Obama Campaign Releases Full 17-Minute, First-Term Documentary

I watched this  video below, live at 8:00 pm last night.  It’s seventeen minutes long but it seemed a lot shorter to me.  Perhaps that’s because I’m in awe of President Obama’s accomplishments, even if they haven’t been acknowledged by “the other side”.

You know, in the Black Community, we often say that a Black man or woman has to work twice as hard as their White counterparts at any job in order to get ahead.

The POTUS illustrates this with dignity and determination to become one of the best Presidents ever…in spite of the unprecedented opposition he is experiencing from the GOP, birthers, Tea Baggers and other Obama Derangement Syndrome “haters”.

The Huffington Post

Syncing politics with Hollywood glitz and production, the Obama campaign formally released on Thursday night a much-hyped 17-minute documentary on the president’s first term in office.

The film tells the story of the past few years through a rosy filter and with the deft touch of an accomplished director. Davis Guggenheim, who put together Al Gore’s award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” was handed the reins for the project. Actor Tom Hanks is the narrator.

The material is, by now, well-traveled terrain, emphasizing the enormity of the problems that President Barack Obama inherited and bookending his first term with the bailout and subsequent recovery of the auto industry.

But there are some twists. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cops to advising Obama that he should consider spending less time and capital on health care reform. Vice President Joe Biden states his belief that the president would have been limited to one term if the Osama bin Laden raid had failed. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creator Elizabeth Warren, assessing the pro and cons of the auto bailout, says the president could have had “blood on his hands” had the industry and economy imploded. And then there is the president himself, who sat down with the filmmakers to discuss that bin Laden raid.

“I didn’t have time for a lot of feelings at that point because our guys were still in that compound,” Obama says into the camera. “And it wasn’t until I knew they were across the border, safe, everybody was accounted for, including the dog, that I allowed for some satisfaction.”

Continue reading…

March 2012: Obama’s 50 Great Accomplishments (Updated this month)

Of course there is absolutely nothing that will convince The President’s detractors, just how much he has accomplished in three years.

On the other hand, his supporters have watched his progress with pride and awe…

The Washington Monthly - By Paul Glastris, Ryan Cooper, and Siyu Hu

1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems.

2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.

3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide “living wills” to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.

4. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 91,000, with 23,000 slated to leave by the end of summer 2012. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the combat mission there will be over by next year.

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry: In 2009, injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration) into ailing GM and Chrysler in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring. Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades. The government expects to lose $16 billion of its investment, less if the price of the GM stock it still owns increases.

8. Recapitalized Banks: In the midst of financial crisis, approved controversial Treasury Department plan to lure private capital into the country’s largest banks via “stress tests” of their balance sheets and a public-private fund to buy their “toxic” assets. Got banks back on their feet at essentially zero cost to the government.

9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action, including air power and naval blockade, against Gaddafi regime to defend Libyan civilians and support rebel troops. Gaddafi’s forty-two-year rule ended when the dictator was overthrown and killed by rebels on October 20, 2011. No American lives were lost.

11. Told Mubarak to Go: On February 1, 2011, publicly called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform or step down, thus weakening the dictator’s position and putting America on the right side of the Arab Spring. Mubarak ended thirty-year rule when overthrown on February 11.

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Two days after taking office, nullified Bush-era rulings that had allowed detainees in U.S. custody to undergo certain “enhanced” interrogation techniques considered inhumane under the Geneva Conventions. Also released the secret Bush legal rulings supporting the use of these techniques.

13. Improved America’s Image Abroad: With new policies, diplomacy, and rhetoric, reversed a sharp decline in world opinion toward the U.S. (and the corresponding loss of “soft power”) during the Bush years. From 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, with an average increase of 26 percent.

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans. Starting July 2010 all students began getting their federal student loans directly from the federal government. Treasury will save $67 billion over ten years, $36 billion of which will go to expanding Pell Grants to lower-income students.

15. Created Race to the Top: With funds from stimulus, started $4.35 billion program of competitive grants to encourage and reward states for education reform.

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.

17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis: To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to provide lines of credit and other support to emerging market countries, which kept them liquid and avoided crises with their currencies.

18. Passed Mini Stimuli: To help families hurt by the recession and spur the economy as stimulus spending declined, signed series of measures (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011) to extend unemployment insurance and cut payroll taxes.

19. Began Asia “Pivot”: In 2011, reoriented American military and diplomatic priorities and focus from the Middle East and Europe to the Asian-Pacific region. Executed multipronged strategy of positively engaging China while reasserting U.S. leadership in the region by increasing American military presence and crafting new commercial, diplomatic, and military alliances with neighboring countries made uncomfortable by recent Chinese behavior.

20. Increased Support for Veterans: With so many soldiers coming home from Iraq and Iran with serious physical and mental health problems, yet facing long waits for services, increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans.

21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran: In effort to deter Iran’s nuclear program, signed Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (2010) to punish firms and individuals who aid Iran’s petroleum sector. In late 2011 and early 2012, coordinated with other major Western powers to impose sanctions aimed at Iran’s banks and with Japan, South Korea, and China to shift their oil purchases away from Iran.

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants: New EPA restrictions on mercury and toxic pollution, issued in December 2011, likely to lead to the closing of between sixty-eight and 231 of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Estimated cost to utilities: at least $11 billion by 2016. Estimated health benefits: $59 billion to $140 billion. Will also significantly reduce carbon emissions and, with other regulations, comprises what’s been called Obama’s “stealth climate policy.”

23. Passed Credit Card Reforms: Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009), which prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, mandates a grace period on interest rate increases, and strictly limits overdraft and other fees.

24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws: Signed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, giving women who are paid less than men for the same work the right to sue their employers after they find out about the discrimination, even if that discrimination happened years ago. Under previous law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the statute of limitations on such suits ran out 180 days after the alleged discrimination occurred, even if the victims never knew about it.

25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court:Nominated and obtained confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman to serve, in 2009; and Elena Kagan, the fourth woman to serve, in 2010. They replaced David Souter and John Paul Stevens, respectively.

26. Improved Food Safety System: In 2011, signed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which boosts the Food and Drug Administration’s budget by $1.4 billion and expands its regulatory responsibilities to include increasing number of food inspections, issuing direct food recalls, and reviewing the current food safety practices of countries importing products into America.

