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Topic Summary

Posted by: nacho
« on: January 24, 2011, 12:16:24 PM »

With the SotU coming up, here's this:

Every president announces a slew of initiatives in his State of the Union address, and President Obama last year was no exception. Here, in order of delivery, is a summary of the key proposals, pledges or priorities announced by Obama a year ago--and what happened to them. Overall, he did rather well in getting his ideas enacted by Congress, the clear benefit of having commanding majorities in both houses of Congress. With the prospect of divided government in the coming year, his batting average in 2011 is sure to fall.

The Proposals

Obama: "So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat."

This idea was contained in a small business law that won final passage by Congress in September, but at least one report said that there was little enthusiasm among community banks to take the money.

Obama: "To encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America."

This plan has long been an Obama applause line but there is little enthusiasm for it in Congress and so it has gone nowhere. Even Democrats have said they would only consider such an idea only in the context of comprehensive reworking of the corporate tax code.

Obama: "The House has already passed financial reform ... And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right."

In July, Obama signed into law a sweeping banking and consumer protection bill.

Obama: "It means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. And this year I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate."

The energy bill failed in the Senate, and many Democrats in the House were punished at the polls for their votes in favor of the bill.

Obama: "So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America."

In September, the Obama administration unveiled a strategy for reaching this goal, and it recently concluded a major free trade agreement with South Korea that now needs congressional approval. In the first 11 months of 2010, U.S. goods and services exports are up nearly 17 percent compared to same period in 2009, according to data released this month by the Commerce Department.

Obama: "Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from [health care] reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people."

Despite the loss of a filbuster-proof majority in the Senate, Democrats reached a compromise that resulted in final passage of Obama's chief legilslative initiative.

Obama: "Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will."

Obama's budget proposal fulfilled this pledge, but Congress never finished its work on the budget and so the outcome is uncertain. Spending has continued at 2010 levels and Republican want to cut further.

Obama: "But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for ...those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it."

Obama's vow to end the Bush era tax cuts for couples making over $250,000 in the name of fiscal responsibility was abandoned as part of a compromise with Republicans to extend the tax cuts for two more years.

Obama: "I'd like to begin monthly meetings with both Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can't wait."

Scheduling such meetings is completely within the president's power, but according to House and Senate GOP officials, there were only five such bipartisan, bicameral meetings--Feb. 9, April 14, June 10, July 27, and Nov. 30. A report in The Hill newspaper last year said Republicans regarded the meetings as "hollow public-relations moves" and the White House believed Republicans came to the sessions with closed minds. A White House spokesman did not respond to a query about why monthly meetings were not scheduled.

Obama: "We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August."

Mission accomplished

Obama: "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do."

The "don't ask, don't tell" law was repealed in December
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 19, 2010, 10:57:12 AM »

I keep forwarding all this shit to myself and then not posting it.  So, anyway... From the end of July!  Some old news:

I won't bother copy and pasting.  Just Big Brother Obama stuff and you've all read it by now.
Posted by: Cassander
« on: August 21, 2009, 01:43:24 AM »

woops! wrong thread!
Posted by: Cassander
« on: August 10, 2009, 08:39:18 PM »

i'll say this: at least he's working on stuff. 
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 10, 2009, 07:57:31 AM »

Posted by: RottingCorpse
« on: August 09, 2009, 11:20:55 PM »

Someone's going to say that we're wishy-washy on Obama, but haven't you and I been saying the whole time that as much as we've hoped Obama is something different, we sincerely doubt that he is?
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 09, 2009, 03:44:25 PM »

We knew that months ago, so I just don't feel surprised.
Posted by: RottingCorpse
« on: August 09, 2009, 03:42:43 PM »

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 09, 2009, 08:06:03 AM »

Well, there we go. 

Obama’s Embrace of a Bush Tactic Riles Congress

WASHINGTON — President Obama has issued signing statements claiming the authority to bypass dozens of provisions of bills enacted into law since he took office, provoking mounting criticism by lawmakers from both parties.

President George W. Bush, citing expansive theories about his constitutional powers, set off a national debate in 2006 over the propriety of signing statements — instructions to executive officials about how to interpret and put in place new laws — after he used them to assert that he could authorize officials to bypass laws like a torture ban and oversight provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

In the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama called Mr. Bush’s use of signing statements an “abuse,” and said he would issue them with greater restraint. The Obama administration says the signing statements the president has signed so far, challenging portions of five bills, have been based on mainstream interpretations of the Constitution and echo reservations routinely expressed by presidents of both parties.

Still, since taking office, Mr. Obama has relaxed his criteria for what kinds of signing statements are appropriate. And last month several leading Democrats — including Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts and David R. Obey of Wisconsin — sent a letter to Mr. Obama complaining about one of his signing statements.

“During the previous administration, all of us were critical of the president’s assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of Congressional statutes he was required to enforce,” they wrote. “We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.”

They were reacting to a statement Mr. Obama issued after signing a bill that expanded assistance to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank while requiring the administration to pressure the organizations to adopt certain policies. Mr. Obama said he could disregard the negotiation instructions under his power to conduct foreign relations.

