Monday, November 08, 2010

Accentuate The Positive

Time to take a little break from the Italy travelogue; let's talk about our recent mid-term election!

All I've heard since the election, both from family members and the media, is how much Obama didn't do. What they never seem to remember or report on, is what he DID do. Let's take a gander, shall we? And remember...this is the short list:

Added 4.6 billion USD to the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals

Significantly increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act

Lifted restrictions granting Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island

Eliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protect student borrowers

Increased funding for national parks and forests by 10%

Significantly expanded Pell grants, which help low-income students pay for college

Expanded hate crime law in the US to include sexual orientation through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Provided stimulus funding to boost private sector spaceflight programs

Appointed nation's first Chief Technology Officer

Signed financial reform law establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of everyday Americans

Signed financial reform law requiring lenders to verify applicants' credit history, income, and employment status

Signed financial reform law prohibiting banks from engaging in proprietary trading (trading the bank's own money to turn a profit, often in conflict with their customers' interests)

Signed financial reform law allowing shareholders of publicly traded companies to vote on executive pay

Cut prescription drug cost for medicare recipients by 50%

Provided $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees

Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009: a $789 billion economic stimulus plan

Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years

Voluntary disclosure of White House visitors for the first time in US history

Appointed first Latina to the US Supreme Court

Promoted social responsibility through creation of, a national database of volunteer opportunities

Reversed 'global gag rule', allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions

Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time

Signed New START Treaty - nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia

Increased average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg, starting in 2016

Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers

Provided travel expenses to families of fallen soldiers to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB

Reversed the policy of barring media coverage during the return of fallen soldiers to Dover Air Force Base

Launched to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing transparency and allowing the public to report fraud, waste, or abuse

Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America's Veterans

Signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides health care to 11 million kids -- 4 million of whom were previously uninsured

Issued executive order to repeal Bush era restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis

Developed stimulus package, which includes approx. $18 billion for nondefense scientific research and development

Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system

Issued executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay

Ended Bush administration's CIA program of 'enhanced interrogation methods' by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terrorism interrogations

Increased minority access to capital

Established Credit Card Bill of Rights, preventing credit card companies from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers

Health Care Reform Bill, preventing insurance companies from denying insurance because of a pre-existing condition

Health Care Reform Bill, allowing children to remain covered by their parents' insurance until the age of 26

Tax cuts for up to 3.5 million small businesses to help pay for employee health care coverage

Tax credits for up to 29 million individuals to help pay for health insurance

Expansion of Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level

Require health insurance plans to disclose how much of the premium actually goes to patient care

And that's just the beginning...

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