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Obama deserves a second term


Off-Topic Discussions

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NPC Dave wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The US's credit isn't maxed out. That's their story.

US Treasury's are still going for record low interest rates. For all the sturm and drang about the deficit and about one rating agency dropping our rating a notch (while the Republicans were threatening immediate default), the lenders are offering us free money. Current rates are below inflation.

There was no threat of default by Republicans. The Democrats and much of the media were pretending that not raising the debt limit would lead to a default, but that was false.

Not raising the debt limit means not borrowing more money. Not borrowing more money done not equal defaulting on debt.

If you max out your credit cards and don't get anymore credit for borrowing that is not the same thing as stopping your monthly payments to those cards.

I explained this all before here and here. The reality is that raising the debt ceiling actually increased the likelihood of a US government default at some point in the future.

Yeah and I've disagreed with you before about it.

It's possible that we could have avoided a default. I'm not at all sure. Nor am I sure how it would have played out.
Remember, contrary to what's implied by your claims in those posts this wasn't a matter of setting the budget for the year, this was canceling your credit card right then and there, when you'd already entered contracts to pay people for various services.
We might not have defaulted on our loans, but we would have defaulted on something. Would we stop paying our soldiers? Stop paying the contractors who supply them? Stop cutting Social Security and Medicare checks? Keep allocating that money, but fire the bureaucrats who actually get the checks where they need to go? Fire the IRS collections and processing people?
Almost whatever happened, since it wouldn't have been just a temporary shutdown, would have led to lawsuits. Do we pay the lawyers to defend the governments actions?
Remember Congress had passed a law, a budget, authorizing all that spending. Knowing full well that incoming revenue and the money left under the existing debt ceiling legislation wouldn't cover what it had directed the government to spend. Essentially, "You must spend purchase the following things, which will cost $10,000. You have $6,000 and you can only borrow another $2,000." Both pieces have the force of law. There's a pretty decent legal argument that the debt ceiling is trumped by the budget. That the President cannot arbitrarily decide not to spend on things Congress has directed him to fund.

Jumping back to the actual topic, Don't forget that S&P originally made that recommendation on the basis of an analysis with a $2 trillion error in it. When that was pointed out to them, they admitted it and changed the rationale for their recommendation. Makes you wonder, doesn't it.


Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Yeah, nice try sticking "republican" to me. If you payed any attention to my comments in these political forums you'd know that my stance is antithetical to the republican agenda in a profound way. One of my gripes with Obama is exactly how well he has been able to advance the republican agenda in foreign policy. The fact that republicans made this "line of attack" is nor relevant to the question of whether there is any degree of veracity to it. But you know that, so why attempt to do such a thing?

I'm not sticking you with the label of Republican. I'm accusing you of picking up a half-baked Republican talking point and running with it like it's the Olympic torch. It doesn't really matter what you are.

Quote:
Of course they can. What I'm claiming is that the label fits perfectly on Obama. This is just one example.

a) There is zero evidence that the White House or Obama lied to anyone on the subject of the Benghazi attack. There isn't even evidence of a motive to lie.

b) Even if he had lied, it wouldn't even put him in the same zip code as the Republican party in terms of intellectual dishonesty.

Quote:
It is not a "conspiracy". It is just an attempt to obfuscate stuff which they probably calculate could be used against them in the elections.

So you're imagining that there might be something which someone could maybe use against them in the elections, and that they might have clouded things to make that more difficult, even though the worst that could be said is that the embassy was not as well-protected as it should have been and even that does more harm than good as an attack because the people most clearly responsible for a lack of protection are the Republicans who blocked funding for that additional protection?

THAT is the theory you're working off of, here?

Quote:
Is this so crazy that you're trying to frame me as some Dan Brown-esque character?

Dan Brown's characters typically think their conspiracy theories through a little better than this, actually.

Quote:
And this is what? A defense by incompetence? "They couldn't be possibly trying to hide it, because they failed at it so miserably?"

Hardly. It's evidence that, rather than a carefully-coordinated cover-up, you just had multiple areas of the government giving their own takes on the situation, with some occasional contradiction going on as certain groups get updated while others don't.


Scott Betts wrote:
wicked cool wrote:
He then got a majority of all 3 branch's of government for 2 years.

He got the majority of the Judicial branch, did he?

Gotta love Republicans who think they know exactly what's happening in politics, while at the same time thinking that the three branches of the U.S. government are the Executive, the House of Representatives, and the Senate.

Oh god. I completely missed that. So busy pointing out how marginal his control of the Senate was...


No war but the class war!

Vive le Galt!


Scott Betts wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:
Yeah, nice try sticking "republican" to me. If you payed any attention to my comments in these political forums you'd know that my stance is antithetical to the republican agenda in a profound way. One of my gripes with Obama is exactly how well he has been able to advance the republican agenda in foreign policy. The fact that republicans made this "line of attack" is nor relevant to the question of whether there is any degree of veracity to it. But you know that, so why attempt to do such a thing?
I'm not sticking you with the label of Republican. I'm accusing you of picking up a half-baked Republican talking point and running with it like it's the Olympic torch. It doesn't really matter what you are.

Well, you MUST know that there have been a number of people criticizing Obama's actions on this which do not come from the Republican party. Like Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Jake Tapper, to name a few.

Quote:
Quote:
Of course they can. What I'm claiming is that the label fits perfectly on Obama. This is just one example.

a) There is zero evidence that the White House or Obama lied to anyone on the subject of the Benghazi attack. There isn't even evidence of a motive to lie.

b) Even if he had lied, it wouldn't even put him in the same zip code as the Republican party in terms of intellectual dishonesty.

I'm not trying to establish an hierarchy of sins here. So what's your point with (b)?

