Economics

Barack Obama Is Open For Questions: Live Stream Now

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The president is doing an interactive livestream chat from the White House (too much yellow, fellow!). The main point so far: Obama is working to minimize expectations while pumping up the optimism.

The questions have been piped in from citizens all over the country and let me tell you, you won't see this many softballs outside of a saltpeter factory ever again!

To paraphrase Ram Dass, go here now.

Update: Ram Dass allusion explained.

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  1. oh great, now he’s making fun of marijuana users and everybody’s licking it up. What a douche.

  2. Hey LoneFucko, now’s your chance to ask those tough questions you expect everyone else to ask for you.

  3. Ram Dass? That cannot be a real–or a heterosexual–name.

  4. I was going to comment on that too, but I just figured it was a band I had never heard of.

  5. we need this crap liveblogged. I love that three airheaded bimbos just made my state look worse than it already is.

    Kent Read. Kent Write. Kent State.

  6. Seriously, the Middle Class Task Force?

    And why does college need to be cheaper? College is not for everybody. Sorry to be coarse, but some people are too dumb to go to school.

    The world needs ditch diggers too…

  7. I really fucking hate this guy…

  8. But Taktix, if everybody goes to college, everyone can get a better paying job!

  9. Dear President Obama: why are so you great? How does it feel being so great? Do mean people sometimes get jealous of you being so great? Do you think I can be as great as you someday if I stay in school?

  10. expanding government grants for college is a sure ticket for colleges to inflate their tuition to the point of rendering the aid impotent.

  11. I went to college not too long ago and about 70% of my education was grants

  12. Yes, why would we want people to have $50,000 in student loans and be able to buy a $100,000 home when they could have no student loans and have to try to buy the same home for $400,000?

  13. Why has the answer to every question been “we’re going to spend money on…”

  14. TO: Obamaprez
    FROM: prettyprincess_69@aol.com

    HAI PRES O! WHERE DID U GET SUCH DREAMY EYEZ!1! K, TTYL, LOL XD

  15. Micky D’S!!!

  16. Why does everybody pick on fast food? I was a Supervisor at BK by the time I was 17; good money during high school.

  17. the suffering in the Midwest is that horrendous accent, lady.

  18. Fuck you, Ellie

  19. Hey I got an idea to make college cheaper, GET THE GOVT OUT OF IT.

    On top of that, I want to see the deans and leaders from big education grilled in a senate panel, like evil baseball players and evil oil executives are.

  20. Why do people feel the need to suck up? This guy just said “Thanks for all your Administration has done for veterans”…we’re like, what, 90 days in? They haven’t done anything special.

  21. See, if I were observing this I’d be angry, but instead I get the highly humorous blow-by-blow via TAO and the moose. Much better this way.

  22. OH NOES LONEWACKO CARLOS THE MEXICAN IS TRYING TO GET GOVERNMENT CHEESE!

    And Obama just made a dig at Halliburton. Man, I admire that kind of cheek.

  23. oh Lord…women asking the President questions makes me reconsider the 19th Amendment.

  24. My god, this thing is overtly rigged.

    Ok, I’m starting to drink now…

    Since this won’t be the last Online Town Hall, I suggest we create a drinking game. My suggestion:

    1 drink per use of “Economies of Scale”

    1 drink per suggestion that government regulate things in the interest of “competition”

    1 drink per reference to evil profits

    any other ideas?

  25. Obama really likes nurses, eh?

  26. any “question” that is really a loving ode to Chocolate Jesus.

    oh wait, I’m not trying to get trashed.

    1 drink for every time he says “Fixed”. I didn’t realize that everything was so broken.

  27. You know what, screw Obama for not giving the Marijuana question its due, all he had to do was give it the same respect ha gave all the other questions, instead he just shot it down without even reading one specific question and answering it. Keep running because you know your WRONG!!!! The American people will do as they please since our leaders refuse to address the issue due to the fact that the law is WRONG!!!!

  28. Hey Barack,

    This is in case nobody’s informed you.

    The fucking campaign was over more than 4 goddam months ago.

    You won.

