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March 21, 2008

If I Ran the Presidential Debates

If I Ran the Presidential Debates

By Rebecca the Bookseller

Blog_pres_candidatesOkay - let's all remember that this is not a political blog. So I'm not endorsing any of the candidates. I will say this: Dear Mr. Nader, I am old enough to remember when your work was a source of inspiration and respect. But many of the current voters? Not so much. You need to step out of this presidential race, or your legacy is going to be that you're a media-grubbing crank. Thank you.

Now - the debates. I live in Pennsylvania, and it looks like we're going to have yet another debate - and that's before the national election even begins. Come on. How many ways can they ask the same boring questions? Let's get to the real issues that matter to real people - like all of us at TLC.

I will pose several questions, and then I'm looking to all of you guys to add your own - with an intelligent, witty group like ours, I'm sure we can come up with not only a meaningful debate, but a ratings winner. One rule I set for myself - the questions must lead to a Yes or No answer. It's the only way. Otherwise, we're just going to hear the same sound bites over and over any time somebody wants to dodge the question. It'll also cut down on the time.

"But how on earth are you going to enforce that?" You may be asking yourself this question, and I did too. The answer: electroshock. The chairs will be wired. Not to, like, taser level, but enough to get their attention. The jolts will get stronger each time they are used on the same person. If someone ends up drooling at the end, well, that's a pretty damn good indicator right there.

Question 1 (let's just get it over with). "Have you ever paid anyone to have any kind of sex with you?" If the answer is Yes, then we'll have a sheriff standing by. It's still a crime, people, even though it's a dumb crime. Besides, if any of them did, they should have come clean about it last week, when it would have just been one more brick in the wall.

Question 2: "Have you ever done anything that you'd be embarrassed to have your mother find out about?" This is a trick question. If the answer is No, then they're either lying or they have one hell of a weird relationship with Mom. The answer should be Yes.

Blog_scarlett_rhettQuestion 3: "Did Scarlett get Rhett back?" Qualifier: one must, for the sake of all things good, ignore the abomination that was the novel/made for TV movie "Scarlett". In fact, just mentioning it is going to earn someone a shock.

Question 4: "Have you ever shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?" If the answer is Yes, and the candidate is not Johnny Cash, cue the sheriff.

Question 5: "Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked... in the head... with an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does. It never happens. It's a dumb question... skip it."

Question 6: "Have you ever played a complete game of Risk?" No right answer here - I'd just like to know if there is any human alive who has done it.

Question 7: "Are you wearing underwear?" (Okay, this one was Margie's question. She says anyone with the stones to go commando in a televised debate should win automatically. Not surprisingly, we differ on this particular point.)

Question 8: "Have you had sex with your spouse in the last 30 days?" This one is important. Because, most people, if they are not getting busy at home, they are doing it somewhere else. As we all know, this leads to scandals. We don't need any more of those, okay?

Question 9: "Do you think The Da Vinci Code is a great work of literature?" Okay, this is double tricky. Because face it, the overwhelming majority of people who bought or received that book could not finish it. And you can call it a cultural phenom, or a best seller, but as a book, it sucked. Big Time. This is the kind of question that really separates the wheat from the chaff.

Blog_snl_more_cowbellQuestion 10: "If you have a fever, is the only prescription more cowbell?" Best to end on a soft ball query. The answer is obviously, Yes.

Okay, TLC, it's your turn. You don't have to limit your questions to yes or no answers, but if you want me to administer shock therapy, you need to tell me the right answer. What questions do you REALLY want to ask?


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#11 - At Christmas, do you give your spouse Schwetty balls?

#12 - Is your glass half empty or half full? Remember, only yes or no answers, please.

#13 - If you were a tree, what would it be? (Not really yes/no ? but surely Baba Wawa would want to know)

#14. Are you old enough to remember the "Bass-O-Matic"?

#15 Best Bond - Brosnan or Craig?

