In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

After failing to impress voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is reportedly considering suspending his presidential campaign. Seeya.

[Content Note: Disablism; mental illness stigma; violation of workers' and students' rights] I don't even know where to begin with the clusterfuck going on at Mount St. Mary's: Basically, the new president decided he wanted to address the school's retention problem by targeting students who were at risk for dropping out, and instructed professors to flag students using questions from a mental health diagnostic survey. And then, when professors pushed back, they were shitcanned. What the everloving hell.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Good grief: The Ferguson, Missouri, City Council voted Tuesday night "to rebuff a proposed agreement to reform its police department and court. The city proclaimed that the decision amounted to approving a consent decree that it had spent months negotiating with the department, arguing that seven suggested changes were among hundreds of requirements to which the city had agreed. But one of the proposed amendments would wipe out much of the decree in the event Ferguson disbanded its police force." Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is not happy: "The Ferguson City Council has attempted to unilaterally amend the negotiated agreement. Their vote to do so creates an unnecessary delay in the essential work to bring constitutional policing to the city, and marks an unfortunate outcome for concerned community members and Ferguson police officers. ...The Department of Justice will take the necessary legal actions to ensure that Ferguson's policing and court practices comply with the Constitution and relevant federal laws."

[CN: War on agency] At the Guttmacher Institute, Heather D. Boonstra details how anti-choicers alarmism about fetal tissue research "now threatens fetal tissue research itself," which is very concerning given that "medical research using human fetal tissue obtained from abortions has benefited millions of people worldwide and holds great promise for the continued advancement of basic science, as well as for the development of lifesaving vaccines and therapies."

This is amazing: "The Trust Black Women Partnership (TBW), a collective of Black women-led organizations and advocates, released a solidarity statement with Black Lives Matter (BLM) on Tuesday, reaffirming the shared roots of struggles for Black self-determination and bodily autonomy. The statement comes as movements to end state violence and secure reproductive justice continue to converge around the country. 'The Reproductive Justice movement, created in 1994, the Trust Black Women Partnership, created in 2010, and the Black Lives Matter movement, created in 2012, were created because the lives of Black people were in peril,' the statement reads. 'All were born out of a demand for the…liberation of Black people in this country. And all were born because of the leadership of Black women.' ...'Reproductive justice is very much situated within the Black Lives Matter movement,' [BLM co-founder Alicia Garza] said. 'This isn't just about the rights of women to be able to determine when and how and where to start families, but also our right to raise families, to raise children to become adults.'"

[CN: Homophobia] Goddammit: "South Dakota lawmakers have launched a full-blown attack on LGBT rights, passing two pieces of legislation this week that would do irreparable harm to the state's LGBT community. If signed into law, these two bills would legalize discrimination against LGBT citizens and ban transgender students from participating in high school athletics in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity."

[CN: Privacy violations] Um, what? "The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities. ...James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States. 'In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things, e.g. remotely operated thermostats] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,' Clapper said. Clapper did not specifically name any intelligence agency as involved in household-device surveillance. But security experts examining the internet of things take as a given that the US and other surveillance services will intercept the signals the newly networked devices emit, much as they do with those from cellphones." Terrific.

[CN: Racism] Another aspect of institutional racism within our justice [sic] system: "The rulings of Black judges are 10 percent more likely to be overturned than those of their white counterparts. ...Reversals are anything but inconsequential. They force judges to revisit old cases, while their everyday caseload keeps on filling the docket. Then, of course, there's the reputation hit—good luck getting promoted with an armful of overturned verdicts. Maybe that explains why there are so few dark-skinned arbiters on the appeals bench."

Donald Trump says he would easily beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. Okay, player.

"Aaron Sorkin Is Bringing To Kill a Mockingbird to Broadway." Nope!

And finally! "This Cat in a Cone Is Having a Fucking Awful Day." LOL awwwwww.

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