President Obama is Progressive. Here Are 235 Examples of Progress So Far

It’s 2014, and once again, we have a very important election ahead of us. Yet, there are a lot of very loud progressives who have done nothing since President Obama was elected five years ago but complain, because he’s not perfect. They claim that he’s no progressive.

That’s a lie. What do these folks think “progressive” mean? The root word is “progress,” and we’ve seen a hell of a lot of progress since January 20, 2009. We have a national health care plan, for the first time in our history. We recovered from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in quick order; we would be well on our way to a full recovery, except that Republicans in Congress are blocking everything anyone in the Democratic Party proposes, out of fear that the first black president may actually look good. Yet, with all of that blockage of progress, some progressives still spend all of their time going after Obama and Democrats.

In addition to health care and the economy, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is history. Same-sex couples are getting married and enjoying the same benefits of other married couples. The marijuana prohibition is frittering away. The stock market has more than doubled. Manufacturing is starting to come back from Asia. The auto industry is not only whole again, but they’re producing a record number of hybrid and electric cars, and we’re on pace to double average vehicle gas mileage by 2020, even as the government both reduces our dependence on foreign oil and makes record investments in developing renewable energy sources.

Name a Republican – ANY Republican – who can boast of such a record, and perhaps then, you can complain about Obama not being “progressive” enough. He is as progressive as he can be, given that progressive complaints helped give him the current Republican House – A Republican House who can’t pass a universal gun background checks law that more than 90% of Americans support, including most gun owners. If you blame Obama or the minority Democratic Party for anything bad, you don’t understand how politics works. If you want progressive government, you can’t help elect the opposite to office.

That’s what makes this list so important. Every time someone complains that Obama’s not progressive, send them the link, or print it out and hand it to them. Every entry I started this list in late 2011, with about 140 entries. And you can see how it’s grown. And it’s grown despite the fact that Republicans are blocking everything. Given the obstacles, this President will leave a hell of a legacy. If we want to win elections – and in a democracy, that has to be our main goal – we have to make people want to vote for us. That means accentuating the positive, and talking about how great we are, especially compared to the alternative.

Is President Obama perfect? No, he’s human. Does he deserve some criticism? Of course (the sequester is a great example). But does he deserve the level of criticism that’s been leveled at him by self-proclaimed “progressives”? Hell no. He’s compiled a STELLAR record, given the circumstances.

Pass this list around to everyone you know, especially those who whine that Obama has done nothing. Then keep being positive, and encouraging people to vote. We can’t allow 2014 to be like 2010.

Here’s What He’s Done

Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prevented a Bush Depression and Improved the Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses. http://1.usa.gov/eu0u0b

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

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

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

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

24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.  http://1.usa.gov/ez30D

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

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

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

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

29. China’s largest manufacturer, Foxconn, is building a large plant in Pennsylvania http://cnnmon.ie/1k7LT4S

30. Worked with Apple Computer to get them to build more product here, and thecompany is building two large plants to manufacture products here; one in Texas http://zd.net/1nkpt2O  and one in Arizona http://bit.ly/1mXY5Vg

31. Oversaw increase of manufacturing jobs by more than 500,000 since 2010, and created an institute to invest in more manufacturing jobs in the technology fields of the future. http://nyti.ms/1egyXrV

32. Ordering all federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, leading the way to a national increase. http://wapo.st/1iaU5kd

Brought Much-Improved Transparency and Better Government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53. Set up rules for banks in handling legal marijuana money. http://nyti.ms/1b80o2K

 Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

70. Established the White House Council of Native American Affairs, to improve government-to-government relations with Native American nations. http://1.usa.gov/1cIEeEv

71. Formed a commission to examine and make recommendations for fixing the broken voting system. http://wapo.st/16K0D

72. As soon as the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, he moved to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples.   http://wapo.st/1avDjue

73. At a press conference August 9, 2013, gave up a small measure of executive power, promising to create adversarial process in FISA regarding NSA surveillance.  http://1.usa.gov/1dQmnyQ

74. Shattered another glass ceiling by naming Janet Yellen chair of the Federal Reserve beginning Feb. 1, 2014. http://usat.ly/1gqMBfk

75. Appointed several prominent gay athletes and others, and plans to show US government’s commitment to gay rights to anti-gay Russia. http://on.cpsj.com/1fckN9h

Major Improvements in Foreign Relations, American Status Around the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

82. Pushed forward the first realistic Middle East peace strategy in more than a decade, without abandoning the two-state solution. http://wapo.st/1avyste

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

99. Worked to keep our withdrawal from Afghanistan on track, despite GOP opposition.http://reut.rs/1cIOsF1 Reiterated that commitment in 2014. http://nyti.ms/1exnmRF

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

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

A More Realistic Approach to “Defense” and National Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

121. Breaking with presidential tradition, especially recent tradition, instead of just attacking Syria in the wake of chemical weapons attacks on Syrians, Obama ordered a full report on the decision-making process, should he decide to order one.  http://cbsn.ws/184RFgu

Returned Government to Treating Soldiers and Veterans with  Dignity and Respect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Refocused the Federal Government on Education, Made Rational  Reforms

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

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

136. Created a rating system for colleges, so that those applying for student financial aid know better what they’re paying for.   http://bit.ly/14Dn7UL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

146. In his continuing effort to make college more affordabl and accountable, will begin rating colleges with regard to affordability and value. http://bit.ly/14Dn7UL

Took an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

170. Created the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, to strengthen the government’s ability to respond to the continuing domestic HIV epidemic, after years of Republicans weakening the government’s ability to deal with the crisis.  http://1.usa.gov/1iLED0t

171. Expanded space exploration and discovery options to include more players.  http://1.usa.gov/13qmZpm

172.  Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.   http://lat.ms/vhRUEs  http://bit.ly/129V3SY

173. In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy, in which an entire small town was devastated by an explosion at a fertilizer plant, in part because Republican negligence let the company do whatever it wanted, formed the Chemical Safety and Security Working Group, to work on measures to prevent another such event.  http://1.usa.gov/18kHSlA

Strengthened the Middle Class and Families, and Fought Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

179. Extended discounted  health coverage under the COBRA health insurance law for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s also extended unemployment benefits more than a few times.  http://aol.it/evtVxD   http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ   http://bit.ly/hOtIpg    http://bit.ly/fTT7kz

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

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

182. Included the Buffet Rule in his 2014 budget proposal, thus trying to fulfill a campaign promise, to make sure tax rates are fair between the rich and the middle class. http://1.usa.gov/19PkdQo

183. Used the fiscal cliff negotiations to extend for five additional years the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides tax credits to families for college-related expenses, thus saving those families up to $10,000.  http://onforb.es/17zYg3u

Concrete Steps to Improve The Environment and Address Our Energy Needs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

193. Doubling federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

205. Became the first President to simply say “Climate Change is a fact,” and set up the first federal government protocols for dealing with the impacts of climate change.  http://1.usa.gov/1b7V67B

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

207. Asserted federal legal supremacy to bar Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

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

209. Strengthened protection for wildlife, and expanded enforcement of laws against wildlife trafficking.  http://1.usa.gov/1fce1Ai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

218. Through executive actions and bypassing the ineffectual Rublican Congress, announced the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change in a generation. http://bit.ly/13lXhET

But That’s Not All…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Did You Know?

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

 And of course…

 235. Despite the odds, became the first black president and was reelected by a wide margin.

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President Obama is Progressive. Here Are 235 Examples of Progress So Far — 3 Comments

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