Month: October 2010

Rand Paul-Supporting Head-Stomper Charged With Assault

This post has been revised.  Initially, I wrote something about Rand Paul supporting the “head-stomper”.  That was an error.

My over-zealous reaction to the above headline was an error. 

New York Magazine

Tim Profitt, the Kentucky man and since-dropped Rand Paul campaign coordinator videotaped stomping on a Paul protester’s head last week, has been charged with misdemeanor assault. Profitt will go before a district judge in Lexington Nov. 18 on the fourth-degree assault charge. [NBC]

 

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The Top 10 Craziest Quotes by Tea Party Candidates

Huffington Post

Regardless of the outcome of the 2010 elections, the Tea Party has already made history by spawning the craziest crop of political candidates America has ever seen. Judge for yourself by reading this assemblage of Tea Party wisdom on everything from Nazi reenactments and violent revolutions to masturbation, witchcraft, and mice with human brains. Help pick the nuttiest Tea Party candidate by rating their most ridiculous quotes so far.

Sharron Angle

“I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.” —Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, floating the possibility of armed insurrection by conservatives, interview with right-wing radio host Lars Larson, Jan. 14, 2010 (Source)

Christine O’Donnell 

“American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.” —Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, discussing cloning with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, 2007 (Source)

Rich Iott 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country (Nazi Germany) that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things.” —Ohio GOP House candidate and Tea Party favorite Rich Iott, explaining why for years he donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments as part of a group that calls itself Wiking, Oct. 2010 (Source) Iott later said the Nazi soldiers “were doing what they thought was right for their country.” (Source)

Sharron Angle

“People ask me, ‘What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?’ Well, that’s not my job as a U.S. senator.” —Sharron Angle, May 14, 2010 ( Source)

Christine O’Donnell

“It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can’t masturbate without lust! … You’re going to be pleasing each other. And if he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?” —Christine O’Donnell, advocating against masturbation in a 1996 MTV interview (Source)

Joe Miller

“The first thing that has to be done is secure the border … East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow. Now, obviously, other things were involved. We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border. If East Germany could, we could.” —Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller, on how to deal with illegal immigration, Oct. 17, 2010 (Source)

 Glen Urquhart

“Do you know, where does this phrase ‘separation of church and state’ come from? It was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. … The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State, ask them why they’re Nazis.” —Glen Urquhart, the Tea Party-backed Republican nominee for the Delaware House seat held by Rep. Mike Castle, April 2010 (Source)

Christine O’Donnell

“I’m not a witch…I’m you.” —Christine O’Donnell, in a 30-second ad responding to a video clip from a 1999 appearance on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect,” in which she said, “I dabbled into witchcraft — I never joined a coven. But I did, I did… I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I’m not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do… One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s little blood there and stuff like that. We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.” (Source)

Stephen Broden

“Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table. I don’t think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.” —Tea Party-backed Texas GOP congressional candidate Stephen Broden, suggesting the violent overthrow of the U.S. government if Republicans don’t win at the ballot box, interview with Dallas’s WFAA-TV, Oct. 21, 2010 (Source)

Sharron Angle

“So that’s what we want is a secure and sovereign nation and, you know, I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me. I don’t know that. What we know, what we know about ourselves is that we are a melting pot in this country. My grandchildren are evidence of that. I’m evidence of that. I’ve been called the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly.” —Sharron Angle, speaking to a group of Hispanic high school students, Oct. 15, 2010 (Source)

See all 20 quotes and slideshow here…

Divided We Fail (NYT Editorial by Paul Krugman)

New York Times – Paul Krugman

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

Start with the politics.

In the late-1990s, Republicans and Democrats were able to work together on some issues. President Obama seems to believe that the same thing can happen again today. In a recent interview with National Journal, he sounded a conciliatory note, saying that Democrats need to have an “appropriate sense of humility,” and that he would “spend more time building consensus.” Good luck with that.

After all, that era of partial cooperation in the 1990s came only after Republicans had tried all-out confrontation, actually shutting down the federal government in an effort to force President Bill Clinton to give in to their demands for big cuts in Medicare.

Now, the government shutdown ended up hurting Republicans politically, and some observers seem to assume that memories of that experience will deter the G.O.P. from being too confrontational this time around. But the lesson current Republicans seem to have drawn from 1995 isn’t that they were too confrontational, it’s that they weren’t confrontational enough.

Another recent interview by National Journal, this one with Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has received a lot of attention thanks to a headline-grabbing quote: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

If you read the full interview, what Mr. McConnell was saying was that, in 1995, Republicans erred by focusing too much on their policy agenda and not enough on destroying the president: “We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being re-elected, and we were hanging on for our lives.” So this time around, he implied, they’ll stay focused on bringing down Mr. Obama.    Continue reading…

Rally To Restore Sanity Attendance Estimated in Hundreds of Thousands

 

The Huffington Post

The Rally to Restore Sanity has come to a close, and crowd estimates are beginning to trickle in. It is clear that a huge number of people attended the event (see photos from the rally here), but the calculations vary among sources.

According to CBS News, 215,000 people showed up for the rally on Saturday. By comparison, CBS estimated that 87,000 — just 40% of the Sanity Rally estimation — attended Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in August.

Canada’s CTV, meanwhile, wrote that 250,000 people were estimated to have partaken in the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Earlier on Saturday, Brian Stelter tweeted that the Parks Service approximated that “well over 200,000″ attended Saturday’s rally.

For full coverage of the rally, check out HuffPost’s comprehensive live blog of the event, including videos, photos and more.

