NPR [Mid]West

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

In the last week, NPR has built a new bureau in Des Moines, Iowa, practically. Some 36 members of our staff are there, recording interviews, hosting shows, and preparing for tomorrow's radio-only debate. During the latter half of the first hour today, we'll talk to Steve Inskeep, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel, who will moderate the big show. Do you have questions about how it will be structured? Or what questions they will ask? Suggest a few of your own.

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This is a question for the moderators to ask ALL the Democratic candidates..
I would like to hear their view on HR 676 The National Health Care Plan, what their take is on it, their view and opinion and please get Dennis Kucinich to comment. He along with 85 other Reps. from the Houe have co-signed as sponsors.
Here's a link to the bill. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.00676:

Sent by Arthur Valdez | 2:23 PM | 12-3-2007

Last week we heard on KCFR our local public radio station in the Denver metro area; some very insensitive comments from Representative Degette of CD1; Denver and some Arapahoe county on illegal immigration and the need for comprehensive reform. Today we heard on NPR about Marshalltown IA and the help illegals got there when Swift was raided. We know the help the illegals got after the Swift plant was raided in Greeley so our question to the hosts of this debate is this:

Do you or our elected officials understand the anxieties of the poor and middle class on who gets the work; how much they are paid; the lack of benefits; the cost of benefits; the lack of a safety net for legal residents and US citizens; etc etc etc.

This country is in real trouble and alot of it has to deal with illegal immigration and the inability of elected officials to enforce the laws. Tancredo of CO 6th CD is someone we cant stand but he does have a point in this issue but even he wasnt able to do anything when the GOP controlled the Congress and the Presidency for 6 years (baring some of the time when the Senate was in the hands of the Dens when one Senator changed parties).

This country is in deep debt; no balanced budget; has huge border control problems; and many other problems and its long past time for this country to step back and deal with its own problems and stop helping the world out when its own citizens need help???

Sent by jm fay | 2:26 PM | 12-3-2007

I consider myself fiscally conservative. This used to include "balanced budgets" and "lowering the national debt."

Now I am hearing "fiscal conservatives" saying they are for "lower or no taxes" regardless of what it does to the budget.

Is this correct? Is the meaning of "fiscally conservative" changing or being changed?

Sent by Al Brajnikoff | 2:34 PM | 12-3-2007

Hi,
I'd like to ask two questions to all the presidential candidates.

1. The United States has currently abandoned its (deserved) leadership role in addressing global warming and climate change. What specific steps will you take to correct this failure?

2. What steps will you take to make the rest of the world perceive the U.S. as less of a bully, and less selfish?

Thank you for considering my questions.

peace,
--{kr.pA}

Sent by Kripa Sundar | 2:41 PM | 12-3-2007

US has 5% of world population but produces 25% of greenhouse gases. How would your administration convince us that this affects our national security, our grandchildren ... and that we can act?

Sent by Wally Matell, Reno NV station: KUNR | 2:43 PM | 12-3-2007

What steps will the candidates take to encourage Israel and Palestine toward peaceful coexistence?

Sent by C Anderson | 2:46 PM | 12-3-2007

Will you sign the Kyoto and subsequent treaties, bringing the United States into cooperation with the rest of the world?

Sent by karen Tolstrup | 2:46 PM | 12-3-2007

Where do the candidates stand on transparency in government, and if they are in favor of transparency, what steps will they take to promote it?

Sent by C Anderson | 2:49 PM | 12-3-2007

This is a question for all candidates ...
I'm a mother of a young child and want to know what steps will you take to ensure of the safety of toys and baby products? I'm not only concerned about lead but also from toxins like phylates which are currently found in US products but banned in Europe.

Sent by Debra Schoonfield | 2:49 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like to hear a real debate. One of the ground rules would be that no candidate could refer to another candidate either negatively or positively, just relate their own plans or views on the question.

Sent by Anna Mae Hogan | 2:50 PM | 12-3-2007

As a Michigan Democrat, the top thing on my mind right now is election reform. Granted, the DNC and candidate's respionse to Michigan's early primary is understandable... But the end result is a lot of disenfranchised and angry Michigan Democrats that did nothing wrong!
I'm interested in what candidates think about the status quo of primary elections and general elections and if they have any ideas for change to avoid such ridiculous clashes as we've had this year.

Sent by Robb | 2:50 PM | 12-3-2007

Mother of all questions:
++++++++++++++++++++++++
You are the most distingueshed and smart members of the American Society. Your job is to know things that we do not know in Politics. Can you tell us, looking straight into the microphone, "why did we invade Iraq?".

Please note that It is well known that many of the people who architected the Invasion of Irak have been working on this project since early 1990's; and then they went to President Clinton in 1998 for military interviension to Iraq.

Tell us Why We Invaded Iraq?

Sent by Travis McGee | 2:51 PM | 12-3-2007

Will the next president hold George W. Bush accountable for the Iraq war fiasco? On behalf of any future megalomaniacs, what can you do to prevent any future run-away war efforts? Hold George W. Bush accountable.

Sent by Georgette Chalker | 2:52 PM | 12-3-2007

Question for the debate: What will you do to relax the corporate and evangelical stranglehold on our government in order to return this country to the control of the people? What will you do to balance lobbying with input from the general American public, since we can not afford lobbyists to represent us?

Sent by Linda Wilson | 2:52 PM | 12-3-2007

My belief is that the greatest threat to our national security is our extreme reliance on foreign and non-renewable sources of energy.

As president, do you support an Apollo-like program to research renewable energy solutions to once and for all end our "addiction to oil"?

Sent by Jeffrey Rothschild | 2:53 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like to know, in more detail than is typically provided, how each of the democratic candidates intends to change, modify or continue current national policy vis/vis climate change and environmental impacts.

Sent by Sharon | 2:53 PM | 12-3-2007

Quarter after quarter, we see record profits posted by the nation's insurance companies. Yet, more and more Americans are going without healthcare coverage due to the high costs. When will the healthcare needs of Americans take precedent over gross profiteering?

Sent by Jim Clements | 2:53 PM | 12-3-2007

It seems naive to talk about how quickly we can get out of Iraq, even though we would all like to see the soldiers return home. After we destroyed the balance of power between Iraq and Iran, wouldn't our hasty departure create a power vaccuum within the Middle East that Iran would fill?

Sent by Jillayne Pinchuk | 2:53 PM | 12-3-2007

I am interested in the candidates' positions on the expansion of executive power we've seen under the Bush regime. What, if anything, do each of them plan to do to reign in big government and restore the checks and balances supposedly ensured by our three-branch government?

