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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State of the Union Speech - House Invitation by Speaker Boehner

Friday, January 11, 2013

Does it look like genuine bi-partisanship when the House Speaker John Boehner formally invites the President to deliver his State of the Union address for his new term on February 12? Hardly. Actually it's a matter of a formality, as John Boehner really has no choice other than to cooperate with the President, as the new congress must deal with the re-elected president for the next four years.
As Boehner wrote in his note to the President "Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions." "This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership," Boehner continued. "For that reason, the Congress and the Nation would welcome an opportunity to hear your plan and specific solutions for addressing America's great challenges." Recently John Boehner stated that never again will he try to compromise on issues with the president without the pre-approved backing of the House, which means that he will never again stand on his own two feet and work with the President on issues, and self admitted that he will be a puppet and a pre-recorded voice of the House. What a 'wiss'.
This year, you can almost bet that the topics of the president's state of the Union will include topics such as gun control laws, the federal debt and sweeping immigration changes. I'm sure that it pains Boehner to allow the President to speak to his House members and to the rest of the world, as I'm sure that he and the House republicans will have a totally different agenda again this year, just as they did after the president spoke after his 1st election. They most likely will try to impede the president at every corner, at every possible time to try and push their own agenda, which always seems to have limited government at center stage. The Commander and Chief is also capable to do things on his own with his Executive powers, such as modifying gun control laws, as he has stated recently that he may do.
The president will not be going up for re-election in 2016, as the law states that the total limited time for someone in that office is two terms or 8 years. The president will never face re-election so he has nothing to loose, but then again he never was afraid to do anything in his first term.
The president supported the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' and supported 'gay marriage in 2012. He supports raising taxes on the rich, as he stated in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention that we need to do our fair share, meaning that the rich need to pay their fair share in taxes. All of this has to totally disgust the Republican House, knowing that they will be facing decisions that they will not want to make especially during the next few months involving fiscal cliff issues. The Republican party needs to be reinvented, and with this House Speaker in office, I hardly doubt if the Republican party will ever have a chance to win election again in 2016.


Rick Santorum to Oppose the Chuck Hagel Nomination

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who happens to be President Obama's choice for Defense Secretary to replace Leon Panetta, has a foe, in the name of Rick Santorum. The former senator from Pennsylvania who happened to be a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, says that he will oppose the nomination.
The question here is just why would he not support a Republican to serve in the Obama Cabinet? I could understand why some Democrats are questioning why Obama isn't selecting a person from his own party for the Secretary of Defense job, but for Rick Santorum to oppose a Republican in the Cabinet is beyond my reasoning. It's hard to figure out what goes on in a radical mind such as Rick Santorum. I credit him for a big part in destroying the Republican chances to defeat President Obama in 2012. But he is like a sore throat that never goes away or better yet, a cancer that is terminal.His only ability is to destroy others.  One thing is for sure, it's nice to know that he will never ever get the nomination of his own party for President in the future. There are better candidates in the wings for the 2016 GOP ticket, and here you see that a guy that his own party will never nominate  for president talk down other people in his party, maybe because he's just a sore looser and just a disgusting person.  Also, it is now known that the pro-Santorum advocacy group called 'Patriot Voices' will start with on-line ads to oppose the nomination, Rick's only medium to distort the truth. Yes, Hagel is receiving criticism for his perceived lack of support for Israel in the past from both parties, but will their lack of support hold back the nomination of Hagel? I hardly doubt it. I'm sure that Hagel will support President Obama's stance on Israel. I'm sure that would be one condition of the job and since he has accepted the nomination and will fight for the job, it only stands to reason that he will support President Obama's beliefs on Israel.
Instead of questioning Chuck Hagel, now lets look at the reputation of a guy by the name of Rick Santorum.
Yes, Santorum actually did serve with Hagel in the Senate for at least 10 years, a member of the Armed Services Committee, but what are Santorums position on things? Does anyone care at this point? Why even waste time on the reputation of a person who is just irrelevant today in politics!