  29. This asshole even said he was part of Obama’s economic staff or whatever.

    This is blatant propaganda. I fucking hate this guy…

  30. this guy wants his loan payments not to count as profit. what the fuck? Do you think you should just be able to take out loans for free?

    oh, wait…I can see where he would get that.

  31. Taktix –
    in order to make watching him possible I drink every time he says “fundamental”

  32. OH GOD A SCHOOL TEACHER! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

  33. OMG, the President just gave Overbook a shoutout!!!1!!1!!11!!!

    I fucking hate this guy…

  34. Hey, Bonnie… scarves go around the neck. Around.

  35. Effective Teachers: Get paid for work, not for your cushy three-months off.

    Charter School: A public school not as fucked up as the other public schools.

  36. CNBC just gave up and switched back to geithner

  37. TAO – didn’t he specifically say toward principle? That’s ridiculous. You can deduct your mortgage and student loan interest, but holy shit – principle?

  38. He did say the principal! “Dear Mr. President – can you please let me deduct from my taxes the entirety of my business capital, thereby COMPLETELY UNDERCUTTING THE FACT THAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE “RISKS” IN THIS COUNTRY!”

    I swear, people think you’re just supposed to *succeed*, without effort or cost.

  39. Obama: “NCLB wasn’t micromanaging enough. We need MORE METRICS and MORE MONEY!”

  40. So, in the audience, we’ve had questions from two government contractors, a SEIU member, a NEA member.

    I’m going to guess we’ll get someone from either the AFL-CIO or the environmental lobby within the next three questions.

    If we do, you all owe me, owe me, owe me…

  41. How long do you think the teachers unions are gonna be for videoing the classrooms for performance evaluation

  42. Taktix-
    My drinking game revolves around “Fair” and derivatives thereof. “Level the playing field” gets its own special category.
    It’s a good thing I’m too paranoid to connect to the White House site; I’d be comatose by lunchtime.

    And what is it with you peole who don’t know who Baba Ram Dass is? What the fuck do they teach in school, these days

  43. at least he’s willing to take on the Black Board of Silence when it comes to bad teachers.

  44. robert,

    -3 days.

  45. Obama: I bet you’ll admit you’ve met teachers you wouldn’t put your children in their classroom.

    Dumbass teacher: My NEA contract prevents me from criticizing members in public…

  46. Jane says.
    I’m done with Sergio
    He treats me like a ragdoll.

  47. did you hear his answer on legalizing cannabis? big surprise…

  48. In a society a lot of times we have to step back and ask if what we’re doing in priciple is right…

    I have no idea what the fuck my question is..

  49. Another Mexican! Lonewacko must be in apoplexy.

    Sergio needs a eyebrow artist.

  50. In a society a lot of times we have to step back and ask if what we’re doing in priciple is right…

    I have no idea what the fuck my question is..

  51. In a society, you have to step back and ask “Can we please pay for preexisting conditions from the printing presses?”

    PLEEEEASE?! Bad things in life should be COVERED BY THE TAXPAYER.

  52. Somebody should have had the balls to make him answer the marijuana question.

  53. Meanwhile, back in the land of those concerned about the direction that the U.S. is heading in, even Ben Smith (link) and Michael Scherer (link) have caught on to the fact that efforts like this are little more than shams.

    Of course, that’s something I’ve been saying since the shams first started about a year and a half ago. Here’s a list of past efforts and a brief discussion of how to actually make sure the best questions rise to the top.

  54. I could only watch the thing for about ten seconds and, and, you know what? Fuck Barack Obama.

  55. I thought he did answer it, wasn’t he pretty clear?
    “There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, and I don’t know what this says about the online audience ,” Mr.Obama said, drawing a laugh. He said he wanted to make sure the question got answered. “The answer is no, I don’t think that was a good strategy.”

  56. Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  57. OLS – what did you think of Sergio and Carlos? Can you believe they had the audacity to steal your thunder?

    You can’t win for losing, man! We’re even outsourcing your inanities to Mexicans now.

  58. Would this qualify as an Online Potemkin Village? A townhall meeting in a town entirely composed of apparatchiks and airheaded college students…

  59. I hope the first things the airheads from Kent State apply for under Universal Healthcare are prescriptions for a massive dose of Valtrex.

    It’s about suppression oppression.

  60. @Hacha Cha: You’re joking, right?

