Monday, April 21, 2014

Dr. Boyce Watkins: You’re Making A Complete Damn Fool of Yourself

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Dr. Boyce Watkins: You’re Making A Complete Damn Fool of Yourself

Dr. Watkins, every time you open your mouth these days you seem to have something uncomplimentary to say about President Obama. You always seem to be implying that he's not doing enough for Black people. You don't seem to understand that it's not the president's job to go house to house passing out gift baskets. It's the president's job to try to create an environment where we can help ourselves, and it's our job to organize the community to establish the political clout to assist him in that effort. But I have yet to hear you address that side of the equation at all - or at least, not with the same kind of energy that you're constantly attacking President Obama.  
The entire agenda of you and your ilk seems to be promoting a culture of whining, begging, and complaining. You're telling the people what they WANT to hear - that everything is everybody else's fault - instead of what they NEED to hear - that we're bringing some of these problems on ourselves by failing to address important issues in the community.
I don’t know why so many of you so-called Black scholars don’t seem to understand that there are some things that even the president can’t do - and signing a bill abolishing ignorance is at the very top of that list. That's what it would take to accomplish some of the objectives that you and your counterparts are criticizing President Obama for. That’s also what lets me know that much of the ranting and raving that many of you so-called Black intellectuals are doing is disingenuous at best, and a form of unbelievably stupid "bligotry" (Black on Black bigotry) at worst.
The president can’t just wave a magic wand and instantly make everyone upwardly mobile. It doesn’t
work that way. There’s an educational process that goes along with upward mobility, and that goes for whether the person is Black, or White. While there are many in the Black community who have the skills to hit the ground running, there are others who need to be trained, motivated, and refocused in order to simply maintain a job that pays high enough wages to lift them out of poverty, even if a job was given to them.
But it seems that you'll never be satisfied until the day that Obama throws is fist in the air and says, "This is what I'm going to do for my people." That's what causes me to question the validity of your claim to be intellectuals. Because if you were indeed the intellectuals that you claim to be, certainly you would have considered the ramifications of Obama setting such a precedent. Think about it - if President Obama sets a precedent of saying, "This is what I'm doing for Black people," what are you going to say when the next White president comes into office and says, "This is what I'm going to do for White people?" He'll call it the "Obama Doctrine." So clearly, what you're demanding can only be characterized as poorly thought through at best, and absolutely boneheaded if viewed less charitably. 
In addition, with all of your "education" it would seem that you would understand simple eighth grade civics. The United States Constitution gives the United States House of Representatives SOLE control over government spending. And as I assume you’re aware, the House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans, so Obama can't do anything for anyone without getting the Republicans to go along with him. Yet, all of your guns are aimed at this one lone Black man instead of the Republicans who are trying to abolish the Voters’ Rights Act, obstruct everything that the president is trying to do for the people as a whole, and who are leaving
no stone unturned to reinstate Jim Crow and drag America back into the 19th Century. Why is that?
I know you’re not stupid, but you’re not saying a mumbling word about these fascists who are, literally, the domestic enemy of not only Black people, but ALL poor and middle-class people in the United States. You're purposely making it sound like all the president has to do is go in his pocket and throw some change our way, but he's just being heartless and stingy. Please explain to me why you're misleading the people like that.
People like yourself are even trying to blame the prison industrial complex on Obama. Don’t you know enough about state’s rights to know that’s a local issue that you should be taking up within each state? This is not a monarchy. President Obama is merely a president, not a king, or a dictator with absolute power.
When we say "federal government," that means that this country is a "federation." Each state is like a little country in and of itself, and each of the fifty states have come together to form "the United States." So President Obama cannot dictate how they run their prison systems: "Federation - a country formed by separate states that have given certain powers to a central government while keeping control over local matters." 
Due to the fact that you didn't seem to understand this simple concept of government, I decided to research your background, and it was very enlightening. Your bio says, "Watkins struggled in school, earning very poor grades all throughout. His teachers placed him in special education and also told him that he was not smart enough to go to college." So I figured that they must have covered the above concept of government while you were struggling through special education instruction. 
But even if you don’t understand the concept of presidential powers, I would think that simple common sense would suggest that if you’re worried about Black people being used to support a prison system for profit, instead of running all over the country blaming it on President Obama, your time would be better spent by anchoring down in the community and educating young Black people to the need to adopt a lifestyle that won’t lead to getting busted. I mean, with all of your tremendous intellect, did that ever even occur to you? I haven’t heard a word on the subject.
Boyce, people like yourself are spewing millions of words about what Obama’s not doing, but what are you doing? It seems to me that if you were serious about your concern for the poor, instead of holding televised seminars and book signings, you’d be in the community with your sleeves up helping to upgrade the skill sets of those who need it - or at the very least, helping to promote the idea of how important it is to do so. 
That’s what Barack Obama did. As the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, when Obama graduated from law school he could have gone to work as a law clerk for the Supreme Court, or pursued wealth by going into any one of the top law firms in the country. He could have also tried to make a name for himself by running all over the country on a bus chasing sound bytes, selling books, doing lectures, and trying to coin phrases and sound profound. But he didn't do that. Instead, he went quietly back into the community and went to work helping people to get their heaters fixed. That's the way to show that you care. You, on the other hand, have been all over the internet trying to SELL knowledge to poor Black people for $40 plus tax. If you have knowledge that you think will help the community, why not just give it to them?  Why cause even more hardship by forcing them to come up with money that they don't have?
I’ve  been very reluctant to put you on blast like this - I even took the time to warn you that it was coming if you continued your counterproductive nonsense - but you, and other Black people of your ilk, have become so disgustingly reflective of 19th Century Uncle Toms that the urge to speak out just became overwhelming. And I'm sure that many others are going to follow suit, because it seems that some of you people just can’t stand to see another Black man move forward, and watching that attitude being played out with such disingenuous self-righteousness makes me want to throw up every time I even see a picture of either you, Tavis Smiley, or Cornel West - and it's not just me.  I've spoken to other Black people who told me that they find your attitude, literally, sickening, because it's so petty.
Thus, while you can continue to try to hide behind your self-righteous rhetoric, and claim that all you’re interested in is the best interest of the Black community, the only people you’re fooling is a handful of your fellow backward-thinking followers and yourself. The vast majority of the Black community see what you’re about very clearly - just like White bigots, it’s simply killing you that Barack Obama is President of the United States instead of the White House butler. You see it as diminishing your accomplishments, and the fact is, it does. But that’s not the president’s fault, it’s yours. So hating him for his success is counterproductive. You still Have time. Put your brain cells to work searching for an idea to revolutionize the world instead of putting all your energy into hating. Because regardless to how much energy you spend hating Obama, at the end of the day, he'll still be President of the United States, and you'll still be insignificant.
So Boyce, you should sit down, read a little history, and take inventory of yourself. Because the fact is, people like you, Tavis Smiley, and Cornel West are not only undermining the Black community by making it easier for White bigots to demonize the first Black President of the United States, but you’re also embarrassing the community by making complete damn fools of yourselves, and thereby, undermining the credibility of legitimate Black scholars and intellectuals.

Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility

1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.

2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.

3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.

4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.

5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.

6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Prevented a Bush Depression and Improved the Economy
7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as "the stimulus package." The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.

8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%.

9. Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.

10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.

11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.

12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world.

13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.

14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.

17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed 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.

18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.

19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

20. Created, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with

21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.

22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital.

23. Signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to review all federal regulations and remove any unnecessary and/or burdensome regulations from the books.

24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.

25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government.

26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.

27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.

28. Crafted and signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans.

29. China’s largest manufacturer, Foxconn, is building a large plant in Pennsylvania

30. Worked with Apple Computer to get them to build more product here, and thecompany is building two large plants to manufacture products here; one in Texas and one in Arizona

31. Oversaw increase of manufacturing jobs by more than 500,000 since 2010, and created an institute to invest in more manufacturing jobs in the technology fields of the future.

32. Ordering all federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, leading the way to a national increase.

Brought Much-Improved Transparency and Better Government
33. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch.

34. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.

35. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.

36. Became the first to stream every White House event, live.

37. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.

38. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history.

39. Issued 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. Provides the public with greater access to historic White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.

40. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests.

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection
41. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.

42. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.

43. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

44. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.

45. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests.

46. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.

47. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.

48. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders.

49. Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which closed many of the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore.

50. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses.

51. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill constituting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.

52. Through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, extended the False Claims Act to combat fraud by companies and individuals usingmoney from the TARP and Stimulus programs.

