The First Draft: Hello, summer!

May 22, 2009

USA/It’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. No bottlenecks yet at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the gateway to Maryland’s Eastern Shore beach towns.

Traffic out that way is likely to get worse around 10:00 a.m., when President Obama delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He’ll also sign bills to limit abusive credit-card practices and reform the Pentagon’s weapons-buying process.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Lebanon, where he’s already managed to tick off Hezbollah. No, he hasn’t said anything unwise yet, they’re just upset that he’s there.

Folks still seem to be talking about yesterday’s Gitmo faceoff between Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also served in Cheney’s administration, said that Gitmo is a fine facility but has a “taint.”

“The name itself is a condemnation,” he said on NBC’s “Today” Show.

Gates dismissed worries that any terrorism suspects would pose a security threat if moved to U.S. prison facilities.

“There’s a lot of fearmongering about this. We’ve never had an escape from a Supermax prison, and that’s where these guys will go,” he said.

photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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