What in the fuck has Obama done so far? "Reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage." "Dramatically increased government secrecy, blocking more FOIA requests in 2009 than Bush did in 2008." "Launched FBI raids on antiwar activists in Chicago and Minneapolis." And much, much more. (via JWZ)

222 Responses to “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

  1. Max says:

    And, what hasn’t he done : reversed the state of emergency.

    So he can pretty much do what he likes (or is paid to do).

  2. Bob N Johnson says:

    This is why I find conservatives vehement hatred of Obama confusing. He is like Bush III, with each one worse than the previous incarnation.

    The only people that should really be upset with Obama, are the people that dropped their guard and allowed their optimism to breath a little fresh air. Yet, these people are the ones who will once again vote for him in a few more months.

    This time not with a revived idealistic hope, but holding their nose as they have done so many times in the past.

    • EH says:

      First of all, who do you mean by “conservatives” who have a vehement hatred, TV people?

      • Bob N Johnson says:

        Every conservative I know hates Obama with a passion. I get their emails and status updates everyday. These are my friends and I love them, but when it comes to policy and politicians we disagree on many issues.

    • Jim Schmidt says:

      I will *not* be voting for him again if there’s another option. I’m hoping that Roemer  gets somewhere in the process, but he’s my next best hope. I’d go Republican for the first time… ever… if he gets on the ballot.

      • theophrastvs says:

         There will be no other option.   (and i sympathize)

        • EH says:

          Yes there will. Someone major will go 3rd party, either Paul or Huntsman.

          • foobar says:

            Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us. 
            Man 1: He’s right, this is a two-party system. 
            Man 2: Well I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate. 
            Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away. 

          • Guest says:

            Third parties don’t stand a chance in the USA without proportional representation.

            Also, I’m not sure how people still go on about “what has he done”. Has he ended the gay marriage ban, no, but he has ended DADT and movements to end DOMA have started in many states (and President Obama couldn’t do anything about it any way without the Congress doing something first).

            He also passed a major health care overhaul, which essentially lays the ground work for single-payer (if you think that we can actually go from nothing to single-payer all in one step, you’re crazy).

            He’s also saved the auto industry and made it much better – gasp, imagine that.

            Jobs have actually gone from a huge loss to a steady gain.

            If you think you’re better off with anyone else, be my guest – go and try to vote for someone else.

            He’s significantly drawn down the war in Afghanistan and ended the war in Iraq.

            Then there’s the whole thing about Bin Laden….

          • wrybread says:

            @Flitzy: Sorry, it wouldn’t let me reply directly to your post. But I completely agree, Obama has achieved a pretty amazing amount considering the insane amount of opposition he has from inside the government. And considering the insane amount of opposition the “meta government” (mostly Fox News) has created for him.

      • GrrrlRomeo says:

        The reason we have a two-party system is because if there were three parties, there would candidates winning with a plurality of the vote rather than a majority . What happens when a candidate wins with 40% of the vote and the other two lose with 30% each? You get a President that 60% of the voters didn’t vote for. Democracy needs a majority consensus, even if it’s only 51%.

    • Richard Servello says:

      But I agree….Obama proved to me that there is no hope for politicians…they are all the same and no matter how good an orator they are…when it all comes down to it they are all owned and full of shit!

    • SedanChair says:

      This is why I find conservatives vehement hatred of Obama confusing.

      How confusing is it to you really?

      • Bob N Johnson says:

        It really is confusing to me. I understand many very wealthy people have together spent hundreds of millions, including FOX, the Koch brothers, and those who donate to conservative super-pacs, in an effort to manufacture hate, but at some point you would think they will realize Obama is just a continuation of Bush and if not support him at least stop hating him.

        Some do hate him with a renewed vigor after belatedly realizing where a continuation of the Bush administration policies have led us. Now hating Obama for many of the same reasons those who voted for him are upset, while still continuing to hate progressives.

        They call Obama a liberal, a progressive, or a socialist when he is in most ways further right than Bush. In fact if they had listened to Obama, instead of FOX and the Koch brothers, and supported the tax increase for the wealthy, Occupy would have lost most of it’s steam. Their hatred and inflexibility kept them from making a small, insignificant concession that would have paid huge dividends.

        So, yes, I find this a bit confusing.

        • foobar says:

          They want someone further to the right.

          Your mistake is to assume that they’re reasonable, thoughtful people. They aren’t.

        • SedanChair says:

          Let me spell it out for you then: he is black.

          • Bob N Johnson says:

            Unfortunately, racism does play a significant role, even among a few of my friends.

          • petertrepan says:

            Let me spell it out for you then: he is black.

            But they seem to hate Jimmy Carter with the same intensity, and he’s both white and evangelical. And then you have to explain Cain.

            I believe it’s a strong factor. I think the whole “Obama is a Muslim” phenomenon was an excuse for fearful rubes to talk openly about how Obama is from a scary foreign culture with a grudge against “us.” But there’s more to it than just race. I think it’s because Obama and Jimmy Carter have both done a lot of talk about tolerance, and general intolerance is a core defining feature of what social conservatives are.

  3. Gideon Jones says:

    Expanded hate crime law in the US to include sexual orientation, repealed DADT, stopped defending DOMA in court after declaring it unconstitutional.  Passed universal healthcare and prevented a second great depression.  Ended the Iraq War, set a date in two years for the end of the Afghanistan war, killed Bin Laden and virtually all of the leadership of 
    Al Qaeda.  Yada, yada, yada.

    Um…  and the original of course is here: http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com

    • wrybread says:

      Thanks for that linked website, its great.

      And as usual I think Obama needs someone to tout his record, other than himself. Whenever he does it, he comes off as defensive. He needs a Dick Cheney, someone who can be brash and obnoxious and repeat his accomplishments over and over, to counter the relentlessly negative message from the media and, I suppose, elsewhere too.

    • SamSam says:

      That’s a great site, and a perfect response to something like this. It’s easy to see only negatives (which exist) and overlook the many positives (which exist).

      Does that site have a complete list? I couldn’t find one.

    • wysinwyg says:

      -”Passed universal healthcare” — Translation: CONGRESS, with Obama’s support, passed a healthcare bill that forces all American citizens to buy a policy from a for-profit insurer even if they don’t want to (or can’t afford to)
      -”prevented a second great depression” — uh…it’s really hard to take you seriously when you say something like this.  Again, it was actually Congress that passed the bill which was horribly compromised from the perspective of stimulus, mostly serving as a big tax giveaway. 

      Funny how all Obama’s failures are Congress’ fault but all his successes are his own (even the legislative ones) when you tell it.  A little consistency would make you more credible.

      “Ended the Iraq war” — Umm, the Iraqi parliament ended the Iraq war. 
      “Killed Bin Laden” — single-handedly, no doubt.  Clinton, of course, started the hunt for Bin Laden which has been ongoing for more than a decade.  Obama happened to be in office when the DoD finally got him.  Giving Obama credit for killing Bin Laden is like blaming Bush for Katrina (the actual hurricane, not the aftermath).  Same with Al Qaeda leaders.  Obama “killed them” by continuing Bush’s (and Clinton’s) policies.

      Let’s stop pretending there’s only one biased website, huh?

  4. EeyoreX says:

    Well, don’t judge him too harshly. 
    You know what they say: hardly anyone ever achieves much  AFTER they’ve received a Nobel Price. It’s the worst career-killer there is.

    • suburbanhick says:

      Remind me again what he even got the NPP for. Seriously, I’m not being snarky! I’m genuinely curious – hadn’t he only been in office for, like, 15 minutes when he received it?

      • Clifton says:

        As far as anybody can tell, he seems to have been awarded it for not being George W. Bush.  As I recall, he spent a good part of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech speaking in praise of war.

      • travtastic says:

        I seem to remember them mentioning something about nuclear disarmament.

  5. suburbanhick says:

    Phew. Same thing only different, indeed. I’ve heard/read a lot of opining (more and more, recently) about how Obama would have made a good Republican, and I gotta say I pretty well have to agree. Except to perhaps add one thing: he wouldn’t “have made” a good Republican – he IS a good Republican. One of the best Presidents they’ve have had for ages, unfortunately!

  6. jackwilliambell says:

    Not unexpected, by me at least. In fact it puts me in kind of a ‘I told you so’ position because I was quite vocal during the last elect cycle about how I believed Obama would be more of the same when he got into office. And I wasn’t making a dig against Obama, it was more of an observation that no one gets a major party nomination without being a part of the machine. 

