Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the actions his administration is taking to spur competition in the airline industry":

The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: (August 2): "Federal health authorities on Monday urged pregnant women not to visit a South Florida neighborhood where new cases of the Zika virus have emerged, the first time officials have warned against travel to part of the continental United States due to the outbreak of an infectious disease.” -- CW

Hill: Actor Bill Murray "spoke with President Obama, who congratulated him for winning this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a White House official said. Asked by reporters in the Oval Office if he met with Murray, Obama said 'absolutely,' but didn’t reveal what else they discussed."

Politico's Late Nite Jokes:

New York Times: "The veteran television personality Jane Pauley will replace Charles Osgood as the anchor of the highly rated CBS show 'Sunday Morning.' Mr. Osgood, who is retiring, announced the news on his last show on Sunday. Ms. Pauley’s first day in the role will be Oct. 9, and she will become only the third anchor of the show, which started in 1979." -- CW 

New York Times: "Modern humans evolved in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. But how did our species go on to populate the rest of the globe?.... In a series of extraordinary genetic analyses published on Wednesday, researchers believe they have found an answer. In the journal Nature, three separate teams of geneticists survey DNA collected from cultures around the globe, many for the first time, and conclude that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.... All non-Africans are closely related to one another, geneticists found, and they all branch from a family tree rooted in Africa.... There are also clues that at least some modern humans may have departed Africa well before 50,000 years ago, perhaps part of an earlier wave of migration." -- CW ...

... CW Note to White Racists: You, too, are black. It's way past time to give up your quest for "racial purity"; it's genetically impossible. This, BTW, is something non-ignoramuses have known for a couple of decades. No wonder you hate science.


The Los Angeles Times has extensive coverage of the Emmy Awards here.

The video below will most likely be taken down for copyright infringement, so watch it while you can. It's pretty funny. Here's a WashPo report on Jeb!'s cameo on the opening bit for the Emmy Awards. Also, ABC may put up a video of it here, but they have nothing at all up on the awards ceremony as of 8:30 am ET, Monday, Sept. 19.

Chris Welch of the Verge: "Twitter is about to make a big change to the way that tweets work.... Beginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform's 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages."

You'll want to supersize this one:


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, unsuccessful in his bid to become Donald Trump's running mate, has reimagined himself as a celebrity, instead. He'll appear this season on "Dancing with the 'Stars,'" competing against other fabulous celebrities like Ryan Lochte, unless Lochte is unavoidably detained in a Brazilian jail. (Here's a link to Perry's veepstakes proffer. Of course Trump ultimately rejected Perry, but promised to make him head of some agency or department Perry probably can't remember.) CW: As always, we concentrate on the serious, important news because politics ain't funny.

...Washington Post: Charles Osgood, who is 83 years old, announced Sunday, August 28, that he was retiring as host of the long-running CBS show "Sunday Morning." "He will stay on through Sept. 25. Osgood has been the face of the weekly program since 1994, when he took it over from its first host, Charles Kuralt." -- CW 

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The Commentariat -- May 20, 2014

Ben Protess & Jessica Silver-Greenberg of the New York Times: "Credit Suisse has done what no other bank of its size and significance has done in over two decades: plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing. In a sign that banking giants are no longer immune from criminal charges, despite concerns that financial institutions have grown so large and interconnected that they are too big to jail, federal prosecutors demanded that Credit Suisse's parent company plead guilty to helping thousands of American account holders hide their wealth."

Lena Sun of the Washington Post: "Three years after the CIA used an immunization survey as a cover in its hunt for Osama bin Laden, the White House has promised that the Central Intelligence Agency will never again use a vaccination campaign in its operations, an official said Monday.Responding to a letter from the deans of 12 U.S. public health schools, Lisa Monaco, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, informed them last week that the CIA will no longer conduct such campaigns, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said."

