“And I saw what thousands of Americans saw over memorial Day weekend: You are stronger than the storm. After all you’ve dealt with, after all you’ve been through, the Jersey Shore is back, and it is open for business, and they want all Americans to know that they’re ready to welcome you here.” President Obama during his visit to the Jersey Shore boardwalk on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
WEEK OF MAY 27, 2013
Nation: President Obama knows how to pick ’em.
President Obama plans to nominate Republican James B. Comey as the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) when current director Robert Mueller steps down in September. Comey previously served under President George W. Bush as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and also as deputy attorney general. The choice makes a strong statement about bipartisanship as Obama faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress. In one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration, Comey nearly resigned when he learned that Bush’s surveillance program had operated outside the law. He agreed to stay on only after Bush promised to fix the program. Now that’s some integrity.
Politics: Michele Bachmann is out; who will take the Tea Party reins?
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday that she would not be running for a sixth consecutive term in the House. In the wake of a failed bid for the presidency and an ongoing ethics investigation into her campaign spending, Bachmann is bowing out stating, “In my opinion, well eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district.” Insisting the legal inquiries had nothing to do with her decision, she vowed to continue to fight for the Tea Party principles she holds dear.
World: Syria is still at war and could be for a while.
President Bashar al-Assad announced Thursday that Syria had received its first shipment of antiaircraft S-300 rockets from Russia. The move is seen by Assad’s opponents as a sign that neither Russia nor the Syrian government is serious about proposed negotiations to end the ongoing civil war and threatens to escalate tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. This news comes after both the Syrian opposition and the government appeared to harden their negotiating position on Wednesday, and further dims hopes that increased U.S. and Russian diplomacy might end this conflict soon.
Business: Did you try to get in on that bungled Facebook I.P.O. and fail? Us either.
But for those who did, you might feel a little bit of vindication this week. The S.E.C. announced that the Nasdaq’s parent company, OMX Group will pay the largest fine ever levied against an exchange for their mishandling of Facebook’s initial public offering on the morning of May 18, 2012. Even beyond its unprecedented value of $10 million, this type of fine isn’t the norm, and it may be meant to serve as a warning to others. The head of the S.E.C.’s market abuse unit said in a statement that there has been too much of a tendency to write off incidents like this as “technical ‘glitches.’” And this certainly wasn’t a glitch.
Science: There’s what in that wheat?
On Wednesday, the Agriculture Department announced the discovery of modified wheat found on an Oregon farm. Not good, since genetically engineered wheat has not been approved for U.S. farming. There is no evidence that the modified wheat entered the marketplace but it was enough for Japan, one of the largest export markets for wheat growers, to suspend some imports of U.S. wheat. Investigators are trying to uncover the source of the mysterious crop as it could have global implications on wheat trade.
Women’s Affairs: Women really are doing it all! But we already knew that.
A Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data revealed Wednesday that women are more likely to be the primary caregivers in a family and also women are increasingly more likely to be the primary breadwinners. The study showed that four in 10 households with children under the age of 18 now include a mother who provides either the sole or primary income for her family. Factors contributing to this change include a shift in family dynamics and an increase in single parenthood, along with some changes associated with the recession (some jobs filled disproportionately by men experienced the heaviest layoffs). Of course, we’d also like to think that these encouraging numbers reflect a whole lot of “leaning in.”