Dean Baquet made history when he became the first wall-punching executive editor of the New York Times. The media remains transfixed by Hillary Clinton's blood clot, but can the clot have it all? And New York's legislature will decide whether it will be the last one to legalize mixed martial arts. Currently, state law requires would-be combatants -- or "boppers," as they're described in state law -- to place glass bottles on their fingers and urge their opponents come out to plaaaaayyyyy. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, May 14th, 2014:
ABRAMSON OUT AT NYT, BAQUET NEW EXECUTIVE EDITOR - "So, how about this: 'Snowfall' ... but as a quiz about your accent..." "Dean, you beautiful bastard, you got the job!" Jack Mirkinson: "Jill Abramson has been suddenly and surprisingly replaced as the editor of the New York Times, the paper announced on Wednesday. Abramson, who was the first woman to edit the Times is being replaced by her deputy, Dean Baquet, who has become the first-ever African American to lead the paper of record. She had been serving as executive editor since 2011. The Times mandates that all senior editors resign their posts at 65; Abramson is 60, meaning that she left five years early. In a statement, Abramson said, 'I’ve loved my run at The Times. I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.' At a hastily called meeting of the paper's staff, publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., made it clear that Abramson's departure was not amicable, though he gave few details about why exactly she left. "We had an issue with management in the newsroom," he said, according to a staffer who was present. 'And that's all I'm going to say.' He also stressed that the change was 'not about any sort of disagreement between the newsroom and the business side,' causing some observers to think that that was, in fact, what led to Abramson's firing." [HuffPost]
@laurahelmuth: Kids, this is why you shouldn't get a tattoo. Jill Abramson has the NYT's "T" on her back. http://bit.ly/1eFqRMC
@lpolgreen: Dean Baquet presiding over his first page 1 meeting as executive editor of the New York Times. http://t.co/9npXYIF0zt
LIBERALS FUNDRAISING OFF OF CONSERVATIVES FUNDRAISING OFF OF BENGHAZI - Behold the ouroboros of political recrimination. Yahoo News: "It’s come to this: A liberal advocacy group launched a fundraising drive this week around the House select committee on Benghazi that criticizes Republican groups for launching fundraising drives around the select committee on Benghazi. People for the American Way, a D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes a range of liberal policies, sent a fundraising pitch to supporters this week that blasted Republicans for 'exploiting the tragic deaths of four Americans” in order to “raise funds and rally their base.' The message ended with a plea for PFAW supporters to make a donation and renew their membership. Last week, after House Republican leaders announced plans to launch a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, the National Republican Congressional Committee wrote a fundraising plea based on the new panel. 'House Republicans will make sure that no one will get away from Gowdy and the Select Committee. This is going to be a national effort for a national investigation,' the page read. 'Help fight liberals by donating today.' Democrats responded by excoriating the GOP for raising money off the tragedy. “Fundraising off the Benghazi tragedy is despicable and insulting and has no place in the national conversation,” New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement last week." [Yahoo]
The best/worst email subject SEO we've ever seen.
TIM GEITHNER'S HILARIOUS PRANK ON GENE SPERLING - Tim Geithner's new book relates a jape he played on Obama's economic adviser over the Home Affordable Modification Program. President Obama received daily letters from people trying to get loan modifications under the program but winding up in foreclosure instead. "I once played a prank on Gene Sperling, pretending I had told a reporter he was the secret architect of HAMP—not just the substance, but the communications and media strategy. My press secretary got so worried that Gene would have a heart attack that she called to spill the beans; that’s how universally reviled HAMP was." Ha, ha! People lost their homes. [Stress Test]
Brad DeLong aggregates the many negative responses to Geithner's review of his own housing policy.
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The ghost of Paul Ryan's policy past lives in the late 19th century. The financial panic of 1873 triggered a worldwide depression. Bank failures led to widespread layoffs, and welfare historians have documented increasing demands for private and public poor relief at the local level. Concern rose about tramps roaming from city to city to soak up whatever charity they could find. Welfare reformers at the time fought to stop the handouts, which they said only exacerbated tramping. "Next to alcohol, and perhaps alongside it, the most pernicious fluid is indiscriminate soup," one reformer said in the late 1870s, according to historian Walter I. Trattner's 1974 book, "From Poor Law to Welfare State." Another said, "It is not bread the poor need, it is soul; it is not soup, it is spirit." Where have we heard similar statements more recently? [HuffPost]
Delaney discussion on MSNBC.
