Mashed Potato Bulletin

A journal grappling with the mish-mash of American politics

Brian Carter

Brian Carter
Location
Northern, California, USA
Birthday
October 23
Bio
My professional and academic background is fairly broad including a Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology, a Master's in Environmental Science along with a hefty injection of world history in the mix. Professionally, my experience is in public health and environmental health where I have been lucky enough to work with people from varied backgrounds and cultures. I started the Mashed Potato Bulletin to explore answers to questions not being asked and to insert, hopefully, a broader perspective into the current conversation. ----------------------------------- http://mashedpotatobulletin.com/

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Editor’s Pick
MAY 10, 2012 4:35AM

10 Reasons Why I Will be Voting for You President Obama

Rate: 34 Flag

Mr. President,

      I voted for you in 2008 and you have my support for a 2nd term as President. While I was initially hesitant during the primaries, I warmed to your ideas and inspiring message of change in Washington. Many of us had high hopes for a more effective government, one able to work toward the progressive change we desperately needed. Alas, the political realities burst that bubble all too quickly due in large part to a minority Republican Party determined to place its own designs on power above the needs of a struggling country. But many also found they could not reconcile the icon created in voters' minds throughout the campaign with the man who entered the White House after the election. While each of us harbor disappointments over what did not come to pass, there are many who appreciate and are capable of recognizing the accomplishments you have made despite overwhelming opposition.


     As I considered all that has transpired over the past 3 ½ years I found a number of reasons to vote for you once again. Here is a list of the prominent ones;

  1. Your administration, in conjunction with the Democrat-led Congress and the Federal Reserve, acted quickly to shore up a financial system and job market in free fall, held us back from a entering a depression and, as the CBO director put it in congressional testimony back in 2010, the “...aggressive action by the Federal Reserve and the fiscal stimulus package helped moderate the severity of the recession and shorten its duration.

  2. You and congressional Democrats put your own political careers at risk to produce the most meaningful health care reform this country has seen in 45 years in an effort to expand access to care for nearly 30 million uninsured Americans. While some may criticize you for abandoning the public option, these individuals forget the ardent opposition and misinformation campaign waged against it, culminating in Senator Joe Lieberman's last minute reversal, deciding to vote against any reform with such a measure. This, as you know, is what effectively struck the the final nail in the coffin of the Public Option. 

  3. Against significant opposition you decided to bailout the American auto industry which resulted in an undeniable success, so much so that your presidential challenger is now attempting to credit himself with the idea. But many, even some fellow liberals, claim you chose big business over struggling Americans. These views fail to take in the bigger picture. Your critics do not consider the average Americans employed by the industry itself, the parts manufacturers, the shippers who transport those parts, the auto dealerships or the communities where those very workers and businesses reside. It would appear these bailouts did more for the average American than your critics care to admit.

  4. You and the Democratic-led Congress reinstated many of the very regulations whose repeal led to the Great Recession. These new regulations include provisions for a controlled "winding down" of failing financial institutions eliminating the need for taxpayer bailouts in the future, something your Republican counterparts have tried to reverse.  

  5. You and congressional Democrats created the Consumer Financial and Protection Bureau (CFPB) which, as you know, is tasked with ensuring contractual language and documents from banks, credit card companies, mortgage brokers, payday lenders, student loan providers and other financial institutions are understandable to average consumers. It seeks to educate consumers so people can make financial decisions based on sound comparison and assessment of all available information.

  6. You lobbied for New Deal style work projects in an effort to return Americans' to work. You pushed for infrastructure investment and maintenance, you pressed Congress for national passenger railway funding which many GOP-led states refused to take. You pushed for broadband internet expansion into rural areas and continued to advance your transportation legislation through Congress. Yet at every turn these efforts were hampered by a GOP intent on holding firm to an agenda of austerity.

  7. Your first act as President was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill designed to break down wage discrimination barriers for women. Since then you have made it a point to eliminate inequality at numerous levels.

  8. You made reinvestments in education and career transition training, advanced policy to make college more affordable and to assist students with student loans.

