Obama Watch

Discussing all things political in NW Arkansas and beyond.
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Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:57 am

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"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Tue May 01, 2012 12:10 pm

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Wed May 09, 2012 10:22 pm

To the wankers that don't give Obama any credit for supporting the LGBT community, consider the following.

***
President Obama's... Administration has made historic strides to
expand opportunity, advance equality, honor differences and level the playing field for Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people and communities. The President’s efforts have
included major legislative achievements such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as
significant administrative actions in support of equality. The Obama Administration’s record in
support of the LGBT community includes:

-- Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The President signed the bill to repeal Don’t Ask
Don’t Tell on December 22, 2010, putting in motion the end of a discriminatory policy
that ran counter to our values as Americans. As of September 20, 2011, when the repeal
took effect, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve openly in our Armed Forces
and without fear of losing their jobs for who they are and who they love.

-- Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): In February
2011, the President and Attorney General announced that the Department of Justice
would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA against equal protection constitutional
challenges brought by same-sex couples married under state law. In July 2011, the White
House announced the President’s support of the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by
Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, which would repeal DOMA
and uphold the principle that gay and lesbian couples should receive the same Federal
rights and legal protections as straight couples. The President has long supported a
legislative repeal of DOMA.

-- Signing Historic Hate Crimes Legislation: President Obama overcame years of partisan
gridlock to pass and sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes
Prevention Act into law, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to
include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender
identity.

-- Ensuring Hospital Visitation Rights for LGBT Patients and Their Loved Ones:
Following a directive from the President, the Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) now requires all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds – just about
every hospital in America – to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients. The President
also directed HHS to ensure that medical decision-making rights of LGBT patients are
respected.

-- Developing and Implementing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy: President Obama
fulfilled a pledge to those with HIV by developing and releasing the Nation’s first
comprehensive plan for responding to the domestic HIV epidemic. In 2009, President
Obama signed legislation reauthorizing the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for four
years to provide critical health services to uninsured and underinsured people living with
HIV. The Administration has also prioritized funding increases for HIV prevention, care,
and research in each successive President’s budget. In FY 2011, the Administration
fought for and secured a $50 million increase in appropriations for the AIDS Drug
Assistance Program (ADAP) and a $31 million increase for HIV prevention. President
Obama continued this commitment in FY 2012, when he announced on World AIDS Day
an additional $35 million for ADAP and a $15 million increase for Ryan White Part C
medical clinics. Finally, the health reform legislation that the President signed into law,
the Affordable Care Act, ensures that Americans have secure, stable, and affordable
insurance, which will make it easier for people living with HIV and AIDS to obtain
Medicaid and private health insurance and overcome barriers to care from qualified
providers.

-- Expanding Access to Health Coverage: The Affordable Care Act ensures that
Americans have secure, stable, and affordable insurance. In 2014, insurance companies
will no longer be able to discriminate against anyone due to a pre-existing condition, and
because of the law, insurers can no longer turn someone away just because he or she is
lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. In addition, the federal website, HealthCare.gov,
designed to help all consumers find the health insurance best suited to their needs, makes
it easy to locate health insurers that cover domestic partners.

-- Addressing Health Care Disparities: The Affordable Care Act is funding preventive
efforts for communities, including millions of dollars to use evidence-based interventions
to address tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, better
nutrition and physical activity. In addition, the new health care law is making other
investments that will help address health disparities. Funding is going toward building a
more diverse and culturally competent health care workforce, as well as investing in
community health centers to serve up to 20 million more patients. And through increased
research and data collection on health disparities, policymakers will have the knowledge
and tools they need to continue to address the health needs and concerns of the LGBT
community.

-- Ensuring Equality for LGBT Federal Government Employees: President Obama has
taken numerous administrative actions to advance equality for LGBT Federal employees,
setting an example for all employers. In response to the President’s directive, the Office
of Personnel Management is expanding Federal benefits for same-sex partners of Federal
employees to the extent possible under current law, including by allowing same-sex
domestic partners to apply for long-term care insurance. The Administration’s directive
on same-sex domestic partner benefits also opened the door for the State Department to
extend legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of
members of the Foreign Service serving abroad.

-- Taking Steps to Ensure LGBT Equality in Housing and Crime Prevention: The
Administration announced the first ever national study of discrimination in housing
against LGBT persons and, in January 2012, issued a final rule to ensure that the
Department of Housing and Urban Development’s core housing programs are open to all.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 pm

Here's some good news:

Spending, Taxes, And Deficits Are All Lower Today Than When Obama Took Office

In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.

Also, taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.

And, the deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent."

Image

LINK

And if that wasn't enough, the good president was even nice enough to lower the price of gas 17 cents in the last month. I thought that was a nice touch.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:12 pm

Regarding Obama being a big spender:

The Conscience of a Liberal

Paul Krugman
June 3, 2012, 6:50 AM

1937

Here, from FRED, is the rate of change of real government spending per capita (federal, state, and local):

Image

Gosh, I wonder why the economy is underperforming?

