Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.
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BARACK OBAMA IN THE WHITEHOUSE

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President Obama to Support Gaza in Humanitarian effort with over $20 Million Dollars

Saturday, January 31, 2009

As expected, the United States will support the humanitarian effort in Gaza to help get the region cleaned up. Announced on Friday, President Obama announced emergency aid that will be sent to the Strip. The President authorized sending 20 million dollars to Gaza.
This is all well and good, but I would hope that the United States is not just the only country contributing to the war torn region in Gaza. I find if very difficult to understand how this money is readily available, when there is so much money being made available from the President's Economic Plan and the country is deep in debt. If the United States continues to play liberator for the entire world, and tries to do it alone, then I really can see no end in sight when it comes to the National Dept.
So far, President Obama plan seems to be one of mass spending, and unfortunately, I don't see any real short term alternative to get a grasp on the failing economy. Unfortunately, you haven't heard much on an action plan return the money.

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Iran: Ready to work with Obama

By Simon Hooper
CNN
 
DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) -- Tehran stood ready to work with U.S. President Barack Obama to establish better relations with Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a CNN-hosted panel at the World Economic Forum.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki talks Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki talks Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Speaking during a debate on the foreign policy challenges facing the new president, Mottaki said Americans had talked enough. "Now it is time for them to listen," he urged.
"I believe the president of the United States needs more time to express his ideals and objectives," Mottaki continued. "I believe the U.S. should see why it needs to change. These are strategic issues, not tactical measures.
"The U.S. needs to change because the world has changed drastically. Therefore a new framework should be realistic. President Obama has courage and he must tell us which aspects of the Bush administration he is against."
In an earlier session at the five-day meeting of political and business leaders, Mottaki said that the U.S. would find "a creative and cooperative reaction, including from Iran" if it changed its policies in the Middle East.
Mottaki was speaking alongside Kenyan President Raila Odinga, senior ministers from France, Iraq and Afghanistan and Nobel peace laureate and nuclear weapons inspector Mohamed ElBaradei at a session hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Panelists urged Obama to focus on the situation in the Middle East, the war in Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and nuclear proliferation.
Odinga welcomed the presidential election of the half-Kenyan Obama, saying "there is a lot of hope in the world right now."
"Kenyans, like the rest of the world, have been electrified by the campaign and election of President Obama," he said, calling on the new president to work with "progressive" African leaders.
"I belong to those who believe that Africa deserves better," Odinga said. "Because of poor leadership, Africa has not been able to claim its rightful place in the world."
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner rejected suggestions his country was anti-American, claiming, "We were never against America. We just did not like certain American policies."
He said Europe was ready to build a new partnership with the U.S. towards solving global problems. He described Obama as a "man of conviction" who had "opened hearts and minds."
Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak called on Obama to make his conflict-stricken country a "focal point in the global war against terror," but urged him to back up military force with investments in economic development and infrastructure.
Afghans had suffered in misery as the world prospered, despite having helped end the Cold War by "shattering the invincibility of the Red Army" in opposing the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, Wardak said.
"We need the support of the people, and making sure their lives are better under this government will bring a lasting victory, not just military operations," said Wardak.
"The world is a global village ... and Afghanistan should never be allowed to become a failed state where the terrorists can hide and operate from."
Calling for a change of regime in Zimbabwe, Kenya's Odinga said the continent's leaders had failed the southern African nation's people, who are battling starvation and disease amid a power struggle between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
"African leaders have not had the courage to tell Mugabe that the time to leave has come," Odinga said. "The time to go is now."
But Kouchner said telling Mugabe to quit would not suffice: "There is a very real reason to go in -- with medical forces, not an army; a humanitarian intervention at least. Mugabe is not ready to leave. He is in good shape."
ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called on Obama to move toward a "legal commitment" to abolishing nuclear weapons and said he hoped for a "safer, saner and more human" world.
"Does it really make any sense that we still have 27,000 warheads in existence?" ElBaradei asked. "Does it make sense that Russia and U.S. continue to deploy nuclear weapons against each other?"
He said the new administration in Washington should be open to dialogue in addressing all international issues, adding that he had had "zero confidence" in previous efforts to isolate Tehran. "Any time you try to isolate a country, the situation gets much much worse... Whether you like or dislike your enemy, you have to talk to them," he said.
He also called on Iran to cooperate with IAEA inspectors over its nuclear program, which Tehran insists is intended solely for peaceful purposes.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Baghdad welcomed the "new direction" in Washington. "We have all been very encouraged by the positive messages we are getting on Iraq and Palestine," he said, adding that Iran was both "a neighbor and a friend."
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He said military commanders and the Iraqi government would decide when U.S. troops would withdraw from Iraq, and predicted the situation in Iraq would stabilize in coming months. "This year Iraq will hold free elections and at the end of the year I hope you will see a different picture."

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Obama's half brother arrested on charge of marijuana possession

From David McKenzie
CNN
 
 
NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police on a charge of possession of marijuana, police said Saturday.
George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.
George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.
Inspector Augustine Mutembei, the officer in charge, said Obama was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as Bhang, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said.
He is being held at Huruma police post in the capital of Nairobi.
CNN Correspondent David McKenzie talked with George Obama at the jail where he is being held. Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations.
"They took me from my home," he said, "I don't know why they are charging me."
George Obama and the president barely know each other, though they have met before. George Obama was one of the president's few close relatives who did not go to the inauguration in Washington last week.
In his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." Barack Obama's trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known.
McKenzie tracked down George Obama in August 2008 and found him at a small house in Huruma, a Nairobi slum, where he lives with his mother's extended family. His birth certificate shows he is Barack Obama's half brother.
The two men share the same Kenyan father. In the memoir, Barack Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left him and his mother when he was just a child.
Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was just 6 months old. Like his half brother, George hardly knew his father.
George was his father's last child and had not been aware of his famous half brother until he rose to prominence in the Democratic primaries last year.
Unlike his grandmother in Kogela, in western Kenya, George Obama had received little attention from the media until reports about him surfaced in August 2008.
The reports sprung from an Italian Vanity Fair article saying George Obama lived in a shack and was "earning less than a dollar a day." Those reports left George Obama angry.
"I was brought up well. I live well even now," he said. "The magazines, they have exaggerated everything.
"I think I kind of like it here. There are some challenges, but maybe it is just like where you come from, there are the same challenges," Obama said.
Obama, who is in his mid-20s, said at the time that he was learning to become a mechanic and was active in youth groups in Huruma. He said he tried to help the community as much as he can.

