Friday, February 27, 2015

A Truth Journal: Brian Williams: What's The WHOLE BS Story? It's Not What You Think



A Truth Journal: Brian Williams: What's The WHOLE BS Story? It's Not What You Think: From Denny:  Now that the Haters have enjoyed dancing on the head of former NBC News anchor Brian Williams it's time for the reasonable types to speak up and get heard for a change - without all the histrionics and chest thumping self-righteousness hogging the national attention.

Observing how this ugly journalism  drama has played out it sure makes me glad I never got involved on that national level of the Dog and Pony Show, choosing another path.

And, as a small niche journalist blogger that gets read more by world intelligence agencies, think tanks, world diplomatic corps and military - along with political junkies like myself and heavy-breathing journalists who desperately want the opportunity to be journalists again -
I'm free to state the obvious that the networks and big news agencies quash: dissent...


God's Irishman Iphone 6 Tough Case


Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style!  Funny quote: In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God. - from Louisiana artist Denny Lyon.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Obama Statements and Releases: Veto Message to the Senate: S. 1, Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act



President Barack Obama meets with John Podesta, Counselor to the President, in the Oval Office, Jan. 29, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From Denny:  President Obama's only veto in five years.  He vetoed it citing America's national security.  Actually, it was a clever political move to box in the Republicans.  It's easy for them to be against any and all things environmental, even financial burdens on the taxpayers - but national security?  Nope.  Not in an election cycle when the Republicans are hoping to take back the White House.  To go against a presidential decision about national security would be political suicide.

Besides, Americans have nothing to gain by giving a foreign country and their Big Oil easy profits but with no liabilities.  If there would an accident or an act of terrorism it's the American people who would be on the hook financially, not to mention a very toxic clean-up as tar sands oil is exceedingly toxic unlike normal crude oil.  Good move, Mr. President!




The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2015





Veto Message to the Senate: S. 1, Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:
I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the "Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act."  Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.
The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously.  But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.  And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment -- it has earned my veto.
BARACK OBAMA

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Obama Statements and Releases: FACT SHEET: New Creation of Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center

President Barack Obama works with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and Terry Szuplat, Senior Director for Speechwriting, on remarks prior to the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, in the Oval Office, Feb. 18, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


From Denny:  This is an interesting development long overdue to protect national security.  Considering the cowboy attitude of the NSA, we certainly don't want the Pentagon's NSA to possess full control of cyber threat intelligence because we never have any way to verify what is truth and what is not when they tell us.  It really makes a person wonder just how much the President and Congress have been sidelined by the NSA and the Pentagon for full disclosure and knowledge of all that is happening.  This country needs to get serious about defense as much as offense when it comes to cyber threats.





The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 25, 2015




FACT SHEET: Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center

Today, the President directed the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC).  The CTIIC will be a national intelligence center focused on “connecting the dots” regarding malicious foreign cyber threats to the nation and cyber incidents affecting U.S. national interests, and on providing all-source analysis of threats to U.S. policymakers.  The CTIIC will also assist relevant departments and agencies in their efforts to identify, investigate, and mitigate those threats.
Purpose
Cyber threats are among the gravest national security dangers to the United States.  Our citizens, our private sector, and our government are increasingly confronted by a range of actors attempting to do us harm through identity theft, cyber-enabled economic espionage, politically motivated cyber attacks, and other malicious activity.  As with our counterterrorism efforts, the United States Government is taking a “whole-of-government” approach to defend against and respond to these threats.  In creating the CTIIC, the Administration is applying some of the hard-won lessons from our counterterrorism efforts to augment that “whole-of-government” approach by providing policymakers with a cross-agency view of foreign cyber threats, their severity, and potential attribution.
The CTIIC will provide integrated all-source intelligence analysis related to foreign cyber threats and cyber incidents affecting U.S. national interests; support the U.S. government centers responsible for cybersecurity and network defense; and facilitate and support efforts by the government to counter foreign cyber threats.  Once established, the CTIIC will join the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), and U.S. Cyber Command as integral parts of the United States Government’s capability to protect our citizens, our companies, and our Nation from cyber threats.
Authority
The CTIIC is being established under authority granted to the DNI by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to create intelligence centers.  The creation of the CTIIC does not grant the Intelligence Community any additional authority to collect intelligence or conduct intelligence operations.  Nor will the CTIIC directly engage U.S. private sector entities to provide, receive, or obtain any information about cyber threats.
Relationship to Other Cybersecurity Centers
The CTIIC will not be an operational center.  It will not collect intelligence, manage incident response efforts, direct investigations, or replace other functions currently performed by existing departments, agencies, or government cyber centers.  Instead, the CTIIC will support the NCCIC in its network defense and incident response mission; the NCIJTF in its mission to coordinate, integrate, and share information related to domestic cyber threat investigations; and U.S. Cyber Command in its mission to defend the nation from significant attacks in cyberspace.  The CTIIC will provide these entities, as well as other departments and agencies, with intelligence needed to carry out their cybersecurity missions.   
Organizational Structure
The President has directed the DNI, in cooperation with other government agencies, to refine the CTIIC’s mission, roles, and responsibilities, ensuring that those roles and responsibilities are appropriately aligned with other presidential policies as well as existing policy coordination mechanisms.  For example, it is anticipated that the CTIIC will be a critical participant in the interagency Cyber Response Group, support the National Security Council in carrying out its cybersecurity responsibilities, and have a close partnership with all departments and agencies that perform cybersecurity functions in the government.
No decisions have been made regarding the CTIIC’s specific location, but the current plan is to locate the CTIIC in the Washington, DC metro area in an existing Intelligence Community facility.  The DNI is in the process of developing the CTIIC’s organizational structure; we expect that it will be small, consisting of approximately 50 government personnel drawn from relevant departments and agencies.
Privacy and Civil Liberties
The CTIIC will perform its functions consistent with applicable policy and legal frameworks and in a manner that protects privacy and civil liberties.  The CTIIC shall access, retain, use, and disseminate such information, in a manner that protects privacy and civil liberties and is consistent with applicable law, Executive Orders, Presidential directives, and guidelines, such as guidelines established under section 102A(b) of National Security Act of 1947, as amended, Executive Order 12333 of December 8, 1981 (United States Intelligence Activities), as amended, and Presidential Policy Directive-28; and that is consistent with the need to protect sources and methods.  Agencies providing information to the CTIIC shall ensure that privacy and civil liberties protections are provided in the course of implementing the memorandum that the President issued today.   Such protections shall be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles or other privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks as they apply to each agency’s activities.

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Obama Statements and Releases: Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate


President Barack Obama, framed between a computer keyboard and monitor, works at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Feb. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From Denny:  Check out the day to day business coming out of the White House.  This release details the current presidential nominations sent to the Senate.  Who knows?  By the time that President Obama leaves office he might actually have 50 percent of his vacant positions finally filled.  Yes, the Republicans have refused to allow this Democrat government to govern, which hurts all of us.




The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 25, 2015

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:
Mickey D. Barnett, of New Mexico, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2020.   (Reappointment)
Katherine Simonds Dhanani, of Florida, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Amias Moore Gerety, of Connecticut, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, vice Cyrus Amir-Mokri, resigned.
Sheila Gwaltney, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kyrgyz Republic.
Willie E. May, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, vice Patrick Gallagher, resigned.
Cono R. Namorato, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Attorney General, vice Kathryn Keneally, resigned.
Monica C. Regalbuto, of Illinois, to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management), vice Ines R. Triay, resigned.
Anne Elizabeth Wall, of Illinois, to be a Deputy Under Secretary of the Treasury, vice Alastair M. Fitzpayne, resigned.

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Obama Statements and Releases: Readout of the President's Meeting with Immigration Advocacy Leaders

President Barack Obama shows the Resolute Desk to a group of DREAMers, following their Oval Office meeting in which they talked about how they have benefited from 
the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Feb. 4, 2015. 
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From Denny:  Check out the latest developments in immigration reform from this White House's own words.  Too often this President's message is garbled, oddly interpreted and just plain lied about.  Propaganda or not, these are their own words as released to the press and the public.


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 25, 2015

Readout of the President's Meeting with Immigration Advocacy Leaders

Today, President Obama met with Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), labor and immigration advocacy leaders to provide an update on the Administration’s immigration accountability executive actions. The meeting was also an opportunity to have a dialogue with the immigrant advocacy community on the Administration’s continued efforts to push Congress to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  The President also highlighted that despite the Texas district court’s ruling, the Administration will continue to make progress on many components of the executive actions and is confident we will ultimately be able to implement the deferred action policies. Many of the participants have been involved in outreach efforts to inform and educate the immigrant community on the executive actions.  The advocates in attendance agreed to continue their outreach to the community, work with the Administration on its efforts to fully implement the executive actions that were not blocked by the district court, and to push for commonsense immigration reform as the only lasting and permanent solution to fixing our broken immigration system.
Participants included:
  • Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change
  • Gregory Cendana, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
  • Marielena Hincapie, National Immigration Law Center
  • Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino
  • Eliseo Medina, Fast for Families
  • Benjamin Monterroso, Mi Familia Vota
  • Janet Murguía, NCLR
  • Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum
  • Erin Oshiro, Immigration and Immigrant Rights Program for Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
  • Lorella Praeli, United We Dream
  • Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers of America
  • Simon Rosenberg, New Democrat Network
  • Rocio Sáenz, SEIU
  • Todd Schulte, FWD.us
  • Hector Sanchez, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and the Chair of National Hispanic Leadership Agenda
  • Frank Sharry, America’s Voice
  • Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Obama Statements and Releases: President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts



President Barack Obama talks on the phone with President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia during a foreign leader call in the Oval Office, Jan. 5, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


From Denny:  Sprinting through the last two years of this presidency, it's tough to find people willing to work short term.  It's amazing his staff stayed as long as they did considering how much burnout is a problem working in any White House.



The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2015


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
  • Katherine Simonds Dhanani – Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia, Department of State
  • Amias Gerety – Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, Department of the Treasury
  • Cono R. Namorato – Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Department of Justice
  • Anne Elizabeth Wall – Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of the Treasury, upon appointment to be designated Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
  • Laura DeBonis – Member, Public Interest Declassification Board
  • Solomon B. Watson IV – Member, Public Interest Declassification Board
  • John W. Keker – Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust
  • Joan Ellyn Silber – Member, Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad
President Obama said, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country.  They bring their years of experience and expertise to this Administration, and I look forward to working with them.”
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Katherine Simonds Dhanani, Nominee for Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia, Department of State
Katherine Simonds Dhanani, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Counselor, currently serves as Director of the Office of Regional and Security Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs in the Department of State, a position she has held since 2013.  Previously, Ms. Dhanani served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad, India from 2010 to 2013 and was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe from 2007 to 2010 as well as at the U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon from 2005 to 2007.  Additionally, she was the Political and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia from 2002 to 2005 and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1999 to 2002.  She was an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico from 1998 to 1999 as well as in the Office of Mexican Affairs at the Department of State from 1996 to 1998.  Prior to this, she served as Staff Assistant in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs at the Department of State, as Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo and as Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.  She was also Assistant Planner for the City of Sacramento in California and a Lecturer at Grinnell College in Iowa.  Ms. Dhanani received a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Amias Gerety, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, Department of the Treasury 
Amias Gerety serves as Counselor in the Office of Domestic Finance at the Department of the Treasury, a position he has held since June 2014.  He also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at Treasury from April 2014 to November 2014.  From 2011 to 2014, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Oversight Council at Treasury.  Prior to this, he served as Senior Advisor in the Office of Financial Institutions at Treasury from 2009 to 2010.  From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Gerety was an Associate at Oliver Wyman.  Additionally, he worked with Gene Sperling as a researcher for The Pro-Growth Progressive from 2004 to 2005.  Mr. Gerety received an A.B. from Harvard University.
Cono R. Namorato, Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Department of Justice
Cono R. Namorato is currently a Member of the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, a position he has held since 2006 and previously from 1978 to 2004.  From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Namorato served as Acting Deputy Commissioner for certain designated matters and as Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the Department of the Treasury.  Before beginning his career at Caplin & Drysdale, Mr. Namorato held various positions within the Tax Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including Deputy Assistant Attorney General from 1977 to 1978, Assistant Chief and then Chief of the Criminal Section from 1973 to 1977, and Supervisory Trial Attorney and Trial Attorney from 1968 to 1973.  Mr. Namorato began his career in 1963 as a Special Agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS in the Brooklyn District.  He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.  Mr. Namorato has headed various tax-related committees and subcommittees for the American Bar Association, serving as Chair of the Tax Section’s Subcommittee on Criminal Tax Policy, Chair of the Committee on Tax Litigation, and Co-Chair of the Committee on Complex Criminal Litigation of the Litigation Section.  Mr. Namorato received a B.B.A. from Iona College and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Anne Elizabeth Wall, Nominee for Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of the Treasury, upon appointment to be designated Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
Anne Elizabeth Wall is currently a Counselor to Secretary Lew at the Department of the Treasury, a position she has held since January 2015.  From 2011 through 2014, Ms. Wall served in the White House, most recently as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs and Senate Liaison from 2013 to 2014 and previously as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs from 2011 to 2013.  Prior to joining the White House, Ms. Wall served in the office of United States Senator and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) from 2006 to 2011 holding various positions, including Floor Director and Office Counsel.  From 2004 to 2006, she was a litigation associate at Pretzel & Stouffer in Chicago.  She also served as a Law Clerk for Cook County Circuit Court Judges Allen Goldberg and Lynn Egan.  Ms. Wall received a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a J.D. from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she was a member of the Law Review.
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Laura DeBonis, Appointee for Member, Public Interest Declassification Board
Laura DeBonis has been a consultant to EF Education First since 2013.  Previously, she was Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Juliette Kayyem Campaign for Massachusetts Governor from 2013 to 2014.  Ms. DeBonis was a Team Member with the Internet Safety Technical Task Force at the Berkman Center, Harvard University, from 2008 to 2009.  Ms. DeBonis served in various roles at Google from 2002 to 2008, including Director for Book Search Library Partnerships from 2004 to 2008 and Director of AdSense Online in 2004.  She worked for Alter Ego Networks from 2000 to 2001, Organic Online from 1999 to 2000, and Chedd-Angier Production Company from 1993 to 1997.  Ms. DeBonis is a Founding Board Member of the Digital Public Library of America, and a member of the Board of Trustees of WGBH Boston and the Boston Public Library.  She received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Solomon B. Watson IV, Appointee for  Member, Public Interest Declassification Board
Solomon B. Watson IV was Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of The New York Times Company, positions he held from 2005 to 2006.  He began his career at The New York Times Company in 1974 and held various positions including Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 1996 to 2005, Vice President and General Counsel from 1990 to 1996, General Counsel from 1989 to 1990, Corporate Secretary from 1979 to 1989 and 2000 to 2002, and Corporate Counsel from 1974 to 1979.  Mr. Watson has been a Special Master in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, and is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  From 1966 to 1968 he served in the U.S. Army as a lieutenant in the Military Police Corps.  Mr. Watson received a B.A. from Howard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
John W. Keker, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust
John W. Keker is a co-founder and partner at Keker & Van Nest LLP, a firm he co-founded in 1978.  Before entering private practice, he worked as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Francisco from 1971 to 1973.  He served as a law clerk to Retired Chief Justice Earl Warren from 1970 to 1971.  Mr. Keker was an infantry platoon leader in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam from 1965 until his retirement for wounds in 1967.  He was President of the San Francisco Police Commission from 1996 to 1997 and 1991 to 1992, and past Chairman of the San Francisco Bay Water Quality Control Board from 1981 to 1983.  Mr. Keker received a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Dr. Joan Ellyn Silber, Appointee for Member, Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
Dr. Joan Ellyn Silber is a philanthropist and active member of several educational and cultural foundations.  She was first appointed to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad in 2011.  Dr. Silber serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, the Scholarship Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.  She serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Webster University College of Arts and Sciences and the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council.  Previously, Dr. Silber served on the Board of Directors of Aish HaTorah St. Louis, the Epstein Hebrew Academy, Ayecha, and HateBrakers.  Additionally, she has been an office manager and consultant for Dr. Sherman Silber’s medical practice since 1976.  She received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2012.  Dr. Silber received a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.



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Presidential Proclamation: Establishment of the Honouliuli National Monument To Remember WW2 Wrongly Imprisoned in U.S.


President Barack Obama looks at a selfie with restaurant staff at Charmington’s Café in North Baltimore, Md., Jan. 15, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

From Denny:  This monument is a reminder to never again deny Americans their civil liberties as what happened to Japanese-Americans during World War Two.  At least that's the ideal.  Considering a current militarized American police force and the NSA spying debacle, only time will tell if this and future administrations will consider and respect such civil liberties.


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2015

Presidential Proclamation -- Establishment of the Honouliuli National Monument

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HONOULIULI NATIONAL MONUMENT
 
- - - - - - -
 
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 
A PROCLAMATION
The Honouliuli Internment Camp (Honouliuli) serves as a powerful reminder of the need to protect civil liberties in times of conflict, and the effects of martial law on civil society.  Honouliuli is nationally significant for its central role during World War II as an internment site for a population that included American citizens, resident immigrants, other civilians, enemy soldiers, and labor conscripts co-located by the U.S. military for internment or detention.  While the treatment of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i differed from the treatment of Japanese Americans on the U.S. mainland in ways that are detailed below, the legacy of racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and failure of political leadership during this period is common to the history of both Hawai'i and the mainland United States.
Early on December 7, 1941, Japanese air and naval forces attacked Pearl Harbor and other military installations on O'ahu.  Before martial law was invoked, government officials began selectively rounding up Hawai'i residents on suspicion of disloyalty.  They were confined at local jails, courthouses, and other facilities on six of the main Hawaiian Islands before being transported to the U.S. Immigration Station and Sand Island Detention Camp on O'ahu.  Nearly all of the internees were of Japanese descent, including leaders in the Japanese American community who were educated, were teachers or priests, or were distinguished by virtue of their access to means of communication with Japan or to transportation from Hawai'i.  Most would be sent to the mainland to be held for the duration of the war in Department of Justice and War Relocation Authority camps.  Despite the government's allegations of disloyalty, none of the Japanese American internees from Hawai'i was ever found guilty of sabotage, espionage, or overt acts against the United States, and all later received formal apologies and many received redress compensation from the United States.
 
On the Island of O'ahu, the U.S. War Department sought a place removed from the active combat areas of Pearl Harbor for internment of individuals.  The War Department chose Honouliuli Gulch, the bottom of which was hidden from view by the gulch's steep walls.  The Honouliuli Internment Camp opened on March 2, 1943, with the transfer of internees from Sand Island and rapidly swelled in population with the influx of prisoners of war.  Managed by the U.S. Army, it was the largest and longest used confinement site in Hawai'i.
  
Honouliuli is significant for having been used as both a civilian internment camp and a prisoner of war camp, with a population of approximately 400 civilian internees and 4,000 prisoners of war over the course of its use.  Honouliuli was divided into seven compounds:  one compound for administration and guards, one for civilian internees, and eventually five compounds for prisoners of war.  The civilian compound was further divided into sections for male civilian internees of Japanese ancestry, female civilian internees of Japanese ancestry, and civilian internees of European ancestry.  Historic documents indicate there were 175 buildings, 14 guard towers, and over 400 tents among the 7 compounds on 160 acres.  Many internees referred to Honouliuli as Jigoku-Dani (Hell Valley) because its secluded location at the bottom of a deep gulch trapped heat and moisture and reinforced the internees' sense of isolation and unjust confinement.
 
The majority of Honouliuli's civilian internees were American citizens or permanent resident aliens -- predominantly Japanese Americans who were citizens by birth -- interned on suspicion of disloyalty.  The remaining group comprised predominantly German Americans, though there were also Americans and aliens of Italian, Irish, Russian, and Scandinavian descent.  Honouliuli also held women and children who were Japanese civilians displaced from the Pacific.
 
The 4,000 prisoners of war in Honouliuli included enemy soldiers and labor conscripts from Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Italy.  The prisoner of war compounds were guarded by an African American infantry unit as well as units of Japanese Americans from the mainland.
Honouliuli closed in 1945 for civilian internees and in 1946 for prisoners of war.  With the closing of the camp, fast-growing vegetation quickly took over the site.  Honouliuli was forgotten as Americans celebrated the victories of World War II and focused attention on the valor displayed by Americans at Pearl Harbor and abroad.
 
While both mainland and Hawaiian internment camps are sobering examples of wartime prejudice and injustice, Honouliuli reminds us of the differences in the way that forced removal was approached in Hawai'i and on the mainland.
 
The primary difference between the Japanese American experience on the mainland and on Hawai'i is that the internment in Hawai'i targeted a relatively small percentage of the ethnic Japanese population on the islands.  Less than one percent of Hawai'i's ethnic Japanese population was interned in Hawai'i.  This contrasts with the mass exclusion of all 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the mainland.  In Hawai'i, the Japanese American citizenry and immigrant population were over one third of the territory's total population.  Without their participation in the labor force, the economy of the territory could not have been sustained and the war effort in the islands would have been crippled.  Both the policies in Hawai'i and those on the mainland devastated Japanese Americans and their families and created a social stigma that was borne by Japanese Americans during and after the war.  The selective nature of the internment in Hawai'i also sowed division within the Japanese American community in Hawai'i, leading to ostracism and other  backlash against the targeted individuals and their families that would last their lifetimes.
 
The declaration of martial law served as the basis to authorize internment in Hawai'i, as opposed to the mainland where mass exclusion was authorized by Executive Order 9066.  During the period of martial law from December 7, 1941, to October 24, 1944, the U.S. Army issued hundreds of military orders, some of which were applicable only to persons of Japanese ancestry and enemy aliens.  For example, people of Japanese ancestry were restricted from residing in certain areas of O'ahu and were forcibly removed from their properties.  These types of discriminatory policies created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
 
Finally, Honouliuli is significant because of the comparatively lower level of public understanding and awareness of the history of internment of civilians in Hawai'i during World War II.  On the mainland during World War II, mass exclusion was well known.  In contrast, the internment in Hawai'i was largely kept secret during World War II, and has only recently become the subject of scholarship and awareness campaigns.  It was not until 1998 that information about Honouliuli resurfaced.  After 4 years of research and exploration, the site was uncovered in 2002.  In 2008, an archeological research survey was conducted at the site. Honouliuli remains an object of archeological interest.
 
Honouliuli serves to remind every American about the critical importance of safeguarding civil liberties and maintaining our values during times of crisis.  It is important to recognize Honouliuli as a part of our shared national heritage and national consciousness.  It is a place to reflect on wartime experiences and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of freedom and justice.
 
WHEREAS section 320301 of title 54, United States Code (known as the "Antiquities Act"), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected;
 
WHEREAS Honouliuli's objects of historic interest were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 as nationally significant for their association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history;
 
WHEREAS, for the purpose of establishing a national monument to be administered by the National Park Service, the Monsanto Company has donated certain lands at Honouliuli to the United States, and the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu has agreed to provide access across its property to those lands;
WHEREAS it is in the public interest to preserve and protect the historic objects at Honouliuli;  NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be the Honouliuli National Monument (monument) and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map entitled, "Honouliuli National Monument," which is attached to and forms a part of this proclamation.  The reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 123.0 acres, together with appurtenant easements for all necessary purposes.  The boundaries described on the accompanying map are confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.
 
All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries described on the accompanying map are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, leasing or other disposition under the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing.
 
The establishment of the monument is subject to valid existing rights.  Lands and interests in lands not owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map shall be reserved as a part of the monument, and objects identified above that are situated upon those lands and interests in lands shall be part of the monument, upon acquisition of ownership or control by the
Federal Government.
 
The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall manage the monument through the National Park Service, pursuant to applicable legal authorities, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this proclamation.  The Secretary shall prepare a management plan for the monument, with full public involvement, within 3 years of the date of this proclamation.  The management plan shall ensure that the monument fulfills the following purposes for the benefit of present and future generations:  (1) to preserve and protect the objects of historic interest associated with Honouliuli Internment Camp, and (2) to study and interpret the history of World War II internment and detention in Hawai'i.  The management plan shall set forth the desired relationship of the monument to other related resources, programs, and organizations associated with World War II internment, detention, and exclusion.
 
The National Park Service shall use available authorities, as appropriate, to enter into agreements to provide for access to the monument.  The National Park Service shall also use available authorities, as appropriate, to enter into agreements with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to provide for research, preservation, interpretation, and education at Honouliuli and additional sites associated with World War II internment in Hawai'i and exclusion elsewhere.  The National Park Service shall also coordinate management with World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which commemorates the  broader story of the war in the Pacific and its impacts on
Hawai'i.
 
Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation.
 
Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.
 
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA

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Obama Statements and Releases: Readout of Vice President Biden's Meeting with Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar

President Barack Obama and King Salman walk along the red carpet at the airport after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


From Denny:  Not exactly a complete readout but rather a summary of topics discussed.  It would be more interesting if they provided a transcript but that's definitely too much to hope for, right? :)

The White House
Office of the Vice President
February 24, 2015

Readout of Vice President Biden's Meeting with Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar

The Vice President held a breakfast meeting with Amir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues. The Vice President and Amir spoke about the significant cooperation between the United States and Qatar against ISIL, including Doha’s role in hosting coalition forces at Al Udeid Air Force Base. They discussed how best to work to bring about a political transition in Syria in a way that also marginalizes extremists. They spoke about ongoing P5+1 negotiations with Iran and agreed on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Amid unprecedented and ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, the Vice President and Amir both underscored the importance of continued dialogue and cooperation between the United States and Qatar.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Obama Statements and Releases: FACT SHEET: Middle Class Economics: Strengthening Retirement Security by Cracking Down on Backdoor Payments and Hidden Fees

President Barack Obama and WWII veteran Kenneth (Rock) Merritt talk onboard Marine One after departing the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, June 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


From Denny:  This is something all Americans would find important and of personal interest yet the mainstream media gave it little attention.  Who wouldn't want to know about how your President is taking steps to keep you from losing money in your retirement savings account?  Who wants to lose over 17 percent of your money to Wall Street sharks that tricked you out of it with hidden fees and/or hidden back door payments.  Worse yet, many of these retirement accounts give you very low return for your investment.  You would do better investing in just about anything else than give it to Wall Street.  All they do is take care of themselves at your expense if you are just a middle class investor and not a huge hedge fund.  Manage your own money; you can't do any worse than these guys.




The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
February 23, 2015


FACT SHEET: Middle Class Economics: Strengthening Retirement Security by Cracking Down on Backdoor Payments and Hidden Fees

“That’s what middle-class economics is - the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015
Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But today, the rules of the road do not ensure that financial advisers act in the best interest of their clients when they give retirement investment advice, and it’s hurting millions of working and middle class families.
A system where Wall Street firms benefit from backdoor payments and hidden fees if they talk responsible Americans into buying bad retirement investments—with high costs and low returns—instead of recommending quality investments isn’t fair. These conflicts of interest are costing middle class families and individuals billions of dollars every year. On average, they result in annual losses of 1 percentage point for affected investors. To demonstrate how small differences can add up: A 1 percentage point lower return could reduce your savings by more than a quarter over 35 years. In other words, instead of a $10,000 retirement investment growing to more than $38,000 over that period after adjusting for inflation, it would be just over $27,500. Today, President Obama is taking a step to crack down on those Wall Street brokers who benefit from backdoor payments or hidden fees and don’t put the best interest of working and middle class families first.
Many advisers do not accept back door payments or hidden fees and work on a different business model that puts their customers’ best interest first. They are hardworking men and women who got into this work to help families achieve their dreams and want a system that provides a level playing field for offering quality advice. But outdated regulations, loopholes, and fine print make it hard for working and middle class families to know who they can trust.
During the financial crisis, we saw the devastation caused on Main Street when outdated policies let lenders steer their customers into bad mortgage products. That’s why in the wake of the crisis, the President fought to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Since then, the CFPB has cracked down on many of the abusive lending practices that led borrowers to lose their homes.
Because of outdated rules protecting retirement savings, we’re seeing similar types of bad incentives and bad advice lead to billions of dollars of losses for American families saving for retirement every year—with some families losing tens of thousands of dollars of their retirement savings. That’s why today, the President directed the Department of Labor to move forward with a proposed rulemaking to protect families from bad retirement advice by requiring retirement advisers to abide by a “fiduciary” standard—putting their clients’ best interest before their own profits.
  • Backdoor Payments & Hidden Fees Are Hurting the Middle Class: Today’s report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) shows conflicts of interest cost middle-class families who receive conflicted advice huge amounts of their hard-earned savings. It finds conflicts likely lead, on average, to:
    • 1 percentage point lower annual returns on retirement savings.
    • $17 billion of losses every year for working and middle class families.
  • A Wide Array of Research Shows Why Conflicts Hurt Working and Middle Class Families: A strong set of independent research shows that these losses result from brokers getting backdoor payments or hidden fees for:
    • Steering clients’ savings into funds with higher fees and lower returns even before fees.
    • Inappropriate rollovers out of lower-cost retirement plans into higher-cost vehicles.
  • President Obama is Cracking Down on Conflicts of Interest: Today, the President called on the Department of Labor to crack down on Wall Street and protect families from conflicted and bad retirement advice. DOL will move forward with a proposed rulemaking that would require retirement advisers to abide by a “fiduciary” standard—putting their clients’ best interest before their own profits.

