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July 12, 2010 / Robyn Swirling

Things You Should Know About Today – Monday Edition

Good morning, reader! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and aren’t too bummed out that it’s Monday again. Let’s get started…

  • The National Rifle Association is being criticized by its allies and supporters on the right  – and even its own board – for not being outspoken enough. NRA supporters are upset that the organization did not speak out about the “threat” posed by the nominations of Eric Holder for AG and Sonia Sotomayor to SCOTUS; and that the NRA considered endorsing Harry Reid and did endorse moderate candidates and even – gasp! – Democrats, rather than their more conservative counterparts. [Politico]
  • The US Government created over 700,000 jobs in the last two years (most in the past six months) by hiring census workers. Now that the census is mostly over, there are a lot of people who are going to be unemployed again, and many are coming back into an even more hostile climate for job seekers than the one they left when they took the census job. [NY Times]
  • Environmentalists hoped that the oil spill would spur Congress and others in the government to action regarding climate change legislation and fossil fuel energy, as similar catastrophes have, in the past, been catalysts for clean air legislation, the revival of Earth Day, etc. But skepticism in the American public about government regulation and whether climate change is really an issue at all [ed note: I can’t believe I just had to type that] has not created the kind of uproar that similar situations, like the Exxon-Valdez spill, created previously. [WaPo]
  • Meanwhile, there are reports that ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as the Chinese national oil company, have been given permission by the White House to buy out BP. [Telegraph]
  • It looks like BP is doing everything they can to stave off a takeover though. They’re considering selling off huge chunks of assets to make some money, and avoid going bankrupt by paying for the spill cleanup and damages. [WSJ]
  • Randi Weingarten has been re-elected as President of the American Federation of Teachers, with 95% of the vote of more than 3,000 delegates at the organization’s convention on Saturday [AFT release, via Politico Playbook]
  • Democratic governors are concerned that the White House’s lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law will create an impression that Dems are soft on immigration issues, and could cost them re-election bids in an already difficult election year. The Democratic governors voiced their concerns to White House officials at a closed-door meeting at the National Governors Association’s summer meeting. [NY Times]
  • Iran’s judiciary chief has delayed the stoning death of Iranian woman Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, citing “humanitarian reservations.” [Daily Beast]
  • Two bombs killed 64 people in Kampala, Uganda yesterday. An al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group has praised the bombings, but has not claimed responsibility for them. [AP]
  • States’ rights groups are torn on the ruling last week by a Massachusetts judge that part of DOMA is unconstitutional. That ruling actually incorporated two cases, one of which challenged DOMA on the basis that regulation of marriage is a power that has traditionally been reserved to the states. So on the one hand, total victory for states’ rights advocates. On the other hand, ewww gay people. [NY Times]
  • If all this talk about the Republicans taking the House in November has you anxious and riled up, read this and try to calm your nerves a little. [CQ]
  • If you like graphs, head on over to FiveThirtyEight and read about economic indicators. [538]
  • You should watch this video of Peter Orszag at the Aspen Ideas Festival talking about why he’s stepping down as director of the Office of Management and Budget, and other things about the administration. If you don’t want to watch, or can’t because you’re at work: he’s leaving because he was already at the CBO before joining OMB, and he just thinks that 4 years is enough time. Also, he’s getting a little burnt out. [The Atlantic]
  • Alvin Greene, the guy who is somehow the Democratic Senate candidate in South Carolina, has been cleared of any wrongdoing with regards to his finances by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. They were looking into how Greene managed to scrounge up $10,440 for the filing fee to run for Senate and have determined that, as he said, Greene had just saved the money like a regular person from his paychecks. [Wonkette]
  • House and Senate Democrats are facing a rough few weeks ahead. Congress will break for one month on August 6, and before then they’re looking to pass crucial legislation and complete longstanding projects such as an unemployment benefits package and a Wall Street report. Nobody really thinks they have enough time to get things done, which means that climate change legislation, the START arms control treaty, and campaign finance reform probably won’t get addressed until 2011. [The Hill]
  • Police in Belgrade have uncovered records and data on the Balkan war in the home of General Ratko Mladic, believed to be one of the architects of the conflict and the man in charge of the Srebrenica massacre. Eighteen notebooks, 120 sound recordings, cell phone cards, computer memory sticks, and a pile of documents were found in Mladic’s home. They provide a never-before-proven link between the Bosnian Serb Army and the Serbian government, which the two have always strenuously denied, and may help prosecutors in The Hague get an indictment to try Mladic for war crimes. [NY Times]
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4 Comments

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  1. cate3710 / Jul 12 2010 11:25 am

    Ugh. I hate how being opposed to horrible racist law somehow translates into being “soft on immigration.” I also really wish politicians were more worried about doing what was right or helpful as opposed to worrying about being reelected, but I know that’s a pipe dream.

  2. NefariousNewt / Jul 12 2010 11:40 am

    Ah, yes, State’s rights… OK, you want the State to have the right to regulate marriage, there you go! Oh, and by the way, several states have already made same-sex marriage legal, so don’t think you’re going to get off the reciprocity hook.

    Of course global warming isn’t an issue… until the temps hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The Democrats are being handed victory in November, if they can get up the stones to actually ride the wave. With the Republicans blocking everything in sight, it shouldn’t take much to convince centrist voters that a vote for Republicans is a vote for stagnation.

  3. SwirlGirl / Jul 12 2010 12:18 pm

    Peter Orszag isn’t engaged anymore?? I saw him speak a few weeks ago and he joked about the crazy circumstances of his personal life. (And also gave a fascinating read on what’s needed for economic recovery and how the medium- to long-term thinking required is politically unfeasible and, thus, won’t likely happen.)

    • VirtuousVixen / Jul 12 2010 12:28 pm

      Oh damn, I totally forgot about that engagement thing. Men should have to wear engagement rings too so there’s some sort of physical indicator. Sorry about that, I’m editing out the availability comment.

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