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article imageObama ridiculed for adding plugs to past presidents' biographies

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By Larry Clifton     May 16, 2012 in Politics
Washington - The Obama administration is being ridiculed by conservatives and the media for linking plugs for Obama’s “accomplishments” to the official online biographies of nearly every president over the last century.
Obama’s staff went into the pages of U.S. Presidents as far back as Calvin Coolidge and added friendly looking “Did you know?” fact boxes to the end of the official biographies of the former commanders in chief, according to Fox news report.
For example, Obama’s staff added the following plug to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan: Did you know? "In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule."
The White House has come under heavy criticism from conservatives and has been ridiculed in blogs, networks, cable news shows and other mediums for making the self-serving changes to Reagan's page and those of other former presidents.
Late Tuesday, White House spokesmen worked overtime to suppress the issue, saying the Obama team was merely adding links, not changing the biographies per say.
"No biographies have been altered," a White House official told Fox News. "We simply added links at the bottom of each page to related whitehouse.gov content, which is a commonly used best practice to encourage people to browse more pages on a site."
The additions do include links, however each link includes praise for an Obama administration policy or initiative in the process.
Franklin D. Roosevelt biography now links to the following Obama administration claim:
"On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations."
And visitors are linked to the following claims without regard to the costs or constitutionality of Obama’s unpopular health care reform at the end of President Lyndon Johnson's bio - drawing a link between his signing of Medicare and Obama's signing of the health care overhaul:
"President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965 -- providing millions of elderly health care stability. President Obama's historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the 'donut hole.'"
The changes even link Harry Truman's call for civil rights to the Obama administration's push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell,” as well as Jimmy Carter's creation of the Department of Energy to Obama's push for an "all of the above" energy approach today.
The “Obama accomplishments” vary from significant to mundane initiatives and proclamations.
On the bio of John F. Kennedy, the Obama staff cited the decision to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps with a "presidential proclamation," as a way to link the current administration to Kennedy's -- which launched the Peace Corps. Only Gerald Ford’s bio remained unchanged by the current White House staff.
Conservative blogs and publications tore into the White House links Tuesday, including creating a Twitter hashtag #ObamaInHistory mocking the President. The Republican National Committee launched a tumblr page called: "Obama in History -- World Changing Events You Didn't Know Obama Played a Part In."
The page goes on to show pictures of Obama standing with historical figures ranging from Einstein to Elvis to The Beatles. It also shows Obama at the Berlin Wall and Stonehenge.
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