Obama to release taxes; speak on mine safety, NASA
WEST WING A.M. BRIEFING
By Michael D. Shear
Some somber news about mine safety, a bit of personal revelation and a (theoretical) trip to outer space will fill up the president's day today. Check back on our site throughout the day for complete White House coverage, but here's an early morning look at the news -- that we know of -- that's likely to emerge from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
* Mine Safety - On a day when all West Virginia coal mines will halt production for a one-day safety review, President Obama plans to meet with his secretary of labor and his top mine safety official to discuss the aftermath of last week's mine tragedy in West Virginia. He will make public remarks after the meeting, and aides are already signaling that the tenor of those remarks will not be upbeat.
Obama will hear from his advisers that the safety record at the Massey Upper Big Branch mine was "deeply troubling," a White House official said Wednesday night. They will tell the president that there are plenty of other mines where safety also seems to be inadequate.
"Among other steps going forward...the President will order MSHA to go back and take another look at those mines with troubling safety records," the official said. "MSHA will deploy inspectors and enforcement officials immediately to those mines to ensure the
conditions that led to this disaster are not present."
* Midway through the day, we will get a peek into the personal finances of the president and the first lady when the White House posts the couple's taxes online. Last year, the president's taxes showed a healthy income from his books, which sold like hotcakes
during the height of the campaign and provided millions for his personal coffers.
This year, his income is likely to be down, thanks to his government salary. But perhaps his books have kept selling pretty well? The latest edition of "Dreams From My Father," his first book, was listed as #1,524,647 on Amazon.com -- not too great, considering he's the president. The paperback version of "Audacity of Hope" is at #1,728.
* Later in the day, Obama flies off to the Cape Canaveral Space Center, where he will talk about his new approach to space travel. No,he's not leaving the planet, despite the urgings of the GOP. But he is shifting the priorities of the space agency, creating controversy along the way.
Neil Armstrong, the nation's most famous astronaut, has criticized the president for canceling the mission to the moon, and later to Mars, ordered by former president George W. Bush. Armstrong accuses Obama of bailing out on manned space flight. Obama and the White House counter that the president is increasing the budget for NASA by $6 billion, though much of that money would go to finance private space flights.
In their guidance for the president's day, White House officials said that Obama will tour a commercial rocket facility and then give remarks at the Kennedy Space Center on what they called "the bold new course the Administration is charting for NASA and the future of U.S. leadership in human space flight."
* In the evening, Obama will raise money for the DNC in Miami at a private fundraiser at the home of singer Gloria Estefan, then attend an event at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Air Force 1 is scheduled to return to Andrews Air Force Base at just before 10 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
April 15, 2010; 5:24 AM ET
Categories: 44 Native , 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama | Tags: Gloria Estefan, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Neil Armstrong, Obama, West Virginia, White House
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