Shouldn't Government Transparency Be Included In The Legislative Process... Not Just The Aftermath?

from the unfortunate-and-worrisome dept

As was widely expected, President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law yesterday. And, with it, the administration has set up Recovery.gov in an effort to be transparent. That's leading to some reasonable confusion because the bill actually called for an independent Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to create a website for transparency. Recovery.gov is not at all independent and is maintained by the White House.

But, I think there's a more important issue to be discussed here: which is that this is transparency after the fact. If the administration were serious about transparency in this process why wasn't their transparency and openness during the process? The success of the Obama campaign was, in part, because it included people in the process, and let them help define where things went. There was no evidence (at all) of that happening in this case. Instead, nearly a trillion dollars of debt was allocated through backroom dealing all done by long-term politicians, with no input from outsiders. Then, we the people were given almost no time to actually look at or review the content.

That's not transparency. That's not participation.

To then tell us after the fact that you've set up a website to hear from people and be transparent seems way too little and way too late. It's not about providing the data after the decisions have been made. It's about letting people at least share their thoughts before such decisions have been made.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:14am

    40 hours short

     

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  2.  
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    Man from Atlanta, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:26am

    all done by long-term politicians?

    Hardly -- I read news reports that long-term lobbyists were heavily involved. Thank goodness they were there to represent "us!"

     

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  3.  
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    dcwatcher, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:20am

    Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    Oh boo hoo. How many of you whiners contacted your 2 Senators and your Representative during the last 6 months while all this has been brewing? "Ooooo, I couldn't because of all the evil lobbyists contacting them."

    STFU. Trust me, congress critters listen to their constituents. WHEN CONSTITUENTS MAKE THEMSELVES HEARD.

     

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  4.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    First Mistake

    Your first mistake was believing that Obama would be a different type of politician. He is nothing but a partisan hack.

     

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  5.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    Re: Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    You obviously missed the stories that showed many Congress critters were unreachable and had full voice mail and email boxes at the congressional office. I am stuck with that jerk Arlen Spectre who is still not answering phone calls.

     

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  6.  
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    bob, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:32am

    Ha Ha

    Obama is all about bringing about the socialist government control of the country. I am surprised there are not people running in the streets with small red books demanding the dictatorship of the proletariat.
    I am just sorry that the 2 twats in Maine gave up on America as did O'l prune face Arlin.

     

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  7.  
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    eleete, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    Oh, he got the calls from those with checks in hand, or brown bags of cash. I agree, the previous comment was laughable. Polluticians listen to currency, not constituents.

     

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  8.  
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    David T, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:38am

    We live in a Republic, not a Democracy

    Speed in delivering a recovery package was key. The few months it would take to collect and evaluate various public positions could result in long term harm to an economy teetering on the line between a recession and a deflationary depression.

    Our society settled on using elected representatives to make these kinds of decisions in an informed, timely matter. If the Reps. make the wrong decision, the voters remove them from office and replace them with someone "better." We can't have a national vote on every major policy issue; nothing would ever get done.

     

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  9.  
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    alethus, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:38am

    People must have no memory

    Jesus. Stop... just stop. Can anyone remember what we have just lived through for the past 8 years? We have just lived through one of the most secretive and closed government administration we have ever had. It will take the Obama administration a little while (cough... more than a freakin' month... cough... cough...) to get total bill transparency established.

    I love conservatives who make statements like this: "Your first mistake was believing that Obama would be a different type of politician. He is nothing but a partisan hack." If you vote republican you should have your computer taken away from you, for thou hast surrendered your brain.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:44am

    *sigh* Looking at all the flames in this post makes me wonder if I'm the only level headed citizen when it comes to politics.

     

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  11.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Re: People must have no memory

    Cripes, I just love 'liberals' who think they know what someone else is thinking. Both parties suck. Both parties are responsible for $77.8 trillion dollars in debt. Bush was responsible for an endless war in Iraq and now Obama is responsible for an endless war in Afghanistan.

    I wonder if Obama would be so kind to let us in on his timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan as he demanded for Iraq.

