Obama Administration

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The Obama Administration is the executive branch of the federal government under Democrat President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. It began on January 20, 2009 for a term of four years, and then for a second four year term.
Obama deficits 2009-2010.JPG
Under Obama's stewardship the United States has suffered the largest deficits[1][2] in history and a credit downgrade from the rating agency Standard & Poor.[3] Poverty[4] increased to levels not seen in 50 years.[5] When his economic stimulus program was adopted unemployment rose and stagnated in the 10% range, [6] leaving tens of millions without hope of finding a job.[7] During what the White House billed as Recovery Summer, one half million workers per week continued losing their jobs. His signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, the federal courts have found to be unconstitutional[8] and is credited as a major cause of uncertainty, high unemployment,[9] lagging job creation,[10] and risk of a credit default crisis.[11][12] Since the rejection of his party's agenda in the 2010 Midterm elections, Obama has continued class warfare as a major theme of his second two years and cornerstone of his successful re-election campaign. He then turned to deficit reduction, immigration reform and gun control as major policy initiatives in his second term.

While 'turning the page' on the War on Terror, the rate of terrorist attacks in the United States has gone from three under President George W. Bush's eight years in office (9/11 attacks on the World Trade Towers, the 9/11 attack on Pentagon and the 9/11 hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania) [13] to at least four per year[14][15][16][17][18] and the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group reports Al-Qaeda leadership has become increasingly ‘Americanized’.[19]

President Obama authorized offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico[20] stating,

oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills[21][22][23]
and was widely criticized for his mishandling of the "worst environmental disaster in US history."[24][25]

A Republican revival took form as the party won gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, and the Democrats continued in disarray in New York, Texas and California. Even more dramatic was the win by Republican Scott Brown of the Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts, which was widely interpreted as a referendum on Obama's policies. By the Spring of his second year only 38% of voters surveyed said Obama deserves re-election, with 55% wanting someone new. A Gallup Poll had the president's support slipping among Hispanics and African-Americans. A large majority of Americans, 69%, believe the nation is on the wrong track.[26]

Contents

Economic Policy

The Obama administration initially followed what fiscal conservatives and libertarians call ruinous fiscal policies and reckless monetary policies.

Gary Varvel pokes fun at VP Biden's outlandish claims

Warren L. Dean Jr., an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote:

  • Washington has done more during Mr. Obama’s term in office to promote wealth and income inequality than at any other time in history. [5]


Background

Following the Recession of 2008 Obama declared that failure to pass his Economic stimulus would turn a "crisis into a catastrophe," and promised Unemployment would not rise above 7.8%.[27][28] The House on Jan. 28 passed a stimulus package‎ of $819 billion in new spending and tax increases, despite unanimous Republican opposition. A revised bill passed the Senate with three Republican votes. A compromise bill known as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" was passed, providing for $789 billion in new spending and stimulus.

Detroit spread gloom on Feb. 17 as GM starkly warned of impending bankruptcy unless it gets more aid. By August, both Chrysler and GM had entered bankruptcy, and come out again in much smaller size, as they closed a fourth of their dealerships, slashed wage rates, and repaid creditors with 29 cents on the dollar. The government gave Chrysler away free to Fiat of Italy, which acquired ownership without investing any money. Meanwhile the part makers, which employ more workers than the Big Three automakers, verged on disaster and begged for billions. The "cash for clunkers" proved to be a boondoggle for the rich at a cost of $3 billion to the Treasury.

Obama policies problematic, say economists and public

In the view of 51 mostly conservative economists polled by the Wall Street Journal in July 2009, the Obama administration's economic program is problematic. President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner both got an average grade of 70 out of 100 for their handling of the financial crisis, but those grades varied widely.[29] Former President Bush and ex-Treasury chief Paulson received average grades of 50 and 60, respectively, when economists were asked how they handled the crisis while in office. By contrast, Fed chairman Bernanke scored much better, with an average grade of 85.[30]

Cartoonist Chuck Asay summarizes the debate

The economists were pessimistic, predicting the economy would shed another 2.8 million jobs over the next 12 months after the presidents program was passed.[31] Economists see a one-in-six chance that the U.S. will fall into a depression, defined as a decline in per-person GDP or consumption by 10% or more. They gave equally poor marks to the efforts of other countries to end the recession.

The economists, however, were broadly supportive of the Federal Reserve. Over 85% agreed that its proliferating lending programs are well-designed, well-executed and helping the economy.

In June 2009 public opinion was favorable toward Obama personally, but increasingly dubious about his plans to overhaul health care, bailout the auto industry and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. With a positive job approval rating of 63% , Mr. Obama had the backing of Democrats and independents alike, with only 23% of Republicans expressing approval. Support for Obama's foreign policies and terrorism policies originally was high at 57-59%.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin constituted Obama's transition team of Economic Advisers.[32] Rubin was being sharply criticized for his role in the collapse of Citigroup which needed $45 billion in federal bailout money.[33] Buffett, after the inauguration, spoke out against the administration's declared objective of not allowing "a crisis to go to waste" [6] and Obama's massive tax increase on the needy and those least able to afford it. [7]

FY 2010 Budget

Budget-cbo.jpg

The Democratic controlled Congress by a party line vote in late April passed the budget Obama proposed in late February. It called for $3.4 trillion in new spending, not counting the $787 billion in stimulus spending approved in February, nor the trillions in loan guarantees to banks. The 2010 budget allocated $1.2 trillion for defense, and an additional $130 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nondefense spending increased by 8% or $40 billion. The budget allowed the Obama health plan, which had not yet been written, to move through Congress on a fast track with no risk of filibuster.

