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SHADOW PRESIDENT

Obama's Presidency: War, Gridlock, and Unemployment

AndersonPresident Barack Obama erred in not leaving a U. S. military presence in Iraq.  Japan and South Korea are models for how the president should have orchestrated the thinning of U. S. troops.  Al-Qaeda has re-emerged in Iraq alongside conflict between the Shiite government and Sunni rebel factions.  Syria is still beset with civil-war-type conditions as President Bashar al-Assad fights rebel factions.  Syrian rebel factions have been losing battles to al-Qaeda Jihadists in a conflict which started out as peaceful demonstrations in 2011.  By now, 130,000 lives have been lost.  President Obama has directed the sending of "non-lethal" aid to rebel factions and recently said that he is open to supporting an expanded Syrian rebel coalition.  Mr. Obama's approach to the Syrian conflict has been rather cumbersome and ambiguous.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who remained in place after George W. Bush's retirement to serve two years under President Obama, is set to release a highly anticipated book, in which he critiques Mr. Obama's leadership style.  The president is described as being weak relative to his convictions and commitment to war.  Obama, according to Gates, speaks about how the nation needs a strong military, respect of allies, and fighting for democracy and human rights, yet takes minimal action.  Mr. Obama's healthcare exchanges still present technical difficulties.  He has been charged with overt political deceit for promising individuals who had existing coverage that they could keep it, without losing existing coverage.  Countless Americans lost their coverage.  President Obama also promised affordable coverage, yet reports point to increased premium costs.  Young adults have had problems finding affordable coverage.  Requests for actual numbers of people who have managed to successfully sign up for health-care policies on the exchanges have not been satisfied in many instances by the Obama administration.

President Obama signed the first budget deal with bipartisan cooperation since 2009.  The deal sets federal spending levels for three years, increases airport security fees, and trims federal retirement benefits and pensions, yet did not include an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. The 1.3 million people who qualified for these benefits lost these benefits on December 29.  The political infighting between Republicans and Democrats that has seemingly defined Mr. Obama's presidency has prevented bipartisan cooperation to extend benefits.  The GOP filibustered the unemployment extension with no clue as to when a deal will be made, if at all.  Only 74,000 jobs were added in the month of December. The president's talk of recovery and economic improvement had to have been a Reagan-era flashback.  People still suffer.  The economy still struggles.

Dr. Matthew Anderson
Shadow President

 

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