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The Obama Administration: September 16-30, 2009

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This article is the seventeenth 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.

"He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you. That doesn't make sense to me,'"__Barack Obama, President of the United States, in remarks made before the Congressional Black Caucus Conference, September 26, 2009

Day237/Sep16th/Wednesday: The President met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Oval Office of the White House. Among the discussions was the United States and Canada's shared commitment to helping the Afghan government prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a base for terrorism, U.S. and Canadian support for the peaceful restoration of democratic and constitutional order in Honduras, and they called on all parties to accept the San Jose Accord, which calls for ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya's return to power, the creation of a unity government and early elections. Obama&Harper Joint Statement Transcript Press Coverage Video

The President and the First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an event on the South Lawn with the White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, Chicago2016 and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to promote Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and highlight the Obama Administration's commitment to service, healthy living and youth sport. Attending were Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, representatives from Chicago2016, the USOC, United States Olympians and Paralympians, along with school children from local DC area schools. Transcript Video

The President met with General Colin Powell in the Oval Office of the White House.

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

The President met with United States Senators Jay Rockefeller(Democrat), Bob Bennett(Republican) and Ron Wyden(Democrat) in the Oval Office for discussions on health insurance reform.

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

Elizabeth "Beth" Robinson, Chief Financial Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Michael F. Mundaca, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, Department of the Treasury Source & Bios

The President announced his appointments to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities:

Margo Lion, Co-Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

George Stevens, Jr., Co-Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Vice Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Source&Bios

The White House presented the United States Congress with eight general yardsticks to measure success in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some metrics could be measured using statistics such as polls or economic variables, but about half of them are subjective, and each metric has between four and 14 sub-metrics. Two that are classified weren't released. The White House said it would review the metrics quarterly and present its findings to Congress by March 2010, as Congress requested. Congress demanded the benchmarks from the White House by Sept. 24 as concern grows that the U.S. may be committing itself to an escalating war with little prospect of success. Source

The President attended, in the evening, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Awards Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Among the President's remarks, he announced: "I want you to know that my administration is marking this occasion, as well. Later this week, Secretary Salazar will lead the first meeting of a commission to look at the creation of a national museum to honor the historic contributions of Latinos and Latinas to our country." Transcript Video

The President telephoned the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic to tell them that he had dropped plans to site missile interceptors and a radar station in their respective countries. Source

United States Vice President Joe Biden was in Baghdad, Iraq where, from the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, he assured: "We'll also move ahead in other aspects of the security agreement by removing all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq by the end of August 2010 and all remaining U.S. troops by the end of 2011. Biden&Maliki Joint Statement

Day238/Sep17th/Thursday: The President appeared in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to address the strengthening of missile defense in Europe. The President announced he had dropped the previous George W. Bush Administration's plans to site 10 interceptor missiles in Poland linked to radar in the Czech Republic. Transcript Fact-sheet Video

The President held a rally on health insurance reform at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland in College Park. The event was streamed live through a Facebook application that allowed students nationwide to both watch the event and discuss it with others as it is happening. Among the President's remarks:

"One-fourth of all young adults are paying off medical debt."

"Young people, it's about what kind of country you want to be. We are the only nation on Earth that leaves millions of people without health insurance. We spend more than any country on Earth, and we're not any healthier for it. So this is about what kind of country you want your children to grow up in."

"Under my plan, if your parents have health insurance and you're currently on their policy, you will automatically be able to keep your coverage until you're 26 years old."

"In the United States, nobody should go broke because they get sick." Transcript


The President, in the East Room of the White House, awarded Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant First Class Monti received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Monti sacrificed his own life in an effort to save his comrade. Sergeant First Class Monti's parents, Paul Monti and Janet Monti, attended. Transcript Video

The President named nine eminent researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science, and four inventors and one company as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation , the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards on October 7, 2009 at a White House ceremony. This year's recipients are:

National Medal of Science
Dr. Berni Alder, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA
Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health, MD
Dr. Joanna Fowler, Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY
Dr. Elaine Fuchs, The Rockefeller University, NY
Dr. James Gunn, Princeton University, NJ
Dr. Rudolf Kalman, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Dr. Michael Posner, University of Oregon, OR
Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
Dr. J. Craig Venter, J. Craig Venter Institute, MD & CA

