Friday, August 31, 2012

Facebook ? Photo notification in email may trigger malware attack

Sophos security is warning of malicious email messages that appear to come Facebook.? Please avoid opening any attachments.? This is documented as follows:

QUOTE: Computer users are being warned to be careful about opening unsolicited email attachments, after a malicious Trojan horse was spammed out posing as a Facebook notification that the recipient is featured in a newly uploaded photograph. The emails, which pretend to come from Facebook.

Unfortunately, the attached ZIP file contains malware, designed to allow hackers to gain control over your Windows computer. Sophos products intercept the malware as Troj/Agent-XNN.? Last month, experts at SophosLabs saw another malware campaign posing as a Facebook photo tag notification. On that occasion, the emails did not contain attachments but instead linked to compromised websites which aimed to attack visiting computers with the Blackhole exploit kit.



Subject:???????? Your friend added a new photo with you to the album

Attached file:?? New_Photo_With_You_on_Facebook_PHOTOID[random].zip

Message body:


One of Your Friends added a new photo with you to the album.

You are receiving this email because you've been listed as a close friend.

[View photo with you in the attachment]

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.


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Tig Notaro On Dating With Breast Cancer | The Frisky

The doctor has prepared me for more weight loss and losing my hair. Dating isn?t the main focus here, but it?s fresh in my mind, because I just got out of a relationship. So I?m just sitting here, thinking, ?Wow, not only am I single, but I?m about to be four pounds and bald.?

?Comedienne Tig Notaro went onstage last month in Los Angeles and opened her set by saying ?Thank you, I have cancer, thank you.? The audience was shocked. In this week?s New York Times Magazine, Notaro talks about how she had a life-threatening infection, lost her mother to a freak accident days after leaving the hospital, and then was diagnosed with breast cancer. To cope, she did what she does best: got up onstage and laughed about it. It really struck me from this interview, jokes aside, that Tig Notaro is an extremely strong person. Very much hoping for she gets well soon ? and stops being on the receiving end of life?s shit stick.?[New York Times Magazine] [Image: NYT Magazine]


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

UN atomic agency creates 'Iran Task Force'

The head of the UN atomic agency has approved the creation of a special "task force" to better monitor Iran's controversial nuclear programme, an internal IAEA document seen by AFP on Wednesday showed.

The new International Atomic Energy Agency team, revealed by diplomats last week, will include experts from several fields to pool the Vienna-based watchdog's limited resources more efficiently.

The short IAEA document said the task force "will perform functions related to the implementation of the Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Agency for the Application of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the relevant provisions of resolutions of the (IAEA) Board of Governors and the United Nations Security Council."

Iran says its nuclear work is for nuclear power and producing medical isotopes but Western nations, Israel and many others in the international community suspect its real aim is to develop the atomic bomb.

Because the IAEA has repeatedly said that it is "unable" to conclude that Iran's activities are peaceful, the UN Security Council has called on Iran to cease all uranium enrichment, imposing four rounds of sanctions.

Enriched uranium can be used for peaceful purposes but also, at highly concentrated purities, for nuclear weapons.

The IAEA's latest quarterly report, expected later this week, is expected to reassert this assessment, as well as to say that Iran has continued to expand its activities despite the UN resolutions, increased sanctions and threats of war.

Not only is the IAEA tasked with keeping tabs on Iran's current activities, it is also attempting to probe suspicions that until 2003, and possibly since, Iran had a structured programme of research into developing nuclear weapons.

The latest in a series of attempts to persuade Iran to give the IAEA access to documents, scientists and sites involved in this alleged drive to get the bomb failed on Friday.

So far Iran has flatly rejected the claims, set out in a major IAEA report last November, and says it will only give the agency the desired access as part of a broader agreement governing its future relations with the watchdog.

In particular the IAEA wants to be able to visit the Parchin military base near Tehran where it believes Iran conducted explosives tests for nuclear warhead designs. Western nations accuse Iran of "sanitizing" the site to remove evidence.


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Video: Spacewalk a bust

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Satellite Communication

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What is Satellite Communication?.
20100721200227648 200x149  Satellite Communication
In satellite communication, sign channeling between the sender and receiver is done with the help of satellite. In this process, the signaling which happens to be essentially a radio beam of modulated microwave is sent out towards the artificial satellite. And so the orbiter magnifies the sign and sent out it rearward to the receivings scheme transmitting aerial todays on the grounds Earths Earth?s surface. So, all the signaling transporting is occurring in outer space. Thus this kind of passing along is known as outer space communicating.

The Satellite communication system dissevered in two fold earth segment and space segment.. The satellite and its control condition place form the space segment, while the earth segment contains currently the dealings and traffic control.

satellite tv 4 200x150  Satellite Communication

Basic Element : -.

There are Two Basic Element.

The Satellite. ? The Satellite also knows as space segment. and its written a three stand alone socials unit. brand at this site fuel system, the satellite and telemetry controls condition, and the transponder.

The Ground station : ? This is the earth section. The land places job is two fold. In the case of an conveying station, terrestrial informations in the form of substructure band signs, is passed through a baseband CPU, an up convertor, a eminent warmed up amplifier,.

Two type of Satellite System are used in satellite communication system Passive Satellite And Active Satellite.

Passive Satellite : -. photo 1 drts 200x157  Satellite Communication

This kernel is in all probability a charge plate balloon having a metallic element rose up done with it. This field of battle meditated the coming up microwave signalizing coming up off one piece of the ground to early part. This amazing is like as inactive region. Our ground also has a inactive artificial satellite.

Active Satellite ; -.

In active satellites an antenna system, sender, power and a receiving system is used. These satellites are also termed as transponders. The senders accommodated on the ground bring forth the microwaves oven. Them all rays are obtained by the transponders attached to the orbiter. The signalings coming up associated with the orbiter in which make the ground, are of rattling low strength.

What Are the requirement for Satellite communication system.?.
.1. Its radical way needs to be only in the form of the exact of a distinctive dry land.
.2. ? The time period of majors planet revolution ought to be required to be exact same to the time period of the rotation of ground at the same time its diametric axis, which is open 24 60s minutes.
.3. The equatorial aeroplane of land comes into play to be coplanar with the orbital plane.

Him or her celestials orbit are subject of yielding a thriving communicating link between two places bithday present on the earthof the artificials satellite rotary motion. Them all orbiters can spread over the ground if most of them are inclined at an slant of 120oto each other.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Satellite Communication System.

Advantages ; -.

Currently the insurance coverage region of a orbiter hugely surpasses that of a terrene scheme.
Transmittal monetary value of a artificial satellite is self governing of the length from the heart of the insurance coverage area.
Orbiter to Artificial satellite communicating is very exact. xEOL .4. Eminent Bandwidths are uncommitted for use.

Disadvantages : -.

The coverage region of a artificial satellite enormously transcends that of a terrene scheme.
Transmittance cost of a orbiter is self governing of the length linked to the eye of the insurance coverage area.
Orbiter to Orbiter communicating is very exact.
High pitched Bandwidths are uncommitted for exercise.



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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taking the Filibuster to Court: Here Are the Documents (Atlantic Politics Channel)

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GamingLawyer - Your Lawyer for Everything Gaming & Gambling ...

An unusual arrangement is coming soon to Atlantic City in which the Mohegan Indians will buy a piece of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and run its day-to-day affairs.

The deal centers on a $35 million expansion that will bring a Margaritaville restaurant to the casino, splashing palm trees and parrots across its facade. But the casino?s existing Roaring ?20s theme, adopted to take advantage of interest in the hit HBO series ?Boardwalk Empire? about Prohibition-era Atlantic City, is staying, too.

The idea is to bring new excitement (and new customers with their new money) to a casino that has struggled since nearly having to close two years ago. The alliance with the Mohegans and their well-established casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania should give a big boost to Resorts, which was the first casino in the United States to open outside Nevada.

?We are really excited about this,? said Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. ?It?s a win-win for everyone involved.?

The arrangement must be approved by New Jersey casino regulators. A vote has yet to be scheduled, but one could come next month.

It became necessary following the sudden death of Resorts co-owner Dennis Gomes in February. A veteran of the casino industry, and the inspiration for the hit movie ?Casino,? Gomes had been working to turn Resorts around from years of losses under previous ownership to bigger, newer competitors in Atlantic City and in surrounding states.

Following Gomes? death, Resorts owner Morris Bailey began discussing a marketing alliance with the Mohegans, but talks progressed quickly into a deal to have the tribe?s management arm, Mohegan Gaming Advisors, provide the experience and know-how that was missing without Gomes at the helm.

Etess is particularly proud that the Mohegans are being called on to run an established commercial casino.

