Senate The 2nd Term of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions, and Discussions

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. heels1785 SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner

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    That's my feeling too. But you never know, maybe a few of them changed at the magic retreat or the lunch today when Bobby Jindal called them stupid. :p
    Last edited by heels1785, Jan 25, 2013
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Nah, McCain's going to have to reassemble his fellow Vietnam POWs and get medieval on the Tea Party for that to change. :p
    heels1785 likes this.
  3. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Considering McCain was one of the Republicans that helped torpedo GWB's Immigration proposal...
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Didn't know that. Still, he had the guts to call the TP a 'bunch of hobbits' on the Senate floor in public.
  5. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

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    i don't even know what the hell mccain even stands for anymore. he's just all over the place.
  6. Ghost Chosen One

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    There's still some very nativist Democrats too, so they'd probably need around 40.

    AND it would depend on Boehner allowing it to even be voted on.

    Yup, even though he wrote and sponsored that immigration reform bill with Ted Kennedy
  7. Ghost Chosen One

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    John Kerry has been confirmed as Secretary of State, and it still looks like Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as Secretary of Defense. It doesn't seem like there will be a big fight for Jack Lew for Treasury or John Brennan for CIA. Denis McDonough is the new Chief of Staff (didn't need to be confirmed by Senate).

    The President still needs to appoint new heads for Commerce, Labor, Interior, Energy, Transportation, the EPA, Trade Representative, and the OMB. And there's the court case saying that recess appointments aren't constitutional, overturning over a hundred years of precedent, and endangering Obama's picks for the Consumer Protection Bureau and NLRB.

    The Cabinet Secretaries that look like they are staying on are Kathleen Sebelius (Health), Janet Napolitano (Homeland Security), Eric Holder (Justice), Arme Duncan (Education), Eric Shinseki (Veterans), Tom Vilsack (Agriculture), Shaun Donavan (Housing), and Susan Rice (UN Ambassador).

    The 2013 State of the Union address will be given on February 12th. It will probably contain more economic proposals and get into more policy details than the Inauguration.


    Meanwhile, President Obama's approval rating has reached 60%:

    http://www.politicususa.com/fox-news-sinks-12-year-ratings-obama-approval-hits-60.html


    Here are two pieces of news that may seem unrelated, but aren’t. President Obama’s job approval rating has hit a four year high of 60% at the same time as Fox News’ ratings plummet to a 12 year low.

    In January, Fox News has its worst prime time month in the key age 25-54 demographic since August 2001. Greta Van Susteren had her worst month ever on the network, and her show registered the lowest prime time ratings for 10 PM on Fox since July of 2008. While MSNBC’s ratings were up 9% in total viewers , Fox News registered their single worst day with viewers age 25-54 July of 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new poll released today by ABC News/Washington Post revealed that President Obama’s favorability rating has reached its highest level since November 2009. Obama’s favorability is now at 60%, and has grown ten points since the summer. Obama now has more more people strongly in favor of him (39%) than strongly opposed (26%). The president has a 60% favorable rating with Independents, and a 68% favorable rating with moderates. The president also has a 66% with young adults, and middle/lower income people.

    It is isn’t a coincidence that as approval of President Obama soars, Fox News’ ratings plummet.

    The wave of change that was expected in 2009 appears to be arriving in 2013. Just in the past month, the country has moved to the left on gun control, immigration reform, and women in combat. The leftward shifts on gun control and immigration join the country’s shift left on taxes. Taxes, guns, and immigration have been three of the tent pole issues that kept the Republican coalition of evangelicals, fiscal conservatives, and libertarians united. In the past two months, the Republican Party has seen the nation move away from their positions on all of these issues.

    The national shift left is also reflected in the cable news ratings. As with the results at the ballot box, the key demographic in cable news are people age 25-54. These viewers have been steadily fleeing Fox News for a while now, but their losses have grown from a trickle to a tidal wave. Like the Republican Party, Fox News is out of step with where a key demographic is right now.
  8. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

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    hmm...why the desperation, i wonder?
  9. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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  10. Ghost Chosen One

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    Good, though I never really doubted it. Hopefully the rumors of Iran-US talks are true, and turn out to be fruitful.

    Brennan's confirmation may be a little more contentious now, with the drone policy leak... though I don't really see it as something huge and unexpected. Congress declared war on Al Qaeda and its affiliates in 2001. They gave the Executive Branch this power over a decade ago, on September 14th 2001. Drones are just another tool. If people want change, then change the authorization. Congress gave this power, and they can modify it or take it away.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Terrorists



    (I also have to say... I have never gotten the phrase "...all but..." It makes it sound like it's saying "everything but," yet the meaning is always the opposite. Just drop the "all but" and the meaning always stays the same. Sorry, pet peeve! :p )
  11. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Guts? That's extremely generous and a grave insult to hobbits.
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  12. Ghost Chosen One

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    In the "American Jobs Act" that President Obama proposed in 2011, these were they key infrastructure investments (and the key parts of the bill that were never enacted, to my knowledge):


    A… create a National Infrastructure Bank (with a start-up fund of $10-50 billion, and then become self-sufficient) to work within the private sector to maintain and upgrade our transportation, energy, water, and othe infrastructure systems (freeing infrastructure from earmarks and political influence) (also, has the support of both the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO)

    B… one-time $25 billion investment to renovate and modernize schools across America, creating tens of thousands of jobs and providing a better environment for students

    C… one-time $50 billion investment to modernize transportation across America, creating tens of thousands of jobs while making our roads, bridges, trains, and airports safer

    D… one-time $15 billion investment to rehabilitate foreclosed/vacant homes & businesses across America, creating tens of thousands of jobs and helping the housing market recover


    Should we still try to pursue these Infrastructure investments? Or are there other investments that we should do instead, or maybe in addition to these?


