I'd be down to have matt yglesias be the moderator and ask them whatever he wanted. patent reform, zoning laws and public transit policy, etc.
A lot of that is local stuff. I actually considered running for city council on a Rent is Too Damn High platform.
Climate change, particularly does Romney think it I real and if so, what does he plan to do about it? If he doesn’t, what would it take to convince him, is it possible to convince him at all?Also does Romney think we should work to overthrow legitimately elected Islamist governments in the Middle East? Or should we respect elections that produce results we don't like?I’d also like to see Obama defend his drone policies and hear Romney’s views on the issue a well. Romney did say he wanted to “double Guantanamo” during the primaries, I think it would do the Glen Greenwalds of the commentariate a world of good to hear the GOP’s views on the issue and thus how restrained Obama’s policies are in some ways.I think the new comments idea is a good idea. Comments threads have been getting longer in the year since I started hanging out here and that's always a good thing. But popularity can also lead to trolling and we've seen a bit over the past few months. A thing about trolling that I'd say is important to remember is that it is more that just annoying, it also drags down the quality of a blog as so much energy is wasted trying to prove trolls wrong and oftentimes people get frustrated and respond in ways that aren't that much better than the trolls themselves. Anyway, I always advocate the "don't feed the trolls" school of thought (although sometimes I succumb to temptation) but having a comments policy makes sense too.
If Romney gets elected, at least the Democrats and the press will draw attention to civil liberties, secrecy and military overreach. With Obama in the White House, these issues have been virtually ignored -- that’s the only thing that allowed him to get away with signing the NDAA. And of course there’s always Gary Johnson and Jill Stein to choose from.
Ooh! Ooh! Putting bankers in jail. Still want to see it happen.
Yes, climate change. And also peak oil. I would like both candidates to answer whether it is reasonable to anticipate a perpetual increase in extraction rates of a finite resource - expecially Romney, who is running on a platform of increasing the already considerable subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, while reducing the already small subsidies for the renewable energy industry.
I agree on patent reform, drone warfare, and climate change. (On climate change, I wouldn't be surprised if we got a question or two, but probably not as much coverage as I would like.)I would also add drug policy, appointments reform, and monetary policy (i.e. what kinds of people would you appoint to the Fed?) to that list.
I agree with GW totally down the line here, including that we'll hear about climate, but not enough)
NAFTA ... TARP ... Transpacific Partnership
Definitely civil liberties vis-a-vis the "War on Terror." Long term, that is far more important than any other issue, including climate change
The drug war and marijuana policy specifically.
As mentioned earlier, filibuster and appointments reform, executive v. legislative power in foreign affairs. Citizens United which may or may not get a mention. Presidential succession/preparedness for a strike that kills many in line would also be interesting, although given the paucity of attention to this issue I think it'd actually be unfair to ask the candidates about it this cycle.
Healthcare and Mormonism. Even though Romney has started to talk about these things (because he needs to say something so people won't talk about the "47%") I suspect he'd rather spend the debate attacking Obama....
- Federal Reserve reform to place more emphasis on economic growth and employment and less on inflation perhaps by legislating a NGDP target of, say, 5%- adding a public option/Medicare buy-in available to all citizens via the health care exchanges- judicial term limits and expanding the size of the Supreme Court- undoing Citizens United via legislation or Constitutional amendment- adding higher marginal tax rates on high income levels beyond just restoring the Clinton top rate- replacing part of the current tax code with a cap-and-trade or greenhouse gas tax- criminal justice reform to greatly reduce levels of imprisonment and levels of crime along the lines advocated by Mark Kleiman (sp)- getting rid of our 18th century system of government and replacing it with a more modern one probably something along the lines of England or at least junking the electoral college and the filibuster- increasing Social Security benefits and lowering the retirement age- getting rid of all patents and copyrights except those that strong empirical evidence shows are necessary to the benefit of consumers
Just want to add some applause for the idea of MORE tax brackets within a progressive federal income tax, not less as is so often, and so thoughtlessly, suggested. There should be several grades between the $30,000 level and the $90,000 level, and again between the $500,000 level and the $50 million level. In almost all aspects of public policy, the ability to do "fine tuning" generally works better than shoving people into bigger categories that don't really fit.
