I have written several articles on President Obama. A list of the links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on President Obama’s life.
To elect an African American president was a huge and very inspiring event for the country. Finally, after 200-plus years of discrimination and repression, a black man became the most powerful person on the planet. African-Americans rejoiced when this man was elected, nay the world rejoiced. The black population finally had a true role model, a very articulate and presidential person. What we got was a very divisive president. I thought he would be a great “uniter”, finally ending the strife between the races, and making us a whole country. But instead he made this country more divided than ever. BLM came into being on his watch. It became acceptable to kill cops, or to at least ignore the event when it occurred. I sometimes get ahead of myself, If I am going to make statements like this I better be able to support them. Be patient, I will.
One author came up with 8 ways Obama was a disappointment. I am going to list these items but I am going to change the order a little bit and edit them with some of my own thoughts.
(1) The President’s Attitude: Barack Obama liked to take a cerebral approach to problem solving. He wasn’t receptive to the opinions of average Americans, or their representatives, thinking that they were not particularly informed. He indicated that he wanted to take care of us, but without any interference. But this “trust me, I’m on it” attitude did not gain a lot of traction domestically or internationally. A vast number of people did not believe Obama could solve problems, and they were proven correct.
(2 )Class Warfare: One of the most destructive ploys in the Obama arsenal of political deception sas his propensity to degrade and demonize successful people. The constant drumbeat of “not paying one’s fair share,” “fat cat bankers,” and “the rich were doing well in this economy while all the rest of us are not” were tired characterizations. Their utility gained little support. Obama seemed to forget that he was president of all Americans, not just 99% of them. Instead of showcasing the successes of the affluent to motivate, he used the group as a scapegoat, saying they were the reason America suffered economically. The president indicted everyone earning more than a few hundred thousand dollars. He attempted to drag them down with excessive taxation, rather than elevating the 99% up with creative and new job programs and more education and training.
(3) The President’s Relationship With Hollywood: The Obamas were a star-struck couple. They really liked to hang out with celebrities. They appeared on talk shows, and went on exotic vacations (similar to Bill Clinton). The inordinate amount of time they spent with movie stars rubbed many Americans the wrong way. Obama treated Hollywood big shots like they really knewsomething about the world, politics, or economics. It was fashionable to be a liberal on the West Coast, and Obama reveled in it.
(4) Relationship With African-Americans: Perhaps the saddest and most disappointing aspect of the Obama administration was that he did not connect with African Americans. I appreciate the support that this group gave the president. It made sense — the black community was proud of Obama and expected him to watch their backs. Ironically, it did not work out that way. Given the backing African Americans have given to Obama, one would have expected them to prosper during his tenure and make strides in many diverse areas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Suffice it to say, African Americans had the highest unemployment rates and food stamp usage reached record levels. Did African Americans abandon Obama? No. Should they have expected and demanded more from him? They should have.
(5) Fighting Terror: President Obama deserved credit for averting a major terrorist attack on the mainland. However, this fact alone did not present a clear picture about the threats that America faced throughout the world. Terrorists were not able to effectively raise hell in the U.S., but affected us in other ways. Obama repeatedly bragged about the capture and assassination of Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders. Additionally, he celebrated the defeat of Al-Qaeda as a unified terrorist organization. Unfortunately, the latter wasn’t true. Regionally, the organization made huge gains and wreaked havoc on countless new targets. The president misled Americans about the extent of current terrorist resources and ambition.
(6) Obama’s Relationship With Congress: Obama was not the first president who had to deal with a hostile Congress.We were led to believe that the 400+ members of Congress changed drastically during Obama’s tenure? Does anyone really believe that the conservative upstarts in the House were solely responsible for the complete lack of comity and subsequent paralysis in the federal government? No way. It started with the president. Obama thought he ruled the roost after his election, and he proceeded to freeze out his opponents. The president lost control, and the backlash he experienced should have been expected. No president has done a worse job dealing with adversity from fellow politicians.
(7) Obama Has Morphed Into George Bush Regarding National Security: A great part of the president’s 2008 election campaign was bashing George Bush’s policies, especially those relating to fighting terror. Well, Gitmo is still in operation, drones are one of American’s most potent weapons in the fight against terrorists, and we now know that the administration endorsed a mega surveillance program covering telephones, emails, and social media. From these perspectives, the president has become George Bush and never gave his predecessor credit for many of the things still in place in the fight on terror.
The jury is still out about whether Obamacare, the president’s signature initiative, was a success or a failure. Even though universal health care is a noble objective, the nation was and is not ready for a new entitlement. America cannot afford the price tag of the program, which has increased dramatically since the law was enacted. It diverted the government from more pressing issues, such as the economy, and more specifically unemployment. Republicans tried killin portions of the program. This didn’t happen because Obamacare was the law of the land, and those representing one-third to one-half of the government were not able to repeal it. Obamacare funding was squeezed and the program was marginalized. Some states opted out, and many healthy young people didn’t want the expensive medical coverage. The program still needs healthy people to offset the costs of the unhealthy, most of whom will enroll.
With each successive failure it became evident that what the country needed was a president who could relate to Americans, fellow politicians and leaders across the globe. He stumbled in areas many Progressives hold dear, such as continuing drone strikes, not taking the big banks to task following the 2008 financial crash, and by failing to consolidate his electoral coalition before pushing his signature Obamacare reform. Barack Obama, who ran as an agent of change, too often adopted policies from both of his immediate predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Obama could have been a great president, but he too soon abandoned his campaign pledges. A couple of those were “Yes We Can” and “Change You Can Believe In”. He also abandoned his pledge to run his general election campaign on public financing in favor of going the route of big donors.
As the first African American nominee of a major political party and then as president, Obama came into the office with pressures and expectations unique to that fact. Some people criticized him out of bigotry and others put off by the almost messianic expectations and perceived elitism of some of his followers. Obama made some missteps early on that played into the hands of his detractors from the Greek columns at his acceptance speech to what was essentially a large campaign rally in Berlin, a spot from which only sitting presidents – JFK, Reagan – had delivered memorable addresses. But the award of a Nobel Peace Prize only months into office sent a message of hubris and elitism. Obama would have been well-advised to decline the honor with a statement that although he would hope to one day earn it, he had not done so yet.
Unfortunately, in his eight years in office, President Obama never did earn that prize. His efforts to wind down the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and to close Guantanamo were halting or dashed. Although he did seek peaceful resolutions in dealing with potential conflicts with Iran and China through a successful international nuclear accord on the former and through a pivot to Asia and a trade agreement (TPP) to counterbalance China (both foolishly abandoned by the current administration). His administration nevertheless committed the same mistakes from the Iraq War in the regime change brought about though force in Libya. Another error was in encouraging demonstrations in Maidan Square in Ukraine contrary to an agreement for a peaceful transition that had just been negotiated. Both actions generated distrust and enmity of the Russians with whom he had pledged a “reset” upon taking office. Most distressing, for a Nobel laureate, was not merely the continuation but the acceleration of the policy of drone warfare and targeted assassination described in the best-selling book Dirty Wars.