    He won't, he's a hypocrite.

     

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  12.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:58am

    Re: We live in a Republic, not a Democracy

    The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has already laid out the harm the this porked up stimulus package will incur upon this country.

    Stimulus, what a joke. This package will fail just like the 10 stimulus packages Japan passed in the 90's.

     

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  13.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    Re: People must have no memory

    By the way, the Dow has dropped 2,000 points since Obama wrapped up the White House. Worst president ever!

    I couldn't resist adding that.

     

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  14.  
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    Some IT Guy, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Stimulus...er um Socialist bill...

    What happened to the free markets? Let GM and other corporations fail, restructure themselves, and come back competitive!

    Japan did this same type of thing in the 90's...it failed terribly, how do they expect it to work for us?!

    Thank you to all the Republicans and Democrats who voted against this "porkulus" bill!

     

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  15.  
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    Some IT Guy, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Ron Paul 08!

    oh...wait... I forgot we couldn't elect someone with common sense

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    No, there are at least two of us. Empty rhetoric and hackneyed political sound bites bores me as well.

     

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  17.  
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    sigh, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:10am

    all the same

    "It will take the Obama administration .. more than a freakin' month...."
    Your right - we should give everyone who makes promises a grace period to live up to them. 1 year? 2 years? How long had he been campaigning?

    "If you vote republican you should have your computer taken away from you, for thou hast surrendered your brain."
    And since when does different opinions means no thought? Interesting. Apparently 59,934,814 Americans (via wiki) should have their computer taken away?

     

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  18.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re:

    That makes Foxnews, CNN, MSNBC, et al, very boring.

     

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  19.  
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    dru, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Re: People must have no memory

    While I agree that one month does is not sufficient time for much to be done, I will say that in that month we have seen Obama clearly veer away from a lot of his campaign promises. So what we get from the first month is a glimpse of what we can expect for the remainder of the administration. Which, if it is, will be a shame.
    I think Obama the candidate, speaking as Obama the man, is a different person than Obama the POTUS. I think Obama the POTUS had best reign in some of the people in his party (Pelosi) or he will go down with them.
    Obama has a lot of support with the populace right now. He promised change in Washington DC. This first month has been an epic failure in the change department and if he doesn't clamp down his entire term risks being torpedoed.

     

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  20.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Re: all the same

    You are so right. We are no longer able to share ideas. Opposition speech is considered hate speech and must be squashed.

    We must all lie down and let Obama and Pelosi run the country without comment.

    Sieg Heil!

     

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  21.  
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    Albert Kolkin, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    I agree

    If you noticed, the new whitehouse.gov does not make it easy to give feedback. I agree that we have not been given the ability to participate as I believe President Obama promised us.

    I am disappointed. Not only has there not been as much transparency as was promised, there is not even any comment by him to the complaints that you, I and others have made about this issue.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Obama the magician

    Starring in the Illusion of Transparency

     

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  23.  
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    Some IT Guy, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: I agree

    That's because he's secured power for the next four years. Three years from now he'll start caring, and once the November elections are done and he's won again we'll be back to where we are at now.

     

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  24.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Re: I agree

    You had your chance to voice your opinion...during the election. Now your opinion doesn't matter...until the next election.

     

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  25.  
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    Some IT Guy, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: I agree

    Actually, because the President is to represent the people, not himself our opinions DO matter.

     

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  26.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: I agree

    Wow, so the government of the people by the people can go pound sand between elections?

    With Obama recently taking over the census, he is no better than Hugo Chavez eliminating term limits.

    Tyranny, just simple Tyranny.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    How can I whine about this?

     

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  28.  
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    hegemon13, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:52am

    Re: People must have no memory

    STFU. Clearly, you surrendered your brain to your party years ago. Perhaps you should think for yourself instead of bowing down to your so-called political messiah.

    And what evidence has Obama given that he has ANY intention of following through with promises of transparency? The old administration has NOTHING to do with it. He has his own administration now, so he can be as transparent as he chooses.

