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Open For Questions, or: Can Obama Has Cheeseburger

GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, ProbablyWatertown, WIRegistered User regular
edited January 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
So change.gov, Obama's transition website, has given us something called Open For Questions. The premise is, you go here and ask any question you want. Visitors will vote the questions up or down, and after a few days Obama takes the high scorers and answers those questions. Then the slate is wiped clean for the next round (we're currently in the second go-around).

And before you ask, in the first round someone did attempt to ask if Obama would give us up, let us down, run around and desert us.

For the record, here's what's made it through in previous rounds.
Round 1
Round 2

Note your own questions, note other good questions, laugh at bad ones, debate the effectiveness of the exercise, etc.

UPDATE: There seems to be a trick to how to increase the odds that your question gets responded to. That is... get in first. The system they're using gives a hell of a boost to whatever questions are in the very first batch. So what we're going to do is compile a communal pool of questions and then the next time Open For Questions pops up, the first person that sees it comes here, grabs all the questions and fires them off on behalf of the group.

If you're that person, here's the pool:
In the event that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, for whatever reason, would have to leave their leadership positions in Congress, who would you favor as their replacements?

How, if at all, did Tom Perrelli's stance on Net Neutrality affect your decision to appoint him to associate Attorney General, and do you expect his stance to affect related cases?

I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
Gosling on
«13

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'd like to vote on the DADT questions but can not seem to get through. Though a search for "Don't ask" brought up this wonderful tidbit:
    "Will President Obama tell the truth about our contacts with life from other planets? ( I don't mean single cell bacteria either) Will he ask for their help in cleaning our environment and free energy technologies?"
    Amala, AZ
    It is apparently a question about the economy.

    Quid on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I am shocked to find out that one of the first five questions to be voted up was about pot.

    Shocked.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Looks like we're gonna need an American version of But Sir...

    Where's Squirminator?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I am shocked to find out that one of the first five questions to be voted up was about pot.

    Shocked.
    I do note, however, Obama wasn't really willing to elaborate. Didn't give any detailed argument, just went 'I'm not in favor of legalizing it'. It does leave wiggle room for decriminalization.

    Also:
    "Nutrition= Mental/Physical Health,prisons, education, health bad or good affects everything +-not just health insurance cost. WHO MAKES $ BY KEEPING US STUPID & SICK? prisons+sick people=$. Please read, Weston A. Price, D.D.S. (1870-1948)."
    lsalanitro, Newport Beach, CA

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Yea, I'm not surprised that the answer on pot was basically the only politically viable one for a Democrat.

    Edit: I don't really see why anybody would expect anything different.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Also, the site noticeably speeds up once you're registered.

    Quid on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    FUN FACT:

    If you look through the list of questions in 'Additional Issues', you will see two things brought up over and over:

    *Pressing Obama for details on the marijuana thing
    *Raking him over the coals for the Rick Warren thing

    And as you make your way towards the back of the list, you start to see things like telling the truth about aliens, abolishing the penny, and bitching that Obama doesn't REALLY want questions because there's a 250 character limit. And of course:
    "DOES ANY ONE REMEMBER LAUGHTER?"
    KLJHR

    At the very, very back, in dead last:
    "While my brother is quite taken by Mr. Obama, I do not trust him. I want to know how long I can expect to keep my right to legally own and carry a fire arm of my choice."
    Skeletonkeeper, Sedro-Woolley, WA

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • Options
    Squirminator2kSquirminator2k they/them North Hollywood, CARegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Looks like we're gonna need an American version of But Sir...

    Where's Squirminator?

    Here I am!

    Now let's have a look at thi--... oh. Oh God.

    Squirminator2k on
    Jump Leads - a scifi-comedy audiodrama podcast
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    DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Gosling wrote: »
    FUN FACT:

    At the very, very back, in dead last:
    "While my brother is quite taken by Mr. Obama, I do not trust him. I want to know how long I can expect to keep my right to legally own and carry a fire arm of my choice."
    Skeletonkeeper, Sedro-Woolley, WA

    I doubt he has the votes in congress, he doubts he has the votes in congress. If nothing gets rammed through the first 90 days, I would not worry about it unless there is a major "incident" that could be twisted to move public opinion.

    I would not be surprised if the rumors of a ban were leaked to stimulate the economy through a bit of panic buying.

    Is Obama anti gun? Yes. Is he Anti CCW? Yes. Would he vote to disarm American citizens? Yes.

    It would also end up being political suicide for the party, the Democrats know it. He has bigger issues to deal with honestly. As such it is not surprising a question about guns is on the bottom, everyone should know his position by now.

    Detharin on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    icon_roll.gif

    I honestly don't expect Obama to do much of anything with guns now that the Supreme Court has clarified the individual right issue. There simply isn't much to do on the federal level. I guess he could go back and try and reinstate the asinine AWB but he strikes me as too practical to suck the far left's cock like that.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    DetharinDetharin Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    stuff

    Agreed. He has bigger things to deal with.

    Detharin on
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    CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Gosling wrote: »
    debate the effectiveness of the exercise, etc.

