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The Obama Administration: June 16-30, 2010

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This article is the thirty-fifth 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.

"War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president. And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security.The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."__Barack Obama, President of the United States, June 23, 2010

Day509/June16th/Wednesday: The President and Vice President Joe Biden met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Others in attendance: Source & Complete List of Attendees

The President provided a statement to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House, announcing BP agreed to place $20 billion into an escrow account to pay claims of individuals and businesses harmed by the April 20, 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though local, state, tribal, and federal government claims would continue to be handled directly by BP. The $20 billion would be deposited in 4 installments: (1st) $5 billion in the last 6 months of 2010, (2nd) $5 billion in 2011, (3rd) $5 billion in 2012, and (4th) $5 billion in 2013. To assure independence, Kenneth Feinberg, who previously administered the 911 Victim Compensation Fund, was designated to serve as the Independent Claims Administrator. Transcript Video Fact Sheet

The President sent a letter to United States Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi in reference to the need for passage of his emergency amendment to Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 proposals in his FY 2011 Budget that would authorize funding for the President's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Offshore Drilling. Source

The President met with United States Senator Scott Brown in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President addressed the American Nurses Association House of Delegates at the Washington Hilton in the evening. Transcript Video

The Obama Administration announced a new round of sanctions and designations toward Iran over the Iranian government's nuclear program, adding to the list of sanctions of entities a number of institutions and individuals accused of helping Iran finance nuclear and missile programs and to evade international sanctions by:

(1) designating Iran's Post Bank for its support of proliferation activities, bringing the number of Iranian-owned banks on the list to 16.

(2) adding five front companies and more than 90 ship names that Iran's national maritime carrier has been using to try to evade sanctions.

(3) adding two individuals and four entities that are part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard

(4) adding two individuals and two entities actively involved in Iran's nuclear or missile programs

(5) identifying 22 petroleum, energy, and insurance companies, located inside and outside Iran, owned or controlled by the Iranian government. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Suzan D. Johnson Cook, of New York, to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

Judith R. Fergin, of Washington, 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 Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Source

The United States Justice Department released a brief in which it had argued to a Federal Appeals Court that more than enough untainted evidence had been presented in a lower court to justify a trial for five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad; arguing that the judge who had dismissed the charges lost sight of the key question of whether the defendants' testimony, given under a grant of immunity from prosecution, was actually used against them. Source

The United States Justice Department indicted Lee Bentley Farkas of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker for allegedly committing a $1.9 billion fraud against investors and the federal government that led to the demise of his firm and Colonial Bank in Alabama, one of the nation's largest regional banks. Source

Officials of Arlington National Cemetery, alerted by the Washington Post, located several mud-caked headstones along the banks of a small stream at the cemetery and, further upstream in a wooded area, a few others submerged with the rocks that line the streambed. Source

Day510/June17th/Thursday: The President met with the new Commander in Chief of the United States Veterans of Foreign Wars Tommy Tradewell in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President met with United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in the Oval Office. Source

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. Source

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

The President met with United States Marine Corps Commandant Nominee General James Amos in the Oval Office. Source

The President had lunch with with a group of mostly progressive columnists to discuss a range of topics that included the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Those in attendance included Gail Collins of the New York Times, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Gerald Seib, the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

James Emanuel Boasberg, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Bio

James Thomas Fowler, of Tennessee, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee for the term of four years Bio

Amy Berman Jackson, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Bio

Sue E. Myerscough, of Illinois, to be United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois Bio

Craig Ellis Thayer, of Washington, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Washington for the term of four years Bio Source

The President continued for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation, providing continued protection from attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process for the property and interests in property of the Government of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements and subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Source

Vice President Joe Biden hosted a conference call with some governors to discuss implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). On the telephone were: Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA), Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL), Governor Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) and Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) Source

The Obama Administration kicked off "Recovery Summer," a six-week-long focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects to be underway across the country in the coming months. Examples:

Highway Projects: six times as many highway projects underway in July 2010 as were in July 2009, a surge from 1,750 the summer of 2009 to over 10,000 in the summer of 2010

