Op-Ed Columnist Obamacare: The Rest of the Story By BILL KELLER Published: October 13, 2013

The ACA is not single payer but it’s better than anything Americans have had in U.S history that insures as many people are covered by health insurance as possible.


Andy Warhol receiving streaming video tribute on 85th birthday

I’m going to write this quickly.  Please excuse the grammar.  I want to share how I found myself surprisingly transfixed by this project last night.  I read about it in my friend Patrick’s Facebook feeds.  He’s been living in Pittsburgh studying all things Warhol and writing a book about him for years.  He got what must have been a dream job for him, sorting through and cataloging crates of nicknacks the Andy hoarded.  A massive amount of matchbooks and stuff he bought cheap at antique shops and flea markets.  I  logged in at 12:05am and there were no people in the frame.  It just looked like a black and white, rather choppy shadowy image of Andy’s grave.  In that sparse light, Andy’s grave site looked shabby and unkempt.  I imagined it looking almost trashed with trinkets (garbage) people left behind like  they do on Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement, which was located 2 blocks from the  apartment I shared with my friend Carlos in the mid 80’s.  I love walking through cemeteries or as I prefer to think of them as beautiful “Parks.”  I watched the livestream of Andy’s grave for about 10 minutes, feeling melancholy just staring at the bleak footage before a few festive people entered the frame and snapped me out of my nostalgic trance.  It looked like they were excited having a little rushed birthday celebration dancing around Andy’s grave.  They seemed a little anxious as if they weren’t really allowed to be there precociously  posing for photographs next to Andy’s tombstone in the middle of the night.  Then they were gone.  The feed has sound but I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying.  They obviously knew people were watching the camera feed.  I wish there was a way to tell how many people were logged in while I was or a way to chat with others and randomly find a long lost friend or like minded acquaintance online at the same time to share Andy stories with.  I was in Africa on safari when I read in the newspaper about his sudden death.  It was shocking.  I wasn’t in the country during his memorial.  It was like he famously said “He just went to the mall” for me.  When he died people were dropping like flies in New York City from complications from HIV/AIDS and overdoes.  People just disappeared without much notice or warning and you wouldn’t hear about what happened to them for a long time if ever.  It was surreal and abstract for me.  It was an emotional war zone.  I became numb to my friends dying in their 20’s and early 30’s as if it was something normal.  Upon reflection, it was a horrible and frightening time.  Andy was a lot older than me but I don’t think anyone was prepared or could have imaging him dying when he did.  He really shouldn’t have.  Negligent nursing was the cause of his death I believe.  You can Google that I want to post this in time for you to catch the feed that last until midnight tonight.  When I logged in again this morning I was able to see how beautifully maintained Andy’s grave is.  So many mixed emotions and buried memories washed over me as I caught myself watching wind rustling through the tall grass.  I went straight into the same weird trance I had been in when I first watched the feed.  I remembered having funny conversations with him with me doing most of the talking with Andy.  He was very nonchalant when he used to hang out next to me at my first nightclub job in New York City.  I was the mensroom attendant at AREA Nightclub whose duties were basically to keep the room clean and dry (people are real slobs while they are partying) and sell whatever I wanted, that I bought with my own money then charge what I liked for it, keeping in mind that I had competition in the ladies restroom which was naturally far more crowded and hectic. I sold cigarettes, gum, lighters, condoms whatever and people gave me tips for passing them paper towels which I had to keep near my station to keep them dry and off the floor.   It was THE hottest, totally mixed nightclub in town and my post was THE best people watching spot in the whole place.  The restrooms were coed and the one I was in was huge.  I was a bit like a lounge with urinals and a couple of toilet stalls that were party size.   I had the coolest job ever.  AREA  had a strict door policy making the entire club was one big “VIP Room.”  It was one of the only clubs that didn’t have an actual VIP section.  It was pretty packed every night and my work station was one of the only places where one could get away from all the people without missing anything at all.  People came in and hung out there all night long.  I had never experienced anything like that before or since and I worked in clubs for about 20 years.  I rose through the ranks ending my club career as a Director of Promotions.  I remembered saying “OHHH Andy, I love this song.  Would you mind watching my stuff for a minute?”  So I could grab a drink and a quick boogie.  He’s say “Sure, go ahead.”  He’d ask me what he was supposed to do if anyone asked to by cigarettes.  Pretty funny.  He acted as if he never sold anything for cash in his life before then. I would leave him some cash for change.   It never occurred to me how people would react seeing Andy Warhol working as the Mensroom Attendant that they could approach to buy stuff and engage with him.  He wouldn’t be alone for long.  Someone he knew would join him people watching and gossiping.  I know he enjoyed it as long as I didn’t take too long to return, which I rarely did.  It was around 1983.  HIV/AIDS had already begun but many of us still hadn’t yet fully experienced the nightmare it was to become.  People were still carrying on with reckless abandon.  It was the time of the “American Psycho” type of “Yuppy”  characters who were throwing around tons of cash like there was no tomorrow.  They were young, rich and SEXY.  People were hooking up in there.  It had a sexy vibe and folks lingered,  I don’t think Andy minded doing my job for a few minutes when I asked which was often.  Cartons of smokes cost ten bucks and I sold them for $2.00 or $3.00 a pack and received lots of complaints for overcharging at that price.  A pack cost 75 cents back then but not only was the nearest store many blocks away, They would have to get back into the club which was not guaranteed.  They were lucky to be in there in the first place.  That’s the way I saw it anyway.   I once returned from a whiskey gulp and a quick booty shake and Andy handed me $200 which he told me received from selling a pack of cigarettes.  He said “They must have been European or something and thought the 2 crisp one hundred dollar bills were singles.  I felt guilty and sort of wanted to locate the customers that made such a huge mistake.  $200 was a months rent for me in 1983.  When I think back, he might have just been subtly charitable toward me.  He would sit with me for hours almost every night.  I have never been an easily “starstruck” kind of person, so I didn’t treat him differently than I did anyone else I came into contact with.  I met him before I worked at AREA at Keith Haring’s apartment about a year earlier.  People dressed differently and Andy had a couple of clones in the East Village.  It was loud in Kieth Haring’s apartment when we were introduced by Benjamin Liu, his assistant who was in his brilliant drag character “Ming Vase.”  I actually asked him to repeat his name because I could hear him over the loud Paradise Garage House music.  His expression was hysterical.  I knew who Andy Warhol was but I didn’t know if he was THE Andy Warhol.  I hung out with Keith a lot, often with Andy and others going to exhibition and club openings and closings or dinners.  In the mensroom Andy would say “Desmond, I hope you are writing all of this down.”  I did.  Happy birthday Andy.  WE miss you.  I am going to stare at his grave again for a bit and enjoy those happy memories.  