Keith Bradsher of the New York Times: "The Chinese government responded furiously [to a U.S. DOJ indictment] on Tuesday, calling in the newly installed American ambassador, Max Baucus, to protest the release of the indictment, which was accompanied by F.B.I. 'wanted' posters of Chinese soldiers in uniform. The Chinese foreign ministry and defense ministry vehemently denied any wrongdoing while accusing the United States of engaging in extensive intelligence gathering of its own."

Maya Rhodan of Time: "Civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis said Monday he would not support President Obama's controversial choice for district judge in his state. In a statement issued Monday, Lewis said he opposed the nomination to the federal bench of Michael Boggs, who as a state lawmaker voted to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and to keep the Confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag. His record, said Lewis, is 'in direct opposition to everything I have stood for during my career.' ... The Congressional Black Caucus opposes his confirmation, as does Senate majority leader Harry Reid. Lewis, however, had been expected to support the President's nomination."

In a Fox "News" opinion piece, hilarious for its braggadocio & run-on cliches ("elite salons of Washington," "Obamacrats," "the country that won two world wars and put a man on the moon," etc.) Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) asserts that "... based on my decades of experience, the idea that ObamaCare cannot be repealed defies both logic and real world justification...."

Beyond the Beltway

Jessica Glenza of the Guardian: "A small-town New England police commissioner, who came under fire after he was heard using the N-word to describe Barack Obama, has resigned. Robert Copeland, 82, of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, became the subject of a town meeting and dedicated Facebook page after he was heard describing the US president as a 'fucking nigger' at a local restaurant in March.Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who owns a home in the area, called Copeland's remarks a 'vile epithet' that have, 'no place in our community,' the Boston Herald reported. 'He should apologize and resign,' Romney said." Thanks to James S. for the link. ...

... CW: Copeland should have consulted Mitt's 2012 running mate, who could have told him the proper term is "urban" person or "inner city" man. Or Mitt's opponent Rick Santorum, who would advise the more descriptive term "blah person." Mitt himself would have cast a larger net & wrapped Obama into the 47 percent.

Jeff Mapes of the Oregonian: "Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages was struck down Monday by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, who ruled that the prohibition violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. Jubilant couples who anticipated a favorable decision from the judge began the rush to officially wed at locations around the state. McShane ordered that his ruling take immediate effect.... Deanna Geiger and Janine Nelson, two of the plaintiffs in the case, were the first couple to marry in Multnomah County following the ruling.... Unlike in the other states -- Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas -- there was no one with the immediate standing to appeal the decision."

These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. -- Florida state Rep. Charles Van Zant (R), illuminating a previously-undisclosed effect of the Common Core curriculum

Perhaps Geiger & Nelson [see Oregonian story above] were Common-Cored into their 'lifestyle.' Also, I'm wondering how homosexual they are. A little homosexual? Or super-duper homosexual? Are they as homosexual as they can possibly be? -- Constant Weader

Brady McCombs of the AP: "A federal judge on Monday ordered Utah officials to recognize more than 1,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency stay. If the rulings stands after a 21-day hold the judge placed on it, the state would be required to lift its freeze on benefits requested by gay couples."

Annals of Journalism, Ctd.

Punch & Jilly. Apparently immune to irony, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., has chosen Vanity Fair as the venue to defend his vanity talk about how awful the press has been in reporting his firing of Jill Abramson. ...

... Jonathan Chait: "The Jill Abramson story completely reversed this weekend." ...

