Politics At Lunch: What You Need To Know At Mid-Day

syria army tanks

Photo: Associated Press

1. Congressmen left and right are uniting to sue President Barack Obama, arguing that he has illegally continued U.S. military operations in Libya without seeking congressional approval, Politico reports. The White House will release later today a report to Congress defending the President’s conduct of the Libya campaign, Politico reports.2. Michael Bloomberg’s bet on what will finally cause America’s decline? Immigration. In a speech today to the Council on Foreign Relations, the mayor says the U.S. risks “national suicide” unless it adopts an immigration policy more welcoming “to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American dream,” Politico reports. He said immigration is one issue on which Congress can actually work across partisan lines to get something done—despite repeated failed attempts in recent years to do exactly that.

3. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that former 9th Circuit Judge Vaughn Walker of California did not stand to benefit from his August 2010 decision declaring the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, despite Walker’s 10-year relationship with another man. Supporters of the marriage ban seized on Walker’s sexual orientation and long-term relationship to claim the judge should have recused himself from the case.

4. Meanwhile, the same-sex marriage bill creeping its way through the New York state legislature got a boost yesterday as a second Republican senator expressed his support. Proponents of the bill are now one vote short of the 32 they need for it to pass, the New York Times reports.

5. As Greek police and protestors violently clashed outside Parliament today, the Prime Minister offered to create a unity government with the opposition in order to pass austerity measures demanded by the international community, the BBC reports. Prime Minister George Papandreou is facing a revolt in his own party over the proposed measures. Markets fell early this morning over fears that the Greek crisis might escalate and spread.

6. The Syrian army is continuing its crackdown through the remote northwest, after destroying Jisr al-Shughur causing thousands to flee for the Turkish border. The AP reports that rumour of the army’s impending arrival has residents of Maaret al-Numan “running for their lives.” The town last made news in 1098 when Crusaders invaded and cannibalised many of its 20,000 inhabitants.


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