On This Day:
Today (All times US Eastern – Poland is six hours ahead)
While we were sleeping:
3:50 AM: The President arrived Warsaw, Poland (Local Time: 9:50 AM)
4:15 AM: The President and President Bronislaw Komorowski met with U.S. and Polish airmen (Local Time: 10:15 AM)
4:55 AM: Arrived at Belweder Palace (Local Time: 10:55 AM)
5:10 AM: Participated in a bilateral meeting with President Komorowski (Local Time: 11:10 AM)
6:30 AM: Held a joint press conference with President Komorowski (Local Time: 12:30 PM)
7:30 AM: Arrived at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister (Local Time: 1:30 PM)
7:40 AM: Participated in a bilateral meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (Local Time: 1:40 PM)
8:25 AM: The President and PM Tusk delivered statements to the press (Local Time: 2:25 PM)
9:05 AM: The President and President Bronislaw Komorowski greeted participants of the meeting with Central and Eastern European Leaders (Local Time: 3:05 PM)
9:15 AM: The President and President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland hosted a meeting with Central and Eastern European Leaders. (Local Time: 3:15 PM)
10:45 AM: The President joins the Central and Eastern European Leaders for a photo opportunity (Local Time: 4:45 PM)
1:30 PM: The President attends a Solidarity Dinner at Royal Castle, Warsaw (Local Time: 7:30 PM)
The Week Ahead – See Here
President Obama addresses US and Polish airmen next to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in front of a F-16 fighter jet in a hangar at Warsaw Chopin Airport
BBC: European Reassurance Initiative: Obama announces $1bn fund
President Barack Obama has announced plans for a $1bn (£600m) fund to increase US military deployments to Europe, during a visit to Poland.
Mr Obama, who will meet Nato leaders amid concerns over the Ukraine crisis, said the security of America’s European allies was “sacrosanct”.
… Speaking at a joint press conference in Warsaw with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Mr Obama warned Russia against provoking further tensions in Ukraine. He said Moscow should use its influence to call off separatists in Ukraine’s east.
Mr Obama reaffirmed the US commitment to Nato’s principle of collective defence, announcing plans for a $1bn European Reassurance Initiative. The programme, which will fund additional US military rotations to Europe, will need congressional approval.
President Obama, with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, center, talks with EPA staff members who worked on the power-plant emissions standards, in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 2 (Photo by Pete Souza)
ThinkProgress: 8 Things You Should Know About The Biggest Thing A President’s Ever Done On Climate Change
On Monday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed rule to limit the amount of carbon pollution that existing power plants can dump into the atmosphere. This is the most significant move President Obama has made to address the direct causes of climate change.
The Clean Air Act, passed by Congress in 1970 and amended in 1990, is finally getting to tackle carbon pollution from the nation’s 491 smoke-spewing coal power plants. Contrary to what fossil fuel advocates claim, though, it does not mean that EPA will be directly shutting down coal plants. Each state would have a broad menu of carbon-cutting options, including energy efficiency improvements, adding clean energy sources, implementing a carbon tax, or instituting or joining a cap-and-trade system.
By 2020, states will have to have drop their carbon emissions from existing power plants 25 percent from 2005 levels. By 2030, according to the proposed rule, those emissions will have to drop another 5 percent — to 30 percent — from the same base 2005 level.
Here are 8 things you should know about the new rule:
This is the most significant move any U.S. president has made to curtail carbon pollution in history.
Days like today are what it was all about. pic.twitter.com/8NRu5OcYwd
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) June 2, 2014
Greg Sargent: Shock poll: Even red staters want to save planet
Republicans are reacting gleefully today to the announcement of new EPA rules curbing carbon emissions at existing power plants, certain (as always) that anything they can portray as Obummer Job Crushing Energy-Tax Hiking Big Gummint can only help hasten Dems’ doom.
But a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that “a lopsided and bipartisan majority of Americans support federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions,” and not only that, “most are willing to stomach a higher energy bill to pay for it.”
Wait, but what about in red states, where the battle for the Senate will play out?
— Kennett Area Dems (@KennettDems) June 2, 2014
The People’s View: President Obama Sticks it to GOP Obstructionism and Revives Cap and Trade by Regulation
The EPA has announced a proposed rule that will for the first time ever target existing power plants – responsible for roughly a third of America’s greenhouse gas emissions – to cut their emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. This is a massive effort on the part of the Obama administration, and follows on the heels of the President’s weekend address on the same subject to Americans.
The plan will give states flexibility on exactly how they want to reduce emissions from power plants: whether through increased efficiency on the producer and/or user end, by switching all or parts of power plants to cleaner burning natural gas, using renewable and nuclear power (uh oh – I can already hear the screeching from the Professional Left), or… wait for it, wait for it, voluntary cap and trade programs!
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 2, 2014
Steve Benen: Obama admin unveils ambitious climate rules
If the White House were guided by nothing but political considerations, especially in an election year, it probably would have skipped a fight over climate change. Action on global warming is not high on voters’ list of top priorities, and congressional Republicans didn’t need another issue on which to turn their apoplexy nob to 11.
But with the climate crisis intensifying, it appears President Obama is putting policy above politics: his administration announced a proposal this morning that intends to cut carbon emissions by 30% before the year 2030. As Ned Resnikoff noted, if the policy is fully implemented, it has the potential to be “the most ambitious environmental initiative in U.S. history.”
WHY IS OBAMA TRYING TO DEPRIVE ME OF EMISSIONS? THEY’RE HOW I SMELL FREEDOM. #tcot
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) June 2, 2014
To those claiming new climate regulations will destroy the economy, here’s how past claims panned out. pic.twitter.com/h10THSnN1E
— Peter Gleick (@PeterGleick) June 1, 2014
Paul Waldman: The four GOP arguments against bringing back Bowe Bergdahl
Over the weekend the government announced that it had negotiated a deal for the release of Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan. In exchange, five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo will be transferred to Qatar, where their movements will be restricted for a year.
