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Thread: 2010 SOTU - Good, Bad, Ugly?

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    2010 SOTU - Good, Bad, Ugly?

    I am surprised no one else started this thread.

    I was pleased, annoyed, and some other feelings during it. I like that our President has a personality. Having a sense of humor is good I think.

    I also like that he berated the entire congress (as well as the Supreme Court... who in my opinion deserved it) for not making any policy...

    I like that he is throwing out Republican ideas to see if the R's can actually support something he does, or if they are completely unable to agree with something he says or does. It will be interesting to see if a bill comes to be about Nuclear Power or Oil drilling.

    I think he is being disingenuous when he states that he is open door and transparent. He could do a MUCH better job of this. All of Washington could.

    I also like his approach on jobs. He is trying to find a way. I like that.

    In the end, I don't like some of his approaches, and I have a tough time believing that any of it will actually happen... but I like the concepts.

    The Republican response was horrible. Not only was it obviously written without the SOTU in mind, but really was just talking points, and just as many facts that were sketchy as Obama's.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    uh oh.............
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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    uh oh.............
    Why? It is no longer possible to discuss politics or the State of our Union? I just wanted to see what people thought of the speech...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    Why? It is no longer possible to discuss politics or the State of our Union? I just wanted to see what people thought of the speech...
    My comment was directed at myself more than anything else. I can get a little riled up about politics.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    I thought it was a decent speech and an ambitious agenda. As someone with a large amount of student loan debt, I will be interested to see if his plan comes to furition.

    I am glad to see the President focusing more on jobs.

    I like how he took on Congress and the Supreme Court. It seemed like Obama was almost daring the Republicans to continue the B.S. of the last year and saying their no to everything. I hope that if the Republicans keep pulling this crap that they will be soundly defeated in November. I have yet to see any evidence of the Republicans actually working with the Democrats to solve some of the Country's biggest problems. All I see and hear is the GOP criticizing everything without any plan.

    All in all, I would give the SOTU a solid B. He was a bit loose with some of his facts and I am still hoping to see more transparency from Washington, but I feel that the President is back on track and may have recorded a 1st down last night.

    I am not sure what the GOP response was all about. I am not sure what a Republican governor has to do with the President's agenda and Congress' job?!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I though tit was a very good address. I don't expect him to say everything I want or address all the thing that are important in our world. Its a limited slot and he can only say so much.

    That being said:

    I liked very much the way he framed the situation with respect to the deficit and debt. I feel he has received a lot of flack for the Stimulus Package because of its contribution to the deficit. But, as he illustrated quite well IMO, the vast majority of the deficit and debt we carry now is the result of policies that predated him. The stimulus package is a drop in the bucket in comparison and, if it weren't for the rest of the shortfall (failing to pay for two wars and approving the first bailout round, for example), folks would probably not be as worried about it all.

    I like that he took the Republicans to task for focusing too much on obstructionism and not enough on solution(ism). I think that is a well-founded argument.

    I also like that he took the Dems to task for being easily intimidated and, as usual, fracturing among themselves.

    I think both parties really need to quit the quibbling and get something substantial done for America's future. We're in deep doo doo, people, time to act for the collective good and COOPERATE instead of looking to jockey position for the next election.

    I watched part of it with my kids and my son really latched on to the whole issue of who stands up/sits down in support of different points. When Obama mentioned something about clean energy and a bunch of Republicans kept sitting with their warms folded, he asked if they were Mr. Pollution or something. "Who hates the environment?" he asked.

    So, I had to have a little "wake up" conversation about how sometimes politicians oppose or support ideas not because they ideologically support or are critical of it. Sometimes, I had to say, people get contributions for their campaign with the suggestion that if a bill comes around that could cost that industry money, that politician will oppose it (and the opposite if they stand to gain).

    It was a sobering moment. Especially when I had to tell him that with the recent supreme court ruling, its likely to get much much worse.

