President’s Report Card (suggested by nannymm)

Robert P. Watson, Ph.D. Coordinator of American Studies, 
Lynn University"                                Email:
rwatson@lynn.edu

I am always being asked to grade Obama’s presidency. In place of offering him a grade, I put together a list of his accomplishments thus far. I think you would agree that it is very impressive. His first six months were even more active than FDRs or LBJs, the two standards for such assessments. Yet, there is little media attention given to much of what he has done. Of late, the media is focusing almost exclusively on Obama’s critics, without holding them responsible for the uncivil, unconstructive tone of their disagreements or without holding the previous administration responsible for getting us in such a deep hole. The misinformation and venom that now passes for political reporting and civic debate is beyond description.
As such, there is a need to set the record straight.

What most impresses me is the fact that Obama has accomplished so much not from a heavy-handed or top-down approach but from a style that has institutionalized efforts to reach across the aisle, encourage vigorous debate, and utilize town halls and panels of experts in the policy-making process. Beyond the accomplishments, the process is good for democracy especially because our democratic processes have been battered and bruised in recent years. 
Let me know if I missed anything in this long list (surely I did).


The Obama Presidency’s record…so far:

1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
3. Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
4. Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
6. Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier’s family
8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
10. Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House
11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
16. New federal funding for science and research labs
17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
18.. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
20. New funds for school construction
21. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
22. US Auto industry rescue plan
23. Housing rescue plan
24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
25. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
26. US financial and banking rescue plan
27. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
28. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards
29. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
30. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
31. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
32. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
33. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
34. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
35. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
36. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
38. Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
39. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
40. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
41. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
42. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
43. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
44. Expanding vaccination programs
45. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
46. Closed offshore tax safe havens
47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
48. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
49. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
50. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
51. Lower drug costs for seniors
52. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
53. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
54. Improved housing for military personnel
55. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
56. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
57. Increasing student loans
58. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
59. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
60. Established a new cyber security office
61. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
62. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
63. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
65. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
66. Improving benefits for veterans
67. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
68. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
70. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
71. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
72. Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
73. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
74. Making more loans available to small businesses
75. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
77. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
80. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
81. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
82. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
83. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
84. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
85. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
86. Held first Seder in White House
87. Attempting to reform the nation’s healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under-insured
88. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
89. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
90. Has announced his intention to push for education reform
Oh, and he built a swing set for his girls outside the Oval Office

Advertisements

56 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

56 responses to “President’s Report Card (suggested by nannymm)

  1. TempeBev

    He’s obviously done a great deal, however, there will always be those who think he hasn’t done anything or enough in the first year.

    Personally, I hope he gets a little more assertive a little sooner when it comes to future important issues that will be facing us. (jobs, immigration, DADT etc.)

  2. Eric Cantor’s phony victim story
    His false claim of office gunshots functioned as the Ashley Todd tale of 2010, distracting from right-wing violence

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2010/03/26/phony_eric_cantor_story?source=newsletter

  3. tonyb39

    Great piece Nanny!

    I needed that! Its good to be reminded about the things that have actually been accomplished by this President.I do hope that he’s finally got that he can’t win over Republican’s.I also want to see him continue taking stands and fighting for what he believes in..No guts,no glory,hope this President continues the way he has been the last month or so..

  4. tonyb39

    Nanny,from the previous thread,was working sorry.I agree with you on Morning Joe,love Larry O and Joan Walsh! Its amazing to me,i read you and most always feel the same way.I’m channeling you,haha..

    • dnd

      Wow, that Obama is a real slacker. 😉

      Perfect timing for this thread. The media’s big coverage today: the teabagger rally in Searchlight, NV featuring future TV reality show star Sarah Palin, professional polemicist (m)Ann Coulter, and Joe (not really) the plumber (not really).

  5. dooty

    sorta off Topic but there is a group of people in Austin, Tx called the Asylum Street Spankers. This is their take on stuff relating to the GWB wars.

  6. nannymm

    Doots, that was fantastic! Hubby and I laughed our butts off! But then we don’t drive SUV’s with or without those damned yellow ribbons. They have annoyed the hell out of me since the first time I saw them. Seriously, those guys have some talent! I’d love to see more of their work.

  7. nannymm

    Tony, yes, we do seem to think alike on many issues. So does eProf. Definitely kindred spirits….