    So what if many of Obama’s ardent supporters are now disappointed by him. Me, I’m flabbergasted they expected anything more…

    • querent says:

      i’m with you.  amidst all the chants of hope and change, I was begging people to look at his official stance on Israel (“unconditional continued support”), and his reaction to operation cast lead (“Israel has a right to defend itself.”)

  7. I think Obama has done much more for gays than any other President, thank you very much.  As a gay man, I feel there is a huge leap in progress towards equality under Obama that has never happened under other administrations.  Nothing but anti-gay hatred has fueled the Republican one-upmanship debates, emphasizing only who will excoriate gays the most.   Here is a list of everything Obama has done for gays and it is HUGE.  Thank you, Obama.  http://www.equalitygiving.org/Accomplishments-by-the-Administration-and-Congress-on-LGBT-Equality

    As a gay rights activist I know that a wave of your hand, even as President, can’t change people.  And there is no absolute power in the Executive office, despite what you think.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      Seriously.  That site is full of inaccurate stuff like claiming Obama was defending DADT, when he’s actually gotten it repealed.  Or claiming he’s opposed to gay marriage, without mentioning the fact that he’s declared DOMA unconstitutional and had the DOJ stop defending it.  

      And the stuff about FOIA is complete bullshit.  The reason denials went up in 2009 is because the Bush administration just (illegally…) straight-up stopped processing them, and the Obama administration actually worked through the backlog of 150k+ requests.  

      • Guest says:

        The Log Cabin Republicans ended DADT in a legal battle. Obama did nothing until the fight was over.

        • Gideon Jones says:

          That’s completely false of course.  

          • Guest says:

            Search “Log Cabin Republicans v. United States”.

            Or go here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Log_Cabin_Republicans_v._United_States

          • Gideon Jones says:

            Congress repealed it and the president signed the repeal after two years of hard-assed work by Obama, the HRC, SLDN, and the rest of the left.  As the wikipedia entry you linked to says: “On September 29, 2011, the Ninth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion that the legislative repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” had rendered the case moot.”

            Yes, the log cabin republicans sued, but congress had already repealed DADT before their case was decided.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          The Log Cabin Republicans ended DADT in a legal battle. Obama did nothing until the fight was over.

          The White House put a huge amount of pressure on both Republicans and Democrats to support the end of DADT. Are you unaware that it was ended legislatively?

          • Guest says:

            On September 9, 2010, Judge Phillips ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. Obama signed the end of DADT after the legal battle was lost. It’s true that he talked about ending it during his campaign, but Clinton talked about open gay service too, then caved when he was President. Fortunately for the US’s GLBT population, the Log Cabin Republicans did not cave. Without their hard work, DADT would still be in effect.

      • Bob N Johnson says:

        Then Obama has done a miserable job of communicating these realities. I find his silence deafening. And in my book silence equals death, over and over.

        He has not spoken out forcibly against many of the real issues facing this country. They passed a significant healthcare bill, and they have done many things in support of gay rights, but on every other issue concerning the erosion of our civil liberties, nothing.

        Every time they pass one of these appalling bills, full of riders and amendments, I want a veto and a speech calling the people to action. Yes, I heard him say he did not support those portions of the NDAA and that he would veto that act, then why not veto it and force them to vote again for the erosion of our liberty, which they claim to support. Instead, he signs the act, generating more hate from those who already hate him and increasing the distrust of his supporters. He did issue a signing statement, but that goes unnoticed.

        Why did he not fight against immunity for the telecoms? Congress was not in his way that time. Why is Guantanamo Bay still open? Congress is not in his way on that issue. These and many other issues are completely in his control. And on those occasions where he is outnumbered by congress speak  out loud and clear and often.

        • Jim_Satterfield says:

          You try and make it sound so very simple. But in a country where there are millions willing to vote for the kinds of things the current very far to the right Republican Party supports you sometimes have to do what Obama did with the NDAA or be handing your opponents a weapon to use against you in the upcoming elections. The Democratic Party still hasn’t overcome the image of being soft on national defense. It leaves them vulnerable to certain tactics from their opponents and so you have a bill that is signed but with a signing statement. Idealism and ideological purity can only get you so far.

      • mattcornell says:

        Click on any fact to see a citation in the press. At the time this site was posted, Obama was defending DADT. Obama is personally opposed to gay marriage. He’s said so several times. He’s only recently stopped defending DOMA. That’s why it’s good to keep the pressure on him and to criticize him when he does bad things– because it can make him do the right thing.

        And, sorry but the Obama administration is far, far more secretive than Bush. If you don’t believe me, check out the ACLU’s reports. Or simply read Glenn Greenwald’s column.

        Stop hiding behind George Bush.

        • Jim_Satterfield says:

          I’ve given up on Greenwald. He’s just as irrational when it comes to Obama as Rush Limbaugh.

          • mattcornell says:

            Greenwald’s positions on the issues he cares about have remained consistent from the Bush Administration through the Obama Administration. If anyone has abandoned their ideals out of irrational fealty to partisan politics, it’s the vast majority of Obama supporters.

    • VicqRuiz says:

      Obama has done much more for gays than any other President

      And that’s about it.  A voter who is seriously focused on LGBT issues has every reason to think that Obama is doing a decent job.

      Those of us for whom that is one issue among many (Wall Street influence, civil liberties, war, health care) may have a slightly less optimistic take.

      • Gideon Jones says:

        Anyone who cares about those issues, but thinks that Obama and not congress is in charge of them, needs to step back and re-evaluate how they’re working on the issues they care about.  Cause they’re not doing it right.

        Electing a guy who promises to do what you want doesn’t mean jack shit if you’re not also giving him a congress who will do the same thing.

      • I know a handful of people that can now see doctors thanks to the preexisting conditions law that would likely disagree with you.

        • EH says:

          The fact that that, and the gays, are Obamas biggest accomplishments (as affects the little guy) says so much about how little we expect from our Presidents. I’m not looking for Mussolini, but when the R and D candidates are engineered to be as similar as possible in order to lord over The Middle, it’s plain to see that political conservatism (not the right-wing way, but in that our politicians are politically timid.) is the name of the game.

          Obama’s lesson to future presidents would seem to be to do as little as possible.

          • Jim_Satterfield says:

            The power of the President is not absolute. Even when technically he had 60 votes that supposed to be on his side in the Senate the reality was that with people like Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman counted among them he could never count on bills that he liked surviving a filibuster. The Senate is no longer a chamber where anything less than 60 votes will get anything the Democrats like passed.

      • Marja Erwin says:

        “A voter who is seriously focused on LGBT issues has every reason to think that Obama is doing a decent job.”

        Except as regards access to public accommodations, employment, medical care, and marriage, or countering the profiling of poor trans womyn of color…

      • xyzzy123 says:

        Jerome was responding to the first point in Cory’s short missive.  Obama has generally done very well on gay issues — he’s not perfect by any means, but he’s done more than any other president in history.

        That doesn’t mean that “the gays” don’t have nuanced opinions about him due to his failings on other progressive issues.  However, saying that he’s just “Bush the Third,” as Cory implies and others have stated expressly, is a bit disingenuous.  

        • Marja Erwin says:

          very well? really?

          Maybe for maab gay men with secure incomes. But both federal and state governments continue to discriminate against lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, and especially against trans people. And I don’t think a legislative solution is a real solution, but I haven’t seen much progress on public accomodations or employment. Barney Frank had been pushing a trans-excluding version of the employment non-discrimination act, while opposing any trans-inclusive version, and later proposed one which nominally included trans people while practically criminalizing us by excluding us from public toilets.

    • EH says:

      The question is whether buying off the gays (the most affluent uncaptured segment of the US Left) will be enough to re-elect Obama. 

  8. deusdiabolus says:

    There are two different sites.  WTF is the positive things, WITF is the negative things.

  9. shamocracy79 says:

    Obama is just another Neo Conservative.  He’s continuing the same failed Bush policies, while going back on all of his campaign promises of hope and change(gitmo bay, bringing the troops home{kuwait waiting to attack syria is not home even if it is not iraq}, letting states handle medical marijuana, the list goes on).

    Unfortunately it seems the establishment(both left and right) will have no problem with 4 more years of Obama.  None of the candidates outisde of Ron Paul have a chance at beating Obama in a national election, which is why Ron Paul is the only candidate the MSM has decided is unelectable from the start.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      You clearly don’t know what the word Neo-conservative means.  