Sent by A. Todd | 2:53 PM | 12-3-2007

My question is this: Many constitutional scholars from across the political and ideological spectrum are now saying that President Bush has greatly exceeded the powers of the president and vice-president to the point that if not violating the limits of presidential powers, then they are very close to having done so----first: do you believe this is the case? and second--- if you do beleive this to be the case and if elected president-- will you vow to make it a priority task to "set back the clock" to at least the point those powers were at prior to the Bush presidency? I would have to add to this---if the candidate does not believe the president has exceeded the powers granted in the Constitution--why not?

Michael Garrity, Dayton, Ohio

Sent by Michael Garrity | 2:54 PM | 12-3-2007

My question would be for Hillary Clinton. Most Republican strategists are hoping she gets the Democratic nomination as they believe she will be a relatively easy candidate to defeat in the general; as opposed to Barack Obama who presents a tougher adversary to attack. Why should voters believe that Hillary Clinton is a more formidable general election candidate when she is the Democrat Republicans most want to run against?

Sent by Bre (Bray) Bartels | 2:55 PM | 12-3-2007

This is a question for all candidates:

Do you feel Valerie Plame Wilson Was the "smoking gun" that proved the Iraq War was cooked?

Thanks!
Mary O. Murphy
Archivist

Sent by Mary O. Murphy | 2:56 PM | 12-3-2007

Do you accept Dick Cheney's operative theory of the unitary executive?
If not, do you favor the initiation of impeachment proceedings against him (I need not elaborate on the justifications for this), thus allowing The People to express their disapproval of his co-presidency?

Sent by Tom McNevin | 2:56 PM | 12-3-2007

I don't care much about your differences on policies. I want to WIN next year. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to win, unlike Gore and Kerry who were too gentlemanly for theit and the country's good?

Sent by Jim Oslund | 2:58 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like you to ask the candidates just how serious they are about giving the US a new image in the world.

The US policy of unilateral embargo, travel restrictions and regime change toward Cuba is rejected by virtually every other country in our hemisphere and the rest of the world--and by most Americans, according to every poll in the past year.

Chris Dodd, former Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and chair of the Senate's Western Hemisphere subcommittee, is the only candidate to talk seriously about Cuba in the context of our relations with Latin America and the changes taking place since Fidel Castro yielded power. Obama, Richardson and Edwards want to allow at least visits by Cuban Americans but don't appear to care about the rights of other Americans to travel. Hillary Clinton is backing Bush's extremely restrictive travel policies rather than the position of the Clinton Administration for family and non-tourist people to people exchanges.

Why do most of the Democrats let Florida politics trump US national interests and the right of Americans to travel?

Will Fidel Castro's retirement or death be sufficient for them to take a new stance, or will they follow Bush in refusing to seriously engage with Raul Castro?

Sent by John McAuliff | 2:59 PM | 12-3-2007

Where do the candidates stand on a President's inherent war powers which he asserts justify his challenges to civil liberties: surveillence of American citizens, torture, revocation of habeas corpus, renditions, use of signing statements, to name just a few. Does a President have unenumerated war powers? Since there has been no declaration of war by Congress and not technically ar war, can a President invoke a war powers?

Sent by Erici | 2:59 PM | 12-3-2007

This is a question for the moderators to ask ALL the Democratic candidates..

once we take the troops out of Iraq,
how will you handle the mess that is left behind, do you have a plan after the troops are gone to heal the wounds that we have made there. What is your plan ?

Sent by Bess Martin | 3:00 PM | 12-3-2007

This is a question for Senator Clinton: I am a Democrat living in Upstate New York, and I believe that Senator Clinton has done a fine job in representing our state in the United States Senate. I am concerned however, with the issue of the Senator's electability as a presidential candidate, given polling showing the Senator's high "negatives". I would like to know how the Senator both responds to the question and how she is going to deal with this issue should she receive the Democratic nomination.

Sent by Thomas P. Rheinstein | 3:00 PM | 12-3-2007

Taxes are a way to promote an agenda and encourage people to act in a certain way. High taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, and low taxes on capital gains are examples. Given our obesity rate, what would you think about taxing fast food restaurants and using that money to subsidize nutrition and exercise programs?

Sent by Jillayne Pinchuk | 3:00 PM | 12-3-2007

Question for candidates:
Do you think a person who believes that the earth is 6000 years old and that Adam and Eve cohabited the Garden with the dinosaurs should be allowed to vote?

Sent by James Kossick | 3:02 PM | 12-3-2007

This question is for all candidates:

Do you believe that Federal budget deficits matter? If you do, what steps will you take to bring the current deficit under control.

Sent by Frank Vranesic | 3:02 PM | 12-3-2007

I've heard little or nothing in the Democratic or Republican debates about global climate change or energy and environmental policy--arguably the most critical issues facing the nation and the world. This strikes me as a baffling omission, a willful blind spot among journalists. I beg you to address this oversight in the coming debate. If NPR won't do it, who will?

Sent by Rick Borsten | 3:06 PM | 12-3-2007

I have 3 questions that I'd like the candidates to answer:

1. What do you believe will the impact of a US pull-out (gradual or immediate) from Iraq be on the middle east region, and what will you do as President to secure and promote US interests in connection with that pull-out?

2. Will you keep or change the medicare prescription drug program?

3. Do you believe that the US can influence the politics inside Iraq? How?

Sent by Nancy Inman | 3:06 PM | 12-3-2007

How are you going to turn the ship of state around given the exodus of good/honest non-partisan talent from Justice, Diplomatic Corps, EPA, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior Dept etc.

Sent by Steve Hay | 3:07 PM | 12-3-2007

I hope someone will ask the candidates the following question:

The present administration has a very expansive view of executive power -- one that many believe encroaches dangerously on our civil liberties. As president, would you be willing and able to devolve some of the powers that this administration has asserted or even been granted by Congress. Would you seek repeal of the Military Commissions Act? Would you narrow the provisions of the Patriot Act? Would you resist the temptation to issue signing statements that arrogate power to the executive?

Sent by Reid Hamilton, Ann Arbor MI, WUOM | 3:07 PM | 12-3-2007

One of the more disturbing ongoing acts of the current administration from my perspective is holding possibly-innocent captives at Guantanamo Bay without charge or adequate access to legal representation. I would like to know what each candidate proposes to do with these men, particularly those who have little or no evidence against them, and how they would change our policies for dealing with 'enemy combatants'.

