The Successes and Failures of Barack Obama
Posted on April 2, 2014 and May 8, 2014 by dougstuber
This will be the talk on Saturday May 10th at the Gwangju International Center, please attend, if you can.
Success #1, he beat Hillary Clinton in the Primaries before the 2008 US Presidential elections to become the Democrat Party Nominee. He did this with 62% of his campaign funding in the primary stage coming from registered Republicans. He succeeded again in defeating John McCain and his ill-thought-out running mate Sarah Palin. This pick was as if McCain did not want to win.
But the pick was not nearly as disturbing as Barack Obama’s pick of Joseph Biden. Why? Because Biden had been the MOST pro-War democrat in the house Foreign Affairs Committee ever. And he led that committee to steer votes in favor of huge military overspending and unwise and unnecessary wars throughout his career. *****
Failure 1) (F-1)Obama ran on a platform of “We’re Going To Change Washington” and he not only failed to change Washington, in most cases he did not even try, or caved in to Republican demands even when the House, Senate and White House were ALL in Democratic control. How is this possible? Because so many Democrats are owned by the same corporations that own Republicans, for one, and, all but two being millionaires themselves, are inclined to vote for bail-outs for the rich (most of which happened before Obama took office, right at the end of Bush Junior’s reign with Goldman Sachs President / Secretary of the Treasury Henry “Hank” Paulson jamming a bill through congress that handed the richest bankers in the world trillions of dollars [BERNANKE HANDS OUT $16+ TRILLION in ZERO% GIFTS TO BANKS…]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/foreclosure-settlement-fails-mortgage_n_1754018.html) to clean up their own sickeningly bad investment choices that had, in turn, caused a meltdown in the US housing markets to the tune of 10,000 home foreclosures a day…The USA is now experiencing less foreclosures, at “only” 1,400 PER DAY. Mind you the daily foreclosure figures in the USA Depression of the 1930s were nowhere near as high as this six year low for the USA. This amounts to failure number 2. *****
These are entire families financially ruined in numbers far worse, even on a per capita basis, than in the 1930s. Yet, no one seems to care in the USA, except maybe the families living in their cars under an overpass in, say Tampa, Florida.
Thus, Obama and his team have done precious little to stop home foreclosures, because to do so, for one, would include bringing jobs back form overseas. He promised to “put Americans back to work” and has failed on this issue too (Failure #3). *****Why can’t he bring back jobs that paid $15.00 to $30.00 an hour, from countries that received all these US labor jobs and pay .14 cents to .52 cents an hour in wages? The question answers itself. BUT Obama never even tried to halt the tax exemptions that give corporations a TAX BREAK for moving jobs overseas (F-4). *****Honestly, what kind of government would give companies a tax break for sinking their OWN PEOPLE’S jobs? A government controlled by the owners of the means of production. More proof of Obama’s failures (but only the workers and regular folks would call these failures. After all Obama was mostly elected by Republican money, hence for himself and his cronies, these are seen as successes!) Is that as far as one can ascertain ZERO jobs have moved back from
overseas.(F-5) *****Or, better put, if any have, the number exiting compared to the number coming back to the US must be a ratio exceeding 100,000 to one. A quick peak at Google finds headings like ”Can’t find a job? Move overseas” and “US Firms move abroad to cut taxes” *****
When Barack Obama was in the Illinois State Senate he said “In order to achieve single-payer health insurance all we have to do is have Democrats control the US House, Senate and White House at the same time. When he was elected President, that dream came true. All three areas of the US Government were controlled by “Democrats.” And when it came time to negotiate a better health care package for Americans Obama said “Single Payer Health Care is a non starter,” meaning he wouldn’t even fight for it. This means that he not only ran for office KNOWING he wasn’t going to change anything, but he also openly lied about where his positions were on dozens, nay hundreds of areas. (Failure # 6 through 600, but just #6 for our talk). *****
Failure number (are we up to seven now?) Obama was the ONLY African American to edit the Harvard Law Review. He was a top constitutional scholar. Yet, with all the constitution-busting aspects of Patriot Act One and Patriot Act Two, Obama never once brought up the idea of rescinding those laws, nor did he even offer any amendments to those laws based on, well, the constitution itself. The most egregious boo-boo? Abolishment of Habeas Corpus…this concept, in which anyone who is being arrested must, at the time of arrest, be TOLD WHY they are being arrested, disappeared when the Patriot Act passed under Bush 2. This precedent has been in western law since The Magna Carta was Presented to King John in England in 1215. Obama never tried to regain this vital concept, even though it is protected four different times in the constitution. Now a President and his minions can arrest anyone they want, and not tell them why. Furthermore, the person being arrested can be categorized an enemy combatant without judicial review. That means the detainee can then be moved offshore (a navy ship one mile out to sea is far enough) tried without access to defense, found guilty of any crime they care to dream up, and be executed and dumped in the ocean. Obama never changed this.