Clean and Drinking Water: summer of 2010 over 2,800 clean and drinking water projects underway versus just over 100 in the summer of 2009

Home Weatherization: summer of 2010 82,000 homes to be weatherized versus 3,000 in the summer of 2009

National Parks: nearly 800 projects during July of 2010 underway at national parks versus just over 100 in July of 2009 Source VP Biden Report pdf Fact Sheet

United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced the U.S. Justice Department made nearly 500 arrests since March 2010 in a major crackdown on mortgage fraud under a nationwide initiative called Operation Stolen Dreams and involving 1,215 criminal defendants in cases that uncovered more than $2.3 billion in losses. Source

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to begin taking public comments on three different paths for regulating broadband, including a proposal by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations to treat all traffic equally. Source

Day511/June18th/Friday: The President traveled to Columbus, Ohio, where he met with workers and delivered remarks at the Parsons and Livingston Avenue construction site in downtown Columbus: the 10,000th Recovery Act road project to get underway. Transcript Video

The President signed a Presidential memorandum directing agencies in the Executive Branch not to appoint or re-appoint currently-registered federal lobbyists to advisory boards or commissions. Within 90 days of the date of the memorandum, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget was to issue proposed guidance designed to implement the policy to the full extent permitted by law. The final guidance would be issued following public comment on the proposed guidance. Presidential Memorandum

The President signed a Presidential Memorandum that directed agencies to review current pre-payment and pre-award procedures and ensure that a thorough review of available databases with relevant information on eligibility occurs before the release of any Federal funds, to the extent permitted by law. Presidential Memorandum

The President sent a letter to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives regarding amendments to the FY 2011 budget. Among the President's requests was for consideration of a FY 2011 Budget amendment for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that would fund an initiative to develop a plan to spur regional economic growth and job creation along the Florida Space Coast and other affected regions. Source

The President called on the Burmese government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and to allow them to build a more stable, prosperous Burma that respects the rights of all its citizens. Aung San Suu Kyi, the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate, would turn 65 on June 19, 2010. Source

The President proclaimed June 20, 2010, as Father's Day. Source

The President proclaimed June 20, 2010, as World Refugee Day. Source

The United States State Department announced private security firm U.S. Training Center, a business unit of the Moyock, N.C.-based Xe Services (formally Blackwater Worldwide) was awarded a $120 million contract to provide security services in Afghanistan. Source

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new rules that would:

(1) dictate how meatpackers buy cattle on the open market, and prohibit them from showing preference to big feedlots rather than buying from small producers

(2) limit the control chicken companies have over farmers who raise birds for them by forbidding companies from requiring farmers to take on debt to invest in chicken houses, for example, unless farmers were guaranteed to recoup 80 percent of the cost

(3) make it easier to file suits under the Depression-era Packers and Stockyards Act by ending the requirement that farmers prove industrywide anticompetitive behavior in order to file a lawsuit under the act

(4) lowering the bar that farmers and ranchers must meet to sue companies whom they accuse of demanding unfairly low prices Source

The advisory panel for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined to approve the first pill, made by Boehringer Ingelhein, designed to help boost the sex drive of women. The panel concluded the pill did not provide enough benefits to outweigh its risks. Source

Whisteblowing website WikiLeaks announced its founder, Julian Assange, had hired private criminal defense lawyers to represent Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist accused of providing WikiLeaks with highly classified combat videos from Iraq and Afghanistan, accusing the United States Pentagon of barring the lawyers from visiting Manning. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

Day512/June19th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President called on Republicans in Congress to put scoring political points aside and, instead, focus on solving the problems facing the nation. Source Video

The President stated China's decision to increase the flexibility of its exchange rate was a constructive step that could help safeguard the recovery and contribute to a more balanced global economy. Source

