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Obama sworn in as 44th president; speaks of 'new era of responsibility'

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yes,he will endure and deliver.i feel so emotional for how far America has come.may japan learn from this

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'New era of responsibility' message for Wallstreet, that may translate into 'new era of peace and prosperity' for Main street. Nothing but HOPE.

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Great speech and this is a great day for America!

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Acknowledging the historic nature of his inauguration as leader of a nation with a deeply troubled racial past,

ok, can someone name a country in the history of the world that hasn't?

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I am hopeful. Perhaps I have been a critic of the former administration but am reserving opinion on this one to see if it lives up the expectations. My big brother, the US, that I have often admired in the past may win my admiration again.

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I can sincerely say that I have never been nationalistic. I have always felt that my government was out of touch with the ordinary working people of American. And that working people were apathetic and hopeless about having real political power.

But I can say, without reservation, that change has come to my home country. Though it was born out of fear, severe problems and eight long years of corrupt and wrong leadership, that change represents a real and tangible step forward for America.

President Obama's speech was grounded in the realities that we face. And with true wisdom he placed the responsiblity for the future where it belongs, with each and every American through our hard work, political will and responsibility to hold ourselves and our government accountable.

Likewise he called upon all people around the world to change our thinking from adversity to hope and cooperation in a time where our problems and goals are intermixed and inseparable. I think this invitation to partnership is also the right start.

I don't expect miracles. I don't expect solutions to all our problems. For now it is enough to see a nation chosing change and hope. And a people preparing to take personal responsibility for the future.

For once in my life I will say "Hail to the Chief." And best wishes to President Obama and all of us.

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Congratulations to the United States of America. This is a wonderful day for our nation. < :-)

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He has yet to prove himself. Hold off on the self-satisfaction.

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Bushlover, what will you do to prove yourself? The call today is not for a miracle working president. The call today is for a miracle working people.

We as Americans can no longer afford to sit back and point fingers. We need to take personal responsiblity for the world around us. Non-Americans need to do the same as we are all facing shared challenges with the economy and environment as well as violence and conflict.

It is very easy to sit back and say "He has yet to prove himself." It is a lot harder to commit to helping the man reshape our nation and bind ourselves together globally.

I'm involved in politics and in social and volunteer issues. And I intend to do as much as I can to achieve our collective goals. So how will you prove yourself?

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A new dawn for America, but the question is can he deliver? Best of luck.

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Jobs cure-all. But must be attractive, dignified, not soul-destroying or back-breaking for Japan too. Prestigious and glamorous if possible. If Mark Twain can seel fence-painting for an apple, Obama should be able to sell community building work to louts, beggars and social welfare parasites.

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One of the things that stuns me most about this inauguration, in fact the U.S. entire election up to now is the attitude behind the words.

Bush has been all about division, wedge politics, ridicule, narrow-mindedness, mistaking stubbornness for principle, not to mention hyper-partisanship.

Obama, on the other hand, is all about co-operation, contribution, open-mindedness ('If you have a better idea, I want it'), bridge-building (both physically and literally, interestingly), support, and actually giving a damn.

The attitudes and the thinking of the 2 men could not be more different, and I'm very reassured by Obama because he never slips up, which makes me think he is the real deal, the genuine article.

Yes, he has to put his money where his mouth is, but I think from initial observations, Obama is the right person for the job at this time.

Congratulations America, you have done yourselves proud.

I would also like to make a note of thanks to all the Bush supporters who so enthusiastically backed the former president through thick and thin.

Without your strong support and the policies that your support helped breed, your countrymen would likely never have experienced the worst economic turmoil in 80 years, Americans would not have come to see how badly off track the U.S. had become, they would never have watched the international reputation of their country sink to such depths, and would not have handed President Obama such a convincing victory in November.

Thank you.

Ironically, you created your own worst nightmare.

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SushiSake3. Very well said.

Suebe36d. It is still easy to portray those in need in such negative terms. But "those in need" has expanded to include a lot of very good people who have worked and bled hard until no work was available to them.

We have to change our thinking. Those in need are our brothers and sisters and we are responsible for them. If they are in genuine need we need to reach out and help them. For the few who are truly drop outs, well, we need to empower them and put them on the right path. We can and must do both. Because their fate is also our responsibility.

No more sitting on the side lines. Stand up and get involved. If you see a problem in society, like you see "loafers" then get out there and address the problem. Volunteer to speak to these people. Help encourage them. Employ them if you can. Help break the negative cycles instead of just pointing at them. Like President Obama has called for, take responsibility and get involved. That is the hard part. Far harder than talk.

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He flubbed the presidential oath. Where was the teleprompter?

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wuzzademcrat - you clearly didn't bother to read the article above.

Try reading the article, in particular this section: "Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled slightly over the 35-word constitutionally prescribed oath of office." :-)

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"Try reading the article, in particular this section: "Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled slightly over the 35-word constitutionally prescribed oath of office." :-)"

Too late. It has flown around the right wing blogosphere. It will be the plastic turkey around Obama's neck. Must be some kind of blowback.

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President TO the United States? Surely the correct English grammar is President OF the United States? Oh well, its America, after all . . .

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Wow, watching this, I was just amazed at the reaction from the TV people. Male and Female, it was like they were simultaneously having an Obasm. Truly a momentous event.

Bush has been all about division, wedge politics, ridicule, narrow-mindedness, mistaking stubbornness for principle, not to mention hyper-partisanship.