Quote:
Quote:
It is not a "conspiracy". It is just an attempt to obfuscate stuff which they probably calculate could be used against them in the elections.

So you're imagining that there might be something which someone could maybe use against them in the elections, and that they might have clouded things to make that more difficult, even though the worst that could be said is that the embassy was not as well-protected as it should have been and even that does more harm than good as an attack because the people most clearly responsible for a lack of protection are the Republicans who blocked funding for that additional protection?

THAT is the theory you're working off of, here?

Nope, that is not what I'm imagining. Not some "yet-to-be-revealed" mystery like your ridiculous strawmen seems to imply. It is the second thing. Aren't they, in fact, being attacked for it, despite the Republican role in cutting funds? It doesn't take much political imagination to construe an attack against the WH for not sending people there when it was requested, no matter how ridiculous the claims might be. Obama has been the hallmark for knee-jerk secrecy, how is it not a reasonable narrative to think that they might have tried to blur the story to protect themselves from a backlash, even if imagined?

Quote:
Quote:
Is this so crazy that you're trying to frame me as some Dan Brown-esque character?
Dan Brown's characters typically think their conspiracy theories through a little better than this, actually.

ZING! You're well practiced in the school of ad hominem, sir. Thanks for contributing to the discussion with your acute and precise commentary. Now stick your head under running cold water and come back when you're calmer and can discuss this politely.

Quote:
Quote:
And this is what? A defense by incompetence? "They couldn't be possibly trying to hide it, because they failed at it so miserably?"
Hardly. It's evidence that, rather than a carefully-coordinated cover-up, you just had multiple areas of the government giving their own takes on the situation, with some occasional contradiction going on as certain groups get updated while others don't.

This could be a reasonable reading of the facts, yes. Not being sarcastic here.


Thiago Cardozo wrote:
This could be a reasonable reading of the facts, yes. Not being sarcastic here.

It's also the most parsimonious reading of the facts. Anything else requires speculating on a possible reason for trying to obfuscate what happened. If evidence comes to light that points to an actual cover-up taking place for some shady reason, fine. But until then, let's avoid going from zero-to-conspiracy based on nothing but the United States government sending mixed messages.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Irontruth wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The US's credit isn't maxed out. That's their story.

US Treasury's are still going for record low interest rates. For all the sturm and drang about the deficit and about one rating agency dropping our rating a notch (while the Republicans were threatening immediate default), the lenders are offering us free money. Current rates are below inflation.

There was no threat of default by Republicans. The Democrats and much of the media were pretending that not raising the debt limit would lead to a default, but that was false.

Not raising the debt limit means not borrowing more money. Not borrowing more money done not equal defaulting on debt.

If you max out your credit cards and don't get anymore credit for borrowing that is not the same thing as stopping your monthly payments to those cards.

I explained this all before here and here. The reality is that raising the debt ceiling actually increased the likelihood of a US government default at some point in the future.

The debt ceiling debate is not the budget debate. The debt ceiling vote is about borrowing money that congress has already spent. If the debt calling hadn't been raised, the government would have had to shut down for the remainder of the year because it was literally out of money.

Incorrect. I linked to my post which showed the math, I will include a condensed version here again to show there was plenty of money still available.

-------------------
Step 1 - Collect and add up all your tax revenues. In 2010, tax revenues were $2.162 trillion.

Step 2 - Pay the interest on all outstanding debts. Interest in 2010 was around $197 billion.

Step 3 - Solve the following equation for 2011. Subtract interest payments from total tax revenues.

$2,162,000,000,000
- $197,000,000,000
---------------------
$1,965,000,000,000

This is using 2010 numbers but the point is that you would have somewhere around $1.965 trillion to spend on your various programs and wars.

Almost $2 trillion is not, and never has been, "literally out of money."

Also, this statement...

Quote:


The debt ceiling vote is about borrowing money that congress has already spent.

..doesn't make any sense. Congress borrows for money it has committed to spending, but it actually does borrow the money first, then spend it.

California did a couple of years ago briefly issue IOUs instead of currency, but the US government has not done so...yet.

With "only" $2 trillion, it will have to make spending cuts, but it can still spend plenty of money. It is just that not everyone will get their pork, some wars will have to be canceled, and there will be some very angry people who didn't get their "free" money.

Quote:


Also, our credit wasn't downgraded because we've borrowed too much, it was downgraded because we talked about either defaulting or shutting down the government.

Absolutely false. Everyone, here is S&P's statement...

===============
We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to 'AA+' from 'AAA' and affirmed the 'A-1+' short-term rating.
We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.
The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics.
More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any time soon.
The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to 'AA' within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.
========================

No mention of "they threatened to default!". No mention of "shutting down the government!" The reason for the downgrade is right here "fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."

S&P is talking about the short-term and medium-term realities. They talk about how there is no political will to make the following...

"broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any time soon."

In other words, stop borrowing so much more each year than revenue brought in.

Seriously, is anyone even going to pretend that the government is going to balance the budget next year? Or the year after?

S&P actually went and did the math. They went through and calculated future GDP growth as well as future federal debt growth using several scenarios, including optimistic, standard, and pessimistic scenarios.

Even assuming the most optimistic, rosy scenario, by 2015 the total debt level compared to GDP would be very slightly larger. In other words, treading water. And that was with the assumption of a booming economy, which we have yet to see.

S&P downgraded because it was blatantly obvious that the US government has no hope of paying back its debts, if the absolute best case scenario is that it will merely just not increase its debt over the next several years.

So, to be more specific, the S&P downgraded the US government because it did borrow too much and there is no reality in which it can stop the borrowing for the foreseeable future. Any politician who would seriously try to cut back spending such that debt can start being repaid would be voted out of office.

By people that just don't want to face reality.