*Update: a bit of a longer perspective may be useful. Here’s the same number calculated directly from FRED, using rates of growth: Government current expenditures – GDP deflator (the right measure of inflation) – Growth in civilian noninstitutional population; I’ve left out the immediate post -WWII years because they would spread the scale so much that recent stuff becomes invisible:"

Image

New York Times
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:26 am

Tingle down didn't work eh? From Obama's speech yesterday...

***
"For the wealthiest Americans, it worked out pretty well. Over the last few decades, the income of the top 1 percent grew by more than 275 percent -- to an average of $1.3 million a year. Big financial institutions, corporations saw their profits soar. But prosperity never trickled down to the middle class.

From 2001 to 2008, we had the slowest job growth in half a century. The typical family saw their incomes fall. The failure to pay for the tax cuts and the wars took us from record surpluses under President Bill Clinton to record deficits. And it left us unprepared to deal with the retirement of an aging population that’s placing a greater strain on programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Without strong enough regulations, families were enticed, and sometimes tricked, into buying homes they couldn’t afford. Banks and investors were allowed to package and sell risky mortgages. Huge, reckless bets were made with other people’s money on the line. And too many from Wall Street to Washington simply looked the other way.

For a while, credit cards and home equity loans papered over the reality of this new economy -- people borrowed money to keep up. But the growth that took place during this time period turned out to be a house of cards. And in the fall of 2008, it all came tumbling down -- with a financial crisis that plunged the world into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Here in America, families’ wealth declined at a rate nearly seven times faster than when the market crashed in 1929. Millions of homes were foreclosed. Our deficit soared. And nine million of our citizens lost their jobs -- 9 million hardworking Americans who had met their responsibilities, but were forced to pay for the irresponsibility of others." -- LINK
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:25 pm

Good resource links here:

***
I have written many times about why I support Obamacare.

I’ve written about how women won’t pay more than men for insurance now HERE.
I’ve written about the $1.3 BILLION in rebates that insurance companies have to send to people like you and me for gouging us this year HERE. This will be the new normal for insurance companies that don’t spend at least 80% of premiums towards helping patients.
I’ve shared details about how 20 million Americans are going to get assistance paying for health insurance HERE.
I’ve shared how this opens up single-payer systems for states like Vermont that has approved it already HERE.
I’ve written about how Republicans love Obamacare as long as they don’t know it’s Obamacare HERE.
I’ve written about how women get free birth control now provided by their insurance company without a copay HERE.
I’ve written about how Obamacare reduces the national deficit HERE.
I’ve written about how only 1.2% of families will have to pay the penalty for failure to get insurance HERE.
I’ve written about how Obamacare is an effective tax CUT for middle class families HERE.

And now – add one more reason to love Obamacare. This is a major step forward for gay and lesbian families; kids shouldn’t be discriminated against because their parents are gay. It’s just another step in the right direction. Politico writes HERE:

The Obama administration is giving a new health benefit to same-sex partners — and it’s built on one of the most popular provisions of ‘Obamacare.’ On Friday, the administration published a proposed rule that would extend one of the health care law’s best-known provisions — allowing children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 — to same-sex partners of federal workers. The rule would extend eligibility in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to the children of an enrollee’s same-sex partner. It also would extend coverage in the federal employees’ dental and vision insurance programs.


I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:00 pm

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:33 pm

Obama's Top 50 Accomplishments

March/ April 2012

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 Valdez Alaska 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.

Washington Monthly
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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:36 pm

I didn't know this:

"One of Obama’s biggest education achievements to date is kicking banks out of the college loan program and providing students loans directly from the federal government. The policy will save $67 billion over the next decade, $36 billion of which will fund expanded Pell Grants. The person who led this effort is Obama’s former deputy undersecretary of education Robert Shireman. But it was Clinton who created the direct lending program itself, with the help of a young White House aide, Robert Shireman."

Washington Monthly

This isn't too understated is it?:

"Measured in sheer legislative tonnage, what Obama got done in his first two years is stunning. Health care reform. The takeover and turnaround of the auto industry. The biggest economic stimulus in history. Sweeping new regulations of Wall Street. A tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. A vast expansion of national service. Net neutrality. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years. A revolutionary reform to student aid. Signing the New START treaty with Russia. The ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Even over the past year, when he was bogged down in budget fights with the Tea Party-controlled GOP House, Obama still managed to squeeze out a few domestic policy victories, including a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction deal and the most sweeping overhaul of food safety laws in more than seventy years. More impressively, on the foreign policy front he ended the war in Iraq, began the drawdown in Afghanistan, helped to oust Gaddafi in Libya and usher out Mubarak in Egypt, orchestrated new military and commercial alliances as a hedge against China, and tightened sanctions against Iran over its nukes.

Oh, and he shifted counterterrorism strategies to target Osama bin Laden and then ordered the risky raid that killed him.

