WORLD VIEW: The Obama legacy A+

 
753Views 100Comments Posted 12/01/2016

By Jonathan Power

MAKE NO MISTAKE Barack Obama is going to go down in history as one of the great American presidents. At home he has confronted poverty, ill-health, racism, gun laws, unemployment, immigration and the criminal justice system- with amazing tenacity, sometimes to great effect, even though the Republicans have fought him tooth and nail over every attempt at reform.

The economy is striding along, shaming Europe. Abroad he has had to struggle on multiple fronts- more than any other recent president. There are problems, especially in the Middle East, that would - and will- defeat any president. But there is a clear narrative running through Obama’s foreign policy, one that makes a lot of sense. What is most clear is the honoring of the commitment he made in his Nobel Peace Prize speech at the onset of his presidency to lowering America’s propensity to use its military might.

His presidency began with his attempt to get relations with Russia back on an even keel. A good deal was made with President Vladimir Putin on further mutual reductions in nuclear arms. He concluded the withdrawal of the majority of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq (170,000 down to 1,000 in Iraq and 100,000 down to 10,000 in Afghanistan).

Later came his frustrating- and frustrated effort to help the Arab Spring along. He navigated its perilous air currents when it went wrong and faced up to the Syrian civil war and the appearance of ISIS. But the fact is in the volatile Middle East the US has a limited ability to influence events when rich Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar can provide their neighbors both money and sophisticated weapons. He continued with successful diplomacy that led to the recognition of Cuba and to severely limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  Along the way the UN’s peacekeeping arm was significantly strengthened and a civilized discourse with China was pursued, despite tension over islands in the South and East China seas.

The mistakes are there for all to see- going into Libya along with the Europeans, nearly going into Syria and a poor sense of fine-tuning in the first days of the Arab Spring. But the commitment made in Oslo shines  through most of the time

I take three of the main issues:

  •    Syria: When General David Petraeus was CIA chief he, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta tried to persuade Obama to ship in small arms to selected groups of the Syrian opposition. Obama asked the CIA to produce a paper on how often in the past US arms had succeeded in helping rebels oust hostile governments. The answer: not very often. That confirmed Obama’s doubts.

Unfortunately, two years later Obama was seriously tempted to send in the military. In the end he had to do a public somersault, despite his staff egging him on to bomb. The Pentagon had warned him that if he began bombing he should be prepared for escalation. He looked indecisive and uncertain- a label which critics have unfairly tied firmly round his neck. This time he was uncertain but mostly, if we are honest, he is not. But he learnt his lesson with the Syria decision- he should stay true to his fundamental beliefs and not listen to the powerful shout from both without and within his administration, “Do something and do it now”.

He is unlikely to return to the “bomb Syria” option. Even with Russia entering the fray he has told his colleagues not to look at Russia’s action through a Cold War prism.ISIS: He has had no compunction or second thoughts about bombing ISIS, the ultra-fundamentalist Sunni movement, which emerged only in 2014, the bastard child of the Iraq war. In my opinion there are less violent ways of combatting ISIS successfully, nevertheless Obama has had good cause in “just war” theory for what he is doing. Sensibly in Vienna the US is talking to both Russia and Iran about what to do with both Syria and ISIS.

  • Ukraine: Obama and the European leaders made serious early mistakes, showing a lack of flexibility in dealing with Russia’s age-long economic interests in Ukraine. They got drawn into supporting violent neo-fascist demonstrators (who mingled among the non-violent ones) who successfully upset the political apple cart with the deposing of President Viktor Yankovych. But the subsequent Russian take-over of Crimea and the Russian military support for the eastern and southern rebels have been dealt with cool calculation. Despite some wild talk in Nato’s HQ about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, no large numbers of Russian troops have appeared and no serious weapons have been sent by the West to the Ukrainian army. Today Ukraine is being hung out to dry by both Obama and Putin until it gets its economy in order and parliament passes the necessary devolution acts, giving the east and the south a good measure of self-governance.
  • Russia: At some point in the last 12 months of his presidency Obama will find a way to forge a reconciliation with Putin.  The Iran nuclear success brought them together. ISIS is doing it again. It wouldn’t surprise me if they find their way to a new round of nuclear weapons’ cuts.

Will Obama leave the world better than he found it? Partly yes, partly no. There is less American military intervention. The number of “boots on the ground” is very small. But in total there are more serious problems than there were seven years ago- none of them his making. A successor will find it very hard to do better and will probably do worse.



Comments 100

user
Jack

Who wrote this article, Michelle?

