Tag Archives: news

Sunshine Week celebrates the public’s right to know

Rita Ward had a question: Why did a weekly listing of causes of death suddenly stop appearing in the local newspaper?

It turned out the health department in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, halted its practice of providing causes of death to the Evansville Courier & Press. When Ward and a reporter for the newspaper asked why those records were no longer available, the department cited an Indiana law intended to protect citizens against identity theft.

“I truly do believe printing the cause of death is important,” Ward told the Courier & Press in a 2012 interview. “Maybe a reader might see a neighbor who died of colon cancer and make the decision to have their first overdue colonoscopy. It can be a first step toward a change for the better. It can touch a reader. It’s personal. That’s why it is important.”

Ward and the newspaper sued for access to the information under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act. They lost two lower-court rulings before the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the records, focused on the decedent’s name, age and cause of death, should continue to be made available to the public. In their ruling, the judges underscored “the importance of open and transparent government to the health of our body politic” and held that “the public interest outweighs the private.”

The court’s explicit link between government transparency and the welfare of citizens underpins Sunshine Week, a national, non-partisan effort to highlight the critical role of open government and freedom of information at the local, state and federal levels. The March 12-18 celebration is led by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Gridiron Club and Foundation.

Now, more than ever, Americans are urged to recognize the importance of open government to a robust democracy. Access to meetings, minutes and records of our elected and appointed representatives is a key element of the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It is not strictly for the benefit of the news media.

In addition to ordinary citizens such as Rita Ward, access to government information helps citizen’s groups hold public officials accountable through firsthand observation of their actions. Access also enables historians to accurately describe past events and gives individuals critical information about public safety in the neighborhoods where they live.

The National Park Service, fulfilling a request under the Freedom of Information Act, provided aerial photographs last week that showed a sharp contrast between crowds on the National Mall for the inauguration of President Trump and those who turned out for the first inauguration of President Obama.

Despite public statements by Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that crowds for Trump dwarfed those of Obama, the photos _ not the words of government officials _ told the full story.

In addition to state laws in Indiana and across the country, the Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the right to obtain information from the federal government _ information that your tax dollars paid to collect. In addition, more and more local governments are leveraging technology to make public information, from traffic data to public transit schedules, even more accessible and more useful to citizens.

This week and every week, take a moment to consider what your life would be like if government officials operated in total secrecy and restricted your access to information. Support organizations fighting against those in power who seek to weaken open government protections. Join with fellow citizens in seeking disclosure. When you want information from a police department, local government or school board, ask for it.

Just like Rita Ward learned in the Indiana death records case, you have the right to know.

Mizell Stewart III is president of the American Society of News Editors and Vice President/News Operations for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MizellStewart

Resist and Defend: Links and other resources for activists

Guides

> Indivisible Guide for effectively lobbying lawmakers — at the congressional level and the local level.

News

> Democracy Now independent global news.

National groups

> American Civil Liberties Union.

> Planned Parenthood national.

> Council on American Islamic Relations.

> Indivisible Front Range Resistance.

> Human Rights Campaign.

> End Citizens United, fighting for reform.

> American Federation of Teachers.

> NextGen Climate.

> MoveOn.org.

> StudentDebtCrisis.org.

> Win Without War.

> Media Matters for America.

> NAACP.

> United We Dream.

> AFL-CIO.

> Organic Consumers Association.

> 350.org.

> Sierra Club.

> National Audubon Society.

Wisconsin

> ACLU of Wisconsin.

> Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

> Voces de la Frontera.

> Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

> Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

> Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Campaigns, movement work

> State Sen. Chris Larson’s ResistHateWi.com petition.

> Women’s March on Washington.

> Movement to Oppose Trump Mailing List.

> United State of Women.

Blogs

> Robert Reich blog posts.

Other resources

> Countable, your government made simple.

Have a recommendation for this page? Please email lmneff@wisconsingazette.com with the details.

Electrifying auto news: Top car award goes to Chevy Bolt

The Chevy Bolt has been named top car in North America, a milestone for a car General Motors hopes will finally get Americans hooked on electric vehicles.

The Honda Ridgeline grabbed the honor for top truck.