The Tax Foundation says that 44% of all tax filers have no tax liability and most of those will get a check from the government, especially from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)[34] and credits for college tuition and child care. The Wall Street Journal noted about Obama's plan that, "Once upon a time we called this 'welfare'". [35]

The Budget assumes a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion for 2009, or 12.3% of GDP--the highest deficit in percentage terms since World War II. The budget reordered priorities to provide national health care and raise the federal spending on schools.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the Obama plans will raise the national debt far more than Obama admitted. The CBO says the Obama plan will cause total deficits over the next ten years of $9.3 trillion, compared to Obama's estimate of "only" 7 trillion. The annual GDP by contrast is about $15 trillion.[36] Senator Jedd Gregg says that Obama's budget will double the national debt in five years and triple it in ten. [37]

Obama proposed a carbon cap and trade system, increasing taxes for families and businesses. The cost to energy consumers would be an additional $645 billion between 2012 and 2019, which will result in higher prices. Rep. John Boehner said, "Let's just be honest and call it a carbon tax that will increase taxes on all Americans who drive a car, who have a job, who turn on a light switch, pure and simple."[38]

The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee was conservative Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota, a deficit hawk who said he was "very uncomfortable with the build-up of debt" and urged Obama to make good on his promise to overhaul federal retirement and health-care programs. Conrad called for "more discipline on the spending side."[39]

The Obama Administration based its domestic policies on the assumption of a rapid economic recovery generating the tax revenue needed to fund permanent new spending program for Obamacare and "greening the economy". Administration forecasts were more starry-eyed than private sector forecasts. Both parties agree that stimulus spending is needed to deal with the recession but Congress is unlikely to approve permanent new spending programs unless the economy improves, since a large number of conservative Democrats were elected who may vote with Republicans to keep down spending and deficits.[40]

FY 2011 Budget

Obama's first two budget deficits (FY 2009 and FY 2010) were more than $1 trillion, or 9% of GDP. The Democratic Congress failed to pass, and President Obama did not sign, a budget for fiscal year 2011, as required by law. But the administration continued spending anyway with a deficit projected to be at least another $1 trillion again for 2011. Combined with a shrinking economy, the publicly held federal debt increased by over 20% of GDP in Obama's first two years, and was projected to increase by another 7% in 2011. Experts warned the President that deficits of this size were not sustainable in the long run because the federal debt cannot indefinitely grow faster than economic output. Eventually a greater and greater share of national income would be devoted to interest payments, until eventually the government would be forced to finance the debt through money creation (inflation) or default.

The president emphasized his proposal to freeze for three years non-defense discretionary spending. Economist Martin Feldstein observed the president's plan would not apply to backdoor spending: increases in mandatory spending programs and tax ependitures -- new tax rules that substitute for increased government spending,[41] like refundable tax credits.[42][43]

FY 2012 Budget

Obama was roundly criticized for ignoring recommendations of his own Deficit Reduction Commission in his proposed 2012 Budget.[44] Obama's proposals did nothing to address the burgeoning budget deficit responsible for lagging job creation and the persistent unemployment which has become the hallmark of his time in office.[45] In response to Republican counter-proposals, rather than address substantive issues of reform, Obama descended into ad hominem attacks against advocates of improving the delivery of government services.[46][47]

Rather, Obama proposed increasing spending, taxes, and debt to historic highs, and doubling the national debt over pre-2008 recession levels, with no significant proposal to reform the underlying problems. Obama's proposal failed to meet his own pledge to cut the deficit in half during his first term.[48] By summer of 2012, the Gallup organization reported that merely 35% of business owners approved of Barack Obama's job performance.[49]

Obama Care

Main article: ObamaCare

With a monopoly on power in Obama's first two years, the Democratic Congress moved to create a government run insurance program that would put private sector insurers out of business. Obama proposed funding the program with higher taxes "on wealthy Americans". [50] The new law mandates private citizens to purchase health insurance under the threat of legal sanctions for non-compliance.[51] Critics dubbed the law Gestapo care.

Obama was unconvincing to most Americans. Few saw any advantage in his proposals, and everyone can see the monumental costs. Contrary to his campaign vows for openness and transparency in government, Obama cut closed door back room deals with big drug companies and insurers, and was not upfront with the American people. Polls show a steady decline in support for Obamacare as the public learned more about it. (By contrast, he had 57% approval on health issues in April 2009).[52] Conservative Democrats in Congress--who call themselves "Blue Dog Democrats"--were reluctant to sign on to any proposal costing a trillion dollars over the next decade. The controversy lowered Obama's overall approval and was a major factor in the 2010 Midterm elections which ousted the Democratic majority from the House.

Tax increases

On January 1, 2013 President Obama permanently increased taxes on the middle and working classes by raising the payroll withholding 2%, effectively costing working families and anyone with a job on average $1000 per year. [53] [54]

Bailouts

After spending over a trillion dollars in cash and guarantees (by Bush and Obama combined), the bailout of the financial system by October 2009 seemed to have rewarded the big banks but failed to stimulate the economy and job creation. Obama started to decline in the polls, as independents and Republicans became increasingly critical. A firestorm erupted in March when it was learned that AIG insurance company, now 80% government owned, was paying $165 million in bonuses to the traders that had caused $60 billion in losses. Geithner was appointed to the Treasury largely on the basis of his work at the New York Fed, where his most important action was to design the bailout of AIG. Under Geithner AIG received $170 billion from the government.

