A family tree to explain how President Obama and Milton Wolf are related

The Washington Post – The Fix

Stories about Milton Wolf, the conservative physician aiming to unseat Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Tuesday, always include one particularly interesting detail: The guy running to the right of the incumbent Republican senator is also a second cousin to the president of the United States.

What’s not usually articulated is precisely how the two are related. In short, Wolf’s mother was cousins with Obama’s grandmother. But the story is a bit more interesting than that.

We pieced together the family tree from a number of sources: a tombstone database, online genealogy sites, old newspapers. Giving us this family tree, with the Obama branch at left and the Wolf branch at right. It’s explained below.


The common ancestors are Thomas McCurry and Margaret Belle Wright. (We know about their lives and children thanks to this overview of Obama’s history.) But we get a little more detail from a 2009 interview with Wolf’s mother, Anna McCurry Wolf. Her father’s family, she said, “migrated into Kentucky, and Illinois is where my grandfather lived; Alten, Illinois.” That’s Thomas. “And he, at age three, shook President Lincoln’s hand … he was on my grandfather’s shoulders, and this is Thomas Creekmore McCurry, and Lincoln just came over and shook his hand way up there. And I thought well, isn’t that strange?”


McCurry and Wright had seven kids, among whom were Leona Belle McCurry — who Anna McCurry knew as Aunt Lee — and Franklin Wright McCurry. We tracked Frank McCurry (as he was known) down thanks to a mention in that same interview with his daughter, Anna, in which she noted that he was a vice president for Derby Oil. That detail allowed us to trace him to a 1949 newspaper article mentioning that he had a model oil refinery in his bedroom.

Leona McMurry and her husband Rolla Payne had three kids, including Madelyn Payne, Obama’s grandmother. Frank and Mabel had the aforementioned Anna McCurry. Anna McCurry married Curtis Wolf, who was also a physician. They had Milton.

Madelyn Payne married Stanley Dunham, and they had a daughter, Stanley Ann Dunham. She married a man from Kenya named Barack Hussein Obama. You know the rest of the story.

Perhaps the most charming part of the interview with Anna McCurry is her obvious excitement about being related to the president. She’d heard that the family was related to a black man from Chicago, and then saw his 2004 convention speech. When she heard him refer to a white grandmother from Kansas at some point, she told her second husband, Gene Colle, “that kid has to have the same DNA I have. That has to be Stanley Ann’s son.” It was. She traveled to D.C. with a group from Kansas, and met Obama, who gave her an autographed copy of his book. Then, the group ran into him in the Capitol.

Before he noticed me he shook everybody’s hand in our group, and he said, “I understand you’re all from Kansas,” and gave them all greetings. Then he gave me a hug and he said to them, “Now, you guys take care of my cousin.” So that was a really special time for me.

If her son has his way, he’ll soon be walking the halls of the Capitol himself — but probably not with as generous an assessment of his distant relative.

See video here…


Fox Panel on Impeachment Erupts into Charges of Racism and Lawlessness

Fox News Screenshot


A Fox News Sunday panel that began skeptically of the GOP chatter about impeaching PresidentBarack Obama erupted with charges of racism and lawlessness, as Fox contributor Juan Williams and Heritage Action leader Michael Needham went at it over the motivations behind the calls for impeachment.

Both National Journal editor Ron Fournier and Williams called out Needham for calling Obama “lawless.”

“You listen to Michael and you understand why lots of Republicans think [Obama's] a demon,” Williams said. “Lots of people in the minority community see it as an attack against the first black President. They think it’s unfair, and so it’s gonna spur their turnout in the midterms, which is going to be critical in several races.”

“If you just break it down as a matter of political analysis and say who is this group [calling for impeachment], it reminds me that the Republican Party has become almost a completely white party,” Williams continued. “The people who want him impeached are all white, they’re all older, and guess what — they’re all in the far right wing of the Republican Party.”

“He might as well have just said they’re all racists,” Needham objected. “That’s ridiculous….You’re the one demonizing people who are concerned about the fact that we have a crisis of Constitution.”

