What Has Obama Done? Check the List

If you are still undecided on the election, or, have chosen Romney, please review this film clip of what Republicans have to say about Mitt Romney.  It is not good.  A leader of a country should not be nick-named “flip flop” BY HIS OWN PARTY.

To all the undecided who want to know just what the President has done in his four years, please review the list below.  If this is the type of leadership you want for your children, there is only one clear choice for President: Obama.  Obama represents the best hope of America stabilizing over the long term back into a functioning economy and society that is fair and just for everyone.

1. The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don’t get equal pay for equal work.
2. The Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.
3. He pushed for and won middle-class tax cuts that benefitted every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.
4. President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they’ve ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009 — and they most likely wouldn’t exist right now without President Obama’s leadership. And they won’t be sending Jeep jobs to China.
5. He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordable for nearly 10 million families in need of education for the current economy.
6. His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly into students.
7. The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.
8. His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.
9. His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.
10. President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.
11. We’ve seen 5.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 31 months.
12. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office and continues to drop.
13. Health care reform — passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous President — provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.
14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.
15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn’t passed.
17. The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.
18. President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulations to make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these commonsense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.
19. His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.
20. President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.
21. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.
22. He has taken historic action to protect our environment — signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.
23. President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts for irresponsible corporate greed.
24. Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation’s first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection — and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.
25. As part of President Obama’s commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.
26. President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States’ dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.
27. President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.
28. He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.
29. President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.
30. President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.
31. Through the President’s historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returning veterans.
32. President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.
33. His administration naturalized 11,146 military service members as U.S. citizens in 2010; more than in any year since 1955.
34. President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida’s Space Coast.
35. President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America’s largest economic engines; he’s worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.
36. He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.
37. He fought for and won the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.
38. When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
39. Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden — and has decimated al-Qaeda’s senior leadership.

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No Virginia, Racisim is NOT Dead

From the New YorKKK Post’s “Page Six” column, Oct. 24, 2012

The following post is re-published in its entirety from Lyndon LaRouche Watch and written by By DENNIS KING and GERALDINE PAULING.  No copyright infringement is intended and credit goes to the authors.  But it is disturbing enough that it needs to be re-distributed.  If you needed a reason to vote, this is it.

OCTOBER 30, 2012—Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid published a cartoon last Wednesday that more appropriately belongs in a Ku Klux Klan rag or as a poster for Lyndon LaRouche’s street-corner agitators. Sean Delonas, the longtime cartoonist for the Post, depicts an angry white man on horseback (Mitt Romney) chasing down a terrified skinny black man fleeing on foot (President Obama)—and the Romney figure is aiming an assault rifle and attached bayonet at the Obama figure’s backside.

Think for a second: the target of the Romney figure and his weapon is the President of the United States, our President, our Commander in Chief. The Post apparently sees nothing wrong with displaying racial contempt and fantasies of violence against President Obama, but we suspect that if a white President—even Jimmy Carter—had been depicted in a cartoon as the target of an assault rifle/bayonet attack by his election rival, the Post’s editors would have failed to see any humor in it and would have declined to publish it.

The Post will laugh this off by claiming it’s all just a metaphor for Romney surging (supposedly) in the polls, that the gun is shooting polling charts rather than bullets, and that the bayonet and horse are intended merely to satirize Obama’s comment about horses and bayonets in the final Presidential debate between Obama and Governor Romney on Oct. 22.

Don’t believe these excuses. The cartoon clearly evokes an image from the Old South of an overseer or slave catcher chasing down a runaway slave. (As in the image above, the overseer usually would have been on horseback and the slave almost certainly would have been on foot, but the overseer would have had a whip as well as a gun and would not have been trying to kill the slave—slaves were valuable property.)

A white man on horseback chasing a black man on foot also suggests the KKK night riders and their reign of terror against freed slaves shortly after the Civil War. The original Klan was headed by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate cavalry general—and the image of a Champion of the White Race on horseback would become as central to Klan tradition as the burning of crosses.