U.S. Searches for More Suspicious Cargo

Daily Beast 

Yemeni officials have detained a female medical student in her 20s who is suspected of sending explosive to the U.S. on cargo planes.  The hunt is also on for Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a 28-year-old bomb mastermind working with al Qaeda’s Yemen branch.  Asiri is linked to both this plot and last year’s failed Christmas Day underwear bomber attack. British officials believe the bomb intercepted in the U.K. was meant to explode on the plane—and was viable to do so.  Janet Napolitano, the U.S. homeland security secretary, linked the plot to al Qaeda, telling ABC news Saturday morning that the intercepted packages contained PETN, one of the “hallmarks” of the group.

Other facts we know:

  • Explosive devices were found on cargo planes in Dubai and at the East Midlands airport in the United Kingdom.
  • The explosive cargo originated in Yemen and was intended for two Jewish places of worship in Chicago.
  • Early reports said that the packages were sent by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; however, addressing the nation, President Obama stopped short of blaming the terrorist organization, saying only, “We know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies.”
  • A U.S. commercial airline flight from the United Arab Emirates was escorted by fighter jets to JFK. It was believed to be carrying cargo from Yemen.
  • The explosive device on the airplane in East Midlands involved wires and a computer chip attached to a toner cartridge. See a photo here.
  • Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who is on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the seized packages contained the same chemical explosive as the one found in the bomb sewn into the underwear of the Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day.
  • Despite the increased role of Yemenis in recent terror plots, U.S. officials stressed that Yemen has been cooperating with terrorism investigations.
  • Planes were also searched on Friday morning at Newark and Philadelphia airports, but were later cleared for further travel.
  • British Home Secretary Theresa May has said that the explosive found in East Midlands was viable and “could have exploded.”
  • Did Breitbart Lie About ABC Election Night Role?

    When I first heard this news I was as angry as any progressive/liberal could be.  How dare ABC hire Andrew Breitbart as an election night consultant?  As it turns out, “Liar, Liar Pants On Fire” Breitbart was at it again…

    News Hounds

    Andrew Breitbart, the Fox News darling already known as a proven liar and rightwing propagandist (is there a difference?) may have added a few inches to his nose in the past day or so. Yesterday morning the front page of his blog, bigjournalism.com, featured an announcement that “founder and head of the Breitbart empire Andrew Breitbart will be bringing analysis live from Arizona” on election night. Since then, not only centrist and leftwing bloggers, but members of ABC’s newsroom, have been up in arms. However, it turns out Bretibart has not been hired by ABC. Funny how he sat back and let everyone come to the conclusion that he had been, isn’t it? Screenshot after the jump.

    Here is what an ABC executive had to say early this evening:

    Since conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart announced on his website that he was going to be a participant in ABC’s Town Hall meeting at Arizona State University, there has been considerable consternation and misinformation regarding my decision to ask him to participate in an election night Town Hall event for ABC News Digital. I want to explain what Mr. Breitbart’s role has always been as one of our guests at our digital town hall event:

    Mr. Breitbart is not an ABC News analyst.

    He is not an ABC News consultant.

    He is not, in any way, affiliated with ABC News.

    He is not being paid by ABC News.

    He has not been asked to analyze the results of the election for ABC News.

    Continue reading…

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    Obama Administration’s Achievements (Thus Far)

    Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin says: “When you look at things that will last, Obama has more notches on the political belt.”