Sent by Cindy Corbitt, WFPL | 3:08 PM | 12-3-2007

My son was diagnosed with autism four years ago. At that time there were five boys in a three block radius of our home who had some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism can be financially and emotionally catastrophic to families. We would do anything for our kids, but we need back up. How will you help us access effective treatments? How will you help us prevent this from happening to other children?

Sent by Lara Johnson | 3:09 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like the moderators to ask this question: What actions will you take so America will be an active participate in decreasing Global warming, instead of continuing the current 'status quo'of protecting our economy no matter the world cost?

Sent by Lou McLean | 3:10 PM | 12-3-2007

I want to know what the candidates will do and are doing now about the genocide and rise of islamic radicalism in the Sudan. In the real world the war on terror is wider than the mess in Iraq. Only Joe Biden has said anything substantive about Sudan. What are the other candidates doing?

Sent by John | 3:12 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like to know the candidates views concerning signing statements, and if any of them would sign legislation to out law the practice.

Sent by David Parman | 3:14 PM | 12-3-2007

I have not heard any of the Democratic candidates answer a question on hedge funds and darivatives. I believe for future stability and justice for all that both these sources of scandal and corruption should be checked.

Sent by Megan Hutchins | 3:15 PM | 12-3-2007

Neal:

Please ask each candidate, "Regarding the Peace Process, why not FIRST address the most difficult Palestinian / Israeli Peace issue, the final resolution of Jerusalem; do you think Jerusalem could be designated an 'International Holy City' (no weapons, open to all worshipers, administrated and protected by the United Nations and International Peace-Keeping Security Personnel)?" It seems a waste of time to go down the long diplomatic road until the status of Jerusalem is, in concept, accepted by both parties.

Thank you,

Kevin Mirek

Sent by Kevin Mirek | 3:15 PM | 12-3-2007

This is a ???just for fun??? or trick question.

Background:

While you are debating, I will be in Ohio at a Democratic political club meeting. I will be one of the 8 speakers representing all Democratic Presidential candidate before a straw poll vote. My task will be to compress Sen. Biden???s 35 years of Senate service into in 3 minutes speech that will convince a majority to vote for Sen. Biden.

The path I will use is to focus on the exceptional personal traits, which differentiate Sen. Biden from the others. I will use information found while researching the topic on the radio, TV, and web as audio, text, and video.

Question:

Attached are my ending summary comments. Would Sen. Biden please review and/or comment?.

In the end Sen. Biden looks to be a collection of good parts:

He has the passion and willingness to speak back to power of President Adams

He has the ???agent for change???, curiosity, and inventiveness of President Roosevelt

He has the pragmatism, tenacity, and willingness to not compromise of President Truman

He has the strong extemporaneous speaking skills of President Kennedy

He has the understanding of Congressional networking, and respect on both side of the aisle of President Johnson

He has the empathy for his fellow common citizens of President Carter

He has the comfort in his own skin and ability to enjoy being President of President Clinton

He will have an unflappable positive attitude when President Biden.

If used, please return a pod cast link.

Sent by George Miachael | 3:17 PM | 12-3-2007

In light of Tom Tancredo's statement that all immigration, not just illegal immigration, is harmful to this country in that it prevents us from integrating, I was wondering if the candidates could describe what exactly is this American culture we immigrants are supposedly harming. Preferably a description that cannot be boiled down to the family values and the love of freedom.

Sent by Paola Aguirre | 3:19 PM | 12-3-2007

Most Americans agree that our country has lost its way. Many feel that the current administration disregards the republic and customs of governance (also known as the constitution), and behaves as though they wear a crown. My question to the candidates is this-If elected will you pledge to return the crown to the nation, or do you plan to put it on yourself? In other words, will you restore the constitutional govenment or continue the policy of the Bush administration?

Sent by Amy Clark-Eureka, CA | 3:19 PM | 12-3-2007

Hello,

I'm very concerned about a looming danger in the upcoming election.
At the moment there is a concerted effort to float a ballot measure changing the Electoral College system in California.

Instead of the "Winner take all" system" that we have now, electoral votes would be allocated by percentage of population.

While, at face value, this would be a good thing, but the fact that it is only being done in California would make it practically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to be elected.

This prospect is terrifying and I'm wondering if the current presidential candidates are keeping an eye on this.

sources:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/341868_rigged02.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/01/eveningnews/main3562455.shtml

Sent by Carlos Coronado | 3:20 PM | 12-3-2007

Question for the Web-Only Debate:

Given what little experience President Bush had in international travel prior to taking the Oath of Office; his lack of engagement might have led him to the ???Go at It Alone??? strategy in the Middle East.

Now, more than ever, Americans and our leaders should strive for a greater understanding of other cultures. We need to restore alliances and build new positive relationships with countries around the world.

To each candidate:
Other than countries of the Middle East, describe a personal experienced in a foreign land which had a lasting AND positive impact on your life.

Sent by Malia | 3:29 PM | 12-3-2007

Here are my three questions, all somewhat related to one another. Thank you.

1.) All the worlds major religions and spiritual philosophies have as their foundation the Golden Rule: 'do unto others as you would have them do unto to you'. The basis of this common sense rule is not harming others and, if we can, help others. The foundation this Golden Rule (as supported by modern science) is the fundamental truth of cause and effect: all of our actions have an effect on us. The Golden Rule is a reminder to protect ourselves. It's simply does not benefit us, in any way to not be in accord with it. For example, gravity. If we walk near high cliffs, we might fall off and break a leg. So, best not to walk near high cliffs. Or, if we go around invading countries and spending billions of dollars, we are going to create many enemies and we'll have less money, less friends and be less secure. How would you, as President, implement this fundamental truth in the form of a domestic and foreign policy, a health care plan and a comprehensive energy policy to address the looming global warming crisis?

2.) The term "national security" is thrown around a lot in politics and the media. Billions of dollars are spent each year on trying to secure ourselves, yet we have created more enemies in the world, making us less secure. How would you approach "national security"? Do you think "national security" is ultimately possible when a nation attempts it at the expense of other's lives, health and wealth? In other words, where has war (in the name protecting our own very limited interests) gotten us so far? Lastly, do you think that national security could be approached by using our vast wealth and power to help other countries by bringing food, health care and education to them in ways that create lasting alliances and friends?

3.) The Dalai Lama (The Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan People) states in the beginning of most all of his talks and books that: "All beings wish to have happiness and wish to be free from suffering". He continues by saying that it is our best interest help people achieve happiness and keep them from harm in as a clear, skillful and compassionate way as possible. Do you agree with this profound insight or not? If you do, then how would you, from the very powerful position of great responsibility, as President, implement a domestic and foreign policy that reflected such a altruistic attitude? If you don't agree, please explain why not.

