Politico Examines the Obama Legacy

by Matthew Freeman | February 11, 2016

Last month, Politico’s Michael Grunwald published what I suspect is going to be a first draft of history’s judgment of Barack Obama’s presidency. He writes that “a review of his record shows that the Obama era has produced much more sweeping change than most of his supporters or detractors realize.”

Grunwald runs a long list of the President’s achievements, including Obamacare, the automobile industry bailout, the stimulus bill that kept the economy from falling off of a cliff, an overhaul of the boondoggle that was the federal student loan program, rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, serious (at last!) steps to combat climate change paving the way for an international agreement that could actually make a difference, an energy revolution that has significantly reduced U.S. reliance on dirty coal and foreign oil while boosting production and use of renewables, the end of “don’t ask don’t tell,” the legalization of same-sex marriage, and much more.

He sums it up by borrowing Vice President’s unfortunate open-mike comment at the signing of the Affordable Care Act, writing, “When you add up all the legislation from his frenetic first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress, and all the methodical executive actions from the past five years, after Republicans blocked his legislative path, this has been a BFD of a presidency, a profound course correction engineered by relentless government activism.”

Over the years, CPR Member Scholars and staff have sometimes taken ...

One Year In, the Administration’s ‘Path to Progress’ Benefits American People and Environment

by James Goodwin | November 24, 2015
From the moment they secured majorities in both chambers, congressional Republicans have made no secret of their intention to launch an all-out, guerilla warfare-style campaign against the federal government — and even the very notion of governance itself. Accordingly, they have pursued a strategy of salt-the-earth sabotage designed to spread like a communicable disease the dysfunction that has long characterized the legislative branch to the executive branch. Given the unrepentant nihilism, many political observers were quick to pen their epitaphs for ...

Too Little and Far Too Late, EPA Releases a Disappointing eReporting Rule

by Evan Isaacson | October 15, 2015
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a long overdue rule that was designed, according to EPA’s description, to move the agency “into the 21st Century.” Since many of the rules’ provisions still will not be in effect more than two decades after the turn of the century, this rulemaking plays right into the hands of those who insist that the federal government cannot work efficiently — ironic, because efficiency is the very purpose of the eReporting rule. In this ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Preventing Train Derailments

by Matt Shudtz | December 23, 2014
We are closing out the “Path to Progress” series for this year with a potential bright spot. In its Fall 2014 Regulatory Agenda, the Obama Administration set a target date of March 2015 for finalizing new rules designed to prevent and minimize the consequences of derailments in trains carrying crude oil and other highly hazardous materials. If the Department of Transportation is able to accomplish that feat, it would beat even our own proposed schedule—a welcome achievement. We are looking ...

Obama’s Path to Progress: Protecting Farmworker Kids

by Matt Shudtz | November 19, 2014
Next week in this space, we’ll ask you to think about the food on your Thanksgiving table and what FDA ought to do to keep it safe. Today, I want to focus on how the food gets there—in particular, the work children contribute to the farms where our food and other crops are grown. Many people hold on to the image of children gathering eggs in the yard or dumping a pail of slop in front of an appreciative sow ...

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