Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:58 am

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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:02 am

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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:19 am

China Demands End Of US Navy Surveillance

The President is being tested. How will he respond?
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:11 am

Shapley wrote:China Demands End Of US Navy Surveillance

The President is being tested. How will he respond?


Not so much I hope.

Ms. Clinton had a meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister and reportedly forcefully" presented the US position on the naval standoff. I'm rather ambivalent at this point. Confrontations have been going on between the U.S. and China for a long time.

You'll recall that early in the Bush Presidency a collision between a U.S. Navy spy plane and a Chinese fighter forced the Navy plane to land on Hainan where the crew was taken into custody. Initially there was some saber rattling but the Bush Administration wrote the "Letter of the two sorries” that led to the release of the U.S. crew from Chinese custody, as well as the eventual return of the disassembled plane.

The letter stated that the United States was "very sorry" for the death of Chinese pilot Wang Wei, and "We are very sorry the entering of China's airspace and the landing did not have verbal clearance, yada yada.
The U.S. even paid China for the room and board for the aircrew while they were “guests” of the Chinese.

According to Wikipedia Wang was well known to the aircrews for daring aerial manuvers including flying close enough on one occasion that the navy crewmembers could read his email address held up in the cockpit.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby jamiebk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:30 am

personally, I hope our Navy guys punch a hole in one of their ships.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:42 am

jamiebk wrote:personally, I hope our Navy guys punch a hole in one of their ships.


Did you see the photos of the Chinese "harassers"? Frankly, they were so small in comparison with the Navy boat that a "punch" would have reduced them to splinters. When I first heard the Navy used a fire hose I had this mental image of two Navel vessels having a water gun fight. After I saw the size of the Chinese boats I could understand that a fire hose was probably as potentially deadly as a canon for those motorized rowboats.

You have to wonder if the captain of the Impeccable (strange name, no?} wasn’t a little embarrassed to report this incident.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby jamiebk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:57 am

Haggis@wk wrote:
jamiebk wrote:personally, I hope our Navy guys punch a hole in one of their ships.


Did you see the photos of the Chinese "harassers"? Frankly, they were so small in comparison with the Navy boat that a "punch" would have reduced them to splinters. When I first heard the Navy used a fire hose I had this mental image of two Navel vessels having a water gun fight. After I saw the size of the Chinese boats I could understand that a fire hose was probably as potentially deadly as a canon for those motorized rowboats.

You have to wonder if the captain of the Impeccable (strange name, no?} wasn’t a little embarrassed to report this incident.


I had no idea that they were that small. Then again, look at what a small rubber boat did to the USS Cole
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:23 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:When I first heard the Navy used a fire hose I had this mental image of two Navel vessels having a water gun fight. After I saw the size of the Chinese boats I could understand that a fire hose was probably as potentially deadly as a canon for those motorized rowboats.


You may recall the movie The Sand Pebbles in which the gunboat San Pablo uses the same weaponry against a blockade of Chinese boats. Water hoses are a non-lethal form of weaponry suitable to keep small craft at bay. The Impeccable carries no heavy armament, though I'm sure some small arms are on board. It is really neither a warship nor a spy ship, just a merchant ship in Navy clothing.

I suspect the Chinese intentionally used expendible vessels for this venture, and sought to avoid the type of international incident that would have resulted from the use of Chinese Naval Vessels (though the vessels are owned by the Chinese government). They're playing their cards carefully, and I believe this is more about testing the character of the new President than is about the activities of the Impeccable. The Chinese claim dominion over that part of the South China Sea that lies between Mainland China and Formosa (Taiwan), over which they also claim dominion. They are attempting to enforce that claim, to see whether President Obama will waver in support of traditional US policy on the laws of the sea.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:38 pm

Minor quibble Shapley, the USNS Impeccable is an "Ocean Surveillance Ship" that was towing a sonar array when confronted. The difference between a "spy ship" and an "Ocean Surveillance Ship" is probably moot.

I do agree that China's testing us, but I'm not so sure this is a matter for the president to get involved. The U.S. has purposely sailed into waters the Chinese claim as their own since the 50's. We routinely send a task force through the Formosa Strait simply because the Chinese claim it is sovereign water.

The main difference now is that the Chinese are starting to build a navy that they think will be in a position to challenge ours, especially in attack subs.

It is rumored that's why the Impeccable was there; gathering info on the sub base on Hainan.

This is a situation that can only be elevated by the Chinese. Our Navy's staying in waters clearly defined as international by the rest of the world. If the Chinese want to embarrass the president then these types of incidents will increase. If not, then this was probably a "one off."
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:51 pm

I don't think it is a coincidence that it happened in the first two months of President Obama's term.

When I was in the Navy, we did the same thing with Russia, er, the Soviet Union. They claimed a 25 or 50 mile territorial limit, whereas we have always recognized the traditional 6 mile limit (dating back, I believe, the to they days of wooden ships, when 6 miles the longest cannon range available). We sailed the Carl Vinson to within 12 miles of Vladivostock Harbour, and our destroyers went further in, pushing our claims. This, of course, was under the authority of Ronaldus Maximums.