?What it shows is how the gaming industry has changed, and how tribal gaming has grown,? he said. ?It used to be that commercial casino companies would help tribes build and run casinos. Now it?s the other way around; things have progressed to the point where commercial casinos want us to come in and help them.?

Etess said he hopes to have the Margaritaville restaurant running by Memorial Day weekend. It will occupy the Boardwalk frontage of the casino where two smaller restaurants now sit. Across the Boardwalk, a Landshark Bar & Grill will be built on the sand, along with bocce ball and volleyball courts.

?Margaritaville is a big draw; it?s the highest grossing restaurant in Las Vegas, and the one we have (in Connecticut) does very well ? and neither one of them is anywhere near a beach,? Etess said. ?The potential for this kind of attraction literally right on the beach is just fantastic.?

Margaritaville, named after Jimmy Buffett?s most famous song, nearly came to Atlantic City four years ago when a New York developer inked a deal to buy what was then the Trump Marina Hotel Casino and re-brand it. But that deal fell apart, and the casino was bought by the owners of the Golden Nugget.

Aside from Margaritaville, the biggest part of the deal is the affiliation of Resorts with Mohegan Sun properties in Connecticut and Pennsylvania; players will be able to use comps and credits at any of the three casinos interchangeably. That?s exactly what Carol Gleason of Saddle Brook, N.J., plans to do.

?We go to Foxwoods now, but I?ll have to try Mohegan Sun,? she said during a morning of craps and slot machine gambling at Resorts. ?That sounds nice.?

Steve Norton, an Indiana casino consultant who was vice president of Resorts when it opened in 1978, says there?s a lot to like about the deal, citing the group?s casino experience.

?Mohegan, which was recently refinanced, brings a stronger balance sheet to the partnership, which is paramount in today?s Atlantic City,? he said. ?The tribe and its excellent player base in New York and north Jersey can be shared by Resorts.?

Nonetheless, Resorts still has problems, Norton added.

?The picture is bleaker over the next six to nine months, starting after Labor Day,? he said. ?Resorts has positive impacts coming from the addition of Jimmy Buffett?s Margaritaville; but it remains to be seen if this type expansion will put customers in beds those 200 mid-week nights from September thru next June.?

Gomes? son Aaron, Resorts vice president, has been helping to run the business since his father?s death, and Resorts has inched back toward profitability. It posted a gross operating profit of $199,000 in the second quarter of this year compared with a $5.9 million quarterly loss a year ago. Etess has asked the younger Gomes to stay on under the new regime, but he has yet to decide whether to do so.

Etess said Resorts will keep its Roaring ?20s theme in the non-Margaritaville portions of the property. The hotel, which was built in the 1920s, has marble and wood that would be costly to replace, but that still looks elegant, he said. Staying, too, are the flapper-style costumes that female beverage servers wear (and that have generated two lawsuits from older workers who claim they were fired after being judged insufficiently sexy in them).

Etess said the Mohegans have wanted to enter the Atlantic City market for years, but did not want to spend $1 billion or more to build a casino from scratch. This deal provides an affordable entry to the market, currently ranked third in the U.S. after Nevada and Pennsylvania.

He also said the tribe has no plans to eventually buy Resorts outright. But if it does a good job running it and restoring it to profitability, that could open the doors to other management jobs at non-Indian casinos.

?It?s a great opportunity to show what we can do,? Etess said. ?We know we can do a great job.?


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Unexploded WWII bomb disrupts Amsterdam airport

Evert Elzinga / EPA

A site at Schiphol airport where an unexploded World War II bomb was found during excavation works on Wednesday.

By Andy Eckardt, NBC News

Parts of Amsterdam's Schiphol international airport ? one of Europe's busiest aviation hubs ? were shut down Wednesday after workers found an undetonated bomb during routine construction work.

"This will most likely have an impact on flight routine at our airport and could lead to delays and cancellations," an airport official told NBC News.


Workers found the explosive device during construction work on a new hydrant system to be used for re-fueling aircraft.

Experts blow up 550-pound WWII bomb found in Munich

Schiphol is one of Europe's busiest airports and handles approximately 50 million passengers annually.

A statement on its website said:?"The bomb squad is investigating at the moment. This may have implications for air traffic in the form of cancellations and delays."

The Brussels-based main European air traffic control agency, Eurocontrol, posted on Twitter that passengers could expect "major delays."

The find comes only a day after experts in Munich triggered a controlled explosion of a 550-pound American WWII bomb in the center of Munich.

Police in Munich say experts successfully detonated the remains of a 550-pound bomb from the Second World War on Tuesday evening.

"A bomb disposal team with experts is presently assessing the situation, which will determine how long we will need to keep the section of the terminal closed," Cora Koopstra, from the airport's "action team," told NBC News.

The device was discovered at "Pier C," the wing of the terminal used mainly by flights to and from the European Union's passport-free Schengen zone. The terminal is a busy hub for European travelers and those connecting to Schengen destinations from international flights such as those from the U.S.

During World War II, Nazi Germany used the airport as a base for air raids on Britain. In 1943, the airport was destroyed by allied fighter aircraft; 400 tons of U.S. bombs were dropped on the complex.

More world stories from NBC News:

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flipping Land Vs House Flipping - What's the Difference? | Real ...

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I have been buying and selling residential real estate as a real estate investor for almost 7 years now. I have looked at just about every avenue of real estate investing from Pre-construction, Assignments, tax liens, Rehab, Probate, Bankruptcies, Pre-foreclosures and short sales, foreclosures and REOs, Landlords and FSBO?s. I have profited from and am a trainer and coach now for literally all of these strategies.

investment properties at Real Estate Matchmaker

However, lately I have learned about a twist to an old strategy I had never done. Buying land and re-selling it via owner financing for a monthly profit and eventually a flip this property to another buyer. I think Jack Bosch, creator of the Land Profit System, who has closed over 5400 land deals himself, is on to something!

I have found the biggest stopping points for many of my Real Estate Investing Students are usually? #1 ? The risk of getting into something they cannot find funding for and letting people down? #2 ? Getting into a deal and finding out later something was missed causing financial loss. Many of my students are frozen stiff because of these fears. It is for this reason have listed some of the reasons a real estate investor might want to add land vs houses to their portfolio of investments following Jacks Land Profit System.

Why Land flipping might be Better:

There is virtually no competition for land, especially rural land.

A lot of opportunity ? There is an abundance of forgotten land out there
Cheap! You can purchase for literally pennies on the dollar.
With land you do not have to know as much about real estate like construction, termites, mold and all the other things of that nature that you must know when investing in houses.
Lower inspection requirements
Quicker closings
Less initial capital output (cheaper)
Buyers usually more savvy investors
Higher number of buyers are repeat buyers (Most house buyers are1 time buyers looking for a home to live in)
Good Potential for monthly residual income with your owner financing
Usually low to no upkeep
Usually low holding costs (No fire insurance, fix up, maintenance)
Very low, (or sometimes none), acquisition costs
Lower risk ? no money down to lose
Why Houses flipping might be Better: (May be a shorter list ? but they are worth more $ ) More potential to generate income while you hold it ? owner financing OR renting
Everyone needs a house since shelter is a basic necessity of life.
(Not everyone needs vacant land ? smaller # of potential buyers)
Potential to profit big doing just 1 good deal (For Land Profits following Jacks system, on average, you must do more deals to profit higher dollars)
Potential for higher monthly residual income per property
A lot more home owners in desperate situations than there is who own land (Land has lower costs to maintain and there are less vacant lots than there are houses generally)
Look for these Market positives when investing in land OR housing: Unemployment rate is low compared to the national unemployment rate
The general area and its population growing and expanding
And if it is, best if expanding in the direction of the property you are interested in
Talk to the city and county planning and zoning agencies where the land is located; they will be able to give you valuable information about area growth and building projections.
Be sure to keep your ears open for news of major business expansions.
Here is How to Lower Your Risks for Houses or Land before closing on any deal: Make sure title is not ?cloudy? and property is marketable. Remember IRS liens have to be paid! If you buy a property with those liens, that bill becomes yours. Do your due diligence in running a title report before closing.
Run necessary tests and inspections depending on specific area and property
Check with County to verify no complaints or notices for required repairs are filed
Make sure you work with escape clauses to assure you can walk away for any reason.
Avoid giving check or cash money down until you are positive you are going to close.
Make sure that your purchase contract is worded in such a way that it allows you to only transfer cash at the time of closing.
Land and House flipping Similarities

In summary, you can follow a lot of the same strategies marketing to land owners as I always have buying from and selling to home owners. The best type of deal, whether land or houses, is when the seller, for one reason or another, wants a quick easy out of the obligation of owning their house or land ? leaving you the opportunity to buy at a discount and profit in the short and/or long term depending on your goals!flipping Land Vs House flipping ? What?s the Difference?

