Wednesday, November 23, 2011

President Obama: Executive Order, Message to Congress on Iran Sanctions


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Message to Congress -- Iran Sanctions

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995.
In Executive Order 12957, the President found that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.  To deal with that threat, the President in Executive Order 12957 declared a national emergency and imposed prohibitions on certain transactions with respect to the development of Iranian petroleum resources.  To further respond to that threat, Executive Order 12959 of May 6, 1995, imposed comprehensive trade and financial sanctions on Iran.  Executive Order 13059 of August 19, 1997, consolidated and clarified the previous orders.
In the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195) (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.) (CISADA), which I signed into law on July 1, 2010, the Congress found that the illicit nuclear activities of the Government of Iran, along with its development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles and its support for international terrorism, threaten the security of the United States.  The Congress also found in CISADA that economic sanctions imposed pursuant to the provisions of CISADA, the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) (ISA), and IEEPA, and other authorities available to the United States to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, are necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States.  To take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 and to implement section 105(a) of CISADA (22 U.S.C. 8514(a)), I issued Executive Order 13553 on September 28, 2010, to impose sanctions on officials of the Government of Iran and other persons acting on behalf of the Government of Iran determined to be responsible for or complicit in certain serious human rights abuses.  To take additional steps with respect to the threat posed by Iran and to provide implementing authority for a number of the sanctions set forth in ISA, as amended by, inter alia, CISADA, I issued Executive Order 13574 on May 23, 2011, to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to implement certain sanctions imposed pursuant to ISA by the Secretary of State.
This order expands upon actions taken pursuant to ISA, as amended by, inter alia, CISADA.  The ISA requires that, absent a waiver, the President impose at least three of nine possible forms of sanctions on persons determined to have made certain investments in Iran's energy sector.  The CISADA expanded ISA to, inter alia, require the same treatment of persons determined to have provided refined petroleum to Iran above specified monetary thresholds or have provided certain goods, services, technology, information, or support to Iran related to the importation or development of refined petroleum.  This order authorizes the Secretary of State to impose similar sanctions on persons determined to have provided certain goods, services, technology, or support that contributes to either Iran's development of petroleum resources or to Iran's production of petrochemicals, two sectors that continue to fund Iran's illicit nuclear activities and that could serve as conduits for Iran to obtain proliferation sensitive technology.  Because CISADA has impeded Iran's ability to develop its domestic refining capacity, Iran has tried to compensate by using its petrochemical facilities to refine petroleum.  These new authorities will allow the United States to target directly Iran's attempts to subvert U.S. sanctions.
This order authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, to impose sanctions on a person upon determining that the person:
  • knowingly, on or after the effective date of the order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran;
  • knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $250,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or expansion of Iran's domestic production of petrochemical products;
  • is a successor entity to a person that engaged in a provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order;
  • owns or controls a person that engaged in provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order and had actual knowledge or should have known that the person engaged in the activities; or
  • is owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person that engaged in the provision of goods, services, technology, or support for which sanctions may be imposed pursuant to this new order, and knowingly participated in the provision of such goods, services, technology, or support.
The following sanctions may be selected for imposition on a person that the Secretary of State determines to meet any of the above criteria:
  • the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank shall deny approval of the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in an extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person;
  • agencies shall not issue any specific license or grant any other specific permission or authority under any statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or technology to the sanctioned person;
  • with respect to a sanctioned person that is a financial institution, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds;
  • agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in; or
  • the Secretary of the Treasury shall restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.
I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of section 3 of the order.  All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.
I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
         November 20, 2011.

President Obama: Executive Order 13591, Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13591 -- Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees

CONTINUANCE OF
CERTAIN FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and consistent with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Each advisory committee listed below is continued until September 30, 2013.
(a) Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues; Executive Order 13521 (Department of Health and Human Services).
(b) National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations; Executive Order 13522 (Office of Personnel Management).
(c) President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Executive Order 13532 (Department of Education).
(d) President's Management Advisory Board; Executive Order 13538 (General Services Administration).
(e) President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Executive Order 13539 (Office of Science and Technology Policy).
(f) Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development; Executive Order 13540 (Small Business Administration).
(g) State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector (SLTPS) Policy Advisory Committee; Executive Order 13549, as amended (National Archives and Records Administration).
Sec2. The following advisory committee is continued until September 30, 2012: Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health; Executive Order 13544 (Department of Health and Human Services).

Sec3. Section 6 of Executive Order 13530 of January 29, 2010 (President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability), is amended to read as follows: "Unless extended by the President, the Council shall terminate on January 29, 2013."
Sec4. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Executive Order, the functions of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that are applicable to the committees listed in sections 1 and 2 of this order shall be performed by the head of the department or agency designated after each committee, in accordance with the guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 23, 2011.