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Focus on Renewable Energy to Create Jobs

Friday, January 30, 2009

At it again, in office less than 2 weeks, President Obama is now focusing on renewable energy along with stricter emissions standards. At the same time, he claims that renewable energy opportunities will afford the country approximately 460,000 new jobs through clean energy investments, creating more fuel efficient vehicles and at the same time, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
As Obama visions into the future, he is hoping that at least 25% of America's energy will be a result of renewable energy sources by the year 2025. In his economic stimulus plan, President Obama plans to invest $150 billion to help private companies acquire new sources of clean energy, including wind, solar and geothermal power.
The question posing the president now is even if the economic recovery plan passes and he has all the money he thinks he needs, will he truly have enough, or will he be asking for more money later? Inflation definitely has a big part of it, but with the failing economy, inflation may not be a real factor anymore, at least not until the economy gets better. Usually, 'supply and demand' plays a big part in inflation. For example, the housing market is overstocked with homes needed to sell, but the demand for buying them has greatly diminished, mainly because of people loosing jobs, and they just do not have enough money to buy homes, let alone keep what they already have. So with these facts in mind, you would think that the President wouldn't need more than $150 billion to accomplish his goals. But moving on in the 21st century, and a need to stay dominant in the world as a world leader, the United States wants to set an example.
People always question government spending, especially if it involves tax dollars, and spending that would directly affect us. Some people say that renewing energy would be too expensive. But to become a leader in the energy field, the United States needs to learn how to export our technologies, instead of continuing to be a follower by importing resources like oil.
Again, there will be lots of opposition because of the initial expense to achieve goals with renewable energy. It will be very interesting to see in the coming months, prior to the end of 2009, the accomplishments of this President even with the passing of the Economic Stimulus Package.

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Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act

After just 10 days in office, Barack Obama created his first law. The legislation named after a grandmother who was discriminated against over 10 years ago filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, had a pay-equity law created in her name. Obama's first law, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, signed in honor of Lilly Ledbetter, states that victims now have the right to file complaints within 180 days of their first unfair paycheck. With this law, employers no longer can hide unfair pay practices before continuing them, and avoid penalties forever. Finally after three presidential campaigns, arguments and lots of convincing in Congress, and endless times of litigation, a law was created protecting the worker from discrimination. For Lilly, the fight was worth it, as a lawsuit netted her $360,000 in back pay.
Interestingly enough, the conservative law makers seem to back the interests of the employer, while the liberal Democrats seem to favor Lilly. So it may not be such a surprise that the bill was passed with a Democratic President in the White House.

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Economic Stimulus Bill may be on President Obama's Desk for Signing as Early as Next Week

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The democratically controlled House is passed the Economic Stimulus bill today. That is part one. Next, the bill must pass in the Senate but the Senate republicans express concern about the large amount of spending in the bill and criticized the tax cut provisions for not going far enough. The vote in the Senate should take place next week, with a signature of Barack Obama immediately following the vote. Stop by here at 'Obama in the White House' to find out the results and how it happened.

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Afghan Prison Poses Problem in US Detainee Prison Policy

Guantanamo prison is not the only prison issue facing President Obama. You don't hear much about the 600 prisoners packed into a cavernous, makeshift prison on the American air base in Afghanistan called Bagram. Supposedly it is a much tougher base, and occupants have fewer privileges and no access to lawyers. Journalists or human rights advocates were never allowed inside. So, in another move to be put front and center soon, President Obama will continue to may his 'accountability law' become evident in Afghanistan. Most of the detainees there are considered Taliban fighters,and considered extreme terrorists. Some of the detainees that were released are have known to rejoin their terrorist groups.
Now President Obama has a decision to make. How will he continue to hold these men in Bagram? Because they are held as prisoners of war, they are held without charge. A new prison must be built to hold these men at a cost of approximately $60 million dollars to offer better conditions for these detainees, but if he does, it would signal to the world, especially in the middle east that Obama plans on a longer-term commitment to the American detention mission. This could ultimately work against him. So President Obama is looking at the issue more intently as you might think. He has directed a task force lead by the attorney general and the defense secretary to study Americas policy on detainees and report to him is six months. At that time, the President most likely will make a definite decision with the Bagram facility.
One of the reasons why tackling this problem sooner than later would be because of President Obama's stated intentions, dating all the way back to his campaign for President. He vows to  shift the military force eventually from Iraq, to Afghanistan, and he will need a place to put prisoners that are caught during that time. The present facility in Bagram does not suit the President's needs. So a prison complex at Bagram is surely to come in the near future.
One thing is for sure. Compared to Bush, Obama will have accountability in the prisons that we use for terrorists and other criminals local and abroad. Mr Bush on the other hand, was directly responsible for the activities in Bagram and other prisons throughout the middle east holding war criminals, and he supported 'no accountability' at all even though he claims his actions regarding terrorism have been totally vindicated. He tried to cover up his policy on these prisons when the issue of torture came up at Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad as well as allegations of torture of other Iraqis by British soldiers.But when Abu Ghraib surfaced, it proved that U.S. soldiers were using torture with inmates, and President Bush promptly dismissed any guilt or knowledge that such actions existed. That was our illustrious 43rd President George Bush. Now, President Obama must now deal with Iraq directly regarding Ghraib, as Iraq plans to reopen the facility soon.
The population in Bagram has increased 6 times in four years, mainly because of an order by President Bush in 2004 halting the shipment of prisoners to Guantanamo, leaving Bagram the preferred place to hold terrorist suspects. Various separate issues exist with the prisoners at Bagram including the fact that at least 4 of these inmates who seek to challenge their detention through  habeas corpus, a right that the Supreme Court has granted for detainees at Guantánamo. have been imprisoned there without access to any legal process, many of them for over 6 years. But for now, don't expect that anything would change at Bagram until the 6 month review process is completed and President Obama is ready to make a decision. It is a crucial decision and obviously it must be the right one. There are several elements that must be accounted for in the review process, including the rights of terrorists captured and imprisoned in Iraq must be afforded legal protections under the Geneva Convention.
“The tragedy is, the U.S. is spending tens of millions of dollars building better detention facilities, but still has no process in place to handle these guys,” said Sam Zarifi, director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific program, which is based in London.

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Obama meets with Republicans on the Hill - Listens intently to GOP About Changes Needed to the Economic Recovery Bill

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President Obama went to the House today to meet with Republican counterparts to talk about his $825 billion economic recovery plan. He stipulated that it will include tax rebates for nearly all working Americans. Obama was asked if there could be any negotiations on the structure of the biggest tax cut in the bill. He stood tall and stated "Feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part," the president replied according to one of the aides. Even if people do not pay income taxes, Obama believes that these people are paying payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. He met with the House Republicans and also with the Senate GOP caucus. He listen intently for approximately 2 hours and admitted "There are some legitimate philosophical differences" between  Democrats and Republicans on how to stimulate the economy, Obama noted, "and I respect that."
He doesn't expect 100 percent agreement on his economic package, but he would at least hope that the Senate Republicans could put politics aside and do what is right for the country.
In this editors opinion, I believe that the economic stimulus bill should pass and needs to be ready for signing no later than the middle of next month. Quick confirmation of the bill is essential. But, I truly believe that President Obama needs to get someone to manage the money allot better than President Bush did with the first part of the TARP money. Now, Treasury Secretary Mr. Geithner will be in charge of distributing the rest of the TARP money. Mr. Bush's Treasury Secretary did not manage the money well.

