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Ear to the Ground

Obama Outlines Climate Change Plan, Weiner Leads Comeback Race, and More

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Posted on Jun 25, 2013

Flat-Out Wrong: In a major policy speech delivered Tuesday at Georgetown University, President Obama laid out a wide-ranging plan to tackle the pressing issue of climate change that includes reducing carbon emissions from new and existing power plants and imposing high environmental standards on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would determine whether the project is approved. “The question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science, of chemistry and physics and millions of measurements, has put all that to rest,” Obama said. “So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late.” The president also addressed climate change deniers during the speech, plainly telling them that “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society.” (Read more)

Marriage Proposals: On the heels of gutting the landmark Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, the Supreme Court announced that Wednesday it will issue the final three rulings of its current term, including the highly anticipated decisions on a pair of same-sex marriage cases. With less than 24 hours left to go before the court convenes again, the Tampa Bay Tribune’s PolitiFact looks at a number of possible outcomes in the cases involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Here’s a sampling of some of the options that justices could go with: “Option 1: Uphold both Prop 8 and DOMA. Upholding both laws would be a serious strike against same-sex marriage. The status quo would stand—no same-sex marriage in California, and no federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Option 2: Punt, citing questions of ‘standing.’ The justices could decide that the backers of Prop 8 (or possibly DOMA) aren’t the right parties to defend the law. Option 6: Support same-sex marriage everywhere all at once.” (Read more

Weiner Dogs Opponent: A new poll shows noted sexter Anthony Weiner is the new front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary for the New York City mayoral race. The former congressman, who resigned in disgrace two years ago after he admitted sending racy twit pics, is ahead by five points over City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 25 percent to 20 percent. The poll represents a big turnaround in the race as Quinn, the longtime leader, beat Weiner by five in the last NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal survey, which was conducted last month. Based on the latest results, it appears the primary is shaping up to be a two-candidate race, with the next closest contender, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, polling well below Weiner and Quinn at 13 percent. (Read more)

Conducting Commerce: Meet your new Commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker. The Chicago billionaire is a major Democratic donor—she was the campaign finance chair for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as a co-chair for his 2012 re-election bid—and the heiress to the Hyatt hotel fortune. Despite reservations from Senate Republicans over her ties to Obama’s campaign and her offshore investment holdings, she was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to the vacant Commerce position by a near unanimous 97-1 vote. The lone “nay” vote belonged to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., didn’t vote. Pritzker replaces John Bryson, who resigned more than a year ago after suffering a seizure while driving in California that resulted in two hit-and-run car accidents. (Read more)

Video of the Day: “Daily Show” interim host John Oliver has had it with the rampant media speculation regarding NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s whereabouts. On Monday night’s program, Oliver took aim at the media for their overzealous reporting, chiding them to “stop guessing” since, after all, “news is not a game show!” Although his criticism of the media was harsh, he saved his best material for the government, which he claims “couldn’t find the front of a human centipede if their mouth was sewn to its ass.”

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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