Well, this is awkward — or rather, it would be if the press cared about the federally-driven tyranny which is in the process of capturing the nation's public and private K-12 schools.

Common Core's proponents have insisted and still insist that "it was and will remain a state-led effort" (italics is theirs). Yet when faced with the "problem" of too many parents opting out of its intrusive testing regime — something they are supposedly free to do without penalty or reprisal — guess who steps in with threats and smears? You guessed it: Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan.



Chris Christie who? Rachel Swarns, who for years fawned over Barack and Michelle Obama for the New York Times, wrote an "open letter" column to actor Adam Baldwin in defense of a left-wing group which tied up traffic in mid-town Manhattan in the name of a $15-an-hour "living wage."



Alec Baldwin, famous liberal actor (and public-radio talk show host at WNYC-FM), started a Twitter battle with fellow liberals about traffic-blocking protests in mid-town Manhattan on behalf of the "Fight for $15" minimum-wage demands. Occupy somewhere else, he seemed to proclaim to more than a million followers at his foundation's Twitter account.



Kudos to our colleague Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon. She offers a familiar old slice of sleaze funded by the federal government. An “investigative theatre” company in New York called “The Civilians” has been granted almost $950,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and believe it or not, the National Science Foundation. Its latest creation is a musical about porn titled Pretty Filthy.



Pop star Taylor Swift has donated $50,000 to the New York City public school system. Swift, who was named the world's sixth most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine, has commendably performed numerous acts of charity since moving into her $20 million Tribeca residence last year, including visits with sick children at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The age and cultural divide notwithstanding (she's 25, I'm not, and Elvis was my adolescent icon), I like Taylor Swift, but her money would have been better invested with much higher returns somewhere other than the dreadful New York City public schools, whose problems are not the result of insufficient funding.



See if you can spot the typos on this map, which depict mandatory travel bans in Northeastern states for the overnight of January 26-27. 



During her MSNBC show Now on Monday, Alex Wagner had on guest Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, who took advantage of the blizzard set to strike New York City and New England to invoke climate change and blame the “big oil industry” and Republicans for “voting down science” in a Senate vote last week.

Not to be outdone, Wagner took her own swipe at those who don’t subscribe to the view that the storm was bred by humans and climate change: “[J]ust with the flight delays, the economic impact of travel and travel cancellations, it seems like framing this sort-of changing climate in an economic context is a pretty powerful way to get people to start caring a little bit more about the changes that are happening to the Earth.”



During his MSNBC show All In on Monday, Chris Hayes put up his best defense of far-left New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio against criticism from NYPD officers and their union, lamenting that de Blasio has been subject to “brutal attacks” over the past few weeks while praising him for a drop in crime during 2014.

At the start of a segment about the drop in crime and a changing of tactics, Hayes chose to chastise the NYPD’s top union for speaking and acting in opposition to the Mayor: “If, the Mayor has taken to dreading the spotlight over the past few weeks as he's come under brutal attack by New York’s police unions, today's press conference was probably one he looked forward to because, today, he got to announce what appears to be a major victory for the very policies that helped kick off an NYPD backlash.”



During an appearance on Thursday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Bill Bratton was asked by anchor Scott Pelley if African-American men had any reason to be afraid of the NYPD and what he was going to change about policing in the aftermath of the Eric Garner case. 

After Batton told Pelley what was changing about the way officers in the NYPD go about their jobs, Pelley posed this question to him: “What does a black man in New York City have to fear from the NYPD?”



Two abortion stories in Thursday's New York Times, one on a fight over Texas abortion clinics that could wind up at the Supreme Court, the other a local story about a Planned Parenthood..."health clinic for women" opening in Queens, put on display the paper's broad and deep bias on the topic.



Sometimes, public radio employees don’t seem to realize they rely on taxpayer support. Our former colleague Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon underlined that in a story on Congressman Chris Gibson (R-New York).

An unnamed employee of WIOX radio in the small town of Roxbury, New York (which runs NPR News programs overnight), dismissed Gibson as someone who should “find a real job like the rest of us and not live off the taxpayers [sic] money.”



An enormous development in the Bridgegate scandal broke late Thursday afternoon when federal officials reported that they have cleared New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) of any wrong-doing relating to the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. 

When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this huge development, ABC and CBS punted on the story and refused to cover it in their Thursday night newscasts. NBC Nightly News did cover the story, however, but only in the form of a news brief that lasted for 38 seconds.