Day513/June20th/Sunday: The President issued a statement in which he welcomed the new policy towards Gaza announced by the Government of Israel: "Once implemented, we believe these arrangements should significantly improve conditions for Palestinians in Gaza, while preventing the entry of weapons. We will work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Quartet, and other international partners to ensure these arrangements are implemented as quickly and effectively as possible and to explore additional ways to improve the situation in Gaza, including greater freedom of movement and commerce between Gaza and the West Bank." Source

Day514/June21st/Monday: The President discussed the importance of responsible fatherhood and mentoring to build healthy families and communities at a THEARC event in Washington, DC. Transcript Video

The President hosted a Father's Day Mentoring Barbeque on the South Lawn of the White House. Transcript of the President's Remarks

The President and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke by telephone and exchanged views on economic issues, including Canada's preparations as host of the upcoming G8 and G20. Source

The President sent the nomination to the United States Senate of Michael S. Owen, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Sierra Leone. Source Bio

Commander, United States Forces in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal received calls from the White House, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen within hours after the Michael Hastings penned Rolling Stone article The Runaway General broke into the top of cable news stories. Source

The United States Minerals Management Service was renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement. Source: the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, June 21, 2010.

Day515/June22nd/Tuesday: The President attended a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with insurance company CEOs and insurance commissioners to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To those in attendance, the President reiterated his pledge to help protect consumers from unfair premium increases. Source

The President delivered remarks in the East Room of the White House on ongoing efforts to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the new Patients' Bill of Rights. Transcript Video Fact Sheet.pdf

The President had a video teleconference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in which the two leaders focused primarily on plans to stabilize Kandahar City and the close alignment between their two governments there. They received a briefing from senior U.S. and Afghan officials detailing their plans to provide better security, improve governance and increase economic opportunities. Source

The President met with United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President conducted a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss the U.S. economy, Iraq, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and energy and climate change. The President's Remarks after the Cabinet Meeting Video

The President and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke by telephone in preparation for the upcoming G8/G20 meetings in Canada. Among their discussions, the President and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of rapid action by the European Union to resume the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. Source

The President telephoned Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to express his concerns about the wildfires threatening homes and businesses across the state and to assure her of the continued support of the federal government in helping state and local officials protect people's lives and property. The President indicated that the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, were actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires and reinforced that FEMA would continue to closely monitor the fires and remain in close contact with state and local officials. The President asked the Governor to keep him updated on additional support the State may need as the response continued. Source

The President sent a letter to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives requesting the U.S. Congress support an amendment to Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 proposals in his FY 2011 Budget for the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice that would aid efforts to secure the Southwest border and enhance Federal border protection, law enforcement, and counternarcotics activities, assuring the amounts requested would be partially offset by cancelling $100 million from a lower priority program within the Department of Homeland Security. Source

The President delivered evening remarks at an LGBT Pride Month event in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced new regulations under a new Patient's Bill of Rights, to become effective in the fall of 2010 that would stop insurance companies from limiting care and that removed the bureaucratic barriers between patient and doctor. These rules would:

(1) end pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19 for all group health plans and new individual market policies

(2) stop insurers from arbitrarily rescinding coverage except in cases involving fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of material facts for all plans

(3) prohibit the use of lifetime limits in all policies issued or renewed after September 23, 2010

(4) phase out the use of annual dollar limits over the next three years for most plans

(6) permit consumers to designate any available participating primary care provider as their primary care provider for all new plans

(7) end the practice of charging higher out-of-pocket costs for services obtained out of a plan's network emergency for all new plans Source

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel unveiled the Obama Administration's first Joint Strategic Plan to Combat Intellectual Property Theft. Video

The lead Cabinet secretaries from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH): HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, joined USICH Director Barbara Poppe to unveil and submit Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness to the President and Congress. The plan set these measurable goals:

(1) end chronic homelessness in five years

(2) prevent and end homelessness among veterans in five years

(3) prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children within a decade

(4) put the United States on a path to ending all types of homelessness. Source

The White House announced the appointment of 13 men and women to serve as White House Fellows. The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders "first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs." The 2010-2011 Class of White House Fellows appointed:

Samar Ali, Waverly, TN - Pat Basu, Naperville, IL.- R. Erich Caulfield, Baton Rouge, LA - Jason Dempsey, Jefferson City, MO - Harley Feldbaum, Glen Echo, MD - Thomas Fisher, Chicago, IL - Bill Gallagher, Springfield, VA - Holly Harrison, Vienna, VA - Erica Jeffries, Alexandria, VA - Jeffrey Prescott, New Haven, CT - Sunny Ramchandani, Rowland Heights, CA - Kubby Rashid, Jessup, MD - Rachel Thornton, Pikesville, MD. Source&Bios

A United States law banning the selling of so-called "light," "mild," or "low" cigarettes took effect. Source

United States District Court for the eastern District of Louisiana Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman placed an injunction against the Obama Administration's 6-month ban on deep water oil drilling. Source: CBS Evening News, June 22, 2010.

Day516/June23rd/Wednesday: The President met with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House. Source

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

The President announced from the Rose Garden of the White House he had accepted General Stanley A. McChrystal's resignation as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and would replace McChrystal with General David Petraeus. Among the President's remarks, he said, "War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president. And as difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe that it is the right decision for our national security.The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan." Transcript Video

The President and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke by telephone about Afghanistan.The Prime Minister confirmed that U.K. Lieutenant General Nick Parker would serve as the acting Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force mission until a new U.S. Commander is confirmed by Congress. Source

The President informed President Hamid Karzai by telephone of his decision to accept General Stanley A. McChrystal's resignationand of his intent to nominate General David Petraeus to assume command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Karzai welcomed the nomination of General Petraeus and assured the President he would take all steps necessary to support a successful transition. Source

The President issued an Executive Order amending Executive Order 13265 of June 6, 2002, renaming the "President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports" to the "President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition." Details of the Executive Order can be found here.

The White House released a video of the first White House beehive. WH Beehive History

Fannie Mae issued new penalties in an attempt to prevent homeowners from choosing foreclosure and walking away from their homes, targeting troubled borrowers who do not try in good faith to work out a deal when having the capacity to pay. The mortgage lender barred the path of such defaulters from being able to get another mortgage for at least seven years and, in states where state laws permit, would sue homeowners to recoup what's not been paid. Source

Day517/June24th/Thursday: The President held a bilateral meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President and the Vice President Joe Biden held an expanded bilateral meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Source

The President shared a press conference with President Dmitry Medvedev in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President telephoned the U.S. Men's World Cup Soccer team and congratulated them on their extraordinary victory and told them that, while he was meeting with General David Petraeus in the Oval Office the day before, he could hear the rest of the West Wing erupt when Landon Donovan scored the game winner against the British team. Source

The President attended the U.S.-Russia Business Summit with President Dmitry Medvedev at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Remarks of President Obama and President Medvedev Video

The White House announced the following joint statements agreed to between the United States and Russia:

1. Joint Declaration on Promotion and Implementation of Open Government

2. Joint Statement on Kyrgyzstan

3. Joint Statement on Energy Efficiency

4. Joint Statement on Strategic Stability

5. Joint Statement on Counterterrorism Cooperation

6. Joint Statement Concerning Inter-country Adoption

7. Joint Statement Concerning Afghanistan

8. Joint Statement Concerning People to People Connections

9. Joint Statement on a Strategic Partnership in Innovation

10. Joint Statement on Russia's Accession to the WTO

11. Joint Statement on U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of West Virginia and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, mudslides, and landslides beginning on June 12, 2010, and continuing. Federal funding was made available to affected individuals in Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming Counties. Assistance offered included grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Federal funding was also 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 storms, flooding, mudslides, and landslides in Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming Counties. 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 Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding during the period of May 26-31, 2010. Federal funding was made available to 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 storms and flooding in the municipalities of Arecibo, Barranquitas, Coamo, Corozal, Dorado, Naranjito, Orocovis, Utuado, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire Commonwealth. Source

