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The President and the Economy: Lowering the Performance Bar

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Fifty percent of the respondents in an AP-GfK poll taken last month believe that the president has little to no effect on the American economy. The poll consisted of telephone and cell phone interviews with 1,007 adults across the country.

While GfK markets its polling methodology as reliable, it is not described as drawing from a representative cross section of the nation. So, it’s uncertain whether the belief in the president’s irrelevancy to the economy is shared by 50 percent of the electorate. If it is, Obama has lowered the performance bar so much that half of the voters believe the person in the Oval Office doesn’t matter.

These poll respondents are wrong, of course, but they hardly can be blamed for their mistaken belief. It’s similar to the Stockholm syndrome where some kidnap victims who are held long enough begin to identify with their captors. We’ve been captive to incompetence for so long, it has begun to define our expectations. That’s a scary concession to performance failure.

Those who believe in the president’s negligible impact on the economy give three reasons in addition to, “I don’t know why”. Some respondents view congressional intransigence as an insurmountable obstacle to presidential action. However, that is only true under limited circumstances.

In Obama’s case, his party controlled Congress for his first two years in office giving him free rein to realize his economic agenda. The result was a parade of ineffective mortgage relief programs and a stimulus package that allowed the unemployment rate to soar above 10 percent. One year after its signing, three million fewer people were employed than when the ink dried.

Naked ineptitude prevented the stimulus from being the boon that Obama promised it would be. To begin with, the economy was in much worse shape than the administration’s naïve 2009 predictions. The stimulus, once enacted, was not directed at businesses. The bulk of the spending was merely a wealth transfer to state governments, many of which have been financially mismanaged for years. Worse than subsidizing people who can’t balance a budget, the least needy states received the most money.

Meanwhile, Obama wasted credibility capital preaching that the stimulus would fund “shovel-ready” jobs only to confess later that, to his surprise, those jobs don’t exist. As for excuses, even Barney Frank winces at the president’s fantastical failed-stimulus mantra: things could have been worse without me. 

After the 2010 election, Obama had the same opportunity as Bill Clinton in 1994 to be the conciliator with Congress, the adult in the room. Presidents are uniquely positioned to turn partisan discord into a productive, if bumpy, relationship. Obama would have had an easier time of it, too, since the terminally self-important Newt Gingrich wasn’t around to challenge him at every turn. And he did admit on the eve of the election that he should have included Republicans in the stimulus negotiations.

Yet, when the time came to inspire unity, Obama chose, instead, to pour rancor over the political divide like gasoline on a fire. Rather than following Clinton’s example, he squandered his leadership moment for a bowl of partisan porridge and we are weaker for it.

Other poll respondents chalk up the president’s inadequacy to world events, which today are blowing ill economic winds onto our shores. Of course Obama cannot control developments in Europe, for example. But, he can help prepare our economy to withstand negative repercussions emanating from across the Atlantic.

This requires the president to encourage economic growth rather than discourage it. A strong economy is the best buffer we have against outside forces. However, rather than strengthen, Obama’s economic agenda stifles free enterprise because it is not about economics at all. It’s about incrementally replacing a free market system with one infused with government control. He’s using a weakened economy as an excuse to push his agenda much like he used a flawed healthcare system to give us Obamacare.

The president’s bureaucrats have issued hundreds of new regulations at a cost to Amercans of over $46 billion; far surpassing his predecessor on both counts. He has created a climate of uncertainty with constant threats of tax increases and ever more regulations. Advertised as high-profile investment, Obama funnels political payoffs to company owners in special interest sectors only to see the companies fail and employees go jobless. Rather than fostering a positive growth environment, he undermines it with politics. The outcome is an even weaker economy.

Still, Obama’s shortcomings are his own. The failure, spectacular though it may be, of a single incompetent individual does not define the boundaries of the office he holds. Admittedly, that’s hard to remember when the occupant has had so many swings and misses. But, Obama remembers. Voters should take their cue from his prediction that he will be a one-term president for failing to turn the economy around.

