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Thread: Barack Obama's first 100 days in office haven't been quiet

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Default Barack Obama's first 100 days in office haven't been quiet

    WASHINGTON President Barack Obama's first 100 days on the job exploded with activity on many fronts: the $787 billion economic stimulus, the order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, a withdrawal plan for Iraq , an expansion of U.S. forces in Afghanistan , and outreach to several hostile nations.
    Still, America's economic crisis largely shaped these 100 days. It also empowered Obama, even as it overshadowed some of what he'd hoped to do.
    "The ability to enlarge executive power is a function of crisis," said Ross K. Baker , a Rutgers University political scientist. He'll help lead a national conference next month on Obama's first 100 days, a traditional measure for new presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt's ambitious new administration in 1933.
    Obama has benefitted from "a double lift-off," Baker said, "not only the normal honeymoon but, in addition, the fact that the American people and Congress are looking to him to get them out of a crisis."
    Whether the new president will succeed at that, of course, remains to be seen.
    Despite his talk of bringing spending under control, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Obama's $3.55 trillion budget will drive the deficit to a record $1.8 trillion this year and double the national debt over the next decade.
    Meanwhile, some of Obama's initial steps on the foreign stage have raised eyebrows. On Afghanistan and Pakistan , even some of his own top officials concede that the administration's strategy has little chance of halting the advance of Islamic extremism in Pakistan or crushing the Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan .
    It also isn't clear whether Obama's overtures to Iran , Venezuela , Cuba and North Korea , while demonstrating his preference for cooperation over confrontation, will produce diplomatic breakthroughs or be interpreted as weakness by those countries' leaders.
    Much of what American presidents accomplish begins in their first 100 days. Just as the Great Depression allowed Roosevelt to quickly lay the groundwork for the New Deal, Obama seized on today's crisis to frame an ambitious agenda.
    He got both chambers of Congress to pass sweeping $3.6 trillion budget plans largely on his terms. His $787 billion stimulus package included tax breaks he wanted and spending on his priorities, including expansions of health care, infrastructure, renewable energy and education. He's also announced a $275 billion plan to stave off home foreclosures and a $100 billion bank rescue program.
    He forced out the chief executive of General Motors , told the company to consider bankruptcy, and is pushing Chrysler to merge with a more stable automaker.
    Gerhard Peters , a co-founder of the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara , said that Obama's sweeping agenda could make him a transformational president, just as Roosevelt made America more reliant on government and as Ronald Reagan made it less so.
    "He is transforming American politics right now," Peters said of Obama, "in terms of reshaping the relationship between government and society, government and business, and society and business. There's a perception now that we need government to protect us."
    Obama has signed more executive orders, memoranda and proclamations in his first 100 days than any president since Franklin Roosevelt . One notable order lifted former President George W. Bush's restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
    Obama also spent more of those first months outside the country than any of his 43 predecessors, according to the American Presidency Project .
    So far, a majority of Americans like what they see.
    Obama's average approval rating for his first three months in office was 63 percent in the Gallup Poll.