    Obama’s Achievements Center

    Arts and Culture  

    1. Increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to the highest level since 1992. ref, ref, ref
    2. Created an artist corps for public schools. ref
    3. Championed the importance of arts education. ref
    4. Promoted cultural diplomacy. ref
    5. Section curator: ^pash
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. ref
    3. Established President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. ref, ref , ref
    4. Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. ref, ref
    5. Dodd-Frank (DF) Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the biggest financial reform law since the Great Depression. ref
    6. Managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) ref
    7. Assigned a Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009. ref
    8. Pension relief Act of 2010. ref
    9. Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. ref, ref
    10. Played a lead role in G-20 Summit re: financial crisis. ref
    11. Reformed deferral rules to curb tax advantages for investing overseas. ref
    12. Established new offshore investment policy that promotes in-sourcing. ref, ref
    13. FUNDING:
    14.  Cut salaries for 65 bailout executives (Pay Czar). ref
    15. Banks have repaid 75% of TARP funds, bringing the cost down to $89B as of June 2010. ref
    16. Closed offshore tax safe havens, tax credit loopholes. ref , ref , ref
    17. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    18.  Created the Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor stability of the financial system and individual firms (DF). ref
    19. New requirements for reporting financial data (DF). ref
    20. Created self-funded Office of Financial Research (OFR) to collect information from financial firms (DF). ref
    21. OFR employees must wait a year before working for certain financial firms. ref
    22. Provided for orderly liquidation of financial companies (DF). ref
    23. Limited trading activities of banks (Volcker Rule) beginning 2 yrs after passage (DF). ref
    24. Swaps Pushout Rule prevented federal assistance to swaps (including derivatives) traders (DF). ref
    25. Derivatives must be traded transparently through a clearing house (DF). ref
    26. Defined the amount and nature of assets required to meet capital requirements (DF). ref
    27. Originators of asset-backed securities must retain 5% ownership/risk (DF). ref
    28. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (DF). ref
    29. Stronger client fiduciary duty for broker-dealers (DF). ref
    30. Higher standards for securities advertising and disclosures (DF). ref
    31. Expanded “insider loans” (DF). ref
    32. Higher standards for sytemically important ($50 billion assets+) institutions, including annual stress tests and restrictions on bank acquisitions (DF). ref
    33. Executive compensation must be determined by an independent committee (DF). ref
    34. Issued compensation guidelines for bank executive salary and bonuses. ref , ref
    35. Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring (DF). ref
    36. Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. ref, ref
    37. Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009. ref
    38. Established a credit card bill of rights. ref
    39. Reformed credit card swipe fees. ref
    40. Created new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud. ref
    41. Congress pursued Goldman Sachs for securities violations. ref
    42. Permanently extended Research and Experimentation Tax Credit for domestic investments. ref
    43. RESULTS:
    44. (Treasury) Sold 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup at a profit. ref
    45. G-20 summit produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis. ref
    46. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals. ref
    47. Financial reform has ‘strongest consumer financial protections in history.’ ref
    48. Section curator: ^dellalee
    1. FUNDING:
    2. Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act though the American Recovery and investment Act. ref
    3. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    4. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Instituted equal pay for women. ref, ref, ref
    5. Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ref , ref , ref , ref
    6. Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights (4/15/2010). ref
    7. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. ref
    8. Supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). ref
    9. Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act. ref
    10. Established White House Council on Women and Girls (Executive Order 13506 ). ref
    11. Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring.
    12. Increased minority access to capital. ref
    13. Pushing through settlement in the black farmers lawsuit against USDA. ref, ref
    14. Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. ref
    15. Increased Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA). ref, ref
    16. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Promoted internet freedom as part of U.S. foreign policy. ref, ref , ref
    3. Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009. ref
    4. Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010. ref
    5. FUNDING:
    6. Expanded loan programs for small businesses. ref
    7. TARGETED ACTION:
    8. Small Business Act. ref
    9. Small Business Investment Act. ref
    10. Proposed tougher meat industry antitrust rules. ref , ref
    11. Denied federal contracts to tax delinquents. ref
    12. Appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer. ref
    13. Established Federal IT Dashboard. ref
    14. Modernized the USA.gov portal to connect people to the services they require. ref
    15. Launched the National Export Initiative, with the goal of doubling US exports by 2015. ref , ref
    16. Provided National Export Initiative/Progress report and named President’s Export Council. ref, ref
    17. Launched piracy crackdown. ref
    18. Section curators: ^dellalee
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009. ref
    3. Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. ref
    4. North American Wetlands Conservation Act. ref
    5. Stewardship of the Ocean (established National Ocean Council ), our Coasts and the Great Lakes (Executive Order). ref
    6. Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order). ref, ref
    7. Established partnerships to share environmental technology with other countries. ref
    8. FUNDING:
    9. Increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. ref
    10. Increased funding for national parks and forests. ref
    11. $175 million of ARRA allocated for water conservation, $135 million of that in the West. ref
    12. TARGETED AREAS:
    13. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic. ref, ref
    14. Expanded access to places to hunt and fish. ref
    15. Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (Executive Order). ref, ref
    16. Led effort to phase out whaling. ref
    17. Pursued a wildfire management plan. ref
    18. Encouraged more controlled burns to reduce wildfires. ref
    19. Ordered removal of more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires. ref
    20. Section curator: ^pash
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): a $789 billion economic stimulus plan. ref
    3. US auto industry rescue plan. ref, ref
    4. Start-Up activity now higher than it was during the dotcom boom. ref
    5. Created task force to fight deficit. ref
    6. Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. ref
    7. Temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. ref
    8. FUNDING:
    9. Increased minority access to capital. ref
    10. $26 billion aid to states package (Aug 2010). ref
    11. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    12. Raised the small business investment limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009. ref
