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Secretary of State John Kerry shows frustration at questioning from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesdayb about President Barack Obama's request for congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria. At left is Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Tuesday Winner (tie, w/8 likes apiece) — Pair of Claws: "EWU fans finally get a glimpse of who was behind the red astroturf idea," and Fort Boise: "Take me out to the Baal game!" You can see photo & all cutline entries here.
If President Obama is re-elected, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will most likely become the next secretary of state, breaking millions of hearts who wait for texts from Hillary.
But Kerry is probably the strongest advocate for climate action in the Senate. Grist spoke to Kerry about Obama’s energy strategy, how things can change, and Romney’s clean energy record in Massachusetts.
Here's an excerpt from the fascinating interview. It gets weird around the "all-of-the-above" strategy question:
Q. The climate issue is barely registering in this election. Why has this issue fallen off the Democratic agenda?
A. For several reasons. No. 1, because huge amounts of money were spent to purposely discredit the facts. Some of the coal industry, some of your old power-plant owners, put money into branding cap-and-trade as cap-and-tax. The British university emails were exploited by the opponents very effectively, and a kind of pejorative set in about climate science as a result. I think the climate issue lost 20 or 30 points of support in the public arena.
So once the House of Representatives passed cap-and-trade, this onslaught of negative activity took place which had an impact. The people who claimed it was a hoax, nothing more than a liberal conspiracy to have a government takeover, spent a lot of money scaring our colleagues. And that’s what happened, they scared them. They created a certain credibility [problem] that was never answered. There was no counter.
Q. To enviros, Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy seems like a cop-out. Should the party be moving more aggressively away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy?
Staff and wire reports
WASHINGTON — Sen. Patty Murray will be the co-chairwoman of a powerful “supercommittee” charged with finding more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts this fall.
The Washington Democrat was one of three named Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. He also appointed Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana to the panel.
In a prepared statement announcing the appointments, Reid said Murray's years of experience on the Budget and Appropriations committees “have given her a depth of knowledge on budget issues and demonstrated her ability to work across party lines.”
The three issued a joint statement calling the committee’s work “long overdue to step beyond the partisanship and politics that have overwhelmed these discussions for months.”
Kerry and Baucus are two of the Senate's most experienced legislators, Reid added. In naming the trio, the Associated Press noted he bypassed Democrats like Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad who have been more forceful in advocating curbs on Medicare spending and Social Security benefits.
Washington state and national Republicans were quick to denounce Murray's selection. Even before the appointments were official, but after they had leaked out from congressional sources to hit political websites, state GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur contended Murray's selection proves Reid wasn't taking debt reduction seriously.
“Appointing Senator Murray as the co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is like asking a fox to guard a hen house,” Wilbur charged in a press release. “Senator Murray has absolutely no history of cutting spending, ever.”
(That's right, Kirby Wilbur just called Patty Murray a fox, which is probably inappropriately sexist…but, we digress. To read the rest of this post, click here to go inside the blog.)
“Frankly, the science is screaming at us,”
–United States Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) citing a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, MIT, and the Heinz Center that found that even if the world aims for the highest goals currently on the table — including President Obama’s call for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050 — carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would still far exceed safe levels.
And that’s not all that’s screaming. It’s presumable that members of Capitol Hill walked away from The Goracle’s updated version of his Inconvenient Truth slide show - now featuring bigger, badder, and scarier data - after he presented it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. “I urge this Congress to quickly pass the entirety of President Obama’s recovery package,” Al Gore said. “The plan’s unprecedented and critical investments in four key areas — energy efficiency, renewables, a unified national energy grid, and the move to clean cars — represent an important down payment and are long overdue.”