2 years ago
user
Isthmuse

Your distaste for the facts arguments and conclusions in the article are not a reason to conceal it. Instead of whining put forward a fact based and reasoned argument refuting the article. The fact that the piece has been there so long without you or your ilk doing so is the best endorsement of the piece.

3 years ago
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Fred

PLEASE take this piece of pure propaganda down. It does nothing to give facts or educate. It has been daily running for weeks. It is 'way past time to bury it's carcass. It has a nasty odor.

3 years ago
user
Isthmuse

Most illuminating! Thank you!

3 years ago
user
Claude Jones

You apparently wouldn't know a fact if it bit you in the ass.

3 years ago
user
Isthmuse

The way that I expressed my views accurately reflects my opinions. No I'm afraid I don't follow your logic!

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

I think that I must be partisan then because I disagree with The Obamanites 95% of the time. So you may be right. Didn't use to be that way 20 and more years ago before the hard core left took over the Democratic Party. I only disagreed 60% of the time.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Let's see. What is commensurate and relevant to your comments...as follow.. Society, government and economics are complex issues requiring assimilation and analysis ( Republicans are too stupid to be able to do this). Rightwing Obamaphobes have simple binary minds that have to condense issues into childish fairy tales. Conservative radio and Fox News are just rabble rousers feeding prejudice. Were all all Obamaphobes getting a fact free diet of sound bites with no substance. We're blind ignorant and simple minded idiots. And most amusing.. I engage in in unsubstantiated name calling. So do understand now why you're fair game for insults.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

I'm not an Obama phobe. I don't fear him. I just hate almost every thing about his political character, his policies. His hard_left vision for a America. It's a matter of hate, not fear.

3 years ago
user
Jon Kemper

Thats not a rant. It's a reasoned, deliberate well considered response as you like to consider your remarks.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Facts and reason to you and your ilk are indeed 'delusional crap' as you do not have the mental capacity to deal with them and therefore have to resort to trash talking and name calling.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

You really don't have it. The facts I quoted were simply correcting crbob's grossly inaccurate claim that Bush left a Gross Federal Debt of $5trillion whereas in fact he left close to $12 trillion. If you wish to compare performance then you have to look at Gross Federal Debt as a % of GDP in which respect Bush and the other Rebublican presidents have been a disaster. There is a longer post responding to Richard Charron which sets out the relative performance which it is obvious you will not understand.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Read my comments and you will find plent of facts.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Exactly!

3 years ago
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Claude Jones

LOL! Pure delusion! I hope you have a competent keeper.

3 years ago
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Claude Jones

So, according to your figures, Obama is no better, in fact a lot worse, than Bush. Got it. Thanks.

3 years ago
user
Claude Jones

Perhaps you should set the example by posting an occasional fact.

3 years ago
user
Claude Jones

That would be simply replying to you on your own level.

3 years ago
user
Claude Jones

LOL! Wow! I've read some delusional crap over the years, but this has to be the all time champ. Even more entertaining are the Obama butt lickers who attack their intellectual superiors. High entertainment indeed.

3 years ago
user
Isthmuse

Was the light an approaching car?

3 years ago
user
Isthmuse

I seem to have missed the bit in the article that explains your comment 'Johnson was a Democrat. Explanation enough.' or that explains how the Democrats were responsible for the demise of Social Security!

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

Just for info, I come from a Family of Democrats. I Was once a registered Democrat. Let's say I saw the light. Lol

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Thank you for your expanded response, Mr. Lawrence. You have revealed to me that you differ from charron only by your ability to state in a clear-minded manner your unvarnished bias regarding the US Democratic party. " ... has the ideology of the democrats written all over it." Your response has your negative ideology written all through it. I have nothing 'against' a man supporting his ideology because that's what we do. You support your comment with off-topic blather such as "Just take a look at the major cities that are in ruin, ie: Detroit, that have been under Democrat control for decades and you will see the result of the failed polices of the Democrats." IMO Detroit was sold down the river by GM ... building vehicles nobody wanted. Detroit built junk that was bested by Japan. Bush was willing to allow an entire industry to fail and failed because a DEMOCRATIC President saved an entire nation from economic ruin. Any idea how many auto-related jobs were saved by President Obama. How many auto service -related companies were 'rescued' from failed policies of yo'boy Buch? No. Only one 'side of the room' has failed miserably. It is the Repub side. More later, Lawrence.

