Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Down in Front.

To call it a retirement is a farce: long, long, longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas was forced out of her front-row seat.

And now, at long last, there will be peace in the Middle East.

But more seriously, we can hold these dueling ideas in our heads: what the 89-year-old Thomas said was ridiculous and unfortunate, and the right-wing mob that called for her job has a very selective memory.

To say nothing of their selective outrage.

And in other news, Pat Buchanan has managed to stay gainfully employed.

Sigh. Let’s get on with the random-assery:

1. In the wake of the oil spill, Louisiana restaurants are finding replacements for seafood favorites. That means more crawfish and less Jumbo shrimp. “Prices may rise and menus may change before the final toll of the spill is known, but chefs here say that as long as part of the Louisiana coastline remains open, they will tap into their culinary creativity before turning to imported catch.” (Blackink)

2. Images of oil-drenched pelicans and gulls have captured the still-unfolding tragedy of the Gulf oil spill in a way so many other images haven’t. But some media outlets are grappling with the “when” and “how” of using these photos. (Blackink)

3. Megan Carpentier wants her country back, assholes. (Shani-o)

4. The number of high-poverty schools in the U.S. is growing. (Quadmoniker)

5. California Latinos are less likely to identify as Republican than they were four years ago. Surely, no one finds this surprising. (Blackink)

6. Over at The Root, Cord Jefferson finds that “the year of the Black Republican” hasn’t quite lived up to its billing. Wonder why? (Blackink)

7. Happy iPhone 4 Day! Jobs announced the new iPhone. Gizmodo releases a “definitive guide.” (This old story from The Onion is surprisingly apropos.) (Shani-o)

8. It might surprise people to know that Nazi war criminals are still hiding in the U.S. (Blackink)

9. An off-duty police officer in Baltimore shot an unarmed Marine outside a nightclub over the weekend. If you didn’t guess that the Marine is black, then you haven’t been paying attention. (Blackink)

10. Two missing children, two different races, two types of coverage. Friend of the Blog Sara Libby notices the difference in the coverage of Anthony Thomas and Kyron Horman. (G.D.)

11. Coming on the heels of Al and Tipper Gore’s separation, the Pew Research Center attempted to determine the likelihood of a long-duration marriage ending in divorce. Sift your way through the relevant data at your leisure. (Blackink)

12. To commemorate the occasion of LGBT Pride Month, unusualmusic at Alas! re-posts a list that thoroughly unpacks heterosexual privilege. (Blackink)

13. V.V. Ganeshananthan at Columbia Journalism Review slams Lynne Hirschberg for being just as clueless as she says M.I.A. is about Sri Lankan politics. M.I.A. may be a bit of a poser, but Hirschberg is horribly sloppy. (Quadmoniker)

14. Also, Jamilah King at Colorlines wonders if Janelle Monae can survive “society’s obsession with idolizing and devouring extremely talented ordinary people and turning them into immeasurable Gods.” Especially those of color. (Blackink)

15. The American Fitness Index has an interactive map showing the fitness rankings of 50 major U.S. cities. The D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria MSA finished in the top spot, while Oklahoma City finished at the bottom. (Blackink)

16. Marion Nestle at Food Politics has a great roundup of what’s going on with genetically-modified foods these days. Short answer: a lot. (Quadmoniker)

17. Ta-Nehisi joins Twitter. (Shani-o)

18. Also on Twitter? The Blagojeviches! We’ve been waiting for you, Patti and – ahem – “Governor” Rod. (Shani-o)

19. No matter what happens with LeBron in free agency this summer, he and Jay-Z still plan to hang out regularly. The NBA – and everyone else – will simply have to deal with it. “Peer groups are, in essence, social circles. They are defined on a micro-level by differences in vocation, but by and large, class and ethnicity. Too trippy? Rich black people know each other. Deal with it.” (Blackink)

20. In soccer news, the owners of Manchester United – one of the wealthiest professional sports franchises in the world – are more than one billion dollars in debt. Also, Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times explores why the Beckhams never became a hit in Hollywood. (Blackink)

We’ll leave you with a little bit of Patti:

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