    That's the highest since Jimmy Carter's 69 percent rating after his first 100 days more than three decades ago. However, Carter's presidency is widely considered a failure, which underscores the risk of reading too much into a president's first 100 days.
    Obama also opened a new era of relations with Congress , moving quickly to enact legislation that Democrats couldn't get past Bush: expanded children's health insurance coverage (paid for with higher cigarette taxes) and pay equity legislation giving women more grounds for lawsuits. He also delivered a signature expansion of national service programs in the tradition of Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton .
    Obama signed orders to expand access to information under Freedom of Information and Presidential Records laws. But while making good on his promise to make government more transparent, Obama's White House nonetheless tries to shape the media message by limiting access to much information via selective leaks by unnamed sources.
    The president also has begun laying the groundwork for sweeping health care and global warming legislation. He says he'll preserve private health insurance but offer more government-managed insurance so that everyone is covered. Critics think that will guarantee significant tax increases down the road, despite the president's promise to raise taxes on only the wealthiest Americans.
    His health-care overhaul is far from assured of passage. Neither is his plan to curb greenhouse gases. Both face epic struggles in Congress .
    Turning to national security, Obama ordered the closure of secret CIA prisons overseas and of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba , within a year. He rescinded the Bush administration's authorization of harsh interrogation techniques, and he made public four previously secret Bush-era memos that described those methods in detail.
    At the same time, he told CIA officials who followed the Bush guidelines that they won't be prosecuted, and invoked the same state secrets privilege that he'd criticized Bush for abusing to shield other details about spying and anti-terrorism programs. Both moves have frustrated some of his liberal backers.
    Obama then waffled on his no-prosecution pledge last week, saying that the decision of whether to prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized the harsh techniques will be up to Attorney General Eric Holder .
    The new president has brought a warm new tone to global diplomacy. He sought to recast relations with the Muslim world, including his video overture to Iran for new diplomatic relations. He relaxed Cuba policy, opening what some see as a window toward lifting the almost 50-year-old trade embargo.He was all smiles when shaking hands recently with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez , a leftist who once denounced Bush at the United Nations as "the devil."
    Obama's campaign promise to open a new era of bipartisanship has fallen short. Only three Senate Republicans and none in the House of Representatives supported his stimulus bill.
    His effort to change the culture of revolving-door and special-interest politics also achieved mixed success at best. While putting in place a detailed ethics policy that aims to reduce lobbyists' influence, he made exceptions to his own rules. And several of his Cabinet nominees from Tom Daschle to Timothy Geithner were felled or tainted by controversies over their failure to pay taxes.
    Obama's also fallen short so far in his effort to convert his campaign's effective grassroots and Internet operations to a force that can help him govern. Lawmakers report no evidence of political impact from those efforts.
    Still, the new president has brought a new-media sensibility to the White House : His YouTube videos of Saturday radio addresses, his first "online town hall" meeting, and his administration's creation of a Web site to track the spending of the economic stimulus have made the White House more accessible.
    Each presidency has its own 100-day narrative, but scholars who study presidential records made public years later say they're struck by how much all presidents tend to have in common and how often perceptions of how a president spends his time doesn't match reality.
    Historically, the public component represents only about 6 percent of a president's day , and much of his time goes to behind-the-scenes duties as commander in chief and head diplomat.
    "So much of what they do is dictated by what they must do," said Terry Sullivan , the executive director of the nonpartisan White House Transition Project and an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . "The first 100 days is about figuring out, 'How are we going to focus on the things we want to focus on?'"
    Obama's first 100 days in office haven't been quiet
    That's a fairly thorough wrap-up of the first 100 days. With everything on his plate, Obama has a chance to really soar as a president or fall flat on his face.

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    I feel for Pres. Obama - his blood pressure must be through the roof at times.

    First the economic crisis. Then the shady CEOs / ponzi schemes that came to light. Then the threat of Somali pirates grew. Then the torture memo release and the pending controversy / investigations. Now we're facing a possible world-wide flu pandemic.

    But he's stayed unflappable through it. I'm impressed.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Yeah, I'm impressed that he's keeping his cool, publicly. Hell, as a smoker he should be chain-smoking with all of the things on his plate.

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Imo that is one thankless job that you couldn't pay me enough to do!
    YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
    (M. Jagger/K. Richards)

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^You think being President is a thankless job?

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    ^^You think being President is a thankless job?
    yes I do as the job of President in general. I am not speaking of any one President just the overall job in the sense that that person is never going to please everyone at all times.
    YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
    (M. Jagger/K. Richards)

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viggofan View Post
    yes I do as the job of President in general. I am not speaking of any one President just the overall job in the sense that that person is never going to please everyone at all times.
    I didn't think you were speaking about any one particular President. But how many jobs can you think of where you please everyone at all times? Teachers, doctors, nurses, etc, all get blasted at one point or another.

    But, at least, when you're President, no matter how much people bitch about what you do you know that 1) you're the most powerful person on the planet and 2) that you have the power to shape history.

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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    List I found

    1/21/9 Directed military leaders to end war in Iraq and begin responsible withdrawal
    1/21/9 Passed ethics guidelines banning hires based on politics
    1/21/9 Banned lobbyist gifts to executive employees
    1/22/9 Released Presidential records
    1/22/9 Ordered the close of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay
    1/22/9 Banned torture
    1/22/9 Ordered a systematic review of detention policies and procedures and a review of all individual cases.
    1/23/9 Lifted a ban on federal funding for international groups that provide family planning that included information about abortion (The Global Gag Rule / Mexico City Policy)
    1/26/9 Reversed Bush Administration obstruction and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider California's request to apply tighter air pollution standards on automobiles.
    1/27/9 Granted his 1st formal Presidential interview in office to to an Arab channel, the Saudi-backed, Dubai-based al-Arabiya
    1/29/9 Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
    1/30/9 Ordered Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts
    2/4/9 Expanded eligibility for State Children's Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
    2/6/9 Established an Economic Recovery Advisory Board
    2/10/9 Initiated a comprehensive cybersecurity review of critical U.S. systems
    2/17/9 Extended and indexed the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
    2/17/9 Sent two additional brigades to Afghanistan
    2/17/9 Supported increased funding for the NEA
    2/18/9 Created a plan to weatherize 1 million low income homes per year for the next 10 years
    2/19/9 Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
    2/19/9 Created a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners
    2/19/9 Created a White House Office on Urban Policy
    2/20/9 Created a plan committed to investment in all types of alternative energy
    2/27/9 Halted DEA medical marijuana raids in California
    3/5/9 Convened a comprehensive health care summit to begin the task of overhauling health care in the U.S.
    3/9/9 Reversed restrictions on stem cell research and ended the Bush Administration "War on Science."

