Sunday, September 11, 2011

Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Hussein Obama II ( b??r??k hu??se?n o??b??m?/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the firstAfrican American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11H/B Battery

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at theUniversity of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/L Battery

He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.

Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for United States Senate in 2004. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/P Battery

Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primaryand his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in November 2004. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11S/W Battery

His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as presidenton January 20, 2009. Sony VAIO VGN-CR11Z/R Battery

In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act in December 2010. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he gradually withdrew combat troops from Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered enforcement of the United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya, and issued a direct order to a small group of American military forces to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In April 2011, Obama declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

Early life and career

Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapi?olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now called Kapi?olani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas and was of English[7] and Irish descent.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang'oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship. The couple married on February 2, 1961, separated when Obama Sr. went to Harvard University on scholarship, and divorced in 1964.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery

Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya, visiting Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982.

After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery

all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled, and the family moved to the Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School. Because of his childhood background, today Obama is quite popular in Indonesia.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery

In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery

Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972, remaining there until 1977 when she went back to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year, before dying of ovarian cancer.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind."[19] He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H Battery

Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/S Battery

Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol,marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind." At the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency, Obama identified his high-school drug use as a great moral failure. Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/T Battery

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental's disinvestment from South Africa due to its policy of apartheid. In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan and India for three weeks.Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/S Battery

Later in 1981, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations[25] and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1983. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation,[26] then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/T Battery

Chicago community organizer and Harvard Law School

Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988. During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time in Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

He returned in August 2006 for a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Kisumu in rural western Kenya.

In late 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, and president of the journal in his second year.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.After graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations, which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

University of Chicago Law School and civil rights attorney

In 1991, Obama accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School to work on his first book. He then served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years—as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004—teaching constitutional law.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration drive with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, and led to Crain's Chicago Business naming Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

In 1993 he joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and of the Joyce Foundation. He served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.

State Senator: 1997–2004

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois's 13th District,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

which at that time spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods fromHyde Park – Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn.Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws. He sponsored a law increasing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

In 2001, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election, and was reelected again in 2002. In 2000, he lost a Democratic primary run for theU.S. House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority. He sponsored and led unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they detained, and legislation making Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11ER/S Battery

During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, police representatives credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enactingdeath penalty reforms.[51] Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11E/S Battery

U.S. Senate campaign

In May 2002, Obama commissioned a poll to assess his prospects in a 2004 U.S. Senate race; he created a campaign committee, began raising funds and lined up political media consultant David Axelrod by August 2002, and formally announced his candidacy in January 2003.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq. On October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War rally, and spoke out against the war.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11L/S Battery

He addressed another anti-war rally in March 2003 and told the crowd that "it's not too late" to stop the war.

Decisions by Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald and his Democratic predecessor Carol Moseley Braun to not participate in the election resulted in wide-open Democratic and Republican primary contests involving fifteen candidates.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11MR/S Battery

In the March 2004 primary election, Obama won in an unexpected landslide—which overnight made him a rising star within the national Democratic Party, started speculation about a presidential future, and led to the reissue of his memoir, Dreams from My Father.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11M/S Battery

In July 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, and it was seen by 9.1 million viewers. His speech was well received and elevated his status within the Democratic Party.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11SR/S Battery

Obama's expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race in June 2004.[63] Six weeks later, Alan Keyesaccepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination to replace Ryan.[64] In the November 2004 general election, Obama won with 70% of the vote.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11S/S Battery

U.S. Senator: 2005–2008

Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 4, 2005, becoming the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus. CQ Weekly characterized him as a "loyal Democrat" based on analysis of all Senate votes in 2005–2007. Obama announced on November 13, 2008, that he would resign his Senate seat on November 16, 2008, before the start of the lame-ducksession, to focus on his transition period for the presidency. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11ZR/S Battery


Obama cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. He introduced two initiatives bearing his name: Lugar–Obama, which expanded the Nunn–Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, Sony VAIO VGN-NS11Z/S Battery

and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, which authorized the establishment of, a web search engine on federal spending. On June 3, 2008, Senator Obama, along with Senators Tom Carper, Tom Coburn, and John McCain, introduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008.Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/S Battery

Obama sponsored legislation that would have required nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks, but the bill failed to pass in the full Senate after being heavily modified in committee.Regarding tort reform, Obama voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/W Battery

which grants immunity from civil liability to telecommunications companies complicit with NSA warrantless wiretapping operations.

In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.Sony VAIO VGN-NS12S/S Battery

In January 2007, Obama and Senator Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007. Obama also introducedDeceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/P Battery

and the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007, neither of which has been signed into law.

Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges.[81] This amendment passed the full Senate in the spring of 2008.Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/W Battery

He sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, which has not passed committee, and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/S Battery


Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006. In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/W Battery

He also became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He met with Mahmoud Abbas before Abbas became President of the Palestinian Authority, Sony VAIO VGN-NS21Z/S Battery

and gave a speech at the University of Nairobi condemning corruption within the Kenyan government.

2008 presidential campaign

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/P Battery

The choice of the announcement site was viewed as symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic"House Divided" speech in 1858. Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care, in a campaign that projected themes of "hope" and "change".Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/W Battery

A large number of candidates entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The field narrowed to a duel between Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton after early contests, with the race remaining close throughout the primary process but with Obama gaining a steady lead in pledged delegates due to better long-range planning,Sony VAIO VGN-NS31S/S Battery

superior fundraising, dominant organizing in caucus states, and better exploitation of delegate allocation rules.[95] On June 7, 2008, Clinton ended her campaign and endorsed Obama.[96]

On August 23, Obama announced his selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.Sony VAIO VGN-NS31Z/P Battery

Biden was selected from a field speculated to include former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.[98] At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Hillary Clinton called for her delegates and supporters to endorse Obama, and she and Bill Clinton gave convention speeches in support of Obama.Sony VAIO VGN-NS31Z/S Battery

Obama delivered his acceptance speech, not at the convention center where the Democratic National Convention was held,[100] but at Invesco Field at Mile High to a crowd of over 75,000[101] and presented his policy goals; the speech was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide.Sony VAIO VGN-NS31Z/W Battery

During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.Sony VAIO VGN-NS38M/P Battery

McCain was nominated as the Republican candidate and the two engaged in three presidential debates in September and October 2008.[105] On November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain.[106] Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7%.Sony VAIO VGN-NS38M/W Battery

He became the first African American to be elected president.[108] Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park.[109]

2012 presidential campaign

On April 4, 2011, Obama announced his re-election campaign for 2012 in a video titled "It Begins with Us", posted on his website.Sony VGP-BPL10 Battery

He filed election papers with the Federal Election Commission on the same day.

First days

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery

In his first few days in office Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. He ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "as soon as practicable and no later than" January 2010, Sony VGP-BPS10/S Battery

but during his first two years in office he has been unable to persuade Congress to appropriate funds required to accomplish the shutdown. Obama reduced the secrecy given to presidential records and changed procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.Sony VGP-BPS10A/B Battery

He also reversed George W. Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions.

Domestic policy

The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits.Sony VGP-BPS10B Battery

Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million children currently uninsured.

