Open mouth, insert foot. President Barack Obama is catching flack for calling California Attorney General Kamala Harris “by far the best looking attorney general in the country.” Obama made his comments Thursday during a fundraiser attended by Harris and other supporters. He also called her “brilliant,” “dedicated,” and “tough,” all descriptions of her job performance. When the audience laughed at Obama’s reference to Harris’ looks, he said, “It’s true. Come on. And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.” Opinion writers from liberal bastions Salon and the Daily Beast took the president to task, calling the comments sexist and stupid.
Evacuation warning. North Korea continues to make world leaders nervous with talk of war. On Friday, North Korean officials warned foreign dignitaries they could not guarantee their safety in the event of a conflict and advised them to evacuate embassies in Pyongyang. The British ambassador said he has no immediate plans to leave, but is evaluating his options. Russian dignitaries also voiced concern but said they were not organizing an evacuation. On Thursday, North Korea moved a missile to its east coast. In response, South Korea deployed two warships with missile defense systems to both the peninsula’s coasts.
Political aspirations. Scott Brown, the Republican senator who won the late Edward Kennedy’s Massachusetts seat in a surprise victory and then lost it in November to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, is fueling rumors he might run for office in New Hampshire. Brown owns a home in the state and told reporters after a recent speaking engagement there he wouldn’t rule out any possibilities for his political future. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, is up for reelection next year, and her seat could be the most likely target for Brown. Many of his supporters were disappointed Brown didn’t join the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year.
Smoke away. A slim majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll released today by the Pew Research Center. Pollsters found 52 percent of Americans support decriminalizing the drug, while 46 percent believe it should remain illegal. This is the first time in more than four decades of polling that a majority has voiced support for marijuana use. A large majority of respondents—72 percent—say the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana use cost more than they’re worth. Researchers attribute the change in attitude to the dwindling belief that pot is a gateway drug that leads to use of more dangerous substances.