What the hell else does this man have to do to convince people??!

So you really think Barack Obama is doing a bad job as President?

Really?

He

  • passed health care reform
  • passed the stimulus package
  • passed Wall Street reform
  • ended the war in Iraq
  • eliminated Osama bin Laden
  • saved the U.S. car industry
  • repealed the U.S. military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
  • helped take down Gaddafi from Libya and Mobarak from Egypt
  • increased support for military veterans
  • passed credit card reform
  • achieved a new START treaty

…do I need to go on?

There are 39 more achievements listed in the April 2012 Washington Monthly article, which doesn’t even list Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.

Granted, he’s got more ground to cover (please bring back habeas corpus!), but overall he’s done pretty well.

Unlike someone else who’s running for president and can’t be bothered not to piss off Europe in the process.

About these ads

“For I can raise no money by vile means…”

 

“…By heaven, I had rather coin my heart
And drop my blood for drachmas than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection.” –Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

They say you should never consider just one issue when selecting who to vote for in elections.

I have in the past given Barack Obama grief for his continuance of the Patriot Act (and in particular its suspension of habeas corpus). I have frowned at his refusal to shut down the “enemy combatants” prison in Guantanamo Bay. I’ve berated his refusal to support same-sex marriage. And I have raked him over the coals for continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

I now have to take two of those admonishments back. Last month Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, in the light of full civil rights for all citizens.

And now he’s using Robert Gibbs, his press secretary and proxy, to announce that the tax cuts for the well-to-do will be allowed to expire:

CROWLEY: Do you think the president will do anything other than veto a bill that would keep those Bush tax cuts for everyone intact?

GIBBS: We should protect the tax cuts for the middle-class, and we should let tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires expire.

CROWLEY: Even though recovery is not that great, and people say don’t take money out of this economy, it is not the time for a tax hike, you would go ahead and do it for those making $250,000 and above.

GIBBS: We ought to do something about this deficit, and we ought to protect middle class tax cuts, and the best way to do that is to let the upper-end tax cuts expire, let the wealthy in this country that had been doing fine for years and years and years begin to pay their fair share, and make sure that we protect the tax rate that middle-class families have had for the past many years.

CROWLEY: So the president is totally committed to getting rid of the tax cut for those making $250,000 and above.

GIBBS: Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them, tax cuts that have not worked, and have them pay their fair share.

CROWLEY: So is that a yes or a no? The president is completely committed to this, he won’t allow it to happen?

GIBBS: He is 100 percent committed to it.

Mr. Obama continues to become more and more attractive as a candidate.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.”

The news from Oceania this week:

“Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history…”

Really?

From the Washington Post:

“Government spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4% annualized pace — slower than at any time in nearly 60 years.”

This is in raw dollars.

This is adjusted for inflation.

Even adjusted for inflation, Obama has the second lowest spending record in modern American politics. (Eisenhower wound down the economy because of the end of the Korean War.)

From Politifact:

“Bottom line: The Facebook post’s claim that government spending under Obama is “slower than at any time in nearly 60 years” is very close to accurate.”

Hey, all you Republicans out there who are convinced that Obama makes the biggest spendthrift moves this side of Willard Romney’s rebuilt California mansion: what’s it like having a candidate that tells blatant lies?

Do you enjoy being lied to?

“You guys always bring me the *very* best violence.”

Mr. Universe’s gratitude (expressed in the title of this entry) parallels my own when it comes to The Spouse. She finds me the best stuff to write about.

Today was no exception. This was posted by Darwin Phillips on Facebook:

Taking America Forward Instead of Backward:

I recently read this response to some O haters in a page I was a’trollin’…

To your distress, for most of the rest of your life, you will bear this:

That Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be President. He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions. He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments here only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you.

You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever. But that is your future. Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates only those that are as poorly adapted to the world around them, your accomplishments non-existent and your life a bitter existence.

It’s time to move on. In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had. Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’. Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.

Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

Make it easy on yourself. Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation. Whether re-elected or not, he will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US.

If not re-elected, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, but he is willing to make that sacrifice for you.

You still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers.

And while those deriders that Phillips mentions contemplate their own lack of success, they can contemplate this list of presidential accomplishments.

Imagine, if possible, this being done by Threewives, Frothy, or Willard

From an account about Stephon, the student who signed the president:

Stephon stood just a few feet away from Barack Obama. The president, busy shaking hands, looked right at him. “It was like he was waiting for me to say something,” he said later.

