Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Obama The First Year

By achievingfluidity in Op-Ed
Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 01:00:00 AM EST
Tags: politics (all tags)

He's accomplished quite a lot his first year. Here's my list of the most talked about on liberal blogs.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - WTF? I mean who's heard of this? It was one of the first bills he signed into law after inauguration. Anyway, from wikipedia...

The bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stating that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new discriminatory paycheck.

The Stimulus Package - Signed into law. Problem with this is that we know now that it not only didn't stimulate the economy but was almost a trillion dollars to pay back lobbyists and political supporters of the Democrats. 500 billion hasn't been spent yet and likely has become a war chest for the Democrats' coming elections. They'll need it too.

The stimulus bill if you read it is loaded with pork barrel paybacks to political supporters. After the stimulus bill unemployment grew to 10% with another 7% giving up. You would have thought that it would have at least kept it to the 8% we were promised. What's worse is they want to repeat it again in 2010 with more disastrous results. It's a good lesson in what Congress is best at, TAX and SPEND and not creating or saving jobs.

Signed An Executive Order Banning Waterboarding - Not a major accomplishment except to the Left WingNut fringe that thought it would open the door for prosecution of 'war criminals'. The ultimate result is that Islamic terrorists still hate our guts and ability to gather information is less effective. The so-called American war crimes trials will simply fade away. There's no way the Obama Department of Justice will prosecute anyone for war crimes.

Restored funding to overseas family planning organizations - Read abortion funding. This is another WTF. This one is way out in left field and also an Executive Order.

Restored funding for stem-cell research - Another Executive Order. Nothing major and after all who cares?

Oversaw the banking rescue - Rescue?  This is a biggie and will continue to be a biggie. Banks are still closing, still not loaning money and if you're not one of the big banks you're still teetering on insolvency. The next logical step here is to nationalize banking by increasing capitalization to the point that small banks go out of business. Nationalizing a country's banking system has never been successful and in fact has destroyed countries.

Oversaw material interventions in the U.S. car industry - Nationalizing GM was a kickback to the UAW plain and simple. Ford understood this and said 'NO THANKS' much to the administration's chagrin. Saving GM was not about saving a automobile company it was about keeping the UAW members happy. This was a labor issue not a manufacturing issue. Especially when you consider the fact that in the U.S. today most union members are overpaid, lazy government workers. When was the last time you dealt with an efficient, friendly, customer-oriented federal government worker? If you have ever had a problem with the U.S. Post Office you'll know what I mean. Imagine what Universal government run health care would be like if it were run by bureaucrats and politicians. Now we have a government run automobile manufacturer. No thanks...

Successfully nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court - No surprise here. Is this an accomplishment that will put money in your pocket, pay your mortgage and generally make your life better? Meh...

Greening California car-emission standards - I don't know about you but this hasn't made pollution in California any better and it never will. About all it's done is made people and businesses bail out of California. As a result, the tax base has shrunk and California itself wants a government bailout. In the end though, the consumers ultimately pay for this bogus crap.

Advanced the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq - A lot of Left WingNuts claim this as an accomplishment but we not only are still in Iraq but leaving Iraq is uncertain to happen any time soon.

Reinforced the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorists in Afghanistan/Pakistan - Oh really? The biggest threat now seems to be coming from Yemen. We STILL can't find bin Laden, he's still thumbing his nose at us and it's now become Obama's war. Nobel Peace Prize anyone? Peace?

Took steps toward resetting the tone of U.S. relations with the Arab world - This is often cited as an accomplishment. They still hate us, still trying to kill us, bowing to them didn't help either and relations with most Arab countries is an utter joke.

Ordered the release of "the torture memos" - Only a big accomplishment to the Left WingNuts and Right WingNuts. This will get buried and it was only for show anyway.

And finally, bashing Bush has been a major accomplishment. It's been over a year since he was elected and he's still bashing Bush. Obama seems to have never quit campaigning. In every speech where he has run out of leadership ideas and solutions on whatever issue it is, he falls back on anti-Bush rhetoric. OK we get it, so start leading us out of it and do something. Quit beating a dead horse, most people aren't buying it except the Left WingNuts and Right Wingnuts.


Health Care Reform - What should have been a monumental and historic accomplishment has become not just a failure but will ultimately swing Capitol Hill to a conservative majority in both Houses and make Obama a one term president. With overwhelming Democrat majorities in both Houses Health Care reform has dribbled into a 2000+ page monstrosity that as it currently stands: a) doesn't reform health care, b) doesn't bring down costs, c) doesn't cover everyone and d) panders to special interests and lobbyists. It's not because Congress didn't try either. They held secret meetings that Republicans were locked out of, sold votes to the lowest bidders and peppered it with several questionably unconstitutional provisions. It was not transparent, average Americans were not given a say and the bottom line is that most Americans do not want health care reform. Congress has blown almost a whole year on health care when what people really want are decent jobs and an economy that doesn't suck.

