Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby ryguy » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:23 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote: So why is it OK for government officials to profit from the mess, but not OK for private business to do the same?


At least government officials, for the most part, are now trying to repair the damage and set things right. What are financial executives doing? They're adding erroneous "finance charges" and doubling minimum payments in order to extort members into giving up promotional, reasonable low-interest rates for the higher "purchase" rates. I've got an upcoming investigative article into Chase doing just that....and I'm really ticked off about it. Here you've got one of the worst financial U.S. crisis in recent history, families struggling more than ever from paycheck to paycheck and balanced on the edge of foreclosure - and here's an idiotic company like Chase sticking it even harder to the American public and in addition giving their own executives nice fat bonuses.

Someone needs to stick it back to them...if not our elected officials, then who?

There is double standard and politics-as-usual written all over Obama's first two weeks.


Actually, everything I've seen so far has given me very, very positive feelings about this administration. He's already reversed a whole list of failed Bush efforts, he's already extended a diplomatic (but firm) hand to foreign countries who hate us because of the Bush foreign policy, and he's now going after the fat, arrogant financial leaders. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with him except the fat-cat executives who have something to lose (for a change).

This is the sort of "change" I was hoping for, and I'm very happy to see it after suffering through the last 8 years of idiocy and self-serving policies.

-Ry
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:50 am

ryguy wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote: So why is it OK for government officials to profit from the mess, but not OK for private business to do the same?


At least government officials, for the most part, are now trying to repair the damage and set things right.


Wow, Ryan. Either you are underinformed on this particular topic, or you are purposefully ignoring or minimizing all the shenanigans that go on in Congress. Let me start by asking if you have read Campbell Brown's article on this very topic?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/05/ ... index.html

Yes, while our representatives have been jumping up and down screaming about the excesses of Wall Street, condemning those corporate boondoggle trips to luxurious resorts, what do they do?

They all go away on retreat together to a luxurious resort.

First it was Republicans, who last week decamped to the lovely Homestead Resort, famous for its golf, fly-fishing, and luxurious accommodations, with its own golf course and five star amenities.

Now, in fairness, members do pay for lodging with personal funds or their campaign accounts. But yes, taxpayers do foot the bill for some of the expenses.

For example, according to Politico.com, we all paid about $70,000 for Democrats to take the train down to last year's getaway.

Then they racked up phone and Internet bills of more than $40,000 on our dime. Not to mention the enormous security costs, which are even higher this year with the president and vice president both stopping by.


And again please notice: It is Dems and Repubs who are picking OUR pockets, Ryan. So now could you please explain to me why this kind of crap is OK for Congress to do (with taxpayer money), but why it is not OK for private companies? One standard, please, not two. There is a huge amount of excess in Congress, and that does not even count for the fact that folks in Congress work fewer days than the average American, get paid a higher base pay than the average middle class American, and they continue to recieve their pay when they are out on the campaign trail worrying about themselves instead of doing the country's business! [-X

Now let us move on to people who not only helped create the subprime meltdown mess by FIGHTING attempts to regulate Fannie and Freddie, but who also BENEFITIED from these same organizations: Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and yes, Barack Obama. You wish to commend them for "trying to make it right" and I laugh at that. Had they done their job we might have never been in this mess! So not only did they NOT do their job, but they profited from it by getting lobbying money to add to their campaign chests. That's effed up, sir, and I cannot possibly see how a person like you could defend that atrocious behavior.

And the third and final point I would like you to address is the one you sloughed-off earlier saying we "just had to accept it". You claim above that some in Congress are just trying to "repair things and set things right". How is sneaking in all kinds of pork barrel, earmark spending that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with fixing our economy "repairing things and setting things right"? They are irresponsibly spending OUR money on b.s. pet projects that they know they can sneak in because people like you will give them a kitchen pass with twisted logic like "we just have to accept some pork to do the right thing." Let me put a hypothetical to you, Ryan: Let's say (God forbid) you lost your job. And things are so tough that even your kids are going hungry. So while you are cutting costs and trying to "make things right", let's also say that your wife sneaks in some spending on those new shoes she has wanted. Are you going to take the same attitude that "well, we just have to accept some irresponsible spending along with doing the right thing for our kids?"

