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Returning from Hawaii. (Photo/WWR)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today in the West Wing: Wednesday, May 5

Hundreds may have been killed. That's what President Obama says about the failed car bombing attempt in New York's Times Square. The suspect in the case - Faisal Shahzad - is said to be cooperating, and there have been arrests in Pakistan, where the Faisal reportedly went to bomb-making school. Fortunately, he wasn't much of a student.

In an appearance before a group of CEOs, the President, appearing more subdued than usual, said the failed attack "is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live." And he added:

"As Americans, and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant. We will work together. And we will protect and defend the country we love to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our people. That’s what I intend to do as President and that’s what we will do as a nation."

Oil Spill Latest

As WWR mentioned yesterday, there are doubts about just how much BP will have to pay to clean up that massive Gulf oil spill.

A federal law limits the company's liability to just $75 million. The White House says it wants to raise that limit significantly. Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill want it lifted 13-fold to $10 billion, but even that might not be enough: some damage estimates are already topping $14 billion.

Today's Schedule

It's May 5th, also known as Cinco de Mayo, and the President will hold a reception tonight in the Rose Garden. It has become quite the holiday in the U.S., thanks in no small part to the influx of Mexican immigrants over the years.

You may have heard that the state of Arizona has a problem with immigrants - of the illegal kind anyway - and a recent law allowing authorities there to ask anyone suspected of being an illegal may come up this afternoon when Obama meets in the Oval with Arizona's junior Senator, Jon Kyl (R).

But Obama also wants to talk with Kyl - a member of the Judiciary Committee - about the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The Committee is stop one on the confirmation process, and the President, we are told, is close to announcing who the nominee will be. Obama will also meet with another committee member, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, on the same topic.

Obama also signs another healthcare bill - the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act - aimed at improving health care services and benefits for veterans.



9:30AM Pool Call Time

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:15AM THE PRESIDENT meets with Senator Kyl
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:45AM THE PRESIDENT meets with Senator Hatch
Oval Office
Closed Press

1:30PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks and signs the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act
State Dining Room
Pooled Press (Pre-set 11:30AM – Final Gather 12:45PM – North Doors of the Palm Room)

6:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a Cinco de Mayo reception; THE FIRST LADY also attends
Rose Garden
Pooled Press (Pre-set 5:00PM – Final Gather 5:40PM – North Doors of the Palm Room)


On This Day

1985: President Reagan angered Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors by visiting the Bitburg war cemetery in Germany. Then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who suggested the visit, accompanied Reagan to the cemetery, where 2,000 German troops are buried. Reagan laid a wreath at the base of a monument to fallen German soldiers. What he did not know was that the cemetery included the graves of 49 of Hitler s infamous SS (Schutzstaffel), the paramilitary organization that planned and carried out the massacre of approximately 6 million people in death camps during World War II.

Before going to Bitburg, Reagan had visited the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, in which victims of Nazi persecution, mostly Jews, were exterminated. At Bergen-Belsen, Reagan stood by a marker identifying a mass grave of 50,000 bodies and said solemnly, ''here they lie. Never to hope. Never to pray. Never to love. Never to heal. Never to laugh. Never to cry.'' - from

Presidential Quote

"Men may die, but the fabrics of our free institutions remain unshaken." - Chester Alan Arthur

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