A debate came up over on Pastor Jeff's blog that led to our neighborhood liberal atheist sharing a link "forewarded to me by an Evangelical Christian". It is a story by a blogger-cum-freelance writer named Milt Shook, perporting to have a "long list of Obama's positive accomplishments". After Pastor Jeff summarized it as "this guy runs the koolaid factory", I had to look into it, and I thought I might share some of it with you all, much as I did on the Wastebook series this spring.
1. "Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office." Of course, if you bother to READ the cited article, it is based on votes in which he makes a clear position known, and you find that it's because Obama avoids making a clear position known unless he knows he can win. Whether that be lack of courage, or just an attempt to boost up his numbers, you decide. I'd like to see how his batting average is on things he favors but DOESN't make a clear position known.
2. "On his first full day, he froze White House salaries". True that, but what isn't mentioned is that he then changed the titles of a majority of loyal staffers so that the "promotion" netted them a pay increase.
3. "Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. " And so, what happened? " The commission first met on April 27, 2010. A report was released on December 1, 2010, but failed a vote on December 3 with 11 of 18 votes in favor, with a supermajority of 14 votes needed to formally endorse the blueprint." AKA, waste of time.
4. "He pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. " Does anything else need be said here?
5. "In his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5%." And yet, "In the primary justification for the stimulus package, the Obama administration and Democratic proponents presented a graph in January 2009 showing the projected unemployment rate with and without the ARRA. The graph showed that if ARRA was not enacted the unemployment rate would exceed 9%; but if ARRA was enacted it would never exceed 8%. After ARRA became law, the actual unemployment rate exceeded 8% in February 2009, exceeded 9% in May 2009, and exceeded 10% in October 2009. The actual unemployment rate was 9.2% in June 2011 when it was projected to be below 7% with the ARRA." So, are you feeling stimulated?
6. "He oversaw a bailout of General Motors that saved at least 1.4 million jobs, and put pressure on the company to change its practices, resulting in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world." It also came at the expense of tens of thousands of dealership jobs, and GM's return to best selling is more an effect of the Japanese quake/tsunami on Toyota and others than anything else. Also chopped up a lot of pensions. Plus, according to Forbes, "President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.
Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion."
7. "He also doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency. " If Milt went on to read the link HE put in his article, he'd also read this: " In 2010, MPE will receive $124.7 million, a 13.4 percent increase. According to the Department of Commerce, increased funds will "expand technology and business resources to help strengthen these manufacturers' competitiveness in the global market, as well as support activities concerning energy efficient manufacturing practices." Though a 13.4 percent increase is hardly a doubling of the budget, it puts Obama closer to his original goal. We rate the promise In the Works." Perhaps someone could enlighten Mr. Shook that a"promise" is not a "fact". Problem with that? How're things at Guantanamo?
Okay, that's enough for round one. I'll do a few more of these sometime this weekend, because I know we'll all like a good laugh.