Friday, April 16, 2010

What President Obama has done...

I got this email from my mother and thought it was important to see.

From Robert P. Watson, Ph.D. Coordinator of American Studies
Lynn University

I am always being asked to grade Obama's presidency. In place of offering him a grade, I put together a list of his accomplishments thus far. I think you would agree that it is very impressive. His first six months have been even more active than FDRs or LBJs the two standards for such assessments. Yet, there is little media attention given to much of what he has done. Of late, the media is focusing almost exclusively on Obama's critics, without holding them responsible for the uncivil, unconstructive tone of their disagreements or without holding the previous administration responsible for getting us in such a deep hole. The misinformation and venom that now passes for political reporting and civic debate is beyond description.

As such, there is a need to set the record straight. What most impresses me is the fact that Obama has accomplished so much not from a heavy-handed or top-down approach but from a style that has institutionalized efforts to reach across the aisle, encourage vigorous debate, and utilize town halls and panels of experts in the policy-making process. Beyond the accomplishments, the process is good for democracy and our democratic processes have been battered and bruised in recent years.

Let me know if I missed anything in the list (surely I did).


1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
3. Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
4. Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
6. Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier's family
8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
10. Limits on lobbyist's access to the White House
11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
16. New federal funding for science and research labs
17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
18. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
20. New funds for school construction
21. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
22. US Auto industry rescue plan
23. Housing rescue plan
24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
25. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
26. US financial and banking rescue plan
27. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
28. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards
29. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
30. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
31. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
32. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
33. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
34. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
35. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
36. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
38. Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
39. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
40. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
41. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
42. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
43. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
44. Expanding vaccination programs
45. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
46. Closed offshore tax safe havens
47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
48. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
49.. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices
50. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
51. Lower drug costs for seniors
52. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
53. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
54. Improved housing for military personnel
55. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
56. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
57. Increasing student loans
58. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
59. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
60. Established a new cyber security office
61. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
62. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
63. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
65. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
66. Improving benefits for veterans
67. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
68. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
70. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
71. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
72. Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
73. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
74. Making more loans available to small businesses
75. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
77. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
80. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
81. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
82. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
83. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
84. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
85. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
86. Held first Seder in White House
87. Attempting to reform the nation's healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured
88. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
89. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
90. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

Oh, and he built a swing set for the girls outside the Oval Office

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Okay, sorry I've been slacking. My migraines have been flaring like no tomorrow. So here's some things I've finished. First is my sisters stocking from the February 2010 Cross Stitch Gold. Second is Damsel's Dozen by Dragon Dreams. Third is Baby Express from Dimensions and Fourth is Imagine by Joan Elliot from her book "Bewitching Cross Stitch"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Alice Finish

I got this done on Thursday but have been too busy to post. Darn life getting in the way of internet time.Done on 28 Count Crystal Mercedes from Picture This Plus, DMC thread, Krienik Thread, Mill Hill Beads. Design by Lynne Nicoletti.

The picture really doesn't do the fabric justice. It's very pretty and soft with clouds of blue and pink. My camera cannot take a good picture of it. But I reached my goal of finishing it before I the movie came out.

I'll post my Works in Progress another time. I've got three going, heh.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly WIP

Here's an update on the two other projects.

Alice by Lynne Nicoletti. Done on 28 Crystal Lugana Mercedes

Baby Express by Dimensions

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dracula Book Done!

YES! YES! YES! I finally finished this book! YES!

Okay I really finished it like a week ago but I'm still happy it's done! It was only 245 pages but I've been reading it since MAY! I never take that long to read a book. Especially one that is that short! I read any Harry Potter book in 6 hours or less.

The reason for being so long? Well, I love history. That's no mystery. But this one is so full of information it made the book boring and it wasn't like it was all different history. It was the same history, reworded through out the book.

Did I lean anything? Hell yes. If there is something Florescu and McNally are good at it's giving you enough information on Vlad Tepes Dracula to gorge yourself stupid on. I learned allot, however, it couldn't have been more dry cut if they tried.

