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The First Press Conference





 

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Good first go. Obviously he can't get into a lot of detail so I appreciated his respect for the current administration by not over-stepping. Personally, I disagree that the auto-industry has been beneficial in helping us move away from foriegn oil as he said. In fact, they are struggling precisely because they have refused to enter the 21st century.

The main thing I felt after watching this though was a giant sign of relief at seeing a genuine smile instead of a crooked smirk, hearing actual sentences instead of buzzwords mangled between stutters and stammers, and hearing a tone of respect for those he will be working with and those he will be working for.

Even as a hesitant Obama supporter, January 20th cannot come soon enough!

Personally, I disagree that the auto-industry has been beneficial in helping us move away from foriegn oil as he said.

He didn't say that. He said: "...and [auto-industry is] a critical part of our attempt to reduce dependency on foreign oil."

Hard to argue on that.

What a pleasure to want to hear what the president (to-be) has to say. I used to do everything I could to avoid hearing Bush because I knew it would just make me mad....

Some of this press conference seemed to be to remind us he wasn't president yet... :)

Indeed, he even speaks in complete sentences.:)

Here's a beauty from Chris Rock. (said about Colin Powell, but can very well apply to Barack Obama)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj050bz-k9o

Unfortunately, it is less relevant now, because after 8 years of 'Bush Speak' "...speaks so well..." can actually be used a complement now.

Yep, change's coming… though, hopefully, next time we'll hear the questions too!

I particularly liked his two moments of humor - the Nancy Reagan seance and calling shelter dogs "mutts like me."

Mr. Obama fielded a variety of questions, including one about the kind of dog he would get for his two daughters in the White House. (“Obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” he said.) He said that he was studying the writings of Abraham Lincoln and that he had spoken to previous presidents.

“I’ve spoken to all of them that are living,” Mr. Obama said. “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances.”

A few hours later, Mr. Obama was on the telephone with Mrs. Reagan to “apologize for the careless and offhanded remark.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Obama, Stephanie Cutter, said he and Mrs. Reagan had a warm conversation.

from today's NYT.

A good start. The "one president at a time" remark was a good one. This conference was well-done. And it seemed Obama was reading from his own speech - although it could've been put together by a writer. Just that he was looking toward the lecturn, not up at a teleprompter.

We have a tough road ahead indeed.

Off-topic.

My cousin is a McCain supporter and his emails this week have been harsh. He is staring the Misery Index to track the nation's downfall.

His viewpoint is striking but I feel it worth sharing to illustrate the state of the nation(?)

"Thats the difference between a liberal and a conservative. Conservatives respect a different opinion or view point. Liberials call you names and hang labels on you. Conservatives respect your right to speak your mind, liberals label your decenting opinions as hate speech."

---and

"I love it when east and west coasters look down on the midwest. I love it when people feel superior to other people! These morans never really know what someone else knows. That fact is what keeps midwesterners shaking their collective heads."

---and

"You live in a dream world where people are all victims. They did not get where they are because of their own choices and actions. It was someone's oppressive hand that tore them down. I have heard the same rhetoric from "the One". Most of America's problem is they all want more, think they should have or deserve more and few want to work hard or sacrifice to get it."

---and

"Wow an Obamalama calling a decenter a racist... how shocking... never seen that happen before. I can have an opinion so long as its your opinion...

I have NEVER made a comment about your lord and master's race, only his associations...

Thank you oh great and mighty all knowing liberal mas'a for show'n poor dumb racist redneck me the error of my ways. I wonts never never talks bad abouts any of dem dare black folks. Misa OJ was a great man, so was Rev Wright. They spokes da truth only and I was jus too dumb and uneducated to see through all that hateful speaken to realize I was wrongs and his was rights."

---You know, just FYI.

I think the Nancy Reagan seance quip was pretty dumb. I was watching live with my colleague and we both laughed at that. I actually think it's historically inaccurate, too. Nancy was into astrology, not spiritualism. Taking cracks at former first ladies in your first press conference was kind of against the grain of Obama's style. I'm guessing he's been sleep deprived.

