The Ledes

Friday, October 9, 2015.

New York Times: "The Islamic State registered significant gains Friday in the area of northwestern Syria that Russian warplanes have been bombing heavily, taking six villages near Aleppo and threatening to cut off an important route north to the Turkish border. Late in the day, there were reports that rebels had reasserted control in one of the villages."

Houston Chronicle: "One Texas Southern University student was killed another wounded in a shooting Friday at a student housing complex on the campus in southeast Houston."

New York Times: "Israeli soldiers killed six young Palestinians on Friday in the Gaza Strip, including a 15-year-old boy, as they opened fire to quell crowds that hurled rocks and rolled burning tires close to the fence separating Gaza from Israel, Israeli military and Gaza health officials said."

New York Times: "The National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday 'for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011'.... The quartet comprises four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. But the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasized that the prize 'is awarded to this quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.'”

AP: "Officials say one person is dead and three others are wounded following an early morning shooting at Northern Arizona University. School public relations director Cindy Brown says the suspected shooter is in custody." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "G. T. Fowler, the chief of campus police, said that Steven Jones, a freshman, had opened fire after two groups of male students were involved in a confrontation. The police were able to take Mr. Jones into custody after he stopped firing the weapon and “everything calmed down for a few minutes,” Chief Fowler said."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, October 8, 2015.

New York Times: "Paul Prudhomme, the chef who put the cooking of Louisiana — especially the Cajun gumbos, jambalayas and dirty rice he grew up with — on the American culinary map, died on Thursday in New Orleans. He was 75.

Air Force Times: "Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who helped take down a gunman on a train in Belgium, was stabbed four times in the chest in Sacramento early Thursday morning, Air Force Times has learned.... Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said in an email in Air Force Times, "... He is currently in stable condition." Sacramento police tweeted: 'The assault incident is not related to a terrorist act.  Assault occurred near a bar, alcohol is believed to be a factor.'”

Motherboard: "On Wednesday, a jury in Sacramento, California, found Matthew Keys, former social media editor at Reuters and an ex-employee of KTXL Fox 40, guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. In 2010, Keys posted login credentials to the Tribune Company content management system (CMS) to a chatroom run by Anonymous, resulting in the defacement of an LA Times article online. The defacement was reversed in 40 minutes, but the government argued the attack caused nearly a million dollars in damage."

New York Times: "The leadership of world soccer’s governing body plunged into chaos on Thursday, as three of the game’s most powerful figures, including Sepp Blatter, the longtime president of FIFA, were suspended amid an investigation by the Swiss authorities into suspected corruption. In addition to Mr. Blatter, Michel Platini, who is a FIFA vice president and the head of European soccer’s governing body, and Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general who was already on disciplinary leave, were “provisionally banned” from the sport. The suspensions took effect immediately."

Reuters: "The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected to near a 42-year low last week, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market despite the recent slowdown in hiring."

New York Times: "Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian journalist and prose writer, won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday 'for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,' the Swedish Academy announced."

Washington Post: "The United Auto Workers union narrowly avoided a strike against Fiat Chrysler of America early Thursday morning, announcing an agreement less than two days after threatening to pull as many as 40,000 workers off the job while contract negotiations soured."

The Week: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his wife, Landra Gould, filed a product liability lawsuit Tuesday in Clark County, Nevada, against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid said was behind an accident in January that injured his eye."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post [Sept. 11]: "Aggressive treatment of high blood pressure can sharply cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths in people 50 and older, according to a landmark federal study released Friday that urges doctors to bring their patients’ blood pressure well below the commonly recommended target. The new research advises people with high blood pressure to keep their “systolic” pressure — the top number in the reading that health-care providers routinely tell patients — at 120 or below.

New York Times [Aug. 20]: "As many as 60,000 American women each year are told they have a very early stage of breast cancer — Stage 0, as it is commonly known — a possible precursor to what could be a deadly tumor. And almost every one of the women has either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and often a double mastectomy, removing a healthy breast as well. Yet it now appears that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes."

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

White House Live Video
October 9

The White House has no scheduled live feeds for today.

AND contributor D. C. Clark was kind enough to remind us of Eva Cassidy:

Here's a break from the parade of horribles in the left column:

A friend sent me this version. You'll want to supersize it:

MoviePilot: Quite a few people think the film "The Martian" -- which depicts an Earthly astronaut stuck on Mars -- is "based on a true story." ...

... CW: Reminds of Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. History Channel: "Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, 'New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!'”

