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Old 09-09-2011, 10:08 AM   #331
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Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., holds a sign during a speech by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.

A real class act.
Someone should tell that shitbird that Tourism=Jobs, too. I loved my first visit to N.O. and the Gulf Coast back in May. I thought for sure I would hate it.
It's a beautiful, fun area that should be protected from hurricanes and oil washing ashore.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:11 AM   #332
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I'm glad to hear some of the initial reaction to the jobs speech is people asking if tax cuts really spark demand.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:52 AM   #333
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This looks bad: (Patriot Act uses)



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he authors of the Patriot Act always intended that its provisions would be permanent. The politically expedient thing to do would have been to include a sunset provision, to acknowledge a temporary moment of crisis that required special measures for prosecutors to pursue terrorists. But the lawyers wanted no sunsets; some of them had been working Al Qaeda cases since the first World Trade Center bombing and imagined a long-term struggle that could last a generation. “I said, ‘Don’t think of this as an emergency measure,’ ” Viet Dinh [P1] recalled on July 20. At the time, Dinh was an assistant attorney general under John Ashcroft and was tasked on the morning of September 12 with writing a bill to fix whatever laws might impede investigation. The scholarship provided little guidance for how to make terror investigations easier, so Dinh sent an e-mail to the nation’s U.S. attorneys and FBI agents, asking for ideas. G-men are not constitutional lawyers, and excesses were rife: Someone wanted to send neighborhood watches in search of sordid types. The attorneys at Justice made piles, winnowing as they went: “Crazy Ideas,” “Quarter-Baked,” “Half-Baked.”

In those patriotic weeks, partisan conflict dissipated easily. The Democratic Senate and the Republican House each had their own bills, and Ashcroft, smiling, said every idea in each of the drafts would be adopted unless it conflicted with another provision. Jim Sensenbrenner, the bombastic, rotund Wisconsin Republican, leaned back in his chair and said his bill was called the USA Patriot Act. There were no conflicts with that; the name was in.

“Patriot Act” was appropriately overt. Before 9/11, when politicians spoke of “patriots,” they usually meant soldiers. Now prosecutors and the FBI were reaching for the same vanity—that they were the hard tip of freedom—and the same license to pursue enemies without much oversight or meddling. When it was signed into law six weeks after the attacks, the act made it easier to wiretap American citizens suspected of cooperating with terrorism, to snoop through business records without notification, and to execute search warrants without immediately informing their targets (a so-called sneak-and-peek [P2]). Privileges once reserved for overseas intelligence work were extended to domestic criminal investigations. There was less judicial oversight and very little transparency. The bill’s symbolism mattered also, signaling that the moral deference previously given to the Special Forces would be broadened until it encompassed much of the apparatus of the American state. Local prosecutors, military policemen, CIA lawyers—these were indispensable patriots too.

The Patriot Act was mostly a Republican project at its origin, but it would have died long ago without the support of Democrats. Liberals were committed enough to the bill that it took Texas Republican Dick Armey to insist that the new privileges of the Patriot Act would indeed sunset, unless the president asked for, and Congress approved, a reauthorization. In 2005, George W. Bush convinced Congress to renew the act, and in 2010, so did Barack Obama—even though the terrorist threat seemed less urgent, and liberal scholars had concluded that the civil-liberties violations in the bill could be resolved with a few modest changes. Dinh’s original worry—that politicians might not be committed enough to renew these laws—now seems misplaced.
source

Once again, the War on Drugs.

Barack Obama's accomplishments in areas with comparatively little Congressional obstruction cast a dim light on his efforts in areas where he must negotiate with Congress.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:19 PM   #334
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1) My Take on the 2012 Presidential Election. As I write this, I am sitting at the San Francisco consulate of the People’s Republic of China, awaiting the issuance of my business visa. Since I will soon be in the neighborhood, I plan to interview some companies that I want to buy on the next upswing in the global financial markets. The Defense Department has asked me to call on my senior contacts in the People’s Liberation Army to try and get a read on the Middle Kingdom’s next likely president, Xi Jinping. Also, it has been ages since I had a decent Peking Duck.

It seems that whenever you do anything with China, there are always scads of people around. I had to wait in line on cold and foggy Geary Street an hour just to get into the building, pestered by assorted anti-government demonstrators. I’m now inside with my laptop, but my number is A288, and so far they have only gotten up to A24. It looks like I have a long haul.

