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

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ghost, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I was trying to say that I was (and still am) confused as to what you mean by calling healthcare a legacy issue. Do you espouse that view, or are you merely reiterating what somebody said in that one thread from whenever ago? While I (or the other Jabba) can give our opinions on that assessment, it's a very strange discussion to have if no one at all agreed with it to begin with. In short, I can't really respond to you until I figure out which position is yours.
  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    You can't respond until you know what position is mine?

    Thanks, but no thanks, I'll wait for the next elevator. But hey, have you seen any good movies lately?

  3. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I don't think it makes sense to characterize the healthcare reform effort that way. As both the major driver in increasing entitlement spending, a leading cause of personal bankruptcy, and notable declines in international rankings on basic measures likes infant mortality, the intervention was timely. Despite its potential for widely spread, diverse benefits to all interests, it was, at the time, a reasonable response to those who felt the most urgent way to fix the economy was through controlling the deficit and to those who thought it was better handled by buffering the social safety net.

    But, again, I don't know that I needed to say all that, since for all I know you might have agreed. Though presumably if your reticence about clarifying your position persists, you won't be responding to this post either, as it might give some hint of your thoughts on the matter.
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I don't think it makes sense to characterize the healthcare reform effort that way....

    wait for it....

    As both the major driver in increasing entitlement spending, a leading cause of personal bankruptcy, and notable declines in international rankings on basic measures likes infant mortality, the intervention was timely.


    Seriously JW, isn't "timely intervention" your characterization of the health care reform? Wait, you just contradicted yourself. Now I'm playing a bit here, but I can read your post and get a pretty good idea of how you characterize the reform itself. Really, such comprehension is the point of communication in the first place. You didn't actually come out and specifically state "This is what I believe..." but it's rather obvious. I think, if you go back and re-read my posts, you'll come to a similar realization regarding my own views on the matter.
  5. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I'm happy you were able to understand my viewpoint. Had you not, though, I would have been happy to make another attempt at explaining. Unfortunate you aren't willing to extend the same courtesy.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That's very patient of you.

    I guess I just have higher expectations. It's more of a curse I have to live with everyday, but I manage to cope.

  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Behind the scenes, I wonder if the Obama adminstration is considering a faster withdrawal of combat troops? We've had the troops urinating on dead bodies, the burning of Qurans, and now this massacre. As well as the occassional news of an Afghan soldier attacking American forces. We're supposed to be out by the end of 2014, except for Special Forces and CIA. Combat troops were then said to be out by the end of 2013, with the rest remaining as advisors and trainers for the last year. With Osama bin Laden dead for almost a year now, and our continued presence not helping, I think it's just time to come home. Bring all combat troops home by the end of this year, and advisors/trainers by the end of next year.
  8. The Extreme Moderate Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2005
    star 1
    From what I've been able to gather from my perusing of the Washington Post, I think there are some internal discussions about an earlier withdrawal. Karzai also came out publicly, in favor of a withdrawal from the rural areas in the last few days. I think withdrawing any earlier than where he's at will be difficult though. Unfortunately, as this is an election year, the political cost and controversy would do him no favors. I think that has to be taken into account. I'd be surprised if this gained any traction before the election.





    In somewhat related 'behind-the-scenes' news, has anyone heard anything about Woodward's new and forthcoming Obama book? I just heard yesterday that the topic will be Obama's handling of the economy (which is a huge switch up for Woodward-- he's been covering the two wars for the past decade). Do we know anything more on this? I have to say I'm really looking forward to it. I think Alter's book ("Year One")was well written, but as he identified himself as a fan of Obama's and a progressive, it's hard not to be wary of bias. Suskind's treatment of Obama, from what I've been able to gather from reports (and I'm about 2/3 through it), is controversial enough to make me suspect. At least one of Obama's quotes was taken grossly out of context in the text (referring to Jimmy Carter) and I believe that some of what was said about Obama's 'sexist' administration was later shown to be exaggerated. Woodward, though, I trust, and I think his view of the administration will be better able to bridge the gaps between the 'new FDR' that Alter leans toward and the 'incompetent and waffling' Obama of Confidence Men .
  9. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So, what is everyone's review of the Obama administration's 4th year, from January 2012 to present, so far?

    Successes? Failures?

    This is not counting the elections or anything political, just policy.
  10. TheShinyLightsaber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 1
    No success, or at least, I can't see a thing he has done right except someone in the whitehouse is homebrewing beer.....

    Failures? We could start with the wholesale slaughter of thousands of people. Oh wait, I guess we shouldn't think they are people even though we're white and they aren't? Who cares, can't see that close of detail through the camera of a drone.
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So the big things this year so far were Immigration changes by executive order, and support for Marriage Equality... but now let's see how they'll deal with the "fiscal cliff" and see what's in store for the Fifth, Sixth, Seven, and Eighth years of the Obama administration!


