Post 04-17-2014, 05:03 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Getting Health Insurance With New Obamacare Exchanges

President Obama just announced that more than 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance, far exceeding the goal of 7 million individuals signing up for coverage.

We also have concrete numbers that show us the young and healthy are indeed signing up for health insurance. Thirty-five percent of those enrolled are under the age of thirty-five.

The President chastised Republicans for their laser like focus on repealing his signature legislative accomplishment and suggested that they were just going through the "stages of grief" for their inability to derail the law.
Post 04-17-2014, 04:32 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Breaking News From CNN!

Zach F Wrote: The Titanic Sunk 102 years ago tonight.

Seriously. You heard it on CNN first! The crown jewel of the White Star Line has fell to the ocean floor....102 years ago. It had the "BREAKING NEWS" tag and everything. You're welcome.
CNN's nosedive into incompetence is emblematic of a much larger issue materializing before our very eyes. The fourth estate has morphed itself into an entertainment business whose sole focus is daily and weekly ratings by the Nielsen Company. The rise of 24/7 channels coupled with the American public's complete disengagement from anything outside of their own bubble has brought us to where we are now.

The Unfortunate thing is that CNN is only following the lead of all the other 'news' channels out there who have thrown actual reporting completely out the window. It's really sad if you understand what Ted Turner's vision for CNN was and what his channel and so many others have become.
Post 04-17-2014, 04:07 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Russia's Reawakening and the Return of Cold War Politics

It looks like diplomacy may have a chance, at least for the time being, after Western powers and Russia agreed to a deal geared towards easing the rising tensions in Ukraine.

Russia has agreed to help ensure that armed groups who have been occupying government buildings in western Ukraine will lay down their weapons and withdraw from the buildings and the West has agreed to not move forward with another round of sanctions against Russia as long as they live up to their end of the bargain.

Secretary Kerry expressed hope that Russia will follow through on their commitment and made clear that the Obama Administration and the European Union expect President Putin and Russia to get control over the pro-Russian protests in eastern Ukraine. The agreement that all parties signed on to also provides amnesty to protesters who accept the deal, except those found guilty of capital crimes, and includes a mandate to ensure Ukraine's new constitution is "inclusive, transparent and accountable."

Has anyone been following today's developments? Do you think this is a good step back away from the brink of war or is Russia just buying time until the West stops paying attention?
Post 04-16-2014, 10:00 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: ..."I don't think this was a useless war"... is a funny way of saying that we weren't going to avoid conflict after 9/11. Those mean two different things.
You are correct. That doesn't really make much sense at all. Thanks for pointing that out.

I should have stated: "I believe this was a justified conflict, but feel that it morphed into a quagmire that we as a country couldn't wrap our heads around."
Post 04-16-2014, 04:58 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Russia's Reawakening and the Return of Cold War Politics

The first formal talks between Russia and the Ukraine are set to take place in Geneva tomorrow.

After watching this conflict materialize over the past few months, I have to say that I think these talks will produce nothing more than an opportunity for the Ukraine to publicly shame Russia and give Russia the opportunity to say it tried to solve things peacefully and use all avenues available to them before invading another chunk of the Ukraine. It should be quite a spectacle for all the avid viewers of C-Span.

The problem boils down to this: The EU and USA will not risk war with Russia over the Ukraine. Call it weakness or anything else you wish, but no one in their right mind would risk all out war with Russia over one of their former Soviet states.

Is anyone planning on following the talks tomorrow? If so, do you think that they will produce anything positive or are they destined to fail before they even start?
Post 04-16-2014, 04:11 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: When you say that ..."I don't think this was a useless war"... Why? What good, positive, lasting changes have we accomplished? Just list a few for me and maybe I will change my way of thinking. We made Karzai rich and corrupt which he probably was before we got there. We built some schools and roads and bridges for the Taliban to blow up. We killed a bunch of bad guys, only to see them replaced by even more bad guys.
We had planes fly into two skyscrapers and our Pentagon. Do you honestly think that we were going to do nothing? When I say "I don't think this was a useless war" I mean there was no way we could have avoided a conflict after 9/11. The American people were calling for blood and vengeance. No one wanted to take time and think about what we were getting ourselves into.

Now, we can get into a debate about how the war was conducted, which is a debate I feel you and I would find we agree on just about everything. But the idea that we could have avoided going to war doesn't take reality into account. Our country was calling for blood and we needed to attack someone. It's not like we could have attacked Saudi Arabia, the country that was most responsible for 9/11, so we had to go after the easiest target. The war was an utter failure and I agree that there are no good, positive, or lasting changes that we have accomplished.

