Marine One approaches the South Lawn of the White House during President Barack Obama’s flight from Joint Base Andrews, Md., Dec. 20, 2011. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews marking the return of the United States Forces-Iraq colors to the United States. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Morning everyone. I’ll be out for most of the day, but will catch up with you and all the news when I get back. Have a perfect day ;-)
President Barack Obama is briefed on the tragedy in Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and national security staff, at Camp David, August 6. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
BBC: A US helicopter carrying US and Afghan special forces has crashed in Afghanistan, killing 38 people, officials in Kabul say.
Reports say the Chinook helicopter was shot down by the Taliban.
US sources say most of the 31 Americans killed were from the Navy Seal unit which killed Osama Bin Laden, but are “unlikely” to be the same personnel.
President Obama: My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the Americans who were lost earlier today in Afghanistan. Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan. We will draw inspiration from their lives, and continue the work of securing our country and standing up for the values that they embodied. We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country. At this difficult hour, all Americans are united in support of our men and women in uniform who serve so that we can live in freedom and security.
Steve Benen: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie created a bit of a stir this week, using a state helicopter to travel to his son’s high school baseball game, then using a state car to drive him 100 yards from the landing site to the game itself. Making matters slightly worse, the governor left half-way through the game, had the state car drive him back the 100 yards, and then took the helicopter to a meeting with wealthy Iowans who want him to run for president.
Yesterday, Christie’ office responded to calls that he reimburse the state for the costs of this excursion, announcing the governor doesn’t intend to pay a dime.
…his flap certainly isn’t doing Christie any favors. His whole message is about austerity: cutting back, making sacrifices, living with less, eliminating waste in government, etc. The use of the chopper, to put it mildly, belies the governor’s larger agenda.
….A Star Ledger editorial today concluded, “Now we know why [Christie] can’t imagine what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of regular New Jerseyans: He doesn’t even walk 100 yards in his own.”
Let’s hope this is a bit over-dramatic … I just heard on the news that if the weather is bad in Ireland on Monday – and the forecast says it will be – the President might not make it to Moneygall after all. Because he has so little time in Ireland, he has to fly to Moneygall by helicopter – the road trip there and back to Dublin would take too long. So, if the weather makes flying impossible, then he probably won’t make it out of Dublin.
Moneygall is going to be doing a lot of weather-forecast watching this weekend :-(