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Obama on Muslim TV Al-Arabiya.. Another Historical First by an American President


President Obama in a surprise interview put the Middle East controversy front and center, when he participated in his first major interview on Dubai-based satellite television known as Al-Arabiya. In his past, President Obama once lived in Muslim Indonesia, and has a special interest in trying to restore peace in the Middle East. In the interview, President Obama is outwardly trying to improve ties with the Muslim world. He spoke out and informed Muslim's that he is not their enemy, and that America has made mistakes. His stance of trying to communicate with the Muslim world is a direct reverse approach from his predecessor, George Bush.
With only a week in office, it looks as if President Obama is on a mission, not only to reverse most major policies that George Bush stood for, but at a rapid pace, as if he doesn't know what to do first. But the problem with that thinking is that he knows exactly what he is doing. During the interview, he most likely gained allot of respect from the Israeli/Arab world, and he is setting the tone for middle east peace talks with Hillary Clinton leading the way. So far, President Obama has been a very busy President, dispelling any who thought he was not the man for the job. Not only is he trying to tackle the problems of the world, he seems almost possessed.
What he has done with making this historic interview was to also try and take away the news headlines of the successful appointment of his new Treasury Secretary, Mr. Geithner. Surely there will be talk and outrage from the right wing Republicans, but it does appear that he has directed the peoples attention away from the Geithner issue, and over to the Middle East crisis. Great timing for this President.
The responsibilities of this President do not seem to be getting easier. He is about the handle the economic crisis head on as he tries to convince his Cabinet that the policies that he has presented need to be passed promptly. With his kind of thinking, and his expertise in communication, that which is most paralleled to 'Ronald Reagan' known as "the Communicator", one might think that Obama will have an easy time in getting his policies passed through Congress. Time will tell, but if he gets it done, then I see nothing but smooth sailing for this President in his first term. Making a prediction this early in his 1st term may be premature, but who can tell me with what he has accomplished so far, especially after a future passing his economic plan, that he will be so popular to pretty much insure his re-election. With the short time he has spent in the Presidency - 7 days, so much has happened and seems to about to happen, that I find myself just waiting for another major news story. President Obama is not spoiling my anticipation, as something major seems to come out of the White House every day. He was relentless in his actions to gain the Presidency, and he did. He seems relentless in trying to help restore peace in the Middle East. He and Hillary Clinton along with George Mitchell will do whatever they can do to get the Middle East peace talks on the right track. As some people have suggested, it will be interesting to see how President Obama performs when he has a real crisis on his hands, similar to 911. Hopefully he will never see that kind of day, but people will always compare his actions to his predecessor George Bush, and so far, it appears that he doesn't know how to fail. Thanks to his predecessor, he has allot of issues in front of him that he can take control of in an expedient way, such as what he has been doing with his 'executive orders'. He can immediately reverse decisions made by Bush. One thing is for sure, he is extending his hand to people that the Conservative movement would never do, but he does so with a warning to terrorists. He will help people sway away from the wrong kind of thinking, but if they sway towards the thinking of  Al-Qaeda , then he claims, "We will defeat you."

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Obama's Interview on Arab Television

Echoing his sentiments in his Inauguration and to be the first President to do so , President Obama mentioned the Muslims and Jews in his speech. That was on day 1. Now in just 7 days, he is interviewed on Al Arabia TV in his first formal interview as President in his address to the Muslim and Arab World. In a bold move, he participated in the exclusive interview . As he  states, "In all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith – and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers – regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams,"
President Obama is now extending his hand the the Middle East, and wants to help both Israel and Palestine learn to live in peace with each other.  He fell short on stating what he believed what either side needed to do, but he did state that his intention would be to continue to support Israel and help countries within the Arab region learn to live in harmony with each other.
In an apparent lesson to the American people, Barack Obama truly became 'the mediator' for people in the Middle East. I would bet that our new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learned a little more about her boss Mr. Obama, and now really has a clear understanding of his intentions for the middle east.

Watch part of the interview of Barack Obama on Al-Arabiya TV

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Tim Geithner confirmed as Treasury Secretary in the Midst of Controversy


President Obama's choice of Treasury secretary has been confirmed. Mr. Tim Geithner will now spearhead President Obama's response to the financial crisis. The vote to approve him was 60-34. Vice-President Biden then swore in Mr. Geithner at the Treasury Department. President Obama's original intention was to have his economic team in place by inauguration Day, as he would want Geithner assist him in pushing forward the $825 billion dollar economic stimulus plan.
In this editors opinion, I trust in Obama's selection for the job as Treasury Secretary, but it doesn't erase the fact that the candidate that Obama wanted to fill the position failed to pay his taxes four years in a row. What makes it considered as 'double jeopardy', Mr. Geithner was actually given a bonus to pay his taxes, equal to what he needed to pay, each of the four years that he didn't pay taxes. Instead, he kept the bonuses. Then he claims that he didn't know that he owed the money, but when he found out, he paid the taxes. How can that happen? Does that sound like someone you would want to head the Treasury. In a parallel comparison, if I didn't pay my taxes 4 year in a row, I believe I would be in serious trouble, and most likely go to jail. But with the support of Barack Obama and at least 11 Republic Senators, he was pushed through the confirmation hearing and now heads the Treasury.
One of the first moves that Giethner will do is to crack down on lobbyists. That story should unfold by tomorrow. Now regardless of what people think, Mr. Geithner is now the Treasury Secretary, and unless he has done something that someone would be considered an impeachable offense, my advise to his adversaries would be to let's now be concerned and spend our efforts to fix the economy, and use Mr. Geithner in a capacity to help that happen. I would also wish that the 'non-republican conservative Rush Limbaugh' consider this idea, but I don't think that he would be capable of understanding what is being conveyed here.
Again, as far as Geithner's capabilites to do the job, I don't think that anyone should question his ability.

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Drastic Job Cuts continue into 2009 - up to 200,000 jobs cut since January 1, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

In a day that will be known in history as 'Bloody Monday' today further signifies the reason why the Obama Stimulus Plan needs to become law. At least six companies have now announced that they will be part of the massive job cuts that have plagued this country during the present depression. In 2008 alone, there were at least 2.6 million jobs lost, and in 2009, we are already facing more than 200,000 job cuts.
So why are there so many cuts? It begins with weak companies that cannot hold their own in a time of crisis as we are facing now. These companies lay off their employees, and these people no longer have the purchase power to or the ability to purchase. Since companies are selling less , there are even more layoffs. It is just a vicious circle that seems to be engulfing the economy in every sector of business today.
So here is what happened just today....
Caterpiller, a construction machinery manufacturer decided to cut 20,000 jobs today.
Pfizer, plans to cut 10% of its staff which means approximately 8,200 people may loose their jobs. Then another 15% of employees, or about 1,800 people. Prior to 2009, they cut 4,700 jobs.
Sprint Nextel Corp plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs by March 31.
Home Depot - the world's largest home improvement retailer, plans to cut 7,000 jobs.
Dutch financial group ING, plans to cut 7,000 jobs because of a loss taken in 2008 of $1.3 billion.
Deer&Co, the world's top farm-equipment maker will cut up to 700 jobs between factories in Brazil and Iowa.
Other companies last week that were hit with job cuts were BHP Billiton, Clear Channel Communications, Intel, Rohm and Haas Co.,UAL Corp. and Williams-Sonoma, which eliminated 27,000 jobs.
Let's not forget about Schlumberger, cutting 5,000 jobs worldwide with 1,000 of those cut are in the United States.
Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Entertainment will be cutting 800 jobs and last but not least, MICROSOFT plans to cut it's workforce by 10% affecting 5,000 jobs.
Last but not least, IBM, the world's largest technology services company plans to lay off 2,800 jobs in the U.S.   Layoffs are to be split among software, sales & distribution areas.
"It's all about the consumer, and the consumer's been hit hard," said Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics. "It's a vicious circle as weakness begets layoffs, which beget more spending weakness.The services sector is shedding jobs at a horrific pace, because that's where most of the jobs are. When the consumer is in tough shape it's hard for business to do well, because it all depends on consumption or investments."