    No matter what kind of effects the actual answers will have, it's at least refreshing to have a politician willing to listen to their constituents. In other words, it can only be a positive (for me, because I realize if a poorly-worded answer slips through he could be crucified).

    Edit: Something that helps is that the mainstream still largely ignores and is afraid of the internet, so any accident probably won't spill around too much.

    Cervetus on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    icon_roll.gif

    I honestly don't expect Obama to do much of anything with guns now that the Supreme Court has clarified the individual right issue. There simply isn't much to do on the federal level. I guess he could go back and try and reinstate the asinine AWB but he strikes me as too practical to suck the far left's cock like that.

    From change.gov:
    Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

    Organichu on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Yes, I'm sure that's right up there on his list of shit to do, what with him not making a single public statement on gun rights since the Heller decision and all. Sounds like a real high priority.

    Daedalus on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The priority thing is nicely relevant and then there is the fact that the AWB has little to do with anything close to actual gun control.

    If you're on the right then cheer if they use capital to pass it, if you're on the left then weep that they use capital to pass it. It is such a stupid piece of shit legislation solely designed to "feel good" about.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    Spacehog85Spacehog85 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    How am I supposed to protect my property when PEBO takes my guns while the economy crashes down and the lootin' starts.

    I almost shot him myself.

    Spacehog85 on
  • Options
    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I spent a few minutes voting and Jesus fucking Christ some people don't seem to understand the difference between "Ask a question" and "Propose your really shitty idea".

    Quid on
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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    That's the first time I ever saw "PEBO." Hopefully it will be the last.

    GoodOmens on
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    IOS Game Center ID: Isotope-X
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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The current leading question refers to him as "Obaham." WHAT THE FLYING FUCK, PEOPLE?

    GoodOmens on
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    SBoggartSBoggart Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm kind of disappointed that LGBT issues are under "additional issues." Then again, I'm not surprised. I love Obama, but he's not exactly the champion of LGBT issues that Hillary, Guliani, or Ted Kennedy are. It was never really a part of his campaign.

    SBoggart on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So why must the questioners hate grammar so?

    Fencingsax on
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    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    what does PEBO refer to

    Casual Eddy on
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    I'd like to vote on the DADT questions but can not seem to get through. Though a search for "Don't ask" brought up this wonderful tidbit:
    "Will President Obama tell the truth about our contacts with life from other planets? ( I don't mean single cell bacteria either) Will he ask for their help in cleaning our environment and free energy technologies?"
    Amala, AZ
    It is apparently a question about the economy.

    This is the greatest question ever. It's insightful, and it leaves a lot of room for Obama to give us an honest answer across a multitude of topics as opposed to sticking to the same tired old talking points.

    A++ would read again

    werehippy on
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    evilbobevilbob RADELAIDERegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    what does PEBO refer to

    President Elect Barrack Obama

    evilbob on
    l5sruu1fyatf.jpg

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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yea, I'm not surprised that the answer on pot was basically the only politically viable one for a Democrat.

    Edit: I don't really see why anybody would expect anything different.

    Not that I expect anything different given the situation or political landscape, but it's always a same to see a horrendous policy kept in place do to simple inertia and fear of looking weak on crime.

    We can all be disappointed by that, however much we can understand the reasons behind the move.

    werehippy on
  • Options
    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    evilbob wrote: »
    what does PEBO refer to

    President Elect Barrack Obama

    that's terrible.

    Casual Eddy on
  • Options
    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I have noticed a flaw in this program they're using.

    Namely, no matter how many questions get asked or how well-made they are, an insurmountable advantage is given to whatever gets asked first. Early on, they're the only ones up. They score quick points. As more get asked, there's a smaller chance of any one question getting voted on, and so there's a reduced chance to overtake. In addition, the top 10 per category are right there for all to see, especially the one in front, and so they get additional votes just from people seeing them, and the lead builds up and builds up and there's really no way to break the cycle. I've noticed not a single question that was leading when I first got wind of Round 2- not a one- has since fallen off the lead.

    So that needs to be fixed somehow in future rounds, to give a fair chance to questions that get in later in the process.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    I have noticed a flaw in this program they're using.

    Namely, no matter how many questions get asked or how well-made they are, an insurmountable advantage is given to whatever gets asked first. Early on, they're the only ones up. They score quick points. As more get asked, there's a smaller chance of any one question getting voted on, and so there's a reduced chance to overtake. In addition, the top 10 per category are right there for all to see, especially the one in front, and so they get additional votes just from people seeing them, and the lead builds up and builds up and there's really no way to break the cycle. I've noticed not a single question that was leading when I first got wind of Round 2- not a one- has since fallen off the lead.

    So that needs to be fixed somehow in future rounds, to give a fair chance to questions that get in later in the process.

    I think the only way to fix that would be to separate the submitting and voting times.

    Cervetus on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I imagine it will be helped slightly by not answering the same question repeatedly. Marijuana's ranking up top again. I doubt it will be fielded a second time though.

    "Well, I was hoping to answer a question about DADT or green energy investments, but apparently everyone wants me to tell them that I'm still not legalizing marijuana."