Geither Replacement - Jacob J. Lew for Treasury Secretary

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Other Cabinet decisions by President Obama are forthcoming, but just a few minutes ago, it has become known that the President now has an announcement to make tomorrow,  and that is to replace his present Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner, with his chief of staff and former budget director, Jacob J. Lew. His expertise in fiscal policy and Congress dealings far surpass the experience by Geithner. One of the President's reasons for choosing him would be his ability to work with budget fights with Republicans in Congress that are forthcoming. This experience was lacking with his present Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. But being nominated by a president these days, especially by President Obama, sports an increasing probability that there will be very fascinating hearing by Senate Republicans. With this said, at least the Republicans are not showing outright resentment for a potential nominee towards Lew as they did for the Obama potential nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice for the Hillary Clinton job of Secretary of State. The Cabinet positions seem to be shaping up, but it is still up in the air whether any of the President's nominations will actually pass through Congress.
No doubt that Jacob Lew will be sitting in the hot seat for the next few months, as the country faces at least 3 more fiscal cliffs that directly will financially affect everyone.


Hillary Clinton - Back to Work after Blood Clot Treatments

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hillary Clinton Back to Work

Hillary Clinton, the woman who lost her bid to run for president in 2008, has accomplished something that no other Secretary of State has done. Never mind the far fetched notion that someday she would serve under Barack Obama after running against him, but in performing her job, she has visited at least 112 countries in her 4 years of service to the President. Up to this point in time, she has had an exemplary career in her service, but one last thing that she needs to clear up is the Bengazi issue. She is to testify soon in what turned out to be a murder of 4 diplomats a few months ago.
Regardless of what ANY Democratic opposition has to say about this issue, to date there has never been a person who represented the Post of Secretary of State with such admiration, popularity and success. For the last month, she has been resting after a fall after she became dizzy and acquired a blood clot between her skull and brain. She has been taking blood thinners and has just been released from the hospital.
What's she doing now? How about going back to work. Actually, she is preparing for the Bengazi hearing where she plans to testify soon.

List of countries Hillary Clinton visited from 2009-present - NOT A COMPLETE LIST

Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Egypt, Israel, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, Mexico, Netherlands, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, El Salvador, Honduras, Canada, India, Thailand, Kenya, South Africa, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, Cape Verde, UK, Ireland, Russia, Pakistan, Morocco, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, China, Afghanistan, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Czech Republic, Estonia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Barbados, Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Vietnam, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, Italy, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia,Guatemala, Jamaica, Hungary, Lithuania, Spain, Greece, Malta, Libya, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Burma, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Bulgaria, Algeria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Mongolia, Laos 


U.S. Secretary of State Nominations, Present and Past

Another Republican, Chuck Hagel, is now nominated by a Democratic President Barack Obama to be the Defense Secretary. He is to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He may have a difficult time going through the confirmation hearings, but another man, up for a higher political office is John Kerry. John Kerry, Democrat from Massachusetts  will replace Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Prior to Hilary since 1898, there were 30 prior Secretary's of State...John Kerry will become the 68th Secretary of State when his nomination is confirmed by Congress.

Today, another choice by President Barack Obama for CIA Director is John Brennan who is presently serving as Homeland's National Security Advisor...

68. John Kerry (2013-)

67. Hillary Rodham Clinton (2009-2013) (see also Secretary Clinton's site) 
      President served - Barack Obama
66. Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) (see also former Secretary Rice's Archive site)
      President Served - George W. Bush
65. Colin Luther Powell (2001-2005) (see also former Secretary Powell's Archive site)
      President Served - George W. Bush
64. Madeleine Korbel Albright (1997-2001) (see also former Secretary Albright's Archive site)
      President Served - Bill Clinton
63. Warren Minor Christopher (1993-1997)
      President Served - Bill Clinton
62. Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (1992-1993)
      President Served - George H.W. Bush
61. James Addison Baker (1989-1992)
      President Served - George H.W. Bush   
60. George Pratt Shultz (1982-1989)
      President Served - Ronald Reagan
59. Alexander Meigs Haig (1981-1982)
      President Served - Ronald Reagan
58. Edmund Sixtus Muskie (1980-1981)
      President Served - Jimmy Carter
57. Cyrus Roberts Vance (1977-1980)
      President Served - Jimmy Carter
56. Dr. Henry Kissinger - (1973-1977)
      Presidents Served - Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
55. William Pierce Rogers (1969-1973)
      President Served - Richard Nixon
54. David Dean Rusk (1961-1969)
      Presidents Served - John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
53. Christian Archibald Herter (1959-1961)
      President Served - Dwight Eisenhower
52. John Foster Dulles (1953-1959)
      President Served - Dwight Eisenhower
51. Dean Acheson (1949-1953)
      President Served  Harry S. Truman
50. George Catlett Marshall (1947-1949)
      President Served - Harry S. Truman
49. James Francis Byrnes (1945-1947)
48. Edward Reilly Stettinius (1944-1945)
47. Cordell Hull (1933-1944)
46. Henry Lewis Stimson (1929-1933)
45. Frank Billings Kellogg (1925-1929)
44. Charles Evans Hughes (1921-1925)
43. Bainbridge Colby (1920-1921)
42. Robert Lansing (1915-1920)
41. William Jennings Bryan (1913-1915)
40. Philander Chase Knox (1909-1913)
39. Robert Bacon (1909-1909)
38. Elihu Root (1905-1909)
37. John Milton Hay (1898-1905)

