America

Kagan, Clapper, Mattis Confirmed; Romer Quits

Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan, next Supreme Court Justice Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Brandon/AP
James Clapper

DNI James Clapper Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
James Mattis

CentCom chief, Gen. James Mattis Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Brandon/AP
Christina Romer

Christina Romer, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors Reed Saxon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Reed Saxon/AP

President Obama holds a White House reception today for newly confirmed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  She'll take the Constitutional oath of office in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court on Saturday. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer a second, public oath afterwards.

Last night, Senators also confirmed retired Air Force General James R. Clapper as the country's next Director of National Intelligence.  The confirmation was by voice vote. His nomination had been stalled by Senators who wanted more information about Guantanamo detainees.  The job isn't well defined and Clapper's the fourth person to run it in five years. He'll oversee 16 departments in six agencies that don't always work well together.

Along with Clapper, Senators approved Marine Corps General James Mattis to succeed Gen. David Petraeus as head of US Central Command. Petraeus is running the Afghan War. Slate's John Dickerson has a Mattis profile.

Christina Romer, head of the President's Council of Economic Advisers is resigning.  The White House says her decision is no surprise, saying she cited family reasons. Romer will return to her job as an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

FLOODING MOVES INTO KASHMIR

Authorities in Indian controlled Kashmir region say 85 people died after a surprise flash flood. Add to the devastating flooding in Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and North Korea (which rarely releases real news), the World Food Program estimates millions need food and lack shelter.  Russia, a leading world exporter of wheat, won't sell any to other countries because of drought and uncontrolled wildfires.

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