You ’08

I’d like to take a moment to get a cross-section of the readership (yes even you quiet ones), but rather than gather uninteresting lists of pro-this/anti-that stances, let’s have a little fun.

Responding to public outcry, you have declared your candidacy for the President of the United States in 2008. You have the cult of personality on your side, but the American public wants to know where you stand on the issues and where your priorities lie., the undisputed and unbiased voice of the people, has asked you to answer the people’s call in the comments of this post.

I’ll get the format started with my response including a some general and hot-button issues. You must include your stance on all of the issues listed, although you may reorder based on your priorities and your stances may be as brief or lengthy as you wish (but keep it within reason — I’m looking at you, knarly). If you’re not sure or you don’t have an opinion on an issue, say so. Oh, and pretend that you would rather stick to your convictions than get elected.

18 Responses to “You ’08”

  1. ymatt Says:

    YMATTO ’08
    Party: Independent
    Campaign Motto: Wake Up and Smell the Constitution

    Pledge for the first 100 days: Immediate controlled withdrawl from Iraq, destruction of the imperial presidency, and announcement of a budget plan that will reestablish America as an economic and civil rights leader, not a military one.

    On the issues:

    War & Foreign Policy: End the Iraq War. Recommit to international diplomacy and unrestricted diplomatic relations, and reject the doctrine of not only preemptive war, but any war not in direct defense of American soil unless conducted through the UN. Remove military bases from any nation where they are unwanted. America must transition to a leadership role in the world, rather than an enforcer.

    Government Reform: Formally reject signing statements, executive privilege, and set the precedent of a fully open executive branch with information-age tranparency. Urge Congress to reassert it’s exclusive right to declare war and initiate military action.

    Budget & Economy: Vast military cutbacks would allow us to balance the budget (by law except in the case of defensive war) and add enormous funding for energy research and education.

    Energy: Establish a body of uncensored scientists, engineers, and researchers, chosen by their peers to analyze the total efficiency and feasibility of known and new energy sources and efficiency technologies. Provide funding to speed the development of the strongest long-term solutions.

    Education: The contribution of education is too long-term to be incentivized by the free market, and is too critical to our nation’s competitive advantage. Nationalize education and establish minimum salaries for teachers to bring in the best and the brightest.

    Business: Cut the ties of business to government by removing rights to participate in the political process or fund lobbies; the free market is a great thing, but corporations must never be allowed to tinker with the rules the free market abides by. Return to the copyright and patent protections of the constitution, updated for the modern world by reducing the length of protection, not lengthening it — the focus should be on the greatest public good, not protecting entrenched businesses from competition.

    Health Care: Fully nationalized healthcare. Taxes will have to increase, but it’s a bill we’re already paying to insurance companies that optimize for profit, not taking care of every American.

    Crime: End the War on Drugs and criminalization of drug use. Filling our jails with victimless “criminals” puts real criminals back on the streets.

    Homeland Security: We must accept that what happened on 9/11 was not a failing of our system, it was a singular occurrence that should remind us of the cost of the open, free society that we enjoy. Undo the Patriot Act and treat domestic terrorism for what it is: crime. Establish clear laws against actions outside our borders that would be illegal within them and place legal weight behind the Geneva Convention.

    Immigration: Establish a new Ellis Island to conduct quick, unrestricted, controlled immigration. The problem is undocumented immigrants, not immigration. The contributions of immigrant populations are what built this nation.

    Gay Marriage: As straightforward a civil rights as could be imagined. Gays and Lesbians should have the same legal rights without restriction, and marriage is not an instution owned by religion, it is owned by humanity.

    Gun Control: Severely increase penalties for gun crime. Opposed to weapons bans or mandatory registration.

    Taxes: I don’t know enough to give specifics, but the goal should be to share the tax burden equally, but taxing the first $30,000 is a much greater burden than the next $100,000 the $million after that and the $billion after that. Success is always rewarded, but those with more are able to endure more of the burden.

    Social Security: Optional privitization beyond a minimum for subsistence. Social security payments should be placed in a protected fund, and a rigorous plan to fund existing contributors must be established.

    Abortion: Must remain a woman’s choice without reservation, but offer adoption options to mothers.

    Trade: Not enough expertise to say beyond stating that the best way to avoid international conflict is to entangle the interests of nations economically. Globalization is a good thing.

  2. jbc Says:

    My top priority will be to ban the gratuitous use of “smart” quotes in content management systems. Among other benefits, this will eliminate the “smart” conversion of a leading apostrophe in an abbreviated two-digit year into the wrong curly form.

    Other than that, I will be instructing my supporters to vote for ymatto.

    No, seriously, I don’t want to undercut a great post-plus-comment. The one part that sounds problematic to me is where you talk about removing the right to participate in the political process. A business doesn’t get to lobby, but a nonprofit group of birdwatchers (say) does? I predict an explosion of business subsidies of “nonprofit” lobbying arms. Or are you saying that no assemblage of people larger than a single individual would have any right to participate? I have a hard time seeing how that would work in practice.

