Live blogging the 3rd party debate

Posted by Arkady K. On 10/23/2012

Tonight is the 3rd party debate sponsored by Free and Equal and moderated by Larry King.

Again, just like the two previous debates I live blogged the content will be reactionary and live.  However the format will be somewhat different due to the debate having four individuals instead of two.  The format is also unknown, but presumably it will be broken down by the questions and the answer that is the most interesting/odd/intelligent/whatever will be discussed.  Trying to address every candidate might result in carpal tunnel.  

The four candidates:

Gary Johnson (Libertarian)
Jill Stein (Green)
Virgil Goode (Constitution)
Rocky Anderson (Justice)

The format:  Two moderators, streaming online and the audience is allowed to voice their pleasure.  Not sure how I feel about the audience chewing up pressure time, but so be it.

The opening rant by the Free and Equal representative Christina Tobin, was  bit nauseating and sounded awfully populist, ranting on and on about private interests controlling our elections.  Obnoxious.   When Larry King announced Jill Stein, she visibly cheered and said "yay".  Nice to see have blatant bias from one of the moderator.

Opening Statements

(These were delayed because King kind of screwed up)

Stein:  Very pleasant, calm, smiling and composed.  Immediately launched onto the rich, war for oil (sigh) and tax breaks for the wealthy.   Calling for a New Green Deal.   Medicare for all.  Bailing out students.  Good god, utter disregard for economics and history, pure populism.

Anderson:  Brought up the tired old and foolish income inequality fact, despite the fact that this inequality has entirely been a function of the Fed as I have demonstrated previously.  Apparently not satisfied with ObamaCare because not enough people will have essential coverage.  Climate change is a greater threat than terrorism.

Goode:  Lovely accent, quite the Virginian.  Balanced budget, cool.  Moratorium on green cards and foreign workers.  Ugh, poor idea.  Ending super pacs and term limits.

Johnson:  Angry, very angry.  Ending all wars, end drug war, legalize marijuana, repeal patriot act, against the NDAA, balanced budget a 1.4 Trillion reduction, threatening monetary collapse  End income and corporate tax,abolish the IRS and introduce the fair tax.

Arkady:  Rough around the edges, but that opening statement clearly defined the candidates right off the bat.

Question 1:  What is your position on the top-two primary system?

Stein:  She opposes it because the top two contaminates the party label and the Green party is pure.  Then attacked corporations.

Anderson:  Not a fan because it restricts choice.  Railed against Republicans/Democrats for their failed war on drugs and poverty.  Hmmm.   So war on drugs is silly because it failed and so we should stop it, but despite war on poverty failing we should continue battling it.  Beyond silly.

Goode:  Does not favor top-two.  Against public financing, cited wasteful spending 100 million on RNC/DNC.  Pointed out that two-party is a State issue and does not want Federal intrusion into this matter, but opposes it.  Against PACs or Super PACS and correctly pointed out that unions also give money to the pacs and not just private companies.  Unlike Stein/Anderson.

Johnson:  Cited his experience as coming from the outside and joining the New Mexico Republican party, but failed to answer the question in reality.   Seems angry and animated...very different than his Republican primary performances.  Jabbed at Medicare and the police state and a pending monetary collapse.  More anger.

Question 2:   How does the 'war on drugs' impact America?  How do we deal with this?

Everyone wants to end the war, except Goode pointed out that the federal expenditure is a tiny fraction of total federal spending and is not for legalization.  I think he might be missing the point, because the costs are not easy to quantify since many people are rotting in jail for no good reason.   Dr. Stein used her medical background to state that Marijuana is not dangerous,  that seems like a very dicey assertion.

Johnson brought up a point that I have brought up many times.  If cocaine were legal, perhaps Meth would not exist?  Hmmmmm.

Question 3:  Excessive defense spending is now an agreement between two parties.  What would you do?

Johnson stressed defense and a 43% spending reduction and that we must stop with intervention.  Before people freak out, that means that we will still be spending 450~ Billion on defense, not too shabby.

