Steamboat Springs Obama supporter Babette Dickson watches televised election coverage Tuesday night at Big House Burgers in Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Obama supporter Babette Dickson watches televised election coverage Tuesday night at Big House Burgers in Steamboat Springs.

Local Democrats celebrate Obama win, voter turnout

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— A large crowd of Democratic Party supporters welcomed a huge victory Tuesday night, as a jam-packed Steamboat Springs watch party became uproarious when the news of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential victory was announced.

Still, it was small and often personal victories that first came to mind for many of those packed into the party at Big House Burgers. Obama's most ardent area supporters - some gathered together in a corner of the restaurant, trading stories, french fries and high fives as a blue tidal wave swept across the country - said they took pride in helping get voters to the polls and witnessing a landmark event for their country.

"We were on the phone telling people to get out to vote all day," said Kati Garringer-Maccabe, the local volunteer coordinator for Obama's campaign. "We got someone in Hayden five minutes before the polls closed who didn't know they were registered. They got to the poll in time."

The Obama staff said it made at least 15,000 calls through the last four days and knocked on each Democrat-leaning door in Steamboat three times Tuesday alone.

Babette Dickson was a part of that effort, volunteering to help spread Obama's campaign message of change and hope. But that didn't explain her emotions as she watched Obama deliver his first speech as president-elect.

"My first husband, he passed away 13 years ago. He was an African-American from Chicago himself, and was a Vietnam veteran," Dickson said, her tear-stained eyes ringed with running makeup. "He told me an African-American, no matter what, would never make it. Now I'm here to see it happen."

The reasons were surely different in every house, but millions across the country celebrated when the 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois was elected to be the 44th president.

The results and margin may have been decisive, but some Routt County voters went to the polls undecided.

County voter Mike Rossman said he often votes Libertarian, thanks to unsatisfactory choices from the main parties.

Still, he decided Tuesday that this was no year for a protest, especially considering Colorado was a crucial battleground state.

"It's pretty important we have a regime change," he said. "That's why I voted the way I voted. I'd hate to have (Obama) lose by one."

The decision wasn't as difficult for 18-year-old Austin Watts, though he also said he spent the past several weeks making up his mind. A first-year business student at Colorado Mountain College, Watts has only been in Steamboat for two months. That didn't prove enough time for his many Obama-supporting friends to sway him, he said.

The Tennessee native said disagreements with Obama on Iraq and concerns about his experience encouraged him to vote for Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain.

"I'm just not sold on Obama," he said, moments after casting his first presidential vote. "I looked at him carefully, but there was a bunch of little things that weren't what I agree with. It took me awhile to figure out, but Obama wasn't promising the kind of change I'm looking for."

Still, the magnitude of the day didn't escape him, even as he admitted his man McCain's outlook was bleak.

The White House changed hands, the country may change direction and the first African-American was elected president of the U.S.

The significance was not lost on any.

"I've not been around very long," Watts said, "but this is the biggest election I can think of."

Comments

nikobesti 5 years, 5 months ago

I find it quite ironic and very satisfying that the very community organization that Palin mocked ended up as the deciding factor for Obama.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Steve,

The problem is that I never listened to pundits. I actually understand what's going on in places like Iraq and Iran. I understand how economics works. I can explain why a few percent decrease in demand for gasoline results in a 50% price reduction for a barrel of oil on the world market.

I also understand that a vow to increase taxes on people who make over $250,000 a year will result in behavioral modifications to avoid taxation. Deferment of capital gains transactions, or doing them before January 1st to escape the tax increases are two ways that people will react. There are many more. Investment in tax-free bonds is one of them. Moving income from one year to the next to reduce annual income between Jan 1st to Dec 31st below $250,000 is another.

There are not that many people who make over $250k in a regular paycheck. Many people have multiple income streams. Ever think of the fact that it's cheaper to pledge real property as collateral for a loan in order to obtain disposable income than it is to sell the place and pay taxes on the gain? When you can borrow enough against the equity that the remaining value is less than 20% plus realtor's fees, you can w a l k a w a y and make it someone else's problem if worse comes to worst.

The folks who produce the value that drives the economy will not keep laying golden eggs unless they get to keep the benefits of their work. If I can live comfortably on my 40-hour per week paycheck, why work 60 hours and pay 50% of the extra earnings to the government when I can wait two years, or maybe four, for the political climate to change?

My disgust over the results of the election is not against the candidate who was elected by any means. It's over the naivete of the electorate that doesn't understand the economic and physical security threats we are likely to face if the campaign promises are kept. Did you ever take a child to the doctor for strep throat, or tonsillitis, and have them laugh out in joy over getting an injection of antibiotics? Of course not. They fear the needle. But without it, they could get sicker and possibly die. Is the child's discomfort over the needle justification for the parent to refuse the shot?