Utility vehicles were honored separately for the first time, with the Pacifica minivan from Fiat Chrysler snagging that award.

The honors were announced at Detroit’s Cobo Center as the North American International Auto Show’s press preview days kicked into high gear.

The Bolt beat out the Genesis G90 and Volvo S90 for the car award.

The electric car from Chevrolet went on sale late last year.

It gets more than 200 miles per battery charge, which is more than the average American drives in a day.

The Bolt also sells for around $30,000 when a federal tax credit is included.

Electric vehicles have failed to catch on with most American consumers, but General Motors hopes the improved range and price help shift opinions.

Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, described the Bolt as a “moon shot.”

“We didn’t have all the answers when we started the program — in terms of how far we were going to get range-wise, how light are we going to get the car and … sell price,” he said. “We hit on all cylinders on this, so to speak, even though there’s not any in the car.”

The Ridgeline scored the truck award over Ford F-Series Super Duty and the Nissan Titan. Pacifica got the nod for the utility award over the Jaguar F-Pace and Mazda X-9.

Timothy Kuniskis, Fiat Chrysler’s car chief, said he’s “amazingly proud” that a minivan scored the utility honor. The award recognizes the automaker’s commitment to the foundation it established for the family hauler while reinventing it some three decades later, he said.

“This is really all-new from the ground up,” Kuniskis said of the Pacifica, a sleeker, swept-back minivan that hit showrooms last spring as a replacement for the Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Among its firsts: hands-free sliding doors that open when the driver sticks a foot under them.

“We love minivans — we sold a quarter-million minivans this last year that just ended,” he added. “Our designers just did an amazing job of taking something that has to be very functional and making it look very beautiful at the same time.”

About 60 automotive journalists serve as judges for North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards. Eligible vehicles must be new or substantially changed.

Organizers accept no advertising, though automakers try to capitalize on the marketing value of the awards, in their 24th year.

The awards program launched in 1993, and patterned itself after the European Car of the Year. Organizers accept no advertising, though carmakers try to capitalize on the marketing value of the honors.

Holt, Wallace to moderate presidential debates

NBC News chief anchor Lester Holt will moderate the first of three scheduled debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sept. 26, with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace lined up for the others.

The Commission on Presidential Debates also said CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will moderate the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine on Oct 4.

The third presidential debate, to be moderated by Wallace on Oct. 19, and first will be traditional question-and-answer sessions with the journalist choosing the topics. Raddatz and Cooper will team up for the second session on Oct. 9, a town hall-style meeting with half of the questions to be posed by audience members.

Each of the debates is scheduled for 90 minutes, with a 9 p.m. EDT start time.

Clinton has said she will participate in all three debates.

Trump as of Sept. 6 had not formally agreed, although he has reportedly been preparing to debate.

There was no immediate reaction from the candidates to the chosen moderators. The campaigns have no say in who is selected.

Moderating is one of a journalist’s most visible, and risky, roles.

Millions of people will be watching and ready to critique performances. Trump’s anger with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly was one of the primary campaign’s biggest stories, and it began because he didn’t like a debate question she asked about his attitude toward women.

The commission is bringing in new faces; none of those selected has moderated a general election debate before, although Raddatz did the 2012 vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

Before Wallace’s selection, no Fox News personality had been a general election moderator.

It will be the first time since 1984 that the general election campaign’s much-anticipated first debate won’t be moderated by the now-retired Jim Lehrer of PBS. Two other 2012 moderators, Candy Crowley of CNN and Bob Schieffer of CBS, are also no longer active in TV news.

The leadoff position is a coup for Holt, who took over as NBC “Nightly News” anchor last year for Brian Williams and kept the broadcast on top of the ratings. The commission avoided potential political problems by not selecting Kelly or ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who was a White House aide of Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Fallout, however, included a letter of protest sent to the commission by the president and CEO of Univision, the nation’s most popular Spanish-language network.

Randy Falco said he wanted to express his “disappointment, and frankly disbelief” that no Latino journalist was selected as a moderator.

“It’s an abdication of your responsibility to represent and reflect one of the largest and most influential communities in the U.S.,” Falco wrote.