    13. Created an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes. ref
    14. Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act – establishes a Federal “Do Not Pay” list. ref
    15. Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch. ref
    16. Adopted Economic Substance tax doctrine. ref
    17. Extended unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits. ref ref
    18. Economy grew 5.9% in 4th quarter. ref
    19. U.S. Economy: Manufacturing grew by most since 2004. ref
    20. U.S. GDP up 3.2% in first quarter. ref
    21. Consumer spending showed biggest rise in 3 years. ref
    22. Orders for most durable goods rose. ref
    23. Wholesale inventories and sales rose in March. ref
    24. $26 billion state aid bill triggered a surge of private municipal investment. ref
    25. EXHIBITS – THE STIMULUS ONE YEAR LATER:
    26. Success of the stimulus–how do you illustrate ‘could have been worse’? ref
    27. Distribution of ARRA funds by year. ref
    28. Need for financial education: Investors who act on their own do worse than T-bills; market timers earn negative returns. ref
    29. Consumer debt patterns (revolving and non-revolving) through end of 2009. ref
    30. Growth of the national debt from 2000-2009. ref
    31. Bar chart showing increases in national debt by President (since Carter). ref
    32. Pie chart: 2009 annual deficit contrasting large Bush tax cuts and relatively small ARRA. ref
    33. THE LEGACY: AUGUST 2010
    34. The Economy Has Been Growing – seasonally adjusted change in GDP by quarter 2007-2010. ref
    35. The Private Sector Has Begun to Add Jobs – Monthly change in nonfarm employment 2008-2010. ref
    36. GDP would have been lower without the Recovery Act (2007-2013 projection) (scroll down to Part III to see chart). ref
    37. Unemployment would have been higher without ARRA (2008-2010). ref
    38. The gap between actual and full-employment GDP would have been much larger without TARP and ARRA (2008-2010). ref
    39. MISCELLANEOUS EXHIBITS:
    40. Public Sector Lost 316,000 jobs October 09-July 10 (state aid negotiated out of ARRA by GOP). ref
    41. Section curator ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Enacted largest reform of student aid in 40 years. ref, ref
    3. Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. ref
    4. Established President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. ref, ref, ref
    5. FUNDING:
    6. Increased funding for land-grant college. ref
    7. Provided means for students struggling to make college loan payments to refinance. ref
    8. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    9. Expanded Pell grants for low-income students. ref
    10. Expanded Pell grant pool by eliminating private lender subsidies for student loans. ref
    11. Section curators: ^ejoyce ^Kroth
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Created the Race to the Top Fund ($4.35 billion) to reward States that create comprehensive education reform plans. ref
    3. Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 . ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Provided funding for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools. ref
    6. Established State Equalization Fund; new funds for school construction (ARRA). ref
    7. Provided $77 Billion for reforms to to strengthen Elementary and Secondary education. ref
    8. Fully funded the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). ref
    9. Provided $12.2 billion in new funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ref
    10. $26 billion state aid package saved 160,000 teacher jobs (Aug 2010) ref
    11. Provided over $2.3 billion in additional funding to Head Start and Early Head Start programs in 2009. ref
    12. Provided $5 billion dollars for Early Learning Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ref
    13. Roughly doubled the amount available in Federal Child Care Block Grants. ref
    14. Established “Promise Neighborhood” Grants (modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone). ref , ref
    15. Eliminated abstinence-only funding in budget. ref, ref
    16. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    17. Helped rebuild schools in New Orleans. ref
    18. Established school programs to highlight space and science achievements. ref
    19. Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession. ref
    20. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers . ref
    21. Provided affordable, high-quality child care. ref
    22. Unveiled initiatives to help men be better fathers. ref
    23. Section curators: ^ejoyce ^Kroth
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Jobs for Main Street Act (2010). ref
    3. American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. ref
    4. National Export Initiative ref
    5. FUNDING:
    6. (DOL) Dedicated $100 million in Energy Training Partnership green jobs training grants. ref
    7. (DOL) Dedicated $150 million for Pathways Out of Poverty green jobs training grants. ref
    8. $33 billion-dollar jobs package (March 2010). ref , ref
    9. $26 billion aid to states package (Aug 2010). ref
    10. $5,000 tax credit for every new worker. ref
    11. New Health IT Workforce Grants (ARRA). ref
    12. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    13. Job training programs in clean technologies for displaced workers. ref
    14. Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans. ref
    15. Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring (DF).
    16. Recruited math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession. ref
    17. Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses. ref, ref
    18. Required new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliations or contributions. ref, ref
    19. RESULTS:
    20. CBO found 3.7 Million jobs created by stimulus (May 2010). ref
    21. Job loss exploded under Bush, improves under Obama. ref
    22. 682,370 jobs created under the Recovery Act Between January 1 — March 31,2010. ref, ref, ref
    23. New jobless claims tumble. ref
    24. March payrolls surge by 162,000 US says . ref
    25. March jobs data showed biggest growth in three years .ref
    26. U.S. economy added 90000 jobs in April . ref
    27. Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC (AP). ref
    28. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Established an Energy Partnership for the Americas. ref
    3. Established the Biofuels Working Group to develop a comprehensive approach to alternative fuels. ref
    4. Additional measures to advance clean energy/solar investments and job creation (ARRA). ref
    5. Launched new Climate Service. ref
    6. Worked toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system. ref
    7. Implemented renewable fuels mandate of 36 billion gallons by 2022. ref
    8. FUNDING:
    9. More than doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels. ref
    10. $60 billion in spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy. ref
    11. Invested in all types of alternative energy. ref
    12. Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. ref
    13. Invested $2 billion in solar power, hailed new jobs. ref, ref, ref
    14. Established consumer tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars. ref, ref
    15. Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes. ref
    16. Doubled funding for bicycling, walking projects ref, ref
    17. (DOL) Dedicated $100 million in Energy Training Partnership green jobs training grants. ref
    18. (DOL) Dedicated $150 million for Pathways Out of Poverty green jobs training grants. ref
    19. $8 billion combined public/pvt funding committed to develop Smart Power Grid (part of ARRA). ref
    20. Incentivized farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient. ref