So the 26-year-old Prince George’s Community College student took his cue and spoke to President Obama in his first language: American Sign Language. “I am proud of you,” Stephon signed. The president, almost involuntary, instinctively, immediately signed back.

“Thank you,” Obama replied.

This is one of those moments that humanize the office of the presidency.

Preach, brother, preach.

“I’m not going to have sex until I’m married. I can guarantee it.”

Bristol Palin: reality show star, walking advertisement for ironically moronic advocacy, indulger of plastic surgery at the age of 21…

and clueless media “star”:

[To President Obama]
You don’t know my telephone number, but I hope your staff is busy trying to find it. Ever since you called Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, I figured I might be next.  You explained to reporters you called her because you were thinking of your two daughters, Malia and Sasha.  After all, you didn’t want them to think it was okay for men to treat them that way:

“One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on,” you said.  “I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”

But here’s why I’m a little surprised my phone hasn’t rung.  Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family.  He’s made fun of my brother because of his Down’s Syndrome. He’s said I was “f—-d so hard a baby fell out.”  (In a classy move, he did this while his producers put up the cover of my book, which tells about the forgiveness and redemption I’ve found in God after my past – very public — mistakes.)

(Note: I’ve found no reference to Maher making fun of Trig Palin.)

What Ms. Palin doesn’t realize (no great surprise) is that Malia and Sasha Obama are children, under the care of their parents. Bristol Palin is an adult. Making fun of children for political or entertainment gain is morally repugnant; ridiculing adults who freely take bad actions (advocating teenage sexual abstinence but not practicing it personally) and make a failed effort to ignore the consequences is not.

UPDATE: Mr. Obama already made an effort to defend Bristol Palin.

“God says, ‘Black people are scary!’ “

From the wisest of political cartoonists…here is today’s creation by Mr. Trudeau:

Just remember, kids. When you have a president who has a list of accomplishments as long as this, and the barking ignorant (birthers, neocons, Republican Party nominees, etc.) claim that he’s done little or nothing, what other possible reason is there for denigrating him?

What’s Obama done for you?

Let’s do a tally, shall we?

  • ended the war in Iraq
  • drawing down the war in Afghanistan
  • initiated one of the largest economic stimulus programs in American history
    • created more than 500,000 private-sector jobs in the last two months alone
    • lowered the unemployment rate from a high of 10% to 8.3%
  • universal health-care reform
  • the turnover and recovery of the domestic car industry
  • increased regulation of Wall Street in light of the banking collapse of 2008
  • new consumer protections in the credit card industry
  • preservation of net neutrality
  • the greatest increase in wildlife resources in 15 years
  • major reform to college student aid
  • a new START treaty with Russia
  • the end of the military “don’t ask, don’t tell” program
  • implementation of a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan
  • brought the end of Osama bin Laden
  • assisted in the end of Mohamar Qaddafi’s regime
  • promoted the Arab Spring revolutions without getting the U.S. military involved

This looks like a pretty good record for a man who was facing the worst depression since the 1929 crash.

And yet over 50% of Americans polled early in 2012 think that Obama has done “little or nothing” during his term.

Who said that the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (partially decided by SCOTUS justices who had vested interests) has no bearing on the perceptions of Americans?

Politics: the art of the possible

Barack Obama, September 2006:

“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values…it requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.

“Now, I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, to take one example, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

“Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice.”

 

“Black people are scary.”

Along comes Gordon Warren Epperly, someone with enough immoral integrity to spell it out loud for everyone to see:

A man from Juneau, Alaska, has filed suit with the state’s Division of Elections to bar President Obama from appearing on that state’s ballot on the basis that the President is a “Mulatto”, and “the race of ‘Negro’ or ‘Mulatto’ had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.”

Gordon Warren Epperly, who lists his address as a P.O. Box, filed the nomination petition objection on February 21, 2012.

According to the complaint:

Barack Hussein Obama II, Aka Barack Hussein Obama, Aka Barack H. Obama has the race status of being a “Mulatto.” Barack Obama’s father (Barack Hussein Obama I) was a full blood Negro being born Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya and raised in the Colony of Kenya. Barack Obama’s mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) was a white Caucasian woman being born in Wichita, Kansas on November 29, 1942 and raised in the state of Washington and in the State of Hawaii.