    • Joe Maynard says:

      Rick Perry could have, until he screwed himself in the debates. Evangelical conservative, lots of money, would have Texas sewn up in the election, and if he’d convinced Romney to be his running mate that would have gotten MA and probably a few more coastal swing states… fortunately for the country he turned out to be a blithering idiot

      • EH says:

        Besides a low IQ, Perry has the same problem Santorum (and maybe Romney) does: too many secrets. The attacks haven’t even started yet.

    • Guest says:

      Technically, Obama’s a neoliberal. McCain’s a neoconservative, which is basically an even-worse version of a neoliberal. Carry on!

      • shamocracy79 says:

        technically Obama has voted for the same neo conservative policies in the financial and foreign sector. So label him whatever you feel is more accurate, I’ll go off his actions and call him just another neo con.

        • Guest says:

          The financial and foreign sectors are where neocons and neolibs agree, but knowing their differences can be useful. I highly recommend David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism, which includes this definition: “US neoconservatives favour corporate power, private enterprise, and the restoration of class power. Neoconservatism is therefore entirely consistent with the neoliberal agenda of elite governance, mistrust of democracy, and the maintenance of market freedoms. But it veers away from the principles of pure neoliberalism and has reshaped neoliberal practices in two fundamental respects: first, in its concern for order as an answer to the chaos of individual interests, and second, in its concern for an overweening morality as the necessary social glue to keep the body politic secure in the face of external and internal changes.”

  10. It’s always amusing to hear obamabots retort that “he must be playing three-dimensional chess”, meaning that no matter how often and how unambiguously he shows himself to be a tool of the 1% and the foreign policy think thank establishment, deep down he must still be a progressive. Ultimately I think this unwillingness to give up on Obama is a sign of liberal racism, the kind that Spike Lee termed “magical negro”: a character with magical though vaguely defined powers (“hope”, “change”) that appears seemingly out of nowhere and is there to save the protagonist, i.e. the mostly white national polity.

    • EH says:

      Nobody uses the 11-dimensional chess thing anymore, that was an Axelrod conceit during the campaign that took on a little life of its own, but the blinders are pretty much off on that canard these days.

      • For most people perhaps so, fortunately, but among people who still genuinely believe (or want to believe, since it’s obviously not based on the man’s actual record) there still seems to be a shared conviction that he’s triangulating his public utterances with what he’s supposedly trying to do behind the scenes, all to push through as much progressive policy as the republicans will allow him to. Which is a delusion of course, he didn’t really try to boldly push progressive policy when democrats controlled the House and has used every opportunity to disavowing the left-wing base that got him elected. Any discussion of the man from a left-wing perspective can only start from the fact that he is a tool.

    • LikesTurtles says:

      It’s amusing to hear, er, see message board commentors use words like obamabots and expect the be taken seriously.  Anyone who has to resort to words like reTHUGicans, fartbongo, demoCRAPS, etc. has pretty much decided that they only want to communicate with those who already agree with them.

      • L_Mariachi says:

        What is “fartbongo?” Or do I not want to know?

        • LikesTurtles says:

          It’s a name used for Obama on right wing message boards like Red State. Once in a while one of them will wander into a more general discussion board and forget to turn off the derp. As far as I can tell, it is a name that evolved over time from other modifications of his name, starting perhaps with Obongo.

          • EH says:

            it’s as bad as…shoot, i can’t  remember…i think there was an even dumber one for bush besides “bushitler.” i don’t mean nicknames in general, but genuinely partisan-idiotic.

    • Jim_Satterfield says:

      I look at Obama and his record and then I look at the alternative(s). Obama is not perfect but better than any of the Republican candidates. We live in a country that gives third parties no real chance, which I regret. This means I will vote for Obama.

  11. Joe Maynard says:

    Obama should add the following subscript to every decision he makes: “What are you gonna do, vote for Mitt Romney? I DIDN’T THINK SO!!!”

  12. Guest says:

    And yet democrats still vote for him; even though they’re essentially voting for GW Bush.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      Democrats are going to vote for him because most of them understand politics better than the ignorant and disengaged center/swing/independent crowd.  You know, the ones who think Obama is responsible for legislation, rather than, ya know… the legislative branch.  

    • EH says:

      speak for yourself.

    • Rindan says:

      Welcome to a winner takes all system.  When it comes down to it,  you are going to either have to vote Obama or Romney (or Frothy should the GOP lose their fucking minds and pick Santorum).  A vote for anyone else is a half vote for the guy you hate more out of the two options.  

      The only real exception to this is if you live in a solid color state.  I live in Massachusetts.  My vote literally does not count.  Our electoral points will go to the Democrats.  If it goes to the Republicans, it means that 48 other states did so as well.  Either way, my vote doesn’t count.  With my worthless non-vote I am free to check any box I damn well please.

      • Guest says:

        At least when you vote for someone you are FOR rather than against, you get the satisfaction of knowing you did something to stop the two-party shitfest we currently have.

        • EH says:

          Then start figuring out how you feel about the platforms, you might be surprised at how flexible you are in your party affiliation. I know I was.

          You should always vote for yourself, your own values, not a party or some imagined better future that your vote is directly contributing.

          • Guest says:

            I’ll never vote for spineless Democrats again. They never stand up for what they campaigned on and always give into the Republicans.

      • princeminski says:

        Same for Texas, though presumably my non-vote cancels yours.

    • Jim_Satterfield says:

      No, they are not.

  13. Mark_Frauenfelder says:

    What we expected: goo.gl/fy5fI. What we got: goo.gl/akCB4

    • Gideon Jones says:

      What we got was a hard-right congress.  I’m absolutely stunned at how so many of you otherwise intelligent people seem to have absolutely no clue how the US government works.

      • Guest says:

        Does “bully pulpit” mean nothing to you? (No big if it doesn’t. It means nothing to Obama.)

        • Gideon Jones says:

          It does.  And Obama has used it… to absolutely no effect.

          Anyone who thinks that it means jack shit in an environment where the GOP is filibustering every single thing Obama is proposing, and where their base is getting all their news from FOX News, is fooling themselves.

          • Guest says:

            Look at the content of his speeches. They’re full of vague feelgood phrases, but there’s nothing specific there. He begins by declaring the progressive positions are off the table: investigating Bush for war crimes, universal health care, etc. Like Bill Clinton, he starts to the right of center, then moves further right.

          • Gideon Jones says:

            Even if that were true (and it’s not), do you really think that giving far-left speeches would have changed the minds of the GOP and their base, getting them to go for his policies?  

            They’re opposing him because they’ve figured out that blowing up the country and getting people like you to blame Obama for it is their best shot at getting the presidency back.  Giving speeches with content that’s further to the left isn’t going to change that.

          • outercow says:

            It was the White House that decided single-payer was off the table before negotiations on healthcare reform started. It is Obama who the Justice Dept answers to, and it was Obama who decided not to have the Bush Admin investigated for war crimes. It’s my opinion, that  I’m positive you’ll disagree with, that it was Obama and the establishment Dems who lost the House in 2010 because it was clear they weren’t doing enough about jobs, wouldn’t defend healthcare reform as hard as the Repubs attacked it because they didn’t want to piss off the health insurance industry, and clearly Obama wasn’t   the “actual change” kind of president he had said he would be. I think most people who are disappointed with Obama realize that Democratic Party is now a right of center party, and that pisses them off,  but realize Obama could’ve tried to combat this a helluva lot more as head of the party if he wanted to. He clearly hasn’t wanted to.

      • mattcornell says:

        Obama had a Democratic House and Senate in the first 2 years. Face facts: he’s just not that into change.

        • DrunkenOrangetree says:

          He had a Democratic house stuffed with blue dog dems and he had a veto proof Senate for about 10 minutes.

          Face it, you don’t know much about how congress works.

          • mattcornell says:

            Oh poor Barack Obama, the Republicans & Blue Dogs are always forcing him to do the wrong thing. It’s almost as if the POTUS is a figurehead with no power at all.

            Also, if the allegedly liberal Barack Obama really weren’t sympathetic with Blue Dogs, he prolly shouldn’t have backed them against progressives in the 2010 primaries.

        • DrunkenOrangetree says:

          So, when the dems were running the house and senate they signed off on the “wrong things” that Obama was ramming down their throats. And now that Obama has a GOP house he push through even more “wrong things.”

        • MrJM says:

          Actually, because of Senate Republican’s unprecedented use of the filibuster, true Democratic control of Congress lasted only seven months – from early July, 2009, when Al Franken gave the Democrats sixty voters, until early February, 2010, when Scott Brown reduced the Democratic majority to 59. 