53. Set up rules for banks in handling legal marijuana money.

Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination
54. Along with Congressional Democrats, 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.

55. 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 in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping.

56. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

57. Appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history.

58. Appointed first openly transgender Cabinet Official in History.

59. Changed HUD rules to prohibit gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination in housing

60. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-sex marriage.

61. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other.

62. 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.

63. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored 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.

64. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.

65. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including all websites and intranets.

66. Advocated that United Nations adopt a policy supporting gay rights worldwide.

67. Issued an order requiring hospitals to allow visitation by same-sex couples.

68. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.

69. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act.

70. Established the White House Council of Native American Affairs, to improve government-to-government relations with Native American nations.

71. Formed a commission to examine and make recommendations for fixing the broken voting system.

72. As soon as the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, he moved to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples.

73. At a press conference August 9, 2013, gave up a small measure of executive power, promising to create adversarial process in FISA regarding NSA surveillance.

74. Shattered another glass ceiling by naming Janet Yellen chair of the Federal Reserve beginning Feb. 1, 2014.

75. Appointed several prominent gay athletes and others, and plans to show US government’s commitment to gay rights to anti-gay Russia.

Major Improvements in Foreign Relations, American Status Around the World
76. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.

77. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.

78. Helped 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 world.

79. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.

80. Closed a number of secret detention facilities.

81. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.

82. Pushed forward the first realistic Middle East peace strategy in more than a decade, without abandoning the two-state solution.

83. Pushed for military to emphasize devlopment of foreign language skills.

84. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.

85. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted.

86. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.

87. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

88. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.

89. 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.

90. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through.

91. 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.

92. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.

93. Released the Bush torture memos.

94. 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.

95. 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.

96. Ended the F-22 program, saving $4 billion. Though the single-seat, twin-engine, fighter aircraft cost $358 million each, and the military had 187 built, the F-22 never flew a combat mission. (Just as an aside, that "fiscally conservative" Republican Party fought to keep it.)

97. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war and encourage the Iranian government to give up their nuclear program.

98. Ended the Iraq War.

99. Worked to keep our withdrawal from Afghanistan on track, despite GOP opposition. Reiterated that commitment in 2014.

100. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates.

101. Through United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, helped negotiate a peaceful split of Sudan into two countries, this allowing for the creation of an independent South Sudan.

A More Realistic Approach to "Defense" and National Security
102. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.

103. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010.

104. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.

105. Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty.

106. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will lst until at least 2021.

107. Through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.

108. Developed 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.

109. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country.

110. Negotiated a deal with Afghan govenment, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country.

111. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.

112. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India.

113. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple the despotic Khadaffy government and determine their own fate.

114. Got Egyptian President/dictator Mubarak to leave the Egyptian government to the people, to determine their own fate.

115. In 2011, reoriented American focus from the Middle East to the Asian-Pacific region by simultaneouly engaging China and crafting new alliances with Asian countries uncomfortable with Chinese behavior.

116. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully.

117. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast.

118. Has repeatedly beefed up border security

119. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

120. Throughan executive order, established the Homeland Security Partnership Council, which will attempt to enhance the nation’s ability to "address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources."

121. Breaking with presidential tradition, especially recent tradition, instead of just attacking Syria in the wake of chemical weapons attacks on Syrians, Obama ordered a full report on the decision-making process, should he decide to order one.

Returned Government to Treating Soldiers and Veterans with Dignity and Respect
122. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it. Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.

123. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.

124. Provided active combat troops with better body armor.

125. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care.

126. 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.)

127. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.

128. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.

129. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.

130. Initiated and signed a recruitment and employment plan to get more veterans into government jobs.

131. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.

132. Signed the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which ensures that spouses of military personnel who are forced to move because their spouse is posted for military duty will be able to avoid state taxes in their temporary residence.

133. Issued an Executive Order to improve access to mental health care for veterans, military personnel and their families.

Refocused the Federal Government on Education, Made Rational Reforms
134. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process, thus us creating greater accountability.

135. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.

136. Created a rating system for colleges, so that those applying for student financial aid know better what they’re paying for.

137. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

138. Created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them.

139. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide.

140. Oversaw major expansion in school construction.

141. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start.

142. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0

143. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low and middle income students to go to college.

144. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds.

145. Took major new steps to protec students from ineffective for-profit colleges through "gainful employment" measures, whereby schools have to demonstrate that its students actually find work to get federal aid.

145. With First Lady Michelle Obama, passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier.

146. In his continuing effort to make college more affordabl and accountable, will begin rating colleges with regard to affordability and value.

Took an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care
147. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.

148. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.

149. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.

150. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.

151. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.

152. 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.

153. Obama 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.

154. Conducted a cyberspace policy review.

155. Provided financial support for private sector space programs.

156. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.

157. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco. As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as "light."

158. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.

159. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs.

160. Oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors.

161. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price.

162. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.

163. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months.

164. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments.

165. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26.

166. Through the ACA, 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.

167. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

168. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.

169. Provisions in the ACA 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. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years.

170. Created the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, to strengthen the government’s ability to respond to the continuing domestic HIV epidemic, after years of Republicans weakening the government’s ability to deal with the crisis.

171. Expanded space exploration and discovery options to include more players.

172. Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.

173. In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy, in which an entire small town was devastated by an explosion at a fertilizer plant, in part because Republican negligence let the company do whatever it wanted, formed the Chemical Safety and Security Working Group, to work on measures to prevent another such event.

Strengthened the Middle Class and Families, and Fought Poverty
174. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.

175. 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.

176. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families.

177. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950.

178. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years.

179. Extended discounted health coverage under the COBRA health insurance law for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s also extended unemployment benefits more than a few times.

180. Provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).

181. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

182. Included the Buffet Rule in his 2014 budget proposal, thus trying to fulfill a campaign promise, to make sure tax rates are fair between the rich and the middle class.

183. Used the fiscal cliff negotiations to extend for five additional years the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides tax credits to families for college-related expenses, thus saving those families up to $10,000.

Concrete Steps to Improve The Environment and Address Our Energy Needs
184. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards.

185. 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.

186. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies.

187. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.

188. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.

189. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. (Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)

190. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers.

191. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.

192. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant.

193. Doubling federal spending on clean energy research.

194. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars.

195. 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.

196. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a "hoax."

197. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.

198. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption.

199. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic.

200. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.

201. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.

202. Got BP to cough up $20 billion to establish Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, to reduce the need for taxpayer funds to be used for compensation and clean up. (Note: it took 20 years to get $1.3 billion for the Exxon Valdez spill. )

203. 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.

204. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills.

205. Became the first President to simply say "Climate Change is a fact," and set up the first federal government protocols for dealing with the impacts of climate change.

206. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

207. Asserted federal legal supremacy to bar Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own.

208. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.

209. Strengthened protection for wildlife, and expanded enforcement of laws against wildlife trafficking.

210. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.

211. Through the EPA, attemped to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans.

212. Through new EPA regulations, he created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gasses.

213. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%

214. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards.

215. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025

216. Issued an Executive Order to facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency that will help create jobs, while strengthening US manufacturing. Increased efficiency could save businesses $100 billion over the next decade.

217. Through an executive order, set up the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, which will to oversee Gulf Coast restoration efforts in the wake of the 2010 BP oil splll. The money to fund the restoration efforts comes from fines against BP.

218. Through executive actions and bypassing the ineffectual Rublican Congress, announced the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change in a generation.

But That’s Not All…
219. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA.

220. 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.

221. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

222. 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.

223. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.

224. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule.

225. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.

226. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.

227. Signed an Executive Order that will speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure.

228. Signed an Executive Order creating jobs immediately by instructing them to reduce the time needed for review and permitting of infrastructure projects.

229. Signed a bill that provided $4.3 billion in additional assistance to 9/11 first responders.

230. Signed an Executive Order pledging support for efforts to end the global problem of violence against women and girls.

231. Signed the Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who had been cheated out of government loans and natural resource royalties in the past.

232. To help those communities devastated by Hurricane Samdy, issued an executive order setting up the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and asked Congress to approve $60 billion in supplemental assistance to aid in storm recovery.

233. Produced 23 Executive actions designed to make it easier for law enforcement to identify those who shouldn’t have guns, thus helping them enforce the law.

And Did You Know?
234. 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%.

And of course…
235. Despite the odds, became the first black president and was reelected by a wide margin.

Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.


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