This article is the twentieth in a continuing series chronicling the unfolding history of the Obama Administration. The writer's opinions are not offered, leaving the readers to arrive at their own conclusions.
"Your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life's work is our security, and the freedom that we all too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--that is their legacy."
__Barack Obama, President of the United States, November 10, 2009
Day283/Nov1st/Sunday: The Chronicler is without information to report.
Day284/Nov2nd/Monday: The President met with the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) to discuss long-term, innovation based ideas to sustain growth and continue to create jobs of the future. The President called for a new "post bubble growth model" with greater focus on U.S. exports. "If Germany, a wealthy, highly unionized industrial nation, can generate 40 percent of its economy as export-based, then it seems to me that there is something we're missing that they are doing right, and we have got to figure that out," the President said. The meeting was the second full board meeting of the PERAB and was live streamed. Transcript Video 1 Video 2
Obama Administration Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers convened the Council in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The Council focused on the state of the economy as well as Obama Administration efforts to create new jobs and put the country on the path to sustainable, long-term growth. Among the attendees were Director of Domestic Policy Melody Barnes, Office of Energy and Climate Change Director Carol Browner, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Export-Important Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, Emvionmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, National Security Council Director James L. Jones, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Chief of Staff to the Vice President Ron Klain, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. full list of attendees
In a continuing effort to provide communities with the latest information on health care reform, at 3:30PM, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett joined in a live-streamed online chat session to discuss the importance of needed changes in our health care system for traditionally underserved communities throughout the country. Source Video
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum with "stakeholders" from 39 States across the country. Deputy Secretary David Hayes and other top Department of Interior officials were featured speakers at the forum that focused on the importance of renewable energy and job creation on public lands, climate impact and adaptation, and efforts to support and maintain the treasured landscapes of America in the emerging clean energy economy. Source&Video
Jeff Bader, the East Asia Director on the White House's National Security Council said the President will continue the US policy of supporting but not recognizing Taiwan and said, "Our policy on arms sales to Taiwan has not changed." Source
The President welcomed His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople to the White House.The President offered support for the mission of the Ecumenical Patriarch, for the reopening of the Halki Seminary in Istanbul and for his work on global interfaith dialogue. Source
The President was joined in the Cabinet Room of the White House for a United States-European Union Summit with the Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, President of the European Commission Manuel Barroso, and the European Council High Representative Javier Solana. Attendee Remarks after the Meeting 2009 US-EU Joint Declaration and Annexes Video
The President met with United States Senator Blanche Lincoln in the Oval Office.
The President signed into law:
S. 1818, which renames the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy and Native American Public Policy Act of 1992, and the Foundation and Trust Fund established by that Act, to honor both Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall. Source
United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced this day as the first when nominations will be accepted for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will take place in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2010, encouraging entrepreneurs, investors, academics, leaders of entrepreneurship networks, foundations, and businesses and all those focused on advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim-majority countries, and Muslim communities to nominate delegates to the Summit by the deadline of November 30, 2009. Ideas could be submitted here.
Day286/Nov4th/Wednesday: The President attended a credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors in the Oval Office of the White House.
The President traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, where he and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with approximately 40 students at Wright Middle School. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders were chosen via teacher recommendation. Afterward, the President addressed strengthening America's education system to an audience of approximately 500 of the school's students, parents, teachers, school officials and local and state leaders. Transcript of Remarks to Students The President's Remarks on Strengthening Education Video
The President nominated Judge Albert Diaz and Judge James A. Wynn to serve on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Diaz currently serves as a Special Superior Court Judge in North Carolina and Wynn currently sits on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Source&Bios
The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:
John Gibbons to be U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts. Gibbons currently serves as a Lieutenant with the Massachusetts State Police in Boston, Massachusetts Source&Bio
Robert Heun to be U.S. Marshal for the District of Alaska. Heun recently retired as the Chief of Police in Anchorage, Alaska. Source&Bio
Grayling Grant Williams, of Maryland, to be Director of the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security Source
The President returned to the White House in the evening, where he and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an event celebrating classical music in the East Room and the President delivered remarks. Performers included Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Alisa Weilerstein and Awadagin Pratt. The concert was streamed live on www.WhiteHouse.gov. Transcript of the President's Remarks Classical Music Workshop Video#1 Classical Music Workshop Video#2 JoshuaBell&SharonIsbin JoshuaBell&AwadaginPratt AlisaWeilerstein&JasonYoder AlisaWeilerstein&SujariBritt Alisa Weilerstein Awadagin Pratt Sharon Isbin
Day287/Nov5th/Thursday: the President provided opening and closing remarks and participated in an interactive discussion with tribal leaders at the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the United States Department of the Interior. The conference provided leaders from the 564 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of the Obama Administration. Each federally recognized tribe was asked to send one representative to the conference. In his closing remarks, The President commented on the shooting that occurred that afternoon in Fort Hood, Texas: "My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood. These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil." The President's Opening Remarks The President's Closing Remarks Video Opening Remarks Video Closing Remarks
The President met with United States Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in the Oval Office of the White House.