          But you may find those facts hard to face.

          • mattcornell says:

            Well, hey, lucky for us in those first seven months, he got the important stuff done: like appointing Geithner and Summers.

            It’s really a shame this filibuster boogeyman couldn’t stop Bush from pushing his extreme agenda through Congress during his 2 terms.

    • Marja Erwin says:

      URL shorteners can make it hard to see where you’re going when they work, and where you would have been going when they break.

      • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

        Yes, but I was copying and pasting from a tweet. Please repost my comment with the full URLs as a favor to yourself and others!

    • princeminski says:

      Seriously? This is like the old CPUSA party line: “Objectively there is no difference between Eleanor Roosevelt and Hitler.” Anybody who isn’t 108% what we want is the Antichrist–that’s right wing Tea Party stuff. You’re smarter than that.

  14. Paddy says:

    Honestly, I disagree with PBO as often as not, but to hear you all go on about him being an R is just stupid.  Give this a glance and see if it fits in your worldview- http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/07/2578082/why-obama-hasnt-closed-guantanamo.html

    Go ahead and elect an R, nothing could go wrong.

  15. EH says:

    At least we know that the only campaign promises Obama broke were the ones that affect only the little guy. He’s not all bad.

  16. Frank W says:

    You have to hand Obama one thing: he made the Occupy movement possible. None of that would be happening, had there still been any Hope for Change.

  17. kballweg says:

    Wow, the tinfoil hat brigade is out in force. Did Matt Drudge link to this?

  18. wildemar says:

    OK people, seriously. You really think you elect *one man* and then he just whips out his magic pouch of pixie dust and makes all bad things go away?

    When I saw everybody freak out over Obama’s election four years ago, I knew it would result in a *huge* backlash once everybody figured out that the guy does not, in fact, have superpowers. And be honest, so did you.

    Every politician ever has been under pressure by a buttload of interests, many of which, sadly, hold more power over an office than the mere will off the people (and the fact the said will is extremely fickle doesn’t help). You have to pick your fights in politics, or you die. In some cases, literally. That’s what every politician learns at some point.

    Don’t hate the person, or the office. Hate the system that favors such behavior. Because despite what you may think, your next president is not going to be significantly better just by virtue of being another person.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      It isn’t even just various interest groups.  A huge number of people apparently have no idea that the president doesn’t just decide what is and what isn’t law.  

      Half the shit people complain about Obama doing (or not doing) are things that congress did, oftentimes over the objections of Obama.  And somehow, rather than grappling with the reality that we have a right-wing congress, people decide against all evidence, that Obama must be a right-winger himself.  It’s insane.  

    • EH says:

      That’s a lot of words to set up a straw-man and tell us of your latent prognosticatory powers. You sound like dudes I knew in the dorms, do you have anything of substance?

  19. DrunkenOrangetree says:

    From your second link on using the “deliberative process” exemption :

    “Obama’s directive [to stop using that exemption], memorialized in written instructions from the Justice Department, appears to have been widely ignored.”

    But please, vote republican. There is absolutely no difference between Obama and Romney.

  20. franko says:

    so, it’s clearly Ron Paul/anti-Barack day here at Bb.

  21. Ben Ehlers says:

    Meanwhile Chomsky is completely unsurprised…

  22. thentro says:

    People have such a short memory. Just like the progressive idots who said that Gore = Bush got us four years of W, the Iraq war, and the lesser recession you idots are going to get us the same thing. America is a screwed up conservative country, don’t you realize this? The best we can hope for is incremental change for the better and another year of not transforming into a conservative theocracy. Obama campaigned as, and is a moderate who has carried out the status quo on many things I don’t like, but is the only one publicly pushing for progressive ideas with any sway. 

    So your options are to say screw it, give up the only mouthpiece for any progressive ideas and let this country burn and hope that something better rises from the ashes. Or keep pressuring him to be better. It isn’t a great choice, but I would rather be bitching at Obama to change than George Bush or his successors whom actively support  radical conservative ideas. 

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Okay, we’ve sometimes seen incremental change for the better on social issues, but we’ve always seen incremental change for the worse when it comes to the repression of dissent, the increasing police powers, the expanding prison-industrial complex, the torture state, the economy, etc.

      Bush ratcheted these things up, and now Obama ratchets the same things up.

      At some point we’ve got to get out of this hole, and when someone points out the Democrats are pushing right-wing/authoritarian policies, the answer is that the Republicans are pushing even worse right-wing/authoritarian policies, and dammit, don’t stop digging!

      • EH says:

        History tells us that we get incremental change automatically.

      • Jim_Satterfield says:

        Show where Obama is ratcheting up suppression of dissent or torture. Explain how the prison-industrial complex is a matter of federal law, not state law. One of my problems with the original post is blaming Obama for the actions of the FBI like he personally wrote off on it, which is highly unlikely.

  23. Stonewalker says:

    My biggest problem with Obama is actually not his executive action or lack of action.  I mean, I hate that anti freedom stuff too, but I think the worst thing he’s done for America is this – While doing a good job of representing a lot of disenfranchised Americans, (A LOT) he has spoken and acted positively towards the culture of terror and the destruction of rights for safety.

    He has encouraged the culture of the police state.  He’s not a leader, he’s a cog in the machine.  Obama believes in the police state.  If he didn’t, he would hold press conferences and rile up the citizenry against things like SOPA and NDAA.  But he hasn’t done that stuff, he’s done the exact opposite.

  24. YQXO says:

    I don’t care how bad Obama has been. In reality alternatives are Obama or Religious-fruitcake, all around hater from Republican party and this round of lottery has bring: Romney.

    Way to go for pluralism! US people should vouch for splitting Republican and Democrat parties to pieces and create electoral laws that support smaller parties. Then they would get coalitions and all sort of competition and not stagnation.

    This is not going to happen though…

  25. Aloisius says:

    Sounds like some people’s sky high expectations were crushed by reality.

    People expected Obama to be some kind of super progressive, but instead he’s a pragmatic democrat who fights battles he can win and compromises even if it means only taking a single step closer to the ultimate goal.

    Personally I like that kind of President, but then, I’m a moderate who believes in gradual change. What do I know?

    • estragon_nyc says:

      Did you actually even look at the site that’s linked at the top of this post?  We all know the standard defense against any criticism of Obama is “you hippies expected unicorns and rainbows, but we live in the real world” — however, the things that site addresses are bad policies that Obama actively sought out and pursued.  Not compromises, not battles he chose not to fight; they are things he chose to fight for, things on which he got his way.  It’s not that his changes have been too gradual for our radical hippie sensibilities; it’s that many of his gradual changes are changes in the wrong direction.  But no matter how many times people say that, his supporters refuse to read the words.

      • Aloisius says:

        I did in fact look at the site and panned it when it was at best an grossly negligent oversimplification and at worse, a hit job.

        Obama is not my ideal President, but he is hardly Bush. Last I checked:

        - DADT was repealed
        - the largest healthcare reform since medicare passed
        - credit cards now have actual consumer protections
        - government data available at a level previously unheard of (data.gov rules)
        - most of the troops are out of iraq
        - a depression in the making was reversed
        - two new people are on supreme court who are unlikely to reverse Roe v. Wade
        - the use of torture was ended
        - a new GI bill passed
        - nuclear stockpiles are being reduced

        That’s pretty good for a guy with a hostile congress.

      • DrunkenOrangetree says:

        So you have now read Aloisius’ response to you and have a cogent rejoinder.

        • estragon_nyc says:

          Here’s the thing: I questioned whether Aloisius was even familiar with the criticisms of Obama, based on the way he mischaracterized them.  He says he’s familiar with them and simply doesn’t believe what Matt Cornell said is accurate.  Since I believe Mr. Cornell has it exactly right, we’re not working from the same set of facts and there’s no basis for further discussion.  It would just be yet another Internet reenactment of John Cleese and Michael Palin in the argument clinic, and there’s plenty of other places to get that if you really want.

      • Jim_Satterfield says:

        Given that the site is full of it, being what Aloisius pointed out. The writers are as disconnected from the real world as libertarians, communists and others who refuse to understand the world we live in. The President only has so much power in our system. It was designed that way and current partisanship levels where it takes 60 votes to get anything through the Senate only makes it more so. Developing a hatred for Obama as virulent as anything from the Limbaugh/Hannity wing of the Republican party just isn’t a rational response when those things are taken into consideration, IMO.

