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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wearing baby trunks in Hawaii to a dressed up president in Washington

Dressed up in a his underwear or swimsuit, here stands the future president of the United States Barack Hussein Obama.
 
Born August 4, 1961 in Hawaii, presidential candidate Barack Obama won the  2008 election over his Republican opponent John McCain. He is the first African American to be elected president in the history of the United States. The announcement of Obama’s victory awakened a mountainside of emotions all over the world. His inauguration and swearing  ceremony occurred January 20, 2009, on the steps of the Capital, 12 p.m. He is the 44th president. Millions of spectators watched the historical event in chilling cold weather in Washington, DC.

Chief Justice Supreme Court John G. Roberts administered the oath to Obama. Judge Roberts was either asleep, or had a brain freeze when he instructed Barack Obama to repeat the swearing in words after him. Roberts stumbled. Obama took the oath again the next day. The repeat was a precautionary measure, though this was not the first time an error occurred while taking the oath.

Taking oath a second time in White House
I watched the same swearing in as the rest of the world, but the media and pundits put their own spin on what happened. Obama stumbled not Roberts they said. 

In 2009, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, while administering the oath to Barack Obama, incorrectly recited part of the oath. 

Roberts prompted, "That I will execute the Office of President to the United States faithfully." Obama stopped at "execute," and waited for Roberts to correct himself. Roberts, after a false start, then followed Obama's "execute" with "faithfully", which results in "execute faithfully", which is also incorrect. Obama then repeated Roberts' initial, incorrect prompt, with the word "faithfully" after "United States."

Pres. Barack Obama
Obama, who taught Constitutional Law for 12 years at the University of Chicago Law School, had a puzzled look on his face as he repeated Robert’s confused words. The next day the newly minted president repeated the oath in a private ceremony January 21 in the White House. Roberts administered the oath. Correctly.  Good thing he did. The media hurriedly declared that Obama was “unofficial" as president because he stumbled  during the swearing in. That was how Obama’s presidency began, with a media created controversy on his tail.
Soon  after the January 20th swearing in, President Obama immediately went to the President’s Room, where he signed three documents: 

(a) a commemorative proclamation;

 (b) listed his cabinet appointees, and his

  (c) sub-cabinet appointments. After that chore he had lunch with Congressional and administrative leaders, along with invited guests.

Below is some the legislation he has signed into law immediately and thereafter.
  • January 29, 2009  President Barack Obama, signed his first piece of legislation: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The bill eased the statue of limitation for equal pay lawsuits.
  • February 3 President Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP), increasing the number of children on CHIP from seven million to 11 million.
  • February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado, the President signed into law the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The bill was passed by the House and Senate, but mostly passed along party lines. No Republicans in the House voted for it. However, many House Republicans took credit when their states received funds. They took photos at ground breaking ceremonies, displaying large checks with the amount their states received.  On TV they continually downgraded the financial helpfulness of ARRA.
  • March 2009 President Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which limited funding of embryonic stem cell research. He pledged to develop strict guidelines on the research. Bush’s religion was instrumental in his decision.
  • May 26, 2009 President Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter. She was confirmed on August 6, 2009, becoming the  first Hispanic to as a Supreme Court Justice.
  • 2009 President Obama turned around U.S. Auto Industry. His advisers didn’t have the faith and confidence he had that industry could rebound. Obama went with his intuition and invested $62 billion in federal money, in addition to the $13.4 billion the Bush administration had previously invested in GM and Chrysler, in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring.  Whereas Bush placed no other conditions on the funds, Barack Obama put strict guidelines and demands on the borrowers. Pop goes the weasel, the auto industry created a workable plan, and followed through on it. The auto industry added more than 100,000 jobs. By 2011 the industry gained their market share for the first time in two decades.
  • March 30, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, putting in place comprehensive reforms that improve access to affordable health coverage for everyone and protect consumers from abusive insurance company practices. The law allows all Americans to make health insurance choices that work for them while guaranteeing access to care for our most vulnerable, and provides new ways to bring down costs and improve quality of care.
  • May 10, 2010 Elena Kagan was nominated by the President to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. She was confirmed on August 5,  bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history.
  • 2010 the President signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It is designed to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The legislation tightens the screws on capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions. Derivatives are required to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide living wills to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limit their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  to put a choke hold on abusive lending products and companies. The Chase Bank scandal is good reason for the reform.
  • 2010 the President tightened the noose around the neck of Iran, locking done on sanctions. The idea is to deter Iran’s goal to engage in the construction a nuclear weapon. He, along with a number of other countries, signed The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010. This act punishes firms and individual businesspeople willing to aid Iran via purchasing petroleum from the country.
  • March 2011 was the year Moammar Gaddafi was snuffed out by angry Libyan rebels with a cause. The U.S. joined a coalition of  European and Arab governments to execute military action, that included air strikes and naval blockade. Gaddafi was on the run but he was finally cornered and shot to death Libyians. That ended Gaddafi’s 42-year dictatorship. After eight months of bombing and on the ground fighting by Libyan rebels and citizens, Gaddafi was killed October 20, 2011. Not one American died.
  • May 1, 2011 terrorist Osama bin Laden met his waterloo on this date due to a successful plan, a  real goal and skilled Navy SEALS to execute the plan. The SEALS  raided bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the architect of 9/11 was shot to death. A treasure trove of documents were found and taken by the SEALS.The night before the killing of bin Laden,  President Obama was telling jokes and being funny at the annual Correspondent Dinner. He told the world the next day that the #1 terrorist had been taken out. Though his advisers wanted  the President to go the easier route–bombing the compound–he went the riskier route. He didn’t want bin Laden blown to smithereens, making it impossible to identify his body. The President’s hunch was correct. It was a brave call. Had it gone wrong the media would have destroyed his political career. As it stands, they are trying to destroy him anyway.
  • June 2011 the President issued the order to initiate troop withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan, bringing home 101,000 troops. That reduced U.S. troops to 91,000, with 23,000 scheduled to head back to the U.S. by the end of summer in 2012. The mission is expected to end by 2014.  
  • 2011, because President Obama understands the importance of a complete education in order to compete on a global scale, he initiated Race to the Top. It is a federal program that provides grant money to improve and encourage interests in math and science. Schools had to follow three guidelines to apply for a share of allocated $4.35 billion.
All of  the accomplishments that President Obama and his administration have achieved in three-in-a-half years are too numerous to list. That is why I am puzzled when presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pundits, Tea Party Republicans, the media and Obama haters say he has no record to run on.  They claim he has achieved nothing since he became president. They refuse to acknowledge that he  achieved more than Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and George Bush during this time period in their presidency.

Barack Obama (r), half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, mother Ann Durham,grandfather Stanley Durham. Photo taken in Hawaii.

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