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The Obama Administration: July 17-31, 2010

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This article is the thirty-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.

"The truth is, it took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage. But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction. We are moving forward. And what we can't afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place."__Barack Obama, President of the United States, in his Weekly Address, July 24, 2010

Day540/July17th/Saturday: The President rebuked Republicans in the United States Senate who were blocking unemployment insurance and small business tax breaks to create jobs. Transcript Video

The President and his family vacationed on Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park in Maine.

Day541/July18th/Sunday: The President wished Nelson Mandela a very happy 92nd birthday. "We are grateful to continue to be blessed with his extraordinary vision, leadership, and spirit. And we strive to build upon his example of tolerance, compassion and reconciliation. I also join the American people, the South African people, the United Nations, and the world in celebrating the first annual Nelson Mandela International Day," the President declared. Source

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Day542/July19th/Monday: The President delivered a statement to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in which he called on the United States Congress to extend critical unemployment insurance to millions of Americans looking for a job. Transcript Video

The President welcomed the WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury in the State Dining Room of the White House to honor the team's 2009 championship season. Transcript of the President's Remarks Video

The President met with former United States Senator John Glenn in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss the President's plans for the U.S. space program. Source

The President sent notice to the Federal Register for publication stating that the national emergency and related measures dealing with the former Liberian regime of Charles Taylor are to continue in effect beyond July 22, 2010, declaring, "The actions and policies of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons, in particular their unlawful depletion of Liberian resources and their removal from Liberia and secreting of Liberian funds and property, continue to undermine Liberia's transition to democracy and the orderly development of its political, administrative, and economic institutions and resources. These actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States." Source

The President, in a statement release, welcomed the decision of the United Nations to accredit the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and "take its rightful seat at the table of the United Nations". Source

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The President issued a Presidential Memorandum to the heads of United States Executive Branch departments and agencies (excluding the United States Postal Service) that established a 4-year Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment (POWER) Initiative, covering fiscal years 2011 through 2014 and requiring each executive department and agency to improve performance by:

(i) reducing total injury and illness case rates

(ii) reducing lost time injury and illness case rates

(iii) analyzing lost time injury and illness data

(iv) increasing the timely filing of workers' compensation claims

(v) increasing the timely filing of wage-loss claims

(vi) reducing lost production day rates and speeding employees' return to work in cases of serious injury or illness. Source

The President issued an Executive Order that adopted the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, except where otherwise provided in the order, and directed executive agencies to implement those recommendations under the guidance of a National Ocean Council, establishing a national policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve United States maritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide for adaptive management to enhance understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and coordinate with U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. The order also provided for the development of coastal and marine spatial plans that build upon and improve existing Federal, State, tribal, local, and regional decisionmaking and planning processes. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Donald M. Berwick, of Massachusetts, to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to which position he was appointed during the last recess of the Senate. Bio

Philip E. Coyle, III, of California, to be an Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to which position he was appointed during the last recess of the Senate. Bio

Joshua Gotbaum, of the District of Columbia, to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, , to which position he was appointed during the last recess of the Senate. Bio

Kristie Anne Kenney, 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 Kingdom of Thailand. Bio

Jo Ellen Powell, 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 Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Source Bio

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an evening White House Music Series event in the East Room of the White House saluting Broadway. Transcript of the President's Remarks Video

United States Department of Agriculture employee, Shirley Sherrod, Georgia State Director of Rural Development, was ordered by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to resign after blogger Andrew Breitbart posted video excerpts of Sherrod's address at a March 2010 NAACP event to his website. The excerpts appeared to reveal Sharrod's racial bias against a caucasian farmer who had asked her assistance in saving his farm. Source

Director of the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Craig Fugate announced a new feature to http://m.fema.gov that allowed disaster survivors to apply for federal assistance directly on their web-enabled mobile devices after Presidentially declared disasters (such as BlackBerry, Apple iPhone, and Windows Mobile devices). Registering through the mobile site in three steps:
1. Go to http://m.fema.gov and click "Apply Online for FEMA Assistance". You will be directed to disasterassistance.gov.
2. Click on "Start Registration."
3. Fill out the registration form to apply for assistance. Source