  9. You eliminated Don't Ask, Don't Tell and have stood up for LGTB rights and just yesterday officially backed the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

  10. Under your leadership we have seen a marked improvement in the economy. Of the 8.7 million jobs lost since September 2008 including the 4.3 million lost under your administration virtually all those lost since your time in office have been regained. We've seen GDP go from 0.4% in March 2011 to 3.0% in the 4th quarter of that year. It has dropped to 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012 but with a historical average of 3.8% and the fact that we're in a recovery, there isn't much room for criticism.

      Despite all these accomplishments, Mr. President you still have your detractors many of whom are from your own party. They seek to punish you for not implementing all of your campaign promises or for pursuing all of their agenda items.

      You were criticized for extending the Bush Tax cuts. While this was against a campaign promise, your critics forget you agreed to their continuance only to ensure benefits for unemployed Americans were extended through the 2011 holiday season.  

      Another criticism which I'm sure is ever-present on your mind is the broken promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities. But your many critics apparently disregard your continued efforts to do just that amidst a coordinated opposition and fear-mongering strategy against such attempts and an unwilling Congress.

      From the onset your decision not to pursue war crime prosecutions against George Bush and Dick Cheney has been met with harsh criticisms from left-wing members of your base. While satisfying to witness the net benefits to the nation of such an event would have been negligible. In the midst of a massive economic crisis as the one we were facing such a diversion would have only wasted time and resources much better allocated to slowing our descent into a possible depression. Instead you took a page from President Ford when he decided to pardon Richard Nixon, recognizing it is the President's “duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility but to use every means that I have to insure it.” You realized, as did he, it was simply time to move on and hope this gesture would foster a cooperative climate in Washington after many contentious years. Unfortunately, this did not come to pass and you were fought every step of the way by a unified opposition forged on the very night of your inauguration.

      As you enter this new election cycle and hear the constant drumbeat of criticism in your ear, remember one thing... it is always easier to criticize those who govern than to govern yourself. It takes character to forge ahead with what is best for the country as a whole rather than bending to the demands of a few.

Best of luck to you Mr. President, with hopes for another 4 years.

_______________________________________

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Brian, thank you for this piece with all my heart. This was a breath of fresh air in this forum that has been deluged with essays for disenchanted liberals excoriating the president.

I will vote for Barack Obama in November and it will not be a "lesser of two evils" kind of thing.
intelligent, well-written and honestly, in 2008, I did not see a Liberal, nor the Dreamer but a politician who might mature in a statesman and would try and find ways to do the best that is possible. 68 made it hard to believe that a man trying to do more would survive long enough to do, no matter how much they inspired.
Ten very good reasons. One more if I may add. " Because by not voting, I would be giving one more vote towards the other side". Rated!
Good for you. I agree 100%.
Agreed, we can't know what he knows. While I've been upset with his warrior leanings, we don't sit in his chair. And I don't want a President Romney.
Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable. The only people who don't make mistakes are dead. There's a huge difference, however, between making mistakes and lying. Obama has made mistakes, but I would rather forgive him his sins of commission than I would like to live in a world dominated by the failed theories of the Right Wing, for whom a lie is merely a strategy to achieve their goals.

Obama makes mistakes. He has changed his direction from time to time. He doesn't, however, lie. Romney does. You can tell when he knows he's lying. These wrinkles appear across his forehead. Watch him and see.
I voted for Obama in 2008 with no delusions about Hope or Change. I understood that the man was and is an old school Chicago Pol who's made his reputation with the audacity of variations on one stump speech that he's been using since he started off his career as a community organizer and that he was a creature of consensus. I live in California, a foregone conclusion, so if I choose I have the luxury of safely voting Green; but if things get stupid close in November, I'll vote for Obama again and there are too many reasons to count.
This is the best I've seen yet. It's been an incredible uphill battle for Obama. He bent over backwards in anticipation of the backlash caused by being the first black President, and somehow managed to get somethings done--as you point out--including the health care bill, which he did not have to do.

