History Podcasts

Year Two Day 41 Obama AdministrationMarch 1, 2010 - History

Year Two Day 41 Obama AdministrationMarch 1, 2010 - History

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT received the Presidential Daily Briefing Oval Office

10:10AM THE PRESIDENT delivered remarks at The America’s Promise Alliance Education event U. S. Chamber of Commerce Remarks

10:45AM THE PRESIDENT received the Economic Daily Briefing

11:30AM THE PRESIDENTmet with Senior Advisors

3:45PM THE PRESIDENT met with with Secretary LaHood

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT met with Secretary Gates

Obama to Bush: My Month Beats Your Year

…when it comes to federal deficit spending that is, with February's coming in at $220 billion vs. a yearly deficit for 2007 of $161 billion. This is 14 percent higher than the previous monthly record deficit, set just last February.

The news via CentristNet. (Yes, I know personifying responsibility for the deficit in the president's hands alone is misleading, and that Bush helped in many ways to bake the cake of this deficit. Still, when someone seeks the job of head of state, he should be prepared to take the public fall for its excesses.)

And history-making deficits should be with us for a long time to come, as Veronique de Rugy explained in Reason magazine's June 2009 issue.

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February 2010 may not have the record for largest monthly deficit in American history for very long.

The deficits’ll get much larger, if I have my way.

Must confess I initially read the headline as My *Mouth* Beats Your Year.

From the headline, I was actually expecting it to be something on the order of 𔄘’s popularity is dropping quicker in a month than W’s did in a year” or something like that.

Which it is, by the way, though maybe not quite that fast (just yet).

Must confess I initially read the headline as My *Mouth* Eats Your Ear.

Does this road to serfdom have any rest stops on it?

Yes, but you might not want to go in there.

Umm . . . I didn’t authorize any photos of my basement toilet.

My guess is you need to be really tall.

Tall with a wide stance. I guess it was a politician.

Yes, but oddly, they look exactly as they do in New Jersey.

“Can we *please* not stop at the Richard Nixon Rest Stop? The prices are good but the shelves are mostly empty and there’s always a long line at the gas pumps. At least at the John Maynard Keynes stop, they spend like there’s no tomorrow.”

And at the Maynard James Keenan rest stop, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Bikini Bandits.

There ARE no rest stops in New Jersey unless you’re on a toll road. (Ain’t no truck stops either.) If you gotta go, you either hold it until you leave the Garden State, or risk getting ticketed for peeing behind a tree.

Ticketed and placed on the sex offender registry.

Obama inherited the month of February from the previous administration.

Racist! February is Black History Month and is not inheritable.

Forget February for now.. Let’s talk about March Madness.. Can POTUS correctly pick the Final Four and the ultimate winner ?

I keep telling myself “this shit has to stop at some point it has slow down and taper off”. But it doesn’t. It just keeps getting worse.

Derp they took our jobzzz derp!

“It just keeps getting worse.”

Just a few years ago Uganda was a prosperous country. And Uganda is not as bad as North Korea. It is a long way down.

I’m trying desperately to rationalize the ideals this man holds and I must confess I just can’t do it. Over and again, I reach the same conclusion. The President of the United States of America is trying to collapse the economy in order for the government to take the reigns fully. I can’t believe I just typed that, but these policies just keep leading my thoughts to that end. I’m sure most people here realize that even with the most stringent oversight, people, businesses and even large corporations get stung with the reality of failure. Get up and move forward. Government has no authority or responsibility to ensure anyone’s economic security, especially with the citizen’s money. It’s so simple, so obvious, but it’s insisted time and again that we need “protection”. We need FREEDOM, to succeed, to fail, to be average, mostly just to be…

The President of the United States of America is trying to collapse the economy in order for the government to take the reigns fully. I can’t believe I just typed that, but these policies just keep leading my thoughts to that end.

It’s a good thing that people are letting go of their cognitive dissonance and embracing reality, no matter how painful it might be, because emotion should never be the substitute for analyzing the evidence.

This strategy was actually defined decades ago by Cloward and Piven, and the Cloward-Piven strategy is indeed now being implemented on a national scale.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term “race to the bottom”.