Real estate investing, just like most things in life, has benefits and risks no matter how you look at it. There are always those unknown and unexpected circumstances. In the scheme of things, you need to decide? are you able to live a peaceful, joyful life as you are building your wealth through real estate investing in land and/or houses. Your personal risk tolerance is what only you can decide. I am doing both wholesale land and house flipping and holding, looking at each deal individually. Because most importantly, it is all about profitability and the bottom line!

Most Important!

Universally ? having a system, a trainer and a coach to take you down the path of real estate investing is the key to your success. Someone who has already blazed the trail?and all you have to do is follow. You want to walk along side a real estate investor with the experience in doing it successfully ? someone who has already figured out the ?code?. ?Why re-invent the wheel??, as they say.

Knowing you have experience at your side alleviates those fears of the unknowns increasing the chances for a faster, easier and happier ride to the peak of real estate investing success. I would like to leave you with a quote: ?Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, ?what is the most valuable use of my time right now??? ? Brian Tracy: Author and speaker on personal and professional development

To Your Massive Passive Profits!

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Foreclosures, initial capital, investment properties, owner financing, Real Estate Investing, real estate investor, residential real estate, savvy investors, tax liens


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Posted on Aug 28, 2012 by Marc

Well this is a surprise. Apparently this track has been tearing up the charts on Australian singer Guy Sebastian's home front and now we get the visuals. Awesome track. Positive music by talented artists always outweighs the crap on the radio any day. Lupe's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album drops 9/25.


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Wrong number leads to musical connection

Kathy Dressler developed a unique approach for teaching groups of students to play violin over her 30-year career as a music teacher.?

It?s a method she used 15 years ago with underprivileged students in La Crosse, and now that Dressler has returned to the area, she?s coming out of retirement.

All thanks to a wrong number.

Dressler, who started teaching music in 1982, used games and physical imitation to instill good form and prevent bad habits that are nearly impossible to correct later on.

Typically, violin is taught one on one, with the instructor turning the student?s head just so, guiding their fingers on the neck, their grip on the bow.

?String playing is really a pretty physical activity,? said Buzz Hoefer, a former instructor and director of orchestral studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse who collaborated with Dressler. ?If you?re leading up front, you need to have exact directions to students. Put your left foot here, your right foot here. She called them fiddle feet. Everything she did was very, very specific.?

In the mid-1990s, Dressler was assigned to Hamilton Elementary for the second time, and noticed the demographics had changed. Many of the children qualified for free and reduced-price lunch, and test scores were suffering.

?The kids just weren?t thriving,? she said. ?I started talking to people. What can we do here??

One day, she got a note in her mailbox from Sheila Garrity, executive director of the La Crosse Foundation. Dressler had no idea who Garrity was, but returned the call.

Garrity had heard that Dressler had ideas; she had money to fund them.

The result was a partnership between the foundation, the school district and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in which Dressler gave string lessons to classes of third- and fourth-graders.

The program was a success by all accounts.

?Teaching in groups, she?s as good as there is,? Hoefer said. ?Their physical approach to their instruments was fantastic ? better than almost any program I?d seen where they were getting individual instruction.?

The kids didn?t just excel at violin; they showed improved self-esteem, as well as test scores.

But in 2000, Dressler moved to the Twin Cities to be closer to her husband, who?d been transferred there for his job.

?It broke my heart,? she said of the decision to leave.

Dressler returned to the area in 2010 after her husband died. When she moved into an Onalaska condo, she started getting phone calls for Lynn Spicer, whose number it turned out was just one off.

She had no idea who Spicer was.

One day this spring, she got a voice mail for Lynn from Steve Koch, a retired music teacher who wanted Spicer to accompany his gospel choir.

Dressler recognized Koch?s name and realized Spicer must have something to do with music. He?d left his number, so she gave him a call and they soon figured out their mutual connections.

?It was a comedy of errors,? Koch said.

Koch knew Spicer needed a strings teacher for her Onalaska studio; he suggested she give Dressler a call.

Dressler said she wasn?t interested in giving private lessons, but she mentioned she had a technique for group lessons if Spicer had the space.

?In a group I have more control,? Dressler said. ?I want a higher degree of performance in the end. I want their setup to be perfect, their tone to be good. I don?t want to be the remedial teacher.?

Spicer said her studio, which she started five years ago, is one of the few with space for 10 kids. And the two music teachers ? each with three decades of experience ? hit it off.

?We connected on every professional level,? Spicer said. ?She?s very enthusiastic and yet strict. She knows what she?s doing.?

Starting this fall, they will offer ?HeartStrings,? a year-long instruction for 20 third-graders.

Dressler said it?s an opportunity for kids to start playing at the ideal age ? a chance to get a head start on school programs, which generally being in fourth grade.

?Third-graders are primed for this delivery,? Dressler said. ?They will be models wherever they go.?

And with group lessons, students can learn for about half the cost of one-on-one instruction. Dressler sees it as a gift to the community.

?I want to give the arts a vitamin B12 shot,? Dressler said, ?provide well-trained leaders.?


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Monday, August 27, 2012

Colombia's Santos says holding talks with FARC rebels

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's government is seeking peace with the country's biggest guerrilla group, the FARC, and could consider also holding talks with a second rebel movement, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday.

A Colombian intelligence source had earlier told Reuters the government would soon start talks that could lead to formal negotiations with the FARC. Success would secure Santos a place in history when so many previous presidents have failed.

"We have had exploratory conversations with the FARC to seek an end to the conflict," Santos said in a televised speech from the presidential palace. He added that government troops would continue operations even while talks continued.

In response to a Reuters interview with the head of the country's second-biggest rebel group, he said the National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, could also be involved in the peace talks.

Santos, at the mid-point of his four-year term, has previously said he would only consider talks with the FARC if he was certain the drug-funded group would negotiate in good faith.

(Reporting by Helen Murphy; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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Police blotter: Chad Mendes charged, former Jackson?s fighter arrested

Police-related news in MMA to report:

-- UFC featherweight Chad Mendes was charged with simple battery for his role in a bar fight in Hanford, Calif. He is cooperating with the police, denies he was involved, and will be arraigned on Sept. 19. Mendes' last fight was a 31-second knockout of Cody McKenzie at UFC 148.

-- Willie Parks, a featherweight who once trained at Jackson's MMA and helped with their wrestling, is facing aggravated assault charges and was arrested by U.S. Marshals after allegedly beating his girlfriend so badly that she miscarried.

Officials from Jackson's MMA said they severed ties with Parks months ago. His last fight was a win in March.


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Assad slams anti-Syria 'conspiracy' after massacre claims

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday the foreign "conspiracy" against his country would be defeated, as his forces were accused of a bloody rampage in a town near Damascus that left hundreds dead.

"The Syrian people will not allow this conspiracy to achieve its objectives" and will defeat it "at any price," Assad said during a meeting in Damascus with a top official from Iran, Syria's chief regional ally.

The Syrian leader has since March last year been trying through force to smother a popular uprising that has turned into a brutal civil war which has left thousands dead, seen more than 200,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries and 2.5 million in need inside Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 320 people were killed in a five-day onslaught on Daraya, a satellite town southwest of the capital, by troops battling to crush insurgents.

Grisly videos issued by opposition militants showed dozens of charred and bloodied bodies lined up in broad daylight in a graveyard, and others lying wall-to-wall in rooms in a mosque in Daraya.

The Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists on the ground, described it as a "massacre" by Assad's regime and said many victims had been summarily executed and their bodies burnt.

"The shabiha (pro-regime) militias... have been transformed into a killing machine that threatens the Syrian people and our future," it said.

Human rights groups have accused the regime of committing many atrocities in its attempts to crush the uprising, and a UN panel said earlier this month it was guilty of crimes against humanity.

"Bodies were found in fields, basements and shelters and in the streets," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

He said 200 bodies had been identified so far, including 15 women and 14 children, and that many of the victims had died in shelling or were summarily executed.

In the first reaction by a world power, Britain said that if confirmed, the Daraya massacre "would be an atrocity on a new scale."

Activists issued graphic videos of the scenes in Daraya, one showing dozens of bodies in dimly lit rooms, with a commentary referring to "an odious massacre committed by the gangs of the Assad regime in the Abu Sleiman Addarani Mosque."

In another LCC video, Daraya's dead, among them at least two children, were shown being prepared for burial, their bodies lying in a hastily dug trench covered with blankets and strewn with palm fronds.

State media said Daraya, a conservative Sunni Muslim town of some 200,000 people, was "purified of terrorist remnants."

