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Old 2008-11-15, 22:49   Link #41
yezhanquan
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Generally, I believe that bills should not be steamrolled. Of course, I don't endorse gridlock. Moderation is key, and debate is essential.
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Old 2008-11-15, 23:52   Link #42
Luminisk
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Obama is still weeks away from taking the oath in and the Russian president already calling out to talk to him... as soon as Obama is sworn in that is; Jan 20th isn't approaching any faster.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/1..._n_144117.html
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Old 2008-11-16, 00:06   Link #43
yezhanquan
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Still at least 2 months. Chill.
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Old 2008-11-19, 21:38   Link #44
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Still even with the 60 votes, gay marriage and abortion and gun restriction and even spending bills are very unlikely to be steamrolled due to enough socially and fiscally conservative democrats in the chambers.
Gay marriage and abortion are not issues that the Federal government will deal with. The first is largely a state matter, and the second is governed by existing court decisions. I'd predict neither of these will come to a vote in Congress during the next four years. I'd bet the "Defense of Marriage Act" will continue to be Federal law in 2012.

Some types of gun restrictions seem much more plausible. Obama has already said he favors renewing the assault weapons ban, for instance. Still we're only likely to see regulation of the most egregious types of weapons, and perhaps some additional regulations like stricter oversight of sales at gun shows. There's no way the Democrats are going to be taking weapons out of the hands of licensed gun owners despite their fears.

Where I see Lieberman's vote mattering most is on filibusters of appointees, particularly nominees to the Supreme Court and other appellate courts like the various Courts of Appeal. Luckily he is pretty liberal on these types of issues despite his more conservative views on military and diplomatic issues. Some of these positions on social issues probably contradict his personal beliefs, especially on abortion which is anathema to most Orthodox Jews like Lieberman. If the Democrats need his vote to move forward the nominations of pro-choice jurists, he'll probably be there to provide it.

The fact that the Democratic caucus did not strip him of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee this week shows me that the Democratic leadership knows how to count to 60.
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Old 2008-11-19, 22:46   Link #45
Vexx
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My only comment is that rather than "renew" the assault weapons ban --- they fix it first so it actually *does* what the title says. It was a piece of major junk law (much like, um, the PATRIOT Act and the DMCA .... I'm beginning to think these guys all failed basic writing and they don't read what they sign). The one thing it actually didn't outlaw was .... (ta-dum) assault weapons. A more apt title might have been "The Ugly Gun Ban".... which was pretty useless and stupid but allowed politicians to shout they had "saved the children" again...

Most people who know anything about firearms will tell you "assault weapons" are fully automatic machine guns, shotguns -- things used to keep the enemy ducking til you get close during an assault of a position. There really is no technical meaning to the phrase and I don't use it. Its basically a 'scare word'.

Having said that (and outed myself a bit as to how I feel about this issue) -- I'd really like to see that "gun show loophole" closed (i.e. requiring an instant background check before sale). I'd like to see more training in the use of firearms: knowledge removes irrationality.

However --- I don't see even that happening until the 2010 mid-term elections pass by.

As far as Lieberman goes, yeah he still commands a lot of influence because of that body count in the Senate.


For a semi-serious moment about Obama, I found this article to make me happy personally about our upcoming change in presidential style.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-b..._b_144642.html
The last paragraph is especially apt to make some smile.

Last edited by Vexx; 2008-11-20 at 16:06.
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Old 2008-11-21, 15:51   Link #46
4Tran
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As far as I'm concerned, one very amusing bit of news is that the Iranian government seems to be more worried by Obama's accomodating approach than by Bush's hard-line posture: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...1300852&s_pos=
The reason for this is most likely that the government would normally be able to blame their internal problems on American belligerence. When that belligerence fades, then it becomes a much weaker excuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
Gay marriage and abortion are not issues that the Federal government will deal with. The first is largely a state matter, and the second is governed by existing court decisions. I'd predict neither of these will come to a vote in Congress during the next four years. I'd bet the "Defense of Marriage Act" will continue to be Federal law in 2012.

Some types of gun restrictions seem much more plausible. Obama has already said he favors renewing the assault weapons ban, for instance. Still we're only likely to see regulation of the most egregious types of weapons, and perhaps some additional regulations like stricter oversight of sales at gun shows. There's no way the Democrats are going to be taking weapons out of the hands of licensed gun owners despite their fears.
The incoming administration has so many massive problems to tackle, I doubt that either of these issues are going to be particularly high priorities, especially since they will require the expenditure of political capital to pass any legislation on. I get the feeling that Obama would prefer to leave any weapons decisions to municipalities, so it's likely that DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell would be repealed first.

