The Center isn't even finished and it's already beautiful and a maker of fantastic color and, in the case of Eric Bowers, terrific photographs. It's already exciting. I look forward to its completion. (I think the above pic shows better in the larger version--click on it).
Okay, another media ranking of cities and this time it's for "Best Cities in America", as you can see and, again, it's interesting.
Kansas City kind of got snubbed, I think, by my way of reckoning, since Omaha got position number 3 and we're not even on the list. Check it out:
Omaha is a great example of a city that's avoided the booms and busts, ranking high on stability.
Could its slow but steady growth be the influence of one of its most famous residents, the richest man in the world, Warren Buffett? The Oracle of Omaha, as he's known, made his money based on the motto "invest in what you know" - not getting sucked into the next big boom.
Quite possibly, Sperling said. Perhaps the bigger impact, though, is that Buffett keeps Omaha in the news, which makes it easier to attract big companies there. Today, there are five Fortune 500 companies headquartered there, including ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific Corporation, Mutual of Omaha, Peter Kiewit and Sons, and Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
Oh, and Des Moines is on the list too, at number 6.
Okay, so that's my points--we got overlooked on it, rightly or wrongly (probably likely, even though I enjoy the place) and Omaha and Des Moines beat us out
But I will make one last point here.
And that is, I think Kansas City is going to get on a cultural ranking "best of" list at least once--if not a few times next year, once our Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is open.
You watch. The building itself, when it opens, is going to give us a great deal of attention in its own right. Then, once open, more of these lists will have Kansas City on them.
I saw this first linked over at Tony's Kansas City Blog and then went to the original news site--KSHB--to see the video and get this link, above.
It seems like Roy Blunt's actions are, in fact, being badly reported. One said he "stormed out" and if you see the video, that seems a bit harsh, if not out-and-out untrue.
But here's the flip side: To Michael Mahoney's question of whether Mr. Blunt knew this Hispanic woman who worked for the family--a yes or no question--he says it's "desperation politics" and that his campaign "put out a statement at the time and it was accurate at the time..." and he and the statement trail off.
Wow. Really, how much more a "non-denial denial" can you get? He didn't say "No, Mike, I didn't know her", he just goes off in a completely different direction and doesn't answer the easy, up or down question.
The fact is, Roy, we think you're clearly hiding something here.
Between this "NDD" and the woman's statement that she did work for the family, it doesn't look good.
Come on, people, vote this clown out of office. Don't make Roy Blunt our next, new Senator from Missouri. He's as dirty as a politician can be and still be in office.
For the love of pete and all that is good, don't vote for Roy Blunt.
In the meantime, thank God for video cameras on the campaign trail.
Remember my post yesterday about the Spanish television
station trumping all the networks Monday evening except ABC and CBS? Remember that? (Both of you?)
Well, a follow-up story is out today:
set to become top U.S.
NEW YORK (Adweek)
– With double-digit ratings growth this
season, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision is off to a better start than
any of the major English-language networks, and the future is promising as
The new census is expected to show a nearly 45% increase in
the number of Hispanic Americans since 2000, to a total of 50 million. This
couples with continuing audience erosion at the major networks and Univision's
recent deal with Mexican programer Grupo Televisa, which locks up the source of
much the network's popular programing for at least another decade.
Just a few years ago, the notion of Univision catching and
surpassing them would have had mainstream network executives rolling with
laughter. They're not laughing now.
This is pretty fascinating stuff. A great deal of people will be giving this a
tremendous amount of attention in the very near future, too, and I don’t just
mean television and advertising people, either.
I can hear Fox “News” and the reactionary Conservatives and Right Wing
screaming bloody murder about this, since it gives such direct, further and
immediate proof of how we—the US—are changing so very much.
Check this out:
Ad buyers also believe that Univision has a good shot at topping the Anglo networks on its stated schedule.
"It's totally conceivable that in three to five years they would be, regardless of language, the No. 1 broadcast network," said Steven Wolfe Pereira, senior vp and managing director at MV42, a unit of Publicis Groupe's media agency MediaVest.
