Here is some stuff in the news today...
Bernie Sanders released a statement on yesterday's primary: "I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victories tonight, and I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come." (I love how he says that like somehow she hasn't been focused on the issues. Note to Senator Sanders: Speech transcripts aren't actually a campaign issue.) He goes on with his new bailiwick: Open primaries. "I am proud that we were able to win a resounding victory tonight in Rhode Island, the one state with an open primary where independents had a say in the outcome. Democrats should recognize that the ticket with the best chance of winning this November must attract support from independents as well as Democrats. I am proud of my campaign's record in that regard." Dude, seriously, the Democratic Party is well aware of that. Closed primaries, whether you agree with them or not, are to make sure that Democratic voters are choosing the Democratic candidate. Because the party needs first and foremost their base to have maximum excitement about the candidate they put forth. It's not a general election. It's a Democratic primary.
Thanks, no doubt, in no small part to Sanders' now infusing his every speech with complaints about the primary process (even though he loves caucuses, which are the least Democratic aspect of it), along with Donald Trump's singing the same refrain, more than half of US voters now "believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is 'rigged' and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll." In need of reform and "rigged" are not the same thing. Possibly nothing makes it more plain that the system is not "rigged" than the fact that Obama won in '08. The winner wins.
Ted Cruz will reportedly "make a 'major announcement' at an afternoon rally" in Indianapolis today. Incredibly, it's probably not that he's dropping out. The rumor is that he will instead announce Carly Fiorina as his running mate should he get the nomination. Okay, player.
[Content Note: Misogyny] Donald Trump is the most disgusting Republican presidential candidate I have ever had the misfortune of covering, which is really saying something. This passage comes from a GQ profile of Melania Trump: "Melania is as fastidious a wife as she is a mother, which Donald appreciates. Things come easy with her. 'I work very hard from early in the morning till late in the evening,' Donald told Larry King in 2005. 'I don't want to go home and work at a relationship.' To the twice-divorced Donald, Melania is terrific. He's never heard her fart or make doodie, as he once told Howard Stern. (Melania has said the key to the success of her marriage is separate bathrooms.) He can trust her to take her birth control every day, he boasted to Stern; she's just amazing that way. She has the perfect proportions—five feet eleven, 125 pounds—and great boobs, which is no trivial matter. Stern once asked Trump what he would do if Melania were in a terrible car accident, God forbid, and lost the use of her left arm, developed an oozing red splotch near her eye, and mangled her left foot. Would Donald stay with her? 'How do the breasts look?' Trump asked."
[CN: Sexual assault] "Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys during his time as a high school wrestling coach in a Chicago suburb before his career as an elected official. Struggling to stand in federal court Wednesday, 74-year-old Hastert gripped his walker, approached the microphone and said that he 'mistreated' some of his wrestlers and apologized. 'They looked to me, and I took advantage of them,' Hastert said as he awaited his sentencing after pleading guilty last fall to breaking federal banking laws in a hush-money case. 'I apologize to the court and to the people of the United States.' Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, along with two years of supervised release on the condition that he get sex offender treatment. Prosecutors had recommended a six-month sentence. Durkin called Hastert a 'serial child molester' and said he must not contact any of his victims. 'That's necessary to protect the victims,' the judge said." Rage seethe boil.
[CN: War on agency] Jessica Mason Pieklo is typically fantastic in her coverage of a federal investigation which "uncovered AmeriCorps volunteers allegedly violating federal law by assisting patients seeking abortions. ...AmeriCorps volunteers are free to work as abortion doulas on their own time and not wearing AmeriCorps gear to do so. They can also do so working as abortion clinic escorts—which are not the same thing as doulas—who help patients navigate a gauntlet of anti-choice protesters outside abortion clinics on their way into their procedures. The government's own findings provide zero information as to whether these volunteer activities happened on personal time or not. The first question to ask then is: When did these activities happen? Assuming the AmeriCorps volunteers didn't do this work on AmeriCorps time, then there is not an issue of illegality."
At Ebony, and in collaboration with the Ms. Foundation for Women, Wade Davis has introduced a week-long series in which "thought leaders are sharing stories and visuals of Black men engaging with ideas of feminism and gender equality."
President Obama: "Letters from kids like you are what make me so optimistic for the future. I hope to meet you next week, 'Little Miss Flint.'" RIGHT IN THE FEELS!
HBO will submit Beyoncé's Lemonade for Emmy consideration. FUCKING RIGHT IT WILL! "Whether Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé herself, the credited directors of the piece, can be joined by 'additional directors' Melina Matsoukas, Todd Tourso, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jonas Akerlund, and Mark Romanek remains to be seen. HBO is in the midst of working out those details."
[CN: Animal distress] Dogs don't like hugs. As a rule! Some dogs do, under specific circumstances, like when they're already stressed and like their people to act as a human thundershirt. But generally, don't squeeze your dogs! It feels like doggy jail!
[CN: Animal abuse, but happy ending] When I was a kid, I was constantly finding hurt or endangered wild animals and rehabilitating them (sometimes in secret, because my mom was rightly concerned I was going to be bit or catch some disease), and I was lucky enough to live near a wildlife preserve where they could be safely relocated and released (with the staff's help). Which is a long way explaining why I love this story about a rescued possum so much.
And finally! "Cuddly Cat Family Adopts Orphan Pup." Awwwww! ♥