Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President discussed climate change and how the most ambitious climate agreement in history is creating private sector partnerships that are advancing the latest technologies in clean power.":

Hill: "President Obama will send a budget to Congress that increases the amount of funding toward clean energy research and development by about 20 percent, he said Saturday."

The Wires

White House Live Video
February 5

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

New York Times (February 4): "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

USA Today: "Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they're using contraception, federal health officials said Tuesday, in a move to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. 'Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,' said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.'"

New York Times (January 14): "Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies. Officials say it could be the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak." ...

     ... NYT Update (January 15): "Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies." ...

... The Washington Post reports on the crisis in Brazil.

Washington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as board chairman at CBS Corp. after a court battle raised questions about the 92-year-old executive’s mental competence. He was replaced by Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS president and chief executive, CBS announced Wednesday. The transition took effect Tuesday when Redstone was appointed to the role of CBS chairman emeritus, CBS said."

... New York Timess: "A small 16th-century oil on panel largely kept in storage at a Kansas City, Mo., museum is a work by the Dutch Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, researchers [in the Netherlands] said on Monday, a finding that, if accepted by other scholars, would add to the tiny list of about 25 recognized Bosch paintings in the world. The painting, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' dated 1500-1510, had previously been attributed to the workshop of Bosch or to a follower of Bosch, known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the earthly moral purgatory in between."

Radio host Diane Rehm discusses her "retirement" plans with Karen Heller of the Washington Post.

Washington Post: "A lost story by famed British children’s author Beatrix Potter — the Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — has been discovered among her memorabilia and will be published this year more than a century after she wrote it. Jo Hanks, a publisher with Penguin Random House who made the discovery at London’s Victoria & Albert museum in 2013, called the story the biggest Potter discovery in generations and almost certainly the last, the London Times Newspaper reported Tuesday."

Boston Globe: "Late Night host (and New Hampshire native) Seth Meyers stars in this trailer for his fake movie, Boston Accent, which just laughs at all the devices used in every movie ever made in Boston":

Tim Egan's Confession: "I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let a bagel pop from the toaster, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone."

Planet Nine. Caltech: "Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly." ...

... CW: Planet Nine, my ass. I will never abandon Pluto! But this is a mighty thrilling development. ...

... UPDATE. Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post interviews Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Planet Nine. It turns out, as certainly every astronomer knows, that Mike Brown was also the guy who killed Pluto! Even his daughter is mad at him for that.

New York Times: "Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday[, January 20,] in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month. Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It will be the first time in more than a decade that the fab five will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York."

Los Angeles Times: "The backlash against this year's Academy Award nominations escalated Monday with announcements by director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith that they would boycott the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony, citing the absence of people of color in all four acting categories for the second year in a row. If other prominent entertainment industry figures join the boycott, it has the potential to spoil Hollywood's annual showcase event."

Donald Trump playing Donald Trump in movies & on teevee shows:

New York Times: "#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday morning.... The only Academy nods for two of the year’s biggest films about African-American characters went to white people.... In all the lead categories — best director, picture, and all four acting categories — only Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the Mexican auteur who won best director and picture last year, for 'Birdman,' adds a note of diversity. This year he was nominated for 'The Revenant.'”

Los Angeles Times: "Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and 'The Revenant' is leading with 12, including for best picture. Other nominees for best picture are 'The Big Short,' 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Brooklyn,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The Martian,' 'Room,' and 'Spotlight.' All the snubs, surprises and reactions from nominees coming below." Full coverage via the linked page.

Christian Science Monitor: "... thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University, the lowly incandescent bulb is getting a jolt of new life. The six-researcher team says it has found a way to boost the bulb's efficiency twenty-fold, which would leave today's favored compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the dust, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology." ...

     ... CW: If these bulbs go into production, it should make Rand Paul very, very happy. If only MIT could do something about his big-shit problem. Science does have its limits.

Los Angeles Times: "A 21-year odyssey came to an end Tuesday when National Football League owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and gave the San Diego Chargers an option to join the Rams in Inglewood."

