President Obama, The “James Brown” of Presidents!
James Brown was considered the “Hardest working man in show business”…well, President Obama is certainly the hardest working president in my lifetime…all 48 years of it.
This is a post from a while back that I dusted off…it obviously doesn’t have the most recent accomplishments in it, but it certainly puts the lie to the crazy idea that President Obama hasn’t done anything.
Even if you don’t agree with everything he has done, no one can say he hasn’t done a lot. Read some of it below and follow some of the sources, it is astounding how much real change he has made. But first, let’s watch a clip from Rachel Maddow’s show where she lists some of President Obama’s accomplishments. I have more below, there is a lot of overlap with Rachel…
When you really look at what the Obama administration has done….and not what the media has decided to report….but what they have actually done, it is really pretty amazing. I did a post many months ago about his accomplishments to date and he has kept right on rolling, change happens even when there is no one to hear it. I found several sources for my post, the first is from Media Matters…
Passing stimulus, generating jobs. On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law. In December 2009, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report estimating that “in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people were employed in the United States” due to that legislation. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, CBO has increased its estimate to 800,000 to 2.4 million additional employed through the fourth quarter of that year. Moreover, a November 20, 2009, New York Times article reported that the “consensus” among “dispassionate analysts” is that “the stimulus package, messy as it is, is working,” citing nonpartisan analyses of gross domestic product and total employment figures by several companies specializing in economic forecasting. Further, a January 25 USA Today article stated that, according to its “quarterly survey of 50 economists,” “[u]nemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December’s 10% rate — without Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program,” adding, “The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.”
Sotomayor nomination. On May 26, 2009, Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice David Souter. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 6, 2009, and sworn in August 8, making her the first Hispanic justice, and only the third woman, on the court.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The first bill President Obama signed into law, on January 29, 2009, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expands the rights of workers to sue employers over wage discrimination claims.
SCHIP expansion. On February 5, 2009, Obama signed a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover 4 million more lower-income children.
Public lands bill. On March 30, Obama signed an omnibus public lands bill, which The New York Times reported “allows for 2 million more acres to be declared wilderness… [with] more than 1,000 miles designated as scenic rivers, and adds land for national trails.”
Credit card reform. On May 21, 2009, Obama signed into law a bill providing what USA Today called the “most sweeping changes to the credit card industry in 40 years,” adding restrictions on interest rate increases and fees and restricting the marketing of credit cards to college students.
Transparency. The Washington Post reported that moves by the Obama administration to improve government transparency “included a ban on lobbyist gifts; restrictions on the hiring of lobbyists; publication of White House visitor logs and other records; and a move to bar lobbyists from serving on advisory boards.” A report by Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, and U.S. PIRG stated that: “The cumulative effect of the Administration’s actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities.”
Tobacco regulation. On June 22, 2009, Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which, for the first time, gave the U.S. Food & Drug Administration the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco.
National service. On April 21, 2009, Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the scope of AmeriCorps and provides opportunities for young people and senior citizens to join in service programs.
Stem cell research. On May 9, 2009, Obama signed an executive order easing restrictions on the use of federal money for embryonic stem cell research.
There is a TON more after the jump, click on the blue Read More…
I won’t post them all, but here are some of the things he did for the environment in the first 100 days of his presidency. From About.com…
Worked with Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion economic stimulus package that includes nearly $100 billion in green spending to help get the economy back on track and to create millions of clean-energy jobs.
Declared carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases a threat to public health and welfare, setting the stage for regulating greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming if Congress fails to pass legislation to address the issue.
Restored critical protections under the Endangered Species Act, which had been removed by a last-minute rule change in the final days of the Bush administration.
