Shia Altman

On second thought, do let the door hit you on the way out

The end of the Obama administration is near. Gosh, where do I start?

First, some kind words for the departing non-leader of the free world, Barack Obama, and why although, he was rejected – and yes, he was rejected as well as Hillary Clinton in November – his favorability ratings are in the mid to high 50’s. Putting aside politics, Obama came across as a decent person, a fine family man.

And that’s a good thing. An important thing. Presidents are role models, and unlike at least a couple of his Democratic presidential predecessors, he had no personal scandals. He didn’t chase skirts in and around the Oval Office, and he kept his pants zippered.

I remember when Mr. Obama was running for his first term back in 2008 and I became worried because of his past, and also at that time, current, associations. Super far left, anti-Israel, even anti-American. No need for me to make mention of the contemptable characters – you will remember at least one I am sure. But although one cannot be guilty simply by association, how was it possible for two seemingly proper people, a husband and wife, to have long partnerships with longtime haters with whom once exposed, the Obamas had to disassociate as quickly as possible?

The economy. Sure, the reported unemployment rate is low – a rate that used to represent “full employment,” the economy adding nearly 11 million jobs. And that would mean a great deal if the real unemployment rate wasn’t double. And it would mean a great deal if the labor participation rate was not at a record low, some 95 million people who should be working who are not.

Not helping is the near doubling of the national debt to almost 20 trillion smackers since the Obama ascendancy, more people in poverty and as a percentage, a larger wealth inequality gap, millions more and a higher rate of Americans on food stamps, same with those on disability, historically low recovery GDP, home ownership at a half-century low, historically low wage rate increases, and I could go on. (Google all this if you don’t believe me. I am taking it easy on the links this week.)

Everyone knows someone who is unemployed, underemployed or working more than one job to make ends meet. Or to pay for healthcare.

And speaking of, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” I give Obama credit for at least trying to do something. But because he refused to allow any Republican participation – and yes, he was “I won, so it’s my way or the highway,” we have a system that is collapsing under its own weight.

I keep hearing all kinds of increasing numbers as to who now has insurance that didn’t before the ACA/Obamacare. Is it 20 million, 22? 25? I heard the giveaway king Bernie Sanders say 30 million the other day. Forgotten in the mix are the millions who lost their healthcare and then had to get it back, all at higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher out of pocket costs and fewer providers in fewer markets, for all on the ACA.

It is true that overall health care costs declined, but that is in part because many employers stopped having company plans and threw their workers onto Obamacare. And Obamacare itself has gone up year after year. So for those on the ACA who are not getting equivalently subsidized, it is an irrelevant argument.

Race relations. Anyone honestly think they are better? I didn’t want Obama to be president but I was proud this country could elect him. The man had a chance and he blew it. He picked silly race-related fights almost from the start. Remember the “beer summit?” Now I don’t blame Obama for every problem but if anyone had a chance to make things racially better, he did.

And in all fairness, Obama cannot be blamed for every domestic ill during his tenure. But if he can take credit for things with which he had no involvement, even battled, like increased domestic oil production making us less dependent on foreign oil, he can take the blame for problems under his tutelage.

Of course, the president doesn’t like to take responsibility for anything bad. He keeps telling interviewers that he just didn’t communicate well enough. And that was why he presided over, in fact must take much of the blame for, his party being decimated on federal and state levels while he um, didn’t communicate so well – this man, perhaps one of the greatest teleprompter readers ever to hold the high office. Over 1,000 seats lost in the Senate, the House, and state Houses all over the country.

Maybe his lack of salesmanship also caused the following scandals: Operation Fast and Furious, seizing the phone records of reporters critical of the administration, Solyndra and other scams like it, the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the Secret Service sex disgrace, the VA mess, the trading of a traitor for Taliban terrorists, GSA taxpayer-funded lavish parties, a certain secretary of state being allowed to break the rules and more, and Benghazi – the tragedy and its cover-up lies.

I may have missed a few. It was hard to keep up.

Foreign policy. Or the lack thereof.

There was no civil war in Syria when Obama took office. Now the president is not to blame for the butcher Assad of course, but the president sat by as hundreds of thousands were being slaughtered and millions more went on the run, his chemical weapon “red line” fiasco not going unnoticed by our adversaries and friends.

Indecision and way too early troop withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan – Obama’s campaign promises more important than prudence – caused new terrorism, and hard won with US blood and then lost, land grabs by ISIS and the Taliban. Oh, and there was no ISIS – headquartered in Syria, when Obama took office. Obama called ISIS a JV team but he couldn’t call them radical Islamic terrorists.

Leaving Syria to fester, our buddy Vladimir Putin stepped in. Now like the US president before him, Barack was fooled by the crafty Russian. But unlike George W., Obama didn’t get it till a couple weeks before it was time for him to exit.

Trying to curry favor with the Russians, the silly Hillary reset included sucking up to Vlad by abandoning a missile defense system in Eastern Europe and it went downhill from there. The thug Putin took Crimea, and has destabilized Russia’s border with Ukraine, and then he went into Syria and assisted in the slaughter of innocents, most notably, the helpless people of Aleppo.

Allowing the destruction of Aleppo, in fact most of Syria, was a tremendous stain on Obama’s legacy. A bloodstain. Disgraceful.

But as we sanctioned the Russians who had such little respect for our president and our country, they hacked the hackable Democrats. So we just sanctioned the Russians a bit more. Like they care.

The mischievous Russians, the Chinese, with their South China Sea grab as well as their not reigning in North Korea, and the Cubans, getting everything for giving nothing in return, weren’t the only ones to fool Barack. Perhaps the president’s most dangerous, and so potentially disastrous deal, was the nuclear agreement with Iran. Everyone knew the mullahs would cheat, and so they have, and everyone knew once they got what they wanted, the Iranians would not be punished. At least not while Obama was president.

After all, why punish the biggest state-sponsor of terrorism, when we could punish our only true friend in the most volatile region of the world, Israel? Settlements, settlements, settlements. The world is going to hell, yes, but those damn Jews!

Now it is fair to ask, what was the president to do about some of the above-mentioned issues? Yes, the world has major hard-to-solve problems, but showing weakness and indecisiveness, and doing absolutely nothing at times, or doing the wrong things, only made matters worse.

In his famous “Moon Speech,” John F. Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

If Barack Obama couldn’t stomach doing the hard things, if he was incapable of organizing and measuring “the best of our energies and skills,” then he should never have run for the most important job in the world.

Finally, I want to say this. One can dislike Obama, and dislike him greatly and NOT BE A RACIST. I am so sick and tired of some on the left who are so blinded by ideology that to them, the reason for anyone to criticize their guy is because the critics could never come to terms with an African American becoming president. That’s crap. Many of us have the same distaste for Secretary of State John Kerry. Do we hate white people too?

Hope and change, ha! Good riddance.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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