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The Obama Administration: April 1-15, 2010

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This article is the thirtieth 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.

This has been America's worst mining disaster in forty years, and the toll on all West Virginians has been immeasurable. We cannot bring back the men we lost. What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy and demand accountability. All Americans deserve to work in a place that is safe, and we must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all our miners are as safe as possible so that a disaster like this doesn't happen again."__Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, on the April 5, 2010 mine explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, April 10, 2010

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Day433/April1st/Thursday: The President traveled to Portland, Maine, where he claimed in remarks at the Portland Expo Center that the health insurance reform bill he signed into law will end the worst practices of insurance companies, immediately begin to bring down costs for families and small businesses, and expand coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Transcript Video

The President traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, where he delivered remarks at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraising reception at the State House and at a DNC fundraising dinner at the Boston Opera House. Reception Transcript Dinner Transcript

The President spoke by telephone with President Hu Jintao of China, welcoming the decision by President Hu to attend the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit, underscored the importance of working together to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligations and emphasized the importance of the United States and China, along with other major economies, implementing the G20 commitments designed to produce balanced and sustainable growth. Source

The President sent a letter to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the President of the U.S. Senate regarding the Victims of Iranian Censorship Act, with a report detailing United States efforts to ensure the free flow of information to Iran and to enhance the abilities of Iranians to exercise their universal rights. Source

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The President proclaimed April 1, 2010, as Census Day, calling upon all Americans to observe the day by completing their census form and mailing it back. Source

The President proclaimed April 2010 as National Donate Life Month, calling upon health care professionals, volunteers, educators, government agencies, faith-based and community groups, and private organizations to join forces to boost the number of organ, tissue, blood, and stem cell donors throughout the United States. Source

The President proclaimed April 2010 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Source

The President proclaimed April 2010 as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Source

The White House released a fact-sheet outlining key facts about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Among those facts:

(1) The tax credit is effective January 1, 2010. As a result, small businesses that provide health care for their workers will receive immediate help with their premium costs, and additional firms that initiate coverage this year will get a tax cut as well.

The credit can cover up to 35 percent of the premiums a small business pays to cover its workers. In 2014, the rate will increase to 50 percent.

Both small for-profit businesses and small not-for-profit organizations are eligible.

(2) Qualifying firms must have less than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (e.g., a firm with fewer than 50 half-time workers would be eligible), pay average annual wages below $50,000, and cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for their workers.

(3) The credit is worth up to 35 percent of a small business's premium costs in 2010. On January 1, 2014, this rate increases to 50 percent.

(4) Firms can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that.

(5) Tax-exempt organizations are eligible for a 25 percent tax credit in 2010. In 2014, this rate increases to 35 percent.

(6) The credit phases out gradually for firms with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for firms with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.

To avoid an incentive to choose a high-cost plan, an employer's eligible contribution is limited to the average cost of health insurance in that state.

The United States Federal Reserve ended the program that since December 2008 purchased $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, abandoning the fate of the $1.5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities estimated to be produced in 2010 to private investors. Source

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced new restrictions on mountaintop removal: valley fills will be curtailed by restrictions on surface mining operations that go beyond pollution limits for salt and certain toxins. Source

The United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against military contractor KBR, alleging KBR knowingly included impermissible costs for private armed security in billings to the U.S. Army covering the 2003-2006 time period. The suit, filed in Federal Court in Washington, D.C., sought unspecified damages and was brought as part of an initiative to crack down on procurement fraud. Source

United States District Judge Thomas F. Hogan dismissed more than 100 habeas corpus lawsuits filed by former Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp captives, ruling that because the George W. Bush and Obama administrations had transferred them elsewhere, the courts need not decide whether the Pentagon imprisoned them illegally. "The court finds that petitioners no longer present a live case or controversy since a federal court cannot remedy the alleged collateral consequences of their prior detention at Guantanamo," Judge Hogan wrote. Source

Day434/April2nd/Friday: The President traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he toured Celgard, LLC - A Polypore Company (a lithium battery separator producer and stimulus grant recipient), delivered remarks on the economy and took questions from an audience of approximately 300 Celgard employees.Celgard was hiring and expanding its operation through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) grant. Transcript Video

