Barack Obama’s Experience

Yesterday I watched the Republican convention.  It was an enjoyable evening listening to Fred Thompson, Rudy Guliani, and Mike Huckabee, even though I didn’t agree to many of the things they said.  The highlight of the evening, of course, was Sarah Palin, and I liked her combativeness and personality, even if I didn’t agree with much of what she said either.   A common theme among the speakers yesterday was Barack Obama’s supposed lack of experience for the Presidential office as compared to Sarah Palin.  It amused me to hear this, but it also got me to want to write this blog about Obama’s experience in government.  I got this information from the book The Almanac of American Politics 2008.

Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois Senate from 1996 to 2004.  In 2004 he was elected to the United States Senate, capturing 70% of the general state election vote.  He is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee; the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committe; and the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.  These are the subcommitttes that he is a member of:  the African Affairs; the East Asian and Pacific Affairs;  the European Affairs (which he chairs); the International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection;  the Children and Families;  Employment and Workplace Safety;  Ac Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration;  Permament Subcommittee on Investigation;  Permament Subcommittee on Investigations;  and Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security.   He is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, and the Senate Manufacturing Caucus.

During his time in the Illinois Senate, Obama played an important role in welfare legislation, on the state earned income tax credit, and on the 2003 ethics legislation.  In 2003 Obama successfully pushed for a law requiring electronic recording of interrogations and confessions in homicide cases, arguing that it would ensure convictions in a majority of cases.  He voted to allow retired police to carry concealed weapons and against allowing people who used banned handguns to defend against intruders in their houses to be exempt from prosecution for possessing the guns.  He sponsored a bill against job and housing discrimination against gays and got a study of racial profiling in traffic stops.

In the United States Senate, Obama introduced a bill to increase the maximum Pell grant to $5100.  He pushed successfully in the Foreign Relations Committee to get $25 million for research and response to avian flu and got the support of Chairman Richard Lugar.  Barack worked with Lugar to add shoulder-fired missiles, abandoned land mines and other conventional weapons to the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.  He worked with Republican Sam Brownback on reponse to the slaughter in Darfur.  He co-sponsored a comprehensive immigration package with Republican Mel Martinez.  He worked on investigating no-bid contracts to recover from Hurricane Katrina with Republican Tom Coburn.  He sponsored a bill for a 50% tax credit for gas stations that installed E-85 pumps with ethanol fuel.  He co-sponsored a bill for funding for Mississippi river locks and dams.  He sponsored with Kentucky’s Jim Bunning a coal liquefication bill.  He and Dick durbin challenged a Defense Department’s shutdown of new wind farms in Illinois.  With Hillary Rodham Clinton he sponsored a bill to encourage health professionals to disclose errors early on and analyze them.  He worked on changing Senate ethics rules with John McCain. 

These actions show involvement in foreign affairs, energy, civil rights, and better government.  These are good experiences for a Presidential office that is heavily involved in all those issues.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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