President Obama Makes History By Accomplishing 100% of His Domestic Agenda

 by Jason Eeasleyobama-feet-desk

Obama’s presidency is no longer historic just because of his race, but also because this president has accomplished 100% of his domestic agenda.

Jonathan Chait summed it up, “On January 20, 2009, when Obama delivered his inaugural address as president, he outlined his coming domestic agenda in two sentences summarizing the challenges he identified: “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.” Those were the four major areas of domestic reform: economic recovery measures, health-care reform, a response to climate change, and education reform. (To the justifiable dismay of immigration advocates, Obama did not call for immigration reform at the time, and immigration reform is now the only possible remaining area for significant domestic reform.) With the announcement of the largest piece of his environmental program last Monday, Obama has now accomplished major policy responses on all these things.”

The fact that Obama has accomplished everything that he has while confronting unprecedented Republican obstruction makes what he has done all the more incredible. Republicans set out to block the entire Obama agenda, and make him a one term president. They failed on both points.

 

In the face of such day to day frustration over the Republican refusal to govern, it is easy to forget how much that this president has achieved. He has ended two wars, been bold on education reform, put the economy back on track, and most importantly has delivered a healthcare reform that has helped hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the newly insured.

Republicans love to label this president, and his presidency a failure, but nothing could be further removed from the truth. All presidents leave something undone in their domestic agenda. This isn’t the case with President Barack Obama. There is definitely more to do, but it would be a disservice to view the Obama administration as the post-Bush reboot of America.

President Obama has built a lasting legacy, and his leadership has transformed America for the better. The next president is going to have a tough act to follow trying fill the shoes of Obama.

Americans! STOP LETTING FEAR RULE YOUR LIVES!!

Americans!  STOP LETTING FEAR RULE YOUR LIVES!!

It takes all kinds to make this great country what it is. Please drop the “My way is the only way” mindset and understand that there are many different races, religions and belief systems here. Be more loving, more accepting, more inclusive and help make this the great nation that it deserves to be.

Obamaprayer – Is the “No Prayer in Schools” Law Really His Fault?

 

 

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America is a nation that consists of individuals from many different religions.  For instance, there are many thousands of Christians.

According to the 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, from which members in the United States are combined with Canadian members, and of the National Council of Churches, the five largest denominations are:

 

Depending on religious definitions and varying population data, the United States is also home to the largest or second largest (after Israel) Jewish community in the world. In 2012, the American Jewish population was estimated at between 5.5-8 million.

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Then, there are the Muslims.  A lot of Muslims live in America.   In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades.In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States. Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims.   Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote “[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom… was finally passed,… a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’

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There are also a lot of Americans that do not choose to follow any religious doctrine at all.  They are just as American as any other American living in the USA, and are protected under the exact same Constitution.      Atheists comprise almost 10% of the world population.

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These are only a few of the religions  in the USA.  There are many others.   My point is that in the United States of America, we have a diverse religious culture. Our religious preferences are choices.  They are not mandated by the government.  This is stated in the Constitution.

The leader of this country, our President,  is a Christian.  That is his choice.  In the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Thomas Jefferson.  President Obama was not elected President to exclusively uphold the Christian religion, nor was any President.  He was elected President to uphold the Constitution that governs this diverse nation.

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Because there are so many different religions in the United States, public schools are banned from mandating religious observances such as prayer.  If it were allowed, and our children were lead into prayer, WHICH RELIGION would have the right to dictate that?  If you are Muslim, would it be ok with you if your kid was forced to say a Christian prayer?  If you are Christian, would you approve if he or she was asked to pray to Allah?  This is not an anti-Christian sentiment.  It is not an anti-Jewish one.  It is common sense.   Apart from common sense, the legal basis for this prohibition is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which requires that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

The first part of the above amendment which reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is known as the Establishment Clause, while the second part (“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”) is known as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Though each of these clauses originally applied only to the central US government, the Fourteenth Amendment extended the scope of the entire First Amendment to all levels of government, including the state level—thus compelling states and their subject schools to adopt an equally detached approach to religion in schools.  These are not Barack Obama’s personal rules.  They are the laws as stated in the Constitution.  He was elected to uphold that Constitution, and he is doing a fine job of it.