Sent by Phil Frey | 3:37 PM | 12-3-2007

I just missed the program and feel very strongly that ALL candidates of both parties,should answer two questions,that I have not heard any of the media adress; 1: If elected president, what would your action be re extraordinary rendition,and 2: If elected president,what would your action be re the Guantanomo prisoners? Both of these issues should define our democracy and civil liberties,rather than be a tragic global embarrassment!

Sent by Don Van Giesen | 3:37 PM | 12-3-2007

I have 3 questions:
1. Our current national policy states that we reserve the right to wage a pre-emptive war. a) What is your opinion of this policy? and b) What are the international and/or legal ramifications if the stated reasons for an attack so implemented are not subsequently proved?

2. Would your national health care policy include provisions to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions, or from dropping coverage when a person becomes seriously ill?

3. Many have argued that the world has reached or is very near reaching peak oil production, that reserves are overstated because many large oil producing countries do not subtract current or past production from their stated reserves, and that new discoveries will not be sufficient to increase production to the extent necessary to meet demands from emerging economies (e.g., China and India). How will your energy policy address a reduction in US demand for oil?

Sent by Michael P Adams | 3:39 PM | 12-3-2007

Why is Barack Obama turning to Karl Rove for advice? If he is the candidate of change, as he bills himself, why does he want help from the one person more than any other who has caused more divisiveness in this country than any other in recent times?

Between his disdain for baby boomers and this cynical turn of events, I am completely turned off. If he gets the nomination, I'll likely vote Republican. But perhaps that's what Karl wants.

Sent by Helen Dunn | 3:40 PM | 12-3-2007

Here is a question for the debate.

There seems to be consensus in the US that using less fossil fuel would be a good thing. However, economists tell us that the negative effects of fossil fuels (green house gasses, defense risks due to energy dependence, air pollution) are not reflected in the ???price-at-the pump???. Thus, a rational consumer would continue to over-use fossil fuels and hope that someone else bears the cost of the larger environmental problem.

Given that we live in a nation where decisions are driven by market forces, and that the free market is not likely to fix the fossil fuel problem, how would you address this issue? (ie, do you favor cap-n-trade, increased energy tax, rationing or ???)

Sent by Phil Johnson | 3:41 PM | 12-3-2007

In 2000, Green Party Presidential Nominee, Ralph Nader attempted to attend the Presidential debates (An Unreasonable Man). In 2004 Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee David Bednarik was denied access to the Presidential debates.

These debates take place on public property using the public's airwaves. If nominated, what assurances can you give to the six or so other political parties in the United States that their nominated candidates will be included?
If cannot, what is your party so afraid of?

Sent by Brian Fritzen | 3:48 PM | 12-3-2007

Since the Washington Post published an expose last spring on the treatment of returning veterans with brain injury from Iraq and Bob Woodward's story of his rehabilitation and recovery from his traumatic brain injury from and IED there has been an increased focus on the issue of provision of services for returning veterans and their families who have suffered from brain injury in the war. At the same time in most of the country insurers are drastically reducing or eliminating coverage for rehab services for individuals who suffer brain injury who are not members of the military.

The most recent CDC data shows disability from brain injury in the US costs more than 60 billion dollars per year. There have been great strides in understanding and providing treatment for persons who have suffered brain injury in recent years. A recent 2006 study from Texas which mandates private insurnace coverage for brain injury showed for additional minimal cost
(@ $7 per year) comprehensive coverage could be provided which resulted in reduced overall costs for rehabilitation.

As a provider for rehab services for persons with brain injury I would like to hear the democratic candidates address themselves to the issue of coverage for rehabilitation for brain injury both for returning vets (mired down in buearacracy right now) and citizens within their overall framework for improvement of health care in this country. In addition, I would like to hear their views with regard to funding of research in rehabilitation for brain injury.

I am a director of a holistic post-acute brain injury program in Wyoming.

Sent by Michael Harvey, Psy.D. | 3:57 PM | 12-3-2007

This question is for Dennis Kucinich. How are you going to get congress to pass a true one payer health care system, especially the role the insurance industry plays in congress, i.e. lobbying.

Sent by Chris Trout | 3:58 PM | 12-3-2007

What about education? There has been little talk about education in debates or otherwise. Can the candidates give us a clear idea of there platform on how to:
1. Improve education in the US
2. Keep the US competitive with the rest of the world
3. Allocate dollars to programs efficiently

Sent by Jamie Cornehlsen | 3:59 PM | 12-3-2007

As a person who came to the US completely legally, and as a citizen, it's an insult that people who come here illegally are given rights that my family worked hard to get using tax dollars that I pay and putting a strain on our society.

Sent by US Citizen | 4:01 PM | 12-3-2007

What candidate[s] will pledge to fill their cabinet with highly qualified persons without regard to political affiliation, race, sex, religion, etc, who will also be least susceptible to influence of lobbyists.

Sent by doug knapp | 4:07 PM | 12-3-2007

I have 3 questions for the candidates:
1. I hope that you all can push them to explain why mandatory coverage is (or is not) a good idea - I do not believe that the health care system will be sufficiently efficient and affordable without everyone participating. Allowing someone to opt out will place a burden on the rest of when they are sick or have an accident.

2. I would like for the candidates to describe a past example, while they have been in elective office, of their use of good policy judgment and a past example of their poor policy judgment.

3. I would like for them to describe convincingly how they would persuade congress to pass most (or at least much) of their legislative agenda - I do not think that anyone since Pres. Johnson has done a very good job of this.

Sent by John Highfill | 4:09 PM | 12-3-2007

Hello,
I have the good fortune to have grown up in several foreign countries and have frequently traveled to other nations. I am also one of the founders of a site that collects and publishes letters from foreigners addressing their feelings toward the United States (http://www.blogtoamerica.org). Those experiences have greatly broadened my perspectives on the rest of the world and given me a good sense of how and why people of other countries view us the way they do, and the general sentiment is not very positive.

I find that most of our politicians, including our current president, are insular when it comes to its experiences with foreign people and are out of touch with the people in other countries. This hurts us greatly in our dealings with other countries in this globally interconnected world. My question is:

What experiences do you have that gives you a better understanding of the people outside of the US? For example, do you speak any foreign languages, have lived abroad, or have volunteered abroad?

Thank you!

Sent by Yos | 4:18 PM | 12-3-2007

What do you think our long term stategy should be in Iraq, specifically do you favor the creation and/or retention of large military bases in that country? Why or why not?

