19.92 million. (Of course this is using 4 year old data, so the current value is likely to be over $20 million.)

Of course, I would much rather see him in the debate tomorrow, but $20 million would get him some serious media attention!" http://badnarik.org/supporters/blog/2004/10/12/our -day-in-court-new-comments-thread/ [badnarik.org]

why not open source the debates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10507771)

seriously why OSS is gaining so much is because it is an open process. Create a date and a place where every presidential candidate can partake in the "Official" debate. Invite all presidential contenders. Record the show and air it online for free giving the other presidential contenders the right to bitch and moan about the lack of choices. :)

Re:why not open source the debates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10509645)

No. You're dumb. Things that work in the software world don't necessarily work in the real world.

Utter stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10507827)

allowing the Libertarians the possibility of seeking damages.

What, so they can get all the publicity they want after the election?

Welcome to America, Land of the Free! Please don't try and force your type of "democracy" on any more sovereign nations.

Re:Utter stupidity (1)

Cryect (603197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510244)

There will be another election in 4 years, and if they can actually get the amount of money that they can say as damages for lost air time it could easily hit $20 million but doubt they would win anywhere near that but if they can get even a hundredth it would be a great help. They really need to wise up next time and use cheaper forms of advertising like billboards to get their name out there (most people seem to have no idea who the Libertarians are even including a lot of news people who haven't heard of this recent court case)

The Results (2, Interesting)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507849)

Three points to consider:

1. While cancelling the debate would not serve the "American" public, the court issuing the decision does not serve the "American" Public either. What counts is the rights and interests of the citizens of Arizona.

2. The debate will go on, and one candidate will win by a narrow margin. This is probably what would have happened if Bandarik had been admitted.

3. The Arizona LP can argue some incredible damages for the loss of the presidency. This may help them in 2008.

Re:The Results (1)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508582)

Yes, so in the long run it might be better for the party. Hope they don't change the law in Arizona though! slimy politicians!

I wonder how many politicians participate in /. and how many are lurkers?

Re:The Results (1)

nullportal (811666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509072)

"1. While cancelling the debate would not serve the "American" public, the court issuing the decision does not serve the "American" Public either. What counts is the rights and interests of the citizens of Arizona."

Extremely few Arizona citizens seemed compelled to protest to a court about this. It appears that partisans alone are motivated to.

"2. The debate will go on, and one candidate will win by a narrow margin. This is probably what would have happened if Bandarik had been admitted."

Well, yes, but which candidate gets the narrow margin? That's important to those two. If you don't like their choice to exclude other debaters, judge the candidates for that choice as you see fit.

"3. The Arizona LP can argue some incredible damages for the loss of the presidency. This may help them in 2008."

Eeerk. Loss of the presidency is a ridiculous hope of a damage claim, laughable really. The most they can conceivably hope to gain is to be awarded a windfall (as private attorney generals) of the complete damage measured by the value of the facility rented to the CPD versus the value if the CPD were any other entity (say a commercial lecture presentation by a stockbroker) which should belong to the people of Arizona but might be awarded successful plaintiffs for being the ones to bring suit, and attorney fees, etc. There's no big payoff in these damages. The money is trivial probably.

I'm not going to watch anyway (3, Insightful)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10507937)

Note: I live in Arizona
Well, Bush has arrived and Kerry will be here soon. The media circus is ramping up. [azcentral.com] No one seemed to doubt that "the show" would go on.

I don't plan on watching the debate, though. If Badnarik had been able to participate, I probably would have, because a three-way debate might have offered me a lot more insights into the candidates views. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a libertarian, and most probably won't vote libertarian. But watching Bush and Kerry spout their canned and polished diatribes at each other won't enlighten me any.

3rd party debate (1)

chandoni (28843) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508058)

Disappointing, but not surprising, considering who appoints judges.

At least, the 3rd party candidates (except Nader) all were televised debating on C-span. The video (.rm format) is temporarily linked from the C-span home page [c-span.org], under "recent programs," and can also be found using a search for "third party" on c-span.org.

Does anybody know how to save this video as a more storeable format (i.e., mpeg)?

Re:3rd party debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10508389)

Do a google for Streambox VCR. Its rather hit-and-miss (as well as being 'illegal' in the USA) but does allow for you to save .rm streams.

Conversion is a different story altogether.

Third-party debate movie... (3, Informative)

singularity (2031) | more than 9 years ago | (#10508388)

Slashdot had an article about the third-party debate at Cornell University. [slashdot.org] unfortunately, it was not broadcast.

