Slatest PM: John McCain Is a Hard Man To Please

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 27 2012 5:09 PM

Slatest PM: The John-McCain-Is-a-Hard-Man-To-Please Edition

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SO YOU'RE SAYING IT DIDN'T HELP: Associated Press: "U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told lawmakers Tuesday that her initial explanation of the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya was wrong, but her concession failed to mollify three Republican senators who signaled they would oppose her possible nomination to be secretary of state."

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REFRESHER: AtlanticWire: "All John McCain ever really said he wanted was for Susan Rice to come out and talk about her statements about the Benghazi attacks, and say that they were wrong. This afternoon, Rice appears to have done just that."

THE GOP TRIO: John McCain: "We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get concerning evidence that was leading up to the attack on the consulate. " Lindsey Graham: "Bottom line I'm more disturbed now than I was before that 16 September explanation." Kelly Ayotte: "I'm more troubled today."

WHAT'S REALLY AT STAKE: New York Times: "Their statements—coming after Ms. Rice’s conciliatory remarks during a meeting designed to mend fences with her three critics and smooth the way for her nomination as secretary of state if President Obama decides on her as the successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton—attested to the bitterness of the feud between the White House and Republicans over Benghazi. Mr. Graham and Ms. Ayotte said that knowing what they know now, they would place a hold on Ms. Rice’s nomination if Mr. Obama selected her."

BUT IT'S WORTH REMEMBERING: McCain and co. need 40 votes to filibuster a nomination, a number they don't appear to have despite their near non-stop efforts to keep the spotlight on Rice and her original account of what happened in Benghazi.

HAPPY TUESDAY and welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

WE TRUST YOU WON'T FORGET US: Associated Press: "The historic Powerball jackpot boosted to $500 million on Tuesday was all part of a plan lottery officials put in place early this year to build jackpots faster, drive sales and generate more money for states that run the game. Their plan appears to be working. Powerball tickets doubled in price in January to $2, and while the number of tickets sold initially dropped, sales revenue has increased by about 35 percent over 2011."

PLAN B: CBS News: "The morning-after pill should be prescribed in advance to teens just in case they one day need it, says the country's leading medical society of pediatricians. The American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday that emergency contraceptives like Plan B and Next Choice can be used to curb a U.S. teen pregnancy rate which, while declining over the past two decades, still surpasses that of other developed countries."

GET USED TO IT: Reuters: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that he is disappointed that there has been 'little progress' among Democratic and Republican lawmakers as they try to reach a deal to avoid the year-end 'fiscal cliff.' Reid, a Democrat, told reporters that not much headway has been made since congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama on Nov. 16."

TAHRIR SQUARE: Washington Post: "Egyptian opposition forces rallied across the country Tuesday in the biggest show of dissent against the country’s first democratically elected leader since he precipitated a political crisis last week with an apparent bid to assume near-absolute power. A loose coalition of rights groups, liberals and secularists poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other public spaces, urging President Mohamed Morsi to rescind a decree he issued Thursday that granted him the authority to legislate without judicial oversight. But many also used Tuesday’s mass protests as an opportunity to call for the downfall of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers, underscoring a complex political conflict in the newly democratic country that runs far deeper than the move that Morsi’s opponents have labeled a power grab."

APPLE MAPS: Bloomberg: "Apple Inc. (AAPL) has fired the manager responsible for its troubled mapping software, seeking to win back the trust of users disappointed after the program debuted in September, according to people familiar with the move. Richard Williamson, who oversaw the mapping team, was pushed out by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, said the people.... Critics have faulted Apple’s new map software for unreliable landmark searches, routes that get users lost and lack of public transit directions."

WOMEN IN COMBAT: Christian Science Monitor: The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Tuesday on behalf of four U.S. servicewomen to challenge a longstanding policy barring women from thousands of ground combat positions, citing the changing nature of warfare and fairness for career soldiers. The civil rights group argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Northern California that a military policy to bar women from combat roles on the basis of gender was unconstitutional."

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.