The Ledes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Guardian: "The Oklahoma supreme court has dissolved its stay of the executions of two men who challenged the state's secrecy about its source of lethal injection drugs. The court reversed the decision of a district court judge who said the law that keeps the source secret is unconstitutional. The turnaround heads off a potential constitutional crisis sparked by the state's Republican governor, Mary Fallin, who had tried to override the stay by issuing an executive order to go ahead with the sentences.... The court's reversal on Wednesday came hours after a resolution by an Oklahoma House member to try to impeach some of its justices."

New York Times: "The latest accord between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization appeared more serious than past attempts, experts said, and came as hopes faded for a resolution to peace negotiations with Israel."

New York Times: "Russia continued Wednesday to ratchet up pressure on the government in Kiev, warning that events in eastern Ukraine could prompt a military response and again accusing the United States of directing events there."

Not All Fish Are Created Equal. Time: "Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed President Barack Obama to Tokyo Wednesday by taking him to the greatest sushi restaurant in the world, the three Michelin star Sukiyabashi Jiro."

Reuters: "Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday they were holding an American journalist in the city of Slaviansk and the online news site Vice News said it was trying to secure the safety of its reporter Simon Ostrovsky."

AP: "When armed men seized the police station in this eastern Ukrainian city, mayor Nelya Shtepa declared she was on their side. She changed her story a few days later. Then she disappeared — the victim of an apparent abduction by the man who now lays claim to her job. On Tuesday, she resurfaced, expressing support once again for the pro-Russia insurgents — but possibly no longer as mayor."

AP: " A senior Canadian diplomat was expelled from Canada's embassy in Moscow in retaliation for Canada expelling a Russia diplomat as tensions grow over the Ukraine, Canadian officials said Tuesday."

AP: "A Moscow judge on Tuesday left open the possibility of jailing President Vladimir Putin's main critic for years, a sign of Putin's increasingly hard-line rule against opponents. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was fined $8,400 on Tuesday for slandering a lawmaker. His second trial starts Thursday, and prosecutors who previously secured his house arrest are widely expected to ask for jail for him pending trial, with Tuesday's verdict making him a recidivist. If there's a guilty verdict at that trial, he could get a prison term."

AP: "A Kansas judge will on Wednesday consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley, as she serves a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks." ...

     ... Washington Post Update: "An Army soldier convicted of leaking classified military and diplomatic records persuaded a Kansas judge Wednesday to legally change her name from Bradley Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning."

Time: "President Barack Obama paid a visit to the small community of Oso, Wa., on Tuesday, exactly one month after a massive mudslide there claimed at least 41 lives. He promised survivors that the entire country will be on hand to help for 'as long as it takes'”:

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

AP: "In the most high-level visit of a U.S. official since crisis erupted in Ukraine, [Vice President] Biden told leaders from various political parties that he brings a message of support from President Barack Obama as they face a historic opportunity to usher in reforms." The Guardian story is here.

CNN: "The first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 crossed the finish line Monday, triumphant in a storied race that has become a national symbol of resiliency and determination. Meb Keflezighi, 38, won the men's division with an official time of 2:08:37, according to the Boston Marathon's Facebook page. With video.

AP: "Although [a] 15-year-old [airplane stowaway] apparently wanted nothing more than to run away, his success in slipping past layers of security early Sunday morning made it clear that a determined person can still get into a supposedly safe area and sneak onto a plane.... In San Jose, airport officials said they were reviewing how the boy slipped through security that includes video surveillance, German shepherds and Segway-riding police officers."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took the rare step of urging doctors to stop performing a surgical procedure used on tens of thousands of women each year to remove uterine growths, saying the practice risks spreading hidden cancers within a woman’s body. The procedure, known as power morcellation, has long been used in laparoscopic operations to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the uterus itself. It involves inserting an electric device into the abdomen and slicing tissue in order to remove it through a small incision. The surgery is far less invasive than traditional abdominal operations."

White House Live Video
April 23

The White House has no scheduled live feeds for today.

Jon Stewart on the Cliven Bundy story:

... AND on Sean Hannity's support for Bundy:

... AND Hannity is pissed off. Apparently, it upsets him to hear his own blatant hypocrisy ridiculed.

New York Times: "David Letterman introduced his successor, Stephen Colbert, on his 'Late Show With David Letterman' Tuesday night on CBS with a monologue joke and some cordial conversation — but no measuring of the drapes":

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa. Paul Fahri of the Washington Post: The ratings for "Meet the Press" are so bad that NBC hired a psychologist to analyze Greggers. ...