  8. d I guess you and I aren’t “kindred spirits”

  9. U.S. take if it sells its Citi stake to settle cost of bailout: $8 billion

    The Obama administration is making final preparations to sell its stake in the New York bank, according to industry and federal sources. At today’s prices, the sale would net more than $8 billion, by far the largest profit returned from any firm that accepted bailout funds, and the transaction would be the second-largest stock sale in history.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032604938.html?hpid=topnews

  10. What a proud moment for Cindy McCain!

  11. Why I wrote the ‘Stupak amendment’ and voted for health-care reform
    By Bart Stupak

    The pro-life groups rallied behind me — many without my knowledge or consent — not necessarily because they shared my goals of ensuring protections for life and passing health-care reform but because they viewed me as their best chance to kill health-care legislation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032602921.html

  12. nannymm

    dnd, I wish I could be at that teabagger rally in Searchlight…. to protest the teabaggers. I’d love a nice big sign in support of Harry, Nancy and Barack.

  13. There was a report on MSNBC yesterday about the reaction the people of Searchlight to their weekend guests, they are not thrilled.

  14. nannymm

    It’s time to fight back without violence or any threat thereof.
    To all of you who have Facebook accounts, as well as those who would start an account now for a good cause:

    As you might have heard, Sarah Palin has on her Facebook page a map of the U.S. on which she has placed targets on Democratic districts and then named the Congressional representatives she would like to see eliminated. Although she never comes out and suggests violence against them, considering the charged atmosphere i…n the country after the passage of health reform, the suggestion could be taken the wrong way by a deranged person. This is a clear violation of Facebook’s terms of use and Facebook should be made aware of this abuse. Here is how you can report this abuse to Facebook:

    1. Copy this URL: http://www.facebook.com/help/?mail_sent#!/notes/sarah-palin/dont-get-demoralized-get-organized-take-back-the-20/373854973434
    2. Go to the bottom right of any Facebook page and click on Help Center
    3. Go to the left column and click on Safety at the bottom
    4. Go to the box at the bottom and click on the last entry on the right, More information on reporting abuse
    5. Under the section titled Sensitive Account Reports, click on How do I report Terrorist activity or support? Then click on the hyperlink under the word here at the end of the first sentence.
    6. You should now be at a page that says Terrorist Content. Paste the URL you copied into the first box. In the second box describe the map with the crosshairs targeting Democratic districts. In the third box explain why it might not be a good thing for someone to use Facebook to suggest shooting Democrats.See Morewww.facebook.com
    http://www.facebook.com

  15. nannymm

    dnd or Brian can you please release my comment. It is “awaiting moderation.”

  16. nannymm

    NVM.. already released.

  17. nannymm

    Brian, the hyperlink didn’t come out right. Can you fix it?

  18. dooty

    Hip hip hurray I now have brake lights again. It was the brake light switch. $15 part.

  19. nannymm

    “President Obama announced his intent to make 15 recess appointments on Saturday to fill administration posts that have been vacant for months.

    Because of an “unprecedented level” of Republican obstruction, these nominees have been pending in the Senate for an average of 214 days, or 7 months, according to the White House.”
    http://www.politico.com/politico44/

  20. nannymm

    Younger senators take aim at old Senate rules

    Faced with what they’re calling a “broken” system, a band of Senate Democratic newcomers are vowing to change the way the world’s greatest deliberative body does business. These “young turks” — “young” being relative in a body in which 60 is considered middle-aged — are pushing to revamp the decades-old rules that govern the Senate.

    Their targets include long-held senatorial courtesies such as the “hold” and the seniority system that awards chairmen’s gavels solely on tenure. Ultimately, some want to modify or eliminate the most potent of all senatorial weapons: the filibuster.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032603033.html?waporef=obinsite

  21. Palin Rallies Tea Party Crowd in Nevada

    The majority leader, a former lightweight boxer, was not one to completely back away from the showdown: he had set up a “hospitality tent” tent in Searchlight at the Nugget casino, the size of a small rest stop and perhaps the largest building in town. There, workers served tea and doughnut holes — herbal tea, because, a spokesman said, the Tea Party crowd did not seem to need more caffeine. The snacks were a nod to the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage known as the doughnut hole, which the health care bill seeks to close.

    “I’m happy so many people came to see my hometown of Searchlight and spend their out-of-state money, especially in these tough economic times,” Mr. Reid said in a statement. “Ultimately, though, this election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachute in for one day to have a tea party.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/us/politics/28nevadaweb.html?hp

  22. In Possible Retirement, the Likelihood of an Election-Year Confrontation

    WASHINGTON — No announcement has been made, but the widely anticipated retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens in coming weeks has the White House, Senate and lobbying groups bracing for an election-year confrontation over the future of the Supreme Court.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/us/politics/26court.html?ref=politics

    What fun this is going to be!

