Could the NFL Soon Have Its First Openly Gay Player(s): Baltimore Sun: Ex-Ravens linebacker (and LGBT advocate) Brendon Ayanbadejo “predicted that more than one player may come out as gay during their playing career. Ayanbadejo said the groundwork is being laid to reduce the pressure on such a player, and said as many as four players could conceivably come out simultaneously. ‘I think it will happen sooner than you think,’ Ayanbadejo said. ‘We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.’”
Obama Apologizes: Washington Post: “White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday that President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) late Thursday to apologize for his remark that she was the ‘best-looking attorney general in the country.’ ‘He apologized for it and regrets the distraction it caused,’ Carney said at Friday’s briefing.Obama’s remark, delivered at a fundraiser Thursday, has been criticized by some as sexist and demeaning toward Harris, who is considered a rising star in California politics.”
Hooray, it’s Friday! You made it; we all did. Welcome to The Slatest PM. A quick programming note: @JoshVoorhees is out all of next week so there won’t be a traditional PM post leading the afternoon newsletter each day. But subscribers will still get an email every weekday afternoon with all of Slate’s newsy-est blog posts, and the @slatest blog proper will remain up and running. Things will return to normal on Monday, April 15.
Time to Talk Budget: New York Times: “President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say. In a significant shift in fiscal strategy, Mr. Obama on Wednesday will send a budget plan to Capitol Hill that departs from the usual presidential wish list that Republicans typically declare dead on arrival. Instead it will embody the final compromise offer that he made to Speaker John A. Boehner late last year, before Mr. Boehner abandoned negotiations in opposition to the president’s demand for higher taxes from wealthy individuals and some corporations.”
It’s Going About as Well as You’d Expect: Politico: “House Speaker John Boehner immediately dismissed President Barack Obama’s package of significant new entitlement cuts tied to new tax revenues, calling them ‘no way to lead and move the country forward.’ … Boehner said he will not consider new revenues as part of the deal, arguing that ‘modest’ entitlement savings should not ‘be held hostage for more tax hikes.’”
The Slatest: Is Obama’s Budget Gambit Going According to Plan?
The Jobs Report: Wall Street Journal: “Employers slammed on the brakes in March, adding just 88,000 jobs and keeping the economic recovery from shifting to a higher gear despite a mending housing market and steady consumer and business spending. The grim report, out Friday from the Labor Department, was the first slip back into five-digit job growth since June 2012 and a stark pullback from February’s upwardly revised 268,000 gain. The unemployment rate, which is derived from a different survey than the payroll numbers, fell to 7.6%, a four-year low, from 7.7%. Economists expected nonfarm payrolls to rise by 200,000.”
Sen. Brown (N.H.?): Washington Post: “Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is not ruling out a bid for Senate in New Hampshire, he told reporters in Nashua Thursday night. ‘I’m not going to rule out anything right now, because I really haven’t thought a heck of a lot about it,’ Brown told reporters when asked if he was interested in challenging Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014. ‘I’m not sure what I’m going to do politically yet.’ … Brown won his Senate seat in a 2010 special election, a surprise victory for the GOP in deep-blue Massachusetts. Since losing to Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren last fall, Brown has joined a Boston law firm and become a regular contributor on Fox News.”
More Rutgers Fallout: Associated Press: “The Rutgers basketball scandal claimed two more university officials on Friday, including the athletic director and an interim senior vice president, who were involved in a decision to “rehabilitate” rather than fire the coach whose abusive behavior was captured on a video. University president Robert Barchi’s job appeared to be safe after getting a public nod of support from the school’s board of governors.”
Bird Flu Returns: Wall Street Journal: “A deadly new strain of bird flu claimed a sixth life in eastern China on Friday as agricultural authorities in Shanghai ordered a wide-scale slaughter of poultry in an effort to stem the spread of the disease. A 64-year-old farmer who died in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 virus, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday, citing the local health bureau. In a separate report that evening, Xinhua said authorities in Jiangsu province had confirmed two new H7N9 cases: a 61-year-old woman who first became ill on March 20 and a 79-year-old man who fell ill a day later. Two more suspected cases also have been reported in the province, according to the report. China now has confirmed 16 cases of H7N9 nationwide, with patients ranging in age from 4 to 87.”
Stay Calm and Keep Reading: NBC News: “A deadly outbreak of a new kind of bird flu has now sickened 16 people in China and killed six, but U.S. health officials on Friday cautioned that there’s no cause for widespread alarm. The new influenza A H7N9 virus has not been seen before in humans, but it doesn’t appear to be transmitted easily among people, and there have been no cases detected in the United States, Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. ‘There are no specific steps people in this country can take. People can go about their daily lives,’ he said.”
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate—
Future Tense: How Your Breath Could Help Doctors Diagnose You
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