Obama's 32 Month Report Card-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of the eRumor:
A forwarded email with what the author calls the many "firsts" of President Barack Obama.
 

The Truth:  
This eRumor appeared all over the Internet in November, 2011 and on various political web sites but it was not found on any major news sites. The email says only that is was authored by someone named Rich Carroll but does not identify him beyond that.

Let us look some of the topics in the article one at a time:


First President to refuse to show a valid birth certificate -
Disputed!  
Although there are those who dispute its validity, candidate Obama released  of his birth certificate in 2008 and it was displayed on his Fight the Smears web site when questions about his citizenship were raised.   Critics alleged that the document was a fake, or insufficient as proof for the office of the President. This stirred a frenzy of rumors including emails that contained faked documents including one made up to look like birth certificates from Kenya. Tow years later, in 2010, President Obama released what he said was his original long form birth certificate, from the state of Hawaii.. We have a page on the questionable citizenship of Barack Obama complete with photos of documents.  Click for our findings.


First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner-
Fiction!
This rumor originated from an April Fools Joke in 2009 featuring an alleged Associated Press story that said that Barack Obama received a grant from the "Fulbright Foundation" when he attended Occidental College in California.  There is no "Fulbright Foundation" but there is a Fulbright program that is sponsored by the US Department of State and does award scholarship grants to students working towards higher degrees who already have a Bachelor of Arts degree.  Click for our Findings 


First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in-
Fiction!
Rumors about Obama's Social Security Number began circulating in 2010 alleging that the number belonged to a deceased man who immigrated to the U.S. from France and resided in Hawaii.   That proved to be fiction.   This sparked additional inquires as to why the President's Social Security Number began with 042, the three digit classification for Connecticut.   According to the Social Security Administration, "The Area Number is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1972, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the State in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be the State where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office."  Click for Social Security site


First President to preside over a cut to the credit rating of the United States. -
Truth!
On August 5, 2011, for the first time in the history of this nation, Standard and Poor's downgraded the US Credit Rating to one notch below AAA.  According to a Washington Post article dated that same day, "the credit rating company said 'political brinkmanship' in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances 'less stable, less effective and less predictable.' It said the bipartisan agreement reached this week to find at least $2.1 trillion in budget savings 'fell short' of what was necessary to tame the nation’s debt over time and predicted that leaders would not be likely to achieve more savings in the future."


First President to violate the War Powers Act.
Fiction!
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 became federal law to prevent a president from committing the United States to an armed conflict without the approval from Congress. This law requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing  U.S. armed forces to military action.   It also limits U.S. involvement to no more than 60 days.  In 2011 President Obama bypassed congressional approval for going into Libya, but he was not the first U.S. President to do so. The War Powers Resolution was first disregarded by President Clinton in 1999, during the bombing campaign in Kosovo.  


First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. -
Truth!
The President did order a moratorium on offshore drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet after the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010. The moratorium was struck down by New Orleans Judge Martin Feldman and according to a February 3, 2011 article in Bloomberg the Obama Administration was acting in contempt by continuing the policy.  Felman's comments on the ruling were reported in the article.  He said, “Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance.”  Feldman added, “Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt.”   


First President to defy a Federal Judges court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.-
Fiction!
The constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been questioned by several courts in various states in the US since it was passed into law in March 21, 2010.  According to an August 12, 2011 article in Reuters a U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta ruled that it was unconstitutional to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.


First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party. -
Too Vague to investigate.
We are not sure of what policy this is related to. 
If the writer of the eRumor had in mind the Affordable Care Act then this would be
Truth!. When the law makers wrote the HR-3590 bill, the Democratic majority House and Senate quickly passed it and the President signed it into law. It is doubtful that anybody in government who supported this bill actually read it, Buried inside the 2409 pages of the "Obamacare" law there is a stipulation known as the "Individual Mandate," where the Internal Revenue Service will collect a 2.5% penalty from tax returns not showing proof of enrollment of health insurance.

First President to spend a trillion dollars on shovel-ready jobs and later admit there was no such thing as shovel-ready jobs.-
Inaccurate!
According to a September 26, 2011 article in Politico, President Obama did use the term "Shovel Ready Jobs" in a plan to fund $50 billion in improvements to highways, transit systems, railways and aviation. The idea was to put Americans back to work by construction upgrades to  150,000 miles of road, 4,000 miles of train tracks, 150 miles of airport runways and the nation’s air traffic control system. Political reported that experts did not see the jobs being as shovel ready as one would think as " A tremendous amount of money and time is needed to get a project through a detailed design process, permitting, environmental hurdles, public hearings and land acquisition."



First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.-
Under Investigation


First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
Fiction!
There was no such Executive Order.   Click for our findings.


