Washington — A Pennsylvania man has been arrested after police say he made a bomb threat outside the White House.
D.C. police spokesman Araz Alali says the man approached an officer at the White House gates Wednesday morning and warned that a bomb would detonate in a truck parked nearby.
Surrounding streets and the entrance to a nearby Metro rail station were shut down as the Secret Service inspected the vehicle for explosives.
rom the depths of the White House’s “We the People” petition website comes this cause created on Tuesday, hoping to force congressional lawmakers to prominently display their financial backers and monetary support from various lobbies.
Since most politicians’ campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company’s logo, or individual’s name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate’s clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those “sponsor’s” [sic] names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4″ by 8″ on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.
While such a change in the rules would not actually lie within the executive branch’s purview — and would likely break House and Senate dress code — the petition is indicative of what has become the site’s de facto function, to serve as a clearing house for a wide variety of proposals of both the novel and novelty variety.
After a slew of petitions calling for everything from a state-by-state secession from the union to the construction of a Star Wars-style “Death Star,” the White House upped their signature threshold from the previous 25,000 to 100,000. The “make lawmakers look like NASCAR drivers” one in particular still has a very long way to go.
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — A new North Korean propaganda video shows images of what appears to be an imagined missile attack on U.S. government buildings in Washington, including the White House and the Capitol.
The roughly 4-minute video was posted Monday on the YouTube channel of the North Korean government website Uriminzokkiri.
It carries a montage of clips of different weapons, including artillery guns firing and large missiles on display at military parades.
Just before the three-minute mark, it cuts to footage of the White House in an electronic sight’s crosshairs, and then a simulated explosion of the Capitol’s dome.
At the same time, the voice narrating the video says, “The White House has been captured in the view of our long-range missile, and the capital of war is within the range of our atomic bomb.”
In California, the government is already coming for the guns.
Notwithstanding the Second Amendment, rules and regulations across the United States outline certain restrictions for who can legally possess a firearm. In the state of California, factors such as a felony conviction or a history of mental health issues mean roughly 20,000 gun owners are holding onto their firearms illegally. Slowly but surely, though, Golden State police officers are prying them away. There’s more, though: backers of the program suggest this becomes a nation-wide practice, and are asking the White House to help make it happen.
“Very, very few states have an archive of firearm owners like we have,” Garen Wintemute of the Violence Prevention Research Program tells Bloomberg News. Wintemute helped set up a program on the West Coast that monitors not just licensed gun owners but also watches for any red flags that could be raised after admittance to a mental health institute or a quick stint in the slammer.
Wintemute says that as many as 200,000 people across the United States may no longer be qualified to own firearms, and in California they are making sure that number drops day by day. In one example cited in this week’s Bloomberg report, journalists recall a recent scene where nine California Justice Department agents equipped with 40-caliber Glock pistols and outfitted in bulletproof vests knocked on a suburban residence, requested to speak to a certain gun owner and then walked away with whatever arsenal they could apprehend.
While Rand Paul was Standing up to the Obama Police State, These ‘Republicans’ were Dining with the Prez and making a backdoor Deal!
At GOP outreach dinner, Obama picks up the tab
Updated 1:40 a.m. EST March 7, 2013
As part of his effort to improve relations between the White House and Capitol Hill, President Obama dined with a small group of Republican senators this evening and, according to the White House, he paid for the dinner out of his own pocket.
Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Mike Johanns, R-Neb.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Dan Coats, R-Ind., Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; are among the senators who joined the president for dinner tonight. The group dined at the Jefferson Hotel a few blocks from the White House.
“The president greatly enjoyed the dinner and had a good exchange of ideas with the senators,” a senior administration official said.
Johnson concurred, saying, “It was an excellent dinner. It was a genuine, sincere open discussion of the fiscal problems facing the nation.”
“Sad” that W.H. dinner with GOP “makes news,” Graham says
Johanns said he felt the president was trying to “start a discussion and kind of break the ice” on how to move forward in dealing with the repeated budget battles that keep cropping up.
“Most of the meeting was spent on budget and the way forward and his goal is ours,” he said. “We want to stop careening from crisis to crisis and solving every problem by meeting the crisis deadline.”
“I think he’s very sincere, I think he wants to try to figure something out,” Johanns added.
Hoeven described the tone of the dinner as “very positive, encouraging, candid, focused on ‘how do we come together?’
“Now we didn’t solve that tonight, but there was a real commitment, I think by everybody there to figure out how we do come together and that’s why we need these kind of discussions and that’s why we need more of them.”
In continuing his outreach, Mr. Obama will join Senate Republicans at a lunch meeting next Thursday. The president is also planning separate meetings with House Republicans and House Democrats next week.
“Senate Republicans welcome the President to the Capitol,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement. “And I appreciate he took my recommendation to hear from all of my members.”
Mr. Obama requested the lunch meeting with Senate Republicans through his chief of staff on Tuesday. He’s also requested an opportunity to visit the House GOP and Democratic caucuses on Capitol Hill to talk about his legislative priorities.