    21. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    22. Purchased fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government. ref
    23. Ordered 5,000 hybrids for federal fleet. ref
    24. (NIST) Completed first release of Smart Grid framework. ref
    25. Created job training programs in clean technologies for displaced workers. ref
    26. Created Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans. ref
    27. Established program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders. ref
    28. RESULTS:
    29. First President to create detailed vision for clean energy economy. ref
    30. Wind power growth up 39% due to government stimulus. ref
    31. Study: Almost 5 million charging stations by 2015. ref
    32. Section curator: ^pash
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions. ref
    3. Created Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage. ref
    4. Set national standards for fuel economy and first ever greenhouse gas emission levels for passenger cars and light trucks. ref
    5. Set smog limit: new strict proposal to replace Bush-era rule (EPA). ref ref
    6. Regulated greenhouse gases for large industrial sources (EPA). ref
    7. Raised fuel economy standards. ref
    8. Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption. ref
    9. Allowed states to enact tougher fuel efficiency standards than federal standards. ref
    10. Established Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. ref
    11. FUNDING:
    12. Pledged more than $8 billion for new nuclear reactors. ref
    13. Tax breaks to promote public transit. ref
    14. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    15. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government. ref , ref
    16. Reengaged in global warming and greenhouse gas emissions talks. ref, ref
    17. Offered 17% U.S. emissions cuts at climate summit. ref
    18. Pledged 28% cut in federal greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. ref
    19. Expanded greenhouse gas reduction targets for Federal operations -13% reduction from indirect sources by 2020. ref
    20. (FTC) Toughened anti-greenwashing rules. ref
    21. Instituted “Cash for Clunkers” to spur auto sales and promote fuel efficiency . ref, ref
    22. Ordered inspections of mines with poor safety records. ref
    23. Closed loophole that allowed drilling in Rockies without environmental review. ref
    24. (EPA) Sharply limited mountaintop mining. ref
    25. (EPA) Announced historic plans to regulate coal ash. ref
    26. Required electric utilities to produce 20% of their electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2020. ref
    27. (EPA) Limited mercury emissions. ref ref
    28. Section curator: ^pash
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Introduced Oil Spill Recovery Bill to remove oil company liability cap. ref ref
    3. Created offshore drilling safety review board. ref
    4. Created new drilling agency with investigative arm. ref
    5. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations and reports. ref
    6. FUNDING:
    7. Ordered $20 billion escrow fund by BP to reimburse lost incomes in Gulf. ref
    8. Ordered $100 million to compensate those hurt by drilling moratorium. ref
    9. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    10. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government. ref , ref
    11. Mandated new safety rules for offshore drilling. ref
    12. Opened civil and criminal investigations into Gulf oil spill. ref, ref
    13. (Congress) Launched investigation into gas drilling practices. ref
    14. Established the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. ref
    15. Amended Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ref
    16. Expanded oil rig workers’ families abilities to sue and recover. ref
    17. Fined BP subsidiary $5.2 million for false reporting. ref
    18. (EPA) Barred Texas’ authority to issue refinery operating permits. ref
    19. Section curator: ^pash
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Re-established the United States standing in the world. ref, ref, ref
    3. Poll: World’s opinion of U.S. has “improved sharply” under Obama. ref
    4. 47 nations rise to Obama’s challenge at US nuke summit and agree to four years of non-proliferation efforts. ref
    5. Visited more countries and world leaders than any first year president. ref
    6. G-20 Summit produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis. ref
    7. Launched an international Add Value to Agriculture initiative (AVTA). ref
    8. Created a rapid response fund for emerging democracies. ref
    9. Bolstered the military’s ability to speak different languages. ref
    10. BY REGION:
    11. West Hem: Returned the rights of Americans to visit and assist their families in Cuba. ref , ref , ref
    12. Middle East: Appointed envoys to the Middle East and AFPAK affirming the power of American diplomacy. ref
    13. Middle East: Renewed loan guarantees for Israel. ref
    14. Middle East: Pledged $400 million in aid to Gaza civillians. ref
    15. Middle East: Pressured Israel to end Gaza blockade. ref
    16. Middle East: Refused to give Israel a “green light” to strike Iran, augmenting Mid-East stability. ref
    17. Middle East: Iran Sanctions Act. ref
    18. Asia: Authorized President Bill Clinton’s mission to secure the release of two Americans held in North Korea. ref
    19. Asia: Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Webb to secure the release of an American held captive. ref
    20. Asia: Renewed import restrictions under Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. ref
    21. Asia: Nuclear arms agreements with India (5/4/2010). ref
    22. Africa: Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. ref
    23. Africa: Helped stabilize Somalia (Exec Order). ref
    24. Aus: Nuclear arms agreements with Australia (5/5/2010). ref
    25. Europe: Nuclear arms agreement with Russia. ref , ref, ref, ref
    26. Europe: Agreed with Switzerland to bolster tax information exchange ref, ref
    27. Section curators: ^arrghPaine
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Established the President’s Management Advisory Board. ref
    3. Streamlined and modernized government to save taxpayer dollars. ref
    4. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations and reports. ref
    5. SPECIFIC CUTS:
    6. Cut salaries of senior White House aides. ref
    7. Made $20 Billion in budget cuts. ref
    8. Provided that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011. ref, ref, ref
    9. Eliminated F-22 fighter jet program after lobbying Senate vote to strip financing for more jets from a defense funding authorization bill. ref, ref, ref
    10. Canceled contract for new Presidential helicopter fleet (28 helicopters, $11.2 billion). ref
    11. OTHER TARGETED ACTIONS:
    12. Enhanced payment accuracy through a “Do Not Pay” list. ref
    13. Cracked down on tax cheats (Exec Order). ref
    14. Returned taxpayer monies for refurbishment of White House offices and living quarters. ref , ref
    15. Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require. ref
    16. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Established HealthCare.gov, a web portal for determining and comparing all consumer health insurance and health care options ref, ref
    3. Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information. ref
    4. Established the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council . ref, ref
    5. Established President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. ref
    6. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules. ref
    7. Implemented a National HIV/AIDS Strategy 7/13/10 ref
    8. FUNDING:
    9. Provided $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. ref
    10. Provided $500 million in expanded funding for Health Professions Training Programs. ref, ref
    11. Provided funding to strengthen hospital preparedness and emergency response ref
