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Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Progress' On Climate Change 583

astroengine writes "President Barack Obama called for 'meaningful progress' on tackling climate change in his State of the Union speech in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. While acknowledging that 'no single event makes a trend,' the President noted that the United States had been buffeted by extreme weather events that in many cases encapsulated the predictions of climate scientists. 'But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it's too late,' Obama added." Other significant statements from Obama's speech: 34,000 troops coming back from Afghanistan over the next year; new gun regulations "deserve a vote"; rewards for schools that focus on STEM education; increases in tech research; a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00/hr and tie it to inflation; and a proposal to use oil and gas revenues to fund a move away from oil and gas,
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Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Progress' On Climate Change

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  • Re:Get on with it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tagged_84 ( 1144281 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @09:33AM (#42882501)
    Yeah as an Aussie I would say I'd much rather Obama than any of our politicians at the moment. They seem to have one of the easiest political jobs in the world and yet still fail to remotely suggest any grand future plans for our country, just more of the same sh*t I've been hearing for years.
  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:00AM (#42882757)

    Because the trend is to turn us into either unemployed, or independent contractors, or temporary workers. An independent contractor can work for lower than minimum wage so the minimum wage doesn't matter when not everyone is paid in wages. Why not minimum income? Why not government guaranteed basic income? Watch this video for more []

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:02AM (#42882769) Homepage Journal

    When did the definition of tyranny become "Government doing something I don't like"? Because that sure seems to be what people are meaning by the word these days.

    If you think Obama is breaking the law, give solid examples. If you think he is lying, give facts that attempt to prove your case. If and when your facts are shown to be lacking, acknowledge the fact and come up with a different argument. At the moment the people that don't like Obama are throwing words around like rocks but I never, EVER see any facts coming about.

    I hate what is going on with the drones, but the absolute lack of rationality in Obama's opposition right now keeps driving me to make comments. Get some rational leaders and get some good arguments with honest to goodness FACTS that aren't simply word twisting and I'm sure people will listen to your side, but right now you're no better than the loud, drunk redneck in a saloon.

  • Re:Horrible Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:10AM (#42882869)

    Your analogy is terrible

    It's also incorrect. The story is not about Canute's arrogance but his humility. He wanted to show his adherents that a king may not command everything so he illustrated, so the story goes, by commanding the tide with predictable results.

    Like Guy Fawkes in America, he is now remembered for doing exactly the opposite of what he did.

  • by gatzke ( 2977 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:12AM (#42882901) Homepage Journal

    Global cooling was taught in my middle school science text books. I remember the "Igloo Effect" specifically.

    Popular press seized on it as well. You may not be old enough to remember, but it was out there in the MSM.

    I really like the new rationalization, "blizzards and snow are caused by global warming." Or just cover all the bases and stick with "Climate Change" so you are always right.

  • by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:30AM (#42883117) Homepage
    The definition of tyranny was and remains a government that does not protect the natural rights of its people. The fact that people don't like a government which, like ours, routinely abrogates those rights does not mean that the abrogation is not tyrannical. So just to give one example, the President asserts the right to kill Americans without due process if he deems them to be a terrorist threat, even in America, on the theory that "the battlefield is everywhere." Is that, the utter abrogation of the right to life, not to be taken without due process of law (which doesn't simply mean making a law, or worse a regulation, or worst an executive order), not tyranny? And before you stalk off about this, yes, Bush was tyrannical, too, as witness the Padilla case.
  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:31AM (#42883129) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, god forbid Congress set our tax levels back up to the high rates of the Ronald Reagan era. That Reagan dude was clearly a fucking socialist.

    If we can set spending levels there, too, it might just work. But if you're nervous about a 42% cut in federal spending, we could just go back to Clinton-era spending (when they actually came really close to balancing the budget), which would only be a 35% spending cut.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:37AM (#42883203)

    Good news! We're nearly there. The average outlays for fiscal years FY82 through FY89 was 22.3 percent of GDP. The average for FY09 through FY11 has been 24.5 percent of GDP. Compare that to the receipts averages of 18.0 and 15.2 percent, respectively. I think most Democrats would be perfectly fine with outlays of 22.3 percent of GDP. The 2015 estimate is 22.3 percent, in fact.

    Here's another way to look at it. The average deficit for FY82 through FY89 was 4.3% of GDP. The estimation of FY13 through FY16 is an average deficit of 4.1% of GDP.

  • Re:Get on with it! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:56AM (#42883445)

    I think that you've drunk way too much of the kool-aid. Obama is a decent guy, but he isn't a mini-god. Many of his progressive ideas are not being realized due to his inability or his opponents unwillingness to bring about compromise.

    It strikes me that if you just let this man run the country for the remainder of his term without obstruction America could be the country that most people in the world have been told it is.

    A socialist empire who takes care of its citizenry? Sorry, that's Europe.

    If you look at history and world opinion, America is generally thought of as being a defiant, controlling bully in international space. There are both economic (oil) and historical (WWII, national security) reasons for that.

    Internally, America was built on the foundation of freedom from British oppression and taxation. So it is only natural that many US citizens will oppose government efforts to both increase taxation and oppress what are currently viewed as freedoms.

    And the whole world would be a better place.

