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

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

  1. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    If they think Boehner's bill would ever be signed by Obama, they are beyond fantasy land and into a realm that has no name.
  2. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Not the best week. Hopefully this one will be better.

    God help us if Obama loses re-election. It would only embolden the attack dogs and increase hyperpartisanship, because their constant attacks from every angle will be seen as "victorious." And we'd probably return to cold wars with Russia and China, bomb Iran, increase military funding, openly torture prisoners, return to dangerous deregulation and foot-shooting tax cuts, hold back technological and social progress while creating new stupid social laws and restrictions, get a Supreme Court that bans abortion, dismantle the EPA, allow education standards to fall, deny coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, allow infrastucture to continue decaying, not rush to end our addiction to oil but start an expensive and ineffective program to deport all illegal immigrants, blame Latinos/Muslims/Gays for all our problems, repeal countless labor and consumer protection laws, etc.
  4. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    If that happens, the United States will probably come to an end.

    I don't think that the more liberal states will tolerate conservative federal intrusion any more than conservative states who rail against "liberal" intrusion (even when it's happening elsewhere than the state in question-see Rick Perry and New York's gay marriage law).

    The Supreme Court can't technically "ban" abortion, they can simply hand the matter back to the states. They could, however, uphold the Constitutionality of a federal ban passed by a significantly conservative Congress.

    Either way, I think the outcome of any loss of freedom-religious, reproductive, lifestyle-will lead to rioting and mass protest.

    People want jobs, not moralizing (and oftentimes hypocritical) republicans telling them who to sleep with or when they can or cannot have children.

    Peace,

    V-03
  5. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    You better believe there are many neocons banished to think tanks post-W Bush who would love a return of a militarist presidency(even though Obama is too much of one for my own taste as well)willing to start another war in the ME.

  6. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    The Supreme Court likely won't ban abortion, yes, the scenario you describe is much, much more likely - but it would be very easy for five justices to write an opinion in which claim a right to life for unborn humans which overrides the right to medical privacy for their mothers.

    Unlikely, yes, but possible.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Voters: Congress is unpopular because it isn't fighting hard enough

    Link


    Taking in the highly unfavorable view most Americans have about Congress right now, it might be assumed that what voters seek is a lowered volume, thoughtful bipartisanship and legislative compromise. But in meetings with voters across the country this week, many members of Congress are seeing a mirror of the House floor.

    As lawmakers meet with voters back home in their districts, the message is often not "Can?t we all just get along?" but rather a push to get back into the ring and fight harder, as they face the most partisan and intransigent factions of both parties.

    In middle school auditoriums, retirement centers, recital halls and other such venues, angry constituents are deriding their representatives for the spectacle of the past month over the raising of the debt ceiling.

    But in many cases, the anger is less about the dissension that brought the nation to the edge of default than frustration with both Democrats ? including President Obama ? and Republicans that their side had not been tough enough.

    "I sometimes wonder," said John Joslin, 70, a Democrat reflecting on Mr. Obama during a town hall-style meeting on Tuesday with Representative Betty McCollum, Democrat of Minnesota, "Whose side is he on? He?s almost Republican. He?s just rolled over and rolled over and rolled over, and I hope that you, as a progressive, can somehow add some steel to his blood."

    Preston Davis, 48, of Payson, lamented, "Republicans chasing Democrats to the left, and I hate it when the party deserts me."

    So far, the post debt-debate gatherings have neither the urgency nor the toxicity of those from the summer of 2009, when angry voters and interest groups came out slugging over health care. But what members ? with their eyes turned both to the new committee charged with deficit reduction recommendations and the 2012 campaign ? are finding back home suggests that tough times lie ahead in Washington.

    Representative Tom Graves, Republican of Georgia, told an audience of about 100 in Fort Oglethorpe this week that he did not vote for a final deal to increase the debt ceiling, because: "I believe compromises are what got us into this mess in the first place. You can?t compromise your way out of it." He was met with thunderous applause.



    Obama has been working hard for two years on a "bipartisan" and "optimistic" approach. Always trying to appeal to Republicans, saying Congress is unpopular because they're not being cooperative enough, etc. He has also constantly tried to be optimistic about the economy, which feels more and more disconnected, saying full recovery is around the corner, going to those rare factories around the country that created new jobs, etc.