27. Achieved New START Treaty: Signed with Russia (2010) and won ratification in Congress (2011) of treaty that limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads (down from 2,200) and 700 launchers (down from more than 1,400), and reestablished and strengthened a monitoring and transparency program that had lapsed in 2009, through which each country can monitor the other.

28. Expanded National Service: Signed Serve America Act in 2009, which authorized a tripling of the size of AmeriCorps. Program grew 13 percent to 85,000 members across the country by 2012, when new House GOP majority refused to appropriate more funds for further expansion.

29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection: Signed Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (2009), which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails, and protected more than 1,000 miles of rivers.

30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco: Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (2009). Nine years in the making and long resisted by the tobacco industry, the law mandates that tobacco manufacturers disclose all ingredients, obtain FDA approval for new tobacco products, and expand the size and prominence of cigarette warning labels, and bans the sale of misleadingly labeled “light” cigarette brands and tobacco sponsorship of entertainment events.

31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders: Issued executive order in 2009 requiring all federal agencies to make plans to soften their environmental impacts by 2020. Goals include 30 percent reduction in fleet gasoline use, 26 percent boost in water efficiency, and sustainability requirements for 95 percent of all federal contracts. Because federal government is the country’s single biggest purchaser of goods and services, likely to have ripple effects throughout the economy for years to come.

32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act: Signed 2010 legislation that reduces sentencing disparity between crack versus powder cocaine possessionfrom100 to1 to 18 to1.

33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense: Cut the Reagan-era “Star Wars” missile defense budget, saving $1.4 billion in 2010, and canceled plans to station antiballistic missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of sea-based defense plan focused on Iran and North Korea.

34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown: After winning agreement from congressional Republicans and Democrats in summer 2011 budget deal to reduce projected defense spending by $450 billion, proposed new DoD budget this year with cuts of that size and a new national defense strategy that would shrink ground forces from 570,000 to 490,000 over the next ten years while increasing programs in intelligence gathering and cyberwarfare.

35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Mission: Allowed the expensive ($1 billion per launch), badly designed, dangerous shuttle program to make its final launch on July 8, 2011. Cut off funding for even more bloated and problem-plagued Bush-era Constellation program to build moon base in favor of support for private-sector low-earth orbit ventures, research on new rocket technologies for long-distance manned flight missions, and unmanned space exploration, including the largest interplanetary rover ever launched, which will investigate Mars’s potential to support life.

36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology: As part of the 2009 stimulus, invested $90 billion, more than any previous administration, in research on smart grids, energy efficiency, electric cars, renewable electricity generation, cleaner coal, and biofuels.

37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests: Devoted $330 million in stimulus money to pay two consortia of states and universities to create competing versions of new K-12 student performance tests based on latest psychometric research. New tests could transform the learning environment in vast majority of public school classrooms beginning in 2014.

38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges: In effort to fight predatory practices of some for-profit colleges, Department of Education issued “gainful employment” regulations in 2011 cutting off commercially focused schools from federal student aid funding if more than 35 percent of former students aren’t paying off their loans and/or if the average former student spends more than 12 percent of his or her total earnings servicing student loans.

39. Improved School Nutrition: In coordination with Michelle Obama, signed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 mandating $4.5 billion spending boost and higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. New rules based on the law, released in January, double the amount of fruits and vegetables and require only whole grains in food served to students.

40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which expands existing hate crime protections to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.

41. Avoided Scandal: As of November 2011, served longer than any president in decades without a scandal, as measured by the appearance of the word “scandal” (or lack thereof) on the front page of the Washington Post.

42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill: Though lacking statutory power to compel British Petroleum to act, used moral authority of his office to convince oil company to agree in 2010 to a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; $6.5 billion already paid out without lawsuits. By comparison, it took nearly two decades for plaintiffs in the Exxon ValdezAlaska oil spill case to receive $1.3 billion.

43. Created Recovery.gov: Web site run by independent board of inspectors general looking for fraud and abuse in stimulus spending, provides public with detailed information on every contract funded by $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Thanks partly to this transparency, board has uncovered very little fraud, and Web site has become national model: “The stimulus has done more to promote transparency at almost all levels of government than any piece of legislation in recent memory,” reports Governing magazine.

44. Pushed Broadband Coverage: Proposed and obtained in 2011 Federal Communications Commission approval for a shift of $8 billion in subsidies away from landlines and toward broadband Internet for lower-income rural families.

45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children: Signed 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Authorization Act, which allows the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover health care for 4 million more children, paid for by a tax increase on tobacco products.

46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide: In 2009, EPA declared carbon dioxide a pollutant, allowing the agency to regulate its production.

47. Expanded Stem Cell Research: In 2009, eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which shows promise in treating spinal injuries, among many other areas.

48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers: In 2009, signed Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who the government cheated out of loans and natural resource royalties in years past.

49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Appointed two envoys to Sudan and personally attended a special UN meeting on the area. Through U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, helped negotiate a peaceful split in 2011.

50. Killed the F-22: In 2009, ended further purchases of Lockheed Martin single-seat, twin-engine, fighter aircraft, which cost $358 million apiece. Though the military had 187 built, the plane has never flown a single combat mission. Eliminating it saved $4 billion.

The Force Behind Obama’s Surging Numbers

I think it’s a combination of Tuscon, the ‘lame-duck’ session accomplishments and Obama’s willingness to compromise with the ‘other side’, especially the many times when they were not willing to do so.

Huffington Post

President Barack Obama has received consistently-good news from recent polls showing modest but consistent improvement in his job-approval ratings since November. How much is attributable to his handling of the shootings in Arizona? Obama does get glowing marks for his Tucson speech and his overall treatment of the incident, but the data we have so far shows that most of the bump took place before the Tucson shootings.

Consider four important findings from the recent round of national surveys:

1. The new polls are unanimous that President Obama’s approval ratings have improved since the November elections. The latest result from the new Washington Post/ABC News and CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls out Tuesday make it 10 of 10 pollsters who have shown Obama’s approval rising at least nominally since prior surveys conducted before the lame-duck session of Congress concluded in mid-December.

2. The trend in Obama approval since either the Jan. 8 shootings or his Jan. 12 speech to the memorial service is less clear. Only the Gallup and Rasmussen Reports daily telephone tracking polls and the newly relaunched DailyKos/PPP weekly tracking poll have been in the field in both the last week and during early January, after the lame-duck session. Although the Gallup tracker ticked up slightly Tuesday, the movement within all three polls remains well within their usual range of variation, which is another way of saying it’s all within their margin of error.   More…

 

Racism Rears It’s Ugly Head On The Fifth Column

I Am Furious Yellow

Image via Wikipedia

In the year that this blog has been in existence, I must say, this is the first time I actually got a deep-seated racist comment from anyone before.  It sort of floored me at first, since it was so unexpected.