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If your kid wants to pray in school, there is nothing stopping him or her.  When little Timmy or Sally opens up that lunch box and sees the delicious lunch that his fathers or mothers or father or mother has prepared for him or her, there is no law that says he or she cannot lift up his heart to God and say, “Thank you!”.    If the President of the United States can take time out of his work to pray (which he does daily), then kids can pray whenever they want to as well.  They simply cannot be mandated by their school administration to do so because there are so many different religions here.

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Both conservative and liberal religious believers who want to see more of their own religion involved in public policies invariably make the argument that only their religion is “legitimate” and “true” while the others are following some sort of “false” or “hijacked” religious faith.In 2007, Barack Obama spoke to the congregation of the United Church of Christ’s Iowa conference.  He said:

…somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it is because the so-called leaders of the Christian right are all too eager to exploit what divides us. …I don’t know what Bible they’re reading. But it didn’t jibe with my version.

 

 

I agree with Barack Obama.

ObamaCare – Are you a doubting Thomas?

I am STILL hearing whining about ObamaCare….yet every time I do, it is from someone that is ill-informed about the Affordable Care Act’s benefits.  Here is a comprehensive list of ways in which ObamaCare is helping Americans….and it is just going to get better from here.  Each point is linked to substantiation.

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Benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare):

  1. Prevents denial of coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
  2. Adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plans.
  3. Requires new health plans to provide  free preventive care  without cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. HHS issued interim final regulations on preventive services and amendment to the final regulations.
  4. Prohibits rescinding coverage making it illegal.
  5. Prohibits lifetime limits on the dollar value of insurance coverage.
  6. Prohibits annual limits on insurance coverage.
  7. More options to appeal coverage decisions.
  8. Provides $5 billion in immediate federal support to affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions.
  9. Provides a $10 billion investment in Community Health Centers to expand medical services.
  10. Create immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare.
  11. Implemented a process that requires states to review insurance companies premium increases. The final rule for the insurance rate review program was published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2011 .
  12. Provided grants worth almost $250 million ($46 million and $199 million) to assist States enforce the insurance rate review program.
  13. Provides tax credits or grants to employers with 250 or fewer employees for up to 50% of the investments costs in projects that qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project. About a $1 billion in tax credits and grants have been provided by end of 2010.
  14. Appropriated $5 billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 and $2 billion for each of the subsequent five fiscal years to support prevention and public health programs.
  15. Provides a $250 rebate to 750,000 Medicare Beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010. As of March 22, 2011, 3.8 million beneficiaries had received a $250 check to close the coverage gap, according to an HHS report.
  16. Requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide a 50% discount on brand-name prescriptions and a 7% and 14% generic drug discount (in 2011 and 2012, respectively) filled in the Medicare Part D coverage gap.
  17. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees will get tax credits covering up to 35% of employee premiums effective 2011 and a 50% tax credit effective 2013.
  18. Creates a state option to provide Medicaid coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. By 2014, States are required to provide this coverage.
  19. Provides a 10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care services and to general surgeons practicing in health professional shortage areas.
  20. Requires insurance companies spend at least 80 to 85 percent of the proportion of thepremium dollars on clinical services and issue a rebate if the share of the premium spent is less than the threshold.
  21. Creates a temporary program to provide health coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months.
  22. Imposes a tax of 10% on the amount paid for indoor tanning services.
  23. Expands eligibility for the 340(B) drug discount program to sole-community hospitals, critical access hospitals, certain children’s hospitals, and other entities with a savings estimated to be 20% to 50% on the cost of pharmaceuticals and reaching more eligible patients while providing more comprehensive services.
  24. Eliminates cost-sharing for Medicare-covered preventive services that are recommended (rated A or B) by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.As of October 6, 2011, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that 20.5 million people had participated in the free Annual Wellness Visit.
  25. Provides 3-year grants worth $100 million to states to develop programs for Medicaid enrollees with incentives to participate in comprehensive health lifestyle programs.
  26. Awarded $185 million worth of grants as of August 2011 to states to begin planning for the establishment of American Health Benefit Exchanges and Small Business Health Options Program Exchanges, which facilitate the purchase of insurance by individuals and small employers.
  27. Requires disclosure of the nutritional content of standard menu items at chain restaurants and food sold from vending machines.
  28. Imposes new annual fees on the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The sector will be assessed at the following rates$2.8 billion in 2012 through 2013, $3 billion in 2014 through 2016, $4 billion in 2017, $4.1 billion in 2018 and $2.8 billion in 2019 and after