Univision’s Jorge Ramos, who celebrates 30 years as anchor of the network’s evening newscast this fall, said this week that it was “high time” a Latino journalist was considered. He said he was interested, and suggested others like Jose Diaz-Balart of Telemundo and Maria Hinojosa of NPR.

Quijano is of Filipino descent. At 42, she’s the freshest face of the selections. She’s an anchor and leads political coverage at CBSN, CBS’ 24-hour streaming service, and anchors CBS’ Sunday evening newscast.

Although he hasn’t done a general election debate, Wallace has moderated GOP primary debates with colleagues Kelly and Bret Baier. During the primaries, Cooper moderated two debates and seven town halls on CNN.

Fox’s Wallace said he was excited by the opportunity.

“They knew I was interested,” he said. “You kind of put the word out there to the debate commission, but you can’t lobby for it. You can’t do anything. They end up deciding it.”

The commission, chaired by former Republican National Committee head Frank Fahrenkopf and former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, says little about its selection process.

America’s other drug problem: Copious prescriptions for hospitalized elderly

Dominick Bailey sat at his computer, scrutinizing the medication lists of patients in the geriatric unit.

A doctor had prescribed blood pressure medication for a 99-year-old woman at a dose that could cause her to faint or fall. An 84-year-old woman hospitalized for knee surgery was taking several drugs that were not meant for older patients because of their severe potential side effects.

And then there was 74-year-old Lola Cal. She had a long history of health problems, including high blood pressure and respiratory disease. She was in the hospital with pneumonia and had difficulty breathing. Her medical records showed she was on 36 medications.

“This is actually a little bit alarming,” Bailey said.

He was concerned about the sheer number of drugs, but even more worried that several of them — including ones to treat insomnia and pain — could suppress Cal’s breathing.

An increasing number of elderly patients nationwide are on multiple medications to treat chronic diseases, raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects. Often the drugs are prescribed by different specialists who don’t communicate with each other. If those patients are hospitalized, doctors making the rounds add to the list — and some of the drugs they prescribe may be unnecessary or unsuitable.

“This is America’s other drug problem — polypharmacy,” said Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. “And the problem is huge.”

The medical center, where Bailey also works, is intended specifically for treating older people. One of its goals is to ensure that elderly patients are not harmed by drugs meant to heal them.

That work falls largely to Bailey, a clinical pharmacist specializing in geriatric care.

Some drugs can cause confusion, falling, excessive bleeding, low blood pressure and respiratory complications in older patients, according to research and experts.

Older adults account for about 35 percent of all hospital stays but more than half of the visits that are marred by drug-related complications, according to a 2014 action plan by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Such complications add about three days to the average stay, the agency said.

Data on financial losses linked to medication problems among elderly hospital patients is limited. But the Institute of Medicine determined in 2006 that at least 400,000 preventable “adverse drug events” occur each year in American hospitals. Such events, which can result from the wrong prescription or the wrong dosage, push health care costs up annually by about $3.5 billion (in 2006 dollars).

And even if a drug doesn’t cause an adverse reaction, that doesn’t mean the patient necessarily needs it. A study of Veterans Affairs hospitals showed that 44 percent of frail elderly patients were given at least one unnecessary drug at discharge.

“There are a lot of souvenirs from being in the hospital: medicines they may not need,” said David Reuben, chief of the geriatrics division at UCLA School of Medicine.

Some drugs prescribed in the hospital are intended to treat the acute illnesses for which the patients were admitted; others are to prevent problems such as nausea or blood clots. Still others are meant to control side effects of the original medications.

University of California, San Francisco researcher and physician Ken Covinsky, said many doctors who prescribe drugs in hospitals don’t consider how long those medications might be needed. “There’s a tendency in medicine every time we start a medicine to never stop it,” Covinsky said.

When doctors in the hospital change or add to the list of medications, patients often return home uncertain about what to take. If patients have dementia or are unclear about their medications, and they don’t have a family member or a caregiver to help, the consequences can be disastrous.

One 2013 study found that nearly a fifth of patients discharged had prescription-related medical complications during their first 45 days at home. About 35 percent of those complications were preventable, and 5 percent were life-threatening.

