The Obama administration negotiated with the Taliban and is instituting unprecedented checks on greenhouse gas production — just to be safe, Republican speechwriters are drafting statements of opposition to Treasury Secretary Thomas Piketty’s confirmation. John Boehner called the new emission limits “nuts,” which is surprising considering he's "not a scientist” and thus not qualified to comment on the matter. And Jay Carney’s son formed a band with other administration officials’ kids, yet our Jay Carney tribute band’s first EP — Track 1: “I Would Refer You to My Heart,” Track 2: “I Won’t Speculate About Our Love” — has gone unnoticed. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, June 2nd, 2014:
Speaking of Piketty, our own Ryan Grim will be speaking to the French economist du jour and Elizabeth Warren on HuffPost Live tonight at 8:30. Tune in and watch Erick Erickson's worst fever dream become a reality. [Watch Here]
EPA RELEASES POWER PLANT EMISSION LIMITS - We wonder if the president sent Joe Manchin, Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mark Pryor a note telling them to hold onto their butts with a Xanax tablet scotch-taped to the paper. Kate Sheppard: "The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards on Monday, calling for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030. The regulations are the first of their kind for the fleet of existing power plants, which currently produce 39 percent of U.S. emissions. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy described the rules in further detail at a press conference Monday morning....The rules direct states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030, using emissions from 2005 as a baseline. The rules are expected to cut emissions 25 percent by 2020. The agency says the rules will provide the country $90 billion in climate and health benefits, and avoid hospitalizations due to health concerns such as asthma. But the EPA is giving states flexibility in how to meet those standards. States can direct power plants to cut emissions directly, either by switching to a fuel source with lower carbon emissions, such as natural gas, or by making upgrades to equipment or efficiency. States can also meet the standards by increasing the amount of energy drawn from renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydropower." [HuffPost]
John Boehner's incredulity fell somewhere between "imminent Affordable Care Act passage" and "Luke Russert just said something": "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the Environmental Protection Agency’s Monday carbon emissions proposal for power plants crazy, saying it would result in more jobs being shipped overseas. 'The president’s plan is nuts, there’s really no more succinct way to describe it,' Boehner said in a statement. 'Americans are already paying more for everything, and here he is condemning them to higher bills and lower incomes long after he leaves office. 'In many ways, this national energy tax is actually worse than the scheme Americans rejected four years ago,' he said, referring to a cap-and-trade proposal that Congress did not pass.'" [The Hill]
As much as Americans are excited by the prospect of relocating to a small patch of arable land in the Northwest Territories and subsisting entirely on moss, they'd rather we address global warming: "Seven in 10 Americans see global warming as a serious problem facing the country, enough to fuel broad support for federal efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions – even if it raises their own energy costs, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds. The poll, conducted in advance of the Obama administration’s announcement today of planned regulations to cut such pollution, finds 70 percent support for limiting emissions from existing power plants, and, more generally, for requiring states to cut the production of greenhouse gases within their borders. Notably, indicating public concern about the issue, 63 percent of Americans say they’d support a regulatory effort that significantly lowered greenhouse gases even if it raised their own energy expenses by $20 per month. (The figure is hypothetical, meant to test attitudes about the possible cost of new regulations. Actual cost impacts, if any, are a subject of sharp debate.)" [ABC News]
Amanda Terkel and Samantha Lachman's rundown of the primaries to keep an eye on tomorrow.
Biden is heading to Ukraine, per a White House release: "The Vice President will lead a Presidential delegation to Kyiv on June 7 to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko. The Vice President will also hold meetings with Ukraine’s leaders to discuss President-elect Poroshenko’s agenda, the situation in the east, and how the United States can assist Ukraine with fighting corruption, strengthening its democratic institutions, and putting its economy back on a path towards sustainable growth."
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GOP QUICK TO DENOUNCE POW EXCHANGE - Also, because the Beltway would take a nifty suffix over a nuanced debate over foreign policy any day of the week, Berghazi is now popping up on Twitter. Roll Call: "The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday there will be hearings on whether the Obama administration broke the law in trading five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who’d been held by the Taliban for five years. 'My perception is he broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before,' Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon, R-Calif., said in an appearance on MSNBC, referring to a 2013 law that requires the administration to notify Congress before detainees from the detention camp are released. 'We will be holding hearings. I’m sorry that this is being portrayed as a Republican issue. Democrats also voted for this law. It was important for our national security.' he said. 'This is not a partisan issue.' 'We passed a law last year,' he said. 'It passed overwhelmingly on the floor and through the Senate and the president signed it. And although he said now he had a disclaimer along with it that he apparently didn’t support the law, he did sign it.' White House national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Sunday that because officials were concerned about Bergdahl’s health, there wasn’t time to notify Congress." [Roll Call]
Paige Lavender has a roundup of everything you need to know about Bowe Bergdahl, the 28-year-old Sergeant at the center of all this.