First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions-
Fiction!
This was not done is secret and according to an August 18, 2011 ABC News report, "The Obama administration announced a major change in policy for thousands of illegal immigrants going through deportation proceedings. They now may be able to stay in the country. There are currently 300,000 deportation cases making their way through the federal immigration courts, but under the new policy immigrants classified as low-priority cases could be granted a stay and a chance to apply for a work permit."


First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees. - Too Vague to investigate.
We are not sure of what policy this is related to. 


First President to terminate Americas ability to put a man in space.
Fiction!
According to the St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Check site, "Richard Nixon, perhaps in conjunction with Gerald Ford, would be the one to qualify for the unwanted title of "first president to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space" -- not Obama."  The Apollo program ended in 1975 and had a five year gap in space launches until the Space Shuttle program was in full operation.


First President to encourage racial discrimination and intimidation at polling places. -
Unproven!
On November 4, 2008 Black Panthers were spotted outside a polling place in Philadelphia, PA.  One of the Black Panthers was holding a night stick.   A YouTube Video taken by a local journalism student of an account with them went viral on the Internet and news outlets.  A short time later, police arrived on the scene and they were removed from the scene.  Charges of voter intimidation were charged but they were dropped by the Justice Department under the leadership of Eric Holder, according to an August 20, 2009  article in the Wall Street Journal.  No explanation was given by Holder or anyone at the Department of Justice.  The accusation that the President encouraged this incident remains unproven.
 


 


First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.-
Truth!
According to a  May 22, 2011 article in the New York Times  this was a historical first when the President extended the Patriot Act by autopen during a weeklong trip in Europe.


First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.-
Too Vague to investigate.
We are not sure of what policy this is related to. 



First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly speak-out on the reasons for their rate increases.-
Under Investigation
 


First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state they are allowed to locate a factory.-
Truth!
On April 20, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against the Boeing claiming that the aircraft manufacturer opened up a second 787 Dreamliner production line in South Carolina in retaliation against the union.  South Carolina is a "right to work state."

On  September 23, 2011 Politico.com reported that , "An Obama appointee is now asking a judge to order Boeing to relocate all 787 Dreamliner production to Washington state — a move that’s feeding the GOP narrative that Obama’s Big Government is meddling with job creation, just as the first plane nears its first commercial flight."



First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN)-
Fiction!
The oath of the President of the United States does not have any conditions to protect U.S. States.   The oath of office is in the U.S. Constitution and it says, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
 


First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.-
Under Investigation


First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.-
Under Investigation


First President to appoint 45 Czars to replace elected officials in his office.-
Under Investigation


First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office.-
Inaccurate!
According to a June 26, 2011 White House Dossier article, written by veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler, President Obama played his 75th golf game since being sworn into office.  No doubt at the time of this writing the number is greater.

According to an October 24, 2009 article in Politico, Obama was in office about 10 months when he played his 24th golf game, tying his predecessor, G. W. Bush, for the number of golf games.  It took Bush almost 3 years to play that number of games.



First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records
.-
Fiction!
There are no U.S. laws stating that a U.S. President or presidential candidate disclose his medical or educational background.   In his books, Barack Obama wrote about his life in Indonesia.  Questions about Obama's travels could have been sparked by a  rumor that was spread on YouTube by Reverend James Manning of the ATLAH church in Harlem.  Manning alleged that Obama, while attending Columbia University (Class of 1983), was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to be the operative in an arms deal with the Taliban. Manning said that Obama was selected because he was fluent in Farsi and Middle Eastern customs.   President only speaks English fluently, has never learned Farsi and the Taliban did not exist until 1989.



First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.
Disputed!
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Barack Obama on October 9, 2009 after he had been in office approximately 9 months. According to the Nobel Peace Prize website Obama was awarded this, "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".  On January 20, 2010 Britain's The Guardian released a timeline showing the major events during the President's fist year in office.    In April 2009, Obama flew to England for the G-20 conference where he not only met with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown but also met with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to discuss U.S. and Russian relations.



First President to coddle American enemies while alienating Americas allies-
Too Vague to investigate.
We are not sure of what policy this is related to. 


First President to publicly bow to Americas enemies while refusing to salute the U.S. Flag.
Fiction!
President Obama has been photographed bowing to foreign leaders during formal introductions.  One of these leaders was
Saudi Arabian King Abdullah.  The U.S. is at war with a radical terrorist organization based in the Middle East called al-Queda, and neither Saudi Arabia or King Abdullah are considered an enemy of the U.S.   Obama does not always follow the protocol of placing his hand over his heart when the National Anthem is played.  Click for Findings on the bow.    Click for findings on the salute.