With Washington mired down in budget talks, Mr. Obama has been reaching out not just to congressional leaders, but also to rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans in an effort to find what he calls a “caucus of common sense.” He recently reached out, for example, to a small group of Republican senators including Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
Earlier today, House Republicans passed a bill to fund the government through September. If Congress fails to pass a bill to fund the government before March 27, federal government operations have partially shut down. Both Democrats and Republicans have said they want to avoid a shutdown, though some Democrats and the White House say they are deeply concerned about the House Republican bill, which keeps in place most of the sequester cuts that recently went into effect.
- Obama’s schmoozing the GOP again
- House passes stopgap funding bill, fate in Senate uncertain
- Complete coverage: The sequester
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will cancel all tours starting this weekend, due to sequester cuts. The move prompted swift condemnation from Republican lawmakers, who described the decision as the latest attempt to make the sequester seem worse than it is.
“It’s politically motivated,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told Fox News. “It seems childish — take my ball and go home.”
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, declared in a statement that “the people have been banned from the people’s house.”
The announcement is the latest from the administration about the impact of the cuts that went into effect last Friday. Congressional staffers received a terse email saying White House tours would be canceled effective this Saturday.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush talks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about the sequester cuts will have on the economy and national security and strategies for improving our immigration system.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won’t confirm he’s a candidate for the next presidential race, but he sounded like a White House hopeful Monday, declaring his party in need of leadership.
“I have a voice, I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative movement and the Republican party can regain its footing, because we’ve lost our way,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer.
Bush said he wouldn’t rule out a run in 2016, “but I won’t declare today either.”
Instead, he offered his views on the current fiscal problems facing the White House and Congress, including the deep budget cuts that will be rolled out in numerous federal agencies in upcoming weeks.
Bush called the sequestration a “temporary problem in our history,” one the nation appears numb to because of hype raised by President Obama.
“The president kind of led the charge to say that widows and orphans were going to be out on the street, and so when it didn’t happen, he actually himself kind of stepped back on Friday and said it wasn’t going to happen that way,” he said.
Bush said the impact of the sequestration was “oversold” and “people are just numbed by this dysfunction and they watch it with their peripheral vision.”
Bush also said recent fiscal problems are hampering progress on immigration reform, an issue he believes could help restore the nation’s economic growth. It’s also the one of the few areas where both parties have shown considerable compromise.
“This is the one place where cats and dogs seem to be getting along a little more, so I’m optimistic that there could be a consensus about going forward on immigration,” said Bush, who addresses the issue in his new book, “Immigration Wars.”
Bush faulted both the Republican party and its 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for failing to garner more support from Hispanic voters during the last election cycle.
“Gov. Romney put himself in a box, I think, in the primary by trying to out(-conservative) conservatives, some very good conservative candidates, and never really recovered from it,” Bush said.
Immigration may not be the dominant issue for Asian-Amerians, Hispanics and other minorities, Bush added, but Republicans need to recognize that it is important to them.
“It’s a gateway. If you set a tone that you don’t want people to be part of your team, they don’t join,” he said.
While Bush supports an immigration policy that would grant legal status to people who enter the country illegally if certain conditions are met, he does not support granting them citizenship.
“There has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally. It’s just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law,” he said. “If we’re not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, then we’re going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country.”
He also said many people don’t want to become citizens.
“They want to come here, they want to work hard, they want to provide for their families. Some will want to come home, not necessarily all of them want to stay as citizens,” he said.
Bush will appear next week at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC). One person who won’t be joining him on the speaker roster is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized by conservatives after he effusively praised President Obama for helping his state after Hurricane Sandy.
But Bush said conservatives were probably more put off by the way Christie handled budget issues unrelated to Sandy aid.
“I love Christie,” Bush said of his possible rival for the 2016 presidential race. “I think Gov. Christie is a part of the future of the Republican party for sure, and whether he’s going to C-PAC or not is not really changing that.”
MORE at MSN Today
To hear President Barack Obama tell it, the impending $85 billion in spending cuts to the federal budget known as the sequester are the worst disaster since Seth MacFarlane hosted the Academy Awards.
But before you dive deep into depression, here are five facts that should take the sting out of the sequester.
1. The Cuts Are Tiny!
The actual cuts in fiscal year 2013 are only $44 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The rest don’t even take place until 2014 or later. Whether you use $44 billion or $85 billion we’re talking about 1 or 2 percent of total government spending.
2. Spending is Still Going Up!
Even with the sequester, the federal government is expected to spend more this year than it did last year. The government spent $3.5 trillion in 2012 and i expected to spend $3.6 trillion in 2013 (see Summary Table 1).
3. The Pentagon Won’t Starve!
The largest chunk of cuts will come out of the defense budget, which has doubled over the past decade. The Pentagon will still have about $500 billion at its disposal, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.
