Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 10:06 am
One thing that's bothered me about the debates is that whoppers are rewarded. If someone makes a ridiculous claim, it's very occasionally refuted (thank you, Ron Paul, I don't want you to be president but I'm happy you're in the race) but often just hangs there. And people watching often don't know it's a whopper unless they go ahead and research it the next day on or or similar.

My idea: put together a bipartisan consortium of those kinds of fact-checking organizations and have them keep tabs on the debate as it's happening, with some sort of a whopper chart that would appear onscreen.

The candidates would agree to the fact-checking group ahead of time. Various procedures and safeguards would be put in place.

In this age of Google should it really take more than five minutes for a group of smart, experienced people to fact-check a particular claim?

Each type of claim would get a certain amount of points. Like, something basically true but distorted would get one point. An outright lie would get five points. Etc.

The candidates would each be assigned a color, and with each point, their bar would creep across the screen (think Pinocchio's nose growing).

At the end of the debate, it would be very clear who was the whopperiest.

It would also offer a disincentive to the candidates to just float whoppers for easy political gain, if the evidence of whopperness would appear right away, right there.

Think it could work?
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Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 11:16 am
I would rather see them have "Discussions" instead of "Debates".

I think I would really enjoy watching the candidates sit around a table and discuss some topic and try to solve it, or at least come to a mutual understanding of the issue. Wouldn't it be great if we got to watch these people discuss something like, "The Effect of Lobbying Dollars on Congress". Let's hear what they think about that.

These "Debates" have evolved into a media showcase for canned responses and buzzwords. If we want to know what these candidates are really like, then let's observe them discussing an issue and trying to solve it, together. After all, that's what they're going to have to do when they get elected.

If they can't sit down and discuss things and come to a mutual understanding, and maybe even solve a problem (god forbid), then they shouldn't be in Congress or be President.
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 11:51 am
rosborne979 wrote:
Let's hear what they think about that.
Whether it's a debate or a discussion, there's still a possibility of whoppers, though.
0 Replies
Frank Apisa
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 12:07 pm
One thing that's bothered me about the debates...

Calling these things "debates" is like calling FOX

In a technical sense, I guess it is correct, but if you are not snickering afterwards, your sense of humor is broken!

As for politicians agreeing to have independent assessment of their reliability and honesty...

...well, good luck with that!

It would be interesting, though...and I enjoyed reading your notion about it.
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Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 12:16 pm
I would rather see an actual L-D debate between the two eventual nominees - a real one, focused on one topic, that strongly hews to the rules and procedures typically used in such an event.

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Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 12:24 pm
shock collars, hedge a question or seem to be lying, ZAP
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 01:50 pm
djjd62 wrote:

shock collars, hedge a question or seem to be lying, ZAP

Works on lab rats -- I say we give it a try!
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 02:22 pm
Ill go along with that, if we apply 100,000 volts to the collar.
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:20 pm

You folks want to shackle Obama with an electric dog collar?

That's progressive...
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:25 pm
there's a pretty big difference between a shock collar and a shackle, and everyone candidate would be wearing one

so let's not make this anymore ridiculous than it already is
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Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:39 pm
i realize you want to plug your agenda, but you do know a debate involves more than one person, the republican candidate would be collared as well

personally i'd forgo the elections altogether and let the candidates fight to the death, thunderdome style
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:20 pm

My only agenda is to make sure Obama does not get elected to a second term.

Putting the GOP nominee and Obama in a field and letting them fight it out would be great pay per view though Twisted Evil
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Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 02:30 am
djjd62 wrote:

shock collars, hedge a question or seem to be lying, ZAP


And a zap every time they don't really address an issue, but just use it to continue with what their minders say are the buzz words and buzz issues they should be pushing all the time.

Only little zaps though!
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 07:35 am

Only little zaps
0 Replies
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 10:59 am
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney falsely claimed the Navy is smaller now than at any time since the start of World War I. (It had fewer ships as recently as four years ago.) And former House speaker Newt Gingrich again claimed credit for balancing federal budgets that were voted on after he left the House.

The event was sponsored in part by NBC News, which broadcast it. We noted these incorrect or misleading claims:

STORY: Fla. debate marks pivotal moment in GOP race

Romney flunks naval history

Romney claimed that "our Navy is now smaller than any time since 1917." That's not true — at least as measured by the number of active-duty ships. There are more Navy ships now than during the last four years of George W. Bush's presidency.

According to the Defense Department's Naval History and Heritage Command, there were 342 total active ships as of April 6, 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I. And there were 285 total active ships as of Sept. 30, 2011, the most recent month for which figures are available. So it's true that the Navy has fewer ships now than it did then — but not fewer than at "any time" since then.

There were fewer active ships at the end of fiscal years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as follows:

•282 as of Sept. 30, 2005
•281 as of Sept. 30, 2006
•278 as of Sept. 30, 2007
•282 as of Sept. 30, 2008

Gingrich on balanced budgets

Gingrich wrongly claimed "that, when I was speaker, we had four consecutive balanced budgets." Only two of the four occurred while Gingrich was speaker.
Gingrich: Well, first of all, the case I make is that, when I was speaker, we had four consecutive balanced budgets, the only time in your lifetime, Brian, that we've had four consecutive balanced budgets. Most people think that's good.

This boast is something that we have refuted numerous times. He has claimed to have "helped" balance the federal budget for four consecutive years. This time, he went beyond that in claiming that all four occurred under his watch as speaker of the House.