Day543/July20th/Tuesday: The President and British Prime Minister David Cameron had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President and Vice President Joe Biden hosted a working lunch with Prime Minister Cameron in the State Dining Room of the White House. Source

The President and Prime Minister Cameron held a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

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

Mark M. Boulware, Ambassador to the Republic of Chad, Department of State Christopher J. McMullen, Ambassador to the Republic of Angola, Department of State

Joseph A. Mussomeli, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia, Department of State

Wanda L. Nesbitt, Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia, Department of State Karen Brevard Stewart, Ambassador to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Department of State Source&Bios

Vice President Joe Biden held a Middle Class Working Families Task Force event on solutions for families balancing the dual demands of work and caring for family. Source Video

The White House Council on Women and Girls announced the White House's launch of a Work-Flex Event Starter Kit to encourage greater dialogue around workplace flexibility at the community level and bring people together to start making changes. Employees, businesses, and universities were encouraged to use the Event Starter Kit to host a discussion in their own community about how innovative workplace flexibility policies could help employees balance work and family responsibilities, while simultaneously improving employers' bottom lines. For access to the White House's Work-Flex Event Starter Kit click here.

United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jay Jensen visited the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest where the Recovery Act was funding highway and trail maintenance and facility upgrades at Mount Rose, Nevada. The Deputy Under Secretary also visited Fuels Reduction Projects that were funded by the Recovery Act to prevent wildfire threats in the Reno and Carson City, Nevada areas. Source

Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor Mendez visited the Eastern Avenue Bridge in Washington, DC to meet with workers and receive a progress update. The new bridge was awarded $9.6 million in Recovery Act funds to provide higher clearances for interstate traffic and improve traffic flow. Source

Day544/July21st/Wednesday: The President deliver remarks and signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act at the Ronald Reagan Building. Transcript of the President's Remarks Video

The President met with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, Secretary of the Interior (DOI) Ken Salazar, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner and other senior White House officials to receive a briefing on the Administration-wide response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Secretary Napolitano discussed the ongoing efforts to fight the oil near shore and offshore and the cleanup of impacted shorelines with nearly 42,000 personnel, more than 5,300 vessels and over 100 aircraft. National Incident Commander Allen discussed the federal government's authorization for BP to continue the well integrity test for another 24 hours, and reported on efforts to look for anomalies in pressure readings and the status of the relief well. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco discussed the potential for severe weather in the Gulf, which was being closely monitored. Secretary Chu wrapped up the briefing with an overview of the ongoing work by the federal science team to collect and analyze acoustic, sonar and seismic data. The President pushed his team to be prepared for any scenarios related to the potential development of a tropical storm in the Gulf. Source

The President applauded the United States Senate's passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act as an important step to help the federal government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities, declaring, "The fact is, American Indians and Alaska Natives are victimized by violent crime at far higher rates than Americans as a whole. Native communities have seen increased gang and drug activity, with some tribes experiencing violent crime rates at more than ten times the national average. And one in three Native women will be the victim of rape in her lifetime." Source

The President applauded the United States Senate's passage of an extension of unemployment insurance, declaring, "Tonight, the United States Senate finally overcame weeks of parliamentary roadblocks by a partisan minority, and voted to restore desperately needed unemployment insurance assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession." Source

The President issued a Presidential Memorandum that delegated to the United States Secretary of State the function to make specified reports to the Congress under 22 U.S.C. 2291-4(c) and the function and authority to waive the provisions of section1003 of Public Law 100-204 (22 U.S.C. 5202) (Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987) upon making certain determinations and certifications under section7034(b) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law 111-117) and any subsequently enacted provision oflaw that is the same or substantially the same. Source

The President issued a Presidential Memorandum that delegated to the United States Secretary of Energy, under Section3134 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year2008 (PublicLaw 110-181), the functions conferred upon the President by section3134 (PublicLaw 110-181), to make the specified report to the Congress. Source

The President issued a Presidential Memorandum that delegated, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to the United States Broadcast Board of Governors Functions, under Section1264 of the Victims of Iranian CensorshipAct (Public Law111-84, SubtitleD ofthe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010), the functions conferred upon the President by section1264 (PublicLaw 111-84, subtitleD) to make the specified report tothe Congress. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Mark M. Boulware, of Texas, 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 Chad. Bio