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Obama to Tighten Auto Standards - another reveral of Bush's Policy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On Monday, President Obama will formally direct federal regulators to move swiftly with applications by California and at least 13 other states in their bid to set automobile emission and fuel efficiency policies.
It will be just another one of the things that Obama will do to implement another sharp reversal of Bush's policies, and at the same time make good on one of his campaign pledges.
The action will force auto makers to produce cars and trucks that get better gas mileage higher then the national standard, and on a faster pace than the rest of the country. Also, there are plans to finalize regulations requiring the auto industry to increase fuel efficiency standards to comply with a 2007 law for whatever reason President Bush decided not to issue. Vehicles with these standards must be retooled and ready for production in 2011.
Other ideas that the federal government agencies must be concerned about would be to find new ways to save energy, and be more environmentally friendly.
It is not known why Bush decided to implement a policy that wouldn't require stricter regulations for California, which happens to be one of his worst decisions he has made since he has taken office. The goal now is to help get the E.P.A. back on track. Because Bush stopped the implementation of the California law in 2007, the earliest time California could benefit from the new order from Obama would be in the year 2011. It means that we will have to wait 2 years longer now. If Bush acted responsibilly, lower emission cars would be in production for this year.

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First Weekly Internet/Radio Address as President

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In his first weekly radio/internet address, President Obama claims that quick action is needed with regard to his economic stimulus proposal. Observe in the video as he lays reasons why the stimulus package is needed as soon as possible.

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Is Obama Breaking His Own Word Concerning Openness and Lobbyists?

Stated by President Obama just a few days ago, he will promote a new state of openness, and that would begin with transparency.One issue that may turn into a real issue for Obama is his campaign stance on lobbyists. He is very critical of them and now he plans to sign an executive order on ethics, which will represent vast changes for lobbyists, as they will be subject to stricter limits.
After the executive order is implemented, as a lobbyist in the new administration, Obama claims "you will not be able to work on matters that you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president."
He said this just a few days ago, but what is surfacing today can very well be what you would call a double standard, to protect his own interests. Now, he wants to circumvent his own rule. In a specific issue, President Obama wants to hire a former lobbyist named William Lynn for a big defense contractor called Raytheon. The President wants to hire him even if he was a lobbyist, then wanting an exception to his own rule. So it appears that the bill will put very stringent restrictions on lobbyists, but may not apply to Obama. If the President wants complete transparency, then maybe he should set the example and try to abide by his own rules, otherwise don't create the rules. Sounds like a double standard to me. It will be interesting to observe the outcome of this issue along with the debates that will be generated that note the double standard here.

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Obama takes swift action - With a Stroke of a Pen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Talk about swift action and an about face to policies of the Bush era, President Obama has taken bold action to repeal Bush's 'War on terror'. The sign of 'change' and the end of Bush could not be more apparent, as Obama stopped the processes employed by Bush against terrorism suspects.
In an executive action with the stroke of a pen Obama is changing the way Washington works with the world. He declaired that the reach of the American government will not be limitless. No longer can a President declare war like Bush did on Iraq. No longer can a President circumvent long-standing laws of the United States just because he is President.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility will be closed in a year, as detainees there have been held without rights for years. The CIA will no longer be allowed to maintain their own secret overseas prisons. No longer can the CIA setup counter terrorism operations worldwide, as they did in Baram air base in Afghanistan so that detainees could be questioned outside military rules and the protocols of the Geneva Conventions which lay out standards for prisoners taken in war. In a direct attack on the Bush lawyers, every legal order taken by these lawyers has been nullified that were created since Sept. 11, 2001. The actions taken by Obama were swift to insure there will be no more abuses of government power.
One obvious question about one of his first executive orders as President would be as to where does Obama plan to put the detainees from the Cuban prisons? I don't think that any state would want any of these hardened terrorist and criminals in their prisons. It will be interesting to see how this issue unfolds in the upcoming months prior to closing.

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Rush Limbaugh states "I hope Obama fails"

In a most pathetic statement by Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, he stated that he hopes Obama fails. Talk about a person who is arrogant, and non-patriotic, self-centered and mindless. Maybe he is none of these things. Maybe his job is to try and divide the country. The freedom of speech is a powerful thing. It has created wars, it has killed people. In this case, it's about a talk show host that seems to have a sick mind. It's not about conservatism here. It's about Rush, who is witnessing reality while seeing his hopes shattered, because a black man with a middle name of Hussein named Barack Obama is now our President.

The following statements are from the so called  "self anointed one", "the messiah" - Rush Limbaugh.

 If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down.  And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him.  Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care.  I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work.  So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, "Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." (interruption) What are you laughing at?  See, here's the point.  Everybody thinks it's outrageous to say.  Look, even my staff, "Oh, you can't do that."  Why not?  Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails?  Liberalism is our problem.  Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here.  Why do I want more of it?  I don't care what the Drive-By story is.  I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails."  Somebody's gotta say it.

The above statements are not just from the right wing conservative movement. It is from a man who has totally stepped out of bounds and has an ego that cannot fit on this planet. He honestly believes that he is "the last man standing". He needs to ask Mr. McCain what a true maverick is, or maybe he should just ask Sarah Palin. She may have lost her bid with McCain to win the highest offices in the land, but at least McCain and Palin acknowledge that Obama is now practicing what he was preaching in his campaign.
Maybe it's time that Limbaugh realizes that unless he has been counting, Obama is only through his 2nd day in office, and that he has his whole 1st term of his presidency still in front of him.
To me, Limbaugh sounds like a whiner. Throughout the campaign, I found myself listening to Rush's show on a local radio station in Dallas. He and his co-horts never have a good thing to say about Obama or the Democratic party.  Now with the election of Obama, he now only associates with the Republican party in name only. He believes that the Democratic party and the President are 'poison' to this country, but at the same time, he doesn't come up with any solutions to help his "republican party" regain their significance in the political scene. Instead, he now isolates himself from the party you would think that he stands for. My question is, what does he stand for? He certainly could never become a leader like our new President to boldly tackle problems that this country faces. He doesn't even seem to have the incite to realize what the problems are in this country. Instead, he would rather that government do nothing, and let the private sector learn how to manage with problems. We had 8 years with Bush doing just that and look where it took us. Yeah, without the government, this country lost nearly 2.5 million jobs with a conservative President running the country.
If you disagree with what someone does, then state your mind. That is where the freedom of speech kicks in.
Talking about the issues and disputing them, is your right. That is what will be accomplished here. I will be one of the first to criticize what Obama does or doesn't do with this blog, but I will give objective reasons as to why I believe what I do. The one thing that will never say would be that I wished our President would fail.

