Secret Service, look out for that creeper…

Today, I covered the Easter Egg Roll at the White House – after sending my appropriate credentialing info about 2 weeks ago for this, I arrived around 8am. Of course, Obama’s press office somehow managed to not submit my info to Secret Service. So after waiting in the long line, I had to call the press office and re-send them my vitals from my phone. So I did that, and waited… and waited… and waited…

At about 8:50, I tried again to gain access — still Secret Service did not have my info. At this point, media pre-set was at 8:45 so I missed that. Called the Press Office again, and had to send the e-mail with vitals again, and wait some more.

Come 9:30, I finally was able to get in – and considering final call was 9:30, I was worried I’d miss the entire event! Luckily, I got in — but am not a fan of the disorganization seen in the Obama Administration’s Press office.

So after writing all of that, I realize that it sounds like the “creeper” I mentioned in the title of this blog sounds like it is referencing me.   It was not.  I intended the “Creeper” title to refer to the scary looking Easter Bunny that was roaming around this event! Something about an adult in a bunny outfit that seems a little creepy to me — and I don’t like the way he is looking at President Obama!

President BARACK OBAMA participates in the White House Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

 

Kids participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Kids participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA walks with MALIA and SASHA OBAMA past the West Wing and Rose Garden during the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

 

President BARACK OBAMA walks past a TV camera outside of the West Wing during the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

 

President BARACK OBAMA shakes hands as he walks past the West Wing and Rose Garden during the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Turning Everyone Into Little School Girls…

Celebrities always create a buzz on Capitol Hill – there is always a big influx of photographers who come out of the woodwork when a celebrity is involved. So yesterday when George Clooney came to town, I fully expected it to be a challenging – push and shove photographer bash. Luckily all the photographers kept their cool – but there was certainly a noticeable buzz among the ladies on the hill. The abnormal amount of women standing in line to get into the hearing was the first thing I noticed.  Then I got a kick out of the excessive smiling and silent mouthing of a scream when i noticed some ladies set their eyes on Mr. Clooney’s name plate in the hearing room.

Following the hearing, I noticed a few ladies step up to the table where Mr. Clooney testified, to take photos of his seat / name plate, etc. — I was just waiting for one of them to pick up his left-over glass of water and finish it off!

Capitol Hill is usually full of smart, strong, independent, confident women who work there — but yesterday George Clooney managed to turn all of these women into giddy little school girls.

Here were some of my photos — try not to let them make you weak in the knees.

Actor GEORGE CLOONEY testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on "Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Actor GEORGE CLOONEY testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on "Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

(L-R) JONATHAN TEMIN, director of the United States Institute of Peace's Sudan Program and JOHN PRENDERGAST, Co-Founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project listen to actor GEORGE CLOONEY testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on "Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

 

Actor GEORGE CLOONEY testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on "Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Actor GEORGE CLOONEY testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on "Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Gold is where it’s at…?

Today I covered Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill.  Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul served on the committee that Bernanke was testifying in front of as well.  I know Paul has a strong and loyal following, but I was unaware of all of his thoughts on all things — so I was shocked to learn Paul is a supporter of precious metal investing.  I’m an avid listener to Dave Ramsey, a personal finance radio talk show host – who has made a pretty clear-cut statement about gold.  It seems pretty clear to me that the current high price of precious metals has just been inflated by fear –  So it took me by surprise when I heard Ron Paul start talking in the hearing about his thoughts on gold and silver!

Republican Presidential Candidate RON PAUL questions Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a hearing on on "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Federal Reserve Chairman BEN BERNANKE testifies before the House Financial Services Committee hearing on on "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy." (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON testifies before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget for the State Department. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON testifies before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget for the State Department. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Congressman BARNEY FRANK and Congressman EDWARD MARKEY speak to the media about high gas prices. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Iran wants to attack us. . . News?

Congress has regular hearings with top brass of the military, and intelligence agencies to go over world wide threats to US interests.  And shockingly (sarc) – it came out in recent hearings that the US is worried about Iran wanting to fulfill an attack on US soil.  — so no new news.

 

 

CIA Director DAVID PETRAEUS testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on "World Wide Threats" (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

 

Director of National Intelligence JAMES CLAPPER (right) and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. RONALD BURGESS just prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Hearing on Worldwide Threats. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Director of National Intelligence JAMES CLAPPER testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Worldwide Threats. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. RONALD BURGESS greets Sentor JOHN MCCAIN prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Hearing on Worldwide Threats. (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

We Could Have Spent A Lot More…

I always enjoy covering Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood –  Although on first impression, he has what could be considered a very intimidating personality.  But LaHood has always been friendly and outgoing with the photogaphers.

Arriving early that day, I was able to observe LaHood chatting with a reporter before hand, and making a phone call.  He seemed in a good mood, so I was pretty shocked when the hearing started to hear the senators voice their concern for LaHood’s son who has recently been barred by the Egyptian Government from leaving Egypt after Egyptian government forces raided the offices of Washington-backed groups monitoring recent parliamentary elections there.  Read the full story about this situation at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71981.html#ixzz1mz4qQbkR.  Of course I should have been aware of the situation prior to shooting, but I was not well prepared this day.

Once the hearing progressed into the questioning, I particularly got a kick out of Secretary LaHood’s response to questioning by Senator Kent Conrad in regards to recent DOT spending of 48 billion.  Conrad asked LaHood how much money he could have spent effectively, to which LaHood responded “a whole lot more.”  —  Really – no surprise that a government official would have no problem spending “a whole lot more” of tax-payers money.

Secretary of Transportation RAY LAHOOD prior to testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama's proposed 2013 budget (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Secretary of Transportation RAY LAHOOD testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama's proposed 2013 budget (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)

Secretary of Transportation RAY LAHOOD testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama's proposed 2013 budget (James Berglie/ZUMA Press)