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Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Official List of Barack Obama Accomplishments & Achievements

The Official List of
Barack Obama Accomplishments And Achievements

8-1-2014: U.S. Jobs Report: U.S. Employers Add 209,000 Positions

Unemployment Ticks Up to 6.2%; Six Straight Months of 200,000 Jobs for First Time Since '97.

July's gain extended a streak that has seen nonfarm employers add 200,000 or more jobs in six consecutive months for the first time since 1997. Payroll gains have averaged 245,000 over the past three months, and July's 209,000 new positions matched the monthly average in the 12 months ended in June.


7-3-2014: U.S. Jobs Report: 288,000 Positions Added

The president noted that the U.S. has "done better than the vast majority of other countries" since the 2008 financial crisis, but called for acts of "economic patriotism" he said would help boost growth, such as increasing the federal minimum wage.


7-3-2014: US Exports More Oil Than It Imports For First Time Since 1995

The United States exports more oil than it imports for the first time since 1995.

For the month of October, the U.S. averaged exports of 7.7 million barrels of oil per day while taking in just 7.6 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


6-17-2014: Benghazi Attack Ringleader Is Captured By U.S.

In a secret raid, U.S. special operations troops captured the suspected  ringleader of the 2012 attack against two American government facilities in Benghazi.


8-13-2013: Barak Obama Gets America's Deficit Down 37% In 2013

The Deficit Is The Nation's Annual Budget Shortfall, The Difference Between What The Government Spends In One Year And What It Takes In. In 2009, '10, '11 And '12, It Was Huge.

"When I First Walked Through The Door," Said President Obama In 2010, "the Deficit Stood At $1.3 Trillion, With Projected Deficits Of $8 Trillion Over The Next Decade."

"The Budget Deficit Has Gone From 10 Percent Of GDP In 2009 — It Was Quite High — To About 4 Percent Of GDP In 2013," Bernstein Says.

"That Decline Is The Largest Four-Year Decline In Budget Deficits Since 1950," He Says. "So They've Fallen A Ton."

U.S. Jobs Report: 288,000 Positions Added

Unemployment Falls to 6.1% as Prior Months' Gains Revised Upward

U.S. employers added jobs at a robust clip in June and the unemployment rate fell, signs of labor-market strength as the economic recovery heads into its sixth year.

Nonfarm employment advanced at a seasonally adjusted 288,000 last month, the Labor Department said Thursday. The combined gains for the prior two months were revised up 29,000. April's 304,000 increase was the strongest since January 2012.

The unemployment rate, obtained from a separate survey of households, fell to 6.1% in June, the lowest level since September 2008. The improvement reflected more people finding jobs while the size of the workforce remained relatively steady.

June marked the best five-month stretch of job creation since early 2006. The data also sent a welcome signal of economic health after output shrunk in the first quarter at its fastest pace since the recession, an annualized 2.9% decline.

"This is one welcome Fourth-of-July report for the outlook," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. The 288,000 new jobs "are just the fireworks the economy needs to brighten up."

Speaking at a tech incubator lab in Washington, President Barack Obama ticked off a string of highlights from the job report, saying the numbers show how "the economy has built momentum."

The president noted that the U.S. has "done better than the vast majority of other countries" since the 2008 financial crisis, but called for acts of "economic patriotism" he said would help boost growth, such as increasing the federal minimum wage.

The results were better than expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal who had forecast a 215,000 payroll increase and an unchanged jobless rate of 6.3%.

U.S. stocks climbed after the report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 17000 for the first time in intraday trading. The dollar also gained as the jobs report rekindled worries that the Federal Reserve might start raising interest rates sooner than anticipated, which led to lower government bond and gold prices.

Indeed, Thursday's report showed unemployment could be falling faster than expected by Fed policy makers who last month said they expect the U.S. jobless rate will be 6% or a little higher at the end of 2014. That could complicate central-bank discussions about when to start tightening monetary policy.

The report also contained other signs of an improving labor-market outlook. A broader gauge of unemployment that includes workers who aren't currently looking for a job or have given up their searches fell to 7.3% last month from 7.6% in May and the number of long-term unemployed also fell.

On the other hand, the number of people working part time because they can't find full-time work rose and the share of population either not working or looking for work remains around 30-year lows. June's labor-force participation rate was 62.8%, unchanged from the prior month.