The President decided to increase U.S. humanitarian assistance to Yemen by $29.6 million, to $42.5 million: assistance allocated to provide food, water and sanitation, shelter, and health care to over 280,000 individuals displaced by conflict in northern Yemen, as well as refugees in southern Yemen. The President urged, ""other donors to support international agencies working to meet these urgent humanitarian needs, as the United Nation's Humanitarian Response Plan remains woefully underfunded." The President called on all parties to ensure the safety and rights of civilians and aid workers, and the safe passage of relief supplies to those in need, stating, "We are deeply troubled by reports of fresh outbreaks of fighting in Sa'ada, and urge full compliance with the ceasefire agreement announced in February, and an end to the violence". Source

The President offered his congratulations to Julia Gillard on her assumption of the position of Prime Minister of Australia and on the historic step of becoming Australia's first female prime minister. Source

The President telephoned Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos to congratulate him on his victory in Columbia's June 20, 2010 run-off election. Source

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner met with BP executives Bob Dudley, Lamar McKay, David Nagel and Karen St. John to discuss a number of key issues including containment, redundancy, claims and scientific monitoring, reiterating the President was not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf of Mexico are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods. Browner reminded them that judgement of their work and response would be based on that bar, no exceptions. Source

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement had been agreed to with microblogging service Twitter over charges Twitter put its customers' privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information. Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter agreed to create an independently audited security program, among other measures. Source

Day518/June25th/Friday: The President, from the South Driveway of the White House, provided a statement to the press on the early morning agreement between the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on a set of Wall Street reforms. Transcript Video

The President traveled to Muskoka, Canada for the G8 Summit.
The President attended the
G8 Leaders working lunch at Deerhurst Resort.

The President participated in a G8 working session with African Outreach Leaders and a G8 working session with African Outreach Leaders and Extended Outreach Leaders.
The President and G8 Leaders met with My Summit 2010 Youth.

The President and G8 Leaders participated in a G8 Working Dinner.

The President signed into law H.R. 3962, the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010, which averted a 21.3 percent reduction in the Medicare physician fee schedule and replaced it with a 2.2 percent increase through November 2010. Presidential Memorandum to Katheen Sebelius

The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Manila, Philippines to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President-elect of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30, 2010. Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative, would lead the delegation accompanied by delegation member Harry K. Thomas, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. Source

The White House released the draft National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace for public comment and input. Key facts and concepts about the strategy were provided in a fact sheet and the current final draft was posted on www.nstic.ideascale.com for public review and input.

The White House released visitor records that were created in March 2010, including several visitor records created prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public during May 2010, pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. The release brought the grand total of records released to well over 450,000 records that could be viewed at the Disclosures section.

In a 4-1 decision, the Court of Appeals for the United States Armed Forces in Washington D.C. affirmed Army Pvt. Charles Graner's convictions as the ringleader of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

Day519/June26th/Saturday: In his Weekly address, the President urged the United States Congress approve the completed Financial Reform Bill and send the bill to his desk, claiming the legislation reflected 90% of what he originally proposed, including ""the strongest consumer financial protections in history" with an independent agency to enforce them. Transcript Video

The President participated in the G8 Working Session at the Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka, Canada. Source

The President traveled to the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Source

The President held a bilateral meeting with President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China. Remarks of President Obama & President Hu before Bilateral Meeting
The President held separate bilateral meetings with Prime Minister
David Cameron of the United Kingdom and President Lee Myong-bak of the Republic of Korea. Remarks of President Obama & Prime Minister Cameron after Bilateral Meeting Remarks of President Obama & President Lee Myung-bak after Bilateral Meeting Video
The President and the First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in the evening. Source

The President attended the G20 Working Dinner.