New York Times: "Europe’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that a widely used international agreement for moving people’s digital data between the European Union and the United States was invalid. The decision, by the European Court of Justice, throws into doubt how seamlessly global technology giants — the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — can continue to collect, manage and analyze online information from their millions of users in the 28-member bloc. The court decreed that the data-transfer agreement was invalid as of Tuesday’s ruling."

One More Reason Not to Let Jeff Bezos into Your House. Bloomberg: " Inc. will stop selling media-streaming devices from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. that aren’t easily compatible with its video service, the latest example of the company using its clout to promote products that fit with its own retailing strategy.The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t 'interact well' with Prime Video." ...

... Karl Bode of Tech Dirt: "Amusingly, Amazon unloads what has to be one of the larger piles of ambiguous bullshit in defense of an anti-competitive position seen in some time: "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,' Amazon said in [an] e-mail [to sellers]. 'It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.'" Hilarious. Except it's up to developers to embed Chromecast support into their services and apps, and both Google and Apple publish open software development kits that allows any application to be utilized on both devices. In other words, it's Amazon's choice that Chromecast and Apple TV won't play nicely with Amazon Prime Instant Streaming. It has nothing to do with the devices not 'interacting well' with Amazon's services." ...

... Alison Griswold of Slate: "It will be interesting to see whether Amazon’s move with regard to streaming content raises any antitrust flags. Generally speaking, a company has breached antitrust laws when it has a monopoly and uses that monopoly to stifle competition."

Congratulations, Aliens! You are no longer in violation of U.S. copyright law:

... Our Long National Nightmare Is Over. Los Angeles Times: "In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, [a federal] judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the 'Happy Birthday To You' song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.... Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song."

When the posh British PM David Cameron was a lad, he fucked a dead pig. The antics of our own Aqua Buddha Boy pale by comparison.

New York Times: "It was a night of firsts, and a night for establishment cable at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for best lead actress on a drama series, for her role as a defense lawyer on ABC’s 'How to Get Away With Murder'; Jon Hamm won his first Emmy after seven previous nominations for his role as the tortured Don Draper on 'Mad Men'; and HBO, led by victories for the comedy 'Veep,' the drama 'Game of Thrones' and a four-part limited series, 'Olive Kitteridge,' had a triumphant showing, with 14 victories, including best drama and outstanding comedy series."


Washington Post: "When Pope Francis arrives in Washington this week for the start of a six-day visit to the United States, he might find at least one local spot that reminds him of home. That’s Brookland, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington so chockablock with Catholic institutions that it has been called 'Little Rome.'”

New York Times: "When the comedian Steve Rannazzisi has explained his success, which includes seven seasons starring on a popular TV show, 'The League,' and a one-hour special this Saturday on Comedy Central, he has frequently attributed it to decisions he made after narrowly escaping the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.... Confronted this week, though, with evidence that undermined his account, Mr. Rannazzisi, after a day of deliberation, acknowledged on Tuesday that his account was fiction."

Washington Post (Sept. 15): "King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain ... arrive in Washington this week for their first official visit.... The couple will meet with President Obama and Senate leaders on Tuesday (which happens to be the queen’s 43rd birthday), open an American-Spanish scientific conference at Georgetown University [where Felipe attended grad school], meet with American chief executives who do business in Spain, and head to Florida to celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine."

Perfect! Guardian: "Arnold Schwarzenegger is to replace Donald Trump as the host of the NBC reality show Celebrity Apprentice, the network has announced."

New York Times: "For the first time in more than a quarter-century, a new subway stop [in Manhattan] is open for business.... The extended subway line is a descendant of the train lines that ran along 11th Avenue from the mid-1800s until 1941." The stop is an extension of the No. 7 line. Exits are at 34th St. & 11th Ave.:



MoDo goes to Paris to check out Google's Google's Cultural Institute, which is on a mission to "digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth." CW: The Times should stop giving Dowd these difficult war-correspondenty assignments. Why isn't she in New York, checking out the runways during Fashion Week?

The President Awards the National Medals of the Arts and Humanities:

Washington Post: "New images of Pluto show the amazing diversity of" the planet's landscape. "Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, added that the surface was 'every bit as complex as that of Mars,' with jumbled mountains, nitrogen ice flows, and possible dunes." Includes slideshow.