There's no doubt that the old administration needed to leave, and that we need more regulation and enforcement of the financial markets for the good of the whole country and all the people. The thing I'm worried about is use of WMDs in the middle east, the resulting disruption of energy production, the collapse of our own economy and disease and famine in the United States when our food production and distribution systems are disrupted by lack of fuel to transport it, and lack of money to pay for it. We are always just four minutes from brain death, and most of us are never more than two weeks from famine. The election put us at greater risk than we were before, and that's what few people understand.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Good morning, America. Here's your sign.

The stock market indices are all down.

Oh, and now, Israel only has a couple of months to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

Lots of people have had the experience of waking up the morning after the wedding to realize that once the party's over, they married somebody with bad breath and a lot of credit card debt.

That's okay. You can blame it on G W. Four years from now, we'll see if that still works for you.

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dave fisher 5 years, 5 months ago

Next time the red party should focus more on the issues rather than the failed tactics of smearing the opposition. If there is a message in this election, it is that the American people have grown tired of fear-mongering, hate and negativity.

Are you listening, Bob Schaffer?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Well said, Robert! Had the 2000 McCain been running this time, he would have had my vote in a second. Either way, my vote went Indie this year.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Steve,

I'm going to walk downtown, stand on the street, and hope for a cup of coffee all day long, and see where it gets me.

John Kerry is actively seeking appointment as Secretary of State.

Obama has filled his transition team with people from Bill Clinton's staff.

So, yeah, good luck with the planet and all that stuff.

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trump_suit 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich,

You have a bad attitude today. When did standing on the corner with Hope in your heart get you anything???

Did you listen to the candidates for the last year??? Both of them called for sacrifice to country, and for every American to help in some small way. If you want to make a dent in the problems you see then pick out a small one and choose to make a difference.

It doesn't matter who is in power in Washington if each of us makes an effort to take care of our own here in Routt County. From the economy to Global Warming, change begins with you.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Congrats Barack Obama on being the 44th President of the United States and also being the first African-American as well! I am glad I was around to see this historic moment. The next four years will hopefully be some of America's greatest!

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trump_suit 5 years, 5 months ago

I think it is pretty clear that most Americans chose to believe in a message of hope for the future instead of the politics of division and fear offered by the republican party.

I would hope that everyone involved in politics and Government will take a deep breath and consider the ramifications. Clearly the American people want to see some changes.

Will you be part of the future, or part of the problem? The choice as always is yours.

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 5 months ago

aichempty - so that's it, the stock market is down on November 5th? The book on the next eight years is now written?

Did you think the country was in a good place up until this point? I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but I did support him as our president until it became clear to me that his policies were hurting the most of the country. President-elect Obama hasn't even been inaugurated yet, but you are already in blame mode. Per trump_suit's message, looks like you are electing to be part of the problem.

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freerider 5 years, 5 months ago

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN....The Red Party maybe just maybe might learn there lesson from this house cleaning , that hope over fear is the new mantra for this country...It's time to say bye bye to all the fear mongers in the Republican party of Fasicm.....

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Trump Suit drew the right cards above.

Aich, I hope your coffee was good this morning. Did your wife give you a nice long hug? Hope your kids enjoy a nutritious lunch at school today.

The DOW is a pretty narrow window isn't it? The REAL world has a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. That bottom line is looking quite bullish today.

Your choice.

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Robert Huron 5 years, 5 months ago

As a Vietnam Vet and retired military myself I have great respect for John McCain unfortunately he ran one of the worst campaigns in history. Instead of running as the McCain of 2000 he ran a 100% negative campaign like Bush did in 2004 taking advice from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Culter and Sean Hannity. He chose fear and hate over honesty and hope which is why he lost. Obama will have a steep hill to climb considering the mess he will inherit from the most fiscally irresponible President in our history. Whether you like it or not Obama is our President come Jan.20 and we must all support him because we are not Republicans, Democrats or Independents we are AMERICANS first and formost.

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Kristopher Hammond 5 years, 5 months ago

McCain's concession speech was the best speech I've ever heard him give (probably because it came from the heart not the handlers). A class act from a guy who will probably be part of the solution during the next 4 years. Both took the high road last night and both made me proud. Our Nation's stock went way up with this election. The world is looking up to us again.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

The Presidential election is over and Barack H Obama is the winner and a winner in convincing manner. Congratulations!

Though I did not support him, he will be MY President on 20 January 2009 and I will do everything I can to assist him in successfully discharging the duties of his office. I am first and foremost an American and he is the legitimately elected American President. This is our system and it is a damn good system.

I will welcome him to office with a clean slate --- the election is history. On January 21 2009, he will begin to govern and he can then earn both our trust and respect. If he fails, then I will again oppose him in 2012.

I will still be a conservative, committed to conservative concepts because I believe that they work. I will give our new President the benefit of the doubt and only support or oppose him based upon truth, performance and reality. I will not engage in petty electoral politics --- the election is over.

For all of America, I wish good luck in the future and for our new President I wish Godspeed!

Congratulations, President-elect Barack H Obama --- may you rise to the occasion and prove your supporters right and your detractors wrong. Be a great President. A big chunk of America did not want you. Show by your actions that YOU are THEIR President also.

