Animatronic Obama coming to Disney World's Hall of Presidents

Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 11:51 PM | Contributed by ridemcoaster

Barack Obama was standing on a riser inside a warehouse, delivering an inspirational speech about the blessings of freedom, when his left index finger began to twitch uncontrollably, unnerving his aides. It was an audio-animatronic representation of the president, as imagined by the Walt Disney Company, and assembled with the direct involvement of the White House staff — and of Mr. Obama himself. The president supplied not just his measurements, but he also recorded that speech (which was initially drafted by a Disney writer) — and yet another recitation of the oath of office, this one in Disney high-definition sound.

Read more and see photos from The New York Times.

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Monday, June 1, 2009 10:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

Low income folks are already paying nearly 15%. If you institute a flat tax, and still hope to hit the same overall revenue to the feds, you're looking at double that. Can someone making $30k a year really afford to give up a third of their income? The effect on the economy would be catastrophic.

And I know, there's the argument about the government living within its means and what not, and that's a fantastic and just ideology to adopt, but with the feds so deep in debt, it's not going to happen in our lifetime. A flat and "fair" tax like that won't work. What's done is done.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 8:30 AM

Lord Gonchar said:


I dunno. I don't think it's too much of a stretch. I definitely feel like there's a touch of socialism in the way he's approached certain things to this point.

Of course there is, which was sort of my point. Socialism has been practiced in this Country, with varied results (note that "varied" implies the inclusion of "good") for over a century. Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, etc., Republican & Democratic Congresses and so on, have all implemented socialism. They've all created, enhanced or actively maintained government-funded programs that redistribute wealth in various forms.

It was only during and after this election that "tyrrany came to our shores" in the form of the evil of socialism. That's why, when someone bitches about our current administration and their "socialist agenda", they've shown complete ignorance in terms of political and socioeconomic history (and placed themselves in the same intellectual space as Joe the Plumber).


Brandon | Facebook

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 9:31 AM

Low income folks are already paying nearly 15%.

Turbo Tax computes your overall tax rate when you file. After all of my various deductions, mine is suprisingly close to this. It's a lot closer to this than my marginal tax rate. A lot closer.

And I'm not anywhere near "low income."


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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:42 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I really hate getting into political discussions because it just goes round and round and nothing gets accomplished. But here I go.

djDaemon said:


Of course there is, which was sort of my point. Socialism has been practiced in this Country, with varied results (note that "varied" implies the inclusion of "good") for over a century. Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, etc., Republican & Democratic Congresses and so on, have all implemented socialism. They've all created, enhanced or actively maintained government-funded programs that redistribute wealth in various forms.

And therein lies the problem. It's not a Republican or Democrat thing, it's a government thing. For years and years there have been promises of cutting back government spending from mainly the Republicans who were elected on those conservative principles and none of that came to fruition. What I think we're seeing from fiscal conservatives is either apathy, cleaning house of the RINO's (that's Republicans In Name Only), or they really bought into Obama's "no new taxes" line.

The problem now is we are spending and spending and spending (not we you and me, Congress and our government). From bailing out businesses, from "stimulating" the economy by "investing" in green technologies, and funding our military. Not all of it is wrong, but a good majority of it is. Despite our writings, emails, phone calls to our Congresspeople, they still decided to pass the $787 billion stimulus. Something that we can't pay for without either borrowing from China or printing more money.

So now our dollar value is going into the toilet and this is why people are pissed and why our gas prices are climbing again. They didn't vote for this, they didn't want our government to take ownership of AIG, Freddie Mae, Fannie Mac, Chrysler, or GM. But this is what we are getting. And all of this is unsustainable without raising the tax revenue, which is what we are seeing.

You may see that extra $13 a week in your paycheck, but when you file your returns next year is it going to be a higher return, a lower return, or the same as this year? For you smokers out there, isn't the higher prices on cigarettes just a higher tax on you? For those who drive more, aren't the higher gas taxes proposed just another higher tax? Sure our income tax is probably a little lower, but those taxes are coming from other things that we use.

I've bought into the parties. I was a huge Republican party supporter. I tend to vote fiscally conservative, but moderate when it comes social issues. I mostly followed the Republican party because I liked what it stood for. I was a Bush supporter even with the Iraq war because we haven't seen another attack on our soil. It seems that President Obama is an Iraq and Afghanistan war supporter as well despite his promise to pull us out within 6 months of getting into office (told you so). Honestly though, like some of you had said, it's time to get to know the other side and realize what's really going on here. There is a huge problem with government begins to take ownership of businesses. There is a huge problem when our currency is getting devalued. It's going to take some tough people to fix these tough problems, our Congress and our President are proving that they aren't it. I'm not calling Obama a failure in just 4 months into his presidency, but I certainly disagree with most of his actions and policies that have been executed so far.