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/two-successes-and-failure-of-social-security/ The article is very interesting. True that republicans have contributed to the downfall of SS, as well as to the government downfall in general, but this article has the ideology of the dmocrats written all over it. Just take a look at the major cities that are in ruin, ie: Detroit, that have been under Democrat control for decades and you will see the result of the failed polices of the Democrats. I concede that both sides of the isle are failing miserably, but let's be honest, Democrats lead the charge n that regard. BTW, I am not a Republican.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Was it not a Democrat, FDR, who introduced Social Security?

3 years ago
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Garlicball

I see ... short on an answer and long on bullshit? "Johnson was a Democrat. Explanation enough." That's all you got? I am disappointed, Lawernce. Thought you had more under the hood.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

It's a very reasonable question. Give some details of how Johnson started 'it'!

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

Johnson was a Democrat. Explanation enough.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Don't make me repeat myself. You say "The Democrats are responsible for the begining of the SS demise..." and I say, show me the facts. I am not disputing your statement. I need to know where to go to get the facts. Help me, here.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Get well soon!

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

If it were left as designed, there would be a ton more money there. Enough money to better the return the investment of the contributors. As it stands now, the beaurcrats have gotten so used to spending it, that it is not feasible that it will ever be repaid. The Democrats are responsible for the begining of the SS demise and the career politicians are all guilty of the continued decline. Try taking candy from a baby.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

If by "cherry picking" you mean accurately extracting relevant factual data then I am proud to plead guilty although I cannot speak for all liberals (as you do) or claim to be one. I understand that to the right wing mentality facts that do not fit in with their simpleminded narrative are spin. For me facts are facts. I very much doubt that 70% of the public are aware of the facts I set out let alone understand them or their implications. Sub-prime lending (to which I presume you refer) was misguidedly encouraged during the Clinton administration, however, it was the explosive expansion during the Bush Administraion with Bush's HUD appointees that the real damage was done that led to the crisis as I hope the nice picture illustrates. I don't claim to represent anyone other than myself and the truth although I note how as usual you try to fit me into the simple minded binary right wing narrative to which you and your ilk are so attached. I imagine the closure of Walmart stores may be related to the enormous expansion of online shopping in the private enterprise system that I imagine (but don't know) you favor; I certainly do. If this is the best example you can find to try and trash talk the economy then you are really demonstrating the opposite. The labor force participation rate only applies to people of working age so your figure is significantly overstated. Why do you assume that the 2% are looking for jobs but unable to find them? The structure of the labor market is changing with more opportunities to find self employment.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

So in your mind ... spending democrats were totally responsible for the rape of the SS fund? I'd like you to provide more here. What you allege is true but your finger-pointing makes this opinion suspect.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

When Obama was elected the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate so your first sentence is largely true but not because "Republicans were afraid not to work with him" as you then state. As an example of the Republicans' desire to work with Obama I presume you are referring to Mitch McConnell's assertion of their objective to make Obama a one term President which they sought to do with total mindless obstructionism.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

I re-read your comment on my reasoned explanation of the nature of the right wing mentality. Your response comprised a childish mockery of my vocabulary and an ad hominem attack ie "So I wonder why your (sic) such a dimwit at history." What history? All of it? Why? Some of your responses to other contributors "You've got all the writing skills and charm of an 8th grader." "You dont (sic) know how to write. You smear your crap on outhouse walls and you think its fingerpaint. Then you imagine that its (sic) poetry." Your responses rather prove the point of my contribution as it applies to you. Your disconnection from reality extends to accusing others of that of which you are guilty. You should read your response and apply it to yourself. It certainly has little to do with what I wrote. My responses to you have been commensurate with and relevant to your comments.

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

Social Security was basically undone when Lyndon Johnson decided to take money from it. SS was supposed to be separate from the government coffers, but the spending Democrats could not resist the growing and lucrative funds.

3 years ago
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Sarah

Thank you Jon Kemper. Well said. I really thought I'd left the Soros group with their demands that everyone bow to their point of view (as they think they are the ONLY intellectuals & elites in the universe) when I moved here. I know it's an election year but really, unless you can quote facts & source, not your superior opinion & insults Lefties, please discuss or don't respond. You do nothing to clarify the issues. Accept we live in different universes. Conservative thinkers pay for the social tampering the Socialists vote to fund in spite of our protests. Isn't that the basic difference?

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

== disagree with you and you accuse them of partisanship == I accuse of partisanship anyone who asserts that Obama has zero accomplishments. Do you think calling Obama's administration "a total disaster" smacks of partisanship, or is that a balanced, nonpartisan view?