Christopher J. McMullen, 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 Angola Bio

Joseph A. Mussomeli, 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 Slovenia Bio

Wanda L. Nesbitt, of Pennsylvania, 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 Namibia Bio

Karen Brevard Stewart, of Florida, 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 Lao People's Democratic Republic Bio Source

Charles Bernard Day, of Maryland, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland Bio

Albert Na'jera, of California, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of California for the term of four years Bio

William Claud Sibert, of Missouri, to be United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri for the term of four years Bio

Myron Martin Sutton, of Indiana, to be United States Marshal for the Northern District of Indiana for the term of four years Bio

Kathleen M. Williams, of Florida, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Bio Source

Vice President Joe Biden met with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. Among discussions was the upcoming issuance of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo's declaration of independence. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States' full support for an independent, democratic, whole, and multi-ethnic Kosovo. Source

United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited the Pueblo of Jemez, a federally recognized Indian tribe situated outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and met with tribal leaders. The Pueblo of Jemez, received a $900,000 Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant through the Recovery Act to improve health conditions for the Pueblo's children and families. Source

United States Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $88 million in grants for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to help new and expecting parents by providing in-home visits by professionals who teach important skills new parents may need to know. For more information on Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting, go to: www.hrsa.gov.

Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor Mendez attended a groundbreaking for a segment of the Doyle Drive Replacement project. Doyle Drive, the existing south access road to the Golden Gate Bridge, was to be replaced with a structurally and seismically safer new road. The project received $83.3 million in Recovery Act funds, which accelerated the project by one year. Source

United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills visited Amis's Italian Restaurant in Philadelphia where owner Marc Vetri received a $525,000 SBA Recovery loan that allowed him to open his third restaurant and create 62 new jobs. Fee eliminations provided in the Recovery Act allowed Vetri saved $11,000 in waived loan fees. Source

United States Justice Department special prosecutor, Nora Dannehy, who spent nearly two years investigating whether the firing of the US attorney in New Mexico, David C. Iglesias, broke the law and whether Justice Department officials lied to the U.S. Congress about it, concluded that while the politically motivated firing of Iglesias violated Justice Department principles, it was not a crime. She also concluded that misleading statements made by the former attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales and others at the Justice Department did not rise to the level of a crime, according to a summary of the investigation sent to Congress. Source

U.S. Justice Department Full Report pdf

United States District Court for the District of Alaska Judge Ralph Beistline prohibited companies from developing oil and gas wells on billions of dollars in leases off Alaska's northwest coast, ruling the federal government's Minerals Management Service (MMS) failed to follow environmental law before it sold the drilling rights. In February, nearly $2.7 billion was gleened by the federal government from the sale of 2.76 million acres in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi Sea, including $2.1 billion in high bids submitted by Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. Source

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Henry H. Kennedy,Jr. granted the petition of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, 34, in a single page order that instructed the Obama administration to "take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith.'' He also ordered Justice Department lawyers to report back by Aug. 20, 2010. Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif spent long periods of captivity in the Guanta'namo psychiatric ward Source

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Reggie Walton ruled for the U.S. government that the Obama Administration can continue to hold Abdul Rahman Abdul Abu Ghiyth Sulayman, 31, picked up in Pakistan and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Source

Day545/July22nd/Thursday: The President delivered remarks and signed the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act in the State Dining Room of the White House. Transcript of the President's Remarks Video

The President met with Commanding General of United States Forces in Iraq Raymond Odierno and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher R. Hill in the Oval Office of the White House. Odierno and Hill provided an update on the status of Iraqi negotiations to form a new government, the security situation on the ground, and the drawdown of U.S. forces leading up to the end of the United States combat mission. The President welcomed General Odierno's report of being ahead of schedule in executing the planned drawdown to 50,000 U.S. troops by the end of August 2010. Source

The President met with United States Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner in the Oval Office. Source

The President issued a Presidential Memorandum to the Director of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy assigning to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), under the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 responsibility to coordinate activities assigned in sections 107 and 108 of the Act to the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, including through committees of the NSTC. Source