UCLA hired Bailey about three years ago, after he completed a residency at University of California, Davis. The idea was to bring a pharmacist into the hospital’s geriatric unit to improve care and reduce readmissions among older patients.

Speaking from his hospital bed at UCLA’s Santa Monica hospital, 79-year-old Will Carter said that before he was admitted with intense leg pain, he had been taking about a dozen different drugs for diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.

Doctors in the hospital lowered the doses of his blood pressure and diabetes medications and added a drug to help him urinate. Bailey carefully explained the changes to him. Still, Carter said he was worried he might take the drugs incorrectly at home and end up back in the hospital.

“I’m very confused about it, to tell you the truth,” he said after talking to Bailey. “It’s complicated. And if the pills are not right, you are in trouble.”

Having a pharmacist like Bailey on the team caring for older patients can reduce drug complications and hospitalizations, according to a 2013 analysis of several studies published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Over a six-month stretch after Bailey started working in UCLA’s Santa Monica geriatric unit, readmissions related to drug problems declined from 22 to three. At the time, patients on the unit were taking an average of about 14 different medications each.

Bailey is energetic and constantly on the go. He started one morning recently with a short lecture to medical residents in which he reminded them that many drugs act differently in older patients than in younger ones.

“As you know, our elderly are already at risk for an accumulation of drugs in their body,” he told the group. “If you put a drug that has a really long half-life, it is going to last even longer in our elderly.”

The geriatric unit has limited beds, so older patients are spread throughout the hospital. Bailey’s services are in demand. He gets paged throughout the day by doctors with questions about which medications are best for older patients or how different drugs interact. And he quickly moves from room to room, reviewing drug lists with patients.

Bailey said he tries to answer several questions in order to determine what’s best for a patient. Is the drug needed? Is the dose right? Is it going to cause a problem?

One of his go-to references is known as the Beers list — a compilation of medications that are potentially harmful for older patients. The list, named for the doctor who created it and produced by the American Geriatrics Society, includes dozens of medications, including some antidepressants and antipsychotics.

When he’s not talking to other doctors at the hospital, Bailey is often on the line with other pharmacists, physicians and relatives to make sure his patients’ medication lists are accurate and up to date. He also monitors patients’ new drugs, counsels patients about their prescriptions before they are discharged and calls them afterward to make sure they are taking the medications properly.

“Medications only work if you take them,” Bailey said dryly. “If they sit on the shelf, they don’t work.”

That was one of his main worries about Cal, the 74-year old with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Standing at her bedside, Bailey pored over the list of 36 drugs. Cal told him she only took the medications that she thought seemed important.

Bailey explained to Cal that he and the doctors were going to make some changes. They would eliminate unnecessary and duplicate drugs, including some that could inhibit her breathing. Then she should take as prescribed all of the medications that remained on the list.

Bailey said he’s constantly weighing the risks versus the benefits of medications for elderly patients like Cal.

“It is figuring out what they need,” he said, “versus what they can survive without.”

This story was reported while its author, Anna Gorman, participated in a fellowship supported by New America Media, the Gerontological Society of America and The Commonwealth Fund.

KHN’s coverage of aging and long-term care issues is supported by a grant from The SCAN Foundation, and its coverage of late life and geriatric care is supported by The John A. Hartford FoundationKaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

DIVIDED AMERICA: Partisan media, intellectual ghettos?

Meet Peggy Albrecht and John Dearth. Albrecht is a free-lance writer and comedian from Los Angeles who loves Bernie Sanders. Dearth, a retiree from Carmel, Indiana, grew up a Democrat but flipped with Ronald Reagan. He’s a Trump guy.

They live in the same country, but as far as their news consumption goes, they might as well live on different planets.

Abrecht watches MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow each night. She scans left-leaning websites Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo and Down With Tyranny, where recent headlines described Donald Trump as “pathetic” and “temperamentally unfit” to be president. The liberal website Think Progress sends her email alerts.

This story is part of Divided America, AP’s ongoing exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.