I reject your idea that we have to accept that irresponsible spending of money this country does not have right now. For far too long Congress has had TOO MUCH POWER to be able to spend, spend, spend, and spend some more (both parties). And Presidents could do nothing about it because special interest groups pay for lawyers to continuously fight a line item veto... not that I think Obama would use a line item veto to strike down some of the irresponsible Porkulus that his Democratic buddies have packed into this "stimulus package".


What are financial executives doing? They're adding erroneous "finance charges" and doubling minimum payments in order to extort members into giving up promotional, reasonable low-interest rates for the higher "purchase" rates. I've got an upcoming investigative article into Chase doing just that....and I'm really ticked off about it.


And I am just as ticked off at Congress for all the reasons I mentioned above. And you don't score any points with me by being willing to give greedy and irresponsible politicians a pass while focusing only on the tactics companies use to fatten their profits. They are both equally bad, and I think it is HIGH TIME to cut wages and cap pay for Congress. MAKE THEM FEEL THE PAIN OF AVERAGE AMERICANS! What is good for the banks is good for our Congress.

Someone needs to stick it back to them...if not our elected officials, then who?


Because that makes our elected officials hypocrites, for one, which you don't seem to care about. Moreover, if more people in this country were intelligent about how free markets work, the American people would be the ones who "stick it to them" by taking their business elsewhere, en masse, and giving these companies pain where they least like to feel pain. The problem is, people don't want to smarten up and stop patronizing companies that do this. Instead, they want Congress to "stick it to them" but meanwhile Congress gets off scot-free.

Actually, everything I've seen so far has given me very, very positive feelings about this administration. He's already reversed a whole list of failed Bush efforts, he's already extended a diplomatic (but firm) hand to foreign countries who hate us because of the Bush foreign policy, and he's now going after the fat, arrogant financial leaders. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with him except the fat-cat executives who have something to lose (for a change).

This is the sort of "change" I was hoping for, and I'm very happy to see it after suffering through the last 8 years of idiocy and self-serving policies.


But you ignore the things that remain "politics as usual" and "political paybacks", eh? If Obama was REALLY about change, and REALLY concerned more about the economy than his political bedfellows, he would be fighting TOOTH and NAIL against his own party members to get ALL PORK out of this stimulus bill. If he were REALLY about REAL change (and not just swinging the pendulum from bad Repub policies to bad Dem policies) he would be floating veto warnings for ANYTHING in this bill that the average American would clearly see as pork... things like the following:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/02/ ... newssearch

A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

$1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.


Some notes:

1) I didn't know it was the responsibility of the Federal Government (nee American Taxpayer) to pay for motion picture film for Hollywood!!! OUTRAGEOUS!! :evil:
2) Same goes for offsetting costs (or paying for outright) digital TV converters. I didn't know TV was such an essential utility (I guess it is like home heating oil). WTF!?!?!
3) The census money is blatant political money for political reasons. As we know, the census is the basis for how political boundaries are drawn. So anyone who is already a Congressman has a vested interest in making sure the census goes off without ANY reductions... so they can hopefully redraw their political boundaries to ensure their re-election.

I am serious, Ryan... we have had our disagreements on things before, but your attitude on this one really offends me as an American taxpayer. It seems to me any conservative principles (NOT Republican) that you claimed you had have been usurped by Democratic effed-up logic that seems to say we can spend our way out of this when spending is what got us into this problem.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby ryguy » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:17 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Had they done their job we might have never been in this mess! So not only did they NOT do their job, but they profited from it by getting lobbying money to add to their campaign chests. That's effed up, sir, and I cannot possibly see how a person like you could defend that atrocious behavior.