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

" Howard L. Gottlieb, Member, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
"
Elaine Wynn, Member, Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Source&Bios

The President signed into law:

H.R. 4213, the "Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010," which extends initial eligibility for emergency unemployment compensation and 100 percent Federal funding for extended unemployment insurance benefits through November 30, 2010. Source

The President telephoned former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee Shirley Sherrod to express his regret about the events of the last several days in which she had been wrongfully portrayed as prejudiced against a white farmer, forced to resign, then vindicated after the entire unedited video of her March 2010 address to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had been examined. The President expressed to Sherrod his regret about the events and emphasized that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was sincere in his July 21, 2010 apology and in his work to rid USDA of discrimination. The President told Sherrod that the "misfortune" could present an opportunity for her to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need should she accept another position offered by Vilsack in the Agriculture Department. Source

Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Prime Minister and State of Law leader Nouri al-Maliki and with former Prime Minister and Iraqiyya leader Dr. Ayad Allawi to discuss recent developments in Iraq. The Vice President reiterated his call for an inclusive government, noting that the United States expects all four winning Iraqi coalitions to play a meaningful role in the process of government formation and in the new government. Source

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Theodore, Alabama to assess efforts to counter the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. During the visit, the Vice President toured the Theodore Staging Facility and met with fisherman and small business owners from the area. He was joined by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco. Source

The United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) released a report by the U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general's office that substantiated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector Mark Lund's 2008 charges that FAA inspectors who oversaw Northwest Airline's safety requirements had allowed the airline to avoid civil penalties or legal action by accepting voluntary disclosures of non-compliance in contravention of FAA policy. Delta Air Lines, Inc., purchased northwest in 2009, creating the world's largest airline. Source

Day546/July23rd/Friday: The President delivered a statement to the press on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President was briefed by United States Deputy National Incident Commander Rear Admiral Pete Neffenger on the ongoing Administration-wide response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and by U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy FEMA Administrator Rich Serino on the preparations for potential impacts of Tropical Storm Bonnie along the Gulf Coast. Administrator Fugate joined the briefing by phone. Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ordered Federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, and mudslides beginning on July 17, 2010, and continuing. Federal funding was made available to affected individuals in Pike County. Assistance was also offered in the form of 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 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, flooding, and mudslides in Pike County. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

Day547/July24th/Saturday: In his weekly address, the President laid out his plans to strengthen the middle class, give tax breaks to small businesses that create jobs in the United States, invest in homegrown, clean energy, and cut taxes for working families, declaring, "The truth is, it took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage. But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction. We are moving forward. And what we can't afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place." Transcript

The President played basketball at Fort McNair. Source

The President appeared in a surprise videotaped message at the Netroots Nation Conference to thank the progressive media and activists for helping advance a new agenda and urged them to "keep up the fight" ahead of the November elections. Source Video

Day548/July25th/Sunday: In response to the massive leak of intelligence documents by internet whistleblower site WikiLeaks to and published by the New York Times, the Guardian and German weekly Der Spiegel, United States National Security Advisor James L. Jones released a statement condemning ""the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents. The United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people." Source

Day549/July26th/Monday: The President delivered a statement to the press on the Senate campaign finance reform vote in the Rose Garden of the White House. Transcript Video

The President met with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

.

The President met with United States House of Representatives members Steny Hoyer, James Langevin, Jim Sensenbrenner, and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin in the Oval Office. Source

The President greeted crew members from the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station in the Oval Office. Source

The President and Vice President Joe Biden's daily public schedules became available online and available for subscription via RSS or Outlook, iCal, Google calendar, or any other calendar service that's compatible with an iCal feed. [Just click here to download the iCal feed and add it to your calendar. Your calendar will be automatically updated as new events are added to the President and Vice President's schedule.] Source

The President announced the appointment of Daphne Kwok to serve as Chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts:

David Grubb, Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust

William R. Hambrecht, Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust

Charlene Harvey, Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust Source&Bios

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 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of June 13-15, 2010. 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 storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Beaver, Cimarron, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Oklahoma, and Texas. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President proclaimed July 27, 2010, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. Source

The President issued an Executive Order directing Executive Branch departments and agencies to improve their efforts to employ workers with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of these individuals through compliance with the July 26, 2000 Executive Order 13163 of former United States President Bill Clinton that called for an additional 100,000 individuals with disabilities to be employed by the Federal Government over 5 years. According to President Obama, few steps were taken to implement that Executive Order in subsequent years.