Dearth is a fan of Fox Business Network anchors Neil Cavuto and Stuart Varney. He checks the Drudge Report, Town Hall and Heritage Foundation websites, where recent stories talked about Trump supporters being “terrorized” by demonstrators. Because of his search history, he’s bombarded with solicitations to donate to conservative causes.

In a simpler time, Albrecht and Dearth might have gathered at a common television hearth to watch Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news.

But the growth in partisan media over the past two decades has enabled Americans to retreat into tribes of like-minded people who get news filtered through particular world views. Fox News Channel and Talking Points Memo thrive, with audiences that rarely intersect. What’s big news in one world is ignored in another. Conspiracy theories sprout, anger abounds and the truth becomes ever more elusive.

In this world of hundreds of channels and uncounted websites, of exquisitely targeted advertising and unbridled social media, it is easy to construct your own intellectual ghetto, however damaging that might be to the ideal of the free exchange of ideas.

“Right now the left plays to the left and the right plays to the right,” said Glenn Beck, the former Fox News host who started TheBlaze, a conservative network, in 2010. “That’s why we keep ratcheting up the heat. We’re throwing red meat. We’re in a room that is an echo chamber, and everybody’s cheering.”

Albrecht and Dearth don’t rely exclusively on partisan media. Albrecht starts her day with the Los Angeles Times, and Dearth occasionally flips to MSNBC to hear opposing viewpoints, particularly on “Morning Joe.” They do share mirrored misgivings about the major broadcast networks, newspapers and their related websites — the mainstream media — though Dearth thinks it’s too liberal and Albrecht considers it too conservative.

That’s the kind of thinking that inspired Roger Ailes to launch Fox News Channel in 1996. The former GOP operative mixed news during the day with a prime-time lineup that appealed to conservatives.

By 2002, Fox had raced past CNN to become the top-rated news network, beginning the golden age of partisan media.

There wasn’t anything to compare on the left, at least until summer 2006 when Keith Olbermann began a series of commentaries after being angered by a speech where Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld equated Iraq War opponents to pre-World War II appeasers. His show became home for disaffected liberals in the Bush administration’s final years. MSNBC hired Maddow and eventually made the entire network left-leaning, although low ratings forced it back to news during the day.

Fueled by Fox’s primacy and opposition to the war in Iraq, liberals began finding their voice online in the early 2000s.

Writer Josh Marshall began blogging and reporting, developing the Talking Points Memo website. His work forced wider attention to issues like the firing of U.S. attorneys in the Bush administration, Republican voter suppression efforts and the fight against Social Security privatization. TPM has grown to 25 employees with offices in Washington and New York.

Others followed Marshall’s path. Conservatives took advantage of new media, too.

“I don’t think it’s as much a danger to democracy as people think it is,” Olbermann said. “When the business changes to being all conservative media or all liberal media — though I don’t know how that would happen — that’s when it becomes dangerous.”

Yet today’s political media get at least some of the blame for a hardening of attitudes. A generation ago, majorities in each political party described themselves as moderate. Now 62 percent of the Democratic primary electorate identify themselves as liberal, and 76 percent of Republicans say they’re conservative, according to ABC News exit polling.

Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, spoke with some distress this spring at the commencement of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication.

“Today we are not so much communicating as miscommunicating,” he said. “Or failing to communicate. Or choosing to communicate only with those who think as we do. Or communicating in a manner that is wholly detached from reality. Too often we look only for affirmation of our own ideas rather than opening ourselves to the ideas of others.”

That thought was on Beck’s mind when he had lunch a year ago with Arianna Huffington, founder of the left-leaning news site that bears her name. They talked about the need for an outlet where a conservative can talk about ideas to a liberal audience and vice versa.

But for now, nothing’s come of the idea.

Community bulletin board: Energy fair, art grants, awards and more

Energized for sustainable future: The annual Energy Fair promoting sustainable and renewable energy takes place June 17–19 in Custer. The fair, presented by Midwest Renewable Energy Association, is in its 27th year, making it the nation’s longest-running energy education event of its kind. Attendees can expect more than 250 workshops, as well as entertainment and exhibit booths and food and beverage vendors. For more, go to theenergyfair.org.

