These United States

News from around the country.

Challenge Upheld to Arizona Immigration Law. A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a lower court decision that blocked the most contested provisions of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect. More from the Tucson Sentinel.

New Mexico Governor Vetoes Health Care Exchange Bill. The Republican Governor Susana Martinez in the Land of Enchantment has vetoed legislation that would have created a one-stop shopping clearinghouse for tens of thousands of New Mexicans in need of health insurance. The full story in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

DC Mayor Gray and DC Council Members Arrested in Budget Protest. The Washington Post reports that Washington DC city officials including Mayor Vince Gray and members of the DC City Council were arrested Monday afternoon while protesting the inclusion of two DC specific riders that overrule the wishes of the District's resident. I'll say this again, the District needs its own representation in Congress. No other federal capital in the world has its citizens disenfranchised.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race. Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to open a DOJ investigation into the Waukesha County clerk who found 14,000 missed votes. The story from the Huffington Post.

Tim Donnelly aka The Shredder. The Los Angeles Times profiles Tim Donnelly, a Tea Party-backed freshman Assemblyman from San Bernardino who is raising concerns with his violent rhetoric. He is a political novice and a former member of the Minutemen vigilante group who squeaked through in a crowded GOP primary and then went on to win in the general election. He has compared lawmaking to a "full-blown war that requires guerrilla tactics." He earned his nickname, The Shredder, after he posted a video on YouTube went viral. The video showed him shredding Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal.

 

Budget Deal To Prohibit DC from Funding Abortions

The budget deal agreed to Friday night between Congressional leaders and brokered by the President to avert a government shutdown includes a provision banning the District of Columbia from spending its own funds to subsidize abortions for low-income women. 

Specifically, the rider reads as follows:

Prohibits the District of Columbia from using its own, non-federal funds to pay for abortions beyond the very limited circumstances in which federal funds are currently available (in circumstances of rape or incest and to save the life of a pregnant woman). Sec. 1590.

Republicans also managed to retain a rider prohibiting the District of Columbia from using Federal funds for a syringe exchange program even though such programs have long been proven as a cost-effective means of preventing transmissions of deadly diseases. However, the GOP did find the necessary funds to restart the city's controversial school voucher program, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, that is really no more than a boondoggle for religious schools. The program has been a priority of House Speaker John Boehner, using Federal tax dollars to subsidize private-school tuition. Both DC Mayor Vince Gray and DC's non-voting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton oppose the school voucher program.

It's pretty evident that GOP is captive to the interests of the Christian Right. Bill by bill and whenever they can, they inch us forward towards a theocracy.

UPDATE: Via Politico, the reaction of DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to the riders concerning the District in the budget:

“This morning, District residents learned that the administration and Senate Democrats were willing to let the House Republicans treat them as second-class citizens,” Norton wrote in a statement. “I am relieved that the bill did not include the national policy riders I abhorred. …However, this entire city of 600,000 taxpaying Americans has every reason to be angry that the administration and Senate Democrats did not draw a similar line in the sand that stopped at the District, and the self-governing rights of its citizens.”

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