Washington (CNN) – More old documents unveiled are offering more fresh signs that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was an eager, tough-talking political player while working as a lawyer in the Clinton White House.
In one e-mail, she criticizes one of President Bill Clinton's most important speeches as "presumptuous."
The latest and final batch of more than 80,000 pages - mostly e-mails– were released Friday by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The 50-year-old Kagan was nominated to the high court May 10 by President Barack Obama, and her confirmation hearings begin June 28.
Some 160,000 pages of documents are being publicly disclosed from Kagan's four years in the Clinton White House. She was in the White House counsel's office in 1995 and 1996, and in the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) office from 1997 to 1999.
Papers from those stints have been released the past two Fridays, displaying a lawyer with a politically tuned, pragmatic approach to issues like abortion, gun control and tobacco regulation.
About 11,000 e-mails from Kagan reveal an engaged, efficient - but often outspoken and cynical - lawyer and policy analyst.
(CNN) - A posh weekend at an annual yacht race off the coast of England has embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward once again treading water in social media, and tweeting a defense.
After Hayward took a verbal pummeling on Capitol Hill last Thursday over his company's handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill, photos surfaced Saturday of the CEO spending this weekend clad in sunglasses and a ball cap at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race off Britain's Isle of Wight. His 52-foot yacht "Bob" was part of the festivities.
In an apparent response to the slew of online complaints about Hayward's weekend away and his management duties, BP tweeted Hayward's response Saturday: "Gulf response efforts remain my top priority. To assure continued focus, Bob Dudley will support me on this full-time to make it right.Tony."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama welcomed Saturday's news that China's central bank will allow its national currency to float ahead of the G-20 summit in Toronto, Canada, next week.
In a statement issued Saturday, Obama praised China's decision to increase the flexibility of its exchange rate, which officials hope will help balance China's trade deficit with the United States and Europe.
"China's decision to increase the flexibility ... is a constructive step that can help safeguard the recovery and contribute to a more balanced global economy," the president said in the statement.
"I look forward to discussing these and other issues at the G-20 Summit in Toronto next weekend," he said.
"I’m glad President Obama is finally putting this catastrophe at the top of his agenda, but his response has been too slow," Wicker says in the address. "He was slow in listening to state and local leaders, slow in getting skimmers to the Gulf, slow in understanding the seriousness of this crisis, and slow in taking ownership and responsibility for the recovery. Many of his actions have actually taken us in the wrong direction."
Update 5:40 p.m.: Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, issued the following statement about Sen. Wicker's address:
"While Democrats in Congress are working to ensure that the federal government has the adequate resources to respond to this catastrophe, Republicans in Congress are apologizing to BP and blocking legislation to strengthen the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
"We will continue to push for this legislation and ensure that BP is held responsible for this disaster and taxpayers are protected."
(Read Wicker's full remarks after the jump)
Washington (CNN) - New documents released Saturday may add new fuel to the debate over Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, a week before her Senate confirmation hearing begins.
The new documents focus on Kagan when she was dean of Harvard Law School. Pentagon officials had deep concerns whether she would cooperate with military recruiters, just days after the Supreme Court in 2006 allowed the recruiters back on campuses.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said Saturday that Kagan acted responsibly and allowed military recruiters at the Harvard Law School. "The materials produced by the Department of Defense provide further documentation that military recruiters were never barred from the campus of Harvard Law School, neither before Elena Kagan became Dean, nor during her tenure," Leahy said in a statement. "The unfair charge made by some that Elena Kagan broke the law as Dean continues to have no basis in law or fact."
Kagan's strong views on the recruiting issue have drawn conservative criticism.
Washington (CNN) - Diane Wilson, arrested during a Senate hearing on the Gulf oil spill, protested again Saturday outside a BP gas station in Washington.
She and more than a dozen other protesters chanted "boycott BP" while a man dressed as the grim reaper poured chocolate syrup over an inflatable planet Earth to symbolize the oil destruction.
"I think this country needs to get behind the Gulf Coast. We are all in this together," Wilson told CNN. "It is like a body. If you got your foot being amputated, by gosh the rest of the body better take notice or we are all going to go down," said Wilson.
Washington (CNN) - Conservative radio talk show host and prominent Tea Party activist Mark Williams is giving up his role as the chairman of the Tea Party Express, Williams told CNN Saturday.
Williams said his decision stemmed from his involvement in two other major projects.
One is opposing the construction of a mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.
The other is leading a recall effort against some members of the Sacramento City Council and running for a spot on the local body himself after the council voted to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law.
"What I'm doing is thinking globally and acting locally," Williams said of his bi-coastal commitments.
Williams said he will continue to be involved with the Tea Party Express as a spokesman, a featured speaker at the group's events, in television and print media, and generally as a public face of the organization.
But Williams will be taking a back seat when it comes to the Tea Party Express' day-to-day managerial responsibilities.
President Obama issued the following statement Saturday regarding the observance of 'Juneteenth':
Statement by President Obama on the Observance of Juneteenth
On this day 145 years ago, the people of Galveston, Texas, received word from members of the Union Army that those slaves who remained captive were now indeed free. More than two years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the order read by Major General Gordon Granger made plain that the relationship between “former masters and slaves” would now be one of “employer and free laborer.”
General Granger’s pronouncement was one step in our continuing effort to perfect our union and live out the ideals of our Founders. While we know it would be many years before African descendants in America achieved the full rights offered through Lincoln’s proclamation, that day in Texas, former slaves were offered the hope of embracing the American Dream as their own.
This occasion, which became known as Juneteenth, is now celebrated here in America and around the world and is a time not only to celebrate the rich heritage and many accomplishments of African Americans in our country, but also a time to reflect on the common values and ideals that we share as Americans.
Our nation is stronger because of the generations of struggles for equal rights and social justice, and our culture is richer because of the contributions of African Americans throughout our history. This is why Juneteenth, while rooted in the history of a people, can be celebrated by all Americans.
Washington (CNN) - A firm affiliated with the former Blackwater security company has been awarded a contract to provide protection to U.S. consulates and diplomats in the Afghan cities of Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, a U.S. State Department official confirmed on Saturday.
The official said U.S. Training Center got the contract on Friday. It is part of Xe, the new name of Blackwater Worldwide.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama used his weekly internet and radio address to spotlight what he called "a dreary and familiar politics" on the part of Senate Republicans.
"I know the political season is upon us in Washington," Obama says. "But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation. So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation. America will be watching."
(Read Obama's full remarks after the jump)