Heres a photograph of Newt Gingrich in the wasteland formerly known as America, just after the Great Gas Riots of Late 2014. Thanks, Obama.
  • Stokkete / Shutterstock.com
  • Here's a photograph of Newt Gingrich in the wasteland formerly known as America, just after the Great Gas Riots of Late 2014. Thanks, Obama.

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Jobless claims went up this month, but not by as much as economists thought they would—the first month after Christmas is always a downer, due to seasonal hiring—and the general consensus is that job growth in the United States is strong. Now, it's important to remember there are a lot of stories these numbers aren't telling. Wages are stagnant. Income inequality is at outrageous levels. These are all problems that have afflicted the United States for decades, and they've gotten worse, not better, under President Obama. But the job situation right now is some kind of miracle, compared to the 2015 Republicans threatened us with during the last presidential election.

ThinkProgress published a listicle titled "4 Things That Were Supposed To Happen By 2015 Because Obama Was Reelected," and if you like post-apocalyptic fiction, this is your new favorite blog post. Conservative elected officials and talking heads promised If Obama was re-elected, we'd now be buying gas for $5.45 a gallon, unemployment would be stalled at eight percent, and the economy would have collapsed. (This isn't even including the people who claimed Obama was a secret Muslim who was going to hand the US over to Al Qaeda, or the people who keep saying that Obama will take all our guns away. I'd love to read a sci-fi novel in which every single one of these conspiracies is true. It would be like The Stand, only with a lot more references to Ayn Rand.)

But you know what we need now? Reporters who hold these politicians to their word, on the record. People who are willing to ask the senators and politicians who make these claims to explain themselves. What good is the internet—this immense record of everything that politicians say and do—if we don't actually make them accountable for their statements?