... CW: Contributor MAG makes the point, via NPR's Ira Glass, that "maybe we all shouldn't care" about Abramson's firing. Personally, I'm not a fan of Abramson's, partly because she more-or-less fired me from my nonpaying "job" as op-ed page commenter. But when a media outlet is your main source for news, it's helpful to know the biases that enter into management decisions on what passes for news. While some publishers take a hands-off approach even to the opinion pages, Pinch makes the hiring & firing decisions there -- which explains the mediocrity of most of the columnists. That he sucks as a manager explains why the Times is still playing catch-up on it digital edition. And his low opinion of "teenagers and the unemployed" partly explains why the paper went to all-subscription. If you can't afford the Times online, you aren't good enough to read it. That mindset -- "all the news that's fit for my sort of people to read" -- should inform your reading. Yes, you can get a great deal from the Times if you read it in Ira Glass-style ignorance, but you won't know what you're missing, & you won't be alert to the underpainting that may shade the story. P.S. Thanks to Jessica Glenza of the Guardian for "fucking nigger."

Congressional Races

Chris Good of ABC News: "Today is the big one, the Super Tuesday of the primary season, with six states holding primaries across the country, including Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon,and Pennsylvania." ...

... Cameron Joseph of the Hill: "The GOP establishment is poised for a good Tuesday evening as it faces its biggest primary night yet. With six states set to vote, business-friendly Republicans are expected to defeat conservative challengers in primaries in Kentucky, Georgia, Idaho and Oregon, giving national GOP favorites a slew of victories over social and fiscal hard-liners." ...

... Alex Altman of Time: "Money talks in elections. And the GOP's grandees are spending lots of it. A massive fundraising push is the biggest factor in the early success of the Establishment's primary campaign, which aims to prop up vulnerable incumbents and defeat volatile insurgents who might jeopardize the party's chances in November."

Alexandra Jaffe of the Hill: "Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) legal team apparently held onto information concerning a man's taping of the senator's bedridden wife for as many as two weeks before turning it over to the police." ...

... Therese Apel of the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion-Ledger: "A representative of the Madison Police Department said there are other individuals in the case that they'd like to talk to 'who might have been part of a conspiracy.' At this point, police won't comment further, citing the ongoing investigation."

Could Be the Worst Campaign Video of the Year. BUT Ed Kilgore loves it: "... my new favorite GOP congressional candidate anywhere. His name is Brian Slowinski, and he's running to succeed Rep. Paul Broun [R-Ga.] with a campaign message totally in the spirit of the incumbent. Gaze in awe at this video":

News Ledes

The Washington Post has live updates of today's primary election results.

New York Times: "Arthur Gelb, who by sheer force of personality was a dominant figure at The New York Times for decades, lifting its metropolitan and arts coverage to new heights and helping to shape the paper in its modern era, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 90."

BBC News: "The Thai military has imposed martial law amid a political crisis "to preserve law and order", but says the surprise move is not a coup. In response, the acting prime minister urged the army to act 'under the constitution' and 'with no violence'. Soldiers have taken over TV and radio stations, and blocked off roads in the capital, Bangkok."

ABC News: "Oscar Pistorius will begin his court-ordered observation at a state mental institution on May 26, with psychiatric evaluation lasting a month, the judge in his murder trial announced today."


The Commentariat -- May 19, 2014

** Paul Krugman: "Timothy Geithner ... thinks he did a heckuva job.... How can people feel good about track records that are objectively so bad? ... In both Europe and America, economic policy has to a large extent been governed by the implicit slogan 'Save the bankers, save the world' -- that is, restore confidence in the financial system and prosperity will follow.... He was, if you like, all for bailing out banks but against bailing out families.... And refusing to help families in debt, it turns out, wasn't just unfair; it was bad economics." CW: Hope Geithner picks up his copy of the Times on the way to Wall Street. ...

... ** Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times: Geithner's book is unsuccessful "in making the case that he cared as much for troubled borrowers as he did for reckless banks. And he fails to answer one of the most crucial questions about the crisis: How did he and his regulatory colleagues at the Fed, with their army of researchers and high-powered economists, miss the immense and obvious buildup of risk in the financial system that led to the crisis?" ...

... CW: Nisky Guy listened to Robert Siegel's interview of Geithner on NPR. I couldn't stand to listen, but I read the transcript of a few of his remarks. I also read some comments. Here's my favorite:

The planned economic collapse has worked wonders for the Democrat Oligarchs.

