Obama is Open for Questions – Brilliant!


In another exceptional move to open up the dialog between Government and the governed, President Obama will directly answer questions posed online at the “Open for Questions” website.

Wow, I just played around with this asking and grading some questions – it’s a fantastic application with easy registration, forced short questions, and an easy “thumbs up or down” on other’s questions. This allows the participants to determine the top questions which is a fantastic way to involved the public using social media. Obviously the users are more likely to be Obama supporters due to demographics and avoidance of White House projects by Obama critics but this is light-years ahead of the kind of interactions we’ve seen in the past.

This approach combines with town meetings and frequent press conferences to keep President Obama in touch with the public in a way no President has ever done, and I really think he deserves very high praise for this level of interaction. This isn’t necessarily transparency though so the caveat is that these PR efforst must be supported over time with the data-rich information on budgets and decisions about spending, the economy, defense, and more. Still, this makes sure that President Obama President, unlike President Bush before him, will at the very least have a clearer understanding of the concerns and values of the American public.

When you want to separate bad from good policy and approaches in many cases you just need to ask “What would the Founders have done?”. Opening up questions to the President from all Americans and allowing them to vote on the best ones? The founders would have loved it!

More at President Picker

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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22 Responses to Obama is Open for Questions – Brilliant!

  1. leland stamper says:

    I’d like to know why he doesn’t put the questions concerning his citizenship to rest. Who was in attendance at his birth? Was he ever a citizen of another country besides the U.S.? What passports has he used in the past? Who has the right to ask these questions and recieve an answer?

  2. glenn says:

    (1) Leland what is strange is that Obama and his attorneys could submit the actual birth certificate to the court under “attorney eyes only” and only the judge, Obama, and the attorneys would see it.

    If there is nothing there they could release a joint statement that there is nothing here and that would be the end of it. Obama is an attorney and he knows clear well he could do this and just put this to bed.

    So you have to ask yourself…why hasn’t he done it?

    What will happen in this country if we do actually find out he was a natural born citizen as required by the Constitution? The liberal media put McCain through the ringer over these issues but have given Obama a complete pass.

    There is also no record of Obama having a US Passport before he became a Senator however he traveled overseas to “travel restricted” countries during his college years.

    A retired federal agent reviewed his Selective Service registration and found definite signs of forgery and tampering.

    Some of the dockets presented to the Supreme court bench were illegally deleted from the system – however there is good news on this front – it is currently being investigated by the Supreme Court.

    All we can hope for is that they hold up the letter of the law and get to the bottom of this. This is completely absurd that we still need to talk about this.

  3. JoeDuck says:

    Obama’s birth certificate is online and as it clearly states it is a legally binding copy for all purposes. I’d guess the vault copy has been lost or defaced or has some scandalous but not relevant info and Obama’s team feels this would distract everybody from the truth.

    That question did come up at the website and was not popular because this is not really a “real” issue, it’s just a continuation of the election hit jobs. If Obama spent all his time addressing detractors he’d never make any progress … hmmm … maybe that’s the strategy here?

  4. JoeDuck says:

    An interesting take on the Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theory:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/12/05/birth_certificate/

  5. glenn says:

    (3) Joe Obama’s original response to the Berg requests were that the the vault copy would be embarrassing to Obama.

    So during the campaign I can understand that…but he won…so why not produce it? You even said during the campaign that you expected Obama to release it after he was elected.

    Joe I find it interesting how you continue to evolve your position on these issues…now that it is clear that Obama is definitely hiding something…it is now cast into the pile of hit pieces…but of course the hit pieces Salon, DailyKOS, etc did on Palin…well that was important and it is still important that the same people continue to pile lawsuits on her because they are so afraid of what she represents.

    He just needs to produce it.

