Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catnip 1/22/13: Better Late Than Never


Bit of a green focus, these are from this morning. 

Speech Gives Climate Goals Center Stage 
Mr. Obama is heading into the effort having extensively studied the lessons from his first term, when he failed to win passage of comprehensive legislation to reduce emissions of the gases that cause global warming. This time, the White House plans to avoid such a fight and instead focus on what it can do administratively to reduce emissions from power plants, increase the efficiency of home appliances and have the federal government itself produce less carbon pollution.

Big second-term test: Meeting Obama's climate vows
Some environmental advocates, including a couple former Obama aides, have also called for a reorganization within the White House to push climate and energy issues closer to the top of the agenda. One such approach — backed by former Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta and a coalition of activists and former senators — would create a White House energy council similar to those that oversee economic and national security policy.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will press Democratic senators up for reelection next year in red states to distance themselves from President Obama's promise to tackle climate change. Votes for cap-and-trade sunk a bunch of House Democrats from coal country in 2010, and GOP leaders think this remains a winning issue in states with major domestic energy industries - including Louisiana, Alaska, Colorado and Montana. .... 'We hope that 2014 Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Max Baucus enjoyed the party circuit in Washington last night," NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh tells Score, "but given President Obama's vow to pursue a left-wing environmental agenda that will kill jobs in their states and others, voters deserve to know exactly where their Senators stand."

Koch Brothers vow to fight environmental policy
Arlington, VA- Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s foremost advocate for economic freedom, responded to President Obama’s inaugural address with a statement from AFP President, Tim Phillips. "President Obama chose to deliver a harshly ideological, aggressively partisan speech more appropriate for the campaign trail than for the solemn occasion of his inaugural ceremony. His address read like a liberal laundry list with global warming at the top. Americans have rejected environmental extremism in the past and they will again. Americans for Prosperity will certainly be in the vanguard of the effort to oppose the President’s big government policies that spend too much and regulate too much and as a consequence are failing to get our economy moving again.”

Obama’s green team: He really meant it
Zichal, asked after her remarks when Obama would provide specifics on his second-term climate plans, declined to tip the White House’s hand. “I am not going to get in front of my boss on this one,” Zichal told The Hill Monday night. “I think you will, in due time, see a really aggressive agenda on the energy and climate initiative in line with what the president talked about today. “I think you will hear more detail about what [Obama] wants to do in the State of the Union [speech],” Salazar told reporters.

President Obama's Climate Change Pledge In Second Inauguration Speech Tested By Keystone XL Pipeline
Environmental groups say the pipeline would transport "dirty oil" from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, and produce heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming. They also worry about a possible spill. "Starting with rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, the president must make fighting global warming a central priority," Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, said Monday.

House GOPers are making the most of their retreat on debt ceiling by hitting Senate Dems on budget. Boehner's office puts out a list of things you could have done in four years since the Senate has passed a budget, mostly trivial nonsense like driving from Key West to Seattle 684 times. In a very telling indication of Republican priorities though, leading the list is the oil industry's first wish: a mention of the Keystone pipeline.

Senate Democrats promise to pass a budget
In the next few months, Senate Democrats will take steps to ensure that they’ll pass a full budget resolution: Schumer’s spokesman tweeted that Democrats will use the budget reconciliation process to fast-track the reach a deficit deal, which allows the Senate to pass it with 51 votes and avoid a potential filibuster. But that also means that the bill will be strictlylimited to provisions that have a major fiscal impact, limiting outside horse-trading as well.

Nominee to lead Treasury values social safety net
When Jack Lew became President Obama’s budget director, he removed from his new office a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary and the father of American finance, and put up paintings of New York City by jobless artists who had been hired into the New Deal’s public works program. That small gesture, say people who know Lew, speaks volumes about the mind-set of the man Obama has nominated to serve as the 76th Treasury secretary — a sustained focus on protecting the nation’s social safety net over three decades of budget battles in which programs that support the poor and jobless have been targets for cuts.

Republican Teddy Turner, running in the special election to succeed Tim Scott, went up over the weekend with a bio spot on broadcast and cable TV. ...Strategy Group for Media produced. "After Mark Sanford, polling shows this is a completely wide open race for the second spot in the runoff, and the special primary is only 55 days away," a GOP operative says. Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, will formally file today as a Democratic candidate for the seat.

NBC/WSJ poll: Majority, for first time, want abortion to be legal 
As the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision takes place on Tuesday, a majority of Americans – for the first time – believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. What’s more, seven in 10 respondents oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned, which is the highest percentage on this question since 1989.