Somehow it seems like there should be a jab at public employee unions in there somewhere…

Sometimes, talking about how I hate the government for squandering my future earnings to bail out Wall Street investors or stimulus, it just seems like misplaced anger. I mean, if I got mugged, it wouldn’t make me feel much better if I found out later that the bastard didn’t use my money to buy booze… Really, it isn’t what they spend it on that makes me so mad.

It’s the getting mugged part.

I mean, it’s passed the point where I’ve stopped expecting anybody in either party to cut it out with the daily mugging already. I’d be happy if either one of ’em would just have a little heart, you know?

Why do they have to be so damn mean? Both parties, they’re like the guys that made “Bumfights”, in a way, you know? They must laugh their asses off at all the money they’re getting for makin’ us fight.

And we keep comin’ back to do it again… I don’t understand why anybody votes for anyone in either party anymore.

The population as a whole has let this happen. Not so long ago, people would pay attention to what was happening in government. Try bringing up the deficit with someone now, and they can’t even tell you what it is. The issues of the day are fiction stories on the pages of crackpot newspapers and most people are too busy, lazy, apathetic or stupid to find any source of reason outside the MSM. More people do now, but not anywhere near enough. Couple that, with the fact that while a lot of people are fiscally conservative by nature, the overwhelming tendency is for them to be an amateur social engineer postulating on how everyone should behave. The only phrase that comes to mind is “This Sucks!”

Not so long ago, people would pay attention to what was happening in government. Try bringing up the deficit with someone now, and they can’t even tell you what it is.

In people’s defense it’s hard to keep track with monthly increases like this.

My husband only beats me because he loves me.

Dumbass voter syndrome is more like it.

I liked the mugged analogy. Although I wouldn’t mind if the government spent some of our money on booze for me…

Please control your dry heaves as you read this paen to the salad days of 2009.

Was that on the editorial page or a news article. Any reporter writing that piece of shit should be fired immediately.

Metro section. Front page, lead story, above the fold.

Yes, I don’t know why I still get delivery of that paper either. Old habits and all…

I bet you have a fireplace. If there’s a handier firestarter than newspaper…well, let me know and I’ll switch.

provided, of course, you have a birch tree.

Wow! Where do these people come from? How is this drivel printed? Common sense be damned. I decree, the enemy of good is no longer perfect (it has since died due to lack of health insurance) it is progressivism.

With 72 percent of its patients on Medicaid, the maternity wing might have to close if the program is cut further,

“But I think government has certain responsibilities to citizens. One, I believe, is to improve quality of life.”

And this sums up the root of the problem.

Can you just picture the Road-Warrior-esque type of society we’d be if we turned back the clock to such barbaric times?

For the longest time I thought her name was Aunty Bellum. Don’t know where I got that from.

Dear God! I thought you were using typical libertarian hyperbole but civilization is collapsing and the taboos that assure human decency have fallen.

The House has recommended halving state funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts next year and abolishing all funding the following year, a cut that would affect a variety of cultural programs, including Signature Theatre in Arlington County, the Art League in Alexandria and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. The House also suggested eliminating funding for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, which sponsors the Virginia Festival of the Book among other programs.

Pass me a roasted baby leg, all this rape works up an appetite.

Still, when someone seeks the job of head of state, he should be prepared to take the public fall for its excesses.

Speaking of, wasn’t there some sort of French ceremony whereby they removed the head of state?

Lol! You slay me, Akston, you really do.

I mean, seriously, you gotta be out of your friggin’ mind to propose a $950 billion healthcare bill at this point in the economic cycle.

You have to be outta your mind or just have no freakin’ clue. …I suspect it’s the latter, but either way, we’re talkin’ gross incompetence proposing something like that right now.

$950 billion over ten years–that’s the White House estimate! If that isn’t reason enough alone to reject…

…whatever! Just put it on my tab.

I’ll have a Margarita Martini with 3 olives.

(fingers in ears) Lalalalalalalalalala!

Its more like La la la La Hey Hey Hey Na Na Na Na.. He is a White Sox fan.

