This article is the 55th 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.
"But we're not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We're not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We're not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."__Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, on why he decided to release his long form birth certificate, April 27, 2011
Day816/Apr16th/Saturday: In his Weekly Address, the President discussed his plan for the fiscal future of the United States; an approach he claimed would achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years. Transcript Video
Day817/Apr17th/Sunday: The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new rules that required air traffic controllers have at least nine hours off between shifts instead of eight. Controllers would not be able to swap shifts to get a long weekend unless off at least nine hours from the end of one shift to the start of the other. More managers would be required to be on duty during the early morning hours and at night to remind controllers that nodding off is unacceptable. "We're going to make sure that controllers are well-rested. We're going to increase the rest time by an hour," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. Source
The President telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convey his best wishes before the start of Passover. The two leaders discussed U.S.-Israeli cooperation on counter-terrorism, how best to move forward in efforts to advance Middle East peace, and the recent violence near the Gaza strip. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his deep appreciation for U.S. funding for the Iron Dome rocket and mortar defense system, which he noted had successfully intercepted several rockets aimed at Israeli communities. With the signing of the fiscal year 2011 budget appropriation, the President approved $205 million in U.S. funding for Iron Dome, which was above the annual package of Foreign Military Financing for Israel. Source
The President telephoned Michael Hollowell, manager of a Lowes home improvement store devastated by an April 16, 2011 tornado in Sanford, North Carolina, to offer his gratitude for Mr. Hollowell's swift action that saved so many lives. Source
The President sent a letter to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the President of the U.S. Senate, informing them that he had issued an Executive Order that took additional steps to address the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, and expanded in Executive Order 13551 of August 30, 2010. Both orders involved sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. The President expanded those sanctions to include the prohibition of the direct or indirect importation of goods, services, and technology from North Korea. The order left in place all existing sanctions imposed under Executive Orders 13466 and 13551.
The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by tsunami waves on March 11, 2011. 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 tsunami waves in Del Norte and Santa Cruz Counties. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source
The President released his 2010 federal income and gift tax returns. He and First Lady Michelle Obama filed their income tax return jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $1,728,096, most from proceeds derived from sales of the President's books. The Obamas paid $453,770 in total federal tax, and reported donating $245,075 (about 14.2% of their adjusted gross income) to 36 different charities; including a $131,075 contribution to the Fisher House Foundation, which provided humanitarian support to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The President and First Lady reported paying $51,568 in Illinois state income taxes. The Obamas' Tax Returns