<Paranoia hat>It's also possible, though I've got absolutely no evidence and haven't looked closely enough at the statements to see if it makes any sense, that there was a disinformation game going on and that it wasn't aimed at us.

That in the immediate aftermath of the attack and while the CIA and whoever else is working on finding the attackers it's worthwhile confusing them about what we know. Telling the world we think it's due to the simultaneous (if in other countries) protests and riots, while actually trying to track down the small group they suspect is responsible strikes me as pretty standard for the CIA.

If so, they're probably pretty steamed at Romney, and even more so at Issa, right now. And we won't hear anything about it for 10 years or so.
</Paranoia hat>


Or they could have f#&~ed up.

The CIA isn't infallible.


thejeff wrote:

<Paranoia hat>It's also possible, though I've got absolutely no evidence and haven't looked closely enough at the statements to see if it makes any sense, that there was a disinformation game going on and that it wasn't aimed at us.

That in the immediate aftermath of the attack and while the CIA and whoever else is working on finding the attackers it's worthwhile confusing them about what we know. Telling the world we think it's due to the simultaneous (if in other countries) protests and riots, while actually trying to track down the small group they suspect is responsible strikes me as pretty standard for the CIA.

If so, they're probably pretty steamed at Romney, and even more so at Issa, right now. And we won't hear anything about it for 10 years or so.
</Paranoia hat>

Yeah, though Scott appeared to back up on the aggressiveness and snarky personal attack, for which I was glad, here comes another one to take its place. Glad you decided to join in! Cheers!


Hello, new politrolls, here's how we do things here:

Snark, personal attacks, ad hominems, showing off how much smarter we are than you, these are the weapons of the Paizonian politroll.

If you want to play with us, please, grow a thicker skin.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Or they could have f+&~ed up.

The CIA isn't infallible.

You keep talking like that, and m'lord Dice just might promote you to house goblin; you get the position by beating your underlings and forgiving your betters. :)

Edit: Times two! It's nice and warm sleeping in the kitchen, and you get eat the table scraps!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The US's credit isn't maxed out. That's their story.

US Treasury's are still going for record low interest rates. For all the sturm and drang about the deficit and about one rating agency dropping our rating a notch (while the Republicans were threatening immediate default), the lenders are offering us free money. Current rates are below inflation.

There was no threat of default by Republicans. The Democrats and much of the media were pretending that not raising the debt limit would lead to a default, but that was false.

Not raising the debt limit means not borrowing more money. Not borrowing more money done not equal defaulting on debt.

If you max out your credit cards and don't get anymore credit for borrowing that is not the same thing as stopping your monthly payments to those cards.

I explained this all before here and here. The reality is that raising the debt ceiling actually increased the likelihood of a US government default at some point in the future.

Yeah and I've disagreed with you before about it.

It's possible that we could have avoided a default. I'm not at all sure. Nor am I sure how it would have played out.
Remember, contrary to what's implied by your claims in those posts this wasn't a matter of setting the budget for the year, this was canceling your credit card right then and there, when you'd already entered contracts to pay people for various services.
We might not have defaulted on our loans, but we would have defaulted on something. Would we stop paying our soldiers? Stop paying the contractors who supply them? Stop cutting Social Security and Medicare checks? Keep allocating that money, but fire the bureaucrats who actually get the checks where they need to go? Fire the IRS collections and processing people?
Almost whatever happened, since it wouldn't have been just a temporary shutdown, would have led to lawsuits. Do we pay the lawyers to defend the governments actions?

That depends on whether the judges are getting paid to show up to work.

Those are some hard decisions, and at some point in our lifetimes, you are going to see the US government have to make them.

For a preview, you can see how Greece, Italy and Spain make these decisions.

If you want my opinion, canceling some wars would be a great place to start.

Quote:


Remember Congress had passed a law, a budget, authorizing all that spending. Knowing full well that incoming revenue and the money left under the existing debt ceiling legislation wouldn't cover what it had directed the government to spend. Essentially, "You must spend purchase the following things, which will cost $10,000. You have $6,000 and you can only borrow another $2,000." Both pieces have the force of law. There's a pretty decent legal argument that the debt ceiling is trumped by the budget. That the President cannot arbitrarily decide not to spend on things Congress has directed him to fund.

It is entirely possible Obama would have just signed an executive order and borrowed the money. Personally I would never bother suing Congress if they promised me money and did not deliver. Congress pays federal judge salaries, I doubt a judge will rule in my favor over his de-facto employer.

Quote:


Jumping back to the actual topic, Don't forget that S&P originally made that recommendation on the basis of an analysis with a $2 trillion error in it. When that was pointed out to them, they admitted it and changed the rationale for their recommendation. Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

That didn't bother me at all, because I found S&P's worst case scenario to be too optimistic myself. But again that is just my opinion based on my guess of how the numbers will play out in the future.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Or they could have f%!!ed up.

The CIA isn't infallible.

At the end of a recent article by Serwer on Mother Jones, it was implied that the CIA might have had on-the-spot information. I did not look for other sources, but it is interesting I guess.


Dicey the House Goblin wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Or they could have f+&~ed up.

The CIA isn't infallible.

You keep talking like that, and m'lord Dice just might promote you to house goblin; you get the position by beating your underlings and forgiving your betters. :)

Howzabout, I'll beat you, Dicey?

War to the chateaux, peace to the goblin kennels!


NPC Dave wrote:
Incorrect. I linked to my post which showed the math, I will include a condensed version here again to show there was plenty of money still available.

Your math doesn't make sense. It's technically correct, but it doesn't apply. This wasn't a budget process, you can't just add up the totals for the years revenue and interest and look at what you have left to spend when you're doing it part way through the year. You've already spent the money.

