September 13th, 2008

The Results-Oriented Debate We Should Be Having About the Environment

There are two ways to show you are green. One is to preach, sue, lobby and spend. The other is to find ways to nudge people in environmental directions by changing their economic incentives.

Greener Than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist? demonstrates through case histories—ranging from Alaskan halibut to Bolivian bees to Mexican jaguars—how much more can be achieved the second way.

August 3rd, 2008

New RSS Feed

Please update your RSS reader. Thanks!

March 19th, 2008

You’re No Bill Buckley, Grover Norquist

Democrats are the enemy. Democrats are evil.

Even in Washington, these comments exhibit an unusual pugnacity—so much so that I asked the speaker, the illustrious Grover Norquist, if he were simply being playful, interspersing witty asides into his diatribes, as seems to be his wont. (The question followed a 40-minute talk on his new book, Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives, and took place earlier this week at the office of Americans for Tax Reform, of which Grover is president.)

Certainly not, he retorted, his voice rising. Politics is a deadly serious game, and when certain ideas have the effect of destroying both you and your country, then they absolutely warrant the appellation “evil.”

For example, he continued, we all agree that when Alabama Governor George Wallace, in 1963, physically blocked the entrance of black children into a “whites only” public school, that was evil. By the same token, when Senator Ted Kennedy denies black children the opportunity to escape, via private education vouchers, the swampland that public education has become—that, too, is evil.

Of course, there’s evil and then there’s evil, I countered. When 19 men crash two jumbo jets into a skyscraper and slaughter 3,000 innocent civilians, that’s evil. When someone tries to ameliorate our education system even in a counterproductive way, call him incompetent and call his legislation asinine, but don’t equate disagreements over public policy to mass murder.

Yes, there are levels of evil, Grover conceded, but the violence Democrats seek to visit upon us—steal our money, ban our guns, regulate the size of everything from our cars to our toilet seats to stop global warming—is still evil.

If you buy this, my bet is you’re an Ayn Rand fan. (Collapsing the distinction between ideas and actions, Rand equated Immanuel Kant with Adolf Hitler, insofar as Kant’s deontological philosophy facilitated Hitler’s holocaust.)

For those of us, however, who live outside the world of ARI and HBL and TIA—in the so-called reality-based community—the distinction between Democrats and Republicans is not one of evil vs. good. As any libertarian can tell you, there’s more that unites the two parties than separates them. There are real differences, to be sure, but I think it’s fair to say that almost every member of Congress votes in good faith. (Yes, this includes Ron Paul.)

As for Grover, he is the most brilliant strategist and networker I’ve ever met in politics. He is a genius at elucidating complex ideas, especially via memorable metaphors, and now that William F. Buckley Jr. has passed, he is the putative head of the conservative moment.

Yet the comparison to Buckley is instructive. As Radley Balko put it in an obituary,

Buckley was intellectually honest, engaged his opponents fairly, and was willing to admit when he’d been wrong (see his change of position on the drug prohibition and the war in Iraq, respectively). More importantly, he was no party hack. He was beholden to ideas.

If only we could say the same about Grover Norquist. Instead, I suspect we’ll remember Grover more for his hyperpartisan, polarizing Wednesday Meetings than for his thoughtful, reasoned contributions to our political discourse.

Addendum (3/20/2008): To use a point Grover himself made, when Republicans raise taxes, it’s not a victimless crime, since they degrade the Republican brand that is associated with no new taxes. By the same logic, when Republicans employ gross hyperbole, they hog the spotlight and crowd out those who share their political ideas but repudiate their rhetoric.

March 13th, 2008

Who’s a Criminal if Abortion Is Criminalized?

Here’s something I didn’t know, courtesy of Bob Novak: “No serious antiabortion legislation ever has included criminal penalties against women who have abortions, much less their parents.”

Indeed, as Daniel Allott recently noted, “Proposed state abortion bans in South Dakota and elsewhere explicitly state that aborting women would not be criminally penalized.”

Instead, anti-abortion advocates seek to prosecute the abortionist—he who induces the act, not she in whom it occurs.

I post this not because I agree with this agenda—far from it—but because facts are rare commodities in the abortion rhubarb.

