In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

The Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling later this month on the Affordable Care Act which could end federal health insurance subsidies for millions of people in the US. In anticipation of that possibility, President Obama suggested that "Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision" which makes clear "that subsidies are available in all 50 states." To which Congressional Republicans immediately responded with their typical thoughtfulness: "'Let's be clear: if the Supreme Court rules against the Administration, Congress will not pass a so called 'one-sentence' fake fix,' Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who is leading Republican efforts to craft a contingency plan, said in a statement."

Despite their bravado, Republican are not-so-secretly shitting their pants [CN: video may autoplay at link] that they will be tasked with addressing the chaos which will ensue if SCOTUS does undermine Obamacare, which is now a very popular program whose federal subsidies are supported by a majority of voters: "This poses a conundrum for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). They are under pressure from colleagues up for reelection in swing states and districts to extend the subsidies, at least temporarily, if the court strikes them down. But doing so would risk a backlash from the conservative base." Welp.

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[Content Note: Police killing; racism] Black leaders in Cleveland have no faith that charges will be brought against the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last year, so they are attempting to do an end-run around prosecutors and instead "will invoke a seldom-used Ohio law and go directly to a judge to request murder charges against the officers. ...Ohio is one of a handful of states that allow residents to request an arrest without approval from the police or prosecutors. It is difficult to know how the case will play out because there is little precedent for a citizen to request an arrest in such a contentious, high-profile case."

[CN: Police brutality; racism; disablism; images of violence at link] In California, video of police "beating a man with batons is being investigated by the department after the city's police chief conceded that it appeared 'horrific and inflammatory.' Officers from the city of Salinas were filmed repeatedly striking Jose Velasco, who is said by his sister to have a mental illness, as he writhed around on a street on Friday. Velasco, 28, appears from the video clip to be hit on his head, legs, hands and back during the 45-second beating. At one point, five police officers struggle with him as sirens from their vehicles wail. One officer is seen arriving on the scene halfway through the clash and vigorously striking Velasco at least nine times." Police were called after Velasco assaulted his mother, who is fine. But now knows she can't rely on the cops to help her without hurting her son. What a great choice these police have left her with.

[CN: Disenfranchisement] What a shocker: "Last Thursday, Hillary Clinton spoke out in favor of a slate of voting reforms, accusing Republicans of trying to suppress turnout and calling for every eligible citizen to be registered at age 18 unless they opt out. ...Clinton's Republican rivals largely lambasted her proposals, suggesting that Clinton's reforms, if implemented, would encourage voter fraud. And while the public's overall level of support for automatic registration has held steady and remained relatively high, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that Republicans' willingness to entertain the idea has fallen significantly in the past three months. ...While half of those polled were asked simply whether they favored or opposed automatic registration, the rest were first told that the idea had been recently proposed by Clinton. Among that group, GOP support dropped an additional 10 points to just 28 percent."

[CN: Carcerality; torture; racism] Albert Woodfox, 68, has been in solitary confinement in an a Louisiana prison since April 1972, more than 40 years, "after he was blamed for the death of a guard during a prison riot. Woodfox was tried twice for the guard's death, but both convictions were later overturned. He denies all the charges." Yesterday, Judge James Brady ordered his release and banned prosecutors from trying Woodfox for a third time. "But a spokesman for the Louisiana attorney general said prosecutors would appeal 'to make sure this murderer stays in prison and remains fully accountable for his actions.'" Fucking hell. How is 40 years in solitary for a crime of which he hasn't been convicted more than enough punishment even if he were convicted? This is monstrous.

Flibanserin, the controversial drug also known as "the female Viagra," is one step closer to market as an advisory panel has recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the drug. "The panel voted 18-6 in favor of Sprout Pharmaceutical's drug application on the condition that the company develops plans to manage the risks of the medication, which include fatigue, low blood pressure, and fainting."

[CN: Misogyny; images of injury at link] Rupali Srivastava on "What's Happening to Players at the Women's World Cup, Where the Artificial Turf Is 120 Degrees."

[CN: Racism] Welp, my infatuation with Tess Holliday was short-lived.

[CN: Transphobia] Clint Eastwood made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner at Spike TV's Guys' Choice Awards (which is a thing that exists in the world, apparently) and Spike TV have decided to edit it out. An empty chair is still your best audience, Clint, you jackass.

RIP Mary Ellen Trainor, a terrific character actress whose work will probably have special meaning to lots of people in my cohort. Among many other roles, she played Elaine, Joan Wilder's kidnapped sister in Romancing the Stone, and Mrs. Walsh in The Goonies.

And finally! Eight-year-old Kenny Lewis has decided he's going to spend his summer break finding homes for shelter pets. "You can make a dog or cat's dream come true," he appeals to potential adopters. OMG. This kid. Get on my lawn! ♥

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