    Quid on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    I imagine it will be helped slightly by not answering the same question repeatedly. Marijuana's ranking up top again. I doubt it will be fielded a second time though.

    "Well, I was hoping to answer a question about DADT or green energy investments, but apparently everyone wants me to tell them that I'm still not legalizing marijuana."
    Slightly. You'll get a bunch of "WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER MY QUESTION?!", though.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    I imagine it will be helped slightly by not answering the same question repeatedly. Marijuana's ranking up top again. I doubt it will be fielded a second time though.

    "Well, I was hoping to answer a question about DADT or green energy investments, but apparently everyone wants me to tell them that I'm still not legalizing marijuana."
    Slightly. You'll get a bunch of "WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER MY QUESTION?!", though.
    I can't imagine it'll be terribly bad when they get linked to when he already answered it. And if they still complain then I think it's safe to disregard them. It's not a vote for what policies he should enact after all. It's a chance for people to get answers to questions they have.

    Edit: Of course, that doesn't completely solve the initial problem you mentioned but I'm sure it helps mitigate it.

    Quid on
  • Options
    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Cervetus wrote: »
    Gosling wrote: »
    I have noticed a flaw in this program they're using.

    Namely, no matter how many questions get asked or how well-made they are, an insurmountable advantage is given to whatever gets asked first. Early on, they're the only ones up. They score quick points. As more get asked, there's a smaller chance of any one question getting voted on, and so there's a reduced chance to overtake. In addition, the top 10 per category are right there for all to see, especially the one in front, and so they get additional votes just from people seeing them, and the lead builds up and builds up and there's really no way to break the cycle. I've noticed not a single question that was leading when I first got wind of Round 2- not a one- has since fallen off the lead.

    So that needs to be fixed somehow in future rounds, to give a fair chance to questions that get in later in the process.

    I think the only way to fix that would be to separate the submitting and voting times.
    That, and I'd probably want to make a way to let people see questions but not be able to vote on them unless they come up. I would want to eliminate those passive votes for top-10 questions that skew the results. Maybe do this:

    STAGE 1: Ask whatever you want. Make it possible to see the questions already asked but don't allow voting. Maybe ask people to hold off on asking a particular question if they already see it asked by someone else. Still allow for a lot of nuance on particular topics, but if someone's already asked 'How could you invite Rick Warren?', you don't need to ask it again.
    STAGE 2: Voting. You only get to vote on the questions that pop up for you. You can see the standings, but even if you like the one in the lead, you don't get to vote on it unless it randomly pops up for you. That keeps everyone at as equal a sample size as possible and everyone has a fair shot.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Gosling wrote: »
    STAGE 2: Voting. You only get to vote on the questions that pop up for you. You can see the standings, but even if you like the one in the lead, you don't get to vote on it unless it randomly pops up for you. That keeps everyone at as equal a sample size as possible and everyone has a fair shot.

    It would probably be practical in the grand scheme, but individuals would hate it because they'd want to vote for the best question in their opinion instead of making do with the questions randomly assigned to them. Of course, maybe we just need to say "QQ" to them.

    Cervetus on
  • Options
    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Well, I took a look at how all of my Sierra Club questions are doing. Out of 5,807 questions in the Energy and Environment category:

    "Would you be receptive to enacting California vehicle emissions standards nationwide?" sits in 19th position. 1,143 people like the question, 148 people do not.

    "What is your stance on mountaintop removal, and if you are against it, how do you reconcile it with your stance on clean coal?" sits in 76th place in that category. 444 people like the question, 92 people do not.

    "By 2020, by what percentage do you think America can reduce its carbon emissions?" sits in 188th position. 246 people like the question, 93 people do not.

    I also asked a question about the National Interstate Popular Vote Compact, but I asked it later than the others and thus it only got 9 votes (3 likes, 6 dislikes).

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    There are, what, five drug questions in the additional issues category? And only one good one. Jesus Christ people he said no already.

    Quid on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    "President Elect Obama, will you push for strengthened anti-trust laws and other regulations to ensure that, in the future, no company or institution can become "too big to fail" and have tacit federal backing? Thank you"

    No way in hell it's going to be found in the field of thousands of others. Though the tax folks in the economics section are good for a laugh. It's unconstitutional, you know.

    moniker on
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    GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I must drag this thread from the dead for the sake of resolution, as Robert Gibbs has been sent to answer the high scorers. It's a video response, which makes it easier to just link it and let you watch it on your own.

    Also, it appears that in the cases of high scorers that have already been addressed at some other time, they'll just point you to the previous answer and move on to something that hasn't been asked yet. (This means Obama's not going to be elaborating on the marijuana issue.)

    The most interesting question was addressed last, it came from thaddeus in Lansing, MI:

    "Is the new administration going to get rid of the 'don't ask don't tell' policy"

    Gibbs: "Thaddeus, you don't hear politicians give a one word answer much... but it's 'yes'."

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Woohoo!

    Quid on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Plus trains and transit are going to be competing with highways for infrastructure monies. Yay.

    moniker on
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    ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Will the trains always run on time?

    Obs on
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