    The COLB certificate you mention has been spun into serious question as well…the infamous one at Factcheck (created by the same group that funding Obama and Ayers in Chicago…lol). You can see clearly that the COLB has been digitally altered…

    What is funny is how people want to think that this kind of stuff doesn’t go on…in fact this type of behavior is par for the course for all these corrupted individuals.

    You shouldn’t trust ANYTHING they do or so.

  6. JoeDuck says:

    Spun is the right word Glenn – Factcheck has many images online and a good analysis of the situation. I did read the critical “analysis” by some character who claimed to have some special insight into documents. It was nutty. If I remember right he didn’t even realize they had probably printed the existing Obama doc from a current database rather than digging up an archived copy.

    My position has not evolved at all – this is a side show issue and it has always been one. I’ll even concede there may be some irregularity here, but I’d prioritize important national issues over this one.

    What has Obama done that you approve of?

  7. leland stamper says:

    Is there any information out there that explains his trip to Pakistan in 1981? Did he use a U.S. passport? Attending school in Indonesia, was he a U.S. citizen at the time? I think these questions should be answered.

  8. glenn says:

    (6) Joe he decided to drop the pursuit of forcing our wounded vets from having to pay for their continued rehabilitation and therapy with private insurance.

    I approve of that…but unfortunately Obama seems to understand that was a horrible idea to begin with.

    Anyone that takes a bullet for this country should never have to worry about another thing again.

    You have to be seriously concerned with the power grab that Geithner is going for today? It makes absolutely no sense. The exact same people Cuomo, Geithner, Dodd, Frank, etc…etc.. that were major factors in our current financial mess are screaming they know how to fix it…we just need to relinquish everything to them and don’t question anything they want to do…no matter they have NO plans…Geithner was ridiculous today in the questioning.

    Go back and listen to the campaign rhetoric from ALL of these stooges about how we need to replace fear with hope, etc…ALL they do is monger fear to force their agenda.

    They just love distractions to take away from the truth and they want to bury all the facts so the American people can continued to be fooled by these clowns in our country which is quickly becoming a circus.

    Look at the newspaper bailout…shocker…the bailout plan allows the government to seize control of the news outlets…LOL…gee I wonder what that will mean?

    Even France, Switzerland, etc think we are going off the deep-end on these socialist moves…and you know why…because if we go to socialism there will be no world market to buy their goods. They need capitalist America to drive their economies because socialism is destroying their existence.

  9. horatiox says:

    The COLD’s probably legit, though one never knows. BO did have a dual citizenship as a youth. There are some remaining mysteries, however (the Salon/Kos/HuffPo gonzocrat types of course dismiss much mysteries–you dare question Obama’s vetting? You must be a……. wingnut,or like not from NY, LA, or SF). What about Obama’s grades and college records? The press grilled Bush/Kerry/ Mccain on grades/records; why were BO’s records sealed? Weird. He was either a mediocre student, or he had attended a few too many lefto-marxist classes, and didn’t want that to be known to American public. He was quite the par-tay animal too, supposedly–. It’s the usual Demo double standard: they demand transparency, except when the spotlight’s pointed at their own bosses (or themselves).

  10. glenn says:

    (9) I would like to know who paid for his college…

    In fact Horatiox you were the one that brought the whole birth certificate issue to the table here…I will never forget that post.

    I think you are hitting on a double standard that is rampant in the liberal left…I think if they just held themselves to the same standard they want to hold everyone else a lot of this would go away.

  11. horatiox says:

    I find it a bit odd that the Salon writer was so accepting of the report. Miss X, a Hawaii official said the birth cert was legit, so it’s legit, according to most of the Sheeplecrats. Wouldn’t the proper procedure be to have some team of objective researchers (say bipartisan) determine if the COLB was authentic? (And do that with all candidates). A lab can test for age of the paper, the ink, and so forth. Again, I suspect it’s authentic, but merely saying Miss X, Hawaii records official, confirms it’s authentic doesn’t settle the issue.