Congress could have done that earlier in the year when they set the budget, but they didn't. They budgeted and thus the executive branch spend as if they were going to be able to borrow more when needed. Then they got to August, needed to borrow more money and Congress threatened not to allow it. At that point you can't go back and retroactively not spend money you've already spent. At best, you have to concentrate an entire year's worth of cuts in the remaining months. Far harsher than spreading it out over the whole year, which would be brutal enough.

NPC Dave wrote:
Quote:
The debt ceiling vote is about borrowing money that congress has already spent.
..doesn't make any sense. Congress borrows for money it has committed to spending, but it actually does borrow the money first, then spend it.

Yes it does. But it also can legally commit to spending money that it hasn't yet borrowed. It can sign a deal to purchase aircraft. It can sign a contract to have a company supply services for the year. It can agree to fund a construction project. Etc, etc.

All of these can be legally binding and/or have termination penalties.

As well as the fundamental Constitutional question of what happens when the law says spend money on this and then another law doesn't allow the funds to be borrowed.

Cheliax

Andrew R wrote:
What has he DONE to DESERVE a second term?

Finally someone who speaks reason. Come on, give him another chance. He's only increased the national debt more than all other previous presidents combined and pushed through the largest tax increase on the middle class in history. He still needs another term to complete our transformation into a third world socialist country with him as dictator in chief.


Burgomeister of Troll Town wrote:

Hello, new politrolls, here's how we do things here:

Snark, personal attacks, ad hominems, showing off how much smarter we are than you, these are the weapons of the Paizonian politroll.

If you want to play with us, please, grow a thicker skin.

Pointing those up can also be a weapon, I'd guess...anyway, I'll keep your counsel in mind Burgomeister!

Cheliax

Gallo wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
What has he DONE to DESERVE a second term?

Amongst many other things, work to dig the economy out of the huge hole caused by the GFC.

Makes one wonder what he could have done if had inherited an economy that was in a much better state ......

Or what the economy would be like today if McCain and Palin had got in.

You mean his awesome "jobless recovery'. Give me a break. The only reason unemployment numbers go down anymore is because the labor department manipualtes the numbers, and people stop looking for work. It's unreal how many jobs blocking domestic oil production, EPA regulations, and Obamacare have eliminated or prevented. He has destroyed far more jobs with his liberal pro-environmental policies than his so called stimulus ever created.


Thiago Cardozo wrote:
thejeff wrote:

<Paranoia hat>It's also possible, though I've got absolutely no evidence and haven't looked closely enough at the statements to see if it makes any sense, that there was a disinformation game going on and that it wasn't aimed at us.

That in the immediate aftermath of the attack and while the CIA and whoever else is working on finding the attackers it's worthwhile confusing them about what we know. Telling the world we think it's due to the simultaneous (if in other countries) protests and riots, while actually trying to track down the small group they suspect is responsible strikes me as pretty standard for the CIA.

If so, they're probably pretty steamed at Romney, and even more so at Issa, right now. And we won't hear anything about it for 10 years or so.
</Paranoia hat>

Yeah, though Scott appeared to back up on the aggressiveness and snarky personal attack, for which I was glad, here comes another one to take its place. Glad you decided to join in! Cheers!

While there was some snark in it, that wasn't intended as aggressive or a personal attack. I'm curious as to what in it you read as an attack.

The thought came to me as I read the thread and I threw it out there. It's partly my paranoid hat and partly my GM hat. "If I was the BBEG running things, why would I be doing that?"


NPC Dave wrote:
That depends on whether the judges are getting paid to show up to work.

If you're arguing we would have kept paying our debts, but would have shut down the entire justice system, I have nothing further to say.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?

Taldor

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?

Yeah your big box stores are all up in my grill messing with our home grown shops.


Cory Stafford 29 wrote:


You mean his awesome "jobless recovery'. Give me a break. The only reason unemployment numbers go down anymore is because the labor department manipualtes the numbers, and people stop looking for work.

I shouldn't bother, but this is pure conspiracy theory, whatever Jack Welch thinks.

The numbers are out there. The data is out there. The people crunching the numbers are bureaucrats who've mostly been there for years. If the numbers were faked, they'd be screaming it from the rooftops.

Interesting how the conspiracy theories don't come out until there's a report that looks good for Obama. Romney was happy to use the numbers as long as they stayed above 8%


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?

Yes. Some of the best news I've heard in a long time. I only wish something was happening in my area, so I could more actively not shop there.

I don't know if it'll actually force any real changes, but even the attempt is worthwhile.

Taldor

Woah, there's a strike on at Wal-Mart? Is it widespread?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
Finally someone who speaks reason. Come on, give him another chance. He's only increased the national debt more than all other previous presidents combined and pushed through the largest tax increase on the middle class in history. He still needs another term to complete our transformation into a third world socialist country with him as dictator in chief.
Quote:
You mean his awesome "jobless recovery'. Give me a break. The only reason unemployment numbers go down anymore is because the labor department manipualtes the numbers, and people stop looking for work. It's unreal how many jobs blocking domestic oil production, EPA regulations, and Obamacare have eliminated or prevented. He has destroyed far more jobs with his liberal pro-environmental policies than his so called stimulus ever created.

The word "reason" used in an unintentionally ironic way? CHECK.

Lying about how much the national debt went up under Obama? CHECK.

Lying about tax increases? CHECK.

Conspiracy theory about labor department manipulating jobs numbers? CHECK.

Well boys, looks like we got ourselves an old-fashioned liar's rodeo!


"Woah, there's a strike on at Wal-Mart? Is it widespread?"

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

No war but the class war!

Vive le Galt!