  • Proposed Rule Coming Soon: In the coming months, the Department of Labor will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, beginning a process in which it will seek extensive public feedback on the best approach to modernize the rules on retirement advice and set new standards, while minimizing any potential disruption to good practices in the marketplace.
Our Retirement Rules Have Not Kept Up with Seismic Shifts in How People Save
Over the past several decades, the share of Americans’ employer-based retirement savings that takes the form of traditional pensions—where investment decisions are generally made by professionals—has fallen sharply. Today, Americans are largely responsible for making their own choices about how much to save and how to invest their retirement savings.
To help make informed choices, families often look for trusted advice on how to manage their hard-earned nest egg. However, despite the significant changes in the retirement landscape, the regulations that set the basic rules of the road on giving investment advice to retirement savers have not been updated in almost forty years. Under these outdated rules, savers cannot count on receiving the unbiased advice that they need and expect. In other words, today’s rules allow brokers to put their bottom line ahead of their clients’ retirement security. A system where middle class families shoulder 100% of the risk for their investments, but brokers receive incentives for directing them into investments that aren’t in their best interest isn’t fair.
If more retirement advisers were fiduciaries, they would have to put the customer’s best interest before their own.
Report Released Today Finds Huge Losses to the Middle-Class from Conflicts of Interest
A new report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers shows that that the current, broken regulatory environment creates misaligned incentives that cost working and middle class families billions of dollars a year—with some individual families losing tens of thousands of dollars of their retirement savings. These incentives cause some Wall Street brokers to encourage working and middle class families to move from low-cost employer plans to IRA accounts that typically entail higher fees—and to steer working and middle class families into higher-cost products within the IRA market. Many advisers currently act as fiduciaries and provide advice in their clients’ best interest, but many others do not. CEA’s analysis of the latest academic research finds that:
  • Conflicted advice leads to lower investment returns for working and middle class families. Working and middle class families receiving conflicted advice earn returns roughly 1 percentage point lower each year (for example, conflicted advice reduces what would be a 6 percent return to a 5 percent return).

  • An estimated $1.7 trillion of IRA assets are invested in products that generally provide payments that generate conflicts of interest. Thus, CEA estimates the aggregate annual cost of conflicted advice is about $17 billion each year.

  • A typical worker who receives conflicted advice when rolling over a 401(k) balance to an IRA at age 45 will lose an estimated 17 percent from her account by age 65. In other words, if a worker has $100,000 in retirement savings at age 45, without conflicted advice it would grow to an estimated $216,000 by age 65 adjusted for inflation, but if she receives conflicted advice it would only grow to $179,000—a loss of $37,000 or about 17 percent.

  • A retiree who receives conflicted advice on how to invest his IRA at retirement will lose an estimated 12 percent of the value of his savings if drawn down over 30 years compared to a retiree who receives unconflicted advice.
A marketplace where some advisers are encouraged to steer their clients into inferior products based on these payments creates bad incentives and an unfair playing field for the many firms who choose instead to put their clients’ interests first.
Updating our Outdated Retirement Protections
Since 1974, the Department of Labor has protected America’s tax-preferred retirement savings under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), working closely with the Treasury Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. ERISA provided the Department of Labor with this authority, recognizing the special importance of consumer protections for a basic retirement nest egg and the large tax subsidies provided for them. In the coming months, the Department of Labor will propose a new rule that will seek to:
  • Require retirement advisers to put their client’s best interest first, by expanding the types of retirement investment advice subject to ERISA: The definition of retirement investment advice has not been meaningfully changed since 1975, despite the dramatic shift in our private retirement system away from defined benefit plans and into self-directed IRAs and 401(k)s. The Department’s proposal will update the definition to better match the needs of today’s working and middle class families. Whether you are an employer trying to design a quality plan for your workers, a worker starting to save, or a retiree trying to avoid spending down your nest egg too quickly, you deserve access to quality advice, without fear that financial bias is clouding your broker’s judgment.

  • Preserve the ability of working and middle class families to choose different types of advice: The Department’s proposal will continue to allow private firms to set their own compensation practices by proposing a new type of exemption from limits on payments creating conflicts of interest that is more principles-based. This exemption will provide businesses with the flexibility to adopt practices that work for them and adapt those practices to changes we may not anticipate, while ensuring that they put their client’s best interest first and disclose any conflicts that may prevent them from doing so. This fulfills the Department’s public commitment to ensure that all common forms of compensation, such as commissions and revenue sharing, are still permitted, whether paid by the client or the investment firm.

  • Preserve access to retirement education:  The Department’s proposal will allow advisers to continue to provide general education on retirement saving across employer-sponsored plans and IRAs without triggering fiduciary duties.
The Department’s proposal will seek to crack down on irresponsible behavior in today’s market for financial advice by better aligning the rules between employer-based retirement savings plans and IRAs. To balance increased protection for working and middle class families while minimizing disruptions to their access to advice, the Administration is committed to a robust and transparent process for receiving input on the proposal. When the Department of Labor issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the coming months, there will be opportunities to submit comments in writing and in a public hearing. The Administration welcomes and invites stakeholders from all perspectives to submit comments as the proposal moves forward. Only after reviewing all the comments will the Administration decide what to include in a final rule—and even once the Department of Labor ultimately issues a final rule, it will not go into effect immediately.
To learn more, visit DOL.gov/ProtectYourSavings.


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