I agree with you on all counts. But since, as you point out, the American people are too lazy (or stupid??) in general to get up, organize and stop patronizing companies that are fleecing them, the only hope I see is in the existing political structure - as eff'ed up as it is. In my mind, things are so bad that anything is something...and that's better than nothing. lol

And the third and final point I would like you to address is the one you sloughed-off earlier saying we "just had to accept it". You claim above that some in Congress are just trying to "repair things and set things right". How is sneaking in all kinds of pork barrel, earmark spending that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with fixing our economy "repairing things and setting things right"?


The only point I make on that is that there ARE things on those bills that have to do with fixing the economy. These things have to get done Ray...I'm sick to think about the wasted funds that will be going to pork barrel spending, but there are significant parts of the plan that will help tremendously. Look, with the Bush policies, you suggested (I think?) accepting the good with the bad. At least, that's what most of my very right-wing friends said...yeah he can't speak very well and comes across as a buffoon, but we really need such-and-such policy that he supports.

It's apparently no different now, it's just that the shoe's on the other foot. Yes, I can accept some of those negatives a lot more easily than my more conservative counterparts - but I'm not saying I'm at all happy about it. All I know is that people very close to me are suffering greatly from things that the proposed plan will help provide relief for...America simply can't wait for the partisian s^~t to get sorted.

Let me put a hypothetical to you, Ryan: Let's say (God forbid) you lost your job. And things are so tough that even your kids are going hungry. So while you are cutting costs and trying to "make things right", let's also say that your wife sneaks in some spending on those new shoes she has wanted. Are you going to take the same attitude that "well, we just have to accept some irresponsible spending along with doing the right thing for our kids?"


Actually - that's a pretty good analogy! lol. My answer is, yes, if more of the spending she's doing is going to benefit our family in the long-run, then I accept the minor purchases she made for her own benefit. In the end, the balance (net result) falls in favor of positive benefits for the family, and I certainly don't expect my wife to change her spending habits overnight...I'd be pleased enough that she's making even a few positive investments for the benefit of savings and long-term retirement planning.. :)

And I am just as ticked off at Congress for all the reasons I mentioned above. And you don't score any points with me by being willing to give greedy and irresponsible politicians a pass while focusing only on the tactics companies use to fatten their profits. They are both equally bad, and I think it is HIGH TIME to cut wages and cap pay for Congress. MAKE THEM FEEL THE PAIN OF AVERAGE AMERICANS! What is good for the banks is good for our Congress.


That's absolutely true - I have no qualms with what you've stated above and agree 100%. In fact, moving forward, groups should carefully comb over the stimulus package spending when all is said and done, and examine (around the time of the next election) who proposed what on the stimulus package, and what the results were. AT that time it will be pretty clear who simply wanted to pad their own pet projects with funds - and that's where they'll end up suffering.

Because that makes our elected officials hypocrites, for one, which you don't seem to care about. Moreover, if more people in this country were intelligent about how free markets work, the American people would be the ones who "stick it to them" by taking their business elsewhere, en masse, and giving these companies pain where they least like to feel pain. The problem is, people don't want to smarten up and stop patronizing companies that do this. Instead, they want Congress to "stick it to them" but meanwhile Congress gets off scot-free.


But people in this country (at least most) don't appear to be intelligent about how free markets work, and most are more interested in going to McDonalds and WalMart than being conscious about what sort of companies they give their hard earned money to. I disagree with you that people who want congress to act are also those who aren't willing to stop patronizing companies. For example, I'm closing both of my accounts with Chase this month - and I've advised them I'm planning to join the upcoming class-action lawsuit against them. But I do not expect most American citizens to do the same en masse, so the only group I can count on to make them hurt are my elected officials.

Obama's stance against the finance fat-cat bonuses definitely put a smile on my face.

I am serious, Ryan... we have had our disagreements on things before, but your attitude on this one really offends me as an American taxpayer. It seems to me any conservative principles (NOT Republican) that you claimed you had have been usurped by Democratic effed-up logic that seems to say we can spend our way out of this when spending is what got us into this problem.