Bear in mind this comment comes from one of the "smart" wingers -- someone who gets at least some of his news from NPR. You can lead a horse's ass from the Fox Swamp, but you can't make him think. ...

Matt Taibbi, in a Salon interview, on the "total moral surrender" by Obama, Geithner, et al. ...

... ALSO, be sure to read contributor safari's review of Fareed Zakaria's interview of Geithner in today's Comments.

Rebecca Kaplan of CBS "News": "White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough defended the White House reaction to the scandals emerging from Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals around the country, saying on CBS' 'Face the Nation' that President Obama 'is madder than hell - I've got the scars to prove it.' ... In a separate interview on 'Face the Nation,' American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger stood by the organization's insistence that [VA Secretary Eric] Shinseki should step down." With video. ...

... Josh Sweigart of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News: "... an investigation by the Dayton Daily News found that the VA settled many cases that appear to be related to delays in treatment. A database of paid claims by the VA since 2001 includes 167 in which the words 'delay in treatment' is used in the description. The VA paid out a total of $36.4 million to settle those claims, either voluntarily or as part of a court action. The VA has admitted that 23 people have died because of delayed care...." Via Bob Schieffer.

Michael de la Merced & David Gelles of the New York Times: "AT&T formally agreed on Sunday to buy DirecTV for about $48 billion, striking a merger that will further reshape how Americans pay for television and connect to the Internet. It will join a growing list of telecommunications giants looking to consolidate their industry, creating bigger national carriers as they adapt to the shifts in broadband and video access."

E. J. Dionne: Elizabeth Warren "is, above all, a lawyer who knows how to make arguments. From the time she first came to public attention, Warren has been challenging conservative presumptions embedded so deeply in our discourse that we barely notice them." CW: Barely notice them because the Village People agree to agree. That's the system. See safari's comments on Fareed Zakaria above. Zakaria used to be a pretty acerbic observer. Then he got his Very Serious Person membership card. Adios, journalism. (Plagiarism? Not good, but not a career-buster for a VSP.)

Political Correctness, Ctd. Susan Snyder of the Philadelphia Inquirer: "In a surprising move, a commencement speaker at Haverford College on Sunday used the celebratory occasion to deliver a sharp rebuke to students who had mounted a campaign against another speaker who had been scheduled to appear but withdrew amid the controversy. William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton and a nationally respected higher education leader, called the student protestors' approach both 'immature' and 'arrogant' and the subsequent withdrawal of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, a 'defeat' for the Quaker college and its ideals."

Gubernatorial Races

Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: "The industrial Northeast enjoys a reputation as a cradle of liberalism.... But there is a notable gap: The Democratic Party has yet to elect a female governor in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Even this year, with women running for governor in three of those states, it is uncertain that any of them will break the pattern."

Senate Race

Ron Fournier of the National Journal: Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), "is an overrated candidate. Setting aside his impressive biography, he is not a strong retail politician in a state that values handshake-to-handshake combat, and Cotton's brief record in Congress falls to the right of the state's GOP mainstream. He voted against the farm bill and disaster relief while supporting the government shutdown and a plan to raise the Medicare eligibility age."

Presidential Race

Dan Balz of the Washington Post: "As Hillary Rodham Clinton moves steadily toward what Democrats now see as an inevitable campaign for president in 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is readying a dissent from the left. Sanders has been traveling the country to explore the possibility of running his own campaign in 2016.... He already has plenty of questions about whether the former senator and secretary of state is what he believes the times demand." CW: Oddly, Bernie (b. 1941) has said nothing about Hillary's (b. 1947) age, nor has he expressed concern about her severe brain damage. Fortunately, we have Priebus & Rove to take up the slack. ...