Sent by Mike McGrath | 4:18 PM | 12-3-2007

What will you do to hold congress accountable for their actions and not abrogate them to the President. In other words make individuals responsible so when they run for President they have some blame/credit for actions.

Sent by Paul N. Davis | 4:18 PM | 12-3-2007

As president, would you close Guantanamo and end "Extraordinary Rendition" programs?

Sent by Ethan | 4:24 PM | 12-3-2007

On November 19th, the Wall Street Journal led with an article that described how many Oil executives are now saying that we will likely reach a peak or plateau in oil production in the next 5 years.

Given the extreme dependence of this country on oil, and the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, which the head of the IPCC said must be reversed in the coming decade in order to prevent catastrophe, would you decribe a dramatic change in our energy policy as the most important issue of this campaign?

If not, why not?

Sent by bill reiswig | 4:24 PM | 12-3-2007

I would like to know why John Edwards is campaigning as the best candidate for health care when he didn't support universal health care in 2004.

I would also like to know why Barack Obama skipped the Iran vote and the SCHIP vote.

Sent by Kevin Manley | 4:29 PM | 12-3-2007

Do you think the US media has done a good job of explaining the risks of global warming to the American public?

Does the American public as a whole place enough weight on this issue? Is there anything you think they do not yet understand about it?

Sent by Tonya Hennen | 4:32 PM | 12-3-2007

For Hillary: I am a housewife from Oklahoma. I closely followed the events leading to the invasion of Iraq by watching, reading and listening. Before the invasion I realized the administration was being 'less than truthful' regarding its reasons for the Iraq invasion. Contrary to what was being told to the American people all indications were there were no WMD's and Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11th. My question for Ms. Clinton is this: How did I come to realize the administration was sending us into a war under false pretenses, but you, with all your political savvy and "experience" claim you did not realize this until after you had voted to authorize the invasion?

Sent by Terrie Huddleston | 4:44 PM | 12-3-2007

since when is it necessary to ask a candidate about what religion he belongs or if he believes in god or not that has no basis in electing a president because we are electing a president for the whole country not just for a small group that only cares about one issue and that is the abortion issue and that's it. now haven't we learn by now what happens when you elect a one issue president you get someone like george bush enough said?
and what legislation will they put against the snake oil salesman that have hijack religion to serve their agenda as they pray on the weak to ask for money on tv and have no taxes to pay while everyone pays for taxes and they laugh at everyone as they get rich of peoples belief and fears haven't we learn from the past that they use tv to brain wash people in what they should believe or not this is what has brought us to this problem now that we face in trying to satisfy a very small group of radical believers that if you don't do what they say violence occurs sounds a lot like the taliban doesn't it? so what are you going to do to stop the nonsense and bring back the commonsense

Sent by Julio | 5:00 PM | 12-3-2007

It might be argued that the current system of campaign financing, primarily large influxes of cash from monied interests, is actually a deeply corrupting influence on our democratic system. What are the candidates' opinions of this system, and what, if anything, would be a viable alternative?

Sent by Julian Bonuccelli | 5:07 PM | 12-3-2007

Questions:
(1) With the revelation by US Intelligence that Iran stopped its nuclear bomb program in 2003 and in the aftermath of the Iraq debacle that was also based on false assertions, what do the candidates propose to lessen the likelihood of continued foreign invasions based on false or misleading evidence?
(2) If the present administration declares war on Iran, what does the next president of the United States intend to do?

Sent by Judith Yeo | 5:22 PM | 12-3-2007

Hi.I would like a firm commitment from the candidates to return to a constitutional rule of law.A ban on torture.No warantless wiretapping.Rights of prisoners to face their accusers and see evidence against them and stand trial.The end of extraordinary rendition and the closing of Gitmo. This country had the moral high ground until many of our core principles were abandoned our of fear and an avarice for secretive power.Lets get back to some of the values and principles that made us great.

Sent by Ron Rousseau | 6:09 PM | 12-3-2007

With the utmost respect, I ask the candidates:

What is the Democratic vision for attracting the youth vote? How are they going to inspire the 18-30 year olds to get out and vote Democratic, like they did in the 2006 election? What plans do they have to benefit this group, such as the higher minimum wage did in 2006, for the youth vote in 2008? The YouTube debates are an excellent step, despite their silliness, in the direction towards awareness in young Democratic voters but what prevents this group, who feel disenfranchised from the last two presidential elections, from giving up on Democratic candidates and writing in Stephen Colbert's name on the ballot? How will they mobilize these voters who don't read a daily paper, don't watch TV news, don't understand the importance of political conventions, and sit back, quite unlike the youth during Vietnam, and allow our nation to be turned over to the Conservative Christian Right while carrying the physical burden of fighting the war of terror on their backs?

Sent by Nicole Floyd | 6:13 PM | 12-3-2007

Be sure that Dodd and Biden get ample air time as they are less antagonistic and make more sense for Democrats than the front runners! The front runners should stop criticizing each other and make the party cohesive.

Sent by Bobbie Boyer | 6:15 PM | 12-3-2007

Dear Steve, Michele, and Robert:

In the spirit of the promise Jerry Ford broke...

1. Will you interfere with the criminal justice system persuing indictments against Bush (& Cheney) for rendition, torture of innocents, war-profiteering, violations of habeas corpus & warrantless wiretapping, etc.

2. Will you actively pursue such investigation of their crimes?

Sent by Gary Meyer | 6:16 PM | 12-3-2007

Please ask Gov Richardson to explain the Wen Ho Lee situation. Wen, a former physicist at the Los Alamos Lab, explains that he was abused and falsely accused of espionage. This was supposedly done on the orders of then Sec of Energy Richardson so that there would be a "fall guy" for the security problems @ Los Alamos. Altho Sec Richardson promised us a criminal trial, the case was later dropped.

Sent by Gary Meyer | 6:26 PM | 12-3-2007

As a question to all the candidates:
As someone who strongly supports the idea of a secular government, the separation of church and state, and cringed when he heard our president say that "God told me to invade Iraq" what is your view on the role of faith in government?

Secondly, what is your view on President Bush's faith-based initiative, which allows faith-based organizations to use government money for programs which do not differentiate between their religious and social service programs?

Third, we've been hearing more and more about the increasing power of Evangelicals within the US military, and cases such as those of SPC Jeremy Hall, an atheist who has been threatened with "fragging" by his Christian "comrades." What, if anything, will you do to help counter this sort of activity by our soldiers?