Take 2


Edward Klein wrote:

After Bill Clinton delivered his electrifying speech at the Democratic National Convention, many political observers concluded that the Clintons and Obamas had called a truce to their long-running feud. Under their armistice, Clinton agreed to make speeches and appear in TV commercials for Obama, acting like a booster rocket for the Democratic ticket in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

It was a pretty picture, but as I have learned from several sources inside the Clinton camp, it turned out to be a case of wishful thinking.
In fact, since the convention, Clinton and Obama have had a serious falling-out over two issues: the president’s preparation and lamentable performance in his debate with Mitt Romney, and the question of who should be assigned blame — Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — for the intelligence and security screw-up in Benghazi, Libya.
This new rift, which the Clintons and Obamas have managed to keep secret from the media, has poisoned their relations to such an extent that it could conceivably have an impact on the outcome of the presidential election.
* * *
The latest quarrel began when Clinton heard that Obama was behaving so cocky about his first debate against Mitt Romney that he wasn’t taking his debate prep seriously. Out of concern, Clinton had an aide call the White House and say that the former president would be more than happy to give the current president some pointers and advice on how to get the best of Romney.
Clinton waited several days for a response, but none was forthcoming. According to my sources, the former president was dumbfounded that Obama had ignored his offer, and his hurt feelings quickly boiled over into anger.
“Bill thought that he and Obama were on friendly terms after the convention,” one source told me. “He couldn’t believe that the White House didn’t even extend him the courtesy of a return phone call. He concluded that Obama’s arrogance knows no bounds.”
The fact is, these two proud and egocentric men have a long and acrimonious history. Four years ago, after Obama’s South Carolina primary victory over Hillary Clinton, Bill called Obama’s campaign “a fairy tale.” Not to be outdone, Obama referred to the Clinton presidency as a “psychodrama.”
Later, after Obama won the presidency, he and Clinton held a joint press conference at the White House. Clinton promptly took over the podium, edging out Obama and prompting the new president to leave the stage altogether.
Given this history, it was not surprising that Obama was reluctant to give Clinton a starring role at the Democratic Converntion It was only after David Axelrod and other Obama campaign advisers argued that a Clinton speech was essential to a successful convention bounce that the president agreed to let Clinton deliver the prime-time nominating speech. Just as Obama feared, Clinton stole the show and made Obama look smaller by comparison.
In the past, Obama has grumbled that he doesn’t enjoy being “lectured to” by Clinton. Perhaps that’s why Obama has never once invited Bill and Hillary to the White House for an informal dinner.
Despite their mutual lack of trust, Clinton and Obama have managed to keep their personal feelings under control — up to now. But in the wake of the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Clinton is concerned that the White House and Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago are moving to dump political and legal blame for the Libya mess on the State Department and, by definition, on Hillary Clinton herself.
My sources tell me that Clinton is working on a strategy that will allow Hillary to avoid having Benghazi become a stain on her political fortunes should she decide to run for president in 2016.
Bill Clinton has even gone so far as to seek legal advice about Hillary’s liability in terms of cables and memos that might be subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which this week launched an investigation into the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The committee will also examine the apparent Obama administration cover-up that followed the Benghazi attack.
Finally, I’m told that Bill is playing with various doomsday scenarios, up to and including the idea that Hillary should consider resigning over the issue if the Obama team tries to use her as a scapegoat. That seems unlikely to happen. But if relations between Obama’s White House and Hillary’s State Department rupture publicly over the growing Benghazi scandal, that could damage the Democratic ticket and dim Obama’s chances for re-election.

Source

The important part is toward the end. Posted entire article.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Edward Klein wrote:

After Bill Clinton delivered his electrifying speech at the Democratic National Convention, many political observers concluded that the Clintons and Obamas had called a truce to their long-running feud. Under their armistice, Clinton agreed to make speeches and appear in TV commercials for Obama, acting like a booster rocket for the Democratic ticket in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

It was a pretty picture, but as I have learned from several sources inside the Clinton camp, it turned out to be a case of wishful thinking.
In fact, since the convention, Clinton and Obama have had a serious falling-out over two issues: the president’s preparation and lamentable performance in his debate with Mitt Romney, and the question of who should be assigned blame — Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — for the intelligence and security screw-up in Benghazi, Libya.
This new rift, which the Clintons and Obamas have managed to keep secret from the media, has poisoned their relations to such an extent that it could conceivably have an impact on the outcome of the presidential election.
* * *
The latest quarrel began when Clinton heard that Obama was behaving so cocky about his first debate against Mitt Romney that he wasn’t taking his debate prep seriously. Out of concern, Clinton had an aide call the White House and say that the former president would be more than happy to give the current president some pointers and advice on how to get the best of Romney.
Clinton waited several days for a response, but none was forthcoming. According to my sources, the former president was dumbfounded that Obama had ignored his offer, and his hurt feelings quickly boiled over into anger.
“Bill thought that he and Obama were on friendly terms after the convention,” one source told me. “He couldn’t believe that the White House didn’t even extend him the courtesy of a return phone call. He concluded that Obama’s arrogance knows no bounds.”
The fact is, these two proud and egocentric men have a long and
...

Oooh, a conspiracy theorist and Hilary hater claims his unnamed sources say Clinton and Obama are at each other's throats.

Whatever. I'll believe it when it actually goes public.

Is this the latest strategy, btw? Try to drum up the PUMAs again?

Taldor

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

"Woah, there's a strike on at Wal-Mart? Is it widespread?"

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

No war but the class war!

Vive le Galt!

Take 2

heh, normally I don't mouse over links in politics threads.

Well more power to them.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kryzbyn wrote:
Daily Caller link

The Daily Caller printing baseless conspiracy theories about the Clintons? I'm shocked. Shocked!


Kryzbyn wrote:

Source

The important part is toward the end. Posted entire article.

If you can't do better than Edward Klein, you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place.


thejeff wrote:


While there was some snark in it, that wasn't intended as aggressive or a personal attack. I'm curious as to what in it you read as an attack.

