President Obama plans to visit the catastrophe zone off Louisiana's coast within the next 48 hours as SecDef Gates mobilizes the Louisiana National Guard and WH convenes a principal-level homeland security response meeting. Republicans begin to question speed of Obama's response. Hannity: "They did nothing for nine days." ... Why is this oil spill unlike other oil spills? Ecologist Willy Bramis notes that there's no ship hull here to limit the amount of oil that's spilled... the oil is just seeping into the water from its natural source. Bramis calls it the ecological catastrophe of our generation. ... Chances Obama misses tomorrow's White House Correspondent's Association dinner? Even senior administration officials don't know just yet. VP Biden is already booked for a dinner in Arizona (!) and the president's schedule is open on Sunday. ... BP is under major investigative scrutiny already as Congress readies hearings.Obama has now interviewed three Supreme Court justice candidates, including, today, Elena Kagan, per Newsweek. ... WH signaling announcement late next week or early the week after.
Gay rights activists note with alarm Pentagon brass letter to House Armed Services Cmte chair Ike Skelton, urging Congress not to pass Dont Ask, Don't Tell legislation until the DoD finishes its review in December. Speaker Pelosi reacts by asking administration to place a moratorium on dismissals until the review has been completed. White House insists that repeal is on track but doesn't push back against Gates/Mullen letter. Human Rights Campaign reacts strongly.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation tonight to clarify the racial profiling part of the immigration bill. At the same time, a suspected illegal alien shot an AZ deputy in a traffic stop.
I don't have a horse in the Derby, but Mitch McConnell does: "I'm for Super Saver -- more than a name, it's what government should be doing in Washington and Frankfort," he says.
Obama will give the commencement speech to the University of Michigan tomorrow. History watch: LBJ detailed the Great Society for the first time at the '64 Michigan commencement where he spoke (JFK announced the Peace Corps idea there as a candidate in '60). Michigan Wolverines in the administration include: Ken Salazar, Valerie Jarrett, Melody Barnes, Rand Beers, Eugene Kang, David Katz (photog), Lisa Konwinski, Cecilia Muñoz, and Daniel K. Tarullo, whom Obama nominated to the Federal Reserve last year.
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