Thompson and Russert
1. Fred on Torture:
As long as the methods match the situation, he'd support aggressive interrogation techniques, but he would not support aggressive interrogation techniques during "normal" interviews.
2. Fred on Pakistan's martial law:
It's too early to make judgements; they're too important as an ally to make generalized condemnations of the current state of martial law.
3. Fred on Middle East:
We need to improve our intelligence, so that we can make better decisions about Middle Eastern threats than we have in the past. We could have made better decisions regarding Iraq's WMD capabilities if we'd had more reliable intelligence. He's reluctant to comment strongly on Iran's newly enforced state of martial law. He believes Bush is doing the right thing to resolve the war in Iraq, and will take whatever steps necessary to avoid the Dem's "cut and run" strategy. He's prepared to put international sanctions on Iran due to their nuclear program. He believes that the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein and his sons in it. He acknowledges that we initially approached the war incorrectly (unclear RoE, not enough power, wrong strategy), but that those mistakes have been corrected and we're on the right path now.
4. Fred on Crime and Gun Control
Fred has no problem with disallowing parole for violent criminals, prosecuting three-time offending youth felons as adults, supports the death penalty, imposing mandatory life sentences for three-time adult violent felons, supports limiting liability and class-action lawsuits and overall torte reform, and supports repealing national speed limit regulations. When addressing gun control (VA Tech), he would allow colleges to bar students from carrying concealed weapons, but supports allowing qualified, licensed concealed-carry laws on campuses. He also voted to maintain our current gun laws, which allow guns to be sold without trigger locks, and is against forcing background checks at gun shows and imposing additional penalties on drug and gun crimes.
5. Fred on Abortion
Fred is against Roe v. Wade, but not because he's pro-abortion- he just doesn't believe that the government or court system should impose social policy for the nation. Fred would like to see abortion be decided on a state level, which is what we had prior to Roe v. Wade. He's been very consistent in voting on abortion issues- always voting pro-life- but also believes it's a personal issue that never should have come to a vote. He believes that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortions should not become a nationally illegal act. Putting scared young women in jail for having an abortion just isn't the right thing to do, according to Thompson. Personally, he believes life begins at conception but doesn't believe that life should be federally defined.
6. Fred on Civil Rights
Like abortion, he believes this is a state issue, not a federal one. He voted yes on a federal ban on same-sex marriage because, again like abortion, he is personally against same-sex marriages. He also voted for the amendment banning flag burning- something I am also personally against but feel is a Constitutionally-protected act of ass-hattery. He also voted against expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (personal note: "hate crime" is a STUPID designation- criminal acts are crimes already by definition- why do we need to add the word "hate" to the crime in order to draw more attention to it? crazy.)
7. Fred on Terry Schiavo
Believes the federal government shouldn't have been involved. "The less government the better." Smaller government is a common theme to his approach with every internal issue the US faces- he believes that local and state governments should have more control over what takes place in their state than the federal government should.
8. Fred on Phillip Martin
Martin has pled guilty on drug charges, yet Fred uses his private jet for transportaiton during the campaign. He just learned about it yesterday, and will look into it before making any decisions.
9. Fred on Health
He's on a house-imposed diet which basically says "if it tastes good, don't eat it".
No wonder he's lost weight... so would I. HARSH!
All of the points above were discussed on today's show. Some of the stances presented were re-enforced/enhanced by research found on ontheissues.org.