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Author Topic: Stupid Politicians Unite!
MattP
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quote:
In a continuation of long-term trends, life expectancy has been steadily increasing in the United States for the past several decades. Accompanying the recent increases, however, is a growing disparity in life expectancy between individuals with high and low income and between those with more and less education. The difference in life expectancy across socioeconomic groups is significantly larger now than in 1980 or 1990. A similar trend is evident in Great Britain but not in Canada, where the gap in life expectancy between high- and low-income individuals has declined.
quote:
In 1980, the difference in life expectancy at age 65 between the highest and lowest socioeconomic groups was 0.3 years. By 2000, the difference had grown to 1.6 years. That increase in the gap equals more than 80 percent of the increase in overall average life expectancy at age 65 over that period.
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/91xx/doc9104/LifeExpectancy_Brief.1.1.shtml

[ June 03, 2011, 12:53 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Pyrtolin
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And that's just at 65, where, due to Medicare and retirement, average life expectancy increases significantly.

http://longevity.about.com/od/longevity101/p/life_expect.htm

This shows birth vs 65, I'm trying to find something that shows it at 18 as well, because narrowing the gap between birth and 18 is where most of the gains have been made, before you also throw the wealth effects into the picture.

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JWatts
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That's not particularly relevant to what Pyr said:

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
But raising it should reflect longer life expectancy and greater quality of life in later years

It's not at all true, especially because working age life expectancy has barely changed, and most of increases are among high income folks, not the people who actually depend on SS and Medicare.

Life expectancy has grown drastically in the US.

quote:
As a result of falling age-specific mortality, life expectancy rose dramatically
in the United States over the past century. Final data for 2003 (the most recent
available) show that life expectancy at birth for the total population has reached an
all-time American high level, 77.5 years, up from 49.2 years at the turn of the 20th
century.

Link

Furthermore, he said:
quote:
most of increases are among high income folks
What you posted was an analysis between the poorest quintile and the richest quintile. It doesn't compare the richest vs the average which was his argument.
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JWatts
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And here's the life expectancy at age 65:

quote:
Table 1: Life Expectancy for Social Security
Year Male Female
1940 12.7 14.7
1950 13.1 16.2
1960 13.2 17.4
1970 13.8 18.6
1980 14.6 19.1
1990 15.3 19.6

SSA


Clearly the average life expectancy for retirees has climbed significantly. This is an obvious indisputable fact and it is not just the richest Americans who are living longer. Trying to frame this in the terms of 'class warfare' is just Left wing idiocy.

[ June 03, 2011, 10:37 AM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Final data for 2003 (the most recent
available) show that life expectancy at birth for the total population has reached an
all-time American high level, 77.5 years, up from 49.2 years at the turn of the 20th
century.

Not working age life span (life expectancy at age 18), but at birth. Most of that increase comes before the age of 18, which is completely irrelevant to retirement issues.

And it's the lowest quintile that matters the most for evaluating overall health of the economy. They're the ones that most strongly depend on this to stay part of the middle class and it doesn't matter how well the top is doing if we're squeezing them out into poverty and wage slavery.

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Wayward Son
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Is this what you were referring to, Pyr?

quote:
Look at Table 4: since 1977, the life expectancy of male workers retiring at age 65 has risen 6 years in the top half of the income distribution, but only 1.3 years in the bottom half.
Looking at Table 4 in the link to Social Security, a person retiring at age 65 in 1977 would expect to live 15.5 more years if he was in the top half of the income bracket, but only 14.8 years if he was in the bottom half. A 0.7 year difference, on average.

But in 2006, a 65 year old would expect to live an additional 25.4 years if he was in the top income bracket, but only 19.6 years if he was in the bottom income bracket. A whopping 5.8 year difference. (And for someone at that age, that is "whopping." [Eek!] )

Longevity increased by 9.9 years for those in the top bracket, but only 4.8 years for those in the bottom bracket.

So, apparently, there is an actual, measurable difference in longetivity between those in the top half and those in the bottom that has been increasing significantly in the past three decades, according to the Social Security Administration. It has nothing to do with class warfare; it is simply a fact.

[Edited to correct second retirement year.]

