Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards

Gawker.com

Time‘s Mark Halperin has made himself useful for once by obtaining, and publishing,a copy of the 21-page memorandum of understanding that the Obama and Romney campaigns negotiated with the Commission on Presidential Debates establishing the rules governing this month’s presidential and vice presidential face-offs. The upshot: Both campaigns are terrified at anything even remotely spontaneous happening.

They aren’t permitted to ask each other questions, propose pledges to each other, or walk outside a “predesignated area.” And for the town-hall-style debate tomorrow night, the audience members posing questions aren’t allowed to ask follow-ups (their mics will be cut off as soon as they get their questions out). Nor will moderator Candy Crowley.

Most bizarrely, given the way the debates have played out, the rules actually appear to forbid television coverage from showing reaction shots of the candidates: “To the best of the Commission’s abilities, there will be no TV cut-aways to any candidate who is not responding to a question while another candidate is answering a question or to a candidate who is not giving a closing statement while another candidate is doing so.” The “best of the Commission’s abilities” must be rather feable, seeing as how almost every moment of the two debates so far was televised in split-screen, clearly showing shots of a “candidate who is not responding to a question while another candidate is answering a question.”

Which means some of the rules below that both campaigns stipulated to in a desperate attempt to wring any serendipity out of the events may be honored in the breach:

  • “The candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates.”
  • “The candidates shall not address each other with proposed pledges.”
  • “At no time during the October 3 First Presidential debate shall either candidate move from his designated area behing the respective podium.”
  • For the October 16 town-hall-style debate, “the moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate….”
  • “The audience members shall not ask follow-up questions or otherwise participate in the extended discussion, and the audience member’s microphone shall be turned off after he or she completes asking the questions.”
  • “[T]he Commission shall take appropriate steps to cut-off the microphone of any…audience member who attempts to pose any question or statement different than that previously posed to the moderator for review.”
  • “No candidate may reference or cite any specific individual sitting in a debate audience (other than family members) at any time during a debate.”
  • For the town-hall debate: “Each candidate may move about in a pre-designated area, as proposed by the Commission and approved by each campaign, and may not leave that area while the debate is underway.”

Here’s the full document:

The 2012 Debates – Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns

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Green Party to Obama: Call off federal crackdowns on medical marijuana, respect state laws

Green Party of the U.S.Social & Economic Justice
  Green presidential nominee Jill Stein challenges Obama on marijuana policy. WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders and candidates called on President Obama to order his Justice Department to stop overriding state laws that allow medical marijuana by raiding and prosecuting cannabis dispensaries. “The federal crackdowns show the Justice Department’s disregard and contempt for local [...]

Prez cand Stein (G): Obama’s own Iran statements are “loose talk of war”

[From: On the Wilder Side]

Jill SteinGreen Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein  said today she opposes the escalating efforts by PresidentObama and some members of Congress to push the United States toward war against Iran. Dr. Stein said that Obama is engaged in the same kind of “loose talk of war,” if not quite as extreme, as ultranationalist Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“A hallmark of a Stein administration will be respect for international law and a rejection of the Bush doctrine of preemptive war that Obama and his party have come to embrace. The interests of the American people are not served by illegal attacks on other nations based on hypothetical future transgressions. Yet President Obama is threatening Iran with attack by saying that ‘all options are on the table’. It’s a terrible replay of Bush’s run-up to the invasion of Iraq over the mythical weapons of mass destruction, ” noted Stein.

Thirty two members of the U.S. Senate have introduced a resolution encouraging military action against Iran for merely having the “capability” to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran, however is in general compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the required inspections, and has not shown intentions of violating the treaty. And a recent NY Times story reported that the consensus view of America’ssixteen intelligence agencies is that “there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.” 

Instead of attacking Iran, Stein supports the call for a regional agreement to ban weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, including nuclear weapons. A WMD-free zone is called for by a 1974 U.N. General Assembly resolution.

