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Difficult to Remain Unimpressed

Huge Legislative Victories, Two Supreme Court Justices, Wars, Wellheads, and Wall St. Coming Under Control - Obama's Powerhouse Period

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

The well head is holding, and the burps of oil from the sea floor of the BP oil leak are thought to be small enough that we needn't be overly hysterical, although the very thought that the sea bed above the reservoir is cracking is not comforting. It would mean that instead of a narrow point of an oil and gas torrent, cracks extending miles along the sea bottom might be doing the same thing and would be impossible to block.

BP is saying that the first relief tunnel should reach the well by this weekend which, if successfully completed, would relieve the pressure, capture the oil like a normal healthy rig would, and allow the broken well to be stamped shut with cement and mud. Then, all we have to do is fear hurricane season breaking something, and this atop the millions of gallons of oil and methane bubbles still puttering around in the deep beyond the reach of the skimmers. But, hey! Let's not be pessimistic. Overly. Instead, look at the good news!

The Census Bureau says that per capita, Colorado has the least number of registered vehicles of all 50 states, only 328 cars per one thousand people. Ironically, Wyoming has the most. Only 19.1% of us in Colorado are obese, the nation's lowest rate. People in Colorado are the least likely in the nation to have heart disease. We are rated 14th in voter participation, and 64.3 of us voted in 2008.

On the bad side, high school graduates declined 9% between 2003 and 2009. And specifically here in Boulder the Damned, Denver, and Greely, medical costs went up 7.5% in one year between 2007 and 2008.
But the good news today is that Obama just signed a serious if not total overhaul of banking and Wall Street regulations; the administration says this will create the strongest financial protections for consumers in history. Although, that isn't saying much, is it.

Still, for all the prancing about the coming election and new polls on the President's declining popularity, this is the third huge legislative victory for the nation's first black president. Having taken office during our financial meltdown, it's hoped that the reforms will end many Wall Street practices that sent the economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression, for which Wall St. was majorly responsible as well eighty years ago. God may not have a sense of humor, or even of irony, and he may be just cruel and perhaps demented, but it came to pass that Obama signed the bill in the Ronald Reagan Building, the president credited by Dick Cheney as teaching us that deficits don't matter.

Deficits matter a great deal, and the current deficits have been engendered to pay for the emergency measures to get us out of mess Republican mythology left us. It is true that for many years when Tip O'Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House, increased the deficits or threatened to, Democrats found it wonderful. Under Reagan, the Republicans found it helpful. The fact is that Americans are hypocritical and selfish, and as long as the government bails out their particular sources of income or pleasure, they don't care about the deficit at all. But the deficit today, as many including Obama predicted and warned about, is the biggest in history, unimaginable in size only a decade in the past. It is dangerous, and it was done on Democratic time cards, and all the instruction in the world that it was mandated by the idiot neo-cons and corporate wannabes in the GOP administration previous won't erase the conclusion of the electorate's short term memory. And Democrats are worried.

Why? The nation is recovering slowly, few mistakes seem to have been made, and Obama has passed more of value in his first two years than most presidents do in eight. Health care. Stimulus. College loans. Financial oversight. And this amid a war in myriad theaters and a demented opposition increasingly racial and stupid in their tantrums. To see what an achievement that is, go back and read the predictions in Bush's last months about where the economy was heading. We didn't sink that far, for which the Obama crew should receive credit. They didn't listen to the vengeful lefties who wanted long, drawn out trials and melodrama about war crimes and gay rights and chances to win battles current and past and lose sight of the war. You can win all the battles and lose the war, lose all the battles and yet win it.

Obama picks his fights well. I think Obama is way, way ahead of everyone else and is pursuing clearly seen goals relentlessly, and he has changed our nation already in important ways for the better. When Elena Kagan is confirmed, take a second and tally up the good and bad objectively. Hard not to be impressed. /p>