CPD: The Moratorium on Brains

I’m forced to ask myself why I am so unenthusiastic about the presidential debates tonight. I guess the answer isn’t too hard to understand if you sat through the first one.


I watched the two senators go on for 90 minutes without mentioning a single specific detail on anything they were proposing. I disappointing watched the moderator let them both get away with it. They both opened themselves up for some good follow-up questions, which of course, were not asked.


No, it was not at all a real debate. It was campaign slogans and catch phrases.


The part I was most impressed with was their ability to squirm away from the question that was actually asked and then walk themselves into a place where they could deliver the one-liner they wanted to make a news headline. This is the greatest strength of both these two men. They can evade like no other.


But all in all, this adds up to not only be boring, but uninformative. So why should I waste my time.


Of course we could spice things up a bit. We could introduce a moderator that will actually hold these guys to task. Someone who, when they make generalities, will nail them down on specifics. Someone who won’t let them evade questions they don’t want to answer. During the VP debate, Gov. Palin straight up said, “I’m going to stand here and talk about what I want to talk about.” That is not debate.


Or we could introduce more candidates and more ideas into the mix. But we know the RNC and DNC would never allow that. That is why the two parties got together to form the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).


One of my favorite books is Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Every time I read about the CPD, I think about this book.


One of the main characters in this book is Orren Boyle, the CEO of Associated Steel. He is not a great businessman but he is a great politician. His opposite is Hank Reardon, of Reardon Steel. Hank is an exceptional businessman, but has no interest in what goes on in Washington. Hank keeps taking market share away from Orren. Orren starts petitioning his Washington buddies to slow down Hank. Hank is vilifies in the media because he is so rich, so the laws that are strangling his ability to do business are praised as “fair”. Nobody could produce anymore than any other in their industry. Quotes were strictly enforced.


While Orren was networking with the politicians, Hank was working to design a new metal to replace steel. After years or hard work and long nights, he produced a metal that was stronger, lighter, and cheaper to produce than steel. This of course was devastating to Orren’s business. He lobbied to Washington on how it was unfair that someone could come up with a new idea and make his business obsolete. Eventually the government passed a law that was a “moratorium on brains”. New ideas and new methods of production were outlawed because they would be unfair to those who didn’t think of them. The end results were not positive.


To me, the RNC and DNC are just like Orren Boyle. They are petrified of losing their position in the world. However instead of focusing on being the best political party they can be, focused on giving the people freedom and liberty, they focus on keeping all others shut out of the process. They fear having competition because they might not be able to measure up. They fear new ideas that can make them obsolete.


This is why the RNC and DNC banded together to form the Commission of Presidential Debates. This is why the debates have been such a poor product in recent years. The negotiations are held in secret and the major party candidates set the terms. They pick who moderates, they decide the structure.


This year, since both Senator Biden and Gov. Palin are both gaffe prone, the commission shorted the response times for their questions and eliminated follow-up questions to make it less likely they would say something stupid. Again, denying us a good debate.


Nobody else is allowed to get into the game. Originally, the requirement to get into the debate was to be polling greater than 10% nationally. In ’92 Ross Perot was close to that number. They became alarmed to find this requirement to be achievable, so they promptly raised the limit to 15% .


In ’92, Ross Perot was allowed into the debate. This is was because both Bush and Clinton agreed to let him in. If either refused, he would have been out of luck. In ’96 he was polling around 9%, just like in ’92. Bob Dole feared Perot could cut into his base, so he struck a deal with President Clinton to keep Perot out. President Clinton, as the incumbent, wasn’t interested in debate or discussing issues. His terms for shutting out Perot where that there would only be 2 debate instead of 3 and the debates would be held at the same time as the World Series so nobody would watch them. The ratings were very, very low.


When pollster ask people if third party candidates should be allowed into the debates, Americans answer with a resounding yes. Americans don’t believe in shutting out new ideas like the RNC and DNC.


The truth is, no third party candidate will reach 15% in the polls unless they are allowed into the debate. How else can they get their message heard? Instead of a polling restriction, the requirement should be based on how many ballots they were able to get on. Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin, and Cynthia McKinney are all on enough ballots to win. They should be given a chance to say what they have to say. Then we can let the American people decide who they want to run the country, not who the Commission on Presidential Debates wants.


7 Responses to CPD: The Moratorium on Brains

  1. Reid Greenmun says:

    What was that idiotic “plan” that Senator McCain dropped on us last night?

    Did I hear him correctly?

    Is Senator McCain now promising to blow another $300B to nationalize bad mortgages for folks facing foreclosure????!

    Great – so now we get our Hobson’s choice of Socialist-lite (McCain) or full blown Socialists (Obama) – take your pick …

    Exactly WHERE in the Constitution is HEALTH CARE a “right”?

    Talk about a missed opportunity – why didn’t John McCain ask Barack Obama THAT question last night?

    Once the two of them bullied the moderator into allowing rebuttals, everything was fair game as far as the format went. There we no rules.

    Instead Senator McCaimn babbled on about some nonsensical ‘moral responsibility’ (or some other pandering blather) for the Federal government to provide healthcare to everyone!