Stein noted that “A U.S. or Israeli airstrike on Iraq would have severe repercussions for the American people. It would produce a global oil supply crisis that would send our entire economy into a tailspin. And it could lead to retaliatory attacks on Israeli and American citizens. We need to take a clear stand against nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, but preemptive attacks, especially for a problem that is not even in evidence, are counterproductive and must not be on the table. The mindset that every problem requires a military response has gotten us into trouble again and again, and its disappointing to see the Obama Administration going down that road yet again. ”

“A major cause of our federal budget deficit and our struggling economy has been the expense of a decade of senseless wars. I am calling for us to go in a different direction and use our tax dollars to rebuild the American economy and improve the quality of live for the average American. Rebuilding America is an urgent need, and our dollars need to go there instead of being wasted on another needless war,” added Stein.

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GP to Obama: The problem isn’t just foreign oil, it’s all fossil fuels


Green Party to Obama: Whether foreign or domestic, it’s time for America to cut oil and gas from our energy diet WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama’s energy policy shows a dangerous disconnect from the real nature of the current energy crisis, said Green Party candidates and leaders, who promoted the “Green New Deal” as a [...]

Obama State of the Union “subverts New Deal” says Stein

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, called today for a Green New Deal to counter the “trickle down economic agenda” laid out by President Obama last night in his State of the Union address. Stein plans to release her alternative at 8:30pm Eastern Time in a “People’s State of the Union: A Green New Deal for America” that will be given via her campaign website: http://www.JillStein.org

After viewing President Obama’s address, Stein commented that “It is startling how the candidate who four years ago promised to be an agent of change has morphed into the candidate of more of the same. The key features of the President’s State of the Union address were drawn from the centrist Republican agenda. He’s glorifying militarism, calling for more business tax cuts, promoting offshore oil drilling and hydrofracking, pushing trillions in cuts to discretionary Federal spending, promising cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and putting American workers into a struggle for survival in a global economy dominated by big corporations.”

“The President has subverted the progressive ideals of the New Deal. He’s imposing his vision of a ‘grand bargain’ that represents the effective philosophical merger of the Democratic and Republican parties. ”

“The President presented a rosy picture of the current state of the economy by tossing out a few anecdotes and cherry-picked statistics. He seemed almost oblivious to recent news that 48% of Americans are living in poverty or near poverty, the greatest number in 50 years of record keeping. If he thinks things are going so well, maybe that’s why he sees no reason to change course.”

“America needs to go in a new direction. We are calling for a Green New Deal that would decisively end high unemployment and make a massive investment in solar, wind, energy efficiency and mass transit. We reject the President’s assertion that “all of the above” is the right answer when it comes to energy. We need to wean ourselves from the fossil fuels that pollute our land and water, motivate wars for oil, and which are pushing us to a climate catastrophe.”

“An honest analysis shows that most of the president’s proposed solutions are just band-aids on the status quo and do not represent a serious attempt to end the crises we face. His mortgage foreclosure reforms will reach only a tiny fraction of homeowners in crisis. And his proposed commission to investigate bank fraud is hamstrung from the outset by the packing of the commission with big bank-friendly regulators. Furthermore it ignores the enormous inequity and economic damage that Wall Street does without committing prosecutable fraud. Contrast that with the Green New Deal that would impose an immediate moratorium on home foreclosures, would write down the principals of inflated mortgages to market rates, and would break up the big banks that caused this crisis and replace them with decentralized and democratized financial institutions.”

Regarding education, Stein noted that “Obama’s plan for the student loan crisis basically preserves the status quo. His solution is to keep interest rates the same and to cut Federal funding to colleges that are in financial crisis. The Green New Deal would end the crisis by taking over the student debt and implementing tuition-free higher education.”

“America needs decisive action to get us out of the current economic slump. Most of all we need jobs — tens of millions of them — not the puny numbers that will result from President Obama’s attempts at top-down stimulus. The unemployment office needs to become the employment office. The bold actions that worked to end the Great Depression can work again. The tax giveaways and corporate welfare that the President advocates are inefficient, take too long, and don’t create the right type of jobs in the places where they are most needed. We can and must do better.” 

“This election is a turning point. We can continue with the failing corporate-serving philosophy represented by Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and the other establishment politicians. Or we can stand up for a rededication of our nation to the public interest. As I have traveled around the nation in the past two months, I’ve found that people are hungry for real change and are excited to see something like the Green New Deal put on the table.”

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