    After trying this for two years, and seeing the results of a more divided public and Congress, as well as a faltering recovery, I think it's time to say that this approach is wrong. Yeah, it would be nice if the country could move beyond the blue and red, his 2004 speech on unity and hope is what sprung him to become a presidential candidate only 3 years later... but that isn't what the country wants or needs right now. We want, and we need, a Fighter (not a Uniter, but maybe fighting will indirectly unite more moderates and independents behind him).

    It's time to pick up the old campaign slogans of "Yes We Can" and "fired up, ready to go" again. Tell the public why the Republicans are wrong, and actually use the word "WRONG." Stop going to those little, rare, clean factories that created a few new jobs. Go to to grimy bridges in need of repair, especially in Republican and swing disticts, and talk about the need for better infrastructure. Obama needs to go to the unemployed, and talk about what he has done, what more he wants to do, and how the Republicans are stopping him. Go to the homeless shelters, go to the soup kitchens, go to the nursing home
  8. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I don't know. There are a million good reasons to ban abortion. Murder is just one. But 41% of all pregnacies in NY end in an abortion.

    A baby boom would go a ways in ending the recession.
  9. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Obama has been working hard for two years on a "bipartisan" and "optimistic" approach.
    What?! By refusing to allow the Republicans into the closed door health care meets? By trying to keep them from even having time to read it before a vote? This is what set up the current path we are on. In order to even be heard the Republicans had to hold the debt ceiling hostage. Not that I agreed with that particular tactic, I don't, I do realize that when you deal with Obama he only has a desire to drown you out.
  10. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    We could argue a long time over this.

    Short version
    * Republicans helped craft "ObamaCare" in 2009, before Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck drove paranoid Republicans to rush the town halls
    * "ObamaCare" is almost exactly what Republicans in the 1990's supported, and even what Mitt Romney and Jim DeMint supported just a few years ago
    * Have the Republicans kept their promise of having time to read an entire bill before a vote? No. See the deficit reduction package attached to the debt ceiling vote.
    ... but I don't want to revisit this stuff yet again.

    The Republicans were definitely heard before. They also have control of the House now, you know. Obama was willing to compromise on entitlements for an even bigger deficit reduction package, in exchange for reforming the tax code without raising rates to create more revenue, which the GOP rejected.

    How do you know that dealing with Obama only leads to him trying to drown you out?

    Republicans who think Obama is too partisan is really a failure of the Democratic Party to produce some fighters on the national scale. You haven't had a really combatitive Democratic President to deal with since the 1960's, maybe the 1930's. No one to match how combatitive Republicans in recent years have really been.



    Even though you're a conservative Republican who thinks (in my view, wrongly) that Obama has been very partisan over the last few years, don't you think it would be better if Obama was more direct and combatitive? If he really is as partisan as the GOP thinks, then they should welcome a direct fight with him.

    Btw, I know you're a lot more reasonable that most Republicans, more of a "country first" Republican, which I respect, nothing in this post is meant to be personal against you. :)
  11. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    LOL. We're good Ghost! But looking at a state bill as the same as a national bill is is where we will split.

    And the bill was nearly 2500 pages. Because a republican helped write a few pages means little when the Republicans and the press were walked out of the room.
  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    J-Rod, that's simply not true. Republicans had extensive input. The whole reason that it became an issue during the summer recess was that Max Baucus had spent since sometime in mid-spring negotiating with Republican Senators Grassley and Snowe to get their approval. They didn't finish until September, when the bill was finally forwarded to Reid to take to the floor. Further, he did this even though he had enough votes in the Finance committee to ram it through on a party line basis. Instead, he went out of his way to get a huge amount of Republican input on the bill, and several of their ideas ended up incorporated: an increased role for high-risk pools, decreased penalties for violating the individual mandate, paying physicians for discussing end-of-life decisions with families.

    Ultimately, Republicans for the most part disagreed. Fine. But to say they didn't have a chance to give input just isn't true.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The end of No Child Left Behind, and the end of the federal government's role in education?

    Summary: NCLB reform has failed to pass, or really gain any attention, and as a result the states are defecting and the Obama administration is allowing it to happen.

    If this is the beginning of the end of the federal government's role in education (aside from college loans), then will a return to decentralization be a good thing or a bad thing?

    NYT article


    State Challenges Seen as Whittling Away Federal Education Law

    As hundreds of schools here and across the nation faced being labeled failures under the federal No Child Left Behind law, Montana education officials defiantly informed Washington this spring that they would stop raising testing targets as the law requires, despite warnings that doing so could cost the state millions of dollars in federal aid.