... Brian Knowlton of the New York Times: "Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, insisted on Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton's health and age were fair targets for inquiry ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run, as both he and Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who injected those questions into the debate, suggested that such scrutiny might dissuade her from running." CW: Priebus also asserted that -- like all women of a certain age -- Hillary lied about her age; that is, until she became brain-dead. ...

... CW: If you want to understand where Obama went wrong, it was in his determination to do everything Hillary would have done. (See Geithner reviews above.) A Hillary presidency would be an Obama presidency, writ slightly larger. Hillary may charm you with her advocacy for women & children's issues -- as Sanders mentions -- but her economic policies would do more to harm women & children than any sweet little childcare programs, etc., would begin to address.

Let's All March in the Neo-Con Parade. Steve Peoples of the AP: "Courting powerful Jewish donors for the second time in two months, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Sunday for a more aggressive foreign policy that defends American values abroad -- even 'in some very messy, difficult places.'"

Beyond the Beltway ...

... Where Accepted Science = Political Propaganda. Motoko Rich of the New York Times: "... the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the [new national science] standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming. The pushback came despite a unanimous vote by a group of Wyoming science educators urging acceptance. Wyoming was the first state to say no.... A House committee in Oklahoma last week voted to reject the standards, also in part because of concerns about how climate change would be taught. Amid a growing cascade of studies documenting melting ice caps and rising temperatures, schools are increasingly teaching students about climate change and the new guidelines, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, have been adopted so far by 11 states and the District of Columbia. They assert that human activity has affected the climate." CW: Proven science: Jesus walked on water, Virgin birth, and when it rains God is crying.

News Ledes

Washington Post: "The Justice Department is charging members of the Chinese military with conducting economic cyber-espionage against American companies, U.S. officials familiar with the case said Monday, marking the first time that the United States is leveling such criminal charges against a foreign country. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make the announcement at a news conference Monday morning."

Reuters: "Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered military forces to return to their permanent bases after drills in three regions bordering Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Monday. Putin's office said he had issued the order because the spring maneuvers were over. The move could also be intended to ease tension in Russia's standoff with the West over Ukraine before Kiev holds a presidential election on Sunday." ..

... New York Times: "... with less than a week to go until a presidential election [in Ukraine, Petro] Poroshenko[, a pro-Western billionaire and] ... a confection magnate known as the Chocolate King, [is] the heavy favorite, likely to avoid a runoff with his strongest opponent, former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko.... The growing air of inevitability around Mr. Poroshenko, who has deep business interests in Russia..., has presented the Kremlin with the prospect of a clear negotiating partner, apparently contributing ... to a softening in the stance of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia."

CNN: "China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its citizens from Vietnam and is sending ships to retrieve more of them after deadly anti-Chinese violence erupted last week over a territorial dispute between the two countries."


The Commentariat -- May 18, 2014

CW: It pains me to owe an apology to Charles Murray, the charlatan "scholar" of the American Enterprise Institute, but it rends me in two Rumpelstiltskin-style to owe a big mea culpa to David Fucking Brooks. But I do, I do. Yesterday I linked as straight news a satirical article about Murray that claimed he said women had smaller brains than men -- which explained why there were no great female philosophers. He did make the assertion about female philosophers, but he never claimed women had teeny-weeny brains. So, Charles Murray, I apologize. Gulp. And David Brooks, I'm vewwy, vewwy sorry. I am sorriest for misleading readers who trusted me not to lead them astray. Thanks to contributor Lisa for setting me straight.

Annals of Journalism, CYA Edition

NEW. Ravi Somaiya of the New York Times: "Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, released a statement Saturday afternoon detailing his decision to fire the newspaper’s executive editor, Jill Abramson. He was responding to a growing controversy over accusations by Ms. Abramson’s supporters that gender played a role in her dismissal."

... Sulzberger's statement is here. CW: Nothing about her smallish brain. The Times is all for gender equality, Sulzberger sez.