I just came across a website that has a columnist who is chronicling the Obama administration as it happens and claims to be free from the writers opinion. The website is OpEdNews and the author of the series is Robert Arend. He does them in what appears to be 15 day increments, but I haven’t delved too far back yet. I’m going to post just some of what happened in the Obama Whitehouse from June 16 – 30. Now the next time you hear someone say the president hasn’t done anything, send them the link to this website and tell them politely to shut the hell up. From Robert Arend’s chronicle from June 16 – 30…
Day509/June16th/Wednesday: The President and Vice President Joe Biden met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with BP‘s Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Others in attendance: Source & Complete List of Attendees
The President provided a statement to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House, announcing BP agreed to place $20 billion into an escrow account to pay claims of individuals and businesses harmed by the April 20, 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though local, state, tribal, and federal government claims would continue to be handled directly by BP. The $20 billion would be deposited in 4 installments: (1st) $5 billion in the last 6 months of 2010, (2nd) $5 billion in 2011, (3rd) $5 billion in 2012, and (4th) $5 billion in 2013. To assure independence, Kenneth Feinberg, who previously administered the 911 Victim Compensation Fund, was designated to serve as the Independent Claims Administrator. Transcript Video Fact Sheet
The Obama Administration announced a new round of sanctions and designations toward Iran over the Iranian government’s nuclear program, adding to the list of sanctions of entities a number of institutions and individuals accused of helping Iran finance nuclear and missile programs and to evade international sanctions by:
Day510/June17th/Thursday: The President met with the new Commander in Chief of the United States Veterans of Foreign Wars Tommy Tradewell in the Oval Office of the White House. Source
The President had lunch with with a group of mostly progressive columnists to discuss a range of topics that included the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Those in attendance included Gail Collins of the New York Times, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Gerald Seib, the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. Source
The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:
James Emanuel Boasberg, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Bio
James Thomas Fowler, of Tennessee, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee for the term of four years Bio
Amy Berman Jackson, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Bio
Sue E. Myerscough, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois Bio
The Obama Administration kicked off “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects to be underway across the country in the coming months. Examples:
Highway Projects: six times as many highway projects underway in July 2010 as were in July 2009, a surge from 1,750 the summer of 2009 to over 10,000 in the summer of 2010
Clean and Drinking Water: summer of 2010 over 2,800 clean and drinking water projects underway versus just over 100 in the summer of 2009
Home Weatherization: summer of 2010 82,000 homes to be weatherized versus 3,000 in the summer of 2009
Day511/June18th/Friday: The President traveled to Columbus, Ohio, where he met with workers and delivered remarks at the Parsons and Livingston Avenue construction site in downtown Columbus: the 10,000th Recovery Act road project to get underway. Transcript Video
The President signed a Presidential memorandum directing agencies in the Executive Branch not to appoint or re-appoint currently-registered federal lobbyists to advisory boards or commissions. Within 90 days of the date of the memorandum, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget was to issue proposed guidance designed to implement the policy to the full extent permitted by law. The final guidance would be issued following public comment on the proposed guidance. Presidential Memorandum
The President signed a Presidential Memorandum that directed agencies to review current pre-payment and pre-award procedures and ensure that a thorough review of available databases with relevant information on eligibility occurs before the release of any Federal funds, to the extent permitted by law. Presidential Memorandum
The President sent a letter to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives regarding amendments to the FY 2011 budget. Among the President’s requests was for consideration of a FY 2011 Budget amendment for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that would fund an initiative to develop a plan to spur regional economic growth and job creation along the Florida Space Coast and other affected regions. Source
The President called on the Burmese government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and to allow them to build a more stable, prosperous Burma that respects the rights of all its citizens. Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate, would turn 65 on June 19, 2010. Source
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new rules that would:
(1) dictate how meatpackers buy cattle on the open market, and prohibit them from showing preference to big feedlots rather than buying from small producers
(2) limit the control chicken companies have over farmers who raise birds for them by forbidding companies from requiring farmers to take on debt to invest in chicken houses, for example, unless farmers were guaranteed to recoup 80 percent of the cost
(3) make it easier to file suits under the Depression-era Packers and Stockyards Act by ending the requirement that farmers prove industry wide anticompetitive behavior in order to file a lawsuit under the act
(4) lowering the bar that farmers and ranchers must meet to sue companies whom they accuse of demanding unfairly low prices Source
Day515/June22nd/Tuesday: The President attended a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with insurance company CEOs and insurance commissioners to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To those in attendance, the President reiterated his pledge to help protect consumers from unfair premium increases. Source
The President delivered remarks in the East Room of the White House on ongoing efforts to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the new Patients’ Bill of Rights. Transcript Video Fact Sheet.pdf
The President had a video teleconference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in which the two leaders focused primarily on plans to stabilize Kandahar City and the close alignment between their two governments there. They received a briefing from senior U.S. and Afghan officials detailing their plans to provide better security, improve governance and increase economic opportunities. Source
The President conducted a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss the U.S. economy, Iraq, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and energy and climate change. The President’s Remarks after the Cabinet Meeting Video
The President and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke by telephone in preparation for the upcoming G8/G20 meetings in Canada. Among their discussions, the President and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of rapid action by the European Union to resume the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. Source
The President telephoned Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to express his concerns about the wildfires threatening homes and businesses across the state and to assure her of the continued support of the federal government in helping state and local officials protect people’s lives and property. The President indicated that the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, were actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires and reinforced that FEMA would continue to closely monitor the fires and remain in close contact with state and local officials. The President asked the Governor to keep him updated on additional support the State may need as the response continued.Source
That was just some of what he did on 4 days of the 15 covered in the link. Yes, some of it was ceremonial and arm twisting, but an awful lot of shit happened in those 4 days that no one ever knows about. The media picks and chooses what it is going to obsess about, mostly process or the latest poll or some shit like that. This president is working his ass off and doing one hell of a job at it. The cool thing is…he keeps kicking ass as the media obsesses about trivial things….but like the Rude Pundit said, it’s his rope-a-dope strategy. If you underestimate his political prowess, you are a damn fool.