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Old 01-29-2010, 06:09 PM   #391
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:35 PM   #392
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From the Boston Globe Today Re: Republican Congressional Retreat, Baltimore:

Obama, GOP exchange barbs, ideas in rare encounter - Boston.com


Quote:
Some Republicans prefaced their questions with lengthy recitations of conservative talking points. The president sometimes listened impassively but sometimes broke in.
Is it any wonder why the Republican leaning people in here think they have addressed issues and made defensible points when they merely repeat something like "socialism" and "Obama's apologizing to terrorists?"

It says alot when one of our major political parties is perfectly willing, as is evidenced by their leaders in Congress, not the lunatic fringe on the streets, to dumb down and cheapen serious issues like this. It is baffling that otherwise intelligent people pick up on these talking points and just repeat them without thinking. Since the rise of talk radio, the 94 revolution and reaching a new height now, Republicans, even in Congress, are told what to say and believe.

Examples:
Despite claims from Sarah Palin about a massive grassroots outcry for offshore oil drilling, I never got a chain e mail from my Republican friends on the matter until after Bush started pushing it in a blatant attempt at election year pandering.

Bush and Republicans were attacking Kerry as recently as 2004 for supposedly supporting drilling off Florida, now the same Republicans, followed in lockstep by Democrats, were in a frenzy to look tough on gas prices in 2008. Now, I have no particular problem with offshore drilling(or onshore, or NPR-Alaska, we should leave ANWR alone though), but the bipartisan flip flop is a perfect example of how Washington exploits fears and ignorance for short term political gain. There is no way we will get any oil out of the opened areas before 2030, and estimates of the reserves there are relatively small and 30 years outdated. Since the most optimistic estimates are of 2 years worth of US oil consumption offshore, and oil is a global market so no guarantee the oil drilled here is sold here, the effect on gas prices will be negligible and is 20 years out. Even now, with the bans gone, are the drills in the ground? Has fight to the death opposition making drilling completely unrealistic off Florida or California, where most of the oil is, gone away? You never would have known that by listening to George Bush or Nancy Pelosi, both of whom billed their drilling plans as ways to reduce pain at the pump immediately.

Another Example:
I never heard a peep, either in person or in those famous chain e mails, from my conservative friends about deficits or debt until Obama took office. More like a quote "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #393
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Technically, a turnaround by 12% (though, more precise, percentage points) might be correct, though it's a bit of dodgy maths.
Say, 100 is the base, and in 2009 the economy shrunk by 6%. So then it dropped to 94% of what it was the year before. Then this year the economy is said to grow by 6% again. But GDP is the percentage change of the economy's size as compared to the year before. And a 6% growth raises the economy to a 99.64. So the size of the economy really is not even as big as it was in 2008.

But else, impressive speech. Even if you don't agree with everything Obama or the Democrats are aiming for, I really cannot see how anyone can see it in the best interest of the country to categorically object to everything simply because it comes from the other side.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:37 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U2387 View Post
Examples:
Despite claims from Sarah Palin about a massive grassroots outcry for offshore oil drilling, I never got a chain e mail from my Republican friends on the matter until after Bush started pushing it in a blatant attempt at election year pandering. Bush and Republicans were attacking Kerry as recently as 2004 for supposedly supporting drilling off Florida, now the same Republicans, followed in lockstep by Democrats, were in a frenzy to look tough on gas prices in 2008. Now, I have no particular problem with offshore drilling(or onshore, or NPR-Alaska, we should leave ANWR alone though), but the bipartisan flip flop is a perfect example of how Washington exploits fears and ignorance for short term political gain.
Might that reflect the pressure from consumers over $4/gallon gasoline prices after a long stretch of stable low prices? I believe prior to that Bush was sensitive to the claim that he was a tool of Big Oil. As for Bush criticizing Kerry, that was pure politics taking advantage of his brother being governor of Florida and yea, asinine considering how the decade played out.


Quote:
There is no way we will get any oil out of the opened areas before 2030, and estimates of the reserves there are relatively small and 30 years outdated. Since the most optimistic estimates are of 2 years worth of US oil consumption offshore, and oil is a global market so no guarantee the oil drilled here is sold here, the effect on gas prices will be negligible and is 20 years out.
Not accurate, new technology is mapping before unknown reserves all the time and we are now able to tap old reserves with better equipment to draw out oil unobtainable a generation ago. 82% of the the world's known reserves of oil and gas have yet to be used. Someone born today will not live to see a world without oil or gas reserves. Not to mention shale and coal.

