Ignorance isn't bliss
July 23, 2014
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President Obama said at a fundraiser in Seattle on Tuesday that he doesn't tune in for TV news, because there's little such programs can inform him of that he's not already aware of. "Whatever they're reporting about, usually I know," the president reportedly said.

As conservative critics have been quick to point out, this is a surprising statement, because Obama has racked up an extensive record in recent years of claiming ignorance of major developments until seeing them reported in the media. The list of topics on which he or his staff have claimed such ignorance include the Petraeus investigation, the DOJ seizure of AP phone records, health insurance cancellations, ObamaCare website troubles, requests for additional security in Benghazi, IRS targeting of political groups, and the Fast and Furious scandal. Additionally, the NSA denied on Obama's behalf his knowledge of the agency's spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Bonnie Kristian

10:27 a.m. ET

Sen. Liz Warren (D-Mass.) is best known for her populist opposition to big banks on Wall Street, often critiquing their role in the 2008 housing crisis and the devastating spike in foreclosures it entailed. And in All Your Worth, a book Warren published in 2006, she says it is a myth that "You can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly."

These two facts combined make it curious that, as National Review reports, Warren made $240,500 (less unknown remodeling costs) in the mid-1990s by flipping five houses in Oklahoma. Several of the homes were foreclosures, and a lack of permits on file with local government suggests she did not make significant improvements in some of the houses before flipping them.

Warren has also come under fire this week for the $1.6 million advance she earned for her 2014 memoir, A Fighting Chance. In her financial disclosures, Warren split the payment across two years' forms. Bonnie Kristian

some good news for fifa
10:25 a.m. ET

FIFA 16, the upcoming edition of EA Sports' series of soccer simulation video games, will feature women's teams for the first time ever. The announcement comes just before the Women's World Cup kicks off in Canada on June 6.

The lack of women has been a point of contention for years in the games, which have been around since 1993. A Change.org petition garnered more than 13,000 supporters in 2012.

There will be 12 women's teams, all international, compared to 30 men's leagues with more than a dozen teams each on FIFA '15, Polygon reports. Team USA players Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe are among those featured.

FIFA 16 will be released Sept. 22.

Julie Kliegman

shop til you drop
9:57 a.m. ET
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In case there weren't already enough easy ways to blow money on the internet, shoppers will soon be able to buy products online without ever leaving a Google search screen, the company's chief business officer announced Wednesday, Re/code reports.

"There’s going to be a buy button," Omid Kordestani said at the Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California. "It's going to be imminent."

When a user searches for a product, the buy button would appear with product ads that already run alongside search results, BBC reports. The Wall Street Journal reported on Google's buy button earlier this month.

Google faces instant-buying competition from Amazon's one-click ordering, as well as Twitter, which started testing a buy button with select groups last September. Julie Kliegman

9:43 a.m. ET

To any soccer fan who has been following the practices of FIFA throughout the past decade, it's no surprise that the world's governing soccer organization is terribly corrupt. It's a little more surprising, however, that FIFA is finally being held accountable — to the tune of $150 million and charges of bribery, fraud, and racketeering.

"On the surface, it's just another white collar crime story: rich, powerful men making themselves richer and more powerful," says Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. "But a closer look suggests that there is a lot of real-world suffering happening as a direct result of FIFA's decisions." Ingraham put together a fascinating chart that maps out the estimated human toll of building the stadiums and facilities necessary to hold the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, and the result is startling:

(The Washington Post)

While Ingraham's graphic is an estimate (he explains how he arrived at this comparison here), this rough approximation of the potentially World Cup-related deaths of migrant workers in Qatar is undoubtedly shocking. Even worse, the Post points out that the International Trade Union Confederation estimates that in addition to 1,200 migrant worker deaths so far, up to 4,000 additional workers could die in Qatar in the run up to the 2022 World Cup.

For a full explanation of how Ingraham arrived at these bleak estimates, head over to The Washington Post. Samantha Rollins

Numbers don't lie
9:37 a.m. ET
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Sandvine, a Canadian bandwidth management company, found that during primetime hours, Netflix streaming accounts for 36.5 percent of downstream internet bandwidth.

Meanwhile, Netflix' competitors combined still don't match that figure. During the same time period, YouTube accounted for 15.6 percent of downstream internet traffic, and just two percent was used for Amazon Instant Video and 1.9 percent for Hulu.

Sandvine measured bandwidth usage during primetime hours in North America in March. Netflix increased its primetime bandwidth usage since Sandvine's fall report, when Netflix video accounted for 34.5 percent of primetime bandwidth. Meghan DeMaria

happy trails
9:22 a.m. ET

For more than 20 years, the marquee for Late Show with David Letterman has dominated a small stretch of midtown Manhattan. The familiar blue-and-yellow awning atop the Ed Sullivan has greeted every person who entered the studio for a taping, and been the subject of countless tourist selfies.

And now it's gone. Just a week after the series finale of Late Show with David Letterman, this is what the Ed Sullivan Theater looks like:

Presumably, it'll get a little cozier when Stephen Colbert takes over in September. Scott Meslow

8:44 a.m. ET
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In a speech Thursday published on the Kremlin's website, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the arrests of FIFA officials in Zurich. Putin apparently believes the arrests are the U.S.' way of extending its power into other countries.

In the transcript of Putin's speech, he says the foreign arrest on U.S. charges represents "another blatant attempt by the United States to extend its jurisdiction to other states."

Putin defended FIFA and its president, Sepp Blatter, before discussing former NSA agent Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. "Why have I recalled all this?" Putin said, about Snowden and Assange. "Unfortunately, our American partners use these methods to achieve their selfish goals and persecute people illegally. I don't rule out that this may be the same case with FIFA." Meghan DeMaria

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