    As for my opinion, I definitely support A, B, C. Iffy about D. And I think that, while Transportation Infrastructure is important, we need to start emphasizing how important our Energy Infrastructure and Water Management Infrastructure is too. We really do need to upgrade, or at least better maintain, the infrastructure we have. It's vitally important to economic development, growth, job creation, efficiency, and just general safety too.

    I know we've been talking about Gun Violence, Immigration Reform, the Budget, and various appointments and foreign policy crises, which are important... but we really do need to do more on investing in our Infrastructure.

    Hopefully it's addressed (with specifics) in the State of the Union, on Tuesday.
  13. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    After the mess that was Interstate 264 this weekend due to potholes on an aging highway (and no way for a permanent fix until April or May), I fully support A and C.
  14. Ghost Chosen One

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    What did everyone think of the substance of President Obama's State of the Union?

    I'd like to make an outline of his specific policy proposals later, but for now, here is the transcript quoted below.

    I was expecting Immigration, Gun Violence, the Budget (the sequester, debt ceiling, tax reform, entitlement reform, spending cuts), Infrastructure, Voting, VAWA and Equal Pay for Women, to be mentioned. He specifically mentioned Energy too (which is an issue I consider a subset of the Infrastructure issue), but was vague, even with saying he would take executive action, so I'm curious what he has in mind there. Even promised more transparency with the public on drones.

    I was kind of surprised with how much time he spent on Scientific Reseach (calling for a 3D Printing Revolution) and Education (including Universal Pre-K), as well as surprised by mentioning a minimum wage raise and indexing it to inflation (I knew he supported it, but didn't expect it in this SOTU).

    Overall, I thought it was a very strong speech. Could have used more specifics, but it was a rather wide-ranging and persuasive speech. Particularly powerful near the end, where he called for at least a vote in both chambers of commerce, on each of the gun violence reduction proposals.


    Wall of Text (open)

    Last edited by MarcusP2, Feb 26, 2013
  15. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Reposting the entire text here was a bad idea, Ghost. Walls of texts kill conversation. People can go off-site to look at the full text.

    It's a massive post even with a high resolution monitor. It's probably worse on a lower-resolution screen.
    Last edited by KnightWriter, Feb 14, 2013
  16. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    Drunk Ben Kenobi and Vaderize03 like this.
  17. Ghost Chosen One

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    Chuck Hagel has finally been confirmed!

    The sequester also looks like it will kick in on Friday (and the major focus has been on the defense cuts).

    So let's talk about the Obama administration's defense policy!


    Will the sequester really impact the Department of Defense that much? I think it's an 8% cut over 10 years (am I wrong here?). By contrast, after previous wars the DoD was cut by 30-45%. We're out of Iraq. We're leaving Afghanistan. Future interventions will probably be based on air power, naval power, and special forces... NOT occupations led by ground forces. Why can't we cut the DoD budget by at least 20%? It has been inauditable for the last few years by the GAO... if the Pentagon doesn't even know where all its money is being spent, and generals get expensive dining for free in luxurious private aircraft (as I've read), then I think we need to do a lot more cuts than just 8% over 10 years (so, what is that, a 0.8% decrease in the annual DoD budget?)

    Also, how will the DoD be run differently under Hagel? He seems more cautious about getting into new wars/interventions, and I think he's the first person to actually serve in the military and become Secretary of Defense.





    I should have put in in spoiler tags, but you don't have to make a whole post entirely about it o_O
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Feb 26, 2013
  18. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    While we're on the subject of confirmations (I don't want to talk about sequester right now, it's been all that's dominated the local news for the past couple of weeks or so), Jack Lew's confirmation made it out of committee, so it looks like it'll be Lew that deals with the sequestration mess on the Treasury side by the end of the week.

    So now we come to a partisian fight over John Brenann for CIA director.
  19. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I fixed that for you.
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  20. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    I heard some stuff about aircraft carriers not being able to go through with the refueling of their nuclear reactors until they get the funds to do so (refueling takes 4 years and only done once in carrier's service life)...and if one carrier's refueling is delayed then screws up the refueling schedule for all the others going down for years, since only one ship can be in the drydock being refueled at any one time. Dunno about the other services though.
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Feb 26, 2013
  21. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Living not terribly far from the area where the work has to be done on the carriers, yeah you've pretty much heard right about that.

    Several new contracts for carriers will also be canceled if sequestration goes through. This will absolutely devastate Virginia's economy.
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Those contracts should never have been offered in the first place. We don't need new carriers. It's an example of how much money we're devoting to the military, which of course comes at the expense of other priorities.
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  23. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    They're actually not new carriers, it's taking an existing one and replacing its nuclear fuel. If it's not done then the carrier gets only half of its allotted service life. If you're of the opinion that we should shrink the carrier fleet, well then you'd probably want to look at cancelling one or both of the unbuilt ones that are being planned rather than scrapping one that already exists.
  24. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Yeah, half the contracts are maintence contracts of existing carriers/subs. In addition deployments are either being prolonged or canceled throwing plans many military families had in the event of these deployments or the end of them into chaos which also doesn't help the economy. (like I said sequestration has dominated the local news for much of the last two weeks)
  25. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    So point of clarification: there are new contracts in addition to the existing maintenace contracts? If that's the case, I agree with KW in being against expansion of the military.
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Feb 27, 2013
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