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The Big Obama Administration Thread

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Death Rabbit, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Barack Obama's statement on the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims.
    Slight contradiction in that. An executive order to prohibit something that, as he said a few lines earlier, was already illegal? That's an executive order that basically says: Ok, now that I'm in charge, we obey the law! Telling.

    Not that I don't appreciate the thrust of his essentially declamatory statement. What I would appreciate much more is the notion that an administration subject to the rule of law doesn't need executive orders to ensure lawful practice by the executive branch. That ought to be self-evident. Maybe someone should have told his predecessor.

    Now that Obama has correctly stressed the illegality of torture, where are the prosecutions of the architects of the policy that established the illegal practice of torture at the hand of US personnel (and/or contractors)?
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Funny you should bring that up. As a matter of fact, the CIA report on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs) is due out tomorrow. There is hope that there will be some information regarding who knew what and when they knew it. There is even rumors that some people went beyond the already illegal techniques allowed by the Bush administration. That would be appropriate time to begin a Congressional investigation.
     
  3. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thanks dmc! For some reason the embed url didn't appear on the page when I first clicked on it. I assumed they'd disabled embedding for that video. Kewl.
     
  4. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    More corporate foolery in health care reform:

    This sounds like a page right out of the GWB regime. It's not; it's the dude who said he would bring us big "changes."

    "We Don't Get Fooled Again. No, no!"
    "Meet the New Boss -- Same As the Old Boss."

    The Who

    Now I won't be able to get that song out of my head all day. :)

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31566399/ns/health-health_care/
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Chandos, I'm surprised you find this surprising. Obama's been promising everyone a seat at the table since the campaign trail. As much as I wished it wouldn't be so, I wasn't surprised. This is pretty much what I expected.
     
  6. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Well, Obama promised two big things during the campaign (among other things), which I believe he is failing at:

    1. Restore trust in public service again: This was almost a centerpice, that his admiinstration would put an end to the corporate cronyism that went on during the last 8 years; that the government would be returned, at a least in someways to government professionals who would protect the interest of the public. That's why I'm surprised to see a corporate fat cat, who ran a company that had no regard for the public good at the head of the reform on health care.

    2. More open and transparent government: I'm glad that Helen Thomas gave Gibbs a good tongue-lashing yesterday, because this adminstration needs the wake-up call that this is no longer 2004.

    While I'm all for the health care reform and understand the importance of returning fairness and integrity to the health care system, I don't approve of the similar tactics to that of GWB that Obama is using. Even with those of us who fighting for the refrom, I got a sense that Obama was manipulating the debate on what the reform should look like. He wanted us to support his "reform" without any of us even knowing what was in the reform, except through the most general talking-points. I expected better.

    http://airamerica.com/blog/2009/jun/18/helen-thomas-obama-following-footsteps-president-bush

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/was...scripts-town-hall-meeting-on-health-care.html
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    I agree. The recent incident when someone from the Huffington blog was picked to ask a question that was prearranged is quite frightening.

    I am also very concerned that the House passed the cap and trade bill with section 788 labeled "Section Reserved". How the hell can anyone vote on a bill and agree to let someone fill in parts of it later?

    Things like this really make you think.
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Snook,
    'planting' questions is not news. When I think back to the Bush time, I recall in this context Jeff Gannon who famously asked Bush "Is this another piece of evidence showing the direct terror ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda?". Speak about propagandistic aid. During the Bush administration questions were planted rather frequently, in one instance, at a FEMA press conference, even by agency employees posing as reporters.

    I'm not saying 'Bush did it too'. I say this, 'planting' softball questions is now on the book of professional political/PR SOP in then US and beyond and will be used again and again. It is deceptive and I don't like it, and Helen Thomas was right to criticise those involved in this.
     
  9. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    No, you are still sticking with the "Blame Bush" strategy. Remember this guy convinced millions of registered voters (primarily young voters) into believing that he was the messiah and that he would bring "Hope and Change" to our government. Instead he appears to be even more controlling and manipulative than Bush or even the Dark Lord Rove ever was.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Can you just cut the messiah crap, already? Seriously, anyone who paid any attention at all to the left wing media could tell you that liberals never thought Obama was anything close to a "messiah". Of the three tier 1 candidates during the primary, Obama's platform and record was the furthest to the right. The left wing media and most of Obama's supporters were not blind to this fact, Snook.

    I'm not happy with everything that Obama's done in office (although I haven't been surprised by anything yet), but this is just surreal. You really think this?
     
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I was quite stunned by that comment, Drew, just as you were. I'm sure we could quantify how poorly GWB's record is in this regard, but why bother? Also, GWB had 8 years to build his abysmal record. IMO, Ragusa has already put this into perspective pretty well.
     
  12. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Democrats it is time to wake up and realize who you elected. Did you actually read Helen Thomas's rant (and she is as liberal as they come)?

    CNSNews.com
    Helen Thomas: Not Even Nixon Tried to Control the Media Like Obama
    Wednesday, July 01, 2009
    By Penny Starr and Fred Lucas

    Following a testy exchange during Wednesday’s briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told CNSNews.com that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President Obama is trying to control the press.

