At his press conference today, "President Obama will announce on Thursday a suspension of all applications for offshore oil drilling in the Arctic through the remainder of the year, an Alaska senator said late Wednesday," the New York Times says. The decision essentially extends an informal moratorium that Mr. Obama had set shortly after the BP accident on April 20 that led to the spewing of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The new restrictions would suspend new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and off the North Slope Alaska until the cause of the accident is determined and stricter safety and environmental safeguards are imposed."
The AP: "Struggling to seize control of a disastrous oil spill on his watch, President Barack Obama is rolling out tougher rules for oil rigs, accepting questions about his own leadership and heading back to the Gulf Coast to reassure the country of every effort to 'put a stop to this thing.' Even as the White House insists it has been engaged in halting the crisis since it began, Obama is raising his public profile in an attempt to show he is in command. He has been pounded not just by Republican critics but by Democrats as well as the mess spills into a sixth week of pollution and hard feelings."
Roll Call on today's presser: "When President Barack Obama faces reporters Thursday before heading to Louisiana on Friday, he'll be going for a hat trick, trying to neutralize attacks on three of the biggest crises facing the nation: illegal immigration, federal spending and the Gulf Coast disaster."
The Washington Post has five questions for Obama on the oil spill.
USA Today asks if this has become Obama's Katrina. "A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that six out of 10 adults say the federal government is doing a "poor" or "very poor" job handling the spill. A majority — 53% — say the same about Obama. And 50% of those polled say protecting the environment now should be a higher priority than promoting economic growth. Those choosing the economy: 43%."
The Obama Doctrine: "President Barack Obama's new national security strategy says armed conflict should be a last resort but doesn't repudiate the Bush administration's doctrine of pre-emptive war or its call for the U.S. to go it alone in defending against foreign threats," the AP writes. "The overarching goal of Obama's National Security Strategy, intended to guide U.S. military and diplomatic policy for years, is to eliminate the need for the U.S. to strike first or take unilateral military action. In the president's first formal declaration of his national security strategy, Obama breaks with some of his predecessors in putting heavy emphasis on the value of global cooperation, developing wider security partnerships and helping other nations defend themselves."
"Two top Obama administration officials have told Pakistan that it has only weeks to show real progress in a crackdown against the Pakistani Taliban, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday," the AP adds. "The U.S. has put Pakistan 'on a clock' to launch a new intelligence and counterterrorist offensive against the group, which the White House alleges was behind the Times Square bombing attempt, according to the official."