The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barack Obama

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The group failed to reach any agreement on how to solve these problems. In June , Obama had suffered a significant drop in his approval ratings to 45 percent following new revelations about the extent of the U. Obama defended the NSA's email monitoring and telephone wiretapping during a visit to Germany in June Obama saw his approval rating drop to a new low in November Only 37 percent of Americans polled by CBS News approved of the job he was doing as president, while 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the job.

Obama explained that this particular case was a state matter, but he discussed how the federal government could address some of the legislative and racial issues highlighted by the incident. In , Obama signed a repeal of the military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevented openly gay troops from serving in the U. Armed Forces. In March , he approved U. On June 26, , the U. Supreme Court ruled to overturn an earlier 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that same-sex marriage bans in several states were constitutional.

By reversing this earlier decision, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. Obama, who became the first president to voice support for same-sex marriage in May , praised the court for affirming "that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they've reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

That all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.

The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barack Obama online

In his speech, Obama also said that the court's decision "is a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents—parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong.

In August , the Obama administration announced The Clean Power Plan, a major climate change plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants in the United States. Obama called the plan the "single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change.

Under the regulations, states were allowed to create their own plans to reduce emissions and are required to submit initial plans by and final versions by Critics quickly voiced loud opposition to the plan. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, sent a letter to every governor in the United States urging them not to comply with the regulations. States and private companies, which rely on coal production for their economic livelihoods, are also expected to legally challenge the plan.

Despite the backlash from those sectors, Obama remained steadfast in his bold action to address climate change. He added: "We're the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it. Business groups, companies and 27 states continued to fight the legislation in court.


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The new legislation was much weaker and only proposed to lower power sector emissions by 11 million tons by about 0. Some researchers said that the new plan could increase greenhouse gas emissions, and the EPA estimated it could lead to thousands more deaths from air pollution.

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The resulting Paris Climate Agreement required all participating nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the rise of global temperatures over the ensuing century and also to allocate resources for the research and development of alternative energy sources. In September , the United States and China, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, announced that their countries would ratify the Paris Agreement. One month later on October 5, , the United Nations announced that the agreement had been ratified by a sufficient number of countries to allow it to take effect starting on November 4, Speaking from the Rose Garden at the White House, Obama said: "Today, the world meets the moment, and if we follow through on the commitments that this Paris Agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.

With his decision, the United States joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only three countries to reject the accord. And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. During his presidency, Obama filled two seats in the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor confirmed in and Elena Kagan confirmed in Both justices were confirmed under a Democratic-majority Senate.

Court of Appeals chief judge Merrick Garland as his nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated with the unexpected death of conservative stalwart Antonin Scalia. They stated their intention to block any nominee put forward by Obama, fearing that such a confirmation would tip the balance toward a more liberal-leaning court.


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I hope that our senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. On December 14, , nearly one month after Obama's re-election, the nation endured one of its most tragic school shootings to date when 20 children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Two days after the attack, Obama delivered a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims in Newtown and discussed the need for change in order to make schools safer while alluding to implementing stricter gun-control measures.

Who Is Barack Obama?

We can't accept events like these as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Obama achieved a major legislative victory on January 1, , when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bipartisan agreement on tax increases and spending cuts, in an effort to avoid the looming fiscal cliff crisis the Senate voted in favor of the bill earlier that day.

Prior to the bill's passage, in late , tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over spending cuts and tax increases became a bitter political battle until Vice President Joe Biden managed to hammer out a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Obama pledged to sign the bill into law.

Obama's Hawaii Childhood

Terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon on April 15, , killed three people and left more than injured. At a memorial service in Boston three days after the bombings, he told the wounded, "Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again.

Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. In the same month, Obama also found his efforts for gun-control measures thwarted in Congress. He had supported legislation calling for universal background checks on all gun purchases and a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In early January Obama held a press conference to announce a new series of executive orders related to gun control. Citing examples such as the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, the president shed tears as he called on Congress and the gun lobby to work with him to make the country safer.

His measures, which were met with vehement opposition from members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as gun advocacy groups such as the NRA, would have implemented more thorough background checks for gun buyers, stricter government oversight and enforcement of gun laws, better information sharing regarding mental health issues as related to gun ownership and investment in gun safety technology. On January 27, , Obama delivered his first State of the Union speech.

During his oration, Obama addressed the challenges of the economy, proposed a fee for larger banks, announced a possible freeze on government spending in the following fiscal year and spoke against the Supreme Court's reversal of a law capping campaign finance spending. Obama also challenged politicians to stop thinking of re-election and start making positive changes. He criticized Republicans for their refusal to support legislation and chastised Democrats for not pushing hard enough to get legislation passed.

He also insisted that, despite obstacles, he was determined to help American citizens through the nation's current domestic difficulties. I don't quit," he said. In his State of the Union address, Obama declared that the nation was out of recession. He went on to share his vision for ways to improve the nation through free community college programs and middle-class tax breaks.

With Democrats outnumbered by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, Obama threatened to use his executive power to prevent any tinkering by the opposition on his existing policies. But Obama also took the opportunity to tout his accomplishments, citing the Affordable Care Act, diplomatic progress with Iran and Cuba, the legalization of gay marriage and profound economic recovery as among them.


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On January 10, , Obama returned to his adopted home city of Chicago to deliver his farewell address. In his speech, Obama spoke about his early days in Chicago and his continued faith in the power of Americans who participate in their democracy. The president went on to address the accomplishments of his administration. You were the change. Obama also expressed his commitment to the peaceful transfer of power to President-Elect Trump, and called on politicians and American citizens to come together despite their differences.

But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity — the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one. All of us have more work to do. After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

Barack Obama In Hawaii

Hearts must change. In a tearful moment, Obama addressed his wife, Michelle, and then spoke about being the proud father of his daughters, Malia and Sasha, and expressed his gratitude for Vice President Biden. I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours. On January 19, , Obama's last full day in office, he announced commutations for nonviolent drug offenders.

The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barack Obama

The presidents granted a total of 1, clemencies, including commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning , the U. Army intelligence analyst who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to WikLeaks. He shared these parting words at his last press conference with the White House press corps. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen.

I think there's evil in the world, but I think at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. That's what this presidency has tried to be about. And I see that in the young people I've worked with. I couldn't be prouder of them.

It is true that behind closed doors, I curse more than I do publicly We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it and not take it for granted and I know that you will help us do that. Both rendered by African-American artists, Kehinde Wiley's work featured Barack in a chair surrounded by greenery and symbolic flowers, while Amy Sherald depicted the former first lady in a flowing dress, gazing back at viewers from a sea of blue.

In March, The New York Times reported that Barack and Michelle Obama were in advanced negotiations with Netflix to create exclusive content for the streaming service through their production company, Higher Ground.

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