The thought came to me as I read the thread and I threw it out there. It's partly my paranoid hat and partly my GM hat. "If I was the BBEG running things, why would I be doing that?"

Thanks for the explanation, probably more about my lack of a thicker hide than anything you said. =)

Since Scott was trying to paint me as some crazy conspiracy theorist before and you came in with the "paranoid hat" thing, I assumed it was a personal attack in the same vein. No harm done, though.


Yeah, I totaly posted that here cuz I thought it would be popular!

I simply thought it was interesting possible fallout. Take from it what you will. Or not.
I'm gonna go pop some popcorn, in case it does happen. Anytime the Clinton machine is rallied, interesting things happen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Dicey the House Goblin wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Or they could have f+&~ed up.

The CIA isn't infallible.

You keep talking like that, and m'lord Dice just might promote you to house goblin; you get the position by beating your underlings and forgiving your betters. :)

Howzabout, I'll beat you, Dicey?

War to the chateaux, peace to the goblin kennels!

Given everything we've established about the social order, that sounds like your only option massa. >.>

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thiago Cardozo wrote:


Quote:
If the white house had said that the protesters were a separate, unrelated group you'd be complaining about a smell test and how the white house didn't want to admit that the people hated us.
Now you're just making a baseless, ad hominem, attack.

There's a bunch of protestors really ticked off about a movie and they're setting things on fire. The ambassadors place gets set on fire and attacked DURING the protests. Seeing a link between those two events is a reasonable (if ultimately incorrect) conclusion, and one that was handed to the whitehouse by the intelligence community. Your eagerness to shout incompetence over a matter that the president doesn't actually run and conspiracy with no discernible motive leaves me with no other conclusion than you're looking for anything you can possibly use to criticize someone you just don't like.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is amusing that people still call Barack Obama a socialist. That is about as utterly divorced from reality as it gets.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
It is amusing that people still call Barack Obama a socialist. That is about as utterly divorced from reality as it gets.

They could still call him a Muslim or a Communist. Those are probably slightly more out there.


NPC Dave wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The US's credit isn't maxed out. That's their story.

US Treasury's are still going for record low interest rates. For all the sturm and drang about the deficit and about one rating agency dropping our rating a notch (while the Republicans were threatening immediate default), the lenders are offering us free money. Current rates are below inflation.

There was no threat of default by Republicans. The Democrats and much of the media were pretending that not raising the debt limit would lead to a default, but that was false.

Not raising the debt limit means not borrowing more money. Not borrowing more money done not equal defaulting on debt.

If you max out your credit cards and don't get anymore credit for borrowing that is not the same thing as stopping your monthly payments to those cards.

I explained this all before here and here. The reality is that raising the debt ceiling actually increased the likelihood of a US government default at some point in the future.

The debt ceiling debate is not the budget debate. The debt ceiling vote is about borrowing money that congress has already spent. If the debt calling hadn't been raised, the government would have had to shut down for the remainder of the year because it was literally out of money.

Incorrect. I linked to my post which showed the math, I will include a condensed version here again to show there was plenty of money still available.

-------------------
Step 1 - Collect and add up all your tax revenues. In 2010, tax revenues were $2.162 trillion.

Step 2 - Pay the interest on all outstanding debts. Interest in 2010 was around $197 billion.

Step 3 - Solve the following equation for 2011. Subtract interest payments from total tax revenues.

$2,162,000,000,000
-...

How exactly does balancing the budget create jobs now?

I agree, in the long run it would be good for us, but what about right now? How will it lower unemployment under 6% by next summer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How will inefficient government spending lower unemployment?

The Defense Dept., contrary to popular belief, was not intended to be a jobs program, nor was the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Yet, that's how we are reacting to cuts... that would merely give them the budgets that they had 6 years ago.


thejeff wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?

Yes. Some of the best news I've heard in a long time. I only wish something was happening in my area, so I could more actively not shop there.

I don't know if it'll actually force any real changes, but even the attempt is worthwhile.

Ooh, this subconversation got dropped in favor of my Stop Snitchin'! series in Citizen Cardoso's thread:

I am very excited about this. UE is one of the better unions in America today and I am not just saying that because one of my college roommates went on to be a field organizer for them.

They led the Republic Windows and Doors sit-in from a couple years back and if there's any union that can take on Wal-Mart, I'd put my money on them.

What does this have to do with Obama?

UE Political Director Chris Townsend bizitches about the Twin Parties of US Capitalism


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thiago Cardozo wrote:


Quote:
If the white house had said that the protesters were a separate, unrelated group you'd be complaining about a smell test and how the white house didn't want to admit that the people hated us.
Now you're just making a baseless, ad hominem, attack.
There's a bunch of protestors really ticked off about a movie and they're setting things on fire. The ambassadors place gets set on fire and attacked DURING the protests. Seeing a link between those two events is a reasonable (if ultimately incorrect) conclusion, and one that was handed to the whitehouse by the intelligence community. Your eagerness to shout incompetence over a matter that the president doesn't actually run and conspiracy with no discernible motive leaves me with no other conclusion than you're looking for anything you can possibly use to criticize someone you just don't like.

This is going to derail the thread a little, but as you chose to dispute this, let's roll:

If that is the only conclusion you could reach concerning why I would say that, you haven't given enough thought to it. Let us look at some other possible explanations, starting by considering I'm indeed wrong in my assessment.

- Faulty reasoning;
- Lack of accuracy on what the term "white house" means, due to being a foreigner;
- Making assumptions without having all the data;

There's also the possibility that I am right, and the form used to communicate it was a bit inflammatory. Or that there's some partial truth in my assessment. As I have said, people like Tapper, Scahill and Greenwald have also been criticizing the WH on this. None can be remotely considered republicans.