National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Dr. Forrest M. Bird, Percussionaire Corp., ID
Dr. Esther Sans Takeuchi, University at Buffalo, SUNY, NY
Team: Dr. John Warnock and Dr. Charles M. Geschke (Adobe Systems Inc., CA)
Company: IBM Corporation, NY

The President announced the United States will continue to act aggressively to stop the global spread of the pandemic 2009- H1N1 influenza virus and is prepared to make 10 percent of its H1N1 vaccine supply available to other countries through the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States is taking this action in concert with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The United States will make the H1N1 vaccine available to the WHO on a rolling basis as vaccine supplies become available, in order to assist countries that will not otherwise have direct access to the vaccine. Transcript

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Ben S. Bernanke, of New Jersey, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a term of four years. (Reappointment)

Michael J. Moore, of Georgia, to be United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia for the term of four years

Carmen Milagros Ortiz, of Massachusetts, to be United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts for the term of four years

Erroll G. Southers, of California, to be an Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security

Edward J. Tarver, of Georgia, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia for the term of four years


The President hosted a viewing of a portion of the Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea in the White House movie theater in the evening. The documentary is a six-episode series that aired on PBS beginning September 27, 2009. The 55-minute reel clip the President viewed highlights past presidents who made major impacts on national parks as well as interviews of real Americans who are inspired by the national parks. Attendees included United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, director of the documentary Ken Burns, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland, and members of the United States Congress.

In Irbil, Iraq, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the press with the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani. Among Biden's remarks: "The United States fully understands, recognizes, and supports the notion that there's a sovereign Iraqi government. But we stand ready to use our good offices to support Iraqi national unity" Transcript

United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a presidential memorandum, "that I received today directs my department to make $25 million in grants available to states, localities, and health systems to try out new patient safety and medical liability models." The grants are going to be available for the development, implementation, and evaluation of models that do four things:

(1) put patient safety first and work to reduce preventable injuries

(2) foster better communication between doctors and their patients

(3) ensure that patients are compensated in a fair and timely manner for medical injuries, while reducing the incidence of frivolous lawsuits

(4) reduce liability premiums

Within 30 days of this announcement, an official funding opportunity announcement on grants.gov will be posted.

Potential grantees will have 60 days to apply for two different kinds of grants:

(a) one-year planning grants of up to $300,000 that will help states and localities and health systems develop and conceptualize new patient safety and medical liability models

(b) demonstration grants for up to three years and $3 million that will help implementation of projects that are ready to go

Sebelius concluded: "As required by law, every application will go through a rigorous review process at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which includes by law a peer review by independent scientific experts. At the end of the process, we'll announce the grant awards early in 2010. So the demonstrations are about learning what works and what doesn't. Grantees will be required to report back to us with data on patient safety and medical liability costs." Transcript Fact-sheet

United States Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hosted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Jim Freis and attorneys general from 12 states to discuss emerging trends and proactive strategies to combat fraud against consumers in the housing markets as well as best practices to bolster coordination across state and federal agencies. Source "Payment option ARMs are about to explode," Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said afterward. "That's the next round of potential foreclosures in our country," he said. Source

The U.S. military closed Camp Bucca, its detention facility in southern Iraq, on Thursday after a plane carried the last remaining prisoners to another facility in Baghdad. Camp Bucca, in the southern port city of Basra, was one of three prisons operated by U.S.-led forces in Iraq. The remaining two dentention facilities, Camp Cropper and Camp Taji, are scheduled to be handed over to the Iraqis next year. Source

Day239/Sep18th/Friday: The President met with recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in the Oval Office. The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Dennis M. McCarthy will also attend.

The President did a round of taped interviews in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for five Sunday morning televised talk shows: Face the Nation (CBS), Meet the Press (NBC), This Week (ABC), CNN and Spanish language Univision.

the President signed into law:

H.R. 3325, which extends for one year the Social Security Administration's Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program

S.J.Res. 9, which appoints France A. Cordova as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. Source

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

Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Arun Majumdar, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy, Department of Energy

Gustavo Arnavat, United States Executive Director to the Inter-American Development Bank Source&Bios

United States United Nation Ambassador Susan Rice joined White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House to outline the work at the United Nations over the eight months of the Obama Administration:

(1) negotiated a unanimous Security Council resolution on North Korea imposing the toughest sanctions on the books against any country in the world today.