Yes, it's cool that the president elect can speak English.

Robinson--I feel bad for your cousin. If it weren't for his polite relatives and his right-wing friends he'd probably be the disturbed homeless guy downtown muttering to himself. I teach politics so I meet people like that from time to time. I can tell they really want to let loose with their ignorant ranting. But for some reason they hold their tongue long before they get to the mock slave dialect.

Yeah - I saw a similar article in the NYT. Why people feel the need to own a semi-automatic weapon is beyond me.

Oh wait - the end times.

OK - sorry, I'd like to be less caustic for awhile. But I am still mystified by this.

er... a 'semi-automatic' weapon isn't a big deal. It's what every cop has on his/her hip.

'Select fire' or 'fully-automatic' weapons are different class of weapon (what infantry tend to carry).

As a fellow onegoodmover, I want to inform you, because most gun legislation is ill-informed. In California, the shape of a weapon is what puts it on a banned list, not its capability. This is bad.

Now me, I grew up around cops and am a Boy Scout. I am also so socially liberal I can't see why most liberals are against gun ownership. It is similar to people being against gay marriage. It makes no sense to me, esp. looking at gun violence statistics.

Another liberal friend of mine in LA says "I own a gun because I can't own a cop". grin Living with cops, you begin to understand the small horrible acts that occur within blocks of you every day. It is very real.

I think of guns like the rescue knife and flashlight I carry with me everywhere. I have it to help others. As a first responder to several fires and accidents, it has served me well. I am CPR certified and have a plaque from my university president for saving his office from a fire.

I suppose it's a different philosophy: some people are prepared to help (and hope to hell they never have to!) and others call 911 and often complain that help isn't there fast enough.

I don't really have a problem with guns or people owning guns. I have trouble with the type of guns that are sold (as do police officers if I understand some of the laws they've tried to get passed in the past), how easy it is for people to get them (I think it should be at least as difficult as it is to get a driver's license) and how few safety measures there are for gun owners. It'd be nice if legally they had to be kept in locked cases - maybe they should also have trigger locks or something if there are children in the house.

The problem with guns is something isn't working or we wouldn't have Columbine teens and little kids accidentally shooting their siblings and crazy people taking out everyone in their work places ---- or, at least, we'd have fewer incidents than we do. If you want to generalize about a mindset I would say some people see something isn't working (like the gun situation or, abstinence training or, the increase in global warming) but they don't want to try anything different...

There are different views on this site, but the big story right now it not about liberals moving to ban handguns, it's about some gun owners reacting to misinformation about Obama. I'm a "liberal" on guns in the sense that I think the vast majority of people who have them are using them responsibly and that the main solution to violent crime is not more gun laws.

That said, most of the gun owners I know aren't carrying a weapon and a concealed/carry permit, prepared to use it to help people, and most people I know who don't have guns but call 911 don't have a "philosophy" of whiny helplessness.

Well said Jill and Dende! I agree with you 99%.

My real objection is stupid laws made by uninformed legislators and people who think 'semi-automatic' is referring an Uzi destined to mow down our children. It reminds me of the Prop 8 ads about gay marriage being taught to kindergarteners.

I just watched some news clips about gun sales and this reminds me of an Obama supporter I know: "I love the guy, but he has pushed for some pretty extreme gun laws. We'll need to watch that." Could be a reaction to his voting record in Illinois, which does make SOME sense.

SUVs kill about 3500 people a year. I'd support 'training before ownership' laws or other restriction of those. It would statistically make a bigger dent.

ps: dende, the cops I know report some very whiny 911 callers. shrug

There was a big run on guns back in '94, too when they banned assault weapons. Glad we're helping some part of the economy.

I'd be interesting in what your police friends have to say about gun control. Considering there was a huge shootout here in LA about ten years ago where the police had to borrow guns from a gun store since the thieves had so much better firepower, I imagine they have some viewpoint on it.

