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Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


Home · Articles · News · Features · How‘s he doing? President...
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How‘s he doing? President Obama‘s 60-day report card

Anne Stanton - March 30th, 2009
How’s He Doing?
President Obama’s 60-Day Report Card

By Anne Stanton 3/30/09

Northern Express readers voted President Barack Obama their top choice for “Best Person Who Made a Difference in 2008.” And, let’s be honest, if he can save our country from its deep financial abyss, what word could better describe him than a hero? So how’s he doing after 60 days in office? We called people and asked others on the street to grade the president for his efforts so far.
Here’s what they said.

Grade A
Diana Ketola
Chair of Grand Traverse Democratic Party
I give him 100 percent - he’s trying to follow through on his campaign promises. He has a vision for the United States that includes everyone, not just the elite. I think it’s the right time to address the issue of health care and bring it to a discussion at the national level; it’s a burden for all working families. Bush wouldn’t touch it with a 20-foot pole. Obama isn’t afraid to touch these subjects.

Grade F
David Barr
Chairman of Grand Traverse County Republican Party
I would cite the economy, the AIG bailouts that he and his treasury secretary authorized, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and his lack of direction of where the detainees will ultimately go. Those are my top three reasons right there.

Grade B
John Jarema
Charlevoix County Prosecutor
I would give the President a solid B. And that is coming from the vice chair of the Republican Party of Charlevoix. I rate him that high because I feel that his election and enthusiasm has changed the “fear” mindset somewhat. Public perception and fear of the unknown have dragged the economy down further. I like that he is trying to take away the AIG bonuses -- there should have been more restrictions placed on the companies who receive “my” money. I possibly could have given him a higher grade if he did not campaign for “no earmarks” in spending bills/budgets and then ram through the $800 billion stimulus bill within the first 30 days laden with earmarks.

Grade A
Katherine Humphrey
President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan
In his first 60 days, President Obama has clearly shown that he is committed to protecting and strengthening the health and well-being of women and families. He’s done that by actions he’s taken, including repealing the global gag rule, lifting the eight-year stranglehold on women’s access to health across the world. Expanding access to family planning is not only good, basic health care… it also saves lives. One in 10 women in some parts of Africa dies in childbirth.

Grade C
Slava Mykhaylenko
Retail executive for Sprint

He needs to put more enforcement in the bail-out money instead of just throwing it out there. He gave all this money to companies and all of a sudden, they are spending it for million-dollar bonuses or throwing these huge, private parties. I don’t think it’s fair for these companies to be paying these huge bonuses. He needs to control this a lot more.

Grade A
Jeff Lautner
Business owner
I think he’s got a plan that will work. You know, the trickle down theory just didn’t work. So I feel Obama’s bailout, hopefully, will stabilize the banks. What people have to remember is we were bailing out the banks before Obama took office.

A
Paul Sutherland
President of the FIM Group
I think he’s doing a remarkable job. But people like to second-guess everything, and that includes politics. The truth is, he didn’t invent the FDIC, he didn’t start the bailout of AIG, and the bailout of Freddie Mac; he was handed the keys. What do you do? When he took office, we already had $550 billion of sunk costs. Should we just walk away from that and let those companies fail?
If he were a Republican, Rush Limbaugh would think he’d done a remarkable job. If you look at the people disagreeing, it’s on very partisan lines. … He has very, very smart people who are advising him. He gets to see the whole playing field; anyone sitting in the armchair judging him this way or that doesn’t have the same, big picture … There is no simple answer to fixing the global economy. He’s he’s taking advantage of the momentum he has right now; in six months, the country will be way more politicized, so he’s taking strong action now.

F
Butch Feigel
Truck driver
I don’t agree with the stimulus package. I think it’s outrageous spending right now. I think it will hurt us more in the long run.

A+
Rob Naugle
International rep for the UAW Region 1-D
Of course, I’m a Democrat, but I believe he’s got an uphill battle with the Congress and everything else. He’s out talking and selling his program to all the people. He’s getting out in front, he’s energized the White House so much. I just think he’s awesome, and he’s really, really trying to do the right things. I think all the energy he’s putting into this with his brilliance and speaking ability is right on the money. It’s exactly what we need to try to get this nation turned around. Bush just tore us down so bad on everything.

C+
State Representative Wayne Schmidt
What concerns me is the amount of debt our country is racking up without any idea of what the end result will be, trillions of dollars; I haven’t seen anything that is new or different from him yet. It’s many of the same problems—throw money at it—and the lack of transparency. It’s very concerning. And several of the people he’s nominated are the same people previous administrations, Republican and Democrats, have had with the same problems. It’s the debt that scares me. We needed a stimulus program; he gets marks for that, but the way it’s being handled and such, he does not get high marks.