 So what does the Secretary of State do on the job? The Secretary of State travels to all corners of the world to perform the job. The duties as Secretary include acting as the President's representative at all international forums; negotiating treaties and other international agreements, and conducting everyday, face-to-face diplomacy.


Boehner Re-elected by the New 113th Republican House

Thursday, January 3, 2013

House Republicans re-elected their House leader Rep. John Boehner today, and it was not a unanimous vote. Several of his colleagues in the House voted against him. Among them were the following Senators...

Rep. Justin Amash voted for Raul Labrador
Rep. Jim Bridenstine voted for Eric Cantor
Rep. Paul Broun voted for Allen West
Rep. Louis Gohmert voted for West
Rep. Walter Jones voted for David Walker
Rep. Tim Huelskamp voted Jim Jordan
Rep. Tom Massie voted for Justin Amash
Rep. Steve Pierce voted for Cantor
Rep. Ted Yoho voted for Cantor

Rep. Steve Stockman voted present
Rep. Raul Labrador did not vote
Rep. Mick Mulvaney did not vote

The new 113th Congress convened today, and Boehner brought up the new fiscal cliff problem called the Federal Debt, and he mentions to his peers that this debt is placing the well-being of the country in peril. His statements most likely fell on deaf ears. You can bet that John Boehner will not ever attempt to make deals directly with President Obama during the next two years while he is Speaker of the House. In matter of fact, he promised his peers that he would never make deals with President Obama alone.
Conservative talk show hosts continue to push the idea that the new Congress doesn't need to ever take a deal that will increase taxes or to increase the National debt. Until these talk show hosts and conservative leaders in Congress start working out their differences with President Obama instead of out-rightly saying what they will do and what they will not do, I'm afraid that the future of Conservative principles in an active government will not exist.
Surely, the President here has the upper hand. The bill that passed yesterday raises taxes on the rich, and passes permanent tax cuts for the middle class and the poor. Known previously as the Bush tax cuts, the Republicans passed only the parts of Bush's prior bill that they had to so that going over the Fiscal cliff could be avoided.
Now the National Debt will be addressed, and President Obama promises to also to address the subject of immigration. His goal is to pass new immigration measures in 2013. On another front, The 112th Congress again voted down a bill a few days ago, this time to refuse to send monetary aide to the weather stricken areas along the east coast. This kind of response from our elected leaders is absolutely unheard of, and it will be interesting to see if this new Congress will continue the "do-nothing" ways.  A new bill presented to the House from the new Senate will be one of the first bills the new Congress will be voting on this month, along with the 'national-debt' issue.