    He laughed off the most popular question without even pretending to seriously considering it. Nice.

    What a hack.

  61. Maybe someone would like to ask the lying cocksucker about this:

    DEA raids pot dispensary in SF

    So much for his pledge to end the War on Sick People.

  62. joking about that it was a big surprise? yes.
    did I think he avoided answering it, yeah sort of but not really. he said on legalizing “The answer is no, I don’t think that was a good strategy.” obviously he isn’t for legalizing it. big surprise. of course he laughed it up, because sensible drug policy is just a joke to him.

  63. DEA raids pot dispensary in SF

    This why he has almost no defenders on this board. Seriously, somebody try and defend this shit. I double-dog dare you. Where is joe in his Messiah’s hour of need?

  64. Where is joe in his Messiah’s hour of need?

    Re-watching debates from last year and revisiting the threads he thought he won where he predicted Obama would maintain integrity. That’s my guess anyway.

  65. GG wrote:

    # Maybe someone would like to ask the lying
    # cocksucker about this:

    # DEA raids pot dispensary in SF

    # So much for his pledge to end the War on
    # Sick People.

    In the article I read about this, it was alleged that the dispensary had not paid State sales taxes. Thus, it was not operating in accordance with State law. Thus, it was not covered by the recent exemption, which clearly States that the Federal government won’t swoop down and mess with dispensaries that are operating in accordance with State law.

    All you guys running pot dispensaries better turn in your overdue library books and pay your fines, or ELSE!

    This is just another example to illustrate that the power to tax is the power to destroy — one way or another.

  66. @Hacha Cha: He may not have technically avoided providing an answer, but he certainly avoided giving it honest consideration and taking the time to back up his stance.

    He just gave an unequivocal “no, with no support or elaboration. That is an evasion in spirit if not in letter.

  67. Where is joe in his Messiah’s hour of need?

    It’s hard to type, when the sleeves of your pyjamas are tied together behind your back.

  68. 1 drink per use of “Economies of Scale”

    Oh, Jesus. Did he use the economy of scale argument? To get economy of scale you need (a) scale AND (b) motivation to do the hard work to find opportunities to use that scale to save money.

  69. “I swear, people think you’re just supposed to *succeed*, without effort or cost”

    It worked for Obama.

  70. Here is my question: when are you going to release your test scores you stupid fuck?

  71. “Hey Barack,

    This is in case nobody’s informed you.

    The fucking campaign was over more than 4 goddam months ago.

    You won.”

    He’s running for 2012.

  72. The fucking campaign was over more than 4 goddam months ago.

    Ahh but this is American Democracy, where the campaign never ends. Ever.

  73. What an asshole – he mocks the millions of people who asked the most populular question, treating them like brain-damaged smelly hippies.

    Of course making a highly-desired new product available would improve the economy. I’m not saying it would be a solution to all our economic woes, but that wasn’t the question. New high-value (though lesser-value when legal) crops could be grown; new pot stores could be built, staffed and operated; new salespeople could be employed; and many new customers would be buying a product they’re currently not buying, or buying on the black market for an extremely high price. In other words, it would pump money into the economy while saving some people money at the same time. Meanwhile, it would be taxed so the state and federal governments could get additional tax income to solve other problems or build new infrastructure. And the psychological effects of the drug would probably be good for people who are in a perpetually worried state. It’s better than drinking alcohol, and better for you.

    But that would just be silly – laugh it off. The only good news in this is that so many people seriously considered having this question asked in the first place. Too bad Obama gave all of us the finger, while simultaneously having his DEA raid a california medical marijuana dispensary today, breaking another campaign promise. Unbelievable.

    Am I going to regret voting for Obama in 2008 as much as I regret voting for Bush in 2000? I’m seriously starting to worry about such a prospect.

  74. @BruceM: Yeah it’s easy to say “it won’t help the economy” when you offer no supporting facts or explanation whatsoever, right? It’s the same exact kind of blatant lie in the face of the facts that we have been dealing with for the past 40-odd years.

    His joking and dismissing were disgusting and incredibly disheartening. Like I said, I didn’t expect him to say “yeah, let’s legalize it”. But I did expect him to address it with the respect and care that he gave every single other topic that came up in the presentation. Total BS.

