Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Was Tackled by Off-Duty Secret Service Officer

white house 350x256 Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Was Tackled by Off Duty Secret Service Officer

Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Was Tackled by Off-Duty Secret Service Officer (Photo credit: Wikpedia)

It’s reprehensible that the U.S. Secret Service has bungled guarding the White House, which is supposed to be the world’s most fortified presidential residence in the world. The latest revelation is that the two off-duty Secret Service agents took down fence jumper Omar Gonzalez. Wow, I don’t see how Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will survive this break-down.

Gonzalez, 42, was the first person in modern memory to jump over the White House fence and get into the mansion, largely the result of a failure of numerous layers of Secret Service security on the northern fence line.

Though the Secret Service initially said that Gonzalez was quickly detained inside the front door, The Washington Post reported Monday that the man actually made it well into the house before he was tackled on the far southern side of the 80-foot-long East Room. Once he burst inside the unlocked front door, Gonzalez, a former Army veteran, overpowered one Secret Service officer and, on his journey, sprinted past a stairway that leads up half a flight to the first family’s living quarters.

The additional information about the incident came as Secret Service Director Julia Pierson was being grilled on Capitol Hill about the Gonzalez incident and other security lapses revealed in Washington Post stories in recent days. The Post on Sunday detailed the agency’s fumbling response toa November 2011 shooting, in which a man fired a semiautomatic rifle into the White House residence while Sasha Obama was home, but the Secret Service discounted the gunshots on Constitution Avenue as a shoot-out between rival gangsters. Source: Washington Post

Even if the November 2011 shooting was the result of a shoot-out between rival gangsters, it’s shameful, nonetheless that bullets hit the White House and the Secret Service didn’t know. It seems to me that the Secret Service troubles are pause for concern. How can we expect them to adequately protect the president and his family when they can’t even guard his residence? Are these deliberate acts on their part?

Separately, the Secret Service dropped the ball again during President Obama’s visit to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) earlier this month. They allowed a security contractor with three prior convictions for assault and battery, who was armed with a gun, to get on an elevator with the president. Um, is the Secret Service trying to kill President Obama?

Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said. The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.

[...]

When a supervisor from the firm providing security at the CDC approached and discovered the agents’ concerns, the contractor was fired on the spot. Then the contractor agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized that he was armed during his encounter with Obama.

Extensive screening is supposed to keep people with weapons or criminal histories out of arm’s reach of the president. But it appears that this man, possessing a gun, came within inches of the president after undergoing no such screening. Source: WaPo

Secret Service Blunder: Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Enters White House

secret service 350x333 Secret Service Blunder: Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Enters White House

Secret Service Blunder: Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Enters White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to yet another Secret Service lapse, President Obama seems to be more vulnerable than we think. An intruder, identified as Omar Gonzalez, was able to jump the White House fence and enter the front door of the North Portico before he was apprehended. This is unacceptable and shameful on so many levels.

President Obama and his daughters had departed for Camp David minutes before Gonzalez pulled his stunt. The security breach triggered a rare evacuation of the presidential residence.

This is yet another devastating incident of failure on the part of the U.S. Secret Service. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), who chairs the House subpanel on national security oversight, called the Secret Service blunder “totally unacceptable.”

Chaffetz said, “Unfortunately, they are failing to do their job.” Adding, “These are good men and women, but the Secret Service leadership has a lot of questions to answer.”

The officers who apprehended Omar Gonzalez, of Copperas Cove, TX., say he had a small pocket knife, though initial reports said he was unarmed. He was charged with unlawful entry into the White House and is facing a weapons charge for the knife. Gonzalez was taken to an area hospital after complaining of chest pains.

Separately, less than 24 hours after Omar Gonzalez was arrested for entering the White House, a second man was apprehended after he drove up to the White House gate and refused to leave, the Associated Press reports.

Less than 24 hours after Gonzalez’ arrest, a second man was apprehended after he drove up to a White House gate and refused to leave, the Secret Service said, prompting bomb technicians in full gear to search the vehicle as agents shut down nearby streets.

White House Apologizes to Senate Intel Chief for Not Telling Her About Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

obama donkey hotey 1 350x225 White House Apologizes to Senate Intel Chief for Not Telling Her About Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

White House Apologizes to Senate Intel Chief for Not Telling Her About Bergdahl Prisoner Swap (Credit: Donkey Hotey)

The controversy surrounding President Obama’s deal to release five Gitmo prisoners in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who either went AWOL or is a POW, when he was captured in Afghanistan five years ago. It now turns out that the White House is apologizing for an “oversight,” in which they neglected to tell Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the other heads of intelligence committees of the deal. All I can say is just, wow. Really? This is a page out of the George W. Bush playbook. Despite Dick Cheney saying otherwise, ex-Bush official John Bellinger says otherwise. He says that’s exactly what GWB would have done, with the war winding down.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein told reporters when the Obama administration approached the House and Senate Intelligence committees in 2011, “there was very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against the trade.” She said, “The notification to us is important and I think that it would have been a much better thing to do because you do try to work together.” Here’s the salt Sen. Feinstein rubbed in the wound: Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken apologized for not notifying her of the trade sooner” and said it was an “oversight.”

