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Old 03-05-2011, 05:29 PM   #826
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"To the notion that Obama has a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama's natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America's academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?" - George Will.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:34 PM   #827
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Quite possibly, the former history professor in him finds it irresistible to have occasion to use his background in colonial African history against a political opponent. Even if the line of criticism involved is crackpot and borrowed from a decided nonexpert (D'Souza).
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:32 PM   #828
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"Hollywood liberal" criticizes Obama

From No 1 fan to critic-in-chief, Damon takes aim at Obama - Americas, World - The Independent

Damon, 40, star of the Bourne spy trilogy and two new films, The Adjustment Bureau and True Grit, is scrupulously polite and mild-mannered when we meet in a Manhattan hotel. But laying bare his disenchantment with the Obama administration, he doesn't hide how let down he feels. President Obama's record on the economy particularly rankles. "I think he's rolled over to Wall Street completely. The economy has huge problems. We still have all these banks that are too big to fail. They're bigger and making more money than ever. Unemployment at 10 per cent? It's terrible."

What has proved to be a challenging time in office for President Obama culminated in significant Democratic reversals to the Republicans at last November's mid-term elections. Many of his star backers have either kept quiet about politics or, as in the case of George Clooney, Damon's close friend and co-star in the Ocean's trilogy, remained steadfastly loyal. Not Damon. He is upset that Mr Obama, who promised to "spread the wealth around", has extended the Bush tax cuts and that the inequality gap has widened.

"They had a chance that they don't have any more to stand up for things," he says. "They've probably squandered that at this point. They'll probably just make whatever deals they can to try to get elected again."

Damon appears so disillusioned that, playing devil's advocate, I ask whether he is considering voting Republican. "Good God, no! I just got a 3 per cent tax cut. Do you think I'm going to start a small business with that money? You're out of your mind if you think so. I'm going to put it in the bank. So is every other guy that makes the kind of money I make. I don't think that's what's best for the country. I think a stronger middle class makes for a stronger country."

As well as the economy, Mr Obama's record on education repels him. "They have to get people who actually know about educating kids in positions of power. Now they're trying to get business people to come and manage schools like they're factories. It's not going to work."

Damon says that he's excited to be playing a politician for the first time in The Adjustment Bureau, a sci-fi romance. But he has no intention of seeking office. "There's probably a problem with somebody who wants to be a politician in the first place."

That said, he does admire Bill Clinton. Damon based his portrayal of LaBoeuf, the loquacious ranger in True Grit, on the former president. "There's a little bit of Clinton's charm thrown in. I could listen to him talk forever."


Last week...

This is not the man he voted for.

Matt Damon sat down with Piers Morgan for an interview that will air Thursday night, and among other things, talked about his feelings on the first two years of President Obama's administration. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Damon was a vocal Obama supporter, campaigning for the then-candidate at rallies, promoting him through a MoveOn video contest and attending fundraisers for him.

Now, he's not so enthused about Obama. When asked if he was happy with the way the President is running the country, Damon said, point blank, "no."

"I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said to me the other day, I thought it was a great line, 'I no longer hope for audacity,'" Damon said. "He's doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education... the idea that we're testing kids and we're tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We're training them, not teaching them.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #829
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He is an intelligent individual.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:36 PM   #830
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Yes, I think he is too. I agree with him, and sadly I no longer hope for audacity either. Don't know how much I really did in the first place, but I am disillusioned.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:38 AM   #831
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The disillusionment with Obama is not really surprising.

On one hand
  • Obama campaigned on a theme of transformative change and then staffed his administration with Washington insiders and experienced inside the beltway folks. Sad, but not unexpected when you consider the integral role of corporate/PAC money, interests, and lobbying in the U.S.'s political system
  • Marked inability to communicate well with the greater American public; you can't count on well-read intellectuals to deliver your messages or benefits to the masses who don't have time for political reading
  • The caveats of being part of a very ineffective Democratic Party, a party unable to capitalize on the gains it received in the 2008 election, with members only worried about their own asses in local elections in 2010, which they lost anyway.