  75. Rhayader: Exactly. his insulting tone and complete mockery of all the people who seriously wanted that question answered was unacceptable. It was a serious question, and it deserved a serious, non-insulting answer. The worst part is that only a moron would seriously contend that legalizing marijuana would NOT help the economy (however slightly). Not fix the economy, mind you, but definitely make things better – both financially and psychologically. It might cost some police officers and prison guards their jobs, but they shouldn’t have those jobs anyway insofar as they exist solely to support the drug war.

    I suggest we legalize ALL drugs, not just pot, and tax them heavily. Make sure they are sold in 100% pure, regulated, measured, unadulterated packages – like any other drug would be – and don’t allow people to sue over known/expected side effects. Of course it should remain illegal to operate a vehicle/heavy machinery with diminished mental or physical faculties due to the ingestion of any substance.

    Legalizing drugs would create a whole new market for jobs, stores, labor, regulation, education, and tax revenue. It would revitalize our economy the way ending alcohol prohibition made things better all around. With the tax revenue generated from drug sales, we could get rid of the income tax. That means getting rid of the IRS and DEA – think of the taxpayer money saved right there. Of course we’d have to pry the shiny badges away from their cold dead hands, but there is no entitlement to a job that should not exist in the first place.

    Anyway, Obama’s cruel mockery of millions of people who asked a serious question of him today drops my own personal approval rating of Obama to its lowest point since he took office. He’s still better than Bush, but I expect a lot more from Obama. Bush was a retarded monkey, Obama is an intelligent thoughtful person and he put politics above honesty today. That’s unacceptable. Especially from him.

  76. Yeah, I’m with you. You should write Obama; there is a “contact” section of whitehouse.gov, I already sent him my letter about his behavior earlier today.

  77. They just scan those for threats against the president, which go to the secret service. all other letters are ignored. Like they have the time or manpower to actually read and address the substance of every email sent – probably at least a million a day.

    Even if he did manage to read it, he doesn’t care. You saw how the live audience clapped at his mocking and insulting response. Drug legalization is a fringe issue, like UFOs. As long as it’s ignored and lightly mocked as unserious, then that’s what We The Sheep will think about it. Too much money and power is already secured in keeping prohibition, and to undo it would require the government to admit that it’s been lying to us about drugs for half a century. It simply will never happen, even if it could save our country and economy from total destruction.

    I should be able to buy Bayer brand Heroin right next to the Vodka and Scotch. Even a large percentage of the “legalize pot” people don’t favor fully ending prohibition, which implicitly concedes that prohibition is necessary. The only problem with drug use and drug addiction is not being able to legally acquire your drug of choice for a fair (non-black market) price and of known purity and concetration. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with drug use as long as people are responsible for their actions. Like with alcohol – which is more intoxicating and harmful than any other substance known to man. I’d rather be in a room full of heroin, cocaine, and meth addicts than drunks. I’d rather have them driving next to me on the road, too (not that any of them should be driving).

  78. Yeah I am in total agreement that all drugs should be legalized, regulated, and taxed.

    I wouldn’t exactly call drug law reform a “fringe” issue though, certainly nothing like UFOs. Take a look at this:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/americans-growing-kinder-to-bud.html

    Also, I see more and more appearances by guys like Rob Kampia and Bruce Mirken in which the reform of drug laws is at least given serious consideration, if not endorsement by the anchor. I am talking CNN, MSNBC, etc. Even Glen Beck recently stated the need for drug law reform.

    Now are these guys all talking complete legalization? Of course not. But things happen slowly, and the notion that our current strategy is a failure is becoming more and more mainstream. That is a start at least.

  79. No I meant it’s treated like a fringe issue by politicians and the media. “Drugs should be legalized” and “UFOs are real alien spacecraft visiting our planet, which the government knows about and keeps secret” are both given the same response of scorn, belittlement, and laughter by politicans and the media.

    I’m not making any statement about the reality of UFOs by the way. But it’s far more likely that ending drug prohibition is the proper thing to do than an alien spacecraft crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the government has kept it secret. I know one thing has nothing to do with the other substantively. I’m merely referring to how both issues are treated by those with power, whether it be power over legislation or power over persuasion.

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