"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

100 Reasons to Vote Against Obama

1. Unemployment - Under Obama's economic leadership, the U.S. economy has suffered through 43 straight months with unemployment higher than 8% - the worst unemployment slump since the Great Depression. When you factor in the record number of people who have given up looking for a job and exited the labor force, real unemployment is well into double digits. Even though the official unemployment dropped to 7.8% in September 2012, the economy created only 114,000 new jobs, which is less than half of the number of monthly jobs that should be created in a normal recovery. Real median household income is more than $3,000 less than it was when the recession officially ended in June 2009. Nearly 23 million people are out of work or underemployed -- about 20% of the U.S. workforce. This graph showing the employment percentage of the working-age population over the past six years perfectly sums up the Obama "recovery":

2. Lack of economic growth - Economic growth throughout Obama's presidency has been extremely disappointing, with the gross domestic product only averaging about 1.5% growth per year since 2009 compared to the U.S. post-World War II average of 3.3%. Average growth was 2.4% in 2011 and has been 1.7% so far in 2012, which means that the economic situation is actually getting worse. By comparison, Reagan inherited a similarly awful economy, but his pro-growth policies turned the economy around so dramatically that by his third and fourth years in office GDP was growing at 4.5% and 7.2%, respectively. Obama's policies on everything from taxes to regulations to health care mandates to debt to energy have stifled rather than encouraged economic growth, and the results are painfully clear.
3. Deficits & Debt - When he first took office in 2009, Obama promised to cut the deficit in half to about $500 billion by the end of his first term in office (and reiterated that promise in 2010 and 2011). Obama spectacularly failed to keep that promise, and instead the government has run deficits exceeding $1 trillion for all four years of his presidency (with the 2013 deficit under his plan projected to be more of the same). The reasons for this are policies that have stifled economic growth and unprecedented levels of federal spending. As a result of these record deficits, Obama has dramatically increased our national debt from $11 trillion to more than $16 trillion in less than four years. For the first time in our nation's history, our debt exceeds our GDP, which threatens our long-term stability. Once debt reaches a certain level, it starts to slow economic growth, and this can trigger a dangerous cycle of decreased revenues, increasing debt, and ballooning interest payments. The European debt crisis is an example of what can happen.
4. Entitlement reform - Our country is facing a looming fiscal crisis due to our rapidly expanding national debt, and the primary cause of our increasing debt is the runaway growth of government entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Medicare, in particular, threatens our country's future solvency. The percentage of our economy spent on Medicare is five times larger than it was 40 years ago, and by 2035 Medicare spending is projected to be double the share of the economy that it is today. If this program is not reformed in a sensible way -- and soon -- then our government will either be forced to drastically cut benefits to seniors or sink into bankruptcy under its massive load of debt. And yet, Obama has done absolutely nothing to address the issue of entitlements, other than exacerbate the fiscal crisis by creating a massive new health care entitlement. While demagoguing Republican budget plans that make an honest attempt to address the entitlement problem under Paul Ryan's leadership, Obama has offered no ideas and proposed no meaningful reforms of Social Security or Medicare. His only strategy seems to be to run out the clock and leave the problem for someone else to deal with. This is the opposite of leadership.
5. Passage of ObamaCare - Obama and his allies forced their landmark health care bill through in a very corrupt and partisan fashion. During the 2008 campaign Obama promised all health care negotiations would be televised on C-Span, but he broke that promise and kept Democratic negotiations behind closed doors. In the process of making the bill law, Obama and his allies bought off wavering members of Congress and health care industry lobbying groups with sweetheart deals; excluded Republican ideas from the bill; dramatically limited debate and amendments; forced votes in the middle of the night and on Christmas Eve; resorted to all sorts of parliamentary tricks such as "deem and pass," circumvention of the committee process, secret amendments, and reconciliation; and in the end passed an overhaul of our entire health care system, on a purely partisan vote, that was nearly 3,000 pages long and was not read by many members who voted for it.
6. Irresponsible long-term budget plan - Obama's 2013 budget plan calls for additional short-term stimulus spending that is expected to increase economic growth in the next year or two. However, due to high levels of federal spending, debt, and taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that Obama's plan will reduce economic growth by anywhere from 0.5% to 2.2% after five years. According to the CBO, these reduced levels of economic growth could also contribute to deficit increases of as much as $4 trillion over the next decade. Obama's plan irresponsibly projects deficits as far as the eye can see and never balances the federal budget, which stands in sharp contrast to Romney's plan which calls for a balanced budget by 2020.
7. $800 billion stimulus bill - The massive emergency economic stimulus bill that Obama engineered at the start of his presidency proved to be a colossal waste of taxpayer money. The bill was filled with corruption, with key political allies of the president receiving sizable chunks of money for their businesses in the form of grants and loans. Several billion went to foreign-owned companies. Only about 3% of the total spending in the bill went to fund infrastructure and highway projects, which were supposed to be the point of the bill. Even though it was rammed through as an emergency measure, six months after it was passed less than 20% of the money had been spent. The government website tracking how the stimulus money was spent showed jobs created or saved in 440 non-existent congressional districts! One scholarly study found that the stimulus money created or saved about 450,000 state and local government jobs but destroyed or forestalled about 1,000,000 private sector jobs, and another economist estimated that each job created by the stimulus cost an average of $650,000. Despite its size, Obama's stimulus bill, like previous attempts by Japan in the 1990's and by the U.S. under the New Deal, proved to be completely ineffective at jumpstarting the economy.
8. Job-killing regulations on business - The Obama Administration's EPA has proposed many new regulations that harm businesses and kill jobs. Among them are new standards for utility plants that could shut down hundreds of fossil fuel powered facilities and increase electricity costs for Americans by up to 24%, stricter emissions standards for boilers that will add $10-$20 billion in additional costs to businesses and could cost 60,000 to 200,000 jobs, stringent new cost-prohibitive rules for the cement industry that have already led to construction layoffs and could push many American jobs overseas, and the first ever national restrictions on coal ash which are forecasted to close many coal plants and cost up to 100,000 jobs. These are just a few tangible examples of how Obama's policies are harming employment and hindering our country's economic recovery. A Heritage Foundation study found that the costs of government regulations to business were five times higher under the first three years of the Obama Administration than under the first three years of the Bush Administration.
9. Federal spending - Despite the claims of some experts to the contrary, Obama has presided over an explosion of federal spending. There have been only two other times since World War II in which spending as a percentage of GDP has been as high as it has been for all four years of the Obama Adminstration. Spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy shot up from 20.8% in 2008 (Bush's last year in office) to 25.2% in 2009 (Obama's first year in office) and has remained above 24% through 2012 -- and that does not even take into account that Obama's budget consistently proposed higher spending than the amount actually approved by Congress. However, despite this binge in domestic spending, Obama has proposed potentially devastating cuts to our military. His budget announced in January 2012 called for $500 billion in defense cuts, which are coupled with an additional $500 billion in automatic "sequestration" cuts scheduled to take place in January of next year. The cuts would reduce the size of our Army and Marine Corp by 10-15% and take away our ability to be involved in two military conflicts simultaneously. Obama is perfectly willing to spend wildly, except when the security of the United States (the most important task of the federal government) is at stake.
10. Poverty & food stamps - Throughout his presidency, Obama has criticized the wealthy for not paying their fair share and emphasized the importance of not leaving anyone behind. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that Obama's presidency has failed miserably in helping people out of poverty. Over the past two years, more than 46 million people (15% of the U.S. population) have been living below the poverty line -- the highest number in more than 50 years. Median household income has also been declining over the past two years while the gap between rich and poor has increased. This has coincided with an increase in government dependency, as more Americans are now on food stamps (nearly 47 million people) than ever before in our history and food stamp spending has doubled since Obama took office. Based on these facts, it is difficult to argue that Obama's anti-growth, government-centered policies have done much to help the neediest among us.
11. Raising earned income tax rates - Obama fought hard but unsuccessfully to keep the Bush tax cuts from being extended for higher income brackets starting in 2011, and has once again proposed these tax increases for 2013. He claims these increases only apply to millionaires and billionaires, but in fact they apply to all families making more than $250,000 per year (about 2.5 million Americans) and about 750,000 small businesses whose income is passed through to the owners' tax returns. Obama claims his proposed tax increases are about fairness, but the top 1% already pay 37% of all income taxes (compared to 16% of all income). He also claims the tax increases are needed to pay down the deficit, and yet under his budget every dollar "saved" due to the tax hikes will go to financing increased spending under ObamaCare rather than reducing the deficit. In fact, tax increases on higher income brackets have a devastating long-term effect on economic growth by disincentivizing productive activity. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2010 that extending all the Bush tax cuts would likely result in increased net revenue to the government compared with Obama's plan, because the added economic growth resulting from the tax cuts would bring in additional revenue that more than offsets the lost revenue due to lower tax rates.
12. Increase in taxes on capital gains and dividends - In addition to his proposal to raise ordinary income tax rates, Obama's budget also calls for dramatic increases in taxes on dividends and capital gains. Currently, the maximum tax rate for capital gains and dividends is 15% (and Romney would keep or reduce those rates), but under Obama's proposed Buffett Rule capital gains could be taxed as high as 30% and due to ObamaCare dividends could be taxed as high as 43.4%. These high tax rates are extremely harmful to economic growth and to savings and investment, since the same pool of income is being taxed twice by the government -- once at the corporate level and once at the individual level. Economic studies have found that increasing capital gains and dividend tax rates would significantly reduce GDP and as a result would likely reduce overall tax revenues. Higher capital gains tax rates are counterproductive, since they penalize investment and have a detrimental effect on stock market and 401(k) values; at the same time, over the last 35 years they have consistently resulted in reduced capital gains tax revenues by reducing investment activity altogether or driving it overseas.