In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research. Obama stated that he believed "sound science and moral values...are not inconsistent" and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.Sony VGP-BPS10A Battery

Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009,[124] becoming the first Hispanic to be a Supreme Court Justice.Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery

Elena Kagan, nominated by Obama on May 10, 2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history.Sony VGP-BPL8A Battery

On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming. Sony VGP-BPL8B Battery

On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation,gender identity, or disability. Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill which ends the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increases the Pell Grant scholarship award, and makes changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery

In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and ended development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program.Sony VGP-BPS8B Battery

He is focusing funding (which is expected to rise modestly) on Earth science projects and a new rocket type, as well as research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars. Missions to the International Space Station are expected to continue until 2020.Sony VGP-BPL9 Battery

On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, a bill that provides for repeal of the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that has prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.Repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" had been a key campaign promise that Obama had made during the 2008 presidential campaign. Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

On January 25, 2011, in his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama focused strongly on the themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics in working to make the United States more competitive globally.Sony VGP-BPS9/B Battery

Among other plans and goals, Obama spoke of a enacting a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs.Sony VGP-BPS9/S Battery

Looking to the future, Obama promised that by 2015, the United States would have 1 million electric vehicles on the road and by 2035, clean-energy sources would be providing 80 percent of U.S. electricity. Sony VGP-BPS9A Battery

Economic policy

On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession. The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education,Sony VGP-BPS9A/B Battery

various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals, which is being distributed over the course of several years.

In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets,Sony VGP-BPS9A/S Battery

which contains provisions for buying up to $2 trillion in depreciated real estate assets.

Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing.Sony VGP-BPS9B Battery

Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government shouldering a 12% stake.Sony VGP-BPL21 Battery

In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment. He signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers", that had mixed results.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

Although spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations totaled about $11.5 trillion, only $3 trillion had actually been spent by the end of November 2009. However, Obama and the Congressional Budget Office predict that the 2010 budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion or 10.6% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion or 9.9% of GDP.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

For 2011, the administration predicted the deficit will slightly shrink to $1.34 trillion, while the 10-year deficit will increase to $8.53 trillion or 80% of GDP.[156] The most recent increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion was signed into law on February 12, 2010.Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

On August 2, 2011, after a lengthy congressional debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation enforces limits on discretionary spending until 2021, establishes a procedure to increase the debt limit,Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

creates a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, and establishes automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings.Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

By passing the legislation, Congress was able to prevent an unprecendented U.S. government default on its obligations.

The unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.1% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Sony VGP-BPL13 Battery

Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year. Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries.Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a 1.6% pace, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter. Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year.Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

In July 2010, the Federal Reserveexpressed that although economic activity continued to increase, its pace had slowed and its Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated that the economic outlook was "unusually uncertain."[163] Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

The Congressional Budget Office and a broad range of economists credit Obama's stimulus plan for economic growth.The CBO released a report stating that the stimulus bill increased employment by 1–2.1 million, while conceding that "It is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package."Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Although an April 2010 survey of members of the National Association for Business Economics showed an increase in job creation (over a similar January survey) for the first time in two years, 73% of the 68 respondents believed that the stimulus bill has had no impact on employment.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Within a month of the 2010 midterm elections, Obama announced a compromise deal with the Congressional Republican leadership that included a temporary, two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates, a one-year payroll tax reduction, continuation of unemployment benefits, and a new rate and exemption amount for estate taxes.Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

The compromise overcame opposition from some in both parties, and the resulting $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress before Obama signed it on December 17, 2010.Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery

Health care reform

Obama called for Congress to pass legislation reforming health care in the United States, a key campaign promise and a top legislative goal. He proposed an expansion of health insurance coverage to cover the uninsured, to cap premium increases, and to allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

His proposal was to spend $900 billion over 10 years and include a government insurance plan, also known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care.Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

It would also make it illegal for insurers to drop sick people or deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, and require every American carry health coverage. The plan also includes medical spending cuts and taxes on insurance companies that offer expensive plans.Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced a 1,017-page plan for overhauling the U.S. health care system, which Obama wanted Congress to approve by the end of 2009. After much public debate during the Congressional summer recess of 2009, Sony VGP-BPS13Q Battery

Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on September 9 where he addressed concerns over his administration's proposals. In March 2009, Obama lifted a ban on stem cell research.

On November 7, 2009, a health care bill featuring the public option was passed in the House.Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery

On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed its own bill—without a public option—on a party-line vote of 60–39. On March 21, 2010, the health care bill passed by the Senate in December was passed in the House by a vote of 219 to 212. Obama signed the bill into law on March 23, 2010.Sony VAIO VGN-AW110J/H Battery

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

On April 20, 2010, an explosion destroyed an offshore drilling rig at the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a major sustained oil leak. The well's operator, BP, initiated a containment and cleanup plan, and began drilling two relief wells intended to stop the flow.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H Battery

Obama visited the Gulf on May 2 among visits by members of his cabinet, and again on May 28 and June 4. He began a federal investigation and formed a bipartisan commission to recommend new safety standards, after a review by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and concurrent Congressional hearings. Sony VAIO VGN-AW11S/B Battery

On May 27, he announced a 6-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits and leases, pending regulatory review. As multiple efforts by BP failed, some in the media and public expressed confusion and criticism over various aspects of the incident, and stated a desire for more involvement by Obama and the federal government.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

Foreign policy

In February and March, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made separate overseas trips to announce a "new era" in U.S. foreign relations with Russia and Europe, using the terms "break" and "reset" to signal major changes from the policies of the preceding administration.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

Obama attempted to reach out to Arab leaders by granting his first interview to an Arab cable TV network, Al Arabiya.

On March 19, Obama continued his outreach to the Muslim world, releasing a New Year's video message to the people and government of Iran.Sony VAIO VGN-AW120J/H Battery

This attempt at outreach was rebuffed by the Iranian leadership. In April, Obama gave a speech in Ankara, Turkey, which was well received by many Arab governments. On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "a new beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.Sony VAIO VGN-AW150Y/H Battery

On June 26, 2009, in response to the Iranian government's actions towards protesters following Iran's 2009 presidential election, Obama said: "The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. We see it and we condemn it." On July 7, while in Moscow, he responded to a Vice President Biden comment on a possible Israeli military strike on Iran by saying:Sony VAIO VGN-AW160J/Q Battery

"We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East."

On September 24, 2009, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.Sony VAIO VGN-AW170Y/Q Battery

In March 2010, Obama took a public stance against plans by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue building Jewish housing projects in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.During the same month, an agreement was reached with the administration of Sony VAIO VGN-AW180Y/Q Battery

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with a new pact reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons in the arsenals of both countries by about one-third. The New START treaty was signed by Obama and Medvedev in April 2010, and was ratified by the U.S. Senate in December 2010.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190JAH Battery

Iraq War

During his presidential transition, President-elect Obama announced that he would retain the incumbent Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in his Cabinet.

On February 27, 2009, Obama declared that combat operations would end in Iraq within 18 months. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NAB Battery

His remarks were made to a group of Marines preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Obama said, "Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end." The Obama administration scheduled the withdrawal of combat troops to be completed by August 2010, Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NBB Battery

decreasing troops levels from 142,000 while leaving a transitional force of 35,000 to 50,000 in Iraq until the end of 2011. On August 19, 2010, the last United States combat brigade exited Iraq. The plan is to transition the mission of the remaining troops from combat operations to counter-terrorism and the training, equipping, and advising of Iraqi security forces.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NCB Battery

On August 31, 2010, Obama announced that the United States combat mission in Iraq was over.

War in Afghanistan

Early in his presidency, Obama moved to bolster U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan. He announced an increase to U.S. troop levels of 17,000 in February 2009 to "stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan", an area he said had not received the "strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires".Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YAB Battery

He replaced the military commander in Afghanistan, General David D. McKiernan, with former Special Forces commander Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in May 2009, indicating that McChrystal's Special Forces experience would facilitate the use of counterinsurgency tactics in the war.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YBB Battery

On December 1, 2009, Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 military personnel to Afghanistan. He also proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date. McChrystal was replaced by David Petraeus in June 2010 after McChrystal's staff criticized White House personnel in a magazine article.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YCB Battery


During the initial years of the Obama administration, the U.S. increased military cooperation with Israel, including a record number of U.S. troops participating in military exercises in the country, increased military aid, and the re-establishment of the U.S.-Israeli Joint Political Military Group and the Defense Policy Advisory Group. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YDB Battery

It was reported high-ranking defense officials from both countries had been making an unusual number of trips between the two countries, including Ehud Barak. Part of the military aid increase in 2010 was to fund Israel's missile defense shield. Before Adm.Sony VAIO VGN-AW220J/B Battery

Mike Mullen, no Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had visited Israel for over a decade, but in 2010 he made two trips, bringing his total to four.