I will respect our President and his office better than President Bush's detractors have.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

trump,

Here's the truth. Obama's election makes me want to hurl. Literally. It's the first time in my life that any event actually gave me an emotional reaction so strong that I wanted to puke. I always thought that was movie crap.

They call that a "visceral reaction," I think.

I hope my guts are wrong, but it would be the first time in a long time.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich, I understand that feeling. I could accept McCain o.k., but 2004 was really, really hard for me to digest.

This may a good time to turn off the pundits and build your own conclusions. It wasn't very uplifting a moment ago with Bill O'Reilly and Mark Cameron calmly tearing Palin apart with the same in-over-her-head and other angles she already endured from the left. Ouch.

May your grassroots grow.

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trump_suit 5 years, 5 months ago

Well spoken JLM....

Aich, I felt much the same as Bush drug us into the Iraq war. From the very beginning, I felt it was a huge mistake.

Our country will survive that fiasco and however you feel about Pres. Obama, it will survive him also...

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow! Aich sound as bad as Michelle Obama's "proud of my country for the 1st time," but in direct opposition. Wasn't that a point of contention about Obama before? Sounds pretty un-American and definitely not patriotic. LOL!

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich, In some ways your ceiling is my floor. But at least recognize your fears - taxes and being attacked - are THE base talking points on the right. You also pulled Clinton and Kerry forth earlier. Iconic enemies aren't they?

You say the election puts us at greater risk? Take a look around you! We're already in the emergency room with massive injuries.

Aich, a good step might be to question your basic premise - that the majority of America is wrong and doesn't understand. 6% isn't a landslide, but its enough to suggest your fears aren't accurate.

If your grassroots choose fear as their guide, as you are doing, your party is toast.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM - Your response was a breath of fresh air. Let's hope that a vast majority of Americans will be as open minded as yourself.

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ventrygirl 5 years, 5 months ago

Cheers to JLM! Well done. I never quite agreed with what you have had to say until to post above. I only wish others could share your spirit of cooperation.

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Jason Krueger 5 years, 5 months ago

Thank you JLM. We've disagreed often in the past and I thank you for being true to your word and previous postings.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Steve,

Taxes and fear of attack are the two issues which affect every one of us. Pardon the heck out of me for being in step with reality.

Governments can do things that terrorists cannot. Terrorists cannot force my employer to take money out of my paycheck. Only governments and judges can do that.

Governments can bring the full force of their armed services to bear on national problems. Terrorists can only affect a few people at a time.

The real threat people don't see and realize is the failure of governments to act in good faith. That means to enforce and abide by the laws that are enacted by Congress in our case. It also kinda flows down to doing what you say you're going to do.

I realized a while ago, after reading that Obama has appointed Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, that he made a rational decision which sends a clear signal to Israel that we are not going to abandon them. He kissed the baby that I cared most about when he did that; not that I'm a fan of Israel, and I'm not Jewish, just that leaving Israel and Iran without adult supervison is a bad situation for the world.

I have fallen victim to the political rhetoric, because I was foolish enough to believe what the candidates said they were going to do. Of course they won't. They can't. The trick now is how to back out on the promises and do what's best for the country. Maybe when he said he would "take a look at drilling" he meant he'd plan on watching the rigs when they started. Maybe he can go out there and turn over a shovel full of water or something.

We might just have a man who is caring, ethical and honest underneath it all. Except for lying to get elected, he might turn out okay.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM- Way to go man.

Aichempty- Get over yourself, the election is over and there is nothing you can do about it. Take some advice from JLM, realize that he is a good sport about it.

Talk all you want...

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

playa,

No matter who ran, a Democrat was going to win.

Out of Iraq in sixteen months? Do you like warm weather?

I'm way past draft age, and I'm a veteran. You might want to start running and getting in shape for pullups in case you end up in boot camp. Presidents who never served in the combat arms of the armed forces are notorious for drafting young folks to get them out of a jam when their campaign promises were overtaken by world events.

I can't help remembering how people celebrated when Carter and Clinton were elected, and how those two administrations turned out. Carter was elected because of Richard Nixon and Watergate and Vietnam. Carter's administration was a foreign policy and economic disaster. Mortgage rates were 18% when Carter left office. Clinton was elected because people thought the world had become a peaceful place that didn't need the United States to carry the Big Stick anymore. Wrong again. Obama is now the second President to inherit Osama Bin Laden as a result of Clinton's failure to act when he had the chance. Sure, he saved a few civilian casualties by sparing Bin Laden -- until 9/11. He also spent eight years dismantling the military services and our foreign intelligence organizations. Thanks, Bill.

The swing voters are notorious for picking poor Presidents. No evidence so far this one is any different. In my own lifetime, there has never been a President who didn't get bad press for the things they did in office.

Barack Obama was a heavy cigarette smoker until very recently. That fact was well hidden from the electorate. Nobody ever saw him on TV smoking a cigarette.

So what else don't we know about him?

Ronald Reagan was the first President who had been divorced. That was a huge deal at the time among conservatives, and it cost him some votes.