Despite being the first president since 1984 (and the first Democrat since 1936) to win a popular majority twice, President Obama had shortcomings as a political leader. He abandoned grass roots programs for building the party nationally and shifted the focus to Organizing for America an organization established to promote Obama himself. Instead of highlighting job creation and the 2008 financial crisis without which he would not have won and using his majority to push through an aggressive stimulus program he compromised and got half a loaf. In 2008 the Republicans appeared bankrupt as a governing party having embarked on one of the major foreign policy fiasco’s in American history (the Iraq War) and the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. As the country’s financial system teetered on collapse and the jobless rate soared Obama should have focused on jobs and nation building at home.
However, instead within months into Obama’s first term he gave the GOP a ruse (“Obamacare”) that they used as a rallying cry. Instead of focusing on jobs and pocketbook issues and hammering home for the voters the many failures of the Republican program, within just two years the Republicans won back both Houses of Congress. The fact that the Republicans charged Obama with “socialism” when he proposed a healthcare program that they had themselves developed in the 1990s and that Mitt Romney has enacted when he was governor of Massachusetts showed the the Obama team did a poor job of message control and did not understand that the party opposite had no interest other than in doing anything necessary to win back power. Health care reform was and is a very important issue, but Obama would have had been in a better position to implement a more ambitious program had he first consolidated the Democratic Party’s majorities before making that move. Further, instead of taking strong action to address the causes of the financial crisis Obama turned around and appointed people from the Clinton administration who had played some early role in setting the stage for the crisis in opposing regulation of derivatives. Despite massive fraud, not one top official of a major financial or bond rating agency went to jail under Obama’s Department of Justice. It is not hard to understand the popular discontent that this engendered. As a result, during the Obama years the Democratic Party lost 1,000 elected positions across the country down to the state level as well as majorities in Congress. The election of Donald Trump as his successor was the final blow.
During his tenure the economy recovered from the brink, no troops were committed to new disastrous wars, he did attempt to address the problem of the large number of people who lacked health insurance and he conducted himself with the dignity that the office deserves. However, the large electoral vote majorities that propelled him into office had different expectations of what he would do in office and the nation required something more.
How Obama disappointed the Black Population:
The symbolism of Obama’s victory was so powerful it seemed to augur a progressive political turn, even an era of racial progress. The candidate’s vows of change implied he would mount more aggressive attempts to shrink the economic gaps between the rich and the poor, and many hoped the new thinking provoked by the financial crisis would create space for more creative governmental interventions. It’s now easy to see just how unreasonable were those hopes for progressive politics and racial progress. There’s little doubt that Obama has fallen short on delivering the changes he intended. Guantánamo is still open. Deportations and poverty are up, as are corporate profits for many of the same forces that caused the Great Recession. The gap between rich and poor widened, and the wealth gap between black and white persisted. He rescued a badly crippled economy, threw a lifeline to the auto industry, cut the ranks of the medically uninsured, and pushed the pace of marriage equality and other LGBT issues. His administration invigorated the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and encouraged probes of brutal police practices. His failure to significantly improve the socioeconomic profile of African Americans points to intrinsic structural limits within the American presidency. There are the institutional constraints that guard against arbitrary excesses of executive power. The black freedom movement was politically immobilized by the symbolic majesty of Obama’s win. His victory was confused with a movement for racial progress, and black activism was set back.
He spoke quite eloquently about the nation’s “original sin” and “dark history” but has repeatedly failed to connect the sins of the past to the crimes of the present, when racism thrives, when police stop-and-frisk, when subprime loans are reserved for black buyers, when public schools are denied resources, and when double-digit unemployment has become so normal that it barely registers a ripple of recognition. As black unemployment was climbing into the high double digits, civil rights leaders asked Obama if he would craft policies to address black joblessness. He responded, “I have a special responsibility to look out for the interests of every American. That’s my job as president of the United States. And I wake up every morning trying to promote the kinds of policies that are going to make the biggest difference for the most number of people so that they can live out their American dream.”
It was a disappointing response, even if that disappointment did not manifest itself in his approval ratings. In 2011, with black unemployment above 13%, 86% of black Americans approved of the overall job the president was doing, but 56% expressed disappointment in the “area of providing proper oversight for Wall Street and the big banks”. For African Americans, Obama’s presidency had been largely defined by his reluctance to engage with the ways that racial discrimination was blunting the impact of his administration’s recovery efforts. Over the course of his first term, Obama paid no special attention to the mounting issues involving law enforcement and imprisonment, even as Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow described the horrors that mass incarceration and corruption throughout the legal system had inflicted on black families. His unwillingness to address the effects of structural inequality eroded younger African Americans’ confidence in the transformative capacity of his presidency.
The Occupy movement would develop into the most important political expression of the US class divide in more than a generation. The slogan “We are the 99%” and the movement’s articulation of the divide between the “1%” and the rest of us offered a materialist, structural understanding of American inequality. In a country that regularly denies the existence of class, this was a critical step toward making sense of the limited reach of the American dream.
Despite the movement’s difficulties in coherently expressing the relationship between economic and racial inequality, its focus on government bailouts for private enterprise while millions of ordinary people bore the weight of unemployment, foreclosures, and evictions addressed some of the most important issues affecting African Americans. It was hard to ignore that black homeowners had been left to fend for themselves.
Not only did Occupy popularize the notion of economic and class inequality in the US by demonstrating against corporate greed, fraud, and corruption throughout the finance industry, it also helped to make connections between those issues and racism. The public discussion over economic inequality that followed rendered incoherent both Democratic and Republican politicians’ insistence on locating black poverty in black culture. While it obviously did not bury the arguments for culture and “personal responsibility”, Occupy helped to create the space for alternative explanations within mainstream politics, including seeing black poverty as a product of the system. The vicious attack and crackdown on the unarmed and peaceful Occupy encampments over the winter and into 2012 also provided a lesson about policing in the US: the police were servants of the political establishment and the ruling elite. Not only were they racist, they were also shock troops for the status quo and bodyguards for the 1%.
Meanwhile, the formation of organizations dedicated to fighting racism through mass mobilizations, street demonstrations and other direct actions was evidence of a newly developing black left that could vie for leadership against more established – and more tactically and politically conservative – forces. The black political establishment, led by Obama, had shown over and over again that it was not capable of the most basic task: keeping black children alive. The young people would have to do it themselves.
Barack Obama was dealt a very weak hand from the preceding Bush administration on foreign policy. He played it poorly from the outset by arguing that the “real war” was in Afghanistan instead of Iraq. That might have at one time been true, but by 2009, that was a difficult case to make—and our time there since 2009 has accomplished little. Press writes that “with the Taliban still controlling vast areas of Afghanistan and with no guarantee that any central government … will survive, many Americans are wondering why we went there in the first place, what we achieved in the long run, and why we stayed so long. President Obama could have pulled the plug on Afghanistan [during] his first month in office. The end result would have been the same.” Press is also critical of Obama’s war in Libya, which was fought absent congressional support, and that accomplished little more than turning the country into a failed state.
One area where Barack Obama made a clean break from his predecessor was in the use of torture against terror suspects. Buyer’s Remorse duly gives the president credit for this break, with reservations: “On January 22, two days after his inauguration, Obama followed through by signing a series of executive orders banning the use of torture, ending so-called extraordinary rendition flights and closing secret torture prisons in Poland, Thailand, Morocco, and Britain’s naval base at Diego Garcia.
