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How would you rate Obama's performance so far?
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 871
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rising gas prices are mainly due to Wall Street speculators. They are betting the price of gas will go up so they can make money. Surprise, surprise! Actually I don't have any problems with gas prices rising. It should be around $5 to $6 so we can pay for infrastructure, public transportation and alternative energy. It's going to hurt the middle class, particularly the lower middle class but from the actions of Congress who gives a d**n about us anyway. Most folks hopefully will start using public transportation, cutting back on their gas consumption and maybe purchase more fuel efficient cars. Cheap prices are most likely gone forever so get use to paying more at the pump.

We have owned our Smart car for two years and actually have a deposit down on the Nissan Leaf. We won't know whether we're going to buy it until it comes to Florida. Our daughter will probably get our Smart car(I think she wants the Hello Kitty wrap for it) so we may have a Nissan Leaf charging in our garage soon.

Basically the fix is in and we're all screwed. There is no one looking out for the middle class and we're on our own. So whatever crumbs they give us we should be appreciative. I really don't have a problem with Medicaid being eliminated and Medicare can go away as well. We can eliminate education in this country since there aren't going to be any jobs for us anyway. Most of us won't be able to afford health care so our life expectancy rates will fall. Survival of the fittest will be the order of the day.

I was looking towards a brighter future for my kids when we elected Obama with the country moving in a progressive direction. But the Republican Party rebranded itself selling themselves as the party of debt reduction and there were enough fools who believed them. How stupid can the American public be? Extremely stupid. I see it everyday. Now, I am curious to see how quickly America crumbles. It will be a sight to see. I am looking forward to seeing people going hungry and out of work because they were foolish to vote against their economic self-interest. People deserve to be screwed when they don't understand what they are voting for.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1406

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This describes some of the right-wing movers & manipulators that have warped the US over the last several decades:
http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2624
This has links if you want to DO SOMETHING:
http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2628
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our president continues to amaze me. On Friday, while signing the budget bill into law, he attached a signing statement which objected to parts of the bill and said straight out that he wasn't going to obey other parts. So what's the big deal? Other presidents have done the same, particularly Bush.

But it IS a big deal. How many times will we allow this president to break his word before we call him to account?

The clip below shows Candidate Obama, the constitutional scholar, out on the campaign trail explaining signing statements and their role in our system of government. The clip includes someone asking if Obama would promise NOT to use signing statements as president, and his one-word, crystal-clear answer: "Yes." Then he goes on to explain what they are, how Bush is abusing the Consitution by using them, and that the president has only two choices when it comes to legislation passed by congress: sign it or veto it.

The role of the president and his constitutional authority was a crucial part of the Obama campaign. He laid out a vision--and once again, his actions are in direct opposition to his rhetoric.

When, oh when, are liberals going to catch on to the fact that we've been had?? When are we going to demand explanations when Obama does things like this? I think the change is coming, but not fast enough for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=seAR1S1Mjkc
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 356
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
Our president continues to amaze me. On Friday, while signing the budget bill into law, he attached a signing statement which objected to parts of the bill and said straight out that he wasn't going to obey other parts. So what's the big deal? Other presidents have done the same, particularly Bush.

But it IS a big deal. How many times will we allow this president to break his word before we call him to account?

The clip below shows Candidate Obama, the constitutional scholar, out on the campaign trail explaining signing statements and their role in our system of government. The clip includes someone asking if Obama would promise NOT to use signing statements as president, and his one-word, crystal-clear answer: "Yes." Then he goes on to explain what they are, how Bush is abusing the Consitution by using them, and that the president has only two choices when it comes to legislation passed by congress: sign it or veto it.

The role of the president and his constitutional authority was a crucial part of the Obama campaign. He laid out a vision--and once again, his actions are in direct opposition to his rhetoric.