Actually, the North Hollywood shootout was ~five blocks north of me and the NoHo police station is a block south. A good friend works the gang unit there and is a big McCain supporter. I'll ask him.

Cops did go to a store to get rifles, but the SWAT guys got to the scene first and the rifles were not used. One bad guy shot himself, the other was shot from under a car/truck by SWAT and bled out. His relatives had the nerve to sue LAPD. They lost.

Also, not reported, but I know an actor that played one of the two guys in the second movie about it (not 44 mins, forget the name). He saw the autopsy, original footage, etc. and the makeup of the 'body armor' was significantly more than they let on. Multi-layer kevlar at every joint, etc.

In general, Cops I know are all very much for gun ownership for home defense (biometric safes are recommended). Many are also for concealed carry. Larger weapons get mixed reviews, but frankly, those aren't used in as many crimes as you think...

Thanks for the good discussion, I'll drop a line later with my friend's reply.

Actually, the North Hollywood shootout was ~five blocks north of me and the NoHo police station is a block south. A good friend works the gang unit there and is a big McCain supporter. I'll ask him.

Cops did go to a store to get rifles, but the SWAT guys got to the scene first and the rifles were not used. One bad guy shot himself, the other was shot from under a car/truck by SWAT and bled out. His relatives had the nerve to sue LAPD. They lost.

Also, not reported, but I know an actor that played one of the two guys in the second movie about it (not 44 mins, forget the name). He saw the autopsy, original footage, etc. and the makeup of the 'body armor' was significantly more than they let on. Multi-layer kevlar at every joint, etc.

In general, Cops I know are all very much for gun ownership for home defense (biometric safes are recommended). Many are also for concealed carry. Larger weapons get mixed reviews, but frankly, those aren't used in as many crimes as you think...

Thanks for the good discussion, I'll drop a line later with my friend's reply.

Oh, that's funny. I know the area very well and I know B&B (and about the lawsuit because one of my cousin's was married to one of the police on the scene. He took early retirement and I think he had to get his own lawyer or something - I know it wasn't good.) Small world.

Yes, let us know what your friend says (although, I would rather hear from a policeman who voted for Obama. I really try and be respectful of other people's points of view but, I don't understand the thinking of anyone who voted for McCain - even the super wealthy because it is scary how messed up things are and McCain was firmly in bed with Bush and the damage he has done. I think the first time I've liked McCain since 2003 was during his concession speech which I thought was truly great and I believe it was sincere...)

er... a 'semi-automatic' weapon isn't a big deal. It's what every cop has on his/her hip.

'Select fire' or 'fully-automatic' weapons are different class of weapon (what infantry tend to carry).

Robinson, yeah, you got me there. I think the mis-conception comes from media in all forms: news, pseudo-news, and movies. Revolvers vs. 10-trigger pull; now I see. Then there are movies which do show folks running around with m-16s and I think the lines are blurred, especially for those who do not carry.

I am concerned with careless use and storage of firearms (as I am about careless driving, especially in larger vehicles). Since hunting is not a common activity for most, firearm safety is not a part of everyone's lives. So, gun owners should have to go through some kind of training. And, unfortunately, i have known people who had M-16s to use for sport (shooting that deer all to hell - wtf?)

I think of guns like the rescue knife and flashlight I carry with me everywhere. I have it to help others. As a first responder to several fires and accidents, it has served me well. I am CPR certified and have a plaque from my university president for saving his office from a fire.

Here I'm curious: do you also carry a gun? Or are you referring to helping people with the rescue knife and flashlight? Just a curiosity - that's all.

There have been problems in this country with illegal gun trade, and I am for background checks in legal gun sales. There are probably a number of VATech students who would agree.

As for whiny 9-1-1 calls, I'd like to see a percentage of emergency calls from non-gun owners - what is whiny and what is necessary? I don't own, thus don't carry a weapon (if I did, it'd be under lock and key unless I felt the need; also, I do know how to fire well). I would never call 911 unless the situation was dangerous. I'm willing to be the majority of 911 calls are legit.

