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

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Saw this article on the crowds gathering on the night Osama died, just wanted to point this out:



    Bin Laden's Great Mistake: What Osama Never Understood About the American Spirit

    When President Barack Obama announced on May 1 that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was among those who headed to the White House. The mood in Lafayette Square was joyous, ebullient, cathartic ? though hardly the bacchanal of vengeful jingoism that some in the media have portrayed it to be, or an expression of "orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed" as David Sirota claimed on Salon.com. An outsider would have been struck by the crowd's diversity, by now so familiar to Americans that we barely notice it. I'd guess that a plurality of the flag wavers were white, but I saw plenty of exuberant black, Asian, Latino and multiracial faces too. An elated young Muslim American, wearing a headscarf, enthused to a television crew about the sense of unity and belonging she felt with those around her. The whole scene would have bewildered bin Laden as much as it would have repelled him. And it goes a long way toward explaining why his war on America was doomed to fail.

    ...

    That was the culture ? the country ? on display that night in Lafayette Square. It was a young, college-age crowd. Many were children of immigrants who arrived during the wave of the '90s, members of "the generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden" since 9/11, in Obama's words. What bin Laden never understood is that, whatever the body blows suffered over the past decade, American society retained its capacity to renew itself. The U.S. was able not only to sustain the long war but also to produce innovations that have changed the world: Google Earth, the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter. America today is probably a less open and less confident nation than it was on 9/11. But it has become a more youthful, more diverse and more dynamic one as well.

  2. wannasee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Those are the worst article excerpts I've ever read.
  3. kingthlayer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    So, John Boehner wants "trillions" in spending cuts from the administration if he is going to raise the debt limit. Obama should politely tell the GOP Congress to go eff itself. Boehner has hardly any leverage here, because the debt ceiling fight is the government version of MAD.
  4. Jediflyer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    The idea of a debt ceiling is ridiculous. Passing the budget or a spending resolution should be sufficient authorization to incur debt if taxes are not greater than or equal to spending.

    And there should be a well publicized list of everyone that voted for the budget/spending resolution or did not filibuster it but are doing the opposite on the debt ceiling.

  5. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    I just want to say that I love that Harry Reid is still around as both a senator and majority leader. If Republicans hadn't been self-defeating last year, they might have the Senate to themselves, as well as having Reid out of office. Instead, they were dumb and cost themselves a shot at the Senate and allowed Reid to win an election he had no business whatsoever winning.
  6. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Looks like Osama bin Laden really was still leading Al Qaeda...

    Link

    Though hunted and in hiding, Osama bin Laden remained the driving force behind every recent al-Qaida terror plot, U.S. officials say, citing his private journal and other documents recovered in last week's raid.

    Until Navy SEALs killed him a week ago, bin Laden dispensed chilling advice to the leaders of al-Qaida groups from Yemen to London: Hit Los Angeles, not just New York, he wrote. Target trains as well as planes. If possible, strike on significant dates, such as the Fourth of July and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Above all, he urged, kill more Americans in a single attack, to drive them from the Arab world.

    Bin Laden's written words show that counterterrorist officials worldwide underestimated how key he remained to running the organization, shattering the conventional thinking that he had been reduced through isolation to being an inspirational figurehead, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

    His personal, handwritten journal and his massive collection of computer files show he helped plan every recent major al-Qaida threat the U.S. is aware of, including plots in Europe last year that had travelers and embassies on high alert, two officials said. So far, no new plots have been uncovered in bin Laden's writings, but intelligence officials say it will take weeks, if not months, to go through them.

    They described the intelligence to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about what was found in bin Laden's hideout.

    The records show bin Laden was communicating from his walled compound in Pakistan with al-Qaida's offshoots, including the Yemen branch, which has emerged as the leading threat to the United States. U.S. officials have not shared any specific evidence yet that he was directly behind the attempted Christmas Day 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner or the nearly successful attack on cargo planes heading for Chicago and Philadelphia, but it's now clear that they bear some of bin Laden's hallmarks.

    He was well aware of U.S. counterterrorist defenses and schooled his followers how to work around them, the messages to his followers show. Don't limit attacks to New York City, he said in his writings. Consider other areas such as Los Angeles or smaller cities. Spread out the targets.