    Instead, he has chosen business-as-usual: backroom secrecy, cronyism, appointing corrupt politicians to his cabinet, defending the indefensible (ie, supporting the dismissal of the wiretap lawsuits), a drafting extremely leftist, partisan bills (meeting with the other party does not count when you completely ignore what their suggestions.)

    I really had high hopes for Obama. I didn't agree with his policies, but I felt that he really wanted change and might really bring about some transparency and reinstate the checks and balances we have been dependent on. Instead, his policies have been even worse than I feared, and he has shown NO SIGN of following through with any of the things I considered positive about him.

    There is a rough road ahead, indeed. Eight years of the worst president in history, followed by a two-faced poser.

     

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  29.  
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    Sk8 Punk, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Transparency

    You mean you're actually simple enough to think Obama and the democrats really believe all that campaign rhetoric?! Transparency would kill them and strip away the fascade that they are better for the economy, education, the environment (this is the only one I think may actually be true...). Obama wants transparency the same way he wants to public funding for his campaign, or debates anytime, anywhere. The same way he wants an unconstitutional power grab for the census.

     

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  30.  
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    Jimmy Stewart, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    Well well, big surprise. You voted for the silver-tongued devil, and you got him. Now we all have to suffer the consequences as he proceeds to take his word back on everything he promised during his campaign.

    Btw, there's a difference between a democracy and a republic. We were supposed to be a republic, under which representatives voted in by the people actually represent said people, and are held accountable. Instead we have become a democracy, where officials lie and cheat to get your votes, and then proceed to push their own agenda, no matter what the people they supposedly represent want or think they want, and seemingly without any accountability whatsoever (with a few rare exceptions, such as the impeachment of Blagojevich). They only pretend to represent us when what the people's voice is saying matches their own agenda.

    The only way to fix this is to fire every single person in congress and replace them with new, fresh, statesmen (as opposed to career politicians) who have never held public office before. That way they won't be corrupt from day 1, and might be able to actually get things back on track. Of course, that's never going to happen, mostly because such people don't seem to be running for office as of late, or the people are too stupid (or blinded) to see what the right choice is. They're only interested in voting for officials that will give them all the handouts they want, and by doing so, they're giving away all their freedoms and rights, one by one. The more people rely on the government, the more control the government has, and it's quickly becoming a tyranny.

    The American dream was NOT to sit on your lazy butt and get government handouts. The American dream was to have the freedom to do what you want without the government forcing it on you. If you can work hard at what you enjoy and become wealthy by doing so, that's simply a bonus. We as Americans do NOT have the right to wealth, but we DO have the right to get an education in whatever field interests us and work hard to earn such wealth through honest means. This nation was built by people with that dream and those ideals, and now it's crumbling because those have been lost. Now we all have to sit here and reap the consequences of throwing away everything that made this country great.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    I can whine about this

    Many seem to conveniently overlook the simple fact that Obama and his team have 2 years worth of suggestions that have been collected, with an overwhelming amount from individuals. He's demonstrating where Republicans and conservatism went wrong, in a clever way! It seems the republican desire to have ripe plums to fall into their mouth is failing. If they don't get off their duff and start having town hall meetings themselves, they'll probably all be booted out.

    When it comes to getting a bill passed, full bipartisanship and transparency is a difficult task. Let's look at the theroy of bipartisanship for a second:
    If Republicans were invited to the stim talks, their goal would be to blow the place up and stonewall all legislation. So, the Dems came up with a framework (Christmas Tree) and then invited Republicans to tear that Christmas Tree apart.

    We still have a 2 party system, but increasingly, Republicans are behind the 8-ball. It appears that Republicans are still attempting to execute on tired, worn out ideas that got them into office years ago, and chances are that they possibly they listen to the lobby exclusively instead of their own constituents. Their ideas include simplistic, ideas about "continued, sustained tax breaks" and "Drill Baby Drill", which are both supply-side in nature. (They must have stayed up all night thinking about those ones.) What's interesting about the Town Halls is that Obama was showing the Republicans as well as those that have held office for 10, 15, or 20 years, to get off their duff and talk to people, like what President Obama did over the past two years.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    My god. This blog and it's viewers disgust me. The man has been in office ONE MONTH, and everyone expects the roads to be paved with gold. You morons are living in some sort of dream world where you expect drastic political changes after a span of 30 days, following an eight-year drought of sensible leadership. The Bush administration has caused irreparable damage to this country, and the Obama administration is starting the arduous task of trying to salvage what little is left. THIS SHIT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN OVER NIGHT, OR OVER MONTH.