The post was a copy of Mario Piperni’s post:  Did Someone Say Lame Duck?  The commenter felt that Obama had nothing to do with the recent legislative victories and challenged me to prove that he did.  It went downhill from that point on.

However, when I re-read the comment, I became furious.

The entire exchange can be found here…

This is the part that I needed to address with the commenter. 

Not as far as I can see or that has been reported – with the obvious exception of the tax bill. He seems to have stayed out of it completely or almost completely.

If I’m wrong, cite a source or two to prove it. I’m hardly going to take you or anyone like you at your word without such proof. You and yours are, after all, genetically and sub-culturally inclined to support Obama without need for any proof beyond his race – as your previous racist posts have evidenced.

(Emphasis are mine)

Since this is my first encounter with this type of person on this blog, I may have gone a little “off the deep end”, but, well hey, I’ll be gentler next time around.   :)

Dan Froomkin: Obama Can Pursue Ambitious Agenda Without Congress’s Help

Huffington Post

If President Obama wants to pursue a progressive agenda in the next two years, there are plenty of ways he can do that even without any help from Capitol Hill.

At his post-election news conference on Wednesday, Obama offered more lip service to the notion of compromise. But the fact remains that the next Congress looks to be hopelessly gridlocked. The opposition party is more radicalized than ever. And the only thing the resurgent GOP seems prepared to even discuss with Obama is cutting taxes.

So the big question will be what lesson Obama takes from Tuesday’s election results. If he and his advisors are finally ready to acknowledge that the source of voter unhappiness was government ineffectiveness — rather than government overreach, or a general economic malaise — then there’s plenty of room for him to maneuver on his own.

Indeed, progressives are urging him to seize the opportunity to take a more muscular approach with his executive powers, starting by getting much tougher on banks. They also hope Obama will use his regulatory authority, his enforcement powers, and his prerogatives as commander in chief to make decisive moves that can’t be sabotaged by Congressional Republicans.

The basic message: So much for the prime minister routine, it’s time to act like a president.

“The most important thing the president has to communicate is strength,” said Neera Tanden, a top official at the Center for American Progress. “One of the lessons of history is that the president stands apart from Congress… He has to think about ways he can lead the country without his fate being tied to the Hill.”

“There’s tons of things that can be done,” said Damon Silvers, policy director of the AFL-CIO. “The administration has a vast capacity to act to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, regardless of what happens in Congress.”

The worry, however, is that Obama will be so focused on reaching out to Republican leaders that he will be either uninterested in or afraid of being confrontational in his executive actions.

“The question is not can Obama do things,” Silvers told HuffPost. “The question is will he? Will the administration do the things it can do?”

First Thing: Take On the Banks

The president of the United States oversees a massive regulatory apparatus that, when wielded appropriately, can help level the playing field for the middle class.

And nowhere it that more necessary right now than in the financial world. The recent financial reform legislation, known as Dodd-Frank, created a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and gave regulators new authorities they have yet to use.  Continue…

Fill In Dodd-Frank’s Blanks

“Because Dodd-Frank left so many things to the regulators, in truth much of the bill has yet to be written,” Damon Silvers told HuffPost.

“There is very significant delegation to the administrative agencies to figure out how they’re going to carry out the spirit of the law,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. And because regulatory implementation “plays to the strength of the insiders,” as Weissman puts it, the process “will require a commitment by the administration to stand up to powerful corporate interests”

“Dodd-Frank is being lobbied to death all over again,” Kuttner said. “You’ve got a handful of labor and consumer lobbyists going against hundreds of industry lawyers. If you were willing to be publicly tough on Wall Street, you could turn that into decent politics.”

Climate Change and Immigration

Cap and trade legislation and comprehensive immigration reform are two of the most obvious casualties of the rise to power of House Republicans. But some progressives think Obama could unilaterally make progress in both areas.

“I think there will be a lot of action on the executive front,” said longtime Washington observer Norman Ornstein, the American Enterprise Institute’s house liberal. And at the head of his list is the area of carbon emissions.

“The Supreme Court has basically given the EPA the authority to regulate carbon emissions,” Ornstein explained. In theory that means Obama could impose a cap and trade system solely by executive authority.

“It won’t work that way,” Ornstein said. But Obama’s EPA could go part way, by focusing on regulations for utilities — or the president could use the threat of EPA action as leverage on getting some kind of energy bill through Congress after all.       Continue…

Even Campaign Finance?

There’s zero chance a Republican House is going to limit money in politics. But Obama on his own could roll back some of the excesses of the 2010 election.

The Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United allowed, among other things, for nonprofit groups to spend unlimited amounts of anonymous money on campaign ads.   Continue…

Enforcement and Rulemaking

“The main thing I would recommend is enforcement — much more vigorous enforcement,” said Rena Steinzor, a law professor at the University of Maryland and president of the pro-regulation Center for Progressive Reform. “The laws are so under-enforced that you could make a lot of progress in terms of health and safety hazards through tougher enforcement.”

More aggressive civil and criminal prosecutions would have particularly dramatic effects, she said, in areas like mine safety, imported food, Clean Water Act violations and dirty coal-fired power plants.   Continue…

Foreign Policy and the Commander In Chief

One area where a Republican House doesn’t put a crimp on Obama’s plans is foreign policy — and some progressives are hoping the president rededicates himself to some of the agenda he described during the 2008 campaign.

Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is hopeful that Obama will reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, ideally by getting rid of the “status quo incrementalists” currently on his national security staff. “He’s got to do something other than this tired, constantly defeated set of negotiations,” Clemons said.

As for Afghanistan, congressional Republicans “are going to complain about whatever he does, so he might as well do the smart thing,” Clemons said. “He should realize he’s in a Vietnam War moment, and reduce and refocus the mission.”    Continue…

Odds and Ends

Robert Kuttner recently advocated in the American Prospect on behalf of two presidential measures: Stepped up enforcement of existing labor laws that prohibit such things as phony classifications of workers as temps or contract hires; and the establishment of new rules for government contracting to reward good labor practices and punish scofflaws.

