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

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

  1. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I don't see this as an Obama Administration issue, since the current information is that Yemeni forces killed him. Unless, of course, we want to discuss if this means Obama is going to sell out any concept of morality and choose to support a man that's fighting democracy just because he's presented the world with a corpse.
  2. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    He was killed in drone attack.
  3. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I caught only a breaking news article that credited the Yemeni military.
    Here's not the same source I had, but at least one that had the same breaking news:
    "The Yemeni government reported last night that its military killed the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Islamist who rose to the upper-echelon of the international terrorist network."

    So, with the new info out... I'm suggesting that at this point, Obama has decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination.
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    That seems to shift to another silly extreme.

    As should be clear from my posts in the JCC, there's plenty about this that I'm unhappy with. But Obama promised from the very first Democratic primary debates of the 2008 season to authorize lethal strikes against high-level Al-Qaeda operatives if he thought he had reliable intelligence on them. At the time, it was widely mocked as a sign he was a naive young Senator who didn't have foreign policy experience. In reality, it's what he promised. You can't claim that he somehow deceived people about what his position was here.

  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    We're nearing the close of the Obama Administration's 3rd year, and the beginning of the 4th!

    Just been looking through this thread, and had a few things to say...






    President Obama accomplished:
    * the killing of Osama bin Laden
    * the killing of al-Awlaki
    * helped the Libyans overthrow and eliminate Gadhafi (mission ended, no U.S. casaulties)
    * after a crazy debt ceiling debate, got a Deficit Control act
    * passed three Free Trade deals (South Korea, Panama, Colombia)
    * passed Patent Reform
    * passed new tax credits to help hire Veterans
    * implemented Repeal of DADT
    * refused to legally defend DOMA in court
    * used administrative power to ensure that LGBT are treated fairly and equally in housing
    * used administrative power to protect bi-national families from being divided by immigration laws that don't recognize civil unions or same-sex marriage
    * used administrative power to enact immigration reform (look at each illegal immigrant on a case-by-case basis)
    * used administrative power to enact education reform (on NCLB waivers and accelerating student loan reform)
    * increased sanctions against Iran and Syria
    * permanent military bases in Australia
    * progress on Myanmar/Burma
    * progress on a Pacific free trade zone
    * beginning withrdrawal from Afghanistan
    * total military withdrawal from Iraq


    2011 has also seen:
    *the Arab Spring (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya... also in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain... resulting in reforms in Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait.. and the rising power of Turkey)
    *the European Debt crisis
    *Occupy Wall Street protests, around the globe
    *the new protests in Russia
    *devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan
    *the shooting and miraculous recovery of Gabby Giffords


    The President has been pushing hard for the American Jobs Act. Aside from the tax credit to encourage hiring of Veterans, he is currently fighting for:
    *extending/expanding the Payroll Tax Cut
    *extending Unemployment Benefits (also proposed to reform it, a new tax credit to encourage hiring the long-term unemployed, and prohibiting employers from discriminating against hiring the unemployed)
    (aside from that, Obama is also fighting to fully implement his reforms, like appointing a director for the Consumer Protection Bureau)

    After those are resolved, one way or the other, these are the remaining portions of his Ameican Jobs Act, all infrastruture:
    * Immediate Surface Transportation infrastructure ($50b)
    * Modernizing School Buildings and Classrooms ($30b)
    * Project Rebuild: Rehabilitating Vacant Housing ($15b)
    * National Infrastructure Bank ($10b)




    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 homes, and talk the importance of a social safety net. Go to the failing schools, go to the colleges with astronomical tuition rates, and talk the importance of education. And not just talk, but do, use executive power in every way legally possible. This is what Obama needs to do, and it will win him support too. The public already knows he is reasonable, they need to know that he is going to fight for them.

    ...

    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.


    President Obama actually did this earlier, foc
  6. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    "Hope" is just a buzzword. The reason I voted for Obama is because he's sensible, he has the right priorities, as well as the right temperament. Beside Jon Huntsman, all the GOP candidates epitomize the complete opposite.
  7. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I agree with that, but hope is more than a buzzword or a campaign slogan.