    12. Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners. ref
    13. Increased funding to expand community based prevention prog: rams. ref
    14. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    15. First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off anti-obesity effort. ref
    16. Established a New Patient’s Bill of Rights. ref
    17. Established Patient Safety and Medical Liability Demonstration Projects. ref , ref
    18. Questioned Prestigious Hospitals in Electronic Health Records Probe (DHHS). ref
    19. Established Standards For Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment ref
    20. Expanded vaccination programs. ref , ref
    21. Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. ref
    22. Engaged global efforts on HIV/AIDS issues. ref
    23. (FDA) Now regulating tobacco. ref, ref
    24. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. ref
    25. (FDA) Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients. ref , ref , ref
    26. Banned sale of “light” cigarettes. ref
    27. Increased Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA). ref, ref
    28. (FDA) to discuss stricter guidelines for tanning beds due to skin cancer. ref
    29. (FDA) Issued new guidance limiting antibiotic use in cattle to preserve efficacy in humans (6/28/2010). ref
    30. FDA) Reconsidered safety of Bisphenol A, initiates study. ref
    31. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act // Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (March 2010). ref , ref
    3. Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan. ref
    4. Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. ref , ref
    5. Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care. ref
    6. Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information. ref
    7. Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs. ref
    8. Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP). ref, ref
    9. Prevented children from being refused health insurance coverage. ref
    10. Established Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. ref
    11. Increased regulation of drug manufacturers. ref, ref
    12. Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage. ref
    13. TRICARE Affirmation Act. ref
    14. Extended COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) to provide for a continuation of health care. ref, ref, ref
    15. Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009. ref , ref , ref, ref
    16. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Unveiled $275 billion dollar housing plan ref
    3. Established “Opening Doors” – a federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. ref , ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Provided $510 Million for the rehabilitation of Native American housing. ref
    6. Provided $2 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization Program . ref
    7. Provided $5 billion for Weatherization Assistance Program for low income families. ref
    8. Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes. Ref
    9. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    10. Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. ref
    11. Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, helping millions avoid foreclosure . ref, ref
    12. Established the Making Home Affordable Plan, which will provide for the refinance or loan modification for 9 Million homeowners. ref
    13. RESULTS:
    14. New-home sales saw biggest jump in 47 years. ref, ref
    15. Foreclosures fall 2%. ref
    16. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). ref
    3. Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009. ref, ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Accelerated tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for Haiti earthquake relief. ref
    6. Made Haiti donations tax deductible for 2009. ref
    7. $60 million for flood victims in Pakistan (8/19/10).
    8. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    9. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; instituted equal pay for women. ref, ref, ref
    10. Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ref, ref, ref, ref
    11. Increased federal employment of individuals with disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA). ref ref
    12. Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees. ref, ref, ref, ref
    13. Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights (4/15/2010). ref
    14. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act. ref
    15. Awarded the Presidential Medal of freedom to Harvey Milk and Billie Jean King. ref
    16. The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, advancing press freedom and safety for journalists. ref, ref,
    17. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. ref
    18. Established White House Council on Women and Girls (Executive Order 13506 ). ref
    19. Awarded 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. ref
    20. Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. ref
    21. The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009. ref
    22. Appointed an American Indian policy adviser. ref
    23. (EPA) Reversed Controversial “Human Guinea Pig” Rule. ref
    24. Section curators: ^rmuse
    1. Requested emergency funding of $600 million for Border Security. ref
    2. Deployed more drones on Mexico border (Homeland Security). ref
    3. Deported higher numbers of Illegal Immigrants. ref
    4. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Introduced plan to expand broadband Internet across U.S. ref, ref
    3. FUNDING:
    4. $8 billion combined public/private funding committed to develop Smart Power Grid (ARRA.) ref
    5. $800 million to fund rapid rollout of rural broadband expansion (7/2010). ref
    6. Provided funding for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools. ref
    7. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect. ref
    8. $290 million in funding for 53 grants to “fund new streetcars, buses, and transit facilities.” ref ref
    9. Invested $13 Billion (ARRA: $8B + $1B 5-year federal budget) in high speed rail projects in 13 major corridors ref, ref, ref
    10. Provided grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes. ref
    11. Created a social investment fund network. ref
    12. Funded a major expansion of AmeriCorps. ref
    13. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    14. (NIST) Completed first release of Smart Grid framework. ref
    15. Opened 500 MHz of wireless spectrum over next 10 years to expand wireless/mobile broadband use. ref
    16. Commenced 10,000th road project, Columbus, OH (part of ARRA); June 2010. ref , ref
    17. Airport and Airway Extension Act. ref
    18. Initiated modification to Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) regulations. ref, ref
    19. Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the volunteer program. ref, ref ref
    20. RESULTS:
    21. Study: Almost 5 million charging stations by 2015. ref
    22. 10,000th highway project (ARRA). ref
    23. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. Established POWER Initiative – protects government workers, ensures reemployment, reduces worker’s comp claims and payments. ref
    2. Restored funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. ref
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Outlined new federal drug control policy. ref ref
    3. Ordered review of mandatory minimum sentences. ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Restored funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program. ref
    6. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    7. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court. ref, ref
    8. Appointed first black Attorney General, Eric Holder. ref
    9. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. ref
    10. Established crimes programs for the new Orleans area. ref