Therefore, I am going to take advantage of the very rare luxury of some extra free time and speculate at length on the prospects of another president, that of Barrack Hussein Obama. Having spent time in the White House Press Corp under Carter and Reagan, I have some inside knowledge about how whole election process works.

The most important factor to affect global financial markets next year and years beyond will be the outcome of the 2012 presidential election. As card carrying paid up members of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader network, I therefore have not only the responsibility, but the obligation to give you my forecast about how this is going to play out.

To believe that President Obama is anti-business and bad for the economy is lunacy of the highest order. Barack knows more American history than either you or I will ever forget. He is well aware that a poor economic performance has been the primary creator of one term presidents since WWII.

Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson retired early, Carter was demolished by the stagflation caused by the Iranian revolution and the second oil shock, and George H.W. Bush was turfed out by a minor recession, despite winning the first Gulf War. Therefore, the economy had to be Obama’s top priority from the first day in office. To do otherwise was for Obama to risk becoming one of the countless jobless himself.

I believe that the economy that Obama inherited was so broken that it will take decades to fix, if ever. It is easy to forget that virtually the entire financial system was bankrupt, the credit markets had seized up, and the ATM’s were two weeks away from failing to dispense cash. The government newly found itself a major investor in the country’s 20 largest banks, General Motors, and AIG.

But the reflationary measures he was able to get through a reluctant congress were too small to engineer the recovery he needed. The boldness of the moves seen during the Great Depression was sadly absent. Remember, Franklin Roosevelt directly hired 3 million men during his first two years through the Civilian Conservation Corps, immediately preventing 5 million from immediate starvation. This was when the population was less than half of what it is today.

To a large extent, Obama has become the fall guy for the excesses of earlier administrations. The big problems facing the country are long term and structural. The $15 trillion national debt is the product of 30 years of tax cuts and spending increases, primarily for defense.

Our runaway health care costs can be traced by our failure to nationalize health care when the rest of the developed did so in the late 1940’s, enabling them to keep their medical expenses to two thirds of ours, with better results. Social security and Medicare were financially flawed from the day they were launched, and modern day politicians were loath to touch them once they became sacred cows. None of these intractable problems are amenable to a quick fix.

All of this leaves Obama’s popularity in the polls falling, going into one of the most acrimonious and hard fought elections in American history. Obama has become the Jackie Robinson of American politics, the first African-American to play in major league baseball. The better the job he does, the more people hate him. Robinson died at 53, largely due to stress.



Is Obama the Jackie Robinson of American politics?

-

If he can’t pull out of his tailspin, I believe the president will withdraw his candidacy, and throw it open to other contenders. That is what Lyndon Johnson did in 1968 due to declining health and an unpopular war. When you try to push history forward too quickly, sometimes it bites you back. The election of Obama was such a generational leap in so many ways that some retracement was inevitable. Blame it all on the excesses of the previous administration, which were many. After all, the Democrats don’t want to commit suicide.

There are two potential candidates. I believe that Hillary Clinton was given the safe position as Secretary of State precisely to hold her in reserve as a backup candidate in 2012 in case something happened to Obama. People of both political parties agree that she has done a spectacular job managing America’s role in the Arab spring, providing military support to drive Khadafy out of power, and keeping the Chinese buying out gargantuan debt issues. But as a presidential candidate, she is not without baggage.





Who wins This Contest?

-

The dark horse in the race is Michael Bloomberg, the highly popular mayor of New York. If there was ever a politician who can change his spots, it is Michael. A lifetime Democrat, he switched parties to win as a Republican in a Democratic town. He could flip flop again, or bolt to form a third party. I have known Michael since he went door to door on Wall Street seeking funding to start his data business to replace the aging Quotrons. A more quixotic mission there never was.

Yet he succeeded wildly, making himself a billionaire many times over, proving his credentials as an entrepreneur and a businessman, and creating an urban legend. An early adopter, I have personally paid him over $1 million in fees for the past 20 years for his versatile machine, as have most other hedge fund managers.

Where do the Republicans stand in all of this? They have to spend a year appealing to the conservative base, attempting to outmaneuver each other in a marathon to the right. Then they only have two months to swerve back to the middle to win the election. They have a somewhat hopeless task, and is why we have so many two term presidents.