I don’t understand why anybody votes for anyone in either party anymore.

I’ve been wondering the same thing ever since GiantDouche VS TurdSandwich on Southpark.

Oh sorry, i forgot, Southpark is a comedy so we shouldn’t take serious anything they say. Unlike the cable news networks, paragons of virtue that they are.

I needed a good laugh at the start of the day

The 2007 deficit was only $161 billion? I didn’t realize that. From reading the comment section on here, I assumed it was somewhere near a couple of trillion. Libertarians all claim that Bush was just as bad or worse than Obama about deficits. This just can’t be true.

Well, it should’ve been better than that considering it was the top of the economic cycle. But the shitty part of Bush’s spending increase all occurred in 2001-2002. After that the record wasn’t so bad.

The depressing part is that, well, the Republicans actually did well at the polls after spending so much, and did much worse when they actually practiced some relative fiscal restraint. There are other possible explanations, though. (Like the hangover from the spending finally hitting.)

2006 spending levels? oh the humanity!

take into account inflation and population growth, let’s say the current budget equals 2003 or 2004 spending levels in real, per capita, comparable terms

was 2003 such a nightmare for the people of virginia? or any other state for that matter?

“”Libertarians all claim that Bush was just as bad or worse than Obama about deficits.””

Drink some coffee, look that over again, and realize how false it is.

Pretty much everyone here has noted Obama has tripled Bush’s deficit.

Although a lot of people didn’t think that was possible.

Bush’s spending record was much worse in 2001-2002 or 2003. It got better after that, but of course it was growing from a higher base at that point.

It’s not entirely fair to compare different points in the economic cycle, but the really scary part is that in projections even ten years from now, with tons of growth expected, at the middle or top of the economic cycle– the deficits will still be worse than the Bush deficits, even the larger Bush deficits during the 2000-02 recession.

People might want to recall that the 2007 budget was the last Republican budget.

I’m afraid these numbers are nonsense. And if you got suckered into believing the Bush administration’s claims about what the deficit was, I’m afraid to tell you what the truth behind “we don’t torture” and “we always get a warrant” is.

Notice the federal debt, going up by a full trillion dollars from 2007-08, and by more than half a trillion in every year since 2002? Those are the numbers you get when you add up all the borrowed money the government actually spends, whether it’s spent loudly in a “low-deficit” budget or just in some “special appropriations” bill to fund one war or another.

Obama’s been worse than Bush in this regard, yes, but not 12 times worse.

“Obama’s been worse than Bush in this regard, yes, but not 12 times worse.”

All of this is ancient history. 1Kgs.12:1-19 summarized:

[After Solomon died] Rehoboam went to Shechem [to be made] king … and all the assembly of Israel came and said to him: “Your father, Solomon, made our yoke heavy. We beg you lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you.”

… But [Rehoboam] forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him … [who said] “Thus shall you speak to this people … ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. My father laid upon you a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.'”

… Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones … So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Only ten percent!? We should be so fortunate. Hey, God, can we have King David back? Heck, even King Saul didn’t do so bad as these fools we’ve had whoring us out to their gods of plastic and green…

List of executive actions by Barack Obama

A presidential proclamation is a statement issued by a president on a matter of public policy. They are generally defined as, "the act of causing some state matters to be published or made generally known. A written or printed document in which are contained such matters, issued by proper authority as the president's proclamation, the governor's, the mayor's proclamation." [1] An administrative order (i.e., findings, letters, orders) can be issued. [2]

Administrative orders are published in the Federal Register in forms other than those of executive orders, or proclamations, have been denominated as administrative orders when reproduced in CFR Title𔀵 compilations. [2] A research guide by the National Archives defined administrative orders as "unnumbered signed documents through which the President of the United States conducts the administrative operations of the Federal Government" which "include but are not limited to memoranda, notices, determinations, letters, and messages." [3]

A presidential notice or a presidential sequestration order can also be issued. [4] [5] The newest executive power, national security presidential memoranda, 2 operate like executive orders, but are only in the area of national security. They date back to President Harry S. Truman and have been called many different names. 1 [6]

