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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:27 pm 
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River wrote:
It doesn't help that parts of CA have some sort of weird climate thing that just makes the area more susceptible to smog. Add in the cars and highways and the demand for tighter controls becomes understandable. Thing is, if manufacturers are to sell cars, don't the CA standards just become the de facto national standards (not that this is a bad thing)?


It's the abundance of valleys. Half of california is valleys, and the other half is different valleys.

A big city in Kansas (I know, bear with me and assume it's possible) is surrounded by plains and prarie, and thus the smog can dissipate.

San Gabriel Valley or San Fernando Valley, both highly urban suburbs of Los Angeles, have lots of nice mountains trapping the smog.

But California standards aren't de facto national standards. A California standard car would have a hard time operating in, say, Minnesota or Michigan due to the extremely colder climate. They need different engineering there so the engine won't freeze.

Overall I support defederalization of emissions standards, but dislike what California is doing with their defederalization.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:48 pm 
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This is a states right issue. President Obama took the correct action.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Out of curiousity, if every state has its own emissions standards what's the reality going to be for car manufacturers? Don't get me wrong; I support the idea. Every state has it's own geography and climate and population issues and gasoline itself gets formulated differently depending on what altitude you live at. But how is this going to play out on the ground?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:14 pm 
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River--

The sixteen states talking about using the CA standards are what, half the population? There's two ways this can go: either the auto companies try what they have now, with "CA emission" models and standard models, or they just buckle down and make them all CA emissions, aka higher mileage in this case. I'm not sure they can manage to maintain two versions of each model in their current state, which I also suspect figures into things: they are in a weak position right now to start with.

I expect the Obama Administration will be pushing for the latter.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Well, first of all emissions standards can be exceeded. So you can drive a car from a tougher state in a less tough state.

There will probably be "toughest state in the region" standards. So for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Dakotas for example, the manufacturer will find who has the toughest, build to that, and have a regionally suitable car that passes all those states.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
(To clarify, I have mixed feelings about the whole Bill Lynn issue. On the one hand, I think the new lobbyist rules are a good start, even if he doesn't completely follow them, and I think he must have a good reason for wanting Lynne in the Pentagon despite the conflict. On the other hand it just doesn't look good and I think he risks losing some of his credibility over something that just might not be worth it.)


FWIW, Gandalf's Mother posted in Manwë that it was Gates who insisted on Lynne as the best man for the job.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:54 pm 
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The Lynn thing could be fixed easily in theory: have any contract involving Raytheon go to someone else's desk. The problem is that Raytheon is one of those companies that subcontracts for everyone else, so what exactly would Lynn have left to look at?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:14 pm 
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A very interesting thing is happening in Congress right now that could give us a real advance look at the next two years. President Obama met today with both the Republicans in the House and then in the Senate. The purpose was to get support for his Financial Stimulus Bill. Yesterday, the Democrats removed some $200 million dollars in money for contraceptives to help get Republican votes. But it now looks like they will oppose the bill regardless.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18030.html

The Politico article is a fairly decent one. It details the politics behind the posturing and explains why the current Republican make-up is not eager to support the bill. It helps explain why the current environment is very different than it was in the 80's when a minority of Democrats helped President Reagan pass his programs.

The real test will be in the Senate. Will this be a party line vote or will some Republicans cross over the aisle? It is going to be a harbinger of things to come.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:33 pm 
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sauronsfinger wrote:
Yesterday, the Democrats removed some $200 million dollars in money for contraceptives to help get Republican votes.


:rage:

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:46 pm 
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I definitely support financing contraceptives, but I'm not sure how $200 million for contraceptives would help stimulate the economy (which is the purpose of this particular bill). So I do not oppose this action (of removing that provision from this bill).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:59 pm 
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I'm beginning to wonder if we're seeing shrewd maneuvering, not caving. For one thing, after the meeting with Republican senators Barbara Boxer was heard to say, "We'll do it without them if we have to." And Obama flatly refused to either add more tax cuts to the package, or remove the tax credits for working families that don't pay federal income tax (though they pay Social Security and other taxes). Obama after the meeting, from a live blog of the meeting on msnbc.com (link):

Quote:
Obama says tax relief for some working families must come from payroll so even families who don't pay income taxes get relief and they will spend it.

