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Democracy

Joe Biden's 23 greatest achievements as president of the United States ... so far

Halfway through his first term he’s made some big moves, many of which have gone unnoticed.

joe biden's achievements, joe biden presidency, midterm elections

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Medal of Honor ceremony, on July 5, 2022.

As we near the 2022 midterm elections, we approach the midway point of Joe Biden’s first term as president of the United States. When Biden took office, the nation was in turmoil. The COVID-19 pandemic raged due to the previous administration’s inability to confront the issue. The country was in shock after the January 6 riot at the Capitol building, which put countless members of congress's lives in danger and democracy in peril.

The nation desperately needed a new commitment to climate change after the previous administration rolled back climate protections. America was also on shaky ground economically after the pandemic brought unemployment to its highest rate since the Great Depression and businesses struggled to stay afloat amid lockdowns and labor shortages.

Joe Biden promised steady, bi-partisan leadership at a time of intense political division and halfway through his first term, he’s kept that promise.

“Biden has governed from the center, remained sensitive to important issues affecting voters on the left and right and achieved a moderate level of congressional bipartisanship,” Thomas C. Oakes wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times.


via The White House/Flickr

Biden’s presidency has been transformative, although it didn’t appear to be that way in the beginning.

“Seriously, it has been amazing to watch the media narrative on the Biden administration change,” Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times in August. “Just a few weeks ago President Biden was portrayed as hapless, on the edge of presiding over a failed presidency. Then came the Inflation Reduction Act, a big employment report and some good news on inflation, and suddenly we’re hearing a lot about his accomplishments.”

Here are 23 of Joe Biden’s greatest accomplishments as president of the United States.

1. Passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package to increase investment in the national network of bridges and roads, airports, public transport and national broadband internet, as well as waterways and energy systems.

2. Helped get more than 500 million life-saving COVID-19 vaccinations in the arms of Americans through the American Rescue Plan.

3. Stopped a 30-year streak of federal inaction on gun violence by signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that created enhanced background checks, closed the “boyfriend” loophole and provided funds for youth mental health.

4. Made a $369 billion investment in climate change, the largest in American history, through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

5. Ended the longest war in American history by pulling the troops out of Afghanistan.

6. Provided $10,000 to $20,000 in college debt relief to Americans with loans who make under $125,000 a year.

7. Cut child poverty in half through the American Rescue Plan.

8. Capped prescription drug prices at $2,000 per year for seniors on Medicare through the Inflation Reduction Act.

9. Passed the COVID-19 relief deal that provided payments of up to $1,400 to many struggling U.S. citizens while supporting renters and increasing unemployment benefits.

10. Achieved historically low unemployment rates after the pandemic caused them to skyrocket.

11. Imposed a 15% minimum corporate tax on some of the largest corporations in the country, ensuring that they pay their fair share, as part of the historic Inflation Reduction Act.

via The White House/Flickr

12. Recommitted America to the global fight against climate change by rejoining the Paris Agreement.

13. Strengthened the NATO alliance in support of Ukraine after the Russian invasion by endorsing the inclusion of world military powers Sweden and Finland.

14. Authorized the assassination of the Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became head of the organization after the death of Osama bin Laden.

15. Gave Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices through the Inflation Reduction Act while also reducing government health spending.

16. Held Vladimir Putin accountable for his invasion of Ukraine by imposing stiff economic sanctions.

17. Boosted the budget of the Internal Revenue Service by nearly $80 billion to reduce tax evasion and increase revenue.

18. Created more jobs in one year (6.6 million) than any other president in U.S. history.

The White House/Flickr

19. Reduced healthcare premiums under the Affordable Care Act by $800 a year as part of the American Rescue Plan.

20. Signed the PACT Act to address service members’ exposure to burn pits and other toxins.

21. Signed the CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen American manufacturing and innovation.

22. Reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act through 2027.

23. Halted all federal executions after the previous administration reinstated them after a 17-year freeze.

Kristen Bell announces This Saves Lives new partnership with Upworthy.

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Every day, Upworthy shares stories that spotlight the very best of humanity. But if there’s one cause that unites us all, it’s solving child hunger.

In a recent poll of our followers, we found that child hunger is the issue they care about most. So today, we’re doing something about it. We’ve joined forces with humanitarian snack brand This Saves Lives to end child hunger.

This Saves Lives co-founder, actress Kristen Bell.

This Saves Lives was founded in 2013 with the goal of ending early childhood severe acute malnutrition. Its solution is simple, for every snack you purchase, they give life-saving food to a child in need. This Saves Lives has already donated over 30 million packets of lifesaving food in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya and beyond. We hope our new partnership works to feed millions more.

“Will you join us? It’s easy and delicious.” — Kristen Bell.

