The Ledes

Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Bloomberg News: "U.S. stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 poised for its first four-day decline of the year, as European shares tumbled on speculation central-bank stimulus will fail to revive the euro-area economy."

Hill: "The White House said Wednesday it will not impose travel restrictions or introduce new airport screenings to prevent additional cases of Ebola from entering the United States. Spokesman Josh Earnest said that current anti-Ebola measures, which include screenings in West African airports and observation of passengers in the United States, will be sufficient to prevent the 'wide spread' of the virus." ...

... AP: "A Dallas emergency room sent a man with Ebola home last week, even though he told a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, and officials at the hospital are considering if they would have acted differently had the entire medical staff been aware."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

Jacksonville Times-Union: A Jacksonville jury today found Michael Dunn guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. "Under Florida law Dunn must be sentenced to prison for life with no possibility of parole for the murder of Davis. He also faces a minimum of 60 years for the attempted murders of Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes and Tevin Thompson, friends of Davis who were in the Dodge Durango with Davis when he died.... A previous jury deadlocked on his guilt in Davis’ death in February while convicting him of the second-degree attempted murders of Brunson, Stornes and Thompson."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, September 17: "Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New York Times, September 1: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study [financed by the N.I.H.] shows."

White House Live Video
October 2

2:15 pm ET: President Obama speaks about the economy

6:15 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at a J.F.K. Jr. forum (audio only)

8:00 pm ET: President Obama speaks at a Congressional Hispanic Causus event

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

Think Progress: "Facebook officially apologized Wednesday for enforcing its 'real name' policy for users against drag queens and other members of the LGBT community. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, acknowledged that the policy has been a 'painful' experience for the many individuals whose profiles were suspended and promised to do better."

CW: Glad to see I'm not the only person who hates Windows 8. I thought it was just my old-lady-ness setting in.

Gabrielle Bluestone of Gawker: "The first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Inherent Vice dropped today and, as expected, it's a madcap psychedelic Southern California love song that may or may not feature an appearance by elusive author Thomas Pynchon.... Anderson declined to answer directly in a recent interview with the New York Times, but [actor Josh] Brolin confirmed the notoriously reclusive author will appear in the film, telling the reporter, 'I don't think anybody knew... He came on as the kind of mercurial iconoclast he is. He stayed in the corner.'"

Here's a voiceover Pynchon did in 2009 promoting the novel Inherent Vice:


Whatever Happened to Piers Morgan? Guardian: "Piers Morgan, the former CNN talkshow host, has been appointed editor-at-large of Mail Online’s US operation. The outspoken New York-based British journalist, who parted company with CNN in early September, six months after his primetime talkshow was axed, will write for the Daily Mail’s US website several times a week, according to a Mail Online story published on Tuesday."

CW: You won't likely be hearing from Piers here. I've never found a reason to cite a Daily Mail story.

Los Angeles Times: "George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are married, having said their vows Saturday evening in Venice, Italy." ...

... OR, as the Business Women Media lede reads, "Amal Alamuddin, a 36 year old London-based dual-qualified English barrister and New York litigation attorney who has long been a high-profile figure in international refugee and human rights law has gone against the trend for professional women in her field and married… an actor."

CW: Here's some cheery news. The MacArthur Foundation has named the newest recipients of its "genius" grants. I hope none of them is somebody you personally dislike (thus keeping it cheery). The AP article linked includes a slide show with mini-profiles of each grant recipient.

** CW: The best, most provocative piece of writing in the "news" today is A. O. Scott's piece in the New York Times Magazine on "The Death of Adulthood in American Culture." If you don't watch a lot of TV & never see stupid movies, you will struggle with Scott's exemplary references. You may not accept all of his premises, & I think he falls short on defining "adulthood" (though maybe, like pornography, we're supposed to recognize it when we see it.). ...

... Adam Sternbergh responds in New York.

Jeff Weiss, in the New York Times, profiles comedian Bill Maher, who is in the midst of a schtick aimed to defeat the U.S.'s worst Congressperson. You would be a good idea to read Weiss's piece with A. O. Scott's essay in mind. Maher (& even Weiss, who -- in ticking off "bad things" about Maher -- never mentions Maher's offensive attitudes about women) is a fine example of Scott's thesis.

