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May 16, 2014

In documenting the drama that has swirled around the inner workings of The New York Times this last decade or so — perhaps culminating with Jill Abramson's ouster — Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti makes this observation:

Gossipy, catty, insular, cliquey, stressful, immature, cowardly, moody, underhanded, spiteful — The New York Times gives new meaning to the term "hostile workplace." What has been said of the press — that it wields power without any sense of responsibility —is also a fair enough description of the young adult. And it is to high school, I think, that The New York Times is most aptly compared. The coverage of the Abramson firing reads at times like the plot of an episode of Saved By the Bell minus the sex... [Washington Free Beacon]

Was there much sex in Saved by the Bell? Not that I recall. Sounds more like 90210 to me. But I digress.

Sophomoric behavior, no doubt, permeates a lot of offices in America — and I suspect too many work environments feel like high school. But this is special. Commenting on the White House Correspondents Dinner recently, Mark Leibovich observed, "This is a classic case of the bubble world and the unselfawareness..." One could say the same thing about the recent spectacle surrounding America's "paper of record."

Americans already hate the news media. And based on the breathless coverage of Abramson's ouster by the Acela Corridor elite — and the embarrassing details and accusations that continue to trickle out — we're left asking this: Can anyone blame them? Matt K. Lewis

9:51 a.m. ET
SS Mirza/Getty Images

An oil tanker overturned and exploded in Pakistan Sunday, killing 153 people and leaving dozens more injured, including around 50 in critical condition. About 20 children are among the dead.

The truck tipped over on a highway after it blew out a tire, local officials said. A crowd gathered to collect the spilling fuel, putting them close to the truck when it exploded nearly an hour later.

"I have never seen anything like it in my life. Victims trapped in the fireball. They were screaming for help," said Abdul Malik, a police officer involved in rescue efforts. "We saw bodies everywhere, so many were just skeletons. The people who were alive were in really bad shape." Bonnie Kristian

9:45 a.m. ET

No less than 18 large wildfires are burning in the West and Southwest regions of the U.S., aggravated by extreme heat and lack of rain. The two largest blazes are in Utah and Arizona, but there are also fires in California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon.

Wildfires have burned more than 2.5 million acres in the United States in 2017 alone, about 1 million acres more than is typical for this time of year. In Utah, 800 people have been evacuated, and 13 homes have burned. That fire began June 17 and is only 5 percent contained. Bonnie Kristian

8:29 a.m. ET
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The health-care proposal to replace ObamaCare expected to come to a vote in the Senate this week is insufficiently conservative, said Tim Phillips, president of Americans For Prosperity, a political outfit in the Koch brothers' network, in an Associated Press report published Sunday.

Phillips said the Koch network is "disappointed that movement has not been more dramatic toward a full repeal or a broader rollback of this law, ObamaCare," labeling the Senate bill "a slight nip and tuck" of current law which changes so little it is "immoral." To net his support, he added, the "Senate bill needs to get better."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he is willing to alter the health-care legislation to make it viable, but he faces incompatible demands from across the political spectrum. Bonnie Kristian

8:10 a.m. ET
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Conservative Republican opponents of the GOP's health-care proposal in the Senate have labeled the ObamaCare replacement package "ObamaCare lite," but the bill is taking fire from the center and left, too.

A group of moderate Republican senators are raising concerns about proposed Medicaid changes that would mean significantly less federal funding in their states. The fifth Republican senator to announce his opposition to the bill, Nevada's Dean Heller, specifically cited Medicaid in his Friday announcement that his vote is currently a "no." Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have not formally opposed the legislation so far, but both centrist Republicans have mentioned similar considerations.

Meanwhile, progressive critics warn the legislation could produce a "death spiral" in insurance markets in which premiums rise as healthier people — no longer bound by ObamaCare's individual mandate — drop coverage, producing a cycle of even higher premiums and fewer insurance customers.

President Trump fired back at critics twice on Twitter Saturday, noting premium hikes under the current system and writing that he "cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!" The health-care bill can't pass the Senate if more than two Republicans vote against it. Bonnie Kristian

June 24, 2017
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The U.K.'s Houses of Parliament were hit with a cyberattack Friday evening consisting of "unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts," a representative of Parliament said Saturday. Members of Parliament were informed of the situation Friday night when they had difficulty accessing their email accounts remotely.

"We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network," the representative said. "We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems."

It is unclear how many MPs were affected or who is responsible for the attack. Bonnie Kristian

June 24, 2017
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Monday begins the Supreme Court's final week before its current term ends and summer break begins. SCOTUS is expected to hand down several major decisions in the next few days — among them its ruling on President Trump's stalled travel ban — but rumors are swirling that this Monday could see a retirement announcement from Justice Anthony Kennedy, too.

"Sources close to Kennedy say that he is seriously considering retirement," CNN reported Saturday, though "they are unclear if it could occur as early as this term." Kennedy's departure would give President Trump his second SCOTUS nomination after the successful appointment of Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

Kennedy has long served as a swing vote on the court, sometimes siding with the progressive wing — as in the landmark gay marriage case, 2015's Obergefell v. Hodges — but often joining the conservatives on issues like gun control and campaign finance. Kennedy will turn 81 in July and has served on the court since 1988 after being nominated by President Reagan. Bonnie Kristian

June 24, 2017
Karim Jaafar/Getty Images

The tiny Gulf nation of Qatar has rejected a list of 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia and other neighboring Arab states Thursday as a condition for restoring diplomatic ties. The Saudi-led group of countries isolating Qatar claims the country is supporting terrorism, an allegation Qatar denies.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in a statement the demands should have been "reasonable and actionable" as well as "measured and realistic," quoting comments from top U.S. and U.K. diplomats. "This list does not satisfy that [sic] criteria," he added.

It was never very plausible Qatar would answer other than it did. The "extent and scale of the demands appear designed to induce a rejection by Qatar," notes The Atlantic, "and a possible justification for a continuation, if not escalation, of the crisis. The list, if accurate, represents an intrusion into the internal affairs of Qatar that would threaten its very sovereignty." Bonnie Kristian

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