    For myself, I think I’d substitute public financing of political campaigns as a means of getting the corrupting influence of big money out of politics. You’ll never stop greedy people from doing bad things for money, but with public financing of campaigns, and a lot more of that transparency stuff, corrupt politicians would have less of a structural advantage when competing against honest challengers.

    I’d use my bully pulpit on the campaign trail to remind people that we are a brave people, not a bunch of cowardly slugs who need to cower in the face of danger. I would begin every speech with a demand that we immediately close Guantanamo and either 1) charge and prosecute, or 2) release, apologize, and pay compensation to everyone who has been held there. I would establish a National Truth Commission to investigate and expose illegal actions on the part of the US government in connection with the “War on Terror,” and to prosecute and incarcerate those responsible. And I’d cooperate with the convening of an international court of inquiry at The Hague into war crimes by the Bush administration.

  3. ymatt Says:

    or myself, I think I’d substitute public financing of political campaigns as a means of getting the corrupting influence of big money out of politics.

    That’s an excellent point as well, although I still feel that serious, brutal lobby reform is in order, although I’ll admit to not having enough understanding to define the right solution probably. Simply eliminating them might be the solution — what benefit do they serve in the digital age? But anyway, I didn’t want to turn this into a million conversations on various subjects.

    I select Tommy as my running mate and speechwriter.

    Let’s see those platforms, candidates. I want everybody… craig, onan, steve, the regulars, everybody.

  4. shcb Says:

    Just a suggestion, how about making a thread for discussing our platforms and leaving this one exclusively for the platforms, maybe you could move the last two comments and delete mine if you think this a good idea.

  5. enkidu Says:

    I would also like to suggest that these not be set in stone, if your platform is significantly different, then let us know. Just to speed the plow a bit, the planks that must be covered are (ymatto’s order btw).

    War & foreign policy:

    Government Reform:

    Budget & Economy:




    Health Care:


    Homeland Security:


    Gay Marriage:

    Gun Control:


    Social Security:



  6. ymatt Says:

    Less banter, more platform! Debate comes later.

  7. Sven Says:

    I more or less agree with ymatts platform, with one big thing I’d like to add: election reform.

    I believe Instant Runoff Voting would be a great thing. I know ymatt has promoted something similar in the past as well, although I forget the term he used for it. The way our current system works we have a choice between the buffoon in office from one party, and their challenger in another party. Not really much choice at all, leading many citizens to be uninterested in the process. IRV would encourage independent and 3rd party candidates to be taken more seriously, and you could cast a vote for them without feeling like you are throwing your vote away. IRV involves a system of ranking your candidates from first choice, second choice and third choice. If your first choice does not get over 50% of the vote, your vote is cast for your second choice. Likewise with your second choice vote going to your third choice if necessary. More info can be found here:

    I also believe Election Day should be a national holiday like Veterans Day or any other holiday. Voting should be made as easy and convenient as possible. Voting should be made mandatory for all citizens. I’m not in favor of punishing those who for whatever reason chose not to vote, but it should be a hassle not to vote: paperwork to fill out, perhaps a small fine. Australia has had Mandatory Voting for many years, and most Australians favor it. They even have something like a 95% turnout for voting for every election.

    I don’t really have much else to add at this time, except that I like smart quotes. But I’ll cast my vote (one of them) at ymatt and jbc anyway.

  8. Steve Says:

    My answers will be shorter than ymatt’s, because I’m just about to go to lunch.

    War & foreign policy: Why are these two even mentioned in the same category? I’m tired of our foreign policy being though of as a matter of deciding which country’s citizens we should go and kill. I’d like to see us make a serious effort to move the entire world into a set of legal frameworks. I like the idea of living in a litigious world, just like we live in a litigious country. We need to figure out a way to solve all our intense conflicts using lawyers instead of soldiers. I’d try to phase in this approach by moving 10% of our military budget to this new program every 5 years.

    Government Reform: No more signing statements. Less secrecy. Choose top level posts by expertise instead of campaign contributions.

    Budget & Economy: Let unions organize using card checks. Index an increased minimum wage to inflation.

    Energy: Auction off carbon credits for a cap and trade system. After setting pollution targets by consulting with scientists, let the free market handle the rest.

    Education: Seems we’re doing well enough here to let alone.

    Business: Outlaw mandatory arbitration, universal default, predatory lending, and the hiring of labor outside of the ethical standards of our country.

    Health Care: Single payer. Cheaper, better, never lose your coverage.

    Crime: End the drug war. Give sentencing discretion back to judges. Prosecute the war criminals from the Bush administration. Separate the notion that being tough on crime means being tough on criminals.

