As details emerge about the relentless negative coverage that President Obama receives as compared to every other presidential candidate1 (and even the non-presidential non-candidates — coughSarahPalincough) it is important, I think, to highlight positive coverage.
So here’s a bit of positive news reported by Jake Tapper: President Obama reads 10 letters from constituents every day; often times, he feels powerless to act in a direct manner to alleviate some of the pain that Americans are in, so he does what he can — he occasionally writes them a personal check:
In February 2009, ABC News was first to report on the 10 letters from constituents that the president is given each day.
Culled from the thousands the White House Correspondence Office receives each day from Americans who have taken the time to sit down and write to their president,” the letters “help him focus on the real problems people are facing,” said then-senior adviser David Axelrod.
Some of these, maybe two or three each day, the President responds to in his own hand.
Then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told us that before two different economic speeches, the President “pulled letters he has gotten and distributed them to staff, to understand what people were going through.”
The White House is now cooperating with a book about those letters, written by the Washington Post’s Eli Saslow, who says that sometimes the president has written a check to help his correspondents. “A few times during his presidency, Obama admitted, he had written a personal check or made a phone call on the writer’s behalf, believing that it was his only way to ensure a fast result,” Saslow wrote in the Post.
“It’s not something I should advertise, but it has happened,” the president told Saslow. “Some of these letters you read and you say, ‘Gosh, I really want to help this person, and I may not have the tools to help them right now. And then you start thinking about the fact that for every one person that wrote describing their story, there might be another hundred thousand going through the same thing. So there are times when I’m reading the letters and I feel pained that I can’t do more, faster, to make a difference in their lives.”
So to be clear, yesterday, Republicans voted against the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, a portion of President Obama’s American Jobs Act (which, by the way, every single Republican rejected last week.) The Teachers and First Responders portion of the American Jobs Act would have sent $35 billion to states to save the jobs of teachers, firefighters, and police.
The bill was to be funded by a .5 percent increase in taxes on the one-million-first dollar earned by millionaires — an increase which, as Vice President Biden explained, would result in a 500 dollar increase per $100,000 over $1,000,000 in the tax burden on millionaires, who on average earn $3M a year:
So while Republicans continue to filibuster any and all legislation that would actually create jobs (while refusing to come up with a plan of their own) because they have pledged never to raise taxes under any circumstances, and because their first priority is to make President Obama a one-term president even at the expense of the livelihoods of millions of Americans, President Obama is writing personal checks to his constitutents because he feels personally pained that he “can’t do more, faster, to make a difference in their lives.”
President Obama is gifting money to Americans because Republicans won’t do their fucking jobs.
So, I ask you, who are you going to vote for?
1 This post by Karoli over at Crooks and Liars is a must read: “Where I Rant About the ‘Liberal Media’, Imbalance, and Unrelenting Negativity”
[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
(edited to correct expression of tax increase)