Obama administration new measures - Part 2

For discussion of changes implemented by the new administration.

Obama’s future budgeting is relying on growth of 3-4% in 2010.

Who believes that? Mr Buffett doesn’t seem so optimistic.

I was in the middle of typing this when Jaboney locked the thread so I’ll copy and paste my answer to marboulette here.

[quote=“marboulette”][quote]Where did you get your info from? The Washington Post had a poll from Jan 13-16, 2009, where they asked the following question:[/quote]Personally, I wouldn’t dare to trust such a poll from the Washington Post. In fact, I think you’d have to be crazy to take that for granted. You ask me where I get my info from. I get that info directly from American citizens.

Shortly after 911, Americans were angered and many approved military retaliation wholeheartedly. But that did not last. Soon the troops started to come home in body bags by the dozens, and the confusion was growing very fast as to what the US were actually doing out there. As spook said, we still don’t “really” know why this war was fought in the first place. Over the last five years or so, I have never met a single American who approved this war. Not ONE! Some Americans have even told me that since the US devastated Iraq and killed so many people, they grew ashamed of saying “I’m American” when people ask them where they are from.

So I’m left with a choice to believe the poll you posted, and a choice to believe first-hand info from 100% of the Americans I have talked to about this. The choice seems rather self-evident, no?

I am an American citizen. I’ve never been ashamed when I’m abroad to say that. I’ve never felt that I had to don a maple leaf and a fake Canadian accent so that people don’t think I’m an American. Those who did until President Bush was out of office may have given you a rather bad indication of how most Americans feel. I saw the protests on campus against the war, heard the assholes with bullhorns saying that if you aren’t out protesting with us you are a fascist pig who supports murdering babies, saw the weekly candlelight vigils against the war. I know a lot of people who didn’t want the US to go to war with Iraq, but once we were there, wanted to see it through to a conclusion despite the calls by some that we were in another Vietnam. The Vietnam analogy is better suited for Afghanistan in my opinion. They didn’t like the war, but wanted it to end in a victory, and wanted to give our troops over there 100% of their support.

How many Americans have you met? I can tell you’re a smart guy and can tell that the few Americans you met aren’t representative of all of us. If I used that logic, then I should hate all Europeans because a few treated one of my friends badly for being an American. She was in Taiwan from Feb to Nov of 08 and constantly complained to me that when she said she was an American, every European she met took it as an invitation to yell at her because they didn’t like what the US was doing in Iraq, the Kyoto protocols and other things. Mostly Iraq though. I know not all Europeans are like that, just like I know not all Americans are ashamed of being American. Would you take a risk of telling someone that you support a war that is unpopular to the rest of the world not knowing if they are going to scream in your face? Maybe the only Americans you met here were 100% against the war.

The approval of military retaliation has never diminished. Not as long as Osama Bin Laden still breathes. You are mixing vocal anti-war protesters calls to bring our troops home from Iraq with the peace advocates who want us out of Afghanistan too. Very few people want us to get out of Afghanistan until we have Bin Laden’s head. Most people didn’t want to see young Americans coming home in coffins or psychologically broken.

As for why we went to war. You can choose to believe over oil, WMD’s, because Saddam tried to assassinate President George HW Bush, or because of plain wrong links between Saddam and Al Qaeda. What we do know is that President Clinton used force against Iraq in 1998. He was prepared to use regime change against Iraq in 1998 because he felt that Saddam Hussein presented a threat to the world.

According to Iraq in 1998, they still had chemical and biological weapons. Neither President Clinton nor any other group believed that Iraq had destroyed them, and Iraq couldn’t prove any proof that they had been destroyed. Saddam had been kicking out inspectors for years and wasn’t complying with the terms of the 1991 peace. Then the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton which allowed for regime change to support a transition to democracy in Iraq. In his speech in Feb 1998, President Clinton felt that inspectors were getting close to finding Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. Yes, it was later found that the nuclear program was dead, dead, dead. In 1998 and later in the lead up to Iraq that wasn’t known. It wasn’t known because Saddam kept kicking out the inspectors.

Given that background, the Security Council resolution 1441 was passed. Iraq never paid Kuwait back for the devastation she wrecked on Kuwait in 1991. Iraq used money from the Food for Oil program to purchase weapons. It continually kicked out the weapons inspectors because Saddam figured the US would drop a few bombs and go back to flying patrols in the Northern and Southern no fly zones. It violated the terms of the peace agreement of 1991. Congress voted to allow force against Iraq in an regime change. Those are the reasons that the US went to war with Iraq.