The White House premiered West Wing Week, a new video feature on the White House Blog that sumedupseven days (March 26th April 1, 2010) at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or wherever the President traveled. It featured highlights from that week's events plus behind-the-scenes footageof life in the White House. Also provided were links to more in-depth coverage and full videos of the mentioned events. A West Wing Week video was scheduled to be released weekly.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule kicked in that requires Web sites advertising free reports to direct consumers to the government-approved http://www.annualcreditreport.com. TV and radio ads were required do the same starting Sept. 1, 2010. Source

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Consumer Protection Agency (CPSC) recommended consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Taking these steps should help eliminate both the source of the problem drywall and corrosion-damaged components that might cause a safety problem in the home. "Certain Chinese samples had emission rates of hydrogen sulfide 100 times greater than non-Chinese drywall samples," the HUD and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in a joint statement. Source A full text of the remediation guidance could be viewed by visiting the federal Drywall Information Center website (PDF).

United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Director Janet Napolitano announced new enhanced security measures for all air carriers with international flights to the United States to strengthen the safety and security of all passengers. The new security protocols--tailored to reflect the most current information available to the U.S. government--were applied to all passengers traveling to the United States. "These new measures utilize real-time, threat-based intelligence along with multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen, to more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats," Napolitano said. Passengers traveling to the United States from international destinations could notice enhanced security and random screening measures throughout the passenger check-in and boarding process, including the use of explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, or pat downs, among other security measures. Source

Day435/April3rd/Saturday: In his Weekly address, the President offered a holiday greeting and called on people of all faiths and nonbelievers to remember our shared spirit of humanity. Transcript Video

Day436/April4th/Sunday: Easter Sunday. The President attended a church service in Washington, spending part of Easter Sunday with his family and mother-in-law Marian Robinson at the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Source

Day437/April5th/Monday: The President and First Family Michelle, Malia and Sasha attended the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House. The President's and the First Lady Michelle Obama's remarks (Transcript Video), the performances of the headliner music acts and Storytime Stage readers was broadcast live on www.WhiteHouse.gov/live. Video 1 Video2 Video3 Video4 Video5 Video6 Video7 Video8 Video9 Video10 Video11 Video12 Video13 Video14 Video15 Video16


The President
threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. Source

The President spoke by telephone in the evening with West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin. The President offered his deepest condolences to the those who lost loved ones in the mining explosion earlier in the day and told Governor Manchin that the federal government stands ready to offer whatever assistance is needed in the rescue effort. Source

The White House released the text of a letter the President sent to United States Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. From the letter:

"I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed amendment to Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 proposals in my FY 2011 Budget. In particular, I am requesting authority to allow the Department of Defense to transfer up to $50 million of funds that will expire in FY 2010 to the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration for improvements to the Port of Guam. Modernization of the Port is a critical prerequisite for the military construction program supporting the realignment of U.S. Marine Corps forces from Japan to Guam, a part of the overall U.S. strategy for military forces in the Pacific region.

In addition, this transmittal contains a FY 2010 proposal for the Legislative Branch. As a matter of comity between branches, appropriations requests of the Legislative Branch are transmitted without change.

The details of this amendment are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget." Source

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new policy that permits, pilots with mild to moderate depression to fly while taking antidepressants if they can demonstrate they have been satisfactorily treated for at least 12 months. The new policy also granted a six-month amnesty period, during which pilots who used antidepressants could step forward without fear of penalties. The pilots would be grounded until they could demonstrate they have been stable for a year. "The concern that we have today is we have people who are either self-medicating or not seeking a diagnosis. Either of those is unacceptable," FAA head Randy Babbitt said. "This change ... will allow those people to get the treatment, allow us to monitor and return them to the cockpit [as] safer, better pilots." Source

Day438/April6th/Tuesday: The President hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House with Christian leaders from across the United States. Before the opening prayer, the President sent his condolences to the families of the workers who died in the April 5, 2010 explosion at a West Virginia mine: Transcript Video

The President announced his Administration was taking "specific and concrete steps" to reduce the role of nuclear weapons while preserving United States military superiority, deterring aggression and safeguarding the security of the American people. Those steps announced were:

(1) aligned Administration policies and proposed major funding increases for programs to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons around the world

(2) commits the United States to a declaration that the U.S. will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations

(3) The United States will not conduct nuclear testing and will seek ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

(4) The United States will not develop new nuclear warheads or pursue new military missions or new capabilities for nuclear weapons Source

