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The Obama Administration: April 11 Thru 30 2009

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Day81/April 11th/Saturday: In his Weekly Presidential Address, United States President Barack Obama said he was…”pleased that after two days of careful negotiation, the G20 nations have agreed on a series of unprecedented steps that I believe will be a turning point in our pursuit of a global economic recovery.”  Video & Transcript

Day82/April 12th/Sunday: After United States military snipers had killed all but one of the four Somalian pirates holding Captain Richard Philips hostage, the President issued a written statement in which he praised the military for successfully rescuing Philips. The President had authorized the use of deadly force. For the background of what led up to the hostage taking of Philips and Philips’s after rescue interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, read here.

Day83/April 13th/Monday: Thousands of children attended the annual Easter egg roll at the White House. The President read the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are (supplying his own voice characterizations) to the assembled children. 

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The President directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury and Commerce to carry out the actions necessary to lift all the restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit and send money to family members in Cuba. Clothing, seeds and fishing gear are, also, allowed to be sent. Cell phone and television services will be permitted between the United States and Cuba, also.

Day84/April 14th/Tuesday: The President presented a speech on the economy at Georgetown University. Of the Troubled Assets Recovery Program (TARP), the President said:

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 Of course, there are some who argue that the government should stand back and simply let these banks fail – especially since in many cases it was their bad decisions that helped create the crisis in the first place. But whether we like it or not, history has repeatedly shown that when nations do not take early and aggressive action to get credit flowing again, they have crises that last years and years instead of months and months – years of low growth, low job creation, and low investment that cost those nations far more than a course of bold, upfront action. And although there are a lot of Americans who understandably think that government money would be better spent going directly to families and businesses instead of banks – ‘where's our bailout?,’ they ask – the truth is that a dollar of capital in a bank can actually result in eight or ten dollars of loans to families and businesses, a multiplier effect that can ultimately lead to a faster pace of economic growth.” Transcript & Video

Day85/April 15th/Wednesday: The President addressed tax relief for working families. Among his remarks:

  They (middle class) need a government that is working to create jobs and opportunity for them, rather than simply giving more and more to those at the very top in the false hope that wealth automatically trickles down.”

 “…We've already identified $2 trillion dollars in deficit reductions over the next decade. And that's why we're cutting programs that don't work, contracts that aren't fair and spending that we don't need.”

 I said this during the campaign. I'm now saying it as president: We need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that stash profits or ship jobs overseas so that we can invest in job creation here at home.”

Finally, we need to simplify a monstrous tax code that is far too complicated for most Americans to understand, but just complicated enough for the insiders who know how to game the system.” Transcript Video 

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Additionally, the President’s tax plans would exempt seniors from having to file taxes.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with European Union Secretary-General.

United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napoliitano traveled to the southwest to evaluate border security in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Napoliitano appointed former United States Attorney Alan Bersin the new “Border Czar”. Bersin will try to rein in the drug violence at the border between the U.S. and Mexico and illegal immigration.

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

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