Ray


Sorry my opinions offend you! I really don't mean to - in fact I enjoy your opinions here and I agree with 99.9% of them, honestly. I think we disagree on only small points, but one of them is a clincher - do we allow Congress to act now with the stimulus package at hand, or do we expect them to wait and act responsibly by removing pork spending, something they haven't been able to do in many decades? I say, we need help now - we can punish those who are sticking pork spending on the package later. If they do so, their days are numbered. But Americans need help today.

-Ry
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:29 am

Ryan,

ryguy wrote:The only point I make on that is that there ARE things on those bills that have to do with fixing the economy. These things have to get done Ray...

(snip)

do we allow Congress to act now with the stimulus package at hand, or do we expect them to wait and act responsibly by removing pork spending, something they haven't been able to do in many decades? I say, we need help now - we can punish those who are sticking pork spending on the package later.


The Fierce Urgency of Pork, eh Ryan? :) Charles Krauthammer has something to say about this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 66_pf.html

And yet more damaging to Obama's image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama's name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It's not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

It's the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus -- and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress's own budget office says won't be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.


Pay attention to the parts I have bolded. First, I would like to ask you if you recall my Prediction that Obama was going to be a rubber-stamper of Pelosi and her Pork-Pulling Political Pulchritude? Yes, yes I did Predict this was how Obama was going to "rule", by following Pelosi's Pitches. She Padded the Porkulus Proposal with all the Partial and Partisan Premises that her own PACs would Profit from! Packed with Pork from Pelosi!

Second, I hear you picking up on all the urgency calls...hurry hurry hurry, we gotta spend, spend spend, or the sky will fall. But let's make sure our Pork doesn't get spent until 2011! How is that urgent? You've Purchased their Potful of Pork, Ryan. Pray tell why we need to include Pure Pork spending in this urgent bill that is not going to be spent for 2+ years???? Basically, Obama is allowing Pelosi to Push The Pork (just like she Pushed the Pork in the last "emergency" spending bill before the election) in the same old same old politics as usual... He isn't changing a G-Damn thing. He is just going along with Pelosi, and that is just plain wrong.

ryguy wrote:Obama's stance against the finance fat-cat bonuses definitely put a smile on my face.


Let me remind you of something, Ryan. Obama and the Dems are all enraged because the financial institutions are abusing the money they got from the last big spending bill from before the election. That was also an "emergency measure that had to pass...right then...no time to waste." You will also recall that there were many voices on that bill saying "slow down". Most were Republicans, but there were even some Dems saying the same thing. And that was precisely when Pelosi did her Partisan schtick railing on Republicans who would not give their votes to this "emergency". She took the political road right before that vote...and guess what? It didn't win Republicans over. But in the end, she and her Dem buddies were able to rush that bill through as well (no worries, Plenty of Pork in that one too!)... despite some who wanted to slow down and ADD CONDITIONS TO THE BILL that would tie the hands of financial institutions in how they could use the money. Remember that?

So here are the Dems (and you) getting all upset about how the banks spent the money, not even realizing or admitting that it was because of the "Big Democratic Rush Job" from Pelosi that the bill passed without conditions on how funds could be used. Pelosi (and you) got exactly what you deserved for rushing that bill... and now here we are with another "emergency" bill...and it has GOTTA GO THRU RIGHT NOW, and "never mind the pork, we need relief now... we can fix things later." That is a bunch of pork s^~t, Ryan. (worse than b.s.)

Pelosi is running the show, and Obama is just backing her and being the cheerleader for this bill. I told you this would happen. Be on the lookout for the next big Dem-proposed legislation that Obama will cheer for... It will also have all of Pelosi's socialist hallmarks in it. I suppose health care is next...? Perhaps we should review Pelosi's opinions and postions on socialized health care now, so that when the Congress pushes a bill through we can see how much of her influence (and those of her lobbyist friends) that shows up in it?