#16 Were you around when the lights went out in Georgia (extra points if you know the next line)

#17. It's 3 am. Do you know where your confidential passport information is?

(WTF? If a U.S. Senator gets jacked around like this, the rest of us are totally screwed.)

Becky and Cyndi - our kids are now watching the early seasons of SNL on DVD. Still hilarious. We're trying to figure out when they're old enough for "Animal House".

#18. (This might not be applicable to all of the candidates.) Have you stopped beating your husband?

"#15 Best Bond - Brosnan or Craig?"


If said candidate doesn't know the name "Connery", he's outta there.

Do I look fat in this? Yes or no.

If no, he/she is a lying sack of shit and needs to be removed from the race. If yes, he/she is an insensitive sack of shit who needs to be removed from the race.


In re # 16, would "Have you hung an innocent man?" be a fair question?

#19. "If a tree falls in the forest?"
It's kind of a Zen koan question, just to see if they've been keeping up on their meditation. It's also a follow-up to #13. There's no real answer, I just want to see their look of alert interest falter for a second.

#20. Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Can I pose a serious one?

#21. What are you going to do about those people imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay with no access to legal representation and no prospect for trial? Are we going to hold them there indefinitely??

And okay, a not-so-serious one:

#22. Which is better, chocolate with raspberry or chocolate with peanut butter?

#23. When was the last time you cleaned your own toilet? Pumped your own gas? (I'm back from my tour, and believe me, there's no better way of meeting a small town person than pumping your own gas at a corner gas station.)

# 24 - If a man speaks in a forrest, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

(Can't you just imagine the facial expressions?)

William, there are certain candidates who, if they speak in the forest, will have the squirrels rolling their eyes.

#25 - When you speak to your god(s), goddess(es), God, or Goddess(es), does or do he/she or they respond?

Oops. It should be "...he/she, they, He/She, or They..."

#26. Other than The Bible, what is your all-time favorite reading material? (I was going to say 'book' but didn't want to exclude anyone) What someone loves to read can tell volumes about that person, don't you think? :o)

#27. Does the buck truly stop 'here'? (Think Harry S. Truman) Or do you pass it every chance you get?

I'll be back. We just changed e-mail servers AGAIN! Hopefully this will be the last time (at least until someone buys out Comcast anyway). :o)

(1) Have you read a work of fiction in the last 30 days (that was not the galley proofs of your latest memoirs or political manifesto)? What was it?

**Any candidate who can't admit to reading a good mystery, suspense novel, romance, space opera, etc., is off the ballot in my view.

(2) Leather or lace?

**OK, wait a minute -- that's way too much information in all three likely cases. But what the heck . . .

(3) Alistair Sim, George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, or Mr. Magoo?

**If they don't know what I'm talking about, they get double shocks for being out of touch with the popular culture of my youth. Big BZZZZZT for that!

(4) And just because: Apple pie plain, a la mode, or with cheese? Deep dish or regular? Crumbly topping or pie crust?

What excellent questions! I got a couple via e-mail as well:

32. "Have you ever cheated at cards?" If they say No, then ask:

33. "Have you ever won at Solitaire?" Hmmmmm. Is there one among us who hasn't at least re-shuffled the remainder pile on that one?

In other news, Happy Purim, and to all who observe Good Friday, have a blessed one.

The answer to William's #24 is always Yes. If the men say No or hesitate, they're outta there!

Oh! Mr. Magoo. Of course.

Definitely the Beatles!

When your spouse is sick, what's his/her favorite comfort food?
This question is crucial. Candidates can talk about family values, but until they've gone to the deli for soup (or chicken or chocolate) for a sick spouse, they're not fulfiling their marriage vows. You know, the "in sickness and in health" clause is a killer.

35. If you get caught with your pants down (hey, it's holy week, I'm trying to keep it clean), do you promise, here and now, to NEVER:

a. Make your spouse stand up there next to you as if it's somehow their fault; and

b. Claim you are really just 'sick' because you are a sex addict.

