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      01-25-2015, 01:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
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Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Yep:

"...While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with notable exception of Herbert Hoover,[5] has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.[3].."
Which made sense in a country where the majority of people likely didn't have even a radio, and TV hadn't been invented.

As times change, it's useful to respond to those changes. I realize that's a staggering concept to many diehard conservatives. <grin>
The POTUS' most recent state of the union really doesn't mean much because there was nothing groundbreaking that was covered...just reiterations of several tired themes: tax the rich; help the poor; America is doing good things abroad; ect.

These speeches, especially this late in a 2nd Presidential term, normally don't have much meaning because the President by this point is a lame duck. If President Obama had wanted to work with Congress to accomplish certain objectives there might be something of note in this state of the union.

But as of late, President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he wishes to work alone:
-Executive orders on Immigration (before the new Congress even had a chance to act).
-Unilateral action to reset relations with Cuba.
-Unilateral action on the nuclear talks with Iran (mind you President Obama promised back at the beginning of 2014 that the old sanctions would be reenacted if Iran took more than 6 months to accept a deal....6 months have passed).
-Avoiding any action on the Keystone despite broad Congressional support.
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      01-25-2015, 04:51 PM   #24
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Dude get off your soapbox! The income inequality that exists in America is absolutely trivial when compared to the inequalities that exist in most other countries.
Beyond wrong. Not in the developed world. Not only is our income inequality not "trivial" (which I trust is blindingly obvious to all), but we're one of the worst in the developed world. MY "soapbox" is solidly supported by facts.

"The U.S. has one of the most unequal income distributions in the developed world, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — even after taxes and social-welfare policies are taken into account."

Data contained here:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...-u-s-compares/

Don't like that study? The Pew Foundation is well regarded as non-political. But that's OK.

The CIA rates us (quantitatively) as significantly worse than virtually every European country.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2172rank.html

The Christian Science Monitor.

"The US is not alone in facing a widening gap between rich and poor, though it's leading most of the developed world."

Details, with numbers:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2014/...global-context

Fortune magazine, a business publication. We're getting back to where we were just before the Great Depression hit. Scroll down to the graph.

"There is no dispute that income inequality has been on the rise in the United States for the past four decades. The share of total income earned by the top 1 percent of families was less than 10 percent in the late 1970s but now exceeds 20 percent as of the end of 2012."

http://fortune.com/2014/10/31/inequa...lth-income-us/

The Congressional Research Service uses waffle language to avoid getting defunded by Republicans, but their meaning (and their data) is clear. Check out Table 1, which shows that, for forty years, the percentage of US income going to the lower 80% has declined, while that going to the top 20% has increased.

"Measures of income dispersion show a distribution of income across U.S. households that has become comparatively more unequal over time as high-income U.S. households have benefited disproportionately from economic growth and that is less equal compared with distributions in many other developed countries. It also appears that going from rags to riches is relatively rare; that is, where one starts in the U.S. income distribution greatly influences where one ends up. "

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42400.pdf

I can quote more, from different sources. This issue is well beyond any reasonable doubt. We also have one of the largest percentages of people living in poverty, in the developed world. Basically, we have a permanent underclass. Never a good thing for a society.

Spare me the rhetorical/political response. Come back with convincing, comprehensive real numbers, data, as shown in the above references. All else (rhetoric, cherry-picked examples, etc.) will be ignored.

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      01-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Not most countries in the developed world. Not only is our income inequality not "trivial" (which I trust is obvious to all), but we're one of the worst:

"The U.S. has one of the most unequal income distributions in the developed world, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — even after taxes and social-welfare policies are taken into account."

Data contained here:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...-u-s-compares/

Don't like that study? The Pew Foundation is well regarded as non-political.

The CIA rates us (quantitatively) as significantly worse than virtually every European country.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2172rank.html

The Christian Science Monitor, that well know hotbed of socialism (not).

"The US is not alone in facing a widening gap between rich and poor, though it's leading most of the developed world."