The President met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
The President met with representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office.
The President met with President Ian Khama of Botswana in the Oval Office. After Meeting Remarks by President Obama & President Ian Khama
The President made surprise stop by the Press Briefing Room of the White House and gave brief remarks, declaring he was "Extraordinarily pleased and grateful to learn that the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and American Medical Association (AMA) are both supporting the health insurance reform bill" about to be voted upon in the United States house of Representatives. Source
Vice President Joe Biden, at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C., moderated an in-depth discussion focusing on the long-term, structural challenges facing middle class families in today's economy. Source Video
Day288/Nov6th/Friday: The President signed H.R. 3548, the "Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009," which provides an additional 14 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) in all States and six additional weeks of EUC in very high unemployment States; extends the Federal Unemployment Tax Act surtax through June 30, 2011; extends the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit through April 30, 2010, and provides a $6,500 credit to certain other homebuyers through April 30, 2010; increases from two to five preceding years the period for which businesses can offset net operation losses in 2008 and 2009 against income; and makes certain other changes to Federal unemployment programs and tax. Fact Sheet
The President spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House, providing an update on the investigations of the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. Transcript Video
The President visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the afternoon.
According to Politico.com, the President had lunch with these jounalists; CNN's David Gergen, Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, Newsweek's Jon Meacham and Howard Fineman, Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, POLITICO's Mike Allen, Mara Liasson of NPR and Fox News Channel, Josh Marshall founder of
New York Times. Source
The President met with Congressman-Elect Bill Owens in the Oval Office of the White House.
The President met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Berlin, Germany to attend the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will lead the delegation.
Members of the Presidential Delegation:
Philip D. Murphy, U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany
Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft USAF (Ret
the President signed into law:
H.J.Res. 26, which proclaims Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously;
H.R. 1209, the "Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009," which requires the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861;
H.R. 3548, the "Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009," which provides an additional 14 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) in all States and six additional weeks of EUC in very high unemployment States; extends the Federal Unemployment Tax Act surtax through June 30, 2011; extends the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit through April 30, 2010, and provides a $6,500 credit to certain other homebuyers through April 30, 2010; increases from two to five preceding years the period for which businesses can offset net operation losses in 2008 and 2009 against income; and makes certain other changes to Federal unemployment programs and tax laws;
H.R. 3606, the "Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009," which amends the Truth in Lending Act to make a technical correction to an amendment made by the Credit CARD Act of 2009;
S. 832, which grants a Federal charter to the Military Officers Association of America; and
S. 1694, which allows funding for the Commerce Department's Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant Program to remain available for an additional two years through FY 2012. Source
The President made additional disaster assistance available to the State of North Dakota by authorizing an increase in the level of Federal funding for Public Assistance projects undertaken as a result of severe storms and flooding during the period of March 13 to August 10, 2009. Under the President's major disaster declaration issued for the State of North Dakota on March 24, 2009, and subsequent amendments, Federal funding was made available to the State and local governments in multiple counties for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation. Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, and Other Needs Assistance under Section 408 were authorized at 75 percent Federal funding of total eligible costs. Under the President's order , the Federal share for Public Assistance, including direct Federal assistance, has been increased to 90 percent of the total eligible costs.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600. Source
The President extended for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12938, as amended, with respect to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, first declared on November 14, 1994, and extended in each subsequent year, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)). Source
Day289/Nov7th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President condemned as "despicable" attacks at Fort Hood, honoring those who were killed and injured. He also commended those who stood up to help and console those affected: "even as we saw the worst of human nature on full display, we also saw the best of America," the President said. Transcript Video
The President released a statement after House of Representatives passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, declaring, "Thanks to the hard work of the House, we are just two steps away from achieving health insurance reform in America. Now the United States Senate must follow suit and pass its version of the legislation. I am absolutely confident it will, and I look forward to signing comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year." Transcript
Day290/Nov8th/Sunday: The Chronicler is without information to report.