And then the "capper", so to speak:
But when the census is released next year showing the huge jump in the Hispanic population, "corporate boards will pay attention," Wolfe Pereira said. "It will be a real wake-up call."
I just hope Glenn Beck doesn’t use this as another excuse to
break down crying.
As they used to say in television, stay tuned, folks.
From the news this morning: U.S. slips to historic low in global corruption index
BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics, Transparency International said on Tuesday.
The United States fell to 22nd from 19th last year, with its CPI score dropping to 7.1 from 7.5 in the 178-nation index, which is based on independent surveys on corruption.
This was the lowest score awarded to the United States in the index's 15-year history and also the first time it had fallen out of the top 20.
We're sick of it, frankly. We're sick of the rich guys and corporations winning and us losing. We're sick of the money that's going into our politics. We're sick of our politicians being bought. It's all just too much.
So rather than just complaining, I propose, yet again, three solutions to our problems:
First, we need to get that ugly money out of our politics. To do that, we need campaign finance reform so our representatives don't have to go begging to the rich, corporations and their lobbyists for money. We need our government to pay for these stupid elections. If we did this, the money would stop buying our officials and their votes because it would be illegal.
Second, we need to make our campaign seasons shorter--by law--so they don't need all this money. And don't say it can't be done, either. The British did it long ago, we could certainly do it.
Finally, we need to put the "Fairness Doctrine" back in our media and so, government, so at least two different sides would have to be discussed any time a political subject comes up on our airwaves. It used to be the law of the land. The Republicans took it out of our laws and we need to get it back. This would take the vitriol and emotionalism and ugliness and bitterness out of our discussions. It won't happen because Fox "News" and the Republicans and corporations and Right Wing wouldn't stand for it and would raise heck about it violating their First Amendment rights and "free speech", even though that's patently untrue. They could still say whatever they want, it's just that the opposing view would have to also be aired.
It's too bad the above won't happen. At least it won't until the American people rise up and demand it. I hope it doesn't require a revolution to get us there.
This used to be a far better country to live in than what we've got now.
It seems a student, one Whitney Hillman of Concordia, Kansas is a good student, making good grades, attending school regularly and then, all of a sudden, went off the chart.
You see, Whitney took an "Animal Science and Food Production" class and in it "...each student would be given a baby chick to raise for six weeks in preparation for slaughter."
And I have to say, I think that's sick, having a kid to raise a chicken, virtually as a pet, and then slaughter it in class.
No wonder she reacted the way she did.
I have a friend and had a Grandfather who both went, as children, to a meat-packing plant and that was it for them for the rest of their lives--no meat. (At least the Grandfather couldn't touch beef. He'd eat pork only but only then if it were cooked so dry as to make it nearly flavorless).
For clarification, I'm like Whitney's Mom, according to the story. She questioned "...why students essentially were allowed to bond with the chicks, only to be asked to kill them later."
I know if we all had to do this--kill our own meat as children--a whole lot more of us would be vegetarians.
And we'd be healthier, too, for it, singularly and as a nation.
Now, where's that little Mexican place I like so much?
News out today says Iran is injecting fuel into their first nuclear reactor:
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first atomic power plant on Tuesday, moving closer to the start up of a facility that leaders have touted as defying of international efforts to curtail the country's nuclear ambitions.
Hopefully Israel's calmer heads are prevailing and there's no plan to attack Iran because of this.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not on Iran's side or an Iranian supporter of any kind but a war between nations in the Middle East is the last thing the world needs, now or at any time, certainly.
Cross your fingers, folks. Here's hoping there's no bombing of any kind.
No sooner do I write that last post, asking if/when someone is going to stand up for shooting victims in this city and this comes across my screen from the Star:
4 year-old girl shot in knee while walking in KC
Kansas City police were trying to determine how a 4-year-old was shot in the knee Monday night.