For the arts: The Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission awarded 47 grants totaling $98,494 for community arts, cultural and history programs. The county dollars were combined with funds from the Endres Manufacturing Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. For more, go to danearts.com.

Rummaging for improvements: The Milwaukee NARI Foundation Inc., the educational and charitable arm of the Milwaukee NARI Home Improvement Council, raised about $8,500 in May with the 11th annual Home Improvement Rummage Sale. NARI provides financial and educational support to students pursuing careers in home improvement and remodeling, while helping to reduce the amount of construction and demolition materials in landfills. For more, go to milwaukeenari.org.

PPAWI’s praise: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is honoring state Sen. Fred Risser’s contributions to women’s health with a lifetime achievement award. Riser is the longest serving state senator in the United States and has been at the forefront of championing policies that women, men and families benefit from today, PPAWI said.

“From the repeal of Wisconsin’s Comstock Laws in 1976 that made birth control and information about contraception available to all Wisconsin women, regardless of their marital status, to enhancing rape victims’ access to birth control to prevent pregnancy and comprehensive sex education for youth in our schools, Sen. Risser has lead the way,” read a statement from the organization. For more, go to ppawi.org.

Wright way to summer: Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin presents in June a tour of 10 architecturally significant buildings in the Racine area, including several Wright-designed structures and seven sites inspired by Wright’s vision. For more, go to wrightinwisconsin.org.

Get to the Big Gig: Pre-Fare digital ticket service is a simpler, cheaper way for Summerfest celebrants to get to the festival grounds this year. Plus, until June 24, people who purchase a Pre-Fare ticket can get a free weekday ticket to Summerfest. For more, go to ridemcts.com.

ART GUIDE: The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is offering a training course for docents on Tuesdays, Sept. 20–Dec. 13, at the museum. MMoCA docents conduct tours of the museum’s exhibitions to groups that range from school-age children to older adults. They also involve museum visitors in discussions that encourage them to look closely at and interpret works of art. For a position description and application, visit mmoca.org and click Support/Docent Program, or contact Sheri Castelnuovo at 608.257.0158 or sheri@mmoca.org. The application deadline is Sept. 9.

WIND ENERGY: Wisconsin Public Power Inc. plans to invest in wind power for its next electric generation need, according to a news release from Clean Wisconsin praising the development. WPPI recently issued a request for proposals for 100 MW of wind power, which is enough electric generation to power approximately 30,000 homes. WPPI is one of several utilities that met the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that 10 percent of electricity come from renewable sources, several years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Send community announcements to lmneff@wisconsingazette.com.

On the record: Who’s inspiring? Who’s offending?

“It’s the story that I witness every single day, when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters — two beautiful black young women — head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States.”

— MICHELLE OBAMA in a commencement speech that she delivered at City College in New York.

“Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You know what I’m talking about? OK.”

— DONALD TRUMP singling out an African-American person in the crowd at a rally for him in Redding, California.

“For many Americans, Caitlyn Jenner has become the reference point for their perceptions and expectations of transgender people. Unfortunately, her experience is hardly representative of the rest of the population.”

— JOHN CULLEN, the coordinator of outreach for the Susan B. Anthony Center at the University of Rochester, and his colleague NICK KASPER writing for Newsweek.

“People can shout at the parents and people can shout at the zoo. The fact is that a gorilla that just celebrated his birthday has been killed.”

— ANTHONY SETA, an animal rights activist in Cincinnati, who helped organize a vigil for a gorilla who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a 4-year-old boy entered the primate’s habitat.

“The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die.”

— PASTOR ROGER JIMENEZ, preaching about the Orlando massacre.

“What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their house? I’ll tell you exactly what kind of man does that. It is a man who cares about no one but himself — a small insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt so long as he makes a profit off it.”

— U.S. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN delivering a 10-minute invective on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a Washington gala two weeks ago. Warren has not ruled out joining Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ticket as vice president.

“I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby encourage all Iowans to join this historical 99 County Bible Reading Marathon and, furthermore, encourage individuals and families in Iowa to read through the Bible on a daily basis each year until the Lord comes.”

— Iowa’s Republican GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD in a controversial proclamation that was described by the Iowa ACLU as precisely the “sort of government overreaching and endorsement of a particular faith” that the U.S. and Iowa constitutions ban.

“If you could decide what 40 people you would put on the spacecraft who would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?”

— U.S. REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-Texas, warning of the reproductive uselessness of gay astronauts if the world ended.

For the record: Quotes from the news

“He is such an egomaniac and such a religious zealot that he thinks he can ignore court orders with impunity. For the sake of our state, he should be kicked out of office.”

— Southern Poverty Law Center president RICHARD COHEN commenting on Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. The judge faces potential removal from office for ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“To have a Muslim mayor seems preferable to me to any alternative regardless of the politics. I hope it’s an image that will go round the world as representing a new sort of England that’s at peace with itself regardless of race and so on. That’s the beauty of it.”

— SIR IAN McKELLAN celebrating the election of Sadiq Khan to serve as London’s first Muslim mayor. Khan represented the liberal Labour Party in the race. One million of the city’s 8.2 million residents practice the Muslim faith.

“A monument to sin? That’s unbelievable. War heroes deserve a monument, our nation’s founding fathers deserve a monument, people who have helped to make America strong deserve a monument — but a monument to sin?”

— Evangelist FRANKLIN GRAHAM, the son of now-deceased preacher man Billy Graham, mocking President Barack Obama’s plans to turn the Stonewall Inn and its surroundings in New York’s Greenwich Village into a National Monument.

“I will not rest and I’m going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don’t rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink and safe to cook with and safe to bathe in.”

— President BARACK OBAMA during a visit to Flint, Michigan, where lead contamination forced residents to spend months drinking, cooking and bathing with bottled water.

“We love our girls. Thank you so much for so many years of joy. That’s history tonight there, ladies and gentlemen, true American icons.”

-— Ringmaster JOHNATHAN LEE IVERSON bidding farewell to the performing elephants of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The trained elephants were part of a 145-year-old tradition. They’ve retired  to a 200-acre refuge in central Florida.

“Democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100 percent right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right and you still have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral security, but you will not get what you want. … This is how we cheat ourselves of progress.”

— PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA delivering the commencement address at Howard University. Pundits saw this remark as a mild rebuke to the supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who want to model their so-called “revolution” on the right wing’s uncompromising tea party faction.

On the record: Boehner said what?

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” — Former House Speaker JOHN BOEHNER sharing his feelings about GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz in a talk hosted by Stanford University. Boehner referred to Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“Nothing is more stunning than having the words ‘serial child molester’ and ‘speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”

— JUDGE THOMAS DURKIN in sentencing former House Speaker Dennis Hastert to 15 months in federal prison for paying hush money to a man he allegedly abused. Prosecutors allege Hastert molested at least four boys during his time as a wrestling coach in west suburban Chicago.

“We’re just thrilled that Andrew Jackson has had a removal of his own. The constant reminder of Andrew Jackson being glorified is sad and sickening to our people.”

— Country singer/songwriter BECKY HOBBS commenting on the U.S. Treasury’s decision to replace Jackson, who owned slaves and displaced Native Americans from their land, with African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the face of the $20 bill.

“Prince was very proudly black and a lot of the music that he played — you’ve got to remember the rock ‘n’ roll that some people said that was the ‘white’ side — no, rock ‘n’ roll was black music. Funk is black music. Ballads is black music. Prince was playing music that was true to his soul and true to his core.”

— STEPHEN HILL, president of programing for Black Entertainment Television, talking about Prince’s legacy as an African-American entertainer.

“I’ve never seen such a combo of simplistic slogans and contradictions and misstatements in one speech.”

— Former Secretary of State MADELINE ALBRIGHT assessing Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision, which he laid out in a speech in Washington.

“If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”

— DONALD TRUMP in a speech following his five-state win April 26.

“The other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the woman card. Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.”

— HILLARY CLINTON responding to Donald Trump’s critique of her on the campaign trail.

“This seems to be a solution in search of a problem.”

— Fox News host CHRIS WALLACE sharing his assessment of North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill,” which essentially prevents transgender people from using public restrooms.