Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 3.27.13

Top of the news

The Supreme Court this morning heard arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, taking up the issue of same-sex marriage for a second day in a row. Today's case centers on the denial of government benefits to gay spouses. NYT, LAT

Related video: Ken Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, discusses the conservative case for gay marriage. NYT

The Huffington Post goes all-out in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Forbes

Politics and government

The California bullet-train project has collided with farmers, political conservatives and wealthy suburbanites who would like to see the $68-billion system killed. Now it is facing tough criticism from an unlikely quarter: within the ranks of high-speed rail's true believers. LAT

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to examine a package of controversial cost-cutting proposals that one councilman likened to a "declaration of war" on city workers and business. LAT

City Council President Herb Wesson on Tuesday cautioned against prematurely abandoning support for professional football in Los Angeles, saying he is convinced billionaire Philip Anschutz is sincere in his plans for bring a team to the L.A. Live site. DN

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and city leaders will join USC President C.L. Max Nikias today to sign an agreement for the construction of USC Village, a $1 billion retail and residential project billed as the largest in South Los Angeles history. CNS

Candidate Wendy Greuel attacked rival Eric Garcetti for job losses in Los Angeles while he was president of the City Council. A Garcetti spokesman replied: "There has been a nationwide recession." LAT

Garcetti has a presser scheduled with labor at 2:45 p.m. in South LA.

A poll by an independent committee backing Garcetti shows him with a small lead. Greuel spokeswoman: "It’s clear their poll is already outdated and useless since it does not consider the endorsements of Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas or President Bill Clinton." DN

Former district attorney Robert Philibosian endorsed Carmen Trutanich for reelection as city attorney.

State Sen. Curren Price, running for the City Council, is retreating from his controversial accusation that opponent Ana Cubas has tried to divide voters "along racial lines." LAT

Media and books

Among the George Foster Peabody Award winners announced today: HBO's "Girls," "Game Change," "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” and “The Loving Story," Univision's investigation “Rapido y Furioso,” "Southland," "This American Life," the "Up" series of movies, "Doctor Who," Robin Roberts and Lorne Michaels. Winners

We have new best-selling books in SoCal: "The Accursed" by Joyce Carol Oates slides to #1 on the Southern California hardcover fiction list, "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg to the top of the nonfiction bestseller list. It's that time of year: "The Great Gatsby" goes to #1 in paperback fiction. Bestsellers

Nearly 1 in 3 Hollywood TV shows have no minority writers on staff. LA Weekly

A new one for the style guide: In a story chastising the restaurant Red Medicine for publicly shaming reservation no-shows without checking to confirm the reason they didn't show, food editor Russ Parsons writes it "seems like a d-bag move." LAT

KCET's "SoCal Connected" tonight investigates Compton city officials' payment for serving on boards and commissions that meet for only a few minutes. Laurel Erickson is the reporter.

T.J. Simers writes, "When it came time to recuperate from my mini-stroke or whatever it was, the family went to Las Vegas. They said it had been really tough on them." LAT column

More news and observations

Signaling a desire to return to public life, retired Gen. David H. Petraeus offered an apology Tuesday at USC for the scandal that led to his resignation as director of the CIA and brought an illustrious career to an abrupt end. LAT, AP, KTLA

petroleum-club-mural.jpgA 1950s mural done at the Petroleum Club when it was located in the Statler Hotel has been recovered during the razing of the Wilshire Grand Hotel at Wilshire and Figueroa. Curbed LA

A federal judge has ruled that the LAPD can have 40-year-old taped conversations between Charles Manson follower Charles "Tex" Watson and his late attorney to see if they can help solve more murders. LAT

A 72-year-old gardener was found dead in a Shadow Hills swimming pool with a leaf blower attached to his back. CNS

No weapon has been recovered at the place where police officers shot a man on March 19 in Echo Park. Patch

The first international museum exhibition of airport architecture, Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight, launches April 3rd at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
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Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14