In 2011, Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations vetoed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, with the U.S. the only nation on the Security Council doing so.Sony VAIO VGN-AW230J/H Battery

Like previous American presidential administrations, Obama supports the two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the 1967 borders with land swaps.


In March 2011, as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi advanced on rebels across Libya,Sony VAIO VGN-AW235J/B Battery

formal calls for a no-fly zone came in from around the world, including Europe, the Arab League, and a resolution passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In response to the unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 on March 17, Gaddafi — who had previously vowed to "show no mercy" to the citizens of Benghazi — Sony VAIO VGN-AW290JFQ Battery

announced an immediate cessation of military activities, yet reports came in that his forces continued shelling Misrata. The next day, on Obama's orders, the U.S. military took a lead role in air strikes to destroy the Libyan government's air defense capabilities in order to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly-zone,including the use of Tomahawk missiles, B-2 Spirits, and fighter jets.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery

Six days later, on March 25, by unanimous vote of all of its 28 members, NATO took over leadership of the effort, dubbedOperation Unified Protector. Some Representatives questioned whether Obama had the constitutional authority to order military action in addition to questioning its cost, structure and aftermath.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

Osama bin Laden

Starting with information received in July 2010, intelligence developed by the CIA over the next several months determined what they believed to be the location of Osama bin Laden in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles from Islamabad.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

CIA head Leon Panettareported this intelligence to President Obama in March 2011. Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

The operation took place on May 1, 2011, resulting in the death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers and computer drives and disks from the compound. Bin Laden's body was identified through DNA testing, and buried at sea several hours later. Within minutes of the President's announcement from Washington,Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH Battery

DC, late in the evening on May 1, there were spontaneous celebrations around the country as crowds gathered outside the White House, and at New York City's Ground Zero and Times Square. Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and from many countries around the world.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

2010 midterm election

Obama called the November 2, 2010 election, where the Democratic Party lost 63 seats in, and control of, the House of Representatives, "humbling" and a "shellacking". He said that the results came because not enough Americans had felt the effects of the economic recovery.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF Battery

Cultural and political image

Obama's family history, early life and upbringing, and Ivy League education differ markedly from those of African-American politicians who launched their careers in the 1960s through participation in the civil rights movement.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery

Obama is also not a descendant of American slaves. Expressing puzzlement over questions about whether he is "black enough", Obama told an August 2007 meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists that "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong."Sony VAIO VGN-AW50DB/H Battery

Obama acknowledged his youthful image in an October 2007 campaign speech, saying: "I wouldn't be here if, time and again, the torch had not been passed to a new generation."

Obama is frequently referred to as an exceptional orator. During his pre-inauguration transition period and continuing into his presidency, Obama has delivered a series of weekly Internet video addresses.Sony VAIO VGN-AW51JGB Battery

According to the Gallup Organization, Obama began his presidency with a 68% approval rating[244]before gradually declining for the rest of the year, and eventually bottoming out at 41% in August 2010, a trend similar to Ronald Reagan's and Bill Clinton's first years in office.Sony VAIO VGN-AW52JGB Battery

He experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden, which lasted until around June 2011, when his approval numbers dropped back to where they were prior to the operation. Polls show strong support for Obama in other countries,Sony VAIO VGN-AW53FB Battery

and before being elected President he has met with prominent foreign figures including then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italy's Democratic Party leader and then Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.Sony VAIO VGN-AW70B/Q Battery

According to a May 2009 poll conducted by Harris Interactive for France 24 and the International Herald Tribune, Obama was rated as the most popular world leader, as well as the one figure most people would pin their hopes on for pulling the world out of the economic downturn.Sony VAIO VGN-AW71JB Battery

Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and forThe Audacity of Hope in February 2008. His concession speech after the New Hampshire primary was set to music by independent artists as the music video "Yes We Can",Sony VAIO VGN-AW72JB Battery

which was viewed 10 million times on YouTube in its first month and received a Daytime Emmy Award. In December 2008, Timemagazine named Barack Obama as its Person of the Year for his historic candidacy and election, which it described as "the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments".Sony VAIO VGN-AW73FB Battery

On October 9, 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Obama accepted this award in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2009, with "deep gratitude and great humility."Sony VAIO VGN-AW80NS Battery

The award drew a mixture of praise and criticism from world leaders and media figures.Obama is the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the third to become a Nobel laureate while in office.

In a 2010 Siena College poll of 238 presidential scholars, Obama was ranked 15th out of 43, with high ratings for imagination, communication ability and intelligence and a low rating for background (family, education and experience). Sony VAIO VGN-AW80S Battery

Family and personal life

In a 2006 interview, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family: "It's like a little mini-United Nations", he said. "I've got relatives who look likeBernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher."Sony VAIO VGN-AW80US Battery

Obama has a half-sister with whom he was raised, Maya Soetoro-Ng, the daughter of his mother and her Indonesian second husband and seven half-siblings from his Kenyan father's family – six of them living. Obama's mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Sony VAIO VGN-AW81DS Battery

Madelyn Dunham, until her death on November 2, 2008, two days before his election to the Presidency. Obama also has roots in Ireland; he met with his Irish cousins in Moneygall in May 2011. In Dreams from My Father, Obama ties his mother's family history to possibleNative American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, Sony VAIO VGN-AW81JS Battery

President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Obama's great-uncle served in the 89th Division that overran Ohrdruf,[272] the first of the Nazi concentration camps to be liberated by U.S. troops during World War II.

Obama was known as "Barry" in his youth, but asked to be addressed with his given name during his college years.Sony VAIO VGN-AW81YS Battery

Besides his native English, Obamaspeaks Indonesian at the conversational level, which he learned during his four childhood years in Jakarta.[275] He plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82DS Battery

Obama is a well known supporter of the Chicago White Sox, and threw out the first pitch at the 2005 ALCS when he was still a senator. In 2009, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the all star game while wearing a White Sox jacket. He is also primarily a Chicago Bears fan in the NFL, but in his childhood and adolesence was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and recently rooted for them ahead of their victory in Super Bowl XLIII 12 days after Obama took office as President.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82JS Battery

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin.[281] Assigned for three months as Obama's adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82YS Battery

They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992. The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83FS Battery

When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

Applying the proceeds of a book deal, the family moved in 2005 from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to a $1.6 million house in neighboring Kenwood, Chicago.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83GS Battery

The purchase of an adjacent lot and sale of part of it to Obama by the wife of developer, campaign donor and friend Tony Rezko attracted media attention because of Rezko's subsequent indictment and conviction on political corruption charges that were unrelated to Obama.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83HS Battery

In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family's net worth at $1.3 million. Their 2009 tax return showed a household income of $5.5 million—up from about $4.2 million in 2007 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90NS Battery

Obama tried to quit smoking several times, sometimes using nicotine replacement therapy. Michelle Obama said he successfully quit in early 2010.

