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Old 06-01-2010, 10:10 AM   #821
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abcnews.com

World News' Political Insights: President Obama's Change Looking Like More of the Same

President Battles Perceptions on Gulf Oil Spill, Sestak Job Offer

ANALYSIS
By RICK KLEIN

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2010—

For a president who promised change, the danger now is more of the same.

The environmental calamity stemming from the BP oil spill is challenging President Obama's leadership in a fundamental way, threatening to undermine the sense of competence the president has sought to project.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the White House's purported job offer to Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., to keep him out of a Senate race is gnawing at Obama from another direction, depicting him as a business-as-usual politician who was slow to own up to an uncomfortable truth.

Oil Stains

The chorus of critics of the president's handling of the Gulf Coast crisis is only growing, with leading voices on the left leading the way -- and, increasingly, invoking comparisons to President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina.

This is more than anger at Obama for not acting more quickly, or with more emotional power. It reflects a growing concern among the president's allies that a key attribute that fueled his political rise is leaking along with the oil spilling into the ocean.

On the BP disaster, the president risks looking like part of the problem -- the head of an unfeeling and red-tape-wrapped federal government that has a cozy relationship with a tarnished oil company -- instead of the leader who promised "never again" to these same residents of the Gulf.

His challenge will be to show both emotion and firm leadership in the weeks and months ahead, even with no end in sight to the leak and a clean-up that will last decades. It won't be enough to be seen as effectively marshaling the resources of the federal government, though that would be a start.

With fingers pointing in every direction, the president will need to show that he's not just in charge but also on the side of the people of the Gulf. That's no easy task, given the growing frustrations of local officials in the region, and the hardening political storyline of a president who seemed not to grasp the urgency of the moment.

Toss in a president whose resting heart-rate is just different than your usual human being -- we're talking about "no-drama Obama" here -- and the political path is messy indeed.

Business Unusual?

On its face, the Obama White House's efforts to coax Sestak out of the Democratic primary against Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., looks like the kind of nudge that happens all the time in politics, at all levels of government.

But the problem for the Obama White House is that the president wasn't supposed to be that kind of politician. He offered himself up as an antidote to the deal-cutting, backroom culture of Washington under his predecessors of both parties.

Whether or not anything illegal took place -- and most legal experts agree that it's a stretch to argue laws were broken, if the facts were as the White House presented them last week -- the political fallout could be substantial.

Republicans are clamoring for independent investigations, and no internal White House reports will quiet those cries. Already, the incident has been political grist.

"What's amazing is that this administration wants to talk about not doing business as usual, and then this is clearly business as usual," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said today on "Fox News Sunday."

"The question is, has this been transparent? No. Has there been stalling? Yes. Is there a possibility that what we're being told now is not true because it's not so plausible? Yes. Should there be independent investigation so we can move on? Yes."

Key in this story will be the White House response. This has lingered far longer than the president's allies have wanted -- in part because answers have been slow in coming from the administration thus far.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:14 AM   #822
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1. what, exactly, is Obama supposed to do about the oil? i agree that he probably hesitated too long to swoop down there and leap on a table and wave a sword, but from an actual practical standpoint, there's little the government can do. this isn't like the death of 1,000 american citizens from a flood or the stranding of thousands in the Superdome who were unable to be evacuated from a city and proclomations of "heckuva job" from Trent Lott's vacation home. the only people with the technology to actually deal with this are the oil companies themselves, and all the government can do is regulate the oil companies, and since regulation = socialism, Dick Cheney effectively neutered the government back in 2001 when he appointed Ken Lay head of his energy commission and privatized most of the federal government. yes, this is ultimately Bush's fault.

2. the Sestak thing is the unseemly side of politics, but for god's sake, this has happened since George Washington. just how do you think someone becomes the ambassador to Barbados?
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:54 PM   #823
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1. what, exactly, is Obama supposed to do about the oil? i agree that he probably hesitated too long to swoop down there and leap on a table and wave a sword, but from an actual practical standpoint, there's little the government can do. this isn't like the death of 1,000 american citizens from a flood or the stranding of thousands in the Superdome who were unable to be evacuated from a city and proclomations of "heckuva job" from Trent Lott's vacation home. the only people with the technology to actually deal with this are the oil companies themselves, and all the government can do is regulate the oil companies, and since regulation = socialism, Dick Cheney effectively neutered the government back in 2001 when he appointed Ken Lay head of his energy commission and privatized most of the federal government. yes, this is ultimately Bush's fault.

2. the Sestak thing is the unseemly side of politics, but for god's sake, this has happened since George Washington. just how do you think someone becomes the ambassador to Barbados?
The Republicans really don't have a leg to stand on with either of these situations, so finger-pointing feels incredibly hypocritical here.