** Washington Post: "In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms.... Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born." The paper is here. ...

... CW: Sorry, fundies, this is a lot more exciting than a trip to the Noah's ark amusement park or whatever it is.

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

New York: "Lumosity is one of these 'brain training' programs, and yet, according to the Federal Trade Commission, many of those claims aren’t backed up by science. On Tuesday, Lumos Labs — the company behind Lumosity — agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million for misleading consumers on claims that playing these mental games would help with cognitive performance and prevent mental decline as we age. 'Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,' Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 'But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.'”

New York Times: "Twitter is experimenting with introducing a longer form of tweet, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans, in what would be another gradual move away from the simplistic design sensibility that the service was originally founded upon. The project, which internally has been referred to as 'beyond 140,' is still in its testing phase and is not set to be introduced until at least March...."

Washington Post: "Four newly discovered elements managed to squeak their way in[to the periodic table] just before the end of 2015, filling up the table's seventh row and marking the first additions since 2011." CW: Since I know squat about chemistry, let me say here -- in the fullness of my ignorance -- that the periodic table should stick with elements that occur in nature. If chemists want a "sub-periodic table" to show off their lab-created, unstable elements, let 'em have it. I don't see how an "element" can be artificial. Anyone who knows what s/he's talking about is free to set me straight.

TPM: "Twitter announced Thursday it's bringing back Politwoops, the popular gaffe-tracking transparency tool that tracked politicians' deleted tweets, after unceremoniously killing off the service earlier this year.... Twitter revoked developer API access for the project, a venture of The Sunlight Foundation and The Open State Foundation, in August 2015."

If you are interested in what George Lucas thinks about the "Star Wars" series & other stuff, you can find out here, presuming Charlie Rose doesn't monopolize the conversation (okay, silly presumption). ...

... Later Lucas said he was sorry he said some of those nasty things.

... Hank Stuever of the Washington Post: The "final episodes of 'Downton Abbey' are among the show’s best since the first season — and they’ll reassure those hoping for the happiest possible endings for nearly every character."

BBC News: "A monument from a temple in the ancient city of Palmyra destroyed by so-called Islamic State (IS) is to be recreated in London's Trafalgar Square. The 2,000-year-old arch is all that remains of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May. It will be recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer. The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage." ...

... John Brennan & Sarah Knapton of the (Irish) Independent: "Ireland's saints and scholars were descended from farmers and bronze metalworkers from the Middle East and modern-day Ukraine, scientists have found. Researchers have sequenced ancient Irish human genomes for the first time. They discovered mass migrations to Ireland thousands of years ago resulted in huge changes to the ancient Irish genetic make-up. A team of geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen's University Belfast made the findings, which show a massive shift in our genetic mix over the course of just 1,000 years. They believe the genetic influxes brought cultural change such as moving to settled farmsteads, bronze metalworking - and may have even been the origin of western Celtic language." ...

... CW: One trouble with denigrating certain ethnic groups: we're all cousins. Sorry, "white" people.

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Friday
Jun152012

The Commentariat -- June 16 & 17, 2012

My column in today's New York Times eXaminer is on Maureen Dowd's column and is titled "Some Kind of Heroes." The NYTX front page is here.

Dolphus Shields, left, was the great-great-grandfather of Michelle Obama. His mother, Melvinia, was a slave. Research and DNA testing indicate that his father was a white man named Charles Marion Shields. Melvinia and Dolphus were owned by Henry Wells Shields, who was Charles’s father. Dolphus is pictured here with his son Willie. Courtesy of Jewell Barclay, via the New York Times.Rachel Swarns of the New York Times: "All four of Mrs. Obama’s grandparents had multiracial forebears." CW: Your History Lesson for Today is pretty compelling; read to the end. On Father's Day, it doesn't hurt to remember that there are fathers & there are fathers. Some of us have the kinds of fathers we buy ties & weed-eaters for; some of us don't.

Annie Gearan of the AP: "President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will use their meeting Monday, the first since Putin returned to Russia's top job, to claim leverage in a mutually dependent but volatile relationship."