President Obama’s economic record can be judged on six major indicators, five of them covered in the statistical tables contained in the latest report. Those indicators are the growth of output, as measured by real gross domestic product; employment; real wages; inflation and interest rates; international trade; and net household wealth. The president’s record will be compared with the economy’s performance under the preceding four presidents, covering a span of 28 years beginning in 1981. For comparison, the first year of a president’s time in office will be credited to the preceding president, under the assumption that a president’s policies take time to be implemented and take effect. The first year of a new president’s term largely reflects either the afterglow or the hangover from the economy under the previous administration. This is especially true for employment, which tends to be a lagging indicator.
Based on those factors, let’s consider the Obama economic record:
GDP growth: Under President Obama, annual economic growth from 2010 through the first three quarters of 2016 averaged 2.1 percent. This is sluggish by historical standards. From 1982 through 2009, real GDP growth averaged 2.8 percent per year, even when including the steep recessions of 1982 and 2008-09 and two milder downturns in between. The president’s economic team can talk all day about growth that is “robust and widely shared,” but 2 percent growth is subpar. This below-average record comes despite a cumulative $7 trillion in deficit spending during the Obama years. And it compares unfavorably to almost all other post-war recoveries, which typically exhibit above average growth. More than any other indicator, 2.1 percent GDP growth is the ultimate source of the dissatisfaction most Americans express about the economy today.
Employment: Despite slower than average growth, the Obama record on net job creation has been better than average. From 2010 through 2016, civilian employment grew by an average of 1.64 million jobs per year. That compares to an average annual growth of 1.41 million jobs during the 28 years and four presidents that proceeded Obama. The unemployment rate under Obama dropped from 9.3 percent in 2009 to 4.9 percent in 2016. That was by far the biggest drop in the jobless rate compared to his predecessors, and meets the standard definition of “full employment.” Under President Obama, the growth in the labor force also slowed dramatically to less than half the rate of the previous four presidencies. The labor-force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level in decades, 62.8 percent compared to a peak of 67.1 percent in the late 1990s. Part of the drop is due to demographics, with millions of aging Baby Boomers in the process of retiring from the workforce. But it also reflects a large number of “discouraged workers” who have given up on looking work and have thus dropped out of the labor force. Like the mediocre growth of GDP, the lack of labor force participation reflects the underside of the Obama economy that has fed into voter frustration.
Real wages: Here the story is mixed. Average weekly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers, adjusted for inflation, have grown an average of 0.8 percent a year in the Obama economy. That compares to a scant 0.1 percent per year under the previous four presidents. But by an alternative measure, “real compensation per hour,” which includes benefits, the annual growth during the Obama years was 0.6 percent, which was below the 1.1 percent annual average of the preceding presidencies. The annual growth in labor productivity, or output per hour worked, was 0.9 percent during the Obama years, less than half the rate of the previous period. Because labor productivity ultimately determines real compensation, this is one of the more troubling aspects of the Obama economic record and may further explain voter angst.
Inflation and interest rates: Here the Obama record is enviable. The annual average inflation rate of 1.6 percent during his tenure is the lowest of any recent presidential term. The taming of inflation and inflationary expectations has translated into historically low interest rates. During Obama’s time in office, the rates on new mortgages have averaged 4.21 percent compared to more than 7 percent as recently as 2001. Rates on 10-year Treasury notes have averaged 2.47 percent compared to 6.85 percent under his recent predecessors. Of course, it’s the Federal Reserve Board that determines monetary policy, but it’s the president who appoints its members and who can support or oppose its policies.
Net household wealth: While the Obama record on wages is mixed, on net wealth the record is impressive. Fueled by recoveries in both the housing and stock markets, the net wealth of American households and non-profits rebounded from $57.8 trillion at the end of 2009 to $90.2 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Flow of Funds report. Under Obama, the net private wealth of Americans grew 6.8 percent per year compared to 6.1 percent under his recent predecessors. The S&P 500 index has climbed by an annualized rate of more than 11 percent since the beginning of 2010, compared to an annualized 8.1 percent from the beginning of 1982 through 2009.
President Obama did inherit an economy in crisis in early 2009, but even from that depressed base year, the seven-year recovery and expansion under his watch has been disappointing by historical standards. Even with unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, the economy has failed to rise above its plodding rate of 2 percent annual growth. During his two terms, President Obama provided few concrete proposals for structural, supply-side reforms that would boost the economy’s underlying productivity and growth potential. Whatever spin his friends or foes may try to put on it, President Obama’s economic record deserves no more and no less than a tepid “C.” The American electorate appears to agree.
Obama’s 5 Biggest Financial Failures and Economic Mistakes:
1) New Obama Debt: 10 trillion dollars is $ 10,000,000,000,000. Ten trillion is the new debt since 2009 from President Obama. What is astonishing is that interest rates were at a historic low during his entire presidency, but Obama was still able to double the financial debt of the United States and lose our credit rating.
2) War Debt: Obama may be the first U.S. president to be at war for ALL 8 years of his service. U.S. foreign relations and America’s “good will” was diminished in places such as: Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Oman, Yemen, Philippines, China, Russia, and Iraq
3) Healthcare Costs Failure: Costs doubled and tripled for many working families while deductibles skyrocketed 300% which destabilized the health care system. The extremely high deductibles have fundamentally destroyed the usability of the insurance policies for families and children for basic sickness and medicines. If you have three children with pneumonia and a $5,000 deductible on each, you could pay $15,000 before insurance even kicks in.
4) Employment Failure and GDP Growth:
- 8 years of disappointment.
- 95 million citizens could not find jobs.
- Labor force participation rate lowest point since 1977.
- During the Obama years, 13 million more people were added to Medicaid.
- 11 million more people were forced onto food stamps since Obama took office.
- The percentage of 18-34 year olds living with parents or family hit a 70-year high.
- The Social Security Disability rolls increased by 5 million under Obama
- Failed Growth: Obama is the first president not to achieve a single year of 3% GDP growth
5) Trade & Immigration Costs – The global trade deficit was over $732 billion in 2016. Unregulated immigration can costs states and counties billions each year which effectively lessens services and care to citizens such as health care and college services/expenses.
Honorable Mention 1: College Debt Is Now Your Children’s Debt
College loan debt and defaults have skyrocketed. Subsidizing higher education has drastically escalated higher education prices over the last 30 years. The dirty secret, federalized college loans constitute about 10% of our nation’s debt at somewhere between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion in debt.
Swine Flu Failure?:
The Obama administration started to address H1N1 just as the disease emerged in April 2009. A public health emergency was declared on April 26, 2009, when there were about 20 confirmed cases in the United States. The Obama administration renewed this declaration twice in the ensuing months before declaring a national emergency in October 2009. Despite the CDC’s efforts, the swine flu continued to spread. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, renewed the emergency declaration on July 24, 2009, and then again on Oct. 1, 2009. On Oct. 24, 2009, Obama declared a national emergency that gave officials more resources to fight the pandemic.President Barack Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect non-infected patients. The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government’s initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October. On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency, allowing the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states in case they eventually needed them. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one. “As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic,” Obama wrote in Saturday’s declaration. According to Snopes, Obama’s response while not optimal was certainly not negligent. Ok so anybody can get lucky once in a while. I have included the CDC timeline for the swine flu.