Wowza! New York Times: "Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africa discovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star cave: lots and lots of old bones. The remains covered the earthen floor beyond the narrow opening. This was, the scientists concluded, a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi. The new hominin species was announced on Thursday by an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The species name, H. naledi, refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; 'naledi' means 'star' in the local Sesotho language." ...

... Here's the Life Sciences report. ...

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The Commentariat -- April 19, 2012

No commentary from me in today's New York Times eXaminer, but do go to the NYTX front page for some great pieces on Our Man Friedman. And thanks to Reality Chex reader Victoria D. for pointing us to the funniest one -- Jason Linkins' post on Friedman's self-parody. ...

... Also, Glenn Greenwald's column on MSM reviews of Julian Assange's new talk show on RT is a must-read. Keep in mind, though, as you read it that the Assange critics are opinionators, not reporters, and you should expect their opinions express personal biases. Greenwald presupposes these biases reflect the biases of the media outlets they write for, & he presents evidence that they do. But Greenwald -- like the Assange reviewers -- is presenting a case; his column is not a balanced report.

... Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post looks at a 2010 Pew Research poll: "Thurgood Marshall ... not only was never the Chief Justice but also died in 1993. And let’s not even talk about the four percent who think Harry Reid ... is the Chief Justice.... Regular people are simply not engaged — they don’t know or care — about the intricacies of the government." See also Alex Seitz-Wald's report, linked below, about the "regular people" -- presumably Republican regular people -- who gave Mitt Romney a polite earful. ...

... Meanwhile, Chief Justice Roberts & his conservative male allies on the Court are chip, chip, chipping away at women's equality in a way even former Chief Justice Rehnquist, a staunch conservative, did not. Ask Linda Greenhouse -- the old boys just don't get it. ...

... Elections Have Consequences. Dahlia Lithwick in Slate: in a remarkable concurrence in a case before the D.C. Court of Appeals, Judge Janice Rogers Brown injected a Tea Party screed belittling "democratic processes" (a term she put in quotes). "... what's interesting about the Brown concurrence isn’t that it expresses her long-held opinion that the Supreme Court has been dead wrong about economic liberty for 80 years, and that a return to the libertarian regime of the Lochner era, is overdue. The question is why she feels comfortable injecting this language into a judicial opinion — as opposed to a speech or legal article — in a call to the court to radically reverse course and dramatically curb the power of elected officials.... She is, beyond any doubt, apt to appear on any short list for Mitt Romney’s choice to replace any of the four Supreme Court Justices who are currently in their 70s."

While we're talking about other stuff, actual governance -- or what passes for it these days -- is happening in Washington. David Rogers of Politico: "The post-election budget wars suddenly felt closer Wednesday, as the White House threw down the gauntlet on appropriations and House Republicans voted to shift tens of billions of dollars from poverty programs to help stave off automatic cuts threatening the Pentagon in January....In its bluntest language to date, the administration said that President Barack Obama will not sign any new appropriations bills until the House Republican leadership moves back to the spending targets agreed to in last summer's debt accords."

Marshall Auerback of AlterNet in Salon: "You'll rarely hear this stated, but the government's ability to spend now is actually independent of how much debt it holds and what it spent yesterday.... In the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007..., the largest portion of the increase in the deficit came from what economists call 'automatic stabilizers' — things like unemployment benefits that have to kick in when a downturn occurs. They had little to do with discretionary spending.... The [Clinton] budget surplus meant that the private sector was running a deficit." CW: Auerback lost me on that last point; I'll see if I can contact him to clear it up.

Kaili Gray of Daily Kos: "Now that Republicans have flip-flopped on their decades-long denigration of mothers and decided that staying at home to raise children is work — or at least, it's work when Ann Romney does it; poor mothers, not so much — House Democrats are telling them to put their money where their mouth is." From Ryan Grim of the Huff Post, "The Woman's Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act ... would allow mothers with children ages 3 and under to stay at home with their children and continue receiving benefits." ...

... David Dayen of Firedoglake: "The entire point of the Ann Romney hissy fit was that raising kids equals work and ought to be respected. Nobody disagreed with that idea. All this bill would do would be to codify that principle into law.... This solves a public policy problem as well.... Only 27% of families living in poverty can claim welfare benefits. And one of the major problems, outside of giving states flexibility to cull their welfare rolls, is the work requirement. This would help alleviate that problem for low-income mothers with newborn children... Mitt Romney said during the depressing Hilary Rosen kerfuffle that 'all moms are working moms.' Well, OK, let them prove it." ...