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Time for a reset.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

If you and your fellow leftie on this blog were able to dialogue and debate without insulting those with different opinions it would be one thing. But instead you try to show off. I dont care if you hate conservatism. I dont care if you hate Cheney and Bush. It doesnt matter if you dislike Cruz Trump etc. You might love everything from media matters and have disdain for Fox News. So what, Give them all intelligent criticisms. Even insults if your spleen needs venting. But grow up and stop insulting contributers to this blog. If you're that bright you have no need to act respond like an 8th grader. Try convincing your opponents instead of insulting. Raise your game. Youd be surprised. One can have friendships with those they disagree with and learn from them. I was a lefty once, hadclose friends who were Marxists. I still like them. But I tuned into this blog and see nothing but the divisiveness that you and Pedasi Paul create at the same time you complain about divisiveness. Ironic , sad.

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

Cherry picking numbers is what Liberals excel in. I'm too busy to refute each and every statistic you posted but suffice to say the American public are not buying your spin as in excess of 70% of the public think this guy's administration has been a disaster. Just to clarify one detail for you spinmeister, the economy Bush inherited was ripe with problems caused by the Liberals stuffing unqualified people into over priced homes creating a financial bubble of which Bush had no control. We won't even discuss Katrina or September 11th. BTW middle class America which I assume you attempt to represent has suffered an average pay decrease of over $3,000 in the last 7 years. This morning Walmart disclosed the closing of hundreds of stores and laying off over 10,000 people. Great economy huh! If you think a drop of 2% in the labor participation rate is no big deal you are heartless. Do the math 2% of 350 million is a hell of a lot of people who can't find jobs.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Well said! Who were you talking about?

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

I am sorry that the words I use are long and unfamiliar to your limited vocabulary and that the longest words that you know are those that you invent yourself. There is nothing wrong with you being simpleminded so long as you remember that it is a handicap and not a privilege. Better that you do not publicize your simplemindedness with unsubstantiated name calling.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Bush inherited peace, a strong economy, a budget surplus and a Gross Federal Debt of $5.8tn which was 54.7% of GDP. Bush left the greatest recession since the Great Depression, unemployment at 10%, a huge and growing budget deficit and Gross Federal Debt at $11.9tn (a 105% increase) which was 82.6% of GDP (a 51% increase). Year......... GFD $bn...........GDP$bn.........GFD as % GDP 2001..........5,807.5........... 10,621.5.........,54.7% 2009........11,909.8............14,418.7..........82.6% 2015........18,150.6............ 17,985.0.......100.9% Six years into the Obama presidency unemployment has halved and the economy has recovered to be the strongest in the developed world. Gross Federal Debt has increased by 52% (70% extrapolated to 8 years) to 100.9% of GDP and declining. Bush inherited a great economic situation and turned it into a disaster. Obama inherited a disastrous economic situation and has turned it round. The Labor Participation Rate at 12/15 was 62.6% and 64.6% at 12/09 - big deal! I am sorry the facts do not fit your prejudices and that you are forced to resort to gross approximations, vague factually unsubstantiated assertions, desperate searches for negative data supporting your prejudices and prophecies of doom. I am sorry the real world does not fit into the simpleminded fact free abstraction that you use to try to make sense of things. It must be very stressful for you.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Wow, you must be a cybernetic_electro_ psychoneurologist to know those big words. Sure glad you could explain to this robot why he's such a simple minded conservative. You must have clairvoyance and omniscience and nutrition expertise too. Amazing. So I wonder why your such a dimwit at history.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

This is all he (Isthmuse) needs.

3 years ago
user
Jon Kemper

Put yourself in a room of mirrors. You'll go insane in 5 minutes troll. You've got all the writing skills and charm of an 8th grader. Just like your man_ Barry you don't like the message and want to shoot the messenger. I guess in your vast immaturity you confuse the ability to insult with political intelligence. We can only hope that in the future your arguments can elevate into adult conversation.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

President Obama was targeted by repub thugs immediately after his election, mouse, There is no instance where what you submit herem is true. Repub-thugs vowed to NOT work with the President, NOT cooperate on any Presidential legislative program ... and this is where the same stalemate remains today. Your calling the President " ... a petulant, immature punk and a bully." reflects the penultimate status of a trumped looser. Your choice: add to the conversation with fact / truth or return to your mousy hole in the wall.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

So ... here I have a jon, mighty mouse, kemper flying in to save the day by speaking on behalf of the conservative wing of the blog aka Newsroom Panama. Who recruited you? Make no mistake, mouse, I have skills that include writing. Not what do you have to contribute to this conversation? President Obama's "Legacy A+"?

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Thats all you got?