Executive Orders and other Abuses of Power:
I wrote a previous article on “the Obama Effect”, which covered many of Obama’s transgression’s while in office, I also wrote on Article entitled “President Obama and the Auto Industry, ” which also covered some more transgressions. Since I already wrote 2 articles already on this subject I will only cover a few more areas of interest that I just recently came across.
(1) In 2009, Barack Obama illegally fired Gerald Walpin, the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, without notice or providing the legally mandated explanation for the firing to Congress. Obama did this to protect Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an ally of his, whom Walpin had been investigating for misusing federal funds Walpin had discovered a cover-up of sexual assault allegations by minors against Johnson. As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama co-sponsored the 2008 Inspector General Reform Act, which protected inspectors general from being fired without cause. Obama ignored this law to protect an ally who sexually assaulted minors and tried to cover it up with hush money that came from federal grants. If that’s not an abuse of power, what is? Worse yet, when the firing was investigated by Congress, the Obama White House stonewalled the investigation, refused to provide requested documents, and deliberately misled Congress about the reasons for the firing.
(2) If you want to talk about an abuse of power, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were both personally involved in the decision-making process to determine who got $80 billion for clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits for green energy companies, in a highly politicized process that favored companies that supported the Obama-Biden campaign over those that didn’t. It was no coincidence that the companies that got all the cash were donors to their campaign. In fact, DOE officials expressed concerned that Obama and Biden’s involvement was putting taxpayer dollars at risk. Not only did they give all this money to green energy companies that donated to their campaign, but the Obama administration also stole proprietary technology from companies that didn’t get the loans to the Obama cronies who got them. This scandal was much bigger than Solyndra, but the calls for Obama’s impeachment weren’t there.
(3) When Obama made a number of controversial picks for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), he was unable to get them through the Senate. So, in January 2012, he declared his nominees appointed to the Senate via recess appointments. Except the Senate wasn’t even in recess at the time. Obama’s actions were such a blatant abuse of power that experts on both sides of the aisle blasted Obama for what he did and a federal appeals court overturned the appointments a few days after his second inauguration, declaring, “Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers.” The United States Supreme Court ultimately took up the case, and unanimously agreed Obama abused his power.
(4) When Title IX was written, the goal was to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education. The notion of “gender identity” or “gender expression” wasn’t even a thing back in 1972 when it was passed. Nevertheless, Obama unilaterally decided that “sex” meant “gender identity” and threatened to enforce this bizarre idea. This was a huge violation of the rights and privacy of women and girls nationwide without so much as a national debate in Congress, where this issue needed to be worked out. Instead of going to Congress, Obama simply threatened educational institutions at all levels with the loss of Title IX funding if they didn’t comply and allow boys to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and dorm rooms with girls, as well as allow boys to play on girls sports teams. Obama’s going around Congress on this issue was a huge violation of power. Rather than attempt to have the law updated by Congress, Obama abused his power by simply reinterpreting the law on his own, knowing very well Congress wasn’t going to change the law to include “gender identity.”
(5) The truth is, Obama spent most of his presidency with a divided Congress or a GOP-controlled Congress. His radical left-wing agenda was mostly DOA because rather than work toward compromise legislation, his default position was to act on his own, assuming the executive authority to change laws via executive fiat. Anyone who’s familiar with the Constitution knows he had no such authority. till, when the DREAM Act failed to pass, Obama issued an executive order creating DACA, an executive-branch version of the DREAM Act. Obama literally bypassed Congress, changing U.S. immigration law via executive pen to appease his pro-open-borders base. What makes Obama’s abuse of power here even worse is that he’d previously acknowledged that he didn’t have the power to unilaterally create immigration law.
President Obama has been unapologetic about his unprecedented use of executive power, and of course, that robust view of the executive’s prerogative does not occur in a vacuum but creates an important precedent. As a candidate, President Obama expressed misgivings about executive power. After the 2010 mid-term elections, however, it became clear that Congress would not go along with the president’s sweeping regulatory agenda. So he pledged: “Where they won’t act, I will.” He vowed to pursue “audacious” executive action in his final term. And in his January 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama promised to “wherever and whenever” possible “take steps without legislation.” President Obama made good on these promises; his use of Executive Orders, Executive Agreements, Agency Guidance, and Agency Rule making unilaterally to change domestic policy is unparalleled in modern times. Indeed, according to “The New York Times,” President Obama’s two terms have been characterized by “bureaucratic bulldozing, rather than legislative transparency.” All of this is quite remarkable given that the Constitution vests the power to make law with Congress, not the president, as President Obama, once a lecturer in constitutional law, well knows.
For the first time in the history of our once great country, an executive order has been autographed by the current commander-in-chief. President Obama has accepted the ability to wave his wand of destruction by using his pen to unleash our very own military to turn around and use deadly force against the Americans that they claim to protect. This dictatorial and for certain human rights atrocity was set into motion on July 1st, 2016. Labeled the “Executive Order — United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures to Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force“. In this order we clearly see that the rules of engagement have changed with posse comitatus thrown out the window. So the positions between the military verses Americans have drastically changed in a very negative way with due process and human rights bound to be ignored.
Executive Order — United States Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures to Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force
UNITED STATES POLICY ON PRE- AND POST-STRIKE MEASURES TO ADDRESS CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN U.S. OPERATIONS INVOLVING THE USE OF FORCE
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. United States policy on civilian casualties resulting from U.S. operations involving the use of force in armed conflict or in the exercise of the Nation’s inherent right of self-defense is based on our national interests, our values, and our legal obligations. As a Nation, we are steadfastly committed to complying with our obligations under the law of armed conflict, including those that address the protection of civilians, such as the fundamental principles of necessity, humanity, distinction, and proportionality. The protection of civilians is fundamentally consistent with the effective, efficient, and decisive use of force in pursuit of U.S. national interests. Minimizing civilian casualties can further mission objectives; help maintain the support of partner governments and vulnerable populations, especially in the conduct of counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations; and enhance the legitimacy and sustainability of U.S. operations critical to our national security. As a matter of policy, the United States therefore routinely imposes certain heightened policy standards that are more protective than the requirements of the law of armed conflict that relate to the protection of civilians. Civilian casualties are a tragic and at times unavoidable consequence of the use of force in situations of armed conflict or in the exercise of a state’s inherent right of self-defense. The U.S. Government shall maintain and promote best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, take appropriate steps when such casualties occur, and draw lessons from our operations to further enhance the protection of civilians.
Sec. 2. Policy. In furtherance of U.S. Government efforts to protect civilians in U.S. operations involving the use of force in armed conflict or in the exercise of the Nation’s inherent right of self-defense, and with a view toward enhancing such efforts, relevant departments and agencies (agencies) shall continue to take certain measures in present and future operations.
(a) In particular, relevant agencies shall, consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, including the law of armed conflict:
(i) train personnel, commensurate with their responsibilities, on compliance with legal obligations and policy guidance that address the protection of civilians and on implementation of best practices that reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, including through exercises, pre-deployment training, and simulations of complex operational environments that include civilians;
(ii) develop, acquire, and field intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems that, by enabling more accurate battlespace awareness, contribute to the protection of civilians;
(iii) develop, acquire, and field weapon systems and other technological capabilities that further enable the discriminate use of force in different operational contexts;
(iv) take feasible precautions in conducting attacks to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties, such as providing warnings to the civilian population (unless the circumstances do not permit), adjusting the timing of attacks, taking steps to ensure military objectives and civilians are clearly distinguished, and taking other measures appropriate to the circumstances; and
(v) conduct assessments that assist in the reduction of civilian casualties by identifying risks to civilians and evaluating efforts to reduce risks to civilians.