Taking a stand on behalf of decent wages for workers, Kuttner said, isn’t just good policy. “It also has the virtue of getting him on the side of ordinary people, which he doesn’t seem to be too good at the optics of.”   Continue…

A New Crew

And of course Obama could clean house.

“The single best thing he could do is fire [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner,” Kuttner said. “Get some people in there who speak for Main Street.”

Even if he doesn’t fire anyone, there are plenty of resignations to deal with. “The question is going to be: Are they trying to send a message by bringing in business executives and insiders and maybe a smattering of Republicans?” Weissman asked. “Or are they bringing in independent voices who will aggressively enforce the law against corporate wrongdoers and deal with the very serious problems the country’s facing?”

The Limits Of Executive Power

There is, then, an awful lot Obama can do without having to strike a deal with speaker-to-be John Boehner. But there are limits to his executive power.

Congress, after all, controls the purse strings. And aside from what can be accomplished through changes in trade policy and jawboning, as noted above, job creation generally costs money.

“I think the big challenge for the president is that he has to focus on the economy, and that’s a concern that requires a lot of bigger items than you can do just through executive authority,” Tanden said.   Continue…

NEW ! The 244 ACCOMPLISHMENTS of PRESIDENT OBAMA

This list will undoubtedly have some points that cross over to the “other” list published here two days ago, but BOTH serve it’s purpose in showing that this President has not been sitting on his butt doing nothing.

Click here for an updated version of President Obama’s accomplishments!

B4B News

ETHICS

• Ordered the White House and all federal agencies to respect the Freedom of Information Act and overturned Bush-era limits on accessibility of federal documents (2009)

• Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible (2009)

• Placed limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House (2009)

• Placed limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration (2009)

• Signed a measure strengthening registration and reporting requirements for lobbyists (2009)

• Ordered that lobbyists must be removed from and are no longer permitted to serve on federal and White House advisory panels and boards (2009) * Note: After saying he would not hire lobbyists, a few have been hired in the Administration

• Companies and individuals who are delinquent on their taxes or owe back taxes are no longer allowed to bid for federal contracts (2009)

• Initiated the “e-Rulemaking Initiative” (in cooperation with Cornell University) to allow for online public “notice and comment” of federal laws and initiatives (2010)

• Issued the “Open Gov Directive” ordering all Cabinet departments to promote transparency and citizen participation in their policies (2010)

• Signed extensions on banning lobbyists from serving on agency boards (2010)

• Developed the “Don Not Pay List” with data on contractors and recipients of federal funds who are deemed to be ineligible because of fraud and abuse (2010)

GOVERNANCE

• The White House website now provides information on all economic stimulus projects and spending, along with an unprecedented amount of information on our government (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era practice of circumventing established FDA rules for political reasons (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era practice of having White House staff rewrite the findings of scientific and environmental regulations and reports when they disagreed with the results (2009)

• Limited the salaries of senior White House aides (salaries cut to $100,000) (2009)

• Has urged Congress to adopt “Pay-Go” (whereby each dollar of spending is offset by a dollar in cuts or revenues, which was used in the `90s but abandoned in the `00s) (2010)

• Has been holding open meetings with Republican leaders, although they complain of a lack of access and information (2010)

• Signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (2010) * Note: To curb wasteful spending

• Tasked federal agencies to develop plans for disposing of unneeded real estate and then to eliminate unnecessary or non-economical lands, properties, etc. (2010)

NATIONAL SECURITY

• Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane (which wasn’t even used in Iraq/Afghanistan) and other outdated weapons systems (2009)

• Announced his intention to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay (2009) * Note: The closure has been delayed due to massive opposition but it remains on the agenda.

• Stated his interest in housing terrorists at a new federal “super max” facility in the US (2009) * Note: this has been delayed in the face of massive opposition but it remains on the agenda

• Cut the expensive Reagan era missile defense program, saving $1.4 billion in 2010 (2009)

• Cancelled plans to station anti-ballistic missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic (2009)

• Replacing long-range, expensive missile systems with more efficient smaller systems (2009)

• Increased US Navy patrols off the Somali coast in response to pirating (2009)

• Established a new cyber security office and appointed a cyber security czar (2009)

• Ordered the first nation-wide comprehensive cyber threat assessment (2009)

• Instituted a new Nuclear Posture Review, revising US nuclear deterrence policy to encourage more nations to join the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (2010) * Note: Components of the policy include: a pledge to stop nuclear testing; a pledge to not build a new generation of nucs; identifying nuclear terrorism, rather than a launch from another nuclear state, as the major threat; a pledge to not use nucs on a non-nuclear state in a conventional conflict; etc.

• Executive orders to block payment, transfers, exports, etc… of individuals and organizations support the regimes of North Korea, Iran, Somali pirates, and other foreign threats (2010)

• Presidential Memoranda to extend certain provisions of The Trading with Enemies Act which was to expire in September 2010 (2010) * Note: This includes freezing assets and banning trade that benefits the Cuban regime; however further efforts at normalizing travel to Cuba are supported

• Signed bill for southwest border security and increased funds and agents on the Mexican border (2010)

• Signed the Comprehensive Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act to deal with foreign regimes like Iran and North Korea (2010)

IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN

• Began the phased withdrawal of US troops from Iraq (2009); continuing the withdrawal (2010)

• Changed the US military command in the Afghan conflict (2009)

• Tasked the Pentagon to reorganize US policy in Afghanistan; the new policy includes 30,000 additional troops deployed, priority training of Afghan forces, developing agriculture and infrastructure, limiting aerial bombing, etc. (2009)

• Ordered the Pentagon to send additional helicopters to assist US Marine units and Special Forces in Afghanistan (2009)

• Increased unmanned drone strikes on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Afghanistan (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era “stop-loss” policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date (2009)

MILITARY & VETERANS

• Ordered the Pentagon to cover expenses of families of fallen soldiers if they wish to be on site when the body arrives back in the US (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era “blackout” imposed on media coverage of the return of fallen US soldiers (2009) * Note: The media is now permitted to cover the story pending adherence to respectful rules and with the approval of the fallen soldier’s family

• Ended the Bush-era “black out” policy on media coverage of war casualties (2009) * Note: Full information is now released for the first time in the War on Terror

• Ordered better body armor to be procured for US troops (2009)

• Funding new Mine Resistant Ambush Vehicles (2009) * Note: The old Hummers were very vulnerable to roadside explosives and an alarming percentage of our soldiers lost in Iraq were on account of IEDs

• Working to increase pay and benefits for military personnel (2009)

• Improving housing for military personnel (2009)

• Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses (2009)

• Ordered that conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other neglected military hospitals be improved (2009)

• Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military to a post-Cold War, modern fighting force (2009) * Note: Bush announced in 2001 his intention to do this but backed off the reforms after 9/11, which include: new procurement policies; increasing the size of Special Ops units; deploying new technologies; creating new cyber security units; etc.

