Without comprehensive, cooperative, enforceable international standards and practices, it's all just political showmanship.
If the USA and EU agree on international standards, and then put a "carbon tax" on any goods from countries that don't follow these standards, then the problem is "solved". Of course, the USA with the current congress will never agree on any standards to combat global warming since the republicans believe any government action that don't make it easier for rich to get richer is evil and that global warming is a conspiracy by scientists. Oh well.
Of course, one problem is that Ron Paul is an idiot. Sorry. Who cares if he has a perfect voting record, or if he has principles. Ron Paul does not have a clue on how a modern economy functions or the role of government. Just listen to Paul talk about taxes, gold standard, Federal Reserve and the free market, and you understand that the guy is truely clueless.
Libertarian views definitely have a role in the political conversation, but it is unfortunate that most libertarian politicians are intellectually on the level of highschool boys who have just read Ayn Rand. I must say the PC b*lls*t that say that since some agree with Paul on military interventions or "small government" whatever that means, that one cannot just point out that the guy is basically stuipd and should be forced to you know actually answer to facts about the real world.
First, Congress writes the laws of the land. The US system of course has checks and balance, where the Supreme Court can rule something unconstitutional. This means that a law is nullified until Congress either rewrite part of the constitution if the support is there (the consitutition is not a holy text you know), or a new Congress has to wait for the oldest SCOTUS judges dies. E.g. the extreme rightwing tilt of the current court explains why the moderat McCain-Feingold law was struck down, and the last election shows why it is time for age to do its thing. Of course, the current president chose who the new judges will be, again a part of the check and balance.
Now to Snowden, he is clearly not a whistleblower. What he is doing is civil disobedience, in the spirit of e.g. MLK when the civil rights movement broke immoral laws. Because, so far it has not been shown that NSA is doing anything illegal. And it is infuriating to read and hear commentators and journalists that claim what NSA is doing is either illegal, surprising or has been kept hidden from public. What the hell did all these people think the "Patriot Act" was all about?!
What was illegal was the early wiretaps done by the Bush administration; the solution was to expand the Patriot Act. The people back then that protested the Patriot Act were willefied by the Bush administration ("either you are with us, or you are against us"), and got a collective shrug from the corporate media. I just got to shake my head at liberals that are surprised that president Obama will use all the legal tools available to him to keep the homeland secure (thats is part of the job description), or at the republican media like fox that were so eager to defend the Bush teams illegal wiretaps and expansion of the Patriot Act who could not understand back then that Congress should pass laws that are acceptable whatever party the president belongs.
And no, the current rightwing SCOTUS will not find the NSA activities unconstitutional.
So dont feel so smug because you at least are against the collection of meta-data that NSA is doing. Inform yourself and the voters around you, and take responsibility to elect people to congress that will not be pushed around by lobbyist or the latest non-story in the corporat media (only one senator was strong enough to vote against the Patriot Act - Feingold - and he did not get reelected which says a lot about the voters).
Congress is at the moment disfunctional, not least because of a republican party and republican voters that does not seem to believe in anything but Obama bad and to cut taxes for the rich. But this is not good for either of the major parties or for the country. What is needed is functioning opposition party to challenge the ruling party and to bring about an informed debate about how to make the country stronger. Because these are difficult questions: how to find the right balance between decreasing the risk for terrorist attacks while protecting the privacy of the population. Or how to have a transparent government that you can trust, while ensuring that the information that will harm national security is kept away from potential terrorists. There are no easy answers.
Maybe Obama is correct when he states that this is the right time to start such an informed discussions? But then we have to move beyond voters looking at politics as a game where your team is winning or loseing. The politicians you want is the ones with principles but also who will look for the best possible compromise. And we need move beyond a corporate media that just reports he-said/she-said. What is needed is a media that calls out stupid, is able to point out consequences of a law for the future, and who has the courage to pick up difficult topics (instead of scrambling when the NSA story broke in a UK newspaper).