Actually Bush was about inclusiveness and openness. He wanted Bipartisan government, and often worked with Democrats, over the objections of his own party, and despite their obvious hatred for him. Bush divided the country, not because of him, but because of them. Half the country hated him for beating Gore, and later Kerry by just a few votes.

Obama, on the other hand, is all about co-operation, contribution, open-mindedness ('If you have a better idea, I want it'), bridge-building (both physically and literally, interestingly), support, and actually giving a damn.

Obama is part of the group that hated and levied nonstop criticism on the republican party, and conservatives in general, even in the middle of a war. Now that they have the power, now that they can do what they want, they're oh so happy to look like they're reaching out to the poor downtrodden republicans, and saying the exact same thing the Republicans did. Lets work together, we need to be unified... Where was the unity when the US was fighting a war? Where was the unity when soldiers were dying to protect Iraqis from terrorists, and being called murderers and terrorists, even by members of congress?

Yeah, unity? Not under Obama. You think the country was divided under Bush? You ain't seen nothin yet. Obama is going to polarize the US like no one ever has before.

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Molenir - "Obama is part of the group that hated and levied nonstop criticism on the republican party"

Molenir, that group was the majority of Americans.

The minority just got their butts whipped on November 4th.

Feel free to move on with the rest of us.

Alternatively, it's entirely your choice to stay and stew in your own frustration and desparation that a man who - for the first time in 8 years - truly has your country's interests at heart and is now your President.

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You think the country was divided under Bush? You ain't seen nothin yet. Obama is going to polarize the US like no one ever has before.

In these bad times we don't have the luxury of wasting energy on some payback scenario (and bitter partisan politics predates the GWB administration BTW).

Obama earned his high approval rating precisely by rising above it. And he needs to focus on our economic difficulties. Reports of cascading bank failures caused the Dow Jones to dive 300 points today. Hard choices have to be made here; is there any scenario by which we can avoid full-scale nationalization? I dunno about you, but a tar-paper shack is not where I want to enjoy my golden years.

Where was the unity when soldiers were dying to protect Iraqis from terrorists, and being called murderers and terrorists, even by members of congress?

Today the Karzai government declared the level of civilian casualties will doom efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Any ideas on how to reduce it?

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Molenir - "Where was the unity when the US was fighting a war?"

Where was the unity when the former president was trampling on the Constitution, secretly torturing people, incarcerating individuals indefinitely without charge and scaremongering to start a war based on a pack of lies - where was the unity then?

Unity wasn't there because there were some people in America - primarily gutless Republicans - who greenlighted all the above, and then there were the rest, who were absolutely appalled at what their government was doing.

The latter were the happiest and most satisfied yesterday as the remnants of the former were assigned to the dustbin of history,

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I made the great mistake of watching CNN's coverage of this event--a massive paean to the peaceful transfer of power, as though no other country in the history of the world has a history of this. What I saw, granted somewhat contaminated by the gnat of Wolf Blitzer's voice in my ear, was quite different from what seems to be implied by this article.

What was most impressive was the public turnout. I think it is undeniable that Americans are ready for change. And I think it is undeniable that Obama has catalyzed the political reaction of Americans so that it is at least possible that hands can join across the aisle to help find a consensus for action.

However, you'd have to color me one of those cynics that Obama talked about. I do think the programs that Obama laid out are too ambitious. The spirit may be willing, but I think the belief that Americans can do anything we make our minds up to do is partly to blame for where we are today.

Nor am I convinced about the ability of Americans to realize the possibility of bi-partisan effort. Sen. Feinstein's remarks were inspirational--in my opinion more so than Obama's. However, it seemed to me that she unnecessarily suggested comparisons between the outgoing administration and the incoming one. Furthermore, despite Bush's cooperation during the transition and his graciousness at the handover, I think his presidency needs to be investigated and I'm not sure how that gets done.

Obama's speech was, I thought, mostly unremarkable. He said some inspirational things, he said some true things and he said some general things. But if you take it apart, he didn't say any specific things. And the devil and God have always been in the details.

The most ironic thing was, in my estimation, the all-star quartet playing "Air and Simple Gifts" at the most expensive inauguration ever. It truly is a gift to be simple and those who do not know the words can sing along here:

http://www2.gol.com/users/quakers/simple_gifts.htm

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wuzzademcrat,

You raise an excellent point. Why, I think you've probably even discovered grounds for claiming that Obama, having failed to exactly duplicate the magic words (no matter how poorly prompted), is not the legitimate president of the US. Of course, if this gets to the Supreme Court Roberts really should recuse himself.

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In the deep south, people are going to wake up today to the fact that a blackman is president of the USA. My hat off to all those brave people who gave up their lives in the 60s for OBAMA to make this journey. Its been long coming.

AMEN AMEN AMEN

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Anyone who watched the Oath of Office being administered will note Obama actually flubbed three times. First, he screwed up by jumping the gun on Justice Roberts after Roberts said his name. Then, he flubbed repeating after Roberts only to have Roberts stumble after Obama had stumbled. Roberts muffed the line, but corrected himself. Obama on the other hand rectited the wrong version of the Oath. Finally, Obama said "will to best of my ability" rather than saying "will to the best of my ability."

Because he was not reading a teleprompter, Obama choked, pure and simple.