The administration protested that it planned to carry out the provisions anyway and that its statement merely expressed a general principle. But Congress was not mollified. On July 9, in a bipartisan rebuke, the House of Representatives voted 429 to 2 to ban officials from using federal money to disobey the restrictions. And in their July 21 letter, Mr. Frank and Mr. Obey — the chairmen of the Financial Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee — asked Mr. Obama to stop issuing such signing statements, warning that Congress might not approve more money for the banking organizations unless he agreed.

In March, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent Mr. Obama a letter criticizing a signing statement that challenged a statute protecting government whistle-blowers who tell lawmakers privileged or “otherwise confidential” information. He accused Mr. Obama of chilling potential whistle-blowers, undermining the intent of Congress in a way that violated his campaign promises. The White House said it intended only to reaffirm similar reservations made by previous presidents.

Other laws Mr. Obama has said he need not obey as written include format requirements for budget requests, limits on whom he may appoint to a commission, and a restriction on putting troops under United Nations command.

After Mr. Bush transformed signing statements from an obscure tool into a commonplace term, Mr. Obama’s willingness to use them has disappointed some who had hoped he would roll back the practice, not entrench it.

“We didn’t think it was an appropriate practice when President Bush was doing it, and our policy is such that we don’t think it is an appropriate practice when President Obama is doing it,” said H. Thomas Wells, who just stepped down as president of the American Bar Association.

In 2006, the association called the practice unconstitutional and said presidents should veto legislation if it had flaws, giving Congress a chance to override the pronouncements.

But other legal experts argued that signing statements were lawful and appropriate because it was impractical to veto important bills over small problems. Among them, Walter Dellinger, who helped develop the legal framework for signing statements as a Clinton administration official, said Mr. Obama was using the mechanism appropriately, and the problem with Mr. Bush’s statements was that he cited dubious legal theories.

“The fact that a previous or subsequent president might refuse to comply with laws that are valid is not a reason for this president to decline to assert his authority with regard to laws that are invalid,” Mr. Dellinger said.

Mr. Dellinger signed a 2006 essay defending signing statements with other former Clinton officials, including David Barron and Martin Lederman, who now run the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. They work with White House lawyers Daniel Meltzer and Trevor Morrison, along with Office of Management and Budget officials, to produce Mr. Obama’s statements.

Since the 19th century, presidents have occasionally signed bills while calling a provision unconstitutional. But the practice was rare until President Ronald Reagan. He and his successors, including Bill Clinton, began issuing signing statements much more frequently and challenging far more provisions.

The practice peaked under Mr. Bush, who challenged nearly 1,200 provisions of bills over eight years — about twice the number challenged by all previous presidents combined, according to data compiled by Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio professor.

Mr. Obama has attached signing statements to 5 of the 42 bills he has signed, focusing on 19 specific provisions. He also challenged, without listing them, “numerous provisions” in a budget bill requiring officials to obtain permission from a Congressional committee before spending money. It contained dozens of such requirements.

In the presidential campaign, the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, promised never to issue a signing statement. By contrast, Mr. Obama said it was a legitimate way “to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives” when used with greater restraint than Mr. Bush.

“Restraint,” Mr. Obama and his campaign said then, included not issuing “signing statements that undermine the legislative intent” or “nullify or undermine Congressional instructions as enacted into law.”

But in March, when he issued a presidential memorandum on signing statements, Mr. Obama defined restraint as citing only “interpretations of the Constitution that are well founded,” a subtle shift that provides greater leeway.

Still, unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama has not mentioned the Unitary Executive Theory, an expansive view of executive power that conflicts with Supreme Court precedent. His only invocation of his commander-in-chief authority was limited, taking aim at a requirement that he get permission from a military subordinate before taking an action.

“He has not pushed the envelope as far as the Bush administration in making the kind of claims that Bush made,” said Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University professor who studies signing statements. “But he is still using it in ways that were controversial before George W. Bush came to office.”
Posted by: Nubbins
« on: March 20, 2009, 01:54:40 PM »

hahaha!  Holy shit!

But the creator of one Obama-themed ad -- for ice cream bars which have a chocolate-flavoured centre embedded in a layer of vanilla -- insisted Friday that it was not racist and should be seen as a joke.

The ad for Duet ice cream bars features a smiling, cartoonish black man flashing a V-for-Victory sign in front of the US Capitol, along with the Russian slogan: "Everyone's talking about it: dark inside white!"

Some blasted the ad as insensitive after it surfaced on English-language websites this week. "This is just racist," said one visitor to the Ads of the World website, while another asked: "Is the ice cream as tasteless as the ad?"

Andrei Gubaidullin, who created the ad, told AFP that it was not racist and that Russia simply had a different attitude to race than Western countries.

"For Russia, this is not racist. It is fun and that's it," said Gubaidullin, creative director at Voskhod advertising agency, based in the Urals Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.

"We don't consider teasing ethnic groups racist. It is just seen as a joke," he said by telephone, adding that he personally liked Obama.
Posted by: nacho
« on: March 20, 2009, 01:05:44 AM »

I love Cass.
Posted by: Cassander
« on: March 19, 2009, 10:35:06 PM »

real russian ice cream ad
Posted by: Nubbins
« on: February 17, 2009, 02:58:25 PM »

Definitely... you will love it.
Posted by: Matt
« on: February 17, 2009, 02:37:24 PM »

I really should play Fallout.
Posted by: Nubbins
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:49:54 PM »

I knew it!!! 

I can explode a Glowing Ghoul at 75 paces, easy.