I am not a big fan of their platform, but the Constitution Party [constitutionparty.com] has posted a page with a link to a download of the debate. [peroutka2004.com] (warning: the movie is a 67.4MB download).

I just got done watching it. It is a good debate, and a good chance to learn about some of the third-parties.

Re:Third-party debate movie... (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509304)

Yeah, I have really strengthed my support for Badnarik and Peroutka in this election and I have now decided I would vote for Kerry before I voted for that off the wall moron (David Cobb).

Re:Third-party debate movie... (1)

fafalone (633739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509430)

It was broadcast. I watched it on CSPAN a few nights ago. It ran again this morning, and will likely air a few more times.

Mistakes? (4, Interesting)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509417)

I've mad a few mistakes.... ---G .W Bush

Yep, here's a 100 of those mistakes./p>

Iraq

1. Failing to build a real international coalition prior to the Iraq invasion, forcing the US to shoulder the full cost and consequences of the war.

2. Approving the demobilization of the Iraqi Army in May, 2003 ? bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and reversing an earlier position, the President left hundreds of thousands of armed Iraqis disgruntled and unemployed, contributing significantly to the massive security problems American troops have faced during occupation.

3. Not equipping troops during the invasion of Iraq with adequate body armor or armored HUMVEES.

4. Ignoring the advice Gen. Eric Shinseki regarding the need for more troops in Iraq ? now Bush is belatedly adding troops, having allowed the security situation to deteriorate in exactly the way Shinseki said it would if there were not enough troops.

5. Ignoring plans drawn up by the Army War College and other war-planning agencies, which predicted most of the worst security and infrastructure problems America faced in the early days of the Iraq occupation.

6. Making a case for war which ignored intelligence that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

7. Deriding "nation-building" during the 2000 debates, then engaging American troops in one of the most explicit instances of nation building in American history.

8. Predicting along with others in his administration that US troops would be greeted as liberators in Iraq.

9. Predicting Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction.

10. Wildly underestimating the cost of the war.

11. Trusting Ahmed Chalabi, who has dismissed faulty intelligence he provided the President as necessary for getting the Americans to topple Saddam.

12. Disbanding the Sunni Baathist managers responsible for Iraq's water, electricity, sewer system and all the other critical parts of that country's infrastructure.

13. Failing to give UN weapons inspectors enough time to certify if weapons existed in Iraq.

14. Including discredited intelligence concerning Nigerian Yellow Cake in his 2003 State of the Union.

15. Announcing that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, below a "Mission Accomplished" banner ? many more U.S. soldiers have died in combat since Bush's announcement than before it.

16. Awarding a multi-billion dollar contract to Halliburton in Iraq, which then repeatedly overcharged the government and served troops dirty food.

17. Refusing to cede any control of Post-invasion Iraq to the international community, meaning reconstruction has received limited aid from European allies or the U.N.

18. Failing to convince NATO allies why invading Iraq was important.

19. Having no real plan for the occupation of Iraq and winning the peace while delaying planned military until after upcoming election.

20. Limiting bidding on Iraq construction projects to "coalition partners," unnecessarily alienating important allies France, Germany and Russia.

21. Diverting $700 million into Iraq invasion planning without informing Congress.

22. Shutting down an Iraqi newspaper for "inciting violence" ? the move, which led in short order to street fighting in Fallujah, incited more violence than the newspaper ever had.

23. Telling Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan about plans to go to war with Iraq before Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Counterterrorism

24. Allowing members of the Bin Laden family to leave the country just days after 9/11, most without being questioned by the FBI.

25. Focusing on missile defense at the expense of counterterrorism prior to 9/11.

26. Thinking al Qaeda could not attack without state sponsors, and ignoring evidence of a growing threat unassociated with "rogue states" like Iraq or North Korea.

27. Threatening to veto the Homeland Security department ? The President now concedes such a department "provides the ability for our agencies to coordinate better and to work together better than it was before."

28. Opposing the creation of the 9/11 Commission, which the President now expects "to contain important recommendations for preventing future attacks."

29. Denying documents to the 9/11 commission, only relenting after the commissioners threatened a subpoena and not releasing 28 pages of the documents related to Saudi Arabia for fear of negative public reaction.

30. Failing to pay more attention to the August 6, 2001 PDB entitled "Bin laden Determined to Attack in U.S." and ignoring repeated warnings from counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke.