Rush, if you think that you could do a better job, then you try and run this country. Try and put this country back on track without boldly stepping forward and actually doing something, like the economic plan for example and see how much success you would have. Talk is cheap, and your statements are as disgusting as they could be, for a man who professes to speak the truth.

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Hillary sworn in as Secretary of State - takes over Condoleezza Rice Position

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In an inevitable act, Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State early in the afternoon on Wednesday. The nomination was approved by a vote of 94-2. She was sworn in by D.C. appeals court Associate Judge Kathleen Oberly. The bible used belonged to her late father in a ceremony in her Senate Office.
In the vote for her confirmation, the two senators who voted against her were two Republicans, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and David Vitter of Louisiana. After the ceremony, ex-Senator Hillary Clinton submitted her resignation from the Senate. Governor Paterson of New York wll now appoint a replacement in the Senate. Originally, Hillary Clinton was to be confirmed on Tuesday, but had an objection of Republican John Cornyn of Texas. In a statement, Cornyn said that his decision was made not because of Hillary, but because of her husband Bill Clinton, as he wanted to see more information come to surface about the foundation run by Bill Clinton. Cornyn says,My concern is not whether our colleague Sen. Clinton is qualified to be secretary of state or not. She is," Cornyn said. "But we should not let our respect for Sen. Clinton or our admiration for the many good works of the Clinton Foundation blind us to the danger of perceived conflicts of interest caused by the [foundation's] solicitation of hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign and some domestic sources," he said. "The perception and reality must be that the office of secretary of state is viewed around the world as beyond reproach."
In a supportive role, a competitor of Hillary from the Republican side of the bench, John McCain said, "I think we ought to let Sen. Clinton, who is obviously qualified and obviously will serve, get to work immediately."
It will be interesting as history will inevitabally parallel Hillary Clinton with the successes and failures of Condoleezza Rice, the prior Secretary of State who served under President Bush.

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First Full Day in Office for President Obama

The first full day as acting President of the United States, President Obama had a full day of activities.

First, President Obama signed executive orders creating ethics guidelines for the staff members of his administration. "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," Obama said.
Second, the President restated his 'oath of office' at the White house, without the Lincoln bible that he used at the inaugural ceremony.
Third, the President issued a pay freeze for his senior staff members.
Forth, the President promised swift action on the economy. The Democrats have already signed the $825 billion economic recovery package, but the Republicans will stall, as they will want major changes to the bill before they agree on the plan.
According to Republicans in a letter to the President, "The challenge as we see it is to create a plan that helps middle-class taxpayers and small businesses without wasting money or exploding our national deficit,"
Apparently one of the other issues includes the idea that the main tax provision of cutting payroll taxes did not help fix the economy in a way that people expect that the plan would. It appears that the plan will have to change substantially before the economic plan would gain any major Republican support. So right out of the gate, the new President is faced with a big challenge. His presidency can be judged by the success or failure of his economic plan. The beginning of his 'first 100 days' have begun and he will be closely scrutinized on his actions and successes, along with his failures to act and failures on policies deemed important to the American people.
Fifth, the new president is drafting an executive order that will call for the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention facility. It is rumored that the facility will be closed within the year.
With his first day in the Oval Office, Obama spent his first 10 minutes there in privacy, and he read the note in a sealed envelope from President bush that was setting on the oval office desk. The note has become a tradition from the outgoing President to the incoming President.
Sixth, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met with the President 10 minutes later to discuss his daily schedule.
Seventh, "President Obama called Middle East leaders, including King Abdullah of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak," Gibbs said.
Eighth, the First Lady Michelle Obama met with Barack at 9:10AM prior to departing for the National Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral.
Ninth, the Obama's invited people in a formal open house of the White House.
Tenth, Obama and the economic team with Pentagon officials.
Eleventh, Obama met with the Ambassador to Iraq, the commander in Iraq and what is known as the "theater commander" in the region for an update on the situation in Iraq, according to a CNN report. As anticipated from statements made during his campaign, President Obama asked the military leadership. "The meeting was productive and I very much appreciated receiving assessments from these experienced and dedicated individuals. During the discussion, I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq," he said in a statement.

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Oath of Office, Stated a Second Time by President Obama


Millions upon millions of people throughout the world watched the inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009. What they witnessed is what they thought was a screw-up by President Obama when he took the oath of office. The words were mumbled by the President, as Chief Justice John Roberts had to repeat the oath for Obama to finish. It turns out that President Obama was not the culprit here. Apparently Chief Justice John Roberts, caught up in the moment of such a historical moment, tried to dictate the oath by heart, and announced it incorrectly. President Obama appeared startled at the moment and didn't immediately repeat what the Chief Justice said, because it was incorrect. Somehow, they got through the moment.
Yesterday, President Obama went through the swearing-in ritual again, to dispell any idea that he was not President because the vow was said wrong. It just so happens that when he originally took the oath of office as President of the United States, he was already President. You may not know that the oath is not the requirement to become President. That may surprise many people, but the fact is that President Bush's term ended promptly at 12:01PM on January 20th, and at that moment, Barack Obama became President. He was officially President of the United States for at least 10 minutes before he repeated the oath incorrectly with Chief Justice John Roberts.
The oath was repeated to get rid of the idea that he was not President of the United States because the oath was incorrectly stated. Originally, the chief justice mixed up the order of the words.
The following is exactly how the oath of office was to be said by President Obama.... "I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR (oR AFFIRM) THAT I WILL FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES". After the oath, the President has the option to say "So help me God".
Appearently, the misquote by the Chief Justice threw off the president, but he realized the problem and then followed the Chief Justice as he dictated the oath.
Chief Justice Roberts made no apologies publicly, but it should be noted that this screw-up will forever be remembered as the first words that Obama uttered as President, and the misquote was not his fault. 

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Purple Tickets of Doom to the Inauguration - Thousands Stranded

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A note from the editor... James

As this issue was brought to light with a blog known as Barack Oblogger" You can read the entire original article about the issue below by going to this link.


On a somber note, with all the excitement surrounding Barack Obama, and with the creation of this blog, I truly wanted to be at the inauguration to see history in the making. But I realized how difficult it would be, even to get a ticket for a far away glimpse in standing room only. Thousands of the people that actually did show up even with a ticket came to the harsh realization that they would not witness history. These "Obamaites" stood in what is now known as the "infamous tunnel to nowhere", holding their "Purple ticket of doom".