The Hunt for Steve Cohen (Vanity Fair June 2013)

With arrest after arrest in a massive, seven-year insider-trading investigation, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is getting closer to the biggest fish of them all: Steve Cohen, founder of SAC Capital, the $14 billion hedge fund, who some regard as the most successful stock picker of his time. C.E.O.’s have fallen, lives and companies have been upturned, but Cohen has thus far escaped. Bryan Burrough and Bethany McLean go deep inside Bharara’s probe—and SAC’s org chart—to reveal just how much blood is in Wall Street’s waters.

From Math Teacher to Adult Film Extra, The Unexpected Early Jobs of 30 Art Stars

From Math Teacher to Adult Film Extra, The Unexpected Early Jobs of 30 Art Stars

Published: April 8, 2013

Everyone started out somewhere — including your favorite art stars. Some of the biggest names in the visual arts came from surprisingly humble beginnings, and we’ve picked out 30 of the most telling examples of artists who had less-than-glamorous jobs while pursuing their craft. Sometimes, this exercise actually yields serious insight into the styles they became known for, sometimes not. In every case, though, it gives a window into the life behind the work. 

WHO: Mark Rothko
WHAT: delivery boy, newspaper seller   


The future AbEx master’s father died just months after moving his family from Russia to Portland, Oregon, forcing the 10-year-old Rothko to deliver groceries and sell newspapers to help support his family. Years later, after moving to New York, he held an assortment of odd jobs before teaching painting and sculpture at the Center Academy — an experience that would stay with him throughout his career and shape his artistic practice.

WHO: Willem de Kooning
WHAT: display designer

Before emigrating to the U.S. from Holland, de Kooning worked his way through art school at the Rotterdam Academy with an apprenticeship in commercial art. Once in New York, his experience came in handy while he worked on designing department store displays during the 1930s. Only after completing a mural for the 1939 World’s Fair did he abandon commercial art all together to pursue his own work.

WHO: Yves Klein
WHAT: judo author, master           

Not only was Klein a dedicated Judoka, he wrote a book on the topic, “Les Fondements du Judo,” while studying at the most prestigious Judo center in Tokyo. After returning to Paris, he opened his own judo school, hanging monochromes on the walls and eventually reaching the highest level possible for a Judoka in Europe.

WHO: Claes Oldenburg
WHAT: failed reporter   

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1950, the Stockholm-born Pop sculptor began working as an apprentice reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago. Nothing he wrote was ever printed. “I was assigned to cover stories that were considered unimportant but which I found fascinating,” Oldenburg told the L.A. Times in 1995. “I once covered the death of a man who’d spent his life collecting nuts and bolts — every drawer and receptacle in his apartment was full of nuts and bolts.”

WHO: Ed Ruscha
WHAT: advertising creative, secret Artforum designer

In 1960, fresh out of the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), Ruscha began working as a full-time layout artist for the Los Angeles-based Carson-Roberts Advertising Agency, though after taking a hiatus to travel around Europe and visit New York, he quit the following year to devote himself to painting. Supporting himself with his art proved difficult, though, and Ruscha paid the bills by doing layout work for Artforum under the sly pseudonym “Eddie Russia” from October 1965 — a year after the magazine published the first major review of his work — until the summer of 1969.

WHO: Ed Kienholz
WHAT: jack of many, many trades  

Kienholz, the self-taught installation artist known for his gritty psychosexual assemblages of exurban detritus, had a colorful resume before he became entrenched in Los Angeles’s budding avant-garde scene in the 1950s (he went on to co-found the Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps and Bob Alexander). His job titles included orderly in a psychiatric hospital, manager of a dance band, used car salesman, caterer, decorator, and vacuum cleaner salesman.

