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Tag: President Obama

Secret Service Adding Metal Spikes to White House Fence to Stop Would-Be Intruders

white house big photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House fence is about to become a lot harder to jump.

After embarrassing security gaps, the Secret Service and the National Park Service are adding sharp metal spikes to the fence, The Associated Press reports. 

The spikes are meant to be temporary until a permanent solution is found.

The installation is expected to begin today and will be finished in about six months.

Both federal agencies plan to submit a final design for the fence to prevent would-be intruders from climbing over.

Other Stories of Interest

Sacramento Bee: Gun Laws Can Help Prevent Attacks Like South Carolina Church Shooting

The church where the shooting happened.

By Editorial Board
Sacramento Bee

Nine people are dead. A lone gunman is to blame.

The gun he was wielding? It might’ve been one he got from his father for his 21st birthday, no paperwork required. The state where he lives? South Carolina has some of the loosest gun-control laws in the country.

We know this story all too well.

We know it from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a lone gunman killed 20 children and six adults. We know it from Aurora, Colo., where a lone gunman killed 12 people in a packed movie theater. We know it from Tucson, where a lone gunman opened fire in a parking lot, killing six and wounding 13, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

And now there’s Charleston, S.C.

Police say Dylann Storm Roof, 21, walked into the historic Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday evening. He asked for the pastor, Clementa Pinckney, who happened to be a state senator. He sat down among the black congregants for 49 minutes and participated in Bible study. Then he opened fire. One witness said he reloaded five times.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

How many more of these shootings must occur before we, as a nation, do something about it? That was what a clearly frustrated President Barack Obama wanted to know on Thursday.

“Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said.

To read more click here.

 

Obama’s Nominee to Lead TSA Gets Advances After Senate Committee Approval

Peter Neffenger via YouTube

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the TSA was approved by a Senate committee following the enforcement of the Commerce Committee less than two week earlier, Bloomberg reports.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger on a voice vote.

The nomination comes at a strenuous period for the TSA, which recently was exposed for failing to spot weapons and other banned items in a vast majority of the test cases. The agency also has come under criticism for purchasing decisions, hiring practices and aggressive pat-downs.

If approved, Neffenger would replace former acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway.

 Other Stories of Interest


Senate Takes Some Muscle Out of Retooled Patriot Act, Worrying FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate on Tuesday ended the NSA’s controversial bulk phone-records program but reauthorized most of the Patriot Act that expired over the weekend.

President Obama signed the measure, which passed the Senate with a 67-32 vote, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The FBI warned that the move would hamper agents who must now obtain phone records on a case-by-case basis from telecommunications companies, rather than collecting data in bulk.

“After a needless delay and inexcusable lapse in important national security authorities, my administration will work expeditiously to ensure our national security professionals again have the full set of vital tools they need to continue protecting the country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement Tuesday.

Civil liberties proponents applauded the move.

“Today the American people are now safe from the federal government’s collection of their personal data,” said Sen. Mike Leeof Utah, the bill’s chief GOP proponent in the Senate.

 

 

Secret Service Kept Busy Monitoring President Obama’s New Twitter Account

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s decision to join Twitter unleashed a torrent of hateful, even threatening tweets that have already caught the attention of the Secret Service.

Not only that, the White House is archiving every response to @POTUS, the Washington Post reports. 

So the newspaper kindly reminds readers to be wise when tweeting to the president of the United States.

“Just seconds after posting something online it has likely been disseminated to dozens of people and definitely been archived by an unknowable number of automated systems,” the programmer Pehr Hovey wrote in his master’s thesis on deleted tweets in 2010. “Though a delete button may provide solace to those having second thoughts, in reality it is a façade.”

Liberal Think Tank: ATF Should Merge with FBI to Reduce Firearms Crime

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The ATF is not equipped to handle gun violence and should be merged with the FBI to reduce firearms crime, according to a liberal think tank with strong ties to President Obama, the Washington Post reports. 

The Center of American Progress provided a 182-page report that argued the ATF is hamstrung by inadequate resources, poor management and burdensome restrictions.

“We do not make the core recommendation of this report lightly and recognize that . . . this type of agency restructuring would be challenging and time-consuming,” said Arkadi Gerney, one of the report’s co-authors. “But the problem of gun violence in the United States warrants this kind of large-scale rethinking. With 33 people murdered with guns in the United States every day, it is time to think big about how best to fulfill the ATF’s mission to enforce gun laws and regulate the gun industry.”

The group argues the ATF should be folded into the FBI, an idea promoted by Republicans in years past.

A Justice Department spokesman’s said the agency  “supports ATF in its current form and believes Congress should fully fund the president’s budget request that will enhance ATF’s ability to carry out their important mission.”

The NRA blamed the Obama administration on problems in the ATF.

“The Obama administration has only contributed to ATF’s dysfunction by politicizing the agency to implement its gun-control agenda,” said NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker. “Regardless of where ATF is located, the reality is that nothing will change until we have a president who respects the Second Amendment.”

 

Secret Service Agent on Obama Detail Who Was Under Investigation is Resigning

secret service photo

 
By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — A top member of President Obama’s Secret Service detail under investigation for his conduct during a White House bomb threat probe notified the agency this week that he plans to retire, according to officials familiar with his decision.

The decision by Marc Connolly came ahead of the public release of a report concluding that he and a colleague were “more likely than not” impaired by alcohol on the night of March 4 as they drove into a temporary barricade and directly beside a suspicious package that was under investigation as a possible bomb, the investigative report says.

The findings are scheduled to be the subject of a congressional hearing Thursday.

To read more click here. 

Senate Confirms Sally Yates As No. 2 at Justice Department

Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Anger over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration wasn’t enough to prevent the Senate confirmation of a new deputy attorney general on Wednesday.

Sally Yates, known for cracking down on crime in Georgia, was confirmed to the No. 2 position in the Justice Department with by a 84-12 vote in the Senate, Politico.com reports.

Some Republicans tried to prevent the confirmation on the grounds that the president’s executive actions on immigration were unconscionable. But Lynch gained strong support from the GOP.

“She is an experienced and dedicated prosecutor with a well-deserved reputation for fairness, integrity, toughness. She is a confirmed leader in this crucial position,” the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Patrick Leahy, of Vermont, said.

Yates replaces James Coles, who resigned at the beginning of the year.