January 25, 2011

State of the Union Address: our Cheatsheet. ~ Frannie Oliver

Here’s What You Missed!

If you were absent in 2010, here’s what happened in the U.S.

President Obama has made it through one whole year since his first State of the Union Address back in January 2010. He is scheduled to offer his second State of the Union Address tonight at 7 PM Mountain Time.

For those of us who missed the last year in politics, here are the important events that occurred.

1. An offshore oil drilling rig owned by BP exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a major sustained oil leak. While plans to stem the flow by drilling two relief wells were put into place, multiple failures by BP caused a large amount of criticism of BP as a company and offshore drilling regulations as a whole.

2. President Obama signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, which repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy preventing gays and lesbians from openly serving in the United States Armed Forces.

3. Congress passed President Obama’s legislation reforming health care in the United States. This legislation includes the expansion of health insurance to cover uninsured, the capping of premium increases, the allowance of people leaving or changing jobs to keep their coverage, the requirement for every American to carry health coverage, and the dropping of sick people or denying coverage for previous conditions illegal. It also created a government insurance plan to compete with corporate insurance companies to lower costs and improve quality.

4. Midterm elections took place, and the Republican Party took back the majority in the House of Representatives.

5. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to replace the 1991 Stragtegic Arms Reduction Treaty with the New START Treaty, reducing each country’s number of long-range nuclear weapons by one-third.

6. By the end of August 2010, all American combat troops were withdrawn from Iraq.

7. The full effects of the economic stimulus plan were felt this year, with economists saying over 1.5 million jobs have either been saved or created because of it.

8. Elena Kagan was appointed to the Supreme Court in August 2010, as the fourth female justice and the eighth Jewish justice.

There they are, the most important events of 2010. If you want a summary of President Obama’s actions since he took office, click here.

Make sure to watch the State of the Union Address tonight! It starts at 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, and 6 PM Pacific.

Frannie Oliver is a student at the Univeristy of Colorado here in Boulder and plays for the women’s ultimate frisbee team Kali. She is constantly learning from her experience at Elephant, about everything from WordPress to yoga.

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