Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Obama Era, Part 2: Memories From The Worst Presidency Ever?

We are coming up on the end of another year so I thought it might be a good time to review everything that I remember about the Obama administration. He has been in office for seven years, seven long years that in my opinion have been horrific in so many ways. This was someone who entered office with approval ratings that were above 70% and who represented the so-called “hope and change” that many Americans were seeking.

Seven years later hope has become very scarce and change has almost always been for the worst. Now, before someone says that I am just a sour grapes Republican, conservative, or neo-con, understand that I have never voted for a Republican for President in my life (I started voting in the 1970s). Up until 2010, I had never voted for Republican for national office in my life. I fully support gay rights and respect a woman’s legal right to an abortion. Thus, none of what you are about to read over the next few days comes from a Republican sour grapes perspective.

But unless you have had completely had your head in the sand or elsewhere, this has been the worst Presidency that I have experienced in my lifetime. From horrid legislation (e.g. Obama Care) to a failed foreign policy (e.g. Syria) to daily lawlessness on the part of this administration (e.g. use of unsecured email accounts by high ranking administration members), the ineptness and ineffectiveness of this administration is mind boggling.

Thus, given this set up, in no particular order, this is what I will remember about the Obama Presidency:

- I will remember that this administration illegally ignotred the orders of a Federal judge relative to a ban on drilling in the Gulf Of Mexico.

- I will remember that whenever this President was called upon to pay a tribute to other Americans, e.g. Neil Armstrong, 9-11 victims, Daniel Inouye, Rosa Parks, etc., he always made the tribute about himself, not others.

- I will remember how this President illegally and unConstitutionally entered this country into the Libyan civil war without the consent of Congress, wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer wealth, endangering the lives of American servicemen and women, and helped create another failed, terrorism infested state.

- I will remember how this President illegally and unConstitutionally refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which although a repugnant piece of legislation signed by Democrat Bill Clinton, it was still the law of the land and required the consent of Congress to repeal it, not the unilateral action of the executive branch.

- I will remember how this President deliberately tried to bypass Congress and the Constitution by establishing a shadow government of “czars” that were not accountable to the people or voters.

- I will remember how this administration gave away tens of billions of dollars to failed alternative energy companies (e.g. Solyndra), mostly run by or financed by Democratic operatives, with no societal benefit in return.

- I will remember how this administration made sure that a major Democratic financial supporter of Solyndra, the Kaiser Foundation, was illegally given priority in bankruptcy proceedings over the American taxpayer when Solyndra failed.

- I will remember how this administration established and then tried to cover up a failed gun running program called Fast and Furious, a program that broke numerous domestic and international laws on gun running, directly resulted in the death of at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent and at least dozens of innocent Mexican civilians, and which accomplished nothing.

- I will remember how this administration implemented a series of failed, and mostly inane, economic stimulus programs including Cash For Clunkers, Cash For Appliances, Cash For Caukers, HARP, and more.

- I will remember how Americans' wages and household wealth have stagnated in the past seven years despite being many years beyond of the end of the recession.

- I will remeber how this administration used the IRS to harass political opponents and American citizens who dared to disagree with Obama's positons including Dr. Ben Carson and Sarah Palin's father.

- I will remember how this administration was caught totally unaware and unprepared when one of the biggest freedom movements of this era came to be, the Arab Spring, indicating a massive contingency planning failure of the Obama State Department.

- I will remember how Obama mistook a public health crisis (e.g. Americans smoke too much, Americans eat too much, Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, Americans do not exercise enough), which is the primary driver and the root causes of our high health care costs, and tried to resolve the high cost issue with a Rube Goldberg insurance solution that has failed miserably and left the root causes intact.

- I will remember how the this administration failed to clean up the criminal fraud and wasteful spending of all Federal government entities such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food assistance, housing, etc., which in total easily wastes hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars every year.

- I will remember how this administration failed to fix the operations of Federal government agencies including the IRS that fails to collect hundreds of billions of tax evader taxes every year, the Pentagon whose accounting systems are so bad that they cannot even be audited, and the waste and redundancy of government programs, as witnesses by the reality that the Federal government has 15 different agencies overseeing food safety laws, more than 20 independent programs helping the homeless, 80 different programs to help economic development, 82 different government agencies working on improving teacher quality, 47 different government agencies working on job training, and 18 different programs working on food and nutrition assistance.

- I will remember how this President always blamed others for his failings, it was never his fault things failed, at various times it was the fault of It was the fault of the Bush administration, it was the fault of the Tea Party, it was the fault of the Republicans, it was the fault of Congress, it was the fault of the Japanese tsunami, it was the fault of the Euro crisis, it was the fault of wealthy Americans who do not pay enough in taxes, it was the fault of ATM machines that help cause high unemployment, it was the fault of ordinary Americans who have grown “a little soft” and who “have lost their ambition” over the years, and it was the fault of the Chinese.

- I will remember how this President often claimed ignorance when an unexpected domestic and international crisis caught him off guard and unprepared and how he found out about it from cable news stories.

- I will remember how this President often claimed that the medical needs of our veterans were a top priority for him but who never fixed the problems of the Veterans Administration, likely resulting in the premature deaths of hundreds of veterans.

- I will remember how Obama tried to bypass the Constitution and Congress by making government appointments during Congressional recesses even though in 2005 then Senator Obama said Bush’s recess appointments were “the wrong thing to do,” to appoint people who “couldn’t get through a Senate nomination,” promising that would never happen if he was President. 

- I will remember how Obama promised to operate the most transparent Presidential administration ever and then promptly undercut that promise by abusing executive privilege, stonewalling Freedom of Information Act requests, secretly investigating and harassing journalists, and impeding Congressional investigations.

- I will remember how Obama promised to shut down the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, implying that those there would get their day in court, but instead the center is still open and and Obama is bypassing judicial processes to unilaterally release terrorists back out into the world.

- I will remember how Obama promised that the nation’s unemployment rate would go as high as 8% unless his $800 billion economic stimulus program was passed and how the the program was enacted and the unemployment rate still soared well beyond 8% for a very long time.

I will remember a lot about this Presidency, almost all of it very forgettable, regrettable and often disgusting, as we have discussed over the past two days. And unfortunately, I will still have more bad memories to review tomorrow.

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