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Old 02-03-2012, 04:00 PM   #841
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quick fox, sweep that shit under the carpet!
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #842
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Sadly I have yet to hear a rational argument in here as to why we should re-elect him this year.


But seriously...there are only two choices.

To me - it is a question over firing Obama for his missteps during the first two years. But you have to consider the alternative.

I believe Obama will be better served in his second term with a Republican Senate and House, which will force him (Clinton-style) to be more fiscally conservative. And I think he's smart enough to adopt the best ideas and be able to get enough of his own in.

And I think that is exactly what will happen.
Obama - second term -Republicans take all of Congress.
Wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:13 PM   #843
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It's happened twice: Polk lost TN but won the 1844 election. Wilson lost NJ when he won his second term in 1916.
You are a google-monster. I couldn't find that. Thanks and an interesting bit of trivia that may have to be amended this fall.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #844
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I believe Obama will be better served in his second term with a Republican Senate and House, which will force him (Clinton-style) to be more fiscally conservative. And I think he's smart enough to adopt the best ideas and be able to get enough of his own in.
Clinton came to the White House with executive experience in a conservative state. He also was head of the Democratic Leadership Council, a moderate answer to the increasingly liberal national Democratic party and the disasters of Mondale and Dukakis. Sen Obama was ranked at the top of the liberal voting records.

Has there been even a hint of Clinton-style triangulation from Obama after the wave election of 2010 that brought in a GOP house?

After 3+ years I think we state with certainty that:
 
Barack Obama is no more a political pragmatist than he is the Messiah.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:43 PM   #845
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Very positive and unexpected jobs report out today. Stock market futures immediately jumped.
Ha ha. Dig into the data. Most of the new jobs are part time jobs. Employers can't afford to create proper jobs with proper benefits any more.

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I'm sure Obama will get a lot of credit for this from the GOP. If you saddle him with job losses, then you saddle him with gains too.
If they're clever, they'll dig behind the data.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #846
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My friend thinks the same way. He once said to me: "As long as I have a job, I'm happy with whoever is President".

As a result, my friend liked Reagan, hated Bush Sr., liked Clinton, hated Dubya, and now likes Obama.
You know, I wouldn't criticise your friend particularly. Millions have voted and will continue to vote on the basis of much, much worse reasons than that - e.g., religion, belief in Biblical inerrancy or lack thereof, whether or not one smoked or inhaled dope at college, sheer blind prejudice, etc, etc.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:01 PM   #847
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Very true, financeguy. And as such, it's hard to take some people seriously when they then turn around and complain-you're the ones who didn't bother to focus on things like their policies or their experience or competence at the job, so you get what you voted for.

From that bit yolland shared:

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Mitt Romney accused President Obama this week of ordering “religious organizations to violate their conscience,’’ referring to a White House decision that requires all health plans--even those covering employees at Catholic hospitals, charities, and colleges--to provide free birth control.
I just find this whole thing hilarious. Like I said in another thread about this sort of issue, this is a great example of religious people's constant insistence on church and state blending coming back to bite them in the ass.

I could go into all the insanity regarding that debate, but I won't drag that whole thing in here. I'll simply say this about Romney: I don't care what your position is anymore, buddy, I just want you to freakin' PICK one.

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To me - it is a question over firing Obama for his missteps during the first two years. But you have to consider the alternative.

I believe Obama will be better served in his second term with a Republican Senate and House, which will force him (Clinton-style) to be more fiscally conservative. And I think he's smart enough to adopt the best ideas and be able to get enough of his own in.
I fully agree. Hopefully he will take notes on where he made mistakes in his first term and learn how to rectify them the second time around. My big hope is that he'll get tougher. I hope he'll fight back more often against the Republicans.

As for the jobs report, well, part-time jobs aren't exactly anything wonderful in terms of pay and living, no. But it's better than having no job at all and collecting unemployment that is constantly in danger of getting cut off by Congress every few months.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #848
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Ha ha. Dig into the data. Most of the new jobs are part time jobs. Employers can't afford to create proper jobs with proper benefits any more.