Details, with numbers:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2014/...global-context

Here's an interesting piece from the Marxists at Fortune magazine. We're getting back to where we were just before the Great Depression hit. Scroll down to the graph.

"There is no dispute that income inequality has been on the rise in the United States for the past four decades. The share of total income earned by the top 1 percent of families was less than 10 percent in the late 1970s but now exceeds 20 percent as of the end of 2012."

http://fortune.com/2014/10/31/inequa...lth-income-us/

I can quote more, from completely different sources. We also have one of the largest percentages of people living in poverty, in the developed world.

Spare me the rhetorical/political response. Come back with comprehensive real numbers, data, as shown in the above references. All else (rhetoric, cherry-picked examples, etc.) will be ignored.
Okay, but this is different from what you said earlier:

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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
But it needs to be progressive, not flat. The idea that the rich should pay the same percentage as the poor is awful. It would make for income inequality that would make even an old banana republic look good .
You weren't comparing our country's income inequality to that of developed countries, rather you were suggesting that our impoverished are worse off than the poor from a banana republic...which, again, is a rhetorical and unfounded claim on your part. But I understand that you want everyone to ignore that misstatement and focus on your other, more valid, opinions.

All of the studies that you have cited indicate that not only does America have more rich people than most developed countries, but that those rich people enjoy far greater wealth on average than their peers in other developed countries.....

So what's your point? Why is that a bad thing that we have so many well-off billionaires and millionaires in our country , more so than France and Germany and Belgium and UK? All those countries have poor people as well who endure the same hardships that our poor people here do. The upper and middle class over there don't see the same level of wealth because they deal with socialist economic policies (salary caps, universal employment and union requirements, ridiculously high tax rates).

As a result, those countries also have chronically high unemployment and offer little incentive for corporate growth. There are also more than a few developed countries (Greece, Spain, Italy to name a few) that are even worse off than us with their debts...mostly because of they have built up welfare states that are fiscally unsustainable.

What you fail to acknowledge in your argument 128Convertibleguy is that everything is a tradeoff:

You can have a controlled/over-regulated economy where no one really wins big and the income gap stays relatively small between the rich and poor.

Or you can have a free-market economy where some people win big and others dont...so the gap between the economic classes is bigger.

Or you can have an economy that falls somewhere between the 2 extremes.

Regardless of which ever economic path a country chooses, there will always be poor people in the relative sense. In fact, countries like France and Italy (to a name a few) took direct steps to reduce inequality in their countries by capping salaries and regulating how a company hires and fires, but they have only hamstrung their economic development in the long run.
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      01-25-2015, 06:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Very true. But it's a real dilemma. The guy at the top knows that, if there's a terrorist attack on his watch, people will blame him. And that if he spies on people in an attempt to do everything he can to reduce the risk of even one attack from happening, he'll get much milder criticism, or maybe none at all, if he can stop people like Snowden.

So individual political leaders will work for better privacy. But, once they get elected President, their incentives completely change. It's hard for me to see how any Commander-in-Chief doesn't use every tool he has available to gather intelligence, to do his job of protecting America. Even if it's morally questionable, or against the spirit of America.

Franklin said "those who would give up some freedom for some security deserve neither". Had he become President in our time, he would have changed his tune.

I don't know what the solution is. I do know it has to start us, with a large majority of Americans who refuse to become part of the culture of fear and bigotry, with a media that does not supercharge the culture of fear and bigotry in order to make money. Yes, I'm talking about FauxNews, among others. As is often the case, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

We're in for a long wait on that. Look at what happened with Ebola. Media driven panic is not too strong a characterization. With counterproductive results like ordinary citizens supporting dumping crap on the heroes who went to fight it where it mattered.

This is another tough one.
It's definitely a hard issue but that's no excuse. Wiretapping and other surveillance without a warrant is bullshit and in direct conflict with the 4th amendment. This doesn't provide us security, it harms us in one of the most foundation ways possible. What's the point of protecting our freedoms from external parties if our government takes them from us anyway?