(2) changed course and sought a seat on the Human Rights Council, and won the seat with 90 percent of the votes cast

(3) we stand firmly on principle and resolute on issues that matter most to us. But we're not picking petty battles simply for the sake of being contrary. In the past, we've sometimes let ourselves be defined as much by what we stand against as what we stand for.

(4) rescinded the Mexico City Policy that barred U.S. assistance to programs that support family planning and reproductive health services

(5) signed the first new human rights convention of the 21st century, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

(6) reversed course to back a statement at the General Assembly opposing violence and discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation

(7) no longer balk at mentions of reproductive health, or oppose references to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

(8) seek constructive working relationships with nations large and small, mindful of the fact that the United Nations consists of 192 member-states. All of them vote in the General Assembly. And more than half of the U.N.'s membership consists of small states with populations of less than 10 million people

(9) meet our obligations. As we call on others to help reform and strengthen the United Nations, the United States has to do its part as well. And we are. We're paying our bills. We've worked with Congress to pay our dues in full and on time. And thanks to the strong support of Congress, we've been able to clear U.S. arrears to the U.N.'s regular budget and those to its peacekeeping budget, which accumulated from 2005 to 2008. We'll meet our 2009 obligations on the peacekeeping budget in full Transcript

Day240/Sep19th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President talked about the progress in stemming a global economic crisis. He discusses the impact of the Recovery Act, and pledged that "lobbyists for big Wall Street banks" will not prevent real reform for the future, including a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Transcript Video

Day241/Sep20th/Sunday: The chronicler presumes the President watched at least one of the network Sunday talk shows, or not.

Day242/Sep21st/Monday: The President traveled to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, where he toured a technology classroom and spoke about innovation and sustainable growth. Among the President's remarks:

"__while people in this city work hard to meet their responsibilities, I have to confess that some in Washington haven't always lived up to theirs."

"So we know that Upstate New York can succeed, just like we know that there are pockets in the Midwest that used to be hubs of manufacturing, they're now retooling; they're reinventing themselves. We know that can happen. We know that in the global economy, where there's no room for error and there's certainly no room for wasted potential. America needs you to succeed."

"We know that the nations that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. The ability of new industries to thrive depends on workers with the knowledge and the know-how to contribute in those fields."

"And that's why I've set this ambitious goal: By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. We used to be number one. We should be number one again." Transcript

The President sent these nominations to the United states Senate:

Gustavo Arnavat, of New York, to be United States Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank for a term of three years

Arun Majumdar, of California, to be Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Department of Energy. (New Position)

Elizabeth M. Robinson, of Virginia, to be Chief Financial Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Daniel W. Yohannes, of Colorado, to be Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation

The President sent notice to the United States Congress that "Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice, stating that the national emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism is to continue in effect beyond September 23, 2009:

"The crisis constituted by the grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on United States nationals or the United States that led to the declaration of a national emergency on September 23, 2001, has not been resolved. These actions pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism, and maintain in force the comprehensive sanctions to respond to this threat." Source

The President was the guest on the David Letterman Show (CBS).

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rang in the trading day at the New York Stock Exchange.

Day243/Sep22nd/Tuesday: The President delivered remarks at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Change Summit at the United Nations Headquarters. Transcript

The President held separate bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahue of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Video

The President, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas held a trilateral meeting. The President opened the meeting by declaring: "Palestinians have strengthened their efforts on security, but they need to do more to stop incitement and to move forward with negotiations. Israelis have facilitated greater freedom of movement for the Palestinians and have discussed important steps to restrain settlement activity. But they need to translate these discussions into real action on this and other issues. And it remains important for the Arab states to take concrete steps to promote peace." Transcript

President Obama joined 25 African heads of state, plus African Union Commissioner Jean Ping, at a lunch at the Waldorf Astoria. Also present at the lunch was United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, General James Jones and United States United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. The lunch focused on how the United States can forge stronger partnerships in Africa to create more opportunity for Africans and focused on three topics: job creation, particularly for youth; then increasing trade and investment; and particularly strengthening the agricultural sector and agricultural productivity. Source


The President held a bilateral meeting with President Hu Jintao of China at the Waldorf Astoria in the evening. The meeting was approximately an hour and a half duration, with
emphasis upon common interests: how far the two countries have come in building the relationship, opportunities to build the relationship further, discussion about how the President's trip to China later this year could fit in with that objective, and candid discussion of differences. The principal topics that were discussed were: North Korea, Iran, climate change, global economic recovery and the bilateral economic and trade relationship. Source Transcript of Obama & Hu-Jintao Remarks Before Meeting

The President delivered remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative at the Sheraton Hotel. Transcript Video

The President attended Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Change Summit Dinner at the United Nations Headquarters.

