Weekly Roundup 5/14/2012

Eli Saslow, The Washington Post, May 12, 2012 (print edition: May 13)

Synopsis: Linda and Gloria Bailey-Davies have been together for 49 years and married for eight, thanks to the ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a lawsuit that they helped bring. “This is what President Obama has decided he is for,” the Post reporter writes after watching the couple’s marriage video. “This is what North Carolina has decided it’s against.”

Takeaway: Editorial opinion on the issue remains divided. After Obama’s announcement, The New York Times said the president “took the moral high ground on what may be the great civil rights struggle of our time.” But The Washington Times said Obama’s stance was based on “political expediency” even though it will ultimately hurt his re-election effort.

For CQ Researcher coverage, see “Obama Backs Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage,” CQ Researcher Blog, May 9, 2012, and my earlier report Gay Marriage Showdowns, Sept. 26, 2008, updated Oct. 15, 2010; new update forthcoming soon.

--Kenneth Jost, Associate Editor

James Dao, The New York Times, May 11, 2012
Molly O’Toole, Huffington Post, May 14, 2012

Synopsis: More military roles have recently opened up to women, but with most front-line combat jobs still male only, many male service members remain skeptical of servicewomen’s ability to lead.

Takeaway:  “When Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa L. King was named the first female commandant of the Army’s elite drill-sergeant school in 2009, proponents of gender equality in the military hailed the news. But it did not take long for the grumbling to start. Traditionalists asked: How could a woman with no combat experience manage the Army’s school for training the trainers who prepare recruits for war?”

For background on this issue see our report, “Women in the Military,” Nov. 13, 2009.

--Marcia Clemmitt, Staff Writer


Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?
Jennifer Kahn, Huffington Post, May 14, 2012

Synopsis: Dan Waschbusch, a researcher at Florida International University, studies “callous-unemotional” children — those who exhibit a distinctive lack of affect, remorse or empathy — and who are considered at risk of becoming psychopaths as adults
Takeaway: Waschbusch’s hope is that spotting potentially psychopathic children early will give doctors and parents  a chance to teach them empathy and other normal emotions before it’s too late.

For background on the issue, see our reports, “Youth Violence,” March 5, 2010;  “Sex Offenders,” Sept. 8, 2006.

--Thomas J. Colin, Contributing Editor