*Extra note to NPR itself, this may be a subject worthy of half an hour or so of air time as well, given it's relative importance, and the fact that it's been all but ignored by much of the rest of the MSM*

Fourth, and this is unrelated to the previous three, what is your view on Guantanamo, the secret CIA interrogations, including the waterboarding of suspects, the suspension of habeas corpus to the detainees, and the recent usage of "extraordinary rendition"?

If elected, can we expect these practices to end immediately? i.e. can we expect Guantanamo to close, either openness or explicit orders to cease all tactics considered to be torture, including physical abuse of detainees, sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, and the use of stress positions; fair trials for those imprisoned in Guantanamo and the return of all detainees sent away for extraordinary rendition?

Sent by Brandon | 6:26 PM | 12-3-2007

As energy sources become more expensive (both in outright cost and their greenhouse emissions), nuclear energy appears to be the only reliable and sufficiently abundant source available to appreciably decrease our fossil fuel usage. Rather than the demagoguery heard over how we should not dispose of nuclear waste (i.e., Yucca Mountain bashing) in accordance with current law, what is your alternate proposal to solve this critical back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle? I would ask the response to address both the near-term needs and the long-term plan.

Sent by Russell Jarek | 6:34 PM | 12-3-2007

To Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton in particular, how are you planning to lower college fees, increase minimum wage, end the war in Iraq amongst other things; without raising taxes tremendously? Because of our nation's economy situation and such big future expectations, how are you going to accomplish all of this without going against your advocacy of generally decreasing costs?

Sent by Min Liu | 6:35 PM | 12-3-2007

Please ask all the candidates to comment on a plan that would use a health policy like one available to all members of Congress, apply it to all people legally in the United States and solicit bids from private companies on a state by state basis to administer the plan as a single payer. I believe in the "K.I.S.S. principal. Keep It Simple Stupid. Maximum Coverage with minimal hassle. I wonder whether most Americans would be willing to pay the taxes openly to reap the savings from the hidden costs we already pay.

Sent by Bill Rice, Anchorage, Alaska | 6:38 PM | 12-3-2007

Some questions:
For Senator Clinton: You have the highest negatives from many voters. Presuming you are the nominee and you are the victor, how would you try to reach out to those voters who truly are negative about you and distrust you and a Clinton Administration?

For Senator Obama: You are viewed as an idealist and a proponent of a new vision filled with hope. Presuming you win the nomination and then the Presidency, what specific actions do you propose and would you take immediately after election to rally skeptics to suspend their cynicism and work with you? Since you are a Junior Senator, talk about what your administration would look like, specifically who might you choose as Secretaries of State and Defense?

For Former Senator Edwards: You are the advocate of stemming the divide between the haves and the have nots. In all honesty, if you do not do well in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire, will you suspend your campaign and continue to be the advocate of the cause that you so eloquently elucidate? Will you please continue to be a moral compass on this and other issues?

For all candidates: We have infra-structure issues throughout this country and it is atrocious that we do not have universal health coverage for those who need it! Speak about how you will advocate for the needed repairs and health insurance and how you will fund these mandates, if passed?

Sent by tom lenihan Jr | 6:42 PM | 12-3-2007

It was recently reported on NPR that salaries for middle class white men have remained flat for 30 years, while our economy has grown. If the most privileged demographic in America has had stagnant income growth for the last 30 years and finds that the only way to stay in the middle class is to have both parents working, are any candidates aware of this issue, and do they what is their plan to address this issue that affects most of America. Additionally, one of the candidates recently said that if you make more than the ceiling for SSI contributions, you are in the top 6% of incomes in the US. I am in this number. I don't feel rich. I will have over $200,000 of debt when my (2) children graduate from college. I would like to know how each of these candidates define "rich" and the economic burden that each level should bear as their social contract (ie. top 6% make x should pay x, top 5% make x, should pay x).

Sent by Carlos Gutierrez | 6:46 PM | 12-3-2007

Do you approve of a law requiring English to be the only official language at a place of business? I am looking for a simple "yes" or "no" answer, without any double talk. Either way, please explain your position.

Sent by Ara Klidjian | 7:35 PM | 12-3-2007

Because of so much negative comments, I would like Senator Clinton to answer in ONE WORD, YES OR NO, will she and Pres.Clinton give their full support if there is another nominee.

Sent by PERRY WINEGRAD | 7:46 PM | 12-3-2007

Do any of the candidates have a plan to address the escalating cost of health care? Surely none of them can expect the average taxpayer to be able to fund a program that increases exponentially every five years. Do they have a plan to provide employer incentives so that companies could start to provide health care or to continue to provide health care for their workers?

I'd like to hear their comments on the fact that the high price of health care is partly dependent on the huge costs associated with the administration of present private health care insurance; the high premiums paid for physicians' liability insurance, the law suits that supposedly necessitate those insurance rates, and the medical business's tendency to allow doctors who make mistakes to keep practicing.

Sent by Marne Evans, Gillette, Wyoming | 7:52 PM | 12-3-2007

The Founding Fathers felt so strongly that religion should not be a part of the political process, that they included it in the Constitution. It seems that we are increasingly bringing religion back into the process, and, thus alienating millions of voters who are not, so-called christians. What are your views of the Separation of Church and State.

Sent by Kim Engel | 7:52 PM | 12-3-2007

Many economically moderate and conservative Democrats are seriously concerned with the long-term uncontrolled growth in government transfer payments and discretionary spending that has resulted in increasing Federal budget deficits and increased tax burdens on the most productive members of our society. Everyone realizes that unless major changes are forthcoming, the "third rails of politics", Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid alone, are on the road to bankrupt the Federal Government. Massive tax increases or severely reduced benefits are going to be required, or some combination of both since we can not "have our cake and eat it too". Currently average taxpayers work for approximately five months a year just to pay their various taxes. This excessive taxation is already reducing the incentive to work and contribute to society.

Question:

If elected President of the United States what will you specifically do to reverse this unsupportable trend and reduce the tax and mandated burdens on individuals and their businesses?

Sent by Doug Stark | 7:54 PM | 12-3-2007

I have 2 comments to make.

1. As long as Mexico is in such dire economic straits we will continue to see a wave of illegal immigrants which will largely defeat walls and law enforcement agents. Why not a "Marshall Plan" for Mexico to lift them up to be on par with the US and Canada?

2. What would each candidate propose to resolve the health care crisis?

Sent by Michael Gregory | 7:56 PM | 12-3-2007

For Dennis Kucinich: With which of the candidates could you work most effectively if that person were President?

For the others: What position can you imagine giving Dennis Kucinich in your Presidency?