    And all this bitching about the transparency is completely asinine. What kind of transparency was there in ANY of the last administrations? A RADIO broadcast every week and a State of the Union every year? Who the hell listens to the radio, aside from disgruntled old republicans who never could get their WebTV to work? This is RIDICULOUS. For god's sake, starting Jan 20, Whitehouse.gov ACTUALLY had USEFUL information, for the first time EVER. Be thankful for what we're getting. As you guys are pointing out, Obama is a POLITICIAN, but undeniably, he's far more in touch with his constituents than any of his predecessors.

    The drivel of this blog and it's comments have wasted space on my iGoogle for far too long. Maybe I'll stop by in 4-8 years and see what "atrocity of government" this blog has to speak of.

     

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  33.  
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    Brian, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Typical Politics

    Of course Obama wasn't transparent in this process like he promised. This is the same president that promised he wouldn't raise any taxes on people who make less than $250,000 but he raised the cigarette tax which will affect millions of Americans making less than that not even a month after being sworn in. Pay attention, this is typical filthy politics. Its not Republicans versus Democrats. Its we the people versus the government.

     

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  34.  
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    Brian, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    I laugh at all of you people saying its still Bush's fault. Because yes, the former president physically forced Obama to demand swift (aka, non-transparent) passage of this bill. Shoot first, ask questions later legislation is always going to be a disaster.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Re: People must have no memory

    if you vote democrate, you will have your computer taken (not everone has one so you cant have one either), and have already been brainwashed (Opiate of the masses).


    Libertarians are where the think and responsibliity happens..

     

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  36.  
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    Moe, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:20am

    Re: Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    I agree that enough people didn't do enough to gripe about not being involved. What I disagree with is your comment that our congressmen listen to constituents. The fact is that I live in Alabama and called everyone including the governor but republicans don't want to hear this is a good idea. The only thing I got out of it was a no vote in spite of my protest and a very condescending letter from the house rep. You have to be much more proactive in getting things done because the congress is not your friend and acts in it's own interest. There are many lobby groups that you can support to push your ideas forward. They are the only ones who really have the ears of power.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Typical Politics

    Enjoy your cancer, smoker.

    Look at it this way. Smokers are, in more ways than one, a DYING BREED. You're going to die sooner which means you're ultimately paying less income tax than healthy persons with longer life expectancies. Funny how things balance out.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: People must have no memory

    Ah, less than a month in office, and it's now an endless war in Afchanistan, and it's all the fault of Obama. There is no point in continuing to tell asshats like you that you're a whining, duplicitous fuckwad. Eight years -- EIGHT YEARS -- of Bush, and all you do is play with your dick the whole time.

    The only hypocrite here is you.

     

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  39.  
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    Get involved, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    True. I found a 95% email response rate from Democrats and a 22% response rate from Republicans on the same issues, so I naturally gravitated to the Democrats this time around because they actually appeared to listen.

     

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  40.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    Obama, Bush, what's the difference. Ridiculous spending and expansion of government with irresponsible war records. Obama is already making mistakes in Afghanistan, has a poor record in picking cabinet members and has showed a general lack of urgency regarding the economic crisis.

    It's too bad that date night with his wife is more important than signing a bill he stated was extremely urgent.

    One day, you will realize your disappointment in this shadow president.

     

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  41.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Re: I can whine about this

    Where do I start.

    Obama isn't listening to suggestions unless you account Sal Alinsky and the other socialist influences Obama has steeped himself in.

    This year, 40% of the GDP is going to be controlled by the government which has already proven that they can't manage their own books.

    TARP money? Missing and gone! Where are the democrats looking for oversight. Awfully quiet from the party of the people.

