Morning Briefing: June 22, 2011

By a 44 percent to 34 percent margin, more Americans say they believe they are worse off than when President Obama took office. The Bloomberg poll finds that more than “half of respondents say their children are destined to have a lower standard of living than they do.”

GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty warned his fellow Republicans to stay hawkish on Afghanistan, saying he fears a “retreat” towards “isolationism.” Echoing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Pawlenty specifically went after Mitt Romney, whom Pawently thought was not gung ho enough about the endless and highly unpopular war.

Yesterday, South Carolina passed a tough anti-immigration law that requires police to check suspects’ immigration status following an arrest or traffic stop. While Democrats argued the bill set up “another avenue for racial profiling,” the GOP-led legislature passed the bill 69–43 and sends it to Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) who “confirmed she will sign it.”

A new study released by Nature Communications estimates that global warming could cause the temperature-related deaths of as many as 15,000 Europeans by 2070. The researchers estimate that deaths will be worst in southern Europe.


Leon Panetta was confirmed by a 100–0 vote in the U.S. Senate to be the next Secretary of Defense. “Leon Panetta heading up the Department of Defense is just a home-run choice,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The Florida Education Association (FEA) filed a class action lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) Monday over his “unconstitutionally imposed” 3 percent pay cut on teachers to balance the budget. The FEA is joined by the Police Benevolent Association, the largest union of law enforcement officers in the state, in alleging that the pay cut “breaks promises made to these employees when they chose to work to improve our state.”

Congress may vote on a pair of Libya resolutions this week that were drafted by House Republican leaders in response to President Obama’s assertion that he doesn’t require congressional consent to continue with the over three-month long Libya mission. One resolution would authorize the use of force. The other would demand an end to U.S. combat engagement in Libya.

And finally: Former President Bush finally got in the Guinness Book of World Records, but not for what you might think. The former Texas Rangers owner donned sunglasses last night in the team’s stadium to help break the record “for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark at the same time.” Yes, George W. Bush wears sunglasses at night.

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