    The biggest challenge for Obama is to persuade the American people that the country is moving in the right direction again... or at least that only he is fighting to move the country in the right direction. That's what hope is. I don't think his 2012 campaign will be nearly as optimistic as his 2008 campaign (although he never said it would be easy), but he does need to get some of that optimistic energy back to rally the youth vote and energize the base and win over independents.
  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    What do you all feel about the apparently doomed payroll tax deal?

    I am exasperated with the House leadership, at this point. It's not just that they are incredibly ideological--it's that they have no control over their membership. While no one liked things like the debt ceiling, tough votes used to consist of moving major pieces of legislation, like Medicare Part D or Cap & Trade. They were understandably big efforts because they potentially shifted the direction of our whole country. Nonetheless, speakers like Pelosi and Tom Delay regularly delivered them, whether under a friendly or hostile Executive Branch. How did we come to such a impasse that it is now a matter of regular suspense whether we will be able to continue the most basic functions of government?

    Has there been any occasion this year among the major legislative fights where Boehner was not either handed an embarrassing defeat on his own package or forced to oppose something he had supported just days or hours before? It is particularly egregious this time, given that he asked the Senate for help negotiating an agreement, and all other involved parties have signed off. How can he even begin to criticize President Obama for "leading from behind" when he seems to spend all his time getting stampeded by his own party? Does anyone see a way this could change?
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The lesson here is that it is an exercise in futility to negotiate with the House Republican leadership in good faith. The House of Representatives must now be included among the most reviled institutions in America, approaching, as Jon Stewart would say, the level of, say, a NAMBLA. Not that this necessarily matters, as no one votes for The House of Representatives. We only vote for one guy or woman, and a lot of those Tea Party reps are invulnerable.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    From Bloomberg:

    Congress Gets Failing Marks on Economy

    Just 62 bills were signed into law through November this year, meaning that 2011 may fall short of the 88 laws enacted in 1995, the lowest number since the Congressional Record began keeping an annual tally in 1947. In 1995, as in this year, a new House Republican majority fought a Democratic president?s agenda.

    Obviously the Tea Party caucus considers this a badge of honor, but failing at the basic tasks of constitutional governance should not be making heroes out of these people. And clearly it isn't, given overall approval ratings. Obstructionism as a political strategy during a period of economic stagnation was always going to come with a steep price, one that Obama isn't going to be the only one paying.
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    And why is it only the Republicans' fault?

    How many bills have been passed in the House only to die in the Senate? If only a handful actually make it through both houses, then how is that the fault of the party that controls only one of those houses?

    This happens almost every time there is divided government. In 2001, when the Democrats controlled the Senate and the Republicans the House, there were only 136 bills signed into law. Does that mean that the Democrats were the obstructionists then? As you stated, 1995 (with Republicans controlling Congress, and Democrats controlling the White House), there were only 88 bills signed into law. In general, when more than one party has control of the government, there's going to be less agreement on what should be done, and so less will actually get passed.

    Additionally, not all bills are equal. Recently, there has been a trend towards larger, "omnibus" bills that roll multiple subjects or issues into one large whole (such as happened with the PPACA/Obamacare). In general, bills are longer and larger than they have been in the past, so going by the raw number of bills may not be the best metric.

    Kimball Kinnison
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The House Tea Party is being blamed by the public for its refusal to compromise in a way that has a negative impact on jobs and the economy during a period of economic stagnation and under threat of double dip recession. Republicans decided to play ultra-hardball to get Obama de-elected. But they picked the wrong moment in history to do it.

    I'm not judging, but I hope you'll acknowledge that this approach has proved enormously unpopular with the American people.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Kimball, come now. I think you're being unreasonable, here. The Republicans have not made a secret of their strategy. They've been quite open about their intention to frustrate the President's ambitions--even on the implementation of measures that have already passed into law. Both their own comments and polling of their base suggests that they aren't inclined to compromise. For the entirety of American history prior to this summer, the passage of a debt ceiling increase was never in serious doubt. But they decided to consume several months of legislative activity with the otherwise routine business as an attempt to win policy concessions. We could also mention incidents like the one just yesterday, when they decided to renege on a negotiated agreement for the payroll tax.