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I made the great mistake of watching CNN's coverage of this event--a massive paean to the peaceful transfer of power, as though no other country in the history of the world has a history of this. What I saw, granted somewhat contaminated by the gnat of Wolf Blitzer's voice in my ear, was quite different from what seems to be implied by this article.

SezWho,

I watched a bit at lunch. It was clearly a generational shift; GHWB walked with a cane and Dick Cheney, not a VP anyone would associate with bipartisanship, was in a wheel-chair. Though GWB was gracious; his smile looked pretty forced. Don't think that would have changed as he looked of the helicopter window at the one-million person crowd, a number his two inaugurations never attracted, many cheering at his departure.

But I do take great pride in our country's smooth and seamless transition from one elected president to the next. I spend most of my time immersed in the problems of countries where nothing works right. And you come to appreciate just what our country has achieved and what it stands for.

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TexasAggie,

Riiiiiight. Obama is at sea without a teleprompter. But that'd be Cap'n Obama to you. So until he starts raving about a quart of strawberries gone missing, we'll have to muddle along.

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TexasAggie - no one else really cares.

But thanks for pretending President Obama and Chief Justice Robert's verbal errors is actually an issue.

I'm sure you have far more constructive ways to fill your day. :-)

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depasio,

YO calm down. I hope you are not going to be one of those who is quick to call a person a racist because he doesn't like Obama. Did you watch it, they showed quite a number of white faces who marched, and a few died, with those very blacks you give credit to, but you only give the credit to them.

What are you going to say when I become the first Hispanic President? Would you like me or my kind to throw taunts in your face should you not like my policies.

Its people like you that put the breaks on a lot of people not to vote for Obama. And you just ruined a lot of people's day here on JT.

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I can't believe someone took the time to write down the stuttering part.

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Skip - "What are you going to say when I become the first Hispanic President? Would you like me or my kind to throw taunts in your face should you not like my policies."

Well said.

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Betzee,

Yes, it was a generational shift. However, we've had those before and that in itself does not strike me as being particularly meaningful.

I think a "peaceful handover" is good. I don't think I would describe an American handover as being "smooth and seemless" though. And we certainly didn't invent them. The mother country had smooth and seamless handovers before we decided to have a rather bloody rupture with it.

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I'm glad a half-black - half-white person won.

Obama is not 'black' and he is not 'white', as easy as it is to say he is 'black' due to the color of his skin.

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I'm so glad I got to witness this wonderful day. I'm so glad my children got to see it!

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You seem to be saying that ethnic makeup should trump ability and experience.

SS3: While I agree with you that the best person for the job of POTUS should be selected regardless of racial heritage, from a realistic standpoint, no white candidate with Obama's lack of qualifications, lack of experience, long history of associations with slimeballs, crooks, racists, etc. etc. etc., would ever have been nominated in the first place, let alone be elected. In this case, the only logical conclusions are that Obama is now America's 44th President specifically because of (A.) the color of his skin, and (B.) a very supportive MSM that refused to do their job as members of the Fourth Estate and properly vett him.

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HEy skipthesong...

Someone said that Obama will cause the polarization of America and i simply made the point that it will be the racist people that cause this to Happen not Obama and his policies ( dont get it twisted). And people were commenting on the fumble of the oath and him not being a good president because of that, that is rubbish. And if you become the first hispanic president good for you, i would be proud to see a hispanica in power ( we are all one people)and if i didnt like your policies, well i would still be proud of you and your accomplishment. Skipsong I have freinds all over the world every color religion and race so dont get it twisted i simply made a point. And if anybodies day is messed up on JT its because they dont want to see OBAMA AS PRESIDENT. HUSH YOU POOR BABY

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I'm proud that those who voted other than Obama refused to indulge in the disgusting and barbaric antics we saw in DC at the 01 and 05 inaugurations.

Predictably, even in 'victory' certain Democrats still carried on like children, jeering President Bush and his wife when they arrived at the historic inauguration of Barack Obama and singing an oh-so-clever and original sendoff most Americans will only ever have to endure when surrounded by folks whose lives revolve around the defeat of a visiting pro sports team: "nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey hey, goodbye."

Yup, keepin it real classy there, Dems.

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Molenir: "Bush divided the country, not because of him, but because of them. Half the country hated him for beating Gore, and later Kerry by just a few votes."

and then you follow it with:

"You think the country was divided under Bush? You ain't seen nothin yet. Obama is going to polarize the US like no one ever has before"

By your own argument, then, you are admitting that if the country should be (more) polarized with Obama, then it's the people's fault, not his. That is directly what you said in support of his predecessor. So either you are incorrect, or you are correct and it is your own fault. Which is it?

wuzzademcrat: "Too late. It has flown around the right wing blogosphere. It will be the plastic turkey around Obama's neck. Must be some kind of blowback."

Please! Should I direct you to a page that lists only the top 200 famous bush blunders? (too many more to list them completely) You've proven once again today that you're actually not very well read at all.

Anyway, American people, congratulations! You have chosen a true leader who is already bringing about change in some very positive ways. The two or three people on this thread who are bashing what is happening are just outright desperate and suffering from grief (and seem to enjoy that), while probably 95% of the country is looking toward the future, and at least 80% is in support of the new President. I look forward to watching him change the country into something positive again, and putting the US back in the right direction.

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wuzzademcrat: "Predictably, even in 'victory' certain Democrats still carried on like children..."

You mean much like you are doing now and have been doing for the past few days in a mad panic?

