Today’s edition of quick hits:
* At the intersection of climate and public health: “The Obama administration is turning to growing asthma attacks in children and families to make the case for its new rules on carbon pollution from power plants. When announcing the new standards, which call on power plants to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy stressed the number of cases of severe asthma affecting children across the U.S.”
* To understand the EPA’s newly announced climate policy, take a look at the new White Board video the agency released this morning. (I’ve never worked in government, and in all likelihood, I never will. But if I did, I’d be an enthusiastic White Board proponent.)
* VA scandal: “An influential veterans group Monday urged the Obama administration to tap individuals with combat experience to run the Veterans Affairs Department, part of its proposal for a ‘Marshall Plan’ to restore confidence at the beleaguered agency. ‘America needs a unique brand of hybrid leader, a proactive change agent who understands Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, technology, healthcare and Congress,’ said Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), during a Capitol Hill press conference.”
* Ukraine: “Hundreds of separatist fighters attacked a district border control headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on Monday in the largest battle against the country’s border protection forces since unrest in the east began. A government spokesman said the action appeared to be aimed at seizing control of the border with Russia to open it to forces and supplies.”
* Supreme Court: “The Supreme Court denied a New York Times reporter’s plea to intervene in a case in which the government has sought to compel the reporter to reveal whether one of his sources was a former CIA official under indictment for leaking classified information. The decision means that the reporter, James Risen, could be compelled to reveal his source or face jail time.”
* NSA: “The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents.”
* Though it would seem to take a healthy dose of chutzpah to complain about an American POW being freed, Republicans have come up with four main complaints. Paul Waldman did a nice job breaking them down, one by one.
* I’m intrigued by the recent commentary suggesting the position of White House press secretary should be permanently eliminated. I’m not endorsing the idea, necessarily, but it’s interesting.
* Really? “Although the National Rifle Association is refusing to comment on the recent mass murder in Isla Vista, California, the group has released a video complaining the media ‘race[s] to label anything with a gun as a shooting.’”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.