Democrats are lining up to defend Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that climate change is a threat to national security in the face of conservative attacks.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Henry Waxman of California, two self-described climate hawks, sent a letter Thursday to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich berating them for criticism they leveled at the secretary of State for his remarks earlier this week.
Over the weekend, Kerry delivered a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, in which he said climate change was “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”
The speech prompted swift conservative backlash. Gingrich called for Kerry’s resignation, while McCain commented that the secretary was wrong to emphasize climate change when conflict in Syria has resulted in mass casualties.
In their letter, Waxman and Whitehouse express disappointment with conservative reaction to Kerry’s remarks. They call McCain’s line of attack “inaccurate” and “uninformed,” and say that some experts believe the Syrian conflict could have its underpinnings in climate change.
The letter also lists off a number of defense experts who have commented on the threat to national security posed by climate change and warming temperatures.
“Secretary Kerry needs allies in this fight for the future of our planet,” Whitehouse and Waxman wrote. “History will not look back and fault him for leading the charge to prevent the worst impacts of climate change while we still have time.”
What We're Following See More »
The "benchmark" Obamacare silver plan—"upon which federal subsidies are based—will cost an average of $296 a month next year," an increase of 22% over current averages. That figure, however, "masks wide variation among the states. In Arizona, the benchmark plan's average premium will increase 116% in 2017. Arizona had the lowest rates of any state this year, said Kathryn Martin, an acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. In Indiana, the benchmark plan will be 3% cheaper."
Sources tell CNN that longtime Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has been Vice President Biden's chief of staff, is "high on the list of prospects" to be chief of staff in a Clinton White House. "John Podesta, the campaign chairman, has signaled his interest in joining the Cabinet, perhaps as Energy secretary."
"AT&T Inc.’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc. sails toward two cresting waves of opposition: resurgent antitrust enforcement in Washington and politicians fired by a new bipartisan populist rage. It is too early to know how regulators will treat the AT&T-Time Warner deal. But after several quiet years, President Barack Obama’s antitrust team has switched into high gear in response to a recent spurt of deal-making," a trend that's likely to continue into the next administration. The Obama Justice Department has scuttled 43 mergers, "more than double the mergers blocked by the preceding Bush Justice Department."
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.
The majority and minority leader of the House are both saying "California's veterans are not to blame for being mistakenly overpaid, after a Los Angeles Times story revealed that officials are trying to claw back millions in bonuses from California National Guardsmen. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the efforts to recoup the money 'disgraceful,' and asked for the Department of Defense to waive the repayments soldiers would be forced to make if they inappropriately received re-enlistment bonuses for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she's looking for a "legislative fix" in the lame-duck session.