Geithner plans to sell toxic assets to Wall Street

With major banks on the verge of failure, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled yet another massive bailout program in mid-February. Trillions would be spent to move toxic assets out of the banks, but few details were provided. The widespread reaction was very negative, and Geithner lost more of his credibility as a problem solver. Geithner finally came back with a plan on March 23 that did not need additional funding or approval by Congress. The Treasury used $100 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as well as new capital from private investors, in order to generate $500 billion to buy toxic loans and assets. The program could potentially expand to $1 trillion over time. In June some of the major banks started to repay their federal loans.

Jobs09q1.jpg
US job losses January 1-March 31, 2009

The Federal Reserve in June said conditions deteriorated in many regions of the country, with commercial real estate and labor markets in deep trouble. The Fed did not forecast a significant boost in economic activity in 2009. Despite costly government efforts to encourage borrowing, it remained very difficult for consumers and businesses to obtain loans.

The General Motors bailout, which Obama promised would make taxpayers money, resulted in an $11 billion loss;[55] however Democratic Congressional seats in the areas affected that recieved the aid, remained Democratic in the 2010 Midterm elections despite the persistent high unemployment among workers who were not directly employed in the auto industry in those same districts.

Education

To the angst of liberal supporters, the administration's first proposals for school reform relied heavily on Bush-era ingredients and adds others that make unions gag. They include standardized testing, school accountability, performance pay, and charter schools -- all of which are integral to Obama'a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition to spur innovation. Liberals dislike all these new ideas. "It looks like the only strategies they have are charter schools and measurement," protested Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "That's Bush III."[56]

Obama and the Democrats successfully killed the Washington D.C. school voucher program which granted school choice to primarily poor African-American and minority families and children.[57] After the 2010 Midterm elections the Republicans revived the program.[58]

Internet Regulation

Before the Obama administration began forcing its big government agenda into all spheres of the economy, the Internet was open and adaptive because it was free of government regulation.[59] A Rasmussen Reports survey found that only 21 percent (21%) of likely U.S. Voters wanted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters said they believe that the FCC would use its regulatory authority to promote a political agenda.[60] But President Obama's appointed FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, along with three other Democrats on the commission, helped craft a plan to impose so-called "net neutrality" rules on Internet service providers, by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings.[61][62][63] In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a federal court ruling; a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. previously ruled that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 did not authorize the FCC to regulate Internet use, and therefore that the FCC had no statutory authority to do so.[64][65][66]

As the Obama administration moved to implement big government policies by regulating use of the Internet, President Obama put plans in motion to give the Commerce Department authority to create an Internet ID for all Americans. The Obama administration wants to create a national "Internet ID" card to expand its goal of a government-controlled system.[67]

Foreign Policy

Guantanamo Bay

On November 16, 2008, in an interview with Steve Kroft of CBS's 60 Minutes program, Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility by Executive Order, "to regain America's moral stature in the world."[68] A press release on January 22, 2009 claimed Obama ordered closing the camp within the year. [69] In January of 2013 President Obama signed an authorization refusing to allow the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo.[70] As of the president's second inaugural, the promise to regain America's moral stature remained unfulfilled.

Libya

Nobel Peace Prize winner.
An Arab depiction after Obama attacked Libya.
Main article : Libyan uprising 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocated a no-fly policy, President Obama said he wanted it as an option, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned against it.[71]

Prof. Alan J. Kuperman writing in the Boston Globe observed,

President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold. But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government. Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women…. Nor did Khadafy ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by the New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’[72]

The Congressional Research Service reports that the legality of President Obama's Libyan operation may depend, at a minimum, on both authorization for the operation and the extent to which the manner of execution of the operation comports with relevant international law. The Charter of the United Nations, in Article 2(4), prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of a member state under most circumstances, and many practitioners and observers have wondered whether President Obama's establishment of a no-fly zone would constitute a violation of this prohibition.[73] In addition to international authorization, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 states that the President’s powers as Commander in Chief to introduce U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities can only be exercised pursuant to (1) a declaration of war; (2) specific statutory authorization; or (3) a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its forces. It requires the President in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing American Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific congressional authorization. The War Powers Act also requires the President to report to Congress any introduction of forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities, Section 4(a)(1); into foreign territory while equipped for combat, Section 4(a)(2); or in numbers which substantially enlarge U.S. forces equipped for combat already in a foreign nation, Section 4(a)(3). Once a report is submitted “or required to be submitted” under Section 4(a)(1), Congress must authorize the use of force within 60 to 90 days or the forces must be withdrawn.[74]

Democratic Representatives Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during a Democratic Caucus meeting.[75] Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) alleged the actions show "contempt" for Congress, and along with Sen Mike Lee (Utah) introduced a resolution quoting candidate Obama’s own words when the he told the Boston Globe,

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.[76]

Afghanistan War

Main article: Afghanistan War
The Afghanistan War is the NATO operation in Afghanistan, 2001 to the present, to destroy the Taliban and prevent the formation of a base for Islamic militants to attack American interests. President Obama has declared it to be the central front in the war on terrorism and has ordered a buildup of American troops to fight a stubborn insurgency led by the Taliban. He has doubled American forces and is supported by most Republicans, but is opposed by many liberal Democrats, who fear another quagmire like Vietnam.
Af-UStroops.jpg

Conditions have turned much worse in late summer, as the much heralded national election was marked by widespread fraud and pessimism is spreading. Increasingly the main justification for the war, now 8 years old, is to prop up the shaky regime in neighboring Pakistan. NATO commander Stanley McChrystal has requested 30,000-40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama, unused to such responsibility, dithered for three months before approving the urgent request. By early 2010 the US will have over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, triple the number when Obama took office. Conservatives have applauded the buildup.

