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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Obama's First Year

I guess I was more hopeful that Obama would deliver on fundamental change in Washington since he worked at the grassroots, was a community organizer and so knew what the problems in Washington are, and he was a Constitutional law professor, so he would know how and what to do to fix (or improve) things in a way possibly never seen before. He didn't talk like Sabato (see previous post) in calling for amending the Constitution and adding Congressmen, so I guess I shouldn't have expected anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps I and others read things into Obama that he never promised at all.

On the other hand, I think he’s not been a failure, like many are writing him off to be after just one year. He’s accomplished quite a lot. We get bogged down with the economic situation and wars, both of which he inherited and had no way to solve in a year (4 years is rather optimistic).

He’s not passing things left and right due to his pragmatism and respect for both sides, rather than ineffectiveness or bad leadership. Other folks in his position might present big and far left ideas to Congress. Republicans can whittle it down a bit and he can still come out with something. Instead, presents what he thinks is fair and can pass (he’s playing nice) and it gets whittled down to nothing. He’s not rolling over the minority like other presidents might. He has no plan to push things through despite Republicans who have promised not to work with him and try their best to make him fail. For this fairness he is judged a failure and disappointment.

I’m not a fan or even a “real” Democrat, but Obama’s done some things.

This particular list is campaign promises- he's kept 90 and almost 300 are in the works. Hopefully I'll get a list together of of things he's done that I like. Until then:


PolitiFact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service of the St. Petersburg Times, are as follows:

* No. 6: Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes
* No. 15: Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners
* No. 16: Increase minority access to capital
* No. 33: Establish a credit card bill of rights
* No. 36: Expand loan programs for small businesses
* No. 40: Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
* No. 50: Expand the Senior Corps volunteer program
* No. 58: Expand eligibility for State Children's Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
* No. 76: Expand funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners
* No. 77: Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs
* No. 88: Sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
* No. 110: Assure that the Veterans Administration budget is prepared as 'must-pass' legislation
* No. 119: Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women
* No. 125: Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq
* No. 132: No permanent bases in Iraq
* No. 134: Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan
* No. 154: Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries
* No. 167: Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts
* No. 174: Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration
* No. 182: Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk
* No. 184: Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan
* No. 200: Appoint a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security
* No. 208: Improve relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds
* No. 212: Launch an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)
* No. 215: Create a rapid response fund for emerging democracies
* No. 222: Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba
* No. 224: Restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program
* No. 225: Establish an Energy Partnership for the Americas
* No. 239: Release presidential records
* No. 241: Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.
* No. 247: Recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession
* No. 266: Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West
* No. 269: Increase funding for national parks and forests
* No. 270: Increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
* No. 272: Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient
* No. 277: Pursue a wildfire prevention and management plan
* No. 278: Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires
* No. 284: Expand access to places to hunt and fish
* No. 290: Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors
* No. 300: Reform mandatory minimum sentences
* No. 307: Create a White House Office on Urban Policy
* No. 325: Create an artist corps for schools
* No. 326: Champion the importance of arts education
* No. 327: Support increased funding for the NEA
* No. 332: Add another Space Shuttle flight
* No. 334: Use the private sector to improve spaceflight
* No. 336: Partner to enhance the potential of the International Space Station
* No. 337: Use the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research
* No. 338: Explore whether International Space Station can operate after 2016
* No. 342: Work toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system
* No. 345: Enhance earth mapping
* No. 346: Appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy
* No. 356: Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area
* No. 359: Rebuild schools in New Orleans
* No. 371: Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps
* No. 380: Bolster the military's ability to speak different languages
* No. 391: Appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer
* No. 394: Provide grants to early-career researchers
* No. 411: Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear
* No. 420: Create a national declassification center
* No. 421: Appoint an American Indian policy adviser
* No. 427: Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees
* No. 435: Create new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud
* No. 452: Weatherize 1 million homes per year
* No. 458: Invest in all types of alternative energy
* No. 459: Enact tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars
* No. 460: Ask people and businesses to conserve electricity
* No. 475: Require states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption
* No. 480: Unprecedented expansion of funding for regional high-speed rail
* No. 483: Invest in public transportation
* No. 484: Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit
* No. 494: Share enviromental technology with other countries
* No. 498: Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes
* No. 500: Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency
* No. 502: Get his daughters a puppy
* No. 503: Appoint at least one Republican to the cabinet
* No. 506: Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009
* No. 507: Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
* No. 513: Reverse restrictions on stem cell research

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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june10/obama_01-19.html


http://wamu.org/programs/dr/10/01/20.php


http://www.slate.com/id/2236708/


http://www.france24.com/en/20100119-accomplishments-setbacks-stalemates-obama%E2%80%99-first-year-review-0

http://themoderatevoice.com/57560/obamas-first-year



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Some more things- may have been mentioned above- not sure:

ERIC ALTERMAN: Net neutrality. Government--

BILL MOYERS: That's really big in Massachusetts.

ERIC ALTERMAN: Government trans-- well, they're not the kinds of things that excite people. But he--

MELISSA HARRIS-LACEWELL: Lily Ledbetter Equal--

ERIC ALTERMAN: Releasing the torture memos.

BILL MOYERS: But not closing Guantanamo.

ERIC ALTERMAN: Canceling the F-22. I mean, these are all things that President McCain would never have done. Sonia Sotomayor.

from: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01222010/watch.html

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