Her 24-year-old father and 21-year-old uncle gave police conflicting stories, police said. Police found the wounded girl with her mother on a sidewalk near 35th Street and Tracy Avenue just before 10 p.m. The girl’s injuries were not life-threatening.
The father said he and his daughter were walking east on 35th Street from Forest Avenue when an unknown person shot her.
But the uncle said he and the girl were walking west on 35th from Woodland Avenue, near his home, when an unknown person shot her. He said they walked to 35th and Virginia Avenue for help.
Police asked him why he walked past a fire station without stopping and why he didn’t call 911. He replied that he was headed to the place where the girl’s mother works near 35th and Virginia.
And here's the problem. Check out what the girl's father says to the police:
Police later asked the girl’/ father about the inconsistencies in the stories and the father allegedly told detectives, “I don’t need no (expletive) police!”
Oh, really? And how, Dad, are you going to keep your daughter safe and from being shot again, ever, in the future, if you don't need the police?
Watching the news the other evening, which is rare for me, I saw the story of the older couple who were in their house when all of a sudden, some idiots started shooting into the house. From the Star today:
Kansas City police were looking for someone who fired at least eight shots early today into a home occupied by a 62-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman.
The shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. in the 9700 block of Elm Avenue. The victims were not hurt and did not know why anyone would be shooting into their house, police said.
Police found eight shell casings in the front yard, about 15 yards from the house, apparently marking the spot where the shooter stood while firing.
The male victim said he was sleeping when he awoke to the sound of gunfire. He crawled out of bed and lay on the floor as gunshots whizzed by him, according to police reports.
The female victim was in the basement on the computer when she heard the gunshots. She found several holes in her bedroom walls and windows. Police also found a bullet lodged into the wood door frame to a bathroom.
My reaction to this is the same as it is for any shootings and/or drive-by shootings in this city, too. That is, church and community leaders, including Mayor Funkhouser, should come out with a very public stance with media coverage, etc., and ask for both someone to rat out whoever did this and for solutions from the community so this kind of thing never happens again.
I'm surprised someone running for mayor or City Council doesn't come out and grandstand on this issue, with this circumstance.
Can you imagine how frightened nearly out of their minds the people must have been who had this happen to them?
And then, for there to be silence from the community and community leaders and especially at City Hall, it's maddening.
And this is election season.
What will it take to get someone and/or some group to stand up and make clear we cannot and will not live like this and that we won't tolerate this kind of behavior?
Clearly it isn't going to be either one of the co-mayors.
If you'll check the link below, ladies and gentelmen, you'll see that the Spanish and Spanish language television network Univision beat out both NBC and Fox in the 18-34 and 18-49 demographics for yesterday's viewing habits. In fact, Univision beat out all other networks shown except CBS and ABC.
Yesterday, on Steve Kraske's "Up to Date" program on KCUR 89.3 FM, he interviewed Garry Trudeau, creator of the "Doonesbury" comic strip--a long-time favorite of yours truly, for sure.
Anyway, as it happens, by coincidence, Mr. Trudeau was in town for his national tour, celebrating 40 years of that same strip. The anniversary date is today so he was interviewed--very briefly, of course--this morning on "Morning Edition" on NPR and that was good, as usual.
But the fact is, Mr. Kraske was not only one day early but we also got to hear most of an hour with Mr. Trudeau and so, got much more information and entertainment.
So good on you, Steve Kraske--great job. We appreciate you and your show a great deal and this was another terrific one.
If you're the old guy who did this, who stomped on the woman and her head, how do you justify your actions? How do you explain what you were thinking? Clearly you can't but how do you try to rationalize what you were thinking and what you ended up doing?
The bad news? The young woman got stomped on.
The good news? It's on video and she can sue him for all he and his insurance company are worth.
We all need to be better than this.
Update and a final side note: Actually, I really love the fact that everyone--including this video--is referring to this violent, ignorant nutcase, the beater, if you will, as a "Rand Paul supporter", first and last. Is it Rand Paul's fault this guy is so stupid? Heck, no, certainly not. But it was at one of his, Rand Paul's, rallies so that creates the moniker. Added bonus, for sure.