Oh My!!! So what went wrong?!!!! It appears that these people holding the "purple tickets" were actually turned away, and were stuck for hours in an underground tunnel with their entrance to the standing area on the side of the capital closed for access. These people were packed in the tunnel like sardines, with no water, no toilets but with allot of frustration, as all they wanted to do is stand in a distant area from the capital stage and witness history.
Some of these people worked hard campaigning for these tickets, and an opportunity to be part of history and attend the celebration in Washington.
The question that haunts me now is a very simple one. If there was so much control by the authorities and police throughout the city, how could the officials allow so many people to be stranded in this tunnel for this amount of time knowing that these people would not gain access through the so called "purple entrance"?
The emotions of these people were very "sour" and disappointment spread through the tunnel, especially since they worked hard to get to the inauguration and didn't even get a peak of the new President.
For me, I felt that I had a legitimate want to be there, because I have become so inspired about President Obama and because I write this blog. But now, I know that those credentials alone were not what was needed to qualify to witness the inauguration in person. Unless you had a personal stake in Obama, such as maybe a monetary donation to his cause, or campaigned endlessly like so many have here, or to win one of his contests to attend the inauguration, there was little chance that you could attend.
But what about some of these people in the tunnel that were possessed with working for the cause to get President Obama elected? Some of these people spent countless hours and a considerable sum of money and have sacrificed almost to the point to temporarily make their families second to the number one cause that they were all fighting for, and that was to do whatever possible to help Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States.
I am disappointed. Obviously, President Obama had nothing to do with this bad situation, and I am convinced that if he knew that it existed, he would have demanded that these people be allowed to gain access. Yes, the plaza was full, overflowing with people, nearly 2 million. But the officials of the inaugural have to realize the obligation that they had to the people who held these tickets.
I feel that this issue that existed on this very important day should have never existed in the first place. Do you think that Barack Obama will ever find out that these inauguration tickets existed that weren't even worth the ink they were printed with?
I think he needs to know.. I will use a few avenues at my disposal to try and get this information to the President. If a President truly "lives in a bubble" when serving in office, then President Obama will never be notified that I am trying to inform him, or possibly that this incident ever happened in the first place.

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Inaugural Day Celebrations parallel 1st Exective order for Guantanamo

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The celebration continues, as President Obama and First Lady Michelle are dancing the night away at 10 inaugural balls throughout the city of Washington, D.C., and expected to be out on the town until sometime around 3 AM. As people enjoy their historic night on the town, President Obama has executed his first executive order after becoming President. He has now suspended prosecutions at the Guantanamo facility for 120 days.
If anyone would think that he would fail to act as he sees fit as President, this act for Guantanamo is just the beginning. Today is a historical day, but history will be made many times over as Barack Obama performs his job as President of the United States.
Watching the crowd of people who attended the historical festivites, you can see people who are in awe and overjoyed with happiness to see Barack Obama, the first black man to become the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the United States. All you seen were smiles and tears of happiness.
Everyone witnessed an inaugural speech that was very powerful with words, but at the same time, you can observe that President Obama purposely left out words or lines that would become famous. As he has repeatedly stated, in a humble way he claims that his election as President is not about him, but it is about the people. He will not become famous for words alone. He will become famous by his actions as President.
He started his work by implementing a very successful transition of power. The people he has chosen to advise him and help him run the government were in place and ready to begin their jobs at 12:01PM, the exact time Obama became President. Although the oath of office was taken around 12:15PM, George Bush's term ended promptly at 12:01PM, therefore Barack was already President before he took the oath of office.

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Six Cabinet Officials Confirmed - less one Secretary of State named Hillary Clinton

Even in the midst of the pomp and glory that January 20th, 2009 brought with it, the United States Senate went to work and approved seven administration officials in the afternoon.

They were as follows:

Steven Chu - confirmed as energy secretary
Arne Duncan - secretary of education
Janet Napolitano - secretary of homeland security
former Senator Ken Salazar - secretary of the interior
retired Gen. Eric Shinseki - secretary of veterans affairs
former Iowa Gov. Tim Vilsack - secretary of agriculture.

Missing from the list was Senator Hilary Clinton. Now wait just a minute. Wasn't she supposed to be President Obama's Secretary of State?
The answer is yes, but unfortunately another roll-call for Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton will be delayed until tomorrow, as an objection to her being seated as Secretary of State was objected by a single republican senator named John Cornyn of Texas.
Does anyone think that she will not get the job? I hardly think so, but I would imagine that the lone Senator that voted against her may take some heat for his rejection of her confirmation as Secretary of State. Maybe it would be well noted here to find out more information about the lone senator and information may be published here at a later date.

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Obama's Inaugural Speech -

CNN) -- Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the nation's first African-American president Tuesday. This is a transcript of his prepared speech.

In his speech Tuesday, President Obama said America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
In his speech Tuesday, President Obama said America 

must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. 








 
Watch the entire speech immediately below, along with reading the transcripts of his Inaugural Address....


My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

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BARRACK OBAMA - NOW THE 44th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES



WE NOW HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT !!!!!!


Barack Obama has now become the 44th President of the United States. He is the first black man to ever take residence of the White House. President Obama has followed the footsteps in admiration of President Abraham Lincoln and former President Ronald Reagan as far as his transition to the White House. Now his goal will be to become successful in implementing his policies and his ability to keep the hearts of most Americans and the trust that they hold for him. President Obama should unmistakably make a difference in Washington, and at the moment represents the present and future of all Americans.
Let us back him now, and give him the support he will need to fulfill this very difficult job that he has fought to take for the last 2 years in the campaign. He prevailed the elections, now let us kindle hope that he has the strength to take back this country from the failures of a doomed Republican President. Let us hope that he truly represents the 'change' that this country so badly needs.





Again, CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ! ! ! !

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The Agenda On Inaugural Day for Obama and Biden families

At the top of the list is a visit to church. Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, Joe Biden and his wife Jill, will attend church services in the morning at St. John's Episcopal Church. After attending Church services, there will be a coffee break at the White House with President George Bush, his wife, along with Vice-President Cheney with his wife and leaders of the House and Senate. After the brief meeting at the White House, President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, President-Elect Barack Obama, Vice-President Elect Joe Biden along with the wives will take a trip to the Capital.
First to get sworn in is Vice-President Elect Joe Biden at 11:30am ET. At 12:00 Noon, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Afterwords, he will give his already famous Inaugural Speech. Then comes the signing of cabinet Secretary nomination certificates. An inaugural lunch, review of Troops, and finally an inaugural parade will take place.
Before the end of the day, President Obama and Vice-President Biden and their families will attend all ten Inaugural Balls, and Obama will speak at every one of the balls. Hopefully after that busy day, President Obama and family will get a good nights sleep.
On Tuesday, President Obama has a few important things slated, and it's my guess that he might be up early in the morning.
Starting in the morning and into the afternoon, this blog will publish timely information as the day rolls along.