WHO: James Turrell
WHAT: heroic pilot, struggling rancher                  

When Turrell was just 16 years old, the light and space artist got his pilot’s license. A Quaker and conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, he also flew Tibetan monks out of Tibet after the Chinese invasion. Once back in the States, he spent months flying around the southwestern desert before deciding on Roden Crater in Arizona’s Painted Desert as the site for his monumental land art piece and observatory. In order to purchase and maintain the land surrounding the crater, Turrell also had to take up cattle ranching. “I don’t know if it’s harder to make a living as an artist or a rancher,” Turrell said to the Smithsonian in 2003.

WHO: Wayne Thiebaud 
WHAT: Disney animation drone, hot dog vendor

Perhaps it will not come as a surprise to learn that Wayne Thiebaud, painter of dreamy cakes, got his start drawing “in between” frames for Disney’s Pinocchio or that he put in his time working in food service. Even his later works maintained a cartoon-like element, while his early subject matter was clearly inspired by the ice cream and hot dogs he served at the Long Beach cafe, Mile High.

WHO: Dan Flavin
WHAT: Guggenheim mailroom clerk, MoMA elevator man

Before his fluorescent light works made it into the collections of establishments like MoMA and the Guggenheim, Flavin paid his dues working on the less glamorous side of these museums. He was a mailroom clerk at the Gugg, a guard at the American Museum of Natural History, and a guard and elevator operator at MoMA throughout the late ’50s and early ’60s.

WHO: Sol LeWitt
WHAT: graphic designer for Seventeen, MoMA receptionist

The Connecticut-born artist joined the army at age 21 and served in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. After returning home in 1953, he moved to New York, where he worked as an illustrator for teen mag Seventeen. Two years later, LeWitt did a stint as a graphic designer for the architect I.M. Pei and later served as a night receptionist at the Museum of Modern Art. (While there, he met critic Lucy Lippard and artists Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman.)

WHO: Philip Glass & Steve Reich
WHAT: men with van                

Before they were known as two of the most prominent minimalist composers, Glass and Reich eked out a living for themselves by starting a furniture transportation service called Chelsea Light Moving. “We always ended up with smelly couches on the Lower East Side,” Reich said years later. Glass would later become a plumber, assisted by a young Kathryn Bigelow.

WHO: Carolee Schneemann
WHAT: walk-on actor in pornos, dog dryer, Sunday school teacher   

Though she would go on to become canonized for her provocative body of work dealing with gender and sexuality, Scheemann worked a variety of odd part-time jobs to make ends meet. “I was an artist model, a dog dryer in a pet shop, I was in porno films on Saturdays for fifty dollars — but you only had to stand there in a black dress — and then I taught Sunday school on Sunday.” If you’re curious about her adult film career, she clarified to Bad at Sports: “The sexiest thing I was ever told to do was suck a guy’s toe, and he had covered it so heavily in aftershave.”

WHO: Judy Chicago
WHAT: corresponding secretary for the NAACP

The feminist artist became active in campus politics while attending UCLA in the late 1950s, designing posters for the university’s NAACP chapter. Eventually, she became the local chapter’s corresponding secretary. The FBI, which had investigated Chicago’s father for Communist sympathies, took notice: It began a file on her around this time.

WHO: Barbara Kruger
WHAT: designer for Mademoiselle

After Kruger finished studying design with Diane Arbus at Parson’s School of Design, she embarked on a career in publishing. She honed her skills as a designer for Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle, eventually moving up as a graphic designer, art director, and picture editor at House and Garden and Aperture

WHO: Raymond Pettibon       
WHAT: high school math teacher

Though you’d never know it from his typo and expletive-riddled Twitter feed, Pettibon started out as a high school teacher. The California artist taught mathematics in the Los Angeles public school system for a brief stint after graduating college in 1977, returning to school for his BFA later that year.

WHO: Jeff Koons
WHAT: commodities trader, “Senior Representative of MoMA”

Soon after moving to New York in 1977, 21-year-old Koons took a job at the membership desk at the Museum of Modern Art. Before long, he was selling memberships so swiftly that boardmember Blanchette Rockefeller created a new title for him: Senior Representative of MoMA. Three years later, he began working as a commodities broker at Smith Barney. Once a master of the market, always a master of the market.

WHO: Julian Schnabel
WHAT: short-order cook        

While studying at New York’s Whitney Independent Study Program in the 1970s, Schnabel worked as a short-order cook and dishwasher. Perhaps the experience in the kitchen helped inspire his famous broken plate paintings — though it doesn’t sound like he’d want to go back: “every day I don’t have to cook in a restaurant, I have a big smile on my face,” he told the Guardian in 2003.

WHO: Glenn Ligon
WHAT: legal proofreader      

Ligon, best known for paintings and neons featuring repeated phrases pulled from literature and art history, always had an eye for words. After graduating with an art degree from Wesleyan University in 1982, he worked as a proofreader for a law firm. The constant onslaught of text reportedly contributed to his decision to shift away from Abstract Expressionist-style painting and toward text-based work.

WHO: Shirin Neshat
WHAT: helped run Storefront for Art and Architecture      

Upon arriving in New York from Iran — via Berkeley where she received a BA — Neshat spent a full decade working at Storefront for Art and Architecture. Though she did not make work during her Storefront time, the experience was influential to her artistic practice. In an interview with Bomb in 2000, she said that Storefront was her “true education” and that the exposure there led her to “think about [her]self as an artist.”