COURT SIDES AGAINST TIMES REPORTER IN INTELLIGENCE SOURCE CASE - Times: "The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a New York Times reporter facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source. The court’s one-line order gave no reasons but effectively sided with the government in a confrontation between what prosecutors said is an imperative to secure evidence in a national security prosecution and what journalists said is an intolerable infringement of press freedom. The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book 'State of War.' Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency official. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ordered Mr. Risen to comply with the subpoena. Mr. Risen has said he will refuse...The Obama administration has sent mixed signals in the case and on the subject of press freedom in general. In its Supreme Court brief in the case, Risen v. United States, No. 13-1009, it told the justices that 'reporters have no privilege to refuse to provide direct evidence of criminal wrongdoing by confidential sources.' But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. hinted last week that the Justice Department might choose not to ask the trial judge to jail Mr. Risen for contempt should he refuse to testify." [publication]
The sons of Jay Carney, Trade Representative Mike Roman, Shaun Donovan and Patti Solis Doyle are in a band called Twenty20. Their music video features the kids hanging out in D.C. and giving D.C. Bike Share what might be its first and only appearance in popular entertainment. [Time]
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT POURING MONEY INTO PREVENTATIVE CARE -Jeff Young: "President Barack Obama's health care reform law will spend more than $1 trillionover the next decade to extend health coverage to millions of people -- and about $20 billion actually trying to make us healthier. The money supporting these initiatives is tucked inside the Affordable Care Act in the form of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a pot of money to finance efforts in hundreds of communities to curtail obesity, promote exercise and better nutrition, and reduce tobacco use. Improving the health of Americans and reducing preventable deaths wouldn't just benefit those individuals. Better health could prove key to reversing decades of skyrocketing health care spending. And the prevention fund is Obamacare's primary means of making inroads on these problems, one community at a time...Up to 40 percent of deaths each year from the five leading causes in America -- heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries -- are preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May. And medical treatments for the half of the population with chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and tobacco-related illnesses account for 84 percent of health care spending, according to a 2010 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey." [HuffPost]
Politico's article on Chris Christie's weight is today's SMDH-iest development: "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears to have shed as many as 85 pounds since his lap-band surgery last year and looks to be down to a healthier 230-something weight, according to experts. After a constituent remarked about the governor’s noticeably slimmed-down physique at a town hall meeting last week, POLITICO asked two experts to estimate the governor’s weight loss by comparing several pictures of him from 2011 with recent photos." [Politico]
@SenJohnMcCain: I think Dr. @TomCoburn would be the best choice to lead the VA and sort out all of these problems #VAaccountability
MEET THE PRESIDENT'S NEW FRIEND: ALONZO MOURNING - Mourning, you may recall, belonged to the strongest duo in "NBA Jam," yet Larry Johnson has yet to shoot up an L-arm with the commander-in-chief. Politico: "Wary of hangers-on and sycophants, President Barack Obama has made few friends since moving into the White House. Alonzo Mourning, the former Miami Heat star, is a striking exception. He was one of many boldface Democratic donors willing to lend their names to Obama’s first presidential campaign and became a member of a small group of ex-NBA players summoned to play basketball with the president... Obama and Mourning have played golf together three times since November and spent time together during a March weekend in the Florida Keys. They talk about sports and family but also discuss social issues — particularly their shared interest in helping underprivileged kids. Mostly, though, they just savor the downtime. 'You get caught up in the fact that he’s so personable you do forget that he is the most powerful man in the world,' Mourning said in an interview. 'That’s what he wants when he’s around his friends. He doesn’t want to be strictly political every time that he’s around us. I think he just wants to relax and exhale.'" [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is a panda cub.
Fans of the Jay Treaty will absolutely love this grotesquely violent threat against the president: "A figure fashioned to look like President Barack Obama was found hanging from an Interstate 70 overpass near Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday morning, KMBC-TV of Kansas City reports. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office told KMBC that the dummy, which was found at 5:30 a.m., was wearing an Obama mask and hanging over the westbound lanes. The sheriff's office has possession of the dummy and is investigating the incident. A bomb squad had also been called in to sweep the dummy, after deputies saw what they thought could be an explosive device on the figure, The Kansas City Star reports. No explosives were found, but all lanes were shut down as a precaution during the examination, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told the paper. The overpass was near Oak Grove, Missouri, about 25 miles east of Kansas City." [HuffPost's Sara Bondlioli]
- Man throws paper airplane from the upper deck of Wembley Stadium... and hits a Peruvian player in the back of the head. [http://bit.ly/1hrXkr5]
- A music blogger is out with a book ranking Bruce Springsteen's 100 best songs. Fans will be offended by the list. [http://huff.to/U7aXl2]
- A mashup of animals with hiccups. [http://huff.to/1tBSQOk]
- TMZ has photos from the set of the new "Star Wars" film. [http://bit.ly/1iKMsiD]
- Photos of Apple prototypes from the 1980s look like they belong in a Chromeo music video. [http://bit.ly/1kqlzot]
- The "Game of Thrones" theme song as an 80s electronic hit. [http://bit.ly/1kxVTH3]
- "One Tap Quest" is a web game you play by tapping once and watching the results. [http://bit.ly/U7ldtE]
- GoPro video of a dishwasher's full cycle... FROM THE INSIDE. [http://bit.ly/1mFTzf4]
@sam_baker: If you want people to take the threat seriously, give them names like Hurricane Gluten, or Hurricane Public Resources Near Your House #fear
@milbank: I count about 100 incandescent bulbs illuminating EPA carbon rule announcement. pic.twitter.com/jBAhed4ckt
@deep_beige: Ok will do RT @hotairblog: Think of Obama’s new EPA climate rules as … “ObamaCare for the air"
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