A mother’s wish. Mainstream news outlets are howling this week about a “heartbreaking injustice” taking place in Texas. A hospital in Fort Worth has dared to keep a woman on life support to save her unborn child. Marlise Munoz, 33, fell into a coma in November after suffering a blood clot in her lungs. Saying she’s brain dead, her husband and parents want to disconnect the machines keeping her alive. But Texas law allows doctors to deny a family’s request in cases where the comatose patient is a pregnant woman. Munoz’s father, Ernest Machado, told The New York Times his daughter is nothing but “a host for a fetus.” The baby is now in its 20th week of development. Munoz and her husband, Erick, have a 15-month-old son, Mateo. Munoz’s mother, Lynne Machado—the child’s grandmother—claims the issue isn’t about the baby but about what her daughter would have wanted: “It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life. It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.” Despite the family’s claim Munoz had strong feelings about her own death, it’s hard to imagine a mother not willing to lay down her life—or in this case delay her death—for her child.
Embarrassed and humiliated. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced today he has fired the aide responsible for orchestrating a street lane closure retribution scheme against a mayor who didn’t support the governor’s reelection bid. Christie claims he had no idea Bridget Anne Kelly, his deputy chief of staff, asked one of his appointees to the New Jersey Port Authority to authorize lane closures at the base of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J. The resulting four days of gridlock paralyzed the town. For months, Christie denied his administration had anything to do with the lane closures, which he blamed on a traffic study. But emails released yesterday suggest Kelly and now former Port Authority official David Wildstein coordinated the traffic snarl to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. “I come out here to apologize to the people of New Jersey,” Christie said during a public appearance. “I am embarrassed and humiliated.”
Conflict of interest? Two Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) appoint a different lawyer to investigate IRS attacks on conservative groups. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio accuse the Obama administration of creating a conflict of interest. Barbara Bossserman, the DOJ attorney leading the investigation into claims the IRS unfairly targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt states, has donated at least $6,750 to President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee during the past several years. “It is unbelievable that the Department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president’s policies,” Issa and Jordan wrote.
Compensation. A coalition of Christian organizations is asking the United Nations to set up a victims compensation fund for people affected by the Muslim militant group Boko Haram's terrorism spree in Nigeria. Although it has not offered any compensation to victims of attacks, the Nigerian government plans to spend $30 million to repair the UN building in Abuja bombed in 2011. The coalition, which includes African Christian Fellowship USA, Christian Association of Nigerian Americans, and The Institute on Religion and Democracy, wants UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to set aside an equal amount of money to help ease the suffering of people who lost their homes, churches, and family members. “These victims are desperate,” the groups note in a letter sent to Ban on Tuesday. “Desperation and destitution in the face of impunity are potential drivers for retaliation and escalation. This needs to be urgently mitigated.”