Live Note-taking, not quite blogging, on the Debate
DEBATE NOTES, PART ONE:
First question of the debate, and some concerns relevant to tortdeform are already up and running: What's the fastest, most positive solution to this economic crisis that will serve as a bailout for ordinary people? While I doubt they'll ask specifically about tort "reform," some of the ideals--holding corporations accountable, making sure the playing field is leveled for midde class Americans who've been harmed by corporate abuse--expressed in this question harken back to the fundamental values that guide the access to justice movement. Let's review the answers:
Obama: The policies of the past just don't work. These policies include, let's strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity will reign down on us. So now we've got to take some decisive action. How? Make sure the bailout has strong oversight, crack down on CEOs (like this guy). Says treasury should demand money back from AIG (for the luxury junket). Help state and local governments buiild up infrastructure. Get someone who's thinking about the middle class and not just those who can afford to hire lobbyists.
McCain: Keep American's taxes low, all Americans. Stop the spending spree on Washington. Protect home values by getting the government to buy bad mortgages. (More in a Minute, but comment away)
DEBATE NOTES, PART TWO:
Okay, back. Question: what policies do we have to focus on right away?
McCain says--everything. Obama says, we've got to prioritize and picks energy as a top priority. That's very very simplified, I know and apologize. I'll have to watch the rerun of the debate to get that one fleshed out. Oooh, and now a question about sacrifices. That is a GOOD one. Did anyone get that? Comments please!
Here's a piece from it:
Obama: Each and everyone of us should start thinking about how we can conserve energy. The gov't should create more incentives to encourage that. The young people of America are especially interested in this issue. Military and our troops shouldn't be the only ones bearing the burden.
And, here's a peice on "America getting drunk", in reference to this economic craziness:
O: Washington has to set the example. If Washington is overspending, it sends a message to the people that there's easy-money out there. McCain proposes tax cuts that would save the CEO 700,000 in cuts--that's not sharing a burden. Most ordinary people don't feel they're sharing the burden with other folks. It's tough to ask a schoolteacher to tighten her belt while others are living so high on the hog. We ALL must contribute and make sacrifices. This is unfair burden sharing.
McC: Nailing down Obama's tax proposals is like nailing jello to the wall! (KCF: That's kinda funny) Obama's secret that you don't know is that small businesses across America will have their taxes increased under his policy. I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy, but I am in favor of giving tax credits to the middle class. And let's create jobs and get the economy going again, and let's not raise any taxes.
O totally wants to respond. No dice. (So I'll respond--Obama's tax cuts on businesses will only pertain to a few of them that make over a certain amount of money. Perhaps more on that later or I'll add it in comments). More in a minute.
DEBATE NOTES, PART THREE:
Okay, I'm back, my friends. Now they're on to climate change and energy, then on to health care.
In re health care, Obama mentioned reducing medical errors to reduce costs to the health care system, something he and Sen. Clinton proposed a few years ago. I don't suppose he's going to mention protecting victims of malpractice? Nah, didn't think so.
McCain says he agrees, let's put med recs online to reduce medical errors. The difference he says, between he and Obama is that Obama keeps talking about government and mandates, while he wants to give the refundable tax credit to let people go and buy insurance themselves. I think this is a relevant tort "deform" issue because we have to continue to think about what government involvement means and what its implications are for the people. I think everyone can agree that governmetn involvement in some cases is very, very important. Critical even. Why would we need a bailout, a seriously intrusive government intervention that affects ordinary Americans pocketbooks and does very little to hold corporations accountable for... essentially gambling on us, why would we need this if we had effective government regulation on the front end?
Oh, my friends. Now that they're talking foreign policy I think I'm going to sit back and listen. A more coherent, less "rant"-like post is to follow, probably tomorrow after I recover from the uncontrollable desire to keep saying "my friends." I can't help it!
Any links to coverage of the debate from a civil justice debate, please share in the comments section or e-mail to me if you'd like to include it as a post.