    I had a good chuckle last night watching Neil Cavuto last night who hosted a Socialst party head who ripped on the stimulus package that the DEMOCRATS passed.

     

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  42.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: People must have no memory

    Wow, such an intelligent display of words. Do contrasting opinions hurt your fragile little mind? Is that your normal behavior to simply resort to vulgarity?

    My larger point is that Obama railed against a timeline for withdrawal from an illegal war in Iraq.

    Has Obama posted a timeline for withdrawal from Aghanistan? Has he?

    Of course he hasn't.

    Now suck it!

     

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  43.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Typical Politics

    Aaahh, once again the hypocrisy of liberal government. On the one hand, the smoker (I am not one) is chided about the health effects of smoking and pushed out of society for their habit.

    On the other hand, government has no problem turning to the smoker as a revenue stream to fund socialist utopia USA and relying on their behavior.

    Governments would be in trouble without that tax revenue.

     

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  44.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    See posts by Anonymous Coward for confirmation.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: I can whine about this

    Can you provide additional non-biased sources?

    I often find Neil Cavuto and others at Fox News not reporters. Fox employs commentators, talking heads and ventriloquist dummies working from a talking-points memo to shape the narrative to their advantage.

     

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  46.  
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    Cipher-0, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Typical Politics

    Everyone quits smoking, one way or another.

     

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  47.  
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    methylamine, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re: Oh boo hoo, we're so helpless

    Sorry, WRONG.
    People DID contact their congress-creatures before and during the bailout voting, and *by a margin of 100:1* they told said assholes to vote NO on the bailout.

    Congress ignored us and voted yes anyway.

    Contacting them is pure futility. I do it at least monthly, and all I get is stupid form letters vaguely alluding to some key-phrase their Word template and VBScript found in my original message.

    Government does not care about you, they do not represent you, and the federal government will eventually fail.

     

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  48.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: I can whine about this

    I doubt whether you are open to any sources other than what backs up your world view.

    If you want to go blind on numbers, this has some stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

    Also, http://www.cbo.gov/ has a staggering chart link off the front page showing public debt as part of the GDP.

    Furthermore, if you think that once the housing bubble has been solved, everything gets better, just wait until commercial real estate starts bursting. It makes the housing market pale in comparison.

    The bottom line is that the morons we have in Washington are ill equipped and unprepared to deal with this crisis.

     

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  49.  
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    Michael, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:36am

    It's Congress, not Obama

    I completely agree that transparency should be a huge part of the process. Yet what many others are saying is correct as well.

    It's not Obama, it's congress. Congress is still filled with all the old dogs of Washington DC. The constitution pretty clearly leaves him at the mercy of whatever the legislative body can work out for him to enforce or not.

    I am quite hopeful that going forward there will be public accountability for the first time in my life. I don't even mind 'classified' subtotals on the budget either; just let us known when the current expiration date on that information is so the public will know when to re-check that part year's budget.

    I'm not so hopeful, but I can dream, that such tools will enable citizens and congresspeople to actually connect and organize so that the peoples true voice can finally coalesce and be heard above the lobbyists. So that when we demand that -congress- is open, transparent, and accountable they obey the will of their bosses, we the people.

     

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  50.  
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    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    Re: It's Congress, not Obama

    True, Congress is a huge problem. Bush helped this along by simply rubber stamping all of Congress' garbage spending. There hasn't been any true opposition in quite a while.

    $700 billion in refunds, $700 billion in TARP money, $700 billion in stimulus money.

    All down the rathole.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Then, we the people were given almost no time to actually look at or review the content.

    If the peoples' representatives are given almost no time to actually look at and review the content of the bill, then we have a much bigger problem.

    When the original House and Senate versions of the bill came out last week, I actually waded through each (each was in the order of 650 to 700 pages) to see what was brewing. After the House and Senate leaders met to reconcile the two bills, I learned it had grown to about 1100 or so pages. However, unlike the original versions, every attempt I made to read the new bill yielded a page telling me the page was not available. After numerous unsuccesful attempt over about 10 government websites I threw my arms up in disgust.