Some of the poll respondents attribute their belief in presidential impotence to the death of optimism during Obama’s term. Defeatism is understandable after his failure to live up to the promises that swept him into the White House. But, the demise of hopefulness after just four years of disappointment and hardship is a premature death. It concedes too soon that inadequacy has become the standard of presidential performance.

To be sure, hard times are difficult or they would be called something else. But, pessimism is easily averted by the knowledge that voters can improve their economic circumstances. Presidents who do not perform adequately only remain in office because voters allow them to remain.

In that regard, even those who believe that the president is a bystander to economic forces do not necessarily let him off the hook. As one respondent said, she is willing to give Romney a chance to see what he can do. That attitude is reflected in a more recent AP-GfK poll that shows Obama losing his long-held advantage over Romney as economic uncertainties increase.

Today, Obama’s response to his fumbling of the economy is to change the subject with a vengeance, attacking Romney with increasingly absurd accusations. The president and his staffers have assailed Romney’s religion, his wife, his business record, his patriotism and his wealth. This past week, they claimed he is also either a felon or a liar.

Obama is a Chicago politician, a street brawler whose favorite diversionary weapon is relentless character assassination. He’s also quick to spout a spate of promises, a la 2008, that he can’t keep. Romney responds poorly in a campaign thusly defined because he has no experience in that type of environment. His successes, unlike the president’s, are built on substantive achievements not empty politics. Viewed in that light, Romney’s stumbling retorts to Obama’s escalating personal attacks are actually a point in the challenger’s favor.

One thing is certain. When people begin to accept ineptitude as the nation’s new normal, it’s time to change the occupant of the White House.

See you in the mirror.

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About Sidney and Riley

  • Igor

    Here’s more of the 194 list:

    10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.

    11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years. jobs

    12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. jobs Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up.

    13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.

    14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

    15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

    16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.infrastructure

    17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.

    18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.

    19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

    20. Created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.)

  • Igor

    194 of President Obama’s Accomplishments! With Citations!

    Let’s talk about President Obama…

    If you’re one of those people who thinks President Obama is a “disappointment,” condolences for not getting your unicorn. And it’s time to grow up, get over it. We have four months to go before an election that will feature more political ads than you have ever seen before in your life. We’re not just having to beat Willard Romney; we also have to beat Citizens United. There will be TWO choices for president. You can either work for Obama and every other Democrat (yes, including Blue Dogs), or you can sit back and watch Willard Romney complete the job of taking apart the social fabric of the country that was begun by Ronald Reagan.

    What makes the “disappointment” argument even more irritating is that it’s simply not true. He’s done nearly everything we elect a president to do, and he dd it all with little support from the left, and massive obstruction from the right. .

    Is he perfect? No, he’s human. Does he deserve some criticism? At this point, it really doesn’t matter.

    What does matter is that this president has compiled a STELLAR record. If you can look at this list of the president’s accomplishments after three years, and not be excited, you have a serious problem with perspective.

    Pass this list around to everyone you know. And don’t be afraid; unlike many such lists, every item includes a link to a citation supporting it.

    He Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility After the Bush Debacle

    1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse. audit

    2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money. …

    3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries. froze salaries

    4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.

    5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.

    6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

    He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression

    7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.

    8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economyby 3.5%.

    9. Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.

    Read all 194 with citations.

  • Igor

    @45-Dan: I think my writing style is boring. When I’ve run across an old post of mine I thought it was flat and dull. Maybe if I could figure out how to work in ‘wanking’ and ‘spitting’ it would be more interesting.

  • Zingzing

    Ahem… What if I think that’s a waste of time?

  • Zingzing

    What if I think paying lip service to past tragedies is just so much political pandering, brought on by political pressure for those who would really like to do nothing more than have a wank over the corpses and spit in the face of millions of people not one bit responsible for what they are pretty much celebrating, adding another moment to their moments of silence that will never truly satisfy them until they have so much to “mourn” they’ll do nothing but look somber and bow their head for the rest of their stupid, fake lives.