He said "feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part.

Obama said that there will be time to beat him up and a time for politics. He said I understand that and I will watch you on fox news and feel bad about myself.


This is not the way an intimidated person would talk.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:02 am 
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Well, from the purely financial standpoint, it does help the economy, at least short term, by helping families decide when and how many children they will have. Which means - lower medical expenses, lower dependent deductions, lower higher income tax intake because workers don't have to leave work for childcare, lower welfare payments, and so on. :P

Edit: Prim, I really enjoy Obama's dry sense of humor.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:12 am 
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Frelga wrote:
Well, from the purely financial standpoint, it does help the economy, at least short term, by helping families decide when and how many children they will have. Which means - lower medical expenses, lower dependent deductions, lower higher income tax intake because workers don't have to leave work for childcare, lower welfare payments, and so on. :P


I would say that those are ways that it helps the economy in the long-term, not the short-term. None of these things would help to stimulate the economy in the short-term which is the point of the stimulus package.

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Edit: Prim, I really enjoy Obama's dry sense of humor.


Me too!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:24 am 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
I would say that those are ways that it helps the economy in the long-term, not the short-term. None of these things would help to stimulate the economy in the short-term which is the point of the stimulus package.


Actually, I do think those are only short-term benefits, to be reaped within a year. Long-term you could have all sorts of effects, from lower prison costs to low labor pool that contributes to Social Security, but that is definitely outside the scope of the stimulus package. Of course, that all depends on how many people from what demographics take advantage of the program.

And personally, I think not nearly enough people do. /grumpy

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:47 am 
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Quote:
He said I understand that and I will watch you on fox news and feel bad about myself.

:rofl: :love:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:58 am 
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There is one thing that must be said.

I :love: Obama's new White House blog. He really gets the Internet.

As I said elsewhere, right now my feeling is "But can he pull this off?" Which is better by a long shot than the "What the heck is he thinking?" :shock: :rage: :scarey: reaction I usually have to government.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:27 pm 
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http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... _article=1

This article gives more details on the talks between President Obama and Republicans in Congress regarding the Stimulus Plan before them.

It indicates areas where the President would be willing to listen to some Republican ideas and make compromises to gain their support.

Of course, this gets us back to the stumbling block - what happens when the compromises are made (such as the removal of the $200 million in contraceptive funds) and the Republicans still vote against it?

What is the point of compromise if it does not lead to members from the other side of the aisle coming over to vote for it?

Isn't all you are really doing is watering down your own bill with no gain?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:00 pm 
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I was wodering the same thing. So he doesn't REALLY need Republican votes? But perhaps it's worth a try the first time to compromise. If the Republicans don't compromise back, then the next time I say full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:10 pm 
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From the Blog (Thanks Frelga)

Quote:
MON, JANUARY 26, 3:47 PM EST
58 years of Indian democracy

Today is India Republic Day, the 58th anniversary of India's independence and the adoption of its Constitution.


This guy really rocks. He's really trying hard to make sure that USA's image in the world changes from the last 8 years. Though, he did get it wrong. :P Its 62 years since independence, but yes, 58 since the adoption of the Constitution.

Edited for a sentence that did not make sense

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
I was wodering the same thing. So he doesn't REALLY need Republican votes? But perhaps it's worth a try the first time to compromise. If the Republicans don't compromise back, then the next time I say full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.


He does need some Republican votes in the Senate (it remains to be seen how many, depending on whether he holds all of the Democrats). And even thought he doesn't need any Republican votes in the House (in all likelihood), it is a good idea to try to find some common ground with them, as long as he doesn't sacrifice core principles. It is looking more and more like Obama will be perceived as reaching out to the Republicans, and the Republicans (particularly Minority Leader Boehner) sticking with the old partisan ways. Unlike the bailout, the stimulus package has broad popular support, and it is likely that some Republicans will bail on their leadership and vote for it, particularly if Obama agrees to make it more palatable to them. Even a few Republican votes are infinitely better than none, particularly if the perception is that Obama reached out to them.

Mahima, that's really cool!

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