'nuff said.

You're not going to break anyone's good feelings today, partner... best troll on another site. Perhaps there's an "I hate Obama" support group out there somewhere that would suit you.

The rest of us are looking forward to the positive things to come. You can stay down in the dumps.

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a crowd that swelled to more than 1 million on the National Mall

Wondering how many in that Washington crowd will feel the same way about their CinC (Celebrity-in-Chief) when Obama fails to deliver on his campaign promise of two unicorns in every garage.

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If Obama is the ecology president who will persuade stubborn repubs to embrace less environmentally injurious lifestyles how do his starry-eyed fans account for the number of private jets that arrived in DC for the inauguration? - twice the number that came for the inaugurations of GW Bush, the supposed evil pawn of Big Biz and best friend Big Oil ever had.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"According to an article in Bloomberg, as many as 600 private jets were expected to touch down in D.C. for the inauguration. The runway at Washington Dulles was closed Saturday to allow as many as 100 small planes to park. And the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said it expected a total of 500 small jets to land from Jan. 16 through Jan 21.

“That would set a record, topping the 300 the airport accommodated for President George W. Bush’s 2004 inaugural,” an Airports Authority says in the article.

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I guess when you win an election by actually being appealing, people want to come.

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Wuzzademcrat.... And your point is?

So you expect Obama to tell his fans not to fly by private jet to witness one of the biggest moments in history.(rome wasnt built in a day, you cant have these people change their lifesyle in a week) come on man your just trying to find Useless stuff to make the PRESIDENT look bad. Or you are jelous you dont have a private jet?

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To all the nay sayers out there. I want to ask you to consider one simple thing.

If we don't pull together now and try, as a nation, to address our problems, then how will we see this time through.

My grandfather, an African American, volunteered for the army during WWII. He did this despite living as a second class citizen of the US. He did it despite generations of racism and exclusion he and his family had experienced.

Why?

Because he believed in importance of helping his country in a time of need. He put aside his personal political and social agenda to join the collective agenda of defeating fascism and assuring freedom.

We now call that generation the great generation. And they deserve that title for all the sacrifices they made to make American strong and safe. A lot of his friends didn't come home. And those who did came home to more racism and another 20 years of exclusion.

What we face today is no less dangerous to our country and to our lives. And how we must face it requires no less sacrifice than their generation faced. The question for you all of you is this.

Are you willing to join a collective effort to get through these hard times and to restore our country to health and security? Or are you going to spend the next few years resisting the tide and pointing fingers?

It is up to you. But I will tell you with all my heart that it is time we stopped behaving like kids in some highschool popularity contest between cliques and groups and got on with the hard work we need to do to get things sorted.

President Obama is the elected leader of our country. And whether you love him or hate him, that fact remains true. The only fact you can change is whether we waste the coming years bickering and infighting or if we put that aside and work together to get things back on track.

So what is it going to be? I keep asking this question but none of you reply. Face a challenge and have some courage to tell us what are you going to do to make things better? What sacrifices are you prepared to make?

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"Are you willing to join a collective effort to get through these hard times and to restore our country to health and security? Or are you going to spend the next few years resisting the tide and pointing fingers?

"It is up to you. But I will tell you with all my heart that it is time we stopped behaving like kids in some highschool popularity contest between cliques and groups and got on with the hard work we need to do to get things sorted."

That's rich. As was pointed out, do you see Republicans demonstrating in front of the WH? Do you see conservatives throwing eggs? Did Obama have to cancel the traditional walk to the WH, as Bush did?

High school? Do you see those of us who didn't vote for Obama indulging in the childish slight of refusing to capitalize Obama's name or the name of his party?

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Aw-w-w-w-w-w, it's so refreshing to hear the sweet sound of whining on the first day of Barack's presidency from some republicans.

Barack's been president for less than 24 hours and he's already done so much bad stuff that republiucans here on JT are just beside themselves. < :-)

Moderator: There is no reason for you to refer to Obama by his first name, unless of course you intend to refer to other persons by their first names for the sake of consistency.

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wuzzademcrat: "That's rich. As was pointed out, do you see Republicans demonstrating in front of the WH? Do you see conservatives throwing eggs? Did Obama have to cancel the traditional walk to the WH, as Bush did?"

Huge differences between the two, as a good deal of even Republicans are supporting Obama and hope for change. Why do you think the Republican party nearly fell apart during/after the last campaign? No one's throwing eggs at this man because he has given them only hope. Some might want to chuck a few later, but for now they are all in awe of the man, and even most of the people who DON'T support him have come on here and expressed amazement at the unprecedented show of support (including VOR, SuperLib, and a couple others).

Drop the hate and let the good feelings come in, my friend. You'll feel a whole lot better.

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That's rich. As was pointed out, do you see Republicans demonstrating in front of the WH? Do you see conservatives throwing eggs? Did Obama have to cancel the traditional walk to the WH, as Bush did?

Don't forget either, 4 years ago Bush was vilified for spending a measly 40 million on the inauguration. Yet Dems seem perfectly happy to have spent more then 4 times the amount Bush. In the midst of a recession, Obama throws more money away then Bush did, both times together. But those same Dems who ranted against Bush were oh so silent. Guess its just another of the many examples of the media, and the Dems double standard. Whats ok for a Dem, is not for a Republican.

I look forward to watching him change the country into something positive again, and putting the US back in the right direction.