-- Bloodied bodies in streets --


Pro-government television Al-Dunia said "terrorists" carried out the attacks, as it interviewed residents including traumatised children and showed a number of bloodied bodies lying in the streets.

"Our valiant armed forces cleared Daraya of the remnants of armed terrorist groups which committed crimes that traumatised the citizens of the town and destroyed public and private property," government newspaper Ath-Thawra said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Iranian parliament's foreign policy committee, Aladin Borujerdi, vowed that Tehran will "stick by our Syrian brothers."

"We see Syria's security as our security," he said in Damascus, where he met both Assad and Vice President Faruq al-Shara, Iran's state-owned IRNA news agency said.

Shara -- the regime's top Sunni Muslim official -- made his first public appearance in over a month when he was seen walking and talking with Borujerdi, following opposition claims he had tried to defect and was under house arrest.

Borujerdi also said that Assad had told him that Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem would attend the August 30-31 Non-Aligned summit which Tehran is hosting.

Iran is a staunch ally of Assad's regime but is being excluded from most international efforts aimed at ending the conflict in Syria.

Assad, in his talks with the visiting Iranian official, said Syria is continuing "its strategy of resistance."

"What is happening now is not only directed at Syria but the whole region. Because Syria is the cornerstone, foreign powers are targeting it so their conspiracy succeeds across the entire region."

Assad has long characterised the brutal conflict as a fight against foreign "terrorists" aided by the West and Syria's Sunni Muslim foes in the region, including Saudi Arabia.

Tehran has said it will submit a plan for ending the conflict to the Non-Aligned Movement summit.

The Iranian initiative comes as its foes in the West ramp up the pressure on Damascus, with Washington and London threatening action if it uses its chemical weapons and Paris voicing support for a partial no-fly zone.

The Observatory also reported shelling or air strikes in other parts of the country on Sunday including the battered northern city of Aleppo and Daraa in the far south, the cradle of the anti-Assad uprising.

The Britain-based Observatory reported a total of at least 91 people killed countrywide on Sunday -- 61 civilians, 13 rebels and 17 loyalist soldiers.

August is already the deadliest single month of the conflict with at least 4,000 people killed, according to the Observatory, while around 25,000 have died since March 2011. The United Nations puts the death toll at more than 17,000.


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Monday Motorcycles: MOTUS ? Mad Ogre

There is a brand new Motorcycle Brand that has just popped up. ?MOTUS. ?And they are impressive.

Basically they have a new engine design. ?A V-4 specifically designed motorcycling. ?Small, compact, big bore, lots of power. 160 horses. ?You gotta love that. ?I especially love the Moto Guzzi look, but doubling it up. ?I like the engine configuration and aggressive lines is has? with the claimed power delivery it should be one hell of a ride.

Two versions, Sport Touring and Sport. ?Basically it?s one bike and they just put a fairing and some luggage on it to make the other. ?Simple. ?I like that.
The overall look of the bike is that a Ducati and a Motoguzzi had a relationship? Engine and frame showing off the technical aspects of the machine. I don?t know if I can live in this world and not have one of these bikes! Oh wait. There is the price aspect. Hold on to your seat, Moto Fans? 30 Grand Plus from what I?m gathering. That?s expensive for a bike. Very expensive. You could buy a BMW S1000RR for 16-18 Grand depending on options, and pretty much all lesser machines for less than that. This Motus? Wow. That?s a lot of money for something brand new like this with no track record to stand on. But the engineering support that went into these bikes is impressive indeed. Oh wait, what?s that? Well, your right. Some Harley Guys will spend more than that on their HD Branded Leathers and matching Hard Case Luggage. Yeah, just so they can ride their twice a year tour to show off that they are Bikers. I know. You?ve seen them on the road. Sparkling new machines that are five years old and less miles than some of us ride in a month and every bit of kit they have on the bike or themselves is all stamped Harley Davidson. So in that perspective, a Motus is cheap.
My concern about these, and any new engine. Is how does the engine run after 50 thousand miles? I?ve seen some engines that are nice and tight and keep their performance and then it just comes apart with no hope of regaining the efficiency it once had. Others chug along happy as can be forever as long as you keep oil in it. I don?t want one like an Audi engine? Fine until it starts to unravel. I hope this Motus engine is more like Ford?s old inline 6 truck engine they used to make? the things were bullet proof. If it had oil in it and gas, the engine would run. That kind of reliability is what I would want out of this new Motus powerplant.

That engine would look amazing in a custom chopper frame, wouldn?t it? Considering that Motus is selling those engines as crate motors, I?m betting we?ll be seeing some wild custom builds.

If I had the money, I?d certainly buy one. ?Of course, I can?t even afford to pay attention, so a machine like this is a pipe dream at the moment. ?But still? what a sweet sweet dream it is. ? If I could, I?d buy the stripped down sport version. ?Because an engine like this, you are not getting the big mile numbers back for a tank of juice, and those don?t look like the largest of fuel tanks given the size of the airbox that motor needs. ?And the seat looks like it gives you little room for moving around. ?So even with the claimed ?Large Fuel Tank? on the product page, I?m guessing your getting barely over a hundred miles on one refill. ?To me, that?s not a Sport Touring machine. ?This machine looks like it just needs to be stripped down and enjoyed for what it is? a Beastly machine that wants to tear shit up. ?I?d want to keep it pure. ?You don?t see a lot of Ducati Monsters wearing hard luggage, now do you?

Huh? This or that Confederate Hellcat? ?Man?


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Business Security Process - Do You Really Need One? | Focalprice

Business Security Process ? Do You Really Need One?

Filed Under: Uncategorized by mariotatsu33 ? Comments Off

August 26, 2012

When you own a small business meaning you?ve something worth defending. You have worked hard for your business and you need to protect the assets along with the people who are part of it.If both the assets of your business or the people who are part of it are in some way adversely suffering from a break-in, the complete business will suffer.It is important to look at a business security system so as to protect yourself and your expense. What you have built has had years. With an individual and relatively small expense, it can be protected by you from place that may be taken by the ravages if it is broken into.The hazards of break-in, hearth, or vandals can never be entirely eradicated. With a great business security system however, they could be mitigated.Several kinds of security bear mentioning if you are contemplating a security system for your business. This systems often could possibly offer you something that will protect all these forms of issues.Many monitored systems for the business will include break-in along with fire insurance, which is certainly worth considering.Detection of intruders is certainly one aspect of your business security system that is a necessity. You have to control the chance of break-in, as well as to protect people who work for you from harm. Important aspects of your alarm system are set into areas in which it?s common for a break-in that occurs. These protect you from usage of your business by unauthorized people. Many companies will placed into place signs or stickers stating that their company protects your business.In truth, this often functions as an obstruction in and of itself, since the alarm system being in place will often stop a would-be burglar from trying to enter the area.The second sort of security system that you may want to consider with your intrusion detection will be fire checking. When or if your fire alarm goes off, the organization that monitors your system will phone in the alarm to the local fire department, which will be sent much more quickly, probably helping you save work-time and assets.No business must certanly be with no business security system. You?ve worked hard to construct your company and your assets. Just take steps to protect them by the installation of a small business security system.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Author Mary Phillips Teaches About God Using Humor and Wit ...

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EDITORIAL: Education impasse: GOP vs. Dems

The Presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009, when he became the 44th President of the United States. Obama was a United States Senator from Illinois at the time of his victory over Arizona Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the United States, as well as the first born in Hawaii.

His policy decisions have addressed a global financial crisis and have included changes in tax policies, legislation to reform the United States health care industry, foreign policy initiatives and the phasing out of detention of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. He attended the G-20 London summit and later visited U.S. troops in Iraq. On the tour of various European countries following the G-20 summit, he announced in Prague that he intended to negotiate substantial reduction in the world's nuclear arsenals, en route to their eventual extinction. In October 2009, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Transition period

The presidential transition period began following Obama's election to the presidency on November 4, 2008. The Obama-Biden Transition Project was co-chaired by John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse. During the transition period, Obama announced his nominations for his Cabinet and administration. Shortly after the election on November 4, Obama chose Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois as White House Chief of Staff.

Cabinet nominations included former Democratic primary opponents Hillary Rodham Clinton for Secretary of State and Bill Richardson for Secretary of Commerce (although the latter withdrew on January 4, 2009). Obama appointed Eric Holder as his Attorney General, the first African-American appointed to that position. He also nominated Timothy F. Geithner to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. On December 1, Obama announced that he had asked Robert Gates to remain as Secretary of Defense, making Gates the first Defense head to carry over from a president of a different party. He nominated former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, which he restored to a Cabinet-level position.