[ June 03, 2011, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Pyrtolin
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http://prospectjournal.ucsd.edu/blog/?p=1595

Also provides a good look at the overall issue:

quote:
Unlike the Jetsons, American society has used this increase in productivity, and by extension income, to finance huge consumption increases. These consumption gains have been augmented by the increase in debt financing, which became much more widespread in American society after WWII. For the most part, this choice hasn’t been controversial: few Americans would want to trade increased leisure time for drastically lowered standards of living, even if the choice is technically possible. However, the current debate over raising the retirement age reflects this core tradeoff. Sometime in the next 40 years Social Security will require additional funding to remain solvent. This isn’t a serious policy challenge because Social Security solvency can be easily addressed by one of two potential changes — either the retirement age can be raised, lowering the cost of the program, or the federal government can devote more money to Social Security. This is the same basic tradeoff the Jetsons face. Americans can either use productivity gains to increase their leisure time by preserving or even lowering the current retirement age, or to finance increased consumption. On the federal level, this consumption is most evident in military spending and healthcare inefficiencies, the two largest portions of the budget aside from Social Security.
Productivity is increasing faster than any other economic factor; the upshot of that is that we need to take on extra debt to consume the products of that extra productivity, especially since we haven't been producing money fast enough to match that productivity increase. Now we're up against a solid decision- do we produce the money and give people a choice between leisure time (a significant portion of which will actually be invested in unpaid work or entrepreneurship) or do we tighten up the money supply and let debt and unemployment fill the productivity/consumption gap instead?

(As a side note- many economic models fail to properly distinguish between unemployment and leisure time, treating them as equivalent not-working time, which leads to faulty results that pretend that unemployment is a voluntary state that will take care of itself, rather than a trigger for a negative feedback loop into further unemployed "leisure" time.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
It has nothing to do with class warfare; it is simply a fact.

[DOH] I never disputed the fact that there are differences with income groups.

The discussion was about increasing the retirement age to fix SS and Medicare. Bringing up income related disparities is derailing the discussion with mindless class warfare rhetoric. [Roll Eyes]

If you want to fix the issue then make it illegal for poor people to:
Smoke, avoid exercise & Eat fattening food

[ June 03, 2011, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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JWatts
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Ah Nancy Pelosi is always good for a chuckle:


quote:
Nancy Pelosi on today's vote: "What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today."
TWS

Nice to know she has everything in perspective.

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Pyrtolin
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https://www.gop.com/2012ChangeDirection/2012ChangeDirection.htm

I imagine that this will eventually be fixed (and maybe it's a bit of an unclear "scare you into action" tactic), but putting a graphic up saying "Obama's Last Day Jan 20 2017" right at the top doesn't seem to suggest much direct confidence in their candidates, despite the 2012 focused text below.

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JWatts
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Good ole VP Joe Biden has again put his intellect on display for the entire world and encouraged all thoughtful Americans to say a prayer for Obama's continued good health.

quote:

Vice President Joe Biden described former Saturday Night Live comedian, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., as a "leading legal scholar," presumably in the Senate, today.

"He has been one of the leading legal scholars," Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report. He also said that Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator. He made the comments while recalling concerns that then-candidate Franken could not be taken seriously as a Senate candidate given his SNL work.

Franken's comedic spirit got him in trouble on Washington. "This isn't ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Al," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had to remind the freshman senator after Franken made faces while McConnell spoke during the Supreme Court nomination process for Elena Kagan.

Link
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AI Wessex
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quote:
“The leader thought I was disrespectful while he was giving his speech on General Kagan,” Franken said in a statement to POLITICO. “He is entitled to give his speech with the presiding officer just listening respectfully. I went directly to his office after I was done presiding to apologize in person. He wasn’t there, so I’ve sent him a handwritten note.”
What does that have to do with whether or not Franken could be described as a legal scholar? And how does something that happened 21 months ago ricochet off of Biden's comments made yesterday? For comparison, do you think McConnell will apologize to Claire McCaskill for grossly misrepresenting her views on the GOP "war on women"?

I even "pray" for McConnell's continued good health, or at least to a return to his native good sense.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Good ole VP Joe Biden has again put his intellect on display for the entire world and encouraged all thoughtful Americans to say a prayer for Obama's continued good health.
Are we to accept on implicit assertion that Franken has not shown himself to be very well schooled on the law? Or at least that he's not been actively useful in discussions about the nature, content, and effects of laws under discussion?
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
What does that have to do with whether or not Franken could be described as a legal scholar?