Failure is too kind a word for Obama’s dismal record in many cases:
The Obama cabinet was stacked with Hawks right from the beginning: Robert Gates continuing as Defense Secretary even after Bush/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz were gone, Joseph Biden the most hawkish pro military-spending member of the Senate, when he was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State who never once voted against a President Bush, Jr. request for more funding for the illegal and unwise wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (His initial Cabinet equals F-8) *****
Not only did he fail to rescind Patriot Act One and Two, Obama never once brought up the concept of trying to re-enact ANY of the 186 environmental laws that were scrapped under Bush Two. (F-9). *****He also pushed hard for the Keystone Pipeline, an environmental disaster (F-10) *****just in the building part, no less the carbons emitted once finished! He also favors fracking to discover more natural gas deposits (F-11) *****regardless of the horrid effects this has on the water supply, etcetera.
His approval rating is below 50%, but not surprisingly has dipped from 85% to under 50% among African Americans as well. Why? Perhaps this is because his wholesale pardon of illegal immigrants already in the USA, and inability to have a consistent immigration policy has lowered the value of labor so much, that it has put even menial jobs often done by African Americans in peril due to the fact the illegal immigrants are willing to work for half the minimum wage, or, many times, less than $2.00 an hour, or, 75% less than the minimum wage. This has also caused outright hatred and violence between Latinos and African Americans in many urban settings, notably Los Angeles and in three cities in North Carolina, which is now over 22% Hispanic. The irony is that Hispanics make great neighbors, are fun-loving, generally go to church every Sunday, and are happy, even when sending more than half their meager wages back to their home countries. This follows the pattern of the globalization efforts that have lowered the value of labor world wide.
Minutes after his 2014 State of the Union Address Obama continued to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. IN his speech he said how much he was going to do for out of work manual laborers in the United States. So let’s look at what the “TPP” does: (F-12)
We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, have just completed a four-day Ministerial meeting in Singapore where we have made substantial progress toward completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
For all TPP countries, an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement that achieves the goals established in Honolulu in 2011 is critical for creating jobs and promoting growth, providing opportunity for our citizens and contributing to regional integration and the strengthening of the multilateral trading system.
This is the official opening statement after the Singapore meeting. What it means is yet another “Free Trade” agreement in which developed countries ship off their labor jobs, even service jobs, to lower-wage countries, thus hurting the workers in the United States the most.
Obama is nowhere near a pro-labor President and has done the bidding of the big money on Wall Street, the money, you will recall, that got him past Hillary Clinton way back in 2007/8.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is among countries, half of which already have a free trade agreement with the USA. In countries with very small GDP per Capita, the USA will find cheaper labor than its own. The government’s own analysis (see web site below) shows
$49,922 per capita GDP in the united states, with TPP partners Chile at only $18,419; Malaysia $16,922; Mexico $15,312: Peru, $10,719 and Vietnam at $3,548 the USA has fashioned an extremely stringent agreement that will open up the USA to goods without Tariffs from countries whose per-hour factory wage are as low as 14 CENTS! (F-13) *****This will surely cause yet another flood of American labor jobs exiting to countries, that will in fact give those countries more wage-slave jobs, (F-14) lose hard-working American jobs, and once again lower the value of labor everywhere. No one or very few climb into the middle-class at 14 or even 52 Cents an hour wages. *****
This also fills the coffers of the top 2% of the world, the “already filthy rich.” (F-15)