So, let us know what the police say about gun control. If you get a chance, ask about munitions tracking as well. I think that's the standard in Switzerland.

Thanks Gypsy,

I really just want to inform peeps, not be some know-it-all (which I certainly do not!) *8).

I carry a knife/flashlight/etc. but no pistol. I have bought one (from a friend) but not received it as I have yet to take my firearms safety test. FYI: that private sale has to go through a dealer, who holds onto it for 2 weeks.

I fully agree with your points about training and methods of securing weapons. It's the boy scout in me. *8) If you were thinking of 'home defense' I would suggest a biometric lock. It reads your fingerprint or palm and is much faster. Other locks would be far too slow.

As much as I believe in gun ownership rights, I am very hesitant to have a pistol ready to fire in my home. Pistols are accurate within about 25 feet, Add adrenaline, that morning-amnesia thing and the plain difficulty you would have during the best 'lights out' friend or foe identification test and... you see where I am going.

An unloaded shotgun still makes the same terrifying 'sha-SHUCK' sound as a loaded one. Bad guy may break his legs running away from that.

I did decide to buy the pistol after we had a guy jump the wall behind our house at 10am. He broke into our neighbor and stole all the jewelry. I saw him on video, took his time, then he walked within ten feet of my sleeping daughter and wife, calm as could be.

PS: I want to market fake dogs. Just speakers and electromagnetic thumpers on walls near windows. A motion sensor activates 'em: makes that sound of running dog-nails on hardwood, rapid barking and the hard thump as the animal tries to get through the wall.

I have too much time to think I think. *8)

PPS: re: 911 calls. I think my description of 'whiny' was unfair. What cops to tell me is they are rarely appreciated and most people dislike them even when they arrive to help. I know several people that complained about the police response time, etc.

PPS: by taking my safety test, I mean to make it official in California (I'm an import). I've used bunches of weapons (from .22s to Thompson SMG, M-60s and a flamethrower [as research for work]) and am so anal about safety it makes things unfun. Wouldn't even consider bringing a pistol into the house otherwise.

All good. I had to admit my mistake because I am former military(!). My MOS was such that I was highly unlikely to see combat, so once basic was over, I left weaponry behind. It was too easy to let my brain see the switch used to change from semi-automatic to automatic as altogether "semi-automatic." I didn't see your reply as being know-at-all-ish.

Now you have me reading ye-ol-Wikipedia:

Perhaps the largest area of confusion surrounding this term is the difference between a machine-gun, assault rifle and an assault weapon (non-military definition). A machine-gun is universally recognized as a fully automatic weapon, while the current statutory definitions for assault weapons describe them as semi-automatic. A key concept in defining the military assault rifle is the ability to provide a large volume of fire through fully-automatic or burst fire modes....Further, the National Firearms Act of 1934 specifically addresses fully automatic weapons, and the private ownership and usage of them is extremely regulated. To add to the confusion, the media often refers to these semi-automatic rifles as military-style assault weapons.[4] Military assault rifles are also designated under the heading of assault weapon systems by several countries but are capable of full automatic fire creating more confusion.[5]

(the sources were CBS News and Gary's Place...ahh blogs).

I hate to hear about crime in your neighborhood. I lived in Baltimore for 10 years and never felt like I needed a gun. I walked everywhere and relied on instinct - not fear or rumors - to remove my self from a situation. I did hear about horrible crimes, but i routinely walked through bad neighborhoods (my P.O. was located smack dab in the middle of one) and was always fine.

I think the dog - real or recorded (hmmm, maybe on a sensor, like security lights - there's a new job venture for someone!) - is probably the best means of security. Generally I think a loaded at home weapon is as effective as you described, and if the victim is really caught unawares with an awake criminal, the weapon could all too easily be used against the victim.

