The New York Times has a neat interactive map this morning that breaks down baseball fandom by zip code. The results are based on Facebook data, so it's not necessarily a 100 percent accurate depiction. (Are you familiar with the kinds of people who incessantly "like" pages on Facebook? Weirdos, right?)
Still, the map is an insightful representation of each team's reach:
Three teams are missing, and sadly, though not surprisingly, one of them is not the Yankees. No, the crosstown Mets, the A's, and the Blue Jays all get shut out, which has led to plenty of LOLMets ribbing and resigned sighs about the plight of playing ball in Oakland. But picking on Toronto, too, is misguided and unfair.
"I draw no conclusions about Toronto's fan base, though I suspect we can assume it's pretty minimal too," writes Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. Not so. Sure, they're not as beloved as the storied, big market teams. But Toronto ranked 10th in attendance last year — just behind the Red Sox, and two spots above the Cubs. Even as a ratio of attendance to seating capacity, the Jays held their own.
Ever since the Expos went away, the Jays have been Canada's lone pro baseball outpost. The entire country isn't exactly full of Jays fans, but it is safe to say the team enjoys an expansive fanbase left absent from the Times' map. Jon Terbush
The heart-wrenching photo of a 2-year-old Honduran girl peering up at her mother and a Border Patrol agent in tears has quickly become the defining image of President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, which for weeks resulted in the separation of immigrant children from their parents. While the image, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore, has spread like wildfire, appearing on the cover of Time as well as on this website, CBS News writes that the picture "might be a little bit misleading," because the daughter and mother were not actually separated, as other families have been.
"We were patrolling the border. It was after 10 o'clock at night," recalled Border Patrol agent Carlos Ruiz, who was the one to come across mother Sandra Sanchez and her daughter in Texas. "We asked her to set the kid down in front of her ... So the kid immediately started crying as she set her down. I personally went up to the mother and asked her 'Are you doing OK? Is the kid OK?' and she said, 'Yes. She's tired and thirsty. It's 11 o'clock at night.'"
Moore, who captured the photo during a ride-along with Border Agents, feared the mother and daughter would be separated after being taken to a Customs and Border Protection processing center. "I took only a few photographs and was almost overcome with emotion myself," Moore told Getty Images' blog "Foto."
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, claims to have spoken to the father of the 2-year-old, who told the paper, "You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart." Read more of the backstory behind the picture at "Foto," and about the mother and daughter's status at CBS News. Jeva Lange
President Trump said Friday that "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration" until enough GOP senators are elected to override a potential Democratic filibuster. "Even if we get 100 percent Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much-needed immigration bill," Trump said in a tweet, vowing that if more Republicans get elected, "we will pass the finest, fairest, and most comprehensive immigration bills anywhere in the world."
Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world. Right now we have the dumbest and the worst. Dems are doing nothing but Obstructing. Remember their motto, RESIST! Ours is PRODUCE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Although the Republican Party has control over both chambers of Congress, Trump insisted that "we can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!" On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pushed back a compromise immigration bill vote because leadership felt they did not have the 218 votes needed to pass the measure; there are 235 Republicans in the House. Jeva Lange
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, who is embroiled in multiple investigations into his ethics and spending, allegedly sent only one email to anyone outside the EPA in his first 10 months in office, the department told the Sierra Club in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. That set off alarm bells for oversight groups, which say they are hard-pressed to believe that an administrator as active and involved with industry leaders as Pruitt has merely sent one email in all that time, Politico reports.
"Americans should know what the EPA is doing, why it's doing it, and who's influencing those decisions," said Melanie Sloan of American Oversight. Watchdog groups are now probing if Pruitt ever used a private email account for EPA business — while it would not be illegal for him to do so as a government official, the account would be required to be searched for a response to something like the Sierra Club's FOIA request.
It is understood that Pruitt often uses other methods than email to communicate, including phone calls and the like. He used text messages in at least one instance to set up a meeting, and nine texts were included in the EPA's response to the Sierra Club. It can be difficult for watchdogs to get their hands on such alternative forms of communication than email.
There is also some question of if the EPA is concealing more emails. Pruitt possesses multiple email accounts, and the Sierra Club excluded from its request two that the EPA said are solely for public comments and scheduling. Read more about Pruitt's missing emails at Politico. Jeva Lange
First lady Melania Trump's unannounced visit to Texas to visit migrant children locked up in detention centers was "odd" given that "the architect of their despair is her husband, who took them from their parents," Chris Cuomo said on CNN Thursday night. "But then it got bizarro" when she wore a jacket screaming "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" to the plane. "I don't care what the first lady wears," he added, but the message was galling and the explanations for why she wore it make absolutely no sense.