13. Tax complexity & the estate tax - Experts increasingly recognize the need to simplify the federal tax code, and both Romney's plan and the Simpson-Bowles debt commission proposal call for the elimination of most current tax preferences in order to achieve that goal of simplifying tax compliance. By contrast, Obama's plan goes in the opposite direction, adding new deductions and credits and complicating existing ones and thus increasing the overall complexity of the code. In addition, Obama's tax plan maintains the burdensome estate tax, which harms the ability of parents to pass on their hard-earned wealth to their children and which costs more in compliance than it earns in revenue for the government. Romney's plan, by contrast, eliminates the estate tax.
14. Payroll tax cuts - Obama's handling of the payroll tax showdown in late 2011 demonstrated his utter lack of awareness of how the economy works. Obama unveiled a jobs plan in which the only tax cuts were $250 billion of payroll tax cuts for one year. The problem with temporary tax cuts like this is that employers plan at least three to five years in advance in making hiring decisions, so a one-year tax cut extension ends up doing little to create jobs and costing the government more than it is worth. Permanent across-the-board tax rate cuts are necessary for creating real economic growth. And then, in a showdown in December 2011, Obama scored political points by trapping Republicans into voting for a 2-month payroll tax extension instead of the 1-year extension they preferred. A 2-month extension is so short it is meaningless and costs businesses more to implement than it saves in taxes. Obama's payroll tax cut shenanigans were politically beneficial to him but ended up damaging the long-term solvency of Social Security (payroll taxes go to the Social Security Trust Fund) while doing little or nothing to create jobs and grow the economy in the long term.
15. Cap & Trade legislation - The Obama Administration pushed hard for a cap-and-trade bill, which passed the House in 2009 but eventually died in the Senate. The purpose of the bill was to progressively reduce carbon emissions; it proposed a starting cap on total carbon emissions nationwide, allowed companies to buy and sell permits to release carbon dioxide, and gradually reduced the cap amount over time. However, the bill would have had severely negative economic consequences because of significant increases in gas and electricity costs, which would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for all manufactured goods. A comprehensive study by the Heritage Foundation found that the cap-and-trade bill would have cost a family of four $1,870 per year by 2020 and $6,800 per year by 2035. The goal of the bill was to protect the environment by combating climate change, but the evidence suggests the bill would have had little environmental impact and is largely based on junk science. Unfortunately, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is now attempting to circumvent Congress and pushing ahead with the same effort to limit emissions by creating tough new ozone-pollution standards that could cost the economy more than $1 trillion and millions of jobs over a decade.
16. Gas prices - Gas prices have more than doubled since Obama took office, and the average price per gallon is now pushing $4.00. While the President cannot directly control gas prices, his energy policies can definitely have an indirect impact, especially in the longer term. Studies have indicated that increased domestic oil production does reduce U.S. gas prices, in large part due to lower transportation and infrastructure costs. It also logically makes sense that new domestic production could reduce gas prices, at least in the long run, due to increased oil supply. And of course, increased regulation and higher taxation on oil companies would tend to drive up gas prices. Throughout his presidency Obama has opposed or restricted new drilling and has pursued policies that are hostile to fossil fuels, so it is no surprise that gas prices have been steadily increasing. In fact, Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, is so hostile to fossil fuels that he said in 2008 he wanted gas prices in the U.S. to go up to European levels ($8-$10 per gallon)! 
17. The Keystone Pipeline - In 2011, the Obama Administration refused to approve the Keystone Pipeline, a 1700 mile oil pipeline to transport oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. This pipeline would have created at least 20,000 new American jobs and increased our energy independence. The pipeline proposal had been subjected to an exhaustive 3-year study by the State Department, which concluded twice that it would cause no significant environmental harm. Obama's opposition appears to be based solely on hostility to fossil fuels and a desire to appease his environmentalist base (the decision was postponed until after the 2012 election).
18. Restrictions on oil & gas development - The Obama Administration has banned or restricted new drilling off the Mid-Atlantic coast, off the Florida Gulf coast, in the broader Gulf of Mexico, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and on Federal lands in the Rocky Mountains. Obama is correct that production of oil and natural gas has gone up during his presidency, but it is due to new fracking technology and to all the drilling permits approved during previous administrations. Obama cannot take credit for this increase, since his administration has substantially reduced the number of permits approved for oil and gas drilling compared with his predecessors and has canceled many of the offshore drilling leases scheduled to take place during his term by President Bush. Obama's opposition to domestic drilling is hurting our economy, since over half of our oil is imported from overseas and almost 60% of our trade deficit is attributable to that importation of oil. By developing our own oil resources, we could keep more wealth here at home instead of sending it overseas to countries that hate us and create many new American jobs. A study by an energy consulting firm found that a pro-development policy for oil and natural gas such as the one proposed by Romney would create up to 1 million new jobs by 2018 and would create 47% more oil production by 2030 than the government-driven green energy policy currently followed by Obama.
19. Subsidies for green cars - The Obama Administration has poured billions of taxpayer dollars into subsidies for electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt. In fact, one analysis found that as of the end of 2011, total government subsidies came out to as much as $250,000 per Volt sold! Despite all this government financing, the Volt is very expensive for a small car, costing over $40,000. But thanks to Obama, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit to buyers, despite the fact that those buyers make an average of $175,000 per year. Even with the tax credit, the Volt has persistently failed to meet sales expectations or to make money for GM, which has in turn negatively affected electric car battery manufacturers which have also received hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies. This whole endeavor has been a colossal waste of taxpayer money, and on top of it all studies have called into question whether electric vehicles are really that much better for the environment than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles after all.
20. Corrupt use of taxpayer funds - In 2009, Obama appointees in the Department of Energy rushed through a $535 million loan guarantee to a solar panel manufacturer called Solyndra, overruling the better judgment of Treasury Department officials who were supposed to approve loans made under the stimulus bill. Despite White House denials, evidence exists that a Solyndra investor who also happened to be a major Obama donor was instrumental in securing the government funding. Within six months of the government guarantee, Solyndra's auditor reported that the company's ability to continue operations was in doubt. Two years after the ill-fated loan guarantee, Solyndra declared bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers on the hook for half a billion dollars. In 2011, the Obama Administration awarded Siga Technologies a $433 million contract to provide a smallpox vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. Siga's vaccine was significantly more expensive and had a significantly shorter shelf life than the vaccine that was being used at the time, and it had never been tested on humans. Siga was not qualified to win the contract because it was not a small business, but it won anyway, apparently because its principal investor and one of its board members were both top Obama supporters and donors.
21. Individual health care mandate - Obama's health care legislation forces people to purchase a product (government-approved health insurance) by means of a coercive penalty enforced by the IRS. There is no way that can be squared with the individual liberty and strictly limited government guaranteed by the Constitution. If government can compel us to buy a product of their choosing, there is no limit to what they can compel us to do. The Supreme Court upheld the law by calling this mandate a tax (which Obama strenuously denied at the time the law was passed), which means according to the Supreme Court's logic Obama is responsible for the largest tax increase in American history. Obama has shown considerable hypocrisy on the issue of the individual health care mandate, since he vigorously attacked Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary for supporting a similar mandate.
22. Massive tax increases in ObamaCare - Obama's health care legislation includes more than $500 billion in additional taxes over the next 10 years on individuals and businesses, including several that violate his pledge as a candidate not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year. These additional taxes include eliminating the tax benefits for purchasing over-the-counter drugs using health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts, increasing the tax on early withdrawals from health savings accounts, putting a $2,500 limit on flexible spending accounts, adding a 3.8% surtax on investment income for families making more than $250,000 per year, adding a 0.9% increase in the Medicare portion of the payroll tax for families making more than $250,000 per year, new taxes on medical device manufacturers and indoor tanning services, increasing the threshold for deducting medical expenses on individual tax returns, new taxes on drug & health insurance companies, a new employer mandate for companies with 50 or more employees that charges them $2,000 for each employee not provided with health insurance coverage, and a new tax on Cadillac health insurance plans.
23. ObamaCare waivers - Within a few months of ObamaCare becoming law, Obama's Department of Health & Human Services began issuing waivers to businesses and labor unions to exempt them from a burdensome provision in ObamaCare that requires them to increase the minimum amount of health insurance coverage they provide for certain employees each year. These waivers were issued to keep people from losing their health insurance and ended up covering more than 3 million Americans, but inexplicably some additional waivers covering another 150,000 Americans were denied. No criteria for how the Obama Administration was determining which waiver requests to approve and which ones to deny were made public, and critics charged that the process reeked of political favoritism toward labor unions and businesses from specific congressional districts. Obama finally ended the waiver program in late 2011 due to political pressure. If ObamaCare is such a great piece of legislation, why did his Administration feel compelled to exempt so many people from its requirements?
24. ObamaCare lies - Obama promised that his new health care legislation would reduce health insurance costs, with savings of $2,500 in premiums for the typical family. However, premiums increased by 8-9% in 2011 (much higher than the previous year's increase). The architect of the law is now predicting that premiums will be 19-30% higher by 2016 under ObamaCare compared with what would have happened without ObamaCare, which is no surprise since ObamaCare adds many new costs & coverage requirements to insurers (the biggest of which is the pre-existing condition provision). Obama also promised that under his plan, anyone who likes their existing insurance plan can keep it. However, studies have estimated that once ObamaCare is fully implemented, anywhere from 11 million to 35 million people will lose their employer health coverage and be forced into the government insurance exchanges.
25. ObamaCare impact on the growth of government - ObamaCare dramatically grows the size and scope of government by creating 159 new federal boards and commissions! At the heart of the ObamaCare legislation is a huge expansion in Medicaid starting in 2014. ObamaCare will offer heavily subsidized health insurance through Medicaid to virtually all Americans (under age 65) who are below 138% of the federal poverty line. By 2020, about 25% of all Americans -- 85 million people -- will be on Medicaid. Thus, ObamaCare brings more and more people who are capable of paying for their own health insurance into dependence on the government. It will lead to massive entitlement spending increases for the federal government (one study estimated ObamaCare would increase the deficit by $340 billion over the next decade). It will also add new burdens to state governments which will be forced to pick up more and more of the Medicaid tab in the future. Since state governments must balance their budgets, they may have to severely cut other services in order to meet their Medicaid obligations. 
