The First Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by J-Rod, Aug 9, 2009.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I am curious, though, whether you'd still try to argue that the healthcare bill (either the Senate or House version) is something that Bush would've done.

    No Bush wouldn't have done it. But I'll also point out that the "no other reason than to save face," lobbying-influenced mish- mash that we're going to end up with isn't what anyone would do either. The compromise bill that's going to come up isn't going to do one thing to help those who need it the most. It's just going to result in another bloated government bureaucracy that's going to shove health care down people who aren't going to be able to use it.

    Particularly, since, for instance, there's not much to do militarily.

    Yeah, and this is a huge cop-out.

    So Obama wasn't even in the Senate to feel the political pressure to vote for or against the initial authorization, but he could step in later and use it to campaign? Then, after being elected, you're saying that there's not much he needed to do because Bush already took care of it for him in the later part of the conflict? Wow, that's a sweet deal for Obama, to be sure.

    The point is that Obama could have been the non-apologetic, non-negative connotation liberal that he set himself up to be. I think the expectation was that after Bush, Obama was going to step in and show the Neo-cons how to truly do things. In fact, Obama was elected to be the anti-Bush. It would have confounded conservatives to be sure, but it would have been a true shift.

    But that's not what happened. I'd say more than anything, Obama is justifying what the neo-cons had been doing, or at least he's providing fresh perspective on how difficult the decisions being made were. Unless one is being a pure hypocrite, it's difficult to characterize the previous administration as a war criminals for things like wire-tapping, Gitmo, missile strikes, and so on, when the current administration is simply continuing the exact same policies.

    As for the other purely liberal-sided issues, like robust mass transit, sweeping climate regulation, Palestinian/Israeli cooperation, a new era of European relations, etc.. Obama has dropped the ball on. In a nutshell- so far Obama has continued, practically untouched, all of the most controversial neo-con policies, and carried out none of the more liberal ones. If I voted for Obama and his promise of change, I'd be frustrated as hell right now.

    But like I said earlier, those are the reasons that you voted for him. If you're happy with his level of performance without any of those things happening, then more power to you. There must be some kind of mental hard-wiring that prevents those who should be criticizing him the most from doing so.

    As for me, he's acting in the exact manner that he acted when he was a politician back in IL, and which was predicted like clockwork.
  2. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Absolutely, I mean geez, this guy hasn't done jack in the whole 11 months he's been in office. Well, except:

  3. Three major health bills (SCHIP, tobacco regulation, and stimulus funds for Medicaid, COBRA subsidies, health information technology and the National Institutes of Health) enacted even before comprehensive reform

  4. Stimulus contained myriad other individual policy victories, not only preventing a far worse depression but also:
  5. Delivered key new funds for education

  6. Expanded state energy conservation programs and new transit programs

  7. Added new smart grid investments

  8. Funded high-speed Internet broadband programs

  9. Extended unemployment insurance for up to 99 weeks for the unemployed and modernizing state UI programs to cover more of the unemployed

  10. Made large new investments in the safety net, from food stamps (SNAP) to affordable housing to child care

  11. Clean cars victory to take gas mileage requirements to 35mpg

  12. Protection of 2 million acres of land against oil and gas drilling and other development

  13. Executive orders protecting labor rights, from project labor agreements to protecting rights of contractor employees on federal jobs

  14. Stopping pay discrimination through Lilly Ledbetter and Equal Pay laws

  15. Making it easier for airline and railway workers to unionize, while appointing NLRB and other labor officials who will strengthen freedom to form unions

  16. Reversing Bush ban on funding overseas family planning clinics

  17. Passing hate crimes protections for gays and lesbians

  18. Protecting stem cell research research

  19. Strengthening state authority and restricting federal preemption to protect state consumer, environmental and labor laws

  20. Financial reforms to protect homeowners and credit card holders

  21. Bailing out the auto industry and protecting unionized retirees and workers

  22. Set in motion plans to close Gitmo and place those individuals "detained" there into the system of American justice

  23. Reallocated military resources away from Iraq and refocused efforts in Afghanistan, where they should have been all along

  24. implemented a drawdown of US forces in Iraq with a strategy of ending the US-led occupation in a stable manner


  25. Geez, I wish this guy would just stop smiling at himself in the mirror and do something! Oh... wait... :oops:

  26. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except you know just as much as I do that laundry lists like that are practically meaningless. Is the tried and true cynical Cheveyo still around? Lists like that are no different than someone coming in a posting that "so and so President" gets an A grade... or that they like crunchy peanut butter more than creamy. Ok, great..

