Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obama's Campaign Promises

Like all candidates, President Obama made promises during the 2008 campaign, and like all candidates he delivered on some, partly delivered on some and failed on others. Also, like all voters we imagine he promised far more than he actually did. Right now I'd like to remind you of some of the promises that were kept and invite you to think about whether these would have happened under President McCain or Romney.

Obama promised:

  • To get out of Iraq. We're out.
  • To focus on al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Afghanistan. Bin Laden is dead, al Qaeda leaders are dying like flies, and the Taliban have been pushed back in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • To end 'Don't Ask Don't Tell.' It is gone.
  • To enact universal health care. It is enacted. The next step: 'Medicare for All.'
  • To cut taxes for the middle class. The stimulus contained the largest middle class tax cut in history.
  • To support green energy. PG&E, my utility provider, just sent me a chart of energy supplies. Renewables are 18%, compared with 19% for hydro, 22% for nuclear, and 25% for natural gas. In other words, renewables are almost as big as any other supply! And it is not just California. I flew across the country last May. Looking out the window I saw an America dotted with wind farms. Wind is the fastest growing energy supply in the US and now provides 3% of all US electricity.
  • To re-regulate the financial industry. Legislation has been passed, a consumer protection agency created, and government oversight strengthened.
  • To increase manufacturing. US manufacturing is up about 50%.
  • To turn the financial crisis around. Then the Dow was 8,000. Now it is over 13,000. Then we were losing 750,000 jobs a month, now we are gaining 100,000 or more. Then the financial sector was technically bankrupt, now it is much more stable. Then GDP was down about 9% for the year, now it is up 2% or more. Then two of the three US auto companies were headed for destruction, now GM is once again, for the first time in a long time, the biggest car maker in the world. Oh, and US companies are as profitable as they have ever been.
  • To focus on bringing loose nuclear material under control. This is vital to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack on American cities, the second worst national security issue we face today (the first is the Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals). All around the world, over the last few years, poorly secured nuclear materials have been identified and either secured locally or, in many cases, shipped to the US for safekeeping. This may have been Obama's most important act, and one for which he will never get much credit.
Obviously, there is a lot more to do, so if you want these sorts of things to keep happening, vote for President Obama and other Democrats this November.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Romney Takes Deceit to New Lows

In a speech a few weeks ago, President Obama said "You didn't build that," where 'you' referred to business people and 'that' clearly referred to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure built by the government (see Cleaver editing of a video of the speech made it sound as if 'that' referred to businesses, which are obviously built by businessmen.  This edited video was played endlessly on Fox News and campaign videos with the inevitable nauseating commentary.

Taking sound bites out of context is pretty common in election year politics, but what happened next took deceit to a new level.  When the fact checkers called Romney's campaign out on this, instead of backing away they made 'you didn't build it' a central theme of their convention and their election campaign.

You can win elections with deceit and you can run tyrannies with deceit, but you cannot govern well with deceit.  Keep this in mind this November and vote.