Now we have a new President, and the Chinese want to see how firm our resolve is under the new authority. If he wavers, there will be more 'incidents', if not, the matter will likely rest for the time being.

The difference between an ocean surveillance ship and a spy ship is in the open nature of the surveillance. There was no effort to hide the nature of the Impeccable's business there. Monitoring ocean traffic, whether surface or submerged, is a legitimate business. The fact that this was done in an area that would be along the route of subs entering and leaving the base at Hainan does not change the lawfulness of the activity.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:42 pm

Credit where it’s due. Apparently, the Obama White House is none too pleased with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s referring to the United States as a "deadbeat" nation for being behind on its U.N. dues.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded in the daily briefing today: "I would note for the Secretary-General that his word choice was unfortunate, given the fact that the American taxpayer is the largest contributor to the United Nations."

"Given the contribution that the American taxpayer makes," Gibbs said, it "would be appropriate to acknowledge that role."

The exchange brought back fond memories of the late Jesse Helms, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman’s visit to the U.N. in 2000, where he became the first legislator of any nation ever to address the world body.
Sitting in the United States seat at the Security Council table, Helms declared:

The American people … have grown increasingly frustrated with what they feel is a lack of gratitude. Now I won’t delve into every point of frustration, but let’s touch for just a moment on one – the "deadbeat" charge. … Last year, the American people contributed a total of more than $1.4 billion dollars to the U.N. system in assessments and voluntary contributions. The American taxpayers also spent an additional $8,779,000,000 from the United States’ military budget to support various U.N. resolutions and peacekeeping operations around the world. Let me repeat that figure: $8,779,000,000. That means that last year (1999) alone the American people have furnished precisely $10,179,000,000 to support the work of the United Nations. No other nation on earth comes even close to matching that singular investment. So you can see why many Americans reject the suggestion that theirs is a ‘deadbeat’ nation.


So, kudos to the Obama Administration.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:00 am

Obama Declares Economy "Not As Bad As We Think"

Which is what I've been saying for months. Welcome aboard, Mr. President.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:43 pm

Shapley wrote:Obama Declares Economy "Not As Bad As We Think"

Which is what I've been saying for months. Welcome aboard, Mr. President.


Recessions are a characterization of the performance of the economy, and as recessions go, this one is not terrible. IIRC, there was one worse in the Reagan era. What was worrisome about these events was companies like Bear Stearns and Lehman collapsing, as they served as clearing firms for the markets. Without clearing firms, markets collapse, and so on. The market system did need stabilization. a similar but different argument might be made for banks. But then you've got General Motors and Chrysler jumping on the fear bandwagon, too.

My thinking is we need markets, but not necessarily companies like those two. How viable could they be with even more billions? Here's an opinion of Britisher Jeremy Clarkson on American cars:

... made from the same cellophane they use to wrap cigarette packets, a sense it’s been nailed together by apes, the finesse of a charging rhinoceros


...and I get the feeling Detroit doesn't understand its market.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:18 pm

AIG, in particular. Through AIG and, to a smaller degree, other entitied, banks abrogated their liquidity obligations by insuring the liquidity they otherwise would have had to maintain. Apparently, it was legal. Also apparently, it wasn't smart. AIG miscalculated the risk, and lacked the capital to cover the losses, when they materialized. As AIG collapsed, the banks that insured their liquidity followed. Traditional, conservative banking practices would have prevented much of the turmoil, but the banks just couldnt' stand having all that capital sitting around not working.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:21 pm

Obama's Polling Numbers Falling To Earth

His approval rating is still high, but his disapproval rating is climbing. Apparently, you either love him or hate him, there's not a lot of in-between.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:02 pm

Shapley wrote:Obama's Polling Numbers Falling To Earth

His approval rating is still high, but his disapproval rating is climbing. Apparently, you either love him or hate him, there's not a lot of in-between.


Me in-between
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Shapley wrote:AIG, in particular


Hank Greenberg's 3-D insurance company: Delay, Deny, Don't Pay.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:29 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:Me in-between


I monitor polling report. The display a number of polls. The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has shown that, since inauguration day, his job approval ratings have dropped slightly, from 68% to 62%, but his disapproval ratings have risen steadily, from 12% to 27%. His favourability ratings have followed a similar trend.

I would suspect that many 'in-betweens' have now decided they've given him enough of a chance to prove himself, and are dissatisfied with his progress. From his posts, I would suspect that Barfle is one of these.
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby jamiebk » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:04 am

This poll suggests that a high majority favore Obama's policies: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29493093/
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Re: Is Barack Obama the right leader for America?

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:18 am

jamiebk wrote:This poll suggests that a high majority favore Obama's policies: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29493093/


Not really. It shows the majority favour his 'performance' as President. It did not ask about policy.
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