    To the point regarding transparency, it is a bit difficult to arrive at any informed opinion when the actual document that will be voted upon is not available for review by the public. Perhaps now that it has been signed I will finally be able to read it after the fact when it is too late to have any input.

    How disappointing that the political slogans "Hope" and "Change" now seem to be little more than catchy soundbites largely devoid of substance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: People must have no memory

    The endless war in Afghanistan was not initiated nor propagated by the current administration. The latest development in that war is the increase in support, which does not prolong the war. The war's length was established before it even got started.

    The fact that resources are being added to the US presence in Afghanistan only shows that the current administration is doing more than simply paying lip-service. It shows that they are supporting the trickle of troops that were already posted there.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    your right he is in touch, with the left, with marxist, and everyother nut job with a lobbist, oh and his own "Sure fire Picks" for government that passed his super hard test, cant pass the basics of government,

    go back for more of the kool-aide, so that the adults here can speak...

    Thanks for trying to play though, it was cute

    oh and were pretty happy your gone, and hopefully you dont breed, i hate to think of the genes you'd pass on to your disfunctional government educated hand-out needing offspring.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: People must have no memory

    No, in the four weeks that the current administration has been in power and has had complete access to information (arguably they've had access to info for longer, but not necessarily complete access), they have not come out for a timeline for withdrawl.

    The 6 years of fighting and strategizing will take a bit longer to decypher and establish a proper long-term response. And, unfortunately, the administration has had a few other issues to deal with in addition to this tiny war in that barren desert country.

    The fact is, they have spent *some* time and effort to address the immediate situation. They will over time develop and begin implementation of the longer term plan. Obama's trip to Ottawa this week is certainly going to involve discussions around the Afghanistan front.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: People must have no memory

    Did he say he would lay out a timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan? Did he? DID HE? DID HE?. Thought not.

    Your only larger point is at the top of your head. Go pound sand up your ass, but remove your head first.

     

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  56.  
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    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: People must have no memory

    Though I share your disappointment with the transparency issue, it isn't totally beyond my expectations.

    The new administration has entered a very closed community and attempting to inject radical change simply would not yield desired results.

    It will take time. I was hoping to see some change early on, but the amount of effort required for the politicking behind the stimulus package in less than 4 weeks of power is simply staggering. If, as many economists indicate, some stimulus is required ASAP, then it does not surprise me that on this particular issue the transparency was bypassed.

    Yes, this is the most incredible spending package in the history of the planet. Yes, it will be rife with political abuse. But build the legislation "the right way" might take months and months, time during which houses, jobs and economic power would be slipping away.

    So now that the spending bill is in place, I hope that there will be transparency in the process of it being implemented. I also hope that there will be transparency on future bill-building. I would have very much liked to have seen the building of this bill, but I understand the need for expediency.

    It would be a good idea for the administration to address the concern around the process of building this bill.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re:

    go back for more of the kool-aide, so that the adults here can speak...

    Once again, the best you can do is be abusive.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Scott A Wilhelmi, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: People must have no memory

    I'm done with you. You are nothing but a hater.

     

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  59.  
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    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, they were all very boring well before hand.

    Maybe boring isn't the right term; "ad nauseum" maybe?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Tax Relief?

    I find the two comments from Recovery.org misleading:

    * Tax Relief - includes $15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy.

    State and Local Fiscal Relief - Prevents state and local cuts to health and education programs and state and local tax increases.

     

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  61.  
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    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: I agree

    Yes, that's the level headed thing to say. Obama is no better that Hugo Chavez.

    Now, what about the previous administration? To whom can we compare them? Some Saudi kings maybe?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Unfortunately, the Bush Administration took an ostrich-like approach to the mortgage crisis which started in 2006 and it perpetuated itself over the following years. It's important to understand the current financial crisis started well before January 15th, and was prioritized above transparency promises.

