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Thread: The President Barack Obama Discussion Thread

  1. #76
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Michelle and Barack's first night at the White House:

    “What a day!”

    “Phew, yeah…what a day!”

    “I’m exhausted. Could you get the light, Barack?”

    “Yes I can! I will not only get the light, I will shine the light for all Americans and show them the way through the darkness! It is a light that arises from the hopes and dreams of the old and the young, the black and white and yellow and red and brown, the gay and the straight, the rich and the poor! It is a light on whose rays the promise of hope…and opportunity…and achievement…all soar to a distant, brighter future! But it will take all of us, working together in a spirit of shared sacrifice and commitment, to make that light a beacon of progress. And I say to you tonight: This is our moment! This is our bedtime! This…”

    “Oh fer god’s sake never mind, I’ll do it myself…”

    [Click!]
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #77
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Speaking of You-Know-Who, has anyone caught the cover of the latest issue of MAD magazine?

    http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/po...treatment.html

    (note to self - BUY A COPY OF THIS ONE!)



    Mike

  3. #78
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Speaking of You-Know-Who
    Mike, that's PRESIDENT You-Know-Who, now... C'mon!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  4. #79
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    so far President Obama is stinking badly. Closing Gitmo with no real explanation or plan of how to deal with the people there- and now the 800 billion stimulus plan with only 5% going toward infrastructure spending. Boooo!!!!

  5. #80
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    so far President Obama is stinking badly. Closing Gitmo with no real explanation or plan of how to deal with the people there- and now the 800 billion stimulus plan with only 5% going toward infrastructure spending. Boooo!!!!
    I too am disappointed so far. I haven't examined the plan closely, but where is the talk of investing in our energy grid, alternative transportation, broadband access? The things that will drive our new economy.

    I don't even want a tax break, as long as you are investing my money appropriately.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  6. #81
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I too am disappointed so far. I haven't examined the plan closely, but where is the talk of investing in our energy grid, alternative transportation, broadband access? The things that will drive our new economy.

    I don't even want a tax break, as long as you are investing my money appropriately.
    Much of that is still in there, just in smaller amounts than I would have liked. Here's a detailed breakdown of the plan:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...C07F5DC5A04%7D

    Some highlights of the House plan (the Senate plan is slightly different at this point in time):

    Tax cuts

    Payroll-tax holiday: $99 billion
    Expanded earned-income tax credit: $25 billion
    Tuition tax credit: $10 billion
    Business expensing tax breaks: $90 billion
    Renewable-energy tax credit: $20 billion

    Relief

    Expanded unemployment insurance: $42 billion
    Health insurance for unemployed: $40 billion
    Expanded food stamps: $20 billion
    Housing assistance: $11 billion
    Supplemental Security Income payments: $4 billion
    Welfare: $3 billion

    Infrastructure

    Highways: $30 billion
    School renovation: $20 billion
    Health information technology: $17 billion
    Transportation projects: $13 billion
    Water projects: $8.4 billion
    Military and V.A. construction: $7 billion
    Accelerated deployment of broadband: $5.6 billion

    Help for state and local governments

    Medicaid cost sharing: $87 billion
    State grants: $79 billion
    State and local bond tax credit: $42 billion
    Community development: $5 billion
    Rural development: $4 billion

    Energy efficiency

    Federal energy-efficiency projects: $22 billion
    Energy-efficiency grants: $18.5 billion
    Smart electric grid: $11 billion
    Renewable-energy loan guarantees: $8 billion

    Human capital

    Education programs: $29 billion
    Pell grants: $18 billion
    Job training: $4.6 billion
    Scientific research: $3 billion
    Not incredible, but a start.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  7. #82
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I am not going to pass judgment about his actions until the end of the first 100 days. That will be a judgment based on cumulative actions from day 1 to 100.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  8. #83
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Thanks for the breakdown CJC. Looks like my 5% on infrastructure info that I read in our local paper was way off. I still am very dissapointed

  9. #84
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    ***Note to President Obama***

    When nomiating folks for cabinet positions, please include a box that sez the following:

    Have you cheated or not filed taxes within the last 5 years.

    God, you would think when an application to work in the administration has you put down email addresses and other known "im" aliases they would be able to fully vet nominees for taxes. And plus, these public servants don't seem to be interested in providing "their" share of the pie.

    Mike, can you queue up another one bites the dust?
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  10. #85
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    ^^^Yeah, no kidding. I'm glad Daschle withdrew - never cared for that guy and I think someone better (who is current on all taxes) can be found.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  11. #86
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    ***Note to President Obama***

    When nomiating folks for cabinet positions, please include a box that sez the following:

    Have you cheated or not filed taxes within the last 5 years.

    God, you would think when an application to work in the administration has you put down email addresses and other known "im" aliases they would be able to fully vet nominees for taxes. And plus, these public servants don't seem to be interested in providing "their" share of the pie.