    I mean, of course, "not doing anything" is simply a figure of speech. Like I said before, if you think that the list represents the ability and persona he promoted during the campaign, then that's fine. If more people feel that way, then he'll get elected to a second term. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's why we have elections in the first place.

    I still have a suspicion that's he's not going to run again, and a large deal of that is due to a feeling of buyer's remorse. But I'm not omniscient or anything, I just play one on tv....
  27. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Bluntly, that post was pretty devoid of actual facts or evidence, for a Senate post.

    On what basis do you make this claim? What about all the positive benefits of the current compromise legislation that I listed in my last post? Is it your position that they are not substantial? Why not? That somehow, there's reason to believe that they won't have their expected effect? Why? How do you figure people "aren't going to be able to use" healthcare?

    Again, your welcome to dislike the bill, personally, but how does this translate into the proposed benefits of the bill not being real? Or, more pointedly, how does it translate to a failure on Obama's part, given that it's much of what he wanted originally?

    I'd agree it worked out nicely for him. It also worked out nicely for Bill Clinton that the economic explosion that came on the heels of the Internet happened while he was in office, and the economic downturn that came when the bubble burst happened just after he left. That doesn't mean it didn't happen. Do you have any evidence that what I asserted about the similarity between Obama's position on withdrawal and the SOFA aren't true?

    My point is that Obama never promised to mindlessly do the opposite of whatever Bush was doing. He promised significant departures from the policies that were extant at the time he was campaigning. He has delivered in a major way in several realms. All evidence from his announced policy initiatives indicate that he will continue to make such strides in areas that matter to his base and represent a significant departure from the Bush administration.

    Like I said earlier, you clearly have no idea why I voted for him. Please stop suggesting otherwise. Frankly, you've not even demonstrated a very strong grasp of what he actually campaigned on.
  28. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    That makes sense, considering he didn't vote for him ;)
  29. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    It's a pretty ill-used figurte of speech, then, considering what's come out of the White House since late January. It would be more honest and appropriate for you to write that "Obama has not done anything I like since he's been in office."

    I agree with all civility.

    Can I go ahead and quote you on that, then? ;)
  30. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Some links, which Mr44 might want to take a look at.

    Somali man tried to board a plan almost a month ago, with similar details to the Nigerian man, but was thwarted


    man tried to board a commercial airliner in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last month with chemicals that authorities believe could have been used as an explosive device, an African Union official said Wednesday.

    The suspect, Abdi Hassan Abdi, tried to board a Daallo Airlines flight with a plastic bag containing 600 grams of ammonium nitrate and half a liter of concentrated sulfuric acid in a plastic bottle, according to Wafula Waminyinyi, the deputy special representative for the African Union Mission for Somalia.

    Waminyinyi said that Abdi also had approximately 5 milliliters of an unidentified liquid in a syringe that he tried to carry on board the flight, which was bound first for the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then Djibouti, and then Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. He said that the African Union believes the chemicals could have caused an explosion.

    The details bear resemblance to those from the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Northwest flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan.

    A preliminary FBI analysis found that the device suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab allegedly carried aboard contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive also known as PETN. The amount of explosive was sufficient to blow a hole in the aircraft, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Sunday.

    Part of the explosive device was sewn into the suspect's underwear. And FBI agents recovered what appear to be the remnants of a syringe near the seat.

    Because the syringe was destroyed, investigators are having trouble determining the accelerant the suspect tried to use to light the explosive.

    AbdulMutallab, of Nigeria, is in custody in the United States and charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.

    In the November 11 incident in Somalia, African Union peacekeeping forces arrested Abdi after they searched him and discovered the chemicals, Waminyinyi said.

    He had drawn suspicion because he was the last one to board the flight, Waminyinyi said.

    No further details were immediately available.

    Abdi was handed over to the Somali National Security Agency, and Waminyinyi believes he remains in custody.





    And this:

    Obama takes the heat Bush did not


    Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber?s attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of Sept. 11. But it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made any public remarks about the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the press or any opposition Democrats that his response was sluggish or inadequate.

    That stands in sharp contrast to the withering criticism President Barack Obama has received from Republicans and some in the press for his reaction to Friday?s incident on a Northwest Airlines flight heading for Detroit.