    My list of what I gathered his 2nd term agenda would be:

    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 6, 2012
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Holy Crap!

    So it is just being announced that David Petraeus turned in his resignation, and will be stepping down as Director of the CIA, citing the fact that he was involved in, and hid an extra-martial affair.

    I can't think of a more effective leader, both during his military career, and during his tenure at the CIA. Petraeus even would have been one of those across both parties excellent choice for President, if he could have stomached the politics. (he was very much like Colin Powell in that regard) I don't even know what to make of this.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Yes, it is very sad. Petraeus did transform into a nonpartisan leader, widely admired (and that's definitely not where he started in '06, when he wasn't trusted by many on the left). It's sad to see him go out like this.



    EDIT:

    Now I see the new thread on this.

    Anyways... what will the Cabinet in Obama's 2nd term look like?

    We'll need a new Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Transportation, CIA Director, Press Secretary, Secretary of Commerce... and possibly a new Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and UN Ambassador too.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 9, 2012
  14. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Ultimately I feel bad for Patraeus's wife, not for him. Though it is regrettable that this lapse in his otherwise sterling judgment seems to have ended his political career, as like Mr44 and Ghost I thought he was a terrific leader and may have presented a strong presidential candidate for the GOP in 2016 or 2020.

    I wonder if it would be appropriate to discuss to what extent affairs should be tolerated by those in high profile public service. In the 1990s, I was very conservative on this issue, and had absolutely no tolerance for what Bill Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky. Since then, though, I've moderated quite a bit (though I don't want to suggest that these scenarios are exactly the same, though they obviously have similarities). Does an extramarital affair really warrant Patraeus stepping down from the head of the CIA? I'm not sure it does, though of course this was his decision and not anyone else's. Broadwell's attempt to access his e-mail is worrying, but he is not under investigation for wrongdoing at this time, and there's thus far no evidence he had been leaking classified information. This represents a moral failure for sure, and on some level that represents an ethical failure, but I don't believe that warrants his departure from the CIA. Now, if Patraeus was found with a potential Russian or Chinese spy, that'd be one thing. What do you guys make of it? Did Patraeus have to go? Obama and Feinstein wanted him to stay. If he had, would media scrutiny have made doing his job impossible?

    Regarding Obama's next cabinet:

    Media reports indicate that Obama wants Susan Rice to serve as the next Secretary of State. Despite the GOP's mad drive to find some, any, scandal from Benghazi, I believe she would get through the Senate. I don't think the Republicans will hold up such a high profile nomination. However, I think Obama would have a much easier time with John Kerry. It risks vacating a Senate seat, especially with Scott Brown in the wings, but the Democratic majority is more robust than anticipated following the 2012 election, so I would say it is worth the risk. Kerry is up for re-election in 2014 anyway, when Deval Patrick will be vacating the governorship, so we could see Patrick go for the Senate while Brown goes gubernatorial. A less cynical take is that Obama should choose the best person for the job, and I think Kerry would be great.

    I think Obama should appoint a Republican as Secretary of Defense. He doesn't really need the political cover that this point, unlike when he took office in 2009, but it would be a good bipartisan gesture. Chuck Hagel's name has been dropped, but Dick Lugar or Colin Powell would make good choices as well.
  15. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    I echoed those sentiments about Patraeus and his career in the thread I created for his leaving. But yeah it stinks that a lapse in judgement torpedos a career like that.

    I've found that I've become less tolerant of extra marital affairs as I've gotten older, but I didn't then, and I still don't think that Monica should have been the reason for impeaching Clinton. Likewise, I don't think this should have been a reason for Patraeus to leave. However, the CIA does apparently, fire those who do have inappropriate affairs, and I'm guessing Patraeus wanted to do the honorable thing and not make it seem like a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." Still stinks to high heaven, but it is what it is. It was his choice to resign.

    And given that the conservative media is still smarting over this election... yes, if the affair had come out before he chose to resign, then yes, Fox news and other conservative media outlets would have crucified him. They probably would have gone looking for something that smelled like a scandal and Patreaus would have given it to him if he had stayed without at least admitting the affair. Heck they're still making hey of it, some calling it some sort of Bengazi conspiracy; that the Obama administration forced Patraeus out to keep his mouth shut about it.:rolleyes:

    Speaking of Bengazi, yes, Susan Rice has been getting crucified by the Tea Party/GOP and their Fox allies with some of them calling on her to resign her position at the UN. I think knowing, Obama would face a fight getting her through Senate confirmation if he chose her for SoS, I think he'd go with the relatively safe pick of Kerry (especially as you said @goodfellas the Democrats came away slightly better than expected with the two extra seats in the Senate), and save the fight for another cabinet choice, like Geithner's replacement as Treasury Sec (because it took two or three previous failed picks before getting Geithner through the Senate), or now, whoever the heck he chooses as the next CIA chief (I've heard Robert Gates' name being thrown around already. One issue is, would he actually be willing to come out of retirement to take the job)
    Last edited by Juliet316, Nov 10, 2012
  16. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It's actually spelled "Petraeus" ;)

    And I actual wonder if the media spotlight scrutinizing the CIA actually helps Susan Rice now. But I agree that John Kerry would be better.