Ah, so view the toilet as where the US should be heading?

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Today the Karzai government declared the level of civilian casualties will doom efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Any ideas on how to reduce it?

Oh hell no. You seem, I've decided to become a Conservative democrat. That means I get to play Democrat and use completely nonsensical arguments, ridiculous statements, and idiotic rants to avoid the issue. The one you brought up is now of course entirely up to the Obama administration, and I will of course be jeering, and mocking all his pathetic efforts. Of course I shall also be taking another page out of the Dem playbook, by referring to Soldiers as terrorists, murderers and thugs. In addition, whatever solution they come up with, even if it eventually works, will of course never be good enough. That is the way of the Democrat after all.

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wuzzademcrat. I have to back Smithinjapan on this. The difference this time through is the open door President Obama has prepared for everyone to walk through who are willing to focus on the future and not the past.

Face facts. President Obama could not have been elected without the firm support of many Republicans. The nation has spoken for change. So why can't we come together to make things better.

Don't we have the same wish for a future with a stronger economy, better conditions and opportunities for all Americans and peace and security? Don't we all want an America that can be respected and enabled to lead?

So let me ask you again wuzzademcrat. What will you, YOU, do to help build a better future? Will you bemoan the will of the majority? Or take a part to see that change comes that also includes your views? What will you do? Please answer the question. Because otherwise you are just whinning and I simply cannot respect a critic without a plan to offer in exchange for what is on the table.

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Molenir. Same question my friend. What is your plan for making things better? Do you have something that you intend to personally commit to in order to help make the future of America better? Do you have an agenda that should be offered up as an alternative to what President Obama is suggesting?

I spent a lot of the last eight years critisizing former President Bush. But in nearly all cases I offered up altnernative approaches to the problems we face. And during his reign I was active in politics and social issues personally and with dedicatation to ideas I believe in.

So other than jeering. What can we expect from you? I see no alternatives offered up in your posts. Just criticisms. Let's see some tangible things you can offer and let's put them up for consideration.

No one has had courage enough to accept my challenge yet. Will you be first? President Obama has left the door open to ideas. So why don't you offer something if you think you know the right path forward?

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Some people seem to have lost their "Country First" buttons. What a big surprise that is.

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No mention of what Koran he swore in on?

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No one has had courage enough to accept my challenge yet. Will you be first?

I'll be more than happy to accept. Our Government is to big. It's so big that it has been living beyond it means for years. Now the bill's are due. It's been on easy credit now and just like an addict it wants more. The folks such as myself who don't even own a credit card and who live by if you can't afford to pay cash then you can't afford it are the ones stuck with the punishment to pay for all of this. Our long term retirement funds are now half of what they use to be. Our bank accounts are dry and the prospect of being able to live our golden years because we did save, we were frugal, we put short term pleasure aside for long term gain, are gone. Folks like myself that were responsible in our lifes and only lived within our means are the ones stuck with the bill now. We are the ones sending tax dollars to pay off homeloans to people who should have never been granted them in the first place. We are the ones who this trillion dollar stimulus he's talking about is going to hurt us even more.

We need Government not to spend, spend, spend now. We need Government to do what every responsible America does. Live within his budget. We should demand this. Now is not the time for new social programs, now is not time for more bailouts. Now is the time for a spending freeze, now is the time to put forth a balanced budget and get Government back under control. Now is the time to tell it straight to the America people, the days of easy credit is over and lead by example to start paying off the debt pile we already incurred.

Now is time for Government to stop subsidizing failure and punishing those who go to work everyday, pay taxes and don't have it in their heads that if I can't pay the bills because I can't manage my own house that Uncle Sugar is going to be there to bail me out.

We are a country that rewards people who through the sweat of their brow and the possibilities they see can start a Wal-Mart, Micro-Soft or a McDonalds. We lose that spirit when we as a people start to believe we don't have to work that way anymore because Uncle Sam will take care of us cradle to grave.

We need to realize once again that Government is not the answer, it's the problem. The sooner it is out of our lifes to the most practicle extant possible the sooner we can as a people regain our greatest asset. The ability to create, achieve, prosper and re-invent ourselves all at the same time.

We are a shining city on the hill, time to get back to the basics as to how we got to be that way. By being individually responsible for our lifes and keeping Government on a short leash.

Long post, but there is my alternative.

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Sailwind. Thank you for that. I think you have many valid points here. And your views, I believe, reflect the feelings of a lot of people in all political spectrums.

Let's face it. Our country was built upon the innovation and hard work of a lot of people. I'm very left wing, but I don't expect anyone to take care of me. I work hard and I use my creativity and experience to create opportunties.

But at the same time I recognize that the gifts I have are not the available to everyone. I had adversity to overcome, but I also had the encouragement and support to counter economic limitations to achieve the life I have now. A lot of people don't.

I agree that rampant spending is wrong. I think our new president believes this too. Intelligent spending is what is necessary. Spending that will generate money for our nation and not just spend it.

I like to refer to the examples of Germany and Japan, post WWII. A single dollar invested in the recreation of these devastated economies had a phenominal impact. That dollar allowed people to spend on food, shelter, clothing. That led to demand that generated jobs and created more people capable of spending and, in turn, generating more demand. Demand gave way to opportunities for people to use their innovation and hard work to create business and commerce. As they achieved success they employed and empowered more people. And all paid into tax funds that helped continue the cycle. By some estimates a single dollar came back in the form of $100 by the time it circulated and created wealth.