What I find really amusing is how whenever Republicans talk about using tax incentives to stimulate the business climate, the Dems are in lock-step of how "we tried that before and tax breaks don't work." Yet we saw that item for tax breaks for movie producers to buy film included in this Porkulus bill... so I guess it is OK to include tax breaks for people, as long as they are long-time Democratic constituencies in Hollywood who get the tax breaks....why should we give tax breaks to the businesses that need them to stay in business? That would be WRONG, eh? [-X
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Hurry Up! Hurry Up! Hurry Up!

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:47 pm

Ryan,

Let me also point out just how disingenuous (and typical of the politics-as-usual) it is for Obama and his Dems to issue the "hurry up we need this now" line:

If they really, honestly felt this way, and were not merely using it as an excuse to line the pockets of their power base, all they would have to do is agree to remove ALL spending provisions that identify money which will not be spent for the next calendar year. Right? I mean, if they really, honestly believe we simply cannot wait to save the economy, then only the spending that has to happen right now should be important and all the pork can wait.... right? Please show me why this logic is wrong. (And BTW, to remove any far-term spending would be actual change, not just the hope of it!)

Anything less than this is just the same old, same old and Obama has not changed a thing about how DC works.

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Census Wrangling!

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:52 pm

First, please note in a post of mine above where I pointed out Census money as part of the Porkulus bill. And now today we have some new evidence to suggest nefarious intent:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first10 ... ite-house/

GOP Sounds Alarm Over Obama Decision to Move Census to White House

Utah's congressional delegation is calling President Obama's decision to move the U.S. census into the White House a purely partisan move and potentially dangerous to congressional redistricting around the country.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told FOX News on Monday that he finds it hard to believe the Obama administration felt the need to place re-evaluation of the inner workings of the census so high on his to-do list, just three weeks into his presidency.

"This is nothing more than a political land grab," Chaffetz said.


Now, those who insist upon having "hope" that Obama is not just another "old school" politician may just read the above as mere complaining by the Repubs. But when you look at the history of the census, and the history of Obama's Commerce Secretary nominations, the political fineagling appears quite clear:

As a matter of impact, the census has tremendous political significance. Political parties are always eager to have a hand in redrawing districts so that they can maximize their own party's clout while minimizing the opposition, often through gerrymandering.

The census also determines the composition of the Electoral College, which chooses the president. If one party were to control the census, it could arguably try to perpetuate its hold on political power.


You don't say????

Critics note that the method of counting can skew the census. Democrats have long advocated using mathematical estimates, a practice known as "sampling," to count urban residents and immigrants. Republicans say the Constitution requires a physical head count, which entails going door-to-door.


What is funny here is that the Dem party was the party complaining about "every vote must be counted" back in the 2000 Prez election. But it appears they don't care so much about counting each head, and that "sampling" is fine... and oh, it has nothing to do with the political implications, right? But it gets better:

When Obama nominated New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary -- he was later forced to withdraw -- he indicated that Richardson would be in charge of the census.

The decision to move the census into the White House was announced just days after Obama named New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican, to be his commerce secretary. Gregg has long opposed "sampling" by the census and has voted against funding increases for the bureau.


Now please explain to me (Ryan, AD?) how this does not totally smack of politics as usual. Clearly it has all the earmarks, especially with that last little tidbit of information completing the picture.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby Access Denied » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:45 am

Ray, please withdraw my name from this debate. In my opinion this is what needs to change...

“I hope he fails."
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:29 pm

Access Denied wrote:Ray, please withdraw my name from this debate. In my opinion this is what needs to change...

“I hope he fails."
Rush Limbaugh, January 16, 2009


Understand, AD. But it is even less likely that you will ever change the behavior or commentary of political pundits. For one thing, you can't vote them out of a job. The problem is not free speech (even if you don't like it). The problem is the people within Congress who react to and abide by stupid comments like that. Because there are plenty of DEM Congressmen who act upon stupid things said by DEM pundits as well.

Jack Cafferty has hit on precisely why Obama could not reasonably promise "change":

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/10/ ... index.html

Three weeks into the new administration and the Democrats are squandering their advantage and threatening to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Credit House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for getting the ball rolling. Under her leadership, House Democrats excluded Republicans from having any voice in crafting the stimulus package.