Transparency In Government - This is a total fail. Open meetings on HCR, fail, accounting for stimulus jobs online or otherwise, fail, leadership in bringing Republicans and Democrats together for bipartisan actions, fail and the list goes on. In fact, as the administration realizes that the American people don't really want his agenda the more secretive the Executive Branch has become and how little transparency in government is talked about by the administration. In fact, leadership for the American people has been a total failure. All the air has left the party balloons and most Americans are beginning to realize his lack of leadership and ineptitude.

Leadership In General - Fail
Getting Olympics To Chicago - Fail
Campaigning for Democrats in Virginia Elections - Fail
Campaigning for Democrats in New Jersey Elections - Fail
Campaigning for Democrats in Massachusetts Elections - Fail
Climate Change In Copenhagen - Fail
Passing Cap and Trade - Fail

The Obama administration had a golden opportunity, one very few American presidents get. He had both the Senate and House of Representatives with huge majorities ready to do his bidding and he blew it. He may still have some time left before mid-term elections but the clock is ticking. Squandering his first year on Health Care, signing pork barrel legislation, robbing the Treasury, making big government bigger and not focusing on our nation's security and economic chaos will cost him dearly. He has achieved one of the lowest approval ratings of any modern first year president, alienated much of his own party as well as most Americans, has become a sock puppet for big labor, big government, special interest groups and lobbyists. Sadly, this is what every president has done since the first Bush presidency in the 80s and 90s. Obama is no different.

Bipartisanship doesn't mean 'my way or the highway' it means compromise and cooperation. Up to this point the last thing Obama has done his first year is shown bipartisanship. The window for him to bring together Republicans and Democrats is quickly closing. Either he will start working with Republicans or he will lose control of both Houses of Congress and ultimately become a one term president that accomplished nothing significant in four years. It may already be too late.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Also by achievingfluidity

Display: Sort:
Obama The First Year | 35 comments (33 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Perhaps a Better Stimulus Package (3.00 / 2) (#1)
by Michael David Crawford on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 04:07:34 PM EST

The first stimulus plan supposedly would get money into the economy by funding "shovel-ready" road building projects.

That's nice and all, and our roads do need repair, but is road building the most-stimulating of all possible stimuli?

Here is my suggestion: Give all the stimulus money to the Small Business Administration to guarantee SBA loans.

The way this would work is that small businesses would apply to regular banks to get business development loans. The banks would have no risk, because the SBA would be guaranteeing the loans.

It has been known for decades that most new jobs are created by small businesses. Giving money to big businesses doesn't create many new jobs at all.

Another way the money could be used would be to find SBIR Grants -- the Small Business Innovation Research Program.

The way SBIR works is that government agencies that want some new product or service to be available, that is not yet available at all, will publish (annually I think) requests for SBIR proposals.

Small businesses submit proposals, and if their proposal wins, they get a modest grant to develop the product or service.

The grants come in stages. When I looked into this - many moons ago - the largest grant was a quarter million.

The benefit to the government, and by (hopefully) extention the people, is that some new product or service will be created that the government can use in its work.

For example, when I was looking into SBIR myself, the National Institutes of Health was looking for better condom testing machines. Yes, really. It's a serious problem - what they have always done is rapidly inflate test condoms to see if they break, but that's not really that reflective of why a condom might break when used for its... intended... application.

The benefit to the business is that they get their R&D and initial tooling all paid for, they have a guaranteed customer for their product - and they get to keep all the rights to it. The government doesn't take any kind of ownership over the products or services that the SBIR grants pay for.

speaking as a small business owner, (2.66 / 6) (#3)
by Morally Inflexible on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 05:02:50 PM EST

I think the prospect of 'free money' attracts the wrong sorts.  'pets.com' is a classic example of what you get when people get free money for starting businesses.  

You know what I want from the government?  I want simplification of the tax and employment codes. I mean, lower taxes would be nice, too, but they won't do much to encourage investment.  I don't pay taxes on the money I pay my employees;  that's a business expense.  Lowering taxes would certainly boost consumer spending, but other than by increasing consumer demand, it won't really encourage investment.  

Hell, look at sales tax.  So a while back I wrote a k5 diary asking if there was a retailer that allowed me to access the catalogs of distributors like ingram micro without a resale certificate?  I found a pretty good one;  provantage.com  -  really, the only problem with them is that they have this system where if you are in California, they ship your package from California to Ohio and back to California.  This drives up shipping costs, the time to delivery, and, I think, means I need to then keep track of this shit and pay use taxes myself anyhow.  