    Homeland Security: Focus on actual efforts to protect the country (intelligence, investigation, legitimacy of enforcement agencies) and abandon all the crap that’s just for show (color coded terrorism alerts, all those stupid airport rules (taking off shoes, no liquids, etc..))

    Immigration: Increase the amount of legal immigration to match the actual demand as evidenced by all the illegal immigration that goes on.

    Gay Marriage: Separate the issue of civil marriage from marriage before God. Perhaps rename civil marriage to civil unions. Let churches and society define marriage. I don’t like the fact that my church follows the world on what the definition of marriage is, and I don’t want my church telling someone else what their definition should be. Marriage is way too important to let the government define it. Civil unions should let any two adults enter into a contract with each other.

    Gun Control: Seems we’re doing well enough here to let it alone.

    Taxes: End all tax deductions. Make lawmakers fund things explicitly through spending or not allow them to spend at all. Come up with a formula that takes into account the different values of $1 depending on how many dollars you already make. Add up all the income someone makes, apply the formula, pay the tax. This should eliminate many lobbies, since it seems many lobbyists are paid to try to come up with new tax deductions.

    Social Security: Seems fine the way it is.

    Abortion: The later into a pregnancy an abortion is desired, the less legal it should be. I’ve never dealt with this issue, so it’s easy for me to be personally against it.

    Trade: Free trade with the caveat that we won’t include countries that have abysmal human rights records.

  9. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    War & foreign policy: The era of America the partner begins here. The peoples of the world will not value the benefits of our way of life if its imposed on them. This being said your partner America stands ready to assist with development and disaster relief. The United States military will no longer act save on a direct request from an ally or against a direct threat to it’s security. American servicemen and women will no longer constitute the majority of the armed response of the United Nations. However to the enemies of America I say the era of tv-friendly limited war is at an end, your fates will be similar that that of Nazi Germany.

    Government Reform: As your president I will voluntarily rescind many of the perks of so called executive privilege. War will not be declared except by act of congress. I will urge congress to pass a bill for reasonable term limits for both house and senate. I will also institute a precedent of meritocracy in the appointment of heads of government agencies. Election day will be moved to an existing national holiday so every American that wishes to can easily make it to the polls.

    Budget & Economy: Eliminating the nebulous commitments of the Armed Forces will free a sizable block of money for education and energy projects. The vast majority of my economic reforms will be found in trade reform, see below.

    Energy: Politics and economics must begin to be divorced from the development and implementation of alternate energy. I purpose a an unconstrained scientific body to develop alternate energy methods and nationwide implementation policies. The ultimate goals of this policy are the implementation of an independent, sustainable national energy system.

    Education: An education is not something that one can go buy at the store. The American people do not fundamentally value an eduction. I purpose that we nationalize the educational standards of all primary, secondary and state funded colleges with a standard based on global competitiveness. It will also be important to create a culture that values education in America.

    Business: Business in America as it currently exists is a detriment to the individual citizens. Business analysts discuss the health of the economy as though it was some sort of supernatural entity, disregarding the effects on the citizens of this nation. I propose to reform business in America to be an ally of the citizen. To this end I purpose a bill to overturn Santa Clara Co. vs. Southern Pacific Railroad and eliminate business protection under the Bill of Rights as a ‘natural person.’ Furthermore I will propose a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the the citizens the right to organize. The Founding Fathers were suspicious of big business, and rightly so.

    Health Care: I propose an optional, affordable governmental health care plan. The citizens of the greatest nation in the world shouldn’t have to go without heath care if they require it. The concept of insuring health is ludicrous given the inherent fragility of organic life. I further propose a law banning health insurance availability based on genetic predispositions for disease.

    Crime: I propose to attack the problem of crime on several fronts. First with comprehensive prison reform. New maximum security prisons will be constructed and all gang affiliated prisoners will be held in solitary confinement for the duration of their sentences. I will increase funding for prison based drug rehabilitation programs until they are available for every inmate with a substance abuse problem. I purpose a general decriminalization of drug possession with a goal of seeking out those in the drug trade, rather than drug users who should receive rehabilitation therapy.

    Homeland Security: Its important to realize that 9/11 was a fluke and that it could have been avoided. Interagency cooperation must be maintained, but the Patriot Act does little in affording domestic security. Cargo screening, foreign human intelligence, a non-partisan foreign intelligence analysis and maintaining open diplomatic relations will do more to keep us safe than universal wire tapping. Again this is another area where merit based appointees to American’s security agencies will be crucial to America’s safety.

    Immigration: I’m the son of immigrants that arrived in the 20th century. I for a streamlined naturalization process to allow those people who desire American citizenship to obtain it.

    Gay Marriage: Marriage is defined as a religious sacrament. However it exists in terms of federal and state definitions. This is wrong, but it an error of semantics. Whether or not two people can be married is a matter for individual religious organizations to decided. However all couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual will enjoy the same status as a ‘civil union’ regarding rights and privileges under the law. I will also propose a ‘bachelor tax credit’ as a believe that tax credits for joined couples are discriminatory.