    They are being blamed because they are disproportionately the bad actors. There political strategy is quite transparent, and has won them a lot of significant victories. Until the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, they dominated the political conversation in Washington, despite both a Presidency and Senate controlled by Democrats. That's impressive. But that strategy has consequences. One of them is that people will--rightly--call you obstructionist, and blame you for the lack of meaningful work being done.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except that's not how the political process works.

    Right now, since the democrats have the incumbent, and the GOP has to field the primary, the focus is on the GOP, even spilling over into Congress. For example, as I've brought up before, when the public watched Dean, Clark, Mosley-Braun, Kerry, et al, all disintegrate in 2004, the GOP increased the party majority in both houses as well. (the GOP increased 5 seats in the house, the democrats lost 4 seats. In the Senate, the GOP had a net gain of 4 seats) This was the case despite the fact that Bush himself was experiencing record low approval ratings. However, as everyone knows, the make-up of Congress would change again in 2006, and then change again in the last midterm elections. I'm not suggesting that primaries are the sole reason for such results, but it certainly represents a spill-over effect. Because the reality is that when one party is beating themselves up in order to field a candidate, it gives momentum to the other party. This is why the incumbent has the advantage.

    Just like Bush did in 2004, Obama and the democrats can stay invisible until things move closer to the general election. Because the simple fact is that once the GOP candidate is set and the focus switches to a one on one race, the public perception is also going to change more toward the issues. The administration won't get to stay invisible next year, because the focus will be on what the administration brings vs what change a challenger can bring to office. I'd still say that the current mindset being mentioned here is the result of "Emperor's New Clothes syndrome" with the President. So many Obama supporters want Obama to be what the expectation was even though he isn't even close, that they simply won't admit that he really is walking around politically naked. Such a denial is a powerful force, and it still might carry Obama to re-election, but I also think it acts a wildcard to how voters are actually going to vote.

    Until the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, they dominated the political conversation in Washington, despite both a Presidency and Senate controlled by Democrats. That's impressive.

    The occupy movement had a conversation? While I' sure it's strong among those who have nothing else to do, I'm not sure how much political capital the narcotic overdosing, sexual assaulting, rioting lobbying group has with the rest of the country.... The final nail in that coffin is going to come in the form of the 38th annual G-8 summit in Chicago next May. Even if there is going to be all sorts of plausible deniability thrown around, there are nothing like true anarchists if one wants to hijack a movement, and in Chicago tradition, Rahm Emanuel hasn't shown a willingness to play around here.
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    By "plausible deniability" are you referring to your lack of any evidence that G-8 protesters and Occupy Wall-Streeters are likely to be the same groups or even remotely connected?

    Just as an aside, the G-8 has been so beaten down by the economic realities of the last few years protesting their summit seems almost as unsporting as drowning puppies.
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    By "plausible deniability" are you referring to your lack of any evidence that G-8 protesters and Occupy Wall-Streeters are likely to be the same groups or even remotely connected?

    Yes, exactly. It's a perception issue, just like the old "Tea Party are racist claims." The G-8 protestors and OWS protestors aren't really the same, except being subsets of each other. If history is any guide though, the G8 protestors are going to demonstrate what diehard occupiers are really capable of.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Mr44, I think it'd be silly to say that primary politics don't have some effect, so in that sense your comments aren't entirely irrelevant. That said, I don't think they have much bearing on the present discussion. We weren't really abstractly theorizing. We were discussing the fact of Congressional performance. Our comments are also borne out by multiple public opinion polls showing that Republicans are seen as less likely to be seen as honest negotiators in the last few major legislative fights. None of that is really explained by the fact that Republicans are in the middle of a primary.
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except that's exactly what I'm referring to. The reality is that the incumbent should have the advantage during the opposite party's primary, and that should carry over to the incumbent's party as well. Currently, Congress isn't looked at in a very positive light overall. However, having said that, I don't know which polls you are looking at, but the latest Rasmussen poll, which was conducted on Dec 18 (just 2 days ago) has a 3 point lead for the "generic republican vs the generic democrat." The specific wording was "43% of likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican in their district?s congressional race if the election were held today, while 40% would choose the Democrat instead."

