The California Supreme Court will rule today on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. “The justices will also decide whether the state will continue to recognize the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages carried out in 2008.”
President Obama will attend a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in Las Vegas later today. Republicans have been targeting Reid’s seat for 2010. Reid says he will raise as much as $25 million for his campaign.
A CNN poll released yesterday found that Colin Powell is more popular than former Vice President Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. While 70 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Powell, Cheney and Limbaugh are only viewed favorably by 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Republicans prefer Powell over Limbaugh, 64 percent to 62 percent.
Though President Obama vowed to “take action” in response to what he called North Korea’s “blatant violation of international law,” some his aides “acknowledged that the administration’s options were limited.” According to the aides, much depends on Obama’s “ability to persuade Russia and China to gosignificantly beyond the strong condemnations that they issued Monday against North Korea.”
Hours after President Obama vowed to rein in the use of the “state secrets” privilege last week, “his Justice Department was criticized by a federal judge in California” for claiming the privilege in trying to shut down a lawsuit over warrantless wiretapping. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) has sponsored a bill that “would empower federal judges to review sensitive evidence and test government assertions.”
Sen. Leahy is “already trying to smooth” the confirmation process for Obama’s Supreme Court selection. Leahy has offered to split evenly with Republicans the “additional funds available to the committee for the nomination process” despite the fact that Democrats hold a “majority on the panel.”
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) has vetoed a domestic partners bill to give gay couples some of the same rights enjoyed by those who are married. Gibbons said, “I believe that because the voters have determined that the rights of marriage should apply only to married couples, only the voters should determine whether those rights should equally apply to domestic partners.”
Obama is expected to announce later this week the creation of a cyber security czar who “will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation’s government-run and private computer networks.” The position will “report to the national security adviser as well as the senior White House economic adviser.”
Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to compromise with President Obama on settlements, saying that “Israel would dismantle nearly two dozen wildcat settlement outposts…if the U.S. drops its objections to continued building in existing, government-sanctioned settlements.” “The demand for a total stop to building [in the West Bank] is not something that can be justified,” Netanyahu told his cabinet.
And finally: Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, a native Washingtonian, had some high praise for Nancy Pelosi’s fashion. “I’ve always celebrated Nancy Pelosi’s style,” he said. “What I love about her in particular is she’s not afraid to say ‘I’m a woman.’ Her clothes show off her beautiful hourglass shape.” He also wondered whether her style has had a “trickle down” affect on Capitol Hill to other members.
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