ALL manner of warrantless surveillance and searches (I can't even easily list all the stuff over the past few years, it would be a homework assignment). One of the most recent that I remember is the Stingray technology FBI can now implement without a warrant in public.

It's simply a Man-in-the-Middle attack for cell phones. They put up their own mobile cell tower and all nearby cell traffic is routed through it. They can do it anywhere in public because "there's no expectation of privacy in public". That's bullshit. If I throw up an access point and start intercepting nearby cell traffic in public, you can BET YOUR ASS they will have something to say about it. I won't be able to go "hey, it's in public so there's not privacy to invade, right?".

People started realizing that there was a strange van following protesters around and whenever it passed by, everyone's calls were affected. They later found out that van is following around protesters and listening to their conversations to figure out where they'll be moving to and what they're up to.

The last 5 years have just been story after story after story, of sh!t like this. It's insane and it doesn't seem to be stopping.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...public-places/
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/12/...ring-protests/
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      01-25-2015, 06:15 PM   #27
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It's definitely a hard issue but that's no excuse. Wiretapping and other surveillance without a warrant is bullshit and in direct conflict with the 4th amendment.
Look, I generally agree with you.

But my point is that fixing this isn't a question of making your philosophical arguments, and voila. Or filing a lawsuit. It requires that we figure out how to change the incentives for the government, especially the President. A necessary first step is to stop being afraid, to stop listening to the drumbeat of fear coming from some very powerful media sources. Next is to stop electing people who play on our fears.

Second point, which comes directly from the first. This is going to be hard, and will take time.
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      01-25-2015, 06:28 PM   #28
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Look, I generally agree with you.

But my point is that fixing this isn't a question of making your philosophical arguments, and voila. Or filing a lawsuit. It requires that we figure out how to change the incentives for the government, especially the President. A necessary first step is to stop being afraid, to stop listening to the drumbeat of fear coming from some very powerful media sources. Next is to stop electing people who play on our fears.

Second point, which comes directly from the first. This is going to be hard, and will take time.
The reason I am disappointed is because the most important man in our country has not made it a priority. Everytime something like this happens, he may walk out and say something about how it's bad and wrong. Then does nothing and applies no pressure.

Meanwhile, his baby, the obamacare site, is another fking privacy nightmare. I'm disappointed with him because he doesn't care about our privacy. If it was one instance, sure. But it has been non-stop for half a decade now.
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      01-25-2015, 06:33 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Look, I generally agree with you.

But my point is that fixing this isn't a question of making your philosophical arguments, and voila. Or filing a lawsuit. It requires that we figure out how to change the incentives for the government, especially the President. A necessary first step is to stop being afraid, to stop listening to the drumbeat of fear coming from some very powerful media sources. Next is to stop electing people who play on our fears.

Second point, which comes directly from the first. This is going to be hard, and will take time.
First step is to elect a President who holds his/her executive agencies accountable.

Why 128Convertibleguy are you so reluctant to call a spade a spade. The NSA surveillance scandal, IRS targeting political groups, CIA spying on Congressional investigators....you know what the common theme in all of those scandals is??? They all work for the President of the US!!!
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      01-25-2015, 07:30 PM   #30
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First step is to elect a President who holds his/her executive agencies accountable.

Why 128Convertibleguy are you so reluctant to call a spade a spade. The NSA surveillance scandal, IRS targeting political groups, CIA spying on Congressional investigators....you know what the common theme in all of those scandals is??? They all work for the President of the US!!!
And every President of the US has done stuff like this since 9/11, for reasons detailed in post #10. You think this didn't start under Bush? Do you remember something called the "Patriot Act?"

It started even before Bush. Your hero, Ronald Reagan? Good book about FBI spying, and subverting civil liberties in the 60s, aided and abetted by Reagan.

