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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:16 pm 
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There can be all sorts of reasons for releasing known terrorists.

Just sayin'.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:31 am 
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And...Hasta la vista, Mexico City Policy. Seriously, it's like Christmas came in January this year.

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Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
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No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:41 am 
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My brother and I were laughing about actually reading the newspaper and web sites eagerly to find out what the president is doing. I know he's bound to tick me off badly before long, but his early moves make me pretty happy. And I find I like his style. He seems well aware that elections have consequences, and also makes it quite clear who's in charge, but without arrogance or posing.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:32 am 
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Aagragaah
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I know he's bound to tick me off badly before long, but his early moves make me pretty happy.


Still hedging, eh, Prim? :D So am I.

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“Aargragaah. It mean lit’rally der time when you see dem little pebbles and you jus’ know dere’s gonna be a great big landslide on toppa you and it already too late to run. Dat moment, dat’s aagragaah.”

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Of course, these Executive Orders are the easy part of the job. President Obama needs no Congress to approve them. It will be interesting to see what happens when Congress is needed to pass bills before the President can sign them.

Yesterday in the Capitol, the Republicans were openly angry because President Obama seemed to remind them that the election was held in Novermber, he won, and now is entitled to forward the program he advocated. Republicans seem to feel that even though they are in the obvious minority, and grow smaller with the new Congress, that somehow, someway, they are entitled to put their stamp of approval on any new laws.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... id=topnews

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Even in the reddest of States which voted for McCain, (Texas) Rasmussen shows wide support hoping for the new Presidents success. The Republicans in Congress will have to walk a finely crafted line between having input and outright attempts at obstructionism.

Supposedly, there is some behind the scenes talks about the first really huge controversy - the Employee Free Choice Act - and that should tell us a great deal about how things are shaping up.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:10 pm 
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It's funny that the Republicans are pissed that they are now out of power, but back in 2000 and 2004 they seemed very pleased to flaunt their power. I'm glad Obama doesn't flaunt. Obama is even angering fellow Democrats with his moves. That should be telling for the next four years.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:02 pm 
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TED,

I agree with you and have been sort of giggling to myself that Obama is even making some Dems upset.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:08 pm 
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From Saturdays New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/us/po ... ml?_r=1&hp

from the very start of the article

Quote:
Obama Plans Fast Action to Tighten Financial Rules
By STEPHEN LABATON
Published: January 24, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation’s financial regulatory system.


Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, and greater oversight of the complex financial instruments that contributed to the economic crisis.


Most welcome news. It makes no sense to rebuild the barn if we continue to leave the door open on the new one.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Aldrig nogen sinde Kvitte
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I found this interesting from today's NY Times:

Quote:
“We need to make tax cuts permanent, and we need to make a commitment that there’ll be no new taxes,” said Mr. McCain said, referring to the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent Americans that will expire at the end of 2010. “We need to cut payroll taxes. We need to cut business taxes.”

“We need to have a commitment that after a couple of quarters of G.D.P. growth that we will embark on a path,” he said about the gross domestic product, “to reduce spending to get our budget in balance.”


New York Times.

Are the Republicans really offering anything new or did they not learn that their message is failing? I like Obama's rhetoric but in the end, he'll be judged by what he does or doesn't do and the jury will be out for around a year I think before we can discuss what President Obama is like as a President.

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1. " . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

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2. We have many ways using technology to be in touch, yet the larger question is are we really connected or are we simply more in touch? There is a difference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Well Prim - if that article is correct, and the price of Republican support is more tax cuts for the rich, I would send the message that the price is way too high.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:35 pm 
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sauronsfinger wrote:
Well Prim - if that article is correct, and the price of Republican support is more tax cuts for the rich, I would send the message that the price is way too high.


To what are you responding to here, sf? (I'm guessing that you thought that AJ was Prim, but I don't want to assume.)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:59 pm 
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yup - my mistake -- its Arathorn.... :blackeye:

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:14 pm 
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I do that all the time, sf, mixing up people who have similar avatars. :blackeye:

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
As I understand it, the President has a private study adjoining the Oval Office where he does most of his real work. I'd guess Obama's computer is there. The Oval Office is for meetings, ceremonial signings, and photo ops.


Fun fact – Reagan insisted on using the Oval Office rather than the small private study. He argued that he’d put in so much work to get to the Presidency that he was going to damn well use the President’s official office. Of course, that was in the days before desktop computers.