    These are heady times.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    It was about what I expected it would be: not quite as move-to-the-center as a lot of pundits had suggested would take place, but not quite the stick-it-to-the-GOP-and-hold-to-your-guns (not literally) that many New Republic readers seemed to have wanted. The President largely stuck to his guns on his key issues, threw a few bones to Republicans on issues on his periphery, and became quite populist in his economic and gov't expenditures proposals. I, too, enjoyed his humor. Mr. Obama seems like quite an affable guy, and I like him as a person despite my philosophical differences with many of his policies.

    Also, does Vice President Biden ever quit smiling? I don't think I've ever seen him not smiling...

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Obama sure is a great speaker with that teleprompter. It's too bad that he isn't much of a do-er. He says things and then doesn't follow up on them. Or he says things like "We need congress to do something about this" but then he doesn't offer any input as far as what he wants them to do about it.

    Even though he may or may not have been serious about some of his ideas- it was very telling that the republicans refused to applaud even when he was calling for tax cuts and help for small businesses. It's beyond me why the President continues to seek bipartisan support when the repubs won't even support their own ideas if it comes from him. The lack of concern that the republicans have about the country is astonishing.
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Even though he may or may not have been serious about some of his ideas- it was very telling that the republicans refused to applaud even when he was calling for tax cuts and help for small businesses. It's beyond me why the President continues to seek bipartisan support when the repubs won't even support their own ideas if it comes from him. The lack of concern that the republicans have about the country is astonishing.
    If the Republicans had heard their own ideas proposed, I'm sure they would have applauded. Republicans aren't a fan of tax cuts for tax cuts sake (unless they're across-the-board). They aren't the answer to everything, especially when the President's intention for these targeted tax cuts further his progressive ideology, albeit through a more populist lens, more than they will help re-energize the economy out of this recession.

    Also, your last sentence is a direct mirror to your political philosophy and worldview more than it it an accurate portrayal of reality. Which is fine... you're welcome to have and express both. I just wanted this out there for the record, since you did not disclose any qualifiers for that statement.

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    If the Republicans had heard their own ideas proposed, I'm sure they would have applauded. Republicans aren't a fan of tax cuts for tax cuts sake (unless they're across-the-board). They aren't the answer to everything, especially when the President's intention for these targeted tax cuts further his progressive ideology, albeit through a more populist lens, more than they will help re-energize the economy out of this recession.

    Also, your last sentence is a direct mirror to your political philosophy and worldview more than it it an accurate portrayal of reality. Which is fine... you're welcome to have and express both. I just wanted this out there for the record, since you did not disclose any qualifiers for that statement.

    So what would the republicans ideas for helping this country get back on track be? Because they haven't proposed anything realistic and they filibuster even things that they end up voting for. They have a lack of concern for this country that is astonishing because they refuse to do anything other than obstruct everything for partisan political purposes. They are against tax cuts for small businesses? Okay.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    So what would the republicans ideas for helping this country get back on track be? Because they haven't proposed anything realistic and they filibuster even things that they end up voting for. They have a lack of concern for this country that is astonishing because they refuse to do anything other than obstruct everything for partisan political purposes. They are against tax cuts for small businesses? Okay.
    Does this have any direct bearing on the SOTU address? I thought not.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Does this have any direct bearing on the SOTU address? I thought not.
    Your face has a direct bearing on the SOTU address
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    So what would the republicans ideas for helping this country get back on track be? Because they haven't proposed anything realistic and they filibuster even things that they end up voting for. They have a lack of concern for this country that is astonishing because they refuse to do anything other than obstruct everything for partisan political purposes. They are against tax cuts for small businesses? Okay.
    Let's see. The major issues (which seem to be consensus for both predominant political philosophies):

    1. Economy/Jobs - A great deal of the ideas Obama espoused, including the budget freeze, were recommended by the joint GOP Congressional caucuses and delivered to the White House in December. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/24956204/GOP-No-Cost-Jobs-Letter-and-Plan-Presented-to-President-Obama >

    2. Health Care - The House GOP has offered numerous amendments, bills, and also an entire alternative bill to the Pelosi bill that the House leadership has refused to open for debate. If this bill is not "realistic", how do you manage to draw the conclusion that the sweeping policy bill offered up by the Democratic leadership is? <http://republicans.waysandmeans.hous...bility_Act.pdf>