American policy was increasing set by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, originally appointed by President Bush in 2006 and reappointed by Obama in 2009. Gates fired the commander General David McKiernan in May, 2009, replacing him with McChrystal. Gates insisted on dropping the old strategy of hunting down insurgents and instead adopting a counterinsurgency strategy that focused on protecting local civilians and training Afghan soldiers and police to take over the job. Gates convinced Obama, who ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in Dec. 2009, with a deadline of 18 months, at which time a transition to Afghan responsibility would begin. Liberals thought Obama and Gates were making a big mistake--heading into another quagmire like Vietnam. However liberal Democrats in Congress will not try to block Obama's proposals, at least at this point.

Democrats are split not in two but in three: a small number of hawks who agree with his decision; a large number of doves who oppose it; and a sizable group that is uneasy with the Obama surge but willing to loyally support his decision. Most conservatives, on the other hand, see victory in Afghanistan as a vital national goal and approve the new strategy, while voicing objections to the 18 month deadline. Polls in mid-December show Republicans overwhelmingly supported the war, with 71% saying the country was doing the right thing compared to 21% who said it was not. By contrast, Democrats were evenly split, with 47% supporting the war and 46% opposing it.

Each 1000 American soldiers in Afghanistan cost a billion dollars a year; Speaker Pelosi has indicated that there will be no tax surcharge to pay for the operation.

Iran

During the 2008 campaign Obama promised direct talks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a staunch enemy of the United States, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," [77] and dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth." [78] President Obama has supported Iran's nuclear program, which some argue is being used to develop weapons-grade material. [79]

In 2009 Ahmadinejad was reelected to a second term after a controversial and disputed election. Charges of alleged voter fraud from the government resulted in massive protests in Iran and around the world. The government responded by violently suppressing the protesters, killing over 250 of them.[80] Conservatives criticized Obama for failing to provide more vocal support for the pro-democracy protesters.

Iraq

Main article: Operation Iraqi Freedom

On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency while stating he had a "plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008."[81] Later, Obama campaigned on having troops entirely out of Iraq within 16 months, but in February 2009 revised this promise to withdrawing all but 35-50 thousand troops by December 2011.[82] However, some of the newly withdrawn troops were simply redirected from Iraq to Afghanistan - Obama in Summer 2009 ordered 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.[83]

"But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace."

Barack Obama, February 10, 2007 Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech[81]

Ultimately, it was the Status of Forces Agreement signed by George W. Bush on November 17, 2008 which forced U.S. combat troops to withdraw from Iraq's cities, villages, and localities by June 30, 2009, and from Iraq entirely by December 31st 2011.[84] Obama privately contacted the Iraq government in an attempt to persuade them to let 10,000 troops stay, but was rejected.[85] Newsweek's Michael Ware accused Obama of a "War Crime" for "falsely taking credit for finally bringing Iraq to a close—a war actually ended by the Bush administration back in 2008" and stated, "The U.S. troops who fought and died in that war, the Iraqis who perished, and the American people deserve far better."[86] The last of Iraq's combat troops have now been withdrawn because of Bush's Status of Forces Agreement which Obama took credit for.[87]

Bahrain

President Obama bows before Saudi King Abdullah.

Three days after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned people in the small Gulf state of Bahrain took to the streets in the capital city of Manama. One month into the uprising, Saudi Arabia sent military and police forces across the border connecting the Saudi mainland to Bahrain. Since then, the protesters, the press and human-rights organizations have suffered increasingly violent repression. Bahrain is home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, tasked with protecting the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[88] Press spokesman Jim Carney stated the White House position, "This is not an invasion of a country."[89]

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, stated, "Hundreds of people are in jail for practicing their freedom of expression. People are tortured for expressing their freedom of expression. Thousands of people sacked from their jobs. ... And all that, because one day, a month ago, almost half of the Bahraini population came out in the street demanding democracy and respect for human rights.”

Eygpt

During the Egyptian revolution of 2011, Obama Special Envoy Frank Wisner, Jr., flew to Egypt to persuade President Hosni Mubarak to cling to power.[90]

Mexico

Main article: Fast and Furious

In May 2010, President Obama promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon that his administration would assist Mexico in curbing drug cartel violence, which has led to 30,000 deaths in Mexico. "President Calderon and I . . . stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities," Obama said on May 19. "Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort.

The Washington Post has reported however that White House officials stopped a requirement for gun dealers to report bulk sales of high-powered semiautomatic rifles commonly used by illegal drug cartels. Justice Department officials had asked for White House approval to require thousands of gun dealers along the border to report the purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives. ATF investigators expected to get leads on suspected arms traffickers. Senior law enforcement sources said the proposal from the ATF was held up by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.[91] Gun dealers have been required for decades to report the sales of multiple handguns to the ATF.

Environmental policy

President Obama waited nine days before his first response and photo-op in the Gulf oil spill disaster.[92]
Main article : Gulf oil spill disaster

The New York Times has reported since January 2009 the Obama administration has approved at least three huge oil and gas lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 oil drilling plans.[93] Documents from the Department of Interior's Mineral Management Service (MMS) show that permission for those projects and plans was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.[94] Federal records show one of the permits issued was for the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on 20 April 2010, killing 11 workers[95] and resulting in nearly 30 million barrels of crude oil dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating shorelines and killing wildlife, and by far the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States.[96][97][98]

President Obama personally approved offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico[99] and was widely criticized for his slow reaction to the drilling disaster. While authorizing offshore drilling[100] the president stated, "oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."[101][102][103]

