And now the most fascinating two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Questions are being raised about Hillary Clinton’s eligibility to serve as secretary of state. That is because of something known as the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution. Emoluments are salaries. Article 1, Section 6 says:
"No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time."
Easy for you to say.
Cabinet salaries have increased by $4,700/year during Clinton’s term. And the rule applies — even if she did not vote on those raises. In the past, presidents have gotten around the provision by requesting that appointees' salaries be lowered to the pre-raise levels — but there's no word still how the Obama administration will deal with the issue.
Meanwhile — the blogosphere is still abuzz over Mr. Obama’s eligibility to serve as president. The Supreme Court will decide Friday if it will hear a case challenging whether the president-elect is a natural-born citizen. One similar case has already been thrown out.
The United Nations is conceding that its forum on climate change will likely contribute to global warming. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change began Monday in Poland.
The French Press Agency reports the U.N. estimates the 11-day conference will pump more than 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the earth's atmosphere. That estimate was based on an expected turnout of 8,000 people — but, so far almost 11,000 people have registered to discuss ways to stop global warming at the forum. Polish authorities say they are hoping to take steps to offset emissions resulting from the conference but no decisions have been made yet.
Leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has launched another campaign to keep himself in power indefinitely. Last year Venezuelans rejected a constitutional reform referendum that would have ended the country's two-term limit. Well, Chavez has not been slowed down by that vote at all. Monday he told cheering supporters:
"Today, we begin the battle for the constitutional amendment. If we are going to do it, let's do it quickly. If we are going to do it, there's no tomorrow...Chavez is here to stay."
He said the proposed amendment should be ready sometime in February, so, his effort to retain power rolls on.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.