  • In re #46 — if you wish to organize them, I suppose we can.

  • Zingzing

    Great. I hope we can expect a moment of silence for Richard Jewell and a moment of hissing for Eric Rudolph in 2016. Terrorism is terrorism, right?

  • In re # 44 — In view of your commendably high standards for authors here and elsewhere, and the lamentable paucity of articles appearing in this section, you should seriously consider writing articles for publication here. Doubtless, Messrs. Florman and Nalle will be delighted with them and with the insignificant effort required to render them publishable.

    At the top of the BC Politics page on the right you will find an invitation: “Write for Blogcritics. Find out how.” Just follow the link provided and you, too, can become a respected member of the “sinister cabal of superior writers.”

    Don’t be bashful! Just do it! Yes, you can! The world awaits your sterling efforts.

  • Igor

    Dan(Miller)s blog is an echo chamber, and a part of the greater rightist echo chamber. I found this:

    echo echo echo

    Reblogged this on …

    I’m reblogging Dan Miller’s reblog of this because Dan’s commentary is just as important as the post itself.


    Is there an echo in here?

  • Clav

    U.S. television programs are not available where I live…

    You’re lucky. US TV is a waste of electricity, particularly the “news” programming, whether from the left or the right.

  • Igor

    Well I see what your problem is Dan: you read Kos and Huff! And probably a lot of other opinion crap. Maybe even National Review.

    Stop reading that stuff! You can make up your own opinions. Read facts, numbers, history. Otherwise you’ll just develop prejudices and waste all your efforts defending them.

    You CANNOT learn the truth by listening to two liars argue. You have to find out for yourself.

    And when someone agrees with you, you should feel uncomfortable, not comfortable.


  • In re #36 — I can lean back in his [my] Barcalounger and snooze thru the day in front of a TV football game.

    You, Sir, are spewing typical leftist untruths with no factual support whatever. I don’t have a Barcalounger or anything even remotely resembling one. I do not snooze at any time “in front of a TV football game.” U.S. television programs are not available where I live, and that includes football games. Were they available, I would have no interest in watching them.

    In fact, I have watched only one TV football game to completion during my seventy-one years of life thus far, and it involved a match between the Washington Red Skins and the Miami Dolphins many, many years ago. The general manager of a Miami TV station and I had made a bet on whether my partnership or his employer would pay for our dinner at the next NAB convention in Las Vegas. I don’t immediately recall who won the bet, but assume that one of us did.

    Rather, I spend most of my days reading the news and writing — I even go to Daily Kos, Huff ‘n Puff and begging e-mails from the Obama Campaign received in my SPAM filter — prospecting for interesting stuff about which to write. Sometimes, I even visit BlogCritics for amusement. Sometimes, I write just for the fun of it, witness this comment. So there! (giggle, giggle; snort, snort.)

    When my seconds determine who might be your seconds, they will call upon them and demand satisfaction; probably chocolate cream pies at thirty paces.

    Scurrilous defamation of the sort shown in Comment #36 ill becomes a “liberal,” one with an open mind but not an empty head. It is common, however, with Libruls, those with closed minds and empty heads.

  • Igor

    You can read it for yourself, I posted the URL in 38.

    Your assessment is correct.

    Basically, their reasoning goes like this:
    -the government can’t do anything right
    -all good things come from capitalism
    -the transcontinental Lincoln Highway was good, the predecessor to the interstate highway system
    -therefore the Lincoln must have been privately financed and built by taxes levied against business.

    Of course, they’re wrong, but that doesn’t stop them from saying it.

  • troll

    …ah – a chance to test my psychotic abilities:

    without peeking I’m guessing that Dan’s piece is a stale ode to individual achievement that more or less ignores the interesting question of heritage that Obama raised

  • Igor

    If you read Dan’s blog you’ll see that it is VERY comfortable if you’re a radical rightist. I can see why he likes it. How flattering to ones vanity that everyone agrees with you and cheers you on.

