Linn Washington Jr. is an award-winning journalist who writes a weekly column for The Philadelphia Tribune. A graduate of the Yale Law Journalism Fellowship, Washington writes regularly on issues involving law, the criminal justice system, news media and inequities involving race and/or class. This ’information junkie’ teaches multi-media urban reporting at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. He lives in New Jersey and frequently travels abroad.
The Other Afrik - United States - Politics - Governance
“Obama’s Failure: Not Flaunting His Record Of Achievements”
US President Barack Obama grudgingly gets credit for bringing the America economy back from brink of total collapse yet he’s slammed from the left and the middle for doing too little to lower historic high rates of unemployment while the right-wing constantly castigates Obama for just being Obama mischaracterizing him as a socialist, communist and even a Hitler-clone.
While critics on the right and left pound US President Barack Obama daily for not doing enough one of the Obama Administration’s biggest shortcoming is its failure to effectively publicize the many achievements they’ve made.
Far from doing too little, Obama’s presidency “is easily one of the most active in history,” states Dr. Robert P. Watson of Lynn University in Florida. Watson, a presidential historian, recently released an update of his “The Obama Record” that lists 240 Obama initiatives in 15 separate categories including ethics (11 initiatives), foreign policy (28 initiatives), taxes (10 initiatives) and national security (16 initiatives).
On the economy Watson’s “Record” lists 23 items beginning with crediting Obama for increasing infrastructure spending on roads, bridges, power plants, etc. noting that former President Bush was “the first president since Herbert Hoover to not make infrastructure a priority.”
Conservatives saw socialism in Obama’s financial rescue of the US auto industry, another initiative included in the economy section of Watson’s “Record.”
Yet recent news reports document that American auto manufacturers are selling more cars. GM, the prime recipient of government aid to the auto industry, is repaying its loans and is reopening a factory to produce a new small car.
Also on the economy Watson lists Obama authorizing the federal government to make more loans available to small businesses, twice extending unemployment benefits that aided millions of unemployed workers and initiating historic reforms of Wall Street practices that triggered the economic meltdown that rippled disastrously around the world.
Obama’s Republican Party critics bash him as a tax-&-spender but in the budgeting section of Watson’s “Record” Obama gets credit for ordering all federal agencies to undertake studies to develop recommendations for ways to cut federal spending.
Tea Party members proclaim restoring ethics in government as their paramount concern despite some of this Party’s federal and state level office candidates in the November election being serial liars who acknowledge cheating on taxes and violating election laws.
In the ethics section of Watson’s list, Obama receives credit for limiting the White House access of influence-peddling lobbyists, barring bids for federal contracts by companies that owe back taxes and instructing “all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible.”
Dr. Watson states he compiles the “Obama Record” to counter “all the misinformation circulating on talk radio, at town hall meetings, and in the blogosphere about the President.”
In the introduction to his updated “Record” Dr. Watson pointed out how President Obama “has faced venomous incivility and relentless opposition unlike anything in recent memory.”
In a perverse way Obama’s conservative critics on Capitol Hill, in the Tea Party and on FOX NEWS deserve some credit for doing a great job in boosting newly created employment in at least a few areas like sales of anti-Obama paraphernalia plus sales of weapons and ammunition.
Obama’s inauguration ignited a bustling cottage industry churning out anti-Obama paraphernalia inclusive of tee shirts, bumper stickers, books, mugs, movies and other items…much of which come bearing hate tinged messages.
Consider that tee shirt emblazed with “Pray for Obama Psalm 109:8” — citing a biblical verse widely considered “A Cry for Vengeance” that contains passages declaring “Let his days be few” and “Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.”
Anti-Obama-ism also fuels expanding employment in the manufacture and sale of guns.
Last year Americans purchased 14-million guns according to gun industry figures. These purchases – stabilizing employment in gun related endeavors – continues the steady rise in gun sale rates triggered by Obama’s November 2008 election that the NRA opposed with shrill warnings about Obama supposedly planning to enact stiff gun control measures.
Those 14-million guns sold last year in America represent more guns than the total combined number of soldiers in the world’s three largest armies (China, the US and India) that have five-million-plus soldiers... less than half the number of guns purchased in America last year.
There’s at least one positive blooming from the macabre benchmark of gun purchases: more federal tax revenue. A report from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco released this summer stated tax receipts from the sale of firearms and ammunition increased 45 percent during the last fiscal year.
President Obama, as Watson’s “Record” notes, ended Bush-era policies of offering tax benefits to corporations that outsourced American jobs – a significant stride for unemployed Americans that never prompts praise from people like Glenn Beck, the FOX NEWS broadcast agitator and Sarah Palin, the political hustler/presidential aspirant.
FOX News folks like Beck and Palin regularly rail about ‘threats’ facing America from communism yet a large advertiser on FOX is Wal-Mart, America’s largest importer of goods from China which is the world’s largest Communist country.
Beck routinely bashes Obama and liberals that he links to the alleged Communists and socialists he claims are undermining America. Yet, Beck doesn’t demand boycotts of Wal-Mart although the giant retail firm helps finance China’s Communist leaders through purchases of Chinese-produced goods averaging over $25-billion annually.
Neither does Beck – who staged a large rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC this summer supposedly to restore “integrity” in America – demand that his FOX employers stop accepting millions in ad revenue from Wal-Mart, the corporation that abuses American works and aids China.
Respected Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman faulted the Obama Administration in a recent article for not having an “effective reply” to the “disinformation campaign from the right.” That right-wing campaign, Krugman stated, is based on “fact-free assertions and cooked numbers.
One the myths accepted as fact by right-wingers, according to Krugman, is a massive expansion of government spending under Obama that failed to reduce unemployment.
“There never was a big expansion of government spending,” Krugman argued in that commentary article.
“In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.”
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