Questions for Sunday

The NOTE has some suggested questions for Tim Russert to ask the President Sunday, following up on Brad DeLong’s earlier list.

Of course,

as Matt Yglesias points out, Russert almost certainly agreed to go into the tank as the price of getting Bush to appear in the first place. Still, ABC has a good list:

— “When did you realize that your Administration’s cost estimates for the Medicare prescription drug law were wildly underestimated, and how did you react to that news?”

— “How will you ensure that voters enter the polls with no unanswered questions about prewar intelligence?”

— “David Kay offered this blunt assessment: ‘We were all wrong.’ Why were we all wrong?”

— “Let me show you an exchange you had with Diane Sawyer in an interview she conducted with you in December, and then I would like you to react.”

DIANE SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still —

PRESIDENT BUSH: So what’s the difference?

DIANE SAWYER: Well —

PRESIDENT BUSH: The possibility that he could acquire weapons. If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger. That’s, that’s what I’m trying to explain to you. A gathering threat, after 9/11, is a threat that needed to be de – dealt with, and it was done after 12 long years of the world saying the man’s a danger. And so we got rid of him and there’s no doubt the world is a safer, freer place as a result of Saddam being gone.

— “How many American troops will be in Iraq on election day in November? And why did you describe this question from Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times as a ‘trick’ question: ‘Can you promise a year from now that you will have reduced the number of troops in Iraq?'”?

— “And why did you describe this question from Stretch as a ‘trick’ question: ‘Can you rule out the possibility of further tax cut proposals next year?’?”

— “Besides tax cuts, what is the Bush plan for restoring manufacturing jobs to states such as Michigan?”

— “At the end of your term, how many Americans will lack health insurance, and how does that compared to the number who lacked health insurance when you took office?”

— “Tell us in as much detail as you recall how you spent your weekends in 1972 and 1973.”

— “Do you know who the Valerie Plame leakers are? Have you thought much about it? Will you keep your word to hold accountable those responsible for the leak, no matter how high their post?”

— “What is the difference between your view of civil unions for same-sex couples and the views of Howard Dean and John Kerry?”

— “Michael Powell, your chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has announced there will be an investigation into the Super Bowl halftime show. You have said you didn’t see the show — didn’t see the nudity or the other parts of the performance that raised concerns– but you heard about what happened. Should this be a priority for the FCC? And what kind of punishment do you think would be appropriate for CBS?”

— “A strong majority of Americans believe the federal deficit is a ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious’ problem. And members of your own party are increasingly angry about your budget spending proposals and the historic deficits your Administration is posting. Economists say that your often-repeated claim to cut the deficit in half is, in fact, impossible. How do you answer those critics?”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com