When, oh when, are liberals going to catch on to the fact that we've been had?? When are we going to demand explanations when Obama does things like this? I think the change is coming, but not fast enough for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=seAR1S1Mjkc


I am not happy with many of the things that Obama has done, however - sometimes circumstances dictate that we change our minds. I would much rather he change his mind than totally capitulate to blackmail. "Either you agree with the spending cuts or we shut down the government." What is the alternative Liz? Do you want Washington inundated with Scott Walker types who want to dismantle the government one program at a time and destroy what is left of the middle class? Before I had children I SWORE I would never tell them, "because I said so." I HATED that phrase when I was a child. Only when I was a mother myself did I realize that "because I said so" was not my mother "not hearing me" but it was closure after all explanations were rejected. Until we walk in someone else's shoes, we don't know how we would react when faced with two hard choices.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maryskl wrote:
I am not happy with many of the things that Obama has done, however - sometimes circumstances dictate that we change our minds. I would much rather he change his mind than totally capitulate to blackmail. "Either you agree with the spending cuts or we shut down the government." What is the alternative Liz? Do you want Washington inundated with Scott Walker types who want to dismantle the government one program at a time and destroy what is left of the middle class? Before I had children I SWORE I would never tell them, "because I said so." I HATED that phrase when I was a child. Only when I was a mother myself did I realize that "because I said so" was not my mother "not hearing me" but it was closure after all explanations were rejected. Until we walk in someone else's shoes, we don't know how we would react when faced with two hard choices.

AMEN. Thank you. This is what I keep saying in so many of my posts regarding decision-making people in politics, especially the President. The office of the Presidency is way too complex to try to put into a neat box during campaigning and say ahead of time exactly what one will do when there. I'm sure that the time spent following the election with the existing president and the incoming one is an eye opener for the newly elected one. That's where they get the inside facts of every bureau operating under him and the ongoing global situations. I can't imagine. He's probably processing all the promises he made while campaigning in comparison to the reality he's being shown.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2510

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not particularly upset about the signing statement manuever; as Marylski points out circumstances change responses. But, in general, I'm disappointed with Obama's performance as president. He seems to teeter most of the time, making impressive pronouncements without accomplishing much mentioned in them. It's not always possible to avoid confrontation, even bitter confrontation, and it's sometimes necessary to engage in it. He sidesteps confrontation too often.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 356
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
I'm not particularly upset about the signing statement manuever; as Marylski points out circumstances change responses. But, in general, I'm disappointed with Obama's performance as president. He seems to teeter most of the time, making impressive pronouncements without accomplishing much mentioned in them. It's not always possible to avoid confrontation, even bitter confrontation, and it's sometimes necessary to engage in it. He sidesteps confrontation too often.


I can agree with that Dick. I also think he needs to use the bully pulpit more.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The correct answer in Obama's case would not be, "because I said so."

He could have said, "Because I promised that as president, I would not use signing statements to do an end-run around Congress." Or, "As a candidate, I gave my word not to follow in Bush's footsteps in creating an imperial presidency." Or, "I pledged to the American people that I would act within my constitutional authority as president and that is what I am going to do."

Obama used the signing statement because Congress de-funded his czars. He said, in effect, "I don't care what Congress said. I am going to continue to fund them."

Now, you might agree that we need those czars, and in this case Congress's powers were misused and Obama merely righting a great wrong done to the American people. But what if in the future, a president was funding something you didn't agree with--that the majority of the American people didn't agree with--and Congress said, "No. The citizens of this country don't want this and it is not in your power to do it." Would you really want the president to have the power to ignore that?

It's not like Candidate Obama said he personally disliked signing statements and for that reason alone, would not use them. He said they circumvented the constitutional limits put on the presidency by our constitution. And he said this as someone who had studied and taught constitutional law.

The whole, "he didn't know what he'd be up against," argument is simply not applicable here. Presidents have always faced opposition from Congress, and have always wished they could override legislation that didn't advance an agenda they held dear. But they couldn't. Because that's how the system was designed to work, with checks and balances to keep the president from becoming a king--which was the specific intent of the framers of the constitution. Obama knew this. He is, after all, a constitutional scholar. He didn't get in office and say, "Congress didn't give me what I wanted? Wow, I didn't see that one coming. Guess I'll just have to re-think this whole signing statement thing."

It's a matter of principle, and principles don't change with circumstances. You might agree with this president and these goals, but the day will come when a president will do something you find morally reprehensible--and once you remove those checks and balances, there won't be any way to stop it.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 356
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liz: In PRINCIPLE, I agree with you. However...again I ask: What are our choices? A President who does not hold to all of his campaign promises OR a party that is trying to totally dismantle our Constitution, make consumer serfs of the middle class and force our retirees into choosing between eating and health care? Sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Liz: In PRINCIPLE, I agree with you. However...again I ask: What are our choices? A President who does not hold to all of his campaign promises OR a party that is trying to totally dismantle our Constitution, make consumer serfs of the middle class and force our retirees into choosing between eating and health care? Sometimes it is the lesser of two evils


