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The Obama Administration: February 15-28, 2010

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This article is the twenty-seventh 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.

"Let me just make this point, John, because we're not campaigning anymore. The election is over."__Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, to United States Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain at a bipartisan meeting at the Blair House to discuss health reform legislation, February 25, 2010

Day388/Feb15th/Monday: President's Day holiday, the President returned from Camp David, but had no scheduled events.

Day389/Feb16th/Tuesday: The President traveled to Lanham, Maryland where he toured a jobs training center at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 Headquarters and delivered remarks on new investments by the Administration to create energy jobs and transition to a low carbon economy. The President announced conditional commitments by the United States Department of Energy for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at a plant in Burke, Georgia. The project was scheduled to be the first U.S. nuclear power plant to break ground in nearly three decades. Transcript Video

The President met with United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in the Oval Office.

The President met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office.

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The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Republic of Croatia to attend the inauguration of Croatian President-elect Ivo Josipovic on February 18, 2010: The Honorable Jacob J. Lew, Deputy Secretary, Department of State, head of the delegation and Member of the Presidential Delegation the Honorable James B. Foley, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement the Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of December 18-20, 2009. Federal funding was made available to the Commonwealth and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm and snowstorm in the counties of Albemarle, Allegheny, Amherst, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Buchanan, Caroline, Culpepper, Dickenson, Fairfax, Grayson, Greene, Hanover, Highland, Lee, Louisa, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Wise and the independent cities of Alexandria, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, Norton, Staunton, and Waynesboro. In addition, assistance was made available to the Commonwealth and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including snow assistance, for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the incident period. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire Commonwealth. Source

The President signed into law:

H.R. 730, the "Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act," which establishes in statute the National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center in the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and requires DHS to establish a National Nuclear Forensics Expertise Development Program to provide scholarships and fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students for studies in specialties relevant to nuclear forensics. Source

The President signed an Executive Order and a letter regarding ordering the selected reserve and certain individual ready reserve members of the Armed Forces to active duty with the purpose of aiding the United States Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to support relief effort in Haiti, to be used on a limited basis, principally to support targeted functions associated with this humanitarian mission. For instance: the call-up of reserve medical personnel to replace those deployed on the hospital ship Comfort and for the deployment of a United States Coast Guard unit to help provide port security. Source

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The United States Treasury Department revealed foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities plunged by $53 billion in December 2009, a record drop. China had reduced its holdings by $34 billion, but Japan had increased its holdings by $11 billion to become the new largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries. Source

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded Toyota hand over documents for an investigation of some of the Japanese automaker's recent vehicle recalls to determine whether they met safety obligations. Source

Ten former White House advisors and other top officials participated in a public cyber war game designed to highlight the potential vulnerability of the nation's digital infrastructure to crippling attack. Source

The Obama Administration's Corporation for National and Community Service launched the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant competition in order to direct funding through grant makers (or intermediaries) across the country responsible to identify, fund and support over a period of years promising nonprofit organizations working in low-income communities. Source

Day390/Feb17th/Wednesday: The President delivered remarks on the economy on the one-year anniversary of the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) in the South Court Auditorium of the White House. Transcript Video

The President met with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President had lunch with King Juan Carlos I of Spain in the Private Dining Room of the White House. The President was joined by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the President's National Security Advisor General James Jones while the King's delegation included Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and Alberta Aza, Head of Royal Household. Source

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met in the Oval Office with United States Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill and General Raymond Odierno, Commanding General of the United States Forces in Iraq (USF-I), to review political, economic, and security developments in Iraq. They discussed the importance of broad participation in the upcoming Parliamentary elections and reaffirmed U.S. support for Iraqi efforts to promote national unity. They also discussed how to develop U.S. partnership with Iraq in sectors such as the economy and education. Source


In the evening, the President was joined by Congressional leaders and middle school students from Michigan, Florida, and Nebraska in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to congratulate the astronauts on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Endeavour on their successful ongoing mission. Transcript Video

