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Ear to the Ground

Obama Picks Next Treasury Secretary, Jon Stewart Weighs In on Guns, and More

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Posted on Jan 9, 2013

Men of a Certain Background: Oh, look. President Obama has chosen yet another white man to serve his administration in a key role for the second term. The latest pick—after John Kerry (secretary of state), Chuck Hagel (secretary of defense) and John Brennan (CIA director)—is Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, whom the president will nominate as soon as Thursday to succeed Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary. To be clear, not all of Obama’s choices have been white and male, but that trend is especially pertinent on his national security and economic teams. (Read more

Poor Penmanship: Here’s one argument against selecting Jack Lew for Treasury secretary—his “terrible signature,” which we’d all constantly get to see being that if he’s confirmed, his signature goes on the dollar bill. According to The Daily Intelligencer’s Kevin Roose, Lew has the “world’s worst signature.” Some things it reminds him of: “a Slinky that has lost its spring”; “one of those Crazy Straws you get at Six Flags”; and “Sally Brown’s hair in Peanuts.” Get ready, America. (Read more and see his signature)

Wise Decision: After being met (and rightfully so) by anger and outrage, insurance giant AIG has decided not to join a $25 billion lawsuit against the U.S. government over its bailout. Perhaps no one, however, responded better and more succinctly to the initial news that AIG was considering joining the lawsuit than Austan Goolsbee, a former top economic adviser to President Obama. Articulating how many Americans probably felt about the situation, Goolsbee tweeted: “Dear AIG, Hi, I’m one of the 300m Americans whose $ saved you. I think I speak for all of us (incl your moms) when I say GO SCREW YOURSELVES.” (Read more)

Crossover Appeal: So this is what happens when you publicly criticize your own party. A new Public Policy Polling survey reveals that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is more popular among Democrats than he is in his own party. Christie’s favorability rating among Republicans is 48 percent; compare that to the majority—52 percent—of Democrats polled who said they had a favorable impression of the governor. (Read more)

Piers Pressure: Bad news for “deport Piers Morgan petitioner” Alex Jones—the White House isn’t planning to exile the British CNN host anytime soon over anti-gun comments he made on his program. In an official response to the petition on its We the People site that called for Morgan to be deported for “attacking the Second Amendment,” the White House defended his First Amendment rights. “Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment—or any other matter of public concern,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. Scoreboard Piers Morgan.  (Read more)

Video of the Day: Jon Stewart has spoken out on the topic of gun control plenty of times in the past, but not like he did on his program Tuesday night.  Despite being sick with a cold, “The Daily Show” host used most of the show to deliver an impassioned plea about curbing gun violence in this country in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Check it out in the videos below:

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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