4. You Can’t Cut Nonexistent Programs!
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget says the sequester will cut a whopping $2 million from the $20 million budget for the National Drug Intelligence Center. That sounds pretty bad – until you realize the Drug Intelligence Center closed its door in June 2012.
5. It Was All Obama’s Idea!
The whole damn sequester was the Obama administration’s idea. As the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward has reported, despite Obama’s denials to the contrary, “the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House” as part of the deal to raise the debt limit back in August 2011.
So as members of the president’s cabinet and party rail against the draconian nature of the sequester and the unfairness of it all, it’s worth keeping in mind that these cuts are genuinely puny.
And that the president has nobody to blame but himself.
About 2 minutes.
Produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also narrates.
If the ‘terrorists’ read or view the information you post on the web, you are ‘aiding the enemy,’ says a military court. However, if the White House and the CIA produce a film, revealing all the ‘secret’ details about the alleged Bin Laden raid, it’s called free speech.
The US government is planning to call an American, possibly one of the 22 Navy Seals involved in the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to give evidence at the trial of Bradley Manning about how he discovered digital material later revealed to contain WikiLeaks disclosures, a military court heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutors intend to bring to the witness stand an anonymous man they are calling “John Doe” who would testify how he entered a room in the al-Qaida leader’s hideout in Pakistan, grabbed three items of digital media and removed it. Later, four separate files of information were off-loaded with WikiLeaks contents on them.
The testimony would be used, the prosecution said, to show that Bin Laden had actively sought access to the material Manning had passed to WikiLeaks. That in turn would provide supporting evidence for the most serious charge against the soldier – that he had “aided the enemy”.
Ashden Fein, the lead prosecution lawyer, told a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland that the individual who grabbed the digital items, as well as five other witnesses who subsequently handled it in Afghanistan and the US, would be called to show how the WikiLeaks disclosures were used by al-Qaida. “This information was requested by Osama bin Laden; a member of al-Qaida went and got the information and gave it to Bin Laden,” Fein said.
In an intense afternoon of legal argument, it was also revealed on Tuesday that Manning has written a personal statement of about 35 pages in which he seeks to explain to the court why he transferred such a massive trove of confidential state documents to the anti-secrecy site. On Thursday the soldier is due to enter a dialogue with the judge presiding over the case, Colonel Denise Lind, in which he is expected to plead guilty to having been the source of the WikiLeaks dump.
“Sequester cuts will make US more vulnerable to terrorist attack” (ahem)
Will we finally call their bluff on these threats?
Allowing the $85 billion sequester to go forward will make the United States more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Monday.
Napolitano added that the blunt nature of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set for March 1 “makes it awfully, awfully tough” to mitigate threats faced by the nation.
“I don’t think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester compared to without sequester,” said Napolitano, whose agency includes the Transportation Security Administration.
The cuts will also hit the Pentagon, the Department of Justice and other national security spending, and the administration has warned the spending reductions will hurt the military’s readiness.
“I think if you look at the combination of the effect on [the Department of Homeland Security], the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, we are having real impacts on the robustness of our defensive posture,” Napolitano told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Napolitano’s attendance at the White House briefing was the latest part of a White House effort to pressure Congress into passing a deal that would prevent the sequester.
Earlier on Monday, President Obama urged the nation’s governors, gathered in Washington for their annual meeting, to lobby their congressional delegations to reach a compromise deal.
In her remarks, Napolitano said the cuts would reduce Coast Guard patrols by 25 percent, reduce the number of beds for immigration detentions and increase wait times at ports.
“When you slow down the inspection of containers by up to five days … that translates into lots and lots of jobs, good paying jobs, and those are going to be impacted,” Napolitano said.
Republicans have said the White House is attempting to frighten the American people over the sequester with scare tactics.
“My advice to the [president is] stop the campaigning, stop sending out your cabinet secretaries to scare the American people,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”
Jindal said Obama should “roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of governing.”
Asked about Jindal’s comments, Napolitano denied the administration was employing scare tactics.
“I’m not here to scare people; I’m here to inform and let people begin to plan,” Napolitano said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney would not say if Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to discuss the sequester this week.
But he vowed to “continue to engage with the Congress this week.”
The White House is demanding that a sequester replacement bill include some tax increases, something Republicans have refused. Carney indicated that he doesn’t expect Republicans to move much in their position.
“The simple fact is what Republican leaders are saying in public reflects the positions that they have,” he said.
The impasse and divide over taxes suggests the cuts will begin on March 1, with both sides hoping public pressure will build on the other to budge from their position.
More from The Hill:
• Napolitano warns of long TSA lines from sequester
• GOP rips Obama as ‘road show president’
• Rival sequester bills teed up in Senate
• Blame and fear as sequester looms
• Web anonymity battle starts anew
• McCain, Graham to meet with Obama on immigration
• Dems schedule votes on assault weapons ban
• Unprecedented role for celebrity first lady