~Rob

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:01 AM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
The problem now is we are spending and spending and spending... Not all of it is wrong, but a good majority of it is. Despite our writings, emails, phone calls to our Congresspeople, they still decided to pass the $787 billion stimulus. Something that we can't pay for without either borrowing from China or printing more money.

This is old news, and repeating it likely will still not make it sink in, but the vast majority of economists agree that while the stimulus spending is almost incomprehensibly high, not doing anything would have a much higher cost. Why people continue to ignore that simply blows my mind, but whatever.

So now our dollar value is going into the toilet and this is why people are pissed and why our gas prices are climbing again.

Gas prices are related to the value of the dollar? I was under the impression that gas prices were mostly related to production and demand.

They didn't vote for this, they didn't want our government to take ownership of AIG, Freddie Mae, Fannie Mac, Chrysler, or GM. But this is what we are getting.

"They", as in the American people? Considering "their" track record when it comes to "informed" voting, I'm not sure that is a valid metric for anything.

And all of this is unsustainable without raising the tax revenue, which is what we are seeing.

So, we're raising taxes on certain brackets, which means it could be sustainable, right? And again, remember that the cost of not doing anything would be much higher. Where would you suggest that money come from?

For you smokers out there, isn't the higher prices on cigarettes just a higher tax on you? For those who drive more, aren't the higher gas taxes proposed just another higher tax? Sure our income tax is probably a little lower, but those taxes are coming from other things that we use.

Then use them less, or not at all. Simple, no?

I was a Bush supporter even with the Iraq war because we haven't seen another attack on our soil.

Seriously? I hear people spout this nonsensical crap with alarming frequency. I find it shocking (not really) that so many people are so moronic as to think that line of thought is anything less than laughable.

News flash - "the terrorists" are still attacking and killing us. We're just saving them the cost of airfare.

There is a huge problem when our currency is getting devalued. It's going to take some tough people to fix these tough problems, our Congress and our President are proving that they aren't it. I'm not calling Obama a failure in just 4 months into his presidency, but I certainly disagree with most of his actions and policies that have been executed so far.

Yeah, you are calling them a failure, if you're suggesting that what he, his administration and Congress is doing as not working. Hey - we haven't had a bank failure in a few weeks, so it must be working, right?

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:02 AM

Brandon | Facebook

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:24 AM

Gas prices are related to the value of the dollar?

Rob's right about this. Oil as a commodity is denominated in dollars. So, when the dollar weakens relative to other currencies, it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of oil all other things being equal. This drives the price up.

Operationally, it might not even matter if oil were denominated in some other currency---it would still cost more dollars to buy a barrel of it if dollars are "worth less" relative to other currencies. What's more, it's not just oil---almost everything gets more expensive when the dollar falls, because almost everything depends on foreign-sourced materials or labor in some way.

On the other hand, a falling dollar is good for our trade imbalance---it tends to shift consumption to domestic goods from foreign ones, reducing imports, and makes our exports proportionally more valuable.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:25 AM
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:25 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Old news or not, the economic stimulus is being to be pretty relevant to us for a long time. We are going to be seeing what the results are in 3 - 4 years because more of that spending is going to kick in from 2010 - 2012 (funny, just in time for the '10 and '12 reelections) I don't think spending the bailout (signed by Bush) and the $787 billion on the stimulus was the right way to go. This is like playing the 'Iraq War' card as old news, it may be 7 years old, but it's still pretty relevant today, isn't it?

There are a bunch of factors with gas prices. However, oil is purchased using US dollars. Because the value of the dollar has fallen over the last month, it's going to take more dollars to purchase the barrels of oil from overseas. Supply and demand has remained relatively the same. This is why $2 gal gas last month has become $2.75 gal gas this month.

You can go ahead and continue picking apart my comments and replying to them. I was actually agreeing with your original statement about social programs and expanding upon it. As you get older and get through these online political discussions, you'll realize how much time you are really wasting. All I can do is hope for those who aren't blindly marching along with either party can see my reasoning and realize that the chain of events going on fiscally isn't a good thing for the future. Jeff and I can at least agree on the problem with our national debt.


~Rob

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:28 AM
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:27 AM

Yes, I was aware of that relationship - that we buy it with a weaker dollar - but as you mention, that is true for pretty much everything. I thought perhaps there was some other less obvious relationship he was referring to. Thanks!