A
Dave Scroppo
Formerly a writer , but now on disability due to multiple sclerosis
Well, all I care about quite frankly, is the stem cell research being back in play. I am doing fricking back flips over our boy Obama. I can’t walk to the mailbox, but I can do a back flip. Bottom line, I’m still mad at Bush for losing eight years of research, eight years of my life. There’s a selective morality here—400,000 embryos exist that are going to be destroyed or frozen indefinitely. These embryos are purposefully created in a test tube, knowing most of them will die or go into cold storage. So use them to cure a bunch of ills. To cure me! … If we had a cure for M.S., it would be huge. A lot of other diseases too. This is just huge.

F
Betty Kunkel
President of Grand Traverse Area Right
to Life
I’d have to give him an F on the life issues. He’s definitely not in line with what we believe. I think the stem call reversal really concerns us a great deal. If he looked at the issue closer, the adult stem cell research is far more promising and has actually brought about more cures, whereas the embryonic stem cell research has a big fat zero behind it. We are talking about human life at its earliest stages; it is still human life. That’s a real concern to us. It’s a slippery slope. … There’s a new program called Snowflake Babies where (frozen) embryos are adopted out. I can’t say how many or not, but (using embryos that would otherwise be discarded) doesn’t make it right; it doesn’t justify what they’re doing.

A
John Martin
Owner of Martin Company Realtor in Glen Arbor
I think he’s doing a great job. I don’t expect things to change over night. … The housing market is at a standstill, so the question is what will break that loose? They’re talking about a huge tax credit for first time homebuyers, and I think that’s a very positive thing. It’s that part of the market that needs help. I think it’s time we do some things for people who are not in the upper five percent of the earning bracket. We’ve gotta take care of the people who are doing the work everyday. The middle class people have to be helped, and I think Obama understands that.

A
Gail Gruenwald, Executive Director of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
On Great Lakes issues he gets an A, and that’s for beginning the process to fully fund federal commitments to protect and restore the Great Lakes. That means things like funding the Asian Carp barrier near Chicago, to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. It means wetlands restoration within the Great Lakes basin. It means supporting funding for waste water treatment plants and storm water facilities, which keeps pollutants from entering the Great Lakes. He’s also supportive of regulating ballast water that comes in on freighters. Because of his residency in the Great Lakes basin for so many years, he cares passionately about the Great Lakes.

B
Bill Thomas
Editor of the Traverse City Record-Eagle
I think filling his cabinet and the administrative jobs has really set him back, and has pulled a lot of his focus off maybe more important things. It’s been a struggle for him to get people in place. The good thing, the positive side of that, is I think it indicates there is change; people who had some issues previously would have just been seated, and I think people are viewing it differently now and not necessarily going with the status quo in terms of public service.

C
Tim Boyko
Chair of Charlevoix County Republican Party
In my opinion, the most important job of the President is to be the Leader (capital L) of the country. I grade a leader on their ability to inspire. President Obama has not yet achieved his potential in this area.
If President Obama was more inspirational, both Democrats and Republicans in Washington would begin to work together in a manner that the vast majority of voters were looking for in this last election. To be considered for a high grade, President Obama needs to inspire and lead Congress beyond the current “blame game” mentality. The economy is falling off a cliff and it seems little has changed in the way narrow parochial interests drive the legislative process.
Sorry, Mr. President. I know you will be disappointed with your grade of “C.” My advice would be to study President Reagan’s speeches, focus on communicating the big picture, and you will become a better leader.

A
Kathi Biondo
Sells manufactured homes for Sun Communities
He’s inherited an extreme amount of problems that occurred before he took office. There hasn’t been a day he hasn’t tried to make a change and help. I think he’s doing a great job.

B
Robin Weese
Rehabilitative Aide
It’s taking too long to get things done that he’d said he was going to do. He hasn’t been in office that long, but he hasn’t gotten enough done. Hopefully with more time …

A
Elmer Jackson
Retired from Leer Corporation and TC Iron Works
He’s doing the best he can. You can’t expect miracles. Bush put us in a hole 10 feet deep; he’s gotta dig us out. That’s just the way it is.

A
Greg Reisig
Chairman Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC)
I think he’s doing great. Attitudes are already changing within the EPA and Corps of Engineers. There’s a whole new attitude shift. Of course, these agencies have always been sprinkled with environmentalists, but they’ve been kind of in hiding in all these years, and now they’ll have a chance to come out and do some good things. But it will take awhile.

 
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