Executive orders, presidential memoranda, presidential determinations, presidential proclamations, administrative orders, presidential notices, presidential sequestration orders, and national security presidential memoranda are compiled by the Office of the Federal Register (within the National Archives and Records Administration) and are printed by the Government Printing Office. They are published daily, except on federal holidays. A free source of these documents is the Federal Register, which contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices. [7] There are no copyright restrictions on the Federal Register as a work of the U.S. government, it is in the public domain. [8]

Listed below are executive orders numbered 13489–13764 and Presidential memoranda signed by United States President Barack Obama. There are an additional 1186 Presidential proclamations that are not included here, but some of which are on WikiSource. The signing statements made by President Obama during his time in office have been archived here.

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* The 2-month constant maturity series begins on October 16, 2018, with the first auction of the 8-week Treasury bill.

30-year Treasury constant maturity series was discontinued on February 18, 2002 and reintroduced on February 9, 2006. From February 18, 2002 to February 8, 2006, Treasury published alternatives to a 30-year rate. See Long-Term Average Rate for more information.

Treasury discontinued the 20-year constant maturity series at the end of calendar year 1986 and reinstated that series on October 1, 1993. As a result, there are no 20-year rates available for the time period January 1, 1987 through September 30, 1993.

Treasury Yield Curve Rates: These rates are commonly referred to as "Constant Maturity Treasury" rates, or CMTs. Yields are interpolated by the Treasury from the daily yield curve. This curve, which relates the yield on a security to its time to maturity is based on the closing market bid yields on actively traded Treasury securities in the over-the-counter market. These market yields are calculated from composites of indicative, bid-side market quotations (not actual transactions) obtained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at or near 3:30 PM each trading day. The CMT yield values are read from the yield curve at fixed maturities, currently 1, 2, 3 and 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30 years. This method provides a yield for a 10 year maturity, for example, even if no outstanding security has exactly 10 years remaining to maturity.

Treasury Yield Curve Methodology: The Treasury yield curve is estimated daily using a cubic spline model. Inputs to the model are primarily indicative bid-side yields for on-the-run Treasury securities. Treasury reserves the option to make changes to the yield curve as appropriate and in its sole discretion. See our Treasury Yield Curve Methodology page for details.

Negative Yields and Nominal Constant Maturity Treasury Series Rates (CMTs): At times, financial market conditions, in conjunction with extraordinary low levels of interest rates, may result in negative yields for some Treasury securities trading in the secondary market. Negative yields for Treasury securities most often reflect highly technical factors in Treasury markets related to the cash and repurchase agreement markets, and are at times unrelated to the time value of money.

At such times, Treasury will restrict the use of negative input yields for securities used in deriving interest rates for the Treasury nominal Constant Maturity Treasury series (CMTs). Any CMT input points with negative yields will be reset to zero percent prior to use as inputs in the CMT derivation. This decision is consistent with Treasury not accepting negative yields in Treasury nominal security auctions.

In addition, given that CMTs are used in many statutorily and regulatory determined loan and credit programs as well as for setting interest rates on non-marketable government securities, establishing a floor of zero more accurately reflects borrowing costs related to various programs.

Year Two Day 41 Obama AdministrationMarch 1, 2010 - History

Rick Scott, a former health care company CEO, campaigned on promises in 2010 to fight to repeal Obamacare and reform Medicaid with a waiver.

Florida first received a waiver for the program in 2005 under Gov. Jeb Bush for a project in a few counties. Scott sought to expand the waiver statewide.

Without the waiver, the state paid doctors and hospitals directly via Medicaid. The waiver allows the state to pay private managed care organizations, who then coordinate care.

In 2013, the state and federal government reached agreements for two waivers: one for patients in long-term care such as nursing homes, and another for poor Floridians who need assistance and live on their own, called the Managed Medical Assistance waiver.

The waivers will continue after Scott leaves office the Managed Medical Assistance Waiver has been extended until 2022 and the Long-Term Care Waiver has been extended until 2021.