The President met Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President spoke via telephone with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to thank President Saakashvili for Georgia's significant contribution to the international effort in Afghanistan and the Georgian battalion deployement alongside American Marines in Helmand. They discussed the importance of all sides avoiding provocative actions to build stability in the region. The President expressed appreciation for President Saakashvili's continued commitment to democratic and economic reforms in order to fulfill the promise of the Rose Revolution. They discussed their shared interest in achieving the historic goals set forth by the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit. Source

The President announced his appointment of these individuals to join the National Teacher of the Year, Anthony Mullen, as members on the Presidential Scholars Commission:

Marina C. McCarthy, Chair

Jose Miguel Amaya, Member

Michael A. Caplin, Member

Martha A. Darling, Member

I. King Jordan, Member

Colin Kippen, Member

Yvette Lewis, Member

Reginald Lewis, Member

Sheldon Pang, Member

Srinija Srinivasan, Member

Donald M. Stewart, Member

Cynthia Telles, Member Source&Bios

The President expressed his deep sadness over the death of Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first female chief who ""transformed the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America". Wilma Mankiller was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Source

Vice President Joe Biden and Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Chairman Earl Devaney announced the release of a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to further intensify their efforts to improve reporting compliance by recipients of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The Recovery Act required recipients of funds to submit quarterly reports on how they put the funds to work. In the most recent quarter, the vast majority of recipients complied with the law, submitting spending reports on 65,429 Recovery awards. At the same time, however, recipients failed to file 1,036 reports. Source Video

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 3-0 decision (pdf), ruled the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was wrong to enforce a 2005 policy statement as a set of binding rules, concluding that the commission's "ancillary authority," or authority inferred, but not expressly stated, in statute, did not give it the power to punish Comcast for blocking transfers of files over peer-to-peer networks. "The Commission may exercise this 'ancillary' authority only if it demonstrates that its action -- here barring Comcast from interfering with its customers' use of peer-to-peer networking applications -- is 'reasonably ancillary to the ... effective performance of its statutorily mandated responsibilities,'" Judge David Tatel wrote in the court's ruling. "The Commission has failed to make that showing." Source

Day439/April7th/Wednesday: The President met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President issued three memorandums to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

(1) "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby delegate to you the functions and authority conferred upon the President by section 301 of the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, Public Law 111-73, to make the specified report to the Congress. You are authorized and directed to notify the appropriate congressional committees and publish this memorandum in the Federal Register". Source

(2) "Pursuant to the authority and conditions contained in section 7034(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010 (Division F, Public Law 111-117), I hereby determine and certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 1003 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, Public Law 100-204. This waiver shall be effective for a period of 6 months. You are hereby authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress and to publish it in the Federal Register." Source

(3) "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010 (Division F, Public Law 111-117) (the "Act"), I hereby certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 7040(a) of the Act, in order to provide funds appropriated to carry out Chapter 4 of Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, to the Palestinian Authority. You are directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, with a report pursuant to section 7040(d) of the Act and to publish the determination in the Federal Register." Source

The President signed into law:

H.J.Res. 80, which recognizes and honors the Blinded Veterans Association on its 65th anniversary of representing blinded veterans and their families

H.R. 4621, the "Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act," which prohibits the U.S. Postal Service from delivering a solicitation by a nongovernmental entity if it bears the term "census" on the envelope unless: (1) the solicitation included disclaimers that it is not a government document; and (2) the envelope included the name of the entity that sent the solicitation and an accurate return address. Source

The President announced his appointment of these individuals to join Chair, Amy Gutmann, and Vice-Chair, James W. Wagner, as Members on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:

Lonnie Ali, Member

Anita L. Allen, Member

Barbara Atkinson, Member

Nita A. Farahany, Member

Alexander G. Garza, Member

Christine Grady, Member

Stephen L. Hauser, Member

Raju Kucherlapati, Member

Nelson Michael, Member

Daniel Sulmasy, Member Source&Bios

The President departed for Prague, Czech Republic in the evening.

Federal departments put forward plans on the Open Government Dashboard for making operations and data more transparent, and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration and oversight under the President's December 8, 2009 Open Government Directive. Fact-sheet on Open Government Initiatives

Day440/April8th/Thursday: The President arrived in Prague, Czech Republic, in the morning and traveled to Prague Castle, where he was greeted by Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

The President held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and then continued into an expanded bilateral meeting.