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

Elaine Schuster, Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Laura Gore Ross, Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Wellington E. Webb, Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

Congressman William Delahunt , Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of Massachusetts)

Congressman Chris Smith, Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (U.S. Representative from the State of New Jersey)

Mary Warlick, Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia, Department of State

Islam A. Siddiqui, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Alan Bersin, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security Source&Bios

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland to address the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Among the Vice President's comments:

Announcement: "A report released by the White House today finds that health insurance premiums in states have gone up between 90 and 150 percent in the last decade, far faster than wages and inflation." Report

"So the soaring premiums are not only hurting families and killing small businesses, they're hurting our competitive position all around the world. But as the report points out, they're hurting our whole free enterprise system. They're hurting our ability to compete, of business competing internationally." Transcript

At an event with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as well as White House and Homeland Security staff, a new Citizenship and Immigration Services web site was unveiled, though parts of the service, including its Spanish-language sections, were still under construction. A feature of the site is a tool allowing users to get e-mail updates or text alerts about the status of their cases, as well as to check them online with their case number. Source

Day244/Sep23rd/Wednesday: The President addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Among the Presidents remarks:

"I come before you humbled by the responsibility that the American people have placed upon me, mindful of the enormous challenges of our moment in history, and determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity at home and abroad."

"Now, like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people, and I will never apologize for defending those interests. But, it is my deeply held belief that in the year 2009, more than at any point in human history, the interests of nations and peoples are shared. The religious convictions that we hold in our hearts can forge new bonds among people, or they can tear us apart. The technology we harness can light the path to peace, or forever darken it. The energy we use can sustain our planet, or destroy it. What happens to the hope of a single child, anywhere, can enrich our world, or impoverish it."

"But make no mistake: This cannot solely be America's endeavor. Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone."

"The choice is ours. We can be remembered as a generation that chose to drag the arguments of the 20th century into the 21st; that put off hard choices, refused to look ahead, failed to keep pace because we defined ourselves by what we were against instead of what we were for. Or we can be a generation that chooses to see the shoreline beyond the rough waters ahead; that comes together to serve the common interests of human beings, and finally gives meaning to the promise embedded in the name given to this institution: the United Nations." Transcript Video

The President had a bilateral meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. After the meeting, both leaders appeared to deliver remarks.

The President had a bilateral meeting with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev. After the meeting, both leaders appeared to deliver remarks.

The President, convened this meeting with delegations from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Jordan, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal and Uruguay to underscore the United States' commitment to UN peacekeeping, to express appreciation for those who contribute the most troops, and to exchange ideas for improving peacekeeping missions. Fact Sheet

The President announced the appointment of several individuals to the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino: Emilio Estefan,Jr., Andres W. Lopez, Cindy Peña, Abigail M. Pollak, and Cid Wilson. The President also announced that Gilberto Cárdenas and Jose B. Fernández, currently Members of the Commission, will continue their service on the Commission. Source&Bios

Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today hosted a town hall meeting with seniors in Silver Spring, MD and released a new report, Health Insurance Reform and Medicare. Press Release Report Video

The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Actof 2009 (Recovery Act) that, the President claimed in a press release, "the GAO notes, Recovery Act funds are being put to work ahead of schedule, and project bids are frequently coming in under-budget, with the millions of dollars of cost-savings often redirected to communities that need the economic boost the most."