Guardian: "Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child, the royal family said on Monday morning. The announcement was made from Clarence House on Twitter.... The Duchess of Cornwall is suffering from acute morning sickness, as she did with her first pregnancy, and is being treated by doctors at her apartments in Kensington Palace."

Washington Post: "After less than a year at the top of Politico’s masthead, veteran New York Times editor Rick Berke has resigned as the publication’s executive editor.... Friction had been on display in the newsroom almost from the beginning of his tenure. Berke, according to several current and former Politico employees, tried to impose some of the values of the world he came from — where multiple editors might weigh in, demand multiple drafts, and shape bigger, more ambitious stories — on Politico’s fast-moving, reporter-driven newsroom."

 

Jimmy Fallon & Maroon 5 singer & Voice judge Adam Levine stage a "musical impressions-off." This clip, from a show that aired this week (September 2), already has more than 8MM hits:

New York Times: "The jilted lover of President François Hollande of France has written a tell-all book about her days as France’s onetime unofficial first lady and of her version of events that led the couple to separate after the president was exposed as having an affair by a French gossip magazine. The book by Valérie Trierweiler, 49, who separated from Mr. Hollande in January, describes how news of the affair pushed her to the edge. She acknowledges that she 'cracked' and attempted suicide by trying to overdose on sleeping pills when she learned of Mr. Hollande’s affair with an actress, Julie Gayet.... The book drew a barrage of criticism for revealing secrets about the president, whose office embodies the nation and is rarefied like that of a monarch."

Washington Post: "Apple said that its iCloud systems have not been breached Tuesday and that thieves stole celebrity photos from Apple accounts by targeting individuals, rather than by breaking into the company's infrastructure."

Gabrielle Bluestone of Gawker claims she has compiled "everything we know about the alleged celeb nude 'trading ring' & leak." CW: I'll take her word for it, though I should warn you her post does not include any nude pix. My advice: If you wanna be in pictures, but you don't want photos of your naked self published on celebrity Websites, don't upload the pictures onto the Internets. There be hackers. 

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California

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Meg Whitman, AG Jerry Brown, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina.

Politico, December 4: "Republican David Harmer has finally conceded to California Rep. Jerry McNerney, more than a month following the election and a week after the Associated Press called the race."

AP, November 24: "Representative Jerry McNerney, a Democrat, has been re-elected to a third term in a Northern California Congressional district, fending off a challenge from David Harmer. Mr. McNerney held a lead of nearly 2,500 votes on Wednesday with less than 1,900 ballots left to be counted. His victory means no California Congressional seat changed party hands as Republicans took back the House of Representatives on Nov. 2."

The Los Angeles Times projects that California Democrat AG Jerry Brown, the former governor, will win the governorship.

Los Angeles Times: "California voters appear to have rejected Prop. 19, an effort to legalize marijuana and allow local governments to tax the sale of the drug."

NBC News projects that California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer will retain her Senate seat.

Mean Girl. Bay Citizen: "Meg Whitman ... has largely succeeded in presenting herself as a folksy, common-sense businessperson who will bring Silicon Valley smarts to Sacramento.... But that image ... is very much at odds with the volatile personality that many eBay employees came to know during her decade-long tenure at the company. Interviews with numerous former employees paint a picture of a hot-tempered chief executive given to profanity-filled tirades and imperious behavior."

New York Times, October 28: "Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for Senate in California, was back on the campaign trail Thursday after being hospitalized."

Seema Mehta & Michael Mishak of the Los Angeles Times, October 27: "As an audience of 14,000 women roared their approval, gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown were asked pointedly on Tuesday to take down the negative advertisements.... Brown agreed to the proposal — made by NBC journalist Matt Lauer, who was moderating the appearance of the two and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the annual Women's Conference in Long Beach — if Whitman would also assent. Whitman declined, and the audience booed."

A Republican Candidate Sends a Stinkbomb. Jeremy Jacobs of the National Journal: "Republican Van Tran, the upstart challenger to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), is betting on voters sniffing out his opponent's struggles -- literally. Tran is sending out a scratch-and-sniff direct mail piece attacking Sanchez that features a hideous odor emanating from it."