If they're clever, they'll dig behind the data.
Actually that's not true. This isn't like a seasonal jump, this is an upswing in real jobs. They may be contract jobs due to oil production, etc. but those aren't the same as part time jobs.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #849
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I just find this whole thing hilarious. Like I said in another thread about this sort of issue, this is a great example of religious people's constant insistence on church and state blending coming back to bite them in the ass.
since separation of church and state is in the constitution, you'd think the people that cling to the constitution so desperately for stuff like the right to bear arms etc would respect this.

but then again, it isn't in the republican constitution. the one where they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #850
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since separation of church and state is in the constitution, you'd think the people that cling to the constitution so desperately for stuff like the right to bear arms etc would respect this.

but then again, it isn't in the republican constitution. the one where they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people.
There is the Establishment clause, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." but is followed by the Free Exercise Clause, "... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

I think it can certainly be argued that forcing an individual or religious organization to act against its religious conscience (in this case Catholics to purchase contraceptives, or other groups the morning After Pill) is prohibiting their free exercise of religion.

Both clauses are equally important in protecting personal liberty. The first protects religious pluralism, the second individual sovereignty.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #851
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I actually do agree on that, INDY. I do think there's just as much danger in the state getting involved in church affairs as there is the other way around.

I'm just saying that that's the thing religious people often tend to forget when they talk about wanting church and state to mix. Sure, that means the church will have control over the state, so yay for the religious people there, but it also means the state's going to control them, too. It's all fun and games until you're the one who's in the position of being forced to do something you may not agree with. And now the people objecting to that birth control thing might start to realize how those of us who don't want religion running people's lives feel.

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since separation of church and state is in the constitution, you'd think the people that cling to the constitution so desperately for stuff like the right to bear arms etc would respect this.
One would think so, yes. Ironic how the Constitution is like religious text in that people cherry pick the parts they want to follow, and has the same "purist vs. adapting to the times" debate going on.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #852
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I just glossed over the press release. Employment Situation Summary

In January 243,000 new jobs were created. There have now been 23 straight months of job growth. Unemployment is down to 8.3 percent, the lowest it has been since February 2009 (with this trend continuing Obama might even be able to claim that unemployment is lower then when he became president.

And oh...


So I think Obama will also get credit from the GOP for making government smaller.
Did you just quote direct from a US government press release?

Christ. That really wins the argument.

Here are the really numbers, for the benefit of those still living near Lake Reality:

- 1.2 million working age people no longer have the honor & privilege of being 'counted' for purposes of tabulating unemployment

+ inherently flawed 'seasonal january adjustment'

+ a whole lot of temporary workers with no benefits and mostly at or near minimum wage

= turn an actual survey data of a loss of 2.6 million jobs into a labour department reported gain of 243,000 jobs.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #853
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I'm just saying that that's the thing religious people often tend to forget when they talk about wanting church and state to mix.
There is huge difference between "church and state" and "religion and state" however. Most people confound the two but they are very different. The Founders well understood the dangers of combining church and state but also stressed the importance of a virtuous, religious populace to the concept of self-governance and limited government. The two clauses in the First Amendment clearly shows that as do the abundance of quotes, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

It is the difference between a theocracy and a government and populace made up of people of faith.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:00 PM   #854
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But then of course that presents an issue for those in this country who aren't religious at all. "Moral and religious"-one should remember the two are not always synonomous.

Either way, be it the church, or religion, neither one should be used to influence state decisions. Add in the conflict over which faith is to be represented, if any, and then there goes the can of worms.

Like I said, it's all not a problem until it's your faith or lack thereof that is the one being overruled.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #855
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But then of course that presents an issue for those in this country who aren't religious at all.
Protecting religious pluralism includes the right to be a non-believer.
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"Moral and religious"-one should remember the two are not always synonomous.
Lots of evidence of that I'm afraid.
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Either way, be it the church, or religion, neither one should be used to influence state decisions.
Then you've just made secularism the official religion of the government. You've taken down that wall between the two.
We want a secular government free of legislated dogma but do we really want to say that values and principles informed by faith and religious teachings are inherently inferior for framing our laws, nay illegitimate, to those arrived at by a more temporal or nonspiritual means? Where's the evidence that that is even true? And where's the evidence of such a system of governance that we would want to emulate?
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:59 PM   #856
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Protecting religious pluralism includes the right to be a non-believer.
Absolutely.