    In one particularly macabre bit of mathematics, bin Laden's writings show him musing over just how many Americans he must kill to force the U.S. to withdraw from the Arab world. He concludes that the smaller, scattered attacks since the 9/11 attacks had not been enough. He tells his disciples that only a body count of thousands, something on the scale of 9/11, would shift U.S. policy.

    He also schemed about ways to sow political dissent in Washington and play political figures against one another, officials said.
  7. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Because "enhanced interrogation" has come up again and again in the question of what has happened concerning Osama Bin Laden:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/john-mccain-to-bush-apologists-stop-lying-about-bin-laden-and-torture/2011/03/03/AF10AnzG_blog.html
  8. Jabba-wocky Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    The Tea Party is dead forever. The Republicans have lost in spite of a 6-point registration advantage and a margin of victory of over 30% in the last election. The only issue was the Ryan budget, which all Republican House members have signed onto. They have no future. Long live Barack Obama.
  9. kingthlayer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I would love for you to be right, but what if the GOP decides to "retool" their budget plan? Will voters forgive them next year?
  10. Jabba-wocky Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Yeah, you're right of course. That wasn't a serious attempt at analysis, so much as simple gloating. I will say, though, that I think their hypocrisy and over-reach has finally come home to roost. Whether they change course or not, this is a pretty firm rebuke to the aggressive plans being pushed by the most conservative members of the Republican.
  11. kingthlayer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Gloat away, you sure as hell deserve it after the crushing disappointments in 2009 and 2010.

    The GOP is likely to step back from its "brave" and "bold" budget proposals, but then the Democrats can hammer them for flip flopping and being a "do nothing" Congress. Meanwhile Tim Pawlenty has been traipsing around the country in his latest incarnation as a "truth teller". Lets see how long he stays on that message.
  12. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Tim Pawlenty is going to have a tough time after telling Iowa that farm subsidies need to be cut, and telling Florida that Medicare needs to be "reformed."


    But about the New York election, you know what's really ridiculous? Republicans are going to start running TV ads saying the DEMOCRATS want to kill Medicare because they voted for Healthcare Reform in 2009. [face_tired] :rolleyes:

    Could that actually work? Will they actually try and turn 2012 into a fight over which party hates Medicare more?

    First, if true, I'm pretty sure the Democrats would win that debate since the House Republicans have already voted on the Ryan plan and are known for wanting to give more people health insurance.

    Second, by merely fighting over "who hates Medicare more," that's an ideological victory for the Democrats. Republicans are choosing to fight defensively... on Democratic territory.



    Also, with the Democratic victory in New York (with 48%, the 3rd party candidate getting ony 8%, and as the 3rd party candidate's popularity declined in recent weeks it was the Democrat who gained)... that leaves only 24 seats for Democrats to take back in 2012 in order to regain the majority in the House.
  13. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    Looks like we've hit the boundaries as to how far the Obama administration is willing to go: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/obama-would-veto-forever-war-language-in-defense-bill.php?ref=fpb
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I'd pay good money to see that happen to anybody in either party, but, yeah, not likely. :p
  15. New_York_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    Peter Diamond withdrew his name from consideration for an open Fed seat, and Austan Goolsbee is set to resign from his position of head of the CEA to retain his tenureship at UChicago. Jason Furman would be a good choice to replace him- he's been the number two at the NEC since the beginning, I think. He's also widely respected on both sides of the aisle, so maybe he could help broker some deals with Republicans w/r/t to debt, taxes, spending, etc...