First they threw flowers then they threw shoes. President Bush isn’t the first leader to have a shoe thrown at him, you know that right? That aside, you are right about the anger. It was anger that President Bush, and the US military, didn’t stop the death squads and the suicide bombers. They did more damage, and killed more people, than the US military. Does that make the US and her military less culpable? No, but place the blame where it lies.

The US didn’t kill hundreds of civilians a day with suicide bombs in crowded marketplaces because they were Shiite or Sunni. So yes, a very vocal part of the populace wants the US out. The Sunnis want us to stay to protect them from the Shiite revenge. The Kurds want their own country. The leadership alternatively wants the US military to leave, and then fears that the only force keeping the country from descending into anarchy will leave.

How about “To keep the oil flowing and not cause shocks to the global market”. That was the primary reason to protect Saudi Arabia with Operation Desert Shield. The US until 10 years ago didn’t care who was in power as long as the oil kept flowing. That’s why we support those kleptocratic Saudis. There just aren’t enough trained Iraqi police and Iraqi army personnel yet to serve their country yet. They had to be completely retrained from the bottom up. You don’t think there will be chaos if all the US units leave without IA and IP ready to take their places I would call you a dreamer.

2- Then you mention (1)oil prices fluctuation, you mention this (2): “The second reason I would say this isn’t for oil is because of the cost. If we controlled Iraq’s oil supply and sold it on the market, instead of directly funneling it to Texas oil tycoons, then the war wouldn’t be costing so damn much,” and you also mention this(3): “If we really wanted oil, we could kick the shit out of Saudi Arabia.”

Regarding (1), you would make sense if things were properly and honestly recorded. But the books are being cooked left, right, and center. You can’t rely on oil price fluctuations to determine either the US are appropriating resources out there because it certainly would not be accounted in the books. Christ, if people who operate small businesses manage to cook their books successfully all the fucking time, you don’t actually believe that large corporations aren’t doing the exact same thing, do you?

Regarding (2), again, you put too much faith in what is actually recorded while you should actually question what is not being put down in the books. There is so much room for corruption in such large scale-multi billion dollars operations that you would have to be very naive to rely on the “books” to form your opinion about this, IMO; you would have to be very naive to think that the war in Iraq isn’t a festering post of corruption.

Regarding (3), if the US bluntly admitted that their interests in the middle east is indeed oil, that wouldn’t go over so well within the international community, would it? That is just not an option. Not in Iraq, and not anywhere else.


You are talking about a huge conspiracy with shareholders not finding out, government regulators not finding out, and a hostile Congress not finding out. Anyone who leaked that nugget of information would be a national hero overnight. I just find the conspiracy theory too unlikely. Corruption exists, especially with the procurement of goods to send to Iraq, but did you forget how many Democrats in Congress and the Senate wanted to put a time table on withdrawing our troops? Something like that would have guaranteed the Democratic party the White House and Congress for the next 15 or 20 years. They were very hostile towards the oil companies when they wanted to enact a windfall profits tax. They were looking at it and that’s far too many people to keep a secret that big.

I can see why you think the way you do, but revenge for Saddam going after President Bush’s father is a more likely candidate than oil. I’ll see if I can find the book, but there was one written recently that alleged that President Bush wanted to get rid of Saddam before 9/11 ever happened. I don’t think it had anything to do oil.

“In fact, one thing that I have noticed . . . is that all of these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever. I think you’ll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid.”[/quote]

I would like to repost my statement as well so that it is addressed.

Personally, I wouldn’t dare to trust such a poll from the Washington Post. In fact, I think you’d have to be crazy to take that for granted. You ask me where I get my info from. I get that info directly from American citizens. [/quote]

This has me laughing on so many levels…

This would appear to be the problem with depending on the people you talk to as opposed to believing polls. Every Republican I knew articulated exactly why the US was there. They seemed highly satisfied that they “knew” the whole rationale.

Know why the frog in a well is a paraable? and what it signifies?

and what are you going to rely on for knowledge about what Iraqis want… by talking to them yourself or relying on polls?

So the choice is between you knowing what the Iraqis want or being a complete idiot? Delicious.

Of course, this is about oil, but not all. And is it about the US trying to take control of oil supplies?

Can you provide some information on how Texan oil tycoons are having Iraq’s oil funnelled to them? Thanks. Of course, I will expect that you do not quote newspaper sources but only provide personal first-hand accounts of this from friends of yours or other people that you know.

Again, your knowledge rests on people that you know who are sharing this information with you OR are you reading newspapers to develop this view? or are you just talking out of your hat?