    Gun Control: The right to keep and bare arms for the common citizen is as important today as it was when the Constitution was authored. I purpose that we full exercise the current laws regarding gun crime. I further propose that we increase the penalty for illegal arm sales to life imprisonment or death, depending the circumstances of illegal weapons sales.

    Taxes: We must have a tax policy that doesn’t impair the economic viability of the individual in society. I purpose a Federally mandated minimum wage that will provide a ‘living wage’ to every working American. Trickle down economics has been proven a fallacy at this stage and we need tax breaks for the struggling, not the successful. This is my no means to say I intend to tax the rich as punishment, proper tax policy is not a punishment, its the price you pay for a democratic society.

    Social Security: I will opt for voluntary privatization of the Social Security. Private investment options will be unregulated by the Federal Government however there will be a variety of Federal investment options available.

    Abortion: I don’t believe that men should have any say over a woman’s body. I will defend the current laws regarding a woman’s right to choose. I will encourage adoption though, going to so far to offer a tax credit for mothers that choose adoption over abortion. I will also encourage a practical-based sex education program teaching both abstinence and prophylactic based birth control. The human desire to reproduce is hard wired to us as species, no amount of moralizing will eliminate or suppress it. We must approach reproductive issues with a practical mindset.

    Trade: Trade imbalances have done more to harm this nation than any other issue. The destruction of American manufacturing has had a devastating ripple effect throughout all areas of our society. The global economy is a sham that benefits only the owners of companies, it has been utterly detrimental to the American people as whole. Thus comprehensive trade reform is my number one issue. As president I will return jobs to the United States and we will witness a great healing as we build toward a future where every working American is economically able to to afforded the pursuit of happiness. I purpose the following trade reforms with the goal of returning jobs the United States and ending our era of ‘service’ economy: First, we will repeal all free trade agreements. Second, tariffs on goods manufactured by state assisted foreign businesses will be raised to put them on parity for domestic goods competition, here must be equality. Third, domestic tariffs on American owned businesses who move their manufacturing or service operations overseas will be increased to the point where they must suffer a loss to sell them in the United States. There will be package of economic incentives for businesses that wish to repatriate their manufacturing to the United States.

  10. ymatt Says:

    This is great stuff, keep it coming. I’ve never heard some of these ideas for reform put forth before, and others are ideas that I’d forgotten made so much sense.

  11. ymatt Says:

    By the way, if we get a few more platforms, I’m thinking we do a few one-topic post threads to debate some of the differences (or maybe items of controversial consensus).

  12. enkidu Says:

    My campaign slogan will be:
    E N K I D U
    part god, part man, part beast
    all American!

    War: Announce complete withdrawl from Iraq. This could take 5 to 10 years, but basically it won’t be like Korea. Have a victory parade and then work twice as hard at supporting the troops upon their return, the current regime’s record is abominable.

    Reinvade Afghanistan (with say 20% of our 160,000 troops in Iraq?), stop opium production (this is probably nearly impossible in the short term). Work with B Bhutto to catch or kill Osama bin Laden. Try to get India and Pakistan to agree to some sort of compromise on Kashmir and reducing/eliminating their nuke capabilities.

    Foreign policy: Repair relationships with EU and ‘old europe’ allies, declare peace and work toward it. Get the Russians and Chinese (and perhaps all nuke powers) to the table to negotiate an end to nuclear weapons world wide. Begin unilateral disarmament (heck just retire the oldest and least safe weapons and call it the same).

    Create a Department of Peace and start funding it from money you take from the bloated military. Retire the Osprey to the museums.

    Throw the ridiculous bush-era ‘roadmap to nowhere’ to the curb and start strong-arming the Israelis and arab nations/Palestinians to make peace. Enormous compromises and offerings of trust will marginalize radicals and extremists: the good that is in most human beings can bring us together. Forgiveness and humility must replace violence and propaganda.

    Consider going to Tehran for peace talks within the first 100 days.

    Government: e-Transparency government initiative. All bills, budgets, memos and emails are public/government property. Start reinventing government with the intertubes. Security and intelligence matters as well as some defense, medical and personal data will have to be safegaurded and oversight should be equally transparent.

    Public financing of election campaigns. Talkin about a revolution (continue humming theme song to this vital initiative)

    No contracts for mercs like Blackwater and a thorough review of firms like Dynacorp, KBR, Halliburton and the rest of them.

    Finally, restore and respect the US Constitution (currently the entire Bill of Rights has been subverted with just two fundamental rights left: bearing arms and not quartering foreign troops [Blackwater… hmmmm])

    Budget & Economy: The top 1%, but even more the top 0.1% and even more the top 0.01% will have to pay more taxes. Sorry about that. Work towards balancing the budget. Start working down the debt. This will mean military cutbacks, some Social Security reductions, and rollback of the Bush tax giveaways to the richest Americans. It’s a war, right? Sacrifice is needed, innovation is required, determination and imagination the only resources that matter.