    As for the Fed seat, Diamond was a good choice. Maybe Ken Rogoff at Harvard would be interested in replacing him, but that's just wild speculation on my part.

    edit: I mean, Scott Sumner at Bentley would be a wonderful choice, but he doesn't come from a prestigious school and his monetary policy is...unorthodox.
  16. kingthlayer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Sheesh, was Goolsbee even around for a full year?
  17. New_York_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 6
    Not as chair, but he had been a member since Obama's inauguration and had advised him for years. Apparently he had to go back based on Chicago's tenure rules or he'd risk losing it.
  18. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I wasn't sure what thread to put this in, but Pakistan has arrested the 5 CIA informants who led us to Osama bin Laden.
    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/pakistan-arrests-cias-bin-laden-informants-report-045649084.html

    And it turns out a guy the Bush administration released some years ago, by the demands of the Pakistani government, has rejoined Al Qaeda.
    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/linchpin-hunt-bin-laden-back-al-qaida-071329100.html

    Why?!? Doesn't Pakistan get that Congress is feeling angry enough to drop a nuke on Islamabad as things are? Maybe that's a little exaggerated, but it's pretty close to the betrayal and anger both Democrats and Republicans have said they're feeling. Do they want Americans to completely disregard their sovereignty?
  19. kingthlayer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    18,000 jobs?

    It looks like Republican austerity cuts combined with rising gas and fuel prices have succeeded in kicking the legs out from this recovery.

    But since President Obama was foolish enough to support, even try to take credit for, Republican budget cuts in April, he has painted himself into a corner. He should have argued that pre-mature austerity measures, like pre-mature tax hikes, would cause the recovery stall out. All he had to do was point to the UK for evidence! But no, he had to play on Republican grounds because "independents" don't like it when he doesn't get along with the GOP (not that these same "independents" mind at all when Republicans stonewall Obama's attempts for bi-partisan agreements). Then he could've sat back and pointed to the past few months as justification of continued government spending to fuel growth.

    Nope, austerity cuts were the flavor of the month!

    Well, hows that going for us? 36,000 jobs in May. 18,000 jobs in June. Clearly we still need more stimulus to keep things going, but the president let himself get duped into thinking that budget cuts were a good thing. Because the public supported it! Just like the public supported going into Iraq, and a bunch of other things that turned out to be really stupid. And now, there's nobody to talk us out of further cuts, which are going to probably sink the recovery even further into the ground.

    I knew his flip-floppery in April would come back to haunt him once the bin Laden thing was over.

    I think I need a drink..

  20. Ghost Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Actually, I don't think the problem is from gas prices or the budget cuts.

    IIRC, most of the things "cut" from the rest of this fiscal year's budget were unspent funds, and I don't think cutting some government jobs would have prevented more jobs from being created.

    Also, gas prices have been going down for over a month, they were expecting this month's jobs report to be higher than May's because of the drop in gas prices.

    What did cause these dismal job creation numbers, then? I don't know. I don't think anybody knows, that's the scary thing.

    But it does cast a cloud over the Debt Ceiling talks. Especially with President Obama wanting to cut $300-400 billion from the budget ($4 trillion over 10 years), and putting entitlement reform on the table. I think some tweaking of entitlements is going to be necessary, but now is really not looking like the right time to do it.
  21. Dark Lord Tarkas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
    star 5
    Actually, one of the reasons the overall jobs numbers are so bad is that states have run out of Recovery Act funds that were keeping state and local workers employed so those huge job loss numbers bring down the overall number of jobs created. I still am outraged at how the mainstream media constantly lets conservatives get away with completely mischaracterizing the Recovery Act. It was 41% tax cuts, and the rest was split between funding for states and infrastructure projects, all things Republicans merrily utilized, took credit for, and in many cases continue to demand more of.
  22. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
  23. DeathStar1977 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Good article, except I'm not sure where Republicans have been willing to compromise. Just because they have reduced their demands for holding the gov't hostage from 10 to 8 doesn't mean they are compromising. Are there any reductions in defense spending in their plan? Closing of loopholes/deductions? Raising of revenues?

    If I were Obama, I would say "Either come to an agreement or pass a clean bill raising the debt ceiling, as we always have".

    I hate, hate, hate the media framing, as they always do, that both sides are equally to blame.
  24. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
  25. DeathStar1977 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    Now I'm hearing, big surprise, the GOP in the Senate will filibuster Reid's plan, which is actually a larger cut than Boehner's according to the CBO.

    I did just hear however that Brown and Mirkowski, along with possibly Thune and the two Maine Senators, are willing to 'move forward'.

    As someone just said, the tea party got their vote, now they can sit down and get out of the way and let the adults figure this out.