... Dana Milbank: "In the war against the war on women, the Democrats are taking no prisoners.... On Wednesday, the White House staged an event to demand that Republicans stop blocking a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act — and Republicans suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of a title that only a fool or a lunatic would oppose."

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones: ALEC, "the American Legislative Exchange Council..., is in damage control mode.... To push back, ALEC has turned to the conservative blogosphere for help.... Korb educated the bloggers with a handout listing ALEC's positions on a range of issues. PR Watch, one of ALEC's loudest critics, described the handout as 'riddled with errors.'"

Sister Act. Elizabeth Tenety of the Washington Post: "A Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing 80 percent of Catholic sisters and nuns in the United States, found serious theological errors in statements by members, widespread dissent on the church's teaching on sexuality and 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' a church report released Wednesday stated. The church appointed Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle to oversee 'reform' of the women's organization."

The Presidential Race

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't, either. But somebody gave us a chance. Just like these folks up here are looking for a chance. -- Barack Obama, to students in Ohio ...

Amanda Beadle of Think Progress: "During the GOP presidential primary, Mitt Romney staked out the most extreme position on immigration of any Republican candidate. Romney even campaigned with his immigration policy adviser Kris Kobach, the author of Alabama and Arizona's harsh immigration laws, on Martin Luther King Day. Now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, he's trying to soften his immigration rhetoric to win over Hispanic voters. The Romney campaign even tried to publicly downgrade Kobach from 'adviser' to mere 'supporter' [Tuesday] — an effort that failed after Kobach refused to play along." ...

     ... Tuesday Kobach told Alex Seitz-Wald of Think Progress, "No, my relationship with the campaign has not changed. Still doing the same thing I was doing before: ... providing advice on immigration policy. I don’t want to go into great detail, but I communicate regularly with senior members of Romney’s team." ...

     ... Greg Sargent: Kobach "stated flatly that he didn’t think Republicans — or Romney — should, or would, support any version of the DREAM Act that provides undocumented immigrants with any kind of path to legal status.... I’d absolutely reject any proposal that would give a path to legal status for illegal aliens en masse. That is what amnesty is. I do not expect [Romney] to propose or embrace amnesty." ...

     ... Markos Moulitsas: "Kris Kobach has a death grip on Romney's Etch-a-Sketch.You may not have heard of Kobach, but he is becoming a household name in the Latino community. He is Kansas' secretary of state, but more notoriously, one of the nation's foremost xenophobes and a key player in the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform.... Kobach has seriously damaged Romney's general election chances by becoming a lightning rod in the Latino community, yet when the nominee tries to distance himself now that the primaries are over, Kobach will tell anyone who's listening that the Romney campaign is lying and that he's just as important to them as ever, and he'll say it again, and again, and again."

E. J. Dionne: "... a study released this week by the Center for American Progress ... demonstrates conclusively that the ruckus over Ann Romney’s decisions is 30 years out of date. Its core conclusion: 'Most children today are growing up in families without a full-time, stay-at-home caregiver.' ... These changes are driven more by economics than by any of the mommy-war issues.... When trying to win votes from religious and social traditionalists, conservatives speak as if they want to restore what they see as the glory days of the 1950s family. But they are reluctant to acknowledge that it was the high wages of (often unionized) workers that underwrote these arrangements."

** You think Mitt Romney doesn't "get" women now? He never did. In fact, talking to women is against his religious beliefs. That's why he lets Ann do it. Irin Carmon of Salon interviews Mormon feminist Judy Dushku. who so irritated the Romneys in the '90s that the church gerrymandered its wards to put the Romneys & Dushku in different wards.

Alex Seitz-Wald: "As part of his attempt to appear more relateable, presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney sat with a handful of regular, working Americans in Pennsylvania today.... But the Romney campaign may not have vetted the attendees to make sure they were sufficiently anti-tax.... One woman ... said she was scared about the fate of her public schools, given deep cuts to the state budget (incidentally, the man who pushed those cuts, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, endorsed Romney today).... Another man chimed in, noting that 'the fat' had already been trimmed and now important education programs were being hit." With video. CW: these seem like sincere, normal people who obviously have no idea that it is their own party that is making all these cuts in education. ...

     ... Update: the party affiliations of the participants was "not specified."

Marry up, ladies!

Noah Rothman of Mediaite: "A long-overlooked passage in President Barack Obama’s 2004 book, Dreams From my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, has been uncovered and has ignited a firestorm of hilarity among conservatives on Twitter and other social networks. The passage includes the President talking about his experience as a boy in Indonesia when he was introduced to a variety of exotic meats including grasshopper, snake and – the coup de grâce – dog." ...