Day520/June27th/Sunday: The President held a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia. Remarks of President Obama & President Yudhoyono before Bilateral Breakfast Video

The President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. Remarks of President Obama & Prime Minister Singh before Bilateral Meeting Video

The President provided remarks at the G20 Conference. Transcript Video

The President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan. Remarks of President Obama & Prime Minister Kan after Bilateral Meeting Video

Press Briefing by Secretary of the Treasury Geithner

G-8 Muskoka: Statement from G-8 Leaders on Countering Terrorism

G-8 Muskoka Declaration

G8 Summit: Joint Statement On The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict by Dmitry Medvedev, President Of The Russian Federation, Barack Obama, President Of The United States Of America, and Nicolas Sarkozy, President Of The French Republic

G8 Muskoka: Non-proliferation and Iran

Readout of the President's Meeting with Prime Minister Harper

G-8 Muskoka: Following Through on Food Security

The G-20 Toronto Summit Declaration

The G-20 Summit in Toronto: U.S. Financial Reform and the G-20 Leaders' Agenda

The G-20 Summit in Toronto: Acting on Our Global Energy and Climate Change Challenges

G20: A Global Response Through the Multilateral Development Banks to Promote Sustainable Development

The G-20 Summit in Toronto: Global Leadership to Combat Corruption

G-20 Toronto Summit: Progress Since Pittsburgh

Day521/June28th/Monday: The President met with representatives from a broad range of community groups in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House to discuss ways in which his Administration was working with stakeholders around the country as well as members of the United States Congress to craft a comprehensive approach to finally fix the United States's broken immigration system. Source

The President signed a Presidential Memorandum to commit the Federal government to a sustained effort to make available 500 MHz of Federal and commercial spectrum over the next 10 years to foster investment, economic growth and help create hundreds of thousands of jobs by meeting the burgeoning demand for mobile and fixed broadband and other high-value uses and benefits for other industries. Presidential Memorandum Fact-Sheet

The President expressed his sadness of the death of United States Senator Robert Byrd. Text of Statement

The President announced his Administration's new National Space Policy that renounced the unilateral stance of the George W. Bush Administration and instead emphasized international cooperation, including the possibility of an arms control treaty that would limit the development of space weapons. Statement of the President. Fact-Sheet

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Richard Christman, of Kentucky, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for the remainder of the term expiring October 6, 2012Bio
Jane D. Hartley, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring October 6, 2014 Bio

Robert Porter Jackson, of Virginia, 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 Republic of Cameroon. Bio

James Franklin Jeffrey, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iraq. Bio
Marguerite W. Kondracke, of Tennessee, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring June 10, 2014Bio
Harry James Franklyn Korrell III, of Washington, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation for a term expiring July 13, 2011 Bio

Matthew Francis McCabe, of Pennsylvania, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring October 6, 2013 Bio

Joseph Pius Pietrzyk, of Ohio, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation for a term expiring July 13, 2011 Bio

John D. Podesta, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring October 6, 2014 Bio
Lisa M. Quiroz, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring February 8, 2014 Bio

Ramona Emilia Romero, of Pennsylvania, to be General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture Bio

Phyllis Nichamoff Segal, of Massachusetts, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service for a term expiring October 6, 2013 Bio

Alejandro Daniel Wolff, of California, 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 Republic of Chile. Bio

Pamela Young-Holmes, of Wisconsin, to be a Member of the National Council on Disability for a term expiring September 17, 2013. (Reappointment) Bio

Pamela Young-Holmes, of Wisconsin, to be a Member of the National Council on Disability for the remainder of the term expiring September 17, 2010 Bio Source

Vice President Joe Biden visited the headquarters of GE Consumer & Industrial in Louisville, KY with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman John Yarmuth to discuss how the facility was adding three new energy-efficient appliance product lines and creating hundreds of jobs because of Recovery Act EnergyStar rebates and 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits. Source

Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jay Jensen visited the Smith Lake Fuels Reduction project in the Montana Forest, which was putting 16 different logging, forest treatment and trucking companies to work reducing wildfire fuel loads on small non-industrial parcels and forested subdivision lands near Smith Lake, MT. Source

The United States Justice Department announced the arrest of 10 people by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges that they spent years in the United States as spies for Russia, taking on fake identities and trying to ferret out intelligence about U.S. policy and secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials. Source

