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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Aug 21, 2012/ 3 Elul, 5772

A debate about debates

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dictionary.com defines a "debate" as: "A formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers."

That is not what will take place during three exchanges between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, or the one vice-presidential exchange between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

The selection of liberal "moderators" for these sessions by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates is, as Joe Biden might say, a 20th-century model for the 20th century.

Has anyone come up with a statement of purpose for these sessions? It seems less about getting information useful to the public and more about showcasing TV anchors and reporters who mostly ask questions through the liberal prism of their own biases, hoping to produce "gaffes" by at least the Republican candidate.

"Diversity" is the stated reason for the selection of two female moderators -- Candy Crowley of CNN, who said of Romney's vice-presidential pick, that it "looks a little bit like some sort of ticket death wish."



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Question: What is the difference between a male liberal and a female liberal? Answer: There is none. That would also be true for any minority the commission might have selected as moderator, if that person were also a liberal. Debates should not be about gender or racial diversity; they should be about ideological diversity.

During the Republican primaries, Newt Gingrich proposed a series of Lincoln-Douglas-style debates with no moderator, just the two candidates having a conversation about how they would lead the country. But because we live in a television age, which has conditioned us to brief sound bites, that kind of lengthy conversation might cause most eyes to glaze over.

Here are some better alternatives. 1) Let the country vote on moderators and any panel members like baseball fans do for the annual All-Star game. Since one of these men for the next four years will be spending our money, starting or ending wars, and regulating or de-regulating businesses we either did or did not build ourselves, the public has a vested interest in who wins the election. Let the people decide who should ask the questions that will generate information useful to them when they cast their votes.

2) Allow each candidate to pick one panelist to question the other candidate. President Obama might pick Rachel Maddow or someone else from liberal land to question Mitt Romney. Romney might select Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, or someone from Fox News (Chris Wallace did a credible job during the Republican primary debates) to ask questions of President Obama. Any of these would generate serious interest and boost ratings.

3) Have the candidates question each other. This has been tried on occasion in various races for other offices, but never consistently in presidential debates.

4) Put a former president on the panel. Since these men have had the rare experience of being president and know the challenges and unexpected events that often arise during a presidency, have Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush or Bill Clinton question Romney and Obama (Dick Cheney, Walter Mondale, or Dan Quayle might question Ryan and Biden).

5) Put a "loser" on the panel. Let Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum ask questions. Losers in previous Democratic primaries might be selected, too. Hillary Clinton would be fun.

As for questions a moderator never asks, he (or she) might try these: What should government do less and we the people do more? What do you see as the constitutional limitations of government?

The tired "debate" format devised in 1960 for the televised Nixon-Kennedy meeting and made worse in the '70s needs serious updating. Everything else has advanced. So should these political face-offs.


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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