(CNN) - Derek Jeter and the rest of the New York Yankees are coming to the White House next Monday to celebrate last year's World Series victory with President Obama, according to White House aides.
The Yankees are stopping at the White House next week because on Tuesday the team starts a three-game series against the nearby Baltimore Orioles.
Obama recently wore a cap from his beloved Chicago White Sox while throwing out the first pitch at the home opener for the Washington Nationals.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is taking his family on a mini-vacation to Asheville, North Carolina, next weekend, the White House confirmed in a statement.
Obama had been planning to take his wife and two daughters on an official trip to Indonesia and Australia late last month that coincided with spring break for Sasha and Malia.
But the trip was scrapped because the health care debate kept the President pinned down in Washington, so First Lady Michelle Obama took the girls to New York for a few days instead. The entire family has not had a vacation together since the holidays in Hawaii.
Obama, who will vacation in Western North Carolina from Friday until Sunday, has sweet memories of the state dating back to the 2008 campaign.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama plans to hit the road this week to start aggressively selling the benefits of the health care overhaul and give nervous Democratic lawmakers some political cover across the country, according to three Democratic officials familiar with the plans.
The president will take many such trips in the weeks ahead, following up on promises to push back on Republican attacks in the months leading up to the November mid-term elections, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the emerging White House strategy.
Which cities Obama will visit were not immediately available.
One of the officials said, though there was no quid pro quo, the White House had "strongly intimated" to lawmakers that Obama "would go out and sell this thing" after they passed the health care overhaul.
"We're certainly going to be out there," said a second Democratic official familiar with the president's plans. "We think this is a tremendous step forward for individuals and small businesses. We want them to know what comes next."
Organizing for America, Team Obama's grass-roots organization, has collected pledges from people nationwide for a total of 9.3 million volunteer hours to campaign for lawmakers who supported the overhaul, according to the Democratic officials.
Late Sunday evening, Organizing for America planned to send an e-mail from the president to its list of about 13 million supporters. The e-mail will thank Democratic lawmakers for their votes and will tout the benefits of the overhaul. No Republicans voted for it.
Washington (CNN) - Comedian Jay Leno will headline the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May, the group said Friday.
Leno agreed earlier this month to appear at the event, before NBC announced his return to hosting "The Tonight Show," the group said. The network's move was prompted by affiliates protesting the poor ratings of Leno's prime-time show.
The comedian will share the stage with President Obama at the correspondents' dinner at the Washington Hilton. By tradition, presidents fire jokes at the news corps, political opponents and even themselves at the event, where politicians, journalists and celebrities rub elbows.
Leno headlined the 2004, 2000 and 1987 dinners during the administrations of both parties.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration mistakes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident, according to a senior administration official familiar with the president's remarks.
But he is not planning to fire anyone for the foul-up, the official said.
"He will say, 'Here are the warts; I'm responsible,' " said the senior administration official, who requested anonymity because aides were not authorized to discuss the remarks before they're delivered by the president.
The official said the president believes that previous administrations would "play hide the ball" and not come clean with the American people when things go wrong, so he wants to be direct about what needs to be fixed, but the official said the president does not want this process to devolve into finger-pointing.
HONOLULU (CNN) - The Obama administration conducted two secure briefings on Wednesday for Congressional staffers about the attempted terror attack on Northwest Flight 253 that left key aides with still a lot of unanswered questions about what went wrong, according to two Congressional officials familiar with the sessions.
One of the officials familiar with the briefings said the takeaway was that "there are still lots of questions Congress will be asking about what could have been done differently and what will be done differently in the future" to prevent attacks.
The official added that Obama officials who conducted the briefings told the Congressional staff that it "appears there wasn't enough negative information prior to the incident to take any severe measures" such as putting the eventual suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on the No-Fly List to prevent him from boarding the plane.
The Congressional official said the two briefings occurred Wednesday morning in a secure room of the Capitol for key Congressional staffers because most lawmakers are traveling outside Washington because of the Congressional recess for the holidays. At least one lawmaker, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan, was in Washington and did attend.
Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) - In a marked shift from previous positions, senior Obama administration officials now say they are starting to see an al Qaeda connection to the attempted terror attack on a U.S.-bound airliner.
In the days after the failed attempt on Christmas Day, administration officials steadfastly shied away from linking the incident to the terror group and, in some cases, said there was no evidence of such a connection.
But one senior administration officials said late Tuesday that "some of the new information that we developed overnight does suggest that there was some linkage there" with al Qaeda.
The senior administration official was referring to intelligence that White House officials obtained late Monday night and then briefed President Obama about on Tuesday in a secure conference call.
The secure call, which included National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones and top homeland security adviser John Brennan, took place shortly before the president delivered public remarks suggesting there were "systemic and human failures" that prevented the government from stopping the attempted terror attack.
Copenhagen (CNN) – In a strange twist, a Washington snowstorm is forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to make an early departure from a global warming summit here in Denmark.
Pelosi told CNN that military officials leading her Congressional delegation have urged the 21 lawmakers to leave Copenhagen several hours earlier than scheduled on Saturday.
The Speaker said she has agreed to the new travel plan so that lawmakers can get back to Washington before much of the expected storm wallops the nation's capital.
(CNN) - Interesting that with the 30,000 new troops President Obama is sending now – coupled with the 21,000 he sent in March – the recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has sent 51,000 troops to Afghanistan in less than one year in office.
Sign of the high stakes of this decision. We've spent a lot of time talking about health care, which is an important issue. But by sending this many young men and women to war Afghanistan may define his presidency.
(CNN) – President Obama is still editing his speech on Afghanistan as he heads to West Point, White House aides said.
As a result, the White House may not release excerpts of his remarks before he delivers this evening's speech, because it is still a work in progress.