Addendum (3/14/2007): Here’s an excellent example of why I love the Internet: Shortly after I wrote this post, someone left a comment on it referring me to Anna Quindlen’s 2007 essay, “How Much Jail Time?” In a much-quoted line, Quindlen argues that “there are only two logical [legal] choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place.”

The problem is, the very evidence she relies on rebuts her charge. And what fascinating evidence it is. In Quindlen’s words,

Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It’s as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: “I’ve never really thought about it.” “I don’t have an answer for that.” “I don’t know.” “Just pray for them.”

As strongly as I agree with Anna Quindlen on abortion in general, she is mistaken about its criminalization. As indicated above, serious anti-choice legislation targets those who administer abortions, not those who have them.

The same counter-question still applies—how much jail time should the doctor do?—but it behooves us who care about this issue to make sure our knowledge is equal to our passion.

March 8th, 2008

Warrants Obviate Immunity

Following 9/11, U.S. telecommunications companies allowed the NSA access to the phone records of their customers. They did so without a warrant and at the urging of senior government officials to help protect the nation from another terrorist attack.

My layman’s knowledge of the admittedly complex issues involved notwithstanding, it seems to me that the companies acted in good faith but in violation of their fiduciary duties to their shareholders.

As such, the question of whether they should receive immunity for their actions is easy to answer: No, they shouldn’t. Instead, they should have required a warrant before forking over vaults of data. Not only would such prudence have preempted the current controversy, but warrants exist precisely for situations like this—to codify facets of the law that are unclear.

February 22nd, 2008

Does John McCain Know the Difference Between YouTube and MySpace?

The blogger-friendly John McCain held a conference call this afternoon with us “ankle-biting pundits.” After reading Garrett Graff’s excellent op-ed in the Post a couple months ago, I prepared the following question:

I’m sure most of us would agree, as a recent op-ed in the Washington Post observed, that the Internet, “probably more than any other force, will drive and define the nation’s economic success and reshape its society over the next 20 years.”

Yet many politicians get a pass on technological literacy. For instance, last year, answering a campaign-trail question, Mitt Romney didn’t seem to know the difference between YouTube (then the fourth most popular Web site in the world) and MySpace. This seems like not knowing the difference between Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, and Pakistan, the sixth most populous. Or the difference between Chevron, number four on the Fortune 500 list, and General Electric, number six.

This is bad enough in itself, but when you consider the congressional debates about taxing the Internet and net neutrality, I hope you’ll agree that our economic future and security require that we hold our leaders to higher standards.

Accordingly, can you tell us the difference between YouTube and MySpace?

Alas, I’m still having trouble mastering the *1 combo—the Jeopardy inequivalent of pressing the buzzer—so I didn’t get the chance to see if McCain is any smarter than his fellow ignoramus senator, Ted “Tubes” Stevens (R-WTF).

Addendum (3/4/2008): I’m a few days late, but I have exciting news to report: On February 28, I got to ask John McCain how YouTube differs from MySpace. He began his answer fitfully, but once he got his thoughts straight, gave a lengthy and accurate response. Here’s a condensed and rough transcription:

MySpace is a social network … People come up and do the communications with one another, establish relationships and all that … YouTube … carries videos.

McCain also noted, as Michael Goldfarb put it, that

YouTube is reservoir of embarrassment—”John Edwards can attest to that (click it, you know you want to watch it again).” McCain would later remember that his campaign has a MySpace page.

Related: “John McCain: I Invented YouTube.”

December 5th, 2007

Downsizing Government: Should We Start with Poor People or Big Business?

Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo

It seems to me that if we’re to roll back Big Government, we ought to start, not by curtailing subsidies to poor people, but by curtailing subsidies to and tax breaks for Big Business. To be sure, reforming welfare in the 90s was a huge achievement, but I think that when we focus on things like welfare queens and S-CHIP, we only perpetuate the (mis)perception that the GOP is the party for rich people. By contrast, if we take on Exxon and Wal-Mart, we both find common ground with the left and work toward our own goal of downsizing government.

Addendum (4/1/2008): Here’s a more recent example, pointed up by Hillary:

“If the Fed can extend $30 billion to help Bear Stearns address [its] financial crisis, the federal government should provide at least that much emergency assistance to help families and communities address theirs.”