The Scott administration says the moves have saved the state billions. The state's Medicaid program has cost the state $7 billion less than if costs had grown at the medical care inflation rate and $4 billion less than if costs had grown at the general inflation rate, according to Mallory McManus, a spokeswoman for the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Under the long-term care component of the program, the health plans have assisted elders and people with disabilities living in nursing facilities who wished to return to their home or another community-based setting.

McManus said that the Medicaid quality scores in 2017 were the highest in the Florida Medicaid program's history. Thirty reported measures showed improvement over 2016 scores, including adolescent well care visits, adult access to preventative care, breast cancer screening and post partum care.

Anne Swerlick, an expert on health issues at the Florida Policy Institute, said these measures do not drill down on how well these private plans are serving people with the highest needs, such as medically complex children or adults with severe disabilities.

"Having to deal with multiple private plan protocols, such as their doctors having to jump through bureaucratic hoops to prove that the services they are prescribing are 'medically necessary,' or getting prior authorization for services and medications, can be administratively burdensome," she said. "Meanwhile consumers encounter disruptions in care and ongoing anxiety that they will not be able to get what they need month to month."

Advocates for Medicaid expansion criticized Scott and the state Legislature for not expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Scott was initially against expansion but then flipped in favor of it. He was never, however, a strong advocate, and the Legislature never acted to expand the program to cover more Floridians.

Scott promised to reform Medicaid with a waiver. The state established waivers with the federal government in 2013 and they will continue beyond his tenure as governor. We rate this Promise Kept.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Clean Air Act, which was last amended in 1990, requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (40 CFR part 50) for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act established two types of national air quality standards. Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of "sensitive" populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings. The EPA is required to set and review the standards every five years, and must base their analysis and policy changes on the most current scientific studies. ⎚]

The EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six principal pollutants, which are called "criteria" pollutants: sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, ozone, lead, and carbon monoxide. After the EPA sets or revises each standard and a timeline for implementation, the responsibility for meeting the standard falls to the states. Each state must submit an EPA-approved plan that shows how it will meet the standards and deadlines. These state plans are known as State Implementation Plans (SIPs)." ⎛]

Also see Clean Air Act Part A on Air Quality and Emission Standards and particularly the section on National ambient air quality standards.

Sulfur dioxide

In November 2009, the EPA proposed new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide, the first time since 1971 that the agency has recommended tightening controls on SO2 to protect public health. The old limits measured sulfur dioxide averages over 24-hour and one-year periods. The new rule would require one-hour measurements, such that a spike of emissions above a new limit — between 50 and 100 parts per billion in one hour — would no longer be acceptable. ⎜]

The new standard was issued on June 3, 2010. ⎝]


The Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) refers to proposed EPA regulations on ground-level ozone, a primary ingredient in smog linked to respiratory illnesses. In January 2010, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said tightening the nation's air-quality standard for ozone was "long overdue," and would save an estimated 12,000 lives a year and yield health benefits up to $100 billion annually in 2020. The EPA proposed setting the standard at between 60 and 70 parts per billion, down from the current 75 ppb, by the end of 2010. ⎞]

The EPA's proposal has the support of the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association, and is consistent with the recommendation of a 23-member panel of clean-air experts who advised the agency on the issue after reviewing more than 1,700 studies. ⎞]

In December 2010, the EPA said that it will not decide until July 2011 whether to tighten the national air-quality standard for ozone. In a Dec. 8 written statement, the EPA said it would ask the panel of clean-air experts for "further interpretation" of the studies they relied upon in making their recommendation, so as to ensure the agency's final decision "is grounded in the best science." ⎞]

In a written statement after the EPA delay, the American Lung Associations said it was "exploring legal options" aimed at requiring the EPA to make a decision on the issue. Based on EPA's own estimates, the group added, a six-month delay means an estimated 2,000 to 6,000 people "will lose their lives because they must breathe air pollution that would have been cleaned up if the EPA had met its most recent deadline of December 31, 2010." ⎞]

Particulate matter

A 2009 court ruling concluded that the EPA standards for the amount of soot permissible in the air on an annual average ignored the advice of scientific advisers by maintaining the standard established in 1997 and must be rewritten. That limit was 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air. ⎟]