Oh, boy, then Clinton came along and parents were being asked by tiny children to explain about oral sex.

Here's a point of contrast. G W was criticized because people claimed he didn't fulfill his obligation to the Air National Guard. Obama never even considered military service. How is that better?

When I was your age, I thought I knew everything too. Now I realize I never knew much, and still don't, because I didn't learn to question everything that was promised to me until I dealt with a few real money-grabbing crooks in my personal life. Politics don't make much difference until they affect us personally, and then we understand how it works. Getting screwed early enough in life to recover from it is a great blessing.

My step son is draft age now. He'd never have had to worry about being drafted if McCain had been elected. By the time Obama dismantles the military again and gives back the ground we've taken, it will take an army of conscripts to fight the next war. But hey, maybe the next war will be fought on U S soil, which would be much more convenient for everybody, right?

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Jonathan,

Clinton's restructuring of the armed forces resulted in the current mix of a bit over 1/2 active duty and a bit under 1/2 National Guard and Reserve which left us crippled after 9/11. This is the reason why all the guard and reserve troops have been deployed over and over.

Almost 20% of the Marine Corp's heavy equipment was sitting around in unserviceable condition due to military budget cuts. Refurbishing that equpment in a hurry and buying replacements deferred by Clinton resulted in far greater expenditures than would have been required if the force had been maintained. The Army had similar problems but I can't quote those for you.

Tens of thousands of people working in the defense industries lost jobs and homes after Clinton was elected. Oh, yeah, ME included. Sold my house for less than I paid for it due to defense contractors laying off people.

You see, your little book of facts tells what was spent, but it doesn't tell what was not spent. Nothing else ever cost the same year after year through the nineties, so spending the same was, indeed a cut. Also, the cost of the individual weapons was so much greater that fewer were obtained.

I didn't say Obama plans to instate a draft. Neither did Roosevelt. Neither did Wilson. Neither did Lincoln. Neither did John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson anticipate increasing the draft in 1960, but look what happened by 1968 when Johnson left office. Do ya get the pitcher?

American withdrawal from global military influence since the 1900s has always resulted in the President of the United States becoming engaged in a conflict that resulted in American combat troops dying on foreign soil. Every freakin' time. Only during periods of great military strength and national resolve have we been able to stay out of combat. Vietnam was a perfect example of how doing a half-fast (sic) job by holding back the unconstrained use of force against the enemy leads to higher casualties and ultimate defeat.

The lack of conscription in the 2000s has resulted in overburdening volunteer troops.

And don't give me the left wing crap about Iraq. It was politicized for left wing propaganda, and if we hadn't gone in when we did, we'd have had to go later. We'd have the same number of troops over there and would have spent the same amount of money guarding Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and Saddam Hussein would still be in power, threatening to nuke his neighbors. North Korea traded regularly with Iraq, and they've got nukes, so there you go. Those facts are real.

The so-called "cost of the war" over and above the active duty budget that would have been paid anyway is the cost of mobilizing guard and reserves that should have been mostly active duty troops anyway, except for Clinton's scheme to reduce active forces. That's why G W was left with a flaming bag of dog doo on the front porch 9 months after taking office. Clinton dodged his responsibility, and got lucky.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey, Jason, don't you owe me a steak? LOL

I thought you must have moved out of town to keep from paying me!

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Jonathan Casson 5 years, 5 months ago

Empty-

Do you really think that Obama will institute a draft? Huh? Where did this insight come from? Please provide one credible news source that supports your "theory".

"G W was criticized because people claimed he didn't fulfill his obligation to the Air National Guard." No, he was also criticized for a life of boozing and partying until he "saw the light" when he turned 40.

So, what's better? A recovered alcoholic or an occasional cigarette smoker? Nice double standard.

You also fail to mention the years of economic prosperity during the Clinton administration.

The right wing claim of Clinton scuttling the military budget is false. Many of the military technological advances were accomplished under his administration resulting in a more efficient military. In fact, since 1985, Military spending totals and as a percentage of Federal spending have been reasonably consistent. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/pdf/hist.pdf

Look at pages 73-80 for total government expenditures and pages 119-122 for % of Federal Outlays.

Tell me- where were the huge defense cuts under Clinton?

The only major spike in defense spending has been under GW, but the % of the budget has remained constant. Why? because under the his "conservative" administration, we've seen the largest increase in Federal spending EVER. Including doubling the federal debt in 8 years. page 119.

Right there in black and white from the Goverment's own documents.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich, Clinton is to blame for the past 8 years? Iraq war costs are really just a rebuilding what Clinton cut in the 1990's?

Your view of the world is so partisan as to resemble an idealogical bunker.

Good luck, and have a nice year.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

Actually, if I remember correct, the "scuttling" of the military started in 1989 under GHW Bush. I was in from 1987-1991 and before Desert Shield started up, the Army was offering early "buyouts" for enlistees to leave service before their ETS date.

And if you are going to blame Clinton for letting Bin Laden go, you can pass that blame onto GW Bush for not concentrating on Afghanistan and heading into Iraq- the country that Bin Laden wasn't hiding in. At this rate, Bin Laden dies by natural causes before we "get'im dead'r'alive."

