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Presidential Youth Debate Answers and Details Now Online 74

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-you-have-to-take-the-bad-with-the-bad dept.
Last month, Slashdot readers contributed their own inquiries to the pool of questions for the Walden University Presidential Youth Debate. Two of those questions made the cut, and you can watch either the individual video responses to each of the questions presented to John McCain and Barack Obama (by scrolling down the just-linked debate home page), or the whole debate straight through. For something meatier, if you are weary of predictably slippery campaign-style answers, Ethan Rowe of End Point has a very interesting blog post about the technology background of the debate.
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Presidential Youth Debate Answers and Details Now Online

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  • Transcript (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cookie3 (82257)

    Are transcripts of the video responses available anywhere? I checked quickly, but there doesn't appear to be one on the main site. It's a shame that such a 'high-tech' 'debate' can't deliver information to those unable to hear the responses.

  • Two From Slashdot? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Golddess (1361003)
    Out of curiosity, which two questions came from /.?
    • by Paradoks (711398)
      I'd have to assume that the first part of question 6, "Electronic voting machines have been shown to be inaccurate, with some not leaving a verifiable paper trail, making a recount impossible." came from Slashdot.

      That said, I watched the responses to that question, and neither of the candidates even pretended to address the issue.

      Of course, they also didn't answer the second part of the question, "Many Americans object to the continued existence of The Electoral College in The Information Age, and to th
      • Q6 is the only answer I watched (the site is currently a bit slow, so transcripts would help more than just the deaf). Anyway I agree wholeheartedly with your post, neither of them answered anything except the "What will you do to ensure...that my vote will be counted in this election.." To summarise their answers, McCain - "Get myself elected and keep Obama out of the whitehouse"; Obama - "Build statewide registration databases".

        As I said the audio was a bit jumpy but I'm old and patient. I do not recal
      • I suppose it's nice to know that the issues that matter to the Slashdot crowd are so unimportant to the rest of society that they're not worth bothering to answer.

        And when has either of those two gave a real answer to a question that wouldn't make them look absolutely glowing? This is a problem with how politicians behave, not issues being unimportant to society (although that could be the case too).

        • by Paradoks (711398)

          This is a problem with how politicians behave, not issues being unimportant to society (although that could be the case too).

          I thought about that when I posted, and I said what I did because I disagree with your point.

          What I'd like is for one of the candidates to say, "We have to make sure that all the election equipment, including the electronic voting machines, count every ballot as it was cast.".

          They don't have to say that they want to get rid of electronic voting machines, or whether or not they think the law should require voter-verified paper ballots on the machines.

          Mind you, I'd like it if they did that, but I'm just

          • Can you think of other issues where the politicians have similarly entirely avoided the issue?

            The one that springs to mind immediately is a question that was asked during the VP debate (and the moderator also mentioned that it had been asked to the presidential candidates, but I didn't see that myself): in light of the major events that have happened this past week, what are some promises that your campaign has made that you will not be able to keep?

            Great question, and of course, Palin and Biden both completely sidestepped it. I was disgusted, if not surprised.

  • by Toffins (1069136) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @07:18PM (#25577093)
    Why are Federal taxpayers forced to pay $6 billion to Goldman Sachs for a bailout to save it from failure and bankruptcy and at the same time Goldman Sachs is ready to pay its senior staff $7 billion in bonuses for Christmas??? [dailymail.co.uk] We have failed to ask the one question that goes to the heart of what's going on. Stop this nonsense, NOW!
    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @07:26PM (#25577151)

      Why are Federal taxpayers forced to pay $6 billion to Goldman Sachs for a bailout to save it from failure and bankruptcy and at the same time Goldman Sachs is ready to pay its senior staff $7 billion in bonuses for Christmas??? We have failed to ask the one question that goes to the heart of what's going on. Stop this nonsense, NOW!

      Well, there is at least a partial answer here [youtube.com].

      • by Toffins (1069136)
        I think that's not good enough. The people surely have the right to know the presidential candidates' answers to this vital question before we decide which one to elect. If we can't or won't even try putting the question to them directly now, we might as well just stop pretending the whole thing is anything but a fancy charade. This is the only time we the people can hope to put the candidates under significant pressure, which is the threat of not being elected.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

      Quoting the Daily Fail is never a good idea..

      That's 1.5bn christmas bonus shared between 10,000 staff and 5.5bn in salary that they'd have to pay anyway.

      Yes it's a big figure, but it's nowhere *near* as bad as the headline would suggest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Toffins (1069136)
        So, let me get this straight. Taxpayers are paying $7bn to rescue Goldman, just so Goldman can pay "only" $1.5bn in bonuses as a reward for the incompetence and greed that caused the failure. Whether the bonuses total 1.5bn or whatever, the whole thing stinks of rewarding the incompetents with a taxpayer handout - socialism at its finest.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gnud (934243)
          Giving money away to private corporations has nothing at all to do with socialism.
          • by Toffins (1069136)
            I was referring to the hideous gut feeling of knowing that the government is forcibly taking $6bn from taxpayers and giving it away to a private corporation that promptly gives a large part of it as bonuses to private individuals. It seems fundamentally wrong for government to be the one supplying money that lets Goldman reward the incompetents who played a big role in getting themselves and everyone else into the credit mess. I really think we ought to hear the presidential candidates' views about what's g
            • You still haven't explained how that has anything to do with socialism.