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Lots of evidence of that I'm afraid.
Why the "I'm afraid" bit?

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Then you've just made secularism the official religion of the government. You've taken down that wall between the two.
We want a secular government free of legislated dogma but do we really want to say that values and principles informed by faith and religious teachings are inherently inferior, if not illegitimate, for framing our laws to those arrived at by a more temporal or nonspiritual means? Where's the evidence that that is even true? And where's the evidence of such a system of governance that we would want to emulate?
Not saying those views are inferior. For instance, take the issue of slavery-I certainly would agree being against slavery would be a worthy Christian principle. And a leader making an argument that they refuse to support slavery because it goes against their religious code is something I would applaud.

But the proven fact that it's also a clear abuse of human rights is another reason why it shouldn't exist. Religion relies on faith in things that may or may not be true, and it's not always easy as a result to use that as a means to shape our laws. That's where the problem comes in. It's not that one would necessarily disagree with a religious person's arguments or think they aren't worth considering when it comes to making laws, it's simply that the religious argument is also more faith-based than fact-based. And for people who think laws should have grounds in cold hard facts behind them, this poses a bit of an issue.

Let's put it another way: if someone makes a simple suggestion in relation to Islamic beliefs as their reason for why a law should exist, how well would that go over? If our president were of that faith (I can hear the Obama/Islam jokes now), would it be okay for him to use his faith to help make his decisions about the country? Jewish? Buddhist? And so on? How comfortable will we all be with this idea when it's someone of an opposing faith making the laws?

I'm not taking down a wall at all. I'm keeping it firmly in place and not letting any one religion rule the day. Mind you, I also don't want atheists making laws which would target religious people, either, telling them they can't practice something or go to a place of worship or whatever because what they practice and believe is wrong and not real.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #857
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- 1.2 million working age people no longer have the honor & privilege of being 'counted' for purposes of tabulating unemployment

+ inherently flawed 'seasonal january adjustment'

+ a whole lot of temporary workers with no benefits and mostly at or near minimum wage

= turn an actual survey data of a loss of 2.6 million jobs into a labour department reported gain of 243,000 jobs.

Quote:
January Jobs Report: Good News for the Economy, Bad News for the Pessimists
By MASSIMO CALABRESI | February 3, 2012 |

Some Obama opponents are struggling to find a cloud in the silver lining of January’s jobs numbers, which estimated that there was a 243,000-job boost and a big drop in the unemployment rate, from 8.5% to 8.3%, last month. Their biggest gripe focuses on the size of the labor force: As the unemployment rate has trended down over the last few months, anti-Obama commentators have argued that the official percentage for those without jobs is deceptive because the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t count those who have stopped looking for work. In Friday’s report, they found a sharp increase in that group: More than 1.2 million people joined the non-job seeking pool of working-age Americans last month.

I was ready to join the pessimists Friday morning when I saw the sharp drop in the unemployment rate, but for a different reason. The January unemployment report, I had been forewarned by BLS, was the first to be based on models using 2010 census figures. (All these numbers are guestimations based on surveys of smaller samples taken around the country). A big shift up or down in the unemployment rate, I thought, could be explained by the change in the overall population of the country, reflected in the census numbers.

But the census adjustments actually work against my theory and that of the Obama-detractors. The demographic adjustments had no effect on the unemployment rate, says Mary Bowler, the resident expert in these matters at the BLS. And when it comes to labor force estimates, the steep jump in the number of those not seeking work came entirely from the census adjustment, which added 1.25 million people to that group. If you take out the census adjustment, the labor force numbers stayed essentially the same, as reflected by the labor force participation rate of 63.7%. In other words, the spike in the number of people no longer looking for work is entirely the result of some people at the Labor Department adding numbers to their spread sheets rather than an actual observed shift anywhere in the real economy.

