1. Federal judge Edward R. Korman slammed the Obama administration on Friday, denied the government’s request that he suspend his ruling making the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill available to women and girls of every age and without a prescription.
The Ronald Reagan appointed judge called efforts to delay distribution of the pill based on “frivolous” and “silly” arguments and not scientific evidence. Korman is so angry over the efforts by secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius to deny full implementation of the pill that he questioned her credibility and integrity.
Judge Korman postponed the enforcement of his order until today, allowing lawyers for the Justice Department to take their case to the appeals court. via NYT
2. In an attention-getting opening line, celebrity interviewer Lynn Hirschberg writes “The only thing that worried Michael Douglas about playing Liberace, the flamboyant Las Vegas superstar, was the fourteen-inch penis.”
Who knew!! Douglas opens up on playing Lee, as Liberace was known to friends, in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra’. The focus is the famed entertainer’s life with Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon, who was Liberace’s live-in boyfriend for five years.
The movie represents a return to public eye for Douglas, who reveals more of himself in questions about his battle with stage four cancer and his son’s imprisonment.
3. New mothers are more educated than ever, writes PEW Research. In 2011, 66% of new mothers had some college education, with 34% having a high school diploma and 14% not having finished high school.
The trend reflects a continuous rise in educational levels of all American women, as well as a decline in births set in motion with the Great Recession in late 2007. Between 2008 to 2011, the number of new mothers with no high school degree dropped 17%, as the number with only a high school diploma dropped 15%.
4. Co-author of the Heritage Foundation’s disputed immigration study Jason Richwine resigned on Friday, as questions mounted about the racially-charged conclusions in his previous work. Richwine as hired by the ultra-conservative think tank in 2010, and his departure comes less than five weeks after former Republican senator Jim DeMint assumed leadership of Heritage.
To date, the organization defends its methodology, one rejected by libertarian groups like the Cato Institute. The report argues that low-skilled immigrants have less education and lower IQs, making them likely to earn less money and need more taxpayer-supplied benefits.
In 2007, a similar Heritage report helped derail immigration reform, arguing that the plan would cost $2.7 trillion, instead of last week’s $6 trillion.
5. PEW Research reports that Hispanic high school graduates have passed whites in their rate of college enrollment. In post recession America, a record 69% of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college. As the rates of Hispanic college enrollment have risen from 49% in 2000 to 69% in 2012, the rate of college enrollment has dropped among white high school grads to 67%.
In 2011 only 14% of Hispanic 16-24-year-olds were high school dropouts, 50% less than the 2000 level of 28%. PEW suggests that some educational growth may be driven by declining employment among young Latino youths, where unemployment has risen by 7 points, compared to 5 points among whites.
Hispanics are less likely to be in a four-year college, be enrolled full time, and complete a bachelor’s degree.