• Ended the Bush-era practice of awarding “no-bid” defense contracts (2009)

• Improving benefits for veterans as well as VA staffing, information systems, etc. (2009)

• Authorized construction of additional health centers to care for veterans (2009)

• Suspended the Bush-era decision to purchase a fleet of Marine One helicopters from suppliers in favor of American made helicopters (2009)

• Ordered a review of the existing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military (2010)

• New GI Bill for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan (2009)

• Signed bill providing assistance for caregivers of veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan (2010) * Note: The omnibus bill does the following: Training, funding, and counseling for caregivers; promoting pilot childcare programs for women vets under treatment at the VA; independent oversight to prevent abuse; readjustment counseling for National Guard and reservist units; etc.

• Eliminated co-payments for veterans who are catastrophically disabled (2010)

• Fulfilled campaign promise to have combat troops (90,000) out of Iraq by August 31, 2010 (2010)

• Established a new interagency task force to assist veterans owning small businesses (2010) * Note: The efforts include promoting federal contract opportunities, improve access to loans and capital, mentor assistance programs, etc.

• Signed The Families of Fallen Heroes Act, which covers the moving costs of immediate family members of those lost in service (military, intelligence, and security personnel) (2010)

FOREIGN POLICY

• Closed the Bush-era “secret detention” facilities in Eastern Europe (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era policy allowing “enhanced interrogation” (torture); the US is again in compliance with Geneva Convention standards (2009) * Note: Obama has permitted some controversial interrogation techniques to continue

• Restarted international nuclear non-proliferation talks and reestablished international nuclear inspection protocols (2009) * Note: Bush withdrew from non-proliferation talks and dismantled the inspection infrastructure

• Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic (2009) * Note: These were suspended under Bush

• Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions (2009) * Note: These were suspended under Bush

• Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office (2009)

• Banned the export of cluster bombs (2009)

• Overturned Bush-era plans to increase the US nuclear arsenal (2009)

• Authorized the Navy SEALS operation that freed by force the US shipping captain held by Somali pirates (2009)

• Restored the US commitment to the UN population fund for family planning; overturned the ban on providing funds internationally for family planning (2009) * Note: The family planning efforts were suspended under Bush

• Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return “home” to visit families (2009)

• Extended an offer of engagement (free from sanctions and penalties) to Iran through December 31, 2009 (Iran did not accept the offer) (2009)

• Sent envoys to the Middle East and other parts of the world, reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy (2009)

• Authorized discussions with North Korea and the private mission by former president, Bill Clinton, to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons (2009)

• Authorized discussions with Myanmar and the mission by Senator Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive (2009)

• Renewed loan guarantees for Israel (2009)

• Signed the USIFTA trade agreement with/for Israel (2009)

• Authorized a $550m advance for Israel (six months prior to the scheduled date) in order to accommodate Israeli’s economic and financial needs (2009)

• Continued agreements with Israel for cultural exchanges, immigration, etc. (2009)

• Spoke on Arab television, spoke at an Egyptian university, and met with Arab leaders in an effort to change the tone of US-Arab relations (2009)

• Ordered the US to finally pay its dues to the United Nations (2009)

• Attended the Summit of America’s meeting in Trinidad and Tobago (2010)

• Dispatched several envoys and initiated talks with numerous nations (2010)

• Signed a nuclear limitation treaty with Russia (2010) * Note: The agreement calls for both countries to reduce their nucs by one-third (1,500) and launch systems by half (800)

• Hosted nuclear non-proliferation summit for several nations (2010)

• Executive Order to establish support offices in the State Department to assist the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan (2010)

• Presidential Memoranda to continue drug interdiction support with Columbia (2010)

ECONOMY

• Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants…) (2009) * Note: Bush was the first president since Herbert Hoover to not make infrastructure a priority

• Authorized the US auto industry rescue plan and two GMAC rescue packages (2009)

• Authorized the housing rescue plan and new FHA residential housing guarantees (2009)

• Authorized a $789 billion economic stimulus plan (2009) * Note: 1/3 in tax cuts for working-class families; 1/3 to states for infrastructure projects; 1/3 to states to prevent the layoff of police officers, teachers, etc. at risk of losing their jobs because of state budget shortfalls

• Instituted a new rule allowing the public to meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (in as quickly as one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying (2009)

• Authorized a continuation of the US financial and banking rescue plans initiated at the end of the Bush administration and authorized TARP funds to buy “toxic assets” from failing financial institutions (2009)

• Authorized the “Cash for Clunkers” program that stimulated auto sales and removed old, inefficient, polluting cars from the road (2009)

• Convened a “jobs summit” to bring experts together to develop ideas for creating jobs (2009)

• Ordered the FDIC to beef up deposit insurance (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era policy of protecting credit card companies (2009) * Note: In place of the old policy, new consumer protections were instituted and the industry’s predatory practices were banned

• Authorized the federal government to make more loans available to small businesses and ordered lower rates for federal loans to small businesses (2009)

• Placed a 35% tariff on Chinese tires and a few other products such as pipes after China was found to be illegally “dumping” exports below cost (2009) * Note: Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan all refused to “get tough” on China’s predatory trade practices; Bush II refused four times during his presidency

• In November 2009, Obama extended unemployment benefits for one million workers

and expanded coverage for some existing homeowners who are buying again (2009)

• Called on Congress to deliver a “Jobs bill” (2010)

• Credit card companies are prohibited from raising rates without advance notification or arbitrarily if customers are paying bills on time (2010)

• Signed a bill to extend unemployment benefits set to expire (2010)

• Signed historic Wall Street reform bill (2010) * Note: Designed to reregulate and end abusive practices and promote consumer protections

• Signed the HIRE Act to stimulate the economic recovery (2010) * Note: The bill includes: tax cuts for small businesses who hire someone unemployed for at least two months; small businesses can write off their investments in equipment this year; etc.