31. Repeatedly ignoring warnings before 9/11 of terrorists planning to use hijacked aircraft.

32. Appointing the ultra-secretive Henry Kissinger to head the 9/11 commission ? Kissinger stepped down weeks later due to conflicts of interest.

33. Saying he would not "testify", but would only talk to the 9/11 commission accompanied by Dick Cheney in a closed door meeting with no information made public.

34. Not allowing national Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to testify before the 9/11 commission ? Later changing his mind as pressure mounted.

35. Cutting an FBI request for counterterrorism funds by two-thirds after 9/11.

36. Telling Americans there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

37. Failing to adequately secure the nation's nuclear weapons labs.

38. Not feeling a sense of urgency about terrorism or al Qaeda before 9/11 despite warnings and reports while on vacation from the White House 40% of the time before 9/11.

Afghanistan

39. Reducing resources and troop levels in Afghanistan and out before it was fully secure.

40. Not providing security in Afghanistan outside of Kabul, leaving nearly 80% of the Afghan population unprotected in areas still controlled by Feudal warlords and local militias.

41. Committing inadequate resources for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

42. Counting too heavily on locally trained troops to fill the void in Afghanistan once U.S. forces were relocated to Iraq.

43. Not committing US ground troops to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, when he was cornered in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in November, 2001.

44. Allowing opium production to resume on a massive scale after the ouster of the Taliban.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

45. Opposing an independent inquiry into the intelligence failures surrounding WMD ? later, upon signing off on just such a commission, Bush claimed he was "determined to make sure that American intelligence is as accurate as possible for every challenge in the future."

46. Saying: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories."

47. Using deliberately distorted intelligence gathered by Vice President Cheney's and Secretary Rumsfeld's rogue "Office of Special Plans."

48. Spending $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons this year to develop new nuclear weapons this year ? 50% more in real dollars than the average during the cold war ? while shortchanging the troops on body armor during the invasion of Iraq.

Foreign Policy

49. Ignoring the importance of the Middle East peace process, which has deteriorated with little oversight or strategy evident in the region... essentially losing the "Road Map to Peace.

50. Siding with China in February, 2004 against a democratic referenda proposed by Taiwan, a notable shift from an earlier pledge to stand with "oppressed peoples until the day of their freedom finally arrives."

51. Undermining the War on Terrorism by preemptively invading Iraq, sending U.S. Troops into harms way NOT as a last resort and alienating most of the world in the process.

52. Failing to develop a specific plan for dealing with North Korea.

53. Abandoning the United States' important role as an evenhanded negotiator in the Middle East peace process.

Economic

54. Signing a report endorsing outsourcing while thousands of American workers have their jobs shipped overseas.

55. Instituting steel tariffs deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization ? Bush repealed them 20-months later when the European Union pledged to impose retaliatory sanctions on up to $2.2 billion in exports from the United States.

56. Promoting economic policies that lost millions of jobs.

57. Promoting economic policies that failed to help small businesses.

58. Pledging a "jobs and growth" package would create 1,836,000 new jobs by the end of 2003 and 5.5 million new jobs by 2004ófalling far short of the mark.

59. Running up a foreign deficit of "such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy."

60. Issuing inaccurate budget forecasts accompanying proposals to reduce the deficit, omitting the continued costs of Iraq, Afghanistan and elements of Homeland Security.

61. Claiming his 2003 tax cut would give 23 million small business owners an average tax cut of $2,042 when "nearly four out of every five tax filers (79%) with small business income would receive far less" than that amount.

62. Passing tax cuts for the wealthy while falsely claiming "people in the 10 percent bracket" were benefiting most."

63. Passing successive tax cuts largely responsible for turning a projected surplus of $5 trillion into a projected deficit of $4.3 trillion.

64. Moving to strip millions of overtime pay.

65. Not enforcing corporate tax laws.

66. Backing down from a plan to make CEOs more accountable when "the corporate crowd" protested.

67. Not lobbying oil cartels to change their mind about cutting oil production.

68. Passing tax cuts weighted heavily to help the wealthy.

69. Moving to allow greater media consolidation and corporate control of the public air waves.

70. Nominating a notorious proponent of outsourcing, Anthony F. Raimondo, to be the new manufacturing CzaróRaimondo withdrew his name days later amidst a flurry of harsh criticism.