Religious views

As he described in The Audacity of Hope, Obama is a Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90S Battery

He wrote that he "was not raised in a religious household". He described his mother, raised by non-religious parents (whom Obama has specified elsewhere as "non-practicing Methodists and Baptists"), to be detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known".Sony VAIO VGN-AW90US Battery

He described his father as "raised a Muslim", but a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful". Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change".Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery

In an interview with the evangelical periodical Christianity Today, Obama stated: "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery

On September 27, 2010, Obama released a statement commenting on his religious views saying "I'm a Christian by choice. My family didn't—frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery

So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead—being my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me."

Obama was baptized at the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 and was an active member there for two decades.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery

Obama resigned from Trinity during the Presidential campaign aftercontroversial statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright became public.[303] After a prolonged effort to find a church to attend regularly in Washington, Obama announced in June 2009 that his primary place of worship would be the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery

The presidential transition period began following Obama's election to the presidency on November 4, 2008. The Obama-Biden Transition Project was co-chaired by John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse. During the transition period, Obama announced his nominations for his Cabinet andadministration. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery

Shortly after the election on November 4, Obama chose Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois as his Chief of Staff. On January 6, 2011 President Barack Obama named William M. Daley the White House Chief of Staff of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, replacing Pete Rouse who had been acting in that capacity since Rahm Emanuel left the White House in October 2010 to run for Mayor of Chicago.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery

Cabinet nominations included former Democratic primary opponents Hillary Rodham Clinton for Secretary of State and Bill Richardson for Secretary of Commerce (although the latter withdrew on January 4, 2009). Obama appointed Eric Holder as his Attorney General, the first African-Americanappointed to that position.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery

He also nominated Timothy F. Geithner to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. On December 1, Obama announced that he had asked Robert Gates to remain as Secretary of Defense, making Gates the first Defense head to carry over from a president of a different party.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery

He nominated former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, which he restored to a Cabinet-level position.

During his transition, he maintained a website, on which he wrote blogs to readers and uploaded video addresses by many of the members of his new cabinet.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery

He announced strict rules for federal lobbyists, restricting them from financially contributing to his administration and forcing them to stop lobbying while working for him. The website also allowed individuals to share stories and visions with each other and the transition team in what was called the Citizen's Briefing Book, which was given to Obama shortly after his inauguration.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery

Most of the information from was transferred to the official White House website just after Obama's inauguration.

Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. He officially assumed the presidency at 12:00 noon, EST, and completed the oath of office at 12:05 PM, EST. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery

He delivered his inaugural address immediately following his oath. After his speech, he went to the President's Room in the House Wing of the Capitol and signed three documents: a commemorative proclamation, a list of Cabinet appointments, and a list of sub-Cabinet appointments, before attending a luncheon with congressional and administration leaders and invited guests.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of former President Abraham Lincoln, the same Bible that was used for Lincoln's inauguration was used in Obama's inauguration.

In administering the oath, Chief Justice John G. Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully" and erroneously replaced the phrase "President of the United States" with "President to the United States" before restating the phrase correctly;Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery

since Obama initially repeated the incorrect form, some scholars argued the President should take the oath again.On January 21, Roberts readministered the oath to Obama in a private ceremony in the White House Map Room, making him the seventh U.S. president to retake the oath; Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery

White House Counsel Greg Craig said Obama took the oath from Roberts a second time out of an "abundance of caution".


Obama's 100th day in office was April 29, 2009. In his first post-election interview with 60 Minutes, Obama said that he has been studying Roosevelt's first 100 days, Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

while adding, "The first hundred days is going to be important, but it's probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference."

Obama's first 100 days were highly anticipated ever since he became the presumptive nominee.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

Several news outlets created web pages dedicated to covering the subject.Commentators weighed in on challenges and priorities within domestic, foreign, economic, and environmental policy. CNN lists a number of economic issues that "Obama and his team will have to tackle in their first 100 days", Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

foremost among which is passing and implementing a recovery package to deal with the financial crisis. Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer, expressed hopes that the new president will close Guantanamo Bay detention camp in his first 100 days in office.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

After aides of the president announced his intention to give a major foreign policy speech in the capital of an Islamic country, there were speculations in Jakarta that he might return to his former home city within the first 100 days.

The New York Times devoted a five-part series, which was spread out over two weeks, to anticipatory analysis of Obama's first hundred days. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

Each day, the analysis of a political expert was followed by freely edited blog postings from readers. The writers compared Obama's prospects with the situations of Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 16, Jean Edward Smith),John F. Kennedy (January 19,Richard Reeves), Lyndon B. Johnson (January 23, Robert Dallek), Ronald Reagan (January 27, Lou Cannon), and Richard Nixon.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

Legislation and executive orders

Within minutes of taking the Oath of Office on January 20, Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issued an order suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed through by outgoing PresidentGeorge W. Bush, planning to review everything still pending.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

Due to the economic crisis, the President enacted a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per year, as well as announcing stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to raise the ethical standards of the White House. He asked for a waiver to his own new rules, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

however, for the appointments ofWilliam Lynn to the position of Deputy Defense Secretary, Jocelyn Frye to the position of director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady, and Cecilia Muñoz to the position of director of intergovernmental affairs in the executive office of the president, leading to some criticism of hypocrisy and violation of his pledge for governmental openness. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

In his first week in office, Obama signed an executive order suspending all the ongoing proceedings of Guantanamo military commission and ordering the detention facility to be shut down within the year. He also signed Executive Order 13491 - Ensuring Lawful Interrogations requiring the Army Field Manual to be used as a guide for terror interrogations, banning torture and other coercive techniques, such as waterboarding.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

Obama also issued an executive order entitled "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel", setting stricter limitations on incoming executive branch employees and placing tighter restrictions on lobbying in the White House. Obama signed two Presidential Memoranda concerning energy independence,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

ordering the Department of Transportationto establish higher fuel efficiency standards before 2011 models are released and allowing states to raise their emissions standards above the national standard.He also ended the Mexico City Policy, which banned federal grants to international groups that provide abortion services or counseling.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

In his first week he also established a policy of producing a weekly Saturday morning video address available on and YouTube, much like those released during his transition period. The first address had been viewed by 600,000 YouTube viewers by the next afternoon.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

The first piece of legislation Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 on January 29, which revised the statute of limitations for filing pay discrimination lawsuits. Lilly Ledbetter joined Obama and his wife, Michelle, as he signed the bill, fulfilling his campaign pledge to nullify Ledbetter v. Goodyear.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

On February 3, he signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP), expanding health care from 7 million children under the plan to 11 million.

After much debate, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed by both House and Senate on February 13, 2009. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

Originally intended to be a bipartisan bill, the passage of the bill was largely along party lines. No Republicans voted for it in the House, and three moderate Republicans voted for it in the Senate (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania).Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

The bill combined tax breaks with spending on infrastructure projects, extension of welfare benefits, and education. The final cost of the bill was $787 billion, and almost $1.2 trillion with debt service included. Obama signed the Act into law on February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

On March 9, 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and in doing so, called into question some of George W. Bush's signing statements. Obama stated that he too would employ signing statements if he deems upon review that a portion of a bill is unconstitutional, and he has issued several signing statements.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

Early in his presidency, Obama signed a law raising the tobacco tax 62 cents on a pack of cigarettes. The tax is to be "used to finance a major expansi


After his transition period, Obama entered office with an approval rating of 82%.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

At the end of his first week, 68% of respondents in a Gallup poll approved of how Obama was handling his job, matching the early approval ratings of Dwight D. Eisenhower and trailing only John F. Kennedy in post-World War II presidents.

Throughout early February polls showed scattered approval ratings: 62% (CBS News), 64% (USA Today/Gallup), 66% (Gallup), and 76% in an outlier poll (CNN/Opinion Research).Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

Gallup reported the congressional address in late February boosted his approval from a term-low of 59% to 67%.

