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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

President Obama, The Last Four Years and Beyond...

I realize that yesterday was the day after the election and it was very close. So it's to be assumed that half the country is rather sour over their loss. But some of the comments I've read today have seriously blown my mind. People have OBVIOUSLY not been paying attention to what's been going on. So, I'm going to do my best to clear up a few things about President Obama so that at least I can say I have done my part to educate them...

Firstly, Barack Obama is - without question - an American! I could NOT be more tired of the assumption that because his father was not an American, that he is not an American. I have news for you people, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. And Hawaii IS one of the States that make up the United States of America! You don't have to like it, but that's the way it is... For those who have been living under a rock, HERE, is a copy of his birth certificate which - as you can clearly see - is from Hawaii. It is NOT a certificate of adoption or a citizenship document as so many have claimed... It is a BIRTH CERTIFICATE!

Now that that is out of the way... Here are other areas where people obviously missed facts - or just preferred to believe rumor.

Contrary to Popular Belief - Obama's spending is NOT high! In fact, his spending has been LOWER than any other president in the past 60 years! While it IS true that our debt has risen over the past 4 years, the facts is that Obama had NO control over the majority of it. It was a combination of ongoing wars (started by and for Bush), Bush era tax cuts/breaks, and Bush era spending which spilled over in to Obama's first term and rose our deficit to the levels it is at now...
Ref: Wall Street Journal, Market Watch: Obama Spending Binge Never Happened
The Real Story of Spending Under Barack Obama

Oh, but wait, how did Obama have time to get anything done with all those vacation days?!?  Well, again, here's the thing, he's barely taken any when you compare him to past presidents. In fact, in his first 4 years, Obama has taken a total of 143 days vacation time. That's just over one month a year. While that seems high for the average American who is lucky to get a full week, if we compare it to past presidents, well... You see for yourself...
· In 1798, President John Adams left the capital for seven months to care for his ailing wife Abigail; his enemies said he practically relinquished his office.
· Thomas Jefferson and James Madison routinely went away for three- and four-month stretches. 
· Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, was blasted for spending about 25 percent of his time away from the White House.
· Dwight Eisenhower took long summer breaks in Denver and spent almost every single weekend at Camp David.
· John F. Kennedy rarely spent a weekend in the White House, staying at family homes in Palm Beach, Hyannis Port, and the Virginia countryside.
· Lyndon Johnson spent 484 days in five and a half years at his Texas ranch.
· Ronald Reagan was away for 436 days, usually at Rancho del Cielo (his mountaintop retreat in California) or Camp David.
· Bill Clinton, who didn't own a vacation home, loved to party with his elite friends in Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons.    
· George W. Bush spent 32 months at his ranch (490 days) or Camp David (487 days) — an average of four months away every year.

Now, how about we talk taxes... Since, if you watch Fox News, you'll hear over and over again how high our taxes are under Obama. Well, again, just because you hear it, doesn't make it true! The Bureau of Economic Analysis says we pay 23.6% of what we make, down from an average of about 27% during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

So lets see... Barack Obama is an American who was born in the US... He's spent LESS money than other recent presidents, he's taken less vacation days AND taxes are at some of their lowest rates in recent history as well? That's all well and good, but he hasn't actually DONE anything while he's been in office, now has he?!? Ummm... Yeah, well, again, people haven't been paying attention. I can not POSSIBLY give you the details on everything that's been done in 4 years, but here are SOME of the more important ones... (All of which are "click-able" with reverences)

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

Extended Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees

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

Appointed first Latina to the US Supreme Court

Ordered and Oversaw the Creation of Serve.gov, a National Database of Volunteer Opportunities

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

First president to endorse same-sex marriage equality

Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which protects women (and others) against pay discrimination.

Provided travel expenses for families of fallen soldiers so that they may be on hand when the body arives at Dover AFB

Ordered and Oversaw Creation of Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing the public with a clear view and allowing them to report fraud, waste of abuse.

Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs more than $1.4 Billion to improve services for American's Veterans

Signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provided health care for more than 4 Million uninsured children and insured that ALL of our children would never go without the healthcare they need

Issued an executive order repealing Bush era restrictions on Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act - the FIRST ever legislation aimed at imporving the lives of Paralyzed Americans

Signed the Weapons System Acquisitions Reform Act - which is to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system

Issued executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay - Although, it was blocked...

Established the Credit Card Bill of Rights which prevents credit card companies from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers

Health Care Reforms that -
*Prevents Insurance Companies from Denying Insurance due to Pre-Existing Conditions
*Allows Children to remain covered by their parents until the age of 26
* Provides Tax cuts for 3.5 Million small businesses for employee health care coverage
* Provides Tax credits for up to 29 Million Individuals to help pay for health insurance
*Expands of Medicaid to ALL individuals over age 65 with incomes up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level
*Require Health Insurance Plans to disclose how much of the premium actually goes to patient care

Significantly increased funding for the Violence Against Women Act

Lifted restrictions that stopped Cuban Americans from visiting family and sending remittance to the

islandEliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protected student borrowers

Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%

Significantly expanded Pell Grants helping many low income students to pay for college

Expanded hate crime law to include Sexual Orientation through the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr hate Crimes Prevention Act

Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of every day Americans

 Okay, seriously, I can't possibly keep this up. If you haven't figured out by now that Obama has in fact gotten quite a bit done, you're a lost cause!

Now, I am NOT saying I think everything Obama has done is wonderful! Personally I think there are a few issues he isn't nearly as active on as I would like.

Some examples would be:
  • Get RID of the DOMA
  • Remove Cannabis from the Federal List of Illegal Substances
  • Federally Recognize Same Sex Marriage
  • Legalize Plural Marriage
  • Repeal laws protecting Merck and other Vaccine companies from being sued when their products injure or kill
  • Illegalize the advertizement of medical procedures, or prescription medications and products (we are one of only TWO countries where this happens)
  • Require health insurance companies to cover holistic medicine choices
  • Produce a Green Energy Bill that would force the US to convert to Green Energy within 15 years
  • Increase sex education programs in public schools and through state and federal welfare programs for adults
  • ReIssue tax deductions for credit card interest (which was ended by Regan)
  • END Tax breaks for the Rich! 
  • END Tax breaks for companies who outsource jobs!
  • Instate tax breaks for companies who create jobs IN the US!
And of course, this isn't everything... I would love to see a freeze on income levels for Political officials, a raise on social security income for seniors, higher pay for military... Yadda Yadda... But lets face it, one man, no matter who he/she is, is only ONE MAN! And since the president (again, regardless of WHO he/she is) isn't king and they can't just pass laws indiscriminately, NO president is ever going to make the country perfect. And since the President has no control over State Laws, there are some issues he simply can't touch.

Even if one did make it MY version of perfect, I'm sure there are people out there - in fact I know there are - who would find it miserable! So I guess while it's not perfect, I'm very proud to be an American! And I'm extremely happy to have Barack Obama as my president! I suppose, if you aren't, then you're going to be unhappy for the next 4 years - at least... But my advice would be to spend the time educating yourself on the things that ARE being done and hope that the next president will make your dreams come true!

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