    The Berg case should have been heard: if the BO team had nothing to hide, why the hassle, and attempt to have it dismissed? For that matter, do we trust the judges who dismissed Berg’s case? (uh, hell no). Not sure of status now (I heard a rumor that SCOTUS considered it, but decided not to press it or something).

  12. JoeDuck says:

    Horatiox for the record and as I said before the election I think there *is* some minor embarrassment wrt the birth certificate – perhaps original is lost or defaced. If either are true some will insanely suggest he’s therefore not eligible to be President when in fact the existing document is legally defined as legal proof for all purposes, including eligibility for the Presidency.

    I see this as a small mystery and I’m sure it’ll become an issue in the 2012 campaign again.

    Leland and Glenn although I’m interested in controversial items from Obama’s past I certainly don’t expect him to provide any more fodder for the attack teams, working overtime even now to assassinate the character of a President who, like Bush before him is an honest and sincere fellow.

  13. glenn says:

    (11) Actually Horatiox it will probably be the motions that Keyes has put forward that will eventually be heard we will see. Justice Roberts just accepted the dockets, filings, etc…all that legal jargon for dead trees. So hopefully they will review it seriously.

    (12) Joe I think there is a smoking gun here…do I think it would mean he would be removed as President…I don’t think the issue will be that he wasn’t a natural born citizen however the “cover-up” that has been going on about this certainly flies in the face of the integrity, honesty, transparency Obama promised to bring to government. If it can’t apply to him then how do we expect it ever to transcend into other parts of the government.

    He has to lead by example otherwise this will always be held over his head.

    I also think that most presidents are “sincere” but “honest” – I think it is relative. I don’t think they really are honest, in fact I think part of the job requires them to be a convincing liar. Thomas Jefferson even said if a lie is good for the people then it is ok…It really begs the question about the teleprompter. It is much easier to talk the truth off the top of your head.

    So the real question about Obama is when is he being honest? To be so tightly connected to Rezko and the other clowns in Chicago really proves he isn’t honest. This whole manipulation of the land purchases with Rezko really show that. So to state Obama is a honest person I think is a very big stretch.

    Just look at the whole process with the stimulus…WE HAVE TO PASS NOW WE CAN’T WAIT ANOTHER DAY…then he goes on vacation for 4 days before signing…seriously that is not honest and it certainly isn’t sincere.

  14. leland stamper says:

    Hundreds of the questions on “Open for Questions” ask specifically about his birth certificate. I think it’s a question of credibility. There’s something not right, and I doubt it’s some minor embarrassment.

  15. glenn says:

    This just surfaced, rather innocently, as a matter of fact.

    Legendary civil rights lawyer, Percy Sutton, 87 yrs old, was being interviewed and just innocently admitted that years ago, Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al-Mansour called him and asked him to use his (Percy’s) connections at Harvard to help Barack Obama get him into law school.

    Now the question is who is this gentleman?

    Turns out, “his business and professional interests include co-founding the International Law Firm of Al-Waleed, Al-Talal & Al-Mansour, representing the O.P.E.C. interest of the famous Los Angeles trial, I.M.A.W.C. vs. O.P.E.C., according to African Venture partners here is Percy Sutton, Esq. on Inside City Hall: speaking the truth, but revealing yet another little skeleton about Barack Obama:

    So, know we know why he doesn’t want offshore drilling.

  16. glenn says:

    (14) Leland this case may actually be heard.

    http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

    This challenge was properly structured and this has a chance of actually being heard.

    They are going to force the court to clearly define what a natural born citizen is. One of the facts is that his father was not a US citizen and according to the current definition of natural born citizen where both parents are citizens…so to be natural born is be a 2nd generation of two citizens.

    So based on this angle this could actually be heard.

