so what has president obama done for you lately?

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I JOINED A CON­VER­SA­TION on fel­low record col­lec­tor, Beach Boys fan, and oth­er­wise like-minded (“do not dumb here”) racon­teur Rob Norberg’s Face­book page. The thread con­cerned the on­go­ing “de­bate” about the President’s sup­pos­edly ex­cess num­ber of va­ca­tion days—yet an­other non-issue is­sue from the rightwing me­dia and pun­ditry that so eas­ily cap­tures the at­ten­tion deficit dis­or­dered imag­i­na­tion (sic) of Re­pub­li­can vot­ers. Which led to the ob­vi­ous ques­tion, "What has Pres­i­dent Obama done for you lately?

At­ten­tion Deficit Hy­per­ac­tiv­ity Dis­or­der (ADHD), for­merly At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der (ADD), is “a psy­chi­atric dis­or­der in which there are sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems of at­ten­tion, hy­per­ac­tiv­ity, or act­ing im­pul­sively that are not ap­pro­pri­ate for a person's age.” Sound fa­mil­iar po­lit­i­cally?

Back to Rob’s Face­book thread: one anti-Obama reader kept throw­ing out the usual Limbaughed/Foxist/Breitbartian non-sense as facts. He posted a link to the ab­surd and dis­cred­ited BS about Obama hav­ing spent over a bil­lion dol­lars on travel in one year. (A run­ning joke dur­ing the first sea­son of the tele­vi­sion show The News­room.)

So I ri­posted with a list of the pos­i­tive achieve­ments of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion that we sim­ply never hear about be­cause of the left­winged (pro­nounced ‘wing-GED,’ like you’re a New Yorker or some­thing) bias of the DLM (Damn Lib­eral Me­dia). I had only re­cently found the list on a blog called Please Cut The Crap (“the PCTC blog”), the work of Milt Shook.

Like so many pro­gres­sives (see his Pro­gres­sive Man­i­festo), he is of an ac­quis­i­tive, skep­ti­cal, fact-trumps-ideology na­ture.

Done for you lately: Photo of Jeff Daniels in the television series THE NEWSROOM.

Imagine what Obama could have done with a Democratic majority his last few years.

What has Obama one for you lately?

Like so many pro­gres­sives who voted for Obama, I get caught up in all the mi­nuses of the past six years (mostly this administration’s con­tin­u­ance of many of the most de­testable poli­cies and pro­grams of the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion).

And I tend to over­look or for­get the plusses. Mr. Shook took the time to list 253 ac­com­plish­ments, no­tat­ing each with a link to an­other, re­li­able In­ter­net source (for those of us who do re­search be­fore be­liev­ing something/anything).

The ar­ti­cle is ti­tled “What Has Pres­i­dent Obama Done?” and I am post­ing be­low the first twelve on his list (sans the ref­er­ence links). I think that just see­ing a dozen of them will make many read­ers take pause and con­sider that Obama has done good. I have taken my usual ed­i­to­rial lib­er­ties with Milt’s in­tro­duc­tory text (abridg­ing, adding em­pha­sis, styl­ism, etc.) . . .

There are a lot of very loud pro­gres­sives who have done noth­ing but com­plain since Pres­i­dent Obama was in­au­gu­rated five and a half years ago. When they claim that he’s no pro­gres­sive, well, that’s just an out­right lie. What do these folks think pro­gres­sive means? The root word is pro­gress, and there has been a lot of pro­gress since Jan­u­ary 20, 2009.

Four years later, we pro­gres­sives have a chance to re­verse our in­cred­i­ble screw-up, and still; many pro­gres­sives prefer to com­plain about the im­per­fec­tion of De­moc­rats than to work to get rid of the rightwing GOP.

Here is a list of many of Pres­i­dent Obama’s ac­com­plish­ments as Pres­i­dent. Every one of them has a ci­ta­tion, so no one can dis­miss these as lies. Imag­ine what he could have done had we no taken away his De­mo­c­ra­tic ma­jor­ity af­ter 2010.

Given the ob­sta­cles, this Pres­i­dent will leave a legacy. If we want to win elec­tions – and in a democ­racy, that has to be our main goal – we have to make peo­ple want to vote for us. That means ac­cen­tu­at­ing the pos­i­tive, and talk­ing about how great we are, es­pe­cially com­pared to the al­ter­na­tive.

Pass this list around to every­one you know, es­pe­cially those who whine that Obama has done noth­ing. Then keep be­ing pos­i­tive, and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to vote.

1. He signed an Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der or­der­ing an au­dit of gov­ern­ment con­tracts, com­bat­ing waste and abuse.

2. He cre­ated the post of Chief Per­for­mance Of­fi­cer, whose job it is to make op­er­a­tions more ef­fi­cient to save the fed­eral gov­ern­ment money.

3. He froze White House salaries.

4. He ap­pointed the first Fed­eral Chief In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer to over­see fed­eral IT spend­ing.

5. He com­mit­ted to phas­ing out un­nec­es­sary and out­dated weapons sys­tems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Sys­tems Ac­qui­si­tion Re­form Act, which at­tempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the de­fense pro­cure­ment and con­tract­ing sys­tem.

6. He cre­ated the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Fis­cal Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Re­form.

7. He pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored Amer­i­can Re­cov­ery and Rein­vest­ment Act, oth­er­wise known as ‘the stim­u­lus pack­age.’ The bill passed, even though only three Re­pub­li­cans voted for it. In a ma­jor de­par­ture from the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion, he launched re​cov​ery​.gov, a web­site that al­lows tax­pay­ers to track spend­ing from the Act.

8. The Bush-led Great Re­ces­sion was cost­ing the econ­omy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time Pres­i­dent Obama took of­fice. But by the end of his first year, the Amer­i­can Re­cov­ery and Rein­vest­ment Act cre­ated and sus­tained 2,100,000 jobs and stim­u­lated the econ­omy by 3.5%.

9. Not only did he com­plete the mas­sive TARP fi­nan­cial and bank­ing res­cue plan, he also leaned on the banks and oth­ers and re­cov­ered vir­tu­ally all of the bail-out money.

10. He cre­ated the Mak­ing Home Af­ford­able home re­fi­nanc­ing plan.

11. He over­saw the cre­ation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.

12. Along with De­moc­rats, and al­most no Re­pub­li­cans, he im­ple­mented an auto in­dus­try res­cue plan, and saved as many as 1,000,000 jobs. Many are of the opin­ion that he saved the en­tire auto in­dus­try, and even the econ­omy of the en­tire Mid­west. This re­sulted in GM re­turn­ing to its place as the top car com­pany in the world."

Got that? How many of those twelve are a reg­u­lar part of the li­brull media's overview or sum­ma­tion of this pres­i­dent? And PCTC lists 241 more! Go read them all. NOW!

Done for you lately: Illustration of a unicorn.

Il­lus­tra­tion by Je­remy Enecio for Fortune's ar­ti­cle "The Age of Uni­corns."

How progressives can rule politics

Milt Shook’s at­ti­tude seems summed up in the in­tro­duc­tion to a sales of­fer for a book that he has writ­ten and pub­lished, But I Wanted A Uni­corn. As it sounds so much like my own at­ti­tude, I am reprint­ing most of it here . . .

We pro­gres­sives used to dom­i­nate US pol­i­tics. Think about it; when we were in charge and we worked with the De­mo­c­ra­tic Party, from 1933 un­til 1973, we passed the New Deal, So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medicare, the Vot­ing Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and we ap­pointed Supreme Courts that up­held and ex­panded civil lib­er­ties.

We passed hun­dreds of labor laws that most peo­ple take for granted these days, in­clud­ing laws re­gard­ing over­time pay and min­i­mum wages. We cre­ated OSHA and the Na­tional Labor Re­la­tions Board, as well as the EPA, NOAA, FDA, FTC, CPSC and many other agen­cies that have saved count­less lives, and cleaned up our air and wa­ter.

Our pop­u­lace be­came more ed­u­cated and our econ­omy boomed like no other econ­omy be­fore it. When pro­gres­sives ruled, we be­came the most pow­er­ful na­tion on the planet. We were a can-do na­tion.

Pro­gres­sives started to fail po­lit­i­cally with the end of US in­volve­ment in the Viet­nam War. It was as if we gave up. By 1980, when Ronald Rea­gan won the pres­i­dency, and the GOP won the Sen­ate for the first time since the 1950s, Re­pub­li­cans have been able to roll the coun­try back sig­nif­i­cantly. We have to get our mojo back, be­gin­ning NOW!”

So there, a plug for Milt Shook’s eBook But I Wanted A Uni­corn, an easy pur­chase for a mere $4.99. Go buy one. NOW!

Fi­nally, this is the sec­ond of two es­says re­gard­ing the thread, the dis­cus­sion, and an­other person’s blog and book. The first part is “skep­ti­cism vs. pro­pa­gan­dism and obama's golf habit” and pre­cedes this post.

And the ques­tion re­mains: "What has Pres­i­dent Obama done for you lately?" And for­get the golf and but NOT the whistle-blowers!

Done for you lately: 19th century cartoon of robber barons by Samuel Ehrhart.