    11. Brought greter alignment to sentencing guidelines for powdered versus crack cocaine. ref
    12. Denounced SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United. ref
    13. Pushing through settlement in the Black Farmers Lawsuit against USDA . ref, ref
    14. DTV Delay Act. ref
    15. Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2009. ref
    16. Tribal Law and Order Act. ref, ref, ref, ref
    17. RESULTS:
    18. U.S. jail population declined for first time in decades. ref
    19. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare. ref
    3. Social Security Disability Applicant Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010. ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Eliminated higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans. ref
    6. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    7. Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009. ref, ref, ref, ref
    8. Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage. ref
    9. Preserved access to care for Medicare beneficiaries ref
    10. Expanded eligibility for Medicaid. ref
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Began restructuring the military to reflect present day threats and technology. ref
    3. Recommitted the U.S. to a policy of “no torture” and full compliance with the Geneva Conventions. ref
    4. All servicepeople receive education in a region’s culture and language before deployment there (a soldier said this on Maddow).
    5. Supported the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). ref , ref
    6. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date. ref
    7. Established new cyber security office. ref, ref
    8. Defense Production Act Reauthorization of 2009. ref
    9. Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act. ref
    10. Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act. ref
    11. FUNDING:
    12. Cut the missile defense program by $1.4 billion in 2010. ref
    13. Eliminated F-22 fighter jet program after lobbying Senate vote to strip financing for more jets from a defense funding authorization bill. ref, ref, ref
    14. Canceled contract for new Presidential helicopter fleet (28 helicopters, $11.2 billion). ref
    15. $1.1 Billion for improving airport security. ref
    16. Increased pay and benefits for military personnel. ref
    17. BY REGION/THEATER:
    18.  AF Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan. ref, ref
    19. AF Set troop pullout in Afghanistan to begin in summer 2011. ref , ref
    20. AF Established Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing, prioritizes aid
    21. AF infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices. ref
    22. AF Ordered military to withdraw fast food establishments from Afghan bases. ref
    23. IQ Ended combat mission (remaining personnel are nonagressive) 8/18/10
    24. SOM Increased US Navy patrols off Somali coast. ref
    25. SOM Ordered SEAL operation that resulted in killing of three terrorists and the release of US captain held by Somali pirates. ref
    26. Closed secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. ref , ref
    27. Opened door to space arms treaty. ref, ref
    28. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks, building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols. ref
    29. Executive Order Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the US. ref
    30. Caught more Taliban Leaders in one month than Bush/Cheney did in six years. ref
    31. Negotiated nuclear arms agreements with Australia (5/5/2010), India (5/4/2010), and Russia (5/10/2010). ref, ref, ref, ref
    32. New START treaty and protocol with Medvedev. ref
    33. Section curators: ^arrghPaine
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses. ref, ref
    3. Improved benefits for veterans. ref, ref, ref, ref
    4. Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development . ref
    5. Worked to clear the backlog of veterans claims and streamline benefits to those who served. ref
    6. FUNDING:
    7. Provided for the expenses of families of to be at Dover AFB when fallen soldiers arrive.ref
    8. Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House. ref
    9. Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. ref
    10. Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009. ref
    11. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    12. Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009. ref
    13. Promoted a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (“WASP”). ref
    14. Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information. ref , ref, ref , ref
    15. Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. ref
    16. Improved basic housing allowance for military personnel. ref
    17. Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. ref
    18. Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs. ref
    19. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans. ref
    20. Korean War Veterans Recognition Act. ref
    21. Blinded Veterans Association. ref
    22. Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr., O.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center. ref
    23. Improved access for Veterans to receive PTSD treatment. ref
    24. Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans. ref
    25. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Ordered an extensive review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness. ref, ref
    3. Memorandum on the Long-Term Gulf Coast Restoration Support Plan ref
    4. FUNDING:
    5. Provided $210 Million for building and upgrading fire stations. ref
    6. Ordered $20 billion escrow fund by BP to reimburse lost incomes in Gulf. ref
    7. Ordered $100 million to compensate those hurt by drilling moratorium. ref
    8. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    9. Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010. ref
    10. Haiti Debt Relief and Earthquake Recovery Act of 2010. ref
    11. Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act. ref
    1. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act — Expands the national volunteer program. ref ref, ref ref
    2. Created a Social Investment Fund Network. ref
    3. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Removed restrictions and provided support for embryonic stem-cell research and new biomedical research. ref, ref, ref ref
    3. Extended the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. ref, ref
    4. Supported Landsat Data Continuity Mission to enhance earth mapping. ref
    5. FUNDING:
    6. Provided new federal funding for science and research labs. ref
    7. Provided grants to early-career researchers. ref
    8. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    9. Appointed an assistant to the president for science and technology policy. ref
    10. Optimized the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States ref
    11. Optimized the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States ref
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Worked with international allies on International Space Station ref
    3. Opened door to space arms treaty. ref, ref
    4. Used the private sector to improve spaceflight ref
    5. Supported commercial access to outer space ref
    6. FUNDING:
    7. Increased spending to prepare for longer space missions ref
    8. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    9. Added another Space Shuttle flight ref
    10. Partnered to enhance the potential of the International Space Station ref
    11. Used the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research ref
    12. Determined whether International Space Station can operate after 2016 ref
    13. Conducted robust research and development on future space missions ref
    14. DOD opened access to social media sites (Air Force News). ref
    15. DOD will film all interrogations. ref
    16. Cracked down on tax cheats (exec order). ref