Although Obama’s remark about horses and bayonets undoubtedly inspired Delonas to some degree, this only increases the cartoon’s racist import. For the knee-jerk hatred of Obama by so many Republicans goes back to group fantasies about the Rebellious Slave, or in this case the uppity educated n___, who must be put back in his place.

In the Oct. 22 debate, Obama very definitely transgressed the taboo against uppity behavior that is part of the racist group fantasy. He did this by forcefully challenging—on TV before 59.2 million Americans—the foreign-policy notions of the Great White Republican Hope, forcing Romney to agree with him on many points, and landing a devastating blow with his quip about how the U.S. military has moved beyond the era of horses and bayonets.

The Post had been delighted by Obama’s non-aggressive performance in the first debate, but when he defended his record with wit and verve on Oct. 22, the paper’s number-one Obama hater, Michael Goodwin, complained that the President had “mocked, personally attacked and sneered at” Romney and had shown “utter contempt” for the Republican candidate. Goodwin seemed blissfully unaware that he was describing precisely what he himself and other Republican media hacks had been doing to Obama ever since the campaign season began.

In the group fantasies about race that are shared by millions of white racist Republicans, Obama—the Rebellious Slave/Uppity Negro—must be punished symbolically as well as politically for his many transgressions. And the perceived humiliation of Romney in the Oct. 22 interchange (on military preparedness, of all things) must be reversed—which the Delonas cartoon did by portraying the Republican candidate as a looming figure on horseback with fury in his eyes (and a giant phallus in the form of the assault rifle) charging down on a curiously diminished President who is depicted as an almost monkey-like figure.

In the twisted dream-logic of the racist group fantasy as manifested in this malignantly iconic cartoon, the verbal instruments of the white man’s humiliation (the horse and the bayonet) become the physical instruments of the black man’s punishment. Some individuals will also see in the image intimations of repressed homosexuality erupting into anal rape. Certainly the trajectory of the overly large rifle and the bayonet—and the sadistic leer on the horseman’s face—suggest this, but we will stick here to a politically-oriented analysis. For even without any sexual allusions, the hunting down of the Obama figure fits with the group fantasy’s punishment motif.

By supposedly humiliating Romney in the final debate, Obama symbolically humiliated those right-wing whites who are caught up in the group fantasy and for whom Romney is (in psychohistorical terms) the “delegate.” Obama has also humiliated these folks on a daily basis by the very fact that he is President. Thus, the group fantasy–which is an essentially timeless artifact in which the traditional racial hierarchy still exists–decrees that Obama the transgressor must be punished in a way that not only reverses the humiliation but also humiliates the transgressor himself a hundredfold in order to make the traditional racial order whole again.

Neither Obama nor Romney set out to play his assigned role in this group fantasy. The roles are being projected onto them by elements of the electorate who in turn are being driven by something that has deep historical roots: first in the centuries of slavery and second in the Jim Crow era, when thousands of black men were lynched not only because of accusations that they’d attacked a white woman but also for a variety of perceived slights against white people—talking back or otherwise behaving in an uppity way, showing a talent for business, or even just displaying independence of mind. And blacks were not just strung from a tree like some rustler in the Old West—they were subjected to beatings and torture first, sometimes including castration and dismemberment, or were burned alive. (Please note that we are not trying to say that cartoonist Delonas wants to bring back the era of lynchings; as a transmitter of the group fantasy in the 21st century he probably gave no thought to the deeper historical and psychological levels of what he was depicting. The power of group fantasy springs from the fact that it operates chiefly on an unconscious level.)

Today, violent racist retribution against a black person will gain a white bigot a long prison sentence if he’s caught. But those Americans who are caught up in the group fantasy and happen to view the Post cartoon can experience a certain retributory satisfaction by gloating over the cartoon’s payback motif before they go out to vote for their hero on horseback. And meanwhile the group fantasy continues to exercise both a symbolic and political influence via the dog-whistle comments about the President that are coming fast and furious from Republican circles as Election Day approaches.