    Democrats have seized on the disparity and are making it a centerpiece of their efforts to counter GOP attacks on the White House. ?This hypocrisy demonstrates Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism,? DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan said. ?That they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames ? tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican Party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become.?

    The Democrats? counterattack is aimed largely at two Republican congressmen who have been particularly critical of Obama, Reps. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.). But neither GOP lawmaker concedes applying a double st
  31. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I liked what Glenn Greenwald had to say:

    Scampering back to Washington -- "hotfooted" or otherwise -- would have been the worst possible thing that Obama could have done. It would have created a climate of frenzy and panic and thus helped to terrorize the country even more -- which, one might want to recall, is the goal, by definition, of Terrorists. The fact that Obama doesn't hysterically run around like some sort of frightened chicken with his head cut off every time Al Qaeda sneezes -- or swagger to the nearest camera to beat his chest and play the role of protective daddy-cowboy -- is one of the things I like best about him. As for Armao's "point" about how Janet Napolitano probably took it easy because the "boss was away" -- and her belief that Terrorists will strike more on holidays if Obama isn't affixed to his chair in the Oval Office, as though he's the Supreme Airport Screener: those are so self-evidently dumb it's hard to believe they found their way even into something written by one of Fred Hiatt's editorial writers.

    What this actually illustrates is that many people are addicted to the excitement and fear of Terrorist melodramas. They crave some of that awesome 9/12 energy, where we overnight became The Greatest Generation and -- unified and resolute -- rose to the challenge of a Towering, Evil Enemy. Armao is angry and upset because the leader didn't oblige her need to re-create that high drama by flamboyantly flying back to Washington to create a tense storyline, pick up a bullhorn, stand on some rubble, and personally make her feel "safe." Maureen Dowd similarly complained today that Obama "appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253."

    That's because Obama reacted as though this is exactly what it actually is: a lame, failed attempt to kill people by a fractured band of criminals. It's not the Cuban Missile Crisis or the attack on Pearl Harbor, as disappointing and unfulfilling as it is to accept that. It merits analysis, investigation and possibly policy changes by the responsible government agencies -- not a bright-red-alert, bell-ringing, siren-sounding government-wide emergency that venerates Al Qaeda into a threat so profound that the President can't even be away from Washington lest they get us all. As always, Al Qaeda's greatest allies are the ones in the U.S. who tremble with the most fear at the very mention of their name and who quite obviously crave a return of that stimulating, all-consuming, elevating 9/12 glory.


    Barack Obama is one of the most temperamentally conservative men ever to hold the office of president of the United States. His politics may be liberal, but his personality is almost profoundly cautious and conservative. His actions reflect this.
  32. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Look, I realize you guys are still defensive about the issue, so I know that's what you're reacting to.

    For some specific points: J_W, I know why you voted for Obama because you told me. Or at least you outlined your rationale back during the primary. It could have certainly changed since then, but I didn't just pull my observation out of thin air.

    Ghost, are you sure you mean to refer to me with those links? I've only posted that I think this latest terrorist attack was simply the incompetent action of a misguided person. It's always been my assertion that there's nothing that the President can personally do in these situations, no matter who it happens to be. But you can't sit back now and pretend that the public hasn't always expected the President to hold their hand, so to speak. I mean, Reagan was "temperamentally conservative." HW Bush was "temperamentally conservative." Clinton was "temperamentally conservative." Bush Jr was "temperamentally conservative," even as all their collective policies took different shapes. It's nothing new here, and doesn't form any kind of justification.

    Perhaps the last Presidents who were overtly emotional were Nixon and Carter. Carter with grief, and Nixon with disdain.
  33. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Clinton conservative in any temperamental way? That's a laugh. He was and is a highly emotional man, given to mood swings and all sorts of interesting vacillations. H.W. was and is conservative in personality, but W certainly isn't. Carter wasn't, Ford was, Nixon obviously wasn't, LBJ sure as I'm typing this wasn't, Kennedy was, Eisenhower was and so on you can go.
  34. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, I suppose I'll take Clinton back..I was thinking more in terms of official activity, and had somehow forgotten about his public face during Monicagate. Very emotional, and I suppose it's difficult to separate a public figure's personal and professional life. But even Clinton's mood swings support what I'm saying, as it fit with how the public expects one to act in that situation.