Vice President Joe Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act with his first annual report to the President on progress (pdf). Source

United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced funding for over 50 transportation projects through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant Program. The winning TIGER projects included:

(1) Grand Moynihan Station in New York City, which will carry millions of train and subway riders each year

(2) Wyoming's Beartooth Highway the gateway to Yellowstone National Park

(3) major billion dollar freight rail corridors in the Midwest and South

(4) bridge repairs in Oklahoma and South Carolina

(5) port projects in Maine and Hawaii
(6) help construct the Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Streetcar Loop in New Orleans

(7) make safety improvements to a key highway in New Mexico Najavo country

(8) the Appalachian Regional Short Line Rail Project

(9) The Gateway Project\. A complete list of recipients can be viewed HERE. Source

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle tossed out claims for damages from the families of Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed al-Salami and Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, two Guantanamo inmates found dead in their barracks with rags stuffed down their throats in June, 2006 with a third inmate, Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi al-Utaybi. Source

Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, met with nine influential media progressives in a small conference room in the basement of the White House. Matthew Yglesias, Atrios, Oliver Willis, Thom Hartmann, Christopher Hayes, Jonathan Singer, Tim Fernholz, and Erin Kotecki Vest attended the meeting. Source

Day391/Feb18th/Thursday: The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President delivered remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House and signed an Executive Order creating the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Transcript Video


The President met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House. The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People's Republic of China, and commended the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" approach, his commitment to nonviolence and his pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government. The President stressed that he has consistently encouraged both sides to engage in direct dialogue to resolve differences and was pleased to hear about the recent resumption of talks. The President and the Dalai Lama agreed on the importance of a positive and cooperative relationship between the United States and China." Source

The President met with 24 human rights activists, who were in Washington to attend a Human Rights Summit organized by two U.S. nongovernmental organizations: Freedom House and Human Rights First. The meeting was hosted by National Security Advisor General James Jones and included other senior National Security Staff. Source

The President released a statement on the settlement in the black farmers lawsuit against USDA:

"My Administration is dedicated to ensuring that federal agencies treat all our citizens fairly, and the settlement in the Pigford (Pigford v. Glickman) case reflects that commitment. I applaud Secretary (Tom) Vilsack for his efforts to modernize operations at the USDA, as well as the work of the Justice Department in bringing these long-ignored claims of African American farmers to a rightful conclusion. I look forward to a swift resolution to this issue, so that the families affected can move on with their lives." Source

The President announced a new Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge and invited public schools across the country to compete to have him speak at their graduation. Applications were made available here... (more info) (less info) . Video Presentation

The President expressed his concern, commended the courageous actions of first responders and asked to be kept up to date as the investigation of the February 18, 2010 deliberate piloting of a small plane into an Austin, Texas, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building moved forward. Source
The President traveled to Denver, Colorado, where he delivered remarks at a fundraiser for United States Senator Michael Bennet at the Fillmore Auditorium, and then delivered remarks at a fundraising reception for Senator Bennet at the Sheraton Hotel. Transcript

The President traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada where he attended a National Democratic Committee (DNC) fundraising dinner at Palms Hotel and Casino owner George J. Maloof, Jr.'s home. After the dinner, The President traveled to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino where he stayed on the Las Vegas Strip. Source

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report on health insurance companies that planned to raise rates by double digits in states across the country. Source

Day392/Feb19th/Friday: The President conducted a town hall meeting at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada, where he announced announced help for the hardest hit housing markets. With $1.5 billion from the funds set aside for housing under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA), the program applied to states that have suffered an average home price drop of over 20% from the peak. Transcript Video

The President delivered remarks to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Transcript Video

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Maryland and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of December 18-20, 2009. Federal funding was made available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in the counties of Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, and Queen Anne's. In addition, assistance was made available to the State and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including snow assistance, for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the incident period. Source