Therefore:

As stated above, for an Individual to be a Candidate for the Office of President of the United States, the Candidate must meet the qualifications set forth in the United States Constitution and one of those qualifications is that the Candidate shall be a “natural born Citizen” of the United States. As Barack Hussein Obama II is of the “Mulatto” race, his status of citizenship is founded upon the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Before the [purported] ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the race of “Negro” or “Mulatto” had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.

The entire complaint can be found here. (There’s a lot of Birther blather there as well.)

And since the 14th Amendment to the Constitution makes us uncomfortable and angry, it doesn’t count. Right?

Right?

Plus les choses changent, plus elles restent les mêmes.

During the war of words between the Franklin Roosevelt administration and newspaper publisher William Randolph Herst, there was a particularly telling exchange. From the Roosevelt camp:

“The American people will not permit their attention to be diverted from real issues to fake issues which no patriotic, honorable, decent citizen would purposefully inject into American affairs.”

Herst’s response, in a signed newspaper editorial:

“Let me say that I have not stated at any time whether the President willingly or unwillingly received the support of the Karl Marx Socialists, the Frankfurter radicals, communists and anarchists, the Tugwell bolsheviks, and the Richberg revolutionists which constitute the bulk of his following…I have simply said and shown that he does receive the support of these enemies of the American system of government, and that he has done his best to deserve the support of all such disturbing and destructive elements.”

Fast-forward 75 years. From David Frum’s recent article in New York Magazine:

“Some liberals suspect that the conservative changes of mind since 2008 are opportunistic and cynical. It’s true that cynicism is never entirely absent from politics: I won’t soon forget the lupine smile that played about the lips of the leader of one prominent conservative institution as he told me, ‘Our donors truly think the apocalypse has arrived.’ Yet conscious cynicism is much rarer than you might suppose. Few of us have the self-knowledge and emotional discipline to say one thing while meaning another. If we say something often enough, we come to believe it. We don’t usually delude others until after we have first deluded ourselves. Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism.” (emphasis mine)

Frum’s article is the most concise, hit-the-nail-on-the-head article about conservatism I’ve read in a long time. Do yourself a favor and read it.

Perhaps there are sane conservatives out there.

The power of art

It has been said that the purpose of art is to take complex concepts and bring them to a level that can be easily and quickly perceived.

Does everyone remember Shepard Fairey? If you don’t, this should jog your memory:

His was the art chosen to portray the direction that Barack Obama wished to take his presidential campaign. His motif and composition became iconic; complex ideas like “hope” and “change” were made easily tangible with naught but a few color choices and a distinct style.

However, in year 3 of Mr. Obama’s administration, hope has faded. After the promise of the financial stimulus package, the repeal of DADT, and the onset of the Affordable Care Act, there has been no substantive work toward solving our country’s problems. The administration lends no political leadership to its beliefs, and the Republican Party (backed by political extremists like the Tea Party) has caused legislative gridlock to the point of near disaster.

Mr. Fairey clearly understands the power of art. Here is his new call:

Same color scheme and style, but now the message is very, very different. The concepts of the 99%, and of the Guy Fawkes mask (from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta) that has come to symbolize Anonymous, are now telling the administration that “hope” is waning. In fact, the red text at the bottom of the piece is superfluous.

This should be a clarion call to Mr. Obama — the very people he reached out to 2008 are ready to turn away from him unless he “changes”.

~~~

A side note: here is another Fairey creation that is just as telling as his previous work:

While Arab Spring has proven that tyrants can fall from power, it is also a powerful symbol for those in the United States as well. Politicians have all tried to hide the truth, and suppress it. And in this day of the internet, the truth cannot be hidden.

It will come out.

We are reminded of John Kennedy’s statement:

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Talk about thieves in the night.

I wrote the other day about how the Right likes to use truths in deceitful ways in order to make their cases.

Here’s another example. This is a picture from a National Organization for Marriage (NOM) site aimed at repeal of New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law:

Here is a picture taken of a rally for then presidential candidate Barack Obama last November. This rally was attended by 60,000 people.

Look familiar?

NOM and its political siblings cannot openly demonstrate how many people show up to their rallies, because the numbers can be measured in tens, not tens of thousands. They therefore steal resources from the very people they publicly revile.

(The family and I went to NOM’s “Summer of Marriage” rally in St. Paul last summer. They might have had 30 supporters, and there were more counter-protestors than that.)

Dumbasses.