“Look, we can have a principled argument about President Obama’s actions and use of executive actions, but you called him lawless, as if he’s an outlaw, as if he’s riding the range and we gotta go get that guy,” Williams said.

Fournier finally cut in: “The way the Americans are hearing this conversation, is they’re hearing you say that our president is a criminal and hear you saying that Republicans are racists,” Fournier said. “What they want is solutions.”

Watch the clip below, via Fox News:

John McCain Finds a Way to Blame ‘Cowardly’ Obama for MH17 Crash

Sen. John McCain | Screenshot

This simply sounds like sour grapes directed toward Obama supporters, but McCain and his ilk are not saying these things to upset Obama’s base.  Right-wing politicians are trying to stir up their Obama-hating base so they will come to the polls in 2014.  They’ll worry about 2016 after the mid-term elections.


When he appeared on MSNBC and CNN Thursday afternoon, shortly after news broke of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that had been shot down over Ukraine, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) warned that if Russia turned out to be responsible, there would be “hell to pay.” But by the time he joinedSean Hannity on Fox News last night, he had turned his outrage directly at President Barack Obama.

“It’s just been cowardly,” McCain said. “It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” He speculated that the Russian separatists who allegedly shot down the plane “may not even have occupied and had access to these weapons, which apparently they got at an airfield,” if the U.S. had intervened earlier in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia.

McCain then told Hannity what he would do in response to the deadly crash:

“First, give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves and regain their territory. Second of all, move some of our troops in to areas that are being threatened by Vladimir Putin, in other countries like the Baltics and others. Move missile defense into the places where we got out of, like the Czech Republic and Poland and other places. And impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia. And that’s just for openers.”

And just like that, the likely accidental shooting down of a Malaysian plane carrying mostly Dutch passengers by Russian separatists in Ukraine is President Obama’s fault.

Watch video below, via Fox News:

Two-Thirds Of Republicans Think Impeaching Obama Would Be Justified

No attribution

First of all…on what legitimate grounds would he be impeached?  Secondly, the Right’s perceived “Obama offenses” are mainly made up lies and a host of deliberate misconceptions…

The Huffington Post

Sarah Palin raised eyebrows last week when she called on Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that the former Alaska governor is not alone. A third of Americans, and two-thirds of Republicans, think Obama should be impeached.

Among all Americans, those saying Congress would not be justified in beginning impeachment proceedings against Obama outnumber those who think it would be justified, 44 percent to 35 percent, while 21 percent said they weren’t sure.

The question drew a huge partisan divide. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said beginning the impeachment process would be justified, while only 8 percent of Democrats said the same. Independents were divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, while 26 percent said they weren’t sure. Overall, 26 percent of non-Republicans said impeachment would be justified.

Impeachment was described in the poll as “the first step in the constitutional process for removing a president from office, in which possible crimes are investigated and charges are made.” A HuffPost/YouGov poll experiment conducted last year found that support for Obama’s impeachment varied depending on question wording, but that at least half of Republicans said they would support his impeachment no matter how the question was worded.

Obama isn’t the only recent president to face calls for impeachment from members of the other party. A 2007 Gallup poll asked the same question about George W. Bush, and found that 36 percent of Americans, including 58 percent of Democrats, 35 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans, said there was justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

The 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton also divided Americans along party lines. A 2001 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 77 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of independents, but only 17 percent of Democrats, thought the House of Representatives made the right decision when it impeached Clinton.

The Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post polls were accessed using the Roper Center’s iPoll database.

In the new HuffPost/YouGov poll, 49 percent of Americans said Obama had exceeded the limits of authority placed on the president by the Constitution, while 34 percent said he had not. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats said Obama had exceeded the limits of his authority.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted July 9-11 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be foundhere.

This story has been updated to include the percentage of non-Republicans who said impeachment would be justified.