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WHITE HOUSE NOT WADING INTO MICHAEL BOGGS FIGHT - Jen Bendery: "The White House is standing by Michael Boggs, President Barack Obama's beleaguered judicial nominee who has felt the wrath of progressive groups and Democratic lawmakers over his socially conservative record. But if Senate Democrats can't bring themselves to support him, the president will understand. 'The president of course believes that each senator should vote as he or she sees fit,' White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his Wednesday briefing. 'The president supports voting your conscience as a general matter,' he said. Not that the White House is lessening its support for Boggs. 'The president would disagree with any assessment by anyone that reached the conclusion that Judge Boggs is not qualified for this post,' Carney added. 'The president believes he is, or we would not have nominated him.' Boggs, who is up for a lifetime post on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, took a beating from Democrats Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing over votes he took during his time as a Georgia state legislator. Among other things, Boggs voted to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, to keep the Confederate insignia on the Georgia state flag and to pass a measure that would post information online about the number of abortions performed by doctors." [HuffPost]
Bad sign: " Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday became the first Democratic senator to say he can't support President Barack Obama's judicial nominee Michael Boggs, who has drawn criticism from progressive groups for his record on gay rights, abortion and civil rights. 'Unless I have a better explanation, I can’t vote for him,' Reid said in an interview with BuzzFeed. 'This is a lifetime appointment. He's said some things and made some decisions I think are not very good.'" [Bendery]
CONGRESS TRYING TO END WAR - Mike McAuliff: "When Congress granted President George W. Bush authority to go to war against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their supporters shortly after the 2001 attacks, most lawmakers probably didn't think that amounted to a blank check for endless war. But 13 years later, that has been essentially the effect of that authorization, with two presidents relying on it to conduct strikes far from the battlefield in Afghanistan, and for the ongoing, indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. Some lawmakers tried last year to repeal or update the law, but failed, even as President Barack Obama pushed Congress to make revisions. Next week, exactly one year after Obama made his pitch, lawmakers in both chambers intend to try again. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) plans to hold a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with the primary goal of figuring out how to update the law. Corker and a number of other Republicans, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, have argued that tactics like drone strikes on far-flung targets and against groups that didn't even exist in 2001 exceed the scope of the Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF. In the House, perhaps the most broadly supported idea is to sunset the law and grant Congress a year to debate whether a new authority needs to be created to fight a so-called global war on terror. That plan, advocated by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), failed last year on a vote of 185 to 236, as 30 Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the measure and make it a bipartisan effort." [HuffPost]
INVESTORS PROFITING EARLY ON FED ANNOUNCEMENTS: STUDY - It's like high speed trading for people who don't know how to set up their own computers. Bloomberg: "Some investors may have gotten early word of changes to Federal Reserve policy between 1997 and 2013 and profited by trading before the policy shifts were publicly announced, according to Singapore-based researchers. Trading records show abnormally large price movements and imbalances in buy and sell orders that are “statistically significant and in the direction of the subsequent policy surprise,” according to a paper by Gennaro Bernile, Jianfeng Hu and Yuehua Tang at Singapore Management University. The moves occurred before and during the time that reporters were given the Federal Open Market Committee statement in so-called media lockups. On days the FOMC policy decision deviated from market expectations, “back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that the aggregate dollar profits” from early access to the statement ranged between $14 million and $256 million, the authors said in the study titled, 'Can information be locked up? Informed trading before macro-news announcements.' The Fed, starting with the release of its FOMC statement on Oct. 30, tightened regulation of the lockup." [Bloomberg]