And it wasn't the lack of conscription that overtaxed a volunteer miltary- it was invading Iraq when it wasn't quite necessary while already in Afghanistan. People saw Iraq as a deterrent to enlisting. And it's not left-wing propaganda about Iraq. It was an idiotic call. Sure- we might have had to go in later, but it would have given us a few years to resolve finding Bin Laden. Just because your car has 70,000 miles doesn't mean it's ready for the scrap heap. Odds are, it'll still last you at least another 30,000 to 80,000 miles with preventative maintenance.

Also, our forces are so strung out due to GW Bush not listening to our old Allies when it came to Iraq. Had he been able to convince them to help out instead of "either you're with us or against us", our forces would be sharing duties instead of going it almost alone. As you must have heard by now, the Global Community cheered Obama's win. We might actually start having some fences mended, which might allow for more Allied forces to help out. And that might not happen, but it's off to a better start than we had these last 8yrs.

And the markets on the rise again, and Obama's still Pres-Elect, so there goes that argument you had after he won.

Even Iran gave (for the 1st time since 1979) a concillitory congratulations to Obama in hopes of actual dialogue instead of just being "talked at."

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Robert Huron 5 years, 5 months ago

The military was being downsized in the late 80's. I should know because I was in the military at that time. This was a shift to a more technical force after the cold war ended. This continued into the present Bush Administration and was called the Rumsfeld Doctrine. A high tech combat force that cold defeat any conventional army. The problem is it did not work in Iraq, an insurgent war, which is why Iraq was such a disaster for almost 5 years till Rumsfeld was fired. It is great to be pro war when you or your family are not doing the fighting and dying. The fact is even if you have a Draft the rich and powerful always avoid it. I saw this first hand in Vietnam when almost all my comrades where from low to middle income families. The Bush's, Cheney's, Romney's etc. all find a ways to avoid service. When Romney who was pro Iraq War was asked why none of his 5 sons were in the military his answer was they are serving their country working on my campaign. In other words my sons are too rich to serve. I personally know people who served with Bush in the Guard. He was an ok pilot when and if he would show up. That is why they where know as the Champagne Squadron. All sons of the rich and powerful avoiding service in Vietnam where they may get hurt. For almost 6 years our military has been dumped on with 3 to 5 tours of duty in the Middle East. Maybe a Draft with the sons and daughters of our Congressman being called up first followed by the children of the rich would be the best way to go. If we did that the war would be over in a week.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

There you go again Aich

"A president is only good if he has war experience." I am sorry the person you wanted in office did not get his chance, but seriously, the election is over. Why are you still fighting a battle you have already lost?

Another thing, you stance on McCain would do better in office is a total opinion. Many Americans would rather have Obama in office, in fact, 51% of America would.

It's very simple, the Democrats are just the lesser of two evils. Instead of picking the BEST canidate, I simply picked the lesser of two evils to help pur country.

I say this, because of how you still think McCain would do better in office. Think about what McCain wants, and Obama wants, rather than just staying right on every decision made.

I would like to see you do this.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Duke,

You need to check your math. George W. Bush was elected in November of 2000. September 11, 2001, was less than eight months after G W was innaugurated on January 20, 2001.

Maybe this is an indication of why you are having trouble grasping the issues. Seek help.

Racist blast? What? Now anybody who disagrees with Obama or a Democrat is a racist? Unbelievable.

Playa,

In the first place, I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Dem either. I vote for the best candidate, or for the one that's the least bad.

You can go right along believing anything you want, but if you want to take a ride on a jetliner, you expect the pilot to have the qualifications to fly it. Anybody can buy a ticket. It takes a lot more to fly the plane. The fact that a majority voted for the equivalent of Luke Skywalker, who is a fictional character of historic proportions, doesn't mean that Mark Hamil could take off in a Cessna without killing himself. It's all just made up fluff stuff until Obama does something real, and it will be another 72 days or so until he has the power to forward his mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I know what McCain did, and he is a truly heroic character. He was a hero the first time he called the ball on a carrier approach in a T-2 in flight training. He was, and is the real thing. I am disappointed that he did not come out against predatory big business in his campaign, but he knows what it's like to have people shooting at you, and that means he'll think twice before putting people in harm's way. Clinton put people into Somalia in unarmored HMMWVs because the armored personnel carriers (Bradleys) looked like tanks, and he didn't want black people at home to see U S tanks in a black ghetto in Somalia. That's why Americans died in the Blackhawk Down incident. Oh, sure, it was only a few of those sucker volunteer force fascists who really deserved to die anyway, right? Les Aspin (Sec Def under Clinton at the time) took the blame for the deaths, but thank GOD there was no bad publicity among Clinton's African American supporters, which is the thing they worried about most.

My choice of candidate lost the election, but that doesn't mean the people who voted for Obama chose wisely. It only means they elected an unproven, inexperienced leader. I'm betting that, if he had lost the election and gone back to private law practice, he'd have turned down cases that were outside his experience. That's what lawyers do. Yet, all of a sudden, he's the President and can't turn down any of it. Lucky us!

