WOW!!! The Olympics Opening Ceremony: A Teachable Moment for America

– L. Arthalia Cravin

Last night I watched the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad Games. It was the first time that I watched an entire ceremony from start to finish. It was spectacular!! By the time the 4-hour ceremony ended I felt proud to be a citizen of this world. The Brits “hit it out of the park” and in the process told the world “a thing or two” about what diversity means. America, especially Mitt Romney, could learn something.

For starters, the entire ceremony was skin color, ethnicity, and gender inclusive. It was truly refreshing to see peoples of diverse skin colors and ethnicities participating in equal roles in the various program themes. It was good to see that the Brits realize that children of all nationalities and skin colors have dreams, aspirations, and hopes and that these hopes must be nurtured by the present generation. It was good to see that the Brits also understand the need for national healthcare as vital to the health of a nation. Who would have imagined hospital beds and dancing doctors and nurses in an Olympics opening ceremony? The British are proud of its National Health Care system. The British want healthy citizens.

Even Queen Elizabeth stepped away from her gilded writing desk to join “James Bond” to parachute from a helicopter (even the illusion was jaw-dropping), to participate in the ceremony. Folks, this is real royalty. Even the Queen knows how to “get down with the people.” None of this fake, Mitt and Ann Romney, wannabe aristocrats, 10 houses and a car elevator pretentious mess. I did not know until last night that it was a British computer scientist named Tim Berners-Lee who invented the Internet. Berners-Lee was featured in the opening ceremony as part of the thematic chronology of Britain from an agrarian society to the technology age. The way America’s brag about being “the greatest nation on earth” you would have thought that “we” invented the internet and everything else. In 1989 Berners-Lee made a proposal for an information management system that became the World Wide Web. But even this brilliant mind needed help from others who assisted him in making the first successful communicating between the language of the computer at the time and a server. What Berners-Lee did was to invent a technology to connect people so that they could share information and knowledge—for free—it’s now called the Internet. If there ever was a gift to mankind it is the Internet. And then there is the gift to the world of English Literature. Even J. K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter books, overcame her shyness to appear in the opening ceremony reading to children. Who else on earth has sold 450 million books? No American that I know.

There was so much else to be proud of watching the opening ceremony. I was delighted to see that the International Olympics chairman included the 500 hard-hat men and women who did all the “drudge work” digging tunnels, building roads, hauling cement, and building the infrastructure for what was a jaw-dropping event. The IOC chairman made sure that those men and women were there as the Olympic torch passed through. This was truly a teachable moment for folks like Mitt Romney who keeps running around patting his own butt claiming that “I save the 2002 Utah Olympics.” In reality Romney didn’t “save anything.” There was a bribery scandal involving various IOC members that undermined the integrity of the 2002 games. What was needed was a change in personnel and Romney agreed to join. He did not go there like Superman and do anything alone. First of all he used $1.6 billion in federal money and thousands of people helped to make the event successful. Romney didn’t build one structure. He was simply a figurehead who worked with hundreds of others to shore up the potential damage done from the bribery scandal. But what did “Mitt the Twit” do—made lapel pins showing his own smiling image. Did Mitt ever ask the men and women who built the Utah roads and structures to take a bow? Did Mitt have the humility and presence of mind to do what the IOC chairman did last night to make sure that the world saw the men and women in hard-hats who did all the grub work? No wonder the British press labeled Mitt a “wazzock,” meaning a fool and a dunce.

The final aspect of the opening ceremony was truly something to behold. The Olympics flag was carried by at least two black women as it passed through and paused in front of Muhammad Ali. Even the Brits know how to recognize those who have carried the torch of human freedom—at the Olympic Games and beyond. And finally, the single Olympics torch event of re-lighting individual torches, representing future athletes, was the defining teachable moment. Even here the Brits had no trouble including a black female athlete. No anti-black woman message anywhere in the opening ceremony. This defining event was a message to the 200-plus gathered nations that we are all on this planet together, that we must see beyond our present troubles, and, as Sir Paul McCartney put it, “to make it better. The opening ceremony was truly a teachable moment on the meaning of world citizenship and the meaning of, as Sir Paul McCartney said, “Hey Jude, let’s make it better.” Hey all you Brits and Londoners, you did just that!!