BP's exploration plan received in the Obama administration's MMS field office on 23 March 2009 states "no mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources." It declared any spill would have only "sub-lethal" effects on fish and marine mammals but it was "unlikely that an accidental oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."[104] BP was granted a “categorical exclusion” by the Obama administration from a detailed environmental impact statement required under law[105] according to reports in the Washington Post.[106]

BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was inspected by the Obama administration's Minerals Management Service (MMS) only two weeks before it exploded[107] killing 11 people and dumping 30 million barrels of oil in the Gulf. The rig had been awarded the Safety Award for Excellence in 2009 by the Obama MMS.[108][109]

The Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave BP the green light to apply its dispersant, Corexit as cosmetic relief to the spill.[110] Corexit was found to be 10 to 20 times more toxic to human and wild life than a dozen other dispersants approved by the EPA.[111] Corexit is manufactured by Nalco of Naperville, Illinois, a company's whose current leadership includes several executives from BP. "It's a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically," said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife.[112] At Congressional hearings investigating the Gulf oil spill disaster, Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York raised the prospect of "thousands and thousands of people getting sick or dying" as a result of the Obama administration's sanctioned use of the dispersant.[113]

Cozy relationship with oil industry

As Senator, and while running for president, Barack Obama has received more money from BP's Political Action Committee and individuals connected with BP than any other candidate over the past two decades, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure records.[114][115][116]

Gay Rights

Gays have complained that Obama has taken no action thus far. His supporters argue he will act when the time is right. A proclamation signed June 1st states [117]

Mentioning his administration’s international efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, the President said he would continue to
“support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans” -- enhancing hate crimes laws,
supporting civil unions, outlawing :discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays and lesbians in the armed services.''


“proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration,”

-Barack Obama


Senior Staff

Bill Daley replaced Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff in early 2011; Emanuel retired under a cloud to run for Mayor of Chicago after allegations that favors were promised to Rep. Joe Sestak in the Jobsgate scandal; Robert Gibbs was ousted as press secretary in the wake of the disastrous 2010 Midterm elections; Gregory Craig was dispatched in less than one year as White House counsel after the botched handling of the Guantanamo closing and was replaced by Robert Bauer;[118] old Chicago friends Valerie Jarrett remained while David Axelrod fell victim the midterm White House shake up and returned to Chicago to head up fundraising for Obama's 2012 election bid.

In private White House strategy sessions Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported Emanuel was bitterly opposed the effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison early, arguing that it wasn't politically feasible. Obama overruled Emanuel. Emanuel fought against the plan to send Khalid Sheik Mohammed to New York for a trial. Emanuel lost. On health care Emanuel argued for a smaller bill with popular items that could win Republican support and opposed the public option as a needless distraction. Obama disregarded that strategy and sided with Congressional liberals who hoped to ram a larger, less popular bill through Congress with Democratic votes only. Milbank writes,

Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters...Obama's problem is that his other confidants -- particularly Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs, and, to a lesser extent, David Axelrod -- are part of the Cult of Obama. In love with the president, they believe he is a transformational figure who needn't dirty his hands in politics.[119][120]

Anita Dunn was the White House Communications Office Director until she let her Maoist sympathies became public and was replaced by Dan Pfeiffer.[121]

Jobsgate

Main article: Jobsgate

Jobsgate refers to the scandal where former President Bill Clinton was asked by someone in the White House to offer Congressman Joe Sestak a federal job in exchange for his withdrawal from the Democratic primary election against incumbent U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.[122][123] Under American law, it is a federal crime to offer someone a federal position in exchange for favors.[124][125] Joe Sestak's allegation that President Clinton carried the message from the White House for a job if he were to drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Arlen Specter may be an impeachable crime.[126][127]

Cabinet

Obama proceeded rapidly with cabinet choices. Obama has drawn heavily on Clinton Administration leaders to fill his Cabinet, along with Bush appointees Gates, Jones and Geithner. His national security team (Biden, Clinton, Gates, Jones) all supported the Iraq war, although Obama made opposition to the war central to his campaign. So far no leaders of the left-wing of the Democratic party have been appointed to any major position, which has stunned antiwar and left elements.

A growing failure of leadership emerged in the Treasury department in March, as it proved difficult to assemble a leadership team. Dozens of senior Treasury jobs are empty; apart from the Secretary, the first 3 names were sent to the Senate for confirmation on March 8 and two other top nominees withdrew their names. Secretary Geithner is overwhelmed with multiple major responsibilities without any senior officials in place. He does have about 50 informal aides. The result was poorly thought out proposals that won no support, and lengthy delays in responding to the increasingly serious financial crisis. Analysts debated whether the display of incompetence was due more to Geithner or the White House.

With a worldwide swine flu epidemic threatening, the Administration finally filled the job of Secretary of Health and Human Services on April 28. The flu epidemic petered out but policy initiative has been lagging because of the long delays in filling top posts. The confusion caused by weak leadership was underscored in November when runaway advisory boards recommended cutting back on health programs for women, such as mammograms, at a time conservatives were warning that medical care would be rationed under the proposed plans.

Cabinet Scandals

Cabinet09.jpg

Scandal has already tainted the cabinet. Bill Richardson was nominated for Secretary of Commerce but had to withdraw when he became a party to a criminal investigation. The nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, was confirmed after a humiliating televised session in which he admitted not paying $34,000 in federal income taxes. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services because he had avoided $140,000 in federal taxes over a period of years, and paid them only after he had been named to the cabinet.[128]

Scandal also ruined the career of Nancy Killefer, nominated by President Obama to be the federal government's first chief performance officer. She too had evaded paying her taxes.

