Here is some stuff in the news today...
Damn: "China has reportedly summoned the US ambassador after Washington launched a direct military challenge to Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea with naval manoeuvres near two artificial islands. State television reported that the Chinese vice-foreign minister, Zhang Yesui, had branded the move 'extremely irresponsible' when meeting with the US ambassador to China, Max Baucus. Chinese authorities said earlier they had monitored, followed and warned US warship USS Lassen as it 'illegally' entered waters near the disputed reefs, and urged Washington to 'immediately correct its mistake.' ...The guided-missile destroyer reportedly received orders to travel within 12 nautical miles (22.2km, or 13.8 miles) of the Spratlys' Mischief and Subi reefs, which are at the heart of a controversial Chinese island building campaign that has soured ties between Washington and Beijing. Chinese officials were not informed of Tuesday's mission, US officials said."
The ink isn't even dry on the budget deal, and Congressional conservatives are complaining about it, because of course they are: "Asked about the tentative agreement after the briefing, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions replied: 'My knees quiver at the sound.' In an interview, Sessions expressed frustration that outgoing Speaker John Boehner was hammering out the deal just days before he plans to give up the gavel for good. 'What does Boehner got to do with it?' said an exasperated Sessions, the former top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. 'I'm worried about how fast it's moving. I see no reason for that. Based on what I know now, it appears the president got whatever he wanted.'"
CBS' new Supergirl series premiered last night, to the fall's highest ratings: "The series premiere of the action-adventure series opened strong Monday night, delivering a fall new series record of 14 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18–49." I haven't watched it yet, but I will! Do you want to see star Melissa Benoist talking to Stephen Colbert about how it's a feminist show for a wide audience? Well, here you go!
OMG LOL FOREVER: "Texts from Hillary and 4 other DIY Hillary Clinton costumes for Halloween." A+
Dr. Ben Carson is beginning to edge gold toilet aficionado Donald Trump in national polling: "Ben Carson has taken a narrow lead nationally in the Republican presidential campaign, dislodging Donald J. Trump from the top spot for the first time in months, according to a New York Times/CBS News survey released on Tuesday. Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, is the choice of 26 percent of Republican primary voters, the poll found, while Mr. Trump now wins support from 22 percent, although the difference lies within the margin of sampling error. The survey is the first time that Mr. Trump has not led all candidates since The Times and CBS News began measuring presidential preferences at the end of July. No other candidate comes close to Mr. Carson and Mr. Trump." What a great party with such great candidates!
[Content Note: Privilege] GLAAD "has released its 20th annual report, which tracks the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters on scripted, primetime television. The study found that while there is increasing LGBT representation on broadcast, cable and streaming television, the characters are overwhelmingly white." Intersectionality is central to meaningful visibility.
[CN: Misogynoir; class warfare] Speaking of intersectionality, this is a terrific piece by Akwugo Emejulu about how women of color are urged toward solidarity at the expense of their own needs: "The experiences of women of colour in left-wing anti-austerity movements in Britain and the Black Lives Matter movements in the United States highlight the persistent problem of our erasure in these supposedly radical democratic spaces. Women of colour's struggles to have our intersectional social justice claims taken seriously by 'allies' exposes the fragility, and in some cases, the impossibility, of building solidarity across race, class, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference in protest movements."
[CN: Pillaging] Oh for fuck's sake: "Federal authorities are investigating whether the owners of Hobby Lobby illegally imported stolen artifacts for their planned Museum of the Bible. U.S. Customs agents seized up to 300 small clay tablets shipped from Israel in 2011 to the Christian business owners' headquarters in Oklahoma City, reported The Daily Beast. A senior law enforcement official confirmed to the website that the Green family, which owns the arts and crafts retailer, has been under investigation for the last four years for illegally importing cultural artifacts from Iraq. ...Cary Summers, the president of the Museum of the Bible, confirmed the seizure of the tablets, which are inscribed in the cuneiform script of Assyria and Babylonia, and the federal investigation that remains underway—but he described it as a mere paperwork error." Even if it's legal, that doesn't make it ethical.
[CN: Homophobia] Predictable: "A City Council candidate from Indiana who opposes LGBT protections maintains a profile on a gay dating website." Listen, I've got nothing against this guy, who is divorced, doing whatever he wants to do! And I equally disdain any politician who votes against LGBT protections. But the hypocrisy is, as always, stunning.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Haha! "Space debris dubbed 'WTF' on collision course with Earth." Don't worry—"When the object enters the atmosphere, it will likely burn up completely, though whatever does not burn will likely plunge into the Indian Ocean." Be careful, sea monsters!
[CN: Video autoplays at link] And finally! "Kittens Meet Puppies for the First Time." It is exactly as adorable as you'd expect!