This latest Spitzer bullshit is par for the course. This guy is no more a sex addict than the man in the moon. He's an egocentric, arrogant horndog asshole who got caught.

I mean, I like sex as much as the next person, but PAY for it? I don't freaking THINK so. I don't care if the guy is hung like a hamster. Get some toys and play at home. Shit, for 80 grand, you could get someone to build you a freaking robot. Not that I would know. I mean, sure, I've seen the machines -- they're not for me, of course, but whatever.

Oh - and Condi - I'm coming to see you. I let the droopy boot thing go, because, you know, you're busy. But this shit with the total screwups on your watch? You're giving women in boots a bad name. And that might reflect on people like Me, Margie. I simply cannot have that, honey. Snap out of it!

I stole this. It's not exactly playing the question game, but it's still interesting, I think:

It is time to elect a new world leader. Here are the facts about the three candidates. Who would you vote for?

Candidate A:
Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with an astrologist. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B:
He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college, and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C:
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer, and never cheated on his wife.

Which of these candidates would be your choice?

I will post the candidate names in five minutes.

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Candidate B is Winston Churchill.
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler.

And according to a friend of mine, Winston Churchill had almost zero sex drive. How he knows this, I'm not willing to speculate, really.

This is a great blog, and these questions would sure spice up any debate. I also think they need to get zapped whenever they lie about each other or themselves. It gets so tiring to hear the same stupid and lame prevarications.

36. Paper or plastic?

37. Wind or solar?

38. And for the tiebreaker, if needed: How often do you call your nearest older relative?

Rabecca, brilliant blog today! I wish I had something funny enough to be worthy, but since I don't I'll just contribute the following.

Interesting piece from today's Times on surviving infidelity in America:


And on Guantanamo, I could be wrong but I thought all three candidates wanted to shut it down. One thing to be thankful for -- all of them, including McCain, are very firmly anti-torture.

Mac or PC?

Seriously friends:

Yes or No. Here's a start.

Will you take care of people who are hurting?
Will you shrink the military budget?
Will you make our schools the best in the world?
Will you protect our environment?
Will you explore space?
Will you always tell the truth?
Will you get a war declaration before going to war?
Will you protect our civil rights and liberties?
Will you work for peace and new priorities?

Spring is here.

What is the price of a loaf of bread, gallon of milk, a dozen eggs?
paper or plastic?

Will you help eradicate worldwide hunger and extreme poverty?

Will you also find ways to control the human population? (Predicted to go over 9 billion, which cannot be sustained on this planet.)

Here, Here, Buzz!

Seriously, can we get those questions in a debate and actually answered?

3 more -
Will you attempt to not tax us to death in the process?
Will you even out the tax debt away from the middle class and on to the rich and corporations who get away with less than their fair share?
Will you put a freaking leash on the oil and energy companies?

And in that same vein, will you support research into alternative energy sources? When we did that with the space program back in the 1960's, the US ended up being first in engineering. We've sadly fallen behind, but if we took the lead in energy initiatives we could get that back.

Too bad we aren't spending the kind of money on energy research that we're spending (or more accurately, borrowing) in Iraq.

Will you legalize marijuana so that my children won't be angry at me for shotgunning the dog?

Will you fix the healthcare disaster while assuring that the insurance companies can make money, everyone get good treatment, and companies will still supply their workers with coverage that won't eat up their entire paycheck?

All of my humorous questions were supplied already. Good job everyone!!!

Got a couple of more via e-mail:

Plain or peanut M&Ms?

Is the infield fly rule a blessing or a curse?

Wow, Rebecca, that brings up the obvious -- "What do you think about the designated hitter rule?"

Josh - how about "do you save your seeds?"

Yes or no, people!

Have you ever gotten to a braggable level on World of Warcraft?

Does your mom know you're gay?

A wizard has turned you into a whale. Is this awesome?

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