Don't think the tax rates on the wealthiest 1% should rise to that whopping 39% from where they are, by letting the George W. Bush Tax Cuts expire? Then read on, McDuff:
First, income in America is now more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years. Almost a quarter of total income generated in the United States is going to the top 1 percent of Americans.
The top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now earn as much as the bottom 120 million of us.
The marginal income tax rate on the very rich is the lowest it’s been in more than 80 years. Under President Dwight Eisenhower (who no one would have accused of being a radical) it was 91 percent. Now it’s 36 percent. Congress is even fighting over whether to end the temporary Bush tax cut for the rich and return them to the Clinton top tax of 39 percent.
The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.
We’re losing our democracy to a different system. It’s called plutocracy. --Robert Reich, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley
And so we're reminded, this from none other than Plato, all those centuries ago:
"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."
"Laws are partly formed for the sake of good men, in order to instruct them how they may live on friendly terms with one another, and partly for the sake of those who refuse to be instructed, whose spirit cannot be subdued, or softened, or hindered from plunging into evil."
But that's my take on him and this quote.
The flip side to this is that there can, in fact, be too much law and/or too much government, certainly:
The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.
Plato had it right, of course: "Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil."
Whether the topic is Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan or Christine O'Donnell or Sarah Palin or the Tea Party or the Democrats or Republicans or whatever or whomever, what we need is awareness and information. And I'm not talking Western indoctrination or influence. I'm talking broad, intelligent, non-biased information and hard data.
Instead, we get this, today:
Iran has imposed new restrictions on 12 university social sciences deemed to be based on Western schools of thought and therefore incompatible with Islamic teachings, state radio reported Sunday.
The list includes law, philosophy, management, psychology, political science and the two subjects that appear to cause the most concern among Iran's conservative leadership — women's studies and human rights.
So this is what our American soldiers have died for and what our money is paying for--ignorance in Iran. Terrific.
"When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty and there is nothing to fear from them then he is always stirring up some wary or other in order that the people may require a leader." — Plato
We need to get beyond this so our leaders can't manipulate situations and so we don't find ourself in a literal, perpetual state of war, which is where we seem to be right now.
You've heard about Roy Blunt's "housekeeper-gate", haven't you?
How, reputedly a woman worked for their family, years ago, and he filed papers for her to remain in the country and blah, blah, blah?
Well, first Roy says it's no big deal:
(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) The Missouri Democratic Party released documents Tuesday that they say paint Blunt as hiring an illegal immigrant and working to expedite her case during his time as Missouri Secretary of State.
“Blunt clearly states in the letter that dora has done some work for his family, and blunt attaches a letter clearly showing Blunt knew of her status,” said Corey Platt, with the MDP.
In the letter, sent on official state letterhead, Blunt writes to Gene McNary, then Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, explaining the situation.
“Dora Narvaez has done some work for Roseann [Blunt],” Blunt wrote. He wrote that Roseann Blunt, Blunt’s previous wife, received a letter from Narvaez expressing her “concern regarding her status in the United States.”
A woman who identified herself as “Narvaez” told the Kansas City Star she worked as a housekeeper for the Blunt’s for some time in 1990, but declined further comment.
Then--now, actually--he says he "doesn't remember" her. From Steve Kraske and The Kansas City Star yesterday:
Blunt can't recall meeting Nicaraguan woman he helped with immigration matter U.S. Senate candidate Roy Blunt said Wednesday that he could not recall meeting a Nicaraguan woman he helped with an immigration matter in 1990.
Well, Roy, I gotta' tell ya', on this one, we believe the first story, that she worked for you and that you plead her case to the government, that's all there is to it.
It's just one more reason we don't want you in the Senate, representing us, too. It isn't your housekeeper, either. It's the fact that you seem, clearly, like you have a problem with truth--and telling it.