I read In Search for Dracula by both of the authors and McNally's Dracula Was a Woman and they are also dry and for whatever reason it comes back every time to oral sex. I refuse to buy that all vampire legend relates back to that. No. Sorry, DON'T buy that.

So what's next for me? Well right now I'm trying to finish up Queen of the Damned. (Yes, I know. I'm vampire obsessed.) And then I've found another one on Erezbet Bathory. And it's a HISTORICAL one this time! WHOOO HOOO! I cannot begin to stress how hard that is to find. Yeah, I know, I've got the holy grail of her history books but it never hurts to learn more.

I'm going to try to get a book on the Romanov Family. Apparently, one of my ancestors was the Czarina's body guard. Yeah, I know he did a sucky job but it's still freaking cool! I found one about their assasination. Of course I found one where the son used a time machine and came to the present. Seriously people? This is as bad as the The Blood Countess where her male ancestor kills his ex lovers daughter and Elizabeth Bathory takes over the mother who was in a mental institution. Horrible book!

Alright, I'm off to work some more on this Baby Express Kit. Can I just state it is TOO CUTE! My friend may not get it. Seriously, it's too cute to give up. =P

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekly WIP

Okay, I'm behind this week. Cut me some slack, I'm sick. With what, I don't know. The kids gave me something fun though, let me tell you.

Anywho, I put Tracery Dragons and Snowman Stocking aside for right now. Working on two new ones. Why? Because I'm like that.First up is Alice by Lynne Nicoletti. It's done with DMC Floss and Krienik Metalics on Crystal Lugana Mercedes from Picture This Plus. I'm trying to get it done fast but doubt I'll get far. I keep finding I don't have the right colors. Six boxes of floss and not enough to do the design. Go figure. (just ignore the rings marks. I took it out to take the picture.)

This one is too stinking cute My friend is doing her nursery in trains so I found this and love sewing it. The black oval is my new Needle Minder. Can I just say that I love it? It's this little magnetic disc that I can attach to the fabric and it keeps my needle on that magnet. I got a hibiscus. (do I even need to say why I chose that flower?) The kit is called Baby Express and is from the Dimensions Company.

I'm going to keep working on it and should have to done quicker then I thought (Now watch, I've cursed myself and everything is going to go wrong. lol)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekly WIP

Just the same two. Not much to report.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekly WIP

Another week, another WIP post. Honestly I didn't get far. Things have been crazy for this week. I got the name finished and one skate done on Snowmen Stocking from Cross Stitch Gold. I'm getting tired of snowmen. I'm trying to get it done since I'm so friggin' close.

I've also been working on Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons. I kept working on it after this picture was taken so it does look a bit more advanced. I've gotten almost all the Cross Stitching done on one page. Since it's pretty much two or so, I'm close. Heh. I've still got back stitching and herringbone stitch to do but I'm getting there. I like it. ^^And I've got one little finish. It's an old UFO that has been sitting in my drawer for two years and I finally pulled it out and got it done. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I think most stitcher's feel this way!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tequila and Salt

Well, I thought I'd get it done quickly and I did. Sadly the border ran a bit. Ug. I did my best to get the runs out. They lightened but not gone. Oh well, did what I could with help from the ladies at the 123 stitch board. Patten is Tequila and Salt by The Sunflower Seed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly WIP

More works in Progress!

The Stocking is coming along nicely. Hopefully I'll get through it before mid February. I like how it's coming out. Hopefully Allison will like it too.Speaking of my sister, her and her roommates have painted their kitchen this insane yellow color so I went and found this pattern by Sunflower Seed. I figured it would work for College kids. I just started it tonight but I'm thinking it'll be a quick sew for me. (It's going to say 'When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and Salt')
I also worked a bit on Tracery Dragons by Teresa Wentzler. I'm getting more confident with the darker color but I'm just trying to push through everything that's a gift so it's on the back burner for now. Of course that hasn't stopped me from buying more of her patterns I found on eBay but hey, baby steps, right?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perforated Paper Project

I started to try the perforated paper project. It's The Spirit of Cross Stitch Angel by Brook's Books.
I started with the wings and have to remind myself not to pull too tight because if it rips, there's no fixing it. I started with the wings on Metallic Silver Paper. Sorry the quality is so crappy. I couldn't use a flash, it was completely washed out with light. There's suppose to be a little dog too but I'm not sewing it. It looks like a rat.I like it so far. I've got to do the other wing, the beads and the white on the outside but it's coming along nicely. I have to sew the body part on brown paper so maybe that will yield a better looking picture.