    Sorry you feel you were let down.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: I can whine about this

    I had a good chuckle last night watching Neil Cavuto

    OOOHhhh...that explains it. Sorry, you'll ignore my previous responses.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Reason, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re:

    You're one among many nutjobs here. Pretending to be an adult, in this case, is pretty humorous. Just becase you can spell adult (one of the few you CAN spell), doesn't make you an adult. The condescending nature of your post says it all -- if we don't like your opinion, there must be something wrong with us. Well, I've got my own opinion, and it doesn't match yours. Isn't that just too damn bad for you?

    Starting today, I'll not be visiting this shithole any longer. The Republicans here have nothing helpful to say, the spew only bile, venom and spite. You are the most hypocritical bunch I've seen in my life. If you're so angry, and convinced that the country will become a socialist health-spa under Obama, then I urge you to leave. There are plenty of places you can go -- Russia, Iran, North Korea, just to name a few. Go on! They'll welcome you as liberators.

    There are about two people who comment on this blog who aren't ideological blow-hards, who actually have something constructive to offer, without all of the blood-in-the-eyes, venomous rage that the remainder of the posts emit. The Republicans are worse than the Democrats, but both are guilty of spouting ideology, rather than having any sort of meaningful discussion. Usually, the only "discussion" going on here resembles two children fighting: "Are not!" "Are too!"

    Go on children, continue to play while the world collapses around you. If any of you ever decide to have a meaningful discussion, please, let the rest of us know. But for now, we'll assume that you're just going to bitch about how much better it is with Obama, or how much better it was with Bush, and you'll offer nothing constructive.

    And that's how this country got in this shithole in the first place.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Glitch, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    For all the whiners and uninformed....

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/?? Since no one can remember anything for more than 2 days, that site has every promise he made while campaigning. That is all.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    The mortgage crisis started long before 2006, the stage was set, now we are seeing it unfold.

    For the Dems out there, democrats controlled the purse strings for the past two years, so why do you blame GWB for overspending? He got his war, you got your pork. You traded the war for your spending.

    For the repubs, you say you are for fiscal restraint, yet you blew up the budget. You moved so far away from what republicans should be that you really shouldn't be called republicans anymore.

    Obama? He is toast. Once things heat up in Afghanistan, things will get interesting. The people who supported him will realize that we will still be fighting wars, just in different places. Then they will abandon him as well, unless of course, we decide that we will accept Sharia law like Pakistan does. Who says women need to be educated.

    I almost wonder if Hillary saw what was coming and decided not to win, cause she knew that who ever was in office would get creamed.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Xiera, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    Finally an objective view on matters? (Or maybe I just agree with AC.)

    Yes, the mortgage (and credit!) crisis has been a long time coming. Yes, Dems controlled Congress for the final two years of Bush's presidency. Yes, many Repubs violated their fiscal conservativism during Bush's presidency.

    Finally someone who is seeing beyond party lines and realising that there are people in both parties who are screwing up and that there are people in both parties who are doing, or at least trying to do, the correct thing.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re:

    "Yes, many Repubs violated their fiscal conservativism during Bush's presidency"

    there is no such thing as "fiscal conservativism" and there never really was (conservatism of course is just a marketing term anyway, it has no real meaning in politics and at least since the late 60s never really has). Take a look at the history of washington spending and you will notice something, Republican administrations spend ALOT MORE then democratic ones do (from Nixon on I am talking about since the "conservative movement of Buckly-Goldwater"). Bush was not an anomoly in that, it was true of Nixon, Reagan and Bush1, all huge spenders. The ONLY fiscally responisble president we have had in my lifetime (im in my late 30s) was Bill Clinton. Dont believe me, look for yourself.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    "For the Dems out there, democrats controlled the purse strings for the past two years, so why do you blame GWB for overspending? He got his war, you got your pork. You traded the war for your spending."

    LOL this one is kinda funny since the overspending of the past 6 or 7 years has really revolved around rediculous tax policy (Bush tax cuts) and the war (which we were told would be free by the way LOL). Which one of those did the democrats trade for? I dont say they are innocent, but the democrats as a whole are largely at fault more in inaction then in any real direct action.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Stimulus...er um Socialist bill...