  23. nannymm

    So George Washington was a socialist, too!
    If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, how could our first president require every citizen to buy a gun?

    one of the favorite complaints against the healthcare reform bill is that the founding document doesn’t permit the federal government to order anyone to buy a product or service. That supposedly renders illegitimate the individual insurance mandate that is part of the bill.

    As every fervent advocate of gun rights ought to know, however, that argument suffers from a glaring historical flaw. Only a few years after the nation’s Founding Fathers ratified the Constitution, Congress approved the Militia Act of 1792, which was duly signed by George Washington, then the president and commander in chief.
    https://clistersbackchannel.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/presidents-report-card-suggested-by-nannymm/#comment-32388

    • dnd

      Nanny, that Joe Conason piece in Salon was great. And since the Militia Act was signed by Washington after the 10th amendment was ratified these state attorney generals who want to use that to strike down the mandate are barking up the wrong tree.

      • dnd

        On the local news this morning there was a story about how Rep. Betsy Markey getting threats because of her vote on health care reform. Law enforcement thought they were serious enough to give her police protection. I wonder if these anti-tax teabaggers know that their tax money is being wasted on extra police protection due to their threats. Cognitive dissonance one again raises it’s ugly head.

  24. nannymm

    Whose Country Is It?

    It’s an extension of a now-familiar theme: some version of “take our country back.” The problem is that the country romanticized by the far right hasn’t existed for some time, and its ability to deny that fact grows more dim every day. President Obama and what he represents has jolted extremists into the present and forced them to confront the future. And it scares them.

    Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/opinion/27blow.html?src=me&ref=general

  25. nannymm

    This story illustrates what a regular nice guy Obama is.
    ‘Next Year in the White House’:
    The Obama Seder
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/us/politics/28seder.html?src=me&ref=general

  26. Jews in the White House, disgusting! What next one will be the chief of staff and another Sect. of the Treasury!

  27. This if for you kindred spirits nanny and tony:

    How The Clintons Fought For Health Care Behind The Scenes

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/how-the-clintons-helped-pass-health-reform.php

  28. eprof2

    Professor Watson really did his homework. I’m glad you found the article to post here, Nanny. I’m going to copy it and save it.

    Anyone been to the thriving metropolis of Searchlight? One blinking stop sign at a one four way corner. Harry Reid even wrote a book about Searchlight, the mining town that refused to die about ten years ago. Dolores and I have driven up and through Searchlight twice now, the first time after I read Reid’s book. It’s a nice short history of this out of the way mining town on the plateau about sixty miles or so from Las Vegas. The teaparty today was held in front of the town’s museum, a one story, 1,000 square foot building just to the east of the four way intersection. We stopped and had a bite to eat in the only non-fast food restaurant in town, which doubles as the only casino for miles around on one of the four corners of the only four way intersection. Reid’s home sits right off the highway about a 1/2 mile north and on the left from the center of town. His home is a modest home surrounded by cacti, especially ocotillo plants, which he says work well as a fence of sorts to keep the damn rabbits away, Reid’s real bane of existence. Republicans don’t bother him as much as the wild cotton tail rabbits that overrun most of the desert in this part of the world.

  29. The Rage Is Not About Health Care
    By FRANK RICH

    If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html

  30. Lugar calls for swift ratification of START

    “I commend the U.S. and Russian delegations for months of dedicated effort. I look forward to the President’s submission of the new treaty, its protocols, annexes and all associated documents to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification. I also look forward to working with Chairman Kerry to begin scheduling hearings and briefings for the Foreign Relations Committee so that we can work quickly to achieve ratification of the new treaty.”

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0310/Lugar_calls_for_swift_ratification_of_START.html?showall

  31. dog's eye view

    Good morning all.

    Went to see Roman Polanski’s new movie “The Ghost Writer” last night. Terrific film.

    I know the politician was meant to resemble Tony Blair, but I was thinking younger and more handsome Dick Cheney.

    Did anybody else see it yet?

  32. nannymm

    Good morning!

    eProf, I was quite impressed with Professor Watson’s compilation of President Obama’s accomplishments. I figured you would be, too.

    Dnd, Conason really made an excellent point in that piece. I keep hearing that this is the first time in our history that the federal government has mandated that we purchase something. Do you think that the media will now come out and correct that little bit of misinformation? I wonder if the right will now stop suggesting that Obama is a commie. Maybe the loons will now tire their ire on good old George Washington. Who knows, maybe Texas will write him out of their history books, too. 😉

  33. nannymm

    Obama is in Afghanistan.

  34. nannymm

    She was great, as always. Meecham was, too. He seemed disgusted by the mood in this country.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s