The United States Federal Reserve (FED) increased the interest rate from 0.50 to 0.75 on emergency loans, raised the minimum bid rate for its Term Auction Facility to 0.50 percent from 0.25 percent, and shortened the maximum maturity for lending from primary credit loans to overnight. The changes were meant to prod depository institutions to turn to private funding markets when interested in short-term credit, allowing the Fed to act as a backup or emergency source. Source

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took over La Jolla Bank, FSB, in La Jolla, Calif. The bank had 10 branches and about $3.6 billion in assets and $2.8 billion in deposits. Also seized was George Washington Savings Bank in Orland Park, Ill. It had four branches and about $412.8 million in assets and $397 million in deposits. Also seized were the smaller Marco Community Bank, with a single office on Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast, and La Coste National Bank of La Coste, Texas. Source

Day393/Feb20th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President spoke about premium hikes from health insurance companies, especially those already making massive profits, as further proof of the need for reform. Transcript Video

The United States State Department lifted an advisory that warned American travelers of security concerns in Syria. Syria remained on a U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism. Source

Day394/Feb21st/Sunday: the President and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed the National Governors Association to the White House for the 2010 Governors' Ball. The evening featured a performance by Harry Connick, Jr. Video Video#2

Day395/Feb22nd/Monday: The President delivered remarks at a meeting with Governors at the White House. Transcript


The President met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in the Oval Office.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis s in the Oval Office.

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Robert Stephen Ford, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Syrian Arab Republic Bio

Jonathan Andrew Hatfield, of Virginia, to be Inspector General, Corporation for National and Community Service Bio

Larry Robinson, Florida A&M University Vice President of Research, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Source

The President withdrew the February 4, 2010 nomination of Larry Robinson, of Hawaii, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Source

New credit card rules took effect today:

(1) credit card companies can no longer retroactively increase rates or increase rates in the first year you open an account

(2) no longer charge misleading late fees

(3) no longer use over-limit fee traps

(4) are required to send ample notification if they plan to make changes to terms

(5) must employ clear, simple standard payment dates and times

(6) must adhere to new protections for underage consumers

(7) must adhere to restrictions on double billing

(8) must adhere to caps on high-fee cards Video

Day396/Feb23rd/Tuesday: The President met with United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk in the Oval Office of the White House.

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

The President Announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Kyiv, Ukraine to Attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Viktor Yanukovych, President-elect of Ukraine on February 25, 2010. The Honorable General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret), National Security Advisor to the President, will lead the delegation:

The Honorable John F. Tefft, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

The Honorable Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Ms. Kristina A. Kvien, Director for European Economic Affairs and European Union Relations, National Security Council Source

The President sent the United States Congress a notice in which he declared "the Cuban government has not demonstrated that it will refrain from the use of excessive force against U.S. vessels or aircraft that may engage in memorial activities or peaceful protest north of Cuba. And the unauthorized entry of any U.S.-registered vessel into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to the foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing the national emergency with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867 as amended by Proclamation 7757." Source

The President had dinner with business leaders, including members of the executive committee of the Business Roundtable, in the State Dining Room of the White House.

The President announced his strong support for repealing the antitrust exemption currently enjoyed by health insurers. Source

Vice President Joe Biden hosted a conference call with Mayors and a county official from across the country to discuss implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The following officials participated:

Mayor Ron V. Dellums (D-Oakland, CA)

Mayor Bob Foster (D-Long Beach, CA)

Mayor Tom Martin (R-Lubbock, TX)

Mayor Raul G. Salinas (D-Laredo, TX)

David Ferdinand ,County Commissioner (R-Canyon County, ID) Source

The United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced it had added 450 institutions to its list of challenged lenders in 2009 and warned that the industry was likely to remain under stress, putting enormous strain on the government-administered insurance fund that protects customer deposits. Source

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) served warrants on the Detroit-area offices of three Japanese parts suppliers: Denso International America, Yazaki North America and Tokai Rika, also known as Tram. Source

Day397/Feb24th/Wednesday: The President delivered remarks at the Business Roundtable's 2010 First Quarter Meeting at the St. Regis Hotel. Transcript Video


The President attended a credentialing ceremony for foreign ambassadors in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in the Oval Office.