Stein suggested we ban usage of drones.  Not sure why that makes any sense, but so be it.  Then proposed that we fight climate change not wars on oil.  Except that war on oil is a myth, perhaps Stein can look at the price of oil.

Anderson is upset about the military because he wants to spend money on education and health.  Right.  So politicians screw up the military, but they will be great at something as complicated health?  Hopeless.

Arkady:  Although King kept asking for rebuttals, nobody is rebutting.  Just spitting out policy points.  Kind of a shame.

Question 4:  College education is potentially over priced, is it worth it?  How would you provide the opportunity of college to everyone?

Johnson:  Federal guaranteed student loans have driven up costs.  Yes, yes they have.
Stein:  Time to make higher education free.  Marx would be proud.  Compared it to the GI bill and giving education to troops coming home.  Terrible analogy and who is to say that doing so did not drive up costs in education?
Anderson:  We must provide education for economic competitiveness.  What a lovely notion!
Goode:  We can't afford more Pell grants and subsidizing education.  We must balance the budget and reduce the debt.

Johnson then rebuts: "That "free" comes with a cost.  Free is debt.  Free has gotten us to monetary collapse." Good rebuttal.

Anderson:  Sooooo disagrees with Johnson, because we cannot afford NOT to provide free education.  Maybe he can throw in unicorns while he is at it?

Stein:  Agrees with Anderson and also does not care where it comes from or who pays for it.

Question 5:  Where do you stand NDAA's ability to detain Americans indefinitely. 

Stein stood up for civil liberties and wants to repeal everything related the Patriot Act, NDAA, etc.  Anderson echoed the same sentiment.   They see civil liberties as important because it is a defense against tyranies, but have no compunction about expanding federal intrusion into green spending, education, health, etc.  This is the price we pay for economic ignorance my friends.

Goode and Johnson would both veto NDAA as well.  All four candidates agree.  Johnson talked about his awesome record from the ACLU and called Ron Paul his hero.  The audience exploded on that comment, interesting.

Question 6:   If you had the chance to write one Constitutional amendment and guaranteed ratification, what would you amend?

Anderson:  Equal rights including sexual identification.  I am fine with that, but an odd choice given our economic climate.

Goode:  Term limits.  Believes it will end a lot of the money problems in DC.

Johnson:  Term limits.  The root of all evil.

Stein:  Money is not speech and corporations are not people.  Asserting that we the people deserve Constitutional rights.  Pray tell, where in the Constitution is free education, green spending and class warfare mentioned?  Duh?

Arkady:   This is a shame, economic amendments such as limiting borrowing and spending seem far more sense.
Closing Statements

Goode:  Same as the opening statement.  Kind of cerebral.

Johnson:  Talked about his history where he started a business and job creation, real creation.  Made a real pitch to the people and despite the anger, oozed with passion.  Wish he mentioned immigration being solved by ending welfare, not visas or paper work.

Stein:  Pitching to students and promising a bailout for student debt and free education.  Jobs for everyone through a Green New Deal!  Hey, why not free cars, food and clothing?  Are people really buying a platform that borrows half the plans from the Communist Manifesto?  I do not think I am being hyperbolic.

Anderson:  Pretty much the same as Stein, in fact, he seems to be more concerned about global warming than Jill Stein.  Quite remarkable!

Arkady:  Interesting debate.  Quite rough and a bit disorganized, but not bad for a first debate.  There was not enough actual debate, not enough rebuttals and some of the questions were way too specific.   Otherwise in terms of candidates, what can I say.  Stein and Anderson seemed very similar on platform, although Anderson is probably the strongest speaker of anyone on stage.  Too bad he is a Socialist, just like Stein.  Goode is just odd, got odd ideas and platforms and was not engaged.  This is strange because he served in the US House for so long.  Johnson made the most sense, but gave off a "weird vibe", still his economic positions are sound and grounded on strong logic.

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"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard