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.
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 recovery.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!
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!
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 . . .