At the same time, given that the government was aware of the massive oil slick heading for the Gulf Coast region almost immediately, I do think the President could have been more proactive about marshaling forces on the ground in an effort to deal with the environmental crisis. While the oil rig may not have fallen under the direct jurisdiction of the federal government (any more than the weather in New Orleans does), federal response to the disaster certainly does. Human life may not be lost as a result of these events, but the damage ecologically and economically will be far-reaching.

As far as Shestak is concerned, I can't really get all that worked up about it, for the same reasons Irvine mentioned. However, if we're going to say that cronyism is merely "politics as usual" and that it's happened since the days of Washington, both parties should then be allowed the freedom to engage in it, or risk a double standard.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #824
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Originally Posted by Rick Klein
For a president who promised change, the danger now is more of the same.
i will admit he's far from perfect, but some of this isn't exactly his fault. yes, as irvine said he did hesitate too long before handling the oil spill, yes.

the problem is, and this goes for both sides, what one party suggests, the other will do what they can to prevent it from happening. look at the healthcare bill. what was originally proposed versus what finally passed is very different. again, i'm not pointing fingers at either party, honestly. but with both parties being so incredibly divided on issues, it makes it incredibly hard for real change to happen.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:09 PM   #825
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
1. what, exactly, is Obama supposed to do about the oil? i agree that he probably hesitated too long to swoop down there and leap on a table and wave a sword, but from an actual practical standpoint, there's little the government can do. this isn't like the death of 1,000 american citizens from a flood or the stranding of thousands in the Superdome who were unable to be evacuated from a city and proclomations of "heckuva job" from Trent Lott's vacation home. the only people with the technology to actually deal with this are the oil companies themselves, and all the government can do is regulate the oil companies, and since regulation = socialism, Dick Cheney effectively neutered the government back in 2001 when he appointed Ken Lay head of his energy commission and privatized most of the federal government. yes, this is ultimately Bush's fault.

2. the Sestak thing is the unseemly side of politics, but for god's sake, this has happened since George Washington. just how do you think someone becomes the ambassador to Barbados?
Exactly!

And the Coast Guard was on site just hours after the rig blew up, that was about all the government could do immediately.

Its not like Obama could have ordered them to leave the boats, put on safety goggles, swim down and put their thumbs on the hole until someone shows up with concrete.

The reality is much more complicated, as the failure of many very sophisticated methods tried thus far has demonstrated.

I understand you can control oil spills as they progress about as much as you can control the weather in New Orleans, but the difference was the government actually had a set of relief guidelines to follow and a set of requests from Nagin and Blanco of LA on the table and ignored both while people died. FEMA was in place to specifically deal with this stuff as it happens.

Oil spills, there are thousands of different regulatory bodies and agencies in the 1st place, and there will surely be numerous different investigations into what happened after the fact. As for during, we make it up as we go.

Obama's Katrina that suggestion is absurd, even if he has not been absolutely perfect in dealing with it.

As for Sestak, a big yawn and nothing more from me. Nothing illegal was done, its typical deal making. The party of Blackwater and K Street and Scooter Libby and Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay and Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham really does not have much of a leg to stand on here.

I am not saying I like the Sestak type things in politics, its just, lets not kid ourselves into confusing smoke filled back room Rahm Emmanuel deal making into real corruption. At least not until Obama gets his equivalent of Libby indicted.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #826
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Obama is going to kick some ass


mediaite.com

Countless talk show segments, op-ed columns and blog posts in recent weeks have focused on whether President Obama is emoting enough over the oil crisis in the Gulf, and/or whether or not he is angry enough. Former Clinton press secretary (and consultant on the West Wing) Dee Dee Myers thinks it would be risky for Obama to get too angry because…he’s black. Here’s the exchange from Morning Joe today:

Norah O’Donnell: “I was sort of stunned when you just walked in and I said do you think Obama is angry enough and your response was ‘he can’t be angry because he’s black.’”

Dee Dee Myers: “I think that’s hard for him. Anger isn’t the only emotion that would be helpful in this context….I would like Obama to show a little bit more emotion but it doesn’t have to be anger.”

Joe Scarborough noted earlier in the segment that he had assumed that maybe we were beyond this sort of thinking, but “we’re not beyond it.” I have to wonder if this just isn’t another case of the media snake eating its own tail: Obama isn’t angry enough, he gets angry (or at least says “ass”) and now the conversation (mostly thanks to Drudge) is ‘is he too angry.” It’s hard not to ponder how much easier Obama’s life would be if the cablesphere didn’t have so many empty hours to fill.