71. Ignoring calls to extend unemployment benefits with long-term unemployment reaching a twenty-year high.

72. Threatening to veto pension legislation that would give companies much needed temporary relief.

Education

73. Under-funding No Child Left Behind.

74. Breaking his campaign pledge to increase the size of Pell grants.

75. Signing off on an FY 2005 budget proposing the smallest increase in education funding in nine years.

76. Under-funding the Title I Program, specifically targeted for disadvantaged kids, by $7.2 billion.

77. Freezing Teacher Quality State Grants, cutting off training opportunities for about 30,000 teachers, and leaving 92,000 less teachers trained than the president called for in his own No Child Left Behind bill.

78. Freezing funding for English language training programs.

79. Freezing funding for after school programs, potentially eliminating 50,000 children from after-school programs.

Health

80. Not leveling with Americans about the cost of Medicare ? the president told Congress his new Medicare bill would cost $400 billion over ten years despite conclusions by his own analysts the bill would cost upwards of $500 billion over that period.

81. Silencing Medicare actuary Richard Foster when his estimates for the Administration's Medicare bill were too high.

82. Letting business associate David Halbert, who owns a company which stands to make millions from new discount drug cards, craft key elements of the new Medicare bill.

83. Underfunding health care for troops and veterans.

84. Allowing loopholes to persist in Mad-Cow regulations.

85. Relaxing food labeling restrictions on health claims.

86. Falsely claiming the restrictions on stem cell research would not hamper medical progress.

87. Reducing action against improper drug advertising by 80 percent.

Environment

88. Abandoning the Kyoto Treaty without offering an alternative for reducing greenhouse effect.

89.Counting on a voluntary program to reduce emissions of harmful gassesóso far only a tiny fraction of American companies have signed up.

90. Gutting clean air standards for aging power plants.

91. Weakening energy efficiency standards.

92. Relaxing dumping standards for mountaintop mining, and opening the Florida Everglades and Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest to mining.

93. Lifting protection for more than 200 million acres of public land.

94. Limiting public challenges to logging projects and increased logging in protected areas, including Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

95. Weakening environmental standards for snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles while pushing for exemptions for air pollution proposals for five categories of industrial facilities.

96. Opposing legislation that would require greater fuel efficiency for passenger cars.

97. Reducing inspections, penalties for violations, and prosecution of environmental crimes.

98. Misleading the public about the Washington mad cow case and the likely effectiveness of USDA's weak testing program.

99. Withdrawing public information on chemical plant dangers, previously used to hold facilities accountable for safety improvements.

Last but not least...

100. Cutting grants to state and local governments in FY 2005, forcing states to make massive cuts in job training, education, housing and environment.

Re:Mistakes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10509482)

I'm a libertarian. This was such ridiculous leftist drivel that it made me want to support Bush until I snapped out of it.

Get a life!

Re:Mistakes? (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509792)

Haha I completely agree. I bet I could find more information on Clinton...particularly in his second term.

I'm just too nice, I feel glad though knowing that I am not voting for the same man that these idiots ransacking Bush's headquarters all over the country are voting for. I'd shoot myself first.

thanks for posting that (1)

dh003i (203189) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509845)

I was thinking exactly the same thing. Not only did this communist nutcase criticize Bush from the far communist perspective, but he also messed up on the issue of foreign policy and the wars (we shouldn't have been in the wars, and our foreign policy should be one of military isolationism, like G. Washington suggested, and completely unhampered free trade). It is rare that one finds one's self "defending" Bush against attacks of not being enough of a fascist/socialist/big-spender. The normal libertarian position is to criticize Bush for being a lying worthless human being who spews free-market-rhetoric but is all about State-action, regulation, socialization, and interventionism (both at home and abroad).

Re:thanks for posting that (1)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510985)

but is all about State-action, regulation, socialization, and interventionism

Seriously do you belive that?, The Republican party is a conservative party. Which believes in free market capitalism and consumerism... regulation and socialization is nothing more then an obstacle in that path.. You seriously are the most clueless American i have ever heard a point of view from...

Here's an idea why don't you learn abit about the thing your country is built on. USA [wikipedia.org]

To quote Wikipedia....

The economy of the United States is described as "mixed" because, while it is organized primarily on a capitalist model (entrepreneurship is encouraged, and most enterprises are privately owned), it also limits free markets with social welfare programs like Social Security, unemployment benefits, and Medicare, as well as government regulation in virtually every industry. It should be noted, however, that all these measures are far less pronounced in the United States than in other ("first world") industrialized countries.

to quote free market ...

A free market economy is an idealized form of market economy in which buyers and sellers are permitted to carry out transactions based solely on mutual agreement without interventionism

To quote Regulations....