Day291/Nov9th/Monday: In the evening, the President, in the Oval Office of the White House, signed an Executive Order on the employment of veterans in the federal government to make the Federal Government the model employer of Veterans. The Executive Order establishes a Council on Veterans Employment and a Veterans Employment Program office within most Federal agencies. "Honoring our sacred trust with America's veterans means doing all we can to help them find work when they come home so they never feel as if the American Dream they fought to defend is out of reach for them and their families," said
President Obama. "But this initiative is about more than repaying our debt for their courageous service and selfless sacrifice. It's also about continuing to fill the ranks of federal employees with men and women who possess the skills, dedication, and sense of duty that Americans deserve from their public servants. And few embody those qualities like our nation's veterans."For more information, visit: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/Source Executive Order
The President met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for a 70 minute meeting in the Oval Office private dining room. Discussed were a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship. The President reaffirmed the strong commitment of the United States to Israel's security, and discussed security cooperation on a range of issues. The President and Prime Minister also discussed Iran and how to move forward on Middle East peace. Source
A 20 minute meeting between the larger U.S. and Israeli Prime Minister's delegations took place at the White House. Source
The President announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
Joshua Gotbaum, Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Raul Perea-Henze, Assistant Secretary of Policy and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs
Carrie Hessler Radelet, Deputy Director of the United States Peace Corps
Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, Representative of the United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador, United States Mission to the United Nations
Laura Kennedy, Representative of the United States to the Conference on Disarmament, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State Source&Bios
The President announced he will appoint these four individuals to serve on the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission:
Fred W. Smith Source&Bios
Vice President Joe Biden telephoned several Iraqi leaders to congratulate them on the passage of amendments to Iraq's election law, paving the way for national elections in January. He described the vote as a victory for the people of Iraq as it will help consolidate Iraq's democracy and security. He looked forward to prompt approval of the law by Iraq's Presidency Council. He expressed continuing U.S. support to the United Nations Mission in Iraq and underscored unwavering U.S. commitment to the Iraqis as they prepare for their upcoming elections. Source
The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Blog premeired at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/11/06/welcome-white-house-partnerships-blog.
Day292/Nov10th/Tuesday: The President traveled to Killeen, Texas and met with families of the dead and wounded soldiers and their families at III Corps Headquarters, Fort Hood.
The President addressed the Fort Hood community during a memorial service for the soldiers and civilians killed on November 5, 2009. Among the President's remarks:
"Your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life's work is our security, and the freedom that we all too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- that is their legacy."
"It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know -- no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice -- in this world, and the next."
"We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes."
"We're a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses. And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln's words, and always pray to be on the side of God."
The President met with wounded soldiers at Darnall Army Medical Center.
The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:
Dr. Rajiv Shah as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Source&Bio
Erin C. Conaton, Under Secretary of the Air Force, Department of Defense
Cynthia Attwood, Member, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
Sandford Blitz, Federal Co-Chair, Northern Border Regional Commission
Douglas A. Criscitello, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development Source&Bios
Anthony R. Coscia, of New Jersey, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors for a term of five years. (New Position). Source
Albert DiClemente, of Delaware, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors for the remainder of the term expiring July 26, 2011 Source
The President announced his intent to appoint two individuals to serve on the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad:Emil Fish
The White House released a copy of a memorandum by the President ordering the inventory of "all intelligence in U.S. Government files that existed prior to November 6, 2009, relevant to the tragic shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, especially anything having to do with the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, U.S. Army" and "how any such intelligence was handled, shared, and acted upon within individual departments and agencies and what intelligence was shared with others". Source
The President returned to the White House in the evening.
Day293/Nov11th/Wednesday: The President hosted a Veterans Day breakfast in the East Room of the White House.
The President and the First Lady Michelle Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery. James Gordon Meek New York Daily News Washington Bureau report on his unexpected meeting with the Obamas at Arlington. Video
The President laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The President met with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House.
