It is just a bit frustrating when a single legislator (Republican Jim Bunning, in this case, for 17 years a major league pitcher) can grind the Senate to a halt (in this case, causing thousands of workers to be furloughed and jeopardizing unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of others).

We need to fix that.

And we need to do a ton of other things.

For starters, we need to act on 290 bills that have passed the House but sit stalled in the Senate.

(Like the bill that would reform our financial system – but that the Republicans are hellbent on scuttling, not least because it includes a much-needed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Paul Krugman explains.)

With luck, we are on the cusp of health insurance reform, the cusp of financial reform, and more.

But all that said, lists 79 campaign promises Obama has thus far kept. (Politifact is the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service of the St. Petersburg Times.)

In commenting on that list, J.E. Robertson writes:

Most of these items are complex campaign pledges that Pres. Obama has been able to follow through on. Some just show he’s a man who follows through on his word, something the media should take more note of. But PolitiFact’s research shows a long list of serious political accomplishments, many of historic import, yet the mainstream media continues to report on the delays seen in enacting the most complex and comprehensive reforms undertaken in a generation, many of which —like healthcare reform, energy policy reform, terror prosecutions and financial regulatory reform— are actually moving forward at a historically meaningful pace, and will likely be achieved in the first half of 2010.

There are a further 226 campaign promises officially listed, after extensive fact-checking, as “in the works”, as of this morning. Many of these will be accomplished in 2010, giving Pres. Obama the most extensive record of success in fulfilling specific campaign promises in US history. We can expect this fact will not be widely reported, as the mainstream news media appear determined to posture “objectivity” by refusing to report successes Obama’s opponents refuse to acknowledge.

☞ Here are the 79 promises kept. Politifact fleshes each out with an explanation:

No. 6: Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes

No. 15: Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners

No. 16: Increase minority access to capital

No. 33: Establish a credit card bill of rights

No. 36: Expand loan programs for small businesses

No. 40: Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch

No. 50: Expand the Senior Corps volunteer program

No. 58: Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)

No. 76: Expand funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners

No. 77: Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs

No. 88: Sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

No. 110: Assure that the Veterans Administration budget is prepared as ‘must-pass’ legislation

No. 119: Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women

No. 125: Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq

No. 132: No permanent bases in Iraq

No. 134: Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan

No. 154: Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries

No. 167: Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts

No. 174: Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration

No. 182: Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk

No. 184: Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan

No. 200: Appoint a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security

No. 208: Improve relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds

No. 212: Launch an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)

No. 215: Create a rapid response fund for emerging democracies

No. 222: Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba

No. 224: Restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program

No. 225: Establish an Energy Partnership for the Americas

No. 239: Release presidential records

No. 241: Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.

No. 247: Recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession

No. 266: Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West

No. 269: Increase funding for national parks and forests

No. 270: Increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

No. 272: Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient

No. 277: Pursue a wildfire prevention and management plan

No. 278: Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires

No. 284: Expand access to places to hunt and fish

No. 290: Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors

No. 300: Reform mandatory minimum sentences

No. 307: Create a White House Office on Urban Policy

No. 325: Create an artist corps for schools

No. 326: Champion the importance of arts education

No. 327: Support increased funding for the NEA

No. 332: Add another Space Shuttle flight

No. 334: Use the private sector to improve spaceflight

No. 336: Partner to enhance the potential of the International Space Station

No. 337: Use the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research

No. 338: Explore whether International Space Station can operate after 2016

No. 342: Work toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system

No. 345: Enhance earth mapping

No. 346: Appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy

No. 356: Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area

No. 359: Rebuild schools in New Orleans

No. 371: Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps

No. 380: Bolster the military’s ability to speak different languages

No. 391: Appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer

No. 394: Provide grants to early-career researchers

No. 411: Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

No. 420: Create a national declassification center

No. 421: Appoint an American Indian policy adviser

No. 427: Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees

No. 435: Create new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud

No. 452: Weatherize 1 million homes per year

No. 458: Invest in all types of alternative energy

No. 459: Enact tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars

No. 460: Ask people and businesses to conserve electricity

No. 475: Require states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption

No. 480: Unprecedented expansion of funding for regional high-speed rail

No. 483: Invest in public transportation

No. 484: Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit

No. 494: Share environmental technology with other countries

No. 498: Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

No. 500: Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

No. 502: Get his daughters a puppy

No. 503: Appoint at least one Republican to the cabinet

No. 506: Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009

No. 507: Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

No. 513: Reverse restrictions on stem cell research


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