That Obama has done all this while also steering the country out of what might have been a second Great Depression would seem to have made him already, just three years into his first term, a serious candidate for greatness. ( [url=http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php]See Obama’s Top 50 Accomplishments. [/url )"

Washington Monthly
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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:40 pm

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:02 am

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:47 am

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:56 pm

Economic charts out the wazoo:

1. "The Private Sector Is Doing Fine" and "The Public Sector Isn't"

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-priv ... 012-6?op=1

2. The Charts That Will Get Obama Reelected

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-economy-2012?op=1

It's all there.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:53 am

GOP Menu: Obstruct and Exploit
by Paul Krugman

LINK

"Remember the American Jobs Act? A year ago Obama proposed boosting the economy with a
combination of tax cuts and spending increases, aimed in particular at sustaining state and local
government employment. Independent analysts reacted favorably. For example, the consulting
firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the act would add 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2012.

There were good reasons for these positive assessments. Although you'd never know it from
political debate, worldwide experience since the financial crisis struck in 2008 has overwhelmingly
confirmed the proposition that fiscal policy "works," that temporary increases in spending boost
employment in a depressed economy (and that spending cuts increase unemployment).
The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having
prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are
pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president's policies have failed."
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:05 am

If you go from when it cratered at 6,600 only 30 days after Bush was out, then the DOW has doubled during Obama.

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:39 pm

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:28 am

Are We Better Off Than 4 Years Ago? Let's Go To The Charts!....

Business Insider

A wingnut on NWAonline claimed "there is no facts(sic)" that any "individual can put forth that can demonstrate that we are better off than we were four years ago."

So I thought I would put these 20 examples together, using the above compilation of charts:

(First: here is another graph with six charts: http://tinyurl.com/c49trtb )

But this is the much larger collection I will be referring to: http://tinyurl.com/d7wfdzn

"Are We Better Off Than 4 Years Ago? Let's Go To The Charts!...."

It gives examples of things that are not better, but I am going to focus on the good stuff since IrishM boldly said "there are no" such "facts" that can be "put forth." Let's begin:

1) "Four years ago, GDP was in freefall. For the past three years, it has been growing steadily. It's now considerably higher than it was four years ago." http://tinyurl.com/9xmnqds

2) GDP growth... is better than four years ago,... when GDP was tanking." http://tinyurl.com/9t3vg4t

3) GDP per capita? ...This, too, is heading in the right direction," http://tinyurl.com/932yqhv

4) "...the unemployment rate. Four years ago, it was skyrocketing as the economy collapsed. Now it's coming down." http://tinyurl.com/9xr7e2u

5) "Fewer Americans (as % of the population) are working than at any time since the early 1980s." http://tinyurl.com/9ugztns
That's bad, but as the chart shows, that drop happened almost entirely during Bush.

6) Private sector jobs are also growing. [They're] below the peak, but they're almost back to where they were four years ago. http://tinyurl.com/9j5sb2f

But wait, Obama wasn't president 4 years ago, he wasn't in office until Jan. so about 3.5 years ago. Thus, private employment *is* higher since Obama has been in office. That's good.

7) Is it good when government shrinks? "The government employs far fewer people than four years ago." http://tinyurl.com/9epvp5c

8) "Manufacturing jobs have also dropped sharply...," [during Bush's great recession]. But now they are rebounding faster than any time in the last 12 years: http://tinyurl.com/9crqh6o

9) "Job creation rate is VASTLY better than it was four years ago. Four years ago, we were losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month. Now, we're gaining about 100,000." http://tinyurl.com/9q6zrob

10) "In the private sector,... We've gone from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month, to steadily gaining them." http://tinyurl.com/9khbbvm

11) "Average hourly earnings have increased nicely..." http://tinyurl.com/9dhtqed

12) "government spending has increased... but not as fast as it did in the Bush administration. It has also recently flattened." http://tinyurl.com/9taxsdw

13) "...inflation is tame. And it's lower than it was four years ago." http://tinyurl.com/9e2tdxm

14) "Gas prices are up a bit... but not as high as they were in mid-2008." http://tinyurl.com/8ubyofw

15) "The "misery index"--the sum of the inflation rate and unemployment rate... it's lower than it was four years ago," http://tinyurl.com/968rxgn

16) "How about households and assets? ...Stocks were also in freefall four years ago... [now they've] recovered all of their losses and are crawling toward a new high." http://tinyurl.com/9c93798

17) "household debt has decreased significantly from the peak." http://tinyurl.com/8ojx8hd

18) "The household savings rate... [is] significantly above the levels of the past decade." http://tinyurl.com/8lbq7jt

19) "And disposable income per capita is gradually trending higher, even after adjusting for inflation." And it's higher than four years ago: http://tinyurl.com/8ela37q

20) "Bottom line? Four years ago, the economy was in freefall. Now, it is steadily recovering. The unemployment rate is... declining. Households have begun to reduce their debts and save more... The federal deficit is huge, but so far, it has not caused an increase in inflation. In other words, things are getting better." http://tinyurl.com/97qw843

Sorry to break the bad news to you IrishM! It's rather easy to show that in a great many respects, things have indeed gotten better. And that's good news. See you at the polls in November.

D.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:16 pm

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Re: Obama Watch

Postby Dardedar » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:29 am

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"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer


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