After two republican debates, 10 candidates have spoken for three hours about a lot of mostly irrelevant topics with mostly immature, condescending talking points designed to raise emotions while keeping intelligence and insight as far away from the stage as possible.
While they argue about every stem-cell, fighting-them-over-there, 9/11, abortive surge they can stir up, actual, real topics that matter to actual, real Americans are being ignored.
Just off the top of my head, I came up with these 30 as-yet unmentioned topics affecting more than just a few Americans.
1 - Healthcare and 50 million uninsured Americans.
2 - Hurricane Katrina and the (lack of) rebuilding in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast due to lack of promised funding. When democrats added it to the Iraq Accountability Act to further fund George W. Bush’s $560 billion venture in Iraq, Bush called it “pork”.
3 - Upgrades to securing the homeland, or, indeed, any homeland security proposals.
4 - Gas prices and oil company profits both at record levels.
5 - Corrrecting global warming and the environment.
6 - Energy production that doesn’t profit oil companies or pollute the planet (i.e. solar, wind, etc.).
7 - Numerous republican tax cuts that overwhelmingly favored the upper one percent.
8 - A $9 TRILLION (by Election Day 2008) republican national debt (which means that 100 million taxpayers each owe $90,000 to pay back what George W. Bush has borrowed so far - if no further anticipated debt or interest were to accrue).
9 - Underfunding education.
10 - Increasing gun violence.
11 - Alberto Gonzales (in conjunction with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush) and his illegal and/or unethical actions as White House Council to the President.
12 - Alberto Gonzales (in conjunction with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush) and his illegal and/or unethical actions as Attorney General.
13 - Scooter Libby (in conjunction with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush) and the outing of a covert CIA operative and undercover program to prevent the truth from getting out about Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and the complete lack of a nuclear program or weapons of mass destruction.
14 - How three prior escalations in Iraq have failed, and what the backup plan is if/when the newest one doesn't work as they promised.
15 - How every escalation in Iraq has been prefaced with a give-it-90-days/six-months promise, but has never been addressed when the 90 days/six months ends.
16 - Unbid contracts in Iraq for companies such as Haliburton, which will pay a huge sum of money to Dick Cheney upon his leaving the vice-presidency in January 2009.
17 - Healthcare for veterans and wounded American military defeated by the republican Congress in April 2005.
18 - Conditions for families of military.
19 - The lack of a reserve military force.
20 - The lack of desert training for troops deployed to the Middle East.
21 - The lack of proper equipment, such as vehicle and body armor, night vision, helmet liners, and radio communication for military.
22 - The depletion of states’ national guard units.
23 - Substandard military pay.
24 - George W. Bush's attempts of raiding Social Security to help pay for Iraq. (Maybe Al Gore's "Social Security lockbox" phrase wasn't so silly after all.)
25 - George W. Bush's proposed Social Security plan involving gambling with the funds on stock market investments (after the first $2.2 TRILLION go to the wealthiest Americans). I guess he doesn't quite understand that Social Security is an insurance plan, not a pension plan.
26 - The administration's rejection of cheaper generic drugs for the elderly's Medicare.
27 - The administration's rejection of the ability to negotiate volume discounts on drugs for the elderly's Medicare.
28 - The administration's rejection of cheaper drugs from Canada for the elderly's Medicare.
29 - Richard Nixon (hey, they really like talking about other dead Republican presidents - Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and, back when republicans were the progressive party, Abraham Lincoln).
30 - George W. Bush. Have you noticed? They're afraid to even say his name having mentioned it only once in each debate.