Tuesday, May 6, 2015.
AP: "John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has made an unannounced and unprecedented trip to Somalia in a show of solidarity with a government trying to defeat al-Qaida-allied militants and end decades of war."
Monday, May 4, 2015.
CBS New York: "An NYPD officer died Monday, two days after being shot in the head while sitting in an unmarked squad car in Queens. Officer Brian Moore, 25, was in a medically induced coma after undergoing surgery shortly after the incident in Queens Village.... He was removed from life support at 11:15 a.m. Monday, sources said."
New York Times: "Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and husband of Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, died of head trauma Friday night after he collapsed at the gym at a private resort in Mexico, according to a Mexican government official."
New York Times: "Two gunmen were killed after they opened fire Sunday evening outside an event hosted by an anti-Islam group in Garland, Tex., featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, local officials said. According to the authorities, the two assailants shot a security guard and were, in turn, shot and killed by police officers. Officials did not name the gunmen or assign a motive for the attack. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. in Dallas said the agency was providing investigative and bomb technician assistance to the Garland police." ...
... CW: Expect Fox "News" to handle this in their usual professional manner. ...
... ABC News: "One of the suspects in the shooting in Garland, Texas, late Sunday has been identified as Elton Simpson, an Arizona man who was previously the subject of a terror investigation, according to a senior FBI official." Simpson's roommate is believed to be the other shooter. Simpson was on the no-fly list.
Public Service Announcement
Reuters: "Scientists believe they may have found a new weapon in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease – not in the form of a drug but in focused beams of ultrasound. While the approach has only been tested in mice, researchers said on Wednesday it proved surprisingly good at clearing tangles of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s in the animals’ brains and improving their memory, as measured by tests such as navigating a maze."
12:00 noon ET: President Obama makes a personnel announcement
12:20 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing
5:25 pm ET: President Obama hosts a Cinco de Mayo reception
Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Washington Post: Tesla plans to market a home battery system that draws power from solar panels or the power grid to use during outages. It holds up to 10 kw-hours, about 1/3 of what it takes to power an average home for a day. Tesla plans to make the system avalable by the end of this summer.
Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly: "Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave [Letterman]’s seismic impact on comedy.... In today’s’ world of 30 late night programs, it’s tempting now to take Dave for granted. Do not. Dave was a true revolution.... Like all revolutions, it was such a seismic shift that it was disorienting and a bit messy at first, and it has taken us time to realize the sheer magnitude of the shift."
White House: "For a new state china service, First Lady Michelle Obama wanted it to have modern elements, but also for it to be practical, in the sense that it would be complementary to the preceding historic state services. The Obama State China Service consists of eleven-piece place settings for 320":
Timothy Simon of "Veep" gets ready to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is Saturday, April 25:
... Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live will headline the event.
MOOCS! Washington Post: For $45, anyone can become a freshman at Arizona State University. "Students can take classes online for a fee, then decide whether to pay reduced tuition for the credits."
The Sex Life of David Brooks is apparently intensely interesting to Villagers who do not participate in it.
Washington Post: "Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental." During a competition in Dubai, the Georgian grandmaster allegedly hid an iPhone in the bathroom, then consulted a chess app during play.
CBS News: "'Face the Nation' Host Bob Schieffer announced Sunday that CBS News political director John Dickerson will become the new host of 'Face the Nation' this summer when he retires." CW: So "Face the Nation" is going to become even worse. Follows the well-established pattern of Sunday morning "news" shows.
New York Times: "Bob Schieffer, a television anchor who has worked at CBS for nearly half a century and interviewed every sitting president since Richard Nixon, announced Wednesday night that he was retiring this summer. Mr. Schieffer, 78, made the announcement while giving an address at Texas Christian University, his alma mater." CW: This will be a great disappointment to Charles Pierce, as regular readers of Pierce's posts will recognize.
I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.... We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology.... We are not talking about little green men, Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes. -- Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA
It's definitely not an if, it's a when. -- Jeffery Newmark of NASA
... The L.A. Times story, from which the above citations come, is fascinating.
Washington Post: "The quote on the stamp originated with [Joan Walsh] Anglund.... 'Yes, that’s my quote,' Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems 'A Cup of Sun,' published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp." CW: These are forever stamps. Maybe you should rush to the Post Office & buy a pane.
Guardian: "Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, which prompted a crisis at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, have been removed from a federal court case by a judge in the US. Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender. 'At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,' Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning.... Andrew and Buckingham Palace vehemently deny Roberts’s allegations."
Washington Monthly: "Today [April 7] marks the centennial of Billie Holliday’s birth."
Wild Things Interrupt President Obama's reading of "Where the Wild Things Are" at the White House's Easter Egg Roll:
... Don't Worry, Bee Happy. Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post: "The pint-sized guests Monday might not have listened to him, but the president’s National Pollinator Initiative will forge ahead. Last June Obama launched an inter-agency task force charged with developing a federal strategy to protect pollinators, which help sustain crops ranging from almonds to blueberries and broccoli, and it should be unveiling a detailed plan in a matter of months."
The Coolest First Lady in the History of the Nation:
Krissah Thompson of the Washington Post: "For her forthcoming book, “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House,” Kate Andersen Brower managed to elicit stories from domestic staff who witnessed up close the loneliness of President Nixon as he faced impeachment, the weariness of Hillary Clinton as her husband’s sex scandal exploded and other surprisingly intimate moments involving the first families. Most of these stories — from Nancy Reagan’s tirade over three broken tchotchkes to the tearful hug Jackie and Bobby Kennedy shared with a favorite doorman in an elevator — are attributed to staffers by name, not wrapped in the cloud of anonymous sourcing that usually cloaks reporting about the inner workings of the White House." ...
Here's What $75MM Buys:
... Orange County Register: "President Richard Nixon's Western White House, an oceanfront San Clemente estate owned by retired Allergan CEO Gavin S. Herbert, is for sale at $75 million. Herbert, 83, is selling the 5.45-acre estate after owning the property for 35 years." Includes slideshow.
New York: "Here's a spoiler for people who haven't finished House of Cards season three yet: Frank Underwood doesn't die, because Netflix [April 2] announced that it had renewed Cards for a fourth season."