It was not a scandal but an embarrassment for Obama on Feb. 12, when New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who had agreed to join the cabinet as Secretary of Commerce, dropped out. Gregg cited irreconcilable differences, and observers pointed out that Obama's staff planned to take the 2010 Census out of the Commerce Department's jurisdiction, weakening the secretary and politicizing the census.

In July, Steven Rattner, the czar for the auto industry who lead the Presidential task force that restructured General Motors and Chrysler, was forced to quit when he came under investigation for paying million-dollar bribes to get state business in his previous job. Rattner was to pay $6.2 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for his involvement in a New York State Pension Fund pay-to-play scandal.[129]

Senate Scandals

Even more damaging to liberal Democrats were scandals involving the Senate seats of Clinton and Obama himself. In New York Gov. David Paterson came to office in 2008 after a sex scandal forced the resignation of his predecessor. Paterson damaged himself and his Democratic party by dangling an appointment to Caroline Kennedy, who was unable to make up her mind. He finally rejected her and turned to the most conservative Democrat in the entire Northeast, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand. She is a Blue Dog Democrat known for her defense of gun rights and opposition to the Obama stimulus package.

It was much worse in Illinois, after Gov. Rod Blagojevich (a Democrat) sought to sell the Obama seat. Obama refused to bargain, so Blagojevich tried to auction it off, and was caught in FBI wiretaps. He was arrested and will face criminal trial in federal court, and was promptly impeached by the state legislature, with all the conservatives and Republicans there unanimous in calling for his ouster. Before he was forced out, Blagojevich named a light-weight replacement, Roland Burris. Democrats in Washington at first promised they would keep Burris out because of his tainting by the governor's maneuvers; they relented and were forced to seat Burris.

Burris admitted in February that he lied under oath to the Illinois legislature about his contacts with Blagojevich. Calls have been made for a perjury investigation that may lead to Burris's expulsion from the Senate..[130]

Important Officials

Important Officials
Vice PresidentJoseph BidenConfirmed
Chief of StaffJack LewConfirmed
Secretary of StateJohn KerryConfirmed
Secretary of the TreasuryTimothy GeithnerConfirmed
Secretary of EnergySteven ChuConfirmed
Secretary of DefenseLeon PanettaConfirmed
Attorney GeneralEric HolderConfirmed
Secretary of the InteriorKen SalazarConfirmed
Secretary of CommerceGary LockeConfirmed
Secretary of Health and Human ServicesKathleen SebeliusConfirmed
Secretary of Veterans AffairsEric ShinsekiConfirmed
Secretary of Homeland SecurityJanet NapolitanoConfirmed
Budget DirectorPeter OrszagConfirmed
Council of Economic AdvisersChristina RomerConfirmed
National Economic CouncilLawrence H. SummersConfirmed
National Security AdvisorJames JonesConfirmed
CIA DirectorDavid PetraeusConfirmed

Supreme Court

Sotomayor's parents came from Puerto Rico; her mother was a WAC in the US Army in World War II

Obama got an early pick for the Supreme Court when liberal Justice David Souter retired. He quickly names Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor in May 2009. She was born to a poor family of migrants from Puerto Rico, and after attending Princeton and Yale Law School made it to the top through very hard work. She is the first American of Puerto Rican descent named to a high office on the mainland and her nomination marked a watershed in the national recognition and acceptance of all Latinos.

Czars

The Obama administrations has more than 30 "czars" (a term used informally to refer to high-level executive branch officials who advise the president on a particular area of policy but do not have cabinet posts), who will oversee combined budgets totaling more than $1.7 trillion.[131][132][133]

Glenn Beck warns Obama's 'shadow government' is growing in size and power.[134][135]

Van Jones, a longtime radical organizer, resigned in September 2009 as Green Czar when it was revealed he had endorsed a 9-11 conspiracy theory that claimed, "people within the current [Bush] administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."

Czars
Border CzarAlan Bersin
Car CzarRon Bloom
Cyber CzarTBA
Drug CzarGil Kerlikowske
Economic CzarPaul A. Volcker
Energy and Environment CzarCarol Browner[136]
Government Performance CzarJeffrey Zients
Great Lakes CzarCameron Davis
Green Czar-
Health CzarNancy-Ann DeParle
Homeland Security CzarJohn Brennan
Intelligence CzarDennis Blair
Manufacturing CzarRon Bloom
Pay CzarKenneth R. Feinberg
Regulatory CzarCass R. Sunstein
Science CzarJohn Holdren
Technology CzarVivek Kundra
Urban Affairs CzarAdolfo Carrion, Jr.
WMD Policy CzarGary Samore

Presidential Actions

Presidential Actions (Executive Orders, Presidential Memoranda and Proclamations) are listed on the White House website, on the Presidential Actions page.

112th Congress (2011 - 2013)

After the drubbing the president's party took in the 2010 Midterm elections and ouster of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, Obama solicited former President Bill Clinton for advice on dealing with the new Republican majority. President Clinton endorsed extending the "tax cuts for the rich" of former President George W. Bush, which lowered rates for everyone below the level of President Clinton's tax hikes. Obama followed Clinton's counsel and signed on to extending the Republican across the board tax reductions including a 2% "payroll tax holiday", or reduction in the amount of Social Security withholding taxes from workers paychecks.