3 years ago
user
Jon Kemper

You dont know how to write. You smear your crap on outhouse walls and you think its fingerpaint. Then you imagine that its poetry.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Obama could have had anything he wanted when he first won the presidency. Republicans were afraid not to work with him. Then Barry showed that he was not a gracious winner. He was a petulant, immature punk and a bully. He didn't need to work with Republicans. He was just going to do what he wanted. He didnt need the Congress and he didnt even include Democratic legislators often. It was just him and his Czars. AND THAT WAS THE ORIGEN OF THE PARTISANSHIP. Obama is less of a President and more like a ghetto thug

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

What a lot of whining here. disagree with you and you accuse them of partisanship. How can we tske you seriously.

3 years ago
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Jon Kemper

Give credit to whom its due. I Dont accept your lower dishonest standard of crediting a president merely becacauze he was standing in the right place. You can do better than that I hope. Well, your do vulger, maybe not.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

I feel your delusion!

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

At the end of 2008 it was in the 10 trillion dollar range and when he leaves it will be in the 20 trillion dollar range. That's close enough to double for the sake of argument. I blame a weak congress just as much as I do Obama for allowing him to do most of the things he has done. Obamacare however was passed with not one Republican vote and they were correct as this thing is imploding and will need total revamping or repeal. It is one of the reasons for the dismal job growth and labor participation rate. The labor participation rate as a percentage of the population is at the lowest level in history. Spin it any way you want this Alinsky raised Marxist might accomplish his goal of total destruction of the America we know.

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

== Read it with an open mind. == You mean I should emulate you? The one who is incapable of giving Obama any credit! That kind of open mind?! Or is having an open mind a matter of "do as I say not as I do"?

3 years ago
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crbob

My strong suit are facts which you need to get your head out of the sand and listen to, but I don't expect a demorat to understand facts.......

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

You have such a way with words you eloquent bloviater. What you don't have is honest facts to back up your words. We love you anyway Garlicballs.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

" ... than we have ever experienced in our country." OUR COUNTRY?? That's rich ... coming from an expat with nothing better to do than bash President Obama! "He has double the recipeints of food stamps and increased the poverty level." I want an invitation to visit your bullsh!t mine. Yours is one of the richest and deepest finds in Panama. I know how to write and take exquisite pleasure raking your bovine deposits into the earth. You rank as one of the biggest losers posting here on this blog and deserve a solid gold pooper scooper.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Petty Penny pouts ... pretending to produce palatable prose predicated on poop. Refusing to realize that what positive happens on a presidential 'watch' is also known as taking credit. Penny ... piss off.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Society, government, economics etc are complex issues that require the assimilation, analysis and application of reason to complex multi - dimensional facts. The right wing Obamophobes commenting on this article have simple binary minds that need to condense complex issues into simple black and white abstractions that fit in with their prejudices and their very simple view of the world, just as a fairy tale does for a child. Conservative talk radio and Fox News rabble rousers provide the simple minded narrative they need to feed their prejudices and make sense of the world as they see it. The rabble rousers give the right wing Obamaphobes a high calorie fact free diet of anger, vitriol, disillusionment and easy to remember sound bites to get angry and shout about. They shout because their is no substance to what they say. No facts no reason just blind ignorance and prejudice. They deny all facts and reason that do not fit their simpleminded narrative substituting labeling and name calling for reason and argument. In the words of Macbeth their narrative is "....a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

I think you meant lack of bipartisanship and yes I do blame him for all the racial strife we are experiencing in our country. We regressed 40 years in racial relationships since he has been in office. Anybody who can't see his intentions is not not paying attention. When you get some time Google the "Rules for Radicals" and see if it is not a perfect description for the Obama play book. Read it with an open mind.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Penny, thank you for responding. What President Obama was able to legislate was not universal healthcare but, sadly, it was the best he could manage from an ineffective congress. I have lived in a country with true universal healthcare. I have visited a country with universal healthcare while ill. My 'sponsor' had healthcare and managed to get me back on my feet with no charge to me or them. I base my post on experience ... not opinions. You display an attitude (ex: "he forced people to buy a health insurance policy that they cannot afford ...") regarding the ACA and I will not engage you on this level. " ... I would first have to pay put of pocket 4000.00 before the insurance would kick in to pay anything." I feel your pain. I carried a policy requiring me to have big bills before they would pay. President Obama is not to blame for this policy. Your carrier sets the rules and you (and me) pay to play. Your summary of out-of-pocket expenses cannot be refuted and I can't offer any recommendations regarding finding an affordable healthcare plan. There are options available. The ACA is a work in progress much like the social security act was when first implemented. Congress is still trying to undo this benefit as will they continue to undermine the ACA.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Very good, much better that you stay away from fact, analysis and reason - not your strong suits if indeed you actually have any!