Lurker wrote:
The second oath taking (which is the official one) I noticed that there was no bible. Is this constitutional? Didn't they repeat this because they messed up the words on first one? Isn't this another slip up? You know I'm a Constitutional purist . :P


The first oath-taking, even with the words messed up, was still official, binding and effective. Obama held the second, in the Oval Office the day after Inauguration Day, just to satisfy himself. And a Bible is unnecessary – in fact, demanding the use of one would be unconstitutional.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Obama has now set his sights on reversing the Bush administration's policies on global warming.

Obama targets greenhouse gases, fuel efficiency

Quote:
"For the sake of our security, our economy and our planet, we must have the courage and commitment to change," Obama said in his first formal event in the ornate East Room of the White House.


"It will be the policy of my administration," he said, "to reverse our dependence on foreign oil while building a new energy economy that will create millions of jobs."

California and at least a dozen other states have tried to come up with tougher emission standards than those imposed by the federal government, but Obama said that "Washington stood in their way." The president wants the EPA to take a second look at a decision denying California - and the other states that want to follow its model - permission to set tougher tailpipe emission standards.

More broadly, Obama sought to show he was not waiting to put his stamp on energy policy, which has both near-term implications on the sagging economy and long-range effects on pollution, climate change and national security.

"Year after year, decade after decade, we've chosen delay over decisive action," Obama said. "Rigid ideology has overruled sound science. Special interests have overshadowed common sense. Rhetoric has not led to the hard work needed to achieve results - and our leaders raise their voices each time there's a spike on gas prices, only to grow quiet when the price falls at the pump."

The Clean Air Act gives California special authority to regulate vehicle pollution because the state began regulating such pollution before the federal government got into the act. But a federal waiver is still required; if the waiver is granted, other states can choose to adopt California's standards or the federal ones.

In 2007 the Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency denied California's waiver request, gaining praise from the auto industry but touching off a storm of investigations and lawsuits from Democrats and environmental groups who contended the denial was based on political instead of scientific reasons.

Obama on Monday directed the EPA to re-examine the decision. That does not yet overturn anything. But still, the states' wanting their own power considered it a victory.

"The federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Obama said. He added: "The days of Washington dragging its heels are over. My administration will not deny facts; we will be guided by them."

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Symbolically, I am excited about living in a state which will again lead the way with respect to tough emission standards -- but practically speaking, given California's size and driving population, I think it is critical that the state receive the authorization it needs to regulate the pollution generated on its roads.

To me, the major issues that this poses are:

(1) That the states wanting to participate (and the federal government) create a timetable for compliance by the auto industry that is reasonably quick, but not overly ambitious; and
(2) That that timetable consider the current financial circumstances of the domestic auto industry, which has already been the beneficiary of Part I of the government's financial bailout.

I'll be interested to learn how energy issues are addressed in the financial stimulus package that's this week's top priority. I hope that anyone who has been reading up on that issue will share what they've learned here.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:14 am 
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Quote:
Obama on Monday directed the EPA to re-examine the decision. That does not yet overturn anything. But still, the states' wanting their own power considered it a victory.


Obama has struck a blow for states' rights. Well, that's not why he did it. I was always annoyed that CA wasn't allowed to set it's own rules, though. I have to live in this polluted valley that gets all the exhaust from SF and Sacto and Fresno blown in, not to mention our own army of Bakersfield SUVs and giant trucks. Then there is LA. We need tougher rules than the rest of the country.

This was one area where I was glad Obama won.

Has he ended that stupid "don't ask don't tell" policy yet?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:25 am 
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Not yet. I hope it will be soon—he does seem to be ticking things (and people :P ) off at a steady pace.

I'm also glad about the higher emission standards. California definitely needs them, six years in L.A. left me sure of that; and my own state wants them, too.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:04 am 
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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)?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:27 am 
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Faramond wrote:
Has he ended that stupid "don't ask don't tell" policy yet?


Not yet, but he has reaffirmed that he will do so soon. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs posted a video on the Change.gov website stating in no uncertain terms that the policy will be ended:

Quote:
On Friday, however, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, responding on the transition team's Web site to a Michigan resident who asked if the new administration planned to get rid of the policy, said:

"You don't hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it's 'Yes.' "


Obama will end 'don't ask' policy, aide says

Gibbs later clarified that it won't get done right away:

Quote:
Gibbs on Wednesday expanded on his answer, saying, "There are many challenges facing our nation now and the president-elect is focused first and foremost on jump-starting this economy.

"So not everything will get done in the beginning but he's committed to following through" with ending the policy against being openly gay in the military.


Obama aide: Ending 'don't ask, don't tell' must wait

We'll see how long it takes. Hopefully it won't take much longer than it took for him to find an exception to his own new lobbyist policy. ;)

(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.)

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