It would seem that Feinstein’s version of events has also been backed up by her Republican colleagues, such as House Intelligence Committe chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, who said, “I don’t know what he means by consulted Congress for some time.” “In 2011, they did come up and present a plan that included a prisoner transfer that was, in a bipartisan way, pushed back.” He added, “We hadn’t heard anything since on any details of any prisoner exchange.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) slammed President Obama for going behind Congress’ back to get Bergdahl released. He said, the president “didn’t follow the law” when he unilaterally made the decision to release the five senior Taliban prisoners. He added, “We have a law in this country, it says you have to notify Congress within 30 days. He completely ignored it. He’s gone rogue.”

 White House Apologizes to Senate Intel Chief for Not Telling Her About Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz ‘Selfie’ with President Obama

david ortiz selfie with obama 350x249 White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz Selfie with President Obama

White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz ‘Selfie’ with President Obama (Credit: Getty Images via Twitter)

Trouble for Samsung over the David Ortiz selfie with President Obama. Last week, the White House warned warned Samsung against using the president’s likeness for commercial gain, after baseball star David Ortiz used one of its cell phones to snap a photo of himself and Obama.

The picture shows President Obama smiling broadly and holding a Red Sox jersey as he stood next to Ortiz. The White House was peeved after Samsung tweeted the shot and it went viral. Now White House lawyers are now pursuing the matter.

Here’s Samsung’s retweet:

 White House Upset Samsung Promoted David Ortiz Selfie with President Obama

Ex-FLOTUS Aide Reid Cherlin: Michelle Obama Turned East Wing into “Worst Wing”

michelle obama 350x231 Ex FLOTUS Aide Reid Cherlin: Michelle Obama Turned East Wing into Worst Wing

Ex-White House Aide Reid Cherlin: Michelle Obama Turned East Wing into “Worst Wing”

Not only are the right wing throwing shade on First Lady Michelle Obama for her China trip (#FLOTUSinChina), a former aide is also throwing shade on FLOTUS.

Reid Cherlin, a former assistant press secretary to Mrs. Obama, wrote in The New Republic that working in the East Wing of the White House has become the “worst wing.” Oh my.

Cherlin wrote, “Perhaps no first lady in recent memory has entered the stately recesses of the East Wing under a higher burden of expectation than Michelle Obama.” He also noted that the strains on the first lady placed great burdens on her communications staff. He said he and his co-workers were unprepared for how hard the work would become and that FLOTUS’ office had evolved into a “confining, frustrating, even miserable place to work.”

Cherlin wrote that staffers were able to gauge their value to the office based on how often they were granted access to meet with her directly. He said, when a staffer was invited to attend a meeting with Michelle Obama, it became a “vital status symbol, a way for staffers to measure their worth.”

Um, so I am guessing Reid Cherlin wasn’t one of those staffers who got one-on-one meetings with Michelle Obama, hence the shade being thrown, right?

[H/T NY Daily News]

 

SMH: ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Asks Who Paid for Michelle Obama’s 50th Birthday Party

michelle obama 11 300x167 SMH: ABC News Jonathan Karl Asks Who Paid for Michelle Obamas 50th Birthday Party

SMH: ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Asks Who Paid for Michelle Obama’s 50th Birthday Party

The fascination by some in the media with everything Michelle Obama does, including her 50th birthday party, is just sickening. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for an estimate of the party’s cost and if President Obama covered the costs.

The First Lady’s birthday party, which took placeSaturday night at the White House, was hotly anticipated by the mainstream press, but was also the subject of criticism from some quarters. Her birthday also raised questions from Fox News’Ed Henry a few weeks ago, when he wondered if taxpayers would be footing the bill for the First Lady’s extended vacation in Hawaii. At Wednesday’s daily briefing, Jon Karl picked up that thread, asking Carney “The first lady had her 50th birthday party, and I believe you said the president picks up the cost for that party?”

“I think we put out information — I don’t have it here — I would refer you to the East Wing,” Carney replied.

“I was just wondering if you have an estimate on what the cost was,” Karl followed up.

“I don’t,” Carney replied, “but I would refer you.”

A White House official tells Mediaite that “The President threw the First Lady a dance party last Saturday for her 50th birthday. It was a private gathering of family and friends and was paid for by the President.” Source: Mediaite

I can’t recall hearing any journalists asking press secretaries about Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan or Roslyn Carter’s birthday parties at the White House. When will the witch hunt against Michelle Obama end?

Did the House GOP Just Hand Hillary Clinton White House in 2016?

hillary clinton 300x214 Did the House GOP Just Hand Hillary Clinton White House in 2016?

