[StBernard] MyHeritage.org: President Obama's First 100 Days

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Apr 29 23:40:03 EDT 2009

April 29, 2009 | By Nathaniel Ward

President Obama's first 100 days

Today marks President Obama's 100th day in office. Few will disagree that
these past three months have been consequential: the new administration has
enacted unprecedented changes to economic policy, foreign and national
security policy and social policy.

However, while the mainstream media goes out of its way to praise these as
"change we can believe in," Heritage Foundation experts suggest that not all
these changes are for the best.

Economic Policy

The president's economic policies
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=R-vZodxgD7MeRKWZbNdcEg..> have
perhaps made the most headlines during his short tenure in office. To date,
the president has potentially doubled the national debt by endorsing such
legislation as:

* $787 billion "stimulus'" bill, which the CBO projects could cost
$3.27 trillion.

* $410 billion earmark-packed omnibus bill; and

* $3.6 trillion budget proposal for FY2010.

In a Washington Post commentary, Heritage distinguished fellow and former
Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=1S0aPmYZoBdSVDG_vSxxuQ..> argues
that President Obama has done little more than increase spending, taxes and
the size of government. She says that if he switches gears and promotes
"government doing more, better and with less, then he will truly be a
transformative leader."

This has been, Heritage's Conn Carroll writes
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=XQvZ3zgX4HoeoQ83BwCYzQ..> , "a
presidency that is every bit as comfortable as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's
was in blending the power of big government, big business, and big labor
into one national industrial policy."

Foreign and National Security Policy

When considering the president's record on foreign and national security
policy <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=c4hojvvgX-lPkFAuXwSA9w..> ,
let's not forget his quick action in the rescue of Navy Capt. Richard
Phillips from the Somali pirates, or his prudent decision to continue, in
large part, the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
Pakistan. Nevertheless, other administration initiatives temper this good

* Shutting down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,

* Drastically reducing funding for missile defense, despite increased
threats from rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran;

* Cutting the overall defense budget to unsustainable levels, leaving
the military without critical new tools and incapable of meeting the growing
challenges we face; and

* Going without "a coherent approach to homeland security."

Heritage Vice President Kim Holmes
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=5bVaeU4MqFfZPxwoNJWNBg..> notes
that perhaps the President's greatest asset is his global popularity, as was
demonstrated during his two whirlwind tours in Europe and Latin America.
Holmes questions, however, "whether the President's personal popularity
abroad is translating into concrete results for the United States. So far it
has not."

Social Policy

President Obama has wasted little time in reversing social policies
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=aj7GrgEYbxztcLct9Fx4bA..> -both
longstanding policies and those enacted by his predecessor. Within the first
three months of his presidency, he has:

* Discouraged volunteerism by signing a costly national service bill
allowing government funding and expansion of Americorps;

* Extended taxpayer financing to abortions abroad; and

* Invited taxpayer funding for controversial embryonic stem cell

Many of the president's proposals, such as eliminating successful
school-choice programs for low-income families and rolling back conscience
protections for medical professionals, would further undermine civil

-Amanda Reinecker

Swine flu: Don't panic

"We are not close to having a pandemic yet," Heritage national security
expert James Carafano cautions in a New York Times article about how to deal
with the swine flu.

Arguing that misleading terminology does little more than trigger
unnecessary concern, Carafano criticizes the media's loose characterizations
of swine flu as a "pandemic," "epidemic" or "outbreak."

Mounting concerns about the virus have generated calls to restrict travel
and close the border between the US and Mexico. But Carafano explains that
both strategies, while they make for good PR, are ineffective and
uncalled-for, especially since we know so little about the disease

Instead, in a new Heritage analysis, Carafano suggests a "steady,
common-sense response"
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=eI3zUsny7LbiP2Zq400c4g..> through
good public health policies, such as:

1. Treating those affected with the virus;

2. Continuing to collect useable and timely information about the flu;

3. Educating Americans on the proper means of preventing transmission.

While we should continue to actively monitor the virus and those infected,
Carafano warns that closing the border "will not stop the spread of the flu
but it will stop the economy."

-Amanda Reinecker

> Other Heritage work of note

* Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has announced his plans to campaign as a
Democrat for the 2010 Congressional election, bringing the party closer to
the 60-votes necessary to resist a filibuster. Heritage's Mike Franc
explains what this means for the Senate on National Review Online
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=REz1GnT41yf8Bj7aGlnsDQ..> .