    Energy: Incentivise clear green energy saving and new energy resource technology as a national emergency priority. Think of it as the Apollo program for energy or the Manhattan project for telling the oil cartels to go f… find some other markets for their products.

    I’ve been advocating higher oil taxes for decades with the money being invested in safer nuclear energy generation (w recycling) and solar and wind etc. With oil at $80 to $100 a barrel now, we could use a bit of the oil companies windfall to put the shieks out of business.

    Education: Let us reinvest in education, in our children and their children. Let second language education be available in every school and the integration of these peoples and their cultures into our own unique polyglot American culture. We are stronger than our basest fears, let us be wise enough to overcome our ignorance.

    Business: Level the playing field by introducing penalties and tariffs for products built under inhumane business and environmental practices. Encourage shared responsibility and spreading the wealth rather than concentrating it in few and few hands.

    Health Care: Time for Universal Health care. Now. No more insurance industry for healthcare. You are done making money of denying healthcare. A hybrid private/socialized (o that word, ha!) medicine program is a national priority second only to the reduction of our dependance on middle east oil.

    Crime: Stop criminalizing the use of drugs. Soft drugs like marijuana should be legal and taxed, controlled just like soft drugs tobacco and alcohol. Let the drug companies work on safe psychotropics. Hard drugs must remain illegal, but decriminalized, a medical matter with pyschological and physiological needs that must be healed. Stop doing harm. Reduce prison populations and work harder at incenting real change while also increasing the punishments for recidivism.

    Homeland Security: Reinstate FISA oversight of domestic wiretapping. That wasn’t so hard now was it? Put in high tech scanners at points of entry for containers. Beef up human intelligence sources, run stings, scams and training exercises to test and hone these vital protective measures. Establish a metric for improvement. But do away with the scaremonger’s friend, the color coded crap-yer-pants-meter, day 1.

    Immigration: On illegal immigration, some sort of compromise must be reached. I don’t favor criminalization, but a path to legal citizen status must be our goal. Consider some program of incentives to ‘immigrate as of now’ and if the gov can prove a untaxed income or wrong doing, then punishments under the law must be administered, with firmness, but fairness for honest hardworking illegals. Giving judges discretion and flexibility seems a wise course, but oversight of the judges is also an issue.

    Gay Marriage: The first lady and I have a civil union, and I think that should also be good enough for any other union between loving caring, committed human beings. Each religion, indeed each church and each church goer must decide where they stand on marriage, but civil unions are performed under the legal auspices of the state and the people. That is good enough for me.

    Gun Control: If you want to buy a gun, you must register for it and show that you know how to use it properly and safely. Waiting periods should be left up to the states. Some classes of weaponry are not right for citizens (no bazookas, machine guns or rockets, please). i like Senator Chris Rock’s proposal to make bullets cost $4000 each (except for the military). Another idea is putting RFID tags in every bullet and gun, then we would know who fired each and every bullet.

    Taxes: A ratcheting up of taxes on the wealthiest 1% or less of Americans is in order. We the middle class have given up enough. Don’t like it? Move to Dubai or Eastern Europe. The bush-era tax give-aways are repealed. It won’t be that big an increase for most of you multimillionaires, deal with it.

    Social Security: Stop taking money out of SS to fund these counterproductive wars of aggression and tax giveaways to the richest Americans. If minor reductions to keep the system solvent are required, lets put it to a vote. Minor adjustments may be needed, but nothing radical.

    Abortion: A woman’s choice. Yes or no to this vital question is not the state’s to decide, nor the federal government. If you are against abortion, don’t have one. Respect other’s choices, even if you don’t agree with them (unless these choices lead anti-choice foes to bombing, shooting, intimidating etc). Late term abortions should be as rare as honest Republicans. I like another candidate’s idea of incentives for women to give up their child for adoption.

    Trade: Re-think NAFTA. Stop buying chinese junk produced in ways that are killing the planet (and their people). Environmentalism is the future, let’s get ahead of the wave!

    Space: open up space to private companies, and encourage private development of lunar and asteroid belt resources. The guy or gal that figures out He3 mining will make Bill Gates look like a pauper.

    Science: see Education plank, but basically restore science as one of the basic foundation blocks in our society. Policy should be driven by science and reason, not faith and superstition.

  13. NorthernLite Says:

    NorthernLite 08
    “The Future is Bright”

    Environment: This was left out of the list, which I guess is understandable because is pretty much off the radar in the current political races in the US, but I assure it is front and centre in many other countries.

    Greenhouse gas emissions must be stabilized and then reduced. Introduce a carbon credit trading system and then let the market take care of the rest. Stricter penalties for industrial polluters. Crack down on excessive packaging. More education in the early years about protecting our planet.