But Obama's signing statement had nothing to do with health care or the poor or dismantling the Constitution (except in what he himself defined as a negative way). It had two parts. One (that I agree with whole-heartedly) concerned the transfer of detainees out of Guantanamo, and certain new restrictions Congress wanted to place on the president's ability to negotiate with foreign governments to take these detainees. Obama said in his signing statement that Congress did not have the power to so restrict the president, and that they were placing an obstacle in the way of negotiations. He noted his strong objection to these provisions and said that even though he would sign the legislation, "my Administration will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future." This is what he promised to do as president, when he said he would either sign or veto legislation. He signed it, but made his feelings known and said he would work to undo what they had done.

The second part concerned 'czars,' appointed by the president without any sort of confirmation process. Congress tried to de-fund them; Obama responded by saying that he refused to acknowledge their right to do so. He didn't just object (as in the case of the detainees), he said he was gong to ignore this part of the legislation entirely. This was basically a power struggle; it had nothing to do with protecting citizens from anything.

Actually, if you look at Obama's record, he is hardly a champion of the average citizen anyway. Look at his protection of Bush-era criminals from prosecution, including those who illegally wire-tapped people like us. Watch him defend the disgusting (and illegal) pre-trial detention conditions of Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking evidence of American war crimes to Wikileaks. Compare this with Obama's promise that he would protect whistle blowers--oh, but no, we're not allowed to do that! I keep forgetting that this president cannot be held accountable for anything he said during his campaign.

When he fails to live up to his word, we're supposed to excuse him on the grounds that he didn't really know what he was getting into. When he does the polar opposite of what he promised to do as president, we're meant to shrug and say, he's just facing up to political realities. Even when he turns his back on the core principles of his campaign, we should just sigh and say, poor Obama. He was so touchingly naive when he made those promises! It really isn't fair to hold him to them.

This argument suggests that the president you are defending is more than just naive, he really isn't very bright. But I have far more respect for Obama's intelligence than that. I don't believe he is a helpless, well-meaning bumbler, and I think he is very effective at advancing his agenda--it is just a very different one than he laid out during his campaign. This is an extremely important distinction, and I hope you will at least consider it as you watch our president in action.

[Edited to remove a particularly poorly written portion of this rant that was originally meant to apply to the media, but could too easily have been construed as insulting to my esteemed co-participants in this discussion. My bad.]
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 356
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider everything when I watch this president in action. There are many actions I do not approve of. I doubt there will ever be a president with whom I agree on everything or approve of all they do. I ask again, what is the alternative? I seriously doubt that Obama will have any meaningful competition for the Democratic nomination in 2012. That would leave us with whoever the Republicans nominate as a choice. At this juncture, I cannot see a single Republican that I could stomach. I would love to be an infinite idealist. However, as I have gotten older pragmatism is a stance that sometimes needs to be employed. While I would prefer to always be moving forward. Standing still is still preferable to going backward.

I applaud your idealism and outrage. I just don't see it accomplishing anything at this point. With the legislature divided between Republicans and Democrats, there is really nothing that can be accomplished until that changes. I think IF Obama gets any competition in the primaries, then the voters who put him in office will have some significant leverage. If he does not, then we muddle along until the legislative power shifts. The true colors of a president are not really seen until a second term. Then they are beholden to no one. If the Republicans continue on their current path, I fully expect to see the Democrats take both houses again in 2012. Then we shall see what we shall see.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maryskl wrote:
If the Republicans continue on their current path, I fully expect to see the Democrats take both houses again in 2012. Then we shall see what we shall see.


Didn't we already see that show before the last mid-term elections?

But you're right, I don't know what our alternative is. Unlike you, I don't have any faith in party politics. Seems to me that many (not all) elected representatives from both parties are working to advance the interests of the Wall Street/military-industrial oligarchs that are wrecking our economy and running the country into the ground. Once our elected representatives have served their real masters well, they get to dance through the revolving door into big-paying jobs, leaving the rest of us poor suckers to foot the bill in the form of higher taxes, fewer social services, endless wars and trashed ecosystems.

Ron Paul might not be perfect, but at least he talks about the costs--both fiscal and moral--of the ever-expanding war machine that is the United States. For that alone, I hope his campaign gets a lot of coverage.

Other than him, though, they all seem to be singing the same old tired song.
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bookmark



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:

I don't have any faith in party politics. they all seem to be singing the same old tired song.