Throughout autumn 2009, Rasmussen estimated Obama's approval as fluctuating between 45 and 52% and his disapproval between 48 and 54%; as of November 11, Pew Research estimated Obama's approval between 51 and 55% and his disapproval between 33 and 37% since July.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

Handling of the economy

Rasmussen reported in mid-February 2009 that 55% of voters gave Obama good or excellent marks on his handling of the economy. In early March, a Wall Street Journal survey of 49 economists gave Obama an average grade of 59 out of 100, with 42% of the respondents surveyed giving the administration's economic policies a grade below 60 percent.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

In comparison, only 30% of those same economists considered the response of governments around the world to the global recession to have been adequate. In April, a Gallup poll showed trust in Obama's economic policy with 71% saying they had "a fair amount" or "a great deal" of confidence in Obama's handling of the economy,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

higher than for Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, or leaders of Congress. Another Gallup poll in June showed 55% of Americans approved Obama's overall handling of the economy, but 48% and 51% disapproved of his handling of the federal budget deficit and controlling federal spending, respectively.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

A CBS News poll taken August 27–31 showed 53% of those polled approved of his handling of the economy. A Rasmussen poll taken on November 12 found 45% of Americans rating Obama's handling of the economy as poor and 39% rating him as doing a good or excellent job. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

They found 72% of Democrats rated his handling of the economy as good or excellent, while only 10% of Republicans and 27% of voters not affiliated with either party agreed.


On March 25, 2010, following his signing of landmark health care reform legislation into law, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

Obama's polling was revealed by Bloomberg to be 50%, with higher marks for relations with other countries (58%) and his running of the war in Afghanistan (54%). "Obama's approval rating is roughly equal to what Bill Clinton had at this point in his presidency,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

according to data maintained by Gallup (and) higher than the 45 percent Ronald Reagan recorded in April 1982" and more favorable than Democrats or Republicans office in 2010. They found Obama's approval rating was at 85% among Democrats, compared with 46% among independents and 11% among Republicans.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

Fox News released the results of two polls on April 8–9, 2010. The first showed a drop in Obama's approval rating to 43%, with 48% disapproving. In that poll, Democrats approved of Obama's performance 80–12%, while independents disapproved 49–38%.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

The other poll, which concentrated on the economy, showed disapproval of Obama's handling of the economy by a 53–42% margin, with 62% saying they were dissatisfied with the handling of the federal deficit. According to a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2010, President Obama had a 45% approval rating, with 48% disapproving.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

In a poll from Rasmussen Reports, released April 10, 2010, 47% approved of the President's performance, while 53% disapproved.

Twenty-two members of the Obama administration are either in the United States Cabinet (15) or are in positions considered to be Cabinet-level (7). Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

The members of the Cabinet are the heads of the fifteen major departments (State, Defense, Justice, etc.), and the seven cabinet-level positions are the Vice President, White House Chief of Staff, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, U.S.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

Trade Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Since Robert Gates was a member of the previous administration, his letter of resignation (a formality at the end of a President's term) was simply not accepted, and he did not need confirmation.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

On January 19, 2009, Senate Democratic leaders requested fifteen of the twenty positions to be ratified by unanimous consent, and seven gained unanimous confirmation by voice vote the next day: Ken Salazar, Steven Chu,Arne Duncan, Peter Orszag, Eric Shinseki, Tom Vilsack, and Janet Napolitano.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

On January 21, Obama presided over the swearing in of the seven unanimous nominees.Later that day, the Senate confirmed Hillary Clinton by a 94–2 vote. On January 22, several more confirmations were approved unanimously: Susan E. Rice, Ray LaHood, Lisa P. Jackson, and Shaun Donovan.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

On January 26, the Senate confirmed Geithner by a 60–34 margin.

At the conclusion of Obama's first week as President, Hilda Solis, Tom Daschle, Ron Kirk, and Eric Holder had yet to be confirmed, and there had been no second appointment for Secretary of Commerce.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

Holder was confirmed by a vote of 75–21 on February 2, and on February 3, Obama announced Senator Judd Gregg as his second nomination for Secretary of Commerce. Daschle withdrew later that day amid controversy over his failure to pay income taxes and potential conflicts of interest related to the speaking fees he accepted from health care interests.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

Solis was later confirmed by a vote of 80-17 on February 24, and Ron Kirk was confirmed on March 18 by a 92-5 vote in the Senate.

Gregg, who was the leading Republican negotiator and author of the TARP program in the Senate, after publication that he had a multi-million dollar investment in the Bank of America, on February 12,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Commerce, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with President Obama and his staff over how to conduct the 2010 census and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. .Former Washington governor Gary Locke was nominated on February 26 as Obama's third choice for Commerce Secretary and confirmed on March 24 by voice vote.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

On March 2, Obama introduced Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as his second choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services. He also introduced Nancy-Ann DeParle as head of the new White House Office of Health Reform, which he suggested would work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

At the end of March, Sebelius was the only remaining Cabinet member yet to be confirmed.

Six high-ranking cabinet nominees in the Obama administration had their confirmations delayed or rejected among reports that they did not pay all of their taxes, including Tom Daschle, Obama's original nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Though Geithner was confirmed, and Senator Max Baucus, chairman of theSenate Finance Committee, thought Daschle would have been confirmed, Daschle withdrew his nomination on February 3. Obama had nominated Nancy Killefer for the position of Chief Performance Officer,Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

but Killefer also withdrew on February 3, citing unspecified problems with District of Columbia unemployment tax. A senior administration official said that Killefer's tax issues dealt with household help. Hilda Solis, Obama's nominee for Secretary of Labor, faced delayed confirmation hearings due to tax lien concerns pertaining to her husband's auto repair business, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

but she was later confirmed on February 24. While pundits puzzled over U.S. Trade Representative-designate Ron Kirk's failure to be confirmed by March 2009, it was reported on March 2 that Kirk owed over $10,000 in back taxes. Kirk agreed to pay them in exchange for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus's aid in speeding up the confirmation process;Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

he was later confirmed on March 18. On March 31, Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, revealed in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee that her Certified Public Accountant found errors in her tax returns for years 2005-2007. She, along with her husband, paid more than $7,000 in back taxes, along with $878 in interest.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery


Upon entering office, Obama planned to center his attention on handling the global financial crisis. Even before his inauguration he lobbied Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, which became the top priority during his first month in office.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

As President, Obama made a high profile trip to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. to dialog with Congressional Republicans and advocate for the bill. On February 17, 2009, Obama signed into law a $787 billion plan that included spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

The tax provisions of the law reduced taxes for 98 per cent of taxpayers, bringing tax rates to their lowest levels in 60 years.

As part of the 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration has proposed additional measures to attempt to stabilize the economy, including a $2–3 trillion measure aimed at stabilizing the financial system and freeing up credit. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

The program includes up to $1 trillion to buy toxic bank assets, an additional $1 trillion to expand a federal consumer loan program, and the $350 billion left in the Troubled Assets Relief Program. The plan also includes $50 billion intended to slow the wave of mortgage foreclosures.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

The 2011 Budget includes a three-year freeze on discretionary spending, proposes several program cancellations, and raises taxes on high income earners to bring down deficits during the economic recovery.

In a July 2009 interview with ABC News, Vice President Biden was asked about the sustained increase of the U.S. unemployment rate from May 2007 to October 2009 Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

despite the administration's multi-year economic stimulus package passed five months earlier. He responded "The truth is, we and everyone else, misread the economy. The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there ... the truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited."Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery

The White House indicates that 2 million jobs were created or saved due to the stimulus package in 2009 and self reporting by recipients of the grants, loans, and contracts portion of the package report that the package saved or created 608,317 jobs in the final three months of 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-CS52JB/W Battery

The unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.1% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/P Battery

Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries. GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a 1.6% pace, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/Q Battery

Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year. Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.