"Today's report indicated that labor market slack is diminishing, albeit slowly," said Bricklin Dwyer, economist at BNP Paribas.

June's employment report, while upbeat, left areas of improvement needed in order for the U.S. economy to find the express lane on the road to recovery. Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P Ratings Services, joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty Images.
PNC vice president and senior macroeconomist Gus Faucher joins Simon Constable on the News Hub with analysis of the June employment report and how it affects the outlook for the broader U.S. economy. Photo: Getty
June's job gains were broad-based, though lower-wage sectors continued to account for the bulk. The retail industry added over 40,000 new jobs while leisure and hospitality businesses added 39,000.

Higher-paying sectors continued to lag behind in the jobs recovery. Manufacturing added 16,000 new jobs and construction added 6,000.

This dichotomy has been reflected in muted wage gains last month. The average hourly wage for private-sector workers rose six cents to $24.45. That's up just 2% from a year earlier, basically in line with consumer-price inflation.

Still, the recent pickup in job creation adds to evidence that the economy is gaining momentum after a contraction of unusual severity in the first quarter. Many economists have attributed the decline in first-quarter gross domestic product to unusually harsh weather and a drawdown of business inventories from unsustainably high levels.

"The latest five monthly jobs reports are consistent with the view that, in spite of a horrendous first-quarter GDP result that was the victim of a 'perfect storm' of negative circumstances, the economy is well underpinned," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc.

US Exports More Oil Than It Imports For First Time Since 1995

The United States exports more oil than it imports for the first time since 1995.

For the month of October, the U.S. averaged exports of 7.7 million barrels of oil per day while taking in just 7.6 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Imports were at their lowest since February 1991, EIA reported Wednesday.

Shale gas extraction involves pumping water and special chemicals into deposits deep beneath the earth to break apart hard deposits of the gas-rich shale, then draw the fuel back up.

The “fracking” boom has sparked controversy, with opponents saying it contaminates ground water and causes earthquakes. Advocates argue the industry brings jobs to communities that allow the practice.

The EIA projects fracking will grow significantly as a source of U.S. energy production over the next 30 years.

Along with fracking, lower consumption due to increased prices has helped turn the U.S. into a net oil exporter, according to USA Today. 

Between January and May, the U.S. managed to satisfy 86 percent of its own needs, Bloomberg reports.

"I think this is huge, and it's another step in this revolution that we're seeing in the energy market," Phil Flynn, an energy analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, told Reuters.

"We're seeing our reliance on imports of crude fall every day."

In its monthly Short Term Energy Outlook, the EIA forecast U.S. oil production rising to 8.88 million bpd in December 2014 and average 8.49 million bpd throughout that year.

Imports, meanwhile, will fall to as low as 5.8 million bpd in December next year and average 6.54 million bpd for the year. The EIA forecasts production outstripping net imports for every month until the end of 2014.

Net petroleum imports into the United States were at 5.67 million bpd, their lowest since 1991, according to the EIA.

The White House said the country had crossed a "historical milestone in energy independence" and credited falling oil demand to President Barack Obama's policies of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and encouraging biofuel production.

U.S. output including natural gas liquids and biofuels has swelled 3.2 million bpd since 2009, the fastest expansion over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia's output from 1970-1974, according to energy consultancy PIRA.

The U.S. October production rates are the highest since May 1989, according to EIA data. Output had been broadly declining since the late 1980s until around 2010 when the results of shale drilling kicked in.

While the existence of shale oil had been known for decades, few thought it would be economically viable to exploit the resources due to the expensive technology and extensive drilling required.

But by combining horizontal drilling, which reaches more of an oil reservoir that is shallow but expands across large areas, with hydraulic fracturing, where rock is fractured using water and chemicals to ease the oil out of the reservoir, the shale enigma was finally cracked.

Some in the industry have been speculating whether export restrictions — imposed after the 1970s Arab oil embargo provided a rude awakening to the dependence of the country on foreign oil — could be eased in years to come.

"This is the point we've been trying to get to since the '70s when we thought, gosh, we can be held hostage. Every president since then has been talking about the need for energy independence," Flynn said.

"Some natural gas and liquefied natural gas exports have begun, and if that goes fairly well, it may have the U.S. revisit some of the rules we put in place after the crisis in the '70s and rethink some of those policies. That's how different the world is now," he said.

Benghazi Attack Ringleader Is Captured By U.S.