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

So the world according to you is black and white, right and wrong. And it just so happens your side is always right, and those who dare to disagree always wrong. Obama is even wrong when he deported far more people than Bush. When the facts don't fit your reality, attack the source. And I bet you put total blame on Obama for the extreme partisanship of the type you exhibit.

3 years ago
user
PedasiPaul

So is it your opinion that Obama's critics were wrong to blame him when prices spiked? I understand what you say about world supply and demand. My interest is exposing the hypocrisy that wants to have it both ways.

3 years ago
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Penny

Another person wearing rose colored glasses here. Yes, gas has gotten pretty low lately, but no thanks to Obama. Who did you blame when gas got to 5.00 a gallon under Obama? If you remember, gas had gone up quite a lot when he took over. Yes, he took the credit for the lowering of gas prices during his most recent State of the Union speech, but in reality, it's due to the economics of global supply and demand for crude oil. There is an over supply of oil which is driving down the prices.

3 years ago
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Penny

I'm not in Panama. I live in the US of A. How you can even think Obama has provided health care to all of us here is unbelievable. Yes, he forced people to buy a health insurance policy that they cannot afford. From what I have seen, people pay hundreds of dollars for a worthless insurance policy. If I chose to take the insurance offered to me at my place of employment, I would first have to pay put of pocket 4000.00 before the insurance would kick in to pay anything. That means I would have to pay 100% of all medical expenses until I hit 4000.00, and I can tell you that is very unlikely!!! How many people do you know that accumulates 4000.00 a year in medical expenses? The majority of the population do not. This is the problem with the mandatory health care plan. I'm sure he's a wonderful human being, and I'm glad you like and admire him. Unfortunately, not everybody feels as you do, but that doesn't make them haters.

3 years ago
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crbob

We need a conservative president to replace the "mouth".....always badmouthing someone else and tooting his own horn........ruined our country now we have to send him back to his "community organizing" job in Chicago, about his speed.........

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

Mr Powers can wish no more to be graded 'f' by a fact and reason free ranter such as yourself!

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

The actual Gross Federal Debt per the treasury was as follows. 30 Sept Gross federal Debt 2001 5,807,463,412,200.06 2009 11,909,829,003,511.80 2015 18,150,604,277,750.60 http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm You have quoted the figure that Bush started with and then proceeded to double. It seems your ignorance is not confined to facts and data but also to reading as this point had already been made by another contributor. With ignorami such as your good self in the electorate God help America!

3 years ago
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jon kemper

Wow Jonathon Powers, where do I start? Ok, from the beginning, Obama gets D- not an A+. Great president, really? Obama is great for chutzpah and falsely earned self-confidence. He has a quick wit but little wisdom. Thats because he was born and raised, educated and churched by Marxists. All his propensities (to fundamentaally change America) are Collectivist. They are compounded by his deeply flawed character. From his childhood he has been known to be a serial and pathalogical liar. He is also a bully and a punk. His instincts are not to work with others. He is a manipulator and a tyrant. His genetic modernized Marxism is a good match with his diabolical nature. He promised the most open administratiin in history and gave us the least. You can believe nothing from his mouth. I have never seen such a skillful liar. Thats where his intelligence shows. He could pass any lie detector test. He's a brilliant liar. How Mr. Powers has President "Barry" addressed poverty? He's increased our national debt to unheard of levels. This will financially deystroy our childrens future. He didn't inherit a bad economy from President Bush. His Leftwing allies and his Acorn organization used Alinsky tactics to extort the banks to give unsupportable loans. They instigated the crisis that nearly deystroyed the world economy in 2008. They did have junior partner in the the banks, stock market and some GOP. Bush warned about a real estate bubble but was ignored. Baracks allies are repeating this folly today. They don't learn. And in foreign policy the same is true. They didnt learn from Jimmy Carters desire for regime change in Iran and helped with regime change in Libya. Both policies were disasters. At this time of immense danger he he is weakening and sissyfying our military. Obama's ACA health policy has no net gain in numbers of people with insurance. Most peoples health costs have escalated and they have lost their choice of providers. Underemployment has never been worse. The bureau of labor statistics pumps out fraudulent numbers. There are many poorly paying jobs here so you get to work 2 or 3 jobs to survive. H1B visas bring in so many tech workers that this market is depressed for native Americans also. Immigration is a disaster. How corrupt is it to engineer your electorate by bring in millions of largely uneducated destitute people who are dependent on you to increase your vote. And you thought gerrymandering was bad. Crime is going through the roof. Obama encourages astroturf movements like Black Lives Matter and other actions that increase violence and racism and division. People on the streets are taught to disrespect the police even though there's no statistical evidence that brutallity by cops is endemic. Citizens are so afraid of crime and Obama's disrespect of our Constitution that they are buying guns in record numbers. They recognize that Obama is a traitor. No one believes that he doesn't want to eventually take away our guns. Sorry Mr Powers. Your analysis gets an F grade.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Please unpack this BS. You are blind in one eye and cannot see out the other. You are hopeless. Stay in Panama.