In recent months there have been other reasons to be pessimistic about the economy and about the unemployment numbers, but January’s report offers good news in those areas as well. Even though consumer sentiment and retail sales have been improving over the last few months, some economists argued that the economy could never really turn the corner until the housing market cleared the millions of pending foreclosures that are keeping housing prices low and mortgage holders underwater. The latest employment numbers suggest a turnaround may be underway in housing even though the foreclosure bulge is still working its way through the economy. The January jobs report showed a sharp improvement in housing employment, says Jed Kolko, an economist at Trulia. Construction employment was up 3.9% compared to three months ago. Kolko also points to a big jump in youth employment, as the unemployment rate for 25-34 year-olds dropped to 9% from 9.4% in December. That age group is the prime demographic for changing housing demand.

And just as a final kick in the teeth to those of us who tend to look at the glass as half empty, the Institute for Supply Management on Friday reported that factory orders were up 1.1% in December, suggesting job growth may continue, at least in the manufacturing sector, as producers hire more workers to meet demand.

All in all, it was a very grim day for serial pessimists, this writer included.


Read more: January Jobs Report: Good News for the Economy, Bad News for the Pessimists | Swampland | TIME.com



hope that helps.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #858
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #859
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it's simply that the religious argument is also more faith-based than fact-based. And for people who think laws should have grounds in cold hard facts behind them, this poses a bit of an issue.
I don't concur necessarily. You could put George Will and Norm Chomsky, two agnostics, in a room and what policies, arguing on "facts" alone, would they agree on? In actuality we all act on faith. Some of us have more faith in free markets and some of us have more faith in government for example. Some of us have more trust that individuals can make the best choices for themselves and some of us believe they can't be trusted and we should limit access to foods, drugs, movies and light bulbs they might do harm with.

On the other hand, I can take a passage from the Bible and come to a completely different conclusion than another Christian. I think the president's theology is atrocious when he says, "For me, as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’ ” I don't read that at all as as an endorsement of the "social gospel" of the Left, Big Government or reason enough to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires. So two Christians can agree on the commission to 'love thy neighbor" and care for the poor but disagree completely on the most efficient and effective way to achieve those ends. Private charities supported by the individual compulsion of time and money vs. compulsory giving enforced by the IRS and funneled through the autonomy of government bureaucracy is how I would frame it but you might word that differently.

In the end theology and ideology can both be based on faith and both can lead to truth. But truth is truth. And I rather like how the designers of the Supreme Court building show lawgivers from all over the world and throughout history. From Moses, Solomon, Charlemagne and Confucius to Blackstone to illustrate that.

Quote:
Let's put it another way: if someone makes a simple suggestion in relation to Islamic beliefs as their reason for why a law should exist, how well would that go over? If our president were of that faith (I can hear the Obama/Islam jokes now), would it be okay for him to use his faith to help make his decisions about the country? Jewish? Buddhist? And so on? How comfortable will we all be with this idea when it's someone of an opposing faith making the laws?
Well, laws should reflect a society shouldn't they. The one caveat being the protection of human and unalienable rights. My concern with Islamic law isn't that it reflects the beliefs of the majority of its citizens but rather how it treats those that don't. Most Islamic countries have Shariah law written into their constitutions. Now, like Christians, Muslims can read the Koran and have different interpretations but history and the current record of human rights abuses speak for themselves. Nor is the assimilation of Muslims into Western culture looking very promising at the moment.

How come we've never discussed anything in depth before? You're very interesting to trade posts with.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #860
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Did you just quote direct from a US government press release?

Christ. That really wins the argument.

Here are the really numbers, for the benefit of those still living near Lake Reality:

- 1.2 million working age people no longer have the honor & privilege of being 'counted' for purposes of tabulating unemployment

+ inherently flawed 'seasonal january adjustment'

+ a whole lot of temporary workers with no benefits and mostly at or near minimum wage

= turn an actual survey data of a loss of 2.6 million jobs into a labour department reported gain of 243,000 jobs.
Im all for good news, if that's what it really was. But i'm also a bit confused with the jobs report because at the same time we're also hearing that American Airlines is supposed to cut 10k - 13k jobs:

American Airlines to Cut Up to 15,000 Jobs - KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

American Airlines: We'll have 'many fewer' jobs - Feb. 1, 2012

add to that awful news, per CNN, some analysts are predicting $5 per gallon gas this summer:

Gas prices: Rocky year ahead - Jan. 16, 2012

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