  17. JoeDuck says:

    I didn’t realize how many times this issue has come up in US history, and also that the definition of “Natural Born Citizen” remains very vague – the Supreme court has not defined the term:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born_citizen

    Interestingly the case against McCain citizenship is much stronger than Obama. McCain was not born on American soil, though I’d agree that his situation clearly meets the spirit of the law. The Founders were obviously concerned about a kind of “US loyalty test”.

    The Supreme Court should have stayed out of Bush v. Gore and I sure hope they stay out of this. We the people have spoken and for the Supremes to overturn the people’s decision on a quirky interpretation of a vague concept would be an outrage in my opinion.

  18. glenn says:

    (17) So Joe if Obama is not a natural born citizen you would want him to stay in office?

    I think this is a point that many people confuse…we are a Republic and not a Democracy…so it is irrelevant at the end of the day that the people have spoken. Congress is bound to uphold the Constitution and unless they were to amend it and then anyone basically who wanted to take over the office of presidency could. I don’t think that will happen.

    Interesting you brought up McCain because he was quite open about this, he provided everything without any hesitation and Congress passed a resolution stating he was eligible. It is really to bad Obama has not. More and more when you read about this…more and more this looks like a smoking gun.

  19. JoeDuck says:

    Glenn you’d only have a reasonable point if it turned out Obama was, say, born in Kenya or another country. We all agree now that he was born in Hawaii.

    The Kenyan nonsense was Corsi’s first tack and when if failed he moved on to the next approach. Corsi’s made a bundle lying about Obama, which appears to be easier than ripping off people’s money:
    http://www.dickipedia.org/dick.php?title=Jerome_Corsi

    or stealing their ideas:
    http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2006/02/swift_boat_auth.html

    The Constitution was very brilliantly designed to facilitate the will of the people, not to be a way to let technicalities overturn that will.

    Since the term is vague, it would be a complete outrage for the Supreme court to overturn the will of the people aka “The Consent of the Governed”.

  20. glenn says:

    (19) Joe the entire point about the birth certificate is two fold.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with Kenya.

    1) The recognized definition since back to Roman times regarding a “natural born citizen” is a person born of this soil and both of their parent are citizens.

    It is not disputed that Obama’s father was NOT an American citizen. So this is about both parents being citizens. Just because you are citizen through the right of one of your parents doesn’t mean you are a natural born citizen.

    So the court needs to decide on this and settle it.

    2) The fact that Obama has gone to such lengths to cover all of this up and not only this, his foreign passports, his foreign travel, his school records, his thesis, who has funded him all the way back from college through his Presidential campaign.

    Any company that took credit card payments the way Obama did would have been shut down by the merchant providers and probably investigated. To donate to his campaign all you needed was a name and a credit card number – think about that for one sec. No 3 digit security code required, no billing address required. It was designed to facilitate illegal transactions…yet no one is saying a word.

    McCain’s donations were 100% tracked, he honored his signed agreement with Obama for public funds. All of McCain’s campaign contributions can be tracked and verified.

    It is all this stuff that Obama covers up that we need to look at. You don’t go to this length to cover stuff up unless you have something pretty damning to hide.

    Look at how they subverted the FOIA request for the Chicago Tribune. Freddie and Fannie aren’t even “private” companies, 100% of their records, minutes, books, etc should be available for public inspection. They are funded and paid for by our tax money. In fact given the depth of fraud and mismanagement that has happened there you would think Obama with his pledge of TRANSPARENCY ALL of that info should be released.

    It’s funny how we all drink the kool-aid during the campaign and suck up the great orators words and promises and then when he deliberately flaunts it and disregards so many things he said he was going to do that the people that voted for him aren’t furious. You should be madder than hell for his broken promises.

    We really had a chance to fix some horrible things in this country and all he has done is continue to manipulate and deceive and wastes absolutely enormous amounts of money most of it we probably will NEVER be able to pay back.

    What exactly do you think is going to happen when we can’t pay our bill to foreign countries? Do you think they will just walk away without some form of payment? Do you think they will ever lend us another penny?

