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Ear to the Ground

Senator Demands Federal Pot Plan, Norquist Makes Insane Prediction, and More

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Posted on Dec 13, 2012

Defense Man: Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a (moderate) Republican, is reportedly at the top of President Obama’s list to become the next secretary of defense. According to Bloomberg News, Hagel’s nomination could come as early as this month. (Read more)

Oops, Republicans Did It Again: The controversial Koch brothers-backed right-to-work legislation that Michigan Republicans recently passed? As it turns out, the law might be “impossible to implement” as it’s written because it violates the state’s constitution—just as the anti-union legislation Republicans passed in Wisconsin violated that state’s constitution. As PoliticusUSA put it: “Oopsie.” (Read more)

Higher Answers: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants to know how the White House plans to handle its drug enforcement efforts in Washington and Colorado now that both states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In a letter to the administration’s director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Leahy wrote: “What assurance can and will the administration give to state officials involved in the licensing of marijuana retailers that they will not face Federal criminal penalties for carrying out duties assigned to them under state law?” The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the issue on how the federal government should proceed in the two states early next year. (Read more)

Can You Still Hear Me Now?: Those really annoying commercials where it seems like the volume has been jacked up and/or people are screaming at you to buy things you don’t need have finally been banned by the Federal Communications Commission. The new FCC rule, which was implemented Thursday, “will require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.” (Read more)

Haley Is Not Impressed: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley wants to assure voters in her state that when it comes to appointing a replacement for outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint, she’s done her due diligence. To that end, Haley released “opposition research” on the candidate voters in the state would like to be their next U.S. senator: Stephen Colbert. Some of the dirt against the Comedy Central host includes these delectable tidbits: “Stephen Colbert Claimed He Would ‘Stumble Around Columbia, the Capital, Like, Pantless With a Bottle of Jack Daniels and Try to Get Arrested’ ”; “Colbert Claimed He Changed His Name, Since Leaving South Carolina, ‘to Get Cultural Elites on My Side’ ”; and “In 2007, Colbert Did Not Know the South Carolina State Amphibian, the Spotted Salamander.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist is exceedingly confident that Republicans won’t agree to any fiscal cliff deal that includes a tax raise. Norquist, who has vowed to stymie the Obama administration’s agenda, is so sure his anti-tax crusade will succeed that he’s making crazy predictions, such as the president will start an unnecessary war just for fun. Here’s what he told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal: “Obama will be on a very short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years. He’s not gonna have any fun at all. He may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won’t be any fun to be here, because he won’t be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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