Did the House GOP Just Hand Hillary Clinton White House in 2016? (Photo credit: Donkey Hotey)

Bill Clinton must be salivating at the prospects of his wife becoming the next president of the United States. The stunning implosion of the Republican Party and the inability of the Teahadists to recognize that they literally brought this country to its knees over a law, plus shaved billions off the economy and caused real hardship in many homes across the country for 16 days, is enough to have a real impact at the polls come 2014 and 2016.

Michael Hirsh: “In the innermost sanctum of Clintonland, it is difficult to imagine that Hillary and Bill, two of the savviest politicians in the country, are not pinching themselves to make sure that it’s all real. Perhaps they’re dancing a jig together, or knocking back shots and howling at the moon out of sheer, giddy joy at their good luck. (OK, Hillary’s not howling, but Bill might be.) Or maybe they are just quietly kvelling over the latest turn of events.”

“Because the trend lines are unmistakable, and they’re looking better all the time: If she wants to run in 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton could have the easiest walk into the White House of any candidate in either party since, well, one has to go back a very long way. Maybe to Reagan in ’84. LBJ in ’64, or Eisenhower in ’52, or even FDR in 1932, 1936 and 1940. The presidency is looking like it’s hers to lose, more than ever.”

 Did the House GOP Just Hand Hillary Clinton White House in 2016?

President Obama Tips Taylor Gourmet Deli Staff 85% During Unscheduled Visit

taylor gourmet deli 300x200 President Obama Tips Taylor Gourmet Deli Staff 85% During Unscheduled Visit

President Obama Tips Taylor Gourmet Deli Staff 85% During Unscheduled Visit (Photo credit: Open Places)

President Obama made an unscheduled trip to Washington DC’s Taylor Gourmet deli, where he left a hefty tip for the staff and also criticized Republicans who shut down the government:

Obama and Vice President Biden left the White House at lunchtime and walked one block down Pennsylvania Ave. to Taylor Gourmet, a Philadelphia-style sandwich shop that was offering furloughed federal employees a 10% discount.

Obama ordered a turkey and prosciutto hoagie — Biden had salami and provolone — and sought to douse a controversy created when The Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed White House official as saying it doesn’t matter to the administration how long the shutdown lasts because Democrats are “winning.”

“As long as they’re off the job, nobody’s winning,” Obama said, in response to a question from one of the reporters who had followed him.

[...]

Obama — who paid $21.56 for lunch and left a tip of $18.44 — urged Boehner to place a bill funding the government without conditions on the House floor, where it could pass with Democratic support.

 President Obama Tips Taylor Gourmet Deli Staff 85% During Unscheduled Visit

White House Issues Statement on President Obama’s Diplomatic Rebuke of Vladimir Putin

obama portrait 240x300 White House Issues Statement on President Obamas Diplomatic Rebuke of Vladimir Putin

White House Issues Statement on President Obama’s Diplomatic Rebuke of Vladimir Putin

The White House issued a statement on President Obama’s diplomatic rebuke of President Vladimir Putin. The reasons for President Obama canceling his one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, include, Edward Snowden asylum, a lack of progress on missile defense, arms control, trade, global security issues and human rights:

Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September.  We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea.

However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda.  Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship.

Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship.

The President still looks forward to traveling to St. Petersburg on September 5-6 to attend the G-20 Summit. Source: White House Press Secretary

[UPDATE]:  Kremlin says Obama’s decision not to meet with Putin is linked to Snowden dispute, which it says is not Russia’s fault – @RT_com

Right Wing Freak-Out: Michelle Obama Says Living In White House Like Living In ‘Really Nice Prison’

drudge report michelle obama living in prison comment 300x233 Right Wing Freak Out: Michelle Obama Says Living In White House Like Living In ‘Really Nice Prison’

Right Wing Freak-Out: Michelle Obama Compares White House to Living in a ‘Really Nice Prison’

The usual chorus of right wing haters are singing today, loudly, over First Lady Michelle Obama’s comments that living in the White House is like living in a ‘really nice prison.’ The Drudge Report is even leading with that story, linking to the Washington Examiner. Of course, they never consider the full context of what Mrs. Obama was trying to say, just sprinting off with just a snippet.

In Tanzania, Michelle Obama joked about the “prison-like elements” of being first lady. “[B]ut it’s a really nice prison,” she said. “You can’t complain.”

Seat with Laura Bush, Michelle Obama said that wives of presidents “have probably the best job in the world, because while our husbands … have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we got to work on what we’re passionate about. … I have just found it a very freeing and liberating opportunity. … [Laughing] There are prison-like elements, but it’s a really nice prison. You can’t complain. There are confining elements … While people are sorting through our shoes and our hair … whether we cut it or not … We take our bangs and we stand in front of important things the world needs to see. And eventually people stop looking at the bangs, and start looking at the things we’re standing in front of. That’s the power of our role,” according to quotations provided by Mike Allen. Source: Weekly Standard