The first impression of the Delonas cartoon for many supporters of Obama will be that it is profoundly disrespectful of the President and indeed of the Presidency itself. But this has been the case with the attacks on Obama from his first day in office. Respect is simply not part of the equation for individuals who refuse to acknowledge that Obama is legitimately our President even though he was duly elected and sworn in as such.

A huge percentage of Republicans say they don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S.A., and indeed if they were right he would be an illegal occupant of the White House. But the “Birther” theory is only code language. Most Republicans know perfectly well that Obama was born in the United States. What they are really saying is that they cannot—will not—accept a black man as their President unless he is willing to be a Clarence Thomas-type puppet for their own political agenda.

Apparently many of the Republican Birthers don’t believe that a black man can ever be their equal. The best known of the Birthers, Donald Trump, said on Fox News on Oct. 24 that Obama is the “least transparent” President we’ve ever had, and offered $5 million to the charity of Obama’s choice if the President would release his college records and applications—the strong implication being that the President with untransparent skin couldn’t possibly have won acceptance to or performed successfully in top schools without special assistance.

When the Post endorsed Romney on Oct 25, it chose to adopt the not-a-real-President trope in a sly manner—with a front-page headline “THE ONLY CHOICE.” Consider: Romney is running against a President who has the support of approximately half the population of our country, and massively outpolls Romney in New York City, but the Post won’t acknowledge that he’s a choice—even a bad choice. This stance carries its own Planet Bizarro logic: if Obama’s not a legitimate President but only a “shuck and jive” President (Sarah Palin’s phrase), then voting for him is as meaningless as inserting on the ballot the name of one of those fictional black presidents who kept getting assassinated–right under Jack Bauer’s nose–on the Fox network’s 24.

The Post has become increasingly unhinged during the last days of the Presidential race. After Richard Mourdock, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Indiana, announced that conception of a child by way of rape is God’s will (thus greatly embarrassing Romney who nevertheless continued to support Mourdock), the Post’s Andrea Peyser declared that Romney is the true feminist candidate for President and that Obama is the world’s worst sexist because he calls his wife “Sweetie.” (Peyser said nothing about her own newspaper’s relentlessly demeaning descriptions of scantily clad women; see the picture of the new Daniel Craig co-star on p. 13 of the Oct. 28 issue with the text underneath: “Double-oh-wow! Meet the new Bond girl, French sexpot Bérénice Marlohe…”)

But don’t think for one moment that the Delonas cartoon is simply part of the electoral silly season. The Post has a long history of pushing the envelope of sports-bar bigotry—as in the notorious 2009 cartoon portraying a rabid chimpanzee bleeding to death with two cops standing over it, one with a smoking gun, and a caption that refers to Obama’s stimulus package.

And perhaps some long-time Post readers will recall the cartoon from about 20 years ago in which Rev. Al Sharpton—falling or shoved out of an airplane—is descending to earth with his necktie sticking straight up like a noose (as in “necktie party” noose aka lynch-mob noose).

Let’s draw a line against the racism of the New York Post and the Republican fever swamp by turning out in massive numbers for Obama. And then, remembering all those suggestions by the radical right that Obama be sent “back to Kenya,” New Yorkers should warmly and courteously invite Rupert Murdock to “self-deport” (or better yet, just teleport) back to Australia.

Protect Your Vote

If you are a woman or minority, your right to vote was purchased with bloodshed.  Whatever your party or preference, you should exercise your voting rights to honor those who sacrificed.  Now the Republicans are attempting to roll back your rights with underhanded legislation that effectively ensures you cannot vote in the elections.

Some states have eliminated voting on the Sunday prior to the election, 34 states have implemented photo ID requirements, 15 states are demanding proof of citizenship – birth certificate.  Nine states have implemented no early voting and no late voter registration.  These laws actually violate the Voter Registration Act, Section five.