  • In re #34 — I customarily resist the small temptation to respond to ad hominem remarks such as in your second paragraph. This time, I will yield to it only to suggest the existence of a clever but inexpensive device commonly available in many stores. If it’s of any comfort, perhaps the Government made its sale there possible. It’s called a “mirror.” If you don’t have one, you should consider buying one and using it. If you don’t use one that you already have, you should consider doing so.

  • Igor

    @34-Costello: Yes, I see what you mean. I guess Dan couldn’t stand the heat so he got out of the kitchen. Retired to his comfortable rightist lounge in Panama, or wherever. That’s alright, he can lean back in his Barcalounger and snooze thru the day in front of a TV football game.

  • Igor

    @32 – Dan: No! All those public projects were built with General Obligation bonds, issued by the government and binding on ALL the people of the nation, or state, or municipality. NOT on businesses. They were NOT financed by companies. Companies did NOT provide funds to build them.

    The government did NOT assess businesses for funds for construction.

    Projects were NOT pre-funded by monies from business.

    In all cases businesses were the beneficiaries of PUBLICLY funded projects. They were financed by the Full Faith and Credit of the US citizenry, high and low.

    I’m surprised that you attempted this clumsy attribution of historic public projects to current taxes.

  • Costello

    Yes, Dan. That’s what Obama said. And yet he also said a sentence before that one mentioning roads and bridges, which is what the “that” was referring to. And you know full well omitting it changes the meaning of the sentence.

    I can see why you don’t write here anymore. Most political hacks on both sides prefer to post in echo chambers where their dishonest claims don’t get called out because everyone is too busy trying to score points for their side. This lack of integrity is one of the things that’s wrong with America

  • Of course, some people do achieve success they haven’t earned. Here’s a picture of one of them.

  • In re #30 — Igor, I did not find your comment at the article. I looked in the SPAM filter, found something there from Boeke and marked it as “not SPAM.” It’s now with the article.

    Obviously businesses use roads, canals, ports and other infrastructure — built with taxes they and others pay or with bonds which their taxes repay. Were it not for those taxes, those public infrastructure projects could not be built. As I said in the portion of the article dealing with what I think President Obama should have said,

    Your tax dollars and the tax dollars of those who preceded you allowed your State and Federal governments to spend on roads, bridges and other projects; without your money earned through your own work and initiative and on which you paid taxes, that would have been impossible.

  • re #28 — In comment #16, you ask, “why use the talking point going around that makes it look like Obama said people didn’t build their business?”

    Because that’s what he said:

    If you’ve got a business __ you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

    It seems to me to be in pretty clear English.

  • Igor

    @28 – Costello: Dan changed the text to be what HE thought the pres should say. Go back and read Dan’s article on his blog again. I posted a rejoinder there.

  • Igor

    @27-S&R: I don’t have to agree to anything. I think you’re wrong and now you’re trying to weasel out of it.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • Costello

    Dan, I don’t see where in this thread anyone said Obama didn’t say those words, so not sure why you bring it up other than to continue to distract. The point was you presented a portion of what Obama said to alter the context. Glenn might not see what you and other conservatives were doing, but it’s crystal clear for anyone to see.

    Apparently, the dogs have a magical crystal ball because no one can guarantee what Bush would have done, not even Bush himself. He may well have given the order, but there’s no telling what other factors would have occurred at the time he had to make decision. It’s like people stating what Pres. Gore would and wouldn’t have done.

  • We’ll have to agree to disagree. We do think your earlier comment, unleash your left-brain, was very funny. We’ll use it sometime!!

  • Igor

    @24 – Sidney and Riley: but Obama DID get OBL. Why would you say otherwise?

    Obama didn’t get him. He was located through the efforts of several intelligence services,…

    It’s been known for years that OBL was in Pakistan. Bush failed to pull the trigger when he had a chance. Your statement is just wrong:

    But, Bush would have done it also.

    But he DID NOT. In fact, Bush demonstrates failure of nerve on several occasions before that, for example when he let the Bin Laden family out of the USA after 9/11, and when he failed to squash OBL in Tora Bora.