Wingnuts Gone Wild: Calls To Impeach Obama After Crazy Lady Scribbles A Word Salad On Breitbart

Half-term ex-Governor Sara Palin | CNN

I love this headline…


Half-baked former Governor of Alaska has had ‘enough” and is fed up with “the years of abuse from this president.” She took to Breitbart.com to scribble out a word salad which states, “His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas’.”

No mas! No mas! She has had it, dammit!

La mujer estúpida continued to say,”Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services.”

The crazy lady added, “There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do. Securing our borders is obviously fundamental here; it goes without saying that it is his job.”

While she was drawing funny pictures on Breitbart, this happened. 

Today Obama has asked for help in what he has called a humanitarian crisis. President Obama on Tuesday asked Congress for $3.7 billion to confront a tide of minors from Central America who are illegally crossing the U.S. southern border, straining immigration resources and causing a political firestorm in Washington.

Meanwhile, it was  1George W. Bush who allowed more undocumented children into the United States. Sadly, it was Obama who wanted them deported.

But never mind all the fact-y stuff.

“President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here,” she declares.

Sarah’s ghost writer concludes “It’s time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment. The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is.”

600 upvotes on Breitbart for this comment, so it must be true:

Or maybe Obama will be so afraid that he’ll quit halfway through his second term.

IMPEACH! Also, apparently Sarah doesn’t have a vajayjay. I’m not judging though.


Impeach our twice elected President for freedom and stuff:


Because he’s the boss of all the cops, that’s why:


Because Fascism:



Obama did this deliberately because a half-term Governor said so.

CNN Helps White ** Declare Obama Worst President

I censored the above headline because I think it went just a bit too far.


There’s a new poll out showing that President Obama is the Worst President Since World War II, a poll which CNN reported on with the not-even-skin-deep shallowness we’ve come to expect from the mainstream media. The Quinnipiac poll shows that Obama was rated worst by more respondents than any other president. At 33%, the President was even rated worst by more people than George W. Bush’s 28%, or Richard Nixon’s 13%.

In reporting the news, CNN’s John King joined Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News in dispensing the analysis that these are not “good numbers,”  that they reflect a “partisan split,” and that Obama is the most recent president, and so the freshest in people’s minds.

What they’re ignoring is that this result was driven entirely by aggrieved conservative white people. While CNN declined to cite crosstabs based on race, they did reference party identification, and here’s how that voting went


Captured Benghazi Mastermind Says Attack Was Revenge For Video


Stock Photo

The GOP doesn’t want to give the POTUS credit for anything.  So they will declare that this is a planted lie by the Obama administration or say the captive is lying.

Liberals Unite

So one of the things that has been driving Conservatives absolutely nuts is anyone suggesting that Benghazi had anything to do with a video. It seems that the mere mention of the word “video” in a Benghazi discussion sends them right over the edge.

But from the beginning, the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton have been saying that initially they thought that the terrorist attacks in Benghazi could have been fueled, at least in part, to an anti-Islamist online video that was made in the United States. That is why Susan Rice went on to all of those Sunday morning talk shows immediately following the attacks and mentioned it.

Now since then, Republicans have been relentless about insisting that the video had absolutely nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks, and that anyone suggesting otherwise was obviously only trying to contribute to some kind of cover-up.

Well, now there’s someone else talking about the video. And he’s no Liberal. Nope, he’s actually the terrorist mastermind himself, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who was captured by the U.S. on Sunday.According to the New York Times, Khatallah said that he was motivated by the video and wanted revenge against Americans.

10 things you need to know today: June 18, 2014

Obama discusses the capture of Khattala. 