        • brianary says:

          Ideology will get a lot more real for you the day you’re disconnected from the Internet, your site is blacklisted, or you get arrested at (or near) a protest.

          There are political realities that just cannot be accepted or excused. Like torture, or ending habeus corpus.

    • Jim_Satterfield says:

      I actually am not surprised by what has happened given the reality of the Congress that he has been dealing with.

  26. Jim Saul says:

    President McCain and Vice President Palin would have given every one of us unicorns by now.

    • Snig says:

      Absolutely.  Though it might be President Palin by now, as the office is a heavy burden, and McCain’s not in the best of health.  Plus, hunting accidents happen.

  27. mattcornell says:

    I made this site back in 2010 as a response to the original. It hasn’t been updated since then, but my email inbox is literally flooded with new submissions from the past year. I guess it’s time to add them to this list. 

  28. pacbeller says:

    I’m slightly bothered by two things. One, the article referenced is almost two years old. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to measure any president after a little over a year in office. If that were the standard, LBJ would be a bit more revered than he is today.

    The other is this phrase; “Obama’s directive, memorialized in written instructions from the Justice Department, appears to have been widely ignored.”

    This would parallel the narrative related in Ron Suskind’s book, “Confidence Men” of Tim Geitner and Treasury Dept “slow-walking” Obama directives, or ignoring them.

    I remember a bumper sticker that I saw being sold on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, before he was even nominated. It read “OBAMA – He’ll Disappoint You.” I thought it was either overly cynical, or amazingly prescient in the way some Berkeley bumper stickers are.

    So it yet again breaks down to either lubing up and lighting candles and spooning with the Democrat, or being insulted and spit upon while getting reamed by the Republican wearing the chain mail condom, and beating on you with an Opus Dei whip. Either way, you’re gonna get screwed. It’s just a question of how hard, and how long. Remember, even G.W. got a second term.

  29. Tetsubo Kanamono says:

    I will vote for Obama because there aren’t any actual liberal progressive options. I can’t remember when there has been a liberal progressive option really.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Why shouldn’t you vote for Obama? Because you have other choices beyond the democrats and republicans, you’re just too closed minded to see it. You think you don’t have a choice, but you do.
       
    Deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants
        http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0812/Obama-as-border-cop-He-s-deported-record-numbers-of-illegal-immigrants
    Continued renditions of alleged terrorists to countries where they could be tortured
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/us/politics/25rendition.html
    Opposed marriage equality by appealing challenges to DOMA, the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act”
        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5084948-503544.html
    Blocked the release of photos documenting the torture and abuse of detainees by the US military
        http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/president-oba-5.html
    Continued the practice of indefinite detentions for alleged terrorists
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/21/AR2009052104045.html
    Refused to sign a treaty banning the use of landmines
        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34136023/ns/politics-white_house
    Extended the Patriot Act without making any reforms
        http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0301/Obama-signs-Patriot-Act-extension-without-reforms
    Pushed for mandatory DNA testing of those arrested for crimes, regardless of whether they have been convicted
        http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34097.html
    Dramatically increased government secrecy, blocking more FOIA requests in 2009 than Bush did in 2008
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/16/obamas-broken-promise-fed_n_500526.html
    Cut a secret deal to kill the public option, while campaigning on its behalf
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html
    Cut a deal to exempt abortion services from health care reform
        http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/21/deal-struck-on-abortion-clears-path-for-health-care-passage/
    Continued to defend the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy” from legal challenges
        http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/10/13/military.gays.appeal/
    Granted waivers for 30 companies, including McDonald’s, exempting them from health care reform
        http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-10-07-healthlaw07_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip
    Announced a  billion sale of arms to the Saudi Arabian dictatorship, the largest arms deal in history
        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20016181-503543.html
    Won the right to invoke “state secrets” protecting the Bush administration from criminal prosecution
        http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/09/08/obama/index.html
    Failed to disclose visits by industry executives while crafting health care reform legislation
        http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/22/nation/na-healthcare-talks22
    Authorized the assassination of US citizens abroad, an unprecedented declaration of executive power
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/middleeast/07yemen.html?hp
    Censored reporters covering military tribunals at Guantanamo
        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/06/93705/pentagon-bans-mcclatchy-reporter.html
    Fought for government immunity in prosecutions for domestic spying
        http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/obama-doj-worse-than-bush
    Awarded  million in government contracts to Blackwater
        http://www.thenation.com/blog/36756/blackwaters-new-sugar-daddy-obama-administration
    Dramatically increased the use of drone bombers in Pakistan, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7361630/One-in-three-killed-by-US-drones-in-Pakistan-is-a-civilian-report-claims.html
    Won the right to keep identities of prisoners at Bagram “black site” a secret
        http://pubrecord.org/world/8445/hiding-obama-administration-defending/
    Cracked down on government whistleblowers more than any President in history
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/us/politics/12leak.html?pagewanted=1&hp
    Used cluster bombs in Yemen, resulting in the deaths of 14 militants, and 35 women and children
        http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0607/US-cluster-bombs-in-Yemen-The-right-weapon-in-Al-Qaeda-fight
    Continued Bush policy of blocking use of the Endangered Species Act to prevent climate change
        http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1897080,00.html
    Sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8389778.stm
    Gave permits to BP and other oil companies, exempting them from environmental protection laws
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14agency.html
    Appointed Lawrence Summers as his top economic adviser
        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/white-house-watch/financial-crisis/millions-of-reasons-to-doubt-s.html
    Appointed Timothy Geithner to run the Treasury
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-15/treasury-secretary-timothy-geithners-wall-street-conflict/
    Passed a massive bailout of Wall Street, at the taxpayers’ expense
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/02/opinion/02krugman.html
    Appointed Monsanto executive Michael Taylor to the FDA
        http://counterpunch.com/kenfield08142009.html
    Appointed former Monsanto lobbyist Islam Siddiqui as America’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/26/islam-siddiqui-obama-nomi_n_333972.html
    Sided with utility companies in lawsuit to stop greenhouse gas emissions
        http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/08/26/obama-stance-on-climate-suit-stuns-allies/
    Successfully protected Bush officials from prosecution for torture
        http://washingtonindependent.com/33985/in-torture-cases-obama-toes-bush-line
    Pushed for a 5 year prison term for Charles Lynch, the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary, legal under California law
        http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/21/BA1V175SB9.DTL
    Proposed a three year freeze on domestic spending, exempting cuts from the Pentagon and Homeland Security
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/26/obama-allies-struggle-to_n_436996.html
    Argued that the widespread use of Predator drones is a justifiable form of self-defense
        http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/03/drone-attacks-legit-self-defense-says-administration-lawyer/
    Revived “Prompt Global Strike” weapons system, considered too controversial by Bush Administration
        http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/obama-revives-rumsfeld-era-missile-scheme/
    Backed off on his promise to close the prison at Guantanamo
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/us/politics/26gitmo.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
    Reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage
        http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/112795-axelrod-obama-remains-opposed-gay-marriage
    Announced over  billion in loan guarantees to promote nuclear power
        http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/02/16/obama-nuclear-loan.html
    Promised  billion in military aid to Israel over the next decade
        http://www.truth-out.org/israel-seals-unprecedented-weapons-deals-with-us64373
    Successfully prosecuted child soldier Omar Khadr using evidence obtained through torture
        http://www.truth-out.org/omar-khadr-jury-hammers-final-nail-into-coffin-american-justice64718
    Granted 27 waivers to oil companies drilling in the few weeks following the Deepwater Horizon disaster
        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/07/93761/despite-spill-feds-still-giving.html
    Operated a “black site” at Bagram airbase, where the Red Cross has reported detainee abuse
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8674179.stm
    Won the right to deny habeas corpus to detainees
        http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/05/21/bagram/index.html
    Once wrote: “I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up. And I, in turn, will always try and show you the respect and candor one owes his friends and allies.”
        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/flashback_obama_white_house_re.html
    Eased restrictions on the use of child soldiers in Africa
        http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/26/why_is_obama_easing_restrictions_on_child_soldiers
    Blocked UN human rights investigations at Guantanamo
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2009072203281.html
    Launched FBI raids on antiwar activists in Chicago and Minneapolis
        http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/27/fbi_raids_homes_of_anti_war
    Used a signing statement to ignore labor and environmental standards for the IMF and World Bank
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/27/obama-issues-statement-on_n_221821.html
    Supports the coup government in Honduras
        http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2010/10/21/US-hopes-Honduras-will-come-around-on-human-rights/UPI-11691287692614/
    Reversed his position on drug reimportation to appease the pharmaceutical industry
        http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/100685-dorgan-faces-powerful-opponent-on-drug-price-provision
    Dropped charges against the CIA for destroying videotapes documenting torture of detainees
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/world/10tapes.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss
    Violated his own ban on lobbyists working for the administration
        http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/240/tougher-rules-against-revolving-door-for-lobbyists/
    Appointed Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808904575025030384695158.html

    • EH says:

      Axelrod, is that you?

