In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

The Guardian: "The US has formally denounced Russia for failing to attend the meeting over the Budapest Agreement in Paris earlier today. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, hosted the meeting with his UK and Ukrainian counterparts, William Hague and Andriy Deshchytsia. In brief remarks earlier, Kerry said the meeting was 'regrettably missing one member'—Russia—which was the other signatory to the so-called 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Ukraine agreed to relinquish its nuclear weapons in return for security assurances from the world powers. The state department said: 'The United States had conveyed an invitation to the Russian Federation to the meeting …We deeply regret that the Russian Federation declined to attend.'"

Oh, so now that it's them being surveilled, they give a shit: "The CIA Inspector General's Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA's secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned. The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study. The monitoring may have violated an agreement between the committee and the agency."

[Content Note: War on agency] Last night, Alabama legislators in the state House of Representatives approved "four abortion restrictions that threaten to cut off women's access to reproductive health care in the state. Taken together, the package of anti-choice measures represents some of the harshest legislation in the nation." Chip, chip, chipping away at Roe until it becomes an empty statute. It would be cool if the Democratic national leadership were making this assault on reproductive rights a national conversation, but I guess they're too busy pandering to white men.

Media Matters for America has launched the Mythopedia, ahead of this year's CPAC. The site, which welcomes you with a search bar and the instruction to "Search the Dictionary of Conservative Lies," will serve as a fact-checking tool and "an online compendium of truths and lies peddled by conservatives."

[CN: Guns; violence; harassment] Oscar Pistorius, currently on trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, has a defense team who are apparently just as big a collection of jackasses as he is: "The third state witness to testify in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial told the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday he was inundated with phone calls after his cellphone number was read out in court. ...A member of Pistorius's defence team read out Johnson's cellphone number in court while cross-examining him on Tuesday."

[CN: Domestic violence] Democratic Florida Representative Alan Grayson has been accused by his soon-to-be-ex-wife of shoving her into a door during an altercation. Grayson's press secretary says the charges are false and his office released a statement saying she started it. FFS.

If you can't get enough of the Totes Progressive Pope, you are IN LUCK, because he's getting his own magazine: "The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) will hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote. ...The magazine also hopes to transmit the down-to-earth, no-nonsense advice that Francis offers during his weekly encounters with the faithful in St Peter's Square and elsewhere." Sounds terrific!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (my mouth still tastes like sulfur every time I have to say that) wants to expand Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, so that Chicago might one day host the Superbowl. To quote Kodos: "Expanding Soldier Field for one hypothetical football game is not a sustainable plan for the future of Chicago, @RahmEmanuel." Leaving aside the fact that this plan is more evidence of shitty priorities, I can't even imagine how Soldier Field can be expanded architecturally. "Just put clown cars on top of the spaceship!" Yeesh.

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