(b) In addition to the responsibilities above, relevant agencies shall also, as appropriate and consistent with mission objectives and applicable law, including the law of armed conflict:
(i) review or investigate incidents involving civilian casualties, including by considering relevant and credible information from all available sources, such as other agencies, partner governments, and nongovernmental organizations, and take measures to mitigate the likelihood of future incidents of civilian casualties;
(ii) acknowledge U.S. Government responsibility for civilian casualties and offer condolences, including ex gratia payments, to civilians who are injured or to the families of civilians who are killed;
(iii) engage with foreign partners to share and learn best practices for reducing the likelihood of and responding to civilian casualties, including through appropriate training and assistance; and
(iv) maintain channels for engagement with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other nongovernmental organizations that operate in conflict zones and encourage such organizations to assist in efforts to distinguish between military objectives and civilians, including by appropriately marking protected facilities, vehicles, and personnel, and by providing updated information on the locations of such facilities and personnel.
Sec. 3. Report on Strikes Undertaken by the U.S. Government Against Terrorist Targets Outside Areas of Active Hostilities. (a) The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), or such other official as the President may designate, shall obtain from relevant agencies information about the number of strikes undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as well as assessments of combatant and non-combatant deaths resulting from those strikes, and publicly release an unclassified summary of such information no later than May 1, 2017. By May 1 of each subsequent year, as consistent with the need to protect sources and methods, the DNI shall publicly release a report with the same information for the preceding calendar year.
(b) The annual report shall also include information obtained from relevant agencies regarding the general sources of information and methodology used to conduct these assessments and, as feasible and appropriate, shall address the general reasons for discrepancies between post-strike assessments from the U.S. Government and credible reporting from nongovernmental organizations regarding non-combatant deaths resulting from strikes undertaken by the U.S. Government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities.
(c) In preparing a report under this section, the DNI shall review relevant and credible post-strike all-source reporting, including such information from nongovernmental sources, for the purpose of ensuring that this reporting is available to and considered by relevant agencies in their assessment of deaths.
(d) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs may, as appropriate, request that the head of any relevant agency conduct additional reviews related to the intelligence assessments of deaths from strikes against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities.
Sec. 4. Periodic Consultation. In furtherance of the policies and practices set forth in this order, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, through the National Security Council staff, will convene agencies with relevant defense, counterterrorism, intelligence, legal, civilian protection, and technology expertise to consult on civilian casualty trends, consider potential improvements to U.S. Government civilian casualty mitigation efforts, and, as appropriate, report to the Deputies and Principals Committees, consistent with Presidential Policy Directive 1 or its successor. Specific incidents will not be considered in this context, and will continue to be examined within relevant chains of command.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The policies and practices set forth above are not intended to alter, and shall be implemented consistent with, the authority and responsibility of commanders and other U.S. personnel to execute their mission as directed by the President or other appropriate authorities, which necessarily includes the inherent right of self-defense and the maintenance of good order and discipline among U.S. personnel. No part of this order modifies the chain of command of the U.S. Armed Forces or the authority of U.S. commanders.
(b) No part of this order modifies priorities in the collection of intelligence or the development, acquisition, or fielding of weapon systems and other technological capabilities.
(c) No part of this order shall prejudice or supplant established procedures pertaining to administrative or criminal investigative or judicial processes in the context of the military justice system or other applicable law and regulation.
(d) The policies set forth in this order are consistent with existing U.S. obligations under international law and are not intended to create new international legal obligations; nor shall anything in this order be construed to derogate from obligations under applicable law, including the law of armed conflict.
(e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
There has been no Watergate, Iran hostage crisis or Monica Lewinsky. And Barack Obama did get Osama Bin Laden, end the war in Iraq and possibly save the United States from a second Great Depression. Yet, fully 50 per cent of Americans think Mr. Obama’s presidency has been a failure. Overall, Americans are still more likely to view Mr. Obama as a better president than Richard (Watergate) Nixon, Jimmy (Iran hostage crisis) Carter or George W. Bush. But according to a separate Gallup survey, he has a long way to go before he is viewed in the same league as Ronald Reagan or Mr. Clinton, whose affair with Ms. Lewinsky led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives.
The legacy of Obama represented one of the most racially divided times in our nation’s history. The legacy of Obama represented a time when race-related riots were on the rise. We can’t forget the scenes on television in Baltimore and Ferguson, or the violence that erupted after the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Manuel Diaz, and Kimini Gray. Images taken from each of these events resembled combat zones, with police in riot gear while angry citizens burned cars, smashed windows, and vandalized storefronts. The legacy of Obama represented a time when our enemies and allies abroad viewed us as weak. Shortly after his inauguration, Obama embarked on a worldwide apology tour throughout the Middle East and criticized America. The legacy of Obama represented a time when homegrown domestic terrorism was on the rise. We can’t forget the horrific scenes or the carnage in places like Fort Hood, Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and Orlando. The legacy of Obama represented a time when Islamic State recruitment was on the rise. By fulfilling campaign promises to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn’t take into account the void that would leave, as well as the opportunity for ISIS and our enemies to fill it. The legacy of Obama represented a time when embassy officials were attacked in Benghazi that resulted in senseless deaths, including our Amb. Chris Stevens. The Obama administration failed to heed the warning signs in advance, and as a result, innocent Americans were killed. Stevens even warned Obama’s State Department about an escalation in violence and the need for additional help. But those pleas were ignored. The legacy of Obama represented a time of failed agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal. Not only did the president lie to Congress about the details of the deal, but he also ordered planes to secretly deliver billions of dollars in cash to Iranian officials. The legacy of Obama represented a time when his landmark Obamacare legislation, which was meant to provide healthcare for all, still left 27 million Americans without insurance. And when he famously said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” that promise turned out to be a lie as well.
The legacy of Obama represented a time when America made terrible financial deals, like the more than $2.2 billion in defaulted energy loans at taxpayers expense, including the now infamous $500 million loan to Solyndra, where company executives misled Energy Department officials and later went bankrupt. And who can forget when Obama said, “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” The legacy of Obama represented a time of personal enrichment. In 2009, when everyday people were recession-weary, Obama arranged, just days before his inauguration, a $500,000 advance for a future book deal. Never before in our history had a president or president-elect negotiated a book deal before or during their time in office. The legacy of Barack Obama was certainly historic, but for all the wrong reasons. As a candidate, he campaigned on “hope” and “change,” but as president, America was left with no hope and very little change. In 2008, he sold the dream. But for eight years, America was left living the nightmare.
A legacy for sure — but not the kind to be very proud of.