Brandon | Facebook

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:28 AM

That said, I'd like to come back to this overall point: spending isn't necessarily good or bad on its own. Rather, the question is "is it a better idea to spend money on this, or not?"

My understanding---including that gleaned from economists who generally don't agree with Obama---is that fiscal policy is a good tool to use on the federal level in recessionary times once monetary policy is at the end of its rope. And, monetary policy is at the end of its rope---we can't lower the fed funds rate much lower than it is right now.

The trick is reigning it back in when the recession is behind us. And, I'll agree that some of the things in the stimulus plan look like they'll end up being ongoing expenditures rather than one-time or short-term spending. David Brooks, the NY Times' "token fiscal conservative" has made a very good case that this has been a bad idea.

And, I agree with him.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, June 3, 2009 11:30 AM
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Sunday, June 7, 2009 10:33 AM

I won't get into this debate although the one thing I do find funny is that I work at "insert retail chain of preference" one of the lowest paying jobs out there. I find political ignorance funny because a fan of McCain was complaining that Obama would take every ones money and give it to the poor. I found this hilarious becaue most people working in retail don't make enough to support themselve without government assistance or a second job so the poor it would go to would be going to would be ..... oh yea him and all the other people working there. I am not saying that he was dumb but just caught up so badly in the political garbage that he thought he would lose money when really if the things he was talking about came true he would make more money.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 2:59 PM

My $0.01 (adjusted for inflation)

As someone else has mentioned, to everyone who is decrying the stimulus spending - tell me exactly what YOU would have done last year when the credit markets were completely frozen and the economy was in danger of stopping and shedding far more jobs than we've actually lost? Do you forget what things were like last fall when scaremongers were proclaiming the second Great Depression? I have yet to hear a 'better idea' from anyone, conservative or liberal. Just about every economist was in agreement that 'doing nothing' was not an option. Also, the stimulus spending started under Bush, not Obama.

As for socialism, it is unfortunate that conservatives are trying to hijack the term and make it 'evil' ... it is certainly not evil in any way; it is merely a system. America is nominally capitalistic, but embraces socialism where that system is more efficient. A good example would be our roads and highways - could you imagine what a clusterfudge things would be if each separate road was owned and managed by a private entity? Police and fire protection, public utilities, etc... all work better as a 'socialist' service. I do believe healthcare is another area where a more socialistic policy would be an improvement. Remember, the ultimate goal of a private insurance company is to make money for shareholders, not to keep you healthy. There's a reason our system is by far the most expensive among modern nations. The biggest problem is finding/placing competent people in government to implement a fair and efficient healthcare system for us.

For a counter-example, a good example of pure capitalism would be Somalia - everything, including basic police protection, has to be 'bought' by each individual - little to no government services are available. Not a good situation over there either.

Last edited by metallik, Sunday, June 7, 2009 3:00 PM
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Sunday, June 7, 2009 6:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

metallik said:
A good example would be our roads and highways - could you imagine what a clusterfudge things would be if each separate road was owned and managed by a private entity?

Actually there's been a movement towards experimenting with privately owned highways and from what I've read, they're usually better maintained and cheaper to use than the public turnpikes...and in some cases, formerly unprofitable roads have been leased to private companies who then were able to turn a profit.

And to stay on the amusement park side of things, isn't all the highway on Disney property privately owned and maintained.

Based on what little I've seen, heard and read, I gotta say I'm not totally against the idea of privately owned roads.

Just saying. :)


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Sunday, June 7, 2009 6:35 PM

metallik said:
The biggest problem is finding/placing competent people in government to implement a fair and efficient healthcare system for us.

You nailed that on the head! The govt is incompentent at so many levels, and still people want to trust them with their health?

As for Somalia and capitalism, I think you're confusing capitalism with anarchy.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 6:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

I can only partially blame the government when the people doing the voting are more worried about non-issues than a person's capability. You know, you vote for the dog catcher because they can catch dogs, not because they belong to one party or another or their stance on abortion.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, June 8, 2009 9:52 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

metallik said:
My $0.01 (adjusted for inflation)

As someone else has mentioned, to everyone who is decrying the stimulus spending - tell me exactly what YOU would have done last year when the credit markets were completely frozen and the economy was in danger of stopping and shedding far more jobs than we've actually lost? Do you forget what things were like last fall when scaremongers were proclaiming the second Great Depression? I have yet to hear a 'better idea' from anyone, conservative or liberal. Just about every economist was in agreement that 'doing nothing' was not an option. Also, the stimulus spending started under Bush, not Obama.