The President proclaimed Monday, July 26, 2010, the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and encouraged Americans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this civil rights law and the many contributions of individuals with disabilities. Source

The President held an evening event and provided remarks at the White House on the South Lawn to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Transcript Video

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs warned BP any decision to replace BP CEO Tony Hayward would not change its obligation to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and compensate victims. Source Video

United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations David Lapan told NBC News a preliminary review by a United States Pentagon "assessment" team had so far not identified any documents released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks that could damage national security. Lapan added none of the documents reviewed currently carried a classification level above "secret" -- the lowest category of intelligence material in terms of sensitivity. Source

The United States Library of Congress' Copyright Office announced owners can unlock their iPhones to accept third party software not approved or sold by Apple, that doing so isn't a violation of the company's copyright. Other exemptions announced:

(a) permits owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers

(b) permits breaking of technical protections on video games to investigate or correct security flaws

(c) permits college professors, film students, documentary filmmakers and producers of noncommercial videos to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism or commentary

(d) permits computer owners to bypass the need for external security devices called dongles if the dongle no longer works and cannot be replaced

(e) permits the blind to break locks on electronic books so that they can use them with read-aloud software and similar aides. Source

Day550/July27th/Tuesday: The President met with United States Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Congressman John Boehner, and Congressman Steny Hoyer in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

The President delivered a statement to the press from the Rose Garden of the White House, touching briefly on the need to pass funding for United States troops in Afghanistan, saying that 92,000 documents recently leaked by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks "don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate on Afghanistan," and that they were precisely the issues that led to the review at the beginning of his presidencyalong withthe new way forward that came out of it. The President also relayed the frustration he expressed to the Republican Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell about the gratuitous delays of judicial nominations despite broad bipartisan support , which has left many courts nationwide short-handed. Transcript Video

The President congratulated the 2009 Little League Softball World Series Champions from Warner Robins, Georgia in the East Room of the White House.

The President met with United States Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

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

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Anthony Bryk, of California, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences for a term expiring November 28, 2015. (Reappointment) Bio

Julie A. Reiskin, of Colorado, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation for a term expiring July 13, 2013. (Reappointment) Bio Source

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of Idaho and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding during the period of June 2-10, 2010.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 storms and flooding in the counties of Adams, Gem, Idaho, Lewis, Payette, Valley, and Washington. 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 severe storms and flooding during the period of May 12-13, 2010. 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 storms and flooding in the counties of Des Moines and Lee. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President signed into law:

H.J.Res. 83, which renewed the import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act

H.R. 689, the "Shasta-Trinity National Forest Administrative Jurisdiction Transfer Act," which transferred the administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands located in northern California, between the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interiors's Bureau of Land Management

H.R. 3360, the "Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010," which established security and safety requirements for passenger cruise vessels

H.R. 4840, which designated the facility of the United States Postal Service located in Columbus, Ohio, as the Clarence D. Lumpkin Post Office

H.R. 5502, which allowed issuers of gift certificates, store gift cards, and general-use prepaid cards to issue certificates or cards produced prior to April 1, 2010, that do not meet disclosure requirements scheduled to be effective on August 22, 2010, until January 31, 2011, subject to specified conditions. Source

The President attended a Democratic National Committee (DNC) Fundraising Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Joe Biden met workers and delivered remarks at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Source

Treasurer of the United States Rosa Gumataotao Rios attended a groundbreaking for the Vida Senior Residences at Brightwood, a 36-unit affordable housing development for low-income senior citizens in Washington, DC. The project received $6.8 million in Recovery Act Funds which were leveraged to attract other investments and help the project move forward. Source

United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills visited A. Harold and Associates where owner Andy Harold received two Recovery loans and had created 10 new jobs in Jacksonville, Florida. Source