Things can only improve if we move beyond slogans like "government bad, deficits bad" to e.g. discussions on the right level of use of private and extremely expensive contractors to do the important government work of tracking down organised crime and terrorism. And to have a debate where conservative and liberals can try to find good checks and balances on a government that has the responsibility to keep most people safe from bombs, while not forgetting the Bill of Rights.
Present yourself, in person, with complete documentation as to who you are, including birth certificates, [...]
Of course workers are not allowed to use free speech! It would lead to a slippery slope where soon where workers would expect to be treated like humans by corporations.
We all agreed remember, that after the 1% ruling class crashed the economy that the only solution is for the 99% losers to give up more of their rights and benefits.
Corporations are made out of people where one of those people is a CEO who had installed a friend as director of the board and then get milliions in pay and bonuses if the corporations does well or bad and also got himself a contract that gives him millions in a golden parachute if the corporation fails miserable because of its miserable CEO which it will finally have to fire. This CEO then lobbies / bribes "business friendly" politicians with the corporations money so that the corporation is allowed to pollute unlimited and bust unions so that the people who actually work for the corporation gets peanutes in pay and no job security, and since these people do not live in the nice neighborhoods of the CEO will have to drink their water unleaded. When these people who actually does the work get sick or burned out and the corporation starts to struggle some corporate raider like Mittens Bain buys the majority of shares in the corporations, then Mittens loads the corporations with debt while taking huge salaries and then leaves the corporation to die after they have robbed the pension money from the people in the corporation who has worked there for 40 years or more. After the corporation finally goes broke the federal government have to use taxpayers money to help the people in the corporation who actually did work while Mittens and the failure of a CEO live a marvelous life and give all the money they made from people who actually work for corporations but did not have time to waste to their spoiled brat children who get a Harvard education so that they can become CEOs and corporate raiders and corupte politicians.
So, yes, corporations are people.
Both the quotes by Obama are just factual statements, no? "Singing a different tune", or being a two-faced idiot, would be if Obama the candidate would have stated that "president Bush should drill baby drill to lower gas prices", while stating today that "drilling wont help". But Obama in 2008 did state that drill baby drill was not an energy policy that would help. It seems Obama was right in 2008 as well as today.
What would have been interesting about the factual statement about gas prices in 2008 in Ohio, would be the whole context it was stated. I am pretty sure that Obama the candidate was talking about investing in green energy (as he has done) and reduce wall street speculation in oil (which he has not done so far).
Lest you forget, when Bush left office, the price of a gallon of gas was less than $2 after being in the high $3 range prior to his executive order.
Lest you forget, when Bush left office, the world economy was on the brink of collapse. That might be the reason Bush managed to lower the gas price; by ruining the US economy.
And again you are wrong. How sad.
Here is a link to a conference of top scientists of AGW alarmists on "crazy" ideas how to work around the worst effects of climate change: Blue-sky thinking about climate. It was in 2004. The key quote is:
Kyoto is in a very difficult position, and it may be necessary to find other exit strategies.
On your other stupid comment of the day: scientist are working every day to be able to get earlier warning of earthquakes and to be able to accurately predict the effect and behaviour of tornados and earthquakes. Since many of these scientists are working for government organisations (e.g. universities) or (the horror) the UN, you might even call these scientists a part of a "global bureaucracy". When it comes to stop (instead of preventing harm from) such phenomena, it is surely easier to stop a phenomena that is caused by our own actions (i.e. Global Warming), than something that is caused by the movements of the earth crust.
Not much of a criticizme, just old talking points.
Without the stimulus-spending that Obama initiated between 1 - 3.5 million more people would be out of job today. (According to independent analysis, CBO). That would be a real drag on the economy.
Also, of course you will have to do more stimulus to the economy to be able to pay of debt in the future, since it is the tax money from people actually working that will pay this debt. It is a total waste to let people be unemployed, so you invest to get people working. (You just have to make sure that the stimulus actually create jobs). This is especially true since people like yourself reject the filthy rich should pay more taxes (you know, as much as they did under Clinton and less than they did under Reagan).
Happiness is a hard disk.