Nothing, but it has a lot to do with the part where Biden said Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Good ole VP Joe Biden has again put his intellect on display for the entire world and encouraged all thoughtful Americans to say a prayer for Obama's continued good health.
Are we to accept on implicit assertion that Franken has not shown himself to be very well schooled on the law? Or at least that he's not been actively useful in discussions about the nature, content, and effects of laws under discussion?
[Exploding] Wow, where did that statement come from. The implicit assertion is that VP Biden is not smart and that Senator Franken is not by any stretch of the imagination a "leading legal scholar". You words don't bear more than a passing resemblance to my previous statement.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Senator Franken is not by any stretch of the imagination a "leading legal scholar"
Exactly. You expect us to accept that purely on assertion, without even pointing to the context of the statement, never mind addressing the question I asked that would be critical to saying whether or not he was a leading scholar in whatever context Biden's statement was referring to.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Senator Franken is not by any stretch of the imagination a "leading legal scholar"
Exactly. You expect us to accept that purely on assertion, without even pointing to the context of the statement, never mind addressing the question I asked that would be critical to saying whether or not he was a leading scholar in whatever context Biden's statement was referring to.
Yes I do.

But if you choose to believe that Senator Franken is a "leading legal scholar" despite the fact that he doesn't have a law degree, has only been in politics a few years and is most notable as a comedian, then I doubt there is much I could do to convince you otherwise.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
he doesn't have a law degree, has only been in politics a few years and is most notable as a comedian
Only the first of those three is even remotely relevant to the point, and as was strongly pointed out in the education thread, even it's only a loose relationship there.
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AI Wessex
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"Nothing, but it has a lot to do with the part where Biden said Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator."

Then let me amend my question: What does what Franken did 21 months ago have to do with whether or not he "is deadly serious" as a senator? (I'm tweaking you because your post was an attempt at snark and it ain't working. Now you have to pay [Wink] )

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"Nothing, but it has a lot to do with the part where Biden said Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator."

Then let me amend my question: What does what Franken did 21 months ago have to do with whether or not he "is deadly serious" as a senator? (I'm tweaking you because your post was an attempt at snark and it ain't working. Now you have to pay [Wink] )

That's hilarious. 21 months ago is considered irrelevant. But I expect that rule only applies to Liberals and not Conservatives, eh?
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MattP
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I don't think a single incident during a time when he wasn't actually conducting any senatorial duties nearly two years ago says much about how serious he is as a senator. I consider myself pretty serious about my work, but can also be a bit of a clown and a smart-ass. That speaks to my personal demeanor, not my attitude and dedication toward my job.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I don't think a single incident during a time when he wasn't actually conducting any senatorial duties nearly two years ago says much about how serious he is as a senator.

He was conducting Senatorial duties at the time.

It was during the actual confirmation hearings and Senator Franken was presiding over the Senate at the time. He was in charge and was obviously acting in a distracting manner. This was a completely juvenile act and was entirely inappropriate in a professional setting.

quote:

Just before Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was confirmed yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was making his case against her -- a case Democratic Sen. Al Franken seemed to find quite comical.

According to the Associated Press, Franken, who was presiding over the Senate at the time, whispered and made wild gestures as the minority leader laid out his argument.

It was distracting enough that McConnell approached Franken afterward to say, "This isn't 'Saturday Night Live,' Al."

CBS News
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AI Wessex
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"This was a completely juvenile act and was entirely inappropriate in a professional setting."

Agreed. He was a freshman and probably feeling the elation of being in charge. That event only has lingering meaning if he were to continue to act like that up to the present. He apologized immediately afterward and at least according to Joe Biden has grown into a very serious member of the Senate. Or do you think Biden's assessment of his status today is wrong?

At about the same time McConnell was saying that the number one goal of the Senate's activities was to make sure that Obama would not be re-elected. Is that the kind of serious and mature behavior you would rather see? I'm looking for some relative perspective here.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Or do you think Biden's assessment of his status today is wrong?

I think I've decided that VP Biden should be given the benefit of the doubt as you and Pyr seem to be indicating I should. However, I think we all agree that VP Biden is a high level Democrat and his expertise lies with the Democratic party.

So I'm willing to go along with the idea that:

Senator Franken is a 'leading Democratic legal scholar'. That he indeed represents the epitome of Democratic legal scholarship ability.


quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
At about the same time McConnell was saying that the number one goal of the Senate's activities was to make sure that Obama would not be re-elected. Is that the kind of serious and mature behavior you would rather see? I'm looking for some relative perspective here.