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I didn't think you were speaking about any one particular President. But how many jobs can you think of where you please everyone at all times? Teachers, doctors, nurses, etc, all get blasted at one point or another.

    But, at least, when you're President, no matter how much people bitch about what you do you know that 1) you're the most powerful person on the planet and 2) that you have the power to shape history.
    I agree that there are very little jobs that don't get blasted for one thing or another.

    As for being the most powerful person on the planet..... um I am sorry but I don't agree with that. You make the President to be this g-d like person that has no faults imo. Yes I agree that a president is in a position to change history and that is a good thing.


    I will agree that the President is most definately in a position to change history. As for being the most powerful person on the planet I can't agree with that. I don't think one person is the all powerful OZ. There is imo no ONE powerful person on the planet but a host of individuals who are attempting to make decisions with hopefully the best intentions. again jmo.

    Any job a person goes into I would hope it is with the intentions to do the best job possible but just in general I think it is one of the more thankless jobs.

    On a extremely small scale I have been president for several hundred people when the membership was broken and sides were being drawn ( I know lucky me). There was no pleasing anyone and rather than being truly able to accomplish the goals I had when I took the position I spent more time putting out fires, trouble shooting, and doing damage control. No person was ever happy with whatever decision was made as it may not have been the direction they wanted the problem to go. This is an extremely SMALL example compared to the President of a country. Just an example however.
    YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
    (M. Jagger/K. Richards)

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viggofan View Post
    I agree that there are very little jobs that don't get blasted for one thing or another.

    As for being the most powerful person on the planet..... um I am sorry but I don't agree with that. You make the President to be this g-d like person that has no faults imo. Yes I agree that a president is in a position to change history and that is a good thing.


    I will agree that the President is most definately in a position to change history. As for being the most powerful person on the planet I can't agree with that. I don't think one person is the all powerful OZ. There is imo no ONE powerful person on the planet but a host of individuals who are attempting to make decisions with hopefully the best intentions. again jmo.

    Any job a person goes into I would hope it is with the intentions to do the best job possible but just in general I think it is one of the more thankless jobs.

    On a extremely small scale I have been president for several hundred people when the membership was broken and sides were being drawn ( I know lucky me). There was no pleasing anyone and rather than being truly able to accomplish the goals I had when I took the position I spent more time putting out fires, trouble shooting, and doing damage control. No person was ever happy with whatever decision was made as it may not have been the direction they wanted the problem to go. This is an extremely SMALL example compared to the President of a country. Just an example however.
    Where did I say directly, or imply, that the president was 'godlike' and with 'no faults?'

    Saying that the president is the most powerful person (world leader) on the planet has been a generally excepted fact for years not just since Obama came along. And, yes, all world leaders are powerful, but name me one that has the international clout, power and influence of the President of the United States.

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Ok I will recind my previous post in light of how we took the same phrase to mean two different things. No you did not imply that meaning but that is how I took it when first reading it as in the "most powerful person" not a powerful world leader. again my apologies.

    I have to say however King that in the past we seemed to have been more respected and viewed as having the international clout than we seem to have today. Now I admit I am no political wiz kid ( you be quiet grimm lol) but I just don't see us having as much clout that we once had. IDK maybe I am wrong it just seems that way to me.
    YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
    (M. Jagger/K. Richards)

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Viggo, in some ways the U.S. as a country has lost some of it's international clout, primarily on the economic front due to the rise of other world economies. But that's been going on for years. But the President still has more international clout than any other world leader, despite Bush having a shoe thrown at him.

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Ok I'll agree with that opinion.
    YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT
    (M. Jagger/K. Richards)

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