Is the Fiscal Cliff Issue Actually Resolved?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Do you think it's time to rest since the 'do-nothing' Congress actually did something and actually passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff? If you think you should be able to rest, then think again. What has transpired is only part 1 of 4. During the next 3 months, the U.S. is facing three more budget fiscal cliffs that will affect most Americans.
Next, at the end of January, Congress must increase the debt ceiling or the country will run out of money. But what do you think the country will do if it runs out of money? Print more of course....  Wow.. If you or I decided to just go out and print more money because we needed it, we would go to jail.
Actually Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has already made it official. As of December 31, 2012, the Federal government has already reached the debt ceiling of $16.394 trillion  So no worries right. The government is still functioning because it has created for itself about $200 billion of headroom by employing what it calls "extraordinary measures". So for the next few months, the country will be running on borrowed time. Actually the country will have until sometime late in February or early March to get the debt ceiling addressed, or surely another downgrade in the US credit rating may take effect. What is sad is that the last time the Federal government stalled on raising the debt ceiling, it wasted $1.3 billion because of the uncertainty it shined on the complex task of federal borrowing.
The next thing after the debt ceiling issue to worry about is what is called the 'Sequester'. So what's that all about? The sequester reduces the budgets of most agencies and programs by 8% to 10%. The sequester was created as of a result of the 2011 fight over the debt ceiling the last time. So what really was the sequester supposed to accomplish when it was created? Because of the last debt ceiling fight, the sequester was created to create a "trigger" so that both parties would have an incentive to devise a smarter way to reduce deficits. Has that worked? Of course not. It's been 17 months since the last debt ceiling debacle  and now Congress is trying to push it back off of the table to be addressed at another time. Of the deadline. After two months, spending cuts that were laid out in 2011 would affect thousands of federal programs and projects, including defense and non-defense programs.
The last thing to be addressed is what is called a 'Continuing Budget Resolution'. The fiscal year for the federal government begins on Oct. 1 each year but how long do you think it was that the federal government actually had a budget created on time? Actually, it's been years since that was accomplished.
To create a budget, it involves a long drawn out process where Congressional committees are to have hearings about proposals presented by Congressional committees. But as expected, the 'do-nothing Congress' hardly ever follows up on that process. Instead, they create another 'band aid solution called "continuing Resolutions". So when is that deadline? Presently, it is March 27. If  congress doesn't pass another continuing resolution bill by that time, a temporary shutdown of some governmental functions will take place along with worker furloughs.
So the Federal government, namely the U.S. Congress has some work to do that most likely will not get done on time unless there may be some interaction by President Obama.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

At 10:00 PM CT tonight, Congress has approved a bill to avoid the Fiscal Cliff. The bill is retroactive, so it would be like never going over the cliff.  The House voted 257-167 to pass a last-ditch Senate compromise to avert the fiscal cliff.  Originally, the President wanted higher taxes to kick in for people making $250,000 per year, but the new deal, now approved by Congress, allows Bush-era income tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 or couples earning less than $450,000. It temporarily puts off budget cuts for the next two months. The President, who most likely is hesitant to sign the bill, will do so. since the bill has bi-partisan approval, He is expected to make comments on the bill in less than 10 minutes from now, at around 10:20 PM CT. The passing of the bill does show at least a good start for approving legislation, but much more work is left to do, as now the Congress is immediately faced with approving a new budget by the end of January, or the government will run out of money.


2013 Has Arrived... What's next for the New Year!

President Obama, obviously disappointed with no compromise from the House Senators, has to wait still another day to attempt to work on the Fiscal Cliff issues. The President has decided not to leave Washington because of all the work left over to do. With this said, the Senators from the House have decided to recess for another day, even in light that the Senate now has a legislation ready for the House to vote on. So, as expected, the New Year does not bring anything new to the country, except that now that the Bush tax cuts have expired, and the Republicans do not have to vote to raise them as now they go up automatically. Now they will blame President Obama for the raises. When the House is in session again, I don't expect that the legislation presented to them by the Senate will pass.
Even so, the business at hand in the White House must go on. With the new Congress and a beginning of his second term in office, President Obama made statements about his priorities for the next four years. Presently, there are four priorities, namely immigration, the economy, energy and debt reduction.
Obama plans to attack the broken immigration system by introducing new legislation to have it fixed in this new year. As the President stated, "We have talked about it long enough," He said. "we know how we can fix it." Along with this the President wants to fix America's infrastructure. As the President said, "If we are putting people back to work, rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, in part paid for by some of these broader long-term deficit reduction measures that need to take place, that will grow our economy."
Another avenue of growth will be to address a further increase in the amount of energy that America produces, and green energy is at the top of his list. As he stated, "We are producing more energy and America can become an energy exporter. (The question is) how do we do that in a way that also deals with the environmental challenges that we also have at the same time."
But everything leads back to the present issue at hand, and most things that he wants to fix is dependent on the outcome, the outcome of the fiscal cliff. How do you begin to grow and do what is needed to succeed, as he says, "It is going to be very had for the economy to sustain its current growth trends if suddenly we have a huge bite taken off the average American's paycheck," he said.


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