Anyway, as Norah O’Donnell remarked, it was sort of a stunning assertion to make. The President can’t show anger for fear of some sort of angry black man syndrome backlash? I find that both ridiculous and offensive. Of course this morning’s Drudge banner suggests (sadly) that she may have a very small point, or at least it suggests it is not in the media’s best interests for Obama to do anything right.


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Old 06-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #827
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^ "goes street"?

no, race isn't a factor at all in how conservatives view Obama.

(Drudge certainly thinks it is, hence the headline, orchestrated to appeal to white male conservatives everywhere)
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #828
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I didn't care that he said ass, but I would care if he responded in that way at all because of Spike Lee. He should kick his ass I have to agree with the doesn't ring true thing, it didn't for me. He is very tightly controlled emotionally, so it didn't ring true that he said that after all the criticism.


US News and World Report

CNBC Host Says Obama Sullied Office With 'Ass to Kick' Line

Becky Quick slapped Obama for using unpresidential language
By Paul Bedard
Posted June 8, 2010

Not everybody was pleased with President Obama's uncharacteristic line on the Today Show, spoken in the pre-school hours Tuesday morning, that he wants some "ass to kick" in the Gulf oil crisis.

Becky Quick, who co-hosts Squawk Box with lead anchor Joe Kernen and co-host Carl Quintanilla, slapped Obama for using unpresidential language in an interview he knew would be aired as children prepared for school.

"If you're the president of the United States and you go on the Today Show which is a morning show, where you're going to have a lot of kids sitting around watching this, I think you choose your words more carefully," said Quick. "Using the A word when you are on the Today Show talking with Matt Lauer, yeah, that disturbs me. But I also think that this is a way of trying to prove that I'm mad, to do exactly what everybody's been pushing me to do, and it doesn't ring true."

Obama has been under pressure in the media and even among his friends, notably film director Spike Lee, to air more passion when addressing the oil crisis. But Quick, who said she likes the president, said he sullied the office on the Today Show.

"When you are the president of the United States, you should speak of the office and there are events and time and places where maybe you get fired up about things. It sounded like he was using this to try and prove that he was mad and I think that's silly," she added.

"You can point to people who say these things all the time, we've used these words, but again, if you're the president of the United States and you are on the Today Show I would expect a different choice of words," she said.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:04 PM   #829
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^ "goes street"?

no, race isn't a factor at all in how conservatives view Obama.

(Drudge certainly thinks it is, hence the headline, orchestrated to appeal to white male conservatives everywhere)
Yeah, I think deep pointed out recently some very racially motivated headlines from Drudge.

But they'll just deny and point at a 90 year old woman.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:10 PM   #830
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"If you're the president of the United States and you go on the Today Show which is a morning show, where you're going to have a lot of kids sitting around watching this
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #831
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Remember we have to protect the children from S-H-I-T, so by extension ass too
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:24 PM   #832
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First: Why aren't the kids in school? Or getting ready for it?
Two: If watching TV, shouldn't these kids be watching cartoons, like all kids do?
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:25 PM   #833
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Yeah, there's nothing the kiddies like more than watching a rousing three hours of the Today show.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:27 PM   #834
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Especially when Kathie Lee and Hoda come on. The kids love it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #835
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That's nightmare-inducing stuff, right there.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #836
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The Today Show was my favorite when I was in pre-school.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:32 PM   #837
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That explains a lot.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #838
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Media Matters

Davis: Obama went "a little gangsta" with comment about "whose ass to kick." Filling in for Rush Limbaugh, radio host Mark Davis highlighted what he called the "audio of the day," stating that Obama had sought to use his "potty mouth" because his "leadership skills are dashed against the rocks." He then said Obama was "going a little gangsta for us to feign authoritative behavior." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/8/10]

Davis: Obama's comment is "like Urkel channeling Jay-Z." Later in the Limbaugh show, Davis complained that Obama's comments were "galvanizingly off-putting" because they were "so contrived and so orchestrated." He added that the comments were "like Urkel channeling Jay-Z." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/8/10]

Crowley: Obama "is Carlton Banks, not Suge Knight." In a blog post headlined "Gulf Oil Leak: Carlton Banks to the Rescue!" Fox News political analyst and radio host Monica Crowley likened Obama to fictional character Carlton Banks, writing that "Obama trying to show he's an angry avenger when he's essentially an automaton isn't going to work either. He is Carlton Banks, not Suge Knight. He's a navel-gazing, community organizing law professor, not a put-a-cap-in-your-ass gangbanger."
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #839
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Jesus Christ, you'd think he'd busted out with a "motherfucker" or something.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:36 PM   #840
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That explains a lot.
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