Bill is amused: "Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday mocked Karl Rove's recent claim that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage, invoking a previous right-wing conspiracy theory about his wife's December 2012 fall. 'Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,' Bill Clinton said when asked about Rove's comments at a fiscal conference. "First they say she faked her concussion; now they say she's auditioning for a part on 'The Walking Dead'!' 'The Walking Dead' is a popular horror TV series depicting a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by zombies who hunt and eat humans. When Hillary Clinton hit her head in a fall near the end of her tenure as secretary of state, a host of prominent conservatives suggested that she faked the injury to avoid testifying before Congress on the attack in Benghazi, Libya." [HuffPost's Zach Carter]
JUDGE OVERTURNS IDAHO GAY MARRIAGE BAN - How much you want to make a bet I can throw a wedding bouquet over them mountains? Reuters: "A U.S. federal judge struck down Idaho's ban on gay marriage on Tuesday, saying it relegated same-sex couples to a second-class status in violation of constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. The ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale was the latest in a string of decisions by federal judges against state bans on same-sex matrimony that, if upheld by higher courts, would sharply broaden access to marriage for U.S. gay couples. Dale said her decision would go into effect on Friday at 9 a.m. local time, unless put on hold by a higher court. Marriage rights have been extended to gay couples in 17 states and the District of Columbia in a trend that has gained momentum since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last June that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits. That decision, which struck down part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, has been cited by a number of federal judges, including Dale, in subsequent opinions overturning state bans on gay matrimony." [Reuters]
KENTUCKY WANTS ITS HEMP BACK, PLEASE - Grim and Matt Ferner: "Kentucky has filed suit against the federal government to win access to hemp seeds the federal Drug Enforcement Administration had seized, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R) tells HuffPost. 'I hated to do that, but we've been misled and it's obviously a stall tactic,' Comer said. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court and names the DEA, the Department of Justice, Customs and Border Protection and Attorney General Eric Holder personally. We have farmers who wanna grow it. We have processors who wanna process it. We have researchers who wanna research it. We bought and paid for the seeds,' Comer said. 'Here in Kentucky there's a desperate need to find an alternative to tobacco.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are some chill owls.
NEW YORK DEBATING LEGALIZING MMA - Daily News: "The fight to legalize mixed martial arts in New York is probably facing another split decision this year. The state Senate passed a bill Tuesday to legalize the controversial but popular sport for the fifth straight year. But the effort is likely to be knocked out in the Democrat-dominated Assembly, which thus far has refused to allow a vote to come to the floor. Insiders close to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver don’t expect that to change before the legislative session ends in June. New York is the only state in the country that still outlaws the sport...Epstein noted that the Assembly bill is carried by Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester) and has 60 sponsors. Seventy six votes are needed for passage." [Daily News]
It's still legal to be annoying in New York, so Park Slope parents can breathe a sigh of relief: "On Tuesday, the state’s highest court appeared to agree, striking down a statute that made it a felony to communicate with someone 'in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.' The ruling, rendered by the Court of Appeals in Albany in a near-unanimous decision, is expected to have a broad effect on hundreds of harassment cases currently being prosecuted in the city. Ronald L. Kuby, one of the lawyers involved in the original case, called the decision a victory for 'the demented and dissident, the crazies and the critical, the malcontents and the maladjusted — amen.'" [NYT]
- A map showing the prevalence of non-English languages in the U.S. [http://slate.me/RLzA5h]
- The Times has an interactive feature on the new 9/11 museum at Ground Zero. [http://nyti.ms/1nIuOmF]
- The difference between seltzer, club soda and soda water. [http://slate.me/1jtJluI]
- Panda dogs is what happens when our cuteness addiction runs amok. [http://huff.to/1iPO4uW]
- Drake infographic is brimming with internet umami. [http://bit.ly/1k1l048]
- A hilarious alternate ending to this weekend's "Game of Thrones" episode. [http://bit.ly/1jHz7Ml]
- Denmark has a very NSFW PSA for a European Parliament election. [http://bit.ly/1goa81h]
- Today is National Chicken Dance Day, so here is a tribute to Arrested Development's take on the move. [http://uproxx.it/1goavZH]
@dceiver: Need some data-driven maps of where all the load-bearing walls are at 620 8th avenue
@cwarzel: "One word, guys: ZINES." - Dean Baquet just now, i bet
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