WHO: Carrie Mae Weems
WHAT: union organizer

Weems has explored issues of race, gender, politics, and identity in her widely revered black-and-white portraits of African-American life, but her interests in such subjects likely began when she worked as an organizer for what her website describes only as a “Marxist organization” for nearly a decade.

WHO: Matthew Barney
WHAT: J. Crew model         

Though you can’t always tell from the supernatural costumes he sports in his epic “CREMASTER Cycle,” Bjork’s husband is — how do you say? — quite a looker. The summer before enrolling at Yale, Barney answered an ad for a modeling job that paid $250, which led him to get picked up by an agency, and helped him pay his way through college for the next five years. “When I was modeling, I found it interesting,” Barney told the New York Times in 1999, “that you could step outside yourself and let yourself be used as a coat hanger or puppet, especially in the performance sense: to let your body be a tool, to leave the body in the work and not really to occupy your body when you are performing.”

WHO: Olafur Eliasson
WHAT: model, breakdancer

As a teenager growing up in Copenhagen, Olafur Eliasson modeled for a Scandinavian youth magazine and studied breakdancing. The artist, who now specializes in large-scale, environmental-themed installations, had a knack for dance: He won Scandinavia’s breakdancing championship two years in a row. “In 1984, I was completely convinced it was art,” Eliasson told the magazine 032c of his cutting-edge moves. “Today, I doubt that.”

WHO: Cai Guo-Qiang
WHAT: kung fu actor     

Before he began exploring the properties of gunpowder and staging his signature “explosion events” at museums around the world, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang had roles in two kung fu movies: “The Spring and Fall of a Small Town” and “Real Kung Fu of Shaolin.” Maybe it was all that martial arts training and synchronized sword-waving in his teens and twenties that gave him his dramatic flare.

WHO: Ai Weiwei
WHAT: blackjack guru 

While studying at New York’s Parsons School in the 1980s, the artist spent most of his weekends in Atlantic City, where he cultivated a reputation as a formidable blackjack player. The impression he left on the Jersey gambling community was lasting: During Ai’s 2011 detention by the Chinese government, the website blackjackchamp.com ran a story with the magnificent headline, “Arrested Chinese Blackjack Guru Ai WeiWei Also an Artist and Activist,” complete with testimony about his character from someone named “Snake Eyes.”

WHO: Maurizio Cattelan
WHAT: furniture designer

Cattelan first began turning heads in the 1980s, but not for outrageous sculptures like his work depicting Pope John Paul II fallen and crushed by a meteor — those would come later. Rather, it was for his work as a furniture designer. And though his humorous and irreverent artworks would earn him a reputation as one of the art world’s most notorious and poetic pranksters, his latest collaboration with the DESTE Foundation — on a photography project inspired by Italian “Radical Design” furniture of 1968 — sees the artist returning to his roots.

WHO: Wade Guyton
WHAT: St. Mark’s Bookshop clerk, Dia:Chelsea guard

When the now-famous digital painter Guyton first got to New York in 1995, he applied to the Whitney’s Independent Study Program, but was turned down. He took at job at the St. Mark’s Bookshop in the East Village, then started working as a security guard at the Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea. “I didn’t even know what Dia was when I moved to New York,” Guyton told Interview magazine last year. “I stood around all day guarding art… until the end, when I worked my way up to Dan Graham’s café on the roof.”

WHO: Cory Arcangel
WHAT: lacrosse goalie   

In his teens, the future new media art posterboy earned a scholarship as a lacrosse goalie to Buffalo’s prestigious Nichols School, where he was the team’s star player. He eventually abandoned his lacrosse stick for a guitar, and upon graduating from his hometown prep school went on to study classical guitar at Oberlin — though he quickly switched majors to the technology of music.

WHO: Sterling Ruby
WHAT: construction worker, skateboarder           

He may be known for in-your-face works like “The Masturbators” (2009), but Ruby is reported to have had a career in construction before attending art school. Less surprising perhaps is that Ruby was also a professional skateboarder and performed in a few punk bands recording tracks with legendary producer Steve Albini.

WHO: Hilary Harkness
WHAT: professional violinist

These days, Harkness is celebrated for her paintings depicting complex fantasy tableaux occupied solely by women, but she worked as a professional violinist in the Midwest before taking up the brush for a living. In fact, ahead of college, she studied under legendary violinist David Updegraff.

WHO: Banksy
WHAT: amateur soccer team goalie

The origins of the Banksy legend are located between the goal posts, where the Bristol-born street artist was goalkeeper for the Easton Cowboys soccer team, which he played for throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, when his true talents began to emerge. “He went on tour with us to Mexico in 2001 and painted a number of murals in the community,” former teammate Will Simpson told BBC News last year. “He did one tour and shortly after, he might have moved to London. We see him every so often when he comes back to Bristol…

To see a gallery of images related to our 30 art stars and the jobs they had before they were famous, click on the slideshow.


Bill Huston’s Blog (Binghamton NY)

Local Media Analysis, Fractivism, Spirituality and Metaphysics

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Latest on Exxon Mobil Pegasus Dilbit Spill Mayflower AR


1: Exxon Mobil combats the “LIES” of the radical anti-fossil fuel extremists, 
who by strange coincidence, happen to agree with many industry sources.