White House Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform Norm Eisen announced: "The White House has informed executive agencies and departments that it is our aspiration that federally-registered lobbyists not be appointed to agency advisory boards and commissions." Eisen also, in a posting on the White House Blog, stated: "We recognize that there are many registered lobbyists who currently serve on these committees as a result of a prior appointment. When these appointments expire, it is our hope that agencies not reappoint anyone who is currently registered as a federal lobbyist at the time of their potential reappointment." Announcement

Attorney General Eric Holder announced, effective immediately, he would personally review claims to state secrecy privilege, with tougher standards put in place. "Under the new policy, the department will now defend the assertion of the privilege only to the extent necessary to protect against the risk of significant harm to national security," a Justice Department statement said. "The policy requires the approval of the Attorney General prior to the invocation of the states secret privilege, except when the Attorney General is recused or unavailable." Source

Day245/Sep24th/Thursday: The President chaired the UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters. After unanimous Security Council passage of UNSC Resolution 1887, the President declared: "Today, the Security Council endorsed a global effort to lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. The United States will host a summit next April to advance this goal and help all nations achieve it. This resolution will also help strengthen the institutions and initiatives that combat the smuggling, financing, and theft of proliferation-related materials. It calls on all states to freeze any financial assets that are being used for proliferation. And it calls for stronger safeguards to reduce the likelihood that peaceful nuclear weapons programs can be diverted to a weapons program, that peaceful nuclear programs can be diverted to a weapons program." Transcript Video

Fact Sheet on the United Nations Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament UNSC Resolution 1887

The President and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown co-chaired the Friends of Pakistan leaders meeting at the Waldorf Astoria.

The President traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the 2009 G-20 Summit.

The President attended the G-20 leaders working dinner at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Frederick D. Barton, of Maine, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Bill Delahunt, of Massachusetts, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Elaine Schuster, of Florida, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Islam A. Siddiqui, of Virginia, to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador

Christopher H. Smith, of New Jersey, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Mary Burce Warlick, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Serbia.

Wellington E. Webb, of Colorado, to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Jide J. Zeitlin, of New York, to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of Ambassador.

Jide J. Zeitlin, of New York, to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform. Source

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

Robert R. King, Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State

Carolyn Colvin, Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, Social Security Administration

Marisa Lago, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Development, Department of the Treasury Source&Bios

The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of Georgia and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding beginning on September 18, 2009, and continuing. The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, and Paulding Counties. Source

Day246/Sep25th/Friday: The President was joined by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to announce that, on September 24, 2009, in Vienna, the United States, the United Kingdom and France presented detailed evidence to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years. President Obama declared: "__this is not the first time that Iran has concealed information about its nuclear program. Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people. But the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow, endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world." Transcript Video Background Briefing By Senior Administration Officials On Iranian Nuclear Facility

The President and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met and discussed Britain and the United States' shared interest in Afghanistan and ensuring it could never again be used for attacks by al Qaeda against the United Kingdom, the United States or their allies. They agreed that Iran's nuclear activity was unacceptable, that the international community expected answers on October 1, 2009, and united in calling upon Iran to live up to its international responsibilities. Source

The President attended the morning G-20 plenary session at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.


The President attended the G-20 leaders lunch.

The President attended the afternoon G-20 plenary session.


The President held a news conference at the close of the G20 Summit. He outlined the agreements reached:

(1) "to sustain our recovery plans until growth is restored, and a new framework for prosperity is in place"

(2) "to take concrete steps to move forward with tough, new financial regulations so that crises like this can never happen again"

(3) "bring more transparency to the derivatives market"

(4) "we will strengthen national capital standards, so that banks can withstand losses and pay for their own risks"

(5) "create more powerful tools to hold large global financial firms accountable, and orderly procedures to manage failures without burdening taxpayers"

(6) "we will tie executive pay to long-term performance, so that sound decisions are rewarded instead of short-term greed"

(7) "agreed to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels so that we can transition to a 21st century energy economy"

(8) "agreed to reform our system of global economic cooperation and governance"

(9) "we will shift more responsibility to emerging economies within the International Monetary Fund, and give them a greater voice. To build new markets, and help the world's most vulnerable citizens climb out of poverty, we established a new World Bank Trust Fund to support investments in food security and financing for clean and affordable energy. And to ensure that we keep our commitments, we agreed to continue to take stock of our efforts going forward" Transcript Video


The President departed Pittsburgh and returned to Washington, DC.

G20 Leaders Statement on the Pittsburgh Summit

The following fact sheets outline the outcomes of the Pittsburgh Summit hosted by President Obama on September 24th and 25th.

FACT SHEETS

The Pittsburgh Summit: Key Accomplishments LINK

Creating a 21st Century International Economic Architecture LINK

Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth LINK

Bold and Coordinated Actions from Crisis to Recovery LINK

Partnering on Food Security LINK

Acting on our Global Energy and Climate Change Challenges LINK

Support for the Most Vulnerable LINK Source

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Richard G. Callahan, of Missouri, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri for the term of four years

Michael W. Cotter, of Montana, to be United States Attorney for the District of Montana for the term of four years

Robert R. King, of Virginia, to be Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues, with the rank of Ambassador.

Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, of Iowa, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa for the term of four years

Marisa Lago, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury

Stephanie M. Rose, of Iowa, to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa for the term of four years

Laura Gore Ross, of New York, to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Source

President Obama nominated for United States Attorneys:

Judge Richard Callahan, for the Eastern District of Missouri

Micheal W. Cotter, for the District of Montana

Nicholas Klinefeldt, for the Southern District of Iowa

Stephanie Rose, for the Northern District of Iowa Source&Bios

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

Michael C. Polt, Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia

Victoria A. Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Office of Management and Budget

Adele Logan Alexander, Member, National Council on the Humanities Source&Bios

Day247/Sep26th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President recapped the progress made during the intensive discussions with world leaders at the G20. Transcript Video

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama observed their oldest daughter, Malia, play soccer in Northwest Washington, D.C.

The President addressed the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Dinner Conference. Among the President's remarks, he recounted how, at the G-20 economic summit, one of the other leaders had told him he didn't understand why the American debate over changing the health care system was so often hostile: "He says, 'We don't understand it. You're trying to make sure everybody has health care and they're putting a Hitler mustache on you. That doesn't make sense to me,'" Obama said.

Day248/Sep27th/Sunday: The President took his sister and her husband and their children on an evening tour of the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and the White House. Source: MSNBC, September 28, 2009.

Day249/Sep28th/Monday: The White House announced that the President will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark on October 1, 2009, to support Chicago, Illinois's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games at the 121st International Olympic Committee Session (IOC) Session. Source

Vice President Joe Biden announced the latest version of Recovery.gov as a significant step forward in the Obama Administration's efforts to provide unprecedented transparency and accountability of Recovery Act dollars at work. Visitors to the site now have at their fingertips agency-level information about every area of Recovery Act spending through new interactive maps, graphs and other user-friendly features. Source

Day250/Sep29th/Tuesday: The President met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the Oval Office of the White House. After the meeting, the President and Rasmussen held a joint press conference. Transcript Video

The President sent these nominations to the United States Senate:

Adele Logan Alexander, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the National Council on the Humanities for a term expiring January 26, 2014

Alan Bersin, of California, to be Commissioner of Customs, Department of Homeland Security, vice W. Ralph Basham

Gladys Commons, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Victoria Angelica Espinel, of the District of Columbia, to be Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Executive Office of the President. (New Position)

Steven L. Jacques, of Kansas, to be an Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Michael C. Polt, of Tennessee, 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 Estonia

Harris D. Sherman, of Colorado, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment

Harris D. Sherman, of Colorado, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Commodity Credit Corporation

The President sent withdrawals of these nominations to the United States Senate:

Harris D. Sherman, of California, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment, which was sent to the Senate on September 10, 2009.

Harris D. Sherman, of California, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Commodity Credit Corporation, which was sent to the Senate on September 10, 2009. The reason for Sherman's nomination withdrawal and, then, resubmission was because the White House, in sending his nomination to the US Senate the first time, mistakenly said Sherman was from California, instead of from Colorado. Source

The President announced he will visit the Gulf Coast in mid-October and see first-hand the progress in the region. President Obama also signed an Executive Order extending the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding for six months. The Office of the Gulf Coordinator was first established November 1, 2005. Source

The President declared a major disaster exists in the Territory of American Samoa and ordered Federal aid to supplement Territory and local recovery efforts in the area struck by an earthquake, tsunami, and flooding beginning on September 29, 2009, and continuing. The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the Territory of American Samoa. Source

The President signed an Executive Order that continues these Federal Advisory Committees until September 30, 2011:

a) Committee for the Preservation of the White House; Executive Order 11145, as amended (Department of the Interior).

(b) National Infrastructure Advisory Council; Executive Order 13231, as amended (Department of Homeland Security).

(c) Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health; Executive Order 12196, as amended (Department of Labor).

(d) President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Executive Order 13256 (Department of Education).

(e) President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities; Executive Order 13270 (Department of Education).

(f) President's Commission on White House Fellowships; Executive Order 11183, as amended (Office of Personnel Management).