    Obama's current chief of staff is in the running for Treasury Secretary, I heard. And the national security adviser is in the running for Defense Secretary, I think his name is Donillon.

    That's all I've heard, regarding Cabinet changes, so far.





    Here is a simplified list of what seems to be the President's 2nd-term agenda, and how likely I think each item is:


    The To-Do List:

    1. "Grand Bargain" on tax/entitlement reform, perhaps from deal on "fiscal cliff" this winter
    => this is a policy MUST and very likely

    2. Immigration Reform
    => this is a political MUST for both sides and very likely

    3. Infrastructure investments
    => this is somewhat likely, and I'd argue essential for economic growth

    4. General Government Reform
    => bipartisan concern, some form of this is very likely

    5. Pass ENDA (& repeal DOMA if SCOTUS doesn't overturn it)
    => I'm not sure how likely this is... but the GOP may want to allow enough of their members to go along in order to win back some minorities and the Generation Y vote

    6. Afghanistan withdrawal
    => this is a MUST and a near-certainty

    7. Syria conclusion
    => some form of this is likely

    8. prevention of Iran getting nukes
    => this will be very high on the foreign-policy agenda

    9. POSSIBLY Israeli-Arab peace
    => hey, we can dream, can't we? things that seemed impossible once have happened before

    10. POSSIBLY something on marijuana
    => Obama and the Democrats must see the trend on this, and the popularity with their base and the Generation Y vote, and the support of libertarians and moderates. I'm not expecting nationwide legalization, but maybe more flexibility for the states

    11. POSSIBLY something on civil liberties
    => maybe not likely, but not impossible, and I think the Democratic base and some Republicans will begin to pressure Obama on this

    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 10, 2012
  17. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    In my defense on the spelling of Petraeus, it was 4:30 am when I was beginning to type that post and was about ready to pass out from exhuastion at my computer. :p
    Summer Dreamer likes this.
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Obama's focus on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will largely depend on how vindictive Obama is as a person and how much time he has to punish Bibi for his lack of faith. If the Palestinian delegation were smart (which we know they are not) they will constantly remind the Obama administration of Bibi's financial support of Romney and at least urge the US to support the Paalestinian bid for observer status membership in the UN. If the US supports it then so will all of the little lapdogs including Australia and we will see some real progress. Of course the US will still need to support Israeli security but UN membership will assist in deposing thugs like Hamas and so I can see an upside on that front as well.
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I don't think Obama would be so petulant as to shift the entire foreign policy of his nation because of personal antipathy for one guy. That is, after all, pretty much what Netanyahu who did in the first place. It was incredibly small-minded and unworthy of any leader.
    Summer Dreamer likes this.
  20. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah we'll I guess you had that with George W Bush but at least if Obama was to prove himself to be so petulant it would actually have a positive outcome. I obviously haven't had the opportunity to experience the Obama administration first hand but the perception here in the antipodes is that Obama needs to make good on some of his promises of change and hope. If it takes a small measure of petulance to make things happen then so be it.
    SuperWatto likes this.
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Bipartisan momentum for Immigration reform, Graham and Schumer now releasing their plan.

    Still seems a bit right-wing to me, but it's a step forward.

    They should also include incentives so foreign college students who get an education here are also given incentives to stay and become citizens.

    http://news.yahoo.com/senators-restart-talks-us-immigration-reform-plan-153200663.html



    Also, I really doubt this will happen, but there's talk of including a carbon tax in the fiscal cliff deal:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/us-carbon-tax-fiscal-cliff-idUSBRE8A71IU20121108


    Kristol says it's time the GOP give up their opposition to increasing taxes on the rich, that it's stupid to draw the line on that issue, especially since half the rich vote Democrat anyways:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/11/bill-kristol-taxes-millionaires_n_2113671.html


    Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition seems to finally be uniting:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/11/20121111141834268537.html
  22. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  23. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Reminder that Senate thread posts should be more than just links.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Yeah, it's amazing that the United States is set to achieve Energy Independence in only 18 years.

    And that's not even taking into account that clean energy is expected to rise to generate 80% of all domestic electricity within 23 years.

    Besides pain at the pump during price spikes, can we say that the energy issue is settled as a policy and a political issue, as long as we remain on this path? It feels way too good to be true.
  25. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Edit: Or not.
    Last edited by KnightWriter, Nov 12, 2012