    Mike, can you queue up another one bites the dust?
    Seriously. WTF is going on here?!?!

    Not that I think it's OK to not do your taxes correctly, but why do these things come to light only after someone has been nominated?

    If these people were never nominated, would they still be turning a blind-eye to their tax issues.

    This is just bizarre.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  12. #87
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Seriously. WTF is going on here?!?!

    Not that I think it's OK to not do your taxes correctly, but why do these things come to light only after someone has been nominated?

    If these people were never nominated, would they still be turning a blind-eye to their tax issues.

    This is just bizarre.
    THis is making me crazy and beginning to piss me off. It's like it's amateur hour in the nominee-vetting room of the Obama White House. Can politicians not have the good sense to call up H&R Block or something?

    I can understand screwing up something fairly minor, but one of these yahoos ended-up owing something like $125k. A screw-up like that requires full knowledge of what you are doing. That, or you've got the dumbest asshat of a CPA on the planet.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  13. #88
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Seriously. WTF is going on here?!?!

    .
    The Geitner thing is irritating because even if he made an unintentional mistake- this is the guy that's going to run the Treasury!

    I never cared eitehr way for Daschle much, but his situation looks to be completely unintentional. The guy borrowed a friends car and didnt report it (I bet nobody ever thinks about that) and his company forgot to include a months pay on his W-2 which then his accountant didn't catch. Doesn't look to be his fault at all.

  14. #89
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    It is pretty disappointing. It is not like it is a big surpise these questions will be asked at a confirmation hearing. If you want confirmation for a Cabinet position they are going to ask you two questions for sure:

    1) Hired any illegal aliens (gardener, nanny, etc.)?
    2) Any problems with your taxes?

    If you answer: no and no, you are halfway there.

    OT: I do admire the man's moxy. Not to pay over a $100 grand in taxes! I worry I will get audited. Not that I have anything to hide. It is more that my record keeping is sometimes spotty. I worry about getting pulled into the IRS office and not being able to provide my tax info for the last seven years.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  15. #90
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    OT: I do admire the man's moxy. Not to pay over a $100 grand in taxes! I worry I will get audited. Not that I have anything to hide. It is more that my record keeping is sometimes spotty. I worry about getting pulled into the IRS office and not being able to provide my tax info for the last seven years.
    IMO, it's not so much moxy, as it shows two things - A) our tax code is way too complicated, and B) the penalties for not paying correctly are not high enough.

    Probably of combo of the two.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  16. #91
    "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes..."

    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  17. #92
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post

    OT: I do admire the man's moxy. Not to pay over a $100 grand in taxes! I worry I will get audited. Not that I have anything to hide. It is more that my record keeping is sometimes spotty. I worry about getting pulled into the IRS office and not being able to provide my tax info for the last seven years.
    His employer printed the wrong amount on his w-2, which he then handed off to his accountant. I don't see this an anything even remotely intentional on his part.

  18. #93
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    EFCA

    Keeping you informed.....the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was introduced into Congress this week. President Obama is a strong supporter of this legislation. My HR friends are saying that it is likely to be law by late 2009.

    I agree that unions are necessary. They helped create a middle-class. They were instrumental in improving working conditions. Checks and balances.

    However, in many cases they went way too far to protect workers who did not perform. All of what I just said is my opinion.

    Now the facts: EFCA is not a good bill. It takes away the rights of employees to vote on a union. The union organizer can make all kinds of promises.....promises that they have no control over because everything would be negotiated. Those promises just have to convince 50% of the workforce.....plus one more employee.....and the union is IN. No vote.

    If a contract is not negotiated within a short time period (I think it will be 120 days) the contract terms decision is out of the hands of the union, out of the hands of the employer, out of the hands of the employees......and in binding arbitration.

    This Bear is not at all happy with this bill. Mr. President, I support many of your attempts to get our country back on the right track. This is not a good attempt.

    My opinion.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  19. #94
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Keeping you informed.....the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was introduce
    Now the facts: EFCA is not a good bill. It takes away the rights of employees to vote on a union. The union organizer can make all kinds of promises.....promises that they have no control over because everything would be negotiated. Those promises just have to convince 50% of the workforce.....plus one more employee.....and the union is IN. No vote.

    If a contract is not negotiated within a short time period (I think it will be 120 days) the contract terms decision is out of the hands of the union, out of the hands of the employer, out of the hands of the employees......and in binding arbitration.

    This Bear is not at all happy with this bill. Mr. President, I support many of your attempts to get our country back on the right track. This is not a good attempt.

    My opinion.

    Bear
    As a liberal, I supposed I'm supposed to support unions, but I don't. I'm thrilled that Obama has decided to take on teachers unions regarding merit pay.

    I agree with Bear. Unions were good for a time when they were combating civil right-type issues. Hell, the UAW was a major champion of the civil rights movement. But now they just act as a barrier between employer and employee. With increased mobility among new economy workers, it will be the employers who will be forced to entice people to work for them.