In the same breath, I don't blame Obama for each and every thing that has gone wrong regarding this conflict. I blame everyone from George Bush, the Congress from 2001 to now, the military industrial complex that always needs a war to fight, AND President Obama. There's enough blame to go around for everyone. To say that President Obama is solely to blame for Afghanistan's ills is just not correct.

jamesn Wrote: What else have you got?

This country was a quagmire before we got there, is a quagmire now, and will be a quagmire when we leave. Did we not learn anything from Russian involvement there? The Taliban is already taking over and the day our last guy leaves they will own it all. It's a fourth world stone-age shithole and I say let them have it. We have wasted far too many lives and too much money there already.
The problem with your statement about the Russian defeat in Afghanistan is your glossing over the fact that America is wholly responsible for this defeat. We are also wholly responsible for the creation of the Taliban, whose origins can be traced back to the mujahideen fighters that America trained and armed to the teeth. We should have listened to Charlie Wilson back in the 1990's after the Soviet Union collapsed and pulled out of Afghanistan. Instead of stepping up and helping Afghanistan, we pulled out and left them to fend for themselves. The biggest irony in this entire conflict is that we are now fighting a group of individuals we are responsible for creating.
Post 04-16-2014, 11:51 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared you say ..."I'm lamenting the fact that we no longer fight wars the way we are supposed to"... I agree.

Then why haven't you been leading the charge against the war in Afghanistan? Speak out, man!

Step up! Say the right thing!

President Obama is better than President Bush or President McCain, but why oh why do his supporters just go along with this useless war that he decided to make bigger, bloodier, and more wasteful? Never speak out against his mistakes? Why? What sense does THAT make?

I HATE the war in Afghanistan and am not afraid to speak out against it. Too many of his supporters seem to be afraid to speak out about anything this president does.

President Obama screwed up! This war is a disaster! I said it and now how many die hard Obama supporters on this forum will admit it?

I'm guessing not very many.
We have been steadily withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan since 2011 and are set to have all combat troops out by the end of this year.

I don't think that this was a useless war, but I do feel that it turned out to be a quagmire that we as a country couldn't wrap our heads around. That is for various reasons, but mainly because we asked less than one percent of our country to sacrifice for this war while asking the other 99 percent of the country to continue living their lives and be patriotic by shopping and going on family vacations. "Get down to Disney World in Florida," Bush said two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. "Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed." I wonder what he had against Disney Land in California or the multiple Six Flags theme parks throughout the country. Maybe they aren't patriotic enough.

That foretold how we would fight these conflicts. A limited amount of Americans making the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of the country who are fulfilling their war time duties by going on a family vacation to Orlando, Florida. What a courageous and patriotic thing for our Commander-in-chief to say.

When it comes to President Obama, I can't help but ask what more you want from him. We are out of Iraq, which fulfilled a promise he made to the American people before he was first elected. He caught a lot of flack about that because the country has basically descended into chaos and is light years away from being the free democracy that we promised her citizens when we invaded them. All we have to show for our sacrifice in Iraq is manufacturing the power change from a Sunni ruling class to a Shia ruling class. What a wise investment of a trillion dollars on the American credit card and thousands of American lives.

America is also winding down our involvement in Afghanistan. We must remind ourselves that Obama ran on a platform in 2008 telling us exactly what he would do in Afghanistan. He was calling for more troops and a heavier presence in Afghanistan throughout the 08' election and we resoundingly elected him as our President. Did you expect him to not double down on the war? I'm not saying I agree with it, but I am stating the obvious fact that he did exactly what he told us he would do before he was elected in 2008.


Post 04-15-2014, 09:26 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared don't feel left out, you are wrong, too.

..."We as a country have technically been at at peace since the end of WWII"...? Seriously? Technically? That is a useless term to people fighting and dying, and their family members. Korea doesn't count? Vietnam? And the other "conflicts"? Do the surviving family members of the tens of thousands killed and wounded in those "CONFLICTS" alone not count. Do THEY think their loved ones did not die in a war?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck,...it's a duck. These were wars, no matter what our brainless, compassionless, clueless, useless, corrupt, defenseless politicians call them. Hundreds of thousands servicemembers deployed, tens of thousands killed, hundeds of thousands wounded...what else would you call it?