Washington Post: "Leaders of the University of Virginia's governing board ousted President Teresa Sullivan last week largely because of her unwillingness to consider dramatic program cuts in the face of dwindling resources and for her perceived reluctance to approach the school with the bottom-line mentality of a corporate chief executive. Sullivan's resignation after less than two years has prompted an unprecedented backlash...: a flurry of no-confidence votes and protest letters from groups of faculty, administrators and students; a 2,000-signature petition; and a Facebook protest page with more than 3,000 members." CW: strange there's no byline on this story.

Frances Kissling & Peter Singer in a Washington Post op-ed: "Global climate leaders will have a lot of pressing challenges on the table at the Rio+20 conference. It's time to take the meat off their plates."

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "The Environmental Protection Agency was spying on Midwestern farmers with the same aerial 'drones' used to kill terrorists overseas. This month, the idea has been repeated in TV segments, on multiple blogs and by at least four congressmen. The only trouble is, it isn’t true.... The EPA isn't using drone aircraft -- in the Midwest or anywhere else. The hubbub over nonexistent drones provides a look at something hard to capture in American politics: the vibrant, almost viral, life cycle of a falsehood." CW: Yeah, and like all these false stories, this one is a zombie that lives on -- especially thanks to Fox "News" & a few Republican MOC's like Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.

GOP Croupier Extraordinaire. Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "Sheldon Adelson, a wealthy casino owner, is committing to give at least an additional $10 million to conservative groups expected to play a major role in this year's presidential and Congressional elections, cementing his growing role as one of the country's leading political financiers."

Presidential Race

He Can Still Pander Now. Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post: "Appearing via video at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual meeting Saturday morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) delivered a speech that hinged on social issues but also focused in on what remains the top issue in the presidential election -- the economy.... At times, he struck a note that bore similarities to the message former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) delivered on the campaign trail."

La-Di-Da! Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "Jan Ebeling, Mrs. Romney's longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Mrs. Romney, earned a berth on the United States Olympic dressage team on Saturday.... While Mr. Romney was barnstorming on a bus tour of swing states, Mrs. Romney watched from a V.I.P. tent as Mr. Ebeling executed a smooth 'test' of flying changes, in which Rafalca seemed to skip down the arena, and piaffes, an in-place trot." CW: bit of a contrast between the Ann Romney & Michelle Obama stories in today's NYT. ...

... Stephen Colbert makes dressage his official sport of the summer:

The President's Weekly Address:

     ... The transcript is here. Mary Bruce of ABC News: "President Obama today blamed Republicans in Congress for the flailing economic recovery, saying 'every problem we face is within our power to solve. What's lacking is our politics.'"

Kyle Cheney of Politico: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about the Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act -- and no, she does not reveal what it was. "Ginsburg noted that one ACA-related question the court must decide is whether the whole law must fall if the individual mandate is unconstitutional -- 'or may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of it?'"

Adam Sorensen of Time: "The president's circumvention of Congress on the issue of deporting young undocumented immigrants is sure to rile Republicans, but as a short-term political tactic it's a masterstroke." CW: since the President is acting by executive order, any president can rescind it by executive order -- which is one more reason not to vote for "self-deportin'" Romney. ...

... Glenn Greenwald: "Like LGBT activists, Latinos continuously pressured Obama, and now they have an important victory to show for it." ...

... What He Said. I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, a short-term matter and can be reversed by subsequent presidents. -- Mitt Romney ...

... What He Means. I'll send the kids back to Mexico on Day One of my presidency. -- Mitt Romney, in his DREAMS

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Just hours after word leaked out that the Obama administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, the issue is already causing headaches for the Republican Party.... The company line from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and prominent senators like Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Friday was a process argument, in which they decry the decision to make the move without Congress’s consent." ...

... Entre la Espada y la Pared. Helene Cooper & Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "... the president's announcement put Mr. Romney, whose party is already split on the issue, in a tough spot, pressuring him to choose between further alienating Latino voters who chafed at the anti-illegal immigration stances he took in the primary season and alienating conservatives who reject policies resembling amnesty." ...

... Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon: "After repeatedly vowing to veto the DREAM Act, [Mitt Romney] suggests he has no problem with Obama's new policy." CW: what Romney finagled was endorsement by proxy. Since President Obama's executive order is very similar to the watered-down DREAM Act Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was drafting (but never did), Rubio had to give Obama a limp thumbs-up (results good/process bad), so Romney sez "What Marco said." ...

... Romney Runs Aground. Steve Kornacki of Salon: Obama's move takes the wind out of Romney's likely course, which would be to tack to the middle & endorse Rubio's DREAM-y plan (which he had not yet done).

P. J. Crowley, a former assistant secretary of state under President Obama who quit under pressure after criticizing the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, writes a Washington Post op-ed about the utility of leaks. "The intelligence committees are suggesting that we should say less. But there is a strong argument that we must communicate more."

Gail Collins has her de Tocqueville moment: "Our biggest political division is the war between the empty places and the crowded places.... People who live in crowded places tend to appreciate government. It's the thing that sets boundaries on public behavior, protects them from burglars and cleans the streets.... The people who live in empty places don't see the point. If a burglar decides to break in, that's what they've got guns for. Other folks don't get in their way because their way is really, really remote. Who needs government?"

Grumpy McCain Goes Way Off-Message: "Corporations Are Not People." Josh Israel of Think Progress: "Though he has been one of Mitt Romney's most visible supporters, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took aim yesterday at both Romney's Super PAC and one of Romney's most controversial talking points.... McCain told Judy Woodruff that because casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson makes a huge portion of his profits from a casino in Macau, his massive spending in support of Mitt Romney and other right-wing candidates is a form of foreign money influencing American elections":

Steve Benen: "Rob Gray, a senior adviser on Romney's gubernatorial campaign who has no position in Romney's presidential campaign, says Republicans are "rooting against the economy" in hopes it will help their electoral prospects. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link:

     (... Yo, Frank Bruni. Now, that is candor.)

Here's video of "reporter" Neil Munro of the conservative Daily Caller interrupting President Obama during his remarks yesterday. 99.9 percent of journalists know better. Video of the President's full remarks is in yesterday's News Ledes:

... Elizabeth Flock of US News: "In what may be a first for the White House Rose Garden, President Obama was heckled by a reporter during his speech on immigration Friday." Includes tweet from Tucker Carlson, who runs the Daily Caller: "We are very proud of Neil for doing his job." ...

... Brian Stelter of the New York Times has a comprehensive report, including reactions & background, including this: "Among Mr. Carlson's investors is Foster Friess, the financier who has donated millions to Republican candidates this year." ...

... "Frat-Boy Conservatism." Joan Walsh: "The right pretends to respect authority -- except when it's held by a Democrat.... It's unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming 'You lie' ... to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trump's persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney).... The Romney campaign has been glorying in this new form of frat-boy conservatism, first sending campaign supporters to heckle Obama adviser David Axelrod during a press conference, and yesterday sending its bus to circle and disrupt an Obama event, honking its horn."

... When You Need an Etiquette Lesson from Gawker..., You Don't Belong on the White House Lawn. Emma Carmichael of Gawker: "Press conferences have a very simple etiquette that is only heightened when the speaker in question is the leader of the free world. You listen to someone speak.... Munro, who was reportedly wearing 'temporary'" press badges today, now maintains that Obama was the rude party."

News Ledes, June 17

AP: "The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, even as the military handed themselves the lion's share of power over the new president.... With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals made themselves the country's lawmakers, gave themselves control over the budget and will determine who writes the permanent constitution that will define the country's future." Washington Post story here.

AP: "Drawing on memories of her childhood and early career, Michelle Obama told Oregon State University graduates Sunday to live life for themselves, not for anyone else. The first lady spoke at the invitation of her older brother, Craig Robinson, the head men's basketball coach at Oregon State."

New York Times: "In a slow, somber procession, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march on Sunday down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents." The Daily News story puts the number at "tens of thousands."

