• President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” in Boston on Thursday morning.

    Obama will speak at the memorial service, which is dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in Monday's bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

    Also worth noting on Thursday: Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions and David Vitter will lead a press conference on immigration security and their concerns over the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration reform proposal; Obama will host a reception at the White House for Greek Independence Day; and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will speak at the Southwest Indiana Right to Life Banquet.

    And then there is this: Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez is expected to face tough questions Thursday at his confirmation hearing. GOP critics say he made some questionable decisions as the top civil rights enforcer at the Justice Department.

    Sources: Yahoo News’ The Ticket,

    Read More »from Thursday in politics: Obama attends memorial service in Boston, and more
  • Authorities arrest Mississippi man in ricin letters to Obama, senator

    Authorities have arrested a suspect thought to have sent potentially poison-laced letters intended for President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced late Wednesday. The FBI said its agents had detained Paul Kevin Curtis at 6:15 p.m. EDT at his home in Corinth, Miss.

    In a statement, the FBI identified Curtis as "the individual believed to be responsible for the mailings of the three letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service which contained a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin. The letters were addressed to a U.S. senator, the White House, and a Mississippi justice official."

    The news capped a day in which law enforcement officials announced that they had intercepted a letter sent to Obama that preliminary tests found to contain the deadly substance ricin. Officials temporarily locked down some Senate office buildings amid rising concerns of a terrorism-by-mail campaign reminiscent of

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  • What happens to a president who romps to re-election, channels a national tragedy that sparked coast-to-coast outrage into a deeply personal crusade, then fails to get a measure backed by 9 out of 10 Americans through the Senate, where his party holds a majority? Thanks to the NRA-fueled defeat of a bill that might have mildly tightened limits on gun sales, President Barack Obama is learning the hard way.

    For the families of those killed or wounded by gun violence and who watched with judging eyes as the Senate killed the measure by a vote of 54-46 (it needed a supermajority of 60 votes to pass), what to make of the vote was an easy call.

    “Shame on you!” Patricia Maisch shouted from the visitors gallery above the Senate floor.

    Maisch, a grandmotherly figure who disarmed the shooter in the Tucson carnage that nearly claimed the life of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was happy to elaborate as reporters swarmed her after the vote. “I decided I could not sit still,” she said. “They have no souls, they have no compassion.”

    But on Wednesday, they had the votes.

    That’s Message One for Obama from this stinging legislative defeat: Having emotion and the majority on your side isn’t enough. NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, after all, didn't even need to show up.

    Read More »from For Obama, stinging gun bill defeat is personal and political


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