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Thread: President Obama: The Most Polarizing Moderate Ever

  1. #101
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    Republican Calls GOP Attacks On Solyndra Finger-Pointing

    FRANZEN MARCH 30, 2012, 11:52 AM 1172 3
    A Republican legislator broke with the pack this week when it came to his party’s unrelenting critiques of the Obama Administration’s support for clean energy initiatives, equating them with finger-pointing, and advising his fellow GOP colleagues to take a long, hard, look in the mirror concerning their own political support for energy projects.

    Rep. Mike Simpson’s (R-ID) surprisingly strident counter-offensive on his fellow Republicans first came about while he was questioning David Frantz, acting director of the Department of Energy’s loan programs office, in a hearing on Tuesday.

    During the hearing, Simpson compared his own recurring meetings with the Energy Department in advance of the Department’s granting of a $2 billion loan guarantee for a nuclear project in his home state of Idaho to the contact Obama Administration officials had with the Department of Energy over various projects, including Solyndra.

    Republican lawmakers have criticized the White House’s contact with the Energy Department as a form of undue political pressure.

    “Did I put undue influence on the administration?” Simpson asked, rhetorically, Environment and Energy Daily reported, “Maybe.”

    Simpson was also interviewed after the hearing and asked “whether some of his colleagues have been too caught up in finding a political smoking gun on Solyndra.”

    Simpson’s response, according to Environment and Energy Daily:

    “Maybe,” he said, before acknowledging that he was reluctant to bring up the issue at the hearing.
    Simpson also told the outlet that Republicans in Congress criticizing the Administration for applying political pressure to grant energy loan guarantees could be guilty of doing the same thing.

    Indeed, TPM and other news outlets have repeatedly reported about the fact that several prominent Republican critics of the Administration’s clean energy support — including Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), both of whom are leading separate investigations into the Energy Department’s loan program — have themselves petitioned the Department to support projects in their districts.

    Asked about his comments in Tuesday’s hearing, Simpson responded in an email to TPM:

    “I was trying to make a very simple point that while we look at the role politics might play in the Administration’s decision-making, perhaps we should also be looking at the role it plays in our own decision-making,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “If we are going to have these loan programs, then I want politics removed from the decision-making process so we don’t end up with more Solyndras in the future. And if we are going to remove politics from the process, it is incumbent upon Members of Congress to reflect on their own actions as much as they reflect on the actions of others, including the Administration. I’m less interested in pointing fingers and more interested in protecting taxpayers from having this happen to them again in the future.”
    The Obama Administration’s support for clean energy first came under harsh scrutiny following the bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturing company Solyndra in August 2011. The company had previously received a half-billion dollar loan guarantee and then some from the Department of Energy.

    Simpson’s comments aren’t likely to be music to the ears of Republican legislators who have made it into a crusade to find wrongdoing in the Energy Department’s handling of clean energy loans. But if anything, they do indicate that the GOP line-of-attack on clean energy support and Solyndra in particular is wearing thin, even to fellow Republicans…running out of gas, so to speak.

  2. #102
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    Oh so radical. lol


    President Obama throws down the gauntlet on the Buffett Rule
    byBarbara Morrill
    Pointing out the insanity of Warren Buffett "paying a lower rate than his secretary" while "over the last 30 years, the tax rates for middle class families have barely budged," this week President Obama throws down the gauntlet on a Republican Sacred Cow: protecting tax cuts for the ultra rich:

    Over the last decade, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on what was supposed to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Now we’re scheduled to spend almost a trillion more. Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years.

    Dismissing the Republican talking point about "class welfare," Obama says:

    I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.
    Obama concludes by urging you to contact your members of congress and tell them to "do the right thing" for 98 percent of America by voting for the Buffett Rule.
    Complete transcript below the fold.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Oh so radical. lol


    President Obama throws down the gauntlet on the Buffett Rule
    byBarbara Morrill
    Pointing out the insanity of Warren Buffett "paying a lower rate than his secretary" while "over the last 30 years, the tax rates for middle class families have barely budged," this week President Obama throws down the gauntlet on a Republican Sacred Cow: protecting tax cuts for the ultra rich:

    Over the last decade, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on what was supposed to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Now we’re scheduled to spend almost a trillion more. Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years.