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An Executive Order by President Barack Obama Reverses Bush Order on Abortion Policy

One of the very first executive orders that President Obama may implement may be to reverse a controversial abortion policy ordered by President Bush during his first week in office. Prior to Bush, President Bill Clinton in 1993 reversed the bill that was implement by the elder President George Bush. "The sources said Obama may use the occasion to reverse the "Mexico City policy" reinstated in 2001 by Bush that prohibits U.S. money from funding international family planning groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion services. It bans any organization receiving family planning funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development from offering abortions or abortion counseling." Bush believed that "taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion."

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High Expectations with Obama's Inaugural Speech

Monday, January 19, 2009

High Expectations... Those are two words that summarize the expectations of Americans of Barack Obama.

So all attention will now turn on his inaugural address to be given right after he is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Obama has studied prior President's speeches, like those of Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. He knows that this country is now in it for the long haul, as there is much work to be done to bring the country back from economic recession. He will outline his hope to rebuild the country and the dreams of the people,  bringing them back to work.
The speech will begin shortly after his swearing-in ceremony at 12:01PM, as he becomes President. You wonder what kind of speech he will give, knowing how masterful he is with words. As CNN reported, "President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural address is one of the most anticipated speeches in decades, with many expecting his words to be chiseled into marble some day." It is true that he has writers that help him with his speeches as did prior Presidents, but you just know that the majority of thought that goes into his speeches are his alone. Again.. High Expectations. Observers even expect that his speech equal or exceed the speeches by Roosevelt,Kennedy or Reagan. I don't think that Barack Obama would know how to let the nation down, so expect a truly great speech.

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President 'has four years to save Earth'

The following is a report found in 'The Observer' published by guardian.co.uk by Robin McKie  - Sunday January 18, 2009


US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster

Read the full interview with James Hansen here


Dr James Hansen  
Dr James Hansen. Photograph: AP Photos/The Daily Iowan/Melanie Patterson

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added.
Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. "We cannot afford to put off change any longer," said Hansen. "We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead."
Hansen said current carbon levels in the atmosphere were already too high to prevent runaway greenhouse warming. Yet the levels are still rising despite all the efforts of politicians and scientists.
Only the US now had the political muscle to lead the world and halt the rise, Hansen said. Having refused to recognise that global warming posed any risk at all over the past eight years, the US now had to take a lead as the world's greatest carbon emitter and the planet's largest economy. Cap-and-trade schemes, in which emission permits are bought and sold, have failed, he said, and must now be replaced by a carbon tax that will imposed on all producers of fossil fuels. At the same time, there must be a moratorium on new power plants that burn coal - the world's worst carbon emitter.
Hansen - head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies and winner of the WWF's top conservation award - first warned Earth was in danger from climate change in 1988 and has been the victim of several unsuccessful attempts by the White House administration of George Bush to silence his views.
Hansen's institute monitors temperature fluctuations at thousands of sites round the world, data that has led him to conclude that most estimates of sea level rises triggered by rising atmospheric temperatures are too low and too conservative. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says a rise of between 20cm and 60cm can be expected by the end of the century.
However, Hansen said feedbacks in the climate system are already accelerating ice melt and are threatening to lead to the collapse of ice sheets. Sea-level rises will therefore be far greater - a claim backed last week by a group of British, Danish and Finnish scientists who said studies of past variations in climate indicate that a far more likely figure for sea-level rise will be about 1.4 metres, enough to cause devastating flooding of many of the world's major cities and of low-lying areas of Holland, Bangladesh and other nations.
As a result of his fears about sea-level rise, Hansen said he had pressed both Britain's Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences to carry out an urgent investigation of the state of the planet's ice-caps. However, nothing had come of his proposals. The first task of Obama's new climate office should therefore be to order such a probe "as a matter of urgency", Hansen added.

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Details of STIMULUS PACKAGE UNVIELED

The 'Obama Express' rolled into Washington this past weekend, bringing with it the next President of the United States. The festivities are in full swing at the Lincoln Memorial and the balls spread throughout the city of Washington D.C. As soon as Barack Obama is sworn in as President, a new bill will be waiting for him to sign on his desk in the oval office. It will be the $825 billion Economic Stimulus package which will be used for economic issues during the first 2 years of his presidency. It includes $550 billion in new spending and $275 billion in tax relief. There will be no pork-barrel projects attached to the bill, and the money will not be destined for anything else. At the present time, at least 2.6 million jobs have been lost and the bill is expected to create jobs, as Obama claims he can create 3 million jobs with the bill. So in a sense, it will create only jobs that have been lost, and will create only 400,000 more than prior to the economic recession. Well at least that is a start, but somehow jobs need to be created by other means.

According to the blueprint that is now known of the plan, businesses would get "bonus" depreciation for investing in new plants and equipment. Also, if companies show loses in 2009, they will get refunds for taxes paid as far back as 2003. At the moment, law only allows companies to recoup only 2 years back. Now they can recoup up to 3 times longer. But there are hitches for companies that plan to make use of bailout monies. They will not be eligible for the tax provision which would affect some of the biggest banks and auto makers, like General Motors and Chrysler.

Also included in the plan is Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $500 per worker and $1000 for couples. Unemployment is still expected to grow from 7.2% to 8.0% by the end of the year, but it should be noted that if there was no plan in place, it would likely reach double digits.

The following is a list of details that the House Democrats released regarding the use of monies from the package.

Lower Health Care Costs - $26.8 billion

Science and Technology
    1) Wireless/Broadband grants - $6.0 billion
    2) Other - $4.8 billion
    3) National Science Foundation - $3.0 billion
    4) Biomedical research - $2.0 billion
    5) Energy Department - $1.9 billion
    6) University research facilities - $1.5 billion

Energy
    1) Electricity grid - $11.0 billion
    2) Renewable energy loans - $8.0 billion
    3) Renewable energy block grants - $6.9 billion
    4) Federal Building efficiency - $6.7 billion
    5) Other - $6.6 Billion
    6) Home weatherization - $6.2 billion
    7) Renewable energy research/advanced batteries - $4.0 billion

Education
    1) Kindergarten to 12th Grade - $26.6 Billion
    2) 21st Century classrooms - $21.0 billion
    3) Higher Education - $16.1 billion
    4) Early childhood - $4.7 billion

Transportation, infrastructure
    1) Highway infrastructure - $30 billion
    2) Clean water - $9.5 billion
    3) Transit - $9.0 billion
    4) Department of Defense - $8.3 billion
    5) Water resources - %5.6 billion
    6) Other - $4.6 billion
    7) Public lakes/parks - $3.1 billion
    8) Airport improvements - $3.0 billion
    9) Environmental cleanup - 2.3 billion
   10) Border crossings - $1.2 billion
   11) Intercity rail - $1.1 billion

Help workers hurt by the economy
    1) Unemployment benefits - $36.0 billion
    2) Cobra health-care for unemployed - $30.3 billion
    3) Alleviating hunger - $21.0 billion
    4) Housing crisis - $13.5 billion
    5) Others - $9.5 billion
    6) Medicaid for unemployed - $8.6 billion
    7) Job training, etc. - %5.1 billion

Public sector jobs and vital services
    1) Medicaid to states - $87.0 billion
    2) State fiscal relief - $79.0 billion
    3) Local school districts - $41.0 billion
    4) Other - $7.5 billion

All of the billions upon billions of dollars will be used to jump start the economy, and at least now you may have an idea where the money will be going. Note: In each group listed above, you will see one stated as 'other' and monies set aside for that group. The congress will not be able to just throw in projects that suit their needs just because the money will be there. In each case, the money will be specifically designated and approved by the President, with a public report stating the use of the money as it is spent. The main goal here is 'accountability', which is what President Obama will demand from the lawmakers in Congress.

