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And if gold falls, you can always eat the chocloate inside of it. :beer:


Meanwhile, back at the ranch






Democrats doubt Barack Obama's reelection chances



President Barack Obama is facing mounting doubts within his own party about his re-election prospects, with fellow Democrats beginning to ask if Hillary Clinton would have made a better president.



Mr Obama's capitulation to Republicans in the recent tussle over deficit reduction is being seen as the lowest point of his presidency and the latest in a series of blows to the liberal agenda.


Faced with the staunch opposition of the Tea Party contingent of the Republican Party, he agreed to widespread cuts in government spending without winning any revenue increases in exchange.


Finding it hard to defend his often listless and repetitive performances, Democratic strategists and commentators are privately agreeing with Republicans and comparing Mr Obama to Jimmy Carter, another Democrat who remains the post-war benchmark for a failed president.


"He is a do-gooder at heart," said Morris Reid, a Washington consultant and former Clinton official. "He thinks everyone has the same agenda to do the right thing, but other people don't have the same agenda. Their agenda is to score points and get their party re-elected.


"This is the downside of him not being terribly political like Bill Clinton was. Bill Clinton woke up every day relishing this kind of fight, and Hillary is just a tougher person. The Clintons are much more combative, they are always ready to go to Defcon 1 ('war is imminent' state)."


Mr Reid added that the president remained a formidable campaigner and fund-raiser and should not be ruled out of the fight in 2012. But he said some Democrats were feeling "buyer's remorse" for selecting the president in his epic battle with Mrs Clinton for the 2008 Democratic nomination.


"The notion everyone is talking about is 'is he Jimmy Carter or will he be a one-term president'," he said.


Gary Pearce, a Democratic strategist in North Carolina, a swing state Mr Obama is likely to struggle to retain in 2012, said: "Democrats are worried. He looks weak, he doesn't say anything that grabs you, and people are looking for some kind of magic."


He said some activists were asking "do we need someone tougher to fight the tea party?" "You see a yearning for a Bill Clinton-type approach and Hillary would reflect that. Obama is just a different political animal, he is a low-key guy," he added.


Mr Obama's approval rating has fallen dramatically since the killing of Osama bin Laden in early May, and he has failed to outline a vision for how he will improve chronic unemployment and a housing market in which one if five mortgage holders are in negative equity.


A 2012 primary challenge by Mrs Clinton is currently regarded as unlikely, but growing number of party activists and old hands are hoping that she changes her mind.


On his nightly television show, liberal host Bill Maher dismissed Mr Obama as a Republican, and asked his panel if Mrs Clinton would have made a better president.


"Yes," replied astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, an African American astrophysicist and broadcaster, adding that the Secretary of State would have been "a more effective negotiator in the halls of Congress".


An article in the New York Times by Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University and a specialist in political messaging, summarised the dismay at Mr Obama's performance and was rapidly circulated online by liberals.


"Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president," he wrote.



The Telegraph

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Am I disappointed in Obama? Yes. Has he been terrible? No. My guess is the economy would have been just as bad for worse if McCain/Palin had won. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have been reduced by as much as it has and possible increased and that would have put a lot of pressure on an already fragile economy.


I have lost total faith in the Republican party and lost a lot of faith in the Democratic party which sums up my view of both parties.


I am also soooo over the conquer and divide tactics of the Republican party. Some Dems do it too. But it seems all the major Republicans seem to pit some Americans against another. Some of us are either not American enough, not patriotic enough, too lazy, etc. I don't get the impression they want to be President for ALL Americans only some. Now, some Dems want to coddle all Americans and some have a hard on against corporations, etc. but by and large not for their fellow citizens. The social conservatism stuff scares the living daylights out of me. Again, I'm a Christian. A saved one. I still go to church when I can. I don't like religion in my politics. A few issues aren't based on anything but religion. Gay marriage when you cut out everything is really a religious issue. Don't get me wrong, I'm uncomfortable with it but its from a cultural/religious base that my discomfort comes from. I try to be honest about my issues.


Just so much BS nowadays. When a conservative can't get a job, its the government's fault for not creating jobs. When the poor can't, they're lazy. I have tons of conservative friends who can't find gainful employment and are on long term unemployment checks. What is the difference between being on unemployment for over a year and being on welfare over a year? Don't get me wrong, I have serious problems with social welfare, always have. But corporate welfare is accepted and social isn't and its hypocritical.


Oh, see you all got me started. I need to stay off here while I'm holidaying here in LOS. I have to go book my flight to Chiang Mai to see a friend. Say good bye to Pattaya for a day or so and maybe stop by BKK for a day or so on the way back. Stop watching the debates and reading this stuff while I'm here. Arghhhh!

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How can you be on unemployment for a year? I thought the limit was 6 months, plus you had to have worked before to even qualify for it. You paid in money, as did your employer. It's not welfare, any more than Social Security is.


But otherwise, I agree with you. Still, a lot of Dem politicians seem to have a paternalistic view towards the rest of us. "We know what is good for you, and we're going to do it for you whether you like it or not!"


p.s. Best thing about living abroad is that you can watch American politics if you like or ignore it. It's not shoved in your face every day. Enjoy your holiday! :beer:

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Unemployment benefits were at 99 months for awhile with federal extensions, just google '99ers.' Though those were cut and (I believe) it's back at 6 months.


Haha, I'm like Steve -- when in LOS for a few weeks I may logon once or twice to contact people (hey Flash, I want to go to the redshirt camp, serious... ), otherwise too busy running around. Logon much more frequently here.


By biggest beef with the Republicans is also the social conservatives and their growing influence. Dubya courting the religious right might have got him elected, but it also created a monster. Last thing I want is to see the government hijacked by evangelicals.


That said, I don't think HH is completely off in his criticism. As soon as I saw the first budget passed under Obama, in which he let congress do what they want and it was an expansive web of pork and garbage --> I knew there was something amiss. I'm glad Rahm is gone, the guy was a twit.


I like Obama, but he's surrounded himself with people that seem to be strong on theory and weak on application. Bush's invasion of countries started a horrible vacuum in the economy, but he's done little to make it better. I honestly think he's in over his head.


Kamui - a lot of people are stating that the wild swings in the market are literally being caused by greedy traders, and it's just that simple. People thought France was going to be downgraded and they saw profit by taking certain actions. Some people actually want that to happen as they'll make money off of it.


The other thing is, I never seen cynicism so thick when it comes to the future. Maybe the wall street bailout was necessary, but now people are just saying 'fuck it, I've worked all my life and my home just lost half of its value, while these greedy cocksuckers continue on unimpeded, I'm going to get what I can.'

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