All of those could be pointed out and discussed rationally. You decided instead to go for the personal attack. The only conclusion I can get from it is that you're looking for anything to trash people who disagree with you. See, that's an ad hominem AND a non sequitur.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?

As a Wal-Mart Warehouse worker, I am very very excited.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Anyone else excited about Wal-Mart?
As a Wal-Mart Warehouse worker, I am very very excited.

Solidarity Forever!


Yakman wrote:

How will inefficient government spending lower unemployment?

The Defense Dept., contrary to popular belief, was not intended to be a jobs program, nor was the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Yet, that's how we are reacting to cuts... that would merely give them the budgets that they had 6 years ago.

When did I claim to be a proponent of inefficient spending?

I want to know exactly how a balanced budget RIGHT NOW makes the economy better. People talk about the deficit like its going to destroy our economy tomorrow if we don't fix it. How?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Irontruth wrote:
Yakman wrote:

How will inefficient government spending lower unemployment?

The Defense Dept., contrary to popular belief, was not intended to be a jobs program, nor was the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Yet, that's how we are reacting to cuts... that would merely give them the budgets that they had 6 years ago.

When did I claim to be a proponent of inefficient spending?

I want to know exactly how a balanced budget RIGHT NOW makes the economy better. People talk about the deficit like its going to destroy our economy tomorrow if we don't fix it. How?

a) No one, except those on the extreme libertarian side, are agitating for a balanced budget immediately. Even the supposedly draconian Ryan budget doesn't get us there for something like 15 years.

b) It is impossible, mathematically, to balance the budget unless a serious attempt is made at entitlement reform. This is not on the table at the moment.

c) Every dollar the gov't spends is one less dollar in the private sector. That's less money for investment and private sector wages.

d) Every programmer hired to make every ridiculous line of code for some federal gov't agency is one less available to do productive work in the private sector - that goes for everything else. Cutting gov't spending, puts those workers and resources on the open market and should increase productivity, thus improving the economy over the middle and long term.

Your question was: how will cutting gov't spending get us to below 6% unemployment next summer. The answer is: it won't.

But NOTHING will get us to 6% unemployment next sector save some ridiculously inefficient jobs bill that has people picking up trash by hand or using toothbrushes to clean the streets.

So the question at hand is, what is best overall? Do we continue to spend too much on things that are not needed with a federal sector in dire need of reform? Or do we change how things are done in Washington in a real, substantive way? I prefer the latter.


Yakman wrote:


a) No one, except those on the extreme libertarian side, are agitating for a balanced budget immediately. Even the supposedly draconian Ryan budget doesn't get us there for something like 15 years.

a1) The attempt, last summer, to block the debt ceiling increase was exactly an attempt to force a balanced budget immediately. A particularly nasty one, since it would have forced all the responsibility for cutting programs onto the President

a2) The draconian Ryan budget doesn't get there for years because the first changes it makes are more tax giveaways to the rich. The draconian cuts for the poor and middle class were pushed off for years to make it them more palatable. IOW, it's a scam.

Yakman wrote:
b) It is impossible, mathematically, to balance the budget unless a serious attempt is made at entitlement reform. This is not on the table at the moment.

"Entitlement reform" is a sham. Social Security only needs minor adjustments. Medicare/Medicaid is what will bust the budget in the long term. Even that hides the real problem though. The problem is health care spending, not entitlement spending. Medicare spending is growing much slower than private sector healthcare spending. Under the same projections that spell doom for the Medicare budget, the entire economy is screwed by the amount devoted to health care by the time Medicare is in serious trouble.

Yakman wrote:
c) Every dollar the gov't spends is one less dollar in the private sector. That's less money for investment and private sector wages.

What does that even mean? I guess it's sort of technically true, at least if you mean dollar taxed instead of dollar spent. Though much government spending, particularly that on wages or on direct aid for the poor is immediately spent and circulates through the economy. And there are plenty of rich people and corporations sitting on huge sums of money, not doing anything productive with it other than blowing speculative bubbles.

Yakman wrote:


d) Every programmer hired to make every ridiculous line of code for some federal gov't agency is one less available to do productive work in the private sector - that goes for everything else. Cutting gov't spending, puts those workers and resources on the open market and should increase productivity, thus improving the economy over the middle and long term.

But I guess this is the assumption that rests at the heart of it. Government spending is inherently "ridiculous". Private sector spending is inherently productive.

I don't know about government programmers, though don't forget that the Internet started as a DARPA project. I guess that was a ridiculous waste. Is a programmer writing code for a NASA mission more ridiculous than one writing code for a marginally faster stock-trading algorithm for Goldman Sachs? Or for some doomed internet startup?
Is a doctor who gets reimbursed by Medicare somehow less productive than one being reimbursed by Blue Cross? Is the bureaucrat who signs off on the Medicare reimbursement less productive than the one who signs off on the Blue Cross form?
Is paying a teacher somehow less valuable than another middle manager in any corporation you care to name?
Why is government spending so inherently bad?

Yakman wrote:


Your question was: how will cutting gov't spending get us to below 6% unemployment next summer. The answer is: it won't.

But NOTHING will get us to 6% unemployment next sector save some ridiculously inefficient jobs bill that has people picking up trash by hand or using toothbrushes to clean the streets.

So the question at hand is, what is best overall? Do we continue to spend too much on things that are not needed with a federal sector in dire need of reform? Or do we change how things are done in Washington in a real, substantive way? I prefer the latter.

OK. There are certainly inefficient things in government. Certainly things that need reform. There are in any large organization. What things aren't needed and how to make that reform happen are the questions.

Vague platitudes about changing "how things are done in Washington in a real, substantive way" are nothing more than the vague platitudes we here every election cycle.