Jesus Christ, Hare Krishna, Mohammad and Ganesh all share one thing with Obama. Some people believe in them. Some people don't. The believers want the rest of us to join them. Sorry, I just don't feel the way you do either.

Not a single miracle has been observed. Yet, you love Obama. Wow. Except for the Kool-Aid, how is he any different from Jim Jones at this point?

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow Aich your words have definitely inspired me to do everything in my power to avoid big ol' bad Obama.

Are you really trying to scare me into what Obama could do? Let it be known the Obama will get us out of the war...so therefore I will hopefully not be drafted.

Even if I am drafted, I will simply have to accept it. I serve this country as well and am dedicated enough to die for it. I am going to die anyway, right?

Back on the subject of the Iraq War, you ask if I like warm weather? I do not like global warming, if that's what you are asking. But do you like how billions upon billions of dollars are being spent in this war? Supposedly, we have already won this one, why are we still in it? More and more countries are also turning against us due to this "war". I now have to worry about a draft, and if McCain was elected everything would be better? McCain would keep us loosing money until "the end of the war" which is nowhere in sight. Republicans just keep adding on new ideas to make us look big and bad.

The whole "scare me into going republican" isn't going to work, like it didn't in the election. I'd like to see you give more reinforcement to your arguments, more like facts. I would also like to see evidence about Obama being a "heavy smoker", if you do, I'll shut up about it.

You also told me that when you were young, you knew everything. In fact, lots of middle-age people tell me that already. However, one thing seems to get me about it. Tell me WHY I should think what you do. I simply don't see the conservative ideals, which mean keeping the old ideas, working in America's society anymore. We've seen what keeping things the same has done over these eight years, not much good.

That's why I support Obama in everything he does, even if it means being drafted, which I oppose.

Who knows? Maybe when I am forty, I will like to keep this government the same all the time, but until then, I stay Neutral.

                                               -Peace
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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

On a very serious note, the issue of the military in an Obama presidency is a very real concern. I do not mean to imply that I have some sense that he will screw it up but rather that there is a very high probability that it can be screwed up.

Let's review the bidding --- we currently have a great volunteer military. A lot of folks like serving in the military. I served with both draftees and volunteers and volunteers predictably make better armies. Not that draftees failed to serve honorably or that individually they were not outstanding soldiers but rather on the whole the volunteers are better motivated and make better soldiers and better soldiers make better armies.

In addition to having a good base of soldiers, we also have a very good supply of officers coming from West Point, VMI, the Citadel, Tx A & M and ROTC in general. They don't particularlly come from places like Columbia, Yale, Harvard or Princeton.

These are the men and women who fight our wars. It is a pretty simple equation, they get a free education and for 5 years they serve as company grade officers and are prepared to go to war on behalf of the Nation.

Because of the volunteer army and a good supply of officers, the average person in America can effectively elect to have somebody else or somebody else's kids do the Nation's dirty work.

Here's a great big secret --- most volunteers and officers like soldiering. I liked it a lot. It's fun and exciting and they crave the opportunity to go to foreign countries even under trying conditions. Here's another secret --- it pays fairly well. Not in my day when I was paid $277 a month plus $65 per month jump pay and $65 per month hazardous duty pay. Look up what a Sgt or a Captain makes today, it's not too bad.

If an Obama administration pulls out of Iraq prematurely, then the military is going to suffer a loss of morale. Believe me, I know first hand about the loss of morale. I was teaching at West Point on 1 May 1975 --- if you don't recognize the significance of that date, please stop reading now.

In the next 7 years, we almost lost the Army as an American institution. From this moment of crisis, the American volunteer army was born.

This would not be the time to have any misgivings about the Army as it is likely the terrorists will follow us home from Iraq. Can you think of any reason that they might not?

If anything, we need a larger Army to provide more capabilities as additional brush fire type wars break out.

The world is a dangerous place and unless you personally are prepared to serve, don't allow the volunteer Army and the military academies to get screwed up.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, Yes, we should have respect for the meaning of military service. Yes, we would fully understand the sacrifices our soldiers and their families make.

Do Americans understand these things? Why we went to Iraq is our true answer - it was completely our choice to go. How we end Iraq is only partly our choice.

I expect a "responsible withdrawal" from Iraq, not a "precipitous withdrawal". And I respect your experience with military moral. But isn't there a big difference between now and 1975? I don't recall that South Vietnam was asking us to leave. Iraq is asking us to leave now.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

I am pretty dadgum sure I've had closer and more continuous contact with the military and the headquarters functions since 1968 than any of you. I was there through all of it, either as active duty, ready reserve, or civilian employee in R&D and headquarters functions.

Spin it any way you want. I just don't care. It's as clear as gravity how we got here.

G W is responsible for a lot. Guess what? Any person dropped into a war immediately learns that you can't plan on what the enemy and your allies are going to do.