In a secret raid Sunday, U.S. special operations troops captured the suspected  ringleader of the 2012 attack against two American government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, putting a key figure in the deadly assault in U.S. hands for the first time, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was captured near Benghazi by U.S. troops working with the FBI and is en route to Washington, D.C., where he is expected to face federal charges that could bring the death penalty, according to a federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The charges against him and 12 others who allegedly took part in the attack in Benghazi were filed a year ago by federal prosecutors in Washington.

He is not expected to make his first appearance in court until sometime next week, the official said.

In a statement, Pentagon officials described him as “a key figure in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.”

There were no casualties in the raid and all U.S. personnel have left Libya, the statement said.

President Obama, in statement, said the capture "demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans."

Obama said the U.S. also remained committed to supporting the Libyan people "as they work to overcome years of tyranny and do the difficult work of building a democracy."

The law enforcement official said Khatallah was questioned initially about any new potential terror threats and was then read his Miranda rights. With Khatallah now in custody, prosecutors are likely to submit the case to a federal grand jury, which could bring additional charges.

The decision to try Khattalah in federal court could be controversial. Republicans have opposed bringing cases involving accused terrorists to civilian courts, and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both said Tuesday that Khattalah should be sent to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder have argued that federal courts have repeatedly proven capable of handling such high-profile cases.

Khatallah’s capture is a major success for the administration, which has faced a steady drumbeat of criticism from Republicans since the Benghazi attacks  for failing to capture the perpetrators and for poor security at a U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA base nearby.

With this operation, the United States has once again demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans.
- President Obama

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed that night when more than 60 attackers overwhelmed unarmed Libyan guards and stormed the compound, setting fire to the buildings and engaging in running gun battles with a few CIA and diplomatic security agents.

The FBI investigation of the incident was stalled for months by instability in Libya. The country's weak government ruled out extraditing its citizens to the U.S.

Until his capture, Khatallah continued to live freely in Libya while giving taunting interviews to major media outlets as recently as six months ago. The State Department designated Khatallah as a terrorist in January, describing him as a leader of Ansar al Sharia, a Libyan militant group that has been described as having links to Al Qaeda.

Actually Ahmed Abu Khattala was just one of the "usual suspects". The Feds had to nab somebody in order to put a lid on the Benghazi hubbub. Kind of a retro to the Zodiac killer police roundups in San Francisco.

Benghazi, the hub of Libya’s east, has been beset by turmoil in recent months, and the chaos deepened last month when a rogue ex-general based in the city launched a self-declared war on Islamist armed groups, resulting in more than 100 deaths.

Khalifa Hiftar, who spent years in exile in the United States, has the support of some Libyan military units, and has used military aircraft to bombard the positions of Islamist militias. Even before Haftar’s offensive, assassinations and car bombings were common in Benghazi, most often taking aim at security targets.

This week, authorities ordered an overnight ban on vehicle traffic in the city in an effort to stem militia clashes that had been breaking out nightly as soon as darkness fell.

The circumstances surrounding the September 2012 Benghazi attack sparked a long-running partisan battle. A report earlier this year by House Republicans blamed the Obama administration for failing to beef up security.

But the same report debunked persistent claims about the response to the incident: that the U.S. military was ordered to "stand down" instead of going to the aid of Stevens and others. 

"There was no 'stand down' order issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli," the report said, blaming the claim on "confusion" about the facts arising from what it termed inadequate previous reviews.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time of the attack, has said repeatedly that she was responsible for the security of the diplomats in Benghazi.

On Sunday, questioned again about her role, she suggested that no additional explanation she offered would satisfy her critics.

"There's a difference between unanswered questions and unlistened-to answers,” Clinton told Jane Pauley in an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

“There were a lot of confusing pieces of information flooding into us from the very first moment we heard about it,” Clinton said, referring to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi. “We did our best to sort it out."

"I did my best to fully cooperate with the Congress. I respect the Congress' oversight responsibility," she added, but suggested that Republican critics have seized on discrepancies that arose from “the fog of war” and have improperly tried to use them as evidence of a coverup.