NEW. Dylan Byers of Politico: "New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger fired executive editor Jill Abramson after concluding that she had misled both him and chief executive Mark Thompson during her effort to hire a new co-managing editor, according to two sources with knowledge of the reason for her termination."

Nicholas Confessore
of the New York Times on the early history of the Koch brothers' political involvement in politics. CW: I was interested to see they were among those influenced by the Powell memo.

David Ferguson of the Raw Story: "Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said in an interview Friday that he is ready and willing to serve on the House Republican committee slated to investigate the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.... In appearance on Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show on Friday night, Grayson said, 'I would be their worst, worst nightmare. I’d be their worst and last nightmare.'”

Maureen Dowd, following up on Tim Egan's most recent column (linked here May 15), writes an excellent essay about Condoleezza Rice.

Senate Race -- Mississippi-Style

AP: "Authorities say a conservative Mississippi blogger went into a nursing home, photographed the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran without permission and posted an image online. Rose Cochran has lived at St. Catherine's Village since 2000 and has dementia. Madison police say 28-year-old Clayton Thomas Kelly of Pearl was arrested Friday and charged with a felony, exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He remained jailed Saturday under $100,000 bond." ...

... Josh Marshall of TPM: "I'm inclined to say this is what happens when you've got a Tea Party candidate who dabbles in neo-confederate and supremacist politics. But boy is this one weird and dirty. Here are the key facts. Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran's wife has been in a nursing home for more than a decade. Precise details are sketchy but she appears to suffer from some form of advanced dementia and is in precarious health. The Tea Party candidate McDaniel has been dishing out an avalanche of oppo over recent days including a very weird article in Breitbart which in the guise of talking about spending on congressional trips was clearly intended to suggest that Cochran is having an affair." ...

... CW: Excuse me. Are voters supposed to be horrified that a man whose wife has been hospitalized with dementia for 10 years has a relationship with another woman? Is Jane Eyre really relavant in 21st-century Mississippi? Maybe so.


The Commentariat -- May 17, 2014

Your Friday Afternoon News Dump. Richard Oppel of the New York Times: "One day after deflecting calls from unhappy senators to shake up his leadership team, Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, ousted the department’s soon-to-retire head of health care. The move came amid snowballing allegations that veterans hospitals manipulated waiting lists to hide long delays many patients faced to see physicians.... But ... Republican officials quickly pointed out that Dr. [Robert] Petzel’s retirement had already been announced last September — to take effect this year — and that two weeks ago President Obama nominated Dr. Jeffrey A. Murawsky, a senior department official, to replace him." ...

... Dana Milbank: Shinseki must go.

Julia Preston of the New York Times: "With border authorities in South Texas overwhelmed by a surge of young illegal migrants traveling by themselves, the Department of Homeland Security declared a crisis this week and moved to set up an emergency shelter for the youths at an Air Force base in San Antonio, officials said Friday. After seeing children packed in a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex., during a visit last Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday declared 'a level-four condition of readiness' in the Rio Grande Valley."

** Women Are "Nice Enough," Just Not Too Bright. David Neilson of Newslo: "American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray -- who is an educational advisor to Republican governor candidate Greg Abbott, told an audience at the University of Texas this week that there is no 'evidence' showing that any woman has ever been a 'significant original thinker.' He then said the reason for this was the smaller size of the female brain. 'When you compare the size of a man’s brain with that of a woman, there’s no comparison,' explained Murray. 'It’s not that I have anything against women. They’re nice enough, but it’s just a physical fact that their brains have developed to the same degree that men’s brains have developed.'” Thanks to Julie L. for the link. ...

... CW: Let me just add here that Murray is NYT columnist David Brooks' favorite "scholar." Brooks has cited him extensively & approvingly in his columns (& in his books, I think), & -- if I recall correctly -- they have stroked each other on various Villager symposia & write lovely things about each other on book jacket blurbs. The Times may have fired the "pushy" broad, but Brooks would have to screw Pinch's lady friend at the entrance to 620 8th Ave. to lose his place on the op-ed page. ...

