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With the nation on a high terror alert three days before the July 4 holiday weekend, security is being tightened just about everywhere — including at the two symbolic buildings at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
On Wednesday, workers were installing nasty-looking extra rows of sharp metal spikes atop the fence at the White House, where the Secret Service has had a problem in recent months with jumpers. Full story
The new GOP-led Congress is moving quickly to put a bill expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline on President Barack Obama’s desk, despite a new veto threat from the White House.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing Tuesday, said the president has no plans to sign the legislation. Full story
President Barack Obama hasn’t named a replacement for outgoing Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., but that future nominee can count on a contentious Senate confirmation process, whether it happens in the November lame-duck session or next year.
Attorney general nominations and confirmations — like everything in Washington — have become highly partisan clashes in recent years. Janet Reno, in 1993, was the last attorney general to be confirmed without any “no” votes. (Of course, her pathway to the job was anything but smooth. She was Bill Clinton’s third choice, after it was revealed that his top pick, corporate lawyer Zoe Baird, and his second, federal judge Kimba Wood, both had employed illegal immigrants as nannies.)
Among the most contentious nomination fights in recent years:
Updated 7:03 p.m. | President Barack Obama, back in Washington for a day of meetings in the midst of his August vacation, on Monday reported “progress” in the expanded campaign of U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi insurgents near Mosul, and again called for calm in the riot-torn streets of Ferguson, Mo.
He announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to talk with local leaders about the riots that have rocked the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
Asked about the militarization of American law enforcement that some have said is exacerbating clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Obama said it may be time to review the use of federal dollars to purchase surplus military vehicles and gear.
“There’s a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement,” he said. “And we don’t want those lines blurred.”
Some civil rights leaders have urged the president to speak out more forcefully on the shooting of Michael Brown, but on Monday, Obama instead called for restraint on the part of both police and protesters. Full story