    If what you're trying to claim is true, that "Our comments are also borne out by multiple public opinion polls showing that Republicans are seen as less likely to be seen as honest negotiators in the last few major legislative fights," then the voting public doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by that fact. Perhaps a more accurate assumption would be to say that the democratic party isn't doing a good job explaining what is being obstructed by the GOP vs their own ideas, or that even slightly more people actually want the GOP to act as a counter the democrats, as any effective opposition party should. Combine that with the fact that 50% of the country thinks that the current administration isn't doing enough to counter the bad economy, and the fact that Obama has a -18% approval index rating, and I think you're reversing the the focus of possible voting trends that may develop.

    RASMUSSEN HERE

    Right now, the sitting President only has a 1% advantage over a generic challenger, (it's 44% to 45%) and the winner of the primary hasn't even been determined yet. Whoever gets the primary nomination is going to receive a natural bump in approval-unless it's a complete wildcard like Ron Paul as Jabba would lock himself away for. It means that Obama is going to go into the general election with a lot more uncertainty than one should be comfortable with. Again, once it's a one on one race, it's the current administration which is going to be on the defensive, the results of which are going to be interesting to see how they unfold. I don't know if this election is going unfold as Obama's to loose, or the challenger's to win.

  19. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    I don't plan on voting for Obama at this point until someone explains to me why a law granting the "supreme chancellor" the ability to use "permanent emergency" powers is legal and constitutnally sound.
  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Some clarification, please?
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Just as an aside, it might be amusing to point out that Biden just had a rather straightforward "gaffe" (or is it plain ignorance?) during his latest interview with Newsweek when he claimed that the "Taliban isn't an enemy of the United States." Of course, yesterday, Jay Carny (the Whitehouse Spokesman) had to back-peddle Biden's comments and explain that the administration actually does realize that the US and NATO officially declared war on the Taliban, and that "Biden's comments are only regrettable when taken out of context..." Of course, Biden's actual comment was that "the Taliban per se is not our enemy," so he did give himself an out, although it would be fun to be a bird on the wall to find out what Biden considers to be "per se." What was Biden's context anyway, or should only the gaffe itself matter? Does Biden not know that the US is fighting in Afghanistan? Does that mean that Biden isn't fit to be Vice President? If the spokesman for the administration says that the gaffe is only a gaffe if taken out of context, isn't that a standard that should make sense for anyone? Such an idea probably should be a non-brainer, but it also seems to be a rather radical concept, at least when it comes to figures outside of the current administration... ;)
  22. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Boba, our government is apparently about to pass a law allowing for the indefinite detention of US citizens taken on US soil without trial. Someone please explain why this is good for our USA.
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Oh, that. It's actually language in the new defense appropriations bill; the sections in question (1031 and 1032) state that it didn't apply to American citizens in the first place, or rather.



    Linkie, look for section 1031/1032

    The part everyone is ignoring is this:



    It does allow for indefinite military detention, but the wording is pretty clear that it's not midnight raids on American homes, or give the President additional powers.

    There's some very good discussion of this here

    Specifically:


    Basically, it'll be up to the courts to decide if anyone ever actually does get detained. Given the Court's seemingly fairly level-headed judgements on other constitutionally vague issues, they'd probably go with Feinstein and stick with existing law, AKA the Non-Detention Act of 1971. The language in the final bill is intentionally vague to leave it open-ended.
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Mr44, once again, I appreciate your attempt at election analysis. But that wasn't really the topic either my posts or the discussion preceding were addressing. We were discussing impressions of low Congressional productivity, and the blame apportioned for it. While one would expect that this impacts 2012 voting behavior, there's no particular reason it has to. Certainly, the reverse is not true. So perhaps you could do a bit more to elucidate why all your projections have any relevance to our understanding of the legislative output of Congress?
  25. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5

    Yes that! I'm at least glad to hear you assure me that this is no big deal. Seriously, I hope I'm overreacting. Yet based on what I have seen so far, Obama has really disappointed me with this one, but like I said I'm willing to listen. I'm about to read your "discussion" link, but I also wanted to share a rebuttal to your argument I read on Salon.com.