    I’m still waiting to see that famous left-brain go to work!

  • Igor


    HI, Igor. We don’t view the blog as yet another Obama hit piece simply because it doesn’t show Obama in a positive light. If Bush were still president …. Romney’s not our favorite either, …

    Your weak attempt at appearing fair and non-partisan doesn’t impress me because this remains a partisan hit-piece.

    … – see footnote 3 in the article. The other citations in our blog also site specific data.

    So, give a direct quotation and citation. I’m not going to chase all over ’round Robin Hoods Barn to seek support for YOUR argument. If you have data, present it, or forever hold your peace.

    But, please support your position.

    My position is that YOU haven’t supported your position, and I’ve demonstrated why.

    Come on: Engage that left-brain!

  • Re # 20 & 21, Igor, just because we don’t credit Obama as you do, doesn’t mean that we credit Congress or any particular republican or group of them.

    Take getting bin Laden as an example. Obama didn’t get him. He was located through the efforts of several intelligence services, both here and in other countries. Those same services had been looking for him for almost 10 years. That it took that long was not Bush’s fault – and keep in mind, we are not crediting Bush in any way by saying that.

    Yes, Obama gave the hit order – good for him, sincerely. But, Bush would have done it also.

  • Igor

    @19 S&R: It can’t be seriously argued that both parties and both houses are responsible for congressional deadlock since ONLY the House is blocked by a sworn party policy. There is no corresponding policy in the senate or among dems.

    Congressional deadlock is the creature of the republicans, and just as surely as they will claim credit if any good comes of it they must accept blame when it fails.

    Attempting to spread the blame around just demonstrates irresponsibility and cowardice.

  • Igor

    @9-Dan: I hope you’ve learned the folly of quoting politicians. That should have been demonstrated by the futility of this thread about something that Obama said. You know as well as anyone that they change positions and try out different stances. Words are unreliable. I’ll give you these homilies for free:

    -Character is action
    -you will know them by their deeds
    -talk is cheap

    Etc. I’m sure you know more, too.

    The best you can get out of quoting politicians is a strawman to beat to death. A wasted exercise in rhetoric.

  • Igor

    @19-S&R: You can’t seriously maintain that while the reps were utterly opposed to Obama that somehow they share credit for any positives. That’s a plain contradiction. Come on, engage that famous left-brain.

    …we don’t agree that because Obama was in the White House when they happened he gets the credit.

    When the reps totally opposed Obama for the mean reason of depriving him of political credit for any successful government policy, they ceded to Obama the credit for anything he DID manage to accomplish.

    Among those is:

    -ending the Iraq war
    -putting the Afghan war on a successful path to termination
    -getting OBL
    -stopping Somali piracy
    -ending the malicious proscution of Ted Stevens(R-AK)


  • Igor

    Obama has successfully used Executive powers, when he has been denied ANY help from congress by the intransigence of House Republicans. For example:

    -Obama got Osama Bin Laden, which Bush couldn’t do in 7 years, even though he was known to be in Pakistan during Bush’s presidency.

    -Obama has almost totally ended piracy on the high seas, altho this was becoming a major problem and Bush had done NOTHING.

    Both of these acts are vitally important to USA international security, and it was Bush who was inactive while Obama solved the problems. It would be fair to say that Obama is much stronger on National Security than Bush ever was.

  • Re #8, Thanks, Igor, for setting out your reasons. While we agree that many of the events delineated in your note have occurred, we don’t agree that because Obama was in the White House when they happened he gets the credit. There were a multiplicity of factors that work together to produce any of these events.

    As far as the republican house is concerned, it’s a disappointment. Political posturing is asinine. But, the same is true of the democratically controlled senate. The congressional gridlock of the past two years can be blamed equally on both parties. We do think that there was a moment, however brief, following the 2010 election when Obama and Boehner could have worked out at least the semblance of a positive working relationship. We are worse off because that did not happen. It will be an interesting election this fall.