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman endorses her opponent, former California Governor Jerry Brown:

New York Times: "Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who is the Republican nominee for the Senate from California, was hospitalized Tuesday in Los Angeles with an infection stemming from reconstructive breast surgery she had in July, her campaign said."

Carly Fiorina can't answer what she would cut to balance the budget. Chris Wallace of Fox "News" actually does his job here:

New York Times: "What if you held a voter turnout rally and the top candidates on the ballot didn’t show up? Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, and Sarah Palin, arguably the biggest draw in the Republican Party, found themselves in that position here in Orange County on Saturday night in the first of two high-profile national rallies they are doing before Election Day. The next one is in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.

Los Angeles Times, October 16: "Former President Clinton campaigned across Southern California on Friday, urging Democrats to shake off their moribund mind-set and head to the polls so the Obama administration can finish the job it started. Clinton told thousands of listeners at an evening rally at UCLA that they bear responsibility for the nation's future." ...

... New York Times: "Almost two decades after they tussled for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown campaigned together on Friday, when the former president stumped for Mr. Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor in California, and Gavin Newsom, the candidate for lieutenant governor.

Here's some raw footage from the UCLA Daily Bruin of President Clinton's speech yesterday:

     The Daily Bruin has a few more clips of the rally here.

Los Angeles Times, October 15: AG Eric Holder "... said the Obama administration would 'vigorously enforce' drug laws against people who grow, distribute or sell marijuana for recreational use even if California voters pass a measure to legalize it." CW: trying to influence an election, Mr. Holder?

Scott Woolley of Fortune: why Carly Fiorina never mentions the job that gave her name recognition: head of Lucent Technology. Under Fiorina, they gambled big, & shortly after she moved to Hewlitt-Packard, Lucent went under because of huge, unwise vendor loans made on Fiorina's watch. But Fiorina made out like a bandit.

Los Angeles Times: "In a blistering final debate, Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown apologized to his Republican counterpart Meg Whitman on Tuesday for a slur directed at her by an associate, an apology that Whitman did not explicitly accept as she cast his campaign as insulting to all Californians. Brown continued to insist that Whitman was seeking office to enrich wealthy Californians such as herself, while she derided Brown as a 'same old same old' politician who helped lead California into its present straits...." C-SPAN has video of the full debate.

Sacramento Bee, October 12: "Republican Meg Whitman poured another $20 million into her campaign tonight, bringing her total investment in her gubernatorial bid to more than $140 million."

Jane Lorber of the New York Times: "Brave New Films, the documentary film company behind a series of damaging anti-McCain viral videos during the 2008 presidential campaign, has put its sights on Carly Fiorina, the Republican candidate for Senate in California. In the latest of three videos attacking Ms. Fiorina..., several former Hewlett-Packard employees who were laid off during Ms. Fiorina’s tenure as chief executive ... describe her as ruthless and extravagant." (See the earlier videos at the link.):

CW: Sorry, but I don't consider this a big fucking deal. New York Times: "The Los Angeles Times posted a muddy audio recording on Thursday night in which a campaign aide [of California AG Jerry Brown] is heard calling his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, a 'whore.' The Brown campaign apologized soon after, and the political fallout from the comment — which Ms. Whitman’s camp called 'an appalling and unforgivable smear' — is uncertain." The gist of the New York Times story is that the gaffe typical Jerry. The L.A. Times story is here, where you can listen to the audio, which follows the article. ...

     ... Update: San Jose Mercury News: "The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown apologized Thursday after one of his aides was overheard referring to Republican rival Meg Whitman as a 'whore' in a taped telephone message."

Los Angeles Times, October 6: "Reports show ... Republican [Meg Whitman] has received more money from outside donors than has her Democratic rival, Jerry Brown, whom she paints as beholden to unions.

More Domestic Dirt. Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle: Jill Armstrong, who worked as a nanny for Meg Whitman & her husband while undocumented immigrant Nicandra Diaz Santillan was employed as the Whitmans' maid, says she believes Diaz Santillan's story. Although Armstrong quit working for Whitman after two months, she says she had trouble collecting the salary she had earned. ...