The target demographics for these anti-American laws are African-Americans, Latinos, Women, Seniors and college students.  Most seniors do not have their birth certificates on hand, many minorities and women work hours which make it difficult to vote on a Tuesday and eliminating Sunday voting will effectively eliminate their votes.  Student IDs have been ruled as not sufficient for voting.

Arm yourself with information.  Brennan Center for Justice has a site that describes all of the new changes and how you can challenge them or keep your voting rights intact.  Alternatively, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683) to find out all the new changes and how you can protect your rights.

It’s Not About You… It’s The Election Silly

fireplaceSo, under tremendous pressure from their own party members, the House of Representatives graciously decided to grant the payroll tax extension for those in the 99%.  And, incidentally, prevent us from paying $1,000 or more in taxes next year.

This action was taken reluctantly, with Speaker Boehner stating “We have fought the good fight. Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want”.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t elect anyone to do what they want.  I elected them to work in my best interests.  They work for me (and you).

This doesn’t seem to matter to the egocentric Republicians.  They want only power and more money to the rich. Because we all know, if the rich have lots of money, they quickly spread it around to the middle class.  That’s why they came to our rescue so quickly when families were faced with losing their homes.  The rich banks quickly rewrote loans to meet the reduced incomes of the families.  Now everyone has a roof and food and can pay their bills… Oh wait, that’s not what happened.

So, what prompted the sudden about face?  According to Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, “If they had continued to dig in on this they risked losing the Senate in 2012 and handing President Obama the election without even having a fight”.  Ahhh.

Contrary to Speaker Boehner’s smooth words, this is about tricking the American public prior to the election in hopes that the Republican candidate wins and then they can begin truly trouncing us with back-breaking budgets that favor only the already-wealthy.

Well forewarned is forearmed.  As stated in the Delacration of Independence:
“But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Remember this moment in history when you go to the polls.  No matter what honeyed words are spouted by the Republican party members, they cannot be trusted.  Vote Independent, Democrat or write in your own candidate.  Just be sure to send the Republican liars a firm message that America is hopeful, not gullible.

Merry Christmas.  Occupy Forever.

Response of the Rich; Not What You’d Expect

lightsabersThe Occupy movement has gained the ear of the intended; the wealthy.  Now, this group is speaking up and out about how they feel on the country’s economic future.  A group calling itself “Patriotic Millionaires For Fiscal Strength” is imploring Washington to give them higher taxes.  That’s right; the rich want to pay more in taxes so the country can begin to get out of it’s economic grave.

Robert Johnson, a member of this group, stated;

“America is no longer based on markets and capitalism, instead our economy is designed as ‘socialism for the rich’ – it is designed to ensure that the wealthiest people take all of the gains, while regular Americans cover any losses,” he said at a press conference this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a Las Vegas economy where regular Americans put their money on the table and the richest 1 percent own the house,” he said. “And if the 1 percent happen to lose money, the 99 percent bails them out – covers their losses and then stands by watching while the house does it all over again.”

Even in the face of this plea by the group who stand to gain most, Republican Congresspersons are standing fast to the party line of “reduce taxes on the rich and the country will prosper”.  This is clearly not true and the economic figures do not support this pie-in-the-sky approach to fixing the economy.  Reducing the deficit will take hard-core income, not some translucent idea that some businesses might begin to hire and might start paying a living wage.

Wake up Republicans, taxing the middle class only works while there is a middle class. Creating only bottom-feeder, low-wage, low-skill jobs at the expense of everyone means that eventually, everyone will be at the bottom.

The reality is that the economy works only when the middle-class has disposable income and spends it.  This creates demand, and increases profits for all, not just the rich.  Stop whining and put forth a stable financial plan that takes surplus money from those who can and more importantly, will afford it.  Using these funds responsibly will begin healing a bleeding country.

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