* Heritage regulation expert James Gattuso hosted a panel discussion
at The Heritage Foundation today about the government's increasing steps to
prop up the economy. Will these measures help rescue financial
institutions-or will they make the situation worse? Read more and watch the
video. <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=TeiW7R120REiJSDDc1BEdQ..>

* Brad Caudell of Lexington, KY has won The Heritage Foundation's free
trip giveaway. This young conservative will be attending Heritage's
President's Club meeting next Monday in Washington. The sold-out meeting
features keynote speaker Rush Limbaugh, plus special guests including
Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Thanks to everyone
who participated in the contest!

* America should not support the conclusions of the recent Durban II
conference, argue Heritage United Nations experts Brett Schaefer and Steve
Groves <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=7_hn4sgjKYAoN0BtGQ5kqQ..> .
The relevant document "makes significant references overt and implicit that
run counter to U.S. policy regarding Israel and the fundamental right to
freedom of opinion, expression, and assembly." Schaefer and Groves maintain
this is a "testament to the fundamental problem with letting the UN take the
lead on human-rights issues."

* Heritage legal analyst Andrew Grossman
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=RjCWVTjt8o_fda7ONAVSKQ..> takes to
the pages of USA Today to criticize the trend towards "never-ending lawsuits
seeking to disclose state secrets and undo national security measures
approved by Congress and the president." Such classified measures used to be
protected from courtroom interrogation, argues Grossman, who defends
limiting national security policy to the executive and legislative branches.

* In her weekly Washington Times column, Heritage's Rebecca Hagelin
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=2jaaP7t2C0sBBJmMbCFMnA..> addresses
the porn industry's attack on children through the Internet. "The purveyors
of hard-core porn are so fixated on creating addicts out of our sons and
daughters that they have made it virtually impossible for children to escape
their clutches." The solution? Hagelin recommends that parents download
reliable internet filters.

> In other news

* Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD) has announced that the House may not vote on
the controversial cap-and-tax global warming legislation
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=bCB2OS1Q3IrEV1j1T8QpdQ..> this
year, especially since the proposal appears likely to fail in the Senate

* Increased fears of swine flu transmission
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=UM2FyVwBQ8Zq0o0zetgp3Q..> have led
overseas governments to control imported Mexican and American meat products.
US officials object to the ban, arguing that the disease is not spread
through properly-cooked meat.

* President Obama has apologized
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=9XKh47-GhijmoeuVJNvQ_A..> for
causing a panic in New York City when his official plane flew low over the
city for a publicity photo shoot.

* The United Auto Workers labor union would own 55 percent
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=6yWAniaqqz-MqN0zlomeuw..> of auto
giant Chrysler under a government-imposed restructuring plan.

* By a 65-32 vote, the Senate confirmed former Kansas Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=E-Ew7oYncDhKC0cOcAcQoA..> She is
the last of President Obama's cabinet to be confirmed.

* The economy shrank at a worse-than-expected 6.1 percent pace
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=0Tc17osMdzD2f9qwmcapgw..> in the
first three months of the year. Business cutbacks and a drop in exports
overwhelmed a rebound in consumer spending.

* North Korea has issued an ultimatum
threatening to conduct more missile tests and initiate a uranium enrichment
process if the United Nations does not apologize for criticizing the
communist regime's recent rocket launch.

* The Supreme Court has upheld FCC's "fleeting expletives" policy
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=3YaR3tqFx39LF7yeHVZtNA..> , which
penalizes "accidental" slips of the tongue on live television. The Justices
did not rule out subsequent constitutional challenges, however.

> Coming up at Heritage

To attend these or any other events at Heritage please RSVP at Heritage's
website <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=rGdp2ngLu_PotdmeRIZGXA..> .
Or you can view these events live online. All times are Eastern.

* On Thursday, May 30 at 1:00 p.m., Heritage's Bruce Klingner hosts a
discussion on North Korea's human rights violations
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=k1P25sRq05soM44B11cvtQ..> .

* On Friday, May 1 at 10:00 a.m., a panel of experts reviews President
Obama's immigration and border security policies.

Nathaniel Ward
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=N10hPjUii1TYlHbSzYFHxQ..> is the
Editor of MyHeritage.org-a website for members and supporters of The
Heritage Foundation. Amanda Reinecker contributed to this report.

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