  • Igor

    Obama HAS been attentive to the business community:

    -the NYSE and NASDAQ are at record highs,
    -corporate profits are at record highs,
    -corps and rich people have about $5trillion in retained earnings
    -private business employment is up about 500,000
    -the ARRA (stimulus) included huge tax breaks for business (despite the fact that such breaks have no documented improvement on the economy)

    Indeed, private business and it’s owners are among the few who have not suffered much from the failures of the economy.

  • In re #16 — Costello, President Obama did say that and any number of other things. I no longer write here so I can’t post the entire article to which I referred here. If you are interested in seeing what I said, read it. If you are not, don’t. I don’t much care.

  • Costello

    Glen[sp], if Dan is both intelligent and honest then why use the talking point going around that makes it look like Obama said people didn’t build their business? He could have used the complete statement or mentioned the context but didn’t until called out. I am sure he’s delighted he’s got you fooled but he seems no different than the liberal BS artists who went after Bush for things not said or done

  • Re #14 — Thanks, Glen.

    If my facts or analysis are wrong,
    then I’d like to have it pointed out to me in language I can understand. Ad hominem remarks don’t help me to see the way. Their frequency at BlogCritics is among the reasons I no longer writing here.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Costello –

    Dan(M) and I disagree on most things, but he is quite intelligent and I’ve seen no indication that he’s dishonest to any significant degree. He might be mistaken on some (or quite a few) things, but what a lot of people don’t get is there’s a big difference between being wrong and being “unable or unwilling” to say what’s right.

  • Costello

    Wasn’t commenting on your article. I was clearly commenting on your comment above where you make no mention of the roads and bridges. Seems rather obvious so I’m not why I would bother to read an article by someone unable or unwilling to tell the difference.

  • Zingzing

    Dishonest Dan.

  • re #10 — He and many conservatives conveintly [sic] leave off Obama’s prior sentence where he was talking about the roads

    I did, in fact, deal with the entire paragraph. As to roads, I opined that President Obama could more reasonably have said,

    Your tax dollars and the tax dollars of those who preceded you allowed your State and Federal governments to spend on roads, bridges and other projects; without your money earned through your own work and initiative and on which you paid taxes, that would have been impossible.

    I see no useful purpose likely to be served by responding further to a comment on an article by someone who has not read it and has no idea what it says.

  • Costello

    How on earth is anyone supposed to take serious a person who claims to write as a dog yet nowhere reveals a dog’s perspective in their writing?

    Dan reveals himself to either be a dishonest hack or not very bright, though I will concede it may be a combination of the two like Warren. He and many conservatives conveintly leave off Obama’s prior sentence where he was talking about the roads. It’s the roads private business didn’t build. If Dan can’t or chooses not to grasp that, there’s no need to follow his link.

  • As to President Obama’s interest in promoting private business, his only interest that I have found lies in his hope that the monthly employment statistics will improve before the election; they have not been doing so of late. He probably expressed his view best during an address on business creation when he said

    If you’ve got a business __ you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    I disagree with his thesis, as indicated here.

  • Igor

    Obama was hobbled in his first two years by conservative dems who sided with reps. One could complain that the dem party is insufficiently partisan to compete successfully with the ultra-partisan reps. The reps have discovered that by saying “no” always they can stymie presidential initiatives in the House.

    Actually, considering the utter roadblock in the congress, Obama has done a pretty good job, just using Executive opportunities. This congress will go down as one of the most contrary in history.

    Obama ended the war in Iraq, which the reps couldn’t do when they were in power in all branches of government.

    Obama is ending the Afghan war, which the reps couldn’t do, either.

    Obama has avoided new expensive war entanglements in Syria, Libya, Egypt and Palestine, as well as avoiding a major war with Iran.

    Obama saved Chrysler and GM and all the jobs they represent.

    Obama supported and signed the Lilly Leddbetter law which will improve the working lives of half of working Americans, the female half, by bringing them up to parity.

    Obama reduced the unemployment rate from 11% to 8% when we were facing total Great Depression.

    Meanwhile, the republican congress has done NOTHING. Other than repeatedly wasting time and money with 30 symbolic ineffectual repeals of the ACA.