You don't say much about the wars, which is interesting. He didn't keep his promise there either, but from a political standpoint in retrospect had little choice, I think, given the vehemence of the opposition. At least he took the sting out of them, and made it a "non issue," as shown by the fact it isn't in your top ten.

It's exciting to think what he could do if he had the plurality in legislature he needs, and whether enough moderates and "liberals" will vote. I am personally dubious they will. The saddest thing that could happen is that the right wins again by default.
the fog of "truthiness" prevails I see. and will prevail. reality doesn't lie but it apparently repels. Obama is setting up a fascist state. why is he so easily forgiven for gutting constitutional rights and droning innocents? war-mongering? sorry not to be crony nicey nicey about someone who continues to commit war crimes and betrays citizens for corporate overlords. Refuses to even acknowledge let alone help 1 out of 5 American kids who go to bed hungry. who refuses to promote real job creation. MSNBC is re-mythologizing Obama for another term. We could have pushed back as a citizenry instead of falling into the Stockholm Syndrome kill the messenger and exalt the perpetrators no matter which side of the aisle state. Authoritarian following 101. So much time passes and all people can do is talk about lesser evil, settling for EVIL and calling it lesser as if that is just fine and dandy for the now and the future. Impression management 101 lessons from "celebrity" candidate, gamesman candidate, brand candidate, not a statesperson. Not a serious advocate for the people. Corrupt and/or incompetent. Don't actually examine closely Obama's so-called accomplishments. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly or falsely is his MO. And yes he has oodles of company in both parties!!! They are bipartisan, since they all are working for the corporate overlords. And 5 global media conglomerates are busy churning out disinformation on the teebee. That is who is framing American thinking for the most part. Or blocking Americans from getting the truth of just how profoundly sociopathic this government operates at home and abroad. libby
Where do you live?
While I TOTALLY agree with libbyliberalnyc, I am also TOTALLY impressed by this post! It is so well-articulated and thorough, except for the omission of war. I didn't for Obama in 2008, and will vote for the Green Party again this year. However, I'm hoping that the country will survive whichever corporate-owned figure head from one of the two parties that have a choke-hold on our political system gets elected.
Rated and shared with others. Well said!
You see why I'm suspicious from the comments of Libby and the Diva. The fringes are screaming like mad as usual but will the center hold under ciircumstances as obvious as these? (It didn't happen in '04, when it was even more obvious.)

The "disease" of ideological purity isn't only a problem on the right for the GOP, and reason doesn't enter into it on the left either. Neither will compromise and submit to our form of democracy as it is--rather than how they will it to be.

Burke was right. Democracy has to be fought for in each generation, and the "default" position is to go backward, not forward.
Thanks to everyone for the insightful comments and discussion. It's good to see how many others do indeed step back and take in the bigger picture.

A couple of you noticed my omission of the wars (Ben and Frogtown Diva). For this posting, it was a decision based on length. While I am in agreement with many that we should bring our troops home, I also understand the situation on the ground has its own realities. I would be more concerned that leaving before a functional level of sustainability is reached would cause more problems, wasting the sacrifices previously made.

@sagemerlin; Excellent points. Everyone makes mistakes but there is a world of difference between lies and unintentional errors. Humans are fallible, as we all know, but how we deal with those mistakes is what matters, which reveals the character within.

@kenneth houck “but a politician who might mature in a statesman “. Very true and that's what it takes. Few, if anyone, are actually prepared to the President of the United States but success, I think, comes from a strength of character that is capable of becoming that statesman.
Not me! I won't be voting for President Obama again.

We're still ensnared in Afghanistan, we were pushed out of Iraq over Obama's objections, and we're still shilling for war with Iran (incredibly, because the fascist regime in Israel wants it).

War criminals who authorized and carried out torture have been given a free past. A dramatic, unprecedented, secret and unconstitutional program for spying on Americans has been put in place.

No one from Wall Street has been prosecuted over the massive frauds that caused the meltdown. Wall Street hedge fund traders continue to pay 15% tax on their income instead of 45% like the rest of us.

