We talk about budgets and deficits, the debt, healthcare, privacy, defense, a host of other topics before we ran out of time. To quote Bitter Truth host Abe Abdelhadi, who like Congressman O'Rourke is on the record favoring single payer healthcare, which I do not, after he heard Congressman O'Rourke had ignored a call to debate me - "Listen to this Neal Dikeman interview! He'll obliterate O'Rourke."
Host Mark Glover and Neal talk everything from budget deficits, Federal debt, to healthcare, to defense, and what we need to do to change politics for the better. We also talk about the deep Libertarian voting history in the TransPecos and West Texas.
Webcast of Neal Dikeman's radio interview with host Mark Glover on AM 1610 Radio Show, West Texas Wind, out of Valentine, Texas. We talk everything from budget deficits, Federal debt, to healthcare, to defense, and what we need to do to change politics for the better. We also talk about the deep Libertarian voting history in the TransPecos and West Texas.
As of yesterday both the UT Texas Orator, which has launched a Change.org petition, and the Texas A&M Battalion have published our Open Letter to Congressman O'Rourke and Senator Cruz calling for debates at UT, A&M and Sul Ross State.
What does it say when student publications at both of our Flagship universities call for Libertarian inclusion in a debate, but two Ivy League educated Republican and Democrat nominees refuse, and our major news organizations don't challenge them? If you want to lead our future, face me in front of them.
Full disclosure, I'm a 3rd generation Aggie, with 3 generations of UT alums in my family dating back to when my great grandfather was Dean of the UT Engineering School. And Sul Ross, well, Sul Ross is in the heart Libertarian country, so I get why they don't want to face me there.
We talk about budgets and deficits, the debt, healthcare, privacy, defense, a host of other topics before we ran out of time. And for the record, the "We Don't No Stinkin' Budgets" title refers to the attitude of our current Congress.
To quote Bitter Truth host Abe Abdelhadi, who like Congressman O'Rourke is in on the record favoring single payer healthcare, which I do not, after he heard Congressman O'Rourke had ignored a call to debate me - "Listen to this Neal Dikeman interview! He'll obliterate O'Rourke."
Dear Congressman O'Rourke,
I am the Libertarian Party of Texas Nominee for United States Senate, and along with yourself and Senator Cruz, will be the only candidates on the ballot in November.
Without open thoughtful debate our politics devolves into the divisive sound bites and social media that we have seen in the last few years. We have been quietly building relationships at local and county level, have hundreds of volunteers statewide active in our campaign, and expect to win regions of Texas that have never been won by a Libertarian. We expect our Libertarian minded voters in Central, West Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley will be the swing voters that decide a historically close race in November. Senator Cruz has consistently refused to commit to debating you in public and I consider that to be a dereliction of responsibility from a sitting Senator who could find the time for a basketball grudge match against a TV celebrity.
This is an election marked by controversy in issues ranging from foreign policy, to healthcare, to privacy, to budget, to immigration, to the economy and trade. Major and serious issues that deserve considered and well debated response. Like yourself, I came from the private sector, founded tech companies, and am in my 40s with young kids. My family has lived in Texas for 6 generations, and we will be here in another 6 to come. We take the long view and I know Texas and Texans very well.
Politics should not be about money, or incumbency, or media coverage, or even frankly party. It should be about issues, policies, leadership, and vision. And above all, the voters and the future. You have been bringing a tremendous amount of positive energy to Texas politics, and I appreciate this, even though I fundamentally disagree on the policy solutions you propose. The data is clear, Texans are ready to hear a new message, and a vision for the future. I have visited, spoken to and met with voters from over 100 counties and understand what our citizens are looking for. I believe our debate would allow each of us to present a very different vision to our voters of what message and actions a Texas Senator should carry to Washington, and help them make a considered choice in November. No Democrat or Libertarian has won statewide since you and I were in High School. It is time to change that. If Senator Cruz is not willing to engage in a serious conversation in public on issues, then he may stay home and take his chances that Texas is not ready for change and a new vision. In which case I will take the votes he thinks are his.
I am ready to debate you in a formal setting or town hall. Most Texans do not realize that debates are not independently organized and always open to all the candidates on their ballot. And while we believe that a debate with all of the candidates on the ballot is the most fair for Texans, I am prepared to debate you with, and without, Senator Cruz. We are willing to accept one of these debates half in English, and half in Spanish, and will work with you on dates and details, though frankly, the sooner the better.