26. $716 billion raid of Medicare - The landmark health care law signed into law by Obama in 2010 is partially funded by cuts of $716 billion from Medicare. These cuts substantially damage the long-term solvency of an already financially troubled program. They will also harm seniors' health care access and benefits by reducing Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals, and will undermine the Medicare Advantage program, one of the most popular and cost-effective plans within Medicare. By contrast, Romney's plan would repeal ObamaCare and restore the $716 billion to Medicare.
27. Bullying private companies - ObamaCare imposed many new requirements and costs on health insurers. Not surprisingly, insurance companies quickly began to pass those increased costs on to their customers in the form of premium increases, correctly pointing out to those customers and the public that their increases were due to the ObamaCare legislation. Therefore, Obama's Health & Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, fired off a letter to the president of the chief organization that represents private health insurance companies warning her that there would be "zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases" by insurers and threatening to exclude such insurers from the government-run health insurance exchange that fully goes into effect in 2014. In other words, the White House is using its power to try to force private companies to set premiums approved by the government and to silence their right to free speech about ObamaCare
28. Abortion & Infanticide - Obama is the most radically pro-abortion president in history and far outside the mainstream of American public opinion. He believes abortion should be legal at any stage of the pregnancy, even late-term 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, and opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion. He opposes parental notification laws for minors and supports the legality of gender-selective abortion. He supports a federal law that would override all federal and state restrictions on abortion. He was instrumental in ensuring that the 2012 Democratic National Convention was a full-throated celebration of abortion. He supports taxpayer funding for abortion and strong-armed pro-life Democrats in Congress into supporting a version of ObamaCare that uses government funds to pay for abortions. Most extreme of all, Obama has refused to acknowledge and disavow his previous opposition to a bill in the Illinois legislature to offer protection to infants born alive as a result of a botched abortion.
29. Iran - Obama has failed miserably in dealing with one of the greatest threats to American security and global interests during his term - a nuclear Iran. Iran's radical Islamist government has long demonstrated its implacable hostility to the United States by supporting terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, providing arms to insurgents attacking our troops and causing instability in Afghanistan and Iraq, and cooperating with Al Qaeda. Yet when the Iranian people rose up and demonstrated against their government in 2009, providing one of our best opportunities to undermine the regime and support freedom for the Iranian people, Obama sat on his hands and refused to offer behind-the-scenes or public support for the democracy protestors. Throughout the rest of his term Obama has continued to show weakness on Iran, repeatedly declaring his determination to not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and yet standing by and doing nothing while they rush to become a nuclear power. His strategy of appeasement -- outreach in response to defiance, toothless resolutions and sanctions, concession after concession, refusal to make or enforce deadlines -- emboldened Iran to treat our threats with contempt and to fund a violent attack against the Saudi ambassador on American soil in the fall of 2011. Obama's weakness has also emboldened traditional U.S. allies like Brazil and Turkey to line up with Iran against U.S. interests and led 120 nations and the UN Secretary General to ignore U.S. pleas and attend a solidarity meeting in Tehran. Under Obama, neither our enemies nor our friends take us seriously.
30. Attacks on our embassies - The Obama Administration's failures opened the door to the embassy attacks in Libya and Egypt and the killing of our Libyan ambassador on September 11, 2012.  There were clear indications of growing Al Qaeda activity in Libya and the possible targeting of the ambassador in the months leading up to the attacks as well as reports of credible warnings regarding foreign embassy attacks 48 hours ahead of time.  In the months prior to the attacks, the staff at the Libyan embassy repeatedly requested additional security in the light of these gathering threats, but their requests were denied.  Also, there were no warnings sent out to place our foreign diplomats on high alert, despite all the danger signs and the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.  The interim Libyan embassy was woefully unprepared, with Libyan security forces rather than U.S. military personnel defending it.  Obama skipped his daily security briefing for the entire week leading up to the attacks as well as the day after the attacks.  Worst of all, just prior to the Cairo embassy attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a statement apologizing for some obscure anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. and expressing sympathy for the angry protestors, and the apology was reiterated after the attacks and remained the only official Obama Administration response to the Middle East violence for 9 and 1/2 hours, even after the death of our Libyan ambassador and three other Americans. Not until after Romney came out and condemned the apology did the White House finally issue a statement distancing himself from it as well.  The unpreparedness and weak, apologetic response of the Administration to these attacks is a national scandal. 
31. Covering up the Libyan terrorist attack - Within 24 hours after the attack on the Libyan embassy, U.S. intelligence had clear evidence that it was a premeditated terrorist attack perpetrated by Al Qaeda to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Indeed, the Libyan government claimed this from the beginning. Yet, in the days following the attack, numerous high-ranking members of the Obama Administration made repeated public statements saying the embassy attack was the result of a spontaneous, unplanned protest against an obscure anti-Islamic film (produced in America several months earlier) that spun out of control and insisted that it was in no way an attack against the U.S. government or the American people. Five days after the attack, Obama's U.N. Ambassador appeared on five different Sunday talk shows to push these claims. Administration officials did not admit the truth about the premeditated terrorist attack until more than a week after it happened, Obama did not make a public statement about it as a terrorist attack until two weeks after it happened, and the State Department continues to keep information from the public. This apparent attempt by the Obama Administration to mislead the public, which was likely motivated by political considerations, is a major scandal.
32. Freedom of speech - Despite clear evidence that the September 2012 attacks on our embassy were carefully planned attacks against the U.S., numerous members of the Obama Administration blamed the attacks on an obscure Los Angeles filmmaker who made a video attacking Islam. Obama's press secretary, Secretary of State, and UN Ambassador apologized to the Muslim world for the video, tried to pressure YouTube into removing it from its website, and expressed embarrassment for American freedom of speech that allows such criticism of Islam. Obama even had the filmmaker (who was innocent of any crime) brought in for questioning in the middle of the night, and his assistant attorney general refused to answer questions about whether the administration would support the idea of criminalizing speech against religions like Islam.
33. Response to terrorist attacks - Throughout Obama's first term, his administration has shown a disturbing pattern of denying and minimizing the role of terrorism in each attack or attempted attack against the U.S. Days after the attempted bombing of the Christmas Day flight to Detroit, Obama gave a public statement saying that the attack was the work of an "isolated extremist," even though the attacker admitted almost immediately that he was working for Al Qaeda. Two days after an attempted bombing in Times Square, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano claimed the attack was a "one-off" by a single individual. Not until after much of the information about the attack had already been leaked did Attorney General Eric Holder finally acknowledge that the Times Square bomber was a terrorist working for the Taliban in Pakistan. Once again, in response to the Fort Hood massacre, Obama's Defense Department minimized the attack as "workplace violence" and the FBI refused to classify it as a terrorist attack -- despite clear evidence that the shooter was a radical Islamist who had been in communication with Al Qaeda.
34. Downgrade of U.S. credit rating - On Obama's watch, credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ for the first time in history, which means that U.S. Treasury debt is no longer considered to be one of the safest global investments. This credit downgrade could make foreign investors less willing to buy U.S. Treasury bonds and increase interest paid by the government on our debt. In the two and a half years leading up to the downgrade, Obama presided over trillion dollar deficits and made it clear that he was not serious about addressing entitlement spending, which is the primary driver of future deficits. His 2011 budget did not address entitlement reform, and he and his Democratic allies in Congress rejected his own debt commission proposal out of hand as well as another serious proposal put forward by Paul Ryan. S&P made it clear that it considered entitlement reform to be key to U.S. fiscal sustainability in the long term, and Obama's utter failure to address this issue led to the embarrassing downgrade.
35. Dodd-Frank financial regulation - In July 2010, Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Act, which was intended to reform the financial services industry to prevent a 2008-style financial crisis from occurring again. Unfortunately, the highly complex 2,300 page bill completely failed to reform or even address the two companies most directly responsible for the housing bubble and the mortgage crisis -- the quasi-government organizations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It has extended the government concept of "too big to fail" rather than eliminating it and encourages rather than prevents future government bailouts. It has added new FDIC assessments that are especially burdensome for small banks and greatly increased federal control over private corporations. And it has added over 400 new federal rules, many of which are unrelated to the 2008 mortgage crisis. Many of them are also ambiguous and require interpretation by federal regulators before companies will know how they will be affected. Given all these burdensome costs and uncertainties imposed by Dodd-Frank, it is no surprise that the bill has apparently contributed substantially to the slow U.S. economic recovery over the past two years.
36. Contraceptive mandate - Obama's Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation in January 2012 that would require all employers, including religious organizations like charities, hospitals, and universities that provide services to the public, to provide their employees with health insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates their conscience and beliefs. Obama justified the requirement by saying it was necessary to guarantee birth control access to women, even though birth control is widely available and is as cheap as $15 per month. A few weeks later his administration offered a "compromise" which fundamentally changed nothing and still forces religious employers to provide insurance coverage to their employees that they find morally objectionable. This mandate is outrageous because of its coercion of private businesses and its threat to religious liberty for individuals and institutions under the 1st Amendment.
37. Religious liberty - Obama's Justice Department argued vigorously against religious liberty in the Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC Supreme Court case, but its position was soundly defeated by the high court in a 9-0 decision. The justices unanimously ruled that the government does not have the right under the First Amendment to interfere in the choices of churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations to hire or fire their own ministers, teachers, and other religious leaders. The Obama Administration's actions in regard to this case should concern everyone who cares about the freedom of religion guaranteed to Americans under the First Amendment.
38. Gutting welfare reform - In July 2012, Obama's Department of Health and Human Services released a policy directive claiming the right to waive the work requirements required for people on welfare as a result of the landmark 1996 welfare reform law signed by President Clinton. The welfare-to-work requirements in that law were extraordinarily successful and were left unchanged for more than 15 years. Now, the Obama Administration is taking the legally questionable approach of unilaterally replacing the work requirements with alternative bureaucratic standards that have proven in the past to be far less effective measures of success in reducing government dependency. The end result is certain to be more people receiving welfare benefits without having to work for them.