I hopped on JUST to respond to Yakman, only to be ninja'ed by thejeff.

/pout

I'll just add my 2cp: no one is talking about defense spending either. I mean other than Ryan who wants to increase it by an amount greater than the generals think is necessary by the most liberal estimates. We could cut defense spending by half, insist on a moratorium for no-bid contracts, and pull out of Iraq (we still have a huge presence there, but not our official military, just soldiers of fortune), and that'd shore up the deficit toot sweet!

"Entitlements", or as I prefer, earned benefits, are just that. Something people are entitled to...because they paid for it. Now, I'm all for just transitioning SS/Medicare/Medicaid into a health care for all plan, so everyone can partake in the benefits immediately rather than wait 50 years. Oh, and remove the income cap on payroll taxes. Period.

And I'll just echo jeff's point that I feel you're coming from an either ideologically skewed or intellectually dishonest position. That, somehow, government work isn't useful or needed or beneficial. That somehow private investment, where the profits are skimmed off the top and go to the super rich, is somehow better than public investment, which is necessarily longer-sighted and benefits the general public.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

a1) The attempt, last summer, to block the debt ceiling increase was exactly an attempt to force a balanced budget immediately. A particularly nasty one, since it would have forced all the responsibility for cutting programs onto the President

a2) The draconian Ryan budget doesn't get there for years because the first changes it makes are more tax giveaways to the rich. The draconian cuts for the poor and middle class were pushed off for years to make it them more palatable. IOW, it's a scam.

a1) Two things in three parts:

a1a: The Tea Party GOP were elected by people on the promise that they would rein in gov't spending and eliminate the deficit. You are right that they tried to do this but...
a1b: they are radicals within their own party. Methinks a large part of that caucus' strategy was not designed to change policy but to take control of the GOP. They almost succeeded, but the establishment GOP candidate won the primaries and is currently in the process of disavowing many of the Tea Party-friendly statements he made to get the nomination.
a2) The Ryan Budget does, as you say, does call for the indefinite continuation of the Bush Tax Cuts, which were set to sunset in 2012. I wouldn't call it a scam, but you can't ask legislators to make immediate cuts to benefits - they'll get voted out of office. Additionally, all these long-term budgets make assumptions about economic growth that, to me at least, are optimistic.

thejeff wrote:
"Entitlement reform" is a sham. Social Security only needs minor adjustments. Medicare/Medicaid is what will bust the budget in the long term. Even that hides the real problem though. The problem is health care spending, not entitlement spending. Medicare spending is growing much slower than private sector healthcare spending. Under the same projections that spell doom for the Medicare budget, the entire economy is screwed by the amount devoted to health care by the time Medicare is in serious trouble.

Medicaid/Medicare are entitlements. Obamacare did almost nothing to rein in the cost of health care or (more importantly) the growth in the cost of health care. The only method that has worked in the industrialized world to do that is single-payer, which Obama originally campaigned on and later disavowed.

thejeff wrote:
What does that even mean? I guess it's sort of technically true, at least if you mean dollar taxed instead of dollar spent. Though much government spending, particularly that on wages or on direct aid for the poor is immediately spent and circulates through the economy. And there are plenty of rich people and corporations sitting on huge sums of money, not doing anything productive with it other than blowing speculative bubbles.

The gov't taking money to spend on programs removes capital from the private sector. Building tanks doesn't add anything to the GDP, because you can't do anything with a tank except kill foreigners and drive through buildings. While, admittedly, these things are pretty cool, they don't do anything to improve the standard of living of anyone, anywhere. Taking that same money and building, say... a lot of tools or shingles or computer components, creates a product that increases the standard of living for people in the USA. The GDP impact is the same, but no Good comes from financing weapons won't be used to defend the nation's resources.

thejeff wrote:

But I guess this is the assumption that rests at the heart of it. Government spending is inherently "ridiculous". Private sector spending is inherently productive.

I don't know about government programmers, though don't forget that the Internet started as a DARPA project. I guess that was a ridiculous waste. Is a programmer writing code for a NASA mission more ridiculous than one writing code for a marginally faster stock-trading algorithm for Goldman Sachs? Or for some doomed internet startup?
Is a doctor who gets reimbursed by Medicare somehow less productive than one being reimbursed by Blue Cross? Is the bureaucrat who signs off on the Medicare reimbursement less productive than the one who signs off on the Blue Cross form?
Is paying a teacher somehow less valuable than another middle manager in any corporation you care to name?
Why is government spending so inherently bad?

Not all gov't spending is bad. But coming from DC as I do, you get to see the evidence of waste everywhere. Why are salaries for contractors so high? Why are they contractors at all when they are working on projects that the gov't is required to handle, by law, year after year? How much money gets wasted in the procurement process? Why does the federal gov't do some of the things it does? Why is the Federal gov't employment system based on the Pendleton Act, which was passed under CHESTER A. ARTHUR? Huge amounts of money are spent on silly IT programs that don't work, and contractors who fail over and over again to deliver as promised on time are hired and re-hired.

Money for some doomed start-up doesn't come from me (unless it is "Green Technology" YAY for Solyndra)- it comes from people who are cognizant of the risks. Money to pay for something like the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a giveaway to real estate developers and makes homeowners less safe, does. It is less efficient because the legislation governing it was passed UNDER NIXON. The gov't thus does work based on a perceived need from 40 years ago, under assumptions from 40 years ago, etc. Tell me of a non-rentier business that hasn't reviewed policies in 40 years?

There's lots of good gov't spending - but there's plenty of wasteful and stupid spending as well. Money is chewed up in grants to states and localities who should be funding their own projects and paying their own teachers and police forces.

Obama has actually done a lot to clean up some of these problems. I'm not sure that Romney would do more - although with his background at Bain, I think he would be ideally suited to the challenge.

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