Addendum (7/24/2014): Two more examples, from Nick Kristof:

“Financiers are wealthy partly because they’re highly educated and hardworking—and also because they’ve successfully lobbied for the carried interest tax loophole that lets their pay be taxed at much lower rates than other people’s. Likewise, if you’re a pharmaceutical executive, one way to create profits is to generate new products. Another is to lobby Congress to bar the government’s Medicare program from bargaining for drug prices.”

Addendum (5/15/2017): In her book, Tax and Spend, the historian Molly Michelmore observes, “Most of the recipients of federal aid are not the suspect ‘welfare queens’ of the popular imagination but rather middle-class homeowners, salaried professionals and retirees.”

The author, Matthew Desmond, puts Michelmore’s point this way: “A 15-story public housing tower and a mortgaged suburban home are both government-subsidized, but only one looks (and feels) that way.”

November 29th, 2007

Should We Question a Presidential Candidate’s Religious Beliefs?

Hand on Bible

A version of this blog post appeared on Redstate on December 1, 2007.

Those running for president are asking us them to trust them with the launch codes to the world’s most powerful and largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. Surely, then, it’s perfectly appropriate to question their judgment.

The most controversial of these judgments concerns—ironically—the candidates’ most cherished beliefs, which is to say their religious convictions.

Let’s get the caveats out of the way: The candidates are running to be our president, not our priest, so whether they say grace or how often they attend church is inconsequential.

Yet since each one has professed to be a person of deeply felt faith, they have all thereby invited us to probe what that means.

Not because, as Christopher Hitchens would have it, religion is evil—from far it—but because anything—be it religion, a book or even a wife—which a candidates claims significantly informs his thinking, warrants scrutiny.

Addendum (12/7/2007): John Dickerson points out another paradox:

[Mitt Romney] claim[s] that for voters to ask questions about his faith runs afoul of the founders’ prohibition against religious tests for office. But the legal prohibition refers to government barring people from becoming a candidate or holding office. It does not bar voters from considering religion as they make their choices.

Also, the WSJ observes that evangelical bigotry toward Mormons is grossly misplaced:

Mormons seem the very embodiment of “family values,” and you couldn’t invent a religious culture that lived more consistently with Biblical messages. Broadly speaking, most Mormons have, and come from, big families; they’re regular churchgoers and give to charity; they don’t drink, smoke, gamble or engage in premarital sex. On the scale of American problems, the Mormons don’t even register.

November 14th, 2007

McCain on Medical Marijuana

Dialing in from Phoenix, where his wife Cindy is having an operation on her knee, John McCain held a conference call with bloggers this afternoon. Having learned the hard way that in order to ask a question, you need to press *1 as soon as possible, I was rewarded with the first question. With apologies to Radley Balko,

Should federal law supersede the will of the people in a given state when it comes to medical marijuana?

McCain’s answer: “There is no convincing evidence” that medical marijuana relieves pain and suffering that cannot be relieved by prescriptions.

But what about referenda in California and New Mexico, I followed-up?

The will of the people can be wrong, McCain declared. Look at Iraq today. Look at North Korea 60 years ago. “I’ll be glad to continue the discussion,” he concluded, “but I’m not changing my opinion.”

McCain’s first answer is factually inaccurate, which I hope to elaborate on tonight. His second answer is more interesting, but suffice it to say that whenever you ignore the will of the people—which you sometimes need to do—you need a very compelling reason to do so.

Quote of the day: Bloggers who criticize John McCain but haven’t come aboard his campaign bus, “remain[] attached to their couches and mattresses.”

Addendum: Phil Klein notes that Rudy and Romney also oppose decriminalizing medical marijuana.

Addendum (2/23/2008): Hendrik Hertzberg points out that

[u]nlike McCain, Obama and Clinton have at least promised to stop the feds from harassing medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in the dozen states whose laws permit marijuana to be used for medical purposes. But neither has given any indication of a willingness to rescue us from the larger disgrace of the drug war—the billions wasted, the millions harmed, the utter futility of it. On this point, hesitancy trumps hope, and expedience trumps experience.

November 6th, 2007

Senator James Inhofe: I’m a Fiscal Conservative, Except When I’m Not

James Inhofe

2005: “I am going to remind you that I am the No. 1 ranked conservative in the U.S. Senate. And yet I’m a big spender in two areas: national defense and infrastructure.”