39. Supreme Court nominees - During his first term, Obama appointed two very liberal justices to the Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor, as a lower court justice, had her decisions reversed by the Supreme Court four times, including a recent ruling she made that New Haven, Connecticut was justified in promoting less qualified firefighters over more qualified ones on the basis of race. She also demonstrated her racialized view of justice in a 2001 speech in which she claimed that "a wise Latina woman...would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male." Elena Kagan had no experience as a judge but a long history in Democratic politics, with extremely left-wing views on issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun rights. Since joining the Supreme Court, both justices have voted with the liberal position 100% of the time in the high profile partisan cases. Sotomayor took the radical position in the city of Chicago gun control case that gun ownership is not an individual constitutional right, and also took the position that a display of a cross on government land was unconstitutional. Kagan refused to recuse herself in the ObamaCare Supreme Court case, despite a clear conflict of interest since she helped with the legal defense of ObamaCare as Obama's solicitor general. If Obama is allowed to appoint more Supreme Court justices, the court could shift sharply to the left.
40. The Fast & Furious scandal - Under the oversight of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Obama Administration's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was involved in a botched operation called "Fast & Furious" which put more than 2,000 guns in the hands of Mexican cartels and then lost track of the guns.  The guns were then used to kill over 300 people, including a U.S. Border Patrol agent.   The Justice Department denied that the guns had been lost for almost a year after the operation became public knowledge, even though the House Oversight Committee obtained evidence that top-ranking Justice Department officials knew what had happened all along.  The recently released Inspector General report on the scandal is a damning indictment of the incompetence, irresponsibility, and corruption rampant in Obama's Justice Department, and most of the responsible individuals have still not been disciplined or fired.
41. Executive privilege for Fast & Furious documents - Instead of cooperating fully with Congress's investigation of the Fast & Furious scandal, Obama's Justice Department stonewalled, delaying release of many subpoenaed documents for well over a year.  Finally, in June 2012, just before Congress voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, Obama's White House invoked executive privilege to continue to hinder the investigation and ensure those documents stayed hidden.  Obama's actions are an abuse of executive privilege, which was never intended to shield the president from political embarrassment or to keep official misconduct from being investigated.  It raises the question: What is the president hiding?  Why is he denying justice to the families of those killed as a result of this operation?
42. Black Panther voter intimidation case - In May 2009, the Obama Justice Department dismissed a voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party that had already been won by default after the defendants chose not to contest it.   Later information came out that showed the Justice Department repeatedly lied about the case and that top-level Obama appointees in the DOJ pressed for this dismissal for political reasons against the evidence and against the wishes of the career civil service attorneys.
43. Racism & lawlessness at the Department of Justice - The dismissal of the New Black Panther case is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the testimony of two former high-ranking officials in the Justice Department, J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates. Both men testified under oath that the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for civil rights, Julie Fernandes, told her subordinates that the department was only interested in filing voting cases that "provide political equality for racial and language minorities," in violation of the Constitution which guarantees all American equal protection under the law and therefore prohibits racial discrimination in deciding which cases to bring. Adams also testified that Fernandes told her subordinates that there would be no enforcement of laws requiring states to purge ineligible voters (such as dead people, felons, and voters who have moved) from voter rolls, since such laws have nothing to do with increasing voter turnout (which supposedly favors Democrats). He provided evidence that a number of states had multiple counties with more registered voters than citizens of voting age living there, and yet the Justice Department did nothing and actually dismissed cases that had originally been brought by the Bush Administration. The Commission on Civil Rights investigated these claims, and a majority of the members of the commission concluded in a report that the Justice Department was enforcing the nation's civil rights laws in a racially discriminatory manner and had repeatedly failed to cooperate with their investigation. One member of the commission said there was a "pervasive culture of hostility to race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws in the Civil Rights Division" of the Justice Department.
44. Voter ID laws - The Obama Justice Department has blocked implementation of laws in Texas and South Carolina that require residents to show photo ID in order to vote. Attorney General Eric Holder claims that these laws are a deliberate attempt by Republicans to suppress the rights of poor blacks and Hispanics to vote, but the evidence from states like Indiana and Georgia where voter ID requirements have already been in place for more than 5 years shows that minority voter turnout has actually increased rather than being suppressed. And, contrary to Justice Department claims, recent news stories and events have demonstrated that voter fraud does actually occur and that it is quite easy to perpetrate without voter ID laws. The Justice Department's position also contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the constitutionality of the Indiana photo-ID voting law (which is very similar to Texas's and South Carolina's) in a 6 to 3 decision, and runs counter to the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Americans across racial and party lines.
45. Suing Florida for cleaning up voter rolls - Since 2011, Florida has been working to purge its voter rolls of ineligible voters. By doing so, it has been following federal law which requires states to keep their voter registration lists accurate. Preliminary analysis indicated that as many as 180,000 registered voters were potentially not citizens, so Florida requested information from the Department of Homeland Security to verify the citizenship status of these questionable voters. Obama's Department of Homeland Security refused to provide Florida with this information for over 9 months, and then Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder sued Florida to try to stop the state from purging its voter registration list! The Justice Department's claims that Florida was violating the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act were patently false, since the state was not changing its voting procedures and was merely seeking to remove noncitizens from the rolls who should have never been there in the first place. A federal judge denied DOJ's request to block Florida's efforts. These actions by the Department of Justice demonstrate clearly that in the Obama Administration political considerations trump the rule of law and the integrity of our election system.
46. Illegal appointments - At the beginning of 2012, Obama illegally appointed the chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as three members of the National Labor Relations Board, because he failed to receive required Senate confirmation of their nominations. The only way that the President can make those appointments without Senate approval is if he does so while the Senate is in recess, and at the time the Senate was not in recess according to the Constitution and the rules of the Senate. Furthermore, the President could not legitimately claim Congressional obstruction to justify his actions, since two of his nominations had only just been sent to the Senate and not enough time had passed for the Senate to even consider them. Obama's actions show an unprecedented level of disregard for the Constitution, which requires the Senate's advice and consent to ensure that people appointed to influential positions in government are qualified.
47. Urging companies to ignore federal law - Apart from some intervention by Congress and Obama (and Obama has done nothing to intervene so far), $500 billion in defense cuts are scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013. These defense cuts will mean mass layoffs for defense contractors. Under a federal law known as the WARN Act, companies are required to notify their employees at least 60 days in advance if there is a reasonable likelihood of "mass layoffs" or "plant closings" that will affect them. However, the Obama Administration's Office of Management and Budget issued a memo a couple of weeks ago urging defense contractors not to send out notices to their employees about future layoffs in compliance with the WARN Act. Of course, it should be obvious why: Obama doesn't want thousands of employees to get layoff notices right before the election. Even worse, the Obama Administration has offered to use taxpayer money to pay any legal bills and penalties that those companies might incur for violating the law! This action once again shows the Obama Administration's utter contempt for the law and his willingness to use taxpayer money to aid his own reelection effort.
48. Attacks on Boeing - The Obama Administration's National Labor Relations Board brought legal action against Boeing in an attempt to prevent the airplane manufacturer from opening a new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. The NLRB claims that Boeing was violating laws that prohibit a company from moving a plant to another state to avoid unions or from punishing workers who strike. These claims are laughable, since Boeing did not close its already-existing unionized facility in Washington -- in fact it has recently expanded it by adding 2,000 jobs. The South Carolina plant is merely an expansion of Boeing's operations and harms none of its workers in Washington. While the case was eventually settled, it sent a powerful message that Obama will take radical steps to try to protect unions (which have donated tens of millions to his campaigns) and intimidate businesses, even if it means attacking job creation in the process.
49. War in Libya - In the spring of 2011, Obama involved our military in a war in Libya which resulted in the toppling of dictator Moammar Qaddafi. The problem with this is that Congress never declared war or voted to authorize or approve any U.S. military action in this situation. The U.N. Security Council voted to authorize the use of force against Libya, and Obama subsequently gave a speech in which he committed to U.S. military involvement in Libya based on that U.N. resolution and a request for action by the Libyan people. This is outrageous, as the U.N. Security Council has no authority whatsoever to commit the American military to anything. That authority belongs to Congress according to our Constitution. Obama never even bothered to make his case for war to Congress or to the American people, which once again shows his contempt for those inconvenient Constitutional requirements.
50. Apology tour - In the first few months of his administration, Obama demonstrated weakness to the world by repeatedly offering apologies to foreign nations on behalf of the United States. In an interview with an Arab TV station in January 2009, he said the U.S. had not been perfect and said he wanted to gain back the respect that the Muslim world had for us 20-30 years ago. At the G-20 Summit in London on April 2, he said he wanted to bring about "some restoration of America's standing in the world." The next day, speaking in France, he said that America had "failed to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world," had shown "arrogance" and been "dismissive" and "derisive," and had violated its values and committed torture at Guantanamo. Days later, in a speech to the Turkish parliament, after again apologizing for Guantanamo, he said that the U.S. was "still working through some of our own darker periods in our history," including slavery and segregation. On April 17, in a speech to the Summit of the Americas, he said that America had failed to fulfil its promises and "had sought to dictate our terms." Over and over again, Obama spoke dismissively of previous administrations and policies and acted as though America's past leadership in the world was something of which to be ashamed, instead of acknowledging what a powerful force we have been for good in the world. Repeatedly he confessed America's supposed sins to countries whose records on human rights, freedom, and democracy are atrocious. His speeches and behavior seemed more calculated to win popularity and applause than to advance our long-term interests.
51. Bin Laden raid - Supposedly, one of Obama's greatest successes was the Navy SEAL raid he ordered on a compound in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. However, a recently published book claims that Obama canceled the raid three times over a period of several months and continued to waffle on whether or not to give the order to carry out the mission right up until the last minute. Some parents of members of SEAL Team Six are angry at the Obama Administration for publicly identifying their team as responsible for bin Laden's death and therefore making them a target for terrorist retaliation. Other former Navy SEALs are furious at Obama for making information about the raid public within hours of its occurrence (which may have compromised the value of intelligence gained and given other Al Qaeda members time to go into hiding) and for politicizing the raid by bragging about his personal role in the attack via TV ads, briefings, and a press conference.
