Slatest PM: Obama Goes 2-For-22

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 1 2013 5:49 PM

Slatest PM: Obama Spent Monday Building a Brick House

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President Obama struggled from the field during today's Easter festivities at the White House

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

North Korea Has Everyone Worried: Washington Post: "U.S. officials and independent experts say North Korea appears to have taken unusual steps to conceal details about the nuclear weapon it tested in February, fueling suspicions that its scientists shifted to a bomb design that uses highly enriched uranium as the core. At least two separate analyses of the Feb. 12 detonation confirmed that the effects of the blast were remarkably well contained, with few radioactive traces escaping into the atmosphere — where they could be detected — according to U.S. officials and weapons experts who have studied the data. ... A successful test of a uranium-based bomb would confirm that Pyongyang has achieved a second pathway to nuclear weapons, using its plentiful supply of natural uranium and new enrichment technology. A device based on highly enriched uranium, HEU, also would deepen concerns about cooperation between the hermetic regime and Iran."

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Aryan Brotherhood Eyed in Texas Shooting: USA Today: "Investigators trying to solve the murders of a North Texas district attorney, his wife and an assistant prosecutor are zeroing in on a local white supremacist prison gang known for brutal retaliations against its own members, running methamphetamine and other drugs outside prison walls and murder. But just what role – if any – the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas played in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, who were found shot to death in their home Saturday, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, who was killed outside a courthouse Jan. 31, remains a puzzling unknown."

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for James Holmes: Associated Press: "For James Holmes, “justice is death,” prosecutors said Monday in announcing they will seek his execution if he is convicted in the Colorado movie theater attack that killed 12 people. The decision — disclosed in court just days after prosecutors publicly rejected Holmes’ offer to plead guilty if they took the death penalty off the table — elevated the already sensational case to a new level and could cause it to drag on for years. ... Within minutes of its becoming official, the trial was pushed back from August to next February and Judge William B. Sylvester removed himself from the case, saying that now that the charges carry the death penalty they will take years to resolve and he does not have the time to devote to such a drawn-out matter."

Happy Monday and welcome back to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

2-For-22: Talking Points Memo: "While President Obama has been hitting the links to practice his golf swing often recently, it's actually his jump shot may need a lot more work. Obama on Monday managed a measly 2-22 from the field at a basketball court during the White House Easter Egg Roll, according to a pool report. A group of children and members of the NBA team the Washington Wizards accompanied the president on the court. 'Oh, man,' he said, after missing a shot. 'Come on. Come on. Did you see that?' an exasperated Obama added after another shot that bounced off the rim."

The Video:

White House Spin: Salon: "Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted at Monday’s White House press briefing that 'having done a few shots with him, he’s pretty good,' adding: 'The president doesn’t get to practice probably as much he would like to.'"

Stockton Enters Bankrupcy: Associated Press: "A judge accepted the California city of Stockton's bankruptcy application on Monday, making it the most populous city in the nation to enter bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein said the bankruptcy declaration was needed to allow the city to continue to provide basic services. 'It's apparent to me the city would not be able to perform its obligations to its citizens on fundamental public safety as well as other basic government services without the ability to have the muscle of the contract-impairing power of federal bankruptcy law,' Klein said. The city of nearly 300,000 people has become emblematic of government excess and the financial calamity that resulted when the nation's housing bubble burst."

ADHD Diagnoses on the Rise: New York Times: "Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children."

The Ghost of Chavez: Reuters: "From thundering speeches celebrating Chavez's days as a leftist military conspirator to stories told in a low voice of his final days suffering from cancer, [acting President Nicolas] Maduro has made Chavez's ghost the centerpiece of his campaign. Polls show the 50-year-old former bus driver, whom Chavez named his successor before dying, leading opposition challenger Henrique Capriles by at least 14 percentage points. He enjoys ample state spending to back his candidacy, and has used the celebration of Chavez's legacy to keep attention away from high inflation, nagging product shortages and one of the world's highest rates of violent crime."

I'd Make a Witty Joke Here If I Had Paid More Attention in College: The Telegraph: "[A] new study has found that [William Shakespeare] was repeatedly prosecuted and fined for illegally hoarding food, and threatened with jail for failing to pay his taxes ...  Court and tax records show that over a 15-year period Shakespeare purchased grain, malt and barley to store and resell for inflated prices, according to a paper by Aberystwyth University academics Dr Jayne Archer, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley and Professor Howard Thomas. The study notes: 'By combining both illegal and legal activities, Shakespeare was able to retire in 1613 as the largest property owner in his home town, Stratford-upon-Avon. His profits—minus a few fines for illegal hoarding and tax evasion—meant he had a working life of just 24 years.'" [Original story in the Sunday Times, but behind a paywall.]

A Promising Start: NBC News: "Three months after Chicago notched the most murders in the nation, officials are touting a dramatic downturn in crime. In the first quarter of the year, murders dropped 42 percent over the same period last year and shootings were down 27 percent -- reductions that authorities say were fueled by anti-gang initiatives. ... The encouraging figures come after a series of crimes that made Chicago a symbol of urban gun violence. The nation's third-largest city ended 2012 with the most slayings: 506. Then came the shooting death of innocent teenager Hadiya Pendleton, who had just performed with her school marching band during President Obama's inauguration weekend activities. She was killed during the deadliest January that Chicago had seen in a decade."

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