During his transition, he maintained a website, on which he wrote blogs to readers and uploaded video addresses by many of the members of his new cabinet. He announced strict rules for federal lobbyists, restricting them from financially contributing to his administration and forcing them to stop lobbying while working for him. The website also allowed individuals to share stories and visions with each other and the transition team in what was called the Citizen's Briefing Book, which was given to Obama shortly after his inauguration. Most of the information from was transferred to the official White House website just after Obama's inauguration.


Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. He officially assumed the presidency at 12:00 noon, EST, and completed the oath of office at 12:05 PM, EST. He delivered his inaugural address immediately following his oath. After his speech, he went to the President's Room in the House Wing of the Capitol and signed three documents: a commemorative proclamation, a list of Cabinet appointments, and a list of sub-Cabinet appointments, before attending a luncheon with congressional and administration leaders and invited guests. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of former President Abraham Lincoln, the same Bible that was used for Lincoln's inauguration was used in Obama's inauguration.

In administering the oath, Chief Justice John G. Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully" and erroneously replaced the phrase "President of the United States" with "President to the United States" before restating the phrase correctly; since Obama initially repeated the incorrect form, some scholars argued the President should take the oath again. On January 21, Roberts readministered the oath to Obama in a private ceremony in the White House Map Room, making him the seventh U.S. president to retake the oath; White House Counsel Greg Craig said Obama took the oath from Roberts a second time out of an "abundance of caution".

First 100 days


Obama's 100th day in office was April 29, 2009. In his first post-election interview with 60 Minutes, Obama said that he has been studying Franklin Roosevelt's first 100 days, while adding, "The first hundred days is going to be important, but it's probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference."

Obama's first 100 days were highly anticipated ever since he became the presumptive nominee. Several news outlets created web pages dedicated to covering the subject. Commentators weighed in on challenges and priorities within domestic, foreign, economic, and environmental policy. CNN lists a number of economic issues that "Obama and his team will have to tackle in their first 100 days", foremost among which is passing and implementing a recovery package to deal with the financial crisis. Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer, expressed hopes that the new president will close Guantanamo Bay detention camp in his first 100 days in office. After aides of the president announced his intention to give a major foreign policy speech in the capital of an Islamic country, there were speculations in Jakarta that he might return to his former home city within the first 100 days.

The New York Times devoted a five-part series, which was spread out over two weeks, to anticipatory analysis of Obama's first hundred days. Each day, the analysis of a political expert was followed by freely edited blog postings from readers. The writers compared Obama's prospects with the situations of Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 16, Jean Edward Smith), John F. Kennedy (January 19, Richard Reeves), Lyndon B. Johnson (January 23, Robert Dallek), Ronald Reagan (January 27, Lou Cannon), and Richard Nixon.

Legislation and executive orders

Within minutes of taking the Oath of Office on January 20, Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issued an order suspending last-minute federal regulations pushed through by outgoing President George W. Bush, planning to review everything still pending. Due to the economic crisis, the President enacted a pay freeze for Senior White House Staff making more than $100,000 per year, as well as announcing stricter guidelines regarding lobbyists in an effort to raise the ethical standards of the White House. He asked for a waiver to his own new rules, however, for the appointments of William Lynn to the position of Deputy Defense Secretary, Jocelyn Frye to the position of director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady, and Cecilia Mu?oz to the position of director of intergovernmental affairs in the executive office of the president, leading to some criticism of hypocrisy and violation of his pledge for governmental openness.

In his first week in office, Obama signed Executive Order 13492 suspending all the ongoing proceedings of Guantanamo military commission and ordering the detention facility to be shut down within the year. He also signed Executive Order 13491 - Ensuring Lawful Interrogations requiring the Army Field Manual to be used as a guide for terror interrogations, banning torture and other coercive techniques, such as waterboarding. Obama also issued an executive order entitled "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel", setting stricter limitations on incoming executive branch employees and placing tighter restrictions on lobbying in the White House. Obama signed two Presidential Memoranda concerning energy independence, ordering the Department of Transportation to establish higher fuel efficiency standards before 2011 models are released and allowing states to raise their emissions standards above the national standard. He also ended the Mexico City Policy, which banned federal grants to international groups that provide abortion services or counseling.

In his first week he also established a policy of producing a weekly Saturday morning video address available on and YouTube, much like those released during his transition period. The first address had been viewed by 600,000 YouTube viewers by the next afternoon.

The first piece of legislation Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 on January 29, which revised the statute of limitations for filing pay discrimination lawsuits. Lilly Ledbetter joined Obama and his wife, Michelle, as he signed the bill, fulfilling his campaign pledge to nullify Ledbetter v. Goodyear. On February 3, he signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP), expanding health care from 7 million children under the plan to 11 million.

| format = Ogg | type = speech }} After much debate, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed by both the House and Senate on February 13, 2009. Originally intended to be a bipartisan bill, the passage of the bill was largely along party lines. No Republicans voted for it in the House, and three moderate Republicans voted for it in the Senate (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania). The bill combined tax breaks with spending on infrastructure projects, extension of welfare benefits, and education. The final cost of the bill was $787 billion, and almost $1.2 trillion with debt service included. Obama signed the Act into law on February 17, 2009, in Denver, Colorado.

On March 9, 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, and in doing so, called into question some of George W. Bush's signing statements. Obama stated that he too would employ signing statements if he deems upon review that a portion of a bill is unconstitutional, and he has issued several signing statements.

Early in his presidency, Obama signed a law raising the tobacco tax 62?cents on a pack of cigarettes. The tax is to be "used to finance a major expansion of health insurance for children", and "help some [smokers] to quit and persuade young people not to start".

In October 2011, Obama instituted the We Can't Wait program, which involved using executive orders, administrative rulemaking, and recess appointments to institute policies without the support of Congress. The initiative was developed in response to Congress's unwillingness to pass economic legislation proposed by Obama, and conflicts in Congress during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis.

Approval ratings and opinion


After his transition period, Obama entered office with an approval rating of 82%. At the end of his first week, 68% of respondents in a Gallup poll approved of how Obama was handling his job, the second highest approval rating for a President shortly after being elected since World War II. Throughout early February polls showed scattered approval ratings: 62% (CBS News), 64% (USA Today/Gallup), 66% (Gallup), and 76% in an outlier poll (CNN/Opinion Research). Gallup reported the congressional address in late February boosted his approval from a term-low of 59% to 67%.

Throughout autumn 2009, Rasmussen estimated Obama's approval as fluctuating between 45% and 52% and his disapproval between 48% and 54%; as of November 11, Pew Research estimated Obama's approval between 51% and 55% and his disapproval between 33% and 37% since July.

Handling of the economy

Rasmussen reported in mid-February 2009, that 55% of voters gave Obama good or excellent marks on his handling of the economy. In early March, a The Wall Street Journal survey of 49 economists gave Obama an average grade of 59 out of 100, with 42% of the respondents surveyed giving the administration's economic policies a grade below 60 percent. In comparison, only 30% of those same economists considered the response of governments around the world to the global recession to have been adequate. In April, a Gallup poll showed trust in Obama's economic policy with 71% saying they had "a fair amount" or "a great deal" of confidence in Obama's handling of the economy, higher than for Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, or leaders of Congress. Another Gallup poll in June showed 55% of Americans approved Obama's overall handling of the economy, but 48% and 51% disapproved of his handling of the federal budget deficit and controlling federal spending, respectively. A CBS News poll taken August 27?31 showed 53% of those polled approved of his handling of the economy. A Rasmussen poll taken on November 12 found 45% of Americans rating Obama's handling of the economy as poor and 39% rating him as doing a good or excellent job. They found 72% of Democrats rated his handling of the economy as good or excellent, while only 10% of Republicans and 27% of voters not affiliated with either party agreed.


On March 25, 2010, following his signing of landmark health care reform legislation into law, Obama's polling was revealed by Bloomberg to be 50%, with higher marks for relations with other countries (58%) and his running of the war in Afghanistan (54%). "Obama's approval rating is roughly equal to what Bill Clinton had at this point in his presidency, according to data maintained by Gallup (and) higher than the 45 percent Ronald Reagan recorded in April 1982" and more favorable than Democrats or Republicans office in 2010. They found Obama's approval rating was at 85% among Democrats, compared with 46% among independents and 11% among Republicans.

Fox News released the results of two polls on April 8?9, 2010. The first showed a drop in Obama's approval rating to 43%, with 48% disapproving. In that poll, Democrats approved of Obama's performance 80?12%, while independents disapproved 49?38%. The other poll, which concentrated on the economy, showed disapproval of Obama's handling of the economy by a 53?42% margin, with 62% saying they were dissatisfied with the handling of the federal deficit. According to a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2010, President Obama had a 45% approval rating, with 48% disapproving. In a poll from Rasmussen Reports, released April 10, 2010, 47% approved of the President's performance, while 53% disapproved.