Obama discusses the capture of Khattala. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Week

Commandos catch the suspected Benghazi ringleader, a suicide bomber targets Nigerian World Cup fans, and more

1. Commandos capture alleged ringleader in Benghazi attack
American commandos seized the suspected leader of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration announced Tuesday. President Obama said the capture of the suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, should send the message that, “When Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice.” [The New York TimesBBC News]


2. Bomber attacks soccer fans in Nigeria
An apparent suicide bomber riding a tricycle taxi attacked an outdoor viewing center in northern Nigeria on Tuesday as a crowd gathered to watch the Brazil-Mexico World Cup match. As many as 21 people, including small children, were killed, according to a hospital source. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but the prime suspect is Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group blamed for a similar attack that killed 14 earlier this month. [New York Daily NewsCNN]


3. Executions resume after botched April lethal injection
Georgia and Missouri overnight conducted the country’s first executions since a botched April 29 lethal injection in Oklahoma. Georgia executed 58-year-old Marcus Wellons for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1989. Early Wednesday, Missouri executed John Winfield for the 1996 shooting deaths of two women. Several states have postponed executions since Oklahoma halted the lethal injection of Clayton Lockett, who died anyway of a heart attack. [Voice of America]


4. Google confirms it is launching a paid streaming-music site
Google’s YouTube announced Tuesday that it planned to start offering a paid streaming music service. YouTube reportedly has signed deals with 95 percent of the music labels included in its existing ad-supported music video site, and said it was partnering with “hundreds of major and independent” labels for the new one. Critics feared that YouTube might keep labels that don’t join the paid service off of the free video site. [Rolling Stone]


5. SunTrust settles mortgage allegations for nearly $1 billion
SunTrust Banks has agreed to pay $968 million to settle allegations of possible wrongdoing in its mortgage business leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. The company admitted to making loans that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration but didn’t meet its requirements. $500 million of the settlement goes toward relief for consumers hurt by bad mortgages, and the rest is a penalty. [Fox Business]


6. Maliki fires four military commanders as Sunni militants surge
Sunni militants in Iraq continued their offensive on Wednesday, attacking the country’s largest oil refinery. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fired four of his top military officers on Tuesday over their failure to perform “their national duty” and stop the advance by the Islamic extremists, the government said. The rebels have taken over several cities over the last week and vowed to attack Baghdad. [USA TodayUPI]


7. Experts expect Amazon’s hyped new product to be a smartphone
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is unveiling a major new product in Seattle on Wednesday. A YouTube teaser video suggests the new gadget will be a long-rumored Amazon smartphone, according to industry analysts. Amazon already competes directly with Apple with its iPad-rivaling Kindle tablet, streaming entertainment, and digital music and books. An Amazon smartphone would present a new, low-budget challenge to Apple’s iPhone, its most profitable gadget. [Forbes]


8. Obama proposes vast new marine sanctuary
President Obama on Tuesday announced a proposal to ban fishing, oil exploration, and other activities in a vast section of the central Pacific Ocean. “I’m going to use my authority to protect some of our nation’s most precious marine landscapes,” Obama said. The proposal is on track to take effect later this year after a comment period. If enacted, it would create the world’s largest marine sanctuary. [The Washington Post]


9. Rare 1856 stamp fetches a record $9.5 million at auction
A rare, 1-cent stamp from 19th-century British Guiana sold for a record $9.5 million in a Sotheby’s auction on Tuesday. The “British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta” was printed in 1856 after the then-colony ran out of stamps from London. The postmaster had clerks initial every stamp to prevent counterfeiting. This is the fourth time the stamp has broken the record for highest auction sale price. [CBS News]


10. Mexico holds Brazil to a scoreless World Cup tie
Mexico held soccer powerhouse and host team Brazil scoreless Tuesday in one of the biggest thrillers yet in the 2014 World Cup. The star of the game was Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who held Brazil to a 0-0 draw with several spectacular saves, including one that kept Brazilian superstar Neymar from knocking a header just inside the post. Ochoa “came up with at least four miracles,” Brazil striker Fred said. [The Associated Press]

7 reasons the Democratic coalition is more united than ever

Hillary Clinton |Andrew Burton Photo


Last weekend, Ross Douthat penned a provocative column arguing that Democrats should be thankful for the super-star power of Hillary Clinton because without her the party could be in severe trouble. Much of the subsequent debate has involved speculation about likely possible outcomes of the 2016 general election, about which I think the best one can say is that it will probably depend on the objective state of the world over the next 18 months.