The federal government had four consecutive balanced budgets from fiscal years 1998 to 2001. Gingrich announced in November 1998 that he would resign as speaker. He left the House in January 1999. He was speaker when Congress passed federal budgets in fiscal years 1998 and 1999, but not 2000 and 2001.

Romney: Gingrich resigned 'in disgrace'

In a tense exchange early in the evening, Romney claimed Gingrich had resigned "in disgrace" after the House (including most Republicans) voted to reprimand him and penalize him $300,000 on January 17, 1997. In fact, as Gingrich later correctly noted, he didn't announce his resignation until nearly two years later, on Nov. 5, 1998. His ouster was prompted by a poor showing in the 1998 elections, in which the GOP lost five House seats. It was the first time since 1934 that the party holding the White House had gained seats in a midterm election. That, more than any lingering effects of the ethics case, caused Gingrich to lose the support of his Republican colleagues in the House.

Romney wrong on 'Obamacare' and deficit

Romney continued his attacks on the federal health care law, saying that the country has $15 trillion in debt and President Obama "adds another trillion on top for Obamacare and for his stimulus plan that didn't create private-sector jobs."

But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Officehas estimated that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reduce yearly deficits — by $119 billion over the 2012-2019 period — not add to them. Earlier this month at a debate in New Hampshire, Romney phrased this claim differently, saying that repealing the health care law would save "$95 billion a year." That figure is the amount of new spending required by the law, but Romney didn't factor in spending cuts and revenue provisions that, according to CBO, would more than cover the cost of the legislation.

This time, Romney took his claim a step further, wrongly saying that the law would increase the debt, not just spending. In fact, the CBO has said that the deficit would increase if the health care law was repealed, as Romney proposes.

As for the stimulus, the 2009 measure cost an estimated $825 billion. But Romney's claim that it "didn't create private-sector jobs" is wrong, according to nearly all economic estimates and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. CBO states that at its peak, in the third quarter of 2010, there were between 0.7 million and 3.6 million more people working than would have been the case without the stimulus.

And some portion of those jobs were private-sector jobs. Since the stimulus was signed in February 2009, overall employment by federal, state and local government has gone down — by more than 600,000 jobs — not up.

Romney wrong on NASA

Romney went too far when he claimed that Obama has "no plans" for NASA. Obama in 2010 set in motion a plan to build a heavy-lift launch vehicle to go beyond the Earth's orbit. The president's plan calls on NASA to land astronauts on an asteroid by 2025, orbit Mars by the mid-2030s and, ultimately, land on Mars.

Romney: His plans for NASA, he has no plans for NASA. The space coast is — is struggling. This president has failed the people of Florida.

Some background: President Bush announced in January 2004 that he would retire the Shuttle program and return to the moon by 2020. The Shuttle program ended last year, leading to job losses along the so-called "space coast." The question facing Obama early in his administration was whether he would continue Bush's plan for NASA or come up with his own. Obama proposed a new course.

In February 2010, Obama's proposed budget for NASA called for killing Bush's plan to return to the moon. In an April 15, 2010, speech in Florida, Obama unveiled his proposal for a deep-space exploration plan that included the goals of landing on an asteroid by 2025 and orbiting Mars by the middle of the 2030s — with the ultimate goal of landing on Mars. The proposal caused a rift among some of NASA's most famous astronauts, with Neil Armstrong opposing it and Buzz Aldrin supporting it, as the Los Angeles Timesreported at the time.

Nevertheless, Obama's plans are moving forward. NASA announced a design for the heavy-lift launch vehicle that would make it possible to go beyond the Earth's orbit. In making the announcement on the design plans, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said: "President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that's exactly what we are doing at NASA. While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, tomorrow's explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars."

links at the source
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 01:38 pm

Man that real-time chart would be nice, wouldn't it?

I'm imagining watching and saying "WHOA that was a complete lie.... will they catch it?" and then after a bit seeing the bar jump by five points. That'd be so awesome.

The electric shock thing has potential too though.

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Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 05:40 pm
sozobe wrote:
And people watching often don't know it's a whopper unless they go ahead and research it the next day on or or similar.

. . . and even that doesn't necessarily help. Take Politifact. They awarded their "lie of the year 2011" to the Democratic claim that the Ryan plan would end Medicare. And yet, this claim was at worst was a slight spin on the truth. At best, it was nothing but the truth. Indeed, I'm leaning towards "nothing but the truth" myself.

sozobe wrote:
My idea: put together a bipartisan consortium of those kinds of fact-checking organizations and have them keep tabs on the debate as it's happening, with some sort of a whopper chart that would appear onscreen.

I expect that this will work well in a field where all the contestants lie about equally much. But when one contestant lies a lot more than the others, rigorous fact-checking will reveal that, and then that contestant will frame the fact-checker as biased. To avoid the appearance of bias, fact-checkers will play up minor fibs by comparatively honest contestants (Huntsman, Paul, Obama) while playing down the Big Lies of the Big Liars (Romney, Gingrich, Bush). I think that's what Politifact did in their lie-of-the-year-2011 incident. Accordingly, I don't trust fact-checkers to do their work properly in such an environment, and find myself pessimistic about your suggestion. Sorry.
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 07:22 am
While it may be that the fact checkers might be biased, there are always other sources to confirm or deny even the fact checkers statements. This forum would provide a place to double and triple check all statements including even the fact checkers I guess. If there is a statement from a fact checker site that is outrageously (or just kinda) wrong, point it out like we do anything else around here.

Would the president's speech be included here or need another thread?

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