"This book is the result of 30 years of investigation, including Rosenfeld’s landmark Freedom of Information fight, which resulted in the FBI being forced to release more than 250,000 pages of classified documents (Rosenfeld’s appendix detailing his struggle is gripping in itself). Besides FBI files, Rosenfeld relied on court records, news accounts, and hundreds of interviews. Clearly, he has the goods, and fortunately he also has the writing skills to deliver a scathing, convincingly detailed, and evocative indictment of the tactics of the FBI and of Ronald Reagan during his rise to power against the backdrop of Berkeley in the sixties.”—Connie Fletcher, Booklist (starred review)"

http://www.amazon.com/Subversives-St.../dp/1250033381

Here's how the government violated the rights of Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/31/mlk.fbi.conspiracy/

Once again, I agree that the government has gone too far. But they couldn't do it if they didn't have support from fearful American citizens, and politicians playing on those fears.

We can fix this. But the fix has to start with us.

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      01-25-2015, 07:41 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
And every President of the US has done stuff like this since 9/11, for reasons detailed in post #10. You think this didn't start under Bush? Do you remember something called the "Patriot Act?"

It would hardly be surprising if this didn't start even before Bush.
I have no doubt stuff like this has happened and does happen. But those other presidents aren't responsible for this particular mountain of horseshit. I have no problem blaming bush for the Patriot act and TSA. Those are his massive fuck ups.

But the patriot act was extended in 2011 under Obama's watch. Bush is no longer in office. Yet the NSA, IRS, FBI are ALL overstepping their bounds.

Yes, all Presidents have to make tough choices that weigh security and freedom. But some of these aren't tough moral dilemmas. They are clear violations of our rights.
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      01-25-2015, 08:34 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
And every President of the US has done stuff like this since 9/11, for reasons detailed in post #10. You think this didn't start under Bush? Do you remember something called the "Patriot Act?"

It started even before Bush. Your hero, Ronald Reagan? Good book about FBI spying, and subverting civil liberties in the 60s, aided and abetted by Reagan.

"This book is the result of 30 years of investigation, including Rosenfeld’s landmark Freedom of Information fight, which resulted in the FBI being forced to release more than 250,000 pages of classified documents (Rosenfeld’s appendix detailing his struggle is gripping in itself). Besides FBI files, Rosenfeld relied on court records, news accounts, and hundreds of interviews. Clearly, he has the goods, and fortunately he also has the writing skills to deliver a scathing, convincingly detailed, and evocative indictment of the tactics of the FBI and of Ronald Reagan during his rise to power against the backdrop of Berkeley in the sixties.”—Connie Fletcher, Booklist (starred review)"

http://www.amazon.com/Subversives-St.../dp/1250033381

Here's how the government violated the rights of Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/31/mlk.fbi.conspiracy/

Once again, I agree that the government has gone too far. But they couldn't do it if they didn't have support from fearful American citizens, and politicians playing on those fears.

We can fix this. But the fix has to start with us.
Ronald Reagan is my hero? I had no idea...

Anyways, this is an immature defense that you are using: "don't blame my favorite politician because there were other politicians who did similar or worst things in the past."

As someone else on this forum has noted, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, ect. aren't in office anymore. President Obama is in office....So if we are going to have a conversation about contemporary examples of executive abuses of power, the buck stops with him.

I do agree with one thing you have said though. We as a people can fix this if we vote competent leaders, instead of trend setters, into office.

President Obama had no executive leadership or decision-making under his belt prior to winning his first election. He had been a Senator, and before that he had been a community activist. Nothing wrong with any of the roles...but they don't set you up for success when it comes time to lead a nation.

We need a leader for our next President. Hopefully the people can find that leader rather than vote in another slick politician.
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      01-26-2015, 11:25 AM   #33
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We need a leader for our next President. Hopefully the people can find that leader rather than vote in another slick politician.


I'm open to suggestions on who that might be. Not running yet, but one I have my eye on is the Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer. Maybe around 2024.
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      01-26-2015, 03:28 PM   #34
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We need a leader for our next President. Hopefully the people can find that leader rather than vote in another slick politician.
When did we last have a President who didn't deserve the comment "slick politician"? I make it Jimmy Carter, and that didn't turn out all that well. Eisenhower wasn't very effective either. Those are about the only two Presidents I see for the last 85 years who weren't "slick politicians".

