US President Barack Obama, speaking of r

55 Reasons Why President Barack Obama Deserves To Turn Up For His Birthday

President Obama has plenty of huge moments to turn up for his big 55th. 

Today, President Barack Obama celebrates his 55th birthday and nothing says happy birthday quite like waking up in the White House, a place Obama's been able to celebrate in since 2008, when he was elected to be President of the United States.

Over the course of eight Earthstrongs in the Oval Office, Obama has seen his fair share of accomplishments and criticisms as President. Here's a rundown of accomplishments during Obamas tenure as the 48th President of the U.S.A.

1. Passed Health Care Reform: Signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The act covered 32 million uninsured Americans in 2016.

2. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

3. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009

4. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry: In 2009, injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration)

5. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.

6. Eliminated Osama bin Laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the terrorist leader.

7. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

8. Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action.

9. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Bush-era rulings that had allowed detainees in U.S. custody to undergo interrogation techniques considered inhumane under the Geneva Conventions.

10. Mubarak: On February 1, 2011, publicly called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform or step down.

11. Improved America’s Image Abroad: From 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, with an average increase of 26 percent.

12. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans.

13. Created Race to the Top: With funds from stimulus, started $4.35 billion program of competitive grants to encourage and reward states for education reform

14. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis: To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to provide lines of credit

15. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.

16. Expanded Stem Cell Research: In 2009, eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which shows promise in treating spinal injuries, among many other areas.

17. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Appointed two envoys to Sudan and personally attended a special UN meeting on the area.

18. Created Recovery.gov: provides public with detailed information on every contract funded by $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

19. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, existing hate crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.

20. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection: Signed Omnibus Public Lands Management Act 2009, which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails.

21. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill: in 2010 to a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; $6.5 billion already paid out without lawsuits.

22. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology: 2009 stimulus, invested $90 billion, more than any previous administration, in research on smart grids, energy efficiency, electric cars, renewable electricity generation, cleaner coal, and biofuels.

23. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders: Issued executive order in 2009 requiring all federal agencies to make plans to soften their environmental impacts by 2020

 

The President has also been notable for:

24. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program

25. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones

26. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions

27. Expanding vaccination programs

28. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters

29. Closed offshore tax safe havens

30. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals

31. 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

32. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices

33. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources

34. Lower drug costs for seniors

35. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs.

36. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan

37. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research

38. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research

39. New federal funding for science and research labs

40. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards

41. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect

42. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools

43. New funds for school construction

44. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out

45. US Auto industry rescue plan

46. Housing rescue plan

47. $789 billion economic stimulus plan

48. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare

49. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court

50. Notable TV appearances such as, Jimmy Kimmel Live, John Stewart, and The Oprah Winfrey show.

51. Gave a stirring graduation address at Howard University Commencement 2016

52. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office

53. Successful release of US captain held bySomali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job

54. announced his intention to push for energy reform

55. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

It looks like the POTUS has a few reasons to celebrate. Happy birthday!

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Jeezy Seemingly Challenges T.I. To A Verzuz Battle

An ATLien edition of Verzuz could be on the way. Jeezy appeared to challenge T.I. to a friendly battle after the Grand Hustle frontman “respectfully” shot down an offer from Busta Rhymes.

Without directly naming Tip, Jeezy posted a cryptic video message on Instagram on Wednesday (Oct. 21) subtly calling out his potential rival. “I don’t know what you’re avoiding me for. I’ll tell you what though, since it means that much to you put a date on it,” said Jeezy.

Tip jokingly replied in the comments, “Could this long time constituent of mine be referring to me???”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

PUT A DATE ON IT ☃️ @therealswizzz @timbaland @verzuztv

A post shared by @ jeezy on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:58pm PDT

The Verzuz battle isn’t confirmed just yet but fans are already excited at the thought of two of ATL’s finest going toe-to-toe. In the meantime, Swizzy and Timbaland are still prepping the lineup for Verzuz season two, and revealed that Busta threw his hat in the ring. “He’s ready for any type of Verzuz action coming his way,” Swizzy told Jimmy Fallon.

Busta also confirmed to Fat Joe that’s he's down to go up against T.I.

KING T.I. aka KING OF THE SOUTH aka @Tip aka MR. EXPEDITIOUSLY aka YOU SAID YOU WANTED THAT N.Y. ENERGY/SLASH NEW YORK SMOKE 💨? I’M HERE FOR YOU WITH OPEN ARMS... DON’T GET SHOOK NOW SHAWTY!!RESPECTFULLY (IN MY @RealSway voice) HARLEM!! @fatjoe #ITSTHESILENCEFORME @verzuzonline pic.twitter.com/O1fFmJYsYe

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) October 21, 2020

But it doesn't look like the Verzuz showdown will be happening as Tip responded back citing a “generational gap” between him and Busta.

“I didn’t know we were reaching back through generations. That’s a huge generational gap there isnt it? I have a huge amount of respect for you,” noted Tip. “An exponential amount of respect.”

Watch his full response to Busta below.

TI declines Busta Rhymes’ #Verzuz Battle challenge due to generational gap 👀🤔👀 via: @hiphopdx pic.twitter.com/n9nLyNBF5c

— 935 KDAY (@935KDAY) October 22, 2020

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Beyonce Shows Solidarity With Nigeria Amid Protests Over Police Brutality

Beyonce is showing solidarity with Nigeria following Tuesday’s (Oct. 20) brutal massacre in the country’s capital city of Lagos. The Bey Good Foundation has been partnering with local youth organizations supporting the protests, and working with coalitions to provide food, shelter and healthcare to those in need, Beyonce revealed in a statement.

“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria,” she said. “There has to be an end to SARS (Special Anti-Robber Squad). We have been working in partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter.”

Bey added in closing, “To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”

A message from Beyoncé. pic.twitter.com/5Ng7JF2stf

— BeyGOOD (@BeyGood) October 21, 2020

The statement directs viewers to her website where they will find links to donate or get involved in the movement to end SARS. Graphic videos and images of the brutality in the Lekki region of Lagos, have been circulating the web, but despite overwhelming evidence of corrupt and violent government forces, kidnapping, murders, non-fatal shootings, and other violent attacks on peaceful protestors,  the Nigerian government continues to downplay the issue. Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu claimed only one fatality in the massacre, and roughly 25 people wounded.

The #EndSARS movement has been amplified across social media, and prompted numerous protests around the globe Wednesday (Oct. 21). Also on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and expressed condolences to the families of the bereaved. Guterres encouraged Nigerian authorities to investigate instances of police brutality and “hold the perpetrators accountable.” Guterres went on to urge security forces to “act with maximum restraint,” and encouraged protestors to remain peaceful.

“While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” said UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”

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Watch Viola Davis And Chadwick Boseman In Trailer For ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The two-minute clip released on Monday (Oct. 19), gives viewers a sneak peek at Chadwick Boseman’s final film role. The 43-year-old actor portrays the ambitious and outspoken trumpet player, Levee.

Viola Davis transforms into Ma Rainey in the Denzel Washington-produced film, centered around a 1927 Chicago recording sessions of “Mother of the Blues.”

Speaking during Monday’s press preview, Davis praised Boseman’s passion and commitment to his art. “Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby. Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was… he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch,” said Davis.

“We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready,” she added. “ They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He [Boseman] loved it. He demanded it. He demanded it in every single way.”

The film, Davis said, gives a window into “what Black life was like” in the '20s and ”how it was informing our relationships.”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.Check above for the trailer.

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