Not that I blame them, though;  most people don't pay use taxes, and besides, collecting sales tax is a huge pain in the ass.  you have to collect the tax at the rate of the county that your customer is from; counties are sometimes not even split along zipcodes.  

Oh, and employment law.  Another huge pain in the ass.  the IRS considers almost everyone to be a full-time employee, not a contractor.  Nearly every business that hires contractors to work on-site could be liable for back-taxes due to this.  (my own position is strengthened considerably because my contractors work from their own homes, and I don't mandate  work hours.

Small-time employers usually like hiring contractors because it frees us from a whole mess of complex employment law.   Again, really, I think it's the complexity here more than the cost;  us smaller companies usually try to do more of the work ourselves, I mean, how hard could it be, right?  

[ Parent ]

Exactly... (none / 1) (#34)
by paxman on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 02:53:26 PM EST

There is money to borrow, but no one wants to borrow it because of all the uncertainty.

[ Parent ]
i don't like loan guarantees mostly (2.50 / 4) (#13)
by Blarney on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:52:33 AM EST

I think for student loans they're a monstrosity. Basically the government is providing the actual money. There's no risk at all to the bank. But the bank charges interest and late fees and if the student can't/won't/doesn't pay, they get to add all kinds of crazy penalties. It's basically welfare for banks. It'd be much less evil to just fund public universities to the level where a student could pay their share with a fulltime summer job and a half-time job during the year. Need to cut costs, then don't enroll the dumb kids. How many education and grievance-studies majors do we even need? It'd also prevent class stratification in society. The ancient Chinese understood this better than we do. Although if you passed their IQ test not only did you get a good job but they took your balls. So fine, they didn't understand Darwinism. Anyway I'm tired of children being raped for the benefit of the banks.

I figure that guaranteed small business loans could end up the same sort of sucker deal. Perhaps I'm too cynical and untrusting of the glorious Market. The Market is God!

[ Parent ]

how does banning water-boarding change information (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by zombie lonelyhobo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 08:20:16 PM EST

gathering at all?

Water-boarding did absolutely nothing to gather information.

How do you know that? (none / 0) (#5)
by achievingfluidity on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 08:57:12 PM EST

besides it is trivial whether it is used or not. I still don't think it is a major accomplishment of any kind. All he did was sign an Executive Order to stop it.


[ Parent ]

torture is proven unreliable (none / 1) (#6)
by zombie lonelyhobo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 09:35:38 PM EST

[ Parent ]
by Ruston Rustov on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:10:40 PM EST


I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

[ Parent ]
unreliable isn't a negative (none / 0) (#8)
by zombie lonelyhobo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:11:43 PM EST

you can prove something is unreliable.  Like your father while you were growing up, for instance.
[ Parent ]
by Ruston Rustov on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:44:39 PM EST


I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

[ Parent ]
CHRIST. JESUS CHRIST. (none / 0) (#10)
by zombie lonelyhobo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:50:22 PM EST

[ Parent ]
you don't get it so...i will explain it (none / 1) (#11)
by achievingfluidity on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:50:51 PM EST

it doesn't matter whether it is effective or not or whether it's torture or not. the Left WingNuts thought that making it illegal would open the door for prosecution of the Bush administration for war crimes, which absolutely won't happen. Why not you ask?

How can an administration (Obama's) prosecute anyone for war crimes for a war it still funds and supports and not look like a hypocritical  idiot to the American people?

go figure


[ Parent ]

that's not why they don't prosecute (none / 0) (#12)
by zombie lonelyhobo on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:56:11 PM EST

it's because prosecuting pretty much makes your entire administration about prosecuting.  It'll freeze government, polarize the public, and for what?  There won't be some great catharsis, some idea that an ideal that never really existed in the first place has been upheld.

But the fact is, banning it isn't a failure.  All the torture bullshit hurts our standing in the international community, it helps the people who recruit terrorists, and despite that shifty little chink's memos it is a violation of american law.

I understand your position.  I just think you're a myopic idiot.
[ Parent ]

This diary is very dated in its premise. (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by Korean Loller Blader on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 09:06:53 AM EST

Remember back, a million years ago when people didn't have blogs and guys that were 18 when War Games came out were totally excited about the possibilities of the level playing field of commentary that the Internet offered? And then they all went to Husi?

Yeah, that's what this diary's premise reminds me of.
D'oh! I can't seem to talk to the mod_

It's supposed to be a story, you maroon (none / 0) (#17)
by Harry B Otch on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 12:34:56 PM EST

not a diary.  Has your postmodern short attention span completely eliminated a distinction between the two?

A lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear.-.
[ Parent ]

No, it's a diary. (none / 0) (#19)
by Korean Loller Blader on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:13:17 PM EST

Albeit, a long one. But, yeah, a blog entry, in essence. I'll vote it down ASAP.
D'oh! I can't seem to talk to the mod_
[ Parent ]
You can vote down a story on k5 (none / 0) (#20)
by Harry B Otch on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:51:38 PM EST

and it will disappear into oblivion.  And you can hide a comment (or at least, a dupe horde can via modbombing).

But a diary is permanent, like a school record or HIV.

A lamentable petty bourgeois cry of fear.-.
[ Parent ]

Wow, amazing logic. (none / 0) (#21)
by Korean Loller Blader on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 02:51:14 PM EST

I guess that's why you think this isn't a diary in story format.
D'oh! I can't seem to talk to the mod_
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't say advanced withdrawl (none / 0) (#15)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 10:07:39 AM EST

If anything he is sticking to the Bush timeline for pulling out. So I guess kudos to him for being able to keep a schedule.

The waterboarding ban is a joke, the actual text has exceptions, no retroactivity, and allows for kool-aide to be substituted for water.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

Horsecock (3.00 / 6) (#18)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 01:02:27 PM EST

It's a very poor story, but now that it has a horsecock comment, I feel it's worthy of the front page.

well this is one bandwagon i don't mind hopping on (none / 1) (#24)
by The Hanged Man on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:11:00 PM EST

i wasn't going to bother to vote, like i didn't bother in the last presidential election, but finally a good reason: horsecock. loads and loads of free horsecock fucking men and women alike. so filthy. so dirty. so free.


Dificile est saturam non scribere - Juvenal
[ Parent ]
anus (none / 0) (#22)
by GrubbyBeardedHermit on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:26:58 PM EST

squirting in your eye


you missed the biggie (1.75 / 8) (#23)
by LilDebbie on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 10:06:29 PM EST

killing manned spaceflight

because keeping fat fuck illiterate douchebag americans alive is more important than evolving as a species

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

free market will save it! (1.50 / 1) (#25)
by donnalee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:18:52 PM EST

free market does EVERYTHING better!

[ Parent ]
your second link is broken $ (none / 1) (#26)
by j1mmy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:42:49 PM EST

[ Parent ]
fat bitches in skimpy bikinis (none / 1) (#27)
by LilDebbie on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:12:45 PM EST

for your eye bleaching enjoyment

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Thanks for your fair and balanced (none / 0) (#28)
by bml on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:58:55 AM EST


The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
K5: Our trolls go to 11. $ (none / 0) (#30)
by Nimey on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 12:53:48 PM EST

Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
OK, I'll bite (none / 1) (#29)
by Keepiru on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 10:20:22 AM EST

Oversaw the banking rescue - Rescue?
Yep. Banks are having a bad time (good, they deserve it, and worse), but we managed to avoid the catastrophic collapse scenarios.
Nationalizing GM was a kickback to the UAW plain and simple.
It's not so simple. Pensions are broken. Slow sales should result in a company shrinking, rather than being crushed under those obligations. Crappy companies need to be able to fail without that kind of collateral damage.
... Iraq ...
He doesn't have a magic wand. It's proceeding. It won't go away overnight.
Took steps toward resetting the tone of U.S. relations with the Arab world
He doesn't have a magic wand. It's proceeding. It won't go away overnight.

No (none / 0) (#31)
by /dev/trash on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 08:12:55 PM EST

Look up the Helms Act in re foreign abortion funding.

Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
yfi... (none / 0) (#32)
by mikelist on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:43:33 AM EST

...the bipartisanship part of your post alone is enough to get you in an advanced creative writing class. as evidenced by the evisceration of the healthcare reform items, the obama administration and the democrats have been bipartisan to an extreme fault.  

oh really? please explain that (none / 0) (#33)
by achievingfluidity on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 02:49:38 AM EST


[ Parent ]

Some of it is much worse than the headlines. (none / 0) (#35)
by SacredSalt on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 07:44:21 AM EST

People paid attention to the near billion dollar total for a stimulus, and for the amounts thrown at a government takeover of a large auto company (one that used race as one of the primary criteria in deciding if a dealership remained in business).

What people didn't pay much attention to was the true costs of the bailout for the banks, wall street fat cats, and some firms whose primary interest is working with investment banking. The US tax payer is not on the hook for a couple billion, we are on the hook for trillions of dollars. Thankfully not all of the derivatives will be completely worthless, and not everyone will default -- but the government essentially said "we wont allow the big banks, and investment companies to take a loss here", and simply shifted the debt to the tax payer for their poor investments. (The actual cost of this is pretty hard to determine at this point, but its going to be more than 6 trillion dollars, and possibly less than 22 trillion. This is not chump change.)

Obama The First Year | 35 comments (33 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!