52. War in Afghanistan - Obama made the decision in 2009 to escalate the War in Afghanistan by sending an additional 30,000 troops into the country. Unfortunately, that surge of troops was not accompanied by a clear mission and the will to accomplish it. The rules of engagement for our troops set by Obama's generals have placed a higher priority on avoiding civilian casualties than on protecting our soldiers in harm's way. For example, there are restrictions on the use of air and artillery strikes during battles against insurgents, and our military cannot fire upon anyone who is not clearly identified as an enemy combatant. These rules of engagement have tied the hands of our military men and women as they attempt to destroy insurgents and have resulted in dramatically increased U.S. casualties. Over 2,000 U.S. soldiers have now died in the 11-year war in Afghanistan, and almost 1,400 of those have occurred in the less than four year period since Obama took office. In addition, Obama has set definite public deadlines for troop withdrawals, which has made the Afghans less willing to cooperate with us and encouraged our enemies to dig in and wait us out. And Obama's decision in early 2011 to quickly start to withdraw our military forces was apparently made without consultation with our generals on the ground and the timing was motivated by political considerations (the 2012 election) rather than military considerations (the summer fighting season). Obama should have either gone "all in" to win or withdrawn all troops immediately. Instead, he has played around at the cost of thousands of soldiers' lives.
53. Missile defense - Obama has undermined our country's ballistic missile defense program, which has been under development since the 1980's. In a world where more than 25 countries possess ballistic missile capabilities and rogue states like North Korea and Iran are on the verge of developing nuclear weapons which they could use or sell to terrorists, it is more important than ever for the U.S. to use all available technology to keep our country safe from attack. Obama proposed a 16% cut in funding for missile defense in his 2010 budget, including dismantling of several key elements of the program. His 2012 budget has even further overall cuts and is inadequate to keeping up with developing missile threats to our country. In March 2012, an open mike recorded Obama's comments to the Russian president assuring him that he would have more flexibility to negotiate on missile defense (Russia opposes our missile defense program) after his reelection. Obama's subsequent clarification in a press conference made it clear that he considers nuclear disarmament agreements to be higher priority than U.S. missile defense, which is counterintuitive since the more we reduce our nuclear weapons the more critical it is to have effective defensive systems in place.
54. Islamic Center near Ground Zero - Obama chose to inject himself into a controversy that had nothing to do with him and expressed his support for an effort by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to build a grand Islamic Center just a block or so away from Ground Zero, the site on which thousands of American lost their lives due to Islamic terrorism, funded with millions of dollars from undisclosed foreign sources. Rauf claimed his goal was to promote understanding between the Muslim world and the West, but his insensitivity to the feelings of the victims of the 9/11 attacks belied those claims. And Rauf is far from a moderate Muslim, since he has publicly stated that he believes the U.S. was an accessory to the 9/11 murders, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and has refused to offer a strong condemnation of terrorism in general and of terrorist groups like Hamas. Obama's public support of this endeavor, which never came to pass, speaks volumes about his values.
55. Muslim outreach at the expense of national security - Throughout his presidency, Obama has consistently downplayed the nature and threat of Islamic terrorism. Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, said she preferred the term "man-caused disaster" instead of "terrorism" because she wanted to avoid the "politics of fear." Obama's Defense Department nixed the "war on terror" in favor of the spineless euphemism "overseas contingency operations." The Obama Administration has instructed the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the military to eliminate any training materials that show the relationship between Islamic terrorism to Islamic religious teachings since they are deemed offensive to Muslims. As part of its outreach to the Muslim world, the FBI in 2010 gave Kifah Mustapha, a man who has close ties to Hamas and who was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial in 2008, a VIP tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI training center. This access was apparently granted by someone high up in the Obama Administration who overrode normal security controls that would have prevented this.
56. Auto bailout - Obama has been bragging on the campaign trail lately about how he saved the auto industry with his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. In fact, that bailout was really just a big payoff to the United Auto Workers union (a major supporter of Obama) at the expense of taxpayers. The UAW was a major reason for the financial problems of GM and Chrysler, which had been paying their unionized employees 50%-80% higher wages than their competitors' employees. In normal bankruptcy proceedings, the benefits owed to the trust fund for those UAW employees would have been treated the same as the companies' other creditors. However, the Obama Administration bypassed normal bankruptcy proceedings and gave the UAW a special deal, which amounted to a subsidy of $26.5 billion (larger than the entire State Department budget). The government now expects that taxpayers will lose more than $25 billion on the deal, whereas if normal bankruptcy procedures had been followed there would have been no loss of taxpayer money at all. Another consequence of Obama's corrupt payoff to big labor was that tens of thousands of non-union workers from companies that supplied parts to GM had their pension and health benefits drastically reduced or eliminated and up to 100,000 jobs were lost due to the questionable closing of thousands of auto dealerships.
57. Educational choice - Since 2003, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has been giving poor students in Washington, DC the chance to escape from one of the worst public school systems in the nation by providing them with vouchers that they can use to attend local private schools. The program is popular and the results have been impressive: 92% of the participating students left failing schools, 91% of them have graduated from high school (compared with a city-wide 55% graduation rate), and each voucher only costs about half of what the city spends per student on public school education. Yet, Obama signed a bill in 2009 to defund the program. It was rescued thanks to the intervention of Speaker of the House John Boehner, but now Obama has once again proposed eliminating the program in his 2013 budget. Unfortunately, the poor children who benefit from this program do not have the political clout and deep pockets of the teachers' unions (who oppose all types of education reform including this one), so they will lose out under Obama.
58. 2nd Amendment rights - Obama has a long history of opposing the right of individuals to purchase and own guns under the 2nd Amendment. During his career as an Illinois state senator and a U.S. senator, he voted in favor of complete bans of assault weapons and handguns, voted against a bill to protect people who use handguns for self-defense in their own homes, and supported massive tax increases on guns and ammunition. He expressed support for a ban on handguns both in Washington, DC and nationally as a 2008 presidential candidate, although he backed off on his support for the DC ban after it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. During his first term as president, he has largely kept his support for limiting gun rights "under the radar," according to his own words, but both of his Supreme Court appointments have been hostile to gun rights. His Justice Department took the unusual step of not expressing an opinion on a high profile Supreme Court case regarding Chicago's comprehensive ban on handguns, which was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court, and it also extended the civil forfeiture doctrine to allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms to seize guns from individuals who may have never been convicted or even charged with a crime. Given this history, gun rights groups are worried about a much more open assault on the 2nd Amendment if Obama is reelected.
59. Cash for Clunkers - Obama signed a piece of legislation known as "Cash for Clunkers" into law in 2009 which offered people up to $4,500 in cash for trading in their older, gas-guzzling vehicles for new fuel-efficient vehicles. The goal of this legislation was to stimulate the economy and benefit the environment, but it ended up being nothing more than a colossal waste of taxpayer money. The program burned through $3 billion in about a month's time which caused a brief jump in GDP, but as soon as it ended consumer spending dropped back to normal, which means there was no long-term benefit to the economy. In fact, one study suggested that 45% of the program's funds went to people who would have purchased a new vehicle anyway and that for the money the impact on the environment was quite minimal. Another study found that the program cost taxpayers about $24,000 per car, which is incredibly inefficient given that the most popular car purchased under the program only cost $17,000! And the program had unintended consequences, such as wastefully junking perfectly good used cars and in the process driving up the price of used cars, which made it more difficult for younger and lower income people to afford transportation.
60. Union card check - Both prior to and shortly after his election, Obama indicated his strong support for legislation that included a provision called "card check." The card check provision would eliminate the secret ballot for employees voting on whether or not to unionize, which opens the door to pressure on and intimidation against employees by unions as well as increased corruption in the voting process. Unions have been strongly pushing this since they know it will dramatically expand union membership by stacking the deck in their favor. And of course, increased union membership means increased political contributions to Democrats. Since Obama has been unable to get this legislation through Congress so far, he has been pursuing similar objectives using rules and regulations imposed by the unelected National Labor Relations Board.
61. National Labor Relations Board regulations - Obama's National Labor Relations Board has enacted new regulations intended to give unions special advantages. The most significant one is a rule that dramatically reduces the time period between the time the initial petition for an election to unionize is filed and the time the actual election is held, from 38-40 days down to 10-20 days. This is important because employers usually are unaware of a unionization effort until the petition is filed, while the unions are at work behind the scenes lobbying employees up to 8 months in advance. The period between filing the petition and holding the election is the only time available to the employer to present its case against unionization, and thus this new rule gives unions an unfair advantage in the organization process. The NLRB has taken other actions designed to expand the power of unions, including a ruling that allows unions to cherrypick employees in an organization to create a unit favorable to unionization and a legally questionable ruling requiring workplace notices.
62. Politicization of government contracts - The Obama Administration issued a draft executive order in 2011 that would have required all companies and their officers to provide a list of all contributions made to political candidates and independent political groups (going back two years) to the government as a condition for bidding on federal contracts. This order attacks the notion enshrined in our laws for more than 70 years that the awarding of government contracts should be based on merit rather than on politics. When politics plays a role in who gets government contracts, the inevitable result is waste and corruption. The White House claim that this order is intended to provide full disclosure to the public does not hold water, since entities that receive taxpayer money through regular funding or grants (largely Democratic donors like environmental & labor groups) are not required to disclose. Obama's motivation for this order appears to have been to try to intimidate companies or individuals doing business with the government from contributing to Republican candidates or conservative causes. Thankfully, fierce opposition from Congress and outside groups kept a final executive order from being issued, at least so far.
63. Nationalizing student loans - The government has long insured student loans made by private banks, but under a provision of ObamaCare the federal government is now directly responsible for issuing and administering new student loans backed by federal funds. Obama took additional action in 2011 by issuing an executive order that seeks to consolidate all existing student loans under federal government control and offers forgiveness for all student loans after 20 years. These actions mean that taxpayers will be directly on the hook for more than $1 trillion in loans by 2017, and with the default rate for student loans at 9% and climbing coupled with government loan forgiveness these massive loans carry massive financial risks. Obama's claims that these direct loans actually save taxpayers money are not credible, since government accounting rules substantially underestimate the risks of loan default. And there is evidence that the government is far inferior to private banks both in terms of customer service for loans and in terms of collection efforts and prevention of default. Obama's student loan policies are another example of his fiscal irresponsibility and his knee-jerk expansion of government power.