Day522/June29th/Tuesday: The President met with a bipartisan group of United States senators in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation. Readout of the Meeting

The President met with Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House. Afterward, the President provided remarks. Video

The President held a working lunch with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House and, afterward, a meeting with King Abdullah in the Oval Office where, among the discussions, the President and King Abdullah discussed the importance of resuming the Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese tracks in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Remarks of President Obama & King Abdullah before their Meeting Readout of the Meeting Video

The President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the State Dining Room of the White House about the need to fix the United States's broken immigration system. Readout of the Meeting

The President met with Mark Sellke, an 8th grader at Klondike Middle School in West Lafayette, Indiana, who, in less than 45 seconds in May 2010, correctly answered the question "If you start with $1 and, with each move, you can either double your money or add another $1, what is the smallest number of moves you have to make to get to exactly $200?" to become the 2010 MATHCOUNTS individual champion. Source

The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Shanghai, China to attend U.S.A. National Day at Expo 2010 Shanghai on July 2, 2010. The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. Secretary of State, would lead the delegation of:

Christopher P. Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary

Capricia Penavic Marshall, Chief of Protocol of the United States

Robert Goldberg, U.S. Charge d'Affaires a.i. to the People's Republic of China

Jose H. Villarreal, U.S. Commissioner General to World Expo 2010 Shanghai

Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Special Representative for Global Partnership Initiatives, U.S. Department of State

Ivan K. Fong, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Christina Tchen, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director, White House Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director, White House Council on Women and Girls

Leocadia Zak, Director, U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Beatrice Camp, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General, Shanghai

Bonnie Thie, Peace Corps Country Director, China

Maya Lin, Artist Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Norman L. Eisen, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Czech Republic. Bio

Scot Alan Marciel, of California, 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 Republic of Indonesia. Bio

Terence Patrick McCulley, of Oregon, 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 Federal Republic of Nigeria. Bio

Larry Leon Palmer, of Georgia, 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 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Bio Source

The President, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of the United States Senate to ratification, transmited the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Bermuda relating to Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Hamilton, Bermuda, on January 12, 2009.The President also transmitted, for the information of the Senate, the report of the U.S. Department of State with respect to the Treaty. The Treaty was one of a series of modern mutual legal assistance treaties being negotiated by the United States to more effectively counter criminal activities. Source

The President declareded an emergency existed in the State of Texas and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Alex beginning on June 27, 2010, and continuing. The President's action authorized the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts for the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Bexar, Brooks, Cameron, Comal, Duval, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Medina, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Willacy, Wilson, and Zapata. Specifically, FEMA was authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, were also provided at 75 percent Federal funding. Source

The President signed into law:

H.R. 3951, which designates a facility of the United States Postal Service as the Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building. Source

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began accepting applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, created to provide $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older not eligible for Medicare. Applications and information about the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program available at www.hhs.gov/ociio.

Day523/June30th/Wednesday: The President traveled to Racine, Wisconsin where he held a town hall meeting on the economy at Racine Memorial Hall. Transcript Video

The President signed into law:

S.J.Res. 33, which urged the Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands to reconvene for the purpose of reconsidering and revising their proposed constitution in response to the views of the executive branch and established procedures for Presidential review of a revised proposed constitution. Source

The President, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Academic Exchange Program congratulated the bilateral U.S. Pakistan Fulbright Program and welcomed the latest group of 158 Pakistani Fulbright students coming to study in America. Source

The President expressed his gratitude to the United States Senate for acting so quickly to confirm General David Petraeus to lead the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. Source

The President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform held its third meeting. This was the bipartisan commission's first public session. Video

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez visited the M-59 East Crooks-Ryan Road Project in Detroit, MI where a $50 million Recovery Act grant was awarded for upgrading infrastructure, creating jobs, and stimulating local economic activity. Source

[Author's note: all days in these chronicles are full days. The Obama Inauguration 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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Readers will likely find something personally uniq... by Robert Arend on Saturday, Jul 3, 2010 at 4:46:21 AM