• National Export Initiative established to enhance federal support (technical assistance, training, trade missions, etc.) and coordination efforts to help US businesses export products and services (2010)

• Initiatives to promote a “Wireless Broadband Revolution” (2010) * Note: Among other things, broadband is finally being considered as necessary infrastructure, with efforts to expand use, access, and spectrum…

• Expanded agricultural credit to farmers during current economic crisis (2010)

• Signed bill – US Manufacturing Enhancement Act (2010)

• Signed bill – Single Family Housing Mortgage Insurance (2010)

TAXES

• Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks to permit the US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs (2009) * Note: The new policy promotes in-sourcing investments to brings jobs back to the US

• Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which provides small tax cuts for 95% of “working families” (2009) * Note: The tax cuts were not as big as was suggested during the 2008 campaign

• Convened an advisory board that is looking into simplifying the tax code (2009)

• Ordered the closing of offshore tax safe havens (for individual and business tax evaders) (2009)

• Reduced taxes for some small businesses to stimulate the economic recovery (2009)

• Extended the Home Buyers Credit for first-time home buyers (2009)

• Proposed doubling the child tax credit (2010)

• Called for the repeal of the capital gains tax for small businesses (2010)

• Proposed rolling back the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (2010) * Note: This would be for families earning over $250,000/year and would return their tax rates to the 1990’s level

BUDGETING 

• Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut federal spending (2009)

• Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify wasteful spending and practices (2009)

• Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient (2009)

• Overturned the Bush-era practice of not listing certain federal programs in the federal budget (2009) (2010) * Note: Bush did this (so did Reagan) in an effort to hide programs and make the budget look smaller; such “off budget” items are now included in the annual budget

• Full appropriations for war are now included in the budget (2009) (2010) * Note: Bush did not list many of the appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan, and War on Terror

• Funds for emergency appropriations are now included in the budget (2009) (2010)

• Proposed a three-year freeze on federal discretionary spending beginning in 2011 (2010)

• Is in the process of cutting 120 federal programs identified as either wasteful or unnecessary (2010)

• Established a bipartisan commission on fiscal responsibility, staffed by House and Senate members and private citizens, tasked with submitting proposals to balance the budget (2010) * Note: In the face of Republican opposition, the powers of the commission were watered down

• Established a bipartisan commission on the future of Social Security, tasked with submitting proposals to preserve and strengthen Social Security (2010) * Note: In the face of Republican opposition, the powers of the commission were watered down

• Cut $20 billion from federal budget and has pledged to cut at least this much every year (2010)

• Ultimately decided to cancel planned new presidential helicopter fleet and stick with marine One (2010)

• Freezing all discretionary spending for next three years, except on national security (2010)

• Presidential Memoranda to freeze discretionary awards, bonuses, etc. for federal political appointees (2010)

• Beginning to use “Pay-As-You-Go” (Pay-Go) to offset budget expenditures with budget cuts or revenue enhancements (2010)

HEALTHCARE 

• Removed Bush era restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research (2009)

• Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research (2009)

• Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children (2009)

• Established an independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare (2009)

• Reversed some of the Bush-era restrictions that prevented Medicare from negotiating with pharmaceutical firms for cheaper drugs, allowing government to again competitively bid (2009) * Note: Obama had promised to lift all restrictions but, while he did negotiate with drug companies for them to lower their costs the deal only lifted some restrictions

• Expanding government vaccination programs (2009)

• Issued new disease prevention guidelines and priorities for the CDC (2009)

• Authorized the FDA to finally begin regulating tobacco (2009)

• Tasked federal labs to prioritize research on and deployment of H1N1 vaccines (2009)

• Asked multiple congressional committees to bring forward a healthcare reform bill; held dozens of public hearings and town halls on the issue (2009) (2010)

• Established a new council on National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health to be chaired by Surgeon General and charged with promoting healthy lifestyles and integrative healthcare (2010)

• When accusations to the contrary arose, an Executive Order was signed to reaffirm that federal funds are not to be used for abortion services (2010)

• Historic healthcare reform bill signed – $940 billion over 10 years (2010) * Note: 32 million additional Americans will receive healthcare coverage and costs will be lowered for most Americans, but many of the goals are phased in over four years

Components of the bill 

- Prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals/family members with pre-existing health conditions; a temporary plan is being developed to cover high-risk individuals with pre-existing conditions until the full reforms go into effect in 2014

- Prevents insurance companies from placing lifetime limits on benefits

- Bans “rescission” so insurance companies can’t cancel coverage if individuals keep their policies current or if they become ill

- An individual’s out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are capped

- Closes the “donut hole” (Part D) for Medicare prescription drug coverage (under Bush, Medicare helped pay for drugs up to $2,600 and above $4,550, but individuals had to pay 100% of the costs in between these amounts); now Medicare helps cover costs irrespective of the amount – seniors will now pay only 25% of drug costs up to $4,550 and only 5% of drug costs above that amount

- In 2010, an emergency provision will offer seniors a $250 rebate on the costs incurred within the “donut hole”

- Individuals living at or below the poverty line were eligible for healthcare under Medicaid, but by 2014 individuals/families living slightly above (making up to $14,404/$29,327) the poverty line will also be eligible for benefits

- Individuals/families making less than $43,320/$88,200 per year will qualify for government subsidies to help purchase health insurance

- All individuals must have health insurance or face a government fine; all large (over 50 employees) employers must offer health insurance to employees or pay a fine

- Small businesses can get a tax credit if they offer health care

- There are hardship exemptions if individuals can’t afford health insurance

- Families can keep their children in college on their plans through age 26

- Promotes health insurance “exchanges” so consumers can buy “wholesale”

- Creates consumer assistance offices to help consumers file complaints or appeal decisions from insurance companies; beginning in 2011, insurance companies can no longer make excessive rate hikes without justification and approval, and those doing so may be barred from participating in new health insurance exchanges

Funding sources:

- Large employers (over 50 workers) that don’t offer health benefits will be charged a $2,000/worker fee; if the employer offers coverage but employees instead purchase federally subsidized insurance the fee is $3,000/worker receiving federal subsidies or $750/worker (whichever is lower)

- Annual fees on pharmaceutical companies ($27 billion), health insurance companies ($60 billion), and medical device-makers ($20 billion)

- Annual penalties on individuals who do not have health insurance (up to a maximum of $695/person)

- Increase in the Medicare payroll tax from 1.45% to 2.35% for individuals making $200,000+ and families making $250,000+

- 3.8% tax on unearned income for millionaires

- Insurance companies will be subject to a tax on each high-end insurance plan (so-called “Cadillac” plans) they offer