On the other
  • To actually have an intellectual and Constitutional scholar in the White House is refreshing
  • Despite the pessimism, Obama has persevered with a surprising amount of reform and individual policy victories
  • Inherited one of the worst situations ever for America as an incoming President and working through it
  • Between having Obama vs. McCain and possibly Palin with a hand on the nuke button...is this seriously a close decision?
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #832
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This is a president that will disappoint many, why because our expectations were too high...

Some thought he would change this country overnight, that equality would reign, and we'd move to the future.

Others thought we'd have a radical socialist come in fundamentally change the country and blacks and gays would start running the place.

Both were wrong.

I was a pragmatist, therefore overall not disappointed.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #833
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I am mildly disappointed by Obama, but that is largely when I hear about the Wall Street bullshit.

I am hugely disappointed in my country. Too many people are blinded by corporations and then rich, and are defending them to their detriment. I don't know when the pendulum will swing back from people trusting corporations to people trusting government, but it can't come soon enough.

When Obama begins his 2012 campaign, I will be fully on board. I will give money and maybe even some time; the alternative is just too awful to think about.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:41 AM   #834
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I'm not disappointed, either. I'm just really, REALLY frustrated. With him, and with everybody else around him.

Angela
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1131 View Post
[*]Marked inability to communicate well with the greater American public; you can't count on well-read intellectuals to deliver your messages or benefits to the masses who don't have time for political reading
I think reluctance to engage, rather than manner of doing it, is the main problem here. He remains perfectly capable of delivering a powerful speech. But his tendency has been to hold himself 'above' the fray and let Congress slug it out, rather than forcefully leading the charge for his party's platform. Constitutionally speaking, there's nothing wrong with that, and in fact it's more in line with the original vision of the presidency; but the rise of the two-party system has led to expectations that the president should visibly lead the charge on major legislative goals--to do otherwise is perceived as weak and ineffective leadership.

It's true (since Damon alluded to it) that Obama lacks Bill Clinton's off-the-cuff skills, but that much was always true, and extemporaneity of that caliber is definitely the exception rather than the rule with presidents anyway. On the other hand, Clinton's obvious relish for jumping into the fray is probably sorely missed by an awful lot of Democrats right now.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:43 PM   #836
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When Obama begins his 2012 campaign, I will be fully on board. I will give money and maybe even some time; the alternative is just too awful to think about.
This is the frustrating thing about U.S. politics a lot of the time: it seems to be a zero-sum game. You're not voting for someone, rather voting against the horrible alternative most of the time.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:50 AM   #837
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This is the frustrating thing about U.S. politics a lot of the time: it seems to be a zero-sum game. You're not voting for someone, rather voting against the horrible alternative most of the time.
This is true, but consider I'm also represented by Rep. Keith Ellison and Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. So for me, only my presidential vote is a mild compromise.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #838
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Well the guy I thought I was voting for wouldn't have rolled over completely for Wall Street, and wouldn't balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class by cutting things like heating assistance-while extending tax cuts for the rich. Middle class tax cuts are hardly enough to pay for the increased prices of gas, heat, food, education, and everything else. And until the tax cuts for the rich dramatically reduce unemployment, I don't see how that helps either. If I wanted that I would have voted for McCain. I understand completely that the budget has to be balanced and the debt has to be reduced-but if you'd rather be a good President than a two term President (that's what he said) then you don't cowtow to certain special interests while screwing the poor and the middle class. I'm no economics expert but I just don't like it. I didn't have high expectations, but I'm still disappointed.

Scott Brown is against the heating assistance cuts and I applaud him for that.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #839
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A depressing chart:



The question to pose to Obama (and any other future pres candidate) is: looking at the above graph, was the tax cut really worth it?
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #840
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^I hadn't ever thought about companies being able to write-off punitive damages. It is a business expense, but is it really punitive then?

The rest of the chart is depressing, but not surprising.
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