    Taxes: I’m putting taxes below the environment because these two items have a relationship in the NorthernLite platform. Eliminate the income tax system and move towards a consumption-based tax. Heavy polluting products should be taxed according to the damage caused to our planet. This has many benefits including not penalizing people for working hard and taxing people who consume too much more heavily.

    War and Foreign Policy: I really agree with Steve, these two items should not be linked so closely together. War as a last resort and only when the homeland is specifically threatened.

    Government Reform: Public financing for political parties. No more business/special interest groups deciding who wins elections and what laws get passed.

    Budget and Economy: If the way the US asserts itself internationally is more in line with a leadership role rather than a police role, there will be plenty in the budget for programs that actually benefit Americans.

    Energy: Stop giving welfare payments to billion-dollar oil companies and start providing grants and tax breaks to renewable energies initiatives.

    Education: Introduce a national child-care program to ensure every American child has the best start they can get. This is investing in the future, pure and simple. More rigorous science/math courses, starting earlier.

    Business: Again, crackdown on industrial polluters.

    Healthcare: Universal health-care for every American. Paid for by reforming foreign policy.

    Crime: The War on Drugs has been lost. It’s time to focus on education and rehabilitation programs. Legalize and tax marijuana to pay for it.

    Homeland Security: Reform is needed here. Order a non-partisan review of this department to see what needs to be done to make it more efficient and effective.

    Immigration: Get control of the borders, give those here illegally a path to citizenship.

    Gay Marriage: Equal rights are equal rights.

    Gun Control: Ban handguns. They are meant for one purpose: to kill people.

    Social Security: I would steal ymatt’s ideas here. In fact, if he would accept it, I would have him as my running mate.

    Abortion: Again, after reading ymatt’s post, I tend to like his approach.

    Trade: When signing trade agreements with other countries, more emphasis must be put on environmental laws, labor laws, worker health and safety, and human rights.

  14. ymatt Says:

    Keep them coming, where’s teachervet? craig?

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    Knarly ‘08
    Motto: Live the Dream
    Pledge for the first 100 days: Continue to cut and paste. Also, declassify secret documents relating to Iraq, Afghanistan, and 911 crimes. Convene an inquiry at The Hague into Bush administration war crimes (jbc). Present a budget plan to reestablish America as a civil rights leader (short term), economic leader (medium term) and reduce its military dominance (long term).

    On the issues:
    Election Reform: yes to the single transferable vote (i.e. runoff voting – sven).

    War & Foreign Policy:
    Iraq: Apologize to world community for the illegal attack on Iraq. Assert America’s intention to remain in Iraq, rebuilding until Iraqi living standards meet first world standards (using confiscated Iraqi oil resources to fund all efforts, of course.) Set a 30 year plan to transform the country from the current occupied-state status to eventual seat of a new United Nations, moved from NYC, in the 25th year. The plan will start with ruling the country with an iron fist for up to five more years. Gary Brecher, to be the interim governor: ), engaging mercenary soldiers from third world nations if necessary to avoid a domestic (American) draft. By the 30th year, the region that used to be known as Iraq will be an internationally managed region respecting religious tolerance, historical heritage and tribal traditions. Then attack Iran. Just kidding.

    Recommit to international diplomacy and unrestricted diplomatic relations (ymatt).

    Normalize trade with Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other countries.
    Reject the preemptive war doctrine (ymatt). Refocus primary military efforts to temporary humanitarian assistance.

    Discontinue the use of depleted uranium ordinance. Formally apologize for, and renounce the policy of, nuclear bomb “first strike”.

    Government Reform: Choose top level posts by expertise (steve). Reject past & futuresigning statements, executive privilege, and raise the standard of an open executive transparency to at least that of the most open executive branch over the past 100 years. Codify Congress’ exclusive right to declare war and initiate military action.
    Budget & Economy: see Ron Paul’s agenda, minus the crazy stuff.
    Future military cutbacks will balance the budget (by law except in the case of defensive war) and add funding for energy research and education within ten years.

    Energy: Create a schedule of gradually increasing taxes on non-renewable hydrocarbon and nuclear power output and consumption, funnel those revenues to development of current solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and other renewable power technologies. Provide moderate government funding to accelerate new technology and development of alternatives. Pro carbon-credit trading.

    Education: nationalize, set low class size limits, and pay decent wages (ymatt)

    Business: agree with ymatt, jbc and Jayson. Use federal funding to strongly encourage the Solari movement:

    Health Care: per ymatt

    Crime: Amnesty for people currently in system for possession of small amounts of illegal drugs. Pedophiles and rapists to be humanely castrated, compensation to those wrongly convicted of these crimes to be capped at $10,000. End the prison “industry”, increase the focus on protecting public via long sentences for violent offenders and restriction of rights upon release, offenders must provide restitution to victims, greater rehabilitation efforts.