    • wrybread says:

      I made a little script to digest the excellent list from here:

      Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers (link)

      Provided travel expenses to families of fallen soldiers to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB (link)

      Reversed the policy of barring media coverage during the return of fallen soldiers to Dover Air Force Base (link)

      Launched recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing transparency and allowing the public to report fraud, waste, or abuse (link)

      Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America’s Veterans (link)

      Signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides health care to 11 million kids — 4 million of whom were previously uninsured (link)

      Issued executive order to repeal Bush era restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (link)

      Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis (link)

      Developed stimulus package, which includes approx. $18 billion for nondefense scientific research and development (link)

      Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system (link)

      Issued executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay (link)

      Ended Bush administration’s CIA program of ‘enhanced interrogation methods’ by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terrorism interrogations (link)

      Increased minority access to capital (link)

      Established Credit Card Bill of Rights, preventing credit card companies from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers (link)

      Health Care Reform Bill, preventing insurance companies from denying insurance because of a pre-existing condition (link)

      Health Care Reform Bill, allowing children to remain covered by their parents’ insurance until the age of 26 (link)

      Tax cuts for up to 3.5 million small businesses to help pay for employee health care coverage (link)

      Tax credits for up to 29 million individuals to help pay for health insurance (link)

      Expansion of Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (link)

      Require health insurance plans to disclose how much of the premium actually goes to patient care (link)

      Added 4.6 billion USD to the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals (link)

      Significantly increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act (link)

      Lifted restrictions granting Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island (link)

      Eliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protect student borrowers (link)

      Increased funding for national parks and forests by 10% (link)

      Significantly expanded Pell grants, which help low-income students pay for college (link)

      Expanded hate crime law in the US to include sexual orientation through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (link)

      Provided stimulus funding to boost private sector spaceflight programs (link)

      Appointed nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (link)

      Signed financial reform law establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of everyday Americans (link)

      Signed financial reform law requiring lenders to verify applicants’ credit history, income, and employment status (link)

      Signed financial reform law prohibiting banks from engaging in proprietary trading (trading the bank’s own money to turn a profit, often in conflict with their customers’ interests) (link)

      Signed financial reform law allowing shareholders of publicly traded companies to vote on executive pay (link)

      Cut prescription drug cost for medicare recipients by 50% (link)

      Provided $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (link)

      Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees (link)

      Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history (link)

      The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009: a $789 billion economic stimulus plan (link)

      Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years (link)

      Voluntary disclosure of White House visitors for the first time in US history (link)

      Appointed first Latina to the US Supreme Court (link)

      Promoted social responsibility through creation of serve.gov, a national database of volunteer opportunities (link)

      Reversed ‘global gag rule’, allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions (link)

      Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time  (link)

      Signed New START Treaty – nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia (link)

      Increased average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg, starting in 2016 (link)

    • Jim_Satterfield says:

      We do not in fact have any alternatives in the real world. It is only in some ideological fantasy world that there is a third party candidate that voting for would be doing anything but throwing your vote away and possibly helping the Republican nominee win.

  31. EssArt says:

    It’s a little bit crazy to me that people are comparing Obama to Bush.  The Bush administration led to one of the most precipitous losses of freedoms in modern America.  Definitely toward the top of the last 100 years.  People changing over to the Republican aisle won’t change anything about that.  Vote R and watch corporate power explode.  It amazes me how short everybody’s attention span is and how little understanding there is toward this administration.  There are definitely things I strongly disagree with – this bill absolutely among them – but you can be sure that the Bush administration wouldn’t even have bothered to put that signing statement on there.  They would have immediately gone to work exploiting this law to its fullest.  We deserve a better third option, but going for an even worse one in the face of adversity is just dumb.

    • estragon_nyc says:

      Pointing out that Obama is continuing and extending Bush policies in many areas is HARDLY the same thing as saying “therefore vote Republican.”  And if you greet all criticism of the President with a constant refrain of “but the next Republican President will be even worse” it really only amounts to saying “at least this President says he feels bad about it, so keep your complaints to yourself!”  (In fact, many of Obama’s policies make it easier for the next President to be worse…like a signing statement announcing that he simply doesn’t intend to use the authority he’s just given all future Presidents.)

  32. BensFlare says:

    I read the link. I agree with all but the aid to Israel. Why do progressives disagree on this point? Israel has a far more open government that US and the country’s got our (ie the West’s) back on defense against nuclear arms & religious violence in the region. It’s money well-spent. 

    • SamSam says:

      You may or may not agree with Israel’s policies, but if you genuinely don’t know why some progressives may dislike their policies, you’ve either been under a rock or willfully ignoring the controversies. Hint, it has nothing to do with Israel’s “open government.”

      (Hmmm, I accidentally “liked” your comment when trying to reply.)

    • EH says:

      Israel has…got our (ie the West’s) back on defense against nuclear arms & religious violence in the region.

      By causing it?

  33. oldtaku says:

    This is why we’re strictly two party – so you don’t have to defend your own evil bastards, you just point at the other evil bastards and say they’re even eviler.
     

  34. Jim Saul says:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-openly-asks-nation-why-on-earth-he-would-wan,26933/

    “I have a pen and some paper right here,” Obama said Wednesday morning at a town hall meeting in Ohio. “Let’s list the pros and cons of being president. Con: There are people out there who literally want to shoot you dead. Con: We live in a country seriously considering a Newt Gingrich White House. Con: You can help 40 million Americans receive health care, sign legislation that regulates a financial system run amok, give the order to kill Osama bin Laden, help topple Muammar Qaddafi’s tyrannical regime without losing the life of one American soldier, end the war in Iraq, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, stave off a second Great Depression, take out more than 30 top al- Qaeda leaders, and somehow everyone still calls you the next Jimmy Carter.”

    “Can anyone out there name a pro?” continued Obama, gesturing at the silent crowd with his pen. “That’s okay. I asked a bunch of people in Pittsburgh the same exact question yesterday, and they couldn’t, either.”

  35. Sirkowski says:

    Bullshit. This website is full of half truths, omissions and right out lies. Wanna bet a Paultard is behind this?

    • Jon_Wake says:

      So you’re saying he *didn’t* extend the Patriot Act and assassinate an American citizen?  Is that your position?

      • Jim_Satterfield says:

        So he shouldn’t take any actions against a known, self-admitted terrorist in another country if he was born in the United States and is taking refuge in a place we can’t simply arrest him? Would you scream just as loudly about a covert operation going into that country without their permission to arrest him? Is that your position?

  36. Rob C says:

    Cory – “…same as the old boss”? Really? Did you mean to go that far? 

  37. cholten99 says:

    From a non-American perspective he’s been a fairly average president who’s probably done the best he can with a non-sane opposition and a party that is just as owned by monied interests.

    He’s done a good enough job for now with the health care bill, done well for LGBT issues and sneaked in a few other good bits and pieces. Where he has totally been a failure is in civil liberties issues which is awful when he was previously a constitutional scholar.

    Ed Brayton from Freethough Blogs has a good analysis here.

  38. I have been disappointed in Obama on many points however he did manage to keep McCain/Palin out of the Whitehouse.

  39. dcamsam says:

    This rhetoric is even more idiotic today than it was in 2000, as we know from that election exactly how well it works to achieve the goals of the left.

  40. bo1n6bo1n6 says:

    I’m still pissed Al Gore never got to be president.

  41. GrrrlRomeo says:

    Obama is just a centrist, moderate Democrat.

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Before Bush, enabling torture would have been considered extremist and right-wing. Now Obama has given it bipartisan credibility, and it is considered moderate and centrist.

      Maybe we need to redefine moderate. War is not moderate. Torture is not moderate. Robbing the poor and bailing out the rich is not moderate. Destroying the environment is not moderate. A center between political institutions which all enable these things is not moderate.

      • Jim_Satterfield says:

        Where has Obama enabled torture?

      • GrrrlRomeo says:

        “Moderate” is a relative term. It’s definition is inseparable from whatever the current condition is. Continuing a war that is already ongoing is moderate.