During November–December 2010, Obama and a lame duck session of the 111th Congress focused on a dispute about the temporary Bush tax cuts, which were due to expire at the end of the year. Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/R Battery

Obama wanted to extend the tax cuts for taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year. Congressional Republicans agreed but also wanted to extend the tax cuts for those making over that amount, and refused to support any bill that did not do so. All the Republicans in the Senate also joined in saying that, Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/P Battery

until the tax dispute was resolved, they would filibuster to prevent consideration of any other legislation, except for bills to fund the U.S. government. On 7 December, Obama strongly defended a compromise agreement he had reached with the Republican congressional leadership that included a two-year extension of all the tax cuts,Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/Q Battery

a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, a one-year reduction in the FICA payroll tax, and other measures. On 10 December, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) led a filibuster against the compromise tax proposal, which lasted over eight hours. Obama persuaded many wary Democrats to support the bill,Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/R Battery

but not all; of the 148 votes against the bill in the House, 112 were cast by Democrats and only 36 by Republicans. The $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which The Washington Post called "the most significant tax bill in nearly a decade",Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/P Battery

passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was signed into law by Obama on December 17, 2010.

Lobbying reform

Early in his presidential campaign, Obama stated that "they [lobbyists] won't find a job in my White House", but softened his stance later in the campaign.Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery

On January 21, 2009 Obama issued an executive order for all future appointees to his administration, which stated, no appointee who was a registered lobbyist within the two years before his appointment could participate on matters in which he lobbied for a period of two years after the date of appointment.Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/R Battery

Three formal waivers were initially issued in early 2009 out of 800 executive appointments: to William J. Lynn III, a lobbyist for Raytheon, to hold the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense; to Jocelyn Frye, former general counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families, to serve as Director of Policy and Projects in the Office of the First Lady;Sony VAIO VGN-CS71B/W Battery

and to Cecilia Muñoz, former senior vice president for the National Council of La Raza, to serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Executive Office of the President. As of March 21, 2009 at least thirty officials appointed by Obama had been lobbyists in the past five years. Ten additional waivers were announced in September 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-CS72JB/W Battery

Not all recent former lobbyists require waivers; those without waivers write letters of recusal stating issues from which they must refrain because of their previous jobs. USA Today reported that 21 members of the Obama administration have at some time been registered as federal lobbyists, although most have not within the previous two years.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90HS Battery

Lobbyists in the administration include William Corr, an anti-tobacco lobbyist, as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services and Tom Vilsack, who lobbied in 2007 for a national teachers union, as Secretary of Agriculture.Also, theSecretary of Labor nominee, Hilda Solis, formerly served as a board member of American Rights at Work,Sony VAIO VGN-CS90NS Battery

which lobbied Congress on two bills Solis co-sponsored, and Mark Patterson, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's chief of staff, is a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have criticized the administration,Sony VAIO VGN-CS90S Battery

claiming that Obama is retreating from his own ethics rules barring lobbyists from working on the issues about which they lobbied during the previous two years by issuing waivers. According to Melanie Sloan, the group's executive director, "It makes it appear that they are saying one thing and doing another."Sony VAIO VGN-CS91HS Battery


The Obama administration has said that all executive orders, non-emergency legislation, and proclamations will be posted to the official White House, allowing the public to review and comment for five days before the President signs the legislation.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91NS Battery

The pledge was twice broken during Obama's first month in office when he signed SCHIP legislation and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with less than the full five days of "sunlight before signing". The administration has said that they are still "working through implementation procedures and some initial issues with the congressional calendar".Sony VAIO VGN-CS91S Battery

During his first week in office, Obama announced plans to post a video address each week on the site, and on YouTube, informing the public of government actions each week. During his speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Obama stated, "I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, Sony VAIO VGN-CS92DS Battery

eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy."

On January 21, 2009, by executive order, Obama revoked Executive Order 13233, which had limited access to the records of former United States Presidents.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92JS Battery

Obama issued instructions to all agencies and departments in his administration to "adopt a presumption in favor" of Freedom of Information Act requests. In April 2009 the United States Department of Justice released four legal memos from the Bush administration to comply voluntarily with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92XS Battery

The memos were written by John Yoo and signed by Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury, then Principal Assistant Attorneys General to the Department of Justice, and addressed to John Rizzo, general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency. The memos describe in detail controversial interrogation methods the CIA used on prisoners suspected of terrorism.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery

Obama became personally involved in the decision to release the memos, which was opposed by former CIA directors Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch. Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Obama for not releasing more memos; Cheney claimed that unreleased memos detail successes of CIA interrogations.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires all recipients of the funds provided by the act to publish a plan for using the funds, along with purpose, cost, rationale, net job creation, and contact information about the plan to a website so that the public can review and comment. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery

Inspectors General from each department or executive agency will then review, as appropriate, any concerns raised by the public. Any findings of an Inspector General must be relayed immediately to the head of each department and published on VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery

On June 16, 2009, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in order to get information about the visits of coal company executives. Anne Weismann, the chief counsel for CREW, stated "The Obama administration has now taken exactly the same position as the Bush administration...Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

I don't see how you can keep people from knowing who visits the White House and adhere to a policy of openness and transparency." On June 16, MSNBC reported that its more comprehensive request for visitor logs since Obama's January 20 inauguration had been denied. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H Battery

The administration announced that White House visitor logs will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis, with certain limitations, for visits occurring after September 15, 2009.Beginning on January 29, 2010, the White House did begin to release the names of its visitor records.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140AE Battery

Since that time, names of visitors (which includes not only tourists, but also names of union leaders, Wall Street executives, lobbyists, party chairs, philanthropists and celebrities), have been released. The names are released in huge batches up to 75,000 names at a time.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140D Battery

Names are released 90–120 days after having visited the White House. The complete list of names is available online by accessing the official White House website.

Obama stated during the 2008 Presidential campaign that he would have negotiations for health care reform televised on C-SPAN, citing transparency as being the leverage needed to ensure that people stay involved in the process taking place in Washington. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery

This did not fully happen and Politifact gives President Obama a "Promise Broken" rating on this issue. After White House press secretary Robert Gibbs initially avoided addressing the issue, President Obama himself acknowledged that he met with Democratic leaders behind closed doors to discuss how best to garner enough votes in order to merge the two Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/H Battery

(House and Senate) passed versions of the health care bill. Doing this violated the letter of the pledge, although Obama maintains that negotiations in several congressional committees were open, televised hearings. Obama also cited an independent ethics watchdog group describe his administration as the most transparent in recent history.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/W Battery

The Obama administration has been characterized as much more aggressive than the Bush and other previous administrations in their response to whistleblowing and leaks to the press. Three people have been prosecuted under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140FE Battery

They include Thomas Andrews Drake, a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who was critical of the NSA's Trailblazer Project,Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department contractor who allegedly had a conversation about North Korea with James Rosen of Fox News,and Jeffrey Sterling, who allegedly was a source for James Risen's book State of War. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N Battery

Risen has also been subpoenad to reveal his sources, another rare action by the government.

Foreign policy

In his inaugural address, Obama suggested that he plans to begin the process of withdrawing from Iraq and continuing to focus on the war in Afghanistan.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N/W Battery

He also mentioned lessening the nuclear threat through "working tirelessly with old friends and former foes". He spoke about America's determination to combat terrorism, proclaiming America's spirit is "stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery

To the Muslim world, Obama extended an invite to "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect". He also said the USA would "extend a hand" to those "who cling to power through corruption and deceit" if they "are willing to unclench" their fists.Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E/W Battery

Shortly after his inauguration President Obama first called President Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Calls were also made to President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Olmert of Israel and King Abdullah ofJordan. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East peace and Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan on January 23, 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160AE Battery

At the same time, Obama called on Israel to open the borders of Gaza, detailing early plans on his administration's peace plans for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On February 18, 2009, Obama announced that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would be bolstered by 17,000 new troops by summer.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160D Battery

The announcement followed the recommendation of several experts includingDefense Secretary Robert Gates that additional troops be deployed to the war-torn nation.