The President and President Medvedev signed the New Start Treaty, and afterward held a press conference. Transcript Video

The President and President Medvedev attended a lunch hosted by President Klaus, and the President delivered toast remarks. Transcript

The President hosted a dinner for Central and Eastern European heads of state and governments from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia at the United States Ambassador's residence. Readout of the Presidents Dinner with Central and Eastern European Leaders

The President proclaimed April 8, 2010, as National D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Day. Source

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

Mayor David Bieter (D-Boise, ID)

Mayor Don Plusquellic (D-Akron, OH)

Mayor Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta, GA)

Mayor Michael Winder (R-West Valley City, UT)

County Chairman John Eaves (D-Fulton County, GA)

County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef (R-Rockland County, NY) Source

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its intention to move forward quickly with key recommendations in its national broadband plan in spite of the April 6, 2010 federal appeals court decision that denied the agency's legal authority to regulate high-speed Internet access. Source

Day441/April9th/Friday: The President held a bilateral meeting with President Klaus of the Czech Republic at Prague Castle.

The President departed Prague.

The President, in the Rose Garden of the White House, discussed the retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and coming appointment of his successor before offering condolences to the families of the those who died in an April 5, 2010 mine tragedy in West Virginia. ...(more info)

(less info) Transcript Video

The President proclaimed April 9, 2010, as National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day and called upon all Americans to observe this day of remembrance by honoring our service members, veterans, and all American prisoners of war. Source

The White House held a Child Obesity Summit, attended by food experts, industry leaders, and people from different communities to share and discuss ideas on how to create a healthier environment to combat childhood obesity. Source

The White House and the United States Department of Education announced today the six high schools selected as finalists for the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge:

Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)

Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)

Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)

Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

MAST Academy (Miami, Florida) Source

The President's nominee to head the Justice Dept. Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, withdrew her bid for confirmation. Source

The United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) seized Beach First National Bank, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with $585.1 million in assets and $516 million in deposits. Bank of North Carolina, based in Thomasville, N.C., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank. In addition, the FDIC and Bank of North Carolina agreed to share losses on $497.9 million of Beach First National Bank's loans and other assets. The closing was the 42nd bank failure in the U.S. in 2010. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

Day442/April10th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President discussed several of the tax breaks for middle class families he had signed into law. Transcript Video

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama expressed their deepest condolences to the people of Poland on the tragic deaths that morning of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynski, and all who were traveling with them to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Source

The President expressed his sorrow of the news that the last four missing miners did not survive the explosion of April 5, 2010 in the Upper Big Branch Mine."My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who were lost in this tragic accident, and my gratitude goes out to the rescue teams who worked so tirelessly and heroically to search for the missing. This has been America's worst mining disaster in forty years, and the toll on all West Virginians has been immeasurable. We cannot bring back the men we lost. What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy and demand accountability. All Americans deserve to work in a place that is safe, and we must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all our miners are as safe as possible so that a disaster like this doesn't happen again." Source

Day443/April11th/Sunday: The President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India at Blair House in Washington, D.C. Readout of the President's Meeting with Indian Prime Minister Singh

The President held a bilateral meeting with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan at Blair House. Joint Statement on the Meeting Between The President and Kazakhstan President Nnazarbayev

The President held a bilateral meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa at Blair House. Readout of the President's Meeting with President Zuma

The President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan at Blair House. Readout of the President's Meeting with Prime Minister Gilani

The President paid a courtesy call on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria at Blair House. Readout of The President's Meeting with Nigerian Acting President Jonathan

Day444/April12th/Monday: The President attended the Nuclear Security Summit and met with leaders of 46 countries to discuss ways to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world. Video

The President held separate bilateral meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine, President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia, and President Hu Jintao of China at the Washington Convention Center. Readout of the President's Bilateral Meeting with King Aabdullah II Readout of the President's Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak Joint Statement of the President and President Yanukovych Readout of the President's Bilatera Mmeeting with President Serzh Sargsian

The President, in the evening, welcomed each head of delegation to the National Security Summit before hosting a working dinner for Heads of Delegation in the Washington Convention Center Dining Room. The President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, discussed non-proliferation cooperation and important regional and bilateral issues during the opening dinner. Source

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit. Source Prime Minister Harper announced Canada's intention to transfer high enriched uranium back to the United States. Source