Sent by Wanda Wixom | 8:17 PM | 12-3-2007

The Federal Govt. mandates many Special Education services but has yet to fully fund these programs, leaving School Districts across America having to pick up the added costs. (Special Education encroaches on "regular education's" budgets). John Edwards recently stated that he would fully fund mandated Special Education services. I would like the other candidates to address this important educational issue. Thank you.

Sent by Debby Molina | 8:24 PM | 12-3-2007

I have 3 questions:
1. Piggy backing on Julian Bonuccelli's question on campaign reform- I would like to know what each candidate thinks is fair and doable to create a more democratic campaign by the next federal campaign? Now that we have the internet- it should be more affordable for the regular citizen to compete.

2. Africa- Sudan Why do we turn our backs on genocide? Do you have a plan?

3. China is the key player in Darfur and rising. What are your ideas regarding China's influence in the world?

Sent by Jeri Shaw | 9:26 PM | 12-3-2007

Debate question: anybody want to discuss their "short list" for Vice-Presidents ? If not now, when ?

Sent by Eugene A. "Speed" Bella, South Bend, IN | 9:33 PM | 12-3-2007

Brazil is the largest and perhaps the most influential country in South America. It's unique on its culture ,History and so on. So why is that , it's not mentioned on the debates or conversation ? Any of you knows what is the language spoken in Brazil ?

Sent by Norberto Zimbelman | 9:40 PM | 12-3-2007

as president, what steps will you take to 'cross the aisle' so to speak, to attempt to come to a consensus on divisive issues that have gotten out of control during the bush presidency?

Sent by elizabeth thompson | 10:16 PM | 12-3-2007

Question for all candidates:

AARP reports the under funding of the Social Security Administration has created major delays & problems in servicing applicants. In light of the coming Baby Boomer wave of retirees, what will you do to ensure that the SSA is up to dealing with this? And do you feel there is a hidden agenda behind the under funding of this agency (i.e. "Who needs it if it doesn't work?").

Sent by clk | 10:19 PM | 12-3-2007

To all the candidates: Most countries confer automatic citizenship on new born children based on the citizenship of the child's mother, not by the happenstance of the location of the child's birth. Would you support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to make this the policy in this country? This would prevent the problem of children of illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens simply by virtue of being born here and eliminate any incentive for illegal aliens to have children in this country as a means of staying here.

Sent by Charles Hanson | 11:36 PM | 12-3-2007

Reading through a large portion of proposed questions, for this forum, why do you believe that blatant, vocalized racism re-entered acceptable public discourse? What fears do Mexicans and Central Americans stir in the souls or White America and why has such ignorance become commonplace?

Sent by Vincent Gonzales | 1:40 AM | 12-4-2007

Given the fact that our current Administration justified its threats of yet another war by falsely accusing Iran of producing nuclear weapons, what will you do about our Country's hostile relationship with Iran? What steps will you take to restore our credibility and integrety and improve our "bully" image in the eyes of peoples around the world? Finally, what can the public do to ensure that we are given accurate, factual information about national and international matters when these facts are fed to us to validate executive stance on any issue?

Sent by Carol | 2:38 AM | 12-4-2007

Question for Hilary Clinton.
I think that it is widely known that family courts system is dysfunctional. Especilly in respect to child custody issues. The court is heavily biased against the fathers.

My question is: will she do anything to look into this problem? I am addressing this question to her only because she is a woman. For years appeals from father's organisations have fallen on deaf ears. Only cooperation of women can change the situation for fathers who want equal share in the lives of their children.

I am a divorced father. My wife just wanted divorce. I did not abuse her or the children. The court determined that I was a good and loving father but still the court gave the legal and residential custody to my wife. That despite the facts that the court established itself; that my wife commited perjury, was convicted of an assault and have lied in her numerous statements. In the court's view it was all judgement errors and I was denied even shared custody.

Sent by Edmund Sadowski | 7:16 AM | 12-4-2007

I have two questions for the Democratic candidates. I'm proud of the Democratic party for having such intelligent, reasoned and strong candidates...each with their unique strengths. What do they think of President Lincoln who brought in to his cabinet...rivals and enemies of his and which proved to be a successful strategy. Would they be willing to consider putting Biden, Richardson, Clinton, Dodd etc. in positions of influence and power in their cabinet to work for the greater good of this country? Would they consider saying yes to a cabinet post for the greater good of this country?
I AM supporting Obama for president and Edwards for vice president.

Sent by Ellen Buchanan | 8:46 AM | 12-4-2007

This is perhaps not a pure question, as questions go. I wonder why more attention has not been paid to the fact that if Hillary wins then our country will be run by two families for 28, 32 years. This is a big red flag if there ever was one. Is this some sort of work around of the term limits imposed by the constitution?

Is our country turning into some sort of tag team between what are basically two royal families?

Edwards talks about change, but I wish he(or you) would just say this out loud so everyone can here it...

Sent by Adam Stadt | 8:52 AM | 12-4-2007

Mark Twain said something like, "Wherever you don't build a school, you will have to build a jail." I heard a supposed top-flight educational professional on NPR say something like, " all they'll do is play around on the internet" when dismissing KC's laptop-for-every-student program. Play equals learning: it's basic anthropology, and that fool doesn't get it in so many ways. Isn't it time for a national teacher certification and supplemental, tax-free, federal compensation? We had national EMT certification almost 40 years ago. Its time to stop listening to these yahoos, and let teachers who really do teach be rewarded for it.

Sent by Kathryn | 8:58 AM | 12-4-2007

Please comment on the hypocrisy of, and the economic and human toll taken by the current marijuana laws. Would you remedy the hypocrisy by legalizing marijuana or by prohibiting alcohol, tobacco and fatty fried foods? More importantly, what will you do to alleviate the suffering of good, decent people who are being persecuted because of this double standard?

Sent by Anna | 9:07 AM | 12-4-2007

Some of the blogs say that the issue underlying the bomb threat at Clinton Campaign Headquarters last week was about problems with accessing insurance for mental illnesses. Why is no one talking about this? If it may be said that the health care system is broken in US, it may be argued that there is no system of mental health care. While the incidents of mental illnesses (neurobiological diseases) are increasing, getting and paying for treatment for mental illnesses has become more difficult and more costly. Why is no one talking about this? WE are at great risk as a society if we continue to deny health care to people with these types of illnesses.

Sent by Sue Lerner | 9:34 AM | 12-4-2007

The United States lags behind other countries in the amount of time offered for paternity leave (and amount of time paid) as well as access to affordable childcare. Is this something the candidates would consider including in any of their healthcare packages?