The Public Option for healthcare wasn't even brought into the discussion.

Sorry. Obama has been worse than Bush in some ways, and not redeemed himself by following anything remotely resembling a progressive agenda in any form. He did not deliver on his most important promises.
I didn't vote for him the first time, and I won't the second time. I could say a lot more things to convince you otherwise. But I'd be wasting my time because you have your mind made up that you will vote for him. But ask Obama this. If his Obama care plan is so good, why won't he use it for himself and his family? Why won't congress use it? The things they give to us, they reject themselves.
Me too, Brian. =o)

I voted for Obama believing he was our best choice in 2008. I will vote for him again this year for precisely the same reason. I don't agree with him on everything, but I voted for him, expecting there would be inevitable disagreements. I agree with him far more often than I disagree.

He's smart, he has a cool head when things get tough, and he appears to like and respect women.

And I'm very glad he decided to support marriage equality! The world ALWAYS needs more equality.

rated
Saving capitalism, ending a war, passing a healthcare bill and getting bin laden sure has some potential for making a potent campaign. You make a good case Brian.
Well said....He saved us from a potentially devestating depression. I am grateful. With the mess he inherited, and his willingness to downplay Bush's responsibility in bringing us to the brink of disaster, I can only say he has a mastery of a special order. He considers the options towards any decision, then acts in the greater interest. In a country of this immense size, it is impossible to satisfy everyone.
Ten reasons that I won't vote for Barack Obama again (in no certain order):

1) He allowed the Gulf of Mexico to fill with crude oil for three months. He was about as effective in that crisis as George W. Bush was with the other crisis in the gulf (Hurricane Katrina). Of course, since both the Pepsi Party and the Coke Party (a.k.a. the Dems and the Repugs or the Repugs and the Dems -- I can't tell the difference between them any more than I can tell the difference between colas) both kiss corporate ass, British Petroleum wasn't reined in by the Obama White House.

2) In 2007 Obama promised that as president, if collective bargaining rights were ever threatened, he would join protesting workers himself. Yet he showed his face not once in Wisconsin when that state was a battleground (well, it remains a battleground, with its gubernatorial recall election next month) for the life of its labor unions. In fact, he's done little to nothing for labor unions, since he cares more about his corporate contributors than he cares about the working class and the middle class.

3) Obama had declared in 1996 that he supported same-sex marriage, yet for years later claimed that he was "evolving" on the issue. Bullshit. He didn't come out, so to speak, on same-sex marriage until he felt it was safe enough to do so. That's not leadership. That's cowardice.

4) Obama thoroughly squandered the political capital that he had in 2009 and 2010, when the White House and both houses of Congress were in his party's control. The Repugs never squander an opportunity like that. This is why Dems lose: Dem politicians never fight and the Dem sheeple never make the Dem politicians pay a price for that.

4a) Had Obama actually manned up and used his political capital in those crucial first two years, the Dems probably wouldn't have lost the House in November 2010.

5) Guantanamo. Still. Open.

6) Drones -- baaad. When the drones are coming after YOU, tell me how you feel about drones.

7) Bradley Manning. Civil liberties. OK'ing the assassination of American citizens. You get the idea.

8) Obama made Wall Street weasels (Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, et. al.) his economic advisers. Yeah, he's really on our side...

9) Obama has made no serious attempt to reduce the bloated-beyond-belief military-industrial complex, because he's way too chickenshit to take on that sacred cow, even though it's killing us all.

10) Not wanting to appear to be an "angry" black man, apparently, Obama has done even less for people of color than a white, actually progressive president would have done.

I could list more things, but that's enough food for thought for now, me thinks.

I'll be voting Green again in 2012. I regret that I wasted my vote on Obama in November 2008.

He punk'd me once. Not again.





3) Obama
excellent reasoned, factual essay, mr.carter. i voted for barack obama in '08 and will happily vote for him again this november.
Yes. We have much to thank him for and I agree. But while he did evolve I’m sure it was only coincidence he did it the day after I published my own analysis but it seems to enforce my argument that Biden was just sending up a weather balloon with the bosses consent.