I think we need this kind of plan for America. No hand outs to people capable of working. But not abandonment either. Instead we employ these people to help us rebuild our infrastructure, to help us repair and improve our schools, roads, bridges, parks and to clean up our communities.

We spend to develop new business opportunties in energy and in the recreation of our markets to produce green technology and tools that we can in turn sell abroad.

The money we put into this will creat jobs and tax paying citizens. It will encourage new businesses to spring up to support the needs and demands of these workers. And it will generate a world of opportunity for our country.

Now there will be some who cannot work. But our moral responsibility is to take care of them as well. Because that is what moral and just societies do. This is not the jungle where you can run from preditors or die. This is an advanced culture that must protect and care for the weakest members while empowering and and encouraging the strongest. That is our moral, and for many, religious responsibility.

That kind of society will breed the very creativity and return to fundamental values and assets that you talk about. Because if you don't solve the problems for the many, you cannot hope to solve them for the few. That is a fact of post industrial revolution planet earth. One we cannot ignor or wistfully wish for the time before that has long since gone. We are all interconnected and interdependent.

So let's agree that goverment should not be charity. But I have to ask that you consider that government use its power to place that $1 in the hands of people who are willing to work or in the hands of the needy knowing full well that it will come back to us as far more in both monetary value and in the generation of the best qualities that have defined our country.

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Molenir: "Ah, so view the toilet as where the US should be heading?"

Poor, poor Molenir. No, my friend, the toilet is where you're refusing to get out of, while the rest of us are already on our way out of the bathroom. You and wuzzademcrat have got to learn that sitting there and stewing in the pot is going to get you no where but flushed -- after you fester for a while, of course. You'll have each other down there to bounce ridiculous claims off of and complain and gripe about how happy everyone is while you want them to suffer, etc. The rest of us? Hell, long gone and on the way to better things. Obama will help you, boys, so just suck it up and get with the program.

sailwind: Kudos and taking up tknoid's challenge, but I think a number of your points -- which I agree with in part -- are based on the government in general, and particularly the government in the past couple of years leading up to Obama. Aside from where you touch on the desire of the Obama White House to spend and spend now, your comments don't really reflect on him personally at all, but reflect on what he is trying to change. You're right, the wrong HAVE been rewarded for too long while your average Joe suffers and watches the purse strings tighten, and just a few weeks ago they were saying how the government gave 35 billion to banks and lost track of how it was being used. Doesn't sound much like anything to me EXCEPT rewarded the people who in part got everyone into this mess. Why do huge companies need golden parachutes? Why can't CEOs be taxed more, and why can't their salaries be capped? Why not stop spending in Iraq and get the troops out once and for all? These are some instances in which things can be made more equal and for which the people who actually shed blood and sweat at menial jobs can suffer less.

Unfortunately, the government simply canNOT live under its current budget, which went from surplus under Clinton to trillion dollar deficit under you-know-who. Also unfortunate is that there seems to be no choice but to spend in the near future to spurt growth in the short run and stabalize things in the long. If they were to suddenly stop spending in many fields, things would only get worse than now, and lead to a chain reaction that would see your savings not reduced to HALF, but disappear completely and for good while you had to cover even more unemployed, etc. The spending, however, must be doled out more wisely than in the past few weeks, and must be accounted for and made public. Better yet, USE it for the public instead of the banking/business sectors.

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"So let me ask you again wuzzademcrat. What will you, YOU, do to help build a better future?"

For the time being I think I will concentrate on trying to understand and appreciate the Democrat mindset of these last 8 years. Unfortunately for you, that is going to involve me sort of living it. You know, lots of intense, kneejerk criticism of every single thing Obama does. How's that?

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wuzzademcrat. There will always be those left behind by the tides of history. People who miss the opportunity to contribute in favor of some other personal agenda.

All I'm saying is why not pitch in and help solve the problems we face instead? I despised President Bush for many of the things he did. But I never gave up on being involved and trying to make things better.

You should try it. Feels a lot better than simply being contrary and bitter. And we need that kind of optimism if we are to make our country strong again. How about it?

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Chenney was seething. He wore a real nasty sneer. Bush was graceful and Obama is King. GB senior looks like he has lost his marbles though.

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bobbafett: "Bush was graceful and Obama is King."

You know what? I think we're FINALLY going to see bush relax more into the role he should have played a little truer as president. No, I don't mean Texas rancher -- in fact, I think he spent TOO much time at Camp David during his Presidency -- what I mean is that I think he's going to be much more himself and be true to himself as well. It's a little like McCain before and after the election. I respected the man quite a bit up until he began campaigning, and as soon as he gave up he became more himself and more natural again, and he got back a fraction of what he was due to begin with.

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bobbafett: As for Cheney, he's just plain evil.

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Saw footage on FOX News of Cheney getting out of his limo but needed to be wheeled in. I suspect that Cheney did that so he did not have to stand up for Obama.

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"Saw footage on FOX News of Cheney getting out of his limo but needed to be wheeled in. I suspect that Cheney did that so he did not have to stand up for Obama."

Democrat Senator Robert Byrd collapsed after Obama was sworn in.

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Oh man Smithy. we agree on something. First time in 2 years.

I suspect that Cheney did that so he did not have to stand up for Obama.

that would explain the sneer.

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tkoind2: Feels a lot better than simply being contrary and bitter. And we need that kind of optimism if we are to make our country strong again. How about it?