Hey you're absolutely right that doing nothing wasn't an option. However, I think Bush set a stupid precedent by bailing out AIG back in September. Now we have a government that is picking out winners and losers. Keep in mind also that Bush needed the approval of Congress in order to do the bailout, this isn't something he acted on alone.

As far as what I would have done? History has told us what works and what doesn't. Everybody talks about the Great Depression, but nobody talks about the recession of 1920 after WWI. Everyone talks about the long drawn on Depression during the 1930's and we didn't get out of it until WWII. However the recession of 1920 had job losses and loss of GDP that rivals what was seen during the Great Depression and even today. However the action taken then was greatly different from the action taken during the Great Depression and today. The government cut spending like any sane person would if they realized they weren't going to be taking in as much money. Nobody was bailed out, no programs were created, and the government's responsibility didn't grow. Within 3 quarters, the economy bounced back and gave us the "roaring 20's" up until the stock market crash.

History tells us that the economy is cyclical. Sometimes things get out of control, things get over-valued and eventually they need a correction to put things back into real terms. What we are seeing now is a long overdue correction. However, at the same time we are seeing an agenda being pushed upon us and private businesses because of fear. Fear is such an easy emotion to play on. What if the government did nothing back in September? Would Chrysler or GM have filed bankrupcy earlier? Would they already be emerging out of bankrupcy by now? Would the job losses have been even worse? Would we have bounced back by now? We don't know, we'll never know, but that fear that was played was the perfect time to push other agendas, much like all the programs under the New Deal during the Great Depression. People in general want something, anything done to fix the problem fast, without much thought of the possible consequences.

~Rob

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Monday, June 8, 2009 10:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

Those observations completely ignore the world we live in today, Rob. It ignores the fact that we're participants in a truly global economy where service is valued over manufacturing and trade is essential to our survival. Everything about how conduct business amongst ourselves and other countries is different. We're not the only economic power in the world anymore, not by a long shot. There's a hell of a lot more at stake now.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, June 8, 2009 11:13 AM

What's more, the Roaring 20's were fueled in part by significant risk-taking in the absence of any regulation in the financial markets. Exactly the same picture we had in the recent run-up following deregulation in the 80s. It was inevitably going to fail, because it wasn't sustainable. So, many economists also take a lesson from the 20's into the 30's, but it is precisely the opposite of the lesson you suggest.

On a vaguely related note, today's NYT had several articles of interest to the broader discussion:

A piece describing some of the debates, and how they evolved, amongst the current administration's economic advisors:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/us/politics/08team.html

The federal govt. plans to intervene in executive pay (a bad idea, IMO):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/business/08bank.html

Europe moves to the right in a pretty significant way:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/world/europe/09europe.html

In the UK, the left is taking the heat, rather than the right, because they happened to be the party in power when it all went down:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/opinion/08krugman.html


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Monday, June 8, 2009 11:39 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Jeff, I completely agree with the global environment compared to 1920. The fact is we don't know what would have happened if we hadn't bailed out the companies. Its much easier to begin the "monday morning quarterbacking" now because we're starting to see some results.

Again, going back at history, we weren't in the global economy during the Great Depression as well and a very different action was being taken compared to the 1920 recession. You have to at least admit that some of the actions taken today is prolonging our recession, much like what was done in the 1930's.

I still maintain that an agenda is being pushed using fear. Much like the Patriot Act was pushed after 9/11. Eventually we are going to bounce back from this recession, but it may take longer if we're prolonging the inevitable. We gave GM and Chrysler an additional 6 months before they ended up filing bankruptcy anyways. But at the same time, the issue now is that the government could possibly begin to dictate what kind of cars to make, regardless of whether or not people want to buy them. Will it happen? Time will tell...

I still believe in the office of President, no matter who is in charge. Bush did what he thought was right at the time, Obama is doing the same. It doesn't mean we should completely agree (or disagree) with whatever decisions are being made because of what side of the aisle they come from.

~Rob

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Monday, June 8, 2009 11:40 AM
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Monday, June 8, 2009 12:35 PM

Yeah, we may not know for a fact what would've happened had there not been bailouts, but its not like we don't have numerous, very well-informed opinions on the matter. By all accounts, the bailouts were the right way to go, fiscally speaking.


Brandon | Facebook

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Monday, June 8, 2009 12:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
You have to at least admit that some of the actions taken today is prolonging our recession, much like what was done in the 1930's.

I don't have to admit anything, as it's not my area of expertise, and I've seen no compelling evidence by actual economists (not blowhards on TV) who convincingly support what you're saying.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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