    But in an agreement to be announced here on Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will allow Montana to keep most of the schools off the law?s blacklist, and the state will pay no penalty.

    With several other Western states also rebelling against the requirement that 100 percent of American students be proficient in English and math by 2014, some education officials and experts see signs that years of federal dominance of public school accountability may be drawing to a close.

    ?Pretty soon all the schools will be failing in America, and at that point the law becomes meaningless,? said Larry K. Shumway, superintendent of public instruction in Utah. ?States are going to sit and watch federal accountability implode. We?re seeing the end of an era.?

    It is no secret that the Obama administration dislikes many provisions of the No Child law, which President George W. Bush signed in 2002 and vigorously enforced, in court and with fines against states ? including Texas, his own.

    Mr. Duncan has called the law a ?slow-motion train wreck,? tried unsuccessfully to get Congress to rewrite it, and last week promised to provide waivers this fall to states that sign on to the president?s school improvement agenda, with criteria similar to those in his Race to the Top grant competition.

    Mr. Duncan says he is still devising the new waiver policy, and his office denied waiver requests lodged by Arkansas and Kansas this spring.

    But when officials in Montana and a handful of other states simply refused to follow the strictures of the No Child law in recent weeks, his aides quietly helped them find provisions in the law that avoided a public showdown, signaling a more profound shift.

    Here in Montana, 158 schools were to be newly labeled failures. But that number fell to three when federal officials allowed the state to redraw its schedule of testing targets, a critical component of the No Child law?s ambitious approach to forcing all schools to show steady progress toward 100 percent proficiency.

    ?Secretary Duncan is disassembling what was a very strong federal role, and some states? rights officials and governors smell blood,? said Bruce Fuller, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written academic studies on the No Child law. ?This is a big federalist chess game. Until now, Washington has had the stronger position. Going forward, states will be stronger.?

    The uprising by states began in April, when Denise Juneau, Montana?s superintendent of public instruction, was calculating how many of her schools would not reach their targets this year.

    Of the state?s 821 public schools, 225 had already fallen short. If the targets, which the law calls annual measurable objectives, rose again as scheduled, that number would increase to 383, including many schools that Ms. Juneau said were raising student achievement.

    In Bozeman, a university town where at least 90 percent of students scored above proficiency in reading this spring, 8 of the 10 schools would nonetheless have failed to meet rising targets.

    On Ap
  14. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Carter was the one who elevated education to a single focus cabinet-level department.

    The feds usually play a pretty hands off role in education. The only federal meddling in education should be money to poorer regions.

    And it's about time every public school in the nation became a charter school and operated under the same loose restrictions.

    But vouchers? Eh.
  15. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Why, exactly? Schools are already under local control (school boards). Charter schools don't do anything to enhance that. In fact, they can actually reduce local input into the character of a school. On average, they don't perform much better than public schools do, either. So what is the point here?
  16. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    To take the school out of local and state politics and allow potential for varied curriculum and specialized schools at the high school level.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a workforce that has a national, somewhat uniform skills base that employers can count on? Further, how practical is what you're suggesting? Children often aren't terribly determinate about their career at that point anyway, so locking them in would seem counter-intuitive. I'm also not sure I see any benefit to "school specialization," as such. The only specialized schools now tend to be magnets, which benefit not only from the fact that they are specialized, but from superior funding, facilities, faculty, and a carefully screen student body. I suspect these are much more responsible for the results we see than merely the fact of specialization. Indeed, I think that doing something like asking for a "science specialized" school would just result in something that was either A)underfunded/inadequate or took up way too much money from other specialty schools.

    Let alone how this would be workable for primary school.
  18. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    Looks like The President will roll out his job plan in few weeks.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/obama_to_present_jobs_agenda_i031593.php

    I am conflicted, part of me wants them to shoot for the money and dare the GOP to vote against it, but I also want to see things get done.
  19. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It will most likely be a reiteration of support for:
    -Patent Reform (non-partisan, likely to pass, unless the Tea Party throws another fit)
    -the Free Trade deals (bipartisan, likely to pass, unless the Tea Party throws another fit)
    -the National Infrastructure Bank (has some bipartisan support, could pass the Senate, less likely in the House)
    -extending Unemployment Benefits (this will be a fight)
    -extending Payroll Tax Cut (I really don't see why Obama cut it in the first place, nevermind why it should be extended)
    -new tax credits to hire Veterans

    If it's that, then it will be very boring, hardly make any news, and not do what needs to be done.