    17. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government. ref , ref
    18. Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require ref
    19. Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act. ref, ref
    20. White House voluntary disclosure policy – visitor access records/450,000 records to date ref ref
    21. Section curators: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Adopted Economic Substance tax doctrine. ref
    3. Cracked down on tax cheats (Exec Order). ref
    4. TARGETED ACTIONS: TAX CREDITS/REDUCTIONS:
    5. Temporarily suspended taxes on unemployment benefits. ref ref
    6. Established consumer tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars. ref, ref
    7. $60 billion in spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy. ref
    8. Tax breaks to promote public transit. ref
    9. Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch. ref
    10. Small business teax credits for the cost of health insurance for employees beginning 1/1/10 (HCR).
    11. 2-year temporary tax credit up to $1 billion to encourage investment in new disease prevention and treatment therapies (HCR).
    12. Income floor for medical expense deductions for individuals age 65 and older (and their spouses) remains at 7.5% through 2016; Raise 7.5% floor to 10% for all others (1/1/13) (HCR) ref
    13. Health insurance premium tax credits and subsidies available for those with income up to 4x the federal poverty level (1/1/14) (HCR) ref ref
    14. Accelerated tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for Haiti earthquake relief. ref
    15. TARGETED ACTIONS: TAX ASSESSMENTS/INCREASES:
    16. Made Haiti donations tax deductible for 2009. ref
    17. ncreased penalty tax of 20% on nonqual distributions from HSA and MSA (1/1/11) (HCR) ref
    18. Income tax rates for the highest earners will change from 35 to 39.6 percent. (1/1/11) (HCR) ref
    19. Capital gains tax for the highest earners will change from 15 to 20 percent. (1/1/11) (HCR) ref
    20. 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices (1/1/13) (HCR) ref
    21. For high earners the capital gains tax will rise from 20 to 23.8 percent. (1/1/13) (HCR) ref
    22. A 2.35 percent Medicare payroll tax only on wages over the threshold (an increase of 0.9 percent) (1/1/13) (HCR) ref
    23. Tax increase for corporations with assets of at least $1 billion (1/1/14) (HCR) ref
    24. 40% Excise tax on Cadillac health plans (2018) (HCR) ref
    25. TARGETED ACTIONS: TAX ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:
    26. Closed offshore tax safe havens, tax credit loopholes . ref , ref , ref
    27. Employers will report the value of health benefits on W-2s (1/1/11) (HCR) ref
    28. RESULTS:
    29. Tax bills hit lowest level since 1950. ref
    30. Tax refunds up 10 percent due to stimulus. ref
    31. Section curator: ^roytoric
    1. BROAD POLICY:
    2. Mandate to follow the standards of the Freedom of Information Act (exec order). ref
    3. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible. ref
    4. Unveiled “open government” plans. ref
    5. Federal IT Dashboard, “a website enabling federal agencies & the public to view details of information technology”. ref
    6. TARGETED ACTIONS:
    7. Released presidential records. ref
    8. Imposed limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House. ref ref
    9. Imposed limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration. ref
    10. Closed lobbyist loopholes with respect to the Recovery Act ref
    11. Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees. ref
    12. Provided more town halls and media access than previous administration. ref, ref
    13. Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care. ref
    14. Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information. ref
    15. Required new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliations or contributions. ref, ref
    16. Established a uniform standard for declassifying, safeguarding and classifying national security information (12/29/2009). ref
    17. Created a national declassification center. ref
    18. DOD opened access to social media sites (Air Force News). ref
    19. DOD will film all interrogations. ref
    20. Cracked down on tax cheats (exec order). ref
    21. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, cutting ties between industry and government. ref , ref
    22. Established the USA.gov portal connecting people to the services they require ref
    23. Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act. ref, ref
    24. RESULTS:
    25. White House voluntary disclosure policy – visitor access records/450,000 records to date ref ref
    1. Federal deficit shrank 8% year-on-year.
    2. Financial reform has ‘strongest consumer financial protections in history.’ ref
    3. Wall St reform designed to end taxpayer bailouts. ref
    4. Six-month report card: exports in the first four months of 2010 were 17 percent higher than in the first four months of 2009 . ref
    5. Job loss exploded under Bush, improves under Obama. ref
    6. 682,370 jobs created under the Recovery Act Between January 1 — March 31,2010. ref, ref, ref
    7. New jobless claims tumble. ref
    8. March payrolls surge by 162,000. ref
    9. March jobs data showed biggest growth in three years .ref
    10. U.S. economy added 90,000 jobs in April . ref
    11. Jobless rates dropped in 34 states and DC (AP). ref
    12. New-home sales saw biggest jump in 47 years. ref, ref
    13. Foreclosures fall 2%. ref
    14. U.S. Economy: Manufacturing grew by most since 2004. ref
    15. U.S. GDP up 3.2% in first quarter, consumer spending showed biggest rise in 3 years . ref
    16. Orders for most durable goods rose. ref
    17. Wholesale inventories and sales rose in March. ref
    18. Consumer confidence highest in 2 years. ref
    19. Start-Up activity now higher than it was during the dotcom boom. ref
    20. Study: almost 5 million charging stations by 2015. ref
    21. Wind power growth up 39% due to government stimulus. ref
    22. Poll: world’s opinion of U.S. has “improved sharply” under Obama.ref
    23. 47 nations rise to Obama’s challenge at US nuke summit and agree to four years of non-proliferation efforts. ref
    24. U.S. jail population declined for first time in decades. ref
    1. Got his daughters a puppy! ref
    2. Held first Seder in White House. ref, ref
    3. Appointed at least one Republican to the cabinet. ref
    4. Section curator: ^roytoric
     
    h/t Kato (again)

    Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day – Reality Check (Redux)

    Campaign For America’s Future

    Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there that Tea Partiers and the GOP (one in the same, actually…) are spreading:

    1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
    Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

    2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
    Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

    3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
    Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

    4) The stimulus didn’t work.
    Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

    5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
    Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

    6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
    Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

    7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
    Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

    8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
    Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

    This stuff really matters

    H/t Kato

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    All the other parts can be seen here (click on ‘Play All” to watch it all the way through) : http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=64BDB647C08F01F…

    Enjoy…

     H/t Democratic Underground