... Meanwhile, Seema Mehta & Carla Hall of the Los Angeles Times report that Diaz Santillan is "filing a claim with the state seeking unpaid wages and attorney Gloria Allred [is] denying claims that her involvement has been funded by Whitman's political enemies.... Diaz Santillan ... said she chose to come forward to shed light on the plight of undocumented workers who live in the 'shadows.'"

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorses Democrat Jerry Brown for governor. The editors aren't that crazy about Brown, but they like Whitman way less: "Republican Meg Whitman, utterly devoid of background or experience in state government or policymaking, rarely deigning to cast a vote, moves toward the Nov. 2 election on the power of millions of dollars of personal wealth." ...

... The Los Angeles Times Board also opposes Proposition 19, which provides for the legalization of marijuana. The Board says the proposition "is poorly thought out, badly crafted and replete with loopholes and contradictions."

Immigration Attorney Greg Siskind: "TMZ has posted the Whitman nanny's job application and the employee's I-9. It's not clear whether Whitman or the agency handled the I-9 and that's because the form itself is not signed and dated by the employer or its agent as required by law. The form also doesn't have a social security number under the List C documentation, another violation. Because the form is not signed or dated by the employer, it is far from clear that the employer even examined the documents presented.... Abercrombie & Fitch got a $1 million fine this week for violations of just this sort." Includes copies of documentation. Via Firedoglake.

Don't run for governor if you can't stand up on your own two feet and say, 'Hey I made a mistake, I'm sorry, let's go on from here.' You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions but you don't take accountability. -- Jerry Brown, in a debate with Meg Whitman

Los Angeles Times, October 2: "Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown tangled in a blistering dispute Saturday over Whitman's employment of an illegal immigrant housekeeper as they met for the campaign's first and only Spanish-language debate." New York Times story here.

Adam Nagourney of the New York Times: "Meg Whitman has had trouble mastering the state’s vast and convoluted electoral landscape despite spending $119 million of her own money on the race."

"Meet the Real Meg Whitman." Jerry Brown ad:

Here's some fun reported by Elise Foley of the Washington Independent: "California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman lost the support — and then some — of conservative group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC after allegations surfaced that she employed an undocumented housekeeper for nine years. But the pro-enforcement group isn’t just calling for her to lose the election: They want her arrested."

Michael Crowley of Time: "Meg Whitman says she's running for governor of California to bring a sense of fiscal responsibility to Sacramento. But Whitman's own campaign ... has already pumped about $120 million of her estimated $1.3 billion personal fortune into the race. Yet ... she hasn't purchased much of anything yet."

AP, September 29: "California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman employed an illegal immigrant Mexican housekeeper for years even though the federal government alerted her in 2003 to the maid's dubious legal status, the worker and her attorney claimed Wednesday.... Whitman -- who on the campaign trail has called for tougher sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers -- said ... she was not aware the housekeeper ... was in the U.S. illegally." Gloria Allred, the maid's attorney, said, "Whitman was aware of her status." ...

This is just classic smear politics. Jerry Brown is a career politician; it’s what they do. -- Meg Whitman

     ... Los Angeles Times Update, September 30: without producing any evidence, "Whitman accused the Brown campaign of circulating the matter to reporters...." Politico story here; with video.

Los Angeles Times, September 29: "In a blustery and vigorous first debate, gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown dueled Tuesday over their differing solutions to California's dire problems, with Whitman slighting Brown as a tool of labor unions and Brown excoriating her as a billionaire running for office to benefit the rich."

Cathleen Decker of the Los Angeles Times, September 26: In the California gubernatorial race, Democrat Jerry Brown leads Republican Meg Whitman 49%-44% in an L.A. Times/U.S.C. poll. In the Senate race, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leads Republican nominee Carly Fiorina 51%-43%.

Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times, September 19: Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina toes the tea party line.

Michael Mishak of the Los Angeles Times, September 18: experts aren't buying into Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's "economic plan."

AP, September 16: "Former eBay executive Meg Whitman is defending $119 million in contributions she has made to her campaign for California governor — a personal spending rate that has now surpassed that of any other political candidate in American history."

New York Times, September 14: "President Bill Clinton endorsed his long-ago rival Jerry Brown for governor of California, brushing aside Mr. Brown’s recent snippy joke about the Monica Lewinsky scandal."

