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The Obama Administration: May 17-31, 2011

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This article is the 57th 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.

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"As you move forward in the days ahead, I know that rebuilding what you've lost won't be easy. I just walked through some of the neighborhoods that have been affected, and you look out at the landscape, and there have to be moments where you just say, where to begin? How to start? There are going to be moments where after the shock has worn off, you feel alone. But there's no doubt in my mind what the people of this community can do. There's no doubt in my mind that Joplin will rebuild. And as President, I can promise you your country will be there with you every single step of the way. We will be with you every step of the way. We're not going anywhere. The cameras may leave. The spotlight may shift. But we will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored and this community is back on its feet. We're not going anywhere."__ Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, at a memorial service in Joplin, Missouri, May 29, 2011

 

Day847/May17th/Tuesday: The President met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House, and, after, both delivered statements to the press. Transcript Video

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The President hosted a White House reception in the East Room of the White House to honor Jewish American Heritage Month. The President's Remarks Video

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the Oval Office. Source

The President issued notice that, " Because the obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Orders 13315, 13350, 13364, and 13438, must continue in effect beyond May 22, 2011. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq ." Text of Letter To the Speaker of the House of Representatives & Senate President

Day848/May18th/Wednesday: The President traveled to New London, Connecticut, where he delivered the commencement speech at the United States Coast Guard Academy. Transcript Video

The President traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, where he delivered remarks at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) event at the Boston Center for the Arts ( Transcript ) and at a private residence ( Transcript ) before returning to the White House in the evening.

The President issued an Executive Order blocking property and all interests in property in the United States of senior officials of the Syrian government, declaring, "" additional steps with respect to the Government of Syria's continuing escalation of violence against the people of Syria including through attacks on protestors, arrests and harassment of protestors and political activists, and repression of democratic change, overseen and executed by numerous elements of the Syrian government ." Text of Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives & President of the Senate

The President sent his nomination of Morgan Christen , of Alaska, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. Source Bio

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The President proclaimed May 22, 2011, as National Maritime Day. Source

Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan telephoned President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to urge Saleh to sign and implement the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered agreement so that Yemen would be able to move forward immediately with its political transition. Brennan noted that this transfer of power represented the best path forward for Yemen to become a more secure, unified, and prosperous nation and for the Yemeni people to realize their aspirations for peace and political reform. Source

Day849/May19th/Thursday: T he President delivered a speech on events in the Middle East and North Africa, and U.S. policy in the region, at the United States State Department. Transcript Video Fact Sheet: "A Moment of Opportunity" in the Middle East and North Africa

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

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