New York Times: "Rodney G. King, whose 1991 videotaped beating by the Los Angeles police became a symbol of the nation's continuing racial tensions and subsequently led to a week of deadly race riots after the officers were acquitted, was found dead Sunday in a swimming pool at the home he shared with his fiancée in Rialto, Calif. He was 47." Los Angeles Times story here.

New York: "Just days after seven Republican senators on the Foreign Relations Committee urged President Obama to pick a new nominee for the ambassadorship to Iraq, the White House is doubling down on Brett McGurk."

New York Times: "The Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination born in 1845 in defense of slavery and a spiritual home to white supremacists for much of the 20th century, is poised to elect its first African-American president. The Rev. Fred Luter Jr., 55, a New Orleans pastor who got his start preaching on the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward, is expected to be the only candidate for office on Tuesday when Southern Baptists gather [in New Orleans] for their annual meeting."

New York Times: "President François Hollande's Socialists and their allies won an absolute majority in runoff parliamentary elections on Sunday, strengthening the hand of Mr. Hollande both at home and in Europe, where he is pressing for less austerity and more growth in the face of a deepening recession."

New York Times: "Greeks turned out on Sunday to vote in elections that once again are being seen as a referendum on the country's membership in the euro." ...

     ... Update: "Greek voters on Sunday gave a narrow victory in parliamentary elections to a party that had supported a bailout for the country's failed economy. The vote was widely seen as a last chance for Greece to remain in the euro zone, and the results had an early rallying effect on world markets."

New York Times: "Egyptians turned out at the polls in lower-than-expected numbers again Sunday for the second day of the runoff to choose their first president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a sign of a low morale and lack of enthusiasm as military rulers tightened their grip on the government." ...

... Haaretz: "Israeli security officials say that the rockets that landed on Friday in the area near Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

New York Times: "The United Nations said Saturday that it was suspending its observer mission in Syria because of the escalating violence, the most severe blow yet to months of international efforts to negotiate a peace plan and prevent Syria's descent into civil war."

Washington Post: "A June 1 attack on a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was much worse than originally disclosed by the military as insurgents pounded the base with a truck bomb, killing two Americans and seriously wounding about three dozen troops, officials acknowledged Saturday. The blast flattened the dining hall and post exchange at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, a frequent target of insurgents in the past. Five Afghan civilians were killed and more than 100 other U.S. troops were treated for minor injuries. U.S. officials estimated that the truck was carrying 1,500 pounds of explosives."

News Ledes, June 16

New York Times: "Polls opened on Saturday as Egyptians began two days of voting in the country's presidential runoff election, choosing between ousted former President Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister and an Islamist candidate."

AP: "China launched its most ambitious space mission yet on Saturday, carrying its first female astronaut and two male colleagues in an attempt to dock with an orbiting module and work on board for more than a week."

AP: "Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors, a move that returns Japan to atomic power but also counters public concern about its dangers."

Washington Post: "A Secret Service employee implicated in the agency's prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, this year was a supervisor with security information about President Obama's visit there. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan ... delayed two weeks before disclosing that information to congressional oversight committees in the wake of the public revelations about the scandal...."

AP: "Sharpening an election-year confrontation over religious freedom and government health insurance rules, the nation's Catholic hospitals on Friday rejected President Barack Obama's compromise for providing birth control coverage to their women employees."

AP: "Crown Prince Nayef, the hardline interior minister who spearheaded Saudi Arabia's fierce crackdown crushing al-Qaida's branch in the country after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and then rose to become next in line to the throne, has died. He was in his late 70s."

AP: "There was 'wind coming from every which way,' mist so powerful it clouded his vision and an unfamiliar wire beneath him, but daredevil Nik Wallenda didn't let that stop him from becoming the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls."

Reader Comments (6)

Errrrrk! I think I am going to lose my lunch, dinner and tomorrow morning's breakfast. Forgive me, but I need to whine. A lot! I do not think I can make it 'till November 6, 2012--unless I smash my Tee Vee, disable my computer (even more than it already is), and discontinue news feeds on my "dumb phone." I will keep reading you, Marie, because you are truthful and sardonic. But after being stuck in the Houston airport on an endless layover last weekend, with only Fox News blaring in the waiting area, I began to feel quite unreal. Where, oh where, was my Velveteen Rabbit when I needed her?