2: Several Major Cities downstream from this site.
Drinking water for ~900,000 people may be at risk.

3: Hedge your ExxonMobil stock with Georgia Pacific

4: UPDATE: 4/8/2013 Accurate map of Pegasus Pipeline though Arkansas

Please also see my prior post on the Mayflower ExxonMobil spill:

5: Update 4/8/2013 Link to Arkansas Pipeline Map and TX per-county maps.


1:  ExxonMobil gets upset about all the “lies” being told…

ExxonMobil says the radical
Anti-Fossil Fuel Activists are spreading LIES!


But even the Exxon Mobil PR person seems confused.
It’s a LIE that it’s Diluted Bitumen from Alberta Tar Sands!!!
OK, it’s from NEAR the Tar Sands region.
And it is Diluted.
Well, OK it is from Tar Sands. But it is CONVENTIONAL HEAVY CRUDE!!


Crudemonitor.CA says nope: Wabasca Heavy is Dilbit
Maybe they’re radical tree-huggers.


Industry consultant: Wabasca Heavy = Diluted Bitumen
Declaration of Ronajit Sahu
on MN PUC Enbridge application Alberta Clipper


Maybe an Anti-fossil fuel radical?


Industry presentation: It’s Dilbit.
From “Understanding the Quality of Canadian Bitumen and Synthetic Crudes”,
by Pat Swafford, Spiral Software Limited
Crude Oil Quality Group Meeting, February 26, 2009

Known Liberal News Source Reuters (sarcasm)
Wabasca Heavy Crude = Dilbit
“UPDATE 3-Exxon pipeline leaks thousands of barrels of Canadian oil in Arkansas”

Maybe ExxonMobil is confused about who is lying…. 

Hey at least there will be JOBS!!!

See also this article from Scientific American which discusses some other issues, including the corrosivity issue discussed on the ExxonMobil blog:

  2: Arkansas Watershed Information

Arkansas Rivers — Flow Direction
Pink X (center) is site of spill
Arkansas Watersheds, highlight: metro Little Rock.
Pegasus Pipeline leak occured at Lake Conway
(pink X just north-west of Little Rock)


Pegasus Pipeline, Arkansas River Watershed


Drinking Water for ~900,000 people at Risk of Contamination


See also: “Arkansas Water System to Ask Exxon to Move Its Pipeline”

3: ExxonMobil and Georgia Pacific:
an investment match made in H—- ???


Check if your Mutual Fund includes BOTH Exxon-Mobile and Georgia-Pacific
— makers of Brawny Towels!
G-P makes a good hedge on your ExxonMobil stock.
Part of Koch Industries, Inc., makers of the Tea Party Patriots and ALEC

Here it is– the ONLY accurate map of the Pegasus Pipeline
through Arkansas on the Internet.
Painstakingly assembled from the NPMS Public Viewer.
Please resuse any of my content under CC-BY-NC (with attribution).
Commercial License is Available: Please contact me: WilliamAHuston@gmail.com

Update 5:

Population Reduction Plan – Codex Alimentarius


“He who controls the Food, controls the World. Codex Alimentarious (CA) was created in 1963 by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The CA seeks to ENFORCE international standards and codes on nations in a securitization of the world’s food supply and healthcare. By controlling the means of food production, transportation and distribution, the CA ensures the standards set forth by the UN are the basis for all national legislation.

There are many who claim that Codex Alimentarius is about consumer protection, or that it is voluntary, or that it is a downright urban legend or hoax. Dr. Laibow has analysed 16,000 pages of Codex Alimentarius documentation, and her analysis, presented in the video below, is that NONE of these claims are true:”

Updated and Expanded List of 212 Obama Accomplishments, With Citations!

This list of accomplishments has never been simply about getting the President a second term. This guy is going to leave a legacy, and it is starting to look like a really good one. I know some progressives consider him a “disappointment,” but these are folks who are looking for that unicorn. They like to put pressure on Blue Dogs and in the process help the right wing Republicans win election after election.

If we want to win elections – and this is a democracy, so that should always be your main goal – we have to make people want to vote for us. That means accentuating the positive, and talking Obama laughingabout how great we are, compared to the alternative. That’s what this list is about. It’s about focusing on the good things Obama and the Democrats have done, and daring Republicans to come up with their own list. The 112th Congress was the least productive in history, and it occurred during an economic recovery. If we can’t make ourselves look better than that, then we’re pathetic. We have to stop being pathetic. 

Is Obama perfect? No, he’s human. Does he deserve some criticism? Of course. But does he deserve the level of criticism that’s been leveled at him? Hell no. 

President Obama has compiled a STELLAR record, especially when looked at in view of the obstruction he’s faced for four years. 

Pass this list around to everyone you know who whines that Obama’s done nothing. Then note that a large proportion of these accomplishments came with a Democratic Congress, and if they want more, they’ll have to help him achieve it. And if anyone tries to claim this is all bunk, point out that, unlike many such lists, every item includes a citation supporting it. 

This fight is not over. We can’t allow 2014 to be like 2010. 

Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility 

1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.   http://1.usa.gov/dUvbu5

2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.   http://n.pr/hcgBn1

3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.  http://on.msnbc.com/ewJUIx

4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending. http://www.cio.gov

5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.  http://bit.ly/hOw1t1     http://bit.ly/fz8GAd

6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  http://bit.ly/hwKhKa

Prevented a Bush Depression and Improved the Economy

7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.   http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs   http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk

8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economyby  3.5%.  http://reut.rs/i46CEE

9. Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money. http://1.usa.gov/eA5jVS   http://bit.ly/eCNrD6

10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.  http://1.usa.gov/goy6zl

11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years. http://bit.ly/hrrnjY

12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs.  http://bit.ly/ibhpxr   Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest.  http://bit.ly/gj7mt5 This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world.  http://lat.ms/zIJuQx Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up. http://nyti.ms/k0zp 

13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.  http://bit.ly/eYD4nf 

14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.  http://abcn.ws/g18Fe7

15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.  http://1.usa.gov/gIaNcS

16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect. http://bit.ly/f77aOw

17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.  http://bit.ly/eEpLFn

18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.   http://bit.ly/dZgXXw   http://bit.ly/gORYfL

19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses. 

20. Created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.)   http://www.business.gov

21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.   http://nyti.ms/gHlgp5 

22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital. http://bit.ly/f9xVE7

23. Signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to review all federal regulations and remove any unnecessary and/or burdensome regulations from the books.  http://1.usa.gov/Lpo5bd

24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.   http://1.usa.gov/ez30Dc

25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government. http://nyti.ms/bw1MLu

26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.  http://bit.ly/g0IKWR

27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.   http://on.msnbc.com/i1i8eV

28. Crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. http://bit.ly/eyqsNE

Brought Much-Improved Greater Transparency and Better Government

29. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch.  http://bit.ly/fsBACN

30. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.   http://nyti.ms/gOrznV

31. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.  http://bit.ly/gVNSgX

32. Became the first to stream every White House event, live.  http://1.usa.gov/kAgOP5

33. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.   http://www.serve.gov

34. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history.  http://1.usa.gov/hQ7ttV

35. Issued an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. Provides the public with greater access to historic  White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.  http://1.usa.gov/gUetLb

36. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests.  http://1.usa.gov/gjrnp2  

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

37. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.  http://huff.to/eAi9Qq

38. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.  http://bit.ly/hWCPg0   http://bit.ly/geHpcD

39. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  http://1.usa.gov/j5onG

40. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.  http://bit.ly/MDnA1t

41. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests.  http://bit.ly/fnTayj

42. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.  http://bit.ly/fnTayj

43. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.   http://bit.ly/esOdfB    http://bit.ly/eG4DPM

44. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and  tax evaders.  http://bit.ly/htfDgw

45. Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which closed many of the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore.  http://1.usa.gov/bd1RTq

46. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses.  http://bit.ly/fnTayj 

47. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill constituting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.  http://thedc.com/gxkCtP 

48. Through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, extended the False Claims Act to combat fraud by companies and individuals usingmoney from the TARP and Stimulus programs.  http://bit.ly/SLTcSa

Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

49. Along with Congressional Democrats, advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.  http://bit.ly/gsMSJ7

50. Pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping.  http://bit.ly/fdahuH  http://bit.ly/mZV4Pz

51. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.  http://1.usa.gov/g2RLCj

52. Appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history.  http://bit.ly/g1lA7D 

53. Appointed first openly transgender Cabinet Official in History.  http://bit.ly/58zUp7  

54. Changed HUD rules to prohibit gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination in housing   bit.ly/9RxEnP  

55. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-sex marriage.  http://bit.ly/JsiFKp

56. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other. http://1.usa.gov/aUueGT

57. Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.     http://bit.ly/e1puTk   http://1.usa.gov/rFfqMM

58. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.   http://bit.ly/fT3Cxg

59. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act. http://1.usa.gov/dSbI0x

60. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.  http://1.usa.gov/qu2EhQ 

61. Advocated that United Nations adopt a policy supporting gay rights worldwide.  http://lat.ms/pQe1RS

62. Issued an order requiring hospitals to allow visitation by same-sex couples.   reut.rs/llNJek 

63. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.  http://1.usa.gov/fi5IY0

64. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act. http://bit.ly/th0JC8

Major Improvements in Foreign Relations, American Status Around the World

65. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.   http://bit.ly/hZycda

66. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration. http://nyti.ms/dKvY4g  

67. Helped to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the “right thing” in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world.   http://bit.ly/h743y7  http://bit.ly/ho4TCr

68. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.  http://1.usa.gov/e7QuDj

69. Closed a number of secret detention facilities. http://nyti.ms/rpUc9l

70. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.  http://1.usa.gov/tiGAGe

71. Pushed for military to emphasize devlopment of foreign language skills. http://bit.ly/AxUCLV

72. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.  http://bit.ly/9axfWh

73. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted.  http://bit.ly/xVmSZK

74. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.  http://huff.to/6YkAVY

75. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.   http://1.usa.gov/eX28DP

76. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.  http://1.usa.gov/hxdf8U

77. Established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.  http://n.pr/hY3Kwa   http://nyti.ms/emQBde

78. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through.  http://bit.ly/eW6CVF

79. Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.  http://bit.ly/g6MTuC

80. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.  http://bbc.in/h6N9ax

81. Released the Bush torture memos.  http://bit.ly/hWJ5z0

82. On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all  Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention.  http://1.usa.gov/dL6Zve    http://nyti.ms/hzWWys

83. In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them. http://bit.ly/zfmGv9

84. Ended the F-22 program, saving $4 billion. Though the single-seat, twin-engine, fighter aircraft cost $358 million each, and the military had 187 built, the F-22 never flew a combat mission.  http://slate.me/PYzmzT (The “fiscally conservative GOP fought to keep it.)

85. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program. http://1.usa.gov/wLtNjb 

86. Ended the Iraq War. http://tgr.ph/ru0tyS

87. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates. http://bit.ly/y8c9Fz  

88. Through United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, helped negotiate a peaceful split of Sudan into two countries, this allowing for the creation of an independent South Sudan.   http://reut.rs/qzE0Tj   

A More Realistic Approach to “Defense” and National Security

89. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.  http://1.usa.gov/gDX1nE

90. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010. http://1.usa.gov/gLFZl2

91. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.   http://lat.ms/gkcl3i

92.  Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty.  http://bit.ly/f3JVtw

93. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will lst until at least 2021.  http://1.usa.gov/cI1bC4

94. Through the Defense Authorization Act, reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.   http://bit.ly/hk73OJ

95. Developed first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan.  http://wapo.st/ee4Xcs  

96. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country. http://bit.ly/lNXUna

97. Negotiated a deal with Afghan govenment, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country.  http://bit.ly/K362an

98. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.  http://yhoo.it/n5lXs6

99. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India.  http://1.usa.gov/aHp0Cn

100. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple the despotic Khadaffy government and determine their own fate.  http://aje.me/qAh4Sj  

101. Got Egyptian President/dictator Mubarak to leave the Egyptian government to the people, to determine their own fate.    http://f24.my/efvgNZ

102.  In 2011, reoriented American focus from the Middle East to the Asian-Pacific region by simultaneouly engaging China and crafting new alliances with Asian countries uncomfortable with Chinese behavior.    http://bit.ly/RGlMDi

103. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural  disasters successfully.   http://bit.ly/h8Xj7z

104. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast. http://nyti.ms/efBO7B

105. Has repeatedly beefed up border security http://bit.ly/mMYB4i

106. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.  http://bit.ly/jChpgw  

107. Throughan executive order, established the Homeland Security Partnership Council, which will attempt to enhance the nation’s ability to “address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources.”  http://1.usa.gov/VJjLXO

Treated Soldiers and Veterans with Respect 

108. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it.  Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.  http://nyti.ms/glqN66   http://bbc.in/gWSSkA

109. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.  http://1.usa.gov/huhqfo

110. Provided active combat troops with better body armor.  http://bit.ly/hzSv2h

111. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order  to improve the quality of their medical care.  http://1.usa.gov/f4yaxW

112. Put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one.) http://nyti.ms/e2YQ7Q

113. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.  http://1.usa.gov/fN4ur1

114. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.    http://1.usa.gov/gY8O3x 

115. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.  http://bit.ly/epwUQY

116.  Initiated and signed a recruitment and employment plan to get more veterans into government jobs.  http://bit.ly/b48coi

117. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.  http://bit.ly/gjzTxX  

118. Signed the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which ensures that spouses of military personnel who are forced to move because their spouse is posted for military duty will be able to avoid state taxes in their temporary residence.   http://bit.ly/1Gh0NX

119. Issued an Executive Order to improve access to mental health care for veterans, military personnel and their families.  http://1.usa.gov/TP7PVZ

Refocused the Federal Government on Education

120. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process.   http://bit.ly/gYWd30   http://bit.ly/e9c7Dr   http://bit.ly/eEzTNq 

121. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.   http://nyti.ms/dMvHOt

122. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.   http://1.usa.gov/gGRIAr  

123.  Created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them.   http://bit.ly/NHtZ7L 

124. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide   http://bit.ly/fNDcj3 ,

125. Oversaw major expansion in school construction.  http://bit.ly/fYwNrV 

126. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start. http://1.usa.gov/tzT2Rr

127. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0  http://bit.ly/hPhG7J 

128. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low income students to go to college.  http://bit.ly/hI6tXz

129. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds.  http://1.usa.gov/dQvtUe  

130. Took major new steps to protec students from ineffective for-profit colleges through “gainful employment” measures, whereby schools have to demonstrate that its students actually find work to get federal aid.  http://1.usa.gov/jkzQe2

131. With First Lady Michelle Obama, passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier.   http://1.usa.gov/GAXkSk  

Took an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care

132. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.  http://1.usa.gov/g2SDuw   

133. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.  http://bit.ly/j0KV2U 

134. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.   http://bit.ly/h36SSO    http://ti.me/edezge  

135. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.  http://nyti.ms/fTs9t7

136. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.  http://bit.ly/fOi2rb

137. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers. http://bit.ly/jRRRJc

138. Obama EPA reveresed research ethics standards which allowed humands to be used as “guinea pigs” in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics.  http://bit.ly/bKgqdS

139. Conducted a cyberspace policy review.   http://1.usa.gov/gmbdvC

140. Provided financial support for private sector space programs. http://bit.ly/fn8ucr 

141. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.   http://bit.ly/dNTRyP

142. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco.  http://on.msnbc.com/fiKViB As a result,  the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”

143. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.  http://bit.ly/ecQSgA 

144. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs.  http://bit.ly/frMPG3

145. Oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors. http://bit.ly/e5b1iq    http://1.usa.gov/fVNkt9

146. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price. http://bit.ly/fOkG5b

147. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.   http://bit.ly/fDEzGv

148. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months.    http://yhoo.it/e8Tj9C

149. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental  to those with coverage.  He also established healthcare.gov, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments.  http://www.healthcare.gov/

150. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26.   http://nyti.ms/fNB26V 

151. Through the ACA, provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small business to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance.  http://nyti.ms/fNB26V 

152. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.  http://nyti.ms/ekMWpo

153. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.  http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

154. Provisions in theACA have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years. http://1.usa.gov/oMxpTh  

155. Through the ACA, expanded space exploration and discovery options to more players   http://bit.ly/PNTS7e

156.  Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.   http://lat.ms/vhRUEs

Strengthened the Middle Class and Families, and Fought Poverty

157. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.  http://bit.ly/fNfidS

158. Cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor.   http://nyti.ms/fOGLcj

159. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families.   http://bit.ly/eSEI4F  

160. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950.  http://bit.ly/f74pD8 

161. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years.  http://bit.ly/eFeSdP

162. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times.  http://aol.it/evtVxD   http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ    http://bit.ly/hOtIpg    http://bit.ly/fTT7kz  

163. Provided  a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).  http://nyti.ms/gfLqyM

164. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.  http://wapo.st/eWECA8 

Concrete Steps to Improve The Environment and Address Our Energy Needs

165. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards.    http://nyti.ms/e8e94x

166. Fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade.   http://politi.co/hiaPKM

167. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies. http://bit.ly/lZp73y

168. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.  http://bit.ly/lP3yEL

169. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.    http://1.usa.gov/g3MTbu

170. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p  (As you can see, Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)

171. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers. http://bit.ly/mjnq2R

172. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.   http://bit.ly/froaP5 

173. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN

174. Oversaw doubling federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

175. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars.   http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y

176. Created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.   http://1.usa.gov/fgfRWq

177. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a “hoax.”  http://bit.ly/dX6Vj3  http://bit.ly/fE2PxK  http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv

178. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.  http://bit.ly/eJ6QOO

179. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption. http://bit.ly/lBhk7P

180. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic.  http://bit.ly/fzQUFO

181. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.   http://bit.ly/glCukV

182. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.   http://bit.ly/h5KZqy   http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c    http://1.usa.gov/hmUSbk 

183. Got BP to cough up $20 billion to establish Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, to reduce the need for taxpayer funds to be used for compensation and clean up.   http://wapo.st/ds2BxT  (Note: it took 20 years to get $1.3 billion for the Exxon Valdez spill. )

184. Oversaw and pushed through amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo 

185. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3

186. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  http://nyti.ms/bVuB7a

187. Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own.  http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

188. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.  http://bit.ly/hscjsH

189. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.  http://bit.ly/jYH7nt

190. Through the EPA, attemped to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans. http://bit.ly/fBuWd2

191. Through new EPA regulations, he created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gasses.  http://bit.ly/rQCIgA 

192. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%  http://bit.ly/fbJPjY

193. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards.  http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K 

194. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025   http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW  

195. Issued an Executive Order to facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency that will help create jobs, while strengthening US manufacturing. Increased efficiency could save businesses $100 billion over the next decade.  http://1.usa.gov/WsIgbx

196. Through an executive order, set up the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, which will to oversee Gulf Coast restoration efforts in the wake of the 2010 BP oil splll. The money to fund the restoration efforts comes from fines against BP.  http://1.usa.gov/Rxjb29

But That’s Not All…

197. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA.  http://bit.ly/etznpY 

198. Oversaw funding of  the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015.  He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations.   http://on.fb.me/fD0EVO    http://bit.ly/ff5Luv

199. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. http://bit.ly/dFb8qF

200. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices.   http://huff.to/eOChg6  http://bit.ly/i02wgP

201. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.   http://bit.ly/dX6vNB

202. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule.  http://bit.ly/eCFAI1  http://bit.ly/f92drF

203. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.   http://huff.to/eQfa7j

204. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.   http://bit.ly/idgQH5 

205. Signed an Executive Order that will speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure.  http://1.usa.gov/M7rVpe 

206. Signed an Executive Order creating jobs immediately by instructing them to reduce the time needed for review and permitting of infrastructure projects.  http://1.usa.gov/GHxaYt

207. Signed a bill that provided $4.3 billion in additional assistance to 9/11 first reponders.   http://bit.ly/o7cWYS 

208. Signed an Executive Order pledging support for efforts to end the global problem of violence against women and girls.  http://1.usa.gov/MHTRVU

209. Signed the Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who had been cheated out of government loans and natural resource royalties in the past.  http://1.usa.gov/dGppUa  

210. To help those communities devastated by Hurricane Samdy, issued an executive order setting up the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and asked Congress to approve $60 billion in supplemental assistance to aid in storm recovery. http://1.usa.gov/134L7hl

211. Produced 23 Executive actions designed to make it easier for law enforcement to identify those who shouldn’t have guns, thus helping them enforce the law.   http://on.wsj.com/SX9xaZ


And Did You Know?

212. Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office.  Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.   http://n.pr/i3d7cY