FEA­TURED IM­AGE: The car­toon at the top of this page is from the 19th cen­tury by an artist  Samuel Ehrhart. The cap­tion reads, "His­tory re­peats itself—the rob­ber barons of the Mid­dle Ages, and the rob­ber barons of to-day.” It has noth­ing re­ally to do with this ar­ti­cle ex­cept that:

1) I like the car­toon, and
2) I found it on a rightwing web­site.

Usu­ally the right­ies ap­plaud the every whim of to­days' rob­ber barons, so I didn't get the rea­son for the ed­i­tor to use this anti-Big Busi­ness, anti-corporation ed­i­to­rial.

The site went on to state that Obama "is in­creas­ingly struck with an in­tense long­ing to be a differently-abled per­son of color with gen­der is­sues. It seems that this poorest-ever ex­cuse for an Amer­i­can chief ex­ec­u­tive is hell-bent on ex­panded op­por­tu­ni­ties in a coun­try that may cease to ex­ist in our life­times."


It also crit­i­cizes the Pres­i­dent for this state­ment: "Hope is what gives young peo­ple the strength to march for women’s rights and work­ers’ rights and civil rights and vot­ing rights and gay rights and im­mi­gra­tion rights."

Oh well and oh hum.

As usual, all the fact are half-assed or back­wards and the writer is con­de­scend­ing and snarky. So I just lifted the im­age and moved on . . .


2 thoughts on “so what has president obama done for you lately?

  1. All the "ac­com­plish­ments" listed above are like tak­ing out the trash and sweep­ing the hearth. You'd ex­pect that, and you don't give folks bonuses for those things. Who of us voted for Obama be­cause he promised to ap­point an IT Czar for the gov't? Right.

    But we did vote to stop the war on Is­lam, to curb Israel's atroc­i­ties, to close the Guan­tanamo Bay sta­lag (or is it a gu­lag?), to stop ren­di­tion­ing, to slow the on­ward march of the po­lice state, to re­bal­ance the econ­omy be­tween rich and poor, to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion, to stop the rape of the land, to restart mean­ing­ful Amer­i­can in­dus­try (other than cars, which are showy but not every­thing — what about the other 99% that we now buy from China?) ... and how much of THAT hap­pened?

    The stan­dard pat­tern in Amer­i­can pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics is ut­ter dis­il­lu­sion­ment among the is­sue vot­ers by the end of two terms of of­fice. So they swing to the op­po­site party, and the promise-trust-betrayal-disappointment cy­cle is en­acted again. We who have seen a few such are not sur­prised. For us, the dis­ap­point­ment be­gins when we re­al­ize that, once more, the elec­torate is about to trust an­other empty suit speak­ing words that were writ­ten for him to frame poli­cies de­vel­oped for him from sur­vey ques­tions of what the peo­ple want to hear. Be­cause we know it just ain't gonna hap­pen among the same two in­ces­tu­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

    1. MARK

      Why you voted for Obama is not the rea­son that I voted for Obama. We have a two-party sys­tem and we are faced with the dilemma of only two peo­ple to vote for every four years. For me it's sim­ple: Rep*blican or De­moc­rat.

      There are Dems that move me (Kucinich and Sanders and War­ren come to mind), but they don't stand a chance un­til there is a near com­plete over­haul in cam­paign financing—which is not go­ing to hap­pen in your life­time or mine.

      I can't do much about that but bitch and moan. 

      One of the points of the ar­ti­cle above is that there IS a list of pos­i­tive ac­com­plish­ments un­der Obama, as there was un­der Clin­ton. I have chal­lenged Rep*blican vot­ers to pro­duce the list of sim­i­lar ac­com­plish­ments (those that ben­e­fit "nor­mal" Amer­i­cans rather than the wealthy élite) by Rea­gan or ei­ther Bush.

      They never do for a good rea­son: there ain't one. ("There ain't none"?)

      Per­haps if those of us with "lib­eral" lean­ings had or­ga­nized and be­come as mono­lithic a power as those with "con­ser­v­a­tive" lean­ings, we could have pre­vented the cor­po­rate take-over of the elec­tion process. But that was 30–40 years ago and we didn't and it's too late and I am tired of bitch­ing and moan­ing.

      So now I just bitch . . .

      Thanks again for com­ment­ing.

      Sith agus Slainte bah!


      PS: You only have 346 more ar­ti­cles on this site to read and re­spond to be­fore mov­ing on to Rather Rare Records, where I find ways to slip in things like bleed­ing heart lib­eral con­cerns for the ex­tinc­tion of whales and wolves, var­i­ous and sundry fem­i­nazi pro­pa­ganda sound­bites, de­mands of the long-forgotten "ho­mo­sex­ual agenda" (should that be cap­i­tal­ized?), and other meme-like bits of the vast left­wing con­spir­acy. (Should THAT be cap­i­tal­ized?)

Something on your mind? Go ahead and say it . . .