Instead of those issues, the priorities after inauguration are probably as follows:
  1. the economy
  2. reversing Bush's executive orders
  3. the economy
  4. refocus on foreign policy initiatives
  5. the economy
  6. addressing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
  7. the economy
  8. new energy guidelines and programs
  9. the economy
  10. work on health care legislation
  11. and did I mention the economy?
There is so much that has to be done that I don't know if there's any room for any extra stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
Where I see Lieberman's vote mattering most is on filibusters of appointees, particularly nominees to the Supreme Court and other appellate courts like the various Courts of Appeal. Luckily he is pretty liberal on these types of issues despite his more conservative views on military and diplomatic issues. Some of these positions on social issues probably contradict his personal beliefs, especially on abortion which is anathema to most Orthodox Jews like Lieberman. If the Democrats need his vote to move forward the nominations of pro-choice jurists, he'll probably be there to provide it.
Two facets of filibusters that I don't think get enough discussion are that:
if the Republicans want to filibuster a bill then they still have to work up the political capital to do so. Any frivolous use of this power will further weaken their brand and make it all the more likely that certain senators will cast a wary eye on 2010. As for appointments, unless it's some sort of ridiculously politically divisive figure, I don't think that a filibuster is all that likely. Even Supreme Court appointments are likely to pass without much difficulty if qualified individuals are brought up.
a filibuster is unlikely to work on solely party lines. There are enough conservative Democratic senators (the Blue Dogs) that any bill that's seen as "extreme" will get quashed regardless of any majority.

Sure, Emmanuel will be cracking some heads if there's significant opposition to a bill that the administration really wants passed, but he's about as likely to do so whether it's a conservative Democrat or a centrist Republican, so a 60-seat majority isn't quite as important as it's made out to be.

Where Lieberman's retention of his chairmanship really plays is that it sends a fairly strong message: he owes his position to Obama, and Obama is going to expect some compensation. The same goes for the rest of Congress, so the administration is going to have a lot of authority for at least the first few months. I expect the first hundred days to be extremely eventful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
My only comment is that rather than "renew" the assault weapons ban --- they fix it first so it actually *does* what the title says. It was a piece of major junk law (much like, um, the PATRIOT Act and the DMCA .... I'm beginning to think these guys all failed basic writing and they don't read what they sign). The one thing it actually didn't outlaw was .... (ta-dum) assault weapons. A more apt title might have been "The Ugly Gun Ban".... which was pretty useless and stupid but allowed politicians to shout they had "saved the children" again...
Heh. For political reasons, most awful bills have really inappropriate names: witness No Child Left Behind (otherwise known as How to Ruin Public Education).
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Old 2008-11-22, 12:19   Link #47
Pendevous
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After an unexpected landslide win over McCain, Obama became the first ever African-American president of the USA. Good thing.

Thing is, he got elected at the time when America's in a war on Iraq, against terrorism, and where their economy is currently experiencing a heavy crisis. See, US has a liberal theory regarding the market having the capability to control itself didn't hold up. Philippines is a nation which is very dependent - I stand steadfast in this opinion - to the US, so we need a strong nation. Obama needs to somehow change the economical state of the US by enforcing a more strict financial policy and get the economy's gears moving again. If he can do that, then I'll be really impressed at him.

I also like his part of the speech regarding the withdrawal of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is draining A LOT of the USA's resources. These people and materials can help boost the USA's economy more if they aren't in the battlefield by doing something else.

These aren't just the problems that Obama might face. Let's not forget about resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine, as well as how to neutralize Russia. He needs some allies, and with 8 years ahead of him, that's gonna be though to do alone.

Obama winning the election is a great leap for Americans and specially non-Americans, but for these points that I've pointed out, I wager that these problems will not cease to continue during Obama's 8-year reign. I just hope that I'm wrong.
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Old 2008-11-22, 16:22   Link #48
mg1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendevous View Post
Philippines is a nation which is very dependent - I stand steadfast in this opinion - to the US, so we need a strong nation. Obama needs to somehow change the economical state of the US by enforcing a more strict financial policy and get the economy's gears moving again. If he can do that, then I'll be really impressed at him.
Yes, Philippines is dependent to the US. We need US expertise in logistics and (high tech) communications to eliminate radicals/terrorists in Visayas and Mindanao once in for all!
Also, BPO in the philippines is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, but I'm afraid the expansion might slow down under Obama administration. It's already hard enough for our college-grad kababayans with high level of proficiency in English to get in the workforce.
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Old 2008-11-22, 16:33   Link #49
Thingle
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Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
Yes, Philippines is dependent to the US. .
That sucks, actually. I don't know if I'll be proud of it or NOT. I attest to this socio-cultural-economic and military dependence and calling it a puppy-master relationship would be an understatement.
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Old 2008-11-26, 15:09   Link #50
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the funniest thing so far is how a lot of the leftnuts are in a up roar over Obama's cabinet picks. As much fun as watching the rightnuts collapse.
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Old 2008-12-13, 23:10   Link #51
solomon
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So what do ya'll think of the makeup of Obama's cabinet so far?

http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/new_team

I think It is rather good in many respects. Nobody can make any half assed assertions of Obama briining Chicago style louts or left wing demagouges in into the white house.