Monday, November 21, 2011

President Obama: Executive Order 13590, Iran Sanctions


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13590 -- Iran Sanctions

AUTHORIZING THE IMPOSITION OF CERTAIN SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PROVISION OF GOODS, SERVICES, TECHNOLOGY, OR SUPPORT FOR IRAN'S ENERGY AND PETROCHEMICAL SECTORS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995,
 I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby order:
Section 1.  The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, and with the President of the Export-Import Bank, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and other agencies and officials as appropriate, is hereby authorized to impose on a person any of the sanctions described in section 2 or 3 of this order upon determining that the person:
(a)  knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $1,000,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $5,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources located in Iran;
(b)  knowingly, on or after the effective date of this order, sells, leases, or provides to Iran goods, services, technology, or support that has a fair market value of $250,000 or more or that, during a 12-month period, has an aggregate fair market value of $1,000,000 or more, and that could directly and significantly contribute to the maintenance or expansion of Iran's domestic production of petrochemical products;
(c)  is a successor entity to a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section;
(d)  owns or controls a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and had actual knowledge or should have known that the person engaged in the activities referred to in that subsection; or
(e)  is owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and knowingly participated in the activities referred to in that subsection.
Sec2.  When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined that a person meets any of the criteria described in section 1 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the heads of relevant agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:
(a)  the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank shall deny approval of the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in an extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to the sanctioned person;
(b)  agencies shall not issue any specific license or grant any other specific permission or authority under any statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or technology to the sanctioned person;
(c)  with respect to a sanctioned person that is a financial institution:
(i)   the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shall take such actions as they deem appropriate, including denying designation, or terminating the continuation of any prior designation of, the sanctioned person as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments; or
(ii)  agencies shall prevent the sanctioned person from serving as an agent of the United States Government or serving as a repository for United States Government funds; or
(d)  agencies shall not procure, or enter into a contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from the sanctioned person.
(e)  The prohibitions in subsections (a)-(d) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec3.  (a)  When the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined that a person has engaged in the activities described in section 1 and has selected any of the sanctions set forth below to impose on that person, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall take the following actions where necessary to implement the sanctions imposed by the Secretary of State:
(i)  prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to the sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the loans or credits are provided for such activities;
(ii)  prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and in which the sanctioned person has any interest;
(iii)  prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions or by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and involve any interest of the sanctioned person;
(iv)  block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that are or come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any foreign branch, of the sanctioned person, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in; or
(v)  restrict or prohibit imports of goods, technology, or services, directly or indirectly, into the United States from the sanctioned person.
(b)  I hereby determine that, to the extent section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) may apply, the making of donations of the type of articles specified in such section by, to, or for the benefit of any sanctioned person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to subsection (a)(iv) of this section would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsection (a)(iv) of this section.
(c)  The prohibitions in subsection (a)(iv) of this section include, but are not limited to:
(i)   the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any sanctioned person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(ii)  the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such sanctioned person.
(d)  The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec4.  (a)  Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b)  Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec5.  For the purposes of this order:
(a)  the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b)  the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c)  the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;
(d)  the term "financial institution" includes (i) a depository institution (as defined in section 3(c)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) (12 U.S.C. 1813(c)(1)), including a branch or agency of a foreign bank (as defined in section 1(b)(7) of the International Banking Act of 1978) (12 U.S.C. 3101(7)); (ii) a credit union; (iii) a securities firm, including a broker or dealer; (iv) an insurance company, including an agency or underwriter; and (v) any other company that provides financial services;
(e)  the term "United States financial institution" means a financial institution (including its foreign branches) organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States or located in the United States;
(f)  the term "sanctioned person" means a person on whom the Secretary of State, in accordance with the terms of section 1 of this order, has determined to impose sanctions pursuant to section 1;
(g)  the term "to develop" petroleum resources means to explore for, or to extract, refine, or transport by pipeline, petroleum resources;
(h)  the term "Iran" means the Government of Iran and the territory of Iran and any other territory or marine area, including the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Government of Iran claims sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction, provided that the Government of Iran exercises partial or total de facto control over the area or derives a benefit from economic activity in the area pursuant to international arrangements;
(i)  the term "Government of Iran" includes the Government of Iran, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran;
(j)  the term "knowingly," with respect to a conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that the person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result;
(k)  the term "petroleum resources" includes petroleum, oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and refined petroleum products;
(l)  the term "refined petroleum products" means diesel, gasoline, jet fuel (including naptha-type and kerosene-type jet fuel), and aviation gasoline; and
(m)  the term "petrochemical products" includes any aromatic, olefin, and synthesis gas, and any of their derivatives, including ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, xylene, ammonia, methanol, and urea.
Sec6.  For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to section 3(a)(iv) of this order would render those measures ineffectual.  I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957, there need be no prior notice of an action taken pursuant to section 3(a)(iv) of this order.
Sec7.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of section 3 of this order.  The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.  All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec8.  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec9.  The measures taken pursuant to this order are in response to actions of the Government of Iran occurring after the conclusion of the 1981 Algiers Accords, and are intended solely as a response to those later actions.
Sec10.  This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 21, 2011.
BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
         November 20, 2011.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dennys: News Politics Comedy Science Arts & Food: Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 17 Nov 2011


Cover of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart...