     ... CW UPDATE: Oh noes! I've been punked. See comment in May 18 Commentariat.

Marjorie Connelly of the New York Times: "In response to polling data showing that the Affordable Care Act has become more popular, a prominent Republican pollster said that he expected Republicans to change how they talked about the law. 'After the primaries, expect a shift in Republican candidates’ rhetoric against Obamacare,' said Bill McInturff, a partner in Public Opinion Strategies. 'Only [a] few want to repeal the law; most want to fix and keep it,' he added." ...

... "We Can't Pass Laws Because Obama Won't Enforce Them, Ctd." Kate Nocera of BuzzFeed: "An aide to House Speaker John Boehner rejected Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett’s comments that the administration has a 'commitment' from Boehner to pass immigration reform... "But as the speaker has said repeatedly, it’s difficult to see how we make progress until the American people have faith that President Obama will enforce the law as written,' [said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel]. ...

... CW: Here's an indication of Boehner's "commitment" to immigration reform. Seung Min Kim of Politico: "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor won’t allow attempts next week to include a measure on a must-pass defense policy bill that would legalize young undocumented immigrants who serve in the military. A spokesman confirmed Friday that the legislation, known as the Enlist Act, will not be among those debated with the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that sets policy for the Pentagon. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), the Enlist Act’s chief sponsor, had pledged to bring it up as part of the floor battle over the defense bill."

David Dayen of the New Republic: "People power" has put true net neutrality back on the agenda. "The grassroots pressure got tech firms off the sidelines. Over 100 of them, including Google, Facebook and Amazon, publicly opposed [FCC] Chairman [Tom] Wheeler’s rules, arguing that the rules should not allow 'individualized bargaining and discrimination.'”...

... Lee Drutman & Zander Furnas of the Daily Dot have done an analysis of which companies have spent the most $$$ lobbying for & against net neutrality: The biggest oppo spenders: Verizon, AT&T & Comcast.

CW: Glad to read your differing takes yesterday on Tim Egan's column about preserving the "diversity" of commencement speakers. Could we agree that this is carrying political correctness too far?

Cindy Boren of the Washington Post: "Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has no intention of accepting two-thirds of the punishment imposed upon him by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He may be staying away from his team and the league, but he will not pay the $2.5 million fine levied against him and he will sue the league to retain ownership of the team...."

Annals of Journalism, Ctd.

Ravi Somaiya of the New York Times: "The controversy over the firing of Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, continued on Friday as the company’s chief executive [Mark Thompson] sent a letter to senior editors in an effort to further address the reasons for her dismissal." ...

... Here are the New Yorker articles, by Ken Auletta, which Somaiya refers to in his piece linked above: Part 1 and Part 2 of why Pinch fired Jill. Very interesting, if this is the kind of gossip that interests you. CW: Bottom line, I think: the principals are all people who don't play well with others, so firings are hardly surprising. Add to that the Times' long history of misogyny, & Abramson's ouster seemed nearly inevitable. ...

... Catherine Thompson of TPM: "A New York Times spokeswoman demanded on Friday morning that the New Yorker magazine correct a report about the newspaper's firing of executive editor Jill Abramson. The magazine, however, responded by saying its original report was accurate." ...

... Michelle Dean of Gawker: It's the old "If X = Y, then woman = pushy/man = bold" equation. ...

... Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: "When they tell you it’s not about the money, it’s about the money. In Abramson’s case, it’s about the money and a lawyer. It’s also about being, to put it politely, less than forthcoming with Dean Baquet, her deputy and now successor, regarding her plan to hire Guardian journalist Janine Gibson to be Baquet’s co-managing editor in charge of digital journalism."

A Big Day in Pretend Journalism:


Gail Collins: Everybody's talking about Hillary.