     ... CW: Here's the rub. Fahri writes, "The impossible burden for Gregory, of course, has been to follow the beloved Russert. As one NBC colleague describes it, Russert is a 'ghost' who still haunts Gregory’s tenure at 'MTP' six years into his run." This is strictly VSP bull. Russert was a mediocre interviewer, who continually let politicians get away with evasive answers. He left big shoes to fill only because he had big feet.

MoDo loves her '65 Mustang.

USA Today: "Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she's pregnant with her first child."

New York Times: "It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday. The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the 'Goldilocks zone' of its star, Kepler 186 — not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life."

Jason Zinoman of the New York Times argues that the real king of late-night comedy is Jon Stewart.

Whose Pulitzer Is It Anyway? Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this week for his multipart series on denials of benefits to black lung victims. ABC News, which used Hamby's work for a "Nightline" segment, now wants a piece of the Pulitzer, even though the Pulitzer Prize is given for print journalism. ...

... J. K. Trotter of Gawker has more: "Journalist-on-journalist carnage is rarely so open, or so bilious, especially when obituary-worthy awards are on the line. Then again, television news has never attracted, or rewarded, humble folk. According to Poynter, an ABC spokesperson repeatedly 'threatened [{Bill} Buzenberg {executive director of CPI}] and the Center saying they would make this very "messy" ... unless they got what they wanted.'” ...

... Dylan Byers of Politico has more on the feud. ...

... Capital New York: "Fresh off a Pulitzer win for his investigative work at The Center for Public Integrity, Chris Hamby is jumping ship to join Mark Schoofs' investigations desk at Buzzfeed...."

Washington Post: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff is leaving NBC News, by mutual consent. Isikoff told Erik Wemple that "this was a situation that was no longer working out."

Soraya McDonald of the Washington Post: "Thursday night was a deft marriage of the best of the two Colberts: He didn’t break character, but the deference and affable nature that marks his out-of-character interviews was stamped all over the writing." With video. ...

... Dylan Scott of TPM: "Rush Limbaugh framed CBS's decision to replace retiring 'Late Show' host David Letterman with professional conservative skewer Stephen Colbert in some decidedly apocalyptic terms. 'CBS has just declared war on the Heartland of America," Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show. 'No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open.'" ...

... Bill Carter of the New York Times: "CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert is the successor to David Letterman as the star of 'Late Show,' the late-night franchise created by Mr. Letterman. CBS made the announcement Thursday, exactly one week after Mr. Letterman announced on his program that he would be leaving his post after one more year on the air."

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: "A faded fragment of papyrus known as the 'Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,' which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, has been tested by scientists who conclude in a journal published on Thursday that the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery. Skepticism about the tiny scrap of papyrus has been fierce because it contained a phrase never before seen in any piece of Scripture: 'Jesus said to them, "My wife..."' Too convenient for some, it also contained the words 'she will be able to be my disciple,' a clause that inflamed the debate in some churches over whether women should be allowed to be priests." ...

... CW: Sorry, purists. Followers (& non-followers) had all kinds of ideas about what Jesus was like. Married Jesus & sexy Jesus (Gospel of Thomas, "Lost" Gospel of Mark) were among them. The Roman Catholic Church decided, beginning late in the 2nd century what was canon & what was not. And every story, IMHO, is fictional. BTW, the Egyptologist in Goodstein's story who insists the fragment is a fake uses some extremely shaky -- i.e., bogus -- rationales for his opinion.

CW: I think it's my job to run this:

... The full "Today" show segment is here, & it's mildly interesting (CW: NBC's embed code is screwed up, so I can't run it here).

Josh Dickey of Mashable: "Stephen Colbert is CBS' top choice to replace the retiring David Letterman, and has indicated that he's willing to take over the Late Show when the time comes, people familiar with both sides of the discussions tell Mashable." Via New York.

Lauren Moraski of CBS "News": "David Letterman announced Thursday that he's retiring from CBS' 'Late Show' sometime next year. He made that announcement during the taping of his program Thursday afternoon at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater."

No News, All the Time:

Igor Bobic of TPM: "In its wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, CNN has raised the possibility of the supernatural, blackholes, and North Korea; it has interviewed a psychic, tried but failed to rent its own 777 jet, and finally settled on a flight simulator it is using to 'search' for the plane.On Tuesday the network finally turned its attention to garbage."

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Saturday
Dec312011

Weekend Open Thread -- When Two Days Seems Like Two Years

¡Felíz Año Nuevo!

