I'm not Candy Crowley or Jim Lehrer, but if I were moderating a presidential debate, these are some questions I'd ask:
Do you favor the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision, which allows virtually unrestricted campaign contributions by corporations?
Do you believe global climate change is real? And, if so, what should we be doing about it, if anything?
Should the United States legalize and tax medical marijuana as we do alcohol and tobacco?
Who was better, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Why?
Both of you have said you are committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. What does that mean specifically? American airstrikes? Getting the U.S. involved in another conflict in the Middle East? Second, if Israel attacks Iran, what will your administration's response be?
What was the best game you ever saw?
What is your position on allowing public education monies to be spent on vouchers for online "virtual schools" and religious-based and private educational institutions?
Name three books that influenced your life. What was the last book you read?
President Obama, why have you kept your college records a secret?
Mr. Romney, if, as you said in the first debate, you put your money where your heart is, why do you keep so much of your money overseas?
What are your favorite websites? Do you use a Mac or PC? If you don't use the Internet, why not?
What would your friends say is your biggest fault?
Mr. Romney, defunding Planned Parenthood and public television will do little to lower the deficit. Are you opposed to those organizations for political reasons?
What are your three favorite television shows?
President Obama, your administration asked YouTube to take down the anti-Muslim film that caused so much unrest in the Middle East. Isn't that a violation of Americans' right to free speech?
How much does a gallon of gas cost in your area?
Mr. Romney, you have literally been on both sides of several issues, including universal health care, abortion, gun rights, gay rights, immigration reform, and global warming. How can the American people trust that your current positions on these issues won't change?
Wet ribs or dry?
Oh would some power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us. — Robert Burns
Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the line above in response to seeing a louse on a high-born lady's bonnet at church. The point being, of course, that while we might think we're looking pretty good, someone else might be noticing a flaw we've overlooked.
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare
Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.