    That's purely your opinion. Obama has done some good (health care), but has also had a lot of bad things continue to happen under his watch:
    1. The US is still involved in Afganistan.
    2. North Korea and Iran are still defiantly working towards nuclear programs and torturing their citizens.
    3. Russia has become significantly more aggressive towards the US.
    4. China continues to destroy the US though cyberattacks and economic undercutting.
    5. The US economy collapsed and kicked off an international collapse.
    6. The Israelis and Palestinians are still at each other throats.
    7. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia are in a state of political upheaval and are at risk of being taken over by religiously oppressive regimes.
    8. Syrian people are being killed with no international assistance.
    9. The US supplied Mexican drug cartels with US weapons.
    10. Shooting rampages appear to have increased.
    11. Gitmo is still Gitmo.
    12. Like previous presidents, Obama also has acknowledged the need to maintain a kill list. What is particularly special is that his list also can include US citizens.
    13. The US deficit continues to go the wrong direction.
    14. The US congress partisanship is still stifling any change.

    So reviewing history as it currently stands gives me the impression that it's been more "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" and less "hope and change."

    Alternatively you can obstruct him at every turn and show that you are hypocrites that talk democracy and freedom, but are nothing more than corporate shrills doing the bidding of lobbyists, none of which are working for the American people, let alone the world.

    Bullshit. All good qualities aside, Obama is a politician to the core. He wants to do what he perceives as good things for the country. But above all else, he wants to be in power. To do this, he has had to cater to lobbyists and special interest groups just like every other politician in power.

    And if you won't, for fuck sake let him run another country. Australia would love to have Obama as the leader.

    Many in the US would buy him a first class plane ticket out of the country.

    People of his mien come once a generation FFS.

    I like your association to Hitler. (That was unintentional, right?)

  • by medcalf ( 68293 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @11:01AM (#42883509) Homepage

    Economic history would suggest that inflation is caused by the government increasing money supply faster than the underlying material support (of population, resources and productivity) can rise, and deflation is the opposite. Which would explain why, for example, highly innovative industries like electronics and highly competitive industries like plastic surgery can see falling prices in an otherwise inflating economy, while low competition or low innovation or resource constrained sectors can see rising prices even in an otherwise deflating economy.

    I doubt that minimum wage changes affect prices much. But by raising the cost of labor, they certainly affect unemployment among the least well off, because there are fewer jobs that are profitable to hire out at, say, $9 per hour than at, say, $6 per hour.

  • Re:More drone deaths (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Elbereth ( 58257 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @11:43AM (#42883993) Journal

    Do people actually believe that nonsense? Obama is left, not left center, not center, left. The majority of what he does is extremely partisan, which is why many believe he may officially be the most divisive president in history.

    You're crazy. Here's an unbiased view of the 2012 American Presidential election []. He's clearly an authoritarian, right-wing politician. Jill Stein was the only major left-wing candidate, and she was center-left.

  • by Rolgar ( 556636 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @11:45AM (#42884023)

    The budget being balanced wasn't planned. It was an accident caused by the internet bubble, many people selling over priced stocks, and having to pay taxes on the profit.

    The housing bubble was an attempt to keep things going, and while it resulted in increased revenues, the continued increases in planned increases, plus the new drug benefit, unfunded wars kept us well in the red during the last decade.

    Basically, Regan, Clinton, both Bushes and Obama have all allowed spending to remain out of control as well as all members of Congress who don't actually propose to cut the actual amount of money being spent.

    If I were the president, I'd propose a strong evaluation of military spending, keep the CIA, FBI, State Department, and the EPA, and turn almost everything else over to the states. That is, the government would concern itself with international relations and matters between the states, or that spill over state borders, and leave everything else to the states to figure out, especially medicare, social security and education.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @02:09PM (#42885685) Homepage Journal

    The problem is we have a President who prefers to appear to be a wimpy appeaser of right wing extremists than be an actual liberal.

    Are you sure you got your "right wing" and "liberal" labels right? Let's review some simple definitions and connotations.

    One point of view, is that the constitution is a "living document" and need not be strictly adhered to. Government's powers and responsibilties are flexible, and change with the times. Tradition is overrated. "Tried and True" strategies can become obsolete. Government leads. The vision shared by the many, outweighs the rights of a few. Be expedient and pragmatic, in the pursuit of performance and progress.

    The other point of view, is that constitution is a strict limitation on powers and responsibilities, and if conditions change, the people can damn well pass an amendment. Government power should remain as limited as possible. When in doubt, do things like they've always been done. Some things change, but human nature doesn't change. Our basic relationship with the government, and the social contract itself, doesn't change. Government needs to get out of the way, much less lead. The rights of the few outweigh the desires of the many. Respect the rule of law, even if inconvenient or costly.

    Let me ask you: which of the two above PoVs is conservative and which is liberal? (Each actually has its weak and strong points! but I'm not talking about which you agree with, just where you put each one on the spectrum.)

    When I think of extra-judicial processes not authorized by the constitution, I think of FDR's Japanese internments. And I damn well know which side of the political spectrum we all put FDR on. But maybe that's just me. Is FDR considered "conservative" now? Am I all wrong about the right/left -ness of Gitmo (and by extension, Republicans vs Democrats on this issue), or are you? :-)

  • Re:More drone deaths (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @02:30PM (#42885983)

    The Republicans tried their hardest to manufacture one with Benghazi,

    Have you seen any of the hearings? Some of the revelations are pretty shocking. Secretary Clinton and President Obama were asleep at the wheel even more than President Bush was regarding the 9/11 intelligence. I guess the attention not paid to that was better spent on the election campaign, with a complicit media keeping it off the front page. Unless, of course, these champions of free speech were maligning and blaming some anti-Islamic -- but free speech -- trailer on YouTube. (Yet no one blames anti-Christian anything as prompting Westboro Baptist Fucking Nuts Church from doing something uncivil.)

    but nobody cared.

    "But the future refused to change."

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs