White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan publicly acknowledged the drone program for the first time at the behest of the president.
Reuters: “The deadly U.S. campaign of drone strikes against al Qaeda is fully legal under international law, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism chief insisted on Monday in the most extensive justification of a controversial tactic that has eliminated some of the most-wanted militants. Speaking on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden in a raid in Pakistan, the White House aide, John Brennan, said the U.S. administration holds itself to a `rigorous' review process in deciding on drone targets in Afghanistan and elsewhere. … `I'm here today because President Obama has instructed us to be more open with the American people about these efforts,' Brennan said in a speech to a Washington think tank.”
NBC’s Carrie Dann reports on Michelle Obama’s fundraising swing out West. The fundraiser last night at the Tucson Convention Center will have about 450 guests at (at least) $100/ticket. Musical group Calexico - whose genre is described as "alternative country," "desert rock," or "indie" depending on whom you ask - will be performing at that event. A breakfast today at The Springs Preserve in Las Vegas is $2500 for a starting ticket price with about 100 guests. And an Albuquerque reception this afternoon at the Los Poblanos Inn is 150 guests, starting ticket price $1000. So that's (a minimum of) a bit shy of half a million dollars ($445,000) in two days for the First Lady.
First Lady Michelle Obama full front page picture, article below: The Arizona Daily Star: "I can't tell you how special this place is to us," Michelle Obama told a Tucson audience Monday, as she returned for the first time since she and the president came for a tribute to the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting victims and heroes. The first lady went on to tell the campaign gathering at the Tucson Convention Center that the upcoming presidential election boils down to making a fundamental choice about who we are as a country. The first lady's visit came about a week after Vice President Joe Biden headlined a fundraiser in Phoenix. The two events are designed to highlight that the Democrats think Arizona is "in play" this year. A pair of recent polls suggest President Obama may have a shot in Arizona, a state in which no Democratic presidential candidate has won since Bill Clinton in 1996 (and before that, which no Democrat had won since Harry Truman).
Bo (or DOTUS)? The Washington Post: President Obama has unleashed a particularly unusual fundraiser for his 2012 campaign. One Internet ad starts with a two-toned blue background, like dozens of other pro-Obama spots. Then the furry star pops into the frame, tongue out and ready to frolic. “Join Pet Lovers for Obama,” the ad implores. The unlikely pitchman is Bo, the White House family pet, who may well be the first “first dog” to emerge as a central player in a presidential reelection campaign.
Inhofe gets a scalp: A regional EPA official resigned. Msnbc.com notes that Al Armendariz got in hot water when Sen. James Inhofe learned of a two-year-old video that surfaced showing Armendariz saying that the Romans conquered a village by taking "the first five guys they saw and they'd crucify them." He added that the EPA, similarly, makes "examples out of people who are not complying with the law ... you make examples out of them, use it as a deterrent method. "Companies that are smart see that and they don't want to play that, and they decide at that point that it's time to clean up," he added. Inhofe vowed to launch an investigation.