The President called the home of former Vice President Dick Cheney and spoke with him, wishing him a quick recovery from his recent heart attack. Source

The United States Commerce Department slapped preliminary duties ranging from 11 to 13 percent on steel pipe from China to offset government subsidies. US Steel Corporation and the United Steelworkers union had filed a petition in October 2009 asking for protection against the Chinese imports and Texas company V&M Star LP and Illinois company TMK IPSCO also signed the petition asking for relief. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Sharon Johnson Coleman, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois Bio

Laura E. Duffy, of California, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of California for a term of four years Bio

Gary Scott Feinerman, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois Bio

Wilfredo A. Ferrer, of Florida, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida for the term of four years Bio

John Dale Foster, of West Virginia, to be United States Marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia for the term of four years Bio

Gary Michael Gaskins, of West Virginia, to be United States Marshal for the Northern District of West Virginia for the term of four years Bio

Alicia Anne Garrido Limtiaco, of Guam, to be United States Attorney for the District of Guam and concurrently United States Attorney for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands for the term of four years Bio

William Joseph Martinez, of Colorado, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado Bio

John B. Stevens, Jr., of Texas, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas for the term of four years Bio

Paul Ward, of North Dakota, to be United States Marshal for the District of North Dakota for the term of four years Bio

Stephen T. Ayers, of Maryland, to be Architect of the Capitol for the term of ten years Bio

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, of Michigan, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences for a term expiring November 28, 2012 Bio

Robert Neil Chatigny, of Connecticut, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Bio

Adam Gamoran, of Wisconsin, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences for a term expiring November 28, 2011 Bio

Goodwin Liu, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, vice a new position created by Public Law 110-177, approved January 7, 2008. Bio

Bridget Terry Long, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences for a term expiring November 28, 2012 Bio

Margaret R. McLeod, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences for a term expiring November 28, 2012 Bio

Eduardo M. Ochoa, of California, to be Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, Department of Education Bio Source

Day398/Feb25th/Thursday: The President conducted a bipartisan meeting at the Blair House to discuss health reform legislation. The entire meeting was streamed live on www.WhiteHouse.gov. Remarks-President-Senator Alexander Speaker Pelosi & SenatorReid Opening Statements Remarks of the President After Morning Session Remarks of the President in Discussion of Insurance Reform Remarks of the President in Discussion of Deficit Discussion of Cost Containment Remarks of the Ppresident in Discussion of Insurance Coverage Video#1:Opening Video#2:Controlling Costs Video#3:Health Insurance Reform Video#4:Reducing the Deficit Thru Health Reform Video#5:Expanding Health Care Coverage

The President delivered remarks and presented the awards for the 2009 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Oklahoma and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm during the period of December 24-25, 2009.Federal funding was made available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by a severe winter storm in the counties of Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Lincoln, Love, McClain, Muskogee, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, and Tulsa. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Iowa and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm and snowstorm during the period of December 23-27, 2009. Federal funding was made available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm and snowstorm in the counties of Adair, Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Emmet, Franklin, Fremont, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Monona, Page, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, and Woodbury. Assistance was also made available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including snow assistance, for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the incident period. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Nebraska and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storms and snowstorm during the period of December 22, 2009, to January 8, 2010. Federal funding was made available to the State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storms and snowstorm in the counties of Adams, Antelope, Brown, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cherry, Clay, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Gage, Garfield, Hamilton, Jefferson, Johnson, Keya Paha, Lancaster, Madison, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Rock, Saline, Saunders, Seward, Stanton, Thayer, Thurston, Washington, Wheeler, and York Counties. Assistance was also made available to the state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures, including snow assistance, for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the incident period. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President proclaimed March 2010 as American Red Cross Month. Source