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

None. Total disaster and if given 4 more years we would be Cuba.

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

Obama raised the standards for motor vehicle effiiency, which is reducing gasoline use. Oil production in the US has surged under Obama. It is this increased production that helps put a downward pressure on prices. The facts asie, I understand the GOP approach that Obama was to blame when gas prices rose, but gets zero credit when they decline. It's like "heads I win, tails you lose." If the "real" unemployment rate is actually 10% as you claim, then what was it when Bush left office? Or is that subject off limits? Is there any accomplishment you give Obama credit for?

3 years ago
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crbob

Statistics don't lie, democrats do, the ultimate spinmasters......you get your news from NPR the propaganda outlet......Bush left us with 5 trillion of debt and Obama increased it to over 18 trillion with nothing to show for it.........statistics don't lie.......

3 years ago
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H. Gene Lawrence

There are none so blind, as those who refuse to see.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

Bush was responsible for all the problems that the new President Obama faced and deserves the entire blame.

3 years ago
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Garlicball

A message to all expat Obama haters posting here: So happy you are here in Panama where you can do no harm. Your bloviated hateful responses are typical of those who have no vision of a future USA. You mentally live in the past and the Republic of Panama is a perfect haven for you all (y'all). No other group of posters on this blog write so disparagingly of their respective Presidents or Prime Ministers. (Disparaging is a term or definition used with a deliberate intent to "disparage", ... to belittle a particular ethnic, religious, or social group. History will be fair to your and my President. His legacy will be a rich one filled with achievements reflecting unbelievable resilience in the face of an obstructionist dysfunctional Republican 'party'. President Obama has not been a perfect president. The USA population did not elect a god (as in Reagan). They twice selected a man whose vision led the USA out of a modern-day economic depression, saved an entire industry and enabled the sick to have healthcare. Your collective opinions reek of hate. Stay in Panama. Rot in your collective hell.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

An excellent example of what passes for argument in the right wing mind!

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

'Statistics', 'argument' - it is true that to the right wing mind they are dreams!

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

We note the absence of any facts or argument!

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

I note the absence of any facts or argument.

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

In the demented Alice in Wonderland universe of the right wing mind bad is good and good is bad, fiction is fact, Bush was good and Obama is bad, name calling is argument and anger is reason. Bush inherited a country in good shape a Federal Surplus and no wars. Asleep at the switch for 9/11, disastrous management of the Katrina disaster, failure to manage the sub prime debt explosion, the invasion, occupation, destruction of Iraq, appointment of know nothing Bremmer, debaathification and the installation of the disastrous Maliki leading to the creation of ISIS, explosion of the Federal debt, were some of the successes of the Bush regime that led to his disastrous legacy including the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Obama's failures include halving unemployment, the strongest economy In the world, no Osama bin Laden, 18 million more Americans with health insurance, a relative handful of Americans killed by terrorists and none killed in futile, misguided, malevolent invasions. Notwithstanding his inheritance of the Bush recession and mindless obstructionism from a fractured Republican Party the Federal Debt as a % of GDP has grown less quickly than under Bush! infinitely better another Obama failure than another Bush success.

3 years ago
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GULICK GRINGO

The author is SMOKING DOPE!

3 years ago
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Jota

LMAO

3 years ago
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Paul

This is an OPINION vs facts piece. Who funds this "newsletter..Soros?" Up to 40 million illegals, number unknown because he refuses to close the borders, ISIS in every State in the U.S. 93 million people on food stamps, no allies trust him the enemies laugh at him, on and on. This propaganda piece is very offensive to me. It is magical thinking only. The facts obliterate this flat out attempt to deceive the good people of Panama.

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

The price of gasoline went down in spite of not in concert with his actions. His continued battle to prevent fracking on Federal lands made it ever more difficult for the companies to produce but they continued in spite of him. Not to mention the pipe line fiasco. He gets no credit for gas prices whatsoever. He has created more part time jobs than we have ever experienced in our country. Most families have to have two and three jobs just to survive. We don't have an unemployment rate of 5%. It's closer to 10 when eliminate the part time jobs from counting and factor in the people who have just given up looking for work and no longer count. He has double the recipeints of food stamps and increased the poverty level. You are quite the spin master Paul. Do help Powers to write this stuff?