In December 2012 the EPA issued its final NAAQS PM rules, tightening the federal soot standards by 20 percent - the most protective measure laid out in its June 2012 draft rule (12 micrograms per cubic meter of air). The agency will determine which areas are out of attainment in 2014, and the communities will then have six years to comply. The EPA estimates that 66 of the nation’s 3,033 counties will be found in violation of the new standard. It projects seven — all in California — will still be out of compliance by 2020. ⎠]

On Sept. 2, 2011, President Barack Obama announced a decision not to raise federal ozone standards for air pollution, citing regulatory burdens and the need for economic recovery. The weaker standard, at 0.075 ppm, would remain in place, Obama said. ⎡] The decision set off a storm of controversy and led to an Oct., 2011 suit against the Obama administration. ⎢]

U.S. Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2021

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E.U. Climate Chief Pessimistic After U.S. Visit

E.U. climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard has ended meetings with her various U.S. counterparts dejected by uncertainty as to whether Washington will be able to pass badly-needed climate legislation in time for a summit Mexico.

“The feeling that I got yesterday was that, well, not too many want to bet on the timing and what could be the outcome.”

Connie Hedegaard

“It’s very, very nervous times. People don’t know, will it fly or will it not fly,” she told reporters in the American capital on on Thursday, a day after she had met with climate special envoy Todd Stern, climate and energy ‘tsar’ Carol Browner, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson and a clutch of senators and congressmen.

“The feeling that I got yesterday was that, well, not too many want to bet on the timing and what could be the outcome,” she said.

US legislation in the climate area has all but stalled, with the Obama administration focused on a debate about healthcare and this year’s mid-term elections.

Without Washington able to pass laws to match Mr Obama’s international greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges, reaching a binding international deal this year by December’s UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, will be impossible.

“What we hear coming out of the American discussion, coming out of Beijing, coming out of Delhi, maybe also Mexico, [is that] it would be difficult to get all the details set [for such a deal],” the EU commissioner said.

The US has pledged to reduce its emissions by 17 percent on 2005 levels by 2020. Most other powers however, including the EU, use 1990 as the baseline year. Using the same measuring stick, Washington would cut emissions by four percent on 1990 levels by 2020.

If the country cannot achieve even this at the congressional level, the chances of a global deal become ever more unlikely.

The Obama administration does have a plan B, should the bill be defeated.

In 2007, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency, a government regulatory body, has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Instead of legislation forcing industry to cap its emissions, the EPA could simply regulate that they must do so.

Asked about the plan B, Ms Hedegaard was not optimistic and feared that the EPA, should it choose to do so in the absence of climate legislation, would almost certainly be faced with a series of lawsuits from enterprises affected by its enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

New ranking of U.S. presidents puts Lincoln at No. 1, Obama at 18 Kennedy judged most overrated

Although it has been celebrated officially since 1879, Presidents’ Day serves essentially two purposes: a patriotic excuse for retail discounts and an irresistible occasion to engage in armchair analysis of the nation’s presidents.

To add some systematic evidence to the perennial conversation, in 2014 we surveyed 162 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section and asked them to rate the U.S. presidents. Here is what we found.

The most highly ranked presidents contained many of the usual suspects. Abraham Lincoln was rated the greatest president, with an average score of 95 out of 100, followed by George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The rest in the top 10 were Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Those presidents with a score of more than 50 are graphed below.

This list is similar to past lists, except that both Clinton and Eisenhower crack the top 10.

We also asked respondents which president should be added to Mount Rushmore, and Franklin Roosevelt was the overwhelming favorite. Almost two-thirds of respondents chose him. The next highest vote-getters, Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, were supported by only 5 percent of respondents.

Who were the worst presidents? James Buchanan was the lowest ranked, and was joined at the bottom by Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and William Harrison. Presidents with shortened terms tend to fare worse, on average, as in other rankings.

The views of these scholars differed from the views of Americans in some interesting ways. For example, in 2010, a plurality of respondents would have put John F. Kennedy on Mount Rushmore, followed by Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt. The Kennedy mystique looms larger in the public mind than for most scholars.

