The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Case for Competency in Governance

President Obama and his Administration have a couple of hitches in their exemplary journey towards excellence in federal governance.  They have not yet provided major impact on the job losses of the Bush Years and later. The Administration did not perform admirably during the health-care reform deliberations and campaigning.  I also suggest that failure to close GITMO (after a very public promise to do so), and failure to extract our troops form Afghanistan are also notable missed opportunities.  Hitches over!!!!

Each Sunday morning and all throughout the week, I hear or see RIGHT - WING pundits and politicians (although comment form this group is waining rapidly), about the failed administration of our President. 

Therefore, I am going to update and post a set of information related to the Obama Administration. The original information was copied of the The Daily Kos. I added a few tidbits of relevant accomplishment.

Please take a moment to review information that was original posted just about one year ago.

I have also compiled a list dating from January 2010 to April 2, 2010. (see after the Daily KOS list)


The Daily KOS

90+ Accomplishments of the Obama Administration so far (as of last November 2010)

Written by joemarkowitz 

From Daily Kos, here is a nice list compiled by Robert Watson of Lynn University of a few of the Obama administration's accomplishments 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 (slowly but surely)

    22. US Auto industry rescue plan

    23. Housing rescue plan

    24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan (probably singularly responsible for stopping a high speed [Bush ERA]charge into an international depression) Republicans derided the bill as unaffordable and wasteful. Not a single Republican in the House voted for the package, and only three Republican senators did -- just enough for Mr. Obama to avert a filibuster.

    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 (One troubled accomplishment. while it saved the US financial infrastructure, Geitner and others should have placed more controls and restrictions on Wall Street)

    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. (Update: Order Navy Seals elimination of Somali kidnapping team, facilitating the release of a commercial shipping ship captain).

    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  (Update: Just after taking office President Obama ordered a review of veteran benefits issues form the Bush Era. After being denied opportunity for military related injury benefits, I was sent a letter to reapply just after Obama Took Office.)

    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 (Sonia Sotomayor)

    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 health-care 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 the girls outside the Oval Office!

And this list does not even mention that the Obama administration has put the US financial system, which was still near collapse when Obama took office, on much firmer footing.

That the administration put GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy in record time. 

That the housing market has started to rebound (but ever so slowly still)

That the stock market is up about 50% (UPDATED TO WELL OVER 110% as of March 2010) from its low point about a month after Obama took office.  In fact, the DIJA will top 11,000 by April 15, 2010. In march of 2009, the DIJA was hovering around 5,700. That is almost double!!!!!! (Update; the DJIA is at the 12,.700 mark as of this writitng)

That the US is now once again the most admired country in the world. As evidenced by the number and scope on international leaders who have met with or are willing to meet and be seen with the current President of the United States.

That the President has reached out in a major way to the Muslim world through his speech in Cairo and other efforts. (While certainly not concrete as to genesis, I posit that the Obama Administration has played a role in the current Northern Africa and Middle Eastern quests for democratic government and ridding of monarchs and dictators)

That he achieved a unanimous vote in the UN Security Council for nuclear non-proliferation. And that the President was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! (an awarded that was both prophetic and a snub of recent past US disregard for a peaceful international community)

January 2010 - April 2, 2010

State of the Union Speech
In his first State of the Union address, delivered Jan. 27, 2010, Mr. Obama promised to focus intently on the issue of most immediate concern to the nation, jobs. He vowed not to give up on his ambitious legislative agenda, chastising Republicans for working in lock-step against him and warning Democrats to stiffen their political spines.

Chicago-St. Louis high speed rail corridor in line for $1.1 billion from Obama

on January 28, 2010

Illinois will get $1.1 billion to make track improvements to enable 110 mph passenger trains between Chicago and St. Louis, under a new federal stimulus plan to be announced Thursday by President Obama. (a personal favorite)

Obama, Bush, Clinton team up for Haiti earthquake relief. January 2010

Obama Bipartisan Health Care Meeting.  February 25, 2010. Well, it was intended to be bi-partisan..turned of to be a well rehearsed and disastrously delivered 'JUST SAY NO' from the Republicans.

Historical Heath Care Reform Bill signed March 2010. The bill passed with NO Republican votes.

Obama-Sarkozy summit at the White House.

Lynn Sweet
on March 30, 2010 4:00 PM
WASHINGTON-- President Obama and French President Sarkozy are meeting at the White House today and dine tonight at the White House with their spouses, First Lady Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni Sarkozy.

US and Russia move closer to signing nuclear reduction treaty. (Maybe the Nobel Prize Committee was actually very prophetic)

China signals a willingness to talk, in Washington D.C., on matters that could lead to increased sanctions against Iran. (Issues is not a settled matter to date. Bush policies of give China what it wants and place no barriers on China, yielded no such potential cooperation between the two nations)

April 2, 2010 Dept. of Labor Jobs Report. Moderate number of created jobs report. Despite 42,000 Part-time census workers, the jobs reported yielded an additional 120,000 plus new jobs.

The jobs report is a welcome beam of light out a years of employment related darkness. Eight million Americans are out of work starting in mid to late 2006. The following chart clearly illustrates jobs progress since President Obama took office. It is powerful.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
UPADTE: May 2011

The Jobs picture is not good in any sense but something should be stated for a vast improvement as illustrated in the charts above.

Effectively stuff a rag in the mouth of the 'birthers' once Donald Trump drew upper crust attention tot he fallacy.

I have to ask.....
The President has served less than 18 months of a four year term. I have to ask?

"What part of MY COUNTRY does the vocal tea party want back?" What about the record clearly delineated above supports the constant charges of socialism from media darlings?  What part of the aforementioned record does Sarah Palin mean when she exhorts her supporters to stop cars with Obama/Biden stickers to ask people "How they feel about that change".

I ask myself, with albeit bias on my part,"What about the last administration would I even care to contemplate as the Untied States moves forward into the 21st Century?"

One last point that may have gone completely unnoticed. President Obama can claim significant impact on eliminating Al Qaeda as a major fighting force. He can also claim a new tone from Bin Laden....Bin Laden actually posted an audio tape threatening to kill captured Americans if KSM is put to death.  (UPDATE: OSAMA BIN LADEN DEAD!!!!! 

More success in killing members of Al Qaeda that the Bush Team ever dreamed of. And Condi Rice sits on television stating that they thought  OBL was living in a cave.)

The number of Bush Administration team who are flocking to the media these days (post Bin Laden) is astounding.  John Yoo, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Ari (who cares what he says Fleischer).

I am hearing much less of "I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!".

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