But wait--there's more. Check this out from Mike Mahoney's page and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Blunt spoke to the editorial board by phone. He was scheduled to appear in person, but changed plans after a small group of protesters — maybe half a dozen — gathered outside the Post-Dispatch building downtown, holding signs accusing Blunt of hypocrisy on immigration.
Six people are holding up signs and you can't show up to talk to the editors of the paper, Roy?
I’m sick and tired of people asking “What has Obama done?” So here’s a list of things he’s done since he’s been in office. Remember: He was elected President. He wasn’t elected Jesus.
The list is still growing. Let me know if I (Damnitkage) missed anything.
1. Saved the collapse of the American automotive industry by making GM restructure before bailing them out and putting incentive money up to help the industry
2. Shifted the focus of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, and putting the emphasis on reducing terrorism where it should have been all along
3. Relaxed anti-American tensions throughout the world
4. Signed order to close the prisoner “torture camp” at Guantanamo Bay
5. Has made the environment a national priority and a primary source for job creation
6. Has made education a national priority by putting emphasis and money behind new ideas like charter schools but speaking directly to school children in telling them they have to do their part.
7. Won the Nobel Peace Prize
8. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
9. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
10. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
11. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
12. Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues.
13. 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.
14. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
15. “Cash for clunkers” program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulates auto sales
16. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
17. Closed offshore tax safe havens
18. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
19. Ended media “blackout” on war casualties, reporting full information
20. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
21. Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB.
22. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
23. Ended previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions of dollars in savings
24. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations and reports
25. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has created 2.1 million jobs (as of 12/31/09).
26. Ended previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
27. Ended previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
28. Ended previous policy on torture; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards
29. . Launched Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology.
30. Ended previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
31. Ended previous “stop-loss” policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
32. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
33. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
34. Established a new cyber security office
35. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
36. Expanding vaccination programs
37. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses
38. . Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America’s Veterans.
39. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
40. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
41. Responded with compassion and leadership to the earthquake in Haiti
42. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
43. Launched Business.gov – enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business. Great for the economy.
44. Improved housing for military personnel
45. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
46. Changed failing war strategy in Afghanistan.
47. Improving benefits for veterans
48. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants…) after years of neglect
49. Donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize to nonprofits.
50. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
51. Provided tax credits to first-time home buyers through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to revitalize the U.S. housing market.
52. Increased pay and benefits for military personnel
53. Increased student loans
54. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return “home” to visit loved ones
55. Cracked down on companies that deny sick pay, vacation and health insurance to workers by abusing the employee classification of independent contractor. Such companies also avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers.
56. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
57. Limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House
58. Protected 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors through the Recovery Act that would have otherwise been lost.
59. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
60. Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on February 4, 2009, provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured.
61. Lower drug costs for seniors
62. Making more loans available to small businesses
63. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
64. . Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis
65. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
66. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
67. Announced creation of a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record for members of the U.S. Armed Forces to improve quality of medical care.
68. New federal funding for science and research labs
69. New funds for school construction
70. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
71. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
72. . Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.
73. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
74. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
75. Provided tax credit to workers thus cutting taxes for 95% of America’s working families.
76. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
77. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
78. . Helped reverse a downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of President Bush’s presidency, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. In February 2010, the Dow closed at 10,309.24
79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
80. Restarted the nuclear non-proliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
81. Provided attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles.
82. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
83. 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
84. Unveiled a program on Earth Day 2009 to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean’s vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner.
85. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program
86. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
87. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
88. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
89. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
90. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date.
91. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
92. 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
93. The “secret detention” facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
94. US financial and banking rescue plan
95. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
96. . Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system.
97. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
98. Improved relations with Iran
99. Improved U.S. policy on climate change
100. Set timetable for exiting Iraq (already started removing troops)
101. Improved relations with Russia
102. Improved relations with the Islamic World
103. Made progress towards grater cooperation on limiting nuclear proliferation
104. Economic stimulus plan has created jobs, decreasing the unemployment rate