It seems desperate for the Romney campaign to bring up something that happened to Obama when he was 10 years old, not preparing his own meals, in a country where eating dog meat probably isn't all that unusual as if it compares in any way to Romney, as a 36-year old adult, in America, making the conscious decision to strap his family pet to the roof of a car for a 12-hour drive, and leaving it up there even after it got sick. If President Obama had made the conscious decision to eat dog meat as a 36-year old adult, in America, claimed the dog liked being eaten, and still claimed he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, the Romney campaign would have a point. -- Scott Crider, of Dogs Against Romney

 ... Dave Weigel: the Romney camp's participation in the "dogmeat" story is a Romney dog whistle to the conservative base.

Right Wing World *

This election is going to be a referendum on the president's economic policies. They've not only not helped the economy, they've actually made it worse. When you look at his higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control, they've scared every businessperson and investor in America. -- John Boehner, yesterday on CBS

... Steve Benen: Boehner is "the Speaker of the House, so presumably he has some general appreciation for acknowledging current events, which would mean he realizes none of his talking points is true. While Boehner talks about Obama's 'higher taxes,' Obama has actually cut taxes. While Boehner said Obama has refused to deal with the debt, Obama offered Boehner a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan that Republicans rejected. While Boehner frets over a 'regulatory regime,' Obama has actually created fewer regulations than his Republican predecessor. And then there's the notion that Obama made the economy 'worse.'"

* Where you couldn’t find a rational argument with a Geiger counter. Hey, you couldn't even find a Geiger counter. -- Akhilleus

Local News

Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times: "Ushered in amid promises that it would save taxpayers money and deter drug users, a Florida law requiring drug tests for people who seek welfare benefits resulted in no direct savings, snared few drug users and had no effect on the number of applications, according to recently released state data." For background on the impetus for legislating drug-testing in Florida, this Palm Beach Post story from March 2011 is helpful. After the Post exposed Gov. Rick Scott's continuing financial interest in a company that provides drug-testing, the Scott family was embarrassed into selling their interest in April 2011.

John Frank of the Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer: "A former staffer accused the state Democratic Party's executive director of showing him a picture of male genitals, caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits.... The lascivious details magnified the spectacle embarrassing the state Democratic Party in an election year and came just days before President Barack Obama is expected to visit North Carolina."

News Ledes

Bloomberg News: "More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the improvement in labor-market conditions may be stalling. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 386,000 in the week ended April 14 from a revised 388,000 the prior period that was higher than initially estimated...." ...

... Bloomberg News: "Sales of previously owned U.S. homes in March unexpectedly fell for the third time in the last four months, showing an uneven recovery in the housing market."

Washington Post: "The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed...."

New York Times: "The Department of Veterans Affairs will announce on Thursday that it plans to hire about 1,600 additional psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health clinicians in an effort to reduce long wait times for services at many veterans medical centers."

New York Times: "India said Thursday it had successfully launched a missile with nuclear capability and a 3,100-mile range, giving it the ability to strike Beijing and Shanghai. With the successful launching of the missile, called Agni 5, India joins a small group of countries with long-range nuclear missile capability, including China, Britain, France, Russia and the United States."

ABC OTUS News: "Secret Service officials planning a wild night of fun in Colombia did some of their own advanced work last week, booking a party space at the Hotel Caribe before heading out to the night clubs, hotel sources tell ABC News."

AP: "Two years after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, scientists say they're finding trouble with sick fish that dwell along offshore reefs and in the deep waters — especially in places where the oil spill hit the hardest." ...

... Al Jazeera: "Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster. Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp - and interviewees' fingers point towards BP's oil pollution disaster as being the cause."

Al Jazeera: "Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has called for a UN observer mission in Syria to be expanded, even though he says Damascus has failed to adhere to a ceasefire central to an agreed peace plan."

Reuters: "The police said on Thursday they had arrested three people at addresses in Kent and Lancashire in their investigation into allegations of payments by journalists to police and public officials. Sky News, which is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said Duncan Larcombe, royal editor on Murdoch's Sun newspaper, was one of those arrested." ...