    Homeland Security: Rename this horrifically fascist sounding government department to the more Orwellian sounding “Dept. of Harmonious Intercourse”.
    Undo the Patriot Act and treat domestic terrorism for what it is: crime. Establish laws against actions abroad that would be illegal in the US, and recognize the full legal weight of the Geneva Conventions (ymatt). Also, support steve’s agenda.

    Immigration: Mend the borders. America no longer needs waves of immigrants to turn prairie into farmlands, etc. but immigration is good. Policy should be made better by scientific consideration of how many and which people are needed in terms of regional population changes, skill sets, and investment intentions. Recognize the supply of immigrants is sometimes more and sometimes less than what is best for America. Oh yea, provide one year of living expenses for any Iraqi or Afghani who wants to immigrate to America (funded by Iraqi oil revenue, of course.)

    Gay Marriage: (Pro-ymatt policies)

    Gun Control: Severely increase penalties for gun crime / opposed to weapons bans or mandatory registration. (ymatt) Investigate options for programs such as exchanging inner city hand guns for groceries, tuition, life-skills programs or other counseling, etc.

    Taxes: Progressive taxation rates between 1% (on first $25,000) and 50% maximum rate, i.e. higher tax rate on higher income (ymatt), simplify system and increase revenues by reducing tax credits, deductions and deferrals, especially corporately. Exception: Ten year tax holiday on all clean energy purchases and investments. (Foreign policy aspect: we need some international cooperation on sharing a big chunk of the wealth of the richest 1%, including corporations, with the poorest 90% of the world’s population.)

    Social Security: do what ymatt said.

    Abortion: Remains 100% a woman’s choice, but offer options to mothers (ymatt). Also, set a maximum allowed by any woman before sterilization is required to be included with the abortion procedure (e.g. 3 if within first trimester, 2 in second, and 0 in third). Anyone interfering with a woman’s right to abortion will be sentenced to two years of solitary confinement in Guantanamo with random intervals of high volume stereo sounds of a crying baby blasted at their cell 24/7.

    Trade: Increase standards required of products being imported. Tariffs on groups of trade imported goods set to that required for reasonable inspections of incoming goods and shipping containers. Thoughtful globalization is a good thing, subsistence cultures need protection of their food supply and right to a clean environment. Jayson’s proposals have appeal too.

    Global Warming: Anyone else noticing it is getting hot in here? End the denial and fully cooperate with international efforts (e.g. Kyoto).

    Days of Silence: Ground all air traffic for a few days every September 11 and support efforts to make those days a time of peaceful reflection and thanksgiving for our lives on this planet.

  16. Craig Says:

    Republican (as if they’d actually have me!)
    Place favorite insipid slogan here.

    Environment: The idea of getting some many primary nations with differing levels of economic status, industrial complexity, regulatory law, capital/government funding, etc. makes a comprehensive world policy unworkable. Political commitment must be generated from public support. In the meantime, good stewardship of the earth can build in measured doses. Tighten the screws on tougher, more time-sensitive pollutant controls. Some New Deal-type business incentives to make it financially irresponsible to NOT invest heanily in alternative fuel/power sources. A world consortium of experts, funded by a group of nations that explore new or existing alternatives and how to best make them affordable to produce and use.

    Energy: See above. plus, put nuclear power back on the table as a clean, safe source to invest in.

    Foreign Policy: Cooperation and diplomacy must be the first, second and third choice. Those powers who will tend to NOT want to play well with others on the diplomatic stage (i.e., Russia and China) must be both encouraged and pressured to take a bigger world view. But the U.S. must model that as well. But someone must still take a lead role, like it or not. It should be us. The carrot and the stick approach is fine, but someone has to have the political will to ensure the stick will actually be used! But not as the lone wolf. A simplistic approach in a very complex and cynical world, but there it is.

    Government Reform: Special interests and lobbyists have too much control of the process, from elections to the business of governing. Serious limitations on perks and contributions must be put in place in a very transparent way. “Fact-finding trips” and the like, must be publicized in a very clear way.

    Economy: Hmmm, better find some financial eggheads to help me out. Gotta have a way to raise all boats in our capitalist framework. No mega-scale bailout for those facing forclosure. But tighter limitations for those seeking home loans. A nation of house-poor people who are under water at the slightest personal or national economic hiccup, is not financially smart for anyone.

    Education: Eliminate state lotteries and such. Have one national lottery group that controls lottery-related products and use nearly all the proceeds for a national pot of school-funding, distributed to all states by appropriately fair measures. More funding for teacher salaries. Okay, I haven’t thought this whole thing through yet.


    Crime: I’m against it. Tied to the economy of course. More funding for police presence, but also for agressive investigation of white-collar crimes and IRS fraud. Billions are lost in this way.

    Homeland Security: Break apart a good chunk of the lumbering sloth! Many agencies will do better in more sensible sup-groups. Without being too isolationist, fill some security gaps at home.