Miscellaneous:

- Illegal immigrants are not eligible for insurance or subsidies

- By Executive Order, such federal funding can’t be used for abortion

- The federal government will assist states by covering all of the increased expenses of expanding Medicaid coverage (90% of costs after 2020)

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT 

• Removed a ruling that now allows individual states to enact automotive fuel efficiency standards above federal standards (2009)

• Offered attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles (2009)

• Overturned Bush-era rule that weakened the Endangered Species Act (2009)

• Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government (2009)

• Ended the Bush-era policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions (2009)

• Signed a measure requiring energy producing plants to begin producing 15% of their energy from renewable sources (2009)

• Announced that the federal government would reengage in the long-delayed effort to clean up “Superfund” toxic waste sites (2009)

• Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production (2009) * Note: Much of Obama’s energy reform was killed by Senate Republicans

• Proposed a new refuge for wild mustangs (2009)

• Cancelled several Bush-era mountain-top removal and mining permits (2009)

• Reengaged in international treaties and agreements to protect the Antarctic (2009)

* Note: Bush had withdrawn from such efforts

• Asked Congress for an energy reform and “cap and trade” bill (2009) * Note: The Congress failed to pass such a bill

• Developing plan to lease US coastal waters for wind and water-current energy production (2009)

• Overturned Bush-era policies that allowed uranium mining near national parks such as the Grand Canyon (2009)

• Expanded the Petrified Forest National Park (2009)

• Signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act that protects millions of acres of scenic, historic, and recreational lands and trails (2009)

• Requiring that government buildings and facilities be retrofitted to save energy costs (2009) * Note: These green retrofits are moving very slowly

• Authorized studies in several western states to determine how to support large-scale solar installations (2009)

• Attended the Copenhagen talks and, after the talks were stalled, negotiated an international (voluntary) agreement on reducing carbon emissions and raising funds to assist developing nations in offsetting carbon emissions (2009)

• Banned importation of pythons in response to a growing population of pythons damaging the Florida Everglades (2009)

• Committing the federal government to increasing research and use of renewable, clean energy sources such as wind, biomass, etc. (2009)

• Executive orders establishing a federal initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all federal operations (2009) (2010)

• Called for exploring the possibility of additional off-shore oil drilling in the Gulf, Atlantic, and off Alaska (but not in ANWR) (2010)

• Agreed to consider increases in nuclear energy production and requested a study on the feasibility of nuclear power plant construction (2010) * Note: Nearly all energy initiatives were defeated by Republican opposition in Congress

• Increased investment in clean energy projects (2010)

• Executive Order to develop a new strategy for and commitment to ocean and lake resources, and for scientific research on water quality (2010)

RIGHTS

• Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill) (2009)

• Appointed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina, to the Supreme Court (2009)

• Held the first Seder in White House (2009)

• Appointed a diverse Cabinet and diverse White House staff (2009)

• Spoke at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization (2009)

• Signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation that includes acts of violence against gays under the list of federal hate crimes (2009)

• Reversed the Bush-era practice of politicizing Justice Department investigations and prosecutions against political opponents (2009)

• Pushing for some of the 9/11 perpetrators to be tried in federal court (2009) * Note: The process has moved at a snail’s pace and, in the face of opposition, Obama has remained quiet

• Signed an extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Bill to provide federal research and support for treating the disease (2009)

• Allowed the State Department of offer same-sex benefits for employees (2009)

• Proposed that the Pentagon repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; placed a “freeze” on current efforts to remove alleged homosexuals from the military (2009)

• After eight years of neglect, the Justice Department and EEOC are again enforcing employment discrimination laws (2009)

• Convened the White House Tribal Nations Conference, inviting representatives from 564 federally-recognized Indian tribes (2009)

• Provided increased school projects for Indian lands and increased funds for the Indian Health Service (2009)

• Signed an Executive Order mandating that his Cabinet develop plans to work with and consult Indian tribes on issues impacting Indian lands (2009)

• Commissioned a study to develop alternatives to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (2010)

• Called for federal agencies to look into recognizing gay partnerships in terms of benefits (2010)

• Signed an Executive Order for the President’s Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2010)

• Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2010)

• Signed Executive Order to promote the federal government as a “model employer” when it comes to hiring the disabled (2010) * Note: This includes new efforts to increase the recruitment, hiring, and training for the disabled

• Programs to assist Spanish speakers with the US Census (2010)

• Elena Kagen appointed to Supreme Court (2010)

• Tasked all federal agencies to develop new strategies to address HIV/AIDS (2010)

• After organizing studies on the topic in 2009, tasked the Pentagon to eliminate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (2010)

• Signed Fair Sentencing Act (2010) * Note: The Administration continues to deescalate marijuana interdiction and raids; increased dramatically the amount of cocaine one must possess to be sentenced to jail; eliminated mandatory sentencing for first-time drug abusers and simple possession

EDUCATION

• Authorized construction funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access in K-12 public schools (2009)

• Increased funding for school construction (2009)

• Increased funding available for student loans (2009)

• Expanded the national youth service program (2009)

• Streamlined the federal student loan process to save $87 billion over the next 10 years (2009)

• Changed the rule to allow students struggling to make college loan payments to refinance their loans (2009)

• Beginning discussions with Congress for education reform (2009) * Note: Much of Obama’s education reform has been sidelined by opposition in Congress

• Initiated a “Race to the Top” competitive federal grant program for states who develop innovative policies (2009)

• Instituted a “judgment review” allowing families with student loans to petition to have their current financial status determine the loan rather than the previous year’s finances (2009)

• Launched “Educate to Innovate,” a public/private partnership making $236 million available for science, mathematics, and technology education programs (2009)

• Proposed capping the maximum amount students must pay on student loans (as percentage of their income) (2010)

• Proposed reducing student loan obligations for individuals going to work in community and public service jobs (2010)

• The federal government will offer direct student loans, cutting out the cost of private banks (“middle man”) who increase the costs in order to make a profit (2010)

• Increased investment in technologies for schools/education (2010)

DISASTER RESPONSE

• Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness (2009)

• FEMA once again reports directly to the president (2009) * Note: Bush removed FEMA (prior to the Hurricane Katrina disaster) from this status

• Demonstrated an immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters (2009)

• Ordered that funds be released and red tape be streamlined for the ongoing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in the Gulf Coast (2009)

• Timely and massive relief effort in response to the January 2010 earthquake and ensuing humanitarian crisis (2010)

Components of the response:

- The FBI’s National Center for Disaster Fraud was tasked to look into possible fraud with organizations soliciting funds for relief

- Announced the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund

- Established an emergency Haiti Task Force in the State Department

- Established a website with information, resources, and a posting of a “person finder” online to help families and friends to locate loved ones

- Joint aid and relief planning with the U.K.

