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Pennies, Marijuana and Cell Phones: The Top Questions for Obama's Google Hangout
Townhall.com ^ | February 14, 2013 | Derek Khana

Posted on 02/15/2013 5:08:01 AM PST by Kaslin

Today at 4:50 PM ET, President Obama will take questions in a Google+ Hangout. 16,514 people submitted 7,520 questions and cast 97,853 votes for what questions that they wanted President Obama to answer.

This is President Obama's second Google Plus Hangout. His first took place on January 30, 2012. On August 29, 2012, President Obama participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread. In that thread he responded to 10 questions (most of which were the most popular questions). Some of the questions that he chose to respond to were "soft-ball" questions such as,"Who's your favourite [sic] Basketball player? and "What's the recipe for the White House's beer?" At the same time he avoided several more popular questions about marijuana and the drug war.

For today, this is a list of the top ten questions by votes in favor:

Death to Pennies

1. "After all of the cut backs, we are still producing pennies, a currency that is almost never used and cost more to produce than they are worth. Why havent [sic] we followed other countries and stopped making pennies? It is an easy and small way to cut back!"

Votes in favor: 5,876

Submitted by: allhighruler, New Orleans

 

2. "The world spent $1735 billion on war in 2012, it would take $135 billion to totally eradicate poverty. NASAs budget is around half a penny of an individual persons tax dollar Why do we spend so much in war and so little in education and exploration?"

Votes in favor: 4341

Submitted by: drnickphd, Geelong, Australia

Is the US Falling Behind China in Education Video - ABC News.com

3. “The U.S. has fallen SHARPLY behind in education. We stand in the shadow of leaders like Finland, China, India & Singapore. Aside from “access” itself, what can we do to make Americans the best intellectuals, scientists & artists in the world?"

Votes in favor: 3115

Submitted by: carsonkahn, New York City

 

4. "What is being done to make the internet accessible for everyone. Currently we have big monopolies that provide wired internet to residential areas. How can we catch up to other countries that have already surpassed us in speed and cost for access?"

Votes in favor: 2687

Submitted by: benaucutt, Chicago

 

5. "Government funding for science research has become increasingly scarce. Hence, there is less money for labs and the companies they purchase supplies from. With limited funding, how will we stay at the forefront of cutting edge research in the future?"

Votes in favor: 2226

Submitted by: byeung, San Diego, CA

Dr. Gupta on medical marijuana

6. "Given that Washington & Colorado recently decriminalized marijuana, how will we reconcile federal drug laws with state-level legalizations? What role might the free market play? How do we deal with marijuana while tightening the noose on tobacco?"

 

Votes in favor: 1304

Submitted by: carsonkahn, New York City

 

7. “Mr. President, I'm concerned about Internet privacy. Bills like SOPA and CISPA, seek to cure legitimate problems through woefully incorrect, detrimental means. How can we best protect intellectual property without using invasive methods? Thank you."

Votes in favor: 1253

Submitted by: Anonymous

Will Obama Adress The Right To Use Technology Lawfully

8. "Mr. President, would you support a small, targeted fix to copyright law that allows folks to use the devices and digital media that they have already paid for, however they like, and for their own personal use?"

Votes in favor: 1220

Submitted by: Public Knowledge, Washington DC

 

9. "The vast majority of gun crime in this country is the result of gang violence, which is fueled, primarily, by the sale of illegal drugs. What is your opinion on ending the war on drugs to make our country a safer place to live?"

Votes in favor: 620

Submitted by: plainarcane, Westland, MI

 

10. "What is being done to curb the influence of lobbies? How is the US supposed to progress in this world if the future is being dictated by special interest?"

Votes in favor: 554

Submitted by: ignite023

 

Question 8 by Public Knowledge is referring to the recent ruling by the decision of the Librarian of Congress which made it illegal to unlock your own cellphone as of January 26, 2013.

Unlocking is a relatively simple technique where users can connect their phone to their computer and adjust some of the settings to allow for the phone to use a SIM card from another carrier. In effect, unlocking a phone allows phones on one service to be used on another service. This technique is used widely among international travelers as well as for our service members before they deploy abroad. Essentially unlocking is using technology to unleash the full-potential of a wireless device (not to be confused with jail breaking which is another technique).

I explored this issue in an article in the Atlantic that went viral: The Most Ridiculous Law of 2013 (So Far): It Is Now a Crime to Unlock Your Smartphone. From the article:


ADVISORY

BY DECREE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS

IT SHALL HENCEFORCE BE ORDERED THAT AMERICANS SHALL NOT UNLOCK THEIR OWN SMARTPHONES.

PENALTY: In some situations, first time offenders may be fined up to $500,000, imprisoned for five years, or both. For repeat offenders, the maximum penalty increases to a fine of $1,000,000, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both.*

The follow-up article for the Atlantic, The Law Against Unlocking Cellphones is anti-Consumer, Anti-Business, and Anti-Common Sense includes the story of a small business owner Sina Khanifar whose company provided a service to unlock phones. He received a cease and desist letter from Motorola that used the threat of five years in prison to scare him into shutting down his company.

Sina has also created a White House petition to reverse the decision of the Librarian of Congress, and propelled by the Atlantic article going viral (in fact so popular that it briefly knocked the Atlantic’s website off-line), that petition now has over 67,000 signatories (it has to get to 100,000).


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/15/2013 5:08:07 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
16,514 people .... cast 97,853 votes

Obama supporters, fer sure.

2 posted on 02/15/2013 5:21:32 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Kaslin
it would take $135 billion to totally eradicate poverty

LOL! Where do these people come up with this stuff?

3 posted on 02/15/2013 5:29:59 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: P.O.E.

All canned questions written by his staff.

I would like to ask him. “why do flies seem to follow you around so much?”


4 posted on 02/15/2013 5:31:25 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: P.O.E.

You can bet on it


5 posted on 02/15/2013 5:31:51 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: jsanders2001

Could be biblical...


6 posted on 02/15/2013 5:35:15 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Future Snake Eater

Question # 11: “Where is the Satanic altar located in the WH?”
Question # 12: “How often do you and Ahmenijhad get together to play gold and discuss ways to eradicate Israel?”
Question # 13: “Did Frank Marshall Davis roll your first joints for you?”


7 posted on 02/15/2013 5:36:47 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Future Snake Eater

Question # 11: “Where is the Satanic altar located in the WH?”
Question # 12: “How often do you and Ahmenijhad get together to play golf and discuss ways to eradicate Israel?”
Question # 13: “Did Frank Marshall Davis roll your first joints for you?”


8 posted on 02/15/2013 5:37:15 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Kaslin

This degradation of the office of the Presidency began with Clinton (”boxers or briefs?”) and now has spiraled downward. I don’t want a president on a Google chat forum, or whatever this is, or on facebook, etc. I want a serious person conducting serious business.

Guess that’s too much to ask in this day and age...


9 posted on 02/15/2013 6:17:54 AM PST by proud American in Canada (Please pray for America. She needs God's help more than ever now.)
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To: Kaslin

Look at the number of votes some of those questions got. The tenth one in particular. That’s the threshold to make the list.

Let’s ask a really tough question, about Benghazi for example, and then Freep the poll.


10 posted on 02/15/2013 6:44:05 AM PST by Bryan
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