    3. Environment and Energy - Again, the GOP caucuses have introduced an energy bill, "The American Energy Act", that would significantly increase renewable and clean energies and make the US more energy independent. <http://www.gop.gov/download?folder=e...2PGSummary.pdf>

    4. Budget/Deficit - And, once again, the GOP has proposed numerous actions to reduce the deficit and debt, including reducing spending (both discretionary AND entitlement), increased tax incentives and tax cuts (much deeper than Obama's proposal, including key tax suspensions), and saved vital spending in the same categories Obama mentioned in the SOTU. They even proposed an alternate budget with these policies. <http://www.gop.gov/download?folder=b...gop-budget.pdf>


    Most of these items have been discarded by House leadership, yet the items that have been sent directly to the White House strangely have many key aspects mentioned by Obama in the SOTU (you'll notice there were also several instances during the speech where the GOP sections stood and the Democrats either stayed seated or were scattered about half and half). If these items are deemed not "realistic", it is for political purposes only, and usually on behalf of the Democratic leadership, not the GOP's obstructionism or lack of concern. If the leadership was actually open to outside ideas and true compromise rather than ideological positioning and power-grubbing, the reverse positioning would be significantly relaxed as well. In this regard, Obama was dead on in chastising both sides of the aisle in the SOTU.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Yawn...Same people, same old same old.....Yawn
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Yawn...Same people, same old same old.....Yawn
    How nice of you to stop in and provide nothing to this thread other than insults.
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Yawn...Same people, same old same old.....Yawn
    I'm sorry.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    How nice of you to stop in and provide nothing to this thread other than insults.
    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    I'm sorry.
    Off-topic:
    Those weren't insults, I can do much better than that. I don't usually even bother to comment on political threads because they always digress from the original post to firing broadsides against each other's political views. Want to know why the Democrats and Republicans can't work cooperatively? Look at the posts here. Do you seriously think that your representatives in DC operate on a higher plane? Want to have a serious discussion? Take the text of the SOTU and mark out all the pandering to either party and the television audience and leave just the actions that the President proposed. Then discuss which ones he can implement with his office and which ones require legislative or judicial action. Do that without taking potshots at each other. I might even join in.

    I'd apologize but Maister made me do it.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    We'd better see a post pertaining to the State of the Union address on this thread pretty soon or y'all can guess what's going to happen to this thread.

  19. #19
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    They're tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can't afford it. Not now.

    I think this is a valid point. Especially with how the tea parties have treated the political discourse.

    It begins with our economy.
    Our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis. It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, and everybody in between, it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.

    Honesty. Humor.

    But when I ran for President, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular -- I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today. More businesses would certainly have closed. More homes would have surely been lost.
    So I supported the last administration's efforts to create the financial rescue program. And when we took that program over, we made it more transparent and more accountable. And as a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we've recovered most of the money we spent on the banks. Most but not all.

    I like that he is willing to do what is unpopular, but that isn’t exactly true. Bipartisanship has not allowed him to do much more than what the polls suggest he do. Also, blaming Bush is the easy way out. It is probably true, but not worth the political fight.

    Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.
    I thought I'd get some applause on that one.

    Funny. Also a huge difference of opinions between the left and right.

    The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That's right -- the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster. But you don't have to take their word for it.

    Difference of opinions.

    That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight.
    Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers.

    This, to me, is the most truth. The right does not like to admit this, but it is true. A well regulated machine, makes EVERYONE work better and in a much more sustainable manner.

    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. I'm also proposing a new small business tax credit
    -- one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.

    Extremely conservative viewpoints. Other than using the TARP money to fund some of the ideas, he is playing from the conservative playbook.

    Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.
    Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation's goods, services, and information.

    Although not true, I believe that this is where the President needs to be pushing more. Our infrastructure. There are still people in the United States that think the car is not subsidized. They believe that putting rail in the US is bad because it will end up like buses…ugh.