Republicans will now attempt to turn this into a liability for President Obama. As Michael Tomasky put it, this is “the right’s new Benghazi.” So it’s worth looking at their actual arguments. There are four of them, with varying levels of persuasiveness.
1) The first argument is, to put it bluntly, that Bergdahl didn’t deserve to be rescued. The problem here isn’t the facts that support this claim, it’s the conclusion. It’s true that Bergdahl wasn’t the model of a heroic, patriotic soldier. He didn’t get captured while saving his platoon in a firefight. He was disgruntled with the war. He walked off his base, and some of those with whom he served consider him a deserter. According to some accounts he thought he would walk all the way to India, which suggests someone who was not in his right mind.
But the question is, should the government conduct a character study on every American servicemember who gets taken prisoner, and seek the release only of those who are sufficiently virtuous? Do we leave no one behind, or do we leave some behind if they don’t pass the test?
Charles Pierce: The Vacant Soul Of John McCain
I firmly believe that, in some very prominent place in his mind, John McCain is in the second year of his second term as president of the United States. He certainly is president of John McCain. I don’t know the source of this delusion; in no way, is the guy a leader, either of his party or his nation. His only obvious followers are Senators Huckleberry Butchmeup from South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte, the Richelieu Of Rye…
Having already draped himself in a toga, McCain’s response to the Obama administration has been both petulant and imperious, a small boy commanding an army of butterflies. This is most recently illustrated in his response to the deal cut by the administration to arrange the release of Bowe Bergdahl from captivity.
The conservative chorus of opposition to the deal is a lovely harmonic convergence of complete hypocrisy and profound historical amnesia on the always delightful topic of “negotiating with terrorists.”….
Full post here
ThinkProgress: Why The Five Taliban Detainees Had To Be Released Soon, No Matter What
Less than forty-eight hours after securing the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo, Republicans in Congress and conservatives in media began attacking the deal. In doing so, they are refusing to accept the reality of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and the way wars end.
The United States is engaged in an armed conflict in Afghanistan against al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces authorized by Congress under the 2001 Authorizations to Use Military Force. It is remains controversial whether this armed conflict extends beyond Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan, but what is not in doubt is that of the enemy forces party to this conflict, the Taliban is confined to Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama recently announced that the combat role for the United States in the armed conflict in Afghanistan will end this year and all participation will completely cease by 2016.
When wars end, prisoners taken custody must be released.
PBO: We..get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that GOP/MSM: Unless POTUS is Black
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) June 3, 2014
Michael Tomasky: Bowe Bergdahl Is the Right’s New Benghazi
So let’s imagine that on Saturday night, the news had emerged not that Bowe Bergdahl was being freed but that he’d been murdered by his Taliban captors. What do you suppose we’d be hearing from Republican legislators? You know exactly what: Barack Obama is the weakest president ever, this is unconscionable….
The Republicans’ audacity here is a bit beyond the usual. Let’s face it: There is no question that if President George W. Bush or a President McCain or President Romney had secured Bergdahl’s release in exchange for five Taliban prisoners at Gitmo, Republicans would be defending the move all the way. That business about notifying Congress? They’d have a dozen excuses for it. We got our prisoner of war home, they’d all be saying. That’s what matters.
But Obama does it, and Bergdahl’s freedom isn’t what matters at all. It’s that we negotiated with terrorists. Well, yes. We’ve been negotiating with the Taliban for a long time now, trying to end the war. See, they’re the people leading the fighting on the other side. When you’re trying to end a war, that’s generally who you negotiate with.
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) June 3, 2014
Smartypants: Benghazi? What Benghazi?
Over the years I’ve watched as people criticized President Obama’s administration for being bad at the public relations game. And so today I’m having a little chuckle about that. Because at this point, he is SO controlling the agenda that the lunatics can’t figure out which head-exploding action to focus on.
ThinkProgress: Seven Big Cases The Supreme Court Will Decide In June That Could Change America
It’s Supreme Court month again. According to the Court’s official calendar, the final day of the Supreme Court’s current term is the last day of this month — which means that, barring extraordinary circumstances, we should know how the justices intend to resolve each of the issues currently pending before them by June 30.
Among the issues facing the justices are the president’s power to fill top jobs in the face of a recalcitrant Senate, a legal attack on public sector unions, a case questioning when police can search all the data that can be accessed on a person’s cell phone, and an attempt to give employers sweeping immunity from laws they object to on religious grounds. Here are some of the most important cases to be decided this month:
On This Day
Senator Obama and his wife Michelle at an election night rally at the Xcel Energy Center June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota
First Lady Michelle Obama gives the commencement address at the Washington Math Science Technical High School, June 3, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama visits with Former First Lady Nancy Reagan at the White House on June 3, 2009 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)
President Obama arrives to speak to workers at Chrysler Group Toledo Supplier Park in Toledo, Ohio June 3, 2011.
A young boy doesn’t let go of President Obama after he greeted residents across the street from Fred’s Pro Hardware in Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011
President Obama looks over gardening gloves for first lady Michelle Obama during an unannounced visit to Fred’s Pro Hardware in Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011
Pete Souza: “As part of their daily end-of-the-day wrap, the President and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough walk on the South Lawn of the White House. They usually walk on the South Drive but on this day they ventured to this corner of the 18-acre grounds.” June 3, 2013
Grr, ran out of time again – will catch up (ish) through the day. MoooOOOooorning everyone!