    People believed Obama that he was going to deliver Hope and Change. All we got was fear, generational theft and what we have left is some spare change in our grandchild’s pockets.

    America should be protesting at massive levels about this and they probably will soon enough.

    Seriously Joe we need principled candidates that are going to say what they mean and mean what they say. That they are going deliver on their promises – not 20% that meet the ideological criteria…but every promise. We need to be able to hold them accountable if they don’t and we need to be able to do that before the next election.

    We need a media that is going to be honest with us regardless of how bad the news is.

    If we all don’t take a stand now our great country will slip into the history books and we will have some pretty dark days for generations to come.

    I suggest you take some time with a spreadsheet and plug in the numbers we are looking at. Use some of the loan calculators and see what the monthly payments would be. Then look at our tax revenue, GDP and determine how much we have to tax everyone JUST TO STAY FROM GOING BANKRUPT.

    The exercise should scare the hell out of you.

  21. glenn says:

    (20) BTW…if we taxed everyone that makes 75k or more at a tax rate of 100%. Yes every single penny of income we still would not have enough money to counter this massive amount of spending.

    So how much are we going to have to tax those people that make less than 75k a year?

    Who is going to want to succeed in this country?

    Who is going to want to take risks in this country?

    Who is going to want to create jobs in this country?

    Over 90% of all new job growth in this country is from small biz. With our current spending levels and the requirement for massive increases in taxes small businesses are going to close in record numbers over the next few years.

    We all have the numbers, we all know where this level of spending goes. This is our wake up call.

    You should also take your own financial situation and through a spreadsheet push it to the limits on how much you could spend for how long before you were totally bankrupt. Then take the ratios from that and it apply it to the government spending level. You might be surprised that given the current ratios of what would bankrupt you personally the government is probably exceeding that ratio by a 1000%.

    This is pure insanity, plain and simple. Either Obama just doesn’t get it or they are definitely trying to destroy capitalism. Nothing else makes sense.

  22. glenn says:

    This whole town hall thing was a fraud…gee shocker.

    President Obama has promised to change the way the government does business, but in at least one respect he is taking a page from the Bush playbook, stocking his town hall Thursday with supporters whose soft — though far from planted — questions provided openings to discuss his preferred message of the day.

    Here are their stories of the five people handpicked by Obama – this entire thing is a scam. How are we going to change things if we stack the deck – how is this not a fraud?:

    1. Sergio Salmeron: Self-description at the White House: “My name is Sergio Salmeron. I want to find out about health care.”

    Salmeron became engaged with the Obama campaign early in 2008, writing on his blog at my.barackobama.com, “We need to mobilize towards changing the trend of ‘2 to 1 Latinos favoring Hillary over Barack.’ Let’s make a resolute commitment… Let’s put the facts on the table, ask the questions, until we understand how this all applies to us. Then strategize [sic] to get the word out to Latinos in America, who want change as much as everyone else.”

    He was a volunteer canvasser for the campaign, he told The Post, and did voter registration work and translated materials for the campaign, as well. A partner at Global Paradigm Strategies, Salmeron is volunteer “member of the Democratic National Committee” and continues to be active with the Obama campaign’s successor, Organizing for America, which is how he got the White House invite, he said.

    “I got a call from this woman who has been working with me for the pledge drive,” he said, referring to the Organizing for America drive on behalf of the president’s budget proposal. “You know, we’re trying to get support out for the president’s agenda.”

    2. Tom Sawner: Self-description: “Sir, I’m Tom Sawner. I’m a service-disabled veteran, small-business owner in Arlington, Virginia. My company, Educational Options, works with public schools.”

    According to Federal Election Commission records, Sawner made a $250 donation to Obama’s campaign on Oct. 27, 2008. He also, as he noted Thursday, served as an adviser on Obama’s educational platform committee. He said he was invited to the White House town hall through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Executive Council.