    By what authority does the President of the United States have the power to use Federal tax dollars to spend on an unconstitutional acts such as buying privately owned mortgages using tax funds and then lowering the principal so that people can afford a house they bought (but could not really afford) or the authority for spending billions to provide HEALTH CARE to everyone?
    It is incredible that no one is pointing this out today . . . Folks, the Constitution limits the powers of the Federal government.

    Why do these two bozos feel they can ignore the Constitution and suddenly invent new “Rights” in order to buy votes?

    This nation is screwed!

  2. Reid Greenmun says:

    Oh … and who is John Galt?

    Some chick named Dangny Taggert wants to know.

  3. Reid Greenmun says:

    From John McCain – ABOUT LAST NIGHT:

    My Friends,

    Millions of Americans on Main Street are feeling the effects of our current economic crisis largely brought on by corruption and greed at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wall Street. Our next president must come into office with a plan to address the very root the failing housing market.

    Last night, during my debate with Senator Obama, I announced my plan to fix the root of our problem and I’d like to share a little more with you today.

    If elected president, I will direct my Treasury Secretary to implement an American Homeownership Resurgence Plan to keep families in their homes, avoid foreclosures, save failing neighborhoods, stabilize the housing market and attack the roots of our financial crisis.

    America’s families are bearing a heavy burden from falling housing prices, mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, and a weak economy. It is important that those families who have worked hard enough to finance homeownership not have that dream crushed under the weight of the wrong mortgage.

    For those that cannot make inflated payments or their mortgage exceeds the value of their home, mortgages must be re-structured to put losses on the books and put homeowners in manageable mortgages.

    This Resurgence Plan would purchase mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgage servicers, and replace them with manageable, fixed-rate mortgages that will keep families in their homes.

    By purchasing the existing, failing mortgages the resurgence plan will eliminate uncertainty over defaults, support the value of mortgage-backed derivatives and alleviate risks that are freezing financial markets.

    I am ready to lead our country out of this financial crisis and I am ready to work with anyone and everyone who will help. Together, I know we can work together to find solutions for these challenging times. Please do your part today and spread the word about my new plan by forwarding this email on to your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers. Thank you for your time and support.


  4. Rich Roberts says:

    Karl Marx did predict that as feudalism was replaced by capitalism, capitalism would be replaced by communism throigh the intermediate step of socialism.

    America has been increasing the rate at which we are validating his prediction.

    Both Obama and McCain want to keep that mommentum. It’s easier to swim down-stream that up-stream ain’t it?

    But calm yourself, as Joe Biden told us, it’s not wealth re-distribution, it’s fairness.

    Yes, whenever I hear a politican talk about fairness, “I ask myself, Who is John Galt?”

  5. Reid Greenmun says:

    You know what? One year ago I sold my modest 960 sq. ft, 3 bedroom 45-year old beach home in Sandbridge and paid $419,000 for the nice 4-bedroom 2,800 sq ft 5-year old home in Va beach that I now live in.

    The asking price was $437,000.

    One year later it’s market value is probably close to $380,000.

    Oh well, too bad for me. I signed on the dotted line.

    Why on earth should the American taxpayers buy my mortgage and then eat the $39,000 I over paid?

    That is what John McCain proposed last night.

    Meanwhile, given the upcoming hyper inflation that we all know is coming, my home will most lilkely worth $650,000 to $750,000 within the next 10 years.

    Due to inflation we will all earn more becuase the dollar will be worth less.

    The deal I made in 2007 for a nice 2,800 sq ft home will appear to be brilliant in 2018! A bargain.

    All this socialism is simply insain – it is unabashed pandering as a knee jerk reaction to media driven panic and hysteria.

  6. Rich Roberts says:

    There is the old adage, a favorite of mine:

    “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”

    The government, Obama, McCain, none of them want you to learn how to fish. They seem hell-bent on making it tougher on those who taught themselves how to fish.


    Because if you can take care of yourself, then you won’t need them.

    They want to give you that fish each day, so you will never learn on your own. It is what keeps them in power. Little by little, year after year, Republicans, Democrats both do what they can to increase your dependence on them. So many people have been so dependant for so long, they don’t know how to think in other terms.

    Of course it is the governments responsibilty to take care of X, Y, and Z for me.
    I need to recieve my fish, I need to eat today. Others have more than me, they should be forced to share it with me. When people start thinking like this, they no longer produce, they drain those who do.

    I’d rather take my chances at the pond with my fishing rod. I’m willing to bet, if the government gets out of my way, I can catch more than one.

  7. Reid Greenmun says:

    Of course this presumes that there ARE fish in the pond to catch – which is another issue. Our house of cards economy was allowed to migrate from a production base to a parasitic “service sector” economy. The ‘engine’ that drove our economy was technology and moving electronic paper around. The fuel that has been running our ‘engine’ has been credit/debt.

    The house of cards has fallen.

    The problem you and i face is that while we may be excellent fishermen, all the fish were depleted from our pond a long time ago and we have become dependent on foriegn supplies of fish. Fish being a metaphore for capital and a ready supply of customers having sufficient money to purchase our products or services.

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