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The Next Fed Chair, Pelosi Slams ‘Reprehensible’ Weiner, and More

Tracy Bloom
Assistant Editor
Tracy Bloom left broadcast news to study at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There she eventually became deputy editor of Neon Tommy, the most-trafficked online-only college website in…
Tracy Bloom

The Nays Have It:

Late Wednesday night, the House voted down Republican Congressman Justin Amash’s amendment that would have forced the National Security Agency to selectively target whom it collects data from (rather than allow it to spy on everyone). The measure was defeated by a 217-205 tally that was not along party lines. In publishing the full roll call, Tech Dirt noted that there were some “strange bedfellows voting in favor of NSA spying.” For example, House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both supported allowing the NSA to continue its snooping. Another bizarre vote, Tech Dirt pointed out, was that of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat who in the past has complained about the Patriot Act because it “was too broad, didn’t have safeguards and might be used against innocent Americans.” As the website observed, Amash’s “amendment would have stopped exactly what he complained about.” (Read more)

Summers vs. Yellen: The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reports that President Obama wants to tap Larry Summers, his former director of the White House’s economic council, to replace outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. However, the administration is still reportedly weighing other options, including Janet Yellen, the Fed’s current vice chair. “Yellen and Summers are … both committed to implementing Dodd-Frank — as much as the left mistrusts Summers on financial regulation for his actions in the 1990s, the White House believes that he, like many others, is strongly committed to regulating Wall Street now. They see a lot of the opposition to Summers is based on bad or outdated information,” Klein writes. “But they’re not unaware that Summers is a polarizing choice. So some of what’s happening right now, I think, is that they’re figuring out whether opposition to Summers is soft or hard.” (Read more)

Weinergate Déjà Vu: The latest sexting scandal Anthony Weiner is embroiled in appears to be getting worse by the day. The former congressman who resigned in disgrace two years ago after admitting to sending lewd messages to multiple women says that the number of females he engaged in online sexual exchanges with after his resignation could be as many as three. After hemming and hawing when asked to disclose how many women he had sexted with in total, Weiner finally put the number between six and 10. “It’s not dozens and dozens. … But I can’t tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate or not.” Weiner, currently running for New York City mayor, tried to change the subject in his campaign Thursday by volunteering at a soup kitchen. Obviously that approach didn’t work. (Read more)

Men Behaving Badly: During a news conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi denounced Weiner and another Democrat currently embroiled in a sex scandal, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, calling them out for their “reprehensible” actions, which she labeled “disrespectful of women.” Filner, who like Weiner served in the House while Pelosi was speaker, is accused of sexually harassing several women. “What’s really stunning about it is they don’t even realize it. They don’t have a clue,” Pelosi said before admonishing both men to “get a clue.” She added, “If they need therapy, do it in private.” Pelosi is the latest in a string of Democrats to express disgust over Weiner’s latest sexting scandal, but she stopped short of calling on him to drop out of the New York City mayoral race. (Read more)

Audio of the Day: Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called out lawmakers from his own party Thursday, telling reporters that the threat from some congressional Republicans to shut down the government to prevent Obamacare from being fully implemented is “the dumbest idea” he’s ever heard. “I was around in ’95,” Burr said. “I think some of these guys need to understand, you shut down the federal government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable. Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable through shutting down the federal government.”

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