I'll just put it to you this way. Clinton had 8 years of relative peace to make us stronger and better, and did nothing except bet things would be okay. His legacy was going to be peace in the Middle East, remember? That's how he was going to deal with the Muslim threat. I guess that didn't work out so well, did it? The failure of his plan led to the current difficulties, and now Obama has four years to try to do better than anyone who came before. He axed for the job, and now he has it, so he takes the responsbility and the blame from now on. That's how it works in the military world.

You can all think and believe anything you want, and your boy is now in the big chair, so good luck.

Would McCain have been better. Yes. More effective? No. Not with a Democratic congress. So, now the Dems have the ball and it's first and ten on their own twenty yard line. The clock is running, and Obama is about to take the snap. What happens from here on out is a function of how good he is, how good his team is, and how tough the opposition is.

One thing I know for sure. Nothing any of you say makes a difference now. It's put up or shut up for Obama, and I'll help him on the parts I agree with, which will be the parts that benefit all Americans in terms of prosperity, personal welfare and national security. The Republicans really effed up on a few things, and mostly that was by letting people run without constraints in the belief they would act for the benefit of the whole. Now it's up to the Dems to act for the benefit of all, so let's see it.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

aich - Blaming the Bin Laden attacks on Clinton is a true Republican. Did 9/11 happen in 2001? Who was the president at that time? 21 months after the Republican's took office, and you still place blame on Clinton. That is truly burying your head in the sand. Too bad the sand you picked was in Iraq and not in Afghanistan.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 5 months ago

aich - Your prejudiced remarks are disgusting. You may think you're being witty and smart, but racial blasts are for cave dwellers.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

SL ---

The point of my comment, inartfully expressed, was that the military is not part of the political equation by design; however, it is perhaps the essential ingredient which provides for order in our foreign relations (even with dictators) and in international commerce.

There is a reason that Somalian pirates do not hijack American flagged ships in international waters.

The military is under civilian supervision specifically in order to ensure that our democracy changes leadership routinely without a whiff of gunpowder or the sound of tanks in the streets. It is a good system.

Compare that to historic events on every continent and one can see how unique our democracy truly is.

The military is essential to the conduct of our foreign policy because it provides the unspoken assurance that we can back up our position should it come to that.

The military must be a credible threat. Gen Giap in his memoirs acknowledged that neither the NVA nor the VC had ever beaten the American Army in battle; but, that was deemed irrelevant because the American political leadership did not have the persistence to have stayed the course.

I am not sure what "responsible withdrawal" means but I am certain what "victory" means. They are very different resolutions to what is the same problem. They are political judgments rather than military judgments. Left to their own devices, the military would never consider anything but victory.

I am absolutely certain that telegraphing our plans for anything other than victory will only serve to encourage our enemies to stall until that date and to follow us home when we leave. In addition, we are just about there and it would simply be foolish to squander what has been achieved. This is the judgment of the folks like Gen Petraeus who fight America's wars, not a political judgment.

When America has strategic interests in a region, it must first act to safeguard its interests. This is not a democratic event, it is cold blooded self interest. We clearly have significant strategic interests in the Middle East whether the issue of oil economics or the defense of Israel, our ally.

We need to stay the course in Iraq. The surge worked and we are almost at the end of this mess. To do otherwise would be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 5 months ago

let's all play nice in the sand box....especially since the mcbush was given how much of a chance now...pull your boxers out of your crack and listen with an open mind....or do you even know what that means? empty...you are obviously old and fridgid..WHO CARES what one individual believes as THEIR god???im sure yours is the right one tho;)

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich- Did I really ever say I love Obama? (See my last post above). I was never asking you to agree with Obama either. I am simply speaking my mind in this discussion, I am not trying to convert you to "Obamaism". Also in my last post, I meant you staying right on every single decision in this election, not your whole life. You are putting words in my mouth I never said.

By the way, I would like some proof of Obama's smoking habits, I can't seem to find some on the Internet.

Again, I see you pointlessly using the "Obama has never ben in war and is therefore unfit to be President" speech. Ya, you're right McCain crashed planes in Nam and graduated terribly in his school. I should've supported him.

We can't have a war hero as a leader, it's just that simple. You can call Obama inexperienced all day, but when it comes down to simple common sense, McCain looses. Your definition of experience means "war hero".

And Obama is different from Jim Jones because Obama has poisoned our nation, WOW!!

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

BTW- Obama is not even in the White House and you're already needing a miricle? "Not a single miracle has been observed." I am sure if McCain was elected, you would ne saying the same thing.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

What are you talking about? The Election was on Tuesday and today is Sunday and VP-elect Joe Biden has not made a single stupid statement --- that's miraculous enough for me!

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

sigh You could say so many same things to Sarah Palin

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Of course, the 'Cuda was not on the winning side this time. But I am sure she will have something to day about that in the future.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Playa,

Obama himself said on a TV interview that he quit smoking using nicotene gum, and he offered some to the person who asked him how he quit.

I wish Obama well, and wisdom, because now he's got the job.