Mic.com, “8 Reasons Why Obama’s Presidency Has Been a Disappointment,” By Sal Bommarito; blogs.Isle.ac.uk, “Obama’s legacy is as a disappointingly conventional president“, By David Wise; inthesetimes.com, “Reflections on Barack Obama: A Great and Disappointing President,” By Salim Muwakkil; theamericanconservative.com, “Why Obama Disappointed Progressives,”By Clark Stooksbury; realclearmarkets.com, “Obama’s Economic Record: Disappointing, But Not a Disaster,” By Daniel Griswold; the guardian.com, “Barack Obama’s original sin: America’s post-racial illusion,” By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor; pjmedia.com, “Five Times Obama Abused His Power and Democrats Didn’t Care,” By Matt Margolis; dontcomply.com, “Obama Signs Executive Order, Allowing Military To Use Force Against Americans,” By Andre’ Gabriel Esparza; theferalist.com, “10 Ways Obama Has Failed as President,” By Robert Tracinski; snopes.com, “Did Obama Declare Swine Flu an Emergency Only After ‘Millions’ Were Infected?” By Dan Evon; theglobeandmail.com, “Is Obama’s presidency a failure?” By Jason Reeds; washingtonexaminer.com, “The legacy of Barack Obama (and it’s not a good one),” By Mark Vargas; breitbart.com, “18 Major Scandals in Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free’ Presidency,” John Hayward.
10 Ways Obama Has Failed as President:
1. He didn’t heal our racial divisions.
The first thing people expected of Obama, the whole reason his presidency was already hailed as “historic” on Inauguration Day 2009, before he had taken a single official act, is because voters thought that the first black president would help America put the ugly history of racially divisive politics behind us. But from his earliest stumbling efforts—anyone remember the “Beer Summit“?—Obama has proven alternately uninterested and ham-handed in dealing with this signature issue. What he has mostly contributed has been to rush in and pre-judge racially charged cases, like the shooting of Trayvon Martin or the questionable police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, before the defendants get their day in court. When you pre-judge someone on the basis of race, isn’t there a word for that? So as the recent race riots in Ferguson confirm, Obama has not served as some kind of magical bridge who would promote mutual understanding between whites and blacks. Instead, he has done more to inflame the tensions in these cases than to defuse them. Our expectations of Obama were overblown from the beginning, but he worked pretty hard to overblow them. Certainly, when voters chose him, they were hoping for the opposite of an unscrupulous race-hustler like Al Sharpton. There was even a joke about Obama sending Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on missions to non-existent countries just to get them as far away from his campaign as possible. Now, Sharpton is being described as Obama’s “go-to man on race,” with a White House source gushing to The Politico that “There’s a trust factor with The Rev from the Oval Office on down.”
2. The stimulus didn’t stimulate.
President Obama was elected in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and his first big act in office was to sign a gargantuan package of “stimulus” spending—financed entirely with debt—that was supposed to jump-start the economy. Congress voted for hundreds of billion of dollars for “shovel-ready projects” which Obama later discovered don’t exist, and the money disappeared without a trace. How many “recovery summers” have there been in which growth and employment was finally supposed to take off—only to peter out again? In how many other recoveries has labor force participation—the percentage of people actually working—declined? In what other recovery have poor people emerged deeper in debt than they were at the beginning? Yes, the economy was in crisis when President Obama took office. But he has presided over the slowest, weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression—and by a good margin.
3. Financial reform didn’t reform.
But surely, Obama saw to it that we would never repeat the problems that led to the financial crisis and the recession in the first place, right? Except that the Dodd-Frank financial reforms didn’t really reform anything. They created a couple thousand pages of new legislation and many, many more new executive-branch regulations, which have helped to muddle the rules rather than clarify them. But these regulations have never really resolved any of the pre-crisis problems. The old system in which a handful of giant financial institutions were considered “too big to fail” and thus could depend on the rest of us to bail them out? That system is alive and well.
4. ObamaCare is a boondoggle.
The disastrous launch of ObamaCare was a reminder of everything that’s wrong with big government. It turns out that when we warned health insurance would be run as well as the Department of Motor Vehicles, we were too optimistic. And no one was ever held accountable for that fiasco. When ObamaCare was passed, we were assured that it would provide insurance for 32 million people who didn’t have any coverage. Four years later, it looks like ObamaCare has covered far fewer new people, between 10% and 20% of what was promised, and about half of those were through an expansion of Medicaid—a burden that will eventually bankrupt the states—rather than through ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges. Most of the people buying insurance through the exchanges are those who were kicked out of their previous health insurance plans by new regulations. It turns out that if we liked our health insurance, we couldn’t keep it. For some of us, this will be bad. For others, it’s much worse. You’re still going to hear a lot of commentators on the left arguing that the law is a great success—if you agree to move the goalposts and ignore all the broken promises. But the American people aren’t buying it.
5. Obama failed to reform immigration.
He spent all of his political capital, and then some, on the failed stimulus and the ObamaCare boondoggle, leaving nothing for immigration reform. Having failed to get anything through Congress, he floated a dubious plan to enact amnesty through a unilateral executive authority that he doesn’t have. Then he dropped the idea. Instead, he has simply failed to enforce the immigration laws, contributing to a crisis on our southern border. The result: he has managed to enrage the right, the left, and the middle. He hasn’t cracked down on illegal immigration, he hasn’t legalized it, and he hasn’t forged any kind of compromise or consensus on the issue. Nobody is happy and nothing has been accomplished.
6. He withdrew prematurely from Iraq.
Obama was so eager to not be George W. Bush that he pulled all of our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible, then totally ignored the country, even as a terrorist threat re-established itself there. For most of this year, he foolishly downplayed the rise of the Islamic State. Even as Kurds and the Iraqi government issued increasingly panicked warnings, and the Islamic State took over more and more territory, he let the problem get worse for months without bothering to interrupt his golf schedule. A few weeks ago, he admitted to having no strategy for dealing with the Islamic State. Last week, he hastily assembled one, but it’s looking like it might be unrealistic and lacks international support. Bush went into Iraq with multiple UN resolutions, congressional approval, a broad “coalition of the willing,” and (as it turned out) the resolve to use whatever means were necessary to prevent a terrorist state from establishing itself there. Obama is going back into Iraq with none of that. So I guess he really isn’t anything like George W. Bush.
7. He blew the Arab Spring.
When a series of uprisings overthrew dictators across the Middle East, Obama failed to adopt any meaningful policy or to turn the situation to our advantage. He dithered for so long on Egypt that all of the factions there hate him, and most of Egypt’s liberals concluded that he was secretly backing the Muslim Brotherhood. The result is that Egypt went right back to where it was before, except this time the military dictatorship regards America as a useless and irrelevant ally. Meanwhile, the two places where we could have taken advantage of the Arab Spring to get rid of truly nasty dictators who have been hostile to our interests for decades—Libya and Syria—ended in disaster. In Libya, the killing of our ambassador in Benghazi was just the beginning of a slow collapse into chaos and civil war. In Syria, three years of administration dithering allowed the rise of ISIS, which then spilled over into Iraq. And let’s not forget about 2009, when Iranians poured out onto the street to oppose their own brutal, theocratic, terror-sponsoring regime—and Obama sat back passively because he preferred to cut a diplomatic deal with the ayatollahs.
8. Obama ignored the threat of a resurgent Russian dictatorship.
During a debate with Mitt Romney in 2012, Obama dismissed Romney’s suggestion that Russia might be a threat to American interests, sneering, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Now it’s looking more like the 1970s are calling, with an aggressive Russian dictatorship invading its neighbors, leaving our European allies feeling exposed and unsure whether they can really count on support from the US and NATO. Poland’s foreign minister has been overheard complaining about—how shall I put this politely?—his country’s unrequited love for America. The president’s response to Russian aggression has been to impose a few more sanctions, make a speech in Estonia, and otherwise ignore the crisis and hope it goes away.