    Dismissing the Republican talking point about "class welfare," Obama says:

    I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.
    Obama concludes by urging you to contact your members of congress and tell them to "do the right thing" for 98 percent of America by voting for the Buffett Rule.
    Complete transcript below the fold.
    I'm so glad Barbara actually pointed out that we are talking about tax rates here. Most try to inflame the discussion by saying that the rich get taxed less which is clearly untrue, but demogoguery does work.

    Here's Milton Friedman on taxing the rich: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi-D24oCa10

  4. #104
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    An essential element of the Republican strategy these days is that, whenever confronted with an obvious failure of the free market, the correct response is always to try to turn the tables and blame it on misguided government policy. So it was this week when the solicitor general and several justices tried to make the obvious point that one reason so many Americans lack health insurance is that the market is inherently unlike any other in that we don’t deny medical care to sick people who can’t pay for it. It is from this anomaly that springs the “individual mandate,” a requirement that all citizens buy health insurance, to prevent them from becoming free-riders on a system paid for by others.

    Rather than wrestling with this obvious anomaly, however, Scalia and Alito simply gave it the old Republican razzmatazz, blaming the government for creating the problem in the first place by obligating hospitals to treat the sick even if they are uninsured and cannot pay for the care. It was the kind of sophomoric logic you’d expect from high school debaters — or a Republican presidential candidate at a tea party rally — not from members of the highest court in the richest country on Earth.

    Michael Carvin, the lawyer representing the NFIB, was clever enough to see that this was not going to be a winning constitutional argument. The proper constitutional solution to that dilemma, he explained, was not to shut the emergency room door on the uninsured, but simply require them to buy insurance when they show up seeking emergency care.

    (Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist at The Washington )

    Ah, I get it! An insurance market in which nobody has to sign up for coverage until they’re ready to make a claim. Why didn’t Aetna and Kaiser think of that? And if it works for health insurance, why not extend it to fire, auto and flood insurance as well? Scalia and Alito, of course, wasted no time in taking up this brilliant idea.

    Another of Scalia and Alito’s cute debating tricks was to latch on to an opposing argument and take it to its illogical extreme in order to show how silly it is. By this technique, the individual mandate suddenly became the first step on the proverbial slippery slope to government requiring that all Americans buy broccoli or a gym membership because those, too, will make us all healthier and thereby lower health-care costs.

    It is axiomatic, of course, that the power to regulate, or to tax, or to criminalize is the power to regulate, tax or criminalize stupidly. The power to require you to buy airbags for your car is also the power to require you to buy leather seats and a surround-sound stereo. The power to levy a fee for buying a handgun is the power to levy a fee for not buying a handgun. The power to criminalize abortions is the power to criminalize condoms and birth-control pills.

    But for some reason, when it comes to requiring Americans either to buy health insurance or pay a fee, we are now supposed to believe that “all bets are off,” according to Chief Justice John Roberts, or that “a fundamental shift” has occurred in the relationship between the individual and government, according to Justice Anthony Kennedy.

    Really?



    This one is reguired reading:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...S_story_1.html

  5. #105
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    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...esident-obama/
    April 29, 2011, 5:48 PM
    How Liberal Is President Obama?
    By NATE SILVER
    Earlier this week, Ezra Klein of The Washington Post published a column titled “Obama Revealed: A Moderate Republican.”

    Mr. Klein argued that the president’s policy preferences in some key areas, including health care, resemble those of a Republican from the early 1990s:

    President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he’s facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him.

    If you put aside the emergency measures required by the financial crisis, three major policy ideas have dominated American politics in recent years: a plan that uses an individual mandate and tax subsidies to achieve near-universal health care; a cap-and-trade plan that tries to raise the prices of environmental pollutants to better account for their costs; and bringing tax rates up from their Bush-era lows as part of a bid to reduce the deficit. In each case, the position that Obama and the Democrats have staked out is the very position that moderate Republicans have staked out before.
    I’m a big fan of Mr. Klein’s work, but I don’t find his thesis persuasive in this case. Instead, I’d suggest that the evidence points toward a considerably less exciting conclusion. Rather than being an early 1990s moderate Republican, Mr. Obama is a prototypical, early 2010s Democrat. And although a 2010s Democrat shares more in common with a 1990s Republican than with the Republicans of today, they are still far from alike.

