The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:
Republicans request investigation of Obama travel (CNN.com)
Israeli military chief: Iran will not build bomb (WashPost.com)
TSA screeners accused in drug scheme (CNN.com)
Justices seem sympathetic to central part of Arizona law (NYTIMES.com)
Education slowdown threatens U.S. (WSJ.com)
Analysis: As Europe goes, so goes Obama (CNN.com)
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SCHEDULE:
9:30AM Pool Call Time
10:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing/ Oval Office/ Closed Press
4:30PM THE PRESIDENT meets with THE VICE PRESIDENT/ Oval Office/ Closed Press
12:30PM Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama will officially kick off his re-election campaign on May 5 with two rallies in the key states of Ohio and Virginia, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced Wednesday night.
The president will appear at both rallies with first lady Michelle Obama, first visiting The Ohio State University in Columbus before traveling to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in the afternoon.
"The Republican candidates have been out there for over a year campaigning and the president's going to lay out his vision," Messina said on a conference call with reporters. "This will be a ramp-up, not a zero-to-60 moment. So we won't start doing a bunch of these rallies. These will be the first two and then we'll have more announcements about the rest of them coming up."
The president's re-election effort will begin in two states that the Obama campaign sees as critical to its success in November, Messina said, but he said the campaign will continue its efforts to expand the electoral map.
The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy on Wednesday recommending that the president veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act should it pass Congress. The House is scheduled to take up the bill Thursday with a final vote on Friday.
Sponsored by chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers, CISPA would broaden the intelligence community’s ability to share classified information about threats to the nation’s cyber security with private businesses or other non-governmental parties.
Supporters of the bill claim that it would help businesses defend themselves from cyber attacks, limits the government’s ability to force company’s to hand over private information and helps to minimize the government’s intrusion into the internet.
The administration primarily took issue with the bill’s lack of privacy protections. In a statement, the Office of Management and Budget argued that language in the bill “effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres.”
Here’s more from the veto threat: FULL POST
Iowa City, IA (CNN) - President Obama visited his third college in two days with this stop at the University of Iowa, where he continued his push for the youth vote, calling on Republicans to extend lower interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans. The rates are set to jump from 3.4% to 6.8% if Congress doesn't act by July 1.
Pushing his campaign message that he is the candidate fighting for the middle class, Obama sought to contrast himself with his wealthier opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, telling a crowd of students, "We were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income but we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago."
"Think about that," he said. "I'm president of the United States. It was only about eight years ago that we finished paying off our student loans."
The president's trip to Iowa follows Tuesday's speeches at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder – all in battleground states.
Iowa City, IA (CNN) -- President Obama targeted House Republican Todd Akin from Missouri in his remarks on student loan interest rates at the University of Iowa Wednesday.
He did not call out Akin by name, instead citing Akin's recent remarks about how the federal government should not be in the business of student loans.
"America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in," Akin said in a debate with his two Republican opponents Saturday, according to a report by the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Akin, who represents suburbs west of St. Louis, is in a Republican primary contest to oppose Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). She is facing perhaps the toughest re-election fight of any incumbent Democratic senator this cycle.
(CNN) – Seemingly continuing his attempt this week to resonate with younger voters, President Obama professed his admiration for comedian Jon Stewart and the television show Homeland in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine hitting newsstands later this week.
The interview's release comes at the end of Obama’s two day trip to three colleges, during which he pressed Congress to stem off an expected increase in student loan interest rates. The president also appeared on comedian Jimmy Fallon’s show and participated in a sketch with the popular late night talk show host. It all appears to be an effort to drum up support with younger voters, a demographic that were among the president’s most fervent supporters in 2008.
“I like The Daily Show, so sometimes if I’m home late at night, I’ll catch snippets of that. I think Jon Stewart’s brilliant,” Obama told Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner. “It’s amazing to me the degree to which he’s able to cut through a bunch of nonsense – for young people in particular, where I think he ends up having more credibility than a lot of more conventional news programs do.”
And the President called Homeland – the Showtime series about a potential domestic terrorist – “a terrific psychological study.”
The White House maintains the president’s activities this week aren’t part of a particular effort to rally support with the youth demographic, even as there are signals the president might not be firing up younger voters the way he once did.
The president also recounted his now-famous rendition of an Al Green song at New York City fundraiser earlier this year.
“I can sing. I wasn't worried about being able to hit those notes,” he said.
Obama also previewed his likely attacks on presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
"I don't think that their nominee is going to be able to suddenly say, 'Everything I've said for the last six months, I didn't mean,'" Obama said. "I'm assuming that he meant it. When you're running for president, people are paying attention to what you're saying."
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Secret service may have swiftly determined the fate of a dozen of its members caught up in the prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, but spokesman Edwin Donovan tells CNN their investigation is not over.
“We still have folks on the ground in Cartagena,” Donovan said.
One day after president Obama praised the agency on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” but referred to those involved in the scandal as “knuckleheads,” USSS investigators are still working to piece together more details.
“Interviews and corroborative interviews continue,” Donovan said.
Nine of the twelve service members who were under investigation have left or are being forced out of the agency.
In a statement Tuesday, Assistant Director Paul Morrissey stressed their commitment to conducting a thorough investigation and vowed the agency would “not hesitate to take appropriate action should any additional information come to light.”
President Obama’s tour of college campuses continues Wednesday with a speech at the University of Iowa in Cedar Rapids. The remarks will be much like those he delivered yesterday at the University of North Carolina and the University of Colorado: an aggressive push for congress to keep student loan rates down.
The speech, Obama’s first since rival Mitt Romney unofficially claimed the GOP nomination Tuesday night, will also feel less like an “official” event and more of a campaign rally. Still, while this latest foray is entirely to states that will play a significant role in November, the president is merely acting in his official capacities, not as a candidate.
It’s a thin line to be sure.
Full schedule after the jump:
CNN has joined some of the other major television networks covering the White House in upgrading its equipment to be a bit more environmentally friendly.
Located on a raised platform along the west edge of the North Lawn are a row of television cameras and stalls where reporters go on TV with the White House in the background. CNN recently installed new Nila brand LED lighting instruments at its location to help illuminate on-air talent when they’re live from the White House North Lawn.
The new lights are bright enough while drawing far less energy than the old HMI (Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide) lights that were used at the White House for over 20 years.
So next time you see Jessica Yellin, Dan Lothian or Briana Keilar live from the White House you'll now know what they're looking at.