Obama declared his plan for ending the Iraq War on February 27, 2009, in a speech at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, before an audience of Marinesstationed there.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery

According to the president, combat troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, leaving a contingent of up to 50,000 servicemen and servicewomen to continue training, advisory, and counterterrorism operations until as late as the end of 2011. Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E/H Battery

Other characteristics of the Obama administration on foreign policy include a tough stance on tax havens, continuing military operation in Pakistan, and avowed focus on diplomacy to prevent nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160F/E Battery

On April 1, 2009, Obama and China's President, Hu Jintao, announced the establishment of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship for the 21st century.Sony VAIO VGN-FW170J/H Battery

In that same month, Obama requested that Congress approve $83.4 billion of supplemental military funding, mostly for the war in Iraq and to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The request also includes $2.2 billion to increase the size of the US military, $350 million to upgrade security along the US-Mexico border, and $400 million in counterinsurgency aid for Pakistan.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180AE Battery

In May 2009, it was reported that Obama plans to expand the military by 20,000 employees.

On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt.The wide ranging speech called for a "new beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180D Battery

The speech received both praise and criticism from leaders in the region. In March 2010, Secretary of State Clinton criticized the Israeli government for approving expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem.

On April 8, 2010, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the latest Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a "major" nuclear arms control agreement that reduces thenuclear weapons stockpiles of both countries.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery

In March 2011, international reaction to Muammar Gaddafi's military crackdown on rebel forces and civilians in Libya culminated in a United Nations resolution to enforce a no fly zone in Libya. Obama authorized U.S. forces to participate in international air attacks on Libyan air defenses using Tomahawk cruise missiles to establish the protective zone.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E/H Battery

Guantánamo Bay detention camp

On his first day in office, Obama requested a 120-day suspension of all trials for alleged terrorists held at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, so the new administration could "review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases pending before military commissions as of 2011, specifically".Sony VAIO VGN-FW180FU Battery

Another order established a task force to lead a review of detention policies, procedures and individual cases. Obama addressed the State Department that "the United States will not torture" and drafted an executive order to close Guantánamo within a year.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH Battery

On January 22, 2009, Obama signed an executive order ensuring safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals detained in armed conflicts. This order restricts interrogators to methods listed and authorized by anArmy Field Manual. A detainee released since Obama took office claimed in an interview with Agence France-Presse that conditions at Guantánamo had worsened,Sony VAIO VGN-FW190ECH Battery

stating guards wanted to "take their last revenge" before the facility is closed. On March 13, 2009, the administration announced that it would no longer refer to prisoners at Guantánamo Bay as enemy combatants, but it also asserted that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EDH Battery

The case review of detainee files by administration officials and prosecutors was made more difficult than expected as the Bush administration had failed to establish a coherent repository of the evidence and intelligence on each prisoner. By September 2009 prosecutors recommended to the Justice Department which detainees are eligible for trial, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NAH Battery

and the Justice Department and the Pentagonworked together to determine which of several now-scheduled trials will go forward in military tribunals and which in civilian courts. While 216 international terrorists are already held in maximum security prisons in the U.S., Congress was denying the administration funds to shut down the camp and adapt existing facilities elsewhere,Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NBH Battery

arguing that the decision was "too dangerous to rush". In November, Obama stated that the U.S. would miss the January 2010 date for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison as he had ordered, acknowledging that he "knew this was going to be hard". Obama did not set a specific new deadline for closing the camp, citing that the delay was due to politics and lack of congressional cooperation.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NCH Battery

The state of Illinois has offered to sell to the federal government the Thomson Correctional Center, a new but largely unused prison, for the purpose of housing detainees. Federal officials testified at a December 23 hearing that if the state commission approves the sale for that purpose, it could take more than six months to ready the facility.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NDH Battery

Killing of Osama bin Laden

Starting with information received in July 2010, intelligence developed by the CIA over the next several months determined what they believed to be the location of Osama bin Laden in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles from Islamabad.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NEH Battery

CIA head Leon Panetta reported this intelligence to President Obama in March 2011. Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs.Sony VAIO VGN-FW198U/H Battery

The operation took place on May 1, 2011, resulting in the death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers and computer drives and disks from the compound. Bin Laden's body was identified through DNA testing, and buried at sea several hours later. Within minutes of the President's announcement from Washington, Sony VAIO VGN-FW260J/B Battery

DC, late in the evening on May 1, there were spontaneous celebrations around the country as crowds gathered outside the White House, and at New York City'sGround Zero and Times Square.Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from predecessors George W. Bush andBill Clinton,and from many countries around the world.Sony VAIO VGN-FW280J/H Battery

Overseas Contingency Operation

President Obama discontinued use of the term "War on Terror" and instead uses the term "Overseas Contingency Operation". However, Obama has stated that the U.S. is at war with Al-Qaeda saying "Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred."Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JRB Battery

In April 2010, the Obama administration took the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim clericAnwar al-Awlaki, who was believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them.Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTB Battery

Gun control

During the presidential campaign, Obama announced that he favors measures that respect Second Amendment rights, while at the same time keeping guns away from children and criminals. On February 25, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration would seek a new assault weapons ban across the United States,Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery

claiming that it would have a positive impact on the drug-related violence in Mexico. After the statement drew criticism from the NRA and some House Democrats, the Administration reportedly ordered the Justice Department to end public discussion of the issue.Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTW Battery

Obama has signed into law two bills containing amendments reducing restrictions on gun owners, one which permits guns to be transported in checked baggage on Amtrak trains and another which allows carrying loaded firearms in national parks located in states allowingconcealed carry.Sony VAIO VGN-FW355J/H Battery


Obama initiated a 60-day review of cybersecurity by Melissa Hathaway, a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, appointed Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace.

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the NSA is intercepting communications of American citizens including a Congressman, although the Justice Department believed that the NSA had corrected its errors.Sony VAIO VGN-FW373J/B Battery

United States Attorney General Eric Holder resumed the wiretapping according to his understanding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 which Congress passed in July 2008 but without explaining what had occurred.Sony VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery


On January 27, 2009, Obama issued two presidential memoranda concerning energy policy. One directed the Department of Transportation to raise fuel efficiency standards incrementally to 35 miles per US gallon (15 km/L) by 2020, and the other directed the Environmental Protection Agency to allow individual states to set stricter tailpipe emissions regulations than the federal standard. Sony VAIO VGN-FW50B Battery

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $54 billion in funds to double domestic renewable energy production, renovate federal buildings making them more energy-efficient, improve the nation's electricity grid, repair public housing, and weatherize modest-income homes.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51B/W Battery

On February 10, 2009, Obama overturned a Bush administration policy that had opened up a five-year period of offshore drilling for oil and gas near both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been quoted as saying, "To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information,Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF Battery

we need to set aside" the plan "and create our own timeline".

On May 19, 2009, Obama announced a plan to increase the CAFE national standards for gasoline mileage, by creating a single new national standard that will create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016 than it is today, with an average of 35.5 miles per gallon.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Environmental advocates and industry officials welcomed the new program, but for different reasons. Environmentalists called it a long-overdue tightening of emissions and fuel economy standards after decades of government delay and industry opposition.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF Battery

Auto industry officials said it would provide the single national efficiency standard they have long desired, a reasonable timetable to meet it and the certainty they need to proceed with product development plans.