Well its friggin’ obvious what the problem here is!

You people are talking to different people!

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090304/ap_ … t9ksQDW7oF

McCain criticizes Obama’s lack of action over not taking out earmarks/pork out of the budget.

Do a search and find out how many…NUMEROUS…earmarks Rahmbo Emmanuel stuck into PEBOs “bail-out” fiasco.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]Do a search and find out how many…NUMEROUS…earmarks Rahmbo Emmanuel stuck into PEBOs “bail-out” fiasco.[/quote]16. Worth $8.5 million.

Chretien was right:

PEBOS sez no earmarks in bail-out… :roflmao:
Of course this is the same guy who said he would not have any lobbyists in his admin… :roflmao: :roflmao:

Spending package of $410 billion contains $7.7B in earmarks
[i]"By Susan Ferrechio - Chief Congressional Correspondent 3/4/09

Lawmakers say the government needs a $410 billion package to cover all non-defense government spending until the end of September. [color=#FF0000]But included therein are $7.7 billion worth of earmarks.[/color]

Some highlights of the earmark list include some broad categories:

[color=#008000]Feeling green[/color]

The bill being considered in the Senate has hundreds of millions of dollars in green projects aimed at improving the environment and saving energy. The money would be distributed across the country in hundreds of initiatives, from a $142,725 line item for plug-in cars in Las Vegas, to $3.8 million for a renewable energy development venture in Hawaii. Democrats and Republicans alike sponsored these earmarks.

$951,000 for the Oregon Solar Highway project, which was added by [color=#FF0000]Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.[/color] The money would fund a new program that aims to help power the lights along Oregon’s interstate system via solar panels.

$475,000 for New Jersey to research energy production through anaerobic digestion, or animal waste, which was put in the bill by Sens. [color=#FF0000]Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both Democrats[/color] who represent the state.

$951,000 was added to the bill by Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, and Tom Harkin, a Democrat, for a “green power” initiative in their state.

King of the road

Road funding earmarks constitute another large chunk of directed spending in the bill. [color=#FF0000]One of the most expensive projects was inserted by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who has earmarked more money overall in the bill for his state — $122 million — than any other senator.[/color]

$9.5 million for Corridor H, the partly completed, 148-mile highway project that runs from central West Virginia to Northern Virginia was Byrd’s biggest largess for his home state.

$5.7 million was added to the bill for an off-ramp in Honolulu by [color=#FF0000]Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.[/color]

Living things

Lawmakers seem to have a penchant for earmarking money for plant- and animal-related projects. Harkin has already drawn fire for a $1.7 earmark to study why pig waste smells so bad. But other senators are appropriating in the name of animals and plants.

$1.05 million to control Mormon crickets in Utah, added by Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah.

$6.6 million added by Louisiana [color=#FF0000]Sens. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, and David Vitter, a Republican,[/color] to research termites in New Orleans.

$303,000 for wild rice in St. Paul, courtesy of Minnesota’s Senate delegation.

$1.9 million for the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., came from [color=#FF0000]Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats.[/color]

$2.2 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in Geneva, N.Y., was inserted by [color=#FF0000]Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.[/color][/i]"

Hope & Change… :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:…paid for by Gubmint money…which means US Taxpayer money…which means a lot of PEBOs voters are paying a cent for this boondoggle. Neosocs rejoice!! :discodance:

Don’t worry about the Europeans…

The fact that they let the Balkan’s occur right next door and that fact that at current they cannot gather enough leadership to help the economies of CEE despite that fact that it would be for their own collective good show what kind of leadership they are able to achieve in a time of crises.

Not much.

Please someone enlighten me and show me one example of effective European “soft” power?

Reform in Turkey.
What do I win?

[quote=“dantesolieri”]I would like to repost my statement as well so that it is addressed.

Good luck with that!


You can take the E out…he’s president now.

[quote]Given that background, the Security Council resolution 1441 was passed. Iraq never paid Kuwait back for the devastation she wrecked on Kuwait in 1991[/quote]Will the US pay Iraq back, then?

[quote]You are talking about a huge conspiracy with shareholders not finding out, government regulators not finding out, and a hostile Congress not finding out.[/quote]No I’m not. It’s not a HUGE conspiracy. Corruption is rampant and countless highly ranked government officials take part in it. You don’t actually think they all get caught do you? Shareholders, regulators an congress have shown in the past to be quite capable of being taken for a hell of a ride. Why would it be any different in such a massive operation which makes monitoring that much more tedious if not damn near impossible.