The President signed into law S. 475, the "Military Spouses Residency Relief Act", which provides that when a service member leaves his or her home state in accord with military or naval orders, the service member's spouse may retain residency in his or her home state for voting and tax purposes, after relocating from that state to accompany the service member. Source
Two Secret Service vehicles used by Vice President Joe Biden allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian at an intersection on Washington, DC's Suitland Parkway in the early morning hours. Source
Day294/Nov12th/Thursday: The President gave a brief statement to the press on the economy in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, announcing a "forum on jobs and economic growth" will be held at the White House in December 2009. "We'll gather CEOs and small business owners, economists and financial experts, as well as representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups, to talk about how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again," the President said. Transcript Video
The President traveled to Tokyo, Japan.
In the evening (Japan Standard Time [JST], the President and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Japan held a bilateral meeting and an expanded bilateral meeting, in the evening, at the Kantei, the principal workplace of the Prime Minister of Japan. Transcript Video
The President and the Prime Minister held a joint press conference.
The President continued the NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN, declaring, "Because our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the January 19, 1981, agreements with Iran is still underway, the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 2009. Therefore, consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year this national emergency with respect to Iran." Source Text of Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate
The President spent the night in Tokyo.
Vice President Joe Biden and United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Department of Transportation had jumpstarted more than 10,000 transportation projects across America thanks to its swift allocation of Recovery Act dollars. Source
Vice President Joe Biden hosted two conference calls with governors, mayors, and county officials from across the country to discuss implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The following elected officials participated:
MAYORS & COUNTY OFFICIALS:
" Mayor Robert Cluck (R -- Arlington, TX)
" Mayor Robert Duffy (D -- Rochester, NY)
" Mayor Ed Tauer (R -- Aurora, CO)
" County Executive Brian M. Hughes (D -- Mercer County, NJ)
" County Commissioner Donald Larson (D -- Brookings County, SD) Source
Federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation, seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets. The assets include bank accounts; Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston; more than 100 acres in Virginia; and a 36-story glass office tower in New York. "For two decades, the Alavi Foundation's affairs have been directed by various Iranian officials, including Iranian ambassadors to the United Nations, in violation of a series of American laws," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. Source
The President announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
" Walter Crawford Jones, United States Executive Director, African Development Bank
" Leocadia I. Zak, Director, United States Trade and Development Agency
The President will also appoint Olivia Morgan to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Source&Bios
The President proclaimed November 15, 2009, as America Recycles Day. Source
United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will not be put before the United States Congress until Congress grapples first with President Obama's pressing legislative goals. "Trade agreements are going to have to wait," Locke said at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. "Right now, the administration is focused on a very aggressive and very tight legislative agenda." Source
The Obama administration filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court stating United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has invoked new powers that were included in a budget bill for the Homeland Security Department, blocking the release of the photos. "Public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of the United States, members of the United States armed forces, or employees of the United States government deployed outside the United States," Gates said in his order blocking release of the photos. Source
The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (part of the Centers for Substances and Disease Control and Prevention) has overturned its 2003 research that said no health hazards were caused by decades of military exercises on Vieques, a bombing range-turned-tourist destination off Puerto Rico's east coast. Director Howard Frumkin said the agency intends to "modify" some of its earlier research on Vieques, where the U.S. and its allies trained for conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq. Source
United States federal bank regulators shut down Orion Bank and Century Bank in Florida and Pacific Coast National Bank in California, increasing to 123 the number of U.S. bank failures in 2009. Source
Day296/Nov14th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President spoke about the review he ordered into the Fort Hood incident. The President urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the November 5, 2009 shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead. Transcript Video
The President joined 20 other world leaders in Singapore at the second day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum.
The President met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for talks on reaching a new arms reduction deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start I), which expires on December 5, 2009. Source Statements President Obama and President Medvedev Russia after Bilateral Meeting
Day297/Nov15th/Sunday: The President told representatives of APEC's 21 member nations that he looks forward to seeing them in flowered shirts and grass skirts when he hosts the 2011 version of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Hawaii. Source
The President, during his summit with leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations, which included Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein told Myanmar's junta to free pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Source
[Author's note: all days in these chronicles are full days. The Obama Inaugeration on January 20, 2009 was a half-day, so not counted.]