              • by Toffins (1069136)
                The way I see it high taxes and socialism always go together. The bailout will cost $700 billion (and could be even more). That's huge. That's eventually going to be paid for by a lot of tax on the taxpayers during the period of some future administration.
                • The word you are looking for is fascism. The bailout is fascism. Big government in bed with big business.

                • by gnud (934243)
                  Well, socialism would probably mean high taxes, because you would need to fund healthcare, education and other services. But that doesn't mean that any use of tax money is socialism.

                  ( a -> b does not imply that b -> a)
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by travbrad (622986)
            Exactly, because with true socialism both the profits and losses would be shared. What we have here is no-risk "capitalism". Sort of the worst parts of capitalism combined with the worst parts of socialism.
          • I kind of wonder why your comment wasn't marked as funny.

            "Giving money away to private corporations has nothing at all to do with socialism."

            Taking money from tax payers and funding business isn't exactly socialism per say but it is one GIANT step in that direction. Add to the problem with having government sponsored entities around to give loans to people who could never afford them and you are on your way from capitalism to socialism.

            (Go to Youtube and search for Fanny and Freddie and you will see who re

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by laddiebuck (868690)
          Why is this modded troll? All but the last flamebait sentence is perfectly true and cuts to the heart of the matter. And I say this as a socialist.
      • by joe_kull (238178)

        That's an average of $150k per staff member in bonuses and $550k in salary. Either someone is overpaid beyond belief, or everyone is overpaid to a more modest degree (but still pretty overpaid for a company that may well have tanked without massive government intervention.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nazlfrag (1035012)

        From the article:

        The news comes after it was revealed that even bankers working for collapsed Wall Street giant, Lehman Brothers, could receive huge payouts.

        Its 10,000 U.S. staff are expected to share a £1.5billion bonus pool. The payouts were agreed as part of the rescue takeover of Lehman's American arm by Barclays last month.

        That's the Lehman Brothers. The 7 billion pounds or roughly 11.5 billion USD bonus is for Goldman Sachs.

        Each of the firm's 443 partners is on course to pocket an average Christmas bonus of more than £3million.

    • Here's a serious question. Why did the US dollar suddenly shoot up against all the other currencies when this global financial crisis started? The USA is where the gigantic financial crisis happened. So why is the US dollar suddenly so much higher than it was before? Any economists out there?

      Here are some graphs: http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/EUR/graph120.html [x-rates.com] http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/GBP/graph120.html [x-rates.com] http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/BRL/graph120.html [x-rates.com]

      WHY???

      • by myth24601 (893486)

        Here's a serious question. Why did the US dollar suddenly shoot up against all the other currencies when this global financial crisis started? The USA is where the gigantic financial crisis happened. So why is the US dollar suddenly so much higher than it was before? Any economists out there?

        The US may be looking like it has a sounder economy than some other countries. People are putting money into US Dollars now. Sure there was a contraction in the last quarter and the US but it wasn't as bad as predic

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        US Investors are pulling out of International markets and converting foreign currency back US Dollars (Buying it in other words).
        Folllowing the Laws of Supply and Demand, that would cause the price of the USD to go up hence why it's stronger and hence why other foreign currencies that investor's pulled out of are weaker.

    • Why are Federal taxpayers forced to pay [...]

      You cite a non-US media source to back up your claim...

      • by Toffins (1069136)
        I don't understand why you have a problem with it. It was just one of the top sources via Google News. Who cares it's a British newspaper - I don't see why that makes it any more or less reliable. I'm not aware of anything wrong with the story, and you didn't mention anything wrong with the story - is there anything wrong with it? Anyway, the story is real, so we'd better deal.

        And here's the IHT covering the same issue [iht.com] with Barney Frank, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Financial Services Com

  • by sethawoolley (1005201) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @07:44PM (#25577329) Homepage

    They didn't even comment on the Commission on Presidential Debates which is Dems and Reps trying to limit the debates to just their parties, despite question number six asking about it.

    Just another opportunity for the candidates to 1) not even answer the questions and 2) we didn't even see Barr/Nader/Baldwin/McKinney asked any of these questions on an equal level.

    Why even bother asking about the commission on presidential debates when the debate itself excludes minor party candidates that have enough ballot access to potentially win the election?

    • by garote (682822) on Friday October 31, 2008 @06:48AM (#25581311) Homepage

      Actually, the answers were of a higher quality than most I've seen them give.