2007: “I am a staunch fiscal conservative, but I am not apologetic about increased spending on our nation’s defense and infrastructure needs.”

What Inhofe willfully ignores is that national defense and fiscal discipline have always been at war with one another. By all means, we should protect the country vigorously and unapologetically, but we must remember that war, simply put, dramatically expands government, whether by curtailing civil liberties, increasing spending or stationing troops around the globe indefinitely.

Equally important, no taxpayer dollar should be exempt from “staunch fiscal conservativ[ism].” The principle of pecuniary prudence, if we take it seriously, is comprehensive and nonnegotiable.

October 17th, 2007

How Ron Paul Justifies Earmarks

Last week, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) addressed a meeting of the obscure Robert Taft Club, which describes itself (very much like the America’s Future Foundation) as “a loose organization of conservatives and libertarians in the Washington, D.C., area.”

The standing-room audience gathered in the basement of the Boulevard Woodgrill (down the street from where I live in Clarendon), and irked by the parade of compliments gussied up as questions, I zinged the Christian constitutionalist about his paradoxical earmarking.

The video is above; the transcript is below.

Q: Congressman, I have tremendous respect for you, but I was shocked to read, in a Reason magazine profile, that you actually stuff earmarks into appropriation bills, just like every other member of Congress. And I thought you were different, sir. You, of course, vote against the bill[s], but I was curious how you could justify stuffing earmarks, just like every other member of Congress…

A: I think the people that are critical of that don’t understand the process.

Because to vote against an earmark doesn’t save any money. That’s the first issue.

And the second issue is, the spending decision goes to the executive branch, which is wrong. All spending decisions should be by the Congress. So I argue the case that the Congress should make these decisions, since voting against the earmarks, you know, won’t do any good.

Now, as far as making the request, you’re absolutely right: I vote against them all, so I’ve never voted for an earmark. You know, because I vote against all of them.

But to make the request, it’s sort of like of you coming and asking for your Social Security check. I don’t like the system, and I want to change it, but I don’t deny your access to your representative.

So I think there is so much understanding about this earmark. It saves no money whatsoever. It emphasizes that you want to give the power to the executive branch and take it away from the responsibility of the Congress.

Now, if it’s wasteful, that’s a different story, and most of ’em are, and that’s why I vote against the bill. So you can’t say I voted for an earmark.

But I think I’m responsible for representing the people. To me, it’s like taxing a tax credit or a tax deduction. I want to get rid of the income tax, but I’m still gonna give you all the tax credits possible, in order to get as much money as possible. So, to me, it’s in that category.

(Thanks to Reason’s Dave Weigel for video-taping the exchange and uploading it to YouTube.)

Addendum: Andy Roth points to a WSJ editorial titled, “Ron Paul’s Earmarks“:

After reporters started asking questions, the Congressman disclosed his requests this year for about $400 million worth of federal funding for no fewer than 65 earmarks. They include such urgent national wartime priorities as an $8 million request for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to fund shrimp-fishing research.

When we called Mr. Paul’s office for an explanation, his spokesperson offered up something worthy of pork legends Tom DeLay or Senator Robert C. Byrd: “Reducing earmarks does not reduce government spending, and it does not prohibit spending upon those things that are earmarked,” the spokesman said. “What people who push earmark reform are doing is they are particularly misleading the public—and I have to presume it’s not by accident.”

Addendum (10/28/2007): James Joyner links to a CQ article that contains a succincter justification:

Still, why play along by earmarking federal spending? Because a crackdown on earmarks, he says, would only grant the executive branch more control over where the money goes. The total amount of spending wouldn’t change. “There’s nothing wrong with designating where the money goes,” Paul says—so long as the earmark is “up front and everyone knows about it,” rather than having it slipped in at the last minute with no scrutiny.

Of course, this sidesteps the real question: Paul claims to vote for nothing that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly authorize. Where does the Constitution authorize $3 million to test imported shrimp for antibiotics, or $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp, or $2.3 million for shrimp fishing research, or $4.5 million to study the effects of the health risks of vanadium?

Addendum (11/6/2007): The Club for Growth calls a spade a spade:

In defense of his support for earmarks, Representative Paul took the if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em position, arguing that “I don’t think they should take our money in the first place. But if they take it, I think we should ask for it back.” This is a contradiction of Paul’s self-proclaimed “opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution.”

