The morning cup: Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The House Democratic Caucus today voted to reject the tax bill that President Obama and Republicans decided upon Monday.  It’s a non-binding action and will probably have no effect on the end game, but as a matter of principle, Pelosi and friends wanted to show their displeasure.  Noted.

More congressional news: The DREAM Act passed the House and now heads to the Senate where it will most likely die.  I just love the Senate.  They’ve postponed the vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” because Republicans want their tax cut and budget ducks in a row first.  Can’t wait to hear their next delay tactic.  “The dog ate the Pentagon report.”  Harry Reid is pushing for votes that he knows will fail in a political move to illuminate the Republican “party of no”.  Don’t you just love how government operates?  Let’s hear it for the filibuster!

Oprah Winfrey is not a lesbian, dammit! Stop asking her if she is.  She explains to Barbara Walters tonight exactly how she feels about her best friend Gayle King, and none of those feelings are sexual.  It’s actually a touching piece.  I think I want Gayle to be my BFF.

Hamas struck Israel Wednesday with mortar shells because they’ve had so much success doing that in the past and then having Israel roll over and give them what they want.  Naturally, Israel struck back more forcefully, at Gaza, because they’re more forceful.  It’s all tragic, but more than that, dumb, dumb, dumb.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the latest billionaires to sign the Charity Pledge, agreeing to donate at least half his fortune to those in need.  He’s joined by sixteen others in doing so.

A baby-in-utero’s DNA has now been successfully profiled, reports The Guardian, allowing parents to check for genetic and inherited disorders before the child is born and possibly opt for treatment while in the womb.  Can this DNA map also predict if the child will be the type to leave the cap off the toothpaste and clothes on the floor, indicate whether he or she will put the toilet paper on the roll going over or under?  Is being a “close talker” genetic and could we fix that in utero?  What about that annoying habit of individuals who tell the same stories over and over?  Can that be suppressed?

I’m happy to report that the United States will be sending an ambassador to Sweden to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony Friday, unlike almost two dozen other countries who have buckled under pressure from China to boycott.  The winner of the prize, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, remains in prison on charges of “subversion of state power”.

Can you hear me now?  Interested in knowing why your iPhone drops calls several times a day, no matter where you are?  USA Today explains AT&T’s woes.

Reports today reveal Aretha Franklin is suffering from pancreatic cancer.  She is recovering from surgery she underwent last week.

Los Angeles police have concluded that the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was a botched robbery, though the investigation continues to fill in the details.  The suspect, Harold Martin Smith, committed suicide last week as police arrived at his apartment for questioning.  Ballistic tests now indicate the gun he used on himself was the same gun that killed Chasen.

Be intrepid at some point today.

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