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July 15, 2010 / Robyn Swirling

Things You Should Know About Today

Photo via The Advocate

  • Argentina, in the wee hours of the morning today, became the first South American country to legalize same-sex marriage.  The landmark legislation also allows for same-sex couples to adopt children, a right that is still denied in many states of the USA. [The Advocate]
  • The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating eight House members of both parties who solicited and took large contributions from financial institutions, while in the midst of debating regulatory reform for those same institutions. [NY Times]
  • In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down gun bans, many were worried that the ruling meant that violent offenders would now be able to possess handguns. On Tuesday, the federal appeals court for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago,  clarified what that SCOTUS ruling would mean, and upheld a gun ban for those who have been convicted of domestic violence. [HuffPo]
  • The White House has released a list of preventive healthcare measures that must be provided, co-pay free, under the new healthcare reform legislation. Birth control is not on that list, because the White House gave in to conservative ranting. Prenatal care and breast feeding support, as well as STI screening and genetic testing for breast cancer are included. These new rules go into effect September 24, and reproductive rights advocates are working on getting birth control covered under the next round of requirements, to be released in the next 6-18 months. [Daily Beast]
  • Forty-six warships and 7,000 marines are in Costa Rica now to interrupt the narcotics trade. [We Love Costa Rica]
  • John Stagliano, aka “Buttman,” is on trial for obscenity due to his company’s pornographic films, and faces 32 years in prison and $7 million in fines. The case is an interesting and important test of First Amendment rights – can film containing “depraved” acts by consenting adults, that is available only to an adult that consents to see it, really be deemed legally obscene? The case will test the bounds of the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, created by the Bush administration and dedicated “exclusively to the protection of America’s children and families through the enforcement of our Nation’s obscenity laws” and decide, potentially, whether something created by, and exclusively consumed by, consenting adults can be determined to threaten children and families. [Salon]
  • Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy explain the cap on the BP oil well and why it’s so hard to fix this thing. [CNN]
  • Nine states are backing up Arizona in its fight against the federal government to preserve its immigration law. In case you want to know who to direct your anger toward, those states are: Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. [HuffPo]
  • The Senate voted 60-38 this morning to end debate on the financial reform bill currently pending. The bill will likely come up for a final vote later today. [CSPAN]
  • President Obama is in Holland, Michigan today to talk up the economic stimulus package that nobody but the White House seems to think is working. [WSJ]
  • If the President opens up a newspaper while in Michigan, though, he’ll see that Rep. John Boehner (R-Asshatville) has written an editorial in the Detroit News entitled “Spending Spree Won’t Fix Our Economy.” [Detroit News]
  • Mitt Romney is really trying to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination, and it looks like he’s succeeding. Figures reported today to the Federal Election Commission show that Romney has raised almost $3.5 million in the first half of this year, a sum that “dwarfs” and “eclipses” that of his opponents. [Boston Globe]
  • As House and Senate leaders consider new energy legislation, a new poll shows that 60% of likely 2010 voters support “an energy and climate bill that would limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy. It would do this in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like gas.” Just 35% were opposed to it, and the findings show higher support among Democrats than among Republicans, and that the sky is blue. Read the very-well-presented poll results in full here.
  • While the majority of Americans may favor comprehensive energy reform, apparently 73% of Americans still support deepwater drilling, and oppose the administration’s attempted ban. [Bloomberg]
  • Documents that have just been declassified show that the British government tortured some of its own citizens in the wake of 9/11, and implicate former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office in many of the events. Current Prime Minister David Cameron has announced an investigation. [Guardian]
  • Afghan forces will attack the Taliban, a plan that was approved by the Afghan government after extensive talks with NATO commanders. The program could work in two ways – attacking the Taliban, and as a sort of job creation program that will (hopefully) constructively employ up to 10,000 men. President Hamid Karzai is concerned that the forces will turn into militias that his weak government cannot handle, but Gen. David Petraeus managed to convince him that the plan will work well. [NY Times]
  • Sarah Palin is probably going to run for President. This will likely not work out well for her, for the Republican party, or both. [Daily Beast]

One Comment

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  1. lezebelinchief / Jul 16 2010 11:52 am

    I am exceedingly happy to learn that last item ;o),

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