"Now, something that makes perfect sense," Cuomo said. "Melania did not go to a facility with young kids. No toddlers, infants, preschoolers." Why not? Visiting teenagers "wouldn't be as shocking, or as troubling, and she had cameras with her and around her, and they don't want you to see the reality," he said. "They don't want you to see the kids crying, to get a feel for their fear and the worries of those who are overwhelmed by this situation, one the president created to make a point — a point that has blown up in his face and forced him to do what he has never done: to back off. But please, don't be fooled — this is far from over."
Cuomo took apart Trump's argument that arresting all migrants is necessary, then he circled back to the young kids, unable to see their moms or even their lawyers, scared and isolated. "I can't believe we aren't better than this," Cuomo sighed. Watch below. Peter Weber
“I can’t believe we aren’t better than this," says @ChrisCuomo.
“Kids taken from their parents, scattered across the country, crowded into tight spaces, overwhelmed staff, the military building camps?... This is a recipe for disaster " #CuomoPrimeTime https://t.co/c6KDG1V36I pic.twitter.com/FitnIUczjW
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 22, 2018
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is the main architect of President Trump's hard-line immigration policy, and according to several accounts — including his own — he reveled in the incarceration of migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, viewing it as a tactical policy success. The public was so repulsed by the policy, however, that Trump folded.
"The backlash over the policy has opened cracks in Miller's support network on Capitol Hill and among Republicans both inside and outside the White House, who have viewed the separation of migrant families as a huge political and policy misstep for the White House — and, for some, as a moral lapse," Politico reports. One outside White House adviser has called Miller a Nazi and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) urged Trump to fire him on Thursday.
So, will Miller be the scapegoat for Trump's babies-in-cages fiasco? Probably not.
First, Miller managed to keep a low profile while his "zero tolerance" policy became intolerable, and while he's the brains of the policy, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen became its public face.
Second, the 32-year-old adviser has "proved himself to be a deft operator in a White House known for backbiting," and he's "also well-liked inside the White House," Politico says, citing staffers. "Chief of Staff John Kelly, a like-minded immigration hawk, even had Miller over to his house for Thanksgiving last fall." Trump likes him, too, in part because Miller puts in 18-hour work days and flatters Trump effusively.
Third, Trump agrees with Miller on immigration, and despite his embarrassing cave, locking up children "succeeded in shifting public debate so that the administration's fallback position — jailing migrant kids indefinitely with their parents while they wait for court dates — now seems like a more humane option," Politico notes.
Finally, EPA chief Scott Pruitt still has a job, so there's clearly a limit to Trump's responsiveness to public opinion. Peter Weber
Some people have trouble recognizing today's United States, "but for some residents of New Jersey, the united state they thought they knew might never have existed at all," Stephen Colbert said Thursday night. "So tonight, The Late Show takes a look at a small civil war between the north, the south, and the — the middle part."
New Jersey lived steadily if unhappily between its two warring factions, North Jersey and South Jersey, for 250 years, until new Gov. Phil Murphy (D) roiled the state by introducing the concept of Central Jersey. Colbert interviewed Murphy, who claims to be from this "mystical kingdom" of Central Jersey, but he was no help in settling the question. So Colbert turned to "the chief justice of the Garden State," Jon Stewart, who rendered his definitive judgment — and also shared some other opinions about the region. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert questions Melania Trump's very tone-deaf jacket, Scott Pruitt's $1,600 'tactical pants'
President Trump's "pro-baby snatching agenda" story "took another weird turn" Thursday when the White House sent its "most high-profile detainee, Melania Trump," to visit child detention centers in Texas, Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "When I heard that she was doing this, I thought, 'Okay, this is what first ladies often do.' You know, you go to a troubled area, they see the children, they show that we care — you can't mess that up. Guess what? I spoke too soon." Colbert said he initially assumed the photos had to be fakes, but no, "on her way to show that she cares, Melania wore a jacket that says: 'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' That's what they settled on? What was her first choice, a jacket that says 'WOMP WOMP'?"
The first lady's spokeswoman said "there was no hidden message" on the jacket, and Colbert agreed: "It's definitely not hidden — it's right on the back. And I'm gonna guess this is one message she did not steal from Michelle Obama." He wondered "how many people would get fired for this at a normal White House," then soberly answered the jacket's question: "We do."
Melania Trump isn't the only one in the Trump administration making questionable wardrobe choices. Among the $4.6 million in taxpayer money EPA chief Scott Pruitt has spent on security, April's expenditures include $1,600 for "tactical pants" and another $700 for "tactical polo shirts." In total, Pruitt's office spent $24,115 on tactical clothing and body armor in seven separate orders in 2018, The Intercept found, plus $88,603 on radios and accessories. If you don't know what "tactical pants" are, or why Pruitt used your money to buy eight pairs at $200 a pop, The Late Show suggests it's all about the pockets. Watch below. Peter Weber