We have proposed to your campaign to debate twice in September and October. We propose once alone, and once together with Senator Cruz if he chooses to accept. We propose at either University of Texas, Texas A&M University, or Sul Ross State University, and have been in discussion with each. We propose that Ross Ramsey, the Managing Editor of non-profit Texas Tribune and one of the most knowledgeable analysts on Texas politics, serve as moderator, and in light of that proposal have forwarded this open letter to the Tribune with a request for publication.
You may reach me personally by Twitter or LinkedIn.
I was asked yesterday by the Amarillo Pioneer to comment on the Supreme Court nomination. It got me thinking about the appropriate way to interview a SCOTUS nominee. I've concluded, that like with an experienced candidate for any job, this ought to be a "working" or behavioral interview. And frankly, it ought to be "open book" with the nominee given appropriate time to consider and review the key questions, just like they would have on the court. And like any normal interview, if you don't answer the questions or waffle or have to be asked 3x, you're out. Here is my 10 Step SCOTUS Interview Process:
Ask Nominee to walk through their background in their own words, and explain why they believe they are qualified for this position, why they believe they are more qualified than the other candidates, and why they believe they were nominated, giving specific examples and evidence.
Ask Nominee to elaborate, regardless of age, since we appoint them for life, under what circumstances and how would they evaluate when they are no longer able to effectively serve, and tender their resignation, and as their cognitive abilities, like all of ours, will decline with age, how will they offset this in the time while they do serve. If I could amend this process in 1 way, I would argue for a Constitutional Amendment calling for 14 year terms or mandatory retirement age for all Federal Judges. Our founding fathers lived in a world of much lower life expectancy, and did not, in my view, envision a court where octogenarians ruled the day.
Pass out copies of the US Constitution.
Ask Nominee to explain their views as to the role of the Federal government, and the role of the state governments
Then starting with Bill of Rights and Amendments, then when finished starting with Article I, ask Nominee to:
1) explain their general views of what that Amendment/ article means
2) for each, give and provide an example of a time when they ruled on that clause, or if they've never ruled on that, argued concerning that clause, the arguments presented on both sides, their reasoning, the end result, and anything they'd do differently today, or might do differently if they were a SCOTUS Justice on the highest court in the land.
Give Nominee 7 reasonably well known split decision past cases - pulled from bipartisan discussion with other Senators - that set important precedents around the key questions of the day. Ask
1) Nominee to explain and describe each case, the issues, and what the majority and dissenting opinions were, and why they think the judges on each side chose their opinion
2) Summarize whether they would have joined the majority or dissenting opinion in that case, and why, or provide any changes they would have made to the majority opinion had they written it.
Ask Nominee to elaborate on 3 court cases, and 3 times in personal life, where they have taken an action or stance to protect or help someone in need, stand up for what was right, defend the Constitution, or serve justice, when the they knew doing so would, and did, have a material adverse impact on themselves personally.
Ask the Nominee to describe and explain their worst no win, Solomon and the baby case, what made it their worst, and how and why they ruled, and what they would do differently now, or on the Supreme Court, and what the outcome was.
Ask Nominee to elaborate 3 court cases where they ruled according to what they thought the law required, when they believe justice was not served, and explain if they would rule the same way today, and would rule the same way if on the Supreme Court.
Ask Nominee to summarize their understanding of changes in the court's precedents over the years, and provide examples of 3 times where they ruled in ways that overturned or might have seemed in conflict with prior precedents, what considerations they use in general, and used in those cases, before making a decision that might change precedent, considering that another judge who received the same vetting that they did, came to the opposite conclusion.
Ask Nominee to point out 5 recent SCOTUS cases where they believe the majority opinion was not correct, and how and why they would have ruled differently.
Ask Nominee why they want this job, to describe with whom and what discussions they had in the vetting process, and the path and circumstances that led to their nomination.
I do not believe advise and consent means rubber stamp, nor do I think that pure politics should decide the outcome. In a nation of more than 300 million amazing Americans, just because the President happened to pick you, doesn't mean I owe you my vote. Recall that Chief Justice John Marshall, the man who defined the Supreme Court, was homeschooled and did not graduate college.
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