Like "***hole" is pretty much a requirement for a top F1 driver, "slick politician" is pretty much a requirement to get elected President. Sometimes that works out, as with Clinton the First.
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      01-26-2015, 03:40 PM   #35
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President Obama had no executive leadership or decision-making under his belt prior to winning his first election. He had been a Senator, and before that he had been a community activist. Nothing wrong with any of the roles...but they don't set you up for success when it comes time to lead a nation.

We need a leader for our next President. Hopefully the people can find that leader rather than vote in another slick politician.
These are my thoughts on Marco Rubio
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      01-26-2015, 09:19 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
When did we last have a President who didn't deserve the comment "slick politician"? I make it Jimmy Carter, and that didn't turn out all that well. Eisenhower wasn't very effective either. Those are about the only two Presidents I see for the last 85 years who weren't "slick politicians".

Like "***hole" is pretty much a requirement for a top F1 driver, "slick politician" is pretty much a requirement to get elected President. Sometimes that works out, as with Clinton the First.
The first Clinton administration worked out all right? A very subjective take on that era, but I digress.

President Obama got elected because he is a half-way decent speech-giver and because a lot of people wanted to see a black President in the oval office. Certainly the latter has cultural and historical significance, but that's not the same as saying he is a good leader.

If you want to argue over the semantics of who is slick and who isn't, go right ahead. I'm not interested in going off on that tangent.

President Obama has time and time again shirked his duties as this nation's leader, our command and chief, when it came to matters of both domestic and international affairs. So many executive agencies encountering scandals and problems, but somehow the President, the head of those executive agencies, is never to blame. Islamic extremism has expanded in nearly all parts of the world, including Europe, and yet somehow this President's foreign policy of "lead from behind" has successfully made our world a safer place.

We need our next President to assert leadership and take responsibility in all the areas that President Obama hasn't. Is that a clear enough mission statement for you 128Convertibleguy ??
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      01-27-2015, 10:37 AM   #37
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The first Clinton administration worked out all right? A very subjective take on that era
Surely you jest. It's hardly subjective, it's based solidly on fact. 8 years of peace and prosperity weren't enough for you?
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      01-27-2015, 10:55 AM   #38
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Surely you jest. It's hardly subjective, it's based solidly on fact. 8 years of peace and prosperity weren't enough for you?
But he was a democrat. This fact can never be overlooked by the republicans. They will always hold that against him.
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      01-27-2015, 10:56 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
The first Clinton administration worked out all right? A very subjective take on that era,
Surely you jest. It's hardly subjective, it's based solidly on fact. 8 years of peace and prosperity weren't enough for you?
-Sending US forces into that meatgrinder that was Somalia with no clear purpose or mission.
-Lying to a grand jury about extra-marital affairs which nearly resulted in his impeachment.
-Failing to leverage Yasser Arafat into a two-state peace deal with Israel.
-Hundreds of thousands dead in places like Rwanda and the Balkands.
-A whole lot of de-regulation and poor fiscal policy that resulted in the pre-show late 90's tech bubble and later set the stage for the grand finale 2008 market correction.
-Negligent handling of what was then a nascent but still dangerous global Islamic group (Al Qaeda), with plenty of indicators of things to come (USS Cole, Kenya embassy attack, 1st World Trade Center Bombing).

Let me know when you want me to stop.

Peace and prosperity you say?

I think you need to look up the definition of subjective, or just stick to your scientific profession.
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      01-27-2015, 11:09 AM   #40
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-Sending US forces into that meatgrinder that was Somalia with no clear purpose or mission.
-Lying to a grand jury about extra-marital affairs which nearly resulted in his impeachment.
-Failing to leverage Yasser Arafat into a two-state peace deal with Israel.
-Hundreds of thousands dead in places like Rwanda and the Balkands.
-A whole lot of de-regulation and poor fiscal policy that resulted in the pre-show late 90's tech bubble and later set the stage for the grand finale 2008 market correction.
-Negligent handling of what was then a nascent but still dangerous global Islamic group (Al Qaeda), with plenty of indicators of things to come (USS Cole, Kenya embassy attack, 1st World Trade Center Bombing).