Acting like children who hadn't seen Santa Claus for eight years, House Democrats busily loaded up the bill with stuff they had been unable to get for eight years. It was payback time.


Yup. You see, Pelosi has idiots every bit as stupid as Rush Limbaugh whispering in her ear. Compound that problem with the fact that Pelosi is an elitist idiot herself, and the fact that she holds the power, and you have a problem every bit as big as Rush Limbaugh expressing his right of free speech. In fact, it is a bigger problem because she holds power.

As much as people want to protect Obama, the reality is if he is going to deliver on "change" he has to change his own party as much (if not more) as the policies of the former administration. In fact, one could argue that it is even MORE important that he reform his own party to prevent the crap we see coming from Pelosi.

When asked if the lack of Republican support was at least partly her fault, she gave some snotty answer about not being partisan but working for the American people. Right.


If Obama is really the leader of his Party, then he needs to change it more than anything else. Because right now, we are seeing politics-as-usual, just as I predicted. If Obama is really about change, he needs to take off the kid gloves with his own people, and publicly rebuke Pelosi for what she is doing. But my guess is that the Party is too big to allow even Obama to do that. That might be equivalent to Party Political suicide. He can do it, but at what price?

Cafferty is the one voice at CNN that I can most often trust to not tote the DEM party line. But I do not agree with him that all the blame rests with Pelosi... because Obama promised change from the old way of doing the People's business. So far, we are not seeing it. As I predicted, Pelosi is expecting Obama to be her puppet. If he does not push back in a big way (and his reaching out to Repubs is not what is needed right now), then any hope of change will never materialize.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby ryguy » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:45 pm

I think what AD is saying is that there's little Obama can do that the pundits (or you?) will look upon favorably. It's probably the whole confirmation bias thing you described before. If Obama turns right, there's a whole army of right-wing pundits who are waiting to assail him for ignoring the left, or vice versa. It's not so much because he's making the wrong choices, it's because they (and you?) wait with baited breath for him to make any move so that they can criticize it. At least I gave Bush four years to prove himself (or not) before deciding the dude had no business in the Oval office.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:50 pm

ryguy wrote:I think what AD is saying is that there's little Obama can do that the pundits (or you?) will look upon favorably. It's probably the whole confirmation bias thing you described before. If Obama turns right, there's a whole army of right-wing pundits who are waiting to assail him for ignoring the left, or vice versa. It's not so much because he's making the wrong choices, it's because they (and you?) wait with baited breath for him to make any move so that they can criticize it. At least I gave Bush four years to prove himself (or not) before deciding the dude had no business in the Oval office.


That is so not true (at least not in my case). I am grading him against his own mantra of change. So far we have seen failures in that promise, not the least of which is the load of Clintonistas he has nominated (some who could not meet his own ethics rules). But this Porkulus is his first, BIG test. And as I have pointed out above, he is failing to change in the most important area: his own party's insistence on political vendettas via pork.

Ryan, I would like you to counter the simple logic I laid out above, if you can:

If they really, honestly felt this way, and were not merely using it as an excuse to line the pockets of their power base, all they would have to do is agree to remove ALL spending provisions that identify money which will not be spent for the next calendar year. Right? I mean, if they really, honestly believe we simply cannot wait to save the economy, then only the spending that has to happen right now should be important and all the pork can wait.... right? Please show me why this logic is wrong.


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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby mavn » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:29 am

This is why I hate politics - It's all just a big game of lies and deceit at the taxpayers expense. O'Bama might want to be a better President but so far it just seems like the same old story with a new cover.
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:46 pm

mavn wrote:This is why I hate politics - It's all just a big game of lies and deceit at the taxpayers expense. O'Bama might want to be a better President but so far it just seems like the same old story with a new cover.