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced General Electric agreed to pay over 23 million dollars to settle allegations that GE bribed Iraqi officials in a "3.6 million dollar kickback scheme with Iraqi government agencies to win contracts to supply medical equipment and water purification equipment," said Robert Khuzami, the head of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. Source

The United States Department of Defense Press Secretary Geoff Morrell announced the U.S. Army had opened a criminal probe into the leak of 92,000 classified military files on the Afghan war and named as a "person of interest" Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old private charged in an earlier leak to WikiLeaks. "He is obviously a person of interest with regards to this leak but we don't know at this point," Morrell told MSNBC, referring to the jailed Manning. Source

The United States Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W.Bowen, Jr. revealed the U.S. Department of Defense could not account for how it spent $2.6 billion that belonged to the Iraqi government because of poor record-keeping and lax oversight. An audit of a $9.1 billion fund of Iraqi oil proceeds showed that most American military agencies entrusted with spending the money on reconstruction projects failed to adhere to U.S. rules on how such money must be tracked and spent. Source

United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller told the U.S. Congress he did not know how many of his agents cheated on an important exam on the bureau's policies for conducting surveillance on Americans. The U.S. Justice Department Inspector General was investigating whether hundreds of agents cheated on the test when some took the open-book test together while others finished the lengthy exam unusually quick. Source

Day551/July28th/Wednesday: The President met with United States Senator John Kerry in the Oval Office of the White House. Source

The President traveled to Edison, New Jersey to meet with a group of small business owners at Tastee Sub Shop to discuss the economy and urge Congress to pass support for small businesses, and then made a statement to the press. Transcript Video

The President traveled to the New York studio of ABC Broadcasting 's "The View" to tape his appearance for the July 29, 2010 show. Source & Video

The President announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Republic of Colombia to attend the Inauguration of Juan Manuel Santos Calderon on August 7, 2010. The Honorable General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret), National Security Advisor to the President, will be the head of the delegation and be joined by the Honorable William R. Brownfield, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

M. Scott Bowen, of Michigan, to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan for the term of four years Bio

Beverly Joyce Harvard, of Georgia, to be United States Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia for the term of four years Bio

Marina Garcia Marmolejo, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas Bio

Maria Elizabeth Raffinan, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years Bio

Ripley Rand, of North Carolina, to be United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina for the term of four years Bio

David Mark Singer, of California, to be United States Marshal for the Central District of California for the term of four years Bio Source

The President attended two Democratic National Committee (DNC) finance events in New York City, New York. Source

The Obama Administration released new guidance to health insurance plans to help ensure children get the high-quality care needed. The new FAQ document noted that insurance companies may establish an open enrollment period for children with pre-existing conditions and made clear that the Administration would not hesitate to issue regulations if insurance companies unfairly limit access to insurance for children who need it most. The document also signaled that kids with pre-existing conditions should not be shifted from the Children's' Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the individual market in an attempt to reduce State health care spending and that these policies would apply to health plans that start on or after September 23, 2010. Source

The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new rule addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction, which will replace a decades-old standard. The complete rule is available at http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-17818_PI.pdf. The regulation text is available at http://www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/index.html. The new rule will take effect on Nov. 8, 2010.

The Obama Administration's Bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal responsibility and Reform addressed the mid- and long-term fiscal challenges of the United States in a series of meetings in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Video

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a release of a complaint accused Citigroup executives Gary L. Crittenden, the former chief financial officer, and Arthur Tildesley Jr., the former head of investor relations, of omitting material information in disclosures to shareholders, announcing Citigroup agreed to pay $75 million to settle the claims. Source

United States District Court for the District of Arizona Judge Susan Ritchie Bolton granted a preliminary injunction that prevented police from questioning people about their immigration status, one of the most controversial sections of a tough Arizona immigration law. That provision required police to "make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested" if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally. Source

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Virginia's attorney general to cease threats to sue privacy advocate Betty Ostergren who publishes Social Security numbers of elected officials on the Internet. The court, however, did not strike down Virginia's 2008 state law that prohibits publication of such information with civil penalties of about $3,500 per violation. Source

Day552/July29th/Thursday: The President delivered an education reform speech at the National Urban League 100th Anniversary Convention at the Washington Convention Center, focusing on his Race to the Top program and other initiatives designed to drive education reform across the United States with the goal of preparing students for college and careers. Transcript Video