    Immigration: Secure the borders. Give a path toward citizenship for those already here who want and deserve it.

    Gay Marriage: Marriage no; civil unions yes.

    Gun Control: Gun ownership doesn’t mean a right to own your own munitions dump. Limits on the kinds of weapons for individual ownership. Must be linked to crime in eliminating criminal access to stronger weapons.

    Social Security: The numbers don’t seem to add up to me. Funding must be addressed as retirees grow and the supporting workforce falls behind.

    Abortion: Women still have the basic right. Certain limits on timeframes. At some level, people have to understand that murder is happening. Where does that line fall? Allow options such as morning-after pills.

    Trade: Anyone want a Brooks Robinson for two Tug McGraws? Need for help from my eggheads. This one is so entertwined with the global economy, that its hard to adjust it in isolation.

  17. shcb Says:

    Short O’Haira ‘08
    Party: Republican
    Campaign Motto: Put A Little Country In The (white) House

    A little preface before I get to the issues, you will see a pattern develop in my answers below, I believe in devolving many of the functions of the federal government back to the states, now I’m not a dogmatic libertarian, I just think the closer government is to the people the better. I like the idea of 50 little laboratories handling issues in slightly different ways, then the other 49 can learn from their experiences. Also, when I say I will do this or that and it is a legislative or judicial matter understand I am saying I will do everything I can to accomplish that goal without encroaching on there powers, unless I state otherwise of course.

    On the issues:

    War & Foreign Policy: A strong military is essential to a free society, freedom of movement of people and goods keeps an economy healthy and vibrant. That freedom of movement leaves you open to sabotage however, the most effective way to prevent that sabotage is not to chase him down after he has done his dirty deed, but to eliminate the threat before he gets to our shores. Diplomacy is important and should be utilized when possible but rings hollow if not backed up with the will and ways of action.

    As an immediate action I would establish a long term base in the south of Iraq next to the ports and withdraw one hundred thousand troops as quickly as possible, they need a well deserved rest before the inevitable war with Iran.

    Government Reform: Our constitution is the single most amazing document in the history of the world save the Magna Carta. I would do what I can to get back to it’s original intent primarily by devolving power back to the states. I will veto any bill that ties federal funding to the passage of state laws. For instance raising the legal drinking age to 21 or loose highway funds. Signing statements and executive orders are important tools of the president but I would not use either frivolously, with two exceptions, pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey and forever answering the most important question of our time, Ginger or Mary Ann (Mary Ann)

    Budget & Economy: As little intrusion by government as possible in the economy is best. At this time taxes consume about 21% of our GDP, it should be closer to 19% devolving power to the states and letting programs die in areas where they are not needed, and privatizing some entitlements is start, but increasing the productivity of the economy without growing government is the answer.

    Energy: Open drilling in Anwar

    Increase patent lengths for alternative energy patents that are put into production.

    Build nuclear plants in areas where wind is not practical

    Education: Since education is primarily a function of state and local governments, as it should be, I would make no changes as president. However, if this gig doesn’t work out and I have to run for governor in some podunk state I can’t even find on a map today: Vouchers, merit pay for teachers.

    Business: Eliminate all corporate taxes, no taxes, no tax cuts or deductions, the consumer pays those taxes anyway. This would also eliminate the salary cap on executives imposed by Clinton. Free trade to a point.

    Health Care: I would veto any legislation that pushes us further down the path of socialized health care. Medical savings accounts and tort reform are the two most important changes we need to make. With younger workers apply the Medicaid portion of their employment taxes directly to their MSA. Build an environment that will take us away from medical insurance being paid by employers, this is relic of World War II that has long ago exceeded it’s usefulness. People should shop their health insurance the way they do auto insurance. I would also protect pharmaceutical companies from blackmail tactics of countries like Canada to procure drugs at below market prices to shore up their socialistic systems.

    Crime: shorten the appeals process for death row inmates, they should be executed within 5 years of conviction.

    Homeland Security: Stop the color coded nonsense, shoe removal etc. do the best you can here but kill them over there.

    Immigration: immediate jailing of illegal aliens in work camps with no money sent to their families for six months, then a slow boat ride to southern end of Mexico where they would be unceremoniously dropped off on a dock. Let the Mexican government figure a way to get them home. Guest worker program for workers only, not family. Eliminate citizenship at birth (anchor baby)

    Gay Marriage: marriage is between a man and woman.

    Gun Control: Get rid of the silly assault weapon ban, limit all semi-automatics, including hand guns to 8 rounds. Make the use of a fully auto weapon in the commission of a crime a federal offense punishable by death whether you fired the weapon or not.

    Taxes: less is always better.

    Social Security: slowly privatize

    Abortion: issue for individual states

    Trade: The market will take care of itself.

  18. enkidu Says:

    beggin yer pardon ymatt, but will we ever be allowed to discuss the various platforms? just checking, thanks

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