9. He didn’t shut down Guantanamo, keep the NSA from spying, or rein in the drones.
President Obama came into office having loudly condemned many of the Bush administration’s measures against terrorism. Then he continued them. You can call this hypocrisy or you can call it subversion. But President Obama has achieved a unique combination: managing to morally discredit America’s anti-terrorism policies without actually ending them.
10. He has made America irrelevant.
You will notice that most of Obama’s failures result, not from taking a bold stand, but from taking no stand and just letting events drift. Certainly, in a lot of these cases, Obama has given speeches or press conference to announce his enlightened intentions—then done nothing to plan for how to actually achieve his goals. But if he is irrelevant, that makes America irrelevant. We can look at the Arab Spring, at Ukraine, and at Iraq, but let’s add one more example. For most of his presidency, Obama has declared his intention to “pivot to Asia,” extricating himself from the Middle East and focusing on bolstering our Pacific allies to peacefully manage the rise of China. It’s pretty widely acknowledged that he never managed to do it, letting the Asia pivot die of neglect. This may fit with the quasi-isolationist mood that has taken hold in America in recent years, but it is yet another case where Obama promised something very different. He campaigned on the promise that America would be more respected in the world after the Bush years—not that we would be considered a useless ally and an ineffectual opponent.
2009 H1N1 Pandemic Timeline:
- April 26
- The United States Government declared 2009 H1N1 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and CDC began releasing 25% of antiviral drugs needed to treat this new influenza virus from the federal stockpile.
- April 27
- WHO Director-General raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 3 to phase 4, based on data showing person-to-person spread and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks.
- April 28
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new CDC test to detect 2009 H1N1 infections
- CDC issued the first CDC Interim Guidance on Closing Schools and Childcare Facilities, recommending a 7-day dismissal in affected schools and childcare facilities with laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A H1N1 virus.
- April 29
- WHO raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5, signaling that a pandemic was imminent, and requested all countries to immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans and be on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.
- 2009 H1N1 influenza summer activity peaked in the United States during May and June.
- May 1
- Domestic and global shipments of new CDC test to detect 2009 H1N1 began.
- CDC updated the CDC Interim Guidance on Closing Schools and Childcare Facilities, recommending affected communities with lab-confirmed cases of influenza A H1N1 consider adopting school dismissal and childcare closing measures, including closing for up to 14 days depending on the extent and severity of influenza illness.
- May 4
- CDC shifted from reporting confirmed cases of 2009 H1N1 to reporting both confirmed and probable cases of 2009 H1N1.
- May 5
- Peak school dismissal day in the spring phase of the pandemic. 980 schools were dismissed, affecting 607,778 students.
- May 6
- CDC distributed updated recommendations for the use of influenza antiviral medicines to provide guidance for clinicians in prescribing antiviral medicines for treatment and prevention (chemoprophylaxis) of 2009 H1N1 influenza.
- May 8
- CDC issued an MMWR updating the 2009 H1N1 influenza situations in Mexico, the United States, and worldwide.
- CDC reported early data on 2009 H1N1 illness among pregnant women in an MMWR.
- June 11
- The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic and raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to phase 6, which means the virus was spreading to other parts of the world.
- CDC held its first press conference with former CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH. The press conference had 2,355 participants.
- June 19
- All 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands had reported cases of 2009 H1N1 infection.
- By late-June, more than 30 summer camps in the U.S. had reported outbreaks of 2009 H1N1 influenza illness. CDC released guidance for day and residential camps to reduce spread of influenza.
- June 25
- CDC estimated at least 1 million cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza had occurred in the United States.
- Early July
- Reported cases of 2009 H1N1 nearly doubled since mid-June 2009.
- Three 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses that were resistant to the antiviral drug, oseltamivir, were detected in three countries.
- July 10
- CDC reported findings in an MMWR that indicated a large prevalence of obesity in intensive care patients with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza infection.
- After mid-July, 2009 H1N1 influenza activity declined in most countries.
- July 22
- Clinical trials testing the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine began.
- Additional oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 viruses were detected by CDC.
- August 3
- CDC School Dismissal Monitoring System (SDMS) activated.
- August 19
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and accompanying toolkit posted to CDC.gov.
- August 20
- CDC Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) and accompanying toolkit posted to CDC.gov. Calls were conducted with Secretary Duncan and Sebelius to explain guidance. Press briefings followed.
- Second wave of 2009 H1N1 influenza activity began in the U.S.
- August 30
- New reporting season for the 2009-2010 influenza season began.
- September 1
- More than 1,000 test kits shipped to 120 domestic and 250 international laboratories in 140 countries since May 1, 2009.
- September 3
- CDC published a study that analyzed data related to H1N1 influenza pediatric deaths reported to CDC from April to August 2009 in MMWR. Data showed 477 deaths with lab-confirmed 2009 H1N1 flu in the U.S. had been reported to CDC as of August 8, 2009.
- September 10
- HHS secretary and CDC Director joined the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) in a news conference to stress the importance of getting vaccinated for the upcoming influenza season.
- September 15
- The FDA announced its approval of four 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines.
- September 30
- U.S. states placed first orders of 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
- National Influenza 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign
- October 5
- First doses of H1N1 vaccine were given in the U.S.
- October 24
- Influenza activity reached its highest level in the reporting week ending October 24, 2009, with 48 of 50 states reported widespread activity.
- Late October
- Second wave of H1N1 flu activity peaked in the U.S.
- November 12
- CDC released its first estimates official estimates of 2009 H1N1 cases, hospitalization and deaths.
- November 16
- FDA announced its approval of a fifth 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
- November 23
- No school closures throughout United States; first time since 8/25/2009.
- Results of trials conducted among adults were published in December, and the data indicated that the immune response among vaccinated adults was excellent.
- December 4
- December 18
- First 100 million doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine were available for ordering.
- Late December
- 2009 H1N1 vaccination had been opened up to anyone who wanted it.
- Activity declined to levels below baseline, but persisted for several more months at lower levels.
- January 10-16
- President of the United States proclaimed National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) and encouraged all Americans to observe the week by getting vaccinated with the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine.
- FDA’s VRBPAC selected 2009 H1N1 virus for inclusion in 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine
- February 18
- WHO published recommendations for the composition of influenza virus vaccines for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Components included a 2009 H1N1-like virus.
- Between April 2009 and April 2010, CDC held 60 related media events – 39 press briefings and 22 telebriefings – reaching more than 35,000 participants.
Scandals In Obama Administration:
The great “stimulus” heist: Obama seems to think nobody will remember he grabbed almost a trillion dollars for “stimulus” spending, created virtually zero private-sector jobs with it, allowed a great deal of the money to vanish into thin air, and spent the rest of his presidency complaining that he needed hundreds of billions more to repair roads and bridges. Vast sums of taxpayer money were wasted on foolish projects that came close to the Keynesian economic satire of hiring some people to dig holes, and others to fill them in. Obama added insult to injury by appointing Vice President Joe Biden as the “sheriff” who would supposedly find all that missing stimulus loot.