                                           --- from a place not far from Cuba

Write what you will. Ridiculous New Year's resolutions would be welcome. Also, if you want the definitive inside scoop on Who Shot JFK, you will find the answer, and tantalizing details, in yesterday's thread....

     ... Update: also from yesterday's thread, do go to @Fred Drumlevitch's links to stories about (and in) The Realist. I'd never heard of The Realist, but it turns out to have been a big influence on all of our lives.

Reader Comments (7)

Wanted to note that an important death was largely overlooked or underreported in 2011: Cheetah died at age 80. He outlived all his co-stars, Weissmuller, O'Sullivan, Sheffield. His caretaker said he was generally well-behaved, but if he didn't like what you were doing, he threw feces at you. I think I may try that the next time someone really pisses me off.

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

@James Singer. The New York Times story is here. Hate to burst your bubble, but apparently the chimp that died in Palm Coast wasn't one of the original "Cheetahs." Don't throw shit at me.

Years ago I was in the San Diego Zoo which has a gorilla section. The gorilla king had come out for an airing, and there were about 150 onlookers, including a lot of jeering teenagers doing stupid monkey imitations. So the gorilla threw shit at them. I thought the gorilla showed a lot better judgment than the humans. I also thought he should know that we're not all that bad, so I started looking steadily at his eyes, not saying anything, till he looked my way. I caught his attention, and without speaking I conveyed that I was on his side. I swear he "got" it. He looked at me for some time, ignoring everybody else. He calmed down and ignored the jerks. I wouldn't say I could "talk to the animals," but I know from this and other incidents that they are onto me.

Happy New Year!
Marie

December 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Shall I be resolute in my resolve, or should I resolve to be resolute? Having asked the question can I still do either?
The answer of course is yes.
New Years Resolutions have always been easy for me because I've never once made any, the whole idea seems totally preposterous to me... if something needs to be done why in the world would you wait all year to do it? Start NOW! Avoid the Christmas rush I always say... well actually, I never say that, but it sounded appropriate somehow.
Happy New Year everyone!!
That hopey changey thing is workin out just fine and I hope we see lots more change!

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doktor

You welcomed Ridiculous New Year's Resolutions, but since I never make New Year's Resolutions, and since there was no parade today, I had time to check in with 7 of the presidential hopefuls to find out what their Ridiculous Resolutions were.

Mitt: I resolve to take a stand on all important issues and stick with it to the end, or at least until Valentine's Day.

Rick P: I resolve to practice remembering 3 things that I've been paid to do if elected.

Ron: I resolve to read everything that I write in newsletters, especially as it pertains to GLBT, women, the poor, African-Americans, etc.

Rick S: I resolve to close down Google, at least the "definition of Santorum" part. How many closets did you say were in the White House?

Michele: You can't trick me into commenting on a "Revolution". I'm a college graduate!

Jon: I resolve to admit that foreign policy expertise involves more than sucking up to China.

Happy New Year All!

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

I saw gorillas as an adult at the Franklin Park Zoo in Massachusetts many years ago. I looked into the eyes of one individual and thought to myself that this creature should not be in captivity. This led me to read books about DIan Fossey (gorilla researcher), Jane Godall (chimpanzees), and Birute Mary Galdikas (orangutans), all biologists trained by Louis Leakey. Beautiful creatures! I wanted so much to travel to Africa to see gorillas, but at the time the expense was well beyond my means.

I think the eyes of the gorilla in the Boston zoo was one of the experiences that set me on a path of learning about nature;it is extraordinary!

Sadly, nature is under assault. I have a friend - David Carroll - who says something along the lines that everyday is worse for wildlife. And then there is the nature writer David Quammen who when asked
why he continues to advocate for the environment given the dismal picture he paints replied, it's the right thing to do.

So, I try to keep positive and do he right thing.

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

OK the fire's out. 1012; is Realitychex going to post a Mayan clock countdown? God, I hope so. I've got a lot of things on my mind and I'm going to need some reminder of the coming end of the world.
I can't go to zoos without being depressed even knowing that in todays environment that's where you can see what's left of creation.
In my town there was a big lion who would restlessly prowl her cage waiting for the right spectators to gather by the fence in front of her then fast as you could say,"yuckie!" she would turn and lay down a heavy mist of big cat spray. If her aim was true somebody went home smelling like the world's biggest kitty litter box. There was a sign posted warning of the lions game. Few if any read the sign. You go big kitty!

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Aw, my first spam of the New Year.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlouis
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