But the ‘evolution is still not complete.  Obama did not endorse marriage equality as a federal matter and never came out and said same-sex marriage is ‘fundamental’ right guaranteed by the Constitution. Arguably he just adopted the same position as Vice President Dick Cheney in 2004 when said he believed marriage equality was a 'states rights' matter (this is the classic segregationist argument btw).

Yes, it’s marriage equality when both Cheney and Obama agree that same-sex couples should be able to legally marry even if they feel the issue is one the states decide democratically. However that does not mean Obama believes there is no Constitutional right to do so. While it’s fair to infer he thinks so Obama is still tap-dancing a bit and continues to speak Ketman.
Great piece. I am with him all the way and phone banking nationally.
Just out of curiousity, did you actually read the links you used as justification?

If one of the editors here reads this, did any of you check out these links?

Here's the 1st couple sentences of the story used to applaude Obama and the DNP lead congress in their efforts to bring about a new era of regulations that would actually keep us from falling into another financial crisis again -

Surprise! The budget battles are back.

In an effort to avoid cuts to defense spending, House Republicans are pushing a bill that would shift hundreds of billions in spending cuts from the Pentagon to domestic programs, services for the poor and government regulators.



The story is about an argument over the budget. Regulators are mentioned, but they have very little to do with the story, or the main reasons behind the GOP opposition to the budget (their issues are cutting defense spending vs cutting spending in the department of health and human services).

Here's a link that is actually about financial regulation put forth by Obama (and its lack of actual regulations that matter in any real way, which is probably why large market investors favor him 48% to 33% over Romney). -

http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/06/29/the-holes-in-obama-s-financial-regulation-plan/

Also, head over to NakedCapitalism.com and see how the financial industry is doing the same thing to the oil industry right now that they did to the mortgage market previously.

Hmmm...same scam, different commodity. Wow...what a great and effective president for the people this Barack Obama is.

Ever played 3-card monte? All you gotta do is follow the queen. It's easy. Here, let's try once for free and if you like it, you can make it more interesting.

Idiot.
After reading this, I have some sympathy for the republicans who voted for Bush's re-election in 2004.

This article involves a lot of hand waving at things that were considered deplorable to liberals during the Bush years. No mention of the wars. No mention of civil liberty crackdowns like the hideous NDAA. All of Obama's defeats are blamed on the opposition party. And ultimately an allowance is made for Obama's likability, and the preference for him over the "other guy" who belongs to that other tribe.

In 2004, I couldn't for the life of me imagine what republicans were thinking, re-electing that smirking chimp who had already established himself as one of the worst presidents in US history.

Now I understand. I will probably vote for Obama this year too. Yes, Obama has done some good things as this article shows. Meanwhile, Bush sent me a check for $300 and oversaw daylight savings beginning earlier and ending later. Every presidency does some good things. However, both Bush's and Obama's presidencies involved things that are unspeakably bad. To what degree you focus on the good over the bad has more to do with tribalism than anything else.
I only have 3 reasons to vote for Obama: to bring America to its knees (for we have need to be humble instead of arrogant), to make us more compassionate, and to teach the Republicans a lesson!
Let's see, ten reasons:

1) Because you're a lifelong Democrat.
2) Because you only vote Democrat.
3) Because you don't care, as long as they're Democrat...

...Oh nut -- why go on?
Well written and very enjoyable piece. In fact, you nicely summarized many of the great achievements of this administration. I will be voting for President Obama. I will add, that having lived in Apartheid South Africa, much of the speech from the right is virtually identical to that of the white regime that held power in apartheid South Africa. Denial is only wonderful when it is personal. But since it affects the future of our nation, we are on a precipice. Those who think the Republican right is the answer, are delusional with very short memories.
IceRune> Now that's an interesting perspective you have on the current political rhetoric. Have you been able write anything on it? I'm sure many would find the comparisons between now and then pretty astonishing.
@Rhett

To teach the GOP a lesson about what? That the DNP is ready to formalize the merger?
@icerune

Those who think Obama is the answer, assuming people who think the right is have short memories, are Drew Barrymore from 50 1st Dates.