Longtime Chicago friend and operative Rahm Emanuel resigned under a cloud of suspicion surrounding the jobsgate scandal, and was replaced by William Daley. Many other "Clinton retreads", as the press dubbed them, were also brought back into government. One crtic observed, "Mr. Obama failed to notice that President Bill Clinton saw his strongest period of economic growth only after his health-care takeover and stimulus bills were defeated, welfare rolls were pared, the capital gains tax was cut, and the budget was balanced."[137]

Overweight Obama administration officials

See also: Overweight Obama administration officials

Larry Summers served as Director of the White House's National Economic Council (NEC)

Below is a list of present and past Obama administration officials who have had problems with being overweight:

1. Regina M. Benjamin - U.S. Surgeon General[138]

2. Katherine Archuleta - Political director[139]

3. Larry Summers - former Director of the White House's National Economic Council (NEC)

Michelle Obama's Healthy Eating Initiative

Michelle Obama made the liberal media news cycle by promoting healthy eating from the White House garden. The food network filmed “Iron Chef America" showcasing Michelle's healthy food, cooking five dishes using the secret ingredient: produce from the White House garden. The two-hour special showed the chefs picking sweet potatoes, broccoli, fennel and tomatillos from the White House garden. An issue came to light that the foods were actually prepared in New York City, speculating that the entire show was just staged to look like produce from her garden. [140] Also, her campaign against obesity has not stopped her and Barack from taking their children out for ice cream while on vacation.

In Michelle Obama's first interview on the Fox News network, she would tout her responsible-eating initiative for kids. She would highlight the Obama Administration's $400 million Healthy Food Financing Initiative and her "Let's Move" campaign, which educates the danger of obese children and healthy eating. [141] She would tie the promises of the program to saying it would create 5000 jobs and pointed out that childhood obesity is a threat to national security. She urges children and parents to just skip "food desserts".

She would promote healthy eating initiatives for schools. Barack sought and passed legislation costing more than $4 billion. It is a horrible example of nanny state politics with draconian requirements on what can or cannot be sold at school bake sales and at the school cafeteria.

Michelle Obama greeted an overweight U.S. Surgeon General for the MyPlate initiative

In June of 2011, Michelle Obama greeted an overweight U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin as they introduced the MyPlate initiative.[142]

Barack and Michelle Obama and a burger joint

In August of 2011, Barack Obama and his staff ate a high calorie meal at a burger joint. Obama said concerning his wife, "Michelle eats here all the time".[143]

See also

Satire:

External links

References

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  29. Obama scored 59 in March 2009, Geithner 51, and Bernanke 71. See Phil Izzo, "Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists," Wall Street Journal March 11, 2009
  30. Phil Izzo, "Few Economists Favor More Stimulus," Wall Street Journal July 10, 2009
  31. The Unemployment rate climbed to 9.5% in June 2009, then hit 10,2% in October, as the GDP fell at an alarming -6.4% annual rate in the first quarter of 2009.
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  34. EITC is a conservative idea first proposed by Milton Friedman, enacted under Republican presidents Ford and Reagan.
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    "The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Obamacare’s refundable health insurance tax credits and Medicaid expansion will increase the nation’s debt burden by $1.36 trillion in the first seven years that these provisions are fully implemented...85 percent of filers who claim the credit will end the year with zero or negative income tax liability. Since the tax credit is refundable, nearly all 11.3 million of these filers will have negative income tax liability and will no longer pay the cost of government by contributing federal income taxes....For example, a family of four at 200 percent of the [Federal Poverty Level] (about $48,677 in 2016) cannot pay more than 6.3 percent of their income for health insurance...The CBO estimates that the average cost of the reference insurance plan (the plan used to calculate the tax credit) will be $14,100 for family coverage in 2016. Therefore, a family of four that qualifies for a credit in 2016 and that makes $48,677 would be required to pay about $3,067 for health insurance (6.3 percent of household income). The difference, $11,033, is the value of this family’s refundable tax credit...According to the CBO, 20 million Americans will receive health insurance tax credits in 2020 at a cost of $130 billion."
  44. http://www.askheritage.org/where-does-obamas-budget-proposal-fall-short/
  45. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9MOJ3VG0.htm
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  49. U.S. Business Owners Now Among Least Approving of Obama
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  51. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/02/senate-democrats-trim-cost-health-care/
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  54. Fact Checker Washington Post.
  55. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/taxpayers-to-lose-at-least-11-billion-on-general-motors-bailout/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OTB+%28Outside+The+Beltway+%7C+OTB%29
  56. See Nick Anderson, "Unions Criticize Obama's School Proposals as 'Bush III'", Washington Post Sept. 25, 2009
  57. http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-11/politics/martin.vouchers_1_vouchers-school-choice-democrats?_s=PM:POLITICS
  58. http://www.bluecollarphilosophy.com/2011/03/republicans-care-more-about-poor-children-than-democrats-d-c-vouchers-restored-in-house-vote.html
  59. Conn Carroll. If the FCC Had Regulated the Internet, blog.heritage.org, December 27, 2010.
  60. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 23, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Just 21% Want FCC to Regulate Internet, Most Fear Regulation Would Promote Political Agenda, Rasmussen Reports, December 28, 2010/
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  62. 'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers. The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom, Wall Street Journal, By Robert M. McDowell, December 19, 2010.
  63. The Federal Communications Commission approved a plan to regulate the Internet despite warnings that it could strangle industry investment and damage an economy that is still struggling to recover. FCC Approves Plan to Regulate Internet, FoxNew.com, Published December 21, 2010.
  64. Lachlan Markay. Opponents of FCC's New Internet Regulations Vow Swift Recourse, NewsBusters, December 21, 2010.
  65. F.C.C. (and Net Neutrality Supporters) Lose Case Against Comcast, By Joel Zand on April 6, 2010.
  66. Red Tape Under the Tree: FCC Plans Internet Regulation for Christmas, heritage.org, Published on December 17, 2010 by James Gattuso.
  67. Obama Administration Reportedly Plans to Create Internet ID for All Americans, FoxNews.com, Published January 08, 2011.
  68. 60 Minutes: Obama Reiterates Promise To Close Guantanamo Bay. Youtube.
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  70. Years After Vow to Close Gitmo, Why Has Obama Signed NDAA Bill Barring Transfer of Its Prisoners?.
  71. President Obama Wants Options as Pentagon Issues Warnings About Libyan No-Fly Zone, ABC News, March 3, 2011. Earlier, on February 25, Gates warned that the U.S. should avoid future land wars like those it has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but should not forget the difficult lessons it has learned from those conflicts.
  72. Alan J. Kuperman, “False Pretense for War in Libya?”, Boston Globe, April 14, 2011.
  73. No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress, Congressional Research Service, March 18, 2011, p. 6-8 pdf.
  74. Ibid, p. 9 pdf.
  75. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51595.html
  76. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/gop-senators-obama-s-libya-bombing-showe
  77. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927213903/http://www.iribnews.ir/Full_en.asp?news_id=200247
  78. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4529198.stm
  79. http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/obama_ok_iran_nukes/2009/04/06/200157.html
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  94. NYT, ibid.
  95. NYT, ibid.
  96. Estimates Suggest Spill Is Biggest in U.S. History, Tom Zeller, Jr., New York Times, 27 May 2010.
  97. Worst environmental disaster in US history, Maryann Tobin, Examiner, April 29, 2010.
  98. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/law_order_corporate_crime_unit_20100518/
  99. Gulf of Mexico oil spill imperils Obama's offshore drilling plan, By Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor, April 30, 2010.
  100. Conscience of a Liberal: The Oil Spill Is Obama’s Fault, Paul Krugman, New York Times, April 30, 2010.
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  102. President Obama must reinstate moratorium on offshore drilling, Greenpeace USA blogs, 30 Apr 2010.
  103. http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/04/28/obama-katrina-spill/
  104. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/initial_exploration_plan050410.pdf
  105. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.
  106. U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study, Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, 5 May 2010.
  107. White House Press Office, Press Briefing on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast, 29 April 2010. Retrieved from whitehouse.gov 12 May 2010.
  108. Democratic Leader Hoyer Doesn’t Know Whether Obama Administration was Prepared for Oil Spill, Matt Cover, CNSNews.com, May 20, 2010.
  109. MMS Thought Deepwater Horizon was Award-Winningly SAFE, The Project on Government Oversight, Exposing Government Corruption, 29 April 2010.
  110. Why Is the EPA Letting BP Use Dirty Dispersants?, Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones, 19 May 19 2010.
  111. Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup, Paul Quinlan, Greenwire, May 13, 2010. Retrieved from nytimes.com 25 May 2010.
  112. Greenwire, ibid.
  113. Worry About Dispersant Rises as Men in Work Crew Complain of Health Problems, Leslie Kaufman and Elizabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, 27 May 2010.
  114. Obama is biggest recipient of BP’s political action cash in the last 20 years, John Byrne, 5 May 2010. Retrieved from rawstory.com 9 May 2010.
  115. Jake Tapper, Political Punch, ABC News, 5 May 2010. [1]
  116. http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/04/on-thursday-oil-giant-bp.html
  117. POTUS Honors LGBT Pride Month by Not Supporting Same Sex Marriage, While Cheney Disagrees
  118. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1940537,00.html
  119. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/19/AR2010021904298_pf.html
  120. [2]
  121. Obama Aide Who Slammed Fox News Resigns, NewsMax.com, November 10, 2009; Video of Obama Communications Director Claiming Mao One of Her Favorite Political Philosophers'
  122. Jeffrey Lord. Specter Opens Door on White House Felonies, The American Spectator, March 16, 2010.
  123. Tim Shoemaker. Jobsgate: Obama's Watergate?, Campaign For Liberty, March 18, 2010.
  124. Jeffrey Lord. Gibbs' Jobsgate Stonewall: Day 23, The American Spectator, March 18, 2010.
  125. Watergate to Jobsgate, VOX, March 17, 2010.
  126. Congressman: White House Job Offer to Sestak May Be an 'Impeachable' Offense, FOXNews.com, May 25, 2010.
  127. Rove on Sestak-White House 'Job Offer': Somebody Broke the Law, Fox News, May 25, 2010.
  128. Robert Pear, "Use of Free Car Lands Tom Daschle in Tax Trouble," New York Times, Jan. 30, 2009
  129. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/101118/business/business_rattner_settles_sec
  130. Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney, "Illinois lawmakers mull Burris perjury probe," Chicago Sun-Times Feb. 14, 2009
  131. Rise of the Czars, The Glenn Beck Blog, Fox News.com, June 9th, 2009
  132. Czars at the Helm and We're the Suckers, Neil Cavuto, Fox Business.com, June 05, 2009
  133. List of Obama's Czars, GlennBeck.com, August 21, 2009.
  134. [3] Glenn Beck has a discussion on Obama circumventing constitutional checks and balances.
  135. [4]
  136. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/12/obama-climate-czar-has-socialist-ties/
  137. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703983104576262763594126624.html?mod=djemBestOfTheWeb_h
  138. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2011/06/06/food_guide_efforts_are_a_waste/
  139. http://newsone.com/nation/newsonestaff4/katherine-archuleta-obama-2012-campaign-director/
  140. Everything’s staged: Michelle Obama’s garden food was fake, Michelle Malkin, January 14, 2010
  141. U.S. launches program to end "food deserts", February 19, 2010
  142. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2011/06/06/food_guide_efforts_are_a_waste/
  143. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/obama-celebrates-debt-deal-with-1700-calorie-staff-lunch-at-burger-joint/
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