    “Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.

    “What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”

    Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.

    “When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.

    “I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well--for the town halls, for the press conferences,” she said. “It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.”

    During today’s briefing, Thomas interrupted a back-and-forth between Gibbs and Chip Reid, the White House correspondent for CBS News, when Reid was questioning Gibbs about who was going to decide what questions would be asked of President Obama in a townhall meeting that was scheduled to take place in Annandale, Va., today.

    Gibbs then had an exchange involving Reid and Thomas that went as follows:

    Gibbs: “… But, again, let's--How about we do this? I promise we will interrupt the AP's tradition of asking the first question. I will let you [Chip Reid] ask me a question tomorrow as to whether you thought the questions at the town hall meeting that the President conducted in Annandale—“

    Chip Reid: “I'm perfectly happy to—”

    Helen Thomas: “That's not his point. The point is the control--”

    Reid: “Exactly.”

    Thomas: “We have never had that in the White House. And we have had some, but not-- This White House.”

    Gibbs: “Yes, I was going to say, I'll let you amend her question.”

    Thomas: “I'm amazed. I'm amazed at you people who call for openness and transparency and—”

    Gibbs: “Helen, you haven't even heard the questions.”

    Reid: “It doesn't matter. It's the process.”

    Thomas: “You have left open—”

    Reid: “Even if there's a tough question, it's a question coming from somebody who was invited or was screened, or the question was screened.”

    Thomas: “It's shocking. It's really shocking.”

    Gibbs: “Chip, let's have this discussion at the conclusion of the town hall meeting. How about that?”

    Reid: “Okay.”

    Gibbs: “I think—“

    Thomas: “No, no, no, we're having it now--”

    Gibbs: “Well, I'd be happy to have it now.”

    Thomas: “It's a pattern.”

    Gibbs: “Which question did you object to at the town hall meeting, Helen?”

    Thomas: “It's a pattern. It isn't the question—”

    Gibbs: “What's a pattern?”

    Thomas: “It's a pattern of controlling the press.”

    Gibbs: “How so? Is there any evidence currently going on that I'm controlling the press--poorly, I might add.”

    Thomas: “Your formal engagements are pre-packaged.”

    Gibbs: “How so?”

    Reid: “Well, and controlling the public—”

    Thomas: “How so? By calling reporters the night before to tell them they're going to be called on. That is shocking.”

    Gibbs: “We had this discussion ad nauseam and—”

    Thomas: “Of course you would, because you don't have any answers.”

    Gibbs: “Well, because I didn't know you were going to ask a question, Helen.
    Go ahead.”

    Thomas: “Well, you should have.”

    Reporter: Thank you for your support.

    Gibbs: “That's good. Have you e-mailed your question today?”

    Thomas: “I don't have to e-mail it. I can tell you right now what I want to ask.”

    Gibbs: “I don't doubt that at all, Helen. I don't doubt that at all.”

    Thomas, 89, has covered the White House during every presidency since John F. Kennedy’s.

    Probably the worst example is this administration's use of ABC. The networks have always fawned over new Presidents, but this has been taken to a new level with ABC basically producing an infomercial for him and his agenda and calling it news.

    Obama had the most liberal record in the Senate when he ran for President. The GOP from day one ran against him by calling him a socialist (although now many are calling him a fascist instead). To say he was the Democrat who ran the most to the right isn't saying much.

    I know that many of you had huge ideological differences with Bush, but I don't think anyone could ever accuse him of being a media manipulator.

    Please remind me, which party ran with the following slogans?

    Hope and Change
    Clear and Transparant
    Most Ethical Congress Ever

    Does anyone think that we have any of these?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I'm not a Democrat and you already know that, TGS. Stop mischaracterizing me. Or maybe it's just a nice fantasy for you to see the world neatly divided between Republican and Democrats. Or maybe this what the death-rattle of a dying party sounds like?

    Helen Thomas doesn't have a whole lot of credibility with me. She, along with the rest of the press, were culpable for taking the country down this road in the first place when GWB and Rove started this crap back in 2001.

    Also, I can't figure out why you posted the same exchange between Thomas and Gibbs that I did. You can just watch mine, if you bother to look at the link.
     
  14. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    This I don't understand. What does the messenger's credibility have to do with the message in this case? I understand this kind of thing in the the global warming discussions since it's doubtful that the science and analysis is understood by the laypeople here, but her message was pretty straightforward: The Administration that pledged to be different, open and transparent is controlling the press even in so-called town-hall meetings. Is what this Administration is doing different, open and transparent?
     
  15. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    IIRC Helen Thomas was one of the few people who called GWB on his crap back then (and one of the few members of the press who consistently call out anyone who she thinks is not being truthful, regardless of which side they're on). She's probably the only person in that press room who actually asks questions that need to be asked and doesn't fawn all over the president, whoever he happens to be at the time. I'd say she's the only one with any credibility left in there.
     