... Guardian: "News Cororation is a 'toxic institution' that operated like a 'shadow state' in British society, according to a Labour MP who is the co-author of a new book about the phone-hacking scandal. Tom Watson, joint writer of Dial M for Murdoch, said that the book also featured allegations that Murdoch's News of the World set out to search for 'secret lovers' or 'extramarital affairs' of MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee in 2009."

Reader Comments (9)

"Regular people are simply not engaged — they don’t know or care — about the intricacies of the government." Not quite complete. There is also the very substantial group that deliberately hides from the truth. I mean if scientists got the climate thing right, they may have gotten the evolution thing right too.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb


Come on now. You gotta realize that even th' idea of climate is just a theory. It's just like weather. I mean, if it rains today and it's sunny tomorrow, who knows how that happens? It's a mystery. It's just like that nice Bill O'Reilly always says: the tide goes in, the tide goes out. Who can explain it?

Same thing with evolution. I mean, who was Darwin anyway? Was he Jesus? No. Was he Ronald Reagan? No. Just some weird guy with a big beard and weirdo ideas. Monkeys! Hmmph...He wasn't even from the US of A! It's just his word against everyone else in which case he loses 'cause we didn't vote for his stupid monkey idea, and that's the 'Merican Way!

We just all need to have more faith and a lot less 'science'. That science stuff will fill your head with all kinds of stuff you don't need. Pretty soon, you'll be believin' that Paul Ryan doesn't know what he's doin' when he talks 'bout the 'conomy. You might even think it's not a good idea for children to bring guns to school! Why, they'll be UNPROTECTED!

And by the way, I happen to know that Harry Reid is NOT the big guy justice on the court. He's just one of the little guys. Nancy Pelosi tried to get elected to S'preme Court but only commies voted for her so she had to stay governor of Commie-fornia. Heh-heh.

See, you think libruls are the only smart people? Go do things to yourself, you elitist pinkos!

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Well, well, the left has gone apoplectic over Freidman's column yesterday and it's our good fortune that the NYTEX is running a slew of them including Marie's instructive Biblical analogy. My own reading of Freidman was of stunned disbelief. I said many moons ago that he reminded me of a slick salesman––the one who sold me a complete set of pot and pans that I didn't need––maybe it's the cadence of his speech pattern; maybe it's that he repeats and repeats, but seldom repents. Luckily I found the little gem that ole Tommy follows faithfully:

Isaiah 55.7: And the Lord spake: Go dwell in the Wall of the Mart and there doth purchase loose boxers; a pox on tightie whities for those doth squeeze thy jewel case. Go forth in colorful Hanes to swing freely in order to spread thy seed of propaganda to all who come forth and devour thy word.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

To sum it up, I have a sign on my work office door, 'Don't worry what people think, They don't do it very often".

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

I voted for Nancy Pelosi for Supreme Court Chief Justice. If she didn't win it would prove "democratic processes" don't work. But she won, didn't she? Also, somebody should tell Allen West I am not a commie just because I helped make Nancy top judge. And Akhilleus, you should check your facts before writing these comments. Finally, I am with the 4 percent who think Harry Reid is very judge-mental. But this a democracy one-woman/one-vote so I had to vote for the woman. Sorry, Harry.

April 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

It is 2012 and everything is good. The fifty four percent of the population that does not know who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are going to learn.
Nothing sharpens the senses like fear and hunger. Someone will be leading them in the streets and teach them the proper chants demanding change. Many will learn first aid and some will hide and cower before the powers of the police state.
Our present situation is:" You can't get there from here ." There is no plan, scheme, program in the works from either party to restore jobs, demand and growth to America. Just a few years of Tea Party, reverse Robin Hood, economics will devastate America and at least one third of the population will be damaged.
We will start from there. The fifty four percent will either be more politically sophisticated or peons forever. The one percent thinks "peons forever".

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

@Carlyle. Actually, about 3/4ths of people didn't know who the Chief Justice was in 2010. Only 28 percent answered the question correctly, & because it was a multiple-choice test, some percentage of those would have been lucky or educated guesses. (I don't know how to do probabilities so I'll have to leave that to a wiser mind.)

Plus, I don't think people with pitchforks are all that interested in the niceties of how to properly address the guy they are about to prod.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

If they're trading dog insults what about the Romney buddy who barbequed one with his drunken friends, eh?

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail

@Gail. Thanks. I never heard the story about Mitt's buddy and the dog BBQ. It seems Mitt & the guy -- GOP fundraiser Fred Malek -- are so close, Malek hosted Ann Romney's birthday party a few days ago. Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantic has the story here.


April 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader
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