Exactly my point. True, I did not vote for Obama, but he ran on change. It is nothing more than same old, same old because we did NOT "change" the way Congress does business. So the Dems are blaming the Repubs (change?). Yet during the campaign Obama continually talked about abandoning the "failed policies of the last 8 years". OK, one of those policies that was the biggest failure is deficit spending. Gee, sure does seem like the Dems are not abandoning that policy AT ALL. And how are Obama and the Dems in Congress going to blame Geithner's failure to satisfy markets and provide details for his new plan on the Republicans? But blame is the game. That has not changed, for sure.

Obama promised to change DC (like all who have campaigned for President before). The problem was people believed he could do it. He can't. The parties are too big to change much of anything. Only catastrophic failure can and will change such a stacked system.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby ryguy » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:12 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote: Only catastrophic failure can and will change such a stacked system.


Well it looks like you won't have to wait very long for that, Ray... lol. Credit card companies are reacting quickly to not being able to sell their debt anymore, turning to higher fees, higher interest rates, and crazy surcharges to make up the difference (while accepting handouts from the government at the same time)...

It doesn't take a genius to see what's coming. People are already strapped financially, now being forced to pay higher credit card bills, we're going to have a sudden rise of even more foreclosures and bankruptcies. Unless the government can take control of those credit card terms and stop what the banks are doing to the American people, we're on a certain path to immediate and irreversible national crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression. And corporate America really doesn't give a s^~t.

Revolution time I guess...but are American's now too lazy to do anything about it? Is this the same America it was two centuries ago? I guess we'll find out.
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:02 pm

ryguy wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote: Only catastrophic failure can and will change such a stacked system.


Well it looks like you won't have to wait very long for that, Ray... lol.


Believe me, I am not happy about it. And my next prediction is that as we crumble, neither of the parties will admit that they (both of them, in consonance) were the cause. They will blame each other to the end, rather than REALLY changing our government. And again I ask all to note: None of them feel the fiscal pinch. There is no more secure paycheck (or retirement plan) in this land than that of federal elected officials.

It doesn't take a genius to see what's coming. People are already strapped financially, now being forced to pay higher credit card bills, we're going to have a sudden rise of even more foreclosures and bankruptcies. Unless the government can take control


Always more government control...when it was government (both sides) that caused the problem through inaction and partisan one-upsmanship. The only kind of control that can possibly work is totalitarian, at this phase of the game (why else did Germany accept a dicator but for terrible times?). Because we already see that both parties, when they gain control of the Congress and White House, cannot seem to restrain themselves from their lust of power to do the right thing. When Dems were in control, we heard Repubs talk about fiscal responsibility. When they got into power, they forgot about that. When Repubs were in control, we heard Pelosi whining about being closed out of the legislative process by Repubs, and how her party would never do that. Except now that she is in control, she conveniently goes on a retribution warpath. Both parties are a bunch of overpaid children. Neither actually act in the best interest of the people. Party first...and just lie to the people that you are working for them. But make sure to keep the people believing in your party.

Revolution time I guess...but are American's now too lazy to do anything about it? Is this the same America it was two centuries ago? I guess we'll find out.


Even lazy people can ignite and support a revolution. If enough people decided to simply not pay/file taxes, that would precipitate a revolution. When you get to this level of dysfunction, it seems the only thing that you can realistically do is push the thing over the cliff and get it over with. History is replete with examples, and the birth of our own country came out of a tax revolution.... imagine that...repeating history!

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby ryguy » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:57 pm

Re: repeating history - so true!

Ray, one point you've repeated in this thread, and it's an excellent point, is the pay of our elected officials. They do enjoy a retirement plan the likes of which most of us could only dream of. As they call on corporate leaders to quit the nonsense with overpay and extravagant bonuses (as they should), they do need to take a hard look at themselves and "represent" by stepping up and leading by example - otherwise, as you point out, they risk looking like fools and hypocrites. Those costly financial perks that currently overburden taxpayers need to be stripped down - just like our jobs and benefits are getting stripped down. Our retirement savings are shrinking, our healthcare costs continue to rise, our pay has stagnated...it's definitely time for our elected officials to put their money where their freakin' mouths are.

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