64. Politicization of the Census - Shortly after he took office, Obama made an effort to politicize the U.S. Census by taking the unprecedented step of announcing that the director of the Census Bureau would report directly to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel rather than to the Commerce Secretary. It is extremely important that Census data be independent and accurate, since it is used to determine the apportionment of congressional districts, the makeup of state legislative districts, and the allocation of $300 billion in federal funds to states and communities. Placing the Census under the control of White House political operatives endangers that independence, since there are all sorts of questionable sampling and modeling techniques that can be used in place of head counts to obtain a politically advantageous result for the Census numbers. Due to a congressional outcry, Obama abandoned this effort, but the fact that he attempted it speaks volumes about him.
65. Same-sex marriage - In the late 1990's, Obama supported same-sex marriage, but conveniently changed his position when he decided to run for the U.S. Senate and then for U.S. President.  In 2012, facing pressure from his liberal base and from many of his top donors and bundlers, he flip-flopped again on the issue.  Within weeks of Obama's politically motivated conversion, his political allies and supporters were attacking supporters of traditional marriage as bigoted and anti-gay for holding the same position Obama had held nearly his entire term as president.  Redefining the institution of marriage could have profound consequences for society and poses a genuine threat to religious liberty.
66. Refusing to defend or enforce the Defense of Marriage Act - When Obama announced in 2012 that he had flip-flopped back in favor of same-sex marriage, he claimed that he still believed that the issue should be left up to the states. We know this is a lie because the Obama Administration has refused to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law passed by a wide bipartisan margin in Congress during the 1990's and explicitly designed to protect states' rights to define marriage for themselves. Shockingly, Obama's Justice Department has not only refused to defend DOMA, but is also refusing to enforce it even though it remains the law of the land.
67. Enemies list - A few months ago, an Obama campaign website made a post targeting 8 private citizens who made large donations to the Romney campaign. They were singled out by name and their reputations were attacked, even though they do not hold public office and have committed no crime. Presidents have a unique public trust and the entire power of the government behind them, and it is outrageous for them to be intimidating private citizens for exercising their right to participate in our democracy. One of the Romney donors on Obama's list was Frank VanderSloot, an Idaho businessman. After he was singled out for attack by the Obama campaign, an investigator with Democratic ties showed up in Idaho digging into his personal life and his children were harrassed by bloggers. Even more chillingly, just a few months after his donation to Romney, he and his business were targeted for separate audits by both the IRS and the Department of Labor
68. Illegal immigration executive order - In June 2012, Obama issued an executive order declaring that the U.S. government will establish amnesty for certain illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Whether you agree or disagree with this idea, this executive order is illegal and unconstitutional. Essentially Obama's executive order is putting into effect a piece of legislation known as the DREAM Act, which was rejected by Congress. As president, Obama only has the authority to enforce existing laws; he does not have the authority to ignore or refuse to enforce laws duly passed by Congress or to rewrite those laws to suit his political opinions.
69. Arizona illegal immigration law - In April 2010, the state of Arizona passed a tough new illegal immigration law which contained a provision stating that if a policeman stops someone for violating the law and finds reasonable suspicion (not based on race or ethnicity) that he or she may be in the country illegally, that policeman is required to inquire about his or her immigration status. Arizona's statute, written to mirror federal immigration law, was in reaction to the severe crime and drug problems the state is facing due to the failure of the federal government to enforce the border (according to a GAO report issued a few months after the law was passed, less than half of the border is under the "operational control" of the U.S. government). Instead of acknowledging his administration's responsibility to control the border and protect border states like Arizona, Obama and his top officials lashed out against Arizona and accused its new law of being "irresponsible" and of undermining "basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans." He lied about the law by claiming that the law permitted people to be racially profiled or randomly stopped on the street and asked for their papers. One of Obama's top Department of Homeland Security officials threatened to stop processing illegal immigrants reported to them by Arizona authorities, and his Attorney General Eric Holder sued Arizona over the law. Eventually, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial provision in the law, Obama retaliated by ceasing federal cooperation with Arizona law enforcement on immigration matters.
70. Letting the Mexican president attack Arizona - In May 2010, Obama gave a press conference with Mexican president Felipe Calderon at the White House. Essentially, Obama and Calderon took turns bashing Arizona for its new anti-illegal immigration law. In addition to the disgrace of our President publicly taking Mexico's side against a state that is part of his own country, he also allowed Calderon to badly misrepresent the Arizona law and gave him a free pass regarding Mexico's immigration policy, which is far more harsh, restrictive, and inhumane than Arizona's. Later, Calderon gave a speech to a joint session of Congress in which he once again attacked Arizona for its illegal immigration law, and he received a standing ovation from Vice President Biden and the members of Obama's Cabinet who were present.
71. Interrogation of terrorists - On his first day in office, Obama signed an executive order banning enhanced interrogation techniques used by the Bush Administration on captured Al Qaeda militants. These techniques included sleep deprivation, aggressive questioning, loud music, and drowning simulations designed to frighten hardened killers into talking. The evidence shows they were very effective in obtaining critical information from top Al Qaeda operatives that helped to capture additional terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks, including one on the Library Tower in Los Angeles. In fact, intelligence gained from these interrogations eventually led to the capture of Osama bin Laden! The Obama Administration's approach to interrogating terrorists can be seen in its handling of the Christmas Day bomber, the Nigerian national who tried to blow up a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day. Once he was apprehended, he was interviewed for less than an hour before being read his Miranda rights (remember, this man was not a U.S. citizen), after which he "lawyered up" and refused to cooperate any further for many weeks. The CIA lost the opportunity to obtain valuable current information from him about terrorist activities. Obama's policies on terrorist interrogations have made Americans less safe.
72. National security leaks - Over the past couple of years, there has been an unprecedented amount of American top-secret national security information that has been leaked to the press. Among the stories leaked are details about computer virus attacks against the Iranian nuclear program, details about how a CIA mole infiltrated an Al Qaeda branch in Yemen, inside information about Obama's role in Predator drone attacks, secret missions and operations in Pakistan and Africa, and details about the bin Laden raid. All information points to the White House as the source of the leaks, and the nature of some of the leaks points to high-level sources with access to the White House Situation Room. The motivation for the leaks in many cases seems to be political, with much of the classified information designed to highlight Obama's successes and his toughness in making decisions. Many members of Congress, including Democratic senators like Dianne Feinstein and Joe Lieberman, have expressed grave concerns about the damage done to our national security and the risk that people from other countries will stop cooperating with us in the future out of fear that we will not keep their secrets. Obama has refused to appoint someone independent from his Administration to investigate the source of these leaks.
73. Civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - In November 2009, Obama's Justice Department announced their attention to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Al Qaeda terrorist and mastermind of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and his co-conspirators to New York City to be tried in civilian courts. This incredibly flawed decision would have given foreign enemy combatants constitutional rights that belong only to U.S. citizens, made it far more difficult to prosecute them effectively, risked the exposure of intelligence sources and other classified information that could jeopardize national security, given the terrorists a microphone to express their hatred for the U.S., endangered the security of New York City, brought additional pain to the families of the victims, and demonstrated weakness and lack of resolve toward our enemies. Fortunately, opposition from Congress kept this trial from occurring.
74. Closing Guantanamo Bay - On his first full day in office, Obama signed an executive order calling for the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for terrorists to be shut down within a year. The move seemed to have been intended to curry international approval as well as to appease Obama's anti-war base. However, it proved very unpopular with Congress and the American public, since it seemed ridiculous to stop using a relatively new state-of-the-art facility perfectly designed to house terrorists. After all, something had to be done with the terrorists being held in Guantanamo and the only two practical options seemed to be releasing them overseas or bringing them to the U.S. to be held in American prisons. The first option invited dangerous killers to kill more U.S. citizens, and the second option put Americans at risk of having dangerous killers present on American soil and in their communities. In the end, Obama failed to keep his promise to close the terrorist facility due to strong congressional opposition, but his determined attempt to do so sent a clear message that the Obama Administration was willing to compromise the security of Americans in order to appear "nice" to the world.
75. Investigation into the CIA - In 2009, Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder reopened a criminal investigation into the CIA for alleged human rights abuses against terrorist detainees due to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. These exact same cases had already been reviewed during the Bush Administration and the decision was made not to prosecute. Indeed, it was clear that under federal torture laws there was little or no chance for a conviction. The politically-motivated decision to reopen the investigation sent a dangerous message to the CIA that they should be more focused on protecting themselves from internal investigations than tracking down terrorists, which is likely to make CIA agents think twice about future aggressive actions against terrorism to keep our country safe. The decision also encouraged our enemies by demonstrating weakness and disunity. After three long and costly years of digging into the CIA, the Justice Department was forced to admit that they had no evidence that crimes had been committed, but in Holder's statement dropping the case he continued to undermine the CIA by implying wrongdoing on their part.
76. Gulf oil spill - In the spring of 2012, the explosion of a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history that went on for several months.  The Obama Administration bears some responsibility, as they gave BP an environmental exemption a year earlier and did not require them to have a plan in place to deal with a potential spill.  Once the spill occurred, the Administration was quick to point fingers but completely unprepared and very slow to respond even though the spill was occurring in federal waters.  Federal officials failed to respond for weeks to Louisiana's urgent request for permission to build sand barriers, dithered on BP's use of toxic dispersants, and refused to permit foreign ships to help with the oil skimming as a favor to Big Labor.  Obama waited 9 days to even make a public comment on the spill and he later tried to use it as an excuse to push his green energy agenda and to ban offshore drilling.
