In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

Lawmakers unveil massive $1.1 trillion spending bill in bipartisan compromise: "Congressional negotiators unveiled a $1.1 trillion funding bill late Monday that would ease sharp spending cuts known as the sequester while providing fresh cash for new priorities, including President Obama's push to expand early-childhood education. ...Despite the increases, the bill would leave agency budgets tens of billions of dollars lower than Obama had requested and ­congressional Democrats had sought. That represents a victory for congressional Republicans, who, after three years of fevered battles over the budget, have succeeded in rolling back agency appropriations to a level on par with the final years of the George W. Bush administration, before spending skyrocketed in an effort to combat the recession. ...'Compared to the sequester, this is obviously a big improvement. But compared to investments we should be making, it falls far short,' said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee. The measure proves, he said, that 'this notion that the federal government is on a spending binge is just nonsense.'"

[Content Note: War on agency] The US Supreme Court has declined to rule on Horne v. Isaacson, a case out of Arizona which would have been a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. "Horne v. Isaacson is a legal challenge to an Arizona law that bans abortions 20 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May that the law was unconstitutional and permanently blocked its enforcement." With the Supreme Court declining the review the Ninth's ruling, the ruling will stand. Good news.

[CN: Guns; violence] A retired police officer is in custody after he shot and killed another man at a movie theater because "the victim was using his cellphone, he was texting, he was making a lot of noise." Fucking hell.

Congratulations to Democratic New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and his partner Randy Florke, who will soon be married after getting engaged on Christmas Day. Yay!

[CN: Detention; torture] On the 12th anniversary of the US government first taking prisoners to Guantánamo Bay, after twelve long years of "indefinite detention without formal charge or trial, the use of torture and other abusive treatment, and unlawful and inherently unfair military commission proceedings," 155 men are still counting the days at Gitmo.

[CN: Sexual violence] Another terrific story about service dogs helping children testify in a rape trial: "A Summit County judge on Monday cleared two girls to testify against a man accused of rape. The younger girl, who is 7, also was afforded an unprecedented means of help. A specially trained dog, Avery II, who was brought in to serve the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office last summer in cases in which a victim has been emotionally traumatized, accompanied the girl into court. Avery sat at the girl's feet inside the paneled witness box throughout her pretrial testimony to the judge before the jury entered the court." Blub.

Do you want to see Mitt Romney try to dance "Gangnam Style"? Who doesn't, right?

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