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    White House Tag

    There are snipers on the White House roof. Forget teams of fences, dogs, pressure-triggered alarms, or roving bands of secret agents. We have snipers. Can you imagine the conversations those snipers have when some yahoo hops a barrier and makes a run at the front door? Because that happened again today. Twice. Via the Daily Mail:
    On Sunday night, an unnamed suspect stepped over a bike rack situated outside the White House fence. The bike racks were installed last year following a high-profile fence-jumping incident that involved an Army veteran armed with a knife. Early Monday morning, another person attempted to walk through a gate while a construction crew were leaving. According to NBC, both men were taken into custody, and the Secret Service has given the all-clear at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The agency has been tight-lipped about the two breaches, which are now under investigation. The suspects have not been named. The bike rack-jumping incident took place at around 11.30pm Sunday near the southwest corner of the presidential residence, reported MyFox DC. The male suspect was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. The breach led to a 30-minute lockdown at the White House. Just before 7am Monday, another man allegedly tried to walk into a pedestrian entrance as construction workers were leaving the area. A Secret Service agent stopped the intruder in his tracks and arrested him after a brief confrontation. The White House was placed on another lockdown that lasted only a few minutes following the second incident.

    I suppose it will eventually stop being disconcerting every time someone breaches the 4 invisible walls surrounding the White House, but until that day happens, I think there's an argument for license to make a "concerned-and-confused-and-even-disgusted" face when these sorts of things happen. I woke up early this morning to a message from a friend asking, [w]hat is going on with the security at the White House? I mean, besides the obvious racism of the secret service? That's when I found out that this had happened, via the Daily News:
    There was a security scare at the White House early Monday when a two-foot quadcopter drone was found in the middle of the night on the executive mansion's grounds. The U.S. Secret Service is investigating, White House spokesman John Earnest said, but the aircraft did not pose a threat to the building. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were on a three-day visit to India, but their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were at the White House. An unnamed law enforcement official told NBC News the drone landed in a tree just after 3 a.m. Monday on the southeast side of the complex. "An investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects," said Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary.
    According to reports, the drone was not "weaponized," but thank God the Obamas were out of town, anyway.

    Today's "Worst Administration Ever" story is a throwback to the Great Secret Service Sex Scandal of 2012, in which almost two dozen Secret Service personnel were fired after allegations surfaced that several agents had engaged in misconduct involving Colombian prostitutes. Now, reports have surfaced refuting White House claims that no staff members had been involved in any wrongdoing. The Washington Post reports:
    As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved. But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.... The Secret Service shared its findings twice in the weeks after the scandal with top White House officials, including then-White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. Each time, she and other presidential aides conducted an interview with the advance-team member and concluded that he had done nothing wrong. Meanwhile, the new details also show that a separate set of investigators in the inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security — tasked by a Senate committee with digging more deeply into misconduct on the trip — found additional evidence from records and eyewitnesses who had accompanied the team member in Colombia.
    According to WaPo, the team member in question was Jonathan Dach, who now is a full time employee with the State Department's Office on Global Women’s Issues. Through a family attorney, Dach denies any "inappropriate conduct":

    Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit wrote a column for USA Today this week suggesting that it would be smart for Obama to appoint a Republican as Eric Holder's replacement for attorney general:
    For next attorney general, reach across aisle Having a Defense secretary from the other party makes war bipartisan, and reassures members of the opposition that the powers of the sword aren't being abused. Likewise, naming an attorney general from the opposite party would tend to make the administration of justice bipartisan, and would provide considerable reassurance, as Holder's tenure in office emphatically did not, that the powers of law enforcement were not being abused in service of partisan ends. In an age of all-encompassing criminal laws, and pervasive government spying, that's a big deal.
    While I think that's a good idea, this suggestion in the Washington Post from Dan Emmett, a secret service expert and former Marine, is a great idea.

    The near-mythos surrounding the man who jumped the White House fence last week keeps getting weirder. Via Bloomberg Law:
    The man accused of jumping the White House fence with a knife was free on bail at the time of the incident after his arrest on a separate weapons charge in Virginia, prosecutors said. Omar Gonzalez, who was accused of rushing the executive mansion on Sept. 19, made a court appearance today in Washington, where he was ordered held without bond. His next hearing is set for Oct. 1.
    Although the media hasn't quite picked up on exactly what this "weapons charge" is, friends and family of Gonzalez have already begun pushing back on the idea that Gonzalez's history with weapons adds a new angle to the already bizarre story. According to CBS News, friends of Gonzalez believe that if he had jumped the fence with the intent to harm, he would have brought something more deadly than a three-inch knife.

    The Obama administration and some state exchanges have rolled out a number of curious advertising campaigns intended to sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people. Last fall we got a series of ads about 'Brosurance' featuring photos of college guys doing keg stands, then in December we were introduced to Pajama Boy. More recently, we were lectured to by Big Mother. Now, the White House has pulled out all the stops and is featuring animated GIFs you would expect to see in a BuzzFeed post about TV shows from the 1990s but not on the official White House website. The images are part of an interactive contest that encourages readers to vote for their favorite reason to get covered...
    As millions of Americans scramble to fill out their March Madness brackets, we've got another big milestone coming up: the March 31st deadline to sign up for health insurance. If you need affordable coverage, head over to HealthCare.gov and #GetCoveredNow. If you've got insurance, help spread the word by voting for your favorite reason to get covered.
    I can't help but wonder what Vladimir Putin and his associates in Moscow must think of all this. Read on to see examples of the ridiculous images which are actually posted on the website for the United States White House.
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