Legislative Prowess:

Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office.  Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.   http://n.pr/i3d7cY

Fiscal Responsibility:

Within days after taking office, Obama signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.   http://1.usa.gov/dUvbu5

Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.   http://n.pr/hcgBn1

On his first full day, he froze White House salaries. http://on.msnbc.com/ewJUIx

He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending. http://www.cio.gov

He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems, and also signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.  http://bit.ly/hOw1t1     http://bit.ly/fz8GAd

Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  http://bit.ly/hwKhKa

Improving the Economy, Preventing Depression:

Obama pushed through and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package,” despite the fact that not one Republican voted for that bill. In addition, he launched recovery.gov, so that taxpayers could track spending from the Act.   http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs   http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk

In his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5%.  http://reut.rs/i46CEE

Obama completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, and recovered virtually all of its costs.   http://1.usa.gov/eA5jVS   http://bit.ly/eCNrD6

He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan. http://1.usa.gov/goy6zl

Obama oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years. http://bit.ly/hrrnjY

He oversaw a bailout of General Motors that saved at least 1.4 million jobs, and put pressure on the company to change its practices, resulting in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world.  http://lat.ms/zIJuQx

Obama also doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.  http://bit.ly/eYD4nf

He signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving  the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system. It also created a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown. http://abcn.ws/g18Fe7

Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices. http://1.usa.gov/gIaNcS

He increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect. http://bit.ly/f77aOw

Obama signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.  http://bit.ly/eEpLFn

Through the Worker, Home Ownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, Obama and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.   http://bit.ly/dZgXXw   http://bit.ly/gORYfL

He initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

Obama created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.)   http://www.business.gov

He played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.   http://nyti.ms/gHlgp5

Obama took steps to improve minority access to capital. http://bit.ly/f9xVE7

He created a $60 billion bank to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges. http://bit.ly/e1SSaQ

He implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs.  http://bit.ly/ibhpxr   Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. http://bit.ly/gj7mt5

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.   http://1.usa.gov/ez30Dc

Obama dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby moving forward to cut ties between energy companies and the government. http://nyti.ms/bw1MLu

He provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.  http://bit.ly/g0IKWR

He used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.   http://on.msnbc.com/i1i8eV

Obama crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. http://bit.ly/eyqsNE

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection:

Obama ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money. http://huff.to/eAi9Qq

He pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.  http://bit.ly/hWCPg0   http://bit.ly/geHpcD

Dodd-Frank also included the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau http://1.usa.gov/j5onG

Obama made it so that banks could no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests.  http://bit.ly/fnTayj

He supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation. http://bit.ly/fnTayj

Obama wholly endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.  http://bit.ly/esOdfB    http://bit.ly/eG4DPM

He made a deal with Swiss banks that permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and  tax evaders.  http://bit.ly/htfDgw

He established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses. http://bit.ly/fnTayj

Obama oversaw and then signed the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.  http://thedc.com/gxkCtP 

Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination:

Obama advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. http://bit.ly/gsMSJ7

He pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping. http://bit.ly/fdahuH http://bit.ly/mZV4Pz

Obama appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.  http://1.usa.gov/fi5IY0

Helped Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act. http://bit.ly/th0JC8

He extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. http://1.usa.gov/g2RLCj

Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history.  http://bit.ly/g1lA7D

He issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other. http://1.usa.gov/aUueGT

He established a White House Council on Women and Girls http://1.usa.gov/rFfqMM

He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.   http://bit.ly/fT3Cxg

Obama wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.   http://bit.ly/e1puTk

He expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act. http://1.usa.gov/dSbI0x

Under Obama’s watch, National Labor Relations Board has issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.  http://1.usa.gov/qu2EhQ

Fighting Poverty

Obama provided  a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps). http://nyti.ms/gfLqyM

He signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.  http://wapo.st/eWECA8

Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad.
Obama visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.   http://bit.ly/hZycda

As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration. http://nyti.ms/dKvY4g 

He did much to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the “right thing” in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the planet.   http://bit.ly/h743y7 http://bit.ly/ho4TCr

He re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues. http://1.usa.gov/e7QuDj

Closed a number of secret detention facilities. http://nyti.ms/rpUc9l

Obama improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys. http://1.usa.gov/tiGAGe

He pushed for military to emphasize development of foreign language skills. http://bit.ly/AxUCLV

Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence. http://bit.ly/9axfWh

He refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program. http://bit.ly/xVmSZK

He worked to make donations to Haiti tax-deductible in 2009. http://huff.to/6YkAVY