Also shrinking the financial speculation sector by raising capital gains taxes, adding significant financial transaction taxes, breaking up the big banks, restoring Glass-Steagal, etc.
Financial transaction tax? Say, 0.1% on each trade?
I'd like to hear a discussion of labor law, the NLRB and the Employee Free Choice Act.
I'd like Obama to be asked, "What part of Bush's theory of the Unitary Executive do you agree with? How much actual authority do you think is vested in the President? Do you think the President is above the law? If not, should a sitting President ever be prosecuted for crimes?"
To be perfectly frank, Mitt Romney's lies. But I suppose you mean policy issues, so:I'd agree with climate change, though I suspect it will be raised, even if not as much time is devoted to it as many of us would like. On foreign policy, it might be nice to have some discussion of relationships that aren't exactly front-burner, news-wise, but will nevertheless be important going forward (i.e. Russia, Turkey, China's expansion into Africa, etc.)And lastly it be nice to have some wonky economics stuff like 'What is your approach to Fed nominations?' or a question for Romney about what aspects of Keynesianism he agrees/disagrees with. Deep down, Romney is an exceptionally smart guy with an MBA from Harvard. It'd be nice to hear him talk in detail about the economy to an audience that isn't wildly partisan.
I'll actually be curious to see how much control Jim L. can exert over the topics. I wouldn't be surprised if Romney tries to take it over, brings up Libya in the first (domestic issues) debate, etc. I agree that climate change will come up, or at least I hope it will, and the distinction will be stark, though depressingly far from the discussion we should be having. How about the Supreme Court? Is that so much forgotten or does everyone assume it will be brought up? Gun control might come up, if Jim L. asks about it.
While Romney, if he's any good at debating, will try to turn every answer to the points he wants to make (Obama, too,) I can't imagine he'll bring up foreign policy in a domestic policy debate. Romney will, I think, try to refocus on the economy; so every answer will swerve back to Obama as a weak president. I just can't see Romney bringing up much foreign policy in a debate that will focus on the home front, likely to be watched by more viewers then the later fp debate.I expect Romney to ditch the 'nice guy but not up to the job,' routine he's been using and directly attack along several dog-whistle lines; Foodstamp president; continued unemployment instead of jobs, regulator creating uncertainty. He's tried the nice-guy but approach (his convention speech, basically), and it's not doing much for him. Inversely, I expect Obama to go the 'nice-guy but' route on Romney; I think he's got a fine line to walk there to avoid being perceived as 'too uppity.' Nice guy, but he's walked back away from his great accomplishment as gov. -- Romneycare. Nice guy but he's going to favor the rich and raise taxes on the middle class. Etc.
According to Linda Greenhouse, the words "Supreme Court" were not uttered by a single person at either convention. Apparently, both sides figure that the people who get excited about Supreme Court nominations chose their party long ago, while the swing voters find the topic annoying.
I hope they'll be asked about our prison system, the high number of folk incarcerated, the toll of incarceration on our budgets, voting rights, and the burden it places on felons trying to reintegrate into society.I hope they'll ask about food systems.I hope they'll ask about water. For much of the nation, a shortage of water and water rights is a growing problem.Also some of the above; climate change, IP law, Unitary Executive.
And one more: Bipartisanship/obstruction. What would Obama, in retrospect, have done differently in the face if obstruction, could he have fostered more bipartisanship in Congress?And what will President Obama or President Romney do to foster cooperation, not obstruction, in the Senate? Will either be willing to push for a change in the rules to dismantle the new standard of a 60-vote majority?
At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect