U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who drew fire in 2010 when he declared that his top goal was to deny President Barack Obama re-election, quickly congratulated the president on Monday as Obama began four more years in office.
Tales from the Trail
Not every U.S. ally who visits the Pentagon needs to be treated to a dinner that evokes more than 200 years of peaceful military relations.
They passed through layers of White House security to attend a lavish state dinner, got themselves photographed with the president and vice president and posted pix on Facebook.
It was supposed to be an experience to last a lifetime. But now, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple at the center of one of the most embarrassing White House security breaches of all time, say their lives have been destroyed by falsehood and gossip.
“Devastated. Shocked,” is how beautiful, blond, former NFL cheerleader Michaele recalls her reaction to the morning-after headlines in an interview with NBC’s Today show. And Tareq? “Very saddened,” he says.
According to the White House, the Salahis were not on the invitation list. But they insist they were invited and predict that e-mails now in the hands of the Secret Service will exonerate them in the end.
In the meantime, their lives are a one-syllable word for perdition.
Tareq: “Our lives have really been destroyed.”
Michaele: “Everything we’ve worked for — for me, 44 years — destroyed.”
The U.S. media have made the Salahis out to be self-promoting social climbers who crashed the White House dinner while Michaele was auditioning for a new reality TV show called “The Real Housewives of Washington.” There have even been reports they tried to cash in on their exploits by demanding big bucks in exchange for media interviews.
A camera crew from the cable-TV channel, Bravo, did follow them to the edge of the White House grounds on the night of the dinner. But the bit about paid interviews is dead wrong, says Michaele: “At no time … have we ever even talked about doing that with anyone.”
Whether the Salahis are charged depends on a Secret Service probe to figure out just what happened. The Salahis tell NBC they hope to clear their name by sharing those e-mails as soon as the Secret Service says they can. When might that be? “We hope within the next several days,” Tareq says.
The Obamas may be on vacation this week, but the news hasn’t taken a break.
The Justice Department is expected to release a report Monday disclosing details of prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the CIA’s inspector general but never before made public. According to published reports, the department has recommended re-opening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases.
from Photographers' Blog:
What's in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's wallet? Not much.
While testifying in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill Thursday Geithner was shown a $50 Billion Zimbabwean bank note (rendered worthless by Zimbabwe's hyperinflation) by U.S. Representative John Culberson (R- TX) and asked if he had ever seen one himself. Geithner immediately pulled a piece of Zimbabwean currency out of his own pocket and showed it off to the committee. At the next break in the hearing I approached Geithner and asked how he happened to have a piece of foreign currency in his pocket. His response was "I often have some foreign currency in my wallet. Want to see?" He pulled a very thin and mostly empty wallet from his pocket.