      McCain's response regarding the No Child Left Behind program was actually well in touch with the reasons why that program faltered. It was surprising, and more than I expected from him. However the solutions he endorsed, in his response and elsewhere in his policy, do not actually address the problems as he described them here. Obama's response to the same question was, by contrast, boilerplate about reform, including rhetoric about increasing the funding for schools and the pay grade for teachers. Neither point makes sense - we already toss quite a lot of money into schools, relative to other countries, and district performance varies WILDLY even among similar funding levels. The issue is just more complicated than a matter of funding.

      On the other hand, I was greatly irritated at McCain's response to the question about women's health care. He was practically schizophrenic, talking about helping "challenged" women on the one hand, and then declaring that life begins at conception and all life is sacred on the other. He even trotted out that tired old pony of "partial-birth abortion". He also stood in OBVIOUS contrast to Obama, who described a holistic approach point-by-point and then made it quite clear that he would defend Roe vs. Wade and abortion rights in general. The candidates are markedly different here and your choice between them will have a serious impact.

      They both also clearly differed on how seriously they took the idea of workplace discrimination and harassment,
      Also, Obama offered more detail on how he would create oversight for the bank bailout program, and McCain offered more detail on how he might implement VA reform. You can tell where their strengths lie - if not as character traits, then at least in terms of what they believe their voting bloc is. That information is actually of use.

      Neither of them touched the prison population question with a ten-foot pole, which I found irritating. Neither of them wanted to get into the briar patch of drug law I assume. On the other hand, it was quite refreshing to hear an entire sequence of debate responses where neither candidate mentioned Iraq or terrorism.

      Also, I find the complaints about the exclusivity of the debate a little disingenuous - they're mostly directed at the Democratic and Republican parties. What's up with that? The roster of participants was chosen by Walden University. Go harangue them.

      • Also, I find the complaints about the exclusivity of the debate a little disingenuous - they're mostly directed at the Democratic and Republican parties. What's up with that? The roster of participants was chosen by Walden University. Go harangue them.

        Candidates don't participate in any debate outside of the agreements established by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by members of the two parties. The CPD was created to take over the debates after the League of Women Voters refused to limit the debate to just the top two parties.

        The candidates make arrangements for interviews on their own, but if another candidate will be there, the stipulation is that it only be the Dem/Rep opponent.

        Walden University had a choice: 2 candidates or all

  • McCain is really laying it on thick with the debt question. He must think we're really stupid.

    Republicans have outspent and outdebted the Democrats since Gerald Ford. Republicans removed the last vestiges of the gold standard and caused the insane inflation we're seeing today.

    He's going to have to do better than parrot the same historically incorrect argument we've been hearing since Reagan. "Oh, we'll just make it back in revenue because we'll increase the GDP!"

    No you don't. Quit lying.

    And as for attacking

  • tooting my own horn. (Score:4, Informative)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NoSPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:24PM (#25577733) Homepage Journal

    all of those questions are typical shit political questions. They don't force any real answers.

    my question http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=978947&cid=25190311 [slashdot.org]
    I asked that and it should have been put forth. Whomever chose the questions is a nitwit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garote (682822)

      Uh huh. Well, it's certainly a question tailored to drive up mod ratings in Slashdot. But go ahead, ask that of a presidential candidate:

      "Do you believe in legislating protections for failed business models, or do you believe the free market should determine success?"

      Their answer?

      "No, and yes. Next question."

      Honestly, what sort of answer do you expect?

  • OK, I listened to the responses to the LGBT question. Obama, like most mainstream politicians, doesn't come out for gay marriage, but is otherwise pretty much pro-LGBT civil rights.

    McCain's answer ... WTF? He's just all over the map. I mean, I more or less know what the McCain position is for LGBT rights, and he kind of touched on it, but why does he throw all that other unrelated crap in there? Was there a minimum answer length? Was he channeling Palin? These are scripted answers, I assume. Who wrot

  • Abortion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Artista42 (1326699)

    I love how McCain says "We will show compassion, and we will show courage" in regards to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Who is "we"? The people who are blocking the poor woman from making a choice in order to deal with something she views as a problem? It must be so easy for them to be courageous in a situation that doesn't affect them. If women are forced to have children they don't want, we'll end up with more and more orphans, and who will pay for them? Surely there aren't enough people to adopt al

    • I want to know where his compassion is for people with chronic conditions, or who simply are too old or in too risky a profession.. in regard to healthcare.

      "I promise to tax group plans out of existence!"

      hurray?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Iamthecheese (1264298)
      Actually, there aren't enough people with the money and time to break through piles of red tape. Thats the real problem. It costs thousands of dollars to adopt. There are many people who want to adopt, but can't.
  • Do these guys have any actual opinions on anything? They speak in such vague generalities. Compare that to a Ron Paul, or to a lesser extent, Chuck Baldwin or Bob Barr, who actually can detail how they would fix problems. (Or explain why it is not the Government's job to fix a problem.)

    I can't believe such a large portion of our country could be so stupid as to vote for these guys.
  • This is POLITICS NOT NEWS.
    Again there is a bloody good reason why I have politics turned off of my front page in slashdot!

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