Can you name some issues that you agreed with Bush on? My memory has you as being 100% against Bush 100% of the time on 100% of the issues. I think wuzzademcrat statement speaks to that when he says, "You know, lots of intense, kneejerk criticism of every single thing Obama does." What your really asking is for people not to do what you've been doing for the last 8 years. I'm not sure you're the best person to be giving that message.

And while I obviously support a lot of what you say about the US, I do have to say that it's meaningless without concrete details. No one wants the government to spend money stupidly. No one wants to see people become poor or the disabled to go without care. The problem is matching those ideals against limited resources.

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smithinjapan: It's a little like McCain before and after the election. I respected the man quite a bit up until he began campaigning

That's just impossible for me to believe since the words are coming from your keyboard. It's astounding to see how the radical left is now changing their tune and telling us they were rational and compassionate to the other side and they expect the same from the Right now. Astounding.

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Odd as this is, I am opposed to Obama because of what he is, or represents, but rather because of what his policies will be. (Going just by what he has said they will be here, since he hasn't yet done anything.) That reasonable response however, is not how I'm planning to respond to any and all articles, and posts, favorable or unfavorable. I intend to do exactly like many of those here have done.

Moderator: You won't be with us for long if that is how you intend to post messages.

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"new era of responsibility"

Everyone who pays taxes, get ready to pay more!

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If we don't pull together now and try, as a nation, to address our problems, then how will we see this time through.

Probably the same way we saw through the last 8 years, with Dems bickering, complaining, and calling the leader of the US a terrorist. Oddly enough, we have seen that time through, we'll see this time through.

Molenir. Same question my friend. What is your plan for making things better? Do you have something that you intend to personally commit to in order to help make the future of America better? Do you have an agenda that should be offered up as an alternative to what President Obama is suggesting?

Ah, asking for the "alternative" plan. Ok, sure, why not. My alternative is to slash government spending, downsize the federal government, balance the budget, and begin living within our means. I suspect many of the problems of the past few years could be solved by following Reagans maxim that, "Government is not the solution to the problem, Government is the problem!" You asked for an alternative plan. Now do I have permission to criticize Obama for not following it?

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President Obama speaks of a "new era of responsibility" ?

Interesting. He is one word away from advocating radically conservative, essentially Republican ideals.

So will he add "personal" to that declaration, or does it remain a meaningless catch phrase?

Watch out.

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So will he add "personal" to that declaration, or does it remain a meaningless catch phrase?

Considering how many companies the last Republican president bailed out, how everyone blames everyone else for the economic downturn and how governmental/personal spending and debt had ballooned in the last 8 years, "personal" responsibility in America is as dead as the dodo. If the economy does poorly, people will blame Obama instead of the true root of the problem, the person in the mirror.

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Promises, promises. Too much hype. Too charismatic. The height of euphoira. A little bit scary. It was just too much. I was eating lunch while he was speaking and became a little bit nauseaous. It is too early to predict what is going to happen. Time will tell. I hope for the best.

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YES!!!

Now we will see what a real American President is all about.

The Reagan Era is over. We have entered into a new 30 year center left coalition in American Politics.

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SuperLib: "That's just impossible for me to believe since the words are coming from your keyboard. It's astounding to see how the radical left is now changing their tune and telling us they were rational and compassionate to the other side and they expect the same from the Right now. Astounding."

Fine, so let yourself be astounded; but it's true. Go ahead and search for a SINGLE comment where I diss McCain prior to him running for election (or being a nominee). I visited the Hanoi Hilton twice (the second time taking a friend) and noted the man's old uniform, etc., and I use to respect him quite a bit. When the election came around he caved in to pressures that forced him to go down a road he swore he would NEVER go down (as it railroaded him against bush) and I lost pretty much all respect for the man and even became a little jaded myself (har har!). In fact, I was hoping the man would win against bush in the first run in 2000, because I thought he would have made a much better president than junior.

Anyway, once he lost fair and square and very much rightly to Obama (I say so fully after admitting his character had changed for the election) he settled down, and even in his concession speech began showing the character with which he might have had a chance in winning if he had used from the start.

That's another story, though. What I wanted to say before is that I think bush will show a side that HE too should have shown all along, and while I will never forgive the man for what he is done, or respect him very much if at all, there's perhaps a bit of room for a wee tiny bit of respect in lieu or reproach if he works towards good now that he's retired.

Not so hard to believe, my friend. I hated him for his incompetence and lack of leadership skills, and for how he played people like fools, etc. Had he acted the way he seems to with family or at home (I realize the role is different, but you can still be yourself at work), I probably could have even liked the guy a little.

Obama? He's being true to the way he ran his campaign. That may change, but I don't think he'll let the job alter him more than he wishes, or has suggested it might.

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Molenir: "My alternative is to slash government spending, downsize the federal government, balance the budget, and begin living within our means."

Oh my god, you've done it!! PERFECT! Start it tomorrow!! Ah, wait... you didn't in any way spell out HOW... you just listed a few ideals that every single person and his/her dog would do if they COULD. Any thoughts on HOW you would implement and succeed in your wonderful plans?

Good effort, but not really any result.

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It doesn't really matter, I have my job, they have theirs. As for living within our means, how do you balance your budget? I know how I do mine. I figure out how much money is coming in, what bills I have to pay, what bills I will have to pay, and figure out how much I need to save, how much I can spend, how much I have for luxuries etc. The US could do the same. Not easily, and certainly not without huge pain, but it is possible if the will were there. Unfortunately, we all know it isn't.