After Meg Whitman runs this ad, which includes a 1992 clip of Bill Clinton falsely accusing Jerry Brown of raising California taxes when he was governor ...

... Jerry Brown responds:

     ... Update: Brown apologizes to President Clinton, bashes Whitman. His statement is here.

PolitiCal, August 24: After "an appeal by President Obama to his supporters seeking help for Jerry Brown’s candidacy..., so many people clicked the link that Brown’s website crashed."

Los Angeles Times, August 11: "Meg Whitman's economic policies are based on a flawed understanding of the challenges California faces, and the Republican gubernatorial nominee's proposals would make the state's troubles worse, according to an open letter to Californians signed by a group of mostly Democratic economists from throughout the state."

The Highest Bidder. Sacramento Bee: "Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman spent a record-shattering $99.7 million in campaign funds through June 30, according to campaign finance records filed today. Whitman, who faced a June 8 primary election challenge..., has spent far more than Democratic rival Jerry Brown, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Brown's gubernatorial campaign spent $633,205 through June 30.

Kevin O'Leary of Time: California nurses versus Queen Meg Whitman. Whitman has promised to "reform" compensation & pension packages if elected governor. Here's a video of the nurses' rally at Whitman's home on July 16:

Los Angeles Times, July 18: billionaire Whitman's opponent, Democratic AG Jerry Brown, who doesn't have her megabucks to run ads, must rely on the free press to remain in the spotlight.

$$$$$$$ Talks. Michael Luo of the New York Times, July 12: California billionaire & Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman stole a primary rival's potential political consultant by buying into (or creating) his nascent production company. Subtitle: Shock! Political consultant goes for the money.

AP: "Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is kicking off her election campaign ... by criticizing the $862 billion federal stimulus package as doing little for private businesses. Yet ... Hewlett-Packard Co., where Fiorina was chief executive..., has been paid $22.5 million so far in stimulus money distributed to cities, school districts, hospitals and universities" which purchased HP products. Also, in a speech made during a visit to a company that benefited from the stimulus package, Fiorina said the stimulus package hadn't worked.

In this 30-second spot, Democrats hit Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman for not bothering to vote for 28 years:

Carly Fiorina, Hot Mic, Take 2. (If you missed Take 1, see it first further downn the page:

     ... Many thanks to Strategic Productions, LLC for so perfecting channeling the Real Fiorina, and a special thanks to Brooklyn Mutt, who may have been the first to embed the video.

When Push Comes to Shove. New York Times: in a 2007 incident, Meg Whitman, now California's Republican nominee for governor but then e-Bay CEO, shoved an employee, Young Mi Kim, in the presence of several witnesses. The company reportedly paid Ms. Kim about $200,000, & she returned to work for e-Bay after accepting the settlement.

Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times: the Tea Party had little influence on California primary races. Tea Partiers don't like Fiorina & Whitman so they won't work for Republican nominees.

Fiorina: "I'm Sorry I Got Caught Being My Nasty, Superficial Self." Fox "News": "California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Sunday she regrets being caught on tape making fun of Sen. Barbara Boxer's hair, but didn't say whether she apologized to the Democratic incumbent." Here's the video, via Politico:

Open Mic. CNN catches California Republican candidate for Senate Carly Fiorina making catty remarks about her opponent Barbara Boxer, fellow Republican Meg Whitman & -- oh, no! -- Fox "News" Sean Hannity: CW: Fiorina comes across as having the depth & personality of the nasty girls in my 7th grade class:

With Candidates Like These.... AP: "Former NFL player Damon Dunn has won the Republican nomination for California secretary of state. Dunn defeated Orange County lawyer [& queen of the "birthers"] Orly Taitz in Tuesday's primary, and will face incumbent Democrat Debra Bowen in the general election in November. Dunn is a self-described 'recovering nonvoter' who hadn't cast a ballot in an election until 2009."

Let the General Election Begin. Washington Post: moving in from the right, Fiorina jabs the Boxer, Boxer hits back.

AP: "Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has won California's GOP primary for U.S. Senate, setting up a general election battle this fall with three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer."

AP: "In California, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman won the Republican nomination for governor, and another businesswoman, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, led in her bid to become her party's candidate for the Senate." AG & former Gov. Jerry Brown won the Democratic nomination for governor.