9 of the nastiest things Trump said about Obama

Donald Trump met with President Barack Obama on Thursday as he prepares to transition to four years in the Oval Office. To say that the two have a bitter public relationship would be an understatement.

Trump rose to political prominence by propagating the false conspiracy theory, viewed by many people as racist, that Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, was not born in the United States. (He finally backed away from that debunked claim this fall.)

Beyond birtherism, Trump hasn’t been kind to the sitting president on the campaign trail, regularly declaring that he is a terrible president and that his tenure and many legislative accomplishments, such as health care reform, are a “disaster.” And in Trump form, he made some more outlandish statements about the president, including the claim that Obama had founded ISIS.

Here are nine of the most inflammatory things Trump has said about Obama.

1. Trump started out by saying that Obama was not born in the United States

Trump’s false claims that Obama was not born in America are well-documented, with Slate posting a rundown of his many musings on Twitter to that effect.

For example: “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud,” Trump tweeted in August 2012.

In 2013: “Why are people upset w/ me over Pres Obama’s birth certificate?I got him to release it, or whatever it was, when nobody else could!”

In 2016, Trump bit the bullet and arranged a news conference to acknowledge Obama’s American birthplace. He followed that statement by claiming that Hillary Clinton had started the rumor and said he “finished it.” (This is false.)

2. ‘President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history’

On the campaign trail, Trump has been unequivocal in his condemnation of Obama’s presidency, joining Republicans in hitting the president for his health care law, known as Obamacare, and for his response to terrorism. Trump also said Obama was clueless.

Trump: I can't get started soon enough

“I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history. His views of the world as he says don’t jibe and the world is a mess,” Trump told reporters in July.

“President Obama — when he became president, he didn't know anything. This guy didn’t know a thing,” Trump continued. “And honestly, today he knows less. Today, he knows less. He has done a terrible job.”

3. ‘He has been a disaster’

One of Trump’s more common refrains was to declare Obama’s presidency a disaster. At that same Florida news conference, he said, “He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. It is a mess.”

4. Trump called the president the ‘founder of ISIS’

In August, Trump suggested that Obama founded ISIS, among many other statements from the campaign trail that prompted many headlines and raised eyebrows. And questioned by Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host, whether he meant that Obama had created a vacuum that allowed the terrorist group to thrive, Trump doubled down.

“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award,” Trump said, adding that he gave the same honorific to Hillary Clinton.

5. ‘I believe I know far more about foreign policy than he knows’

Trump also repeatedly questioned Obama’s foreign policy chops. In August, he went on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” to describe the president as “weak” and suggest that he knows more about foreign policy than the president, despite his own lack of experience in government or the military.

“I think he's been a disaster. He's been weak, he's been ineffective,” Trump said. “I believe I know far more about foreign policy than he knows. Look at Ukraine. He talks about Ukraine [and] how tough he is with Russia, in the meantime, they took over Crimea.”

9 of the nastiest things Obama said about Trump

6. Trump said the country’s generals were ‘reduced to rubble’ under Obama

At a town hall event hosted by NBC in September, Trump said: “Under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble.” He labeled that development as “embarrassing for our country.”

7. He said Obama was ‘concerned I’m going to win’

Trump also dismissed Obama’s loud criticism of him, explaining away the sitting president’s harsh rebukes of his candidacy as worry about his chances of winning.

“I think it just means he's concerned I'm going to win,” Trump said in August. “Don't forget, last time he said I would never get the nomination, now he's saying I wouldn't get the election now, all of the sudden, he said the other day maybe I can win the election.”

8. He called Obamacare a ‘catastrophe’

In line with the establishment of the Republican Party, Trump also attacked Obama at times on policy, with the president’s signature health care reform law as his main target. He has called for its immediate repeal.

“Obamacare means higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality,” Trump declared in the last stretch of the campaign. “It is a catastrophe.”

9. Trump said he would have beaten the president in 2012

"You're lucky I didn't run last time, when [Mitt] Romney ran, because you would have been a one-term president," Trump said in February in South Carolina.

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