[quote]I can see why you think the way you do, but revenge for Saddam going after President Bush’s father is a more likely candidate than oil.[/quote]In other words, you think it is more likely that the war in Iraq is some kind of personal vendetta? You think it is more likely that the US would spend billions and lose thousands of troops to avenge the former president’s father?

Well… I’ve heard it all! I guess you and I will NEVER agree on this subject. So be it.


Interesting. China recently sent a couple of frigates to patrol off the coast of Somalia… first such naval exercise in a very long time. If China agrees to send troops into Afghanistan… that suggests a far more active, positive, role for China in international affairs.

[quote=“Thomas Barnett: Don’t waste any crisis!”] [quote]NATO May Ask China for Support in Afghanistan, By Japhet Weeks, China Digital Times, March 2, 2009[/quote]Now we’re getting somewhere!

I have no doubt there is connection with Secy Clinton’s visit. Finally! A secretary that actually moves the pile now and then instead of just delivering talking points! What a change from Powell and Rice.

I am getting the feeling more and more that she is going to be a spectacular SECSTATE.

This is really important, per my interview with the Chinese posted yesterday: we need the Chinese to step up big time in the coming years, so no crisis may be wasted.[/quote]

I really can’t see what is actually positive about that. :s


Order in Afghanistan would be a positive.
An order that is not reliant on empowering the Taliban would be a positive.
An order that was not reliant on Western powers would be a positive.
(And none of that would be anything new; such has been the case in the past.)

Bringing China onside to maintain international order would be a positive.
Surely you wouldn’t rather see China remained outside of ‘polite company’, a radical element in international affairs?

Reason number 387 why ALL politicians should be subject to term limits and/or public flogging:

GOP Leaders Among Top 20 Earmarkers
[i]"Here are the top 20 earmarks solicitors in the Senate, based on dollar amount of individual earmark requests in the omnibus spending bill:

  1. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. – $122.80 million.

  2. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. – $114.48 million.

  3. Kit Bond, R-Mo. – $85.69 million.

  4. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. – $77.90 million.

  5. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. – $75.91 million.

  6. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska – $74 million.

  7. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa – $66.86 million.

  8. James Inhofe, R-Okla. – $53.13 million.

  9. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. – $51.19 million.

  10. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii – $46.38 million.

  11. Patty Murray, D-Wash. – $39.22 million.

  12. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. – $36.55 million.

  13. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. – $36.16 million.

  14. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. – $35.58 million.

  15. Robert Casey, D-Pa. – $27.17 million.

  16. Harry Reid, D-Nev. – $26.63 million.

  17. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. – $25.32 million.

  18. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. – $23.83 million.

  19. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. – $21.96 million.

  20. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. (Retired) – $19.56 million."[/i]

They ain’t your buddy…they ain’t your ‘Messiah’…they’re politicians.
They don’t give a rats patootie about anything outside of building their power-base.

[quote=“Jaboney”]Order in Afghanistan would be a positive.[/quote]And so it would be in about 100 other countries.

[quote]Surely you wouldn’t rather see China remained outside of ‘polite company’, a radical element in international affairs?[/quote]And again, there are many countries that are “polite company” and who will not take part in killing yet more people in the middle east. I really don’t see this as a damned if you do and damned if you don’t kind of situation. Poverty is rampant in China, as is corruption. I’d rather see them take care of their own people, and I don’t think that they would have to be considered “impolite company” if they did.

Besides, the US is proving to be incapable of managing their own country, why on earth would anyone want them to make any attempts at maintaining international order is beyond me. Nevermind bringing another super power on board. Smells like WWIII to me…


If you think about it these politicians shouldn’t be pilloried as rogues but rather collectively given the Nobel Prize in Economics for finally having come up with a Ponzi scheme that works. The flaw in the Ponzi concept heretofore has been that, because the number of suckers at any point in time is always theoretically finite, such schemes inevitably come to a crashing end. By roping future generations of yet-unborn taxpayers into the scheme though they’ve tapped into a potentially unlimited supply of participants and created the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes with the potential to keep going forever. At least that’s the theory.

And if it’s not forever it might as well be forever as far as we, its intended beneficiaries, are concerned because by the time the national credit card bill comes due we’ll be long gone.

Now if we could only come up with a way to scale down this macroeconomic stroke of Ponzi genius to the micro level so that each household could tap into the credit potential of its own descendants then maybe everybody could get paid in full and we could wrap this whole economic meltdown up in a matter of a few months – and stick future generations with the whole bill in true Ponzi-like fashion.