        The problem, in my opinion, is that people think that moderate means sensible and radical means crazy. Not true. Moderate just means keeping things more or less the same, with minor reforms to the left or right and radical means abrupt change.Extremism describes tactics–the lengths you will go to to get your way. I mean, look at the people that opposed health care reform. They protested and used extreme rhetoric because they wanted health care to stay the same. They weren’t seeking change, but the status quo.

        And just so we’re all clear, I am not a fan of the center. I believe radical change is sometimes necessary. But I never believed Obama was going to deliver radical change.

  42. Rather than jump into the long discussion above. I’d like to talk about the fact that neither site is really a good news source, and mention one other. This week, I’ve been debunking stories (including an impending war) on Facebook for a friend who looks things up, and then says, “That can’t be right, can it?”

    Here’s the thing: sites like those are very carefully designed to be easy for your brain to eat. White on Blue – look it’s Democratic! A single, clear statement, nothing much to think about, and it’s in print, so it MUST be true. Down below, in pale blue and a much smaller font, a link to the source. They really don’t expect you to follow it – but if you’re responsible, you should.

    There’s a danger to sites like these. Other people will sometimes take their poorly researched “facts” and re-report them on more “newsy” seeming sites. The other day, The Punk Patriot did just that. He ranted and raved, and blamed all of “lazy” America for our problems (“You suck! You don’t vote!”), but he himself was just as guilty of being lazy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dFGDs8zNGA (yep, that’s him)
    The whole time, The Punk Patriot was reading off the above site about all the things that Obama had supposedly done. So I went to the site. I read one note. I clicked one time. This was the quote: ”Continued the practice of indefinite detentions for alleged terrorists.”  I clicked to the source. It was linked to a Washington Post article that explained how Obama had inherited the problem from Bush, that only some detentions are indefinite and those that are may be because of information garnered through torture practices which occurred while Bush was president leaving Obama to inherit people who are deemed too dangerous to release, but impossible to fairly try. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/21/AR2009052104045.html

    The statement is deliberately worded to be derogatory, inflammatory and sound as though ALL alleged terrorists will be held indefinitely. It’s intentionally mis-directive, and sounds as though the President made the choice independently. If The Punk Patriot wasn’t lazy he’d have spent five minutes figuring that information out as well. If he was a responsible reporter, he’d have done his job. Unfortunately, not every guy on the internet is thoroughly researching his political webcasts. You have to be diligent about where and how you get your information – preferably by checking more than one source. So, while it may be an evening’s entertainment (and good for discussion) to have sites these available, please be careful, and check your facts!

    • Jim_Satterfield says:

      Thank you for a rational post pointing out facts in a reasonable manner.

    • Jon_Wake says:

      So rather than have any legal basis for detention, we just have to take the word of the government that these people are impossible to try? Seriously?  Have you seen how many people we put in prison?

      • Wow, thanks for really focusing on the important part of what I wrote.

        In response: I never said that I fully agreed or disagreed with either statement. What I said was that the single statement linked directly to a source that gave a more full discussion of the topic, and that the single statement was worded in such a way as to direct the reader toward this conclusion – that ALL alleged terrorists were going to be held indefinitely and that it was purely Obama’s choice to do so.

        Please. Don’t try try to put words in my mouth, and read more carefully.

        Hey, THAT was my point!

        :)

  43. princeminski says:

    Isn’t it tons more fun to Republicans in charge so you can just wring your hands and be above it all? People tend to forget what a letdown President Kennedy was in lefty circles back before the 1963 election.

  44. MrJM says:

    For those of us who are more than a bit disappointed in Barack Obama, it is worth reminding ourselves of the alternative. Ladies and gentlemen, Senator John McCain:

    We needed to keep residual force there. That was what the Bush administration envisioned. And that is what we should have done.

    http://goo.gl/kp3NQ

    But it’s true that Barack Obama is guilty of failing to be a magical messiah.

  45. Oran Kelley says:

    Reading these comments really makes me sad at how deeply, deeply stupid my fellow leftists can be. Let us all cast our minds back to the year 2000 when so many folks on the left were telling us there was no difference between Bush and Gore and the only real choice was Nader. Bush won because Nader was in the race in Florida. And we found out pretty dramatically what the difference between Bush and Gore was. Was it the difference between black and white? No. But it was an appreciable difference. A difference we’re only now recovering from.

    If you don’t understand how politics works, if you don’t understand how the three branches of government interact, if you are just too preoccupied with television or video games to actually make an honest attempt to come to grip with politics and the fact that it is fraught front to back and all up and down with compromise, please just shut the hell up about it.

    Want to flex your democratic muscles and show what is politically possible political radicals? How about winning over a few state legislatures to your new third choice party? How about putting in some congressmen and senators and governors? We all know this won’t happen, and we all know that the only president a third, leftist choice can help put in is a Republican one. So be honest with yourselves leftists and say why you prefer the eventual Republican nominee (Romney? Santorum?) to Obama.

    • Jon_Wake says:

      Bush won because 12% of Democrats in Florida voted for him. 

      • Oran Kelley says:

        12% of FL Dems also votes for McCain and Obama won. 12% party crossover looks like it wasn’t the decisive factor.

        • wysinwyg says:

          If 12% of dems voting FOR Bush AGAINST Gore wasn’t a decisive factor then the 1% of dems voting FOR Nader AGAINST Bush could not possibly have been the decisive factor either.

          Absolutely blows my mind that you are blaming Nader voters and making excuses for the dems who actually voted directly for the boogeyman himself (and hence against Gore).

  46. Snig says:

    Every American who doesn’t vote for Obama is de facto voting for Romney.  Or Santorum or Gingrich.  Maybe for the next eight years.  Familiarize yourself with their positions so you can be comfortable with that decision.  You may find yourself wishing for the good old days of Cheney being in power. 

    • Jon_Wake says:

      I’m really, really getting sick of Democrats acting like Republicans.  Criticism in necessary for any democratic system to work.  You people seem to want all those nasty haters to just shut their mouths. For the betterment of the world, don’chaknow.

      Where have I heard that bullshit before?

      • Snig says:

        You know who really acts like Republicans?  Republicans.  I don’t think it’s wrong to criticize or protest him.  Obama isn’t the one who arrested people for the wrong t-shirt.  In 2000, they criticized by voting for Nader(Bush).  That was less than helpful.   So if you’re not voting for him, I hope you enjoy hearing President Romney’s state of the union.

        • Jon_Wake says:

          People are protesting and criticizing him right here and you’re telling them to shut up or the Republicans will win.  Back when Bush was in power, we were told to shut up or the Terrorists will win.  Different lyrics, same tune.

          I know how Obama could get my vote: how about he not assassinate people, bomb foreign nations without oversight, and stop extensions of the Patriot Act.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m not requesting a 180 turn in policy, but for fucks sake, stop making it worse! 

          • Snig says:

            Again, I’m not telling you to shut up.  I, also not shutting up, am making what I think is an important point.  Maybe it’s not betterment of the world.  If you can’t imagine it getting worse, you are naive.  I’m recommending you vote for  him, as not voting for him will make it worse.  If you disagree, please explain how a Republican administration would improve any of the issues you mentioned. 

          • wysinwyg says:

            Are you saying voting Democrat will make it better, Snig?  Or is the best argument you have that the Democrats will make it worse marginally more slowly?

            I’m really sick of people making this argument accusing others of being naive.  Here’s a wiki article for you guys:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_column

          • Snig says:

            #wysinwyg
            I know what a fifth column is, not sure why you bring it up.  You want to undermine the US?  Good luck with that.

            I think things are very bad, we have an unsustainable environmental and economic policy which has lead to wealth disparity and may lead to economic collapse.  Things are likely to get worse.  I think things will get worse regardless who is in office, but Democrats are approaching with some  solutions, whereas Republicans don’t believe the environment is a problem, and seem more based on insulating the moneyed vs. protecting society.  At this moment we have a binary choice for the presidenc, one which is slightly better than the other.  There is not currently a third choice.  There are many things you can do to make the world a better place.  Yes, you sound naive.

    • wysinwyg says:

      Look out!   Boogeyman’s gonna GETCHA!

      First of all, if Gore had been elected in 2000 there would still have been an Iraq war, Gore would have been pushed way to the right and all you Nader-haters would have been terribly disappointed and disillusioned.  Why not THANK the Nader voters for helping to preserve your child-like innocence and charming naivete with regard to how the world works?

