President Barack Obama will tighten airline security today in a bid to thwart any future attack like last month’s plot to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner. But will that silence his political opponents? Not likely. With congressional elections looming in November, the stakes may be too high.
Tales from the Trail
President Barack Obama is weathering a political storm over last month’s suspected al Qaeda plot to bomb a Detroit-bound plane, particularly from Republicans who say he dropped the ball on security while pursuing healthcare and climate reforms. But how much substance there is behind the allegations may depend on who’s talking.
Nearly naked, drunken guys dancing around a bonfire and engaging in lewd conduct. And there are pictures and videos. No it’s not a frat party gone wild. It’s downtime for some private security contractors hired to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, according to the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight.
WASHINGTON — What a difference a few days can make in the rough and tumble world of American politics, particularly in the U.S. Capitol. Just ask Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to be U.S. attorney general.
Last week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell named Holder as the only one of Obama’s Cabinet nominees in possible trouble.
There was Republican concern about Holder, particularly his decision, while President Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general, to back a pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.
But after receiving rave reviews at his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, Holder seems certain to be confirmed.
Under questioning, Holder admitted he erred in the Rich matter, broke with the Bush administration to call waterboarding “torture” and vowed to run a Justice Department free of political meddling. He also promised to make fighting financial crimes a top priority.
At least two Republicans said afterward that they intend to support him, which should provide enough votes in the Democratic-led Senate to clear any procedural roadblock.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, reiterated his support for Holder, predicting he would be a strong attorney general.
And on Friday, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida came out for Holder after what he described as “a very productive meeting with him.”
“I adhere to the principle that, assuming qualifications, a president gets to choose the members of his Cabinet,” Martinez said.
“Mr. Holder answered a number of questions to my satisfaction,” Martinez said. “I intend to support Mr. Holder’s confirmation and urge my colleagues to do the same.”
With the images of death and destruction in Mumbai last week fresh in everyone’s minds, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is set on Monday to name his national security team.
At a 10:40 EST (1540 GMT) news conference in Chicago, Obama is expected to name former rival Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state and nominate Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stay on in that role. In addition he is expected to name Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary, Eric Holder as attorney general and adviser Susan Rice as ambassador to the United Nations.
After a series of three straight news conferences last week focused on the ailing U.S. economy, Obama will switch gears today as he will likely face questions about India and Pakistan and his proposed policies toward the two nuclear-armed nations.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to India on Wednesday. She has been in contact with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in recent days to ease tensions between the states.
The Twin Cities have been the scene of sometimes violent protests and a heavy security presence during the Republican National Convention. Kelly Nuxoll of Huffington Post’s Off the Bus talked to two residents about what they think and how they’ve been affected.
Pedicab driver Laura Caldwell shares her stories from the Democratic National Convention: Military helicopters, armored golf carts, and teenage anarchists with the utmost respect for traffic laws. This video was shot by fellow pedicab operator Teri Robnett, a contributor to Reuters Inside the Tent.