Copyright 2012 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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  1. avatar leigh cravin says:

    Bill: You need to check yourself for what “erudite” folks call intellectual dishonesty. Within two sentences of your “stop the racism” and” “We can not be united if we keep trashing others out” you did just that–trashed the President. My post was not racist–it was an acknowledgement of the racial inclusiveness of the Olympic ceremony. What was racist about that? And as for Mitt, I didn’t call him “Mitt the Twit, and a “wazzock” the white, presumptively Anglo-Saxon, British press did that. Yes we are all “Americans” but we are Americans “put off into different bags” to be treated differently. Surely you realize that this country has one of the most enduring legacies of blatant racism of any country on earth. As for “let’s live united,” please let’s do. Let’s unite the Amarillo police force with peoples of all races. Let’s unite the administrative offices of AISD, let’s unite the workforce at the City of Amarillo and Potter county. Let’s unite in hiring teachers at AISD. quite frankly, I would love to hear your enunciation of what “living united” really means because this business of we’re not Asian-American or Black Americans, is sheer folly. As for the President he has been trashed more than any other president in history. It was white Republicans who, from the day of his inauguration, vowed to undermine everything he tried to do–and they continue to this day with their attacks. Why don’t you go preach to these racist dogs. Go preach to the racist greedy dogs who targeted black and Hispanics for sub-prime loans that has left a big gaping hole in their economic lives. Go preach to that hell-bent racist bunch who enacted these “anti-minority” voter Photo ID laws that they admitted were for the purpose of making sure Romney won. Go preach to the real racists about some of the truly loathsome attacks on the President as being Un-American and “foreign.” Send a letter to that loud-mouth blubber butt Rush Limbaugh who hoped that the President would fail and who himself is little more than an Idi Amin in white fact. I agree, let’s live united, but don’t try to sell me a bunch of “let’s all live united” empty-headed rhetoric.

  2. avatar dexter says:

    Bill?

    Really Bill and all who are of the same mindset?

    I ask where have you been hiding since Vietnam? We’ve been a crippled nation since the Korean War and the handful of proxy wars afterwards we’ve (The Unites States America) has either started of actively participated in since 1950 hasn’t made us stronger as a nation.

    Personally I believe that after another 100 years of history based strictly on accomplishments L.B.J. will be listed as the greatest American President of this era. Now with that said, all presidents leave a record of accomplishments for better or worse.

    Now let’s talk about President Obama…

    194 of President Obama’s Accomplishments! With verifiable citations so out the window with the debate on a lack of Obama accomplishments the historical record has been written and only time will judge it for better or worse.

    If you’re one of those people who thinks President Obama is a “disappointment,” condolences for not getting your unicorn. And it’s time to grow up, get over it. We have four months to go before an election that will feature more political ads than you have ever seen before in your life. We’re not just having to beat Willard Romney; we also have to beat Citizens United. There will be TWO choices for president. You can either work for Obama and every other Democrat (yes, including Blue Dogs), or you can sit back and watch Willard Romney complete the job of taking apart the social fabric of the country that was begun by Ronald Reagan.

    What makes the “disappointment” argument even more irritating is that it’s simply not true. He’s done nearly everything we elect a president to do, and he dd it all with little support from the left, and massive obstruction from the right. .

    Is he perfect? No, he’s human. Does he deserve some criticism? At this point, it really doesn’t matter.

    What does matter is that this president has compiled a STELLAR record. If you can look at this list of the president’s accomplishments after three years, and not be excited, you have a serious problem with perspective.

    Pass this list around to everyone you know. And don’t be afraid; unlike many such lists, every item includes a link to a citation supporting it.

    He Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility After the Bush Debacle

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression

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

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

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

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

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

    12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. http://bit.ly/ibhpxr Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. http://bit.ly/gj7mt5 This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. http://lat.ms/zIJuQx Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up. http://nyti.ms/k0zp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost. http://1.usa.gov/ez30Dc

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

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

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

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

    He Fostered Greater Transparency and Better Government, After the Excesses of the Bush Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Ushered Through Many Changes That Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    60. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011. http://1.usa.gov/qu2EhQ

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

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

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

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

    He Made Major Improvements in Foreign Relations and American Status Around the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Took a More Realistic Approach to “Defense”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    His Administration Treated Soldiers and Veterans with Respect That Was Missing Previously

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Refocused the Federal Government on Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Pushed Through Improvements in National Safety and Security

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

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

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

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

    Science, Technology and Health Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He Took Steps to Strengthen the Middle Class and Families, and to Fight Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

    152. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times. http://aol.it/evtVxD http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ http://bit.ly/hOtIpg http://bit.ly/fTT7kz

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

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

    He Took Concrete Steps to Improve Our Environment and Address Our Energy Needs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    164. Oversaw doubling federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    176. Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But That’s Not All…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And Did You Know?

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

  3. avatar Bill says:

    Enough of the racism from everyone! We can not be united if we keep trashing others out just because of the color of their skin. Romney has some serious flaws, but it can’t be worse than Obama. During his time in office, we have become a crippled nation. I watch CNN, and I watch Fox news. You can claim one way or another, but the truth speaks for itself. Look at the last four years, and tell me what he has really done that is good for the AMERICAN people; that’s what we are. We are not african american, hispanic amercan, asian american, etc. We are Americans! When we realize that, then we will truly be united.

  4. avatar valiummi says:

    It was a very well done production.