Your comments on McCain demonstrate how easily left-leaners can put a spin on something they know nothing about -- another classic lawyer tactic. I think claiming that McCain crashed a couple of airplanes in Vietnam is a bit of a gloss-over when you consider that one of them blew up under him on the deck of the USS Enterprise when a rocket from another plane accidentally fired and struck McCain's plane, and the other was shot out of the sky by surface to air missiles. Isn't that like blaming Hitler's mom for World War II because she didn't drown him in the bath tub when he was a baby? Also, McCain went back and flew again after both of those incidents, including almost a year of tough physical therapy after he got out of Hamoi to be able to pass a flight physical exam. Now, that's not as heroic as quitting smoking, but at least it should go into the experience column on his resume.

I'm an engineer by training, and engineers learn that you need time, money, resources and plans to build something. We spend a lot of time learning about the stuff that goes on the left side of the " = " sign so that when we get the solution on the right side, it means something. Obama's plans are mostly wishes without the money and resources to back them up. Where are the endorsements from the AIEE and ASME lauding Obama's energy independence plans? They are absent, because the constraints imposed by the laws of physics and environmental regulation, not to mention political will, tell us that replacing fossil fuels with something else will cost 3 to 10 times more, and people will fight the alternatives. Do you want windmills on the ridgelines in Routt County? Ask around. See who does.

This country cannot raise the cash necessary for alternative energy programs by charging each other commissions on refinancing mortgages. It takes real production of things that have value which can be sold world-wide to create real wealth in order to fund massive capital spending to support alternative energy generation. We no longer produce and export, so the only way to fund alternative energy is for overseas interests to fund them. With increased costs of 3 to 10 times over fossil generation, nobody is going to invest in a technology that can be undercut by coal, oil and natural gas. It's a dumb thing to do.

All the words are just so much white noise to engineers. Show us the plans, and the equations. Those are the only things that matter. And there's a reason why you can't find this stuff on the internet -- it's infeasible, so the solution does not exist.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 5 months ago

Obama is the firstborn of the media and they are proudly handing out cigars. Now he will go forth and carry their hopes and aspirations. They will watch patiently and dismiss his shortcomings or blame them onto others. Chris mathews has vowed to do whatever to see that O delivers.

If the media follows this line of thinking it will amount to voluntary censorship, as opposed to forced that is the norm in totalitarian regimes. The end result will be much the same. O's backers will be treated very well, example he is already trying to bale out the auto unions, despite their inability to compete. We cannot continue to protect every poor soul, reality has to rule as our backs are against the wall.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

President Obama has his work cut out for him. Regardless of one's politics, the programs which Obama has taken as his own and has promised progress on are the same tried, true and unsolved challenges that his party and liberals everywhere have championed for decades.

President Obama has promised to solve the health care crisis at which First Lady Clinton took a great but wildly unsuccessful crack during a time of comparative plenty.

It is difficult to see how a President Obama is going to be able to solve this problem with significantly fewer resources.

Campaigning and governing are vastly different challenges and the landscape is very troubling. Nothing is to be gained by attributing blame for the economic travails we currently face, but I wish President Obama good fortune in dealing with many of the members of his own party in Congress who are the architects of these problems.

The recent notion that Speaker Pelosi has deputized Rep Barney Frank to write the legislation saving the American auto industry sends chills down my spine. His handiwork with Fannie and Freddie were arguably the same missed opportunity.

The constituencies which President Obama must serve, in particular the unions and more particularly the automobile unions, make it almost impossible to apply the correct solution to many of the economy's problems as the politics of the situation forestalls the application of a bit of Darwinian financial theory which may be the approprate solution.

Two wars, a possible third on the horizon with Iran, an ascendant Russia and an opportunistic China taken with a dose of Venezuela for good measure are a tough backdrop from which to re-make America.

I am hoping for the change we need but right now it seems like all we may have is hope.

If it is a given that the American automobile industry must survive unscathed and their legacy retirement and benefits programs must be funded, then we are in a real pickle.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich-

It has nothing to do with Hitler's mom not drowning him as a baby. It has to do with the fact that McCain has crashed a plane before, his own fault, I know some of them were not.

You like to point out how I am a Democrat. I keep saying that I am niether party. Like a typical Republican, you simply change the subject and pretend nothing happened, which is a terrible idea for a lawyer :).

"With increased costs of 3 to 10 times over fossil generation, nobody is going to invest in a technology that can be undercut by coal, oil and natural gas. It's a dumb thing to do."

You do realize McCain wanted to drill offshore for oil right? Offshore drilling is a terrible idea, it harm the ecosystem and costs us a terrible ammount of money. Lemme tell ya, natural gases is a lot better than what you standed for.

Also, quit making accusations of me with my stance on my party please.

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Playa,

I don't post here to argue with you. If you disagree, that's your option.

The fact is, McCain did not win, and now Obama has to deliver. So let's see it.

I am positioning myself to ride out the recession, reduce dependence on energy of any kind, and be aware of what's coming down the road. Good luck to the rest of you. Really. Good luck.

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