Regulation (as a process) is the control of something by rules, as opposed to its prohibition. In economics, it is part of the government relationship with markets, often seen as the opposite of deregulation.

To quote Deregulations...

Deregulation is the process by which governments remove selected regulations on business in order to (in theory) encourage the efficient operation of markets.

socializaton??? Socialization is the process by which culture is learned... Less then 10% of American's have passports or leave there country... More so American media has very little world culture besides ofcourse the country's your at war with. Only 50 years ago you were linching black people. Please tell me how enforcing your puratists views on the world is a step in the direction of cultural understanding... Enforcing your way of life on the rest of the world through globalisation and imperialism.....???

If you mean Socalism then god knows what Planet you live on if you think America is the forfront of that...

good (0, Troll)

mabu (178417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509827)

I for one am glad this suit did not interrupt the debates.

The bottom line is that none of the third-party candidates have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, and the outcome of this election is too important to further muddy the waters. For those of you who don't think there is much difference between Kerry and Bush, don't even bother replying, but a lot more of us recognize that this will probably be the most important election in our lifetime. That various twit third-parties want to create a repeat of the last election's mess where a candidate that had no chance of winning critically upsets the balance, is really disturbing. As disturbing as Nader claiming there was "no difference between Gore and Bush."

I would like to see third parties be allowed in the debates. I would like to see extensive reform of the system, but not this cycle. There's too much on the line, and all the alternative candidates who are exploiting the current scenario instead of endorsing Kerry are showing how completely short-sighted and self-absorbed they are... nobody is more disgustingly representative of such selfishness as the infamous Mr. Nader.

I like much of the agenda of some of the third parties, but I will be taking names and notes on the selfish candidates who show their true colors by trying to compete in this current election when they have no chance. Their political career will be over, just like Nader's.

Third party candidates should drop out in 2004 and prepare for 2008. The way things are going, if they screw up this election, there's a much greater chance many of us may not see 2008, much less feel very free or democratic.

Re:good (1, Troll)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509941)

You, my friend, are an idiot. You're right, there is too much at stake in this election to vote for either Kerry or Bush.

Re:good (1)

Cryect (603197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510060)

I worry more about the 2008 election if Kerry doesn't win this election... (and when it comes to Bush and Kerry, I definately dislike Kerry more though I dislike Bush almost as much)

If not NOW, WHEN?? (3, Insightful)

jsrjsr (658966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510828)

I would like to see third parties be allowed in the debates. I would like to see extensive reform of the system, but not this cycle. There's too much on the line,...

And then 2008 rolls around and you'll say:

I would like to see third parties be allowed in the debates. I would like to see extensive reform of the system, but not this cycle. There's too much on the line,...

I've heard this line of crap every year since I became seriously interested in politics (let's see...One, two, three, four, five, six, oh my god, seven presidential elections ago!).

3rd party tactics in the UK (3, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10509872)

In the UK we have a similar state of 2 party politics however, there is a 3rd party gaining ground at the expense of the main 2. The Liberal Democrats, a centrist party.

They are starting to take serious chunks of support at a national level and they've done it by concentrating at a local level first. Get seats on local councils first, target resources at councils where you are most likely to gain seats or win. Leverage the councils and council seats to demonstrate competence.

It's taken 20 years so far and realistically they're still well back in 3rd place but as their vote increases, the other parties are having to take account of and answer questions posed by the LibDems, in addition, there are now no majority parties at all, it's painfully obvious that the existing electoral system is not up to the task of representing the population.

Re:3rd party tactics in the UK (1)

Cryect (603197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510097)

Thats what the Libertarian's have been doing.

They are the third party with more people in office (local, state, and federal) than the rest of the third parties combined. They are doing quite well in places like Indianna where originally both Republicans and Democrats for Governor were saying they didn't want the Libertarian candidate to be in a debate with them. Now after some press releases and some big news stories, both the Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for Libertarian Kenn Gividen not being included in the first place and it looks like he will be allowed to debate (definately a big step being able to have Libertarian candidates for governor be able to participate in a debate). http://www.indystar.com/articles/6/185799-6346-092 .html [indystar.com]

it would ALL be made so much easier... (0, Offtopic)

kermur (821648) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510312)

if people would just understand the facts: http://www.Kerry4Bush.com seriously.

He should try (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10510875)

the same thing that the guy on the NetZero commercials does:

"I'm not on the list? How about looking me up under the name 'Washington!'"

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