Sent by Lulu | 10:13 AM | 12-4-2007

Please ask the candidates their ideas on how to fix the broken system of foster care in this country. Children are shuffled from home to home, and although many foster parents are the best of the best, there are others who are utiilzed that are less capable, but necessary due to the severe shortage of foster parents,coupled with the increasing number of foster chidlren and teens,many with physical and mental health needs. What do they see as immediate remedies for what is now an emergency situation in many states, and what do they see as long term remedies ?

Sent by L. Moring | 10:28 AM | 12-4-2007

Ask the candidates: In your opinion, which is the greater threat to democracy: Islamic terrorists or the curtailment of our civil liberties?

Sent by Lynn Meier | 10:54 AM | 12-4-2007

Ask the candidates: Will you pledge to address the challenges facing America in energy, crumbling infrastructure, the exorbitant war debt, rising cost of education, healthcare, & home ownership without cutting programs for the poor, disabled, elderly and working class?

Sent by L. A. M., Charlottesville, VA | 11:03 AM | 12-4-2007

My question for the candidates is: How do you plan to review economic trade agreements, such as NAFTA, to help change them in favor of countries such as Mexico, and not just in favor of the United States? Many people complain about illegal immigration, but they do not realize people are "coming over here," because they have lost their farm thanks to NAFTa, etc. We, the U.S., are making it impossible for people to stay in their country of origin, but yet we want people to stay at home an quietly die. Yeah right! If these people were white we wouldn't hear any complaints. In any case, most of us, Mexicans, etc., are from this continent whereas most people who are living in this country and call themselves U.S. citizens have origins outside of this continent.

Sent by S. Z. Shoemaker | 11:05 AM | 12-4-2007

What specific strategy would you advance, as president, to effect the polical reconcilliation in Iraq.

Sent by Rich Sulkovsky | 11:08 AM | 12-4-2007

Senator Clinton:

What current visa programs currently in
existence by the State Dept would be fixed by comprehensive immigration reform and how? Why don't the exiting programs work which require a new visa?

Sent by Brent | 11:19 AM | 12-4-2007

I would like to hear the candidates discuss health care reform as it relates to the need for public health nursing and home visits to vulnerable families. The privatization of health care has taken away long term case management to prevent child abuse, domestic abuse and to see early signs of family dysfunction. It seems we are asking our schools to take on this role. This requires policy shifts away from health care systems looking at the "bottom line". How would you change the "face" of US caring?

Sent by Linda Brandt | 11:45 AM | 12-4-2007

To all candidates,

In 60 years of independence Pakistan was ruled by military general for almost 30 years. It is very clear Pakistan involved nuclear proliferation. The tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are becoming safe heaven for al Qaeda and pro-Taliban elements. Which is a biggest threat to world peace? Present government calls Pakistan an ally of United States on war on terrorism, is this justified for you guys? what is your stand towards Pakistan.

Sent by Kumar | 12:55 PM | 12-4-2007

Given the appearance of conflict of interest and impropriety created by our current system of privately funded campaigns I would be interested in hearing the candidates' positions on campaign finance reform; specifically public financing of elections.

Sent by Jeff Bradley | 1:07 PM | 12-4-2007

This question is for all the candidates.

How will you reduce the deficit and when will we have a balanced budget again?

Sent by Terrie Gent, Sierra Vista Arizona | 1:16 PM | 12-4-2007

The current administration is using force, unsuccessfully, to bring true democratic rule to Iraq. How will these candidates LEAD our country and other countries to successfully accomplish international and domestic goals.

Sent by Kevin | 1:48 PM | 12-4-2007

Numerous military bases have been or are being constructed in Iraq. If and when U.S. troops are withdrawn what will happen to these bases? Will you continue to spend huge amounts of tax dollars for the behemoth U.S. embassy in Baghdad? And, what about the bill that was passed by Congress stating that no permanent bases will be built in Iraq-- what's your take on that?

Sent by Derik Olson | 1:49 PM | 12-4-2007

To all candidates:
What are your views on the separation of church and state, specifically as it relates to the involvement of religious groups in government. To what extent has the increased involvement of religion in federal government lead to reduced pluralism, ethics and accountability.

Sent by Dana Harrison | 1:54 PM | 12-4-2007

Plato said "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."

If elected, how will you prove him to be mistaken, since the current (and almost every) administration has proven him to be correct?

Sent by Michael J. Richard | 2:02 PM | 12-4-2007

For Senator Dodd: In retrospect, do think asking for Don Imus's endorsement was a mistake, given his questionable behavior towards minorities and women? What did you mean that most Iowans look more like him than Barbara Streisand?

Sent by Charles St.Clair | 2:18 PM | 12-4-2007

Thank you all for speaking on the issues over and over and over. It must be difficult to cover the same issues all the time. Is there an issue that you have not spoken on that you'd like to? What do you want to say and about what?

Sent by Lissa Lord | 2:53 PM | 12-4-2007

THE FLAT TAX
I am a middle aged worker who is looking forward to retirement. but even then I will have to be taxed again on money i paid income taxes on in prior years. I would like to know the opinion of the candidate when it comes to taxation...we are taxed on taxes...can the flat tax ever become a reality?

Sent by WARNETTA WILLIAMS | 3:04 PM | 12-4-2007

I was very disappointed to here how Michele Norris framed the question from the young mother who's concerned about US policy that allows toxins in our products without federal oversight or consumer information (to make intelligent buying decisions), while the EU regulates against this since 2005 and ALL these products are available without toxins, but in Europe, not the US. Ms. Norris totally missed the point. To add insult to injury, the young mother was bringing up a concern that she has after listening to NPR's Fresh Air last Monday, 11/26, when Terry Gross interviewed Mark Schapiro, author of "Exposed. The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products, and What's at State for American Power." This is an important and undiscussed issue. It gets to the heart of the necessity for campaign finance reform. Shame on Ms. Norris for her handling of this question, and her lack of knowledge on an important issue that came up because of one of NPR's own programs!

Sent by Ann Wright | 3:08 PM | 12-4-2007

I just heard Dennis Kucinich asking the other candidates what should be done about a President who deceives us into war. Your sterling moderator ignored the question and went to another subject in a question to Senator Clinton. I don't know by what agreements and with whom you feel your hands are tied against asking relevant questions, but when a public radio moderator sidesteps a good question in the manner of a politician I have to suspect that NPR is not the steward to "the public" as it pretends to be.

Sent by Gary Houston | 4:06 PM | 12-4-2007

For ALL candidates:
A) Will you immediately pardon Ramos and Compean?
B) Will you support withholding federal funding from cities with sanctuary policies?

Sent by dj | 12:11 AM | 12-5-2007

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