      Second of all, you should familiarize yourself with Romney’s policies as governor of Massachusetts.  His administration was more liberal than Obama’s (and yes, I understand there’s a reason for that besides Romney’s own politics).  Oh, and he developed the health-care law that makes it a crime not to have a policy with a for-profit insurance company that was later modified into a national policy widely known as “Obamacare”.  Might want to consider that when you’re bragging about Obama’s vaunted healthcare policy.  (We all know how liberal it is to pass laws forcing people to buy certain products whether or not they want to.) 

      • Snig says:

        And Nader would have been so effective a president.  It’s unthinkable that the Republicans wouldn’t have conceded to his purity of thought and helped forge a more perfect union.  A Nader voter calling others naive?  Precious.  Had Nader reached his magical 5%, how would that have helped besides stroking his vanity? 

        Used to live in Massachusetts, am aware of Mitt’s  record.  He had two Democratic legislatures, had they been Republican, it’s anyone’s guess what would have happened.  He governed more conservatively than he campaigned.  He’s been running away from the positive things he did ever since.  If he can rise about partisanship to lead effectively, where was his support for universal health care when Obama was being pilloried as a socialist? 

        Interesting thought on Iraq, but don’t get your thinking.  The Iraq push  was largely based on Cheney, the assassination attempt on George the elder and the Bush Neocons.  Had the White House not been pushing for the Iraq war, why would it have happened?   Who else was pushing for it?  Yes, we might be in the same war with Pakistan and Afghanistan that we’re in now, but don’t follow your thinking on Iraq.

        Also, would you rather have a Sotomayor or a Clarence Thomas clone on the Supreme court?

        • wysinwyg says:

          I never said I was a Nader voter.  In fact, I was 17 in 2000.  I never even said it was a good idea to vote Nader.  I’m just pointing out the simple and obvious fact that Bush was elected by people who voted for Bush, not by people who voted for Nader.  If Nader voters had stayed home Bush would still have been elected.

          Gore supporters seem to ignore the fact that Gore spent the entire 2000 election TRYING to look like Bush.  There was pretty much only one substantive policy difference between them which was that Bush was in favor of privatizing social security.  If Gore had won the election you wouldn’t have had the liberal progressive creator of “An Inconvenient Truth,” you would have had a sheisty Tennessee Democratic machine politician.  Gore wasn’t a real progressive until his political career got sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics.

          Had the White House not been pushing for the Iraq war, why would it have happened?   Who else was pushing for it?

          The DoD, Lockheed, Boeing, the firm formerly known as Blackwater, and a couple hundred other military and intelligence contractors, the Israeli government.  You know, the people who actually run the U.S.A.  Stop falling for “great man” political narratives.  Decisions in this country are made by committee (and no, the sessions are not on CSPAN).

          Also, would you rather have a Sotomayor or a Clarence Thomas clone on the Supreme court?

          Neither, I want some freaking liberals on the supreme court.   This is exactly the problem.  I shouldn’t have to be happy about an authoritarian like Sotomayor getting nominated just because “the alternative was worse.”  If you consistently support the lesser of two evils you’re still supporting evil.  And that’s part of why your stupid boogeyman arguments are wasted on me.

          • Snig says:

            Having lived under Reagan, Clinton,  Carter, Nixon,  Ford and the Bushes, and having read on their predecessors, I will tell you there’s a difference.  Al Franken, Barney Frank and Kucinich are not coming close to the presidency anytime soon, mores the pity.  If you can’t tell the difference between Gore and Bush, you need to read more, and you should have listened to their debates.  Some  of the bogeymen you mentioned are either kept in check by a democratic president or given the keys to the kingdom by a republican.  And the Israeli government runs the US?  Really?   Just them, or all the Elders of Zion? 

            I don’t fall for “great men”, I assume everyone running for office has a big chunk of megalomania and other flavors of madness, and knew, regardless of  who ran, with the economy in free fall, that bad times were ahead.   I assumed Obama would try to make the world a little bit better, and slow  the active process of making it worse.  I cheerfully see environmental, social and political catastrophe in much of our futures, and believe someone with more focus on citizens rather than corporations should be running the world.  Again, if you can’t tell the difference between repubs and dems, read more.  I’ve known community activists and corporate raiders/venture fund folk.  The priorities are different, no matter what you think.

      • EH says:

        First of all, if Gore had been elected in 2000 there would still have been an Iraq war

        Why do you say that? Would 9/11 have happened if Gore was in office?

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Second of all, you should familiarize yourself with Romney’s policies as governor of Massachusetts.

        But he’s repudiated everything that he did while in office (while still using his term as ‘experience’ on his electoral resumé.)

  47. brianary says:

    For me, it isn’t so much what he hasn’t gotten to, or has been prevented from by an obstructionist congress, it’s the stuff that’s been actively terrible: signing the NDAA AFTER it was exposed for ending habeus corpus, denying more FOIA requests than the last Bush, leaving Guantanimo open, mistreatment of Bradley Manning, continued rendition & torture, commanding PayPay & Amazon to cut off Wikileaks, crackdowns on legal marijuana, perfunctory WhiteHouse.gov petitions, putting a Hollywood shill in as IP (artificial scarcity) “Czar” and other “crony capitalism” (foxes running henhouses) http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/101143.html And make no mistake, he’ll sign SOPA/PIPA.

    cc @flitzy:disqus @boingboing-60c530d611f7017ba51093527ac1ee3d:disqus

  48. Gideon Jones says:

    You could already be detained without trial indefinitely due to a law passed by the Bush administration in 2001 and upheld by the courts a few years later.  This ‘reaffirmation’ of that earlier law was designed by the GOP to piss some of Obama’s base off (the ones who don’t know how anything works), and that’s it.  It doesn’t actually change the law or make something new possible.

    Moreover, I honestly gotta ask whether you even understand that Obama was opposed to that provision?  He repeatedly stated that he thought it was wrong, and unconstitutional, and that he wanted congress to remove it from the bill.  But they didn’t, and he can’t just take a sharpie to the bill and take out the parts he doesn’t want.

  49. Do you know math? From what I understand, 86 > 66. Obama could not have stopped the NDAA, since the votes would have simply overridden his veto. 

    But good job, putting all the responsibility on him.

  50. jackwilliambell says:

    That’s why you veto the whole thing, if it has something toxic in it. 

    If this was a one-time thing where Obama had to sign it or else see the government collapse, that’s one thing. When there is a pattern of Obama signing bills with such provisions (not to mention various questionalble presidential directives), it is quite another. 

    And then there is what he hasn’t done. For example, why hasn’t Obama ordered his attorney general to prosecute the directors of the big banks under the RICO act? Even if it wouldn’t fly, it would certainly set the stage for some much-needed reform and direct the public debate down a path that would be favorable to his own re-election. But he hasn’t even made noises about doing something like this. Why?

  51. Gideon Jones says:

    As I said, you apparently don’t understand what’s going on.  That wasn’t a separate bill that Obama could veto.  It was inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act, which is the yearly bill that funds the entire Department of Defense.  

    Vetoing it wouldn’t have been good, and more importantly, with 96 senators voting for the bill, his veto wouldn’t have stood.  

  52. Gideon Jones says:

    Jack- because as plenty of people have pointed out, the stuff Wall-Street did wasn’t illegal for the most part, thanks to 3 decades of deregulation.  

  53. jackwilliambell says:

    Gideon - That’s why I said ‘under the RICO act’. Maybe what they did wasn’t technically illegal, but the RICO act is kind of weird. (In fact I don’t like it much at all, but it would allow prosecution and attendent discovery by claiming they were working together to bilk purchasers of mortgage-backed securities.)
    Besides, my point isn’t that he should prosecute with the intent of winning. It is that he should be showing he is willing to prosecute them because they are assholes and ought to be punished for crashing the economy. Like I said, it would be good for his re-election campaign. 

    What would this cost him politically? If the Republicans were to oppose such a prosecution, it would hurt them. There is no way it could hurt Obama. You know he and his staff are smart enough to have thought of all this.

    But he hasn’t even tested the political waters by floating the idea…

  54. EH says:

    Sorry Gideon, you tipped your hand with the “Wall Street stuff wasn’t illegal!” talking point.

  55. I actually have been writing a series of “bad online new sources” on Facebook and this was one. Thank you for knowing that Bush left the detainees (and several other messes) in Obama’s lap. 

  56. Gideon Jones says:

    Pretty much.  You’d think something covered by Schoolhouse Rock would have sunk in… but apparently not.  

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