The President announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations: Carol A. Bonosaro, William Dougan, Michael B. Filler, John Gage, David Holway, Gregory Junemann, Colleen M. Kelley, H.T. Nguyen, and Darryl Perkinson. Source&Bios

The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Montevideo, Uruguay, to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Jose Mujica, President-elect of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay on March 1, 2010. The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of State, will lead the delegation of:

The Honorable David D. Nelson, U.S. Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay
The Honorable Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States Source

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, appearing before congressional panels to defend the State Department's $52.8 billion budget request for 2011, said the massive U.S. foreign debt had sapped U.S. strength around the world and that "outrageous" advice from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan helped create record U.S. budget deficits that put national security at risk. Source

United States Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the Fed was reviewing financing deals conducted by Goldman Sachs and others related to Greece's debt crisis. "We are looking into a number of questions related to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece," Bernanke said in his testimony to the U.S. Congress. Source

Day399/Feb26th/Friday: The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President delivered remarks and sign an Executive Order for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President released more visitor log records, bringing the total number of records released over the 150,000 mark. List

The President named the following individuals to serve on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform being co-chaired by former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican U.S. Senate Whip Alan Simpson: David Cote, Ann Fudge, Alice Rivlin, and Andy Stern. Source&Bios

The President announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

Michael J. McCord, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Department of Defense

Katherine M. Gehl, Member, Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Michael J. Warren, Member, Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Source&Bios

Vice President Joe Biden released the Middle Class Task Force's Annual Report, which lays out a series of policy recommendations designed to tackle the challenges facing America's middle class.The full Task Force Annual Report includes a more comprehensive discussion of the Obama Administration's proposals to help middle-class families. To read the Annual Report, click HERE. Source Video Biden announced new Labor Department regulations on workers' retirement savings at the event. The new safeguards, which the White House says will affect tens of millions of workers, are aimed at protecting employees and their 401(k) and IRA retirement savings plans from financial advisers' potential conflicts of interest. Retirement investment advisers and money managers would only be allowed to give advice if they did not get any commission for steering workers into funds with which they are affiliated, or if their advice was based on a computer model certified to be unbiased by independent experts. Source

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers told reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times Lynn Sweet she will step down in March 2010 after presiding over 330 events in the White House in 14 months. Source

The United States Department of Defense released a memo outlining the government's first official policy for social media access by military personnel. The policy gives military personnel unrestricted access to blog, Tweet, poke and ping just like everyone else. Source

Day400/Feb27th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President congratulated the Olympic athletes of the United States, and he praised the recent bipartisan meeting and talks about moving forward on health reform. Transcript Video

The President spoke by telephone with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to express his condolences for the losses Chile suffered as a result of that nation's early morning earthquake. The President commended President Bachelet for the Chilean government's response to the disaster and recognized Chile's capacity and expertise in responding to earthquakes. Source

The President delivered remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House on the early morning earthquake in Chile. "On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the Chilean people. The United States stands ready to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts, and we have resources that are positioned to deploy should the Chilean government ask for our help," the President said. Transcript Video

The President signed into law:

H.R. 3961, which provides a one year extension of several terrorist surveillance provisions included in the USA Patriot Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004

H.R. 4532, the "Social Security Disability Applicants Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010," which makes permanent the Social Security Administration programs that allow direct payment of attorneys and certain non-attorney representatives in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claims cases. Source

The White House announced Julianna Smoot had been named Deputy Assistant to the President and Social Secretary. She joined the White House staff from the office of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, where she serves as Chief of Staff. Source

Day401/Feb28th/Sunday: The President traveled to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for a routine physical. Afterwards, he visited with wounded soldiers who were getting treatment at the facility. The President's personal physician, Jeffery Kuhlman, said the results from the physical exam indicated that the President would remain healthy for the duration of his presidency, but urged the President to "continue smoking cessation efforts" and noted the President was medicating himself with nicotine supplements in a bid to kick the habit. 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.]

 

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

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