It seems positively Clinton-esque, which pisses off 60-style New Left Democrats but while the Reagan air is fading, it's still stuck in the noses of a lot of the electorate. Besides anyone who advocates a huge swing left after a pronounced but more gradual swing right doesn't know what their going to get (A Mess).
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Old 2008-12-17, 23:43   Link #52
kyon.haruhi.suzumiya
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Hell, it's a basketball team Obama wants to install...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
Obama's team has basketball skills

Is this funny or what? Obama picks basketball buddy to be education minister. Does he qualify for the job or does he qualify for the basketball tournament?
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Old 2008-12-18, 00:00   Link #53
Shadow Kira01
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I was pretty surprised, considering that I recently started playing Persona 4 and chose the basketball club.. What a coincidence!
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Old 2009-01-06, 05:20   Link #54
mg1942
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Obama has selected CIA chief

"President-elect Obama's decision to fill the nation's top intelligence positions with two men short on direct experience in intelligence gathering surprised the spy community and <fill in the blank> "



a) will jeopardize our National Security

b) is a danger to America

c) will limit the ability for America to gather intelligence

d) signaled the Democrat's intention for a clean break from Bush administration policies.





Sounds like we don't have very good spies if they were surprised.

Last edited by mg1942; 2009-01-06 at 05:33.
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Old 2009-01-06, 05:34   Link #55
yezhanquan
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The spy chief: Ah yes, that post with one of the most shades of grey in the job. The thing is: Should this chief be more "black" ("deemed classified/confidential") or "white" (More open about the role of US spies)?
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Old 2009-01-06, 16:08   Link #56
solomon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
"President-elect Obama's decision to fill the nation's top intelligence positions with two men short on direct experience in intelligence gathering surprised the spy community and <fill in the blank> "



a) will jeopardize our National Security

b) is a danger to America

c) will limit the ability for America to gather intelligence

d) signaled the Democrat's intention for a clean break from Bush administration policies.





Sounds like we don't have very good spies if they were surprised.
Although we don't see eye to eye on many things, I share concern on Obama's CIA picks

Aside from that I like the make up of his cabinet and the congress seems cool as well. Hell I am a left winger but am happy with the congress we have now scince we may have enough moderate democrats to be both functional and open for debate, it de-Berklefied the Democratic party (which actually I thought wasn't TOO Berkely-esque ot begin with, it aint the 60s no more folks). Problem is aside from a few from the midwest and pacific coast, the the Republican party is even more dixie-fied which won't bode well in the near future for the congress or themselves.
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Old 2009-01-06, 16:16   Link #57
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
The spy chief: Ah yes, that post with one of the most shades of grey in the job. The thing is: Should this chief be more "black" ("deemed classified/confidential") or "white" (More open about the role of US spies)?
there are really just 2 qualification for a spy chief.

1. know what he is doing
2. willing to get his hands dirty.

respect for human rights and all that blah is totally not needed. Obama should never have cave in to the liberal left regarding his first choice for the post.
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Old 2009-01-06, 16:27   Link #58
mg1942
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If turf wars between the CIA and other agencies as well as between departments within the CIA itself really hurt our intelligence gathering in the last decade, then Panetta is probably a strong choice to get that under control.

From a managerial perspective, I can see the wisdom in the choice. His lack of intelligence are a bit worrisome though, but I understand the rationale behind the pick.


oh btw Since Panetta has experience as Chief of Staff, maybe he should swap places with Rahm Emanuel. He'll send "dead fish" to enemies abroad. Plus, his middle name might prove handy in negotiations with Hamas
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Old 2009-01-06, 17:04   Link #59
Vexx
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Panetta is not tainted by the past as a "member of the inner sanctum" would be... on the other hand, he's got his work cut out in either cajoling or threatening the "inner sanctum" to clean up its act. The worst scenario is him being cut out of the inside loop if they don't respect him or fear he will take names and kick ass.
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Old 2009-01-06, 19:24   Link #60
yezhanquan
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@Xellos: I do believe that America is able to give enemies who have the (mis)fortune of being captured some decent treatment. But, understanding of Middle-Eastern/non-Anglo-Saxon movements in general is what the CIA needs now, not that they are not aware of it, I'm sure.
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