His more intriguing idea was a vision of a deeply divided Democratic Party that, absent the presence of a star candidate, would likely fall apart: “the post-Obama Democratic Party could well be the Austro-Hungarian empire of presidential majorities: a sprawling, ramshackle and heterogeneous arrangement, one major crisis away from dissolution.”

This, I think, is completely wrong. The Democratic Party could easily lose the next election, but the coalition as a whole is more durable and robust than it’s ever been for reasons that go much deeper than Hillary’s popularity.

1) Hillary seems inevitable because Democrats are united


Edward Kimmel/Flickr

Hillary Clinton’s celebrity status and stature in the party combined with the lack of appropriately credentialed and charismatic alternatives put her head and shoulders ahead of the competition. But if the party faced a major policy divide, someone or other would emerge to champion it. Perhaps someone who would lose! But someone.

Today we have the opposite situation. It is impossible to mount a coherent anti-Clinton campaign because there is no issue that divides the mass of Democrats. If she were to unexpectedly decline to run, some other figure (perhaps Joe Biden, perhaps Martin O’Malley) would step into the void and lead the party on a similar policy agenda.

2) 2008 was about Iraq

Subsequent events have tended to obscure this, but the 2008 Democratic Primary was, among other things, a major argument about foreign policy. Hillary Clinton had supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and Barack Obama had not. Obama’s appeal, obviously, stretched beyond this fact. But his core substantive argument against Clinton dealt with Iraq in particular and foreign policy doctrine more broadly.

Crucially, both sides of the argument agreed that an argument was taking place. Clinton hit Obama as weak and naive for his willingness to undertake direct negotiations with leaders of rogue states and charged him with being unready to keep the nation safe in an emergency.

The 2008 campaign directly echoed the 2004 primary between the less-compelling figures of Howard Dean and John Kerry. Many of Obama’s key primary-era foreign policy aides — people such as Susan Rice and Ivo Daalder — had been Dean supporters, and the arguments and recriminations between Obama-supporting and Clinton-supporting foreign policy hands were vicious.

That Clinton ended up serving as Obama’s Secretary of State makes this look a bit ridiculous in retrospect. But it seemed very important at the time.

The 2008 campaign directly echoed the 2004 primary between the less-compelling figures of Howard Dean and John Kerry. Many of Obama’s key primary-era foreign policy aides — people such as Susan Rice and Ivo Daalder — had been Dean supporters, and the arguments and recriminations between Obama-supporting and Clinton-supporting foreign policy hands were vicious.

That Clinton ended up serving as Obama’s Secretary of State makes this look a bit ridiculous in retrospect. But it seemed very important at the time.

3) The banking picture is muddled


Valerie Jean/FilmMagic

Many intellectuals who care passionately about regulation of the financial services industry would like to believe the Democratic Party is deeply divided between a bankster-friendly establishment and its populist critics.

There is something to this, but really much less than the proponents of schism-ism think.

Crucially, the allegedly bank-friendly faction of the party doesn’t accept this account of where they stand.They see themselves as having shepherded a massive bank regulation bill through congress, and as constantly fighting on multiple fronts — inside bipartisan regulatory agencies, in the courts, at international meetings, in congressional negotiations — to get tougher on the banks.

And the financial services industry agrees! Ever since the Dodd-Frank debate began, the financial services industry has poured enormous sums of money into GOP congressional campaigns and the effort to beat Barack Obama.

People who follow the issue closely will know that there are some very real disagreements about the details of bank regulation. And there are some even realer disagreements about atmospherics, rhetoric, and overall feelings about the financial sector. And even Obama has, selectively, engaged in populist anti-finance rhetoric when it suits his purposes.

Broadly speaking a non-specialist voter is going to see that any plausible 2016 nominee is going to push for tighter bank regulation, will be opposed by the bank lobby, and probably won’t accomplish everything she tries for due to GOP opposition.