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For Barack, Work Begins Tomorrow

The work begins tomorrow for Barack Obama and his transition team. You would think all that might be going on tomorrow is the swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural balls.
Well, there are several people close to Barack Obama that will not be attending those balls. So what have they done to upset him not to be invited to the balls?
During the course of the celebrations, Barack Obama's transition team will travel to the White House, enter the property and take up shop to begin working on the issues that Barack Obama will be tackling as soon as he becomes the 44th President of the United States.
In recent recollection, I don't believe there was another President in modern times that has the resolve to tackle ALL the issues of this country with full force from day one. Barack Obama has the perfect demeanor to become the commander and chief and the leader of the free world.
Conservatives and even liberals are anxiously awaiting to see what steps our new President takes, and he will be highly criticized on everything he does, more so than past Presidents, because of promises that he has made during his campaign for the last 2 years. The first "100 days" will be critical, as is for most Presidents, but Barack's first 100 should prove to be very successful.
He has gained an enormous popularity by the people, as now 84% of Americans approve of how he has been handling the transition. I'm not sure that even Reagan or even Kennedy had those numbers at the time of their inauguration. His approval rating will now even go up, depending what he gets accomplished, or go down because of criticism of people who disapprove on how he handles the issues. One thing is for sure. Everyone has to stand by now and watch this new President work, as he has at least a minimum of 4 years on this job, and maybe 8 if he does very well. He worked so very hard to get where he is today, and it looks as if America has found the next 'communicator' of Presidents.

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"Sully" invited to the Inauguration by Barack Obama

In a culmination of two great success stories, Barack Obama and who would have ever known Captain Chesley Sullenberger of U.S. Airways, known as "Sully", will attend the Presidential inauguration. In a personal conversation with the pilot who successfully landed a commercial jet in the Hudson river last week, saving hundreds of lives, Barack Obama has invited the national hero to Washington, D.C. Sully and the entire crew most likely will attend. As expected, Sully hasn't flown since the crash landing, but it is expected that he will return to work after a full investigation regarding the accident is completed.
The wreckage of the aircraft has been pulled from the Hudson river, and both 'black boxes' have been recovered in excellent condition. After reviewing information taken from the black boxes, it has been confirmed that within 3 minutes of takeoff, a flock of birds, possibly geese, struck both engines, crippling the aircraft, initiating the crash landing in the Hudson river. The conversations of both pilots have been recorded, and it reiterates the calmness of the captain and the crew. I wonder if Sully will get a chance to fly Air Force One someday.. Just a thought!!!!

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Commentary: The real ties between Lincoln and Obama

Sunday, January 18, 2009

By Harold Holzer
Special to CNN

Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, is the author of the new book, "Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861" and author, co-author or editor of 32 other books.
Harold Holzer says Obama represents validation of Lincoln's hope of equal opportunity for all.
Harold Holzer says Obama represents validation
of Lincoln's hope of equal opportunity for all.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- They are big shoes to fill by any standard, political or historical.

Pointing to his oversize, specially made boots, Abraham Lincoln once confided that he may have been slow to put his foot down, but once he did, he never went back.
That's a lesson worth learning for any president-elect. And few incoming chief executives have been as conscious of the 16th president as the 44th: Barack Obama.
The new president-elect wrote about Lincoln in his acclaimed books. He not only chose to announce his candidacy for the presidency on Lincoln's birthday, in 2006, but did so outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln delivered his famous "House Divided" speech in 1858 and where he had his headquarters as president-elect.
The myriad comparisons between the two skinny, big-eared Illinoisans -- Obama's own fond description -- are already entering the realm of modern legend. Both were believed too inexperienced to be president.
Both were long-shot underdogs for their party's nomination. Yet each went on not only to win, but to nominate the defeated party favorite (who happened to be a senator from New York) as secretary of state. William H. Seward was Lincoln's choice, Hillary Clinton is Obama's.
But of course there are substantial differences: Lincoln got his education "by littles," he once embarrassingly admitted, spending less than a year all told in primitive one-room schoolhouses.
Obama was superbly educated at Columbia University and Harvard Law. One man was a Republican, the other is a Democrat.
And while Barack Obama scored an impressive victory, the nation divided bitterly over Lincoln's 39 percent plurality in a four-person race, to the degree that the Electoral College validation remained in question -- much more like Bush vs. Gore -- as late as February 1861, while seven Southern states seceded rather than accept a Lincoln presidency.
Yet fascinating similarities predominate. Both men wrote best-selling books (yes, Lincoln, too: he brought out a hugely popular edition of his Lincoln-Douglas debates).
Both won fame through their transcendent oratory. Both got into political trouble over their church affiliations -- Lincoln for leaving his church too soon, Obama for not leaving soon enough.
Both refused to take pets along to the White House, but promised to shower their small children with pets once they arrived (the Lincolns left their mangy dog Fido behind and President-elect Obama has vowed to get a dog for his girls once settled in Washington).
He might have to do better. Willie and Tad Lincoln eventually obtained kittens, turkeys and ponies.
And here is another fascinating side story. Both men felt the need to make one final visit -- before their life-altering presidencies -- for reunions with the women, neither one a natural mother, who helped raise them.
Obama, of course, went back to Honolulu to see his gravely ill grandmother right before Election Day; Lincoln, right before Inauguration Day, visited rural Charleston, Illinois, to say goodbye to his aged stepmother -- who wound up outliving him.
But most extraordinary of all, surely, is the fact that Barack Obama's victory serves to help complete the "unfinished work" Abraham Lincoln spoke about in his Gettysburg Address: that America fulfill its dream of equal opportunity regardless of race.
Lincoln, of course, advanced black freedom and black voting rights; Obama represents the validation of those elusive aspirations.
It is not difficult to understand why so many Americans see Barack Obama as the second coming -- of Abraham Lincoln, if not more. Lincoln once declared, "We cannot escape history," and after years of national indifference to, or defiance of, the lessons of the past, our next president seems to love, comprehend, and use the past to illuminate the future.

Comparisons can invite problems, too. On his triumphant election night, Obama properly noted that Lincoln faced a crisis far graver than our own, then quoted Lincoln's hope that "while passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
Those words came right out of Lincoln's first inaugural address. But in fact they were written not by Lincoln himself -- rare for America's greatest writer-president -- but by his incoming Secretary of State Seward. Lincoln later performed an editing miracle to transform the draft into near-poetry.
Using this lesson, Obama should be asking Hillary Clinton for a draft.
But that probably won't happen. Sometimes reality trumps even history.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Harold Holzer.

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