Exactly how I feel. I'm so incredibly jaded about politics that I want changes but there's never any politician that I trust to bring about changes to help improve the economy, eliminate wasteful spending, etc... that hardly ever gets changed with the time.

On another note, I'm really glad he produced his birth certificate to silence all the needless chatter, so we can all focus on more important issues.

I have to beg Obama to stop shelling out money that we don't have! Every time he proposes a new policy or a commitment to allocate money towards something, I just want to tear my hair out. It's not true in all cases that you have to spend more to make more, not when you're talking about being in such huge debts. Can someone explain to me why as a new person in charge, you have to carry through with policies placed by the past person in charge? That doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I have no sense? Sad

Back to the gas prices, how can the gas companies keep getting away with raising gas prices for every little upset in the world? The fact that they end up making huge profits after each event they consider a crisis so that excuses them in making preemptive fee hikes tells me it's price gouging each time. Keep in mind that every time the gas price reaches a new high it never drops back down to normal levels. They use that new normal to build up from. I understand businesses have to make a profit, but come on!
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 871
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bookmark wrote:
LizE wrote:

I don't have any faith in party politics. they all seem to be singing the same old tired song.


Exactly how I feel. I'm so incredibly jaded about politics that I want changes but there's never any politician that I trust to bring about changes to help improve the economy, eliminate wasteful spending, etc... that hardly ever gets changed with the time.

On another note, I'm really glad he produced his birth certificate to silence all the needless chatter, so we can all focus on more important issues.

I have to beg Obama to stop shelling out money that we don't have! Every time he proposes a new policy or a commitment to allocate money towards something, I just want to tear my hair out. It's not true in all cases that you have to spend more to make more, not when you're talking about being in such huge debts. Can someone explain to me why as a new person in charge, you have to carry through with policies placed by the past person in charge? That doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I have no sense? Sad

Back to the gas prices, how can the gas companies keep getting away with raising gas prices for every little upset in the world? The fact that they end up making huge profits after each event they consider a crisis so that excuses them in making preemptive fee hikes tells me it's price gouging each time. Keep in mind that every time the gas price reaches a new high it never drops back down to normal levels. They use that new normal to build up from. I understand businesses have to make a profit, but come on!


As to the birther issue I am sure they will redirect their venom to something else about Obama such as whether he was smart enough to attend Harvard. It basically comes down to the melanin in his skin and how they can't stand that a non-white guy is President of our country and doing a pretty good job at it. My husband and I and another couple are showing movies in our community once a month. We just showed Michael Moore's movie "Capitalism, A Love Story" and we had several birthers show up for it. All they could do was criticize Obama. One of the birthers annoyed me so I had to speak up. It will be interesting to see if he shows up for the May showing of "Inside Job."

Do you think you are entitled to cheap gas? As much as I am not happy that Wall Street and the oil companies are benefitting from my money, I do think we should tax gas as an imperative to move on to alternative energy.
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bookmark



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:

As to the birther issue I am sure they will redirect their venom to something else about Obama such as whether he was smart enough to attend Harvard. It basically comes down to the melanin in his skin and how they can't stand that a non-white guy is President of our country and doing a pretty good job at it. My husband and I and another couple are showing movies in our community once a month. We just showed Michael Moore's movie "Capitalism, A Love Story" and we had several birthers show up for it. All they could do was criticize Obama. One of the birthers annoyed me so I had to speak up. It will be interesting to see if he shows up for the May showing of "Inside Job."

Do you think you are entitled to cheap gas? As much as I am not happy that Wall Street and the oil companies are benefitting from my money, I do think we should tax gas as an imperative to move on to alternative energy.


I don't know why people bother with where he was born BECAUSE I'm sure it's such a big deal that it's checked out when any foreign people run for presidency. No one would take a chance and run if they weren't American born and I'm sure there's no way it would escape the opponents if there was proof of being foreign born around somewhere.

As much as I would love cheap gas, I don't think I'm entitled to it because we are a capitalist nation and profit is the bottom line, BUT I do have a problem with price gouging and greed. I know I can't control any of that but it just boils my blood.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to move on to alternative energy. We've been talking about it for so long; we need to shut up and actually do it. We have made progress, with hybrid cars and all that, but way too slow and not widespread enough.

While I'm at it, why do we continually cut funding for public schools? That should be one of the last place that should be squandered or have the message be sent that it's not important. You know it's bad when education doesn't rank that highly with a nation.
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