Barack Obama does Reddit AMA, Internet explodes
Look, I don't want to go all screaming fangirl here, but U.S. president Barack Obama is doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit right now.
Some Q's that have been A'd:
Q: We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?
A: Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
Q: Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?
Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.
Q: What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
Despite what you think about the man or his politics, you have to admit it is beyond awesome that the leader of the most powerful country on Earth will take the time to engage so directly with citizens. That, my friends, is the mark of a good politician.
And, of course, it also makes me wonder how Dear Leader Stephen Harper can justify the horrendously restrictive measures put on reporters in this country. C'mon, Harper. Show us what you've got.
UPDATE (1:46 p.m.): The President has pretty much broken Reddit. Amazeballs.
UPDATE (2:20 p.m.): Despite 10,000 comments, Obama's done answering questions for the day. But you can read all of his answers here.
Follow unapologetic Obama fangirl Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.