First President to go on multiple global apology tours.-
Disputed!
Obama did travel overseas and during his speeches make apologies for past American policies and arrogance.  Former George W. Bush campaign manager, Karl Rove wrote an opinion on April 23, 2009 in the Wall Street Journal calling the Presidents trip an "Apology Tour".


In a  June 17, 2009 Human Events article, attributed to Niles Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative newspaper listed ten apologies by President Obama:

1
. Apology to Europe: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe‘s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

2. Apology to the Muslim world: Interview with Al Arabiya, January 27. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas: Address to the Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17. “While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders: News conference in London, April 2. “I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions.”

5. Apology for the War on Terror: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. “Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight, that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.”

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. “In dealing with terrorism, we can’t lose sight of our values and who we are. That’s why I closed Guantanamo. That’s why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don’t believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure.”

7. Apology for America before the Turkish Parliament: Speech to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6. “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas: Editorial “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16. “Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA: Remarks to CIA employees at Langley, Va., April 29. “Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes.”

10. Apology for Guantanamo: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. “There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.”


On the other hand, The FactChecker at the Washington Post said on February 22, 2011, that they "concluded that 'the claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the fact, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.'"  They claim that the apology tour never happened.   Click here Washington Post.


First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends, paid for by the taxpayer. -
Under Investigation


First President to refuse to wear the U.S. Flag lapel pin-
Fiction!
While campaigning for the Oval Office, Barack Obama did sport a different lapel pin from the customary US Flag pin that many patriotic Americans wear but after his election to the Oval Office the President has been seen with the traditional lapel pin.   Click for findings.


First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife. -
Fiction!
The allegations that former first ladies from previous administrations had smaller staffs is Fiction! - at least in the cases of Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.  Click for findings


First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000.00 a year at taxpayer expense.-
Under Investigation


First President to repeat “the Holy Qur'an tells us,” and openly admit “the early morning call of the Azaan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.” -
Truth! and Fiction!

In June 4, 2009 the President delivered a speech in Cairo, Egypt.  In this speech he used the term "Holy Koran" a total of 5 times.  He also said, "Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith." There was no mention in this speech that the Azaan was the most beautiful sound to Obama's ears.

Posted 10/31/11   Updated 11/21/13

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Barack Obama's 32 Month Report Card
by Rich Carroll
Copy this article. You will need researched material to mail your liberal friends and/or relatives.

Mr. Hope and Change wants to create a nation humbled; humiliated, casting-aside capitalism and individual freedoms for one where “we the people” are government controlled. This would be a system that genuflects mediocrity, steals personal aspiration and opportunity, and punishes those who strive to succeed.

A gallon of regular gasoline the day Obama was inaugurated was $1.79 on average in the U.S. Today that price is $3.59, a 100.6% increase. The number of food stamp recipients has risen since Obama took office from 31,983,716 to 43,200,878, a 35.1% jump. Long term unemployment soared 146.2% during the same 32 month period from 2,600,000 to 6,400,000. Staggering “hope and change” isn't it?

American citizens living in poverty have risen 9.5% from 39,800,000 to 43,600,000, and the number of unemployed has jumped almost 25% from 11,616,000 to 14,485,000 as of August 31, 2011. The number of unemployed blacks has risen from 12.6% at the end of George Bush's term to 15.8% today, a 25.4% increase, and finally, our national debt is up 34.4% from 10.627 trillion to 14,278 trillion *

Keep these figures in mind as we recount the number of “firsts” for this presidency:
First President to refuse to show a valid birth certificate.
First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
First President to preside over a cut to the credit rating of the United States .
First President to violate the War Powers Act.
First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .
First President to defy a Federal Judges court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.
First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
First President to spend a trillion dollars on shovel-ready jobs and later admit there was no such thing as shovel-ready jobs.
First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.
First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
First President to terminate Americas ability to put a man in space.
First President to encourage racial discrimination and intimidation at polling places.
First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.
First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly speak-out on the reasons for their rate increases.
First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state they are allowed to locate a factory.
First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (Az, WI, OH, IN)
First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
First President to appoint 45 Czars to replace elected officials in his office.
First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office.
First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.
First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.
First President to coddle American enemies while alienating Americas allies.
First President to publicly bow to Americas enemies while refusing to salute the U.S. Flag.
First President to go on multiple global apology tours.
First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends, paid for by the taxpayer.
First President to refuse to wear the U.S. Flag lapel pin.
First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.
First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000.00 a year at taxpayer expense.
First President to repeat “the Holy Qur'an tells us,” and openly admit “the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.”
Remember that 32 months of Obama White House we the people have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our nation's entire history, as the Obama's plan their next extravagant vacation to the Indonesian Island nation of Bali .
Hope and change anyone?
* sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wall Street Journal, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept of Labor, Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller, Federal Reserve, US Treasury, Heritage Foundation.