Today is President' s Day and although it's not the birthday of any president that I know of, President Barack Obama (born Aug. 4, 1961) certainly received a nice present from Congress.
Lawmakers late Friday night tied the bow on a $787 billion, 1,071-page stimulus bill (a plan they did not bother to read !) that was supported by no Republican House members and only three GOP senators.
Maybe they were wary in the wake of the $350 billion bank bailout pushed through in the final days of the Bush administration. That money has apparently evaporated without leaving so much as a drop on the troubled mortgage-holders it was designed to help.
In any case it was a apparently big win for the neophyte Obama presidency but it much more complicated than it appears.
If the bill works as Democrats say, it will save or create 3.5 million jobs and restart the stalled economy. But who can believe it will ?
Moreover, if the bill turns out to be pure waste and the slide continues or, heaven forbid, worsens, Republicans will go into mid-term elections in 2010 with the political life raft they need to rescue their flagging fortunes.
Soon Americans will realize that contrary to what Obama asserts, he is no new Lincoln !
As today is Presidents' Day in the USA, a ranking of past presidents has just been published, and indeed, Obama's model is seen as the best.
Just days after the nation honored the 200th anniversary of his birth, Abraham Lincoln has been named as the nation's best president in a ranking by 65 historians.
George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive when the survey was conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.
Among other recent presidents, Ronald Reagan advanced from 11 to 10 and George H.W. Bush from 20 to 18.
And, logically, because he has remained very popular,Bill Clinton jumped six spots from No. 21 to 15.
Now let me predict that in a few years, Obama will be judged very severely by historians and will probably be remembered as the worst president in American history !