Let me know when you want me to stop.

Peace and prosperity you say?

I think you need to look up the definition of subjective, or just stick to your scientific profession.
Not hardly. This is your idea of "objective"? You're reduced to blaming Bush's Great Depression on Clinton? Reduced to dredging up Monica Lewinski? Blaming the deregulation passed under Bush on Clinton? Blaming terrorism and 9/11 on Clinton? The last one takes the cake. Blaming the lack of Palestinian-Israeli peace on Clinton?

I suppose in your world, the Obama recovery is owed to Bush, also?

Based on the objective facts, 8 years of Clinton were years of (relative, if you insist) peace and prosperity. Few outside of the right wing bubble dispute that. Personally, I'm thinking the electorate may want to give the name another go round.

You statements are not meaningful facts, simply spin and political bias that boggles the mind. More mind boggling stuff about facts versus political philosophy here:

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...5#post17297175

Last edited by 128Convertibleguy; 01-27-2015 at 11:36 AM.
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      01-27-2015, 01:00 PM   #41
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Not hardly. This is your idea of "objective"?
You are missing the point 128Convertibleguy!! There is no such thing as an 'objective' take on history. The stories always sound different depending on who is narrating.

You think Bill Clinton brought in an era of peace and prosperity. A lot of people would disagree with that statement.

Your opinion on Bill Clinton's presidency, just as it is on Obama's, is subjective. There is no way to factually prove whether or not he was a good President. This isn't a math problem where 2 + 2 must equal 4.

I don't understand how a person as 'sophisticated' as you can see the world in such black and white?
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      01-28-2015, 12:30 PM   #42
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-Sending US forces into that meatgrinder that was Somalia with no clear purpose or mission.
-Lying to a grand jury about extra-marital affairs which nearly resulted in his impeachment.
-Failing to leverage Yasser Arafat into a two-state peace deal with Israel.
-Hundreds of thousands dead in places like Rwanda and the Balkands.
-A whole lot of de-regulation and poor fiscal policy that resulted in the pre-show late 90's tech bubble and later set the stage for the grand finale 2008 market correction.
-Negligent handling of what was then a nascent but still dangerous global Islamic group (Al Qaeda), with plenty of indicators of things to come (USS Cole, Kenya embassy attack, 1st World Trade Center Bombing).

Let me know when you want me to stop.

Peace and prosperity you say?

I think you need to look up the definition of subjective, or just stick to your scientific profession.
I'd say as a whole, Clinton was a fairly good President. Unless you're naive enough to believe that someone who presides as POTUS, the most powerful position in the world (arguably) for 4 or 8 years would literally get nothing wrong? There's some point of subjectivity to it but typically a good objective way to look at it is Presidential approval ratings. I think his rating in his second term was around 60% wasn't it?

So long as humans are the POTUS who have to rely on imperfect information, it's reasonable to expect some regrettable mistakes to be made.
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      01-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #43
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      02-09-2015, 05:00 PM   #44
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None of what you say matters. People don't want to live on welfare, which is a truly crummy life of desperation. They actually want to work. Most who can, do. There are millions who work for minimum wage, and they're not teenagers. Look at the people who serve you in restaurants, in hotels, and at stores. They're not all teenagers, they're mostly adults trying to earn a living.

This crap comes from te CATO Institute, one of many right wing organizations, who serve largely to make the privileged upper class (like you and me) in America believe that holding the lower classes down in hopeless poverty is the "right" thing to do. Hey, it works for them (the privileged).
How on earth do you *know* what people are doing in those jobs? Did you conduct a study in parallel to the Cato Institute? Or do you know of someone else who did? For a "scientist" you have remarkably little empirical evidence.
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