What Rick Perry harangues about is popular in libertarian, oil based Texas, but will they wear it in Ohio, Washington, or Florida? I think not. Mitt Romney’s Mormon origins leave his party’s Christian base cold, and he is unelectable without them. Both these men are presenting themselves as modern day incarnations of Ronald Reagan. But I knew Ronnie for decades, first as an aspiring governor of California, and a Reagan they are not. I can’t imagine Perry telling me an off color joke.

The rest of the field are just “also rans”. On top of this, the power of the presidency as a campaign tool is not to be underestimated. Air Force One versus a chartered bus? Give me a break.





Or This One?

-

There are a few imponderables to consider in 2012. Some 4 million immigrants became naturalized US citizens in four years, who have a very high turnout ratio. Given anti-immigrant rants in states like Arizona and Alabama, you can count on almost all of these going Democratic. Another 4 million millennials will have reached voting age. Obama managed to get this group to turn out in unprecedented numbers in 2008. He didn’t run in 2010, and they failed to show. Will they return in 2012? Another demographic trend that has been ongoing for 50 years is the migration to the sunbelt, which favors the Republicans. I don’t know how all of this nets out, but I bet Carl Rove does. Ask him.





Or This One?

-

In the end it will come down to Ohio and Florida again, as it has in the last three elections. Few remember that Obama won by a landslide in 2008, taking some 365 electoral votes compared to the 270 needed to win. The Democrats could lose a staggering 94 votes and still take the presidency.

That means losing the entire Midwest and some of the East, including North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Indiana (11), Missouri (11), Maryland (10), Colorado (9), Iowa (7), Connecticut (7), West Virginia (5), and New Mexico (5), and still seeing blue ties (or pant suits) in the White House. In the end it will come down to Ohio and Florida again, as it has in the last three elections.

This is a race that is wide open and could go in any direction. That is why you are seeing such a plethora of Republican candidates. In politics, 14 months is 14 centuries, and anything could happen by November 6, 2012. New candidates will enter the fray, while old ones fade away. Rick Perry may have already peaked. The economy might even recover, or at least fail to melt down. After all, who heard of Barrack Hussein Obama 14 months before the last election? For those of us who trade for a living, this will be one giant unknown to pile on top of all the others, right up to election day.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:13 PM   #335
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Obama: "If You Love Me" - YouTube

2011 If you love me, help me pass this bill

2012 If you love me you, help me get reelected

2016 If you love me, help me repeal the Twenty-second Amendment

2020 If you love me, help me to be president of all the citizens of the world

2024 If you love me, destroy your false idols and worship me
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:43 PM   #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDY500
Obama: "If You Love Me" - YouTube

2011 If you love me, help me pass this bill

2012 If you love me you, help me get reelected

2016 If you love me, help me repeal the Twenty-second Amendment

2020 If you love me, help me to be president of all the citizens of the world

2024 If you love me, destroy your false idols and worship me
Well this is compelling stuff. What happens in 2028???
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:16 PM   #337
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Well this is compelling stuff. What happens in 2028???
The Cubs win the World Series, followed shortly by the apocalypse.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:47 PM   #338
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i think this part was accurate:

Quote:
I believe that the economy that Obama inherited was so broken that it will take decades to fix, if ever. It is easy to forget that virtually the entire financial system was bankrupt, the credit markets had seized up, and the ATM’s were two weeks away from failing to dispense cash. The government newly found itself a major investor in the country’s 20 largest banks, General Motors, and AIG.

But the reflationary measures he was able to get through a reluctant congress were too small to engineer the recovery he needed. The boldness of the moves seen during the Great Depression was sadly absent. Remember, Franklin Roosevelt directly hired 3 million men during his first two years through the Civilian Conservation Corps, immediately preventing 5 million from immediate starvation. This was when the population was less than half of what it is today.

To a large extent, Obama has become the fall guy for the excesses of earlier administrations. The big problems facing the country are long term and structural. The $15 trillion national debt is the product of 30 years of tax cuts and spending increases, primarily for defense.

Our runaway health care costs can be traced by our failure to nationalize health care when the rest of the developed did so in the late 1940’s, enabling them to keep their medical expenses to two thirds of ours, with better results. Social security and Medicare were financially flawed from the day they were launched, and modern day politicians were loath to touch them once they became sacred cows. None of these intractable problems are amenable to a quick fix.

the rest ... a bit conspiratorial.

it's going to be interesting.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #339
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama's proposal for a new tax on millionaires, calling it "class warfare" and predicting it will face heavy opposition in Congress.

