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The Obama Administration: September 1-15, 2010

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The United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit for religious discrimination in the United States District Court in San Francisco against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of an 18-year-old woman who said she applied for her first job at the company's store at the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas and was turned down because she wore a Muslim headscarf. "This retailer that targets a youth market is sending the message that you cannot aspire to their 'All American' brand if you wear a head covering to comply with your faith," said William Tamayo, the agency's regional attorney. Source

The United States changed commanders in Iraq. Commanding General of United States Forces in Iraq Raymond Odierno turned over the reins of the approximately 50,000 American troops who remained in Iraq to Army General Lloyd Austin. Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden at the Change of Command Ceremony Video

Day586/Sep2nd/Thursday: The President met with his national security team in the Situation Room of the White House.

The President telephoned French President Nicolas Sarkozy to thank him for his support for a comprehensive Middle East peace, and to consult on next steps to encourage further progress in the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The President noted that he had a productive series of meetings on September 1, 2010, and said that he believed Israel and the Palestinian Authority were committed to achieving progress. President Sarkozy affirmed his full support for the peace talks and his commitment to working with President Obama and the other leaders to advance the process. Source

The President issued a Presidential Memorandum to extend until September 14, 2011 the exercise of certain authorities under the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect to Cuba.

United States Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced that the University of Michigan and West Virginia University would each lead consortia under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center. The two consortia would receive $25 million in total funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for this work, matched by the guarantees, for a total of $50 million in U.S. funding. The Chinese side would contribute an additional $50 million, for a total of $100 million for the project. Source

The United States Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury in Honolulu indicted Mordechai Orian, an Israeli national; Pranee Tubchumpol, Shane Germann, and Sam Wongsesanit, of Global Horizons Manpower Inc., located in Los Angeles; and Thai labor recruiters Ratawan Chunharutai and Podjanee Sinchai for engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude. The charges arose from the defendants' alleged scheme to coerce the labor and services of approximately 400 Thai nationals brought by the defendants to the United States from Thailand from May 2004 through September 2005 to work on farms across the country under the U.S. federal agricultural guest worker program. Orian, Tubchumpol, and Chunharutai were also charged with three substantive counts of compelling the labor of three Thai guest workers. Source

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, accusing the Arizona lawman of refusing for more than a year to turn over records in an investigation into allegations his department discriminated against Hispanics. Source

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Day587/Sep3rd/Friday: The President provided remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House on the release of employment figures for August 2010, noting that while the private sector created 67,000 new jobs last month, his Administration would continue to make the economy and employment its top priority. Transcript Video

(less info) The President issued a Presidential Memorandum that declared that, under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 , "" it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $33 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs resulting from recent devastating flooding in Pakistan."

The President declared an emergency existed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local response efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Earl beginning on September 1, 2010, and continuing. The President's action authorized the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts for the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. Specifically, FEMA was authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, was provided at 75 percent Federal funding. Source

The President proclaimed September 6, 2010, as Labor Day. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

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Day588/Sep4th/Satursday: In his weekly address, the President reaffirmed his commitment to America's workers and the middle class, declaring, "This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility. We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation one people all of us vested in one another." Transcript Video

National Economic Council Director Larry Summers and Deputy National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon traveled to Beijing, China for three days of meetings with Chinese leaders and policymakers, including Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo. Summers and Donilon discussed a wide range of issues touching on bilateral and international issues. Source

Day589/Sep5th/Sunday: The President had nothing scheduled.

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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Day599/Sep15th/Wednesday: The White House, United ... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:58:18 AM
It's unfortunate we should have to let soldiers kn... by Recce1 on Monday, Sep 20, 2010 at 3:29:45 PM
Uncle Sam distributing $500 a month back "Stop Los... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 at 12:29:30 PM
Uncle Sam has $500 a month backpay "Stop Loss" so... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 at 1:07:04 PM