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Change--again--so soon?...
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Marcella



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never mind, deleted my original post. Don't want to get anyone in trouble over there...
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LindaB



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm late to this thread, but I want to thank Tee and Mark for their on-the-mark statesments.

We are indeed a want-a-McDonald-fix nation (sheesh),
and corporations and power elites truly are in charge (plutocracy anyone?).

I think there is one more factor--the dumbing down of America. I read a book of that title years back and it's rapidly becoming--or just is--true. I'm cynical enough to believe it has been purposeful because I worked for a company absorbed by one of the current, bigger mouthpiece corporations who started doing that with their US TV stations and newspapers right away, as they continue to do around the world.

When you hear the word "education" some folks hear it as just schooling the young in general. What about all the ill-informed adults in this nation who turn to the channel or voice they already agree with instead of trying to balance various sides of an issue? If you can't find a balanced view, we could at least listen to the more respectable, non-sound-bite voices for comparisons.

One of my newer annoyances is the new legislators using our tax money and legislative time to read (parts of) the Consitution. Sheesh again. Uh, before they ran for office would have been a better time if not before, just as regular non-elected citizens. And if they had read the WHOLE Consitution as well as the history of the battle to balance different voices and beliefs in the creation of it, maybe we'd have a fighting chance at more intelligent dialogue.

If more people in general truly studied the balancing act that is government, maybe more folks would understand we've already tried a Confederation of States--and that didn't last very long.

One last thing: Where's there an Alexander Hamilton when you really need him?
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, thanks, LindaB, for your thoughts and input. As always, it's fun to read the opinions of readers here. We are all unique in our views.

Secondly, I just read this article on the MSNBC page. And the American public is not even waiting the two years to change their minds--again, it seems! The economy appears to be coming along slowly, but steadily, and they're rethinking that maybe Obama isn't that bad after all. See how fickle we can be. Is that good? Is it bad? Just goes to prove that it usually takes a while before any progress is seen with measures taken earlier. It appears to be going decently now, but can that change? Of course. Then will the public be out there calling for changes in policies and politicians? Of course.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/01/20/5883619-first-thoughts-are-the-political-winds-changing

When a person makes the commitment to lose a considerable amount of weight, he has to wait some time before evaluating whether the plan he's using is sensible and working. No quick fixes here, unless the program is drastic and bad for the body. What may have taken years for pounds to accumulate, will not be shed in two weeks. It's unrealistic and heading for failure. Stay the course, evaluate regularly and then make decisions. That's good advice for just about everything. But we are a people of little patience and quick fixes will not necessarily work in the long run, even though they may be necessary for an emergency.

Put the band-aid on the cut for now and hope for a quick healing; but if it's deep enough and not getting better, you may have to go to the doctor eventually for treatment to prevent infection down the line.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
I agree with your second statement also. It's not going to be fixed in two years. Actually, I think the electorate, especially those who voted so overwhelmingly for Obama, thought it would be fixed the day after inauguration. That may sound silly, but I believe it's almost true. No president is given a magic wand on that day. It just doesn't work that way. But being scared, the mind doesn't work logically all the time.


This may be true for some, but not all former Obama supporters. Many of us did not expect him to magically fix all the problems, but we did expect him to keep his promise not to continue business as usual. Remember transparency? Remember breaking the hold of the lobbyists? He spoke the truth during his campaign and it's not fair to characterize those who voted for him as silly people who simply didn't understand the complexity of the problems facing this country. We did understand. And we heard Obama promise to find a new way of doing business in Washington.

People like me (and there are many of us) don't resent Obama because he's not a sorcerer. We resent him because he lied about the core beliefs at the very heart of his campaign. He set himself a huge task and was up against formidable opponents, but he had a groundswell of popular support behind him. The problem wasn't that he failed to keep his promises, but that he didn't even try. He handed over the public option (which he campaigned on) in a closed-door meetings before negotiations began. He says he gave us financial reform, but worked hard to protect Wall Street in the the process. He is Mr. Business-as-Usual all the way down the line. Given that, it's inevitable that that the situation has gotten worse, not better.

As Mark put it,

Quote:
as long as the current power structures continue there will be very little change for the good of the majority of the population, just more rigging the system for the privileged.

As I've said in other posts, there are a few true public servants in office who actually work for the good of all people in the country and way too many politicians who work for themselves and their buyers.


That's the problem in a nutshell. It is also what Obama said over and over during his campaign while promising to do things differently. It was not illogical to expect him to keep his word and it's not silly to be bitterly disappointed by his performance.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
The problem wasn't that he failed to keep his promises, but that he didn't even try.

You said many things in your post, but I only pulled out the above sentence. I wanted to give credit to your other statements as well, though, but highlighting too much gets in the way sometimes.