He established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.   http://1.usa.gov/eX28DP

Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.  http://1.usa.gov/hxdf8U

He established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.  http://n.pr/hY3Kwa   http://nyti.ms/emQBde

He ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and a smattering of Democrats) who prevented him from following through.  http://bit.ly/eW6CVF

Obama ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.  http://bit.ly/g6MTuC

He ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.  http://bbc.in/h6N9ax

He released the Bush torture memos.  http://bit.ly/hWJ5z0

On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all  Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention. http://1.usa.gov/dL6Zve    http://nyti.ms/hzWWys

In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them. http://bit.ly/zfmGv9

Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program. http://1.usa.gov/wLtNjb

Ended the Iraq War. http://tgr.ph/ru0tyS

He authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates. http://bit.ly/y8c9Fz

Better Approach to “Defense.”
Obama created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.  http://1.usa.gov/gDX1nE

He authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010. http://1.usa.gov/gLFZl2

He restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.   http://lat.ms/gkcl3i

He signed and pushed to ratification a new SALT Treaty. http://bit.ly/f3JVtw

Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will last until at least 2021.  http://1.usa.gov/cI1bC4

Through the Defense Authorization Act, he reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.   http://bit.ly/hk73OJ

He developed the first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan. http://wapo.st/ee4Xcs

He returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops. http://bit.ly/lNXUna

Fulfilled campaign promise and ended our involvement in Iraq, and will complete full troop withdrawal before Christmas 2011. http://onforb.es/nTUk4Z

He took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.  http://yhoo.it/n5lXs6

He negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India. http://1.usa.gov/aHp0Cn

He took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate. http://aje.me/qAh4Sj

Treating  Soldiers And Veterans With Respect

He made sure that families of fallen soldiers could be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB, by providing funding for it.  He also ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers. http://nyti.ms/glqN66   http://bbc.in/gWSSkA

He funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services. http://1.usa.gov/huhqfo

He provided the troops with better body armor. http://bit.ly/hzSv2h

Created the Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order  to improve the quality of their medical care.  http://1.usa.gov/f4yaxW

He put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one). http://nyti.ms/e2YQ7Q

He supported and signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans. http://1.usa.gov/fN4ur1

He ushered through the largest spending increase in 30 years for the Department of Veterans Affairs for improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.     http://1.usa.gov/gY8O3x

He created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.  http://bit.ly/epwUQY

He oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.  http://bit.ly/gjzTxX

He has repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process.   http://bit.ly/gYWd30   http://bit.ly/e9c7Dr   http://bit.ly/eEzTNq

Completely reformed the student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.   http://nyti.ms/dMvHOt

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , he invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.   http://1.usa.gov/gGRIAr   This includes a major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide   http://bit.ly/fNDcj3, as well as an expansion in school construction.  http://bit.ly/fYwNrV

Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start. http://1.usa.gov/tzT2Rr

Signed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0 http://bit.ly/hPhG7J 

He oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low-income students to go to college. http://bit.ly/hI6tXz

He passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds. http://1.usa.gov/dQvtUe 

Greater Transparency and Better Government.
He signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch. http://bit.ly/fsBACN

He signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years. He also put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.   http://nyti.ms/gOrznV

He held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public. http://bit.ly/gVNSgX

The Obama White House became the first to stream every White House event, live. http://1.usa.gov/kAgOP5

He established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.  http://www.serve.gov

He provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history. http://1.usa.gov/hQ7ttV

He crafted an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. This will provide the public with greater access to historic  White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.

He improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent in the processing of FOIA requests.   http://1.usa.gov/gjrnp2

National Safety And Security

He’s restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural  disasters successfully.   http://bit.ly/h8Xj7z

Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast. http://nyti.ms/efBO7B

Has repeatedly beefed up border security http://bit.ly/mMYB4i

Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden. http://bit.ly/jChpgw

Science, Technology and Health Care

He created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.