Join us and explore delicious snacks that give back at thissaveslives.com/doinggoodtogether.

Identity

Gay choir teacher breaks down when his class gives a surprise performance at his wedding

Christopher Landis had kept his marriage secret because he wasn't sure how students or parents would react.

via Pexels

Two men exchanging rings in a wedding ceremony.

Christopher Landis, a choir director at Hingham Middle School in Massachusetts, didn’t tell his students he was engaged to Joe Michienzie three years ago. According to Inside Edition, whenever they asked who Michienzie was, Christopher would say, "That's Joe. He's my friend."

Landis kept his relationship a secret in front of his students because he wasn’t sure how their parents would react. Sadly, even today, LGBTQ people still have to be discreet about their personal lives in some professions.

This is sad for the teachers who have to stay closeted and also for the LGBTQ students who miss out on having a positive role model.

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Sponsored

This is the most important van in NYC… and it’s full of socks.

How can socks make such a huge difference? You'd be surprised.

all photos provided by Coalition for The Homeless

Every night, the van delivers nourishment in all kinds of ways to those who need it most

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Homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 50,000 people sleep each night in a shelter, while thousands of others rely on city streets, the subway system and other public locations as spaces to rest.

That’s why this meal (and sock) delivery van is an effective resource for providing aid to those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Every night of the year, from 7pm to 9:30, the Coalition for the Homeless drives a small fleet of vans to over 25 stops throughout upper and lower Manhattan and in the Bronx. At each stop, adults and families in need can receive a warm meal, a welcoming smile from volunteers, and a fresh, comfy new pair of Bombas socks. Socks may be even more important than you think.

Bombas was founded in 2013 after the discovery that socks were the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.

Access to fresh, clean socks is often limited for individuals experiencing homelessness—whether someone is living on the street and walking for much of the day, or is unstably housed without reliable access to laundry or storage. And for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness —expenses might need to be prioritized for more critical needs like food, medication, school supplies, or gas. Used socks can’t be donated to shelters for hygienic reasons, making this important item even more difficult to supply to those who need it the most.

Bombas offers its consumers durable, long-lasting and comfortable socks, and for every pair of Bombas socks purchased, an additional pair of specially-designed socks is donated to organizations supporting those in need, like Coalition for the Homeless. What started out as a simple collaboration with a few organizations and nonprofits to help individuals without housing security has quickly become a bona fide giving movement. Bombas now has approximately 3,500 Giving Partners nationwide.

Though every individual’s experience is unique, there can frequently be an inherent lack of trust of institutions that want to help—making a solution even more challenging to achieve. “I’ve had people reach out when I’m handing them a pair of socks and their hands are shaking and they’re looking around, and they’re wondering ‘why is this person being nice to me?’” Robbi Montoya—director at Dorothy Day House, another Giving Partner—told Bombas.

Donations like socks are a small way to create connection. And they can quickly become something much bigger. Right now over 1,000 people receive clothing and warm food every night, rain or shine, from a Coalition for the Homeless van. That bit of consistent kindness during a time of struggle can help offer the feeling of true support. This type of encouragement is often crucial for organizations to help those take the next difficult steps towards stability.

This philosophy helped Bombas and its abundance of Giving Partners extend their reach beyond New York City. Over 75 million clothing items have been donated to those who need it the most across all 50 states. Over the years Bombas has accumulated all kinds of valuable statistics, information, and highlights from Giving Partners similar to the Coalition for the Homeless vans and Dorothy Day House, which can be found in the Bombas Impact Report.

In the Impact Report, you’ll also find out how to get involved—whether it’s purchasing a pair of Bombas socks to get another item donated, joining a volunteer group, or shifting the conversation around homelessness to prioritize compassion and humanity.

To find out more, visit BeeBetter.com.

Jennifer Aniston shared her difficulties trying to have a baby in an interview with Allure.

For years, rumors of Jennifer Aniston possibly being pregnant have circulated through the media and internet gossip mill. Aniston has called these rumors "nasty" and "hurtful," but has largely kept quiet about that part of her personal life.

Now, at 53, Aniston is opening up about her efforts to have a baby and countless women are seeing themselves in her fertility journey.

In an interview with Allure magazine, Aniston shared that she spent years during her 30s and 40s trying to get pregnant amid the repeated, swirling rumors that she was.

"It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road," she said. “All the years and years and years of speculation...It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

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An Italian preschooler's Italian rant has people in stitches.

All people have a need to communicate, but the way we do that varies greatly from place to place. Every culture has its own communication peculiarities that make our human family delightfully diverse.

Not only do humans speak thousands of languages around the world, but we also engage in culturally specific speaking styles, speech patterns and body language, some of which are immediately identifiable.

Case in point: the Italian "finger purse."

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