    The "free market" is neither free nor even a market.

    American businesses talk about freedom from government involvement when it suits them. Then they beg Congress for money.

    A bigger issue is that they don't even won't a market. Every business seems to attempt to grow to a point that they no longer have to compete.

    We read posts on this site everyday about competition forcing innovation. Yet, we have many businesses in the US that would rather follow the RIAA's model than enter a market. Much less a free one.

    The issue of copyright/patent reform is symbolic of a larger problem. Large businesses are rarely nimble enough to compete. They have to be pruned before they can grow.

    This stimulus package is an attempt to avoid the pruning, and if you think it's a partisan problem from either side, then you are part of the problem.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Casey, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    All you hear is this 8 years BS... the liberals have been in control of congress for the last 2 years (And really longer than that.)

    180 Billion last Spring - Failed
    345 Billion last summer - Failed
    700 Billion bailout just 4 months ago - Failed.

    Obviously the solution is to throw another Trillion dollars at it. It's worked so well in the past.

    Doing nothing and letting the markets correct themselves couldn't possibly be the answer. We need to use time tested Democrat strategies of throwing gobs of money at the problem.

    The bill is 90% pork. Paying back the likes of Acorn, Socialists, Radical anti-war and environmental groups for getting Obama elected.

    Obama has a good 2 year at least of doing absolutely anything he wants to do, before he needs to start pandering to change the taste in our mouth. Look at 9/11. It took about 2 years for us to start forgetting and stop supporting actually going after terrorists in other countries. Thats our attention spans. Unless Obama declares himself our dictator by the next election we have 2 years of this crazy spending before he'll care.

    No one that voted for him can complain about this. Increasing the size of government and our debt to other nations is what he campaigned on openly for the last 2 years. You voted for this.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re:

    And conservatism is a sexually transmitted disease, like AIDS. See posts by Scott A Wilhelmi. His crotch-rot has affected his tongue and his writing.

    I have to go take a shower after reading this shit. I think the republicans should go found their own country, and so should the democrats. Then you can go to war with each other, and the rest of us will be rid of both of you.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    JerseyJoe, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:20pm

    Who was responsibe for this mess

    Take a look at the chart here. It's pretty self evident who the big spenders are. Look who's in charge when the deficit takes a jump:

    http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    nasch, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re: We live in a Republic, not a Democracy

    I'm sorry, was somebody suggesting overhauling our Constitution to enact a direct democracy? No? Then why build the strawman?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    I case you missed it, JerseyJoe posted a link that puts a big dent in your argument:

    http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

    [Since 1946]... for every dollar a Democratic president has raised the national debt in the past 63 years Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.84

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    The national debt went up under Clinton? But wait, what happened to his surplus that he gave GWB? How could the debt go up if there was such a surplus?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Phillip, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 7:05am

    Re:

    It's always hilarious when i see comments like this: all this bitching about the transparency is completely asinine. What kind of transparency was there in ANY of the last administrations?" So basically: It's okay that Obama doesn't have any transparency, despite promising it, because the Bush administration did too. Also, the Bush administration is terrible for having no transparency. Two words come to mind when I see this argument: Blinding bias.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    J smoove, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: People must have no memory

    1.) Congress writes the bills... we've been so brainwashed under G.W. Bush people have forgotten basic 7th grade civics.

    2.) The problems with Obama's cabinet have been relatively minor compared to hacks like Kerik (Homeland nominee under Bush). If the standard is Daschle and Geithner and the Other woman for taxes -- McCain would not have made it into Obama's cabinet (the property taxes on a beach front condo) nor Palin (taxes on her per diems just paid last week).

    So, that's B.S. Partisan "outrage"

    3.) The stimulus -- evidently you didn't listen to Obama all of last year about the stimulus package --- no surprise there this was a huge campaign promise.

    4.) Transparency and checks and balances -- congress writes bills -- Obama could try to push through his own writing -- but that usurps congress' role. The whistle blower provisions WERE STRIPPED BY THE REPUBLICANS in the Senate.

    5.) Go get better information before you complain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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