    Sawner’s no stranger to the White House, either; he attended President Bush’s Feb. 2008 signing ceremony for that year’s economic stimulus package — another Chamber of Commerce invite. And in April 2008, he even became an anecdote in one of Bush’s speeches.

    “And I met a guy named Tom Sawner,” the 43rd president said at a small business summit. “Now, he’s an old fighter pilot, which means there’s no wall he can [sic] run through. He’s a doer, an achiever, and he’s got him a small business called Educational Options.”

    But the event with Obama, Sawner said, “was a whole different look and feel” than the one with Bush. “This is a president who is into openness.” And he didn’t know he was going to be able to ask a question until he got to the forum, he said.

    3. Carlos Del Toro: Self-description: “My name is Carlos Del Toro. I served in the Navy for 26 years, retired four years ago, and started a small business.”

    In 2007, Del Toro stood as a Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, but did not win. A supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, he backed Obama against McCain in the general, endorsing him in an Oct. 24, 2008 op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

    “As a Virginia small-business owner, veteran, and Latino, I’m voting for Sen. Barack Obama for the same reasons as millions of other Americans: because I believe this country desperately needs change. Obama will change our economic policies to help middle-class families, promote the growth of small businesses, and increase funding for veterans’ affairs, so no member of our armed services goes without the medical treatment he or she needs and deserves,” he wrote.

    In 2008, he donated $2,750 to Virginia Democratic candidates for office, according to the Center for Responsive Politics; in 2006, he gave $1000 to the campaign of now Sen. Jim Webb (Va.), FEC records show.

    He also has ties to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council.

    4. Linda Bock: “My name is Linda Bock and I’m a registered nurse just in Prince George’s County, Maryland — been there 34 years at a free senior health center. And I’m here with my fellow nurses from SEIU.”

    Bock, along with her chapter of the SEIU and her son and daughter, helped campaign and canvass for Obama, she said. After Obama was elected, she wrote in the Landover, Md., 1199 SEIU nurses’ newsletter: “Now we have our work cut out for us -to hold our elected officials accountable. And I hope they hold us accountable too. We all have work to do to make the changes needed to restore our reputation, to heal the wounds of war, to repair our earth and regulate its resources; and, to secure our economic future. It will take sacrifice and service. It will take prayer and the grace of God. Now we have hope. We have President-elect Barack Obama. God bless America.”

    Her invite to the White House came through the Nurse Alliance Leadership Council, she said. And like Sawner, she didn’t know until she got to the forum that it was open to the in real life participants. “I did not think we would be able to ask any questions,” she said. “I wasn’t personally anticipating being chosen to ask anything. We knew that the Web portion was people already lined up.”

    5. Bonnee L. Breese: “Hi, Mr. President. Thank you so very much for having me, a public school teacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, here to be with you.
    THE PRESIDENT: What’s your name?
    Q Bonnee Breese.
    THE PRESIDENT: Good to see you, Bonnee.
    Q Thank you. I’m from Overbrook High School. I have to say that, because I know all the children are watching. (Laughter.)”

    Breese has not donated a reportable amount to Obama, according to the FEC. She is a member of the 11,626-person Pennsylvania for Obama page on Facebook.

    A supporter of the president’s — “Of course!” she said — Breese was invited to the meeting through the American Federation of Teachers union. She sits on the executive board of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Local 3, she said, and is known in her area for being politically engaged.

    The sixth in-person presidential questioner, “Ellie” from Maryland, did not give her surname. The White House did not respond to a request for it, but noted there were roughly 100 people in the audience.

    “The audience was composed of approximately 100 people, including teachers, nurses, small business owners, and community leaders — and the virtual audience of thousands across the country who have submitted questions online,” said White House spokesman Nicholas S. Shapiro. “The White House reached out to a number of community groups and the chamber of commerce and those groups invited their folks to come and participate.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/27/obama_town_hall_questioners_we.html?hpid=topnews

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