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February 1, 2015

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J. Patrick Coolican:

Six questions I’d like to ask President Barack Obama


Paul Takahashi

President Barack Obama makes a campaign-style stump speech at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion on Thursday, June 7, 2012. Obama made a two-hour pit stop in Las Vegas to urge Congress not to raise student loan interest rates.

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

Last time Mitt Romney was in town, I had six questions for him and promised I’d do the same for President Barack Obama, who will be in North Las Vegas today. So, here goes.

1. Here in Las Vegas, although the economy has begun to recover in fits and starts, 69 percent of our homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. Despite success helping stabilize banks and the auto industry, the government’s response to this crisis has mostly failed, especially in the hardest-hit states of Arizona, Florida, California and Nevada. As The New York Times reported this week, “As of May, 4.3 million people had applied for aid, but only 1 million had received government-sponsored modifications, according to the most recent data. About a third of those turned away lost their homes, were facing foreclosure or filed for bankruptcy.”

What would you have done differently, and what now?

2. Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing about the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, notes the continued expansion of presidential power: “(F)rom this point forward the presidency means the right to unilaterally declare American citizens to be American enemies, and then kill them.” Is this conclusion wrong? How so?

3. An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River is closed due to low water levels from the drought. This is important because $180 billion in goods go up and down the river, and barges are reportedly lightening loads to keep from getting stuck.

The drought has many thinking about climate change, but thus far, the campaign has featured almost nothing about this issue.

How would you address climate change in a second term in light of the failure of climate change legislation in your first term and in light of the climate change denialism of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives?

4. If the Drug War were 100 percent effective and arrested every user, you wouldn’t be president today because of your admitted use of marijuana and cocaine. Has the Drug War been successful, and if not, what are you doing about its failure?

5. You’ve said all options are on the table with respect to a nuclear Iran. What would be the consequences of a military strike against Iran?

6. Last year, you entered into a negotiation over the debt ceiling and reportedly offered a deficit-reduction deal to Republicans that was heavily tilted toward spending cuts that would have eviscerated important priorities while securing very little new revenue from the richest taxpayers most able to pay. What were you thinking?

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  1. Not a bad list, but why don't you ask President Obama why he has done nothing to address our trade policies that are at the ultimate root of our economic (read unemployment) woes?

  2. Patrick, you can be assured, at the very least, President Obama will answer your questions. Mitt Romney did not answer you questions then, nor will Mitt answer your now, or in the near future.

    Mitt Romney is a candidate walking a tight rope. The extreme right does not like him, the moderate voters don't trust him, and the extreme left continues to hammer away at the lies and distortions and flip-flops from Mitt Romney.

  3. Just who is this guy romney- I heard he was born in Mexico, How did he get out of Vietnam ?

  4. My three questions for all political candidates would be:
    1. Some members of Congress and The Senate have over the past year been publicly stating that they believe 40% of their peers would endorse campaign funding reform, but recognize possibility of such only with overwhelming public pressure from citizens. How can such pressure be gathered when their words were carried to only a minute percentage of citizens by our media?
    2. It's hard to find citizens aware of these Legislators words, even though they've stated that we're no longer a democracy, yet that same media has made almost all citizens aware of the words of Paul Ryan and Todd Akin. What's wrong with this picture?
    3. Does this lead you to consider that we must once again scrutinize media ownership seeking conflict of interest?
    I suggest that the path to stability, harmony and trust will be charted by those inspired by fair media, that peoples champion and conscience of nations holding history of inspiring citizens to gather overwhelming public opinion in order to force needed changes!

  5. @janenolan @ 5:33 a.m.

    I believe what you said is the definition to HYPERBOLE and you are why it's put there you believe it to be factual. Also who ever told you that used you as a tool and embaressed you at your expence for their gain, And you still cling on to them Tisk tisk.

  6. Hell, you are a loonie lib, aren't you?

  7. A legit question is when Mr. Obama will release all of the records he has taken considerable time effort and money to seal out of sight and mind. In fairness Mr. Romney should release all of his tax returns. Let Americans see what who and how these candidates arrived to where they are today?