September 28th, 2007

John Berthoud: Friend of Freedom and Friend of Mine

John Bethoud

A version of this blog post appeared on TechRepublican.

The e-mail arrived yesterday at 7:19 pm. It was titled, “Cancellation: September Party at John’s House,” and the first sentence struck me like a sharp gust of wind: “We are sorry to announce the passing of John Berthoud.”

What!? I had seen John just last night, at the E Street Theater for the premier of The Call of the Entrepreneur. In fact, as we walked into the movie room along with a couple of NTU colleagues, the theater was so packed that we couldn’t find a group of seats together. John’s solution: he found an open seat, and instead of availing himself of it, said I should take it.

Later, at the after-party, I found myself chatting with NTU’s newest employee, who had just finished her third day. As John was leaving, he stopped by, and our last exchange went like this: “You know,” I said, “It’s pretty cool to have a boss who not only hangs out with you after work, but who’s also cool enough to be someone you want to hang out with.” John’s reply: “Dude, the job’s already been filled.”

This was John: selfless and dependable, witty and fun.

Whenever we took a taxi somewhere, John insisted that he pay. As he once e-mailed me, “You’re a poor indigent 20-something, so I’ll cover the cab.”

Another e-mail captures the same sentiment. “Amigo— I’m going to pop by this party on Water Street this evening. Want my Red Top [Cab] chauffeur to swing by and pick you up?” I said yes, but asked if we could leave 15 minutes earlier. “Anybody who—post-college—can swim a 200 free in two fricking minutes clearly shouldn’t be left tapping his fingers,” he wrote back.

Similarly, at the happy hours we both frequented, it was not unusual for John, finding his drink running low, to ask whatever circle of people he was in what he could bring them back from the bar. There was no ulterior motive; there was even no expectation of reciprocity. This was unqualified generosity—a happiness to be in the company of others, to meet new people and to enjoy life as it came.

I met John when I worked a few blocks away from NTU, in Old Town, Alexandria. We were just acquaintances until about six months ago, when we realized that a woman he had dated was the same one who got me my first job. After that, we became fast friends, both firmly believing in limited government and living a few minutes away from one another in the Clarendon section of Arlington.

You wouldn’t know it if you didn’t ask, but John was not only an advocate, having run NTU for the past 11 years, but also a scholar, having received a PhD from Yale and taught at George Washington University. Indeed, the fight for freedom lost a major figure yesterday, and I lost a great buddy.

Addendum: Jon Henke, Rob Bluey, CAGW, David Keating, Mike Krempasky, ALEC, Mary Katherine Ham, and Mike Pence each offer their own tributes to John.

Addendum: Another glowing tribute, from John’s ex-wife, Maria:

“Reading the funny stories that some of you shared here about John made me smile (which has been hard to do for the past 24 hours), because so many of you captured his dry wit and humor perfectly, and everyone captured his passion and dedication to his work. Although John and I have been divorced for five years, the 10 years we spent together made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the time I had with John. Besides being the man I loved, and will always love, John was also my first real mentor in the work world, and there is no one I respected more, as his dedication to his work was immeasurable. But as his brother Charlie mentioned, so many people didn’t know the other side of John—his family, and how much he loved his brothers and their wives and children, and his mother and late father. His family meant the world to him. Those in the conservative movement lost a true hero yesterday, but his family lost a beloved member. I cannot imagine what the holidays will be like this year for his family without John’s presence. God bless his wonderful family, and God bless John, an absolutely amazing man that I was lucky enough to have had in my life for so long, and known so well. Goodbye for now JEB.”

September 17th, 2007

The Not-So-Ivory Tower

A few days ago, I received the 2007-08 edition of Hamilton College’s “viewbook,” which my alma mater sends to prospective students and alumni. The pamphlet contains a wonderful essay by Professor of History Al Kelly on the art of pedagogy. Since it’s not online, I’ll excerpt the essay here:

“I’ve learned that what sticks with students could never get into my notes: the way I think about things; the way I bring facts to bear; the way I call the obvious into question; the way I read; the way I tear apart a sentence; the way I try to jolt them into seeing the world differently. The students can look up the Ems Dispatch. But I flatter myself that they cannot look up any of those really important things that I try to teach them. If I do my job well . . . I lead them along the path from what can be Googled into the land of what cannot be Googled.