*****Note the civil unrest in Greece and Spain, to name just two where people under 25 are facing 50% jobless rates due to work being sent to lower-wage countries from Europe, and Germany’s strict “austerity” demands, in order to keep lending them money. The USA is about to find out how strict our lenders can be, as we owe $17 Trillion + dollars now, and Obama has done NOTHING to bring down the US annual deficit or debt. (F-16) *****Even Clinton did better than that. https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42344.pdf
Thus, Obama’s biggest failures: to spread unrest and war in the Middle East, and continuing the use of Drone Warfare, his continued backing of incipient free trade that only benefits the very upper class while decimating his own labor force, his inability to regain vital environmental protection laws, his unyielding support of illegal super-cheap labor within the USA, his failure to overturn the Patriot Acts, *****and tacit approval of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling (F-17) that allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns ANNONYMOUSLY ranks Obama more God-Awful than Clinton was. Clinton, you will recall managed to start this free trade fiasco rolling with NAFTA, continued it in a massive way with the pushing and signing of GATT 2, which created the World Trade Organization, his 1995 Banking Reform Act, which allowed banks to lend out $30 for every $1 they had in the bank, thus causing the eventual sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008, and worst of all, his 1995 Welfare Reform Act which began the decimation of support for America’s poor, which have been steadily growing since January 1993, when Bill took office. Prisoners rose from 1.2 million to 2 million under Clinton, and continue to move upward, mostly due to racist “Drug Wars” (F-18) that are little more than massive anti minority wars. *****Hence, Obama has done little or nothing to help African Americans. (F-19). *****
Has Obama done worse things than these? Overall, yes. Clinton killed 35,000 innocent people in Belgrade, while failing to hit the target, Slobodan Milosovic who later died in jail. Obama has killed and unknown number of people in Pakistan (a country Bush’s army never invaded other than by drone), also increasing drone attacks dramatically, and initiating them in at least three other countries (F-20). *****
He’s enraged Russia by backing the rebels against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and added to the death count in Tunisia, Libya and possibly Egypt as well. Egypt receives
$1.3 billion in aid every year, which Obama has continued. His policy in Israel has been mixed and confusing, but has run counter to the US love affair with the blood-thirsty Israelis who generally kill 10 to 20 Palestinians for every one Israeli lost in conflicts. To his credit Obama, through emissaries has played an even hand in this ongoing struggle, which is stunning considering the messes he has created elsewhere in the Middle East.
*****Obama continues the annual Spring folly of war games with the South Korean Army. (F-21) I’m all in favor of being at-the-ready, but these practices could be done ANYWHERE, and need not be done right on the North Korean border. Especially the Naval borderline. Each year these war games are committed right on North Korea’s doorstep, when, in reality, they could be done ANYWHERE in the Pacific, a large ocean. It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that North Korea also practices firing its canon rounds at the same time. The Sinking of the Cheonan, and the bombing of Yeung Pyeung-do should have been ample evidence that continuing the war games on the border of North Korea was simply TOO MUCH of a PROVOCATION. *****
Obama never tried to REDUCE COSTS of health care, by forcing pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals, medical schools, nursing home facilities, surgeons and other healthcare professionals and hospital corporations to lower their prices via the leverage that would have been created with a single-payer system like the ones South Korea, France, England, Germany and Canada have (and many more) (F-22). ***** All he tried to do was to get people who could not afford health insurance to somehow put together the money to buy it. about five million of the over 40 million Americans without health care insurance have bought in. (F-23) They shouldn’t have had to.
That’s 23 failures and two successes. (both electoral). How do such flops get re-elected, when such natural and human disasters, I mean Obama, Bush two, Clinton and Reagan, who have all stunk out loud? Via pure-blooded, old fashioned, very successful propaganda. The failure to investigate and report the facts by 99% of the media in the USA, and its complicity in reporting bold-faced lies has been pointed out by Senator Al Franken in “Lies, and the Lying Liars who tell them” a book now over 10 years old. The research for this book was done by 14 HARVARD graduate students, and it shows that Fox News and many others openly lied and KNEW they were lying at the time. Yet Americans soak the news up as gospel and have become so hoodwinked they are likely to vote for anyone. Wait, they already have! *****
Obama’s largest failure has been to continue and exacerbate Clinton’s immense move of the Democratic Party to the right. The US democracy, with no working watchdog press except on the internet, and no real choices, is a sham. FAILURE 24, the worst one of them all, to date.
PS If Hillary Clinton is the next US President, you can count on the Democratic party turning even further right. As a senator she never once voted against a single thing George Bush II wanted.