Trending In Our News Feeds – Obama to unveil major climate initiative. President Obama will announce a new climate initiative today at Georgetown University. The centerpiece of the initiative will be a mandate requiring the EPA to create regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by June 2015. Obama will announce raised standards for emissions from cars, and call on Congress to subsidize clean energy while cutting tax breaks to the oil and gas industries. Politico says the president will sell the plan as both an environmental move and an economic one that will create new jobs in the green sector.
Obama’s initiative could help the environmental movement in several ways. Power plants account for 40% of American carbon emissions, so EPA regulations could drastically reduce the U.S.’ carbon footprint. Government regulations could also promote innovation in the private sector and drive down emissions even further. Finally, if the U.S. makes moves to lower its own emissions, Obama will have greater leverage to encourage other countries to do the same. However, PolicyMic pundit and Harvard Law student Gabriel Daly says there is a good chance the EPA regulations will end up in court: There is no legal consensus on whether the government can regulate private sector carbon emissions.
SCOTUS punts on affirmative action. The Supreme Court ruled 7-1 yesterday to send the major affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin back to a lower court. The case was filed by Abigail Fisher, a white student who claimed she didn’t get into UT because of her race. The justices’ verdict said the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals failed to test the university’s affirmative action policy according to “strict scrutiny.” Amy Howe explains this means affirmative action can only be upheld if it is the sole way to promote diversity on college campuses. PolicyMic pundit and Georgetown Law student Edward Williams is disappointed with the court’s ruling: “The Supreme Court completely punted on the ultimate question of the constitutionality of affirmative action by sending the Fisher case back to the Fifth Circuit… The Fifth Circuit will either affirm or reject its current ruling on Fisher and this exact same case will be back in the Supreme Court next year.”
The court did not issue opinions on voting rights or the two gay marriage cases it is considering, but said they will release opinions today and Thursday. We predict the court will rule on the Voting Rights Act today, and DOMA and Prop 8 on Thursday. Leading up to the court’s gay marriage decisions, PolicyMic will continue to feature powerful stories on gay rights. Today, check out an exclusive story from NFL punter Chris Kluwe. SCOTUSblog will be following today’s opinions live.
Senate to debate key immigration amendment. The Senate voted 67-27 yesterday to begin debate on a key immigration bill amendment which aims to ramp up border control. The amendment, which would almost double the number of agents patrolling the southern U.S. border, would make the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill much more palatable to Republicans. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later this week.
Court hands Berlusconi seven-year sentence. An Italian court has convicted former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of having sex with an underage prostitute and using his office to cover up the incident. The court sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in jail and banned him from politics for life. “I was really convinced that they would acquit me, because it was impossible to convict me based on the facts,” Berlusconi wrote on Facebook. He will not be jailed until he has a chance to appeal his case.
Facebook bug exposes six million users. A bug in the process Facebook uses to generate friend recommendations mistakenly exposed the contact information of about six million users, according to a report by the BBC. The bug made it so anyone who visited a user’s profile could see their contact info, not just those who had been cleared in the user’s privacy settings. Facebook says it has fixed the bug, but that it was “upset and embarrassed” the mistake happened in the first place.
Must Reads From PolicyMic – The 10 Biggest Lies You Were Told About Gay Men (Murray Lipp) – Here are 10 of the most problematic myths and stereotypes that play a role in the mischaracterization and dehumanization of gay men in the U.S.
[25 Mics, 21 Comments, 839 Shares]
Yes, Bill Clinton Signed DOMA — But He Shouldn’t Be Blamed For It (Sagar Jethani, @bluescreen) – DOMA was not a battle Bill Clinton wanted to fight. Those who criticize him for its passage forget the role the GOP played in passing the discriminatory law.
[14 Mics, 14 Comments, 15 Shares]
No, Obama is NOT Causing Another Great Depression (Zach Wahls, @ZachWahls) – Recently, two of my fellow PolicyMic pundits tried to convince you that Obama is following the same economic policies that made the Great Depression last for years. Here’s why they’re wrong.
[7 Mics, 24 Comments, 2 Shares]
6 Seconds Of Fame: What Makes a Good Vine? (Steven Goldstein, @GoldsteinNU) – The Vine video app leaves plenty of room for creativity. Here are a few rules for making the most of your six seconds of fame.
[5 Mics, 1 Comments, 9 Shares]
7 Most Outrageous Things Justice Scalia Has Said (Rick Galvez, @ejgalveziv) – Justice Antonin Scalia has made a reputation for himself as one of the most conservative judges the Supreme Court has ever seen. I’ll let you decide if he’s a straight-talker or a bigot after reading these seven quotes.
[2 Mics, 10 Comments, 3 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – Get the inside scoop on Edward Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong (NY Times).
What Mad Men’s season finale tells us about the difficulty of American authenticity (Salon).
Attention, unpaid interns: Stop suing your former employers! (Business Insider).
How minimalist workouts became all the rage (Well).
This Pakistani painter is making beautiful drone art (Mother Jones).
It turns out wine tasting is a junk science (Guardian).
NPR has collected the songs of Summer from the last 50 years (NPR).
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