Morning Briefing: September 8, 2011

The “most factually problematic” criticisms from last night’s Republican presidential debate were aimed at Democratic policies, as Republicans repeatedly flubbed issues like climate change, health care, and Social Security, a New York Times fact-check found. Among the most egregious: Mitt Romney’s claims about Obama’s energy policy were “largely untrue,” while Rick Perry misled on Social Security and whiffed on climate change.

GOP Rep. Paul Broun (GA) informed Fox & Friends this morning that he will not attend Obama’s jobs address because he wants to live tweet it to his followers. While physically in the Capitol building, Broun said, “I think it’s better for me to sit in the office and watch it on TV where I can communicate with my constituents.”

“Federal Reserve officials are considering three unconventional steps to revive the economic recovery” as economic and employment concerns have eclipsed inflation fears. Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks today in Minneapolis and one measure likely to be get attention is “maturity extension,” which is aimed at pushing down long-term interest rates.

Nine Nobel Peace Prize recipients have signed a letter urging President Obama to reject a proposed expansion of the Keystole XL tar sands oil pipeline. “In asking you to make this decision, we recognize the thousands of Americans who risked arrest to protest in front of the White House between August 20th and September 3rd,” write the recipients, who include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.


Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) endorsed efforts by pro-environment groups to sue the Obama administration following its withdrawal of new EPA ozone rules. “I hope they’ll be sued in court and I hope the court can stand by the Clean Air Act,” she said of the administration.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he will push a $6 billion disaster relief package to pay for damages from Hurricane Irene and other disasters, all but daring Republicans who have called for relief spending to be offset to vote against it. Reid: “I hope my Republican colleagues have put politics aside and work with us to get relief to the American people who need it now.”

A new George Washington University survey finds that a rise in “domestic terrorism and attacks by American citizens directed from overseas are top concerns for police departments” in the U.S. Surveying police intelligence chiefs from the 56 largest cities in the U.S., the report “Counterterrorism Intelligence: Law Enforcement Perspectives” identified 21 homegrown terrorism cases between 2001 and 2009, with 31 cases in the last two years alone.

A new report by the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest claims that the White House’s stringent lobbying rules actually have made government less transparent and hiring less fair. The Obama administration implemented a ban on the “revolving door” between government and industry, which has had the counterintuitive effect of discouraging lobbyists from making full disclosures.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Tuesday to challenge Florida’s law requiring new welfare recipients to be drug tested, saying the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure protection.The civil liberties organization is suing on behalf of Luis Lebron, who refused to take the drug test. The executive director of Florida ACLU said the law “rests on ugly stereotypes.”


And finally: The Martha’s Vineyard property President Obama rented last month is up for sale by its Republican businessman owner. The “quintessential Vineyard property” offers 28.5 “elegant, understated” acres of residences, equestrian facilities, and a gym, and will be listed for $24.5 million.

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