Operation Fast and Furious: Obama partisans seem to think any given example of abuse or ineptitude by their man stopped being a “scandal” the moment it seemed clear he wouldn’t be impeached over it. Operation Fast and Furious, the Obama administration’s insane program to use American gun dealers and straw purchasers to arm Mexican drug lords, is a scandal with a huge body count, prominently including Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jamie Zapata, plus hundreds of Mexican citizens. Agent Terry’s family certainly thinks it qualifies as a scandal.
Eric Holder held in contempt of Congress: This was a result of Operation Fast and Furious, but it merits distinction as a separate scandal in its own right. Holder was the first sitting member of a president’s cabinet in the history of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress.
Of course, Democrats closed ranks behind Holder, the White House protected him, and the media allowed Holder to spin the contempt vote as mere “political theater.” In reality, it was a difficult step that responsible members of Congress didn’t want to take, and it was fully justified by Holder’s disgraceful conduct in the Fast and Furious investigation. No reasonable person could possibly review the way OFF was handled and conclude it was an example of transparency and accountability.
ObamaCare: Everything about ObamaCare is a scandal, from the President’s incessant lies about keeping your old plan if you liked it, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s “we need to pass it to find out what’s in it” dereliction of Congressional duty. ObamaCare is a scam, pure and simple – sold on false pretenses by people who knew it wasn’t going to work the way they promised. It doesn’t feel right to dismiss it as a “failed” scheme when so much of the failure was intentional. The bill was so sloppily crafted that Democrats were basically signing blank sheets of paper when they rushed it through Congress in a foul-smelling cloud of back-room deals. ObamaCare’s designers precipitated a constitutional crisis by forgetting they left in a provision to cut subsidies for states that didn’t set up health-care exchanges – a provision that would have killed the entire program stone-dead two years ago, if it had been enforced as written.
Spying on journalists: Establishment media came about as close to falling out of love with Barack Obama as ever when his administration was caught spying on journalists. Why, if the reporter subjected to the most egregious surveillance, James Rosen, didn’t work for Fox News, the mainstream media might have started treating Obama like a (shudder) Republican. Rosen was treated so badly that even Attorney General Eric Holder eventually admitted feeling a bit of “remorse” about it. Apparently he felt so much anguish that he suffered temporary amnesia and forgot to tell Congress that he signed off on the request to wiretap Rosen while he was testifying under oath.
The IRS scandal: The selective targeting of conservative groups by a politicized Internal Revenue Service was a scandal grenade Democrats and their media pals somehow managed to smother, even though the story began with the IRS admitting wrongdoing. Democrats suffocated the scandal by acting like circus clowns during congressional hearings, but at no point were the actual facts of the case truly obscured: yes, pro-life and Tea Party groups were deliberately targeted for extra scrutiny, their tax exemption applications outrageously delayed until after the 2012 election without actually being refused. If anything remotely comparable had been done to, say, environmentalist and minority activist groups by the IRS under a Republican administration, the results would have been apocalyptic. There’s also no question about the facts of the follow-up scandal, in which IRS officials brazenly lied about having backups of relevant computer data. The American people were expected to believe that multiple state-of-the-art hard drives failed, and were instantly shredded instead of being subjected to data recovery procedures.
Benghazi: This is the clearest example of Obama and his supporters thinking all of his pre-2012 scandals ceased to exist the moment he won re-election. Benghazi has been investigated extensively, and argued about passionately, since the night of September 11, 2012. Nothing can change the absolute fact that the Obama administration’s story for the first few weeks after the attack was false, and they knew it was false. They spun a phony story to buy themselves a little time during a presidential election campaign, and it worked.
Hillary Clinton’s secret server: While we’re on the subject of Hillary Clinton, her secret email server is an Obama scandal, too. She perpetrated her email offenses while working as his Secretary of State, and contrary to Obama’s false assertions, he knew about it. Plenty of Obama officials other than Clinton played email games, most infamously EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, who created a false identity for herself named “Richard Windsor” to get around government transparency rules.
The Pigford scandal: Named after a landmark lawsuit from the Bill Clinton era, the abuse of a program meant to compensate minority farmers for racial discrimination exploded under Obama. After years of left-wing attacks on Andrew Breitbart for daring to speak up about the scandal, the mainstream media – no less than the New York Times – finally admitted his critique of the program was accurate in 2013.
NSA spying scandal: Opinions about the nature and intensity of this scandal vary wildly across the political spectrum, but there’s no doubt that Edward Snowden’s pilfering of sensitive National Security Agency data was a debacle that damaged national security. We had the ghastly spectacle of Attorney General Holder thanking Snowden for performing a public service by exposing surveillance programs Holder’s own administration didn’t want to talk about. President Obama and his administration made many false statements as they tried to contain the political damage. The fallout included significant losses for U.S. companies, and diplomatic problems for the United States. Just about everything Obama did before, during, and after the Snowden saga damaged the relationship between American citizens and their government.
Bowe Bergdahl: Bergdahl’s ultimate fate rests in the hands of a military court (unless Obama pardons him) but no verdict can erase the scandalous way this administration conducted the prisoner swap that freed him from the Taliban and its allies. Many lies were told, the law was flouted, a deal of questionable wisdom was struck with his captors, and outraged Americans demanded recognition for the soldiers who died searching for Bergdahl after he abandoned his post.
Iran nuclear deal and ransom payment: Everything about Obama’s dealings with Iran has been scandalous, beginning with his silence while the Green Revolution was brutally put down by the mullahs in 2009. The Iran nuclear deal was pushed with lies and media manipulation. The infamous pallet of cash that wasn’t a ransom has become symbolic of Obama’s mendacity and penchant for breaking the rules, when he thinks following them is too much trouble.
Polluting the Colorado river: The Environmental Protection Agency managed to turn the Colorado River orange under this greenest of green Presidents. Of course there was a cover-up. Would you expect anything less from this “transparent” administration?
The GSA scandal: The General Services Administration was caught wasting ridiculous amounts of taxpayer money on lavish parties and silly projects. Heroic efforts to resist accountability were made, leaving puzzled observers to ask what it took to get fired from government employment under Barack Obama. (Alas, it was hardly the last time that question would be asked.) Oh, and of course there was a cover-up from the Most Scandal-Free Administration Ever.
The VA death-list scandal: The Department of Veterans Affairs has long been troubled, but the big scandals broke on Obama’s watch, most infamously the secret death lists veterans were put on while executives handed in phony status reports and signed themselves up for big bonuses. Obama was more interested in spinning the news and minimizing his political exposure than addressing problems; in few areas outside ObamaCare has his rhetoric been more hollow, his promises more meaningless.
Solyndra: The marquee green energy scandal wrote “crony capitalism” into the American political lexicon, as corners were cut and protocols ignored to shovel billions of taxpayer dollars at companies with absurdly unrealistic business models. President Obama’s ability to pick bad investments was remarkable. Luckily for him, American taxpayers covered his losses.
Secret Service gone wild: The Obama years saw one scandal after another hit the Secret Service, from agents going wild with hookers in Columbia, to a fence jumper penetrating the White House, and tipsy Secret Service officials driving their car into a security barrier.
Shutdown theater: Obama hit the American people hard during the great government shutdown crisis of 2013, doing everything he could to make American citizens feel maximum pain – from using “Barry-cades” to keep war veterans away from their memorials, to releasing illegal alien criminals from detention centers. It was an infuriating lesson for voters in how every dollar they get from government is a dollar that can be used against them, when they are impudent enough to demand spending restraint.