The statement above is one in which I do disagree. I think he did try but ran up against a brick wall; namely, the power structure in Washington. I truly don't think he was ready for it or even realized how powerful it really is. There is an order that's been in place for almost forever and the junior legislators know who the power players are and usually they are the legislators who've been there the longest (or something similar). Politicians play games; we all know that. You give me this and maybe I'll give you that. You attach this to your proposal and we'll vote for it (or not). Then, of course, there are the emergencies that crop up nationally and globally without warning that need presidential and/or congresssional decisions almost immediately. Is any president truly prepared for this office?

When Obama was campaigning, I was already wondering just how he was going to turn around this govenment and their decision-making policies. I was young enough to be involved in the 1960's call for action in the government. Did we make any ground? Yes, but we seem to be back to basics. What changes occurred didn't happen immediately, but the young people were sure stirred up. I forget who said it at the time, but a rallying cry was "Don't trust anyone over 30." And many believed this. Imagine--over 30. Thank goodness that didn't happen because a government ruled by under-30s would have been disastrous.

Obama met the wall and needs to learn how to go around it in a different manner, if that's possible in our lifetime. McCain would have done no better or differently, I believe. Before a couple has their first child, they are filled with ideals and dreams and promises for them. But actually having that baby in the house and watching him grow is probably one of the most humbling experiences around for parents. I had said so many worthless things prior to being a parent regarding how I would raise them and then totally did a turn-about at times as I was rearing them. You meet up with reality; and some prior values and ideas do stay the same, fortunately, but some change. Reality has a way of doing that.

And I apologize for using the word silly in a previous post. It wasn't intended quite the way you took it, though. Next time, I'll be more careful in using words that could be taken as insulting to people, because it is never my intention to insult people, only things. Cool
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think he did try but ran up against a brick wall; namely, the power structure in Washington.


Tee, I've heard this said many times. It would be nice to believe--it sounds good and lets Obama off the hook--poor guy, so well-intentioned and idealistic, yet so tragically inexperienced. . . And I'm sure there were things he hoped to do and was prevented by the prevailing power structure.

But I'm not talking about generalities. I'm talking about very specific examples where he claimed to believe something during his campaign (i.e., habeas rights for detainees) and then, once he was elected, deliberately fought against the very thing he claimed to support. He didn't attempt to do what he promised, only to run up against a wall, or bow down to Republican pressure or simply fail to act. Oh, he acted, all right--swiftly, decisively and in total opposition to his (very eloquently) stated principles.

That's what I mean when I say he didn't try.

There are other examples of specific actions Obama has taken that are utterly contrary to his campaign platform, which included a section on whistle blowers, calling them "patriots" who deserve to be encouraged, not stifled. Yet the Obama DOJ has gone after whistle blowers with a vengeance--including a whistle blower from the Bush administration who gave into. to a writer about the CIA's botched attempt to infiltrate Iran's nuclear program. That book came out in 2006, and the Bush DOJ decided not to prosecute--but that's not stopping Obama, the Champion of Whistleblowing, from going after this guy (so much for Looking Forward, not Back!) Even the NYT admits that "...the Obama administration is proving more aggressive than the Bush administration in seeking to punish unauthorized leaks."

It's one thing for inexperience to cause a politician to fall short of his stated goals, or to be forced to trade away parts of a plan to serve a greater good. It's quite another to get into office and do an about-face on your supposed core values.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
That's what I mean when I say he didn't try.

I believe we're at a standstill here. I feel Obama tried, but found it to be more challenging implementing his ideas than he believed during campaigning. And you have other opinions on this. I don't think either of us will know exactly what he personally felt either before or after unless he writes his memoirs again.

I can't believe that any person goes into the American presidency meaning to do harm. I know that's always a possibility, but not yet anyway. All of them, Democrat or Republican, want to do the best job they can and go down in the history books as one of the best. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes we find out 20 years after the fact that a person really served that office well when seeing the results of decisions made during his tenure in Washington. Other times, we find out just the opposite. A man could be popular but his presidency sucked.

Not being a pollyana, but also not being a fatalist, I still am of the thinking that Obama had and still has his ideals and they're good for the country. Fulfilling them has not been the walk in the park he first may have believed. A president can be riding high, with all the percentages of the American public behind him one day, then he makes a decision or decisions, and down go his ratings. That's the way it is and probably always will be, in my lifetime, anyway.

You and I may feel differently, but isn't it great we can say these things at all? Look at all the different countries where dissent in any form is actively discouraged and dealt with almost immediately. So I disagree with what you're saying, but I agree with your right to say it.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does seem that the number of instances when campaign utterances and in-office actions don't match well have multiplied. Whether it's power structure resistance or expediency or inexperience or ineptitude doesn't make that number less. Facts are difficult to overlook.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I feel Obama tried, but found it to be more challenging implementing his ideas than he believed during campaigning.


Tee, I've cyber-known you for a long time--not well, as I lurk on this site far more than I post, but as a valued member of a community I visit reguarly. I enjoy your posts on various topics. I respect your opinion. And yet I must say that our exchange has been incredibly frustrating. For all your insistence that everyone has a right to be heard, my distinct impression is that you haven't actually listened to anything I've said. I cite facts and examples and rather than acknowledging a single point, you lump it all together and label it as my opinion--no better or worse than anyone else's opinion.