Quote:
Another Example:
I never heard a peep, either in person or in those famous chain e mails, from my conservative friends about deficits or debt until Obama took office. More like a quote "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
Those "On the right track" polls in the 2nd term of Bush that were so low also included the frustration of fiscal conservatives. You can see that reflected in the Republicans losing the Congress in 06 and the White House in 08.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:17 AM   #395
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:27 AM   #396
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Let's see...

Obama just made a big speech where Pelosi and others in his party were making faces about some of the things he said, yet he's "staying the course"?

Heads Up Ass Syndrome... you, Beck, Rush, this cartoonist need to come out from hiding every once in awhile.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:55 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by U2387 View Post
From the Boston Globe Today Re: Republican Congressional Retreat, Baltimore:

Obama, GOP exchange barbs, ideas in rare encounter - Boston.com


there is video of this online. everyone should watch.

it's quite clear that the President is vastly smarter and better informed than all of the GOP.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:57 PM   #398
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I heard that too.

Perhaps they will replay it on C-Span.
(or Fox News - with subtitles or sub-pictures?)

(I wonder if any of them asked him to produce his live-birth certificate)
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:53 PM   #399
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he is superb.


msnbc.com Video Player


it highlights the fact that the American system would greatly benefit from the intimacy of a Question Time with the President, instead of the usual thundering across the ideological chasm.

i think he says "um" once or twice, so expect it to be dismissed.

also, the link is to MSNBC. i would have put up a link from Fox -- since it's so trusted -- but Fox ended broadcasting the debate 20 minutes before it actually ended, so devastating was Obama's performance to their 24/7 propaganda.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:28 PM   #400
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I watched this today.

Really embarrassing for the GOP, because he obviously schooled them. And because this is obviously a format in which he excels, so why they would think this would be a good idea is baffling. Unless they just expected him to be uninformed and inarticulate like Bush, which sounds ludicrous, but remember this is the crowd that has basically concluded that Obama's oratory skills amount to little more than teleprompter reading - if only I'd actually kept count of how many times U2681 said that here.

I don't think that Obama has been a great president thus far, both because of the way the Congress operates (or doesn't) and because of miscalculations and naivete on his part. But he was exceptionally good here.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:39 PM   #401
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Quote:
Sunday Take: The theater in the meeting between Obama and House Republicans

By Dan Balz
Sunday, January 31, 2010; A02

Friday's encounter between President Obama and House Republicans proved to be riveting political theater. The question is whether it will be remembered as a moment that began to ease the tensions between the two parties -- or an asterisk in this era of polarized politics.

Obama and House Republicans delivered 90 minutes of sharp but civil give-and-take, a spirited debate on both the substantive differences that divide Republicans and Democrats and a frank discussion about the breakdown of government in the age of the permanent campaign.

Rarely has there been such an encounter between a president and the opposition party and certainly never on national television. It was the antithesis of the kind of snarling exchanges that often pass for political dialogue, whether between strategists in the two parties, candidates in the heat of a campaign or on the worst of cable television.

Nothing is likely to change overnight. "The main benefit is that greater interaction builds a measure of trust between the president and congressional Republicans," John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute said. "Trust opens up possibilities for collaboration on some future issue with a more bipartisan character. It also builds trust, which might come in handy if there is a different future political dynamic, like narrower Democratic majorities after the midterm election, or even possibly GOP control of one house."

In the short run, there was plenty of scorekeeping by partisans -- and reason for both sides to feel good about what happened at the House GOP retreat in Baltimore.

For Obama, who is trying to reestablish his standing with the American people after a difficult first year in office, it was the opportunity to rebut his opponents' criticisms while prodding them to abandon their rigid opposition to his major initiatives and begin to cooperate. White House officials were ecstatic with his performance.

For House Republicans, it meant having the president acknowledge on national television that they have ideas of their own. The office of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) issued a release Saturday morning that said, in part, "The president himself helped put to rest once and for all baseless claims by members of his own administration that Republicans are the 'party of no.' "

Ultimately, the event may have been most beneficial for Obama, who badly needs a boost. He has emerged as the most polarizing first-year president in history. In that year, unemployment hit 10 percent, his health-care initiative failed to pass the Congress, his poll numbers eroded, independents deserted the Democrats in major statewide elections and some members of his party hit the panic button after Republican Scott Brown won the special Senate election in Massachusetts.

