Wednesday, April 06, 2016

News Flash! We Have an Actual President, and He's Doing Stuff

Lost in the flow of desperate nonsense called the 2016 primary campaign are some real achievements by the actual President of the United States.

President Obama's trip to Cuba for instance will have lasting consequences for that country, the US, and relations with the rest of the Latin countries.  His address to the Cuban people alone was historic and influential.  His visit and all that followed broke some of Cuba's isolation, and is already having political as well as cultural consequences there.

At the start of his presidency, Obama started work on enacting a grand vision of a nuclear free world.  But it's been a little forward and maybe more back in recent years.  Russia continues to bandy about the possibility of  nuclear war, and has developed new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.  Its military operations in Syria, and especially its bombing missions, have fit the classic profile of a test-run of new technologies.

All of this was evident at the recent nuclear summit, which Russia did not attend.  But the good news perhaps is that the partnership Obama has forged with China on addressing the climate crisis has involved that country in at least talking about the need to limit and reduce nuclear weapons in the world.  The Summit focused on keeping nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, and ended with an agreement.

And while GOPers prattle about torture and demonizing Muslims as their response to terrorist acts, President Obama has led an effective effort against ISIS that in recent months has depleted its leadership.  His recommendations for the future are reality-based and practical, such as better international information-sharing.

Domestically, while Obamacare is a success that surprises even its supporters, and the U.S. economy is adding jobs and finally income to the less than wealthy, President Obama took another big step towards economic justice with rules that penalize companies for various practices that allow companies to avoid US taxes and move profits overseas.  Despite GOPer grousing, he made the case Tuesday.

And there is likely more to come in what Jonathan Chiat called Obama's Last Lap. It's unfortunate that the momentarily outrageous sucks up all the attention, but then again, maybe it's a good thing that all these accomplishments with lasting consequences are being effected without turmoil, hiding in plain sight.

Meanwhile, President Obama is providing some of the most trenchant evaluations of ongoing campaign rhetoric, from the rise of Trump to the harm that cockeyed proposals by Cruz and Trump is doing to American credibility in the world.  Plus he's had some words for media responsibility, which didn't go down too well among the pundits.

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