Dennys: News Politics Comedy Science Arts & Food: Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 17 Nov 2011: From Denny: Check out blog posts on photography, arts, food, news, politics, a huge amount of humor - especially the political pundits, poetry, astronomy, quotes, music, spiritual and just about anything else that catches my eclectic interest. Can you tell that 140 characters just doesn't work for me? :)

The last posts roundup I did was back in June and we sure are overdue like a long pregnancy. Be sure to bookmark this post as you will enjoy endless hours of laughing while you absorb some good information.

Most of the blog posts are at my flagship blog that spun off into the other 20, The Social Poets, where the news crashes into humor. I even manage to write a few in-depth news posts, slicing and dicing the BS that passes for truth these days on the airwaves.

And to think I do all this in my spare time... Hope you enjoy!

Dennys Funny Quotes: 37 Funny 2012 Election GOP Photos




Dennys Funny Quotes: 37 Funny 2012 Election GOP Photos: From Denny: What ever did we do before photoshop came along to skewer our presidential candidates? Life is never so much fun as it is now. The political artists among us had a wild time expressing their opinions about the GOP candidates this year.

And every one of these photos is based upon facts about the candidates. Which is more outrageous - the photos or the candidates? You decide. After all, it's Tuesday and we all need a good laugh to get us ready for the work week Hump Day of Wednesday, right?

The Social Poets: Jon Stewart Interview: How Your Employer Is Screwing Your Pension Fund

An assortment of United States coins, includin...
Image via Wikipedia
The Social Poets: Jon Stewart Interview: How Your Employer Is Screwing Your Pension Fund: From Denny: Ellen Schultz, an investigative reporter, discovered that Big Business has taken the private pension plans for millions of workers - to the tune of 44 million people - and, instead, "turned them into profit centers for their companies." As a result, the plans are severely underfunded.

Did you know that as recently as 10 years ago, these same retirement plans were so flush with cash that they experienced a quarter of a trillion dollar surplus?

How did they drain that surplus? Big Business did the following:
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Social Poets: A Protesters Poem: For Love Of Country

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Occupy Wall Street ...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe Social Poets: A Protesters Poem: For Love Of Country: From Denny: Recognizing all those who display the courage to raise their voices against tyranny and greed. Dedicated to the global Occupy Wall Street protesters and the Middle East Arab Spring protests.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

President Obama: Executive Order 13589, Promoting Efficient Spending


  • The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    Executive Order 13589 -- Promoting Efficient Spending

    EXECUTIVE ORDER
    PROMOTING EFFICIENT SPENDING
    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to further promote efficient spending in the Federal Government, it is hereby ordered as follows:
    Section 1.  Policy.  My Administration is committed to cutting waste in Federal Government spending and identifying opportunities to promote efficient and effective spending.  The Federal Government performs critical functions that support the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  As they serve taxpayers, executive departments and agencies (agencies) also must act in a fiscally responsible manner, including by minimizing their costs, in order to perform these mission critical functions in the most efficient, cost effective way.  As such, I have pursued an aggressive agenda for reducing administrative costs since taking office and, most recently, within my Fiscal Year 2012 Budget.  Building on this effort, I direct agency heads to take even more aggressive steps to ensure the Government is a good steward of taxpayer money.
    Sec. 2.  Agency Reduction Targets.  Each agency shall establish a plan for reducing the combined costs associated with the activities covered by sections 3 through 7 of this order, as well as activities included in the Administrative Efficiency Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget, by not less than 20 percent below Fiscal Year 2010 levels, in Fiscal Year 2013.  Agency plans for meeting this target shall be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 45 days of the date of this order.  The OMB shall monitor implementation of these plans consistent with Executive Order 13576 of June 13, 2011 (Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government).
    Sec. 3.  Travel.  (a)  Agency travel is important to the effective functioning of Government and certain activities can be performed only by traveling to a different location.  However, to ensure efficient travel spending, agencies are encouraged to devise strategic alternatives to Government travel, including local or technological alternatives, such as teleconferencing and video conferencing.  Agencies should make all appropriate efforts to conduct business and host or sponsor conferences in space controlled by the Federal Government, wherever practicable and cost effective.  Lastly, each agency should review its policies associated with domestic civilian permanent change of duty station travel (relocations), including eligibility rules, to identify ways to reduce costs and ensure appropriate controls are in place.
    (b)  Each agency, agency component, and office of inspector general should designate a senior level official to be responsible for developing and implementing policies and controls to ensure efficient spending on travel and conference related activities, consistent with subsection (a) of this section.
    Sec. 4.  Employee Information Technology Devices.  Agencies should assess current device inventories and usage, and establish controls, to ensure that they are not paying for unused or underutilized information technology (IT) equipment, installed software, or services.  Each agency should take steps to limit the number of IT devices (e.g., mobile phones, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, and tablet personal computers) issued to employees, consistent with the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Public Law 111 292), operational requirements (including continuity of operations), and initiatives designed to create efficiency through the effective implementation of technology.  To promote further efficiencies in IT, agencies should consider the implementation of appropriate agency-wide IT solutions that consolidate activities such as desktop services, email, and collaboration tools.
    Sec. 5.  Printing.  Agencies are encouraged to limit the publication and printing of hard copy documents and to presume that information should be provided in an electronic form, whenever practicable, permitted by law, and consistent with applicable records retention requirements.  Agencies should consider using acquisition vehicles developed by the OMB's Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative to acquire printing and copying devices and services.
    Sec. 6.  Executive Fleet Efficiencies.  The President's Memorandum of May 24, 2011 (Federal Fleet Performance) directed agencies to improve the performance of the Federal fleet of motor vehicles by increasing the use of vehicle technologies, optimizing fleet size, and improving agency fleet management.  Building upon this effort, agencies should limit executive transportation.
    Sec. 7.  Extraneous Promotional Items.  Agencies should limit the purchase of promotional items (e.g., plaques, clothing, and commemorative items), in particular where they are not cost-effective.
    Sec. 8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
    (i)    authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof;
    (ii)   functions of the Director of OMB related to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or
    (iii)  the authority of inspectors general under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.
    (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
    (c)  Independent agencies are requested to adhere to this order.
    (d)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
    BARACK OBAMA
    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    November 9, 2011.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dennys Guest Bloggers: Travels to India: Experience of The Walking Meditation

Walking Meditations (I)


Dennys Guest Bloggers: Travels to India: Experience of The Walking Meditation: From Denny: Check out this post of a woman's travel back to her ancestors' homeland in India. She and her husband decided to practice the meditation known as Vipassana. The concept is that by focusing upon every action in the moment you end up clearing your mind of clutter and worries.

It also can be quite tiring as you learn to focus that deeply for long periods of time. Trust me; you do get better at it. It's like exercising a muscle; the more you exercise the stronger you get.

This writer, Chaya Parmessur, recounts her new experience with good humor as she travels on her spiritual path.
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The Social Poets: Jon Stewart Interview: Condoleeza Rice Admits Bush Knew No Iraq Nukes

Jon StewartJon Stewart (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)The Social Poets: Jon Stewart Interview: Condoleeza Rice Admits Bush Knew No Iraq Nukes: From Denny: Jon Stewart discusses the marketing of the fairy tale ex-Bush administration officials consistently try to sell about the lead up to the Iraq War since they left office. Condi Rice is no exception.

In a carefully crafted narrative she declared the necessity of going to war in Iraq. She cited how Saddam Hussein was "a bad man" and had 16 United Nations Security Council resolutions passed against his regime just for starters.

Rice quoted President Clinton as sending a few friendly cruise missiles Saddam's way to discourage his nuclear interests back in 1998. Of course, at the time, Republicans - and later Bush - ridiculed this "small bore" effort of containing Saddam Hussein but now they praise it.

She also failed to mention how the outgoing Clinton administration gave her loads of intelligence, warning against the 9/11 attack. At the time she foolishly blew that off as a fairy tale and did not act on the intelligence. That true story was conspicuously missing from her interview and book.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Social Poets: Report: Up For Auction, Who Is Buying Up Our State Judges?

On the AirImage by M.V. Jantzen via Flickr The Social Poets: Report: Up For Auction, Who Is Buying Up Our State Judges?: From Denny: Author Charles Hall, of the report "Justice At Stake, Interest Groups Dominate Judicial-Election Spending " and Landon Rowland, Chairman Emeritus of the Janus Capital Group discuss America's bought government and the rapid pace to buy up our legal system on the Dylan Ratigan Show.

Our politics are rigged and now our legal system, via state court elections, is getting bought up as well by money interests. The federal system of judges have to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate but the state and county level is far easier to purchase - with no oversight to detect it or enforce if judges have been compromised.

The danger is that money interests are frantically busy right now buying up state and county judges for influence and arm twisting so they can win in court. It's the Koch Brothers, and other special interest groups, who figured out that the majority of the law in America is decided on the smaller legal levels and they seek to corrupt that system.

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