So Mr. Boyscout, take care of your family and fight the good fight. We just got the local meth dealer to move out a week ago - finally!

All sounds good. But, did any large contributions come from the auto industry ho ho. I think he should make it a bench mark that only companies that are ready to go further than just fuel efficiency and start mass-producing hybrids and pouring considerable sums into research and development for eco-cars should receive government aid. Also Hummers, limousines and other outrageous vehicles should be outmoded, who's with me!

"Also Hummers, limousines and other outrageous vehicles should be outmoded, who's with me!"

How would politicians get around?

haha, I see no reason for a double standard, take this car for example

http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/2008/10/29/electric-cars-hitting-roads-around-the-globe/

Just have Obama's secret service team riding on the roof.

That's pretty cool Oliver! I do hope the electric car improvements continue to make them a reasonable alternative for more and more people around the world.

I do wish marketers would stop using the 'zero emission' term though. They're kind of like an electric space heater - sure they're not producing any emissions in your home, but the source of that energy probably does.

I promised a comment from a buddy of mine that is a police officer in North Hollywood's Gang Division. re: gun laws. (I should probably mention that these are his views and do not represent LAPD in any way.)

He is also one of the nicest and most considerate guys I've ever met.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In my opinion it seems that there are just people out there who, for whatever reason, just don't like guns regardless of the crime statistics. Why, I do not know. Maybe they were too sheltered and spoiled and were never exposed to the realities of life so they could understand our consititutional right to bare arms. In this day and age it's obvious that they never had to rely on a firearm to provide their family with something to eat. I would also assume that they have never been the victim of a violent crime where the suspect didn't think twice about what he was doing because, "What are the odds that this law abiding citizen has the ability to carry a concealed firearm?" Look at the insane numbers of vehicle related deaths (DUI, FELONY EVADING, ACCIDENTS). Where is the public outcry to ban automobiles? The fact is, if a human being truly has the desire to kill someone, they will, and the possibilities for accomplishing it are endless.

How long have assault rifles been banned? I always ask myself this question when we recover one from a gang banger or any other criminal for that matter. The laws don't make it more difficult for these individuals to obtain those types of weapons, only the law abiding citizen. On almost every case, it is not the possession of an assault weapon that is the crime, but something else, ie... possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of a firearm with the serial number filed off, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in a public place, etc. The gun itself usually doesn't fall under the definition of an assault weapon as defined by the penal code. How often are they actually registered to the suspect? Ummmmmm, never.

So stricter gun laws, in my opinion only hurts the law abiding citizen.

What about home and business protection. You're supposed to rely on the response of police? We do our best, but come on. How are they even going to know something has happened until the suspects are gone and you can get to a phone.

What if one day we fall under dictatorship rule. If the american people are disarmed and totally reliant on the government, what then. There are very good reasons our forefathers provided us with this constitutional right. If people are using guns to commit crimes then we need to look at what has caused our society to become so violent. Could the entertainment industry be responsible? Is it bad parenting where kids are not disciplined and have been taught absolutely no moral values other than what they learn in school or in the media (reality shows especially). Parents now days want to be more of a friend to their child than a responsible disciplinary figure, cause god forbid their child gets mad at them.

I do believe that people need to be taught about firearms before just going out and buying them. A class on firearm safety would be nice. You don't get a hunting license without having completed the hunter safety course.

FIREARM SAFTEY RULES:

  1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED (meaning that you should treat every gun as if it is loaded, no matter what)

  2. NEVER ALLOW THE MUZZLE TO COVER ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SHOOT (pretty obvious)

  3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS OR ALLIGNED ON THE TARGET AND YOU INTEND TO SHOOT (again, pretty obvious)

  4. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

I'll comment on the North Hollywood shootout at a later time. That is a long discussion. You will have to forgive my ranting and numerous gramatical errors. I'm sure I could probably explain things better, but I am tired.

Hope to see you soon. Hope you and the family are all well. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you guys.

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