(g) President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities; Executive Order 12994, as amended (Department of Health and Human Services).

(h) President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Executive Order 12367, as amended (National Endowment for the Arts).

(i) President's Committee on the International Labor Organization; Executive Order 12216, as amended (Department of Labor).

(j) President's Committee on the National Medal of Science; Executive Order 11287, as amended (National Science Foundation).

(k) President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; Executive Order 13265 (Department of Health and Human Services).

(l) President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Executive Order 13226, as amended (Office of Science and Technology Policy).

(m) President's Export Council; Executive Order 12131, as amended (Department of Commerce).

(n) President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee; Executive Order 12382, as amended (Department of Homeland Security).

(o) Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee; Executive Order 12905 (Office of the United States Trade Representative). Source

Day251/Sep30th/Wednesday: The President spoke on the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he announced: "We've awarded $5 billion -- that's with a "b" -- in grants through the Recovery Act to conduct cutting-edge research all across America, to unlock treatments to diseases that have long plagued humanity, to save and enrich the lives of people all over the world. This represents the single largest boost to biomedical research in history." The President summed up later in his speech, "But we also know that these investments will save jobs, they'll create new jobs -- tens of thousands of jobs -- conducting research, and manufacturing and supplying medical equipment, and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities all across America.And that's also what the Recovery Act is all about. It's not just about creating make-work jobs; it's about creating jobs that will make a lasting difference for our future." Transcript Video Fact Sheet

The President met for approximately 3 hours with his National Security Team in the Situation Room of the White House to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan. General Stanley A. McChrystal, Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, attended the meeting via video conferencing. This was the second of five scheduled sessions with the National Security Council, field commanders and regional ambassadors. The White House also announced that General Jim Jones would be briefing U.S.Senators that evening. Source

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, according to a Firedoglake.com report. According to reporter Jane Hamsher, Emanuel and Trumka "discussed the Baucus/Pelosi plan to pay for reform by putting an unfair burden on the benefits of many AFL-CIO members." Trumka reiterated to Emanuel that "working families shouldn't be taxed on their health care benefits, which often have been gotten by foregoing wage increases and other benefits." Source: firedoglake.com/2009/09/30

The tax subgroup of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) held a meeting to gather ideas on tax reform, the first of several such meetings. The meeting centered on tax simplification and was live streamed. Source

The President sent these nominations to the United states Senate:

Louis B. Butler, Jr., of Wisconsin, to be United Stated District Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin Source

President Obama nominated these individuals to be U.S. Attorneys:

Sanford Coats, for the western District of Oklahoma

Beth Phillips, for the Western District of Missouri

Stephanie Villafuerte, for the District of Colorado Source&Bios

President Obama nominated these individuals to be United States Marshals:

John Kammerzell, for the District of Colorado

Mark Martinez, for the District of Nebraska

Stephen James Smith, for the Southern District of Georgia Source&Bios

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

Sara Manzano-Diaz, Director of the Women's Bureau, Department of Labor

John F. Tefft, Ambassador to Ukraine, Department of State Source&Bios

Paul Martin, Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Mark R. Rosekind, Member, National Transportation Safety Board

Christine H. Fox, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Department of Defense Source&Bios

The President announced his intent to nominate Roszell (Rod) Hunter as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Source&Bio

The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of Kansas and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding during the period of July 8-14, 2009.Federal funding was made available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding in the counties of Anderson, Bourbon, Franklin, Linn, and Sedgwick. Source

The President signed Presidential Determination No. 2009-32 authorizing the admission of up to 80,000 refugees in fiscal year 2010. The regional breakdown of these authorized refugee admissions is as follows: Africa -- 15,500; East Asia -- 17,000; Europe/Central Asia -- 2,500; Latin America/Caribbean -- 5,000; Near East/South Asia -- 35,000; and Unallocated Reserve -- 5,000. Source

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced deployment of two assistance teams to American Samoa in the wake of a tsunami. Source

Army General Ray Odierno, the top American commander in Iraq, told the U.S.Congress he will send home about 4,000 additional troops by the end of October. Source

[Author's note: all days in these chronicles are full days. The Obama Inaugeration on January 20, 2009 was a half-day, so not counted.]

 

Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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<... by Robert Arend on Monday, Oct 5, 2009 at 9:15:50 AM