77. Human Trafficking Program - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was chosen in 2006 as the organization best qualified to administer the Health & Human Services Department's Human Trafficking Program, and it continued to do so until this year, when Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's HHS Secretary, changed the rules of the competition to give "strong preference" to applicants that perform abortions. This is especially appalling because having an abortion puts trafficking victims in more danger, since they are under the domination of someone else and cannot provide informed consent to the abortion. Pregnancy keeps the victims off the street and increases the likelihood that they will seek help; an abortion merely serves the interest of the pimp by putting the victim back on the street to face further risk of exploitation and death. Even under the new rules putting the USCCB at a disadvantage, their grant proposal still scored the second highest of all proposals submitted. Sebelius still chose to deny any funds to the USCCB and gave those funds instead to two other abortion-providing organizations that were deemed by the non-political program staff to be unqualified. It's pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that in Obama's HHS, abortion must be promoted at all costs, even if it harms victims of human trafficking.
78. War on women - Throughout his reelection campaign, Obama has advanced the idea that Romney and the GOP are waging a war on women and that he is fighting to protect women's interests. Obama has chosen Sandra Fluke as a spokeswoman for his campaign on this issue. Fluke is a 30-year-old from a wealthy family who attended one of the top law schools in the country. She became famous after being personally attacked because of her testimony before members of Congress that she and her privileged friends were being treated unfairly because their Catholic university did not pay for their birth control. Now she goes around the country campaigning for Obama and warning that Romney wants to "turn back the clock on women's rights." Obama has further pushed this "war on women" meme with his campaign's online cartoon story called "The Life of Julia," which demonstrates how a fictional woman named Julia is better off at every stage of her life due to Obama's government solutions that meet her every need. Finally, Obama has made support for abortion a key element of his outreach to women. Obama's "war on women" campaign theme sends a clear message that he believes women are looking for cradle to grave benefits from the government and he thinks the primary issues women care about are free contraceptives and abortion.
79. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - One of the first bills that Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. While he claims this bill is about mandating equal pay for women in the workplace, in actuality equal pay for equal work among men and women has been U.S. law for over 40 years. This bill goes far beyond that and virtually eliminates any time limit on pay discrimination lawsuits. Obviously this is a bonanza for trial lawyers, but it is harmful for employers because it makes it extremely difficult for them to defend against bogus claims and effectively increases their costs for hiring. Thus, it indirectly harms workers as well. And there is no pressing need for such a law, since the current gender pay gap is mostly due to nondiscriminatory factors like child-rearing, college majors, work experience, and job characteristics.
80. Taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood - Obama has made preserving taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood a key issue in his reelection campaign. Planned Parenthood performs 25% of all abortions in the U.S., making it the country's largest abortion provider, and 37% of its revenue comes from abortion. 98% of all Planned Parenthood services to pregnant women are abortion services. The organization is not a significant primary health care provider for women, with only 20,000 of its 3 million clients receiving primary care services. And it is a corrupt organization that has covered up cases of statutory rape, incest, and sex trafficking and has been found guilty in courts of law for failing to comply with state parental notification laws and for failing to provide informed consent to a 14-year-old girl impregnated by her much older coach. Despite all this, Planned Parenthood uses its lobbying clout to keep the federal dollars coming and its billion dollar budget to claim it is a charitable organization that primarily provides basic health care for poor women.
81. Israel & Palestinians - Obama has claimed to "have done more for the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration," but the facts tell a different story. Early in Obama's presidency, he pointedly avoided Israel during a visit to the Middle East (he has yet to visit Israel after 4 years in office), but gave a speech in Cairo to a Muslim audience in which he compared Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with the Holocaust but avoided any mention of Palestinian terrorism. He insisted that Israel must cease all settlement activity as a precondition to peace talks, which was a more hardline position than the leader of the Palestinian Authority had taken at the time, and later demanded that Israel retreat back to its 1967 borders; he has made no similar preemptory demands of the Palestinians. His administration publicly attacked and humiliated Israel over new settlements in Jerusalem, but was far less vocal over much worse offenses against Israeli civilians by the Palestinians. Even though Israel is surrounded by enemies that want to wipe it off the map, the Obama Administration has tried to pressure it into signing a nuclear disarmament treaty. Worst of all, the Obama Administration has utterly failed to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, which pose a fundamental threat to Israel's survival, and yet has publicly and severely warned Israel not to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Relations with our closest democratic ally and partner against terrorism in the Middle East are at an all-time low, thanks to Obama.
82. Insulting Israeli prime minister - Obama insulted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on at least two occasions. In a March 2010 meeting in the White House, Obama sneaked Netanyahu in the back door and refused to pose for photographs or take press questions with him. He presented Netanyahu with a list of demands and pressured him to stop building settlements in his own capital of Jerusalem. When he refused, Obama walked out on him in the middle of the meeting and told him to let him know "if there is anything new." And just a few weeks ago, Obama again snubbed Netanyahu by refusing his request to meet with Obama while he was in the U.S. for the UN General Assembly. The disrespect with which Obama has treated the prime minister of our most important ally in the Middle East speaks volumes about him.
83. Poland, Czech Republic, & Russia - In 2009, Obama cancelled a deal that the Bush Administration had made with Poland and the Czech Republic to build missile defense sites in those countries both for our own protection and for theirs. In so doing, he betrayed two close friends and NATO allies of the U.S. His reason for doing so was pressure from Russia, which strenuously objected to the program (despite the fact that it posed no threat to Russia). Obama has also worked hard to appease the Russians in other ways, such as keeping relatively silent about their human rights and anti-democracy abuses and pushing through ratification of the new nuclear arms control START Treaty with them during a lame-duck session of Congress. The START Treaty, pushed hard by the Russians, is mostly merely irrelevant for us, but could lead to conflict with them over missile defense expansion due to some language in the preamble. It also shows the naivete of Obama who views it as a step toward a world free of nuclear weapons. However, despite all of Obama's concessions to the Russians, they continue to thumb their nose at the U.S. by obstructing sanctions against Iran and helping them with their nuclear reactors.
84. Honduras & Venezuela - In the summer of 2009, Manuel Zelaya, the left-wing president of Honduras, attempted to circumvent the country's constitution and illegally seek another term, despite opposition from all the nation's major institutions including the Supreme Court and Congress. Zelaya's illegal actions prompted the military to remove him from office and from the country, and the Supreme Court called for new elections. However, Obama joined Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro in siding with Zelaya and demanding that he be reinstated, even going so far as to pull U.S. aid from the country and to threaten not to recognize the legitimacy of a replacement election. The aforementioned Hugo Chavez is the socialist leader of Venezuela who has corruptly packed the country's courts with political allies, sought to control the media, violated human rights, and jailed political dissidents. Obama met with Chavez at a multi-nation summit back in 2009 and called him "mi amigo," and now Chavez has endorsed Obama's re-election. The Honduras and Venezuela examples demonstrate how out of touch Obama is with American democratic values.
85. Funding for U.N. Population Fund - For years, the United Nations Population Fund has worked closely with the Chinese government to oversee that country's "one-child policy." China's coercive one-child policy involves all sorts of human rights abuses such as forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and kidnapping of "illegal" children. The Bush Administration ended taxpayer funding for the U.N. Population Fund because of its involvement in these abuses, but Obama immediately took action to restore U.S. funding to this program. Already the U.S. has given $150 million to the program since 2009, with Obama calling for another $50 million in taxpayer funding in his 2012 budget. Perhaps this is no surprise, since Obama's vice president Joe Biden actually indicated during a visit to China that he "understood" and was "second-guessing" that country's brutal one-child policy. 
86. Human rights record - Obama's record in dealing with human rights issues around the world has been atrocious. In addition to his failure to speak out on behalf of Iranian democracy protestors, Obama has shown indifference to human rights violations in countries like Egypt, Burma, and Sudan. His administration chose to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members include serial human rights violators like Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia and which spends most of its time condemning democratic countries like Israel and the United States while turning a blind eye to real human rights violations. The Bush Administration refused to join the Human Rights Council to avoid lending legitimacy to its corruption. Obama also permitted Iran, a country where women have almost no rights, to join the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. And in the spring of 2012, the Obama Administration immediately turned a blind Chinese dissident and human rights activist back over to the Chinese government after he risked his life to escape to "safety" at the U.S. embassy, and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was too indifferent to even bother to mention this dissident's name publicly
87. Attacks on success - In July, on the campaign trail, Obama launched unprecedented attacks on individual success and accomplishment by claiming that people owe their success to government:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
88. Disrespect for the Supreme Court - On at least two separate occasions Obama showed disrespect for the Supreme Court, a co-equal branch of government. The first time was during his 2010 State of the Union address, when he lectured the Supreme Court justices sitting right in front of him in the audience about their ruling in the Citizens United case (and proceeded to falsely claim that it would allow foreign money to influence our elections). The second time was right after the Supreme Court's hearing on ObamaCare, when Obama warned the high court not to strike down the law and took the extraordinary step of attacking the concept of judicial review, which has been an accepted power of the judicial branch of government for more than 200 years.
89. Divisive rhetoric & race-baiting - Despite calls at various points for a more civil level of national discourse, President Obama and Vice President Biden have repeatedly used divisive and racialized rhetoric in ways that are unworthy of the high offices they hold. In a Hispanic radio station interview, Obama told Latinos that they need to "punish their enemies" by voting against Republicans in the upcoming 2010 congressional elections. Earlier, he told a crowd that Republicans didn't want blacks to vote. At another 2010 election rally, he told his audience that Republican could cooperate with his agenda after the election if they wanted to, but they would have to "sit in the back." At a 2011 Labor Day rally, Obama was introduced by the president of the Teamsters union who said, in reference to Republicans, "Let's take these sons of bitches out," without any subsequent comment from Obama. In a 2011 Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill, Biden accused Republicans of "acting like terrorists," and just recently he told a substantially black audience in Virginia that the Republicans "want to put y'all back in chains."