On Friday, however, Obama reminded his opponents of the singular power of the presidency, delivering a performance that easily eclipsed his State of the Union address. He was knowledgeable about GOP counterproposals. He was robust in his rebuttals without being peevish. He may not have won over his conservative critics, who snickered when he said he was not an ideologue, but he was able, repeatedly, to sound the call for bipartisanship and to challenge the opposition to help lower temperatures.


Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University, said the message Obama delivered in Baltimore was consistent with one of the broad themes of his presidential campaign and therefore likely to enhance his standing with the public. "If the polls are correct -- and they are certainly consistent -- that Americans want a cease-fire if not a full-fledged truce, the event boosted his stock as a peacemaker," he said.

Obama's appearance before the House Republican policy retreat was part of a White House strategy that began with the State of the Union, designed to reconnect him with voters who have grown skeptical of his agenda and to identify himself with the anger that many Americans are expressing toward the way Washington is working.

The best indication that Republicans realized Obama had helped himself came late Friday. Initial reactions to the president by GOP House leaders had been generally civil. Then in the early evening, Boehner's office issued a release with the headline: "Rhetoric versus reality: President Obama repeats discredited talking points during dialogue with House GOP."

The president's advisers said the appearance was not a token exercise. "It was not a gesture," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said. "Our intention was not us-win-them-lose. I think he showed sincerity by going there."

Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, said of Obama, "He genuinely believes that if you get away from all the pure political posturing, there should be enough stuff in each piece of legislation that can garner bipartisan support."

Yet White House officials see little in recent GOP behavior to suggest they may be ready to negotiate seriously across a table with the president. They see a party in which any move toward bipartisan cooperation with Obama by a GOP lawmaker could bring a primary challenge from the right. As evidence, they point to last week's Senate defeat of a proposal for a bipartisan commission to deal with the debt and deficit, in which several Republicans who at one time had co-sponsored the measure voted against it.

Others believe the White House must show greater humility. "Right now the administration reminds me of [former president George W.] Bush in year five, where they can't see what reality really is and refuse to admit mistakes and course correct," said Matthew Dowd, who was a senior campaign adviser to Bush and now is an independent analyst.

"I think open dialogue between the president and Republicans is positive -- and a lesson that the speaker could take from President Obama," Republican strategist Alex Vogel said. "But I don't think it's going to suddenly lead to broad agreement on a range of policy issues. Our fundamental problem is that we think he's wrong on what policies are best for America, not that we don't see him enough."

John Feehery, another GOP strategist, said, "I doubt this will be a regular occurrence -- too much risk in that for both sides." But, he added, " it has left an indelible impression on those who pay attention of perhaps how things will work when the GOP takes over in November."

That is a bullish forecast and much can happen between now and November to affect the fortunes of the two parties. But Friday's great debate came in the context of an election year that already has the two sides in campaign mode. Obama's performance cheered Democrats primarily because they believe he bested the Republicans, not because he advanced the cause of bipartisanship.

Given that, further efforts to reach across the aisle may prove elusive. Asked what other confidence building measures might be offered, a White House official demurred. "I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head," he said. "One of the most important things is to continue the dialogue. It's hard to go beyond dialogue if you can't even have dialogue."

That will be the next test for Obama and congressional leaders in both parties.

Sunday Take: The theater in the meeting between Obama and House Republicans


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Old 01-31-2010, 11:16 AM   #402
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I just had a vision of Mitt Romney's upcoming book being in the clearance bin

I love your pictures diamond-they're even better than hot Bono pics
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:22 PM   #403
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it highlights the fact that the American system would greatly benefit from the intimacy of a Question Time with the President, instead of the usual thundering across the ideological chasm.
Hopefully this is something that could continue at least quarterly. It's a good idea.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:03 PM   #404
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it highlights the fact that the American system would greatly benefit from the intimacy of a Question Time with the President, instead of the usual thundering across the ideological chasm.
I chuckle a bit, because the Canadian "Question Period" has become a bit of a parody unto itself.

Quote:
Question Period has a reputation for being quite chaotic due to the commonplace cat-calling and jeering from non-participating MPs
I can only imagine what a joke it would become under the American political system!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:53 PM   #405
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He was knowledgeable about GOP counterproposals.
Now, I though they were just the party of "NO."

Personally I'd like to see something like this replace the pointless State of the Union rebuttal by the party out of power.
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