4) Everyone agrees on inequality


David Shankbone/Flickr

Twenty years ago, Democrats were divided on the question of inequality with moderates largely accepting the Reaganite precept that some loss of equity was a reasonable price to pay for faster economic growth. Today, all Democrats think that inequality is out of control (heck, the CEO of Goldman Sachs thinks inequality is out of control) and that it should be addressed through tax hikes on high-income Americans.

Clearly, different people are going to differ on the details. But congressional Republicans have also made it clear that securing any tax hikes is going to be a very difficult political battle. Any Democratic nominee will try to raise taxes on the rich if she wins, and any Democratic President will end up in a huge fight with the GOP about it.

5) K-12 education doesn’t matter enough



For an example of the kind of issue that does divide the Democratic Party, look no further than K-12 education. The Obama administration has pursued an “education reform” agenda that features calls for more charter schools, and for more linkage of teacher compensation and job security to test results. Many Democrats around the country agree with Obama about this. But many other Democrats around the country agree with teachers unions that this is entirely backwards, and there should be fewer charter schools and less reliance on test-based assessments of teacher quality.

This is the kind of tug-o-war with one faction pulling one way and another faction pulling the other way that really does tear a party apart.

Except it’s not an important federal issue. Not because education isn’t important, but because the federal government plays a relatively modest role in America’s K-12 education policy. The education divide can be quite explosive and state and local politics (witness the disputes between Bill de Blasio and Andre Cuomo in New York) but it just isn’t important enough on the federal stage to lead to a major schism.

6) Demographics aren’t destiny


American Federation of Government Employees/Flickr

The much greater demographic diversity of the Democratic Party coalition may give it an illusion of fragility. Talk during recent primary campaigns of “wine track” versus “beer track” Democrats further amplifies that sense. But a look at the congressional caucus’ behavior reveals a party that is dramatically more united than at any time in the past hundred years. Defections come overwhelmingly from outlier legislators representing very conservative states like Arkansas or Louisiana.

What you would expect to see from a party torn apart by demographics is elected officials who put together very different voting records. But even though Jerry Nadler (Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side), Peter Welch (in Vermont), and Maxine Waters (South LA) represent very different people they vote in very similar ways. And you see that on most big issues Democratic Senators representing the contested terrain in the Midwest, Southwest, and Virginia vote together with those from the Northeast and the Pacific Coast.

Rustbelt legislators back Obama’s EPA regulations, and comprehensive immigration reform was unanimously endorsed by Democratic Party Senators. American politics is becoming more ideological, and the Democratic coalition is increasingly an ideological coalition that happens to be diverse (and, indeed, that upholds the value of diversity as an ideological precent) rather than a patchwork of ethnic interests or local machines.

7) American politics is getting nastier

Partisan_animosityAs a recent Pew report on polarization showed, completely apart from substantive policy issues both Democrats and Republicans are increasingly alarmed by the other party’s agenda. This alarmism in fact stronger on the GOP side, but it’s quite strong — and growing — on the Democratic side as well.

This seems like an unhealthy trend for the country, but it’s excellent news for party cohesion. Splits require not just internal disagreement, but a relatively blasé attitude toward the opposition.

None of this means that victory is somehow assured for Democrats in 2016 — far from it. But it does mean that the coalition is at no risk of collapse. The kind of electoral mega-landslides that happened in 1964 or 1980 where one party’s candidate gets utterly blown away simply can’t happen under modern conditions.

10 things you need to know today: June 7, 2014

Tensions remain between Obama (left, assisting Queen Elizabeth II), and Putin (far right).