- Sponsored a resolution in the UN Security Council for additional security and police forces in Haiti

- Dispatched the US Navy floating hospital (USNS Comfort) and, within 5 days, 9 naval and relief ships, 5 Coast Guard cutters, 8 Coast Guard aircraft, and 12,000 US military personnel

- Initial dispatch of several ships and cargo planes full of humanitarian aid and supplies, 6 search/rescue teams (500 personnel), and 265 Department of Health & Human Services personnel for emergency medical and aid support

- Established a mobile US air traffic control center at the destroyed airport in Port-au-Prince

• After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a freeze was placed on new deep water projects (2010)

• Executive Order to establish new security measures to minimize accidental release of bio and chemical agents; new strategies for public health and bioterrorism response (2010)

• Established a national commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon spill to examine facts and report a plan of action; new efforts to prevent offshore spills (2010)

• After a slow start in responding to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the White House is promoting a long-term plan to reconstruct the damaged Gulf and negotiated with BP the establishment of a multi-billion dollar trust fund for victims of the spill (2010)

• Extended national flood insurance program for those in need during current economic crisis (2010)

OTHER INITIATIVES

• New federal funding for science and research labs (2009)

• Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program (2009)

• Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program (2009)

• Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud (2009)

• Ordered the DEA to stop raids on medical marijuana usage (2009)

• Ordered a review of existing “mandatory minimum” prison sentencing (2009)

• Signed an order to limit airport tarmac delays and the time passengers had to sit in the plane/on the tarmac during delays (2009)

• Restored the EPA to “Cabinet level” status (2009) * Note: Bush removed the EPA from this status

• Beginning discussions with Congress for comprehensive immigration reform (2010)

* Note: Much of Obama’s immigration reform had been stalled by opposition in Congress

• Commissioned expert panels and reports from NASA; announced a new direction for human space flight that involves funding a new heavy lift-launcher and jettisoning the Ares 1 program; boosting NASA’s budget by $1 billion in 2011 (2010)

• Ordered a ban on text-messaging for all commercial truck and bus drivers (2010)

• Signed bill – FAA Air Transportaiton Modernizatin and Safety Improvement Act (2010)


P.S. IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING…

• The Obamas paid for the renovations of the private living quarters in the White House with their own money rather than using the funds provided to all new first families (2009)

• The Obamas reused many Christmas ornaments from previous White House trees rather than buy new ones (2009)

• The Obamas used LED energy-saving lights on White House Christmas tree (2009)

• Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; donated the award money for the prize to several charities (2009)

• Planted a garden for the White House’s vegetables and flowers (2009)

• Installed a swing set/playground for the Obama daughters and children of White House employees (2009)

• Held over 150 public town halls, press conferences, interviews, etc. in first year in office (2009) * Note: Official numbers are not available on such things, but this seems to be a new record high

• Less than 30 days of vacation in first year in office (2009) * Note: Official numbers are not readily available on such things, but this seems to be a new record low

…And A FAMILY MAN !

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)

New Wiki Type Website Documents ALL of President Obama’s Achievements

Someone on Twitter “tweeted” this information and I wanted to share it with you guys!  Here’s an example:

Obama’s Achievements Center

Health and Medicine

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Coverage of 2010, signed March 23, 2010. ref, ref
    ^karoli ^spc
  • Established a New Patient’s Bill of Rights. ref
    ^roytoric ^spc
  • Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. ref, ref
    ^roytoric
  • Increased regulation of drug manufacturers. ref, ref
    ^spc
  • Preserved Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010. ref
    ^spc
  • Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage. ref
    ^roytoric ^spc
  • Required children to have health insurance coverage. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP). ref, ref
    ^roytoric
  • Expanded eligibility for Medicaid. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Eliminated the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Expanded vaccination programs. ref, ref
    ^spc
  • The TRICARE Affirmation Act. ref
    ^roytoric
  • The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. ref
    ^roytoric
  • The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare. ref
    ^spc
  • The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009. ref, ref, ref, ref
    ^pash ^roytoric
  • The Social Security Disability Applicant Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Offered tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums. ref
    ^spc ^roytoric
  • Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Provided $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. ref
  • Provided $500 million in expanded funding for Health Professions Training Programs. ref, ref
    ^spc
  • Established the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council . ref, ref
    ^victor
  • The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009. ref, ref, ref, ref
    ^pash ^roytoric
  • The Social Security Disability Applicant Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Provided minimum essential health care coverage by Veteran’s Affairs. ref
    ^roytoric
  • The TRICARE Affirmation Act. ref
    ^roytoric
  • The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Provided funding to strengthen hospital preparedness and emergency response ref
    ^spc
  • Implemented a National HIV/AIDS Strategy 7/13/10 ref
    ^judygreeno
  • Engaged global efforts on HIV/AIDS issues. ref
    ^judygreeno
  • Established President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. ref
    ^judygreeno
  • Established Standards For Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment. ref
    ^spc
  • Established Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. ref
    ^spc
  • Increased funding to expand community based prevention prog: rams. ref
    ^roytoric
  • (DHHS) Questioned Prestigious Hospitals in Electronic Health Records Probe (DHHS). ref
    ^roytoric
  • Established Patient Safety and Medical Liability Demonstration Projects. ref, ref
    Arnie
  • Established HealthCare.gov – A web portal for determining and comparing all consumer health insurance and health care options ref, ref
    Arnie ^spc
  • Banned sale of “light” cigarettes. ref
    ^roytoric
  • (FDA) to discuss stricter guidelines for tanning beds due to skin cancer. ref
    ^roytoric
  • Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients. ref, ref, ref
    ^roytoric
  • FDA now regulating tobacco. ref, ref
  • Issued new guidance limiting antibiotic use in cattle to preserve efficacy in humans (6/28/2010) ref
  • Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules. ref
  • Reconsidered safety of Bisphenol A, initiates study. ref
    ^arrghPaine
  • COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) subsidies to provide laid-off employees with financial assistance to continue health insurance coverage. ref, ref, ref
    ^roytoric ^zjas
  • Executive Order Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA). ref,ref
    ^judygreeno