I'm pretty sure it was Einstein who said, "you're a fucking wackjob if you keep doing the same shit, repeatedly, and expect something magically fucking different to happen"

He might have phrased it in a nicer way than that.
Brian:

You think "democracy" is going to make it in Afghanistan? We have seen this ruse before, but never has it been quite so transparent in my view. You think an army organized and trained by infidels is going to stand up against the Taliban in a country where the vast majority are illiterate? You really believe that?

I give 'em six months--tops--it's going to be a bloodbath of even more epic proportions than we've seen.

Afghanistan was the necessary war because it was a war of diversion. Obama could not afford to back down from it until there was the least possible opportunity for them to mount another attack against the US, and public opinion was on his side, which it is now, probably because bin Laden is dead, and even the GOP knows it's no longer a populist issue. He also couldn't afford another Viet Nam ending--not with his opposition.

The timing, however, is perfect. You really have to hand it to him, and I don't think it's a coincidence either. This President is a true strategist. He will be able to campaign saying that he fullfilled his promise, and did not disgrace the militarists.

It is inconceivable that he is being dropped in the same box with Bush and Cheney, but you can see from the comments in this thread what he's up against--as the rest of us--if the GOP returns to total control.

It won't matter if the shit hits the fan during his second term. He has been the biggest "war" president since FDR, but they haven't been his wars, and the indications are that it is not his way of managing foreign affairs,

Now, when it comes to the Middle-East.....
Ben Sen> "You think "democracy" is going to make it in Afghanistan? "

I just said, " a functional level of sustainability ", whatever form that may take. But it's going to have to be something that fits the culture(s) that exist there and will work best for them. Canned plans are not the answer many wish they were.
The US will not EVER let Afghanistan have a representative form of government.

Why? Because our allies in the region are monarchies, emirates, dictatorships and Turkey (The other Kurd killer...and, as the one pseudo-representative government, the only ally that is unlikely to remain an ally).

Once Afghanistan has representative government, they will bust our asses out so fast, we won't know how the 2nd Afghanistan war started.

Obama - force for Freedom? Only on paper.
Thanks for your piece, an appropriate answer to the anti-Obama rant earlier in the week, extolling the rationale for not voting for Obama. This is a valid debate. The galling thing is for us to indulge more than one Fifth Columnist, who looms herein. Not a nice thing, as this creature pretends to walk of progressive stripe and is, quite obviously, attempting to drive another agenda. To toss out wild accusations of fascism and related tactics is most unsound in any reasonable forum. Most of us welcome views unlike our own. The challenge sharpens our own vision, character. I appreciate your thoughtful sharing with us. Rated >>>>
Kate, honey, I heard you called me out on this thread.

Yes, I do see soft fascism in America hardening FAST according to your definition. Can't you? That is why I bring it up so often, since so many like you are apparently not taking it seriously. And it is tragically serious already!!!!

Obama taking away due process to detain or to assassinate is certainly dictatorial to me. The police state flexing going on with OWS and surveillance certainly falls in with the definition, as well as the uber control by the corporate overlords of the economy. The murderous imperialism and droning ignoring the will of Congress or the citizenry. I don't have much respect for the wimpy will of Congress, but the citizenry is certainly not behind these escalating wars.

I don't have time to go on with the Obama inventory but I think that will do for now. Probably not for you, but for what it is worth.

The right calling out Obama as a socialist would be a laugh if it weren't so tragic. We would be in better shape if he were! He is acting more and more fascistically and I suspect that will escalate after November!

As for the condescending faux terms of endearment, that was from long ago on this website between us, wasn't it? Do you continuously carry around a salt shaker in case you come across any old wounds to apply it to?

Keep polishing up those grudges, sweetie! I bet you have a goodly collection.
I certainly voted for him in 2008, and would agree that he has accomplished quite a bit.
And I suspect he got more done than anyone else who ran back then could have.
Plus, he just strikes me as mature.