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

If you will notice Obama has done just the opposite. He spent the first 6 years blaming everything on Bush until the media began to call him on it.

3 years ago
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Richard Charron

Jonathan has to have written this in the evening as nobody could smoke this much crack early in the morning. Evidently much of the American public must be smoking the same stuff as they give his overall approval rating at somewhere around 43% His handling of foreign affairs, health care, economy etc all have a disapproval rating in the 60s and 70s. The common theme is they like him as a person but totally discount his managerial skills as a President and it is widely felt in the States that he will go down in history as the worse President since Jimmy Carter who was also one of Jonathan's favorites. In fact the joke is that Carter will die knowing someone has taken this position from him. This egotistical maniac (Obama), has caused more harm, some of it irreparable, than the next President will be able to handle in one or even two terms. This will be his legacy. The debt he singlehandedly heaped on generations to come should be punishable as treason. His treasonous Secretary of State (wannabee President) Hillary Clinton will surely be sanctioned for her actions and hopefully for the good of the country not be allowed to carry on this disastrous agenda. Jonathan will certainly have plenty to write and complain about when the new Republican Administration begins the rebuilding of our country.

3 years ago
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Claire

This has to be a farce. Either that or Jonathan Power is on "happy drugs."

3 years ago
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Myrna

Jonathan Power: You must be smoking the same stuff as Obama! He is the WORST president of the US. He needs to be impeached, tried for treason, and thrown into prison. Maybe Gitmo, for crimes against humanity!

3 years ago
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crbob

Rationalization does not make sense to democrats, they can dream up statistics at their will to support their arguments, if left to their own desires their King Obama would have us enslaved at the mercy of his egotistical desires for the country.......now that he is leaving after almost demolishing the constitution they now want Grandma Hillary to come in and finish the job.........

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

I admire the manner in which you brandish your ignorance and bigotry. The Federal Debt as a % of GDP has grown at a faster rate under every Republican Administration since 1980 than it has under each Democrat administration!

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

== Obama will have the worst legacy of any former president by far == Let's compare his record just to his immediate predecessor's to see how valid your assertion is. * When it comes to reducing the federal budget deficit, there's no question who did far and away the better job. Obama inherited a deficit of $1.4 trillion, and has reduced it to $500 billion. * When it comes to deporting undocumented immigrants, Obama deported hundreds of thousands more, (though you'd never know it from the rhetoric of his critics). * When it comes to reducing unemployment -- no contest -- it skyrocketed under Bush, while Obama cut it in half from 10% to 5%. * After tax corporate profits are at an all-time high. * The stock market has more than doubled in value since Bush left office. * When it comes to creating new jobs during his administration -- again, no contest. * When it comes to the price of gasoline, again, no contest. (When gas prices spiked several years ago, his critics were quick to blame him. They ought to have the intellectual honesty to also give him credit when prices are so low.) I realize the facts don't matter to Obamaphobes. But maybe someone who is a tad open-minded will read this.

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

The late conservative writer Joe Sobran once said, "If you want to know how wise and honest a man is, observe how much he is willing to credit to his opponents."

3 years ago
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PedasiPaul

== Obama...after inheriting $5 trillion in debt == You are off by a mere $5 trillion. According to the conservative Weekly Standard, when Obama took office, the national debt stood at $10.26 trillion. http://www.npr.org/2011/01/25/133211508/the-weekly-standard-obama-vs-bush-on-debt

3 years ago
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crbob

Written by Jonathan Power the ultimate left winger using his journalistic podium to churn out trash such as this article.....what a bunch of bullcrap ......Obama is leaving us with over 18 trillion of debt after inheriting 5 trillion, he has attempted to establish a social welfare class among his "dream" illegals simply to vote democratic.....he wants to bring in hundreds of thousands of muslims with a large percentage of terrorists who cannot be vetted.....he wants to take away the guns of all Americans while leaving them in the hands of criminals......and on and on.....he will have the worst legacy of any former president by far......

3 years ago
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Isthmuse

it is hard to imagine how the Bush administration transformed the great state in which it inherited the US into the disastrous state in which it left it. Similarly it is hard to imagine how the Obama Administration transformed the disastrous state in which it inherited the US into the enormously better state in which it now is notwithstanding all the right wing trash talking broadcast to scare the pants off their simple minded scared of their own shadow followers.

3 years ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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