On March 30, 2010, Obama partially reinstated Bush administration proposals to open certain offshore areas along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

The proposals had earlier been set aside by President Obama after they were challenged in court on environmental grounds.

On May 27, 2010, Obama extended a moratorium on offshore drilling permits after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill which is considered to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history.Sony VAIO VGN-FW52JB Battery

Although BP took responsibility for the disaster and its ongoing after effects, Obama began a federal investigation along with forming a bipartisan commission to review the incident and methods to avoid it in the future.Obama visited the Gulf Coast on May 2 and May 28 and expressed his frustration on the June 8 NBC Today Show,Sony VAIO VGN-FW54FB Battery

by saying "I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick." Obama's response to the disaster has drawn confusion and criticism within segments of the media and public.Sony VAIO VGN-FW70DB Battery


Obama set up the Augustine panel to review the Constellation program in 2009, and announced in February 2010 that he was cutting the program from the 2011 United States federal budget, describing it as "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation."Sony VAIO VGN-FW71DB/W Battery

After the decision drew criticism in the United States, a new "Flexible path to Mars" plan was unveiled at a space conference in April 2010. It included new technology programs, increased R&D spending, a focus on the International Space Station and contracting out flying crew to space to commercial providers.Sony VAIO VGN-FW72JGB Battery

The new plan also increased NASA's 2011 budget to $19 billion from $18.3 billion in 2010.

In July 2009, Obama appointed Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, to be administrator of NASA.

Stem cell research

On March 9, 2009, Obama repealed a Bush-era policy that prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund research on new lines of embryonic stem cells. Sony VAIO VGN-FW73JGB Battery

Such research has been a matter of debate between those who emphasize the therapeutic potential of such research and those who suggest that elements of this research breach ethical limitations. Obama stated that "In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, Sony VAIO VGN-FW74FB Battery

our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values...In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."Sony VAIO VGN-FW81HS Battery

Social policy

On January 23, 2009, Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, a measure from the Reagan and Bush eras that required any non-governmental organization receiving U.S. Government funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services in other countries.Sony VAIO VGN-FW81NS Battery

On June 17, 2009, Obama authorized the extension of some benefits (but not health insurance or pension benefits) to same-sex partners of federal employees. Obama has chosen to leave larger changes, such as the repeal of Don't ask, don't tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, to Congress.Sony VAIO VGN-FW81S Battery

On October 19, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a directive to federal prosecutors in states with medical marijuana laws not to investigate or prosecute cases of marijuana use or production done in compliance with those laws.

On December 16, 2009, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, which repealed a 21-year-old ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs.Sony VAIO VGN-FW82DS Battery

On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, a bill that provides for repeal of the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that has prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces. Repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" had been a key campaign promise that Obama had made during the 2008 presidential campaign. Sony VAIO VGN-FW82JS Battery

Health care reform

Once the stimulus bill was enacted, health care reform became Obama's top domestic priority. On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced a 1,000 page plan for overhauling the US health care system, which Obama wanted Congress to approve by the end of the year.Sony VAIO VGN-FW82XS Battery

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the ten-year cost to the federal government of the major insurance-related provisions of the bill at approximately $1.0 trillion. In mid-July 2009, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the CBO, testified that the proposals under consideration would significantly increase federal spending and did not include the "fundamental changes" needed to control the rapid growth in health care spending.Sony VAIO VGN-FW83DS Battery

However after reviewing the final version of the bill introduced after 14 months of debate the CBO estimated that it would reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion over 10 years and by more than a trillion in the next decade.

After much public debate during the Congressional summer recess of 2009, Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on September 9 where he addressed concerns over his administration's proposals.Sony VAIO VGN-FW83JS Battery

In March 2010, Obama gave several speeches across the country to argue for the passage of health care reform. On March 21, 2010, after Obama announced an executive order reinforcing the current law against spending federal funds for elective abortion services, the House, by a vote of 219 to 212, Sony VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery

passed the version of the bill previously passed on December 24, 2009 by a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. The bill, which includes over 200 Republican amendments, was passed without a single Republican vote. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the bill into law. Sony VAIO VGN-FW90HS Battery

Immediately following the bill's passage, the House voted in favor of a reconciliation measure to make significant changes and corrections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed by both houses with two minor alterations on March 25, 2010 and signed into law on March 30, 2010.Sony VAIO VGN-FW90NS Battery

Education reform

On March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ended the role of private banks in lending out federally-insured student loans. By directly lending to students, the government is projected to save taxpayers $68 billion dollars over the next several years.Sony VAIO VGN-FW90S Battery

Federally-insured student loans will instead be distributed by the Department of Education. The law also increased the amount of Pell Grant awards given each year, doubling its current funding.Starting in 2014, the law permits borrowers to cap the amount they spend on student loans each year to 10% of their discretionary income and have their balance forgiven if they have faithfully paid the balance of their loan over 20 years. Sony VAIO VGN-FW91NS Battery

Additionally, the law seeks to make it easier for parents to qualify for Grad PLUS loans, and spends billions on poor and minority schools and $2 billion for community colleges.

Gates arrest controversy

On July 16, 2009, prominent African American Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by a local white police officer,Sony VAIO VGN-FW91S Battery

Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley, for disorderly conduct. Gates, who was locked out of his house, had noisily attempted to break into his own property, thus causing the initial alarm from a neighbor who called 911. The incident sparked national controversy over whether Gates's civil rights had been violated by Crowley. Sony VAIO VGN-FW92DS Battery

On July 21, the Cambridge Police Department dropped charges against Gates. On July 22, President Barack Obama, commented on the incident over national and international television, criticized the arrest, and stated the police acted "stupidly" handling the incident. Sony VAIO VGN-FW92JS Battery

National law enforcement organizations and members objected to Obama's comments and criticized his handling of the issue. In the aftermath, Obama stated that he regretted his comments exacerbating the situation, and hoped that the situation could become a "teachable moment". Sony VAIO VGN-FW93DS Battery

To reduce tensions, on July 24, Obama invited both parties to the White House to discuss the issue over beers, and on July 30, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden joined Crowley and Gates in a private, cordial meeting in a courtyard near the White House Rose Garden; this became known colloquially as the "Beer Summit".Sony VAIO VGN-FW93JS Battery

Wall Street reform

On July 21, 2010 President Obama signed Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, considered to be the largest financial system overhaul since the New Deal. The law recognizes complex financial derivatives and makes rules to protect consumers from unfair practices in loans and credit cards by establishing a new consumer protection agency.Sony VAIO VGN-FW93XS Battery

At the signing ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. Obama proclaimed, "There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period." Obama also mentioned that "These reforms represent the strongest consumer financial protections in history." At the ceremony were Sen. Sony VAIO VGN-FW94FS Battery

Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the two committee chairmen who sponsored the bill.

2010 midterm elections

Due in large part to voter frustration over high unemployment and a stalled economy, Republicans won control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Sony VAIO VGN-FW94GS Battery

On reflection after the election, Obama blamed himself, in part, for the many Democrats who went down to defeat knowing that they had risked their careers to support his agenda of economic stimulus legislation and a landmark health care bill. Democrats narrowly retained the Senate majority and will continue to control it through the 112th Congress.Sony VAIO VGN-FW94HS Battery

Obama called the elections "humbling" and a "shellacking". He said that the results came because not enough Americans had felt the effects of the economic recovery. Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery

2012 re-election campaign

On April 4, 2011, President Obama announced that he would seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election. The campaign will be based in Chicago and is being run by many former members of the White House staff and members of the successful 2008 campaign.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/L Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/W Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS115N/S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

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