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Obama agenda: Promoting fatherhood

“In what is becoming a Father's Day ritual for the Obama administration, the president on Monday will bring together children, famous dads and nonprofit groups that promote fatherhood to highlight the importance of fathers,” the Washington Post says. “The center of President Obama's day-long celebration will be a speech at the ARC, an arts and recreation campus in Southeast Washington, where he is set to announce the creation of the President's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. It will build on a theme that has been central to his family policy and a core part of the White House's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”

The president’s speech is at 10:15 am ET.

Trouble for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar? The Sunday New York Times: “Mr. Salazar’s job is not in immediate jeopardy, and the president values the work he has done and will continue to do at the Interior Department, said Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary. But a senior administration official, who spoke of a delicate personnel matter only on the condition of anonymity said, ‘The president and the White House are watching very, very closely the pace of reform at Interior to see that progress is being made that truly cleans it up.’”


The Washington Post front-pages how BP is beefing up its lobbying team. “BP … has assembled a formidable team of Democrats for its Washington lobbying and public-relations offensive. There is Tony Podesta, who heads one of the District's leading lobbying firms; Jamie Gorelick, a top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration now at the law firm WilmerHale; Hilary Rosen, a former recording-industry lobbyist who heads the Washington office of the Brunswick Group, a public-relations consultancy; and Michael S. Berman of the Duberstein Group.”

More: “But BP has not ignored the GOP, which has been a crucial ally on Capitol Hill in tamping down calls from liberal Democrats to permanently ban drilling or lift liability limits for the company. The London-based energy conglomerate recently hired Anne Womack-Kolton, who was a press secretary for former vice president Richard B. Cheney, to head its U.S. public-relations shop. And Brunswick has contracted GOP consultants Alex Castellanos and John Feehery to work on behalf of BP.”

The New York Times: “Bowing to worldwide pressure and condemnation, Israel on Sunday formally announced an eased blockade of Gaza that could significantly expand the flow of goods overland into the impoverished coastal Palestinian enclave, isolated by the Israelis for three years. The announcement, made by the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, came three weeks after a deadly Israeli naval commando raid that thwarted a breach of the blockade by a flotilla of pro-Palestinian aid activists. That raid outraged much of the world and became a catalyst for a serious re-examination by Israel of its policy toward Gaza, which is governed by the militant anti-Israeli group Hamas and is home to 1.5 million Palestinians.”

Obama is set to meet at the White House with Netanyahu on July 6.

The AP: “Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that President Obama could end up vetoing legislation that would lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military -- if the bill also contains money for defense projects he says are wasteful.”

“The Obama administration reaffirmed yesterday that it will begin pulling US troops out of Afghanistan next summer, despite reservations among top generals that absolute deadlines are a mistake,” AP reports.

“President Barack Obama hit the golf course Saturday with Vice President Joe Biden,” The Hill notes.

RNC Chair Michael Steele “criticized Obama for his activities this weekend, which included a trip to a Washington Nationals game on Friday versus his hometown Chicago White Sox, and a round of golf on Saturday. ‘While it is fitting and appropriate to look at the yachting activities of the BP CEO, with incredulity, it is equally incredible that President Obama finds himself on yet another golf course as oil continues to spew into the Gulf,’ Steele said in a statement. ‘Until this problem is fixed, no more golf outings, no more baseball games, no more Beatle concerts, Mr. President. The stakes are too high for President Obama's lackadaisical approach to both his responsibilities and the challenges we face.’”