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

The President delivered remarks and signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of South Dakota and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding during the period of June 16-24, 2010. 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 storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Dewey, Perkins, and Ziebach Counties, and the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and Tribes within the State. 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 severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes beginning on June 1, 2010, and continuing. 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 storms, flooding, and tornadoes in the counties of Adams, Appanoose, Audubon, Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Clay, Davis, Decatur, Franklin, Howard, Humboldt, Iowa, Lee, Lyon, Madison, Marion, Mills, Monroe, Montgomery, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Ringgold, Shelby, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Wayne, Webster, and Wright. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), continued for 1 year the national emergency declared in August 1, 2007, by former President GeorgeW. Bush Executive Order 13441Executive Order 13441 with respect to the actions of certain persons to undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon or its democratic processes and institutions. Source

The President signed into law:

H.R. 4899, the "Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010," which provided FY 2010 supplemental appropriations for ongoing military, diplomatic, and intelligence operations; support for individuals and communities responding to major disasters; maintenance of ongoing humanitarian work following the earthquake in Haiti; enabling the response to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

H.R. 5610, the "Independent Living Centers Technical Adjustment Act," which required an adjustment in how funds for independent living centers under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are allocated in certain States. Source

The President attended a Democratic National Committee (DNC) finance event at a private residence.

The White House released a new report (pdf) cataloguing some early signs of success in the revitilization of the American auto industry.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an interim final regulation laying out the rules for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program. The regulation described the options for determining who has a pre-existing condition, how to verify citizenship, and how an individual can appeal a PCIP decision. It also detailed how Federal funding would be allocated, ways to prevent "dumping" of already-insured people into the program, and strategies for preventing fraud. The regulation also listed the benefits that can and can't be covered under this temporary federal program. Covered benefits included hospitalization, outpatient care, maternity care, and, hospice, and home health care.Coverage would be available at the same rate as for an average person without such a condition and the program entirely funded by the federal government. The temporary program would last until 2014 when discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition would be illegal. If you're interested in joining the program, you can click here to learn more about the program in your state. Source

Day553/July30th/Friday: The President traveled to Michigan to tour, speak to workers and deliver remarks at a Chrysler Auto Plant in Detroit and a General Motors Auto Plant in Hamtramck. Chrysler Plant Transcript Video General Motors Plant Transcript Video

The President called on the Iranian government to immediately release Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal, who were detained by the Islamic Republic of Iran on July 31, 2009. "I want to be perfectly clear: Sarah, Shane and Josh have never worked for the United States government. They are simply open-minded and adventurous young people who represent the best of America, and of the human spirit. They are teachers, artists, and advocates for social and environmental justice," the President declared. Source

The President signed into law:

H.R. 5849, which extended the authorizations of certain Small Business Administration (SBA) programs until September 30, 2010.

S. 3372, which extended from July 31, 2010 to December 18, 2013, a moratorium on the requirement for Clean Water Act permitting of discharges from certain vessels. Source

The President proclaimed July 30, 2010, as the 45th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid and called upon all Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that recognized the vital safety net that Medicare and Medicaid provide for millions of Americans. Source

The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a new ad featuring Andy Griffith discussing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The ad began running immediately on national cable channels, Source & Video of Ad

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk declared on the White House Blog, "Because President Obama took action to stem the tide of imported Chinese tires flooding the U.S. market, moms and dads are bringing home paychecks from tire factories in North Carolina and Arkansas. Because USTR successfully challenged Chinese industrial policy that pushed American auto parts suppliers to move production facilities offshore, men and women in Ohio and Michigan are still working on assembly lines. And because we took the European Union to court and won, the jobs of thousands of U.S. aerospace engineers and electricians in Washington State, Kansas, and South Carolina are more secure. And more American workers, from welders to widget-makers, will have a chance at future jobs on a more level playing field." Source

The week's West Wing Week was released.

Day554/July31st/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President praised the successes of the auto industry restructuring as good news for the United states economy, and called on Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate to "stop holding America's small businesses hostage to politics" by blocking a vote to help create jobs. Transcript Video

[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.]

 

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

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