    It was during the 1988 primary when Michael Dukakis was asked what he would do if Kitty Dukakis (his wife) was raped. He ended up giving a passionless, logical answer, and his poll numbers dropped almost 10 points that night. (I didn't look up the exact percent of drop, so I may be off a few points, but lets just say his perception fell) Conversely, in 2004, when candidate Dean completely let loose on the opposite end, he doomed his own chances for election.

    The reality is that being President comes with expectations from the public. Being temperamentally conservative doesn't excuse one from that expectation. Some people might be more blunt and say the term "temperamentally conservative" is just a cover for being indecisive. It's no different than people giving Bush heat for appearing overconfident with his "mission accomplished banner. The point is that it's nothing new that's been created for, or being applied to Obama.
  35. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Mr44, what I meant by posting this links is
    -we've had similar scares in the past, which didn't all get this attention or criticism
    -Bush didn't address the Richard Reed case immediately, even though it was in very similar circumstances. Obama was following precedent, but yet you were criticizing Obama
  36. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Thank you for such an excellent example of "being a good President" =/= "doing what the American people 'expect'".
  37. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Um, Ghost, no I didn't. J-Rod did. I posted parallel concerns.

    J-Rod basically posted an observation along the lines of it looked like Obama didn't care about the incident and/or wasn't taking it seriously. FID, KW, you, maybe others...jumped on him for it. FID started off by claiming that it's not the President's job to hold his hand, and then others added observations like "what's the point? it's not like the President can do anything.." and so on.

    Really? I didn't criticize Obama for not holding a press conference. I addressed the double standard that was displayed, since the country is just coming off of 8 years of people here expecting the President to precisely hold their hand in just about everything. Honestly, as a slight detour, and trying not to sound completely negative, I'm still a bit baffled that you would post an idea along the lines of you want your Presidents to show "that actions are louder than words," because you've spent the last couple of years criticizing that mindset.

    Then the discussion took a turn and some attempted to claim that J-Rod was wrong for even suggesting that such perception mattered in the first place. Sure, this was a minor incident, but the office of President has always had a public expectation attached to it- good or bad, right or wrong- See my above Dukakis, Dean, "Mission Accomplished" examples that span 20 years. It's nothing new or out of the ordinary now.

    I reacted to the justifications, not to Obama himself. (my specifc Obama criticism came later, above in this thread.... ;) )
  38. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. There are plenty of legit reasons to criticize Obama and/or his supporters, but this one makes zero sense to me.

    I can think of countless popular criticisms of Bush, but not a one that has to do with hand-holding.

  39. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I suppose that I am. However that attack was never carried out, while the Christmas attack was. It was only through a faulty detonator and a sharp eyed civilan that the attack didn't succeed.

    That aside, understand that my point still stands: Under Obama's failing terror policy (a policy that lead to 9/11, BTW, but what the Hell...he's giving it another go!) we have had the Christmas attack and just a couple of months ago he gave us The Battle of Fort Hood.

    These attacks are increasing as Obama refuses to acknowledge that we are at war with Muslim Terrorists. An extemist shoots an abotion doctor. We aren't dealing with extremists...we are dealing with Muslim Terrorists.
  40. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    A lot of stuff here.

    I agree with Cheveyo. The terrorists are petty, common criminals. The ones who carried out the 9/11 attacks were petty, common criminals with a huge financial backer, who spent seven years or so planning their crime. But let's not make them into the heroes they want to be. Acts of war are, generally speaking, between the governments of two or more countries.

    My issue with Gitmo is that we were holding the detainees without trial. Why not charge them with a crime, such as "plotting/committing acts of terrorism against the United States" (I'm not an attorney, I don't know exactly what the crime would be called) and try them? Because we can't afford to have them found not guilty? I agree, which is why I would not want to be the prosecuting attorney in that case.

    However, "enhanced interrogation techniques" are unconstitutional, which is why Obama eliminated them. Bush/Cheney used the post-9/11 panic to push forth torture policies. There was a Time magazine article about an interrogator who got information from a terrorism suspect, who was diabetic, by offering him sugar-free cookies. I'll see if I can find it.

    Now here's an area where I will go a bit conservative: time to profile. If dumpy middle-aged white women with heavy Southern accents start hijacking planes, I expect to be profiled. Anyone on the terrorism watch list should also be on the no-fly list. So there are thousands of people on the terrorism watch list? Good, flights will be less crowded. The link that Mr44 posted a few days ago, regarding the terrorism watch list not being updated? Seems that if it is kept updated, the ACLU wouldn't have a leg to stand on regarding a lawsuit against TSA. I really don't understand how anyone, ACLU attorney or otherwise, could make a valid justification for why someone on the terrorism watch list should be allowed to board a plane.