Truly, there is no "news" channel I can watch without wanting to scream. The MSM has finished me off. And the "non" MSM is non-existent. Even the bloggers (yes, even the Progressives and Radicals) have become so repetitive and predictable that they bore me silly. I have unsubscribed to Information Clearing House, and hope I do not run into Chris Hedges at an Occupy rally in Newport! Only Bill Maher seems to have enough humor and disgust to make the moment interesting.

I read the comments here at Reality Chex with admiration and respect. I hope you all can hang in there as I exit stage left. Thank you for listening.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Re: Kate Madison, Hey any wait in an airport will make you feel like that; Houston, multiply by ten. And, you missed the playwright's note: the bear exits stage left; you are to be flown out.
Ah, the simple days before the DNAs
"It's a wise man that know his own father."
I'd say, "Happy Fathers day, Pops!" He'd say, "Prove it."
Here's to everyone's Dad, good or bad.
.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

'Taking meat off the market' again raises the issue that no politician from any party has the guts to deal with. The earth already has more humans than it can sustain.
For me the good news today is that I have an excuse to eat badly, without meat, but with some rumor of a chocolate thing for dessert.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

OK back to politics. Here is some really fun local news. Our glorious leader has proposed tax cuts based on the wonderful recovery of NJ business that he of course in responsible for. Tiny problem. Over the last three months his revenue projections have not happened exactly. Off by about $35M a month. No problem, the governor assured us that on July 1, the new fiscal year revenues will jump through the roof. So the Dems came up with a really brilliant idea. They are going to approve the tax cuts with a tiny added item in the bill. The cuts only take place on Jan1, 2013 if the governors numbers are correct. In other words, every NJ resident will find out if our leader really is the bullshit artist in chief. I am really looking forward to New Years Day.
P.S. The word is that Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican convention. I am sure he will boast about his great recovery. Lucky for him the event is before Jan.1. The fact that by the time of the convention, the NJ revenue will be short about $400-500M a year will not stop him for a second.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Kate: I commiserate with you, because just in the last few weeks my thoughts have revolved around the same notion that you expressed: how to make it to November without starting to look like a model for The Scream. Seriously, I share your angst. Romney is a puppet unsuited for the great office he seeks, yet a tidal wave of right-wing dollars coupled with Citizens Unitedand general Republican lack of scruples gives him an excellent shot at succeeding, against a far better man in President Obama. I can't imagine how distraught I would feel were I to be stuck in an airport in Texas. In my blue state, you rarely see Fox news in public spaces (although CNN is bad enough!). I also relate to your comment about this wonderful space; I so enjoy Marie's choice of material and her own candid and often humorous comments. And the comments from readers like you.... I hope you got home safely Keep the faith!

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I'm with youse guys. My old desktop computer monitor/TV broke down last week, so I just installed a new, bigger one yesterday. I heard David Maraniss was going to be on "Press the Meat" this week, so I thought maybe I could stomach watching it while I was doing other stuff. Big mistake. I watched David Plouffe for a while; then Grumpy McCain was the next guest -- when hard-hitting journalist David Gregory asked him why he was so into bombing Iran (or Syria or whatever Middle East country he was into bombing today) when people were dying & being raped in Darfur, ferinstance, too, McCain's answer was pretty much "Because I want to bomb the Middle East." Okay, good enough.

Then for his roundtable panel, Gregory had on Maraniss & Doris Kearns Goodwin -- Kearns Goodwin never said a word before I changed channels -- and Mark Halperin, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Kim Strassel, and for "liberal balance" -- Harold Ford! This is why people in the heartland think it's reasonable to vote for Mitt Romney. Victoria D. sent me a good piece on Halperin by Charles Pierce, which I never got around to linking, but it's worth a read -- tho it may render you, as she says "a model for The Scream."

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns
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