    Down with the unions!!!
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  20. #95
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    As a liberal, I supposed I'm supposed to support unions, but I don't. I'm thrilled that Obama has decided to take on teachers unions regarding merit pay.

    I agree with Bear. Unions were good for a time when they were combating civil right-type issues. Hell, the UAW was a major champion of the civil rights movement. But now they just act as a barrier between employer and employee. With increased mobility among new economy workers, it will be the employers who will be forced to entice people to work for them.

    Down with the unions!!!
    Some unions are good, most unions are not. All one has to do is look at the state of NJ where every damn thing is unionized and all the politicos are paralyzed by their threats to do this or that.

    Funny story: A year ago I had to participate in a series of meeting over a teleconference system. I had booked the room well in advance for the times I needed it and often ended up the large teleconference room all by myself. There was a movement at the time for one sector of the uni employees to unionize and they would use the same room as me. Once they wanted to use it the same day/time as me and they were told they could use it til 6pm but it was needed for a class. I showed up and waited out the door and as everyone was streaming out the door someone asked "Where's the class that was supposed to be here?" I said that I was the "class". Another said "We have to move out of the room because of ONE person?" and I shot back with "Never underestimate the power of just ONE person!"
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  21. #96
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Keeping you informed.....the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was introduced into Congress this week. President Obama is a strong supporter of this legislation. My HR friends are saying that it is likely to be law by late 2009.

    I agree that unions are necessary. They helped create a middle-class. They were instrumental in improving working conditions. Checks and balances.

    However, in many cases they went way too far to protect workers who did not perform. All of what I just said is my opinion.

    Now the facts: EFCA is not a good bill. It takes away the rights of employees to vote on a union. The union organizer can make all kinds of promises.....promises that they have no control over because everything would be negotiated. Those promises just have to convince 50% of the workforce.....plus one more employee.....and the union is IN. No vote.

    If a contract is not negotiated within a short time period (I think it will be 120 days) the contract terms decision is out of the hands of the union, out of the hands of the employer, out of the hands of the employees......and in binding arbitration.

    This Bear is not at all happy with this bill. Mr. President, I support many of your attempts to get our country back on the right track. This is not a good attempt.

    My opinion.

    Bear
    And it is doubly sad and disgusting that it was the unions themselves who insisted on setting up the current system of secret-ballot elections - precisely to show the world that a result in favor of the union was the free will of the workers and not coerced or strongarmed in any way by either side - that everything was above the board and legitimate. Now, because so few elections are actually going in favor of the union, they want to blow it all up - and this by very same party that gladly trumpets its insistence on having as many people as possible being able to vote (seemingly whether or not they legally can) in other elections.



    Look for many jobs to be lost in the private sector should this pass - many small and low-margin businesses will not be able to survive under such a law.

    Mike

  22. #97
    I understand that EFCA would allow card signing OR secret ballot. Anybody have the facts?

  23. #98
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I understand that EFCA would allow card signing OR secret ballot. Anybody have the facts?
    From what I am aware of, under that proposal, 30% of employees can sign cards and call for a secret-ballot election, however if 50%+1 sign, the union is IN (with no appeal or anything else). Under current law, if 50%+1 sign the union is in BUT the employer can call for a binding secret-ballot election - if 50%+1 of votes are 'yes' (it might require 50%+1 of the total employees to be represented to vote 'yes') = union is IN, fewer and the union is OUT. And yes, BOTH sides (union and management) can state their cases in the campaign leading up to the election.

    If this bill passes, don't for a second think that any organizer will stop at 30%. They'll do whatever they can (literally) to get that card that will put them over 50%. And nobody will have to say 'boo' to either the employer nor to the other 49% of the workers until it's over.



    Mike

  24. #99
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I understand that EFCA would allow card signing OR secret ballot. Anybody have the facts?
    Please, read the bill for yourselves. The outrage is misplaced IMHO.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/.../~c110T86xhN::
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  25. #100
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Personally, if I was Obama I would resign. I think this county has become ungovernable. I though that sports were our gladitoral games, our bread and circuses. I was wrong, its politics and Washington DC is our Coliseum.

    Folks, he's only been in office 2 months and he inherited a horrible mess. Obama has to get us going in the right direction while appeasing the different types of people that make up the democrats. He has to repair our standing with the rest of the world. The Republicans are only conserned about the next election cycle and getting back into power while limiting Obama's damage to the people who actually run their party. Basically, they are useless.

    At least he is trying in spite of all the odds, all the problems and the constant second guessing and backstabbing. We elected him to get us out of the very big ditch that W and his crew ran us into. Let's at least let him try before trying to wrench the steering wheel out of his hands.
    Last edited by Whose Yur Planner; 13 Mar 2009 at 10:44 AM.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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