That's a mangling of what happened:

quote:
Speaking with National Journal magazine, McConnell discussed mistakes the GOP made after its 1994 election sweep, when it suffered "from some degree of hubris" and acted "as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him."

If Republicans are to enjoy a midterm triumph in 2010 as they did in 1994, McConnell said his party should say: "Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job."

Asked what that "job" was, McConnell explained that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

LA Times

McConnell was clearly talking about ensuring that Obama was defeated in the next election. That is hardly a shocking comment.

Al if what McConnell said is, in your opinion wrong what of this:

quote:

[John Edwards]'s addition to the ticket has produced what Kerry advisers had hoped, which is an infusion of energy and enthusiasm to a Democratic Party already united in its determination to make [Bush] a one-term president. From Ohio to Florida to West Virginia to New Mexico, crowds in battleground states greeting Kerry and Edwards have been large, responsive and obviously upbeat about the running mate.

Washington Post

The fact is there were plenty of Democrats trying to ensure Bush was a one term President. Indeed, there were some that wanted to impeach him. So what? That's partisan politics. My relative perspective is that this is normal political speech. And that I would never call Mitch McConnell a non-partisan politician or Al Franken "deadly serious".

Were you upset with Democrats about this kind of rhetoric in 2004?

[ April 13, 2012, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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AI Wessex
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McConnell spoke as the Senate Minority leader, not as one of "plenty of Democrats". There are "plenty of Republicans" who don't even believe that Obama is a US citizen.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The fact is there were plenty of Democrats trying to ensure Bush was a one term President.
The the electoral process, not by deliberately using the legislative process to ensure that he looked like a failure, despite any negative effects that might come from that. McConnell didn't say is was a general party objective to defeat Obama in the upcoming election- he said in terms of winning the 2010 election so that a Republican controlled Congress could actively undermine him.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
McConnell spoke as the Senate Minority leader, not as one of "plenty of Democrats". There are "plenty of Republicans" who don't even believe that Obama is a US citizen.

Oh, so because he was a high ranking Republican it was different. Kind of like Nancy Pelosi is a high ranking Democrat?

quote:

Why should we put a plan out? Our plan is to stop him. He must be stopped.

Referring to George W. Bush on Fox News (March 17, 2005)

Wiki
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AI Wessex
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So what its your point now? Democrats are as silly and ruthless as Republicans? Ok. Nevertheless, Franken may be a very astute senator.

[ April 13, 2012, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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TomDavidson
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I don't actually understand the equivalence we're trying to draw here. On one hand, the Senate Minority Leader announces that the top legislative priority for his party will be the defeat of the sitting president. On the other, Dan Balz of the Washington Post says that the addition of a youthful-seeming and energetic VP candidate has made a party already dedicated to defeating the sitting president seem more vibrant.

I don't think we can sensibly draw a comparison between a statement by the Senate Minority Leader re: party policy as it relates to legislative strategy three years before the next presidential election; and a statement by a reporter talking about the dedication of someone's active campaign. There simply aren't any points of commonality beyond the fact that "defeat the president" fits somewhere in there.

(Edited to add: the Pelosi comment comes closer, but note the timeframe and the context. She is talking about stopping specific pieces of Bush's legislative agenda, and goes on to explain why. In contrast, McConnell was stating his determination to remove Obama from office as an explanation for why he and his party was opposing Obama's agenda. It's back-to-front.)

[ April 14, 2012, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
McConnell spoke as the Senate Minority leader, not as one of "plenty of Democrats". There are "plenty of Republicans" who don't even believe that Obama is a US citizen.

Oh, so because he was a high ranking Republican it was different. Kind of like Nancy Pelosi is a high ranking Democrat?

quote:

Why should we put a plan out? Our plan is to stop him. He must be stopped.

Referring to George W. Bush on Fox News (March 17, 2005)

Wiki

Wow, lots of fun Pelosi quotes to play with in that link:

"You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people."

Apparently by having Americans cross illegally into Canada.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
"You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people."
This is actually a strong and affirmative statement by Pelosi specifically about passing what she feels is legislation critical to the welfare of the population. It's pretty hard to try to turn this around and make it a personal attack on her.
quote:
Why should we put a plan out? Our plan is to stop him. He must be stopped.
As near as I can tell, this was in response to a specific question about the Democratic reaction to Bush's proposal to overhaul (some say dismantle) Social Security, not a broad generalization like you're trying to make it sound.
quote:
"the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
Here McConnell was speaking as the GOP Senate leader referring to the Congressional agenda. This is a broad statement about objectives, not addressed to a specific program or proposal.

