Wednesday, February 06, 2013



Entering the Bay....

Morning Notes:

Obama to nominate CEO of outdoor equipment giant REI to become interior secretary
President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) chief executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department, according to a White House official who asked not to be identified because the public announcement has not yet been made.The choice of Jewell — who began her career as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corp. and worked as a commercial banker before heading a nearly $2 billion outdoors equipment company — represents an unconventional choice for a post usually reserved for career politicians from the West.

GOP senators call for delay in Hagel committee vote
Two senior GOP members of the Senate Armed Services Committee told The Cable Tuesday that they won't consent to a committee vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense until the former Nebraska senator discloses all of his recent paid speeches and until an allegation of misconduct in his Senate office is fully investigated.

Hagel Tells Lawmakers He Can't Provide Details On Speaking Engagements, Foreign Funders
President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will not provide foreign financial details for the corporate and nonprofit organizations he was affiliated with since he left the Senate in 2009. Republican members of the committee asked Hagel last week for information on whether any of the organizations received funding from any foreign government, individual, or corporation — a request he declined late Tuesday in a letter citing confidentiality agreements.

Embattled Scott plans $100M campaign vs. Crist
Rick Scott is preparing to defend his Florida governorship with the most expensive reelection campaign in state history, drawing up plans for a battleship-sized political operation aimed at overcoming the Republican’s deep personal unpopularity. The anticipated price tag, according to sources familiar with Scott’s plans: $100 million.

American Crossroads Goes After Ashley Judd With $10,000 Ad Campaign
Behind $10,000 in digital advertising starting today, the Karl Rove-backed group will run in the ad in Kentucky in two weeks. The ad — a parody of a would-be campaign spot for Judd — mocks the actress and activist for her allegiance to President Barack Obama and for previously referring to Tennessee as her home. American Crossroads detailed the campaign in an email sent out Wednesday morning.

Making Republicans seem less Republican
Cantor seems to realize that another "government is evil" speech is pointless -- for all the assumptions about the "center-right nation," he realizes that the American mainstream sees a role for a healthy public sector that promotes the general welfare. But the problem with this latest rebranding campaign is that Cantor wants to present a Republican agenda that will "benefit families across the nation," but he can't fill in the blanks. There's a reason for this, which the right generally prefers not to admit: conservatism isn't an effective governing philosophy when it comes to using government to make a positive material difference in the lives of working families. Cantor spent 45 minutes trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, and it was ultimately unsatisfying because his pitch lacked any kind of persuasive depth.

Eric Cantor’s empty happy talk
In recent weeks, Republican leaders such as Cantor have resembled nothing so much as laundry detergent salesmen, figuring if they can simply rebrand their product (High Efficiency 2x Ultra Stainlifter Clean Breeze Concentrated Fresh!) Americans will buy what they’re selling. Omitted from consideration is the possibility that consumers don’t like what’s in the bottle.

GOP’s sequester bill unlikely to get revote
The House barely passed the bill — 215 to 209 — in December, with 21 Republicans opposing the measure and no Democrats supporting it. Five of the Republicans who voted “no” are no longer in Congress, but the GOP also has a smaller majority after losing a net of eight seats to Democrats in November’s election. As a result, if Democrats rally against the bill, there’s a chance Republicans would not be able to muster the 217 votes needed to secure passage. Such an outcome would be embarrassing after Republican leaders were forced to pull a tax bill from the floor in December because of a lack of support.

Can Congress ever agree on climate change?
Although Republicans have since retaken the House, and Waxman is no longer chair of the energy committee, he’s still trying to call attention to the issue. Recently, Waxman formed a new Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) — an effort to raise awareness about global warming among legislators and to look for policy solutions.

IMF Chief: ‘Unless We Take Action On Climate Change, Future Generations Will Be Roasted, Toasted, Fried And Grilled’
Turns out IMF managing director Christine Lagarde is also a climate hawk — and she’s the former conservative finance minister of France. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, she said, “the real wild card in the pack” of economic pivot points is “Increasing vulnerability from resource scarcity and climate change, with the potential for major social and economic disruption.” She called climate change “the greatest economic challenge of the 21st century.”