What would be the word...if not war? Conflict? Police action? Dispute? Argument? Spat? Disagreement?

What other word is there to describe tens of thousands dying for their country?

This thing in Afghanistan is WAR. There is no other word.
We are a constitutional democracy, Jamesn. I read and follow what our constitution mandates. It is not a useless piece of paper to those who want us to go back to fighting wars the way our constitution instructs us to. I'm not writing off the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have been killed in our foreign engagements. I'm lamenting the fact that we no longer fight wars the way we are supposed to. I believe that we would find ourselves in far fewer foreign engagements if we actually followed our constitution.
Post 04-15-2014, 04:09 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared I believe you are incorrect when you say ..."we need to reevaluate spending 19 percent of our budget on military expenditures during a time of peace"...

I can agree with you that we need to reevaluate our spending on the military, but why do you say ..."during a time of peace"...?

We SHOULD be at peace.

We COULD be at peace.

But, the fact is we are still at war thanks to President Obama.

It is true that we are supposedly winding down the war in Afghanistan (five years too late), and in March there were no servicemen/women killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan and that is a great thing. But for 133 months in a row before March, servicemen/women WERE killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. So, yes, we are still at war. After 133 months in a row of killings, one month in a row of no killings does not equal peace. Sorry, I am not buying that.

THANKS President Obama! Thanks from all those who love war and waste and needless killing.
I think you may have misread what I said, or I didn't state my argument clearly enough. I'm using the literal definition of peace when it comes to fighting wars. I'm not, nor have I ever, suggested that we do not have soldiers fighting and dying right now.

We as a country have technically been at peace since the end of World War II. The United States Congress, the legislative body that is Constitutionally obligated to declare war, has not made one declaration of war since World War II: December 8, 1941 (Japan), December 11, 1941 (Germany and Italy), and June 5, 1942 (Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania). We have had multiple military engagements since then, but not one declared war. So when I use "time of peace" I'm saying it based off my understanding of how our Constitutional structure is intended to work.

Once we get over the verbiage misunderstanding, I feel that you may understand my thinking more if you reread what I wrote. I fully agree with you that we need to dramatically cut military spending, as I stated in my earlier reply. I also stated that it's insane for our country to continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars fighting an ideology. We will never 'defeat' an ideology, no matter how many trillions of dollars we throw at it.
Post 04-15-2014, 11:49 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Blood Moon to Light up Tonight's Sky

What did everyone think of the show early this morning? I'm posting a couple of links below for those of you who missed it and want to be able to check it out.

HERE is a time lapse video the eclipse.

HERE is a much longer raw video of the eclipse
Post 04-15-2014, 11:12 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

Here's a broad breakdown for fiscal year 2013:

Expenditures: $3.5 trillion (21 Percent of GDP)
Tax Revenues: $2.8 trillion

Defense and International Security Assistance: 19 Percent
Social Security: 24 Percent
Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP: 22 Percent
Safety Net Programs (Not Social Security, Medicaid, Medicaid, and CHIP): 12 Percent
Benefits for Federal Retirees and Veterans: 8 Percent
Transportation and Infrastructure: 3 Percent
Education: 1 Percent
Science and Medical Research: 2 Percent
Non-Security International Assistance: 1 Percent
Other: 2 Percent
Interest on National Debt: 6 Percent

Source: (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

I agree with you Schmidt. We do need a far more fair tax system. A few little tweaks to it can have a lasting impact. I also believe that we need to reevaluate spending 19 percent of our budget on military expenditures during a time of peace. People can always throw out the word 'terrorism' but if we continue to spend the amount of money we do to combat an ideology then we will spend and bomb ourselves into bankruptcy.

We also need to take a long hard look at the bottom part of these numbers. One percent on education. Three percent on something as important as making sure our highway's and bridges are safe. Two percent on Science and research. How did our national priorities get so out of whack? While it's frustrating, I'm not suggesting that I'm just ready to give up. It hasn't always been this way and we can change it if we demand it as a citizenry. My only worry is that we will have another lone wolf terrorist do something and the population will demand even more money spent defending something that is impossible to defend against.
Post 04-14-2014, 03:48 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Boston Marathon: One Year After the Bombing

April 15th marks the one year anniversary of the bombing that rocked the Boston Marathon and brought about one of the biggest manhunts this country has seen in a very long time. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two permanent residents from the former U.S.S.R., have been accused of the bombings. Tamerlan later died in a police shootout while Dzhokhar is still awaiting trial.