Tensions remain between Obama (left, assisting Queen Elizabeth II), and Putin (far right). (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The Week

President Obama meets face-to-face with President Putin, the U.S. adds 217,000 new jobs, and more

1. Presidents Obama, Putin, meet for first face-to-face since Ukraine crisis
President Barack Obama attended Friday’s 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasions in France, as did Russian President Vladimir Putin. While the Obama administration had been mum in the run-up to the event as to whether or not the two leaders would break their silence, which began early this spring in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, Obama and Putin did engage in a brief conversation.Obama reportedly urged Putin to end his support of Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but the Kremlin media spun the meeting as a positive, saying Putin is once again welcome with his Western counterparts. [Time]


2. United States adds 217,000 new jobs in May
The U.S. added 217,000 jobs in May, a bit ahead of Bloomberg‘s survey of economists who predicted 215,000 new jobs. While the unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent, the U.S. is now nearly at its pre-recession employment level, of 138,365,000 total jobs. Economists consider that number a benchmark for the ongoing economic recovery. [Bloomberg]


3. Lawsuit filed challenging North Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban
North Dakota, the last remaining state without a court challenge to its same-sex marriage ban, no longer holds that distinction. On Friday, seven couples filed a federal lawsuit doing just that,challenging both the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, along with its refusal to recognize same-sex couples who were legally married in other states. The newly entered lawsuit means each of the 31 states that currently have gay marriage bans also currently have pending cases challenging those bans. [The Associated Press]


4. Ukraine’s new president delivers inaugural address
Petro Poroshenko, one of the world’s richest men, added “Ukrainian president” to his list of credentials this morning. The man who made billions as a chocolate maker took the oath of office in front of Vice President Joe Biden and several European presidents. “I don’t want war. I don’t want revenge,” Poroshenko said. But, “who comes with the sword will fall from the sword.” [CNN]


5. Uber gains more than $1 billion in funding, now valued at $18 billion
Mutual funds and other investors have contributed $1.2 billion to Uber, Inc., the rides-on-demand service that began as a Silicon Valley startup. The company is now valued at $18.2 billion, one of the highest valuations ever for such a startup. The four-year-old service did not give details on its new investors, but the support bodes well for the company, which currently operates in 128 cities and 37 countries. [Reuters]


6. Children exposed to bacteria less likely to develop asthma, allergies
A new study published Friday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that children exposed to both allergens and bacteria as babies were less likely to develop asthma and allergies.The new study offers a caveat to the hygiene hypothesis, which says that kids exposed to bacteria gain immune systems trained to fight bad bugs. Instead, the authors of this study say children must be exposed to both bacteria and allergens – one or the other, but not both, found children just as likely to suffer from allergies and asthma. “It adds a degree of precision,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. [NPR]


7. ’30 Rock’ actor Tracy Morgan in intensive care following fatal pileup
A multi-vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike left at least one dead and several hospitalized early this morning, including actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Two tractor-trailers, an SUV, two cars and Morgan’s limo bus accounted for the six-car pileup, although officials said they did not yet know what caused the crash. Morgan, 45, starred on the NBC comedy 30 Rock and spent several years as a performer on Saturday Night Live. A scheduled comedy performance in North Carolina tonight has been canceled. [The Associated Press]


8. Poll: Half of Americans view gay marriage as constitutional right
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll reveals that half of Americans view gay marriage as a constitutional right, versus 43 percent who do not. The poll showed that age and ideology correlate closely with opinions on gay marriage; 77 percent of respondents younger than 30 support gay marriage, compared to 38 percent of seniors. Public opinion has shifted rapidly in recent years, with 19 states and the District of Columbia now allowing gay couples to legally wed. [ABC News]


9. Daytime Emmy Awards will not broadcast on live television
For the first time in its 41-year history, the Daytime Emmy Awards will not be broadcast on live television. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that it could not secure an agreement with any network, so it will live-stream the June 22 ceremony on its website instead. In the early 1990s, nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to the awards show, but in recent years ratings have dropped drastically, with fewer than two million viewers tuning in each year. [Capital New York]


10. ‘Singing nun’ wins ‘The Voice of Italy’
Italy’s singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, won The Voice of Italy on Thursday night after gaining international fame for her catchy pop covers. Scuccia’s audition back in March, when she sang Alicia Keys’ “No One,” has gone viral on the internet, racking up more than 50 million views so far. “My presence here is not up to me, it’s thanks to the man upstairs,” Scuccia said in Italian after learning of her victory. [Variety]