I also finished the wedding sampler I was working on and am very happy it's done. I'm not sure why but my brain hated working on it and it was giving me a head ache by the time I was done.

I'm making good progress on the snowman stocking. I'll post a picture of it on Friday. It's my main focus right now so I can get it done and move onto the others. I've got two to sew for my sisters room mates.

I've also got something new to watch while I sew. I picked up season 1 of House the other night! And the bonus, it was only $17! My friend Valyn sat and insisted for at least six months that I'd love House, I had to watch House and I kept putting it off. Then this Christmas my sister got the DVD's as a gift and we had a House marathon. So Valyn was right. I'm still trying to figure out what he wins for it.

Speaking of him, today is his birthday! So a very Happy Birthday to a very amazing person! Believe me, anyone who can stay friends with my ass for 7 years is someone special indeed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weekly WIP

I'm trying to make this more then a place to put finishes or my ramblings so I'm going to try and update weekly on my Works in Progress.

This is a stocking for my sister. (shhh don't tell her ^_~) It's from Cross Stitch Gold and I believe that it's their January issue but I'm not 100% on that.

Teresa Wentzler's "Tracery Dragons". I'm making good progress on it and I'm rather pleased. I usually only stitch on white or bright colors. Darkest I've ever sewn on before was a light brown. But I love the hand dyed fabric and keep pushing along with it. It's going to look beautiful when I'm done.

This one is close to being finished. I'm not a fan of the pattern so I've been struggling to finish it. As you can see by the date, I've got get it done soon. I'm pushing to get it done by the end of the day, especially since I have several other projects to get to. Hopefully the newlyweds like it.

So now I'm off to finish at least one of them so I can get to finishing the others. I've got a project coming up with perforated paper. I've never sewn on that material before so it should be an interesting experiment. I've also got another pair of the turtle booties to sew in blue. I've got them sitting right next to me but you know me, I love to start projects but finishing them is a whole 'nother deal. I told myself I can't start another new project until two or three of the projects in my basket are done. I'm trying to be disciplined. Really ^_~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Raven

'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting
Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!''The Raven' By Lavender Wings

Maybe this one was to indulge my Gothic side. I'm not sure. But I'm a self admitted fan of Edgar Allen Poe's writings so maybe that's why. It was my first attempt at sewing anything this small. I
I'm not use 35 count. I think it turned out okay.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baby Booties.

My best friend is pregnant right now with twins. So I get to sew two of everything! Fun! =P
I had created the turtle pattern after my return from Hawai'i. I had the booties before but I didn't know what to put on them and I hated the ones that came with them. So I tried it and they seem to come out okay. I think the lettering is a but hey, I do the best I can. ^_~

Friday, January 15, 2010

May Offend

"The plain fact is religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having key decisions made by religious people - by rationalists - by those who would steer the ship of state, not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken."-Bill Maher

I have noticed that in this crisis in Hati, which I have done my best not to think of because of how tragic it is, people are assholes.

Not getting it? There are people who call themselves "Good Christians" and they make stupid comments like "Well, it's sad but instead of the President giving money to Hati and Louisiana and they are still a disaster, we need to take care of the US first. When we're fixed then we can help."

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? over 100,000 people are assumed dead and you are smashing people for helping and donating money because you feel we're not in a good place right now? Guess what, the rest of the world DOES NOT center around this fucking elitist society.

And you know what? that is possibly one of the most Un-Christian things to say. Jesus taught to help those who are less fortunate. If you have food, heat, clothing, water and a roof over your head, YOU ARE BETTER OFF.

I am so sick of people right now. I'm leaving the human race soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Finish of 2010

I finished this on the second but I wasn't able to upload until now.

I'm Late! I'm Late! from Holidays In Cross-Stitch 1990 by The Vanessa-Ann Collection