The manhunt and subsequent capture of Dzhokhar elicited a strong reaction from various groups of people. Some people were glad that the suspects were caught quickly while others looked at the ever increasing role of a militarized police with a big sense of trepidation. I admit that I'm one that falls in the middle of these two categories. I am glad that the suspects were caught, but also watched with alarm as armored vehicles and police dressed up like military personnel shut down an entire city for days.

This years marathon is already being billed as one of the tightest security operations the city has ever seen with 3,500 police officers and an untold number of undercover officers to be stationed along the 26.2 mile route. Patrons are being asked to carry their belongings in clear plastic bags and have been informed that anyone who has a bulky bag will be subject to a search. While it is understandable that Boston desperately wants to avoid a repeat of last year, I worry if we as a citizenry are becoming more and more willing to completely ignore our 4th Amendment rights in the name of combating terrorism. It is impossible to stop every single lone wolf who is intent on carrying out their act of terrorism. We as a citizenry will eventually have to come to terms with this fact.

My hope is that this years marathon goes off without a hitch. I hope all runners and spectators alike have a wonderful time and show any person who wishes America ill will that we can overcome a lunatic that has a vendetta against our Government and decides to take it out on innocent civilians. I wish all the runners well and may the fastest man and woman win.
Post 04-14-2014, 11:32 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Blood Moon to Light up Tonight's Sky

Tonight is one of those nights that makes me glad I'm a night owl because I will have the opportunity to witness a total lunar eclipse turn the moon a beautiful shade of red. This "Blood Moon" will be the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses and are unique because there will be no intervening partial lunar eclipses in between them.

While this is something that that be easily explained by science--the Earth is positioned precisely between the sun and a full moon--many on the religious right insist this is yet another sign of the end times. They say the fact there are no intervening partial lunar eclipses during the series of blood moons shows proves their theory correct this time. I almost feel bad for them. What will they do when the fourth and final eclipse materializes and the world is still spinning?

Is anyone going to stay up late, or wake up early, to watch the lunar eclipse? It will begin at 12:53 am and the total eclipse will last from 3:06 to 4:24 a.m EST.
Post 04-13-2014, 12:29 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Nevada land grab and stand-off

jamesn Wrote: Guys in brown shirts, using snarling attack dogs, weapons pulled and aimed at local people... Yes, that would be enough to cause those unfair and unjustified comparisons to be made.
They are officers of the law. What are they supposed to wear? The BLM Office of Law Enforcement & Security is a Federal Law enforcement agency and they have every legal right to carry weapons. You do realize that they were facing down a "militia" that was also armed, right? Ten second video clips, while a good propaganda tool, do not tell the full story.

jamesn Wrote: And if this was the Bush administration that was using these storm-trooper type tactics, you can bet that the the rather unintelligent Democratic base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue...they'd be doing the same thing and we all know it. Anything for a good sound bite or video clip to support their side of the argument.
I don't know if I agree with your assumption. I think most liberals understand that the Federal Government has the right to enforce the rule of law on land that is designated for the people of this country. Republican Administration's have commanded authority over Federally recognized lands countless times, so to suggest that this is something new is inaccurate.

It is vitally important to understand that we are a nation of laws. The BLM is a branch of the Department of the Interior and was created by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. They have the authority to administer the public land and regulate how the land is used. They also have the legal authority to determine how many cattle a certain rancher can graze on said land.

The land in question in this drama is Federal, aka "The People's," Land. This is not disputed land that is going through court proceedings. Just because an old guy thinks he has a right to it doesn't make it so. Numerous court rulings have gone against him and ruled that the cattle are "in trespass." Just because an angry old man thinks that something belongs to him doesn't mean that it legally does in the eyes of the law. So once again--he just want's his fifteen seconds of fame. He has no legal leg to stand on and counts on our woefully ignorant press and right wing politicians to rally to his cause.
Post 04-12-2014, 09:48 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1971
Thread: Nevada land grab and stand-off

Fifteen minutes of fame is a figure of speech. This has not been in the news for the past twenty years, unless I've been missing something here.

Would you agree that the Nazi comparison is just a bit hyperbolic? The Nazi's rounded up millions of people and systematically slaughtered them. The last I saw, the Federal Government was not rounding up these ranchers and putting them in concentration camps.

I agree that this is more than enough fodder for the rather unintelligent Republican base that has no idea what they are angry about when it comes to this issue, but when has that ever stopped them before?
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