    ***

    It’s fairly easy to demonstrate that Mr. Obama’s policy preferences resemble those of a typical Democrat in today’s Congress.

  6. #106
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    Some decent news.

    MARCH U.S. AUTO SALES
    Chrysler poised to lead U.S. auto sales gains as gas rises
    Craig Trudell
    April 2, 2012 - 10:25 am ET

    "Light-vehicle sales in March, set for release Tuesday, may have run at a 14.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would exceed the 13.1 million pace from a year earlier and set an average rate of 14.6 million for the first quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates for full-year deliveries. Small-car sales were especially strong."

    Total light-vehicle sales may rise to 1.42 million, the average of eight analysts’ estimates. That would be the highest monthly total since August 2007, according to Autodata.

    Jobs, Confidence

    The 1.2 million jobs created the past six months, the best six-month job growth stretch since 2006, has sent unemployment to a three-year low, according to Labor Department figures. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index held near the highest level in a year in March as a growing number of Americans said they planned to buy cars, homes and appliances, the New York-based private research group said on March 27.

    Buyers returning

    Compact and subcompact sales were 23 percent of U.S. retail sales through the first 18 days of March, the highest level since the government’s “cash for clunkers” program in August 2009, according to LMC Automotive.

    “The people who have been sitting on the sidelines and want to get a less-expensive car, which probably correlates with better fuel economy, those people are more able to get financed and at the lower borrowing amounts,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates.

    Supplies rebounding

    Toyota and Honda’s inventories are recovering after Japan’s tsunami in March 2011 disrupted their production and depleted their car inventories to lows of 34 days and 28 days’ supply, respectively, in August. Entering last month, Toyota carried 36 days’ supply and Honda had 50 days, according to Kelley Blue Book.

    “Vehicles that are two, three or four years old are within $3,000 or $4,000 the cost of brand-new ones,” she said in a phone interview. “I’d rather spend a little bit more and be satisfied and get exactly what I want.”

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/2012...#ixzz1qu48VRj0

  7. #107
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    Lol.

    Socialism!
    The stock market just had its best first quarter in 14 years. The surge has sent Wall Street analysts, some of whose forecasts seemed too sunny three months ago, scrambling to raise their estimates for the year. [...]
    Doll says stocks could rise 10 percent more before the end of the year. That would be enough to push the Dow Jones industrial average to an all-time high and the Standard & Poor's 500 close to a record.

  8. #108
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Lol.

    Socialism!
    The stock market just had its best first quarter in 14 years. The surge has sent Wall Street analysts, some of whose forecasts seemed too sunny three months ago, scrambling to raise their estimates for the year. [...]
    Doll says stocks could rise 10 percent more before the end of the year. That would be enough to push the Dow Jones industrial average to an all-time high and the Standard & Poor's 500 close to a record.
    Hate to break it to you, but socialist countries have stock markets too. Your citation that the stock market doing well somehow negates "socialism" is stupid.

  9. #109
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    Comedy escapes him. Oh boy.
    He thinks i dont know that Socialist countries have stock exchanges. Mama mia.
    Read where I posted it in another thread as a change to the "lighter" side.
    Notice the LOL. at the top here. Put 2 and 2 together and.....

    Sometimes you just have to hold his hand till he understands the basics.
    You know, President Obama that "Marxist Wizard" is certainly bad for our markets huh? lol
    Last edited by Havakasha; 04-02-2012 at 06:49 PM.

  10. #110
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    Comedy escapes him. Oh boy.
    He thinks i dont know that Socialist countries have stock exchanges. Mama mia.
    Read where I posted it in another thread as a change to the "lighter" side.
    Notice the LOL. at the top here. Put 2 and 2 together and.....

    Sometimes you just have to hold his hand till he understands the basics.
    You know, President Obama that "Marxist Wizard" is certainly bad for our markets huh? lol
    Nice try at a recovery. And you try to make the link yet again by connecting Obama to the market.

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