    We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities -- and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy-efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. And 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 is a no brainer for both sides. Why would anyone argue this point?

    But the truth is, these steps won't make up for the seven million jobs that we've lost over the last two years. The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth, and finally address the problems that America's families have confronted for years.

    This is honesty as well. He stated they helped save or create millions of jobs, but they still lost seven million. He didn’t say that he created these jobs and none were lost.

    We can't afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from the last decade -- what some call the "lost decade" -- where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion; where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs; where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.
    From the day I took office, I've been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious; such an effort would be too contentious. I've been told that our political system is too gridlocked, and that we should just put things on hold for a while.
    For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?
    You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations -- they're not standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. They're putting more emphasis on math and science. They're rebuilding their infrastructure. They're making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.

    Amen. Washington is stuck in get elected mode. Not do what is best for America mode. Someone needs to press the reset button. TODAY.


    We need to make sure consumers and middle-class families have the information they need to make financial decisions. We can't allow financial institutions, including those that take your deposits, to take risks that threaten the whole economy.
    Now, the House has already passed financial reform with many of these changes. And the lobbyists are trying to kill it. But we cannot let them win this fight. 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. We've got to get it right.

    Good ideas. Problem is, no bill will make it to his desk. We know that the left and right can’t agree on something as simple as financial regulations…lol.

    Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history -- an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy.

    In keeping with the “Green” technology part, good points. Infrastructure investment is always a winner in my book. Not sure why people would see this is a bad thing.

    But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. **Republican Idea**. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. **Republican Idea**. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. **Republican Idea**. And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. **Democrat Idea**.

    A paragraph with primarily republican ideas. And today the pundits are saying he is trying to further his agenda with energy?

    I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -- because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.

    Extremely sound logic. I don’t care if you think the world is flat, but at least you can agree that making our country the most efficient, sustainable, and strong country in the world should be a priority. And also that we should lead by example. Not just say things and do others (i.e. Stay abstinent, oops a baby).

    Third, we need to export more of our goods. Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America. 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. To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security.

    Never going to happen in fifty years, let alone five years. We will need to find a way to make ourselves and the products we produce more competitive prior to trying to double our exports. Five years is WAY to short.

    We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores. But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules. And that's why we'll continue to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens global markets, and why we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea and Panama and Colombia.

    Good rhetoric, but tough to enforce. We need the global economy to buy in on this one.

    Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people.
    Now, this year, we've broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform -- reform that raises student achievement; inspires students to excel in math and science; and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city. In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education. in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential.

    Conservative talking point. Charter schools are not a democrat thing. Supporting public schools is.

    When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That's why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.
    To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years -- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.

    How will this get paid for? I don’t know if I agree that everyone “deserves” to go to college. If that is the case, why doesn’t everyone “deserve” healthcare?

    And by the way, it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs -- because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

    A start would be state schools have a limit on what they can pay a president. $5million a year for Gordon Gee? Really? If you are funded by the State or Federal Government, the citizens have every right to regulate what you get paid. Cut Football teams. They are a red mark for most schools. Unless they can find a way to pay for themselves, they should not be receiving funding from academic programs.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  20. #20
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Moderator note:
    We'd better see a post pertaining to the State of the Union address on this thread pretty soon or y'all can guess what's going to happen to this thread.
    Discussing the ideas behind the SOTU or the reasons why the republicans may not have agreed with much of what he said seems to me to be related. But fine- close the thread if it makes you feel better. I honestly don't see why you feel the need to not only piss on the thread but then make threats about closing the thread because posts are only tangentially related. In all honesty I think you are being a bit of a jerk. Suspend me if you wish
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Moderator note:
    We'd better see a post pertaining to the State of the Union address on this thread pretty soon or y'all can guess what's going to happen to this thread.
    I had tied my points/observations to the speech, citing that many of the ideas that were Republican in philosophy were also Republican in origin.

  22. #22
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Moderator note:

    Jeez people. Let's just start from Hink_planner's post and try to put the wheels back on here! Chill... CHILL!!!




    -SR

    "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)

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