It's as if we had a discussion about marine life, you presented a series of facts to me, and I responded with, "Yes, I understand that you think whales are mammals, but I believe they're fish. Oh, well, I guess we'll never know for sure, so let's agree to disagree."

You say that neither of us can know what Obama personally feels and you're right--but the point is that I don't care what he feels. I don't care if he still secretly clings to his ideals or what he writes in his memoir or how high his popularity ratings are. I care about what he is doing . Not as an intellectual exercise, but because it matters when an administration tries to silence the free press or persecutes whistle blowers or wants to expand its powers to invade our privacy or refuses to go after criminals on Wall Street. These things are important. They affect us all.

As citizens, we owe it to ourselves, our children and our neighbors to be informed, to base our opinions on facts and hold our representatives accountable--not for what they say or what we think they might be feeling, but for what they do.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
And yet I must say that our exchange has been incredibly frustrating. For all your insistence that everyone has a right to be heard, my distinct impression is that you haven't actually listened to anything I've said. I cite facts and examples and rather than acknowledging a single point, you lump it all together and label it as my opinion--no better or worse than anyone else's opinion

I don't quite know how to respond to this. Maybe I've been through too many presidencies to let it totally bother me. There have been a few Republican presidents where I could not wait until their term was over, and then it turned into two terms, and now one person in particular is being cited as one of the best presidents ever and I still don't see how that can be said. What I do see is that another president will follow this one, eventually. Some will like his proposed policies and some won't.

Quote:
As citizens, we owe it to ourselves, our children and our neighbors to be informed, to base our opinions on facts and hold our representatives accountable--not for what they say or what we think they might be feeling, but for what they do.

I have said this before--I totally agree with the above statement. I have always believed it and will always believe it. But so many people don't care. They don't even bother to vote, much less really know what the candidates are spouting. I've never missed voting in a presidential election. I know quite a bit about what my local legislators believe and fight for, but I don't know everything. We've just elected a Republican governor here in Michigan who told everyone exactly what he was going to do to ease the state budget, all the cuts he planned to propose--everything. He won with 58% of the vote, obviously garnering both sides of the ticket. Now that he's in and doing exactly what he said he would, a lot of people don't like him anymore. Don't tax my pension, they cry. Don't cut the movie industry credits. Don't, don't don't. But that's what he said he'd do--I don't think some people believed he'd be that drastic. Cut all you want, voters say, but nothing of mine, please. Actually, I think he just may be on the right track here, but all of us will be affected one way or another. We won't know for sure if the budget balancing will work until it's been adopted and implemented.

So I'm sorry you feel it's a frustrating discussion, but I don't have all the answers and I can't pretend I do. My original thought when I began this thread was that people have to give time to some proposals and ideas to see if they'll work. But we don't seem to have the patience these days. Right or wrong to feel that way? I don't know. But it definitely sounds as though I'm not the person for you to be bouncing off of since you want to get into nitty-gritty and that is not what I am prepared to do here. Partly because it would use up a lot of space and partly because I'm not sure that I have all my facts and figures to back anything up satisfactorily.

But, Liz, more power to you. You sound like a very passionate person and maybe we need to get you to run for some kind of office. We need people who care.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is an excerpt from today's Detroit Free Press regarding the large slip in ratings by newly-elected Republican governor Snyder. Just to note, this is following his state budget announcement and he has been in office only two months. Talk about not giving something or someone a chance. Yet he is doing EXACTLY what he said he would be doing while campaigning and was able to get 59% of the vote here based on that platform. I didn't vote for him; but for the record, I do feel he's on the right track here, with some numbers tweaking, but time is needed to see if it will work.

Looks like honeymoon’s over for Snyder
Michigan voters’ favorable first impression of Gov. Rick Snyder has faded since he announced his budget and tax proposals Feb. 17, a Free Press/WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) poll shows. Views on Snyder went from 59% positive and 8% negative in late January to 44% positive and 27% negative in the poll EPIC/MRA of Lansing conducted over the weekend.
[snip]
Porn said Snyder’s popularity has fallen farther faster than President Barack Obama’s did after he took office in 2009.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While looking for something else, I came across this quote. I just wanted to share it here since it seems so appropro for this thread, as well as similar threads in the future. It's our laugh for the day. Laughing

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed and are right." — H.L. Mencken, 1956
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 351
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
While looking for something else, I came across this quote. I just wanted to share it here since it seems so appropro for this thread, as well as similar threads in the future. It's our laugh for the day. Laughing

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed and are right." — H.L. Mencken, 1956


I am going to steal this Very Happy
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maryskl wrote:
I am going to steal this Very Happy

Hey, there's finally some agreement in the thread. Even if it comes at the expense of both parties. Laughing
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Rylan



Joined: 12 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post..
You are correct on so many levels! In my opinion,
the results reflect an electorate that has a very short memory.
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