Kevin Drum: Obama has had a "helluva month' since the mid terms

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones informs us that the president had a very good month since his party's disastrous mid term election. But the question isn't so much that it was great for Obama. Perhaps Drum should be asking at what cost Obama's great month" came and at whose expense?

So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say. Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections:

  • November 10: Surprised everyone by announcing his support for strong net neutrality.
  • November 11: Concluded a climate deal with China that was not only important in its own right, but has since been widely credited with jumpstarting progress at the Lima talks last week.
  • November 20: Issued an executive order protecting millions of undocumented workers from the threat of deportation.
  • November 26: Signed off on an important new EPA rule significantly limiting ozone emissions.
  • December 15: Took a quiet victory lap as Western financial sanctions considerably sharpened the pain of Vladimir Putin's imploding economy.
  • December 16: Got nearly everything he wanted during the lame duck congressional session, and more. Democrats confirmed all important pending nominees, and then got Republican consent to several dozen lesser ones as well.
  • December 17: Announced a historic renormalization of relations with Cuba.

I guess you can add to that a non-event: In its second year, Obamacare signups are going smoothly and ahead of target. Am I missing anything beyond that? Maybe. It's been quite the whirlwind month for our bored, exhausted, disengaged president, hasn't it?

1. The FCC has the final say on net neutrality rules and they were far from pleased with the president's plan.

2. The climate change treaty with China is virtually meaningless - even liberals say that - and the Lima agreement resolved nothing, kicking the can down the road.

3. The executive orders on immigration may help illegal aliens evade the law, but how does Drum think people who waited patiently for years to come here legally feel? I'm sure they don't share in the president's "triumph."

4. The ozone rule would only improve air qualty marginally and would be enormously expensive for many industries to implement.

5. It's a fiction that Russian sanctions have brought Putin to his knees. The real devastation of the Russian economy has been wrought by oil prices being in free fall and attacks by speculators on the Russian currency. Until the fall in oil prices, the Russian economy was holding its own, although it was slipping into recession even before the sanctions took effect. Drum is spouting nonsennse about the sanctions sharpening Putin's pain "considerably."

6. Thanks to Ted Cruz and John Boehner, Obama got a lot of what he wanted on nominees, but failed in at least three significant areas; limits on federal spending are still in place, Republicans will almost certainly pass a bill to defund his immigration orders thanks to the short term funding of DHS, and Dodd-Frank is open to overhaul. A few more "victories" like that and a Republican will be dancing at the inaugural ball on January 20, 2017.

7. I wonder how "historic" the Cuban people think that Obama's saving the oppressive Castro regime from collapse actually is?

8. Obamacare reaching its targets? It's easy if you lower the target to be achieved. Then there's the massive confusion that will occur during tax season this year. Also, more than 300,000 Americans are probably going to lose their Obamacare subsidies because they can't prove their income or citizenship. American's just can't wait for the 40% of the law that has been delayed for political reasons to be implemented.

I suppose you can find a pony in any manure pile if you look hard enough. Someone should suggest to Kevin Drum that he keep digging - he's bound to find something eventually.

 

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones informs us that the president had a very good month since his party's disastrous mid term election. But the question isn't so much that it was great for Obama. Perhaps Drum should be asking at what cost Obama's great month" came and at whose expense?

So how have things been going for our bored, exhausted, and disengaged president? He's been acting pretty enthusiastic, energized, and absorbed with his job, I'd say. Let us count the things he's done since the November 4th midterm elections:

  • November 10: Surprised everyone by announcing his support for strong net neutrality.
  • November 11: Concluded a climate deal with China that was not only important in its own right, but has since been widely credited with jumpstarting progress at the Lima talks last week.
  • November 20: Issued an executive order protecting millions of undocumented workers from the threat of deportation.
  • November 26: Signed off on an important new EPA rule significantly limiting ozone emissions.
  • December 15: Took a quiet victory lap as Western financial sanctions considerably sharpened the pain of Vladimir Putin's imploding economy.
  • December 16: Got nearly everything he wanted during the lame duck congressional session, and more. Democrats confirmed all important pending nominees, and then got Republican consent to several dozen lesser ones as well.
  • December 17: Announced a historic renormalization of relations with Cuba.

I guess you can add to that a non-event: In its second year, Obamacare signups are going smoothly and ahead of target. Am I missing anything beyond that? Maybe. It's been quite the whirlwind month for our bored, exhausted, disengaged president, hasn't it?

1. The FCC has the final say on net neutrality rules and they were far from pleased with the president's plan.

2. The climate change treaty with China is virtually meaningless - even liberals say that - and the Lima agreement resolved nothing, kicking the can down the road.

3. The executive orders on immigration may help illegal aliens evade the law, but how does Drum think people who waited patiently for years to come here legally feel? I'm sure they don't share in the president's "triumph."

4. The ozone rule would only improve air qualty marginally and would be enormously expensive for many industries to implement.

5. It's a fiction that Russian sanctions have brought Putin to his knees. The real devastation of the Russian economy has been wrought by oil prices being in free fall and attacks by speculators on the Russian currency. Until the fall in oil prices, the Russian economy was holding its own, although it was slipping into recession even before the sanctions took effect. Drum is spouting nonsennse about the sanctions sharpening Putin's pain "considerably."

6. Thanks to Ted Cruz and John Boehner, Obama got a lot of what he wanted on nominees, but failed in at least three significant areas; limits on federal spending are still in place, Republicans will almost certainly pass a bill to defund his immigration orders thanks to the short term funding of DHS, and Dodd-Frank is open to overhaul. A few more "victories" like that and a Republican will be dancing at the inaugural ball on January 20, 2017.

7. I wonder how "historic" the Cuban people think that Obama's saving the oppressive Castro regime from collapse actually is?

8. Obamacare reaching its targets? It's easy if you lower the target to be achieved. Then there's the massive confusion that will occur during tax season this year. Also, more than 300,000 Americans are probably going to lose their Obamacare subsidies because they can't prove their income or citizenship. American's just can't wait for the 40% of the law that has been delayed for political reasons to be implemented.

I suppose you can find a pony in any manure pile if you look hard enough. Someone should suggest to Kevin Drum that he keep digging - he's bound to find something eventually.