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Comments of the Week: Our Virtual Debate Party and a Chat with Katrina | The Nation

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Comments of the Week: Our Virtual Debate Party and a Chat with Katrina

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Comments of the Week: Our Virtual Debate Party and a Live Chat with Katrina

Storified by The Nation · Fri, Oct 05 2012 13:01:44

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Amid pressure from progressive and women's right organizations, President Obama has nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. 

After the Obama administration's historic announcement that it will expand labor protections to homecare workers, activists will continue to push for further protections for domestic workers on the state level.  

This week, TheNation.com's community had a number of opportunities to engage with our writers and editors. During the first presidential debate on Wednesday, more than 600 readers watched our live chat, many of whom impressed us with their own sharp and substantive commentary. Then, on Thursday afternoon, our editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel took reader questions on the debate, progressive politics and more. 
This Thursday, October 11th at 9 PM, we'll be online again for a live chat with Nation writers, editors and readers during the Vice Presidential debate. Sign up for an email reminder to be sure you don't miss out! 
Early in the week, we asked our readers for suggestions for drinking games we could play during debate. 
@thenation yes...every time anyone in media says bold, game changer, exclusive or double downGreta Van Susteren
#NationDrinkingGame Anytime Mitt Romney says he understands the middle class and has "struggled", finish the rest of your bottleBonnie Kowalczyk
@thenation anytime Obama says "look" - take a drink. You'll be hammered by halftime.Steve Llano
@thenation Tequila shot everytime the word "poverty" is used by either candidate. You will go to bed stone cold sober.Charles Dunn
@thenation If we go with "Job Creators" we'll all be drunk before the first break.Kim Zimmerman
@thenation take a shot of 30 year old scotch every time Romney says "my friends"Rob Toledo
During the debate itself, we were thrilled with the smart and critical commentary supplied by our readers. Here are some of the best: 
Kristen Merritt: 
$2G more per year increase is a huge amount for middle class families to pay...I'd like to see Obama focus on that more, highlight that. It hits homeWatch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Romney *really* truly doesn't understand that so many of us can't *afford* insurance...it's not a choice, it's a fact.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Emily Gordon on Romney:  
Leslie et al--he's been working on his voice, don't you think? Gravelly, sugary, radio-ready. Hair seems darker too.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Pete M: 
Obama returns to the "we all do better when the middle class does better". This is kind of right, but I think a more accurate claim is that we do better when income and wealth inequality is lower (this is about everybody, not just the middle class).Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Bryce and Harold: the shift of risk to individuals is a key tenet of the Republican world view. It's a part of their idea of "personal responsibility". By contrast, I believe that spreading the risk across the entire polity is a really good idea for things that are essential to being a participatory member of society - things like access to education and health care, as well as retirement insurance and so on.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Steve West: 
Love how Romney talks about Bowles-Simpson when his VP rejected it...Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Chris: 
The problem is not that small businesses don't have the money to hire. It is that the customers they have, or hope to have, can't afford to pay for their goods and services!Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Jacob Sommer: 
When the economy is growing slowly *for a sector of the economy*, you don't disinvest in that sector. When the economy is growing like mad in one sector, it's extremely safe to raise taxes in that sector.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
The $716 billion Obama's referring to had to do with the extra payments Bush made sure were put in the Medicare Part D program--private insurers got an extra over the cost Medicare got to insure people "to keep it competitive for the companies" or words to that effectWatch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Here's the thing: Romney approves of vouchers for seniors if it means getting rid of Medicare as we know it, but is against vouchers if it means there's a government mandate. He's anti-government and pro-insurancecorp.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Clarissa Leon: 
Regardless if Romney puts on his "I know numbers" hat, it's hard to swallow anything that he says--in that, I'm not a numbers person and I don't think the rest of America really is either.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Cherie Mortice: 
Romney now doing the deep bow to the corporate health care sector!Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Ok,,,I'm ready to Drink! No 47%, no real talk about the devastating impact of foreclosures, women reproductive rights, detention centers, citizens united and on and on,,,well, maybe next time.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Ray: 
I think his critique of the word "entitlement" could speak to votersWatch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Bob Mode: 
C'mon O, just enumerate all the people who have health care now! All the women, children still on their parents plan. All those with pre-existing conditions Etc. etc etc.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Allison: 
Obama has to use "role of government" to talk about women's rights. Will be so disappointed in Obama if he doesn't - especially when Romney says "to promote the liberties of people"Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Commonsense: 
Obama's energy was low and he failed to frame his time in office - in essense, a congressional wartime president with an entrenched opposition at a time when small politics is the last thing the country needs. I hope in the upcoming debate Obama will go more on the attack.Watch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Shannon: 
Obama 2008 would kick Obama 2012's assWatch the Presidential Debate with The Nation! | The Nation
Finally, here are a few of our favorite exchanges between Katrina and readers from her chat on Thursday: 
John: 
i like your wish to see an uprising in more indy political groups, but how will they ever rise to the surface against the onslaught of money?Live Chat with Katrina! | The Nation
Katrina vanden Heuvel: 
I still believe that powerful ideas and organized people can overtake organized $. Harder and harder with this One Percent Court and a passel of very rich eager to invest in polluting our system. But we must push for an agenda to strengthen democracy in 2013 as a way of leveling the playing field against this growing power of organized $--measures to strengthen union and alternative forms of labor organizing; empower working people ....and invest in network of groups (there are passel of them across country) working to build power at state level, and yank Dem party to left and also support movement --and many have scored what I call sweet victories/ on concrete issues like paid sick days and childcare and clean $ and ending stop and frisk....Live Chat with Katrina! | The Nation
Peggy Wireman: 
My data shows that 50 % of the new jobs will be in 33 occupations and 22 of them will not support one to three people without needing government programs that Ryan wants to cut. If all these "takers" quit tomorrow the country would shut down--how do we get people to realize who they are: nurses aides, childcare workers, retail sales persons, teachers assistance. The list is long.Live Chat with Katrina! | The Nation
Katrina vanden Heuvel: 
You are right on. Humanize the 47% --storytelling, value-telling and emotion in right not manipulative ways must be part of our toolkit....I think there is a core humanism and compassion in US--but we've also had a 40 year plus Rightwing assault on idea of safety net, on idea that government has role to play in providing for dignity and decency of those hit hard by structural economic forces--Throw back idea of entitlements and personal responsibility at those of the 1% who would dine off of subsidies and carried interest deductions and etc...But above all, speak to how we a YOYO (You're on Your Own, Jack) economy is a fundamentally un-American and unpatriotic idea.Live Chat with Katrina! | The Nation

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