    It is the republican house that has shown itself to be unwilling and unable to act in the best interests of Americans and America.

    It is the reps who have thrown a temper tantrum to impede American progress, figuring that people will blame it on Obama. But only S&R are gullible enough to swallow that.

    The rep house talks about “repeal and replace” without saying what they would replace ACA with. One suspects that after ‘repeal’ there will be no ‘replace’.

    All in all, it is the reps in the House who have failed to rise to the occasion in this time of great national need. They have acted directly against the best interests of America.

    And so history will see this period. And another thing, it will be very easy for history to say that Obama was opposed by racism.

  • According to their full bio, they are two dogs who write articles individually. They differentiate themselves with their sign-off, yet make no effort to when commenting in the plural, so your reckoning is about as wrong as it gets.

    “In Obama’s case, his party controlled Congress for his first two years in office giving him free rein to realize his economic agenda.”

    No it didn’t. You lack a very basic understanding of how Congress works. A President doesn’t control every member of his party and how they vote, as plenty who came before Obama can tell you. It’s a group of individuals who may identify under some meaningless team banner looking out for themselves first and their state second.

    When a party is short votes, a few in opposition willing to compromise gain power. When a party has enough votes, those willing to break from their party gain the power.

  • Zingzing

    Doubt it, cannonshop… Maybe there is more than one person involved at times, but it looks to me like it’s a dog owner with a blog. There’s nothing wrong with such a trivial conceit, but on the blog, he or she uses 1st person pronouns and possessives.

  • Cannonshop

    #4 Costello, seems to me “Sidney and Riley” are probably two people who work on their articles and such together, kind of like how Stephen King and Peter Straub have done two or three novels together, or how most name Journos are just regurgitating what their uncredited staff put together (sometimes to their detriment, see “Dan Rather” for a shining example).

    Now, I would reckon (but could be wrong) that one of those names is the researcher, the other one is the wordsmith who puts the article together FROM the research, then possibly both proof, or maybe they work on pieces then proof each other’s work to cross-reference research cites and the suchlike. Ergo, NOT a conceit.

  • Costello

    Consiering how bad of a writer he is, a WWrren rave is not a good thing is it?

    And how exactly do two people comment together? Seems like a silly writer’s conceit that doesn’t translate

  • HI, Igor. We don’t view the blog as yet another Obama hit piece simply because it doesn’t show Obama in a positive light. If Bush were still president we’d be writing blogs that examine his performance, too, and there was a lot to complain about. Romney’s not our favorite either, especially for the way he has, as of today, decided to respond to Obama’s tactics.

    Regarding the citation to the number and cost of regulations, that article footnotes the statistics. They are taken from the GAO’s Federal Rules database – see footnote 3 in the article. The other citations in our blog also site specific data. If you don’t agree with the data or believe that its importance is overstated, fine. But, please support your position.

  • Igor

    This article is just another anti-Obama Hit Piece with poor documentation.

    For example, I was interested in this statement on p.2:

    The president’s bureaucrats have issued hundreds of new regulations at a cost to Americans of over $46 billion;

    Sounds interesting. So I went to S&Rs citation and found this:

    Abstract: During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

    No supporting documentation or citation! So S&R are simply parroting what the Radical Rightist Heritage Foundation says! That’s irresponsible.

    And that is what the whole article is: a recitation of fables, apparently in the hopes that half-truths (or one-tenth truths, or one-hundreths truths, or no truth at all) can convince the gullible that there is SOME truth somewhere among the mess to support their assertion.


    This isn’t the first time that S&R have witheld their lauded left-brain to inundate us with irrelevant fantasy-based propaganda.

    Will they never change?

    Come on, S&R! Unleash that left-brain!

  • Great article! To say that Obama is inept is a very large understatement. I really like how y’all document all conclusions – something I wish commenters here would learn.

    Y’all close with, “When people begin to accept ineptitude as the nation’s new normal, it’s time to change the occupant of the White House.” Well said!