[ April 14, 2012, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:

"the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Here McConnell was speaking as the GOP Senate leader referring to the Congressional agenda. This is a broad statement about objectives, not addressed to a specific program or proposal.
Yes, and so what? Are you seriously contending that Speaker Pelosi wasn't hostile to George Bush's agenda?

McConnell is exhorting his party to take Obama's agenda seriously, don't assume that their majority means they can ignore or roll over Obama's agenda and to make sure that Obama is defeated in the election.

There is nothing particularly unique or outstanding about that attitude. If Democrats/Liberals want to whine about it, feel free, but honestly know one else cares much. You certainly won't win an election by saying "Mitch McConnell is a meanie."

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AI Wessex
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No, that won't work these days given the hyperbolic misrepresentations that are made every day. Did you know that 92% of the job losses that have happened since Obama took office belonged to women? That's a clear sign that Obama's economic policies are a disaster. Or not. It depends on what the meaning of "fact" is.

The Democrats can and will tie McConnell's statement as something like a party anthem to a host of GOP actions in Congress that bear out the underlying intent. We've been through those in plenty of other threads here, so there's no need to rehash all that.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
McConnell is exhorting his party to take Obama's agenda seriously, don't assume that their majority means they can ignore or roll over Obama's agenda and to make sure that Obama is defeated in the election.
No- he's calling on them to prevent anything good from happening at all while Obama is presedent. It goes far beyond simply averting something they feel is bad to actively stating that the welfare of the american people is less important than unseating the president. Had he said that the number one priority was showing that the Republicans could offer better solutions than the Democrats, or was to prevent the Democrats from doing harm, that would be one thing- it puts the people first; but he explicitly put the welfare of the people as secondary to achieving political power, because it would be too much of a risk to do something beneficial and let Obama be able to take any amount of credit for it. HE may as well have said "Since a strong economic recovery would help ensure Obama's reelection, even if it was the result of Republican policies, we have to actively work to keep the economy foundering to make him vulnerable enough to take down."

[ April 14, 2012, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
No- he's calling on them to prevent anything good from happening at all while Obama is presedent

Pyr, your ability to read the minds of people and determine their intent without any external evidence is amazing. You should take your mind reading abilities to Vegas.
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TomDavidson
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This "without any external evidence" bit is surprising. We have their voting records, their memos, and their public statements, all of which corroborate the claim that the Republicans were being deliberately obstructionist to undermine Obama's election chances. It doesn't take any exceptional act of mindreading to figure this one out, IMO.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This "without any external evidence" bit is surprising. We have their voting records, their memos, and their public statements, all of which corroborate the claim that the Republicans were being deliberately obstructionist to undermine Obama's election chances. It doesn't take any exceptional act of mindreading to figure this one out, IMO.

I see another assertion. Not evidence.

The minority party voting against the agenda of a President from another party is hardly unique or unusual.

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Pyrtolin
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Voting against the agenda is one thing. Actively taking actions that handicap recovery (such as intentionally discarding the Gephardt rule and the ensuing the brinksmanship over the debt ceiling), then blaming weakness from the fallout on the president is something else completely.
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TomDavidson
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Although, to be fair, that's not necessarily historically unique, either. I mean, Washington himself predicted that parties would eventually do that to each other as an essential and necessary consequence of allowing parties to form in a democratic republic.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Voting against the agenda is one thing. Actively taking actions that handicap recovery (such as intentionally discarding the Gephardt rule and the ensuing the brinksmanship over the debt ceiling), then blaming weakness from the fallout on the president is something else completely.

Pyrtolin, this is all just your opinion. Republican's believe that the Federal debt has become so large that it will inevitably cause great harm. So they are attempting to force the issue and prevent a future Federal debt collapse.

In your mind and perhaps the Left's group-mind in general, voting against the debt ceiling might seem to be a malicious attempt to derail Obama's agenda, but frankly I don't see how you can reach that conclusion. The Debt wrangling and vote was about a genuine difference in philosophy.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
So they are attempting to force the issue and prevent a future Federal debt collapse.
Do you completely understand what the Gephardt rule was?

And- since we're not on the gold standard, the only way there could be a debt "collapse" is to not extend the debt ceiling. They threatened to cause what they were claiming to want to prevent in order to prevent what they were threatening to cause?

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