“What long-term effects do I want my history teaching to have on my students? I’d like them to have a hard head and a soft heart. I’d like them to be wise; to maintain perspective; to puncture fatuous claims of novelty; to write with skill and grace; to judge only after they have empathized; and to develop what the Germans learned the hard way to call ‘civil courage.’ Faced—God forbid—with a totalitarian regime, my former students would, I hope, be among the first arrested.

September 15th, 2007

Uncomfortable Questions

Recently, I posed a bunch of questions for the candidates. The questions were a way to trip up these presidential hopefuls, to make them squirm—and to think on their feet. Happily, at least vis-a-vis the Democrats, Bill Maher did just that earlier this week:

The video is above; the transcript, via the Boston Globe, is below.

1. Which would you honestly say is more likely to contribute to the death of your average American: A terrorist strike or high-fructose corn syrup and air that has too much coal in it?

2. Why should Americans vote for someone who can be fooled by George Bush?

3. Since 1980, the percentage of Americans who are obese has risen steadily to an all-time high, and a recent report by Trust for America’s Health said things were getting worse. In addition, SAT scores have declined and 38 percent of fourth-graders are

4. If the Ten Commandments constitute our greatest source of morality, why is it there no commandments saying do not rape, do not torture, or do not commit incest, yet there are commandments against swearing, working on Sunday, and making statues to other gods?

5. What criticism would you apply to the voters? Do you think they’re fair with you guys? Are they fickle? Are they shallow? Do they make informed choices? Do they pay attention to the right things? Do you ever, on the real now, feel like we’re spoiled brats who can’t take the truth and have to be lied to?

August 27th, 2007

Questions for the Candidates

Obama, McCain, Hillary, Romney, Rudy, Brownback, Biden, Edwards, Richardson

Here are some questions I’d like answered. As Dave Weigel observed of his queries, “It’s just a list of nags that the candidates might not have talking points for. And those are the sorts of queries they should be getting every day.”

For the Full Field

1. Do you believe that only [Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, born-again Christians, etc] go to heaven? Do you believe that only [Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, born-again Christians, etc] should go to heaven?

2. (A) Where do you get your news? (B) Do you read a newspaper on a daily basis? If so, which one or ones? (C) Do you read blogs? (D) If so, which ones?

3. Should using marijuana for medical reasons, as prescribed by a doctor, be illegal?

4. Everyone agrees that the tax code is too complex. How would you simplify it? Note: the question concerns tax reform, not tax cuts.

5. Running for president, especially in the age of YouTube, invites a massive amount of scrutiny. What aspects of a candidate’s life, if any, should be private? For instance, is it appropriate to report that a candidate’s children are not campaigning for him?

6. Name three things you did in your administration to increase transparency.

7. Why do you want to be president?

For the Democrats

1. What role, if any, would you task Bill Clinton with in your administration?

2. Do you send your children to private school? If so, why do you oppose giving vouchers to parents who are too poor to do the same?

3. What is the purpose of government?

4. Why or why not is the death tax good?

5. Should late-term abortion be legal?

6. You believe that abortion should be legislated at the federal level, via Roe v. Wade, but that marriage should be a state issue. Isn’t this a contradiction?

7. Did U.S. foreign policy contribute to the reasons for the attacks of September 11, 2001?

For the Republicans

1. Is it wrong for the GOP to nominate for president someone who is pro-choice?

2. Would you allow an abortion in the case of rape or incest, or for the health of the mother?

3. Why does defining marriage as between a man and a woman necessitate the denial of more than 1,000 rights to gay couples that the federal government grants to straight couples?

4. In arguing against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from military service, Barry Goldwater said that you don’t have to be straight to shoot straight. Do you agree?

5. Is homosexuality a choice, or is it biological?

6. Of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jerry Fallwell said, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'” How did those “who have tried to secularize America” help 9/11 to happen?

7. Is global warming a naturally occurring or man-made phenomenon?

8. What is your exit strategy for Iraq? At what point do the costs outweigh the benefits?

9. What one cabinet position would you abolish, if any?

10. What role, if any, did Iraq play in the attacks of September 11, 2001?