Welcome to the White House, Sunny!

The Obama's welcomed a new member to the family this week-- Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, arrived at the White House yesterday and will join Bo to share the title of "First Pet."

Here are a few photos of other WH pets--

Benghazi Special: Friday, June 28th at 10pmET

How to melt a father's heart...

My son Paul-- 5 years old-- had an assignment at school to draw what he liked to do on the weekends and explain it---so cool!

 

President Obama receives briefing on Oklahoma

 

President Barack Obama receives a briefing on the ongoing response to the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma, in the Oval Office, May 21, 2013. The President meets with, from left: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Richard Serino, FEMA Deputy Administrator; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

Prayers for Boston

Our thoughts and prayers are with the city of Boston and all of those affected by this tragedy. We will continue to cover the story and bring you updates, but we want to remember those who died and those whose lives are forever changed by Monday's events. The stories of bystanders, victims, their families, and the heroes that rushed to help are remarkable and we hope those responsible are found and brought to justice very soon. If anyone has a tip to help with the investigation they are encouraged to call 1-800-494-TIPS (8477), text the word TIP to CRIME (27463), or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) and select option #3.

 

This is a newly released photo is of 8 year old Martin Richard-- he was killed while watching and cheering on his father as he ran the marathon.

Today in History: John McCain released from POW camp

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Senator John McCain's release from a POW camp in Vietnam. You can read an article written by Sen. McCain (for the WSJ)  below:


Forty years ago on March 14, my fellow prisoners of war in North Vietnam and I, dressed in cheap civilian clothes that had been provided to the 108 of us for the occasion, boarded buses for Gia Lam airport on the outskirts of Hanoi. A big green American C-141 airlifter was waiting there to fly us to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.


At the airport, we lined up in formation according to our shoot-down date, and we tried to maintain a military bearing as cameras whirred and clicked and a noisy crowd of Vietnamese observed us. American and Vietnamese officers sat at a table, each holding a list of prisoners.


When it was time for a prisoner to step forward, representatives from both militaries called out his name. They called my name, and I took a few steps toward the table and saluted. A U.S. naval officer returned my salute, smiled and shook my hand, and escorted me across the tarmac and up the ramp into the plane.

Getty Images

John McCain leads a column of men released from a POW camp, March 14, 1973, in Hanoi, North Vietnam.


I made the trip with two of my closest friends, Air Force officers Bud Day and Bob Craner, whose example and encouragement I had relied on for over five years. A few minutes into the flight, the pilot announced that we were "feet wet," which meant we were now flying over the Tonkin Gulf and were in international air space. Everyone cheered.


I doubt that any of us expected we would ever return to the country we had yearned to leave for so long. It was hard to say goodbye to each other at Clark, and our farewells were very emotional.


We made promises to stay in frequent contact, which we would do over the years, until death began to thin our ranks. There were no mixed emotions, however, as we took our leave of Vietnam, and no desire to renew the acquaintance in the future.


As it turned out, I would return to Vietnam. I've been back many times since the end of the war. It's a beautiful country, and the Vietnamese are welcoming hosts. Most of my visits have been for official business: accounting for American POW/MIAs, helping to facilitate the normalization of relations between our countries, and promoting a future relationship that will serve both countries' interests.


I've made friendships with people who were once my enemies. I've become fond of a place I once detested. I am pleased that America and Vietnam have made so much progress in building a productive, mutually beneficial relationship in the wreckage of a war that was a tragedy for both our peoples.


Today, old grievances are being replaced by new hopes. Increasing numbers of Americans visit Vietnam every year—including three U.S. presidents while in office—drawn to the country's spectacular natural beauty and friendly people. Bilateral trade is more than 80 times greater than it was in 1994, when the U.S. lifted its trade embargo. This has benefited the people of both countries and enabled millions of Vietnamese to lift themselves out of poverty.


Similarly, the two countries' defense relationship has evolved to an extent that was simply unimaginable even a decade ago. Our militaries exercise together, and Cam Ranh Bay is again a port of call for the U.S. Navy. Indeed, the USS John McCain, a Navy destroyer named after my father and grandfather, recently made a port visit into Danang, which shows that if you live long enough, anything is possible.


And yet, when it comes to the values that Americans hold dear—freedom, human rights and the rule of law—our highest hopes for Vietnam still remain largely just hopes. The government in Hanoi still imprisons and mistreats peaceful dissidents, journalists, bloggers, and ethnic and religious minorities for political reasons.

 

It still maintains sweeping laws, such as Article 88, that give the state nearly unlimited power over its citizens. The government still hasn't taken modest actions that could put Vietnam squarely on the right side of internationally recognized human rights, such as ratifying and implementing the Convention Against Torture.

 

In a positive recent step, the Vietnamese government has begun a dialogue with Amnesty International and suggested that Vietnam may finally reform its constitution to better protect civil and political rights for it citizens. I sincerely hope so—for while great relationships can be built on the basis of common interests, as the U.S.-Vietnam one is now, the best and most enduring partnerships always rest on a foundation of shared values. In this challenge, as in every other challenge that the two countries have overcome together, I intend to remain Vietnam's dedicated friend.

 

Our countries had a difficult and heartbreaking past. But they didn't bind themselves to that past, and they are now traveling the road from reconciliation to true friendship. This promising prospect is among the biggest and most satisfying surprises of my life, one that I expect will astonish me more in the years ahead.

 

Mr. McCain is a U.S. senator from Arizona.

A version of this article appeared March 14, 2013, on page A17 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: A Former POW on Vietnam, Four Decades Later.

Angus watches Fox News!

Congressman Pete Olson's chief of staff, Steve Ruhlen, brought his West Highland Terrier to the office-- as it turns out he is a Fox News Channel fan! Or at least a fan of the "Canine Friends" segment :)

 

Thank you to Chad Pergram for sharing with us!

Happy Halloween!

With everything going on in the news and the election just a few days away it is nice to take a break and enjoy moments like this! My super ninja and Captain America rock today!

 

Have a safe and happy Halloween-- send your photos to me on Twitter @BretBaier and we will post a few here on the blog!

Young love at an Obama campaign event

Take a close look at this photo Tweeted by the Obama campaign's official Twitter account as "Photo of the Day"-- top row.

Special Report Investigates:Death and Deceit in Benghazi

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