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The Obama Administration: January 1-16, 2010

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This article is the twenty-fourth 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.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this earthquake. We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti."--Barack Obama, President of the United States, January 12, 2010

Day343/Jan1st/Friday: New Years Day--the President, the Chronicler and the nation welcomed the new year 2010 and the start of a new decade.

Day344/Jan2nd/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President discussed the December 25, 2009 attempt to detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest Flight 253 and "his broader strategy to fight Al Qaeda". Source Transcript Video

Day345/Jan3rd/Sunday: The President and First Family departed from Honolulu, Hawaii in the evening, in flight back to Washington D.C., their holiday vacation concluded.

Day346/Jan4th/Monday: The President and First Family arrived in Washington D.C. and returned to the White House.

The President proclaimed January 1, 2010, as the 40th Anniversary of the /National Environmental Policy Act, and called upon all executive branch agencies to promote public involvement and transparency in their implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act. Source

The President proclaimed January 2010 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1, 2010. Source

The President proclaimed January 2010 as National Mentoring Month. Source

Day347/Jan5th/Tuesday: the President and Vice President Joe Biden met in the Situation Room of the White House with agency heads to discuss ongoing reviews of the December 25, 2009 attempt to detonate an explosive device onboard Northwest Flight 253, security enhancements and intelligence-sharing improvements. Source Afterward, the President delivered brief remarks on the security reviews in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Transcript Video

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States House of Representative and U.S. Senate Democratic leaders in the Oval Office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Representative Steny Hoyer attended the meeting in person, but U.S. Senator Harry Reid and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin participated via conference call. According to Politico, the President "told them that he wants a final bill that includes a tax on Cadillac insurance plans and an independent Medicare commission. And he forcefully communicated his desire to pass reform in time for his State of the Union address, according to a Democratic insider familiar with the conversation."

Vice President Joe Biden met with the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq Ad Melkert, to discuss developments in Iraq. The Vice President offered continued U.S. government support for the indispensable role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. Source

Amanda Simpson, believed to be the United States first openly transgender presidential appointee, had her first day on the job as senior technical adviser in the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, where she will monitor the exports of U.S. weapons technology. Source

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is informing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the agency supports issuing a Clean Water Act permit for the Hobet 45 mine in Lincoln County, operated by Hobet Mining, LLC. The EPA made this decision after extensive discussions between EPA and the company resulted in additional significant protections against environmental impacts. Source

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