Friday, January 1, 2016

The Obama Era, Part 3: 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 remember that Obama found time in his first term, a period of time, marked by high unemployment and stagnant economic growth, to film a television commercial for the George Lopez show, to appear on The View television show, to appear on Oprah’s television show, to jet off to Europe to lobby for his home town of Chicago to get a Summer Olympics (an effort that failed miserably), and to conduct an untold number of photo ops with athletic teams, college and professional, despite promising that if elected President he would devote his entire life to serving Americans. 

- I will remember how peeved Obama was when American aid worker James Foley was beheaded by ISIS since it forced him to hold a perfunctory press conference in order to not miss his golf tee time.

- I will remember how the number of Americans receiving monthly food assistance has increased and stayed 50% above the levels they were at when he became President, indicating that his economic policies are a failure or his ability and plan to curtail food assistance fraud is a failure.

- I remember that this administration was also not able to produce anything close to an enduring peace arrangement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

- I will remember how this administration allowed North Korea and Iran to get seven years closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power.

- I will remember how Obama’s Afghanistan policies and strategies has not come close to defeating the Taliban after seven years, requiring him to continue to deploy thousands of U.S. troops in the country into an indefinite future.

- I will remember how this administration presided over the first credit agency downgrade of the Federal government’s creditworthiness in the history of the country.

- I will remember how this administration’s economic policies failed to improve the economic plight of minorities in this country, both on an absolute basis and relative to non-minorities.

- I will remember how Obama promised not to appoint high powered lobbyists to positions of power in his administration and once elected, promptly installed high powered lobbyists in his administration.

- I will remember how Obama ignored existing law forbidding foreign military aid to any country that is toppled by a military coup when a military coup toppled an elected government in Egypt but still received American military aid.

- I will remember how Obama illegally allowed lucrative taxpayer funded financial credits to Congressional members and their staffs to pay for Obama Care policies in violation of the Obama Care legislation.

- I will remember how this administration abused Federal government resources to inhibit and harass companies and businesses (e.g. Gibson Guitar and Boeing) whose business agendas did not line up with the President’s political agenda.

- I will remember how this administration intentionally violated the WARN act by telling companies to not announce layoffs that were in compliance with the WARN Act prior to the 2012 Presidential election, promising to pay any WARN Act fines in the future with taxpayer money those companies may incur as a result of violating the WARN as requested by the Obama administration.

- I will remember how this administration violated the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 by illegally allowing able bodied welfare recipients not to fulfill the weekly work requirements of that legislation.

- I will remember how Obama failed to fire James Clapper, a high ranking member of the President’s national security team, after Clapper lied to Congress about how much electronic information the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting on every American citizen.

- I will remember how Obama personally signed off on the assassination of American citizens in foreign lands, e.g. the killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki via a drone attack in Yemen, denying him and other citizens a fair trial by their peers, negating the rights, and lives, of al-Awlaki and at least three other American citizens, violating their right “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the Fourth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.

- I will remember how Obama failed to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after she allegedly pressured insurance companies to illegally contribute to the promotion and advancement of Obama Care.

- I will remember how Obama failed to fire Kathleen Sebelius after she violated the Hatch Law when she campaigned/endorsed a Democrat for office in North Carolina.

- I will remember how Obama failed to fire Kathleen Sebelius for general incompetence in overseeing the horrid rollout of Obama Care.

- I will remember how Obama slandered and cast slurs to Americans who happen to have a valid different opinion than his relative to global warming.

- I will remember how this administration violated the Federal Information Security Information Act (FISMA) by giving the Obama Care information systems infrastructure “authority to operate” even though it failed the required FISMA’s security control assessment.

- I will remember how Obama promised to use the Justice Department to go after any American who insults a Muslim but ignores Louis Farrakhan’s threat to gather 10,000 African-Americans to kill white Americans.

- I will remember how this President always took great interest when a white person killed a young black man but took no interest when black Americans killed black Americans, when a black person killed a white person, or when illegal immigrants he allowed to stay in this country killed American citizens.

- I will remember how Obama and his family spent hundreds of millions of dollars jet setting around the world for vacations, often disguised as pseudo government events.

- I will remember how Obama insulted Special Olympics children and their families when early in his term he compared his horrific bowling skills to the athletic skills of a Special Olympics athlete.

- I will remember how this administration and this President intentionally manipulated U.S. intelligence data regarding terrorism and ISIS to make it appear that their current foreign and military policies were performing better than they actually were.

- I will remember how this President labelled ISIS as a “JV” terrorist group right before it took over large swaths of territories and major cities in Iraq and Syria, how he assured the world that ISIS was “contained” right before a major terror cell, supported by ISIS, hit multiple targets in Paris France, killing over a hundred people and wounding hundreds, and how he boldly assured Americans that there was no credible terrorist threat on the horizon right before two terrorists killed 14 people and wounded at least 22 people in San Bernardino, California.

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 three days. President Obama could have been one of the most impactful Presidents of all time. He came into office with sky high popularity and approval ratings. His party had a sizable majority in the House Of Representatives. He had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The country was ready to turn away from the Republican party.

But let’s review. We have had a President who sits silent and allows ordinary Americans with intelligent, informed, contrary opinions to be slandered and demeaned by his political allies. 

He uses deception as he tries to incite different segments of America against each other for his political gain. 

Every one of his economic policies have been failures. 

It is always all about him.

He tramples on the principles laid out in the Constitution, ignoring the rule of law as he sees as convenient, often trampling the liberties and rights of Americans in the process. 

Often it seems like his golf game, his fund raising trips, and his vacations are more important than running and leading the country.

His foreign policy activities have mostly been failures, failures that are dwarfed by the unfolding disaster known as Obama Care. 

He has not resolved, or even come close to presenting coherent plans to address the major issues of our times while the faulty operational aspects of the Federal government continue to be redundant, wasteful, inefficient, and ineffective. 

But the biggest reason for his disasters is his narcissistic inability to take personal responsibility for his actions and subsequent failures. It is never his fault. Someone else always ruins his plans. This lack of humility means a person never looks inward to see how he or she could improve. And a President without the ability to self evaluate and improve ends up leading a country that does not improve. 

And that is what I will remember most: this country, our freedoms, our democracy, and our financial well being are in far worse shape today than they were on that long ago day in January, 2009 when the Obama Error began.

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