90. Golf/fundraisers/vacations - Obama had golfed 104 times during his presidency as of the beginning of August 2012 and had attended over 360 fundraisers during his presidency as of the end of September 2012. By way of comparison, George W. Bush golfed 24 times during his entire 8 years in office and attended 173 fundraisers during his first term (the previous record). The Obamas have also established a pattern of taking extravagant vacations that cost taxpayers huge amounts of money. During a one-year period from 2010 to 2011, the Obamas reportedly spent more than $10 million of taxpayer money on vacations. Their lavish vacation destinations included a Christmas vacation in Hawaii costing taxpayers well over $1.5 million, a trip to Spain for the First Lady and 40 of her friends, back-to-back summer vacations at exclusive Martha's Vineyard at a 28-acre farm costing $50,000 per week, and a ski trip to Vail, Colorado where they stayed in suites costing nearly $2,500 per night. Obama's excessive golf outings, ubiquitous fundraisers, and costly family vacations seem especially obnoxious compared with the suffering of ordinary Americans due to the awful economy.
91. Neglect of presidential duties - Obama's excessive golf outings, ubiquitous fundraisers, and costly family vacations, described above, might not seem so bad if Obama had demonstrated he was also making time for the important things. However, the evidence does not suggest that. For example, Obama attended his daily presidential intelligence briefing just 44% of the time during his first three years in office (by comparison, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily briefing). During the six-month period from mid-January through mid-July 2012, Obama had over 100 fundraisers and 10 golf outings, but his jobs council didn't meet once. During the 12-month period from April 2011 to April 2012, Obama had 100 fundraisers but only met 25 times with his Secretary of State, his Defense Secretary, or his Treasury Secretary. Obama failed to present a budget to Congress on time during his first two years in office, and he failed so badly in working with Congress that his most recent budget plan got zero votes in both the House and the Senate in the spring of 2012! The U.S. Senate, controlled by the President's party, has not passed a budget in more than three years, and apparently the President is fine with that. During the debate over raising the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011, Obama never put forward a plan of his own. When taken together, these items paint a picture of a President who is neglecting his duties and failing to lead effectively.
92. Bullying the free press - A few days after senior Obama advisor David Axelrod claimed that Fox News did not count as a legitimate news network, his administration attempted to deny Fox News access to an interview with its pay czar Kenneth Feinberg. The Treasury Department offered to allow all the five major networks the opportunity to interview Feinberg with the exception of Fox News, since it disapproved of Fox's news coverage. The rest of the major networks, recognizing this as an attack by the executive branch on the freedom of the press, stood up for Fox News and insisted that it be allowed the same access to Feinberg as all the other networks. In the face of this unified media front, the Obama Administration backed off, but the very fact that the White House would attempt to control and manipulate the free and independent press in this country is chilling.
93. Refusing to take personal responsibility - Obama has become notorious for blaming his problems on everyone other than himself. His favorite scapegoat has been his predecessor, George W. Bush. He has blamed Bush for numerous events occurring on his watch (his auto bailouts, the election of Republican Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the Gulf oil spill) and for long-term global realities such as anti-Americanism. And after he had been in office for well over two or even three years, he continued to publicly deflect blame to Bush when criticized over the economy, the debt, the deficit, unemployment, and Afghanistan and Iran policies. Even as Obama kicked off his reelection campaign in the spring of 2012, he repeatedly castigated Bush for everything from tax policy to decisions on North Korea to job growth. Obama has also blamed others besides Bush. He pointed fingers at Congress and the Chinese for the Solyndra scandal. As the Gulf oil spill crisis continued to worsen, Obama and his team spent much of their time deflecting blame to BP, and at one point Obama even stated that he was talking with some of the brightest minds so he could figure out "whose ass to kick." He has even blamed the American people, commenting on three different occasions that Americans "have been a little bit lazy," "gotten a little soft," and lost their "ambition and imagination." When asked about his biggest mistake as president, the only one he would admit to was not communicating his (presumably fantastic) policies to the public clearly enough.
94. Indifference or deception regarding the economy - Throughout his presidency, Obama has not demonstrated either appropriate concern or honesty about the economic problems our country is facing. From very early on his administration, he began touting the millions of jobs that he had "created or saved," which is ridiculous and misleading since it is impossible to objectively determine how many jobs are actually being saved. He also claimed repeatedly that his stimulus bill rescued our country from another Great Depression, which is another statement that is completely impossible to prove and therefore fictional. In August 2012, he misleadingly touted the 4.5 million jobs that he had helped to create during his first term, even though the total jobs lost during his presidency outnumbers the total jobs created by more than 1 million. He famously said in June 2012, after touting all the jobs he had created, that "the private sector is doing fine," despite very poor economic growth and persistently high unemployment. This followed comments from earlier in his administration in which he joked about how those "shovel-ready" jobs touted in the stimulus didn't turn out to be very shovel-ready after all, which probably wasn't very funny to the millions of Americans out of work. 
95. Broken promises to ban earmarks & lobbyists - When Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised to bring a new era of transparency and accountability to Washington. To bring that about, he promised to place restrictions on the ability of lobbyists to serve in his administration and made a pledge to oppose earmarks as president. On his first day in office, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting lobbyists from working on any regulation within his administration directly related to their former employer for two years. However, he has selected many lobbyists to work in his administration in clear violation of his own executive order by means of waivers and recusals that have mostly been kept hidden from the public. He compounded his broken promise by lying about the role of lobbyists in his administration in his 2010 State of the Union address. Obama also violated his pledge to oppose earmarks right out of the starting gate, by signing into law a massive appropriations bill that contained nearly 9,000 earmarks totaling $8 billion. After his party was badly defeated in the 2010 midterm elections, Obama reiterated his determination to oppose earmarks -- and just a few days later convinced Congress to pass another spending bill containing $8 billion in earmarks which he signed into law. Obama is living proof that talk is cheap.
96. Safe schools czar - Kevin Jennings was appointed in 2009 to be the director of Obama's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, a "czar" position that requires no confirmation by the Senate. Jennings has devoted his life to promoting homosexuality to school children through an organization he founded called the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, which has promoted some pretty shocking sexual techniques in seminars for public school students, and he wrote the foreword to a book entitled Queering Elementary Education. He gave a speech at the GLSEN convention a few years ago urging his fellow teachers to promote homosexuality to school children "before the children have a chance to be prejudiced by their parents and churches" and using profanity to describe Christians. He described his illicit drug use in great detail without expressing regret about it in his 2007 autobiography, and he also edited a published collection of teacher essays in which one of the authors lamented that so many of his students held "rigid" views regarding drug use and sex. Worst of all, Jennings admitted without apology during a speech in 2000 that when he was a teacher and his 15 or 16 year-old student came to him about a sexual relationship he was having with an older man, he did not report the incident to anyone and his only advice to the student was to be sure to use a condom. Although Jennings stepped down in 2011, it is shocking that someone with his views and background was deemed worthy to serve as the safe schools czar for Obama for more than 2 years.
97. Van Jones - Van Jones was hired in the spring of 2009 to be Obama’s special adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a position informally known as "green jobs czar."  He was given control of billions of taxpayer dollars without any vetting by the U.S. Senate.  Jones is a "9/11 truther" who signed a petition in 2004 asking for an investigation into the evidence that the Bush Administration deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur.  He has been a Communist since 1992 and led a Marxist political group called STORM from 1994 - 2002.  Just before being hired by Obama, he was caught on tape expressing his desire to "change the whole system" and ridiculing capitalism, as well as calling for green energy as a way to redistribute American wealth to Native Americans and accusing "the white polluters and the white environmentalists" of "steering poison into the people of color communities."  He never disavowed his Communist beliefs up until the time he was forced to resign his position in the Obama Administration due to a swirl of controversy. 
98. Donald Berwick - Obama sneaked Donald Berwick in as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services without Senate approval using a recess appointment. It marked the first time a top Cabinet-level official had been appointed without even a hearing, and Berwick's department has a bigger budget than even the Department of Defense! The reason for this was that Obama knew Berwick's radical views would not be well received by the Senate. He has called the government agency that controls the socialized health care system in Britain a "seductress" and a "global treasure," stated that rationing care is inevitable, claimed that one of the primary purposes of health care laws is to "constrain decentralized, individual decision making," insisted that a health care system must redistribute wealth, and proclaimed that such procedures as ultrasounds, preventive services, and life-sustaining services for the terminally ill are unnecessary and must be cut or eliminated. He is a great choice -- if you want unelected bureaucrats making your health care decisions for you.
99. Accusing Romney of being a felon & a murderer - A Super PAC supporting Obama ran a TV ad a couple of months ago claiming Romney was responsible for the death of a woman who died of cancer after her husband was laid off by Bain Capital. The ad was blatantly dishonest, since the woman's husband was laid off two years after Romney stopped his day-to-day involvement at Bain to manage the Olympics, the woman did not lose her primary insurance coverage when her husband was laid off, and she was not diagnosed with cancer until 5 years after her husband left Bain. At first the Obama Administration denied any knowledge of the ad and the story, and was then forced to admit it lied when evidence surfaced showing top Obama campaign operatives were well aware of this story and had colluded with the Super PAC. A couple of weeks later, Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggested, with no evidence, that Romney had committed a felony by lying to the SEC, and Obama subsequently denied that anyone on his campaign had accused Romney of being a felon! These incidents clearly demonstrate the Obama campaign's disgraceful brand of gutter politics as well as its dishonesty.
100. Narcissism - Obama has to be one of the most narcissistic presidents in our country's history. Obama started writing his own memoir when he was only 32 years old, with no major accomplishments. As president, he once boasted about how one of his campaign workers, who had died of breast cancer, had asked to be buried in an Obama T-shirt. When a Democratic congressman expressed concern to Obama early in 2010 that the 2010 elections could be worse than the 1994 elections for Democrats, Obama informed him that the big difference between the two elections was that this time "you've got me." On his first presidential visit to England, his unique gift to the queen was an iPod filled with his own speeches. He failed to personally attend the highly significant ceremony in Germany marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but recorded a video message that was aired at the ceremony in which he actually saw fit to mention himself and his own election as a great moment in the history of the West. Both he and the First Lady have mentioned, at different times, that he knows more and is better informed than his policy advisors. Should I mention the 2008 speech in which he mentioned that the occasion of his primary victory over Hillary Clinton was "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? This level of self-absorption is dangerous in a leader.

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