Obama's approval rating jumped to a high following the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011. A GfK poll conducted May 5, 2011 found his approval rating to be 60%. During the debt ceiling debate in August 2011, Obama's approval rating dropped to the low-40s.

Major legislation


  • January 29: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • February 4: Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act
  • February 11: DTV Delay Act
  • February 17: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • March 30: Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009
  • April 21: Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
  • May 20: Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act
  • May 20: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
  • May 22: Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009
  • June 22: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
  • August 6: Cash For Clunkers Extension Act
  • October 22: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
  • October 28: Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
  • October 30: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act
  • November 6: Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
  • 2010

  • January 27: Emergency Aid to American Survivors of Haiti Earthquake Act
  • March 4: Travel Promotion Act
  • March 18: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act)
  • March 23: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • March 30: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
  • May 5: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
  • May 17: Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act
  • July 1: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act
  • July 21: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • July 22: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010
  • July 22: Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
  • August 10: SPEECH Act
  • September 27: Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010
  • December 9: Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010
  • December 13: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
  • December 17: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
  • December 22: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
  • 2011

    January 2: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 () January 4: Food Safety and Modernization Act, ,
  • August 2: Budget Control Act of 2011
  • October 21: United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implemention Act
  • October 21: United States-Panama Free Trade Agreement Implemention Act
  • October 21: United States-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Implemention Act
  • November 21: VOW to Hire Heroes Act


  • April 5: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act
  • Personnel

    Cabinet appointees

    Twenty-two members of the Obama administration are either in the United States Cabinet (15) or are in positions considered to be Cabinet-level (7). The members of the Cabinet are the heads of the fifteen major departments (State, Defense, Justice, etc.), and the seven cabinet-level positions are the Vice President, White House Chief of Staff, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, and the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Since Robert Gates was a member of the previous administration, his letter of resignation (a formality at the end of a President's term) was simply not accepted, and he did not need confirmation. On January 19, 2009, Senate Democratic leaders requested fifteen of the twenty positions to be ratified by unanimous consent, and seven gained unanimous confirmation by voice vote the next day: Ken Salazar, Steven Chu, Arne Duncan, Peter Orszag, Eric Shinseki, Tom Vilsack, and Janet Napolitano. On January 21, Obama presided over the swearing in of the seven unanimous nominees. Later that day, the Senate confirmed Hillary Clinton by a 94?2 vote. On January 22, several more confirmations were approved unanimously: Susan E. Rice, Ray LaHood, Lisa P. Jackson, and Shaun Donovan. On January 26, the Senate confirmed Geithner by a 60?34 margin.

    At the conclusion of Obama's first week as President, Hilda Solis, Tom Daschle, Ron Kirk, and Eric Holder had yet to be confirmed, and there had been no second appointment for Secretary of Commerce. Holder was confirmed by a vote of 75?21 on February 2, and on February 3, Obama announced Senator Judd Gregg as his second nomination for Secretary of Commerce. Daschle withdrew later that day amid controversy over his failure to pay income taxes and potential conflicts of interest related to the speaking fees he accepted from health care interests. Solis was later confirmed by a vote of 80-17 on February 24, and Ron Kirk was confirmed on March 18 by a 92-5 vote in the Senate.

    Gregg, who was the leading Republican negotiator and author of the TARP program in the Senate, after publication that he had a multi-million dollar investment in the Bank of America, on February 12, withdrew his nomination as Secretary of Commerce, citing "irresolvable conflicts" with President Obama and his staff over how to conduct the 2010 census and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Former Washington governor Gary Locke was nominated on February 26 as Obama's third choice for Commerce Secretary and confirmed on March 24 by voice vote.

    On March 2, Obama introduced Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as his second choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services. He also introduced Nancy-Ann DeParle as head of the new White House Office of Health Reform, which he suggested would work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services. At the end of March, Sebelius was the only remaining Cabinet member yet to be confirmed.

    Six high-ranking cabinet nominees in the Obama administration had their confirmations delayed or rejected among reports that they did not pay all of their taxes, including Tom Daschle, Obama's original nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Though Geithner was confirmed, and Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, thought Daschle would have been confirmed, Daschle withdrew his nomination on February 3. Obama had nominated Nancy Killefer for the position of Chief Performance Officer, but Killefer also withdrew on February 3, citing unspecified problems with District of Columbia unemployment tax. A senior administration official said that Killefer's tax issues dealt with household help. Hilda Solis, Obama's nominee for Secretary of Labor, faced delayed confirmation hearings due to tax lien concerns pertaining to her husband's auto repair business, but she was later confirmed on February 24. While pundits puzzled over U.S. Trade Representative-designate Ron Kirk's failure to be confirmed by March 2009, it was reported on March 2 that Kirk owed over $10,000 in back taxes. Kirk agreed to pay them in exchange for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus's aid in speeding up the confirmation process; he was later confirmed on March 18. On March 31, Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, revealed in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee that her Certified Public Accountant found errors in her tax returns for years 2005-2007. She, along with her husband, paid more than $7,000 in back taxes, along with $878 in interest.

    Notable non-Cabinet positions

    Appointees serve at the pleasure of the President and were nominated by Barack Obama except as noted.
  • Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • *Sheila Bair1 (2009?2011)
  • Special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • *Richard Holbrooke (2009?2010)
  • *Marc Grossman (2011?present)
  • Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • * Retired General James L. Jones (2009?2011)
  • * Thomas E. Donilon (2011?present)
  • Special envoy to the Middle East
  • * George J. Mitchell (2009?2011)
  • * David Hale (2011?present)
  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • * Robert Mueller2 (2009?present)
  • Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • * Leon Panetta (2009?2011)
  • * Michael Morell (Acting-2011)
  • * David Petraeus (2011?present)
  • Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
  • * Christina Romer (2009?2010)
  • * Austan Goolsbee (2010?2011)
  • * Alan Krueger (2011?present)
  • Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • * Mary Schapiro (2009?present)
  • Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of National Economic Council
  • * Lawrence Summers (2009?2010)
  • * Gene Sperling (2011?present)
  • Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board
  • * Paul Volcker (2009?2011)
  • * Replaced by Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in 2011
  • Chairperson of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
  • * Jeffrey R. Immelt (2011?present)
  • 1Appointed by George W. Bush in 2006 to a five-year term 2Appointed by George W. Bush in 2001 to a ten-year term

    Judicial nominees

    United States Supreme Court

    Obama appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States: Sonia Sotomayor2009 Elena Kagan2010

    Other courts

    Outside of the Supreme Court, by October 2009, Obama had nominated fewer than two dozen judges to fill judicial vacancies, of which there were close to 100. This has prompted some Democrats to criticize the pace of Obama's judicial appointments as too slow. In December 2009, Senator Patrick Leahy criticized Republicans for stalling those judicial nominations that had been made, noting that the Senate confirmed more district and circuit court nominees during the first year of the George W. Bush administration than it had approved by that point during the Barack Obama presidency.



    Upon entering office, Obama planned to center his attention on handling the global financial crisis. Even before his inauguration he lobbied Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, which became the top priority during his first month in office. As President, Obama made a high profile trip to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. to dialog with Congressional Republicans and advocate for the bill. On February 17, 2009, Obama signed into law a $787 billion plan that included spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals. The tax provisions of the law reduced taxes for 98 percent of taxpayers, bringing tax rates to their lowest levels in 60 years.

    As part of the 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration has proposed additional measures to attempt to stabilize the economy, including a $2?3 trillion measure aimed at stabilizing the financial system and freeing up credit. The program includes up to $1 trillion to buy toxic bank assets, an additional $1 trillion to expand a federal consumer loan program, and the $350 billion left in the Troubled Assets Relief Program. The plan also includes $50 billion intended to slow the wave of mortgage foreclosures. The 2011 budget includes a three-year freeze on discretionary spending, proposes several program cancellations, and raises taxes on high income earners to bring down deficits during the economic recovery.

    In a July 2009 interview with ABC News, Biden was asked about the sustained increase of the U.S. unemployment rate from May 2007 to October 2009 despite the administration's multi-year economic stimulus package passed five months earlier. He responded "The truth is, we and everyone else, misread the economy. The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there ... the truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited." The White House indicates that 2 million jobs were created or saved due to the stimulus package in 2009 and self reporting by recipients of the grants, loans, and contracts portion of the package report that the package saved or created 608,317 jobs in the final three months of 2009.

    The unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.1% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year. Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries. GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a 1.6% pace, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter. Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year. Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.