BUT...I have to admit I am holding him to extraordinary high standards too. Why? Cause there is so much wrong.
Was any of it his fault? Not so much.
But if he is going to sit there, then I expect him to get even more done...a lot more.

Could I do any of that?
Heck no...not a chance!!!

But if you are going to sit in the chair of your own free will, ante up!
Libby,
I too have problems with targeted assassinations, without due process, of Americans and innocents being killed in drone strikes. But the intent, however misguided or abhorrent, is to protect the country, not to keep a dictator or party in power. Calling it fascism detracts attention from the issues you raise. Certain words are going to get a knee-jerk reaction and retard the discussion.

There is such a fear of another attack on US soil, I can't see the any changes with a different administration.
Nicely written, Brian. You've listed many important accomplishments Obama has made.

I wish he were doing more in several areas (especially civil rights), but I have to be pragmatic--we don't get the choice between Obama and some ideal liberal candidate; in January it'll be either Obama or Romney. It's a no-brainer.
True blue till the day they lay me in the ground.
To blame Obama for the oil that polluted the Gulf last year is so absurd that I can't even think of an adequate simile.
An education wasted, Want to by a bridge? It is located in Brooklyn.
this is a great post. but as important as all of these accomplishments are--Obama will not be able to accomplish much with an All Republican Congress. It's more important than ever that grassroots organizations elect non-Republicans at the state level and in Congress. The President has some power, but it's not enough in and of itself....even if Obama were a flawless person and politician.....
.To all you doubters that say Afghanistan will not have a democracy - you are wrong, sir...and madam.

They will achieve democracy, but it will be a democracy that involves a lot of war lords rounding people up and shooting them
Re: Afghanistan above comment.... Maybe a bit overdrawn, but correct in thinking that real change is likely. There are many, many modernized Afghans who might honestly believe that western democracy is the best system, but they don't live in the rural areas where NATO and Afghan forces are having a near-impossible time maintaining control. We should just acknowledged that the odds are way too high against this happening and bow out -- we should have done this years ago.

The Agfhans do in fact have a form of traditional participatory democracy that probably dates back to ancient times. Ther "jirga" is like a tribal town meeting, and the "loya jirga" brings all tribal leaders together to vote on important matters. Not exactly universal suffrage, but it's as far as one can get from being a dictatorship. To paraphrase what someone said about Vietnam, why don't we give the leaders a few hundred million dollars to support the jirgas and call it democracy. Mission Accomplished!
I meant change is unlikely. Agree, shame on Obama for believing the military chiefs who as usual thought we'd just go in and get 'er done.
As a supporter, I feel somewhat justified to keep coming back to Afghanistan, which I think is the Achilles' heel of the Obama worldview. Now we hear Ambassador (to Kabul) Ryan Crocker on NPR putting a good face on it. No, actually he tried to put a great big smiley-face silver lining on it. He agreed that the false economy of present-day Afghanistan will suffer when the massive level of US military and civilian aid inputs winds down, and also agreed that a lot of that money has basically been stolen and spirited into foreign bank accounts, but then took pains to note that since so much never got into the Afghan economy in the first place, there will be less negative effect when the inputs are reduced. The interviewer didn't actually express amazement, but she found it necessary to paraphrase what he had just said, and have him confirm it.
Thanks so much I needed a few more reasons not that I needed any really but yours get to the heart of the matters.
10 Reasons Why I Will be Voting for Romney:

1) Not ONE MONTH of LOWER unemployment than Pres. Bush.
2) Gas prices since Dec. 2008, when Bush left office, have DOUBLED under Obama.
3) By the end of Obama's first term, more debt will have been added then 43 Presidents before him combined.
4) Under Obama, America has lost its AAA credit rating.
5) Blocked the Keystone pipeline.
6) Supports gay marriage which a majority of Americans OPPOSE.
7) Broke promise to allow five days of public comment before signing bills, repeatedly
8) Broke promise to cut deficit in half by the end of his first term
9) Loaned $500 million at a low rate to an unsustainable green company that went bankrupt
10) Gave jobs to over 200 top fundraisers after vowing to banish “special interests”
This article should be titled "10 Reasons Why I'm Stupid"
here ya go jaytee and you want MITT ROMNEY ROBOT to be our president? WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIM. HE CHANGES HIS VIEWS LIKE HE CHANGES UNDERWEAR!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pgfWK3sxw
go in with open mind and watch it. He doesn't even know what he stands for. quote from mitt romney interview last week "I don't recall what I said my views were on that particular matter, But whatever I said I stand by it!" with a crooked little smile on his face.
I will be voting for a Democrat President based on the primary overriding feeling that I am compelled by, which is ABSOLUTE TERROR for the complete lack of compassion, utter greed, indifference, and ignorance the Republicans show the people at the bottom of our civilization!

There is NO WAY I will ever be responsible for electing a warmongering, business biased Republican back in charge of this country.

Oh, I forgot.., Republicans deceive people almost every chance they get.
SCOTUS. SCOTUS. SCOTUS.

Excellent points. I agree especially with Sagemerlin and Rob St. Amant, and I will be working to elect Barack Obama, bringing folks to the polls in Florida. The president is a smart, decent man who has hopefully learned from whatever mistakes he has made, and he could become a great president in the second term.
To the extremists of the far left: to elect Romney/Ryan would be disastrous to everything you purport to want. This is so obvious. Why would you vote against your own interests to help them win? Why would you sacrifice the good for the awful? It goes to something deeper, which I have to say I don't get.
1. slowest recovery from a recession in modern US history.

2. unconstitutional

3. this was a good thing

4. not really...now we have oil back securities and credit default swaps for those...when that hits, it's bye, bye

5. you seen a lot of materials from this group? Anything? I ain't.

6. Obama's jobs program sucks, which is why it can't pass. He's running the largest budgets and deficits in US history (which, he should during a recession), but none of it is getting spent on long-term investment. (some of the budget should be attributed to Bush, though, as he was somehow able to defer significant war costs until after he was out of office.)

7. Most of the discrepancy in pay between men and women is due to child birth. Nothing the prez can do about that. The part attributable to discrimination was nominal before that bill and has not dropped any more than it would have without it. It is useless, meaningless legislation meant to sucker you into believing that he gives a shit.

8. This was also a good policy...sort of...it was purposely set to expire during 2010 so it could be used as a wedge issue. It's not cool to fuck with students and former students like that...

9. Any president in office right now would have done that. It doesn't count. That's like giving Nixon credit for the EPA...he had no choice.

10. You're not paying attention, or you have no idea what you're talking about as it applies to economics.
Don't you know you have to be a United States citizen to be come a president!?!?! Obama first step foot in this country at the age of 17. He hired lawyers to seal his school transcripts because they would prov he was a foreign exchange student. someone who is willing to lie and swindle our government should not be president. Obama has never had a job, everything he has ever owned was given to him. He doesn't know what its like to actually work hard and earn/achieve something without lies. he wants to change America because he hates America. he hates all the things created by our founding fathers that once made this country great. why do you think so many people wanted to come to America, believe me they wont if Obama gets reelected. This country cannot not exist with socialism. it has been tried before, it does not work... PERIOD! A democracy cannot exist when the government takes from citizens that are willing to work and give to those who would not. where does money come from. hint: not from government jobs or people who don't work. I have read your 10 reasons, and it all sounds wonderful. but the damage being done to this country is not publicized for you to see. In fact, news media have to receive an ok from the Obama Administration before airing anything of the sort. despite all the wonderful things he may have done, he has done more harm than good. And that is why I say don't vote for Obama. Many people who have never voted before are gearing up to vote to get Obama out of office. you do the same! God Bless!
nice post - my thoughts on this election

http://open.salon.com/blog/stlfilmaker/2012/08/23/more_than_a_victory_-_mr_obama_needs_a_mandate