Obama is expected to propose a "Buffett Tax" on Monday on people making more than $1 million a year as part of his recommendations to a congressional super committee seeking long-term deficit savings.

Paul Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican leader, said the proposal would limit growth and hurt corporate investment in an already stagnating economy.

"It adds further instability to our system, more uncertainty and it punishes job creation and those people who create jobs," Ryan said on Fox News Sunday. "Class warfare may make for good politics but it makes for rotten economics."

McConnell said Congress had already debated the issue last year, when Obama and Republicans forged a compromise that extended the reduced tax rates, approved during the administration of George W. Bush, for high-earners for two years.

"It's a bad thing to do in the middle of an economic downturn," McConnell said on NBC's Meet the Press. "There is bipartisan opposition to what the president is recommending already."

The "Buffett Tax" refers to billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett, who wrote last month that rich people like him often pay less in tax than those who work for them because of loopholes in the tax code, and can afford to pay more.

Obama will lay out his recommendations in White House Rose Garden remarks at 10.30 a.m. EDT on Monday and is expected to urge steps to raise tax revenue as well as cuts in spending.

MANDATE TO SEEK SAVINGS

The super committee of six Democratic and six Republican lawmakers must find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings before the end of the year to avoid painful automatic cuts, and is mandated to seek savings of up to $1.5 trillion.

Those savings are on top of $917 billion in deficit reduction agreed to in an August deal to raise the U.S. debt limit and Obama wants it to go further.

The populist proposal for a millionaire tax would appeal to Obama's Democratic base heading into the 2012 election, setting the stage for a battle with Republicans over tax and spending priorities.

"I just think that's a political move by the president," Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said of the millionaire tax on CNN's State of the Union.

"When you pick one area of the economy and you say, we're going to tax those people because most people are not those people, that's class warfare," he said.

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said on CNN that the proposal to raise taxes would be a good idea as long as it targeted "the wealthy and comfortable and those who wouldn't even notice it."

Congress also is considering Obama's jobs-creation proposal sent to them earlier this month. Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said a Senate vote on Obama's jobs plan would likely come in October.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:49 PM   #340
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Republican leaders on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama's proposal for a new tax on millionaires, calling it "class warfare"


The real "class warfare" in this nation has and is being waged by the rich and powerful against the middle and lower classes - and they've been winning since day one. It remains one of the greatest cons in history that the rich and powerful have duped middle and lower class citizens into voting for the needs of the rich over their own needs.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #341
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It's only class warfare when the other 99% come asking for their piece of the pie.

Otherwise, it's business as usual. Like when the wealthy lobby for tax breaks on things that only benefit them in their hobby of tax avoidance.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:50 PM   #342
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We all need to make sacrifices, except those who can afford them.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:22 PM   #343
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His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He's staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don't think would work.

The vultures are starting to circle. Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, "it's going to be impossible for the president to win." Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: "Panic."

But there is good news for the president. I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he's willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013.

That might be the sensible thing to do. It's hard for a president to win a second term when unemployment is painfully high. If the economy were in full rebound mode, Obama might win anyway. But it isn't, and it may fall into a second recession — in which case voters will decide his middle name is Hoover, not Hussein. Why not leave of his own volition instead of waiting to get the ax?

It's not as though there is much enticement to stick around. Presidents who win re-election have generally found, wrote John Fortier and Norman Ornstein in their 2007 book, "Second-Term Blues," that "their second terms did not measure up to their first."
Steve Chapman: Why Obama should withdraw - chicagotribune.com

Jeez, if the Chicago Tribune says Obama has no luck in 2012, then he probably doesn't.

I was never a die-hard fan of Obama; I was never "inspired" by him because I'm too cynical when it comes to politics. But I kind of feel sorry for him. Here's the first black president of the US and he gets stuck with one of the lousiest economic periods in the country. On top of that, there's the Tea Party quick to attack him. Hopefully the next black president gets better luck.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:50 PM   #344
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I only heard some of the speech this morning.

I wish more people would remind Republicans and "the rich" that we incurred this deep national debt while they got richer. It is their duty as Americans to help pay it down.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #345
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the job creators haven't created so many jobs since the Bush cuts now have they?
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