    As far as Obama wearing a tie: he's on vacation in Hawaii. Let him address the country in his swim suit. Let the reporters wear swim suits too. Why does it matter?

    ETA: The Muslim terrorists are extremists, just as Christians who think it's OK to shoot abortion doctors are extremists. These terrorists don't represent the beliefs of all Muslims any more than abortion doctor murderers represent the beliefs of all Christians.
  41. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Unfortunately, in my view, Obama has now overreacted to the "crisis" in response to the public criticism.
  42. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    How does your point "still stand?" The liquid bomb attack as foiled because of police work. You know, treating it like a normal crime. Not because someone was fighting a war in Iraq or Afghanistan. That it was attempted at all shows that, contrary to your claim, the terrorists hadn't gotten any more or less bold as a result of the war.

    44: That was a hugely condescending way of refusing to admit that your criticisms lack substance. Since you show no sign of stopping, though, I suppose we're done here.
  43. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    On the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: How exactly are we fighting Al Qaida or terrorism with these wars? Al Qaida has moved on to Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen. Al Qaida was never in Iraq. We're about eight years too late to smoke Bin Laden out of an Afghan cave. So what exactly are we doing?
  44. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, and the shoe bombing was carried out as well as long as we're going to pull the 'almost' card out of our rear. Look, if you want to act like a total thickie that's fine by me, but you're just spouting nonsense rhetoric at this point. And your point doesn't stand. It would if we were actually attacked, but we haven't been. Your posts continually seem like the sort of frothing at the mouth you see from teabaggers. You ranted about Obama not wearing a tie...sorry, I know it's an older point, but it demonstrates the sort of pathetic pettiness that's become the norm among GOP supporters.

    As for 44, I don't know, when I voted for Obama I voted for the person I thought would best lead us and I'd had enough of the GOP BS from the last 8 years. Not for a wet-nurse. Now, maybe you voted on the person best to hold your hand and whisper assurances in your ear, but I didn't. And I don't think a leader needs to address the soiled diaper constituency whenever the world doesn't conform to the reality they're built in their heads.
  45. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    I voted for, and campaigned for, Obama because I thought he would be the best person to bring change. Has he disappointed me? In some ways, yes. I wasn't expecting the health care reform package to be the lobbyist handout that it is, and I expected Obama to take a greater hand in crafting the legislation instead of handing it over to Reid and Pelosi, neither of whom I like. I also expected him to sign an order repealing DADT instead of telling the gay community to come back later. Harry Truman desegregated the military with a stroke of a pen and while he certainly didn't win very many brownie points among Americans at that time for doing so, it was the right thing to do. What's right isn't always popular.

    However, have I been pleased with Obama for the reasons Cheveyo mentioned? Yes. Will I vote for him in 2012? In all likelihood, yes again.
  46. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Of couse the point still stands. You've shown a halted plot over 7 years. I showed two plots carried out in the space of this November and this December. Of course my point stands. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq weren't distractions for us. They weren't another Veit Nam for us. They distracted Al-Qaeda, it was their Veit Nam. Their distractions. They lost in Iraq and will lose (if Obama pulls his head out of his ***) in Afghanistan as well.

    Would these attacks have happened if Obama had immediately sent McCrystal the 40,000 troops he had asked for instead of waiting 4 months and then deciding to sent him 30,000 sometime in the future? I don't know. But it's something that I think about.

    And FIDo, think about what the lack of a tie represents. And within the context of what we were talking about. I wear a tie when I go to business meetings, church, weddings and funerals, among other times. Why? These occations are important to me.

    Thay matter to me.

    So when we talk about depths that terrorism matters to Obama, it is important to the conversation to note that he didn't wear a tie when he addressed the nation concerning the latest terrorist attack.

    He didn't feel the address was important. Did you feel it was important? Do you take terrorism seriously? Do you feel that Obama agrees with you?
  47. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think you need to read what Glenn Greenwald wrote, J-Rod. Read and understand it.
  48. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Tie's are outdated and irrelevent IMO. If the message is important the deliverer can be addressing me in a tracksuit for all I care provided they are sincere and telling me the truth I'm OK with it.

    Wearing a tie does not make the message magically more important.


    IMO
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