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Ear to the Ground

Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance, Brian Williams ‘Disappointed’ With U.S., and More

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Posted on Mar 4, 2013

White House Makes Call: Responding to a petition on the White House site We the People, the Obama administration said Monday that it should be legal for users to unlock their cellphones without getting carrier permission first. The petition, titled “Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal” was posted in late January, just two days before it became illegal for Americans to unlock their phones without first getting the consent of their phone service provider. In the response, R. David Edelman, a White house senior adviser on Internet issues, wrote that neither “criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.” (Read more)

Filling the Cabinet: On Monday, President Obama announced nominees to head two crucial departments in his administration, energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Obama nominated nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to become the next Energy secretary, and air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA. If confirmed, they will replace Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson—both of whom decided not to serve another term in the administration—respectively. Obama hopes his two nominees, along with interior secretary pick Sally Jewell, will enact his second term energy agenda. (Read more)

Yearn to Earn: A pair of Democratic congressional lawmakers, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller, are planning to introduce legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.75 an hour to $10.10. That’s a bigger increase than the one President Obama called for in last month’s State of the Union speech. The federal minimum wage is definitely due for an increase; the last time it was boosted was in 2007.  (Read more)

Going Backward: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has made a major flip on the hot button issue of immigration reform. Bush, who once said he supported a pathway to citizenship or legal residency, argues in his new book that creating such a route would only encourage more immigrants to come into this country illegally. “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences—in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship,” Bush and his co-author, conservative attorney Clint Bolick, write in “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” “To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship.” The book is due out Tuesday. (Read more)

Holding Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart on the Supreme Court, has no plans to step down in the near future, the longtime justice told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin. Ginsburg, who turns 80 this month, says she intends to stay on the high court for as long as she “can do the job full steam.” She added, “as long as I think I have the candlepower, I will do it. And I figure next year for certain. After that, who knows?” (Read more)

Audio of the Day: NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams isn’t always shy when expressing his viewpoint, even if they end up raising some eyebrows. Appearing on Alec Baldwin’s podcast, “Here’s the Thing,” the oft-candid newsman definitely made one such remark. When asked by the “30 Rock” star if he had political opinions, Williams responded: “I sometimes don’t know. I have the same disappointments. In my patriotism, as a great man once said, I yield to no one. I love this country. I love the American idea. I have profound disappointments in my country.”

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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