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One of the ironies of my life is that my values come from a very conservative Christian source. I was raised by people who were deeply religious. They taught me that it was a sin to lie, a sin to steal, a sin to kill and a sin to live with shelter and food while others went without.

They were socially conservative believing that how they live should be a reflection of their religious values. On many occassions when the home budget was tight and they had very little for themselves, I saw them give freely and compassionately to others.

It is from this experience and background that my political values today originated. And though I have rejected religion for myself, I adhere to the fundamental values they taught me. And I cannot, in good moral conscience sit by and ignore the plight of others.

So when you talk about downsizing government and living within our means, you need to be a lot more specific about what you mean. Because I look at our means and I see how much money enriches the few at the expense of the many. I see CEOs making 1,000 times the salaries of the workers who make those corporate profits possible. I see the rich escaping taxes while the ordinary working family faithfully pays. I see the lost opportunties to rebuild our country while creating jobs and new wealth and tax paying citizens. I see the degredation of our systems and our values as we give up our political and economic rights to companies.

Real tangible solutions are not political tag lines. They are programs that create jobs in local communities doing work that needs to be done. It is converting the unemployed into working, tax paying citizens through work and project programs. It is improving and better prioritizing education so that we can remain competitive. It is keeping jobs at home instead of allowing companies to benefit by sending them abroad.

Show me tangibles on your side!!

As for my position on George W. Bush. I gave him, like every president before him an equal share of "Let's see what he does." I am not a democrat. Let me say again, I am not a democrat. I adhere to no party because I follow my own values over someone else's platforms. So I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt despite his dubious position on many issues.

I had no strong opposition to him until he began to take our nation down the road to fear mongering and unnecessary war. Until I saw him trample our international legal and treaty obligations I held out hope for him. And if he had opened to the door to invite the opinions of a wide spectrum of society I would have applauded him.

But he did none of these things. Instead he attacked our constitutional freedoms and lied to us to take us to war. And he continued to disregard the will of our people until his last month in office.

I believe government should be afraid of our will and not the people afraid of government. If President Obama tramples on these values he will not keep my support either. A President must serve the constitution and the people of America not his party or personal and corporate agendas.

I give President Obama my acceptance because I see him opening the doors to many from all spectrums within the American political world. I see him opening the door and I deeply admire him for that and hope that those who embrace this new idea of cooperation will help return this country to an ethical, enlightened and optimistic path.

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Truly unfortunate that Japantoday has chosen not to include the full script of Obama's inauguration speech... some great stuff in there. For example this line:

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

This sounds like a direct shout out to Japan... Stop blaming the US for your economic mess ! And instead of dsestroying business opportunities with negative ad campaigns about foreign goods or creating new and innovative ways to block access to your markets, try building more opportunities for new business ventures.

Moderator: We posted the entire speech. You'll find it in the World section.

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You know, the sad thing is, theres lots of stuff I'd do if I could afford it. I mean hell, wouldn't we all? Lets help everyone in need, lets save the world etc. Oh wait, I can barely make ends meet. Reality does not equal the dream. In the real world, fiscal responsibility comes first. Then once you've got the bills paid, you look and see how much you have left over, and where you can spend it to do the most good. Thats reality.

The US has managed to evade reality by printing money, and by ramping up the debt. Thats not a good long term policy. Not for me, not for a small company or country, and not for a larger one either. Its neither sustainable nor fair, to make your children and grandchildren pay for you.

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President Barack Obama:"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan."

Spoken like a true pansy of the New Left. Just can't bring himself to use the word victory. Must be really encouraging to US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Must be really encouraging to US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It certainly is. We finally have a CnC we can trust and who listens to military experts. You can feel free to debate semantics (peace vs. victory) all you like; I would expect no better from a bitter, defeated Republican whiner. As for us good Americans, we'll take progress and the rebuilding of America.

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Spoken like a true pansy of the New Left.

Damn that was macho. You must be a combat vet! Certainly the type of person who would never let another man fight his battles for him.

Taka

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molenir writes: "It doesn't really matter, I have my job, they have theirs. As for living within our means, how do you balance your budget?"

Sure. You saved up and paid cash for your house, right?

Credit on the installment plan has been one of the foundations of the growth of capitalism. If a bank had to "balance its budget," it would have to maintain a 100% reserve requirement so as to guarantee its depositors that it would never make a loan it could not cover.

Face it: most of what drives capitalism is a faith in the future productive capacity of the people involved in the system, and their ability to pay off the debts they incur today. Those who most strongly advocate "balance budgets" are those who exhibit the least amount of faith in people or the system. It is these kinds of people who are making things far worse than they need to be.

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-yabits

A person can balance thier budget and still have debt. It's when a person's debt payments are greater than thier cash intake that people get into trouble and can no longer be said to have a balanced budget. It is called over leveraged or not living within your means. I think you may be misunderstanding what a balanced budget is.

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It is called over leveraged or not living within your means.

LOL! Talk about semantics. The whole thing depends upon the amount of "leverage" that others approve. In the case of the US, it's IOU's that Americans write against their future productive capacity.

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In the case of the US, it's IOU's that Americans write against their future productive capacity.

More like I.O.-Hu's: all that lovely Chinese credit

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