  16. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The propensity some conservatives have for victimhood and overreaction is depressing.

    So Obama called a guy from the HuffPo to let him know he'd be asking him a question. Egads. Yes, this breaks tradition. But why this guy, and why now? Maybe because this particular blogger, Nico Pitney, was one of only a handful of people in our national press who were actually communicating directly with people inside Iran during a revolution, getting unfiltered information from voices on the ground and reporting on it. When I was in school, we called this journalism. At the time when all this was going down (and it was only 2 weeks ago, so I think I remember it pretty clearly), the White House Press Corps was busy asking Obama such important, earth-shattering questions as "you're toughening your stance on Iran. Is it because John McCain says you're a big puss?"

    The White House heard about Pitney's work and asked him to select a question from among the many he'd gotten from Iranians directed at Obama, and present one of them at the press conference. Pitney didn't reveal the question, and the White Hosue didn't ask. People crying about this being media manipulation are missing something crucial: Obama didn't have a very good answer for the question, did he. Hand-picked softball questions, traditionally, are designed to make the President look good. This did the opposite. So in other words: Obama went around the elite Washington press to get an actual substantive question about something important happening, which obviously wasn't media manipulation or else he'd have had a carefully-prepared answer, don't you think? Is it really surprising that press elites like Helen Thomas are a little resentful?

    These two just kill me...
    Snook, you claim you never watch Fox News - the Number 1 cable news network for the last 7 years. I highly doubt that, but I'll take your word for it. Had you watched Fox, you'd remember how many times Fox reporters espoused their "Exclusive Bush White House Access" on their newscasts. You'd know that Roger Ailes received talking points directly from the Bush White House. You'd know that Dick Cheney gave exclusive interviews to Brit Hume and Sean Hannity on a regular basis, while shunning other networks. And you also may have noticed that, in their desperation to compete with Fox, CNN and MSNBC started hiring hard-core conservatives like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson, and inviting a steady stream of conservative pundits on air to express their unchallenged opinions on the days events. They still do it now, in fact (Liz Cheney is on either CNN or MSNBC just about daily, it seems, even despite MSNBC's recent decision to be the anti-Fox and go full-liberal). Fox has only become more transparently partisan since the "socialist fascist" got elected. We can thank the Bush White House - and yes, Karl Rove - for a great deal of that.

    Your whining about Obama getting a 1-hour televised Town Hall on ABC to discuss, on the mertis, the number-one public policy issue (according to voters) concerning the country right now - health care - ignores the fact that the last administration had an entire "news" channel (plus all it's radio and internet outlets) do exactly that for 8 years straight. It also ignores how the so-called "liberal media" – specifically the New York Times and ABC – simply repeated, without questioning or investigating, just about every line the Bush White House fed them about Saddam's "threat," their "irrefutable evidence" of WMD, and their remarkably flimsy claims that he was trying to buy Yellowcake from Nigeria. You would think a press so hostile and super-liberal wouldn't have given them such a free pass, but there it is. So I'll thank you not to tell me I need to "wake up" when you obviously have a bit of reality to catch up on yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  17. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Wow, that was an entire two paragraphs of nothing but "Blame Bush". I've moved on, it is now Obama's time in the sun. I think it would be more productive for Democrats to spend their time letting "their guy" know that what he is doing is wrong as opposed to spending their time "blaming Bush" Remember "Hope and Change"? I want to see some some. I may not agree with any of his policies, but I was really looking forward to the transparency and honest government that he promised. Policy will always change with each administration, I was hoping for a fundamental change in the way Washington does business. It is starting to look like I'm going to have to wait until the next administration and hope they finally understand the way the people want their government to work.
     
  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I refer you to post #546 on this thread, sir.
     
  19. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Now you're just being a baby. Nowhere in those paragraphs did I blame Bush for anything. Nice red herring. You made the claim that Bush didn't manipulate the media or get special treatment. I simply demonstrated how much willful amnesia you were employing to hoist that up.

    The Obama administration has impressed me in some areas, disappointed me in others, but for the most part are doing exactly what I figured they'd do: the best they can under less-than-ideal circumstances (for any new administration). They're angering the far left because Obama isn't remotely far left, and they're angering the right for putting forth an agenda they don't agree with (which is to be expected). I'm merely satisfied (not thrilled) with the job they're doing so far, despite my understanding for all the hurdles they have to deal with. But the extent to which you are exaggerating nearly every aspect of the Obama administration - from how "liberal" he is to how manipulitive and unethical his White House is - really makes me scratch my head, since the exaggerations are so extreme and lack even passable evidence. Your thinking it reasonable to call Obama a "socialist," let alone a "fascist," is a good example of what I'm talking about. I realize you have problems with him and his policies, and that's fine - but once you start with this "socialist" nonsense it makes it impossible to take you seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
    Drew likes this.
  20. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes, I know, which led to my confusion over your statement about Helen that I quoted. You first seemed to be applauding her, but then later changed your mind about her. But maybe I read too much into the statement I quoted; maybe it was just disgust with the press in general.
     
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