    During November?December 2010, Obama and a lame duck session of the 111th Congress focused on a dispute about the temporary Bush tax cuts, which were due to expire at the end of the year. Obama wanted to extend the tax cuts for taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year. Congressional Republicans agreed but also wanted to extend the tax cuts for those making over that amount, and refused to support any bill that did not do so. All the Republicans in the Senate also joined in saying that, until the tax dispute was resolved, they would filibuster to prevent consideration of any other legislation, except for bills to fund the U.S. government. On 7 December, Obama strongly defended a compromise agreement he had reached with the Republican congressional leadership that included a two-year extension of all the tax cuts, a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, a one-year reduction in the FICA payroll tax, and other measures. On December 10, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) led a filibuster against the compromise tax proposal, which lasted over eight hours. Obama persuaded many wary Democrats to support the bill, but not all; of the 148 votes against the bill in the House, 112 were cast by Democrats and only 36 by Republicans. The $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which The Washington Post called "the most significant tax bill in nearly a decade", passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was signed into law by Obama on December 17, 2010.


    Lobbying reform

    Early in his presidential campaign, Obama stated that "they [lobbyists] won't find a job in my White House", but softened his stance later in the campaign. On January 21, 2009, Obama issued an executive order for all future appointees to his administration, which stated, no appointee who was a registered lobbyist within the two years before his appointment could participate on matters in which he lobbied for a period of two years after the date of appointment. Three formal waivers were initially issued in early 2009, out of 800 executive appointments: to William J. Lynn III, a lobbyist for Raytheon, to hold the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense; to Jocelyn Frye, former general counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families, to serve as Director of Policy and Projects in the Office of the First Lady; and to Cecilia Mu?oz, former senior vice president for the National Council of La Raza, to serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Executive Office of the President. As of March 21, 2009, at least thirty officials appointed by Obama had been lobbyists in the past five years. Ten additional waivers were announced in September 2009.

    Not all recent former lobbyists require waivers; those without waivers write letters of recusal stating issues from which they must refrain because of their previous jobs. USA Today reported that 21 members of the Obama administration have at some time been registered as federal lobbyists, although most have not within the previous two years. Lobbyists in the administration include William Corr, an anti-tobacco lobbyist, as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services and Tom Vilsack, who lobbied in 2007, for a national teachers union, as Secretary of Agriculture. Also, the Secretary of Labor nominee, Hilda Solis, formerly served as a board member of American Rights at Work, which lobbied Congress on two bills Solis co-sponsored, and Mark Patterson, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's chief of staff, is a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.

    The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have criticized the administration, claiming that Obama is retreating from his own ethics rules barring lobbyists from working on the issues about which they lobbied during the previous two years by issuing waivers. According to Melanie Sloan, the group's executive director, "It makes it appear that they are saying one thing and doing another."


    The Obama administration has said that all executive orders, non-emergency legislation, and proclamations will be posted to the official White House website,, allowing the public to review and comment for five days before the President signs the legislation. The pledge was twice broken during Obama's first month in office when he signed SCHIP legislation and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with less than the full five days of "sunlight before signing". The administration has said that they are still "working through implementation procedures and some initial issues with the congressional calendar".

    During his first week in office, Obama announced plans to post a video address each week on the site, and on YouTube, informing the public of government actions each week. During his speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Obama stated, "I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy."

    On January 21, 2009, by executive order, Obama revoked Executive Order 13233, which had limited access to the records of former United States Presidents. Obama issued instructions to all agencies and departments in his administration to "adopt a presumption in favor" of Freedom of Information Act requests. In April 2009, the United States Department of Justice released four legal memos from the Bush administration to comply voluntarily with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The memos were written by John Yoo and signed by Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury, then Principal Assistant Attorneys General to the Department of Justice, and addressed to John A. Rizzo, general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency. The memos describe in detail controversial interrogation methods the CIA used on prisoners suspected of terrorism. Obama became personally involved in the decision to release the memos, which was opposed by former CIA directors Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch. Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Obama for not releasing more memos; Cheney claimed that unreleased memos detail successes of CIA interrogations.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires all recipients of the funds provided by the act to publish a plan for using the funds, along with purpose, cost, rationale, net job creation, and contact information about the plan to a website so that the public can review and comment. Inspectors General from each department or executive agency will then review, as appropriate, any concerns raised by the public. Any findings of an Inspector General must be relayed immediately to the head of each department and published on

    On June 16, 2009, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in order to get information about the visits of coal company executives. Anne Weismann, the chief counsel for CREW, stated "The Obama administration has now taken exactly the same position as the Bush administration... I don't see how you can keep people from knowing who visits the White House and adhere to a policy of openness and transparency." On June 16, MSNBC reported that its more comprehensive request for visitor logs since Obama's January 20 inauguration had been denied. The administration announced that White House visitor logs will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis, with certain limitations, for visits occurring after September 15, 2009. Beginning on January 29, 2010, the White House did begin to release the names of its visitor records. Since that time, names of visitors (which includes not only tourists, but also names of union leaders, Wall Street executives, lobbyists, party chairs, philanthropists and celebrities), have been released. The names are released in huge batches up to 75,000 names at a time. Names are released 90?120 days after having visited the White House. The complete list of names is available online by accessing the official White House website.

    Obama stated during the 2008 Presidential campaign that he would have negotiations for health care reform televised on C-SPAN, citing transparency as being the leverage needed to ensure that people stay involved in the process taking place in Washington. This did not fully happen and Politifact gives President Obama a "Promise Broken" rating on this issue. After White House press secretary Robert Gibbs initially avoided addressing the issue, President Obama himself acknowledged that he met with Democratic leaders behind closed doors to discuss how best to garner enough votes in order to merge the two (House and Senate) passed versions of the health care bill. Doing this violated the letter of the pledge, although Obama maintains that negotiations in several congressional committees were open, televised hearings. Obama also cited an independent ethics watchdog group describe his administration as the most transparent in recent history.

    The Obama administration has been characterized as much more aggressive than the Bush and other previous administrations in their response to whistleblowing and leaks to the press. Three people have been prosecuted under the rarely used leak-related provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917. They include Thomas Andrews Drake, a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who was critical of the NSA's Trailblazer Project, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department contractor who allegedly had a conversation about North Korea with James Rosen of Fox News, and Jeffrey Sterling, who allegedly was a source for James Risen's book State of War. Risen has also been subpoenaed to reveal his sources, another rare action by the government.

    Foreign policy

    In his inaugural address, Obama suggested that he plans to begin the process of withdrawing from Iraq and continuing to focus on the war in Afghanistan. He also mentioned lessening the nuclear threat through "working tirelessly with old friends and former foes". He spoke about America's determination to combat terrorism, proclaiming America's spirit is "stronger and cannot be broken?? you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." To the Muslim world, Obama extended an invite to "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect". He also said the USA would "extend a hand" to those "who cling to power through corruption and deceit" if they "are willing to unclench" their fists. Shortly after his inauguration President Obama first called President Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Calls were also made to President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Olmert of Israel and King Abdullah of Jordan. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East peace and Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan on January 23, 2009. At the same time, Obama called on Israel to open the borders of Gaza, detailing early plans on his administration's peace plans for the Israeli?Palestinian conflict. On February 18, 2009, Obama announced that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would be bolstered by 17,000 new troops by summer. The announcement followed the recommendation of several experts including Defense Secretary Robert Gates that additional troops be deployed to the war-torn nation.

    Obama declared his plan for ending the Iraq War on February 27, 2009, in a speech at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, before an audience of Marines stationed there. According to the president, combat troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, leaving a contingent of up to 50,000 servicemen and servicewomen to continue training, advisory, and counterterrorism operations until as late as the end of 2011.

    Other characteristics of the Obama administration on foreign policy include a tough stance on tax havens, continuing military operation in Pakistan, and avowed focus on diplomacy to prevent nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea.

    On April 1, 2009, Obama and China's President, Hu Jintao, announced the establishment of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship for the 21st century.

    In that same month, Obama requested that Congress approve $83.4 billion of supplemental military funding, mostly for the war in Iraq and to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The request also includes $2.2 billion to increase the size of the US military, $350 million to upgrade security along the US-Mexico border, and $400 million in counterinsurgency aid for Pakistan.

    In May 2009, it was reported that Obama plans to expand the military by 20,000 employees.

    On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt. The wide ranging speech called for a "new beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States. The speech received both praise and criticism from leaders in the region. In March 2010, Secretary of State Clinton criticized the Israeli government for approving expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem.

    On April 8, 2010, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the latest Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a "major" nuclear arms control agreement that reduces the nuclear weapons stockpiles of both countries.

    In March 2011, international reaction to Muammar Gaddafi's military crackdown on rebel forces and civilians in Libya culminated in a United Nations resolution to enforce a no fly zone in Libya. Obama authorized U.S. forces to participate in international air attacks on Libyan air defenses using Tomahawk cruise missiles to establish the protective zone.

    Guant?namo Bay detention camp

    On his first day in office, Obama requested a 120-day suspension of all trials for alleged terrorists held at the Guant?namo Bay detention camp, so the new administration could "review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases pending before military commissions , specifically". Another order established a task force to lead a review of detention policies, procedures and individual cases. Obama addressed the State Department that "the United States will not torture" and drafted an executive order to close Guant?namo within a year. On January 22, 2009, Obama signed an executive order ensuring safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals detained in armed conflicts. This order restricts interrogators to methods listed and authorized by an Army Field Manual. A detainee released since Obama took office claimed in an interview with Agence France-Presse that conditions at Guant?namo had worsened, stating guards wanted to "take their last revenge" before the facility is closed. On March 13, 2009, the administration announced that it would no longer refer to prisoners at Guant?namo Bay as enemy combatants, but it also asserted that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges.

    The case review of detainee files by administration officials and prosecutors was made more difficult than expected as "the Bush administration had not established a consolidated repository of the evidence and intelligence on each prisoner". By September 2009, prosecutors recommended to the Justice Department which detainees are eligible for trial, and the Justice Department and the Pentagon worked together to determine which of several now-scheduled trials will go forward in military tribunals and which in civilian courts. While 216 international terrorists are already held in maximum security prisons in the U.S., Congress was denying the administration funds to shut down the camp and adapt existing facilities elsewhere, arguing that the decision was "too dangerous to rush". In November, Obama stated that the U.S. would miss the January 2010 date for closing the Guant?namo Bay prison as he had ordered, acknowledging that he "knew this was going to be hard". Obama did not set a specific new deadline for closing the camp, citing that the delay was due to politics and lack of congressional cooperation. The state of Illinois has offered to sell to the federal government the Thomson Correctional Center, a new but largely unused prison, for the purpose of housing detainees. Federal officials testified at a December 23 hearing that if the state commission approves the sale for that purpose, it could take more than six months to ready the facility.

    In November, 2009, the Obama Administration announced plans to give accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed a civilian trial in New York City.. Critics asserted that the trial risked handing over national security information to Al Qaeda via the discovery process.. In April of 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder canceled the civilian trial. He blasted Congress, which had refused to fund the trial, and stated that he still believed a civilian trial was the best option.

    Killing of Osama bin Laden

    Starting with information received in July 2010, intelligence developed by the CIA over the next several months determined what they believed to be the location of Osama bin Laden in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles from Islamabad. CIA head Leon Panetta reported this intelligence to Obama in March 2011. Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs. The operation took place on May 1, 2011, resulting in the death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers and computer drives and disks from the compound. Bin Laden's body was identified through DNA testing, and buried at sea several hours later. Within minutes of Obama's announcement from Washington, DC, late in the evening on May 1, there were spontaneous celebrations around the country as crowds gathered outside the White House, and at New York City's Ground Zero and Times Square. Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and from many countries around the world.

    Developments in the Muslim world

    In June 2009, protests broke out in Iran after Presidential elections that many Iranians believe were marred by fraud. Obama called on the Iranian Government to stop "violent and unjust" action against the protesters, but resisted calls to do more than that. He was criticized for not being more forceful. He responded that "the last thing I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for?those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States." Protests broke out again in Iran in February 2011 and were again met with force.

    After a sudden revolution in Tunisia, Arab discontent began to spread. Demonstrations broke out Egypt in January and February 2011. Press reports indicated that Obama followed a strategy of pressing for dramatic change and leaving little doubt that he felt Mubarak's resignation would be desirable, without actually saying so. After three weeks of unrest, Mubarak resigned. Anti-Government protests broke out in Benghazi, Libya, in February 2011, and the Gadaffi government responded with military force. The Obama Administration initially resisted calls to take strong action but relented after the Arab League requested Western intervention in Libya. The U.S. provided air support, especially at the beginning of the operation, and helped in areas in which it has unique capabilities, such as electronic warfare and aerial surveillance. The Obama administration demanded and got participation from several Arab and European nations and Obama stated that the U.S. would not send any ground troops. With coalition support, the rebels took Tripoli the following August. By the second half of March 2011, anti-government protests were being held in Syria and police killed protesters in several cities. In March 2012, Obama argued that unilateral military action would be a mistake. As of June 2012, several experts characterized the situation as a civil war.

    Overseas Contingency Operation

    Obama discontinued use of the term "War on Terror" and instead uses the term "Overseas Contingency Operation". However, Obama has stated that the U.S. is at war with Al-Qaeda, saying "Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred."

    In April 2010, the Obama administration authorized the targeted killing of the radical Muslim cleric and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them. The Justice Department legal memorandum authorizing the strike, which asserted that Fifth Amendment due process rights "could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch", has not been released to the public.


    According to David Sanger of The New York Times, Obama continued and expanded the cyber-warfare program of George W. Bush's administration, leading to the creation of the Stuxnet virus that infected Iranian nuclear centrifuges.

    Gun control

    During the presidential campaign, Obama announced that he favors measures that respect Second Amendment rights, while at the same time keeping guns away from children and criminals. On February 25, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration would seek a new assault weapons ban across the United States, saying that it would have a positive impact on the drug-related violence in Mexico. After the statement drew criticism from the NRA and some House Democrats, the Administration reportedly ordered the Justice Department to end public discussion of the issue. Obama has signed into law two bills containing amendments reducing restrictions on gun owners, one which permits guns to be transported in checked baggage on Amtrak trains and another which allows carrying loaded firearms in national parks located in states allowing concealed carry.

    Science and technology


    Obama initiated a 60-day review of cybersecurity by Melissa Hathaway, a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, appointed Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace.

    The New York Times reported in 2009, that the NSA is intercepting communications of American citizens including a Congressman, although the Justice Department believed that the NSA had corrected its errors. United States Attorney General Eric Holder resumed the wiretapping according to his understanding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 that Congress passed in July 2008, but without explaining what had occurred.


    On January 27, 2009, Obama issued two presidential memoranda concerning energy policy. One directed the Department of Transportation to raise fuel efficiency standards incrementally to by 2020, and the other directed the Environmental Protection Agency to allow individual states to set stricter tailpipe emissions regulations than the federal standard.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $54 billion in funds to double domestic renewable energy production, renovate federal buildings making them more energy-efficient, improve the nation's electricity grid, repair public housing, and weatherize modest-income homes.

    On February 10, 2009, Obama overturned a Bush administration policy that had opened up a five-year period of offshore drilling for oil and gas near both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been quoted as saying, "To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information, we need to set aside" the plan "and create our own timeline".

    On May 19, 2009, Obama announced a plan to increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy national standards for gasoline mileage, by creating a single new national standard that will create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016, than it is today, with an average of 35.5 miles per gallon. Environmental advocates and industry officials welcomed the new program, but for different reasons. Environmentalists called it a long-overdue tightening of emissions and fuel economy standards after decades of government delay and industry opposition. Auto industry officials said it would provide the single national efficiency standard they have long desired, a reasonable timetable to meet it and the certainty they need to proceed with product development plans.

    On March 30, 2010, Obama partially reinstated Bush administration proposals to open certain offshore areas along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling. The proposals had earlier been set aside by President Obama after they were challenged in court on environmental grounds.

    On May 27, 2010, Obama extended a moratorium on offshore drilling permits after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill which is considered to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Although BP took responsibility for the disaster and its ongoing after effects, Obama began a federal investigation along with forming a bipartisan commission to review the incident and methods to avoid it in the future. Obama visited the Gulf Coast on May 2 and May 28 and expressed his frustration on the June 8 NBC Today Show, by saying "I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick." Obama's response to the disaster drew confusion and criticism within segments of the media and public.


    Obama set up the Augustine panel to review the Constellation program in 2009, and announced in February 2010, that he was cutting the program from the 2011 United States federal budget, describing it as "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation." After the decision drew criticism in the United States, a new "Flexible path to Mars" plan was unveiled at a space conference in April 2010. It included new technology programs, increased R&D spending, a focus on the International Space Station and contracting out flying crew to space to commercial providers. The new plan also increased NASA's 2011 budget to $19 billion from $18.3 billion in 2010.

    In July 2009, Obama appointed Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, to be administrator of NASA.

    Stem cell research

    On March 9, 2009, Obama repealed a Bush-era policy that prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund research on new lines of embryonic stem cells. Such research has been a matter of debate between those who emphasize the therapeutic potential of such research and those who suggest that elements of this research breach ethical limitations. Obama stated that "In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values...In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research?? and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."

    Social policy

    On January 23, 2009, Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, a measure from the Reagan and Bush eras that required any non-governmental organization receiving U.S. Government funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services in ot


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