The President ordered the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds and at all military facilities and naval stations of the Federal Government in the State of West Virginia until sunset on April 18, 2010, as a mark of respect for the memory of those who perished in the mine explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia on April 5, 2010. Source

The President proclaimed April 14, 2010, as Pan American Day and April 11 through 17 as Pan American Week. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Thomas Hicks, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Election Assistance Commission for a term expiring January 12, 2013

S. Leslie Ireland, of Massachusetts, to be Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of the Treasury

Steve A. Linick, of Virginia, to be Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. (New Position)

Teresa Takai, of California, to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense Source

The President sent these nomination withdrawals to the United States Senate:

Major General Robert A. Harding, United States Army (Retired), of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, which was sent to the Senate on March 8, 2010

Dawn Elizabeth Johnsen, of Indiana, to be an Assistant Attorney General, which was sent to the Senate on January 20, 2010 Source

Obama Administration representatives from twelve federal agencies and the White House met in New Orleans with Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu and members of the mayor's transition team for a series of working sessions focused on policy priorities for the city and the Obama Administration. Topics discussed during the two-day gathering included: jobs, housing, education, healthcare, ecosystem restoration and criminal justice. Source

Day445/April13th/Tuesday: The President delivered remarks at Plenary Session I of the Nuclear Security Summit. Transcript At the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., Mexico, the United States, and Canada reached agreement to work together, along with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to convert the fuel in Mexico's research reactor. The three countries acknowledged that this project also provides an important step towards the replacement of the research reactor with a new low-enriched uranium fueled reactor in support of Mexico's nuclear energy development. Source Russian President Medvedev announced the imminent shutdown of the ADE-2 reactor which had been producing weapons-grade plutonium for nearly 52 years in the formerly secret Siberian city of Zheleznogorsk. Source

The President attended the Heads of Delegation working lunch.

The President met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Source

The President met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Source

The President met with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Source

The President had a discussion with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Source

The President had a discussion with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on a range of issues on the bilateral, hemispheric and global agendas. The President thanked President Piñera for Chile's recently completed removal of all highly enriched uranium from Chile and commended Chilean leadership in promoting nuclear non-proliferation and for working with the United States to achieve a successful Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference scheduled for May 2010. Source

The President attended Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit.

The President held a press conference at the Washington Convention Center. Transcript Video

The President attended a Heads of Delegation reception in the Washington Convention Center Dining Room in the evening.

The President held a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Readout of the Meeting

Nuclear Security Summit National Statement of the United States

Work Plan Washington Nuclear Security Summit

Communique of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit Fact Sheet

List of Individual Nations & Commitments of Each

Nuclear Security Work Plan Reference Document

The President sent a message to the United States Congress announcing he had issued an Executive Order blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict in Somalia, declaring a national emergency to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by that conflict. The order also authorizes the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of State, to designate for blocking any person determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of:

(1) acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia

(2) obstructed the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance in Somalia

(3) directly or indirectly supplied, sold, or transferred to Somalia, or to have been the recipient in the territory of Somalia of, arms or any related materiel, or any technical advice, training, or assistance, including financing and financial assistance, related to military activities. Source

The President challenged Americans to take action in their homes, communities, schools, or businesses to improve the environment in honor of the upcoming 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2010. The White House unveiled WhiteHouse.gov/EarthDay as a resource guide for all those interested in learning how they can help make a difference in their community. Transcript

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

Governor Chet Culver (D-Iowa)

Governor Jay Nixon (D-Missouri)

Governor Sean Parnell (R-Alaska)

Governor David Paterson (D-New York) Source

The United States Justice Department's motion on Dec. 21, 2009, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi--arguing that the Walthall School District is in flagrant violation of a prior court order from 1970, the Equal Protection Clause and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--was granted. The Walthall County, Mississippi, School District was ordered to eliminate policies that have resulted in significant racial segregation among students. According to the motion, the district's practice of permitting hundreds of students the vast majority whom were white to attend schools outside their assigned residential attendance zone without restriction prompted a disproportionate number of white students to attend a single school in the district, leaving a number of other schools disproportionately black. Source

Day446/April14th/Wednesday: The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Harry Reid, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, U.S. Congressman John Boehner and U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer in the Cabinet Room of the White House. The need to reform the financial system was discussed. Transcript of the President's Opening Remarks Readout of the Meeting Video

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

The President sent to the United States Senate his nomination of Edward C. DuMont to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Source&Bio