    Most of it needs to be done, and at least some of it will be done (free trade deals, patent reform). But it's not enough to be a real Jobs Plan that Americans can rally around.


    What I still hope/dream of is a Jobs Program with the Federal Government directly hiring every single person who's been unemployed for months and months, and putting them to work by cleaning up and rebuilding the roads, bridges, schools, power lines, and other infrastructure across America (as long as they're physically able). They're being "paid" through unemployment benefits already, why not put these MILLIONS of people to work through a FDR-style Jobs Program? It would be a HUGE contrast from the Republicans, and it would show people again that the Government can work for them, that there is "Good Government." Supplying all this work will also kickstart the private sector again, triggering growth and expansion, especially if it's required that we get at least 75% of all supplies from American factories and American businesses. We could put those with more skill, or with some new training, to work making wind turbines and other capital that helps us move closer to energy independence too.

    It could result in a spike in the deficit, but it wouldn't be harmful since it shows we're imprving our country and getting our people back to work again. The spur of growth in the private sector would automatically decease any potential deficit. It could even be cancelled out... by Tax Reform, that eliminates deductions/subsidies/credits to make the tax code fairer while lowering rates, but still resulting in a hundred billion or more in increased revenue.


    The chances of something like that getting throught Congress right now? Slim. But if President Obama just proposes it, the people would know he has a plan for jobs and the economy and it's the Republicans who are blocking him. If Obama really fights for it and pushes it, then the people will see him fighting for American jobs, and see the Republicans fighting to keep people unemployed. If he keeps fighting and calls out Republicans by name then we could actually see them fold to public pressure. That would be exciting for the base and for independents and for moderates, that would be a Jobs Plan that Americans could unite behind, that would show Obama as a leader willing to take risks for the American people. We need the imagery of him travelling (especially in Republican districts) to the failing schools, the bridges about to fall down, the abandoned factories, the homeless shelters and soup kitchens, the unemployed themselves, and show the American people that he has a plan to reverse that and rebuild America.
  20. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    For what it's worth, 7 of 9 economic academic studies show that the stimulus worked.

    Not that it will change anything, I have yet to see facts stand in the way of a Tea Partier...
  21. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    He hasn't made a terrific impression on me (I'm not a Yank, however), but I don't know that it's his fault. He may be Herbert Hoover Mark 2.
  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I don't know. There are a million good reasons to ban abortion. Murder is just one. But 41% of all pregnacies in NY end in an abortion.

    A baby boom would go a ways in ending the recession.


    I'll buy that argument when we as a society punish women for having abortions, rather than the physicians who perform them. Pre-Roe abortion laws were very punitive against providers of services, acting as if women were simply blind sheep coerced into ending their pregnancies by evil doctors.

    Frankly, I think that if we are going to call abortion legal murder, it should carry equal penalty. Terminated a pregnancy at 6 weeks? The needle. It's only fair, and it's what the law would do for any other contract killing. Mom made the appointment, she hired a contractor to kill her baby (the physician), she paid him for the murder, and it was carried out. She was directly complicit by consenting to the procedure, as well.

    A baby room wouldn't end the recession, it would simply strain the social safety net even more, since ending legal abortion would disproportionately impact poor and minority women, leading to more unplanned (and likely unwanted and neglected) children who would be more susceptible to growing up to become criminals; illegal procedures performed on said women who tried to terminate regardless would lead to more uninsured ending up needed emergency medical care in hospitals nationwide, especially in big cities, which can ill-afford to shift the cost of their medical care onto an already strained healthcare system.

    Tell me, J-Rod, do you pay any attention to the lessons of history? Your commitment to your beliefs is commendable, but we live in the real world, not fantastyland, and in the real world, things aren't always black and white.

    Also, it takes more than a witty saying to solve a nuanced issue such as abortion or economic inequalities. Nice try, though ;).

    Peace,

    V-03
  23. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    Al-Qaida's number two has been killed.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44298750/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/?gt1=43001#.Tlkytq4TDzw
  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Reform of "No Child Left Behind" wasn't done this summer, as Obama asked.

    As a result, they're taking administrative action. The Obama administration will present waivers to the states, to opt out of the tightening NCLB standards.

    Not exactly sure how this is going to work, but it seems like a big step to returning the issue of Education to the states.

    Thoughts?

    Link
  25. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    al-Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen and said to be the deadliest terrorist after Osama's death, has been killed. It's breaking now.