Today, in a much-hyped speech, President Barack Obama will take another stab at storytelling. After a spring of awkward conversations about IRS shenanigans and NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Obama wants to return our attention to the economy and the plight of the middle class. There will not be any new policy proposals in his address at Knox College, The New York Times assures us. This will be a pure exercise in branding.
President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai essentially just had a Skype breakup. According to The New York Times, the "slowly unraveling" relationship between the two reached a "new low" when Karzai unloaded on Obama in a video conference for negotiating with the Taliban without him. This falling out comes at a fraught moment, just as Obama is finalizing his endgame plans in Afghanistan.
Running the show in D.C. didn't work out. Now in Tennessee, she's hoping cash is king.
John DeBerry Jr., a veteran House member in Tennessee, has never been fond of fundraisers. Handshakes, not dollars, make the difference in his stretch of Memphis, where he has been campaigning the old-fashioned way for nearly 20 years. DeBerry’s low-budget operation collects about $20,000 each election and centers on door-to-door visits. The past year's redistricting, which forced him into a tough primary with a colleague, didn't change any of that, he says.
A tip sheet for the scandals
How should you feel about the latest invasions of privacy? We asked Jeffrey Rosen to give us a tip sheet for the scandals.
ADHD meds like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Vyvanse have been called "smart pills" for their ability to bestow superhuman powers of concentration. In the U.S. especially, where about 11 percent of schoolchildren have an ADHD diagnosis, parents and teachers embrace the drugs as a way to get kids to sit still and pay attention.
The Supreme Court decided today that human gene sequences cannot be patented, invalidating some of Myriad Genetics's patent claims on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. But it was only a partial victory for scientists and patients' rights advocates—the Court upheld the company's patents on the cDNA versions of those genes. What's cDNA? Clearly the Court doesn't understand, or else wouldn't have made such a ruling.
Maryland’s 3rd congressional district, the most gerrymandered in the nation, is a Rorschach test in the most literal sense. The Washington Post called it a “crazy quilt.” A local politician compared it to “blood spatter from a crime scene.” A federal judge said it reminded him of a “broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” DCist suggested we ditch metaphor altogether and change the word “gerrymander” to “Marymander.” It would be an apt name.