The President sent to the United States Senate his nomination of John A. Gibney for a seat on the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia. Source&Bio

The President sent to the United States Senate these nominations to serve as U.S. Attorneys: Donald J. Cazayoux, Middle District of Louisiana, Pamela Cothran Marsh, Northern District of Florida, Zane David Memeger, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Peter J. Smith, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Edward L. Stanton III, Western District of Tennessee, John F. Walsh, District of Colorado, and Stephen R. Wiggington, Southern District of Illinois. Source&Bios

The President sent to the United States Senate these nominations to serve as U.S. Marshals: Arthur Baylor, Middle District of Alabama, Michael R. Bladel, Southern District of Iowa, Kevin Carr, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Kevin C. Harrison, Middle District of Louisiana, Darryl K. McPherson, Northern District of Illinois, and Henry L. Whitehorn Sr., Western District of Louisiana. Source&Bios

The President sent this nomination withdrawal to the United States Senate:

Stephanie Villafuerte, of Colorado, to be United States Attorney for the District of Colorado for the term of four years, which was sent to the Senate on September 30, 2009. Source

The President issued an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Group on Insular Areas within the United States Department of the Interior for administrative purposes and to address policies concerning Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Insular Areas). Source

Vice President Joe Biden met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at the White House. Readout of the Meeting

Day447/April15th/Thursday: The President met with United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Mine Safety and Health Administrator Joe Main in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President delivered remarks on mine safety in the Rose Garden of the White House. Transcript Video

The President traveled to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where he toured a commercial rocket processing facility at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and delivered remarks at the John F. Kennedy Space Center on the new planning of the Administration for the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the future of U.S. leadership in human space flight at the Kennedy Space Center. He announced:

(1) a $6 billion increase in NASA's budget over the next five years

(2) extention of the life of the International Space Station by more than five years in order to conduct research that would help improve daily lives while working with the private sector to make reaching space more affordable.

(3) a $3 billion investment into developing an advanced "heavy lift rocket," aiming to finalize the design for the rocket by 2015. Transcript Video

The President announced his intent to nominate William J. Boarman, for Public Printer of the United States. Source&Bio

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama expressed their sadness upon hearing of the passing of civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks. Statement

The President expressed his gratitude to the United States Congress for passing a temporary extension of unemployment benefits for out of work Americans, and urged the United States Congress, as requested in his budget, to move quickly to extend these benefits through the end of 2010. Statement

The President signed into law:
H.R. 4851, the "Continuing Extension Act of 2010," which provides short-term extensions of several authorities, including those related to: (1) unemployment compensation; (2) COBRA health insurance premiums; (3) Medicare physician payments; (4) Federal poverty guidelines; (5) flood insurance programs; and (6) small business loan guarantee programs. Source

The President released a Presidential Memorandum that orders hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to respect the rights of patients to designate visitors and not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Source

The President released his 2009 federal income and gift tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax return jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $ 5,505,409. The vast majority of the family's 2009 income was derived from the proceeds of the sale of the President's books. The Obamas paid $1,792,414 in federal income tax. The President and First Lady also reported donating $329,100 to 40 different charities. The largest reported gifts to charity were $50,000 contributions to CARE and the United Negro College Fund. In addition, the President donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize funds to 10 charities. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $163,303 in state income taxes. Tax Return of the Obamas-pdf

The President, in the evening, traveled to Miami, Florida, where he attend a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser at a private residence and delivered remarks at a DNC fundraiser at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill released their tax return. The Bidens reported an adjusted gross income of $333,182. Federal tax witheld was $65,577. The Bidens's owed an additional $5829 alternative minimum tax and ended up owing $5443 after all credits and deductions. Tax Return of the Bidens-pdf

The United States Justice Department said in a statement Thomas Drake, 52, a former senior National Security Agency (NSA) official, of Glenwood, Maryland was charged with the leaking of classified information about the agency to a newspaper reporter in a 10-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Maryland. According to the indictment, Drake was a high-ranking NSA employee from 2001 through 2008, where he had access to highly classified documents and information. The indictment alleges that between approximately February 2006 and November 2007, a newspaper reporter published a series of articles about the NSA. The indictment alleges that Drake served as a source for many of those articles, including articles that contained classified information. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

[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.]

 

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

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So much of what isreported in these Obama Administ... by Robert Arend on Sunday, Apr 18, 2010 at 3:31:03 AM