Opened up the process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.  http://bit.ly/j0KV2U

He eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. He also provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.   http://bit.ly/h36SSO   http://ti.me/edezge

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.  http://nyti.ms/fTs9t7

He signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.  http://bit.ly/fOi2rb

He expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers. http://bit.ly/jRRRJc

His EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as “guinea pigs” in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics. http://bit.ly/bKgqdS

Conducted a cyberspace policy review.   http://1.usa.gov/gmbdvC

Provided financial support for private sector space programs. http://bit.ly/fn8ucr

He oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.   http://bit.ly/dNTRyP

He ushered through a bill that authorized the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. http://on.msnbc.com/fiKViB As a result,  the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs. http://bit.ly/ecQSgA

He also increased funding for community-based prevention programs.  http://bit.ly/frMPG3

He oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors. http://bit.ly/e5b1iq    http://1.usa.gov/fVNkt9

He eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price. http://bit.ly/fOkG5b

Two weeks after taking office, he signed the Children’s Health Insurance Re-authorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.   http://bit.ly/fDEzGv

He held a quick press conference, and urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put the increase on hold for two months.    http://yhoo.it/e8Tj9C

Ushered through and signed the Affordable Health Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to 30 million more people,  and ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental  to those with coverage.  He also established  http://www.healthcare.gov/

Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small business to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance.  http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

Through the Affordable Health Care Act, he expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level. http://nyti.ms/ekMWpo

Through the Affordable Health Care Act, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.  http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

Provisions in Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Last year’s increase was 4%. Compare that to the average 12% annual inflation rate during the previous 40 years. http://1.usa.gov/oMxpTh

Strengthening The Middle Class And Families

Obama worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.   http://bit.ly/fNfidS

He cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor.   http://nyti.ms/fOGLcj

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , he cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families.   http://bit.ly/eSEI4F

Under Obama, tax rates for average working families are the lowest they’ve been since 1950.  http://bit.ly/f74pD8

He extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years. http://bit.ly/eFeSdP

He extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times.  http://aol.it/evtVxD   http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ    http://bit.ly/hOtIpg    http://bit.ly/fTT7kz

Environment and Energy

He fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact federal fuel efficiency standards that were above federal standards.   http://nyti.ms/e8e94x

He fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade.   http://politi.co/hiaPKM

He oversaw the establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, which creates more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies. http://bit.ly/lZp73y

His EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.  http://bit.ly/lP3yEL

He ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.    http://1.usa.gov/g3MTbu

He ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p  (As you can see, Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)

He oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers. http://bit.ly/mjnq2R

Obama bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.   http://bit.ly/froaP5

His EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN

He doubled federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

He pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars. http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y

He created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.   http://1.usa.gov/fgfRWq

Obama  reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and even proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush-era stance that climate change was a “hoax.” http://bit.ly/dX6Vj3  http://bit.ly/fE2PxK  http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv

He fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide. http://bit.ly/eJ6QOO

He required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption. http://bit.ly/lBhk7P

Following Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic. http://bit.ly/fzQUFO

Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.   http://bit.ly/glCukV

Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.   http://bit.ly/h5KZqy  http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c  http://1.usa.gov/hmUSbk

Obama oversaw and pushed through an amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo

He also actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3

He initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://nyti.ms/bVuB7a

Through Obama’s EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

He strengthened the Endangered Species Act.  http://bit.ly/hscjsH

His EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.  http://bit.ly/jYH7nt

Through the EPA, he took steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans. http://bit.ly/fBuWd2

Obama increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10% http://bit.ly/fbJPjY

He announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards. http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K

He announced the development of a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025   http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW

Other Stuff

Obama has expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA. http://bit.ly/etznpY

He oversaw funding of  the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015.  He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations.   http://on.fb.me/fD0EVO    http://bit.ly/ff5Luv

Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. http://bit.ly/dFb8qF

Obama  nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices.   http://huff.to/eOChg6  http://bit.ly/i02wgP

He appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.   http://bit.ly/dX6vNB

He eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and  he rescinded the global gag rule.  http://bit.ly/eCFAI1  http://bit.ly/f92drF

Obama loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.   http://huff.to/eQfa7j

His FDA banned the use of antibiotics in livestock production. http://bit.ly/jUjLzo

Obama ushered through and signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.   http://bit.ly/idgQH5

Monty Henry, Owner

Additional Resources:

Number of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Surges To Escape Oppressive Tax Rules

Dropping Off The Grid: A Growing Movement In America: Part I

Online Privacy Tools and Tips

What is BitCoin and How Does It Work?

The Creature From Jekyll Island
This Blog And Video Playlist Explains Why The U.S. Financial System is Corrupt and How It Came To Be That Way


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