    People are fighting each other as to which wealthy politicians will occupy the White House for the next 4 years. You're kidding yourself as Obama/Biden, Romney/Ryan are very well off financially by taking advantage of loopholes in tax policy to be so"

    An American public that continually feeds on controlled media every second and distortion sound bites may someday realize that buying into the corporate dogma of the 2 monopolistic political parties is preventing America from ever returning to the country founded on the constitutional principles that is the greatest experiment in government by the people for the people unlike our current government that today is controlled by self-serving Media, Lobbyist, Corporatist, Banking/Wall-Street , Military contractors, and last but not least the gatekeepers for this crowd". POLITICIANS...

    Almost any guy standing on the corner looking for a job would make a better President than either of the self-serving Presidential candidates available today, having a better idea of Americans plight and what is really needed to get America moving and could deliver without beholding to the previous mentioned leeches that have destroyed America for the benefit of so few"if people wake-up and kick the thieves out of our (elected office) temple. ALL Americans could once again share in the dream and promise of a better tomorrow "

  8. boftx - "ask President Obama why he has done nothing to address our trade policies that are at the ultimate root of our economic (read unemployment) woes?"

    I'm with you on that one, great question.

    Heretic - "I would ask him why is he gutting medicare to fund ObamaCare?"

    Obama is not gutting medicare to fund Obamacare, that $700 billion is taken from providers who are over charging and double billing their patients, in other words, cheating.

    janenolan - "I would ask him when he plans to release all of his SEALED RECORDS and why he had to seal them." "Also why our Congressmen, Senators and the media are covering this up?"

    janenolan, you actually believe if they had evidence they would cover up his birth than impeach Obama? That's called stinkin-thinkin and birthers have a serious problem being logical.

    You people are basing your questions on false information and are by products of propaganda, you'll learn little by watching Fox as a news source.

    Q: Are Obama's early records "sealed"?

    A: No. Many records that presidential candidates don't ordinarily release do remain confidential, but they are not "sealed" by a court. The 16 claims in a widely distributed graphic are mostly false or distorted.

  9. Coolican -- excellent list. I'm most interested in #1, 2 and 4.

    #1 -- "loan mods" has been the mantra for far too long, and it's just calling the herd to slaughter. Yet not one single word from our lawmakers about requiring the banks to first qualify themselves as the bona fide note holders.

    #2 -- this bit is profoundly disturbing. In this republic little is more fundamental than the prohibition against depriving any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

    #4 -- see #2.

    "Monday...this LPOTUS took 4 questions from the WH press. His answers lasted 20 minutes. That's 5 minutes per answer. He talksandtalksandtalks andtalks. And in the end he don't sayadamnthing."

    TEA -- nice to see someone else recognize this prez is little more than a cheerleader for our actual rulers.

    "An American public that continually feeds on controlled media every second and distortion sound bites may someday realize that buying into the corporate dogma of the 2 monopolistic political parties is preventing America from ever returning to the country founded on the constitutional principles that is the greatest experiment in government by the people for the people unlike our current government that today. . ."

    PaulRupp -- an excellent post making a profoundly disturbing point.

    "The people should not be deceived ... a major, undemocratic restructuring of our national institutions and mores is constantly in progress." -- Justice Scalia dissenting in Board of County Commissioners, Wabaunsee County, Kansas v. Umbehr, 518 U.S. 668, 709-10 (1996)

  10. Why does Mr. O put the interests of illegal invaders before American taxpayers and legal residents?

  11. Patrick, good stuff. When will someone ask him about the Drug War?

  12. "One of the prime characteristics of liberals is their narcissism."

    TEA -- one thing about using labels like you do is it doesn't require actual thought before speaking/posting. Definitely one of the prices the rest of us have to pay for free speech.

    "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion." -- Democritus (460-370 B.C.E.)

  13. Why the soft cotton candy questions? A poor man never employed me only a rich one. Ask him if in his second term, he plans to seize private and or public pensions in order to bail out Medicare and Social Security? As him why he can't speak to the issues and why his competitor seems to have more ideas than he? Ask the President why he no longer has improtu white house briefing or media gatherings? He seems to be afraid of that. One last question for the President: Why does your White House press secretary continually lie to the public?